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Putting My Twist on What Makes Werewolves Hot by Annabeth Leong

Many thanks to K.D. Grace for hosting me here today! I’d like to use the space to talk about the process of putting my own stamp on the common trope of the werewolf.

The word “werewolf” conjures images of abandon, freedom, wildness, and ravenous appetites. It’s no difficult task to guess why werewolves have been such popular figures in erotic romance. When I think about what makes shifters hot, it’s that very present beast within.

What makes something popular, however, can also make it daunting. A Google search on “werewolf erotic romance” turned up more than 1.7 million results, for example. How can a writer possibly add something new?

I think the key is to find a personal point of connection.

Untamed, unbuttoned, uninhibited, completely uncivilized passion sounds sexy as hell to me, but I’m not the kind of girl who would have an easy time getting naked in the woods. I’m a rules-follower by nature, inclined to anxiety, and if I found myself in a secluded area with a hot shifter, I’d fritter away my makeout time by constantly checking for approaching park rangers.

This nervousness, it turns out, gave me a way to make werewolves my own.

Any time a paranormal story is set in something like the real world, the first task is to explain why we don’t all hear about werewolves all the time. In Not His Territory, I answered that question by pitting the anxiety I know all too well against the rugged image of a man who can become a beast. My werewolves are locked down by a rigid, legalistic Werewolf Council that spends all its effort checking for the proverbial park ranger.

My werewolves don’t shift because the full moon overcomes them. Instead, they get a “full-moon exemption” from the Council, which allows them to shift one night a month, with a 24-hour window before and after if life circumstances don’t allow observance at the technically correct time. As soon as I stumbled on that sort of detail, my story, conflict, and personal angle on werewolves fell into place for me.

My heroine needs the protection of the law, because she’s being stalked by a rogue werewolf who doesn’t care what rules he has to break to get to her. My hero embodies that law, but chafes from his own struggle against the wild nature he denies.

Writing about werewolves, for me, became a way of exploring obedience to the law. What are its limits? When is it wrong? When should instinct be trusted above reason?

Those questions grabbed me and felt personal to me. They made werewolves and all they represent specific enough for me to get hold of as a writer. And this process made me understand that one of the things I enjoy about reading werewolf story after werewolf story is seeing where other writers find their points of connection in turn.

Excerpt:

“Big Timber’s worse than we thought. I need a pack of enforcers down here. The local alpha’s gone rogue—he’s stalking his ex-wife. And I think he’s also the one who decided to welcome my bus. An unauthorized shifter caught up with me a block from the station and tore me half to shreds. If I hadn’t taken refuge, I’d have been killed.”

No reply came from the other end of the line.

“Hello?” Raul said.

Gabriel answered this time, starting with a long sigh. “I can’t just send enforcers, Raul. You know that. We have to follow procedures. You’re the investigator. Do your job. Bring back evidence, and I’ll get a team down there.”

“I believe in procedures as much as anyone else—”

“Then you understand why it’s vital to follow them. When we let go of proper process, we become beasts. We can’t afford that, no matter the cost.”

“Can you send backup investigators?” Raul tried.

“The rest of the team’s still dealing with that situation in Missoula.”

“This is way more serious. Missoula’s werewolves are only threatening to break council law. I’m sitting on a pile of full-scale violations.”

“The population in Missoula’s larger. It gets priority.”

Raul deliberately relaxed his fingers. He’d pop the phone in half if he didn’t watch out. Already, a fine layer of fur had sprouted on the back of his hand. He’d have to be careful or the claws growing on his feet would rip Chandra’s carpet. Nothing brought out the beast in him more than a good, long talk about “procedures,” no matter how much he believed in the order the council was trying to establish.

“I think we’re in real danger of this pack seceding from governance,” Raul said, hoping a few official-sounding words would get Gabriel’s attention. “They’re already acting like they’re running an independent region. How much longer before they make it official? We need to quash this before they ally with the other rebel packs down in Wyoming.”

“Investigate, Raul, and we will act as quickly as we can.”

