She has a particular fondness for tomatoes

Tonka the Tortoise, to clarify.

Scott Belucchi, from the Peninsula Humane Society, reports, "We didn't have to operate on her or anything like that, it was just a case of strapping the wheels under her with a tie over her shell.

It was the first time we have done an operation like this, but it was a great success."

Tonka now roams the vegetable garden to her delight and the delight of her owner/human.

My Hero. Everybodies Hero

Who is this great man?

Trent "Have a Heart" Reznor of NIN.

From Paste Magazine: Twittering Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor opened a campaign last Wednesday to raise money for Eric De La Cruz, a Nevada Medicaid patient in need of a heart transplant. Both Nine Inch Nails and tour mates Jane's Addiction are offering special deals for the remaining shows on their tour to fundraise for De La Cruz's hopeful transplant.
A $300 donation will grant concert attendees access to the pre-show soundcheck and a meet-and-greet with the band, while $1,000 will get you backstage for dinner and relaxing with the band, as well as stage-side viewing for the show, autographs and pictures. For fans without tickets, a $1,200 donation comes with two tickets to the show and VIP treatment backstage. This is NIN's final tour, so fans of the band will want to seize this opportunity.

De La Cruz was turned down from transplant lists because of the lack of transplant centers in Nevada. Reznor became aware of his situation after De La Cruz's sister, former CNN.com news anchor Veronica De La Cruz, began a fundraising campaign on her website. The campaign is as much to raise money for Eric as it is to raise awareness of Nevada's limited transplant opportunities, and to petition Senator Harry Reid and other Congress members for improved legislation.

In part thanks to Reznor's Twitter presence and the letter he posted on the NIN website, the results of his fundraising were pretty astounding, collecting over $260,000 in one day. The total is still climbing, past $645,000 towards a goal set by Veronica of $706,968.

Waylon and Buddy, 1958


A Study in Blue

You all saw that this issue is out? The big 30th issue? Who better than Ireland's sexiest crime writer to grace the cover*? And he tolerated me long enough to let me interview him.

I cut and pasted from a former post of mine in which I cut and pasted from an interview in which the fabulously dorky Mr Connolly spoke about his first car. I've included the photo from the interview so everyone can reminisce about when Mr Connolly had dark hair.

By the by, THE LOVERS is his most accessible and fast paced novel to date. Devoured it in one long night, I did. And lovers of hard-boiled fiction overlaid with a sheen of deep psychological, Jungian heroes journey meets primal think therapy, please do pay a visit to your local independent bookseller.  Ta dah!

My First Car
John Connolly, Writer, Fashion Guru, Tsk-tsker.

What was your first car? A Volkswagen Golf. I bought it because it was cheap.

Was it new or secondhand? Very secondhand - I think it was a 1979 car and I bought it in about 1994 or 1995.

Did you know how to drive at the time? I'd passed my test by the time I bought it . . . well, I'd passed my test on about the fourth go. It was all a big misunderstanding - three big misunderstandings, actually.

What did you know about cars when you bought it? About as much as I do now: if something goes wrong, you take it to the garage and a man fixes it.

What advice did you get when you were looking for a car? It was my friend's brother's old car, so the advice I got was "Buy my brother's car. It just needs an engine." It didn't have an engine at the time. I got one from a scrapyard.

What did you pay for it? £600 - and a couple of hundred more to get it fixed up.

What impact did running a car have on your pocket? I took out a bank loan and paid it off over about six months. The impact wasn't huge, to be honest.

Was it hard to get insurance? It wasn't easy, but eventually I found an insurer who was quite happy to screw me to the wall for being under 30.

How reliable was the car? Well, it didn't have a choke, which meant that it conked out if I stopped at traffic lights. Once I got a choke put in, it was actually very reliable indeed until water started to leak into it, fogging up the windows and making it smell a bit odd. Then the heating gave out, and a rather alarming mould grew on the dashboard and steering wheel. Oh, and there was an orange fungus on the inside of the doors. It was a little ecosystem by the end.

How did it change your life? I didn't have to ask to borrow it. That was about it. Mind you, I was very fond of it. I was kind of sorry to let it go.

The longest trip you ever took in it? I followed one of the presidential candidates around the west of Ireland for a day in the car, and drove down to Kerry a couple of times. I was never worried.

