Today is an exceptionally exciting day, not only for a whole bunch of authors, but also for the wild wolves at Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in Los Angeles and the people (most of whom are US Army Veterans) who so tirelessly work at rehabilitating these wolves and giving them a chance at a better life.
Today is the publication day of Once Upon A WolfPack, an anthology of stories written by the members of the #WolfPackAuthors writers’ group in aid of wolves and men alike. Read more about the #WolfPackAuthors and their books here.
Once Upon A WolfPack consists of 555 pages (paperback version) of short fiction in almost every genre out there, the single thing tying them together being the majestic wolf, and the cause for protecting wolves. Each of the #WolfPackAuthors selflessly gave their work for this noble cause, as all proceeds from sales of the book go to Lockwood ARC in aid of their wolves and their wonderful Warriors and Wolves program. Read more about Lockwood Animal Rescue Center here.
To whet your appetite a little, I’ve decided to include a short excerpt from my own story, The Soapmaker’s Mother, which has been taken up in this stunning anthology!
They were gathered on the granite cliffs on North Island, the kin of my kin and their kin and so forth, as they had done these many years past and would continue to do long after my eventual death. I did not recognize their faces. I could not recall their names, but I knew they were my brethren, because we breathed the same air and our souls responded in the same way to the whispers of the wind at night.
I could feel the hunger pooling in the pit of my stomach, as it always did when others of my kind were near. I could feel their warmth radiating outward toward me, as though they were candles and I a moth, drawn inexplicably to their heat, their light, the promise of certain death if I got too close.
María must have felt it too. Or sensed it. I felt her stiffen beside me, her gaze shifting to me in the darkness.
“Do you feel it?” she asked. “Do you feel the way their presence closes around your heart?”
I felt that and more. It was almost as though my skin could feel the sensation of the wind rippling through their hair. It was almost as though my hands could feel the dark soil pushing up against the pads of their clawed paws. And if I turned my head just so, I could smell the stench of fear wafting off their future prey. I could feel the crunch of bones and blood in their maws and I felt both the anticipation before and the satisfaction after the hunt as though it was my own. These things I couldn’t share with María, not when she’d given up so much of herself in return for my freedom.
“I feel it as though I am among them,” I said when María’s eyes remained on me. Even that, I hated knowing, had been a gift from them. That I could know the things I couldn’t see, that I could sense the things I couldn’t hear.
“Do you fear them?” she asked, her breath leaving behind white imprints on the night.
“No,” I replied, though I did fear them for what their presence did to me in their ignorance. The hunger gnawed on my mind. It addled my sense of responsibility and brought forth thoughts a man was not to think when accompanied by a woman with a noble heart. She did not know what danger
she was in, that she’d put her trust in a tainted creature.
“We should not linger,” I suggested, though I would have stayed all night had she not been with me. Just to feel their presence was enough to sustain me for years to come, but what bliss it would have been to join them on the hunt, to feel their excitement surge as they located and felled their
“You are not safe here.”
“There is no place safe for me in this world,” she whispered before retreating, back the way we’d come.
To read more and to support these wonderful authors, as well as the Wolves and Warriors at Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, get your copy of Once Upon A Wolfpack today! It is available in e-format and paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other book retailers worldwide. See links below to get your copy now, and if you’re so inclined, please leave a review on your preferred platform!
Thank you for your support, and happy reading!!