THE THING ABOUT WERES
A Mystwalker Novel from Leigh Evans
In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I've been the leader of the packhard to believe, right? The thing is: I'm half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…
To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my bloodand the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I'm just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I've been through already, what's the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.
About the Author
Leigh Evans was born in Montreal, Quebec but now lives in Southern Ontario with her husband. She's raised two kids, mothered three dogs, and herded a few cats. Other than that, her life was fairly routine until she hit the age of 50. Some women get tattoos. Leigh decided to write a book. A little tardy, but then again, her mum always said she was a late bloomer.
Read an Excerpt
On the Tricky Subject of Wishes
I don’t know why Weres think the moon’s so beautiful. Look at it. The thing’s rutted with craters. Not once have I gazed at it and wanted to let loose a wolf howl or break into a melancholy chorus of “Moon River.”
Most nights, I refuse to give it more than a brooding glance. Matter of fact, most of the time, I make a point of not looking upward. I keep my eyes trained on the life around the pond and the dead air above it.
But sometimes, when my thoughts are muddy and circular—like they are tonight—my gaze will slowly swing upward to a certain star.
Star light, star bright.
If you want to see what I’m waxing poetic about, tilt your chin up and slant your gaze to a few degrees left of the Milky Way. There it is: one twinkle-perfect light. To my eyes, it’s not silver or white but a definite blue—a faint copy of the azure that glimmers from Trowbridge’s eyes. And even though it sparkles from a blanket of similar lights, to me its glow is far brighter than any other star’s.
It stands alone.
Brave. Insolent. Bright.
That makes it unique, and so I claim it as mine. Screw the dudes with the pocket protectors and penchant for Latin. They may have already given that radiant beauty a double-consonant moniker but I’ve redubbed that bit of pretty “Hedi’s Star.”
The first star I see tonight.
I’ve never pinned a wish upon my star. Mostly because I have the sneaking suspicion that Karma’s not done with me yet. And I can’t help but worry that no matter how cagily I frame my request, that greedy witch would hear the naked plea in it, and would immediately begin plotting something nasty.
And she’d already done a whole bunch of the nasty.
Why? Because Karma’s an insatiable bitch.
Which is exactly the type of talk Cordelia loathes hearing. Trowbridge’s best friend has several pithy life prompts she repeats whenever she’s convinced I’m in need of some attitude coaching. “You are the architect of your own life.” (Pinched from Alfred A. Montapert.) “Find your passion and embrace it!” (Lifted from Oprah.) And her own wry creation, “Stop brooding, darling, or you’ll get lines around your mouth.”
They’re relatively new, these buck-up phrases.
At first, back in the day when we were getting accustomed to each other’s foibles—basically those early weeks just after we’d shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn—my six-foot roommate had been confident that I’d figure out how to summon the portal.
Uh-huh. That and a dollar bill will get you four bits.
Then one day, she came to the quiet realization that I wasn’t going to summon up the smoke, and the myst, and the round window to the Fae realm—or maybe better said, she finally understood that I really couldn’t—and she abruptly dropped the subject of bringing the true Alpha of Creemore home.
That’s when Cordelia started focusing on the here and now, which meant alternately scowling at me with something akin to reluctant affection or holding up her bejeweled finger to utter one of those little bon-mots.
And that’s when I knew.
My new best friend had resigned herself to what she considered the truth: that Trowbridge wasn’t ever going to return home; that Merenwyn had swallowed him just like it had swallowed my twin brother Lexi; and now it was up to the three of them—Cordelia, the ex–drag queen; Harry, a Were who’s seen three score and more years; and Biggs, the wolf voted least likely to succeed—to form a protective barrier between me and Trowbridge’s pack.
“Look on the bright side, darling, where there’s life, there’s hope,” she says now when she’s feeling generous.
But she doesn’t look at me when she says it.
Days have run together. Fast forward and we’re here—the first night of the Hunter moon, six months and twelve days after I slid my mate through the Gates of Merenwyn. Which was one of the reasons my favorite star and I were having an epic stare-down before I threw in the towel and tried to get some sleep.
Last night, as I lay alone in my bunk bed, listening to the dead branches of the old maple chafe in the wind, I had a mind-blowing epiphany.
Ready? See if you can follow my logic: if there really was such a thing as Karma, then how much of a stretch was it to believe that there’s such thing as a benevolent Goddess in the sky? And even more wondrous—what if my Sky Goddess was more powerful than Karma?
Could there really be such a loving deity? One that waits, invisible and Godly, dying to hear your problems? And better yet—what if she could protect me from Karma’s whims? What if my Goddess was just waiting to hear me wish upon a star?
