Queered Fiction are running an ebook giveaway today for Valentine's Day. Just check out the blog post for rules and then tweet for the chance to win any ebook from their catalogue, including QUEER WOLF (featuring Urban Wolf short WOLF STRAP) and SILVER KISS!
Naomi Clark's Wolf Strap is a mystery story, although the werewolf heroine Ayla's relationship with a human woman, Shannon, is also featured prominently here. Perhaps Ayla's relationship with Shannon and various peripheral characters are too prominently featured, as the mystery is resolved in a rushed and unsatisfying manner toward the end. Were this a longer story, I suspect that I'd enjoy this one more. The heroine seems like a typical brusque and cynical urban heroine at the surface, but she's a little more complicated than that actually. I like this one just fine - it is, in fact, one of my three favorite stories here - but pacing issues dog it a little.
ETA: Just stumbled across another review forQueer Wolf here at Collective Fallout. Once again, there's praise for Wolf Strap!:
"“Wolf Strap” pulls you in fast and hard ... Both mystery and horror, this story tells of the struggle between pack and humankind–and of what some men will do to even the playing field with the perceived wolf threat. Clark gives us characters that we can understand in a world that we cannot."
Born and Dead in Brooklyn
The Lady in the Fog
Scream if You Know What I Did Last Friday 13th
And since I'm here pimping myself, this is probably as good a time as any to remind you all that Queer Wolf is released in paperback on June 7th - just a few short days away!
June 7th is a Hot Moon!
Queer Wolf, the first anthology from QueeredFiction is released in trade paperback. It's already available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and if you love me, you'll totally buy a copy, because Wolf Strap is the opening story and rumour has it that it rocks.
But you can also win a copy direct from QueeredFiction just by going to www.queeredfiction.com/competition.htm and signing up for their newsletter. I know! It's so easy! Sign up before June 7th and you're in the drawing. Come on. You know you want to.
And just to tempt you, here's what people are saying:
“The debut anthology from James EM Rasmussen's QueeredFiction is an entertaining
and varied collection, boasting such talents as Charlie Cochrane and Ginn Hale. Lovers
of the lycan will find much to slaver over here: from the werewolf wanabee to the
lovers-through-time, to waifs and strays. From the carnal to the violent to the passionate,
this anthology will wag your tail, I guarantee it.”
Erastes author of Standish
( More reviews )
Queer Wolf does a terrific job of gathering suspenseful, romantic, and smart stories ... I must say all were unique and kept my interest. I highly recommend this collection.
And this to say about Wolf Strap in particular:
This story pulled me in immediately. I like a good murder mystery and this one worked very well in the short story setting. If you are looking for hot, steamy romance, this story does lack that, however, Ayla and Shannon's love has a very sweet and laid back tone. Their relationship is already well developed at the time the story takes place, which is a nice change instead of the usual "will they get together" storyline a lot of books have. Ayla is one of those"kick-ass" heroines - she loves her super-strength as a wolf (although keeps it in check around Shannon) and rolls her eyes when someone considers her more a human girl than a strong wolf. Shannon plays off her well, she can hold her own ground when the situation warrants, yet keeps a light teasing nature with Ayla. Naomi Clark is a new author to me and I would love to read more of the world she has developed.
Go me! And thanks, Mandi, for a lovely review ^-^
Well Read Reviews - "Honorable mentions ... Wolf Strap by Naomi Clark - whose author had deft touch with description."
Jessewave - "Queer Wolf is, I think, a credit to this first-time publisher."
Amberkatze - "The first story was for me the best out of the bunch but I think each reader will find different favourites." (And yes, Wolf Strap" is the first story :D )
Genre Reviews - "The broad variety ensures pretty much everyone will find at least a couple stories they'll enjoy, and werewolf fanatics should consider the collection a must-read"
"WOLF STRAP by Naomi Clark (F/F): Ayla is a female werewolf in a world where shifters are respectable member of society, but if you are homosexual it's better if you still stay in the closet. And so Ayla left home at 17 years old, finding her way in the big bad world alone, without the safe shelter of a pack. Nine years later, she has a partner, Shannon, and a good life, but an old friend calls her back at home for the funeral of her cousin, a 15 years old boy killed in a bashing against his race. Both for human than shifter standards, Ayla is not a strong woman: she is small and pretty, and she tries to hide it with short hair and piercing. But still she is not a tough woman, and this is reflected in the choice of her partner, a barbie doll type, pretty, blonde and soft. The strength of both Ayla and Shannon don't lie in their bodies, but in their behaviours, and Ayla will prove that, even if it doesn't seem, she is a real bad wolf (if not big). The interest in this short story lies in the contrast between Ayla as a human and her strength as a wolf, always retaining her female side, that makes her cute and pretty, even if she doesn't want it."
I have to say, seeing a review for my writing, and an actual published story and not an assignment or essay, is pretty surreal. It's fascinating to see what other people make of it, (I think this is a positive review!). I feel like there's a big divide between Naomi the Writer and Naomi the Everyday person who leaves socks everywhere and spends her weekends watching Power Rangers and yelling at the TV. Does anyone else ever feel like that when they see their work in print?
AVAILABLE NOW: eBook
"The debut anthology from James EM Rasmussen's QueeredFiction is an entertaining and varied collection, boasting such talents as Charlie Cochrane and Ginn Hale. Lovers of the lycan will find much to slaver over here: from the werewolf wanabee to the lovers-through-time, to waifs and strays. From the carnal to the violent to the passionate, this anthology will wag your tail, I guarantee it." Erastes author of Standish
"Overall, I enjoyed reading this anthology. There were a good range of stories from authors who mostly did interesting things with what many people are calling a tired genre. It was refreshing to see f/f stories amongst the m/m, and even more refreshing was the consistently high quality of the writing from all the authors - even if some worked better than others. I may have had some quibbles with plotting, but the writing itself was excellent. I'm going to give this anthology a grade of 'Very Good' as I will definitely be reading many of these stories again when I'm in the mood for something with a bit of bite." Well ReadQUEEREDFICTION - out between the pages
*puns always intended
I got my edits for Wolf Strap today, along with a lovely email from the editor of the anthology, James, saying mine was one of the easiest stories to say "yes" to, and therefore edits are pretty minimal. Huzzahs! I could get used to this. I was supposed to be going to a production of Hamlet featuring a water tank and a 50ft puppet ghost tonight, but I've struck down by the plague, so will head straight home to edit instead.
I also have to come up with a brief blurb for the story, which I'm really struggling with. All I can think of so far is something along the lines of "werewolf returns home to find cousin murdered. Chaos ensues. Also, a drag queen." Doesn't really seem right to me.