The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

YA Insider

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Biology and Natural History and Lore of the European Wolf (A Guide for Writers)

*****March 2012 Class*****

The Biology and Natural History and Lore of the European Wolf (A Guide for Writers)
Class takes place: March 5th-18th, 2012
Cost: $5 BDRWA members/ $20 non-members
The Biology and Natural History and Lore of the European Wolf (A Guide for Writers)
Instructor: Eva Gordon
Class Info:
My intension is to give you enough background in wolf biology and lore to aid you in writing good strong wolf scenes or even create a werewolf inspired from all the global legends. I will start with basic wolf biology, taxonomy and behavior. I then will discuss wolf lore (European) and how the wolf went from admired archetype to savage evil nemesis. I will break up the lessons into 3 parts. Every 2 days or so I will add the next lesson. Hold your questions until I have covered the specific lesson.
1.Introduction and Natural History and basic Biology.
2.Wolf Behavior
3.Wolf Lore in Europe and Central Asia
A.Wolf as totem
B.Wolf as enemy of man
C.Interview with a famous lycan.
Instructor Bio:
Eva Gordon, BA Zoology, MA Biology, California Secondary Teaching Credential in the Life Sciences. I also volunteer as a wildlife educator and have volunteered at the Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary in Southern Oregon. I am an author of paranormal romance, fantasy and currently am working on a steampunk series. My paranormal romance series, the Wolf Maiden Chronicles was inspired by the wolf. My e-mail is and my URL is

If you wish to take my class, here is the link:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

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.