Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Patient Wolf by Karen Hodges Miller: Interview & Giveaway

The Patient Wolf
Wicked Urban Fantasy
Book One
Karen Hodges Miller

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Can’t Put it Down Books

Date of Publication: May 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972024-2-7

Number of pages: 160
Word Count: 42,225

Cover Artist: Genevieve Cosdon

Book Description:

The small town of Rivelou is hiding secrets, and they are about to claw their way to the surface.

Ana Dugan used to enjoy her nighttime walks through her quaint college town, but all of that changes when a handsome stranger rescues her from an attack. She’s not sure who she should be more afraid of the four legged beast who attacked her or the two legged one who saved her. She narrowly escapes, but soon learns that others weren’t so lucky.

When another man enters her life claiming he’s there to protect her she’s not sure who she should trust, the wolf or the hunter.



The Patient Wolf Chapter 1

Ana breathed in the early autumn air as she headed away from the university and onto the darker streets of the neighboring suburb. It was an older neighborhood, built in the 1920’s when the town of Rivelou had begun to spread from its central location on the river across the railroad tracks to the north. This particular section of the town had been built for the railroad workers, with tiny shotgun houses lined up on even tinier lawns.
As Ana crossed Roosevelt Avenue and headed into her own neighborhood, the streetlights ended and the sidewalk became lighted only by an occasional porch light or walk light. She loved walking home from her night classes at this time of the year. The air, while it could not yet be called crisp, had lost its summer sultriness, a welcome change from the blistering heat of a Midwest summer.
And these walks home after her night classes were one of the few times during her week when she could be truly alone. No bosses, no teachers, not even Sophie chattering away in her ear. She’d been a mom long enough not to feel guilty at enjoying a a little time alone without her child. Her thirteen-year-old daughter was the light of her life, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy a little time by herself, too.
As she headed down Harlan Street, farther from the more heavily trafficked avenue, the street became even darker. It was too soon for most of the leaves to have fallen, they were just beginning to turn red on this last week in September and they were so thick on the trees that they hid the full moon. Part of the charm of the old neighborhood was the beautiful, large old maples and oaks, but their roots also tore up the sidewalks. Ana tripped on one of those cracks, and shook her head in disgust. How could she always trip in the same spot, night after night? It wasn’t as if she hadn’t memorized the bad spots in the sidewalk after years of walking this way.
She smiled; only one more year of classes and, with luck, she wouldn’t be taking this same walk anymore. She would have her teaching degree, be able to quit her job as an admin at the university, and start a new life with her daughter, maybe somewhere else. She would enjoy teaching, preferably high school, but she’d take whatever grade she could get to start. Sophie would miss her friends; they would both miss their family. They’d come back a lot to visit. She was sure of that—her family, particularly her grandfather, would certainly insist on it. But it would be nice to start over. Of course, Jonathan, her ex, would probably object if she moved even to the next county. The one good thing she could say for the man was he always fulfilled his obligations to their daughter, even if it was only because he thought about running for political office someday and didn’t want to ruin his reputation with the other lawyers and judges in Rivelou.
She shook her head as if to change the direction her daydreams had taken her and sidestepped another large crack in the sidewalk. She wasn’t going to let thoughts of Jonathan ruin a lovely evening. Maybe after Sophie was in bed she’d have a chance to get outside again and enjoy the full moon and beautiful weather. She wouldn’t indulge herself in a run; she couldn’t leave Sophie alone, but some time out in her backyard to appreciate the full moon would be good.
She stopped and looked around, working to regain her pleasure in the evening, when she heard a low growl nearby.
A dog? No one on this block had a dog big enough to make that sort of sound. That growl had definitely come from something larger than Mrs. Ahearn’s yappy little Pomeranian. She began to walk more quickly. Only a half block until she turned onto Sycamore, then another half block until she arrived at her own home.
The growl came again. She tucked her purse more securely on her left shoulder, her computer bag on her right, and doubled her pace. There were no lights on at any of the houses on that part of the block, and of course, the moon took that moment to hide behind a cloud. She took a deep breath and tried to walk at a steady pace. She wouldn’t run, even though she could hear the animal behind her as she rounded the corner. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her own porch light on, as well as that of her neighbors, Joe and Lindsey, who kept Sophie evenings when Ana had class. Only a few more steps to safety.
