Tuesday, 27 March 2012

NoHo Noir: Family Secrets

 Family Secrets
by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustration by Mark Satchwill
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill

The police had calmed down when they discovered the gun Alex had brandished was a prop gun. Of course, once they realized it was a prop, they wanted to know where he’d gotten it and that had gotten sticky. He didn’t want to say and they told his lawyer they weren’t going to release him until he did. He might have held out but his wife was close to hysterical by the time she arrived at the station and there didn’t seem to be much point in clamming up.
He’d told the unsmiling detective he’d “borrowed” the gun from the web series he was working on; adding that he’d planned on returning it the following Monday before anyone noticed it was gone. “That’s not going to happen,” the detective had said snarkily.
“What the hell were you thinking?” he’d added.
Well, that was the problem. Alex hadn’t been thinking. He hadn’t had a coherent thought since his son had died.
Not died. Been killed.
The police had kept the gun and that was a problem because it had been established as the weapon the series hero was using and it was the only gun they had.
The producer had wanted to fire Alex but they only had two more episodes to shoot and replacing him would have been a PITA. Alex was playing the hero’s father and he was heavily featured in the storyline.
The mood on the set had not been supportive. Alex’s comments at the job fair had been widely quoted and even with asterisks inserted in place of strategic vowels, any reader could get the picture.
Jeroyd the sound guy had heard about the “nigger” line.
Alicia, the hot girl who played the hero’s fiancĂ©e, had heard about the “cunt” remark.
Alex didn’t even try to explain because he knew there was no way he could. He didn’t think of himself as either a racist or a misogynist, but those words had come from somewhere, hadn’t they?
And never mind that he never used words like that. He had used them and there had been witnesses and now there was no unsaying them.

EBSQ Facebook Artist Of The Week

NoHo Noir's illustrator Mark Satchwill is this weeks Facebook Artist  over on EBSQ. There's a short interview with Mark and some images of his recent digital paintings, plus NoHo get's a plug too!

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Mark Satchwill

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Scoundrels Anthology--free story by Kelli Stanley

Over at Criminal Elements (one of our must-read blogs), they're featuring an excerpt from the new anthology   Scoundrels: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes, edited by Gary Phillips. The featured story is by friend of NoHo Kelli Stanley. You can read "Survivor" herehttp://www.criminalelement.com/stories/2012/03/scoundrels-new-excerpt-survivor-by-kelli-stanleyHere's Kathleen George's review of the anthology, also on Criminal Elements.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Zombie Awareness Bracelet is here!

Sure, anyone can have one of those boring yellow LIVE STRONG bracelets. But you can be the first on your block to have one of these new Zombie Awareness Bracelets. Just $4.99. Available from the Zombie Research Society.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

NoHo Noir loves Twitter and today the Twitterverse revealed the existence of this fantastic website, the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, where body pampering and household products are crafted with a romantic, Gothic touch. The site is filled with mouth-watering descriptions for perfumes such as No. 93 Engine, with ingredients that include Balm of Gilead, benzoin, frankincense, balsam of peru, beeswax, saffron, galbanum, calamus, hyssop, mastic, lemon balm, and white sage. Another scent that envelopes our senses is Baghdad with its notes of  Amber, saffron and bergamot with mandarin, nutmeg, Bulgar rose, musk and sandalwood.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

NoHo Noir: A Diamond as Big as the Ritz

A Diamond as Big as the Ritz
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrted by Mark Satchwill

Orla Montgomery was in the shop alone when the guy came in with a small plastic bag full of crap he set down on the counter in front of her.
The bag was from Ranch 99, which told her he wasn’t from the neighborhood. The nearest Ranch 99 store was on Sepulveda up near the Costco.
“Hey,” he said, with an accent that was pure Arkansas, so she knew he wasn’t a California native.
He smiled at her too widely, exposing the stumps of his front teeth, which told her he was a tweaker.
“Good morning,” she said, smiling at him. “What can I do for you today, sir?”
She could tell he liked being called “sir.”
As she moved closer to the counter, her right foot nudged the switch that caused the security camera to zoom in on the customer’s face.
“I’ve got some jewelry here,” he said and dumped the contents of the plastic bag onto the counter in a tangle of glints and glimmers.
He pronounced it “jewel-a-ry.”
Orla stirred the heap of gold with her finger, separating it into its component parts.
“What do you think?” the customer asked anxiously.
“It’s beautiful,” Orla said, knowing there was no way in hell the guy could have come by the loot honestly.
She separated a heavy gold chain from the rest and held it up like a snake handler displaying a serpent, running it from hand to hand to admire the heavy Art Deco-style links. “Lovely,” she murmured as her customer shifted his weight from side to side and tried not to look impatient.
She put the necklace down and picked up a simple bracelet, recognizing it as one of Jean Schlumberger’s classic designs for Tiffany. She slipped it on her own thin wrist and admired it.
“So, how much can you give me?” the customer asked.
“Oh,” Orla said, “I think we can make you a price.”
She spread the pieces out so she could take a good look. All of them were vintage, dating from the late 40s through the 50s.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Depp Does Vampires... Dark Shadows Trailer

Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood has the new Dark Shadows trailer here. What do you think? 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

NoHo Noir: Caller I.D.

"Caller I.D."
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill

Illustration by Mark Satchwill
Shannon Garrick had a love-hate relationship with her cell phone. When she’d been evicted from her last apartment, she’d left behind an unpaid electric bill, a delinquent gas bill and a cell phone bill that had rolled over three times before her provider finally cut her off.
Since then, her only form of communication with the outside world had been a cheap “pay as you go” phone she’d bought from CVS.  
The phone’s reception was crap but at least she had a number she could give the Human Resources people when she applied for jobs and a contact number if Liam’s school needed to get in touch with her. She refilled the phone’s minutes with pre-paid cards, always 30 minutes at a time. The cards with more minutes were actually a better bargain but they cost more and she never seemed to have the extra cash on hand.
Having a “burner phone” was a relief in many ways because it meant she didn’t constantly have to talk to creditors.
It was exhausting talking to creditors. She hated having to explain her situation over and over and over to people who probably weren’t making much more than minimum wage themselves. They always suggested that if she was in such dire straits she should declare bankruptcy, but that cost money too.
And deep down, Shannon felt that if she declared bankruptcy, she’d be admitting that she’d hit rock bottom. And if she admitted that, she was afraid she would lose heart altogether. She didn’t want to think about what would happen if she surrendered to despair. She didn’t want her mother raising Liam.
It was bad enough that her mother now knew where she and Liam lived. The news of the hotel shooting had gone national and pictures of a wide-eyed Liam surrounded by cops had flashed all over the Internet as pundits waxed philosophical about gang-related violence and the problem of “motel children.”
Her mother had immediately contacted Dr. Drew to offer an interview and use his show as a platform for reaching out to Shannon and the grandson she’d never met.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

New Indie Noir Comic--Fatale

Here's a link to a review of Ed Brubaker's horror-noir comic Fatale courtesy of complex.com.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Alt-Zombie--coming June 12

Editor Peter Mark May, whose Alt-Dead anthology was chock full of apocalyptical zombie goodness, has put together a sequel--Alt-Zombie--featuring stories by Zach Black, Selina Lock, Jay Eales, Richard Farren Barber, Katherine Tomlinson, R.J. Gaulding, Stuart Hughes, Rachelle Bronson, Adrian Chamberlin, William Meikle, Shaun Hamilton, Stephen Bacon, Dave Jeffery, Gary McMahon , Shaun Jeffrey, David Williamson, Alison Littlewood & Joe McKinney. The book will be available from Hersham Horror Books on June 12 in both the US and UK. More details as they arise.

Monday, 5 March 2012

NoHo Noir: Most LIkely to Succeed

Illustration by Mark Satchwill
Most Likely to Succeed
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill

“We have to stop meeting like this,” Graham McCallan said as he slid into a folding chair next to Vera Polk. She gave the history teacher a wan smile. She liked him well enough but she’d had a headache since lunch time and the prospect of sitting through a hastily convened faculty meeting made her want to weep despite the company.
The principal had promised he wouldn’t take up much of their time but he was already 15 minutes late.
Which was typical of Wayne Richtman’s passive-aggressive behavior.
Vera had never really warmed up to Wayne who thought she was just a little too hard on her students.
“This is high school,” he’d said to her more than once, “not MIT.”
She was pretty sure Wayne couldn’t have gotten into MIT if his parents had donated a new building, but she had some students who could if they were pushed hard enough.
And that included Rob Nolan.
As far as Vera concerned, she’d be happy to give Rob a recommendation if he wanted to apply for early admission to MIT.
As long as it got him out of her classroom.
“If Wayne doesn’t get here in the next five minutes, I say we all leave,” Graham said to no one in particular as the teachers milled around the cafeteria. “Isn’t 20 minutes the grace period?”
No one bothered to answer him.
The younger teachers had all pulled out their iPhones to check email and twitter feeds with that total obliviousness to environment that only those under 30 could manage.
Graham produced a flattened bag of Gummi bears out of his jacket pocket and dug through the candy for one that was pineapple flavored.
“Gummi bear?” he asked, holding the bag out to Vera.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

New NoHo Noir up on Monday

We're back to the high school that Rob and Poo attend as the faculty discusses the possbility of a Columbine-style shooting in the wake of the incident in Ohio. There's a whole lot of awfulness going on in the L.A. school district right now, as you may know. (The news stories about the "lewd acts" and the teacher who allegedly fed his students his semen are still pretty current.)  Stay tuned...and please come back tomorrow!

Game of Thrones II coming in April

HBO does a handsome job of promoting all its programming and there are all kinds of promos and behind-the-scenes featurettes and trailers up for the second season of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Last year the tagline was "Winter is coming." This year it's, "A Cold Wind is Rising."  We're chilled. 
Here's just one of the trailers to whet your appetite.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Aztec Noir--Aliette de Bodard's mystery/fantasy series

Coming soon, a review of Aliette de Bodard's Servant of the Underworld (Obsidian & Blood, Book 1)

Read an E-book Week

Smashwords is offering a week-long promotion on their books. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, you can visit the site to browse a special catalogue of discount and freebie books. (Shameless plug--my own Toxic Reality will be available at 50 percent off and other books will be free, free, free.)
Can you ever have too many books?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Frankenweenie Trailer

Indies Unite for Joshua

Indiegogo is a worldwide group of independent authors, publishers, filmmakers, and artists rallying to support a fellow writer. right now they're rallying around Joshua, the 21-year-old son of author Maxwell Cynn.  Joshua has Acute T-cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia and he has it everywhere. His chemo isn't completely covered by insurance and he and his family need help.  Learn more about Joshua here. Learn more about IndieGogo here. And while you're clicking around, it couldn't hurt to say a prayer.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book Review: Psychosomatic by Anthony Neil Smith

Illustration by Mark Satchwill

Meet Lydia. She lost her arms and legs in a car crash. She likes to be in control. She is divorced but her ex-husband brings girls to her house and does the nasty with them in front of her. So she decides to teach him a lesson and hires a guy to beat him up.
Meet Alan. He's a bit of a loser and he owes money to a couple of villains called Terry and Lancaster. Lydia's ex-husband is onto her plan and hires Alan to film the fight, which is being staged for Lydia's benefit. When the ex-husband dies in the fight, Alan has to get the money from Lydia. They become lovers and business partners, but when they cross paths again with Terry and an increasingly deranged Lancaster, a battle to the death ensues...
Anthony Neil Smith's debut novel is a dark and twisted ride through the lives (and deaths) of a bunch of people you hope never meet. It's fast paced, violent, funny, sometimes disturbing and written with enough style for you to forgive the occasional slightly far-fetched plot twist.
I'll be reading more of his work.

Buy at Amazon UK                           

Buy at Amazon US

Blood & Tacos has launched

Johnny Shaw's pulptastic new magazine Blood & Tacos has launched with stories by Shaw, Matthew Funk, Cameron Ashley, Christopher Blair, Gary Phillips and more!  Here's a link to the site. Here's a link to Amazon, where it's available for 99 cents.

Wake Up! Awake Premieres Tonight

Starring Jason Isaacs, NBC's new show Awake premieres tonight on NBC in the US. We like the premise--a man survives an accident that kills his family only to find he's living in parallel realities. As the Awake website puts it, "Two dreams, one reality."  As with their series Grimm, NBC made the pilot available online before the actua premiere, so it comes with a lot of buzz.  It'll definitely be fun to see Isaacs playing a good guy for once (he is so good at bad guys), so we've got our fingers crossed for it. We're also happy to see Cherry Jones and B.D. Wong as psychiatrists.  Here's the website for more info.