Types of self catering accommodations that offer the best holiday experience

One of the best options you can consider if you want to enjoy your holiday even when your budget is limited is self catering accommodation. This is by far one of the most cost effective types of accommodation to consider especially when you think that staying in luxury hotels will only break your budget. There are plenty of advantages that a self catering accommodation provides and it takes your worries about holiday expenses away. There are several types of self catering accommodation to choose from and one of which is the log cabin holidays. Luxury log cabin holidays remain unmatched because it offers great options especially to holiday makers who are on a tight budget. The facilities are superb and can guarantee a pleasurable stay.

Aside from log cabin holidays, you will also love staying in lodges especially those with hot tubs. Everyone loves lodges with hot tubs as it creates a romantic ambiance and for couples and honeymooners who want to rest and relax, this is definitely one of the best options to consider. Lodges can match the facilities of a luxury hotel and the best part is you are paying less. If you want to get a good value for money, this is definitely a perfect fit. you will not only enjoy your holiday but also frolic in the sun without a thing to worry about.

Another type of self catering accommodation that you can consider is the static caravan holiday. Just like the above mentioned self catering accommodation, you can never go wrong with a static caravan holiday as it offers plenty of options to holiday makers even if the budget seems so limited. With more options to choose from, you will surely enjoy the facilities and the kind of accommodation that static caravans offered.
Self catering accommodations are really the best way to go especially if you have an issue with your budget. It can provide you with quality accommodation when you need it the most.


Signings, appearances, and other scheduled events …

ConDFW XI, Crowne Plaza Suites, Dallas, Texas, February 17-19, 2012:
DarkStar and Event Horizons authors and editors.

Convention, signing, and other event photos …

DarkStar Books “Mardi Gras” launch party
at Con DFW, February 2009 …

Authentic New Orleans Mardi Gras King cake …
Our banner in the Dealer’s Room …









Teresa with Rhonda Eudaly in the reading room …
Teresa Patterson reads from NO Quarter …









Darlene Bolesny hands out Mardi Gras beads as the party room fills up ..


David Weber, Rhonda Eudaly, Tom Knowles and “The Redheads of the Apocalypse” …








C.J. Miller, Taylor Anderson, & Darlene get some air as the party spills out into the hall …
Darlene sets out snacks under the Lone Star banner..











Jamey Knowles, DarkStar’s gaming designer, sets up our tables and banners in A-Kon 20’s “Artist’s Alley.” In keeping with the theme of NO Quarter, our upcoming French Quarter suspense novel by Robert Lynn Asprin, Eric Del Carlo, and Teresa Patterson, Jamey read Tarot cards for the fans who stopped by. We shared a corner two-table space with Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye. In addition to promoting NO Quarter and Jeff Carroll’s Being Texan, our upcoming publications from DarkStar Books and Lone Star Publishing, we also promoted other works by our authors, associates, and friends, including The Devil You Know, P.N. Elrod’s new signed, limited edition Jack Fleming novella, and books by Robert Lynn Asprin, Teresa Patterson, Bill Fawcett, Jody Lynn Nye, and Lynn Abbey.







Bill Fawcett drops by for a visit …

Publisher’s Representative
Distribution Partners

Jonathan Barrett Gentleman Vampire by P.N. Elrod

Jonathan Barrett
Gentleman Vampire

by P.N. Elrod 
An EBook Omnibus of four novels:
Red Death     Death and the Maiden
Death Masque     Dance of Death

List Price: $ 6.99
EBook ISBN: 978-0-9819866-9-2
Release Date: May 27, 2011
– cover design by Julie Barrett –

Download a sample of this ebook!     EPub     Mobi

Jonathan Barrett burst on the scene in 1993, and now all four of his novel-length adventures are available together for the first time in this omnibus from DarkStar Books. The author’s revisions to the original manuscripts have added over 120 pages of new material to the saga!

