Monday, February 28, 2011

Weres Are A Witch’s Best Friend

It is my pleasure to have national bestselling author Linda Wisdom as my guest blogger today.

Linda is another one of those authors that make you laugh way too much. Don’t you just love that? I know I do.

Thank you so much for joining us and giving us a little insight on your weres.

A big thank you to Evelyn for allowing me to talk about the weres in my books.

I knew I wanted a were in my books, but with everyone writing about werewolves and a few other shape shifters, I even had various shape shifters in Hex Appeal. But this time I felt the need to do something different.

In Wicked By Any Other Name I had a Border collie hanging around the witches Stasi and Blair, especially Blair. Seems the critter not only mooched free meals, but also managed to spend the night and take up most of Blair’s bed.

At the end of the book it turned out that sexy carpenter Jake Harrison was actually the Border collie and his bite was just as dangerous as his bark.

There was no way I could leave Blair and Jake hanging, so I gave them their own story in Hex in High Heels. Some readers asked me why I chose a dog instead of a wolf. That was easy since I’m a major dog person. Bogie, my Chihuahua/Yorkie, was used for Stasi’s dog, and I already have nefarious plans for Barney, my mini-Schnauzer that will fit his demented personality perfectly.

Why did I create Jake as a Border collie? That’s how he popped into my imagination. Probably because they’re so darn cute and highly intelligent. Plus, who would expect a cuddly looking dog to shape shift into a hunky guy? Who wouldn’t love the idea of a boyfriend who could turn furry and warm you up in a different way during a long cold winter night? Something that doesn’t look threatening after a shift, but is still very protective toward their charges.

How would you feel if you encountered a wolf in the wild? Fear would probably be your first emotion. But would you feel that way if you came across a sweet looking black and white dog that’d cock his head to one side and utter a sweet whine?

Blair and Jake live in a small mountain town where it wouldn’t be unusual to find wolves in the forest, but a dog could wander the town and no one would think twice.

Jake as man and dog was fun to create because I had a two in one personality there.

I have fun creating odd creatures in my books. In my April release, Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend, I added highly caffeinated ferret messengers to the mix along with demons, goblins, and a disgusting creature called a Bloater.

I’ve been teased that I have a twisted imagination. I think with paranormal and urban fantasy, that’s more a compliment.

If you haven’t read my series, I hope you’ll give it a try. And remember that dog you see rolling around in your front yard just might not be what you think he is.


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Wednesday my guest blogger will be bestselling author Alethea Kontis.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

They're Out of This World

Today my guest blogger is Lynda K Scott. You will have to read her book to decide if her family is right or if she just has a brilliant imagination. 

Thank you Lynda for stopping by and giving us a little insight on your character, Eric.

My family would say that the hero of Heartstone, Eric d’Ebrur, is the product of a twisted, sick mind. After all, how many handsome, shape-shifting heroes are aliens?

My answer would be…They should all be aliens. Why? Because I believe in the rules of evolution. More or less. Being a shapeshifter, or were, shouldn’t be a curse. It should be a normal facet of that particular life form. And for Eric, it is. So I’ve decided to let him explain why the Antiare men came about.

Eric’s ability to change shape came about back in the early age of his people. They were combative and warlike, so much so that they threatened their own existence until…

“To understand, you would have to know about the Stones of Power.” He scraped both plates clean. “When we were a young race,still living and fighting in small clan families, we were visited by beings so far above us, we thought of them as gods. Of course, overtime, we came to understand they were Starfarers. Travelers from other worlds.”

He opened the pack and withdrew two thin, silver squares, one of which he began unfolding. “They were explorers but more than that, they were...educators. They taught us how to shape shift, saying that only by living in a different skin could we truly understand other life forms, other races. Or ourselves.”

In my opinion, that’s the true benefit of a were of any kind; the ability to know what it is to be a wolf or an eagle, a cat or even a form similar to dolphins. Eric’s people can take a variety of shapes. The more the merrier, right? If you think about it, it makes sense that they can take more than one form. A canid or wolf would see the world in a far different manner than a large avian flying overhead or a cetacean swimming in an underwater grotto.

But with that kind of understanding, that soul deep knowledge of other lifeforms, one would think the Antiareans would be a peaceful, tranquil race. And, for the most part, they are. Their unique perspective makes them want to protect and defend their family and their friends. However, the galaxy and their home world needs defenders, particularly when a strange life known as the Gawan suddenly arrives to threaten everything Eric and his band of men hold dear. The Gawan, a parasitic creature, infests its victims, taking control of their minds and bodies.

His mouth thinned as he looked away. “The Gawan are extraordinarily hard to kill. A Gawan-spawn will fight without fear or caution for its own wellbeing. And it’s not enough to just destroy the body. The parasite must be killed as well. They can Infest any sentient being in less time than it takes to draw a breath. There’s no cure. No remedy except—”

“Except?” she prodded when it seemed he wouldn’t continue.


The men of Antiare can withstand an attack from the Gawan by taking their were, or as they call it, their alter forms. That puts them in the forefront of the fight. However, even the ability to shift isn’t stopping the monster. They need a legendary weapon, one that was lost during the first major attack. But the Heartstone can only be wielded by its hereditary Stonebearer.

“I’ll fight the Gawan with sword or blaster, fang or claw,” Eric had told his grandfather and Benamont I’sadhe. “But I will not take a wife.”

Eric pursed his lips. Supposedly the woman upstairs was his long lost Gar’Jael, his soul mate. If one believed in that sort of nonsense. Eric didn’t. And even if he did, he had no room in his life for a mate of any kind. He intended to destroy the Gawan before they destroyed everything he held dear. 

For that, he needed the Heartstone. 

Not a wife.

Besides their fierce ability to defend their family, the men of Antiare are devoted husbands so it isn’t surprising when Eric decides this isn’t the time to take a wife. Of course, fate often interferes with the best laid plans. Eric must find the Stonebearer and when he does, he can’t help falling for her.

He nodded. “A man can be one or the other but not both. Not for long, at any rate.”

“Oh, I doubt that.” She slanted a look at him, her lashes half obscuring her eyes. Eric’s blood quickened. Keriam continued, “I think you’re a wolf all of the time.”

At that Eric laughed, genuinely delighted with her retort. “Ah, a compliment. On Antiare, as well as Earth, the wolf is a devoted mate and parent. Particularly the male of the species.”

Keriam snorted, a most unfeminine yet delightful sound.

“You don’t believe me?”

“Oh, I do. I just don’t believe it applies to you, Wolfgang.”

He tried for a wounded look. “How can you say that, sweetling? Here you are, alone except for me. It occurs to me I am bigger than you. And stronger. And I have a sword. Who would protect you if I decided to pounce?”

So…a man who can defend and protect, who is a devoted family parent, who has a sense of humor and who is breath-takingly handsome…now you know why I created Eric d’Ebrur, an alien shapeshifting were.

I love contact with my readers and there’s lots of ways to stay in touch with me. The best way is to join my newsletter, a non-chat yahoo group, with a low volume. Hope to see you there!

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Make sure you come back on Monday to hear about Linda Wisdom's were.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Truth Can Be Stranger Than Fiction

Today my guest blogger is bestselling author Lindsay McKenna. When you read this story on what triggered the inception of her jaguar shifters, it will leave your mind reeling.

She has over 75 books published under the name Lindsay McKenna and another 20 under her real name, Eileen Nauman. I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to have here. Thank you so much, Lindsay, for taking the time to share such an exciting experience.

While developing my metaphysical skills, I had acquired a number of medicine teachers over the years.  I carry Eastern Cherokee blood through my father’s side of the family.  I grew up in that mystical environment.  One of my teachers informed me that I would be moving into jaguar medicine. I thought it was kind of odd at the time after all, I lived in North America, not South America, and the jaguar is distinctly a southern cat.  In the 18th century Jaguar’s roamed the Southwest, but no more.   I shrugged and said that was fine, and never thought any more about it. Two years later, my teachers again informed me that I would receive jaguar medicine. I thought that I would receive it as I did all the rest through altered-state activity as a shaman.

Shortly after that last subtle hint, I received an unexpected invitation to go to Sao Paulo, Brazil and give several days of workshops on crystal and gem healing.  This would take place in October, 1992.   My host, Manuel, a Brazilian himself, was an civil engineer and vastly interested in gemstones and crystals. While I was thrilled with the prospect, in the back of my mind I thought that perhaps we’d go to the zoo and I’d see a Jaguar there.  

Later, my host contacted me and asked if after giving the workshops that we’d like to go deep into the Amazon jungle outside of Manaus, the old rubber city. He said there was a "hotel" out in the middle of it but that it had no electricity or running water. Were we interested? You bet! We would have three days in the heart of the Amazon Basin, and I wanted to commune with and honor the spirits of that country with ceremony. I also wanted to see, first hand, the destruction that was going on as I'm very active in environmental issues.

The week spent in Sao Paulo was a complete success, but my mind and heart were really on the three days we were to spend out in the jungle. We flew to Manaus which sits on the banks of two mighty rivers that merge to form the Amazon. We took an old wooden tugboat on a three-hour trip down the Amazon River. My host had two young daughters, ages seven and ten, and I had given each of them a tobacco bag so they could "gift" our relatives. We used cornmeal or tobacco from a Native American standpoint, to use as a gift to Nature.

The captain of the tug told my host in Portuguese that there were fresh-water dolphins around but that we wouldn't be lucky enough to see any. I told the girls to throw a handful of tobacco into the Amazon as a gift and to ask the river spirit to invite the dolphins to come to us so that we could honor them as well. Within fifteen minutes, the first dolphin was sighted:  large, gray and overwhelmingly beautiful. Within minutes, dolphins were leaping all around us like excited children. Needless to say, the captain was in shock and was looking at me with the weirdest expression - one of wariness combined with curiosity and a lot of respect. I smiled at him.

