What’s A Nice Girl Like You Doing In An Alternate Dimension Like This? 2

A computer-generated rendering of a possible six-dimensional geometry similar to those studied by UW-Madison physicist Gary Shiu. (Image: courtesy Andrew J. Hanson, Indiana University)

I guess I’m a bigger fan of science fiction than I realized before I started writing. My introduction to sci-fi was several collections of short stories beginning at about twelve-years-old and, although I will not reveal my age, I will say that I have lived long enough to see many of the outlandish and outrageous proposals of what the future might hold become true. This happens with such regularity that, somewhere along the way, I began to wonder which comes first. Are the sci-fi writers clairvoyant or do they give inventors/implementors ideas? I strongly suspect the latter – the message then being, be careful what you write?

Some of my best reviews mention the concept of parallel universe. While I love getting great reviews as much, if not more, than anybody, I feel compelled to try and correct this misimpression.  The concept presented in the Black Swan series is that of ALTERNATE DIMENSIONS which is quite different.  I did take a stab at having the character, Deliverance, explain it in The Witch’s Dream without getting too technical and drowning readers in more than they wanted to know on the subject.

Here are a couple of questions that came up on Bitten by Books in a release party for The Witch’s Dream. I’m going to publish them here to shed some light on the subject.

kimberly says: October 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Victoria, how did you come up with the parallel universe theory and having a close double for everyone? And why did Elora have to go through such “re-birthing” pains?

Victoria Danann says: October 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Okay, first, the idea presented is this series is based on Parallel Dimensions which is really different from Parallel Universe theory. Parallel Dimensions are planetary – different planes functioning without conscious awareness of each other, but all tied to Earth. At one time it may have been a notion of science fiction, but scientists have been discussing the possibilities more seriously for the past fifty years or so.

I was working with the idea metaphysically because I had a thought one day that some of my dreams are reflections of other versions of myself, connected by a spiritual thread that reveals itself through the unconcious in dream state. That plus some instances of turning things around – like one day dealing cards counter clockwise when I have been dealing cards clockwise all my life, or looking for the trash under the right side of the sink when it’s been on the left in every house I have EVER lived in. (This is hard to explain briefly. LOL)

The reason why Elora had to suffer is because, if it turns out to be true that there are multiple dimensions in play, the objects and people within that dimension will be vibrating at speeds that are compatible with that plane, but not compatible with others (else there would be accidental cross-over). Because her cell density was designed for another vibration – and because the device was pre-experimental – it was a disaster. We have to assume that, given time and enough mishaps, Monq would have solved the problem.

Leslie Miner says: October 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Can you tell me more about your thoughts on parallel universes? I know, a complex subject.  In Book One, my thought was Elora came from what I would consider our present life plane.  I thought maybe she went to a past life plane when she ends up at Black Swan headquarters.   I know there’s a past-present-future going on at all times (or I should say that is what I think), but in Book Two when Deliverance describes the parallel universes, it sounded like there were a ton just in one level of existence.  I confused myself.  : )

Victoria Danann says:October 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Okay. Let me make some distinctions here that are probably going to be hard to follow in a couple of paragraphs. I don’t write about Parallel Universes. That’s a COMPLETELY different thing. I write about the possibility of ALTERNATE (not parallel) DIMENSIONS and it IS complicated!! It probably requires more imagination than PNR.

The theory is that there are lots of different levels of existence going on around us at the same time. We are not aware of each other because we’re operating at different levels of vibration, but WE ARE OCCUPYING THE SAME SPACE AT THE SAME TIME! I know it’s hard to get your mind around. When Elora traveled from one dimension to another, she had to speed up her level of vibration – the one she had been built for – which is why it tore her body to shreds.

Leslie Miner says: October 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Just read your response about parallel dimensions rather than parallel universes. So is this similar to my thinking of a past/present/future going on simultaneously?

Victoria Danann says: October 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm

No. I’m really not addressing time at all. You’re talking about Einstein’s theory and, as much as I would love to think I’m smart, I can’t get my mind around non-linear time. Been trying for decades. Can’t do it.

 NOTE: Please keep in mind that I am just a writer of fiction and FAR from an expert on this subject. I just know enough to suggest the idea. However, there is plenty of in-depth material if you’re interested in pursuing the idea further. It may not be long before it is proved to the satisfaction of the scientific community and may someday soon appear in high school science textbooks. Here’s an article entitled Physicists Find A Way To ‘See’ Extra Dimensions.”

