Sunday, February 03, 2013

Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013

Please welcome Stephen Blackmoore to The Qwillery. Stephen is the author of City of the Lost (review here) and the upcoming Dead Things (Necromancer 1), which will be published on February 5, 2013 by DAW.

The Same River Twice

You can't go home again. None of us can.

There's a quote by Heraclitus on the ever changing nature of the universe. "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man." But he said it in Greek so it probably sounded cooler.

We grow, we change and the world changes with us. We make choices for good or ill, we move forward and leave things, people, places behind. We deal with the consequences. Sometimes it's the other way around.

For all its urban fantasy trappings, that's what my novel DEAD THINGS is about. In it the protagonist, necromancer Eric Carter, a rare breed of mage in a world where magic is kept hidden from the "normals" as much as possible, left his life in Los Angeles behind to protect the people he loved. When he's forced to return the people he left have moved on without him.

It's an old story, but so often it feels like a cop out to me. The Prodigal Son returns and everyone celebrates his wasted life. He doesn't have to atone beyond, "Sorry. My bad." At least he's back in the fold, right? He's repented, returned into the traditions of his family where everybody wants him to be. He's learned the age old lesson: Don't step out of line. No harm, no foul. All is right with the world.

In real life all is not right in the world. Our choices leave a mark. There are ramifications to the things we do.

Eric Carter is not the Prodigal Son. No one celebrates his return. No one wants him back. Least of all himself. He's sure as shit not going to toe the line. His return causes more problems than it solves, casts a light on the things he's done, the person he's become. The damage he caused by leaving in the first place, the damage he causes by trying to fix it.

He's stuck with those choices, just like we all are.

And like all of us he has to struggle to figure out if maybe they were the right choices all along.

Dead Things

Dead Things
Necromancer 1
DAW, February 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it's a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He's turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he'd never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister's been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it's the patrion saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who's taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter's going to find out who did it, and he's going to make them pay.

As long as they don't kill him first.

City of the Lost

City of the Lost
DAW Trade, January 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
Cover and illustrations by Sean Philips

Joe Sunday’s dead.

He just hasn’t stopped moving yet.

Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.

Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.

Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.

About Stephen

Stephen Blackmoore is the author of the novels CITY OF THE LOST and DEAD THINGS and his short stories have appeared in publications such as PLOTS WITH GUNS, SPINETINGLER, THRILLING DETECTIVE, and SHOTS as well as the print anthologies DEADLY TREATS, DON'T READ THIS BOOK and UNCAGE ME. He is an editor for the print magazine NEEDLE: A MAGAZINE OF NOIR and the co-host of the bi-monthly Los Angeles literary event NOIR AT THE BAR ( He has also written essays on Los Angeles politics and crime for the website LAVOICE.ORG ( and the true crime blog LA Noir (

Website  :  Blog  :  Twitter  :  Goodreads

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Dead Things from Stephen Blackmoore. US/CANADA ONLY

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question:  

You have powers! What are they?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I think it would be fascinating to have some powers but not sure necromancer would suit me. I would like to be able to read minds but I must have control of that power.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Ha, my powers seem to be limited to eating an entire bag of chips without noticing and tuning everything out and reading all day long - chores, laundry and dog with crossed legs notwithstanding. I'd certainly like to have some powers, perhaps the ability to teleport or maybe stop time for short periods.
    gfc follower: April V.
    april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com

  3. Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Stephen on the new release! I think that I'd love to either teleport or fly and be superstrong!

    gfc: erin

  4. I'd have powers to teleport.

    I follow the blog.


  5. I am a follower and email subscriber. I would have the power to heal, strength and read minds.

  6. I'd also want the power to teleport.

    gfc: Stephanie

  7. I've long said that if I could have any super power, it'd be invulnerability. Plane crashes? No problem. Diseases? Unaffected. Internet comment trolls? Well, even super powers have their limitations. ;)

    Whether I win the contest or not, I'm looking forward to reading Stephen's book. It sounds like a good one.

    andi (at) andinewton (dot) com

  8. My wife and I make regular long road trips to visit various family members. Teleportation would be an awesome power!

    Looking forward to reading. I follow both Stephen and the Qwillery on Twitter, and mentioned the giveaway:


  9. 3 entries:

    1- Actually I believe we all have powers... or rather a talent of sorts, most of us just don't use them to their full potential...
    I heal with nutrition and massage.
    However... if I could be a necromancer or telepathic or even have truly amazing instant healing powers of amazingness... SO cool!

    2- I follow via facebook, twitter, goodreads, GFC, and email.

    3- I tweeted:

    - lavendersbluegreen(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Perhaps the power of precognition. If hindsight is 20/20, foresight would surely top that! I follow on twitter @arrhyth_mia/ arrhyth_mia[at]yahoo[dot]com

  11. Awesome question! :D I'd love to have the power to go through time (backwards & forwards! - no that's not cheating). Visiting the past or future sounds like a really good power to have :)

    I follow the blog through GFC - Readsalot81


  12. I wanna be a Cullen. Every now and then, I'd go on a human binge, but most of the time, I'd just let Alice dress me and play baseball with Emmett and Jasper. That's a power, right?

  13. Ha! After reading her comment, I want the power to be Delilah! ;)

    (+3: comment, follower, retweeted)