Guest Post: Author Lori Handeland + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Guest Post , Lori Handeland , The Geeky Lover Posted on April 23, 2010 @ 6:00 am 29 comments

We are really honored today to have Lori Handeland here. She’s the author of the Nightcreature Series and her new urban fantasy series, The Phoenix Chronicles, has a new release next week. Chaos Bites is book 4 in this series and I can say that I’m counting the days till I can get my hands on this one.

So please give her a warm welcome. And don’t forget the Giveaway at the end of the post.


Shapeshifter legends have been around as long as the art of storytelling. I’ve always been fascinated by shapeshifter legends, which can be found in every culture, and have made use of them in both my paranormal romance series, The Nightcreature Novels and my urban fantasy series, The Phoenix Chronicles.

Though I often use the legends of werewolves in my writing, I’ve also written in the Nightcreature Novels about wereleopards (Midnight Moon), the lougaro—a Haitian shapeshifter that can become anything it desires (Rising Moon) and the Raven Mocker—a Cherokee witch that can become a raven (Thunder Moon).

In my urban fantasy series, The Phoenix Chronicles, strange creatures abound. We discover that the fallen angels of legend mated with humans and gave rise to a race of half demons known as the Nephilim, which account for all the supernatural spooky things that have appeared in stories since the beginning of time.

So far my heroine, Liz Phoenix has fought her share of shape-shifters. In the first book ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY (November, 2008) she meets both Beserkers (Norse bear shifters), and Boudas (African hyena shifters).

In the second book, DOOMSDAY CAN WAIT, (May, 2009) Liz is confronted by Luceres (Roman werewolves that have no tails), Barbas/Marbas (lion shifters-a lion that becomes a man, or a man that becomes a lion), Fairies (fallen angels who practice glamour, a type of shapeshifting to make them more attractive), Gargoyles (animals that can turn to stone at will, they become more human and less animal the more they protect the weak and unwary from demon attack.)

In APOCALYPSE HAPPENS (Nov. 2009) Liz battles varcolacs, Romanian eclipse demons that appear as half man/half dragon among others, and in the newest release CHAOS BITES (May, 2010) Liz confronts Iyas, Lakota warriors that become faceless monsters of the storm during battle.
I had so much fun combining legends with my imagination to create all these shape-shifters. And they’re not all bad guys. In “The Phoenix Chronicles,” Liz has two hot men to choose from—her first love, Jimmy Sanduccie—a dhampir, half human, half vampire—and her mentor, the shape-shifting Navajo skinwalker, Sawyer.

But I’m curious—Why does the myth of the shapeshifter seem to be eternal? What’s the appeal?
Personally, I believe the idea of having the power to become anything, or anyone, we desire is seductive. Hey, if I could shapeshift, I’d have a body like Angelina Jolie and a face like Jennifer Aniston.

What do you think? Why is the shapeshifter myth so popular? What do you like about it?


Leave a comment answering Lori’s question to be entered for a chance to win an ARC Copy of  Chaos Bites.

Giveaway is open to all!

Leave us a way to contact you( twitter or Email in blogger profile is okay).

Giveaway ends Thursday, April 29th and I will announce the winner on Friday.

Good Luck everyone!

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  • Cherry April 23, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Answer to Lori's question (or a comment to her question) :
    I never wondered about that. I just knew that I like reading about shapeshifters. Something about the magic of being able to shift into another form that I find to be entertaining. Holds my interest enough to take me away from reality for a time 🙂

    Re-posted your contest at:

    Cherry Mischievous
    mischivus101-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • Tiger Holland April 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Shapeshifters are compelling because they're either blending together two different sets of instincts or they're fighting with their less civilized side. They have an automatic character complexity because they have to deal with the multiple identities of their plural self, and psychological complexity is a desirable trait in characters.


  • Lori Handeland April 23, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I've always found them entertaining too, Cherry.

    Yes, Tiger. I think the wild side and the tame side conflict is part of the fascination.

  • Giada M April 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I think the shapeshifter myth is so popular, because It's awesome to possess the ability to become sometimes a being who's more instincts than reason. This way you can feel such a freedom that is impossible to feel in real life.

