Browsing the Underdogs category...


We’re a month away from the launch of “Underdogs: Beware of Wolf,” the second full-length novel in the Underdogs series. I recently had a new fan who asked what they should read first with the story of Ari and Dale. It’s a valid question! With all the short stories, the novels, and the prequel novels, it can be a tricky prospect to find the right spot to dive in. So I’m going to help you out! What do you need to read before you get “Beware of Wolf”?

Nothing.

No, really. The novel isn’t exactly standalone as it references past events, but if you decided to start reading the series with this novel you wouldn’t be lost. You might be spoiled for a few things, but you wouldn’t be lost. But let’s say, just for fun, you want to spend the month leading up to the new release reading up on the series. What would you want to read then? Well, here’s a handy-dandy guide for you. You can read some of them, you can read none of them, but just so people can get covered if they want.

1) STRAYS
The first-ever Underdogs story, which established who Ari and Dale are, where they came from, and so on. It’s not exactly an origin story, since the business is already established, but it does explore a lot of their background.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/166290

2) PACK MENTALITY
Ari and Dale’s first big case, a novella-length adventure where the ladies went up against an enemy willing to use deadly force. It’s also the first time Ari ran up against the canidae community in a big way.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/243721

4) THE NOVEL
Naturally, I think you should read the novels in order even if “BoW” isn’t a direct continuation. A character introduced here carries over into the next books, and events help set the stage for what’s happening in Book 2. So yes, if you haven’t read the first one… you don’t HAVE to, but it would probably be the best way to enjoy the series.
(ebook) http://astore.amazon.com/squsisl-20/detail/B007UHQY10
(paperback) http://astore.amazon.com/squsisl-20/detail/193810899X

5) A DOG’S LIFE
This gives an idea of what Dale goes through, and what life with Ari is like for her, from her point of view. A lot of times it can seem like Dale is just sitting around at Ari’s beck and call, waiting to be called into action. This story shows that she does it because she cares, and reveals that she’s honored to be one of the only people in Ari’s life she has ever been able to count on completely.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/541890

6) EATEN BY WOLVES
Content warning: there’s stuff in this one that may squick people. So heed the warnings before you read it. Like the other stories, it’s not necessary, but it helps establish just how dedicated Ari and Dale are to each other, and what Dale means when she says she loves Ari completely.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/546027

7) BARKING MAD
A character from this story/string of stories appears in Beware of Wolf in a major way. Again, if your first exposure to her is in the novel, you have nothing to worry about. But have you ever read a novel and wished you could find out what a new character was up to before she stumbled into the series? Well, this is the backstory/history of the new recurring series character, Milo Duncan.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/763971

7) WOLF AT THE DOOR
This book is a slice of canidae history. Set in 1812, the events of this novel has become a sort of fairy-tale by the time Ari is growing up. Ari tells the story of Johanna Brion and Agatha Westreich, so if you want the whole thing instead of just the footnotes, you can get the first part here…
http://astore.amazon.com/squsisl-20/detail/B00941GYOC

8) MARKING TERRITORY/WOLF ON THE FOLD
…and the rest of the story is here. All the pertinent information covered in these two stories is explained in the novel so no one will be lost. But I thought some people might want to actually “see it with their own eyes” rather than being told second- or third-hand.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267563



Now that The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary is out at long last, a certain question might start popping up and I want to address it right out of the gate. That question is…

Which of your universes does this band belong to?

That’s an excellent question, and I’m not just saying so because I asked it to myself. I’m currently writing three different series that exist in their own universes. Squire’s Isle is the main universe. It’s like ours, maybe a bit more fairy-tale, but generally just left of real life. Sure, there’s the occasional ghost and things go a lot better for the characters than they might if they were real. But for the most part, it’s the real world.

Secondly, I have Underdogs. Again, it’s like the real world but with a “secret history” of canidae (thanks to Jo Graham for that phrase!). See, everything about the world is normal except for the fact that werewolves really do exist. Like Squire’s Isle, it exists in the Pacific Northwest, but geography is all they share. Squire’s Isle has no were-people.

Thirdly is the Riley Parra series, which is off in its own little supernatural corner. It’s not entering into this discussion, so I’ll just set them aside for the time being.

Radiation Canary is a band in the real world. No superpowers, no demons or werewolves, just four girls in a band. Patricia and Jill’s son Michael attended a Radiation Canary concert. So case-closed, Radiation Canary is Squire’s Isle, right? Right! But also wrong.

About 3/4 of the way through the book, there’s a brief cameo by a “large dog” that appears backstage at a Canary concert. People who read the short story “Howl at the Moon” will view the scene from another angle and realize that the large dog is none other than Ariadne Willow in her wolf guise, hot on the trail of a case. So that seals the deal. Radiation Canary is an Underdogs story! Right! But also… wrong.

Radiation Canary belongs in both Squire’s Isle and Underdogs universes. I debated this with myself for a while, and I decided that it makes sense for a group as famous as Radiation Canary gets to exist in both universes. After all, they’re not so different… in one, there are werewolves. In the other, not. The universes are alike enough that the formation of Radiation Canary was unaffected. So Ari can attend a Canary concert, and Michael Colby can take his girlfriend to see that same concert, but Ari and Michael will never cross paths. They exist just to the left of each other.

It’s like the Doctor Who episode where he meets Nixon and watches the moon landing. The President and that historic moment are so huge that they happened in both our real world and a world where a Time Lord flies around time and space in a police box.

So to put it simply, no matter what world they were born into, Karen, Lana, Nessa, and Codie were destined to meet up and play music together. They might even exist in the Riley Parra universe, but I doubt Riley listens to them. ::g::

 



The stories that have been lingering on my hard drive for way, way too long have now been polished and the first editors have pointed out idiotic mistakes and left-out words, and now all twelve (one is double-length) stories that make up the season are ready to go.

I went back and forth about the regular schedule of these stories. As long as it’s taken for me to finally get the stories revised and ready means that my cover artist wasn’t able to start on the artwork and the schedule was starting to look very, very long. So I finally decided that rather than going through the subscription process, I would skip that and just go straight to the ebook release. Hopefully this means everyone can get their hands on the season much earlier (and cheaper!) than they would have otherwise.

There’s loads of action in this season of Riley Parra… bloodshed, gore, nightmares, possessed friends, loved ones dying, old characters coming back and new characters making their first appearances.

No spoilers, but you might want to have a hanky nearby when you read 4×05. Just saying.

So hopefully the wait shouldn’t be much longer. You have all been patient enough!

Keep your eyes peeled for more from Supposed Crimes! I have a steampunk novel called Railroad Spine on the way, as well as a novel about a fictional rock band I’ve fallen in love with called The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary. And, of course, there will be more Underdogs stories. I’m not finished with Ari and Dale yet! Be sure to pick up Wolf at the Door so you’re up to speed for Underdogs 2!