Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Written with the pulp values of brevity and action, the stories go down smooth. Lest you think it's all blood and thunder, though, Grainger sets a couple stereotypes on their heads, and even explores so-called "contemporary" issues (child abuse, racism, sociopathy) through the dusty lens of an older time.
Good for readers wanting fast-paced westerns with a twinge of nostalgia, and good for writers interested in the mechanics of vintage pulp, ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES delivers both barrels of literary buckshot! --From Garnett Elliott's Amazon review.
Thank you to all who made ADVENTURES the eleventh best in Westerns based on Amazon customer reviews.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Volume 3 contains eight movies from 1948-1953. I started with Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff. The boys work at a hotel where a guest is murdered and suspicion falls on Costello the bellhop and for good reason—bodies begin piling up in his room at a side-splitting alarming rate. Abbott plays the hotel detective who is only a tad smarter than his friend the bellhop and tries to clear him regardless of the evidence that is stacking up against his innocence. Boris Karloff does well playing it straight as a hypnotizing swami who attempts to convince Costello to off himself. Many other fine supporting characters you’ll immediately recognize come together for a classic Ellery Queen style whodunit.
The funniest scene for me was Abbott and Costello urgently trying to rid themselves of the bodies and at one point they set two stiffs up at a card table for a game of poker. Interestingly, every scene with a corpse was removed prior to distribution in Australia and New Zealand, and Denmark went so far as to ban the film completely.
I can't say I laughed a lot at this film but several scenes like corpse poker brought big chuckles and I’m looking forward to watching the other films in this collection which include Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Mexican Hayride, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Comin’ Round the Mountain, Lost in Alaska, and Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I wanted to let you know about two great offers at www.thecopia.com, the new social eBookstore that lets readers share notes in the margins of their books, form online book clubs and much more.
We are giving away Donald Westlake's Edgar Award-winning novel, GOD SAVE THE MARK. Free.
Here is the short URL.
Our ongoing free Books-to-Movies collection also has books of interest to mystery fans: free copies of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and LITTLE CAESAR.
All anyone has to do is spend a minute to sign up for an account, download the books, and then download our free eReader software for PC, Mac, Ipad, Win 7, etc.. You can read the book on any device that takes adobe ePub files (Nook, Sony eReader, etc).
We hope you enjoy these free books and please feel free to spread the word by blog or tweet.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
"Fans of detective fiction . . . will love this novel--and all of Cline's work." - David Pitt, Booklist May 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
For the past two weeks, Adventures has been on Amazon’s Top 100 westerns and quite often in the top twenty. As I said in a recent post, I’m humbled to be hanging out with McMurtry, L'Amour, and, good lord, Elmore Leonard!
I received an e-mail from a new Cash & Miles fan (that’s another first for me) who asked if there were other stories and where he could find them. Well, the success of this first collection has spurred me on to release the remaining short stories in the months to come. It will probably be the same approach with five previously released adventures with two new ones.
While waiting for that next collection, Cash will be in Crimefactory, Gideon Miles will be in the forthcoming Western Fictioneers eBook, and another tale of the outlaw marshal written with Chuck Tyrell will be at the next Wild West eMonday.
But for now... thank you, folks.
DEADMAN'S REVENGE is the third volume in the exciting Rancho Diablo series."
Hat tip: Criminal Element.
Monday, June 20, 2011
It’s very hard for an author to choose his favorite among all the books he’s written. It’s especially hard for me, after 500+ books have been published.
