Today we have a character interview from Hero For Hire, a Lyrical Press release penned by Merissa McCain and Margaret Madigan. This dystopian novella features characters Rafe and Gwyn, and they're checking in with their top ten reads. It's a great way to get to know them before you see an excerpt of them in action! Settle down and get ready to add another book to your TBR pile!
Rafe and Gwyn’s Top Ten Reads in their Doom Shelter (IE Mansion in the Hills)
I’m not a big reader, but when there’s nothing else going on sometimes I pick up a book. Gwyn’s been trying to help me learn to relax and since she likes to read at night before going to bed, I’ll snuggle up with her and read, too.
These are the books I’ve been working on adding to our library at the mansion.
1. The Bourne series by Robert Ludlum.
Action, intrigue, political bullshit, amnesia, finding the woman he loves. What’s not to like?
2. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
I know it’s a kid’s book, but it’s intense. And it’s all about a boy who survives on his own in the wilderness, which makes me think of my boys.
3. Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler.
When I go out on scavenge runs I always keep my eye out for Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books. I’ve got over half the books now. They help take the edge off my need for adrenaline when there’s nothing exciting going on.
4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Because it’s just so freaking bizarre. And fun.
5. The Sackett Series by Louis L’Amour
Westerns make it easy to forget we’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and L’Amour’s writing is easy to read. It’s cool that he follows the making of the west through the eyes of the Sackett family.
Rafe has had a lot more opportunity to go out and scavenge luxuries like books. Even now, her brings me books back whenever he can, so I’m growing a bit of a library, which makes me supremely happy. When I spent ages alone in an underground lab, I didn’t have all that much to choose from. But I did manage to find and keep some gems, and they are what make up my top five—the books that helped keep me sane when there was no human contact to be had.
1. Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy. I love this story. The characters are so vivid, and the story engaging that I felt as though I had friend when I was alone for so very long.
2. Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. I found this copy in the lab, and it was not in very good shape. There were pages missing, and half the front cover was torn. But inside the book, shone a sparking wit and brilliant mind. I loved the way this book calmed me when everything seemed utterly overwhelming.
3. Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. This is a book I would NEVER have picked up before everything ended. But I am incredibly glad I did, because although the subject is not something I would have sought out, I love the story. The characters are well drawn, the history comes alive throughout the book, and the story is wonderful. I understand there are more books after this one, and have Rafe keeping an eye out for the others while he scavenges.
4. Kate Noble’s Compromised. This is another book I’d never have picked up before the end of everything. It is light, fluffy, and eminently enjoyable, and yet it’s written in a voice that resonates a dry sarcasm. I love the voice in this story and the story itself—it’s unique and utterly charming.
5. Bryan Miller’s Cooking Basics For Dummies. Doc does all the cooking at the mansion. But when I was alone, I quickly became tired of my terrible cooking skills. I was simply not equipped. So when I came across this book in a Walmart, I snatched it up and have used it until the poor thing is dog eared. It wasn’t a miracle worker, but I can cook macaroni and cheese these days, and when Doc lets me in the kitchen, I have been practicing on making stew. One of these days, it might even be edible.
Blurb for Hero For Hire...
One day her prince would come…disguised as a zombie-killer.
Having been disgraced and tossed out by her own scientific community, Gwyn is convinced she can develop a cure for a SuperVirus that has turned the Infected into zombies. By pure luck and determination, she has survived on her own for years, but while out scavenging, a clash with the local zombies leaves her potentially infected. Now, running out of time, she needs help and takes a chance on a hero for hire.
Rafe loves the apocalypse. Since the world went to hell, everything’s come up roses for him. Having procured a mansion in the Hollywood hills, adopted a slew of homeless boys and one cantankerous but useful Doc, Mr. Charming is benefiting from the nasty zombie infestation. His job? Killing the bastards, which he considers fun anyway. Gwyn Snow needs Rafe Charming to help retrieve her research from the Paragon Pharmaceuticals lab, also known as Zombie Central. Believing she can yet save the world, Gwyn makes Rafe question what’s right and what’s worth the fight.
CONTENT WARNING: Prince Charming, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as you’ve never seen them before. Tales From Beyond the End, #1 A Lyrical Press Fantasy Romance – Once Upon”
An excerpt from Hero For Hire...
A tall man entered through the door behind the window. He was well built, and his hair was backlit to a golden color by the evening sunlight. He moved with a careless male swagger, confidently in charge. I unfolded myself from the upholstered bench and strode to the glass, trying to ignore the multitude of aches moving brought on. As stiff and sore as I felt today, his easy movement annoyed me. I swallowed it down, reminding myself I needed these people, but they obviously didn’t need me.
When he stepped up to the glass, I saw him properly. He was beautiful in the way a big cat is beautiful–all golden, sleek, dangerous muscle. A man like him, well, he might actually manage to liberate my journals.
I pasted a smile on my face. “Hello. I–”
“Might be infected. I heard.”
I glanced away. “I’m not, and I’m in quarantine until you see I’m not. So Mr. Channing, it would be good if we could use the time we have right now to discuss terms.”
He cocked his head at me. “It’s not Channing. It’s Charming. Rafe Charming.”
I mirrored the tilt of his head, biting the inside of my cheek, but it made no difference. The ends on my mouth turned up until I felt an immense grin on my face.
His eyes narrowed. “Something funny?”
I tried. I really did. But it had been an awful day–hopeless, frightening, humiliating, boring and uncomfortable by turns. I simply didn’t have the internal fortitude to be professional anymore. I opened my mouth to tell him I was glad to meet him, but a snort of laughter came out, uncorking the unruly thoughts from my head. “Really? You go by Mr. Charming? Is that a stage name? Were you an actor before all this?”
“Stunt double, actually, but that has nothing to do with my name.”
I clapped my hand over my mouth, attempting to stop the flow of laughter. Instead, the firearm flung out of my brace again, hitting the window.
Mr. Charming dropped to the floor. I screamed as the gun bounced off the glass, jolting the revolving portion open, flinging bullets everywhere. I sucked in a breath, and when I let it out a bubble of laughter escaped, followed by another until I could barely catch a breath. “I’m so sorry Mr. Charming. I’m just out of practice with people right now.”
He raised himself off the floor, glaring at me through the glass. “Lady, infected or not, you’re a hazard.” He turned and walked out, leaving me giggling helplessly in my very own little asylum.
You can pick Hero for Hire up here:
Meet the authors...
About Merissa McCain
I love to read, write, drink strong coffee and eat dark chocolate–not necessarily in that order and sometimes all at once. I live in the deep South, with my very own superhero, and my three minions. Together, we attempt to take over the world.
When not otherwise occupied with planning world domination, I’m a voracious reader and adore happy endings. I write what I love to read, so I write romance and stories with romantic elements to them.
My novella Hero for Hire, written jointly with the fabulous Margaret Bail is due for release on October 1, 2013. It’s a Paranormal Romance featuring a campy post apocalyptic take on the Snow White tale, and is the first in our Tales from Beyond the End series.
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About Margaret Madigan
Hi. I'm Margaret Madigan. Or M.K.D. Bail, depending on what literary genre we're talking about!
I live in the vast Northern Plains where it’s quiet and mostly empty, and very conducive to letting my imagination run wild. As a result, I have difficulty focusing on just one genre of storytelling. Of course, I love romance, so I write a lot of that, but I also write science fiction, and dabble in other genres just for the fun of it.
When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency…and of course enjoying time with my family.
Thanks for visiting my page. Like Merissa, I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to contact me with comments, requests, feedback, or messages at...