Mythical Monday: Pennsylvania’s Werewolf Tale, by Mae Clair

Wolf in silhouette howling at full moonFor today’s Mythical Monday, I’m sharing a legend from my home state of Pennsylvania. Some of you who have followed my blog for a long time know I have a fondness for werewolf folklore. I used it in my first novel, WEATHERING ROCK, and never tire of the many twists and turns this legend has undergone through the centuries. Pennsylvania doesn’t seem like prime territory for werewolves, but there’s no arguing wolves in general once roamed the state.

In the 1800s wolves plagued the German settlers of Northumberland County, raiding local farms and carrying off chickens, sheep, and goats.

May Paul was just a child at the time, but she tended her family’s sheep, taking them to graze among the surrounding fields. One day, while going about the chore, she encountered a gray-haired man with a grizzled beard. People in the community routinely gossiped about a hermit who lived in the woods, and had a strange way about him. Her parents had instructed her to avoid the man if she ever encountered him, but May saw nothing wrong in befriending him.

The man didn’t talk much, but he seemed gentle and kind. Over time, it became habit that whenever May took her sheep out to graze, the hermit would appear and watch over her from a distance. Sometimes she spied wolves on the perimeter of the grazing field, but never had to fend them off. While her neighbors’ sheep suffered grisly attacks, any pack that roamed near May’s flock retreated abruptly, as if frightened away by something.

wooden fence in the grass on the hillside near the village at night in moon lightOne night, a farmer heard a commotion in his barn. Fearing a wolf attack, he grabbed his rifle and hurried outside. A grizzled grey wolf raced past, so close, he was able to shoot it cleanly. The great beast loped off into the night, but left a blood trail behind. Wanting to finish the job, the farmer followed the trail a short distance before deciding against the folly of chasing a wounded animal in the dark. The wolf was injured and couldn’t roam far.

Confident he could bag the animal in the morning, he returned to his house, picking up the trail again after daybreak. He followed the blood to the cabin of the old hermit, venturing cautiously inside when he received no answer to his shouts. He found the old man dead in a pool of blood, a gunshot wound to his chest.

When the community got wind of what had happened, locals immediately branded the hermit a werewolf. Hadn’t he always been strange and secretive, living alone, and keeping to himself? They buried his body in the dirt floor of his cabin, christening the spot Die Woolf Man’s Grob, which translated means “The Wolfman’s Grave.”

When May heard the news, she was devastated by the loss of her friend. Turning a deaf ear to the gossip, she steadfastly refused to believe the old man had been a werewolf. But thereafter, whenever she tended her sheep, an old grey wolf would watch from the distance—much in the same way her hermit friend had watched over her.

Wolves continued to raid local farms, but never ventured near the farm owned by May’s family. The old grey wolf stood guard in the distance, driving the rogue packs away whenever they drew near. As decades passed, the attacks eventually dwindled. Wolves were killed or driven off. As for the old grey wolf, it made a final appearance around the time of May’s death.

As I look back over this tale, what strikes me most about it is the bond between May and the hermit/werewolf. Usually werewolves are depicted as killers, but in this case, the creature protected not only May, but her family, and her family’s farm as well. Of all those in the community, May was the only one to show the old man friendship, and he returned it a hundredfold by keeping the packs of rogue wolves at bay.

Are you a fan of werewolf tales?

Werewolf Folklore by Mae Clair

Wolf in silhouette howling at full moonI am in a werewolfy frame of mind today. My friend, Carmen Stefanescu, invited me to her blog, Shadows of the Past.

A native of Romania (yeah, Dracula territory), Carmen has a very cool hangout, rich in folklore and all things catering to writers.  In the spirit of Halloween, I am sharing a post with her about werewolf folklore. Drop by and say “howl-lo” while you’re roaming the blogosphere. 🙂

An Interview with Caleb DeCardian of WEATHERING ROCK by Mae Clair #MFRW AUTHOR

Sometime over the summer I had intended to visit the blog of a sister author and had prepared an interview with Colonel Caleb DeCardian, the hero of my novel WEATHERING ROCK.  Due to complications that interview never ran, so I thought why not trot it out now? Among other things, Caleb always pops into my mind during the month of October when things paranormal and spooky are at their height.

