Thursday, May 24, 2018

Interview & Giveaway with Dani Harper, author of the Grim Series


Storm Crossed (Grim, #4)
by: Dani Harper
Series: Grimm
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Montlake
Amazon | Paperback | Goodreads

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?


Hi Dani. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
Well-caffeinated, therefore doing great, thanks. Here – I brought a chai tea latte for you too!

Thank you so much. You’re a new-to-me author. Please tell me about your Grim series.
Okay, but I have to warn you. The fae are not cute. They are not little. And they are certainly not nice.

If there’s one thing you should always remember, it’s this:

Never trust a fae!

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In the Grim Series, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.

Wow. Are the books standalones or are they connected in some way?
The Grim books can be read as standalones – each one focuses on a different couple – but all take place in the same world. There’s a romance that’s specific to each book, and that romance gets resolved. And while it’s true that many characters now recur (I can’t keep them away!), I’ve tried to set things up so that a reader doesn’t get lost if they don’t happen to begin with Book 1.

This likely evolved out of my own reading habits – I admit it, I often read series out of order! (You’re going to spill your latte if you keep cringing like that!)

Lol. Sorry. Please continue.
I’ve had some happy experiences with this, such as the first time I ran across a Black Dagger Brotherhood story by JR Ward. It was Book 5, Lover Unbound, the story of Vishous and Jane. I TOTALLY adored it! What impressed me further was that although this couple’s own story had been resolved, the incredibly amazing world that had been created was still intact, ready for me to explore it further!

So for now at least, the readers of the Grim Series get to enjoy it in whatever order they want. And I say for now because as the series grows, so too does an overarching storyline that connects the books. I’m currently working on Book 5, and my characters continue to surprise me—but then, they’re in charge!

How did you go about creating the world the books are set in?
I have a lifelong passion for myths and legends of all kinds, and a soft spot for faery folklore from the British Isles. My Gramma was born in Wales. The rest of my family roots are Irish and Scottish, with some English sprinkled in. So you can bet that I grew up on an abundance of Celtic stories about the Fair Folk, the Fae, the Sidhe, the Tylwyth Teg and more. I still collect books and stories, old and new, on the subject.

My Grim Series is based largely on Welsh faery lore. The fae come in every shape and size but chief among them is the Tylwyth Teg. Human-like but impossibly beautiful, they live for centuries and wield powerful magic. While some among the fae possess their own sense of honor and practice a form of kindness, most are self-centered, vain, and contemptuous of mortals. ALL ARE DANGEROUS! I’ve stayed true to many details from the old legends (particularly the “dangerous” part), interweaving them with new twists and takes.

For example, is the Faery Realm truly underground as the legends state, or is it simply in another dimension? In the Grim Series, the land of the Tylwyth Teg is vivid and exotic, and even possesses its own sky – and its own moon! Despite its breathtaking wonders, however, this otherworldly realm is full of tricks and traps. As in the ancient myths, kidnapped mortals either cannot find their way out, or forget that they ever lived anywhere else. Time behaves differently in the fae kingdom, and what seems like an hour to the captive might actually be a dozen years. Or a hundred.

It’s been a delight to build this world, although I admit that my characters dictated most of it. (They’re bossy that way….) And the world of the Grim Series continues to grow and evolve, with something new to explore around every corner.

Reading the blurbs for the books a couple of things stood out. Can you tell me what a Grim is? And what is The Wild Hunt?
Those are two BIG questions – and important ones. That’s why I brought a basket of scones to go with our coffee and tea…

Oh my gosh. I love you. Please tell me you have orange scones.
Sure do.

Thank you! Sorry. Please continue.

THE GRIM - The Grim is a legendary canine with many names. In Welsh, it’s often called the gwyllgi. In other UK countries it’s the Black Dog, the Barghest, Black Shuck, Dog of the Twilight, or even the Black Hound of Destiny. It’s said to resemble a giant mastiff, a noble animal which I greatly admire. A grim is a supernatural creature, however, larger than any living dog and often has glowing red or golden eyes.

