This book has hit some bumps, curves and setbacks along the way, but it's finally made it. So far, it's available on the publisher website and BookStrand. Amazon, of course, is taking their sweet time, but it should be up soon.
I dedicated this book to Michael Crichton for some rather obvious reasons--it's a werewolf tale, but yet it's not. It's a big, complex multiple viewpoint story set in the grandeur of the Wyoming wilderness, a picturesque and beautiful setting.
The concept and origin of the story is best explained in my interview with Dorothy Dreyer on We Do Write:
In a remote compound in Wyoming a geneticist created the first female human-wolf hybrid and adopted her as his daughter. When Melina Salinger discovers who and what she really is she escapes her father's domain and sets out into the wilderness—any other life would be better than the one that was forced upon her.
Seth Anson, a ranger stationed at the Wheeler Ridge watchtower, is trying to get over a bitter divorce—working in the majestic Shoshone forest is the only way he knows how to get on with his life. Consequently, he is unprepared for the strange and mysterious woman he accidentally shoots and then must nurse back to health. As Seth and Melina form a close bond that leads to something deeper—they have no idea that the geneticist’s other creation—the result of a DNA cloning experiment gone horribly wrong—is bent on finding Melina and committing a monstrous act.
Seth Anson, a lovelorn forest ranger, never thought that he would shoot the first eligible woman he met after his divorce. Nor did he think that he would fall in love with her after nursing her back to health. But he certainly isn’t prepared to find out that she is the result of a DNA cloning experiment gone horribly wrong and, is in fact, a hybrid wolf/human. To complicate matters, she also has no idea of her true identity.
Seth finds out early on that Melina Salinger is a handful. He mistakenly believes that she suffers from hypertrichosis (werewolf syndrome), and that she has escaped from a care facility. She confesses later that she has been confined in an underground missile silo by her geneticist father, Davis Salinger, and the only thing she knows about everyday life has been gleaned from video movies and television. Now she wants to be a normal girl.
It isn’t easy trying to indoctrinate a woman into society who pants, growls and thinks that Emerald City is a real place somewhere over the rainbow. The ritual shavings and skin maintenance are enough to drive him crazy. Moreover, when she goes into a feverish estrus cycle, sex and passion seem like blunt-force trauma.
Just when Seth thinks he has things under control, Melina becomes deathly ill. Her mysterious father shows up to offer aid, and then shockingly confesses that she carries ancient wolf DNA. After recovering, Melina, shamed and traumatized by this knowledge, becomes suicidal and runs away. Only her father left out the part about her other littermate – a grotesque monster, Romulus, has just broken out of the silo compound. Romulus is bent on finding her for the purpose of mating and will kill anyone who gets in his way.
Seth has to use his skills as a ranger to find Melina in the Wyoming wilderness. He has Romulus out in front of him, the National Guard, the sheriff’s office, a maniac cryptozoologist, and every monster-hunting vigilante in the state hot on his heels. He has to decide if it is guilt that drives him on his quest to find Melina, or that somehow, this wild and beautiful female was destined to be the love of his life.
The Wolfen Strain examines the lurid morality issues that are dealt with in The Island of Doctor Moreau. Yet the predominant theme is that of forbidden love, found in Beauty and the Beast, only with the gender rolls reversed.
I hope you enjoy this twist on the werewolf tale.