Quick Summary: Rachael Wood loses her family in a brutal animal attack. Years later she finds out from Terry that werewolves exist and that knowledge eventually leads not only to the killers but a confrontation with her own village and their secrets.
Rachael Becoming Red
"How do you know my name?" I asked stepping back.
"Your family was mentioned at the meeting. I'm sure you were there." He pointed out. "Rachael, the man you ran from smelled you. He had your scent and could follow it to anywhere you've been over the past few days."
"I don't understand," I said, "how do I smell?"
The man sighed. "He killed your family while he waited for you. He must've become impatient. The council said Amanda kept you late because of the man you saw."
My legs gave way and I fell in the dirt. My family died because of me? Mom, dad, the twins, my big brother. How could they all be killed by a rampaging werewolf? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My brother would've tried to get the twins out and anyone who wanted to harm my family had to kill my dad first. He worked with lumber and was huge. There had to be a distraction because my father was killed behind our house and the rest quickly exterminated before anyone would take notice of the screaming. "How many were there sir? Why did it take Amanda and I to find them dead? Wasn't there someone else around? People still move around when they have the prayer vigil at church."
"Call me Terry," he said. "My theory is there were at least three werewolves. The strongest must've led your dad around back. Then he went about exterminating witnesses while the others dealt with the rest of your family." He walked up to me and kneeled. "It's not an easy thing to hear Red. You led that thing to your house by mistake. It wanted to turn you. Must've thought someone your age would've made a good daughter for his mate or something. Most children don't survive the change anyway. A few months at best. Terrible thing to do to a child. Be glad it didn't happen to you."
"He wanted a kid? Why didn't he just have one?"
Terry chuckled. "Werewolf D.N.A. is different from human D.N.A. It's hard for a werewolf male to impregnate anybody. It takes several attempts and even then some babies are born deformed. One even had a werewolf head in my records. Never went away, he was shot days later."
I was horrified. Monster or not it was a baby. I promised myself I'd never harm children. No matter where my quest to find my family's killers took me. I was no child killer. "Did they at least bury him?"
"Yeah, a shame." Terry looked up at the night sky. I looked at his hands and saw them in his pockets. So nonchalant about the death of a baby. A baby that never chose to have a monster head in the first place. It made me angry.
"You bully!" I cried and started hitting his legs. "A baby is precious and defenseless! How dare you ok one being shot just because he had a wolfhead. You're just a big meanie," i declared hitting him harder.
Suddenly I was in the air. Terry had grabbed me by the collar and lifted me to his face. His glasses were gone and his eyes were furious. He shook me twice then flung me on the ground. "No one hits me, not even stupid little girls!" he raged and kicked me.
I screamed. I knew immediately he had broken something. I felt around and got shooting pain by my ribs. This would take a long time to heal here. I slowly propped myself up and took out my whistle. It would bring someone to my aid in minutes. I'll tell them everything this mean man said. That he's just as bad as the monsters.
"Wait," Terry said suddenly. "Don't blow that."
"Why not, I'm injured. And you kicked me, what if I can't have babies?"
"Huh? No, no," Terry said coming closer. "You can still have beautiful babies. As many as you want. Just don't blow that whistle. It will only bring trouble." He was beside me now and I realized how far I had flown.
"You hurt me," I said tearfully, "why did you do it? I'm just a little girl." I broke into tears. My tummy hurt a lot and I knew I couldn't stand up. My fist grabbed a handful of grass and tore it out.
"Rachael look at me," Terry said stroking my face, "I can help you fight these creatures. Make you strong enough that noven I can harm you without injury. You'll be able to find out who killed your family and maybe one day return to protect your village." He took me in his arms and lifted me off the ground. I leaned into him but still held unto my whistle.
Excerpt Complete. The time of release is tenuously late January 2012. But if I have any reservations I'll move it to February. The Red Series should be released in Summer 2012 will be in both ebook and paper back.
Update (Jan 14, 2012): I have moved ebook release to February 2012.