It’s 1773 and 17-year old Jonathan Barrett is eager to leave for college in Boston-and lose his virginity-perhaps not in that order. His imperious mother has other plans though, sending young Jonathan headlong into life-changing adventure in far away England. There he meets the bewitching and irresistible Nora Jones, a society beauty who gladly initiates him to the arts of love.
Though many handsome young men pay court to the secretive Nora, Jonathan is her favorite, at a price. He unknowingly pays it-in blood-to the woman he loves more than life itself.
When war and revolution threaten his family, he sails home to Long Island-to tragically die at the hands of a neighbor turned rebel and thief.
But Nora’s dark gift does not allow Jonathan to rest long in his early grave; he returns to the world of the living confused, terrified . . . and hungry.

Follow this newly-made vampire’s dangerous journey through the darkness of death, war, and undying love in this ground-breaking, critically acclaimed series by P.N. Elrod.

Praise for the Jonathan Barrett Series:

‘This entertaining first installment in a new series by the author of The Vampire Files offers deft touches of wit, beauty and suspense.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Fascinating subplots, humor and action.” – Starlog Magazine

“Characters are well-drawn, the good and the bad … The book’s chief joys are the voice of Jonathan and the portrayal of Tory life during the American revolution.” – LOCUS Magazine

Available online now at:  Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble   Amazon.com Kindle Amazon.com Kindle

Fields of interest

Science Fiction–military, alternate history, cultural, political, general, and “hard” SF, steampunk, cyberpunk (surprise us with something new)

Fantasy–non-traditional, traditional, comic, historical, urban, modern, and high fantasy

Mystery & Suspense–non-traditional, detective, hard-boiled, police procedural, political, military, thrillers

Horror–non-traditional, suspense-based horror only

Western–historical only

Genre Crossovers (i.e., SF/Mystery, Western Fantasy, etc.)

Gaming–We are building a new role-playing game system; any stories we commission for use as gaming backgrounds will be set within that system and based upon it. Once the system is complete, we will make the specifications and requirements for gaming submissions available.

We are primarily interested in acquiring literary and commercial quality works that will conform to the high standards of our publishing and production process. Although there may be “nothing new under the sun” when it comes to genre fiction we’re looking for the fresh and original viewpoint. Our standard rule is no cozy mysteries, no fifth-generation Tolkien rip-offs, no clones of television SF series or Anime, no genius serial killers, no romantic vampires, no prep-school wizardlings–unless the author has found an original, literarily sound, non-plagerizing twist on one of those overused themes. We definitely will not find interest in any fiction that plagerizes or draws from any popular fiction series or gaming system.

Submissions policy

We are a new “small” press. We do not intend to stay small, so we are at present working with specific, established authors in order to build our line. We will not accept unsolicited submissions; we will return unsolicited submissions unopened or discard them. We will accept queries exclusively from accredited author representatives and literary agencies, and only for established or otherwise recognized authors. Literary agents who believe that their clients’ work might match our publishing requirements may contact us with inquiries only–no manuscripts, outlines, or synopses without prior approval of the query, please. Agents may contact us via telephone, e-mail, or regular mail. Please bring submission queries to the attention of our staff by using the notation, “Acquisitions Editor.”

We may at some point in the future open our submission process to first-time and/or unrepresented authors. At such time we will indicate the change in our policy.

Exceptions: We have and will continue to invite submissions from specifically chosen published authors, whether or not they are presently represented. Example: A writer who has published a short story in a professional, semi-pro, or (acceptable) fan venue. Our editors and associates often attend literary and media conventions at which we take note of readings by such authors and may invite queries and submissions based on that. Under no circumstances will we invite or accept manuscripts, solicited or otherwise, from new, unpublished, unrepresented authors while attending conventions. If invited at a convention to make a submission or send a query, an author will be asked to submit it by email or regular mail.

In other words, the best way to break in if you’ve not published a novel and aren’t represented by a literary agent is to publish short fiction in some venue that is acceptable to the convention organization, secure an invitation to read your work there, and do a great reading when we happen to be there.

We do not plan to publish short fiction/anthologies until we’ve established our brand with our novels. If you are a short fiction writer or anthologist, please take this into consideration.

Cerveza, Texas by Stephen Banister

Cerveza, Texas

A new “Tuck and Pig Dog” adventure, sequel to
The St. Charles House

by Stephen Banister

List Price: $ 6.99
EBook ISBN: 978-0-9819866-8-5
Release Date: January 27, 2011

Tuck Tucker, the poker-playing slacker sleuth first introduced to mystery fans in The St. Charles House, and his beloved Cheerio-eating golden retriever, Pig Dog, return in a new adventure.

If a Texan says, “He’s done gone to Willie’s Place,” it means, “He’s died and gone to heaven.
When Tuck is invited to a 13th-year high-school class reunion at Willie Nelson’s former ranch–now owned by one of his former classmates–he’s not really planning on finding heaven, or dying.
First, he finds out that a beautiful former girlfriend who is a pro athlete will be joining him there–pure heaven.
Then, when Tuck picks her up at the airport in one of the ranch’s classic Lincoln towncars, he discovers the body of one of his classmates stuffed into the trunk–pure murder.
And if Tuck doesn’t figure out who the killer is before the end of the reunion, he and all of his classmates just might end up staying at Willie’s Place . . . for good.

Available online now at:  Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble Online   Amazon.com Kindle Amazon.com Kindle


The editors and authors at DarkStar have collaborated to create a standard publishing contract based on elements of our many years of experience in the industry and the recommendations of recognized writers organizations. This contract’s advance and royalty structure, reserve on returns policy, and rights and revision terms, are based on these recommendations and experiences. We believe that the terms of this contract are unique within the industry.

We will make a copy of our standard contract available to accredited author and artist representatives upon written or e-mailed request, depending on approval by our publishing board.

Petrogypsies by Rory Harper

by Rory Harper

This critically-acclaimed science fiction novel is set in an alternate universe in which organic, semi-sentient, alien-engineered oilfield drilling rigs roam the plains of Texas and the Southwest in search of petroleum.
Petrogypsies is the first in Harper’s series about the great drilling beast, Sprocket, his best friend, former farmer Henry Lee MacFarland, and the rowdy, musical crew of “petrogypsies” who travel with them in their quest for fortune, romance, and adventure.

List Price: $15.95
Direct to Reader Discount: $14.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819866-1-6
DarkStar Books-Fall 2009
–Click to Order Direct from DarkStar–

– cover painting by Hugo Award winning artist Brad Foster –
– cover design and interior illustrations by Jason Carranza –

For Sprocket and Henry Lee,
it was love at first blow-out …

Henry Lee MacFarland is a big ugly man, a farmer who is so strong that he has to be gentle, whether he’s dealing with livestock or with normal people.
Sprocket is a hundred and twelve feet of healthy young male Driller, dark as a moonless night, with a spiked tongue that can bore four miles into the earth in his relentless quest for the thing he loves best–Texas heavy crude oil.
Doc, Razer, Big Mac, and the others in Sprocket’s crew are the roughest, rowdiest bunch in the oilpatch. They live inside of Sprocket’s body and travel like gypsies from one drilling job to another. They work like animals. Party like ’em, too.
Then there’s Star, the stunning Casing gypsy who has a hankering for fine cigars, a killer instinct at poker, and a taste for big, ugly, strong men.
Looking for adventure, Henry Lee leaves the farm behind and signs on with Sprocket’s crew.
He gets a helluva lot more “adventure”–as in monsters, mayhem, and murder–than he bargained for.

NQex  Click to read an excerpt from Petrogypsies

NQex  Click to listen to an audio excerpt from Petrogypsies read by Rory Harper



Reviews and Links:

Locus  Locus Magazine
“Rory Harper’s sensibility is warm, earthy, whimsical, cleverly off-center, and, when he wants it to be, bawdy as all get out … Petrogypsies is a blue-collar, red-neck world where folks sweat and love and work and get hurt … Petrogypsies has got to be one of the most auspicious debuts of the year.”

