Werewolf Wednesday…Southern Werewolf Chronicles by J. Morgan, Review of Wolf Blood (1925), and Werewolf Book Recs

These may be too along the lines of that Betsy the Vampire Queen series for me, which I just found annoying and twee, but I tend to give werewolf stories a try anyway.

Book One: Were Love Blooms

Blurb: Madison Lee thought she’d put her European vacation behind her, until the full moon turned her into a hairy beast. A year later she has come to grip with her new life, now her whole world is blown apart. The man who gave her a night of incredible passion and an uncontrollable urge to howl at the moon shows up in town with his sights on taking over her family’s business.

Hot on his heels a stranger comes to town with more than the rustic scenery on his mind. He’s a monster hunter out for Nicholi’s blood and just maybe hers if he finds out her not so little secret. How is a Southern Deb supposed to deal with lovers, killers and the biggest Cotillion of the year all at the same time? Madison soon learns Where there’s a Were, there’s a way and it leads straight to love.

Book Two: Were the Moon Don’t Shine

Blurb: Madison Lee thought her life had become the fairy tale dream she’d always imagined it would be, when the werewolf of her dreams had shown up and popped the question. All it had taken was a group of monster hunters trying to kill her to convince him to bend a knee. Now, thanks to Nicholi’s sister, Jessica, she’s found out he’s been kidnapped and it’s up to her to find him. She refuses to be left at the altar! With her brother Jonas and Jessica tagging along, Maddy uncovers a plot to not only ruin her perfect wedding, but to kill not only Nicholi but her too! Even though she doesn’t know which makes her madder, she knows one thing. Come hell or high water, she’s finding her future husband and teaching these lowlifes that you don’t mess with a Deb’s man. Ever!

I have to admit, the titles made me snort with amusement. If you’ve read these, drop a comment and let me know what you thought, please.

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AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! has a fantastic review of WOLF BLOOD (1925). Definitely makes me want to watch it, and read more of that site to see if I like the other reviews just as much.

Excerpt: While it may be a disappointment to some viewers, it is a fact that all the werewolfery in Wolf Blood occurs entirely in Dick Bannister’s mind. There are no transformation scenes here, no full moon, no family curse; just a case of profound psychological disturbance. However, given that lycanthropy may actually be an extreme form of mental illness, I don’t see that this choice disqualifies Wolf Blood from being classified as a werewolf film proper. It certainly does nothing to lessen the horror of Bannister’s immediate situation. Wolf Blood also sits comfortably within the werewolf mythos inasmuch as what happens to Bannister is not his fault.

“Not his fault” up to a point, anyway: Bannister certainly buys into the thought of his inevitable transformation with surprising alacrity. The screenplay, which blames the loggers’ belief upon their being superstitious and credulous by nature, blames Bannister’s upon his weakened condition and the debilitating nature of his injuries.

Still, the willingness of this “civilised” man to believe the worst does tend to suggest some deep-rooted personal issues. He might not be the man-beast of his fears, but Edith may still be getting a bit more than she bargained for.

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Ruby’s Reads: Anything with a Smidge of Romance has a list of werewolf books she recommends and a list she doesn’t recommend. I haven’t read many of them, so I’m adding to my To Read list.

Werewolf Wednesday…Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper, The Werewolf of NYC by Edwin Vazquez, and Patrick Ryan Frank’s werewolf poetry

Oh, how I’ve missed Werewolf Wednesdays.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper.

Blurb: Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

While the blurb is interesting enough, I guess, I’m not sure it would have fully caught my attention. However, the review over at Ivy Book Bindings makes it sound hilarious, charming, and exactly the sort of fun book I want to read RIGHT NOW.

And then, when checking out the author’s website, I see there is a second book, The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, and according to its blurb on the author’s website, the alpha wolf is Maggie Graham. Female alpha? SOLD. I will report back as soon as I can get my hands on these and read them.

