Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello Governor!

I'm back from a long hiatus from my blog, the internet, my jobby-job, and the planet Earth in general. After 5 years at the YMCA I am moving onward and hopefully upward to better things. I am about to embark on a nomadic lifestyle that will allow me to see more of my family that are spread across the eastern side of this great continent and write my ass off while doing so as I travel back and forth between North Carolina and New Jersey.

The gig at the YMCA ran it's course. I learned a lot and met a lot of really awesome people who have become beloved friends that I will always cherish, but it is time to move on to some new things and get back to doing the most important and challenging job that I have been neglecting for a great while now.

That is.....PIMPING!

Starting with THIS:
Check out those gams, you howling wolves!
Have you bought this book yet? If the answer is no, then WHY NOT?!?!? The cover alone is worth the modest price of this pulp masterpiece from the most dangerous duo to ever collaborate for this epic noir series, Ken Bruen and Jason Starr.

If you are a Hardcase Crime fanatical collector like me, then you already own the preceding books: BUST, SLIDE, and THE MAX. If you don't own those, go out and get them now. But when you order this colossal kick-ass crime omnibus, make sure you get TWO copies of PIMP.

WHY? Because your's truly has the honor of being quoted in this amazing opus!

Hey! Who yelled "whoop-di-friggin-do?!?" Do you know who you're messing with?

Now don't stop reading because you suddenly realized that the only pimping I'm doing here involves my own selfish, egotistical ass. Because that's just not true. I'm really here to promote the works of my more talented friends in the literary world. And I will prove that by pointing out this excellent interview of my friend, Marcia Clark in the Summer edition of Mystery Scene Magazine

If you haven't picked up the latest ish, do it NOW!!! Marcia is a talented mystery writer with a great new book out called BLOOD DEFENSE. Put that in the shopping cart too! As soon as you read the fantastic interview that was conducted by a brilliant new voice who is already being touted as "the next Barbara Walters", you will want to read Marcia's book right away!!

What? Are you saying the only reason I'm pimping this on my blog is because I was said interviewer? Well, you're right. But I am the next Barbara Walters. My next interview is going to make you cry.

Enough about me...well, not really because now I'm going to tell you what I'VE been reading:



Nobody gets inside the head of a sociopath like Jason Starr. It makes me kind of afraid to get near him again. If you've read my other blogs you know how much I hate comparing writers to other writers because the writers I read have their own unique voices.


Just this once I have to say that Jim Thompson's ghost read James Ellroy's Killer on the Road and then demonically possessed Jason while he was writing this book.
SAVAGE LANE is your summer book. It's your beach book. It's your stay up all night long to finish the last hundred pages book. Get it. Read it. It's brilliant.

Next, go to Barnes & Noble tomorrow and shamelessly peruse the discount table until you find this:

David Morrell scares the living shit out of me. Buy this book. It's disturbing the hell out of me and I'm only three chapters in.

Which is why I am going to end now, so I can read myself into a gruesome sleepless night.

Sleep tight kiddies.

You'll be hearing lots more from me soon!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Wow, with a tag-line like that, I'd better deliver. If you didn't tune in to last week's blog; GREAT!! Because I didn't either. Not only did I fail to deliver my blog, I failed to shout STOP SENDING SUBMISSIONS to the now infamous Kabel's Kannibal Cookbook. The deadline for submissions ended with my youth on September 28, when I turned 45 years old. Okay, so my youth ended a handful of birthdays ago when my hair turned gray and started migrating from the top of my head to the middle of my back. Let's move on already.

When I was a kid, my father was quick to dub his three sons with nicknames. Most of the time I was Bean. But every now and then I would be assigned the title of Fireball Roberts. I never asked why he called me that (occasionally), and he never bothered to offer it.

As years passed and I had the privilege of spending most of my adult life in the company of my dad building houses with him and one of my brothers, he would bring the nickname up on the golf course. Particularly when I overshot the green or hit a put too hard and it raced by the little hole in the ground you are supposed to put it in.

