Of Werewolves, Changelings and Wolfmen by
“Travis ignored her protests as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket, thankful anew for that little Changeling quirk that allowed him to retain his clothes and everything that was within his aura each time he shifted. Christ, if life was like the movies, he’d end up naked and penniless every damn time he ran as a wolf. No wonder Hollywood werewolves were insane with rage. Probably pissed off at the sheer inconvenience of their lives.”
That’s a nibble from FIRST BITE, Book 1 of the Dark Wolf Series. And it underscores one of the key differences between the Changelings of my stories and most other werewolves.
“I’m no werewolf, and I’m tired of hearing the word. I’m a Changeling, okay?” (from First Bite)
Right. That’s another difference. These shapeshifters don’t like being called werewolves. You can thank the silver screen for that, not to mention centuries of myths and folktales designed to scare people into being good churchgoers. Like the Wolfman of movie lore, the traditional werewolf often stands on its hind legs. Its features are distorted and ugly, an unhappy cross between human and wolf. Shifting is at the whim of the full moon, and not under the hapless human’s control. The changeover isn’t instant either – it’s slow and torturously painful. Maddened by their transformation, the werewolves of story and fable invariably go on a killing spree.
So it’s easy to see why the term werewolf is insulting to Changelings. In their wolfen form, they are identical in appearance to natural wolves – beautiful, graceful and swift. The only difference is that they’re bigger and stronger. Their transformation appears instantaneous to human eyes, and they’re able to become wolves at will. Not only is their human side in control, they retain their human thought process despite the furry exterior.
“The highest Changeling law is never harm a human. The second is never turn anyone against their will.” (from First Bite)
Changelings have a strict code that they live by. The inner wolf has its own set of primal rules, however, which may or may not coincide with Changeling Law. Under certain circumstances, the beast within will rise of its own volition and there’s nothing the human side can do about it. Usually, the wolf is just trying to ensure its survival or that of a mate. Usually….
Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.
After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He can’t help but feel a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.
Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.
Intensely suspenseful with deliciously sexy twists, this paranormal romance—the first in the Dark Wolf Series—intertwines sensual passion with an epic, thrilling battle between good and evil.
Read a full excerpt on my website at http://www.daniharper.com/THE_DARK_WOLF_SERIES.html
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This isn’t a story I planned to write. The main characters, Travis and Neva, ambushed me and refused to be quiet until I got busy and wrote the first chapter (in a busy airport no less!). But I can honestly say, I’ve loved every minute. FIRST BITE gave me the chance to explore something that doesn’t happen very often in that world – a human who is turned to the furry side against her will, and a natural-born Changeling with a terrible secret. The Dark Wolf series is a battle between good and evil, and right now, evil has the upper hand. I’m working on Book Two right now, TIES THAT BIND.