Mythical Monday: The Wampus Cat by Mae Clair

I’ve been a fan of werewolves since I was a kid, and readily admit to having OCD (Obsessive Cat Disorder), so it should come as no surprise that I was instantly intrigued by the myth of the Wampus Cat.

A legend steeped in Appalachian folklore and Native American culture, the Wampus has been sighted mostly in the south. From Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and even West Virginia, this half-human, half-animal creature inspires rumors often shared in hushed whispers. Standing upright with a long tail and glowing eyes, the Wampus is described as a cross between a human woman and a mountain lion or a lynx. It is said to exude an odor so repugnant—an atrocious mix of skunk and wet dog—that those who encounter it are instantly overcome with nausea.

Preying mostly on livestock, this foul-smelling cryptid isn’t above dining on human flesh when the urge arises, particularly should it come across a lone traveler out at night, or a lost child.

Attractive woman with native Indian Cherokee makeup and feathers in her hairThere are several different variations on how the Wampus Cat came into being, but the most common involves a young Cherokee woman who decided to spy on her husband. In one version of the tale, she is a jealous wife who follows his hunting party from a distance. Cloaked in the fur of a mountain lion, she creeps into the men’s encampment at night to listen as they share stories around the fire even though she knows women are forbidden. It is only a matter of time before she is discovered and brought before the village Shaman for justice. He curses her to wear the skin of the lion forever, changing her into a creature that is half cat and half woman.

In another, similar, version of the tale, she follows the men because she desires to learn the secrets of magic, listening to the sacred rites they share around the fire. Her fate is the same in this account—she is discovered and transformed into the Wampus cat by an unforgiving Shaman for her brazen foolishness.

Yet a third tale, set in West Virginia, describes the woman as an aged witch who lives alone. In the dark of night she slips from her home stealing and killing livestock. Suspecting her of witchcraft, the townspeople set a trap for her.

One night as she creeps stealthily through the dark, several follow her to the homestead of a local farmer. There, she transforms into a cat and slips inside the man’s house where she places a spell on the occupants so they sleep throughout the night. Afterward, she heads to the barn, intent on her nefarious business. As she begins the transformation back to human form, the townspeople catch her, interrupting the change. From that moment on, she remains forever trapped between the two forms—human and cat—vanishing into the woods where she remains to this day.

It is said the Wampus cat possess a chilling hiss and an ungodly scream so the next time you go traipsing through the woods don’t dismiss any frightening sounds. Werewolves and vampires aren’t the only creatures who favor the dark!

Wizards with Words: Jane Wakely and Christina’s Bear

bigstock-magic-book-9719930It’s an exciting Tuesday, when I can introduce a new Wizards with Words author. Jane Wakely has visited my blog before, but this is the first I’ve had an opportunity to interview her. She’s here today with her new paranormal/shifter romance, CHRISTINA’S BEAR. And you know how I love the paranormal/shifter stuff, right? Sit back and enjoy!

~ooOOoo~

Let’s start with what first attracted you to writing. When did you realize it was something you wanted to do?

When I look back, I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t writing (except for my almost twenty year break as an adult—and even then I was still creating in my head!) I’ve always enjoyed writing and creating things with words and it’s what attracted me—and convinced me to come back! Early on, I knew I wanted to write, but as I got older I let fear and doubt force me to give up my dream. Luckily, one day I jumped in with both feet and decided to try! 🙂

Good for you! As an author, you write in multiple romance genres and varying heat levels. Do you find it hard to switch between a paranormal and a contemporary, or a sweet romance and a sensual one?

I don’t find it hard to switch between genres. Usually when an idea comes to me, it’s very clear about which genre it belongs in and I go with it. Heat level is a bit different. I have one erotic short and one sweet one (the rest are in the middle.) I prefer to write sensual/spicy scenes, so both of those stories were a challenge—one because I had to add so much more than usual, the other because I had to take out so much! Usually my characters stay where I’m comfy and hang-out in the sensual/spicy zone, but if they pull me somewhere else, I go with it!

