The Nightlife San Antonio by Travis Luedke
Series: The Nightlife (Stand Alone)
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Vampires, Mafia & Mayhem: The Nightlife San Antonio is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.
All she wanted was to escape the police. All he wanted was to get laid. They both got more than they bargained for.
EMT on call, Adrian Faulkner resuscitates a beautiful woman after a Mexican mafia shootout. He can’t explain why he picks her up in the hospital parking lot three days later and then ducks the San Antonio police and the Feds. Well, the hot sex might have something to do with it.
She needed to hide. With no memory of even her name, she didn’t know from who. She only knew she wasn’t safe.
Adrian soon learns she is much more than a damsel in distress, and he’s stuck with her. It isn’t long before the past she cannot remember begins to catch up with them both…
Sex, Drugs, Mafia, & Vampires!
Where has this series been all my life?!?!
If this feeling he had was love, then love sucked ass.
Sometimes you finish a book and you’re a little sad that the story is over… Other times you finish a book and a smile stretches across your face because you’ve just discovered a new series. The Nightlife San Antonio left me with the latter feeling.
Oh yes, you can expect me to read the rest of this series as soon as possible.
This book is a standalone, but if it is any indication of the quality I can expect from The Nightlife series, then I think it’s safe to say that Travis Luedke has a new fan.
That’s right, folks – we have a MALE author here. Personally, I’m all about male authors… But if you’re on the fence on that particular detail, I suggest you give this book a try. Sexy romance writing knows no gender…
I’d like to award extra points to this book for having a badass opening line:
Cockroaches left starbursts of red as they skittered across the slick blood splattered on the tile floor of what was once a nice little southwest hacienda.
A great opening line can really put you in the mood for everything which follows. Right off the bat you know that this is going to be a little bit graphic and a little bit twisted.
I was hooked immediately.
In the world of Cartel and mafia, everyone had an agenda, everyone wanted something from her, or wanted to kill her. Adrian wore his agenda on his sleeve, without a care in the world. He just wanted to get laid, and she was perfectly happy accommodating him.
You see a lot of former military men in Modern Romance these days, and you see a lot of EMTs. What you don’t see a lot of are sociopaths who are also obsessive germaphobes. Adrian somehow managed to be ALL of these things, which made him an immensely interesting character to read. Oh, and apparently he also has an enormous cock! *waggles eyebrows*
While working a shift as an EMT, Adrian resuscitates a woman who has suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He barely manages to keep her from dying on the way to the hospital, and he’s fairly certain he’ll never see her again after turning her over to the team of doctors at the trauma center.
A few nights later that same woman (who should still be half-dead in a coma) convinces Adrian to sneak her away from he hospital. By agreeing to help this poor crazy girl, Adrian gets sucked into a world of violence and corruption which might just get him killed…
He found her utterly fascinating, a nameless, homeless, naked vampire, sleeping away the day in his bed, wanted by state and federal police.
LaReina (aka Samantha) wakes up in a hospital room with no idea where she is, how she got there, or even WHO she is… The only thing she knows for certain is that she needs blood, and not the kind being pumped intravenously into her body along with a cocktail of drugs.
Teaming up with the handsome EMT seems like an easy decision. He seems perfectly happy to provide a hideout and meals in exchange for some impressive sex. But this is no honeymoon – it seems half of Texas is hunting her. There’s a price on LaReina’s head, and the only person she can trust is a man she just met.
Along the way they deal with:
This was wonderfully entertaining!
Action packed, ultra-sexy, and thrilling to the last page.
Lots of laughter, lust, and love….
He wanted to throw her on the bed and bury his cock between her toned thighs. He wanted to see her eyes roll back in her head as he burned off all the insane need she inspired. His dick was so hard that it was slipping out the front of his boxer shorts all on its own, a heat-seeking missile intent on its new target.
But he didn’t want her like this, under these conditions. “You think I’m so hard up for sex that you can sell yourself to me for a place to crash?”
She stepped closer to him, holding his gaze with her freakish unblinking stare. “Don’t you want what I have to offer?” A slight smile quirked her lips, exposing those weird teeth.
His cock jerked free to stand at full attention, listening to her every word. His cock knew she would be warm, ready, probably a tight squeeze, and wanted to take full advantage of her offer.
He took in all of her. Dark tight nipples on small, perky breasts – barely a handful. Slim, tight belly, but just enough curve of hip and thigh to let you know she was indeed a woman. A fitness instructor’s physique. The damn bandages were ruining the whole effect.
