Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Richard Godwin stopped by to give us a tantalizing peek at his latest novel, Mr. Glamour.  Hope you're hungry--the feast begins now!

Designer goods, beautiful women, wealthy men, a lifestyle preyed on by a serial killer.  A killer who is watching everyone, including the police.  Latest headlines?

No, an outline of my second novel, Mr. Glamour.

My debut novel Apostle Rising was published in paperback by Black Jackal Books last year.  It was about a serial killer crucifying politicians, and sold extremely well, received excellent reviews, and sold foreign rights to the largest publisher in Hungary.

Now Black Jackal Books have published Mr. Glamour, and I'd like to tell you a bit about it.  The settings are exotic, and the pages drip with wealth.  The story's told in my usual style, and my readers will know what that means.  I have been told I write with a blend of lyricism and graphic description.  I like to explore what motivates people and I certainly do so with the leading characters in Mr. Glamour.

The two central cops, DCI Jackson Flare and Inspector Steele, are unusual and strong in their own ways, as reviewers are already picking up.  At the beginning of the novel Steele hates working with Flare for personal reasons.  She doesn't by the end, and the investigation takes them both on a journey which changes them and their opinions of one another.

Let me give you the setting if you are tempted to read Mr. Glamour.

Something dark is preying on the glitz of the glamour set.  There is a lot about designer goods and lifestyles in Mr. Glamour.  The killer knows all about design, he knows what brands mean to his victims.  He is branding their skins.  And he has the police stumped.  As Flare and Steele investigate the killings they enter an exclusive world with its own rules and quickly realise the man they are looking for is playing a game with them, a game they cannot interpret.  The killer is targeting an exclusive group of people he seems to know a lot about.

The police investigation isn't helped by the fact that Flare and Steele have troubled lives.  Harlan White, a pimp who got on the wrong side of Flare, is planning to have him killed.  And Steele has secrets.  She leads a double life.  She is an interesting woman who pushes her sexual boundaries in private.  She travels a journey into her own past and rescues herself.  And in a strange way she is helped by the killer she is looking for.  And Flare has some revelations in store.

As they try to catch a predator who has climbed inside their heads, they find themselves up against a wall of secrecy.  The investigation drives Flare and Steele to acts of darkness.  And the killer is watching everyone.

Then there is the sub plot.

Contrasting this lifestyle is the suburban existence of Gertrude Miller, who acts out strange rituals, trapped in a sterile marriage to husband Ben.  She cleans compulsively and seems to be hiding something from him, obsessed that she is being followed.  As she slips into a psychosis, characters from the glamorous set stray into Gertrude's world, so the two plots dovetail neatly with one another.

And when Flare and Steele make an arrest they discover there is far more to this glamorous world than they realised.  There is a series of shocks at the end of the novel as a set of fireworks go off.  Watch out for the highly dramatic ending.

It is already picking up some great reviews.

Advance praise for Mr. Glamour:

"Richard Godwin knows how his characters dress, what they drink and what they drive.  He knows how they live---and how they die.  Here's hoping no one recognized themselves in Godwin's cold canvas.  Combines the fun of a good story with the joy of witty, vivid writing." -- Heywood Gould, author of The Serial Killer's Daughter.

"Smart, scary, suspenseful enough for me to keep the light on until 3AM on a Sunday night, Richard Godwin once more proves to fans of crime fiction the world over with Mr. Glamour, that he is not only one of the best contemporary writers of the procedural cop thriller around today, he is a master storyteller." -- Vincent Zandri, author of Scream Catcher.

"Richard Godwin's top-of-the-line psychological police procedural driven by its heady pace, steely dialogue, and unsparing vision transfixes the reader from page one." -- Ed Lynskey, author of Skin In The Game.

"Mr. Glamour is a striking effort from one of the most daring crime writers in the business.  It is the noirest of noir...and hellishly addictive." -- Mike Stafford, BookGeeks Magazine.

"This first rate detective thriller will have you gripped from the start.  Richard Godwin is an author not to be missed." -- Sheila Quigley Author of Thorn In My Side.

"Mr. Glamour is, in every sense of the word, the real McCoy:  genuine hard boiled detective fiction.  Lean, gritty, and tough, it's a journey into the heart of won't soon forget.  Connoisseurs of Nouveau Noir will have to add Richard Godwin to the list of writers to watch!" -- C E Lawrence, author of Silent Kills.

"Involving and compellingly sinister, Richard Godwin's Mr. Glamour portrays cops and criminals, the mad and the driven in a novel of psychological noir.  Read it while snuggling with your stuffed teddy bear for comfort." -- Gary Phillips, author of Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers

"This is one outstanding novel written by one amazing author." -- Fran Lewis Review.