Please share the blurb for your current release.

CHRISTINA’S BEAR
Paranormal/Shifter Romance

Christina Mills’ loud, bubbly personality gains her numerous friends and dating opportunities. Unfortunately, being labeled a “party girl” and dating a lot can give people the wrong impression. When Christina’s dates learn the truth about her, they soon move on.

James “Bull” Johnson is a restless bear shifter ready to settle down. At the urging of his friend, he relocates to the mid-sized town of Chestnut Rock. Bull hopes the nearby forest and being near his best friend will help soothe his bear and cure some of his loneliness.

When Bull and Christina meet, he recognizes her as his mate. However, their first two encounters leave Bull thinking Christina is afraid of him and Christina is confused by her feelings toward the stranger. Both Bull and Christina have secrets and insecurities that keep them guarded, but if they can trust one another, they’ll discover they’re made for each other.

Without giving too much away, do you have a favorite scene in the novel?

I love, love, LOVE this couple so it’s really hard to pick a fave scene. I think I’m going to have to go with the Epilogue and all I can tell you is they live happily ever after! 😉

I love HEAs, so that’s good to know! How long does it usually take you to finish a manuscript?

I write novellas/shorts so if I really hustle I can finish a manuscript in two weeks, but it usually takes me three or four. Life usually gets in the way of my hustle! LOL

I hear that! When you start a new project do you usually begin with characters or plot first?

It depends on the story, but most of the time the plot comes first.

What is your next project on the horizon?

Right now I’m working on Book 6 in my Chestnut Rock Shifters Series. (CHRISTINA’S BEAR is book 2!) Next I’ll work on the final planned book, Book 7!

You are definitely busy! And now a few speed round questions:

Plotter or panster: Pantser with a few notes!

Favorite time of year: Fall/Winter

Favorite animal: Tiger

Favorite type of music: I listen to whatever TG (Teen Girl) plays for me! LOL

Favorite spot to write: I have an office, but when no one’s home I prefer the kitchen table!

A book you’ve read more than once: Annabelle’s Courtship by Lucy Monroe

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: I’d like to visit England, Ireland and Scotland!

They’re on my list too. Before we wrap things up today, is there any sage writing advice you’d like to share?

Patience is a virtue in this business! While you’re waiting, keep writing! 🙂

Well said!

Christina's Bear CoverExcerpt CHRISTINA’S BEAR
Christina Mills looked around the now half empty apartment and couldn’t help the sadness sweeping over her. She and Jenn lived here together for two years and now Jenn had been completely gone for two weeks. Christina knew they couldn’t live together forever, but she’d honestly thought it would be much longer before either one of them found the one.

Once Jenn and Matt had worked out their differences, Jenn’s belongings disappeared little by little until her friend finally admitted she was moving in with Matt. Christina was very happy for the two of them—and if she was honest, a little jealous. Not of Matt, of what Jenn found with Matt. Someone to love her unconditionally. Christina often wondered if she would ever find a perfect match.

Making friends was easy. Her height combined with her trim body and large breasts always gained the attention of men, but she’d kept most of them in the friend category. The ones that became boyfriends quickly tired of her bubbly—sometimes loud—personality. Looking for love resulted in dating often and had gained her the reputation of being a fun party girl. Unfortunately, many people made the mistake of thinking she was easy and slept around. Jenn was the only one who knew the truth and now Jenn was gone. Christina felt very alone.

Buy CHRISTINA’S BEAR from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks

Author bio
Jane has always been a writer. Even when she took a break from it for a few years, she couldn’t keep the stories from filling her head. As an avid romance reader, she finally decided her stories needed to be free, and she started writing again.

Reading and liking all genres of romance; it makes sense that she would write that way too. Her stories range from sweet to erotic, contemporary to paranormal, and a bunch in-between. She loves all romance genres, and all levels of spice.

Jane lives on the east coast of the United States with her loving husband, daughter and their Miniature Dachshund.

Look for Jane at the following haunts:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter 
Goodreads