Skull Meat – Out Now!

My Paignton Noir novelette SKULL MEAT is available for Kindle now, via Amazon. This story is intended as a teaser for my forthcoming collection MEAT BUBBLES (& OTHER STORIES), which should be out later this summer.

Here’s the pitch:

Hired by mobster Marie Andretti to ransack the office of morbidly obese local nightclub owner ‘Swollen’ Roland Smart, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey quickly finds himself plunged into a dangerous cat and mouse game – which leaves him fighting for his life. His quest for answers – and vengeance – sees him plunge headfirst into the queasy underbelly of the grubby little seaside town he calls home. Rey is a man with a dark past, and, it seems, very little future. Welcome to Paignton Noir.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

SKULL MEAT grew out of a few old, unfinished pieces I found lurking on my hard-drive. The prologue, ‘Paignton Rust’, was previously published as part of the Akashic Books’ ‘Mondays Are Murder’ series a few years ago, while other excerpts were featured by A Twist of Noir and Straight From The Fridge. It is too long to publish as a short story, and too short to be a novella, so an e-book seemed like a good idea.

If anyone reading this would like a free copy (mobi or PDF) in exchange for a review, drop me a line through the contact form.

This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology – Out Now

This week saw the release of This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology (Clash Books), a hip-hop themed short story collection edited by Christoph Paul and Grant Wamack.

The book includes my story Incarcerated Scarfaces, which is actually a sequel to my story A Brief History of Bad Men, which appeared in Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction: Stories Inspired by True Detective (Clash Books), co-edited by the aforementioned Christoph Paul.

Incarcerated Scarfaces tells the story of a disgraced – now imprisoned – private investigator who is enlisted by the prison governor to crack a black-market organ transplant ring operating within the walls of the facility. As you might expect, given the theme of the anthology, a number of fictionalised Wu-Tang Clan members appear in the story!

wu-tang-antho-cover

Contents as follows:

Gabino Iglesias: BIG GHETTO BOYS

Charles Austin Muir: THE RAEKWONOMICON

Joshua Chaplinsky: SUPREME MATHEMATICS: A CIPHER

Mame Bougouma Diene: BEATS, BONES, & BRISKET

Jeremy Thompson: WU-TANGIBLE

J.C. Carter: ABBOT OF THE WHITE LOTUS

Loren Kleinman: SUNSHINE

Robert Dean: THE WORLD FELL BENEATH THE BROKEN CONCRETE

Andy Rausch: THE NIGHT OL’ DIRTY BASTARD CAME TO HOBOKEN

Tom Leins: INCARCERATED SCARFACES

Laura Lee Bahr: THE ONE WHO SWALLOWS THE SEA

J. David Osborne: PCP & METH & MOLLY & ALCOHOL, & NO SLEEP

S.L. Dixon: THE RIGHTEOUS HUNT

Aaron Besson: HELLRZA

Sergio Hernandez: LINX

The Guns of Brixham @ Akashic Books

“The skinhead wipes the rain out of his eyes and cackles.

“I’m glad I’m not the poor bastard that has to try and identify your body.”

His pump-action shotgun is wedged against my throat. He is going to make one hell of a mess…”

In November last year my story The Guns of Brixham was featured in Akashic Books’ ‘Mondays are Murder’ series. This was my third Devon-based Akashic story, after Paignton Rust and The Graveyard Shift, which was set in Plymouth.

I love the long-running Akashic Noir paperback series, and it is always a pleasure to be featured on the website.

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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.

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Meat Whiplash @ Twisted Sister

“When Eddie Chainsaw smiles, his face looks warped – like the reflection in a fun-house mirror. It makes me glad he doesn’t smile very often.”

Last month, my brutal new wrestling noir story Meat Whiplash appeared at a great new fiction site called Twisted Sister. Check it out!

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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

The Cold Vein @ Spelk Fiction

“I point my shrivelled dick at the dogweed and it sputters like a badly inserted drip. I tuck it back inside my leotard and carry on down the dirt track towards Burrachaga’s clapboard shack.”

Earlier this month, I had a new story over at reliably entertaining UK flash site Spelk. Thanks to Gary Duncan for running seven of my stories over the last 18 months!

The Cold Vein is the latest story in my new wrestling noir series. If you like it, make sure you check out The Big Blow Off (also published by Spelk) as well.

The Cold Vein Tom Leins

The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong

liarsleague-hk

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