L.J. Hayward


L.J. Hayward has been telling stories for most of her life. Granted, a good deal of them have been of the tall variety, but who’s counting? Parents and teachers notwithstanding, of course. These days, the vast majority of her story telling has been in an honest attempt to create fun and exciting ways of entertaining others (and making money).

As such, she is still a mad (always provoked!) scientist in a dungeon laboratory (it has no windows. Seriously, the zombie apocalypse could be going on outside and she’d have nary a clue) who, on the rare occasions she emerges into the light, does so under extreme protest and with the potential hazard of bursting into flames under the southeast Queensland sun.

Smashwords Interview

What do you read for pleasure?
Okay, serious answer... good books!
All right, real serious answer... My all time favourite pleasure reads are anything by my favourite authors, including Jim Butcher, Nick Harkaway, Manna Francis, Mike (M.R.) Carey and Richard Kadrey. My favourite genres are urban fantasy, fantasy, action, a bit of science fiction, some crime and, lately, a bit of MM.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my iPad Mini. It's a great size and if the book isn't grabbing me, I can always flip over to a game of Shark Dash!! Bit harsh on the fingers on a cold winter night, though. ;)
Read more of this interview.

Where to find L.J. Hayward online


Night Call
An urban fantasy series. Night Call follows the adventures of Matt Hawkins--warrior, psychic and vampire-slayer extraordinaire! His sidekick is Mercy Belique, a vampire femme fatale, trained by Matt to hunt her own kind. Together they'll take on just about anything, be it vampire, ghoul or werewolf. Into their dangerous lives comes Erin McRea--ex-cop, PI and extremely tenacious. If anyone can unravel the tangled web of deceit, lies and misdirection around Matt and Mercy, she can. And she will.
Blood Work
Price: Free!
Demon Dei
Price: $2.99 USD.
Rock Paper Sorcery
Price: $3.69 USD.


Death and the Devil, The Novellas
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 114,500. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2020. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A collection of short stories featuring previously published Death and the Devil novellas taking place between "Where Death Meets the Devil" and "Why the Devil Stalks Death."
When Death Frees the Devil
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 114,410. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2020. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Ethan is finally free. He’s left the Cabal behind and embraced a civilian life with Jack, the man he loves. The only problem is that the Cabal isn’t willing to let him go. A call in the middle of the night and a threat to Jack’s family, and Ethan is back in the game. The only way out is to take on the organization that spent years warping his life.
Dealing in Death
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,440. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay
Ethan Blade—assassin extraordinaire, cold-blooded killer, heartless monster, and . . . retiree?
Why the Devil Stalks Death
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 106,490. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Jack Reardon uncovers secrets for a living, and the Meta-State spy is pretty good at it. Or rather he thought so until he met Ethan Blade—assassin, warrior, enigma. The unlikely pair have decided to give living together a shot, but Jack’s not entirely certain what he’s gotten himself into—or exactly who he’s in it with.
Devil in the Details
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,200. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
If there’s one thing assassin Ethan Blade knows, it’s how to plan a job. How to study a target, find the weak spot, and strike. He keeps his guns clean, his knives sharp, and his heart sealed away behind more locks than his precious cars. Alone but safe. Until Jack Reardon burrowed his way into Ethan’s life, his car, and his heart. This may just be the deadliest mess he can’t plan his way out of.
When the Devil Drives
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,950. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Work-life balance for a spy may be an oxymoron, but Jack Reardon likes a good challenge. And he’s almost bested this one. He’s settled into his Meta-State promotion as a field leader and into his new team with a second he can trust. Shop in order, he can take a day or two off when Ethan blows into town, their bargain finally starting to paying off.
Bargaining with the Devil
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,860. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Meta-State spy Jack Reardon believes it’s all been taken care of. He has his verbal agreement with his boss to “keep Blade happy,” and Jack is more than willing to do his best in that regard. He also has his bargain with Ethan, to keep seeing each other. Small victories, interspersed with exploding bombs, smashed cars and miffed co-workers, all while consorting with an international assassin.
Where Death Meets the Devil :Coda
Price: Free! Words: 7,370. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(5.00 from 1 review)
Jack Reardon's homecoming isn't quite as peaceful as he hoped it would be . . .
Where Death Meets the Devil
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 102,500. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2018 by Riptide Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay
Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.
The Descent
Price: Free! Words: 8,550. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
The Epic of Gilgamesh seen through the eyes of his sworn brother and companion, Enkidu, as he faces seven trials on the descent to eternity in the House of Dust.
Rock Paper Sorcery
Series: Night Call, Book 3. Price: $3.69 USD. Words: 124,580. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Vanquishing vampire Primals and defeating Demon Lords is one thing. They’re dangerous in an obvious, tooth and claw way. But when a sorcerer comes to town chasing a murderous rogue, Matt Hawkins is faced with something he doesn’t know how to deal with—competition as the city’s resident badarse supernatural warrior.
Here Be Dragons (A Night Call Story)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,160. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Sunday. Day of Rest. To anyone not Matt Hawkins, vampire-slayer extraordinaire, that is. A short story set in the world of Night Call, between the novels Demon Dei and Rock Paper Sorcery.
Demon Dei
Series: Night Call, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 125,670. Language: Australian English. Published: August 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Six months ago, Matt took down one of the meanest supernatural beasties around. So why isn’t he in hot demand? Like the lawyer that wins the unwinable case. Or the mechanic who works out what that clunking noise is in your car. Instead, Matt finds himself struggling to maintain his career as a monster slayer extraordinaire. But things are about to get nasty in a big, big way.
Blood Work
Series: Night Call, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 114,010. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(4.63 from 8 reviews)
Matt Hawkins kills monsters for a living. Slay and pay. Werewolves, trolls, the occasional ghoul that gets a bit too big for its grave; but basically, whatever nasty critter crosses his path. Mostly, he kills vampires. While he’d made something of a living out of it, he doesn't even need the promise of cash to take down a vampire. Sure, it’s a nice bonus, but vampires are his personal crusade.

