What’s a Werewolf?

August 29, 2008 at 1:22 am (General)

On August 8, Teresa D’Amario posted the list I’ve reproduced below. And as soon as I saw it, I started wondering how her points are reflected in my books.

10. His favorite song is CHANGES.

9. You’re missing two fresh steaks which were in the fridge just five minutes ago, and hubby is licking his chops.

8. You hear strange howling every time there’s a full moon.

7. Meet the folks day happens at the local zoo.

6. Every time the radio plays the song Werewolves in London, your sweetie starts howling and snarling.

5. You find heart worm prescriptions all over the house.

4. You are busy cleaning hair from your shower drain every single day.

3. The silver necklace your mom gave you burns his skin.

2. The Hickie on your neck from the other day required 10 stitches to fix.

1. He appears naked and sweaty too many times to be called a streaker!

Back before I wrote KILLING MOON, I had an idea of what a werewolf was. And it’s pretty far from that list. Of course, some of Terry’s points are tongue in cheek. Like, the crack about cleaning hair from the shower drain. My guys only step into the shower when they’re standing on two human legs–so the reader gets a good look at a hunky naked guy.

But I couldn’t help thinking about how I measure up to the list.

My Marshall guys could live on raw steak. But they don’t respond to the full moon–despite the “Moon” repetition that Berkley put into my titles. And they just shrug when they hear that old myth about silver jewelry.

The great thing about creating a family of werewolves was that I could come up with any rules I wanted for their lives.

So my guys are all tough loners–each one the head of his own pack–because I couldn’t stand the idea of writing a werewolf who was less than an alpha male. Only their wives and kids are in those packs, and when they start fighting with their teenage sons, the kids leave to form their own packs.

Actually, they’re loners until they meet their lifemate. Then they’re drawn to that woman with a supernatural force that they can’t fight. And that makes for some howling good sex.

And what about the way you get to be a werewolf? I know that in some books, all it takes is a strategic bite. For my guys, it’s genetic–caused by an extra chromosome. That chromosome leads to some pretty bad problems. It’s sex-linked, so girl babies all died–until Megan Marshall, Ross’s physician wife, figured out how to solve the problem.

Ross and Megan have changed the picture for the Marshalls. He had a craving for family connections, so he’s gotten his brothers and his cousins working together. Some of them have gone along kicking and screaming. But in the end, the strong Marshall women have played a major role in making it happen.

I’ve got a new book coming out in April, ETERNAL MOON, with another woman who can stand up to a mate who’s a werewolf. She’s Renata, the reincarnation of an ancient goddess. Down through the years she’s been reborn over and over–and each time she and her lover have been killed by a demon. This time she’s got a chance to make it come out differently, because her lover is werewolf Jacob Marshall. And together they may win the eternal battle–if they trust each other enough.

So, what are the essential elements of being a werewolf for you? Do you want all those traditional touchstones–like silver as Kryptonite? Or is a shifter alpha guy enough for you?

Rebecca

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Winner of Lauren Dane’s book!

August 28, 2008 at 10:09 am (Guest Bloggers)

Hey folks. Sorry to take so long to get with this – Please beat me with the wet noodle now.

Ok, that’s better. I’m chastised now. Phew.

The winner of Lauren Dane’s book is….

Drumroll please.

CIARA, who finds werewolves YUMMY!

Congrats! Email me at desertpetiri@aol.com with your email address and choice of books: Do you want Ascension, or Enforcer?

I’m sure you’ll love whichever you choose.

And thanks again Lauren, for joining us at our blog!

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The Vampire…In My Dreams

August 28, 2008 at 9:02 am (General) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The Vampire…In My Dreams is now in print! If you’d like an autographed copy, just email me at tspear@flash.net. Paypal/checks/postal money orders accepted.

The Vampire…In My Dreams

Description

Love bites when a seventeen-year-old vampire and witch tangle.

Marissa Lakeland faces her worst nightmare one dark and misty night when she chases a gorgeous hunk of a guy to prove he’s a vampire. So why does the thought of tall, dark and vampiric appeal to Marissa, when there’s no way a vampire can compel a witch to do his bidding? At least that’s what she’s read in vampire lore. But lore can be mistaken.