She was almost in front of her own door when she heard the rush of paws with nails clicking on the sidewalk. With a howl, the animal knocked her down.
She held her computer case in front of her face, “Take a bite of that, you nasty beast,” she said, pushing the case at its huge, dark head. It was all teeth and glowing eyes as it stood over her, growling. “What do you want?” she shouted.
Though it had her on the ground, it didn’t make a move, just stood gazing at her. Somehow she sensed if she did move, it would strike. She had to do something. She drew a deep breath and prepared to scream when she heard someone running up behind her.
“Hey, you, get back! Get back!” She turned her head and saw a man come running toward her and the slobbering animal. The man grabbed a stick from the ground and waved it at the animal as he rushed forward. “Back! Get back, you ugly beast!” he shouted again, striking the creature who turned, snarling at him. They stared intently at each other for a moment when the dog finally dodged the stick and lunged to take a bite out of the man.
The man got in a couple of good blows before the dog suddenly grabbed the stick, tugged at it, and knocked the man to the ground. Ana decided it was time to take action. She fumbled through her purse as the dog leaned back on its haunches preparing to strike. Just before he lunged on the fallen man Ana found her can of mace and hit the dog in the face with the noxious spray. With howl of pain, it ran into the darkness.
Several more porch lights suddenly popped on to light the night, and the street was filled with neighbors coming to check on the unusual commotion.
“Are you all right?” her rescuer, still gasping and out of breath, asked. “It didn’t bite you, did it?” He made his way to his feet and held his hand out to her.
“No, no. I’m fine,” Ana replied as she was suddenly bowled over by an armful of an anxious thirteen-year-old. “Mom, mom, are you okay?” Sophie asked.
“What happened?” her neighbor, Joe, questioned her at the same moment.
“It was a dog. A huge one. I’ve never seen it before. This man chased it away,” she said, turning to the man who was wiping his face with a handkerchief and coughing.
“I think you were the one who chased it away. Wish you’d had a little better aim with the mace, but under the circumstances I don’t think I can complain,” he said between coughs.
“Hey, are you okay?” Joe asked, looking the man over. “You’d better come in and let us take a look at you. My wife’s a nurse. She can check you out. Just a whiff of that stuff can be torture on the eyes.”
“No, I’m fine, I’ll …” he protested, but Ana cut him off.
“I insist. If it wasn’t for you, I’d have been bitten by that animal.”
“I think we’d better make a police report,” Joe said as they headed for his house. “Joe Lessing,” he added, holding out his hand to the stranger. “And this is our neighbor, Ana Dugan, and her daughter, Sophie.”
“Good to meet you. Chris Spier,” the man said, shaking hands with Joe as they reached the porch. At the top of the steps he turned to Ana, where, under the porch light, she got her first real look at her rescuer.
He was just shy of six feet, with the build of teddy bear, the kind you’d like to give a big hug and take to bed with you, Ana thought, then inwardly blushed. Where had that thought come from? She didn’t have time for men. It wasn’t that he was soft, or fat, she added, mentally adjusting her initial teddy bear image. He was muscular, and he had a kind face, soft brown eyes, shaggy light brown hair and beard, both of which needed a trim. There was something about his worn khakis and wrinkled plaid flannel shirt that said he wasn’t used to being cared for.
“I’m so sorry if I hurt you,” Ana said, taking his hand. Chris held onto it until Joe said, “Come on in. You need to wash off that mace.”

He guided Chris into a small, warm living room and back to a kitchen where Sophie was animatedly, if with little accuracy, describing the incident to Joe’s wife and daughter.

Author Bio

Karen Hodges Miller’s fascination with werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, and all things supernatural began with the childhood classics. She gobbled up everything from The Haunting of Hill House to the Narnia series, from Dracula to Rebecca. As a writer, however, she stuck to non-fiction; working as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor and in 2004 opening her own publishing company.

She has written several books for authors on the subject of writing and publishing. The Patient Wolf is her first fiction novel and of course, it features a very sexy werewolf.

 Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter


Please welcome The Patient Wolf author Karen Hodges Miller to Diane’s Book Blog. 

What is your favorite part of the story The Patient Wolf?

