Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heir To The Pack by Laura Welling

They’ve both been carrying a secret: She had a son from their three day fling and he’s a werewolf. How will each react to the news and will the news save their son?
Fans of paranormal romance are sure to love this thrilling new novel from Laura Welling. Will the revelation of what Dash really is be enough to save his and Annie’s son from a mysterious illness? 

(The Cursed Pack Book 1)
September 25, 2015

Three years ago, Annie had a three-day fling in Cancun with a handsome stranger, Dash. 
Two years ago, she gave birth to his son. Now, Annie's son is fading away with a mysterious illness, and she must seek help from his father, who doesn’t know he exists. But Dash has news for her: first, he’s a werewolf; second, he’s about to be crowned their king; and third, their son has been touched by an ancient curse.


Pack Dynamics

In my everyday life I’m a lifelong animal fan. I live on a small hobby farm with horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. As well as our little herd of horses and pack of dogs, I am lucky enough to work with hound puppies in the spring. I am not any kind of biologist or animal behaviorist, but I am an enthusiastic amateur observer of animal group dynamics. When I was writing Heir To The Pack I kept some of the things I’d seen in mind.

For example, arguments about dominance tend to be very short indeed when there’s a big difference in status. The higher ranked individual says, “I’m in charge.” A very low ranked individual says, “Yes, boss”. This can be expressed through acts of aggression, like a bite or kick, or all done in the subtleties of body language. The key is that low ranked individuals accept acts of dominance without external protest. 

When we got our second dog, it took her all of five seconds to establish who was in charge. Dog number one, a huge yellow Lab, said, “Hi! Be my friend!” by capering up to dog number two. She snarled once, he yipped and rolled over on this back. They’ve been best friends since.

The closer two animals are in dominance, the longer the discussion. Sometimes they will argue perpetually, trying to get one up on each other, and sometimes they settle into a truce, easy or uneasy. These discussions can be very violent. 

Establishing dominance initially is important to the dominant individual. At one point we got a new horse. She was separated from the others, but on her first night on the farm she smashed her way through three post and rail fences so she could kick the most dominant horse on the farm. He needed stitches, but was fine.  She made her point though, and it was so important to her to make it that she was willing to destroy half the farm to get to him. 

Confident dominant animals get in few fights, unless they are particularly aggressive. It’s the insecure ones that need to keep the others in line constantly. This was on my mind when writing about Dash, the hero and Alpha in my book. He’s pretty comfortable in his position, and it’s only when someone challenges him that he needs to act.

Conversely, bottom of the pecking order individuals survive in different ways. Some become the joker (think of the Lab I mentioned earlier) and avoid being beaten up by breaking tension with humor. (Class clowns can have a similar dynamic.) Some just try to make themselves invisible. We see some of this in Heir To The Pack, and I plan to explore it further in future books.

Take time to observe pack or herd dynamics sometime. If you don’t have animals,
there’s a great Discovery Channel documentary called “Wolves At Our Door” which shows a lot of these interactions in action. It’s fascinating!

When she’s not writing, Laura Welling wears a lot of other hats: mother, farmer, and software engineer. She's Australian but lives in the United States on a horse farm, which she shares with her family, crazy dogs, and various horses, cats and chickens. She is a compulsive reader of all genre fiction, who started reading before the age of two, and never stopped. She wrote her first “book” when she was five—a spy story, which has since been joined in a bottom drawer by various other early attempts.

Author Links: