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Call this issue a hat trick of desperation. Rock and a Hard Place 3 continues the chronicles of people who might make one good decision if they could catch a single break.
Fiction, essays, and art by:
Stephen J. Golds
Donald D. Shore
Robb T. White
In Rock and a Hard Place the struggle never ends, and our attention never flags.
Featuring stories by (in order of appearance):
Deborah Lacy & Pat Hernas, Michael Bracken, Warren Bull, Sharon Marchisello, Jacqueline Seewald, Anne-Marie Sutton, Aislinn Batstone, John Lutz & Josh Pachter, Jennie MacDonald, Gwenda R. Jensen, LD Masterson, Kate Fellowes, KM Rockwood, DG Crichley, Richard Lau, Janet Raye Stevens, Michael Brandon, Edward Ahern, Amy Ballard, Barbara Schlichting, M. M. Elmendorf, Nupur Tustin, Albert Tucher, Michael Guillebeau
A woman celebrates seclusion beneath the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
The homeless struggle to carve out a place safe from the night.
Shocking acts stain the walls of a truck stop.
Crucifixion comes for a priest who rats out a cartel.
A girl sells beautiful flowers, brazenly taken from gravesites.
In Rock and a Hard Place Magazine, no one escapes. The guilty and the innocent fight side by side, railing against desperate times, facing similar fates.
Featuring Works by:
Judson Michael Aglia
Jeffrey C. Eaton
Rock and a Hard Place is a fiction magazine publishing new work focused on the plight of marginalized, poor, depressed, and desperate. In our pages, you’ll find stories about people battling to overcome poverty, the criminal justice system, disease, the horrors of abusive relationships, the weight of addiction, the trenchant structures of racism and discrimination.
These are stories of desperate people.
And what they do next.
A state of the Art collection: the world's bestselling crime writer complies his pick of the year's best crime writing.
This year's guest editor is Lee Child, the creator of Jack Reacher and a simultaneous bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.
Featuring twenty of the year's standout crime short stories handpicked by one of the world's best thriller writers, Best American Mystery Stories 2010 showcases not only the very best of the crime genre, but the best of American writing full stop. Within its pages, literary legends rub shoulders with the hottest new talent. Contributors in the past have included James Lee Burke, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly, Alice Munro and Joyce Carol Oates.
Fourteen bestselling and prize-winning authors have joined forces to produce this collection, contributing tales based on their original and inventive interpretation of the theme “Death in the Drowned Lands.” On these pages you’ll find stories of deaths intentional and accidental, events both comic and tragic, and settings ranging from the ancient past to the far future.
This book is a labor of love, a gift from the writers to the planet we inhabit. One hundred percent of the royalties earned will be donated to an organization at the forefront of the battle to stop global warming.
Remember—there is no Planet B.
With works by: R. C. Barnes, J.F. Benedetto, Kimmy Dee, Kaye George, Mark Hauer, Berkeley Hunt, E. E. King, Katia Kozar, James L’Etoile, Kat Parrish, Mark Rogers, Kate Thornton, Max Tomlinson, and Albert Tucher.
Agnes travels to New Jersey to hire ex-prostitute Diana Andrews and her crew of bodyguards, who have a reputation as the toughest in the business. But Diana refuses the job. The Jersey girl has been to the Big Island before, and it almost killed her. Diana’s own people persuade her, but her decision puts her in the crosshairs with Agnes.
The bodyguards are soon earning their payday, but nobody can be protected forever. Keeping Hank alive means finding the real killer, and Diana might know the answer from first career. And what Agnes has to do outside the courtroom will make her an honorary Jersey girl, if it doesn’t kill her first.
Praise for THE HONORARY JERSEY GIRL:
“A lean, mean confluence of complicated women and the seedier side of paradise, The Honorary Jersey Girl is suspenseful and plenty of fun.” —Kristen Lepionka, Shamus Award-winning author of the Roxane Weary mystery series
“The Honorary Jersey Girl has the kick-assiest cast of women—badass bodyguards, wily hookers, and a fierce attorney—who power this taut, relentlessly-paced novella that rips through the gritty underworld of Hawaii like a stray bullet, searching for flesh to pierce. This is deeply satisfying noir from a master of the craft.” —Kevin Catalano, author of Where the Sun Shines Out
Coutinho is already looking for Rhonda Cunningham, a young woman from New Jersey who was last seen in Hilo buying a high tech tent like Roger’s. Rhonda planned to live off the grid in the rainforest of the Big Island, but her wealth stands in the way. Too many people want a piece of her to let her disappear. Some wish her well, some want her dead, most want her money, and one wants the thing she will never give.
So whose blood is it in the tent? Coutinho’s investigation will send him up against a hit man from New Jersey, a bunch of wannabe local gangsters, and his own nephew. An old girlfriend wants the best for her son, but she complicates the case even more, and a legendary marijuana trafficker proves both real and deadly. It’s getting crowded in the rainforest, and the shakeout will be murder.
Praise for THE HOLLOW VESSEL:
“Full of twists and turns, The Hollow Vessel is an entertaining ride into the underbelly of the Hawaii’s Big Island. Detective Coutinho and his sidekick Kim find themselves pulled deep into the jungle of drugs, family skeletons, and a little bit of old school New Jersey. With Tucher’s sharp prose, The Hollow Vessel is a fast moving story with a great set of characters.” —Jen Conley, author of Cannibals
“In his second outing with Detective Errol Coutinho of the Hawaii County Police, Al Tucher, ups his game. His eye for detail, sense of pacing, and gift for characterization and setting makes spending time in the rain forest of Hawaii a delight.” —Patricia Abbott, Edgar, Macavity, and Anthony-nominated author of Shot in Detroit, Concrete Angel, and I Bring Sorrow
The teenage daughter of a killer.
