(Curse of the Moon, #1)
Publication date: July 17th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.
Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.
Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.
He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?
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Beads of sweat broke out along my hairline. I wiped them away, tightened my ponytail, and ran faster along the dirt trail, jumping over exposed roots and ducking under low-hanging branches. Pine trees, firs, and alders turned my path into more of an obstacle course than a trail.
A twig snapped behind me.
I glanced back, but didn’t see anything. Probably just a raccoon.
My sneaker hit a root and my arms flew in front of me. I landed on my hands and knees, and slid down an incline. Rocks and branches dug into my skin until I crashed into a huckleberry bush.
I stood and dusted myself off. Blood dripped from my legs. I pulled twigs, dirt, and small rocks from the cuts.
“Nice work, Victoria,” I muttered to myself.
Sasha had said I shouldn’t have gone into the forest for my first jog. But having just moved to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, I wasn’t about to join a club when I had the great outdoors. Birds chirped all around and a stream bubbled nearby. It was like the woods were telling me I’d made the right choice.
“Who’s there?” I sounded a lot braver than I felt. My heart thundered against my ribcage and I whipped my head around. My roommates had said the woods were safe, but I was also trusting people who had been strangers only a couple days earlier.
Why had I gone into the woods alone? Wasn’t that how half of all horror movies started?
I thought of Sasha running on a treadmill, flirting with cute college guys. Maybe she was the smart one.
“Hello?” I called.
Nothing. The birds had even stopped singing.
“Is anyone there?”
The footsteps came closer.
My pulse drummed in my ears. I fought to breathe normally.
A small gray and black wolf stepped out from behind the tree. He made eye contact with me.
I didn’t move a muscle, holding its gaze.
Attention, please,” Professor Foley said and turned around.
Grace snapped her attention toward the front. I followed suit.
“Welcome,” he continued.
I studied his profile. There was something familiar about him.
My heart raced at the thought.
He continued speaking, focused on the other side of the group. I couldn’t understand a word he said. The longer I stared at him, the more convinced I became that somehow I knew him. Or at least had seen him somewhere.
His hair was dark and thick, his skin tanned to perfection. He had stunning features and a gorgeous profile. It was hard to believe he was old enough to be a professor. He was younger by far than all the others I’d seen. A magazine cover would have been a more fitting place for him.
Professor Foley turned toward my side of the group. “And be sure to ask questions. That’s what we’re here…” His voice trailed off as our gazes met. His face paled and his eyes widened. His expression held something. Horror? Shock? Whatever it was, he continued staring at me.
I was frozen in place. My heart thundered in my chest, threatening to break through my ribcage. I knew him. Without a doubt, we had spent time together. I just couldn’t remember any of it. My palms had grazed that stubble and my eyes had stared into those deep blue eyes. Even with the distance, I recalled that he often smelled of woodsy aftershave and soap.
Those around me whispered, bringing me back to the present.
Professor Foley cleared his throat and glanced around at the other students. “Excuse me. As I was saying, the faculty is here to help you. Just don’t wait until the final hour.”
“What was that?” Grace whispered.
My mouth gaped and I shook my head.
“You know him or something?”
“Shh,” I snapped.
“Sorry.” She scooted away.
My hands shook. I sat on them to get them to stop.
Foley stopped talking, and everyone paired off. Grace glanced at me, her expression pensive.
I nodded and tried to push the instructor out of my mind. But how could I? He was my only clue to my past. Part of me longed to run around the other students and throw my arms around him.
Grace came over. “I wasn’t trying to bother you before.”
“I know. Sorry. What are we supposed to do?”
“We’re supposed to discuss…”
My gaze wandered back over to Professor Foley. He was speaking to a couple students and smiling. My chest constricted. Oh, that smile. It had taken my breath away countless times, though I couldn’t remember a single one of them.
“What?” Sasha asked. “What’s wrong?”
Other than the fact that I had no memories before a couple days earlier? “Nothing. Sorry, I guess I’m just hungry.”
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
I forced a smile, meeting her gaze through the mirror. “No ghosts. I just need some food.” Conversation drifted up from downstairs. “As soon as I finish my makeup.”
She tilted her head.
I grabbed a tube of eyeliner. “Meet you downstairs?”
“Sure you’re okay?”
I leaned toward my reflection and applied the makeup along my eyelash line. “Couldn’t be better. Save a hottie for me.”
