09 Jun 2014

Travis Luedke: Nightlife San Antonio – Review and Guest Post

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“The Nightlife San Antonio” by Travis Luedke is an excellent and gripping stand alone novel in his sensational and breath-taking Vampire series. SanAntonioMission (1)
On this occasion we step outside the regular cast and setting and focus close up and personal on two characters only (more or less): An amnesiac sexy female Vampire and her ambulance rescuer Adrian. She has been shot and almost dies but pulls through and he takes her into his home and gives her shelter there.
Adrian is a fantastic character with a military past and a dark psychological profile of his own. His house guest has a past yet to be discovered. While we are waiting to find out more about the attack on her and the connection to the Mexican Mafia, the two of them have plenty of hot and steamy sex. I am not normally a big fan of erotica but Luedke writes with a raw and honest style that is a breath of fresh air and makes the scenes realistic and powerful. The sexual tension is made even more gripping and intense by the constant ‘playing with fire’ that accompanies the sex with a vampire: the continuous temptation in her mind to bite him and kill him for all of his blood while he fights with his awareness of the danger combined with his inability or unwillingness to play it safe.
After “The Nightlife London” this is a perfectly timed interlude to the series formula. The book focusses on the bond forming between the two, especially once the memory comes back and the action takes off on a big scale.
Spiked with great one liners, fast paced writing, filth, sex and violence this is paranormal writing at its best. In an almost saturated market of Vampire novels the series stands out easily for its perfect blend of sex and violence.
Luedke’s characters are solid and manage to walk the thin line between serious and tongue-in-cheek, throw in some un-pc views (on sexual politics and sex) and tempt you to join them in their adrenaline fuelled and exciting lives.
This is every bit as good as “True Blood”‘s first season was to me. I sadly got bored with True Blood after two seasons, but there is no sign yet of me getting bored of The Nightlife.
A must read for fans of the genre.

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Guest post by author Travis Luedke:

In writing The Nightlife San Antonio, I was inspired by events in my life from 2005 through 2010, when I lived in Sonora Mexico, on the border of Arizona. At this time the border situation was red hot. By 2007, every week brought a new headline of the escalating drug war in the border towns that often spilled over onto U.S. soil.  Though our small town of Agua Prieta, Sonora didn’t see any major conflict, I noticed the camouflage-painted tanks cruising through the scrub brush in the countryside, patrolling the line. Yes, tanks, and camouflaged military soldiers with assault rifles. I had never seen this kind of thing in the U.S., actual military occupation. This was interesting, but the incident that really brought the border conflicts to my attention was the assassination of the Commandante of Agua Prieta, known as “Tacho.”
The Commandante, the chief of police, is like the sheriff of the municipality. I saw the Commandante’s Jeep after the shooting. The windows of Tacho’s vehicle had been reinforced with inch-thick bulletproof glass, and would have saved his life, if he could have closed the door. The bullet holes I saw were in the interior of the door.  He’d been standing in the open door of the Jeep when they attacked with automatic assault rifles. Tacho was killed in the parking lot of the police station, in broad daylight. Rumor was he’d been taking cartel payoffs for years, but, his cooperation wasn’t satisfactory anymore. The cartels had made a bold statement, an example, one of many cartel assassinations in those years.
Don’t fuck with the Mexican cartels, not if you value your life, or the lives of your family.
About a third of the Agua Prieta police force quit their jobs. New officers were brought in from all over Sonora. Most of the locals were too afraid to take the job. Police in border towns everywhere experienced tremendous pressure and constant threats.
The manhunt for Tacho’s killers went on for months, but the cartel assassins escaped and were never caught. This kind of violence against police and authorities hit both sides of the border, yet it was far worse in Texas and California. Arizona experienced only a fraction of the drug wars that Tijuana/San Diego and Ciudad Juarez/El Paso suffered.
The catalyst of this war was the new President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, who had made the cartels his number one target. Across Mexico and the U.S., joint task forces of DEA and Mexican federal military worked in concert to hunt down these powerful cartels. Their efforts may have slowed the flow of drugs, but certainly didn’t stop it. They created a vicious, bloody war that lead to hundreds of prosecutions and incarcerations. The U.S. federal prisons are now filled with Mexican cartel members.  These men are trapped for 10-20 years or more, but they’re still deeply entrenched in cartel connections, with powerful family ties in Mexico.
Now comes the Mexican Mafia, a gang born on American soil, recruited from the convicts inside the prisons. Cartel members doing a life sentence are out of action, but the other inmates with 1-2-3 years before release are ripe for training. These parolees hit the ground running, drugs, cash and guns handed to them as soon as they set foot on the streets. The cartels found new life and distribution channels through the prison-based Mexican Mafia gang.
In 2010, La Eme – “M” – short for Mexican Mafia, battled with other gangs over control of the streets of San Antonio. Law enforcement joined the battle and took out huge chunks of gang membership with massive conspiracy indictments and arrests. Still, La Eme thrives. As many people as are thrown in prison for gang-drug activity, there’s always a new crop being released, newly trained and ready to go into business.
U.S. prisons are the breeding ground for La Eme gang membership. Members wear distinctive tattoos of a black handprint with the letters E M E, or, something derivative of the Mexican flag, the Eagle and the Snake.
It was years later, 2012, when I moved to San Antonio. I had missed most of the excitement. But, my years spent in living in Mexico stayed with me to this day, vivid memories of things I may never comfortably admit to. As you read my macabre, perverse tales of mafia, corruption, cartel, and vampires, it’s obvious I have some intimate knowledge of these things. Did I learn from jovial conversations with men whose tongues were loosened by tequila and lime, or do I have a story of my own to tell?
I’m not quite prepared to answer that question today. Maybe someday when I’m old and grey, and it just doesn’t matter anymore. For now, enjoy my tales of chaos, mayhem and debauchery, and take it on faith that I know what I’m talking about.
J
The Nightlife San Antonio is now available for preorder at TWLUEDKE.COM or NIGHTLIFE SAN ANTONIO
The Nightlife Series novels are Adult Paranormal Romance ~ Urban Fantasy Thriller:

