Archive for » February, 2013 «

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!