Tag Archives: NOIR

Buttontapper Press Best Reads of 2013

My 12 Days of XXXmas marathon is at its end, so I thought I’d throw out the names of some of the best books I’ve read in 2013, to see us out to the end of this quickly fading year. (Note that these are books I read in 2013, not necessarily books that were published in 2013.)

Buckle up and ready your e-readers for more downloads!

Best Erotica of 2013

This year, oddly enough, I didn’t read much erotica at all. However, the two I enjoyed the most were both by indie authors. Therefore, I pronounce this year’s Best Erotica category a tie between Pavarti K. Tyler’s Sugar & Salt and D.C. McMillen’s The Wedding. Both are short pieces that belong to a larger series, but also stand alone, confident in their stilettos.

Best Western of 2013

a-wind-of-knivesYep, you read that one right. Though I’m not normally a big fan of the genre, and the last western I read was probably Shane way back in seventh grade, my writer pal Ed Kurtz recently persuaded me to give westerns another shot. After quizzing Ed about his book’s relative merits, versus say Annie Proulx’s infamous “Brokeback Mountain” story, I bought a copy of his novella, A Wind of Knives, and tore through it over the holidays. Great book, worth every penny.

It’s also the winner of this year’s Best Title of 2013 award. Seriously, killer.

Best Horror of 2013

pinsSpeaking of genres I don’t typically read, Jessica McHugh’s horror cavalcade set in a strip club, Pins, rang in my 2013 as I stayed up super late into the new year to finish it. And holy hell, what a ride it was! Though I can’t say I’m a convert to the genre (gore just not being my jam), I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica’s astutely observed strippers, from the lifers to those just trying to pay the bills, and the kinds of very bad things that can befall them — whether or not they work in a place that doubles as a bowling alley. I’m definitely a fan of the McHughniverse now, though, and look forward to reading more of her cross-genre works in 2014.

Best Nonfiction of 2013

under_the_tableFar and away my favorite nonfiction book of 2013 was Kevin C. Fitzpatrick’s Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide. Not only will this gem teach you how to make fine adult beverages from the 1920s (and beyond!), but it’ll also give you lots of great tippling trivia about Dottie and her gang at the Algonquin Round Table that you can toss like glitter at all the parties you’ll be attending in the New Year. A great reference for writers, drinkers, and Dorothy Parker fans.

Best Graf novel of 2013

rage-is-backThat’s graffiti novel, not graphic novel. And yes, there is a difference. The winner, Rage is Back by Adam Mansbach (yes, of Go the Fuck to Sleep fame), spirited me back to my New York City days, most of which were spent commuting on “bombed” subway cars, for at least two hours one-way. I got a helluva lot of reading done on the subway, come to think of it. So, even though commuting in NYC will always suck, I can’t begrudge the time it gave me to speed through tons of great books. If I’d had this one on my lap, things would’ve been even more awesome. More, please!

Best Crime Novel of 2013

troubled-daughtersDefinitely one of the stand-out anthologies of the year, my favorite crime novel of the year was Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense edited by Sarah Weinman. I still haven’t written up a proper review for this one, since it’s hard to pick just a few stories to highlight out of all the great material in here, from Patricia Highsmith to Shirley Jackson to Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, but if you love some damned dames, this is your fix.

Best Poetry of 2013

life-cycleAnother end-of-the-year read, Dena Rash Guzman’s Life Cycle is one of those books that deserves all of its truly abundant accolades. Though I often run screaming from poetry titles, Dena’s book is smart, approachable and often times laugh-out-loud funny, too. A proper review is forthcoming, over at Black Heart Magazine, but for now let me just say I am thrilled to have read this cheeky little volume, and I look forward to reading lots more from Dena in the future. (P.S. You can’t buy this one at Amazon; only through Powell’s Books online or in stores.)

Best Childhood Fave Re-Read of 2013

bfgPretty much every childhood favorite I’ve re-read this year has been amazing, but rediscovering Roald Dahl’s inventive wordsmithery (not to mention the true meaning of “snozzcumbers”!) has inspired me to take up my quill and go a little crazy on the page in 2014. The BFG was my favorite as a kid, and it’s still the greatest, although I have to admit I also really enjoyed getting reacquainted with Louise Fitzhugh’s marvelous Harriet the Spy - still a favorite amongst those of us who carry notebooks absolutely everywhere.

Best Serial of 2013

downward-facing-deathI love mysteries — the cheesier and punnier and cozier the better — so I was thrilled to see Neal Pollack had written one for Kindle Serials entitled Downward-Facing Death. As I devoured each new installment, I was panting for more, and Mr. P delivered. I hope he’ll write lots more of these funny, strange mysteries in the future, whether as serials or full-length novels.

