Hungry Like the (Were)Wolf*

*with apologies to Duran Duran


Ruby Release!


When I first heard news of Ruby Sister Shea Berkley’s DARK SECRETS paranormal series, I thought it was about her secret love of Vegemite, a breakfast delight invented by my people. Now, I’ve just read the second book in the series, and while I was slightly dismayed by the lack of Vegemite in the story, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved it!

Here’s the official blurb for DARK SECRETS: EDGE OF EVIL:

What if nightmares, best kept in the dark, refuse to stay hidden?

Dr. Maya Kelbeck believes no matter how unusual her patients’ delusions, she can help. When billionaire Alden Caldwell seeks her counsel to escape a controlling relationship, she’s intrigued by his unusual diagnosis, lycanthropy—her patient actually believes he is over 600 years old and a werewolf.

Alden Caldwell’s life is not his own and hasn’t been since the middle ages, not since he was transformed into a werewolf. The once noble knight now finds himself no more than a slave to a female vampire who is without morals, without conscious, without a soul.

Maya promises Alden she can help him, and at first it looks like she can, until the supernatural world in which he lives wants him back. Can Alden convince Maya his delusions are real in time to save her, or has he just sentenced a woman who cares for him despite his past transgressions to a fate worse than death?


Vanessa Barneveld: Shea, congratulations the release of DARK SECRETS: EDGE OF EVIL! That is one fangtastic cover, and I’ll say again how much I loved the book. It’s beautifully written and intense, yet it has moments of biting humor. Tell us how this story came about.

Shea Berkley: When I was around 10 or so, my family had a friend who loved old horror movies. He collected those old reels and would have movie night at his house. There is something really cool about old projectors and the sound they make as the movie is playing. Anyway, he showed me my first Dracula movie. Talk about a complete opposite look to what we write now about Dracula. The guy was a disfigured nightmare of a man with long fingernails, bald head and floppy, pointy ears. I graduated onto other Dracula movies where the vampires morphed into better looking versions, from Love at First Bite with George Hamilton to Underworld with Kate Beckinsale to the latest Dracula Untold with Luke Evans. From all those, I created my version. Vampires are great villains. Their backstories can be seriously complex and the people who they encounter and manipulate can really have some horrific experiences and that’s what I found so fascinating.

VB: Your heroine, Maya, first meets the hunky but haunted Alden when he comes to her for therapy sessions. But it’s bad girl Juliana who, frankly, has some real deep-seated issues. Let’s get Maya on the clock here. Maya, psychoanalyze Juliana for us. What makes her tick?

Maya: Juliana is an interesting case of a woman who has, for layman’s terms, Daddy issues. She was turned when she was a young woman at her sexual peak and was allowed to exercise her demons on the local populace. She quickly got out of control to where even her “father” the man who turned her and indulged her every whim, could no longer control her. In fact, all she really wanted in the beginning was for someone to place boundaries around her and tell her she was loved. Yet with her super human strength and her lust for blood, it became impossible for any man to get too close. She became a hardened manipulator, equating getting her way with true love and that twisted view point cemented itself in a way that it is nearly impossible to separate the two now.

VB: Thanks, Maya! I love you, but would you mind scooting aside so I can speak to Shea again, please? Shea, werewolf Alden is a mere eight centuries or so old. A young pup compared to Juliana, really. If you were paranormal, how would you while away those years?

SB: I’m pretty sure paranormal creatures don’t get fat. So I’d eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I’d gorge myself into a food coma as often as I could. This is the reality of what I’d do.

The “oh I’d better say something altruistic so people think I’m an awesome person” yet unlikely things I’d do would be: Learn to play a multiple of instruments, and write music like Mozart and Taylor Swift. Paint like Da Vinci. Sculpt like Michelangelo. And become a Tomb Raider like Laura Croft. Not only that, but I’d create the most wicked fun treasure hunt ever! Blackbeard would have nothing on me. I’d take on multiple identities and become whomever I wanted within a particular time period. I’d find a way to complement brilliant people around me, enhancing life for the betterment of everyone.

VB: Oooh, a treasure hunt sounds like so much fun! I’d join in! We learn about Alden’s history through his dreams. Or rather his vivid nightmares. Speaking of dreams, have any of yours ever come true?

 SB: I dreamt once I was taking a shower and all of a sudden I was pregnant and giving birth in the shower. When I woke up, I didn’t feel very well, so I made an appointment to see the doctor and he told me I was pregnant. I did not, however, give birth in the shower. That would have been really odd if I had…though slightly Twilight Zone awesome except for the whole actually giving birth in a shower thing.

VB: Whoa, that’s really freaky! I’ve watched many episodes of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant—surprise births in the shower are more common than you’d think! I was in total awe of your action scenes. Whether it was a car chase, a sword fight, hand-to-hand combat or gun battle, I really felt immersed in it all. (Dodged a few silver bullets, I did!) What’s your approach when it comes to writing action?

SB: I’m a ninja. And now that I told you, I’ll have to kill you.

LOL, seriously, I don’t know. I’ve always had a weird, intense imagination plus I actually kickbox, as in I get in the ring with my trainers and it’s all about me avoiding getting hit while they yell at me. Because of that, I know what it feels like to have someone come at you with the intent to knock you upside the head. (I don’t like it, not one bit.) I also know what it feels like to hit someone. (It took me a long time to get used to doing that.) Add to that getting chased around the house by a kid with a wooden sword or nerf gun and having fake fights all the time. Basically, my whole existence is about me having to avoid getting hit by someone, failing, and then pretending to die. I can playact a really amazing death scene. Seriously Oscar worthy a la Willem Defoe in Platoon.