Damn. His legs were getting hairy too. Raul took a deep breath, counting slowly as he did. “The ex-wife is in danger, I think. Can I at least send her to Lewistown for protection?”

“Not without evidence.”

“The pack alpha’s claiming her house as his territory against her will. Can that claim even stand?”

“Don’t get involved in anything more than we asked you to, Raul. You can put the information about the ex-wife in your report.” Gabriel’s voice never wavered, remaining as urbane as ever.

At least one person in this conversation is having no trouble holding back his primal nature.

If Raul hadn’t seen the man shift at full moon, he’d wonder if Gabriel was a real werewolf at all.

 

Not His TerritoryBlurb:

After a devastating encounter with an illegally shifted werewolf, a wounded Raul Silva slumps on Chandra Williams’s doorstep, begging for refuge. As an investigator for the legalistic Werewolf Council, Raul’s been sent to look into instability in the local pack. Chandra’s presence makes him want to succeed at his mission for personal — not professional — reasons.

The Werewolf Council disapproves. Chandra is strictly off-limits for Raul according to both the traditions and laws of the werewolves. But after a life devoted to upholding principles, Raul’s instincts and desires are boiling to the surface. Can Raul resist Chandra, or will he break with everything he stands for to pursue a woman who is not his territory?

Available from:
Breathless Press
Amazon UK
Amazon US
All Romance eBooks
BookStrand

*****

Bio:

Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors — dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. In addition to Not His Territory, Breathless Press published her werewolf story, “The Arcadian Cure,” in its Ravaged anthology. She particularly enjoys playing off myth, legend, fairy tales, and fantastic history. She believes passionately in freedom of speech, rights for people of all sexual orientations, and freedom of religion. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong

*****

Contest:

Thanks for reading! I’m giving away a PDF copy of Not His Territory to one reader of this post. Simply leave a comment answering the following question:

What do you personally like most about werewolves?

You have until Dec. 3 to respond. Please leave your email address in the BODY of the comment, so I can contact the winner. For more chances to win, check out the other stops on my tour: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/annabeth-leong/

 

New Release: Prophecy of the Undead by Fiona McGier

Prophecy of the UndeadKeisha is a neurobiology researcher determined to discover the secret to intelligence to save humanity from itself.  What she learns leads her to realize a bigger threat comes from beyond the stars.  Yuri is a Russian vampire whose long-dead feelings respond to the scientist whose brain he admires but whose curves he can’t resist.  Will his love reach the places in her heart that she has ignored for so long?  And can they defeat the prophecy of the undead to find happiness sharing eternity?

Buy link: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615727988
Note: paperback will become available in a couple of weeks.

*****

Excerpt:

Keisha wakes up to find herself tied up in the trunk of a car, and futilely tries to escape while the men had to walk to a gas station when they ran out of gas.  They’ve returned:

The trunk opened and Keisha closed her eyes, hoping that if she appeared to be still unconscious, they would leave her alone.

She felt the tip of a gun against her cheek as it stroked her face.

“Aw, she’s still out cold. That’s no fun.”

“Just feel her up then let’s get out of here. I’m getting a weird feeling that we’re being watched…”

“By who? There’s no one else out in this God-forsaken…what the fuck?”

Keisha heard a swooshing sound and opened her eyes to see a blur of movement. There was a snarling growl, combined with the yells of real fear, coming from her two tormentors.

“Kill the bitch!.”

She felt the gun stuck into her ribs and held her breath, waiting for death. The gun fired. The bullet tore its way through her skin and chest muscles, burned through her lung, and severed arteries as it lodged in her heart. She found it difficult to let out the breath or to breathe in any more air.

There was the awful sound of breaking bones…then silence.

Someone leaned over into the trunk and lifted her gently out as if she was as light as a child. She felt herself being laid on the ground and fought to breathe as her blood pulsed out of her through the chest wound, soaking her clothes and making them stick to her. Her rescuer tore through the knots that she was unable to budge. She tried to thank him with her last gasps of air.

