Werewolves vs Wolf Shifters

Am I the only person who loves the trend where authors create a wolf shifter and have them called a werewolf because real werewolves are a myth but shifters are real? One True Mate (Westin Pack Book 1) by [Trettel, Julie]

I know I can’t be. In my opinion, that opens up so many more options. However, I still do love me some straight up naturally evil werewolves! So today, let’s talk about this.

The werewolf from legend/mythology is that one who changes at the full moon and can’t control that shift, and is pretty much a normal human being the rest of the time. Legend says they can be killed by a silver bullet, and that being bitten by a werewolf is all that it takes to start turning into one every full moon. They’re usually depicted as a wolf who stands more like a human on their hind legs than an actual wolf on all four, though they are versatile when chasing their prey.

Knight (Sons of the Alpha Book 1) by [Carmichael, Addison]

Meanwhile, wolf shifters keep their true wolf form for the most part, and can secondarily in some cases choose to stand straight like a human. I’ve read where some are also prone to being killed by silver, and others were any means that would kill a regular wolf would kill them. However, in these cases they can withstand far more than a regular wolf and heal more quickly in wolf form.

A lot of these similarities and differences can be found in movies as well as books (and obviously this is the case in a book to movie adaption.) It’s always fun to see what the artists in both mediums do to portray these creatures.

When I was working on First Blood, I knew I wanted to incorporate both versions of the Werewolf, what I call the true version and shifter version. While Jackson is only a shifter, and is referred to as such, many wolf shifters use the name werewolf loosely. I guess that makes Jackson a werewolf in some circles. That left me with the real werewolves. Creating rules around their species, specifically the laws they have to abide by, was so fun. And when the werewolves got out…well that was bound to happen, lol.

 

Off the top of my head, some books with one of the other version that I would recommend are:

 

Karen Lynch: Relentless Series

Melissa Haag: Judgement of the Six Series

Melanie Gilbert: Alpha King

Julie Trettel: Westin Pack Series

Heather Hildenbrand: Dirty Blood Series

Quinn Loftis: Grey Wolf Series

Addison Carmichael: Sons of the Alpha Series

Rachel Jonas: The Lost Royals Saga

Alpha King by [Gilbert, Melanie]

Others I have in my TBR Pile:

Bethany Wicker: Unexpected Alpha

Karina Espinosa: Shift

Olivia Wildenstein: A Pack of Blood and Lies

Leia Stone: Matefinder

SHIFT (Mackenzie Grey: Origins Book 1) by [Espinosa, Karina]

I’m probably forgetting several, but off the top of my head, this is what you get! Hopefully you found this fun. More creatures to come!

Homeward Bound

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Last Wednesday was the start of my social isolation and working from home. It’s been a full week of living by myself with just my dog, and I’ve survived! Yay! Honestly, though, it’s not much of a change from the norm. I work in an office by myself and come home to just my dog. It doesn’t bother me. We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks, but thus far, it’s been pretty good.

I’m much more productive with my day job at home, so no complaints there that I have to work from home. We’ve had a few nice days, so I’ve been able to take the Writing Companion on a few short walks up and down the street. We haven’t really seen anyone, but when we do, we give them space, as they do for us. We’re trying to do our part in stopping spreading this virus.

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This is a hard time for so many, and my thoughts and prayers are with all those suffering. Even for me it’s been stressful. While I don’t mind being alone, I miss going to my sister’s house and hugging my nieces and nephew. And my sister. She’s dropped some supplies from a mutual source at my place, but we stayed apart just in case.

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So, we all need stress relief right now. I suggest taking the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do or things you haven’t done in forever. My mom and two of my sisters have started to just play the piano again for fun. Me and another sister have been baking far more. It’s nice to get up a little early before work and start making muffins. They’re delicious and a fun way to start the day. One of my muffins didn’t quite turn out, but they still taste amazing! The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins were perfect! (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe) I’ve also made some no bake cookies and plan to make more kinds as the working from home/social isolation continues. A few of my FB friends have taken to gardening, some to sorting their homes (I’ve started this too), and others to drawing/painting.

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Feel free to leave a comment about what you’re doing to relieve the stress of these times! I hope that once we’re allowed back to normal life (whatever that normal will look like) that we don’t forget to keep doing those things that bring us happiness.

 

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

What is it Wednesday: Shifters

Before I get into my newly regular What is it Wednesday post, I’d like to explain this weekly (or so is the hope) post. In my books, I have a lot of different creatures, and they’re so fun to work with. Some of them are real (as in popular among the general public) and others I’ve completely made up. In my most recent series, there are so many different species of creatures that even my mom told me it was difficult to know what was real and what I’d invented. Hopefully these posts will be fun and informative at the same time! And let you know what’s real and what isn’t!

So, let’s start this off with Shifters!

painting mighty tiger and lion head on ornamental background and mystic woman face, computer collage.

