Down & Out Books Newsletter for January 2017

Down & Out Books Announces a New Imprint: Shotgun Honey!

Shotgun HoneyDown & Out Books announced today that Shotgun Honey will join the company as an imprint focused on its current specialty of flash fiction, novellas, and anthologies. Ron Earl Phillips, the publisher and managing editor of Shotgun Honey, will continue in the same role for the imprint. 

“I’ve been a fan of Ron and Shotgun Honey for many years,” said Eric Campbell, publisher of Down & Out Books. “When the opportunity came up to merge our companies under the Down & Out Books brand, I immediately took steps to make it happen. I am very excited about working with Ron and his team in bringing out a slate of new titles in 2017 and beyond.” 

“Our catalog of short fiction titles is a natural fit with the kinds of books published by Down & Out Books,” added Phillips. “I share Eric’s enthusiasm for the future of the combined companies operating together to publish a strong and varied selection of literary and crime fiction books.” 

Shotgun Honey’s first book as an imprint of Down & Out Books will be HARDWAY by Hector Acosta, which will be published in early 2017. The bulk of Shotgun Honey’s current catalog will transition to the new imprint, along with six new titles to be released throughout 2017.

Our Featured 99¢ Crime Novels for January

We're featuring two ebooks this month for 99¢ …

Scoundrels edited by Gary PhillipsFrom January 1st through January 15th, SCOUNDRELS: Tales of Greed, Murder and Financial Crimes edited by Gary Phillips can be purchased for just 99¢ on Kindle, NookKobo, and iBooks. Also available from the Down & Out Bookstore in both .mobi and .epub formats.

In SCOUNDRELS, an all-original anthology featuring bestselling and Edgar and Shamus award-winning writers, you’ll read stories of desperate grifters, brokers hedging big bets for the big take, schemers working the long con for the sure money, used car salesman with golden dreams and rusted hopes, crooked lawyers and bent clients, one percenters hustling for that last half-percent, kind-hearted killers and the lonely hearted who tell themselves any lie as the double down for the long count.

Stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, David Corbett, Tyler Dilts, Brendan DuBois, Seth Harwood, Darrell James, Gary Phillips, Travis Richardson, SJ Rozan, Kelli Stanley, Eric Stone, Bob Truluck, Lono Waiwaiole and Pamela Samuels Young.

Gravesend by J.L. AbramoAnd from January 16th through January 31st, the highly reviewed crime novel GRAVESEND by Shamus Award-winning author J.L. Abramo is just 99¢ on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks. Also available from the Down & Out Bookstore in both .mobi and .epub formats.

On an afternoon in early February, the neighborhood is stunned and horrified when the lifeless body of an eight-year-old boy is discovered abandoned on the roof of an apartment building.

The body has been mysteriously mutilated. No clues, no witnesses, no apparent reason.

When a second boy is found two days later in the same condition, Homicide Detectives Samson, Vota and Murphy of Brooklyn’s 61st Precinct quickly deduce that the two boys were victims of the same killer.

The brutal murders of the two young boys have Samson questioning his strength as a protector of his children and his continued commitment to law enforcement.

Vota searches for a homeless man who may be witness to a fatal street shooting. Murphy is trying to locate his brother, a suspect in a robbery homicide, before the situation turns much worse. A killer who believes he is following a mandate from God is handing out Old Testament retribution to those he identifies as responsible for his torment. Slowly, the insanity and tragedy behind the killer’s motives are revealed through cryptic messages left at the scenes of the crimes and delivered in anonymous notes.

All of these lives intersect and collide leading to a furious and dramatic conclusion on the turbulent streets of Gravesend.

Coming in March, look for CONEY ISLAND AVENUE, the sequel to GRAVESEND.

New in the Down & Out Bookstore This Month

NO SAFE PLACE, a Joe Hunter thriller by Matt Hilton.

No Safe Place by Matt HiltonWho does Andrew Clayton turn to for help when his wife has been murdered, his child is in danger, and the police think he is responsible.

Despite his mistrust of Clayton, Joe Hunter accepts the job of protecting young Cole. But who is he protecting the boy from? And why?

It’s clear Clayton knows more about his wife’s killer, but he isn’t saying. And when his silence places Cole in the killer’s sights there’s … No Safe Place.

THE LAST COLLAR, a Crime Novel by Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro.

The Last Collar by Lawrence Kelter and Frank ZafiroThe demons that drive John “Mocha” Moccia to obsess, to put absolutely everyone under a microscope, and scratch away at every last clue, make him the best hard-nosed detective in Brooklyn homicide. But these same demons may very well write the final chapter in his career.

He isn’t the kind of detective to take no for an answer, but in his most recent case answers are damn hard to come by. Partnered with the conscientious Detective Matt Winslow, Mocha endeavors to solve the murder of the wealthy and beautiful Jessica Shannon, a woman who had every reason to live.

As Mocha and Winslow strive to push forward the hands of time and solve the murder, their imposing lieutenant breathes down their necks, suspects are scarce, and all of the evidence seems to be a dead end.

With the last precious grains of sand falling through the hourglass, Mocha pushes ever forward, determined to make an arrest, even if it means this collar will be his last.

COAST TO COAST: PRIVATE EYES FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA, an anthology edited by Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks.

Coast to Coast 2 edited by Andrew McAleer and Paul D. MarksHardboiled. Softboiled. Noir. East Coast. West Coast. And all points in between. Whatever you call them, gumshoe, shamus, Pinkerton, detective, private eye, P.I., shadow, tail, investigator, and wherever you need them, from East to West, North to South. They’re all here.

