Blue Christmas @ Near To The Knuckle

“Why was Father Christmas upset when he got a sweater for Christmas?”
I shrug.
“Because he was hoping for a screamer or a moaner.”

Blue Christmas was the third of my three festive crime stories to go live last year, when it was published by UK crime site Near To The Knuckle on Christmas Day!

Funnily enough, my first ever NTTK story was a Christmas story too: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.

blue-christmas-tom-leins

All I Want For Christmas Are Your Two Front Teeth @ Spelk Fiction

“The barman at the Cock & Whistle is the least jolly-looking motherfucker I’ve ever seen wearing a Santa hat. I pay for my pint and back away, slowly — he is nursing a baseball bat wrapped in tinsel. I don’t know if he is trying to scare off the carol singers, or the wiry Glaswegian who sells shower gel, bacon and socks out of a Slazenger hold-all.”

Last month saw my festive flash piece All I Want For Christmas Are Your Two Front Teeth go live at excellent UK site Spelk Fiction.

If you dig it, I had a Christmas story up at Spelk in 2015 too: Christmas Is Going To The Dogs.

two-front-teeth-tom-leins

Crooked Holster 3 Out Now

Albert Erasmus gestures vaguely over his stooped shoulder at the prowl car. It is moving at kerb-crawler pace down Palace Avenue, and the fat plainclothes cop in the passenger seat glares at us.

“You know what they call a Paignton cop in a three-piece suit?”

I shrug, already bored of his shtick. Already bored of his face.

“The defendant.”

I’m delighted to confirm that I have a violent new slice of Paignton Noir entitled Raw Deal included in the latest edition of British crime journal Crooked Holster. It’s the story of a dead lawyer, a crooked property developer and a hardboiled private eye who is only too happy to trawl Paignton’s sick underbelly in search of answers.

The table of contents includes lots of names that are new to me, but I was happy to find myself alongside Brit-grit luminary Paul D. Brazill, who has a story called New Dawn Fades in the same collection.

You can buy this great looking book through Amazon right now, and I believe a Kindle version is in the works.

crooked-holster-covercrooked-holster-raw-deal

The Repulsion Box @ Crime Factory

“It is nine o’clock, and the Burning Wheel is emptier than a plundered grave. The warm summer air filters through the propped-open fire exit. It carries with it the tang of raw sewage.”

I am delighted to confirm that my new story The Repulsion Box is included in Issue #19 of the excellent Australian crime fiction journal Crime Factory.

This one is a nasty little slice of Paignton Noir, and I’m happy that it has found a home in such a great publication.

The Kindle version is dirt-cheap, so please check it out!

crime-factory-19

Other People’s Blood @ Near To The Knuckle

“Two men I don’t recognise walk into the TV lounge. The fat one is wearing a luminous-coloured t-shirt with the phrase ‘Amateur Gynaecologist’ emblazoned across it. I assume it is a joke, but in this town you never really know. After all, everyone needs a hobby…”

Last month I had a new slab of Paignton Noir over at excellent UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Other People’s Blood, and let me know what you think!

other-peoples-blood-tom-leins

Molotov Cocktail Lounge @ Yellow Mama

“I slowly unwrap the grease-proof paper. Inside is a human hand. It is half rotted, with flaked yellow skin clinging to the bone.”

Earlier this month I had a new piece of flash fiction featured at Yellow Mama – a first for me.

Anyone fancy paying a visit to the Molotov Cocktail Lounge?

Molotov Cocktail Lounge Tom Leins

The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong

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Late last year my story The Carny was selected by the Hong Kong offshoot of cult literary event Liars League for their ‘Rich & Poor’ event. The video has now emerged online, and you can find it here. The actor, Aaron Kahn, adds a great new dimension to the story, and I think his Americana-fuelled take on my Paignton Noir yarn is fantastic. Check it out!

Queasy @ Horror Sleaze Trash

“It was the day of my Uncle Alvin’s funeral when they came for me. I always knew they would.”

Earlier this month I made my second appearance at the excellent Horror Sleaze Trash. The story was called Queasy, which tells you everything you need to know.

If you enjoy Queasy, make sure you check out my previous Horror Sleaze Trash story, Actress On A Mattress.

Queasy Tom Leins

Jailbait @ Near To The Knuckle

“I twist the screwdriver out of his neck, and it makes a sound like a sloppy kiss. To his credit, he doesn’t even flinch.”

UK webzine-turned-publisher Near To The Knuckle has been serving up essential reading for fans of short crime fiction for quite a while now, and it is always a thrill to have a new story published by Darren and Craig.

My latest short, Jailbait, went live at the weekend – I hope you enjoy it!

Jailbait Tom Leins Near to the Knuckle

This Is Hardcore @ Pulp Fiction

I recently had a new short story included in Pulp Fiction, a quirky little anthology themed around the songs of Britpop band Pulp.

My story, ‘This Is Hardcore’, is a violent noir story about suburban pornographers. It was good fun to write, and even includes a retired porn star whose back catalogue is made up of films named after obscure Pulp album-tracks.

You can buy it here.

Pulp Fiction cover