Tag Archives: fantasy

Interview with a Werewolf

First day of your life
The other day I interviewed Elder Maria Many Horses, the Alpha of the North America Wolves, and told her that I was confused about the designation of alpha. I had always heard that alphas were the biggest, strongest, most dominant and, oftentimes, the meanest wolves in the pack.

Elder Many Horses accepted my offer of coffee and settled across the kitchen table from me. “It is only human conception that an alpha wolf is the one who can dominate the other wolves by brute strength and fear. In any fight, especially a true dominance fight, both wolves will be injured. Werewolves have the same instinctive fear as wild wolves—that injury can equate to death even if you win the fight. So, the actual leadership is often passed along to the best qualified leader without bloodshed. Besides, the alpha position is more about caretaking than being taken care of.” She gave a little shrug. “Not many wolves are willing to shoulder the tremendous responsibilities inherent in the alpha position.”
Elder Many Horses on Power
“Besides, wolves are pack animals. We hunt cooperatively; the entire pack cares for the young; and we are extremely social animals. We need each other in order to not only survive, but to thrive. If we solved everything by fighting, our society would devolve into bloodshed and chaos.”

A puzzled frown drew my eyebrows tight. “What if you are directly challenged for the leadership position?”

All levity vanished from her face. “That has occurred in the past, and will most likely occur again in the future; however, one-on-one fights are as often won by cunning and intelligence as by brute strength.” She held up a hand to forestall my question then proceeded to answer what I had not yet asked. “Yes, strength counts, especially in that type of confrontation; however, prowess in all types of battles will win out against pure brute strength. The mind powers the body, regardless of how well-developed the body may be. The one who believes in what they fight for, will frequently win over one who simply fights to gain power.” A smile tipped the corners of her mouth up. “Knowing martial arts helps, too. It is an alpha’s responsibility to stay in shape and to keep our fighting skills honed.”

I refilled our coffee cups before I sat back down and asked another question. “What exactly does an alpha do?”

“We are leaders. Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the entire pack. That means maintaining peace among the members—from the beta to the omega—and providing a niche for them in the pack’s hierarchy. That, also, means keeping our existence secret from humans, and being prepared to repel aggression from other Supernaturals; such as the situation we’re facing now with the Vampire War. That may mean negotiating a peace or it may mean fighting. The alpha has to consider both options.”

She sipped her coffee, a thoughtful look on her face. I took a chocolate chip cookie from the plate and nibbled it as I waited for her to continue.

“As for keeping our existence secret from the human population. Well, technology has made that more difficult. The only way we can survive is to adapt and change, and the alpha has to lead the way. If there are wolves in the pack who can’t adapt then it’s the alpha’s duty to relocate them where they can live without risk of exposing our species. For the rest of the wolves, a leader has to find ways for them to integrate successfully in the human world. Remember that an alpha’s mantra has to be ‘all things for the greater good’.”

“So, mainstream culture has it all wrong about werewolves?”

A gentle smile stretched her lips and crawled up to her dark eyes. “All of those myths that were so carefully seeded among humans have kept my People safe for millennia. And, they still do. Tell me, who in popular culture would expect the werewolf leader to be a woman of mature years?”

“Is alpha usually a hereditary position?”

“Werewolf succession is neither bloodline bound nor gender bound. Many times in our Story, however, you will note that the best leaders were the biological or the adopted heirs of the current alpha.”

“What about your family?” I dipped another cookie in my coffee and ate the delicious gooeyness as I waited for her to respond.

“I demonstrated alpha qualities at the age of two. Eventually, I took over from my father who had taken over from my grandmother and so on for the past seven generations. My daughter, however, shows beta qualities rather than alpha. My adopted daughter will succeed me as alpha.”

“What if someone issues a dominance challenge?”

Elder Many Horses lips pursed as if she tasted something bitter. “Then she will answer the challenge. Bloodshed and death are always possibilities, not only in werewolf succession but in life; especially, when great power is the prize.” She sat straighter in her chair and locked gazes with me. “I believe she will win any challenge. She has trained since the age of three and she has great strength. I speak not only of the physical, but also of mental and psychological and spiritual strength. If she must fight, she would be fighting to protect our People. There is no more noble objective; and it is one for which she would gladly die, or live. Just as I do.”

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Is She or Isn’t She?

Ever wonder if that reclusive neighbor is something….different? Read on and get the real scoop!DSC09897

From the Archives of the Matriarchs

At the beginning, Great Goddess was. She is the Alpha and the Omega. She is Creative Force of all that Was, Is and Ever Will Be.