MY “Review” of The Witch’s Dream 2

Following is a “review” I wrote for Goodreads on October 12th. It probably should be called “Author’s Notes” instead, but I take media outlets where I find them.

I wrote it so I might be biased. Since I rarely get an opportunity to give my opinion, I’m going to grab the chance.

Every book in this series – at least through the first seven – will pick up where the last ended. In that sense it’s a true serial. I’m in the process of creating a saga, a single story told through a series of books.

The way I see it, Book One, My familiar Stranger, drew the parameters of the world, introduced the main characters, and set up the story.

This second book is pure romance. I have informally subtitled it “a love letter to Paranormal ROMANCE”. It might be seen as the second act in a three act play.

Book Three, The Summoner’s Tale (to be released Valentines’ 2013), is a fasten-your-seat-belt sort of climactic ride wherein I have the opportunity to resolve some things in ways that will be surprising to readers and, I believe, satisfying as well. http://www.VictoriaDanann.com/BlackSw….

When I started writing the series, I promised to begin introducing some real life anecdotes from my years as a practicing “metaphysician”. The firefly picnic is based on a real life event.

When The Summoner’s Tale is released, I plan to also release the first three books as one volume and am very excited about that. Readers who discover the series thereafter will be able to read the story as conceived without intermission. For those of you who joined me on the adventure early, thank you very much. Without YOUR support we never would have completed the first “volume” of three.

Best and Worst Reviews… EVER! 8

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know I don’t publish a lot of reviews. In fact, out of the nearly 200 combined reviews I have received in less than six months, this will be the third time. When I came in this morning, there were new reviews for both My Famliar Stranger and The Witch’s Dream, written by the same blogger, Gaele, for Booked and Loaded Blog and it gave me the idea of doing a best/worst post.
I’ve been blessed with a lot of attention for my books. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it’s an Amazon record for a first book of an unknown Indie author.
Now that The Witch’s Dream has been out for a week and I’m starting to get some feedback from people who read both books back to back, it’s very gratifying to learn that the flow is seamless.
So, what’s so special about these reviews? Well, see for yourself and then I’ll share the worst.

5.0 out of 5 stars Elves and Vampires and Knights – Oh My !, October 23, 2012

Take one parallel universe jump, an elite paramilitary company of knights who are tasked with eradicating vampires, a vampire with a `life wish’ and then blend in a liberal sprinkling of characters drawn from old European religious idolatry, superior advanced medical technology and a touch of humor and you start to define the basics in this book.

Created with a deft hand, each character is so well developed and defined that their voices are unique and specific, although their development is gradual, as befitting of plot and action. The rest of the story is just as well-crafted, almost to the point that you aren’t 100% certain that the world described is not just outside your door. The author has done a stellar job in creating the world, those who live within it, and a story-line that both compels you to read as you rush through to see just what happens next, and who gets the girl.

Reviewed for Booked and Loaded

5.0 out of 5 stars I am now purchasing the paperbacks…. to read repeatedly., October 23, 2012

Picking up momentarily after the close of My Familiar Stranger, this book also manages to encourage the page-turning, what comes next of the first. Adding to the already established mix of Beserkers, Elves, Demons, Vampires and the Order of the Black Swan, we find touches of majik and mysticism in the form of a lovely witch, and a werewolf to fill in those spots that you didn’t realize needed filling.

The spells are all as close to real as one will find in any careful writer’s book, the language is poetic and the characters are even more intriguing and palpable than before. Readers who are introduced to this series with this volume will find themselves wondering, the author has specifically created these stories to read in order to best follow the action. It is no hardship to read the two, believe me – the writing is tight, descriptive and flows neatly along a path that often is twisty, but always seems to resolve with a satisfying feeling of “what will they get into next”.

This world is so unique and the writing so constant and detailed with little pieces of information drop like breadcrumbs until the loaf is completed. You will be turning pages as you need to get to the end – and then re-reading as you await book 3 in this series.

