Monday, October 28, 2013

The Snarkology Paranormal Blog Hop || Werewolves: Man or Monster?


Hop wide grand prize is a $60 Amazon gift card.

Leave a comment on this post  for a chance to win a paperback of HUNGER MOON by Melissa Snark!

(Shipping to the Continental U.S.)


For as long as man has had conscious thought there has been a fascination with the supernatural. Vampires, fairies, witches, sprites and werewolves are just a few of the creatures that populate stories dating back to our oral tradition. What many people fail to realize is the fact that people were tried and executed around the world for lycanthropy, (being a werewolf) in much the same manner as witches and in some places vampires.


Since stories of the werewolf are so widespread and begin before written records were kept it is impossible to pinpoint the exact time or story that started it all. However, you can get a sense of where and why such stories may exist in the first place.

Wolf Connection

Throughout the world, there are stories of creatures able to transform into animal forms. If you look at the myths and legends, you will find areas a huge range of stories about humans changing into hyenas (Africa), tigers (China) and foxes (Japan).

Early civilizations were primitive and did not afford the protections we enjoy today, which means if wolves were present people lived in constant danger. In some areas, it has been said villagers commonly awoke to find the fields strewn with body parts of neighbors and friends. Grizzly scenes such as this were likely fodder for the imagination and resulted in a variety of werewolf story beginnings.

Man’s Base Nature

It has been hypothesized by some that the idea of the werewolf came about to explain the baser nature of humanity. In fact, in the 16th century teenagers who wandered around breaking curfew and getting into trouble on the island of Guernsey (off the coast of France) were referred to as werewolves. The fact that some would disguise themselves as animals to travel to different communities likely fueled the stories of real werewolves, and it is probably no coincidence that we are talking about adolescence.

Think about the transformation that takes place during puberty. Young men and women experience both physical and psychological transformations, over which they have no control. Is the myth of the werewolf simply a way to understand the human struggle to come to terms with and overcome a more primitive nature? One other interesting tidbit is the lunar shifting. It is commonly held that a female truly begins her journey to womanhood with the onset of menstruation, a monthly occurrence. Is it significant that many times in folklore the werewolf transformation occurs on a full moon, which occurs monthly?

Side Note: The moon has a 29.75-day cycle, which means occasionally there are two full moons in one month. The second full moon in one calendar month is a Blue Moon.

Historical Cases

You would be hard pressed to find someone who has never heard of the witch trials, but very few are aware of similar trials conducted for werewolves during the same time period. (16th century) It is estimated that between 1520 and 1630 AD some 30,000 people were accused or admitted to being a werewolf. A common practice during these trials was to cut the suspect and peel back the skin to determine if fur were concealed. It was believed that werewolves changed from wolf to human and vice versa by turning their skin inside out.

We may never know the names of every person executed for lycanthropy but there are a few cases that were prominent enough to make it into the written record:

  • Werewolf of Dole- Guiles Garnier: In 1574, Garnier was burned at the stake for being a werewolf. He was a hermit living in the area where a number of children had been attacked and devoured. As many as 50 villagers testified at his trial to his various crimes as a wolf and after subsequent torture on the rack, he confessed to all and was sentenced to death.
  • Werewolf of Bedberg- Peter Stubb: Germany in 1589 gave us the case of Peter Stubb (multiple spellings of the last name) a man accused of killing for over 25 years in the form of a wolf. There is precious little left save a sensational pamphlet that accuses him of lycanthropy and incest. Once put to the rack Peter admitted to a string of gruesome murders, including that of an infant he fathered with his daughter and that he had made a pact with the devil who gave him a belt allowing him to transform. Peter’s subsequent death sentence was as ghastly as the accusations against him. First he was lashed to a wheel, flesh torn from his body, arms and legs broken and finally beheading.
  • Hans the Werewolf-Hans 1651: Around Estonia, there were numerous witch and werewolf trials, most of which included tortured confessions. Not so, with Hans the werewolf an 18 year old who readily confessed and claimed the condition was transferred to him via a bite from a man in black.

These are but a few stories of real life people who were summarily executed for the crime of lycanthropy or being a werewolf.

King Lycaon

Zeus turning Lycaon into a wolf, engraving by Hendrik Goltzius.
The most popular stories about werewolves are those derived from myths, legends and stories from around the globe. It is through these the common characteristics of the werewolf begins to grow and evolve.

Perhaps the first written story about werewolves is The Metamorphoses by Ovid. This ancient Roman myth was penned in 1 AD and tells the tale of King Lycaon who was transformed into a wolf as a punishment from the gods. According to the fable, Jupiter had heard the cry about the evils of mankind and had descended from heaven to determine the truth for himself. During his journeys, he comes to the realm of King Lycaon, where the people are quick to offer adoration. Apparently this did not sit well with the violent king so he devised a scheme to prove whether the visitor was indeed a god or merely human. Lycaon killed and cooked a hostage hoping to bring about the downfall of Jupiter. For his crimes against divinity, Lycaon was transformed into wolf form where he could continue his violent proclivities in a form where such behavior was acceptable.