VB: You’re famous/infamous for your ninja/kickboxing prowess. Post a video or photo of you kicking somebody’s butt in your gym class. Please, no street-fighting this time. Then, I dare you to Facebook Like the official Vegemite fan page (I’ll be checking up on this!)

SB: Here’s the video of me refusing to be baited into beating up an innocent person.

VB: Ha! Well, for that response, you get to enter…

…the Bonus Round

I need quick-fire answers to these quick-fire questions, Shea. Ready?

VB: Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet**?

SB: Linkin’ Park. That’s right. I refuse to play this sick twisted game of which Euro-pop band is better. I’m an American!

VB: Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire?

SB: Hands down a werewolf. Who wants to be cold all the time? Plus werewolves can go out in the sun. That’s a huge positive for me.

VB: How do you like your steak?

SB: Medium rare. An overcooked steak is the worst kind of food sin to commit.

VB: Are you a lover or a fighter?

SB: I’m fairly aggressive when I’m fighting in the ring, but I don’t enjoy hurting people, so I’m more of a lover. Just don’t piss me off, then I’ll take you down, and it won’t be pleasant. I’ve been taught how to fight dirty.

VB: Yikes! Okay, to which century would you like to travel back in time?

SB: I love history, so this is really difficult to narrow it down to one century. I like medieval times, and Elizabethan era and the Victorian Era. It would be a real challenge to pick between those three.

VB: OMG, you cracked me up with your fave band answer, Shea! Thanks so much for answering my questions and for “Liking” Vegemite! You do like Vegemite, really, don’t you…?

DARK SECRETS: EDGE OF EVIL is out now from Amazon. Make sure you pick up the first book in the series,  DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD. 


Find Shea hanging out at these fine establishments:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads


  **For those of you playing at home, this has nothing to do with Shea’s series and everything to do with my Duran Duran fixation! Tell us, who or what are you fixated on at the moment? A particular TV show or author or band or cupcake? We’d love to know!


25 responses to “Hungry Like the (Were)Wolf*”

  1. What a fantastic interview! So much fun! It’s not even light out yet, but I’m actually smiling : ) Thank you!

    The books sound fascinating and so do you, Shea : ) I love the covers – gorgeous. I can’t wait to pick them up!

    Huge congrats, Shea : )

  2. Wonderful interview and I love the cover.

    Duran Duran was the first concert I ever wen to. I was like 12.

    Shea, you can have medieval, Elizabethan, and Victorian times. None of them had toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, or cute shoes and Momma likey her some cute shoes.

    Happy book birthday. I’m off to buy it.

    • Katie, my 12-year-old self is so envious of you! I didn’t get to see DD in the flesh till 2012. I’m with you on the benefits of our mod cons. I wouldn’t mind going back in time for day trips or weekends away. 🙂

  3. Tamara Hogan says:

    What a fun interview! But…”Euro-pop?” FIGHTING WORDS! (For the record, I like all three bands, but if pressed I’d have to choose DD. HAVE TO.)

    Shea, happy book birthday! Your covers are gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see how your centuries-old werewolf navigates today’s culture.

    My current fixations include Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, which I’m re-reading for the n-teenth time and finally own in paperback, and Aussie musician Courtney Barnett. OMG. Fabulous songwriting combined with a deadpan delivery and a garage band crunch. LOVE. (

  4. Justified!! I’ve been loving that show and binge-watching and now it’s almost over. Wah!! I just saw a link to a video with the two main characters, where they’re giving away a chance to go to the premiere of the finale with them. Let’s see if the link works:

    Watch and enter here:

    Wouldn’t that be fun?!

  5. Congratulations, SHEA!!! The book sounds fabulous. 😀

  6. How fun! Congratulations, Shea! It is a great cover, and it sounds like you found a new twist on a classic concept. Is Julianna the villain? She sounds pretty “gray” — I love it when an author makes the villain a terrible, awful, evil person who is somehow hard to completely hate.

  7. Rita Henuber says:

    Congrats Shea!
    Mercy what a fun interview. LOL! No current fixations.

    • Shea’s such a fun interview subject, Rita! No fixations? That’s a good thing. I’d probably get a lot more work done if I wasn’t on the lookout for new eps of my favourite TV shows!

  8. Gwyn says:

    This is a fun interview. Great job, you two. Still smiling.

  9. Congrats on the new release, Shea! Loved the interview.

  10. jbrayweber says:

    Terrific interview!!!
    Congrats on the new release! BOTH books are def. on my TBR list. Seriously awesome covers, too.

    Linkin Park! I knew I liked you! 😉

  11. Kate Parker says:

    I got a good laugh out of your interview! Good luck, Shea, the books look good!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kate! I had fun interviewing Shea. Don’t believe what she said in that video about Australians being weird. I’m *sure* she meant to say ‘wonderful’…

  12. Elisa Beatty says:

    Such a fun interview, Vanessa and Shea!!! And the book sounds wonderful.

    Obsessions? Well, just at them moment, I’d have to say Game of Thrones, since it will be back in just a few days (and I don’t have time to watch any other TV…except Sherlock, which luckily for my limited viewing time only comes out in small doses every couple years.) I can’t wait to see what Jon and Tyrion and Dani have gotten up to!

  13. Great interview, you guys! Lots of fun!

    And those books look great, Shea, congratulations!


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