And speaking of mysteries…

Best Noir Mystery of 2013

gone-girlI know everyone read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl last year and went bonkers for it (so much so that it’s currently in production as a David Fincher film, with none other than Ben Affleck in the lead male role), but I read it as part of this year’s Tournament of Books and absolutely loved it. It’s one of the darkest novels about married life I’ve read in recent times, and it’s perfectly disturbing as well as an incredibly well executed mystery. So just go read it if you haven’t already. It’s a great example of he said/she said that actually works and the plot will have you guessing all the way through.

Best Public Domain Book of 2013

sherlock-holmesAnd it’s official:

Sherlock Holmes is now in the public domain!

Which means that in 2014 I’m totally going to have to write some filthy erotica using everybody’s favorite consulting detective as the star. Yum!

Also, if you haven’t yet grabbed a free copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, you really should. It’s — dare I say it? — elementary.

Et toi?

That about does it for my 2013 reading list. So, what were YOUR favorite books of 2013?

27 crime authors, 1 deadly deal

[NOTE: Sales levels updated July 20, 11:11 AM]

Exciting news: My NOIR anthology is currently being featured as part of the first-ever fiction bundle being offered at Groupees.com!

The NOIR anthology is a great collection of established and up-and-coming crime fiction writers, which I published last year with my friend and co-editor Jimmy Callaway. The ebook is normally $2.99 all on its own, via Amazon, Smashwords or straight from the Black Heart website, but guess what? Now you can get this amazing anthology PLUS five additional books for whatever price you choose.

Now that’s a summer reading deal!

In case you’ve never heard of them, Groupees is a site where you can name your own price when buying indie media. Though they have mainly focused on musical offerings thus far, today they’ve launched the first ebook bundle, which includes a whopping 27 crime fiction authors all in one place.

The Crime Fiction Ebook Bundle includes all of the following books:

  • My awesome NOIR anthology;
  • 4 Funny Detective Stories Starring Maynard Soloman by Benjamin Sobieck (the fabulous organizer of this deal, so you’ll see more of his name later on);
  • Kick It With Conviction by Fiona “McDroll” Johnson;
  • Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders by Benjamin Sobieck;
  • Wild Bill by Dana King; and
  • Banal by Vincent Zandri

Depending on how much you decide to pay for this amazing bundle, there are also added bonuses available. Once the bundle reaches a total of $250 in sales, additional books will be “unlocked” for those who’ve bought in. At the $250 level you’ll also receive 4 Odd Crime Stories by Benjamin Sobieck. At the $500 level you’ll get another book by Ben, Maynard Soloman Legalizes Gay Knot-Tying. At the $1,000 level you’ll receive my Montreal Stories, a collection of humorous erotic stories. And at the $2,000 level you’ll receive Ben’s book Maynard Soloman Takes the Bus to a Strip Club.

Additionally, the top contributor overall will receive an autographed, one-of-a-kind, handmade by the author print edition of Wild Bill by Dana King. How cool is that?

And, if all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, there’s this: 20% of the total sales will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation. Good summer reading and a good cause at crazy prices—how can you say no?

Obviously, this deal can’t last forever, so hit up the Groupees site and name your price by July 31 to enjoy this crime fiction bundle.

Read an Ebook Week, March 4–10

Canadians have all the fun: By order of Parliament, they’ve actually designated March as “Read an Ebook Month.”

While the U.S. hasn’t quite embraced the ebook phenomenon like our neighbors to the north, we’ve still got some tricks up our sleeves. This week (March 4 through 10) is Read an Ebook Week, which means we get to participate in seven days worth of e-reading fun!

In honor of Read an Ebook Week, all of my books published on Smashwords are available for free.

That’s right, my entire catalog of ebooks—including my novel, Rebels of the 512—will be available for download completely and totally gratis for your reading pleasure. No catch, no fine print, no haggling. No kidding! Just awesome ebooks to get you hooked on the wild and crazy stories that seep from my brain.

Choose from any of the following:

Take one or take ‘em all with coupon code RE100—and don’t forget to write a review to let me know what you think when you’re done reading!

Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll nominations

Guess what? I’ve been nominated in several categories for this year’s Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll!

The poll is an annual tradition, and boasts a variety of categories on everything from books to short fiction and poetry to digital publications—including online magazines and e-books.

So I turn to you, dear readers, for support. If you like my writing or my magazine, Black Heart, give these projects some love by voting in the following categories:

I also have a piece nominated in the Nonfiction Article category, “Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Get Laid in Montreal,” which I published as part of my “quickies” series at Amazon and Smashwords. If you’d like to vote for this piece, I would also be eternally grateful for your support.

To facilitate voting for something you’ve actually read and enjoyed, you can currently download a free copy of “Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Get Laid in Montreal” from Smashwords by clicking here and using the code JL28B (only until January 11). It’s available in all formats, including PDF, so you can read it on your computer or with your favorite e-reader.

And then, remember to vote by January 10!