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Grappling By Gaslight is now available!

Sometimes Amazon makes me wait. Sometimes they surprise me.

The surprise this morning is that Grappling By Gaslight has shipped from the printing house a week early! I will have physical copies in hand tomorrow, so the book is now available for purchase on my website. Signed copies will be ready to ship out Tuesday, and if you use the coupon code blackfriday (which is valid through Cyber Monday 12/2/19), you get 20% off your entire order. Click here to order.

As for all you Amazon shoppers, well, the book’s already available! You can go directly to Amazon and purchase it now by clicking here.

Grappling By Gaslight is a collection of historical fiction short stories based on the exploits of pro wresting’s earliest heroes. From the circus wrestlers to the con men to the barnstormers, these trailblazers paved the way for generations of grapplers to come. Order now and get it signed!

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New Artist Supplies Grappling by Gaslight Cover

From day one, I’ve enjoyed working with independent artists and designers on the book covers for Eat Sleep Wrestle. It’s always been a point of pride for me, and many of my long time readers appreciate the variety and uniqueness of the book cover art we’ve commissioned.

Grappling by Gaslight is a project that has percolated for more than five years, and I wanted something special. I wanted original art that would capture the spirit of the stories within and the era depicted. I put out an open call on Facebook, and my friend Korey Dawson jumped on it.

Korey is proprietor of the most dangerous bookstore in the civilized world, Paradox City Books and Games. It’s a little place on Main Street in Rising Sun, Indiana, not far from the casino, and it’s so worth the extra drive from Cincinnati, Lexington, or Louisville if you’re ever in the area. You might want to message him first through the store’s Facebook page to make sure he will be open.

Korey is not an artist himself, but his friend James Grant is. Korey had mentioned James to me in the past as a guy who didn’t know how talented he was and needed someone to show him he could actually make money at this. Korey put us in touch, and I pitched James the idea.

A day later, Korey messaged me excitedly. “I’m sitting next to James, and you have to see this!” He sent me screen shots of two pencil sketches that became part of the final design. I knew I was going to get the cover I wanted.

James crafted a beautiful book cover that I cannot wait to see in actual print. I’m proud to say I was his first paid client, and it was well worth taking a chance on a new and talented artist.

I asked James where I could send people who admired his work and might wish it hire him for themselves. He says you can add him on Facebook and also visit him on DeviantArt. Click the links, and enjoy.

Thank you, James, and thank you Korey. I’m very excited about this book!

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New Book Announcement: Grappling by Gaslight

It’s fitting that I am packing up a copy of Bluegrass Brawlers just purchased from my website tonight. Fitting because the first wrestling book I ever wrote has been the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did Bluegrass Brawlers lead to opportunities to work with Kenny “Starmaker” Bolin, “Dr. D” David Schultz, Mad Man PondoHurricane JJ Maguire, and Tracy Smothers, it inspired three more books on its own.

By the time I finished Bluegrass Brawlers, I knew I wanted to write at last three more books: one on Heywood Allen, one on Jim Mitchell, and one about the wrestlers of the 1880s. I wrote a thorough history of Heywood Allen’s promotion in the book Louisville’s Greatest Show, and I released Jim Mitchell’s biography The Original Black Panther earlier this year. Now, finally, there’s a book about the circus wrestlers and barnstormers of the 19th century on the way.

Grappling by Gaslight is not a history, but historical fiction based on the real life stories from the time. It’s a collection of five short stories inspired by the exploits of Ida Alb and her sister Mademoiselle Marcia; former slave Viro Small; strongman Robert Pennell and his rival Charles Flynn; and many more. I wanted to capture the spirit of the times, allowing readers to see these legendary wrestlers through the eyes of the fans, and early reviews have been very positive.

Grappling by Gaslight will be available by Christmas through this website and Amazon. It’s a short book, less than 110 pages of actual story, but it’s laced with romance, humor, and even a dash of murder. It’s going to be a treat for anyone who loves a good rasslin’ tale.

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Because Six Books in One Year Wasn’t Enough

It’s been a busy year. I’ve released four wrestling novellas, one biography, and one autobiography in the last 10 months. I’m also hard at work on a spring 2020 release with Tracy Smothers that will blow you away.

I guess it wasn’t enough for me though. Three weeks ago, I started work on a long-dreamed of project. It took me less than a week to complete a first draft. A wrestling historian friend who will remain secret for now proofed the first draft, and it’s now in the hands of a second.

This is an historical fiction project, and like Black Panther and Louisville’s Greatest Show, it’s an idea that first sprouted back in the early days of writing Bluegrass Brawlers.

Title and cover reveal soon.

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Two new releases for October!

It’s October. It’s Halloween. And two of the creepiest ladies in independent wrestling want you to read their stories!