    Thank you for your post and great giveaway!^O^

    Giada M.

    fabgiada @

  • darriemae April 23, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I think any shred of mystery is always compelling and to think that such a thing could exist is enthralling. To think that a human can morph into something else- who wouldn't love some aspects of being able to be something else sometimes. Although, some of them have a not so nice existence. lol I just love a good fantasy- an escape from a hum-drum world filled with bills and day-to-day issues and problems. Being able to go to another place and time- AND species- is better than any mental health therapy I could buy!

  • Riva April 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

    There's a certain appeal to being able to change things – even if it's just yourself. I mean, if you're having a bad day at work, think how great it would be to shuck it all (if only for a short time) and run wild.

  • mariska April 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I was told by my father since i was 5 yrs old about shapeshifter.
    when i heard at that moment, i guess it's only a story that parents tell to their children on old days. but hey, Now, I've been reading lots of books talk about shapeshifter.

    it's a human nature 'to like' a mystery, a different things from human, I guess 🙂

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  • Lori Handeland April 23, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I like the idea of becoming all instinct over reason, Giada.

    I agree that mystery is always intriguing, Darriemae. I like to have a little mystery in all my books too.

    Changing ourselves is always a good fantasy, isn't it, Riva?

    Interesting about your father's stories, Mariska. My dad always told great stories, but not about shifters!

  • Victoria April 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I think the idea of shapeshifters is so popular because it seems like they could be possible. The idea of changing into something so strong and protective also has an intrigue to it. I love shifters. I like how each type has such strength and loyalty.

  • misskallie2000 April 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I was always fasinated by shape shifters from the first time I saw them in a movie (don't remember title). I would love to have the ability to change into another person or animal. It just seems like a lot of fun. Just think what you might hear if you were a cat at a girls sleepover. If you were the topic of conversation you would learn alot..LOL Of course you may not speak to them again. lol. If you could listen in on your teens you would learn alot. Mayabe more then you wanted to know.

    Thanks for stopping by to chat Lori. Can't wait to read Chaos Bites.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  • Lori Handeland April 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I too enjoy all the different types of shifters, Victoria.

    Love the image of a cat at a girls' sleepover, Miss K. That would be a riot.

  • Barbara E. April 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Shapeshifters are fascinating – I think for me it's because of the ability to fool people – they think your a normal human being, the next thing they know (or don't know) you're a cat, a wolf, a bird, etc. with the abilities that those animals have. Or maybe you can mimic another person, then you can really be sneaky because you can wear anyone's face.

  • Robin K April 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Shape shifting offers a broad range of characteristics to characters that would not normally be logical. Allowing authors the freedom to custom create their own species. As a reader, I love the books because of the unique elements shifters have. No two books or shifters are ever alike.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Lisa R April 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I think being able to shift gives you a chance to be someone else for awhile. Who wouldn't want to be able to do this?

    Lori's "Nightcreature" books have to be one of my most favorite series. any chance there may be more?

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  • Beth April 25, 2010 at 12:33 am

    All the different kinds of shifters and all the different ways it's possible to become a shifter allow for a huge variety of stories.
    I like the strength, protectiveness, loyalty and unusual skills that shifters either have already or learn during their stories.

  • donnas April 25, 2010 at 12:53 am

    There is something mysterious about them. And so many people want to experience something new and magical and encompass both of those.

  • Minx April 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

    OOOOO did someone mention Gargoyles… heheee…. see they can be sexy!

    Why does the myth of the shapeshifter seem to be eternal? What’s the appeal?It is a very good question, perhaps it feed the desire to be something different and special, calls to the evolutionary part of us which is all animal instinct. The bit that we bury deep down until it comes out fighting.

    Perhaps we are just curious explorers of life- who seek answers.

    Me- I find them sexy and strong!

    You can catch me on twitter juju221

  • Spav April 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I think the concept it's popular because maybe people want to experience new things and they wouldn't be able to do it while thy're in their normal body.

  • angie April 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I think people love to read about shapeshifters because it's something we aren't able to do and it is the mystery behind it. Also it allows us to imagine being able to change ourselves but still be able to go back to who we really are.
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  • Ragan April 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    In the world of shape-shifters, I appreciate the conflict of meshing a creature of base instinct to the logic and understanding of that of a human being. Two life forms capable of expressing passionate emotions, sometimes understood but always with a sense of wonder and mystery. I find the myth to be so popular for the sense of control over a thing of fantasy. A writer is able to create any past, any motive, any yearning they imagine, whether based on human reflections or the perception of the animals around us. And yes, sometimes, manipulating said facts and impressions to create something altogether new and fascinating.

