Monday, October 1, 2012

'My Familiar Stranger' Book Tour

My Familiar Stranger
By Victoria Danann

The Order of the Black Swan #1

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: April 21, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933320-49-6

Number of pages: (estimated 370)
Word Count: 111,268

Purchase Links: Amazon  Smashwords

Book Description:

Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own. She is stranded. Alone. Far from home. A stranger in a "strangish" land.

Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?

My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.

Erotica quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Read an excerpt:
When she stepped over the multiple grooves of the titanium threshold, the tension in the room was so palpable she almost swayed.
Ram was sitting on a counter, breathing into a paper bag and was so angry he couldn’t even look her in the face. When she had gone to sit within arm’s reach of Baka, he had lunged for the door, spinning the vault wheel and screaming, “Get her out! Get her out right now!”
Kay had been forced to grip Ram in a bear hug from behind and immobilize him long enough to say, “If she hears the vault opening, it will surprise her. She’ll be distracted and look away from him. We can’t take that chance. You understand me? We don’t have any choice but to let her play it out her way.”
Ram had stilled and nodded, but, for the first time in his life, was having trouble getting breath. A nurse arrived within four minutes with a paper bag solution. Storm and Kay had wanted him to go to the little infirmary, but a legion of demons could not have dragged him from that room before seeing her safe.
“What’s the matter with him?” Elora asked looking from Storm to Kay, nodding toward Ram.
Storm wheeled on her booming. “He’s scared to death! That’s what’s the matter! Every one of us could just…” He held his hands up in a clutching gesture indicating that he would like to strangle her. All the while he was visibly clenching and unclenching his teeth in a most unattractive way.
Suddenly he turned on Ram, “For every time I have ever called you reckless or psycho or accused you of having a death wish, I take it all back. She makes you look downright timid.”
Ram lowered the bag from his face long enough to say, “Lay off. ‘Tis done.”
“Are you okay?” Elora asked Ram. He gave her a murderous glare and went back to breathing through the paper bag. “Wow. It looks like there was some serious drama on this side of the mirror.”
“Oh! Sweet,” Storm said sarcastically. “Tell me something. Do you care about us at all?”
Taken aback by that accusation, Elora’s mouth fell open. “What do you mean? Of course.”
“Ms. Laiken,” Kay began, “emotions were running a little high because of fear. For you. And, from this side of the glass, it seemed like you were sort of asking for it.”
“It? Asking for it as in getting bit?”
Kay nodded.
Elora looked around the room. "So it's Ms. Laiken now is it?"
She really hadn’t thought she would cause this much anxiety. After all, these were people who hunt vampire every day. Going from face to face though, she saw that those who weren’t downright angry were solemnly grim and she decided she should soft pedal.
“Okay. I’m sorry if I gave you cause for concern." She looked pointedly at Storm and Ram. “But I was the one in the situation and I had to follow my own instincts.”
“Cause for concern?” Storm first gaped at her, then turned his face to the wall and let out a roar of frustration. He wasn’t used to containing the sort of emotion that threatens to boil over into torrents of rage. He turned and took two steps in Elora's direction so that he was standing over her. “Inoculations can’t save you if your jugular is sliced in two.” He held his hand in front of her face, thumb and first finger twitching together. “And you were this close. Even you wouldn’t recover from that.”
Elora’s own temper was beginning to crowd her composure. “That’s just it, Storm. I wasn’t in any danger. I’m sorry you were needlessly worried, but you’re going to have to learn to trust me.” He hissed out his aggravation then dropped his hands to his sides as if to say he was giving up.
“What if I had told you I was going to rehabilitate Blackie? We both know you would have forbidden me to go near him. Blackie would have been sentenced to live out his life being tormented by that sadist.”
“Please tell me you are not comparing that thing,” he pointed to the glass, ”to an abused dog! If you’re saying you have plans to domesticate Istvan Baka, then you need to double down on your therapy sessions.”
She recoiled as she instantly reordered her reality. A moment ago she had thought Storm incapable of deliberately hurting her.
He knew it was harsh, but he didn’t care. He wanted to shock her into sound judgment.
Elora narrowed her eyes as her fists clenched while she was deciding whether or not to punch him.
Ram might have wanted to throttle Elora himself, but his instinct to protect was stronger. He jumped down from the counter and moved in front of Storm so that he stood between them. “That’s enough!” He stayed long enough to make certain Storm knew he was serious, then threw the paper bag down in disgust and stalked out of the room without looking back, taking the door to the stairs instead of the elevator, and letting it slam shut behind him.
Everyone else stood silent for a time. After awhile, Storm’s breathing started to slow. Kay leaned back against the control cabinet, put his hand over his mouth and shook his head.
Elora glanced toward the glass to see Baka still standing near the fire, looking at them like he was watching the entire scene play out, hearing every word.
**My thoughts**

