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Werewolf Wednesday… Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson

I’m not sure how I’ve missed this book for so long, but I only recently found a copy of Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson.

Blurb: Who is the child of the night? That’s what small-town reported Will Barbee must find out. Inexorably drawn into investigating a rash of grisly deaths, he soon finds himself embroiled in something far beyond mortal understanding. Doggedly pursuing his investigations, he meets the mysterious and seductive April Bell and starts having disturbing, tantalizing dreams in which he does terrible things–things that are stranger and wilder than his worst nightmares. then his friends being dying one by one and he slowly realizes that an unspeakable evil has been unleashed. As Barbee’s world crumbles around him in a dizzying blizzard of madness, the intoxicating, dangerous April pushes Barbee ever closer to the answer to the question “Who is the Child of Night?” When Barbee finds out, he’ll wish he’d never been born.

That blurb sounds kind of awesome. There’s an author blurb from Douglas E. Winter that calls this “arguably the best, and certainly the best remembered, American novel about lycanthropy.” Clearly that means I need to read it.

The version I picked up is a part of the Fantasy Masterworks series, which “is a library of some of the greatest, most original, and most influential fantasy ever written.” Which sounds like a great idea in theory, but I wonder how much of the collection is works by straight, white men, as these collections tend to go.

Werewolf Wednesday…Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny and Fiona Apple “Werewolf”

I am pretty eager to get a copy of this new book, Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny, edited by Hannah Kate, from Hic Dragones. And how sad am I that I didn’t learn about the Manchester launch party until after it occurred? I could have asked my bff to hit it up for me.

Here’s the book trailer:

And the blurb: Feral, vicious, fierce and lost… the she-wolf is a strange creature of the night. Attractive to some; repulsive to others, she stalks the fringes of our world as though it were her prey. She is the baddest of girls, the fatalest of femmes – but she is also the excluded, the abject, the monster. The Wolf-Girls within these pages are mad, bad and dangerous to know. But they are also rejected and tortured, loving and loyal, avenging and triumphant. Some of them are even human…

Seventeen new tales of dark, snarling lycogyny by Nu Yang, Mary Borsellino, Lyn Lockwood, Mihaela Nicolescu, L. Lark, Jeanette Greaves, Kim Bannerman, Lynsey May, Hannah Kate, J. K. Coi, Rosie Garland, R. A. Martens, Beth Daley, Marie Cruz, Helen Cross, Andrew Quinton and Sarah Peacock.

I hope the stories are dark and snarling. I’ve been eager for the nastier, more dangerous side of werewolves for awhile. Plus, I’m always interested to see how female werewolves are portrayed in fiction. (Generally, more sexually dangerous, I think, while male werewolves are often the tortured sympathetic monster, even if still dangerous against their will, and generally not sexually dangerous. The sexuality of the male werewolf tends to come into play when the werewolf is the romantic hero.)

(DUDE! This publisher is going to put out murder mystery and horror games. I WANT TO PLAY A MURDER MYSTERY HORROR GAME. Like The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, only more complicated. I probably need to find a new tabletop gaming group and do some werewolf gaming, as much as the thought of that filled me with excitement.)

A werewolf reference more than anything about werewolves, Fiona Apple’s new album as a song called “Werewolf” and I really like this little bit of the lyrics:

I could liken you to a werewolf the way you left me for dead
But I admit that I provided a full moon
And I could liken you to a shark the way you bit off my head
But then again I was waving around a bleeding an open wound
And you are such a super guy ’til the second you get a whiff of me
We’re like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity

Not a lot of werewolf news lately, but hopefully I will have reviews and such soon. Happy fourth, otherwise. Try not to set any werewolves on fire with your fireworks.

Werewolf Wednesday…Alabaster: Wolves, Hemlock trilogy, Blooded and Full Blooded, Secret McQueen series, and Feeding Ground movie and graphic novel

This edition of Werewolf Wednesday is mostly things I haven’t read yet but would like to read soon.

Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber

Anyone reading this comic? I am intrigued, though from the preview, I’m not sure how I feel about the art. (Not even entirely sure it fully qualifies to be included in Werewolf Wednesday, but some of the reviews I’ve read have hinted that way, and now I’m curious.)

Hemlock Trilogy by Kathleen Peacock

I am really intrigued by the premise here.

Description from Peacock’s website: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

A werewolf virus sweeping across the country? Infected hiding among us? Uncontrollable bloodlust? Main character sleuthing out the truth of her best friend’s death? Toss in some delightfully snarky dialog and I am there. I hope this ends up being as awesome as it sounds.

(Oh, damn, I think I like the UK cover better, though. Deadly Hemlock, beware the wolf within. Gorgeous red riding hood imagery.)

Blooded and Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

(No relation.)

I hadn’t heard anything about this novella (Blooded) and follow-up novel (Full-Blooded) until today, but I am at least tentatively interested.

Description from Amazon: Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring. When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .

The review that brought this to my attention made me think that Jessica was a werewolf, but the Amazon description has me sort of doubting it. Either way, I’m interested, though I am leery of only-female-[whatever] in an all male race. Often that means one female character who never interacts with any other female character, and that sucks.

The bit about fighting in the ring does have me excited, though. I’ll have to look into whether the novella will be incorporated into the novel and I should wait until it is out, or if I should grab the novella first.

Secret McQueen Series by Sierra Dean

I am particularly intrigued by the description of the first book in the series, Something Secret This Way Comes.

Description from Dean’s website: Some secrets are dangerous. This Secret is deadly. For Secret McQueen, her life feels like the punch line for a terrible joke. Abandoned at birth by her werewolf mother, hired as a teen by the vampire council of New York City to kill rogues, Secret is a part of both worlds, but belongs to neither. At twenty-two, she has carved out as close to a normal life as a bounty hunter can. When an enemy from her past returns with her death on his mind, she is forced to call on every ounce of her mixed heritage to save herself—and everyone else in the city she calls home. As if the fate of the world wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s Lucas Rain, King of the East coast werewolves, who seems to believe he and Secret are fated to be together. Too bad Secret also feels a connection with Desmond, Lucas’s second-in-command…

I am a fan of stories about bounty hunters, werewolves, and vampires, at least until they go so very very wrong. This sounds like it might be fun, and if it is, there are a number of stories already available. (As much as I love discovering a great series from book one, I also love having plenty to read when I discover something awesome and new to me.)

From Fangoria.com: Ed Pressman is Feeding on Werewolf Project

Description from Fangoria: The FEEDING GROUND graphic novel, created by Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski and Chris Mangun, is about a “coyote,” or trafficker of illegal immigrants across the Mexico-U.S. border, who has to smuggle his own family into the States when his younger brother crosses a gangster. Their trek takes them into an area known as the Devil’s Highway, where they’re stalked by supernatural creatures. The book was published simultaneously in English and Spanish last year, and the movie will feature a mix of dialogue in both languages.

Something about this sounds really, really familiar. I think I’ve read a short story like it recently, but I cannot put my finger on where. (Hee, were. No pun intended though.) I think the one I read had either a woman shapeshifter or a woman hunting the shapeshifters. I will have to check my files, I know it can’t have been that long ago.

Anyway, I think Feeding Ground has the potential to be an excellent movie, and I want to get my hands on the graphic novel.

Have you been reading anything great lately? I really need to take inspiration from Eliza Reeve and start working my way through books I already own before I buy anything else, but (a) I desperately need to organize my book collection, both hard copies and ebooks (I am seeing the appeal of a dedicated ebook reader) and (b) so little time, so many stories (to read, to write).

In My Mailbox (4)…Series and Sexytimes

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

Decent haul this time, because I did a lot of shopping in the Barnes & Noble after holiday sales.

