Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tour: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow (Guest Post & Giveaway)

I have a great post for you today from author Jennifer Harlow who is joining us on her book tour for Mind Over Monsters. Perfect for Halloween, which is fast approaching  Do you have your fangs yet? Enjoy!

Vampires Vs. Werewolves-Jennifer Harlow

In this corner, fighting for the ultimate modern female dream lover, coming in at 180 pasty, bloodsucking pounds we have…The Vampire! [applause] And in the opposite corner, coming in at 200 snarling, hairy pounds is…The Werewolf! [applause] Who will win the hearts and libidos of millions of women? Only one way to find out. LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUUMMMBBBLLLLEEE!

“I don’t get it.” This sentence has been uttered from quite a few of my male friends in recent years. Their wives, sisters, even daughters have all fallen under the spell of these mythical monsters, this writer included, and they can’t understand why. It is a decent question. In the past five or so years the Scoundrel Duke or Highlander have been replaced as women’s ideal romantic hero by a walking dead man and/or bi-polar man-dog. (Their words, not mine.) What is it about these creatures that we ladies find so sexy? And is there a place for both in our hearts? Can you be both Team Edward and Team Jacob? Let’s explore.

I’ve always loved monsters. I’ve seen so many horror movies and read so many books since childhood I couldn’t stop myself from writing a few. (Mind Over Monsters, out now!) In my book, the main character Beatrice Alexander finds herself caught between these two creatures as they both vie for her attention. My werewolf, Will, is shy, gruff, hates what he is, but is still responsible and a capable team leader. My vampire Oliver is playful, roguish, and though 500 years old suffers from a massive case of Peter Pan Syndrome. One is the kind you bring home to Mama, and the other you put behind you in your promiscuous twenties. Yet both hold equal room in Bea’s heart (as they do in their creator’s). Before I started writing I made a conscious decision to include these two monsters into my menagerie because I couldn’t chose which I, and in turn my readers, would have more fun falling in love with. Both spoke to different parts of what I want in a fantasy man (besides one who could take out the trash without being asked, but I can only fly so far from reality). But what are those parts?

Vampires weren’t always suave Counts or sparkly teenage heartthrobs. In folklore they were more akin to the zombie: mindless, flesh eating, decomposing. Even Bram Stoker’s Dracula was more ghoul than sex machine. It wasn’t until the story “The Vampyre” in the early 1800s that the sexy vampire came to life. This “vampyre” was based on Lord Byron, the bi-sexual poet who slept with anything that moved (including his own sister), leaving destruction in his randy wake. Women were driven mad by him, and their standing in society was lost. It wasn’t until Bela Lugosi that the yummy vampire reached the zeitgeist and really never turned back. But through all its incarnations a few things have remained constant: they’re dead, and they eat us. So why would this be appealing to us ladies? It’s akin to necrophilia with a leech. The answer is because they’re dangerous. They play to our desire to change a man. That we alone can save him from his evil ways. That though he’s been alive for centuries, we’re the only woman who he’s loved because we’re unique and spectacular. He’s the Scoundrel Duke but with more magic and bite.

The werewolf is the same in most respects. Their legend hasn’t changed much through the ages: a man is cursed with this ailment that turns them into a savage beast at least once a month. In modern times they just have better abs. They’re a dark prince under a curse, and once again our love is the only thing that can tame their savage beast and free them from their turmoil. We can save him. And even still he’s manly, strong, in touch with his animal side, yet loyal to the woman he chooses as his mate. He’ll take care of you come what may. Who wouldn’t like that?

These creatures have a lot in common, but also seem to be polar opposites, always in opposition (at least in my books). Why can’t they get along? A vampire has no life, yet the werewolf has so much life he can’t seem to contain it in one form. The vampire always seems to have boundless charm and charisma, blending in with humans for survival, but the werewolf can’t seem to fit into normal society as he’s too untamed. They’re both alpha males who represent different things to us. Vampires are all about cold seduction, tempting us with their magic and beauty, convincing us to give into our sexual desires in spite of the danger. Werewolves on the other hand wouldn’t go to all that trouble. They’d just grab us, throw us on the bed, and take us with wild abandon. Hot or cold?  Seduction or passion? Rock and a hard place, I know.

The battle rages on between these two alpha males. At least in my estimation, the vampire has a firm lead, at least in terms of books written and movies made about them. Bella ends up with Edward, Anita Blake’s boffing Jean-Claude more than Richard, and for every Ginger Snaps there are twelve Fright Nights. Maybe that will change, maybe not, but these rivals will continue to hold a place in our hearts and romantic imaginations for years to come. Now excuse me, I have to go buy my boyfriend a cape and fangs. 

So, are you a werewolf or vampire gal? Both? Do you agree with my assessment or am I seriously far off the mark? Are werewolves getting their equal share of the spotlight? Why not? Discuss.

Mind Over Monsters
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
By Jennifer Harlow
ISBN-10: 0-7387-2667-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-2667-0
US $14.95 • CAN $16.95
Trade Paperback Original • 53/16 x 8 • 288 pp.
October 2011
Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut.
Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and
other monsters threatening humanity.
Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training
to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural
members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire
determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty
zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

         The Buzz for Mind Over Monsters
“Monstrously fun! Monstrously suspenseful! Monstrously good!” –Victoria Laurie
“A gritty, dramatic police-procedural with a compelling heroine and a fascinating group of sidekicks.”
               --Karen Chance
“Harlow offers treats for every paranormal lover to relish, with plenty of action, thrills, and laughter.”
             --Leanna Renee Hieber
Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun!” –Kat Richardson

Jennifer Harlow is the author of Mind Over Monsters, the first in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series out now. You can read her blog “Tales From the Darkside” and get the soundtrack to the book at her website, You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @jenharlowbooks.

Jennifer is giving away five copies of Mind Over Monsters tour wide to US residents. To enter, just fill out the form at this link *HERE*


  1. That cover is awesome and I love anything with zombies :)

  2. I just heard about this book and it immediately went on the wishlist. I'm not sure why, but I do love the shifters, much more so than the vamps. Maybe it's because I'm always cold and they (supposedly) run warm so they'd be great to snuggle up to.

  3. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  4. Great post. I've always loved vampires more but I'm a sucker for werewolves too!

  5. Humor and suspense make a great combination for an interesting sounding book!

  6. Vamps are my go to paranormal but werewolfs (shifters) come in a close second.

  7. The reviews for this book really make it sound like a fun read.

  8. This book sounds like it's right up my alley. I like books with weres and vampires.

  9. Jessica-I'll read (almost) anything w/zombies too

    Jen M, ML-I just can't get past the vamps "I need to process your bodily fluid to live" and the whole "They're dead" thing

    Tore-You can also go to Goodreads, I have a giveaway there

    Karen C, Anne, Grandma-Thx for your kind words


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