The Lastest From Blood and Tacos

This is fun. The hardcopy collection of the first four issues of Blood & Tacos has arrived, and you can can get it. Here’s the info from the website:

B&T Promo CoverBLOOD & TACOS: THE BEGINNING, the print-only omnibus that collects the hard-fisted, pistol-packing fiction stories from the first four issues of Blood & Tacos, is now available.

Right here! Right now! And before we make BLOOD & TACOS: THE BEGINNING available to the general public, we are extending a special, limited-time, limited-run offer to our fans (and anyone else that wants to buy it).

For $19.00 (which includes shipping in the US), you can get one of the first 100 books, numbered and signed by both Johnny Shaw and Brace Godfrey, creator of Chingón: The World’s Deadliest Mexican. And considering the way Mr. Godfrey has been known to punish his body with alcohol, this might be the last chance to get a signed book from him.

That’s right, for a measly 19 clams, you can hold a piece of literary history in your grubby paws. I’m not good at math, but that’s a lot of ’splosions and karate chops for your hard-earned bucks. Over 300 pages of mayhem and awesome.

You want to order up a copy? Do so here.

What is it? This is a collection of short stories that are throwbacks to the Men’s Adventure fiction from back in the day. I have a story in it that was a blast to write: “Blood and Sweetgrass In: This Rez is Mine!” I think it was the last short story I actually published . . . and quite possibly the last short story I ever will publish! So get it before it sells out. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive.


Keeping it Pulpy

I’ve made a conscious effort over the last year or so to keep much of my reading grounded in what is typically labeled as “literary” fiction, something I’ve avoided over the years. When I was reading a ton of short stories last year I realized more literary work was getting the job done for me than the genre stuff was. I hit a patch where I was reading so much crime fiction that I was getting pretty burned out on it. It all started feeling interchangeable to me. So I backed off. I’ve also made an effort to get back to reading more nonfiction (something I went several years reading almost exclusively).

I still like a healthy dose of the stuff I love most, though: pulp. Action/adventure stories. Blood. Guts. Mayhem. To that end I usually have one or two books going at the same time, just to keep the enthusiasm up. This weekend I finished a couple great reads in time to make room for a couple more. I figured I’d mention them here.

Under the Ember Star by Charles Allen Gramlich

Charles is a friend of mine who you will see comment here now and again. He almost single-handedly led me back to reading Sword & Sorcery stuff after I read his story collection, Bitter Steel, a couple years ago. Ember Star is science fiction. This is the review I wrote on Amazon for this book:

There is a lot packed into this Gramlich novella. The world building is excellent; much depth of history, interesting cultures, and an intriguing premise. It is a fast-paced pulp sci-fi romp of the highest order. The book is very cinematic, and I mean that as a high compliment. I’d love to see more stories written here. Hell, I’d play this setting as a video game or RPG. There just seems a ton of stuff that could be done on the world of Kelmer. Here’s to hoping we’ll get to see more, particularly featuring our heroine, Ginn Hollis!

Commando: Operation Bedlam by Jack Badelaire

Another one from a guy you’ll see comment here now and again. This is the follow-up to Jack’s first Commando novel, Operation Arrowhead. I’ve read them both, and really enjoyed them. These are WWII adventure novels, something I had essentially no history of reading. Here are the reviews I threw up on Amazon for the two of them:

As I was reading this book, I realized that, outside of some flashbacks in Captain America comics, I hadn’t read any WWII fiction since reading THE GUNS OF NAVARONE back in high school. I had a great time reading this, and I’ll certainly be back for more. This is guns blazing, never-a-dull-moment action adventure stuff that I love to spend time with on those occasions when I simply want to be entertained. A couple strong characters take it above the usual fare, and I’m eager to read more adventures from this crew. (Arrowhead)

I thoroughly enjoyed Badelaire’s first COMMANDO novel, so much so that when the opportunity to read this one came along it vaulted to the top of the TBR pile. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m no scholar of WWII, certainly, but these books read like Baudelaire has certainly done his homework. The detail on the weapons, the settings, the equipment . . . they all contribute to putting the reader right in the thick of the action without feeling like the author is pulling one of those, “Hey, look at me and how much research I did!”-style information dumps. I appreciate that. The stories are fast-paced, no BS, all-out action. Which is exactly what I want from a pulp novel. The fact that I get more than an average amount of character development doesn’t hurt. Nice work. Can’t wait for the next one. (Bedlam)

What’s next? I’ve had In the Clear, Black Fields of Night by Chad Eagleton queued up for a while. I really enjoyed the original A Rip Through Time story that David Cranmer (yes, another commenter here; see a theme going, by chance?) from Beat to a Pulp put out, and I just haven’t gotten to this follow-up yet. That’s about to change. Hell, I’ve read a bunch of the stuff Cranmer has put out, and there is a bunch I have yet to read as well. All well worth checking out.

Finally, Blood & Tacos #4 is out. This is a must-read, folks. You can get it for free from the official website, or buy it from Amazon. Lots of cool stuff happening in the B&T world as well; I urge you to check it out. And I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that it’s never too late to get B&T #3, which includes my story, “Blood and Sweetgrass In: This Rez is Mine.”


How I Came to Write This Story

My friend Patti, who is an outstanding writer in her own right, was kind enough to host a little essay today on her blog where I talk about my story, “Blood and Sweetgrass: This Rez is Mine” from Blood and Tacos #3. I’m grateful she did, because it will get more eyeballs than it would have if I’d just put it here, heh. I’m happy with this particular story, and it was a ridiculous gas to write. I hope you find time to click over and check it out.


Action-Packed Stories Full of Action

I’m not going to be around tomorrow, and this goes on sale then, so I’m posting this today:

This is a Kindle-first, print-later anthology that was the most fun I’ve had writing in ages, the third in a series of which the first two are still available. It’s a throwback to the old Destroyer and Penetrator and Mack Bolan The Executioner novels. My story is called, “Blood and Sweetgrass In: This Rez is Mine!” Think of it as a cross between the 70s movie classic Billy Jack and the ’09 movie classic Black Dynamite.

From the official Blood & Tacos website, here’s the lowdown on what it’s all about:

There was a time when paperback racks were full of men’s adventure series. Next to the Louis L’Amours, one could find the adventures of The Executioner, the Destroyer, the Death Merchant, and many more action heroes that were hell-bent on bringing America back from the brink. That time was the 1970s & ’80s. A bygone era filled with wide-eyed innocence and mustaches.

Those stories are back! The new quarterly magazine Blood & Tacos is bringing back the action, the fun, and the adventure. Also, the mustaches.

In each issue of Blood & Tacos, some of today’s hottest crime writers will choose an era and create a new pulp hero and deliver a brand-new adventure. Each issue will include 5-6 stories featuring action-packed mayhem written in the style of that bygone era. The stories might not always be politically correct, but whether satire or homage, they will deliver on every page. Fast and fun, action and adventure, Blood & Tacos.

If the stories weren’t enough, Blood & Tacos will also feature fine pulpy art, reviews of some of the fine (and not so fine) novels from the same period, and maybe even a recipe or two.

Each quarterly issue of Blood & Tacos will be available for you here on the web for the low price of absolutely FREE. Or if you prefer, it will also be made available through Amazon via Kindle, and other fine ebook retailers in the ePub format, for the modest price of $0.99.

So prepare yourself for the coming of Blood & Tacos. And remember, if it’s too cheesy, it’s a quesadilla.

I’ll be back next week with a link to get the thing, but feel free to seek it out on your own in the meantime. This is one of those rare occasions where I heard about a publication being launched and I thought to myself, “I got to get involved with this thing. . . . ”