Before indulging in an interview with my favorite colonel, perhaps I should share a glimmer of his tale with the blurb from WEATHERING ROCK:

WR Kensington Cover

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse? 

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her. 

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness. 

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Caleb, it’s great to have you here today. I know you don’t like talking about yourself, but I have a number of curious readers. It’s not every day we have a Civil War colonel drop by to say hello, so let’s start with something simple. What is your favorite drink?
An acceptable question, I suppose. I used to favor coffee, but the stuff that passes for it in this century is like drinking brown water. No bite. Then there are those fancy flavored things Arianna drinks. *Shakes his head* I haven’t had a good cup of coffee since 1863.

And your favorite food?
I’m not fussy. There were plenty of times during the war when we made do with what we had, or did without. I do prefer my food full-flavored, however, and fail to see the attraction of all the “reduced calorie,” and “fat free” swill that passes for sustenance these days. Dreadful!

Considering how fit you are, I don’t think you could relate. Let’s switch topics. What do you consider your best date, um…courtship moment.
The first time Arianna agreed to have dinner with me. I admit to coercing her into it, then not being at my best. There was a full moon the night before, and it takes me a while to recover from those. I have my ex-friend, Seth Reilly, to thank for that curse. Fortunately, it wasn’t the last time I saw Arianna.

And your worst date?
The costume party Arianna’s friend, Lauren held. After getting over the shock of seeing Arianna dressed as…*shakes his head and holds up a hand* I’m sorry. As a gentleman, I simply can’t say. I just recall the party was a disaster. There was that infernal shower of ball lightning then Reilly showed up on the arm of Arianna’s sister. I’d been chasing that traitor for three years and didn’t react well. I only wish the turncoat hadn’t gotten away. It would have saved a lot of aggravation that came later.

Yes, it did get rather ugly. What do you notice first in a woman?
I have you to thank for that mess. And as to what do I notice first—with Arianna it was her car. She nearly ran me down on the road.

That was somewhat problematic, wasn’t it? Let’s switch topics again. What is your biggest pet peeve with women?
Well… *shifts uncomfortably*… sometimes I have to remember I’m living in a different century. Arianna and I have had a few … discussions … about her unwillingness to listen to reason. *pauses and shifts again*

When she calls me “Colonel” it usually means she has no intention of conceding her viewpoint. After commanding a full regiment of soldiers during the bloodiest battle in the Civil War, it’s a difficult matter to concede to a single woman.

Use three words to describe yourself.
Courtly—so Arianna says. Demanding—per my descendent Wyn. Complicated—my choice.

If you could meet anyone who would it be?
I left a lot of family behind when I ended up in this century. I would like to see my mother and father again. My father…well, perhaps that’s where the “complicated” reference in my previous answer comes into play. I’ll leave that relationship for anyone who cares to read my story in the novel WEATHERING ROCK.

What is one secret that you don’t want people to know about you?
I’m afraid it’s no longer a secret to your readers that my former friend cursed me to life as a werewolf. During my story, however, Wyn and I went to great lengths to keep that particular detail under wraps.

It’s also no great secret that I find moments like this unnecessary and somewhat embarrassing. You’ll forgive me if I put an end to this silliness, er…fluff…or whatever you prefer to call it. *Stands and prepares to withdraw* As a gentleman, I am required to say it has been a pleasure. I would, however, much prefer your readers become acquainted with me through the novel, WEATHERING ROCK. With that, I will wish you a good day.

Thank you, Colonel. It’s been interesting to say the least, and I will certainly pass on the means through which readers can connect with you first hand. 

To learn more about Caleb, purchase WEATHERING ROCK from:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iBooks  

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK 

Mythical Monday: The Huntsman and the Werewolf by Mae Clair

wolfreduced1.jpgLast week on Mythical Monday I shared a vampire legend, so it seemed only fitting I share the tale of a werewolf today. I’ve been in love with werewolf folktales ever since I was a little girl and first set eyes on Quentin Collins of Dark Shadows. Since then my preoccupation with this tortured night prowler steadily grew until I eventually wrote my own story, Weathering Rock.

Today, I’d like to share an older tale with you, one that originates in the Auvergne province of France. According to legend, there was once a great lord and lady whose lands bordered an area dense with forest. All was well until a creature began slaughtering the lord’s flocks. This went on for several days each month but the creature, one of great stealth and savagery, could not be caught. Many men tried and failed.

Finally, the lord summoned his master huntsman and bade him kill the wretched beast. Surely if anyone could end its reign of terror, it would be the huntsman.

bigstock-Siluette-of-man-in-the-forest--26582798Vowing to succeed, the man set out grimly determined. As dusk fell and a pall of shadows smothered the land, he came upon the creature in a wood near the manor pastures. The huntsman drove it into the underbrush, but the beast turned on him, knocking him to the ground.

Drawing his knife, he managed to slice off of one its forepaws. With a blood-curdling howl, the wolf bolted into the woods. The huntsman tracked it through the night, but was unsuccessful in finding it. When dawn was still hours away, he returned to the manor and placed the severed paw in a wooden box as a trophy for his lord.

The next day the huntsman sought an audience with his master and relayed his tale with pride. He presented the box with the beast’s forepaw as proof of his encounter with the heinous creature. But when the box was opened, a woman’s hand lay inside. The lord’s expression turned thunderous, for the hand bore a signet ring twin to his own.

Stalking to his wife’s bedchamber he threw open the door and found her being attended by physicians. When he demanded to know why, she explained she’d suffered a terrible accident, and that her left hand had been severed at the wrist.

“Here is your hand, woman,” he thundered, displaying the grisly trophy. Then he commanded his physicians to bind her, condemning her as a werewolf. She pleaded with him for mercy, but he turned deaf fears and ordered her burned at the stake.

Not a very loving husband, was he? And you probably thought he was going to go ballistic on the huntsman when he first saw the hand (I did).

But these were dark times full of superstition and cruelty. Land and livestock held far more value than a wife. I’m sure the huntsman was richly rewarded, though the tale doesn’t go that far.

One of the things that attract me to the werewolf legend is the duality of strength and fragility, its immense power bound by the whim of moonlight. The anguish of conflict, human and creature. Vampires remember their mortal life, but once turned there is no going back. The werewolf has to constantly straddle both sides of a curse — mostly human but doomed to a bestial existence every full moon.

What about you? Are you a werewolf fan? Any favorite aspects of the werewolf curse you’d like to ponder? Or maybe there’s a particular wolf story or movie that resonated with you. Halloween is creeping right around the corner. Do share! 😀

Wizards with Words: Laura Lee Nutt, Red and the Wolf G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

A beam of light shines out from an open bookIt’s Wizards with Words time! Today, I’m super excited to welcome my Lyrical Press sister, Laura Lee Nutt. Her debut novel RED AND THE WOLF, a fantasy romance, was released yesterday. Yesterday! How cool is that?

In celebration, Laura is doing a week-long giveaway. You’ll find all the details at the end of this post, but first settle in and help me welcome Laura.

Laura, please share a little bit about yourself and when you first became interested in writing.

Mae, thank you so much for having me today. Honestly, I’ve loved telling stories since I can remember, but I really started writing them down in second grade. I would staple paper into little books and write, rather illegibly I must confess, and illustrate them, usually with horses. I wrote so much in fact that my second grade teacher selected me as her student to meet Mary Brooke Casad, author of the Bluebonnet the Armadillo books. That was an awesome day, and not just because I got to miss school. Since, writing has become as much a part of my life as walking. Storytelling has become a part of my soul.

That’s about the time I started writing too. And strangely enough I wrote about horses–and dogs, LOL. Your new release, RED AND THE WOLF, puts a new spin on the classic fairy-tale, Little Red Riding Hood. I love your tag line—“They said Little Red Riding Hood lived happily ever after. They lied.” How did you come up with the idea for the novel?

I’m glad you like the tag. I’m always a bit paranoid that people won’t like it. Anyway, I honestly don’t recall what my initial inspiration for the book was. I was sick for about two weeks and needed something to distract myself from how awful I felt, so I threw myself into writing the first draft of RED AND THE WOLF.  I recall thinking how strange it was that Little Red Riding Hood could be so content and cheerful after getting swallowed by a wolf. It made no sense to me, so I started theorizing what might have happened had the fairy tale gone a more realistic route, at least as far as Red’s reactions were concerned. Then, since I love romance and werewolves, I wove those inextricably into the tale.

I have a particular passion for romance and werewolves. 😀 I’m going to love this book! Tell us about your characters and what motivates them in the story.

redandthewolf-1Heinrich Jaeger is the hero and huntsman of the original tale. He is also a werewolf; though, he would never confess that to the villagers he protects. Even werewolves can’t survive getting burned at the stake or beheaded. Six years ago during a territory dispute with another werewolf, Blanchette and her grandmother got caught up unwittingly as pawns. Heinrich arrived in time to save them but not in time to prevent the mental and emotional trauma Blanchette suffered. Since, he humbly takes on the duty to watch over Blanchette and her family, no matter how it hurts that Blanchete always shies away. Her fear of all things outside her house is his fault, or so he believes. She has grown into a lovely young woman, one he would dearly love to set free.

Blanchette Krautbrauer still frequently relives the wolf attack six years ago. She almost lost her beloved grandmother and her own life. Since, she dares do nothing to endanger either of them, especially step foot outside her home. Heinrich is the only one outside her family that she trusts. But when a stranger comes to the village to destroy any dangerous elements left over from the old folk tale and targets Heinrich, Blanchette finds that staying hidden isn’t always the best course, especially when the life of someone she loves is at stake. In this story, she has to choose between safety and love, and the two conflicting motivations compel her to do some very brave things by the end.

Lothar is a nix, a freshwater German-style merman, who Heinrich imprisoned in the lake on the village edge to stop him from eating villagers or dragging them down for twisted entertainments in his watery abode. Since, Lothar has craved vengeance. When Heinrich’s attention slips because of Blanchette, Lothar takes his chance and concocts a plan to destroy them both.

Karl Kaismann has a duty to the Holy Roman Emperor to seek out and destroy all unnatural threats to Germany, mainly those associated with these strange tales of wolves dressing in women’s clothes and consuming children. If there is any truth behind the fantasy, he must eliminate it for the greater good. Unfortunately, Blanchette’s sweet disposition and ardent insistence that Heinrich is innocent makes his task much more difficult. When only Lothar will give him facts, what is he to do but act on them?

Wonderful Intricacies! I always loved fairy tales as a child and began reading fantasy as a teen. Having the fantasy/romance genre explode on the scene has been wonderful. What originally attracted you to the genre?

I actually started writing the genre before I began reading it. Well, I had read a couple books with paranormal and romance elements, but I wasn’t serious about digging in then. Mainly, my fantasy and romance were already blending in my own stories because I love both so much. Then I met Jessi Gage, who became my critique partner. We were both on the Write_Workshop chat on Yahoo Groups for a pitch class. Her pitch so intrigued me that I private messaged her about it. It had wolfmen and romance and a whole world at stake. That was the first book of Jessi’s I critiqued, but it showed me how beautifully the two genres could meld. Since, I’ve taken a particular fascination with urban fantasy, which is often like the fantasy heavy side of fantasy romance, and paranormal romance, which tips the scales more toward the romance end. I look back now at some of my earlier stories and realize that I’ve always included a strong romantic thread in my fantasy. I just didn’t know then that there were subgenres to support it.

Do you have a favorite scene in the novel?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that it’s probably the scene right after the first love scene where everything starts to really come to a head between Heinrich, Blanchette, and Karl. The emotions, conflict, courage, vulnerability, and everything in that scene I loved writing so much. It’s especially fun when the characters really start acting from their deepest desires.

What is the biggest hurdle you’ve encountered on your path to becoming a published author and how did you overcome it?

For the longest time growing up, I could never finish a story. I would either keep writing on and on and on until I finally realized I wasn’t going to get to the end, if one even existed, or I would get distracted with writing another story. It took me taking a creative writing class in college where I had a deadline for turning in a finished story. The pressure to get a good grade and an outside force insisting I finish made it possible. Then, once I knew I could finish a story, it became much easier to do it in the future. Learning good plot structure later on made finishing even easier and gave me better results.

Which do you find the most difficult to write – – beginning, middle or end?

Beginnings. Definitely beginnings. I find I cannot write a decent middle or end I’m willing to admit has any potential unless I feel my beginning is strong and that I have a good sense for my characters and story. My first five or so chapters always undergo two to three times the number of edits as the rest of the book.

Name three books you’ve read over and over again. If you don’t reread books (I can’t imagine!), name three books that have made a strong impression on you.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, my favorite of all time.

Shadow of the Fox by Ellen Steiber. I used to read this to my brother as a kid. Spooky, romantic, and very cool.

Most of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve actually read the whole series, but I haven’t read book seven more than once yet.

Some random facts for readers to get to know you better:

Favorite time of day to write: Night, especially with a good moon.

Favorite color: I don’t have one. I can never make up my mind between red, forest green, or blue.

Favorite holiday: Do I have to pick only one? 🙂 Let’s go with 4th of July. It has less commercialism, fireworks, doesn’t stretch the pocketbook, and I do love my country.

Sunset picnic or candlelight dinner: Candlelight dinner. Picnics attract bugs that totally ruin the mood for me. Ick!

Seaside or mountains: Mountains, especially up through Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Gorgeous.

Favorite board game: I’m not allowed to play board games very often. My husband says I’m a sore loser, which I am. If I don’t win, I get grumpy and take it way too hard. If I do win, I feel bad about feeling so thoroughly smug about it. So to answer the question more directly, any game I have a good chance of winning. 🙂

Favorite fairytale (I have to ask :)): Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, which is actually quite different from the original tales.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing (or reading)?

Role Play, mainly tabletop roleplaying games. I love the process of creating a character and theatrically playing them out. I enjoy being with a good group where everyone contributes to making an awesome story. For those of you familiar with roleplaying, my favorite games are Changeling: the Dreaming, Dark Ages Werewolf, Fading Suns, Pendragon, and pretty much anything that encourages character based roleplaying.

RED AND THE WOLF is your debut release, but the first in a planned series called Embracing Ever After. Is there a second novel already in the works? If not, do you have another WIP you’d like to share with us before we wrap things up?

Yes, there is a second novel in the works. Currently, it’s titled GRETEL AND HER GHOST. Now grown, Gretel is determined to marry and have a normal life, but nearly getting eaten as a child still haunts her and her brother. Hansel is determined not to lose his little sister and does everything he can to keep her, including driving away all her suitors. When a mysterious man comes to the village begging Gretel’s aid in rescuing more children, she has to make the most difficult decisions of her life, but ones that might ultimately set her free and satisfy her desire for a loving husband.

If all goes according to plan, I hope to have the book to my editor this spring. If she likes it, you’ll see it follow RED AND THE WOLF probably next year. After that, I’ve got partial work done on a Beauty and the Beast and a Sleeping Beauty story.

Blurb:
Six years after the attack at her grandmother’s cottage, Blanchette still hides in her bedroom, unable to hear the wolf’s cry without shivering to her soul. Nor can she scent the pine and spruce rising from the Black Forest surrounding her home without remembering the lunge of a savage beast, the thick aroma of blood, and its tooth pricking her finger. But when Karl, the emperor’s hunter of the fantastic and monstrous, arrives at the village questioning her tale and threatening Heinrich, her huntsman rescuer, Blanchette’s worst fears swarm to the fore. Unless she confronts these fears, embraces her lupine nature, proves her control over her wolf, and accepts the bond of mated love Heinrich offers, Karl will butcher her and Heinrich like the unnatural beasts that they are.

Excerpt:
Thick fir and pine scented the cool air, overlaying familiar aromas: animal musk, moss, and the lynx Heinrich skinned. Beneath all, the wind bore sickness’s sour stench.

He lifted his head and inhaled, sifting through flavors on the autumn breeze to define the scent’s origin and character. Northward it drifted, from Ulfheim Village through the woods until it chafed his nostrils, belying the idyllic afternoon’s enfolding shade and lulling birdsong surrounding his cottage.

Instinct pressed a name on his mind: Blanchette, the girl he had saved six years before from his kind’s brutal horrors. He tightened his hold on the skinning knife, ready once more to rush to her defense.

But this scent lacked Blanchette’s fullness and unsoiled maidenhood. Threads of her mingled with it, suggesting she lingered nearby. Only one person smelled so similar yet distinct and remained within Blanchette’s company enough for their scents to blend: Ada Krautbrauer, her grandmother.

