Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Art Taylor reads from On the Road with Del & Louise

Del’s a small time crook with a moral conscience—robbing convenience stores only for tuition and academic expenses. Brash and sassy Louise goes from being a holdup victim to Del’s lover and accomplice. All they want is a fresh start, an honest life, and a chance to build a family together, but fate conspires to put ever-steeper challenges in their path—and escalating temptations, too.

A real estate scam in recession-blighted Southern California. A wine heist in Napa Valley. A Vegas wedding chapel holdup. A kidnapping in an oil-rich North Dakota boomtown. Can Del and Louise stay on the right side of the law? On one another’s good side? And when they head back to Louise’s hometown in North Carolina, what new trouble will prove the biggest: Louise’s nagging mama or a hidden adversary seemingly intent on tearing the couple apart? Or could those be one and the same?

From screwball comedy to domestic drama, and from caper tale to traditional whodunit, these six stories offer suspense with a side of romance—and a little something for all tastes.

Order On the Road with Del & Louise.

Learn more about Art Taylor from his website, www.arttaylorwriter.com.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ray Daniel reads from Corrupted Memory

When computer hacker Tucker is told that a dead man is lying outside his Boston home, he's shocked to discover that the body looks just like his father...who died fifteen years ago. Tucker soon learns the terrible truth: the dead man is a half-brother he never knew he had. Determined to find answers, Tucker tracks down his father's second family.

But Tucker's first impressions of his long-lost relatives are spoiled when dark family secrets begin to emerge. Unresolved issues torment Tucker while he struggles to discover his place among his newfound kin. As he digs deeper into the murder and the family's hidden life, Tucker becomes trapped in a dangerous scheme, and there may be no way out.

Order Corrupted Memory

Learn more about Ray at his website, www.raydanielmystery.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bill Baber


The joint was thick with smoke and frayed threads of conversation. There was the sound of ice cubes tickling glass and above the din Sinatra crooned on the juke box.

She sat at the bar, a cigarette between her red, brightly painted lips. An extra dry martini, with a twist- and barely touched- in front of her.

She wore her hair, which was the same color as her camel hair coat, in a short bob. Her eyes were sea green, and when you gazed into them they were deeper than any ocean.

She was my ex. She left me for some Joe she worked with, an insurance salesman. She had called me here.

"Helene," I said as I approached the bar. She turned, greeting me with a thin smile.

"Thanks for coming, Hal," she said. We had been married two years- happily, or so I thought. I hadn't seen her in almost a year, not since she walked out. It had hit me like a ton of bricks. Like a bolt from the blue. All she said was, "There's someone else. I don’t love you anymore."

"What is it?" I asked.

"I've made a terrible mistake," she replied. "We got married you know, in Vegas, two months ago."

I felt like someone punched me in the gut. Thought I would be sick right there.

She placed a hand on my shoulder. "I'm afraid of him."

"Why?" I asked. "You must have thought he was pretty swell to throw away what we had."

"That’s why I said I made a mistake, Hal. I want to leave him."

"Yeah, you dames are fickle," I said coldly. "Find some other sap." I turned to leave.

"Please, wait," she begged. "I’m afraid he's going to kill me."

That got my attention. "What do you mean?"

"He’s taken out a million dollar life insurance policy on me. And he was married before; his first wife disappeared and was never found. I’m scared, Hal. Can you help me?"

"Go to the cops," I told her. "And there's somewhere else I should tell you to go."

"I can’t go to the police. It's just a suspicion I have. They won't act on that. Please, I don't know where else to turn."

We finished our drinks. "All right. I’ll give it some thought."

I was at their apartment the next morning. After they left for work I jimmied the lock. I found a policy all right- along with a .38. Called her husband and said I was interested in buying a large amount of insurance on my parents. Set up a phony meeting across town that afternoon.

I was waiting in the apartment when she came in.

"Hello, Helene." I held the gun in a gloved hand. I shot her three times. She had taken out a two million dollar policy on him and thought she could play me like a fiddle.

They arrested her husband for her murder. Nobody cashed in. But I got even with both of them. That was worth something.

BILL BABER has had over two dozen crime stories published and his stories have recently appeared in Rogue from Near to the Knuckle, Hardboiled Crime Scene from Dead Guns Press and Locked & Loaded from One Eye Press. His 2014 short story "Sleepwalk" was nominated for a Derringer Award. He has also had a number of poems published online and in the occasional literary journal. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's the Idea?

As a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, I recently pitched the idea of live readings of mystery & crime short fiction, Short Mystery Fiction Socials, hosted by local members, along the lines of the popular Noirs at the Bar. Wondering who and what establishments might be open to such events, I realized I could also host readings virtually, one more venue for writers and their work.

Read the guidelines in the sidebar, and submit away.