On that hazy thought, I drifted off into a dreamless sleep, from which I woke with the sudden, irritating awareness of one additional and painful twist to the previous night’s revelation.
Hells-bells, if my logic was sound, then my silence over these last six months wasn’t an act of stoic restraint; it was a piece of lame stupidity.
So here I am. Sitting cross-legged on Lexi’s pirate stone, slapping at late-season mosquitoes, setting myself up for a fall. On the plus side, I’m solo tonight—nobody’s breathing over my shoulder because my would-be protectors believe I’m safe by the fairy pond. The wolves are spooked by it, and the humans don’t know about it. Up in the trailer, Cordelia’s fussing with her wig. Back at his apartment, Biggs is probably reading some wolf-girl’s Facebook timeline. And Harry? Goddess knows what my favorite geezer’s doing. Maybe he’s oiling his gun.
I’m finally alone. About to pin a wish on a star.
I wish I may, I wish I might.
I clear my throat. “Hey, Star. I’m not sure how this wish-fulfillment thing goes, so I’m going to just work my way toward my request, okay?” Cover all the bases first. You’re not above doing a little groveling to smooth the way. “I know that it’s totally my problem that I can’t summon the portal. I accept responsibility all way round on that. And I know if you really want to be pissy, then it’s my own fault that I’m in this position. After all, I was the person who pushed Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn—”
Gad, am I turning into one of those wimpy women who tune into Dr. Phil?
“I had no choice,” I say, in a harder tone. “It was either that or watch him die.”
And I’ll never sit helpless again, watching someone die.
“Look, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Karma’s already taken a big bite out of me. A Were killed my dad, and the Fae executed my mom. The Fae stole my brother too—by force—and dragged him across the portal into Merenwyn, and then…” Even now, it’s hard to think of it. “They slammed the gates shut. I haven’t seen Lexi since.”
Lexi’s got to be alive. Trowbridge, too.
“Maybe it’s time for the tide to turn. Maybe you can tell Karma to back off and throw me a bone.” I blink hard at the tears gathering, and my star—that round blue diamond—blurs into something you’d expect to see hovering over a stable, a donkey, and a pregnant virgin.
“I’m not asking for the moon…” I feel my lips curve into a weak smile. “So I won’t ask you to return Merry, too.”
No, I can’t do that. She made it home. She’s safe now.
My damned throat is so damn raw it hurts to form the words. “So all I’m asking for is…”
Oh, Goddess. What if Trowbridge is happier there? What if life is better in Merenwyn? Is that why neither of them have returned home?
I can’t shape the words.
I can only silently pray.
Give me the wish I wish tonight.
Copyright © 2013 by Leigh Evans
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 stars (or B grade) ... Heartache, Karma, Lessons Learned, and Love It’s been six months since half Fae-half were Hedi gave Robson Trowbridge the life-saving push into Merenwyn, a deadly place for weres. The alternative would have been to watch Trowbridge die. There really wasn’t any choice. Hedi hasn’t lost hope, but it has nearly flickered out. The Creemore Pack needs a true alpha, which the mouse-hearted ‘alpha-by-proxy’ isn’t able to deliver. If matters couldn’t get worse, the North American Council begins investigating the pack. Hedi needs to step up or she will lose everything. Of course, this is only a taste of what is to come. The Thing about Weres has a strength and consistency that was missing in series debut. Hedi’s voice often had sounded immature, and it was almost as if her character was being stretched and molded throughout The Trouble with Fate. This time, her personality is settled. There’s less focus on her outward appearance – not being thin and beautiful like her mother – but having a very big and very kind heart. She’s a young woman who doesn’t belong; has lost her family; and seems to have lost her one true love. Hedi’s heart and soul are battered, as she runs through a gauntlet. Choosing the potentially best option of grim choices, lead to her indecisive moments. Which consequence is worse? Who should benefit? What is the right thing to do? How will she live with her choice? Her moral conundrums wring out the emotions; they’re an exhibition of her humanity. Hedi’s compelling, even at her weakest times. I felt sympathy for her plight. She keeps getting knocked down, and forced to crawl; yet, she manages to rise and carry on. Hedi shines through the darkest moments. The Thing About Weres proved to me the Mystwalker series and Leigh Evans is worth investing in. There could be less time spent in her head and more time with Trowbridge. Plus it’s hard to forget Cordelia, my favorite cross-dressing were! We can depend on her to verbally slap Hedi around when she needs it! In a way, Hedi reminds me a little bit of Harry Potter. She appears almost wimpy, but has great potential to be something epic! All roads lead to Hedi becoming a formidable leader, lover, and ally. The villains are exposed. The challengers presented. How Hedi overpowers them has me eager for the next book! ARC compliments of St. Martin's Press via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed following Heidi and Trowbridges story.