As we neared the channel where the hotel sat, the captain said that some-times, only at night during a full moon, one might see the very rare and almost-Extinct, pink dolphin.  Manuel's children were fast to catch on and gave a second gift of tobacco to the river, asking specifically for a pink dolphin to appear. Within ten minutes, as we slowed to make the turn into the still channel of muddy water, the first pink dolphin arced up and out of the water,  not more than  fifty feet away from the tug.  This time the tugboat captain just about leaped out of the boat.   The children shouted with glee as the pink dolphin brought many of her cousins. We saw four pink dolphins from time to time as we slowly moved down the channel, thick Amazonian jungle on both sides.  We were given an escort!

The hotel was a group of native thatched huts sitting clustered together about a half mile from where the channel ended. We walked in, carrying Our luggage. It was hot and steamy, near dusk. The odors were all so different and yet familiar to me. By the time we arrived, it was nearly dark and, as we were led to our hut with a flashlight, I had a premonition that a jaguar was around but was too tired to do anything about it.

Around five a.m. the next morning, I awoke refreshed and vibrating with anticipation - over what, I didn't know. I woke my husband and we agreed to take an early morning exploratory hike. There was a small stream and a wooden bridge a a mile from the village. As we walked hand in hand down a hard-packed trail, the sky took on a surrealistic yellow topaz tone, the haze and fog hanging in the tall, silent jungle trees and vines, the muted glow of Father Sun, not yet risen, tingeing the semi-translucent fog. I felt as if I were in the Twilight Zone, as if I were, indeed, on one of my shamanic journeys to another dimension.

As we neared the small wooden bridge, I anchored to a halt. There, sitting at front of the bridge, was a fu!l-grown, male jaguar! I knew, as I jerked to a stop, that my medicine teachers, who had been telling me I was going to come into jaguar medicine, hadn't been kidding. As the jaguar, who was lying down at the foot of the bridge, met my eyes he rose to a sitting position. I dropped my husband's hand and said, "He wants us to follow him,” and I took a step forward. The jaguar moved slowly and sleekly across the bridge. We were no more than a hundred feet behind him. At one point, the jaguar stopped, turned and looked back to see if we were coming. We were, so he continued across the bridge.

My heart was beating hard. I was thrilled and scared at the same time.  After all, the jaguar was wild, not tame.  The jaguar moved off the bridge, turned right and went down a steep bank to a small area of green grass.  There was a small stream full of pebbles, about three feet wide and a foot deep.  The jaguar stood in the grass, looking up at us.  I felt his mental urging to come join him.   I smiled, breathless.

"Let's go down! It won't hurt us," I told Dave.  He didn’t look so sure, far more tense and wary than I was.  We left the bridge, sliding down the slippery bank.  The jaguar waited  until we were both there, then moved to the edge of the bank.  He looked at the trickling stream.   Jaguars are great swimmers and love the water.  I received the mental impression he wanted to get into the stream and wanted us to sprinkle water over him.  I told my husband,  and was given a rolled-eyes reaction.   Eagerly, I moved to within a few feet of the jaguar. The cat turned and stopped.  He daintily moved into the crystal clear water and laid down in it. The water was barely a foot in depth.  My heart was pounding with joy.  I knelt at the edge and cupped water across his yellow- and black-spotted back. My husband came closer, convinced that it was safe enough. The cat hadn't snarled, shown his teeth or made any move that looked threatening. We both knelt there, sluicing cool water across the jaguar's back for at least ten minutes.  It felt as if we were out of time and space; that we were in another world or realm.  I was a place where human and animal were no longer enemies.

I was in ecstasy over what was happening, a joy flooding me that was so keen that it was like an ache. I remembered Coffee-Chili's story about getting medicine the old-fashioned  way -- with a live animal, up front and close.  He was an old Navajo grandfather who lived with us at Fort Wingate, New Mexico.  I recognized the dangers, too, for I knew this jaguar was not tame in the least. As we got to our feet, the jaguar moved languidly out of the water and came to sit at our feet in the grass to lick himself off. At that point, I begged my husband to go get the camera, which was back at the hut so we could have a picture of this. My students would believe my story but I wanted a photo to back it up. After all, how many times would people, nowadays, receive their medicine in physical reality?

Dave trotted across the bridge, up the hill and disappeared.  I moved about ten feet away from the jaguar and hunkered down in a crouched position, facing him. At that point, I felt the need to sing him my personal song, and I did. There was a surreal sensation about the whole time I was there alone with him, but being a shaman, it didn't bother me. I remained focused on what I wanted to do, which was to honor him by singing him my song. The cat continued to lick his paws as I sang. The instant I stopped singing, his head snapped up and he stared intently at me. 

I froze. The jaguar's eyes, once huge black pupils set in a thin crescent of gold, suddenly went to mere black pinpoints upon a blazing yellow background. I felt myself being forcefully pulled out of my physical body, my astral form crashing into the Jaguar’s body.

 I was trapped inside him!  For a moment, I was confused.  And then I understood what he’d done.  He’d literally, with his intense look, jerked my astral body out of my physical body.  When this is done, the person can’t move.  Mind spinning, I recalled that Manuel had said the Jaguar froze its prey, jumped on it and then killed it.  I felt the Jaguar surround me.  I felt his strong heart beat.  I felt his satisfaction that he had trapped me.  I could feel all of his emotions and it was an amazing moment.  I felt that he was going to pounce on my frozen physical body momentarily.  Fear and anxiety soared through me.  How could I get OUT of this cat’s physical body?  Desperate, all of the years of training, all of the times I practiced single focus, I willed myself OUT of the cat.   I felt like a rubber band snapped out of the cat.  In a second, I was flying those ten feet back into my own body. As I slammed back to myself, I knew without a doubt that when I had escaped the jaguar's body he was not only going to leap on me, but was going to kill me. When one's astral body is out of the physical body, one cannot move a muscle; one is literally frozen to the spot, or collapses onto that spot, unable to move.

As I thudded back into my body, I rose in one simultaneous motion, jumped up, turned around in midair and hit that dirt bank at a dead run.   Just as I scrambled to the top of the bank, I jerked a look across my shoulder. The jaguar had leaped, was midair and landed exactly where I'd been frozen milliseconds before! With a cry of sheer terror, I ran across the wooden bridge and up the hill as fast as my adrenaline and legs could take me. When I got to the top of the hill, I met my husband who was running back with camera in hand. In a panic, I looked back. The jaguar had not followed me. Instead, he was standing in the grassy area, looking at me and switching his tail back and forth.  He was very angry.  I could feel him as much as I could feel myself.  It was at that point, I realized we had traded spirits.  In doing so, I was in constant communication with him--as he was with me.  His ears were flattened against his broad head and he stalked around the small grass parcel, furious that he hadn’t killed me.  

Gasping for breath, my heart slamming repeatedly into my ribs, I told my husband what had happened. He wanted to leave that moment, but I begged him to come back down to the bridge with me. I wanted to get a photo of that jaguar! I was frightened of going back because now I could face the jaguar as if I were still inside of him.   I realized, as we approached the bridge, that the age-old way of trading medicine between a human and animal had taken place.  I mentally told the jaguar what I wanted. He was pacing angrily back and forth on the grass, glaring at me. He was pissed, to say the least. But, I felt his respect for me too. I took advantage of it. I told my husband to get far enough away to take a photo of me leaning down to touch the jaguar. I wasn't at all sure if the jaguar would leap up and attack me.  It was a chance I was willing to take.

I saw him start to get up. Without hesitation I touched his broad, sleek skull and then turned to face the camera and smile!  My husband took the photo.  The only one left on the roll of film.  I prayed that it would come out.   Instantly, I jerked my hand back and climbed back onto the bridge. I thanked the jaguar and told him not to follow me.  He sat up, staring up at me.  I quickly left at a fast walk, looking over my shoulder from time to time.   The jaguar laid back down in the grass beneath the shade of a tree next to the stream.

Eileen Nauman aka Lindsay McKenna with the wild Jaguar in the Amazon jungle of Brazil shortly after she traded spirits with it.
Back at the village, I excitedly shared my experience with Manuel. He gave me an incredulous look and shook his head. Here's what he told me: Jaguars are known to be powerful spirit beings who have the capacity to "freeze' their quarry into immobility with just hypnotizing look from their eyes. Onci (the Portuguese word for a jaguar) is the only animal in the world with this skill.      

Now I knew from first-hand experience how a jaguar accomplishes such a feat and I lived to tell about it! Further, Manuel told me that in Central and South America, jaguar medicine is considered to be the most powerful and the most sought after medicine. He didn't say why that was mine to discover on my own. He said many medicine men trained their students for years to come face-to-face with a jaguar, sing them their song and then exchange spirits with them. Unfortunately, Manuel told me sadly, most of the students ended up either dead or so badly mauled that they remained crippled for the rest of their lives. Amazed by his facts, I felt not only blessed, but lucky to be alive. 

That trading of spirits happened in October, 1992, and I can honestly say my life hasn't been the same since. The jaguar now accompanies me in altered states whenever I work in someone's behalf. But I'm also discovering that jaguar medicine has a powerful connection to femaleness and feminine consciousness. I understand from Manuel that there is a jaguar cult and/or society in Central America, so who knows? Maybe someday, if it is meant to be, I'll meet others who have faced the jaguar and lived to tell about it, too.