I was provided an eBook copy from the author for purpose of review for Booked and Loaded. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Dear Gaele –
Thank you for noticing that every character is an individual personality. My M.A. in psychology doesn’t help with creating them, but my interest in people, how they behave, and trying to sort out why they do what they do has been a help.
Thank you for saying the language is poetic. Sometimes I rework a single sentence several times because I’m not satisfied with the way it “sounds”.
The spells are close to real, but with enough detail disguised, withheld, or scrambled so as not to endanger a misguided reenactment. Thank you for noticing the authenticity.
Thank you for noticing that the world of Black Swan is unique. Before I started writing, I spent two years reading everything PNR that had garnered success so that I would know what had already been done.
Bread crumbs along the way… Thank you for noticing the complexity of the weave of the story. It takes a lot of organization to make sure the timeline is correct and all the details hold together on close examination. In order to be sure that everything makes it into the final cut I have to write the book and then let it simmer in my subconscious for four to six weeks during which I will wake nightly with a thought about something else I want to include. The Witch’s Dream was 70,000 words that expanded to 100,000 during this process.
I don’t think there could be any greater compliment than to say that you’re also buying the books in paperback form and that you plan to reread. Thank you for that as well. (Truthfully, I reread these books once every couple of months. After enough time has lapsed I find myself stopping after a passage thinking, “Did I really write that? It was pretty good!”)
I personally plan to follow your reviews and seek out books you recommend. -V

NOW FOR THE CASTOR OIL PORTION OF THIS POST… ugly, uglier, ugliest.

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful

2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor writing and character development, July 8, 2012

By Alexis D. (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: My Familiar Stranger – A Paranormal Romance (The Order of the Black Swan, BOOK ONE) (Kindle Edition)

Obviously I’m in disagreement with most other reviewers here, and I’ll be up front: I couldn’t even finish it, probably made it about a third of the way through the book. The plot sounded interesting, and as a frequent romance reader of all sorts from historical chaste novels to the down & dirty stuff, I usually make it all the way through. I just found the poor writing too distracting. Character development was terrible and everyone was two dimensional. I’m all for the sudden soul mate stuff but Ram didn’t even know her or try to get to know her, and his thought pattern was juvenile. Storm was the most interesting and authentic character. Elora herself was an unlikeable character, and the construction itself was just really bad, even for a free book. This is the type of book that makes me miss bookstores, where you rarely found a book that wasn’t at least worth reading all the way through instead of today’s self-published and ratings-manipulated lists. sigh.

Yes. I’m super sensitive as you would expect any author of intense emotion-driven plots to be, but even I laughed out loud (literally) when I read the title of this review. I did find it alarming that 4 out of 9 people found this “helpful”. YIKES! Really?
Shortly thereafter one reviewer admonished this person by saying that s/he didn’t think it’s fair to an author to leave a review when you didn’t finish a book, particularly when many of your complaints would have been addressed and resolved had you read further.
Seriously, one of my favorite all time reviews is the one that begins, “I didn’t finish this book so I’m not going to leave a review.” I’ve thought about sending that one in to Jay Leno. 

The Witch’s Dream Releases Under the Auspices of the Hallows Spirit Reply

Released October 14th.   Amazon BEST SELLER in Fantasy Romance.

a love letter to Paranormal ROMANCE

In keeping with the season, I’m including an excerpt from the book at the end of this post that described a witchcraft event. (Not to be confused with Wicca. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan, just as all Christians are not Catholic.)
Litha Brandywine is a witch who is employed by The Order of the Black Swan and, when it comes to events of a paranormal nature, she’s the best tracker alive. In the scene cited here, she is performing a rite to locate a missing person.
Though the book has been out for less than a week, several people have commented about the details of the working described. Let me take the opportunity to say that this is a work of fiction. The magick described in the book is based on actual practice, but, according to the very wise policy originally established by the Egyptian Mystery Schools, I would never accurately recreate the details of a spell or method that could hold a potential of harm in the wrong hands; either to the would-be practitioner or others. Enough things are depicted to convey the feeling, but enough details are always scrambled, disguised, and withheld to prevent misuse as a result of the description.
READING THE SERIES IN ORDER HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  MyFamiliar Stranger, BOOK ONE. This series is a true serial in the sense that every book begins where the last ended. BOOK TWO, The Witch’s Dream is a PURE romance and might be seen as the second act in a three act play.

DESCRIPTION: From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley, a secret society, a witch, a demon, a psychic, a berserker, an ex-vampire, modern day knights, heroes, werewolves, elves and fae come together where emotions intersect. The story maps a trail from rages to epiphanies, but, in the end, proves that true love can find you in the strangest places, when you’re least expecting it, even when you’re far, far from home.

