Fun with Changelings --- A Tour of "Werewolf Central" plus giveaway

LOCATION – The Village of Dunvegan – a small northern Canadian town that’s literally Werewolf Central in my paranormal novels, Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream and Changeling Dawn.  

* * * * 

You step off the dusty bus into the late afternoon sun, sweaty, tired and your luggage is missing. Somebody takes your arm and steers you to a shiny red pickup truck – a small white-haired woman with bright eyes, flawlessly French-rolled hair and a tailored citrus green pantsuit.

“The Pack has run up to Elk Point for a special meeting, so I’ll be your tour guide today. Name’s Birkie Peterson and I’m the power behind the throne at the North Star Animal Hospital.” She barks a laugh and slaps the steering wheel. “Means I’m the receptionist and bookkeeper and Jill-of-all-trades there.  Believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve hosed blood and manure off the ceiling, dear.”

You have a hard time imagining that. With such an impeccable appearance, Birkie looks like she would be more at home in the back of a limousine than hosing out a livestock pen. Yet she handles the big truck as if she’d been born behind the wheel.

“That wide water you crossed on the way here is the Peace River. Gonna tell you right off, it’s a misnomer. Smooth as silk on top, but there’s a powerful current underneath. Lots of folks drowned there over the years.

“People say there’s more than one ghost on that bridge too. Jumped, you know.”

You don’t want to be distracted by ghost stories. You tell her about the werewolf book you’re writing, the one that proves it all, and you want to include a chapter about Changelings.

She eyes you then. “Heard about that. The Pack leader, Jessie, says that since you know Changelings exist, you’re to get the full trea-, I mean tour. Connor didn’t agree, mind you and I don’t know if I do either, but here we are. Sure hope you know what you’re getting into.”

You say you’re glad to get a firsthand look at Dunvegan, and you’re excited as the truck turns away from Main Street.

“This is Hemstock Ave.” Birkie points to a stretch of curb. “And right there’s the spot where Zoey was attacked by a rogue Changeling. No screaming and fainting for that gal, she gave almost as good as she got. Still, it’s lucky Connor came along when he did because a human can’t hold out against a Changeling for long. They’re too strong, too powerful. Bigger than ordinary wolves you know. And the one that attacked Zoey was crazy as a bedbug to boot.”

Out of the corner of your eye, you spot something huge and black moving behind the shrubbery. But when you turn to look, there’s nothing there.

“Up ahead of us is Dunvegan’s town hall,” she continues. “Zoey almost changed into a wolf right there in the middle of a council meeting. So much for trying to keep Changelings a secret after an incident like that.” She shakes her head.

Again your eye catches furtive movement, this time between a house and a stand of lilac bushes. Again, nothing.

“Over there is a place you want to remember, the Finer Diner. Looks like just a gas station and burger joint, but let me tell you, it’s got the best food in town. Bill and Jessie Watson own that operation. I’ll take you to lunch there in a day or so when you’re settled. Jessie’s the Pack leader by the way – you have a problem, you see her about it. She’s not much bigger than me, but don’t be fooled. She’s leader for a reason, and what she says, goes.”

Was that a gleam of silver fur between the cars back there? You wonder why people keep such big dogs here. At least, you think it was a dog…

Birkie turns the truck onto Third Ave and a small house comes into view with a crooked sign on it that says MUSEUM. “There’s an old diary in there from 1904, with an eye-witness account of a man turning into a wolf. Kathleen Summers has kept it under lock and key for over thirty years. Still, the page got photographed somehow and put in the paper a few years back, so although Kathleen won’t show it to you, you can find it in the Dunvegan Herald Weekly morgue.”

She chuckles at the look on your face. “Oh, not a real morgue, hon – although we have one of those too – this is where the newspaper keeps all its old issues. You can read all the old werewolf stories there too. Goodness knows we’ve had more than a few of those in recent years. And the murders of course.”

You shiver at that. You’ve heard of those. And you’ve heard that the killer wasn’t human.

Birkie carries on as if violent death is an everyday occurrence. “Have to go to Macklin’s down the street here if you want any sporting goods. Do you fish? I like to go for trout on the weekends, sometimes get a few perch to fry up. Sergeant Fitzpatrick, now, he likes to fish for sturgeon. I see him on the river quite a bit. When he’s not fishing, he heads the RCMP Detachment in these parts, and if he asks you for a date, say yes. He’s a good man. Connor is too, but he’s taken. Mind you, his younger brothers are still available and all those Macleod men are easy on the eyes. Big, strong, sexy types -- just what a gal needs to get her blood going.