From a writing standpoint, my alliance and association energetically with the Jaguar from the Amazon gave me some brilliant ideas.  My first book, Heart of the Jaguar, a single title release for Silhouette in January 1999, was my first paranormal book. The hero was a Jaguar shape shifter.  And the book soared to the USA Today Bestseller list two weeks in a row.  I then fashioned an entire world based upon my Jaguar’s creativity.  Heart of the Warrior and Heart of Stone followed.  These two books were instrumental in creating the Black Jaguar Squadron.  This was a group of US Army women pilots who flew the vaunted Apache  helicopter gunship and stopped drugs from being flown out of Peru to the USA.  I wrote a number of books on BJS.  And readers loved them.  

Today, I have a second BJS squadron series.  I’m writing it for Silhouette Romantic Suspense (in April, 2011, it becomes Harlequin Romantic Suspense).  This second squadron is a spin-off from the first based down in Peru.  BJS 60 is based in Afghanistan and flies against the Taliban on the border with Pakistan.  Again, an all-woman military pilot squadron.  Readers are very happy to have the BJS back and so am I.  My latest BJS book, Operation: Forbidden, came out February 15, 2011 with Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  

Thus far, my jaguar spirit guide has been an incredible gift to me creatively speaking.  And whether readers want to believe that I have an ongoing alliance with  him, I’ll leave up to them.  They say Truth is stranger than fiction.  I know it is!

Visit Lindsay at her:  Website  or  Twitter

 Operation: Forbidden 

Check in Thursday to find out how Lynda K. Scott's alien werewolves cam to be.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Call of the Wild Meets Romance.

Today my guest blogger is Eva Gordon, author of The Wolf Maiden Chronicle series.  

Thank you Eva for joining us and giving us the insight on how your werewolves came to be.

My passion for wildlife, especially wolf biology (my degrees are in Zoology and Biology) and my love of mythology was like the mixing of chocolate and peanut butter to create the Reeses Peanut Cup. I had to combine my two great loves. The call of the wild meets romance. Why the wolf? That was easy. The wolf is one of my totem guides and in fact has been the totem guide for numerous cultures.  Nothing sends a chill down your spine more than hearing a wolf’s howl in the night. While at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade.  No sound is more awesome. Wolves have traits we admire. They are powerful predators, with complex social behavior, and what appeals to most romantic readers, wolves are monogamous. In reality wolves have a low hunting success rate and the average wolf is the size of a German Shepherd so I made my lycan wolves huge, the size of bears with cool tribal tattoos. The Beast of Gevaudan legend of 1764 of Southern France spoke of such a large wolf creature/werewolf said to be the size of a bull. I knew then that my lycan had to be larger than the average wolf.

I studied myths about wolves from around the globe. In Native American culture the wolf is an important archetype. They had great respect for the wolf and often offered prayers before a hunt to the wolf spirit. Wolf spirit was also powerful medicine for shamans who traveled to the world of the dead.  In Europe just as in the New World, myths and stories about wolves are universal. Early Europeans Respected the Wolf as Protector and Teacher. From the Steppes of Asia Minor to the British Isles the Wolf was mighty totemic protector. Hecate, an Ancient Greek deity was worshipped as a goddess with three wolf heads. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were fed by the she-wolf, Alcala/Lupa. In Ireland, King Cormac was nursed by a she-wolf. Myths about heroes being suckled or raised by wolves are ubiquitous and would take too much space for this blog. In the Viking world to be a member of the Wolf Clan, Ulfhednar was the greatest honor. Viking warriors believed that if they died a heroic death they would be turned into magnificent wolves. Vikings also believed wolves chasing and devouring the sun and moon caused eclipses. Two wolves accompanied Odin, ruler of the Norse Gods. He created the wolves Freki (Hungry One) and Geri (Greedy One) as loyal companions.  

Many of these wolfish tales were actually werewolf stories. As Europe went from hunter/gather to a agricultural land grabbing cultures the wolf was no longer seen as friend but rather foe.  Tales of ravenous wolves haunted the land. From Lycaon being turned into a werewolf by Zeus to Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf became the new evildoer. Werewolves roamed looking for human prey. There are numerous accounts of werewolves devouring people. And so many ways to become a werewolf, from wearing a wolf pelt, from a curse, drinking from a specific water hole or the classic bitten by a wolf and influenced by the full moon. I then I began to see history through the eyes of a werewolf. What if werewolves were real?  Mine would be genetic and super powerful. If they were, they would need to keep themselves secret.  Thus my creation of my werewolf universe, in The Wolf Maiden Chronicles. My  hero was to be possessive, protective and loving like an alpha wolf. Athletic like a wolf, my heroes have hot bodies an overwhelming sexual allure. Wyatt, Sigurd and Bledig are bigger than life lycan heroes. My heroines are smart kick ass women who drive their alpha males nuts with their independence.

Eva volunteering at Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary.

