Sunday, August 4, 2013
Storm Warrior by Dany Harper
Storm Warrior by Dany Harper
Genre: Paranormal Romance
BLURB OF STORM WARRIOR
Two thousand years ago, Rhys was the fierce Celtic warrior branded by the Romans as “the Bringer of Death.” Mortally wounded in battle, he was captured by the Fair Ones, cunning and powerful masters of the Welsh faery realm. They spared his life…but for a price. As a grim, he has roamed the earth as a messenger of death—until a single act of kindness breaks the ancient enchantment and delivers him into a strange new world…
As a child, Morgan Edwards marveled at the faery tales spun by her beloved grandmother, stories of the magical beings hidden in the heart of ancient Wales. But now Morgan is all grown up, a veterinarian who believes only in what science can prove—until the night a massive black dog saves her from a vicious attack, and life as she knows it changes forever. Suddenly a stranger stands before her, the man of her dreams made flesh and blood not by science, but by a magic that could bring them their hearts’ desires...or cost them everything they have.
THREE UNEDITED EXCERPTS FROM STORM WARRIOR (pick whichever you like best)
The dream began with a scent. The smell of cool damp earth and rain filled her senses, a faint whiff of horses followed by the warm tang of masculine human skin. She was naked, lying on furs and facing the open door of a skin tent. The breeze was slight but enough to make her shiver, and her nipples had hardened. Her ass was warm, however. In fact her entire backside was heated, pressed tightly against a very large, very male body. Not a stranger, although in the whimsical reality of dreams, she didn’t know who he was. She wasn’t afraid, although she could feel the rock‐hard muscles of his arms, his chest. A powerful man, yet every instinct told her that she knew him as well as she knew herself, and she could feel the bond between them more powerfully than even his touch. As if on cue, his large hand, calloused and work‐hardened, slid over her hip and traveled gently upwards. Her skin tingled deliciously beneath the rough palm, and she shivered again, not from cold but from pleasure as his hand rubbed over her breasts, fondling and squeezing.
His hot breath tickled the back of her neck as he applied soft open‐mouthed kisses and measured bites. His broad fingers tugged softly at her nipples until she felt an answering tug deep in her core. He changed tactics then, making lazy circles and patterns on her belly. She writhed, impatient for more. Suddenly his hand slid between her legs, where she was already slick. He teased at her clit then stroked her deeply until she gasped. Now, now, now… She ground her ass into his groin, feeling his erection thick and hot, wanting it inside her, filling her, claiming her….
Suddenly a deafening crash overwhelmed all her senses. It filled the entire world, echoed and re‐echoed, and Morgan sat bolt upright, clutching her ears. Where the hell was she?
* * * *
Morgan pressed the sharp tip of the garden hoe against the throat of the prone man. “Okay Reese, what the hell are you doing here on my front lawn? You’ve got no car, no keys and no clothes. How’d you get here?”
“My name is Rhys.” He corrected, pronouncing it with a single roll of the r, just as Nainie had said her r’s all her life. As did every Welsh person Morgan had met on her trip, from the hotel clerks to the shopkeepers to the tour directors. “And it was you brought me here.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d remember that. Now, where did you come from?”
“I was a warrior of my clan until I was captured by the Roman invaders. They forced me to fight in the arena at Isca Silurum and named me The Bringer of Death for my skills. I thought I knew hell then, but I had not truly found it until I escaped from them.”
Good grief, was he high on something? The Bringer of Death… Somebody had been playing way too many video games. “Good for you. Ten points for originality. Let me guess, you were drinking last night, and your friends decided to play a prank on you. They stole your clothes and dumped you at the wrong place. Am I close?”
“A prank.” He seemed to consider that. “Yes, you could say that a bit of a prank was played on me. I found a cave, but it turned out to be an entrance to the world below. The Tylwyth Teg found me there, and there aren’t greater pranksters to be had.”