I did not get this book. Ok so I know the paranormal genre is still new to me and this may not have been the best choice of book for a novice such as myself, but I really didn’t enjoy one thing about this book. In my opinion, it was hard to understand and read. It was really unbelievable — yeah, yeah, I know paranormal is not real, but this was just really outlandish. It was way too “paranormally” for me. The book centers on other worlds and realms and crossing over. I simply could not follow the story line and just simply did not enjoy this book. I was expecting a book more about werewolves, but truly I was left asking myself what is the thing about weres. Rating: 2 Heat Rating: Mild Reviewed by: A. Lyn Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Reviewed by Guest Reviewer/Leigh & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog THE THING ABOUT WERES is the second installment in Leigh Evans’ Mystwalker series, and just like the first, Evans delivers a fantastical read in a fabulous urban fantasy series. WERES picks up six months after FATE’s cliffhanger ending for which urban fantasy novels seem to be known, and we find Hedi trying to keep her head above water as she struggles to figure out how to bring her Robbie Trowbridge back from Merenwyn. Now that she is Robbie’s mate, and since he is gone, being in charge of the Creemore pack has been bestowed upon her. Unfortunately, she is barely holding it together. She struggles with how to lead the pack, and basically does only what is necessary, often deferring to her right-hand pack mates, Cordelia, Biggs, and Harry, for their assistance. In addition, she rarely sleeps. When she does, she lands in dreams with Trowbridge that never end well, or she is thrown into Threall with the wizard and mad-one. Her inner were and her inner fae are in a constant tug of war, always fighting for dominance, but Hedi still hasn’t figured how to control them as she wishes. On top of it all, the pack is going to be visited by the Council of the North American Weres (NAW), an organization that is likely investigating the events that took place at the end of FATE, which culminated in werewolf deaths and an Alpha who hasn’t been seen since. To say that Hedi is barely hanging in there would be an understatement. Just as a representative of the NAW appears, and the most of the pack idly stands by while Hedi is more or less offered as a sacrificial lamb, more action kicks in, leading to two grand surprises. One is related to her past, and the other is related to her present. Hedi is uncertain, though, how either will play out in her future. As with her first novel, Evans has penned a fabulous story in this creative and extremely well written series. The world building of the fae world is sometimes complex but constantly intriguing. We learn so much about fae history, and that of the mages and the mystwalkers. At times, it can be confusing, but Evans does well with flushing out the issues, making them more understandable as the story continues to unfold. Then there is the pack. Oh, there are times I wanted Hedi to blast some of the pack members back to last week, but she stays strong and surprisingly mature about the ugly politics that surround the pack. I just love how Evans has built this fantasy world that interweaves these two very different groups of fae and werewolves. I look forward to reading about both in more detail in future books. As a main character, Hedi is not like most heroines found in urban fantasy novels. She is not kickass. She is not badass. She is young and has been thrown into a situation she never expected. She is special in that she has both were and fae blood coursing through her veins, but having lived a life mostly in hiding, she hasn’t had time to hone in on her gifts and learn how to control them with great adeptness. Still she continues to try. And it is that inner strength and will that carry her through some difficult decisions and tumultuous times. It is due to these traits, and how she is different from so many other heroines, that I really like Hedi. While I don’t think she really gets whiny, she often looks upon so much with a dismal resolve, however. Can I blame her? Not one bit. I do hope, however, that she becomes more confident as the series progresses. Her character needs to grow in self-assurance, which should come with time and experience. One of the things that I was worried about going into WERES is whether we would get to see Trowbridge at all, or rather, enough. I am happy to say that we do. He is definitely coming into his own as an Alpha, and while there were moments that I wanted to reach into the book and slap him for things he said, or didn’t say, he certainly redeems himself, and I am really enjoying watching him grow as a leader and a mate. Being a sexy beast doesn’t hurt either. ;) Overall, WERES is an excellent read, and this is a series I highly recommend. Evans pens her story with amazing imagery and excellent aptitude. She has created a fantastical story of weres and fae in which I love to get lost. Hedi and Trowbridge are not similar to most heroines and heros, and for that, I commend her creativity and style because who they are works especially well for the storyline. WERES is a page-turner, and Evans keeps the surprises coming and coming, leaving the reader wanting more and more. *Review copy provided by publisher
I have really enjoyed these books so far. Hedi would probably make me crazy if I knew her, but she is fun to read.
Was a little slow going for me but turned out graet