5 Stars, Hank Edwards, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Wilde City Press

Review: Terror by Moonlight by Hank Edwards

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Terror by Moonlight (Critter Catchers: Book One)

Author: Hank Edwards

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 150 Pages

At a Glance: A fun and funny romp with two best friends and the paranormal showing up in a small town.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Cody Bower and Demetrius Singleton have been friends for over twenty years even though they are polar opposites. Cody is tall, handsome, athletic, and straight, and Demetrius is average height, more of a thinker, and gay. They have started an animal control business together and have to figure out how to be business partners without letting it affect their friendship, but that’s the least of their problems. When one of their first clients ends up brutally murdered in what appears to be an animal attack, the two realize something big and dangerous is stalking their tiny town of Parson’s Hollow, and it’s up to them to catch it before it kills again.

Dividers

Review: Hank Edwards is a new to me author, and I loved my first go round with him. I opened up Terror by Moonlight and then couldn’t put it down, reading the entire novel in one sitting. The fast paced story revolves around two men, who are best friends, and the new business they have just started.

Cody Bowers is fun loving and out of control, and Demetrius is his gay best friend. I loved the snark between the two, and the UST (unresolved sexual tension) is so thick it permeated the pages. These two attract more trouble just trying to do their job than seems humanly possible. I loved how the supernatural was just accepted as if it was an everyday occurrence—very little disbelief among the characters, and it was great. I’ve never watched Supernatural, but I want to now because of the references made in the book.

Terror by Moonlight was fast and funny, incorporating puns and digs at popular culture and the beloved tropes of the paranormal genre. It went by so fast that I missed the characters when it ended, and wanted more.

Thank you, Hank Edwards, for a fantastically fun read! I look forward to reading more of your stories.

TNA_Signature_Angel

 

 

 

You can buy Terror by Midnight here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Wilde City Press

Wilde City Press

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5 Stars, Comedy, Hank Edwards, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kim, Wilde City Press

Review: “Repossession is 9/10ths of the Law” by Hank Edwards

Title: Repossession Is 9/10ths of the Law

Author: Hank Edwards

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Alan Baxter barely scrapes by working as a deejay in suburban Detroit. To make ends meet, he takes a job as an automobile repossession agent, and discovers his very first assignment is a car owned by his drug dealer ex-boyfriend. On top of that, a body is discovered in the trunk…by a cop. Soon Alan’s life is completely upturned as he is pulled into a mystery involving more bodies, a highly lethal new street drug, a mysterious man with a top hat and cane, raging dwarves, a house fire, a cranky police detective, and his even crankier cat! Continue reading

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5 Stars, Hank Edwards, Historical Romance, Horror, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Wilde City Press

Hank Edwards’ “Blood & Stone” Kicks Things Up A Notch In Venom Valley

Title: Blood & Stone (Venom Valley: Book Three)

Author: Hank Edwards

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 229 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Josh Stanton’s mother has been held prisoner by the vampire Balthazar for fifteen years. As Balthazar has turned the residents of Belkin’s Pass into vampires under his control, Josh, his lover Dex, former saloon girl Glory, and US Army Sergeant Walker Maxwell fight to contain the undead uprising.

As Josh struggles to control his power to raise the dead, the group is pursued to the abandoned Fort Emmerick. There they make plans to take the battle to Balthazar’s cave, uncertain if all of them will live to see the light of day once again. Continue reading

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Angel Martinez, Em Woods, Hank Edwards, Haven Fellows, Lee Brazil, Silvia Violet, Totally Bound

“50s Mixed Tape” Sets Love To Music


“Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine



Title: 50s Mixed Tape

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 240

Rating: 5 Stars


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Review: This is kind of new for me. I have reviewed a story from an anthology before, but I haven’t ever tackled a full anthology review. I have always loved reading anthologies, I like that I can read a little short from a few of my fave authors, and sometimes find a new author thrown into the mix. This one was chock full of some of my favorite authors, so that was just a big old bonus :).
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Hank Edwards, Loose Id

Hank Edward Gets Up To Some Trouble In “Holed Up” and “Shacked Up”



“Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other. ” ― Rainer Maria Rilke




In Holed Up Mark Beecher inadvertently hears a terrorist plotting an attack on the US through the outdated ventilation system in his apartment building. After waffling back and forth for sometime, Mark goes to the FBI with what he knows. It is revealed that there is an informant in the Detroit office of the FBI. Aaron Pearce, being his boss’s least favorite agent is assigned to go from his home office on Washington D.C. to Detroit to keep Mark Beecher safe until the trial in a little over a week.

