When The Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing by Angela Parson Myers
Here’s a decent Paranormal Romance that makes the beasts less beastly.
Publisher’s Description: Unspeakable evil rises with the moon…
Graduate student Natalie Beres can’t remember who attacked her that autumn night under the full moon. She can’t remember anything between leaving her lab in a secluded building at the south end of campus and arriving at her apartment in the wee hours of the morning. Covered in blood. Not her own. Other than the loss of memory, she’s completely unharmed.
She can’t say the same for the men who attacked her. The grisly campus murders force Natalie to dig deeper into what happened that night, to force herself to remember. But what she learns about herself is horrifying. When the police officer investigating the murders tries to get close, Natalie is caught between her attraction to him and her fear of discovery. But worse, can she avoid being found by the young man with a similar problem who’s on his way from the West coast to find her…leaving a trail of shredded corpses along the way…?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
In this unique take on werewolves, I love the creativity. They’re not your average beasts of burden – though beasties they are. They’re more bear-like creatures who retain their minds even after shifting. They even wear clothes and can somewhat talk! The sensory overload and a hunger for steak is a nice touch too.
Natalie’s killed someone in self-defense and she’s gotta live with that fact. As she struggles to figure out who she is, the self-transformation is nice. She comes out of her shell and starts changing in the woods, tells her best friend what she is, and dares to lie to the romantic interest to keep him from running.
The romance itself started out well for me. The shy girl without a clue versus the average man with good looks, charm, and a sense of humor. He’s persistent and Natalie finally gives in and goes with him on several dates. However, although they spend a lot of time with each other, for me it feels like they go from one level to the next four, from holding hands in one scene to making out on the bed. It jumps around a lot as they figure out their feelings and it seems forced in places.
Despite all the creative tidbits that follow the story, its downfall for me was the little clichés thrown in. I’ve seen too many stories where girl meets boy, she’s supernaturally gifted in some way but falls in love regardless, and then has to go through a big trial where he finds out what she is and she has to end up saving him from something. Although this book has its differences, it still had that vibe with me.
Overall, I still enjoyed the story so it gets a three from me!
Invested Ivana says…
I have to admit to a little disappointment about this book. Based on the cover and the description, I expected this book to be an urban fantasy. However, it is a paranormal romance. Though I don’t particularly favor the romance genre, for a romance book, this one wasn’t bad.
I like all the characters and care about what happens to them. Michael, the love interest, is quite a fantastical depiction of the ideal everyman. Natalie, the protagonist, seems very believable and levelheaded. I’m sad that Derek wasn’t developed more as a character or actually used more in the plot of the story. He traveled all the way across the country just to die. But I really enjoyed Natalie’s cousins from Michigan.
This book only scratches the surface of werebeasts in this universe, so it would be a lot of fun to learn more about that culture and society. I know many romances are one-shots, where there’s no more story after the love interests get together; so I’m curious where Book 2 is going to go.
While there is definitely physical interest between the two main characters, the author thankfully left the details to the reader’s imagination.
Overall this is a pretty entertaining read. If you like paranormal romances, I would definitely suggest giving this one a try.
Interview with the author…
What made you want to put a unique spin on the werewolf legend?
I never liked the idea that a person could become a werewolf simply by being bitten—in other words, made evil without making a conscious decision to be evil. So there had to be another way to become a werewolf. And I never liked the idea that a human being could change physically enough to look like a wolf. At the very least, the total mass of a person should remain the same. Other than that, my characters simply said, “No, don’t be silly. That’s not how it works at all.” ☺
What’s your favorite personality trait of Natalie’s?
I like that she’s intelligent, not impulsive, that she always tries to think things out and make sense of them. Even in a situation that would have most people a heap of quivering jelly on the floor, she ultimately manages to control her fear and figure out what’s happening. And when she finds she can no longer deny the truth of the completely illogical, she manages to accept it.
At times, the relationship between Michael and Natalie is like molasses, and sometimes it’s like gasoline. How would you describe their kind of love?
Normal? ☺ In my experience, neither life nor love moves at a steady pace. Sometimes it seems like you’re standing still, then you take a sudden leap forward—or back. Also, Natalie is fighting her feelings for Michael because how can she ask any man to love her when she grows hair and fangs every full moon?
Michael’s family is huge – did you grow up with a lot of family members?
No, I didn’t. I have only one sister. But both my parents and my husband did. My mother’s family was the opposite of Michael’s. She had four brothers.
What was your favorite scene?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Since I wrote them all, it’s hard not to like them all equally. I enjoyed the scene where Natalie spends the night in Allerton Park and misplaces her clothes; I like the scene where Michael is trying to forget Natalie and finally follows Max’s advice to solve his problem by considering it from the opposite direction.
