Higher Aspirations by Bill Baber

Smitty and me had a big score planned on Friday. We’re spending Wednesday afternoon nursing beers at The Seven Mile House on Old Bayshore. Just passing time, trying to keep from getting too edgy. Smitty tended to be a little quick on the trigger. He had a habit of throwing a little lead around. Said […]

Black Powder Elegy by Ryan Michael Hines

Ol’ buzzard smell the carrion rot, ol’ possum climb the tree,  I’ll find your body in the night, I’ll put my gun to thee. I was a young man when I left Grant County to fight the Germans. I saw enough death to last ten lifetimes. But, somehow, when I got back, I wanted just […]

Book Release: Bad Makes Bad: A Cherry Orozco Mystery by Ilyn Welch

We are thrilled to release Bad Makes Bad by Ilyn Welch, the follow up to her debut novel Signs of Pain featuring Cherry Orozco. About the Book Cherry Orozco keeps slapping women—in her dreams. And she’s a sleep-deprived mess. Free group therapy at a neighborhood mental-health center steers her to confront issues of past and […]

Winston Wouldn’t Like It by Aimee Kluck

My life is a set of routines and obligations. Which doesn’t give me much time to think for myself. The week before Christmas, I drove Winston’s silver Cadillac DeVille downtown to buy presents for his office staff and his mother. I’ll have to wrap them and sign his name on the card. I stopped by […]

Had No Truck by David Fowler

Excerpted from an interview in the Hillsboro, TX, Beacon, October, 7, 1936. Behind the counter, the cook stands eyeballing the three of us as we come in. There’s a couple of farmers at a table to our left and a husband and wife drinking coffee on the far end. We march to the right and […]

Broken Faces by Kyle Decker

The mouth heals quickly. In two or three days, this hole two-thirds of the way through the inside of my face will be gone. That is if I could just keep my tongue out of it. Ironically enough, I received this war wound preventing violence. Or, at least, attempting to prevent it. See, my drinking […]

Affirmations by Yvonne Ventresca

March 10th Dear Highland Woods, You are the perfect neighborhood for us! You offer an ideal place for me and Alex to start over after her. We will leave the past behind as we settle down here in a lovely home with our very own garden. I can’t wait to live in bliss. With gratitude, […]

Dark Denim by Chad Ludzke

We’d gotten across the border with no problem. Patrol was lazy, as I’d barely been patted down. My assistant, they left her alone completely. I think age and beauty had something to do with it. Me in my seventies and her an intimidating sight you’d more likely see on canvas than walking down a street. […]

Book Release: Negative Tilt: Stories by Bobby Mathews

Over the last two years we’ve had the pleasure to release Bobby Mathew’s debut, LIVING THE GIMMICK, and sophomore release, MAGIC CITY BLUES. Once again into the breach with NEGATIVE TILT: Stories, a collection that is more than crime, but full of heart, hope, and sorrow. What to Expect inside… An out-of-work journalist finds a […]

It Won’t Hurt by Lori Armstrong

“Baby, I like this new, kinky side of you,” I said, touching the cool cloth covering my eyes. “I thought you would,” she purred. “Did you miss me?” “You know it.” It’d been a few weeks since I’d seen her. Now here she was, lingering outside my usual haunt, tempting me to take a walk […]