Lately when explaining my books to people, I’ve found that quite a large majority have no idea what a shifter is when I tell them I write shifter novels. I then have to explain it. So, for those of you who have no idea what a shifter actually is, it’s a person who can shift into something, usually an animal of some kind, but it doesn’t have to be an animal. It’s kind of like the “Animorphs” series. And though it’s rare, I have seen where it’s an animal who can shift into a human (the biggest difference is that they started off as an animal but through magic or some sort of power became human and then have the ability to shift back and forth and must learn about their human side).

Silhouette of beautiful woman with shadow of wolf with crescent moon and stars isolated. Sticker, print or tattoo design vector illustration. Pagan totem, wiccan familiar spirit art

All of my books have shifters of some sort in them, whether it be tigers, dragons, polar bears, gargoyles, and let’s face it, the First Blood series is loaded with them (snow leopard, gorilla, fox, wolf, raccoon, etc). Why do I love writing shifters so much? Because there’s so much you can do with them! They have greater use of their senses. They’re not quite human or animal so anything is possible (like scenting emotion or hearing heartbeats). Their bodies might even be able to withstand more than a regular human and they could be stronger.

And who doesn’t love animals??? This allows me to write an animal-like character (such as when they’re in animal form) with a human intelligence. That’s fun. At least for me. It opens up so many possibilities!

What are some of your favorite shifters? Do you have characters from books that you absolutely love who can shift between forms?

More to come on my specific shifters in weeks to come!!

It’s a time to be Thankful

Chrissa ThankfulFor those of us in the United States, the Thanksgiving season is upon us. It’s a time to be grateful for the blessings that we have, even in the midst of hardships. Plus, who can resist all the delicious food? Or what we hope is delicious. It’s at this time of year we find out who can cook, who should be a chef, what not to do in the future, and dishes we’ll make a part of the meal as a new tradition. Last year, it took three grown adults over an hour to put together homemade stuffing even before it got baked. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but they like it. However, we all agreed that it wasn’t quite worth the time and effort we put into it. We’ll stick to Stove Top from now on.

Raven Thankful

This year I’ll be at my sister’s house again. We still haven’t talked much about a menu, but I doubt it’ll change too much from past years. Gotta have the turkey, potatoes/gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and jellos. Oh, and rolls. Let’s not forget that. Then there’s the pies. I’m not a huge fan of pies, but there are a few that I like.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what’s your favorite food at family functions?

Larissa Thankful

But Thanksgiving isn’t just about food. It’s being thankful. I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Not everything goes as planned, but it all has a way of working out in the end. Many times, I need to learn a lesson of some kind through the trouble, and I’m evermore thankful for that. Challenges force us to grow, even when we’d rather stay as we are. I know I’ve grown this year. I also know that the more grateful that I am in life, the happier I am. Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful, but if we put in extra effort, even just to be thankful for a sunny day or that the dog puked on the hardwood instead of the carpet, we’ll find a sliver of happiness through the storms of life.

Jolly Thankful

The time of Thanksgiving also allows me the opportunity to not only think about what I’m grateful for, but also what my characters are grateful for. Being an author, the characters are alive to me. Each one has a life outside of those pages and they each have a variety of things they’re thankful for in their lives. The pictures in this post are just a few examples.

 

What are you thankful for this year?

Holly Thankful

I’m thankful to be in a new apartment in a safer area, that I still have a job, that I can write all the fun stories, and that my car gets me from point A to point B. (One of my sisters calls it my little wind-up car because it’s so small). I’m also thankful for the little things: my dog’s companionship, that I didn’t burn the last batch of brownies, and that I actually have another brownie mix in the cupboard. #browniesarelife

Aeron Thankful

As we go through life, let’s remember to be thankful all year, and not just at this time of the year. Gratitude truly does wonders for the happiness in our lives. It’s the small things that can make it possible to be happy through the storms of life.

~Heather

#SnippetSaturday: Nov 8th

It’s Snippet Saturday again! That week rolled by pretty quick. Today’s snippet comes from the upcoming Christmas book, Snowbound Christmas. Here we have Flint meeting some of the North Pole’s occupants! Cider is one of my new faves.

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Cocoa House was on the corner of Mistletoe Lane and Christmas Crossing, and like the Bakery, it was bustling inside. A tiny elf with spiky black hair with red tips noticed us walk in and she squealed as she ran around the counter and straight for Lizzette.
“You’re back!” She threw herself into Lizzette’s arms and the two hugged one another for longer than was customary, so they had to be friends, if the excited greeting wasn’t enough to prove that. “Who’s this?”
“This is Flint, he’s the polar bear shifter we brought back with us from Alaska. He likes hugs too.” Lizzette winked at me before the elf threw herself into my arms for a tight squeeze that wasn’t nearly as long as Lizzette’s hug had been, but I didn’t expect it to be any longer considering we were strangers. “Flint, this is Cider, my best friend in Christmas Village. Actually, she’s my bestest friend in the whole of the North Pole.”
Cider stepped back and surveyed me, tapping her fingertip against bright red lips. “Polar bear, huh? I heard Santa was bringing one of them back. So, what, you’re on tour guide duty?” She arched a brow at Lizzette, who grinned and shook her head.
“No, Flint is a friend.”
I’d better end up being more than a friend by the end of this or I’d done something seriously wrong. My bear and I had taken quite a bit of time while shoveling to study our mate, and not in a friendly way. If Lizzette had noticed, she hadn’t said anything. Then again, would she have called me out if she had caught me staring?
Of course she wouldn’t. We weren’t supposed to be anything more than that publicly. This was depressing.
Cider studied me again, and I kept my gaze locked on hers until she nodded. “He’ll do. Okay, now boy, follow me.”
Turning to Lizzette, I gave her a questioning stare, but she shrugged and motioned me to follow her friend. Before I moved, I handed over our muffins, my stomach complaining about giving the food away. Then I followed Cider behind the counter, hesitating to do so until she crooked her finger at me.
“Take your coat off,” Cider ordered, and I did. She took it from me and tossed it into a back room before returning to where she’d left me and handed me a tray with four mugs of hot chocolate on it with four cookies on a center plate. “You see that table in the far corner, this goes to them. Hurry up before it grows cold.”
Uhhh….

