Friday, December 31, 2010

A Howling Good New Year’s Eve

by Maureen O. Betita

Congratulations to Linda Henderson, winner of Maureen's awesome giveaways!

Happy New Year to all and I hope the main gift buying/receiving day of the year was a merry one for you. Now, be careful about how many resolutions you make for tomorrow, because they can weigh you down and after two months of celebrating, I’m sure we’re all weighed down quite enough!( My credit card is hurting let alone my pants pinching!)

The wonderful Caribbean I created for The Kraken’s World isn’t big on the traditional holidays. Their calendar isn’t particular about when to celebrate, well…anything. Every day one escapes the hangman’s noose is a day to celebrate for a pirate! And for those who make a living off a pirate’s treasure hunting those days count big!

They have a few big blowouts every year on Tortuga. There is the Winter Ball, where every frippery and trinket in sight comes out to shine and shimmer. And I’m thinking about adding a Summer Ball to the books as I go along. But for New Years? What to do with that?

Well, it occurred to me that a lonely werewolf, having enjoyed the Winter Ball and left that merriment behind, might wander his forest (yes, my Tortuga has a forest) and look up to a night sky full of stars and think about…sex. What better way to ring in the New Year?


I gave my coat a good shake and stretched, digging my front claws into the loam of the forest floor. I yawned so broadly my jaw cracked. Ah, that felt good! After leaving the Winter Ball ten days ago, alone again, I’d headed for the forest and shifted. The moon was full and nothing allayed my sense of frustration like a week with the pack.

It was time to head into Tortuga and hope the Cursed Quill was still in port. I’d bet Captain Jezebel hadn’t set sail yet, the hangover from a proper Winter Ball could easily last a week for a majority of the crew. I seldom drank to excess, but I’d seen the rest enjoying themselves. In fact, I bet the ball continued on for a few days. I doubt any missed the friendly sailor who acted intermediary with the werewolf pack.

Working on a ship full of lusty women officers certainly had its advantages. I looked forward to rejoining the crew. Might I find myself invited into the sweet bosun’s cabin? Janey had a sense of humor that made rolling in the sheets a joyous romp. Or the Gunner, Felicia…her cabin always smelled of vanilla. Helping out Cookie when not polishing the guns left her with a fragrance to satisfy every sweet tooth I held.

I’d seen Quartermaster Tink leave the ball with a new man and from the fire in her eyes, I was sure he’d be sailing with us. I hoped he was good with knots, Tink did love tying a man up…

I shifted and grabbed my breeches from the tree limb where I’d left them, shoved my arms through the shirt, strapped on my pistol and turned to the city. As I neared the borders of the shifter forest, a fresh breeze brought a new scent to my nose.

“Roses?” I muttered. “And lilac?”

Not the usual fragrances for this part of the island. Then I heard the laughter. Humans seldom ventured into the forest. We weren’t inclined to do them violence, but there wasn’t any reason for humans to wander this way. They knew the forest was our territory. And the laughter? Women! Two women!

Now and then, human women came seeking dark adventures in the forest. If these women were looking for company…well, I think the ships can wait one more day. And if they did sail without me? They’d be back and I’d climb aboard then.

I circled around to their flank and watched them. They’d built a small fire and sat beside it, sharing a bottle. I’d heard of two new flowers joining Blessings House of Pleasure. The gleam off matching bracelets let me know they worked the premier whore house of Tortuga. No shame in making an honest living and having fun while doing it! Or taking a walk in the forest to play with the wolves.

Or one wolf in particular. I slipped my shirt off and set my weapons aside. Lifting my face to the stars, I softly howled. The women shrieked in pretend fear. My nose knew it for pretend. They were ripe and ready. I growled and slipped my breeches off. Still fresh from the energy of the full moon, it was easy to shift and stroll into the firelight.

“Oh, damn. It’s just a wolf!” the red-haired one complained.

I took a step closer and lowered my head, inhaled loudly.

The blond giggled. “Well, he’s a fine looking wolf. What do you think a shifter looks like, Rosie? A man with a tail?”

I sat and looked them over a moment, then tilted my head and licked my lips.

