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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Full Moon: Why I created my 'werewolf' paranormal series

Power Totem or Feared Werewolf
By Author of Paranormal Romance Eva Gordon
Why I was moved to create my ‘werewolf’ paranormal romance series, The Wolf Maiden Chronicles





My blog is about why I created the epic paranormal lycan series, The Wolf Maiden Chronicles. Book 1, Werewolf Sanctuary released May 2009 followed by Beast Warrior (August 2009), which takes place during the Viking era. White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight will be release March 2010. My passion for wildlife, especially wolf biology (my degrees are in Zoology and Biology) and my love of mythology was like the mixing of chocolate and peanut butter to create the Reeses Peanut Cup. I had to combine my two great loves. The call of the wild meets romance. Why the wolf? That was easy. The wolf is one of my totem guides and in fact has been the totem guide for numerous cultures. Nothing sends a chill down your spine more than hearing a wolf’s howl in the night. While at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade.



No sound is more awesome. Wolves have traits we admire. They are powerful predators, with complex social behavior, and what appeals to most romantic readers, wolves are monogamous. In reality wolves have a low hunting success rate and the average wolf is the size of a German Shepherd so I made my lycan wolves huge, the size of bears with cool tribal tattoos. The Beast of Gevaudan legend of 1764 of Southern France spoke of such a large wolf creature/werewolf said to be the size of a bull. I knew then that my lycan had to be larger than the average wolf.




I studied myths about wolves from around the globe. In Native American culture the wolf is an important archetype. They had great respect for the wolf and often offered prayers before a hunt to the wolf spirit. Wolf spirit was also powerful medicine for shamans who traveled to the world of the dead. In Europe just as in the New World, myths and stories about wolves are universal. Early Europeans Respected the Wolf as Protector and Teacher. From the Steppes of Asia Minor to the British Isles the Wolf was mighty totemic protector. Hecate, an Ancient Greek deity was worshipped as a goddess with three wolf heads. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were fed by the she-wolf, Alcala/Lupa.



In Ireland, King Cormac was nursed by a she-wolf. Myths about heroes being suckled or raised by wolves are ubiquitous and would take too much space for this blog. In the Viking world to be a member of the Wolf Clan, Ulfhednar was the greatest honor. Viking warriors believed that if they died a heroic death they would be turned into magnificent wolves.





Vikings also believed wolves chasing and devouring the sun and moon caused eclipses. Two wolves accompanied Odin, ruler of the Norse Gods. He created the wolves Freki (Hungry One) and Geri (Greedy One) as loyal companions.
Many of these wolfish tales were actually werewolf stories. As Europe went from hunter/gather to a agricultural land grabbing cultures the wolf was no longer seen as friend but rather foe. Tales of ravenous wolves haunted the land. From Lycaon being turned into a werewolf by Zeus to Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf became the new evildoer. Werewolves roamed looking for human prey. There are numerous accounts of werewolves devouring people.




And so many ways to become a werewolf, from wearing a wolf pelt, from a curse, drinking from a specific water hole or the classic bitten by a wolf and influenced by the full moon. I then I began to see history through the eyes of a werewolf. What if werewolves were real? Mine would be genetic and super powerful. If they were, they would need to keep themselves secret. Thus my creation of my werewolf universe, in The Wolf Maiden Chronicles.



Since ancient times, the Lupercal Council has kept their people’s werewolf identity a well-guarded secret from man. They refer to their kind as lycans. The lycan shifts into a bear-sized wolf, bearing unique markings reminiscent of Maori or Celtic tattoos. The pack shifts during the full moon and are under the control of their alpha male leader. The alpha male and alpha female are not bound by the full moon and can shift at will. Lycans can only breed with their kind. The exception is the alpha male, which can only mate with human women known as wolf maidens. These human women bear the five-toed lycan paw print or mark of the wolf on their left hip. Female alphas are sterile but are the leading lycans governing the Lupercal Council. They are aided by selected men known as Lupercii who help inform the Lupercal of all human activity. In their religion they worship the Goddess Feronia. The romance in my stories revolve around the alpha male and the wolf maiden destined to be his life mate not just in this life but throughout time at each rebirth. There is much more detail, but this is it in a nutshell. In each book I capture the realism of the historical period and the story unfolds as a ‘werewolf historical’ paranormal fantasy.
To start your journey you can start with Werewolf Sanctuary, a contemporary that leads to the ‘werewolf historicals’, however each novel is a stand-alone. Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf is the second and takes place during the Viking Era. Here is a blurb to each.

Werewolf Sanctuary
By Eva Gordon
Book 1. Of The Wolf Maiden Chronicles





The Lupercal society is in peril due to an unknown disease infecting their young offspring. The children that survive the pestilence shift too early into wolf cubs, lose their distinct markings, and end up becoming normal wolves unaware of their human consciousness. Normally immune to most known diseases, the Lupercal has few of their own doctors and must seek the help of a human outsider to find the cure.

Wyatt Weylin, the alpha male of the Montana pack and leader of a team of mercenary lycans, flies to a World Wolf Conference in San Francisco, where he hopes to convince leading authority on wolf diseases, veterinarian Dr. Madeline Styles to come to his wolf sanctuary and find a cure. The minute he sees her he feels drawn to her striking good looks. The sensory chemistry is instant. He tries to suppress the feeling knowing that he is forbidden to fall for a human. Life gets complicated when Wyatt discovers that the vegetarian animal doctor has the mark of the wolf and is his life mate.

Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf
By Eva Gordon
Book 2 of The Wolf Maiden Chronicles



Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf is a historical paranormal romance that takes place during the Viking Era of the Dark Ages. A time when only the strong survive. It is the second book in the Wolf Maiden Chronicles, which depicts alpha lycans and their human wolf maiden mates.

Sigurd, an alpha Norse wolfskin, son of Gunnolf the Red seeks revenge against shape shifting bearskins, Bork the Mad and his son, Mord the Blood Claw for the death of his parents and his older brother Guda. Orphaned, he has been raised by his older sister Brynhild, who convinces him to take a wolf maiden in order to increase their small pack. Despite the warning by Hungerd the wolf witch, he takes a farmer’s new bride with tragic consequences. Alone he joins a long ship until the day he can avenge his pack’s demise.

Emelisse, a Frank wolf maiden, has been raised and educated in the classics, science, literature and languages by female lycans of the Lupercal. Born a runt with a weak heart her father has been overprotective. She refuses to be treated like a delicate vase and rebels by seeking out riding and falconry. Now at age eighteen Emelisse frets that her father wants her to accept Radulf III the Cruel, an alpha lycan of a pack of powerful warriors. She tries to run away with her human lover.

Viking werewolf, Sigurd rescues Emelisse, from the claws of the berserker bear men. He claims her as his ulf hexen or wolf maiden, but she wants to leave lycan society and live with humans. To complicate matters she has been called by her goddess Feronia to save the lycans from a dreaded disease. Their union is wrought with great peril in a world where werewolves must battle against their own kind as well as their fierce enemy, the berserker bear men. Will Emelisse accept Sigurd a foreign lycan as her alpha mate? Sigurd vows to protect her from their enemies but how can he save her before she dies from her ailing heart?

White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight (Available on Kindle and pre-order for March release (date yet unknown)
By Eva Gordon
Book 3



White Wolf of Avalon : Werewolf Knight is book 3 in my series and takes place during Arthurian times. There are cameo appearances by well known characters such as King Arthur, Morgan le Fey and Mordred to name a few but the story revolves around the secret society of lycans that reside in ancient Britain.
Bledig, an orphan raised by a childless couple near the magical Isle of Avalon dreams of someday becoming a knight of the Round Table. Bledig refuses to become a beast and wants no part in marrying a wolf maiden and begetting lycan children. After Bledig helps King Arthur defeat the Saxons at Badon Hill he is knighted and is advised by his close friend Sir Uwain that he knows of a priest that can cure him of his wolfen curse. Bledig heads toward Avalon to tell his great aunt Silvia of his plan. Once cured, he will serve as a knight, marry a courtly lady and earn a title.
Annora a Romano Greco wolf maiden, is more interested in intellectual pursuits than romantic ones. She is a scribe and historian who preferred to marry an older alpha lycan who would better understand her need to focus on her writings. As Annora travels up north to meet with her brother and family, they are attacked by Gorlagon’s she-lycan Trivia and her pack of warrior lycans.