Shortly after Pearce arrives and meets Mark at the Detroit office, there is an attack on both of their lives. They run through the streets, unable to get to Pearce’s rental car. Mark knows a place they can stay. He says it is the loft of a friend of a friend who is out of town on business. Pearce thinks Mark knows his way around the loft too well, including where the spare key is hidden, for the “friend” to have been all that distant.
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Hank Edwards, Wilde City Press

“Stakes & Spurs” Is An Old West Tale Of The Boo-Wiggly Variety



“We just did an awesome job of not dying.” ― John Green



Some did, at least. Some didn’t do a great job at all of not dying, and now some of those who failed at the not dying part aren’t so much dead as they are undead, which is the same as not alive only scarier and more animated. Confused? Well, in Belkins Pass and Venom Valley, there is a difference; trust me, there’s a significant difference.

Two words: Vamp. Ires. Oh, and did I mention the little necromancy issue? There’s also a necromancy issue. That’s a lot of dead people who won’t seem to stay dead, and they cause no small amount of problems for the living (the actual living people, not the unalive ones who just keep moving).
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Anne Brooke, Charlie Harding, Clare London, Eric Arvin, Ethan Stone, Ewan Creed, Geoffrey Knight, Hank Edwards, J.P. Barnaby, Lloyd Meeker, Owen Keehnen, Patrick Darcy, Pelaam, Shae Connor, Wilde City Press

Your 4th Of July is About To Get All Kinds Of Wilde!

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Summer is all about fun, adventure and making great holiday memories. What do the Wilde City authors get up to? Find out when they were asked about some of their favorite summer traditions … past, present, and future.

Help Wilde City Press celebrate the start of summer and July 4th. Enjoy 25% of your entire cart from Wednesday July 3rd through Sunday July 7th with the coupon code: WildeFreedom.

 

What is your favorite July 4th / Independence Day memory or tradition?

 

Shae Connor

My favorite July 4th tradition is putting the watermelon in the pool.

See, my extensive extended family mostly lives in and around a small Georgia town, and the main gathering place for as long as I can remember has been the house of one of my grandmother’s sisters. (Both my grandmother and her sister are gone now, but some things just don’t change.)

Every year on the 4th of July, everyone who’s in town gathers at that house for a cookout. There’s a big grill out back, where the manly men types cook the meat. There’s also a pool, and every year, there’s a watermelon that goes in the pool. The kids play with it in the water most of the day, and then after everyone eats, the watermelon gets fished out, washed off, and sliced for everyone to dig in. The water in the pool chills it perfectly, not too cold like it would be from the fridge.

Now I want some pool-cooled watermelon!

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but it took me a long time to figure out that maybe I should start writing them down. I started out writing fanfic well over a decade ago, and in 2010, I moved into original fiction. (Though I do still get waylaid by a fanfiction plotbunny now and then.)

Shae is new to Wilde City. Look for Fringes, her Charlie Harding Presents erotic sci-fi short due out later this summer. Visit her at: shaeconnorwrites.com

 

Owen Keehnen

I am not sure if it was the exactly the 4th of July, but I do recall the fireworks. I was probably 20 or so and felt very grown up. I was in my first real apartment with my first real boyfriend. It was night and to escape the heat we climbed out my bedroom window onto the roof. We spread a sheet on the graveled tar and were lying there just holding hands and watching the stars. There was heat lightning to the south. The small town fireworks began about a half hour after dusk and probably lasted a total of five minutes. When they ended, I turned to him and said, “I love you.” I didn’t know exactly what those words entailed, but I knew how I felt and at that moment there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. It was such a feeling of complete contentment. We ended up falling asleep out there on the roof and climbed back inside around 3 a.m. He’s gone now, but whenever I see fireworks I think of him and that rooftop and that moment. It always brings a smile.