“Tha…thanks.” She choked on her own blood and her head swam.

“Keisha, look at me,” he commanded in a voice that sounded vaguely familiar, but very distant, as if she was moving far away from him.

She tried to focus her gaze but merely saw the outlines of a man’s torso, with a face barely visible, topped with white hair that shone in the dim moonlight.

“I had hoped to spare you this but I have no other choice now. I can’t lose you…I won’t. You must choose right now, before it’s too late. Do you want to live?”

In her mind she giggled but all that came out of her mouth was a gargling sound.

“Um, yeah…don’t think…option anymore…”

“Yes, it is. But if I do this thing, you will be changed. You will be alive, yet not alive. Are you sure you want me to do this?”

Her head nodded up and down as darkness descended, her vision clouded by the blood that was everywhere now. She drifted off and idly wondered if she was going anywhere or if she was just going to lose consciousness and that would be the end of thought.

Suddenly her mind was invaded by a tall, blond man with an intense look in his eyes that shone with a black fire in their depths.

What are you doing here? I’m busy dying…who are you?

“You are dying but not in the way you expect. What I’m doing is ensuring that you will wake up again tomorrow night. What images would you like me to entertain you with as your body dies?”

She tried to shrug but was unable to move any part of her body.

She felt herself being held by strong arms, with the tiny hairs on her neck standing at full attention while the lips on her neck created a drowsy drugged feeling in her mind.

“How about something erotic?”

Like?

She was suddenly on a downy-soft bed, naked, with a man’s head between her thighs. His tongue was driving her mad with desire as he alternated between licking her from front to back, and nibbling on her clit gently. When his fingers pulled the hood back and his teeth grazed her clit, she screamed with pleasure as the orgasm crashed through her with the force of a tsunami. She rose up off of the bed with the tightening of her muscles. Then the man loomed before her, spread her thighs uncomfortably wide and his hips surged forward. The pleasure she had just felt multiplied as his massive organ pushed its way into her, stretching her almost beyond comfort. He filled her, then withdrew only to slam into her again and again. It was almost more than she could bear. She screamed as he came, the force of his orgasm making her spasm with an intensity to match his own.

He growled like a wild animal as he pulsated inside of her.

Her muscles clenched around him. Her orgasms were like a roller coaster of pleasure, pushing her up a hill then crashing her down on the other side.

The last thing she remembered was his voice telling her, “Drink. Drink deeply. Take as much as you can hold. I have emptied you; now, fill yourself with me.”

I’m already filled with you. Her thoughts were her own but inexplicably she felt his chest move as he chuckled. Everything went black and she drifted off into nothingness.

*****

Fiona has always had stories in her head, with characters telling her about their lives. Often she wakes up with entire story arcs that she has to feverishly write down before starting her day.  Now that her four children are erudite young adults, she hides from everyone for hours, bringing the stories to life. She hopes that you enjoy your short trip into her mind as you meet some of the heroines and heroes who live there, and now on these pages also. If you want to read more, she has a series of six contemporary romance books about the members of a large Hispanic family, The Reyes Family Romances.  She also wrote two books about female spies who work for a top-secret international agency, as well as two stand-alone contemporary romances.  Visit her at: www.fionamcgier.com, where the first page is her blog.

http://www.manicreaders.com/FionaEMcGier/
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003J8QJGE

 

Free Lesbian Paranormal Goodness for Halloween

Weekend At Wilderhope ManorWeekend at Wilderhope Manor by Lucy Felthouse is FREE from 27th – 31st October!

That’s right! Lucy Felthouse’s lesbian erotic story set over a Halloween weekend is FREE on Amazon UK and US from 27th – 31st October. Make sure to grab your copy, and tell all your friends!

Get it here: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blurb:

When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms – and their bed – will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?

Excerpt:

The car trundled up the long driveway, the crunching of gravel beneath tyres the only sound as Stephanie and her girlfriend, Jenny, peered out of the windows at their surroundings.