  • JenM April 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    When I started reading PNR and UF, I was immediately attracted to the shapeshifter books over all of the others. I'm not really sure why, except maybe that it gives the author a chance to portray a wide range of different characteristics, depending on the type of animal they choose to have the character change into. I love books where the author fully realizes the possibilities of the character's animal nature as opposed to ones where the characters just act like humans who happen to be in animal form.

  • EVA SB April 26, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I think the shapeshifter myth is attractive for several reasons.
    Most people feel that they have parts of their self hidden from view and if they were shapeshifters their 'other' form would express their hidden personality.
    Personally I like the idea that I could become a sleek cat making powerful leaps and bounds or a bird soaring high in the sky far away from everything.

  • mbreakfield April 26, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I think the appeal of shifters is the connection to a more primitive self and a more simplistic time.

  • CrystalGB April 26, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Hi Lori. I love your books. I think the appeal of shifters is the raw power and magic that a shapeshifter has. You know that under the civilized veneer there is a wild, uninhibited side waiting to emerge.


  • amynjack April 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hi Lori,
    I never gave much thought re shapeshifters specifically, as I have always been a vampire kinda gal :)–But I think all these myths allow us to consider releasing ourselves from the obligations that come with being a person. The large and the small. Caring for one another to being polite and putting your napkin on your lap. Freedom to tap into your most basic raw nature. Passion-pure. Id only…no Ego, no Super-Ego! And is is way more appealing to shapeshift, or go vamp, than say turn into a 2 year old! (The personification of pure Id if there ever was one!)
    Thanks for you compelling books. I am really enjoying the journey of Liz's development throughout the series. And I have a big ole crush on Sawyer!

  • MizzCrow April 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Why does the myth of the shapeshifter seem to be eternal? What’s the appeal?

    I believe shapeshifting is a primal urge; there are shapeshifting myths in every tradition, particularly amongst "witches" and medicine people of indigenous groups. Working with a particular animal spirit raises power and increases the ability to help, heal or harm using that spirit energy. In some South American traditions there are special postures to assume that assist in shapeshifting, and in some shamanic practices using a fetish and dancing the animal while in trance is the trick.

    We know we are all animals, separated by a thin veneer from our basic natures. I think we long to return to that at times, to be free of the yoke of civilization and experience the freedom of being something that works on instinct rather than reason.

    If there's a warm-blooded woman who hasn't fallen half in love with Sawyer after reading your books, I can't imagine why.

  • heatwave16 April 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    I believe that being a shapeshifter gives you the option to be completely free and wild. As a wild animal (wolf, bear, lion, etc), you have to follow your natural instincts…no decisions about budgets or what to wear just survival. I think in that case, its almost a simplicity that we can all appreciate. Life is all gray, and black & white would be nice for change.


  • Emma Kate "Coops" @ Whats Cracking Coops April 29, 2010 at 4:05 am

    That is a cool question! I personally think there's been a fascination with ALL things paranormal since Twilight *shudders* BUT, this is a very good thing – it is bringing fresh, new fiction with awesome ideas to the forefront and has opened a whole new world to me as a reader! Shapeshifters is one of those.

    I think the main drawcards of shapeshifters are the underlying sense of danger…in some cases, the unpredictability of just *when* this person will change. That's what I love…it keeps the reader on the edge. There is also freedom…freedom of imagination, actually! It is so WONDERFUL just to indulge in the impossible and believe it for just a moment. Shapeshifters have all of that!

    And there's always daring to dream of what being a shapeshifter means for the characters…I love shapeshifter books where I just pause for a moment and lose myself in daydreams of what *I* would do if I was in there shoes – what I would change to, what I would do when I was changed, etc. 🙂 Anything outside the normal, sometimes dreary, confines of reality is attractive to me…but shapeshifters just have that element of awe that I love 🙂


  • Julie April 29, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I think shapeshifter lore is popular because we've all wanted to be something else for various reasons. Whether to spy on someone to see how they really feel about you, or to escape a bad situation, we've all wanted to change into another creature and do something with that. So the stories intrigue us because we can imagine ourselves doing the same.

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