Today I am so pleased to welcome Rhys Ford to Joyfully Jay. Rhys has come to talk to us about her latest release, Once Upon A Wolf. She has also brought along a fabulous giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!



So…. Werewolves.

Everyone knows about them.

Everyone has an idea about what they are.

And much like people’s opinion about whether or not ketchup belongs on scrambled eggs, everyone has an opinion about what makes a werewolf.

When I was challenged to write a shifter book, I sat down and thought hard about the werewolf I wanted to write. It was going to be gritty, fangy and hardcore.

Then I sat down and wrote Once Upon A Wolf… and it came out… sweet.

Like roses, chocolates, and warm socks out of the dryer sweet. And I wasn’t only good with it, I loved how sweet it came out. Because when it was all said and done, I realized I kind of wanted a werewolf romance story where the romance was key and the werewolf fell in love.

So for this blog tour, it’s going to be short, sweet and all about werewolves. With the assistance of one of the Five, Lee Jay Stura, we’re going to be exploring different aspects of werewolves; mythology, cultural views, in books, on screen, and pop culture.

I’m also going to be giving away a $25 USD gift certificate on each stop of the blog tour. So get your fangs and claws on, enter to win and grab a copy of Once Upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford, out on February 16, 2018.

Werewolves in Pop Culture and Opinions Thereof

In the past few years werewolves have become the fantasy boyfriend of choice in pop culture—especially in paranormal romance and urban fantasy both on page and screen. We asked several people if they’d date a werewolf and why they thought the werewolf had become so popular. In writing, it’s always good to take a sample test of the market and see what readers have going on in their likes and dislikes. Since werewolves are such a “personal” matter for every reader, it was kind of interesting to see how they are regarded now. Here are some of their opinions. See how your take on werewolves lines up with our sample pool!

Kel, 49
Yes, I would. They are people first and foremost, whether or not they can control their shifting. They deserve to be loved for who they are, not what they can become. If they can control their shifts, chances are that they’re not a threat unless you’re a threat first. If they can’t control their shifts, there’s ways to keep them and everyone around them safe. To me, it’d be no different than if they were disabled or a different race. They are who they are and I’m not going to judge them on a part of themselves they had no control over.

Because we’ve shifted away from the way werewolves used to be portrayed. They used to be animalistic in their behavior, brutal and violent but like with vampires, they’ve changed. Now we see them portrayed more as victims if they were bitten and turned, or if they’re shifters, we see them more as strong protectors of the entire pack/family. They’ve merged with their wolf halves, a symbiotic relationship that benefits them and their pack/family. And a lot of people want to be able to shed their human self and act in a more simplistic form, going by instinct rather than logic. It allows them to be more free, not have the stress and worry that normal life gives them.


Shawn, 34
I would if it meant that I could also obtain the ability to become a werewolf. I’ve always wanted to be a lycan. The superior strength, agility, and ability to shapeshift (to a degree.) Probably because werewolf boyfriends provide protection, strong bonds, a sense of having an “Alpha”.


JD, 26
I mean, if I get to know him or her first…. Yeah I mean I guess I’m not against it. Feels a bit incidental? But I wouldn’t date someone because they were a werewolf? It’s kinda like someone who gets sick once a month.

I feel like whenever we move onto a new Popular Horror Monster, the previous one gets romanticized… (I mean, there’s a zombie Romeo and Juliet.) Vampires were in vogue, werewolves began to be the rebel’s choice?


Sabrina, 28
Nah. I’m not into the monster kink thing. And werewolves probably shed like a motherfucker. Probably because everyone loves a dog and who wouldn’t want to date a cutie that turns into a great puppy.


Jennifer, 40
I wouldn’t care to date one, because I’ve been in real life relationships with those who cannot control their emotional and mental state, why would I want to date a fictional version of that same scenario?

I mean, when you think of werewolves as being an allegory for the uncontrolled, primal man, perhaps women find that sexy. I find brains sexy, therefore, not so much. And yes, so a vampire person.


Robin, 25
Umm, no, and because it’s fucking freaky but I realize that’s a bit succinct so I’ll try to elaborate. no because there’s too much risk involved, like their transformations, and also, the strength of that person in regards to myself, I’d just never feel safe. Same applies to vampires like technically you’re fucking a corpse.


Mai, 28
I probably wouldn’t if I knew. Why? Because I’m pretty genuinely scared of the prospect of someone turning into a werewolf. It is somewhat intriguing, like an -uncontrollable side, but I’d be legitimately scared.

Danger has always been somethings specialized, I think. It’s also a fantasy mostly where the person the werewolf is in love with somehow manages to ‘tame’ or control the changes eventually. As if they would never hurt their significant other, and if they did, it brings significant drama/angst to the relationship. The werewolf doesn’t want to put the person they love in danger, but that person won’t back down from the danger because they love them vice versa.


Andi, 40
If it can turn me and make me immortal, yes, because I’m FREAKING TERRIFIED OF DEATH. Possibly also yes if they agree to go wolfy for me every night, because I’d far rather snuggle a wolf in my sleep than a human. Then too, if they can turn me, I’d want the shapeshifting for myself. I dislike myself as I am for various reasons. Shapeshifting would give me a way to not be me for a while.

I think that overall (if you’re not talking to someone weird like me), it’s because they represent the alpha male stereotype, but it gives them the wild streak that comes with being a top-level predator. I know a lot of people who are all about “taming the bad boy”, and this just takes it to the next level.


Scott, 27
I think werewolves are badass, so I would. I like a strong partner to support so that would fit me. A lot of gay men have a huge attraction towards anything masculine, and you can’t really get more masculine than being able to tame the beast within. It’s the perfect combination of control and wildness I guess.


Jean, 57
I would not knowing at the start that they were a werewolf, all women are attracted to the bad boys, and men who are hard to get. Plus, don’t think they ask to be a werewolf. Hell, once a month curse we can relate.


Mattaea, 22
I would probably say no to dating a werewolf. I enjoy walks in the moonlight too much and once they change they lose most control of themselves. I think they have become the fantasy boyfriends because they are a dangerous and bad boy like and all rawr and suchies haha.


Follow the rest of the Once Upon A Wolf Blog Tour (Feb 13-17)

13        Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

14        Boy Meets Boy Reviews

15        The Novel Approach

16        It’s About the Book

17        Joyfully Jay


Cover Once Upon A Wolf

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.


Rhys Ford Bio Shot

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and HarleyDoodle, an off-kilter flower-faced grey and white cat-dog , as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (, DSP Publications ( and all major online book stores.


Rhys has brought a $25 bookstore gift certificate give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, February 22nd at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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