Falkeep  A Newsvine.com review by Falkeep
“The people who don’t know Texas … will still find a lot to enjoy and laugh about, right down to the cover by another of our Texas treasures, multiple Hugo award winner Brad Foster. The people, who DO know, will quickly and proudly put it on their special bookcase … that one that is anchored with Lone Star Universe. The setting of the world of the Petrogypsies is one in which, in the American deserts of the 1840s, remarkable and possibly alien creatures were discovered. They are probably bio-tech; in fact, I wonder how one of them would stand up against Alien. These creatures are specifically designed as oilfield equipment … drillers, casers, cementers, etc. and, as they were discovered before the oil boom in America. Thus, oilfield life developed as a life one of specially trained and skilled migrant workers, oil field gypsies specializing in the work of their particular creature. I can’t imagine any other writer putting it down and saying to himself ‘Damn, *I* was working on an idea like that.'”


Play Zombie Tunes by Rory Harper
from EatOurBrains.com Downloads:

FZB  Fast Zombie Blues

NE  Nothing Else Better To Do


Available in book stores everywhere and online at
Amazon.com Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble   Borders Borders   Books A Million Books A Million   Powell's books Powell’s Books   Hastings Hastings
and many others.

Morticai’s Luck by Darlene Bolesny

Morticai’s Luck
by Darlene Bolesny

The first novel in Darlene Bolseny’s Duanor series, Morticai’s Luck is a rip-roaring, swashbuckling fantasy adventure that is a cross between The Three Musketeers, The Lord of the Rings, The Thief of Baghdad, and the 87th Precinctmysteries.

List Price: $15.95
Direct to Reader Discount: $14.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819866-2-3
DarkStar Books-Fall 2009
–Click to Order Direct from DarkStar–

– cover painting by Veronica V. Jones –
– cover design and interior illustrations by Jason Carranza –

Knives in the Night …

Welcome to the haunted, twin-mooned world of Duanor. Meet Morticai–a reckless rogue, a man of many alias, a ladies’ man, a skilled gambler and a believer in gods-given luck, an expert bladesman, an adept thief … and a (somewhat) respected lawman.
The Droken, the bloodthirsty devotees of a sadistic, outlawed god, murdered Morticai’s parents, leaving him to survive alone as an unwanted corryn orphan on the meanest streets of Watchaven, a human city. Once a professional thief, he escaped the criminal underworld by joining the Northmarch, the kingdom’s elite paramilitary peacekeeping force. But even while honoring his peace officer’s oaths, he holds even stronger to his childhood vow to find and punish those who murdered his parents, and to oppose the works of Droka wherever he finds them.
Using his second-story skills from his past life, he discovers a nest of Droken that has infiltrated his own city and is commanded by powerful, nearly untouchable members of the nobility. His unofficial actions against them nearly cost him his life and his commission, but Morticai refuses to give up. Stubbornly following the lead, and aided by his loyal Northmarcher squad mates and a Knight of the Faith, he finds evidence of a shadowy conspiracy designed to embroil Watchaven and the corryn kingdom of Dynolva in a disastrous trade war that threatens to overwhelm not only Watchaven and Dynolva but all of the kingdoms, human and corryn, of Duanor.
It’s not the first time that Morticai has found himself in over his head … but it may be the last.

NQex  Click to read an excerpt from Morticai’s Luck




Reviews and Links:

B&N  A Barnes & Noble review by Dreux Blalock
“Blending fantasy, historical fiction, and espionage all into one, Ms. Bolesny takes fantasy fiction to a new level. In a world reminiscent of the Renaissance Era of earth, She throws the books protagonist, Morticai, into a realm of secret societies, honor driven regiments, demon worshiping masses, and even a good old fashioned form of the Inquisition! In true sadistic fashion, Ms. Bolesny places poor Morticai to get the brunt of just about every bad thing possible! As you read this book, there will be times you want to throw it across, and times when you cannot wait to see what happens next. I recommend Morticai’s Luck to any and all people who are wanting a swashbuckling adventure in a world that is strangely familiar, yet foreign at the same time.'”

AC  An Amazon.com review by Trith Dietz
“In Morticai’s Luck Ms. Bolesny has crafted a compelling story and the beginning of what will hopefully be a new series. Morticai is a strong willed rascal who is forced to discover the depth of his own mettle to survive in a tale of adventure and intrigue. I could not put this book down and look forward to more installments of Morticai’s adventures. Bolesny is an exciting new voice in heroic fantasy.”


Available in book stores everywhere and online at
Amazon.com Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble   Borders Borders   Books A Million Books A Million   Powell's books Powell’s Books   Hastings Hastings
and many others.

The St. Charles House by Stephen Banister

The St. Charles House
by Stephen Banister

A rollicking, irreverent rock & roll murder mystery set in the famous–and infamous–6th Street party district in Austin, Texas. This is the first novel in Banister’s series chronicling the mis-
adventures of poker-playing, wise-cracking slacker sleuth Emerson “Tuck” Tucker, his side-kick, Pig Dog, and their odd assortment of cronies.

List Price: $15.95
Direct to Reader Discount: $14.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819866-3-0
DarkStar Books-Fall 2009
–Click to Order Direct from DarkStar–

– cover painting by Nathan Smith –
– cover design and interior illustrations by Jason Carranza –

Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, is notorious for its party atmosphere and its strange goings-on, but things get just a little too strange when bartender Anthony Court takes a terminal swan dive off the roof of the St. Charles House Hotel. When easygoing Emerson “Tuck” Tucker, who won the old residence hotel/office building in a poker game, starts to clear out his recently deceased tenant’s apartment, he finds a large stash of cocaine hidden in a brass spittoon and an AR-15 rifle cached behind a concealed panel.
The cops maintain that Court’s death was a suicide, but Tuck thinks different. Drugs and guns aren’t that hard to find on Sixth Street, but what he found was more coke than your average bartender would have, and way too much rifle. Tuck can’t leave the question of Court’s death alone. When he starts to nose around, someone breaks into his apartment in the St. Charles House and puts a bullet into Pig Dog, his beloved, if somewhat socially challenged, golden retriever.
As a warning and a threat, shooting a Texan’s dog is just about as effective as drawing to an inside straight. The people responsible are about to find out just how rough a poker-playing slacker of a good-old boy can play their game.

NQex  Click to read an excerpt from The St. Charles House

NQex  Click to listen to an audio excerpt from The St. Charles House read by Stephen Banister



Reviews and Links:

MSM  Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine, Winter Issue #113, February 2010
“In Stephen Banister’s The St. Charles House (DarkStar, $15.95), the protagonist is so busy cracking jokes that he’s unaware of the danger that surrounds him. Emerson “Tuck” Tucker is a slacker gambler who has won a small Austin, Texas, apartment building in a poker game. No longer forced to work, he spends most of his days and night prowling the lively Austin music scene. When one of his tenants takes a dive off the top of his building, Tuck suspects that his death wasn’t suicide. During his rather casual investigation (remember, he’s a slacker), he meets the woman of his dreams. That’s when his life really gets complicated.
“Tuck and his golden retriever, Pig Dog, make fine companions for a cold winter’s night, especially when Tuck’s propensity for humor is given free rein. Let’s hope this merry prankster returns soon.”

Falkeep  A Newsvine.com review by Fallkeep
… “Pulp novels also contained primal and archetypal clichés and lines which we all recognize. Stephen Banister’s The Saint Charles House is a worthy successor to that tradition.
“Set in and around an unremarkable three-story building on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, the action takes place within walking distance of the title building. Much like the French Quarter in New Orleans, while Sixth Street is famous for its raucous parties and out-of-control college students, it is also the home stomping ground of its residents and employees. Emerson “Tuck” Tucker, the resident owner of the St. Charles House and his golden retriever, Pig Dog, are among those who call Sixth Street home.
“The first murder takes place in the first page and a half. Between then and the last page and a half, we are introduced to characters that can only exist in a small world. Bars, private poker games, and the very thin line which separates the criminal world from the world of those walk close to the edge of legality are all grist for the pulp mill, and Banister has his mill running at full speed. The ending, in particular, was really surprising and would have been worthy of the best Bogart film noir movie …”

Eudaly  Rhonda Eudaly
” … The St. Charles House is a fast read, action moves the story along, you do care about the characters and how they get through the mystery of the sudden and unexpected deaths literally on their doorsteps. There are twists and turns that keep you turning the pages to figure out what’s going on ­ and when the main character, “Tuck” Tucker doesn’t know what’s happening ­ neither does the reader …”


Available in book stores everywhere and online at
Amazon.com Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble   Borders Borders   Books A Million Books A Million   Powell's books Powell’s Books   Hastings Hastings
and many others.