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZZKVG4R

It’s That Time of Year Again! #Christmasbook

If you’ve followed me for any length of time on social media, it’s probable that you already know this, but I’m a Christmas fanatic. Yes, I’m one of those people who not only has their tree up (Since Nov 2) but my apartment is also fully decorated for the season. We’ll skip the argument of whether this is skipping Thanksgiving and move on to the subject of this blog post: This year’s book is up for pre-order!!

If you haven’t read any of the other books in the Collection (this is #4), that’s perfectly all right. They’re written in a way that you don’t have to read them in any order. I try to do a good job of explaining who everyone is as they enter the new books. This was the first written in a guy’s point of view, and it was interesting. I’ve written in male POV’s before, but this one was just different. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to a Christmas fanatic as the leads for the Christmas books, and Flint is not. He likes Christmas, but he’s sooooo not on the elf level of Christmas loving.

So, why a Christmas book every year? Well, it started with wanting to write a Christmas book (Cause, you know, I like Christmas), and then I realized there was so much to this world that I couldn’t NOT explore it. Then readers began requesting certain elves’ stories (Holly and Jolly) so I wrote those. I’m loving these characters and what they have to offer. Plus, these books make me happy. I love the world they throw me into and to see what happens next. While not my most successful series, I’m never going to stop writing these Christmas books. They are too much a part of who I am at heart. So, with that being said, here’s more about SNOWBOUND CHRISTMAS!

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What’s worse than being friend zoned by your ultimate crush? To Flint, not much, especially now that his Alpha brother has found love for the second time. If that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, Santa wants a polar bear ambassador to join him in Christmas Village, and he’s requested Flint by name. Leaving another new home once again, and this time his pack as well, Flint’s only consolation is that he’ll know one person in Christmas Village.

Even the dragon clan in Christmas Village doesn’t know much about Lizzette. Being a private person, she only has a few close friends, and her newest one is a polar bear shifter. Once they land in Christmas Village, pounding snowstorms land with them, raging through the North Pole one after another. With Christmas already on the line, can this unlikely pair find a way to help the elves dig out while discovering the relationship neither had anticipated?

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZZKVG4R

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZZKVG4R

#Snippet Saturday: Nov 2

First Blood is still free through tomorrow night, so of course today’s snipped comes from that book! It’s also perfect that it’s time for Daylight Savings in the USA so you have an extra hour to read tonight!

Lovely background image with an antique clock face

“Can I ask a personal question?” I asked Shannon, who turned in her seat to stare at me. The wind blew her hair around her face, so she tucked it behind her ear. From the driver’s seat, I could see Luella’s eyes flicker to keep tabs on the conversation.

“Sure, ask away.”

I looked between Shannon and Jackson. “What exactly is your relationship?”

Jackson snorted. “I’m leaving this one to you, Shan.” With that, he turned away from me to curl his body into as much of a ball as he could with the seat belt restraining him. I wasn’t sure how long it would take him to fall asleep, but once he stopped moving, he didn’t move again.

“Well, it’s complicated,” Shannon giggled, answering my question once Jackson was asleep. “We’ve known each other since high school, and he’s been at my side ever since. We were seniors in college when he bonded himself to me as my familiar. Now he can belong to no one else. Me, I’m still free as a bird, but I can’t do that to him. He’s my best friend, and maybe someday more than that. Until then, he’s bound to protect me and assist with my needs.”

“Gotcha.”

“Speaking of men,” Luella crooned. “What about you and Raven? He sure has mellowed out since you drank his blood.”

“Maybe to you,” I grumbled, remembering Raven’s less than stellar mood this morning, “but to me he’s still the same old Raven.”

“Uh huh. That’s why he can’t keep his eyes off you whenever you aren’t looking.”

He did what?

“He likes my eye color.” My floundering retort only served to give Luella another case of the giggles. Even Shannon snickered.

“I hate to say it, Koda, but Luella has a point. He may have been grumpy this morning, but Raven was more mellow this morning than he has been in the years I’ve known him. What happened between you two yesterday?”

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDBC837

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QDBC837