About Howling on Hold
Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.
That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.
Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.
It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”
Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.
Howling on Hold marks my seventh book in my Mythmatched story universe. When I sat down to write the first book (Cutie and the Beast), I’d planned on a trilogy based on the fae in Celtic mythology. After the third book in the Fae Out of Water trilogy was published, though, my editor told me it was clear that the supernatural world surrounding the Kendrick brothers was much wider than Faerie. She encouraged me to expand on the world, which led to the Supernatural Selection trilogy.
In Single White Incubus, I got to create my take on, well, incubi and succubi. In Vampire With Benefits, I developed my own theory of vampire society and its restrictions. In Demon on the Down-Low—you guessed it—demons and their realm. But even though each one of those books featured a shifter MC (bear, beaver, and kangaroo, respectively), I hadn’t delved much into werewolves.
Enter Howling on Hold.
Since I pulled attributes from my Supernatural Selection shifters from their animal counterparts, my first step with this book was to research wolves. I found this little factoid at the Western Wildlife website (http://westernwildlife.org/gray-wolf-outreach-project/biology-behavior-4/):
As pups begin eating more solids, they are moved to one or more “rendezvous sites,” where they spend the remainder of the summer learning proper pack behavior and etiquette.
Well, hey! What if werewolves had the same kind of “send the kids off somewhere so they learn how to behave and don’t get in our way” system? Of course, werewolves (since they’re humanoid much of the time) would mature much slower than ordinary gray wolves, so they wouldn’t be shipped off until they were older—closer to college age. Voila! The concept of the Howling was born.
Because of a couple of offhand decisions I made writing Cutie and the Beast, my Oregon werewolf packs are tied to a counties that include significant forest land (public or private). But because gray wolf populations are so diminished from what they were before the westward expansion, my werewolves aren’t very populous either. Consequently, there wouldn’t be a convenient Howling Residence near every pack.
Besides, if the pack elders wanted their juniors to learn independence, best get them as far away from the pack as possible to avoid backsliding (and presumably reduce the annoyance factor of exuberant new adult werewolves). Portland Howling Residence Seven (aka, the Doghouse) includes juniors from the Deschutes, Jackson, Lincoln, Wallowa, and Umatilla packs. Chase, their RA, is from the Lane pack.
Their shifted forms are all gray wolves, but they originated from different regions. Chase, Dakota, Hector, and Jordan are all northwestern wolves. Tanner is a Mexican wolf (aka lobo), a smaller subspecies. Gage is a coastal wolf, a subspecies that’s sometimes called a “sea wolf” because they live near and consume resources from the ocean. He’s the only guy in the Doghouse who likes seafood--and he can’t convince any of the others to try it!
And by the way—check out this link. A photographer documented a friendship between a bear and a wolf (who are normally enemies), and it could be a scene right out of the Mythmatched universe!
About the Mythmatched Universe
Wait . . . Is that . . . No, it couldn’t be. Could it? A fae at the florist? A demon at the deli? A werewolf at the Y?
Humans will never know. They can’t know, or the lives of every supernatural creature on this world—or under it—would be at risk.
So the supes of every nation, culture, and pantheon joined together in uneasy alliance, vowing to keep their society secret in order to survive among humans.
But when you spend every moment hiding your true nature, how can you ever find true love?
About E.J. Russell
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
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To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Riptide and their pick of an ebook from E.J.'s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 17, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!