In the wilderness Annora and Bledig meet. She is the beautiful woman he has dreamt of nightly while heading to retrieve his brother’s moonstone. He the knight in shining armor she had fantasized about, brave, handsome and chivalrous. Their attraction is instantaneous. She is stunned to learn he is a lycan, the white wolf destined to unite all the lycans of Britain. Her mate. On learning she is a wolf maiden, Bledig hardens his heart. He tells her that after he delivers her to the safety of Avalon he will visit a priest who will cure him of his wolfen curse. She is saddened that he refuses to follow his destiny and that he does not wish to claim her as his.
Danger lurks everywhere. Gorlagon and Gargol have not given up on their hunt to find Annora and the Pict wolfen she released from his dank dungeons. But most of all they wish to use her as a breeder. Intrigue and secrecy abound in King Arthur’s court at Camulod. Mordred, who Arthur is unaware, is his son by his own sister Morgause, plots to rule. He has become Gorlagon’s secret Lupercii in the hopes of having a lycan army to defeat his father in battle.
Will Bledig reject his true destiny as the prophesized lycan leader of Britain, and most importantly can he deny his feelings for the lovely wolf maiden, Annora, who has already captured his heart and soul?




More to come. I finished Lycan Gladiator and am editing another contemporary. Stay tuned to the call of the wild.

Friday, February 26, 2010

HAPPY PURIM!



My costume will be a werewolf. Howling for Hamentaschen.





Friday, February 19, 2010

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! YEAR OF THE TIGER

ROARING IN THE YEAR OF THE TIGER

I'm wolfish but I have to howl good wishes to fellow predator, the tiger.



I gathered some info from several sites to post about the year and the tiger.

The Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, and is feared and revered in equal measure. It features in many Asian cultures as a manifestation of courage, power, passion and royalty. In Feng Shui, it is one of the four celestial animals where it takes its place as the White Tiger. The other three celestial animals are the Green Dragon, Red Phoenix and Black Tortoise. The Tiger symbolizes the female Yin energy as opposed to the Yang male energy of the dragon. Ancient Chinese believe that the markings on the forehead of tigers resemble the Chinese character for "Wang", or King. In Imperial China, where the dragon is the insignia of the emperors, the tiger is the military emblem of the highest supreme commanders of the army symbolizing fearlessness and victory. The Tiger also represents earth, while the dragon represents Heaven. The powerful and stealth prowess of the Tiger inspire the martial art movements of many Kung-Fu masters.





The good news is that on this Year of the Tiger all countries where tigers are found are pledging to double their population by the year 2020. Every subspecies of Pantera tigris is endangered. Tigers are the largest living cats. They are found from Siberia, South to India, China, Southeast Asia and a few islands.
They are built for stealth and sudden attack. They can cover 40 feet in one leap. Tigers can kill prey four times its size. They average a large kill every 8 days. Their vivid coloration actually helps them hide in the tall, dry grass and forest. They roar to announce their location in both warning and invitation. They greet one another by rubbing cheek to cheek, called chuffling.
Tigers breed at any time of the year. Females deliver cubs after 103 days and bear litters of two to four cubs. It is extremely important to save the habitats where they are found. Their home is being encroached upon for human agricultural purposes. Unfortunately, poaching is also an issue for their pelt but mostly for their body parts, which are used in Chinese Medicine. World wide education is slowly starting to turn the tide toward not harvesting tigers for medicinal reasons.






The Sign of the Tiger
Courageous, active, and self-assured. Optimistic, passionate and independent. Rebellious, dynamic, and unpredictable. Quick tempered but considerate. Affectionate but careless. The Tiger is a natural born leader and symbolizes power, passion and daring.

People born in the Year of the Tiger are generally well liked because of their charming personalities. Often, failing at a given task or being unproductive in his personal or professional life can cause a Tiger to experience a deep depression. Criticism from loved ones can also generate this type of Tiger reaction.
Tigers are fond of competitions. They simply cannot pass up a challenge. They may appear cool and are unpredictable, and it would be unwise to underestimate their reactions. Natural leaders, they have a strong sense of their own dignity. They are intelligent, alert, and farsighted. Good strategists and tacticians, they often have a hidden agenda. As long as they do not risk their luck too often, and keep their restless nature under control, they will enjoy success and happiness.
People born in the Year of the Tiger are straightforward and uninhibited in nature. They will never give up no matter how frustrated they may become. But, they are also full of suspicion and sometimes will take hasty action.
They must be aware of how they react to and are affected by the consequences of their tempers. They should take it a little easier and learn to pace themselves to keep active longer and to prevent early burnout. They are blessed with flexibility and often recover quickly from illness or pain.

