It's not easy living in a small town where everyone knows your high school sweetheart disappeared and your husband died in a boating accident. That's what Catherine Mercy, star of this new novel, faces every time she goes on a date. But the small-town bakery owner is drawn to Greg Byron, a sexy movie star in town to film the story of Wereville's werewolf legend, and gets closer to him when she's cast to replace the female lead who vanishes. Fate steps in, however, and the legend becomes more than just a story.
Although Catherine had just about given up on love, Greg makes his way into her heart, despite some deception when they first meet. Just when the two realize their feelings, a wolf bites Greg. Suddenly Greg, Catherine and friend Steve, a werewolf legend buff, must figure out if the town's legend is real. Should that be the case, Greg will turn into a werewolf when the moon becomes full, and someone's destined to die. Catherine must decide if she has the courage to help Greg once and for all, even if it ruins her last chance for true love. In "Werewolf Nights," author Mari Hamill blends fantasy, intrigue and passion to create a chilling, unique story.
Plot: Hamill's Werewolf Nights is a frothy, fun werewolf romance that unexpectedly blends tenderness with a clever meta storytelling aspect.
Prose: Hamill's writing is clear and witty, providing a light, enjoyable reading experience that conjures a vivid sense of atmosphere.
Originality: Paranormal romance and werewolf fiction are hardly unique, but Hamill crafts a unique small town environment and a well developed legend. The movie element provides an intriguing storytelling layer.
Character/Execution: Bakery owner Catherine Mercy is a highly appealing and relatable protagonist whose past tragedy provides her character depth and intrigue. Hamil capably fleshes out the distinctive small town with a colorful cast of side characters.
Date Submitted: August 27, 2020
"Do you like werewolves? Local folklore? How about local folklore about werewolves? Mari Hamill spins a tale of a home town girlvwith a oast, from a town with a past. With plenty of twists and turns along the way, this book kept me engaged from the moment I started it." -5 Stars
“I love the character attitudes and the suspense kept me Spellbound til the end. I [...] wanted to leave a review so others may find it and enjoy as much as I have.” -Reviewer 5Stars
It's hard to present 'something for everyone' - usually an author falls short on romance, mystery, or supernatural elements - but the pleasure of a light summer read such as Werewolf Nights is that it's easy on the eye and mind - and perfect for a beach take-along or a quick, engrossing leisure pursuit. 5 Stars- Diane Donnovan
5-Stars "Mari Hamill weaves convincing and well-spun legends into the setting and background of her novel, making for a unique romantic story which gives tingles in the spine for all the right reasons." - K.C. Finn
"Werewolf Nights is an incredible unconventional self-published book by Mari Hamill. This book isn't rushed and so well written, absolutely loved the ending. Not an over the top romance novel but just enough to give you the right feel. Join Catherine Mercy on her set of Werewolf Nights with her costar Greg on her action packed journey through Wereville."
"Who knew love could be so hairy! This is a fun, love story filled with plenty of curious events, twists and turns. True love is never forgotten. Hardworking bakery owner, Catherine, finds herself caught up in several fascinating love affairs after a long stint alone as a widower. She takes one for team Wereville, giving up her day job to become a local Hollywood film’s leading lady. Punchy, mysterious and entertaining, Werewolf Nights has a fresh bite on romance." 5 Stars
"[Mari Hamill is] an excellent writer. [...] The book is excellent. [...] If you love werewolves, trust me, you're going to love this one."- Leonard Rich, Author
Who doesn’t love a good book with a twist you didn’t see coming? Some of the best reads out there are ones that keep you on your toes until the last page. These reads all have the most surprising endings that will have you thinking about them for days. No spoilers here, just book recommendations for you so you can hit you book goal by the end of the year.
"Did you watch True Blood on HBO? If you aren't aware, that critically-acclaimed series was based on a series of books from The Southern Vampire Mysteries by author Charlaine Harris. It took place in a small Louisiana town with a small-town waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, as it's protagonist. Werewolf Nights immediately takes me back to that book series which I read many full moons (hehe) ago.
This is author Mari Hamill's debut novel. She is a Harvard alum with a degree in English and also has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. So it's safe to say that she has studied the art of writing and honed her craft. Werewolf Nights has all the elements a supernatural romance thriller would incorporate. Mystery, suspense, supernatural, romance, and odd quirky moments that you can't help but laugh at." - by Bethany Price for Chicago Now
"I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a little romance with their paranormal, werewolves, a great mystery, or just enjoys reading a good book." 4 1/2 Stars - A. Fae, Truth About Books
After reading Werewolf Nights by Mari Hamill I requested an interview with her to get a little insight into her book. What follows is our brief discussion. Be sure to check out her book!
AF: So Mari, I have to admit that as much as I adore paranormal romances I've yet to read one about werewolves. What made you decide to choose them for subject matter?
MH: I like the idea of two beings trapped in one: a regular human and an uncontrollable beast. I find werewolves one of the scariest creatures in folklore, and Werewolf Nights deals with confronting the fear of not knowing in what direction our decisions will take us. My protagonist Catherine Mercy will only know what happens next, once she moves forward and away from her stagnant life. She must confront the werewolf to overcome her fears and find true love.
