Scavengers: July by K.A. Merikan


Title: Scavengers: July
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Acerbi and Villani
Pages: 46
Characters: James Hurst, Ira Russell
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Horror, Steampunk Historical Romance
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

In 1887, history changed course. A new Plague turned the infected into flesh-eating monsters and bound the population to overcrowded cities. The rapid advance in technology creates opportunities for the rich, but also helps to spread new social ideas which challenge traditional Victorian morality.

James Hurst is a man of obligation and good morals. After most of his family perished as a result of the new, horrific illness, he didn’t hesitate to live up to his new responsibilities. A few years later, he is married to his childhood sweetheart, with whom he has a son and his political career is going smoothly. Unfortunately, most of his family lands had been overridden by the undead and therefore, bring no more profit. Facing bankruptcy, he decides to risk it all and try to get the jewels hidden in his family manor…

In order to get there, he will need to leave the safe city walls and cross a region swarming with ghouls. He hires Ira Russell, a man whose skill at recovering valuables from lost territories has earned him a small fortune. From the moment James first saw Ira, he knew the man was dangerous, but he could have never predicted just how much of a danger he would be to all that James had always believed in.

WARNING: Contains graphic m/m sex scenes, gore, zombies, violence, angst, light BDSM and a confident, tattooed ex-sailor.

Review:

Wow! Scavengers: July is a roller coaster full of action, adventure, horror and romance! I was immediately swept up into the fast-paced storyline and the interesting setting of the story itself. To my knowledge, I’ve never read a historically set, Zombie romance, so I was immediately intrigued by the premise of the story. I’m glad I took a chance and read this book because for such a short story, it really pacts a lot of punch and I loved every minute of it. Since I believe the blurb does an outstanding job describing the book, I won’t rehash it, but I will explain the reasons why I really enjoyed this novella.

I thought the storyline was very creative and well-told. I like the author’s descriptive storytelling ability, and I thought the setting itself is almost like a character in the book. It’s definitely not the way I’ve pictured a historical setting and I loved it. It can be dark, scary and dreary, and although there is definitely a horror aspect to the story, it’s not totally overwhelmed by it. There is still a fairly strong romantic aspect to it also.

Another reason I really loved this book was the two main characters. At first glance, both heroes look to be totally opposite, and I wondered how they would really relate to each other. But as the storyline progressed, the chemistry between them becomes very strong and intense between them. I like that they truly began to trust in each other and both men are very likeable and sexy in their own way. Also, the sexual tension between them was smoldering throughout the book, and when they finally give into their desires, I swear my computer screen practically steamed up! To me they’re almost like two wrongs that make a right and I loved every moment they had together in the story.

I end of the book definitely left me wanting more! I can’t wait to read more about these characters and see how everything turned out. This is definitely one of the most interesting and creative series I’ve read this year and one I could easily become very addicted too.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Agnes Merikan of K.A. Merikan is here!

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Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Agnes: I’m happy to be here. As a person who goes to sleep at 6am, I never say no to coffee.

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Agnes: I’m a twenty-seven-year-old psychologist from Poland, currently residing in the United Kingdom. But here are the important facts about me: I love having purple hair, ice cream and chocolate, dressing over the top, and hate my tiny T-Rex hands. But hey, at least they don’t make writing harder.

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted by Storm Moon Press, what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

Agnes: I believe it was something along the lines of ‘Hah, now someone can appreciate Matt Powers in all his naked glory’ ;D Because Matt, the main character of the short story we submitted for the Queer Fear anthology is an aspiring porn actor.

What forces brought you over to the GLBT Genre? Do you focus on one part of the QUILTBAG or do you write various identities, expressions, or orientations? What made you want to write what you do?

Agnes: I was interested in yaoi as a teenager, and then I got into slash and started writing gay-themed fiction myself. I did write lesbian and trans* characters in the past, but the main story is usually focused on gay men, because that is what I am drawn to. Ultimately, I am writing the books that I want to read: I like grit interwoven with comedy, bad boys who don’t turn into melted butter whenever their lover looks at them, general weirdness, and stuff that’s plain wrong. Not always combined, obviously.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Agnes: I’ll take the cake if it has a layer of cream; otherwise, peanut butter. I only discovered the greatness that is peanut butter a few months ago, because it isn’t popular where I’m from.

