A man that needs no introductions...but I love saying his name anyway because I love the feel of it on my tongue...*waggles brows*...Hank Edwards! He's here to give us the new buzz going on with him. :)
Good morning readers! Havan has been very gracious (okay - she threatened me...Hey!... but in a nice way! Oh yeah, I can be very nice...) (okay, I threatened her... but it was in a nice way! I kinda liked it...hehe) (Okay, not THAT nice of a way, but it did excite us both a bit...um, yeah a bit—I'll go with that word *fans face*) and offered up her blog for me to promote the publisher re-release of my crazy paranormal fright fest series known as Venom Valley.
Offered up? What a very PC way to put it...*giggles behind hands*
What? You've not heard of it? *Sighs and hangs head* *pats Hank on the...um...back...* This is why I decided the series needed a publisher. Let me explain.
Wait! *runs to kitchen and brings out a cup of steaming hot tea for my handsome guest* Here you go...and don't worry if it smells funny *hides liquor bottle*...trust me...
*quirks up an eyebrow and sips tea* You naughty girl. Just the thing!
A few years ago I was thinking about vampires, as people so often do. I considered their resistance to bullets, aging, etc. Sunlight and wooden stakes and, if you're going the classic route, crosses and silver.
This got me thinking about zombies (naturally). Slow moving, decaying and riddled with infections. What if zombie teeth were able to penetrate the skin and bones of vampires? Dead against undead. Intriguing...
And so the Venom Valley series was born. At least inside my head. I wrote the first two books and titled them Bounty and Bait, respectively, and started working on the third book. I inquired at my usual publisher but they weren't interested because Bounty ended on a cliffhanger without an HEA, or at least an HFN ending. I thought the readers would appreciate the reality of the danger, and, besides, The Empire Strikes Back ended on one fucking hell of a cliffhanger, and it's regarded as Star Wars canon.
But, I digress.
I self-published the series. My partner put together awesome covers for me, and I promo'd it all over Facebook and Twitter and blog hops and my web page. But, the books didn't really seem to take. Those that read them loved them, which was reassuring, but they got lost in the paranormal / gay romance flood. I needed more marketing muscle.
And then I received an email from Ethan Day about a new gay fiction press he and Geoff Knight were starting up, Wilde City Press. They wanted to know if I would be interested in submitting something.
I told them about Bounty and Bait and Geoff took the ball and ran with it. They were excited, they were encouraging, and they immediately went to work. The first thing Geoff did was suggest a new title, something that would just put right out there what the book was about. He threw out Cowboys & Vampires - Venom Valley Book One and it was like lightning. Awesome! A new cover was next - something put together by the amazing Jared Rackler that was moody and brooding and dangerous and just perfect. Don't you agree?
Now, today, the book will be re-released, followed soon by the second book in the series, also with a new title and cover. Those will be revealed at a later date, but know that I'm furiously working (okay, maybe working kind of hard, but also trying to stay sane by sleeping and talking with friends) on the third book in the series. There will be plenty of stories available from Wilde City Press in the months to come, so check out their website and sign up for email notifications about such great authors as Eric Arvin, TJ Klune, Anne Brooke, Ethan Stone, Jacob Flores, and plenty more. You can like their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/wildecitypress, or go to www.wildecity.com and type in your email address to stay on top of all of us. ;-)
*raises hand and opens mouth...closes mouth and shakes head* no...you couldn't have possibly meant...*blushes* What?
Thanks again to the lovely Havan Fellows for hosting me today, spiking my tea, and just being an all around great friend. *hugs Havan tight, and gropes her assets a little*
*puts Hank's hand back on said assets* Oh no...please don't...I'm not that type of girl...*hugs back* As always...whenever you're around the pleasure is all mine baby...*winks*
And now for a juicy / spooky excerpt from Cowboys & Vampires - Venom Valley Book One. Enjoy!
“Josh!” Dex knelt in front of him and grabbed his shoulders. He gave him a rough shake, but Josh could not focus. All he knew, all he could feel, was the heated rush of his blood.
Dex pulled Josh against him, hugging him against his chest. As if through a wall of rushing sound, Josh heard the crack of Dex’s Colt and felt the jump of the man’s shoulder as Dex held off the wolves. Then Dex had his hands under Josh’s arms and was dragging him across the hard packed sand and dirt to the mine entrance. Josh tried to speak, tried to warn Dex not to get any closer, but his tongue was hot and swollen behind his teeth.
Josh felt himself spin around, and then Dex sat him up against the weathered and rotting boards that covered the old mine entrance. Cool, dank air washed over him, bringing with it a hint of things left too long in the damp. The cool air chilled his fevered, sweaty skin and Josh shivered. His senses returned a little, and he watched Dex kneeling before him, protecting him, waving the burning branch at the advancing wolves as he shouted. Dex was saving his bullets, Josh knew, for when the wolves were close enough for them to feel their breath.
Soft, skittering sounds whispered out of the mine. Shuffling, crackling sounds that sent a familiar chill through him. Someone, something, was moving behind the rotting boards that covered the mine entrance. Josh slowly turned his head, the rugged, splintered surface of the board beneath catching in his sweat-damp hair.
A face with skin dry as parchment hovered just on the other side of a gap in the boards. Rotted teeth stuck up from brown gums and a milky white eye rolled to meet Josh’s gaze. The thing let out a rank gasp of air as it moaned and stuck skeletal fingers through the narrow gap, the tips brushing along Josh’s cheek.
He gave a start, the touch of the thing snapping him from his daze even as the heat in his body burned hotter. More fingers from other walking corpses reached out for him. Josh pushed away from the boards that covered the mine, letting out a shout of fear. As he watched, a number of bone thin hands gripped the edges of the boards and pulled them apart, making a path for the walking dead miners to shuffle out toward them.