Fledgling vampire Dominic Vorchowski knows Marissa’s the only one who can save him. Only why does she have to be a witch? Fate has thrown him together with the bewitching Marissa and if he gains her trust, he’ll have his life back again. Except for that whole eternal thirst for blood thing. And the fangs. Not to mention the aversion to intense sunlight. In any event, he’s set his sights on one girl who’s totally off the menu.

The centuries-old vamp Lynetta wants Dominic to replace the lover she lost, and no teenaged witch is going to take her guy away. Dominic and Marissa must stop the vampiress from winning the battle of the night…but time is running out.Isn’t he devilishly scrumptious??? The story behind the story was I was reading the excerpt from the opening of a book where two women sneaked into a guy’s mobile home to see if he was a vampire. And the opening spawned The Vampire…In My Dreams, only with it–I wanted the girls to be empowered somewhat–so they were witches. Now, in this world, witches and warlocks are real. But vampires are the stuff fantasies are made of. 🙂

 
Marissa’s best friend believes Dominic, who hangs around the teen burger hang out, is a vampire, and fame and fortune will be theirs if they prove it. I had fun writing the story in first person, but wanted to have both Dominic and Marissa’s point of view…so we get both. 🙂
 
So here is an excerpt from The Vampire…In My Dreams, Melissa’s point of view:
 

I couldn’t turn around to look. A whiff of subtle spice whirled around me like an invisible cloak. Was Kate still chasing after the unseen vampire, while he now stalked me instead? But they don’t exist, I hurriedly reminded myself.

Shoot. I hadn’t even wanted to find out whether he was a vampire or not. Well, maybe I was a little curious, but not enough to get bitten. Kate was the adventurer of the two of us, and bullheaded. Ever since she’d spied the guy at the corner all-night hamburger joint, she’d insisted he was a vampire. The black clothes he wore, the way he pulled his dark hair back into a ponytail. A Goth, I had explained. But she wasn’t buying it. A vampire—that’s what she insisted he was, and we were going to prove their existence, once and for all.

I itched to turn around and see if he stood behind me. I know, I know, curiosity killed the cat. But I had to look. I told myself nothing was there, but what my overwrought imagination told me stood there was a seriously magnificent guy, seventeen or eighteen years old in appearance, but hundreds of years old in reality, outfitted with a pair of razor-sharp, sabertooth tiger fangs. That’s what I envisioned.

I turned and my jaw dropped. He was there. All drop-dead gorgeous six feet of him. Darkly seductive, he wore ebony jeans, matching leather shoes and a cuffed, long-sleeved black shirt, the top buttons left undone to reveal a smidgeon of his broad, bare chest. I looked up at his face, hoping the fangs were still well-hidden and under control.

His deep brown eyes darkened to midnight and his lips curved up. I breathed a guarded sigh of relief to find no fangs extended. His sable hair secured in a ponytail showed off his square jaw and handsome angular features.

“Are you…are you…?” I wasn’t normally a stutterer, but the realization I was alone in the dark with a possible vampire sent a rack of shudders through me, at the same time wreaking havoc with my tongue.

2nd Excerpt is from Dominic’s point of view: 

I tried again to convince her of her folly. “Is that what you want? To prove to the others how you can take down a mighty Prince of Darkness?”

If nothing more, perhaps I could appeal to her sense of fairness.

 

She crossed her arms, her eyes still locked onto mine, but despite the revelation, she hid her feelings
well. “So you are one.”

I wasn’t sure she truly believed I was, not unless I admitted it. “If you say so.” I held out my hand to her, willing her to accept me for what I was, knowing my power to command her was futile. “Friends?”

 

Seemingly annoyed, she ignored my hand. “I don’t want to turn you in to be poked, prodded and put on display.”

I didn’t feel she was totally sincere, but it was a start. “But you want to prove I’m a Prince of Darkness. How else will you do it? Will anyone believe you
without proof?”

She tilted her head to the side, her face still hiding any emotion. “Any suggestions?”

 

Inwardly, I smiled. Biting her would prove it. But if I suggested such a thing, would she run off screaming? The beat of her heart had slowed considerably, but was still faster than normal. If I took a step toward her to close the gap between us, I was sure she’d bolt.

