Hello, fellow book-a-holics. Today, I’m delighted to welcome resident New Yorker and best-selling author, Maria Vale, to Flora’s Musings as part of the blog tour for Season of the Wolf.
Don’t go anywhere because I’ve got an excerpt from Season of the Wolf to share with you, an amazing GiveAway and a fun Q&A with Maria.
About the Book
Season of the Wolf is the fourth book in Maria’s highly addictive series – The Legend of All Wolves – and was released on 25th August 2020.
Keep reading to find out more about The Legend of All Wolves series, read a fun Q&A with Maria Vale herself, an excerpt from Season of the Wolf and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Hello Maria, thanks for agreeing to this little Q&A.
1. I’m a huge fan of the world that you’ve created in your series – The Legend Of All Wolves – and have loved reading each book. Forever Wolf ended in such a way that the series could have been viewed as complete. I’m so glad that you’ve written Evie’s story, in Season of the Wolf. It feels like you’ve opened up the series to more books. Do you have a plan or a schedule in your mind for the series?
First, I just wanted to thank you, Flora, for taking the time to read an unknown early on. I am eternally grateful.
I initially wrote The Last Wolf as a standalone (titled unimaginatively enough, Silver), not really understanding that standalones are the exception rather than the rule. When my editor asked if I could make it a trilogy, I offered two options: One involved following Tiberius and Silver for three volumes. The other was three different stories which, thankfully, was what the editor chose. I’d planned to finish with Forever Wolf, but then toward the end of writing it, I got a contract for another three and had to figure out last minute how to, as you say, open up the series to more books.
I for one am really pleased that there are more stories to tell.
I, for one, am really pleased that you’ve contracted to write more books. 😉 Maria, you pride yourself on the fact that your books can be read as standalone titles. Does that change your writing process? I haven’t come across any “information dumps” in your books. How do you decide what information to re-cap and what to leave out?
I tend to focus on writing the stories without fussing the background too much, so here I have to give full credit to the editors and copyeditors, especially the poor soul who hasn’t read any of the books and is tasked with reading the new one with no background and marking the confusing parts. If one of those poor souls is reading this, let me say thank you and I’m sorry.
I doubt that new readers will think reading your books a chore. 😉 From the very first book – The Last Wolf– I’ve loved the unique perspectives that you’ve shown us. I love the concept that your werewolves are actually born wolf pups and must learn how to wear a human “skin” and take classes to fit in with the human world. How did you come up with the idea?
It made more sense for them to start life as pups–after all a pup can start to walk at two weeks—but then they can’t magically become fully functioning humans after spending years as pups. That’s when I decided that the Pack would have to teach them. Like we do when we teach our children how to use the toilet or use a fork, only a little more difficult because the pups see no advantage to being in skin.
In this one, Nils, who is not yet one, mistakenly triggers his change and becomes a baby, or what the pack calls a mattalinga, a little maggot, because “they’re soft and squirmy and they piss wherever they are.”
Wolves still pick him up by the scruff and drag him around, his feet dragging in the dirt.
I loved those scenes of the young ones trying to learn “human” skills and really enjoyed the maggot scenes. Lol! Season of the Wolf centres around Evie and Constantine. The difference between what it means to be a shifter or a werewolf evidently clear throughout the book. Actual wolf behaviours are a prominent part of the story and it’s apparent that you’ve carried out extensive research. What have been your most surprising discoveries? Has writing these books changed your perspectives about the world like living with the Great North Pack did for Constantine?
One of the most important is the position of the Omega, who is crucial as a peace keeper, diffusing anger within the pack. The other is that wolves are one of the few animals that will cross-foster. This means that a mother wolf will take in a pup that is not her offspring. This is how captive-bred pups are introduced into the wild. They are set loose in front of a den and the wolf mother will take them in.
Season of the Wolf is in large part about Constantine’s journey from thinking about love in such small terms—his love for Evie–to encompass a larger love for the pack as a whole and the land. Part of what binds the pack, is the caring for pups. The whole pack feeds them, grooms them, plays with them, babysits them.
When I was a small child, my mother worked for a couple of summers in Woods Hole, MA. It was an island with no cars and I was allowed to wander quite freely, cared for and petted by people on the island. It is absolutely my warmest memory of childhood. I think we’ve lost a lot by making our loves so small, whether it is MY family, MY partner, MY self.
I would love to have a pack.
Wow! That does sound a wonderful way to spend your summers, Maria. With each book in this unique series, we’ve gained a better understanding of the world you’ve created. Are there any plans to open up the world and plot future books in other places? If so, which cities, countries or continents are calling to your writing muse? 😉 Will we be seeing more pack members or shifters in future books? I’m hoping Julia’s story is percolating.
YES! I’m working on Julia and Arthur’s story. I’m currently calling it A Rumor of Wolves, though as we have already established, I’m terrible at naming. Julia has always been an adjunct to strong men—her father; her uncle August, her fiancé—men who have both protected her and overshadowed her. Arthur is not weak, but there are reasons he will never be anything but an Omega, which forces Julia to discover her own strength. I really like them together. I also enjoyed imagining what it was like to be a Shifter Princess in Montreal. Not as much fun as you might think.
