My noir short story "Gold Shield Blues," which has only appeared in the anthology San Diego Noir, was just recorded by author/blogger/podcaster extraordinaire J. David Core for the Thrills & Mystery Podcast. It sounds great. The story was my attempt to take a purely noir situation--something James M. Cain might have written--and update it to contemporary times. Core's voice is suitably gruff, and I'm really pleased with the way it came out. Listen to it here--it won't cost you a dime!
As long as we're talking about listening to stories, here's a sample of the audio version of my story "Taproot," from the anthology Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories From the World of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Sookie's creator, Charlaine Harris, and Toni L.P. Kelner. "Taproot" features Detective Andy Bellefleur, and is wonderfully read by Johanna Parker.
If you'd like to hear your humble scribe reading one of his own stories, check out my performance of the eerie, Twilight Zone-ish "Long Road Home," recorded for Arizona Public Media/NPR. I wrote this story specifically for the audio performance, and APM's Mark McLemore and Mark Duggan made it happen.
Not as free (although they can be if you get a 30-day membership) are some full-length novels available at Audible.com. The Devil's Bait is a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller:
Jessie Dawn Cutler is a relationship banker, a single woman in Manhattan, climbing the rungs of the high-finance ladder on her way to the top.
Morgan Byrd is an aging mercenary soldier, suffering a crisis of conscience as profound as his bank account is low.
When Jessie's biggest client is revealed as a criminal and a killer - protected from within and outside the bank - she becomes a target. But Jessie is courageous, resourceful, and when she teams up with Morgan, it's just possible that both of their lives can be saved...
It's narrated by the fantastic Tamara McDaniel, produced and with original music by the great Scott Haskin.
Supernatural thriller Cold Black Hearts is also a McDaniel/Haskin production:
The ruins on the border of New Mexico and Mexico were once the bustling town of New Dominion. But in 1933, most of its population was massacred - and no one was ever arrested for the brutal crime. Now, the land once known as New Dominion is the site of more recent murders. Former police detective Annie O’Brien, blessed-or cursed-with a heightened sense of empathy, is conducting the investigation. Staying alone in an old house near the desolate remains of the town, she finds herself haunted by the tragedies that occurred there - tragedies that threaten to overwhelm her unusual gift even as New Dominion threatens to rise from the ashes. This audio adaptation of Mariotte’s supernatural thriller will keep listeners desperate to learn what happens next.
Finally, my D&D: Dark Sun novel, City Under the Sand, is narrated by Nicholas Tecoskey:
Aric, a half-elf with a rare natural ability with the psionic discipline known as "the Way", must find his place in a world ruled by the tyranny of evil sorcerer kings, and dominated by the savage wilds of the Athasian desert, a world presided over by the unrelenting crimson eye of Dark Sun. When Aric is brought into a quest to search for a priceless trove of weapons, he would rather keep his head down and live a simple life. But nothing is simple in the city of Nibenay with its reclusive ruler known as the Shadow King. And in a world where metal is the rarest of commodities, Aric’s "way" with metal is an even rarer talent.
If audio stories and books are your thing, I hope you'll give some of these a listen.