Werewolves. The supposed power, and very ancient belief, that a man (or woman) can turn into a wolf. About the only legend older and more popular than werewolves are vampires.
Werewolves have made great leaps (pun intended) in the world of books and films. Once the savage enemy of decency and humankind—not entirely unlike their flip-coined counterpart the vampire—they’re now more likely to be depicted as tortured anti-heroes than wild animals. Werewolves fill the shelves of the romance section of bookstores these days. They paw their way through science fiction, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, erotica and all manner of sub-genres contained therein.
This month I’ll be celebrating the werewolf in all his ghastly and fascinating forms, from reluctant werewolves like David Kessler and Ginger Fitzgerald, to more organic werewolves like Vivian Gandillon, and even werewolf-like creatures like The Wolfen.
So what’s the big occasion? I’ve just released my first werewolf-centric novel, A Werewolf in Time (Mrs. McGillicuddy #2) and I want to celebrate werewolves with you all month!
A Werewolf in Time introduces a new character in my ongoing Mrs. McGillicuddy series, Malcolm Whitby, or, as he’s known locally in the East Anglia region where he originates, the Werewolf of Whitby. He doesn’t follow all the traditional rules of lycanthropy. For instance, he can shapeshift at will, with or without a full moon, but he, like the other werewolves in the book, have to submit themselves to the change fairly regularly in order to maintain full control over themselves. Malcolm’s appetites run a little…hot, as Eliza McGillicuddy is about to find out. Malcolm is also the “king of his kind,” and a professional “hunting dog” to the abiding vampire population—i.e., he works at the behest of a powerful vampire. He’s also been asleep for 500 years at the time of the story! Talk about culture shock. We’ll cut to a scene between Malcolm and Eliza:
She drove them to a little teahouse that looked especially touristy. She thought it was best to avoid the local hangouts. Maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t make a spectacle of themselves. She ordered two cups of sweet chai tea and she and Malcolm sat in a corner booth with a pile of digestive biscuits between them. Malcolm liked the biscuits very much. He ate ten while she was still nibbling on her first.
It occurred to her that Malcolm might be hungry. She imagined that five hundred years of suspended animation in a tank full of mystery substance could work up quite an appetite in just about anyone. Malcolm stopped swallowing the biscuits and wiped the crumbs away from his chin very properly with the cloth napkin in his lap. “Forgive me. These are very good.”
She raised her brows. “Did Megan give you any food at all?”
He nodded. “She gave me four chickens.”
“Four? Not raw?”
He smiled, not offended. “They were roasted. They were good.”
“You ate four chickens before we left the castle?” Then she reminded herself that Malcolm was a werewolf like Megan, and his lot seemed to be serious foodies, unlike her own undead boys, who lived on blood, sex and intrigue. She recalled Megan’s “food hangover” and smiled despite herself. “Do you want some more chicken?”
He shook his head, though his eyes wandered to the serving bar across the room where a couple of glass cake plates waited. One covered some croissants and another some chocolate brownies. “May I have more of these?” he asked, holding up the last biscuit.
Eliza called the waitress over and Malcolm ordered everything on the pasty menu. Terrific, she thought, she had a werewolf with a serious sugar addiction. While Malcolm tested the wares, eating them with his fingers and a gusto she wasn’t used to seeing, Eliza went over the names and addresses she had written down in her notebook, trying to determine who they should visit first.
“What will you do when you approach these villagers? You canna ask them forthright if they are Fae,” Malcolm said. He looked sad after he’d eaten the last croissant, but the moment he tasted his first brownie, his face lit up like a little boy’s at Christmas. Malcolm had discovered chocolate. This was going to cost her a small fortune, she realized, but she had to admit it was worth it just to see an expression like that on a grown man’s face. Edwin never looked like a cute little boy, especially when he ate.
“I’ll think of something,” she said. “You said the Fae have some common characteristics?”
“Yes,” he said as he next tucked into a pile of scones filled with jelly. “They are tall and usually very fair and delicate. They look almost breakable. They look, well…
“Fey?” she offered.
When some of the jelly got on his fingers, he dutifully wiped them on his napkin, then stared longingly at the napkin. Eliza had the distinct impression that were Malcolm alone, he might have licked his fingers clean. Ridiculously, the thought made her stomach jump in a funny way. Their waitress was leaning against the serving bar, watching Malcolm avidly and giggling into a cell phone. Lovely. They were making waves all over the village now.
“We probably shouldn’t stay here too long,” Eliza said, glancing around at the quaint, cottage-like interior of the teahouse, then clapping her notebook shut. “They’re starting to notice us.”
Malcolm shrugged, losing interest in the scones as he watched the waitress. “Why is the barmaid talking to herself?” he asked.
“Don’t call her that. And she’s not talking to herself. She’s talking on a cell phone. It’s a long-distance communication device.” She paused as she thought about that. “Oh lord, wait till you see someone on Bluetooth. You’ll love that.”
“I am not a Lord, good or otherwise,” Malcolm said, his voice pitched low as he contemplated his remaining scones, the jelly leaking from them like bright red stage blood. “I am Freki, the king of my kind, and the Hunting Dog of the Wild Hunt.” He licked jelly off his thumb, looking very proud of himself.
Eliza sighed. She had a feeling they had a very long day ahead of them.
Below you’ll find the places I’ll be. Ten reviews over a mere twenty days!
Be sure to bookmark the above page and to check back every single day so you don’t miss a single. review. And if I’ve intrigued you with the above passage, please take a gander at A Werewolf in Time, now available from Amazon, Amazon International sites, and Barnes & Noble.
See you soon!