Guest Blogger: Shara Lanel

Welcome Shara Lanel to the blog! Be sure to comment to enter for a chance to win Blame It on the Moon! Take it away, Shara.

My Hometown has Werewolves

I guess it’s funny that I think of Arcade, NY as my hometown, since I’ve lived in Richmond, VA three times as long and I only lived in the actual Village of Arcade for a year. After we’d trimmed enough logs from the state forest to build our log cabin, we moved onto our land in Freedom, NY. We lived there for six years, but “downtown” to us meant Arcade (

Write what you know…but only if you can remember it accurately.

Writing about Richmond is pretty easy, because I live here currently so I already have a good idea of the flavor and reputation of the various neighborhoods, and I can go out and take pictures of a location to refresh my memory. Several of my stories are set here, including BLAME IT ON THE MOON ( Werewolf Haden knows nothing about his birth parents, and therefore has no idea if there are others like him out in the world. Mind reader Kitty works in a DVD store (like I did) in a shopping center near University of Richmond (one of the locations I worked at), so I felt pretty confident about conveying an accurate picture of the place.

But when it came to working on the sequel, BLAME IT ON THE NIGHT, I knew I wanted to set the story in Western New York. I wanted to draw on my memories of Arcade as it was when I lived there, without having to double check the names of every store, restaurant, and shopping center. I’d only been up to visit a few times in the past decade, so I was likely to get something wrong. Not to mention, I doubt there’s a pack of werewolves living on the county line. So I gave my story town a different name: Devona.

Since my story is not set in the 80s (when I lived in Arcade) I needed to infuse Devona with all the technology and Starbucks of the 21st century, but many of the locations come straight from my memories.

Yankee Doodle—wings and curly fries, Jenny Lee Dairy—ice cream (someone said it’s now a Thai restaurant), my grandfather’s family camping area in Sandusky, and Brown School House Road where we built our log cabin with the woods behind it. Brown School House Road is a lot more built up and our cabin has siding instead of logs now. I’m sure the snow is exactly the same, though. My son thinks I’m making up the fact that we used to have to wait in waist-deep snow for the school bus, but it’s true! My mom brought me a t-shirt from one of our fave restaurants, Earl’s, a year or so ago. Friday Fish Fries, curly fries, Cokes in mason jars, jeans and boots on the table legs, and a juke box loaded with country music. That’s the way I want to remember it always.

But things change and I wanted to focus on Guy and Olivia’s story and Haden’s journey to discover his birth parents. In the town of Devona, the Dairy is still the Dairy, Earl’s will never close, and there’s still a five-and-dime. But there’s a werewolf in the Village Police Department and one on the town Board and a shifter lawyer on Main Street, just in case.

Do you prefer authors use fictional towns in their novels? In the case of books set in big cities, like New York, do you expect the author to know exactly what street each of her crime scenes is set on and exactly what train to take to get there? Do you still live in your hometown? How much has it changed? Leave a comment below and be entered to win an e copy of BLAME IT ON THE MOON. I can’t wait to hear from you!



Award winning author Shara Lanel resides in Richmond, VA with a clingy dog, an action-oriented son, and a handsome hubby. Don’t put her in the kitchen, unless you want to burn it down, and her green-thumb is hit-or-miss, but she excels as a bibliophile, hoping she never has to pack up and move, since her hubby might see just how many volumes she really has. Shara’s novels are always full of suspense and hot romance, whether set on the moon or in a Mexican jungle. Visit her at her web site any time ( or find her procrastinating on Facebook ( and Twitter (




Human/werewolf relations were forbidden. Guy’s father had made that clear years ago, but Guy had come very close to disobeying with naïve, teenage Olivia. He’d barely kept his body under control, as he’d held her during her first shocking orgasm. Years later, on edge with anger, grief, and the pull of the moon, Guy knows she’s the last person he needs near him.

Olivia is overcome with humiliation at the mere thought of seeing Guy again, though he’s starred in all of her fantasies over the past several years, but she refuses to leave his doorstep until he answers her questions about her missing sister and the dead body found on his property. Problem is, he’s ordering her to leave while blocking the door, telling her to get lost while pinning her between his hard body and the table, saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing while his every touch takes Olivia closer to heaven.

Sometimes forbidden love is worth the risk, but sometimes it leads to revenge and murder.

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9 responses to “Guest Blogger: Shara Lanel

  1. Pingback: Kicking off an informal blog tour… | Shara Lanel

  2. Sounds awesome. I love Virginia and I love that you used real places. I grew up in Stafford, Va and it is TOTALLY different now with even the high school being on the opposite side of HWY 1. It’s still the same in my mind, though. I like to read about places that come alive and I think the writer using things she/he really knows shows! Good luck with the book. I like the cover and the premise!

  3. Darlene

    I love Blame it On the Moon. Being lunarly affected I can totally relate. The books look awesome. Great post. Thanks for visiting you can always count on Danica to have something intriguing.

  4. Ashley

    I get excited when I read a book set in a city or town with which I am familiar, and I especially appreciate recognizing details which are special to the area. I am not bothered by somewhat-fictionalized details, however; as you noted, places do change over time.

  5. Thanks! As far as getting the details right–I remember reading one of Patricia Cornwell’s earlier books and being totally creeped out because I knew exactly where she was talking about 😉

  6. I only care about setting if it’s in my home town because that’s the place I know best of all. I’ve been to many other places but don’t know them well enough to comment on street names, shops etc. as long as it is believable, I don’t care.

    thought provoking blog, shara

  7. I don’t mind either way, as long as the author gives the story color with their setting and it works with the characters. I do have a soft spot for small town settings though.

  8. Leah St. James

    What a great explanation of your setting, Shara — how you used it and why. You made me want to go for a visit….in the summertime anyway. 🙂 I have no doubts about the waist-high snow! I think you hit the nail on the head that it’s important to get the “flavor” of the neighborhood or even general location. It’s that kind of detail that, to me, sets a story apart. Wishing you much luck with this new release!

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