My Lycan Universe

Since ancient times, the Lupercal Council has kept their people’s werewolf identity a well-guarded secret from man. They refer to their kind as lycans. The lycan shifts into a bear-sized wolf, bearing unique markings reminiscent of Maori or Celtic tattoos. The pack shifts during the full moon and are under the control of their alpha male leader. The alpha male and alpha female are not bound by the full moon and can shift at will. Lycans can only breed with their kind. The exception is the alpha male, which can only mate with human women known as wolf maidens. These human women bear the five-toed lycan paw print or mark of the wolf on their left hip. Female alphas are sterile but are the leading lycans governing the Lupercal Council. They are aided by selected men known as Lupercii who help inform the Lupercal of all human activity.  In their religion they worship the Goddess Feronia. The romance in my stories revolve around the alpha male and the wolf maiden destined to be his life mate not just in this life but throughout time at each rebirth.  There is much more detail, but this is it in a nutshell.  In each book I capture the realism of the historical period and the story unfolds as a ‘werewolf historical’ paranormal romance fantasy.

To start your journey you can start with Werewolf Sanctuary, a contemporary that leads to the ‘werewolf historicals’, however each novel is a stand-alone. Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf is the second and takes place during the Viking Era. Then off to Arthurian times with White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight. All are available in print, kindle and nook as well as other formats.

Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf 

Werewolf Sanctuary 

White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight 

Learn more about my musings on my blog where on each full moon I interview a famous werewolf and like creature or person. I also do werewolf and wolf lore workshops for writer groups.

Come visit on Monday when Lindsay McKenna tells you about her jaguar shifters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How I Fell in Love with Werewolves

Today I have the  privileged of having best selling author Rebecca York tell us just how she fell in love with werewolves.

Rebecca has written over 125 books and novellas in her career.  Not alone does Rebecca write some great paranormal romances and mysteries, she also has some fabulous cookbooks published under her real name of Ruth Glick. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how your werewolves came to be.

As a teenager, I read fantasy and science fiction.  In fact, I didn’t know the romance genre existed.  One book that grabbed me was DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson.  It was about a man awakening to his werewolf powers–with the help of a sexy werewolf woman--and I loved it.  In fact, it made me want to BE a werewolf.

Later I read and loved another werewolf book, THE WOLF’S HOUR, by Robert McCammon.

Both those books stuck with me for years, and I wanted to write a werewolf book of my own.  But when I started thinking about the story that became KILLING MOON, paranormal was very much out.  Still I started planning a werewolf detective who used his wolf senses to solve crimes.  Even though I doubted I could sell the story, it simply wouldn't let me go. Finally a good friend told me in her blunt way that she was tired of hearing me talk about the idea. So I should either write it or shut up. I accepted the challenge and started working on a synopsis of the story.  

There were many different directions in which I could have taken the book, but I stuck with the genre I’d come to love, romantic suspense. I was pretty sure that to sell single-title paranormal romantic suspense, I'd have to write the whole book, not just do a proposal. So I worked on KILLING MOON around my Harlequin Intrigue schedule.  Cindy Hwang at Berkley, loved the story and asked me for more werewolf books. That's how I found myself with a werewolf series that I hadn't planned for.
In addition to the nine Moon books, there are two novellas--“Burning Moon,” published in an anthology called CRAVINGS, with Laurell K. Hamilton, and “Huntress Moon,” in the anthology, ELEMENTAL MAGIC.

In the first few books, I stuck with this universe.  But I wanted to expand the type of stories I could write.  “Huntress Moon” introduced an alternate time line, running parallel to our own.  Until 1893, the history was the same.  But in the other universe, a man came to the Chicago World’s Fair and claimed he could give people psychic powers.  In that United States, it was true.  Many people emerged from his tent with new mental abilities.  The psychics and the non-psychics fought great battles that destroyed civilization.  In that time line, all technology has been wiped out, and people live in city states for protection.  Psychic abilities replace machinery, and special schools are set up to help talented children develop their psychic abilities.

I’ve written several Moon books, starting with NEW MOON, where characters go back and forth between these two worlds.   My next werewolf story is in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF HOT ROMANCE, which will be out in August.  It’s about a woman and a werewolf caught in the terrorist attack on an isolated resort.  Currently, I’m working on a werewolf story, DARK OF THE MOON, that will either be a novella or a short novel. 

Available Now

Killing Moon (The Moon Series, Book 1) 

Dragon Moon (The Moon Series, Book 9)

I first wrote about Ramsay Gallagher in Dragon Moon.
I was so fascinated with him, that I wanted to give him his own story.  
He's the hero of Day of the Dragon, which I hope is the start of a new series.

Coming Soon

The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance

    July 2011

Check in Friday to hear how Eva Gordon's werewolves came to be.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can you put Sexy, Hero, and Vampire together?

If you're Maggie Shayne. Yes you can. 

It is exciting to hear how some of my favorite authors brought their characters into being. Each author has such an interesting reason for his or her concept of that character. 

Today my guest blogger is, bestselling author, Maggie Shayne to tell you why she decided to portray her vamps as the good guys. 

