Book Review: Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand by Stephen J. Golds

Stephen J. Golds pens a masterful blend of gritty street prose and lyrical elegance in his latest offering “Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand” – out April 30 from Close to the Bone Publishing.

While it may feel like a long book title, Love Like Bleeding Out describes the poetry and short stories found within its pages to a tee. There’s love here. And hard times.

You get an idea what you’re in for at the outset when quotes from both Al Capone and Charles Bukowski stand up to let you in the author’s world. You get the feeling Golds may give you a mental scar or two.

The opening yarn provides the first scar and is the book’s namesake. We find two down-on-their luck crooks suffering amongst the beauty of an orange grove, while the narrator laments a life wasted. His only saving grace? A woman named Clarissa who doesn’t give a damn whether he lives or dies.

With poems such as the stark, melancholy “October City” to the dead fish of “Fate,” Golds delivers one blow after another, proving that his worth in the realm of verse is just as deserved as his talent in prose.

Bristol Noir founder and thriller author John Bowie offers a sincere, heartfelt introduction to Stephen’s kick-ass collection. Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand may very well turn out to be one of crime fiction’s most-talked about short prose collections of 2021.

Follow the author on Twitter @SteveGone58. Preorder the book here.

Hoosier Noir at the Bar (virtual) is Saturday, April 17

Join us for a chill afternoon of crime.

The folks at Hoosier Noir have assembled an amazing list of authors to read from their work for a virtual Noir at the Bar. The Hoosier Noir at the Bar will be held on Saturday, April 17, starting at 7 pm eastern time.

I’ll read from my newest Sam the Thug crime fiction tale, “Jimi’s Dimebag,” in print April 20th in Hoosier Noir’s 4:20 special edition.

Want to watch? Sign up at here.

Coming soon: Beneath: An Anthology of Dark Microfiction (Hundred Word Horror)

Ghost Orchid Press releases their next hundred word horror anthology on April 28, 20221!

This anthology features tales of the underground, what’s beneath us, and what’s smothering us. My suffocating microfiction tale, “Sand Crush,” will be among the many voices featured in this new anthology of horror.

Preorders are up now here! Print copies available April 28th.

Out Now: Wild Violence

Blood Rites Horror released their latest anthology, “Wild Violence,” April 13th. The horror anthology features my prickly cactus story “Grand Daddy Saguaro” and a wealth of other great authors. All proceeds from the book go toward Wildlife Protection and Conservation.

Grand Daddy Saguaro follows Van, a border coyote, after delivering his passengers across the Mexican border into the United States. Only he ends up in Grand Daddee Vallee after evading the authorities, a place where only the saguaro dwell, and for good reason. As Van finds out.

Get your copy of Wild Violence here!

Bitter Chills: A Horror Anthology – Out Today!

Be sure to read my latest short story, “The Violent Snow,” in the anthology “Bitter Chills: A Horror Anthology.” Out today from Blood Rites Horror, the story features a wannabe writer cabin-bound during a snowstorm. He opens a package from a university friend and within it finds the 3-D printed larynx of an unidentified creature. But what creature? And what will happen when Ray uses it?

Get your copy of Bitter Chills here!

Pulp Modern story out now

Pulp Modern, Vol. 2 No. 6, Winter 2020

Pulp Modern, Vol. 2 Issue 6, Winter 2020, is out now!

My Sam the thug story, “Art Model Noir,” is among the great tales found within. In Sam’s latest adventure, he finds himself hired out to pose nude for a group of senior artists. Only he wasn’t hired to be naked; he was hired to beat them up.

Grab the latest issue here!

Whitehurst’s Top Reads of 2020

It was a year of weariness and masks, deaths and destruction, and a tough one on all of us. Staying home more than normal also meant changes in routines, or more accurately the loss of routine, and struggling to wear anything more than sweat pants and a robe, much less keep up with the news. A top five best books of 2020 seemed like an impossible task as well, maybe because the world seemed to make such thoughts trivial, or perhaps because in order to escape the world, I read often. In any event, I ultimately decided not to pick my top five favorite books. Instead I picked my top ten – listed in alphabetical order.

Reminder, while some of these books were released this year, not all were. My top picks are ones I happened to read during the course of it. In all, I managed to read thirty books while navigating the winding, treacherous river of 2020.

All the Way Down by Eric Beetner
Between a rock and a hard place, dirty cop Dale Burnett takes on a task of Die Hard proportions in Beetner’s latest book, “All the Way Down,” and it’s a hell of a ride. Burnett is tasked with a singular task; rescue the mayor’s daughter and get out alive. Only she’s held captive by the powerful, and wholly criminal, Tat Losopo, in his skyscraper. It’s either rescue the girl or go to prison. Lucky for us, he chooses fifteen stories of literary thrills.
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

Coldwater by Tom Pitts
Crime writer Tom Pitts sings the fourth song of his Northern California Quartet in his latest book, “Coldwater,” which features a struggling family forced to deal with the darkness across the street in their quiet, unassuming Sacramento suburb. As with all of Tom’s gritty dramas this one is tough to put down. Why not just read all night?
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

Cradle of the Deep by Dietrich Kalteis
Bobbi Ricci, bored girlfriend of crime boss Maddog Palmieri, teams up with ex-mob wheelman Denny to lighten his wallet, a heist old Maddog doesn’t take kindly. Enter Lee Trane, an ice-veined killer, who pursues the couple on Maddog’s orders. As the chase intensifies, readers learn once again why Dietrich Kalteis rules the crime fiction roost.
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chien
Amateur sleuth Lana Lee gets her first catering gig in author Vivien Chien’s fifth entry in the Noodle Shop Mystery series, “Egg Drop Dead.” Things never go as planned for Lana, as regular readers of the series can attest, and her first catering job sees no improvement in her luck. Is finding a body ever lucky. Chien has added another awesome entry to her series with Egg Drop Dead, the follow up to her hit “Wonton Terror.” Look for two more entries coming soon!
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

Hecate’s Cauldron edited by Susan Schwartz
Alluring cover aside, Hecate’s Cauldron delivers on a witchy promise of short stories designed to explore the world of sorcery and witchcraft. Edited by Susan M. Schwartz in 1982, Cauldron stars an amazing lineup of authors, including the amazing Andre Norton, the awesome Tanith Lee, and the incredible C.J. Cherryh. In all there are thirteen tales by thirteen talented scribes, with stories ranging from mythology to nuclear energy, and a worthy addition to anyone’s library.
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
There’s nothing better during a pandemic than a book exploring worse pandemics, namely the sort that turns you into a vampire. Such is the pandemic Robert Neville is faced with in Richard Matheson’s epic novella, “I Am Legend,” and every paragraph is savory as hell. Matheson, one of horror master Stephen King’s influences, took the mundane and made it terrifying. And let’s not even mention the ending. Worth a late night to read in one sitting.
Buy the book here.

Love and Other Criminal Behavior by Nikki Dolson
Author Nikki Dolson knows her way around a page, and is especially talented in the short story realm, as readers discovered in her newest collection of short stories, “Love and Other Criminal Behavior.” This quick read offers up some true gems of crime fiction, and literary fiction. Particular favorites of mine included “Our Man Julian” and the opening tale “Georgie Ann.”
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

The Ninja’s Blade by Tori Eldridge
Modern-day ninja Lily Wong returns in “The Ninja’s Blade,” Tori Eldridge’s follow up to her 2019 novel “The Ninja Daughter.” In her latest adventure, Lily brings her formidable skills to Los Angeles county’s despicable underbelly in search of a missing teen. The unofficial investigation leads her from rich suburbia to Compton, and the heart of a nefarious human trafficking ring. Eldridge weaves a thrill ride of tension and action – and it’s one readers won’t want to miss.
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

River of Lies by R.M. Greenaway
Author R.M. Greenaway has worked her literary magic once again when it comes to the fifth installment of her B.C. (British Columbia) Blues Crime series. RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) detectives Dave Leith and Cal Dion, joined by Constable Judy Temple, face two seemingly unrelated cases in “River of Lies.” Twists and turns abound in Greenaway’s latest is another great addition to B.C. Blues Crime, which began with her award-winning book, “Cold Girl.”
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

Velocities by Kathe Koja
Meerkat Press is lucky to have award-winning author Kathe Koja in their house. She returned in 2020 with a new short story collection, “Velocities,” which features a vivacious assortment of literary appetizers. I devoured her latest in nearly one sitting (with thanks to a Hennessy chaser) and found her dreamlike style and poignant tales, such as “Baby” and “At Eventide,” a stimulating intellectual detour into darkness and light.
Buy the book here. Visit the author here.

New Story at Pulp Modern Flash

Meet Satan the kitty

My short story “Stuffing for a Sacrifice” is up at Pulp Modern Flash. I’m stoked they liked this story, which features my character Sam the Thug and a nerdy devil worshipper. There’s also a cute black kitten.

Read the story here!

Off the Cuff interview with Dietrich Kalteis

Me taking things seriously.

Had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with fiction author Dietrich Kalteis and talk about, what else, writing. It’s always a pleasure to kick back with you, Dietrich, and congratulations on the new book, “Cradle of the Deep.”

Hope everyone enjoys the chat, linked below, and be sure to grab a copy of Cradle here.

Read my “Off the Cuff” interview right here and be sure to let me know what you think!

Collective Darkness: a Horror Anthology book review

For a horror anthology, starting with a sense of affection may seem a bit off genre, but when you crack open the book and read the forward, the introduction, and the summation, the passion for the project shines. We’ve all read the following words before, but this book is indeed a labor of love. With that out the way, the frights roar to life. Horror anthologies are the best way to get quick fixes of drama, not to mention a way to discover new talent and, with luck, a new favorite author. This is one of those deals.

Like “The Book of Cthulhu,” “Stalkers,” or “It Came From the Multiplex,” “Collective Darkness” has range.

These stories were a blast. Chilling. Terrifying. And, most importantly, surprising. Within these pages we get stories from 17-year-old author Edward Suggs, a twisted fairy-tale of vampiric destruction by Jonathan Reddoch, a bloody rampage on a movie set by Becca Rose, a creepy young girl in lace in a story by Jen Ellwyn, an eerie tale told from the lips of a madman by Elizabeth Suggs, and many more. And they’re all perfectly dark.

Authors in the collection: Edward Suggs, Jonathan Reddoch, Alex Child, Becca Rose, Brandon Prows, K.R. Patterson, Austin Slade Perry, B. Todd Orgill, Jen Ellwyn, Chris Jorgensen, Samuel Smith, and Elizabeth Suggs.

Bravo to you all!

Find the book here.

Visit their website here.