Among my favorites have always been the two Nick Delvecchio novels, NO EXIT FROM BROOKLYN (1987) and THE DEAD OF BROOKLYN (1991). There are a few reasons for this. One, the books are set in Brooklyn, where I grew up. Two, there is more of me in Delvecchio than any of my other characters. And third, He sprang forth almost wholly formed in that first book, where as other characters—Jacoby, Keough, Gil & Claire—have needed a book or two in order develop. After 1991, Nick fell by the wayside, even though there was a third book planned, partially written and set aside for other things. Now, 20 years after the fact, comes THE END OF BROOKLYN (Perfect Crime Books, 2011). This completes what is now a trilogy, though some reviews and bloggers don’t believe I‘m done with Nick. If there were going to be other books, though, they’d have to be well planned, because this is truly a self-contained trilogy. It ends the way none of my other series have ever ended. Which is the reason I won’t reveal any of the plot here. The first two books are currently available in reprint from Ramble House and Amazon. THE END OF BROOKLYN is available from Perfect Crime Books, CreateSpace or Amazon.
My other favorites are among my most recent books. They are the Rat Pack series. Book #5 is I’M A FOOL TO KILL YOU (Severn House, Jan. 2011), which became available in January of 2011 in hardcover, and is now available in trade paperback. Meanwhile, the 6th book, FLY ME TO THE MORGUE (Severn House, June 2011), is now out in hardcover. #5 features Ava Gardner and just might be my favorite in the series, since I think Ava was one of the most—if not the most—beautiful woman in the history of the movies. #6 features appearances by Bing Crosby and his wife, with cameos by Bob Hope and Jack Benny.
I’m having a good Summer.
David Cranmer here: Mr. Randisi has been kind enough to give away one copy of each of the above titles. You have until this Thursday at midnight to leave your name and e-mail in the comments section of this post and I'll put all the names into a hat and draw three lucky winners. I will announce the winners this Friday.
It has been an overwhelmingly wonderful experience for me, having the opportunity to introduce this work through the efforts of so many great folks (all of them writers whose own work deserves equal if not greater amounts of attention than my own) and I do hope the work has been (and will continue to be) on par with the generosity that has made it available.
Cheers to all who have hosted and followed and I sincerely hope you will join me for more,
I’d consolidated everything down to what’d fit in my duffle, figured there was enough room for the money on top, but if not I’d be able to sort that out. Thought about unloading the gun, but then left it, slipped it back my coat pocket.
Got the train station still headache ridden from the vodka the previous night. I didn’t let myself sit down the train, worried I’d drift off to sleep, wake up missed my station, even more of a headache. I walked end to end of the compartment, when I’d get to each door peer through at the people milling the attached compartments, noted only one of them’d look up each time I did, was probably putting them off.
Thought about going into the storage rental office to officially close out my unit, kind of think I thought it just to stall going in. Something in picking up the money and being able to wander off still hadn’t hit me as reality, part of me thinking I left the money alone I could just have back the life I’d had.
Life I’d had.
Real pause maybe was because the money into things or not, leaving meant I had less a life than I’d had, not had much of one to begin with—but not taking the money didn’t mean a thing along those lines, it was all a fact now, it’d already happened just needed to do it, now.
Stale air came out the room a gulp like it always did the unit first opened, pulled the bulb on, closed myself in as best I could. Tore open the garbage bag I kept the smaller bag in, just dumped the money, smoked a few cigarettes looking at it.
Only nine-and-a-half thousand, including what I had on me I’d taken out last time.
It was kind of a jolt. I emptied my pockets—put the gun back in, removed my coat and set it off to one side—dug through the paper debris I’d filled the bags with, turned out the clothes in my duffle.
Not even nine and a full half—nine thousand three hundred sixty-four dollars, that even totaling in the loose coins I’d accumulated from all over.
As though any amount of thinking would change things, I paced around through a few hardly used cigarettes, turned things over and over. Even had it been ten and half, ten four hundred, I’d’ve believed that.
Wondered could someone’ve found out what I had in here? The staff of the place? Gone through the trouble to undo the trash bags carefully, just clip a bit, put it all back neat?
The crumbled paper strewn around, I really had no way of knowing—maybe they’d even torn through the original bag, found the money, just replaced other bags, other paper, even.
Sat down a last few minutes, repacked my bag of everything except five hundred dollars in my pocket—first same pocket as the gun, then I switched it, then I switch pockets, the gun the money, because I reached more naturally into the one, was tired of feeling the metal there, tired of the sink in my gut every time and my fingers giving it pulps, tapping it like maybe there might be some reason take it out.
Didn’t know exactly what about anything I was down the street, nothing except I just wanted to get someplace I could squirrel the money away again, but same time had no interest on focusing what that’d mean. I wanted to go far, though. I wanted to go away.
Stopped a gas station, asked was there a bus depot, girl working told me there was one in town, pointed out a bench other side of the street, said transit bus would take me in, though she didn’t know which line. Because I felt a little bit guilty I bought a coffee and a random candy bar, halfheartedly flirted enough to get the idea she wasn’t interested—had the feeling she kept looking out to the bench I waited for the bus, worried I wouldn’t get on.
Depot was ugly, looked like it’d been recently painted but whoever’d done it’d done so poor a job looked it hadn’t been painted ten years—floor inside was the same concrete the walk outside. There were a few people didn’t seem transient sleeping on the benches and I noticed the two public phones didn’t have receivers, one of them had just a space where the coin box’d go. There was a television on way over in one corner, below it a dirty fan on oscillate, but this all a corner the benches weren’t near it, just like these two thing’s been discarded over there, casting their mix of shadows no one ever noticed.
Part way I didn’t want to get a ticket, but the bus service was a national chain, figured it was immaterial what the station looked like.
-Hi, need to get a ticket back out Colorado, you have anything leaving that way?
Woman working made a face it’d been a stupid question—probably it was, why’d they only have buses to certain places?
-I lost my ID, though, I said and was going to go on but, same tone to her voice as her eyes rolling’d had to her face, she told me I wouldn’t need to present ID, just fill out a form she didn’t hand me until another minute clacking at the computer, numbly naming off departure times.
Some reason I didn’t take the earliest bus out, walked into town a bit to have lunch, vaguely of a mind to get rid of the gun. Thought most about this I was using the toilet the fast food place, thought I’d drop it down in the bowl, give someone a real startle, maybe even wait around to see the police show up—but just as quick I got the creeps, because say somebody put two and two together it’d been me dumped the gun, what a pointless bit of trouble that would be. Seemed there was the same trouble anywhere I’d lose the thing, felt eyes all over me heavy as hands all over me, coat pocket seemed the best place to keep things subdued and in secret.
Got back to the station, sat, noticed the woman working the desk was smoking so smoked, too.
The husks of the telephones struck me, suddenly. I felt around, found I still had the card on me the guy’s telephone number.
-Are there phones around here actually have phones?
The woman told me across the street or back in town, across the street a convenience store but she said guy owned it would make me buy something.
-Buy something to use the public phone?
She stared at me.
-That’s awful, I said, a little bit giddy for some reason at her blankness, her cruelty toward me, her proper disbelief, her knowing I had my ID on me was just some loser needed to disappear like hundred losers she gave tickets under made believe names to everyday.
Guy just stared at me I said I needed to use the phone.
-Woman the bus station says I need to buy something?
-Minimum two dollars.
-How about can I just give you two dollars?
He shrugged, I left him five dollars on the counter, didn’t get the feeling he was going to be interested in making me change.
Put my coins down the slot, squinted at the card and dialed, phone just rang and rang—I leaned there, listening, listening. Eyes closed, scratched my chin the receiver bulb, hung up. It was funny he’d not smashed the thing, removed the battery, shut it off, but at the same time what did it matter he had or he hadn’t done this or done that some cheap telephone?
Took up the phone again, straight off, the thought was I’d dial Norman’s number just to hear it ring, listen. Same time I heard the dial tone to my ear, I realized I didn’t know the number, probably if I did it wouldn’t ring, would beep dull and insistent that it wasn’t a number anymore, at all.
