Friday, August 31, 2012

The Power of Charm

This alluring release from Victoria Dannan caught my attention right away. Victoria will be giving away a little special something. See the end of her post for the question! If you're looking for the ROMANCING the HOP, see my the next post ...

First, thank you for having me. Authors, particularly indie authors like myself, rely heavily on book enthusiasts to make connections with readers. Don't know what we'd do without you.

Regarding the question about the type of powers possessed by the heroine of My Familiar Stranger, she has two. One is supernatural, but explainable from a science fiction perspective.
Her name is Elora Laiken. She is part of a powerful, ruling clan - a distant relative of the monarch - in a dimension that is similar, but not identical to our own. That's why I call her a stranger in a "stangish" land. When the clan was gathered for a festival, a rival political group staged a coup in the form of a massacre. Minutes ahead of her own inevitable assassination, she is forced into a pre-experimental device by her tutor and mentor.

When she was deposited at her destination in an alien dimension, she was so damaged they weren't even sure she was humanoid and had no expectation that she would recover. Needless to say, she did heal after several months' convalescence and then discovered she had gained some bonuses in the process. In the book that process was compared to being forced through a giant cheese grater while being tumbled like a rock polishing machine. Since her body was designed for the properties of another dimension, her cell density in the new world gives her strength and speed that exceeds that of record holders.

Partly by fortune and partly by design of the transport's inventor, she landed in a very old, secret society of vampire hunters and paranormal investigators who are accustomed to dealing with highly unusual phenomena. The exceptional physical attributes were a device woven into the plot to make it possible for the heroine to aspire to working with the modern day knights who befriend her.

Her other power is not supernatural, but is highly prized and serves her equally; the power of charm. Not the kind that may be acquired through training such as a Dale Carnegie course. The kind that is innate and as natural to the personality as breathing in and out. If you doubt the value of charm, it probably means you have it in spades. Those who don't have it recognize that it is the prize that trumps all others: beauty, wealth, political power, talent, and so on.

It is that charm that is principally responsible for three gorgeous men simultaneously pursuing her romantically. In the end she must choose between the honorable and stalwart hero who saved her life twice, the beautiful elf who believes she is his mate, or the intensely seductive six-hundred-year-old vampire.

My Familiar Stranger will be available in Kindle format for FREE for three days over the Labor Day Weekend beginning September 1st and ending at midnight on the third so that anyone who has not had a chance to read it can do so before release of the second book in the series, The Witch's Dream, on October 14.

My Familiar Stranger, By Victoria Danann

The Order of the Black Swan #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House

Date of Publication: April 21, 2012
ebook ISBN: 978-1-933320-49-6            ASIN: B007V8RAKW

Date of Publication: August 31, 2012 
print ISBN: 978-1-933320-77-9            ASIN: to be assigned

Purchase Links: Amazon 

Book Description:

A secret society, hot guys, and vampires come together for a once in a lifetime adventure and a once in a lifetime opportunity proving that true love can find you in the strangest places, even far, far from home.

Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own.

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.

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

Short Excerpt My Familiar Stranger:

“What are you doing out here, Baka?” Somehow, encountering him “in the wild” made him seem more appealing instead of more frightening which was disturbing.

“Following you of course,” he said with matter of fact ease looking down as he circled the corpse. 

“Although it seems there was no cause for concern, Lady Laiken.”

“You’re saying you followed me because you were worried? About me?”

“Hard to believe, isn’t it?” His pale eyes sparkled in the dim light of the alley, still damp from a fresh shower that magically turned the entire city into a slick surface of reflecting light. Every couple of seconds his gaze wandered back and forth between the open ends of the alley before coming back to fix on her with a concentration that made her want to squirm and press thighs together. He knew he was having that effect and was enjoying it. Thoroughly.

“I like the costume. Especially the very red, very short skirt.” His gaze scanned her slowly and appreciatively, top to bottom and back again before coming to rest on her mouth. “And the lip stain. Enticing. Would you call that blood red?”

“Okay. Look. I’m kind of an amateur at this. I don’t know what they usually do about, er,” she glanced down at the dead vampire, “clean up. Do you?”

“Yes. They have people who take care of it. They conceal the evidence as best they can and call for pick up.” He grabbed the body by the arms, easily pulled it next to a pile of garbage bags stacked next to a trio of dumpsters, and sat it upright against the brick wall so that it looked like it could have been a drunk passed out.

“Right.” That sounded like a good plan. “I don’t know who to call.”

Baka pulled his phone out of his pocket and speed dialed a number. “One of your knights just bagged a vamp, but she didn’t have the clean up number.”

Baka held the phone away from his ear. Elora could hear Sol shouting curses on the other end. “She? What the great father of fuck do you mean she?”

“You didn’t intend to turn the Lady Laiken loose on a poor, unsuspecting population of vampire who’ve been running amuck, digging in and planting roots in the community? Surprising considering that she has to be the best weapon you’ve got.” There was quiet on the other end of the line. He glanced up at Elora. “We’re in an alley off Broadway between 38th and 39th. The package is semi-concealed and I will stay here to make sure the scene is secure from discovery until your people arrive.”
She could hear the murmur of Sol talking, no longer shouting. Baka said, “Okay,” and hung up.

“He wants to see all four of you when you get back. No matter how late it is. His office. He’ll be waiting.” Baka tilted his head as his lips spread into a beautiful, white fangless grin. Captivating. Then, he held his phone up saying, “Did that qualify as being a good vampire?”

Elora studied him for a second, then reached out and took the phone from his hand as casually as if she was taking hot chocolate from The Hub barista. She programmed her number into the phone and handed it back. “Don’t make me sorry.”

“Cross my heart.” He took the phone and slid it back into a jeans pocket.

“Oh very funny. So you’re a painter, a musician, an author, an interior decorator, a vampire, a spy, a possible stalker, and a comedian.”

With the hint of a sardonic smile he said, “At a lounge near you. Shows nightly at ten and twelve.”
While Elora was trying to process this bit of cognitive dissonance, he went on. “You’d better get back to the cafe. If bits of Bad Company come back and find you missing, at least two of them will turn Manhattan into a state of chaos, bedlam, and pandemonium.”

Well, what could be said to that? “Thank you for your help with the, uh, mess.”

With a flourish he executed an old world bow with grace and a lack of self-consciousness that could only be managed by someone who had lived during the time when such things were en vogue. “I live to serve.”

“Uh huh.” She started toward the mouth of the alley then looked back to say, “By the way, that was bad ass bass tonight.”

Through the darkness she could see white teeth flash. “I take requests.”

She chuckled half way back to the bistro replaying in her head Baka’s dry humor, quick wit and sexy mannerisms, asking herself what she was doing semi-flirting with the most infamous vampire in the annals of The Order.

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 eventually 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 - of course.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: “Since the ancient Greeks, and probably since we became sentient, men have been asking the question, ‘What do women want?’ I think I know what the answer is – at least for a lot of us - and it’s related to why Paranormal Romance is so popular with women and so satisfying to the core in a way no other genre can be. Before I began writing for this audience, I read about two hundred PNR books and realized that there is one element common to almost all and that it can only be expressed in a fantasy world. Can you guess what it is?” (NOTE: You don’t have to match my answer to win. I’m always interested to hear what other PNR fans think.)

The prize is a free download of M.F.S. with Smashwords coupon. Anyone who gives a thoughtful answer wins.

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