Yet I could think of no other way to give her proof. If I’d been an ancient vampire, I might have had more ideas in mind. But that was the point. I wasn’t and didn’t want to suffer
that fate. I wanted my life back, as much as it could return to normal. Marissa was the one to help me do it.

“Friends?” Again, I offered my hand, but she wouldn’t draw near enough to take it. Risking everything, I said, “All right. If I bite you, would that be enough proof?”

 

If you were him, what would you suggest??? 🙂

 

Deadly Liaisons, adult romantic suspense–did I say adult VAMPIRES??? Coming in November! Sow what do you think? Does she look like a borderline rogue huntress of vampires–while he’s the prince of the vampire clans? Hmm—though looks to be enjoying a subserviant role at the moment! 🙂

 

Terry Spear

The Vampire…In My Dreams, Deadly Liaisons (adult vampire RS coming in Nov)

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Bred in the Bone?

August 26, 2008 at 6:17 am (Deborah Cooke)

So, how does someone get to be a shapeshifter?

There are two main ways, from what I see. The character can be born into the particular shape shifter species – having some kind of different genetic profile than humans do – or is made into shape shifter by some event, often traumatic. Think of the radioactive spider bite in Spiderman, or a vampire pausing for a snack on the heroine’s neck.

This is really a question about pre-destination. How much of someone’s life and circumstances is pre-destined or arranged in advance? How much do each of us choose? Is it different for shape shifter characters? Should it be?

My dragon shape shifters are born Pyr – they are a distinct species from humans – but because one parent of each Pyr child is human, the children are indistinguishable from humans until puberty. They come into their powers then, when they come into their adulthood.

I thought that would be simpler than having – quite literally – little monsters around the house! On the other hand, there is something scary about the idea of teenagers with more powers than most – and yes, we will be having some fun with that in the Dragonfire series.

What about good and evil? Are shape shifters born with a predilection for being a good guy, or for being bad guy? Or do they choose which team to play on? In Dragonfire, the Pyr have a saying that Pyr are born and Slayers are made. They’re all born dragon shape shifters, but the bad guys have chosen to turn to evil.

That choice in the Dragonfire world-building echoes my own view of people – I don’t think that anyone is born evil. Their lives might compel them in a dark direction, but ultimately they make a choice to follow that path – or not. There are countless human stories of people who had tremendous odds stacked against them (and very bad luck besides) who refused to become wicked. I like the idea of the human spirit overcoming adversity, and of people having the strength to confront obstacles, even the ones that appear to be insurmountable.

Of course, you have to guess that in my worldview, love plays a big part in giving people the strength to make those choices!

So, what do you think? How much is bred in the bone? How much of a shape shifter’s life and choices are made in advance of his birth, and how many decisions should he get to make for himself?

What about people? Do you think we have the power to choose good over evil, and chart our own path, or is it all decided for us in advance?

Deborah Cooke

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How old is too long?

August 25, 2008 at 8:46 am (General)

Hey!  It’s my birthday today!  And that got me thinking about…getting older.  Sigh…

Have you ever wanted to be immortal?  To walk through centuries without aging?  Most of the paranormal heroes and heroines we write and read about are just that.  Or if not immortal, they have extended lifetimes.

For the werewolf story I’m currently working on, I decided my wolves would not be immortal, but live about an average of 300 years.  That’s a good healthy number.  Enough time to live a full life, yet not overdo it, you know?

My vampires, on the other hand, are immortal.  They live for a looooong freakin’ time.  I’m writing one that’s over a thousand years old.  Though, they are immortal, they can still be killed by a nice thick stake and severing their heads.  But if you sever their head first, and don’t pay attention?  They might just grab their head, stick it back on, and came after you.  (Note: always stake the vamp first, pin him down good, then go for the head.)

But seriously now, would you want to fall in love with someone who’s going to live forever?  

In my very first vampire romance, DARK RAPTURE (rereleased this September), at the end of the story, I originally had the vampire hero asking the heroine if she would marry him.  She said no.  My editor freaked!  She called me up and stated bluntly, that I needed an HEA (Happily Ever After), and saying ‘no’ was not it.  I argued that it wasn’t going to be an HEA if she married the dude.  I mean, maybe a few centuries of marriage is fine, but five, six hundred years?  Come on!  Anyone would begin to get seriously frustrated or just plain bored with their mate after so long.  Heck, I’ve been married twenty years and there are days it feels like two hundred!  Love just doesn’t work that way.  Unless they’ve an open marriage, to me, I don’t believe it can work for immortals once they start counting triple digits.  

So I changed the ending, but I didn’t let her say ‘yes’.  I made it work for the editor, though.  You’ll just have to read it to see what I did.  😉

So what about you?  Can you buy into the idea of immortals marrying and being happy forever?  Or do you prefer your paranormals to live shorter lives?  Have you ever thought about it?  And when’s the last time a major character in a romance celebrated a birthday?  I’ve never seen it!  

Michele

ps – Just so you know, there are some days my twenty years of marriage feels like only twenty days.  🙂

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What’s Your Shapeshifter Romance Movie?

August 22, 2008 at 5:00 am (General, Marcia Colette) ()

I finally got a chance to see Cold Mountain and thought it was a great movie.  And like any contemporary movie I see on TV, I ask myself, “Gee.  I wonder how this would’ve turned out had they turned it into a shapeshifter romance?” 

For starters, if the hero were a shapeshifter, it might have made his journey back to his beloved easier.  He could’ve changed and went after deer or rabbit for his meals.  And if the heroine were a werewolf, too?  Aye-ya!  Their love-making reunion would’ve exploded enough to light up the hills for a month. 

Another good movie that would’ve been a fantastic shapeshifter romance: Moonstruck.  Two brothers who are werewolves messing around with the same woman.  One way or another, a fight would’ve broke out and we would’ve found out who was the real alpha on the block.  Even worse, how would they explain those bumps and bruises to Cher’s “human” character?  There would be no way I could keep a straight face through that explanation.

The King and I would make a good shapeshifter romance, too.  The only problem is being in that part of the world, I’d worry they’d either worship Anna Leonowens or call her a demon.  That’s assuming they found out.  I don’t know enough about Siam during that time to say one way or the other.  But, I bet it would’ve made it easier to teach the kids.  Just give a little growl and they’d sit still through their lessons.  And who knows?  Perhaps King Mongkut might like the “ferocious” side of her.

Do we see a pattern here?  If someone were to make a shapeshifer romance movie today, they’d have to start with the romance aspect first.  When they don’t, we get movies that feel like it was thrown in there for good measure (ie. The Incredible Hulk, Blood and Chocolate, etc.).  Even though I haven’t read the book and it’s not a shapeshifter movie, I hope the ceators of Twilight took that into account for Edward and Bella’s big screen debut.  I know I’ll be watching closely to see if my heart strings are tugged enough to want to read the book.

Any other movies you think would make for a good shapeshifter romance movie?

~Marcia Colette

www.marciacolette.com

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ShapeShifter Romance Welcomes Lauren Dane

August 21, 2008 at 5:00 am (Contests, General, Guest Bloggers) (, , , , )

Every time I turn around someone asks me “have you read Lauren Dane? she writes great shapeshifting books”. Then there are the ones who read my books then say “have you read Lauren Dane? You remind me of her.” Well dang, I can’t fight words like that, now can I? So, when it came time to find myself a great guestblogger for today, who did I visit? Lauren Dane, of course.

By way of introduction, I’m Lauren Dane and I’ve been writing professionally since 2004. I write for Samhain, Berkley, Harlequin Spice and Black Lace. My first book, Triad, came out from Ellora’s Cave in May of 2005 and I’ve been happily writing away ever since. I write across several genres and heat levels from my contemporary small town romance series the Chase Brothers to futuristic erotic romance such as Undercover and Relentless.

One of my favorite tropes/storylines to write about are werewolves. Mmmm. My most recent release with Samhain, Cascadia Wolves: Fated, continues the story of the Warden family, the wolves who run the Cascadia Pack and the National Pack.

With this series I’ve been able to combine two of my greatest loves – stories involving large, loving families and paranormal worldbuilding.

Luckily, this has turned out to be one of my most popular series and I often get asked how I came to write this Pack.

Gosh, what seems like forever ago but was really only 2005, I’d just started writing with Ellora’s Cave and they put out a call for an anthology. I can’t even remember the title but the theme was men with dangerous jobs.