“Kevin thinks he’s a millionaire. This jar of pennies weighs a ton, so Kevin thinks he must be rich, but there’s no connection between weight and value. Kevin’s father is proof of that.”
What happens when Santa threatens to put Kevin on the naughty list?
A divorced dentist. A former prostitute. A retired cop. An escaped convict. The daughters of a drunk. These are just some of the characters who bare their souls in this issue of Spinetingler Magazine. How does unimaginable loss redefine a teenager’s life? What does it take for a mother who’s barely coping with life to learn to appreciate her son? What could cause fifty-year-old secrets to surface?
What truths will surface when our diverse cast of characters faces their defining moments? Join us on journeys fascinating and unforgettable.
Shawn Reilly Simmons - Albert Tucher - Kari Wainwright - Vicki Weisfeld
When their cases collide in the rainforest of the Big Island, family ties turn deadly, and there may be no pu’uhonua—no place of refuge—for anyone.
Praise for The Place of Refuge…
“Just when I thought there was nothing original to be done in a serial killer novel, Albert Tucher came up with The Place of Refuge to prove me wrong.” —Reed Farrel Coleman, The New York Times bestselling author of What You Break.
“This hard-boiled detective mystery has it all, edgy dialogue, fast pacing, shootouts and chases with a little bit of Hawaii Five-O thrown in. The characters are likable and compelling on both sides of the law. The story’s setting in the Hawaiian Islands lifts up the veil on the complex nature of the Aloha State’s multi-cultural society. But above all it’s got heart and a good dose of ohana, family. The perfect read for a cold winter weekend or a steamy summer night.” —A.J. Sidransky, author of Forgiving Mariela Camacho.
“Family is supposed to be a refuge from the world. Except when it isn't. Against an exotic backdrop of rainforest and volcanoes, Albert Tucher examines a family gone very wrong. The resulting tragedy is so profound it prompts the detective on the case to reassess the direction his own family is headed. Tucher writes about Hawaii like a native son, revealing a deep knowledge and respect for the soil and soul of the Big Island and surroundings.” —Anonymous-9, author of Hard Bite and Dreaming Deep.
“I've always enjoyed the work of Albert Tucher, but with The Place of Refuge he bull rushes his work to the next-level by balancing a lush setting with a deftly handled plot, all the while maintaining the humanity of his characters. Coutinho and Hokoana breathe and live on the page with a ferocity few writers can match.” —Todd Robinson, author of The Hard Bounce and Rough Trade.
Selfies - Michael Bracken
When a slender blonde asks questions about photographs he took of her mother, private eye Carl Flock revisits his past as a divorce attorney’s camera-slinging hired peeper in “Selfies."
Ghost in the Image - P.R. Chase
The first of P. R. Chase's short stories featuring Emily Thorpe, the resourceful and inquisitive leader of a paranormal investigation team in Victorian-age London. Her unique sensitivity to exokinetic energy leads her down the streets of London and the passages of her memories as she frees a haunting spirit--residing within her.
Share the Wealth - Albert Tucher
When a suburban prostitute loses her professional detachment with a client, and he becomes the suspect in his wife's murder, what else can she do but investigate the case in her own unique way?
Phoenix Rising - Casey Pascal
Lily Phoenix is a brilliant young agent working for The Bureau with a reputation for getting the job done. She’s also beautiful and in demand for assignments in the company of the city’s industrial and scientific greats. Despite having seen more of the dark under-belly of society than the majority of those she protects, her focus on work has left little room for her to gain experience of life. That same lack of experience has given her imagination the freedom to wonder what she might be missing. When an audacious crime is committed at The Society of Scientific Enquiry’s annual dinner, Phoenix instinctively moves into action, but as the situation strays into the realm usually only inhabited by her wildest fantasies, she is forced to decide between her duty and her desire.
No More Tears - Logan Zachary
There are more things than steam and sweat in the locker room today. After a fight that leads to a death in at the fitness center, tensions are high as ex-partners argue about … shampoo. Detective Joe DeCarlo is having a bad day, and his workout is doing little to de-stress him. Paavo Wolfe is trying to help him clean up his act and solve the crime in the shower room. But someone is dead and another person has forgotten to buy the shampoo, but there will be No More Tears in the locker room.
Swapping Surveillance - Edmond Fumki
A beautiful lady private detective considers her life and career while sitting in the company car waiting for the suspect that she is to follow to appear. When he does, his trail leads her into a life changing situation of humiliation and pleasure.
The Missing Piece - Morrigan Cox
Lillian was used to having her heart broken. But she wasn’t used to being needy. Not in front of Dexter Drummond. She has a past with the Private Dick and it’s not a pretty one. He wanted a life in law more than he wanted her, and now she’s forced to go to him for help… with her husband. It’s an old crutch for her, but she’s desperate enough to try even if it only twists the knife of betrayal deeper in her gut. Just when she thinks it couldn’t get any worse, there’s an offer of help from another part of her past. Santoro Giulietta has always been the extra wheel in her past with Dexter. The man with eyes darker than her troubles and a mouth as dirty as it is talented. She doesn’t want his help, but sometimes what you need and what you want get mixed up and you end up looking for the Missing Piece.
Fill in the blanks - Hollis Queens
Things heat up when Yvette finds herself teamed up with her hero, Detective Scarlett Warren, in a race to uncover the previous night's debauchery.