The Werewolf of NYC by Edwin Vazquez

First, Teresa Jusino wrote an excellent preview piece over at GirlGamer.com, and now a giveaway of some related goodies. Of the first issue, Teresa says: First, the comic. This shit is bananas, but in the best way. Set in the early 1980′s, The Werewolf of NYC tells the story of Albert Shaw, a severely lonely man who has to deal with the fact that if he doesn’t have complete control over himself, he turns into a werewolf and goes on killing sprees. Not being able to lose control makes having relationships, sexual or otherwise, very difficult. In fact, the first issue shows us what happens when a man has to repress his sexual desires for the benefit of living beings around him. You probably guessed it – it doesn’t turn out too well. Vazquez does a great job of capturing the seedy feel of early 1980′s Hell’s Kitchen, and his art looks like what seeing the world as a bloodthirsty werewolf must feel like. That’s the best thing about Vazquez’s art – it’s visceral.

That sounds badass, and even though I rarely buy comics by the issue right now, I am going to pick this one up.

Over at Austinist.com: Werewolves, Losing, and Being Understood: An Interview with Poet Patrick Ryan Frank.

Excerpt:

Also in the book you deal with not just people who are sympathetic, but also those who are a little less sympathetic, like the werewolf, for example. Do you feel that even the unsympathetic loser is in some way redeemable? Is there an innocent inside of every guilty person?

That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but I guess I do. I do think that everyone has something sympathetic. Even the most seemingly unsympathetic person can be entered into, and the idea of sympathy as a form of empathy, as understanding, and I think it’s actually important for us to have empathy toward the most awful people because by understanding them we can understand the differences between them and everyone else. So, if I were to write a poem about a serial killer, it wouldn’t necessarily be to give sympathy toward the serial killer but to understand the route that a human being takes to get to that point. I guess that’s what I’m really interested in. Understanding on a both intellectual and emotional level and that’s what comes across as sympathy.

And the werewolf poem? It’s inspired by married men who have sex with other men, and I think that, yes, it’s a despicable thing to be cheating on your spouse, but it’s also a craving that these men might not have much control over. Or they have control over their actions, but not the force behind it. There’s this Stanley Kunitz poem with two lines that have always stuck with me: “What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire.” And I think that desire is the great equalizing force between all people. It’s what makes the winners succeed and what makes the losers keep going even after they’ve lost.

That’s profoundly fascinating—I definitely didn’t see that inspiration for the werewolf poem. Do you expect people to get that from the poem just at face value, or is that the type of thing where they need to seek out the author’s opinion to be able to come up with that interpretation?

I think I secretly have a bit of a New Formalist in me in that I don’t want any poem to require a secondary source. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to know what I think about or care about to like my poems. In fact I try very hard to pull myself out of poems whenever possible. My goal is always to write a poem—that even if it has a deeper valence or a sort of hidden agenda—I want the poem to work even if that’s never discovered. Personally I would think that the werewolf poem is more interesting if you think about it in the context of sexuality but I also hope that it’s an interesting poem even if you don’t. I don’t know if it succeeds or not because no poet is ever really sure of what his poems do. But I like to think that the poem opens itself up to whatever reading a person wants to bring to it. But that sounds so…

Post modern?

Yeah. I generally hate it when people say that because it sounds like you’re abnegating authority. It’s like “Oh, you can get whatever you want out of my poem, I don’t care,” when obviously I do. Like, ideally everyone would read that poem and think “oh, men who have sex with other men, interesting.” But if no one gets that they’re still like, “Oh werewolves, I’ve never read a werewolf poem before, neat” and also be pretty happy.

But I don’t want to be one of those poets that people feel like they need to decipher. That’s so tedious. I love Wallace Stevens but half the time I’m reading Wallace Stevens thinking “I am missing something here.” And then a hundred percent of the time I’m reading Pound I know I’m missing something. But I don’t always find those poets to be that enjoyable.

Accessibility is a really important thing for me. I want to write poems that anybody could like to read. My fantasy audience is always my mother, who, if she’s ever read any of my poems, has never really talked about them, but I like to think that she reads all of them and is thinking, “Oh, I see what he’s doing here, yeah, juxtaposition.” And even if she’s not thinking about what’s happening, she’s still thinking, “Oh, that’s sad, I feel sad now that I’ve read this poem, thank you.”

