Monday, November 11, 2013

VBT: The Mountain's Shadow

Some mistakes can literally come back to bite you.
The Lycanthropy Files, Book 1
First it was ADD. Then pediatric bipolar. Now the hot behavioral disorder in children is CLS, or Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome. Public health researcher Joanie Fisher was closing in on the cause in hopes of finding a treatment until a lab fire and an affair with her boss left her without a job.
When her grandfather leaves her his multimillion-dollar estate in the Ozarks, though, she figures her luck is turning around. Except her inheritance comes with complications: town children who disappear during full moons, an irresistible butler, and a pack of werewolves who can’t seem to decide whether to frighten her or flirt with her.
Joanie’s research is the key to unraveling the mysteries of Wolfsbane Manor. However, resuming her work means facing painful truths about her childhood, which could result in the loss of love, friendship, and the only true family she has left.

The Mountain's Shadow and Werewolf FAQ:

First, thank you to Nikki the Storm Goddess for having me on her blog! I need a cool nickname like that. A lot of people can't spell oenophile (Latin for wine lover).

I've gotten some interesting questions about my world and my critters in the month since The Mountain's Shadow's release. Here are a few of them with the answers.

  1. Why werewolves? Related: Does anything in your book sparkle?

A dream inspired the idea that became the core of The Mountain's Shadow. In the dream, I'm at a party bobbing on a float in a pool with a handsome young man with wavy dark hair and serious brown eyes. Fluffy clouds float across the fall blue sky, and I find myself very attracted to this guy. I go inside the large, traditionally decorated house for something, and he meets me at the door perturbed that his three-year-old nephew is missing, and he's been accused of the kidnapping. I know he's innocent and promise to help him.

The pool never made it into the book, but the big house did as part of the setting, the young man became Leo, the orthopedic resident who has been turned into a werewolf, and the kidnapping turned into part of the plot. Leo's brooding attitude and my tendency to write fantasy told me he needed to be some sort of paranormal creature who had been turned without permission, but a vampire wouldn't be at a pool party in the middle of the day for obvious reasons. Yeah, I'm kind of old school with my critters and wouldn't write about vampires who can tolerate sunlight. Therefore, nothing sparkles including my werewolves. I also started this book long before zombies became the rage, and I just haven't gotten into them in spite of living in Atlanta, which is the setting and filming home of The Walking Dead. Dead dudes just don't do it for me.

So that left me with werewolves, which I was fine with because they have some interesting legends associated with them. My favorite tales come from the Scandinavian countries, where people could supposedly send their spirits in animal form to battle or on long travels. It gave me a new area of the werewolf legend to explore and a different option for their changes.

2. Is Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome a real disorder?

It's surprised me how often I've gotten this question. Perhaps some parents think this constellation of symptoms including pack mentality, tendency to sneak out at night, and moodiness better describes their teens than any of the current diagnostic categories. No, it's something I made up, a werewolf-flavored ADHD that incorporates exaggerated adolescent behaviors.

3. Do your werewolves smell like wet dogs when they get wet?

There's actually a scene in which Leo rescues Joanie, the heroine, in the rain. She observes that no, he doesn't smell like wet dog. He's in human form, but I suspect werewolves in wolf form wouldn't smell bad. I'd like to think they'd smell like a forest in a thunderstorm -- an untamed, wild smell. Maybe if enough of us ask, we can get someone to start making Forest Thunderstorm bath products. Perhaps the Storm Goddess herself could endorse them?

If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them in the comments. Meanwhile, I hope your dreams lead you to fun tales of handsome paranormal creatures, too!

Picture attribution: Mont Sudbury [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Review Rating: 4.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: This story has SO much going for it! Unique, great writing, suspense, captivating....I love how the elements came together and brought so much to the book.  Joanie is a kick butt character. Sure, she's made some mistakes in her life, but hey, isn't that what makes one realistic? I could spend a day in her world and not be bored for sure! 

The writing is well done! Great amount of description to keep a great visual in mind, but not overly done. The pacing is great! So many twists and turns and elements of surprise and suspense. I found myself staying up pretty late with this one, because I needed to know what was going to happen next. i eagerly await for more this this new to me author. 

Author Bio:
Cecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it. She became a clinical psychologist because she's fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn't stop writing fiction. The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own practice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she's been told, is a good number of each.

You can find her at:
Twitter: @RandomOenophile

To buy her books, you can get them in all ebook formats from Samhain Publishing:

It's also available from Apple, Sony, and anywhere else ebooks are sold.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting my guest post and for the lovely review! I love the lightning bolt rating system. :-)