Make with the Clicky

I’ve been trying to tamper down my social media presence on the more wasteful spaces (FB and Twitter primarily. Instagram is an easy set and forget space that I don’t find myself drawn to that often, so whatevs.) and decided to focus a little more on blogging, Medium (which is more for ranting), and my YouTube channel, The Books & Beer Vlogcast.

So first question: why?

Well, while social media is certainly easier to use (and I still will for promos) it’s addictive and exhausting. I want my engagement to actually have some kind of goal accomplished to it beyond clicks and likes. I want to get more words in and really get back into the headspace I was in when I was really writing my ass off and obsessing over craft and my goals.

That’s a pitfall with the marginal level of success I’ve had, it’s easy to start forgetting the real meat of the activity that is writing. More folks solicit than you submit, more folks talk with you and network, more folks read and engage. Then you step back and realize that you’re not working at the level you feel comfortable working at – and that needs changing.

Obviously, this is just my personal experience but I’m certain a lot of folks end up in the same place. It’s not a terrible place, honestly, but I think I’ve overstayed my welcome there.

So anyway, enough of this, I’ve covered it elsewhere but I figured it was a nice preamble to what the point of this entry is: WHORING.

And we got lots to whore about, particularly the release of wonderful project I am very proud to have been a part of; THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD. You’ll get a fun dose of Blacky Jaguar in this one with, BAD DAY TO BE THE BAD GUY. Had a blast putting that story together.


That’s a pretty cover!

Here’s the riot act:

“Each of the 14 varied and fitfully amusing stories in this solid anthology takes as its starting point the destruction of a dam and the subsequent flooding of Everton, PA. Aymar and Chen deserve kudos for putting together a distinctive anthology.” —Publishers Weekly

It happened the night Maggie Wilbourne was to be put to death, the first woman executed by the state of Pennsylvania in modern times. That was when a group of women passionately protesting Maggie’s imprisonment struck. They blew up a local dam, flooding the town of Everton and indirectly inspiring a hellish night of crime and chaos.

Fourteen of today’s most exciting contemporary crime writers will take you to the fictional town of Everton, with stories from criminals, cops, and civilians that explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty. Whether it’s a store owner grimly protecting his property from looters, an opportunistic servant who sees her time to strike, or two misguided youths taking their anger out against any available victim, The Night of the Flood is an intricate and intimate examination of the moment when chaos is released—in both society and the human spirit.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Rob Brunet, Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, Hilary Davidson, Mark Edwards, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Jennifer Hillier, Shannon Kirk, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, and Wendy Tyson.


“Plenty of complex characters and hard edges. Take a breath, then hang on and enjoy this entertaining romp.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

“Bravo to all the authors who contributed to The Night of the Flood, a collection of brilliant short stories about residents of the dysfunctional town of Everton who are thrust into the turbulence of decisions that will forever change who they thought they were. A stormy page-turner that will leave you wanting more.” —Sandra Brannan, author of the award-winning Liv Bergen Mystery Series

“A brilliant, multi-leveled concept, Faulknerian in its structure. A novel in stories. Wow. Fourteen exciting crime writers create a rare three-dimensional mosaic of a doomed town and the night hell flooded through it. Terrifically exciting. Wonderfully inventive.” —David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art

“A brave concept brilliantly executed.” —Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher Series

“An impressive collection of stories from some of the most talented writers working in the crime genre today.” —BOLO Books Review

I honestly can’t recommend this book more – admittedly, I’m biased, but still!

In other VERY cool news, tomorrow sees the cover reveal for my next release, PULL & PRAY over at BOLO Books! Here’s a little more about the return of my heroine (well, sort of) Fantine Park and what she’s been up to since the disastrous heist detailed in the Anthony-nominated NO HAPPY ENDINGS:

