Latest Book: COYOTE NIGHT
Danielle D. Smith was born in San Diego, California. She was first published at age 29. In addition to being a writer of gritty angel-and-demon themed fantasy stories that are quickly gaining a cult following, she is an accomplished fine artist and illustrator whose visual work has appeared in various public, private, and gallery exhibitions and in national publications, and has studied everything from costuming to tattooing. Dani, as she is known by many who are close to her, lives in San Diego with a large number of books, indie flicks, and documentaries. Her novels appeal to dreamers, troublemakers, dark romantics, horn dogs, and general escapists. She is the proud owner of a beefcake husband who looks like the dudes on those romance covers, as well as several beautiful tattoos. She is currently pregnant with her first child, a boy named Ryker, and is wiling away the months working on her first graphic novel, a comic book version of her popular novella, Black Dog and Rebel Rose.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Assume that it was all a mistake! ;-) No, really, when my first book, PSYCHE’S GATE, was accepted by a highly-rated publisher with an excellent reputation, I knew I would never look back. I wrote my first book as a way to de-stress. Never did I imagine that it would lead to the publication of four other books (including my cult-followed BLACK DOG AND REBEL ROSE novella series under a different pub house), and the formation of my own publishing company after that. I knew immediately how blessed I was, how people only dream of this and never see it become a reality.
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The love and action scenes. I know that sounds lame, but I find crafting a good love or fight scene to be very easy, probably because of the ability to become ultra-descriptive and sometimes even flowery. Masterfully “painted” descriptions are my forte as a writer… probably because I’m a visual artist as well as an author! Physical character interactions are very easily played out in my mind, almost like a movie reel.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Probably making the characters seem believable in the most crazy paranormal/fantasy/horror situations. All of my work is fantasy-based, and yet I want readers to feel like they could sit down with one of my “kids” and have a real conversation with them. Dialogue and character interaction/reactions become very important with this goal in mind, and the pressure is on. I hate paper-thin paranormal and fantasy characters like nothing else. I find myself going over sections of dialogue (and that includes pillow talk), polishing again and again until it becomes perfect in my mind. It can be a lot of work.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: That would have to be Skriker, the heavily-tattooed, Harley-riding, half-demon bad boy. He is such a kick to write. He’s not only sexy, but his sense of humor and rollicking personality just brightens my day every time I sit down in front of my laptop and let him out to play. He has become immensely popular with the ladies, and yet I am pleased to say that he is not your “typical” erotica hero. There is a lot more to him than his steamy badass looks, including a remarkably clever brain under that spiky platinum hair.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: For Rose, the heroine of Coyote Night (and the entire Black Dog and Rebel Rose Series), I would have to choose Canadian actress Mia Kirshner. She is not only beautiful in a uniquely classic way, but she has a mysterious air about her that would be so perfect to play my lovely and fragmented Nephil huntress.
Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: My ability to paint a compelling picture with words. My fans often remark that they feel that they are being “transported” into my stories, as if they were inside the tale itself and running with the characters on their adventures.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Solstice Publishing: http://www.solsticeatnight.com
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com
My micro-press, REBEL ROSE PUBLISHING, LLC. (coming in Fall 2011): http://www.rebelrosepublishing.com
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/DaniDSmith?feature=mhee
Skriker, half-demon bad boy, and his Nephil love, Rose, are inseparable. They've been through thick and thin, thin and thinner...and the hunt is calling them once again.
Rumor of a skinwalker draws the notorious pair to Shiprock, New Mexico, a place sacred to the Navajo and a site of enormous supernatural power. The classic Route 66 awaits them and their Harleys, as do open stretches of desert where they can camp under the stars and rut like horny teenagers…the chance of slaying the skinwalker is simply the icing on Skriker’s gore-soaked cake.
But when they finally cross paths with the enemy, the ancient desert monster develops an insatiable desire to capture Rose and possess her...leaving Skriker fighting with all he's got to keep the love of his life from being snatched from his arms forever.
EXCERPT: WARNING: ADULT CONTENTA coyote howled in the night.
Rose blinked awake, her long dark lashes batting delicately against her cheekbones. Her sleep-clouded eyes focused blearily on the deep indigo of the night sky above her, as wide open as the ocean and pricked with the cold bright points of stars, like ghost lights under the surface of dark water. As wakefulness flooded her mind she inhaled sharply and sat bolt upright, clutching the mingled folds of the sleeping bag and army blanket against her breast, her heart thundering.
She had been dreaming. Of screams of rage, bloody wing feathers, and swords that burned with impossible white fire; a battle more ancient than mankind, fought in those cold dark heavens when the earth had been nothing more than a molten ball of lava and fire spinning in space far below. She had dreamed of this battle over and over since she was very small, and she could never, ever, banish it. Tonight, the horror clung to the edge of her memory like a wisp of black cobweb, sending a shudder down her spine.
The coyote wailed again, a mournful cry that echoed across the dark hills.
Rose sighed, raking her fingers through her tangled curls. A thin sheen of sweat shimmered on her temples, and the night wind felt cool against her damp skin. She looked around the camp, her eyes—amazing eyes, the right as azure as a sapphire, the left the warm deep brown of rich fertile earth—flicking here and there. The desert night was softly warm and stunningly clear. All around the little camp that she and Skriker had made the arid New Mexican hills loomed out of the night; silver-frosted silhouettes against the deep backdrop of night. The hulks of their Harleys—Skriker’s big black-and-chrome Heritage Softail and her slick-as-shit Nightster—loomed silently just beyond where they had laid their sleeping bag down. Another breeze blew past, rustling the scrub ever so gently, caressing her skin as softly as a lover.