She giggled. “I’m sure there’ll be plenty to go around.”
“See you in a few.” I moved to my other eyelid.
“Okay, but if that really tall baseball player comes, he’s mine. What was his name?” She paused. “It doesn’t matter. I claim him.”
“You’ve got it.” I studied my eyes to make sure the liner was even.
She left the room, closing the door.
I put the lid on and dropped it, finally allowing myself to let my realization sink in. My hands shook. How could I have no memories? Nothing. And how could I have not realized it sooner? I’d pulled into the driveway of the Waldensian and gotten out, knowing exactly what I was doing. But without a single memory from before.
My Jaguar had been packed full of my belongings—everything I would need for a successful year of college. And clearly, I knew the skills I needed. I was a pro at applying makeup, had great fashion sense, and could text like it was nobody’s business.
Did I have a mom and a dad? I had to have, but trying to remember only made my head hurt. I went into my purse and dug around, finding credit and debit cards, a driver’s license, and everything else that seemed to prove I was a real person with a past. Except without any clues. The only address listed was for here at the mansion.
No clues to my previous life.
I grabbed my phone and went to my contacts. Only my roommates. There were no apps for social media, either. No photos. I hadn’t subscribed to any podcasts or put anything in the notes. The only thing remotely personal was the downloaded songs, but those didn’t tell me anything other than the fact that I liked popular music.
Whatever past I’d had was gone, or was at least out of my reach.
How could I remember nothing?
What was going on? What could have possibly happened to make me forget everything?
What inspired you to write Lost Wolf?
The Curse of the Moon series is a spinoff of my Transformed series. In that series, there are twelve books that cover a long timeframe. Some characters faded into the background as the series went in various directions. One such character, Toby, was a reader favorite. I received a lot of requests to bring him back or give him his own side story. With so much excitement, I decided to give him an entire series!
How did you get into writing?
I’m a lifelong storyteller. When I was a kid, I always got into trouble for trying to convince others that my stories were real. One time I even convinced my friends that she had a robotic unicorn built by my grandpa. Now I save my stories for novels. I love stories of all kinds, and my writing shows it. I write paranormal romance, contemporary suspense, and sweet romance. Regardless of what I write, I always have suspense, twists, and turns.
What are your biggest creative influences?
That’s always a difficult one to answer. I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, and I’ve read all kinds of stuff, from The Babysitters Club to Stephen King. I used to read half a dozen stories at one time and never had any troubles keeping the story lines straight. I think I bring in a little bit of everything with me when I write my stories.
Tell us something interesting about your main characters.
When Victoria was getting ready for her first day of college, she realized had no memories of her life before showing up in a fully-packed Jaguar. Her phone has no contacts, nor does anything else offer her any insight to her life before college.
Toby is a hot alpha werewolf who never has any shortage of beautiful women interested in him, but he can't even pretend to have any interest because he can't forget the love of his life who died so long ago. He has reason to believe that she's alive, but doesn't know where to look.
What are you reading now?
The Afterworld series by Karice Bolton. If you love paranormal romance, it's a must-read!
What’s your best advice to hopeful writers?
Take it seriously and treat it like a business now – long before it is a business. I’m certain that if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be a full-time author now. Bonus tip: Learn what you can from successful authors: listen to podcasts, read interviews, and join writer’s groups online or off.
Are you related to Sam Claflin, the actor who plays Finnick in the Hunger Games?
Yes, he’s my nephew.
What do you do when you're not writing?
I spend my time planning my books and going over my editor's feedback. Oh, did you mean when I'm not doing anything related to books? :) I love spending time with my kids. Much of my days are spent homeschooling them. We also love going for walks and spending time outdoors. Our black lab, Lilly, is a popular member of the house.
Stacy Claflin is a USA Today bestselling author who writes about complex women overcoming incredible odds. Whether it's her Gone saga of psychological thrillers, her various paranormal romance tales, or her sweet romance series, Stacy's three-dimensional characters shine through.
Decades after she wrote her first stories on construction paper and years after typing on an inherited green screen computer that weighed half a ton, Stacy realized her dream of becoming a full-time bestselling author.
When she's not busy writing or educating her kids from home, Stacy enjoys watching TV shows like Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, and Once Upon a Time.
Join Stacy's newsletter to get three free novels. Register here to get your books right away: http://stacyclaflin.com/newsletter
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