Book #7, Knights of Black Swan, Solomon’s Sieve will be released May 25th.
Official Release Celebration Party on May 27th.
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CDT (Central Daylight Time)
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
Perhaps it won’t surprise you that many of them conform to your most emotional reading moments.
There have been three times that I have cried so hard, when writing, that I couldn’t see the PC screen and had to take breaks to get through the scene. 1. Elora’s dolmen labor. 2. Kris Falcon getting a medal. 3. When Storm sees Rosie on a San Francisco street corner and says, “I missed it.”
The sexiest moments I ever wrote were both in My Familiar Stranger. 1. Elora: If you bite me, I will stake you. Baka: If I bite you, I’ll stake myself. 2. Ram tries to draw Elora back into the New Forest cottage. He rubs the collar of her sweater between his fingers and says, “Soft.”
There have been a few times that I have made myself laugh. Baka’s enjoyment of the alley scene wherein he blabs about Elora taking out a vamp with a toothpick. Another not mentioned here, at Derry when Kay has tried to cover up a blunder and tells his sister that his reference to Baka as a vampire is an inside joke. Baka says, “Indeed. Nothing says funny like vampire.”
This was the question as posed on author and fan page on Facebook.
Can’t tell you how much fun I had reading the responses. There were nearly seventy answers in all. Here are the results. I have included a smattering of comments. If yours isn’t here, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. We just got a lot.
9. Elora finding out she was pregnant. (Book 1)
8. Spaz on the intercom. (Book 5)
7. Storm waiting at the wall for Litha. (Book 2)
6 CREATION: Prologue to A Tale of Two Kingdoms. (Book 6)
5. Sol’s death. (Book 5)
4. The trainees being honored for heroism. (Book 5)
3. Elora leaving Storm for Ram. (Book 1)
Lindsay Thompson I was so shocked when Elora left with Storm, at first and then realized it was Ram she was meant to be with.
The most emotional for me was when Elora told Ram she wasn’t picking him. I think I died inside! – Sarah, Assistant to Victoria
2. Storm missing Rosie’s childhood. (Book 5)
A. Gathering Storm is the most emotional book. Four out of the top nine answers came from events in Book 5.
B. When reporting emotion, you chose crying over laughter or surprise. Seven out of the top nine answers referred to tear spillage.
C. The #1 event received TWICE as many votes as #2. In other words, it won by a landslide.
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.”
“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?”
“Is that a question or an answer?”
“An answer, sir?”
“Hmmm. Well. I understand that my father hired you.”
“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.
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.
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.
Grieve: The prince is very young 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.
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: 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?
Victoria: And what do you do for 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.
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/
SONG AND DUFF’S STORY, A WINNER!, by Donna z. on January 11, 2014
This review is from: A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Knights of Black Swan, Book 6) (Kindle Edition)
Yep, still in love with the Order of the Black Swan series! A TALE OF TWO KINGDOMS, sixth in the series, was as engrossing as the previous five stories. Expect the Unexpected should be the theme of this series.
A TALE OF TWO KINGDOMS may be a novella but it is huge in the amount of information it provides the reader. This is a series that must be read in order. This is a series that must be read, period.
Finally we have the story of Aelsong, (Song) and Duff, (future King of the fae). They first meet in THE WITCH’S DREAM, book two of the series. It’s now one year later and Duff has decided enough is enough and the ongoing cold war between the elves and the fae in never going to end. Song is his mate and he can no longer live without her. While Duff is making his plans to be with Song, Glen is off on a secret mission for Elora to find out what started the war between the fae and the elves. Glen takes Rosie with him but a quest for truth on the war turns into more as Glen and Rosie face some truths of their own.
Yes, this is the story of Song and Duff but as always there are many sub-plots involved in the tale. We learn a few important facts about the council that governs the many different dimensions connected to earth. Angel Kellareal is going to play a larger role in this story than in previous ones. Old friends from previous books make their contributions to the storyline and I’m always so happy to see Ms. Danann include them in all the stories. Hate it when I become emotionally invested in the characters of the first few books of a series then, POOF, they disappear never to return in a major way. With this one little novella so many questions answered and so many possibilities for future books are created. LOVE IT!!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND to anyone over the age of 18 due to sexual content and the use language.
Thank you for the review Donna z.! We appreciate it! – Sarah
The Order of the Black Swan is a serial saga including My Familiar Stranger, The Witch’s Dream, A Summoner’s Tale, Moonlight, Gathering Storm, and NEVER BEFORE RELEASED Book 6, A Tale of Two Kingdoms.
