Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's with all the Werewolves and Vamps?

Is it just me or are the werewolves and vampires dominating the books and television shows lately? Oh sure, every so often someone will throw in a psychic or a witch, maybe even a zombie. But I ask you. Where are the other shifters? If humans can turn into wolves, why can’t they turn into lizards or mice or say…bears?

I decided to even the score. In my next book, CLAWED (Wild Things, Book 3), the hero is a werebear. That’s right. He’s a hunk of man who turns into one big furry, but lovable, grizzly bear. Much like a real bear, he likes to fish by hand. Much like a real bear, he doesn’t talk much, but when he does, you better listen. Thankfully, much like a real man, he can fall in love.

Enjoy an excerpt from CLAWED (PG-13) --

Chloe chuckled at her friend and finished preparing the camp. She picked up the sticks scattered around the area, dropping some into the fire pit for kindling and tossing the others into the brush. Fortunately, a previous camper had arranged a couple of sturdy logs for chairs next to the fire pit. They wouldn’t have to use the folding chairs she’d brought.

Nina whipped out her cell phone. “Please tell me we get coverage out in these boonies.” She held up her phone and stalked around the campsite, looking for reception. “Oh, shit, Chloe, I’m getting one lousy bar. We’re totally cut off from civilization. There goes the pizza delivery option.”

Leave it to Nina to think Domino’s would deliver to campers in the woods. “Then it’s a good thing I brought plenty of food, huh? Including your favorite double chocolate fudge brownies.”

“Holy shit, you are my soul sister.”

“More than you know.” Chloe studied her work, satisfied that she’d gathered enough kindling.

“Hey, how about I get a fire going and you sort through the food? But save the brownies for later.”

“Done. A fire does sound good. But then what do we do? Sit around and pick ticks off each other?”

“We’ll do what we do best.”

“Drink wine and gossip?” Nina opened the big cooler and snatched up a bottle. “Oh, no! Domestic wine? Urgh. Now that’s what I call roughing it.”

“I think you’ll survive. And the sooner we get the camp set up, the sooner we can indulge.”

“Then let’s get to it, Mountain Mama.”

The two friends worked in silence for the next hour. Chloe did most of the work to set up the camp, but Nina chipped in by placing a lantern in each tent, then setting the wine and glasses next to the campfire Chloe started. Soon, their work was finished.

Chloe could sense Nina’s eyes on her and knew what she would say. But, as Nina’s friend, she’d go ahead and let her say it. Just like she’d let her say it a million times before. She filled Nina’s glass, then poured a small amount for herself.

“I told you he wasn’t good enough for you. I knew he was an ass from the first minute I laid eyes on him.”

“Yeah, I remember. But I couldn’t help it. He was so nice…at first.” Before he’d started using her. Before he’d cheated on her. “I thought I loved the jerk.”

“Girl, you have the worst judgment when it comes to men.”

Nina was right. The men Chloe chose always let her down, always broke her trust. Even worse, lately she’d gotten involved with men who had bad tempers. She shook her head, resolving never to go down that path again.

“Come on, Chloe. You know I’m telling the truth. Plus, if you ask me, you never really loved Roger. You just got sucked up into his lies and his phony charm. I mean, how can you love a man you never really knew?”

Had she known the real Roger? Apparently not. Had she ever really loved him? A couple of months ago she would’ve said she did. But she’d known the truth in her gut if not in her head. Why had she hung onto the relationship, anyway? Still, she needed time away from the apartment, time away from the bed he’d sullied with the waitress, time to exorcise the rest of the Roger demons from her mind. “When you’re right, you’re right, Nina.”

“Don’t I know it.”

Chloe’s life with Roger seemed like a bad dream from which she’d finally awakened. “I guess some of us just take longer to get a clue.”

Nina downed the rest of her drink, then grew solemn. Her concerned gaze worked its way straight into Chloe’s heart. “I want you to be happy, you know.”

Chloe poured her friend another glass of wine. “With you as my best friend, what else could I be?”

“Sheesh, are we getting sappy or what?” Nina looked away, trying to hide her pleased grin, and surveyed the campsite. “Now what do we do?”

“Whatever you like. Maybe we could take a walk down to the stream? Or a hike up the hill?”

“Uh, have we met? Walking? Hiking? Those words are not in my vocabulary. Unless, of course, there’s a dance club at the top of the hill.”

“Okay, then, what would you suggest?

“I would suggest you get some work done. You know, as in a little thing called a commissioned painting? I know you’re dying to see the water and sketch some ideas. So go on before it gets too late. We’ll be fine.”

“We’ll?” Chloe made a show of bending over to check under her car. “Did you sneak in a hot stowaway?”

“Ooh, I’m sorry I didn’t think of that. But, sadly, no. I meant Mr. Vino and me.”

“Ah, now I understand. You’re hoarding the alcohol for yourself.”

