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Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
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Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
Jul 07, 2009 | ISBN 9781101082218

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  • Jul 07, 2009 | ISBN 9781101082218

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Praise for the Jane Yellowrock Novels
“A lot of series seek to emulate Hunter’s work, but few come close to capturing the essence of urban fantasy: the perfect blend of intriguing heroine, suspense, [and] fantasy with just enough romance.”—SF Site 
“Jane is a fully realized, complicated woman; her power, humanity, and vulnerability make her a compelling heroine. The fight scenes are exciting and the New Orleans setting is absorbing, but it’s the ever-evolving bond between Jane and her Beast personality that keeps this fun series fresh.”—Publishers Weekly
“Jane Yellowrock is smart, sexy, and ruthless.”—#1 New York Times bestselling Kim Harrison 
“Readers eager for the next book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series may want to give Faith Hunter a try.”—Library Journal
“Hunter’s very professionally executed, tasty blend of dark fantasy, mystery, and romance should please fans of all three genres.”—Booklist 
“In a genre flooded with strong, sexy females, Jane Yellowrock is unique….Her bold first-person narrative shows that she’s one tough cookie but with a likable vulnerability.”—RT Book Reviews 
“Seriously. Best urban fantasy I’ve read in years, possibly ever.”—C. E. Murphy, author of Magic and Manners

Author Essay

Dear Reader,

I’ve written a lot of books under a variety of names—Gwen Hunter writes thrillers and mysteries, Gary Hunter wrote police procedurals, and as Faith Hunter I write urban fantasy and dark urban fantasy. Some 22 novels written, with … 18?… published so far. And I ain’t done yet!

Faith is my middle name and Hunter is my married name, and yeah, it’s kinda kitschy but I like it. It’s also a perfect name for a genre that is already on the edges of normal. Hmmm. Okay, I’ll be more fair. Fantasy isn’t on the edges of normal. It’s over the edge of normal RL into the deep, dark abnormal, which is why I love it so much.

I’ve read fantasy for years, from the high fantasy of Tolkien and the earliest work of Anne Rice to the most recent dark urban stuff that really tripped my trigger! But I never could find the *voice* of fantasy. My early authorial voice was too urban and modern-sounding for epic, and even for anything that was popular in the dark urban novels I like so much. I had a great voice for thrillers and mystery—which is why I wrote in that genre, natch—but nothing that felt right for what I wanted to write, my heart’s desire, fantasy. And then came the “Great Revelation…”

I discovered how much of an American Melting Pot I am. My parents lied, and so did their parents; I am not Irish and French as they claimed. I am a mongrel-pup-American, with American Indian (from several tribes), English, Bavarian, and African American, with a smidgen of Irish, a hint of French, and a smattering of other-varied-European tossed into the mix. When I list the percentages of ethnicity in order, American Indian is at the top of the list. Whoooo. Suuuuweeeet! With that discovery, I started research into my AmIn roots. Inside that discovery process and search, I found the voice of Jane Yellowrock, Skinwalker, who is a vamp-killer for hire.

Like me, Jane didn’t discover that she is Cherokee until she was a bit older. Of course, she didn’t discover that she wasn’t completely human until later too!

While she is all woman, there is nothing soft or yielding about Jane Yellowrock. She stands six feet, (I am far shorter) with black hair and coppery skin and yellow eyes, and she is tougher than nails. Jane is licensed to carry in most of the southeast states, and could get a waiver in the rest of the states. She has a hundred-percent track record in bringing down rogue-vamps. She’s proficient—though unrated—in street fighting and swordplay, and she’s a good marksman. She has to be. Because Jane is a hunter of rogue vampires. Oh, yeah, baby! And a SKINWALKER (hence the title).

Part of the book blurb reads:

“Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps…” Jane’s business card reads, “HAVE STAKES, WILL TRAVEL.” (I know…Cheesy, but I LOVE it!)

Like most fantasy, there is magic. I mean, what is make-believe without magic—am I right?!? The rules of magic that Jane works with? I’m no scientist and certainly no mathematician. But Jane does require a genetic sample of the creature she wants to shape-shift into. And…well…it’s far easier for her to shift into a creature who might, genetically, be her own mass/weight/size. This lets her follow the physics of the Conservation of Mass /Matter. (Don’t worry. I don’t even attempt to go there!)

Jane hopes one day to discover another skinwalker, though so far, she is the only one, a singularity in her world. She loves to dance, drinks high-grade tea instead of coffee, (she calls herself a tea-snob) and has accepted her non-human nature. She has learned how to harness and control her gift of skinwalking, the magic that sets her apart from the Cherokee who were once her people, a people she still loves. But Jane is also something more—or less—than a skinwalker. She carries inside her the soul of her Beast.

She isn’t sure how the soul of another creature ended up inside her, sharing her body, but Jane understands that Beast is something outside of her skinwalker Cherokee heritage. She secretly fears that discovering the mechanism of how Beast and she joined, and became one, will reveal something horrible about her and her past.

Hope you’ll join me in Skinwalker!

— Faith Hunter

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