“And as you know, they’re all Changelings too. Fitz included. Best place to hide is in plain sight, don't you think?”

Even the police sergeant can turn into a wolf at will? Suddenly you’re very uncomfortable.

The sun has just slid below the horizon when the truck pulls into the parking lot of a sprawling modern building. “Welcome to the North Star Animal Hospital. It’s after hours now but I can show you around. You might want to walk around the loft where the big white wolf – that’s our James – slept for a while. Or the couch in Connor’s office with wolf hair all over it from Culley. See that area over by the dumpster? Well, all the blood’s gone now of course but that’s where the showdown happened not too long ago.”

What showdown? You ask Birkie to explain.

“I forgot that you probably hadn’t heard of that yet. Tell you what, let’s come back to this later. Right now, we’ll head out to a couple of the sites where the attacks took place. By then it’ll be moonrise and the Pack says to bring you up to Elk Point then.”

The hair on the back of your neck stands up. You don’t like the sound of that invitation, and say so.

“Just part of the tour, hon. Practically the whole Pack’ll be there – maybe 35, 40 wolves tonight. Full moon too. You’ll get to meet them all, get the whole experience.” Birkie smiles sweetly, “You know, for your research.”

Suddenly you don’t give a damn about the book you’re writing. As the truck slows down for a stop sign, you half leap, half stumble out and run for all you’re worth. There has to be a bus out of town tonight. A car you can rent. A taxi you can commandeer. Something. Anything.

A howl slices the cool dusk air. A hunting howl...


*********************************************

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. 


Congrats to BECKY, whose name was drawn as the winner. She's been contacted and the stuffed wolf will be on his way to his new home soon.


Thank you to everyone who entered. I totally enjoyed the comments and got some great reading recommendations! 




Special thanks to DAWN, who was on the ball and noticed that I'd overlooked drawing a winner! Thanks for the save, Dawn!





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88 comments:

  1. Wow, what a lovely tour, Dani! Thanks to you and the pack for taking us through that world! I have the first one on my TBR, and am looking forward to catching up with this series!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

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  2. I know how hard it is to catch up on TBR piles. I have one of paper books that towers over my bed and will probably crush me if it falls over. And now my Kindle is chock-full too!

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  3. Wow, awesome post. I loved how you wrote it. Definitely a tour I am happy to read about though and not take personally. Especially after reading that ending. ;)
    Right now I am reading "Wicked As They Come" by Delilah S Dawson. A brand new series with a very unique take on the vampire species in a different dimension. It's a sort of paranormal steampunk novel. I'm really enjoying it and definitely will be getting the next book in this series.
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Thanks - the post is sort of what Changeling Moon might be like as a horror story, LOL.

      Wow - what a memorable cover on "Wicked As They Come"!

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  4. I haven't read any of your books yet but I really want to, they look so good! At the moment I'm reading The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabina Jefferies and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because I wanted to re-read it. Though normally I do seem to read a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal, and I have a couple of Sherrilyn Kenyon books I got from the library just waiting for me to read them. Great post!

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. I've heard that the Hellions of Halstead Hall series is really good!

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  5. Right now I am reading A ROUGE BY ANY OTHER NAME by Sarah MacLean. I am also getting ready to start Kerrelyn Sparks' new book. I am also starting a new book by Eve Langlais (love her funny stories). I do tend to read a lot of paranormals everything from light fun reads to darker, more intense books.
    Love the cute little wolfie...I need him to stand guard over my books, LOL.
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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    1. I had a bunch of these little wolves for giveaways when the first book in the Changeling series came out. This little guy is the last of the pack!

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  6. Just looking through the photographs on this post I went YEAH!! that's why we love reading about wolves.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Wolves are truly beautiful creatures -- and they have that spark of danger. Come to think of it, that's why we love shapeshifters too!

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  7. My what big teeth! The tour was great but I think I'll stay home and just read about it. I have read Changeling Moon and loved it. At the moment I'm reading Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day , this series has been on my TBR pile for ages.
    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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    1. Had to look up Atlantis Rising -- it immediately put me in mind of the BDB. I'm going to pick up a copy!