He was left behind when Elora Laiken made her choice. Now he’s had it with love, but a transplanted witch who happens to be the world’s best tracker hopes she can change his mind.

The Witch’s Dreambegins with B Team on temporary assignment to Black Swan headquarters in Edinburgh where they are supposed to fill in for stretched-thin resources and assist with a werewolf issue. They’ve been given permission to stop in Ireland for a few days and help celebrate a handfasting at the palace in Derry.When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly turns all business. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora is no longer willing to give – finesse.

INCLUDES: The first chapter of the third book, The Summoner’s Tale.

Erotic content: 18+ A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

EXCERPT.
It was Litha’s great honor to have the dragon temporarily in her keeping as he had been recognized as a potent object of power and in service to magick for millennia. The proud Teuton dragon currently served as The Order’s own version of Prometheus, silently holding the world on its shoulders while also protecting its treasure: a precious crystal ball held lovingly in its curved claws. The multifaceted crystal ball picked up every color in the room and reflected it back onto walls and ceiling as rainbow prisms. The effect was a space that was magical as well as magickal.  Litha’s dragon, and she thought of him that way as she was his temporary caretaker, was charged with several tasks and he performed each admirably.
The globe, rendered in shades of green and brown, was perhaps a foot and a half in diameter and hinged very much like one of those liquor cabinet parlor tricks. It would separate at the equator and become two parts of a sphere, one half stationary, one half lid. When opened, it revealed one of Litha’s two most prized treasures, a concave, black glass, scrying plate the same diameter as the globe’s equator. The dragon stand had been built so that, when standing barefoot, the scrying plate was at exactly the same height as Litha’s navel.
She reached out and lovingly ran her hand over the dragon’s head as if he was a living pet. Sometime during the past two thousand years, his eyes had been replaced with black glass. The candle flames and rainbow prism danced together in his eyes making them seem so intelligent and lifelike that it was easy to imagine him as a familiar.
Litha pulled her red robe closer as she paid homage to the Spirits of the Four Winds whom she would be summoning to assist with Locating Magicks. Real witches are risk takers, comes with the territory. Even so, few witches would dare wear red when practicing the magickal arts because the color red possesses powerful attraction properties. That means red can be a shortcut in summoning, but also attracts the bad as well the good. Litha came from a rich history of witch ancestors who tended to act according to a philosophy of “great gambles bring great rewards” and, at some point, it had become part of the family’s genetic legacy. It was partly natural to her and partly logical since Litha knew she was powerful, or practiced, enough to hold a sufficient protection barrier while admitting friendlier Powers of Assistance and accepting their help.
The witch took up a large purple candle and began circling the globe in the center of the room in a clockwise direction. She carefully counted nine revolutions as she sang an old medieval melody with lyrics written and substituted by the witch, herself. Her singing voice was quite pleasant although the quality of performance would have no bearing on outcome. The melody was not more magickal because it was medieval. It was simply a useful hook on which to hang the quatrains she had quickly, but specifically composed for chanting which would be crucial to outcome. She wrote the four-line rhymes in her head while she was bathing and now repeated them in magickal form while she raised energy by stirring the atmosphere into the equivalent of a small whirlwind.
After completing nine circles and chants, Litha used the flame of the purple candle to light a large white candle with three wicks. She then sprinkled a mixture of Dragon’s Blood resin, Solomon’s Seal, white sage, and crystalline salt directly onto the candle’s flames. When the herbs caught fire, she invited into the circle those who could be of service whether spirits, guides, or elementals with the caveat that they were welcome so long as they wished her well and would not prove to be a lot of trouble later on.
When she was satisfied that conditions were optimum, she opened the globe. She always felt a rush of satisfaction upon viewing the gleaming surface with alphabetical, numerical, alchemical, and Theban script symbols etched on its surface in circular patterns. Taking hold of the pendant necklace that she always wore, she pulled downward to remove the outer cover which was a crystal with planed edges forming a heptagon. No one would guess that the crystal was a cover disguising a pendulum of black opal, perfectly weighted for scrying, encased in a Celtic knot filigree of white gold matching the necklace chain.
The pointed stone was the rarest black opal, alive with deep red flecks called “fire” by jewelers. Litha’s pendulum had been hand crafted for her by the monks of Cairdeas Deo and given to her on her sixteenth birthday. Or, rather, the day that had been arbitrarily established as the day they would celebrate her birth.
That birthday was a milestone because it was the day she had been given the freedom to legally drive by herself. In the process of celebrating by doing exactly that she came across a scene that would forever be etched in her heart: a pink Italianate villa sitting high above the Sonoma Coast with vineyards terracing toward the sea, neighboring hills covered with flowering yellow mustard so that it looked like something from a fantasy. She had pulled the car over, taken a mental snapshot, and knew that someday she would drive through the gate and it would be hers.
She ran her finger over the pointed end just to reestablish the connection – which was never really broken.
When she held the pendulum over the glass, it immediately dropped into place and stilled, awaiting instructions from its mistress. She began to trace Katrina’s name, one letter at a time, while picturing Katrina – replaying the snapshot moments of their brief time together – and “hearing” the sound of her voice. Then she began to add details about Katrina’s current situation and state of mind that were gained from Aelsong’s visions.
By the time she reached the “i”, the pendulum was moving on its own to complete the specification ritual. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see candle flames dance and flicker as if a draft had blown through the room. For Litha spontaneous movement of air was a more or less commonplace occurrence, at least when she was scrying. If others preferred to think of the phenomenon as invisible, or discarnate entities, it made no difference to her.
She closed the globe and moved so that she was facing Scotia, then held the pendulum above it simply saying, “Where?”
The pendulum did not move. Which was a first. Frowning, Litha repeated her command a little more firmly, “Where?”
No response.
She lowered the pendulum, took it in her hand, and rolled it around in her palm a few times while deliberately focusing on an image of Katrina.
Again, she held the pendulum above the globe. “Where?”
No response.
Remembering that Aelsong said Katrina was no longer in the same reality, she decided to alter the question. She held the pendulum above the globe and asked, “Near where?”
Almost instantly it began to pull toward the east like it was magnetized. Allowing enough slack so that it could go where it wanted, Litha allowed the point to slide over the map of Europe. Across France. Past Genoa. It came to rest just south of Florence. Siena.
Got it.”
Hope you enjoy this book and have a wonderful
Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowstide, Hallowmas, the Great Sabbat, the Feast of the Dead, or Witches’ New Year. For Witches who practice one of the branches of magick based in Celtic heritage, it is called Samhain. Pronounced like sau’-wan.
(The image is one my illustrations. It first appeared in Seasons of the Witch in 2011.)
My Best,