Once upon a time a girl lost everything familiar. She escaped death by being forced into an experiment that left her in another world where modern day knights, elves, vampires, werewolves, witches, demons and fae became her allies, friends and family. She discovered a place where adventure intersects fairytales, where honor is more than an ideal, and she learned that love can find you in the strangest places, when you’re least expecting it, even when you’re far, far from home. This is the story of Elora Laiken’s strange and wonderful journey. It is also the story of those whose lives she touches along the way.
If you love romance, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary, this series is right for you. 17+
Friends of Black Swan, Mark and JoBeth Harris, shared the series with a friend. What a nice surprise to have that friend post this comment on Facebook.
As most of you know I am an avid reader…I love my books and that is how I relax. I read psychological thrillers, mysteries, espionage some horror and some fantasy/scifi…I am a *huge*snob when it comes to ‘romance’ books…hate them…look down my nose at them…etc. Which is why I’m writing this little note to everyone…. Mark Harris and JoBeth Sexton-Harris recommended a series of books by… Victoria Danann..they are considered ‘paranormal romance’…so being the snob that I am…I figured I wouldn’t like them but I’d give it a try since none of my regular authors had anything new out….
HOP PRIZE: Signed limited edition cover of the upcoming release A Tale of Two Kingdoms. Leave a comment for a chance to win!
On December 8th, the Black Swan box set INCLUDING THE NEVER BEFORE RELEASED Book Six, A Tale of Two Kingdoms, will be available for one week only for $0.99. PREORDER at Smashwords, B&N and Apple starting mid-November. Look for it under Black Swan Collected Tales. Be sure you don’t miss out.
Almost missed this write up by this ex-military spouse of a Black Swan fan. It was left as a post on the Facebook fan page and obscured under “posts by others”. I’m so proud of this. Take a look.
By Mark Harris…
I have been a huge science fiction/fantasy/adventure book fan since I was a little boy and I never thought I would say this about a “romance” novel but, I really, really like the Order of the Black Swan series! I think that what makes these books a better read than any romance novel I’ve ever seen is that they are books of a paranormal nature with romance strategically placed within the storyline. The reader is not inundated with a person’s fantasy of how love should be; we are simply made privy to the characters world and that world just happens to have love and romance in it.
What has really drawn me to Victoria Danann’s series is that each character is brought to life in an enrapturing way. You can’t help but want to read more about each of their lives! And the masterful storyteller that she is, Victoria doles out each helping of their history in perfect portion. The first book hooks you, and the rest of them expand your knowledge, understanding, and love of each character. And because each character is well thought out and fully developed, they support each other in a harmony that can only be described as perfect.
My Familiar Stranger introduces you to the “main characters” of the Black Swan world. You realize early on that these people will have a bond that transcends time (much like the bond created by military personnel that have served in combat together). And that bond becomes the center of the storyline. With all the ups and downs, twists and turns that are a part of any true relationship, these characters take you on a ride that is both fantastic and yet, somehow, familiar (at least to me). Action, drama, and romance, all seamlessly blended to tell a tale that is so captivating that you can’t help but feel like you are a part of it as it unfolds before you.
Flowing into the second book, The Witch’s Dream, our beloved characters take on a somewhat supporting role as new characters are brought to the limelight. Just like in the first book, you are at once enthralled by these characters and can’t wait to hear their stories. And once again, Victoria delivers! Fantasy becomes reality; the impossible becomes the possible, and all the while, the reader is led through this magical, yet plausible, world with the anticipation of a child waiting to open their Yule presents.
This then leads to A Summoner’s Tale, the third book in the series. Right from the start you know that this will be yet another adrenaline laced adventure sure to captivate and entertain. The storyline continues to unfold and in the process we are allowed to explore the history of yet another character, while still being enthralled by the lives of the original characters.
No, I am not a romance novel reader. But I am a lover of a good story, with wonderful character development, that is able to keep me interested and wanting more. And, in this respect, Victoria Danann delivers! Do yourself a favor and pick up the first book…you won’t be disappointed.
As for me, I can’t wait to read the rest of the Order of the Black Swan series!
The problem with writing a serial saga, as opposed to a series of stand alone books, is that people will be lost if they don’t start at the beginning with Book #1. At the very least, the reader’s enjoyment will be compromised if all the details and characters aren’t understood with the depth and complexity intended. That’s the downside.
The upside is that there is an exquisite pleasure in an ongoing story that is not available in loosely related novels. It’s swimming in the deep end instead of always standing in thigh deep water. The overarching story available to the author of saga allows for an experience of total submersion that the short starts and stops of individual novels can’t aspire to. It’s SO satisfying to write. I’m these characters’ number one fan.
…with My Familiar Stranger, the first book which is “perma-free” and available everywhere. So, regardless of my excitement about the latest installment release, it all comes back to the beginning.