Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guest paranormal romance author Dani Harper + givaway

Everyone please welcome author Dani Harper here on Bitten.


Werewolves as the good guys?    
By Dani Harper, www.daniharper.com, author of Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream and Changeling Dawn.




Hollywood and history has done the werewolf a great disservice by painting him as a monster, an out-of-control killing machine ruled by the cycles of the moon.
What you may not know is that it hasn’t always been this way. Before the religious leaders between the 12th and the 16th centuries decided to lump werewolves in with witches and condemn them all as evil servants of the Devil, werewolves were often seen as neutral beings, good, or even benevolent.
A group in Italy was known as the Benandanti, which means “good walkers” or “those who go well”. They practiced white magic and claimed to travel out of their bodies while they slept for the purpose of battling evil. Both male and female members of the group took part in this four times a year, and as spirits they commonly took the form of wolves, although they might assume that of other animals as well. Specifically, they used their wolfen form to fight demons and witches to protect their crops, and if they won, there would be a good harvest. If they lost, their crops would wither in the fields, and many of their children would die as well. It was also said that the Benandanti were 
said to be able to contact the world of the dead, and to protect the road between the living and the afterlife.

In the 1300s, John of Nuremberg relates that a priest was lost in the forest and came upon a campfire. There he found a wolf sitting upright like a man. The wolf spoke to him and entreated him to come and deliver last rites to his dying wife, as they were both Christian. The priest was at last persuaded and the wolf led him to a house, in which lay another wolf, a female. The priest administered the rites and saw her emerge from her lupine form to that of an aged woman who died soon after. The husband, still in wolf form, was so grateful for the priest’s ministrations, that he led him safely through the forest to his destination.

In the 12th century, a poem relates the story of Baron Bisclavret, a man who happened to be a werewolf. His wife learns his secret and hides the clothing he needs to return to human form. Bisclavret runs to the king, who is out hunting, and kisses his boots. The king is so impressed with the wolf’s behavior that he takes him back to the castle with him. Everyone at court marvels at the wolf’s gentleness and nobility, and the creature lives freely among them. Eventually, the wife comes to the castle with her new husband and she is attacked by the wolf. Rescued, she is forced to tell the king what she had done to Bisclavret, and to produce the clothing that will allow him to change. She is banished and all that was Bisclavret’s is restored to him by the king.

The Vilkacis of Latvian and Lithuanian lore was a benevolent creature, usually a wolf that had once been a human being. It often tried to participate in singing and dancing whenever there was a celebration and sometimes brought treasure to the party. Werewolves in Scotland were often of a type called Wulvers. The creatures are known for having kind hearts and only wanted to live in peace. They were known to leave fish at the door of widows and poor families. Sometimes their presence indicated that money or some other treasure was hidden nearby.

In my new paranormal series from Kensington-Brava, I’ve created a world in which the werewolves live as humans among us, hiding in plain sight. They call themselves Changelings and they regard their innate ability to become a wolf at will as a gift. Such a unique power can also complicate their lives, however, particularly when love is involved. Are my creatures “good”? One of the Changelings’ friends sums it up in an upcoming release, “Honey, there are good and bad individuals in both species.”
* * * *




Question for my readers: Shapeshifters are elbowing the vampires aside for their turn in the paranormal romance sun – er, moon? Name a shapeshifter story you’ve particularly enjoyed in the past year – or one 
you’re hoping to read.

All commenters (including international) will be entered in a draw for a signed copy of my latest release, Changeling Moon (and as much swag as I can stuff in the envelope with it!).

41 comments:

  1. Besides your books, I've read Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews which is a great book with shifters in it. I also recently read Never Cry Wolf by Cynthia Eden and really enjoyed it. Lots of great shifter books out there.

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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  2. The latest Shapeshifter story I've read is Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf!! It involves a vampire & werewolf!! The next Shapeshifter book I'd like to read is Changeling Moon!! This series sounds very intriguing!!! I've added it to my TBR list!!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!! :-)

    jfort357(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  3. I've enjoyed reading The Wolves Of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Steifvater..I finished Shiver and Linger and will start with Forever soon..I liked the different take on werewolves in this series.

    GFC-Janhvi Jagtap

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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  4. Well, there were a lot of great shapeshifter stories I've read this year. Besides from your books, I really loved Kresley Cole's books from the Immortals After Darks series. They're not only about weres but vampires and witches as well :) And I've just got my hands on The Dark Divine by Bree DeSpain (YA) and it was a beautiful story.
    And I have to tell how much it impresses me that every shapeshifer story has something in it that is unique! You authors are awsome!

    Thank you for the chance to win,
    mikki-mano@hotmail.com

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  5. I'm still fairly new to reading paranormal but I really enjoyed the Zena Wynn True Mates series.

    slandon9903(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. I enjoy racheal vincents shifter series!

    aliciahall0605(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  7. I've really been enjoying the Southern Vampire Series (True Blood books) Some of my favorite characters are shifters.

    ~Kayla
    kcrochet002@gmail.com

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  8. Ohhh - there are some many. I really enjoyed Rachel Vincent's Shifter series and the dragons by Deborah Cooke and Thea Harrison.

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction

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  9. Thanks for the great giveaway!
    I have read Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews which was great, even though I hadn't read the earlier books, and I'm in the middle of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.
    GFC- audreyclair
    twigerina[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  10. There are so many good shifter stories out there. But I'd have to say my favorite shifter series is Nalini Singh's PSI/Changling series. Her most recent is Kiss of Snow which was excellent.

    Another favorite was Nina Bangs' Gods of the Night dinosaur shifter series which was put on hold for a while due to a change in publishers. Her Castle of Dark Dreams series also features shifters of all different 'flavors', one of which is a shark shifter.