Five years after surviving the most harrowing heist of her life, Fantine Park is lured back to the United States by her estranged Aunt Matty, a a freewheeling con artist with all the right connections and all the wrong ideas. The bait: a lead on the identity of her mother’s killer and a score known as the ‘pension plan’, a piece of software that can literally pay out in perpetuity if they can get their hands on it in time. 
Working with a team of actual professionals with their own motivations; Fan’s loyalties and beliefs will be tested as nothing is as it seems; especially when one of the members of this crew may have been the last person to see her mother alive.
It’s going to be lies, murder, and gas station hot dogs all the way down as Fan races to get the answers about the day her mother died and maybe, just maybe, the kind of cash that will pull her away from a continued life of crime.
I’ll have more on that soon – including a release date (which you’ll find out tomorrow as well).
In other wonderful news, the wonderful Greg Herren was kind enough to choose my story, MUSCLE MEMORY, to include in this year’s Bouchercon Anthology, SUNNY PLACES, SHADY PEOPLE, a Florida-focused selection of mystery and noir stories.
Criminy, check this TOC:
Patricia Abbott, “When Agnes Left Her House”
J.D. Allen – Mystery Author, “The Unidentifieds”
Jack Bates, “The Fakahatchee Goonch”
Lawrence Block, The Burglar Who Strove to Go Straight*
Susanna Calkins, Author, “Postcard for the Dead”
Reed Farrel Coleman, “The Ending”
Angel Luis Colón, “Muscle Memory”
Hilary Davidson Books, “Mr. Bones”
Brendan DuBois, “Breakdown”
John Floyd, “Frontier Justice”
Barb Goffman, “The Case of the Missing Pot Roast”
Greg Herren, “Cold Beer No Flies”
Eleanor Cawood Jones, “All Accounted for at the Hooray for Hollywood Motel”
John D. MacDonald, “The Hangover”
Paul D. Marks “There’s an Alligator in My Purse”
Craig Pittman, “How to Handle a Shovel”
Neil Plakcy’s Books, “Southernmost Point”
Alex Segura, “Quarters for the Meter”
Debra Lattanzi Shutika, “Frozen Iguana”
Holly West Books, “The Best Laid Plans”
Michael Wiley, “Winner”
I’m super excited for folks to read what’s effectively the finale for my character, Sean Clarke (SEPARATION ANXIETY, FIRST-TIMER’S CLUB, MY HEART DIED ON BLACKROCK AVE. – all in my collection MEAT CITY ON FIRE (AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES)). Doesn’t mean I’m done with Sean, but you’re going to find out his heartbreaking end.
Also: it’s really fucking cool to be published alongside Lawrence Block twice in one year. The man’s a goddamn writing hero of mine and I cannot be more humbled.
Lastly, I started a YouTube channel (as mentioned above). Come on over and check out what I’m inaccurately calling The Books & Beer Vlogcast. I talk craft, books, and read from stuff I like over a single beer. It’s more of a therapy session for me without the drama but the response has been fun so far and I think folks won’t hate hearing me drone on for a 20-30 minute stretch (it helps that I’m pretty and have an A++ t-shirt game).
Here’s a little trailer if I’ve caught a whiff of interest.

And that’s that!

Be easy, loves.


Playing Catch Up

Hey folks. Been quiet on the bloggery for a hot minute. Didn’t even have time to pimp my latest, MEAT CITY ON FIRE (AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES) on the page properly.

Though, hey, for as much as marketing counts in this game, there ain’t much else I can control with a dayjob, family, and general sanity taking some more priority over shilling.

That came off a little snarkier than intended. Apologies.

Anyway, contrary to that open, I’m in a pretty good mood. the Aforementioned MEAT CITY is getting some love and folks are digging on a lot of the newer stories in there. Proud of the work in there and really hope more people check it out.

Also, I’ve pivoted to video!

Got a new YouTube thing I’m trying. Basically a rant with some love for writers I feel aren’t loved enough. Bonus: all the writers I know who roll their eyes at me are probably rolling their eyes extra hard over it (which is a win).

2017 was a weird, slightly sucky year. The plan’s to actively change that. This means moving forward and embracing what I want over what I feel others would want for or of me. It’s very easy to slip into that latter mode once you’ve found some kind of validation that your work succeeds on any level. Unfortunately, that path leads to stagnation; which I’m not in the mood for.

I’ve proven I can hang. Now it’s time to prove I can exceed.

More to come.

PS: I’ll ask again and again – do me a solid and review what I’ve got in the wild if you have a few minutes. Getting the word out helps.

Never said I gained any shame, just that I don’t have time to be unabashedly shameless.

Dance, Book Monkey, Dance!

We got some shilling to do, ya’ll.

First on the agenda, cheap ebook! My first Blacky Jaguar novella in the Song of Piss & Vinegar series is on sale now for $0.99! Click the cover below to get yourself to whatever digital storefront you like.


You a reviewer or book blogger? I got you, critically-minded fam. MEAT CITY ON FIRE (AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES) is up on NetGalley! Click on that GORGEOUS cover.


Preorders and NetGalley requests are officially up for a new novel in stories called THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD. Here’s the Bosch-esque cover I love so much.


