The second Red Wolf novel, The Dragon of Doughton Park, will be ready to send out to beta readers soon, perhaps as soon as next week, which means it might be ready for publication by the end of July. Cover art, copyrighting, and formatting for the paper and electronic versions are proceeding, and along with that must come the teaser, the quick-and-dirty blurb that will describe the book to online purchasers and appear on the back cover to entice brick-and-mortar store browsers.
As a special Fourth of July holiday blog post, I decided to preview the teaser for The Dragon of Doughton Park. And as a bonus, and to take up space, since I’m sure most of y’all could give a hoot, I’ll explain the rationale behind what I’ve written. Here’s the teaser…
Clifford Crane has led a tough life – failed marriages, bankruptcy, drug addiction, and a mind-numbing dead-end job. But he’s made it through, and now he’s a few short years from retirement. He’s looking forward to his golden years, until he meets an ancient Uwharrie Indian shaman, who turns him into a werewolf. She believes Clifford is the red wolf foretold in prophecy, the one who will unite the wolf packs and lead them to victory over the vampires for once and all time. Too bad she doesn’t tell him that before she dies. Now, rescuing beautiful young women from the clutches of the undead has its rewards, but will it pay the rent for the next thousand years?
Everyone has accepted the Prophecy of the Red Wolf except the Red Wolf himself. Clifford would like to reclaim some semblance of a normal life, but there are three beautiful reasons he cannot cut his ties to the pack of werewolves of which he has become a part. There’s Heather, the sister of the Uwharrie Pack alpha, whom the pack has chosen as Clifford’s mate. There’s Nicole, the talented young Omega wolf, a seeming reincarnation of Clifford’s once and greatest love, who shares a strange and disturbing bond with him. And there’s Danielle, the gorgeous young vampire who currently shares his bed in a forbidden affair.
Clifford faces a difficult choice indeed, but it may not be his to make. Powerful forces are afoot in the world, and to protect the ones he loves, Clifford must seek the help of the powerful Fae who foretold the prophecy in the first place, the one who might do anything to make sure the prophecy comes true, the mysterious Dragon of Doughton Park.
The Dragon of Doughton Park is the second in a series of Red Wolf novels, depicting a world where vampires are mere generations away from realizing mankind’s destruction, the ultimate goal of the undead and the mysterious beings that created them.
Does that grab you? I hope so. I’ll admit, it is a little misleading. It over-dramatizes a few of the plot elements and emphasizes the romantic aspects of the story. It’s kind of like seeing the previews to a movie, which can sometimes be put together so skillfully that the actual plot will end up being a complete surprise. But, hey, I just want you to open up the cover and start reading, because at that point, if I’ve done my job as a writer, the real story will keep you there.
Those of you who read The Draculata Nest will recognize that first paragraph, and you’ll know by now that it has little to do with that story. It’s background material for the whole Red Wolf saga. I wrote it before the outline of the first book had been completely developed. I thought it described an interesting character and that it would be catchy. I decided to keep it as part of the teaser for each novel in the series. Unfortunately, it’s often the only part you see in electronic media unless you click on the <more…> button. Folks are probably getting tired of it already, but I’m sticking to it because, well, I’m more stubborn and loyal than smart (much like Clifford Crane himself I’m told).
The next two paragraphs are specific to the book. Dragon revolves a lot around Clifford’s relationship with these three women. It’s not the whole story, like the teaser hints at, but the women in Clifford’s life have a lot to do with the direction he chooses to go. (Why? No, I’m not going there right now. That’s a subject for another blog… maybe.)
The last paragraph was also part of the teaser for the first book, although it didn’t make it to the back cover due to space restrictions. It may not for this book, either, but it describes the backdrop against which the whole Red Wolf saga is played. And in Dragon, the purpose for which the vampires were created and the 12,000 year struggle between the wolves and the undead becomes more and more important.