Those of you who know me know that I’m into werewolves. Like REALLY into werewolves. Like, when someone comes over to visit, my standard greeting is, “Do you want to watch a movie? I have The Wolfman!” (In case you were wondering, yes I get weird looks in response to this.)
I’m not exactly sure how I turned out this way (it might have something to do with how many times I watched The Shaggy Dog and Ladyhawke when I was a kid), but at some point in my life I blossomed into a full-fledged lover of all things shapeshifter and never looked back.
Which is why I could not be more excited to have one of my stories included in Pen and Kink’s upcoming anthology, Transformed. This book, which is the third in their Triskaidekaphilia series, features romantic relationships involving (you guessed it) shapeshifters. (The first two books focused on romances related to urban legends and vampires. The next one, called Haunted, will feature female ghosts – go check out the submission guidelines here: http://www.penandkinkpub.com/home/books/triskaidekaphilia/4-haunted-female-ghosts/ )
For me, the most exciting thing about being included in a collection like this is getting to read everyone else’s stories. (I mean, I already read mine – that’s old news.) So, as soon as I got my advance review copy (and did a quick check to make sure I hadn’t done anything cringe-worthy, like spell my own name wrong in the byline (don’t laugh, it’s possible)), I joyfully dove into my fellow authors’ works.
And I just have to say: Holy crap! These writers are so talented! I am so not worthy to be in their midst! I loved every single story in the book. Like seriously, I keep trying to pick a favorite, and I just CAN’T. I think what impressed me the most, aside from just the quality of the writing, was the variety. This book features many different cultures, different interpretations of what it means to be a shapeshifter (whether it’s a blessing or a curse, whether it’s something to be carefully controlled or something that should be encouraged to run rampant), and different types of romantic relationships.
And that’s not even mentioning all the different kinds of creatures! I mean, there are werewolves, yes – but they’re actually in the minority here. Beneath the beautiful cover designed by Amanda C. Davis, I discovered weresnakes, werefoxes, werehawks, werecats, werejackals, wereseals (yes, seals!). Heck, there’s even a weredragon in there!
In addition to the menagerie of shapeshifters, there are characters of all colors and backgrounds. There are straight characters, gay characters, bisexual characters. There is sex, and sometimes it’s described in great detail – however, it’s never the sole point of the story, but rather just one element that only adds to the richness of the overall plot.
Speaking of plots, there are some really complex ones involving spy games, intrigue, stolen goods and kidnapping, as well as simple plots focusing on a single moment of significance in a character’s life. There are cursed lovers. There are characters who meet for the first time, and characters who’ve known each other across the ages.
All I can say is, hats off to my fellow authors for their skills and creativity, as well as to the editor, Charlie Watson, for putting together such a diverse book.
As one reviewer already mentioned, there really is something for everyone in Transformed. (You can find more early reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38262542-transformed ) If this sounds like something you’d be into, the books comes out on July 13th. (Yes, that’s Friday the 13th – it ties in with Triskaidekaphilia, which means love of the number thirteen). Check out the pre-order link here:
Oh, and if you’re a reviewer who’d like an ARC of the book, I believe they are still giving a few copies away on LibraryThing. You just have to scroll down until you see the pretty cover with the lady and the tiger and the title Transformed by Charlie Watson:
I hope you love the book! I did! 🙂
Keep writing and submitting, everybody!