What kind of scenes are your favorites to write? Action? Romantic? Etc.?
Probably action, because it’s also what I like most to read. I’m not really into romance books. I loved writing the scene where Michael and Lisa stalk the rogue werewolf through the South Farms at the U of I.
The story is told in third-person narrative. What are the benefits of that point of view?
The author can get deeply into the heads of the POV characters almost as well as with first person, but can speak from more than one POV. Of course, it’s possible to speak from more than one POV even in first person, but it sounds very awkward to me. But mostly, it’s the POV that comes naturally to me.
Where did you come up with the idea for When The Moon Is Gibbous And Waxing?
I had nightmare one night and woke myself up growling as I attacked the men who were about to attack me. My husband, who slept through crying babies and thunderstorms back then, sat straight up in bed and said, “What was THAT? It sounded like an ANIMAL!” I started laughing. I had a heck of a time explaining it to him. I spent years thinking about what it would be like to suddenly find out you’re something others think is the personification of evil. How would you accept that? Finally Natalie came to me and said, “Hi, I’m Natalie. Write my story.” And she wouldn’t leave me alone. Anyway, that nightmare is now the first scene in the novel.
Are any sequels planned?
At the time, I wrote the book as a stand-alone. Then another character came to me and said, “Hey, we know now about the nature of evil and being the person you decide to be instead of the person others think you are. I have something to say about how we should respond to true evil when we encounter it. When are you going to let me say it?” The problem is, that character doesn’t come into the picture for several years. But he started me thinking, and now I’m about a third done with the second book in the series, which I now see as including four books that take place over a period of more than 20 years.
What’s your writing style – outline or pants?
Mostly pants. I have an idea where I want to go and a few side trips on the way, but I have to wait for my characters to tell me how to get there. I’ll see scenes from random times in the book and write them down for when I get there. Sometimes I never do, but they still serve as guideposts for the plot. But I’m certainly not one of those people who writes a detailed outline. That would ruin the fun.
When did you first get into writing?
If you mean when did I first start, I started writing poetry when I was in third or fourth grade, and a little newspaper in sixth, but I didn’t try fiction until I was in junior high. Inspired by my dreams even then, I made short stories out of them and passed them out to my friends during chorus class. Later, I wrote a high school news column for the local newspaper. They paid me for it, so I actually became a professional writer at the age of 17. ☺ I earned an AAS in mass communications and became a feature writer for a regional newspaper when my kids were in grade school, and later I worked as a writer/editor for an international corporation for about 15 years. When I retired, I did a drastic edit on the manuscript I’d finished the first year I worked for the corporation, cutting about 40,000 words to bring it down to the length most publishers said they wanted, then I submitted it.
Who are some of your favorite authors or idols?
If I had my fondest wish, my writing would be a combination of Jim Butcher and Kay Hooper. I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Rider series, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy… I could go on and on. ☺
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Badly. Some of my comments above might hint that I have to listen to my characters like they were real people. And you know the saying, “Sometimes my invisible friends refuse to talk to me.” Usually though, I can get on track again by reading the previous chapter. If that doesn’t work, I do research on something I’m not entirely sure about, like autopsies, long swords, even salivary glands—all things I’ve checked for my WIP.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Rewrites. I know that sounds strange to many people, because writers are supposed to hate rewrites. But once I have the plot in hand and can go back and add and subtract and touch up, I really get acquainted with my characters. For example, a character in my WIP is a Scot, but he’s spent a lot of time in America. I didn’t realize until I went back over one of his chapters that when he talks to Michael, he has very little accent, but when he talks to another Scot, his accent returns. That’s just a little touch, but it tells you something important about that character.
And last but not least, a weird one! If the characters still retained their personalities, but Michael was the werewolf and not Natalie, how would the story go?
That’s a difficult one for me because I didn’t create Michael. He came into the story unplanned and insisted on courting Natalie. He is certainly more outgoing than she is and pays more attention to feelings. He’s even a bit of a romantic. He would have changed for the first time at a much earlier age than she did because he acted more impulsively as a teen, so he’d have known what he was for many years by the time they met. As a police officer, he could use it to his benefit. So the main question, I think, is whether Natalie could accept him as a werewolf. She’d have to see it to believe it, but once she did, she’d probably want to study him. ☺ Their romance would take just as long to develop, though, because Natalie would be even more cautious.
Angela Parson Myers is the author of the novelette, The Will to Love, and novel, When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing, both available for Kindle and Nook and in paperback from Amazon.com. As AH Myers, author of several short story collections for Kindle and Nook.
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