Spinetingler Reviews Warmed And Bound

The splendid people at Spinetingler Magazine tackled a number of the stories from Warmed And Bound: A Velvet Anthology. You can check the reviews of the stories by: J David Osborne, Craig Clevenger, Caleb J Ross, Stephen Graham Jones, Bob Pastorella, Sean P Ferguson, Axel Taiari, Vincent Louis Carrella, Mark Jaskowski, Craig Wallwork, Nik Korpon, Paul Tremblay, DeLeon DeMicoli, and our editor, Pela Via by clicking on each author’s names.

Spinetingler Magazine has their finger on the pulse of everything literary and everything that even thinks about dressing up and walking around all noir-like. Give their reviews, stories, and press a peek. Nik Korpon and Richard Thomas were both published in their Speedloader, with the cover-work being done by our good, good friend Boden Steiner.


Booked and Warmed And Bound Together Again!

The gentlemen at Booked are doing something tremendous! They’re doing a massive Warmed And Bound themed giveaway over at Goodreads. That’s the generalities. Here’s the incredible details:

You get:
Warmed And Bound: A Velvet Anthology signed by authors Richard Thomas and Chris Deal; Stranger Will signed by author Caleb J. Ross; When October Falls signed by author Christopher J. Dwyer; Cienfuegos signed by author Chris Deal; AND Shivers VI signed by author Richard Thomas

To Win:
Get yourself an account at Goodreads and then click HERE. You should have an account with Goodreads anyhow.

In the Thunderdome: Doc O’Donnell

The seventh installment in the Thunderdome-Warmed and Bound Series (explained here).

Bunnies, Rats, Ferrets and Me

“I’m waiting for Suzannah to get home …”  >> Read more

Introduction for Doc O’Donnell written by Jesse Lawrence:
Doc O’Donnell gets me. Or, I’d like to think he does, anyway. Never mind that time, once, when he was quoting Arrested Development or some such and I just kept flashing back on Dirty Dancing, missing, exactly, what was going on in all this, and certainly not unsticking myself from the eighties, from where I was living for the music, through it, maybe even dreaming those rock ‘n’ roll superstar fantasies, the kind that “didn’t quite work out” for Doc, thus throwing him into the storyteller ring, allowing me to even know of him, let alone get to misquote things with or around him.

Reviews in the Interim

We took a break from promotion, largely to avoid wearing out our friends, but now we’re terribly behind. Apologies to those whose efforts (or emails) haven’t been properly acknowledged yet. Soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, some new reviews are up at Amazon. (One immense review by The Velvet’s own Roger Sarao that I’d like to have notarized)

I can’t express how helpful and wonderful these are for us. If you have a moment to write a quick review or give a star rating, we would be sincerely grateful. Because anything we could possibly say about this book probably sounds better coming from you.

quick links: Amazon (reviews now require purchase–annoying but prevents fudged ratings), GoodreadsBarnes&NoblePowell’s

Lastly, within the Velvet community, a classy place for contributors to review without shame.

Thanks. Updates and Velvet Press news to come. We hope you’ve had a nice summer.

In the Thunderdome: J David Osborne

The fifth installment in the Thunderdome-Warmed and Bound Series (explained here).


“Sepp and Arlo Clancy raised rabbits and chickens but the chickens always died…”  >> Read more

Introduction for David Osborne written by Jesse Lawrence:
J David Osborne has until recently escaped me, and it’s not one bit his doing, but mine. I’ve had his debut novel By the Time We Leave Here, We’ll be Friends since I caught an early ripple in some certain friendly waters. However, I have yet take that Siberian trip. But then

Well, then, I caught “Three Theories on the Murder of John Wily” in Warmed and Bound. That story there, it shook something maybe not, say, familiar in me, but something I saw glimmers of elsewhere, possible futures of other people, snowballing in my brain like the Run Lola Run flash forward snap shot schemes. And now
So, now, I’m thinking on packing myself in a Eastern Europe-bound crate and seeing what, exactly, I have been missing.

—Jesse Lawrence

In the Thunderdome: Edward J Rathke

The fourth installment in the ThunderdomeWarmed and Bound Series (explained here).

Now Here is Nowhere

“The air, thousands of blades rushing over the evershifting earth. I walk nameless and faceless through a featureless land beneath an unremarkable sky …”  >> Read more

Introduction for Eddy Rathke written by Jesse Lawrence:

I’m walking down the street, half immersed in the stolen glance of a tangential thought and half immersed in the book I’m reading, in the trees I am, so far, avoiding, and I catch a peripheral spark of fancy dress. Edward J Rathke. Could that have been?

