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In Which I Carry On A Grand (if short) Tradition

So a while back Monsieur Chuck Wendig, Master of The Beard, wrote a book for Abaddon Books titled UNCLEAN SPIRITS kicking off their Gods And Monsters series in which the gods have come to Earth and are fucking with the little folk.

This was then followed up by DRAG HUNT by Pat Kelleher wherein the god Coyote has lost his penis and is scouring the world looking for it. No, really. It’s about Coyote’s penis. Honest. It’s awesome.

The third in the series, coming out in December, is MYTHBREAKER. By me.

TA-DA! We have a cover.

MYTHBREAKER
Click to embiggefy

As a child Louie had conversations with “invisible friends” and could see patterns in the world no one else could see.

In other times he would have been a prophet – someone to make people believe in the gods.

But he grew out of the visions and into a life in the underworld as a drug runner.

Now thirty-five and burnt out, he’s had enough. With access to the mob’s money he plans to go out in a big way. Only he can’t. A broken down car, a missed flight; it’s bad enough being hunted by the mob, but now the gods – kicked out of the Heavens – need someone to tell their stories, and they aren’t letting go.

Caught between two warring factions of gods and the mob Louie hatches a plan to get out, if it doesn’t get him killed first.

Man, I do like me that cover.

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Somebody likes BROKEN SOULS

And that somebody would be RT Book Reviews.

“Blackmoore’s bottomless imagination concocts some truly twisted, weird, bloody and deviously clever stuff in this latest novel, featuring his acerbic necromancer, Eric Carter.”

Four and a half stars, baby. And a Top Pick for August.

Not to be outdone, the remarkable Kat Richardson (REVENANT) and Jaye Wells – CURSED MOON get some book lovin’, too!

BOOYAH!

RT_review

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Phoenix Comic-Con: A Desperate Journey To A Savage Land

I don’t know where to start. It’s all a blur. From getting onto a flight at LAX to getting home four days later? Five days? I can’t remember.

Sometime last Wednesday I went into Bat Country. I’m not sure I got out again.

ray milland - the lost weekend 1945
ME. SOMEWHERE IN PHOENIX.

WEDNESDAY

Chuck Wendig and Kevin Hearne taking me out into the desert, a giant spider erupting from the ground to tell me secrets, dark whispers on the wind until it turns into Delilah Dawson weaving a spell that will trap the souls of the unwary. What she does with them I do not know. I cannot know. These are the Damned whose names have been turned to dust. She tears into them with the fervor of a starving hobo.

Blood. So much blood. A car made of bone and sinew and flesh. It runs on bile and flame. Sam Sykes at the wheel, his steely eyes staring into a land of dust that only he can see. He guides us through a hell of our own making. A cackling Lela Gwenn whips a herd of half-naked Abercrombie & Fitch models until their desiccated skin flays in the desert sun, falls to the ground to feed the snakes that chase us.

There is coffee and pain and fish and chips and churro bacon cupcakes.

But mostly there is pain.

THURSDAY

Brian McClellan gloats over a mummified dog’s head dipped in gold. It tells us the Secrets Of The Winds, its sapphire eyes twinkle and when Brian speaks it is the voice of the dog’s head. Is he the dog or is the dog him? Are we all the dog? Are none of us? Brian gloats. Brian judges. Brian tears through a cake of madness and despair.

THE ANGRY LEPRECHAUN
THE ANGRY LEPRECHAUN JUDGES

There are tacos. So many tacos. Tacos to make the world weep. Tacos to end the universe. We consume the tacos and they consume us.

These are some goddamn good tacos. These are the Tacos of God.

Jaye Wells is a fiery goddess, dispensing wisdom and lies. Lies that are truths. Lies that are the meanings in hidden places, in the spaces in between. She speaks and the world burns.

JAZZ HANDS OF DOOM
JAZZ HANDS OF DOOM

Leanna Renee Hieber proves her bonafides by tearing through a man’s jugular and drinking deep his blood. It pours into the streets, washes us all in its red sea. A baptism of blood and pain. She is The Legit Vampire.

