Cover art by Kim Parkhurst. Interior design by Jaye Manus. Cover design by Sarah Bennett Pluck. Print design by Suzanne Dell’Orto. Edited by Thomas Pluck.

About the Authors

Patti Abbott is the author of the ebook Monkey Justice and Other Stories. She is the co-editor of Discount Noir. She won a Derringer Award in 2009 for her flash fiction story, “My Hero.” More than 80 of her stories have appeared in anthologies, print, and online publications. She lives in Detroit.

Ian Ayris is the author of almost forty short stories, published both online and in print. His debut novel, Abide With Me, was published by Caffeine Nights Publishing in March 2012. Ian lives in Romford, England, with his wife and three children.

Ray Banks shares his birthday with Chuck Barris and Curtis Mayfield and screeched into the world on the same day that Roberto Rossellini took his leave. He has worked as a wedding singer, double-glazing salesman, croupier, dole monkey, and various degrees of disgruntled temp. He writes novels (like the Cal Innes series) and short stories (like this one) and keeps a fairly clean online abode at The Saturday Boy.

Nigel Bird has been a teacher for twenty-five years and is proud to have been invited to take part in such a wonderful fundraising project as this. As well as teaching, he’s managed to bring three children into the world and has given birth to a number of stories including the novel In Loco Parentis, the novella Smoke, and the collection Dirty Old Town. He lives by the sea on the East Coast of Scotland and is a lot happier than his fiction might suggest.

Michael A. Black is the author of 17 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He was a police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago for over thirty years and worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, investigations, and tactical operations. His Ron Shade series, featuring the Chicago-based kickboxing private eye, has won several awards, as has his police procedural series featuring Frank Leal and Olivia Hart. He has also written two novels with television star Richard Belzer of Law & Order SUV. His hobbies include the martial arts, running, and weight lifting. Black is currently writing novels in a highly popular adventure series under another name.

Tony Black is Irvine Welsh’s favourite British crime writer. The author of eight critically acclaimed crime books, his works include the Gus Dury PI series: Paying For It, Gutted, Loss and Long Time Dead, the final installment of which will be filmed for the screen by Richard Jobson in 2012. His police inspector series, featuring DI Rob Brennan, includes the titles Truth Lies Bleeding and Murder Mile; both published by Random House UK. Before turning to the novel, Tony was an award-winning national newspaper journalist covering subjects as diverse as crime and nightclub reviews. He still writes for the press from time to time but most of his non-fiction now turns up on his blog and his website.

R. Thomas Brown is the author of Hill Country, a crime novel set in Texas. His writing, thoughts on writing, and general musings can be found at Criminal Thoughts.

Ken Bruen has been a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Dagger Awards. The Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. And in 2010, the Mystery Readers International bestowed the Macavity Award on Ken and Reed Farrel Coleman for their crime novel Tower. Ken lives in Galway, Ireland. Learn more at his website: KenBruen.com.

Bill Cameron is the author of dark, gritty mysteries featuring Skin Kadash: County Line, Day One, Chasing Smoke, and Lost Dog. Bill’s short stories have appeared in Portland Noir,First Thrills, Deadly Treats, West Coast Crime Wave, Puppy Love Noir, and Diaries of Misspent Youth. His work has been nominated for multiple awards, including the Spotted Owl Award, the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award, and the 2011 CWA Short Story Dagger Award. In 2012, County Line won the Spotted Owl for Best Northwest Mystery. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at BillCameron.com
Jen Conley’s stories have been published in Thuglit, Needle, Beat to a Pulp, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, Big Pulp, Talking River Review, SNM Horror, and others. In 2011, one of her stories was nominated for a Best of the Web Spinetingler Award which was really awesome. Born and raised in New Jersey, she lives in Ocean County where she teaches middle school and writes in her spare time. Visit her at Jen Conley.blogspot or follow her on twitter, @jenconley45

Charles de Lint is a full-time writer and musician who presently makes his home in Ottawa, Canada, with his wife MaryAnn Harris. His most recent books are Under My Skin (Razorbill Canada, 2012) and Eyes Like Leaves (Tachyon Press, 2012). His first album Old Blue Truck came out in early 2011.

