Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review + Guest Post + Excerpt: Cloaked in Fur by T.F. Walsh

Title: Cloaked in Fur

Author: T.F. Walsh

Publication date: August 5th, 2013

ISBN: 9781440571619

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she'd abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana's friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She'll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack's secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

Paranormal Suspense with Strong Romance.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have always had a soft spot for shapeshifters and werewolves in particular so when approached by the author to read and review her book, I was thrilled to have the opportunity. After reading the synopsis I felt that this would be a really unique spin on the whole werewolf creature as a whole.

In typical werewolf style, Daciana, a moonwulf, is most susceptible to shifting during the full moon. However, it is only after her ceremonial passage into a wulfkin that she can embrace her wolf counterpart and shift as often as she desires. Being a moonwulf and future wulfkin doesn't come without rules within her close-knit pack. She is never to mate with a wild wolf and breed offspring, she is never to attack or kill humans, she is never to choose the human world over her pack, and she is never to fall in love with humans. On the wulfkin's version of rumspringa, she is free to explore the human world before returning to the pack, claiming a mate, and making more pups to increase the pack's ranks. That all changes when she meets Connell, a very human man, and falls in love.

Her whirlwind romance with Connell drives Daciana to not only leave her pack, but to attempt to make herself completely human so she can be with Connell forever. That is not something Daciana's pack or her alpha will allow. It is only after a malicious dracwulf, the offspring of a wulfkin and a wild wolf, starts attacking and feasting on Daciana's friends, that she realizes finding a way to be human and with Connell forever is the least of her problems.

Daciana is forced to lie continuously to the man she loves, hunt down a blood-thirsty monster, stride a careful line in pack politics, and search for a cure to her moonwulf status. No sweat, right?

As I said before, I thought that the premise of this story was incredibly unique and intriguing. The whole werewolves having sex with real wolves and creating pups was a little, uh, unnerving, but I have never seen it done before, so there's that. The problem I found in this book was instead of having a clear rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion, as is the general format, it went up and down. Every time I felt the story was coming to a comfortable close, something else would happen and continue the story. It was a bit frustrating and caused the book to feel drawn out and lose some of its appeal.

With the romance, I find that I generally connect better with characters when I can see their romance unfold. In this book, the romance is already established so the "I love you so much" phrases thrown around sounded a little forced.

Negativity aside, I must have found something in it that appealed to me since I didn't struggle too much to read it. I read it in a matter of two days and was content with it. I didn't leave the reading experience regretting the time spent.

Cloaked in Fur is a twist on werewolf lore coupled with a Romeo and Juliet-esk love. It introduces it's reader to a fantasy world unlike any they have seen before.

Available at:
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg

When approached by the author, we discussed her participating in a guest post as well for the site. Of course, I agreed. Here are a few words from T.F. Walsh on Cloaked in Fur.

Author's Inspiration

"Thank you for having me on your blog today.

My inspiration for writing Cloaked in Fur came from me wanting to explore the idea of how far someone would go to save his or her true love. What exactly would they be willing to sacrifice? Team that up with my infatuation for all things werewolf, and my story was born :) Plus, being born in Romania, I really wanted to show a different side of Transylvania rather than the typical vampire connection, including culture and traditions most people are unaware of."

"I have juice, beer, spirits, or water. No vodka." Connell called from the kitchen.

I joined him. "Water's fine."

Retrieving a clear bottle from the fridge, he reached up and collected two empty glasses from the cupboard, then settled onto a stool. Following his lead, I sat next to him and grabbed my full glass.

He studied his tumbler, running a finger down the perspiring glass. "What's going on with you and with us?" A long breath escaped from his mouth. "Your sudden disappearance this weekend, your friend's strange behavior--like he was more than a friend--and everything from that night seemed wrong, like I was missing something. I felt like an idiot."

My skin iced over, and my pulse thundered in my ears. His gorgeous face tightened, and his eyelids lowered as he said, "I feel like I'm just getting to know you. I don't like secrets, but I'm so in love with you that I'm struggling to walk away. And what scares me is that I might be heading right into a wall with my eyes wide open."

My voice softened. "Don't say that." I felt like the tug-o-war rope between Connell and wulfkin troubles, each needing my attention, and me refusing to give up on either of them.

He lifted his head. His hand cupped the side of my face and his thumb swept the tears from beneath my eyes. I inhaled his warmness.

He said, "Please tell me the truth, no matter how bad you think it is. I can take it. But I can't take any more lies."

The faint tremble behind his words shattered my resolve to stay quiet. My entire life I followed orders, making everyone happy but me. Sandulf persuaded me to forget my mother with promises of a new life she would never accept, and I foolishly obeyed. I never knew my real father, but he obviously was a wulfkin from somewhere. I would give anything to turn things around and return to my real mom, to remove the grief she bore for losing a daughter. And now the alpha's action might see Connell ripped from my heart as well.

About the Author:
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.