Jason Hough, Django Wexler, and Wesley Chu are the Three Smiling Deaths, their teeth flashing neon, their eyes gray static. When they speak there is a sound of distant radios as heard on deserted highways. Songs that no sane man was meant to hear, a mad piping on the midnight air. They sweep through the streets of Phoenix, leaving dread and a feral madness in their wake. Wes flexes his muscles and thousands die, Django sets his Bone Hounds upon the people laughing at each rendered corpse. Jason is the Lord of Lightning, arcs of electrified death bursting from his fingers.

Mike Underwood tells me he knows an escape. A way through the mindless horde. But like the others he is nothing more than a face of the Devil. I escape but at a cost. I lose a hand and part of my left foot.

Myke Cole attempts to rescue us from this pit. He is valiant. He is prepared. But not even he can save us. It is too late. We are too far gone. We leave his body in the desert, knowing that not even the vultures can truly kill him. He will rise again. I can only hope that I am far from this blasted land before he comes for my head. I can still see his feral grin, his crazed eyes. He is a man of honor, but honor means nothing in this wasted world.

We are lost.

FRIDAY

I carve an X on my forehead to ward my mind from the madness that engulfs us. Instead of blood only dust appears. It blows away on superheated winds. There is a distant memory of panels. Of magic dark and profound. Of mad cities and pits of tar. These spells run deep. They go by the ancient laws that no one can break, or according to the mysteries that no one can decipher.

If I hear the word “numinous” one more time, I will devour myself.

Beth Cato and Rachel Thompson seek to break insanity’s hold. I think I am saved, but they prove to be churro wielding sirens, their confections like the smoke of poppies. Evil temptresses.

I think I have murdered a man for their churros.

SATURDAY

Jamie Wyman, Olivia Kelly and Kristin Sullivan tear through the crowds like vengeful wraiths. They consume all who come near with their fiery retribution. They are the Unmakers Of Dreams, The Dread Valkyries, The Claws of Death. There is nothing to do but run.

BOOTH BANE
YOUR VERY OWN BOOTH BANE

SUNDAY

There is more. So much more. So many left behind. So many dead. So many I cannot remember. It is too much.

Escape. Blessed escape. The lizard people taunt me, the snakes laugh. The spiders and coyotes and saguaro grasp at me trying to hold me back. I fly away on wings of fire and gasoline, in a metal prison. Some day I will return. I MUST return.

That is this place’s curse. That is its joy. That I will come back is inevitable. That I will leave some part of myself behind a given.

There is nothing else.

There is only Phoenix.

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Goin’ To Phoenix – AN UPDATE!

I’ll be at Phoenix ComicCon in a week and a half doing authorly things. Like, you know, drinking, crying in the corner, wondering where I left my pants.

And panels! Yes. I will be on panels.

But mostly drinking.

Anyway, panels. If you’re at the con and would like to hear my PEARLS OF WISDOM (imagine that in an echoey, boomy kind of voice) and be led astray here’s where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing.

Friday 6/6 – 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Urban Fantasy and the Real World
I’ll be with Chuck Wendig, Greg van Eekhout, Jaye Wells, Michael R. Underwood and Vicki Pettersson talking about how our fictional worlds intersect with reality.

Friday 6/6 – 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Magic Systems: Urban Fantasy vs. Epic Fantasy
“Epic fantasy and urban fantasy use magic in different ways..or do they? Panelists from both ends of the fantasy spectrum talk about whether magic is constrained by genre.” With Jaye Wells, Jim Butcher, Myke Cole, Patrick Rothfuss and Sam Sykes.

Saturday 6/7 – 10:30am – 11:30am
Constructing a Mystery Plot
Talking ideas on how to build a mystery with Charlaine Harris, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Kris Neri and Vicki Pettersson.

**UPDATES**

A couple of NEW DEVELOPMENTS!

