Jericho excerpt

Recoil_cropI mentioned yesterday that my short story ‘Jericho’ features in ‘Recoil’, the brand new anthology from Shotgun Honey. Well, here’s a little snippet from the beginning of the story to whet your appetite:

“Will there be a massive bang, Uncle Ryan?  Will it be like the Towering Inferno?”

Ryan sat back on his heels and wiped one sleeve across his burning forehead.  Even now, after all these years and with all his experience, he still sweated like a pig.  Partly that was the danger, of course, although he minimised that by taking every safety precaution in the book.  And a few that weren’t.  Mostly it was the sheer fiddliness of the work – the blocks of explosive to tape in place, the fuses and detonators to prepare, the wires to strip and insert.  In a place this size that could take hours, sometimes even days.  Every last minute seasoned with the thought that if he got a single detail wrong, people could die.

“No.  The whole point is it won’t be like a sodding inferno,” he said.  “That’s why I do all this preparation, so the whole thing will fold up like a house of cards.  No explosions, no fires, nobody gets hurt.  There’s just a big cloud of dust at the end.”

“Oh.  Right.”

Will sounded disappointed.  Typical bloody teenager, Ryan thought.  Always after the biggest and the best.  Couldn’t see that half the time, not having something go kaboom was the best.  Ryan knew that because he was the best – the best in the business, the best in this neck of the woods.  He’d brought down more buildings than most folk had set foot in, and all without a single mishap.  They didn’t call him The Leveller for nothing.  But Will was young; he’d learn soon enough.  Least, he would if he wanted to get on in this job.  Get it wrong and he’d be dust along with the factories, the cooling towers, the outdated blocks of flats.

Blocks like this one – the last still standing on the Castle Bromwich estate.  Forty years ago the planners had thought they were a good idea; now they couldn’t get rid of them fast enough.  Ryan had demolished another two six months ago, though he tried not to think about that…

There’s plenty more where that came from, and another 22 stories by amazing noir authors, so why not head over to Amazon and grab a copy of the book now?

Shotgun Honey 4: Recoil – out today

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I’m sure I’ve said it before, but books are like buses. Nothing new for ages and then two come along at once!

Today it’s the turn of this tasty collection of noir stories from Shotgun Honey, entitled ‘Recoil’.  It’s packed with good stuff from a grand total of 23 authors, many of them well known on the crime and noir circuits. And alongside those is my own offering, a dark story called ‘Jericho’.

In this, the Bible story of Joshua blowing down the walls of Jericho takes on an all-too personal meaning for a demolition expert working on a tower block in Birmingham. You could say the moral of the tale is not to trust the local crime boss – or an aggrieved youngster looking to make their mark on the world. As usual with my stories it doesn’t necessarily end well!

‘Recoil’ has been released today and you can find it as paperback and e-book on Amazon. I’ll post a few more details about the story in the coming days, but in the meantime why not check it out – before you get run over by the proverbial bus!

Sad news – and good

Publishing giveth and publishing taketh away, quite often on the same day. And that’s been the case today.

On the one hand I’ve had the sad news that my first ever book, ‘Raise the Blade’, is no longer available for sale. It happens; contracts come up on their sell-by date. I think what makes this sad for me is the fact that it was my first book, which makes it feel that little bit more special. However, I will be mulling over the possibilities of re-publishing it in the next few months, so keep checking back for further updates.

And the good news? Well, I’ve had a short story accepted in the latest (fourth) Shotgun Honey anthology. This is still very much in the early stages of preparation so I can’t reveal too much – but again, if you check back in a week or two I’ll have all the details of who’s in it, what it looks like, what my story’s about, and when it’ll be available. Don’t go anywhere in the meantime!

Running Late… again

shp-bbv3-locked-loaded-front-cover-c2I’ve just realised that I never got round to posting an excerpt from ‘Running Late’, the story I have in Shotgun Honey’s Locked & Loaded anthology.  So, better ‘Late’ than never, here it is.  Hope you enjoy, and if you want to read the rest of the story, plus all the other great stuff in the book, you can find out how here.

He scrambled through the gap, tearing a sleeve himself and nicking his arm.  It bled freely, spattering on the window frame, and he knew he was destroying potential evidence but didn’t care.  Finding Karen alive was what mattered now, not groping around after clues and DNA.  He didn’t know what he would do without her if she’d gone.  She was always the stronger of the pair.  She was the one who’d jumped him, at the last Christmas party.  She’d laughed because her nickname was a backwards version of his name, then dragged him into the stationery cupboard and stuck her hand down his pants.  She hadn’t even been particularly drunk.

“Why?” Zak had said afterwards, tucking himself away.  “Why now?  Why me?”

“If I’d left it to you I’d still have been waiting next year,” she’d said, and given his privates a pat.

She was the one who’d decided to keep the whole thing quiet, so they could go on working the same shift.  The rules said you had to notify the DI if you became ‘romantically involved’, but that would have meant different hours, or even a move to another division.  “Bugger that,” Karen had said.  “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“That’s the US Army,” Zak had said, but she just laughed.

He could do with the army now, or at least a few good well-trained men.  You couldn’t ask for back-up when you’d taken the law into your own hands, though.  He was on his own.

Running late

shp-bbv3-locked-loaded-front-cover-c2That’s both the title of my latest short story, and me for not posting about it sooner.

‘Running Late’ features in the new ‘Locked and Loaded’ anthology from Shotgun Honey/One Eye Press, along with a bumper 24 other stories of mayhem and desperation.

Cop Zak isn’t averse to bending a few rules here and there, until a local crime gang call time on him.  Will he be able to save his kidnapped partner’s life, or will he be too late?  Find out in ‘Shotgun Honey Presents: Locked and Loaded’, available now on Amazon in either print or Kindle.

Locked & Loaded… almost here

shp-bbv3-locked-loaded-front-cover-c2The excitement is building in the Makovesky household – it’s now less than a week until the launch of Shotgun Honey’s latest anthology, ‘Locked & Loaded’.

You may remember me mentioning once or twice (cough) that this book includes my short story ‘Running Late’, which features Zak, a cop who isn’t averse to breaking a few rules until the local gang call time on him.

There are also 24 other stories from a host of well-respected authors, and you can get your hands on the whole thing next Tuesday, 28th April.  I can hardly wait!

Locked and Loaded cover reveal

And now, ladies and gentlemen [insert drum roll] – the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Here’s a sneak preview of the brand new cover for Locked and Loaded, the third volume of dark short stories from Shotgun Honey.  And it’s a doozy.

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I’m in this collection, with a story called ‘Running Late’, in which a gang of baddies call time on a bent copper with some rather disastrous consequences.  It’s due out towards the end of the month and you can bet I’ll be jumping up and down about it when it arrives, so please keep an eye (your good one, if this cover is anything to go by) on my blog.

First anniversary

02-banksy-pulp-fictionActually I’m a little older than one year old, as you might have guessed.  But I suddenly realised that yesterday marked the anniversary of Shotgun Honey publishing my first ever story under this pen name, which ought to call for a celebration of some sort.  So, break out the bubbly!  Let off a few fireworks!  And if you missed the story the first time round, you can still find it here.  Enjoy the trip.  You’ll probably never feel quite the same way about bananas again…

Enjoy the Trip

Bananas at the ready… Enjoy the Trip is available to read today, completely free, over at crime and noir magazine Shotgun Honey.

In case you haven’t seen previous posts, this story was inspired (if that’s the right word) by a quotation from Cullen Hightower:

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.

The result is a twisted little romp involving pick-pockets, banana skins, and a crime boss from hell. I hope you like it.

Those bananas

I’ve just heard from those nice people at Shotgun Honey that Enjoy the Trip, complete with banana skins, will be available to read (completely free!) on 11th November. Don’t forget to colour the date in red or drip blood on the relevant page in your diaries so you don’t miss it.

In the meantime, there’s some great noir, crime or just plain nasty stories at the magazine so why not pay them a visit and see for yourself?

Bananas and honey

Shotgun Honey not only laughed for the right reasons, they liked the story enough to accept it. I’m slightly startled, but obviously very pleased. The bananas must have been a good omen! Perhaps I should try to include a banana in every story I write from now on, in honour of the editors.

They’re still planning their schedule so I don’t know yet exactly when Enjoy the Trip will be appearing. I’ll stop being cryptic and mysterious, and give you a date, once I find out.