Today Jan DeLima, author of the Celtic Wolves series, is guest posting about wolf mythology in the Celtic world. Be sure to read down to the very bottom of the post for the giveaway link!
The inspiration for my Celtic Wolves series came to me while working in the cataloging department of my local library when a book on Celtic motifs crossed my desk. The book reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art. Intrigued, I dove into researching Celtic mythology and found more material than I could possibly imagine on wolves and shape shifting. Let’s just say my paranormal writer’s radar was dinging loudly.
“Even though the wolf was extinct in all parts of England by the end of the fifteenth century, in Scotland a century later, and in Ireland by the eighteenth century, its place in Celtic lore and art was already secure.” (Celtic Beasts: Animal Motifs and Zoomorphic Design in Celtic Art by Courtney Davis and Dennis O’Neill, p. 42.)
During my research, references from The Mabinogion also appeared. The Mabinogion, also translated as The Mabinogi, is a collection of Celtic folklore from medieval Welsh manuscripts, including The White Book of Rhydderch and The Red Book of Hergest. It is theorized that the manuscripts were written around the 1300-1400s, and they include stories of the Otherworld, along with the earlier versions of Arthurian legend. These versions are darker than the ones you may be familiar with. You can learn more about The Mabinogion on its Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabinogion, but I recommend that you verify facts at your local library as well.
Marriage, shape shifting, and wolves are common themes in many of the tales. Wales is the home of fantasy, of dragons, and King Arthur, and tales of the Otherworld. Their Celtic mythology mirrors many of the Irish versions, and it’s such a rich culture to draw inspiration from.
Even though historical elements are woven into my Celtic Wolves series, my stories are driven by their characters. While planning the fantasy components for this series, I asked myself a set of questions. With the Celtic Wolves, it was about choices and the migration of their race from ancient times into a modern world. Questions like: If wolves no longer existed in their homeland, where would they have migrated over the years? And just to make things interesting, what if their race was dying? What if they were losing their ability to shift into a wolf with each new generation? How would a powerful race of immortal shifters react to their loss of power?
My characters emerged soon after, demanding a place in this magical world. As always, they arrived with their own sets of questions. What if a woman, a human, met one of these warriors and had an affair, unaware of his secret? What if she conceived his child? What if he kept her guarded, protected, forcing her to remove all ties from her old life without giving her just cause? What would a modern woman do, if forced to choose between freedom, love, and her child?
In Celtic Moon, Sophie chooses freedom and her child, not love–until fifteen years later, when she can no longer deny that her son has inherited more of his father than she had hoped.
Will she risk her freedom for the welfare of her child? Absolutely! But can an ancient warrior forgive her for stealing his son? Can his wolf resist his mate? And, more importantly, what if this human woman has given birth to the first shifter in over three hundred years?
Welcome to the world of my Celtic wolves! J
Thank you for inviting me to talk about my series, and for the wonderful topic suggestion!
All my best,
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 84,000 approx
Like father, like son…
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—-a man who can change into a wolf.
Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—-an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.
When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…
Available at Amazon and BN
Teaser Excerpt from Celtic Moon:
“I’m going for a run,” Dylan said dryly, taking off toward the woods. His people had wronged Sophie. He was convinced of that now. And still she had come home to him, of her own free will—for their son.
His wolf clawed at his spine for release. Its fury, its need—its desire for the woman who’d had the courage to return for their child was no longer controllable.
The wolf wanted out.
Having her near and within reach was akin to pain.
Perhaps it was a good thing Sophie hadn’t invited him to stay, Dylan thought as he entered the forest, ripping off clothes as he walked. For if she had, he wasn’t sure if he could have controlled his hunger.
It had been too long.
Celtic Moon’s first chapter:
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 30, 2014
Number of pages: 305
Word Count: 84,000
She won’t be ruled again…
Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.
Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.
When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…
Available at Amazon and BN
Excerpt from Summer Moon:
Luc wrapped the knitted blanket around Rosa and draped it like a shawl. Fisting his hands around the corners, he pulled her forward, like a fish caught in a weir. Before she could guess his intent, she found herself on his lap, cocooned in heat and hot male skin, with her legs dangled over his knees.
“Now, is this so bad?” he taunted while tucking her head under his chin.
“I suppose not.” Pondering where to place her hands, she ended up curling them in her lap, while her shoulder rested in the crook between his arm and chest.
