Heart of the Wolf Preorder Available!

Fantasy Author T. L. Shreffler
5 min readApr 13, 2024

A steamy Paranormal Romance about forbidden first love! Keywords: age gap, first love, shifter romance, alpha male, obsessive male lead, small town romance.

Maddy Donovan is trying to survive her senior year of high school. Her life is far from normal. Her stepdad is a shameless alcoholic. The power bill is due. And she has a math test tomorrow. She’s living in survival mode, and she has no time to date that spicy older guy who keeps coming by the hardware store. What’s his name again? Right. Gareth Delarosa. Long black hair, hazel eyes — hot guys like him don’t belong in a little town like Black River. He’s been her secret crush for the last five years, but there’s an age gap, and he’s way off limits.

But it seems like fate has other plans. When Gareth saves her life the night of a break-in, she wakes up in his bedroom, in his bed, wearing his shirt. Her secret fantasy is staring her in the face. But she can’t be his girlfriend. Her life’s a hot mess. Oh wait, he’s a werewolf? And she might be his lifemate? Right. Seems like her luck. True love is about to upend her world.

Welcome to a love story about crossing boundaries, taking risks, healing from trauma and learning to live on the wild side. This is not your grandma’s love story. Recommended for readers 18+, contains spicy scenes and adult content.

T. L. Shreffler is writing Paranormal Romance as A. Mariposa!

Before readers of The Cat’s Eye Chronicles get concerned, I am still writing YA Fantasy under T. L. Shreffler! But I decided to publish my Paranormal Romance stories under a new penname, A. Mariposa, for two reasons.

  1. My Paranormal Romance series is not for children under 18.
  2. Heart of the Wolf does not take place in a high fantasy setting even remotely similar to The Cat’s Eye Chronicles.

For these two reasons, I didn’t want to confuse readers by publishing my Paranormal Romance series under the same name as my YA Fantasy works. Heart of the Wolf has some darker and more adult themes than what we find in The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, like addiction, trauma, poverty, alcoholism and coming-of-age in small town America. And of course, what it’s like to date a werewolf.

My personal idea of Heart of the Wolf is something like Shameless meets Twin Peaks with a splash of True Blood. Small town life can be pretty absurd and surprisingly dangerous. It all takes place in Black River, NY which is a real town in New York State. However, my version of Black River, NY is actually based off of a little place called Concrete, WA where I lived for about 6 months back in 2020–2021. I worked for a time as a Journalist covering their Town Hall meetings, and the range of interesting stories and people I met during my time there led to this off-beat concept of Black River, NY. So you’ll find in the story all sorts of little details pulled from my own life. Maddy’s coworkers at the hardware store, her trailer in the woods, the nearby casino and the Halloween festival are all inspired by my own personal experiences.

Meet the Characters

Maddy Donovan, female MC of Heart of the Wolf by A. Mariposa.

Maddy Donovan is a 19 year old teenage delinquent struggling to finish her senior year in high school. Held back in 8th grade after her mother’s death, Maddy’s life has been far from easy. Her stepdad is a deadbeat loser and she’s been paying the bills since she was 16 years old. She just wants to graduate from high school and get the heck out of town. The only bright spot in her life is her secret crush, the mysterious guy who keeps coming by the hardware store. They have a hidden past. Five years ago, when she tried to run away from home, he rescued her from the mountains. She has been secretly obsessed with him ever since.

Gareth Delarosa moved to Black River five years ago. At the time he was a lone wolf on the run, with no territory and no pack to belong to. While hitchhiking through the Adirondack Mountains, he runs across a young girl hiding in a hollow tree during a rainstorm. It’s late at night, and the girl looks terrified and lost. He helps her back to her trailer, but notices something unusual about her scent. That’s when he recognizes her as his lifemate.

Not one to question fate, Gareth decides to make Black River his home and see what the future might hold. He keeps his distance from Maddy until the night of a break-in at her trailer. She winds up at his house with a concussion. He wants to tell her everything — but how to begin?

Maddy and Gareth sitting at Zippy’s pizza on their first date.

For Maddy, trust doesn’t come easy. The unlikely couple starts seeing each other. Tentatively. But their romance is fraught with obstacles. Maddy might be Gareth’s lifemate, but that doesn’t magically make all her problems go away. Can he rescue her from her abusive home? And can she open up her heart to love? I certainly hope so!

Read on Kindle Vella!

If you like serial books and webnovels, you can check out Gareth and Maddy’s story, Heart of the Wolf by A. Mariposa, on Kindle Vella! Just click the link below to start reading. The first 10 chapters are free!



Fantasy Author T. L. Shreffler

Romantic Fantasy author who loves tortured heroes, vulnerable heroines and a delicious slow-burn. Dragonslayer wordcraft master! Email: therunawaypen@gmail.com