Edge of Justice – The Frank Powell Series Now in Audio

Edge of Justice – The Frank Powell Series Now in Audio

By Roger Dale Trexler
Narrated by George Kuch
Availalbe in digital audio from Audible.com

Prequel to The Cold Minute

Frank Powell wasn’t always Chicago’s finest detective. Before him, his father, Richard Powell, ruled the streets. Back then, Frank was a rebellious teenager, hanging out with the wrong people and doing the wrong things. One of those people was Guy Rodriguez, leader of the meanest street gang in Chicago… and Frank was falling in love with his girl.

Richard Powell had enough problems of his own. A vicious killer known to the press as The Cannibal was chopping up young women. Having to deal with a drunken teenager was the last thing he needed. But, when a young man named Tommy VanOtten is arrested for the crimes, things take an interesting twist. His lawyer, Robert Sinclair, had a secret of his own. He was The Cannibal and, by a strange twist of fate, he was given the job of representing the innocent young man accused of his crime.

Soon, father and son would come to an understanding… but it would be too late for either of them. For the wheels of destinies would bring the paths of two murderers together. Blood would be shed and the Powells were caught in the middle. Death would follow.

INFLICTIONS – New Collection from John McIlveen

INFLICTIONS – New Collection from John McIlveen


An Introduction

By Christopher Golden

Compared to John McIlveen, I’m a lightweight.  Over the years I’ve written my share of gruesome scenes, not to mention my share of scenes in which I set out to inflict emotional pain on both characters and readers.  The darkness awaits us all, and I never flinch from pointing out the doorway that leads into it.  Sometimes I’ll open the door and show you what lies beyond.  Occasionally I’ll step over the threshold and take a few tentative steps beyond, shine a light into the worst of it just to let you know how bad it can get.  After that, I retreat as quickly as I came, but I don’t do that just for me.  It’s not purely out of cowardice.  I retreat because I know that’s what most of you want me to do.  It’s the best thing for us all.

John McIlveen never retreats.  I won’t say he lives in the darkness.  Anyone who has met him will realize that’s impossible, that a man as kind and aw-shucks genial as John McIlveen can’t possibly live in the darkness.

But he does rent a little apartment there.

Just a cute little two bedroom place, a fourth floor walkup with hot and cold running sorrow and a lovely view of the fiery rivers of Hell.  He likes it there.  It’s his getaway from the world, a quiet place where he can forget about his troubles and ruminate on the ugliness so many of us encounter—or carry beneath our skins—every day.  John’s not afraid, you see.  He pulls no punches.  He doesn’t turn his back on the horrors that spring from humanity, he forges mirrors and holds them up, forcing us to look.

The bastard.

You need go no further than my favorite story in this collection, the vengeance tale “Paint it Black,” or the apocalyptic “Desolation” to understand what I mean.  The author is never afraid to gaze into the abyss.  It may gaze back, but John is unflinching.  In all of those horrific news stories, reporters interview neighbors who say “He seemed like such a nice man.”  If any of John’s neighbors dare to read this collection, they will most certainly be saying the same thing.  He seems like such a nice man.

He is, my darlings.  That’s why it’s called fiction.

He’s also got a wicked sense of humor, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Back to the pain.  “Infliction” is an brutal tale about dark secrets, a theme which recurs throughout this collection.  “Roundabout” is a haunting story that puts the telescope onto the worst sins of the father, and “Portraits” is a close cousin.  The darkness in these stories bleeds over into the twisted sexuality of “Succumb” and “Make a Choice,” the latter of which also blurs the lines between horror and humor.

“Jerks” is full of humor and horror, tragedy and comedy.  “Playing the Huddys” and “Saddled Vengeance” are just all kinds of wrong.  They say that comedy is seeing someone slip on a banana peel and tragedy is when it happens to you.  “The Bore” walks on the razor edge between them quite artfully, making you laugh even as it fills you with a sense of real sadness.  It’s one of the most sorrowful stories I’ve ever read.

I’d not intended this introduction to tick off the stories one by one, but the urge to do so is almost overwhelming, because what makes John McIlveen a terrific writer is not just his skill as a storyteller but his range.  “A Mother’s Love” and “Smokey” and “Nina” all have themes of abuse, of broken people and a culpability that echoes through their lives.  There is love and humanity underlying the horror of these stories.  But in these pages you’ll also find masterfully clever short shorts like “Simon Says,” the beautiful sweetness of “Hope,” the perfectly executed be-careful-what-you-wish-for warning of “Finding Forever.”

Some of these stories will make you laugh and some will hurt you, possibly at the same time.  Little parts of you, tender bits deep inside, may be broken.  But they’ll heal.  If you need any help healing them, save the heartfelt and lovely “Devotion” for last.  I won’t say it isn’t a sad story—it’s about love and family and a plane crash—but somehow McIlveen makes it all okay.

Which makes me wonder if that isn’t what he’s been doing all along as he’s written these stories for magazines and anthologies over the years.  He may hold up the mirror to show us the darkest, ugliest parts of humanity and ourselves—and sometimes it can be so hard to look into that mirror—but maybe it’s that he knows someone has to do it.  Someone has to have the courage not to look away so we never forget how vicious the darkness can be…but also so that we know that even when things are at their darkest, we’re not alone.

It’s all going to be okay.  Trust me.

Trust John McIlveen.

He won’t protect you.  Not really.  But he’ll pick you up when you fall and he’ll put you back together again if you break.

The best writers always do.

