by Dani Harper
Release Date: January 9, 2018
by Dani Harper
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?
He shook his head and wished he hadn’t as a trickle of fresh blood escaped his wound. The rock that surrounded them was the same that formed the palace foundations, rendering ineffective any spell that could whisk them away.
“Hold!” an imperious voice shouted, and the warths left off their attack, reluctantly crouching in place. Trahern narrowed his eyes, straining to focus—and saw a large band of mounted soldiers in ragtag armor. Gray skin was visible behind their strange helms, and their eyes shone green. He didn’t recognize them at all, but his sorcerer’s sight could not mistake the crimson aura that surrounded their swords and spears. Iron weapons. Very few in the Nine Realms could approach such things, and the cut of an iron blade was a slow but sure poison to any Tylwyth Teg. Faint and dizzy, he held on to Braith with one hand to steady himself and pressed himself harder against the rock to bolster his remaining power. Last, he eased off his boots. The ground was cool beneath his bare feet, and he drew in energy like drawing fresh breath, pulling it up from the very bedrock, renewing him, aiding him for one last—
A deep shadow abruptly fell across the forest, and thunder rolled from a formerly clear sky. The soldiers glanced around uneasily as their horses twitched and danced beneath them. The warths slunk silently away, and Trahern felt the hair on his head prickle and rise. Braith, get down!
The entire world erupted into white light and noise beyond hearing as a bolt of lightning crashed to earth before him.
Trahern wasn’t certain if he had lost consciousness or not, but it was an abysmally long time before he could see and hear again. Braith was on top of him, apparently trying to shield him. Move, he said in his mind.
Are you well?
I would be better if I could breathe. Move!
The great dog slid his bulk from Trahern’s chest, and he rolled over with a grunt, gratefully filling his lungs. His vision blurred and cleared, blurred and cleared, but he could make out that only a handful of the mercenaries remained, and most looked like they wanted to leave. He had to give the leader credit for nerve—but the man no longer looked at him at all.
“In the name of Eirianwen of the House of Oak, we have come to arrest the fugitive Trahern,” the man shouted.
“Her name means nothing here.” The new voice came from high above, and Trahern struggled to see. A burly stallion, as glossy and black as obsidian, stood upon the rocky outcrop behind him, and its tall rider was dressed in dark leathers. His hair was as black as his mount, falling to his waist in hundreds of braids and stirred by an unseen wind. Save for the dangerous glitter in his jet-colored eyes and the glow of the light whip resting on his thigh, it was like staring at Death itself.
“He—he is a traitor, My Lord, sir. We have a right—”
“As trespassers in the Nine Realms, you have no rights.” The great horse stepped down from the steep rocky outcropping as easily as if walking across a meadow. The mercenary captain paled visibly as Lurien, Lord of the Wild Hunt, placed himself squarely between the soldiers and their intended quarry. “Our laws state that betrayers and traitors are the rightful prey of the Wild Hunt,” said Lurien, then leaned forward in the saddle, his next words measured and menacing. “If he lives, he is mine. If he dies, he is also mine. Stay if you wish to join him.”
What is a FAERY?
When I say faery, what’s the first word that comes to your mind?
I’ll bet it’s “Tinkerbell”! Maybe also “cute”, “pretty”, “kind”, and “wings” too. And that’s totally understandable.
Our modern-day view of faeries began when Victorian England dusted off the old legends and turned them into pretty stories for children and adults alike. Faeries were typically depicted as very tiny and sweet-natured, human in appearance but much more beautiful. They granted wishes, guarded flowers and gardens, and were generally helpful and compassionate. Victorian artists further “improved” on faeries by giving them wings. And in 1904, author and playwright J.M. Barrie created Tinkerbell for his classic Peter Pan. She was beautiful, pocket-sized, able to fly, and her magic came in very handy for Peter and his friends.
With a big boost from Disney Studios, this image of faeries has endured to the present day. Just last week, I passed a mother and daughter both wearing Tinkerbell t-shirts. (I admit, they looked adorable!)
But remember those old legends I mentioned? Stories of faeries are interwoven with human history. These supernatural beings can be found throughout European folklore as far back as the ancient Greeks almost 3000 years ago! The Romans and the Norsemen wrote about faeries too. The Celts told many stories of the Fae which have been handed down through the ages, and as a result, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland have a rich heritage of faery lore and legend.
So where did this odd word come from? Middle English and Old French both used “faery” to describe an ethereal being or spirit. The word can refer to a very specific creature – or a huge variety of them! Elves, sprites, boggarts, wulvers, pixies, banshees, brownies, nymphs, hobgoblins, pookas, elementals, trolls, even werewolves, and countless other fantastical beings, from tiny to gigantic, all fell under the general umbrella of “faeries” or “the Fae”.
The word “faery” is also related to the Latin "fata", or fate, referring to one of the Greek goddesses of human destiny. Naturally there have been countless spellings to choose from over the centuries – faierie, fayerye, feirie, fairie, fey, etc. (I’m using “faery” in this post as I do in my novels)
And just to illustrate how all-purpose this word really is, “faery” has also meant the land or realm where faeries live, as in “He was kidnapped and taken to Faery.” If that’s not enough, the word was used to describe someone or something which has been enchanted or bewitched – eg, the fae blacksmith, the faery bridge.
So where did faeries come from in the first place? Many historians think they were once nature spirits, or even pagan gods and goddesses, which were eventually supplanted by Christianity. Early churches condemned faeries as being demons or fallen angels. Some legends claimed that faeries were spirits of the human dead. However, the ancient Celts thought the Fae to be a conquered people living in hiding.
Almost all the legends agree on one thing, however: that these beings were to be avoided. Why? The Fae were commonly thought to be both friendly and hostile, helpful and mischievous, kind and cruel, gentle and violent. This amoral unpredictability made most faeries very dangerous creatures – especially since they were quick to take offense!
Small wonder that most people throughout the ages have referred to the faeries in only the most flattering terms out of pure fear – and that’s if they had to talk about them at all! In Ireland, they call them “the Gentry, the Blessed Folk, the Good Neighbors”. In Wales, it’s “the Fair Folk, the Fair Ones, the Mother’s Blessing”. Saucers of milk, a slice of bread, or perhaps a handful of berries or a bit of ale, were frequently left on the porch at night as an offering for the faeries, so they wouldn’t play damaging pranks on the household or the farm.
Which brings me to my Grim Series. The Fae that play such pivotal roles in Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, Storm Warned, and Storm Crossed, are not cute. They’re not little. And they’re definitely NOT nice! These are the faeries of old Welsh legends: unpredictable and powerful beings of many shapes and sizes, living on a different plane than humans, yet able to cross into our world at will.
And enter our world they do! What happens when ancient faeries turn up in modern-day America? You’ll have to read the books to find out!
About the Author:
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.
For more, visit her website at http://www.daniharper.com
Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/Dani-Harper/e/B004FD8RV2
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Dani_Harper or @Dani_Harpera Rafflecopter giveaway