Also, werewolves serve as a great metaphor for writing. During that full moon when the muses operate, things begin to happen. And like the werewolf, the writer cannot always control this transformation.
AF: How did you decide what myths and legends you wanted to focus the book around?
MH: I researched a lot of Medieval European werewolf legends. To create a myth as powerful and enduring as lycanthropy, it took whole communities to conspire to accuse others, spread rumors, and believe in its existence. That’s how I came up with Wereville, which claims to have been founded by werewolves. In a communal setting, the presence of a mysterious friend or foe becomes more exciting, as people can bond while discussing their first-hand experiences and wisdom on the matter.
In social media, many begin to connect with others by discussing their favorite books, TV shows, and movies. We come together through the mythologies of our modern world.
AF: So it's no secret, even from the cover of the book, that Catherine is a baker. Where did that come from? Are you yourself a baker?
MH: I’m not a baker, but most people have celebrated a life event with a cake or a pie. The preparation of a cake usually announces a milestone or special event. In this case, the Festival of the Wolf comes to Wereville bringing the menace and excitement of werewolves appearing into the scene. Catherine Mercy’s Full Moon Bakery draws people in for a sugary bite, as they await a drastic change to their routine.
AF: How did you come to the decision to bring Hollywood into the mix as opposed to just the local area?
Werewolves and other monsters help define the human by deforming its traits. In a similar manner, the juxtaposition of a glamorous, rich, and influential circle into the financially struggling, unassuming, and for the most part uneventful Wereville helps elucidate Werevilleans’ strengths, beliefs, and stereotypes. Ironically and in spite of an acute rivalry between the two cultures, they have more to gain from each other than they would admit.
AF: What's next for you?
MH: Currently, I’m working on a romantic comedy that addresses the changes of our dating culture during the last six or seven years, when we’ve been hit by an economic recession and a social media revolution. And the sequel of Werewolf Nights is in the making. Perhaps a vampire from the East Coast will pay Werevilleans a visit. Stay tuned…
And thank you Ashley for a wonderful interview!
AF: You’re quite welcome Mari. Let me know when you have something new out because I’d love to read/review it!
Werewolves are never far from my mind when I’m writing stories set in Pagham-on-Sea, and while I’ve had a short hiatus with the Werewolf Talk series, I’ve still got a fair few werewolf books in my TBR! One of them is Werewolf Nights by Mari Hamill. We connected via Twitter and a Facebook Group (Horror Novels) and she agreed to one of my author interviews!-C.M. Rosens, Author
WHAT’S THE FASCINATION FOR YOU WITH WEREWOLVES? A good werewolf movie on a full moon night puts me in a good mood. It’s hard to pick a favorite because of there are so many good ones, but The Wolfman (2010) with Benicio del Toro, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer, and Wolves with Jason Momoa are great. When it comes to werewolf movies, I can’t say no.The loss of control at the moment of transformation fascinates me. As a metaphor for life, it makes me think about how much our reality can change from one moment to the next. I think werewolves continue to have the power to terrify us because they’re dangerous, unpredictable, and hard to kill.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT WEREWOLVES? Because of their resilience and their refusal to go away. Also, I like the superpowers they have whether they’re good or evil. As a comic book retailer and fan, I dabble in superpowers and double identities daily, but werewolves really hooked me. I wanted to create a world that revolved around them and that’s when I came up with Wereville. My novel has comic book references that fans of the medium will enjoy.
WHAT’S THE BEST WEREWOLF TRANSFORMATION?Werewolf transformations can be a form of body horror depending on whether one perceives them as a gift or a curse. An American Werewolf in London has one of the best scenes. I’ve watched that one over and over again. Werewolf Nights has key shapeshifting moments. I think the moment a human turns into a werewolf in a book or a movie, the energy of the scene changes too. It’s infused with raw power, which makes it exciting.
Mari Hamill’s Werewolf Nights begins with a mythos that establishes werewolves might truly exist in our world. The Tabernacle name comes from the Book of Exodus. The Bulleit Bourbon is based on a recipe 123 years old. Each starts with a story far in the past that sets the stage for it in the present day.
The Tabernacle wrapper is dark and nearly seamless, as is the world that Mari Hamill builds into her story. The romance that begins to develop is rich with possibilities, the same way the smell of the Bulleit Bourbon is rich with the scent of oaks and vanillas with a hint of caramel and spiciness. Also like the bourbon’s punch of spice in the first swallow, the book begins an onslaught of problems the heroes must overcome.
The pace of the book is quick and meets all the expected benchmarks for a supernatural romance with a touch of kitschy horror flavored thrills. The Tabernacle mirrors this with a consistent taste of pepper and chocolate mingled with cedar and earthiness from the its first puff to its last. Likewise, the Bulleit Bourbon maintains its single flavor profile of pepper and oak in its finish.
The book is easily consumable and fun to read, the Tabernacle matched as an enthralling smoke, and the Bulleit Bourbon as a solid companion drink. They were well matched and I would highly recommend them in combination to anyone with an interest in supernatural romance, a full bodied smoke, and a stiff drink.10