Thursday, February 19, 2015

RAB's Dagger Imprint Announces New List and Pubs First Title, Fifty Shades of Grey Fedora

 Dagger Books, the new crime/mystery/thriller imprint from innovative hybrid publisher Riverdale Ave Books, is proud to announce its first list of titles, to be published in the coming months. In association with the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA), Dagger will launch with FIFTY SHADES OF GREY FEDORA, a take on sex within the private eye genre. Edited by award-winning author Robert J. Randisi, this anthology of original stories features such acclaimed authors as Sara Paretsky, John Lutz, Max Allan Collins, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Justin Scott, and 12 others. Pub date is February 18, 2015.

“I’m very excited to be part of this new line with my old friend, Joe Pittman,” Randisi said. “Here's hoping Dagger Books cuts through all the competition like a hot knife through butter.” Randisi will also pen a new mystery series for Dagger, which has committed to three books already.

Joseph Pittman, Editorial Director of Dagger, said, “Working again with Randisi is a thrill. He’s got tons of ideas, tons of writer friends, and he always has a new idea waiting in the wings. After publishing several anthologies throughout my career with the PWA, I’m happy to be reunited on such a cutting edge anthology. Dagger will be doing a lot of creative books. A unique point of view is what I’m looking for. Pun intended.”

“I am so thrilled to be working with Joe and his list of stellar authors in this new imprint. We believe that books are a consumable pleasure, and are excited to add mysteries and thrillers to our line,” said Publisher Lori Perkins.

Other authors filling out the Dagger list are a host of writers Pittman has worked with during previous editorial positions at NAL/Signet, Alyson Books, and Vantage Point. First-time authors will also be welcome on the developing list.

Neil S. Plakcy, the Lambda-nominated author of many books, said, “I’m excited to be launching a new series at the same time Joe Pittman is launching Dagger. I see great things in our future together.” Placky’s series revolves around a gay FBI agent, the first of which is titled THE NEXT ONE WILL KILL YOU.

Dagger’s list will be comprised of traditional cozy mysteries, such as suspense novelist and short story expert Christine Matthews’s new jewelry designer series, which begins with SAPPHIRES AREN’T FOREVER. “I'm so excited to be writing a new series for a new imprint and working with Joe Pittman is the cherry on top. This new wave of publishing is allowing writers to be more creative and readers more adventurous,” Matthews said.

Among other titles will be reissues of two books Pittman published at Vantage Point, Cathy Lubenski’s funny TRASHY CHIC and Charles Philipp Martin’s Hong Kong-set procedural, NEON PANIC. Dagger will also publish the next volume in each of those series. Another author he worked with, William Wells, whose FACE OF THE DEVIL is a chilling tale of suspense, said, “Dagger and its parent, Riverdale Avenue Books, are riding the new wave of publishing as eBooks are poised to outsell print in the U.S. and in other world markets, as they already do at Amazon, so it is especially pleasing for an author to be a part of that trend.”

Lubenski and Martin echo that sentiment. “Being included in the launch of Dagger, is an honor and a thrill. To quote Shakespeare: ‘O happy Dagger!’” Lubenski writes.

Martin said, “Joe has assembled a first-class lineup of mysteries and thrillers for Dagger's launch. I'm delighted to be part of it. We expect Dagger to be a formidable presence in digital crime publishing."

Rounding out the initial list is a first-novel by Patrick Lozito, whom Pittman worked with years ago at a bookstore. Lozito was always a fan of private eye novels and two reconnected after news of Dagger’s creation. The result is the period noir novel, I FOUGHT DELORES. Marcus Pelegrimas, a writer of both crime and westerns, will write a new series featuring a shadowy investigator named Marker. “Ebooks are stronger than ever. With hard hitting stories from talent that's ready to bring readers through the twisted, dark alleys of crime fiction, Dagger’s future is bright,” he said.

Finally, acclaimed crime writer Gary Phillips presents .44 CALIBER FUNK, an original anthology of crime stories that celebrate the black experience of the 1970s. "It's a blast to be doing a couple of anthologies with Dagger as the line launches. Us old dogs get a new lease in this digital frontier,” Phillips states.

Pittman, a novelist himself, promises other surprises to help enhance the 2015 list, and beyond. “I’m all about the voice. A truly talented writer can have me from the first line. I look forward to discovering more great books and fresh new writers. Lori Perkins and her team at Riverdale could not have been more accommodating as I set about acquiring this great list.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fifty Shades: The Movie Has Arrived

Here we go!

I went to a press screening of Fifty Shades of Grey last night and was pretty amazed - at how well they had transformed the material into a classic Hollywood romance with dark undertones, and how well cast the movie is.  Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan (from whom I kept on expecting a lapse into his native Irish accent and NEVER heard the slightest brogue once) have great screen chemistry. The seduction is movie-real enough. Dornan's damaged alpha is really good.  And Dakota plays Anastasia Steele with a lot more spunk (and no inner goddess) than the novel. So even in a crowd full of seasoned professionals, when the curtain closed at the end of the film, they asked, "that's it?"

This is going to be HUGE. Think How Stella Got Her Groove Back meets Twilight with a big dash of 9 1/2 Weeks. Expect it to put the bullet to Sniper.

My plus one, also a seasoned movie reviewer (actually I was her plus one), turned to me and said, "it's not my kink, but this was well done."  And it is, from the soundtrack to the clothing and all the book-related details.  BTW, the red room of pain is gorgeous.

If you love the books, you'll love the movie.  If you somehow hadn't read them yet, you'll be downloading them on your kindle tout suite.  And if you hated the books, you just might like the movie anyway.

But if you run out of Fifty Shades books to read, and don't want to reread them, we have a few titles for you.  First of all, you really should read NY Times best-selling author Marc Shapiro's unauthorized biography, The Secret Life of EL James  ( in which he literally gives you a step-by-step guide to how she wrote and marketing her book.  It's a fucking blue print.

Marc returned to the Fifty Shades well to write two riveting bios on Dakota Johnson ( and Jamie Dornan (, both of whom have surprisingly rich and varied pasts.

But if that's not enough, Jeffery Self made the #1 spot on the Amazon Gay & lesbian bestseller list with his 50 Shades of Gay, ( which retells the tale from a M/M perspective and sets it in Hollywood.  Funny and hot!!

And KT Grant, one of my favorite lesbian pop culture writers, brings us 50 Shades of Pink, which tells the story from a lesbian perspective set in the world of New York City publishing.

But wait, there's more!

We are launching a new mystery line this month, Dagger, and our first title is Fifty Shades of Grey Fedora, edited by the Private Eye Writers of America with new stories by the likes of Sara Paretsky, John Lutz, Parnell Hall and other big name authors.

And we also are offering a FREE sample of 50 erotic romance author in Beyond 50 featuring the works of Laura Antoniou, Cecilia Tan, Violet Blue and many others, which will be available on the RAB website, as well as Amazon, Banes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes, etc.

So enjoy!