Monster

Back in 2008, I wrote a novella called MAMA FISH that I remember being very proud of. At the time, nobody anywhere had heard of me (except for my mom), and—on the back of some strong reviews—it helped introduce a host of new readers to my work—a readership that has continued to grow through subsequent publications. But MAMA FISH is where it all began.

Until now, MAMA FISH has only been available in paperback from Shroud Publishing. It’s still available in paperback, if you do a little hunting around, but I’m delighted to say that the e-book edition was recently released by Crossroad Press. To me, it seems only fitting that  a story about (among other things) advancements in technology be available in digital format.

Here’s the all-enticing cover copy:

 

Technology is a 21st Century god. It’s a monster.

And the old ghosts stir …

Business brings Patrick Beauchamp to Harlequin, MA. The town he grew up in. It is his first time back for twenty years. Harlequin has changed, but even so … the old ghosts stir.

The secret—such a terrible secret—still lives in his heart. It is here, in Harlequin. She is here.

Patrick will never forget Mama Fish.

Harlequin High, 1986. Kelvin Fish was the oddball, the weird kid that no one would talk to. Except for Patrick, who was determined to learn more about this strange child, and to befriend him. But Patrick would get more than he bargained for…

Mama Fish is a story about the paths we choose … about the changes in society, and in ourselves. It is told through the eyes of Patrick Beauchamp, a loving family man who, at his heart, is troubled by much darkness … a man quite literally caught between the ghost and the machine.

So yeah … if you like what you read, and if you’re so inclined, you can order MAMA FISH for your Kindle or Nook at any of the following online venues:

Amazon USA

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Three bucks for the Kindle version? You can’t say fairer than that.

I’ll be releasing more of my backlist through Crossroad Press over the coming months, all with fresh covers and shiny digital bones.  Of course, I’ll be posting all the info right here, so check back often.

Posted in E-books, Novellas | Leave a comment

Heads Together

So, this seems like a pretty good time to tell you about a brand new anthology that I’m in, edited by New York Times bestselling author (and all-round top dude) Christopher Golden. DARK DUETS is a collection of collaborations featuring an ensemble of authors working together for the first time.

From the back cover:

DARK DUETS is a feast of eerie and mesmerizing horror, thriller, and dark fantasy tales—an ambitious and unique anthology featuring biting and atmospheric original stories from seventeen pairs of acclaimed writers, all collaborating together for the first time, including New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Stuart MacBride, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry and David Liss.

Penned by two authors—and in one case, a trio—who have never worked together before, the stories in this enthralling literary chemistry blend diverse elements and rich themes into mesmerizing and highly combustible tales that delve deep into the shadowy, unexplored realms of the imagination.

Here’s the full (and very impressive) table of contents:

TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, & Holly Black
SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers

Mark Morris and I close out the show with our story, “Sins Like Scarlet”—a particularly dark piece about a man dying of cancer, who needs to confront the shadows of his past if he hopes to find peace in his final days. I’m a long-time fan of Mark’s; I remember seeing his book, TOADY, in stores when I was a kid—a chunky horrorfest of a novel—and being filled with envy that he was sitting on the same shelf as Stephen King, James Herbert, and Ramsey Campbell. I’m delighted to say that he is one of my very dear friends now, as well as one of my favourite authors, and collaborating with him on “Sins Like Scarlet” was a genuine privilege. It was the first time we worked together, and I sincerely hope it won’t be the last.

Published by Harper Voyager, DARK DUETS is available everywhere, but here are those handy Amazon links:

Amazon USA

Amazon Canada

Amazon U.K.

So go ahead … grab yourself a copy. Dance with us, why don’t you? See what kind of dark chaos we can create when we put out heads together …

Posted in Anthologies | 2 Comments

On Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, you beautiful, wonderful people.

You know, I’m feeling decidedly generous and romantic today, so here’s a sweet l’il excerpt from my novel, WESTLAKE SOUL. Chapter Six, in its entirety.

I hope you enjoy it. Then I hope you go hug someone.

BAM!

CHAPTER SIX: ON LOVE

Can be confusing. Often overwhelming. Rock stars don’t help; The Beatles sing, “All You Need Is Love,” while Pat Benatar insists, “Love Is a Battlefield.” And what the heck is with The Four Aces gushing, “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” in one ear, while Def Leppard are belting, “Love Bites” in the other? Doesn’t make sense, right? Are we so obtuse when it comes to the sensibilities of the heart? Is love so complex an entity that nobody can fully grasp it? But we are the modern Homo sapiens. The theory of relativity. Man on the moon. PlayStation 3. The emperor penguin has a brain the size of a peach pit, yet their species know how to keep the love light burning. Don’t believe me? Just watch March of the Penguins. Or Happy Feet. Why is it that Chilly Willy can ride the love train, when even the most intelligent among us are like fifth graders when it comes to hopping on board?

Lou Gramm—lead singer of the rock band Foreigner—once sang, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Well, I hope Mr. Gramm is reading this, because I’m going to tell him:

Love is simple. It is not a battlefield, and it doesn’t bite. It is not cruel or blind. It is simply an emotion. The complexities and imperfections are not love’s; they are our own. Strip away the frustrations of living. Cast aside contempt and remorse. Make joy and anger walk the plank. Ditto optimism and trust. When you are left with nothing but love, you will see something breathtaking.

Now, I’m not telling you anything new here, and no doubt Mr. Gramm will be less than satisfied with my response. But bear with me, brotherman . . . this superbrain shiznit is useful for more than just astral projecting to Leafs games or watching Angelina Jolie take a shower.

The challenge isn’t in understanding love, but in—to borrow from William Blake—cleansing the doors of perception . . . to see love how it truly is: a miniature sun. It provides heat and light, and the energy we need to survive. It may help, Mr. Gramm, to know that, like the sun, love needs a constant supply of fuel. I’m talking about fusion reaction, baby . . . the thermal collision of protons—BAM!that sustain this brilliant source of energy. In other words . . . you stop throwing coal on the fire, and it’s going to go out.

Corinthians 13 says that love never fails. This isn’t true. Even our own sun will burn itself out one day (there are 5,766,923,227 years before you have to worry about that, though, so go ahead and buy that flat screen TV you were looking at). Love can fail, regardless of how much fuel there is to burn. We can’t stop the wind from blowing, or the rain from falling. Sometimes the fire just dies. And fate . . . well, that’s another subject.

But love is a miniature sun.

You want to feel that heat right now? Find a loved one and throw your arms around them. They’ll do the same to you, and—BAM!protons collide, baby. It really is that simple. A science so elementary that penguins can understand it.

I know this not because I found love, but because I lost it.

Let me tell you what happened with Nadia.

Posted in Misc, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Out Now #6

Okay, so it’s not an anthology, but it’s still pretty damn cool. My novella, Old Man Scratch, was recently released as an audiobook. Well, an audioshort, I guess; it runs an hour and twenty minutes, which makes it perfect for a short drive or train journey, or just to have buzzing in the background while you’re doing chores.

Here’s the pitch, best read in a movie-trailer voice:

“Johnny Gregson moved to the country to enjoy the quiet of his twilight years, but it seems he’s got two problems. The first is the roadkill. His neighbour—Hill “Scratch” Clayton—is the second. Scratch is a hard-edged old man and a creature of habit. He mows his lawn at first light every morning, and the sound of the John Deere’s engine always wakes Johnny and his wife from their brittle sleep. Come winter the ride-on mower is replaced by Scratch’s snowblower. Johnny tries to reason with him, but Scratch is set in his ways. There is no compassion in his soul.

“After Johnny’s world is turned upside down, he is compelled to take drastic action. He thinks he knows a way to silence Scratch forever.

“For six years he has been scraping dead animals from his driveway and tossing them to the side of the road, and for six years they have disappeared within a day or two. He often asks himself, what happens to the roadkill? Just where does it go?

“Old Man Scratch is a revenge story that is often touching, often humorous, but always bound by the unknown … the inexplicable fear of what man is capable of, and the darkness of his heart.”

And speaking of movie trailer voices … Old Man Scratch is narrated by Michael Ray Davis, and he does a fantastic job with it. I couldn’t be happier.

Old Man Scratch received great reviews across the board, and was nominated for a British Fantasy Award in 2010. At $3.99 (that’s about the price of a Starbucks macchiato, I think), you can’t really go wrong. It’s available for download at The Audiobook Shop. Here’s the link:

OLD MAN SCRATCH (AUDIO).

Happy listening. And remember … love thy neighbour. Unless he’s an ornery old bastard, of course. Then … well, do what you’ve got to do, I guess.

Just don’t get caught.

Posted in Audiobooks | Leave a comment