They had ridden through Gallup the day before, their bikes roaring down Route 66 like two snarling beasts. After speaking to a few wary locals they left town and entered the desert, planning to stop for the night along the ninety four mile journey from Gallup to Shiprock. They had set up camp at the edge of the Navajo Reservation around dusk, unpacking weapons and salt and a hefty pack of beer from Skriker’s saddlebags. They built a motherfucker of a campfire, scattered rock salt in a protective circle all around their camp, and had sat beside it together, chain smoking cigarettes and downing Newcastles as they planned out their hunt. Then they had had achingly hot sex under the stars, relishing their solitude in the dry warmth of the desert wilderness, putting on quite a show for the creatures that made this part of New Mexico their home.
Now, Rose sat there with Skriker dead asleep beside her, her gaze scanning the desert all around them—sand and low hillside and dry scrub—unsettled as all hell by her dream.
Cursed angels, always with one wing dipped in blood…
Rose let the sleeping bag coverlet fall away, revealing her voluptuous breasts to the empty night. She turned to the big lump laying next to her, a lump that snorted softly as she gently shook it.
“Skrike,” she murmured. “Skrike, honey…”
Skriker grunted again and rolled over onto his back; she saw him blink, saw the flickering pinpricks of fire that burned in his eyes. Her mouth twisted; even after almost a year of being together, of pairing up on hunts and screwing each other’s brains out and loving each other like mad, she still couldn’t completely get used to the fact that her soul mate had turned out to be half demon. Perhaps if she had not been the daughter of a Warrior of Heaven, she wouldn’t have felt this way—
“Rosie? What’s up, baby?”
Skriker was gazing at her in the silvery starlight, his eyes cooled back to their normal pretty green, and she instantly banished any negative thoughts about his lineage. She smiled wanly at him as he reached up and gingerly stroked his big tattooed fingers against her scarred cheek.
“Bad dream?” he murmured.
She smiled bashfully. “How can you tell?”
He flashed her that bad boy smirk she had come to utterly adore. “I can read your mind, remember?”
He sat up, stretching, his spine popping luxuriously; the sleeping bag coverlet fell away and his body caught the low-burning light of their campfire. Hard, sloping muscles, broad shoulders, flat rippling belly—the body of a fucking Greek god. A slew of gorgeous tattoos: two full sleeves, hands, knuckles, and most of his broad chest inked in vivid full color. Rose loved to caress that tattooed skin, her long fingers tracing the carefully rendered lines that made up the leering faces of demons, dark thorny roses, rich blue-green Nordic knot work. The chunky spikes of his naturally platinum blond hair stuck up every which way, a result of their good rough wrestle under the covers earlier that evening. Skriker reached around and scratched his bare backside, yawning, before plucking up his leathers and snatching a cigarette from his ubiquitous pack of Camels.
“Same dream?” he asked her as he lit up demon-style, pressing his fingertip to the end of the smoke and setting it gently alight with the fire that surged silently in his very genes. He puffed, exhaling into the desert night. In the hills beyond, the coyote yipped once, fell silent.
She raised her odd eyes to his. “I have lots of dreams, Skrike.”
“I meant about your mom.”
Rose looked away, out at the desert. “No. Not this time.”
“Ah. The old War in Heaven dream again?”
Rose didn’t respond. Skriker took another puff of his fag before offering it to her. She accepted it, taking a drag before handing it back to him. He crushed it out in the sandy dirt next to the sleeping bag and smirked at her, waving her over.
“Come here, baby.”
Rose shook her head doggedly. “We’re on a hunt, Skrike. Gallup is behind us and we know where we have to go. If we’re up, we may as well stoke the fire, let you eat something, and pull out that map so we can track down our Guide—”
She glanced at him coyly from beneath her lashes. He was just sitting there, looking at her with a carefree smirk that told her she was talking too much. His pale spiked hair and tight smooth skin caught the glow of the fire, and her heart quickened. “Yeah?”
“Come here and lie down.” He patted his long muscular thigh where it stuck out from under the covers, smirking at her.
She obeyed, crawling over to him. He eased her onto her back, gently laying her head in his lap. He began to stroke her hair back from her forehead, his fingers raking through her lush dark curls, spreading her tresses out over his legs. Above them the stars wheeled and the night breeze carried the, sweet, dusky scent of cactus flowers to their camp.
“I keep telling you,” he whispered as his fingertips brushed lightly over her face, touching her lips like a butterfly’s kiss, tracing the perfectly sculpted line of her jaw, moving down the long curve of her throat. “You need to chill a little, baby…relax, you know? Take it easy. Leave all that angel shit behind you…”
Rose grunted. “It’s not that easy for me, Skrike. These dreams are genetic memory…I can’t just banish them…and I can’t even come close to telling you how awful it is. Seeing the War Above through my father’s eyes; seeing other angels slaughter each other like cattle, as if I were in his head…”
Skriker chuckled and suddenly his left hand was moving down, cupping her full right breast in his palm. She sighed, whimpering softly as his callused fingers gently pinched the turgid bud of her nipple, tweaking it, sending warm luxurious waves of pleasure washing through her limbs and belly.
“What do you say I help you forget about that for a while?” he murmured, his right hand gently massaging the back of her neck. Rose sighed, arching her back, pushing upward against the caress of his hand moving over her breasts. He bent his head and kissed her, his tongue flicking against her parting lips. She could feel his cock pushing eagerly against the sleeping bag slung across his lap.
“I think I woke someone up,” she murmured, and he grinned, rubbing the tip of his nose against hers in an affectionate Eskimo kiss.
“You’re a bad angel, baby.”
She giggled like a schoolgirl; he could make her do that, in a way that no one ever had. “I’m sorry.”
Skriker grinned, his jade eyes sparkling. Out in the wilderness, the coyotes continued to cry.