Some people born in the Year of the Tiger are gentle and full of sympathy. They are kind, love babies and anything that arouses their imagination. Others can be stubborn and selfish. Generally speaking, people born in the Year of the Tiger are fond of playing, and full of enthusiasm and sentiment. Some are mercurial. They can laugh happily one moment, and cry the next. They will be optimistic, but at the next they will lose their heart totally.
People born in the Year of the Tiger take pride in being different than others, and generally illustrate their originality best in their homes. Their homes are usually filled with exotic treasures. They are fast learners, need challenge and often work alone. Some tend to change careers more often because they get bored easily. They are natural born leaders and perform best if working towards positions of power and influence. They like to spend money, and also to share it. They can be quite impulsive spenders because they know they can always make more.
It is interesting that their two main features are rashness and hesitation, a pair of contradictions. If they know how to relax and do things according to the situation, they can become quite successful.

Tiger Years: 02/08/1902 to 01/28/1903 (Water), 01/26/1914 to 02/13/1915 (Wood), 02/13/1926 to 02/01/1927 (Fire), 01/31/1938 to 02/18/1939 (Earth), 02/17/1950 to 02/05/1951 (Metal), 02/05/1962 to 01/24/1963 (Water), 01/23/1974 to 02/10/1975 (Wood), 02/09/1986 to 01/28/1987 (Fire), 01/28/1998 to 02/15/1999 (Earth), 02/14/2010 to 02/02/2011 (Metal)
Famous Tiger People: Agatha Christie, Crystal Gayle, Cybill Shepherd, Demi Moore, Diana Rigg, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Marilyn Monroe, Mary Queen of Scots, Norma Shearer, Penelope Cruz, Queen Elizabeth II, Rosie O'Donnell, and Tom Cruise.

Are you a tiger or perhaps a tiger shifter? If so, come in and tell us.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lupercalia: Happy Wolf Valentine's DAy


Happy Lupercalia! Wolf Valentine’s Day!


How an ancient Roman holiday inspired my werewolf universe.

My readers know I use this ancient Roman festival in my paranormal romance werewolf novels. In my universe it is the time when lycans are most fertile, find their mates or play naughty werewolf games. I use some of the rituals below, with the exception of sacrificing the dog in my lycan festival. The Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by the she-wolf is what I call the ruling governing party run by 12 female alpha lycans. Below are some facts about Lupercalia from several sources on the web.


“The Origins of the Lupercalia
The Lupercalia was started to honor a forgotten fertility god, but the during the Augustan period, the god Lupercus had been invented to explain the festival, according to the Dictionary of Roman Religion. Adkins and Adkins, authors of the book, state that Faunus might have been the god the Lupercalia.

The Lupercalia Festival Itself
The festival was held on February 15th, the day after the modern Valentine's Day Celebration. The month of February occurred later in the Roman calendar. Celebrants would gather at the Lupercal cave on the Palatine Hill in Rome, where Romulus and Remus were suckled by their adoptive wolf mother, according to Roman legend.


Luperci Priests made sacrifices of goats and dogs as part of the festival, and two young people were smeared by the blood of the sacrifice and then wiped away by wool dipped in milk. As part of the Lupercalia celebration, young men would go through the streets whipping people with goat skins to encourage fertility.
The youths then donned loincloths made from the skin of the goat and led groups of priests around the pomarium, the sacred boundary of the ancient city, and around the base of the hills of Rome. The occasion was happy and festive. As they ran about the city, the young men lightly struck women along the way with strips of the goat hide. It is from these implements of purification, or februa, that the month of February gets its name. This act supposedly provided purification from curses, bad luck, and infertility.



Long after Palentine HIll became the seat of the powerful city, state and empire of Rome, the Lupercalia festival lived on. Roman armies took the Lupercalia customs with them as they invaded France and Britain. One of these was a lottery where the names of available maidens were placed in a box and drawn out by the young men. Each man accepted the girl whose name he drew as his love - for the duration of the festival, or sometimes longer.
As Christianity began to slowly and systematically dismantle the pagan pantheons, it frequently replaced the festivals of the pagan gods with more ecumenical celebrations. It was easier to convert the local population if they could continue to celebrate on the same days... they would just be instructed to celebrate different people and ideologies..
Lupercalia, with its lover lottery, had no place in the new Christian order. In the year 496 AD, Pope Gelasius did away with the festival of Lupercalia, citing that it was pagan and immoral. He chose Valentine as the patron saint of lovers, who would be honored at the new festival on the fourteenth of every February. The church decided to come up with its own lottery and so the feast of St. Valentine featured a lottery of Saints. One would pull the name of a saint out of a box, and for the following year, study and attempt to emulate that saint.”


My crazy thoughts:

In a sense I think we have gone back to a weird form of Lupercalia lovers lottery I call it computer dating. True, you do get to learn about the person, but do you really? It really is like drawing a date out of a lottery.