Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Kathy Kulig

The Nature of the Shapeshifter Beast
by Kathy Kulig

Shapeshifters, vampires, ghosts, demons and angels are making their appearance in paranormal romance. I’ve written about them all (except angels) and readers can’t seem to get enough. I know I don’t get tired of reading them or writing them. As long as writers continue to come up with amazing new worlds, discover new twists into the dark realms, create compelling characters and soul wrenching situations, we’ll be sucked in again and again. Yay!

Shapeshifters can be found in mythology and cultures all around the world. Some of these creatures are harmless, many are potentially malevolent. Here are a few I found interesting. There’s a Leszi, also seen it spelled Leshy. This is a Slavic woodland creature covered in dark hair made out of vines and grass. They can shift into any form—man, bear, wolf, or other forest animal. They’re mischievous and have been known to kidnap women. Japanese Yama-Uba is a hideous old hag that can shift into a beautiful woman to lure her victims. Then she shifts into a mass of snakes and eats her quarry. Sounds like someone’s nightmare. Need a folktale with a little more romance? The Selkie, an Icelandic, Irish and Scottish myth, transform from seal to human. Sadly, they can only have brief contact with humans—a good set up for a romantic tragedy—and then they must return to the sea. Male selkies have great seductive powers over women.

And a couple Norse dragon myths: Lindworm is a serpent-like dragon that stalks the countryside devouring cattle or feasting upon the dead in cemeteries. Nidhogg is a dragon that gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasill, the world tree.

A lot of this information I found in a reference book called “The Cryptopedia, A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre” by Jonathan Maberry & David F. Kramer. This is a great source for stirring up paranormal story ideas.

I’m so impressed by the creativity of paranormal authors who can take an old myth and create a story with a new twist or make up an entirely new one.

Many of my stories have a variety of shapeshifters—a man with a 300 year old Celtic curse shapeshifts into a stage but he can be a man only beneath the moonlight. I’ve used a twist on an ancient Norwegian myth where a person can don the skin of any animal and become that animal by willing it so. In this particular mythology, I’ve had a shapeshifting mountain lion, wolf, bear and leopard. My demons also have the power to shapeshift, an ability mostly used as a disguise to hide their presence on earth. My demons have been a coyote, falcon, wildcat and one has the ability to appear as any other human. Imagine the trouble he can get into.

When I wrote DRAGON WITCH, I wanted to write something different. A friend at work does origami. She travels all over the world to origami conventions. She made me an origami dragon. Funny because I never told her I liked dragons. I have him on my desk at work. Of course, I looked at him and thought dragon shifter! This creature when in human form has a voracious sexual appetite. I set the story on another world, because It has always been my dream to write a SciFi-like story. Then I added another love interest, an interstellar transport Captain—a hunky guy that the biologist/witch heroine had a steamy affair with and she can’t for the life of her forget. Toss them all on this planet in a desperate situation where lives are at stake, and that’s the set up for DRAGON WITCH. I hope you’ll enjoy it, because I had a blast writing it.

Biologist and witch, Jaida Chel combines nature magick with herbal science to protect Kai, the last shapeshifting dragon on her world of Somerled. But when Captain Brayden Stokes reenters her life not only is Kai’s life at stake, but so is Jaida’s secured position in the colony. Brayden and Jaida can’t resist the sexual heat between them, even though she knows a relationship would be doomed. Fleet pilots don’t stay planetside for long.

Jaida is torn between Brayden and her dragon and companion, Kai. When Kai morphs into a human twice a year, his sex drive is ravenous. He must mate for twenty-four hours or die. Unrestrained passion between Kai and Jaida temps Brayden into a forbidden encounter. With Jaida’s sassy, wicked ways, the three cross boundaries, exploring eroticism beyond their imagination. When secrets and betrayals are revealed, Brayden must risk everything for one last chance at love.

FREE BOOK Giveaway

Select any ebook (except the new release Dragon Witch) from Kathy’s back list.

Wild Jade, Seducing the Stones, Desert of the Damned or Damned and Desired.

Leave a comment on this post with email address

One Winner will be Chosen

Winner will be announced next Wednesday (not tomorrow)


The Phantom Paragrapher said...