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich: Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey. According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys. Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He’s chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he’s chosen the Barrens as his new playground. Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He’s now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn’t made it out of the boys’ department at Macy’s. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel. Diesel pops in and out of Plum’s life like birthday cake – delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He’s an über bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He’s after Grimoire, and now he’s also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn’t mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs. Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course . . . monkeys.

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich: New Jersey bail-bonds office worker Lula is a witness to celebrity chef, Stanley Chipotle, losing his head, literally. Now Lula and Stephanie Plum, a bond enforcement officer, are on the hunt to identify the killers before Lula is next on the chopping block. Meantime, security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, has recruited Stephanie for a top secret mission. Someone on the inside at Rangeman is leaking client information, determined to bring the company down. Can Stephanie hunt down a killer, a traitor, and keep her Grandma out of the sauce?

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo (which apparently came from a local store to the author, because it is tagged as such and autographed, which was a nice surprise): The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary. State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship. They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts—and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear. When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? Could the brother—a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge? As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters: August 1910. Banned from the Valley of the Kings by the Antiquities Service, Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, are relaxing at home in Kent, enjoying the tranquil beauty of summer. But adventure soon beckons when they are persuaded to follow would-be archaeologist Major George Morley on an expedition to Palestine, a province of the crumbling, corrupt Ottoman Empire and the Holy Land of three religions. Searching for the vanished treasures of the Temple in Jerusalem, Morley is determined to unearth the legendary Ark of the Covenant. The skeptical Emerson wants no part of the scheme until a request from the War Office and Buckingham Palace persuades him to reconsider. The Germans are increasing their influence in Palestine and British intelligence insists that Morley is an agent of the Kaiser, sent to stir up trouble in this politically volatile land. Emerson can’t believe that the seemingly inept Morley is a German spy, but could he be mistaken? Determined to prevent a catastrophically unprofessional excavation that could destroy priceless historical finds as well as cause an armed protest by infuriated Christians, Jews, and Muslims who view the Temple Mount, also known as the Dome of the Rock, as sacred, Amelia, Emerson, and company head to Palestine. Though it is not to her beloved Egypt, the trip to Jerusalem will also reunite her with her handsome and headstrong son, Ramses, working on a dig at Samaria, north of the holy city. Before Ramses can meet his parents, however, he is distracted by an unusual party of travelers who have arrived in Samaria, including a German woman archaeologist and a mysterious man of unknown nationality and past. Unfortunately, Ramses’s insatiable curiosity and his knack for trouble lead him to a startling discovery: information he must pass on to his parents in Jerusalem—if he can get there alive. Once again the Peabody-Emerson clan must use all their skills and wiles to find the truth, prevent a bloody holy war, and save their son from the clutches of a nefarious enemy in this wonderfully engaging tale chock-full of thrills, mystery, and daring from the inimitable Elizabeth Peters.

Laughed ‘Til He Died by Carolyn Hart: Intrigue and foul play are no strangers to the idyllic South Carolina sea island of Broward’s Rock. Mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling and her husband, Max, who specialize in solving problems, plunge into a startling web of danger and deceit when a trio of deaths is linked to the island’s youth recreation center. With the evidence mounting against her, the center’s director seeks out Max to clear her name. When it comes to intrigue, where Max goes, Annie isn’t far behind. To save an innocent woman, the pair scrambles to unravel three complex interlinked puzzles: the mystery of three guns, the pulled-out pant pockets of one victim, and the disappearance of a teenager whose stepfather always had the last laugh—until he died.

Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore: The city of San Francisco is being stalked by a huge shaved vampyre cat named Chet, and only I, Abby Normal, emergency backup mistress of the Greater Bay Area night, and my manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog, stand between the ravenous monster and a bloody massacre of the general public. Whoa. And this is a love story? Yup. ‘Cept there’s no whining. See, while some lovers were born to run, Jody and Tommy were born to bite. Well, reborn, that is, now that they’re vampires. Good thing theirs is an undying love, since their Goth Girl Friday, Abby Normal, imprisoned them in a bronze statue. Abby wants to be a bloodsucking fiend, too, but right now she’s really busy with other stuff, like breaking in a pair of red vinyl thigh-high Skankenstein® platform boots and wrangling her Ph.D.-candidate boyfriend, Steve (the love monkey). And then there’s that vampire cat Chet, who’s getting bigger and smarter—and thirstier—by the minute. Abby thought she and Steve could handle the kitty cat on their own, mais non . . .
Before you can say “OMG! WTF?” Tommy and Jody are sprung from captivity, and join forces with Abby, Steve, the frozen-turkey-bowling Safeway crew, the Emperor of San Francisco and his trusty dogs Lazarus and Bummer, Abby’s gay Goth friend Jared, and SF’s finest Cavuto and Rivera to hunt big cat and save the city. And that’s when the fun really begins.

Paradise Rules by Beth Kery (sexy stories about characters of color in Hawaii, yes please!): To most people, Hawaii’s crystal blue shores are an inviting opportunity to escape reality. But for Lana Rodriguez, who grew up there, the picture-perfect vacation getaway disguises the bitter truths she escaped years ago, and not without some emotional scars. Now a successful blues singer, Lana’s returning to Waikiki to control her own destiny, with a bold defiance when it comes to men, romance, and sex. A local celebrity, businessman, and island god, Jason Koa is every woman’s dream-but for Lana, it’s not love at first sight. Though their start is rocky, they can’t deny the passions they arouse in each other. Jason decides it’s time to show Lana who makes the rules on this island-and in the bedroom. But will Jason’s attempt at breaking Lana’s shell reveal secrets that neither are prepared to face, or will they allow themselves to get swept away by a tidal wave of desire?

Pleasures of the Forbidden Valley by Diana Mercury: Legend tells of a lost valley high in the Himalayas—a place where fantasy, sensuality, and pleasure reign supreme. Diandra is determined to find this magical place . . . at any cost. A beautiful and sexually adventurous cultural anthropologist, Diandra is exhilarated when an intriguing exotic stranger offers to take her to his legendary hidden village a world away. Marriage is the price, he tells her, and Diandra hesitantly agrees. But after an arduous journey to the breathtaking Lost Valley, she is stunned to discover that local custom demands she be the wife to all of her new husband’s virile brothers as well—and that each union must be consummated . . . before the entire village! At first shocked, Diandra soon finds her new role deliciously appealing, as the passionate attentions of three enthusiastic lovers carry her to new pinnacles of erotic satisfaction. But there is a mysterious fourth brother—proud, handsome, hot, charismatic, and resentful of an arrangement that forces him to share. When Yeshi returns to the valley, suddenly Diandra’s simple life of nonstop pleasure is not so simple anymore . . . as taboos are broken and passions spin wildly, unexpectedly out of control.

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Werewolf Wednesday…Bewere the Night, Where There’s a Wolf There’s a Way, Fateful, Henry VIII: Wolfman

I’ve had some new werewolf books arrive recently, and I can’t wait to read them. I plan to do at least mini-reviews when I finish. I do hope they’re fun; I’ve really been craving good werewolf fiction.

Bewere the Night edited by Ekaterina Sedia: Kitsune. Werewolves. Crane wives. Selkies. Every culture has stories of such strange creatures – animals turning into humans, humans shapeshifting into animals. Sometimes seductive, sometimes bloodthirsty, but always unpredictable like nature itself, these beings are manifestations of our secret hearts, our desire to belong to both worlds: one tame and civilized, the other unfettered and full of wild impulse. Here are stories that will make you wish you could howl at the moon until your heart bursts with longing or feel yourself shedding your human body as easily as a snake sheds its skin. Beware the night…it might not kill you, but it will certainly steal you away!

Where There’s a Wolf, There’s a Way (Monster High 3) by Lisi Harrison: The frighteningly hip teenage children of the world’s most famous monsters have gathered together under one roof…to brave the horrors of high school! Always overshadowed by her six brothers and her fab friends, Clawdeen Wolf plans to finally strut her stuff in the spotlight at her upcoming Sweet Sixteen bash. But after The Ghoul Next Door goes viral, it’s into the woods for the family Wolf. Clawdeen goes stir crazy lying low at her family’s B&B with her annoying brothers until Lala shows up to keep her company. But is the vamp flirting with Claude?!

Fateful by Claudia Gray: Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself. Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . . Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Henry VIII: Wolfman by A. E. Moorat: Five hundred years ago Henry VIII had a fearsome temper and bloodthirsty reputation to match; more beast than human, some might say. . . Henry the Eighth was the bloodiest king ever to have sat on the throne of England. This fast-paced, exciting, inventive, and just plain bloody retelling of his reign will bring to light the real man behind the myth. Be dragged back kicking and screaming five hundred years into Tudor England . . .

In My Mailbox (3)…Deadline, Kiss of Death, The Babysitter Murders, Five Flavors of Dumb

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

Deadline by Mira Grant: Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has. But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead. Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

Kiss of Death by Lauren Henderson: Scarlett thought Dan McAndrew’s murder was long behind her, but when she and her classmates arrive in Edinburgh for a weeklong field trip, she’s startled to be joined by her old St. Tabby’s cohorts–and enemies–who are visiting the area on a field trip as well. Even more startling, Callum, Dan’s surviving twin, is in the area–and his cold treatment leaves Scarlett wondering what’s changed, especially when a series of attacks makes her believe that someone’s out to get her for her past mistakes. Would Callum ever hurt her, though? And what’s Scarlett to make of her conflicting feelings for Callum, now that Jase isn’t around? Even more upsetting, why is her most trusted confidante, Taylor, acting distant and dismissive?

The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young: Everyone has weird thoughts sometimes. But for seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon, strange thoughts have taken over her life. She loves Alex, the little boy she babysits, more than anything. But one day, she has a vision of murdering him that’s so gruesome, she can’t get it out of her mind. In fact, Dani’s convinced that she really will kill Alex. She confesses the thoughts to keep him safe, setting off a media frenzy that makes “Dani Death” the target of an extremist vigilante group. Through the help of a brave therapist, Dani begins to heal her broken mind. But will it be too late? The people of her community want justice . . . and Dani’s learning that some thoughts are better left unsaid.

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John: Piper is a seventeen-year-old high school senior, and she’s just been challenged to get her school’s super-popular rock band, Dumb, a paying gig. The catch? Piper is deaf. Can she manage a band with five wildly different musicians, nurture a budding romance, and discover her own inner rock star, though she can’t hear Dumb’s music?

In My Mailbox (2)…Daughters of Artemis author’s copies (Month of Thanksgiving Days 11 – 20)

(Month of Thanksgiving is exactly what it sounds like: a [hopefully] daily dose of the things for which I give thanks during the month of November.)

So I have failed at posting daily for Month of Thanksgiving, but I have been intentionally thankful each day, and I will share some of them here.

Day 11: I am thankful for solo road trips. I love being alone in my car, just me and my music and my machine, the road stretched out before us. I do a lot of driving at night, on lesser used highways, my lights the only thing breaking up the darkness for miles at a time.

Day 12: I am thankful for people who put up their outdoor holiday lights even though it’s still before Thanksgiving. Isolated farm houses appearing from the fields as I pass, bright white lights framing windows and doors, dangling from the roof, and trees wrapped in colorful strands. It’s beautiful and fleeting and an excellent reminder that some of the most amazing moments happen unexpectedly and then are gone.

Day 13: I am thankful for reading stories to other people. I spent some time with Tech Guru during my trip. One of those days, we were lounging around, me with a book, him watching old Whose Line Is It Anyway? episodes, and he asked me to read to him what I was reading. I was in the middle of the book, in the middle of the chapter, in the middle of the page, but I started reading aloud and continued on that way until my voice broke. He didn’t really care about the book or the story or the characters, but it was so nice to share that time together, laughing over the story.

(Laughing over the way I read so much faster than I can speak, and my brain runs ahead of me when I read aloud, and then I stumble a little to keep from skipping paragraphs at a time.)

Day 14: I am thankful for hot drinks (peppermint mocha) and cold drinks (iced caramel mocha) and the buzz of caffeine carrying me through the many, many entries on my to do list.

Day 15: I am thankful for Hulu, and for the network websites that offer streaming, which allows me to stay fairly current on the shows I enjoy without having to buy a television and order cable. I don’t mind being a week or so behind for some shows. I like being able to watch on my own schedule.

Day 16: I am thankful for good coworkers and team building lunches and having a job that I love a lot most of the time. Two jobs, really, because I also love my writing career.

Day 17: I am thankful for my publishers, with whom I have had such amazing experiences. I have been very, very lucky, and though I frequently focus on all the things I haven’t yet done, I need to take the time to remember all the things I have and all the things I love about what I’ve done.

Day 18: I am thankful for friends who remind me that I am doing more than I think I am, despite how much I feel like I have everything yet to do.

Day 19: I am thankful for the broiler, which I used for the first time today and which is amazing. How have I ever lived without it? Melty cheese on my sandwich, sourdough crunchy at the edges — I can’t wait to figure out more ways to use.

Day 20: I am thankful for author’s copies of gorgeous books. I opened my author’s copies of Daughters of Artemis today, and it is a beautiful book in person, just absolutely beautiful.

Daughters of Artemis cover

(Image description: A book cover in grays and shadows, with a full moon in the upper right, partially obscurred by dark clouds and the anthology title, “Daughters of Artemis: A Storm Moon Press Anthology.” A bare tree takes up the left side of the cover, and there are rocks at the bottom. On the rocks is a wolf and two women with pale skin. One woman is naked, the other wearing a dark dress. The clothed woman stands above the wolf and the other woman, the alpha to her pack. Contributors names are in the bottom right corner: Shashauna Thomas, Della Buckland, S.L. Armstrong, Marie Carlson, Erik Moore and K. Piet.)

It’s a crappy picture because I’m in a hurry, but oh, author’s copies, amazing.

Teaser Tuesday…Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson (Month of Thanksgiving Day 1)

(Month of Thanksgiving is exactly what it sounds like: a [hopefully] daily dose of the things for which I give thanks during the month of November.)

(Teaser Tuesday is a book meme hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.)

Today I am grateful for Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson. I finished it yesterday, and it was really a lot of fun. There were some moments of fat hate, and I could have done without the use of “crazy” and similar as pejoratives, and it was really freaking whitewashed, but the story was delightful. I love the focus on girls and women as friends and family, heroes and villains. I can’t wait for the next book, Nocturne, which I have just realized is already out! Excellent, time to put in a book order.

Teaser Tuesday
Grab your current read and open to a random page:
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson, page 278: But then, whatever was out there twitched again and a pair of yellow eyes flashed in the darkness. [Character] streaked toward the fence, her blackness separating from the shadows of the trees. She was coming for them.

In My Mailbox (1)…Werewolf Books (and More) (Month of the Werewolf Day 31)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

In a much larger package full of winter holiday gifts for people, I did receive four books this week, two of them about werewolves.

Cover of Claire De Lune

(IMAGE DESCRIPTION: White cover with thin black branches curving down from the top right and up from the bottom left. One of the small leaves on the top branch is red and dripping blood. At the center of the image, CLAIRE DE LUNE is written in black font and “Claire’s secret chose her.” is written in red. Christine Johnson is written in red font below the bottom branch.)