“Ooooh! You see that tongue. What that could do! But I want a man, even if he’s got a tail!” Rosie held out the bottle. “Come on, if yer a man, join us. If not, go chase a deer.”

I stood and turned as to leave and the Lilac scented blond sighed.

Letting out a fierce growl I spun and ran at them, shifting at the last moment. Their shrieks turned quickly from worry to appreciation. I knew my attributes were impressive. And even shifted, my tongue was able to satisfy their lusty appetites.

It was late the next afternoon before I sauntered into port. And the Quill sat, waiting for me.


You’ll see more of the werewolf sailor in The Kraken’s Mirror. He’s a favorite character of mine. I do like my vampire king also. And the magic woman who lives in the swamp where the zombies dwell. And of course, my kraken, who acts the cupid with my main characters.

What do you think of paranormal characters as side characters in a novel? For in the kraken’s Tortuga, nothing is really strange or unusual. As my lead character, Emily, discovers!

One lucky commenter can look forward to a bit of kraken sparkle, a Starbucks card and some bits from my treasure chest!

email me at or

I blog at… (every Friday as 2nd Chance)

www.castles&guns (every other Tuesday) (my author blog)

I can be found on Twitter and Facebook as Maureen O. Betita


  1. The more characters, the merrier. :) And I have a weakness for werewolves. *LOL* (Taylor Lautner anyone?)

    I'm amused your Kraken is a matchmaker though. Hilarious.

  2. Ms Hellion, I think it's all those tentacles. Picked up Cupid's bow one day and viola!

  3. I think the paranormal characters are a delight. They definitely add intrigue to the story :)

    Loved the excerpt by the way; can't wait to pick up the book!


  4. Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. I love adding paranormal elements via side characters. I figure it's fun to include them, but not as main characters. Instead, they are just part of the world, like plumbers and electricians. Or in my case, sailors on a pirate ship!

  5. I like a little bit of everything. what I find most fun is when you aren't really sure, or you have to decide for youself... are they or aren't they. Maybe based on the world they are in or the other characters around them... Can't tell everyone in my family is just a little bit crazy, can you? We just like to have fun, really!


  6. Loved the story Maureen and I love the idea of mixing up genres - historical with paranormal, sci-fi with paranormal - in fact - anything with paranormal!

  7. Wow! What a great excerpt. Makes me want to wander in the woods *ahem*. Well done!

  8. I find secondary paranormal characters intriguing, and an added treat to the story. Your lonely werewolf immediately caught my interest as he searched the forest for love.

    Fabulous excerpt!

  9. This is a great excerpt and I love to see what happens to secondary characters, it's exciting to watch them emerge! Go PiratePunk! Yay!

  10. Maureen, I so wanted to be one of those women by the fire! Something about a shifter is such a turn on! I agree with Nina, ANYTHING with paranormal I will read! lol Happy New Year!

  11. I love paranormal fun! Happy New Year to you lady. Hope the pinching eases quickly :)
    Steph Beck

  12. That's a great excerpt! Love the characters. I love to mix genres. I have a sci-fi with paranormal and Steampunk elements. :) Great job!

  13. Hey Mau!

    Great excerpt ;) I love me some paranormal escapades. Where can I find one of these shifters for some lovemaking? heh! Kraken, take me away!

  14. Great excerpt. I don't read a lot of paranormal books, but this one sounds good.

  15. Another inventive tale, Maureen. :) I like how you mix paranormal with your pirate world--there's nothing else like it that I've seen! Can't wait to see more of it.


  16. I enjoy paranormal characters. I think at certain times they would be interesting put in a regular novel. I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  17. Thank you for that taste--it was delicious. Yes, please to paranormal characters in what ever form.
    May 2011 be full of very pleasant surprises.

  18. I am a big paranormal fan so I love it when there are paranormal side characters.
    Happy New Year!

  19. Loved the excerpt. I really enjoy paranormal stories so paranormal characters are great for me. This sounds like a great story, can't wait to read it.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  20. I enjoy paranormal characters in novels. It is a nice surprise that makes me take notice and sit up and really take notice as to what is really going on in the story.

  21. I love the exotic quality of paranormal characters. They're all mysterious and bring a bit of sexy to any story they're in. I can never get enough of them.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  22. Vicky - I love little bit crazy. Trust me.

