Based on a suggestion by my editor, I’ve committed to make a brief bio list for the characters in Dogs of War. This is meant to help people who didn’t read the first book and want to get up to speed on the second book. It may be considered as spoilers for the events in Peter the Wolf, so if you plan to read the first book, you may want to skip this post. For this reason all the details are behind a cut. In any case, here’s the cast of characters in Dogs of War:
Peter Holmes: Formerly Peter Lupita, Peter is a survivor of sexual abuse from his parents and many other people, as he was “rented” to clients for use in porn films. Peter escaped after he was told by his parents that his sister was dead. Taking tapes from his parents’ library, Peter went to the police. He went through a string of foster homes before settling in with the Preston family, only then learning his family’s other secret: lycanthropy. Living in Dallas, he meets Alice Culpepper, and through her begins training in gymnastics. However, his close relationship with Alice eventually leads to his being removed from the gym team, and Peter becomes a cheerleader with mild prodding from his foster sister, Judy Preston.
Peter grows a lot in the story, both gaining height and weight. He has an athletic frame, but not bulky, given his years of strength training for stamina in gymnastic events and cheerleading acrobatics. He has dark brown hair, nearing black and worn shaggy, grey eyes, and prefers black clothing. (Not because he’s goth, but because it complements his “moon tan.”) Peter is a goth poser, though, and hangs out with the goth kids to have some place to fit in without having to hover around his foster sister’s cheerleader friends.
Alice Culpepper: Peter’s biggest mistake, in a nutshell. Being five years younger than Peter, Alice is a temptation that Peter should have left alone. But even with Alice’s father Jean being hostile to Peter, Alice refuses to stop sneaking around to visit Peter. This results in Alice being kidnapped by Peter’s mother, Naomi Lupita, and bitten. She was also tortured and raped by Naomi, and the abuse caused Alice to snap and become feral. As a result, even if Peter should leave Alice alone, he cannot because they are bound as packmates.
Alice’s height also changes a lot over the course of the first book, since it covers a much longer span of time than Dogs of War. She has wavy brown hair worn relatively short, but which is starting to grow out in book two. Being a gymnast, she has an athletic frame, although puberty is starting to give her some small curves.
Jean Culpepper: Jean Culpepper has often had problems with Peter, but as Dogs of War opens, the results of Alice’s abuse has left her so unstable that Jean has no idea how to heal the damage done to his daughter. He has grudgingly accepted Peter as being a part of Alice’s life, but never resists the chance to let his displeasure be known.
Jean is short like all the men in his family, barely topping the five and a half foot mark, making him half an inch shorter than his brother John. In book one, Jean’s hair was dark with a few grey strands, but as of Dogs of War, he’s mostly grey now. Peter and Alice have a lot to do with that, to be sure. Jean has brown eyes, wears a handlebar moustache, and usually wears a uniforms of black slacks and a polo shirt for his toy store, despite his being the owner. (He does this so employees can’t complain about wearing a uniform.)
John Culpepper: John Culpepper is a former Olympic gymnast who now runs his own gym. Unlike Jean, John is fond of Peter, and was even before Peter had rescued Alice from Naomi. As a result of Peter rescuing Alice, John has given Peter lifetime access to the gym without fees, and whenever Peter needs help, John is usually one of the first adults Peter looks to.
Short and still in fantastic shape from his years of training, John is starting to show his age with his white hair and white handlebar moustache. But no matter what he’s wearing, he always looks striking despite his short height.
Beth Culpepper: Initially as opposed to Peter as her husband, Beth Culpepper has come to accept Peter as part of her family. This is due in large part to him saving Alice, but Beth will not speak out against her husband, believing that it’s not a wife’s place to argue with her husband. Beth is a stay at home mom, and since Alice’s return, she has acted as Alice’s teacher.
Beth is very short, four feet and nine inches, and she tends to favor a homely appearance. She keeps her curly brown hair cut short, and she likes wearing flowery blouses with pastel colored pants.
Jake Forrester: Peter’s rival and declared worst enemy. Jake and his friends originally began collecting videos of Peter in an attempt to blackmail him, but Peter rejected Jake’s offer and instead threatened to turn him over to the cops for collecting child porn. Since being humbled and forced to see how monstrous his plans were, Jake has kept his distance, until the start of Dogs of War.
