Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dead Rednecks!

I am very happy to say that the first installment of my new mystery short story series, Dead Rednecks!, is now available from Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery.

It's about two brothers in Knoxville -the eldest is a tough ex-con trying to go straight, and the younger has pulled himself out of a nervous breakdown by opening a detective agency and dressing like Humphrey Bogart. Older brother Hoss Qualls tries to keep young Howard from getting himself killed -a task complicated by Hoss's criminal past continually returning to haunt him, and by the shenanigans of their assorted kinfolk. There is a lot of humor, but the stories are straight mysteries in the redneck noir genre.

Volume One is called "Dead Rednecks Are My Specialty." More installments will appear in weeks to come. I hope you check 'em out- I am really enjoying writing them. As added incentive, I am offering a free pdf of Volume One to a random person who comments on this blog between now and midnight this Friday (the moment March 1 becomes March 2.)

Here's the first two books:

Book 1: Dead Rednecks Are My Specialty

Ex-con Hoss Qualls and his eccentric brother Howard (who has watched too many Bogart movies) set out to prove their cousin Ivory's innocence in a murder case -a task that is complicated by the fact Ivory has killed in just such a way before...

Book 2: Dead Rednecks in the Holler (coming soon)

Hoss Qualls returns to his hometown after learning that his cousin Bucky has been shot dead in the woods, along with an old enemy from Hoss's criminal past. He's determined to get to the bottom of it -if his family doesn't drive him crazy first.

And after that, Volume 3: Dead Rednecks on a Friday Night

And here's how it all starts:

"They say you killed somebody, Ivory."

Ivory yawned and scratched his head, which bobbed sleepily. I thought for a second he was going to topple face-first into the glass partition which separated us.

"Am I keepin' you up, or somethin‟?"

"Sorry, Hoss," he said. "I had a late night."

"I reckon you did, all right," I said.

I couldn‟t help looking nervously over my shoulder, glancing at the other folks there for the afternoon visitation. A very pregnant young woman in a tube-top sat to my right, arguing heatedly with the prisoner behind the window. She sat on a stool but her belly pressed against the glass. The man withered at her scolding; I felt the same, but for a different reason. I don't like being in jails, even when I'm on the right side of the glass. It smothers me. If not for the fact that my parole was up a few weeks earlier, I wouldn't even be allowed in as a visitor—I almost wished I had that for an excuse, so I wouldn't have to be there.

But Ivory was my cousin, and he was in deep shit. Deeper than usual.

"Seems like I remember these cots bein' more comfortable," Ivory said.

"They say you killed somebody," I repeated.

"I did."

"Last night?"

"I don't remember. I don't think so. But I did kill somebody, I kilt Arlis Potter over at the Advance Auto Store that time."

"Dead Rednecks Are My Specialty" can be found at these sites:

Smashwords (for just about all digital platforms)


Monday, February 11, 2013

"A wholly engaging read and an important work of literature"

I received an incredible review for my Spur-winning novel Bound for the Promise-Land -and a great one of the new Wolf Creek mystery western I edited and co-wrote -over at the Western Fictioneers blogspot, from Kathleen Rice Adams.

"Told entirely through Alfred's eyes, the story is brutal in many places and remarkably tender in others. If it isn’t already, the book should be required reading alongside classics by Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and other authors known for the historic and cultural significance of their work.

Impeccably researched and exceptionally written, Bound for the Promise-Land packs an enormous emotional and intellectual punch..."

I am both honored and humbled by this reaction to the work I am proudest of. Read the whole thing HERE... and if you haven't read the book, Check it out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Telling Good Stories

Today I spend a few minutes at Tom Rizzo's excellent site "Telling Good Stories," answering his (very good) questions. Tom, whose first novel Last Stand at Bitter Creek came out last year to much acclaim, spent years as a journalist and it shows.

Find it HERE.