She stepped in closer, within reach, and he could not control himself any more. His fingertips traced the milky white curve of her right breast, brushing lightly across her nipple, and up to the tape and bandage.
He grinned. She grinned back with too many teeth. He ripped the bandage off in one smooth pull.
“Pinche cabron!” She flinched, bearing her too long canine teeth in a small growl.
He noted her smooth, native Spanish, and thought to ask her about it later. For the immediate moment, Adrian saw what he expected to see, but it was still very hard to believe. Beneath the flecks of dried, old blood was a fully healed wound, not even a scar. He rubbed his fingers over the flesh, in awe. A bullet had torn a jagged crimson hole in that porcelain flesh three nights ago. Smooth, ivory skin filled his vision, now.
“Goddamn, you’re a fucking vampire.”
She eyed him suspiciously, her hands in the air, as if she would cover herself. Then that fiery spark came into her eyes, and she dropped her hands and lifted her chin in challenge.
He ripped off each of her bandages, none too gently. She gave no more than a slight hiss of noise in protest. Each of her wounds proved the same. Clean away the little crusty specks, and the woman was in top condition.
Adrian knelt, his face inches from her naked pussy, and jerked off the last bandage from her left thigh. It was difficult to keep his attention on her wound, when his cock kept telling him to check out the other parts, but he confirmed that her thigh was the same, fully healed like the rest of her.
He stood and towered over her. Her dark eyes tilted up to search his face for an answer. None of this made any sense whatsoever. He didn’t care. He wanted this crazy woman. Now. He couldn’t even wait for her to shower with antibiotic soap first.
“So this is the deal? I help you hide out from the law, and in exchange, I get …”
Without blinking, without pause, she spoke over the top of him. “Me. All of me. Whatever you want of me.”
Girl drove a hard bargain. But not as hard as his cock.
A sly smile curved his lips and he looked down the smooth, pale curves of her body. “Are you sure you’re up to it? I can be … demanding.”
She licked her lips and reached for his cock, protruding from the front of his boxer shorts. She enveloped him in a solid grip. “I can handle you.”
Interview with Travis Luedke
If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
Obnoxious. Mistik, a Goodreads reviewer, actually said this: The Nightlife San Antonio is a testimony to “obnoxious.”
What would you say inspired you to write it?
Scrolling through Netflix one day, I caught this campy vampire film called ‘Bitten.’ Its a tale of a paramedic who finds a girl half dead in the alley. She’s a vampire and he tries to hide her in his apartment, even while she’s killing off his ex-girl and everyone else around him.
The movie is slightly funny, mostly goofy, and sort of sexy. There’s a scene with Erica Cox in her skimpy panties, humping and grinding on this guy while she sucks his blood till he dies–creepy, dark, but still oddly sexy.
After watching this film and being disappointed, I instantly said to myself, “This would have been so much better if…”
And the storyline of THE NIGHTLIFE SAN ANTONIO was born.
What was your source of inspiration for Adrian?
Adrian basically wrote himself. In the beginning, I had envisioned an everyday man, an average joe. But, the moment I started writing about this ex-military person who decided to work as an EMT, I ended up with a borderline sociopath on my hands.
The thing that scares me, is how much of my true personality is embedded within Adrian’s character. What does that say about me?
What sort of research did you do on cartels and mafia to prepare for Nightlife San Antonio?
Due to my years spent living in Mexico and near the border, I weaved in heavy elements of Mexican cartel politics. Here’s an interesting blog post I did on the subject.
I also did quite a bit of research on the local San Antonio mafia politics and history. Its a fascinating, yet darkly disturbing subject. What I learned is that major cartels from south of the border have been using the US prison systems to recruit and control US-based gang activities of drug distribution, prostitution, and human trafficking.
And yes, there are indeed Texas Aryan Brotherhood who do business with Mexican Mafia members. The gangs are not always rivals. They have a strange partnership at times.
What was your first Erotica reading experience?
Don’t laugh–vampire erotica. You could say that I left the party with the same girl I came with. It was one of Sunny’s novels, Lucinda Darkly. And I think its technically classified as demon erotica–but there are plenty of vampires in the story. LOL.
The books that had the most jaw-dropping impact for me were the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I suddenly realized there was a way to blend the dark, wicked violence I loved about Anne Rice’s vampires with gratuitous sex.
Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
On occasion I hit a block. Not often. I do several things: Read something in my genre, watch a film–either an old favorite or something new, or just sleep on it. I have found that when I sleep on things, I either realize that the idea I was pursuing doesn’t really merit any more trouble, or, I come up with a new angle on the plot and characters.
All that aside, the best thing is to sit with my critique group and ask for ideas. The ladies fill my head to bursting, and I come away from those sessions with a burning passion to get something written.
What is your all time favorite book?
The answer to that question changes year by year. As a teenager, I would have rattled off something from Clive Barker, like Weaveworld, or Imajica or something from Dean Koontz–any number of novels. In my twenties I would have said The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. In my thirties I would have said the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Today…Its really hard to say. I don’t think I have found my all time favorite book yet, but, I really enjoy the search.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
My only Young Adult novel, THE SHEPHERD, was originally written in 2011. I edited it in 2012 for publication. Then, I put it on a shelf to pursue The Nightlife Series (very adult). Later, in 2013, I came back to my orphaned novel, rewrote it entirely from third person to first person narrative, and then published it, after changing the cover art about ten times.
That book took me three years to finally pin down. LOL.
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
I now evaluate every book as if I am the editor, and I can hardly shut it off. It starts to ruin the reading experience. I have to consciously ignore my internal editing voice.
And films *shakes head in shame* I am always evaluating the plots and dialogue and finding they are so lacking. Its a rare moment I can find a gem of a film with decent dialogue and storyline. I blame the writer in me, its ruining my ability to be entertained by cheeseball movies.
Was there ever a time, during your work for this book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
Not at all. The Nightlife San Antonio flowed right out the gate. I did have to revise earlier parts of Adrian’s character, because he became an obnoxious asshole later in the story, but he wasn’t really like that in the beginning. Those darn characters are always writing themselves.
What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside from writing?
Beyond attempting to squeeze in a little bit of writing once in a while, I run an empire of Twitter accounts, Facebook, Goodreads, Blogging, and other miscellaneous stuff like Emagazines and social media hubs. Oh, and I am a professional lab rat. All those lengthy side effects disclosures you hear in TV drug commercials? I’m the guy who took the drugs and suffered through the side effects. It sounds noble (or stupid), but I actually get paid good money for taking drugs. LOL.
The rest of my spare time is spent riding roller coasters at Six Flags with my kids. As a teen, you couldn’t get me anywhere near a roller coaster, now, you can’t get me off the damn things.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I sit around with my author friends and plot and scheme about how I’m going to launch a catapult from here to Trollville filled with flaming shitballs, so that every Troll in the world can experience the smell of burnt crap on their front porch.
I cry in my beer, or wine or tequila, and then sit down to write another obnoxious novel. Gotta keep the Trolls in good supply, so they always have new material to trash.
That’s my advice: Take it on the chin, look to see if there might be a gem of useful critique in the flaming crap, and move on to write your next book. Get over it, and don’t take yourself or your writings too seriously.
What are you working on next for The Nightlife series?
THE NIGHTLIFE MOSCOW: Aaron, his vampire lover, his werewolf bloodslave, and a fallen Angel he calls Master, are teaming up with the wolf pack to take on Dmitri, a Russian vampire. Dmitri’s Russian mafia goons are hunting the wolf pack–a kill or be killed situation.
Its a showdown, Nightlife style, wickedly violent, violently sexy, and of course, OBNOXIOUS.
What do you have in store for us in the future? Anything outside The Nightlife series?
I do have plans for another YA novel, an interesting exploration of the unintended consequences of identity theft! I also have plans for an offshoot series of epic urban fantasy proportions. Sort of a Mortal Instruments meets Stargate, but written Nightlife style. Guaranteed obnoxious. And yes, there will be some Nightlife character appearances in this new series!
What made you decide to become an Author?
I was that guy who read so many books, yet found it difficult to get certain kinds of books, so, I decided that I could actually write the book I wish had been written for my entertainment. It just so happens I was in jail at the time, and bored, and lacking for enjoyable reading material. So what did I write? Obnoxious vampire romance. LOL.
What would you say was the toughest part?
Learning what it means to write with strict adherence to a single POV, and editing. Editing a novel into a finished product is far trickier than writing. By magnitudes.
Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I lucked out on editing. I managed to stumble upon Patricia Knight, a samurai editor and highly talented author. Patricia adopted me into her critique group family. Then I found Kayla Stonor, a wonderful British woman who writes dark, edgy, erotic romance with BDSM themes.
