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DARIUS CARLYLE (newest version in #145)


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#21 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:11 PM

I love the idea of this! But you've got waaaaay too much details in this query. It's bogging it down so much. Best of luck and I hope I've helped!

To answer your question about the hook, yes, he's important to the story. This book is kind of a story within a story, in the sense that you (the reader) is reading this journal along with this access character.

Revised:





Dear Agent,

A young man receives a mysterious journal purportedly belonging to his father, a mystical werewolf hunter. In Victorian England, ancient werewolves, black magick, and Jack the Ripper ebb and flow around a harrowing personal account of damned love; sins are confessed, and secrets that should remain buried are unearthed. This book is that journal.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as ancient as the werewolves, embroiled in a blood-feud that predates Antiquity. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Darius spends days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife; by moonlight, Darius hunts down the werewolves that persist in the shadows. Then, in the autumn of 1888, Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend that brings him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel. Unwittingly incurring the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, Kate is captured and turned into Darius's darkest fear. Now forced into a frenetic search for a cure that might not even exist, Darius must resist his own nature that compels the Wolven within him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

I appreciate you taking the opportunity to evaluate my query; to better assist you I have included the opening pages of my novel. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

#22 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

How about this one?


Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time & consideration.

A young man receives a mysterious journal purportedly belonging to his father, a mystical werewolf hunter. In Victorian England Jack the Ripper, ancient werewolves, and esoteric magick ebb and flow around a harrowing personal account of damned love.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as ancient as the werewolves themselves, embroiled in a bitter blood-feud that predates Antiquity. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up an unforeseen inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, while still hunting down the werewolves that persist by moonlight. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Kate accepts Darius for who and what he is, and by the autumn of 1888, Darius is a loving husband, an expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But when an unexpected letter from an old friend urges him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel, Darius unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta. And on the final night of the Ripper's killing spree, Kate is captured and, to Darius's horror, turned into a werewolf through blood magick. Now forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not exist, Darius must resist his own Wolven nature compelling him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in the face of his deadliest enemy, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Darius recounts these experiences with his own hand–and in excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,

#23 CarterT

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:51 PM

 

 

Dear Agent,

A young man receives a mysterious journal purportedly belonging to his father, a mystical werewolf hunter. In Victorian England, ancient werewolves, black magick, and Jack the Ripper ebb and flow around a harrowing personal account of damned love; sins are confessed, and secrets that should remain buried are unearthed. This book is that journal.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as ancient as the werewolves, embroiled in a blood-feud that predates Antiquity. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries. 

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Darius spends days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife; by moonlight, Darius hunts down the werewolves that persist in the shadows. Then, in the autumn of 1888, Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend that brings him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel. Unwittingly incurring the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, Kate is captured and turned into Darius's darkest fear. Now forced into a frenetic search for a cure that might not even exist, Darius must resist his own nature that compels the Wolven within him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart. 

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words. 

I appreciate you taking the opportunity to evaluate my query; to better assist you I have included the opening pages of my novel. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and consideration. 

 

First off, I love this (and more than the most recent one that talks about Ripper and black magick). . 

 

This query is head and shoulders above your first draft, and I totally get the 'feel' of something written in 150 years ago. Your choice of (big) words is fantastic, and adds great weight to it. 

 

However, there is one thing that I just can't quite get on board with, and that's the hook. 

 

What you're trying to do it tough, a book inside a book, so to speak. I like how you end the most recent query with the 'This book is that journal.', and I think you can focus the hook more on the main character (unless the son becomes the main character?)

 

'The mysterious journal tells the tale of Darius Carlyle, werewolf-hunter, and his battle against an ancient beast that brings him to the brink and forces him to make the ultimate choice between duty and love.'

 

Now, I don't have the magic you do in your words for your style, but I think you can cut to the chase a bit more. You don't need to spell out the logistics of the book at the beginning, because you can have that at the end. 

 

I think the hooks you have would be great on a book sleeve, or a back cover, and would entice a reader. 



#24 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

Hey thanks! I've really been trying to work on it so that's really encouraging of you to say.

(By the way SPOILERS the young man IS the son who is access character for the frame story, who becomes A main character in the next book in which THIS book (or rather, the journal) is also a plot device. It gets pretty Inceptiony haha)

WAIT....



Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time & consideration.


Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper, and esoteric magick ebb and flow around a harrowing personal account of damned love.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. Though raised to hunt werewolves in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up an unforeseen inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, while still hunting down the werewolves that persist by moonlight. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Kate accepts Darius for who and what he is, and by the autumn of 1888, Darius is a loving husband, an expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But when an unexpected letter from an old friend urges him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel, Darius unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta. And on the final night of the Ripper's killing spree, Kate is captured and, to Darius's horror, turned into a werewolf through blood magick. Now forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not exist, Darius must resist his own Wolven nature compelling him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in the face of his deadliest enemy, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Darius records these secrets with his own hand–and recounts his experiences in excruciating detail–in his personal journal. Years later it arrives on the doorstep of a young man with a vague past and even vaguer future. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,

#25 CarterT

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

I think it's a step in the right direction. However, I get a little lost with who Darius is. Is that the young man, or the father in the journal? I know the answer because I read the full query before, but if I look at this 'blank slate', that's the question that pops to mind. 

 

So, is this kind of like 'The Princess Bride' then? (Tell me you've read or watched it...)

 

If it is, the princess and the pirate would be the main characters, not the sick boy. With that in mind, how much page-time does the son actually get in this book? Is it enough to warrant taking up precious hook-time to mention him? 



#26 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:18 PM

Darius is the father in the journal, yes. Well the son is a huge wild card AND the access character, and he essentially gets the only two 'chapters' in the book (which take the place of the Prologue and Epilogue in terms of the frame story/sequel segue). Darius has the majority of the page time though. I just don't want the agents to get thrown off when they go to read the pages, you know?

#27 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

I get the princess bride reference by the way too haha

#28 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:21 PM

I think it's a step in the right direction. However, I get a little lost with who Darius is. Is that the young man, or the father in the journal? I know the answer because I read the full query before, but if I look at this 'blank slate', that's the question that pops to mind.

So, is this kind of like 'The Princess Bride' then? (Tell me you've read or watched it...)

If it is, the princess and the pirate would be the main characters, not the sick boy. With that in mind, how much page-time does the son actually get in this book? Is it enough to warrant taking up precious hook-time to mention him?

I have a bad habit of editing my posts mid-thought haha, but I think THIS version of the query MIGHT answer your dilemma:



Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time & consideration.


Ancient werewolves and esoteric magick in Victorian England ebb and flow around a harrowing personal account of damned love.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. Though raised to hunt werewolves in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up an unforeseen inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, while still hunting down the werewolves that persist by moonlight. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Kate accepts what Darius is, and returns his love for who he is, and by the autumn of 1888, Darius is a loving husband, expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But when an unexpected letter from an old friend urges him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel, Darius unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta. And on the final night of the Ripper's killing spree, Kate is captured and, to Darius's horror, turned into a werewolf through blood magick. Now forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not exist, Darius must resist his own Wolven nature compelling him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in the face of his deadliest enemy, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Darius records these secrets with his own hand–and recounts his experiences in excruciating detail–in his personal journal. Years later it arrives on the doorstep of a young man with a vague past and even vaguer future. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,

#29 CarterT

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:30 PM

Sorry for being picky, but after reading this iteration, I wonder if you need the first sentence at all

 

I almost think the first paragraph makes a better hook, while the first sentence seems a bit flowery, but needless. You talk about the other points during the letter. 

 

Another question for you - How important is Jack the Ripper to the story? I mean, how important is the name? I don't feel like you need to name drop him in the query, and it could be a pleasant surprise in the book. I think that's why I preferred the query that didn't talk about him in the body. Your query is already very strong, and you don't need the gimmick of using a known name in there. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool tie in, and I know i'd enjoy reading it in the book. 

 

All that being said, this is about your vision, not mine! 



#30 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:34 PM

Interesting...I hadn't thought of that. The thing is, a decent amount of page time is dedicated to the Ripper. The whole 'Jack the Ripper is a werewolf' idea is that really got the ball rolling for this book, and I did quite a bit of research.

#31 CarterT

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:40 PM

Okay, so the Ripper is the ancient werewolf you're talking about? Wow...really getting into spoilers now...

 

If that's the case, I completely did not make the connection from the query. If that's true, it's something that I would hope doesn't come out for a bit in the book (good reveal a bit later in). 

 

You could leave it just as the ancient werewolf, or spell out 'an ancient werewolf, going by the name Jack the Ripper' or something like that?



#32 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:41 PM

Sorry for being picky, but after reading this iteration, I wonder if you need the first sentence at all.

I almost think the first paragraph makes a better hook, while the first sentence seems a bit flowery, but needless. You talk about the other points during the letter.

Another question for you - How important is Jack the Ripper to the story? I mean, how important is the name? I don't feel like you need to name drop him in the query, and it could be a pleasant surprise in the book. I think that's why I preferred the query that didn't talk about him in the body. Your query is already very strong, and you don't need the gimmick of using a known name in there. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool tie in, and I know i'd enjoy reading it in the book.

All that being said, this is about your vision, not mine!

All the same, what good is a jeweler who only takes one facet of a diamond into account? Haha

Okay, so the Ripper is the ancient werewolf you're talking about? Wow...really getting into spoilers now...

If that's the case, I completely did not make the connection from the query. If that's true, it's something that I would hope doesn't come out for a bit in the book (good reveal a bit later in).