This ancient myth may be one of the oldest recorded stories, but it is nowhere near the only one:
  • Native American- Wisakachek was a spirit god who lived in the woods and shifted regularly to wolf form. He gave the gift of the wolf to two Fox Indian boys who had graciously shared a meal with him. 
  • Underworld- One very popular modern story is found in the Underworld series of movies. In this depiction, vampires and werewolves share a common ancestor. Alexander Corvinus was the lone survivor of a deadly plague, but the virus imbedded in his genetic code. He passed the dormant virus on to his three sons, of which two were bitten one by a bat and the other by a wolf. Hence the creation of the two immortal lines.
  • Faeries, Witches and Shifters- modern fiction has suggested that werewolves are the a type of fairy (Lost Girl TV series), witches or simply shifters. 

Werewolf Trivia:

The facts about werewolves will vary depending on the originating myth, but here are a few of the most popular beliefs:
  • Transmitted via a bite from a werewolf.
  • Can be a curse for bad deeds or reward for good.
  • Silver may kill or merely impair a werewolf.
Wolfsbane AKA Aconitum
  • Wolfsbane is an irritant to werewolves that may repel them. Long ago, toxins were extracted from the plant and used to kill wolves.
  • Werewolves are born via a mating including at least one werewolf parent.
  • Deals with the devil can garner a belt which allows shifting to wolf form.
  • Supernaturally strong
  • Uncontrollable rage when in wolf form

      FOLLOW THE HOP!

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Hunger Moon by Melissa Snark
A Victoria Storm novel
#2 Loki's Wolves series
Genre:  Paranormal/urban fantasy
Published April 25, 2013
ISBN-10: 1492107581
ISBN-13: 978-1492107583
Amazon ASBN B00CJ1D1BI

Blurb:
Victoria Storm faces seemingly insurmountable odds to keep her dwindling pack of werewolves alive and together. She fights hunters- including the brother and father of her deceased lover-and the pack takes another devastating loss. When they seek sanctuary in a small town near Lake Tahoe, high in the secluded Sierra Nevada Mountains, Victoria discovers they are infringing on the territory of a vastly more powerful Alpha wolf. To save her pack, she uses her feminine wiles to seduce the Alpha. Nothing comes easily for Victoria. Her plans are complicated by the Alpha's erratic son, a ghostly wife, and a vengeful witch. Not even her status as a Valkyrie or the favor of the Goddess Freya can change the course of destiny for Victoria or her packmates.

Excerpt :

Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
"Let's take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness," he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
"Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?"
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
"I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer," she said, making her boast. "I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor."
"You're kidding." He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. "I am not."
Buy links:
Author BIO
Melissa Snark is a paranormal and romance author with a particular interest in werewolf and Norse mythology. Her Loki's Wolves series combines elements of both in a contemporary fantasy setting. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children and glaring of cats.

Where to find Melissa on the Internet:
Email:  melissasnark at gmail dot com
Twitter: @MelissaSnark

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a paperback of HUNGER MOON by Melissa Snark! 

(Shipping to the Continental U.S.)

86 comments:

  1. Now that was an interesting post! I like werewolf stories but I had no idea of half the things you wrote. I can't believe I've never heard of King Lycaon with all the Greek and Roman mythology I've heard - but I guess now I know where the word lycantrophy comes from. Thanks, I really enjoyed this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silvia,
      Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and learned something new. Thanks for dropping by the Snarkology and commenting. :-)

      Delete
  2. To echo Silvia, I also had no idea about the myths and trials. I wonder how much of our human genetic memory is responsible for the irresponsible and often irrational murder of wolves in this country today. Thanks for the information and the insights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashantay,
      There are so many false stories about wolves attacking men. The way they are hunted to the verge of extinction is awful. Thank you for dropping by today.

      Delete
  3. A very interesting post, learned something new today, had never heard of King Lycaon before. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean,
      Very cool. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)

      Delete
  4. Very interesting about the about werewolfs. Never heard of the trials along with witches. I am just getting into the paranormal genre and this information was exceptional. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn,
      Thank you! And thank you for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for the incredible post and all the information about werewolves. I never knew even a quarter of it until now. With all of that information, I can only imagine how great Hunger Moon will be. I have added it to my need to read list and will be grabbing a copy as soon as I can. I love the excerpt so after reading all the details about werewolves and the extreme research that went into them, then reading the exerpt following that, it's just so clear how much love went into writing these books!

    Thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway and for the excellent facts I now know! Thank you :D

    Shelly H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelly,
      Thanks! if you do read Hunger Moon, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for dropping by today and reading. :-)

      Delete
  6. Enjoyed the info. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for your part of the blog hop. I enjoyed this post. Gave me info that i did not know about wolfs in general. loved it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Felicia,
      I'm pleased you liked the post. Thank you for commenting. :-)

      Delete
  8. I love METAMORPHOSES, but forgot it has a wolf shifter!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vitajex,
      Thanks for dropping in and commenting. :-)

      Delete
  9. Love the legends! I can't get enough! Your book cover is fantastic, too. :) Is it exactly how you envisioned it to look?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen,
      Thanks! I love my Hunger Moon cover. I had a lot of input into its creation so I was thrilled with how it came out. (My cover artist is Farah Evers.)

