Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guest Author: Dani Harper STORM WARNED Excerpt and Giveaway

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Welcome to the blog and take it away, Dani!

Dani: Although I launched my writing career with werewolf tales, the transition to writing about CELTIC FAERIES was an easy one. I had a Welsh grandmother whom I adored. She was a brave and tough little gal, full of fun, who immigrated to Canada all by herself at the tender age of 19! The rest of my family roots are Irish and Scottish, with some English sprinkled in. So you can bet that I grew up on an abundance of stories about the Fair Folk, the Fae, the Sidhe, the Tylwyth Teg, and more. Most were cautionary tales. Some of the characters were beautiful, many were scary, but ALL were dangerous!

One of my favorite Welsh legends provided inspiration for my new GRIM SERIES. The Grim is a legendary canine with many names: The Black Dog, the Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness, the Barghest, Dog of the Twilight, and the Black Hound of Destiny. It’s said to resemble a giant mastiff, larger than any living dog, and its eyes are often glowing red or resembling twin flames.

The story is an old one, dating all the way back to Celtic
times in Wales, long before the Romans arrived in Britain. The Black Dog is the herald of Death itself, and those who see the animal are usually destined to die very soon. The dog appears without warning, follows or even chases people – yet vanishes without a trace. Electrical storms are often associated with the dog’s appearance.  

In its defense, however, the Grim hasn’t always been threatening – at least, not to the innocent. In some tales, the animal is an instrument of justice, hunting down escaped murderers. A few stories recount incidents where the great beast protected children or guarded lone travelers. This made me wonder – what if the ghostly creature had a conscience, a sense of right and wrong? What if the black dog didn’t mindlessly follow its mission? In fact, how did it get stuck with a task like this in the first place? Thoughts like these that led to the creation of my GRIM SERIES.

There are three books in the series at present:  STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, and STORM WARNED, and they’re available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and Audible.  You can check them out on my Amazon Author Page at amazon.com/author/daniharper. (A fourth novel, STORM CROSSED, will be released in a few months!)



PS - Although the books are related, each story can stand alone. And while each book necessarily has its paranormal beginnings in Wales, the Grim and all its faery associates wind up in present-day Washington State, to run afoul of the humans who live there!


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EXCERPT FROM BOOK 3 OF THE GRIM SERIES, STORM WARNED:

Passionate musicians Caris and Liam grew up centuries apart. When their fates collide, they must learn to trust each other and work together to stop a dark force from seizing both Fae and human worlds.
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The forest seemed far darker than it should. It wouldn’t be the first time Caris had stayed too long, lost in her music, but a break in the trees revealed ominous clouds overhead that doused the bright daylight as surely as water doused a fire. It was a long way back to the farm, and she could find her way there blindfolded if need be—yet a mountain storm was nothing to trifle with.

A flash of lightning half blinded her. Thunder crashed like the world was ending, and her steady, dependable Eira did something unheard of:  he threw his rider and bolted for home. By the time she got her breath back, her pony was long gone. Caris got to her feet slowly and with care. Nothing broken or sprained, thankfully, but she’d have some bumps and bruises on the morrow.

The wind had picked up, thrashing the limbs of the trees, and above the din, the mournful horn wailed like a lost soul. She’d never heard the like of it, and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled.

It’s coming this way.

Caris saw nothing unusual in the dim forest. The storm above, bearing down on her with incredible speed, was something else entirely. The blackened clouds roiled like an angry sea, lit within by flares of unnatural lightning—green and blue and vivid mauve. I’ll never make it to the farm. But staying among the trees in such weather was a poor plan. There was little other shelter to be had—unless she went to the dolmen. On their way to their campsite each year, the Romani waved bits of red cloth at the ancient stone structure and spat in its direction, giving it as wide a berth as the rutted forest paths would allow. Evil or not, Caris hoped the great white capstone, supported by three half-buried boulders, would shield her, and she ran as fast as she could in its direction.

