Audio excerpt of THE LEGEND OF DIABLO now downloadable

In case you want to download something to your device instead of listening on YouTube, here ya go.

The Legend of Diablo, book 4
The Legend of Diablo, written, recorded and produced by V.S. McGrath.

Intro music:
“A Ghost Town” by Quincas Moreira.
Made available copyright and royalty free through the YouTube Audio Library.  

Outro music:
“Knife” by King Uke & Pancho, 2013, available under Creative Commons license. 

Like what you hear? Contact your favorite audiobook producers to get the complete series recorded!

Audio excerpt from THE LEGEND OF DIABLO (read by me!)

So…it’s been a while…

COVID-19 has certainly changed the world and how we’re living and coping in it. Lots of artists have been producing free content from their homes to help salve people’s souls, and many continue the vital work of creating art and music and literature in spite of the crisis.

I’m striving to do the same. I recorded, edited and produced a reading of Chapter 2 of THE LEGEND OF DIABLO and put it up for anyone who hasn’t been able to attend one of my readings or book launches.

In case you’re wondering, no, the series is not yet available as an audiobook. But the audiobook rights are available if you’re a producer (hint hint). And if you want to hear the whole series as an audiobook, contact Audible and let them know!

Hope you enjoy it!

Run time: appx. 25 minutes
CW for guns, violence, minor swearing.
Probably best not to listen with kids while eating dinner.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Hettie Alabama’s Playlist

Hettie’s family was never rich enough to own a phonograph, but through the magic of fiction, I sent her an MP3 player and signed her up for Spotify. Here’s a playlist she put together.

“Hold On, Hold On” by Neko Case
Hettie loves Neko Case. But “Hold On” is the song that most fits her feelings when she first sets out to find Abby.

Captain Cowboy and the Money Maker
This Toronto busker duo just plays stuff that appeals to Hettie’s sense of humor and aesthetic.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
I’ve always pictured this as the song during the end credits of a movie version. Hettie likes that the first lyric is her family name.

“Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails–Mad Hatter’s Daughter cover of Johnny Cash cover
Yep, a cover of a cover is exactly Hettie’s style. And on the bad days, this is what she listens to while lying in bed, thinking about death.

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
She won’t admit it, but this uplifting ditty is what she secretly hears in her heart around a certain brooding bounty hunter.

“Alone and Forsaken” by Hank Williams–Jospeh West cover
This is a classic Western ditty, covered by many.
Here’s the Neko Case cover

“Deadman’s Gun” (from the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack) by Ashtar Command
If Hettie played video games, she’d love Red Dead Redemption and the amazing soundtrack that came out of it. Listen to more here:
The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2:

“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X
If she’s alone, Hettie absolutely dabs to this.

The Houseguests

I wrote a short story! And now you can download it for FREE!
THE HOUSEGUESTS takes place between books 3 and 4 of The Devil’s Revolver series.

Eight-year-old Jacob Wheeler doesn’t know what to think of the strangers who arrive on horseback at his family’s remote farmhouse. The dark-haired bounty hunter has too many guns strapped to his body to be altogether safe, and the dying woman he calls his wife is downright terrifying. But Jacob’s parents agree to take the mysterious houseguests in, and he and his twin sister, Mary, can do nothing but watch and wait to learn what this unexpected event will bring into their lives. As the days pass and the woman begins to recover, she only grows more frightening — but Jacob begins to rely on the bounty hunter, who reminds him of the magazine stories about the legendary Elias Blackthorn and his cursed revolver.

In this atmospheric, menacing addition to the Devil’s Revolver Series, V. S. McGrath offers readers a glimpse at Hettie Alabama and Walker Woodroffe from the perspective of a boy faced with his first opportunity to grapple with good, evil, and the sacrifices required to protect the people who matter most.

Sales of The Houseguests benefit RAICES, a nonprofit agency providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. You may download The Houseguests free of charge or purchase at any price level to receive the ebook and make a donation to RAICES.