An Interview with Rammel Hawking 5

A Conversation (Intervention) with Rammel Hawking

me: Sir Hawking, it’s such a pleasure to get to interview you in person.

Ram: (third finger)

me: (sigh) Okay. What is this about?

Ram: Well, forgive me if I do no’ sound polite, but I can no’ say ’tis a pleasure bein’ interviewed by you.

me: Why not?

Ram: Why no’ indeed. I only agreed because of the chance to say fuck you in person.

me: Okay. What exactly is the problem? You did end up with everything you ever wanted, didn’t you?

Ram: Aye. No’ denyin’ that. My problem is not with endin’s. ‘Tis with the bloody well fucked up middles.

me: I see.

Ram: No. You do no’ see. You sit there in your tidy, little, safe, air conditioned version of reality without a single bloody care for what you are puttin’  me through. Have you ever had a broken rib? It hurts! Do you know that?

me: Well, I…

Ram: You write like ’tis nothin’. And ’tis nothin’ compared to a concussion and a hundred and forty three stitches. How would you like to have to face your mother lookin’ like that?

me: Um, that doesn’t happen until Book Two, The Witch’s Dream which was just released today.

Ram: So just because they have no’ read about it yet means it did no’ happen? (chuffs) My mother cried for hours when she saw me lookin’ like this. That was a bloody fun time I can tell you.

me: I’m, uh, sorry. I didn’t realize she would take it so hard…

Ram: Come to think of it, I should have brought her with me. (evil smile)

And what about that bit between me and my da – when he asks how the other fella looks? And you make me say the other fella got away with no’ so much as a scratch? To add insult to injury you made me smile while I said it! So then he asks me to explain how it happened and I have to tell the fuck all, king da’ of Elfdom that I got a hundred and forty three stitches in a knife fight in a bar!

me: (sigh) I admit that was an understatement but, technically, it was true. You did sustain your injuries in a knife fight in a bar.