Mr. Rathke and I, we share a city and we circle similar halls, but we do these things in just such a fashion that we seem to always pass each other by, failing at formally meeting. As I shuffle the city streets, Eddy runs to alternating global corners, writing letters to himself and those he meets, his prose as mellifluous as the paths which he seems to take.

I imagine him at the ballet, simultaneously in the front row and in the wings. Or even, perhaps, in some Lynchian time-travel cinematic dream wherein he takes the place of Sami Frey.

—Jesse Lawrence

In the Thunderdome: Amanda Gowin

The third installment in the ThunderdomeWarmed and Bound Series (explained here).

Tin Man

“When you pop your knuckles you can’t wear rings …”  >> Read more

Introduction for the lovely Amanda Gowin written by The Velvet’s own Jesse Lawrence:
Amanda Gowin, like her story “Tin Man,” is a tornado in my mind. She’s caught in this secret history, a lucid dream, the way things very well may have been. Part of her, in this here history, she’s my sister, and another part of her, the flip-side, she’s this swelling platonic twin, the kind that you’d have shed blood with and sworn allegiance to before people then your age knew, even, what “acronym” meant. In all that, that world within me that only imagination and heart can reach, we’re racing—giggling, fingers entwined—her feet two steps ahead of mine, daring adventures out of me, teaching me to dance, and teaching me how to apply eye shadow just so so that Halloween can be that much more real. And when the first step is finally my turn, when I decide that jump is something I can take, she’s right there, going too, future’s possibilities opening up below us.

—Jesse Lawrence

In the Thunderdome: Chris Deal

The second installment in the Thunderdome-Warmed and Bound Series (explained here).

Truckstop Magic

“He had this magic trick, my granddad. …”  >> Read more

Chris Deal worked in a cigar shop before he married his true love. One Christmas he drew my name in a secret-santa gift exchange and I received a non-descript box of books that smelled like a secret-santa cigar exchange. I wasn’t supposed to know who sent it, which made me smile.

Recently someone in my home rounded a corner and caught me at my bookcase inhaling the inside spine of a book. There was a pause and a grimace. He finally asked what I was doing. I said I didn’t know.

I don’t usually go around smelling things. Nor would I ever try to smell Chris Deal himself, unless invited, but occasionally a connection is made; between my memories of funny times, things like cigar-infused gifts, and my fondness of a certain person, and there’s a feeling that no longer relates to writing or books. I talk about Chris Deal’s writing often. He’s a sort of pure talent who knows nothing but honesty and humility. But when I’m in the privacy of my home, and free to stop talking about books, and smell or taste whatever’s nearby, I like Chris Deal the person even more than the writer. Which, from me, all things considered, is quite a claim.


Goodreads Giveaway

>>Enter to win a copy of Warmed and Bound

Courtesy of Richard Thomas
1 copy available, to be signed by authors Richard Thomas and Chris Deal
Contest ends Aug 22, 2011

Additional Links:
Warmed and Bound on Goodreads

Contibutors on Goodreads: Pela ViaSteve EricksonCraig ClevengerStephen Graham JonesBrian EvensonCaleb J. Ross,Cameron PierceNic Young , Paul G. TremblayBradley SandsChristopher J. DwyerBlake ButlerJ.R. HarlanMark JaskowskiEdward J. RathkeGayle TowellBob PastorellaNik KorponKyle MinorBrandon TietzGordon HighlandVincent Louis CarrellaGary Paul LiberoSean FergusonDeLeon DeMicoliRob ParkerJeremy Robert Johnson,Anthony David JacquesChris DealAmanda GowinCraig WallworkMatt BellCraig DavidsonGavin PateTim BeverstockDoc O’DonnellRichard ThomasAxel TaiariJ. David Osborne

The Fuse

What follows is a series of Warmed and Bound sentences as chosen by Richard Thomas. During the week of the book’s release, Richard took his favorite lines to Twitter, where an afterthought of a project suddenly became quite popular. Myself an adoring fan of his idea, I sought permission to use his posts and have since compiled and re-sorted them here. The excerpt from the book’s foreword captures well what these stand-out lines do for us. Many thanks to Richard Thomas for being the hardest worker in Noir. And thanks again to Steve Erickson for eloquently saying what we mean when we grin and sigh. Enjoy. —Pela


“…and the moment you read this sentence you know there’s a fuse attached to it, you can see in the distance its glint and hear in the background its hiss, this fuse that was lit before you ever picked up the book and which burns closer and brighter with every page turned.”
Steve Erickson


“I give her the truth on an ordinary day. It’s the release she’s been praying for.”