Wayne Dundee lives in the once-notorious old cowtown of Ogallala, on the hinge of Nebraska’s panhandle. A widower, retired from a managerial position in the magnetics industry, Dundee now devotes full time to his writing. To date, Dundee has had fourteen novels, three novellas, and over thirty short stories published. Much of his work has featured his PI protagonist, Joe Hannibal (appearing most recently in Goshen Hole – 2011). He also dabbles in fantasy and straight crime, and lately has been gaining notice in the Western genre. His 2010 Western short story, “This Old Star”, won a Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers writers’ organization. His 2011 novel Dismal River won a Peacemaker in the Best First Western Novel category. Titles in the Hannibal series have been translated into several languages and nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, and six Shamus Awards. Dundee is also the founder and original editor of Hardboiled Magazine. Learn more at his blog: From Dundee’s Desk. Follow him on Facebook: facebook.com/wayne.dundee or on Twitter: @wddundee

Chad Eagleton lives in the Midwest with his wife and dog. He is a Spinetingler Award nominee and two-time Watery Grave Invitational finalist with work available in print, e-book, and online. For more info visit his blog, Cathode Angel.

Les Edgerton is an ex-con, matriculating at Pendleton Reformatory in the sixties for burglary (plea-bargained down from multiple counts of burglary, armed robbery, strong-armed robbery and possession with intent). He’s since taken a vow of poverty (became a writer) with 14 books in print. After making parole, he went to college and got a B.A. from Indiana University and an MFA from Vermont College. Recent novels of his include The Bitch and Just Like That and his next novel, The Rapist is forthcoming from New Pulp Press. He is the editor-at-large for Noir Nation. Stories of his have appeared in Murdaland, Flatmancrooked, Noir Nation, South Carolina Review, and Best American Mystery Stories, among others. He writes because he hates… a lot… and hard. Injustice and bullying are what he hates the most. He can be found at Les Edgerton Writing.

Andrew Fader has had poetry appear in several literary journals including Rosebud, The Literary Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets and Paterson Review. His chapbook, Taking Stock, was published by Poets Corner Press in 2007. He has previously had poems appear in two anthologies, The Poetry of Place and The American Voice in Poetry. His poem “I Visit My Father’s Grave and We Talk” was a winner in Passager Press’ poetry contest. He teaches writing and literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

Matthew C. Funk is a social media consultant, professional marketing copywriter and writing mentor. He is an editor of Needle Magazine and a staff writer for Planet Fury and Criminal Complex. Winner of the 2010 Spinetingler Award for Best Short Story on the Web, Funk has online work at numerous sites indexed on his Web domain and printed in Needle, Speedloader, Grift, Pulp Ink, Pulp Modern, Off the Record and D*CKED. He is represented by Stacia J. N. Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Roxane Gay lives and writes in the Midwest.

Edward A. Grainger aka David Cranmer, was born and raised near Ithaca, New York but now calls Maine his home. His fiction has appeared in Out of the Gutter, Pulp Ink, The Western Online, Crime Factory, and Pulp Modern. He is editor and publisher of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and a member of the Western Fictioneers. He and his wife Denise are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Ava Elyse. He invites you to visit his website at www.davidcranmer.com and to email him at paladin-1@hotmail.com.

Glenn Gray is a physician specializing in Radiology. He’s had numerous stories published both in print and online. He lives in New York.

Jane Hammons teaches writing at UC Berkeley where she is the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award. She has a story in Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (W. W. Norton 2010) and an essay in The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change (Seal Press 2008). She is the recipient of a Derringer Award from the Short Mystery Story Society. Nominated three times for Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, her writing has appeared in a variety of magazines and journals: Columbia Journalism Review, Crimespree Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Southwestern American Literature, A Twist of Noir, Shotgun Honey, Verbicide Magazine and Word Riot.

Amber Keller is a writer who delves into dark, speculative fiction, particularly horror and suspense/thrillers. She has been fortunate enough to be included in various anthologies, and features many short stories on her site at A Diary of a Writer. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she also contributes to many websites and eMagazines, including providing horror and science fiction movie reviews. You can follow her on Twitter at @akeller9. When not at her laptop, she can be found looking for things that go bump in the night.

