AWOL….but interviewed!

So…I’ve been seriously absent from blogging lately. This is the result of a lot of factors…no internet service on the farmette–rural living has advantages and disadvantages; life changes–change is good, right?; and manuscript doldrums–curse you, writer’s block! It’s possible the writer’s block came courtesy of the life changes—hmmm.

Anyway, I’m hoping to pick up the blogging torch again on a more regular basis. And what better time to start than now? Today the energetic and organized Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz interviews me on her blog, One Writer’s Journey. Stop on by and say hello!

As enticement, I’ll be giving away an electronic copy of the first book in the Kitty Irish Trilogy, Trajectories. So if you–or a friend–haven’t had a chance to meet Kitty yet, stop by for a chance to win.

See you there! (And hopefully here more often in the future :) )

Werewolves Start Some Interesting Conversations…

My daughter finished reading Trajectories recently, and her best friend is about 2/3 of the way through. So when I picked them up from school the other day, they jumped into the van with a strange request.

“Mom, can we camp out the next time there’s a full moon?” my daughter asked. “And take along little jars to collect werewolf dust?”

“Sure,” I said, “but I draw the line at weapons.”

“Shoot,” my daughter said. She regrouped fast. “Can we take along a silver spoon or a fork?”

A vision crossed my mind of taking on a lion with a melon baller. My werewolf experience may be limited but I would hate to face a creature of the underworld armed with a spork.

“Okay,” I agreed. “But I can’t guarantee a positive outcome.”

We headed for home, pondering that. I came up with a bright idea. “How about if we make little silver caps for the dogs’ teeth and send them out as protection with you?”

As soon as it came out of my mouth, we all knew it would never work. Our dog Frank is afraid of rain, and Phoebe, the puppy, is afraid of stairs. The dogs would be long gone before the big boys even showed up. Silver teeth only work if they’re facing forward…which took my daughter on an interesting tangent.

Frank is greater than ten years old. As a geriatric dog, he’s plagued with a number of problems—skin rashes, goopy eyes, and gastrointestinal issues. Putting it as nicely as I’m able, Frank has the worst gas ever.

“What would happen if we fed the dogs silver?” my daughter asked.

“Hmmm,” I said. “As in noxious fumes?”

“Exactly,” she said.

I thought of a tent pitched under the full moon surrounded by eau de argentum courtesy of Frank. She might be on to something there.

It beats a melon baller.

Presenting…

This was supposed to be a post on the forensic interpretation of werewolf kills. However, it has been preempted by news of the most exciting kind.

KITTY HAS ARRIVED.

Yes indeed, Kitty Irish, Daniel Phinney, and a host of werewolves that have been hanging around with me, the family, and the critique group for several years has now hit the shelves.

I’m so excited I can’t see straight! Thanks for sharing the ride with me.

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TRAJECTORIES

Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership. Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.

Available now from Amazon, Turquoise Morning Press and Smashwords.

P.S. Don’t forget to check back next week for the werewolf kill post…it’s gripping…and comes with photos. :)

Werewolves throughout History

In honor of the upcoming release of Trajectories, I thought I’d take a few posts to explore the concept of werewolves and the associated mythology, especially as it is presented in The Kitty Irish Trilogy.

The ability to turn into a wolf is termed lycanthropy. This comes from the Greek words for wolf and human. Similarly, the word werewolf is thought to be a combination of the words for man and wolf. The werewolf is a long-standing horror story, going back as far as Ovid and Greek mythology when Lycaon was turned into a wolf by Zeus.

Fast forward through a number of serial killers in the 1500s who were accused of being in wolf form during their horrendous deeds and even werewolf trials much like the witch trials during the same time period to arrive at the Beast of Gevaudan. In the 1760s, a creature (or creatures) described variously as a wolf, a bear, a hyena, and a panther was accused of killing upwards of 60 women and children in the province of Gevaudan in France. The story was a strong addition to werewolf lore.

Time-honored trappings of the werewolf like the full moon, silver bullets, and the infectious  quality of bites—all of which figure prominently in Kitty’s story—are recent additions to the mythology and typically appear post 1800 or later. It is rumored that the Beast of Gevaudan was killed by a blessed silver bullet although this notion was actually introduced by a novelist 170 years after the fact.

Current sightings include the Beast of Bray Road, a manwolf seen in Wisconsin in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the Dog Man of Michigan. The latter started out as an April Fool’s day prank and grew into more when sightings were reported and parallels to local lore were found.

When it comes to fiction, start with a sighting by a teenage girl, Kitty Irish in the Manistee National Forest of Michigan. Grow the story with the highest rate in the state for unsolved disappearances and deaths. Add in a crusty World War II veteran, Daniel Phinney, and you have Trajectories.

Cover Art Reveal

It’s here!

And I’m more than excited about it.

It’s the official cover of Trajectories, which if you don’t remember will be released the week of 3/25/2012 from Turquoise Morning Press. Scroll on down and check it out…

* * * *

TRAJECTORIES

Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership. Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.

I think it looks great. Artist KJ Jacobs has done a bang-up job capturing Kitty’s determination and the spirit of the woods. How about you…like it?

Sweet Saturday Samples

From Trajectories, coming 3/2012 from Turquoise Morning Press. Note: This excerpt is not the final edited copy and may vary slightly from the published version

A cold drop landed on Kit’s cheek, then another. Rain. Glancing up, she could see through the gaps in the early May canopy. The innocent little cloud that had skated across the sun earlier had morphed into a monster. Gray and angry, it covered everywhere she could see. Maddie growled again and Kit checked the dog. Normally Maddie would be all over something dead—nosing it, rolling in it—but the ghost of whatever made that print held her interest more than a good roll in the blood-stained leaves.

Kit moved toward the dog. Drips came faster now, and it was definitely darker. Outside the trees, it must be raining hard.

“Come on, you big bad thing.” She leaned over Maddie and rubbed her ears gently. “You scared it off alright. Let’s get on home.”

She knelt next to the dog, clucking and cooing.  A twig snapped behind her, sharp against the hiss of rain off the new leaves.

Kit moved fast but Maddie moved faster. The retriever bolted into the dark shadows containing the carcass. Kit spun that direction too, heart pounding.

Don’t turn your back on it, her mind warned. Maddie wasn’t enough to hold off whatever had sliced up that deer in there.

Return to Sweet Saturday Samples for more great excerpts.

Sweet Saturday Samples

From Trajectories, coming 3/2012 from Turquoise Morning Press. Note: This excerpt is not the final edited copy and may vary slightly from the published version.

Maddie suddenly growled, stopping dead. One paw hung suspended in the air and she tensed.

“Maddie? What’s the problem?”

The retriever lowered her head to the ground, slowly pacing a circle. Kit leaned over the spot that had thrown the dog off. Maybe it was a coyote. Maddie hated them.

A paw had indented the soft ground right where the aging dog had gotten spooked. Kit nodded—positive it was a coyote—and crouched down next to it to get a better look. Maddie circled around her, chest rumbling. Kit knew a little about prints. Her dad had been pointing them out to her since she could walk. Deer and rabbit marks were everywhere, but this didn’t belong to one of the gentle guys. It had the four toes and pads of a predator, and it was big. Laying her hand over top of it, she could spread her fingers and barely cover it. Deep claw marks dug into the leaf mold ahead of the pads. Cats sheathed their claws when they walked; this was some sort of huge canine.

If this was a coyote, it was mutant. What sort of a thing made a print like that?

Return to Sweet Saturday Samples for more great excerpts.