Title: Wolf Legend
Author: Florence Witkop
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Jane, who dislikes wolves because they kill livestock, takes Buck Portman, wolf researcher and wildlife professor at the nearby college to an island for a week to seek out the huge wolves legend says have been seen in the area. She's skeptical until a huge wolf runs through their camp... and mentally connects with Jane. Both woman and wolf are startled by their mental connection. The wolf invites Jane to follow so they can sort out what's between them. Jane takes off after the wolf in the dark, followed by the confused professor. She follows the wolf through a cave and into another world, one populated by larger-than-life, dangerous animals, including the wolves of the legend. Her mental connection to the alpha she-wolf is all that saves their lives in that dangerous place. Days later, when they return to their world, at the request of the alpha wolf they take her wolf pup with a broken leg so it can be healed. Problem is that wild wolves are not allowed as pets in our world so the professor must technically care for the wolf with Jane's help. But he has reservations. The huge dire wolf pup is in the wrong world. As it grows, will it remain a pet or become a dangerous predator? As the attraction between Jane and the professor grows, so do the problems inherent in having a huge prehistoric wolf in today's world.
Florence’s stories begin as simple tales of contemporary life, often in small towns or the wilderness she knows so well. Where they go from there is what makes them special. There is always a strong sense of place. Sometimes they cross genres and contain paranormal, sci/fi, or fantasy elements. There is usually a romance and there are always characters her readers like and would enjoy having as friends.
Most of all, there is a story because what Florence does best is tell stories. Well plotted stories that carry the characters towards a logical conclusion that always includes a happy ending. Stories that shine light on the human condition while they celebrate the world we live in. Stories that her readers relate to and remember long after the reading is over.
She writes about people who are as normal as apple pie (most of them, anyway) who unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of situations ranging from the heartwarming through the difficult and all the way to the horrendous. But Florence’s characters choose to act instead of running away. In the process, they survive, thrive, overcome whatever obstacles large or small are thrown in front of them, and while they are at it, they find time to fall in love.
Florence was born in the city and has lived in the suburbs, small towns, the country and the wilderness area of northern Minnesota, where she still lives with her husband and a cowardly cat named Smoke.
At various times in her writing career she’s been a confession writer, a copywriter, a ghost writer and an editor. She writes short stories, novellas and novels. Her work has been categorized as romance, science-fiction, fantasy, mainstream and eco-fiction, to name a few genres that it fits so beautifully into.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009R6WMT0
Smashwords link: http://www.smashwords/com/books/view/287109
I ran straight into the night. Buck followed, pausing only long enough to grab a flashlight. "I knew it! I knew it! There are wolves on the island. And did you see the size of it? It's huge. It's a behemoth!" He waved the flashlight like a wand until he stumbled. Then he came back to earth and lighted the way. Pointed it towards the ground ahead. Then at me. "There are no tracks." Accused me of something, only he didn't know what. I was, after all, going somewhere. Where? "We can't know where it went. You can't know."
He caught up to me. "How?" He looked around. At the blackness that had enveloped us the instant we left the faint reflected light of the lakeshore. In that forest, the dark was complete. Suffocating. Disorienting. "I can't see a thing."
I tried to come up with a rational explanation, something that would reassure him. I failed, there was no rational explanation for what I was doing. I wasn't following a sound or a track. Rather I was following a thought. It lingered in the embrace of the trees the way scents do, curling like smoke through air, ready to evaporate or change direction at the first whiff of a breeze, but, also like smoke, it was knowable, identifiable, and easy to follow if I didn't hesitate. I couldn't hesitate. So I simply said, "It went this way." Then I turned in the direction the wolf had gone and ran into the night.
Buck followed me into the cave, swearing. "You're going to get us killed." But he kept up as I raced through one room after another in a cave that seemed to go on forever. Until he said, panting, in a kind of wonder, "How big is this cave, anyway? I didn't think the island was this big." Then, in a voice filled with awe, "We must be beneath the lake. That's the only explanation." Then he shut up in order to save his breath because I was getting ahead of him.
As we ran, I got a feel for the way the cave was laid out. Most of it was a blur, but every so often there'd be soft, moist earth beneath our feet which meant we were still following the creek bed. In years of normal rainfall, the cave wouldn't be accessible because it would be full of water. I wondered if we'd find the source of the creek. If we did, would we find the wolves there waiting?
Once, in an area where the cave narrowed, I noticed a piece of fur. Buck saw it too and grabbed it on the run, shoving it into his pants pocket. Proof of wolves on the island. If we didn't find the wolves themselves, the fur could be checked for wolf DNA.
I fleetingly gave Buck credit for more brains than I'd thought when we first met. Then my judgment had been clouded because I'd seen a man who was looking for something that didn't exist. "You were right all along. As were all those people with their stories of huge wolves. The people who started the legend that turned out not to be a legend after all. Buck, I apologize. The wolves are very real and we are about to meet them on their home turf."