I haven’t always been in love with stories set in the Old West. Not until I made watching Turner Classic Movies a regular habit, and learned just how rich a vein it was. Directors like Delmer Daves and Anthony Mann, as well as actors like Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford, Audie Murphy and so many others brought these tales to life in a way nothing else could. It’s America’s own mythology, set in a rough land as challenging and perilous as any dark fairy-tale forest.
Strong, independent heroes are a perfect fit for a world where cunning, endurance and sharply honed reflexes are necessary for survival. That’s why the hero of Code of the Wolf, Jacob Constantine—bounty hunter and werewolf—was so easy and fun to write. No one has better instincts in a fight than a werewolf, as I illustrated in my previous novels Bride of the Wolf and Luck of the Wolf. But Jacob is particularly good at what he does: hunting down the outlaws, human and otherwise, who prey on the settlers of the American Southwest.
Few could be a better match for Jacob than a woman just as tough in her own way, tested in the fires of suffering and shame, who has fought to create a new life with other abused women determined to live free of fear. Serenity Campbell was an innocent child when the evil werewolf gang led by Lafe Renier took her captive. But even now, as a fearless single woman running her own ranch in New Mexico, she wants the revenge that goes against everything she once believed in.
Jacob Constantine seems to be the idea choice to hunt down her enemies. But he’s one of the very creatures she despises, and her hatred for the wolf in him is countered only by her unwilling attraction to a man who seems as honorable as he is dangerous.
Ranging from the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico to the Texas Hill Country, Code of the Wolf expresses my love of the Western, my belief in the inner strength that women possess even in the face of the worst hardship, and my faith in the healing powers of love.
If you’re interested in finding out what has inspired me to write my western werewolf novels, you might try looking up and watching a few of the following films. Not all are romances, but each one expresses the power and drama of the Old West.
- 3:10 to Yuma starring Glenn Ford
- The Big Country starring Gregory Peck
- No Name On the Bullet starring Audie Murphy
- The Magnificent Seven starring Yul Brynner
- Two Mules for Sister Sara starring Clint Eastwood
- The Naked Spur starring Jimmy Stewart
- Silverado starring Kevin Klein
- And my guilty pleasure, The Quick and the Dead starring Sharon Stone.
Happy viewing … and happy reading!