So I noodled around and came up with an idea for a werewolf cop of sorts, an Enforcer. I wrote the proposal and subbed it but they didn’t choose it. My editor wrote me and said she really loved the idea and she thought I should write it as a full length novel.

So it sat a while, because I had a dozen other things to do and by the time I’d gotten back to it, Lex had softened a bit and the original heroine had changed into Nina Reyes and some key elements had shifted. Pretty much, without my editor’s urging, I’m not sure I would have written it at all!

But I did and Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer was my first book in the Cascadia Wolves series. In the beginning, I’d really only considered it to be a standalone book but when I started Tri Mates, the story got really big and Warren Pellini was back so at that point I sketched out the idea for the werewolf mafia story arc to be told over a few more books.

I think for me, this series taught me a lot about letting the story have its way with you. Sometimes you have to rein yourself in as an author, keep your cast down to a manageable number, keep the story within the lines or it’s just too big and confusing. But other times, if you let yourself go a bit, you find things you hadn’t imagined at first.

Earlier this year the four book story arc with Pellini and the werewolf mafia ended with Standoff. I saved him for last for a few reasons, firstly the story arc needed to end with him risking his life to save his people and I felt like it would be more meaningful if he did it with his mate at his side. Also, he’s the patriarch of the series so there was an important element of saving the best for last.

So the story arc was over but there were other characters poking at me, werewolves can do that you know. And I got letters about them all the time so I decided to tell Megan’s story with Fated. It was fun to pick up a year and a half later and to start a new story without all the baggage of large multi-book storyline.

What I wanted to do was take the idea of the fated mate and turn it upside down. What if your mate was a werewolf who was raised outside a Pack? What if he hated what he was, feared it even? What if you’re happy living as a human and your mate is one of the highest ranking werewolves there is? How do you reconcile that? Because love and chemistry isn’t enough.

The book was a challenge but I’m thrilled with how it turned out and I hope readers are as well!

Thanks for having me today! If you’d like to read an excerpt or two from my books, you can head on over to my website (www.laurendane.com) to check them out.

Not sure what WordPress did to my post but it appears to have posted an older, temporary save of this post – so now adding back all the wonderful covers Lauren has, as well as letting you guys know, Lauren will be giving away one ebook – winner’s choice of Ascension or Enforcer. Just leave a comment- winner will be selected next Thursday!

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Winner of Tigress By the Tail

August 21, 2008 at 3:00 am (Contests)

the Winner of a copy of The Moon: Tigress by the Tail is

DANI!!!

Email me at Desertpetiri@aol.com and I’ll make sure you get your e-copy of Tigress By The Tail!

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The Reveal

August 19, 2008 at 9:40 am (General)

By Teresa D’Amario

Hi everyone. Hope you are having an awesome day. I wanted to share something with the readers of Shapeshifter Romance. This is a post I shared elsewhere during a “guest blogging” day, but I thought perhaps our readers would enjoy just as much, if not more. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a trip.

Sit back, and relax. Close your eyes for a few seconds, and let all your cares disappear. When you’re ready, open your eyes and read on.

———-

OK, feeling relaxed? Great.

<Imagine yourself walking through the woods. The needles in the trees above your head are rustling in the slight breeze, the smell of pine all around you is strong. It smells kind of homey, like the cleaners your mom used to use. Though at times it burns your nose, and you sneeze.

Birds are chirping and you glance up, using your hand to block the hot, North Carolina sun burning down in all its glory. It’s a beautiful day, and you plan to enjoy it, hiking through the woods. It’s so peaceful . You sit on the ground, your back against a tree, with your hands propped on your knees. You watch two squirrels playing peacefully above you, hopping from branch to branch.

The birds go suddenly quiet, and the squirrels freeze. You watch as they sniff the air. Have they caught your scent? The two furry little friends dart into the safety of their home. You frown and lower your eyes, searching. An awareness ripples through you. You’re being watched. The hairs on your neck raise, your skin tingling as you quietly search the woods. Then you see him. He’s hidden beneath the brush only three feet away. A wolf. Your heart pounds in your chest, but you remain still. With effort, you force yourself to breathe as normally as you can.