Her heart was in her throat as the wind whipped her long black hair free and yanked at her clothing with invisible fingers. Lightning struck behind her, close enough that she could feel the ground shake, and she nearly lost her footing. As the clap of thunder died away, instinct made her cast a glance over her shoulder, and what she saw did make her stumble and fall: great coal-black hounds of monstrous size were bounding in her direction, their red and glowing eyes revealing their identity. Grims!

Panicked, she scrambled to her feet. The dark fae dogs were said to foretell one’s death, but they weren’t the most frightening thing she saw. Following the hounds were forty or fifty riders—and their horses’ hooves didn’t touch the earth!

She was completely surrounded by the otherworldly company before she could scream.

Caris choked down her fear and forced herself to stand still, her hands in front of her gripping each other so hard that they hurt. She needed the pain to help keep her wits together. All these years she’d thought the Wild Hunt was just a story to frighten children into being good, that the Tylwyth Teg, the Fair Ones, were nothing but make-believe. She knew that many of her neighbors believed them to be real, however, real enough that they set offerings of bread and milk on their porches at night to avert fae pranks and beg their favor. Even the preacher must have thought them real, as he occasionally spoke out against the evils of consorting with demons and faeries. Perhaps he thought them to be one and the same. Whatever they were, no one wanted to actually meet them.

But here she was.

***

STORM WARNED is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook at https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Warned-Grim-Dani-Harper/dp/1477827927/

You can check out and purchase ANY of Dani’s books on her Amazon Author Page at amazon.com/author/daniharper 

Say hi to Dani on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dani.Harper.Author or visit her website at https://daniharper.com/


***

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below naming one of your favorite paranormal creatures and why you like it, OR tell me what you’re reading right now! I'll draw a winner at random on September 1st, and announce it right here in the comments.


Giveaway is READER’S CHOICE of any published book in the Grim Series, in paperback or MP3-CD audiobook. Prize will be delivered by Amazon. Open to US, UK, or Canada.

89 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper

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    1. Molly Harper rocks! My favorite is her Naked Werewolf series. :)

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  3. Werewolf, now and always. I'm currently reading the Alpha's Homestead series, by Alex Jane, which happens to be about werewolves. :-)

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    1. After writing the Changeling Series, I will always have a tender spot for werewolves.

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  4. I love big cat shifters. They're powerful & graceful at the same time. Thanks for the chance!

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    1. Some of my street team members are slowly converting me to big cat shifters. :)

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  5. Bear shifter. Reminds me of my husband.

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    1. LOL! I've got Bear Meets Girl (The Pride Series Book 7) by Shelly Laurenston waiting for me on my Kindle.

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  6. I'm currently reading Moon Tortured by Mckenzie Hunter
    It's too hard to choose a favorite paranormal creature lol I love them all

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    1. I had to look up this one --- wow, it has witches, vamps, weres and more! I've added it to my TBR list.

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  7. I would have to say Werewolves and the series I am currently reading is: the Blood Moon Trilogy by Karin Tabke as I like to collect a whole series before reading them, not always possible with longer running series. Also have to say I loved your Changeling series

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    1. I'm so glad you liked my Changelings! It's a series I hope to continue.

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  8. I am a huge fan of the Valkyrie. They are awesome kick butt females ;).

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    1. A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark) by Kresley Cole has been on my Keeper Shelf forever. LOVE that story!

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  9. I'm currently reading Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply by Terry Spear. jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

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  10. I'm currently reading: The English Teacher, A Moment to Cherish, Packin' Heat, Go Deep and Held 2.

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    1. One of my friends was telling me about the Whistle Stop Romances -- have you read the first few as well?

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  11. For me it's werewolves. I too am finishing up Terry Spears "Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750. (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Terry Spear is so cool. She has some amazing stories.

