Author Victoria Danann Release Party and Kindle Paperwhite Contest LIVE Here!

A Summoner's Tale - The Vampire's Confessor (Black Swan 3) by Victoria DannanI would like to welcome author Victoria Danann back to Bitten by books! Today she is celebrating the release of her new book The Summoner’s Tale, book three in the Black Swan series. She’s going to stop by about 2:00 pm CDT to answer questions. In the mean time, here is some reading to keep you busy. :) This is the third installment in an ongoing story. READING THIS SERIAL SAGA IN ORDER HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. In celebration of the release of A Summoner’s Tale, we have made book one My Familiar Stranger, and Book two, The Witch’s Dream, FREE for today!!

The Summoner’s Tale: A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you’re least expecting it. Even when you’re far, far from home.
Erotic quotient: A little steam. No menage. No BDSM.
Books in the Black Swan Series in the order they should be read:
My Familiar Stranger
The Witch’s Dream
The Summoner’s Tale

Chapter 1 (as found here: http://www.victoriadanann.com/SummonersTale.html )

BLACK SWAN FIELD TRAINING MANUAL Section I: Chapter 1, #1

The plural of vampire is vampire.

When the initial rush of activity subsided, he had found himself all too often alone with his own thoughts; a condition that was tediously familiar since he had spent hundreds of years that way. Without the distraction of his friends’ banter, since his proposed staff had left Edinburgh, he had begun to see his task not just as a job, but as a mission, one immersed in the duality of joy and gravity. Though, lately it seemed gravity was winning.

He had never considered himself to be impatient. Quite the contrary. Everything he had ever pursued in earnest, from painting to music to writing, had depended upon patience. But, his awareness of the enormity of the burden he had accepted had grown over the past months and he had turned to brooding about the time that was passing.

Every day that nothing was accomplished was a day when more people had their humanity taken from them, another day when vampire remained imprisoned in bodies infected with the foulest disease imaginable, and, also, another day when people died.

The project was moving painfully slowly. Everyone who had originally been assigned to work with Baka was gone: married, retired, whatever. Everyone except Heaven – who had turned out to be anything but. If he was to be brutally honest with himself, he would have to admit that one of the main reasons for the slow progress was his distraction with his appointed assistant.

The large work space, intended for several people, held two people most of the time. He worked from early in the morning till late at night, challenging both the hours in the day and the fact that he was one excruciatingly short-handed task, force leader.

When Heaven was present, her moods ran the range of a shallow bell curve from disagreeable to surly to sullen. He admitted that he had provoked her on their first meeting, for reasons that were a mystery to him. Something about her had instantly put him on edge, made him feel anxious, and inclined to strike out.

Even though that feeling persisted, he had attempted to make amends so that they could work together amicably, but his attempts at accord had failed. Miserably so. She was prickly all the way to her luscious core, spurning every effort on his part to develop a rudimentary standard of civility. No matter how many times he tried.

He not only had to work with a person who detested his very presence, but, adding insult to injury, it seemed he couldn’t shake an inexplicably strong attraction to her. He found himself staring at the curve of her cheek when her head bowed over work. Or the shine of her chestnut hair when she walked in front of a window, right through a bank of sunrays. Or the way her lips pursed in silent protest and disdain whenever he gave her something to do.

It was damned aggravating to be held captive, figuratively, by a woman who detested him. To make matters worse, he seemed to have lost interest in pursuing other women, which really wasn’t like him at all. After being freed of the vampire virus, he found himself in a world where sex was king. Women dressed provocatively. Women were provocative. And they were free to share sex if it suited them to do so without needing permission outside their own conscience.

He had made the most of that window of sexual opportunity between the cure and the day Heaven walked into his war room.

For over five months, she had behaved as if simple courtesy was more than she could manage. That meant that “nice” was a goal way too distant. Baka knew it wasn’t an expression of her nature in general because he’d often watched her from across the dining hall laughing and interacting with other associates and employees. No. With others her manner was open and unguarded.

A thousand times a day his eyes sought her out while he surreptitiously pretended to be doing something else. He found himself imagining having her lift her head and turn the sunshine of that smile his way or, even better, to angle her face up at him with invitation on her features while she pressed her beautifully packed curves against his body. The thought of that made him hard. Painfully so. Again.