He’s bigger than you ever expected. He cocks his head and sniffs the air, then as though satisfied, he steps forward. Your pulse throbs. You can feel it, in your wrists and in your throat. Your breath is still now, because you aren’t breathing, afraid even the slightest movement will set him off.

His dark gaze meets yours and you fight back the shiver of anticipation. What will happen? Will he leap and attack? Will he turn and run?

He moves closer, only inches away. You can feel him now. His presence. That tickle at the back of your neck becomes a full blown shiver. Every hair on your arms are erect, as though electrified by his presence. Because they are. You are. This is a dangerous and wild predator moving toward you. What are his intentions?

He sniffs the hand resting on your knees. The one you’ve suddenly forgotten how to move. The soft rasp of his tongue tickles, but does nothing to ease your fears. His look is mischievous, a wolf version of a grin on his face. He drops to his belly, as though to assure you of your safety. You smile weakly, and reach out to touch him. You wish you could hide your trembling, your breath now coming in soft gasps. When you touch him, he moves onto his side, offering you safety and comfort. Your heart slowly eases the pounding in your chest, and your breath slowly eases.

The wolf is gorgeous. His coat is dark brown, and his eyes look almost human.

“>“I wish you could speak,” you say aloud.

The beast stands, and you jerk your hand away. He moves closer, nuzzling you. He has accepted you. Does he believe you’re a member of his pack? The raspy tongue kisses your face, and you laugh, filled with relief, combined with the beauty of this moment. Who would ever believe a wild wolf let you touch him?

Slowly he backs away, his gaze glued to yours. The energy surrounding him increases, and you feel the prickle of fear up your spine. A bright light explodes before your eyes, as bright as a lightning strike. You close your lids in response, but force them open, curious, yet terrified at what you will see.

What do you see? Describe YOUR ultimate Shifter. I can’t wait to see who he resembles. And if you’ve got a pic (aka, some actor or book cover model) feel free to post the link! I’ll go take a peek!

One lucky poster will receive a copy of the eBook, The Moon: Tigress by the Tail, by yours truly, Teresa D’Amario to be announced on Thursday in conjunction with our guest author visit – Lauren Dane!

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What Do Shapeshifters Eat?

August 15, 2008 at 1:00 am (General) (, , , , , , , , )

This discussion came up when I began writing my vampire stories.

Vampires don’t eat real food. Why not? My vampires eat and breathe, have a beating heart, are hot blooded. Hmmm-hmm. I can’t really get into mixing it up with a cold slab of meat. 🙂 That would be like having a fling with a zombie. Except peeling body parts wouldn’t be a problem with a vampire…not the way they heal.

In fact, Dominic Vorchowsky, pictured above in The Vampire…In My Dreams, loves pizza like any other red-blooded teen–vampire or otherwise.

What about werewolves? Only eat raw beef? Can’t have a vegetarian werewolf? Why not? If the were is half human, seems reasonable the were could be a vegetarian. Not that any of mine are, but maybe in the future…one will be. Devlyn in Heart of the Wolf craved blueberries and whipped cream–and so did Bella. Dogs and wolves like to eat other things too. In fact, my Labrador retriever loved apples. 🙂 She stuck up her nose at lettuce though.

A vamp has a really hard day at the office, and she can’t indulge in chocolate? What a terrible world that would be. 🙂 Of course, dogs can get deathly ill on chocolate, so would wolves also? Might. That’s another one of those–the werewolves are part human, so maybe they can get by with something their canine half couldn’t.

Like anything with an urban fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, futuristic, or science fiction world, the author has to be consistent in the world building. As long as it’s reasonable, or if it isn’t, as long as we give a good enough reason why the world is the way it is, then we can get away with it. 🙂

So, yep, shapeshifters can eat about anything the author wants to make them eat–or drink. 🙂 

Is there something special your characters crave? Or something you’ve read that made you think what a neat idea when it came to a shapeshifter’s food cravings?  

Heart of the Wolf
Heart of the Wolf

The Vampire…In My Dreams is available now at Amazon.com!!! 15% discount.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599988372/ref=cm_cmu_up_thanks_hdr

Terry Spear

Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf (final edits!), The Vampire…In My Dreams (Aug 26!)

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