Summer reading anyone?

So what are you reading this summer?

Got something new on your Kindle or Nook or iPad? Time to load up for vacation, trips, and lying around in the hammock. Here’s what the T-PAC crowd has written recently, plus some tantalizing new stuff coming out soon.

BP_FC_low_resBLACK PULP, co-edited and contributed to by Gary Phillips, is out now.  It’s an anthology of original stories featuring black characters in leading roles in retro stories running the genre gamut.  Black Pulp is rip-roaring fun offering exciting tales of derring-do from larger-than-life heroes and heroines; aviators in sky battles, lords of the jungle, criminal masterminds, pirates battling slavers and the walking dead, gadget-wielding soldiers-of-fortune saving the world to mysterious mystics.  Available in ebook and print-on-demand, and here’s a riveting review on Los Angeles Review of Books

“Literature for the masses kindled the imagination and used our reading skills so that we could regale ourselves in the cold chambers of alienation and poverty. We could become Doc Savage or The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian or the brooding King Kull and make a difference in a world definitely gone wrong.”–Walter Mosley from his introduction.


Redemption, by Kate Flora

Kate Flora’s Redemption takes us to Portland, Maine, but not to the postcard Maine, or to the action-packed world of police procedurals where handsome big city detectives eat, sleep (with sexy broads,) drink, get beat up (occasionally, and with little bruising), and solve complicated high powered crimes that save the world from catastrophe. No, Kate Flora’s detective, Joe Burgess, is a regular guy. He wishes he could take more showers and get more sleep. He argues with his girlfriend and she moves out. He’s not always happy with his fellow police. And the murder he’s trying to solve in REDEMPION is that of an alcoholic Vietnam vet who has PTSD and supports himself by collecting bottles in the streets of Portland. Flora takes us inside Joe’s world and shows us the underside of Vacationland. It’s not pretty. But it’s real, and Joe is real. Justice ain’t easy. Reading REDEMPTION, I wanted to believe that Joe Burgess wasn’t fictional. Because if I’m ever in trouble, he’s the guy I’d want on my side. In the meantime, I’ll take more books about him from Kate Flora. — Amazon reviewer

Louise’s Gamble, by Sarah R. Shaber

“Shaber brews a delightful mix of feminine wiles (long before women’s liberation) and real-life history that will keep readers turning the pages.”–Publishers Weekly
“Shaber plunges readers into the life of a widow, a working woman in the middle of the war-time shortages and secrets.The suspense and details of life in 1942 all add up to a fascinating story.”-Lesa’s Book Reviews
“This is the second in a series set in Washington, DC during WWII.  Shaber has created a wonderful cast of characters, and the descriptions of 1940s life, including shopping, dining at the Mayflower Hotel, working at the OSS, and living at a boarding house make for a wonderfully entertaining read.”–Historical Novel Society

Angel Among Us, by Katy Munger

Munger follows Angel of Darkness (2012) with another installment in the adventures of Kevin Fahey, the Dead Detective, who continues his postmortem roaming in a small Delaware town, seeking redemption for his past misdeeds. His latest effort involves the disappearance of Arcelia Gallagher. The beloved, pregnant preschool teacher’s distraught husband doesn’t know that his wife has a violent past. The illegal-immigrant community in the town may know why she is missing, but its members are too afraid to speak up. The police investigation keeps officers returning to the local Catholic church and to Delmonte House, a recently restored mansion. The search will keep readers in suspense as officers look for Arcelia, and Fahey stalks the mansion’s halls. Will the police locate Arcelia and will she be alive? Readers who enjoy Mary Stanton’s Beaufort & Company novels will like this series as well, but it will also appeal to procedural fans who can accept the paranormal angle. –Barbara Bibel, BOOKLIST

BROKEN-SHIELD-HI-RESBroken Shield, by J.D. Rhoades

Chief Deputy Tim Buckthorn and his beloved hometown of Pine Lake thought they’d seen the last of FBI agent Tony Wolf. But when evidence of a kidnapping literally falls from the sky, Wolf returns to assist in the search for an abducted young girl. Buckthorn, Wolf, and brilliant FBI prodigy Leila Dushane race against the clock to piece the clues together. When the evil they find follows them home, Pine Lake once again suffers terrible tragedy at the hands of violent and lawless men. Tim Buckthorn, who’s lived his life as a sworn officer of the law, will have to cross every line he ever knew on a quest to protect the people and the place he loves.