Again, I never bothered to ask about the Fireball Roberts reference; it merely assumed that this Roberts fellow was some icon of forgotten days who used to move quickly in some capacity or other.

This morning when my six year old daughter, Rose was acting like she took in great doses of sugar and caffeine just before her feet hit the cold floor, I found myself calling her Fireball Roberts. My wife asked me why I called her that, and I was at a loss.

Why did I call her that, and who was this character. Of course a more curious, or ambitious fellow would have looked this easily attainable information up a long time ago. That's what Wikipedia is for.

I should have probably looked it up a couple of years ago when I came across the name for the first time in a handful of years, when I read The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley. I cannot kiss the ass of this book enough to do it justice. If you haven't read it yet, shame on you. Go buy, steal, or borrow it right this instant!

Anyway, this great book opens with the line, "When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."

WOW! If that doesn't send you running to check a reference, what will? The height of ambition I may not be, but I was overly curious enough to want to read as much of that book as I could in one sitting after taking in that great opening. The mention of Fireball Roberts sparked something in my head that only confirmed the notion that this Roberts dude was an icon of a forgotten era that my old man didn't just make up off the cuff.

Still, I filed it away and read on through the Crumley book and loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that as soon as I had finished it, I went on a biblioventure (my word), searching near and far for everything Mr. Crumley ever put to print. So far, I haven't enjoyed anything of his as much as I enjoyed The Last Good Kiss. Since much of it was out of print, I went up one cyber-hill and down the other until I had obtained every last word he put to print before he died. That's just the kind of obsessive nut that I am. But I did not look up the origin of this Fireball Roberts to guess why anyone would give an alcoholic bulldog such a moniker.

Today, when my wife asked me who Fireball Roberts was, I decided to take that embarrassingly easy step into the land of knowledge both true and false (since anyone can submit anything to Wikipedia and have it recorded for posterity). My new found ambition rewarded me with this:

Fireball Roberts is a horrible nickname to give a little kid.

Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, Jr. was a Florida race car driver who lost the great race of life in 1964 during the World 600 when his car crashed into a wall and exploded in (you guessed it) a great big fireball. If you look hard enough, you can find the grainy old footage of his demise and see the actual ball of fire that did him in. Not a thought that I want to associate with my beloved little princess.

You must be thinking the worst about racing fans right now. I always do. What kind of sick people would slap a nickname like this on a guy who literally went up in a ball of fire? It would be like calling your late uncle who lost his life to cancer, "Cancer Joe" or your aunt who was trampled in a riot, "Flat Mabel."

Before you start throwing retaliation at the NASCAR fans by awarding them such seemingly appropriate insults, (Inbred, toothless drunk comes to mind. Dipshit who gets off watching cars go around and around in a circle until someone explodes into a fireball could be another)  just relax; they weren't the ones who gave Mr. Roberts his grimly prophetic nickname.

No, Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, Jr. got his nickname when he played baseball for the American Legion several years before he aspired to drive a car around in a circle until it crashed into a wall.
Apparently, old Fireball had a hell of a fast pitch and received his nickname from it.

He may have had a chance to earn the nickname from the Army Air Corp, which he enlisted in, in 1945. But Uncle Sam gave him the boot after basic training when his asthma kicked in. Which seems rather suspect to me as he went on to spending quite a bit of his time outdoors, throwing fast pitches and later driving his car around in circles before smashing it into a wall.

Now for the really good stuff, because I see someone bouncing up and down in the back with their hand raised. What about Lawrence Block? You think I threw his name in the title of this post just to get some of his fans to read my blog? Shame on you! I would never exploit my very favorite writer in such a way.

To prove it, I submit this picture of me standing next to Mr. Block with the look of a frightened deer or wild eyed stalker in my eyes. This was taken at the recent launch party for a book by Larry's late friend, the great Donald Westlake, who some of you may know as Richard Stark, creator of the Parker series.