Further on down the line, I have other ideas that if they are picked up, will break free of Midgard.
Wow, I can’t wait to read it. Thank you, Maria, for answering my questions and for writing such mind-blowingly good stories.
Thank you so much, Flora! ❤️🐺
Keep reading to find out more about The Legend of All Wolves series, read an excerpt from Season of the Wolf and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Excerpt from Season of the Wolf
Season of the Wolf by Maria Vale
“You know what I wished for on your eyelash?”
“My guard hair,” she reminds me. “No, you didn’t say.”
I take a deep breath and launch myself into the void.
“I wanted to understand how wolves flirt.”
“It’s the things you say and do to show that you’re interested but want to pretend you aren’t in case the other person isn’t and you don’t want to be embarrassed.”
She scratches the tip of her nose with her thumb. “That’s why it’s one of the eight primary forms of human misrepresentation.”
“Misrepresentation? I wouldn’t call it misrepresentation. And there aren’t eight.”
“Yes, there are,” she says and starts counting off on her fingers.
“JAFFEWIP. It stands for Jokes. Advertisement. Falsehood. Flirtation. Exaggeration. White lies. Irony. Politics.” And as the last long finger rises in the air, I find myself unable to argue with a single one.
“Flirtation is only taught in Advanced Human Behaviors so that wolves heading Offland will understand how to interpret obscure signals.”
“What’s it like? The class.”
“I was never going to be an Offlander, so I have no idea.”
A squirrel runs through the branches overhead, loosing a sprinkling of duff. She picks up a branch of long, brown pine needles and twirls it between her fingers.
“Will you tell me?” she asks quietly.
The single light in the Great Hall goes off and I try to collect my thoughts.
“If you were human, Alpha, I would accidentally stand closer than strictly necessary with my back straight so you could see how tall I was. With my shoulders back so you could see how broad they are. I would smile at you, but not a friendly smile, more a smile verging on disdain, so that if you weren’t interested in my height or my shoulders, I would seem like I had never really cared in the first place.
“If you were interested, you wouldn’t say that straight out. Instead, you might ask me for help that you didn’t actually need, like opening a jam jar or working an app on your phone. I would help you with the thing you didn’t need with more flair and exertion than was required. Then with the jam jar opened or the app conquered, you might put your hand on my arm and say something about my strength or intelligence. I would then ask you where the nearest coffee shop is and you would say, ‘It’s easier if I just show you.’ When you’d shown me, I would insist on buying you a coffee. If you consented, we would have conducted a successful flirtation.”
She shakes her head, a small smile playing across her lips.
“But it’s all a lie.”
“Not a lie, a misrepresentation. As you said yourself.”
She waves her pine fan in front of her.
“When I asked for your help to swim like that, swim like you, did you think I was flirting?”
I know what she wanted. She wanted to find a place that was a little apart. Not run away, just float in the dark for the space of one breath, until some idiot thought it had gone on too long and rescued her, though she didn’t need it.
I shake my head.
“So how do wolves flirt?”
“It’s not all that different. At least until the hierarchy is settled, there are lots of feats of strength. Who drags the biggest windfall from the forest. Who kills the biggest bear. Who lifts the most bales of laundry. The usual. But then…” She leans toward me and I feel the warmth of her body behind me and stop breathing. The air moves behind my jaw, and when I suck in that breath again, the tight tip of her breast scrapes across my arm.
“That’s it,” she says quietly. “One wolf will smell another wolf to see if they are willing. That is how wolves flirt.”
When I turn my head, my cheek lines up to hers, and I suck in a deep breath. My brain is immediately awash with the almost indecipherable complexity of the Pack—black earth, fur, the blood of prey, the fast-running sap of summer trees. But then it settles on that something else underlying it all, the granite and moss, hard stone covered with fragile life, that is Evie.
“And am I?” I choke out.
“Yes,” she says, pulling away, her eyes shielded, voice suddenly distant. “But then every unattached male wants to cover the Alpha.”
Excerpted from Season of the Wolf by Maria Vale. © 2020 by Maria Vale. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.
Keep reading to find out more about The Legend of All Wolves series and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
The Legend Of All Wolves Series by Maria Vale
This unique werewolf series is set in the modern world. The beautifully, wild Adirondack Mountains of Northern America to be precise. The Great North Pack live there, hidden from humans, but it’s not just people that they have to be wary of.
Books in the Series
It’s never too late to get your teeth stuck into this bestselling series. Click to read my reviews or buy the books yourself!
- The Last Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #1) (2018)
- A Wolf Apart (The Legend of All Wolves #2) (2018)
- Forever Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #3) (2019)
- Season of the Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #4) (Due 25th August 2020)
Buy The Legend of All Wolves series in print, ebook and audio formats from all the usual retailers, including:
Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US ¦ The Book Depository ¦ Audible ¦
Have I tempted you to buy the book yet? 😉 Don’t forget to enter the tour-wide GiveAway!
Tour-Wide GiveAway!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for taking the time to read this epic post! Lol! 😉 I can’t tell you how much I love this series. Honestly, you should check it out.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.