“Don’t worry. I don’t think we’re going to run out anytime soon.”

Chloe swirled the wine in her glass. “You could come along with me.”

“Are you talking about physical exertion again? No way. I reached my limit getting this place set up. Besides, I’ve got the perfect thing for this situation.” She hurried over to the SUV and pulled out a box along with two compact discs. “I figured you might need some alone time to do your creative artist thing, so I brought along my DVD player.” She held up the CDs and grinned. “See? I’ve got my favorite movies of all time: Married Without a Husband and Brickster’s Big Day Out.”

“Wow, talk about prepared. Were you a Girl Scout?”

“Yep. And because you’re so thoughtful to worry about my boredom, I’ll let you take my flask with you. Just be careful. I put some pretty potent stuff in it.” She unhooked the flask from her belt, took a sip and handed it to Chloe. “Besides, you’ll need the alcohol to pour over any snake bites.”

Chloe started to turn down the offer, but Nina shushed her. “No, don’t. You hardly drank any wine, and I know you’re not much on hard liquor, but if anyone could use a good stiff drink, it’s you.”

Chloe took the flask, then scooped up her sketchpad and pencils. “So, are you sure you’re good? You really don’t mind if I go without you?”

Nina pretended to give the idea another moment’s thought before waving her off. “I’m sure. Now get going and sketch your heart out. I’ll be perfectly happy with my movies until you get back.”

“Great. And don’t worry. I’ll return before dark.”

“You’d better or those brownies might disappear before you make it back.”

“Don’t you dare. Think of all those carbs sticking to your hips.”

“Yeah, but it’ll be totally worth it.”

Chloe was still grinning when she strode out of the campsite and down the dirt path leading to the stream. Birds and small animals scattered at her approach, and she peered into the underbrush to watch them dash away, then took several sips of the strong, burning liquid. Maybe Nina was right. She could use something more than wine right now. Heat from the alcohol swept through her, releasing the tension in her neck and easing her mind.

She paused to inhale the heady fragrance of the pine trees surrounding her, then took another sip. Although she liked living in the city, she’d trade her apartment for the mountains anytime. The mountains always made her feel free, able to forget about her worries and responsibilities. She sighed. The forest and her art were all she needed. She took a long drink and thought again. Okay, maybe they weren’t all she needed.

Chloe let her mind wander, imagining a home on top of a mountain where she could paint beautiful landscapes while her children played around her. And of course she’d have a handsome hubby to warm her bed at night. She sighed and continued toward the water. Chloe heard the sounds of the stream ahead and quickened her pace to match the faster beat of her heart. If she could spend an hour sketching the wildlife as they came to drink, she’d sleep like a baby tonight. Only through her art did she find contentment, and the fact that she was getting paid for it made everything even better.

Chloe broke through the last bushes separating her from the water, closed her eyes, and let the sunlight drench her body with its replenishing warmth. The sun’s rays strengthened her, renewing her spirit and adding to the contented glow the alcohol gave her.

If only I could stay here forever.

A splashing noise startled her out of her reverie, and she ducked behind a tree. Parting the branches for a better look, she stared in disbelief.

“Oh, wow.”

Pick up your copy of CLAWED at many online retailers or through my website.

Beverly Rae -


Karen Michelle Nutt said...

This one sounds really good. I love shifter stories. Don't get me wrong, I love my vamps, too. But there is just something about the shifters that interest me more.

I never read a werebear tale. You've definitely caught my interest. :)

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

Beverly Rae said...

You sound like me, Karen. I'd never read a werebear story either, so I decided we definitely needed one.

The first 2 Wild Things books have werewolves and werecats. Even one of the werewolves from my werewolf Cannon Pack series shows up in the Wild Things series.

Thanks for posting!
Beverly -

mnjcarter said...

I've read the Cannon Pack series, and loved it. Funny thing, I just read a book yesterday that had a big alpha werebear in it, amongst a tiger, panther, and of course, a wolf. I've actually looked at this book (Clawed) a few times, but I need to start at the beginnig of the series. I'm not one to jump in the middle of something, maybe afraid I might miss something from the earlier books. Are the characters intertwined in this series?

Beverly Rae said...

Hi mnjcarter,

The Wild Things series can be read in any order. One of the characters in Cougar (bk 1) finds his own love in Wild Cat (bk 2), but again, the order of reading doesn't matter. Clawed (bk 3) is only part of the series, but doesn't follow any of the characters in the first 2 bks.

Btw, I just finished writing Betting The Moon (Cannon Pack, bk 4) which takes a secondary character from Running with Pack (Cannon Pack, bk 3) on his own journey. That book will be released by Samhain Publishing next year.

Again, with either series, you can read the books in any order.

Beverly -

Maria D. said...

Loved the excerpt! Thanks

June M. said...

I can never get enough shifter or vamp stories. Thanks for sharing the excerpt.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com