I was writing everything from fantasy and historical to romantic suspense and finally the paranormal, adult romance to children’s stories and young adult at a time when Indie publishing didn’t exist, and ebooks didn’t exist (am I dating myself or what?) Heck, personal computers didn’t exist! The Internet didn’t exist!!!! That meant typing my stories initially. Do you know how hard it is to type stories on a typewriter and cut and paste scenes? I cut out scenes and taped them together to make the changes, then retyped them. And you can’t make any mistakes.
Then there’s a problem with submission. Back then, you could submit without an agent, BUT, you had to learn who the new agents were by name, what they were interested in, no such thing as looking them up on the Internet! Books published listing agents were outdated by a year by the time they hit the stands!
When it came time to write my first adult novel, we had personal computers, yay! And the Internet had finally come to my small town in Oklahoma. And that was really the birth of writing for me.
But no Indie publishing for years, and ebooks, when they came into being–didn’t help much because very few readers had ereaders. Small publishers popped up all over the place to publish ebooks only, but until readers had devices to read on, they didn’t sell well. It’s like having a phone before anyone else does. No one to call, right?
So I finally landed some contracts with a couple of bigger publishers, which meant getting advances. With the little ones, no advances. Hope your books stick and sell. But one of the publishers dumped the young adult line a month before my first release came out. And then I sold Heart of the Wolf. It was my big break.
Fifteen years of writing.
Heart of the Wolf: To win her, he must fight to the death…
Publishers Weekly’s *Best Books of the Year* (Mass Market)
of the Wolf
Copyright © 2008 by Terry Spear
Cover and internal design © 2008 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Cover photo © Corbis
Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.
P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410
(630) 961-3900 Fax: (630) 961-2168 www.sourcebooks.com
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Heart of the wolf / Terry Spear.
Printed and bound in the United States of America OPM 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
To my mother, daughter, and son with all my love for their support in my writing endeavors
Excerpt from Heart of the Wolf:
Another crack. Another stab of pain. This time her right flank. She stumbled when her back legs gave out. What had they shot her with? She panted, her heart racing as she tried to keep her wits.
The men crashed through the brush toward her. The boots impacting with the earth radiated outward and the tremor centered in her pads. She struggled to run. Her heart rate slowed.
“Man, oh, man, I told you, didn’t I, Thompson? He’s beautiful,” a tall man said, wearing camouflaged gear, his dark hair chopped short, the bill of a camouflaged baseball cap shading his eyes. He approached her using caution.
She gave him a feral look that meant danger and dragged her back legs. Work, damn you! Work! But no matter how much she willed her legs to push her forward, she couldn’t manage. She sat, panic driving her to run, but unable to oblige as a strange numbness slipped through her body. No longer able to sit up, she rolled over onto her side. And watched the hunters approach with murder in her eyes.
“Damn! He’s the biggest red wolf I’ve ever seen, Joe,” Thompson said as both drew closer, cautiously, the smell of fear cloaking them. He was dressed like the other, only she could see his blue eyes wide with excitement.
She lifted her head, snarled, and snapped her teeth, but the futile effort cost her precious energy. Exhausted, she dropped her head back to the forest floor, the bed of pine needles tickling her nose.
Joe crouched at her back, then pulled something from her hip. A dart, not bullets. Damn. Her heart beat so slowly she thought she’d die.
“You sure as hell were right that a red wolf prowled these parts. But they’ve been extinct for years. How in the hell did he get here? I mean, he couldn’t have traveled all the way from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Joe smelled of sweat and sex and a musky deodorant that wasn’t holding up under the pressure, nor was his flowery cologne hiding the body odor.
Thompson, a blond-haired, bearded man smelled just as sweaty and virile, but he wore no artificial sweeteners to attract the female variety. She could hear his heart hammering against his ribs when he raised her back leg.
Unable to lift her head, she snarled, but the sound, muffled in sleep, didn’t have the threat she intended.
“He’s a she. Damn. How’d a female ever get this big?”
She growled, priding herself in being a red wolf, and small. Sure for a real wolf she appeared big, but as a lupus garou…
He ran his hand over her hind leg. If she hadn’t seen him do it, she’d never have realized it, as numb as her leg was. “Long legs, best looking red pelt I’ve ever seen on a feral wolf.” He looked over at the dark-haired man. “She’s in heat, Joe. We’ll have to have her mated.”
Mate? Great. If they locked her in a room with a real red wolf…ohmigod, they couldn’t be planning on taking her to a zoo.
“That’d be the ticket.” Joe lifted a cell phone to his ear. “Hey, we got her! Yeah, the wolf’s a she, not a he as I’d assumed. No shit! I told you I’d seen her running through here last weekend.”
Why hadn’t she seen these men? Smelled their pungent odors? Heard them?
She had let down her guard, and now she would pay.
“Yeah, she’s a big one.” Joe nodded. “Figured we’d get her with one dart…took two.” He ran his hand over her side. She attempted her most terrifying growl, but it sounded more like a sickly, low moan. “Maybe 110 pounds, more the size of a gray.” He chuckled. “I know, I know, I told you she’s big. No, not fat. Lean as they come, just longer legged and longer bodied, and she has the prettiest red pelt you ever did see.”
He ran his hand over her back. “Okay, we’ll pack her out of here. Be there in about three hours. Longer if she comes to. The tranquilizers each were set for a 40-pound wolf, not one as big as she is. But we didn’t want to overdo it. And let ‘em know Big Red can have a mate now. No need to get a loaner from the Melbourne, Florida zoo. Unless she’s been mating with coyotes, she’s about due for a hunk of a red wolf.”
He laughed, undoubtedly amused at the response to his comment on the other end of the line.
She groaned inwardly.
“All right, out here.” He turned to the blond. “Seems a shame if she’s doing so well in these woods that we have to put her into captivity, Thompson.”
“Hey, like you said, she won’t find any of her kind around here. We’re doing her a favor.”
Inwardly, she fumed, and if she hadn’t been so doped up, she’d have bitten both of them.
And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Have a wonderfully, fun day!
Back to proofing White Wolf Christmas. Five more chapters to go!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear: