Check it out on Kindle or in print and let me know what you think!
The new issue of The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine is out and it includes my story, "What Goes Around", a short tale of guilt and revenge and self-destruction.
Check it out on Kindle or in print and let me know what you think!
The new issue of Saddlebag Dispatches just came out and my story "Gun-Quick" was second runner-up (third place overall) for the Mustang Award for Western Flash Fiction.
I've been waiting about six months to hear the results and while I'm thrilled to have placed so highly, I must admit I'm a little disappointed I wasn't the winner, but third place is pretty decent, right?
They put the three finalists' individual entries online so you can check out "Gun-Quick" here.
Let me know what you think!
Found on my hard-drive - a video file simply titled KillKiss-FULL.
I opened it and remembered what it was and that I'd watched it, but not why I kept it.
Oh, that's why.
Yes, it's Kubrick's early work, his second film (though just barely; Killer's Kiss is barely an hour). Is it good? No, it is not. The plot is boring, the actors wooden and the sound was all done on a sound-stage, so it comes off as unnatural and at times, off-speed with the actors' mouths.
The plot revolves around a loser boxer, Davey, who sees his neighbor Gloria, a dancehall girl, attacked by her boss, who is obsessed with her. Davey rescues her from his abusive boss, Vincent, but the sleazebag is undeterred and kidnaps her, and attempts to kill Davey, only to mistake Davey's manager for him. Davey is blamed for the murder by the police and has to clear his name while rescuing Gloria. It's a pretty good noir set-up, but the execution falls flat.
For all that, though, Kubrick's talent for scene composition is brilliant and his choice of locations inspired. He reportedly only had a budget of about seventy thousand dollars to make this film. His solution? Make the city of New York his real star.
A few screenshots to illustrate:
This one, below, was actually the background on my first smartphone for a while.
Is it a good movie? As I said, no, but it's a beautifully shot movie for all that and it is interesting to see some of Kubrick's early work and what he could do on a small budget.
Seeing it again, I remember why I kept the file. Think I'll keep it around to rediscover in another six or seven years.
Just a quick note: I've sold my crime story "What Goes Around" to The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine.
You may recall my story "Nobody But You" appeared in The Dark City back in January of 2019 and I'm thrilled to have another story accepted there.
I'm told the story will appear in the next issue, coming a little later this summer, so check back for updates.
In the meantime, why not check out the last issue I appeared in and read "Nobody But You", as well as the five other stories?
The first issue of Guilty Crime Story Magazine is one of today's Kindle deals, starting with 50% off regular price!
It not only includes my story "Give Me a Reason", of which I am very proud, but stories by your favorite crime writers like Jill Hand, Bruce Harris, Alec Cizak, Robb T. White, Joe Giordano, and more!
All new stories, top crime fiction!
If you've been on the fence about checking it out, now's your chance!
Please give it a read and please share to help spread the word!
Click here to get yours instantly!
In just about two months, STRANGERS' KINGDOM, my next novel from Black Rose Writing, will be released.
Politically blacklisted detective Luke Campbell’s last chance in law-enforcement is a job with the police department of rural Granton, Vermont. It’s a beautiful town, home to a beautiful, intriguing girl who’s caught his eye, and it’s a chance at redemption. Even if his new boss seems strange, secretive, and vaguely sinister, Campbell is willing to give this opportunity a shot.
And no sooner does he make that decision than the first in a series of murders is discovered, starting a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone in this once-quiet town…
Check out what some folks who've read it had to say:
"Strangers’ Kingdom is a first-rate small-town whodunit, a page turner that keeps you guessing. I zipped through this book. More, please!" - Matthew M. Bartlett, author of Gateways to Abomination
“An intelligent police procedural with emotional depth and resonance, Strangers’ Kingdom is more than a page-turner, it’s a rewarding and memorable venture into the life of a small-town cop who allows himself a real connection to the people he is meant to protect.” – S.P. Miskowski, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of The Best of Both Worlds
"Barrows deftly weaves murder, suicide, motherhood, and fisticuffs into a taut mystery fraught with peril." - Jan Strnad, Goethe Award-winning author of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron and Mutant World (with Richard Corben)
"Strangers’ Kingdom takes off like an adrenaline-fueled rocket and doesn’t quit until the final page." - Jill Hand, author of Trapnell Thrillers White Oaks and Black Willows
Since it's my site, I can toot my own horn, and let me say, I feel like I'm kind of on a roll lately.
Here are a few recent acceptances, all of which I'm thrilled about.
1. "Fair is Fair" - a short story accepted for Mystery Weekly Magazine
2. MSW also accepted my (long) short story "Sure as Apples" for the anthology of humorous crime stories they're publishing later this year, entitled Die Laughing (no cover as of yet).
3. "Let it Go" - a short story featuring my series character Art Van Leuven was accepted by Unsettling Reads for their Autumn Noir anthology, coming this fall.
4. "No Matter What" - my first carny-noir, this short story was accepted by Schlock! Publishing for their upcoming Serious as a Heart Attack! An Anthology of Clown Noir anthology.
5. Finally, (for now!) my story "Among Stones and Stars", the first non-Azuma Kuromori weird fiction I've written in years, was accepted by Redwood Publishing for their Lost Librarian's Grave anthology.
Be on the lookout for all of these books and, of course, I'll have more news to share about each when they're released.
I have a new story out this week, entitled "Give Me a Reason", in the first issue of Guilty Crime Story Magazine!
There's a lot of great stories in this issue, and I say that as an aficionado of crime fiction, not just a contributor.
“Midnight at the Oasis” by Robb T. White
Nate thought he and his uncle Rex were as close as brothers until one midnight at the Oasis changed everything.
“French Twist” by Joe Giordano
While on vacation in Paris, American Max Caspian offers police his assistance with a very unusual murder.
“Unprincipaled” by Stephen Sottong
Everyone wondered about the day Principal Taylor stole the truck. Nobody would have ever guessed the reason.
“Give Me a Reason” by Brandon Barrows
Something was taken from Chris Zender while serving in Afghanistan and if he can't get it back, he'll get revenge.
“Bridal Wreath” by Jill Hand
Robin was lonely for a long time. Then she met Richard, then Richard brought the flowers...
“Cymbaline” by Alec Cizak
When Raven and Sparrow saw an opportunity, naturally, they took it. Wouldn't you?
“Chasing 61” by Bruce Harris
The Babe set the record of sixty homeruns. Both Roger Maris and Frankie Z. aim to break it.
“The Famous Last Words of Mickey Spillane”
(Article) by Mike McHone
So what are you waiting for? Get your copy today!
Look what I got!
Advance copies of STRANGERS' KINGDOM, my next novel, coming in August from Black Rose Writing!
If you're interested in getting your hands on a signed copy, let me know! $20 postage-paid via PayPal! Drop me a message via the contact page!
You can also pre-order from Amazon - either the Kindle edition or print!
I'm Brandon and I write comic books, prose and poetry. I own dozens of clever and interesting t-shirts.