Title: Wolves' Gambit
Series: The Free Wolves #3
Author: P.J. MacLayne
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 15 April 2018
Wolf-shifter Lori Grenville was rescued from near-slavery and a brutal pack leader by the Free Wolves. To pay back the favor, she's dedicated her life to helping others in the same situation, leading shifters to safety and a new start, risking her life in the process. She's faced down alphas and has no qualms in undermining pack structure.
Now she's challenged with the task of restoring an alpha to his rightful place. If she gets it right, she can stop a war from ripping apart two packs and spreading across an entire state. If she fails, she'll be among the first to die.
There's still the option of walking away and letting the Jaeger and Destin packs destroy each other. That means she'll fail in her original mission of rescuing the daughter of the Jaeger alpha before the girl is forced into marriage for political gain.
Lori hasn't failed in a mission yet. This one may be the exception.
She didn't have time to shift. Instead, Lori threw herself to the ground and rolled. The wolf missed, but swiveled on its back paws, bunched its muscles, and prepared for a second attack. Without a weapon, she could only hold it off for a few seconds.
So she did what any human would do. She screamed. Only she dropped the pretense and screamed with her mental voice. The sound of a rabbit's dying scream. The shrill, high-pitched cry for help didn't need to be aimed at only one person. It would wake everyone within range. There'd be a lot of headaches in a very short time.
The wolf stopped in its tracks and shook its head. That was all the time Lori needed. A metal snow shovel had been left leaning against the building after the last snow months ago, and she grabbed it. She gripped it in both hands and swung.
Her aim was true. The shovel thudded against the side of the wolf's head and it staggered. But Lori knew of a more vulnerable spot. She adjusted the direction of the next swing. The awkward angle resulted in a less forceful blow, but still, she hit the tender nose.
The wolf snarled, its teeth glistening, and leaped.
She whirled out the way and swung the shovel at the same time. The blade met the wolf's front haunches. A cracking sound sent a chill down Lori's spine. The wooden handle was breaking. She'd only get one more hit. It had to be a good one.
The wolf heard it too. Out of reach of her makeshift weapon, it paced, tongue hanging from its mouth. Left to right, right to left. Only Lori's eyes followed it. She watched for the telltale signs. The tightening of muscles, the focusing of the eyes, a lowering of the head. The wolf was toying with her. Her heartbeat kept pace with the wolf's steps. Too fast.
But where was the guard? He'd had time to come to her rescue. Was this one of Carlson's men? She'd been a fool to trust him. He was just another pack leader. Take advantage of those less powerful and discard them when they are no longer useful.
She wondered how sharp the edge of the blade was. Sharp enough to rip through flesh? There was no time to check. She needed to stay alert for every twitch.
The charge happened in the blink of an eye. One second he was on the ground, the next flying towards her. She didn't wait. With a loud cry, she held the shovel straight in front of her like a lance and ran to meet the attack.
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In The Series
MEET LORI by P.J. MacLayne
Lori Grenville, the main character of Wolves' Gambit, sprang from a very minor character in Wolves' Pawn, the first book of the Free Wolves series. In fact, she existed for only about two pages. But those two pages were enough for me to see that she had potential for so much more. Turns out, she gets a whole book.
At first I'd envisioned her as some sort of super spy. While that was a fun idea, it was wrong. Turns out she's a woman with a mission, and she'll do what it takes to get the job done. She sees herself as being on the side of good even if sometimes she needs to resort to actions that might be considered unethical. Or downright illegal.
She's run rescues successfully many times. But this time she may be in over her head.
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she's not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove series.
And a Giveaway! In celebration of the release of Wolves' Gambit, one or more lucky people will win an e-book version of Wolves' Pawn, the first book of the series. You can enter here: