Black Swan – A Return to Romance – Monday, Feb. 10th 12

Black Swan is getting a new look. Yes, indeed. Some of the covers of your favorite books in the series have gotten a facelift. This week I will present one a day ending Friday – Valentine’s Day – with a cover reveal and announcement regarding the next book. Starting today, Monday, with MOONLIGHT.

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Victoria’s unique take on Red Riding Hood.

 

“Oh, yeah.”

2nd Annual HEARTS ON FIRE Blog Hop 51

HeartsOnFireBlogHop2014

RubyNecklace

Welcome to the 2nd ANNUAL HEARTS ON FIRE Blog Hop.

WINNER ANNOUNCED 2/18/2014: Ellen Sandberg

Here’s how to hop…

1.) Kym, Eve, and Victoria have supplied the first nine items on the list of Top Ten Favorite Valentines/Romantic movies and Top Ten Favorite “pick up lines”. YOU provide #10. Comment with your answers and email to enter for the site prize.  My site prize is a heavy canvas Black Swan messenger bag in yellow.Store1

2.) Then go to the next hop site on the list below and repeat.

3.) Don’t forget to go here to also enter the GRAND PRIZE RAFFLE.

(20 carat lab ruby, signed paperback series of Immortals of New Orleans – Kym Grosso, and signed paperback series of Black Swan – Victoria Danann, plus a fabulous SWAG bag from Eve Langlais.)  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTVjN2Q1MGI3NjJkMGNiZTA0OGU5OGUwYjdhODRmOjIx/

TOP TEN FAV VALENTINES/ROMANTIC MOVIES

1. The Princess Bride – Eve (because I love a giggle with my romantic fairy tales)

2. Pretty Woman – Eve (gotta love a poor girl/rich guy flick)

3. Warm Bodies – Eve (Zombies can be sexy, lol)

4. Sabrina – Kym

5. The Proposal – Kym

6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Kym

7. A Walk in the Clouds – Victoria

8. The Notebook – Victoria

9. Made in Heaven – Victoria

10. _______________________ What’s yours?

TOP TEN FAV “PICK UP” LINES

1. Eve’s Corny p/u lines: Did you sit in a puddle of maple syrup? Because you have a swe-e-e-t ass.

2. Eve: Do you live in a corn field? Because I’m stalking you.

3. Eve: Your lips look so lonely. Would they like to meet mine?

Note from Eve: Funny how most pickup lines are from guys to girls, and have to do with sex. lol. Then again, can you imagine a woman going up to a guy and saying “Hey gorgeous, I brought along my ten inch ruler because I’ve got a feeling you’ll measure up.” Hehehe.

4. Kym’s Corny p/u lines from movies: “Do you wash your pants in Windex? Because I can see myself in them.” ~Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,

5. Kym: “You know, it’s dangerous for you to be here in the frozen food section… Because you could melt all this stuff.” ~My Blue Heaven

6. Kym: “I couldn’t help but notice that you look a lot like my next girlfriend.” ~Hitch

7. Victoria’s fav lines that actually worked on me: (The lifeguard.) “You all might as well go home because this storm isn’t going away. (looks at me) Except you. You stay and we’ll go swimming.”

8. Victoria: “Have you seen Jeff?” “Who’s Jeff?” “Who cares? What’s your name?”

9. Victoria: “You’re my pick for student body president. Run and I’ll make sure you get elected.”

10. ___________________ What’s yours?

Thanks for stopping by. Your next stop on the hop is…

An Interview with Grieve 3

AN INTERVIEW with Haversfil Grieve

This is a “clip” depicting Grieve’s introduction to the saga in Book IV, Moonlight. The following exchange is with his boss, Duff Torguil, prince of the Scotia Fae.

 At first it had annoyed Duff that Grieve jumped in his chair whenever Duff opened the door to the outer offices and spoke to him. Grieve had been appointed by his father without giving the prince any say in the matter. Whatsoever. As usual. But eventually he came to terms with the fact that there was an odd little bespectacled man sitting just outside the entrance to his suite of rooms. He managed this internal resolution largely by appreciating the humor of the thing. 