Smashwords book reviews by L.J. Hayward

  • Dead Hungry on Sep. 27, 2015

    As I was reading “Dead Hungry”, I kept finding myself trying to pick a label to put on it. Horror? Post-apocalyptic? Even science fiction at one point (Robert A. Heinlein’s definition mostly). By the end, I settled on ‘intelligent horror’. While there is a lot of detailed gore in this book, it isn’t the horrific part. The horror comes from the personal and social impact of the reason for the gory bits. Cannibals, self-identifying as ‘Ghouls’, live among us. Peaceful folk with a particular dietary requirement. They’re happy with meals already dead, ‘donations’ or a discreet fell-off-the-back-of-a-hearse acquisition. But when they’re exposed to the mainstream, that all changes. As more and more people become aware of the concept, the number of Ghouls starts to increase, and as with any new fad, there are splinter groups—most notably the ‘Feeders’, who go around hunting their food. It starts off small, taking the homeless and using the transitory nature of uni students to cover disappearances. Then they start to get a little more visible, taking people from car accidents (which the Feeders may have caused), snatching the unwary off the street, stalking prey in the open. These people are not zombies or vampires or any sort of mythological predator. They’re humans. Living, breathing humans capable of rational thought and actions. And that’s where the horror comes in. The story explores the idea of this radical social change through the impacts it has on a bunch of post-grad students and their families and friends. As you would expect from such a group, there is a lot of social commentary and analysis and, yes, drama. There are multiple POV characters and each has a distinct voice and opinion on the unfolding revolution, from the purely repulsed, to the academic who wants to understand, to the cannibal-curious and those who end up jumping in whole-heartedly. It explores the whole range of intellectual and emotional responses, never shying away from the ‘reality’ or consequences of the characters decisions. All along, as things became more and more dire for the main characters and society as a whole, I kept trying to work out how it could end. This isn’t some monster movie, ala Godzilla, where the badies could be lured into the one place and destroyed in some spectacular manner so the rest of the world could get back to normal. It’s probably closer to “The Walking Dead”, where the overall story of the world being overrun by some unstoppable force never changes, but the individual stories of the survivors can, and do, end. Each character in “Dead Hungry” finds an end, of a sort, to their story. Some are positive, some end in death and some, perhaps most realistically, are rather ambiguous. There are few easy answers for these characters and, therefore, for the readers as well. Occasionally the story does steer a little too close to soap opera. The family history of one of the main characters gets a little too coincidental at times. The writing is very good, evoking the sense of the city as it undergoes this change. One problem I had, however, was the head-hopping. It was distracting to flip from one POV to another mid scene, often causing confusion as to who was thinking or feeling what at any one time. Overall, the story is compelling and engrossing. Recommended for people who want a different sort of horror story with intelligence.