WINTER ANIMALS: Stories to benefit PROTECT (part one) – Christopher Irvin

At the suggestion of my friend and partner in crime, Christopher Irvin, the four members of our critique group, me, Errick Nunnally, KL Pereira, and naturally Chris (collectively, the MAD DOGS — no Englishmen yet), have put together a little piece of holiday cheer (okay, maybe less than cheer), for your reading pleasure this December. We’re premiering a new short piece of fiction every Monday this month, culminating at the end with an e-book collection tiled, WINTER ANIMALS, featuring a foreword by Thomas Pluck, a full color cover by Joe DellaGatta (previewed below) and produced by Ron Earl Phillips from SHOTGUN HONEY.

Why would we try to sell you stories that we’ve already given away for free? I’m glad you asked. We are donating 100% of our proceeds for the sale of the e-book to PROTECT.ORG. PROTECT lobbies for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Their nonpartisan agenda takes the best ideas of tough-minded children’s advocates and turns them into well-defined, winnable national and state campaigns pursuing a pro-child, anti-crime agenda designed to make a difference in children’s lives.

None of us are officially affiliated with PROTECT; this is an independently organized effort to benefit them because we strongly believe in what they do. Consequently, we hope that you’ll A) enjoy the stories we’ve written for you, and B) agree that this cause is worthy of your later support. But enough from me. Why don’t you check out how Chris came up with the idea for WINTER ANIMALS, and then read his heart-wrenching piece, “Nor’easter.” Give it a couple of weeks and decide for yourself if you’d like to have a permanent copy for your Kindle. I think you will.

Cheers, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!



I’ve got a thing for holiday-themed fiction. I blame Joe R. Lansdale and his top notch noir tale, “Santa at the Cafe.” Needless to say, I’m stoked to be involved with such a cool project as WINTER ANIMALS, especially with three others who are not only great friends, but excellent writers as well.

Bracken MacLeod, Errick Nunnally and KL Pereira are a wonderfully diverse group of writers and I’m very proud to be a part of our little ‘Mad Dog’ collective. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my writing over the past couple of years and I owe much of my progress to them.


We hope you enjoy the short stories, and if so, support the e-book and PROTECT. Without further ado…


by Christopher Irvin

Randy felt the squelch of his tennis shoes as he stepped around the slush-drowned sidewalk in front of Doyle’s Tavern. The depression near the entrance flooded with the least bit of rain, and in the winter, as soon as the salt trucks made their first run. It had been that way for decades and always would be, giving the locals something to bitch about while Tom poured their first round.

Randy clutched his hat to his chest as the wind picked up, ruffling his long white beard. The falling temperatures stung his cherry-red cheeks and nose, near matching the color of his suit.

Just one drink. Just one drink to warm up.


Read the rest of Chris Irvin’s excellent story right HERE.


~ by poǝןɔɐɯ uǝʞɔɐɹq on 02/12/2013.

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