Calling the Moon, #2
by Sarah E. Stevens
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: August 18th 2017
Cover Artist: Deborah Turner
Tagline: Paranormal arson, rogue wolves, and torn loyalties. How can a mere human mother protect her Werewolf baby?
Julie Hall thinks she has the hang of mothering her Werewolf baby Carson, until the night she wakes to frantic barking and finds her house on fire. Arson. Paranormal fire creatures want to kill Carson—and an unknown Were may be helping them.
As if fire-spawning Salamanders and a mysterious Werewolf aren't dangerous enough, Julie soon faces even closer threats. Her trusted friend Eliza harbors a secret and Julie’s new understanding of Werewolves threatens to tear apart her team. Meanwhile, her relentless enemies will burn everything in their path, if they can’t get to Carson.
Will Julie’s efforts to protect Carson do more harm than good?
Dark Moon Wolf
Book One of Calling the Moon
Available on Amazon
“Your house was burned down by Salamanders.”
The words didn’t match his tone.
“What…salamanders?” I echoed.
“No, not salamanders—Salamanders.”
This time, I heard the capital letter, but remained bewildered.
“What the hell are you talking about? Salamanders? Like, lizards?”
Tim’s face registered surprise. “Sheila?” “I know what they are.” Sheila’s voice shook.
“Great. So glad you’re both part of the in crowd. Since my house burned down and my life nearly ended, do you think one of you could please enlighten me?”
“Dammit, Jules.” My sarcasm seemed to revive my best friend. “Could you drop the attitude for a while? Yes, shock and trauma and all of that, but you’re being a total jerk. Tim’s just trying to help.”
I meant to yell back, but the frustration on her face stopped me. I tried to give her a grin, instead. It probably looked like a grimace, but I gave my best shot.
“God, Sheila. Attitude is the only thing keeping me going right now.”
“I know, Jules. But you’re safe here—” She stopped. “Tim, are we safe here?”
“We should be. I’ll know if they’re around.”
“Hey, still waiting to hear who ‘they’ are.”
Tim said, “Salamanders are paranormal creatures, like Werewolves. They draw their strength from the sun and can call on its powers—fire, heat, light—similar to the way Weres draw on the moon to raise water, shift darkness, and such. Judging by the scents at the scene, at least three salamanders called fire at your house. Not an accident, Julie. Arson. Someone—a group of someones—wanted you and Carson dead.”
“Why?” Sheila asked.
Me, I couldn’t even form the word. Dammit, I should have taken a shower and gone to bed and dealt with all of this later. Sheila had been right. As usual.
“I don’t know,” said Tim. “Yet.”
“I know Salamanders are…antithetical to Weres, but I thought you mostly co-existed peacefully.”
“Well, apparently not!” said Sheila.
“So these people turn into giant lizards? Instead of wolves?” I asked, not understanding why Sheila stifled a small laugh at my question.
Tim said, “No, they don’t change form. Sometimes when calling the sun, Salamanders have a different cast to their eyes or their complexion—minor changes—but they remain fully human in shape.”
“Then why are they called Salamanders? If they’re not lizards?”
Tim frowned, then finally crossed the room to stand beside Sheila’s chair. When he rested his hands on her shoulders, tension visibly drained from his body. Sheila unconsciously leaned back against him and his thumbs traced circles on her white t-shirt. They were physically opposite in so many ways, with Sheila’s striking looks and Tim’s extra-in-a-crowd-scene appearance; Sheila’s long blonde hair and smooth tan, Tim’s closely shorn black curls and dark brown skin. Yet, there was an undeniable sense of rightness between them. I’d even stopped teasing Sheila about Tim being just another in her long line of throwaway men.
I realized my hands still shook and I clasped them together to hide the tremors. As Tim spoke, I forced everything else out of my mind to focus.
“You’d have to ask a Salamander for a full version of their history, but as I understand it, they believe they’re descended from a powerful sun-being, a lizard creature from the sun that came to Earth and mated with a human long ago.”
Sheila looked up at Tim. “Really? I always thought they were called Salamanders because people used to think salamanders—the real ones—lived in fire.”
“Why would people think salamanders lived in fire? Aren’t they amphibians?” I asked.
“Because salamanders lived in rotten logs and crawled out when the logs were thrown into a fireplace.”
