Never judge a man by his species…
I have a passion for wolfen shapeshifters, and my new series revolves around a family of them, the Macleods. Driven from Scotland when wolves were being exterminated there, they found sanctuary in the wilds of northern Canada. They call themselves Changelings, and they’re extremely long-lived. An entire community has sprung up around the family, allowing the formation of a formidable Pack. Changeling Moon focuses on Connor Macleod. Changeling Dream is about James Macleod, the oldest of the siblings. And my new release, Changeling Dawn is about the youngest Macleod, Kenzie. Here’s the blurb:
Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding the fact that she's a werewolf. She's not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska. An isolated archaeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility - as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own...
I feel that Changeling Dawn is my best story yet, and I’m so EXCITED to share it with my readers!
Excerpt from Dani Harper’s CHANGELING DAWN:
JOSH never saw it coming. One moment he was studying the ground, the next he was lying on it, looking into the long, sharp teeth of a seriously pissed-off wolf. Its storm gray pelt suited its snarling demeanor, but the size . . . Jesus Christ, he’d never seen a wolf this big in his whole life and never from this vantage point. The enormous front paws pressed down on his chest, making it difficult to draw air, and its breath was hot on his face. His fingers inched toward his service revolver, flipped open the holster—and stopped as he got a good look at the creature’s unusual eyes.
The teeth snapped together inches from his face with a sound that chilled his blood and the wolf sprang away. It turned and growled at him as he slowly got to his feet. “What? What the hell’s wrong with you? Quit that.” He took a step toward the wolf but stopped as the growling got louder. Christ, it was like being in a horror movie— didn’t she recognize him? He hoped like hell she was in control of her animal side.
Suddenly an icy breeze sliced through the summer heat and his skin prickled. Kenzie stood where the wolf had been. Tiny blue sparks winked out on the ground around her and he caught a whiff of ozone, as if lightning had struck nearby. One look at her eyes, the color of thunderclouds threatening to spawn a tornado, let him know that her wolf was still present. He elected to treat her as a wolf and stood dead still, his body slightly sideways to appear nonthreatening.
“Kenzie,” he said, more calmly than he felt. “Tell me what happened here.”
“What happened? Anya’s gone and I can’t find any sign of her that isn’t at least a day old.” Her voice was raspy, and he wondered if she’d been crying, or if it was a side-effect of shapeshifting. “She must be so scared. And I don’t think Stanton’s with her.”
His insides clenched at that. “I’m sure you’ve covered every inch of this place. What else did you find?”
“Too much.” Her face was pale and she rubbed the back of her neck as if she had a headache. “And not enough. I don’t know which way they went, I don’t know if Anya’s with them. I can’t even track them out of the damn clearing.”
“Let me help. I was reading a trail when I was six, maybe I can help sort it out.”
He walked toward her now,wanting to comfort her, but as he reached out she stepped back and the anger flashed in her eyes again.“Don’t. I don’t want you to touch me.”
Ouch, he thought. “Okay. Is it you or your wolf talking?”
“This all went too fast, just too fast—you’re getting the wrong idea.”
He didn’t like where this was going. “Well, way too late for that. What the hell’s up with you?”
“Look, it was a memorable night, we had a lot of fun, and that’s all. That’s it.”
“That’s it?” He stared at her, unable to believe what he was hearing. “What, you want us to just shake hands and walk away or something?”
“Yeah, we should be smart and do exactly that. No harm, no foul.”
No harm? An invisible knife had just sliced through him, virtual guts were spilling out everywhere, and it was tough to draw a breath.“We’re both worried about Anya but we should be pulling together, not pulling apart. What the bloody hell are you afraid of, Kenzie?”
“Nothing, I just think it best that we don’t—”
“No, not we. You think it’s best that you don’t get involved with a human. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Last night was more than just simple fun, a helluva lot more, and you damn well know it. We made a connection and now you’re scared spitless. All because of something that happened to you a fucking century ago. And yeah, it was bad and it’s wrong that it happened to you, but you’ve judged most of the people on this planet by it ever since. Including me.”
“Don’t you say that to me. Not now, not with Anya missing.”
“I don’t think Anya has a thing to do with it. You’re using her disappearance as a goddamn excuse to blow me off. Because you’re scared.”
“I’m not scared!”
He paced, needing to channel his frustration before he grabbed her and shook her.“Not of some things, that’s for sure.You’ve got a lot of courage and a lot of strength. You have to, in order to spend years digging in the dust for any tiny clue that might protect your family and your people. For chrissakes, Kenzie, you’re preparing to stand the entire world on its ear with your work. Why can’t you find the courage to give us a chance?”
“Don’t you understand? There’s no us, there can’t be.”
He stopped in front of her and looked her in the eye. “Why the hell not? Give me one good reason.”
Her lips pressed together until they were almost white. When she spoke again, her words were sharp and clipped. “I don’t love you and I don’t want you. I was curious and now I know. I need a mate of my own kind.”
The invisible knife finished carving his heart from his chest, and he stepped back. “That’s plain enough. But Anya’s missing and she needs help. So we’re going to work together until we find her. And then we’ll talk.” At least that’s what he thought he said. Tough to be sure when it was hard to get the words out and when it cost him even more to make them calm and steady. He didn’t believe what Kenzie had said, didn’t believe for a moment that she didn’t have feelings for him, yet he still felt like he’d been gutted. Funny how there was no blood on the ground— with this kind of pain, there sure as hell should be.
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I love giveaways and I have one for the Awesomesauce readers today. Leave me a comment telling me the title and author of one of your favorite paranormal romance or urban fantasy books from 2011 PLUS an email address so I can contact you if you win. I’ll draw a name from the comments on January 21st. Prize is a signed copy of Changeling Dawn and a Dani Harper tote bag to put it in! Open to US, UK and Canada.
PS – as a favor, I could really use more Twitter followers and Facebook fans! No prize for that, just my undying gratitude!
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