Back in October of 1993, my very first vampire novel, TWILIGHT PHANTASIES, was released, and my Wings in the Night series was born.  I had no clue at that time that it would last as long as it has, or that it would eventually span five lines (Silhouette Shadows, Intimate Moments, Single Title, Harlequin Nocturne, and MIRA, as well as an Online Read at,) twenty titles, and eighteen years.  Wow.  It’s been quite a ride.

Back then, before I was published, all I was thinking about was writing a vampire romance.  I’d always loved vampire lore, even as a little girl, I never missed an old black & white rerun of DRACULA or one of its endless sequels.  My only issue with the films was that the monster didn’t get the girl.  I found Vlad far more appealing than Jonathan Harker.  So I wanted to rewrite my old favorite classic vampire flicks in a new way.  I wanted the vamp to be the hero, the good guy. 

There was one other author who beat me to the punch.  Lori Herter, whose trilogy, OBSESSION, POSSESSION, and CONFESSION blew me away.  I was bummed I didn’t get mine out first, but utterly relishing every word of her books. 

About the time I was finishing my first vampire romance, Silhouette books announced a new line:  Silhouette Shadows.  And I was thrilled.  I submitted my story there, knowing it was just the place for me.

And it was rejected.  :(  The problem was with the hero Eric Marquand’s best friend, Roland de Courtemanche.  He was simply in the book too much.  This was a category romance line, and as such, the focus of the story needed to stay mainly on the hero and the heroine. 

“But I love Roland,” I whined.

Save him for the sequel, said the wise editor, Melissa Senate (now a bestselling author in her own right.  Her novel, See Jane Date, was made into a successful film.) 

And at those words, for the very first time, I saw my vampire world as more than just one book.  I saw a sequel.  My dream then became, maybe two books.  Or even three.

While I was doing the revisions, I submitted another novel, this one a romantic suspense, to Silhouette Intimate Moments, (a line whose name has now changed to Harlequin Romantic Suspense) and that book, RECKLESS ANGEL, became my first sale. 

And when the revisions were done, TWILIGHT PHANTASIES was bought as well. 

If I had known then, that the series would span twenty stories, I would have started a database, and filled it with every detail on every character, for easy reference.  But as it turns out, I was all the way up to book 7 before I realized this series might keep going for awhile.  In fact, after book 3, TWILIGHT ILLUSIONS, I was told to stop writing vampires altogether.  The Shadows line, I was told, was folding.  (I will always believe it was ahead of its time, and I think the current market trends prove me right.) 

Upon receiving that news, I did three things in quick succession. 
1.   Bawled my eyes out.
2.   Got really pissed off.
3.   Wrote another vampire novel--in 8 weeks flat.

It was the fastest I had ever written one.  Editors, take heed.  If you want to hurry me up, tell me not to write the book.  :)  It was published as a Silhouette Single Title, BORN IN TWILIGHT, and it kept the series alive.  Or undead.

After that Harlequin/Silhouette’s single title division, MIRA Books, was finally ready to let my vampires invade their pages, and I’ve been publishing them there ever since.

The main problem with the series has been people finding it recently, who desperately want the backlist, and cannot find them in print.  But the recent advent of Epublishing has solved that problem and opened the books to a whole new audience.  Harlequin has even released a special edition “Twilight Bundle” that includes the first five books in the series. 

My full vampire title list is available at my website, by email, and on my Facebook Fanpage under Notes.


Thank you, Maggie, for taking your time away from your work to give us this great insight into you and you characters. 

Links to Maggie's sites. Go visit her.

Click on the links below to order or preorder Maggie's Books. 



April 19th 2011 


June 2011 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Betsy the Vampire Queen

Today I have the privilege of having MaryJanice Davidson as my guest blogger.

For any of you that do not know MaryJanice Davidson, she is the bestselling author of the Undead series starring Betsy the Queen of the Vampires. However, that is not her only series. She also has a series about a mermaid named Fred and another with were wolves. In total, MaryJanice has over sixty-five published books. Personally I feel MJ's books should carry a warning label: CAUTION THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH...YOU MAY HURT YOURSELF LAUGHING. I am not kidding, here is a woman who puts her car in a ditch, but has you laughing about it. If you don't believe me check out her blog: I had to stop reading MaryJanice's books in public, because people give me the strangest looks when I just start laughing aloud and they aren’t in on the joke.

Without further ado, here is MaryJanice to tell you how Betsy came to be.

I came up with Betsy because I got a little tired of running across the same basic vampire in the Romance section of the book store.  It seemed like the vampires were always male, always gorgeous, always rich, always well hung, always lurking or sulking in dark alleys, and always bitching about what  a burden it was, being eternally rich and young and hung.  I remember thinking, "Where are the plumber vampires?  Where are the accountant vampires?  Why are they always moody Scottish lords?"  And Betsy was born from that speculation.  She's kind of my anti-vamp:  she's not ancient, she wouldn't be caught dead lurking in an alley or sleeping in a coffin ("Oh, that is just guh-ROSS!"), and she routinely handles crosses and holy water.

