As the 1.5 year anniversary drew near of my having written nothing after Ethan, Who Loved Carter, I decided to challenge myself. I got a bunny for werewolves and aimed to write a werewolf book that would appeal to me as a person who doesn't normally read them.
I started by creating characters with personalities that I do enjoy writing. One sweet guy, one guy who is so focused that he comes off as a jerk. Then I set down the traits for my werewolves. The main trait that I think differs from the norm concerns beta wolves. In Wolf Hunter, beta wolves are newly converted humans who haven't yet taken a werewolf mate. Once they mate, the status of the werewolf (alpha or omega) will determine what the beta wolf will be. For werewolves who are born from werewolf parents, they are either alpha or omega from birth.
My main wolf, Westley, was born omega. In his mid-twenties now, he lives alone and frustrates his family because he has no interest in doing what society expects of him. He doesn't get too much flack because his best friend, Tom, is the alpha son of the head of the pack, but he still feels pressure. The story starts when two newcomers roll into town and start wreaking havoc.
The first is Denton, a legendary werewolf with the power to control all other werewolves, including influencing when they shift. He's as evil as they come.
The second is Jaylen DeWallis, an African American werewolf-hunter hopped up on a witch's potion that lets him identify werewolves in human form. Jaylen has a few hundred kills under his belt, but he's gunning for Denton, who killed Jaylen's family. He puts down every wolf he meets along the way.
So it's pretty bad timing when he and Westley cross paths while Jaylen's off his potion and it's love at first sight, because Jaylen's not a guy who'll let "meant to be" get in the way of his quest.
Wolf Hunter is dark but with a sense of humor, and there's a twist at the end involving the relationship. It's the book I wanted to write, and I'm hoping my readers will come along with me for it, even if it's a little different.
Wolf Hunter by Ryan Loveless
Info: MM contemporary paranormal romance, 227 pages, $4.99
After fruitless years hunting the werewolf that slaughtered his family, Jaylen DeWallis finally has him cornered in a tiny midwestern town. However, Denton isn’t an average alpha werewolf. He’s the Alpha. His very presence drives docile werewolves into a frenzy. Denton’s first directive to the town’s brainwashed wolves is simple: Kill the hunter. With stale, canine breath blowing hot on his neck, the last thing Jaylen needs is to meet an easygoing, sweet, and normal guy who can make him want to let his guard down.
The moment Westley stumbles over his big feet into Jaylen, he’s drawn to Jaylen’s confidence and understated humor. But before he can make plans for breakfast in bed, never mind happily ever after, he learns his pack has put a target on Jaylen’s head. As the full moon nears, Westley comes up with a last-ditch plan to save everyone—Jaylen included. However, when that plan involves revealing he’s a werewolf to Jaylen, it’s his own life Westley needs to save.
Westley stared down at the picture of Jaylen glaring up at him. He glanced at Tom and Cody as they looked at the same photo on their phones. This couldn’t be right. The person in the picture, he was pure hate. That wasn’t Jaylen. Not Westley’s Jaylen. This had to be a mistake. Westley stood up, ready to let him know, but the Alpha spoke again.
“His name is Jaylen DeWallis. I ripped his family’s intestines free of their confines. Ever since, he has been a thorn in my side. I no longer find this amusing. The time has come to kill him. Any volunteers?”
He’d killed Jaylen’s family? Westley opened his mouth as the Alpha turned to him and grinned. He felt everyone staring. “I—”
“An omega?” Rather than mock him or ask if Westley was sure he understood what the conversation was about, the Alpha looked delighted. “Well, you certainly do things differently around here.”
“Sit down, son,” the Alpha said. “You might be ready to go to battle, but I’m not ready to face the mother of an omega I’ve let get killed.
“I—” Westley faced the Alpha, on the verge of collapsing from fear. The Alpha was a wolf first and became human after he’d swallowed the blood of a thousand. If he did this, he could save Jaylen. Everything would work out fine. The Alpha kept his awareness in both his forms so he could recall and savor every kill. He had to protect Jaylen until the misunderstanding was unraveled. “I—” he swallowed.
The Alpha could shift regardless of the moon. Westley sat.
“Any serious volunteers?”
“I volunteer.” Cody stood up, as did Tom and a few others, both men and women, all alphas. Westley clenched down on the bile rising in his throat. I volunteer. But he didn’t say it.
Westley tried not to panic. The stories his parents had seared into his brain tumbled through it. The Alpha, the Alpha, the Alpha... wants you to die.
He would find a way to protect Jaylen, to protect all of them.
TOO LONG DENTON had stayed one step ahead of him, but now he was here, and—Jaylen tossed a freshly cleaned and sharpened knife next to the others on the towel he’d spread over the bed—Jaylen was ready. He needed to find Denton, do the job, and ditch town. The wolf he’d killed the night before might have been more sensitive to Denton’s presence than the rest and shifted early. The closer they got to the full moon, the more likely that was to happen again. The last thing Jaylen needed was a damn wolf army nipping at his heels.
On the dresser, his phone rang. He grabbed it up as soon as he saw the caller ID. “Danni, you old witch, how the hell are ya?”
“Not too bad, you cold-hearted bastard.” Danni’s cheerful voice answered back. “What’s the what?”
He picked up another knife and started making it shine. “I found him.”
Silence from her end, broken by an excited gasp. “You’re serious.”
Jaylen resisted the urge to do a little jig on the tan carpeting. “Ninety-nine percent. All the signs are here.”
“Indications of early cycle, tempers on a rise....”
“Uptake in murders around town.”
Jaylen remained innocently silent.
“That you didn’t cause,” she added.
“I’m cutting back on the drug, Danni,” he said, clearing his throat. “Hardly need the stuff now with all the wolf hormone in the air.”
“Be careful, Jaylen. You’ll let me know if you need more? I can ground roots up and ship them to you. I don’t imagine you’ve got access to a secret stash in Bumfuck.”
“Actually, I met a guy who gardens.” He tossed the freshly sharpened knife down.
“Carrots and rutabaga aren’t quite the same thing.”
“You bet— Hold on.” Jaylen looked up when he heard a knock on the door. He scanned down his mental list of knock types. The solid rap-rap of a pay-by-the-day landlord looking for rent, the tap-tap of friends visiting (or, in most cases for Jaylen, a salesman pretending to be a friend), the frantic bang of someone scared out of their minds (usually joined by screaming). This was a hesitant tap, followed by another. He grabbed his favorite knife and looked out the peephole.
Westley stood on the other side of it. He rocked back on his heels and blew his hair out of his face. It landed back in the same place, right over his eyes. “Gotta go, Danni.” Jaylen clicked off before she could respond. After slipping the knife into his ankle sheath, he opened the door partway and wedged into the space he’d made, aiming for “casually aloof” over “I don’t want you to see the arsenal on my bed.”
“Westley!” His voice pitched up in a squeak. He winced. Maybe his balls had receded from embarrassment too. “How’d you know I was staying here?”
“No place else to stay. It’s La Mer Inn or bust for a thirty mile radius.”
“Oh.” Jaylen couldn’t argue that.
“So—” Westley rocked again.
“So...?” Jaylen said.
“Pizza?” Jaylen asked, at the same time Westley blurted, “Want to go to my place and fuck?”
Read the 1st 40 pages free at https://www.scribd.com/doc/175484116/Wolf-Hunter-by-Ryan-Loveless-extended-excerpt