Mixed in with the tone, don’t know what brought it on, why I’d want to bring it to mind, I spent a minute pretending like I could hear Norman, hear him telling me I was an awful person. He’d told me already before, but for some reason wanted him to say it again I could answer him—I could tell him how he was absolutely right, how same time he had absolutely no idea.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Leroy woke up without remembering actually falling asleep. Of course, he didn't usually remember falling asleep, but this time he didn't even remember lying down, closing his eyes, or going through his normal routines: crack knuckles, stretch legs, crack ankles, arch back, breathe deep, turn on side, open eyes, close them, open them again, sigh, and then curse God until blackness finally whisked him out of his body. And he sure as hell didn't remember undressing.
Chad Rohrbacher is at BEAT to a PULP with "I See Black Light."
1st Prize: RUN FOR THE ROSES by Chris La Tray ($50)
2nd Prize: FINGERPRINTS by Eric Beetner ($35)
3rd Prize: A POCKET FULL OF HORSES by Chad Eagleton ($20)
4th Place: HARD TIMES by Ian Ayris
5th Place: A tie:
A GAME OF HIDE AND SEEK by Patricia Abbott
TOO MUCH TOO YOUNG by Nigel Bird
Laramie is a true hero, the one who does what has to be done to protect the innocent rather than just doing what the law allows. His partner, Gideon Miles, is cut from the same cloth, although he is a black law officer in a difficult time.
I really enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it. A fun read, but also one that makes you think, and which doesn't skirt the tough issues. Stories like "Melanie," for example, really hit you where you live. -- Charles Gramlich, Razored Zen.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
She raked her dyed head with her fingers, then rose and went to the picture window. With her back to me, her body was simply an object, an obdalisque shape against the light. Framed in dark-red curtains, the sea looked old as the Mediterranean, old as sin. —From Ross Macdonald's THE INSTANT ENEMY featuring Lew Archer and first published in 1968."Moves fast and is full of surprises. . . . The best work Macdonald has done in years." —The New York Times
"A more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were." —Eudora Welty
Friday, June 17, 2011
These two we're fenced in the backyard last week. The mother jumped out but the little one had trouble following. He made an attempt with a running start but backed out at the last moment--that fence was just too high for him. So the mom bounced back in and walked her little one to the far end of the yard out of our sight. I checked later and both had made it out successfully. Wish we had seen how they did it.
PFF is the creation of Leah J. Utas.
Hope everyone has a terrific weekend.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
In fact, the narrative style is much like episodes of the early Gunsmoke. The dialogue is easy and conversational; the characters’ motivations and feelings are modern. Yet there’s enough grit to situations and human behavior to give it all some realism. It’s an imperfect world without easy answers to its problems. When all is said and done, you recognize it as a metaphor for the world we live in every day. --Ron Scheer, Buddies in the Saddle.Click here for the Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles.
'I always thought that vampires had to have names like Dracula or Vlad or Lestat, but that was before Fred moved into the house next door. In fact, I had a lot of wrong ideas about vampires, but Fred set me straight about most of them.'
In a funny, lively story the boys set out to help Fred lead a 'normal' life."
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
William Matthew "Bill" Tilghman (July 4, 1854 – November 1, 1924) was a lawman and gunslinger in the American Old West.
Tilghman along with Heck Thomas and Chris Madsen were collectively known as the Three Guardsmen and were responsible for the arrest and/or killings of many of the worst criminals in 1890's Oklahoma including the eradication of the infamous Wild Bunch.
His friend and fellow lawman Bat Masterson referred to him as "the greatest of us all."
Teddy Roosevelt said "Tilghman would charge hell with a bucket."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I must say I'm very thankful to everyone who has bought a copy of
my eBook. It has been doing well and I've come close to cracking the top ten on Amazon's western chart. The fact that I was riding high over several Louis L'Amour titles brought a big grin to my face.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Chris F. Holm is among the finest writers to emerge from the pulp webzines and I'm very pleased to say he's once again at BEAT to a PULP with "The Man in the Alligator Shoes."
Friday, June 10, 2011
For those of you new to my blog I write western noir short stories under the name of Edward A. Grainger.
The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles spotlights the thrilling tales of two deputy U.S. Marshals working in 1880s Wyoming Territory. Cash Laramie, is known as the outlaw marshal for his unorthodox way of dealing with criminals and his cavalier approach to life. Gideon Miles is one of the first African American marshals in the service and has skills with guns, knives, and tracking that are unrivaled. This collection broaches issues like racism, child abuse, morality, and social justice.
Adventures retails for 99 cents and can be found here.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Age: 30 (born November 24, 1855)
Characteristics: He wears an Arapaho arrowhead made by his adopted mother around his neck. His catch phrase is "Wouldn’t you like to think so." He smokes cheroots and drinks Maryland Rye.
Occupation: Deputy U.S. Marshal working out of the federal building in Cheyenne Wyoming Territory.
Nickname: Referred to as The Outlaw Marshal for his tendency to be brutal and walk the fine line between good and evil when it comes to delivering his unique brand of justice.
Friends: His only close relationships is with his prostitute girlfriend named Lenora Wilkes and his partner, Gideon Miles.
Illustration of Cash Laramie by William Ervin.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I have a confession to make: I’ve never been a fan of Westerns. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against them—it’s just they never grabbed me in the way a good detective story grabs me. They always seemed to me as dusty as the desert towns in which they’re set, more museum pieces than living, breathing stories. Relics of a bygone era.
My Papa would’ve shaken his head to hear me say that. He was a cop, and a consummate storyteller; it was from him I inherited my penchant for writing and reading crime fiction. But Papa didn’t discriminate between a good cop story and a good Western. To him, it didn’t matter if Eastwood was wearing a poncho and a wide-brimmed hat or a suit and a badge—there the clicker stopped either way. I always figured it was generational—for Papa, crime and Westerns were of a piece, but as a little kid whose feet couldn’t reach the floor as I sat on the couch beside him, the Wild West seemed as far away as Roman times, and as textbook-dull as well.
So it was with trepidation I read the first Cash and Miles story David Cranmer sent my way. “Miles to Go,” this was. It’s not that I doubted David’s talents as a writer—I simply felt that Westerns were (caps warranted) Not My Thing. I figured I’d give the story a skim, find a sentence or two I thought worth highlighting, and pass along a “Job well done.”
Instead, I found myself riveted. Cash and Miles proved to be nuanced, interesting characters, men whose honor and decency divorced them from the petty prejudices of their time, but whose backgrounds placed them in the centers of said prejudices nonetheless. What’s more, the deft hand with which David dealt with matters of class and race made the story...well, not modern, exactly, so much as timeless and universal, and certainly a far cry from the museum pieces of my youth. And to cap it all off, the story itself was breakneck: a thrilling manhunt, a tale of battle-hardened friendship, all draped effortlessly in Western trappings. For me, the story struck the perfect balance between crime and Western fiction, and in so doing, provided me an entry point to a vibrant genre that had heretofore proved inaccessible to me.
Since that day, I’ve eagerly consumed every scrap of Cash and Miles I could get my eyeballs on (occasionally, I confess, nudging David to write another when I’d exhausted the existing supply). And I’ve started delving into the Westerns of David’s fellow fence-straddlers—guys like James Reasoner and Elmore Leonard, who, like my Papa, didn’t see much of a division between cowboys and crime at all.
I don’t mind telling you that, in this instance, being proved wrong doesn’t suck a bit.
‘Course, if my Papa were still around, he’d be sure to say I told you so.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
January 4 – The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
February 21 – United States President Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument.
March 4 – Grover Cleveland succeeds Chester A. Arthur as President of the United States.
March 14 – W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado opens at the Savoy Theatre.
May 2 - Good Housekeeping Magazine goes on sale for the first time.