In addition to the four poems he contributed to Falling Awake, Owen has two other projects coming soon to Wilde City. The LGBT Book of Days is a fun and comprehensive guide to thousands of the most important dates in LGBT history – it’s great for reference and trivia and a real treat to compile. The second is a humorous novel called Young Digby Swank, a gay coming of age story about growing up Catholic which is hilarious and heartbreaking and heroic all at the same time. Visit Owen on facebook.

 

Hank Edwards

Meet Josh Stanton, orphaned at a young age in the mid-1800s, he has always been considered an outcast in Belkin’s Pass. Now he’s grown into a quiet, well-educated young man full of secrets, the least of which is his love for his best friend, town deputy Dex Wells. But when the ancient vampire Balthazar begins feeding on the residents of Belkin’s Pass, Josh’s secrets prove to be the turning point in a battle for the souls of the townspeople—but at what personal cost? —- Cowboys & Vampires, available now at Wilde City Press.

Visit Hank at hankedwardsbooks.com

 

 

What is your favorite Summer memory or tradition?

Geoffrey Knight

My favourite Independence Day moment has to be when Will Smith socks that mean old alien in the chops after they have the dogfight in the canyon and he says something bad-ass like, “You aliens just wrecked my July 4 barbecue and now I’m gonna have me some E.T. burgers because you guys suck!” Oh … you mean a real Independence Day memory, not a scene from the movie! I guess I’ll answer the Best Summer Memory or Tradition question instead.

I don’t think I have one particular memory or tradition that stands out because I love everything about Summer. Being Australian, Summer means lots of public holidays: Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia all happen in the space of a month or so, so January pretty much means lots of delicious seafood and days at the beach and your skin feels dusty with sea-salt the whole time, which is a feeling I love. Now that I’ve moved to an island it’s even better; Sydney beaches can get really crowded but up here I can walk from one end of the beach to the other with my dogs and not see a soul. And yes, of course I go in for a skinny dip! ;)

“I want to see.” … “Nash, we’re in Egypt, in the ruins of an ancient city, standing in front of a secret door! Aren’t you curious?”
“Curiosity killed the – ” … “No, I’m not curious.”
The lie was unconvincing enough to give Ryan the confidence to sway him.
Sway him with a kiss. …
“Curious yet?”

You can read Nash’s answer in Cairo Curse, book two in the Vampire Lair series. Visit Geoff at www.geoffreyknightbooks.com

 

Lloyd Meeker

My favorite summer tradition is honoring the solstice. In one old tradition, Midsummer Night was the time to leave a small dish of brandy in the garden as a gift to the fairies, which I’ve always thought was charming. Inviting the goodwill of nature is always a sensible idea!

I mark the solstice by honoring extremes – the dark of winter in the southern hemisphere and the light of summer in the northern – and the inevitable swing of the one toward the other. It is the wisdom of the Tao, the dance of light and dark, each with the spark of the other in its core.

This idea may seem pretty dry, but try this little experiment: sit on a playground swing and build momentum. Make the point furthest back winter solstice, when movement forward begins, and make the point farthest forward summer solstice, when graceful retreat begins. Feel the delicious centrifugal force as you move, your weightlessness at both far points – and remember the earth, held in her arc by the sun.

Gay PI Russ Morgan doesn’t mind being fifty but hates being single. He’s made peace with being a psychic empath, and he’s managed to build a decent life since getting sober. As he uncovers obscene secrets shrouded in seeming righteousness, he might have to make peace with a sword of justice that cuts the innocent as deeply as the guilty. —- Enigma, coming soon to Wilde City Press.

Visit Lloyd at lloydmeeker.com

 

Clare London

I wish the UK had July 4 celebrations as well! This summer so far, we’ve had sleet, flood rains, gale force winds and then occasionally a sunny, hot day. I think this is the reason most of our sentimental celebrations take place in the latter half of the year. Or why the British talk constantly about the weather.