Grieve’s display of shock had become part of Duff’s day to day reality and one that he’d come to look forward to. In fact, he imagined that, should Grieve develop nerves of steel, he, Duff Torquil, Prince of the Scotia Fae and heir to the throne, would be forced to devise ways to deliberately create surprises, simply for the pleasure of seeing Grieve jump, gasp, and clutch his chest.

With that thought, Duff lowered his chin into his chest and chuckled while Grieve got himself together.

“Grieve,” Duff repeated.

“Aye, your Highness.”

“Please send an additional reception invitation to an Istvan Baka at the Black Swan Charitable Corporation offices, Charlotte Square.”

“But, sir, there are no odd invitations left to offer.”

“Are you goin’?”

Grieve pushed his glasses higher on his nose. “Oh, aye. My presence is expected.”

“Do you want to go?”

Grieve hesitated, mouth open, while trying to decide whether it would be in his interest to speak plainly or not. “I, ah…”

“The truth, man.”

“No’ particularly.”

“There you have it then. Problem solved.” Duff ducked his head back into his rooms and began to close the door.

“But, sir, your father…”

The prince opened the door and reappeared, but without his customary affable and approachable expression. He was clearly not pleased and might even have been scowling, although it could be hard to tell on such a beautifully smooth and youthful face.

“Who do you work for, Grieve?”

“You, sir?”

“Is that a question or an answer?”

“An answer, sir?”

“Hmmm. Well. I understand that my father hired you.”

“Aye, sir.”

“But he is no’ in a position to oversee the minutia of my affairs every day. Do you no’ agree?”

Grieve nodded. “Aye, sir?”

“Well, then it seems you must make a choice. Is your loyalty to the one who appointed you or to the one whom you serve?”

Grieve paused for only a moment before standing and pulling his shoulders back. “My loyalty is to you, sir. You can rely on me.”

Truly, Duff was half joking and had not expected the equivalent of a chivalric vow of service, but seeing that the little man was serious, the prince was touched and decided not to dismiss it as a jest.

“Thank you, Grieve. I will treasure your declaration and count on it, from this day forward.”

Looking like he had just experienced the best moment of his life, Grieve smiled like he’d just been knighted.

Duff withdrew and closed the door, but stowed away in his heart the knowledge that allies could be made from something so small as a little respect and recognition.

from Victoria’s Journal…

I arranged to meet Haversfil Grieve at a tea room of his choice. It’s actually a combination tea room and rare book store. It was an interesting place for an interview, eclectic but relaxing in the way that a combination of tea, old books and a cloudy day are guaranteed to relieve stress for a particular sort of person.

He was already seated when I arrived

and stood to welcome me when I approached his table. The subject’s presentation was even more proper than I expected. He cut a trim little figure wearing a three piece striped suit with a starched pocket square. The addition of an antique pocket watch with chain and round glasses in gold wire frames complete the suggestion of anachronism.  The only hint that there is an individual style hoping for an opportunity to escape the confines of caricature are the two-tone saddle oxfords on his feet.

 As he sat he reached in his vest pocket for the watch and glanced at it. I don’t know if that was to punctuate the fact that I was two minutes late or to send a message that his time was at a premium. I ordered a Russian Black tea, removed my scarf and began the recording.

Victoria: Mr. Grieve, thank you for joining me and for agreeing to give an interview.

Grieve: My pleasure, madam.

Victoria: I understand that you were a secretary in the king’s offices before you came to work for the prince. So let me ask how you find the position.

Grieve: (smiles ever so slightly) ‘Tis a vocation, but still a job, you know.

Victoria: Perhaps. Will you expand that thought?

Grieve: Well, as to the good, I am the totality of the prince’s staff whereas, in the king’s offices, I was one of several.

Victoria: Ah. Big fish, little pond.

Grieve: Pardon?

Victoria: Never mind. Please go on.

Grieve: I do no’ wish to complain nor do I wish to leave an impression of complaint.

Victoria: I understand and promise not to portray you as a whiner.

Grieve: (scowls at my use of the word “whiner”) As I was sayin’, I’m very pleased to be in the prince’s employ. Naturally. As anyone would be.

Victoria: But…

Grieve: The prince is very young and…

Victoria: And…

Grieve: And no’ entirely serious minded.

Victoria: (I study Grieve for a couple of heartbeats.) As he should be?

Grieve: Aye. As he should be.

Victoria: Can you give my readers an example?