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of numerous novels and short stories, screenplays and comic scripts. He has written for Batman the Animated series, and his story Bubba Hotep became a film of the same name. He has won numerous recognitions for his works, among them the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association, The Edgar Award, and nine Bram Stokers and the Grandmaster Award from HWA. His latest novel is Edge of Dark Water.

Frank Larnerd is an undergraduate student at WVSU, where he has received multiple awards for fiction and non-fiction. His first anthology as editor, Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia, will be released in the fall of 2012 from Woodland Press. He lives in Putnam County, West Virginia.

Gary Lovisi is a writer, editor, book collector and publisher, not always in that order. He is a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award nominee for his short fiction, and a Western Writers of America Spur Award winner for his editing of Hardboiled magazine. Lovisi is also the publisher of Gryphon Books which publishes new and classic reprint pulp crime and science fiction books. He is the editor of Paperback Parade, the world’s leading and longest running magazine on collectable paperbacks of all kinds, and Hardboiled magazine, the hardest little crime fiction magazine in the world. He is also the sponsor of an annual rare book show, The New York Collectable Paperback & Pulp Fiction Expo, now in its 24th year! You can find out more about Gary, his books and various publications, or contact him via email at his website at Gryphon Books.

Dave Marsh edited Creem Magazine, coined the term “punk rock,” wrote best-selling biographies of Bruce Springsteen and the Who, edited the first two editions of the Rolling Stone Record Guide and, from 1975-1978 the Rolling Stone record review section, wrote the American Grandstand column for Rolling Stone, was a Playboy music critic for almost twenty years, and since 1982, has co-edited Rock & Rap Confidential a newsletter about music and politics. Dave currently hosts three shows on SiriusXM satellite radio: Live from E Street Nation (E Street channel 20), Kick Out the Jams (The Spectrum channel 28) and Live from the Land of Hope and Dreams (Left, channel 127). He is a life member of PROTECT and a member of its advisory board. You can reach him at davemarsh.us and rockrap.com.
Mike Miner lives in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters. A mild-mannered grocery clerk by day, at night, Mike writes dark, violent stories. Some of which have found homes in: Pulp Ink 2, Spinetingler, Narrative, PANK, Pulp Metal Magazine, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey and Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Zak Mucha, LCSW, is the supervisor of an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program, providing services to persons suffering severe psychiatric and substance abuse disorders in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. He also maintains a private practice individual therapy and counseling. Mucha is the author of The Beggars’ Shore (Red 71 Press, 2000), and contributor to Heart Transplant by Andrew Vachss and Frank Caruso (Dark Horse Books, 2010). His forthcoming novel is The Heavyweight Champion of Nothing (Ten Angry Pitbulls, 2012). He can be found at www.zakmucha.com

Dan O’Shea is a Chicago-area writer. His first two thrillers, Penance and Mammon, will be published by Exhibit A, the crime fiction imprint of Angry Robot, a UK publisher. Drawing on Chicago’s settings and history, the novels explore the city’s history of corruption, but with a national, even international flair. Dan is also the author of Old School, a collection of short fiction published by Snubnose Press. Dan has been a professional business writer for many years. A few decades of having to write about the US tax code drove him to write about killing people. He would be a handsome gent if he could just stop breaking his nose. Dan is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Learn more at Going Ballistic.

George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, a producer and an Emmy-nominated writer on the HBO series The Wire, and the author of seventeen novels set in and around Washington, D.C.

Thomas Pluck writes unflinching fiction with heart. His stories have appeared in PANK magazine, Crime Factory, Spinetingler, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, McSweeney’s, The Utne Reader and elsewhere. He edits the Lost Children charity anthologies to benefit PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children. He is working on his first novel. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Sarah. You can find him as @tommysalami on Twitter, and on the web at www.thomaspluck.com.

