OS: Welcome to Bru Baker here to talk about Werewolves!
Reimagining werewolf lore
Hi, everyone! I’m Bru Baker, and I’m so happy to be here on Open Skye Reviews kicking off my release tour for my latest book, Camp H.O.W.L. I had so much fun writing my Dreamspun Desire (Tall, Dark, and Deported) that I jumped at the chance to try my hand at writing for the Dreamspun Beyond line. Al the sweetness and tropes with paranormal mixed in? Sign me up!
I’ve dabbled in paranormal before (Some Assembly Required, written with Lex Chase) but this was my first time writing werewolves. I love paranormal romances and urban fantasy, and Camp H.O.W.L. gave me the chance to dive in and try my hand at a little worldbuilding. I wanted to put my own twist on the werewolf mythology, but I also didn’t want to take it too far outside of what readers expect. There’s a reason the werewolf trope exists, and it’s because it works. I didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel–just change the hubcaps a little.
My wolves hide their true nature from society, but the moon doesn’t make them ravening beasts. They can shift at will and can master resisting the call of the moon once they’ve had the proper training. And that’s where the camp part comes in. In Adrian and Tate’s world, wolves are born. They have their first Turn at age nineteen, which means that tied up with all that teen angst, self-discovery, and rebellion is a second puberty–one that has them sprouting hair a lot more places than just under their arms. Teenage werewolves are a huge security risk, so most of them are sent to the equivalent of werewolf summer camp where they can learn how to control their shift and how to keep their true identity a secret.
It’s a big job, and one that werewolf therapist and camp counselor Tate Lewis has plenty of experience with. When Adrian Rothschild finds himself marooned at the camp amid kids ten years younger than him, he often finds himself wondering where Tate finds the patience to put up with them.
Which leads right into the excerpt I’m sharing today–Tate teaching a class on social media for werewolves. *g*
Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….
When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.
Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.
A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?
Tate clapped his hands, and Adrian winced at the sharp sound, regretting his seat choice. Would his hearing always be this sensitive? How did people deal with that?
“Now that we’re all ready to pay attention,” Tate said, standing and leveling the class with a solemn look, “let’s get started. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today—”
“Social media?” a girl from a few rows behind Adrian said, her tone confused. “It’s on the syllabus.”
Adrian’s lips quirked into a grin when he saw Tate stifle a groan. He met Adrian’s eyes for a split second, and a chill went down Adrian’s spine at the playful annoyance in his gaze. Poor Tate. It must be hard to be surrounded by teenagers all the time.
“Well, that joke went over like a lead balloon,” Tate said, shaking his head. “Yes, Brittany, we’re talking about social media today.”
Adrian turned to look up at the back row when someone scoffed loudly. “What can an old guy like you teach us about social media?”
It was pretty close to what Adrian had asked earlier, but with a knife-edge of irritation and scorn instead of playfulness. The kid was clearly trying to cause a scene, but Tate didn’t take the bait. Adrian did, though. He could feel his skin start to tighten, and he tamped down on it as hard as he could, silently begging his body not to shift.
“Well, Ryan, I’m so glad you asked!” Tate said cheerfully, as if Ryan’s question hadn’t been dripping with condescension. Tate’s easy manner made it easier for Adrian to breathe through his own annoyance, and after a moment the itchy-hot feeling subsided.
“I’m sure everyone in this room is well-versed in how to use social media, but it’s my job to make sure you are using it responsibly,” Tate continued.
“Who made you the dick pic police?” Ryan jeered, and this time Adrian didn’t turn around. He kept his gaze trained on Tate, who aside from stiffening a little didn’t outwardly react to the taunt.
“Honestly, I’m not interested in policing who you share intimate photos with,” Tate said, unruffled by Ryan’s disrespect. It was probably a daily occurrence around here, Adrian realized. How the hell did Tate do this every day? Adrian had spent a grand total of less than an hour out and about with these kids, and he was ready to kill them all. And he wasn’t even in charge of them—he was just a bystander! Adrian couldn’t imagine putting up with this kind of irritation every day.
“That is,” Tate continued, “unless those photos in any way compromise the safety of werewolfdom. And even in that event, I’m not the one you have to be worried about. Your Alpha is bound by werewolf law to turn anyone who flaunts our rules and risks exposure, literally or figuratively, over to their local Tribunal.” Tate arched a brow as he lifted his face to look in Ryan’s direction. “I don’t have firsthand experience with that, but from what I’ve heard it’s not pleasant. And that’s if your own Alpha doesn’t kill you instead of handing you over for trial.”
Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker, release date Nov. 1, 2017
I’ll be on Love Bytes on Nov. 2 with more about Adrian. I hope you’ll come read about what makes him tick!
Bru Baker spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.