Out Now: Hard-Boiled Witch 2 – Toil & Trouble

HBW 2 Toil & TroubleHecate Sidlaw is back and magical mayhem is around!

The second episode in the Hard-Boiled Witch series is out now: Toil & Trouble. Here’s the blurb:

Hecate Sidlaw finds herself caught between a wannabe witch and one of the oldest hereditary powers in the land. When she and her familiar Henry end up as seconds in a magical duel, will anyone be left standing at the end of the shootout? Enter the dark streets and weird magic of HARD-BOILED WITCH and your life will never be quite the same. This is the second episode in the short story series.

I am having fun with this series and using some of the Dundee landmarks. I’m taking great liberties with the landscape as well, so I’ll probably never actually call it Dundee, but it’s fun to play around. Just to give a hint, there’s a big ‘shoot out’ in a certain old cemetery. 😉

And if you missed it yesterday, you need to know that Exiles: An Outsider Anthology is now part of the International Crime Storybundle. The International Crime Bundle features 9 crime titles for a price you set. We’ve got novels from some of the best crime writers today, having picked up such awards as the Goldsboro ‘Last Laugh’ Award, Anthony, Macavity and Agatha Award, Spinetingler Book of Year, Pulp Pusher Book of the Year and a small matter of a Pulitzer-prize!

Time’s running out! Just a few more days to get Unquiet Dreams at a special price! The story collection Steve Bissette called, “the long, deep plunge in the coldest quarry in the woods; the lingering look under the rotting wood at all the writhing life there; the stare into the abyss until one realizes something is staring back.”

But it’s not the only thing I’m flogging: click any of the pictures below to buy the new and flashy stuff. And please please please consider leaving reviews! They’re the only way other people decide to take a chance on something new. Help people break out of the same-old routine.

Cheap Thrills

To steal a line from Dolly Levi, “Money, if you’ll pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.” Here are some things you ought to be encouraging to grow this spring:

Exiles is a collection of 26 short stories from a stellar group of authors, all featuring the common theme of ‘outsiders’. Dedicated to Jeff Luke and Colin Graham. All proceeds go to the Marfan Foundation, in aid of people suffering from Marfan syndrome. See the stories behind the stories over at Mr B’s blog.

For a limited time, this one’s going to be FREE. That’s right: free. Beginning whenever it is that they start those promos. All it will cost you is the effort of a click. Is that so much to ask? There’s another cheap deal coming June 1st. Tell you about that later.

This one‘s not free, but hey! For about the same price as a lousy cup of designer coffee, you could have a reading experience that lasts for hours instead of a coffee that will be gone in minutes. Your choice.

EXTRICATE is a twisty- turny noir tale of dishonor amongst thieves that is skewered with hot lust and cold blooded murder.’

And did you see the Crime Fiction Lover’s review of White Rabbit? Talk about chuffed: “…it’s time to take a step out of your comfort zone and into the madcap brain of author KA Laity who has written a book unlike any crime novel I’ve read before.” Adding to the good words out there. You should probably get this so you’re not the last one in town to read it. I’m just looking out for you.

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Building Interest

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I really do like the blue walls and ceiling and bookshelves in my office. Suddenly it’s a whole new world. More places for books and media, but also a whole different feel to the place as well. Even once I took the blue paint masking tape off the windows and it no longer looked like TARDIS cathedral.

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My god, you say — it’s been almost a week. Don’t you have any new publications coming out? Hey, I’m doing my best to make the most of this sabbatical year. Who knows when I’ll next have this much time to write? Oh sure, a lot of it lately has gone toward painting and spackling lately, but soon the DIY madness will be done for a while and I will be back in full time writer mode.

And I do have a couple of publications coming soon.

One of them is the charity anthology Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. In order to start building interest in the release, I helped out by making a little trailer video with all the Blackwitch Press books, which include the popular Roman Dalton series begun by Paul D. Brazill and carried on by a motley crew that includes me. I set it all to a cool tune by Peter Ord — check out his Soundcloud page for more music. He’s got a great sense of style that manages to sound swingingly retro and yet completely modern. Good stuff.

And watch the trailer! Help spread the word by sharing it. It’s a big world out there; it’s easy to get lost.

Speeding Along through January

ExilesWhoosh — that’s the sound of January speeding past. It feels as if the holidays just ended, yet here we are almost at the end of the month. Which means hey! It’s Miss Wendy‘s birthday today 🙂 Happy birthday, my friend.

Bits of news from my frenzied activities of late: publications of course, also knocking the travel schedule into shape for the year. I am always revising my to-do lists but they never seem to get shorter. Well, I thought it had for a moment, then I realised it only had fiction on it and none of the non-fiction. D’oh!


Extricate, my alter ego‘s noir novella, is nearly out.

Exiles: An Outsider Anthology, a collection edited by Paul D. Brazill, features a whole bunch of writers including me, will be out in about a month’s time. All for a good cause.

SpyFi and Superspies: I just sent off the edits for my essay on James Bond’s influence on the creation of the Chastity Flame series. It was a weird sort of half-scholarly, half-personal piece. As soon as I know more about the release date, I’ll let you know.

Heroines of Comic Books and Literature is scheduled for March. You can pre-order it, but with the price in mind, perhaps you can get your library to order it. I hope it brings Christina of Markyate to more people’s attention.

The latest Meditations on Hávamál also out; hoping to aim for a more regular schedule.

The serial is back too! Airships & Alchemy is coming to a close in the coming weeks. I will doubtless put it all together, like The Mangrove Legacy. I’m already thinking about the next serial (madness). Of course, The Big Splash is out there, too!

High Plains Lazarus, the zombie western, has been expanded and will appear as a ‘single’ novella from Tirgearr. Details soon —


Things are always subject to change and unexpected cancellations, but as always plan for the best, roll with the punches.

MARCH/APRIL — I don’t have the dates yet, but I plan to be in the States. Waiting to hear about a London event that’s supposed to be February but I suspect may be late or even March. At a certain point I will choose if they have not scheduled it. On the way back, my plan is to visit the lovely Miss Chloë in le Swiz. I have never been there, though of course Chastity Flame has.

MAY – probably Ireland! Details to be determined.

AUGUST – I will be attending LonCon 3 and giving a paper; I’ll also be attending Shamrokon before heading back to the States (sob!)

SEPTEMBER – I’ll be speaking at the Crime Fiction Here and There Now and Then conference in Gdansk. Exciting!

NOVEMBER – I will be at NoirCon in Philadelphia. No details yet but when I know them, I will share the info.

DECEMBER – back in Scotland 🙂


Another one of those fabulous Twitter conversations that creates the unexpected: the proposed ‘MocGonagall’ — mock chop [a Scottish delicacy] in the shape of McGonagall’s profile. Love it, Bill Herbert!