Larry wrote the introduction to the very nice collection of Donald Westlake's non-fiction essays called The Getaway Car, that I have clutched in my trembling, sweaty hands. If you want to hear some great stories about the early days of the Golden Age of crime fiction in NYC, talk to Lawrence Block. Both Larry and Donald Westlake lived through a lot of growth and change in publishing history. It is a fascinating topic that is woven through this book. If you don't have a copy, go to the Mysterious Bookshop and get one NOW!

He also wrote the book A Walk Among the Tombstones, which everyone knows has been made into a feature film with Liam Neeson and is burning up the competition in movie theaters across the country right NOW!

All well and good, but what the hell does that have to do with cannibalism? You promised Lawrence Block AND cannibalism!

Well, the best news I have for you is that Mr. Block is one of the many talented authors contributing to the upcoming Kannibal Cookbook collection that is being put together by me and the awesome folks at Out of the Gutter.

This much anticipated collection of short stories will also feature such talents as Dave Zeltserman, Jason Starr, Stuart Neville, Joe Clifford, and many others.

I hope you have a healthy appetite and a strong stomach

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I'm going to tell you a secret about me.

 I'm a bit off.

Crazy, nuts, cuckoo, and even disturbed. Forgive me if you think I'm lampooning mental illness. I have quirks, ticks, and jerks!
Sometimes I am compelled to count things. Sometimes I have to touch things for a set number of times. I've been told this is O.C.D., or I have O.C.D. tendencies.

I'm a daydreamer. There's some kind of movie constantly rolling in my skull, along with music and dialogue. That shit never stops. I should probably be locked in a padded room somewhere.

I do things that I don't remember doing, and I remember doing things that I did not actually do, Sometimes I wake from some horrifically frightening nightmare and I am paralyzed in my own bed with the feeling that there is something dark and ominous looming over me in my bed. I do not enjoy it when my dream self has to attempt to violently wake my sleeping self.

When that happens, I scream with all I've got inside my head, while my mouth barely opens, quivering to produce a most pathetic and microscopic cry for help. I'm not shitting you. This has been happening to me since I was a boy.

I have a need to be entertained every second that I am awake. A movie, music, a book.

I am not unique. I know many people out there go through the same things and much worse. So please know that I am not trying to elicit sympathy for poor little old me.

I am merely going to give you my opinion on a current topic in the entertainment world, and I want you to know that I have the credibility to do so. I was raised by entertainment. When I was a kid I was in front of the TV, the stereo, or a book. Always. Think Cable Guy.

Sometimes I use my powers of perception and taste to help someone out of a jam.

What the hell does any of this have to do with HBO's announcement that Vince Vaughn will be partnered with Colin Farrell in the next season of True Detective?

HBO struck gold with the first season cast. It's a no brainer that they would use the same formula for season 2 in picking the leads.

Woody Harrelson is an actor who has predominately starred in comedic roles with a serious role here and there. Matthew McConaughey is an actor who has predominately starred in serious roles with a comedic role here and there.

Vince Vaughn is an actor who has predominately starred in comedic roles with a serious role here and there. Colin Ferrell is an actor who has predominately starred in serious roles with a comedic role here and there.

See the formula? It's gotta work, right?

Nuh, uh. Not for me.

I know that I am stepping on some really thin ice here. I know that I'm tossing turd bombs at Vince before they have even shot one scene of the new series. I hope that I am wrong. Let me clear that off the plate right away. I hope that he brings his A game and does a decent job with the role he'll be given.

I liked the guy in Clay Pigeons. He was a great quirky serial killer. He can act when he wants to. The problem is that he mostly doesn't act. When Vince Vaughn is on the screen he is Vince Vaughn. That guy was hilarious in Dodge Ball. I spit my soda through my nose in Old School. What a riot in The Wedding Crashers. Then he did a few goofy holiday movies and then Couples Retreat and The Break-up and ....etc...

And then one day a movie came on called The Interns. Vince partnered up with his buddy, Owen Wilson again for an uproarious flick about two buddies who lose the jobs they were complacently doing and try to reinvent themselves trying to land jobs at Google.

Vince's character could be described as an over 40 schlub who never really matured past the 5th grade and now he has to man up to  make necessary life changes while still keeping that 5th grade playfulness that everybody really loves about him.

