Today, I’m going to talk about my new release, Dogs of War, available now at Smashwords, and coming soon to Amazon, but before I go all rambly, let me cover the important parts. First here’s the cover:
The first cover featured the main character Peter, and this second book is showcasing Alice Culpepper, Peter’s girlfriend. Now, here’s the book blurb:
After moving in with the Preston family, lycanthrope Peter Holmes is finally coming to terms with the side effects of his parents’ sexual abuse, his cursed animal nature, and the death of his twin sister Heather. But Peter’s steps toward a more peaceful life are halted when school rival Jake Forrester tells him that his sister isn’t dead, and that Heather has been held prisoner, forced into a lifetime of torture porn.
Feeling guilty for his past attacks on Peter, Jake is offering his help in finding Heather, and he’s bringing along some of his friends for backup. But even if this ragtag group can mount a rescue mission, the ancient creature keeping Heather prisoner is too strong for anyone to fight. Someone will have to pay the cost for Heather’s freedom. Peter is prepared to pay anything, but Heather’s owners have a price in mind that even he may not be able to pay.
Along with this burden, Peter must also sort out his relationship with Alice, maintain a perfect poker face around his other friends, and keep the peace between Heather and his foster family. The stress causes Peter’s wolf to act out, and as Peter’s self-control fails, his family and friends pay the price.
When the time comes to pay the final price for Heather, will there be anyone left to stand with Peter?
I’ve avoided spoiling the first book as long as possible, but now that the second book is out, readers will know that Peter’s twin sister is alive, and that the early part of the story will revolve around rescuing her. This will be a slightly different book than the first in the series, and has a bit more action and a lot less “squick.” (Not to say there isn’t some squick, like cannibalism and talk of sex, both gay and straight.) I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that this story introduces a pack of weredogs and a werecat to the cast, among a few other mystical creatures. Peter also locates his pelt in this book, leading to his first transformations and to new struggles against the wolf spirit he bonds with. This book ends on a shocking point, and given my editor’s comments about how evil I am, I’m sure readers will want to know that book 3 isn’t far behind. Well, it isn’t. The book is currently with my editor, and if I can make a few sales on book 2, I’ll soon have the funds for a cover for book 3, Roll the Bones. I’m also slowly writing the fourth and final installment, Thicker Than Blood. So even if I’m always whining about quitting, don’t worry. I do plan to finish this series for y’all.
I’d like to be honest and explain myself to y’all. I’ve had a lot of problems in the last year with releases, and this series is my make or break watermark. I need to do something more with this series and make it a low-level success, or else I will have to consider packing the keyboard and giving up on my pipe dream of being a writer. I mean, I’ll still blog and review other peoples’ stuff, but I’ll just stop writing new fiction and let the queue empty out.
I don’t want to do this, and I still strongly feel that Peter’s story has merit and is worthy of more attention. The reactions of my editor and several new readers of book one only adds to my belief that this could have success if I could just find the right audience. Maybe not Hocking sized success, but it could pick up a small fandom and make a little noise.
For this reason, I plan to attempt some extra promotions to raise awareness. I will also request that early readers consider leaving reviews or ratings. Reviews can be as long or as short as you like, but with a story like this, other readers will need some assurances that this isn’t total crap. I can’t convince them. I’m the writer, and so of course I’m biased and think the story is worth attention. So those hesitant readers could use a bit of testimony from an impartial source saying, “I read it and I thought ____.”
As with Confessions of a Zombie Lover, I’ve made efforts in Dogs of War to explain past events in short snippets, so if a new reader buys book two without reading book one, they won’t feel lost. But the information is delivered in a scattered manner, and so it may still be a bit confusing for people who like more detailed and direct answers. If you need that, you really need to read Peter the Wolf first. But in theory, y’all can skip book one and move into Peter’s hunt for his sister without feeling penalized for not reading the first story.
On a completely random note, I see that I now have 333 total sales on Smashwords, so I guess that means I’m halfway to being evil. =^D Bad puns aside, I want to thanks people buying all my titles, not just this one. And by the way, thanks to those of you who already picked up copies of Dogs of War. I appreciate it, and I hope you enjoy the story.