I think my favorite part of The Patient Wolf is the first chapter because I feel I have created just the right amount of suspense. There are several parts in the whole book where I hope the reader jumps in surprise. And the first of these is in the first chapter.

How long did it take you to write The Patient Wolf?

It took me about a year to write The Patient Wolf, but the story has been in my head for a lot longer than that. I’ve lived in a lot of small towns—and been a news reporter in small towns. The first thing you learn is that there is the life that the average person sees, and then all of the “stuff” that those in the know understand. So I invented my own small town, loosely based on a few places I have lived, where all sorts of paranormal creatures mixed with the everyday characters of the town.

What inspired you to write your first book?

While The Patient Wolf if my first fiction book, it is actually the fifth book I have published. The others were non-fiction, so I can answer the question in two ways. I’ve been a writing coach, editor, and publisher for about 20 years. After years of coaching other people on how to write a book, my friend, Lorette Pruden, convinced me that I needed to publish my “system” of how I coach writers. I enjoyed the process of writing Write Your Book that I asked Lorette, a time management expert, to write a second book with me, called Finish Your Book. So basically, my inspiration for writing my first book was to inspire other writers.

That leads me to what inspired me to write my first work of fiction, The Patient Wolf. The book had been in the back of my mind for many years, and I always put it on the back burner, telling people that “I write non-fiction. That’s my thing.” But what was really stopping me was fear. Writing is very personal. Whether fiction or non-fiction you are putting your “babies” out in public for the world to see – and judge. Finally, I just decided it was time to get over my fear and write my stories. Making my characters come to life, and discovering things about them I didn’t know when I first started writing, has been a blast.

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

This one is easy. I was eight years old and I read Little Women. When I finished I went to my diary and wrote, “When I grow up I am going to be a writer just like Louisa May Alcott.” My career has taken twists and turns I never imagined at that age. I’ve been a reporter for a daily newspaper, an editor, owned a magazine, and in 2006 I founded my own publishing company. I think I’m incredibly lucky. I’ve been able to follow my dream and do what I love every day.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I’ve got lots of favorite authors but I think right now I have to go with Diana Gabaldon. Her descriptions are so beautiful. Sometimes I stop and read a passage over because I just enjoy the way she uses words.

What is your typical day like?

As an editor and publisher my typical day is not spent writing, but editing other people’s writing. I often juggle two or three books at once. For instance, right now I am working on final changes for a non-fiction book of inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs, editing the final draft of a really exciting new fantasy book that is debuting in June, and first edits for a GBLT romance.

So when do I find time to write my own work? That’s the trick. One of my rules for the writers I coach is to pick a set time every week to work on your book. I do my own writing on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I take no phone calls and tell my husband not to interrupt me – a request which he mostly follows.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

What I great question! I’ve literally written a book on this subject, called Finish Your Book. Just like falling off a horse, if you have Writer's Block you need to get back up and try again: keep on writing. Of course, that is not as easy as it sounds. The best cure for Writer's Block that I know is a deadline. When I worked as a reporter for a daily paper I had daily deadlines I had to meet – or I’d lose my job. That’s motivation! As an author, however, you don’t have that same sword hanging over your head. So give yourself a deadline. Tell yourself that by a certain time you will have written a certain number of words. Then, even if you are not happy with those words, don't erase them. Let it go and come back to the work in a day or two. You may find that what you have written doesn't look so bad. It may just need some fine tuning to reach your usual creative standard.

If you are still having problems, go to step two: do some research. Sometimes the problem is that you don't have enough information. You may be missing a small piece of information, or you may need to do more research before you write. This goes for fiction as well as nonfiction. Good fiction is based on knowledge. Your "research" may just take a different form. You may need to think more about your characters, fleshing them out in your head, or find out more about a setting, or spend some time outlining your plot. I found this with The Patient Wolf. I spent a couple of months spending my weekend mornings staring at my work, polishing the chapters that were already finished. Finally, over Christmas I had a breakthrough. I figured out a surprising new fact about my main character, Ana, and it changed the whole direction of the book. I can’t say more about what this fact was. When you read the story, maybe you will figure it out.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I thought when I finished The Patient Wolf that I’d sit back and relax, but I the idea for the second book in my series was so strong that I sat down the next weekend and started to work on it. It is called The Artificial Witch. Here’s part of the first chapter. You’re the first to see it. I’ve edited it a bit to make sure it has no spoilers for The Patient Wolf.

The Artificial Witch

Chapter 1

… Shannon’s thoughts were interrupted by her partner. Dave looked pale. Obviously he hadn’t been prepared to see a dead body this morning. Dave was a nice guy and a pleasure to look at. Tall, well over six feet, and lean, with muscles that showed he spent a good bit of his free time in the gym. When he wasn’t racing around town on his fancy motorcycle, that is.

“Got some water?” he asked.

“Yeah, right here,” she said, taking a small water bottle out of her pocket. “You’re looking a little green.”

“It was bad. I haven’t seen too many bodies cut up like that.”

Shannon nodded at Alicia Myers had been joined by a couple of other reporters, two men and a woman, and they were all straining to hear the low-voiced conversation between the two partners. “Be careful what you say. It ends up on the news today, your ass is grass.”

“Yeah, thanks. You’re right,” Dave said. He took another swig then took off his hat and just poured the rest of it over his head and running his hand through his hair. If Shannon had done that, she’d have looked like drowned rat, she thought. How come when Dave did, his tousled, wet hair just looked sexy?

Shannon noticed with irritation that Alicia and the other female reporter had noticed, too.

“That feels better,” Dave said, putting his cap back on, seemingly oblivious to the stir he had just caused. “C’mon. We can get out of here now.”
Once in the car, with Shannon in the driver’s seat, she asked, “Well, are you going to tell me about it?”

Dave closed his eyes. “You know you are really lucky you didn’t have to see it. I’ve never seen a body that torn up.”

“Humph,” Shannon snorted. She’d seen a few bodies. She could handle it. She had handled it. Dave’s reaction just proved that she should have been the officer they pulled in for a consultation, not her partner. She pulled out of the parking lot faster than she should have, kicking up gravel and sending the reporters scattering. Good. She couldn’t hold back her temper any longer.

“What’s so special about you that you got to consult with the coroner and the detective? Just because you’re the hometown golden boy doesn’t mean…”
“I know you don’t think I know anything, Shannon.” Dave ran his hand through his hair again. This time in obvious frustration. “You make that perfectly clear every chance you get.” His voice was a little bitter now, and Shannon suddenly felt guilty. She hadn’t realized her feelings toward Dave had been so obvious.

“I do have some areas of expertise that you do not,” he continued.

“Oh yeah?” She tried to soften her tone, wasn’t sure if it was working. “So what’s your expertise?”

“The body had some marks on it. They wanted to know if I’d seen anything like them.”

Now she was intrigued. “What kind of marks?”


“You’re a tattoo expert?” She was definitely surprised. And intrigued. Dave, the clean-cut boy next door was a tattoo expert?

“I’ve got a couple.”

“Hmm.” Shannon was intrigued. It was a small department. There was only one locker room. That meant she had seen a good bit of Dave’s very good-looking flesh, but she’d never noticed any tattoos.

He grinned. He had finally gotten the attention of Officer I Know Everything Because I’m From Chicago Kelly. “Want to see?” he asked. His hand sliding suggestively to his belt buckle.

She put her hand up. “No way!” she chuckled appreciatively; Dave had managed to dispel her bad mood. “But seriously,” she added, as she continued the drive back downtown to City Hall and police headquarters, “Tell me the rest of it. What was it about this body? I know I sometimes act like I think you’re a rookie, but I do know you’ve seen stuff before. Why did this one affect you so much? You really looked like you were about to puke back there.”

“It was bad Shannon. He was cut from stem to stern. It looked like some kind of ritual killing. But it wasn’t anything like I’d seen before.”

“What do you mean? Why would you have seen something like that before?

“It was staged to look like a Wiccan ceremony. But it wasn’t; Wiccans don’t kill. It was artificial. As if someone had read all the books but didn’t really have any experience; didn’t really know what they were doing.”

“What makes you say that? How would you know if it were a real Wiccan ceremony?”

“Shannon. C’mon. You’ve been my partner for months, now. You must have heard some of the other guys talking about me.”

“No. Remember. I’m the new cop from Chicago. Your Rivelou pals don’t gossip about you to me. So what are talking about?”

“I’m a witch.”


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...