Review Spotlight by Twinkles57 Reply



Mesmerizing, Enchanted…., February 24, 2014, By Twinkles57

This review is from: The Witch’s Dream: The Demon in the Details (Knights of Black Swan, Book 2) (Kindle Edition)

Second in the series of Knights Of The Black Swan. Following beautifully with the flow of the story, not a beat has been missed. Storm deals with rejection and a broken heart. Elora and Ram explore the love they have for one another. Kay and Katrina are planning the wedding. There are new players on the scene, bringing lots of twists and turns. You will not want to miss this! I laughed and cried as this motley crew faced danger and suspense on every corner. I’m now headed to book three!! I can’t wait!

Thank you for the review Twinkles57! We appreciate it! – Sarah

Interview with Ram #2 3

An Update with Rammel Hawking

by Victoria Danann



me: Sir Hawking, it’s such a pleasure to interview you again. A lot has happened since the last time we talked.


Ram: Aye. Some good. Some bad.  


me: Yes. Well, that’s life.


Ram: No. ‘Tis no’ life. ‘Tis commercial fiction that has us runnin’ all over the Western world barely recoverin’ from one horrendous injury before you have us doin’ bleedin’ sheet time again. And, when I say “bleedin'”, ’tis meant literally.


me: Yes. I know, but let’s focus on the great things that have happened. You’ve been inducted into the Hall of Heroes. You’ve got a beautiful, healthy, charismatic baby boy…


Ram: I’m no’ complainin’ about Helm and you know it. He’s bloomin’ perfection. ‘Tis the hero thin’ that turned out dubious because now my wife thinks I should conduct myself with a certain decorum befittin’ the honor. Great Paddy.


me: She’s very proud of you.


Ram: (He smiles.)


me: See? Your life isn’t so bad.


Ram: It has its moments. But you’re always trickin’ us into believin’ we’re doin’ one thin’ and then you sprin’ somethin’ entirely different on us and we’re goin’ in a bloody different direction. We never have a chance to decide if we’re comin’ or goin’.     


me: Give me an example.


Ram: You think I can no’ come up with one? Right off the top of my head? How ’bout this? You led us to believe we were retirin’. Gonna enjoy life! Fruit of the vine and all that. So I’m busy bustin’ hump to get Elora’s dream home finished before the baby comes. Matter of fact that’s where I was when she was bein’ attacked by fuckers from her dimension of origin.


me: (I have to laugh.) Dimension of origin?


Ram: Aye. You have a problem with me callin’ it that, Mistress?


me: No. Not at all. It’s just that the phrase “dimension of origin” seems so politically correct and academic. I guess I wouldn’t have had you say that because I would have thought it was out of character.


Ram: (Scowls.) You think I’m no’ bright?


me: Of course I don’t think that! You wouldn’t have made it through Black Swan training if you weren’t smart.


Ram: (Nods) Exactly right. In the future, if you’re wantin’ to know what is or is no’ in “character” for me, then just ask me. ‘Tis what you should have been doin’ all along anyhow.


me:  Quite right. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.


Ram: Because your vanity does no’ have limits.


me: Did you enjoy that?


Ram: (grins)


me: Okay. If it makes you feel better to say such things to me, go ahead.


Ram: Well, if you’re serious, I have quite a lengthy list of thin’s I’d like to say to you.


me: (My turn to show him a third finger.)


Ram: (grins)


me: This might be a good time to switch topics. You’ve collected quite a fan base since the last time we talked.


Ram: Really?


 me: Yes. You’re the focus of nocturnal fantasies for a growing chunk of the fairer sex.


Ram: Fairer sex, is it? I do no’ believe women are especially fair. Selfish or self-involved maybe.


me: No, Ram. The expression doesn’t mean fairness as in justice. It means the prettier sex.


Ram: Duh! It was a joke!


me: Well, forgive me a moment of being uncharacteristically dense.


Ram: (Laughs and shakes his head.) You probably think bein’ dense is “out of character” for you.


me: (blink, blink) What does that mean?


Ram: Have you seriously never considered that you may be just one of the characters in this story? ‘Tis your job to play the spy who lurks and journals on what those of us with real lives say and do. 


me: Is that what you think?


