An Update on Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker

Hey all. Just an update on the second book in my “Werewolf PI” series.

Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker will be out on December 8. We are mere weeks from a sneak peek at the cover, but I was editing it for publication today and came across one of my favorite bits:

“Yeah, sorry. But what is that thing?”

She looked and shrugged. “It’s a Chupacabra.”

“But aren’t they-” I swallowed the sentence. I was a werewolf standing in a room ninety miles from his body, holding hands with a witch. The “those-aren’t-real” ship had sailed.…

Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker

Yup, our boy is off to Las Vegas. You’ll find more laughs, gasps, and urban fantasy adventure coming December 8 from Black Rose Writing.

A Cop, a Chase, and an Earthquake- Luke Swanson

One thing about being with a publisher like Black Rose Writing, rather than publishing myself, is that you become a community and get introduced to plenty of other writers. One such person is Oklahoma author Luke Swanson. I got a chance to read his new thriller, Epicenter, and thought it would be great for you all to meet him as well.

Luke, what’s your deal?

My name is Luke Swanson, and I’m a fledgling author from Oklahoma City. I currently have three books published—a mystery, an action thriller, and a tragi-comedy—with a fourth coming in July. If I had an agent, they would tell me, “Write a consistent genre, you dolt!” But I don’t, so I do what I want.

I feel you. Moving from historical fiction to urban fantasy was hardly a career move. What’s your latest novel, Epicenter, about?

Epicenter is a standalone sequel to my first book, The Ten, which is a murder mystery. Epicenter shifts into full-on action mode—I’ve had a reviewer describe it as a Die Hard movie, which is high praise (as long as they’re talking about 1, 3, or 4). On a hot day in Los Angeles, Detective Jason Flynn finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He needs to keep a witness and a hostage safe as a brutal cartel is gunning for them all. And on top of that…the “Big One” hits. The worst earthquake in US history rocks the city, and Jason and his reluctant allies need to survive.

As someone whose life got upended by the Northridge quake, I thought that was a great twist, and you caught some of the chaos that would naturally follow while just trying to do your darned job. Where did the idea come from?

I love Jason Flynn, who I created as a lead in The Ten. I could have made a continuing crime series with Jason solving a murder every week, but I didn’t feel I would do very well in that space. Michael Connelly and others have already mastered that genre. Thus, I took Jason and tossed him into an action movie. Epicenter specifically came from a few daydreams. For one, I wanted to put Jason through the wringer. In this story, he has the worst day imaginable, and his character arc reflects that. Also, I was inspired by the breakneck pace of Mad Max: Fury Road, as odd as that might sound. There’s no stopping for a breath, there’s only survival. I loved that idea. Being from OKC, I also am constantly toying with the idea of a mystery set during a tornado…and since Jason lives in LA, I transposed that obstacle onto him, with an earthquake.

What inspired you to be a writer?

 I’ve always been a huge reader, and the idea that someone somewhere someday might be inspired by a book I’ve written is what motivated me to put words onto a dauntingly blank page. I love stories, and I hope to share that love with my readers.

Who did you read as a kid that inspired (or corrupted) you?

As a young reader, my bread and butter was the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz…and as a modern reader too, since I still keep up with that series. I love Steven James’s thrillers too.

How can people contact you or learn more about your work?

You can follow or reach out to me on Instagram! I’m fairly reachable, and I’d love to chat with readers. You can also follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading and Letterboxd to see what I’m watching—after all, the media one consumes tells you a lot about them.

Speaking of Black Rose, the second in the Johnny Lycan series, Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker, is coming out on December 8. If you want to be the first kid on the block to receive swag or news about the book, sign up for my newsletter by clicking the link on the side of the screen. Meanwhile, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk is available now in paperback or Kindle.

Readers- I need your help. Seriously

Johnny Lycan 2 is done and ready to go to my publisher. But I need to do the dreaded back cover blurb. You know, the short bit on the back that sucks people into reading a book they’ve never heard of.

Here’s what I”m working with for Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker. Seriously, let a brother know what you think…

The world’s favorite werewolf P.I. is off to Las Vegas. What could go wrong?

Life’s good for Johnny Lupul. He has a steady gig and a growing reputation as a guy who can get things done. He’s even learning to keep his Lycan side under control—mostly.

But when he’s sent to Sin City on a simple retrieval job, things go sideways. He bumps up against a coven of unconventional witches, a psychic pawn broker, and a mysterious enemy with a darker and more violent secret than his own.

“Like Spenser for Hire with bite.”

“Turmel has created a series that’s part detective noir, part urban fantasy, with plenty of snarky humor.”

What do you think? Too much? Not enough? drop a comment or an email and help me out.

The First Page of Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker

Lest you think I’m slacking (and I have been, but it’s still kind of rude to mention) I thought I’d whet your appetite for the next installment in the tales of the world’s favorite werewolf detective.

I present page one of “Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker”

Night of the full moon

I’m big and hairy and freaky enough even before I change, so no wonder the two sets of wide brown eyes watching me were clearly horrified.  Still, this was no time for subtlety.

Get into that closet and don’t open that door no matter what you hear. Understand?” My vocal cords still worked, even if the muscles in my arms and legs spasmed and twitched under my clothes, adding to the general freakiness.

The girl, the older of the pair, looked up and locked eyes with me. “Are you going to hurt the bad men?” Her baby brother clung to her shirt, sucking his thumb.

“Probably. Yup.” Not as much as they deserve. Shaggy, the beast living inside me, wouldn’t be satisfied. But yeah.

Amy Tong nodded and took her crying brother by his free hand, cooing to him in Mandarin. Even at ten years old, she played the mother. Kids in foster care do that.  The little girl looked up at me trustingly as I closed the door to the same room I’d sprung them from moments ago.

Trying to sound as rational as possible with a werewolf clawing and chomping its way out of my skin, I put my mouth to the heavy wooden door. “Stay there and don’t open up for anyone unless you hear a woman’s voice. Please. Don’t look, and don’t open the door unless you hear a nice older lady. Okay?”

Through the barrier came a sniff and a soft, “Yes sir.”

Yes, our boy is still sticking his snout where it doesn’t belong, and this book is even funnier, bloodier, and more exciting than Episode 1. Stay tuned for details. Of course, if you haven’t read Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk yet, what’s keeping you?

Johnny Lycan 2 is finished. Kind of.

I just put finished to the second book in the Johnny Lycan series. Well, an ugly, squawling, half-assed first draft anyway. Our boy finds himself in Las Vegas, and faces, among other things: a megalomaniac rancher, a honest-to-god Berserker, an ancient relic that may or may not be from Earth, a coven of bad-ass witches, and more about himself than he wants to know.

Believe it or not, book 3 is already outlined and will be started soon. Sorry about the delay between books. Turns out that between buying a house, navigating a global pandemic, a demanding day job and the general yukkiness in the air, I’ve learned something important. Existential dread is not great for the creative juices. You may quote me.

It’s aliiiiiiiive

Watch for Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker coming in 2022 from #blackrosewriting (blessings upon them)

If you haven’t read Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk, there’s still time to be one of the cool kids who find stuff before everyone else and lords it over them. Read it here