I will be spending a large portion of the con sitting at a table (Booth 2414) with the terrifying and inimitable (trust me, I’ve tried to imitate him, but I just can’t get the beard right) Chuck Wendig signing books, talking books, making trebuchets to launch cats across the aisle at Jaye Wells and Kevin Hearne and other such authorly things.

So if you’ve a mind, come on by!

ALSO! I will be at the Drinks With Authors event Saturday night where YOU CAN WIN AN ARC of BROKEN SOULS, two of which will be given away as door prizes BECAUSE I LOVE YOU PEOPLE LIKE THAT.

Well, actually I love you people the way Buffalo Bill loves a good skin suit, but that’s different.

Beyond that who knows? I’ll be around. Like a cloud of toxic gas.

Hope to see y’all out there.

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In Which I Tell You What This Book Broken Souls Is All About

*blows off dust and cobwebs*

I really need to clean up in this place.  Hang on.

*kills grue leaping from the darkness*

Anyway, so I’ve been kind of absent from here. Busy, busy, busy, ya know.  Happens. BUT.

It has been pointed out to me a few times that though my next book, the sequel to DEAD THINGS, BROKEN SOULS, continuing the poor life choices of Eric Carter, is available for pre-order (Indiebound here and Amazon here), there’s no synopsis listed.  Which begs the question..

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?!?

…stuff?  Things?  No?  Fine. FINE.

P.S. if you haven’t read DEAD THINGS there’s some spoilers below so BE FOREWARNED.

***

When necromancer Eric Carter returned to Los Angeles after fifteen years on the run he knew things were bad, but he never imagined how bad they could get. Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte.

And things are just getting worse.

His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.

While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but the guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.

Now Carter has to change the game, go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row Bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.

If things go right, he just might survive a week where everything is trying to kill him and nothing is as it seems.

***

SO THERE YA HAVE IT!  Comes out in August.  I’ll talk more about it soon.  Promise.

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A Halloween Story Just For You

So, it’s Halloween in a couple of weeks and I was thinking to myself.

“Self,” I said. “I think a Halloween story would be a great idea. But I don’t have time to write one!”

“You realize there’s no one here, right? Just you? Have you taken your meds?”

“But I was thinking, hey, I could put up one I’ve already written that a lot of people probably haven’t read, yet.”

“Okay, look, just take your pills. They’re right here. You’re supposed to take three of the pink capsules and one of the round white ones. And hey, look! You’ve already got something to drink them with.”

“So I’ll put that story up for people to read. That’s a good idea.”

“I’m not sure you’re supposed to take these with bourbon, though. This is bourbon, right? Smells like bourbon.”

And so, ladies, gentlemen and those who straddle in between, a zombie Halloween tale that you can read right here and right now.

WORLD’S GREATEST DAD

Please to enjoy.  *throws confetti*

And if you’re interested in more Halloween stories by other fantastic authors, check out the antho that it’s in, DEADLY TREATS.

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Put It On Your Calendars – Noir At The Bar L.A. #13

We’re back! The thirteenth(!!!) Noir At The Bar L.A. is all set to happen in a few weeks on Sunday, September 29th at The Mandrake Bar on La Cienega.

For those of you new to this, Noir At The Bar is a reading event across the nation where a bunch of crime writers read their tales of broken dreams and busted heads to a room full of drunk people. Out here in L.A. it’s run by me and crime author extraordinaire Eric Beetner.

This time around we have, as usual, a stellar line-up. Charlie Huston (SKINNER), Laurie Stevens (THE DARK BEFORE THE DAWN), Susan C. Shea (THE KING’S JAR), Terry Shames (A KILLING AT COTTON HILL) and Maria Alexander (AT LOUCHE ENDS).

We start at 8:00pm, give it some time for folks to show up and buy a drink then do some reading. We’ll give you a break to make-out in the alley with your date or go do a couple rails off the bathroom sink and then we’re back for more.

And to make it that much better we’ve got Mysterious Galaxy on hand selling our readers’ books.

