Red Winter

Rated 4.22/5 based on 9 reviews
Sheriff Early Hardiman has seen a lot of bad things in his life, but nothing could have prepared him for the first Vampire to visit the Old West. It’s 1890 and winter is closing like a noose around tiny LonePine, Wyoming. Fans of "The Cowboy and the Vampire" know LonePine will see its share of Vampires in another 120 years, but in 1890, no one had yet imagined the terror of Jericho Whistler. More

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Published by Pumpjack Press
Words: 12,340
Language: English
ISBN: 9780983820000
About Clark Hays

I'm a writer, poet and lapsed cowboy currently living in Portland, Oregon, with my life and writing partner Kathleen McFall.

We've written two books together so far: "The Cowboy and the Vampire" (Midnight Ink 2010) and "Blood and Whiskey" (Pumpjack Press 2012).

They are part of The Vampire and Thriller Series -- we're hard at work on book three -- chronicling the love affair and other misadventures between a hard-luck cowboy and his vampire lover. It's the best of the west versus the worst of the undead with plenty of action, steamy romance, laughs and chills and thrills.

Learn more about the books and what it's like to write with the person you love, and find plenty of fresh, undead content at "Like" us at for even more fun stuff.

My solo projects include poetry published in a variety of probably defunct journals (I've got hard copies though, so I can prove it) and short fiction including "Pocket Wolves" (Opium magazine), which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010. "Red Winter," a novella, is currently available as an eBook thanks to Pumpjack Press.

I grew up on a ranch in Montana and spent my formative years branding cattle, riding horses, shooting guns and writing. I currently work in corporate communications, which is a far cry from riding the range, but there is a lot of wrangling and cursing involved.

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Review by: cat hefferan on March 07, 2012 :
This is a horror story that keeps the reader off-balance--engaging throughout. I loved the Cowboy and the Vampire and am breathlessly awaiting the sequel. Red Winter is good for a tightly-packed short read that takes the reader on a fast horror-laden journey. Not my typical genre but I'll be sharing with many friends who love good reading. I have read some of the author's poetry and it is compelling! He has an unnerving perception of seemingly innocent, everyday experiences. Unlike The Cowboy and the Vampire, this story does not exhibit the author's wit and breadth; nonetheless, it meets all the requirements for a concise, tense, short story. I highly recommend that readers check out the author and the ongoing blogs--too much fun!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Niina C on Nov. 24, 2011 :
1890. LonePine is a small town closing in for the winter… Sheriff Hardiman is taken to see the body of miner, the savage death with no clue of who could have done it. It doesn’t take long before a whore is found dead in her bed and Hardiman focuses his attention to the new man in town, Mr. Whisper, a man who doesn’t fit in. But there is more to Whisper than death, something no one ever saw coming.

This story was the first horror I’ve read in a long time and I now recall why I use to like reading a lot of them. Red Winter starts eerily and continues all the way to end with the reader engaged and wondering what will happen and fearing what creeps out of the shadows.

Hardiman is a great character, he’s rough and rugged, has a sweet spot for his wife and good head on his shoulders, which makes seeing the world through his eyes a pleasure.

Red Winter is written in a way that makes you feel like you know the town already, which lets you slip into the story so easily, which makes the eeriness of the story really sink in good!

You’ll love this if you like thrills, chills, and the “oh don’t do that!” I skipped off my normal romance genre trail, but this novella was well worth it! After all my second love is westerns, so I’m pleased. ;)

Read Clark Hays's Interview at "For The Love of Reading!" @
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cassie Deaton on Nov. 11, 2011 :
Yes! A country western Vampire story! I live in the south so this caught my attention right away and I’m glad it did. Red Winter is a pre quell novella to The Cowboy and the Vampire which I have yet to read but want too a.s.a.p. The author has crafted this book in a way that it will resonate with old western and vampire lovers alike. With just the right amount of southern slang and western detail the book feels authentic to the time. Topped off with horses, guns, saloons, detailed gore, and a little romance you really can’t go wrong by choosing this book. I found myself loving the witty dialog between the characters and even laughed out loud at some spots. One problem I see with short books (novellas) is spacing the action at just the right time so that the climax isn’t right at the end, but Red Winter flows beautifully and kept me interested the whole time. A great quick read that leaves you ready for the next book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Christine Appleberry on Nov. 01, 2011 :
Reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett in its descriptive imagery and increasingly dark mystery, this is as close to an action/adventure movie as a book can be. No one is safe and I was left wondering if our hero and the one he loves would survive to the next page. I began with confidence that Sheriff Early Hardiman, would survive, but every now and then, confidence was shaken making for a tense, don’t-dare-put-it-down read. And the more I think about the ending, the darker it gets. If you like horror, adventure westerns, Clark Hays is your man. I’ll be checking out “The Vampire and The Cowboy” next! CEA
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: CherubsLibrary on Oct. 24, 2011 :
This is a well written short story that takes place in a small old west town in 1890. The author’s descriptive words allow you to easily visualize the town and the people that populate it. You are going to like Sheriff Early Hardiman; you just know he’s seen it all, yet he’s faced with another challenge that could very well be his last. Something evil has come to LonePine and is leaving bloody, mutilated bodies in its wake. As the tension escalates the sheriff worries about how he can defeat this evil and save the townspeople. I enjoyed Red Winter; it’s a quick read that leads you to an unexpected ending. I’d recommend!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Rob West on Sep. 24, 2011 :
I came to this site looking for westerns and stumbled upon this gem of a story. I would highly recommend Red Winter for someone looking for something different in the Western genre (I guess even the Vampire genre!), plus for those who like interesting characters. I would download more if there were more stories like this available. I read the reviews for Cowboy and the Vampire and ordered it, so will review that one later. - RW
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: esmashr on Sep. 18, 2011 :
This is a fun addition to the Weird West genre. Fast paced and solidly entertaining -- perfect for a quick weekend read or the train ride home. The story is populated with quirky characters that are subtle and satisfying twists on Old West archetypes. Well executed blending of mystery, gun-slinging action, horror (with a goodly body count), and even some romance packed into a small space.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mark on Sep. 17, 2011 :
You don’t have to be a fan of the vampire or Wild West genres to appreciate this well-written and enjoyable mash-up of both. Hays is a writer skilled enough to play with expectations that he provides a setting that seems familiar from countless re-tellings while offering a fresh take with this suspenseful and twist-laden tale. This short story is set in the same world as his novel The Cowboy and the Vampire, which you should also check out. Well worth the low asking price.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tess on Sep. 06, 2011 :
This was a engaging read, perfect for a lunch hour or a break from the day. I've already read The Cowboy and the Vampire; Red Winter felt like a great snippet of back-story. It has the grit of a western and the mysterious character of a vampire fantasy. I highly recommend Red Winter!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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