Ram: (gaping) You are cold as Paddy’s feet on a February morn.

me:  Now wait a minute…

Ram: Just gettin’ started.  

me: Oh here we go. (Muttering to myself at this point.)

Ram: Can you even begin to imagine that three months feels like an eternity when you’re an elf waitin’ on his mate to make up her mind?

me: Well, I have a pretty good imagination…

Ram: Oh? You can imagine how it feels to have a ragin’ cockstand for weeks on end that does no’ even wane when you sleep? Balls achin’ like they’re bein’ squeezed. Just how is it exactly that you can imagine that, Mistress? How about this one? Can you imagine how it feels to wake and find your love lookin’ back at you with vampire blues? Let me tell you how it feels. Your insides go completely cold. When that chemical hits the bloodstream it truly does feel like ice in your veins.

me: I’m sure that was a very unpleasant experience…

Ram: Unpleasant? You really are a stonehearted bitch. I feel like kickin’ the legs out from under your chair.

 me: (Trying not to laugh.) I was feeling really bad for you, and a little guilty, right up until you just threatened to dump me on my can. Which was very un-knight-like behavior. I never would have written you that way.

Ram: Oh no? Well, I have a surprise or two and here’s the first. You’re fired.  

me: You can’t fire me, Ram. I’m the Creator.

Ram: You know, you sounded just like her when you said that. ‘Tis very disconcertin’.

me: Well, you know there’s probably something of me in every one of the characters.  

Ram: Characters, is it? “Tis all we are to you? (Looks like his feelings are hurt then curses in Irish under his breath.) Right. Well, that explains a lot. You want to know who’s the real villain in your stupid stories?

me: I see where you’re going with this, but, Rammel, writing villains is not the same thing as being a villain. My stories are just a reflection of life.

Ram: (sneers) Aye. A House of Mirrors reflection.  

me: Well, yes. Otherwise, it’s called the daily news. How about this? I’ll give you a reprieve and visit the less pleasant stuff on somebody else for awhile.

Ram: You do no’ seem to be gettin’ it. ‘Tis no’ up to you anymore. Consider this an intervention. You’re hurtin’ people. ‘Tis goin’ to stop. 

me: Okay, look, everything you say is true, but you’ve left out the other side. And I really do love you. Probably more than any other of you, uh…

Ram: (narrows his eyes) …characters. I might be willin’ to let bygones go, but it works both ways.

me: What does?

Ram: I know what you’re thinkin’. I heard your twisted mind riflin’ through possibles and sortin’ out what you’re plannin’ to do to us in Book Three.

me: You did? (I swallow.)

Ram: Aye. And some of it ’tis nothin’ less than sick. We’re all thinkin’ perhaps ’tis time for you to see someone.

(My husband walked in just as I was concluding this interview. He asked what I was doing and, without really thinking it through, I made the mistake of telling him the truth after which he replied that he had always wondered how I can be content to be alone for extended periods of time only to find out that I only appeared to be by myself.)

EGG ON MY FACE 2

When Bewitched Book Tours scheduled me for a stop at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer  (blog), I wondered what Roxanne was doing. After discovering the blogger is a man, I concluded that he could not possibly understand what I’m doing or appreciate it in any way. Following is his review of My Familiar Stranger. Following that is the comment I posted on his website.

After watching her family die, 23-year-old Elora Laikem barely escapes death herself with the help from her mentor, Thelonius Monq, who opens the portal in which she escapes through. The portal takes her to a parallel universe, where she meets a group of military soldiers known as The Order of the Black Swan, whose main objective is to hunt and kill vampires. The group consists of mortal elves and other mystical creatures/beings.

The group takes her in and before long she befriends Catalonius C. Monq (a double for her mentor), Kay (a berserker), Rammel Hawking (an elf), and a human named Engel Storm. She joins their team and several of the men have eyes on romancing her, especially Rammel who thinks she is his one and only. Here in this strange new world she learns that she has superhuman strength and speed.

Just as she is adjusting to her new surrounds, a 600-year-old vampire named Istvan Baka takes a unique interest in her.

I have read many vampire novels over the years, some good and some just plain awful. My Familiar Stranger is a breath of fresh air to the vampire genre that has been done to death thanks to the overrated Twilight series. My Familiar Stranger has an original plot. I thought it was pure genius that the author would set the book in a parallel universe. The characters are all likeable and the dialogue is snappy. Overall, I enjoyed reading book one in the series and I recommend it to other readers.

