Book Review of I Kissed a
Dog: The Werewolves of the West Series Book One
Sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours
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I Kissed a
Werewolves of the West Series Book One
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Cambridge Press US under the umbrella
of Charles River Press (CRP)
Number of pages: 446
Cover Artist: Ann Falcone
Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she
unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.
In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally
found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her
unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care.
That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his
spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd
roar right back out.
He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four
Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do
- figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.
orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working
alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more
than he ever expected. Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential
to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.
She despises him.
they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous
mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover
opposites really do attract.
Major Problem: Zane is
pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe
Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to
the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening
illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative
writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie's
Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she's an ex-80's chick.
Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol
developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost
always be found with her nose in a book.
She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and
devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying
teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an
undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker
side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul
Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol
discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable
urge to howl at the moon.
5 Guest Blog
Wands & Fairydust
10 Guest blog
11 Guest blog and review
Books and More Books
13 Guest Blog
Between the Wines
Books, and More Books
Paranormal Vault of Books
questions are here:
but a Funny Girl –
at the END of the Universe
31 interview and review
Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
1 Interview and review
Tails & Tales
Me My Fainting Couch
6 Guest blog
and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Blog
13 Interview (and review later)
14 Guest Post
21 Guest blog and review
Munro…Provocative, Adventurous Romance
up to PAR?
post please about some aspect of the book that will appeal to readers.
27 Guest blog and review
28 review and promo
June 12, 2011 – The Oregon Coast
The lion paced to the
left, top lip curled back, revealing his pointed teeth; he snarled at me
for good measure.
Wary, I watched as his tail
whipped from side to side, and he shifted into a crouching position, his eyes
never once straying from mine. He was perched above me on the rocky ledge where
he spent hours lounging in the sun.
Planting my fists on
my hips, I stood taller, squaring my shoulders, and glared up at Butch, a regal
three-year-old lion I’d known since I first started working for Luke Snider at
the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, over two years ago. Never had I experienced the
wrath of this particular animal, and I wasn’t enjoying being on the receiving
end of the young cat’s fury.
Fred, one of the park’s
volunteers, had gotten the absurd notion that lions were just bigger versions
of their housecat cousins, and based on the faulty information, decided to
enter the cage for a feel of their fur.
The two females were eating
and ignored the intruder. Butch, always curious and fiercely territorial,
wasn’t quite as welcoming. He’d cornered Fred and was preparing to paw at him
when I’d noticed his dilemma. Counting on my positive relationship with Butch,
I’d helped Fred escape and was turning to leave.
Butch had other ideas and
decided to get frisky with me. Something I hadn’t anticipated.
Now I was stuck and angry.
How dare Butch treat me like a prospective snack?
I could hear Luke, off to
my right, warning me to exit the cage — now, but I refused to surrender
to my growling challenger. This was one battle I didn’t intend to lose.
It appeared Butch felt
My pride alone wasn’t
holding me back; I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced I could escape unharmed
and wasn’t ready to risk it.
To make matters worse, I’d
become the animal park’s featured entertainment.
mid-afternoon crowd swarmed the lions’ enclosure eager for some action. As
if the town’s recent murders weren’t enough. Granted, most of the park’s
patrons were tourists with their cell phones raised in hopes of capturing
footage worth posting online later.
If I had any say, it
wouldn’t be me dangling from the jaws of my former feline friend. Some vacation
memory that would be for the kids watching.
Butch roared, sending a
wave of nerve-induced nausea crashing through my midsection. His hindquarters
quivered in preparation for the sure-to-come pounce. If I was going to divert a
catastrophe, and my funeral, I had to act now.
Backing away, I used my
coma-acquired communication skills, and sent what I hoped was a soothing mantra
into the lion’s mind: You’re okay. It’s
me, Chloe. Calm down. Relax. I have treats for you. Relax. Good boy. That’s it.
Butch cocked his head,
responding to my calming thoughts. He looked, for a brief moment, more like a
dog with a mane than a menacing lion. I sensed him relaxing, his rage receding,
but before I could release the lung-tormenting breath I’d been holding, a child
screamed loud enough to crack glass, inspiring several more children to add
their piercing shrieks to his, creating a chaotic chorus.
The lion, startled by the
commotion, roared a final warning and sprang, arcing toward me; front paws,
lined with stabbing claws, extended my direction.
To avoid direct impact, I
dove to the ground, bundling myself into a ball, making sure to cover any vital
organs and the soft flesh of my neck.
With my head tucked to my
knees, I shielded the back of my head with my arms, and waited.
And waited …
Instead of the lion’s
victorious roar and sounds of my tearing flesh, loud applause and cheers
erupted around me. Encouraged, I raised my head, peering out from the mass of
unruly curls that had escaped their ponytail.
Cameras flashed while
camcorders and cell phones filmed the extraordinary ending to a daring rescue,
performed by the most delectable specimen of manhood I’d ever had the pleasure
of ogling. Appalled by my sinful assessment, I was quick to blame it on shock;
after all, I’d almost died — again.
Almost dying was becoming a
bad habit. A habit I needed to break before my luck ran out.