I think Mr. Glamour will appeal to mystery and crime afficionados, to readers interested in psychological profiling and designer lifestyles, to thriller and noir fans, and to anyone who enjoys a fast paced narrative with strong characters.

Mr. Glamour can be bought now at:

at all good retailers online and in stores in April.  If you Google it you should see a range of options come up.

And you can find out more about me at my website

and my stories here

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I can't wait for my copy of Mr. Glamour to arrive.  If you haven't read Richard's novel Apostle Rising yet, what are you waiting for?  Here's a couple of links for you to use to get it right now.  You don't even have to leave your seat.

Also, here's a link to my review of Apostle Rising.

Richard's stories are fascinating, terrifying, mysterious, and will surround you with a palpable darkness that will have you peeking over your shoulder as you turn every page.  What more could you possibly ask for!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The challenge this week was to use this photo for one scene in our story, and the story must have at least two scenes.  The genre was open, and the word limit was 900.


Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist.  Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.   
- G. K. Chesterton

I only had a few patients to see this morning, and I was looking forward to spending the rest of the day working in my garden.  I always took Old Creek Highway into town, even though it added an extra ten minutes to my journey.  The fields on both sides of the road, abundant with wildflowers in all colors of the rainbow and inviting shade trees looming protectively over waif-like brooks make the trip almost dream-like.  That is, until I see her.

Serena Josler.  Fifteen.  Standing at the guardrail, staring into the wooded area.  Again.  I could set my watch by this child.  Every day, she stands there and gazes longingly into the brush.  That portion of the highway is more along the lines of a nightmare.  Drivers taking that route to the interstate always stopped at that exact spot to dump their ashtrays, toss out their fast food wrappers, and empty their bladders.  The rail’s bent from when our previous sheriff engaged in a high-speed chase with some boys from the middle school who had taken one of their daddy’s pickups for a joyride.  Sheriff Minson survived; none of the boys made it though.  He was subsequently ‘permitted’ to resign.  That senile old psychotic should have been jailed, if you ask me.  Unfortunately, nobody did.

Several times I considered asking her why she was there.  It couldn’t have been to retrieve something she had lost since she never crossed the rail into the woods.  I doubted she would wait there for someone, standing right next to the highway like that.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I never did pull over though and approach her.  She was a lost soul; the whole town knew.  After her mother ran off, being raised by her alcoholic, registered sex-offender daddy couldn’t possibly do much for her self-esteem.

As I passed her this morning, I wondered if the black eyes she had a few days ago were fading.  Whenever I saw the bruises, cuts and overall malaise, I wanted to contact family services and confront the son-of-a-bitch who sired her.  Being familiar with the staff over at the county offices, I knew that would have been a losing proposition.  Nothing was ever treated as confidential, and fingers would have been shaken at Burt Josler and he would have been told ‘no, no’, and that would have ended their involvement in her case.  It wouldn’t have ended there for Serena however.  She may not have survived that kind of intervention.

Come to think about it, there was something different about her today.  Now, what could it…  Oh, now I realize what it was.  She was dressed warmly, but still carrying a jacket, and had that big purple bag of hers over her shoulder, and it looked filled to overflowing.  She didn’t have her thumb out to pick up a ride, and no buses ran through this area of the county.  She was just staring--as always--but, at what?  Somehow I knew I’d never get the chance to ask her.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

It’s been a week and a half now since I last saw Serena.  Lots of folks around town thought it odd that her daddy never spoke of her anymore.  Not me, though, because I knew him for the monster he was.  And besides, after pulling over by the rail where she stood, when I looked over, I had found the half-buried shoe box.  I’m no Dr. ‘G’ from the television, but I did graduate from medical school.  I know a dead fetus when I see one.  My guess would be around ten weeks--give or take a lifetime.  The brand new teddy bear in the box told me Serena had planned to keep it.  As if a little one stood a chance in Hell of making it in that household…

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Burt drank himself to death awhile back.  Henry from Dunnings Funeral Home put on a nice service, although no one from town showed up.  I stopped in for a minute for some coffee and a sweet roll and to sign the register.  Mine was the only signature.  Interesting how some people leave no empty space when they pass on.  Even though I believed his existence was the good Lord’s only mistake, I attended the service since the sweet rolls were fresh from the bakery that morning and Dunnings got their coffee from Lara’s Diner.  Lara’s coffee packed just the punch I needed to get me through the day.

