Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Meet Adrian, an adorable fail!wolf

Last week I shared a snippet from Camp H.O.W.L. so you could meet Tate, a Were psychologist who works as a camp counselor helping teenagers who need to learn to master their Shift. This week I'm introducing you to his toughest challenge yet--Adrian, the 27-year-old son of the Portland Alpha who never hit his Werewolf puberty. Weres Turn when they're nineteen, so when that year came and went, Adrian and his family adjusted to the news that he was human.

Until his 27th birthday rolls around and he finds himself hitting Were puberty--in the middle of a crowded city street. Adrian's pretty much the definition of a fail!wolf. I can't wait for you to get to know him! *g*

Camp H.O.W.L.

Adrian stopped at the crosswalk and took a sip of his coffee as he waited for the light to change. He nearly heaved when the bitter liquid spilled across his tongue. He’d ordered this drink dozens of times and it had always been sweet and smooth, nothing like this awful concoction. The taste of burnt coffee lingered in his mouth, held there by a syrupy residue that he could feel like a weight against his tongue. 

He licked against his teeth, trying to rid his tongue of the sensation. This entire day had been a nightmare, and he’d only been up for an hour. Even the hot shower he’d taken to try to loosen his tensed muscles and ease his headache had been a disaster. The hotel must have been having water pressure problems because the rain shower head had been anything but relaxing. The water had hit his skin like tiny missiles, leaving him feeling tender and raw afterward. 

The light changed and Adrian moved across the wide street with the smattering of people who’d been waiting near him. The man nearest him must have had his Bluetooth headset turned up to eleven--Adrian could hear every word. He glanced over, surprised that the nicely dressed businessman wasn’t more concerned about privacy. From what Adrian had heard, it sounded like the man was listening to an audiobook or pod cast that was describing a sex scene in lurid detail. No one around them looked the slightest bit scandalized, which made Adrian reevaluate some of his assumptions about Indianapolis. The book would have raised some eyebrows even in his liberal hometown of Portland, but it got nary a sideways glance here in the Heartland. 

Adrian brought his foot down hard on the curb and almost went sprawling, but the businessman he’d been watching grabbed him by the elbow and kept him on his feet. Adrian’s satchel swung forward and slammed into the man, the impact knocking one of his earbuds out. 

Adrian’s face flamed when a long, loud moan split the air, but no one noticed. The businessman gave him a concerned glance once he’d steadied Adrian on the sidewalk, but Adrian waved him off with a quick thanks. The book continued to play, muted slightly when the man tucked the earbud back into place.

Adrian stopped short, stepping to the side when another group of people went by. No one had heard. That’s why they hadn’t reacted. Because the man had been listening at normal volume, and even when the earbud had fallen out, no one had heard because it hadn’t been audible. 
Except he’d heard.

Adrian rubbed his hand across his face. What was going on? He was used to seeing his Packmates react to to things that were outside the register he could process, but he’d obviously never experienced that himself.

He'd never given much thought to what Were senses must be like. Sure, he'd seen his sister flinch when fire alarms went off, or noticed how irritable his family could get when they were in a loud, crowded restaurant. But mostly, the Weres he knew adapted to their heightened senses.

That couldn't really be what was happening, though. He didn't know anyone who had Were senses but not the ability to Shift. Not that he personally knew anyone born to Were parents who was a human—like him. But still. No one hit Were puberty at twenty-seven. Did they?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Introducing Camp H.O.W.L.

It's been forever and a day since I had a WIP to share with you, so I'm really excited to be back today with a WIP Wednesday from my current manuscript, Camp H.O.W.L.

I'm starting NaNoWriMo off strong with help from Tate and Adrian, two werewolves in their late twenties who are spending some quality time together marooned in the middle of the forest with a bunch of teenage werewolves who are adjusting to their werewolf puberty.

Unfortunately, so is Adrian. A quirk of his genetics prevented him from maturing into his wolf when he was nineteen, as almost all Weres do. He'd accepted his fate as the lone human in his pack, but his twenty-seventh birthday changed that. And now he's going through werewolf puberty, with all the embarrassments and frustrations that entails.

His mortification only escalates when he arrives at Camp H.O.W.L., which is basically a high-end boot camp where baby Weres learn control, and finds that his assigned counselor is hotter than the sun.

Tate has been helping teens master their urges for years, but Adrian is a new and unexpected challenge. Today's WIP Wednesday showcases just exactly how exasperating his job shepherding the Werewolf elite's brats into wolfdom can be. *g*

Camp H.O.W.L.

“For the last time, Ryan, we aren't keeping you prisoner here. You are an adult, and if you choose to leave we can't stop you.”
They really couldn't. The kids Tate worked with at Camp HOWL weren't prisoners—they were Weres who were adjusting to their wolves. Technically, since the change came on the first full moon after a Were's nineteenth birthday, they weren't really kids, either. Everyone at the camp was a legal adult, but it was often difficult to tell from the way they acted. Camp HOWL catered to the elite in Were society. A month at the camp cost more than a year's tuition at most colleges. He'd heard rumors that some parents signed their kids up as soon as they were born and started making paying the exorbitant fee in monthly installments nearly two decades before their precious little wolfling would ever set foot on the manicured grounds.
It wasn't the raw juice bar or the Pilates machines that kept the kids from leaving camp, though. 
Every single one of them knew they'd be roasted by their Alpha if they walked away from the camp before the counselors released them. Guarding their secret from exposure was every wolf's highest priority, even these stuck-up, pampered pseudo-adults. And if any of them thought they knew best and tried to leave, well, that was between the Weres and their packs. In his seven years at the camp, Tate had never seen a Were leave before they graduated. There had been a few close calls, but all it had taken was a few words with the recalcitrant Were's Alpha to turn things around. 
He had Ryan's on speed dial, since it was his job to know how to spot trouble and Ryan had walked through the camp's gates with trouble written all over him. Tate hoped it wouldn't get that far, but it was a nice ace up his sleeve. 
Ryan had his phone in his hand, his fingers clutched around the nearly indestructible case most kids arrived with. They weren't fashionable, but the wolf-proof titanium was a necessity while the young wolves learned how to deal with their heightened strength and volatile mood swings. 
“I called an Uber,” he sneered, his gaze locked on Tate's in a blatant challenge. 
Tate held his hands up, placating the teen. “That's your call, man,” he said, trying his damndest to project an air of calm detachment. Ryan's senses weren't honed enough yet to pick up on Tate's racing heart or the faint tang of salt in the air from the cold sweat that had broken out down his back. 
He'd called an Uber. Jesus Christ. Some day these kids were actually going to kill him. An emotional, angry baby Were in an Uber? 
Luckily they were miles and miles from an Uber driver, and that was assuming Wade Watkins could get his scuffed-up Ford F150 to start in the wet autumn chill. A kid like Ryan would probably take one look at the dented, rusted out truck and turn tail and run.
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