Please welcome Leona Bushman to The Eclectic Zaftig Chick.
Book 2 of the War of the Weres is out! I’m so excited! I’ve waited a long time to renew my love affair with them. We had to move locations as the well had been soured at the old one. But now, clear, crystal water, with a few filters.
This has been re-edited, about 1k words net added, and some were cut, so probably 1500 new words. It’s the same beloved story, continues the saga, and yet is a story of its own. I love werewolves. IN this book, we’re still on the reservation where I’ve lived much of my life, so we still have a strong Native American flavor to it.
Each group of weres, whether it’s wolves, cats, bears, etc., has their own flavor, just like people do. Full blooded Scots in America are not the same as full blooded Scots in Scotland. There are similarities and traditions that they’ve all handed down, but they’re not the same. How much more so are Americans different from say, Brazilians? As people, there are some consistencies to how our cultures evolve, but there are distinct differences and things that people identify with specific cultures. I hope that I caught the Eastern Washington Native Americans best light and gave you a sense of the people for the reader even though I made it all up for the werewolf society. I tried to incorporate the feel of the lands, of the people. I plan to do this with every book. Each pack, clan, pard, shadow, what have you, they will have the feel of the lands around them, as well as where they’re from.
In book three, we’re introduced to a character from the New Orleans area. She’s going to be a bit different than the clans from Sherona’s shadow, for instance.
In The Midwife’s Moon, we have a Mexican woman who’s been adopted into the Native American werewolf tribe, and has a lot to learn, but also a lot to give. Her mate, Lance, has been abused systematically by his leader. They’re both hurt souls who struggle with trust and with letting another person take care of them. But as their lives are on the line in this war in which the true enemy is hidden, they don’t get to pussyfoot around it.
Come, walk the walk with them. Feel their pain, their glory, their fears, their love.
The war isn’t as obvious as you might think.
The first night of the full moon, she showed up at the regular place. She waited in fear, apprehension growing at the unknown awaiting her. She worked to control her breathing. Minute by minute, her dread grew even though she tried to hold back her terror at being alone. Her stomach clenched and her body tensed against the cold ground. What if I die? What if I kill someone? With a newly found ruthlessness, she squashed those thoughts, telling herself he had to come.
But he didn’t.
Soon after moonrise, her scalp began to itch. Absently, she scratched it, but her hands began to hurt in a way she didn’t recognize. She rubbed them until her skin crawled with prickles of sharp, tender points. Her bones began aching, and she dropped to her knees as anxiety swamped her. What’s happening to me now? Trepidation rolled through her, causing her to feel lightheaded and queasy, so she sat back and tried laying her head on her knees to breathe through it.
Her body was on fire.
Her vision changed, moving from color to washed-out, to something in between, which told her “color,” but more. The pounding in her head increased, pushing the pain into her mind, and she crawled to the nearby pine tree and began scratching her back against it to get to the itch there. Her whole body was the fuel and the moon the flame, until an inferno danced within her in a macabre volley keeping her at a frenzy between human and not.
What have I done?
In his wolf form and hiding behind a tree, Lance Navarro watched the beautiful woman from a distance. What is she doing in an open clearing, alone, in the middle of the night? He mentally shrugged and turned to find an animal for their pack leader, Roxy Whitekiller, before she sent someone after him and punished him.
He shuddered. When beatings and scratches, her punishments were harsh, and they were worse when they were…not. A small whimper left him as he remembered the last session of punishments. Boris had helped.
He took two steps, then stopped as the breeze ruffled his fur. It wasn’t all that ruffled him.
His heart raced, saliva built up in his mouth, and desire quickened in his loins. He wanted her. But, how? His wolf wanted the woman as his mate. It couldn’t be. She was a human. He knew all the local werewolves, and he didn’t recognize her.
Almost against his will, the wolf side of him turned back to the woman it insisted was its mate. Lance crouched low and crept back to the clearing, this time moving closer to her position. She had moved so her back was against a tree and rubbed her body hard against the rough bark. The breeze wafted over him again, welcome on the warm summer night, but this time her essence contained—wolf.
His heart screamed in tortured happiness and denial. She couldn’t be. The only freedom he had from Roxy was that she couldn’t threaten his mate when he threw his little rebellions. He didn’t know how he would cope if there was a mate close enough for Roxy to torture. His beast roared inside.
No! Roxy would never touch his mate.
He lifted his head once more over the brush to see what she was doing and panicked. She’s gone!
Even though he felt an urgent need to run, he forced himself to look carefully into the clearing before slowly coming out of hiding. He had to be careful because they were in the neutral territory between his own pack, the Lupins, and the Wahpawhats. No one was supposed to hunt or feed in the area, nor were they allowed to mark their territory as a wolf. Even owning land under human laws entered shaky ground.
When he could detect no sounds or other scents, he went to the tree she had been sitting near and took a large sniff. He closed his eyes, and his torn and shattered soul sighed as he found hope again even as he took another deep breath of her essence. Ambrosia. But where had she gone?
Putting his muzzle to the ground, he started sniffing around, then froze. Under her scent, he caught the scent of the weasel from the Wahpawhat tribe who fed Roxy information now and then. Lance racked his brain for the name while he followed the scents, and it soon came to him—Joseph. Her scent never wavered from the other man’s, and jealousy started to worm its way into his mind. As they headed deeper into Lupin territory, he became sure the woman followed Joseph’s scent.
Joseph had a mate and married her not too long ago, if Lance remembered correctly. He recalled Roxy laughing and saying the poor woman, Joseph’s new wife, was stuck with a cowardly snake. Roxy had also mentioned how she would eat a man like Joseph before being stuck with him and in fact had done that very thing. Then she’d laughed as if it were a big joke, but Lance knew things. He had seen her eating another wolf in a vision, before her mate died. It had been his first clear vision, at age sixteen.
He’d run away the night he’d had that vision, scared of himself, frightened of his nightmares. Only when Roxy’s mate turned up dead did he realize his dreams and nightmares were not like others’. It had taken him a couple of years to learn how to determine dreams from visions, but he had.
Now, though, he increased his tracking pace. He didn’t need to be a soothsayer to know what Roxy would do to another woman trespassing on her land. And, although he wasn’t considered a strong Alpha in their pack, he would defend the stranger, with his life if need be. Frustration gnawed at him the farther he went without finding her. How far could she have gone?
Lance and Lisa fight fall out from the pack’s joining after Nolan beats the Lupa. Can they overcome their respective pasts and the pack’s current infighting?
Lisa is still reluctant to trust after her experience with an unscrupulous lover. Becoming midwife to the pack whom adopted her after her lonely transformation is the only sensible solution for her, but she remains apart, sure people hate her for being an aswan. Then she meets her mate. Can she overcome her trust issues and help him with his healing from an abusive Lupa?
Lance helped bring down his Lupa, but he still has scars left from years of her treatment. He’d found his mate before, but had to leave her to protect her. Would she be able to forgive him now? Something evil is in the air and pushes his visions in a manner new to him. Can he interpret what they mean in time to save the packs, or will Lisa pay the price?
Nolan and Alex are still struggling to find the lupa who put so much pain and killed werewolves, but they are finding a stronger presence whom makes Roxy look like candy in comparison. Can they help Lisa and Lance even as they struggle to find Alex’s mother and save her from Roxy’s clutches without causing a pack war across the state?
Three Worlds Press: http://www.threeworldsproductionsllc.com/my-books-2/