She nearly dropped the hoe. “How do you know about the Tylwyth Teg?” Except for her grandmother, she’d never heard anyone on this side of the ocean speak of them, never mind pronounce their name correctly. The tourist shops in Wales did a booming business in faery merchandise, yet she hadn’t heard the real name of the fantasy creatures used very much even in that country. She narrowed her eyes at the man, daring him to answer.
He shrugged a little. Although she wasn’t pressing on his neck anymore, he remained prone. “The Fair Ones are cousin to men but very much older. Ancient as the mountains. It was the custom of our clan to leave offerings for them, outside the village. The Fair Ones are often bored, and they think nothing of toying with mortals for sport.”
Nainie Jones had often spoken of her childhood, told of her mother leaving milk and bread on the back step for the Tylwyth Teg. It was an offering, a gift of hospitality, she said, so they wouldn’t play tricks on the family. Morgan gripped the hoe harder to keep her hands from trembling, yet she couldn’t help but be fascinated.
“You cannot enter their territory without permission or payment,” he continued. “I had nothing to offer when they discovered me. Not even my life, as I was dying. I thought they would finish me, but instead they healed me. And that was their prank. Because then they changed me, so they could take their payment in servitude.”
Rhys—if that was even his real name—either believed what he was saying or he was a prime candidate for an Oscar. Because try as Morgan might, she couldn’t see any evidence that he was lying. He had to be crazy then, but everything about the whole situation was insane. After all, she was standing in her front yard in her pajamas, holding a naked man at the point of a garden hoe. She’d taken assertive action when she’d seen him lying in the grass, assuming he was drunk or something. Well, she’d gotten the upper hand all right.
Now what was she supposed to do with the guy?
* * * *
“Come along, now.” Rhys made soothing sounds at the big gray mare. “True it is that it’s a fine day but you’re not healed enough yet to be walking o’er much.” Instead of obeying, however, Lucy’s nostrils flared and she threw her head, yanking back on the lead rope and even showing the whites of her eyes.
He didn’t urge her forward again. Many a warrior had been saved by heeding his mount’s warning. Horses could hear sounds too soft and too high for human ears, and Lucy was too steady a beast to start at nothing. Rhys stood where he was and carefully studied their surroundings for something, anything, out of place.
The September afternoon was warm and still, a pleasant remnant of late summer. Yet there was no birdsong and even the insects had gone silent. There were no bees laboring in the nearby clover. No sound at all except for the quivering breath of the horse beside him. Then suddenly Rhys frowned at a large patch of tall grass just ahead.
How was it managing to wave without a breeze?
The stems appeared to be disturbed from underneath the soil. A burrowing creature, a mole perhaps, might move a few blades of grass as it moved through the earth. But the area affected was much wider than Rhys was tall. Suddenly a great mound of sod began to rise slowly like yeasted bread until it tore away from its surroundings. Clods of dirt rolled off the quivering earthen sides as something heaved itself upwards. An icy calm settled over Rhys, as it always had when it was his turn in the arena.
Thanking the gods that Morgan was yet at the clinic, he took firm hold of Lucy’s halter. He had no time to see her safely to her stall. Instead he turned her away and led her as quickly as he dared into the shade of the machine shed where she couldn’t see whatever happened. Tying her lead rope to a post, he prayed for the sake of her wounds that she wouldn’t break loose and run.
He needed a weapon. Rhys eyed the tools that hung in the shed and quickly settled on a long-handled spade. He hefted the thick hardwood shaft in his hands – oak, he hoped – and approved of the pointed steel blade at one end. It was old, but heavy and solid. He would have preferred a sword, or even a Roman trident, a fascina, but in the ring as in battle, one learned to use whatever came to hand. Armed, Rhys headed out to face whatever was invading the farm.