#1 THE NIGHTLIFE NEW YORK
#2 THE NIGHTLIFE LAS VEGAS
#3 THE NIGHTLIFE PARIS
#4 BLOOD SLAVE (stand-alone novel in the series)
#5 THE NIGHTLIFE LONDON
#6 THE NIGHTLIFE SERIES OMNIBUS (Books 1-4)
#7 THE NIGHTLIFE SAN ANTONIO (stand-alone novel in the series)

Young Adult novels by TW Luedke (Travis Luedke)

THE SHEPHERD (YA Paranormal)

04 Dec 2013

Travis Luedke Book Tour – THE SHEPHERD

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I rarely participate in blog tours because as bloggers we don’t tend to know what the book is like before er sing up for the tour.

On this occasion however I was extremely lucky to find a truly excellent book that I whole-heartedly can recommend.

“The Shepherd” by Travis Luedke is a paranormal thriller slash romance for young adults, the emphasis on adult. It is the kind of book that will probably not be in the high school library but one that most high school kids would like to find there and will find someplace else.
Luedke freshens up the genre by writing a book about how kids really are, not how they are written in young adult books to please the parents. The kids are hormone driven, obnoxious at times and are still finding their bearings in the world – and they certainly don’t just hold hands. Lifelike and real. The realistic writing style is the strongest part of this book.

The story is expertly told with several strands of plot intertwining: The rivalry of our hero Mike with other high school boys, the odd relationship Mike has with his best female friend Anita and his encounters with the mysterious Nadia.
Mike has school, family issues and then he has visions that keep flashing in front of his eyes, intuition that changes his perspective and lets him see into the future. But the past also catches up with him.

The main characters are excellently chosen and there is an unpretentiousness and fundamental realism in this set up that makes this a very easy and for this reader a very rewarding experience. Innovative and original, at times witty and very humorous, at others action driven and full of suspense this is a book that could easily achieve cult status amongst the younger readers and have us older ones look over their shoulders with keen interest. Very well done.

 

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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.

 

 

Social Media, & other links

Blog     http://thenightlifeseries.blogspot.com/

Blog     http://twluedke.blogspot.com/

Website     http://www.twluedke.com/

Twitter   https://twitter.com/TWLuedke or @TWLuedke

Facebook    http://www.facebook.com/pages/TW-Luedke/231016383686967

Wattpad    http://www.wattpad.com/user/TWLuedke

Goodreads    http://www.goodreads.com/TWLuedke

Email    twluedke@gmail.com

 

 

 Rafflecoptor link: 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

 

Thursday, September 9th, 5:15 p.m.

 

Shit happens, life happens, but for some reason it happens to me a lot.

 

I was kinda hoping life would give me a break – maybe crap on somebody else for a while.

 

Yeah, right.

 

I mean, look at Justin Shelby.  I’m sitting here in my car, in the McDonald’s drive through, and what is he doing?  He’s climbing up the side of the damn playcenter.  Probably faded on prescription pills he stole from his mom.  This guy is begging for life to hit him upside the head.  But it never does.

And then there’s his buddy, Tommy Schroeder, goading him on.

 

“Do it man!  You’re almost there!”

 

One of the wrestling elite of Moses Lake High School, Tommy’s mere presence inspired Justin to new heights of idiocy.  Justin scaled the side of the outdoor playcenter like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

 

Justin skated religiously, a regular at the downtown Moses Lake skatepark across from the Aquatic Center.  Like most of us skaters, he was thin, moderately athletic, and had a strong sense of balance from endless hours busting his ass on the concrete.  Climbing the playcenter wasn’t any more dangerous than the skate tricks we recorded and posted to YouTube.