As for Betsy's love of shoes, I wanted to give the character a habit that, again, you normally wouldn't run across in a more traditional vampire story.  An administrative assistant who has to save for months and months to be able to buy just one pair of designer shoes...that was a character I could relate to.  I figured a lot of us could...who *doesn't* know what it's like to have to put money aside and save for something we really, really want but just don't need?

What's funny is that most readers assume I'm into designer shoes, too, when I couldn't be more indifferent.  I'm a Payless girl:  buy one pair, get the second half price.  You can't beat that!  Also, I refuse to drop $350 on shoes that I'll just end up getting mud or dog shit on, anyway.  (I'm a small town girl, and we have two dogs.)

There are sneak preview chapters from UNDEAD AND UNDERMINED at MJ's blog and Facebook page, if you want to find out what's coming down the pike for Betsy and the gang.

Thanks MJ for taking the time out of your busy scheduled to give us a little insight on your vampires that walk among us.

                July 5th.
     Undead and Undermined 

Stop by tomorrow and hear how Maggie Shayne came up with her vamps.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vampires among us.

Have you ever wondered how the vampire myth came about or why we can’t put it to rest? Perhaps it started much the same as any bogymen, to scare people and therefore keep them in line. Or perhaps the exaggerated story of someone’s fear. But no matter how it started vampires have been around for centuries.

So what do vampires look like? Depending on what culture you are talking about they range from a red eyed monster with green or pink hair as in old Chinese folklore to perhaps the Greek’s, where it is depicted to have had the upper body of a woman and the lower body of winged serpent. Or maybe the Malaysian culture that describes it as a head with entrails. Most of us think more about the Eastern European description of the vampire of a corpse that feeds on living blood. Personally, I prefer the newer version of a creature with everlasting beauty that can enthrall you if you look into their eyes.  Even better, those gorgeous beings that don’t need our blood at all and can live in total harmony next door. 

It has been said that even a myth is based a bit on truth. So is it possible years ago, when someone had a disease known as cutaneous porphyrias, fear and superstition took over? This would attribute to ones paleness and the inability to go out in the sun. If someone with cutaneous porphyrias where to go into the sun their skin would blister and swell, hence the burning in the sun theory. Could this be where it all started? 

Vampire lore dates back thousands of years and spans almost every culture around the world. As legends go, the first vampire was supposedly Lilith, Adams first wife according to old Hebrew Text. Others figures associated with vampirism included Vlad Tepes Dracula also known as Vlad the Impaler for his blood thirsty of impaling his enemy letting them suffer until they died. The Countess Elizabeth (Ezrabet) Bathory also known as the Blood Countess whom tortured and killed young girls bathing in and drinking their blood. 

Through the ages the descriptions change depending on what country or culture, but a few things always remained consistent, the need for blood and until recently they could not tolerate sunlight. It was Bram Stoker novel, Dracula, that actually gave way to the stereotype for vampires and the movies where vampires were given fangs, so they could drink blood with finesse. 

In today’s society, we now have thousands of people claiming to be vampires. Drinking blood, refusing to go out in daylight and some have gone as far as getting fang implants. The internet carries site after site for vampires. So do we actually have vampires walking among us?

Make sure you stop back Thursday to see how Betsy of Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series came to be.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do you really know your neighbor?

Could your neighbor, teacher, or friend, be other than what you think they are?

Well if you listen to many of today’s authors, they very well could be.

According to Lindsey Sands, Karrelyn Sparks, Maggie Shayne and many others, your next-door neighbor just might be a vampire, even if you see them during the day. Let’s see, they portrays them as doctors, authors, even business owner. Then there is Christine Feehan who has a popular band of Carpathians. Or what about Laurell K. Hamilton who has weres teaching our children? Also Lora Adrian and her breeds.  Nalini Singh who has changelings and phy owning major businesses. And then there’s Katie MacAlister with her dragons  and demons to contend with. Oh and let’s not forget Alexis Morgan’s Paladins and Alyssa Day’s Atlanteans. And of course you have Karen Moning describing the Tuatha de Danann as soul sucking monsters and me portraying them as sensual beings that walk among us.

One could fill a page with authors and how they depict vampires, weres, fae, dragons and the rest. But where do the ideas for these creatures come from? Much of it is from folklore.  

It is said that myths are based on a portion in truth. So, is it possible we really do have vampires, were animals, dragons, fae and all the rest living next door? Is that guy next to you in the elevator or who passed you on the stairs really who you think he is? If one passed you in the street, would you know? When you hear that owl hoot or that wolf or coyote howl are they the real thing or could they be your neighbor? 
How do you feel about that?

I much prefer the way many of today’s authors depict vamps and weres. I don’t think I would mind them living next to me if they didn’t drink me dry or eat me for lunch. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about some of that folklore as well as trying to get some of these authors to tell us how they came up with their idea for each creature. But in the meantime how do you feel about possibly having one of these creatures living next door?