Dani Harper is Running With The Wolves! (And she’s got a fun giveaway, too!) Back to Blog
Update: So many great responses–thank you!!! The winner of CHANGELING MOON, CHANGELING DREAM and that cute plush wolf is…Keisha Talley. Congrats, Keisha!
Okay, this giveaway is just fun. (Thank you, Dani!) Our next guest is Dani Harper, author of some great paranormal romances with Kensington Brava. Ah…I do love paranormals. 🙂 She’s sharing a cool post about wolves, and one commenter will win two of Dani’s books (one is a hot-off-the-presses release!) AND a plush wolf that is in need of a home. See–told you it was a fun giveaway. Welcome, Dani! And congrats on your release!
RUNNING WITH THE WOLVES … Dani Harper
Happy Release Day, Cynthia, and thanks for allowing me to share it with you! Today, the second book in my shapeshifter series is released from Kensington-Brava, CHANGELING DREAM.
In my world, Changelings walk among us, and can change from human to wolf at will. But they were inspired by a real event.
I owned a small farm in northern Canada and one morning I was stunned to see a pack of wolves – about 7 or 8 – run across my yard. No mistake about what these big dark creatures were – I’d seen hundreds of coyotes before and these clearly dwarfed them. The wolves ran with ease and grace, seeming to float along rather than touch the ground. Teeth gleamed white from grinning black lips, their tails were great plumed banners and they ran with purpose.
And then they were gone. They vanished like smoke into the timber that flanked my property. I have never felt such a wild yearning in my life. A wish that they would come back? A wish that I might go with them? I didn’t know. I still don’t.
Ever since, however, I’ve run with the wolves on paper. And the result is my new series, beginning with Changeling Moon which was released May 31st. Book Two, Changeling Dream, is out TODAY, June 28th! Book Three, Changeling Dawn, will be released in January. I’m working on Book Four right now. www.daniharper.com
One lucky commenter is going to get a wolf in their mailbox! Really, I have a cute plush wolf that needs a home, and he’s bringing along a copy of CHANGELING MOON (Book 1) and my newly released CHANGELING DREAM (Book 2). To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment and tell me..would you like to be a changeling? Would you like to run with wolves?
EXCERPT FROM CHANGELING DREAM (Kensington-Brava, ISBN 978-0758265166)
The full moon called and the Pack answered. The lights of the town of Dunvegan were left behind as seven creatures ran silently, effortlessly, mile after mile. Nothing could cover distance as efficiently as a wolf’s perfect form. Charcoal and tawny, gray and silver, gold and black, the wolves were a diverse group, yet they moved as one with the smooth grace of long practice. Eventually a white wolf joined them, easing into the band without a ripple.
The Pack loped along the game trails at the very tops of the coulees, high above the Peace River valley. The wolves’ path seemed almost suspended between sky and water, moon above and moon reflected below. Joy, fierce and bright, was all around.
Stars wheeled overhead, revealing the constellations of the early morning as the Pack leader turned towards Elk Point. There, she slowed at last and picked her way along the rocky promontory until the trees parted to reveal a sweeping view. Tongues lolling, sides heaving, the wolves flopped down on the stone plateau just as a sudden wind gusted up from the valley. Dry leaves swirled into a lazy vortex around the group. The air crackled, flashed here and there with tiny sparks, as static electricity began to collect. The power built until the ground thrummed with it, until the very rocks vibrated.
Sudden silence burst as loud as a thunderclap. Human laughter and human words flowed in quickly to fill the vacuum. The breeze died away, the leaves fell to earth. Where eight wolves had been, there was now only one. A lone white wolf and seven human beings.
Connor Macleod automatically reached out a hand and ruffled the thick soft fur. His older brother was not just the only one in the family with such a snowy pelt, but the only Changeling that Connor had ever seen with that coloration – not an albino but a true white. Their father had often called James a winter wolf, but there was always a touch of sadness in his voice when he did so. Connor had pressed him for an explanation once. It’s a verra long journey until spring for a winter wolf, lad. A verra long journey. Connor had been too young to attach any meaning to his father’s words. Now he saw that they had been all too prophetic.
He spoke to his older brother in his mind. All of them had that ability; it was part and parcel of being Changeling. Good to see you, bro. Have you eaten tonight?
Old moose, lame. Easy hunting. Full now.
