Guest Post by Author Mark Henry on How Far is Too Far + Giveaway

Today I’d like to welcome Mark Henry, author of the terrifically snarktastic Parks & Wreck (reviewed here). I’ve had loads of people recommend that I absolutely HAD to read something of his, and they were right! 

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How Far is Too Far
by Mark Henry

When my acquiring editor approached me with the idea of writing a romance for Entangled’s new Covet line, I fumbled for a response. Romance seemed like the kind of concept a writer like me would need a grappling hook to latch onto. You see, I have a history. I wrote a series of urban fantasy books that were most notable for their vulgarity and an irreverent, blisteringly abrasive humor. My protagonist was a zombie. She ate people! Unapolagetically! Those books were also a satire about the current social state, the growing apathy to homelessness, a throwaway culture.

Our conversation went like this…

Me: You say humorous paranormal romance?
Editor: Absolutely. We absolutely love your humor.
Me: My humor? You’re not mistaking me for someone else?
Editor: Oh no. It’s you.
Me: If we were looking at a continuum, you realize I’m on the side with a snarky mean girls, right?
Editor: Yep.

parts and wreck by mark henryIt was settled. Now, I knew when I pitched Parts & Wreck, a novel about a self-taught surgeon who takes on a (possibly) schizophrenic assistant and falls in love with her amidst a hunt for demon-infected transplant organs, that the premise was pretty out there. Also, I had these “ideas” for scenes that I knew had never been in a romance before, at least not in anything commercial.

I’d tell people that. Other romance writers and they’d roll their eyes and say things like, “I’m sure it’s perfectly fine. Nothing to worry about.” The scene in question did not make it into the final cut of Parts & Wreck. I knew it wouldn’t. I told people it’d be a miracle if it did. And so…I unveil the details of the “Too Far Scene.”

Oddly enough, it’s only peripherally sexual in nature. In fact, it was the big set piece of comedy in the whole book, so losing it was a dagger (not really, I had a back up plan, because I knew. I KNEW). Are you ready?

In this scene, the hero takes the stage of a strip club to perform an awkward strip tease which culminates in an homage to prom scene in the Stephen King classic, Carrie. No big deal, right? Oh wait, replace the pig’s blood with urine.

Now, why-oh-why, you ask, did I bother to try to push that through when, like I said, I KNEW it wasn’t going to make the final cut? Please see paragraph one. My humor and thought process is such that I’m driven to the irreverent, to the “blisteringly abrasive.” I’m lucky to have people who’ll help to reel that in. That hasn’t always been the case.

So what can I tell you about Parts & Wreck that you might not know? It most definitely does not have a bucket of pee in it. No. Not anymore.

Mark HenryAbout Mark Henry

Mark Henry traded a career as a counselor to scar minds with his fiction. In stories clogged with sentient zombies, impotent sex demons, transsexual werewolves and ghostly goth girls, he irreverently processes traumatic issues brought on by premature exposure to horror movies, an unwholesome fetish for polyester and/or witnessing adult cocktail parties in the swingin’ 70s. A developmental history further muddied by surviving earthquakes, typhoons, and two volcanic eruptions. He somehow continues to live and breathe in the oft maligned, yet not nearly as soggy as you’d think, Pacific Northwest, with his wife and four furry monsters that think they’re children and have a complete disregard for carpet.To learn more about Mark, visit his website and blog or follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or YouTube or sign up for his newsletter.


Mark is giving away several copies of his books. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below:

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Bewitching Book Tours

Review: Parts & Wreck by Mark Henry

parts and wreck by mark henryFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Parts Department #1
Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Covet
Date Released: November 25, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Wade Crowson, a brutish and brooding playboy and veteran vivisectionist for the Parts Department, runs into more than he bargained for in new partner, Lucid Montgomery, a quirky beauty with a bizarre secret and a string of psychiatric diagnoses she tries hard to keep hidden. Loving Luce will stamp a demonic target on her back and thrust Wade into a frenzied whirlwind of hilarious misunderstandings and, quite possibly, a stripping gig for emptynesters. Can they withstand the savagery of an exorcism (with or without the split pea soup) and come out alive and …in love?

My Review:

If you still talk to your imaginary friend when you’re an adult, are you deranged? What if he isn’t really imaginary? How do you tell? Next question; which is more deranged, a demonic possession or a strip-tease involving bodily fluids, even if those fluids are fake?

Believe it or not, those questions manage to connect in a snarktastic and occasionally scary start to Mark Henry’s Parts Department series in Parts & Wreck.

About those parts…if a victim of demonic possession dies and donates their organs, the possessed organs, well, are not exactly the gift of life that they’re supposed to be. The recipient lives, true enough. But they live possessed by a demon, just like the donor.

It tends to be a short, corrupt and unhappy life. And if the Parts Department catches up to those possessed organs, even shorter. Because the Parts Department surgically removes all those nasty, demon-possessed, well, parts.

Parts the transplant recipients needed fairly badly, after all. That’s why they had those transplants in the first place. But demon removal and exorcism trumps any individual life. The Parts Department operators always call an ambulance before they leave.

It’s a nasty and brutal job, but somebody has to do it to keep the demons in their place.

Wade Crowson is one of those people who do that horrible job. He’s very good at it. The only problem is that he keeps losing his partners to demonic possession. Then they die. What’s worse is that the demon Astaroth seems to be targeting Wade intentionally. That damn demon wants Wade to suffer. The feeling is mutual, but the demon is having way more luck at the problem.

Part of Wade’s suffering is that he keeps attracting, and being attracted to, female partners. And then losing them. His new partner is Lucid Montgomery, and Wade starts out not being sure whether Luce is a candidate for his next partner at the Parts Department, or the next candidate for an exorcism. Her file shows that she’s either slightly loony or slightly possessed, but it’s difficult to tell which.

All Wade is sure of is that she’s totally captivating. And that she doesn’t seem to have a filter on what comes out of her mouth, a fact which makes him smile for the first time in years.

It also makes Luce tremendously fun to follow. right up to the point where she finds out that her imaginary childhood friend was a very real demon. And that he’s still around.

Escape Rating B+: This is the first time I’ve ever read a book where the romance is furthered over a vivisection. Really. And this isn’t a horror story even though the idea of demons colonizing via donor organs is well, kind of, horrifying.

Instead, the crew at the Parts Department thrives on gallows humor. Anyone who worked there and couldn’t snark like there was no tomorrow (because they know there might not be) would probably die of terminal depression long before the demons did them in.

After all, the background set up for this story is damn dark under all the snark. There are demons out there and they are out to get us. Wade’s first demon exposure wasn’t just life-altering, it also robs him of his childhood.

Same is true for Luce, even though she doesn’t realize it. When they find each other, it’s a chance for a bit of light amidst the darkness, if they dare to grab it.

The emphasis in this story is on the build-up. I could see the underpinnings being put in place for a fantastic series about the grim world that makes the Parts Department necessary. I’m up for reading more. There’s also a kind of kinky-sweet love story between Wade and Luce, but I enjoyed Parts & Wreck mostly for setting up the underbelly of how this world works.

It felt like the demons have had it out for Wade for a long time, so I think Wade and Luce will be back. That’s bad for them, but good for the rest of us.

The most frightening concepts in this story are at the strip club, because those don’t seem to be totally demon inspired, but they are awesomely evil.

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