Oil slicks the tarmac, there’s a faint smell of burnt tyres and burning hair. Illuminated by the flickering headlights, dust motes from the skid dance lazily on the still night air. It is late September, 2012. This road leads to, or from, Albuquerque. Of course, you know this, it’s where you were headed. This desert road, the moths already descending, a lonely road. You haven’t seen another driver for hours. No cell reception. No signs of life beyond the insects that flutter and buzz.

Your head hurts. Two days ago, things were different. You were a champion. An award-winner. Nothing fancy, nothing too big, but in your chosen profession this accolade is really something. Surrounded by an audience of your peers, you, you young go-getter, you fresh-faced, free-thinking plucky young fuck, you gave your acceptance speech and grinned and flashed those pearly whites and thanked those who needed thanking. You took the statue, or the medal, or the cup, and you took the check, you posed for the press and grinned some more and then you got in the car – not your car, a limo, you were the man of the moment – and got a ride back to the hotel. That girl you’re seeing, just casually, you both have careers to think about and don’t want to settle down – that girl was with you. You were both a bit drunk and why not, you’d just won a fucking award after all. Tipsy, tip-toes, drunken giggles as you knocked over the hotel alarm clock, pawed at her formal wear, she fumbled with the buttons on your shirt. Wet, liquory kisses as you collapsed onto the bed, there’s no grace here, no sensual sexuality, just happy buzzy hungriness. After sex you lay in bed and ordered room service, grilled cheese and salmon and cake and another bottle of white.

The next day you left the girl at the airport. You told her you’d see her soon, back home, back in Seattle, then you took a rental car and drove to Albuquerque. Drove all day, stopped in a flea-pit motel at night, a far cry from that fancy hotel room, paid for in full by your proud, if smug, employers. The motel was booked on your credit card, discount rates, and you left first thing in the morning.

There was no motel on the road to Albuquerque, no place to stop, no time to stop until here, you stopped here, resting up against this rock outcrop. What would the audience say, the girl say, your employees say, if they saw you sitting here, retching at the smell of gasoline and roadkill? What made you swerve off the road in the first place? A rabbit, a deer? Out here in the desert, really? Tiredness? Or maybe swerving was just the right thing to do, right then, as the car skidded, you hammered on the brakes, tried to regain control, didn’t. Now you sit here waiting, and for what? The statue, or the medal, or the cup sits in the trunk of your car. Your future sits in the trunk of your car. It’s not your car, it’s just a rental. Your car’s back home, in Seattle. Just why were you driving to Albuquerque anyway?

Now your head still hurts, and your shoulder, and you’re pretty sure you pissed yourself when you tried to move and felt the bone of your elbow splitting the skin. Ribs grind, and there’s a cold sensation in your feet, or maybe you’re just imagining it. There’s blood and skin scrapings on the steering wheel, and you think with a wry internal smile that you never did get to see what an airbag looks like close up. You hear a faint ticking, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, and it’s the car, that stupid rental car, you’ve only known it for two days, but it’s important now isn’t it? You try to remember what was in Albuquerque. It dances just out of reach, in the corners of your mind, like the moths outside. Maybe nothing waited for you there. Maybe you were just trying to get away.

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Bright Lights & Glass Houses available in print for £6.99 plus shipping

Today, the first batch of Bright Lights & Glass Houses print copies arrived. The book’s in print now, you ask? Yes, yes it is. And it’s available right now! You can buy it directly from the top button on the right-hand side of this very site, or view the product page here:

>> Bright Lights & Glass Houses on Lulu <<

The shipping is £2.99 for a single copy (it decreases if you buy multiple copies) so there’s a discount added to the £9.99 RRP on Lulu so that essentially shipping is free. Unfortunately (and hopefully obviously) the print edition can’t be sold at the same price as the digital edition, so rather than sell the digital edition at a print retail price, we’ve kept that as low as possible.

There’s also a hardcover version, which is a fair bit more expensive and only accessible via this direct link if such a thing should take your fancy.

Here is what the paperbacks look like in a big box:

Check out Richard Warner’s fantastic cover art in all its glossy printed glory.

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Update on iTunes, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo etc

Right, the book is now available in a fair few places.



Amazon (UK)

Amazon (US)



And it should be coming very soon to the Sony and Barnes & Noble stores, if that’s your bag. It’d be fantastic if you could give the book a try, I would hugely appreciate it. And spread the word, and maybe draw some Bright Lights & Glass Houses-inspired fan art. Maybe a picture of a bright light, or a glass house, or if you’re feeling really daring you could combine the two. Also, it’s a slightly different price in certain places if you’re buying from the UK, but unfortunately I can’t set the UK-specific price on iTunes or Kobo hence why there’s a few pence extra added on.


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Release Date Announced

So here we have it. A release date for the book. Hopefully, it’s what you’ve been waiting for. Not long now. Basically, we’re looking at a release date of… well, right now. It is, in fact, available for purchase as you read this post, currently from Amazon and Smashwords.

Ah, digital distribution hey? The future is now. So, without further ado, here’s some links:

Amazon (UK)
Amazon (US)

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Cult References That Matter

I’ve been told to say something about final stages being underway and the book being in the hands of various people, so there you go, that is what’s what. I could tell you which people, but I don’t even know myself; all I know is that one of those people isn’t me.

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Wrapped in Plastic

Cocktail stick

Garcia again. Exciting news, apparently. The book cover art has been finalized, and you can view it in all its thumbnailed glory after the jump. It’s also on the ‘About the Book’ page, so you might have already seen it there. If so, act surprised yeah?

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Welcome to the Glass House

Hello. If you’re reading this, you’ve found your way to the microsite for Ashton Raze’s debut short story collection, Bright Lights & Glass Houses. Maybe you’re here for the launch, or maybe you’re reading this at some point in the distant future. Who knows what’s happened since this entry was posted? Anything could’ve gone down, any amount of time could’ve passed. Hello. Welcome.

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