It seemed sunnier in The Old Days, when I was young(er). One happy memory is of an annual trip with friends to Henley-on-Thames, for a barbeque/picnic beside the river. This was the irresponsible time before kids and mortgages! We always arranged a game of rounders (like baseball, but not), competing with way more enthusiasm than skill, and helped along (or hindered?) by huge amounts of alcohol.

We still have photographic evidence of the fun. A gal sitting in her bikini, draining the last cupful of fruit punch from a litre-sized jug. A chap with his younger brother hauled over his shoulder, running towards the river to throw him in. Various self-inflicted rounders-bat injuries on sunburned shins. Clare, clutching river weeds to her chest because she lost her tube top when she dived in…

Oh those lazy, hazy afternoons of summer!

Meet Freeman, a quiet man who’s not used to sharing his plans, his history, or his emotions. He’s returned to the city on business, a case that has nothing to do with the people he once left behind: his ex-wife, his male ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. He has no plans to engage with any of them again – until he meets Kit, the provocative young man who’s going to pull Freeman from the safety of his shell, whether he wants to or not. —- Freeman, coming soon to Wilde City Press.

Visit Clare at www.clarelondon.co.uk

 

Eric Arvin

I’m a big music slut any time of the year, but I especially love summer music or music that makes me think of summer. Every spring I make an awesome playlist for the warmer months. There be lots of frivolity and even some slower tunes in the mix. Here are a few from this year’s playlist:

Boys on the Radio by Hole
Mad About You by Belinda Carlisle
Love This by Cosmo Jarvis
Love Profusion by Madonna (Madonna has a lot of great summer tunes)
Car Wheels on A Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Midnight City by M83 (they’re last album was a summer spectacular)
I’m Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado
Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow
Summer Fling by kd lang (from her album Invincible Summer)
Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
Spaceman by The Killers (again, they’ve got a lot of great summery songs)
Boys of Summer by Eric Himan (a great version of the Don Henley classic)
For the Summer by Ray LaMontagne
Summer Days by Norah Jones

Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald
Summer Moved On by A-ha
Freeway by Aimee Mann (Mann’s voice just sounds like summer to me, other Mann Summer songs include 4th of July and Fifty Years After the Fair)
Free Falling by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
End of the Innocence by Don Henley

If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix
Birmingham by Shovels & Rope
Ramona by Night Beds
Singing in My Sleep by Semisonic
Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg

Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Eric is the author of The Mingled destinies of Crocodiles and Men, and various other sundry and not-so-sundry writings. He intends to live the rest of his days with tongue in cheek and eyes set to roam.

Visit Eric at ericarvin.blogspot.com

 

Patrick Darcy

Without a doubt, on a cold summer night in Dublin, I dream of being naked on an Ibizan beach. Preferably Playa Es Cavallet, the gay nudist beach. It’s a bit of a trek; you have to get past the German and Dutch naturalist before getting to the promised land of sexy, naked homos. I see it now, hot muscled hunks, with tattoos and great big…….

The beach is all white sand lined with cool beach bars, and the sound of funky music fills the air. Such a great relaxed vibe and beautiful people cruising each other. To say it’s sexual would be an understatement.

Summer is all about being naked, however, there are occasional problems. As a weak and feeble man, I am constantly being shown up by my hardon. I want to be dignified and European. But I’m Irish, I see a hot naked guy and, well, my cock just has to show its appreciation. Total nude beach faux pas. Oh the shame of it! The only saving grace is that my buns are rather pert. So I spend most of the day laying on my front, peaking through my Roy Orbison shades at all the beach talent.

OK. now I’m horny!

Hi! I’m Patrick Darcy. Rugby player, Irishman and writer of full strength gay erotica. Follow me at patrickdarcybooks.com, as I comment on life in Dublin, hot men and all the things that make me tick. There are two big passions in my life: great sex and rugby. Quite often, these are combined! I love the thrill of competition, the power, the intensity, the brotherhood of rugby.

