So Mo is a the product of a couple of hippies never overcoming the effects of Mary Jane et al., raising their only child in their own commune and making her eat only organic while homeschooling. In a fit of rebellion, Mo defies her upbringing by enrolling herself in a traditional and public school, getting a job at a greasy drive-in that sells dead animal, and even getting a best friend.
The book starts with Mo arriving in Grundy, Alaska. She's just been dumped by long-time boyfriend, Tim, and is ready to lick her wounds by removing herself from society. The only way this move would be believable is if Mo had previously lived in a tropical climate. Turns out, she grew up in the south.
Mo meets the Northern Exposure cast of characters and, true to Molly Harper style, they are distinctly unique and quirky. And then there is Cooper; handsome, brooding, large (in all ways) and a werewolf.
Harper is a master of dialog and describing nuances that make you giggle in a way that a good author can do. As much as I liked this book because it is Molly Harper and she makes me laugh, I have to be honest in saying that I didn't love it the way I wanted to. It's still a fun read but here is what I grappled with:
1. I have no problem with the protagonist getting a little action but detail was a little much. I didn't pick up a romance novel. I didn't think I did, anyway.
2. Character development was fine and I wouldn't have any complaints if I hadn't read Harper's "And One Last Thing." Sure, the inhabitants of this town were quirky and fun but I didn't take to Cooper. In the last book, the love interest was interesting and fun, the protagonist was probably a thinly veiled Molly Harper (and I LOVED her) but it was the protagonist's brother that stole the show. HILARIOUS! There are simply no words to describe the out of control giggling I had when she woke up after a night of drinking and found. . . things different.
Fun read. Definitely recommend but not Molly's best.
Molly Harper's Blog and how the idea of this book began: An ice storm. Stranded in a strange, isolated place without power. Children with an unsettling ability to win staring contests. This is how horror movies start.
Watching the news coverage as cities across the are pelted by the much-touted historic blizzard, I’m having strange sympathy pangs. In January 2009, an ice storm ripped through , taking out power and phone lines for thousands of homes, including mine. The first night I spent camped out in my in-laws’ darkened living room with my two young children, I was sure this was just a temporary blip. It was going to be a funny story we could tell the next winter. As in, “Remember that night we had to sleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma’s fireplace and cook on a gas grill in the garage?”
By the sixth night, I was no longer amused.
Over the next week, Kentuckians were cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. I returned to my dark, cold house to forage for supplies one afternoon, only to find my neighbor shaving his head in his driveway. I sincerely hoped that was related to the lack of electricity and not just a personality quirk I'd never noticed before. Neighborhood block parties have been stilted and awkward since.
But I managed to channel my cabin fever, before going the full fire-ax-through-bedroom-door and elevator-full-of-blood route. I started writing. Having recently published the Nice Girls books, a vampire romance series about an undead librarian in small-town Kentucky, I’d already decided that I wanted to write a werewolf story. And being isolated, in the dark, in an increasingly crowded, enclosed space, I decided to set the story in the frozen regions of Alaska.
While we waited for the power to come back on, I wrote about twenty pages of notes by candlelight. What emerged was the story of Mo Wenstein, a woman who moves across the country to escape her intrusive hippie parents and make a life for herself in the remote town of Grundy, . Cantankerous neighbor Cooper has been giving Mo a hard time about her place in her new community since day one. But when Cooper stumbles onto her porch, naked, with a bear trap clamped around his ankle, she realizes there’s more to him than a surly- though attractive- surface. A series of werewolf attacks, for which Cooper may or may not be responsible, dysfunctional werewolf clan drama, and romantic hijinks ensue.
The manuscript grew over the next few months and became HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF, which is due to be released by , wherever books are sold. The sequel, THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF, will follow .
So, while the encroaching is frustrating, make the best of your snow days. Use the milk, eggs and bread you hoarded to make . Plow through the To-Be-Read pile of paperbacks on your nightstand. Write journal entries about the sights, sounds and emotions you’re experiencing as a blizzard survivor.
Simon and Schuster wants you to discover Molly Harper and her incredibly fun writing style. I can only do so much. If you want to find out how much you will like Molly (and you really will), enter contest below.
You never know. You could turn this experience into your first manuscript.