Werewolve$ by John Steakley


a new novel of adventure and terror

by John Steakley
NYT bestselling author of Armor and Vampire$


Editor’s Note, November 27, 2010:

Our dear friend, author John Steakley, passed away this Thanksgiving weekend. John was both a gentle man and a gentleman, a friend to all those he met, and a talented, gifted storyteller. We at DarkStar, along with his many other friends and fans, mourn his passing.

Because Werewolves and Gabriel, the two projects John was working on for us, remain unfinished, these books are now on indefinite hold. For the present, we will leave the placemarker for Werewolves up on our site to honor his memory.

NO Quarter by Robert Asprin, writing with Eric Del Carlo and Teresa Patterson

NO Quarter

New York Times bestselling author Robert Asprin, writing with Eric Del Carlo and Teresa Patterson, delves into the dark secrets of the New Orleans French Quarter in this suspenseful tale of ghosts and haunted dreams, voodoo and mysticism, murder and revenge, justice and unexpected courage.

Fans of Robert Asprin’s Dragons Luck and Dragons Wild, the adventures of gambler/dragon Griffen McCandles, will recognize Bone, Maestro, and other denizens of NO Quarter’s haunted French Quarter from their minor roles in that series of novels. Those fans who knew Bob well will recognize his fictionalized self portrait in the character of the mysterious, pool-playing swordsmaster, Maestro.

List Price: $15.95
Direct to Reader Discount: $14.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819866-0-9
DarkStar Books-Fall 2009
–Click to Order Direct from DarkStar–

– cover painting and interior illustrations by Nathan Smith –
– cover design by Jason Carranza –

     Once upon a time, before Katrina …

After you’ve lived in the French Quarter for a while, you develop the cynical belief that you’ve seen it all … that nothing can get to you anymore. You and your bar acquaintances tell yourselves and each other that you’ve gotten so used to the drunken tourist idiocy and random acts of violence … that it doesn’t bother you.
That’s bullshit.

Sunshine came to New Orleans to escape her past and to catch up with her elusive dreams, but she got lost in the old city’s seductive Southern nights. The tempting dark side of the French Quarter catered to her weaknesses, offering her just exactly what she desired-cheap drugs, the wrong kind of men, and the thrill of living on the edge. Alienated from her friends and in need of help, she called out to one of them … but her message didn’t get through in time.
When she tries to go it alone, she walks down the wrong street into the wrong patch of darkness and meets the brutal, bloody end to her dreams at the point of a knife.
In another city, her death might be written off as a mugging, just another statistic on the police blotter. Not so for the NOPD, to whom the safe reputation of the French Quarter is a priority, even if the victim is a waitress and not a treasured, pampered tourist. Not so for the French Quarter locals, because no matter how far she’d fallen, Sunshine was one of their own. And no mere mugger in New Orleans or any other city would have left a victim’s body framed by the crude remnants of a botched Voodoo ritual, a display designed to insult the true practitioners of that religion.
To Maestro, Sunshine’s death represents not only a tragedy but an obligation, because he’s the one who missed responding to her call for help. A master of both the pool cue and the rapier, a man of regular habits and close secrets, he prefers keeping to the shadows-but to avenge Sunshine and to satisfy his tarnished honor, he’ll risk opening his own less-than-savory past to question.
To Bone, a waiter, and his girlfriend Alex, Sunshine was family, and the pain of her savage murder is made even more crushing by their recent estrangement from her. Because of his past connection to Sunshine, and because of a bitter, public argument with her, Bone becomes a suspect in her murder. When Sunshine’s ghost begins to haunt his dreams, he comes to the realization that just clearing his name won’t be enough for him. Even justice won’t be enough. His heart cries out for vengeance, and Alex refuses to be left out of his quest.
But what can three ordinary people do that the police can’t? As fate draws Maestro, Bone, and Alex together in the hunt for the murderer, they find unlikely allies among the street people, bartenders, performers, and other denizens of the French Quarter. Their hunt leads them through the darkest corners of the Quarter, into the dangerous depths that lie beneath the benign “party-town” surface of the old city-and into shattering revelations about themselves.
Death and destruction lie in the turning of the Tarot cards, and blood will lead to blood before honor and desire are satisfied.