Was that the role he played in The Intern, you ask?

Yes. It is also the role he played in all of those other films I mentioned. Feel like you've seen the movie before? That's because he plays the same damned character in every film he's been in for the past fifteen years.

At this point, when I see that Vince Vaughn is going to be starring in a show that I wanted to see, I feel the same deflated feeling I get when the radio DJ announces that they are going to play Freebird after the break.

"Freebird? Jesus God no! Pull the plug out of the wall! Hurry up, I can't stand it!"

That fucking song is the most overplayed piece of shit in rock-n-roll history. It's been in a million movies and TV shows. Its been played six times a day on every classic rock radio station in the country for the past thirty years or more. I cringe at the start of that song, and it has had that effect on me for the past twenty years easily. Put your fucking lighter away already.

We've all heard Freebird over and over and over and over again. Does anyone besides a classic rock station DJ willingly select that song to listen to anymore?

Like I said at the beginning, I hope I'm wrong. I hope Vince Vaughn does a decent job with this dramatic role. I hope that when he steps up to bat he's wearing a real helmet and not one of those novelty drink holder helmets with the tubes that hang down for you to slurp Budweiser through.

He's going to have to make a big turn from everybody's favorite man-boy to win me, though. Because if I hear Freebird one more time, I just might throw up in my own mouth.

And with that I'll...

What? Oh, the cannibal thing? That's right, I did promise to tie all of the subjects of this blog to the topic of cannibalism to promote my forthcoming Kannibal Cookbook anthology, so here goes...

In 1998, director Gus Van Sant decided to remake Alfred Hitchcock's most famous film, Psycho. I know, WTF, right?

So he cast Vaughn in the role of Norman Bates, a sexually confused mama's boy who dressed in drag and butchered people at his family motel. Norman Bates was not a cannibal. The real life murderer that author Robert Bloch based his character on for his 1959 novel was a Wisconsin man named Ed Gein. In 1957, this real life psycho was arrested for the abduction and murder of a local woman. When police apprehended Gein at his farm, they discovered a horrific collection of knick knacks and furnishings made out of human body parts and skin from graves that he had been robbing in the night. Here is a list of items that were found in the Wisconsin farm house. I ripped it out of Wikipedia:

Whole human bones and fragments
wastebasket made of human skin
Human skin covering several chair seats
Skulls on his bedposts
Female skulls, some with the tops sawn off
Bowls made from human skulls
A corset made from a female torso skinned from shoulders to waist
Leggings made from human leg skin
Masks made from the skin from female heads
Mary Hogan's face mask in a paper bag
Mary Hogan's skull in a box
Bernice Worden's entire head in a burlap sack
Bernice Worden's heart in a saucepan on the stove
Nine vulvae in a shoe box
A young girl's dress and "the vulvas of two females judged to have been about fifteen years old"
A belt made from female human nipples
Four noses
A pair of lips on a window shade drawstring
A lampshade made from the skin of a human face
Fingernails from female fingers

Ed's dead mama had apparently taught the boy a lot of arts and crafts when she wasn't reading to him from the Bible and telling him what a shameful little masturbating bed wetter he was. He had one of those freaky Oedipal love/hate relationships with the old bag that went on in his head for years after she had died.

Ed was missing the old gal so much, that his biggest pet project was making a woman suit out of the skins he had collected from the boneyard and from a couple of women that he killed.

While Ed had a keen interest in native tribes that practiced cannibalism, there was no evidence that he had actually ingested any of the scraps he was playing with, despite the discovery of a human heart in a pan on the stove.

So Gein wasn't  a cannibal, you say? Ah, no he wasn't. There is yet another degree we must take to complete the cannibal link.

The 1991 film based on the book by Thomas Harris, featured a character named Buffalo Bill, who was also modeled after Ed Gein as he was stitching together his own woman suit made from the skins of his victims. Buffalo Bill was not portrayed as a cannibal either.