    Nina - You, me and the kitchen sink! ;-)

    Maeve - The woods of Tortuga are a wonderful place, birds sing to you, flowers blossom at your feet, randy werewolves on call...

    Kathleen - ;-) I'm not sure it was love he was after...

    Bwah ha ha!

  23. Val - I like to flavor everything I write with paranormal. Something about good sex+great love=magic.

    Deena - I'd like to wander the forest, with a keg of rum, looking for fun...

    Steph - Thanks for stopping by and a Happy New Year to you!

    Ciara - You're book is on my TBR pile! I dabble with light bits of the genre!

  24. Riley - Kraken, take me away? I may need to steal that for a button...

    Wilma - I hope you'll give mine a shot. I want to make you smile!

    Donna - The mad mixologist, that's me!

    Judy - There's something about tossing in a vampire or a werewolf as just a part of a world, nothing anyone blinks at, or shrieks about, that just appeals to me!

  25. Leanne - May 2011 be nothing but pleasant surprises for us all!

    Crystal - Paranormal is an interesting genre, from a little bit to a lot, there is something for everyone.

    Linda - I hope you'll enjoy The Kraken's Mirror as much as the short!

    Leni - The book is full of many little surprises! ;-)

    Joder - I hope you'll enjoy the bits of paranormal sprinkled through my book!

  26. Maureen you big tease! I loved you tempting warewolf and as far as I am concerned to side charactors if your going to write fiction why not go full tilt. I love the paranormal mixed with the Pirate world. You have certianly piqued my interest and now i cant waut for my turn to play in your world;)

  27. Krista - It will happen! Thanks for stopping by!

  28. Maureen,

    I think the paranormal aspect spices things up. Makes you wonder who or what your main characters are dealing with.

    Have a blessed and prosperous new year?


  29. Denise - back at you girl. A very blessed and prosperous New Year. And yes, I do love spice! Jalepenos, anyone!

  30. Happy New Year!
    I love paranormal!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  31. Estella - and paranormal loves you back! ;-)

  32. Happy New Year to the Queen of Pirate!! Hope you have a wonderful 2011!!

    Me, I am off to make my list of resolutions! hehehheheh

  33. Jane L - Yer just a sick woman. Resolutions! Bah humbug!

  34. It depends on the story. A setting like yours practically BEGS for paranormal side characters. Really does help with sequels, too, since you've got all those other characters to pull from. :-)

  35. Sequels? Ah, Robert, ya read me mind... ;-) There is something about having the relief chef being a ghoul that just makes me smile... Happy New Year!

  36. I've had an idea floating around in my head that involves paranormal characters. I'm going to put the pen to the paper tonight and see what I can brainstorm. ;) Your post inspired me Mau!

  37. Doesn't have to be a big paranormal world, can be one guy with a can do it, Barb! Have fun! ;-)

  38. wishing you all a Happy New Year eve!

  39. Beautiful job. Lvoe it. Happy New Year!!
    debby236 at att dot net

  40. Thank you Debby! Happy New Year and my the kraken be with you!

  41. Kammie here with credit card hurting and pants pinching just like you. Going to have to stay away from the stores for quite some time.

    Love those paranormal characters. Happy New Year to you! kammie2u at ameritech dot net

  42. Yeah, Kammie - I'm almost out of pants and into elastic waist skirts!

    May the New Year all see us taking better care of ourselves.

  43. Happy New year your characters rock deff will be stalking i mean following your blog and web site

  44. Thanks, SiNn! Wow, my first stalker! Er...follower!

  45. Maureen I knew that you wrote about krakens & vampires. But I didn’t know that you did werewolves too!
    No pun intended.
    What do I think of paranormal characters as side characters in a novel?
    I like them. I’m Especially fond of stories in which the author is able to show that the paranormal is a normal part of the world she/he is writing about.

  46. JulieJustJulie - I have no limits to what I will toss into the pot!

    Happy New Year!

  47. I love the side characters.They give a glimps into the main characters past and opens the door for a possible series.That is just my opinion with a

    Have a wonderful rest and New Year!!!

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