He was staring at the clock on the wall as he did that time every day, waiting for the separation ritual to begin. At exactly fifteen after five, Heaven checked her wristwatch, closed an open folder, pushed her chair back, stood up, shoved her arms into her sweater jacket, put her purse on her shoulder and, like every other day, started to walk out of the office without so much as a passing glance angled his way. Much less a wish for goodnight. But, that night was going to be different. That night his voice stopped her when she put her hand on the door pull.

“Heaven.”

“Yes?” she asked over her shoulder without looking at him directly.

“Why do you hate me so much?”

She didn’t hesitate for an instant before answering, “I don’t hate you. Whatever gave you such an idea?”

Before he could frame an answer to that question, she was gone. He heaved a big sigh. Fuck me.

Life had become a conflict without prospect of resolution. He perpetually struggled to concentrate when she was there because the space seemed to vibrate with a low level, but annoying irritation. When she wasn’t there, he hated it even more.

Baka had been a person with a well-developed sense of morality and a well-functioning conscience before he became a vampire. During the last hundred years of life as a vampire, having survived long enough to blessedly recover his understanding of right and wrong, he had voluntarily allowed himself to be taken into custody by The Order hoping that they would put an end to him. But they devised a far worse punishment. They decided to keep him alive on artificial sustenance so that, on occasion, he could serve as “consultant”. Of course that also entailed imprisonment and many decades of a solitary life.

He could have committed suicide, but submitted to the ongoing torment because he knew he deserved whatever crucible they might devise.

No. He had never been short on conscience. And that conscience was rubbing a hole in his brain telling him that it would be wrong to simply sit at a desk and plan a strategy on paper while, at the same time, doing nothing. So, keeping his own counsel, for better or worse, he determined that he would continue to work as a bureaucrat during the day, but would spend his nights – at least part of them – looking for others he might coax back to the light with the help of a very special serum.

He had worked with Monq at Jefferson Unit labs to develop a delivery solution. Taking a page from the methodology of the late Gautier Nibelung, they had decided that the safest and most effective approach would be dart gun. Each dart was outfitted with a tiny canister that would puncture on impact releasing a formula that was part stun and part cure. The proper dose of stun solution had been determined by tests on Baka himself. So he knew it worked. First hand.

Obviously vampire must be incapacitated while the viral antidote works. As medicinal remedies go, it is fast working, but not instant. There is a delay of two to four hours between introduction to the system and complete reversal of the disease, depending upon the age and constitution of the individual.

His plan wasn’t perfect. It depended on encountering one – no more than two – vampire at a time and extracting them, while paralyzed, without engaging other vampire. Further, all that had to be accomplished by him. Alone.

Tricky, but the alternative was waiting for a task force to be vetted, assembled, and trained. And waiting was the one thing he couldn’t manage. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing he’d ever done, but, hell, he’d had a long life.

To his advantage, he still had certain attributes that were extra human. Not like comic book heroes. More like human plus. No one knew if these benefits would fade away over time, but, for now, he was a little stronger, a little faster, and could see in the dark a little better than most people. All traits very useful for vampire hunting.

It just so happened that he found his assigned base of operations in prime territory that qualified as a vampire magnet on all counts. In Edinburgh’s Old Town there was a large pedestrian population that came out at night and it was built on top of an underground system that was not utilized to any extent that would interfere with the needs of vampire. All this was literally in sight of his office – five minutes’ walk away.

In a darkly poetic way, it was fitting that vampire would thrive in Edinburgh’s underground city which consisted of a system of tunneled streets with walls so close you could almost stand in the middle and touch both sides. The caverns and cells that faced the streets cut into the much softer sandstone under the rock that the above-ground Old Town is built upon. It’s a place with grisly history where thousands of hapless poor lived in darkness, packed together without sanitation and with the vilest of criminals. The legend is that plague victims were not removed and buried or burned, but sealed in their cells.

Some of the underground “vaults” under the bridge were reportedly used during World War II air raids, but, even if that was true, no one had been back since.

Modern day Ghost Tours offer a shallow excursion into Mary King’s Close - shallow because individuals don’t want to stay in the underground very long. Words like “creepy” are frequently used even by hard-core insensitives. That left a lot of maze for a vampire haven.

Baka had been a vampire long enough to know all about how they think which was why he had been supremely valuable to The Order as “consultant”. He knew that the days of the Samhuinn festival would be a gorge fest for vampire. The Royal Mile, just over the heads of vampire living in the Underground, would be crowded with visitors to the city, visitors intent on celebration and revelry, danger being the last thing on their minds. It would be a blessing to vampire in the original sense of the word’s older cousin – bloodletting.

He finished his day, went to dinner alone, and slowly savored every bite of actual food. Afterward, driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in the world, he pulled on a pair of cargo pants and equipped the dozen pockets with as many canisters as they would hold. He opened his backpack and stuffed it with two not-for-sale-on-any-market, rapid-fire dart pistols designed by The Order’s own, genius inventor, Thelonius M. Monq. To that he added five revolving canisters for reloads, a thinsulate, a lighted helmet guaranteed to give fourteen hours of use in exchange for three AAA batteries, and six pairs of handcuffs.

When he put the handcuffs in side zipper pockets he wondered if he was being ambitious, prideful, or just plain stupid. It gave him pause, but, when weighed against the burden on his heart, his second thoughts didn’t carry enough weight to stop him. Like many natural intuits, he ignored the foreboding of his own instinct and proceeded with the plan, foolish though it might be.

He descended the stairs to the main foyer wondering if, even partial redemption for a long life of misdeeds, is possible. The fact that he was not accountable for his infamous history should have given him some peace of absolution. But didn’t. He said good evening to the doorman, threaded his arms into the backpack straps, and headed out into the night.   ***

A second excerpt is available on the blog at http://victoriadanann.me/2012/12/26/the-http://victoriadanann.me/2012/12/26/the-summoners-tale-excerpt-2

Author Bio:
Though works of fiction are a departure for me, I have had this series simmering on the back burner of my mind for years. I have illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch for fourteen years. I play Classic Rock music and manage Houston’s premier variety and R&B band. I have an M.A. in psychology and some formal education in Parapsychology. I also spent several years designing evening wear for Pendragon.

This series will include some of my education in the paranormal and fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing “metaphysician”, but most of the material is fantasy – of course.

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Learn more about Victoria Danann below:
http://www.VictoriaDanann.com
Blog: http://VictoriaDanann.me
www.facebook.com/vdanann
TWITTER: @vdanann
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267 comments

  1. Victoria,

    I love this series, thank you for bringing us such awesome set of books. I am looking forward to more in this series. :)

  2. Love this series and your writing style Victoria! Can’t wait for Book 4.

  3. Love the Black Swan Series! Thanks for the free books. Who are some of your favorite paranormal authors and how have they influenced your writing? What are you reading now?

    • GREAT QUESTIONS, BONNIE, and thank you for asking them.

      Before I started writing, I spent about two years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success at all so that I would know what was already out there. That’s the only way I could be sure that I was offering something fresh.

      In the process, I did develop some favorites. At the very top of my list is the first PNR I ever read… A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole. Of course I was influenced by Anne Rice. I would classify her books paranormal, but not paranormal romance because, in Rice books, the romance is always a subplot or secondary storyline. In a true paranormal romance, the romance is THE primary plot.

      Love Karen Marie Moning’s FEVER series in particular, at least the first five.

      What I’m reading right this minute is not PNR. It’s the Sinners on Tour Series by Olivia Cunning. This came about because I was on a popular blog one day when they featured a list of rock star romances. Since I play Classic Rock, I was curious. I have just finished the first two and am reading the third.

      This is what I have to say about that! I am way too prude for these books! And, yet, underneath the sex that goes too fringe for my tastes, there are stories I can’t stay away from. I’d like to look away, but can’t. I’m going to guess that means that Olivia Cunning is really talented because it’s a little masochistic for me to keep reading books that are partially repugnant to me. Either that or I need psychoanalysis.

  4. What’s your favorite paranormal being?

    • Hi Minna -

      Let me preface by saying… other than my own…

      If you mean what’s my favorite fantasy species, that’s a tough one because each category is open to wide interpretation. For instance, if all demons were like the protagonist in Larissa Ione’s Pleasure Unbound, then I say, yes, I’ll take that.

      If you mean who is my favorite specific paranormal character ever written, it was the werewolf Bowen in Kresley Cole’s Wicked Deeds. There’s just something about a super gorgeous guy who brings absolute (and eternal, literally) devotion, along with a great sense of play and humor.

