by Tess Grant
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: January 17th 2017
Books We Love Ltd.
Summary from Goodreads:
Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership.
Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.
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Guest Post: The History of Werewolves
In honor of Halloween and Hunter’s Moon, I thought I’d explore the concept of werewolves and the associated mythology, especially as it is presented in The Full Moon Trilogy.
The ability to turn into a wolf is termed lycanthropy. This comes from the Greek words for wolf (lykos) and human (anthropos). Similarly, the word werewolf is thought to be a combination of the words for man and wolf. The werewolf is a long-standing horror story, going back as far as Greek mythology when Lycaon was turned into a wolf by Zeus.
In the 1500s, there were a number of serial killers who were accused of being in wolf form during their horrendous deeds. In the 1600s while we were having the Salem witch trials, Europe was having werewolf trials during the same time period.
A strong addition to the werewolf lore appeared in the 1760s: The Beast of Gevaudan. In the 1760s, a creature (or creatures) described variously as a wolf, a bear, a hyena, and a panther was accused of killing upwards of 60 women and children in the province of Gevaudan in France.
Time-honored trappings of the werewolf like the full moon, silver bullets, and the infectious quality of bites—all of which figure prominently in Kitty’s story—are recent additions to the mythology and typically appear post 1800 or later. It is rumored that the Beast of Gevaudan was killed by a blessed silver bullet, although this notion was actually introduced by a novelist 170 years after the fact.
Current sightings include the Beast of Bray Road, a manwolf seen in Wisconsin in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the Dog Man of Michigan. The latter started out as an April Fool’s day prank and grew into more when sightings were reported and parallels to local lore were found.
When it comes to fiction, start with a sighting by a teenage girl, Kitty Irish in the Manistee National Forest of Michigan. Grow the story with the highest rate in the state for unsolved disappearances and deaths. Add in a crusty World War II veteran, Daniel Phinney, and you have Hunter’s Moon.
Excerpt From Hunter’s Moon:
The tang of old pennies hung in the air. Kitty was smart enough to know she hadn’t stumbled on some stash of long-buried loot. No self-respecting pirate would be caught dead in the middle of the Michigan woods.
That coppery smell was blood.
Maddie had the scent too. The golden retriever pressed forward, nose scuffling through the mulch. Her fluffy tail hung inactive. A wiggly rear end might divert too much energy from her nose.
Somewhere high above, a cloud ghosted over the sun, and the forest light grew dark green and cool. Kitty moved forward slowly. It would be just perfect to step into the middle of something completely nasty. Her shoes still looked mostly decent after a winter indoors. A big smear of muck across the toes would really round out her look.
Maddie suddenly growled, stopping dead. One paw hung suspended in the air and her body tensed.
“Maddie? What’s the problem?”
The retriever lowered her head to the ground, slowly pacing a circle. Kitty leaned over the spot that had thrown the dog off. Maybe it was a coyote. Maddie hated them.
A paw had indented the soft ground right where the aging dog had spooked. Kitty nodded—positive it was a coyote—and crouched down next to it to get a better look. Maddie circled around her, chest rumbling. Kitty knew a little about prints. Her dad had been pointing them out to her since she could walk. Deer and rabbit marks were everywhere, but this didn’t belong to one of the gentle guys. It had the four toes and pads of a predator, and it was big. Laying her hand over top of it, she could spread her fingers and barely cover it. Deep claw marks dug into the leaf mold ahead of the pads. Cats sheathed their claws when they walked; this was some sort of huge canine.
If this was a coyote, it was mutant. What sort of a thing made a print like that?
Kitty moved forward into the deep shadows under the trees. Something dead was in there. Flies buzzed and whirled under the trees. Maddie stayed where she was, guarding the print.
The carcass lay half-hidden under some ferns at the base of a broad oak. It was a deer, or what was left of one anyway. Its soft tan hide lay torn; its white stomach stained brown with dried blood. Great gashes ran the length of it, shoulder to haunches. Kitty’s stomach churned. This was about killing to kill; not one bite was missing. Sickened, she turned to leave, halting at the sight of the head. She had assumed it was at the end of the neck tucked away unseen under the bracken. She was wrong.
Completely detached, it lay under the next tree.
Whatever had done this was no dog.
About the Author
After nearly ten years as a forensic anthropologist, Tess Grant semi-retired to a farmette in the backwoods of Michigan. She lives at the edge of the Manistee National Forest with her husband, children, and a number of strange critters, none of whom are werewolves.
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