“Well, both explanations sound equally bizarre to me,” I said.
“I don’t care how they got their name,” said Sheila. “Why are they trying to kill Julie and Carson?”
Interview with Julie HAll
Blog: Today we have Julie Hall with us. A few months ago, Julie found out her baby Carson is a Werewolf. She wrote about those adventures in Dark Moon Wolf. You might think that’s enough excitement for anyone to deal with, but Julie recently had another set of adventures she chronicled in Waxing Moon, just published. Julie agreed to join us today and answer some questions.
Julie: Thanks for having me! I’ve never been interviewed before, so this is kind of exciting.
Blog: So, Julie, let me get this straight. Your baby Carson is a Werewolf?
Julie: (laughs) I know—I could hardly believe it myself. Yes, he’s a Were. Before all this happened, I had no idea that Werewolves even existed! And now I’m the mom of a Were pup.
Blog: What’s the hardest thing about being a mother to a Werewolf?
Julie: Well, none of it’s easy. I mean, motherhood in general is hard, isn’t it? Diaper changes and tantrums and dropped pacifiers. Then just imagine if your baby also turned into a furry little wolf during the full moon.
Blog: How did he become a Werewolf? Was he bitten by someone?
Julie: No, that’s the weird thing. A lot of the mythology around Werewolves is totally wrong. I’m not sure I should say more, though… I do want you to buy my books and if I give everything away now…?
Blog: (laughs) Good point. How old is Carson now?
Julie: He’s six months old. He first changed into a wolf at four months—that’s the night I found a baby wolf in his crib—which is very early for a Were to manifest. The next full moon, I nearly lost him. He changed shape early in the evening before I had time to get him home and then he just took off across the park. We’d been having a late picnic with some friends. These were non Werewolf friends, mind you, regular humans. I’m still amazed my cover story worked. No one saw the actual transformation, so I just pointed after the wolf and yelled, “Look, a lost puppy!” and ran after him. I kind of cradled my arms to pretend I was still carrying Carson while I chased the puppy across the playground. After I finally caught him, I went right back to the car and texted my friends to tell them I had a migraine. I don’t even get migraines!
Blog: I can’t imagine worrying that my baby would sprout fur!
Julie: Yeah, after that we stay close to home during the three days of the fullest moon.
Blog: So what other paranormal creatures have you met?
Julie: Witches, of course. Did you know there are honest-to-goodness witches in the world? With ritual spells? They call on the four elements to do all sorts of magic.
Blog: Have you learned any witchcraft?
Julie: Oh no. It’s not like that. You can’t be taught—you have to be born into the lineage. During my most recent—what did you call them? Adventures? In my latest book, I talk about an entirely new paranormal race called Salamanders.
Julie: Yes! I see you haven’t heard of them either. Salamanders have powers associated with the sun. They control things like light, fire, and heat. Werewolves are connected to the moon, right? So ’Manders and Weres are kind of antithetical to each other. Some Werewolves really hate Salamanders.
Blog: Julie, I don’t want to bring up anything upsetting, but I know that you really loved Carson’s dad Mac—Roger MacGregor. What’s going on in your love life now?
Julie: (long pause) Nothing, really. I mean…nothing to talk about…I mean…there was this one guy recently…well. It didn’t work out. I guess. It’s kind of confusing. I’m not sure.
Blog: Do you think you two might get together in the end?
Julie: Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? (laughs) Oh, I think I hear Carson fussing. I’d better go now. It’s been really fun to talk to you, though. Thanks for not asking any weird questions, like what ice cream flavor I’d be if I were an ice cream flavor.
Blog: What ice cream flavor would you be?
Julie: Oh wow. Chocolate peanut butter? Just because it’s delicious? Anyway, thanks for the interview and I hope you and your readers take a look at my books!
Blog: Absolutely! Thanks for being here!
Sarah's love of reading, writing, and all things fantasy started with her childhood explorations of Narnia, Middle Earth, and Pern. She's a huge enthusiast of all fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. She's a board game geek, an artist, and a dabbler in making chainmaille jewelry. She loves to write about strong women and their friendships--combined with magic and love, of course.
Sarah, her husband Gary, their three kids, and three cats live in Evansville, Indiana.
PS. None of her kids are actually Werewolves.