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  8. Great Tour and giveaway! I've only read Changeling Moon so far but I really want the other two! Really want them! Just waiting till I can get a little extra money and get them! I'm reading Lover Unbound by J.R.Ward at the moment, it's a new series for me and I'm enjoying it so far! I love all the photo's in the tour! Wolves have always been a favourite animal of mine.
    suzi1811 (at) fsmail (dot) net

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    1. JR Ward rocks -- I'm a big BDB fan! Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  9. What a great tour Dani. I imagined leaping from the truck just before you did . lol Somehow I was trying to see Connor behind those big teeth. :) I have read Changeling Moon only. But I have definitely got to finish. I love these characters.Right now I am finishing up Victoria Alexander's My Wicked Little Lies. Happy Easter.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Actually I imagined all the Changelings laughing their asses off after scaring away this "researcher".

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  10. I have not read any of your books yet they are on my gotta have list i just finished reading Moon Child By J.R. Rain and im trying to figure out what to read next lol. I love your giveaway Im a huge fan of wolves my email is butterfli262002@yahoo.com thanks so much for this chance to win.

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    1. I haven't had a chance to check out the Vampire for Hire series but I hear it's great!

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  11. Wow! This tour gave me goose bumps. I just stared readining Air by William Esmont. I love wolves! After my cat they're my favorite animal:)
    greenduckie13 at gmail dot com

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    1. Cats are cool too - they're like living art.

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  12. Unfortunately I still haven't read any of the Changling books, but they are at the top of my wish list :D

    ilona
    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

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    1. So many books, so little time... it happens to all of us.

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  13. Beautiful pics, & the post was great. Wolves are such kwl animals. At the moment I`m reading "and she was" by Alison Gaylin.

    Thx 4 the chance!!!

    ctymice at gmail dot com

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    1. I don't know which I enjoyed more, writing the post or picking out the photos!

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  14. I have to tell you that I'm having Changeling withdrawals Dani! I'm missing the Macleod clan (especially my favorite twin). If I didn't have a load of books in my TBR pile I'd be reading all three of your books again. Truth be told I'm thinking of doing that anyway. LOL!

    I am waiting patiently for the new Changeling books, but while I'm waiting I'm currently reading Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I'm a little late getting into her books, but better late than never.

    Irishwolf @ embarqmail .com

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    1. Jeaniene Frost has been a recent discovery for me --- I usually read shapeshifter stories but Bones very nearly turned me to the vamp side!!!

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  15. Another fun post; it reminded me of something that Kelley Armstrong might do. I can easily see Elena doing a similar tour of Stonehaven, lol. "And this is the shed where Clay tortured that mutt" :D

    I also enjoyed the pix, that must have taken you a whole to find them, or have you built up a collection of wolf pix?

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  16. Hi Dani..thanks for the post and the contest. I love the Changeling series and love Birkie and Connor. Makes me want to find a wolf to call my own.

    Thanks again for sharing your talent. (((hugs)))

    vanliz1@aol.com

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    1. Birkie is definitely one of my very favorite characters ever.

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  17. Dani, you are a new author for me and would love to win and read your books. Right now I am reading 50 Shades of Grey and loving it. Next I will be reading Lover Reborn by JR Ward. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  18. I've been waiting for Lover Reborn -- haven't got my copy yet! Hearing a lot about 50 Shades of Grey, put it on my TBR list.

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  19. Great Post! I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures. I really like the white wolf picture. I have read your Changeling Dream story, which I enjoyed very much. I haven't gotten to the other 2 yet. I am reading2 different books right now. I'm reading "Bloodrose" by Andrea Cremer and "Pursuit" by Karen Robards.
    Thanks for the chance of winning this giveaway!

    beckyqward@gmail.com

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    1. The white wolf reminds me of James, the hero of my second book, Changeling Dream. I'll have to check out Bloodrose and Pursuit - not familiar with them - yet!

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    2. CONGRATULATIONS BECKY - your name came out of the big green mixing bowl (I broke the pink one!) as the winner of the giveaway. I'll email you in a few minutes!

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  20. wow.. love all the pic of werewolf, great choice :)

    thanks for the giveaway

    i shared on twitter : https://twitter.com/#!/Eli_Yanti/status/188824393735086080

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing on Twitter - I really appreciate the help in getting the word out. :)

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  21. That was such an awesome post, Dani. Right now I'm in between books. But the next book on my list is ummm BDSM
    Cock Hunting. Sounds kinda nice! I do like reading shape shifter books, especially ones with a good story line. I don't have a face book or twitter page to share with.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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    1. One of the nice things about ebooks is that no one can see what you're reading. I think that's why romance readers have led the way in purchasing e-readers. Enjoy!

