Hello and good morning my lovely readers,
I am super excited to have you here. ❤
Today I have – again – some amazing guests on my blog.
Please give Grady Hunter, Ethan Roam and Chris Reed from Dez Schwartz’ Hunter a warm welcome.
I had the utmost fun asking these three guys some questions and I hope you like them as much as I did. 😀
An excerpt included should also help to decide picking up the book. I assure you, you want to read it. :3
That’s enough of the preamble. Happy reading. 🙂
Series: Roam # 2
Author: Dez Schwartz
Genre: M/M Romance, Literary/Genre Fiction, Paranormal
Release Date: April 8, 2019
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 50.800 words
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Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines, but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.
Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.
Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.
(Roam # 1)
with Chris, Grady & Ethan from Dez Schwartz’ Hunter
Welcome my lovely readers. Happy to have you here. Today I have special guests on my blog here. I am super excited and hope you give Chris, Grady and Ethan from Dez Schwartz’s Roam series – Roam and Hunter – a warm hello. 🙂 They sat with me and answered some questions I had. 😀
Let the joy begin. 🙂
Ethan: Hi! For those that might be unfamiliar with us, I’m Ethan Roam. I recently discovered I’m a sandman and, honestly, the surprises just keep coming.
Chris: He’s perpetually shooketh.
Ethan: Pretty fair assessment, yeah. Thanks, Chris.
Chris: Like he said, I’m Chris Reed. I’m just here because someone mentioned craft services. **looks around for snacks**
Grady: **waves in greeting** Thanks for having us. I’m Grady Hunter, a—let’s say “former” monster hunter—and Ethan’s…
Chris: They’re lovahs! **pops a finger sandwich that they were offered into his mouth**
Hello to you three. My first question goes to Chris. Chris, you’re described as a techno-mage. Please enlighten our readers what exactly this is, what do you do and how do you become one? – if it’s possible. 😀
Chris: Well, first you have to save enough UPCs from your breakfast cereal to send in for the mail order kit… Kidding, obviously. It’s a complex vetting process. There’s lots of paperwork involved–
Grady: There’s a prerequisite of being an arse.
Chris: That too. **grins** Actually, it’s something I just kind of morphed into. I was already a tech geek hacker–think pre-smartphone era–and just so happened to also be gifted at witchcraft. That’s essentially what it is; a mixture of magic and technology and knowing how to manipulate the two to work together to your advantage.
Grady: He’s very good at it.
Chris: Ain’t shabby by any means.
Again a question for Chris. How is it to work with Grady Hunter? How was it when you first met, your first impression of him?
And please, Grady, Ethan, if you want to add how your feelings where when you met Chris, feel free to tell our readers. 🙂
Chris: Don’t let the three-piece suits fool you. A fun guy is hiding just below that stuffy exterior.
Grady: Stuffy? It’s bespoke.
Chris: I love working with Grady. He’s game for anything and never shies away from a challenge. One of the main things that I bring to the table is that I invent supernatural gadgets and weaponry, usually pretty dangerous ones and he’s always been a great sport about testing them out.
Grady: That’s because you don’t usually inform me that they’ve never been tested until after I’ve already used them.
Chris: He’s very open-minded.
Grady: I think it’s probably pretty easy to see from this interview what working with Chris is like.
Chris: As far as my first impression of him goes, we’ve actually been sworn to Russo Brothers levels of secrecy from our Author-Person, Dez. She has a mini-series planned to give you all the juicy details of Grady’s past. **mimes zipping lips** That’s it! That’s the only information you’ll get out of me for now.
Grady: I can personally guarantee you that he’ll keep talking about it if you flatter him. So don’t, please. And my answer is the same, I can’t really speak on it yet.
Ethan: My feelings toward Chris when I first met him are featured in HUNTER so I won’t spoil anything either. How do I feel about him now? He’s alright, I guess. **impish smirk**
Chris: I’m pretty lovable.
A question for Grady and Ethan: tell me about your further progress in your relationship. Ethan, you’re bound to your duties as Dream traveler, so you two are separated for some time. How is it for you, Grady, to let Ethan ‘go’ so short after you cleaned the air between you two?
And Ethan, what do you miss when you’re away, what would you most wish for?
Grady: It was excruciatingly difficult. Not only was I concerned about his safety but I also worried he’d come back disenchanted with me. I hadn’t exactly proven myself to be worthy of him.
Ethan: Well, you have now.
Grady: I’m certainly trying.
Chris: He was a mess. Called me up crying every night.