This book is touted as a paranormal romance, but I felt there was a lot of science fiction in it, as well. I admit it took me a little longer to get into it for that reason. Its vibe sometimes reminded me of a sort of Artemis Fowl for adults. There is a mission log at the beginning of each chapter, that serves as a sort of handbook for those involved in the Order. The characters are being set up for a battle of sorts.

Elora is a strong woman who is adored by all of her male counterparts. All of the characters are strong, made up on vampires, elves and more. It's a unique twist on the contemporary paranormal genre.  

Buy links: Paperback | Kindle 


The Witch’s Dream By Victoria Danann
The Order of the Black Swan #2

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Paranormal
Adult Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: October 14, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933320-56-4
ASIN: not yet assigned
Pages: 260 (5×7 book)
Word Count: 97,000

Book Description:
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 Dream begins with B Team on loan for 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 Ram and Elora celebrate their handfasting at the palace in Derry.

When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly turns all business. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora doesn’t have – finesse. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley. From promises to rages to hunts to epiphanies.

This is a story that proves that love can find you when you’re least expecting it – even when you’re far, far from home.

Erotic quotient:
A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Read an excerpt: 
When Kay's bunch arrived it suddenly seemed as if the one hundred seventy five room palace on twelve thousand acres would not be nearly big enough. His family had migrated to South Texas in the nineteenth century and found it agreeably inhospitable. Berserkers enjoy a good challenge. So they founded an organization to clean up the mess, taking on rowdy itinerants who heartily embraced a get-it-done, no-rules philosophy and called it the Texas Rangers.
Were it not for berserkers it seems unlikely that the frontier mix of Comanche, desperados, and javelina could have been subdued so relatively quickly and by so few.
Chaos Caelian, named such by his maternal grandmother as was her privilege in berserker society, was affectionately known as Kay. It was the nickname bestowed upon him by his teammate Rammel Hawking soon after they'd met. Ram had thought a knight named Kay - like the foster brother of King Arthur from Arthurian legend - was amusing. So Chaos became Sir Kay and it stuck. Even his own parents eventually began calling him Kay.
Yes. Everybody knew the near giant knight as Kay except for his three older sisters who refused to give up calling him Bubba, never letting him forget for a minute that he was the "baby" of the family. The four youngest Caelian children were close in age, only a year apart, and in familial ties. There was a much older brother, but he and their parents almost seemed to comprise a second family. The three preschool girls started out calling him "brother", but the nickname quickly degenerated into Bubba and would not go away.
Their grandmother, sometimes called Evil Gran by those she had named, gave the girls similar hardships to bear. Having inherited the "sight" from her own grandmother, Evil Gran claimed she knew three girls were coming and set out to name them after the Norns; the three keepers of time according to Norse myth. Hence, they were named in order of linear time - past, present, and future: Urda, Verdandia, and Skulda. In a triumph of sibling camaraderie and conspiracy over custom, their names had morphed into something more suitable before they entered kindergarten. Urda became known as "Urz", Verdandia as "Dandie" and Skulda did a triple twist into "Squoozie" which, odd as it was, seemed like a custom fit.
Elora had once heard Kay say that opening the door to his boyhood home was like going through the wardrobe to the land of "Nornia".
The entire family resembled the popular perception of Vikings: tall, fair haired, fair skinned, with blue eyes, an abundance of athletic ability, and an indomitable desire to know where to plunder the best jewelry. Fortunately the family had accumulated multigenerational wealth in land, cattle, and oil in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century so the quest for jewelry did not require going a'viking as it was known in the old days. Kay's sisters were content with the occasional plunder of Gump's, Tiffany, and Cartier.

Author Bio: 

For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.

Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston's premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.

This series will include some of my actual experience in the paranormal with fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing "metaphysician", but most of the material is fantasy.

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