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  10. I loved your post! Werewolves are a favorite of mine and your book is about "Loki's wolves", I love it even more!

    katrinagillian at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katrina,
      Thanks, so much. My werewolves were inspired by Norse mythology and are descended from Loki. :-)

      Delete
  11. Interesting post. Enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love learning about werewolves. This is a great hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zoe. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :-)

      Delete
  13. What a fascinating and interesting post. I love wolves (but not quite so much werewoves :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyn,
      Aww, you'd love my werewolves. Thank you for commenting! :-)

      Delete
  14. Sounds great, would love to read. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love these blog hops, I find great books and I learn something new. :D

    proudarmymom32(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      Very good! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for commenting. :-)

      Delete
  16. Interesting info

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Interesting werewolf stories.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jmc,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Delete
  18. Love that cover! The model looks a tiny bit like SMG in Buffy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. smiles,
      Thank you! I love the cover too. (And Buffy.) I watched BtVS for years.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      Delete
  19. I really enjoyed this post thank you for sharing with us .I can't wait to snag a copy of Hunger Moon it sounds awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda,
      Thank you for following the hop! Happy Halloween on Thursday!

      Delete
  20. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Happy Halloween!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Halloween!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Natasha. :-)

      Delete
  21. Great post! I love your werewolves :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have read most myths and stories of werewolves but you have added a few things I didn't know. Thank you for the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanette,
      Werewolf mythology has been one of my favorites for a long time. Thank you for following the Snarkology hop and Happy Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  23. A very interesting post, learned something new today, had never heard of King Lycaon before. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie,
      Thanks for following the hop and commenting. Have a Happy Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  24. I'm going to say Werewolves are more man than monster.

    Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Krysykat,
      Thanks, I'd say the same. Thanks for commenting. Have a blast this Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  25. I love wolves and werewolves make for Awesome stories

    videoclimber(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tia,
      Wolves are my absolute favs. Love all shifters though.

      Thanks for following the hop! :-)

      Delete
  26. That's a lot of werewolf info! I love that picture with Zeus. So many legends date back to long ago. Thanks for the hop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Naomi! Have a Happy Halloween! :-)

      Delete
  27. Werewolf-fabulous info! I just learned this evening during the time of werewolf attacks in France, that it was actually unlawful NOT to believe in werewolves, and you would be burned at the stake if you didn't believe... weird to us, huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savanna, That does sound pretty whacky! *G*

      Thanks for following the Snarkology hop and commenting. Happy Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  28. Great post, Melissa! Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy,
      Thank you! Have a Happy Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  29. Great post! Thanks for the giveaway and awesome hop :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandy,
      Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Have a blast this Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  30. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing the hop and your giveaway. Happy Halloween evamillien @gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eva,
      Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for following the hop and commenting. :-)

      Delete
  31. Hi! Happy Halloween! I hope your having an awesome time! This hop is a blast! Great post! I didnt know some of that. Very interesting! And wonderful sounding book! Looks awesome! Thanks for sharing and for the awesome giveaway!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shadow,
      Thank you. I hope you enjoyed the hop and had the opportunity to enter all our great drawings. Happy Halloween! :-)

      Delete
  32. very interesting post
    meandi09@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer. Thank you! Have a fantastic Halloween! :-)

      Delete
  33. What a fascinating book! Love the cover. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and thanks for the great giveaway.
    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BookLady,
      May many treats come your way tonight! Happy Halloween and thanks for commenting. =)

      Delete
  34. Great post!

    pjmillion (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  35. great post! happy halloween and thanks for the giveaway! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daniel,
      Thank you! Have a great Halloween. :-)

      Delete
  36. Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Halloween!

    Arantza

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arantza,
      You're welcome. Have a Happy Halloween and thank you for dropping by! :-)

      Delete
  37. Thanks for a great post and giveaway!!!! Have a Happy Halloween!!!!
    kac_030 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimmy, you're welcome. Thank you for dropping by. Happy Halloween! :-)

      Delete
  38. Thanks for hosting this awesome hop! Happy Halloween:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela,
      Thank you for following the hop and commenting. Have a great Halloween!

      Delete
  39. I'm so glad I found you. I'm a HUGE fan of shifter stories, and somehow I hadn't discovered yours.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I enjoyed your post and loved the pictures. I love reading books about any kind of shifter although wolves are my favorite. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sherry. I'm so glad you enjoyed the hop post. Wolves are my favorite too. :-)

      Happy Halloween!

      Delete
  41. Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan, thanks for dropping by! Have a happy Halloween!

      Delete
  42. Thank you for organising this, Melissa, I really enjoyed taking part and reading the other posts. The winner of my black cat earrings was Mer. Congratulations Mer, I'll be in touchl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyn,
      You're welcome and thank you so much for participating! I hope we'll see a lot of the same blogs back next year for another Halloween Hop. :-)

      Delete