A little more about NIGHT OF THE FLOOD:


Last and certainly, well maybe not certainly…what’s a degree below certainly? KILLING MALMON! Pick this bad boy up and help the fight against MS because MS sucks and deserves to die a quick, merciless death.


Anyway, buy my stuff!

Be easy,



Hoping that pun does Dave White proud.

Everyone and their mother is doing a Bouchercon 2017 rundown and I figured I toss my hat in the ring if only to give a shout out to all the outstanding people who both made Bouchercon possible and worth going to.

If you know me, you know I spent most of my time at the bar. It was wonderful to catch up with Chris Irvin, Nik Korpon, Joe Clifford, Renee Pickup, Nick Kolakowski, Danny Gardner, Sarah Weinman, Johnny Shaw, Jay Stringer, Holly West, Josh Stallings, Art Taylor, Travis Richardson, Hilary Davidson, Eryk Pruitt, Chris Holm, Kat Holm (those two rock so hard), Mike McCrary, Jen Conley, Jon and Ruth Jordan, David Nemeth, Jennifer Hillier, Ed Aymar, SW Lauden, Rob Hart, and a ton of others I am losing in the post-Boucher haze.

If I forgot you, hate me and DM me your venom – I probably deserve it.

It was absolutely wonderful to meet so many new and friendly folks like Beau Johnson, Brett Savory, Sandri Kasturi, Craig Davidson, Michael Rowe, and Baron Birtcher (who was a fantastic moderator for the Best Novella panel), Janet Hutchings, James Lincoln Warren (my other moderator for my Short Story panel) and so many others.

My thanks to programmers Sarah Byrne, Janet Costello, Jeannette Harrison, and Carol Newhouse for allowing me some space to be me and have an outstanding time talking shop on two panels this year.

It’s also heartening to see Jay Stringer elected to the Bouchercon board. There are still issues that need addressing and I’m hoping a younger perspective will help the convention attract more young writers and readers from all walks of life. Change is good – it’s something I feel isn’t a popular ideology when it comes to Bouchercon, so any sign of it seems like a positive step. That said, Jay’s an inspiration and I think I may need to do more than talk smack.

Moving on…

A big congrats to all the Derringer, Macavity, and Anthony winners.

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate my fellow Best Novella nominees (Sarah M. Chen, S. W. Lauden, and John Shepphird). Congratulations to winner B.K Stevens who unfortunately passed away this summer. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

So St. Petersburg next year? Probably. It’s been a “stalled” year for my writing despite some great releases. Back to being agentless, floating work I’d like to see out in the world, and balancing quite a bit of real world activity with this writing stuff. Still, I ain’t stopping. Events like these leave me with a strong sense of hope and inspiration but they also leave me knowing I have to work hard to continue moving forward with my writing. This December is the 4th anniversary of my first publication. In writer years, that’s literally a blink.

There’s a hell of a lot left to do folks. Ya’ll ain’t seen the last of me – I promise that.

Be easy,


Where to find me/buy me drinks – October 2017

So all the cool kids are talking about their upcoming events and all. Throwing my hat in the ring regarding this October and all my comings and/or goings.
Here’s what’s up!
Bouchercon 2017
I’ll be at Bouchercon from 10/12 – 10/15 (pretty much always at the bar judging you, except for these times below):
October 13th – Bouchercon Toronto
5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Sheraton C
5-Minute Misdemeanours
Constructing the short story
Angel Luis Colón, Barb Goffman, Janet Hutchings, Alan Orloff, Travis
Richardson, James Lincoln Warren (M)
October 14th – Bouchercon Toronto
8:30 A.M. – 9:30 A.M.
Grand West
Best Novella
Meet your Best Novella Anthony nominees
Baron R Birtcher (M), Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, S. W. Lauden,
John Shepphird
Even thought I’m nominated, I WON’T be at the Anthonys (scheduling sucks) so if you want to catch me before that, like I said: find me at the hotel bar. And seriously, don’t be a wuss – approach me.
You’ll find I’m fairly sociable and obnoxious enough to want to walk away in a few minutes so you won’t feel like you’ve wasted much time at all.
Am I kidding? Find out for yourself!
Can’t make it out to Bouchercon?
October 29th – Noir at The Bar: Asbury Park
6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
The Complex AP

639 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, New Jersey 07712
Readings by:
– Kevin Catalano
– Angel Luis Colón
– Juliet Fletcher
– Thomas Pluck
– S.A. Solomon
– Wallace Stroby
– Dennis Tafoya