Those ladies taught me what it means to write character driven fiction with a breakneck pace and romance that’s real. *Gasp* They even taught me what it means to write sex scenes (that women can stomach reading).
Formatting, I do that myself. Its not really too big of a deal if you know your way around MS word and some of the other tools. I naturally gravitated towards doing my own formatting.
Cover design: I used to draw dragons and long-haired rocker medieval dudes with swords when I was a teenager. That was cool, wasted lots of useless time in junior high, and I was pretty proud of it. But, I would never, ever put one of my Picassos on the cover of a book. I see authors doing this time and time again, and its like watching a slow-moving train wreck. A poorly done cover by an unskilled artist is like taking your beautiful masterpiece of literature and wrapping it up in used flypaper.
I hire cover artists. Sometimes I hire several, and do polls to see which version of cover art is the best. Authors, if you don’t know what you’re doing in digital art, hire a cover artist. Its the cheapest form of advertising there is, and it will keep paying dividends long after you’re dead and gone.
How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I looked at portfolios, became the world’s worst coverwhore–cover snob, and then decided I would find the stock images I wanted and cram them down my cover artist’s throat to force them to make the cover I thought was best. When that didn’t work out, I asked the artist what they thought my covers should look like.
When that didn’t work, I went back to the ‘find your own images and force the cover artist to do what you want.’
That seems to work well for me. I am too much of a control freak to let cover artists do whatever they want, so, I hire affordable artists with badass portfolios who are willing to put up with my control-freakishness.
How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
For some projects, that process was only three to four months. For other projects, it took upwards of three years.
Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
I played with the Amazon exclusive thing for a while, but, I much prefer using Smashwords to publish to all the other retailers. The exclusivity thing just doesn’t do it for me. I have found I get more exposure and sales by having my books available everywhere. The only retailer I am not, is Google PLay. Google has some funky contract clauses that can spark off price wars you have no control over, and, their dashboard for uploading is the most ridiculously unfriendly unintuitive crap I have ever found. I can publish books on three different retailer dashboards easier than trying to upload a single book on Google Play.
Google needs to get with the program, seriously.
If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I would have started writing and publishing earlier. Those who had several books available on Kindle in 2011 and early 2012 hit the jackpot. It was a time when ereader users were starved for content, and the books available then got huge exposure that is much more difficult to find now.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
I would wish to become Edward Cullen, the sparkling vampire who can’t keep his hands off seventeen year olds. Not. I would probably wish for something ridiculous like world peace, or an end to hunger, or an unlimited supply of Nutella.
If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one thing you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
A Kindle with wifi. I have over 1900 books on my kindle. its about time I started knocking down that monster TBR list.
Name your favorite fruit.
Grapes. They make awesome wine.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee coffee coffee…
How about favorite time of the day?
Evening. I always seem to be able to focus on writing after dinner, in the evening.
Were you a boyscout?
Never. But I went to a Salvation Army summer camp when I was eleven, does that count?
Favorite food for breakfast?
Scrambled eggs with grilled veggies and a little bit of cheese, then pour homemade salsa all over it and mop it up with tortillas. Damn, now I’m hungry.
Latest book you’ve bought and read?
In Her Name: Redemption by Michael Hicks
Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Kindle ebooks. By the hundreds.
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Black, like the stain on my soul…
Just kidding: Blue.
Drama or comedy?
How about a dash of both, with a steaming heap of sex and violence?
Have a favorite quote or personal motto?
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Perhaps this is why my writing is so dark, violent, and sexual?
Cats or dogs?
Dogs! Although I did have a cat named Patcheye. He was a lot of fun, but not a very nice cat. I used to wear a leather work glove to play with him. Then, one day Grandma visited, and she tried to pet the cat. She wasn’t wearing the glove. Grandma never touched that cat again.
Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Clubbing! Definitely. Now, if I could just get my wife to agree…
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Reading the books in my genre, urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with a big fat bottle of red wine, and a bag of lemonheads.
Favorite Swear Word?
‘Fuck’ and I go way back to my early teens, yet, I often find ‘shit’ is the most useful profanity. But when you combine them, that shit is fucking beautiful.
Travis Luedke has graciously offered to giveaway a paperback copy of this fabulous book to one lucky winner!
About the Author
Travis Luedke is a husband, father, and author of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.
As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.