Ram: (smiles) Nah. I’m just fuckin’ with you. 


me: Okay. Back to your fans…


Ram: Look. I do no’ want to seem rude or unnecessarily conceited, but attractin’ the fairer sex has never been a problem for me. ‘Tis no’ very surprisin’ that some would like to picture themselves in my mate’s position. (He chuckles.) Or maybe I should say positions.


me: Hmmm. No doubt. Well, let’s wrap this up. Why don’t you tell me where you see yourself in five years.


Ram: (narrows his eyes) ‘Tis a trick? I tell you what I’d like so you can make sure it does no’ happen?


me: You know it truly hurts that you think I’m so devious. Of course I want to see you get your happily ever after.


Ram: If I’m feelin’ distrustful of you, ’tis entirely your own fault. Reapin’ what you sow, you know.


me: Okay.


Ram: I’d like us to be home on the farm, feeling safe and secure, raising elfren and Alsatian dogs. I want my mate happy every second of every day. She deserves it.


me: I’ll see what I can do.


5/25/2013 Moonlight Release

Review Spotlight! by Ellen Reply



The Witch’s Dream, July 23, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner to a Fantastic Series, July 23, 2013
By Ellen (New York) –

This story continues from the events of the first book. It is best to read the books in order to see how the story and characters grow and develop. Believe me, you don’t want to miss anything in this series.
In The Witch’s Dream, we are introduces to Litha. She is part witch and part something else. She sees Storm from and distance and falls hard for him. Is it love at first sight? Well, maybe not at first sight because he has been coming to her in dreams and their paths have crossed in other ways. But from the first time she sees him, she knows he is the one. Storm however has closed off his heart and stubbornly refuses to see the truth in front of him. Sometimes he deserves a swift kick in the pants. However, his reactions are never unrealistic. He is just stubborn and deeply hurt.
This is a great addition to the series. Litha is strong and intelligent. Yes, she does take a lot of rejection from Storm without giving up. But she is never a doormat. She fights for what she believe in and for what she knows is true. She is also brave and unselfish enough to put the needs of others before her own. She agrees to stay with her father if he releases his prisoner even though that might mean leaving Storm and the world she knows forever. Then we get to know her father. When he first appears, I admit I really hated him. How he develops over the story is really remarkable. His wonder at finding that he has a daughter and his joy at doing things for her is truly a delight to read. It is his obvious pleasure in doing things for her and being able to give her things rather than the actual physical gifts that earns Litha love and trust. I wound up looking forward to his appearances.
What I also love about this series is while the major theme of the story may be about Litha and Storm, we do get the continuing tale of Elora, Ram, Blackie, Baka, and Kay. We also learn more about this universe and some of the neighbouring ones.

This review is from: The Witch’s Dream (The Order of the Black Swan, Book 2) (Paperback)

Review Spotlight! The Witch’s Dream by Nelta M 1



“Great Paddy”, You’re Gonna Love It!, October 8, 2012

by Nelta M

This review is from: The Witch’s Dream – A Love Letter to Paranormal Romance (Black Swan 2) (Kindle Edition)

“The Witch’s Dream” is the 2nd book in Victoria Danann’s Order of the Black Swan series…I would suggest reading “My Familiar Stranger” prior to reading “The Witch’s Dream” to have a better understanding of the characters and storyline ….The second in the series continues and evolves with the same characters you grew to love and introduces you to new characters that only enhance the journey of Bad Company and will surely delight us in the next book….Ms. Danann’s style captivates and brings you along for the ride. You find yourself laughing, giggling, holding your breath, and  drawn into the lives of the characters.  You are caught up in the hot and sexy world of vamps, elves, witches, demons, aliens and werewolves . It’s quite the combination and it works …

I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of the books in this series and can not wait to see what Ms Danann has in store for us next.

Victoria’s Notes:

Sarah chose this review to post today and I’m glad she did. It’s special to me, not just because of what it says, but because of who wrote it. Nelta was what I would call an early enthusiast. She was a Black Swan Street Team member before I’d every heard of street teams. Plus, if I was giving a prize for BEST REVIEW TITLE EVER!!!, this would definitely be it. Thank you for the support and encouragement and for helping me to believe that a few sales wasn’t a fluke.



Thanks again Nelta M for writing a review! – Sarah

The Magic Touch GIVEAWAY Hop April 20-30 4


As a semi-famous witch, I’m qualified to talk about real magick. As a paranormal romance author, I’m qualified to talk about fantasy magic. This excerpt from The Witch’s Dream is a bit of both.