Grieve: Well, when I’m workin’ I’m very concentrated on what I’m doin’, which means that somethin’ unexpected is likely to give me a start.

Victoria: Yes. I see. And how does that relate to your position as the prince’s secretary?

Grieve: (looks around nervously, leans forward, and speaks in a hushed tone)  There are times when I believe he may startle me deliberately.

Victoria: No.

Grieve: Aye. I have no proof, you understand. ‘Tis a suspicion only.

Victoria: (I find I need to clear my throat before proceeding.) Is that the only way in which you find his Highness not serious minded?

Grieve: Oh, no. He’s always plannin’ escapades with his fellows from school. Huntin’ or pubbin’ or galavantin’.

Victoria: Galavanting?

Grieve: Aye.

Victoria: You mean in the sense of cavorting?

Grieve: (narrows his eyes as if he suspects I may be putting him on) Enough about that. Time is short.

Victoria: As you wish. Tell me about your typical day.

Grieve: Very well. I arrive promptly at seven in the mornin’ and have a scone with Irish Breakfast Tea at my desk while I organize the prince’s early calls and appointments. The phone will begin ringin’ ‘round nine with people askin’ if the prince is available for this or that. It could be anythin’ from posin’ for a photo with a junior rugby team to bein’ a date for a charity date auction. (I giggle. Grieve seems to enjoy making me laugh and smiles in response.) Aye. I suppose ‘tis humorous at that. The money some females are willin’ to pay for his attention is astoundin’ to be sure.

‘Tis my job to make sure the prince’s schedule is populated with activities worthy of the royal presence, without double bookin’, and make sure he is where he needs to be when he needs to be there.

I leave between seven and nine dependin’ on the to-be-done stack.

Victoria: So you’re saying you work fourteen hours a day sometimes?

Grieve: Sometimes.

Victoria: And what do you do for fun?

Grieve: Fun?

Victoria: Would it be too personal a question to ask if you have a girlfriend?

Grieve: A girlfriend?

Victoria: A special friend then?

Grieve: (blushes) My work keeps me busy.

Victoria: Hmmm. Well, the prince is certainly lucky to have someone so completely devoted to him and dedicated to the work.

Grieve: (sits up a little straighter) You might think so, but he does no’ particularly appreciate my approach. He’s always sayin’ thin’s like, “Grieve. Go home.” Or, “Grieve, have you thought of takin’ up the fiddle?” I sincerely hope that he comes to better understand the gravity of his station before he becomes king or Fae Gods help us.”

Victoria: Don’t worry yourself about it, Mr. Grieve. I have it on good authority that Duff will be a fine king when the time comes.

Afterword.

Duff was unable to attend the dinner he arranged to thank the tour guides for their help. After giving up on persuasion as a tactic, he resorted to threats, but eventually Grieve acquiesced and shuffled out of the office to host the dinner party in the prince’s stead. The tour guide supervisor, who had not actually been invited, but crashed on the off chance she wouldn’t be turned away, shoved a girl out of the chair next to Grieve so that she could sit by his right hand.

The bottom half of the woman’s natural blonde hair was dyed fuchsia and practically glowed in the dark. She wore one ear bare and the other collared with a feather and wire design that hung to her collar bone. Grieve had no personal experience with leftovers from the punk era of London’s Soho District. That was probably why he found her so fascinating that he could barely look away.

 
Originally published on http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspot.com/

Victoria’s Review of GOD SHAPED HOLE, by Tiffanie DeBartolo Reply

God-Shaped HoleGod-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book gets five stars, but doesn’t get a recommendation from me. Why? Same reason as Boy in a Band. It should come with a warning label that says: STOP! TRAGEDY INSIDE

I picked up this book because her other book (her ONLY other book), How to Kill a Rock Star, is in my top ten list of all time favorites. I resisted for a long time because of the title. Personally, I think the publisher should be summarily executed for the titles of both her books – if not the covers.

Her heroes are anti-cast for romance because physically they are beautiful in a “tragically poetic” way. Her phrase. Not mine. That alone was a breath of fresh air. Skinny shoulders would not be a typical hero descriptor.

The book grabbed hold and occupied my thoughts to the consternation of other things that needed doing. The author is a master of storytelling and emotional manipulation. Certainly, both are qualities I prize.