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How many hours a day do you spending writing?

Agnes: On a typical day… four to ten hours, depending whether you’d count editing as writing. Me and Kat (my co-writer) are currently finalizing a few big projects, so I am very focused on that.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Agnes: Writing with someone has the advantage of double-checking the text as we write, but most of the time, we do major edits at the very end. This makes detecting possible plot holes much easier.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

Agnes: First comes brainstorming, and then one of us writes the basic outline. Most of the time, we cover the major plot points, but as we get to know the characters better, things sometimes change, so there is quite a bit of freestyle writing going on as well.

Of your characters, do you have a favorite and why?

Agnes: I enjoy Aiden, the main character of “The Carnivorous Vegan”, one of my freebies at Storm Moon Press. He is a bit of a whack job, but very lovable and straightforward in what he wants. Plus, he has dreadlocks. I’d only love him more if he were a redhead.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

Agnes: I don’t suffer of them. I love writing, it’s my favourite pastime, so it doesn’t really happen. Sometimes, I am too tired to write, but I wouldn’t call it a writer’s block. What does happen, however, is that sometimes I don’t feel like writing a particular story, but that doesn’t matter that much, because me and Kat always work on more than one project at a time.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

Agnes: The only place I don’t write in is the bathroom, but if I were to write a story about clowns again, then that would be the best place to do it. I live with my co-writer, and we have a somewhat… unusual preference for decor, so as a result, we now have a clown-themed bathroom, complete with a creepy bathmat with a juggling clown and an empty-eyed girl in an empty circus arena. Fun fact: it was advertized as ‘perfect for the nursery’. I bet the Addams family would be delighted.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

Agnes: Me and Kat live together, so there’s no need for that, fortunately. I tried to do that when I lived with other people, but it wasn’t very effective. People assume that if you work at home, you are free to bother, so it was either moving or making my room sound-proof.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Agnes: My favourite comedy of all time is the British WWII-themed show “Allo! Allo!”, I love Monty Python, but I also enjoy “South Park” and “American Dad”, which is reflected in some of my writing. I love ridiculing my characters whenever I can get away with it. Otherwise, my sense of humor tends to be dark and abstract, so I often use puns and wordplay.

What question is your most frequently asked as an author?

Agnes: My mom keeps asking me why I don’t try to make a fortune writing medical thrillers, haha. Other that that, most people want to know if I clash with my co-writer, and how is it that we work.

What are you working on now?

Agnes: We’re finalizing two novels. First is the second book of a pony-play/slavery trilogy set in an alternative Victorian setting (we hope to have book one out this year or early next year), the second one is a contemporary comedy about a disabled emo boy and his hunky caretaker. There is also a serialized contemporary fantasy novel inspired by Inuit mythology. It has vampires, shifters, and it will be updated weekly at http://blood-ontherocks.com.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your lifestyle as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive, both in your work and out of it?

Agnes: I don’t remember ever having trouble with coming up with new ideas. We have a backlist of concepts and notes for books that we simply cannot start because of more urgent projects. Everything can be an inspiration, from a movie I watch, to a guy who passes me in the street.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the GLBT Genre?

Agnes: Mostly monographies, both for research and fun. I have lots of books about sexuality throughout history, costume, and mental health. Other than that, I enjoy some fantasy books and historicals.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer.

Agnes: I’d pick horse trainer as a boyfriend and scientist as a career for myself. I wouldn’t mind going back into research.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Agnes: Traveling. I grasp every opportunity to take a break from my daily life and see something new. At the moment, I’d love to see more of Great Britain, but Italy and the United States are among my priorities as well. As soon as I have the funds (and a visa) that is. Since Kat loves traveling too, and we enjoy doing similar things, she’s my preferred companion, so we make notes and write during holidays as well.

Any special projects from you at Storm Moon Press that came out recently or will be coming out soon we should watch for?

Agnes: There is “The Carnivorous Vegan”, an erotic short about a freegan hippie and a store security guard. It came out as a free read, so it is a good opportunity to get a taste of K.A. Merikan.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

Agnes: We have an official site, a Facebook account, and two Twitter accounts. The official account that is run by Kat @KA_Merikan, and my account is @AgnesMerikan.

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

Agnes: *Puts on rubber gloves* Gimme some bleach.

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