Even at dusk the tree-lined driveway was impressive with perfectly maintained parkland, spanning for acres on either side of it. As Stephanie steered the Fiesta around a bend in the track, they both gasped. Their destination, Wilderhope Manor, had come into view and it was stunning. The Tudor style property was huge, with no less than three frontages visible from where they were. Chimneys with intricately built patterns jutted into the darkening sky, with tangles of ivy climbing parts of the manor, giving the place an appearance that was both beautiful and foreboding.

Presently, the driveway opened out into a gravelled area, which as far as Stephanie could tell, doubled as a car park for the weekend. Stephanie manoeuvred into a spot between two vehicles and killed the engine. As she turned to Jenny, she jumped, startled. Her girlfriend had leaned in close, making a scary face with her hands mimicking claws.

“Are you ready to be scared out of your wits, young lady?” Jenny rasped, wiggling her eyebrows and fingers theatrically.

Stephanie shoved her playfully, laughing. “Come on, you silly cow. It’s a murder mystery weekend, not a monster hunt. There will be no ghosts, ghouls or vampires involved.”

Stephanie got out of the car and closed the door. She’d already popped open the boot and started unloading their bags before Jenny appeared alongside her, pouting petulantly.

“But it’s Halloween tomorrow,” Jenny insisted. “Anything could happen. The veil between the living and dead will be at its thinnest, and this place is meant to be swarming with ghosts.”

“If you say so, sweetheart,” she replied, rolling her eyes. She was used to Jenny’s crazy beliefs by now. “Grab your bags and let’s get inside. It’s cold. You got the tickets?”

Jenny nodded, brandishing her handbag in response. Jenny picked up her overnight bag as Stephanie slammed the boot lid before locking the car, then followed her toward the grand entrance to Wilderhope Manor.

* * *

A little while later, they were installed in their room. They’d each been handed a “Welcome Pack” by the staff member who had attended to them at Reception, which consisted of their itinerary and instructions for the weekend.

As they unpacked, she voiced one of the thoughts that had run through her head. “Have you ever noticed how places never bat an eye at two girls sharing a room, and yet, if it’s two guys, they automatically assume they’re gay?”

“They’ll soon change their tune when they see your outfit for tonight!” Jenny replied, grinning cheekily at her. “It screams ‘lesbian’ with every stitch!”

“Whatever do you mean, you saucy wench? Someone with girl parts dressing as a distinguished gentleman does not a lesbian make.”

“True, but I wonder what it’ll do to you? Perhaps it’ll work in reverse and turn you straight!”

Get it here: Amazon UK | Amazon US

*****

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

Perfect Mate by Mina Carter

Perfect MateMonsters do exist…and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous…and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they’re not an emergency room, Lillian can’t turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead… and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren’t insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.

More info and buy links: http://mina-carter.com/bookshelf/paranormal-romance/perfect-mate/

Copyright © 2012 Mina Carter
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

She couldn’t believe she was crying. Lillian didn’t cry. Ever. She was tougher than that. Tougher than the stereotypical little woman who fell apart at the first sign of danger… Or the mother who couldn’t cope after the death of her husband and hightailed it to her lover with teary demands to “make the nightmare go away”. And conveniently forgot the fact she’d left her baby daughter behind.

She was not that woman, nor anything like her.

Once in the corridor, away from the stench of death and the sight of all that black, wrong blood, she stepped away from Jack and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. Despite the fact he’d just killed a man, there was something about him that made her feel safe. Safe with a murderer. Okay, now she knew she was losing it. Perhaps insanity ran in her family and they’d just never told her?

“I’m sorry. I’m not normally like this,” she apologized as she looked up and offered a small, teary smile. Her mouth already open to explain, she stopped.

He was gorgeous.

She’d known that. When they’d brought him in, her mind had told her that he was sex on a stick. But he’d been injured, a patient. Even though she was the hospital manager, she was bound by the patient-doctor thing, surely? The one that said “thou shalt not lust after the patients”.

