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Guest blogger: Annie Nicholas

22 May 2011

Wolf pack hierarchy

I’ve had shifters on the brain for a few years. Wolf packs have always interested me since they live in such social groups. When I started on my shifter journey it only made sense that what I knew of pack behavior crept into my shifter society.

Within each wolf pack is an elaborate hierarchy. It may consist of a single breeding pair, the alpha male and female, a lower group consisting of non-breeding adults, each with its own ranking, a group of outcasts, and a group of immature wolves on their way up. All of this works for my shifters except the single breeding pair. This is where I allowed their humanity to dominate and allow all pairs to breed.

The alpha wolves are usually the ones to make decisions for the pack—when the group should go out to hunt or move from one place to another. Shifters need their alphas to guide them as a pack and advise them as individuals.

The other pack members all have positions in the hierarchy inferior to those of the alpha male and female. Some of them are able to ‘boss around’, or dominate, their pack mates because they have established themselves as superior in some way. This superiority might be physical—larger size or greater strength—but it can be based on personality. Dominant wolves in the pack usually have more aggressive and forceful personalities than their pack mates of the same age.

This last part is what makes shifters’ lives, like wolves, so interesting and fun. What if the alpha sees potential in one of his omegas, the making of a beta shifter, the second in command of the pack? Not because he’s stronger or faster but because he’s smart. In our modern age of technology, muscles and speed are not the only assets a pack needs.

Three days of hell, in charge, and running out of antacids.

As the pack’s Beta, Robert needs to watch over the Vasi werewolf pack for a few days. He hates the responsibility, but his job is to dissolve any problems while his alpha honeymoons. Nevertheless, trouble comes to town and her name is Esther. She’s beguiling, beautiful and picks his pocket. Although Robert doesn’t trust her, he still wants to possess her.

Esther arrived in Chicago with the intention of slaying a vampire named Daedalus. While trailing her quarry, she encounters Robert who unhinges her world. He doesn’t know her trade, and she doesn’t know his connection to the vampire. Disturbed by her attraction to this unusual werewolf, she can’t decide which prey to hunt. The one who’s stolen her heart or the one who’ll fill her bank account.

Hot graphic werewolf sex, growing body parts, and one pissed off Nosferatu.


He couldn’t believe his ears when she asked him for the time. Tall, she had long legs with a nice curve to her hips and breasts, intelligent blue eyes and a personality playful enough to draw him out his shell. She’d taken control of the conversation, no hesitation in asking him to accompany her home or in kissing him. He loved smart, confident women but one had never liked him back.

Grinning like a fool, he jogged to his car, burning off the extra energy her kiss produced.

He’d wanted to do so much more with her, like push her against the wall so she could wrap her legs around his hips and allow him to grind against her core. Maybe tomorrow night, he’d get what he fantasized.

Approaching the car, he pulled out the keys. The gas gage was on empty on his way here. He needed to fill the tank, but he couldn’t recall how much cash he’d brought with him. After working for banks and credit card companies for the last few years, he never liked using either, not trusting the system. His right back pocket, where he usually placed his wallet, was empty. Checking the left pocket, his heart sank into his gut as it turned out empty as well. He patted the front ones and only found his cell. Maybe he’d dropped it while wrestling with Talon?

Deep down inside, he knew the truth. Esther.

He was such a fool. Beautiful women didn’t ask geeks like him for a kiss. Grinding his teeth, he pictured her laughing at him as she flipped through his wallet, counting what little cash he carried.

The hole in his gut grew wider. Crap, he didn’t have anything to buy gas and no way to get home but his own two feet. The last thing he wanted to do was call Daedalus or anyone from the pack for a lift. He’d never hear the end of it.

Respect was something you earned, and how would he ever obtain any if he fell for obvious scams? Clenching his fists, Robert turned around and marched back to where he’d left Esther. His beast stretched inside him, frustrated that he wouldn’t release it. Control over one’s inner monster sounded easy, but the struggle became an hourly routine. Shifters dealt with this all the time, day or night, in sickness or in health. The first rule of the Vasi pack was human dominance over animal instinct, because once the beast started calling the shots the shifter began to forget right versus wrong and listened to the laws of the jungle instead.

Robert crouched by the spot where Esther had stood as she’d kissed him. Sometimes animal instincts came in handy. Her scent left a trail. He wanted his wallet back, and his pride.

Buy link:
Another excerpt:

Annie Nicholas

  1. aimskye permalink
    8 August 2011 1:15 pm

    Great blog Annie!


  2. Barbara permalink
    23 May 2011 9:24 pm

    HI Annie
    Very interesting excerpt… makes you want to buy the book to find out what happens…. so on my list to buy

  3. helensibbritt permalink
    23 May 2011 9:06 am


    Very interesting informatio and I do love the excerpt I have added this to my must have list

    Have Fun

  4. cmtorrens permalink
    22 May 2011 11:39 pm

    I love shifters and the pack hierarchy different writers put into their stories. Huge shifter fan here. And great excerpt Annie.

    Congrats on your new release!

  5. 22 May 2011 11:24 pm

    Thanks for having today. I’m very fascinated by pack social interaction.

  6. 22 May 2011 9:16 pm

    Love the insights into Wolf packs! And love the final line in your excerpt 🙂

  7. 22 May 2011 7:33 pm

    Awesome Annie, it is definitely on my TBR pile. I love how the except ends, it makes you want more.
    Thanks for sharing

    Kerri Williams

  8. angelamaisie permalink
    22 May 2011 3:31 pm

    Wow, interesting facts about wolf packs, I didn’t know some of it. The book sounds great, too. It’s now on my To Buy list!


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