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  22. That was a fun post and something that I could totally see Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series doing.

    I have several books I'm working on right now - Face Off by Mark Del Franco, a UF book, and Breaking Bad, a sci fi romance, by Jodi Redford.

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    1. I adore Kelley Armstrong. "Bitten" has been on my keeper shelf since it first came out. Breaking Bad caught my attention - another one for my TBR list! Thanks!

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  23. love the tour dani <3

    let's see.. right now i'm juggling Stolen (Kelley Armstrong), Second Grave on the Left (Darynda Jones) and some other romance books. next on the pile would be Anita Blake series, Jeaniene Frost's Eternal Kiss of Darkness, the rest of kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, Games of Thrones, and plenty more :))

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    1. Kelley Armstrong ROCKS! I've read most of the Anita Blake series and I'm working my way through Jeaniene Frost's Dark Huntress series. :)

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  24. Very interesting post. I recently read an excerpt for a paranormal book involving fairies.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Love fairies. I'm working on a story right now that involves these creatures.

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  25. Right now I'm reading Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara (Book 6 in the Chronicles of Elantra series) -- I'm so totally hooked on this series!

    I actually had 2 full blood wolves that I rescued, they were incredible animals! Thanks for the post!

    elizabeth @ bookattict . com
    GFC & Linky: BookAttict

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    1. Wow, that's amazing -- I'm glad you saved them and I'm envious that you got to spend time with them! Cool!

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  26. Great pictures. I love wolves. I had a friend who had a wolf mix, and I think one of my dogs was a wolf mix. He had the head shape and mane of a wolf, and there was a wolf running the woods around our house when his mom got pregnant.

    Pamela Jo
    theresjustlife(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I think a lot of us would love a wolf of our very own -- they're such beautiful animals. I think someone should design a breed of dog that looked identical to wolves but had the steady loving temperament of, say, a golden retriever.

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  27. I've read the first one and I absolutly loved them :)

    Can't wait to read more!

    bookluver1997 AT hotmail DOT com

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  28. I've read all your books and loved loved loved them! Right now I am reading a new author, well, new to me! It is Embraced by Jessica Shirvington. I am really liking it as well. Thanks so much for the giveaway! Shared on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/dawnmomoffour/status/189391884416843776

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    1. I'm hearing a lot of good things about Embraced - have to add it to my TBR list! Really glad you enjoyed my stories too. :)

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  29. Forgot to add my deets!
    -Dawn aka dawnmomoffour
    thedoyle6@rogers.com

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  30. I've been watching the TV Series Game of Thrones and as much as I truly hate many of the things that happen in the show (there are a lot of animals killed... not really killed, but killed in the show), I love the dedication of the 'Dire wolfs' that are adopted by the Stark family. The breed used for the show are Northern Inuit's. They are such a beautiful breed. There is one that I love, in particular, his name is Ghost, and he is an albino. Such a beautiful dog. Anyways, ignore me, sorry. The wolf pics got me started :D

    Loved the post :D


    jesyka_james@live.com.au

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    1. I admit, the dire wolves are what first attracted me to the Game of Thrones books. I didn't know about the Northern Inuit breed -- how cool is that? Thanks for the info!

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  31. OMG! I begin reading Paranormal romance books like 2 weeks ago and I'm loving them!! I became addicted to the Nalini Singh's series!! Highly recomended!

    ilepachequin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  32. I remember when I first stumbled on paranormal romance -- I was amazed! Where had this been all my life? I have two of Nalini's books in my TBR pile by my bed, just waiting.

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  33. Hi Danni! Thank you to share w us your wonderful tour journey and the story of wolves:). The stuffed wolf is soo cute:). Wish you all the best! Aretha zhen, arethazhen@rocketmail.com

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    1. He really IS a cutie! The plush wolf has been a reader favorite. This is the last one I have.

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  34. Love these pictures. I am obsessed with wolves.
    autumnflower6(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I had so much fun finding the pictures for this blog. I have a big collection of pics now, but most of these are new.

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  35. Thank you for the cool tour! I've read the first book in your series and loved it. I'm suppose to be getting an Amazon GC and I'll pick up the others:)

    wayfaringwriter at gmail dot com

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    1. Really glad you enjoyed the first book. Amazon's definitely the place with the best prices at present.