So come on down, have a drink and listen to some violent tales of woe.

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KHAN OF MARS! AUDIO BOOKS! OBLIQUE STRATEGIES!

I really should have had this up this morning, but if it’s one thing I suck at it’s self-promotion.  That and freeing myself of digestive parasites, but you don’t really need to know about that.  (Pro-tip: yanking on tapeworms is counter-productive.)

So my novel set in the 1930′s pulp adventure universe of Spirit of The Century, KHAN OF MARS, is out in the wild!

You can get it through Evil Hat’s webstore (paperback and all ebook formats or just all ebook formats) and Amazon (Kindle, of course). Paper will be getting out to various bookstores soon-ish I’m told due to a minor distribution hiccup.

But that’s not all! As it turns out, not only is it available now in ebook format, but audio, too! Read by the superb Oliver Wyman, who has narrated, wow, a fuckton of books.

And to top it off I’m also over at Herr Chuck Wendig’s haus talking about Oblique Strategies for Authors. If you’re of a writing bent check it out. You might find it useful.

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I Feel Pretty

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, or don’t want to pay attention, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of women authors, actresses, politicians, etc. get asked questions that men don’t.  Questions that have nothing to do with what they’re working on, their accomplishments, who they are as professionals, and so on.  They’re questions that are totally irrelevant to their careers.

Questions like, “Why haven’t you had babies, yet?”, “What’s your diet like?”  “What do you do to feel pretty?”  It’s stupid, and an epidemic, and guys don’t get asked these questions.  Well, I suppose Jon Hamm gets a lot about his moose-knuckle.  But for the most part, us guys don’t have to deal with that shit.

And so, to get this point across and have some fun, Lela Gwenn at WHACK! Magazine asked Chuck Wendig and I these same sorts of questions.

Check it out over here.

Oh, and Chuck has an excellent idea about this. “Let’s crowdsource the worst, most offensive and outright dopiest questions posed to women authors. What other questions do women authors get asked that men never do?”

He’s taking suggestions over at his blog in the comments.

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A Boiling Sea of Blue, Gorilla Vengeance

Yep. I wrote that line. In a book.

God help me.

This book, in fact. KHAN OF MARS, a ridiculous and action-packed tale of gorilla Professor Khan in the 1930′s pulp setting of Spirit of The Century, wherein he is transported to the Red Planet with his trusty cowboy sidekick Bulls-Eye Gutierrez.

Khan of Mars Big Damn Cover

It comes out August 20th to all you lovely people in ebook and paperback form. I actually keep forgetting this, since the book was part of the Evil Hat Spirit of The Century fiction Kickstarter from last year and 1500 backers have already gotten their digital copies. In my head that means it’s released, when it actually isn’t.

I’m stupid sometimes.

Anyway, last week I got these hardcover copies of KHAN OF MARS. Funny thing. You can’t buy them. Really. Only a handful of hardcovers were printed for specific Kickstarter backers and they’re not being released. The only way you can buy the book is either in paperback or ebook form.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on one.

That’s right! It’s giveaway time!

I have three hardbound copies of KHAN OF MARS to hand off to one of you lucky people.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Follow me on Twitter. I’m @sblackmoore
2. Tell me here or on Twitter why you need this book.
3. The three that make me laugh the most win a copy.
4. You have until this Friday, August 9th to get your entries in.

Caveats: North America only. Sorry. Shipping across the pond is an ass-kicker.

Now if all you want is to pre-order a copy of the paperback, well, you can do that via IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble or wait until it comes out and order it direct from Evil Hat itself.

And here’s something else to think about. The next book in the series, KING KHAN, was written by the fantastic author Harry Connolly and, oh look! he got copies of KING KHAN, too! Seems he’s thinking about doing a giveaway after KHAN OF MARS comes out, so you’re gonna want to watch that space to get in on that action. It’s a fantastic book. And while you’re at it, check out his other stuff, too.

So go on and get those entries in, people. Make me laugh.