NQex  Click to read an excerpt from NO Quarter

NQex  Click to listen to an audio excerpt from NO Quarter
read by Teresa Patterson and Kevin Dockery

NQex  Click to watch an interview with Teresa Patterson:
“Writing NO Quarter with Robert Asprin and Eric Del Carlo”

NQex  Click to watch a video of Robert Asprin talking about writing NO Quarter and the Dragons series during a panel with Phil Foglio and Jody Lynn Nye at DragonCon 2006

CBI  Click to read a Crescent Blues Interview with
Robert Asprin and Eric Del Carlo about their collaboration on NO Quarter.



Reviews and Links:

“A hard-boiled mystery, over Easy” — William R. Page

MSM  Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine, 2010 Summer issue, #115
“Summer seems an unlikely season for an elegy, but NO Quarter, by Robert Asprin (Dark Star, $15.95), serves as a final tribute to the sci-fi/fantasy/mystery novelist who passed away May 22, 2008, leaving his book in the expert hands of co-writers Eric Del Carlo and Teresa Patterson. And what a bang-up farewell he’s given us! Set in the French Quarter of pre-Katrina New Orleans, this memory-haunted mystery follows the troubled life of Sunshine, a murdered waitress, and the friends devastated by her death. Bone, Sunshine’s ex-husband, is so grieved that he bails from his table-waiting job to find her killer. Set almost entirely in French Quarter barrooms‹except for the occasional brawl on Bourbon Street‹the book introduces us to a splendid panoply of characters known only by their nicknames. Besides the pool-playing, movie- obsessed Bone, we meet Maestro, a fencing expert with a dangerous past (rumored to be based on Asprin himself); Rose, a tarot reader and voodoo practitioner; Jugger, a dim but huge ex-con; as well as Dunk, Bear, Werewolf, Firecracker, and Boogie Joe. Such is the strength of Asprin’s writing that he makes us care about every single one of these troubled souls, right down to the feral street kids who would knife anyone just to break up the boredom of their day. Fascinating though these folks are, the true star of the novel is the French Quarter itself: historical, romantic, and dangerous. Asprin’s sensuous descriptions bring the neighborhood alive with scents of hot asphalt, stale beer, sugared beignets, and bloated corpses. Temperance types might want to forgo its booze-soaked pages, but the only shortcoming in this love song to a cursed and blessed city is that‹unlike New Orleans itself‹it finally ends.”

NOTP  Diana Pinckley, New Orleans Times-Pickayune, Sunday, April 11, 2010
“… Del Carlo and Asprin clearly understand the bar scene. And they definitely get the neighborhood. Theirs is not a vision of wrought-iron balconies scented with jasmine. This late-night Quarter has its stomping boots on.”

booknews  Book News and Reviews
Okay, so when I received this book from the friendly folks at Dark Star Books, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t think it was going to be a crazy whirl-wind tale of murder and intrigue in New Orleans.
… when Sunshine is knifed with an ice pick in a dark alley, Maestro and Bone set out to find the killer. This leads them on a wild adventure in which they discover a lot about themselves, about each other and they find just how low the underside of the French Quarter really hangs …
So, I say, go ahead and check out
NO Quarter. I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Eudaly  Rhonda Eudaly
” … The mystery itself ­ a young, blonde ‘Quarterite’ (Sunshine) who has no enemies is brutally murdered. Her best friend/ex-husband, Bone, wants justice. The only way to find the killer is with the specialized skill set of a older fencing instructor/pool shark, known only as ‘Maestro’. But that’s the PRIMARY mystery, there’s a secondary mystery–just WHO is Maestro? The mystery is a satisfying romp through New Orleans’ French Quarter’s social scene–for those who actually live there. The story has Good Guys with shady backgrounds, crazy Bad Guys, and a dash of Voo Doo just to spice things up …”

