Author Mina Ramey is a magician at the Shifter genre and her novel is spellbinding!
You can find more on the author Mina Ramey down below my book tease!
Book Rating: 5 Full Moons!
Lady and the Wolf cast a spell on me that I never want to shake off.
Mina Rainey grips us from the beginning with her vivid descriptions of the forest, and of a man named Rakesh who we soon find out is far from an ordinary, or in this story 'Mundane' man.
Rakesh is a Wolf Shifter who decided after a long time to fully indulge in shifting in the middle of a full moon. However, he soon finds something, or rather someone he doesn't expect to see.
The way the dark skin of her hands glowed in the light of the moon, the way her voice sweetly hit the notes of the song she was humming....
...the fact that he couldn't see her face ruffled his feathers, or his fur in his case.
Ramey Chapter 1: A Curiosity Trapped the Wolf
Yet Rakesh doesn't get to admire this mesmerizing, mysterious woman for long.
Rakesh steps into a bear trap and cries out trying to free himself, but it's no use. Right as he is about to pass out due to the pain, he is saved by the same mysterious woman.
What I absolutely love about this story so far, is that there is just enough detail for us to see who everyone clearly is, but I don't have to slog through paragraph upon paragraph of backstory. The characters are described either through their actions or dialogue.
Like when the mysterious woman, whose name we later find out is Josie, saves Rakesh, but in an almost comical way.
"Oh, cut that out!" A hissing whisper answered....
"I could hear you from my house." She whispered as she began to make quick work of the bear trap.
Ramey Chapter 1: Curiosity Trapped the Wolf.
The way Josie saves Rakesh is *chefs kiss* just enough sass to make me love her, but on top of that she is smart enough to make sure the hunters who left the trap couldn't track the injured wolf away from the trap.
Mina Ramey's plot starts out simple, but it's deep and I feel the characters down to my bones.
Without giving too much away, there is much more to Josie than meets the eye.
"Not just any witch, my dear." Josie chuckled. "Wait." He breathed. "You mean, you're --"
"The Siren of the Woods." Josie finished with a wink.
Ramey Chapter 2: The Siren of the Woods
Siren of the Woods?! How do I land that job? Sign me up FAM.
The author makes a point to show that while Josie loves living in the forest and helping out others, she lives mostly in solitude. She enjoys her privacy, but also welcomes Rakesh into her home. She even cooks for him and they share a meal.
When she asks if he'd like something to eat, they have this heartwarming exchange.
"I don't want to be more of a bother than I have been already." Rakesh waver her off.
"You're not a bother, Rakesh." She scolded sweetly. "Don't talk about yourself like that."
I love how Mina Ramey can say so much minimal dialogue, and simple words on top of that. You can see that Rakesh doesn't want to impose on Josie, but you can see that Josie truly wants to help him and thinks he isn't a bother.
She even tells Rakesh the truth about the forest, and about how not everyone or everything in the forest is what they seem.
In fact, the trap that had ensnared Rakesh had injected colloidal silver into his bloodstream. The trap was set by cryptid hunters, not by anyone hunting normal bears.
"They're actually not the first cryptid hunters to come here, but they are the first to bring that kind of equipment."
Ramey Chapter 3: Something New
The plot THICKENS
So, Rakesh wasn't just simply clumsy for stepping in the trap, it was placed there to capture a Shifter. This foreshadows some scary stuff to come for sure. Josie even goes so far to explain that usually she can hide or disappear from people who she wishes to hide from.
Rakesh even feels a bit frightened that there are people out there hunting for Shifters like himself, even though he is a powerful wolf.
Yet, one of the most poignant passages of the entire book is this one:
She couldn't deny that he was a fine looking specimen, but she didn't make it a point to mix business with pleasure either.
"Down, girl." She scolded herself. "You remember what happened last time."
Ramey Chapter 3: Something New
This broke my heart!
Josie clearly likes, or at least is attracted to Rakesh, but quite obviously she's had her heart broken before. It could even be one reason why she's preferred solitude out in the forest rather than mingling with others.
Rakesh, in turn is protective of Josie off the bat. Ramey shows us then when he goes to stretch his limbs and shift again after healing from the trap.
He heard an unfamiliar man's voice, growl of warning rumbling deep in his chest.
Ramey Chapter 4: Make New Friends
Yet, It turns out that Rakesh isn't the only shifter that Josie helps!
I don't want to spoil another moment of this wonderful story. However will continue to gush over it. I found myself hooked to see who this other shifter was, and what connection he had to Josie.
I rarely find a novel that makes me want to read the entire book from beginning to end, but Lady and the Wolf is one of them. I want to should from the rooftops how amazing this story is!
I also found myself asking the following questions:
What will Rakesh do now that he's found his version of paradise?
Who are these cryptid hunters, and what do they really want?
Will Rakesh's and Josie's lives grow together if they live in different worlds?
Just what happened with Josie before to make her so afraid of love?
Can Josie move on from her past heartbreak to embrace Rakesh?
Now: My exclusive author interview with Mina Ramey
1) Which part of your book was the most fun to write?
I think the part of my book that was most fun to write was that moment when my leading lady, Josie, finally figured out that she was in love with Rakesh.
And when the obstacle of "Well, I love him, but I might not be the one for him" is added, it just solidified even more that she not only loved him, but was legitimately afraid of losing him.
2) What do you find is the most difficult part of being an indie author?
Tossing your hat into the indie author ring means you have all responsibilities in your lap. Not just writing: editing, cover design, marketing, etc.
It can seem like a lot to handle, but you do get to give yourself the green light and you make your own rules. For me, that makes the difficulties well worth it.
3) What piece of advice do you have for indie authors looking to either self-publish or to try to strike out on their own?
Self-publishing can seem like a tough roads and, in many cases, it is. But the feeling of not having to wait on someone else to tell when/how your story needs to be told makes the climb worth it.
Also, even though some of us don't like it, social media will be your best friend when it comes to marketing. Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, the list goes on and on. There's also the unfortunate reality of looking out for scammers/predatory places that claim to help you market. So, always be on your guard! If it seems to good to be true, it most likely is! Most importantly, these are your characters, your worlds that you're building. Do what makes you happy and have fun with it!
About the author:
You can find out more about the talented author Mina Ramey on her twitter!
Thank you again for reading, and as always, Embrace the Paper Hurricane!