Cover reveal for BREAKER (Random House Alibi).

BREAKER_hires

I’m thrilled to share with you the cover for Breaker, the second book in the Windy City Dark Mystery Series (Random House Alibi). This series is not like most traditional mystery series, in that we don’t have the same protagonist. What we do have is the same city (Chicago) with the first book set in the Wicker Park / Bucktown area, the second in Logan Square, just up the road. I lived in both areas for about twelve years in all, and the backdrop, the atmosphere, the tone and mood, that’s all similar. It’s really more like what Stephen King did for small town Maine, instead of Agatha Christie or F. Paul Wilson.

So, what’s Breaker all about? Our protagonist is Raymond, or Ray to his friends. He lives alone, haunted by secrets in his past, various abuses that his parents and sister lay on him, trying to survive, while repressing these memories. He works as a fighter, underground warehouses and private events, in order to pay his rent. Next door, is a young girl, Natalie, just in high school, who see him for the innocent boy he used to be. She’s not afraid of him. But maybe she should be. The struggle throughout this book is for Ray to break the cycle of abuse, to not be the monster that he is destined to be. Can he do it? You’ll have to read it to see.

Right now we’re looking at late 2015 or early 2016 for a release date. If you liked Disintegration, which Irvine Welsh called, “A stunning and vital piece of work,” and Chuck Wendig said was “A twisted masterpiece,” then hopefully you’ll like this book too.

Thanks for the continued support, faithful readers. Can’t wait for this to come out. Thanks to my agent, Paula Munier, and my editor at RHA, Dana Isaacson, for all of their hard work on this.

Review of The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch is live at The Nervous Breakdown.

I don’t read a lot of memoirs. But so far this year I’ve read two, and both have blown me away. There was You Don’t Look Like Any I Know, the book about Heather Sellers, and her inability to remember faces and now there is The Chronology of Water (Hawthorne Books) by Lidia Yuknavitch. What do they have in common? They are about two brave women, fearless really, who are downright inspirational, fighting their way through abuse and difficult childhoods to emerge as powerful, generous, gifted authors with a lot to say. And two of the nicest people I’ve ever met or talked to, as well. Head on over to The Nervous Breakdown for the full review, but I’ll say this much: it’s one of the funniest, heart breaking, erotic, and honest books I’ve ever read. Watch out for that opening paragraph, you better be sitting down.

Slut Lullabies by Gina Frangello review is now live at The Cult

My review of Slut Lullabies by Gina Frangello is now live at The Cult. A wonderful collection of short stories, these tales are funny, sexy, and dark, pulling you in and knocking you down. Head on over for the full review.

“Van tells me one of his students has written a story about a girl with a tracheotomy, whose English teacher breaks into her bedroom at night and makes love to the hole in her neck.”

Review of Normally Special by xTx is now live up at The Nervous Breakdown

My review of Normally Special by xTx is now live at The Nervous Breakdown.

This is the debut collection from Tiny Hardcore Press and Roxane Gay. INTENSE stuff. How intense? Well, I lead off the review with this quote:

“It is difficult to masturbate about your father, but not impossible, as it turns out.”

This collection, wow, it does not pull any punches. I really loved it, and have been meaning to read more work by the elusive xTx, and this collection certainly has me down as a lifetime fan now. Whatever she’s dishing out, I’ll take a serving, second helping even. Come prepared, do not flinch, and do not look away. xTx is in that community of powerful female voices that I now keep an eye out for, and continue to devour, alongside Amelia Gray, Lindsay Hunter, Mary Miller, Holly Goddard Jones, Tina May Hall, Amber Sparks, and many others. Hop to it.