I just need my HEA like it’s a binky. I don’t want to read a book and spend the next week in internal angst asking, “Why? Why? Why?”

(But I will read her next book. If she ever writes again.)

View all my reviews

Three Winners – 2013 REVIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 10

2013PRG1st place High ResREVIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARDS were announced last night. I’m so proud to say that all three nominations won.

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2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal Romance SeriesBLACK SWAN

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2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal
Romance Novel
(General) – A
SUMMONER’S TALE

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2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal Romance Novel (Vampires & Shifters) MOONLIGHT

To everyone who voted, and especially those who campaigned by sharing, thank you more than I can say.

 

WHAT A THRILL !!! 

Reviewers’ Choice Award for 2013 Reply

PRG Reviewer's Choice2013

NOMINATED FOR THREE 2013 Reviewers’ Choice awards.


A SUMMONER’S TALE – Paranormal Romance (General)


MOONLIGHT – Vampires and Shifters …  


ORDER OF THE BLACK SWAN – Paranormal Romance Series



One vote per person.

PLEASE VOTE!

Victoria’s Favorite Books Read in 2013 18

This is not a list of books published in 2013. It’s a list of my favorite books read this past year. You may notice that there are no paranormal or scifi books on the list. That’s not for lack of trying. I did read some. They just didn’t make the cut.

As I’ve said many times, before I began writing fiction I read every paranormal and paranormal romance that was of any consequence. Perhaps it was inevitable that I would become either saturated or bored. I have a low tolerance for repetition. Enough said. So this was a year dominated by

1.howtokillarockstar  HOW TO KILL A ROCK STAR by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Published in 2005, this was NEW ADULT years before there was a label for it. Eight years out, but new to me. This is my Number One for 2013. If you love angst, neurotic characters, music and a flawless plot, I suggest you hurry to get this book. My ONLY criticism is that the author hasn’t published anything since.

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Rock-Star-Tiffanie-DeBartolo-ebook/dp/B003H29CJI

 2.     OutlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon

Published in 2004, this book had been recommended to me dozens of times by friends over the years and for some reason I ignored them. Then one day one of my street team members (Dee Bowerman) mentioned it in response to a Facebook question about what man (as opposed to boy) occupies your real man fantasies. I picked it up ($1.99 Kindle for an incredible 894 pages!!) and read the entire series nonstop. I have now been responsible for several friends finding a new series to cherish. This is a reread waiting to happen – probably several times.

There are really good reasons why – after nine years – it is still ranked… WOW!!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

http://www.amazon.com/Outlander-Bonus-Content-Diana-Gabaldon-ebook/dp/B000FC2L1O

3.

boyinabandBoy in a Band by Lisa Loomis

This book got my prize for most gut-wrenching story I ever read. I walked around in a funk for three days afterward. This is (I strongly suspect.) a true story disguised as fiction. Knowing that makes the emotional roller coaster almost unbearable. This book was painful and yet I’m not sorry I read it. I’m including a link to my full review.

MY FULL REVIEW… http://victoriadanann.me/2013/11/24/2609/

BUY ON AMAZON… http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Band-Morgan-Mallory-story-ebook/dp/B007F1VSLW

4. motorcyclemanMotorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

I have to classify this book as a guilty pleasure. On one level I’m ashamed that I liked it because, as a feminist, I shouldn’t enjoy anything that goes on my “overbearing bad boys” shelf in Goodreads. But underneath the couple’s power struggle there was a charming, sweet and real romance, the kind you rarely get in books, wherein two people are trying to work through the dynamics of melding radically different backgrounds, perspectives, and priorities into a shared life that is exciting and harmonious.

BUY ON AMAZON… http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Man-Dream-Kristen-Ashley-ebook/dp/B00AHFJACM

5. thoughtlessThe Thoughtless Trilogy by S.C. Stephens

Riddled with flaws, but still so compelling. This book is categorized as New Adult, but should be paranormal romance because the male lead does not exist in our reality. So long as we give ourselves permission to accept that, just as we do in paranormal, we are freed to relax and enjoy. (Except for all the smacking.)

MY FULL REVIEW… http://victoriadanann.me/2013/04/04/thoughtless-book-one-thoughtless/

BUY ON AMAZON… http://www.amazon.com/Thoughtless-1-S-C-Stephens-ebook/dp/B008Y405NG