From the hard pavement of Brooklyn, New York, to the mean dusty streets of Carson City. Down to sultry New Orleans and the freak show that’s Venice, CA. From the flim-flammers of Waco, Texas to DC, Las Vegas to San Berdoo and LA. And from Iowa City to San Diego and small town North Carolina — not to mention the low-life drug dealers in a little place called King’s Quarter, Maine. No one is safe in this impressive collection featuring fifteen original private eye stories. Crime fiction connoisseurs will visit one major crime scene after another with some of today’s best-of-the-best crime writers serving as tour guides. Poisoned-pen masters like: Joe Abramo, Eric Beetner, Michael Bracken, Meredith Cole, Matt Coyle, Tom Donohue, John Floyd, Gay Toltl Kinman, Terrill Lee Lankford, Janice Law, Paul D. Marks, Andrew McAleer, O’Neil De Noux, Robert J. Randisi, Art Taylor.

COAST TO COAST: PRIVATE EYES FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA features suspense stories ranging from hardboiled to psychological to thrillers. And while these stories differ in locale, climate, mood and tone, they all resonate with the dark underbelly of crime.

SWANN DIVES IN, a Henry Swann mystery by Charles Salzberg.

Swann Dives In by Charles SalzbergMillionaire lawyer Carlton Phillips has lost track of his daughter Marcy. Her last known whereabouts were at her school, Syracuse University. While trying to track down Marcy and/or her geeky boyfriend Sean Loomis on a quick trip upstate, Swann follows the clues to a sorority house, a pizza joint, and the office of a literature professor who is clearly hiding something.

Armed with more questions than leads Swann flies up to Boston where he narrowly avoids the arms of a seductive and secretive librarian. Finally back in New York City, Swann tries to sort out the details of the case.

Is Marcy Phillips a victim? What is the nature of her relationship to the sexy and cagey Elizabeth Lawson? Is Carlton Phillips somehow involved in this story? How are all of these people connected to the rare book world, and who is really trying to get away with something?

And Coming in February 2017 ...

February 2017 Titles from Down & Out Books

HARDWAY, a Crime Novella by Hector Acosta. Published by Shotgun Honey, an imprint of Down & Out Books.


ENVY THE DEAD, the third and final entry in the Hitman with a Soul series by Robert J. Randisi.

SWANN'S LAKE OF DESPAIR, a Henry Swann Mystery by Charles Salzberg.

SWANN'S WAY OUT, a Henry Swann Mystery by Charles Salzberg.

LEON'S LEGACY, a Prequel to the Wiley Series by Lono Waiwaiole.

Our Featured Author: Dana King Offers His Perspective on "Killing Your Darlings"

In a continuing series of features from our authors, Dana King writes about the oft-offered advice to writers that they "kill their darlings".

Dana KingFollowing Frank Zafiro’s excellent piece on self-editing that ran here last month is a tough order. He covered a lot of ground, but it’s a broad enough topic that there’s always more to talk about.

There are few hoarier writing phrases than “Kill your darlings.” Variously attributed to William Faulkner, Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, Anton Chekhov, Stephen King, and the unforgettable Arthur Quiller-Couch, who may have been its originator. I’m pretty sure Dorothy Parker got credit the first time I heard it. Doesn’t matter. It’s been around.

What does it mean? Stephen King (no relation, dammit) associated it with Elmore Leonard’s equally famous dictum to “leave out the parts readers tend to skip,” and that one must “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” (On Writing, Page 222.) Basically it means to cut all the unnecessary twaddle that accumulates in the first drafts of books. (And often the second drafts, and sometimes the third. Sometimes even later. I’m talking to you, Dan Brown.) Give the reader a fighting chance. He or she isn’t spending their time—having already shelled out their money—to read what you think are the most exquisite and deathless sentences composed in whatever language you write in. They want you to tell them a story. It’s why we’re called storytellers and why the field has been revered in one way or another since before our ancestors left cryptic drawings on cave walls.

Continue reading ...

Down & Out Authors on the Net

Eric Beetner

The anthology he edited, UNLOADED: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns, was selected as one of the Best Mystery Fiction Books of 2016 by Oline Cogdill of

Eric Campbell

The Down & Out Books publisher was featured in an article on Creative Loafing, talking about the current state of independent publishing and how to find engaging and quality reads among the vast number of books being published every year.

And he was interviewed by Mystery Playground, where he talked about how he got started in publishing and what's on the calendar for this year.

Shawn Corridan and Gary Waid

The authors, who co-wrote the upcoming GITMO to be published by Down & Out Books in April, were featured in The Beach Reporter this week talking about the collaborative efforts.

• Richard Godwin

The novelist is dubbed a hard-boiled enigma in a feature on Vincent Zandri's blog.

Jeffery Hess

The crime novelist was a guest of Kristi Belcamino on Authors on the Air Radio discussing his book BEACHHEAD.

Lawrence Kelter and Liam Sweeny

Short stories from both authors were chosen to be featured in the premiere issue of Switchblade Magazine, arriving in early March.

S.W. Lauden and Tom Pitts

The books of both authors, Lauden's CROSSWISE and Pitts's HUSTLE, were chosen by Out of the Gutter as the Best of 2016.

New This Month on NetGalley ...

Coney Island Avenue by J.L. AbramoDown & Out Books is featuring CONEY ISLAND AVENUE, a sequel to GRAVESEND by Shamus Award-winning author J.L. Abramo. The book is scheduled to be published in March 2017.

If you are interested in obtaining an eARC of any of our available titles for review, visit the Down & Out Books page on NetGalley and submit your request.

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