My guest post about Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips is now live at the Emerging Writers Network for Short Story Month.

I was recently introduced to Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips by my professor, Dale Ray Phillips (no relation) at Murray State University. I’m getting my MFA down there and he thought the story “Home” might help me with one of my stories for my thesis. I wasn’t expecting this work to resonate with me the way it did. It blew me away. She reminds me a lot of Mary Gaitskill, as well as more contemporary voices like Lindsay Hunter, xTx, Ethel Rohan, Tina May Hall, and Jac Jemc. And that’s a good thing.

Head on over to the Emerging Writers Network to read my thoughts on this collection that was published in 1979 and has fallen off the radar a bit in recent years. Put it back on, people, this is some stunning work.

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.”

Stranger Will by Caleb J. Ross – Darkness on the wings of fate.

Caleb Ross writes lyrical prose that pulls you into the politics and morality of this story, Stranger Will (Otherworld Publications). For most of us, children are the future, they represent hope and dreams. But in this novel they represent the fated, the already lost. Conspiracies only seem paranoid and insane if they have no base in reality. One of the most compelling images that has stuck with me in this novel, for years now, is the carrier pigeon, message tied to its tiny clawed foot, shot from the sky. The note stuck up on a wall, strings stretching from one place to another, one person to another, tying together layers of deceit, love, and failure. This is a novel you won’t want to put down, and will compel you to check out more work by Caleb Ross. Keep a candle lit to keep away the stench, a light on to force away the dark forces, and a prayer in your heart that none of this comes anywhere near you. Or your children.

In addition to this novel, look for his collection, Charactered Pieces for the Kindle, well worth it. He’s doing an extensive book blog tour for Stranger Will, for all of this information, visit his site, and the tour schedule. He’ll be stopping by my site here in October. Beyond his talent, Caleb is one of the smartest, most giving, and supportive authors I know.

Here is the extensive schedule. Man this guy is GOOD:

Outsider Writers Collective     3/18
Big Other (stop #1)     3/21
Gregory Frye’s Blog     3/22
Thunderdome (stop #1)     3/23
The Velvet Podcast     3/24
HTML Giant     3/26
Thunderdome (stop #2)     3/29
Nik Korpon’s blog     3/30
ArtJerk blog     4/4
Jay Slayton-Joslin’s blog     4/5
st00ge.wordpress.com     4/6
>Kill Author blog     4/7
BULL Men’s Fiction blog     4/8
Matt Bell’s blog     4/13
BL Pawelek’s blog     4/15
Lit Drift     4/18
decomPMagazine blog     4/22
Cannoli Pie     4/23
Stephen Graham Jones’ blog     4/27
Slush Pile Hero (S.S Michaels’ blog)     4/30
Chuck Palahniuk.net     5/1
Publishing Genius blog     5/2
Anthony David Jacques’ blog     5/6
Used Furniture Review (stop #1)     5/8
The Nervous Breakdown     5/10
Gloom Cupboard     5/11
This Blog Will Change Your Life (Ben Tanzer’s blog)     5/16
Used Furniture Review (stop #2)     5/18
C# Redundant (Phil Jourdan’s blog)     5/20
Nathan Tyree’s blog     5/25
Alluringly Short (Erica Mena’s blog)     5/27
No More Hot Lunches for Eddie Socko     5/30
A Bitter Look, Georgina Kamsika’s Writing Journal     6/1
Words for Guns (Matt DeBenedictis’ blog)     6/3
Undie Press     6/8
Sean P. Ferguson’s blog     6/10
Who Hub     6/13
Craig Wallwork’s blog     6/17
Electric Literature, OUTLET blog     6/22
Medialysis (Gordon Highland’s blog)     6/27
Noo Journal     7/1
Pela Via’s blog     7/6
Monkeybicycle     7/8
See Billie Write     7/11
The Write Place (Simon West-Bluford’s blog)     7/15
Tarpaulin Sky     7/20
What to Wear During an Orange Alert     7/25
Ryan W. Bradley’s blog     7/29
Justin Holt’s blog     8/3
Obscuradome (Bob Pastorella’s blog)     8/5
Red Puffin Tobacco (Mlaz Corbier’s blog)     8/8
The Little Sleep (Paul Tremblay’s blog)     8/12
Shome Dasgupta’s Blog     8/17
Power is a State of Mind (Matthew Tuckey’s blog)     8/22
PANK     8/26
Troubadour 21     9/5
mudlucious     9/9
Metazen     9/12
Impose Magazine     9/14
Dark Sky Magazine     9/19
Folded Word     9/23
unRonic (Stephen Krauska’s blog)     9/28
American Typo     10/3
Trick with a Knife     10/7
What Does Not Kill Me (Richard Thomas’ blog)     10/12
Lawn Gnomes in Space (Bradley Sands’ blog)     10/17
Eject! (Jason Kane’s blog)     10/21
Kristin Fouquet’s blog     10/26
Nothing to Say (xTx’s blog)     10/31
Chris Deal’s blog     11/4
Bukowski’s Basement     11/9
Big Other (stop #2)     11/14

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.

“Splintered” is live at PANK

My story “Splintered” is now up in the March issue of PANK. Thrilled to be here, alongside a ton of talented people, they do such awesome work at PANK, I can’t even begin to list the authors that came before me here that I just love. Thank you Roxane for the support.

This is my attempt at a pick your own ending, or choose your own path adventure story. I’ve been meaning to write one of these for awhile. Of course, it has my usual neo-noir, demented, sexual stamp on it. That’s what makes it an “adult” story and not one for the kiddies. Hope you dig it.

In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay

In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay is a powerful collection of short stories, always interesting, with the usual Tremblay Twists, unique perspectives and layers of emotions. These stories really socked me in the gut, so head over to The Nervous Breakdown to get all of that information, see what my favorites were, and be sure to pick up a copy of this book today.

Cover art for Transubstantiate

Pre-order 4.1.10 - Release 6.18.10

Pre-order 4.1.10 - Release 6.18.10

Well, I’m finally able to post up the artwork for the covers of Transubstantiate. Thanks Jamie for the great work, and everyone at OWP for letting me be a part of this process.

Pre-orders start on 4.1.10 for the signed, limited of 100 hardcovers with extras like a bonus chapter, extended interview and audio cd with several short stories, as well as the paperback. Release date is 6.18.10. You can also come join the Facebook Group to stay in the loop. 700 members and growing.

Cienfuegos by Chris Deal

Fiction

One of the most talented emerging authors I know is Chris Deal. He and I have published together many times, and I’ve also published his work, as well. This collection of short fiction is really fantastic. I was lucky enough to run a fun little contest over at The Velvet, where we had a 100 word short story contest. Just something I thought might be interesting. Mr. Deal really came out of his shell and created some fantastic imagery, eventually winning. Cienfuegos is the result of that inspiring competition, and I’m happy that I could be a part of his process.

Here is the official blurb I sent him:

In Cienfugeos, Chris Deal writes about solitude, loss, and the cold certainty of death, a chill running over you as the stories unfold, and then, he drops you into a furnace of hate and mysticism, the short, fractured stories abruptly over with nothing left but an echo. These are all in the same world, in different worlds, in the mirrored reflection of places that seem familiar, and yet, are not at all what you thought you knew, unexpected and piercing. You could call this a collection of flash fiction, and that would be correct if you meant blinding white light, a crack of violent thunder, and the distant shrieks of babies crying, mothers unsettled and father frowning, arms crossed in defiance. These are moments in time, a snatch of conversation, the last visions of dented souls bound for other places. His work is visceral, haunting and always steeped in history, ancient tales made new. This is the tip of the iceberg in so many ways.

So pick it up today, it’s worth every penny. Brown Paper Publishing did a great job getting this out.