You could leave it just as the ancient werewolf, or spell out 'an ancient werewolf, going by the name Jack the Ripper' or something like that?

No no no haha, they're connected but NOT one and the same. That's why I redid the query as follows

How's this?

Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time & consideration.


Born in 1687, Darius is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. Though raised to hunt werewolves in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries. Thus Darius Carlyle incurs the malice of Cain, last of the ancient werewolves known as Kânín.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up an unforeseen inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, while still hunting down the werewolves that persist by moonlight. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life. Kate accepts Darius for what he is, and returns his love for who he is, and by the autumn of 1888 Darius is a loving husband, an expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But when an unexpected letter from an old friend urges him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel, Kate is captured and turned into a werewolf through blood magick. Now forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not exist, Darius must resist his own Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in the face of his deadliest enemy, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Darius records these revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. Years later it arrives on the doorstep of a young man with a vague future. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,
JJW

#33 CarterT

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:29 AM

I'm still digesting the newest version, but I think it might be best if somebody else were to weigh in on this.

 

A common theme I've seen on the forum is the minimization of proper nouns (like Cain, Kanin, Lord of Wolfsborn Manor). I think you could get away without specifically naming them. The same recommendation was made of my query, and originally I felt like I couldn't possibly remove what I considered an important 'name'. After taking it out though, I realized that it didn't really add anything.

 

 

Kate is captured and turned into a werewolf through blood magick

 

In a previous version, I think you said something simpler like 'Kate was turned into the thing Darius hates most'. I think I personally preferred that over spelling it out so clearly. However, if you're using the sentence to make sure the agent knows that black magick abounds, then that makes sense.

 

 

Born in 1687, Darius is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. (Though raised to hunt werewolves in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.)

 

I really like that first part of the hook. I put the last half in brackets simply because I think you could work without it, but I'd be super hesitant to remove it if I were you. It's just the last sentence (the one with the reference of Cain) that loses me. Not enough 'oomph'.



#34 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

NEWEST update at bottom

#35 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 04:43 PM

I'm thinking of changing the closing line. I'll keep the query focused on Darius:

Darius records these revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

#36 CarterT

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:37 PM

Darius records these revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

 

I think that's a good idea. No need to set up the sequel until this gets out into the world.  

 

 

 

Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength enough to break his own heart…

 

 

Just something that struck me. I think it fits with your writing style.



#37 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:27 PM

I think that's a good idea. No need to set up the sequel until this gets out into the world.




Just something that struck me. I think it fits with your writing style.

I like it :) thanks! I'll probably use "is strong enough" though; seems to flow better for me.

Greatly appreciate the 'until' by the way! :)

#38 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:43 PM

Darius records these and many more revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

I want to imply that there's more in the journal than just the Darius/Kate story

#39 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:55 PM

NEWEST version:

Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and I am proud to present my work for your consideration.


Born in 1687, Darius is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. While raised in their ancient ways, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up an unforeseen inheritance as he continues hunting the werewolves that persist by moonlight. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he falls in love for the first time in his long life. Kate accepts Darius for what he is, returns his love for who he is, and by the autumn of 1888 Darius is a loving husband, an expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But all of this is violently ripped away from after an urgent letter from an old friend brings him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel: Kate is captured, and Darius's darkest fear is realised through arcane blood magick. Now forced into a desperate search for a cure that may not even exist, Darius must resist his own Wolven nature that compels him to cut down the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in the face of malice incarnate, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he is strong enough to break his own heart…

Darius records these and other revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,
JJW

#40 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:23 AM

Insomnia inspires... inspiration, ironically. Tinkered with the letter, thoughts?

Dear ,

I am pleased to hear that you are taking on new submissions. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and I am proud to present my work for your consideration.


Born in 1687, Darius is half-human, half-Wolven: descended from a race of mystical werewolf hunters that predates Antiquity. While raised in their ancient ways, Darius has also traveled the very human trails of monk and mercenary alike—and personally dealt more death to the werewolves than any Wolven in centuries.

Taking up an unforeseen inheritance after a century of spiritual sojourning, Darius happens upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, and in spite of his past falls inexorably in love. When Darius reveals the truth, however, Kate fearlessly accepts him for what he is, and fiercely returns his love for who he is. By the autumn of 1888 Darius Carlyle is a devoted husband, an expecting father, and an unparalleled werewolf hunter. But when an old friend urges him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel, Darius's darkest fear is realised as his dearest Kate is ensnared by an ancient werewolf and turned into the very thing he has devoted his life to killing. Now forced to fight against his own Wolven nature, Darius frantically searches for a cure that has never been found. And in the face of malice incarnate, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has strength enough to break his own heart…

Darius records these and other revelations with his own hand–and excruciating detail–in his personal journal. This book is that journal.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from the original journal, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell a standalone, 'quintessential' werewolf tale, with potential for sequels, through a historical dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest regards,
JJW




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