While I have read werewolf poems before, I’d like to read this one (and the rest of the collection). I’m pretty intrigued by both some of the things he’s saying here about abnegating authority AND about accessibility of writing, particularly poetry. I may have to come back to this with more thoughts. But for the moment, WEREWOLF POETRY!

Publications… “To the Sea, To the Sea” in LIKE A COMING WAVE

So, it’s been awhile. Two deaths in the family and a big move and a holiday season will do that, I guess. Rough few months, at the very least. I’ve missed out on a lot, but am excited to be back to blogging. Starting with today’s announcement regarding my latest release, which came out during my hiatus.

My story, “To the Sea, To the Sea”, is available now in LIKE A COMING WAVE from Circlet Press.

Blurb: The ocean is a vast playground of creatures real and imagined, rife with power and depth. In LIKE A COMING WAVE eight of fantasy’s best writers explore the erotic potential in the world of water. Mermaids and -men, selkies, Greek Gods, and even kraken cavort in these pages, featuring stories from Nisi Shawl, Julie Cox, Marie Carlson, Pepper Espinoza, and more, representing various sexualities and styles.

Table of Contents:
Breathing by Julie Cox
Extremiad by Nisi Shawl
Helios and Ceto by Pepper Espinoza
To the Sea,To the Sea by Marie Carlson
Wet Medium by Beryl Falls
A Requiem for Poseidon by S. C. Mitchell
Silk Skin by Elias A. St. James
How Much Water, How Much Air by M.E. Comstock

“To the Sea, To the Sea” brings together a mermaid whose song won’t lure any humans to the sea, and the kraken she must feed, who chooses her not for her voice but for the temptation of her body.

I’m excited about this anthology, a theme I love, and in particular because I adore Nisi Shawl’s writing, and am so glad to be in an anthology with her. I hope you guys enjoy!

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Month of the Werewolf…Day 1: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Ward’s Island, Game of Werewolves

My plans for Month of the Werewolf 2012 have been delayed due to a death in the family, but for now, have some werewolf-inspired links.

Werewolf film Ward’s Island, about an outbreak of werewolves in NYC, was shooting in Buffalo. I’m a little intrigued at Buffalo being used as NYC.

Toronto After Dark 2012 final films announced, including Game of Werewolves (Spain).

When a struggling young writer returns to his remote village home after years away in the city, he’s shocked to discover it’s become cursed by werewolves and also that he might just be the only one who can stop them. Fantastic old school effects, great werewolf fight scenes and kills, and an endearing misfit hero makes multiple Audience Award winner GAME OF WEREWOLVES an absolute delight for fans at every festival it plays!

Werewolf Wednesday…All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest) trailer, Skittles + werewolves, Carrie Vaughn interview, werewolves and mental illness

From DreadCentral.com, a new trailer for All Hallows Evil (Lord of the Harvest).

Synopsis: The sleepy town of Hallowed Hill is known by many as the Halloween capitol of the world because of its history and its pagan origins. People from all around come to visit the town on the night of All Hallows Eve. Two hundred years ago, on Halloween, a great evil was unleashed on the town by a witch who dabbled in the black arts. After a long night of mayhem brought on by this terrible evil, a select group of townsfolk were able to stop the witch and dispatch the evil back into the darkness from whence it came. Now, 200 years later, a young girl finds an ancient pagan book archived deep in the old cellar of the local library, and with the help of her wicked foster mother, the two again release the evil Sam Hain from his hell-bound prison to once again wreak havoc on Halloween night. The question is, can the town join together to stop the evil, or will Hallowed Hill be completely devoured by the Lord of the Harvest.

That trailer looks incredibly, horribly cheesy. Terribly cheesy. Unbelievably cheesy. I really want to like this movie (a town banding together to save itself, a werewolf, full moon, monsters everywhere), but oh my god, the acting and the effects in that trailer, no. Maybe itw ill end up being so cheesy it is awesome. I hope.

Speaking of werewolves and cheesy things that are also delightful, this Skittles commercial is something else.

Weird! Hilarious! There are a ton of commercials in this set, and I’m having way too much fun watching them. Oh, Skittles.

91.5 KUNC has an interesting interview with Carrie Vaugh, author of the Kitty Norville series. In particular, I was interested in what she had to say about the appeal of werewolf stories.

Excerpt:

Ensuing Chapters: What is the fascination with the werewolf? Maybe a theory on what, culturally, the fascination is, and personally, why you chose a werewolf?

Carrie Vaughn: I can tell you what traditionally the werewolf is, and the werewolf is interesting because for about the last 130 years it’s been pretty much the same thing. It hasn’t changed. The vampire has changed a lot. It’s become this other creature representing sin and decay coming from outside the community, and now it’s a symbol of power and immortality and forbidden pleasures and all of these highly sexualized, highly powerful metaphors. So the vampire has changed a lot.

Werewolf stories just have never gotten their time in the light. There have always been werewolves, but culturally, they’ve kind of been stuck in this ‘beast within’ type story. I’ve been calling it the Jekyll and Hyde story. With a few exceptions, every werewolf story—that has focused on werewolves specifically—has been the Jekyll and Hyde: Somebody who’s been overwhelmed by their base instincts and the beast within bursts out and destroys everything and then it dies. The end.

There’s just not a whole lot you can do with that. If that’s the story you’re focusing on, it always has the same trajectory and the same end. You can tell really good stories with that. I think An American Werewolf in London is brilliant, but it’s the same. You get infected, you struggle with the beast within, which bursts free and does horrible things, and then you die. Ginger Snaps, which is another great, recent werewolf movie, the same kind of thing. Even though it kind of turns it on its head. I feel like culturally, people haven’t gotten past the idea that werewolves represent the struggle with base nature, and it’s always the struggle with the beast within. And the beast within always has to lose.

One of the reasons I decided to make the main character a werewolf was to try to get past that metaphor. We can have good stories about werewolves if we’d just get past the idea that werewolves are always doomed to fall victim to this beast within dichotomy. Let’s pretend that you can actually be a well-balanced, functional werewolf who is in control of the beast within and you can actually function in society. What happens then? That just opens it up. Werewolves can then become characters rather than these metaphors, which is what they end up seeming to be in most of the stories that you see them in.

While I think she’s said some interesting things here, I do think there are stories to be told using the monster within metaphor. In particular, I often tell stories where werewolves and mental illness are entwined, and I think those are important stories to tell. In my experience, dealing with a mental illness often feels like dealing with the monster within, and I want to see stories that explore having functional lives while at the same time having that monster within that never goes away. Because you can have a beast within and have a life where you function in society.

Werewolf Wednesday…Werewolf family from Sims 3 Supernatural, Silver Bullet celebration, sales art for Wolves, Newcastle Werewolf review

Tech Guru just described Supernatural as this: Two guys driving around in a muscle car doing stupid shit. I can’t stop laughing.

GamerSyndrome.com has screenshots of Sims 3 Supernatural, and one of them is of the most adorable werewolf family EVER! Even the little teddy bear appears to have become a werewolf. It’s definitely time to get a copy of it. WEREWOLF FAMILIES FOR THE WIN!

Fascination with Fear did a Friday Flashback about Silver Bullet to celebrate the blue moon. It has an awesome image of the one sheet that I’ve never seen before and want a copy of for my office, and discusses some of the most fun parts of a movie I love.

Dread Central.com is not impressed with the first sales art for Wolves. I really like it, though. It is simple, but has two of my favorite werewolf story visuals, thick fog and pine trees. (I don’t think I realized that Jason Momoa is one of the actors, and I’m thrilled. Wicked hot.)