He twitched, fighting the impulse to race for the Krautbrauers. To banish recklessness, he shook his head and forced his skinning knife to the forest floor. The beautiful golden lynx lay half finished at his feet. Compared to the urgency lashing his wolf’s mind, it meant nothing. Forgotten.

With a satisfying surge, he shoved up, took two steps, and stopped.

Racing off senseless like an animal might alert suspicion. No decent huntsman arrived at the village panting and purposeless.

He returned to the lynx outspread before his cottage door and retrieved the skinning knife. Survival and protecting his true nature required a strategic approach. The villagers must perceive him as human. His arrival should appear coincidental. Racing off and leaving a partially skinned lynx hardly compared with rational human behavior.

Yet Blanchette had endured anguish enough because of him and his kind. His conscience stabbed him for failing to immediately investigate the scent. What if she needed help?

As he finished the lynx and cleaned up, he disentangled the facts. Blanchette’s grandmother and parents sheltered her well. Though her grandmother could not guard her while ill, Blanchette hardly lacked companionship or assistance. Nevertheless, the slightest wavering in her grandmother’s constitution or countenance sent Blanchette’s precarious disposition reeling. What shattered state must have overcome her already?

Comparatively, what could he offer? A friendly neighbor poking his head in the Krautbrauer apothecary shop for a casual greeting fell woefully short of proper aid. Further, in feigning ignorance and concealing the anxiety the scent stirred within him, his arsenal of comforts, protections, and assurances would whittle to nothing. Even under the best circumstances, Blanchette would probably refuse to make an appearance. Since the incident in her grandmother’s cottage with the other wolf, she avoided the world outside the Krautbrauer residence. Considering all she had suffered and the part Heinrich played in bringing it about, he could not blame her.

While the lynx’s pelt hung to dry, he assembled an excuse, any excuse, to visit the apothecary’s. Firewood was his usual ploy, so he gathered a hefty load of dried logs and hoisted it over one shoulder. He marched toward the village at a forced stroll.

When wet, mossy aromas off the great lake crouching northwest of Ulfheim Village assaulted his nose, he slowed. Along the shore, he prowled and growled toward the dark king who lurked beneath the undulating waters made coppery in the setting sun.

Lothar, the nix he had claimed victory over years before, hissed a defiant spout of water at him. Satisfied, Heinrich turned his back and sauntered down the main path into Ulfheim.

Laura Lee Nutt Author ImageBio:
When the world said that life was little but disappointment, struggle, and pain, Laura chose to still dream upon stars. She believes birthday wishes can come true, that good can triumph over evil, honor and true love really exist, and hope and happiness are worth fighting for. When not living vicariously through her fiction, she seeks to encourage others to aspire to such life-affirming ideals.

Laura has been writing since she could pen sentences and making up stories long before that. She first published a poem, “Glass Eyed Inspiration,” about her admiration of Patrick Hough, a man blinded by a bullet to the head but who still fought for success and a positive attitude, a martial artist who inspired those around him. Later, once she decided to embrace her dream of becoming an author, she published “Entomophobia: An Insect Incident” in A Long Story Short and “War Drums Beat” in Sacred Twilight.

In fiction, Laura continues to build worlds, instigate adventures and romances, spark the fires of vengeance and love, and thread in that ever elusive yet essential hope. Her favorite theme to explore in writing is that, even in the darkest hour, the best of what we are can shine through and amidst calamity something good can take root and blossom.

Currently, she lives in Texas with her equally fiction obsessed husband, her rambunctious boys, and her dog, Shakespeare. Her favorite book is Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, which has one of the most heart-wrenching romances she has ever read.

Buy links: http://lyricalpress.com/red-and-the-wolf

RED AND THE WOLF is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, and the I-Store.

Look for Laura at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

Okay, ready for the giveaway details? Here are they are!

Giveaway Details: For Red and the Wolf’s release week, Laura is hosting a giveaway. There are several ways to earn chances to win one of two prizes, an e-copy of Red and the Wolf and an adorable Annette Funicello Collectable Bear Co. Little Red Riding Hood valued at $105. You have from Monday, March 4th, 12 AM central time through Sunday, March 10th, 11:59 PM central time to get as many points as you can. Each point equals an additional time your name gets entered in the drawing for these prizes. Laura will announce the winners on my blog Monday, March 11th. To begin with, you will earn your first point for the drawing by commenting on today’s post. Do you prefer more fantasy or romance in stories? Why? For more ways to earn points see Laura’s blog. Good luck!