Grady: I did no such thing.
Ethan: Obviously, I missed Grady when I was away too. And fast food.
Grady: I can only hope I ranked the top slot.
We’re getting a bit cozy and start our shorter but not necessarily easier questions. I hope you don’t mind. 😀 *grins*
Grady, you have some earlier encounter with other guys *coughs* – and we definitely won’t comment that further – you were quite intimate with. But tell us please, what makes Ethan so special that you knew ‘he’s the one’?
And Ethan, you were quite fascinated from Grady the first moment you’ve met him – despite his flaws and errors – what makes him so lovable? 😉 ❤ Come on, guys, we can be honest here. It’s a safe space. 😀
Grady: Why do I feel like Dacey put you up to asking these questions?
Ethan: I don’t think Grady’s flawed.
Grady: **embarrassed laugh** He may be a bit biased.
Chris: **holds thumb and index finger an inch apart**
Ethan: I mean, who isn’t in some way? The thing that always stood out most to me about Grady, and I guess it’s a big part of why I fell for him, is similar to what Chris said earlier. Grady’s fearless. I think at first I just wanted to be like him and then that transitioned into wanting to be with him.
Grady: And that’s precisely how I know he’s the one, as you put it.
Chris: Because he idolizes you?
Grady: **throws head back with a chuckle** Because he sees the best in everyone. He’s endlessly optimistic which is far more inspiring than I could ever be.
Tell me, you three, what is the one thing in the world you can’t be without? It can be an item, a person *looks at Grady and Ethan* but of course, feel free to share your ‘guilty pleasures’ you can’t without. 😀
Ethan: **lists off on his fingertips** Grady, french fries, and good music.
Grady: Oh, good. I do rank top.
Chris: Is that an admission?
Grady: **smacks Chris playfully on the arm**
Chris: I can’t be without a computer.
Grady: Ethan. And a reliable jacket with more than enough pockets.
We want to know you even better! Share your favorite TV show, your favorite book, band/artist and – if you have the favorite song. 🙂
Grady: I don’t watch television but I do love theatre. My favorite play is The Importance of Being Earnest.
Ethan: Really? You know, there’s a lesson in that you could’ve learned.
Grady: Probably so. **guilty smile**
Chris: I work best while listening to music. My go-to bands are DANGER and GUNSHIP.
Ethan: I’m also a music guy. I like The Smiths, Queen, Imagine Dragons, and a lot of Classical.
Describe your style of clothing. And, if you could, how would you dress the other, if they would agree to a (full) make-over? 😀 *grins*
Chris: **looks down at self** Uhm…Cyberpunk-Thrift-Store-Chic?
Grady: It’s most certainly not chic.
Chris: It’s comfortable.
Grady: It’s lazy, that’s what it is.
Chris: Well, that settles it. I’d definitely dress Grady in a bowling shirt and flannel pajama pants. Bonus points if they have a martini print on them.
Ethan: Obviously Grady is the only one that has a particular style. He’s pretty dapper. I’m maybe one step above Chris in my efforts. T-shirts, jeans, and a good pair of sneakers is all anyone really needs.
Grady: That’s it. I’m taking you both shopping after this.
Okay, let’s coming to an end, but first, we should play a little game – one you probably know very well. 😉 Truth or Dare! 😀
Q1: What is the most childish thing you still do?
Chris: Define childish.
Grady: I’m one of those people that actually takes the complimentary sweets people offer in dishes in their offices.
Ethan: I sleep with a night light.
Chris: But you’re a sandman.
Q2: What do most of your friends think about you that is totally untrue?
Chris: That I’m an eccentric flyboy juggling multiple wealthy girlfriends.
Grady: That I’m “stuffy”, apparently.
Ethan: That I’m innocent.
Q3: What was the strangest place you have had an intimate intercourse?
Grady: Let me see those cards. Dacey definitely put you up to this.
Ethan: And now I’ll actually play “innocent”. **laughs**
Chris: On a table at Chipotle.
Ethan & Grady: **stare at him**
Chris: It was closed! Sheesh. She was the manager. I thought you said we all have flaws, Ethan. See the good in people. See the good.
Q4: Full disclosure: What is the stupidest thing you have ever done?
Ethan: Think Chris could behave in an interview.
Wow, fun times are sadly over. We’re at the end of the interview. That’s it. 🙂 Thank you so much for being my guests on my blog and for being here today. It was so much fun. 🙂 And thank you, Dez, for allowing these guys to come out. 😀
Ethan: Thank you for having us!