Falkeep  A Newsvine.com review by Falkeep
… With this specific work, however, I think that Asprin gave us a literary first … With his two books in his Dragon’s series (his last two books written before NO Quarter AND, interestingly enough, his first two books written in a LONG time without any co-authors), Asprin created the French Quarter settings which he then also used as the setting for NO Quarter. Minor characters from the background of the Dragons series also appear in NO Quarter, including that of Maestro (a character Asprin based on himself) moving from a walk-on role in the Dragons books to a lead role in NO Quarter …”

goodreads  A Goodreads review by Stu
” … action-suspense-thriller-mystery-ho, creme-de-la-creme—gold-stars, louisiana-lit–This is one of the rare books that wouldn’t let me sleep at night. The best New Orleans book I have ever read.”

AC  An Amazon.com review by Trith Dietz
“A dark and suspensful tale that is a departure into the mystery world for the three fantasy authors who wrote it. Definitely brings the French Quarter to life with a gritty realism that only a native could create. A brilliant departure from Robert Asprins usual humorous fantasy work.”


A note from Tom Knowles, editor of DarkStar Books
to the fans of Robert Asprin

NO Quarter isn’t exactly Bob Asprin’s last book–there are others forthcoming from outlines and partials–but it is the last book he completed, wrote through from beginning to end. It’s also unique, for two reasons:
First, Bob’s friends and those fans who got to meet him at conventions and filks will easily recognize his only somewhat fictionalized self portrait in the character of the mysterious, pool-playing fencing master and wise man/wise guy known as Maestro. Bob often put his personal philosophy into the mouths of his lead character, but for NO Quarter and Maestro, he anted up a bit of his soul.
Second, NO Quarter is a suspense/dark fantasy novel that is a crossover/spin-off from a fantasy series–something that has not, to this editor’s knowledge, ever been accomplished before by any author. Although the fantasy and horror elements (voodoo, tarot readings and precognition, ghosts) are less in evidence, it is set in the same milieu as Bob’s Dragons Luck and Dragons Wild novels. Fans of that series will already be familiar with NO Quarter’s two protagonists, Maestro and Bone, as well as other denizens of NO Quarter’s dangerous, haunted, and clannish French Quarter, from their minor roles in the strange life of Griffen McCandles, the Dragon gambler.
NO Quarter is remarkable in other ways as well.
Bob planned this novel with Eric Del Carlo after they met and became friends in the French Quarter. They alternated chapters, Bob writing Maestro’s viewpoint, Eric writing Bone’s. What shines through both writers’ prose is a love for the old French Quarter that existed before Katrina smashed in to alter it forever–a love that neither excuses nor attempts to conceal that city-within-a-city’s dangers and disappointments.
Maestro’s chapters are classic Asprin, this because Maestro is the classic Asprin hero … just written a bit darker, more reminiscent of his Thieves World than his Myth Adventures. The inimitable Asprin humor is there throughout, along with the tension between student and mentor, and the journey of self-discovery that both of them take during the course of a friendship. Bone’s chapters, written in Eric’s distinctive voice, offer an acerbic contrast that works to complement and highlight Asprin’s characterization of Maestro. The two characters, as did the two writers, work well together and push each other in new directions.
When Bill Fawcett offered the book to DarkStar, Bob and Eric had brought it to a third-draft level. Because both authors had other commitments, Bob had suggested that long-time friend and author Teresa Patterson, who was familiar with the French Quarter and its culture, give the book its final polish to smooth out its rough spots. We signed the contract … and then, not long after, Robert Asprin–my friend and a friend to just about everyone who met him–closed his eyes for the last time.
Despite that sad occurance, we pushed the project on to completion. Eric and Teresa’s edits and refinements resulted in a novel that I believe is a fitting tribute to our friend, Bob Asprin. DarkStar published it in a quality trade paperback edition in November 2009.
Because the major chain stores are deadly serious about categories and placement, you’ll likely find NO Quarter in the mystery section instead of the SF/F section beside Bob’s other books–but make no mistake, it’s an Asprin book, and in this editor’s opinion, one of his finest works.


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