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  12. For me it's werewolves. I too am finishing up Terry Spears "Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750. (at) aol (dot) com

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  13. I like the dust bunnies from Jayne Castle's Harmony books. They are cute and cuddly most of the time but can become dangerous when their friends are threatened.

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    1. Dangerous dust bunnies? Love the idea! (But are you sure you're not looking under my couch?)

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  14. I love dragons they can fly breathe fire and most have magic also it's the best of every world to me.

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    1. I think this is truly the creature I'd like to write about next. I'm fascinated by dragons.

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  17. That is supposed to be Valkries, I really dislike the spellchecker on my phone, lol

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  18. That is supposed to be Valkries, I really dislike the spellchecker on my phone, lol

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    1. Spellcheck does some truly terrible things! Glad you persevered. I like kickass Valkyries too!

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  19. I love Dragons, Pheonix and Unicorns. Im currently reading The Keeper by David Baldacci

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    1. A phoenix would be interesting to write about!

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  20. I love cat shifters like panthers or leopards. They move so smoothly and quietly through the forest!

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    1. Such beautiful creatures -- and so dangerous!

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  21. I love Vampires! Amanda Ashley Vamps are delish!

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    1. Amanda Ashley was my go-to vamp author for a long time.

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  22. I'm reading Spiders Bite by Jennifer Estep. It's really good So far!

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    1. This is on my TBR list. (Of course I had to make sure there were no REAL spiders in it!)

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  23. I am currently reading Alpha Unmasked by S.A.Ravel. It is about Bear shifters. It is great so far!!!

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    1. I had to check this out --- it looks really good!

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  24. I am currently reading Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews.

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  25. I really like large cat shifters. I think it would be amazing to be one.

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    1. I think that's the biggest appeal of shifter books -- we all secretly want to be one!

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  26. I love them all! I'm currently reading The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday, and I'm liking it so far.

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  27. I love many of the different shifter/PNR characters but I'd say that the wolves are a favorite of mine. They are loyal, fearless, family/pack orientated.

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    1. Both real wolves and wolfen shapeshifters have lots of admirable qualities!

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  28. I love werewolves and shifters! They always seem to be very protective.

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  29. My favorite paranormal creature would be bear shifters!! They are cuddly, protective, loyal, and sexy as sin!!

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    1. ...and big and strong. Don't forget big and strong!

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  30. Hi!! Thank you so much for this opportunity :-) my favorite paranormal creature is the angel. I don't know if am angel is considered a creature, but I really enjoy reading about them and the fallen and demons :-)

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    1. No doubt that angels AND demons qualify as paranormal creatures. :)

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  31. I've always been a fan of vampires. I just find them fascinating. But I'm also a big fan of werewolves and other shifters, like dragons or large cat shifters.
    And I'm currently reading Of Neptune by Anna Banks.

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    1. I think vamps are classic -- and classy too!

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  32. I'm reading Henchgirl by Rita Stadling. It is a YA book. Interesting plot where dragon shifters rule the human world with a mafia attitude.

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    1. Hadn't heard of this one --- had to look it up and add to my TBR list! Thanks!

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  33. I love reading about all paranormal creatures. I find it virtually impossible to choose a favorite, so I'll tell you what I'm reading. I just finished Quicksand by Iris Johansen. I have several other books started, as well. Thank you for the wonderful chance to win.

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    1. I usually have a lot of books on the go as well. Read a lot of Iris Johansen, have Reap The Wind on my Keeper Shelf.

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  34. Dragons because they are all angsty and powerful 😊

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    1. Love that they're powerful. Didn't know they were angsty! That sounds intriguing --- can you recommend a series?

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  35. Dragons because they are all angsty and powerful 😊

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  36. Currently rereading the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands so I can be ready for book #24

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    1. That's an amazing series! As a writer, it's hard for me to imagine creating that many stories, but some worlds really lend themselves to multiple books.