Claire De Lune by Christine Johnson

Torn between two destinies.

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and her crush keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf. As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she finds her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart. Burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, she will be forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

I have heard really good things about this, and I am very excited to read it, and hopefully to be excited for Nocturne, the next book in the series.

Cover for Bitten by Moonlight.

(IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A computer-generated werewolf stands in front of thin dark plants, fog rolling up on the ground. The wolf has breasts with nipples. In blue at the top of the cover is BITTEN BY MOONLIGHT. Beneath it, in a lighter blue, the names of the authors: Catherine Lundoff, Tyree Campbell, Erzebet Yellowboy, and Racheline Maltese. At the botton of the cover, in the same lighter blue, is Edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft.)

Bitten By Moonlight edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft

The full of the moon is a time of transformation for the characters in this collection of four novellas, in more ways than one. Becca discovers menopause is more than just a question of hormones. Gretchen’s life, which she views with shame and horror, may not be the worst that can happen. Paulina just wanted a place to sleep, but fate has other plans. And are there really vegan werewolves? Terror and joy, love and death, fear and courage: all facets of the human, and inhuman, condition evolve when you’re Bitten by Moonlight.

I have been really excpited about this ever since I heard Catherine Lundoff talking about her werewolf writing. (Her story is “Silver Moon.”) I wish there was a better cover; that werewolf is not doing it for me at all, and by that I don’t mean it’s not sexy and that’s why it’s bad, but because it doesn’t work for me as a werewolf. Still, I have high hopes for the stories.

(The other two books were Band Geeked Out by Josie Bloss and Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey.)

So this is the end of the Month of the Werewolf, at least until October 2012. Maybe then I will be able to post every day. Tomorrow, I will be at work for most of the day, but then I am coming home to watch The Howling and Cursed, two of my favorite werewolf movies. I’d hoped to track down some of that Newcastle Werewolf Blood Red Ale, but alas, none of my alcohol suppliers have yet been able to track it down for me. Still, werewolf movies and a gorgeous Halloween night will be a delightful way to celebrate.

Happy Halloween! Happy Month of the Werewolf!

I Recommend…Little Women and Werewolves by Louisa May Alcott and Porter Grand (Month of the Werewolf Day Thirty)

I love mashups, but find books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies problematic because I have issues with men reworking the writing of women to be more ~accessible or ~appealing or whatever. (Plus I am not really a Jane Austen fan, so have had little interest in the mashups, though I really enjoyed Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian. This avoids my issues with men rewriting women’s stories.)

Earlier this month, a friend recommended Little Women and Werewolves by Louisa May Alcott and Porter Grand to me. I really love Little Women (and Little Men, though Jo’s Boys leaves me a little cold), and obviously I love werewolves, so I immediately bought it.

The addition of the werewolf society and the worldbuilding in it was a lot of fun. I missed many of the descriptions from the original; the descriptions here have been starkly paired down. I can see why; the conceit of the book is that this is an early draft that later had the werewolves cut out and all the descriptive bits put in, but I did miss it. Since this was the first time I’ve read a mashup that involved a book with which I was very familiar, I might have been more sensitive to that sort of change.

One issue I did have was the romantic elements. One pairing really did not feel supported by the text, though I was intrigued by what could have been had I thought it better supported. The other just pissed me off, because it felt like pandering to the fans of the original who were upset about the treatment of a specific couple (I am being intentionally vague here to avoid spoilers, but I’m suddenly not sure why, considering how old the original book is, so I will stop). Basically, there are many readers of the original who feel strongly that Laurie and Jo should have married. This mashup plays with that a lot, and in some very interesting ways, but then it snaps back to the original ending in such a way that felt rushed, unsupported, and really disappointing. (And in the original, I love Jo and Bhaer.)

But the werewolf society and the horrifying bits were absolutely delightful additions.