Guest Author: Melina Morel

Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome author Melina Morel. With the release of the third Institut Scientifique novel, Smolder, Melina brings us back to the world of werewolf hunters and the vampires they love.

Vengeance has its price.
But you pay for passion forever…

Descended from werewolf hunters, Catherine Marais has vanquished countless of their vile kind-including the one that slaughtered her father. Her debt of blood and honor was fulfilled-but her heart is empty.

The only one who ignites Catherine’s passion is Ian-a handsome, elegant vampire whose seductive touch she cannot resist. But when he offers her the dark temptation of eternal commitment to each other, Catherine must look within her heart-and her truest desires-to find the answers she seeks…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a full set of the Institut Scientifique novels to one lucky individual.

Well, we’re halfway through January of 2010 and so far the new year has been setting records for cold all around the world. Time to stay inside, make a cup of tea or coffee and settle down to read a book – or write one.

For the past few years I’ve been creating a series about a group of intrepid werewolf hunters working out of an elegant headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It’s the very mysterious, under-the-radar Institut Scientifique, and its mandate is hunting and killing the werewolves of the world who kill humans. If you’re a werewolf and haven’t laid a paw on a human, you can go about your business, commute to your job, and live your double life in peace. But kill one of us and you might as well wear a big red target around your neck because the Institut will come looking for you. And they’re relentless.

I discovered the world of vamps and weres a few years ago and found it exciting. There’s something very liberating about being able to create a place where the good guys pursue the villains and actually manage to bring them to justice. In real life, of course, it’s usually not that easy, so it’s nice to enter a universe where bad werewolves pay the price for their misdeeds.

In researching the werewolf, I discovered they have quite a history. So do vamps. Now why is that? I wondered. Are they convenient scapegoats – even if they’re mythical – for what’s wrong with the world? If you were a peasant in a small Transylvanian village and the sheep suddenly started turning up dead with vicious wounds, would it make sense to worry about a pack of wild dogs – or werewolves? We’re familiar with dogs. They’re our friends and companions. Sheepdogs are loyal to their masters and will protect the flock and even fight off predators if they must, so what else is out there? Not dogs, surely. Something big and bad that wants to kill.

Remember the headlines and scary pictures in the supermarket scandal sheets a few years ago? A semi-mythical creature called the chupacabra was supposed to be loose in the land, killing and ripping apart livestock. The chupacabra generated so much print that I’m surprised it hasn’t appeared as the villain in some paranormal! Maybe it has.

Vampires are a different breed altogether. Undead, cool and forced to feed from humans to prolong their existence, they fascinate us with their chic ways in the classic mode or alternately amuse us with their hip modern incarnations in vamp literature played for laughs. Either way, they’re not like us. They’re dead. But like ex-spouses and junk mail they keep coming around to test our limits of endurance.

In Smolder, my heroine Catherine Marais of the Institut Scientifique, has the tables turned on her. Instead of being the hunter, she becomes the prey when the French werewolf pack decrees her destruction. Suddenly forced to confront the hated werewolves and practice defense instead of offense, she finds herself falling into a trap when her young niece’s safety is at stake. Made vulnerable because of her love of family, Catherine has to fight to save them both, and when the werewolves capture and imprison the women, she makes a telepathic contact with her vampire lover that sets in motion a rescue calling in a coalition of vamps, werecats and humans. Love will lead her to a choice that will change her world forever.


Thank you Melina for stopping by Literary Escapism today.

Contest Time! Today we are giving away a great prize, the first three novels in the Institut Scientifique series – Devour, Prey and Smolder – to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer this question: Are vampires and werewolves convenient scapegoats – even if they’re mythical – for what’s wrong with the world?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
  • +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
  • +10 purchase any print novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.  If you buy all 4 books, that’ll be 40 entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of Smolder someplace.  Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter.  Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until January 26th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

Also, I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Great post! I think newspapers will use anything to generate a good story and in turn sell more newspapers. And as they know that werewolves and vampires have a huge following, they will use them to increase sales.