From Her Very Soul, she ripped pieces and formed the Goddesses in her own image. In blood and pain and sacrifice she gave birth to them. Their names are Mother of Magick who came to be called Hekate, Athena who was first known as Mother of Wisdom and Learning, Warrior Woman and Protector who came to be called Artemis, Woman of the Sun who refused any other name, and Woman of Fierce Darkness once called Amanirenas. These were the first five. Companions and co-creators with Great Goddess.

When their souls demanded them to create, she warned them that creation must come from ripping pieces of their own souls loose and implanting those pieces in the new creation. She told them that Creation could only be done amidst blood and pain and sacrifice for such is the nature of creation. Still their souls demanded for them to create and so they did.

Together they created all the universes, all the worlds, and all that lives within them. Except the Earth. Mother Earth was endowed with a strip of the soul of Great Goddess. From different parts of that strip of soul came the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the oceans, the plains, the volcanoes, and all that make the body of Mother Earth.

Woman of the Sun took a piece of her soul and Created Father Sun then set him in the sky to warm the Mother. Amanirenas placed Grandmother Moon to shine when Mother Earth needed a rest from the strong rays and the warmth of Father Sun. Grandmother Moon fostered the quiet, the time for contemplation and feeling. Father Sun fostered action and growth.

Then Great Goddess took pieces of her soul and made the trees, the grasses, the flowers, and all that clothe Mother Earth.

Hekate, Athena and Artemis took pieces of their souls and made the animals, the creatures of air, of water, of earth. And because each piece of soul was unique, each creation–be it tree or be it tiger–was unique.

Great Goddess called together her companions and co-creators and they shared the worlds and universes they had created–each beautiful in its own way. Yet, when they gazed upon Mother Earth, in spite of all they had Created, they felt something was missing. Some essential element still needed to be brought forth. They Dreamed long and finally decided. This was a world where they could place small images of themselves, to watch each one grow and develop; to watch as they came into their creative powers. And so it was that Woman was Created. They let their Creative Powers rejoice and out of this celebration came the many colors and shapes and sizes of these replicas of Great Goddess and the Goddesses that Great Goddess named Woman. In a great burst of joy, they also created almost-replicas of themselves that Great Goddess named Man, for he was not fully a woman.

They Gifted Woman with a small bit of their own Creative Power. In her, new life could grow, but only in the image of the female. So it was that tigers gave birth to tigers and humans gave birth to humans.

Man begged to feel closer to Great Goddess and the Goddesses, begged to become more like them. And so, it came to pass that Great Goddess Gifted man with a seed that could assist in the creation of new life. Man rejoiced to be so close to Great Goddess, to be a part of creation.

Great Goddess created almost-replicas of the Goddesses and called them gods. They, like the almost-replicas on Mother Earth, could not create as the Goddesses did.

For millennia, all grew and prospered both in the Heavens and on Mother Earth. Woman and Man took only what they needed to live and they gave back as much as they took. So the balance continued.

After many millennia, the gods became restless. Unbeknownst to Great Goddess, they incited human males to anger and envy of the human females’ ability to create life. They filled the weaker male minds with thoughts that were subversive to all that Was and Ever Had Been.

Eventually, human males who followed the gods enticements were named Caine by the gods to distinguish them from the ones that followed the Way of Great Goddess. They named those Abella, as the leaders were always females.

During the Dark of the Moon, the followers of Caine rose up and slaughtered the unsuspecting followers of Abella, those who held tight to the Teachings of Great Goddess and the Goddesses. Millions died. That period of time came to be known as The Great War.

Because each living being held a piece of Great Goddess’ soul or a piece of the souls of the Goddesses, and therefore were given freewill, Great Goddess could not allow interference in The Great War, could not allow the usurpation of Freewill.

There came a time, however, when Artemis wept and threw herself at the feet of Great Goddess. Those the Goddesses loved had been reduced to small groups and even then the Children of Caine hunted them. She begged Great Goddess to allow her to save the remnants of their people, those who were known as the Children of Abella.

And so it came to pass that Artemis bestowed upon the Children of Abella certain powers. Among those powers were enhanced senses, enhanced strength, and near-immortality. The other Goddesses gathered close and they, too, bestowed certain powers upon the Children of Abella. In return for the many powers, Artemis demanded that the Children of Abella adher to the Purpose set by Great Goddess Herself.

The Children of Abella must never kill without reason, and must seek to help the Children of Caine overcome their blood that had been poisoned by envy, greed, hate, and needless violence.