Oh, and I love being naked!

 

Anne Brooke

My favourite summer memory is my mother’s homemade lemonade. She only ever made it in summer as she said it was an outdoor drink and needed a big dose of sunshine to make the bubbles pop. Apparently winter would make the whole drink go grey and flat, and as I was young I believed her – and in a way I still do. Homemade lemonade only ever appeared about three or four times a year and only when we were very good and she was pleased with us. It wasn’t ever something she prepared for either but, in our family group, she would slip away quietly and after a while one or another of us would realise she was missing. From then on the excitement would mount and then – at last! – half an hour or so later she would reappear with a huge jug of lovely lemony-yellow bubbly drink and a selection of glasses. Drinking it meant you had enough sugar in your system to last you well into the next month, but it was like a blast of sunshine and citrus in the mouth, I can tell you. Sheer bliss!

The night I met Luke Milton, the last thing I was looking for was any kind of relationship …

“What the hell are you doing?” …
“Waiting for you …”
“You’ve not covered up your mark.” … “You must have taken some stick for it from the office.”
“Why should I cover it up? You gave it to me. That’s worth all the stick in the world.”

Read the rest of Luke and Alan’s interactions in The Beginning of Knowledge, available now at Wilde City Press. Visit Anne at www.annebrooke.com

 

Ewan Creed

I’ll set the scene for you – a rowboat, a bottle of wine, a low moon, and a good man. We had met on the beach that morning and clicked, so after hanging out all day I invited him out to dinner and then for a ride on the lake. There was just something about him. It was so easy to talk to him. I told him more about myself than I told my best friends and he shared just as much about himself. That evening was nothing special in the scheme of things, and yet perfect at the same time. It was one of those connections you just don’t forget. He was the first person I ever told that I wanted to be a writer.

Meet Alex, a man caught up in the leather bar scene of 1975, a man consumed by the feeling of sexual abandon and freedom. One night Alex gets more than he bargained for and is transported into a dark carnal wonderland of sexual abandon and perpetual desire, a world that can trap a man for all eternity. —- The Leather Bar Mural, available now from Wilde City Press.

Follow all of Ewan’s release dates HERE.

 

 

If you could escape to anywhere in the world this summer, where would it be?

J.P. Barnaby

J. P. Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over a dozen books including the Little Boy Lost series, the Forbidden Room series, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

J.P.’s new Rentboy series is coming to Wilde City press later this year. Visit J.P. at www.JPBarnaby.com

 

Pelaam

I live in New Zealand and summer here starts in December. For someone born in the UK, seeing bikinis and sun lotion next to Christmas trees and decorations just isn’t right. A holiday somewhere hot and sultry with exotic cocktails might be most people’s idea of summer bliss. However, I’d like to escape to celebrate my summer Christmas in Canada with snow, caribou, and lots of mulled wine.

Living in clean, green New Zealand, I am an author, foodie, wine buff and Art Historian. I write M/M romance, particularly paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy, and like to add passion, and a twist, to my tales. I grew up on Dr Who, Star Trek and The Night Stalker. I never leave the house without at least one notebook, ready to jot down anything the muse may whisper. Visit me on facebook.

 

Charlie Harding

I would scoop up my partner Scotty Rage and we’d meet up with our 10 closest friends at a beach somewhere. Seafood, cocktails, sand, sun and the people we care about… Our favorite combination!

Charlie Harding joined the ranks of adult performers in February 2012. He has won multiple awards including “Best New Cummer,” “Best Daddy,” “Best Ass Eater 2012” and “Manly Man”. Charlie has also put his multiple college degrees to work building network of business ventures including launching his own line of personally selected gay erotica at www.charliehardingpresents.com. Charlie lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his partner and fiance, Scotty Rage.

