Welcome to the Once Upon a Wolf blog tour, everyone! We’re so pleased to have author Rhys Ford joining us today to celebrate the release of her new novella, the first in the Wayward Wolves series. Rhys is here to talk werewolves with us today, and she’s also offering a great giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below!
Everyone knows about them.
Everyone has an idea about what they are.
And much like people’s opinion about whether or not ketchup belongs on scrambled eggs, everyone has an opinion about what makes a werewolf.
When I was challenged to write a shifter book, I sat down and thought hard about the werewolf I wanted to write. It was going to be gritty, fangy and hardcore.
Then I sat down and wrote Once Upon A Wolf… and it came out… sweet.
Like roses, chocolates, and warm socks out of the dryer sweet. And I wasn’t only good with it, I loved how sweet it came out. Because when it was all said and done, I realized I kind of wanted a werewolf romance story where the romance was key and the werewolf fell in love.
So for this blog tour, it’s going to be short, sweet and all about werewolves. With the assistance of one of the Five, Lee Jay Stura, we’re going to be exploring different aspects of werewolves; mythology, cultural views, in books, on screen, and pop culture.
I’m also going to be giving away a $25 USD gift certificate on each stop of the blog tour. So get your fangs and claws on, enter to win and grab a copy of Once Upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford, out on February 16, 2018.
Werewolves in Literature
In Literature – Unlike Frankenstein and Dracula, the werewolf didn’t have a classical novel origin. Prior to the 19th century werewolf stories were the myths and legends that were mentioned earlier. There wasn’t a single character that embodied the nature and story of the shapeshifter.
With the coming of gothic horror novels, the werewolf entered popular fiction without gaining a name brand. They were generic monsters. Eaters of men. Seducers and defilers who were usually depicted as mindless, savage creatures that only occasionally felt remorse for their actions.
When the TV show Penny Dreadful added their werewolf character, Ethan Chandler whose real name is Ethan Lawrence Talbot, they based him on Lon Chaney’s Junior’s character in the Wolf Man, Larry Talbot, instead of a literary wolf man because there was none for them to borrow.
It might be the lack of a name brand monster that kept the werewolf from becoming a romantic or sympathetic character for so long. Vampires became less and less dangerous over the decades, with them switching from villain to anti-hero to hero between the time Dracula was published and the present day.
Frankenstein was seen as a sad monster who wasn’t held responsible for the evil that he did. The Creature didn’t ask for what became of him, which was a theme carried over to the Wolf Man when Larry Talbot was bitten by a werewolf and became a monster.
Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf
When the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright. (The Wolf Man, 1941)
The most well-known werewolf book of the early 20th century was The Werewolf of Paris, which was published in 1933 and considered the Dracula of Werewolf books, but I’d never heard of it before researching this post and I LOVE horror books and movies. Perhaps if Universal had made that character the Wolf Man, I might’ve recognized it, but it wasn’t made into a movie until the Hammer Movies of the 60s called the Curse of the Werewolf.
With the publication of The Wolfen by Whitley Strieber in 1978, werewolves enter the modern world in a big way. They are protectors of the Earth who kill humans in an attempt to keep the balance. A predator to keep careless humanity in check. The book brings science into the mix instead of relying on magic to tell the story and explain the creatures. He also gave them a purpose beside eating people, which was a nice change that lead to shift in the perception of the monsters.
After making werewolves the protectors of nature, where they were anti-heroes, the rise of paranormal romance and urban fantasy crossed yet another line where the hunters weren’t always the good guys and the monsters the bad and made them acceptable romantic partners. During the 90s, a slew of books with female monster hunters were pumped out by mainstream media.
Dozens of books showing the backside of a huntress, in low-slung leather pants with a tramp-stamp on the cover where their love interest was either a vampire or a werewolf, and in some cases, like the Anita Blake novels and Twilight, you had a vampire AND a werewolf vying for the human’s affection, were on the best seller lists.
The tide seems to have shifted from the vampire being the #1 choice of romantic partner to the werewolf in the past decade. Werewolves aren’t thought of as flesh-eating monsters anymore. They’ve become a desirable, loyal, romantic partner that everyone would love to have.
About the Book
Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….
Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.
For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.
Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.
About the Author
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem and a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal. Rhys shares the house with two cats, Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo and Tam, a diabetic black shorthair, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. She is also responsible for the care and feeding of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.