Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Blast, Giveaway & Interview: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves by @cowboyvamp

The Cowboy and the Vampire Book 3 Banner 450 x 169




clip_image002Rough Trails and Shallow Graves

The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection

Book Three

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Western Romance

Publisher: Pumpjack Press

Date of Publication: May 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9838200-4-8

Number of pages: 358

Word Count: 82,900

Cover Artist: Aaron Perkins

Book Description:

Say goodbye to LonePine, Wyoming, a typical small town in the American west with typical small town problems — romantic intrigues, warm beer and vampires.

When Lizzie goes missing on their wedding night, Tucker is forced to team up with his bloodthirsty Russian nemesis to find answers. Crashing through cowboy country, the vampire spirit world and wrecked salmon canneries, they confront an evil more ancient than even the undead — human greed — twisting science into something terrible.

Can there be a happily-ever-after for a cowboy and vampire, or is their unusual love just a delusion? Time to cowboy up.

This is the third book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.

Available at Amazon

Reviews of the first two books….

Introducing racial issues isn’t the only adjustment the authors have made to the vampire mythos, but it’s more than just the details that set this series apart. Rather, it’s the way the authors utilize those details to create meaningful conflicts and world-altering choices for the characters...the book is first and foremost a thriller, upping the ante in every chapter as bullets fly and relationships strain under the weight of old loyalties and new revelations…with strong writing, funny characters (no irony is lost on one vampiress who takes to sporting a “Future Farmers of America” jacket) and plenty of action, it’s hard to fault the authors for keeping the focus on a story this riveting. ~ Kirkus Reviews

As a vampire novel, The Cowboy and the Vampire is sure to satisfy Dracula fans’ expectations. However, this book has a little something extra to offer readers. A little something that harkens back to the days when man fought against the wild in the name of civilization. Hays and McFall have succeeded in mixing the Western genre tropes with the Gothic conventions to create a zany grey romance.

~ Writastic Thoughts from the Thinking Realm

One of the weirdest stories I have ever read. It’s right up there with Neil Gaiman’s man-swallowing woman parts and talking tents. Instead, here we have rocket-launching, womb-sucking, Bible-bending, non-pointy-toothed vampires. And love. And cowboys. Depending on what you are looking for, that might be a good thing. If I had to liken this book to a movie, it would either be to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or maybe more appropriately, Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk to Dawn.

~ The Avid Reader

The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance is one of the funniest and most engaging books I have read in a long time. Jam-packed with adventure, vampires, true love, and a cast of characters you will not soon forget, you find yourself turning the pages thinking, “What more could possibly happen to these two?” And then, you find out. I never imagined the melding of a contemporary western and a paranormal romance could ever be so seamless or so much fun.

~ Bitten by Books

A choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. Relationships are tumultuous when they may only last a few decades, but when they last eternity, it can get more difficult. “Blood and Whiskey” is a novel of adventure, horror, and cowboys as a follow up to previous novel ‘The Cowboy and the Vampire’, as couple Tucker and Lizzie retreat to a tiny town to of LonePine, hoping to settle down, but the reality of the Vampires on their trail may make that an impossibility. A riveting read that explores many concepts on top of the intrigue of vampires in the lawless lands of the west, “Blood and Whiskey” is a choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. ~ Midwest Book Review, Micah Andrew, Reviewer

If you’re looking for a combination of sex, blood and Western romance, pour yourself a shot of the good stuff and settle in for a wickedly good read.

~ Renee Struthers, Eastern Oregonian Newspaper




Writing the Range:

A Top 10 List of Cowboy Lit from the writers of The Cowboy and Vampire Collection

Books about cowboys and vampires? Don't laugh. The combination does raise a few eyebrows, but it makes perfect sense.

Crashing together these two iconic figures creates an immediate stampede of evocative, diametrically opposed associations — good versus evil, the old world versus the new, decadence versus virtue, kinky fetish versus loyalty. The electric tension between these two enduring archetypes is the backdrop — and power source — of our books, which serves the opposites attract love story well.

But there’s a risk, too. Readers want to find familiar elements at the heart of the archetypes, and straying too far afield can be disconcerting.

For our vampires, we have some leeway to reinvent and push the boundaries of the familiar; readers are used to that now. We did away with the fangs, cemented the notion of full biologic death every dawn and created a new theory of consciousness to explain where their sense of self goes after death — but we kept some of the basic and beloved characteristics: strength, immortality, feeding on blood.

Writing about cowboys is different. Cowboys exist somewhere between reality and ideal, grounded in history (albeit for a fairly short “golden age”) but romanticized thanks to books, movies and even country music. To capture that on paper requires honoring all of the stereotypes that have frozen them in our collective psyche — laconic, tough, men of action who have a code of conduct and are slow to anger but resolute in fighting for what’s right … and don’t forget, all cowboys are good with their pistols and fists, loyal and trustworthy. Add to that (thanks to the spurt of western romance novels) six-pack abs, shirts that never seem to stay buttoned and exceptional skills in the bedroom. Whew, that’s a lot to live up to!

And a challenge for writers to create actual, fully-realized cowboy characters. It requires deconstructing the myth, finding the (usually) wounded core of a cowboy’s motivations and their attachment to the wide open landscape that shaped them, then putting it all back together into someone with the same faults and foibles and failures as the rest of us. That’s Tucker — the hero of our books — in a nutshell.

Luckily, many great writers have helped blaze that trail and we relied on them. Here are ten of our favorite cowboys ever put to paper, in order of bad-assedness:

1) Quincey Morris (the cowboy in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, who helped finished off the Count with his “great bowie knife,” even though he was gravely injured — yes, we pay homage to him in one of our books) 

2) Jonah Hex (the tragically disfigured cowboy from the DC comic universe who always seems to be tangled up in occult shenanigans)

3) Any of the Sacketts (from the many books by Louis L’Amour)

4) Tom Landry (the beloved coach of the Dallas Cowboys and all around stand up guy with a rigid code of conduct and a cool undersized hat; a new biography was recently released)

5) Audie Murphy (a real cowboy, one of the most decorated combat soldiers of WWII, star of western movies and author of To Hell and Back, his autobiography)

6) Raylan Givens (from the world of Elmore Leonard and the cool show based on that – Justified)

7) John Grady Cole and Billy Parham (from Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy)

8) Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (in the series by Robert B. Parker)

9) Woodrow F. Call (in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove)

10)Jim Chee (the great character created by Tony Hillerman; not really a cowboy but certainly a western bad-ass)

This is a short list and we struggled to keep it at ten. Along the way, we couldn’t help but notice the shortage of strong cowgirl characters in literature. But since being a cowboy or a cowgirl is really more of a state of mind, we hoped your readers would share some characters, or writers, they think embody the “cowgirl spirit.”



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Between the two of them, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have worked in writing jobs ranging from cowboy-poet to energy journalist to restaurant reviewer to university press officer. After they met, their writing career took center stage when they wrote the first book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection as a test for marriage. They passed. Clark and Kathleen now live in Portland, Oregon.

@cowboyvamp (Twitter)

@cowboyvampire (Instagram)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for letting us spend some time on your site. Coming up with that top ten list was a real struggle! So many great characters to choose from.