Now though, without all the blood and the ragged uniform—even in the hospital gown that did nothing for anyone—he was so good-looking it took her breath away. She shook her head slightly, waiting for the hidden cameras and some cheesy reality show host to burst out of the supply cabinet in the corridor next to them. He couldn’t be for real. Soldiers just didn’t look that good.

With warm amber eyes set above sharp cheekbones, his face was bisected by a strong, straight nose over sensually full lips. A severe buzz-cut merely highlighted his attractiveness, concentrating all attention on his face. He should be strutting his stuff on a catwalk, not getting down and dirty playing soldier.

Her eyes travelled downward, and the rest of him more than fulfilled the promise of his face. He was toned…hell no, he was ripped. Even his muscles had muscles. Tall and broad shouldered, he was built like a quarterback, and his life had obviously been one of violence. Old scars dotted his skin like a mad artist had gone to town with his body as the canvas.

“I know you’re not. You’re strong.”

His words drew her attention back to his face. His eyes were blue again. He smiled, which almost robbed her of reason, but she held onto the thought for grim death. No one’s eyes changed that fast. What the hell have they done to him?

“Your eyes… What the hell are you?”

The smile turned cold, his features freezing around it and locking it into place. In hindsight, perhaps a demand for information wasn’t the best way to deal with this, especially after what had gone on in the room behind them. Walker was slumped, dead, but somehow she knew Jack wouldn’t hurt her.

He moved toward her. Only three steps, but with those blue eyes intent upon her, it seemed more like a stalk. With every movement he made, her instincts screamed “predator”.

She held her ground, tilting her head to look at him as he neared. He stopped inches away from her, so close the heat of his body beat at her skin even through her clothing and his gown.

“We don’t have time for this, Lilly.”

He lifted a hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. As though he couldn’t stop touching her, he stroked a gentle finger down her cheekbone to the corner of her lips. It took everything she had not to turn her head and press into the small caress, but she held true to her purpose, her eyes on his.

“Make time.”

His lips quirked, and everything female in her went into meltdown. He had to know the effect he had on women, so she ignored the reaction and met him look for look.

“Stubborn little minx.”

She choked. “What did you call me?”

“Minx,” he repeated, lowering his head and brushing his lips over hers to silence her. As a tactic, it worked. The first touch of his lips, warm and firm over hers, was like setting light to kindling. Heat flared and caught, racing through her body like wildfire.

She moaned, unable to stop her lips parting automatically in invitation. No matter what her mind was screaming about the dead guy in the next room and the possibility the hunk stood in front of her wasn’t just human, her body knew what it wanted, and what it intended to get.

He didn’t pass up the invitation. Groaning, he moved closer and deepened the kiss. With a ruthless sweep of his tongue, he parted her lips farther and slid into the softer recesses of her mouth. She shivered, hot and cold chills chasing over her skin as he kissed her in the darkness of the corridor.

She’d been kissed before and, as she’d thought anyway, she’d been kissed well. This was something else entirely. He kissed her as if there was nothing else in the world. As if she was his sun, his moon and stars…his everything. He didn’t kiss her, he made love to her with his lips and tongue.

Abruptly he broke away, tearing his mouth from hers. With a groan of frustration, he leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers.

“I don’t want to let you go.” The tone in his voice pulled on her heartstrings. “When they brought me in, there was just pain and blood…so much blood. Darkness was coming for me, and I was ready. But an angel called my name… I had to come back to see if she was as beautiful as she sounded.”

His words reached deep inside her. She already thought he was gorgeous, but to have him spouting words that…romantic wasn’t the word. The claim he’d come back just to see her, that hit her deep down and resonated in her soul.

“And…?”

She almost dared not ask the question, and when she did, her voice emerged breathy and hopeful. Like a teen finally meeting and speaking to her film idol in the flesh.

“Oh yes, she was worth it.”

More info and buy links: http://mina-carter.com/bookshelf/paranormal-romance/perfect-mate/

*****

Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.

Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few.

A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She’s addicted to coffee and Nutella on toast.

Links:

http://mina-carter.com

http://twitter.com/minacarter

http://www.facebook.com/mina.carter

 
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