After growing up on a Nebraska farm, Richard Prosch has worked as a professional writer and artist while in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Missouri. His western crime fiction captures the fleeting history and lonely frontier stories of his youth, where characters aren’t always what they seem, and the wind-burnt landscape is filled with swift, deadly danger.
Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He is the author of the short story collections The Chaos We Know and Laughing at Dead Men (SnubNose Press) and Co-Editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift. He’s also a regular contributor to LitReactor and Spinetingler Magazine. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

A lifelong Texan, James Reasoner has been a professional writer for more than thirty-five years. In that time, he has authored several hundred novels and short stories in numerous genres. Best known for his Westerns, historical novels, and war novels, he is also the author of two mystery novels that have achieved cult classic status, Texas Wind and Dust Devils. His novel Redemption, Kansas recently won the Peacemaker Award, given by Western Fictioneers, for Best Western Novel. Writing under his own name and various pseudonyms, his novels have garnered praise from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as appearing on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. He lives in a small town in Texas with his wife, award-winning fellow author Livia J. Washburn. His blog can be found at Rough Edges.

Todd Robinson is the creator and Chief Editor of the multi-award winning crime fiction webzine THUGLIT.COM. His short fiction has appeared in Plots With Guns, Blood and Tacos, Needle Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Strange, Weird, and Wonderful, Out of the Gutter, Pulp Pusher, Grift, Demolition Magazine, CrimeFactory and Danger City. His writing has been nominated for a Derringer Award, short-listed for Best American Mystery Stories, selected for Writers Digest’s Year’s Best Writing 2003 and won the inaugural Bullet Award in June 2011. His first collection of short stories, Dirty Words is now available exclusively on Kindle. His debut novel The Hard Bounce, will be released in January 2013 from Tyrus Books.

Johnny Shaw was born and raised in the Desert Southwest on the Calexico/Mexicali border, the setting for his novels, Dove Season and Big Maria. Johnny is also the creator and editor of the online fiction quarterly BLOOD & TACOS, a loving homage to the men’s adventure paperbacks of the 1970’s & 1980’s. Johnny received his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and over the course of his writing career has seen his screenplays optioned, sold and produced. For the last dozen years, Johnny has taught screenwriting, as well. He has lectured at both Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. Johnny lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, artist Roxanne Patruznick. You can find him online at johnnyshawauthor.com or follow him on Twitter @BloodAndTacos

Gerald So edits The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly at poemsoncrime.blogspot.com. He previously served as fiction editor of Kevin Burton Smith’s Thrilling Detective Web Site (2001-’09) and president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society (2008-’10). He lives on Long Island.

Josh Stallings is the author of the Moses McGuire Novels, Beautiful, Naked & Dead, and Out There Bad. To his amazement he found himself on more than fifteen best books of 2011 lists. His memoir, All The Wild Children, will be released by Snubnose Press in November 2012. Find out more at joshstallings.net.

Charlie Stella writes hardboiled crime fiction while pursing an MFA degree at Southern New Hampshire University. He’s delivered newspapers (back when people read them), unloaded watermelons, been a dish washer, cooked hamburgers at McDonalds, humped sheetrock at the Olympic Tower, buffed hallways and cleaned apartments in Starrett City, cleaned windows atop several high rise Manhattan office buildings, was a bouncer at a few bars, was into street finance and bookmaking, was a word processing operator, supervisor, manager and director of communications. He currently works as a word processing operator for a law firm in New Jersey. His story, “In Dreams,” is part of his MFA thesis, a fictional memoir.

Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, and a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. His many works of fiction include the Burke series and two collections of short stories (with a third to be published in 2013). His books have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, the New York Times, and many other forums. A native New Yorker, he now divides his time between the city of his birth and the Pacific Northwest. His latest novel, Blackjack, is his first featuring Cross. For more information, visit The Zero.

Steve Weddle is one of the originals at DoSomeDamage.com, as well as being the editor of Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His website is steveweddle.com.

Dave White is the two-time Shamus Award nominated author of When One Man Dies, The Evil That Men Do, and Witness To Death. You can find him blogging at www.dosomedamage.com, www.onthebanks.com, and www.beersnbooks.com

Chet Williamson has written in the field of suspense and fantasy for over thirty years. Among his novels are Defenders of the Faith, Second Chance, Ash Wednesday, Soulstorm, Lowland Rider, McKain’s Dilemma, Reign, Dreamthorp, and The Searchers series. His books have been translated and published in France, Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan. Over a hundred of his short stories have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Twilight Zone, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many other magazines and anthologies. Figures in Rain, a collection of his short stories, won the 2002 International Horror Guild Award. He has been shortlisted twice for the World Fantasy Award, six times for the Horror Writers Association’s Stoker Award, and once for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award.