Bigger synopsis than I remember seeing, too: Cayden Richards, 18, has it all: captain of the high school football team, straight-A student, gorgeous girlfriend. But when he wakes one dark night to find his parents brutally murdered, he is horrified to realize that he is turning into an animal… a wild, savage wolf. Panicked, Cayden runs, determined to find out what is happening to him. His quest leads him to the strange, isolated town of Lupine Ridge, where two clans of wolves are on the brink of war. The opposing clans are lead by Connor, the powerful, pure-blood alpha of a savage pack, and John Tollerman, an old farmer, committed to protecting the human citizens of Lupine Ridge. But when Cayden falls for Angelina, the beautiful, young mate promised to Connor, a battle to the death is inevitable. And as the past begins to reveal itself, Cayden’s place in the world becomes clearer, as does his power to put an end to the savage violence building up around and within him.

Bangstyle.com has a review of Newcastle Werewolf. (Which I still have been unable to find, get with it, Tech Guru and other sources!)

Excerpt: After two 12 oz attempts at it, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that Newcastle has actually found a recipe for one of the better season blends. While many breweries go for the pumpkin-spiced route of the fall season, Newcastle has gone the Red Ale route. Always a brewery that doesn’t go with the trend (especially for a major brewer), their Werewolf sets itself apart in its ability to taste just like Newcastle classic (brown ale) with an added kick that’s subtler than most. You’ll find that the aftertaste is barely there and that the beer’s taste, while not complex, is full-bodied and distinguishable from the majority of breweries that are far too liberal with pumpkin-themed beer.

Werewolf Wednesday…Wolf Lake dvds, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us photos, Hotel Transylvania’s Wayne the Werewolf

Wolf Lake The Complete Series comes to dvd in November. I have so much love for this delightfully cheesy show, I can’t wait to finally own it!

Fangoria has exclusive photos from Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. The more I see of this movie, the more excited I am to watch it. October can’t come soon enough!

(Hopefully October will also include a visit to the Werewolf Forest at The Beast, one of Kansas City’s haunted houses. Rumor has it (or at least website has it) that The Beast is America’s largest haunted house. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot.)

Werewolf News.com has some adorable artwork of Wayne the Werewolf and his family from Hotel Transylvania. I’ve been kind of meh about Hotel Transylvania so far, but this definitely helps. (Baaaaaaby werewolves, basically.)

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Werewolf Wednesday…Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Newcastle Werewolf, Jack and Diane, Wolves, Snake River wolf pack howling

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us official trailer

I am so excited for this, based entirely on werewolf + woman with a flame thrower. I don’t even care about how (delightfully) cheesy the rest of the trailer is. (Unfortunately, it also looks very likely to suffer from damsel in distress issues, but maybe not.) Universal is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and if this is the way it will celebrate, I am thrilled. More monster movies, please!

From Brewbound.com, Newcastle Werewolf available nationwide in the US until October. Maybe I will finally get to drink my damn werewolf beer! (Tech Guru bought me wolf beer the other day. I’ll have a howling party sometime soon.)

“Werewolf is a dual-character brew that pours “blood” red, starting smooth and ending with a bite.”

Delight!

Jack and Diane theatrical trailer

I remain intrigued by this movie, and can’t wait until its November release. This trailer makes me think it won’t have nearly enough werewolf to it for me, though. (Still, lesbian werewolves for the win!)

From DreadCentral.com, a new werewolf pack in David Hayter’s Wolves.

From the press release: WOLVES follows the story of Caleb Richards (Till) – a young, handsome eighteen-year-old with an edge. Forced to hit the road after the death of his parents, Caleb finds his way to an isolated town to hunt down the truths of his ancestry. But in the end, who’s hunting whom? With WOLVES Hayter’s goal is to start an original franchise that avoids many of the cliches that have become associated with werewolf films. Igor Studios’ Dave Elsey is designing the original creatures for Wolves, hot off his success creating “Beast” for X-Men: First Class, for which he recently won a Saturn Award.

I’m not too sure about it avoiding the cliches based on that description, but it is something I look forward to watching.

Oregon has posted some of the Snake River wolf pack howling.

While not werewolves, it is amazing. Listen to the pack in the distance; it gives me chills and makes my breath catch every time I listen.