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  11. Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series are the books that came to mind first besides your books. Shape Shifters and Werewolves are some of my favorite paranormal reads.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

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  12. There are some really good shifter series around at the moment. I love Shelly Laurenston, Thea Harrison and the one I am currently waiting to read is The Dragon who loved Me by GA Aiken.
    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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  13. You know i Just love about any Vampire or shifter:):)
    elliott2668(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. man i have read entirely too many shifters!! theyre my default fav.. dana marie bell and shelly laurenston have some interesting cats bears and wolves.. theyre some of my go to rereads..

    alainala@ hotmail dot ca

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  15. I have read several shapeshifter stories I have enjoyed; Thea Harrison's Dragon Bound, Deborah Cooke's Dragonfire series, Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling. Your books sound great. Love werewolves.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  16. I enjoyed Never Cry Werewolf. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have only read 1 shapeshifter series this year so far... The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver, Linger and hopefully soon Forever). There are just sooo many Vamp book series that are really good. Although WEREWOLVES are my most fave!!! But there's not a lot of series spotlighting them! :/ Looking forward to checking out the Changeling series, it's on the top of my list! :D

    saribonita76(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I've just finished reading Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter, which is a skinwalker story - which is a kind of shapeshifter. It is the third book in a fantastic series and I can't wait for more.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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  19. hmmm.. I enjoyed reading NALINI SINGH'S PSY/CHANGELING SERIES.. and I'm waiting to read more from her.

    ladykrishna @ gmail dot com

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  20. Thea Harrison's Dragon Bound was awesome. I have a weakness for Dragons. And unicorns. What a combination! Looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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  21. The latest I have read would be Cynthia Eden's NEVER CRY WOLF. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love paranormals of any kind really. Some series that I love that have shifters in them would be Larissa Ione's books, Kerrelyn Sparks Love at Stakes series. I also enjoy Eve Langlais shifters, and Vivian Arrand's shifters. I have been wanting to read some series that have the main line about shifters (Cynthia Eden, Shelly Laurenston, etc).
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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  23. There are some shifters in the Shadowmen series by Jennifer St. Giles and the Carpathians from Christine Feehan. I have more in my TBR pile that I am excited about though.

    musicalfrog@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your book sounds like my kind of read. iI enjoyed your post. One that comes to mind for me is Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors, shifters of all kinds and of course Kresley Cole's IAD. Great reads.Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  25. I have been looking forward to reading Terry Spears werewolf series and was slowly collecting each book in the past two years to read back to back. This weekend they all burned along with every other series that had books out that I followed, some for 20 years.

    Not only do I love weres and all the other shifters as much or not more than the vampire characters but your series has been on my radar for a long time Ms. Harper as it sounds delicious.

    jacabur2008(@))gmail(dot)com

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  26. I liked the 2011 releases, Magic Slays and River Marked, by Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. Both series feature shifters or werewolves.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  27. My three go to series are Patricia Briggs' Mercy series, Lydia Dare's books, and Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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  28. Patricia Briggs is my VERY favorite shifter author. I love the Mercy Thompson series and also her Alpha and Omega series (of which I'm hoping for more stories soon). I like Keri Arthur and Kresley Cole. On the lighter side, I like Molly Harper's "Naked Werewolf" series!

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  29. I actually haven't read any shifter stories lately, except for Eclipse and Breaking Dawn which included shifters.

    I want to read the Mercy Thompson series as well as the Rachel Vincent series.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

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  30. I had to think for a moment and realized I have not read many wolves for a while. I have read a lot of vamps and angles and demons and magic, but where are the wolves. I love Kitty Norville and her world and Mercy Thompson can do no wrong to my way of thinking; of course lets not forget Adam LOL Thank you for sharing the fun today. I look forward to reading Dani's books cause they sound wonderful and I want a new wolf to root for :)

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  31. I REALLY LIKE THE RACHEL VINCENT SHAPESHIFTERS SERIES AND A BUNCH OF OTHER AUTHORS SHAPESHIFTER BOOKS BUT TO MANY TO WRITE DOWN. I ALSO CAN NOT WAIT FOR BOOK 3 OF THE CHANGLING SERIES!!
    mbermasjan@yahoo.com

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  32. Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden!
    Your series sounds fantastic!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  33. I love all paranormal love to read about vampires, shifters and werewolves so many good ones! Rachel Vincent's has great shifters! I have not read any of these books but always wanted too thanks for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

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  34. Recently I have read Never Cry Wolf by Cynthia Eden and really liked it and at the moment, I'm reading Crux, the first book in the Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers :)

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am currently starting the Breeds series by Lora Leigh. I have been looking for a good werewolf story since they are my favorite supe creature <3

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love shifters of all kinds. They are my favorite paranormal creatures. My favorite authors are Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews, but my most recent shifter discovery is Eileen Wilks' World of the Lupi series and I'm loving it also.
    Jen at delux dot com

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  37. Okay, can a cheat a little? Rachel Vincent's Shifters series is about werecats, not werewolves, but its the same concept. There's not a single vampire in those books and I LOVE them!

    gildardc10 AT hotmail DOT com

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  38. I'm looking forward to reading about Jaquar shapeshifters by Julianne Stone. There are many more great souding books out there.

    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for the giveaway!

    My favorite series involves werewolves actually! I love the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Adam has always had a thing for Mercy and she was so oblivious to it for the longest time. I have loved and still love every single book in that series! Patty sure knows how to make folklore exciting.

    I would love to read this book! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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  40. Sorry, forgot to add my email! cathygarcia51(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. This sounds really cool! I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing :)
    New follower!Register a Domain

    ReplyDelete

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