So the Children of Abella would never forget their connection to the Children of Caine, Artemis decreed that in order to live, the Children of Abella must drink the blood of the Children of Caine. To remind the Children of Abella that none are free of fault, they were afflicted by sexual lust. The only way to be free of the Lust was to find their True Mate, be that mate a Child of Caine or a Child of Abella. Not all would find a True Mate.

Because the root of human male envy was the human females’ ability to create life, among the Children of Abella only the female could create life. To more tightly bind the Children of Abella to the Children of Caine, only a liaison with a human male would result in a child.

Because males brought about destruction, only females could hold power over the Children of Abella. Born females received Powers upon their 24th birthday. Before the receiving of power, they were brought to the House of the Head of their Family and watched over as the Power Came Upon them. Not all survived the Coming of Power. Born males never received powers nor were they able to impregnate females of either species.

Both Born male and female could Create new Children of Abella through a controlled bite and sharing of blood. Only females were allowed to do so without explicit permission of the Head of the Family. Created males were a lower caste than Born males. They could aspire to the Born male caste through accomplishments.

Huvams–those children born to a Vampire mother with a human father–became the leaders of the Children of Abella. Created females could aspire to leadership through their accomplishments.

A World Council of Five Matriarchs ruled all the Children of Abella.

The world was divided into regions and each region was headed by a Matriarch. Within the regions, First Councilwomen ruled the Heads of Family. The Heads of Family were responsible for all Children within their extended Family.

Over time, the Children of Abella came to be called Vampire. The Children of Caine came to be called Human and mostly forgot that the Children of Abella still lived.

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2 INTERESTING #BOOKS ,REGARDLESS OF READER’S AGE

Books shaped my life, both as a child and now as an author. Girls have had to struggle with the restricted abilities and often uselessness of female characters–all too often Manic Pixie Dream Girls whose only function was to be there to help the boy achieve his destiny; the blonde bimbo to show how really smart the guy was; the damsel in distress so the hero could do his heroics.

This history is why I read YA novels, among many other kinds of genres. I search for novels that show women and girls as being the rescuers, the heros, the do-ers that change their worlds. I look for novels that young girls can read and come away from feeling good about themselves, having their imaginations fired up with all the things that girls CAN DO!

I am pleased to have found two more such books. These YA books are interesting reads regardless of the reader’s age.

Angelbound by Christina Bauer

http://www.amazon.com/Angelbound-Christina-Bauer-ebook/dp/B00EQGQ6OI

Myla Lewis, quasi-demon, has all the problems many eighteen-year-olds have: overprotective–single–mom, finish school, talk older friend into helping her sneak into the Arena. There’s a big difference though: she lives in Purgatory. She’s a gladiator–a woman who fights evil human souls to total destruction, hers or theirs. She has to win in order to stop evil human souls from transitioning into Heaven where they would do the King of Hell’s bidding and cause chaos.

The voice of Myla was well done and pulled me quickly into the story. I couldn’t help but cheer the little demon on. Right from the first, it was skillfully brought out that Myla’s mom was harboring secrets. Devastating secrets.

What could be worse than the chaos of Purgatory where the ghouls rule under the King of Hell’s banner and make life perilous for all other creatures? Myla is about to find out.

Don’t want to do a spoiler by accident, so suffice it to say this is a mystery with a bit of romance and a lot of fantasy.

Myla is definitely on my list of strong female characters. YA novel, but I rate this as suitable for plain vanilla adults. A four star read.

 

The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Files-Apryl-Baker-ebook/dp/B00EJ62OMS

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Hathaway, a foster child, has a slight problem: she sees ghosts. Not friendly Casper, but kids with bullet holes in their heads. Not even her best friend, Meg, realizes this. And, Mattie is determined that no one will know; after all, she feels enough like a weirdo as it is. She’s decided that ignoring the ghosts is the best way to force them to leave her alone.

She doesn’t know how wrong she is! When her foster sister, Sally, turns up dead with a bullet hole in the forehead, Mattie pushes aside her feelings about ghosts and opens herself to them. Can she find Sally’s body so that her foster sister can be laid to rest?

A read that quickly pulls you in and moves along. In the face of incredible odds, Mattie battles the hidden evil that is killing children. Will she win? Will she survive, or is she slated to be one of those children drifting around with a bullet hole in her head?

Mattie is a well-developed strong female character that is easy to like and to root for. YA novel but I rate this as suitable for plain vanilla adults, too. A four star read.

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