Christopher Golden
Bradford, Massachusetts
October 11th, 2014

Inflictions coversm


Available in digital from AMAZON.COM / BARNES & NOBLE.COM

New Titles for October – Halloween, Thrillers & More

New Titles for October – Halloween, Thrillers & More

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There’s a lot going on at Crossroad Press.  There will be more news following, holiday sales, a contest, and more – for now, here are four new releases for yoru Halloween pleasure… OCTOBER 10th NEVERMORE will be featured at Bookbub. From now until then you can buy it for only .99

NEVERMORE – A NOVEL OF LOVE, LOSS & EDGAR ALLAN POE – by DAVID NIALL WILSON – .99 through October 17 – On the banks of Lake Drummond, on the edge of The Great Dismal Swamp, there is a tree in the shape of a woman. One dark, moonlit night, two artists met at The Lake Drummond Hotel, built directly on the borderline of North Carolina and Virginia. One was a young woman with the ability to see spirits trapped in trees and stone, anchored to the earth beyond their years. Her gift was to draw them, and then to set them free. The other was a dark man, haunted by dreams and visions that brought him stories of sadness and pain, and trapped in a life between the powers he sensed all around him, and a mundane existence attended by failure. They were Eleanore MacReady, Lenore, to her friends, and a young poet named Edgar Allan Poe, who traveled with a crow that was his secret, and almost constant companion, a bird named Grimm for the talented brothers of fairy-tale fame. Their meeting drew them together in vision, and legend, and pitted their strange powers and quick minds against the depths of the Dismal Swamp itself, ancient legends, and time. Once, upon a shoreline dreary, there was a tree. This is her story.


BUMP IN THE NIGHT – by ROB MacGREGOR – If you’re captivated by the spookiness of Halloween, when the veils between worlds are the thinnest, then BUMP IN THE NIGHT offers you the chance to explore the realm of ghosts and spirits and even alien encounters any day of the year.


CASE WHITE – by THOMAS SULLIVAN – No work of fiction or nonfiction has done what CASE WHITE does in this monumental new novel by USA Today Best-selling author Thomas Sullivan. Set in the era of two world wars, this comprehensive work weaves together the bizarre mythology and eccentric beliefs that explain how a nation went insane for 12 years. Told through the compelling lives and loves of a pair of very unique characters, this tour de force will take you into a radical blend of religion and myth frighteningly similar to what is going on in parts of the world today. Certain to be a benchmark work of elegantly written fiction and historical perspective, CASE WHITE delivers a poignant people story played out on a grand stage.


THE SKELETON INSIDE ME – by DAVID NIALL WILSON – A young girl receives a fright when her father brings home a new Halloween decoration. As the story progresses, she learns more about the “monster” in the box and her own body, and comes to grips with her fears. An amusing story for Halloween, rendered in clever rhyme and beautifully illustrated by Dan Monroe.

Available in Hardcover, paperback, eBook and Unabridged Audio – narrated by Gigi Shane (The Audiobook comes with a PDF copy of the book so you can show the pictures to your kids and follow along)


AMERI-SCARES: ILLINOIS – THE CEMETERY CLUB – by ELIZABETH MASSIE – When twelve-year-old Hilary Wilson’s family moves from Pennsylvania to Justice, Illinois, she finds herself feeling angry, frustrated, and lonely. To make matters worse, bully Frank Simmons, whose favorite pastime is scaring people, decides Hilary should be his next victim. Along with his friends Audrey and Todd, Frank challenges Hilary to join his “Cemetery Club,” which meets inside the huge, imposing Resurrection Cemetery and consists of a series of creepy pranks. Hilary is determined to prove her courage and not let Frank’s spooky tricks scare her. Then Marjorie, a very strange girl Hilary befriends in the cemetery, comes to Hilary’s defense with even creepier tricks to play on Frank. But when Marjorie’s pranks become terrifying and seemingly impossible, Hilary has to convince Marjorie to stop. And she must find out once and for all who Marjorie really is.



MISTER GLOW-BONES and OTHER HALLOWEEN TALES – by RONALD  – KELLY – Halloween is more than a holiday; more than a fun time of candy and costumes for the young. It is inoculated into our very being at an early age and there it remains. As we grow old, it grows dormant… but it is still there. For the lucky ones, such as us, it emerges every year, like a reanimated corpse digging its way out of graveyard earth to shamble across our souls. And we rejoice… oh, if we are the fortunate ones, we most certainly rejoice.

Stories included in this collection:
Mister Glow-Bones
The Outhouse
Billy’s Mask
Pins & Needles
Black Harvest
Pelingrad’s Pit
Mister Mack & the Monster Mobile
The Halloween Train
The Candy in the Ditch Gang
Halloweens: Past & Present
Monsters in a Box

AMAZONSMASHWORDS – Also available (but not yet live at this posting) at Barnes & Noble

THREE SMALL COINKYDINKS – A DuckBob Spinowitz Adventure – By AARON ROSENBERG – (If you don’t think this is scary enough for Halloween, try having a duck’s hyead…) Bob Spinowitz was an average guy—until aliens abducted him and gave him the head of a duck. Then they asked “DuckBob” to save the universe, since their modifications meant he could. Talk about a backhanded compliment!

Amazingly, though, DuckBob did it. And thus became Guardian of the Matrix, which protects the cosmos from further invasion—as long as he’s plugged in. Literally.

But alien techie pal Ned just made the Matrix User Interface wireless. Suddenly, DuckBob is free again—the whole universe is at his alien-altered, webbed feet! Only problem is, could being unplugged mean he’s out of a job?

As a pick-me-up, Ned takes DuckBob to his homeworld—which looks just like Brooklyn. Odd changes are afoot, there, however—ones with potentially cosmic repercussions. Soon DuckBob finds himself struggling to stay alive. And to find lunch, which is equally important.

Can DuckBob conquer his doubt, rein in his freedom, and help save Ned’s world? Or will our avian-esque hero’s first unrestricted flight be the last—not just for him but for us all?