Sherrilyn Kenyon's books are so popular -and pre-release info about them at such a premium - that we media types were sworn to double-secret secrecy about sharing deets until today about "Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter Series)  " (BMR). It's Kenyon's kickin' new paranormal that tells the tale of passion and betrayal, ambition and intrigue -- and the timeless love story of sweet-yet-conflicted attraction between a, uh, wolf and, um, a bear.

Wolfs are about as virile alpha as shape-shifting heroes come, and Kenyon's lycan pack of hotties have moved in and out of her Dark Hunter series for years.  The hero of BMR, Fang Kattalakis is more than just lycan, his two bros are members of a powerful council that rules his kind. 

Sorta makes him royalty, with the attendant responsibilities and condescension.  Until he saves the life of cajones-bustin'-and-beautiful Aimee Peltier in a brawl at her folks' famous New Orleans gin joint, Sanctuary, a kind of neutral haven for shape-shifting folks looking for a nice piece of meat - and a raw patch of rough ‘n tumble.

Problem with Fang's whole knight in furry armor deal is that Aimee and her peeps are bears, enemies of wolves.  Yet Fang and Aimee find each other pretty attractive, rather than stinking piles of repulsive fur - the usual reaction of the wolf and bear groups to one another.  So you can imagine the kinds of plot confict their relationship'll bring up for all the characters in the tome
- and how it may affect their ability to fight off daimons, those soulless bad dudes who wreck havoc through Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.

"Bad Moon Rising" marks a bit of a change in direction for the Dark Hunter novels which usually feature alpha vampire heroes as attractive in bod as in character.  But Kenyon says the were/bear plot arc's been around the books for awhile. "It's one we've been working up to and it continues what was set up in ‘One Silent Night,' ‘Dream Warrior' and ‘Shadow of the Moon.' As for Fang and Aimee's story, it's what I knew would happen from the moment they first met."

And I, like the rest of her fans, have been dying for their hook up, because not only do Kenyon's heroes rock, but her heroines also are totally admirable.   Kenyon thinks it's because readers can identify with them.  "They're real women with real problems and concerns," says Kenyon. "They aren't perfect and like all the rest of us, they have lives that aren't easy. Most of all, they're not cookie-cutter or one dimensional."

And boy, oh, wolfboy, do we chicks dig Kenyon's quasi-human men.  Her novels are known for them, her websites are populated by them and her fans worldwide can't get enough of them, especially the ones that aren't entirely human - the heroes, I mean, not the readers. Says Kenyon, "I've been told that all of my male leads and most of the secondaries are hot, regardless of their origins. But I think people are drawn to shapeshifters because of the power and the intrinsic sexuality of the characters."

Shapeshifters certainly are popular in general, but Kenyon's characters have something I think makes them resonate with readers worldwide: Character.  The paranormal and human folk who populate her novels and walk in the light are class acts, regardless of how they dress, talk or carry themselves. 

And that's Kenyon in a nutshell: Accessible, fascinating, empathetic and always, always a class act.

What do you love about Kenyon's novels? Which are your faves?  Why areshapeshifters such appealing characters?

Visit Sherrilyn at BN Center Stage next week!  Click here to check out more on untamed, wild-at-heart heroes in Eloisa James' BN Review column, "Alpha Allure!"

Get "Heart to Heart" (H2H) with Michelle and more of what's hot and new in romance fiction every day!  Read all Michelle's UB romance columns here.

Message Edited by Michelle_Buonfiglio on 08-04-2009 01:44 PM
by WendyWP on ‎08-04-2009 04:59 PM

Wow what a great article/piece. I loved it. I can't wait to get BMR!!!

As for what do I love about Kenyon's novels? I love how very emotional they are. Faves, well all of them.LOL Actually I'd have to think about that for a bit. For me I love shapeshifters because it's rare you find a shapeshifters who is NOT alpha and I love alpha heroes.





by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎08-05-2009 06:39 AM

Hi, Wendy!  Great point about the alpha; it just doesn't get tiresome for me, either, even if the guy's jerky to start.  He even can end up a little jerky, too, cause he's part animal, so he's gotta remain beasty to a certain extent.  'least that's what makes him interesting to me. 

I still dig the first Kenyon I read (and of course had to read the backlist after, including her Kinley MacGregor stuff), and the name's escaping me! But the hero's Valerius, the Roman general.  She's such a history nut and creates a really cool melding of history and mythology (and her own riff on myths we're familiar with) that she keeps you on your toes.


I think BMR is great and I'd be interested in hearing what you think.  She's a magnificent storyteller, and I think her writing has gotten smoother in this one, too. 

by amyskf on ‎08-05-2009 09:22 AM
Oh yeah, love Valerius. Now shapeshifters...I just love the beast. Sometimes we all want a little beast, sometimes we want to be the beast, I like the idea of literally shifting  to that other persona.
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎08-05-2009 11:49 AM
Wolves, bears -- I don't know what it is about shifters, but I just love them. I like vamps, too, but there's something about the fur. . .
by amyskf on ‎08-05-2009 04:00 PM

I have a confession, an old boyfriend and I would decide what kind of animals we and our friends would be, he was a fox and I was a -- wait for it -- bear. So, even though my name is spelled differently than Aimee's, (it's still pronounced the same)I feel a connection to her.


From my bear to yours Sherrilyn, can't wait to read it.

by Author EmilyBryanRomance on ‎08-05-2009 05:02 PM

Were the boys are! Brilliant. How do you come up with these titles, Michelle?


I think the allure of shape-shifters has to do with the fact that there are things we'd all like to change about ourselves and sometimes feel less than able to do so. The were-creature can change everything! That's power. And power is always seductive.


Happy Reading,


by Moderator becke_davis on ‎08-05-2009 05:15 PM
Michelle definitely has a gift for it. Clever titles are sooo hard!
by ourtrumpcard on ‎08-05-2009 08:07 PM

I am SO addicted ... to all Kenyon books, to all shifters and other paranormal and mythological types.  I think its because of a combination of the above (very good list, ladies!) BUT mostly because these "men" are capable of loving us with their whole heart!  Ms. Kenyon's males are all H-O-T-T-T (she and Laurell K. Hamilton can describe my type of man to a T better than I can!) and pretty darn perfect physically but she allows them their vulnerabilities we all know those guys - even the uber-alphas! - have but normally hide. 


They're today's rock stars but attainable; long hair and leather pants - YUM!   I guess that last comment shows my age, hum . . . .

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎08-06-2009 08:43 AM

Ourtrumpcard, you write: she and Laurell K. Hamilton can describe my type of man to a T better than I can!, and I love that!  What a great way to describe their talent.  I never really thought of it that way, but it's perfect.  And Kenyon's heroes really are rock stars and biker guys in the leathers and rough talk n stuff.  You've hit it all, especially that we get to see the vulnerability, but she doesn't suck the life from the guys after they fall in love, she doesn't make them all mushy, rather she sometimes keeps them kinda jerky.  Like, Valerius is still really arrogant and kind of condescending, but comes through for everyone cause he's learned to be a team player and be vulnerable.  Um, sorry to bring it back to Val; I'm kinda hot for him. 

Sheesh, Emily, that's another cool way of looking at it -- shapeshifter as the placeholder for our power fantasy.  That way the shifter's not just an alpha figure, but one women relate to also.  Really intriguing... Um, can I quote you on the 'brilliant' thing?  Maybe I could use that on a resume...


amyskf, that may have veered dangerously close to tmi territory.  just sayin.

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