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  36. Hi! I have read your book changeling Moon! I'm not reading a paranormal book right now, I'm reading a book in a Debbie McComber series. But my favorite is paranormal books.

    Loridog4@aol.com

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    1. I read other books too but paranormal is my favorite. Thanks for reading Changeling Moon, hope you enjoyed it.

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  37. Very beautiful post and pictures. Right now I'm reading Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. I love this series very much and I think that they are the only books I have read about wolves. They are amazing animals and I really want to read more books and learn more about them.
    Thank you for the great giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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    1. I've heard so many good things about the Wolves of Mercy Falls. I'm going to have to pick up book 1!

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  38. Just finished re-reading Blue Moon, by Lori Handeland. Am starting Savage Hunger by Terry Spears, it is a leopard shifter book. I have your books in my ENORMOUS TBR pile!

    sugerlady@aol.com

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    1. I have a couple of Terry Spears' books in my TBR pile -- and like yours, it's enormous. It won't be long before it gets its own zip code!

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  39. Hiya Dani.
    I love to read your posts. They are so very good. Yes, I have read all your Changeling books.
    Right now I am read Dakota Banks's Dark Time. I was in the doctor's office this morning and got to start it. I was kind of perturbed when he came in and I had to put it up...LOL
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Dakota Banks's books intrigue me - she's a new-to-me author and I hear good things about her work.

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  40. Ha, that was funny, although, I don't think I would've jumped out....I'd would've toughed it out. :)
    Right now I'm reading the 2nd in Sara Humphrey's Amoveo series, Untouched. *sings* Lovin' it....
    I've read Changeling Moon so far out of the series and I loved it. I've got on my Amazon wish list the other two, and when I get the 2nd, I have to get the 3rd at the same time. No more gap in between! lol
    Btw: I love looking at all the wolf pictures you post, so gorgeous!
    Thanks so much,
    Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

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    1. I don't know if I would have stayed or not - depends how creeped out I was. The gal in the story doesn't know Connor and James and the rest as people.

      Really glad you liked Changeling Moon

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  41. Great Post!!
    LOVE Dani and her changelings!!! Can't wait to read more.

    Don't worry about entering my I just wanted to stop by and show my love!!!

    Kelly
    Books-n-Kisses

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    1. *waving at Kelly* Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  42. I think it is a wonderful thing when I a writer can make you feel what they are writing and for me that is why I read. I am also tring my own hand at writing but don't think I have the right style just yet. I love all paranormal creators, but wolves and vampires are my favorite.

    momeducation@yahoo.com

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    1. I love almost all paranormal creatures too. Except zombies - they're too yukky!

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  43. Loved this blog.Right now i am reading a YA book called Vampire Manifesto. It is by a new author pretty good book but a few editing mistakes but hay no one is perfect and it dont take away from the story so it's all good

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  44. I hear that one of the toughest things about self-publishing is that you have to get professional editing from somewhere. I checked on this book and I really LIKE the premise. Will have to add it to my TBR!

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  45. I am currently reading Forbidden Blood by Felicity Heaton. Of course, it has vampires...no shifters or changelings yet. :(
    I love wolves and would love to win the plush wolf! Thank you for yet another great blog and giveaway!
    Phoenix
    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

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    1. Felicity Heaton is a new to me author this year. I have a couple of her books in my towering TBR pile.

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  46. LOVED this blog...my niece just adores wolves and I will have to get on here and show her the pictures next time I see her!! Thanks for having another awesome giveaway!!

    joellaelbert@gmail.com

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the blog. I love collecting trivia for these posts, and I love giving away goodies even more!

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  47. I love this blog. I can't wait for the next changeling book to come out. thanks for your give aways!!!
    shellbell_k@yahoo.com

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    1. I don't have a date yet but there are more books to come. I have two projects that must be done before Book 4 can be finished --- but one of those projects involves a new group of Changelings!

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  48. Who won this contest? I can't find the winners post anywhere? Am I blind? LOL
    Thanks in advance
    -Dawn aka dawnmomoffour
    thedoyle6@rogers.com

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    1. You know, I can't either -- I usually announce the winner in the body of the blog. Will check this out further. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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    2. No problem. I can only imagine how busy you are with writing (uber important for fans like us LOL), blogging, fb'ing, family etc. Thanks for answering so quickly.
      -Dawn

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