Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! Series editor Tabatha here again, breaking away from the riveting world of research and finals to bring you some books with bite! This week we’ve got a very subtle theme: see if you can claw your way to it, but don’t blame me if it gets hairy!
The Tattooed Wolf by Kim Bannerman
Kim Bannerman’s new book The Tattooed Wolf tears into the werewolf genre with a story of love, lunacy, violence and divorce- an unexpected, but intriguing approach (and besides, for those of us on a college schedule nearing finals, a little lunacy fits right in).
Caufield muttered as he slouched back in his seat and crossed his hands over his belly, smirking. “You’ve got my attention, Dan; I’ll humour you. Tell me, from the very beginning, how you got into this whole bloody mess.”
Morris Caufield thought he’d seen it all…
Until the moment Dan Sullivan walked into his office. Dan needs a divorce lawyer he can trust, and he thinks Morris is the man for the job. The thing is, Dan wants Morris to represent his wife. Who tried to kill him. Twice. And as if that wasn’t enough, Dan expects Morris to buy some crazy story about werewolves…
As Dan reveals the truth about his life and his marriage, Morris listens to a captivating tale of lycanthropy, love and betrayal. It’s lunacy, he’s sure of that, but there’s something about Dan Sullivan that makes it all very easy to believe.
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Our next contribution, Blood and Chocolate, is a hairy tail I read as a Young Adult, and from which I still carry fond, if fuzzy, memories. (P.s. the wolf puns are not going to stop any time soon: better just put your tail between your legs and leap on for the ride).
Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?
Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.
Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really—human or beast? Which tastes sweeter—blood or chocolate?
Werewolf by Peter Rubie
Bounding back through time, Peter Rubie’s Werewolf morphs into a new perspecitve and a new setting: following a crime-fighter (rather than the usual crime-causer) in WW2 London when the only threat worse than ze Germans was ze werewolf!
Something is prowling the streets of World War II London. It goes hunting during the fires and turmoil of the Blitz when most people are dodging Nazi bombs. But this creature isn’t deterred by the destruction or the carnage. As its victims start turning up shredded and gnawed, the East End community of Smiths Common becomes terrified of what might be preying on them. Only the gypsies will give it a name: werewolf.
Detective Sergeant George Llewellyn’s assignment is to restore order to the chaos of the war, and solve a series of brutal child slaying. A victim of his own abused past, George is haunted by the killings. As the pieces of the puzzle fit together, he is forced to confront his own rage and a decade-old gypsy curse before he can stop the ravages of the werewolf….
The Werewolf by Aksel Sandemose and Gustaf Lannestock
A great book to read by the light of a full moon, The Werewolf compiles stories of different werewolves facing the biting challenges of love, work, family and silver.
The Werewolf is a novel of the tyranny of love over men and women and the unending trials of strength between good and evil in human nature. Its main characters are of heroic stature yet deeply flawed, moving against the backdrop of Norwegian society from World War I to the 1960s.” Over the novel broods the symbol of the Werewolf, which for Sandemose represents all the forces hostile to a full, free life – the thirst for power over others’ lives, the lust to destroy what cannot be possessed or controlled. In their private encounters with the Werewolf, few can claim total victory. Sandemose’s characters all bear the scars of lost battles.
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson
With Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel Rhonda Thompson pounces out of the usual dark woods and marks a new territory for her wolf: the catwalk.
Supermodel Lou Kipinski seems to have it all. But beauty is only skin deep–and sometimes Lou’s porcelain complexion can get a bit hairy. The only thing worse than a furry fashion faux-pas? Fangs in her million-dollar smile. That’s what happened six months ago, when Lou had her first outbreak. But now that she’s at the height of her career she absolutely must find a cure…So what’s a single werewolf gotta do?
Then a sexy detective comes knocking on her door. Two women who bear an eerie resemblance to Lou have been killed–something with teeth and claws tore them apart. Is it a coincidence that the grisly murders have taken place during the same time as Lou’s own outbreaks? With a killer at her heels and another outbreak just a concealer-wand’s distance away, Lou is soon in a race to discover truths about her own murky past. And before it’s all over she may be forced to show the world that her bark is nothing compared to her bite…
Werewolf Haiku by Ryan Mecum
Last but not least (the silver medalist?) sink your teeth into Werewolf Haiku. Ryan Mecum sharpens his poetic fangs with the story of a postal worker who fell prey to the quintessential mailman’s silver bullet: the resident dog.
“Dear haiku journal, I think I killed some people.That was no dog bite.”
This journal contains the poetic musings of a mailman who, after being bitten by what he thinks is a dog, discovers that he is actually now a werewolf. Wreaking havoc wherever he goes, he details his new life and transformations in the 5-7-5 syllable structure of haiku–his poetry of choice.
Follow along as our werewolf poet slowly turns from a mostly normal man into the hairy beast that he cannot keep trapped inside. And watch out for carnage when he changes and becomes hungry. No toenail, no entrail, no pigtail will be left behind. And talk about wreaking havoc: His newfound claws and teeth have sent his clothing budget through the roof!
He is in love with a woman on his route, but he has never had the courage to tell her. As he fights against his urges during each full moon, he discovers that succumbing to his primal instincts will not only bag him a good meal–it just might help him in his quest for love…Or maybe not.
And so, dear readers, I will leave you with some hairy tales of adventure you can really sink your teeth into, until next week when we’ll have you howling over another snappy selection.