Turning my attention back
to my savior, I watched my boss shake his hand. I had no idea how he’d stopped
the lion, now pacing in an isolation cage attached to the enclosure. A line of
well-wishers had accumulated and were waiting to congratulate him. It was
then I realized I’d somehow been removed from the cage, without my permission
or knowledge, and people, now surrounded me.
My co-worker, Rhonda,
leaned in close. “Just had to find a way to get the hot guy’s attention, didn’t
you?” Her sneer drew my attention to her makeup-caked face.
Rhonda was my high school
nemesis reincarnated. I refused to give her the satisfaction of seeing me
squirm. Like my former rival, her bark tended to be much worse than her bite.
As long as she was center stage, she was content. Right now, I was the center
of attention, guaranteeing her displeasure.
Ignoring her question, I
accepted a water bottle and several concerned pats on the back before circling
around behind the lions’ enclosure where I could gather my wits. I was more
shaken than I cared to admit. At last alone, my scattered thoughts narrowed to
Senior Prom 2004, another prime example of how my coma-acquired-ability caused
a major commotion while leading to an overwhelming sense of discomfort.
Darlene Davenport, the school’s self-proclaimed fashion
authority, who could’ve been Rhonda’s twin sister, had manipulated our vice
principal into letting her bring Queenie, a miniature poodle, to the prom, by
insisting the ball-of-fluff was a necessary accessory for her already-garish
Peeking from a sequined handbag, the dog looked cute enough
— so cute that my normal fear of dogs was absent for the evening, causing me to
forget about Darlene’s ongoing desire to dethrone me from my ever-tentative
Like her successor, Darlene Davenport was no fan of mine.
In fact, she was one of three girls who made it their
priority to gossip and grumble about me anytime anyone would listen, which was
too often for my liking.
Bob, my stepdad, a police officer, the always-conservative
and overprotective parent, banned any article of clothing that might accentuate
my figure. Form-fitting or low-cut were not in my clothing vocabulary, or
closet, leaving me little to wear that was teenage-girl approved.
Sure, my clothes were cute, practical, and probably cost
more than the fashionista’s, Darlene’s. However, Darlene and her few followers
made their disapproval known in a number of creative ways that I’d prefer to
Still admired in spite of my conservative attire and their
unrestrained bad mouthing, I was up for the coveted title of prom queen. My
chief competitor was, of course, none other than Ms. Diva Davenport.
Hoping to tame my hair, I met up with Darlene primping in
front of a mirror. Her precious baby, Queenie, succumbed to my mental probing
with ease. Queenie’s doggy thoughts revealed that Darlene and her gal pals had
bribed one of the stage hands into hanging a bucket of Queenie’s poo poo over a
letter X, chalked on the exact spot where the elected queen would make her
royal appearance. The whole scene was reminiscent of a 1970’s horror movie that
left the prom queen in a telekinetic frenzy.
And if that wasn’t enough to churn my stomach, Queenie’s
vision featured me bowing to receive the crown, followed by the bucket tipping.
The squishy brown downpour made me gag.
Should by chance Darlene win, the bucket would remain
upright and unused.
Let’s just say that when all was said and done, I won the
crown and Darlene was covered in her beloved pooch’s poop.
“How did you know?” she’d screeched through the stinking
Making sure to smile and pat Queenie’s head, I replied
cheerfully, “Your dog told me.” After all, Queenie had saved the queen.
The Monday following prom, Darlene told anyone who would
listen that I was a mind-reading witch and explained how her parents were suing
me for the irreparable damage to her dress. In the end, she succeeded in making
herself look crazier; and I became, much to her chagrin, even more popular.
Rhonda experienced the
exact problem as Darlene. The more she tried to destroy my reputation and
make my life miserable, the less people liked her. After two years, she still
couldn’t figure out why everyone favored me.
I remembered the gorgeous
stranger who Rhonda favored, and who’d saved me. I felt sorry for him. Given the
chance, Rhonda would pursue him like he was the last man alive.
Damn! With all the
craziness, I’d failed to thank him for his lion taming heroics. I assumed Luke
would know how to reach him. The least he deserved was a kind word.
With the shock subsiding,
it occurred to me it was my day off. I should have stayed home. At least I’d
have been safer there. With me, absolute safety was never an option.
“Ms. Carpenter, can I get a
word with you?” an unfamiliar voice called from behind.
Waving him off, I exited
through the side gate. Monday would be here soon enough. I trusted it would be
better than today.
I read the blurb, I thought this sounds familiar… but so not what I
thought. Loved this story. This book is so fun. Chloe dies as a teen and
comes back to life able to read animals minds.
Odd little trick this is, but she finds many things about people by
“hearing” what they said when their pets were around. This leads to some strange and interesting
tidbits of news, not to mention a whole new life with creatures she didn’t even
book is well written, visually crafted in a superior manner, and woven into a
sophisticated soup of plot twists and turns.
I can’t wait for the next book to come out. The only problem with a series is the waiting
between books. My daughter refuses to
read any new series of books I recommend until all the books are out because
she has no patience for the waiting.
strongly recommend this book. I think I
have a new favorite book series. I give
this book 5 out of 5 clouds.
product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my
opinions or reviews.