It’s funny how, as time passes, it’s almost as if those who have gone away never existed.  I still think about her though, every time I pass her spot on the highway.  I picture her older, perhaps married with a couple of kids, living in a tidy split-level, with an in-ground pool and a vegetable garden in the backyard.  In my heart, I know my vision’s just a fantasy, but still I hope there’s a tiny little corner of this world where Serena found a moment’s peace.  And a chance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In honor of the upcoming holiday, we were to write a story that takes place on St. Patrick’s day--any time, anywhere, and includes the following words: Ireland, beer, Warwick Davis, leprechaun, shillelagh, Lucky Charms, and UFO. Oh the possibilities and the fun! Please enjoy.


Gerald O’Reilly couldn’t believe his eyes. His mother, who had been born in Ireland, grew up with tales of the ‘little people’ and shared the legends with him often. Mom had never believed leprechauns existed outside the imagination, but here was one, green coat, hat and all, right in Gerald’s backyard. He was trapped inside a large jar, which had rolled against a large rock next to the shed. Gerald knelt and leaned in close, wondering if communication was possible. After all, he had no knowledge of the old dialects.

“Excuse me, but, you are one of them, aren’t you? I mean, today is St. Patrick’s Day and that’s when you come out, right? By the way, if you keep jabbing that rock with your little stick, it’s going to break.”

“LITTLE STICK?” The small man’s voice boomed. “It’s called a shillelagh, dumbass, and as soon as I get out of here, I’ll jab you right in the…”

Gerald was horrified. This was no leprechaun--couldn’t be. This was some kind of experiment gone wrong, deposited here by a UFO. But why here? Why HIS yard?

“GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. AREN’T YOU FINISHED WEEDING YET?” His wife’s voice echoed throughout the neighborhood. I’m in the backyard, he thought, not in the next county…

“Still working, dear,” he responded. “ Lots of tough ones this time.” Hopefully, that will keep her quiet for another five minutes.

“Wait just a sec,” Gerald said quietly, looking behind him to make sure none of his neighbors were out to see him chatting with a jar. “Shillelagh? Yeah. Right. Why are you pretending to be a fairy? The little green men are supposed to be maybe 3 feet tall, and you’re what? Around 6 inches? I‘m sure you‘ve never heard of Warwick Davis, but he‘s in the movies and he plays one of you and he‘s not 6 inches tall.”

The small man’s face was turning as bright a red as Gerald had ever seen. He knew who Warwick Davis was, and enjoyed his performances. What does this boob think--I live in a cave or something?

“Fairy? Who you calling a fairy, bub? I am a leprechaun, and if you knew anything at all, you’d know I can’t lie when I’m…, I mean, in a situation where I’m…, oh, fuck it. Why I‘m a bit smaller than the industry standard is none of your business, but let me just say, it‘s the result of what I prefer to call a minor indiscretion. Let‘s leave it at that.

How I ended up in here is quite the amusing story though. The thuglet in the second grade that lives down the block put some Lucky Charms in a jar for his class’ Catch-A-Leprechaun Project. I am forced to admit I can’t just walk away from those. Everything was fine until this damn jar started to roll and got wedged up against a rock. To make matters worse, when the little punk saw me, he ran screaming home to mama and no one ever came to get me out of here. How about you? How’s about you give me one more roll and we’ll call it a day?”

GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. I DON’T FEEL LIKE MAKING LUNCH TODAY. WHY DON’T YOU GET ME SOME BURGERS AND FRIES.” Gerald was certain none of his neighbors would come out now. Whenever Emeraldine was sharing their lives at full volume, they all retreated behind closed doors.

“Okay, dear, I’ll go in just a bit. Almost done out here.”

Gerald still had some concerns about his little visitor.

“Explain something to me first before we talk deal. How come you talk like you do? Why haven’t I heard any ‘ye’s’ and ‘yon’s’, and why haven’t you called me ‘laddie’ even once?”

The little man knew if he was going to talk this clown into freeing him, he needed to start ‘making nice’. These humans were all the same. They all believed in the Tooth Fairy and that dude in the red suit with the reindeer. But all of it had to fit a stereotype. Magic was in the air and it made them feel all cozy and warm. It would be necessary for him to make this man feel all cozy and warm without technically lying. Oh crap.

“Look fella, what’s your name anyway? Mine’s O’Halloran, but you can call me Hal. I realize I‘ve been a bit…, well…, tense? But you can certainly see why, can‘t you? You ever spend any time in a fucking pickle jar?”

Hal could feel himself getting pissed again. A deep breath was in order.

“Anyway, I speak all languages and dialects, and since I doubt that you are familiar with the old tongue, I’m trying to speak in such a way that makes conversation between us easier. See?”

That made perfect sense to Gerald. He now knew this was all really happening. This was so much cooler than some old parade downtown.

“GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. MY FEET HURT. COME IN AND RUB SOME OF THAT OINTMENT ON MY HEELS.” Terrific. Follow up touching those feet of hers with some lunch. Can’t wait…

“Happy to, dear, let me get all my tools put away.”

He pretended to salute the man in the jar.

“I’m Gerald, Hal. Pleased to meet you.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, chump. Let’s move it along. It’s stuffy in here.

“Do you think you could possibly assist me, Ger, and roll me away from the rock?”

Gerald wasn’t sure how to approach the pot of gold thing, but it was now or never.

“If I do set you free, you’ll lead me to your pot of gold?”

Oh brother. Here we go. Gimme, gimme, gimme…

“Gerald, my man, what would you do with a pot of gold? Wouldn’t you rather have a nice portfolio loaded with high-interest CD’s, some bonds and investments in some European start-ups?”

That certainly was not the response Gerald had anticipated. He was under the impression that Hal’s pot of gold would be automatically his. Maybe mom had gotten it wrong…

“Well then, what about three wishes? If I set you free, would you give me three wishes?”

Enough was enough.

“What are you nuts? Do I look like a fucking genie? Three wishes? Look, you sorry excuse for whatever you are. You get me out of here and I’ll do one thing for you. My pot’s out of the question. I mean, I’ve got an image to maintain. But I’ll give you one. Deal?”


* * * * * * * *

Gerald was going to miss the little guy. Meeting him had been such a unique and satisfying experience. Hal was so much more interesting than his buddies from the factory. He decided he’d shower and put on his new jeans and St. Pat’s tee and head downtown to catch the parade. Lots of ladies come out to see the parade. There were also all the booths set up with food and beverages. The perfect setting to make new friends…

First however, he’d have to stash the jar where it would be safe. He located a lid that was just the right size. Gerald knew he couldn’t bury it outside. What if a dog dug it up and alerted its owner. Be tough explaining that. He decided on one of the shelves in the basement. It could be covered with an old tablecloth that would be easily removed should he decide to visit, although he didn’t anticipate that coming up very often. Hal said no care would be required, and Gerald knew that had to be truth. But still, ever considerate, Gerald tossed Emeraldine’s foot ointment right into that jar with her.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Haven’t you ever wanted to go back and time to fix something? Or maybe you’d like to relive something, knowing what you know now. Perhaps you’re a visionary and want a peek at the future to see how hover cars will change society or to find out just when the hell are we going to get our jet packs already.

Dust off your flux capacitors and let’s get this baby up to 88 miles per hour! Maybe you’re a spy with new technology and you’re trying to prevent war. Maybe you’re a professor who wants to go native with the ancient Romans. Whenever you decide, use a time machine to get us there.

Prompt: Write a story with a time machine and use these words: Bend, Frequency, Interplex, Spectrum, Phase
Word Count: 1300 or less

Terrific prompt!  I offer you,


“I don‘t know where to go first. I mean, I have so much to offer kings and queens and…”

“Shut up, Phil. You’ve been at it for two hours. Can’t you see Ronald is going through something painful? We’re all supposed to be friends, remember? Can’t you stop thinking about yourself for just five minutes? Tim, help me out here, will ya?”

“Harry, Phil’s a lost cause and always will be. He couldn’t recognize someone else’s problem if it wore headlights and sang the National Anthem.”

“Fine. I’ll stop, and we’ll help Ronald. But you have to admit, this is something to get excited about. We’re the only people in the world who have the equipment that can transport us to any point in history, knowing what we know today, and back again--across the full spectrum of time and space. I’m sorry if I’m the only one that realizes how big that is. Cash bought us Interplex’s technology. Why can’t cash buy Ronald some therapy?”

“Shut the fuck up!” Harry and Tim shouted at the same time. Phil shook his head in frustration, but said nothing further. He decided it was time for a drink and headed toward the living room bar. Ronald’s obviously gone around the bend about something, but at least the bar was fully stocked. Phil turned and saw Ronald coming down the stairs, holding a piece of paper. At least he’s finally out of his room, he thought. I won the draw and get to go first tomorrow morning. Ronald better not flake out on this because of some personal crap.

“Ronald, good to see you up and about. What’s that you’ve got?”

Harry knew exactly what Ronald was holding. The newspaper article about his childhood sweetheart. Ronald kept it out of sight, but every so often, he’d come across it and depression would set in again.

“Is that about Jeanine, Ronald?”

Ronald nodded.