“Every move she made was slow and soft like the bubbles in a bath, loving like a mother”

“Lester felt something give deep inside him. Like a Christmas ornament in space”

“Crime-scene slides project themselves onto the wall…dust motes suspended in the lamplight.”

“My head throbs like a beaten heart. My first instinct was wrong.”

“She’s a whore and will always be a whore, he said. Bright flashes lit up the room.”

“Broken glass glitters under the streetlamp, a thousand green eyes tracking me.”

“On this road he had run from the fire. On this road, he was the wind.”

“In the woods they held hands…the trees bent into a portal blowing a voice through their flesh.”
Gavin Pate

“Her body inspired a tactile covetousness: you wanted it to be your hands alone on her body.”
Craig Davidson

“I touched her face and slowly ground my lips into hers…She tasted like bubblegum.”

“The streets glisten and a veil hangs over the sky, blotting the moon, the sun, and stars.”

“Each orgasm a flurry of pixel and data. Patterned chaos. A self-replicating archive”

“Where is the fifth ace?” “The fifth ace?” says the voice. “Sir, you are the fifth ace.”
Brian Evenson

“They came to see her dance, people with money and people with love.”

“You’d find the good gossip downtown…where grass and power lines fight for dominance.”

“From across the bar, I couldn’t stop staring at her, at that breathtaking mouth of hers.”

“She smells like a dryer. She has black hair but wears it like it’s blond.”

“Anarchy fucking rules. Riots in the streets fucking rule. Pee wee soccer games fucking rule.”

“Try to fall on your head when you land…A bloody nose will make it look more realistic.”

“Tonight in Sector 7, come see The Amazing Asher kill himself for your entertainment.”

“If you love me, she says, you’ll do this. She hands me a razor blade.”

“Like the brain, everything about you will dry up & deplete. Until you’re nothing but bones.”

“You killed me that day. Have you ever had to hold your mouth with both hands?”

“Ernie learns to walk. And soon after, takes to chasing trains.”

“Ralph, What is sex like in the later years? My sweet, have you ever shot pool with a rope?”
Gary Paul Libero

“The baby died. I put it in the trash. Remember to pull the can to the curb tomorrow.”

“Yes, I could see it in the child there, a black door under the confetti of his brains…”

“The thing was hissing and it tried to curl in on itself and Myra started shaking”
Jeremy Robert Johnson

“You were heavier than I expected, and the room felt bigger than it was.”

“They take you at night. Or, they take you early in the morning.”

“What was supposed to be an infant in seven months now sits in the palm of my hand.”
Gayle Towell

“Without Tilly the world was clocks. They hovered with round faces and she scurried away.”

“The moon is full on the horizon, full and dancing along the top of every gentle wave.”

“She flared in the dark like some wild animal’s lone eye in my headlights.”
Craig Clevenger

“I look at her again. I want to see something there…to remember the woman I married. But I can’t.”
JR Harlan

“She bites down hard on my collarbone and my whole body jerks.”
Mark Jaskowski

“For the 15 seconds it takes her to saw through the arm I’ve never loved anyone as much as her.”

“When I came out of that fever dream, stumbling into the sunlight…I had resurrected myself.”

In the Thunderdome: Craig Wallwork

Mr Wadsworth and the Flea Circus

“I noticed it first at the second meeting. His hands were smaller, and when he held the metal high-dive model complete with board and splash, it appeared much bigger than it did in my hand. …”  >> Read more

Craig Wallwork is one of my personal favorites, as humans go. He is fearless in ways that are too rare among writers; he will say anything, if it means making a reader laugh. Or making a friend feel loved. He wins for formidable earnestness, and we win for getting our hands on his exceptional writing.

I love this photo of him. He looks cooler than the rest of us, and knowing him like I do—how he reacts to compliments—I can’t resist trying to say the things that turn such a hard face bright red.

Details are fuzzy now, but in my memory I begged him to be in this anthology, regardless of his perceived difference in writing style. I don’t win many arguments, but I’m quite happy I won that one.


Order Overload

On a less fun note, it’s true Barnes & Noble has canceled orders. We don’t yet know why, or if there are more cancellations to come, but we’re presently seeking a very good explanation.