Cover Reveal: RED AND THE WOLF by Laura Lett Nutt

Title: RED AND THE WOLF
Author: Laura Lee Nutt
Genre: fantasy romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: March 4, 2013

I’m happy to showcase this gorgeous cover for RED AND THE WOLF by my Lyrical Press sister and critique partner, Laura Lee Nutt. Release date is March 4th. Mark your calendars and your TBR pile!

redandthewolf-1

They say Little Red Riding Hood lived happily ever after. They lied.

BLURB:
Six years after the attack at her grandmother’s cottage, Blanchette still hides in her bedroom, unable to hear the wolf’s cry without shivering to her soul. Nor can she scent the pine and spruce rising from the Black Forest surrounding her home without remembering the lunge of a savage beast, the thick aroma of blood, and its tooth pricking her finger. But when Karl, the emperor’s hunter of the fantastic and monstrous, arrives at the village questioning her tale and threatening Heinrich, her huntsman rescuer, Blanchette’s worst fears swarm to the fore. Unless she confronts these fears, embraces her lupine nature, proves her control over her wolf, and accepts the bond of mated love Heinrich offers, Karl will butcher her and Heinrich like the unnatural beasts that they are.

EXCERPT:
“You are telling me a simple wolf attack caused all this nonsense about a talking wolf dressing in women’s clothes and luring a little girl to his bedside so he could eat her?”

“Says something about how much people exaggerate, does it not?” Heinrich hitched a toothy smile on his face and managed to settle his gaze on Kaismann’s hairline.

Kaismann stepped nearer. “Or how much they will lie to conceal information.”

Heinrich held his ground and stifled the urge to growl. The wolf shoved against his control. Neither of them enjoyed being called a liar, even if true. Kaismann proved moment by moment how strong a threat he could become. Could he push Heinrich past the point of control? The wolf vibrated at joyous possibilities.

“Does that bother you, huntsman?”

“That people lie? Certainly.”

Kaismann closed the distance further. Heinrich concentrated on keeping his body relaxed, face impassive.

“Then why is there challenge in your eyes?”

Heinrich settled his hands on Kaismann’s shoulders and shoved him back a step. He resisted forcing the inquisitive annoyance all the way to the ground. “You are invading my space.” He must escape quickly before he did something foolish or let his wolfish impulses get the better of him. “Excuse me.”

“Some tales say it was no mere wolf but a werewolf who attacked the girl and her grandmother,” Kaismann called low and threatening as Heinrich stalked away.

Heinrich stopped. Gripping himself with fierce control, he looked back. “There are no werewolves, Herr Kaismann. I am a huntsman. If one actually existed and wandered these woods, I assure you, I would have seen it, killed it, and reported the fact.”

Kaismann lifted his brows in disbelief. “Truly?”

“Excuse me. I have work to attend to.”

Heinrich restrained his pace with difficulty. The last thing he needed was for Kaismann to accurately guess he intended to flee his questions and suspicions.

When pine and fir obliterated the sight of Ulfheim, Heinrich took a steadying breath. Yet Kaismann’s questions clung to his shoulders with sharp little claws. What had prompted the man to snare onto the possibility of a werewolf? Heinrich had hoped most people would find such a concept too farfetched.

At least, Kaismann did not yet realize there were two werewolves in this part of the Black Forest. One way or another, his presence and tenacious curiosity would make meeting the she-werewolf again dangerous.

Laura Lee Nutt Author ImageAUTHOR BIO:
When the world said that life was little but disappointment, struggle, and pain, Laura chose to still dream upon stars. She believes birthday wishes can come true, that good can triumph over evil, honor and true love really exist, and hope and happiness are worth fighting for. When not living vicariously through her fiction, she seeks to encourage others to aspire to such life-affirming ideals.

Laura has been writing since she could pen sentences and making up stories long before that. She first published a poem, “Glass Eyed Inspiration,” about her admiration of Patrick Hough, a man blinded by a bullet to the head but who still fought for success and a positive attitude, a martial artist who inspired those around him. Later, once she decided to embrace her dream of becoming an author, she published “Entomophobia: An Insect Incident” in A Long Story Short and “War Drums Beat” in Sacred Twilight.

In fiction, Laura continues to build worlds, instigate adventures and romances, spark the fires of vengeance and love, and thread in that ever elusive yet essential hope. Her favorite theme to explore in writing is that, even in the darkest hour, the best of what we are can shine through and amidst calamity something good can take root and blossom.

Currently, she lives in Texas with her equally fiction obsessed husband, her rambunctious boys, and her dog, Shakespeare. Her favorite book is Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, which has one of the most heart-wrenching romances she has ever read.

Mae Clair: Civil War Interview Day

bigstock-Civil-War-Union-Officer-s-Swor-5577110It’s Friday, which is always a Snoopy Dance kind of day. This Friday is even better as my Lyrical sister author and critique partner, Laura Lee Nutt, is hosting me on her blog. Laura writes wonderful fantasy romances, with her debut release, RED AND THE WOLF, scheduled for early March.

Today, she’s interviewing me about WEATHERING ROCK, including the challenges of writing a 19th century Civil War officer into modern times. I hope you’ll have a chance to drop by and join us. It’s always interesting when I take Caleb on the road. 😀

~ooOOoo~

VVWAlso, don’t forget it’s not too late to comment in the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop for a chance to win my giveaway. You can find complete details by clicking this link.

Whether your Friday is spent with a sensual vampire, smolderingly sexy werewolf, or a hunky Civil War colonel, I hope you enjoy your day!

Vampires vs. Werewolves H0p: Which do You Prefer?

VVWWelcome to the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop where   participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times.

Let me share the blurb:

Weathering Rock300dpi finalDrawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?) If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf By drinking water haunted by the dead By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

Now for my giveawawy: Comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice). I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me wolfishly happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

And, if you’re a vampire girl, my friend and fellow author, Deborah Palumbo just contacted me. She was too late to participate in the hop, but she would like to offer a free Kindle copy of her book, THE UNDEPARTED. If you’ve already commented, on a previous post I did during the Vampires vs. Werewolves blog hop, you’re included for Deborah’s giveaway. She’ll contact her winner directly at the end of the hop.  Check out this wonderful cover and blurb for THE UNDEPARTED, book 1 of THE UNDEPARTED SERIES!

Blurb:

Cassandra is trying to figure out if she was actually bitten by a vampire and whisked away to his castle or if it was a very vivid dream, one which has left her to contemplate her own sanity.

Unknowingly, she is the only mortal to resist the vampire’s bite and capture the heart of the most powerful vampire that ever existed; the one who began the entire race of the undead, Quentin Castle.

For ions Quentin has felt nothing but the lust for blood. But Cassandra has awakened something in him that he had forsaken a millennium ago; he is determined to win this beautiful woman by mortal means rather than by the vampire’s bite. But will he be able to suppress his natural instinct? Will he be able to prove to the skeptical Cassandra that he is a vampire and not an imposter, a wannabe? What hideous thing will he do to prove that he is a vampire, prove that he isn’t using some kind of parlor trick, some Houdini magic, and that he is the real thing?

As evidence mounts on Quentin’s behalf and she can no longer deny her encounter was real and not a dream, will Cassandra be able to resist his evil charm and convince her boyfriend, police officer Mike Lapp and best friend Lucy that vampires really do exist and she’s being stalked by one?

To expedite their liaison, Quentin devises a scheme to blackmail Cassandra by setting up her boyfriend for a murder he didn’t commit. Cassandra must surrender herself to Quentin for her boyfriend’s sake and wait for Mike to scale the walls of the vampire’s castle and rescue her. But when her boyfriend arrives, she’s in for the shock of her life. People are not always what they seem to be.

Mae Clair: What’s Your Preference, Vampires or Werewolves? H0p!

VVWToday is Mythical Monday on my blog, and also the first day of the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. What a great mesh! During the hop, participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times. Let me share the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, because it’s Mythical Monday on my blog, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son
Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?)
If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period
By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf
By drinking water haunted by the dead
By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

USE THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW, comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice).  I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me very happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

A Rafflecopter giveaway