Charlie Kruel: Escape from VHS Hell is now available to pre-order, and all copies ordered through Eat Sleep Wrestle will come signed by Charlie Kruel and John Cosper. Escape from VHS Hell is the story of two horror fans who accidentally unleash some of Hollywood’s notorious serial killers in real life thanks to a cursed VCR. Their only hope is to bring one more psycho killer to life to defeat these monsters: the ahead-of-her-time VHS horror queen Charlie Kruel!

Ella: Wrestling with Madness is a chilling ghost story about an aspiring wrestler named Ben who is on the verge of signing with the biggest wrestling company in the world. But a chance encounter with a beautiful girl named Elizabeth plunges him into a terrifying ghost story filled with jealousy, revenge, and murder.

Charlie and Ella will both have books for sale at a show near you by the end of the month. Once again, you can pre-order Charlie’s book signed by Charlie and John right here at eatsleepwrestle.com. Click here to order.

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Pre-Order The Bomb Shelter: Curse of the Undead Bride Now!

The sequel to The Bomb Shelter’s first YA novel is finally here, and this time, they’re doing battle against the Undead Bride, Impact Wrestling’s Su Yung!

After traveling back in time to prevent an assassination attempt on Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Joseph Schwartz, Randi West, and Zodiak make a detour to a small town in Connecticut, where an ancient evil has awakened. The Bomb Shelter realizes too late they’ve fallen into a trap as the undead bride Su Yung enslaves Joseph Schwartz in order to harness his time traveling ability and create an unstoppable army of undead wrestlers!

The newest adventure from the Bomb Shelter takes you back and forth and even sideways in time, as Randi and Zodiak join forces once again with Satu Jinn to rescue Joseph and unravel Su Yung’s plot before she can plunge the whole world into darkness. Fly away to Never Never Land and battle pirates with Lost Girl Samantha Heights! Train to be a super hero with Corey Storm! And come face to face with some of the greatest names from the golden age of wrestling.

Curse of the Undead Bride is a star-studded wrestling adventure across time and space for fans of all ages – even those who never grew up!

Fans who wish to pre-order a copy of the book, signed by Joseph Schwartz and Randi West, can do so for only $20. Or, if you haven’t picked up their first book A Scattered Timeline, you can order BOTH books for only $30! Shipping is free in the US. International customers, please message for rates.

Email johncosper@yahoo.com to order, or send PayPal payment to johncosper@yahoo.com

Pre-orders will ship by the end of September!

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Sci-Fi, J Michael Kenyon, and Thelma Todd

My latest book release is not a wrestling book. It’s a science fiction novel about a man whose ex-girlfriend from another dimension shows up and tries to kill him. I know it sounds far-fetched, but it’s actually just the tip of the iceberg of a story that involved multiple worlds, time travel, a pro wrestler (surprise, surprise), and a silver screen legend named Thelma Todd. The book is also dedicated to the late, great pro wrestling historian J. Michael Kenyon, a man I bonded with talking about old wrestlers, including the Black Panther Jim Mitchell, and surprisingly, Thelma Todd.

For those not familiar with her, Todd became a star near the end of the silent film era and was one of many actresses to make the transition from silent to “talkies.” She appeared in a number of comedy films with Zasu Pitts and made two features with the Marx Brothers, Horse Feathers and Monkey Business. She was beautiful and extremely funny and would have had a long and successful career had she not died so young under tragic and mysterious circumstances.

Todd was found dead sitting in a car in the garage of the home of a friend, not far from a restaurant she owned. It was believed she had died from carbon monoxide poisoning and the question became: was it murder? A grand jury heard testimony from friends and witnesses who had seen Todd the night of her death (a list that included pro wrestler Lord Lansdowne), but they ultimately ruled her death to be “accidental with possible suicidal tendencies.”

J. Michael Kenyon was one man who didn’t buy the suicide line. Not only was there no evidence for suicide, other clues left behind and overlooked pointed to murder. JMK regaled me with some fantastic stories about visiting the crime scene, walking the hill from the house to the restaurant below, and examining the evidence for himself. It was an obsession that, just like his love for wrestling and baseball, he took very seriously.

The Thelma Todd subplot began as part of my way of parodying a modern convention in science fiction. A lot of sci-fi writers enjoy lacing their work with references to the 1980s, so I created a character who was instead obsessed with the golden age of cinema. Are not only meant to not only poke against convention but (hopefully) inspire readers to watch a Marx Brothers film or at least look up the story of how Orson Welles lost control of The Magnificent Ambersons. When JMK passed away while I was still working on the book, it seemed only fitting to dedicate it to his memory.

If you’re not a fan of sci-fi, that’s cool. To each his or her own. But if you like sci-fi mixed with humor, especially if you have a fondness for Turner Classic Movies as I do, you should give this one a read!

Click here to buy on Amazon!