QSFer Jeff Mann has a new queer paranormal book out:
Scotsman Derek Maclaine has fallen in love with his adopted West Virginia home and its burly native son, Matt Taylor. But a local mining company’s recent efforts to destroy the land spell an end to all that Matt holds dear. Derek happens to be an immortal, a creature of the night, a vampire who does not know satiety. After many years without equal, Derek believes stopping a corporation of weak men will be easy. But Alpha Coal employs more than thugs: they are literally demonic. Derek must work together with a host of supernatural entities–werewolves and witches included–to preserve Appalachia from environmental ruin.
The long sun of the summer solstice has finally set. Now twilight fills the high mountain forest, and darkness thickens beneath the boughs of red spruce. Between temple-column tree trunks, I move toward flickering light and the musky scent of a man.
At forest’s edge, I stop, snuffling the air. He smells beautiful, as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen. My fang-teeth lengthen. Bare-chested and barefoot, clad for the hunt in nothing but kilt, sporran, and dirk, I lope through the orchard, past the gnarled shapes of apple trees. I pause on the border of the lawn. Here, incongruous for a ridge-top in West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands, is a circle of standing stones very much like those in my native Scotland. Beyond that looms a rambling farmhouse with a turret.
He sprawls on a couch on the house’s back patio, sipping aromatic mead in the light of many candles. He’s wearing nothing but baggy gym shorts. The scents of his armpits, his sweaty skin, and his crotch flood me, stiffening my cock and speeding my pulse. Through shadows I move closer, drawing my dirk. I study his shaggy brown hair, stubbly cheeks, thick sideburns, and bushy goatee. I savor the big muscles of his arms, the beefy mounds of his fur-coated chest. What a treasure he is.
He takes another swig of mead, wipes sweat off his brow, and stretches. Fondling his prominent nylon-covered crotch, he takes a deep breath. Folding his brawny arms behind his head, he closes his eyes.
The dirk is older than I am, an heirloom given to me by my father on my sixteenth birthday. Now I rest its long thistle-etched blade against my prey’s throat. “Keep very still,” I whisper.
Jeff Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, receiving degrees in English and forestry from West Virginia University. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many publications, including Arts and Letters, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Crab Orchard Review, and Appalachian Heritage.
He has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks, Bliss, Mountain Fireflies, and Flint Shards from Sussex; five full-length books of poetry, Bones Washed with Wine, On the Tongue, Ash: Poems from Norse Mythology, A Romantic Mann, and Rebels; two collections of personal essays, Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear and Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South; three novellas, Devoured, included in Masters of Midnight: Erotic Tales of the Vampire, Camp Allegheny, included in History’s Passion: Stories of Sex Before Stonewall, and The Saga of Einar and Gisli, included in On the Run: Tales of Gay Pursuit and Passion; six novels, Cub, Country, Insatiable, Fog: A Novel of Desire and Reprisal (which won the Pauline Réage Novel Award), Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War (which won a Rainbow Award), and Salvation: A Novel of the Civil War (which won both the Pauline Réage Novel Award and a Lambda Literary Award); a book of poetry and memoir, Loving Mountains, Loving Men; and three volumes of short fiction, Desire and Devour: Stories of Blood and Sweat, Consent: Bondage Tales, and A History of Barbed Wire (which won a Lambda Literary Award).
In 2013, he was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.