In truth, it was hypnotic setting on him like this—dangerously so, like the hush before a storm. The rise and fall of his torso as he breathed lulled like a male siren, along with the weight of his arms and the lure of his skin against her cheek. The most exquisite scent of forest and man wove around her senses. More tempting, underneath it all lay the hint of musk, of potent wolf waiting in the shadows to protect her if the human failed.
All her tension ebbed like a babe in caring arms. Away from Guardians and wrapped in strength; she’d not felt this safe since childhood. How sad that she’d found peace with a virtual stranger. And how easily she could become addicted.
Oh, yes . . . this was dangerous. “How long do we have to stay like this?”
“Shhhh . . .” His throat moved as he swallowed while his hands trailed up her thighs and under her sweater, but only to knead the muscles of her lower back.
As if she weren’t becoming a puddle of goo already.
Before long, her eyes grew heavy, drifted closed. Had he been waiting for this moment of surrender, she wondered drowsily, when her guard had dissolved enough to welcome his gentle game? And did she care? For this was far more pleasant than any others she’d been forced to play.
He shifted to the side and moved his shoulder, leaned a bit, and her head rolled back, only to be caught by the soft pressure of his mouth on hers. So tender she didn’t even open her eyes. Were a man’s lips supposed to be this soft? Like with other carnal acts, she had little experience with kissing, sadly enough.
Having known only violence or indifference, her perceptions reeled. Indeed, if this was passion, then she didn’t know how to respond. But she was curious enough to try. She would admit that to herself, and even to him if he asked . . . She was so hungry to know what others whispered about in giggly tones. How many stories had she heard, from Tesni and others, of their forbidden trysts and naughty secrets, only to feel like a bystander to their private joy?
“Open your mouth, Rosa.” The order came on a husky whisper against her lips.
Summer Moon’s first chapter:
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 29, 2015
Number of pages:
The heart of a warrior, the soul of a wolf, and the desires of a man…
For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities.
Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever.Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes.
Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…
Available at Amazon and BN
Excerpt from Autumn Moon
Too wired to sleep, Elen opened the wine and poured a glass, sipping quietly as she walked over to the bed. Cormack slept above the coverlet and on his back, with one arm raised over his head, while the other rested by his side. His hair was still damp from his shower, and he wore jeans but no shirt, as if he’d just rested his head and sleep claimed him first.
His chest rose and fell with even breaths. She was not one to marvel over physical attributes, but this was Cormack, and his body was meant for pleasure, like a goddess had molded him for her personal divine gratification. His frame was large, and toned, with wide shoulders and a firm chest that tapered down to his hips. His hardened stomach would provide the perfect friction were she to ride him just like this.
And as that image flooded her mind, another, more wicked one, followed. It was greedy, and selfish, but all her niceness had been used up for the day. He looked peaceful, and innocent, but the man was practically immortal after all. Their kind did not die from lack of sleep. They might go mad, of course, but that took a few weeks. And had he not said, do with me as you will?
She needed to touch him. That was all. Well, no, she wanted more, but for now that would do. Taking a sip of her wine, she gently set the glass on an end table by the bed, and gave into temptation. Starting by his heart, she brushed lightly across his chest, tracing down the indent between, and lingering on the valleys and curves of his muscles. Flattening her hand over his stomach, she felt the soft hair that began just above the waistband of his jeans and disappeared below. She had never seen him in this restful state, at least not in his human form, and took in her ravenous fill.
Her hand lingered over the button of his jeans. She swallowed, wanting… Oh, how she wanted. It burned like molten earth, fed by a need that had been denied for too long. Even now she felt her body moisten and swell just from imagining what waited beyond that closure, and how it would feel inside her.
Or how it would taste.
She thumbed the button. A quick flick was all it would take.
A sound made her jolt, an intake of breath perhaps, followed by a sudden rise under her hands. She snapped her eyes to his face.
Cormack was awake.
And watching her.
A fire raged within his cerulean gaze. “Kill me now if you stop, Elen, because then I’ll know I’m well and truly cursed and I cannot be tortured anymore.”
Prequel for Autumn Moon:
About the Author:
Jan DeLima is the author of the Celtic Wolves novels, including Summer Moon and Celtic Moon. She lives in Maine with her husband and their two sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine.
$100 Amazon gift card open to U.S. and Canada
5 signed copies of Celtic Moon and Summer Moon (package set)