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Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a wealthy client with a dark past reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favorite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt. But the Congressman’s daughter is not the only one interested in the map: Yakuza, crooked cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels.
So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.
Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, a British kickboxer and a washed up Australian treasure hunter, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before someone less deserving does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption.
Gaijin Cowgirl by American writer Jame DiBiasio is a breathless page turner with a beautiful, dangerous heroine to match.
Click here for a free preview on Amazon…
Noir Nation is pleased to announce the release of Jonathan Sturak’s novel Vegas Was Her Name. Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. A Penn State University graduate with degrees in Computer Science and Film, he currently lives in Las Vegas, where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition.
“The Place Called Home,” Sturak’s essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast PA, was featured on Glass Cases, associate literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s pop culture blog at glasscasesblog.blogspot.com. He is also a Noir Nation contributing editor. His debut thriller novel Clouded Rainbow was published in December 2009 and has over 100,000 downloads on the Amazon Kindle. More information about him is available on his website at sturak.com.
Vegas Was Her Name concerns Michael Harris, CEO of an engineering company. At the world’s largest technology convention in Las Vegas, Harris debuts Venus, a humanized computer brain that can predict human behavior. He attracts international attention, including the attention of Rachel, a steamy seducer who cons Michael by concealing a secret of her own. Melissa, Michael’s wife, flies to Las Vegas to save her husband and her marriage as the events unfold in the shadows of the Las Vegas Strip.
A real potboiler! Available now on Amazon.
OK. You got busted robbing a police station thinking it was a Salvation Army donation center. As you wake in a holding pen with tattooed tagbangers calling you “Honey” and “Sweet Cheeks,” you think of the slow ways you will kill the dealer who sold you high grade snow which you snorted, licked, and injected hungrily into a vein in your neck, which you had confused with your arm. Only it was not snow you ingested. It was roach powder. And so of course gun-waving cops looked a lot like bell-ringing Salvationists.
As you are being handed your first prison uniform, you hear inmates talking in what seems like a foreign language. Prison lingo. To survive, you need to learn it fast.
Fortunately, you are a loyal reader of Noir Nation. We are hear to help.
Here are the first ten expressions you need to know:
1. All Day: A life sentence, as in “I’m doin’ all day.”
2. All Day and a Night: Life without parole.
3. Back door parole: To die in prison.
4. Beef: 1. A criminal charge, as in “I caught a burglary beef in Philly.” 2. A problem with another convict, as in “I have a beef with that guy in Block D.”
5. Brake fluid: Psychiatric meds.
6. Bug: A prison staff member considered untrustworthy or unreliable.
7. Bug juice: Intoxicants or depressant drugs.
8. Buck Rogers Time: (early to mid 20th century) A parole or release date so far away that it’s difficult to imagine.
9. Bum Beef: A false accusation/charge or wrongful conviction.
10. Cadillac: An inmate’s bunk. Also, Cadillac Job, an easy or enjoyable inmate work assignment.
For the full list of 50 essential terms to survive prison, click here.
Noir Nation No. 2 – Product description
Noir Nation is an eBook journal of high quality crime fiction, essays, and author interviews, illustrated with living art: tattoos.
Issue No. 2 is rich with stories that tell of being stopped at a tense Israeli checkpoint, a man reflecting on the death of his sadistic mother while getting a tattoo, hunting jaguars in the Chimalapas jungle, a fatal conversation between a married couple on a Japanese mountain cliff, the consummation of a macabre wedding in Tangiers, a German psychopath who thinks himself a werewolf, a missing prostitute in Cambodia’s red light district, a Boston businessman trying to survive a murderous economy, barroom pickups that turn deadly, soldiers captured in World War II taking grisly revenge on their guards, the renovation of a theater that hides a crime, a pistol-packing Harlem grandmother who fends for her young, a road trip from New Orleans to Vancouver that ends in a Pulp Fiction style shootout, and hitchhikers who should have kept hiking.
Contributors hail from no less than sixteen countries: Finland, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Israel, Cuba, Canada, Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Entries include stories by classic noir writers such as Edogawa Rampo, considered by many the father of Japanese crime fiction; Paul Calderon, an actor who appears regularly on the television show Law & Order and who played Paul the bartender in the film Pulp Fiction; and first-time authors Mary Therese Gattuso, Hubert Osprey, and Pierce Loughran.
Afficionados of hardboiled crime noir will see new works by Nick Arvin, Ray Banks, Paul Calderon, Atar Hadari, Sophie Jaff, Susan Lercher, Julia Madeleine, Court Merrigan, Joe L. Murr, Andrew Nette, Thomas Pluck, Victor Quintas, Stephen D. Rogers, Ulrike Rudolf, Bob Thurber, Ruben Varona, Corinna Underwood, and Tom Vater.
The issue also contains an interview with Madison Smartt Bell talking about blowing his knees with Tae Kwon Do and the influence on his fiction by Harry Crews, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and Dostoyevsky. And darkly disturbing entries from 400-year-old London’s Criminal Court logs that show how little has changed in the human drive to murder, maim, and enslave others.
Tattoo photos by Miguel Angel, Madeline Keller-Yunes, Julia Madeleine, Ilya Shchanikov, Shaireproductions.com, Aroon Thaewchatturat, and Chris Willis.
Translations by Andrew Kirk, Rowena Galavitz, Mary Tannert, and Eddie Vega.
Publishing blogger Jim Harrington has been doing a good turn for writers for many years. After a brief hiatus, he is back at his keyboard sending out questions about what editors look for when considering material to publish. In addition to Duotrope, his site is quickly becoming the go-to place for actionable information about the writing markets.
Recently, Noir Nation had the honor of being added to his Q&A roll. The subject matter of the conversation ranges from reasons for rejecting a story, to Shakespeare’s folios, to the very nature of literature and literary experience.
The full interview is here. You may also click on the above illustration to be directed to Jim’s Q&A.