Happy Howloween! #Werewolf Lore & Romance #PNR

For your Happy Howloween reading pleasure, I’ve delved into my research notes for a little werewolf lore I discovered while writing my paranormal romance, Ilona’s Wolf.

When I was a kid, werewolves were villains of horror movies, not heroes in romance novels, so why the change? I wonder if it has something to do with restoring wolves to wild areas, like Yellowstone Park, and the resulting awareness of these beautiful, magnificent animals.

Grey Wolf by birch tree

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) By Birch Tree, Copyright: gkuchera

Yes, they are predators, but they have proven immensely useful in controlling the deer population and in some areas the ecosystem has benefited from the re-introduction of the wolves.

But back in the Middle Ages and earlier, people were terrified of wolves and of the idea that some humans could transform themselves into wolves and attack. Hence, the popularity of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, inspiration for Ilona’s Wolf. Wolves were hunted relentlessly in Europe and the British Isles. Some of the ancient beliefs are werewolves are…

Lycanthropy is the term for transforming from man to wolf and it dates back to Roman times, probably no surprise since the brothers who supposedly founded Rome, Romulus and Remus, were said to have been suckled by a she-wolf, a lupa, as babes.

During the Middle Ages, people believed that witches practiced lycanthropy. Alternately, witches were charges with riding werwolves during their rituals, and thus were werewolves associated with magic, a fact I took advantage of in Ilona’s Wolf.

We’ve all heard of the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, but did you know there were also werewolf hunts in the same time period? In France, there were over 30,000 cases of supposed werewolves. Some were executed; others confined due to insanity. For more information and possible real causes of werewolf-like symptoms, see http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/werewolf5.htm.

Werewolf means “man-wolf” though there are varying theories of the evolution of the term. In Old English, the word wer(e) meant man and not in the general, human sense. In Norse, the term varg had two meanings: a wolf or a godless man. Each country had a different term. In France, werewolves are loup-garou; in Spanish hombre lobo; and in Italy lupo mannaro. And there are many others.

In the Middle Ages, people believed that the werewolves hair grew inward and the skin reversed during transformation. Talk about itching under the skin! I don’t think I’d like that.

Werewolves are known to have superior strength, nocturnal vision and sense of smell, just like real canines. In addition, thanks to the transformations undergone, they are immune from aging, and thus nearly immortal, except when in their more vulnerable human form. My hero, Sir Rolf, usually shifts into wolf form when danger threatens.

The notion that werewolves transform at the full moon is attributed to medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury, and is now an almost immutable fact of werewolf lore. I chose to ignore it for my book in favor of letting my hero shift at will. (Much more useful, plot-wise.)

Ilona's WolfBlurb for Ilona’s Wolf:

Imagine a world filled with magic, a tormented knight, a damsel in distress, an evil sorcerer…

While picking herbs in the woods, Princess Ilona is rescued from a woodsman by a wolf. When the creature licks her wounds, it is suddenly transformed into a man. A very handsome, very naked man who makes passionate love to her in a glade.

Cursed by an evil wizard, Rolf was trapped in wolf form until he tasted the blood of a royal. Now he must escort the princess on a hazardous journey back to the castle to stop an ill-fated wedding.

Passion flares between them, but both know there is no future for Ilona and her werewolf. Or is there? In a world where magic and passion combine, anything may be possible.

Available for only 99 cents from: Amazon Kindle Store, BN/Nook, iBooks and Smashwords.

Click here and scroll down to read an excerpt.

Happy Howloween!


A Halloween Kiss from Worth The Risk #MySexySaturday

My Sexy Saturday bannerThis week’s My Sexy Saturday highlights Halloween romance.

Worth The Risk coverMy seven-paragraph snippet is from Worth The Risk, the sensual contemporary romance Anne Farrell and I published, using the pseudonym Lyn O’Farrell. Our heroine, Amanda Lloyd, is a children’s librarian who falls for sexy single father Mitch and his adorable seven-year-old son, Josh.

At the time we were writing the book, I was working in the children’s room of a local public library. One Halloween, the children’s room staff brought in a twin-size canopy bed, covered it with fake spider webs, and on Halloween day, we all dressed up as characters. I wore boots and tunic and a sword to play the prince. That event gave us the idea of staging Sleeping Beauty in our book. Amanda plays the slumbering princess, and Josh is supposed to wake her using candy kisses. Things don’t work out quite as planned when Mitch sees an opportunity to steal a kiss. (There was no kissing in the actual children’s room.)

In this scene, Amanda climbs into the cobweb-covered bed and pretends to be asleep while waiting for her prince.

sleeping princess

Copyright: sam100, license from Bigstock.com

“Shh,” Marcia whispered. “The judges are coming.”

Mitch and Josh arrived along with the judging committee. Mitch watched his son walk to the bed and wave a candy kiss under Amanda’s nose. She sniffed at it, but kept her eyes closed. Josh tried again. This time she stretched, but her eyes remained closed.

“Miss Amanda,” he whispered. “Wake up.”

Mitch looked at the judges and shook his head. “That’s what happens when you send a boy to do a man’s job.”

Mitch quietly moved Josh out of the way and sat on the edge of the bed. Leaning down, he brushed his lips across Amanda’s.

Her eyes flew open. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Kissing you,” he murmured. “And it feels awfully good.” He bent his head and kissed her again. “I always knew I’d get you in bed some day.”

Available from Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Smashwords.

PNR Blogfest prize basket TNDon’t forget to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway of a Halloween-themed gift basket, and check out all the wonderful posts in my October Paranormal Blogfest.

Use the linky list below to keep hopping for more My Sexy Saturday, and have a wonderful Halloween!

Linda aka Lyn O’Farrell