“I found this as I was going through some old trunks looking for items to take with me on my time travels. I really need to get rid of this after all these years, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know about getting rid of it, Ronald,” Harry began. “But, if you do decide to keep it, stop trying to suppress your memories of her. Reading that again just opens up old wounds. Stop punishing yourself, man. None of what happened is your fault.”

“What happened, and who is Jeanine?” Tim had only recently become part of the close-knit group.

“You’re right, Harry, “ Ronald had to agree that being open about what happened might bring him some type of closure. “Tim, I’m from a small town and from first grade through high school, I was in love with a girl named Jeanine. We were inseparable, and decided after graduation we would be married. It’s crazy, but as the wedding drew nearer, I began to feel trapped. I felt as if I would never amount to, or experience, anything.

On our wedding day, June 6, 1985, at 1 p.m., yes, I still remember, I knew I couldn’t go through with it, but I didn’t know how to stop it. We were ready to take our vows, and when the minister asked if anyone objected to the marriage, I panicked. I said that I objected, turned to Jeanine, said I was sorry, and promised to come back for her. I walked out of the church, got in my car, headed toward New York and never looked back.

I subsequently made my fortune, and moved forward with my life. A few years later, I received this clipping from an unknown party that reported Jeanine had died. Apparently, after I left town, she developed some debilitating disease and took to her bed, never to recover.”

“Ronald,” Tim said quietly. “Harry’s right. Her illness, her death, they weren’t your fault. Evidently, you weren’t ready for that kind of commitment, and you know as well as I do how time can get away from you. You run corporations, you travel, you lecture… It’s hard to believe memories of a person could fade, but they do, my friend, and you’ve got to stop punishing yourself.”

Phil brought his drink into the den and joined the others. This was a topic he definitely had an opinion on.

“Ronald,” Phil was already slurring his words. He had been doubling the shots trying to prepare himself for his incredible journey at daybreak. “If you’d have married that woman and she ended up flat on her back for years, you really would have been fucked for life. Stuck in some podunk town, going nowhere, and ending up being buried right next to her. You were smart enough to bail, and look how you ended up. Millions of dollars, properties, and now, the chance to go anywhere to any time and make a few changes and end up with even more when you get back. I mean, it’s not like you killed her, and you did say you were sorry. No harm, no foul. Right?”

Harry and Tim looked at each other and could barely contain their anger. How did we ever get mixed up with this sorry excuse for a human being anyway?

“You’re a real prince, Phil,” Harry finally said. “A real prince.”

Phil shrugged his shoulders, drained his glass, and bid his friends goodnight.

“I’ll be back at 7 a.m. Wasn’t that the time we decided would be best? Frequency alignments or some such nonsense. Ronald, I hope you work through this phase of yours. See you all in the a.m.”

When the front door closed, they all agreed on two things. One, they needed to go home and rest before tomorrow’s life-changing experience, and two, if they knew Phil’s where and when in advance, they’d all go first and warn everyone of his impending arrival. ’Jerk’ didn’t even scratch the surface.

Harry, Tim and Phil wondered why Ronald didn’t answer the door. They found it unlocked and went in, calling out to him, but received no response. They heard a low humming coming from the den, and when they entered, they saw the time transmitter was in full operation.

“Damn him all to Hell,” Phil shouted. “He knew I was supposed to be first and he took my turn. Well, now I get two turns in a row. I…”

Harry’s and Tim’s voices blended again. “Shut the fuck up!”

Harry and Tim went to look at the settings, but they both already knew the destination: St. Mark’s Church, Oakdale, Nebraska, June 6, 1985, 12:55 p.m. They also knew Ronald had erased his return coordinates.

“I swear,” Phil was still at it. “When he gets back, I’m going to…”

Tim interrupted. “Ronald won’t be back, Phil. I know you couldn’t possibly understand, but he’s going to be just fine. Wait a sec. Why put it off? Phil, let us know where you want to go and we’ll transmit you now.” Tim winked at Harry, who cracked a smile.

“Now you’re talking. Send me to 49 BC, to Cleopatra’s Court. Wait till she sees what I’ve got to offer! I just stand on the platform, right? You’ll take care of everything?”

“Absolutely, Phil,” Tim said. “Just close your eyes.”

Tim began typing in commands and pushing buttons. In an instant, Phil disappeared. Harry, who had been looking over his shoulder, began to laugh.

“Tim, you should brush up on your typing. Instead of ‘49 BC, Cleopatra’s Court’, you entered ‘command back 66 million years, Cretaceous Period’.”

Tim flexed his fingers. “Ooops…”

The two friends decided to go out for breakfast. They knew the transmitter should be destroyed. They realized they were already right where they needed to be. And Ronald and Phil? Right where they both needed to be. Too.