Thank you for helping me slay a prejudice. When I saw this blog on the book tour, I anticipated a lukewarm review for no other reason than the blogger’s sex. Feeling very silly that I assumed only women would appreciate the art of a tightly woven romance. LESSON LEARNED!! – In all humility, Victoria

The Witch’s Dream BOOK TRAILER 21

In some ways this book trailer will be sweeter AFTER you read the book.  Click the post title to enlarge the video for viewing.

My very, very special thanks to Derik Nelson, the genius behind the gorgeous voice, spellbinding acoustic guitar, and brilliant arrangement of “Never Gonna Give You Up” which is an integral part of the story.

I have this music on every single jog playlist on my iPhone. I listen to it every day and always hear something I didn’t hear before. Derik – you’re the best.

Week 13: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP 4

Week 13: The Next Big Thing   – September 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing . . . we all like to think we will be.  I suppose there can only be so many Twilight’s in a lifetime, but you never know . . . right?
We are blog hopping our way through some new reads.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop . . . to me it’s kind of like a treasure hunt – once you find something on one blog you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure.  In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers . . . it’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Bridgette O’Hare for tagging me to participate. (Click the link to read Bridgette’s Big Thing Entry.)
In this particular hop I answer 10 questions . . . you get to learn about my current WIP (work in progress), some of the characters I’ve come to think of as real, and how I got to the point of being nuts enough to write down over 70 thousand words worth of what the voices in my head have been whispering to me.  When it’s all said & done . . . comments and questions are always welcome.

What is the working title of your book?

The Summoner’s Tale, The Order of the Black Swan, Book Three

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Although the series is not a trilogy, the first three books have formed their own story arc so in many ways this book is like the third act in a three act play. There are two simultaneously running plots. One is the story of one of the major characters: a six-hundred-year-old former vampire, named Istvan Baka, who has amassed a fan base among Black Swan readers. The other will be a surprise.

What genre does your book fall under?

Adult Paranormal ROMANCE, Adult Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Chick Lit, Vampire Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

It sort of surprises me that I have an answer for this one, but, I would definitely tap Hayden Christensen to play Baka. Directors don’t always manage to get performances out of him, but I saw him in “Life As A House” when he was still a teen and know he has enough heart to give me Baka’s angst.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I could not despise this question more. Ex-vampire tortured by six hundred years of misdeeds seeks happily ever after. See why I hate that question? Synopsizing always makes my work sound juvenile and stupid or both. AND IT’S NOT! I SWEAR!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point I’m comfortable an indie, in the sense that I own the publishing company that publishes my books. I love the complete freedom that goes with deciding what I write, when, how, where, and what length the finished product will be. Editing would be a nightmare for me and I don’t want to have to go six rounds with somebody over a paragraph. I’m old enough to know better than to say never, but it seems less likely with every day that passes. Now, if we can just overcome the built-in industry prejudice toward Indies…

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months, but that is after the first two steps of my outline process are finished and those take a year if you count the simmering in the depths of my subconscious mind.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I couldn’t be more pleased to say that is an impossible question by design. Before I started writing, I spent a full two years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success at all so that I had a thorough understanding of what had already been done. That way I could be assured I wasn’t copying or being formulaic. People are always trying to find similarites. “Well, it’s a little like Black Dagger, but, then, as soon as you get into it you realize it’s not.” One of my favorite reviews says, “She explodes stereotypes.”

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Kresley Cole. About three years ago I read A Hunger Like No Other and fell in love with PNR.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Book One, My Familiar Stranger, and Book Two, The Witch’s Dream. Like Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series, these must be read in order. I logged over 100 reviews on Amazon (74 five star and most of the four stars read like five) as an unknown author, first book, and an Indie at that within four months of release. That’s pretty much unheard of. Whether they liked it or didn’t, lots of readers were moved to talk about it.

Tagged for next week – you’re it!

Lindsey Parsons http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/
William MacMillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/
Joss Landry http://josslandry.com/category/wednesday-book-reviews-other-news/
Trish Marie Dawson http://writertrishmdawson.wordpress.com/
Allison M. Cosgrove http://www.stanbrookshire.comstanbrookshire.com