June 17 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
July 6 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies. The patient is Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
July 14 – Sarah E. Goode is the first female African-American to apply for and receive a patent, for the invention of the hideaway bed.
July 23. News of the death of Gen. U. S. Grant, at Mount McGregor, N. Y., received at Philadelphia at 8.12 A. M. The State House bell was tolled sixty-three times, one stroke for each year of his age. Immediately flags were hoisted at half mast in all parts of the city.
September 2 – The Rock Springs Massacre occurs in Rock Springs, Wyoming; 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
September 15 – A train wreck of the P.T. Barnum Circus kills giant elephant Jumbo.
November 7 – Canadian Pacific Railway: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald considers the project to be vital to Canada due to the exponentially greater potential for military mobility.
Books published: The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time, Jules Verne’s Mathias Sandorf, and H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon's Mines.
Click over to Wikipedia for more '85 events.
Illustration of Gideon Miles by William Erving from the forthcoming eBook ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES.
Monday, June 6, 2011
6/19 "Junkie Geek" by Jocheem Steen
6/26 "I See Black Light" by Chad Rohrbacher
7/3 "A Rip Through Time: Chaos in the Stream" by Garnett Elliott
7/10 "A Glutton for Punishment" by Thomas Pluck
7/17 "Disintegration" by Glenn Gray
Sunday, June 5, 2011
ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES eBook will be arriving next week. Little d and I are formatting and adding illustrations. Chris F. Holm provides the foreword to this seven-story collection featuring two new tales.
Which brings me to my part in Naomi Johnson's Watery Grave Invitational. I have had two weeks to begin, write, and polish a short story which has been a hard but rewarding experience for me. Hard because I don’t write and complete stories in that kind of time. Rewarding because a tale called "Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye" sprang from Ms. Johnson's invite. The story is only about 1200 words and continues to follow Cash Laramie down the path he's forging for himself, adding a nice wrinkle to the proceedings. BUT, I couldn't complete the story in time. Well, I could have but it would not have met with my final approval. I felt as low as a snake's belly writing to Naomi yesterday but she graciously allowed me to bow out. I've promised her the finished story for THE DROWNING MACHINE when I'm done. Naomi is a sweetheart and I hope everyone supports the contest.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
A stray beam of moonlight filtered into the saloon set and glinted off the long barrel of the Colt. Hallam spun the cylinder, checked the loads.
Then he reholstered the gun, strode to the batwings, and pushed through them, like he had hundreds of times in the past, both make-believe … and real.
This wasn’t make-believe. This was a showdown. A real live showdown.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Little d, aka my charmer, is working on some images for Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles noir western collection I have coming out in the next few weeks. I found a fine artist who drew Cash, Miles, and Kid Eddie. I have decided this will be an eBook consisting of seven stories, two of them being brand-spanking new, all for 99 cents.
And, I've been eating a lot of Ben and Jerry's Maple Blondie limited edition ice cream. They have a sexy spokeswoman, but I would push the product for them--free of charge--if they asked. Although I wouldn't turn down a Maple Blondie payment.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
My first tweet wasn’t on the scale of Bell’s "Mr Watson—Come here—I want to see you.” It was, "What the hell am I doing, Chris?" But soon enough I was corresponding with several writers and it just flowed. I didn’t feel obligated to join in the conversations but did on occasion and it has been very easy to walk away from. What benefits? Tons of info concerning the writing world, new book releases and really enjoying folk’s thoughts on a whole host of activities.
Another thing about me is I'm a journal/diary kind of nut. I have a running file on my laptop where I mention what the family has done for the day, writing word count, etc. Some of the trivial things I will be tweeting about makes for another collection of memories. If other folks get a kick out of them then that's great, but for me it's another way to record stuff that might not have gone into the journal.
I don't see a downside at this point. I find Twitter to be a valuable tool (I really surprised myself on this one).
If you have joined Twitter recently, do you agree?