Grady: **shakes your hand**
Chris: Yes, thank you! And if your readers would like to delve more into our world, the ROAM series is now available through most major retailers.
Ethan: Not dissimilar to your sex life.
Chris: **dramatically bats eyelashes**
Dez Schwartz: Thanks for hosting this character interview, Mikku! I hope you and your readers enjoyed it. HUNTER (ROAM: Book Two) is out now and I’m currently finishing up writing the final book in the trilogy. As Chris mentioned, there will still be more ROAMverse stories to come!
You loved that interview? 😀 Awesome! And you’re as excited to read more? Me too!
See below also an excerpt
One: Vampires. Why Did It Have To Be Vampires?
The old park in Shady Pines was the stuff of nightmares. Or so it would seem to anyone who happened upon the derelict area after the sun set. In actuality, it was simply a park. Located across from the oldest district in the small Texas city of Shady Pines and near the edge of a small forest encompassing the town, the park was extremely rundown and typically abandoned during the daytime. A snapshot of times past, the neglected playground had standard metal slides and jungle gyms, before modern worries of bruises, broken bones, and burns on hot afternoons. Like most cities, Shady Pines had since created newer and safer places for families to gather. And so, the old park had fallen to ruin but still remained hopeful its ghosts would return to play again.
As it happened, quite a few creatures loved to play there, but they were rarely of the human set. Part of what made the place so eerie was park’s location. Once sunset arrived, a thick fog would roll in from the marshes in the woods and overtake the area. If one were to stand there, as Dr. Grady Hunter was doing now, the murky haze would only rise to roughly one’s waist depending on their height. The moon would hang bright and looming overhead, as it also was now, to cast shadows all around. And a breeze would cause swings to sway, and the paint chipped merry-go-round to spin ever so slightly, as was also happening now. At least, one would hope the movement was due to the breeze. Unless, of course, the person was Dr. Grady Hunter and was hoping for something else.
“Any signs of movement? Blast this fog!” Grady, a semi-former monster hunter and more recently self-appointed alternative healer of supernaturals, whispered into the small microphone on the headset he was wearing. His British accent was always strongest when he was frustrated. The park wasn’t his first choice of venue to lure vampires, but any abandoned buildings or dark alleys would provide them too much of an advantage and surely seem like a setup. They would definitely be suspicious. He supposed they should be suspicious of a man in his late thirties strolling through the old park at night alone but, as the case happened, they appeared to find that behavior completely normal.
“Nada. And don’t worry about the fog. The visuals I’m pulling from my cameras penetrate right through it.” A casually confident, and extremely American in contrast, male voice replied back from the other side of the communication device between sounds of chewing.
“Are you eating right now? We’re working!” Grady admonished, still in a whisper as he slowly strolled through the park with his hand hovering by his waist. He had a number of weapons at the ready beneath his long brown coat in case he was successful in finding what he was looking for.
“Please, I’m the king of multitasking. Besides, it’s past my dinnertime and I can’t refuse a sushi place if I pass one,” the voice responded. Grady could tell the man on the other side, Chris Reed, was smiling. Then, he became urgent. “Ahab, you’ve got a white whale at ten o’clock.”
“That’s not my code name. We don’t have code names. Don’t make things up on the spot. It’s distracting,” Grady griped but whipped around to face whatever was heading his way.
“If we did, though, I think I’d want to be Zaphod,” Chris replied, obviously slurping a drink. “Your target is hovering by the slide. Not the loopy one. The tall straight one. I fell off a slide once when I was a kid. I was pretending to be Indiana Jones. Broke my wrist. Great summer.”
“Your lifelong aspiration to be fictional characters is both charming and annoying. Going silent now,” Grady replied as he stalked slowly in the direction of the slide. He reached inside his jacket for a stake. He saw a figure’s shadow wavering across the top of the fog. It definitely appeared human, which most likely meant it was a vampire. He tried to keep his weapon concealed beneath the haze and pretended he was simply walking in the same direction, unaware of the creature’s presence.
“Whip out the big boy! It’s an ambush from behind!” Chris shouted in his ear. Unable to keep from chuckling, he added, “That didn’t come out how I meant. But seriously, you’re under attack. “
Grady immediately switched to a revolving handheld crossbow, which was loaded with a round of stakes, should a situation such as this ever arise. He spun on his heel in time to see four vampires running full speed in his direction. He shot one down but then had to momentarily turn his attention back to the first vampire, who had taken the opportunity to pounce on him.
