Monday, 15 August 2011


The third novel in my Raine’s Landing series of supernatural thrillers – Midnight’s Angels – is finally out in hardcover. I’ve talked about it in earlier blogs, but in case you’ve forgotten, here’s the story:

Now the Landing is facing its worst peril yet, monstrous flying creatures in the service of an evil older than the Universe itself. They have an unpleasant way of getting people over to their side, and their powers keep on growing until little can withstand them. Most of the major adepts succumb ... there are only two left to defend Raine's Landing. And the town's chief troubleshooter, ex-cop Ross Devries, has an enormous challenge on his hands. He needs to get his former sidekick, Cassie, back into the fight. And if they are to have any slightest chance of winning through, they're going to have to make some very strange new friends.

And, as usual with my books about this curious, witchcraft-filled Massachusetts town, the terrific reviews have come flooding in. You can read the full review in each case simply by clicking on the link.

“’Non-stop action’ is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, and though I have never read a book that actually lived up to that hype, Midnight’s Angels comes pretty close. The action starts strong and barely lets up. As a matter of fact, I was less than a quarter of the way through the story before I started trying to figure out how in the world Ross and Cassie (and friends) were going to be able to defeat a seemingly unstoppable menace. Richards has crafted a wonderful town filled with fascinating characters. His writing is clear and precise, with wonderful dialogue. The backstory is interesting, but never overshadows the narrative. And many mysteries remain, for future stories in the Raine's Landing saga. I, for one, look forward to visiting again” -- Erik Smith, The Monster Librarian

“I thought his characters, of which there are quite a few, were fully fleshed out and believable, with the main characters being ones I came to really enjoy spending time with. When it comes to fiction for me, characters are first and foremost the most important factor in drawing me into the story, and Mr. Richards characters are absolutely wonderful. The action is fast and furious, with plenty of witchcraft, magic and supernatural beings. His writing is atmospheric and spooky, once you start you will find it hard to put it down. I stayed up late a few nights in a row, as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next” – Literary Mayhem

“Not only is Midnight’s Angels an imaginative story filled with interesting characters and enough twists and turns to keep those of you who like thrillers happy, Tony Richards has written a horror story which demonstrates his maturity as a writer. Look at it this way, Midnight’s Angels has the jacked-up imagination one would expect from Tony Richards, but it also has the control and pacing of an author coming into his own. This guy was making things real, handling me (and his characters) like it was a walk in the park. I prefer horror that disturbs me to no end, but I can see people who read mainstream dark fiction talking about this book, or at least the series, for years to come. In fact, I can hear the inevitable Stephen King comparisons now” – Clayton Bye, The Deepening

“It’s another satisfying entry in the Raine’s Landing series; this time, the characters are permanently changed by what’s happened and the bittersweet ending leaves the way open for yet another story…and that is definitely one I think readers will be looking forward to—and demanding” – Tony-Paul de Vissage

“Yet again Richards had upped the stakes with this book, putting not just Raine’s Landing but the existence of life itself in jeopardy, but he does so with such panache that it is impossible to feel anything other than admiration for his imagination and storytelling skill. It’s a book that combines supernatural spectacle and human drama, old favourites and new inventions, in just the right balance, with the message coming over loud and clear from author Richards that there is still plenty of mileage left in this unique and marvelous creation. I loved it” – Peter Tennant, Black Static.

And that’s just the first five reviews. Dark Regions Press are currently running a special offer on the hardback … if you by both Midnight’s Angels and my latest short fiction collection – Our Lady of the Shadows -- you can get a 20% price reduction simply by using the voucher code RICHARDS20.

The amazing cover, by the way, is by M. Wayne Miller.

Friday, 12 August 2011


My two latest publications on Amazon Kindle are both sorties into erotic genre fiction.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE contains two horror shorts. In the title story, a visitor to Rome embarks on a wild affair with a woman he has met in his hotel, never once realising that there are supernatural forces at work, and a terrible price to be eventually paid. In ‘Beautiful Stranger,’ a young man in London is followed home by a gorgeous female Riser -- a zombie created by the wonder drug Revenox -- and begins to fall in love with her. But does she love him back?