 The best memory? I never had sex in it, if that's what you're asking. In fact, it was so damp you'd probably have caught a cold if you even took your coat off. I'm not sure that I had a memorable moment as such . . .

. . . and your worst memory? The rear window got broken one St Stephen's night when I was on my way to visit my then girlfriend. The evening went downhill from there.

How long did you keep it? About three years. I decided to get rid of it when I found that my trousers got damp if I sat in it for more than 10 minutes.

Did you make anything on the sale? Actually, I gave it back to the brother of the guy who sold it to me to begin with. It's still running - a neighbour is driving it.

*Photo taken by the fabulous and totally non-dorky Clair Lamb.

Strapped in Safely

Strange, Evil Cute Thing

Palin Mullet


It No Longer Depends

This is the website avid movie goers have been waiting for. RunPee.com let's you know when the best time to run to the bathroom during a movie is.

You're welcome.


This is not about leptoyphlops carlae.

It is Friday night in downtown Milwaukee. The bar across the street has yet to fill up with the soon to be drunk people (mostly women, oddly) who will loudly have fists flying at bar time.

I could have joined the melee. I could still attend a show that would pound every bit of stress out of my body. 

Instead, I sit behind this laptop with every intention of reviewing the stack of books that keeps getting bigger. 

As Jon and Ruth frolic in Willamsburg, I watch their cats (making sure no crazy catnip parties are thrown - you know, the kind that leave the litter boxes over flowing and the water bowls scummy) and their very large tv as rain falls outside.

In just over a month, UNCAGE ME! will be birthed and I am beyond excited. It's been noted elsewhere but damned if we haven't garnered a great Publisher's Weekly review:

While John Connolly (The Reapers) rightly notes in his introduction that this all-original anthology isn't for the fainthearted, noir lovers will find plenty to savor among the 22 stories from both familiar and unfamiliar names. Steven Torres offers the most moving selection, “The Biography of Stoop, the Thief,” in which a 14-year-old boy tries to save the mother who abandoned him for a life on the streets as a substance abuser. Tim Maleeny's “Prisoner of Love” not only features twists and betrayals but manages to make an ambiguous resolution satisfying rather than frustrating. There are some duds, like Maxim Jakubowski's shocker “We Mate in the Dark,” with its pointless savagery, but on the whole the contributors demonstrate the ability to create believable and memorable characters as well as settings in a few pages. (July 24).

Personally, the point of Maxim's story was pointless savagery. To be over the top. It is impossible to always get what every story. I know anthologies are not easy to review. This one has 22 authors with 22 different styles and 22 different points to make. They run the gambit from emotive to mind-fuck. I love them all. 

And I really, really hope you do, too.

See, I just managed to keep from writing reviews for like, half an hour!


First review, Blake Crouch's ABANDON, my favorite book I've read this year. Scary brilliant. Then the beloved Colin Cotterill. And another Aberystwyth novel from Malcolm Pryce! Oh, I was a lucky girl this last round!

I really do!

Yes, Just What Every Tween Girl Needs

Review from Toy 'r Us:

"One how cold you se it because it doesn't glow in the dark ! Two it did not conetct with the demonds and sperits for my family ! Online it looks varry good but don't be fold because when you open it it rely is't anything !!!"

See, that last line indicates to me that this game will "rely" prepare kids for the reality of life.




Do You Like The Dark?

If yes, press one*.

See, this is what happens when I post after taking a sleeping pill. Chaotic frivolity.

Let's say you "pressed one."

Then you are hanging out with me, in a very dark place, smack dab between two very disturbed men. And we have both handed control over.  


Did their eyes just flash red?

We are in for one hell of a ride...

If you cheesed out and are still sitting contentedly in front of your computer, read the following and press two if you need more persuasion. 

Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking?
# 1: Don’t go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.
# 2: Don’t pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase.

So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

When two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong. Like a deeply twisted version of an “After School Special,” SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides.

Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration.
Kilborn wrote the first part. Crouch** wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other’s opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psycho win.

*pdf file

**Crouch also wrote ABANDON which you can get a taste of if you press This is one of the best books I've read in years. 

Ride of a Lifetime

Now where'd that link go? Ah, here it is...