James’ words were always clear in Connor’s mind, but they were few and labored, as if it were a strain to use human words at all. As if running as a wolf for thirty years made it difficult to even remember the language. Seven words in a row nearly counted as a speech.
It might have given Connor a tiny glimmer of hope, but he hadn’t allowed himself that luxury in many years. His hand fell away from the thick white pelt as he automatically blocked the rest of his thoughts from his brother. What possible good could it do to tell James how much he missed him, ached to talk with him, to joke and laugh with him, hell, even to fight with him? How the whole family grieved for James, as if he was dead. And he was dead to them. Even as a wolf he very seldom ran with the Pack or came near any of them except Connor on occasion. James had forsaken his human self entirely, and it was unclear if he was bound to the Macleods by remembered human ties or merely a wolf instinct to be part of a Pack.
But not one of us blames him for it. Good Christ, how could we? We weren’t there. We were too far away, all of us too damn far away. He shook his head. By the time they’d arrived at James’s farm, the house was a heap of blackened beams and cold ashes. Too damn late to do anything but bury poor Evelyn. It had nearly been too late for James as well. The Pack had tracked him through deep wilderness for two days, unable to catch up with him until he finally collapsed from his horrific wounds. Over thirty years had passed and still Connor shivered at that memory. He had barely recognized the blackened and battered creature that once was the white wolf. Changeling or not, it was a flat-out miracle James had lived.
But the miracle was incomplete. The wolf came back to them, but not the man. Connor glanced over at his brother. The massive white creature was stretched out on the ground beside him as if relaxed, but the vivid blue eyes flicked from person to person. Alert. Ready, Connor knew, to disappear. Everyone else knew too. Connor noticed that each member of the Pack, family and friend alike, would glance over at James and then turn away quickly, not knowing what to do or say. Fearing to break some unknown spell, fearing that the white wolf would leave them even sooner than he usually did.
Find Changeling Dream on Amazon now at http://www.amazon.com/Changeling-Dream-Dani-Harper/dp/0758265166/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309210126&sr=8-1
EXCERPT FROM CHANGELING MOON (Kensington-Brava, ISBN 978-0758265142)
The Dunvegan Herald Weekly was silent except for clocks ticking and the dripping of the staff room faucet. She liked having the place to herself. How on earth had she ever gotten anything done in the middle of a big busy newsroom? It was so much easier to work when it was quiet. Easier, until she played her phone messages and found one from Connor. It was nothing much, just a simple request that she call him, but his deep melodious voice did strange things to her insides. God, he even sounded hot. Did he do that on purpose?
It ruined her concentration for writing. She’d barely get a sentence down before she began thinking of Connor. His eyes for instance, and how they were almost silver at times. With such a color they should have seemed cold, even icy, and yet they were anything but. There was warmth and ready humor in them. Until–
Zoey contemplated the glimpse she’d gotten of another side of Connor Macleod. The one who’d stood in her kitchen ready to do whatever was necessary. His eyes had been different then, darker. The warmth was gone, replaced with a decided coolness. Yet there was no chill directed towards her. Of that she was certain. It was more like the coolness of metal armor, the determined chill of a sword, as he readied for battle. As he stood to protect her, even from herself.
She shivered at the sheer sexiness of it, of him. Ran her hands through her hair and rubbed them lightly over her face, feeling the heat that had flared in her cheeks. Heat. In his truck, she had awakened to the sensation of Connor stroking her cheek. In her kitchen, he’d placed that big hand over hers. She could still feel the unusual heat that had radiated from his skin on both occasions. Not the parched heat of a fever but more like the banked coals of a campfire, something that beckoned her to relax, to stretch out and simply bask in the pleasure of it.
Sitting behind her desk as she had sat at her bistro table, her hand resting palm down on the smooth surface, she smiled. The table had been so tiny, she could have reached out and touched Connor easily. Could have indulged the urge she’d felt to brush the glossy dark hair from his face, indulged that wish to slide her palm over the stubble on his jaw. She imagined stirring her mocha slowly, lazily, and skimming the chocolate froth onto the spoon. Licking it off with quick little flicks of her tongue while he watched her with silvery eyes….
Find Changeling Moon on Amazon now at http://www.amazon.com/Changeling-Moon-Dani-Harper/dp/075826514X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b
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Dani Harper is a newspaper editor turned paranormal author. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring the supernatural — unless it’s writing romantic suspense. Of course, all of her stories have at least one foot in the netherworld…Tweet It