The story is an old one, dating all the way back to Celtic times in Wales. The Grim or Black Dog is associated with the Fae, and acts as the herald of Death itself – those who see the animal may be destined to die very soon! The dog appears without warning, follows and sometimes even chases people – yet vanishes without a trace. Electrical storms are often associated with the dog’s appearance.

In its defense, the Grim hasn’t always been threatening, at least, not to the innocent. In some tales, the animal is an instrument of justice, hunting down escaped murderers. A few stories recount incidents where the great beast protected children or guarded lone travelers. Those are the tales that truly captivated my imagination and made me wonder – what if the spectral creature had a conscience and a sense of compassion? What if the Grim didn’t mindlessly follow its mission? What if a Grim wasn’t really a dog at all, but a mortal under a faery curse?

And what if it came to America?

Now you know how the Grim Series began!

Oh my GOSH!! You actually had me on the edge of my seat. Okay. I’m going to be quiet and let you finish.

* * * * *

THE WILD HUNT – Out of all the myths and legends I've read and collected, the tales of the spectral Wild Hunt are my hands-down favorites. A version of the Hunt appears in the lore of many countries, especially in the UK and Europe. Sometimes the Hunt is comprised of faeries, sometimes gods or heroes, and sometimes lost or damned souls. This supernatural band rides across the mortal countryside – even across the sky! – in pursuit of their quarry.

The identity of the Hunt’s leader varies with every legend – Gwyn App Nudd, the Welsh god of the Underworld; Odin, king of the Norse gods; King Arthur and his knights; the Devil and his hounds, just to name a few.

Since the Grim Series novels have Welsh faery legend at their core, it was inevitable that the Wild Hunt would turn up in my stories. Their purpose is to maintain the balance between the fae and human realms. Murderers and betrayers are said to be the lawful prey of the Wild Hunt. They deal out a rough justice to the guilty, often sentencing them to follow behind the Hunt forever – dead or alive.

The leader of the Hunt throughout the Grim Series is Lurien, who commands a fearful amount of magic – and respect. This bold and enigmatic character seems to be one of the Tylwyth Teg, but his long black hair, dark eyes, and somber clothing set him apart from the ethereally beautiful Fair Ones. As in some of the old myths about the Hunt and its leader, Lurien’s powers include summoning the dead to ride with the Hunt when needed, and his preferred weapon is a “light whip”, which can call down lightning. He has a pack of relentless white hounds, the famed Cwn Annwn (coon uh-noon) from Welsh legend.

Okay. I’m sold. The latest book in the series is Storm Crossed. What can you tell me about its characters?
Truthfully, the hero and heroine were unexpected. Lissy and Trahern each had tiny mentions in previous books, but I had no idea that they were going to be the stars of this story. And that’s typical of almost all my writing projects—characters simply pop up one day (honest, it’s like an ambush!) and start talking. And they tend to do that whether it’s a good time or not. I’ve had brand new characters interrupt me while I’m working on a totally different story. I’ve awakened in the morning to discover a new couple arguing with each other in my head. One pair of characters demanded I write about them while I was in Sea-Tac airport. I finished the entire first chapter of a book I hadn’t planned to write before the end of my layover! As for Lissy and Trahern, I learned all kinds of new things about them. And Lissy’s son Fox? He was a total—and delightful—surprise.

I think the back-cover blurb sums it up pretty well:

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?


If you were magically transported into one of the books, which book would you hope to land in and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! Who would I like to hang out with? What would I like to do? Where would I like to live?

I don’t have to worry about the last question – the books are largely set in eastern Washington state, where I already live. I’m lucky enough to be able to visit Palouse Falls, Steptoe Butte, Spokane Valley, Walla Walla, and many other places featured in the Grim Series anytime I wish. Well, when I’m not writing, that is…

I love the Grim Series’ human characters, and fortunately, they’re all close friends and/or family who get together whenever they can manage it. So I’d like to hang out with them in Brooke’s magic shop, Handcastings, or go camping with them at Palouse Falls. And of course, a few of the fae would be certain to drop by as well, especially one of the series’ most enduring and outrageous characters, Ranyon.

Dani, thank you so much for answering some questions for me.
Anytime. Thanks for inviting me to your blog! There are two scones left—let’s go grab another coffee and tea to go with them. I know a great little shop…

Great. I don’t mind if I do. Thank you.

Purchase Storm Crossed from:

The Grim Series:

Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shape-shifters, 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. 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, and Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (a Dark Wolf novel) for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shape-shifter series that includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.

Places to find Dani Harper:

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89 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I have never read any books that had a fae in it, but it sounds interesting.

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    1. I don't think the faery are as much a part of the culture here in the US as they are in the UK and even Canada. It's a pretty fascinating world, though!

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    2. Any book I've ever read that have fae in them, imply or flat out say they are not native to America. Or that they avoid it due to too much cold iron here.

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    3. In fact the only books I've come across that have fae are written by Karen Marie Monning, Patricia Briggs and Dani Harper. They are all great (as in I stalk their upcoming releases and binge read their series repeatedly) but they each come at it from different angles. To me though Dani Harper is the one who goes into the most detail keeping to original myths.😁

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    4. Thank you, Alexis! I love the old stories and legends, and I've always enjoyed doing research. :)

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  3. I don't think I have read a novel about a Fae-but I would like to

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

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    1. Hi. When you sign into a Rafflecopter widget, you don't need to include your email address in the comments. Honestly, it's better for you if you don't.

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    2. True - the email addresses are in the Rafflecopter until after a winner is drawn. So no need to include your email in the comments.

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  4. I've read so many Kathi S. Barton usually has Fae in her series, Felicity Heaton's Eternal Mates series.

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    1. I haven't tried one of Kathi Barton's stories. I'll have to add her to my TBR list!

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  5. I never have read any, but would like to.

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    1. It's like a whole new genre to explore!

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    2. When you enter the world of the fae don't be afraid of having trouble with the pronunciations. You can always do one of two things:
      1. make up your own pronunciation.
      2. get the audio book and help the narrator is using the correct pronunciation
      Oh and there is a third option some authors put the pronunciations in front or the back of the book

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    3. I feel very lucky that actress Justine Eyre voices all of the Grim Series books, and she's very adept with languages. Justine researches the pronunciations very carefully before recording. Currently I'm building a glossary on my website for the characters and creatures in the Grim Series. Gradually I hope to add pronunciations as well.

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    4. CONGRATS ANGELA! The Rafflecopter drew your name as the winner of the tote! See below!

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  6. My favorite book of Dani's is storm crossed the story the characters all captured me from the first few pages. I have enjoyed all the books but this one will always be my favorite.

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    1. Storm Crossed definitely caught my attention. I really want to read the book. Thanks for the rec.

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    2. Thank you so much, Melissa. That one is special to me as well.

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  7. I loved Storm Crossed and it has become my favourite of some exceedingly good stories. I want to know if the tote will be on sale anytime soon because I'd love to own it and don't have much hope of actually winning it. :D

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    1. Thank you! And strangely enough, I was just talking to my hubs about the possibility of selling some tote bags....

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  8. These books sound awesome. Loved reading your interview.

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    1. I haven't read one, but would like to.

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    2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview. I had a lot of fun with Kim. :)

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  9. I've read all of Dani's books and love the interplay between the characters. The Fae involvement makes a wonderful extra element. Looking forward to reading more x

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm working on Book 5 right now, Storm Called.

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  10. I love Dani's books!I also enjoyed the interview. It lets me get to know the author on a more personal level. (jozywails@gmail.com)

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  11. My gosh, I'm STUFFED with orange scones, and I'm a-slosh with coffee! (Not a bad state to be in, LOL) It's been so much fun to talk about the Fae and my stories. THANK YOU KIM for the opportunity, and for asking such great questions. I'll be dropping by to check for comments, and of course, I'll be back to announce the winner in the comments right here!

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  12. No, I haven't, but I would like to.

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    1. Hi Sharon - I hope you get a chance to explore this genre!

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  13. I've found that faeries have suffered a lot from the "Disney Treatment", and now it's natural for us to think of them as tiny and cute like Tinkerbell. That can make it tough to think of them as worthy of a paranormal romance! But in the old legends that I've drawn from, the fae are powerful beings -- and very dangerous!

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  14. I like that the Fae in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series are dark & dangerous.

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    1. As well as being dark and dangerous, the Fever series also shows the immense variety of Fae, from the ethereally beautiful to the ugly and horrifying.

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  15. I loved the post especially the access to the Grim Series Books. I also like your comment in the interview re the Fae. You are right that the FAE can't be trusted, sometimes their dark, sometimes their light, but are ALWAYS cunning.

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    1. In addition to being crafty and calculating, their lenghty lifespans give Fae the advantage of being able to play the long game. They can afford to wait years, even centuries, for a plan to come to fruition.

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  17. The fae sound really interesting and I can't wait to read about them.

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    1. Hi Deborah - I hope you have fun discovering this world!

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  18. I have never read one yet that has had a fae

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    1. Hi Holly - I hope I've piqued your interest in the genre. :)

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  19. I have read many. The ones I remember are by Angela Knight

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    1. Hi Debby - I'll have to try out Angela Knight's stories. (So many books, so little time! My TBR pile on my nightstand is going to fall over and crush me in my sleep one of these nights....LOL)

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  20. I have read quite a few, The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison is a favorite.

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    1. Kim Harrison rocks! I was disappointed when the CW passed on making it a television series.

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  21. I have read other urban fantasies that feature: Fea or fairies. I have not had a chance to read this author

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    1. I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy. Earlier this year, I read my way through everything Ilona Andrews has written, and I'm currently finishing the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk.

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  22. I have read several books and have loved them all. I think my favorite is The Storm Warrior.

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  23. The only one I've read is The Fae Guard series by Elle Christensen.

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    1. Hi Cassie - I'll have to check out this series!

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  24. oh yeah, I love fae books but usually its YA fae, so its fairly easy reading, entertaining and very little sex..I did however stumble upon Karen Marie Moning series of books on the fae and they are quite adult lol...Darkfever (Fever #1)..its a VERY good series, I love the story line and the main character GROWS as the book/series goes on... at first I felt like she was a blonde barbie doll.... just plastic and all but it does get really better

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    1. I came to the Fever series late but I really love it. Mac really grows and develops throughout the series. And Jericho Barrons is one of the sexiest characters ever!

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  25. I haven't read any books with the Fae in it.

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    1. Hi Susan - Hope I've encouraged you to try one! :)

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  26. I've read a ton of books about fae. The ones that really stood out to me were the Bella Forrest A Shade of Vampire series. There's way more than these but it would take forever to lost them lol!

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    1. Oooooo! That's another new-to-me author to add to my TBR list! Thanks Heather!

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  27. I belong to a poetry workshop where one of the poets wrote about "little people" and their wee environment. Scottish and Irish lore have a lot of fae in them along with the interesting lilt in their brogue.

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    1. Because of my extended family and the communities I lived in, I've heard a great variety of those accents and dialects. I consider myself fortunate to have heard as well as read a lot of the stories.

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  28. The Other World series by Yasmine Galenorn. The Fever novels by Karen Marie Moning. The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. The Fae characters always make the stories good. They have different lives and ways of doing things.

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    1. I love the total "otherness" of the Fae, the juxtaposition of their ethereal beauty versus their alien viewpoint. Most are amoral at best.

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  29. I love JR Ward’s BDB series! I also love Laurell K Hamilton’s Merry Gentry Series ... it’s about the Fae world and the Seelie and Unseelie courts etc. so the Grim Series sounds really good to me!

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    1. I'm a serious Black Dagger Brotherhood fan - JR Ward is a must-buy author for me! Just finished The Chosen, working on The Thief!

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  30. This is my first time coming across this genre. I’m really interested in knowing more about it.

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    1. Hi Onyinye! I hope you enjoy exploring this genre. There are some excellent authors mentioned in the comments.

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  31. I’ve read all Dani’s books and loved them all!

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    1. Thank you so much - that makes me warm and tingly all over!

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  32. Karen Marie Moning Darkfever and more of the series there are Fae and other thing's in then.

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    1. I really love the world of the Fever series. It took me a long time to get around to reading it (my TBR list is huuuuuge!), but it was worth the wait. I really like that Moning showed the dangerous side of the Fae.

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  33. Plenty, but can I spontaneously name them? Of course not. I've read Karen Marie Monig's series. Patricia Brigg's UF Mercy Thompson series has fae.

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    1. I've fallen behind in the Mercy Thompson series, but I seriously ADORE her wolves! She built vampires and fae and all sorts of things into the same world seamlessly -- incredibly well done!

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  34. I love books about the Fae. Dani Harper and Karin Marie Monig are a couple of my favorite authors in this genre.
    Thank you for sharing and the wonderful contest.

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    1. Thank you so much! I consider it very high praise to appear in the same sentence as Karen Marie Moning!

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  35. I love Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne series. It is a favorite of mine when they have humor mixed with the story. These have a very slight romance but I still love them.

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    1. The Harry Dresden series in on my keeper shelf, as well as in my audiobook collection (James Marster, the actor who played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the narrator!) And I have the first few books of the Iron Druid series too!

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  36. I have never. What is your favorite book?

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    1. So hard to pick just one! I totally ADORE Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, plus the new Hidden Legacy series. And right now I'm just reading the last book in Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series. I would be hard-pressed to say which I've enjoyed more.

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  37. I have read all of Dani's books and can't hardly wait for the next one. She is teaching me all about the sometimes bad Fae, and the sometimes magical Fae. Love all of them.

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    1. Thank you hugely for that - I'm so happy you like my work! I'm working on Book 5 of the Grim Series, Storm Called, plus the second in the Haunted Holiday Series (The first was The Holiday Spirit).

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  38. I havent ever read one involving the fae but I do like Romance novels of all kinds. It is what I read exclusively.

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    1. I love romance novels and urban fantasy with a strong romantic element. While real life may not only go right, it's wonderful to be able to count on a happily ever after in a book. In a high-stress world, it's like therapy but a lot more fun!

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  39. I have read several paranormal romances and urban fantasy novel involving the Fae. I have also read Dani's books except for Storm Crossed.

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  40. Thank you so much for reading my stories! :) I hope you do get a chance to check out Storm Crossed --- not only is it my favorite, but I really feel it's my best book yet.

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  41. The main series that comes to mind is the Hallows series, but I have read so many other series that involve the supernatural that I couldn't possibly list them all.

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    1. That would be my problem too --- I've read soooo many paranormal romance and urban fantasy, that I'd be hard pressed to remember them all, nevermind list them, LOL

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  42. I have not read a paranormal romance or urban fantasy novel involving the Fae.

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    1. Hi Cassandra - I hope something in this interview has intrigued you to try one out! There are lots of good suggestions in the comments too. :)

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  43. CONGRATULATIONS to Angela Saver! Her name was drawn as the winner of the Dani Harper tote bag. I'll be emailng Angela in a few minutes....

    MANY THANKS to everyone who stopped by and commented. I had such a good time reading them and responding, and I got some good ideas for my TBR list too!

    MUCH APPRECIATION to Kim for inviting me to the blog. It's been a lot of fun and I hope to visit again in the future. *waving*

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