Grady wrestled free of his grip and knocked him onto the slide where he toppled over the edge and onto the ground.
“Yeah, pretty much how I broke my wrist,” Chris commented.
“Oh, do shut up!” Grady shouted back in the mic. The outburst caused some mild confusion for the vampires as none of them had been speaking, but it didn’t deter them from continuing their attack.
Two of the vampires lifted Grady and slammed him into the ground on his back, knocking the wind out of him. He felt a cracking pain he didn’t have time to assess, as one of the vampires straddled his chest and went fangs-first for his neck. He managed to pull the revolver up to the creature’s chest and let loose a stake right before he was torn into. He rolled free, still with three vampires to face and precisely three stakes left in his crossbow.
“This is exciting. You’re doing a great job, boss!” Chris complimented.
“Not! Helpful!” Grady panted as he attempted to catch his breath. He didn’t get much of a break as another vampire grabbed him by the shoulder and jerked his arm backward, trying to rip the crossbow from his grasp. Grady shouted in response to the wrenching pain.
“Keep him there!” Chris commanded. “I can get a shot in. He’s right in the line of fire.”
“I’m not the one in control at the moment, thank you!” Grady grieved between gritted teeth as he tried to maintain control of the weapon against the thrashing pull of the vampire. Thankfully, the vampire on the other side of the slide was only now running over to try to help his cohort, and the third had opted to watch the scene rather than participate.
A wild shot seemed to fly in out of nowhere. Grady knew the attack came from one of the cameras they had placed around the park for their mission. Attached to the bottom of each supernatural night vision camera was a small loaded device that would shoot a stake with bullet-like precision when activated. It was one of the many weapons they’d had to develop and utilize in the past few months as the vampire infestation in Shady Pines had progressively gotten worse and Grady found himself without much help in dealing with the problem.
Ethan Roam, his new partner in both work and life—who happened to be a sandman, was still away dream traveling. Benny, weredog and roommate, was living the high life as a spoiled Chihuahua fifty percent of the time, rendering him practically ineffective. Vivian Edwards, a highly skilled witch and his former secretary, refused to speak to him or respond to any of his messages. Ethan’s mother, Karen Roam, and their mutual friend, Dr. Arthur Ellis, were eager to help. However, while they were fine comrades in research, they were useless in the field. Grady had no choice but to call upon an old acquaintance to help with the crisis. Chris Reed, a rogue hunter and techno-mage. Thankfully, Chris was more than capable and equally enthusiastic at the prospect. He enjoyed inventing new ways to destroy and capture supernatural creatures, and he’d decided working with Grady was a fantastic way to demo his creations. Unfortunately, even with Chris’s handiwork and help, they hadn’t made much of a dent in the vampire population, which was rapidly growing and terrorizing the citizens (and other paranormals) who generally enjoyed a night out from time to time.
The shot hit the vampire perfectly, and Grady fell forward onto his knees, free of the monster’s grasp. This, however, caused the crossbow to fly free from the ended struggle and fall into the fog. Grady couldn’t see where the weapon landed and began swearing. Knowing he had only moments, he reached back into his jacket and produced two khukuri knives. He stood quickly, ready to face the vampire who had been standing by watching, but was surprised to find he’d disappeared.
“Bugger! One escaped. Did you see where he went?” Grady asked into the mic as he rounded on the last vampire, already furiously leaping toward him.
“Dammit! No. I’m sorry,” Chris replied. “I had my eye on my shot.”
Grady pulled up the khukuri knives on either side of the vampire’s throat as the creature attempted to attack him. The vampire’s eyes grew wide in surprise, realizing he was about to be beheaded. He met Grady’s gaze in a pleading manner. Grady hated when they did that. It made him think of Dacey Sinnett, the only vampire he’d ever call a friend, and he suddenly felt sick to his stomach. Grady did his best to keep his resolve.
“Tell me who is leading you, or I will end you right now!” Grady demanded, his expression ferociously serious.
“You’ll do it anyway,” the vampire spat back.
Grady shoved his weight forward and slammed him up against the slide, blades tightly gripped around the vampire’s neck.
“Your cooperation may convince me otherwise. Now answer the question!” he commanded again.
“You’re great at playing bad cop, Grady,” Chris interjected in his ear. Once again, he practically heard him grinning. Grady wished he could rip his headset off but right now his hands were full.
“I don’t know his name,” the vampire played along. “He showed up out of nowhere a few months ago. Started making promises and threats; demanding that we help him.”
