Book: The Tempering
Author: Adrianne James
Genre: New Adult / Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: September 13, 2013
The Mythology department at prestigious Harvard University is tiny — and Mackenzie Duncan has just been selected as one of the lucky few. Her love for myths and legends is deep, but she never thought any of it could be real.
After being attacked by a large wolf while walking home alone, Mackenzie realizes something is not right. She heals quickly, has suddenly become super strong, and is experiencing mood swings that can’t possibly be normal. The myths she’s studying aren’t myths at all. Werewolves are real, and she’s one of them. Fear of what she is, and who she might hurt sends Mackenzie running from the life she’s worked hard to build–and straight into the arms of a handsome Were named Geoff and into the home of his pack. Living with her new pack takes the edge off her confusion and self-loathing, but the arrival of new pack members changes the dynamic, and tests Geoff and Mackenzie’s growing relationship.
The hardest part of being a werewolf is to have no control and no memory of her time as a bloodthirsty beast. When a moon cycle passes, and she is actually able to remember bits and pieces of the night, she starts to ask questions, and the more questions she asks, the more she realizes she doesn’t like the answers. Can she set aside her own sense of morals to belong to a pack that is life a family or will she leave everything behind yet again in search of a life she can be proud of?
Mackenzie pulled her coat tight around her as she took the first few steps onto the walking path along the bridge. Looking out over the Charles River, she smiled at the beauty the lights created when they reflected off the water. The sky had an almost bluish purple glow and the full moon was high in the sky. She may have been better suited to sit inside and work, but if she were able to admire the beauty the world had to offer through a window, that was what she considered perfect.
Stepping off the bridge, Mackenzie checked her watch and was shocked that it was already ten-thirty. She looked down the well-lit street that held a throng of students partying with the game blaring on their radios, and then to her left at the quiet park. She loved the park. It had plenty of trees and most of the time it was completely deserted. It reminded her of Colorado at times. Even though she didn’t like to admit it, she missed her home state. She quickly made the left turn and found herself walking amongst the tall maple trees. Had there been any light, the beautiful oranges and reds would have created a kaleidoscope of color in a canopy above her. The trees stood so closely together that almost no light was able to break through the leaves. It was pitch black with the exception of one clearing about thirty feet in front of her where the moonlight was shining in like a spotlight.
The sounds from the street behind her slowly faded away with every step, but at the same time, her unease grew. Looking over her shoulder every few moments to confirm that she was still alone, she quickened her pace. She didn’t know why, but she felt as if she were being watched. When a noise from the tree line echoed through the area, her heart began to race. Goosebumps erupted on her skin and fear gnawed at her.
The rustling from the trees had Mackenzie on high alert. She stopped and searched the trees as best as she could, but without any added light, she knew she had little chance of seeing anything. Just walk quicker. It’s just an animal.
Swallowing down the fear that threatened to engulf her, she tried to look in all directions at once, not wanting to be surprised from any angle. With every step she took, the noise in the trees never faded. It has to be an animal. It has to be an animal. Animals are not scary. It’s probably a raccoon or something. Raccoons are nocturnal, so are possums. That’s it. Nothing to be frightened of. Just another few steps and I will be in the light, then another five minutes and I’m out of the park. Just a few more minutes. She wanted to believe anything except the truth– that she was in danger.
Time seemed to slow in those last few seconds before Mackenzie reached the light-filled break in the trees. The noise she heard was growing stronger, louder, and she didn’t know what to do. She began walking backwards, trying to keep an eye on the tree line, but in doing so, she tripped over a large rock.
A menacing growl sounded from the trees and when she turned to look behind her, a giant wolf leapt at her from the darkness. The fear overtook her, making her feel trapped within her own skin and unable to move or scream.
The wolf had a large head with strange yellow-green eyes. Its brown fur was matted and for some reason, its size reminded her more of a bear than a wolf. When Mackenzie realized the wolf’s mouth had opened and she could see the razor sharp teeth, she flew into protective mode. Her arms rose up to cover her face and she tried to push herself backward, away from the beast. Within seconds, the pungent aroma that was the beast’s hot breath seeped around her arms and over her face. Her stomach wretched but before she could heave what little lay in her stomach up, the beast bit down on her arm. The sharp teeth pierced her flesh and she could feel the tearing of her skin as the beast flung his head back and forth.
Growing up, Adrianne couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.
During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.
As a young adult and new adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.