Jake is tall, six feet, two inches, and he is extremely muscular, looking more like a bodybuilder than a football quarterback. Like all his friends, Jake likes to wear coordinated outfits, dark jeans and slightly undersized T-shirts to help show off his rippled stomach and stacked chest. Blond and with bright blue eyes, Jake is so handsome that his smile can charm most anyone. Anyone except for Peter. (Who is still willing to admit that Jake is hot, even if he is a jerk.)
David Preston: Peter’s foster father is a defense attorney and a champion of “little guys.” But Peter’s problems often tax David’s seemingly boundless patience. David has earned Peter’s complete trust, and like John, David is always high on Peter’s list of adults he can turn to in a time of crisis.
David is tall, five foot, eleven inches, has blue eyes, and still has blond hair despite his advancing age. Being a lawyer, he tends to a neat appearance, with his hair styled in a mousse hard helmet, and his dress shirts and dress slack being neatly pressed.
Kathy Preston: Peter’s foster mother is also a public defender, and like her husband, she genuinely loves Peter as if he were her own son. She’s the parent most likely to prod if she notices Peter moping or brooding, but she prefers to use timid interrogation methods rather than opt for a tough love approach.
Like her husband, Kathy likes to keep her appearance very neat. She still has all blonde hair, but then she’s been having her hair dyed and styled the perfect shade for the last ten years. She favors pastel suits and blouses with frock collars. She never met a pair of low-heeled pumps she didn’t like.
Judy Preston: Judy could almost be mistaken for a stereotypical bubble-headed cheerleader until one looks closer at her grades, or her intense interest in science. Like her parents, Judy has a great amount of empathy for the suffering of others, and so she tries to help Peter in every way she can. She acts as his tutor and as his personal cheerleader.
Judy is trim, tall, and athletic. She wears form fitting clothes, has blue eyes, and is obsessive about brushing her long straight blonde hair.
Miguel Ortega: Jake’s friend Miguel is actually the jock attracted to Peter, while the other guys shared his interest in exploiting Peter “for some fun.” Because of this attraction, Miguel also carries a larger burden of guilt for the jocks’ plans to blackmail Peter.
Miguel is two inches shorter than Jake, but still carries the same body weight thanks to a few extra pounds of muscle. (Half of it between his ears, it would seem.) Miguel has shaggy curly black hair and brown eyes.
Tyrone Marsh: The walking definition of tall, dark, and handsome, Tyron is likewise burdened by guilt over blackmailing Peter. He has the least to do with Peter after their failed blackmail plans, and avoids Peter like the plague whenever he can.
Tyrone is half an inch shorter than Jake, and only slightly leaner. He prefers shaving his head, and sometimes to make himself stand out from his friends, he wears a gold chain.
Pi: Pi is a great mystery, an androgynous person who has not willingly shared their gender, sex, or sexual preference with anyone at school. Not even Peter knows whether Pi is a he or a she, so like every one of Pi’s friends, Peter uses they, them, and their when speaking of Pi. During the first book, Pi’s help was the only thing that saved Peter and Alice, and Peter considers Pi to be his best friend.
Pi is five foot five and is slight-framed. Their hair is dark black, straight, and is worn long and loosely pinned in the back with goth hair barrettes. Like Peter, Pi is not really a goth, but simply wearing the clothing for a place to fit in. But due to Pi’s unique gender presentation and their even more bizarre family arrangements (Pi has one mother and two fathers), even among the goths, Pi stands out.
Josie: Peter originally met Josie working at the mall in Wilkes-Barre, but later on, Peter discovers that Josie and Pi have become a platonically romantic couple when they ask him to attend their “commitment ceremony.” Like Peter, Josie is a victim of family sexual abuse, but her shaky recovery has led her to be sexually repressed, where Peter became sexually aggressive. Despite this seeming contrast, Josie and Peter remain good friends, and both coach each other on a path toward what they hope is recovery.
A fan of wild hair colors and wilder clothing styles, Josie’s appearance is eclectic and ever changing. She has green eyes and she keeps her hair short, usually in some kind of pageboy or pixie-cut style.
Naomi Lupita: Peter’s mother, still being held in a maximum security prison following her first and only escape attempt from prison.
Naomi is lithe and almost frail looking, but this causes many people to underestimate her. Being remarkably attractive, she has long black hair and grey eyes, although these days, she always wears the same prison uniform.