“Help him with what?” Grady seized the opportunity to gather much-needed information. “And is he a vampire? A human? Something else?”
“He wants us to tear this pathetic town to pieces until we find—” The vampire’s answer was forever halted as he was hit expertly with a stake.
“Dammit! Chris, was that you?” Grady yelled angrily.
“No!” Chris was defensive. Grady stood, with no vampire left to interrogate, and looked around. He saw the source at the same time Chris must have on the cameras.
“Guess he found your crossbow,” Chris sighed limply as the last vampire, the one who had gone missing, ran off into the night after killing their only chance at finding some answers.
Grady kicked the slide in frustration which caused a metallic gong to echo around the now empty park. They weren’t any closer to dealing with the problem or having any real answers.
“Sorry tonight was a bust, man,” Chris consoled.
“Same story, different night,” Grady sighed. He brushed off as much dirt and grass from his jacket and pants as possible and attempted to calm his frustrations.
“Don’t worry, tiger. We’ll get them one of these days.” Chris was already back to his upbeat self. “If it’s any consolation, you looked like a total badass. I have to admit, watching you fight has to be my second favorite thing about this gig.”
“Oh, really? And what’s the first?” Grady smirked. Chris didn’t let anyone feel down for too long.
“The inevitable moments where I get to save your ass, of course,” Chris chimed.
“Prat.” Grady rolled his eyes but smiled anyway as he headed back through the park toward his old Jaguar.
“Twat,” Chris responded without missing a beat. Grady chuckled. If nothing else, at least having Chris around kept up morale.
“Go ahead and take the rest of the night off,” Grady said, getting into his vehicle. He glanced back at the park once more, in case he missed something, but the area remained quiet and empty. “I suppose Benny already went home?”
“Yeah, he left a while back. He said watching would make him nervous. And to be honest, I’m not much of a fan of small yapping dogs,” Chris replied. Grady heard him shutting off various equipment in the background.
“All right. See you tomorrow, then.” Grady turned off the headset and tossed the device into the passenger seat. He leaned back into the headrest and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply and slowly letting his breath back out.
“Find. What could they possibly want to find so badly in Shady Pines?” Grady asked himself aloud as he recalled what the vampire tried to tell him. The pit of his stomach tightened and his heart grew heavy because he had a pretty good idea of what, or whom, that might be.
He brought the car to life and drove straight home, feeling the need to be at Ethan’s sleeping side.
A little brown yapping Chihuahua was precisely what greeted him as he stepped into the foyer of his large gray two-story Victorian manor. Every light in the house appeared to be on and the various array of Victorian and Georgian furniture, décor, and antiques gave the home a warm, glowing ambiance.
Benny, the “werehuahua” as everyone semi-jokingly referred to him, was bouncing on his hind legs and wagging his tail fervently. Grady noticed his housekeeper, a ghost named Agatha, who usually came to greet him, was absent.
Benny latched his teeth into the leg of Grady’s trousers and started tugging.
“Benny!” Grady scolded gently. “What on earth has gotten into you? I’m rather fond of these pants. They’re Cordings, I’ll have you know.”
Benny let go of his pant leg and dashed across the hallway toward the main receiving room in an excited hurry.
“You can teach him to sit, fetch, and turn into a human boy, but you can’t teach him manners,” Grady grumbled, hanging up his coat and following the little dog’s steps.
He immediately stopped short in the doorway of the room. Anything and everything else that had happened that night was quickly forgotten. For there, sitting in the two wingback chairs by his fireplace, were the last two men he expected to ever see together and they were both staring at him expectantly.
Agatha, the resident housekeeping ghost, was floating around diligently serving tea. Karen Roam, Ethan’s incredibly supportive mother, was seated on the green lounge chair across from the visitors as she accepted a drink. Benny was running around in excited circles between the legs of the chairs.
Grady wasn’t aware he’d stopped breathing momentarily, because staring back at him was not only his lover, Ethan Roam, wide awake with vibrant, otherworldy eyes but also a much older man he thought he’d never see again for the rest of his life.
Edwin Quinn. His father.
Author bio – Dez Schwartz
Vampire apologist and lifelong enthusiast of classic gothic horror, cryptids, and the occult; Dez Schwartz writes Dreampunk & Paranormal LGBTQ Fiction with a spellbinding balance of darkness and humor.
When she’s not busy writing, she can most likely be found with a latte in hand, perusing antique shops for oddities and peculiar vintage books or wrangling her demonic (but adorable) cats.