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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).

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-13
  • http://t.co/pXmc1hqq: Werewolf Wednesday…Taken By Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes http://t.co/e5eT8UNh #
  • Finally started a new project. Thirty minute writing sprint, and go. #amwriting #demons #apocalypse #
  • 600 words so far. Think I'll go for another 30-minute sprint, just to see if I can finish this chapter. #amwriting #demons #apocalpyse #
  • 1600 words total across two sprints, and I've finished chapter one. Now to do some email maintenance. #amwriting #demons #apocalypse #
  • @The_MOW Thanks for the encouragement! Nice addition when I #amwriting in reply to The_MOW #
  • RT @dianarbol #ThankYouGlee for transphobia, racism, insistence that bisexuality isn't real, & general awful messages in guise of diversity. #
  • This sounds awesome. RT @qlitt: Panel Discussion at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival To Have and to Hold LGBTQ… http://t.co/WkzoHwfK #
  • @GirlReadsComics just reminded me I need to read #AlabasterWolves #werewolves #
  • Okay, 45 minute sprint to put together the next #werewolfwednesday post, and go! #amwriting #werewolves #
  • Really want to read kinky werewolf erotica/romance with at least one dominant female. Suggestions? #helpmetwitter #werewolves #
  • Next goal today is to fill a bag with books to get rid of. So far, only 15 books, about half the bag. Clearing out my library is hard. #
  • 23 books to leave the house, 12 books added to the To Read Next stack by the bed, 3 books I am debating reviewing, and 1 book for a craft. #

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Werewolf Wednesday…Taken By Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

OMG YOU GUYS. Jennifer Lynn Barnes just announced that in the lead up to Taken By Storm’s release on May 22, she’ll be doing some giveaways this week. The giveaways are awesome, but what I am really excited about is a new book in this werewolf series, which is, without a doubt, my current favorite YA werewolf series and quite possibly my current favorite werewolf series period. It’s awesome, and I can’t wait to read more. If you haven’t read Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire, I highly recommend them because they are AWESOME. Werewolves for the win!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-06

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Werewolf Wednesday (I Recommend)… Review of Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff (Lesbian werewolves for the win!)

(Edited to Add: Totally forgot to drop this link: “Supermoon” Coming this Saturday.)

Another Lesbian Werewolves for the Win! Werewolf Wednesday, and I cannot get enough of them.

The ebook version of Silver Moon by Catherine Lundoff is now available, print editions to come, and to celebrate this release, I have a review! (Keep an eye out in June for another celebration, where Catherine will visit the blog, and we’ll give away some prizes!) First, though, links to Silver Moon: Amazon | All Romance E-Books | Lethe Press.

Blurb: Becca Thornton, divorced, middle-aged, and barely out of the closet discovers that life can still hold some strange surprises, when she discovers that her body is changing; menopause turns her into a werewolf. Apparently she is not the only one, as a number of women in her town of Wolf’s Point seem to have had the same experience. As the newest member of the pack, Becca learns her nights are not spent only protecting the town and running through the woods howling at the moon. There are werewolf hunters in town and they’ve got Becca in their sights.

(NB: Above links are not affiliate links. Author provided an e-arc of the book for review. Also, I don’t believe there are spoilers, other than what you can get from various descriptions of the book.)

I was sold on the premise of Silver Moon from the start: women werewolves protecting their town? Characters of “a certain age” being awesome? Women kicking ass? Lesbians being heroes? Yes please, all of that and more. And I’m pleased to say that overall, I loved the story and hope to spend more time with these characters in the future. There aren’t enough supernatural stories about lesbians, or women who are werewolves, or older characters, and especially not about older lesbian werewolves who are completely awesome. I was giddy at discovering Silver Moon, and I’m still giddy after having such a good time while reading. The details of the werewolves are delightful (keeping a throat covered when laughing, because baring it says [potentially unintended] things, the smell of happiness, the sounds they can hear), and I love that this is a story about women and so many things they are and can be.

I do have my issues. There are uses of “crazy” and “insane” that I found pretty ableist, and a reference to a mental hospital that made me cringe. (Yes, I know this is language that is used in everyday life. Believe me, I know. I deal with it all the time.) Though there are quite a bit of racial diversity in the characters, particularly the werewolves, the story is so tightly focused on Becca and the things she’s discovering about herself that often the other characters get short shrift and the racial diversity falls to the background. (I’m hoping there will be additional books and the other characters will have more page time. I am particularly intrigued by Deputy Lizzie Blackhawk, who is smart and snarky and badass, and also, I think I’m in love.) The last twenty pages or so seemed rushed, especially compared to the slower build of the first half of the book. (Though now that I look at the actual page numbers, werewolf things start happening early in the book, and I can’t quite put my finger on why it felt like a slower build. I like slower builds, particularly in books about monsters.)

All of that being said, I really loved the book. I loved Becca and her changes, physical, emotional, sexual. I loved the werewolf pack, all the women and the work they do to keep their town safe. I loved the worldbuilding, the rules for werewolves, and the juxtaposition of interesting things: supernatural and scientific, monster and human, hunter and hunted, predator and prey. About halfway through, the story grabbed me and I devoured the rest, deadlines be damned, in a glorious rush of action and intrigue and lies and truth. It is truly a supernatural adventure, decorated with bits of humor and romance and angst.

One of the things I like most about werewolves and werewolf stories is the metaphor of lycanthropy as mental illness, particularly my experience with bipolar disorder: the (sometimes) uncontrollable physical changes lining up with the (sometimes) uncontrollable mental changes, cycle for cycle. There are moments where the language, the description, so exactly captures what I think of when I think of werewolves, of that metaphor for mental illness, that it made me want to stand up and cheer, except that meant I’d have to stop reading, and so I didn’t. (“… she could feel that same wildness building in her … clawing its way to the surface inside her, racing beneath her skin and preparing to break through.”)

Silver Moon does not address this metaphor. What it does address is similar, though, and really made the story appealing to me: (sometimes) uncontrollable physical changes for (sometimes) uncontrollable physical changes. Lundoff’s werewolves aren’t a metaphor for mental illness, but for the way our bodies become different with age. (Literally and literally, for her werewolves; menopause brings the changes we recognize, but also changes Becca could never anticipate.)

Silver Moon isn’t just a story about lesbians, or women getting older, or werewolves being secret superheroes, or women being victimized. It isn’t a story where the women are monsters because, wink wink nudge nudge, all women are monstrous, am I right? (Can you tell I am exhausted by all of the stories where women are victims or villains and nothing in between?) At its heart, it is a story that either we can relate to now, or we will relate to later. It is the story of change, in good ways and bad. Sometimes – eventually, inevitably — our bodies change, our minds change, our lives change, without warning, and without our desire for it to occur. We get older. We deal with mental illness, or physical. We lose those we loved, we leave them, we say good-bye. We fight to keep our homes; we fight to create a place for ourselves in a new world after we’ve been rocked by things that happen to us, around us, we fight to keep those we love safe.

As readers, many of us search for ourselves in the stories we read, often to no avail if we aren’t straight, white, able bodied and minded, cisgendered, and/or male. In Lundoff’s werewolves, I found pieces of myself, my questions about what I am and what I have and what I will become; the push and pull of pack ties (family ties) with solitary natures and the need to seek adventures alone; and those shining moments of human and monster, separate and one, all wrapped up in a rollicking adventure that was simply fun. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, because it fits this story so well.

Lesbian werewolves for the win!