 

Ethan Stone

I would love to go on a cruise to somewhere warm but not too hot. I want a place with a beach, cool clear water and some hot cabana boys. The hot cabana boys are not just for eye candy, they’d be there for inspiration. The whole trip would be for inspiration since I’ve been having a hard time with writing lately. Being in a relaxing environment with pretty eye candy all around me could really help with my writing block. Additionally, it would benefit my health as well. If I were to lay shirtless in the sun, soaking up all that vitamin D, I’d have all the energy I need for anything that happened to come up. :-)

Anyone wanting to contribute to the “Save Ethan’s Mental and Physical Health” Cruise feel free to use Paypal.

“Did you like what you saw out there?” …
“You’re a very … talented dancer.” …
“Anything else you liked?”
“You fishing for a compliment, Holt? You don’t seem the type to need your ego stroked.”
“Maybe it’s not my ego I want s…”

See if Jason Holt ever gets around to telling Quinn what he wants stroked, Past Tense available now at Wilde City Press. Visit Ethan at www.ethanjstone.com.

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Anne Brooke, Eric Arvin, Ethan Stone, Hank Edwards, Jacob Z. Flores, Patrick Darcy, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, TJ Klune, Wilde City Press

And The Winners Are…

Hi! Remember Eric Arvin and TJ Klune’s video? Yeah, me too! Well, as it happens, they had a little giveaway going on along with their shenanigans, and guess what? The six winners have been selected. And guess what else? They’ll each be receiving a nifty download code apiece for a FREE book from Wilde City Press. See? Nifty.

So, on that note, it’s my great pleasure to announce the lucky winners right here! They are:


Diana

Maya

Joanne from Colorado

Jbst

little1kry

and

russ coons

Congratulations to each and every one of you, and to everyone who participated, thanks for stopping by and playing along in our Wilde Week of fun!

And on behalf of Bruce, Tina, and Jackie, I’d like to take a moment to offer a huge thanks to Geoff Knight, Ethan Day, and Dolorianne, the woman behind the scenes who made this all go off without a single hitch, as well as a heaping helping of feels to all the authors – Patrick Darcy, Hank Edwards, Eric & TJ, Jacob Z.Flores, Ethan Stone, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, and Anne Brooke, who each made this such a stellar week!

Cheers!!

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Anne Brooke, Ewan Creed, Geoffrey Knight, Hank Edwards, Owen Keehnen, Wilde City Press

Falling Awake Is Poetry In (E)motion

Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance. – Carl Sandburg

Oscar Wilde once said something to the effect that every portrait painted with feeling is truly a portrait of the artist, not the subject. I suspect there’s some truth to that, and also suspect the same can be said of poetry. What is poetry, after all, but a portrait painted with a palette of words rather than colors? It begins with a thought, an emotion, an event, and ends with absolution for the writer as he examines and exhumes and purges himself of the feelings that have prompted him to bare his soul, or, at the very least, his heart; to take those emotions and turn them into myriad hues of musical words on a colorful scale.

Anne Brooke, Ewan Creed, Hank Edwards, Owen Keehnen, and Geoffrey Knight are the artists who have joined together in this collaborative effort called Falling Awake, a collection of poetry that speaks of loss, betrayal, denial, faith, sex…love. Each piece is but a small window through which the reader is able to catch a glimpse of the authors’ creative talents, each piece telling a story—a beginning, middle, and end—in all the rich tones of a free-form and lyrical language. The collection is aesthetic, much like a portrait, and much like those tangible forms of art, the beauty of Falling Awake will be in the eye of the beholder. But the true beauty of poetry is that, unlike a work of art hanging in a museum, once the poet shares those words they then belong to the reader as well, becoming an emotion in motion.

Falling Awake, in some ways, reads like flash fiction that has been structured with a cadence and rhythm all its own. This collection is being offered as a FREE download from Wilde City Press. If you enjoy poetry at all, I highly recommend grabbing this one as soon as you can.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can download Falling Awake here:

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Hank Edwards, Wilde City Press

Ladies and Gentlemen, here all the way from Venom Valley–no, not really–please welcome Hank Edwards!

Thanks for having the Wilde City Press authors on your website! We’re quite a diverse group of authors, aren’t we? We seem to have hit all the major genres.

