First Bite by Dani Harper-Review, Interview, blog tour and giveaway
Dark Wolf #1
by Dani Harper
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: paranormal, wolf shifters, romance
FIRST BITE (Dark Wolf #1) by Dani Harper
RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2013
Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.
After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.
Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.
Intensely suspenseful with deliciously sexy twists, this paranormal romance—the first in (the title of series)—intertwines sensual passion with an epic, thrilling battle between good and evil.
FIRST BITE is the first instalment in Dani Harper’s new paranormal romance series-Dark Wolf and if you are a fan of Dani’s writing you will definitely see similarities and comparisons with her paranormal Changeling series including the use of the term ‘changeling’.
The premise focuses on Neva Ross as she is about to undergo her first change. On the run from her sire, Neva is determined to end her life before she has had the chance to destroy so many others. Believing that all wolf shifters are werewolves and evil, Neva hopes to destroy the very thing that she is about to become. But life takes a funny turn when wolf changeling Travis Williamson stumbles upon Neva as she attempts to end it all. What ensues is an epic push and pull between Neva and Travis-both human and wolf.
The relationship between Neva and Travis is one born out of necessity for Neva but out of sympathy for Travis. Neva pushes Travis away at every opportunity but in the end, her inner wolf knows that without Travis they would probably both be dead.
The storyline finds Neva and Travis on the run hoping to elude the sire who wants Neva above all else. And when Travis finds himself imprisoned by Neva’s sire, it takes everything Neva has to rescue the man who would one day be her mate.
First Bite is a story about new beginnings; dark magic; power and control; love and sacrifice. There are moments when you wonder why Travis endures the sarcasm and negative attitude from the woman whom he has helped at every step of the way, but in the end, it will be Neva’s wolf that knows that Travis is her mate, before the human mind has had time to comprehend.
Dani introduces several secondary characters including the ‘b*tch queen’ as she is called. There is definitely more story to be told as Neva’s sire wants revenge for the disappearance of a powerful piece of magic and the missing wolves who no longer are under her command.
Reviewed by Sandy
TRC: Hi Dani and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of FIRST BITE-the first release in your new paranormal Dark Wolf series. We would like to start with some background information. For anyone who does not know Dani Harper, would you please tell us something about yourself?
Dani: I’m a transplanted Canadian, living in the US with my American hubby. Just returned to civilization from ten years on an Alaskan island. We’ve started a new adventure in a little rural town in eastern Washington in order to be closer to our grown kids. I spent most of my career in the newspaper and communications business, but what I’d always wanted to do since I was a kid was write stories. So now I’m engaged in an entirely new career writing paranormal fiction.
TRC: Many of our reviewers and followers are big fans of paranormal romance author Christine Feehan and her many wonderful series. We read where Ms. Feehan (and especially her Dark Carpathian series) has been a big inspiration in your writing career? Would you please explain how and why Christine became such an inspiration? Have you ever met Christine and if so, what was your reaction?
Dani: It was an accident really, a serendipity. I was in our favorite comic book store with my kids (who were teens at the time), and I was browsing the used paperbacks. That’s when I ran across a little anthology containing a short by Christine Feehan, called Dark Dream. Up to that point, I’d had no idea that the supernatural (which I adored) and romance could be combined! WOW! (I still sigh a little over the hero, Falcon, by the way…..) Of course, I read my way through the Carpathian series and I’ve never been the same. The genre excites me still. I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Ms. Feehan, but it would be an honor.
TRC: FIRST BITE is the first installment in your new paranormal series Dark Wolf. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Dani: Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life. Enter Travis Williamson, a shape-shifter with a dark past, who saves Neva’s life the night she throws herself from a ledge. Soon, the two Changelings—endlessly bickering to hide their intensifying attraction—go on the run, desperate to hide from the police. But someone truly evil hunts the pair. Someone willing to murder to satisfy her own cruel desires. Someone with minions dying to kill for her. She is Meredith de la Ronde, Neva’s sinister sire.
TRC: How many ‘supernatural species’ will be introduced into the series or are you concentrating on only one or two?
Dani: This particular series focuses on werewolves – or Changelings, as they prefer to call themselves. If you’re looking for a variety of otherworldly creatures, check out my new Grim Series, beginning with Storm Warrior.
TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?
Dani: I believe this will be a trilogy, but my characters can always surprise me.
TRC: TIES THAT BIND is the second storyline (Fall 2014). Would you please tell us something about the premise? Will you give us a hint as to the leading characters?
Dani: I can’t tell you much about the premise without spoiling the first book, but I can say that Travis and Neva return. Their struggles are far from over, and as Shakespeare said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Plus, their friends and allies return as well, and we can look for new romance springing up among them as well.
TRC: STORM WARRIOR was the August 2013 release of the first storyline in your new Grim Series of novels. Would you please tell us something about the premise of the story?
Dani: 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.
TRC: For our followers, would you please tell us how your novella A LEAP OF KNOWING led to The Grim Series?
Dani: Basically, the little novella was just too small to contain the story. There was SO much more to tell, and believe me, the characters HOUNDED me to write more (pun intended, LOL!). I don’t know about other writers, but my characters run the show around here. I was so excited to finally be able to turn this into the full-length novel it always should have been. And I was surprised to find that my characters had even more story to tell – there had to be at least a couple more books! I just finished writing Storm Bound, Book Two in the series.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Dani: Oh, believe me I TRY to plan out what’s going to happen. It almost never works because my characters usually do something totally different. I feel like I’m forever trying to catch up to them, begging them to tell me what’s going on! In other words, yes, I’m totally character-whipped.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Dani: My fearless beta readers often brainstorm with me – my husband and my youngest daughter. My husband is an avid reader and although he’s never read PNR before, he knows a good story when he sees it. He also acts as technical adviser (“What rifle would you use for a charging grizzly, dear?”). My grown daughter is a rabid PNR fan, and her experience with the genre is extremely valuable – that and her eagle eye for grammar and spelling mistakes.
TRC: How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of deadlines while still spending time with family?
Dani: My husband and I make time for ourselves, and we schedule time to have the grandkids over. We go and watch their soccer games and such during the week, and it’s a nice break for me from writing. However, when I’m working under a deadline, I’m a hopeless frazzled mess. My hubby is extremely supportive and he’ll often visit with the grandkids elsewhere. The whole family is really understanding when I can’t attend everything that’s going on – I’m lucky that way. They know I’ll re-emerge from my office eventually….
TRC: If you could be a contestant on a reality television program, which program would you chose and why?
Dani: Never. Really, they couldn’t pay me to do it. I couldn’t handle the drama and the hype – I’d stress out and implode. When I watch TV, it’s the History Channel or Nat Geo or the Science Channel – something educational. Somehow that seems to feed my brain and provide a balance to writing fiction, plus I actually get some great ideas for future stories. Of course, I season that with the utterly silly like Simpsons and Big Bang Theory!
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Dani: Right now I’m working on TIES THAT BIND, Book Two of the Dark Wolf Series.
Favorite Food – Coffee (hey, I consider it a food group!)
Favorite Dessert – Any kind of fruit pie, especially rhubarb or cherry.
Favorite TV Show – Big Bang Theory
Last Movie You Saw – World War Z (loved it!)
Dark or Milk Chocolate – The darker the better!
Favorite Flower – I have a soft spot for irises.
Last Vacation Destination – Tucson, Arizona
Pet Peeves – Telemarketers, and packages I can’t open without a chainsaw.
Secret Celebrity Crush – Chris Hemsworth!
TRC: Thank you Dani for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you all the best.