In his first published novel, Steven E. Wedel introduces readers to Josef Ulrik, a werewolf as old as America, and Shara Wellington, the shy young woman destined to become Mother of the Pack.
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From the back cover:
Shy and withdrawn after being raped by her high school sweetheart, Shara Wellington needs somebody she can trust. Josef Ulrik, a college zoology professor, takes an interest in the dark-haired girl and offers her a gift he’s sure will give her self-confidence.
Ulrik takes Shara into the wild and teaches her to survive as a wolf, then abandons her to civilization. Alone and frightened, Shara marries the first man to show her compassion. But the marriage is torn apart when she gives birth to the offspring of a wolf.
Determined to find a cure for her affliction, Shara mixes ancient magic with modern medicine. Meanwhile, the Pack has learned of her ability to give birth naturally and is hunting her, some to kill her, some to hail her as the Pack’s messiah. Shara only wants to live a normal, happy life with her new husband and their infant son. But the Pack has found her …
Shara bowed her head, but it did not occur to her to pray. God would not listen to her. Shara lifted her eyes to face the innocent soul who suffered the consequences of her chosen sin.
The baby stirred in his sleep. His small head rose from the mattress of the crib and dropped back onto the padding. His tiny fists clenched and slowly uncurled – but not all the way. The little fingers remained partially bent, clawing at the capering figures of Bambi and Thumper printed on the crib sheet. Sunlight filtered through the cheery curtains of the windows; the bars over the apertures cast long, dark shadows on the pale carpet. Over the crib, a wooden plaque inscribed with pre-Viking Nordic runes attempted to hold evil at bay. The room smelled of talcum powder and ointments, with the odor of dirty diapers underlying all.
“Little Joey, I’m so sorry,” Shara whispered as she looked over the rail of the crib. “Why did I ever bring you into this world? I knew how it would be for you. I’m sorry.” She pulled her rocking chair closer to the crib and sat where she could see through the bars. She watched her infant son and rolled the syringe between her palms.
It wouldn’t be long before the fit overcame him. It wouldn’t be long before ...
Shara’s husband put his hands on her shoulders and gently squeezed. Shara twisted her neck to look into his face as he stood behind her chair. His hair, nearly as dark as her own, was mussed from his nervous habit of running his hands through it. His brow wrinkled and his eyes squinted a little, his glasses forgotten in some other room.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked.
“You know I’m not, Chris. You were there. You saw the research. You know as well as I do what could happen. You know I could, I might –” She couldn’t say the words.
“I know.” He nodded.
Shara followed his eyes to the changing table at the foot of the crib. Another syringe lay ready. Beside it were several grams of the dried root used in the serum. The plastic box of diaper wipes was open. Shara reached over and closed the lid.
“Joey first. Then me,” she said. “You shouldn’t. If, if ...” She paused, sighed, and tried again. “If it doesn’t go right, you shouldn’t follow us.”
“We’ve been over this, babe.” He smiled down at her. “Do you really think I could live without you two?”