Interview - Storm Crossed: The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series - Excerpt - Giveaway
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds . . .
Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.
Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”
Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?
An Interview with Author Dani Harper
Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shapeshifters, ghosts, and more, for a mature audience.
A former newspaper editor, Dani’s passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing fiction. There isn't anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.
A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, she now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband. Together they do battle with runaway garden gnomes, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of predatory chickens.
Dani Harper is the author of Storm Crossed, Storm Warned, Storm Bound, Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (Dark Wolf), for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a Yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shapeshifter series, which includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.
Welcome to JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder.
Why is it called The Grim Series?
Good question! First off, it has nothing to do with the Brothers Grimm (those guys who collected fairy tales), or the TV series, Grimm, that was loosely based on them.
My series was based on a faery creature called the Black Dog, or the GRIM, that occurs in folklore throughout the UK. Known by many names, like Gwyllgi, Barghest, and Black Shuck, the spectral hound served as a herald of misfortune and death. Grims can also guard locations where the veil between the worlds is thin, and portals where the Fae can cross over into the human world.
Have you ever seen a faery or a grim? Would you like to?
I haven’t, thank goodness. And given what I know from the myths and legends I’ve collected over the years, and the advice of my Welsh gramma, I wouldn’t want to see either one! It never seems to end well for the humans in the old stories. Contrary to popular belief, fairies are not cute, they’re not little, and they’re definitely not nice! In fact, they’re highly dangerous.
On the other hand, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be inspired by an “Honorary Grim”. Vincent is a magnificent blue-gray Neapolitan Mastiff, owned by some friends in Louisiana. He was the model for the Grim who played such a vital role in Storm Crossed. You can read about Vincent and see his photos on my website at http://daniharper.com/meet-vincent-an-honorary-grim/
Do you plan out your books and your series? Or do you make it up as you go?
I get into a lot of arguments with my characters! I like to plan. I make little cards, and map out an outline. I even have an entire wall in my office that’s set up as a storyboard. But my characters have their own ideas about what’s going to happen, and usually my plans get scrapped sooner or later. So I seldom get to be a plotter, and I’m not a true pantster – maybe I’m a plantster?
As for how many books there’ll be, I honestly don’t know. I’m currently writing Book 5 for Montlake Romance. But it’ll be up to the characters if there are more stories after that – and I have a feeling they have a lot more to tell!
Best of all, though, would be riding a fae horse, side by side with Lurien, the Lord of the Wild Hunt from my Grim Series.
If you could be any paranormal being, or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? There are so many possibilities, but being a shapeshifter appeals to me the most. I would love to experience the world through the senses of a wolf or an owl or a deer – perhaps even a dragon!
Thank you for being with us today. Good luck with your new book.Thank you so much for inviting me! I’ll be checking the comments and answering reader questions for the rest of the day.
Excerpt“I explained to Fox that you’d like to be his magic teacher,” said Lissy. “And he didn’t quite understand, so I used a movie he knows to help make the point. I don’t suppose you’ve seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?”
Trahern frowned. “Who is Harry Potter? Is another sorcerer seeking to interfere with the child?”
“No, no, no. Harry Potter is a character from a famous series of books written by J.K. Rowling. He’s a little boy who finds out that he’s really a wizard and gets invited to attend a wizarding school. They made the whole series into eight wonderful movies—those are stories you watch instead of read, kind of like a play.”
“A form of entertainment,” he supplied.
“Yes! The problem is, I could never get Fox to watch more than one of them.”
Her words brought up a wealth of questions, but Trahern forced himself to focus on the issue. “Why would that be a problem?”
“Fox just wasn’t very interested in Harry and his exciting magical adventures. The only character he really liked was Hagrid, the man who talked to animals.” She sat on the edge of the couch with her hands folded on her knees. “You know, a little of it might be because Hagrid lives by himself in a house near the forest. Fox would be very attracted to that—he does better with peace and quiet, and the fewer people around, the better. But most of all, my son definitely has a thing about animals.”
“An affinity. It’s more than just liking animals, he’s comfortable with them. Fox would really rather be with animals than people.”
“So he has said to me.”