Whereas ALSISO is a short erotic thriller, in which Harriet has fled her dull suburban marriage with her brand-new lover, Beth. Now, they live a lazy, bohemian existence in the quiet town of Alsiso, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. But when Harriet begins to fall under the spell of a handsome drifter named Cody, the scene is set for mystery, intrigue -- and maybe worse. ‘Alsiso’ is accompanied by the story ‘Nine Rocks in a Row,’ about a couple who come across a genuinely terrifying prophecy.

Both of these are 99 cents, as are all ten of my self-publications on Amazon Kindle. And the great covers are -- once again -- by the excellent Steve Upham.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


My very first guest blogger is Toni V. Sweeney, a terrific author of sf, horror, fantasy, vampire fiction and more. We first began corresponding when she started to review my Raine's Landing novels, and we have been corresponding ever since. Here she is, talking about the influences on her work:

A special thanks to Tony for having me as his guest. We’ve only met through the Internet but I count him as a friend and applaud the novels he’s written. In a recent blog, Tony spoke of places he’s visited where he got the germ of ideas later flowering into novels. I haven’t traveled that much, and certainly not outside the ol’ US of A, but I have used the locales I’ve lived in as settings for some of my novels…specifically the Nebraska Panhandle (yes, there’s one there, too) in Serpent’s Tooth, Walk the Shadow Trail, and Vengeance from Eden, which were written for Nebraska’s celebration of statehood) and Middle Georgia and the Golden Isles in Jericho Road.

None of these have the haunting chill of Tony’s books—except Serpent’s Tooth, though demon worship in Nebraska does sound a little far-fetched when spoken out loud—but I think I managed to depict the loneliness of the sand hills, as well as the tight-knit conformity of a small Southern town fairly accurately.

There’s one thing more than any other that’s influenced the way my books are constructed, something people have come to call my “style.” (Hey…I’ve got a style now, how about that?) I suppose I’m a child of my time…and my time was the early 50’s, when moving pictures were the most popular form of entertainment before the Boob Tube usurped it. In those days, there were not only dramas and westerns but sweeping epics of adventure, costume dramas of pirates, Robin Hood, rogues and rascals and villains. Nowadays, you rarely see those, except for an occasional Indiana Jones rip-off or if Cinemax steps in with The Borgias. It was the time of Frank Yerby, Samuel Shellabarger, Rafael Sabatini…men who wrote what would probably be termed the picaresque novel, tales of men conquering mountains and nations, and discovering new worlds—simply because they were there. Their stories were made into Technicolor sagas enthralling this little viewer for hours (in those days, you could pay your money and stay in the theatre the entire day if you wished.) And when I began to write, I unconsciously patterned my stories after theirs.

One series—The Adventures of Sinbad—seems to mirror those stories enough that several readers have told me they “absolutely adore” my main character. I admit it’s easy to see him swinging across the deck of a ship, with dagger between his teeth while he hangs onto the heroine with one hand and a rope with the other, a la The Crimson Pirate. In fact, I think I had him do something almost like that in one story…

Other novels open with an incident leading to a flashback. In fact, one novel is simply one extended flashback, returning to the present only in the last chapter. Others are more linear, with cuts to other points of view showing things happening at the same time in other places, the dialogue interspersed with stage direction-like movement. In telling my tales of adventure, romance, violence, danger, and—on occasion—lust, I harken back to those days in those darkened theatres as I shoveled in the popcorn with my eyes glued to that glad bead-silvered screen. Good or bad, that’s just the way my mind works, and so far, it’s successful. The results are—in several reviewers’ opinions, “readable and enjoyable tales…outside the box”…which I owe to two things: my imagination and those childhood entertainments.

And then television came along…and opened the box even wider…

Toni V. Sweeney was born after the War Between the States and before the Gulf War. A native Georgian, she has lived on both coasts, thirty years in the Midwest and is now trying for thirty more in Nebraska. Her first novel was published in 1989 and she currently has 27 novels in publication. Her last novel The Wizard’s Wife, was released in February, of this year, and her latest novel, Runaway Brother, written under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone, will be released by Class Act Books in August, 2011.