9780345505880

Moonburn

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780345505880

  • ISBN10:

    0345505883

  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 5/19/2009
  • Publisher: Del Rey

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Some instincts are too powerful to deny. In the past year, veterinarian Abra Barrow has gone through some major changes: She's left Manhattan for the deceptively quiet small town of Northside, ditched her cheating husband, and discovered that he has infected her with the rare werewolf virus. Now Abra is finally beginning to feel as if she has her life under controlexcept when the moon is full. But then, all of a sudden, Abra starts losing her temperand her inhibitionseven when the sun is shining. Her new man, shape-shifting wildlife expert Red Mallin, seems to know more about her condition than he's letting on, but he's a little preoccupied with strange creatures that have been crossing the dimensional border. With her hormones in overdrive, Abra finds herself releasing the beast in all the men around her. As life in Northside becomes increasingly more peculiarand more perilousshe must decide whom she can trust . . . when she's not even sure she can trust herself.

Author Biography

Alisa Sheckley is a native New Yorker. After years working as an editor at Vertigo, the mature/dark fantasy imprint of DC Comics, and working on the phenomenally popular Sandman series, she is now a full-time writer. She is the author of several novels, including The Dominant Blonde, Flirting in Cars, and her first book for Del Rey, The Better to Hold You. She lives just north of New York City with her husband and two children.

Excerpts

Chapter One



Manhattan is not the center of the universe. It only feels that way. But outside of the immense gravitational pull of that small island, there are whole other realms of existence.

For the past year, I’ve been living in the town of Northside, which is two hours from the city but subscribes to an alternate reality. Winter arrives earlier and tests your resourcefulness. The moon is more of a presence. Your regular waitress not only knows exactly what you’re going to order, she also knows how much money you have in the local bank, the status of your divorce negotiations, and your entire medical history, down to the name of the prescription cream you just called in to the pharmacy.

Yet there are also secrets that are easier to conceal here, buffered by trees and mountains and distance. The city may offer a kind of intimate anonymity, but the country permits other freedoms.

The freedom to run around naked in the woods, for example. Which I do about three days a month, when the moon is at its fullest. Having lycanthropy, like having children, forces you to reevaluate the advantages and disadvantages of apartment living. Of course, I’m not talking from personal experience here—I don’t have children.

But even though I accept that I’m better off in the country, it’s been a bit of an adjustment. Before I moved out here, trying to save my doomed marriage, I’d had a coveted slot as a veterinary intern at the Animal Medical Institute on the Upper East Side. And while the education I got there was top of the line, I’ve had to unlearn a fair chunk of it.

In the city, people don’t purchase pets, they adopt substitute children to carry around in big handbags, or rescue surrogate soul mates who will wait uncomplainingly at home all day, then greet each homecoming with frenzied affection. If Basil the basset hound gets cancer, nobody blinks an eyelash at spending thousands of dollars on medical care, physical therapy, a specially designed prosthesis.

Around here, it’s a different story.

Northside dogs are considered animals, and they spend much of their day outside and unattended, having adventures that their humans know nothing about. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, country people love their dogs, though they don’t regard them as quasi-humans covered in fur. Northsiders acknowledge the wolf that resides within the breast of every canine, no matter how outwardly domesticated. “It’s no kind of life for a dog” is the verdict for most serious illness.

Looking at the massive, gore-spattered rottweiler stinking up my examining room, I had to wonder who had it better: the beloved city pets who received constant attention and care, or their country counterparts, who had the freedom to follow their instincts and roll in decomposing deer entrails.

“I don’t see or feel any cuts or abrasions,” I told the dog’s owner, a lean woman with work-roughened hands, leathery skin, and brittle, teased black hair. Her name was Marlene Krauss and she ran a hair salon out of her home. I could feel her sizing up my long brown braid the way a lumberjack sizes up a redwood.

“In fact,” I said, double checking the pads of the rott- weiler’s large paws, “I don’t think this is her blood at all. Queenie’s probably just been frolicking in something dead.”

“Oh, I don’t care about that,” said Marlene. “She’s always getting into something.” When she moved, I caught a whiff of stale cigarette smoke and some drugstore version of Chanel No. 5. If I’d been completely human, the combination would have been strong enough to mask the usual vet’s office odors of cat urine, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and frightened dog. If I’d been completely wolf, I wouldn̵

Excerpted from Better to Hold You Sequel by Alisa Sheckley
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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