Apparently I am bad at updates

Howdy y’all. Been away for some time due to life happening and work doings and the like. Fortunately, it seems that the 2 years of constant baby-related illnesses are finally letting up now that Irrational Biped is in preschool.

Available now!

Just popping in to say, yes, book 2 of The Devil’s Revolver series, THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF, is now available! Pick it up at any of your book or ebook retailers.

Also, book 1, THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER, is on sale at most ebook retailers for $1.99 USD/$2.49 CAN. So if you liked it, let your friends know! Word of mouth is the best way to make sure this series keeps going!

Book 4 is nearly done, and it’s a doozy. I can’t tell you the number of times I went “What! WHAAAAT???!!!” while writing this because writers plan and writing gods laugh. Saddle up for a rough ride, compadres.

In pop culture: Westworld is back and it’s AH-MAY-ZING. I’ve started listening to the review podcast Westworld The Podcast, which also reviews other Westerns and cross-genre Westerns and related sci-fi. They’re asking for other Western books, movies, comics, etc. to review when they’re not reviewing the show, so, you know, if you want to share THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER around, give them a shout!

In quick movie reviews:

Black Panther: Woo! I need repeated viewings of this. It was so gorgeous and rich and made me feel all the things.

Avengers Infinity War: A thumbs-up on the understanding that this film had the impossible task of fitting dozens of character stories into a 2.5-hour film and is the first part of a two-part story.

Boss Baby: Repeated viewings with the Irrational Biped has really made me appreciate this overlooked and underrated animated feature. Like so many people, I bypassed it because the story was not related at all in the trailer and the idea of a “boss baby” voiced by Alec Baldwin did not appeal to me. But in conjunction with the Netflix show, it’s a deeply emotional story with great world-building and tons of imagination. And the gags are great. I thank the guys at Story Break for turning me on to this.

Okay, back to work!







Update Oct. 11/17

In life: Fighting the usual baby-borne illnesses. The shorter days and my lack of exercise are taking their toll on my health and well-being. Currently taking a reading break to fill the well, reading Macgruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H. P. Wood, and catching up on some comics.

In bookish news: I’ll be signing at Indigo Books at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto on Oct. 21. Check out the Events page for details!

Started on the final book of the Devil’s Revolver series, tentatively titles The Legend of Diablo. Book 3, The Devil’s Pact, is undergoing edits. I’ll be sad to leave Hettie and her friends behind, but it’s been a wild ride. The plan from my publisher is that all four books will be released by September of 2018.

In pop culture: TV is back and making it so hard to focus on work! Among my faves:

Lucifer is somehow still super enjoyable even though it falls into a lot of the same pitfalls and ruts as many crime-of-the-week police procedurals do. (You can always tell who did it by which actor has more than two lines and is given a name.) If it were a purely fantasy/paranormal show, it wouldn’t work either–it’s the blend of the two, stitched together by Tom Ellis’s over-the-top performance, that keeps everything together.

Star Trek Discovery is going where Star Trek hasn’t gone before! I’m enjoying the fresh new take on the franchise, and really loving the characters and look of everything so far.

Kim’s Convenience is a Canadian comedy based on a stage play by the same name, about a Korean Canadian family that runs a convenience store in Toronto. The father is nearly an exact copy of my own father. We’re not Korean, but the parallels are uncanny.

Arrow/Flash/Supergirl: I’ve been really impressed by the work Greg Berlanti has done with the DC properties on TV. They don’t always work episode to episode, but cohesively, they’ve maintained a look and storylines and even a lot of canon storytelling while keeping things fresh for the small screen.

In stuff I like: Podcasts! SYFY25 Origin Stories is hosted by former Mythbuster Adam Savage, interviewing tons of people in sci-fi and genre TV, film, and literature.

The guys who do The Greatest Generation podcast have ended their reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and are about to move into reviewing Deep Space Nine. They’ve also begun a new podcast about Star Trek Discovery, launching every Tuesday.

This Bob Ross Funko Pop vinyl figure is one of the few that I’ve actually coveted. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more hunks of plastic…but this is tempting.