“A blistering follow-up to BREAKING COVER. The prose is fast and smart, the pace frantic and the characters driven, dangerous and yet full of heart. BROKEN SHIELD reaffirms JD Rhoades’ position as the king of redneck noir.” -Zoë Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox crime thriller series

Deus ex Machina, by Sparkle Hayter

Two short stories. In Deus ex Machina, a starving writer splurges on a cab ride after missing the last Metro, and ends up on an unexpected journey. In Diary of Sue Peaner, things get a little too real for a reality show contestant.

Open Season on Lawyers, by Taffy Cannon

“Somebody was killing the sleazy lawyers of Los Angeles. In the beginning, hardly anyone even noticed,” begins Taffy Cannon’s (Guns and Roses) sharply clever Open Season on Lawyers. LAPD homicide detective Joanna Davis pursues a murderer whose vengeance takes strange parallels to the lawyers’ perceived crimes (a lawyer who defended a caterer against charges of food poisoning later dies of it, for example); readers just might be torn between wanting her to catch him and wanting him to get away. — Publishers Weekly. This classic from Taffy Cannon is now available for Kindle.

        Coming soon!

plan x mockup 12Rory Tate (also known as Lise McClendon) has a new thriller coming out in early June. PLAN X tells the intriguing story of police officer Cody Byrne, charged with finding the next-of-kin for a professor of Shakespeare injured in a lab explosion. What should be a simple task leads to ancient manuscripts that may or may not be truly Shakespearean and secrets someone is trying very hard to keep.
PLAN X is both thrilling and sophisticated. In a serpentine story that races from small-town Montana to the vaulted halls of Windsor Castle, nothing is as it seems, including the works of the great Shakespeare himself. Former military and current police officer Cody Byrne is unforgettable–a heroine you want to root for. I love this book! –New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author J. Carson Black

A thrilling police procedural as (Iraqi war veteran turned) police officer Cody Byrne investigates the death of a Montana professor who may have been hiding one of the biggest secrets in academia—or perpetuating one of the biggest frauds—one that could scandalize the royal family of Great Britain. An entertaining read!     –Robin Burcell, award-winning author of THE BLACK LIST


I’m not sure if this is how one of those blog hop things is actually supposed to work, and I hate the bit where once you’re done you’re supposed to drag five other people into it. But I got tagged, and I’m always up for questions, so…

 What is the working title of your book?

 BUCKTHORN. It’s a sequel to my Kindle bestseller BREAKING COVER. Truth be told, I’m not totally thrilled with that title. I was going to call it LAWLESS, but then that damn movie came out. The readership is invited to suggest alternatives. 

 Where did the idea come from for the WIP?

 My friend David Terrenoire, the author of BENEATH A PANAMANIAN MOON, read BREAKING COVER and observed that it was as much Deputy Tim Buckthorn’s story as it was Tony Wolf’s. Buckthorn starts off as Wolf’s antagonist, and ends up being allied with him against the enemies who’ve invaded his town. See the story of how Buckthorn developed here.

 What genre does your book come under? 

Same as before: Redneck Noir. (Actually, it’s more hardboiled than noir, but “Redneck Hardboiled” just doesn’t trip off the tongue the same way).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, lord. This is always a tough question, but even more so with these books because of the nature of the characters. Tony Wolf is a guy who spent years undercover, and part of the reason he was so good at it is because he looks so unremarkable. Tim Buckthorn is a quiet, serious guy who the main female character doesn’t realize is attractive until she really gets to know him. Good luck finding actors in Hollywood that fit THAT.

All that said, High Jackman was looking at BREAKING COVER at one point, but passed on it due to some of the darker aspects of the subject matter. I think he would have been a good Wolf. Timothy Olyphant might work as Buckthorn, but I may just be thinking that because he’s so great in Justified. 

The female characters are a little easier. I’d love to see Michelle Rodriguez play Gabriella Torrijos. Ellen Page would be great as FBI agent Leila Dushane, a character in the new one.

As for the other books…We need to get Viggo Mortenson to play Jack Keller before he gets too old. 

ImageI wouldn’t mind seeing Josh Brolin play Andy Cole. Christian Bale’s got the scary intensity to play Kyle Mercer. I haven’t really decided on an actor for GALLOWS POLE’s Colonel Mark Bishop, but Jonathan Banks from Breaking Bad would be great as Mr. Campbell. 

Image    What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

 Straight-arrow, by-the-book lawman Tim Buckthorn’s quest to save a kidnapped girl leads to a reunion with Tony Wolf and puts him on a collision course with a vicious Southern crime family out for vengeance. 

Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It’s going to be self-published.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Probably the closest  would be Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens stories.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s got a kick ass female lead who I really love. Plus, stuff blows up.