Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shifters galore!

A recent post at Dear Author about the dearth of werewolf novels in paranormal romance mass market, single title print, got me thinking. My first reaction was: huh? I've read many a werewolf. Then I realized, most of the ones I've read were either ebook or Nocturne -- category series, so doesn't actually count as "single title".
But I didn't stop thinking there! (I know, scary stuff, my thinking!)
I thought about all those shifter stories people miss out on because they aren't really hitting mainstream print. So, here are 13 shifter-types that I've read, some with examples. All from lesser known titles or ebooks, though I know some of these shifter-types show up in mass market print.
  1. Werewolf. My paws down favorite. No real way to narrow it down cause I've read many, so I'll just list the last one I read, a novella from Samhain by Keith Melton. Run, Wolf. A very different take on weres & recommended.
  2. Large felines. I have a friend and sometimes critique partner who writes a lion/panther shifter series for Cerridwen. Frances Stockton.
  3. Cats. These tend to be different, the type of stories for a cat versus a larger shifter, so I broke it out here. For some reason, these always seem to include a veterinarian as a protag. :)
  4. Gargoyle
  5. Monster
  6. Dragon
  7. Raven. OK, gotta plug myself here and say, yes, my upcoming Samhain release, The Forbidden Chamber, includes raven shifters. But, I also adore the story Kiss Me Deadly by Shannon Stacey. If Raven shifters in a Gothic setting rings your bell, really can't recommend this highly enough.
  8. Eagles and other majestic raptor types. I couldn't lump these in with Ravens because the character types are usually presented as more noble, not as dark as the Raven.
  9. Mermaid
  10. Selkie. So it's not an ebook series, but I love, love, love Virginia Kantra's selkies.
  11. Skinwalker. This one is frequently portrayed as either really dark, or the bad guy as this comes from several different Indian legends of a type of witchcraft that was taboo.
  12. Vampires. Several stories include vamps that can change shape.
  13. Snake.
Trust me when I say I've read all these shifters in paranormal romance (or futuristic), even if I don't list the titles. To get this done for Thursday 13, I didn't have time to locate some of these reads, but if you're interested in a particular shifter, let me know. I will happily find the titles for you.

As for werewolf stories, one of the books on my keeper shelf is Kelley Armstrong's Bitten. If you've never read a werewolf romance, you must start there.

OR...if you want to read an erotic werewolf short story, leave a comment in my previous blog post about my story, Wolf-Bitten, available on Fictionwise this week. I'm giving away a copy to a random commenter.

What interesting shifter stories have you read?
Do you get turned-off by the thought of one of the main characters turning animal? Don't like the hero to go all furry? Or does it make you want to scratch him behind the ears?


Mary Quast said...

I love shifters and was recently introduced to Dragons. Love them!

Shelley Munro said...

I really enjoy shifters. My Middlemarch Mates series is feline shifters, mainly black leopard but I also have lions and tigers as well.

I've also done a taniwha shifter (sort of a water dragon) and an orca shifter.

I like dragons too. Jory Strong has done some good dragon stories.

Rachel Vincent's feline series is very good and I just have to mention New Zealander Nalini Singh's Psy series.

Great topic!

Ella Drake said...

Mary, I love Dragons, too! I love the series by G.A. Aiken. Need to get the latest one.

Shelley, your shifters totally intrigue me.

I need to check out Jory Strong's dragons. I also like Rachel Vincent's felines. I have a new Singh sitting on my shelf that I need to read. So many books, so little time!

Ms Menozzi said...

Intriguing list you have here. I'll be sending this along to my friend who *only* reads shifter stories and see if she's aware of the slightly more unusual ones.

Thanks for sharing this!

Happy Thursday!

Inez Kelley said...

I like any shifter done well, although I think wolves are my least favorite.

Of course, my first one, Myla by Moonlight, is a jaguar shifter...kinda. The sequel to that, which I am just starting to write, includes a bird shifter...of sorts.

You know what I would love to see? A stag shifter, Prince of the Forest and all that. Majestic animals they are.

cmtorrens said...

I love shifters. Anything that can morph from one thing to another is cool in my book.

Stephanie Adkins said...

I love shifter stories, and that raven idea sounds really cool. :) Happy Thursday!

Jennifer Leeland said...

Crystal Jordan writes the best shifters I think. I love her futuristic series. She's published with Kensington.
Nalini Singh also has shifters in her psy series which ROCKS.
Perhaps they're not wolves, but they're shifters and they're single titles.

Cassandra said...

Ooh I love shifters. Good thing since I write them. lol

Might I suggest the book Wolf Bitten by Ella Drake? :-)
Very cool and unique aspects thrown into the mix.

Oh, and I love the book Midnight Moon by Lori Handeland. And not just because her heroine is a voodoo priestess named Cassandra. :-D

My own wolfie tale is called The Midnight Effect. Wrote it a couple years back. Anyone interested in reading it can buy it from my publisher's website at:

Adelle Laudan said...

Recently I've written my first shifter type story in one of my books. It involves wolves and wild dogs, a red tailed hawk, and a lion. It was tons of fun. Happy T13!

Alice Audrey said...

There area a few dragons in Single Title, and at least one faerie.

Virginia Kantra said...

Lovely to see my Children of the Sea on your list. Thank you! (Next up, another Orkney legend: finfolk!)

For folks who are into dragon shifters, I recently discovered Shana Abe's series, The Smoke Thief, The Dream Thief, and Queen of Dragons. The Treasure Keeper is on my TBR pile.

Paige Tyler said...

The wolf is my favorite!


Elise Logan said...

I like shifters, but the mythology used by the author is what makes it work. Patricia Briggs' shifters, for example, or Kresley Cole's.

Heather said...

I personally love Rebecca York's werewolves, though they've gotten a bit weird with the creation of her alternate universe.

My Blog on Public Libraries

sophiaparkwood said...

Great topic Ella! I love, love, love shifters! If I had to have a preference I would say the large cats but really I will read any shifter story. I have never read a raven shifter so I will be sure to check out your new book. Happy Thursday!

Flicka Holt said...

I love bird shifters. It comes from reading Katherine Kerr's Silverdagger-series. She has a wonderful raven shifter, by the way. And a magpie shifter!

Janice said...

I love paranormal with or without shifter, but shifters stories too.

I've written two shifter stories one was a dragon shifter as the main character, and the second one where the shifter was a Godess.

Happy TT.


Ella Drake said...

Ms Menozzi, thanks for sending link to friend. Hope your friend stops by.
Inez, I *almost* put Myla on the list, but then I thought people might start to think I'm a girly-fan or something. Hmmm. Maybe I am!
Chris, I love most shifters. I've read a few, though....
Stephanie, Alice, Paige Thanks!
Jen, Thanks for all the suggestions!
Cassandra, you're a sweetheart! Thank you. Off to the Amber Quill site I go.
Adelle, a red tailed hawk! I definitely have to check it out.
Ms Virginia Kantra, thank you for stopping by and thank you for writing Children of the Sea. Finfolk sounds awesome! I have Shana Abe on my TBR pile. I really need to break it open.
Elise, I agree about the mythology. If it's good, I'm hooked like nobody's business. Kresley Cole is one of my autobuys and keeper shelf authors. Lurve her books.
Heather, Rebecca York is another author who is in my leaning tower of TBR. I can't read fast enough!
Sophia, I love the large feline stories, too. Those shifter stories seem so sensual because of the slinkiness of the feline. Hope you do check out my ravens!
Flicka, thank you for the recommendation. Must, must, must check out Kerr.
Janice, dragon shifters rock. Off to find your story!

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.
I have much fun reading ahead of me.