Archive for April, 2012

Antiques Disposal On Shelves Now, Antiques Bizarre Free On Kindle

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Antiques Disposal

Antiques Disposal comes out today, so be sure to check your local bookseller or purchase a copy online:

Antiques Disposal is the latest Barbara Allan collaboration and the sixth in the Trash ‘n’ Treasures cozy series, with Brandy and her mother Vivian entering the competitive—and deadly—world of storage auctions. But if you’re a fan of M.A.C.’s more hardboiled work, don’t let the word cozy fool you—this series is both tough and funny. Here’s what Ron Fortier of Pulp Fiction Reviews had to say:

“As a fan of hardboiled detective fiction … [cozies are] not my particular brand of tea…[But deciding I’d take a chance with Antiques Disposal] is probably one of the smartest things I’ve done in a while. Why? Well simply because the book is so damn funny, I honestly couldn’t put it down. And the characters! … There is a charm and decency to these characters that immediately grabbed me and had me caring for them from page one….if all of the Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mysteries are as wonderful as Antiques Disposal, then sign me up for the long haul.”

And Publisher’s Weekly liked it too, wrting: “A classic gathering of suspects, under the guise of auctioning off the cornet, leads to an unexpected denouement.”

Plus, if you’re still on the fence, or would just like to catch up on the series, Amazon’s running a sale on the e-book of Antiques Bizarre. And it’s a heck of a sale at 100% off. I’m assuming this is very time limited, so act quickly. Here’s the link:

Your Southern Correspondent

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

As I write this, I’m in a Holiday Inn Express in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina, shacked up with a great-looking blonde. That the blonde in question is my wife Barb only takes the slightest bit of the fun out of it.

We are here for one of our periodic meetings with Jane Spillane, Mickey’s lovely, energetic widow. We today went over the inventory of unpublished Spillane material, discussing what will be doing when the six substantial Hammer manuscripts have all been completed and published. Hint: there are three more, less substantial but very interesting Hammer manuscripts beyond the initial six. Plus there are five more shorter fragments that will make short stories (an eventual Hammer short story collection is planned).

What brought us here, however, was to participate in the induction of Mickey Spillane into the South Caroline Academy of Authors – their Hall of Fame. Mickey, of course, would have recoiled at being termed an “author,” and would have informed one and all that he was a writer. The difference between authors and writers? Writers make money.

TRIPLE PLAY was published last week, and I wrote a brief blog post about it here.

And here’s a cool review of WAR OF THE WORLDS MURDER.

Have I mentioned that AmazonEncore will be bringing out all six “disaster” mysteries in new editions (and on e-book)?


The Goliath Bone Kindle Sale

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I was just browsing through Amazon and noticed the kindle version of The Goliath Bone is currently on sale for $1.88. I don’t know how long this will last, so if you haven’t read first Spillane/Collins Mike Hammer collaboration (also, chronologically the last in the series), now’s your chance!

Sharable Link:

Be sure to continue below for this week’s update!

Nate in Japan (Collins, not Heller)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

This week I’m turning the update over to my son Nathan, who has just returned from a month-long stay in Japan. As some of you know, Nate is a Japanese-to-English translator (he just completed a massive METAL GEAR SOLID novel for Viz). His girl Abby joined him for the final two weeks, and he proposed. She accepted. You’ll see some of that in his great pics below.

First though, I do want to share a couple of links.

TRIPLE PLAY, the new Nate Heller novella collection from AmazonEncore has just been published; buy it here.

The first review for TRIPLE PLAY is in from that great writer Ed Gorman.

The great review site Bookgasm has posted a rave for LADY, GO DIE!

The anniversary of the Titanic sinking has given THE TITANIC MURDERS some attention around the web, notably here.


Nate here:

I’ve been going through my photos and posting them on my personal blog here, but I wanted to share some of the highlights, and some others that I haven’t caught up to yet.

Artisan fair in Okazaki, Japan. Featured center is a giant Japanese drum and locally woven fabric. The exhibition took place inside an old sake brewery with an original wood roof.

My friend and fellow University of Iowa alum Dodzi in a Book Off, a national chain of used bookstores that sells not only novels but manga, cds, movies, and video games. These stores are everywhere—most towns have at least one, and my home city of Okazaki (with a population of around 370,000) has three. Nagoya (think Chicago and its suburbs) has around twenty-five. Most books are half-price, while overstock (probably about a third of each store’s stock) is a dollar each. Each time I go to Japan, I take a day with Dodzi and hit as many stores as possible to stock up on reading for the next year or two.

A demonstration of Japanese pearl diving. The women divers are known as ama (yes, as in You Only LIve Twice). I’m not sure if ama still do most of the actual harvesting or if it’s just for a tourist show, but they did go underwater and come back up quite a few oysters before retreating to the heated boat (The water was about 45 degrees.)

Forest at Ise Grand Shrine. Japanese shrines and temples (the difference being that shrines are Shinto and temples are Buddhist) are often located in enclaves of natural forest, doubling as both religious site and national park. Even a small, local shrine inside a city will occasionally have a half-acre or so of woodland, or even a small playground area for children. This stone retaining wall, part of the much larger shrine complex at Ise, was probably built hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and the forest permitted to reclaim it.

Ema (small wooden plaques) at Fushimi Inari shrine. These wooden plaques can be purchased at many Shinto shrines for a few dollars. Typically, a prayer or wish is written on the reverse side and hung at the shrine. The fox head ema of this shrine are unique in that the front can be drawn on as well.

Me at Fushimi Inari Head Shrine, Kyoto. Shinto Shrines have torii gates to mark the entrance into sacred land. As a mark of the shrine’s importance, Fushimi Inari has thousands of the gates, often spaced close enough to give the impression of a tunnel. When we asked someone why there were so many torii, he said, “Because more is better.” There’s probably a more historical or religious explanation, but that’s good enough for me.

Sunset at Miyajima. The giant torii seems to float on the water and shows the competing theory, “Bigger is better.” When the tide goes out, people can (and do) walk right up to it.

Me with a lifesize statue of Solid Snake from the immensely popular Metal Gear Solid video game series. My trip to Japan was in part a celebration of completing my third novel translation, a novelization of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The book is at the printers now!

I’ll close the update with one more picture, and what was definitely the highlight of the trip. At the Linx Resort on Mikawa Bay, I asked Abby, my girlfriend of two years to marry me. She said yes.