My first few books published with Wilde City Press are from my Venom Valley Series, and they land firmly in the paranormal genre. When I was planning the series, I decided I really wanted to place the story in an unusual setting, so even before the movie Cowboys & Aliens came out, I had started writing the first book, now titled Cowboys & Vampires, and set the story in the American Old West. I wanted to explore how a vampire–an old school, evil, blood-thirsty brand of vampire, not the redemption seeking good guys of today–could swoop into a small prairie town and quietly start turning its residents into vampires. I drew from the likes of the original Dracula and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot for inspiration. I knew I wanted the classic vampire scenario–three bites to turn a person, holy items, silver, and garlic can wound or ward off, and a stake through the heart and exposure to sunlight can kill–but I also wanted a new way to combat the vampire threat.

That was when Josh Stanton popped into my head. To me Josh is the main character of the series. When Cowboys & Vampires opens we are inside Josh’s head as he’s discovering the body of someone close to him. But he’s reacting to the presence of the body in a physical way that’s much different than grief. Along with his despair over the loss of someone he loves, Josh feels a power thrumming through him, manifested by building heat. And then the body begins to move. It slowly, painfully gets to its feet and lurches toward him, hungry for flesh.

To this end, I took the classic zombie and made it more of tool for a necromancer. Josh is just discovering this power inside him, and he spends a good deal of the first book learning how to use this power to fight the growing vampire threat, for, as he and his best friend since childhood–and, to date, unrequited love interest–Dex Wells discover later on, where lead bullets cannot penetrate vampire skin and bone, zombie teeth and nails can. I had this idea that only another species of the undead, for instance a zombie, can tear into another undead creature, such as a vampire. It’s my personal twist on the “rules” of the paranormal world.

So now I had a witch, Josh Stanton, a vampire, the big bad Balthazar and his evil minions, and a handful of corpses that reanimate when Josh is near. That’s a pretty full plate for any paranormal series. Throw in the hunky, deputy best friend/love interest Dex, and I was good to go.

But then I heard a new voice as I started plotting out the book, one that was–to me, at least–very unique and fascinating. It was a woman, and as Glory whispered her background in my ear, I wrote it down as fast as I could. She was half white and half Native American and she worked in the One-Eyed Rooster, the town saloon. Glory’s father had been pure-bred Apache and fell in love with her mother, a white woman from town. They married the only way possible back then for a mixed race couple, by Native American custom, and lived outside of town where Glory was conceived, born, and raised. When Glory was very young, her father took her out into the woods and called forth a spirit guardian to act as her guardian and protect her from danger. Not long after, Glory’s father was taken by a group of men from town and hung for lying with a white woman.

Now in her early twenties, Glory lays with the men in town for money, the only work she can find. Her one and only love is her spirit guardian, Ohanzee, who can only appear to her when Glory is in danger. Because of this, Glory is quite the risk taker, as she tries to see Ohanzee as often as possible. When the vampire Balthazar begins to prowl the halls of the One-Eyed Rooster at night, hypnotizing the other girls into inviting him into their rooms, Ohanzee’s protection keeps Glory from falling under the vampire’s spell and allows her to escape.

Hot off the presses, the cover of Stakes & Spurs: Venom Valley Book Two!

As if things weren’t crowded enough in the town of Belkin’s Pass, I now had a Native American spirit to throw into the mix. But the story grew inside my head to an epic showdown between living men, protective spirits, the risen undead, and the vampire threat. I don’t think it would be as fulfilling if one of these creature types were left out, the story really works because they are all included. The characters themselves have been defined by the paranormal elements around and within them, and, should one or two of these elements suddenly be removed, they may have to learn how to be themselves in a totally different context. It’s interesting times out there in Belkin’s Pass, just on the edge of Venom Valley and not too far from the US Army post of Fort Emmerick. Very interesting times.

And always remember, where there are a few paranormal creatures, another one or two may be lurking in the shadows nearby, eager to tell tales of his own.

Here’s a blurb from the first book of the series, Cowboys & Vampires – Venom Valley Book One, now available at Wilde City Press in all major e-book formats, and at most e-book retailers. Enjoy!

