Monday, April 16, 2018

The Story Sets the Scene by P.J. MacLayne


Readers, join me in welcoming P. J. MacLayne!
            Wolves' Gambit wasn't supposed to be set in Wyoming. Sure, I deliberately wrote the opening scene in an old bar in the middle of nowhere, but by the second chapter the story  was planned to move  to the East Coast where the other Free Wolves' books were set. It didn't work out that way.
            I made it to the second chapter before I realized my original plot wasn't going to happen. The whole story was going to occur in Wyoming. And not even a well-known area like Jackson or Yellowstone. No, it was going to stay out in the desert where there are more cows than people. Well, there would be if the area wasn't populated by two packs of wolf-shifters. For some reason, cattle and wolf-shifters don't get along.
            The change in locale opened up some interesting story threads and subplots. For example, it's currently legal to hunt wolves in Wyoming. That explains why the packs in my story were so isolated.
            I was also able to take advantage of the desolate scenery and wide-open spaces to help my heroine, Lori Grenville, in her quest. And present obstacles for her at the same time. Crawling over and under barbed-wire fences isn't what I thought she'd be doing. She's used to big cities and crowds, slipping in and out of stores while making her escape.
            So, I'm glad the story moved to Wyoming. It gave me the opportunity to play with new landscapes and different personalities and unique challenges. And, overall, I think Wolves' Gambit became a better book because of it.
Wolf-shifter Lori Grenville was rescued from near-slavery and a brutal pack leader by the Free Wolves. To pay back the favor, she's dedicated her life to helping others in the same situation, leading shifters to safety and a new start, risking her life in the process. She's faced down alphas and has no qualms in undermining pack structure.
Now she's challenged with the task of restoring an alpha to his rightful place. If she gets it right, she can stop a war from ripping apart two packs and spreading across an entire state. If she fails, she'll be among the first to die.
There's still the option of walking away and letting the Jaeger and Destin packs destroy each other. That means she'll fail in her original mission of rescuing the daughter of the Jaeger alpha before the girl is forced into marriage for political gain.
Lori hasn't failed in a mission yet. This one may be the exception.

In her night camouflage suit, she wormed her way down a gully. She'd observed the sentries bypass it on their rounds on a regular basis. The barbed wire fence that marked the boundary didn't follow the dip, so there was plenty of room to slip under the wire.
            Once out of sight of the guard, she stripped off her clothes and stuffed them into a small backpack. She reached for that glorious sense of other and felt her body change. Wolf now, she began the long trot across the desert, carrying the backpack in her mouth.
            There were unforeseen obstacles and she noted their locations for future reference. A ranch house with dogs that barked as her scent reached them. A four-lane highway carrying more traffic than she'd anticipated. The creek bed that was marked as dry on the map but wasn't. At least it had been narrow enough that she was able to leap across it.
            By the time she got to Destin territory, it was too late—or too early in the morning—to slip inside. The color of the sky was changing from the dark of night to the pale gray of a cloudy morning. She found a spot on the top of a rise that allowed her to track the sentries as they made their rounds along that section.

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To celebrate the release of Wolves' Gambit, I have a giveaway happening. You can win an ebook version of Wolves' Pawn, the first book in the Free Wolves Series. You can enter here: 

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You can reach P.J. MacLayne here:
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