The notorious Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played so well by Anthony Hopkins, did enjoy the rare and exotic meat of his fellow man. Hannibal the Cannibal was a prominent character in the book and movie. He helped the young agent Starling in her investigation of Buffalo Bill's heinous crimes.

There you have it: Vince Vaughn to Norman Bates to Ed Gein to Silence of the Lambs. Hooked to cannibalism in just three degrees. Until next week....

Monday, September 15, 2014

For Whom The Dinner Bell Tolls

And tale so strange and unsettling that it just has to be true....

The year was 1944 and American fighter pilots were peppering the South Pacific with bombs in a ruthless retaliation to the attack on Pearl Harbor. After nearly three months of continuous raids of Futomi Harbor on the Island of Chichi Jima, just 700 miles south of Tokyo, the Japanese had surrendered and the Red Cross went in to clean up and patch up the survivors.

There were nine American flyboys shot down during the raids, but only one of them survived to tell the tale. 20 year old George Herbert Walker Bush was fortunate to glide his ruined plane further from the island than the others who had been shot down. He was plucked out of the ocean by the crew of the USS Finback. They found him clinging to the wreckage of his craft, vomiting and bleeding from the head. The only words he could muster were, "Happy to be aboard," when they brought him up on deck.

When some of the Japanese officers were captured and questioned as to the whereabouts of the other eight pilots who had swam to shore, General Yoshio Tachibana happily told them, "Yes, we captured six of them and they all received very kind treatment."


The General's idea of "kind treatment" was akin to the kind treatment that Hannibal Lector showed his patients whenever he felt a bit peckish. For it was revealed through further trials and investigations that those captured pilots were clubbed, bayoneted, and mutilated before they were served up as a four course meal!

That's right, boys and girls. It seems that the military Asian aristocrats had a taste for "long pig" and a sick sense of humor. The General and his pals feasted on the pilots' livers and large chunks of meat that were stripped from their legs and boiled into a stew.

The fiendish General Tachibana liked the man meat so much that he became incensed when he found that one of the airmen had been buried before his liver had been removed.

"What the fuck?!" he reportedly shouted in a fit of child sized boot stomping anger. "That's my favorite part of gai-jin (foreign barbarian)!!!"

The General ordered the buried airman to be dug out of his grave and had the liver removed so he could enjoy it with his cream of sum yung guy soup.

In contrast to these atrocious and horrific deeds, the captured Japanese officers were most polite and cooperative to their captors. They were thought of as "gentle and soft-spoken." One of the men, Adml Kinizo Mori, a senior naval officer said that his friend, "Major Matoba brought a delicacy to a party in his quarters- it was a specially prepared dish of Airman Floyd Hall's liver. I ate it pierced with bamboo sticks and cooked with soy sauce and vegetables."  Yum.

Matoba went on to convey that they believed the human "delicacies" to be good medicine for their stomachs.

Fortunately for Mr. Bush, he survived to become the 41st President of the United States. And fortunately for you, dear reader, he survived to have this picture taken and posted on the internet....

It's a damned good thing he wasn't wearing these when he was shot down. The Japanese would have fought to the death to get their mouths on those tasty gams!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Hello my friends. With the September 28 deadline for submissions to my Kannibal Cookbook story anthology coming very soon, I thought it might be a good time to start throwing my opinions around the web like paternity tests in a Jerry Springer Green Room. From now until publication of the aforementioned opus, I will desperately try to link all posts here to the topic of cannibalism. You will be surprised by either my creative endeavors or by how disturbingly close we all are to eating each other.

I have really tried to like the show Ray Donovan. Liev Schreiber is a cool, gritty actor. He makes a hell of an anti-hero. Jon Voight is an even cooler and grittier actor. He makes a hell of an anti-hero. I love a good bad guy or a bad good guy. Some of my favorite movies are about damaged sociopaths who barely function in society and live outside the rules. Think anything directed by Scorsese or anything written by John D. MacDonald. Think Ken Bruen's damaged alcoholic from hell, Jack Taylor for Jaysus sakes.