The mound, now chest-high, had split along its base on the side facing him, like a long gaping mouth with snaggled roots for teeth. The darkness within seemed blacker than shadow ought to be on a bright afternoon – and a pair of silvery eyes flashed in the depths, many handspans apart. Rhys allowed himself a quick glance at the house, reassuring himself that no one was home, and braced to meet the unseen enemy.
A hand-like appendage reached from the darkness, the flesh pale like something long buried as it grasped at the dirt with four long thick fingers. Its owner hesitated as if testing the strength of the sun – and suddenly the moist white skin flushed a deep and mottled brown. Nostrils flared on the sides of the blunt nose that followed. The flat, arrow-shaped head was as wide as a wheelbarrow and swiftly became the color of the earth as well as it emerged from the gaping crevice. Silvery eyes the size of apples flashed in the daylight but didn’t flinch or blink.
Blind but far from harmless, thought Rhys, as the creature’s mouth opened to reveal double rows of conical teeth, some longer than a spearhead. He’d seen these monstrous salamanders before. It was a bwgan, a creature of the darker side of the faery realm. Like the faeries themselves, bwganod lived almost forever.
Unlike the fae, they relished the taste of human flesh – and the creature’s nostrils were flaring as the great head tracked his location by smell.
* * * *
BUY LINKS FOR STORM WARRIOR
Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Dani Harper is a former newspaper editor whose passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing paranormal fiction. A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, she recently ventured south with her husband, Ron, to rural Washington to be closer to their grown children and to live the country life (Goats and chickens and pugs, oh my!).
Dani is the author of the shapeshifter series Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn. She’s currently signed with Montlake Romance for two brand new series – STORM WARRIOR kicks off the Grim Series this August and FIRST BITE launches the Dark Wolf series in October of this year.
Find out more at www.daniharper.com or stop by her Facebook Fan page at https://www.facebook.com/Dani.Harper.Fan.Page
BUY LINKS FOR STORM WARRIOR
Barnes & Noble
NOW For my books
I do not know why but no one has noticed in my books vampires are Asian Vampires ...
A self help guide by Amy Mah (Vampire) for teenage vampire girls, the guide is fully illustrated by manga Artist Heby and is written in an easy to follow A - Z format explaining everything a teenage vampire girl would need to know about living life as a modern Vampire. What is fashionable to wear when eating out? Fang maintenance & how to keep your claws sharp. Should you let a boy bite you on the first date? Easy to understand clear advice is given to every day problems Example: When you get an urge to bite: We all get those normal urges to bite things, and I must point out it is very normal, Claws are all well and good in a fight but a bite gives the extra advantage of getting a refreshing drink at the same time. Lots of girls worry about showing their Fangs in public believing that to show your fangs is rude, but don't be shy they can be a girls greatest asset (ok second greatest asset) if a boy is being rude to you, don't just snarl at him, just bite him! You are a vampire why do you think you have sharp teeth if not for sinking them into a boy that is being rude to you.
Today's world is difficult for everyone, especially teenagers. They face the stresses of school, deciding whom to date, and the biggie of sex, just to name a few. Imagine all of those things ten times worse, and you might get an idea of what it's like being a living, breathing teenage vampire. At last, the world can read about the life of a girl with good teeth, her problems with strong sunlight that gave her spots, and the sunblock that made her hair go yucky and produced more spots. Yes, sunlight was dangerous, as she could be the first teenager in history to die from terminal acne! In her everyday life, older vampires expected her to walk about at night in the traditional female uniform, a see-through, 18th-century nightdress, without undies! Well, this female vampire knew why the cold winds blowing along the corridors were called, "male winds," so she wore her see-through nightdress over jeans and a very thick jumper. To be sure that people would still know she was a vampire, the jumper had a very large, pink bat on it. And as to guys, well, it was normal for a girl to dream about guys; she just wished the dreams could have involved chocolates and holding hands, not leaping out at someone, ripping off his shirt, and demanding to know what blood type he was (at least not on the first date).