N@TB RichmondLast night’s Noir at the Bar in Richmond, Va., turned out to be a great success and evening of writerly camaraderie.  Organized by Marietta Miles (Route 12) and hosted by Eryk Pruitt (Dirtbags) at McCormack’s Irish Pub, the night gave nine crime fiction writers an opportunity to read some of their writing and meet other crime writers over a few cold drinks and a lot of laughs.

And a special shout out to reviewer David Nemeth for visiting, all the way from Delaware.

Photos of the evening below (courtesy of Shawn Reilly, and if you want to see/hear what a Noir at the Bar is really like, here’s a link of me reading a chapter from Outside the Law. Enjoy!

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Our host and organizer, Marietta Miles, reads.

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MC Eryk Pruitt (in the white shirt way in the back)

 

 

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Yours truly, reading a chapter from Outside the Law.

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Group photo! From left, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Ward Howarth, Phillip Thompson, Eryk Pruitt, SA Cosby, LynDee Walker, Jamie Mason, Marietta Miles

U2 during the opening concert of the global The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Vancouver… and so does one of the most durable rock bands ever … U2 has kicked off its Joshua Tree 2017 tour with a packed house in Seattle, and the first photos and set list have been released. And I couldn’t be stoked about that. I’ve made no bones about the depth of my fandom for the band whose music and live performances rise to the level of a spiritual experience at times and whose songs are as enduring as the joshua tree itself. I’ll be at next month’s Washington, D.C., show for my fifth U2 concert.

I’m sure the set list will change from show to show a little bit, but the Seattle show list certainly rocked for any real fan:

Bono during the opening concert of the global The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Vancouver

B-Stage Open
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Years Day
A Sort of Homecoming
Bad
Pride (In the Name of Love)

Main stage
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking ForU2
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Exit

Encore
Beautiful Day
Elevation
Ultraviolet
One

Encore 2
Miss Sarajevo
The Little Things That Give You Away
I Will Follow

In another era, when we were all younger, Bono and U2 asked us “How long must we sing this song?” Looks like the answer may be: as long as we can hear their heartbeat.

(Photos: www.independent.ie)

Outside-02-215x330Well, that’s been awesome…Outside the Law made the Amazon Best Seller this Brash-Booksweek, reaching #40 in the United States, and #15 in Canada, as well as #1 in the Mystery/Hardboiled category. That’s a first for me — one that could not have been accomplished without the great crew at Brash Books.

So, what’s next?

First, my third Noir at the Bar happens Friday, 19 May, in Richmond, Va., at McCormack’s Irish Pub. If you’re in the area, and in the mood to hear some scruffy, sometimes manic crime writers read from their works, come on out. My first N@TB happened  couple of years ago in Durham, N.C.; I read at another in Baltimore not long after. I love the N@TB atmosphere…just a bunch of writers in the corner of a bar holding forth on some of the best crime fiction you’ll ever hear.

Next, I’m back to writing … the next Colt Harper story is now well underway. Not giving much away yet, but the working title (which will inevitably change) is “A Gun in My Hand.”

N@TB Richmond

 

Outside-02-215x330Pleased to report that beginning TODAY and continuing for only 48 hours, Outside the Law is available for a reduced price via a Bookbub promotion. That means you can get the e-book version of Outside the Law for only 99 cents — a savings of $4. You can download a copy from any platform (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc.).  So, if you haven’t already, get on it. This deal ends on the 17th.

And stay tuned for another promotion later this week …

Audio book fans, Outside the Law is now available on audio: Mystery Scene Audio Ad

As promised, the second (Kindle) version of Deep Blood is now available via Amazon. Click here for more info on this expanded version of the first Colt Harper novel.

And after you’ve read it, get the next one, Outside the Law, from Brash Books.

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It’s taken a while, but I have managed to regain my rights to Deep Blood, the first Colt Harper DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILstory. Even better, an expanded edition (with a new cover) will soon be available for download on Amazon — for less than half the price of the first edition. This new edition contains material from the original manuscript that did not make it into the first edition as well as material written after. So, stay tuned for updates as to availability

The Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book recently concluded, and it was my pleasure to attend and spend some time with fellow writers from Brash Books. If you’re a West Coaster and have never checked out this enormous book festival, and sat in on some of the seminars by the country’s best authors., you definitely should put it on your calendar.