What's the draw? They're human. They're mortal. They have just enough of a measure of decency to outweigh their indecent compulsions. They can save the day without having to adhere to a code. If the really, really bad guys need killing, the anti-hero can generally get away with killing them and not losing any sleep over it.

Why is Frank Castle the Punisher? Because there are some people that need punishing without using their sleazy lawyer to manipulate a damaged system of justice. Sometimes the sleazy lawyer gets punished for good measure.

So I watch Ray Donovan, "Hollywood Fixer," with some kernel of expectation building inside me through each episode. The little critic in my head screams, "here it it it...oh. Shit. What happened? Did the horse fall down in the middle of the track? Did the lava stop boiling before it reached the peak of the volcano? Did the dude pull out of the dame before he could...well, you get the picture.

There is always a great deal of suspense in Ray Donovan's world. There is darkness, corruption, murder, and mayhem. There's extortion and drug use, violence and nudity. There are smarmy elitist rich people getting punched in the face. There was even the murder of a filthy scumbag pedophile priest.

The show has everything a guy who loves the anti-hero could want...but it's missing that something that keeps it from being great. Last night, I think I put my finger on it. That is good and bad.

Good because I don't have to figure out what it is anymore. I can stop wasting my time on a show that just isn't going to satisfy. I have surrendered that hour of my week to loftier ambitions. Perhaps I will use the time to work on this blog that I have barely paid attention to in the past year. Seriously, my last post was October of 2013. This year I have fruit ripening in the garden and I need to pimp my wares by telling the world wide web what I think of duds like Donovan.

Okay, here is the bad news: Despite having a sweet deal with Showtime, moderately capable writers, and an excellent cast of actors, RD is missing one essential ingredient. I don't care about anybody on the show. Not one...little...bit.

And that is because not one single character in the series has any kind of redeeming value. Every major character on the show is so severely flawed that I am left with the feeling that they have gotten away with something they should not have gotten away with. They sulk through every scene with very big chips on their shoulders. They are all selfish, manipulative assholes who bring wreck and ruin to every other life they come in contact with on the show. I sit on my couch for an hour watching people that only try to rise out of the muck enough to fall into another shit hole.

I can't even bring myself to like these characters when they are giving each other their own medicine. Ray is a borderline alcoholic thug who cheats on his wife and manipulates his brothers, father, and even his own children. His wife is a feisty red head who looks the other way when cash and prizes are dangled in front of her. I want to feel good for her when she decides to give Ray a taste of his own medicine by cheating on him with a cop, but she does it at the cost of neglecting her own children when they are in the most desperate need of a sane parent in their lives.

Ray's son is a moody, rage driven teenager who gets off on pummeling other kids and throwing a rival down a stairwell at school. His daughter came the closest to grabbing a morsel of sympathy when she fell in love with a black rapper that her father forbade her to see. But last night she ruined it *SPOILER ALERT* when she lied to the cops about witnessing her boyfriend's inevitable murder (you knew the poor bastard didn't have a chance from the very first episode).

I could go on with a laundry list for each and every character on this show, but I would have to write a part II to this post and I simply can't spend anymore time with these people. There are no good guys here. There are no heroes. No one even comes close.

As some of you have probably guessed, I have revived the barely beating heart of this blog to begin pimping my upcoming anthology on cannibalism, The Kannibal Cookbook. At this point you're asking, "what the hell does Ray Donovan have to do with cannibalism?"

Well my friends, I am not one to switch and bait using the tantalizing palette tickling theme of anthropophagy. So here is a link to a video of Ray Donovan's Liev Schreiber saving a photographer from being eaten alive by a real life cannibal!!!!

Ray Donovan saves woman from being eaten!

Until next time, here is a picture of Sean Bean dressed like a very scary woman. My next post will be about his show that does have a hero I can root for: TNT's Legends

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This is my most recent publication from the Halloween submissions at Thrills, Kills, n' Chills.

I know my blog is in serious need of upkeep, updates and so forth. I've been away from the short form for a bit, working on the novel and some longer stories.
You may have noticed the absence of the short story links. A collection is in the works and I will give you news as I get the news.

Monday, April 15, 2013