The room was round. The architect had initially grumbled about wasted space, but she had persuaded Simon by pointing out that maximum results require maximum equipment. The east wall featured a small window, placed high up, with wind chimes hung from the ceiling so as to hang in front of the window’s perfect center. Another wall featured a fine stone fireplace that looked considerably older than the building in which it was housed, as if it had been transported from elsewhere and reassembled. Another wall featured a fountain flowing from the mouth of a dragon-faced gargoyle into a wide pedestal bowl. The last wall featured an indoor garden of herbs and flowering plants that were thriving with a combination of magick and semi-fluorescent lights.

The walls and ceiling were painted the same pale gray as the polished, flagstone floor. Litha went immediately to the fireplace where she lit seven candles of various colors. The small window provided some light, but not so much that the reflection of the candle flames couldn’t be seen on the smooth stones.

Other than the features representing the four ancient elements, there was nothing else in the room except for the large globe in the center of the room nestled in the cradle of a priceless dragon’s wings. The centuries-old dragon statue, beautiful, powerful, and magnificent in its own right, had been taken from a pagan temple in Teutonia two millennia past for safekeeping else it be destroyed by misguided Christians like so many other thousands of priceless artifacts.

Objects of power were not created deliberately nor did they spontaneously spring into being. They came from humble beginnings, being no more extraordinary than a typical river rock or knife or fork. Objects became infused with power when energetic residue was repeatedly transferred from beings with accumulated magickal power. The exact number of contacts that equaled critical mass was non-calculable.

Sometimes objects of power are identified by those who are either talented or proficient in the occult. When not discovered as such, their energy sometimes went awry, their very presence wreaking havoc without intent, direction, or cause. The Order had been collecting these artifacts for centuries, rescuing them from destruction by zealots and protecting the human population from the effects of wayward magicks. The location of the treasury had moved around from time to time, often dependent on wars and the dangers they posed.

At present the artifacts not in use were stored in what many agreed was the best location to date: the western boundary of Idaho Springs, Colorado. The vaults were located deep under the Rocky Mountains – which would withstand any destructive device available to date. It was cool, dry, near the Interstate, and only an hour away from a major airport. In short, a perfect storage facility. The excavation currently underway in Brazil was rendering frequent additions to the cache. Only an institution with The Order’s connections could remove articles of antiquity from the locations of their discovery with impunity.

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 were risk takers, came with the territory. Even so, few witches would have dared wear red when practicing the magickal arts because the color red possessed powerful attraction properties. That meant red can be a shortcut in summoning, but that it also attracted 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 had been 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 had 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.”

WDcover600x800CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 3 people will win copies of the E-Box Set.

EVERYBODY WHO ENTERS WILL RECEIVE A BOOKMARK (shown left) when you join the mail list. You must leave your physical address to get the bookmark. Enter into the “COMMENTS” section or email me – vdanann(a)gmail(dot)com


Sunday, April 21st will mark the anniversay of the publication of the first Black Swan installment. Since then the series has won multiple awards and hit the top of best seller charts in mu…ltiple categories. To thank everybody for the success of this series, The Witch’s Dream will be FREE on Amazon for one day.  Tell your friends that they can get both Books 1 and 2 for FREE this Sunday only.

My Familiar Stranger, The Order of the Black Swan, Book One FREE everywhere!

Amazon                BARNES & NOBLE              iTUNES                    SMASHWORDS


Thank you for stopping by…


This Hop is hosted by author Kallysten and book blog Riverina Romantics. In addition to individual prizes provided on each blog, we are offering assorted swag to the first 100 participants who simply tell us they want some! See all details and sign up here.

An Interview with Aelsong Hawking 9

AelsongAn Interview with Aelsong Hawking

Me:      I’d like to introduce Aelsong Hawking, Rammel’s younger sister. She is a gifted psychic in her own right who has been recruited by The Order of the Black Swan.

First, is it alright if I call you Song?

Song:   Aye. Many do.

Me:      Thank you. So, Song, what’s it like to be Ram’s younger sister?

Song:   Well, I do no’ want to be impolite. ‘Tis your interview and I suppose you can ask what you wish, but I was hopin’ for a bit more originality from you.

Me:      Originality? What do you mean?

Song:   Did no’ escape my notice that the first thing you said about me, after my name, is that I’m Rammel’s younger sister. Imagine how tedious it is to always be thought of as someone’s younger sister. ‘Tis either, what’s it like to be the younger sister of the king? Or what’s it like to be sibs with Ram, the most celebrated knight of the century? You have no’ left me much room to breathe.