Any Book :) The author sounds great
Will have to add author to my Must Read List

Cheers , Paula

JenM said...

I love all kinds of shapeshifter stories. The cryptopedia also sounds like a fascinating read - who knew there was an encyclopedia of such a thing.

jen at delux dot com

Jeremy said...

I'm up to try anything. I like learning about new authors especially when they write great books. :)

romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

Lisa (Lisa's World of Books) said...

I would love to win. I just got my nook and need books!



*yadkny* said...

I love the storyline already in Dragon Witch and can't wait to get it and start reading it! If I had to choose one of Kathy's books it would be...
Damned And Desired
Although I think I want all of them, but we'll start with that one:)

BTW - Love Kathy's the website!


Andrea I said...

It sounds like a great book, different and with HOT sex.


Anonymous said...

I often wondered if it was easier to come up with a twist on Western lore or work with other lore. In the first case, readers would understand quite a bit about the world of the book without a lot of explanations. In the latter case, there would be so much that the reader would not have been exposed to anyway so practically everything about the world of the book would be new.

I'd read either setup. :)


Estella said...

All of Kathy's books sound great!
Would love to have a copy of Wild Jade.

kissinoak at frontier dot com

Stephanie M said...

I love that you have tried different types of shifters. The new book also looks really great. Thanks for the giveaway.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

Shapeshifters, vampires, ghosts, demons and angels! What a great combination. I look forward in reading this.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Paula, thanks for your kind words & for checking out my books. Happy Reading!

Hey Jen, Cryptopedia is a cool book and has given me a number of ideas for stories.

Hi Danielle, I like trying new authors too, as well as reading a variety of of genres.

Lisa, LOL. I loooove my Nook. I'm getting quite a collection of books on mine.

*yadkny* Thanks for checking out Dragon Witch. Damned and Desired is Book 2 in my Demons in Exile series. Desert of the Damned is Book 1, but they're stand-alone books and can be read in any order. I'm working on book 3 now.
Rae Monet did an awesome job on my website. Thanks for the complement.

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Andrea, Certainly is a lot of HOT sex in this story. LOL

Hey Cories, Building paranormal worlds can be quite a challenge. As you said, a writer can take a twist on a familiar myth or completely start from stratch. Whatever suits the story or author, I suppose.

Estella, Thank you so much. Wild Jade is a favorite of many readers.

Hi Stephanie, Thanks and you're welcome. I'm a big fan of shifter stories--reader & writer.

Tracey, Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the book. :)

Fedora said...

Hi, Kathy! I didn't know your newest features dragon shifters! Too cool (or should I say, too hot!!) Congrats on that, and I'm looking forward to picking it up!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Sherry said...

All of her books sound wonderful and it would be a very hard choice to make.


avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

I'd like Wild Jade.

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot]it

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi flchen1, Dragon shifter, yes! pretty cool, huh? LOL. And thanks so much, enjoy!

Sherri, hi, That's so sweet of you to say. Thank you.

Avalonne. Thank you for stopping by. Love the kitty avatar.

Roxanne, Thank you so much for having me as a guest blogger. I looove you site.

Png said...

Wild Jade seems intersting



arceli said...

I just need some new reading material, and these books sound good.


Unknown said...

Would love to read, thanks for the give away offer.



Stephanie said...

It's true inspiration comes from anywhere as long as we're open to it :D

Thanks for coming to share with us today! You're a new to me writer so all your stories look inviting!


k_sunshine1977 said...

i just went to the website, and they all sound so good! but i would pick Seducing the Stones if i win. another great-sounding author to add to my tbr list! yippee!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com


This blog has great authors posting. Kathy Kulig is one of those.


Kathy Kulig said...

Hi PNG, Thanks for stopping by. Sorry all for the late response. I'm getting ready for Romanticon.

Arceli, Thanks so much from another book junkie.

Nikola, You're welcome. I appreciate you checking out the books.

Stephanie, Very true about inspiration and Congrats on the win!

Hi K Sunshine, Thanks for checking out my website. :)

Loretta, Thanks so much. You all made my visit at Fang-tastic such a blast.