 

It’s been a busy start to February for me. Outside the Law is finally a reality and doing really well so far. And though I’ve tried to keep up with all the goings on, for a variety of reasons I haven’t really had time to digest the reaction to the book and post daily here, or any social media for that matter.

cropped-cropped-deadmulelogo-1But two items of note today. The first is the very generous review by the irrepressible Val MacEwan at The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, as good a journal of authentic Southern fiction as you’re going to find (if I do say so myself). I was fortunate enough to have a story published at the Mule  a few years ago, and it’s really a cool thing to be reviewed there. If you like your Southern fiction real, get over there and check it out. To read the review, click here.

Here’s an excerpt: “Outside the Law needs to be savored and enjoyed. Read it for the action but also read it for the sense of place. Thompson’s writing is sparse and brilliant, no flowery speeches, no unnecessary actions.”

Next, another great review from crime fiction reviewer David Nemeth. You can read the whole thing here, but here’s a preview: “If you like your Southern justice with a side of revenge and lots of good writing, then Outside the Law is just the book for you.”

Next up: the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book, April 22-23. I’ll be heading to the West Coast to attend this event as one of Brash Books’ authors, and I’m really looking forward to my first trip to L.A. in about 10 years.

Today’s links

Boyce’s new book, ‘Old Bones’ crime fiction at its best“Old Bones” by highly acclaimed author Trudy Nan Boyce (Putnam, $27) is a superior crime novel scheduled for release on Tuesday.

The Dry by Jane Harper: The surprising roots of hot new crime thrillerWhat has Hull got to do with a critically acclaimed new crime thriller novel set in Australia? It is set in hot, dusty and arid rural Australia, so you might well be forgiven for wondering what East Yorkshire has to do with one of the hottest new crime thrillers.The Dry by Jane Harper has received rave reviews since it was published in the UK last week, mirroring similar critical acclaim back in Australia and in the US.

Outside-02-215x330Today is pub day for Outside the Law, and, as I did yesterday, I have to again say thanks to the crew at Brash Books (Lee Goldberg & Joel Goldman) for taking the time to read the manuscript, see something in it, and then have the patience and insight to help shape it into what I think is a damn good Southern crime story. Go ahead, buy a copy, read it and agree with me. You know you want to.

Also, please take the time to leave a review on Amazon. Believe it or not, every little bit helps. Then tell all your friends.

And just to whet your appetite (if it isn’t already), check out the first of three trailers for the book here. And read reviews on the “Books” link at the top of the page. Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly review to get you started:

“Sheriff Colt Harper, as the title of Thompson’s tough, fast-paced sequel to 2013’s Deep Blood suggests, takes a Dirty Harry approach to law enforcement. In his first term as sheriff of Mississippi’s rural Lowndes County, Colt has shot several people, and his office stands accused of using excessive violence. He’s unsure whether he should run for reelection. At the scene of a convenience store robbery, a teenage boy, whom Colt places under arrest, tells him that somebody has been taking down drug dealers. When drug dealers start turning up dead, Colt suspects that a serial killer is at work. Molly McDonough, an ATF special agent, helps him investigate. Colt and Molly, who have each become disillusioned with their jobs, are seeking redemption for past mistakes. Meanwhile, a Memphis crime lord has ordered Hack, a hit man, to stop Colt. Hack, too, expresses a desire for redemption. Fueled by either remorse or revenge (or a combination of both), Thompson’s convincing characters race toward an inevitable and explosive showdown.”

Outside the Law is released!

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Pulp Fiction Cover of the Day

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Today’s Links

‘Six Four’ avoids every crime-fiction cliche. The reward is a gripping novelHideo Yokoyama’s complex, ingenious and engrossing new novel, “Six Four,” has no serial killers, no femmes fatales, no locked-room murders, no torture, no sexually repressed villains, not even much in the way of forensic evidence.

Book review: The Death of Kings by Rennie AirthThe 1938 murder of a young actress was an open-and-shut case for Kent police… an itinerant farm worker confessed and was hanged for his crime. But was it a miscarriage of justice?

Emma Flint’s shattering debut, ‘Little Deaths,’ leads crime fiction roundupIt has been a long time since a novel captured a time and place as powerfully as Emma Flint’s shattering debut, “Little Deaths.” Inspired by real-life events, the book imparts a poisonous nostalgia in evoking working-class lives in Queens, N.Y., in 1965 — a year after young stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, a bar manager, had her screams for help ignored outside her apartment in that borough’s Kew Gardens neighborhood.