Excerpt:

“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.

Buy links:
Wilde City Press: https://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/cowboys-vampires-venom-valley-book-one/#.UbzPGuvkB6w
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Vampires-Venom-Valley-ebook/dp/B00CQDY7OO/
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cowboysvampiresvenomvalleybookone-1194152-145.html

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Hank Edwards, Wilde City Press

Cowboys & Vampires: Venom Valley Book One – It’s A Nice Place To Visit If You Don’t Mind The Ghoulies

I had the pleasure of reading this book way back when, in its original incarnation, so I’m going to cheat just a wee bit and post an excerpt from my original review for Top2Bottom. It’s a great book, and believe me, it’s a memorable one too. I’m still hanging from that cliff, Mr. Edwards! :)

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If you haven’t read Hank Edwards’ Cowboys & Vampires: Venom Valley Book One yet, then you’re just going to have to trust me when I tell you the real Wild West was never as wild as the West that is Belkin’s Pass…or, at least I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. Anyway, this once sleepy little frontier town has suddenly become host to some ghouly boo-wiggly undeads, so there’s at least a little bit of proof to my theory, yes? Yes, I think so too.

Lifelong friends, Josh and Dex fell in love with each other somewhere along the way in their journey, though neither man has ever found the courage to express his feelings for the other. Now? Well, now seems the perfect time to declare themselves and consummate their relationship, because the future looks a lot less bright than it ever has before and, let me assure you, the present could use all the hope and promise it can get.

Strange things are afoot in the town, you see—the dead who just don’t seem happy to stay that way, a mysterious and foreign stranger called Balthazar who preys on the townsfolk, glamouring them and drinking their blood, creating new progeny to grow his legacy, and Josh is caught directly in the midst of all these supernatural events. That is to say he is a supernatural event himself, and it’s the strange power hidden within him that reanimates the corpses he encounters, which causes the man no end of problems when he’s accused of murdering two people, one of them the woman who’d raised him, she being the only mother Josh had ever known.

In a matter of moments, those crimes transform him into a fugitive with a price on his head and the promise of the noose if he’s ever caught. The question? How can a man be guilty of murder if the victim was aleady dead? The problem? Who’s going to believe a story like that, especially coming from a man who’s considered an outcast by some. The answer? Dex Wells, that’s who, and he is willing to sacrifice everything he has, everything he is, for the man he loves.

Dex tracks Josh to the home where he’d spent the first few short years of his life before his mother, a woman accused of everything from practicing witchcraft to devil worship, had abandoned him. Dex listens to Josh’s admittedly far-fetched tale of the reanimated dead, and luckily is able to believe that some strange event or another has occurred involving Josh and the deceased. It should probably be a harder pill to swallow, but he’s just experienced his own brush with the preternatural when he’s attacked by a few of the prostitutes at the One-Eyed Rooster Saloon, where Dex witnesses them threatening Glory, a half-breed call-girl protected by a Native spirit, Ohanzee.

This story is told from three different perspectives—Josh’s, Dex’s, and Glory’s—the stories running parallel to each other until the point they each converge perfectly in the place known as Venom Valley, a place where those who dare to enter are seldom seen or heard from again. Scorpions, snakes, stinging beetles, all the creepy crawlies that give Venom Valley its name, aren’t the only things to be scared of in this haunted and dangerous place. There are things with far more bite to them that come out in the dark to play, and the two men encounter each and every one in their mission to escape the hangman’s noose, locate Balthazar, and save their town from a fate worse than death.

But Balthazar, oh, you better believe he has other plans for our heroes, plans that will be revealed in the next installment in the series. At least, I hope so.

Yes, Hank Edwards leaves the reader suspended on the edge of a cliff, dangling precariously by the fingertips over the little Venom Valley of horrors, waiting to learn the fate of our heroes. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Cowboys & Vampires is step one of what promises to be a thrilling adventure. I, for one, am more than ready for step two.

Check out the terrific guest post HERE to learn a little bit more about this fantastical place that Hank built.

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