 

He quickly reached the apex, damn spider monkey.  He stood exalted atop the dome of the airplane-shaped plastic toy.  An elementary kid inside gawked up at him from the Plexiglas window.

 

“This is classic!”  Tommy whipped out his cell phone and started recording.

 

Looked like a good idea to me, so I did the same.  You never know what folly you might catch on video.  I mean, this was live action stuff.  I could be ten seconds away from a viral Youtube video, Gangnam Style.

 

Tommy encouraged Justin’s antics with loud catcalls.  Justin proclaimed his status as king of the hill, arms held high.

 

“Yeah bitches, hell yeah!”  Justin yelled and hooted at the top of his lungs, pumping his fists in the air.

 

I narrated to my potential audience of millions, “This is a flagrant violation of the rules.” I panned my cellphone camera over to the placard by the entry gate and zoomed in to catch a clear shot of the playcenter rules.  “There it is folks, rule number three:  No climbing outside the playcenter.  And we can’t forget rule number four:  No children over the age of fourteen allowed.  For the record, Justin is sixteen.”

 

Returning to the action, I caught Tommy’s upturned face lit with excitement, and then slid the view up the playcenter to Justin.  “There’s the big man, putting on a show for his new best friend.”

 

It kinda stung in a way I didn’t like to admit, that Justin was doing all this for Tommy.  A couple months ago, Justin was my best friend, my idiot.  Or so I had thought.

 

But Tommy was cool.  Popular and wealthy, he also happened to be one of the biggest arrogant pricks in my class, and Justin’s ticket into the ‘cool crowd.’

 

“Always trying to prove something.”  I shook my head.

 

Tommy and I don’t get along so well.  It’s a Rachelle thing.  One of those life things that happens to me so often.

 

I should just keep my mouth shut and catch some choice video, but you know what they say, the observer always affects the observed …

 

“Hey ass munch, get down before you break your neck!”

 

Justin’s head whipped around to the sound of my voice, causing his body to sway with the sudden movement.  As soon as he spotted me parked in the drive-through a nasty smirk bloomed across his face.  In a moment of sublime inspiration, Justin dropped his pants with a show of lily-white butt cheeks.  He obviously hadn’t seen me recording with my cell phone.

 

Tommy noticed me too.  “How about a double McAss burger Mikey?”

 

He loves to call me Mikey.  He knows I hate it.  No one but Tommy calls me Mikey.

 

The girl delivering my cheeseburger held her hand over her mouth to cover her braces as she giggled and snarfed at the sight of Justin’s naked rump shaking back and forth while he taunted, “It’s a full moon tonight Mikey.  Hope you enjoy the view!”

 

Perfect.  Now Justin’s calling me Mikey.  God I hate that name.

 

“It’s Michael, asshole!  And thanks for the killer video.  Goin’ straight to Facebook.”  I held my cell phone out the window for him.

 

Justin looked back over his shoulder in surprise, attempting to pull up his pants at the same time.  The knee-jerk reaction caused him to lose his delicate balance atop the apex of the plastic airplane.  He fell onto his right side, and slithered down the side of the playcenter.  His hands shot out across the smooth surface, clawing, seeking a grip.  There was nothing to grab.

 

I watched him slide inexorably down the outside of the playcenter, pants and underwear still down around his thighs.  He tried rolling into position for a feet-first landing.  The maneuver would’ve worked if not for the fence being so close to the playcenter.  The bright yellow, powder-coated aluminum fence that had aided his climb to the top now blocked his landing on the way down.

 

Justin’s momentum came to an abrupt halt as he hit the top of the fence ass first.

 

I cringed and almost ruined the shot.  “That’s gotta hurt.”

 

Justin’s blood-curdling scream of agony made my skin crawl.  He sat there, squealing like a stuck pig.  The top section of fence tubing had impaled him where the sun don’t shine.  Pegged in the holiest of holies, he had two inches of aluminum post going in through the out door.

 

“Oh my god this is insane!”

 

I saved the ninety-three second video clip of Justin on my smart phone and posted it directly to my Facebook timeline.  I had a momentary twinge of conscience.  I mean, he was still crying, and Tommy was trying to climb the fence to help him.  It looked really painful.

 

“I can always delete it later …”

 

I was gonna call for help, but Tommy already had his phone out as Justin yelled in his face, “Call 911!”

 

I only had a few minutes to get to work.  As I drove off, I thought about taking that video down.  I probably should have.  But it only took fifteen minutes for my video clip to find its way to over 200 students at Moses Lake High School, shared over and over to dozens of Facebook profiles.  My first ever viral video.

 

I guess life happens to Justin Shelby too.

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