For readers affected: We wouldn’t recommend placing a new order quite yet, not without a better understanding of where the breakdown occurred. (Especially with regard to Barnes and Noble, whose price is now up to $15.95.) Till further notice—to serve as a temporary and to offset the inconvenience—Barnes and Noble cancellation emails can be forwarded to PELAVIA@THE-VELVET.COM in exchange for a PDF of the book.

Sincere apologies this has happened.

Barnes & Noble Bestseller

On the day of its release, Warmed and Bound reached seventh in the country on the Barnes & Noble Top Bestseller list. Among all paperbacks, it ranked third. Now into its second day, it remains the number one trending book.

We never knew what to expect with this project. A fledgling press, pulled into existence to create this one book, the objective was to not lose money. We weren’t expecting this.

We feel an enormous debt of gratitude to all those who bought the book or helped spread the word. Thank you.  —PV

Jay Slayton-Joslin Vs. Twenty-Two: And We Love Him

Jay Slayton-Joslin, the upcoming author interviewer took on the great task of interviewing twenty-two of the thirty-eight authors contained within Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology. He asked each author three questions, resulting in a great variation in sixty-six responses.

You can read the interview: Warmed & Bound Collection – The Multiple Voices Inside Your Book at

And while you’re there, feel free to check out Jay’s own personal writing in the menu at the top of his website, or simply click: HERE

Warmed and Bound: The Trailer

Created by Gordon Highland, a genius with still photos and making them move:

Warmed and Bound (book trailer) from Gordon Highland on Vimeo.

Gordon is also the author of Major Inversions, the forth coming Flashover, and he wrote Headshot which appears in Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology.

Logan Rapp

What isn’t seen, what isn’t associated with this book ad nauseam as is my name, is the involvement of Logan Rapp. He has single-handedly enabled its publication and made us look good. It’s all quiet, all behind the scenes, and without a glance at due credit or compensation. He deserves a medal for what he’s done for this book.

And other medals for having to work with me without fair warning for what this project would become.

It’s difficult to describe right but worth mentioning that our fights were epic. We worked so well together from the start that when one of us was stressed or unhappy, the other heard about it. This has added something, or sealed something already there. The Velvet has always been tightly knit, and when I find people I can fight with like brothers and sisters, I feel at home and everything begins to feel a little more unbreakable. These guys often call each other brother. I wouldn’t, because it’s not the same from a woman. But when you’re ducking vases from my direction and looking at me like you want to kill me, that’s what that is.

Logan is an awesome guy. He has some truly fantastic opportunities opening up for him and I’m looking forward to watching what progresses.

BIO: Logan Chance Rapp is an administrator for The Velvet, and a writer in North Hollywood, CA. He graduated from California State University Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications / Journalism. When asked for this bio, he groaned to himself, muttered “fine” in that way where you just know he isn’t “fine,” but wrote the bio anyway, forgetting that the lovely editor who asked him for it is going to read this. You can find his day job writing at

EDITORIAL NOTE: Logan says, “I only allow this sort of attention on me because it might get me dates.”

In One Year

It was this time last year I sent out the first anthology emails. If I remember right, first to JR Harlan, begging for his story “Love,” and to Craig Clevenger, with more unsubtle begging. Then others, Richard Thomas, Gordon Highland and Caleb Ross, asking for publishing advice and whether they liked various titles—one a play on the well-loved existing phrase: The Velvet warms and binds.

I don’t know what happened between then and now. But this photo, and rumors of other people to be similarly inked, tell one part of it better than I could.

The idea of a Velvet anthology existed well before I was involved. And somehow, we still managed to stumble into something incredible with this project. I am in awe. And tempted to frame Doc’s arm in my home. It has come to mean more to me each day I’ve known about it.

The ink makes sense when you see how much these writers care—about the work and about each other. I’m lucky to have been involved. The book is lucky to have these writers.

A Foreword by the Illustrious Steve Erickson

I was there and I’m still confused by our connection to Steve Erickson.

The man makes us go bananas, I’ve tried to tell him—likely to no avail. Perhaps more than any other living author, he personifies what The Velvet’s writers so voraciously adore in fiction.

There is a distinct vitality in his approach to story. An unmitigated and unfeigned desire for freshness. While the need to restore image over and over is lost amid the affection for new beauty or higher language. That he found any part of WARMED AND BOUND favorable speaks to his warmhearted and openminded nature, above all else.

As accidental forewords go, I couldn’t have thought up a more appropriate author to dream into our book.