“Well, he’s also mentioned more than once that they talk to him. I made the mistake of chalking that up to a child’s imagination. Now I think that he really can communicate with them, all of them, just like he seems to do with your brother.”
Trahern committed Lissy’s words to memory. “Knowing such details may prove helpful as I instruct him.”
“I just don’t want you to be disappointed if he isn’t interested in your instruction.”
“Any disappointment I might experience will be the least of our concerns. I must find a way to encourage Fox to learn. And I must make a beginning.” They stood, and he took a step toward the staircase. Stopped. “Do you require your son to remain in his room?”
“Of course not! He ate supper, and then he said he wanted to play with some of his toys. That’s pretty normal for a nine-year-old.” She shrugged. “And his room is kind of a sanctuary for him—he likes it a lot.”
“This night, with such an auspicious moon, I would like to work with him outside. If he is willing, of course,” he added quickly. “We would remain close to your home, and—” Trahern thought for a long moment. “It is possible that I may be more successful in gaining Fox’s attention if you are not present. Will that cause you concern?”
She shook her head. “Not at all. I trust you. How about our backyard? It’s not very big, but it’s completely private, and there’s even a fire pit if that’s something you need. Although it’s pretty small, too.”
I trust you. He heard little else. Words possessed power, and these were words Lissy had not spoken before. The truth in them shook his senses. Trust was no light thing between mortal and fae, but he hadn’t been expecting the relief that washed through him like a cool mountain stream, and a kind of giddiness took hold. Before he formed the thought, he’d already pulled Lissy to him and pressed his lips to hers.
Sight and sound fell away, leaving a world composed solely of subtle sensations. They were no less powerful for their simplicity. Lissy’s delicate breath against his cheek and the spicy-sweetness of her mouth. The warmth of her skin and the softness of her hair. He nuzzled her face and throat, kissing, licking, indulging in her scent that had so captivated him. Her arms slid around his neck and pulled him close, even as he molded her gently rounded body to his angular one as tightly as he dared. By all the stars, he wanted more, all, everything—
Something hit the side of his head. He barely gave it any heed before several more somethings pelted him in quick succession—and stung like fire-bees! Trahern pulled back mid-kiss, instinctively placing his body between the mysterious attack and Lissy, just in time to be hit squarely in the center of the forehead. He threw up a spell, and a dozen small objects struck an invisible wall and clattered to the floor.
“It’s about time ya came up fer air, ya lecherous son of Oak!”
Ranyon stood on the back of the living room couch, twiggy hands planted on his hips, his strange blue cap on backward and his gnarled face screwed up into a frown of epic proportions. “You’d best be steppin’ away from her!”
Self-control and discipline were the greatest powers a master sorcerer possessed, and Trahern found himself exerting a great deal of both to keep from tossing the little ellyll out the nearest window. “I see no reason for your concern,” he began as soon as he got reliable control of his voice. Too late. Lissy had already marched around him and confronted her friend practically nose to nose.
“What on earth do you think you’re doing, and why are you in my house?”
“Well, no one answered the door, now did they? I looked in the window fer fear that ya might be in danger, and here ya are snoggin’ with a fae!” he sputtered. “He’s Tylwyth Teg—yer lucky he didn’t steal yer breath like a shadowcat!”
“Ranyon! I can’t believe you’d say such a thing!” She thrust her palm out, displaying the blue symbol. “I trust my child with this man, and you yourself said Trahern could not break his oath.”
“Well, I didn’t say he couldn’t break yer heart, now did I?” The ellyll folded his arms in front of his bright-blue shirt and harrumphed loudly.
Her voice rose. “Listen, mister, I’ll damn well snog with whomever I want to, and it’s none of your business!”
“None o’ my business? None o’ my business?” he shouted, and threw his hat to the floor. “Lissy, darlin’, ya said yerself we’re family.”
“Then you should be happy for me! For the love of little fishes, my own mother’s been giving me a bad time about not trying harder to meet men. Now you’re upset because I’m actually enjoying a little male companionship?”
“No, I’m givin’ ya the fifth degree because he’s not a man, he’s a fae!”
“It’s third degree, buddy. And you don’t have the right to—”
“Dude! How come everybody’s yelling?”
The three of them froze. Lissy turned slowly to see a wide-eyed Fox standing on the staircase above them.