By the turn of the century, the wolves in the park were extinct, having died by natural causes or been killed by men. Since elk were the prey of wolves, their number skyrocketed.  They were eating all the fresh shoots of young trees, bushes, and grasses, devastating the health of the ecology. For a time, the elk herds were culled by shooting. This brought a strong protest from animal rights activists. Finally, some smart person realized the answer was to reintroduce wolves. Elk were their prey, and it would be a natural thing for these predators, rather than people, to thin the herds. So far, it is working.

Contrary to my story, wolves don’t normally attack people. They’re shy animals rarely seen by visitors.

Until releases this week from Science Advances, it was believed there were two species of of wolves in the United States: gray wolves (Canis lupus) and red wolves (Canis rufus). Gray wolves were brought in from Canada to repopulate Yellowstone Park. DNA studies have now determined that the only true species of wolf in the US is the gray wolf. The red and Eastern wolves are gray wolf-coyote hybrids.

Hybrids are rarely protected as a species, but since the red wolf is in immediate danger of extinction, some steps are being made to reinstate its protection.  Coyotes are too numerous to probably ever worry about them becoming extinct.

Gray wolves come in many colors. In Awakening the Alpha, my villain is a black shifter, but Blaze Canis, my hero, has a gray coat mingled with white and a bit of brown and fur tips of  black. As a species, both are gray wolves. When I visited Yellowstone National Park some years ago, they had offered refuge to a gray wolf pack raised for a Hollywood movie that never happened. The ranger told us the alpha was female, and he also pointed out the weakest wolf…the one at the bottom of the pecking order. Frankly, these were not the gorgeous animals you see in the wild.

Since Awakening the Alpha’s ex-Navy SEAL is a secret gay werewolf, I named him Blaze Canis, thinking Canis meant wolf. Recently, I read it means dog in Latin. So I guess the laugh is on me. It happens.

I’m now working on a sequel to this story. Although this may change, its working title is Awakening the Alpha: Flute, Rattles, and Drums. Right now Blaze and Logan are at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where Logan is being honored for his art.

Please note: In some instances, the word “Indian” is an acceptable substitute for Native American. It is freely used in other countries, and the museum covers exhibits from Indians in the Americas (plural), not just the US. In my story, you’ll see I’ve correctly identified the cards a Native American may carry as a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. The same is true for the Smithsonian’s museum.

Have a great rest of the week!

Carolina Valdez (site being refurbished)

From notes I took some time ago, but which I think are still accurate:

Do you know what the numbers in an ISBN mean? Let’s take this number: 1-9891237-018-4
1 = Identifies the country or geographic group of publishers
989201437 = Identifies a particular publisher within a group. Each time a publisher purchases ISBNs, this number will change to reflect the group of publisher’s numbers they purchased. No other publisher will have that number.
018 = A particular title or edition of a title
4= A check digit that validates the ISBN

Note: X can be used in place of 10 as a check digit—I.E.ISBN-X: