Following Your Dreams
I come from a conservative background, where being different was something frowned upon and ridiculed. In my schools, I wasn’t unpopular, but I stuck out. I was a bit of a tom-boy, the product of two older and somewhat-mischievous brothers. To be honest, I liked to be just a tad bit off normal—though my inner-voice always pushed me to ‘fit-in’.
When I moved out of my childhood home at eighteen, I left some of my tom-boy ways behind and met the world and college head-on. I quickly learned that I had accomplished my goal to be ‘normal’ and now instead of blending in, I stuck out against the dread-headed, unshaven, and often pink-haired comrades that meandered around my college’s campus. I secretly envied their ability to walk with their heads held high as the non-college attendees stared and whispered. How could they break from the normal and not get tired of the strange looks and judgments made by outsiders?
My parents pressured me to get a ‘real’ degree, and in hindsight I would have been better off following their advice. Instead, I followed my heart and studied Anthropology with an emphasis in Archeology. It could have been the pink-haired culture that surrounded me, but I desperately wanted to understand what made people tick throughout history—why some chose to conform while others broke away from the ‘norm.’
In the final years of getting my degree, I did something I had vowed I would never do, I fell in love, and was given a ring by the man of my dreams. He treated me better than I had ever been treated and loved the fact that I could one day wear cowboy boots and the next a cocktail dress. He helped me understand that normal isn’t really normal, there is something in each of us that makes us a little bit different—and he embraced (and still embraces) my differences.
With his constant support, I graduated college, but found myself at an impasse—stay with him, but give up traveling around the world in the name of Archeology, or move to the Southwest, get my Graduate degree and hope that someday I could find a job.
I chose him, and I know I made the right choice. It has brought me a different future from that which I had envisioned at eighteen, but it also brought me what my heart truly desired—family, stability, a sense of normalcy, love, fulfillment, and it also brought me an unexpected path—writing paranormal romance.
Writing has brought me everything I had wanted when I had gone to school, adventure, travel, and I get to think about what makes people do and say the things they do. It’s a study of interpersonal communications, history, culture, economics—it’s everything and anything that I wish to incorporate into my work. One day I can be a paraplegic, dealing with the pitfalls of living in a wheelchair and the next, I’m a Veela in search of revenge.
Most importantly I have followed my heart. I’ve come to embrace and be proud of the fact that I’m anything but normal. I’m me.
For cursed, shape-shifting Veela Gloriana, following her heart and giving her body to sexy, tortured werewolf Alexander means one thing-he will die and it will again be her fault.
Once only a man, Alexander finds himself scarred by the memories of his former life and the deceptions and lies that surround him. When a glimmer of light breaks the madness, he must let go of his misguided preconceptions and the hatred that consumes him.
On a mission for blood, they find unity in their desire for revenge, but are driven apart by their pasts. Traveling the darkest paths and fighting the very people they think they can trust, they draw closer to one another’s hearts and further into danger.
Will the curse prove to be unstoppable… or is there hope in forbidden love?
In her human-like Veela form, Gloriana Canis was at a distinct disadvantage. Her feet pounded against the ground as she ran, she crashed through the underbrush, and tripped upon the branches that reached up to snatch her legs. With a muffled growl, she paused as she forced her body to shift into her more powerful wolfen shape.
Dashing after the intruders, she silently passed beneath the low lying branches and bounded over the roots. Her paws silently absorbed the sounds as the ground blurred beneath her. She saw none of the pack that had invaded her territory, so she lifted her snout and sniffed.
The scent of the gray Werewolf was a mix of triumph, malice, and anger, but there were no traces of fear.
He’s a fool. The thieving Were should feel fear above anything else—because I soon will be upon him.
When she found the beast, she would tear at his soft flesh…the least vital parts first. Before she finished, he would undoubtedly cry for mercy, but no matter how hard he cried, or how desperately he pleaded, he would find none. The man had tried to steal Baldur’s Vitam Aeternam, the ring of eternal life, from her. The ring was the final memento of Baldur’s existence, of their fight for love against all odds and the curse that had taken his life. The Were who attempted to take it from her would have no easy death.
Deeper into the woods, the scent of the gray alpha Were lessened and was replaced by the musky scent of the brown beta she had seen circling the alpha.
Her strides grew more rapid. She was close.
Weaving around a boulder, her body collapsed as the ground gave way. Her paws clawed at the soft earth, desperate to stop the fall, but the dirt crumbled beneath her touch. She yelped in fear as she clawed, but it was too late. Her body flipped into the earth’s open maw.
The stakes ripped into her soft flesh. Hot, searing pain invaded her body.
Howling, she tried to leap, struggle—anything to free her
body—but the motions only drove the stakes deeper, worsening her agony.
A fire burned deep in her flank and she caught the scent of blood on the stakes that now were wedged in her flesh. Hydra blood.
The venom pumped through her veins, she could taste the acrid poison in her mouth. Slowly her vision began to fade. She was forced to find refuge from the pain inside of her mind.
My dearest Goddess, Epione, do not let the curse of the loving Veela take me. I promise that if you let me live, I will find Baldur’s killer and make him pay. Please, please do not deliver my soul to the underworld. I must complete my task.
She could feel the sun rising in the distance. Would this morning be her last?
A light illuminated the grave-like pit.
Expecting a torch-bearing lampade to lead her to the underworld, she was surprised when a tall man appeared with a flashlight in his hand. He stood at the edge of the pit, his other hand on his hip and a scowl on his face.
She growled, but as the rumble escaped her, it was replaced with a yelp.
The thief had returned to finish her.
He reached down to her and said something, but it sounded as if he was talking through water. When he spoke again, she heard him say, “Shifter, I’m Alex…” but the rest of his words were lost in the muffling pain circulating through her body.
She tried to pull away from his touch, but her paws felt like lead weights and she struggled to move.
The pain radiated from the stakes in her flesh. Unable to fight the poison any longer, her eyes closed. Her mind went black.
Danica Winters is an Amazon best-selling romance author based in Montana. She is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, and Greater Seattle Romance Writers. She is a contributor to magazines, websites, and news organizations. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, the outdoors, and the bliss brought by the printed word.
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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Danica-Winters/e/B006GDN8GI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1