Today I’d like to welcome authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall to Romancing the Darkside! These fabulous authors have stopped by to promote their latest release Blood and Whiskey, hosted by Pump Up Your Book. If you’re a fan of vampire books with saucy characters and plenty of humor you’ll want to stick around and put Blood and Whiskey on your reading list!
By Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
How one character, in particular, sets the tone for the blood- and romance-drenched second book in The Cowboy and Vampire Thriller Series.
Blood and Whiskey is an opposites-attract love story. It’s hard to get more opposite than the salt-of-the-earth cowboy, Tucker, who falls irreversibly, hat over heels in love with Lizzie, the queen of the undead. She’s nuts about him too, and she wasn’t always a vampire — when she met Tucker she was a big city girl who thought the handsome, undereducated stranger would make for a memorable drunken mistake.
A lot can change in a few months. Now they’re pregnant, for starters.
The book captures the magic and chaos of their very different worlds colliding in a love affair for the ages. Like any new lovers, they have plenty of stuff to work through. She favors martinis and piano bars; he likes camping. He flosses too loudly; she needs human blood to survive. And that’s just the easy stuff. They are also being pursued by vampire assassins, and the world of the night walkers is teetering on the edge of civil war which could spell disaster for the human race. Plenty of action, sizzling romance and dark humor swirl around them.
With all the chemistry and passion and heartaches between them, it would be easy to assume Tucker or Lizzie provided the impetus for Blood and Whiskey. Easy, but not entirely correct. And no, it’s not Elita either, the sexy two thousand year old vampire forever taking out her boredom on unsuspecting victims in an orgy of blood and kinky sex. She demands attention, it’s true, but the secret source of paranoid energy powering Blood and Whiskey comes courtesy of Lenny.
Lenny is Tucker’s best friend and a way-off-the-grid survivalist. He once designed weapons for the military, but exposure to hazardous chemicals and dark deeds in the name of national security earned him a medical discharge.
Lenny has never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, from Roswell to the JFK assassination, from black helicopters to cattle mutilators. He lives in a bunker in LonePine with his wife June surrounded by enough dried meals and stockpiled weapons to last through any apocalypse. Little did he know it would spill out of a musty coffin.
In The Cowboy and the Vampire, when the evil vampire hordes threaten Lizzie’s life, Tucker turns to Lenny for help. With weapons Lenny designed and some “wet work,” they survive the worst the undead could throw at them. In Blood and Whiskey, it’s Lenny who needs help. His niece Rose, an orphan and runaway, is kidnapped from the streets of Portland, Oregon, but not before she has time to make one panicked phone call to her uncle.
Lenny calls in his favor with Tucker and they drive to Portland, then on to a deranged meat packing plant in Plush where Rose is being held.
Along the way, Lenny:
- uses military grade amphetamines to try and stay awake — they seem to have the opposite effect and Tucker has to do all of the driving
- admits that his engine modifications allow his car, an old Pontiac LeMans, to run for thousands of miles on a single tank, but worries that OPEC will kill him to suppress the invention
- threatens to “pop” an evil cowboy with a special deep sea diver’s knife designed to puff a ball of compressed air into sharks
- acknowledges that the U.S. government killed Michael Jackson with propofol
- admits that he’s seen aliens
And that’s just in the first third of the book. Things really heat up from there.
Lenny might not be one of the star-crossed main characters, and he may not be sexy or plagued by world-shaking issues of good and evil, but he knows the world “ain’t what it seems.” He always knew an Illuminati was pulling the strings, he just didn’t know the mysterious overlords were terminally allergic to sunlight.
While the love between Tucker and Lizzie anchors The Cowboy and Vampire Thriller Series, Lenny is the one who insisted this story to be told. Because Lenny knows that reality — when you look it straight in the eye and don’t flinch — is darker than we could ever dream and that humans are not at the top of the food chain.
Clark Hays grew up in Montana in the shadow of the Tobacco Root Mountains. In addition to his fiction work, he is a cowboy, a published poet and occasional food critic. Recently, he was nominated for Pushcart Prize for short fiction and not so recently for a Rhysling award for poetry. Clark brings a deep knowledge about the modern west, weaponry, country music and existentialism to his writing.
Kathleen McFall grew up in the heart of Washington, D.C. She worked as a petroleum geologist and, later, as a journalist, and has published hundreds of articles about scientific research, energy and natural resources. An interest in the overlap of science and mysticism are an essential aspect of her fiction writing. She received an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship for fiction writing.
Blood and Whiskey (Pumpjack Press, May 2012), by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays, is the second book in the Cowboy and Vampire Thriller Series. It’s a wickedly funny tale of love, loyalty and sacrifice in the modern west.
Wanted: Lizzie Vaughan, Dead or Alive…
Relationships are always hard, but for a broke cowboy and a newly turned Vampire, true love may be lethal.
After barely surviving an undead apocalypse in The Cowboy and the Vampire, Tucker and Lizzie hightail it back to quirky LonePine, Wyoming (population 438), to start a family. But she’s got a growing thirst for blood and he’s realizing that mortality ain’t all it’s cracked up to be when your girlfriend may live forever. With a scheming Vampire nation hot on their boot heels and a price on her head, how far will Lizzie and Tucker go to protect their unlikely love?
Blending evolution, religion and an overly sensitive cow dog named Rex, Blood and Whiskey drags the Vampire myth into the modern west, delivering double-barreled action, heart-pounding passion and wicked humor.