Me:      I see what you mean.

Song:   (sighs) Aye. But you still want to know more about what it was like to grow up in the shadow of bigger-than-life boys.

Me:      (Shrug apologetically.)

Song:   To begin with, when I was a child, Ram was only home half the time. He was always fightin’ with Blood1 or with our da. When he had enough of it, he would run off and live by himself in the forest like a wild thin’. When he was home things were always lively. Either everybody was upset about the fightin’ or upset about some other thin’ he’d done. He had no use for rules. I can tell you that! Still does no’ really.

I was only ten when he went away to “boardin’ school”. (She gestured with air quotes.) I thought they had sent him to a sort of correctional facility for juvenile misfits. Of course now we know he signed on with Black Swan. (Her face broke into a big grin.) And we all know how that turned out.

Me:      I’d like to hear your thoughts on how that turned out.

Song:   I was always proud of him, but bein’ invited to his induction into the Hall of Heroes was…well… ’twas somethin’ I will no’ be forgettin’ soon.

Me:      So you thought he’d been sent away to a military-type school for bad behavior?

Song:   Aye. ‘Tis what everybody thought at the time. Well, all but our parents who knew the truth I suppose. Blood was insufferably smug about it. Ram was livin’ in a castle in Provence that had once been a stronghold of the Knights Templar. The Order loves to purchase places with histories that are of interest to the Historical Department. Anyway, they renovated and converted it. So far as the locals knew, it was a very exclusive boarding school for boys. So exclusive (she chuckles) you can no’ even make application. Admission is by invitation only. As you know.

When he would come home for holidays, every girl would suddenly want to be my best friend. ‘Twas a pain in Paddy’s Ass. I admit he’s passin’ fair, but he’s not that cute.

Me:      Actually he is, Song, and you should be grateful because you look just like him. Feminine version.

Song:   Well, are you no’ the flatterer now? In any case, I have more opportunities to spend time with him now than I did growin’ up.

Me:      So you get along well with your new sister-in-law?

Song:   Aye. I could no’ have hoped for better. The two of them are very funny because she will fuss over me privately and say, “Do no’ tell your brother I did thus and so.” Then he will act all big-brotherly and say, “Do no’ tell Elora I said this. She accuses me of hoverin’ where you’re concerned.”

Me:      You seem to like all Ram’s friends.

Song:   Oh, aye.

Me:      Is that all you have to say on the subject?

Song:   (narrows eyes) Would you be fishin’ for somethin’ in particular?

Me:      I was wondering how you feel about Baka for instance.

Song:   Oh. (she laughs) You’re hopin’ for the dish. I do no’ mind tellin’ you that Baka is a beautiful man who is also a generous and skillful lover, but he is human, sort of, and no’ mate material. He was just a lovely diversion. You know elves do no’ discourage pre-mating sexuality and think it strange that some humans do.

Me:      Alright, enough said. So, how’s the new job and what do you think of Edinburgh?

Song:   Hmmm. Adjustin’.  Never shared a room before. I grew up with a suite of rooms of my own and now I basically live in a walk-in closet with two beds and a roommate. As roommates go, I could have done a lot worse. So far as the work goes, they’ve no’ given me anythin’ to do. They just test and test and test endlessly. The only actual work I’ve done was on the side when Katrina went missin’ and Ram asked me to look for her. So far as Edinburgh goes, ’tis more like a prison than anythin’ else. I’m no’ really free to go out like everyone else because, as Ram says, ’tis Fairyland and no’ safe for elves.

Me:      But you have met some. Some Fae that is.

Song:   Aye.

Me:      Nothing else to say?

Song:   You know perfectly well that I promised Elora no’ to say a word on the subject.

Me:      I was just testing.

Song:   Very funny. You should write comedy.

Me:      No thanks. I’m married to romance. Anything else you’d like to say?

Song:   Aye. I have a minor role in The Summoner’s Tale, but ’tis important. Even crucial you might say. In fact, the entire outcome depends on my ability. Can no’ say more without spoilin’ the fun of readin’ the story. I would like to tell my fans, though, that I have a much bigger part in BOOK FIVE.

Me:      You mean if I don’t change my mind.

Song:   (Gives me a super confident look of superiority.) Do that and you can expect a visit from my big brother.

1. “Blood” is Aelsong’s nickname for Aelsblood, her brother, the elf king.

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.….

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


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.