Monday, January 15, 2018

Pwca in the Grim Series: Storm Crossed Grim Series Book 4 by Dani Harper


There’s a wide variety of Fae beings in my Grim Series, all of them based on Celtic legends and lore. One of the faery creatures making an appearance in my new release, Storm Crossed, is a Pooka – spelled in Welsh as Pwca. (the “w” is pronounced like the “oo” in moon). 

The faery Pwca is a shapeshifter, able to appear as many different creatures but almost always black as coal with glowing yellow eyes. While some stories feature it as a large male goat, a fearsome goblin, a cat or rabbit,  or even a man, its favorite form is that of a powerful black horse with flowing mane and tail. Whatever form it takes, the Pwca has the power of human speech, and is extremely clever.

(The Pwca in Storm Crossed would be very flattered to hear that. His name is Cadell. Not only does he befriend the hero in the story, he’s showing every sign of being a regular in the series!) 

Legend says that the Pwca gallops at great speed over the countryside, usually after dark, often leaving a trail of mischief and bad luck. Fences may be broken down, crops trampled, and livestock chased away. Cows who catch sight of the creature will stop giving milk, and likewise, hens will stop laying if a Pwca has passed by the farm. If berries become overripe or have been killed by frost, it’s said that the Pwca has spit on them and rendered them poisonous!

A Pwca’s most well-known prank, by day or by night, is to coax an unwary traveler onto its back by pretending to be tame. It might even wear a bridle with trailing reins as a lure. The traveler then gets a wild ride he’ll never forget, and ends up tossed into a muddy ditch or a pond! 


Like many fae creatures, the Pwca is capricious in nature – its mischief can turn deadly in an instant. Some stories reveal it as a bloodthirsty creature, hunting down humans and devouring them! Yet it can sometimes be warded off with an act of generosity. It was once customary to leave a few strands of standing grain when a field was harvested – it was called “the Pwca’s share”.  Bread and milk might be left on the porch as an offering for the fae, and the Pwca is said to be quite fond of this treat.

Storm Crossed
Grim Series
Book 4
Dani Harper

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

ISBN-10: 1503948943
ISBN-13: 978-1503948945

Book Description:

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?


EXCERPT ONE

“What are you doing here?” demanded a new voice, a rich masculine voice, and every one of her friends fell silent.

Oh great, we’ve attracted a park ranger, thought Lissy as she turned to face this new issue. How are we going to explain—

It was no ranger. The first thing her eyes took in was a heavy black cloak, thrown back to reveal strange leather clothing. Ornately tooled and trimmed with silver, it hugged a lean frame.

No, some instinct decided, not lean but lithe. Lithe like a big cat, all coiled agility and snake-strike muscle in a deceptively relaxed package. She was forced to tilt her head to see the strong jaw that underscored the man’s angular face—and the scar that ran diagonally across his throat.

Still, he could have been called handsome if it wasn’t for a strange otherness to his perfect features that was impossible to describe. Human, yet decidedly not. And no human she knew boasted hair like that. Pulled into a thick braid that fell halfway down his back, it was white in the way that snow was white—not a single shade, but many.

She had to remind herself to breathe. This was no lost cosplay enthusiast or a Lord of the Rings extra, but an actual living, breathing member of the faery race. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a faint thought protested that such a thing was completely impossible. It wasn’t very convincing, however, not with a flesh and blood dog the size of a goddamn Volkswagen already in front of her.

The man’s pale hair glowed in the fire’s light. A fistful of loose strands fell across his face, and beneath them his eyes were watchful, alert. A panther scanning for prey.

And he had found her.

The stranger’s unnerving gaze lingered for only a moment before apparently dismissing her. “What are you doing here?” he asked again, and Lissy realized he spoke to the enormous canine behind her.

“Wait a sec. This is your dog? Yours?” All the shock and fear of the past few minutes transmuted into anger. She’d been prepared to die defending her child, and this man, this being, was totally responsible! It was as if a switch inside had been thrown. Normal-everyday-college-science-professor Lissy was abruptly replaced with I-will-savagely-tear-apart-ten-man-eating-lions-to-save-my-kid Lissy. She stepped directly into his line of sight. “What the hell were you thinking, letting this animal run around loose like that?” she demanded.

He merely looked around her, as if she was a tree or a bush or a goddamn rock, and that just ramped up her fury. “You! I’m talking to you!” Without thought but backed by a considerable amount of adrenaline, she shoved him with all her strength. The element of surprise gave her an extra advantage, and the tall man stumbled back a step.

Now she had his full attention.

Most nature documentaries she’d watched advised against locking stares with wild animals, yet Lissy stood her ground and met the stranger’s riveting gaze boldly—despite her resentment at having to look up to do it. She all but bared her teeth as she stated her case: “You. Endangered. My. Son.”

“There was no danger to your offspring. The hound does not devour mortals.”

Was he mocking her with that imperious tone? “Yeah, well us mortals had no way of knowing that your monster dog doesn’t snack on humans. You have no right to frighten people like that!”

“I require no rights from you. I ride with the Hunt.”

Her gaze flicked to a faint ripple of movement at his side. The heavy cloak drew aside as if by its own volition, and the fae’s hand casually rested on the handle of a large coil of plaited leather at his hip. Ghostly tongues of bluish light flickered continuously over the heavy whip, here then gone in an instant only to reappear in a different spot, as if they were living things. 

Lissy could hear some gasps from her cluster of friends, and some hurried words between Morgan and Brooke. Though she’d never encountered the Wild Hunt herself, she knew that had to be what the stranger referred to. As a mere human, she should be utterly terrified.

Instead, she couldn’t care less if he was a unicorn. “Well, I require a goddamn apology from you, Mister,” she heard herself say, and folded her arms to wait.


About the Author:

Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shapeshifters, 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. There isn't anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.

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, Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (Dark Wolf), for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a Yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shapeshifter series, which includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.

For more, visit her website at http://www.daniharper.com



Twitter - https://twitter.com/Dani_Harper  or @Dani_Harper


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5 comments:

Heather Fuller said...

Cadell the Pwca (pooca) who was pronouced "pawahca" on my head - (dont tell him!) Is a fun character, humm wonder what adventures him and Ranyon could get up to.

Jana Leah B said...

How much time do you spend researching each of your paranormal characters? It seems that you could get lost (in a good way) in all that research.

Carol L. said...

I live Dani's blog because she's always posting about her research, myths etc. Very interesting. I'd love to know how many books are planned for this series. Love it !
Carol Luciano
Lucky4750 at aol dot com

Dani Harper, AUTHOR said...

Hi Heather, Jana, and Carol! I'll have to answer you all in one comment, because the program won't allow me individual replies.
..........
Heather - I don't know if the world is ready for a Cadell and Ranyon combination LOL --- but I agree, they could get into some spectacular trouble! And BTW I still say a lot of the words wrong in my head. If you want to hear authentic pronunciation of Welsh and Faery languages, listen to Justine Eyre, who voices my Grim Series.
..........
Jana - You're absolutely right, it IS easy to get lost in the research. I love it! I have an ever-expanding library of faery folklore, and I'm always searching online for good sources. I have a giant cork storyboard that nearly covers one wall of my office. It has so many articles and pictures on it about faeries that it's starting to look like an evidence board used by detectives!
..........
Carol - Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoy my posts - I really love writing them! As for how many books are planned for this series, it's really up to my publisher and my characters. I'm working on Book 5 now.

Dani Harper, AUTHOR said...

Hi Roxanne! I really appreciate the opportunity to visit your blog - thanks for inviting me. :)

 
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