    What a great prize!

    I am a FB fan
    Have posted about giveaway on FB
    Have tweeted about giveaway

    Thanks! :)

  2. I think so. It’s hard not to fantasize about werewolves or vampires. I’ve always heard that fantasies should be something far beyond what you could get in reality so these are great fantasies to have.

  3. It is easier to blame a fictional monster than to see the monsters in ourselves.

    This is an awesome prize & please enter me. I hope I win, but if I do I will have some massive reading to do because I have to start a series from the beginning!

    I’m a FB fan, & twitter follower @mindymiranda
    I’ve added your contest to my Titillating Tuesday blog post and my sidebar

    Sweet Vernal Zephyr .blogspot

  4. I think vampires and werewolves are a good way to highlight and possibly exaggerate problems in society.

    +1 twitter follower (@sara_UFblog)
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  5. I think that vampires, werewolves and other mythical creatures have always been used as scapegoats. It’s always been easier to blame a village’s ills on a vampire or witch and kill an innocent person than to find out the real cause of the problem.

  6. I agree that Vampires, werewolves, other supernatural beings are scapegoat to what is really wrong with the world. People tend to blame what not real/fictional because they don’t want to believe that themselves (humans) are the real cause.

    +1 Fan on Literary escapism fan-page
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    thanks for the contest!

  7. I love the article and it gave me some insight to things. I am slowly going into werewolves and vampire books and find them better than I imagined them to be. I am glad I am seeking new roads altho I will stay with romance as well. susan L.

  8. Vampires and werewolves are absolutely convenient scapegoats. It’s always easier to blame the unknown than to find the true cause.

    +1 subscriber

  9. Are they scapegoats? Of course, I can’t be sure but I think they more likely reflect a desire for the excitement that arises from danger. Modern life can often be very predictable and rather safe. For some, that translates into boring. Hence the need for creatures who can threaten our existence and push the limits of our daily drama.

  10. I think they make easy scapegoats because people fear what they don’t understand or creatures stronger than them.

    +1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze

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  11. I think if you look back at history, many events have often been blamed on the supernatural and many of the holidays we take for granted today have supernatural elements in them, based on mythical creatures from centuries ago. Humans have often turned to the supernatural to explain events they couldn’t. With modern science, we know a lot more, but we’re still human. How many of us still sleep with nightlights or tell bogeyman stories to our children? It’s very easy to blame other aspects than to blame ourselves when things go wrong with society.

    +1 subscriber

  12. I think that there are things in this world, that cannot be explained. Because of that, people have a tendency, to let thier fears and superstitions get the better of them. But, I also believe, that times have changed and for the most part, people are now more open minded. In the past, belief in these creatures fed the fear and superstitions, but nowadays, they are romanticized, I dare say in some cases, idolized. That being said, there will always be those who are so closed minded to the possibilities of the unexplained, that anything that isn’t recognized as normal in thier minds will always be used as a scapegoat. It is easier to believe in the bad and blame, than it is to understand and accept.

  13. Hmmm actually I don’t think so…at leats, not in the UF/PR books I tend to enjoy (such as Armstrong and Briggs). They’re part of the world, sometimes they’re acknowledged, sometimes not; yet they are not responsible for the woes of the world.

    (following on Google Reader and Twitter (c_morin))

  14. Are vampires and werewolves convenient scapegoats – even if they’re mythical – for what’s wrong with the world?

    I would say yes, because it is easy to point all the wrong on one person–or species.

    +1 I follow LE on twitter (@LisaMBasso)
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  15. I think that sometimes they are; because its easier to pick out why people would blame them-for they are not attuned to mythical creatures ways, but i also think that they belong to this world-because there should be no set ‘normal’-as in define normal. So i think that its easy to use them as a scapegoat-but i dont believe so.

    +1 Following on fb and twitter (Bianca F, bianca_riot)
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