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  37. I love just about any paranormal permutation because different authors can really be creative. Bring on the vamps, the wolves, the dragons and shifters, heck, I even go for aliens! I read paranormals to escape from reality...Lynsay Sands' Argeneaus are different from Christine Feehan's Carpathians, etc. etc. I'm just finishing up Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dragonmark.

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    1. I agree! It's fascinating to see how different authors come up with their very own version of a paranormal creature we THINK we know.

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  38. I really enjoy any and all shifters ... I love the idea that they can live among humans and no one is the wiser ;)

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    1. That's my absolute favorite part -- that they could be ANYONE and nobody knows. It's one of the fun parts of writing about my Changelings. They mow the lawn, go to work, pay the bills, pick up the mail, make dinner, just like everyone else ... but late at night they run as wolves.

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  39. I am in the middle of re-reading the Argeneau series--am almost done with the ones I have already read and about to start on the ones that will be new to me. I like them because they are a mix of family, love, mystery--and by the way they are all vampires (or as they prefer, immortals) and descended from Atlantis survivors!

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    1. Lynsay Sands has created a terrific world. I've got Runaway Vampire in my TBR pile (it's almost worked its way to the top now... soon, soon.)

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  40. It's hard to say what my favorite fae creature is, but I'm currently re-reading both Laurel K. Hamilton's "Merry Gentry" novels and Kresley Cole's Arcana Chronicles! Love them both! 😀

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    1. I'd like to re-read the Meredith Gentry novels too -- it's been a while. Do you like her Anita Blake series too?

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    2. Yes! Anita s what got me started on LKH! (I bought a 3 book special from a mail-order book club when she was fairly unknown, and fell deeply in love with her work...in fact, I only buy her books in paper form, as my Mother-in-law likes her too, but can't stand using a Kindle to read! 😊🌈 If you haven't read the latest Merry book, "A Shiver of Light", I really recommend it...so. Much. Goes. On!!

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    3. CONGRATS JENNIFER --- You're the winner of my giveaway! Email me at dani AT daniharper DOT com.

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    4. Yay!!! Will email you now...sorry for the delay! 😊

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  41. I am currently into Bear Shifters, but that can change any minute! I love almost any paranormal, and go through phases as to what I read. One that always is top of the list for me though, is anything by Laurell K Hamilton, most notably the Anita Blake series, which are a combination of shifters and vampires and anything else she thinks to throw in! Whenever a new one comes out all other books are forgotten until it is read! I really wish she would write some more Merry Gentry books though! I like the Fae!

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    1. A few years back I accidentally started reading Laurell K Hamilton with Obsidian Butterfly (Book 9 of the Anita Blake series). I liked it so much that I went back and read the previous eight in quick succession! I went for Meredith Gentry after that --- I was surprised at the time that the same author could write such vastly different series, almost different styles. Still love them both though.

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  42. I love Shifters (especially wolves), Vampires, and Dragons. But I love reading about any paranormal.

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    1. Dragons have really been capturing my imagination lately. I may have to remedy that by writing a dragon-shifter story!

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  43. Currently I'm reading a book called Chiaroscuro by Matthew S Cox so fittingly my favorite fantasy character is vampires!

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    1. Love the name --- gotta look this one up! Thanks!

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  44. dragon- interesting looking

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. I have fond memories of reading The Dragonriders of Pern by Ann McCaffrey. I've loved dragons ever since.

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  45. I am currently listening to Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole. I have read the book 3 times, but the audiobook is even better! One of my favorites. It is the best version of the Tarzan story ever written! I am Heather R.

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    1. I really like Kresley Cole, but I've never tried an audiobook of one of her novels. Will have to check it out! Thanks!

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    2. Oh, yes! Robert Petkoff is the best, sexiest narrator ever! He has done all except the first novella of the Immortals After Dark series.

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  46. CONGRATS TO JENNIFER PRESCOTT --- She's the winner of my giveaway! (Jennifer, please email me at dani AT daniharper DOT com) Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my post and leave a comment. I really enjoyed reading them. :)

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