  5. Great book – all three of them

  6. I LOVE YOUR BOOKS AND SO FAR SUMMONERS TALE IS AS GREAT AS I EXPECTED

    • I guess that means you’re reading it now and you probably haven’t bridged my signature accelerated race to the end. Hope you love it.

      • I didnt get the accelarated reading but I can already say I can’t wait for the next book. As far as other paranormal authors go If you like Kresley Cole . Read Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. You my friend are right up there in writing skills with them and Charlaine Harris and Karen Marie Moning. I am a steadfast fan and tell all my friends and family to read your books. Kudos to you ,your stories have it all.

  7. Victoria, You know I love your series…..Order of the Black Swan! Looking forward to book 4!

    • Everybody – Nelta is a member of my street team who should have been a Madison Avenue ad (wo)man. She is a genius at turning my books into catchy one-liners; i.e.,

      The Witch’s Dream “Great Paddy, you’re gonna love it.”

      A Summoner’s Tale “Let’s go get the wanker.”

      If Hollywood ever comes calling, I’m going to write her into the contract and insist that she be in charge of ad copy.

      • Nelta Baldwin Mathias

        Victoria, I guess that’s just the creative side of me verbally letting loose….but….they are YOUR words…I’m just using them in my reviews of your books….hoping to entice a reader to want to find out more….

  8. I love all types of paranormal creatures, besides vampires, what other creatures do you like?

  9. Hi Victoria! Do any of your characters remind you of anyone you know or knew? Leah
    USA

    • Hi Leah -

      What a marvelous question!

      Like all of us, writers are just a sum total of X experiences accumulated through this moment. Most of my characters are aggregates of several people, but there is one exception and here it is.

      My dad was that guy that everybody looked to for leadership – the very essence of strength, dependability, and decisiveness. He was also devoted to the proposition of identifying the “right” thing and doing that. Does this sound familiar to you?

  10. Hi! Do you do more writing early in the morning or late at night? Do you believe in past lives? If so, is there a certain time or place you feel drawn to the most?

    :)

    • Hi Steph -

      I have done A LOT of things on my way to writing these books. One of those was using my certification in hypnotherapy to regress people who had past life questions of an urgent nature.

      Yes. I believe in past lives and in future lives which is one of the reasons why I work at honing the skills I want to bring back with me. People say things to me like, “Well, you can do EVERYTHING!” or “EVERYTHING is easy for you.” That, of course is not true. I worked hard at everything I can do. I just didn’t have to do all the work in THIS lifetime.

      I am especially drawn to 1930′s England. How about you?

      I write whenever I can and that’s usually after I have finished working for 7th House (my publishing company) or SIA (the online school that teaches my methods of magickal arts) and the band I manage. On a typical day I get two or three hours before time to start dinner.

  11. I’ve read that some writers let the characters tell their story and have noticed different writing styles from the same writer when writing in different series. Do your characters dictate the story to you and you just tell the story they give you, or do you put the characters in situations and record how they get themselves out? Have you tried to steer a character in a way they flat out refused to go?

    • I’m sure you have already heard this story, but, just in case, I will tell it again.

      When I started My Familiar Stranger, I fully intended for Storm and Elora to end up together. I got all the way to a trip home to Napa to meet Storm’s parents and a sex scene between Storm and Elora. At that point, Ram pitched an all-out fit claiming that Elora was supposed to end up with him and that I had just better not let the lunker have her.

      I stopped long enough to let him make his case as to why he should get the girl. He convinced me, but it required such a major rewrite that I practically had to throw the first book out and start over. So I guess you could say the characters dictate some things.

      I do work from an outline – which is the only way you could keep all the details straight in stories that are as detailed and complex as mine – so in that sense the characters do what I tell them to do. For the most part that works out, but there is a constant power struggle with Ram who wants to take my mouse away from me.

  12. I’m here, sort of. I’ll be popping in and out when I come to check on the progress of a quilt I’m helping someone else do online.

    This is Liz from USA.

  13. I’ve loved all 3 books so far and can hardly wait to see what happens next!

  14. Almost done Summoner’s Tale. Love it just like the first 2 books. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  15. first did rsvp

    Were do you get your ideas for your stories?

    • Hi Lisa -

      I don’t know. If you will indulge me for a moment of old-timers, I was a child during a time when there was no external stimulation. Adding to that I was an ONLY child which meant that I was frequently in situations wherein entertainment had to originate with me. So I began to exercise my imagination by fantasizing while riding in the backseat of a car, or waiting outside an office or a hospital room or a dressing room or whatever.

      Perhaps the imagination is like a muscle that can be little used or honed and refined. I have no idea where fantasies come from, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make up scenarios, short and long, in my mind.

      I have alluded to how much writers must rely on experience. Regarding Black Swan Book 1, I was one of those little girls who got along well with girls, but loved to play with boys even more. Fortunately for me there was not a pink curtain of shame discouraging play and interaction with girls as there is today. Every day when I got home from school there would be several boys waiting to see what adventure we would act out that day. So, I suppose there is a very watered-down version of Elora in here somewhere.

  16. Hi Victoria – I haven’t read the series yet but it really looks good. I enjoyed the excerpt. It’s easy to feel for them.
    Which paranormal is your favorite? Mine’s whichever one I’m reading at the time ;). Thank you.
    By the way – great name :)

    • Hi Viki -

      At this point I’m so PNR saturated that I only love the book I’m reading if it lives up to a certain standard. My favorite paranormal (as opposed to paranormal romance) of all time is Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice. In fact, it’s one of three books by other authors that I wish I had written myself. It delves deep into questions that I had struggled with regarding creation, religion, human nature, and much more.

      If you enjoyed the opening of Book Three (Summoner’s Tale) without having read the first two, then I hope you will start at the beginning.

      My best – a fellow V.

  17. Love the excerpt, how many books do you have planned for the series? Do you already know how you want it to end and are you a pantser or a plotter? I’m very curious :)

    • Okay. I admit it. I had to look up “pantser”. You’d be amused by the guesses that came to mind.

      I’m both. Right now I have eight books on a spreadsheet, but every column has room to breathe and even morph. Book 6 just became a side story in Book 4. I do think I know how the series ends. Do you want to know? (Just kidding.)

      • LOL! I can hazard a guess at what you may have been thinking…

        I’m tempted to say yes I don want to know how it will end but instead when you ARE finished I want to know if you stuck with the original ending you had planned! So keep writing and I’ll ask again after more books :)

  18. Im waiting for the next book

  19. Hello, Victoria! What a fun chance to ask some questions. I am curious about the book writing process itself. I’ve read in your bio that you’ve been thinking about this series for a few years, before actually writing about it. Does the story come to you as a semi-finished product, or do you find that it gets “fleshed- out” as you’re writing it? Your stories are so rich and well-developed that I’m curious about when the story actually develops.

    • Hi Judy -

      Thank you for asking. Although I suspect you’ll be sorry you did after I write WAY more than you wanted to know.

      I get this general idea about a situation or a character and begin asking myself a series of “what if” questions until one of them catches my interest. That’s when I create my first step which I call the “bare outline”. I make a list from 1-22 to represent possible chapters. The final number may be more or less, but it’s a starting point.

      When the plot begins to gel in my mind, I start to block phrases into the bare outline that will eventually represent scenes. This is, by far, the hardest part of the process for me. Once I’m fairly satisfied that my proposed book has a beginning, a middle, and an end, then I can begin engaging both conscious and subconscious parts of my mind.

      Step 2 is creating the “extended outline”. Throughout my work day, if I think of something I want to include, I pull up the extended outline and plug it into the place where it would logically go in the story. I frequently wake during the night with this or that and have trained myself to remember it long enough to record it the next morning so that no creative tidbit falls through the cracks.

      The extended outline also helps me keep straight the complexities of chronology and backstory. Cross-checking is crucial to making sure it all works. (I don’t want to hear from a reader later, “Well, what about…?” So I do all possible to get it right in the first place.

      Step 3. The actual writing. After the extended outline is complete, I’m ready to write. This is the fun, the joy, the love, and the easy part for me. Since I ate my veggies first (the outlines), I can just relax and let the characters tell me what they want to wear, what they want to say, how they want to act and react, etc.

      Voila. Three months later, IT’S A BOOK!

      • There’s not any part of me that’s sorry I asked that question! I’m, quite frankly, amazed that you can write a book in just three month’s time! I find your thought process very interesting, and thanks to your great response, I definitely get a sense of how it all comes together for you. Wow.

        I am so looking forward to Book #4…but don’t feel like you have to rush it. LOL I am such a fan of your work, and am eagerly waiting to see where you decide to take us next. I just sat back and thought about it a bit, and realized what a journey it could be. You’ve opened up so many possible venues and characters – you could be doing this for quite a while! I, for one, am extremely grateful to have such a brilliant fictional landscape to journey into for a while.

        Thanks for taking the time to tell me a bit about how you actually craft a story from beginning to end.

  20. Hi there,

    haven’t heard of your books before, but I am now looking forward to reading them… already got them a few minutes ago. Also, all important questions have already been asked.

  21. Looking forward to reading the series – its new for me.

  22. I’ll bite…what is the meaning of life?

  23. Once you discover the meaning of life you really must share!! How philosophical first thing in the morning.

  24. What is the meaning of life? (sorry couldn’t resist)… I love your books so far but do you have anything outside of the Black Swan series planned for the future?

    • Awww everyone beat me to the punch lol

    • Here’s the thing. Even if I did know the meaning of life, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Which of these things do you think is most likely?

      a.) sex, drugs, rock and roll
      b.) love, love, love
      d.) asceticism with ascension as the goal
      c.) do the best you can with what you’ve got

    • I’m not even halfway through the series and have no definite plans. HOWEVER, I have read a couple of rock star romances lately and got itchy to correct stuff. Since I have actually played rock music and been in a band, I have the advantage of a level of understanding that probably can’t be conveyed by interview or by studying the habits of “rock stars” (on the verge of extinction BTW).

      I’ve also got a contemporary romance running around in my mind that does not have paranormal elements. Will have to see if it becomes more insistent or is willing to simmer on the back burner while Black Swan gets my attention.

      • I am definitely in “c.) do the best you can with what you’ve got” since parenthood gets in the way of as much “a.) sex, drugs, rock and roll” as I would like to have. ;)

        More specifically on the planning vs panster questions; are you ever surprised by what your characters are doing or where the story goes? I just love the idea of characters “taking on a life of their own” and have seen evidence of this phenomenon in performance art as well as acting, but am really curios if you see this phenomenon in your craft?

        • When I started My Familiar Stranger, I fully intended for Storm and Elora to end up together. I got all the way to a trip home to Napa to meet Storm’s parents and a sex scene between Storm and Elora. At that point, Ram pitched an all-out fit claiming that Elora was supposed to end up with him and that I had just better not let the lunker have her.

          I stopped long enough to let him make his case as to why he should get the girl. He convinced me, but it required such a major rewrite that I practically had to throw the first book out and start over. So I guess you could say the characters dictate some things.

          I do work from an outline – which is the only way you could keep all the details straight in stories that are as detailed and complex as mine – so in that sense the characters do what I tell them to do. For the most part that works out, but there is a constant power struggle with Ram who wants to take my mouse away from me.

          • Ram really must be a hand-full pun intended, but I am so glad that he got the mouse away from you this time. I really can’t imagine another ending than Elora with Ram.

            Rock Star Romance Series sounds like a lot of fun! Who hasn’t had a fantasy about their favorite rock star?

        • In reply to “who hasn’t had a rock star fantasy”? I actually haven’t because I know too much about them, but I suspect that, if I get creative, I could come up with something.

  25. Is there a book or series where you have gone – I wish I had thought of that?

    • Well, yeah!!! And I’ll tell you which one. Laurann Dohner’s “New Species”. I’m head over heels in love with a character from this series (his was the fifth book) and wish that I had been the one to get to write his story.

  26. Here’s a question for you.

    If you could have one guilt-free night with any character from the worlds of PNR, who would it be?

    • Baka ! But one night wouldn’t be enough. :)

      • You didn’t have to pick one of my guys, but, thank you. It delights me that Baka is honored to be THE one.

        • He truly is my favorite at the moment. Sexy, seductive, dangerous . . . yet he has a fragile heart and soft side. My dream guy. And I wouldn’t stake him if he bit me. :) Sorry, couldn’t resist. One of my favorite quotes.

    • It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around “guilt free”…been married for so long, it’s extremely difficult to imagine anything else! But, I always find that I’m drawn to the “were” in most of the paranormal books these days. Extreme loyalty, high intelligence, amazingly fit….and warm! They’d have to get my vote.

  27. I for one would vote for a, b, c, & d depending on which period of my life I was living when asked this question. ;)

    Do you write by what appears to “muggles” as divine inspiration or do plan out the plot line?

    • I guess I’m a combination of planner and pantser. I spelled out the process for Judy above. As I told her, you may think you asked for the time and I told you how to build a clock.

      Regarding the meaning of life – VERY perceptive, keen insight. Which stage are you occupying at the moment or is that too personal?

      • I am definitely in “c.) do the best you can with what you’ve got” since parenthood gets in the way of as much “a.) sex, drugs, rock and roll” as I would like to have. ;)

        More specifically on the planning vs panster questions; are you ever surprised by what your characters are doing or where the story goes? I just love the idea of characters “taking on a life of their own” and have seen evidence of this phenomenon in performance art as well as acting, but am really curios if you see this phenomenon in your craft?

  28. I love the sound of your book. It has a lovely variety of paranormal creatures. I like vampires best. If you were to be any paranormal creature which would one would you want to be?

    • I’d like to be a polyshifter, as in taking on any form that suited me at the moment. Christine Feehan’s vampires can do that, but being a vampire is too big a price to pay.

  29. From the Chapter 1 excerpt. I like how you have build the world your characters live in. There are rules and happenings that makes it interesting :)

    • Thank you. If you start at Chapter 1, Book Three, it would be just like walking in on a three act play at the beginning of the third act. It might still be enjoyable, but think what all you missed! So, please, go pick up the first two books. In celebration of A Summoner’s Tale release, both Books 1 and 2 are free on Kindle today.

  30. Sad to say I can’t wait for the next book. Lol. I love the all 3

  31. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt. I haven’t read this series before, but I will definitey need to get books one and two.

    • Please snag them while you can. I’m very excited about the fact that, as of today, the first three books of the series can be read the way it was conceived – as one uninterrupted story.

  32. I’m here to join the release party.

  33. yep, I’ve read all three, I’ve gotten an ARC copy. Just left my review.

  34. What three major characteristic must a character have for writing OR in reading?

  35. Where’s your favourite vacation spot?

  36. Hi, I was wondering what your ‘rules’ of being a vampire are (in a nutshell?) Have you ever read a book with vampires in it and thought their rules didn’t seem right to you?

    • I recreated vampire to be more believable in a world where theories are tested scientifically for validity. My vampire can’t “sift” or lock/unlock doors with their minds.

  37. Just want to say Love your books. I am a fan for life. Thank you for taking me to another realm. I don’t need Calgon anymore.

  38. I just read your first 2 books last week and LOVED them. I have your 3rd one preordered for my Kindle

  39. What movies and books (other than your own) coming out in 2013, are you most looking forward to?

  40. If you could like in any time period in the past or future, when would it be and why?

    • I’ve done graduate work in history. Life in the past in no way resembled the historical fantasy of romance novels. As to the future, I’m feeling a little pessimistic about global warming.

      Truthfully, I’m convinced that this is the best time to be human so far. Certainly it’s the best time to be a woman (from my generation, you’re welcome). I LOVE the internet. It’s given me two successful businesses and (now) three successful novels. I look and feel twenty years younger than I am because of nutrition, preventative health info, and what has been a very easy life compared to that of people just 75 years ago.

      Yep. I’m staying here in this time zone.

  41. Just wanted to say I loved book one, just downloaded two and will also get #3. I never get tired of the ability of you fabulous writers to keep me entertained with vamp tales- be they funny, scary,romantic or any other combination.
    Poo to all of “THEM” that say Vampires are done. No way! I could read their stories for another 30 years without getting tired of them.

  42. Do you write strictly on the computer or do you plot/sketch out/write things by hand first and then get to typing?

  43. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your books so far! A Summoner’s Tale does not disappoint and I am super anxious to hear everyone’s response..

    • I am in a hurry… Gotta go tell all of my friends that Witches Dream is FREE… See if I can get anyone as addicted as me.. :)

  44. Hi, Victoria. Welcome back to BBB!

    What kinds of things do you enjoy doing for relaxation?

  45. do you wright other types of books? or only Paranormal ones?

  46. Thanks for making the first 2 books available through Amazon. I look forward to reading them soon.

  47. What genre of books do you read? Just paranormal, or like me, everything including the cereal box?

    • Right now I read paranormal romance, sprinkled with other types of romance (right now I’m reading a rock star romance series). I spent over thirty years reading non-fiction except for the classical literature of mythology and the Viking sagas. I spent half a year reading nothing but Shakespeare. I guess I dive into whatever is needed at a particular stage of life.

  48. What authors or books inspired you to become an author?

  49. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

    • I work a lot – seven days a week – to keep up with my business enterprises, my music, and now my writing. When there’s a spare moment it goes to lunch with a good friend or a movie with husband.

  50. Hi, Victoria. What motivated you to write your first book? Was it a tiny idea that blossomed as you wrote or did you map it out more before actually writing?

  51. What made you decide to write about vampires?

    • It’s hard to approach paranormal sexiness without turning to vamps eventually. There is something about the idea of blood exchange that kicks intimacy up another notch – at least that’s how our subconscious minds appear to react to what would be a truly disgusting proposition when evaluated strictly through the intellect.

      HOWEVER, I have tried to not give vampire any ability that could not be explained scientifically. My vamps can’t “sift” or lock/unlock doors with their minds or any such thing.

  52. I’m hooked! Can’t wait to read the series!

  53. Is there anyone in your actual life that you base your characters on?

    • Some of Ram’s antics have been recreated from things my husband has done. (Hang my head in shame.) As I outlined in an earlier comment, Storm is probably loosely based on my dad. Kay is based on a boy I grew up with who was killed at a young age.

  54. What started your interest in writing?

    • Entertaining myself. I was an only child in an alternate dimension without electronics. We didn’t even have a TV. It’s possible that, if I was growing up today, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to exercize, expand, and develop my own imagination. I’d be too busy being a little human receiver.

  55. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading your work but after reading a few comments here I guarantee I will be reading them very soon.

  56. was it your original plan to become a writer or did you have another career picked out?

    • Hi Jennifer -

      This is actually the end and not the beginning. I have worked for the airlines, been a rock musician, a full-time mom, a publisher, and taught at the college level.

  57. Hi. What does writing mean to you?

  58. I enjoyed the first excerpt… now I need to go read the 2nd…
    Thanks!!

  59. Oooh… where did you get formal education in Parapsychology?

  60. I can’t wait to read this!

  61. I’m new to this genre…so I loved that you shared some of your writing here. My question to you is “What inspires you most when deciding to write a new book and what keeps you motivated”?

    • I’m all about the love which is why I love paranormal ROMANCE (as opposed to paranormal suspense, paranormal thrillers, or just paranormal). In my books the love story is the plot and everything else is subplot(s). Of course, what is happening around the romance in progress, the stuff of scifi, fantasy and nightmaresm, is what keeps me interested in the fate of the lovers.

  62. On another giveaway it says to leave a blog comment with your favorite paranormal entity. I wasn’t sure which blog, so I’ll leave it here. My fav is vampires. Seduction . . . they do it well.

  63. I’ve not read this series before, but I am definitely adding it do my TBR pile. This series sounds absolutely fabulous. I love it when I find something new. I love it when I find a new series. Getting all 3 books today. Thanks!!

    • Let me tell you why this delights me no end. These first three books were conceived as one uninterruped story. It was almost painful living through comments about wanting more and what about?, etc. etc. I love imagining that you’re going to be able to read through books 1-3 without pause.

  64. I have not read the series yet. I was wondering when did you know you wanted to become a writer?

    • I didn’t act on it until late in life, but I was 8 when I told my father I was going to be a writer. He brought me legal pads from the office which I used to rewrite Bobbsey Twins novels. I have a theory that, if you’re paying attention, people will tell you who they really are at around that age. For example, my daughter, the financial analyst, asked for an adding machine for Christmas around that time.

  65. My son would love your books. Any advice for a teenager who wants to become a writer?

    • I really don’t think people can become writers. If he thinks he’s a writer, he probably is one. My advice is going to shock you.

      (1.) I would tell him to NEVER take a course in “creative writing”. People who think writing can be taught are much more likely to kill creativity than nurture it. Tell him to reread the authors he loves instead.

      (2.) When he’s ready to show his work to someone, tell him to be VERY, VERY careful about choosing that person. Even people who love us very much can destroy us with the wrong comment. Tell him to choose somebody who already loves his genre and style and make sure that person is not the sort to be jealous of success.

      I wish him luck. Sincerely. There’s a lot of room for good writers. None of us can write as fast as people read.

  66. how did you begin your writing career?

    • When I was eight-years-old I started recreating Bobbsey Twins novels. In my twenties I wrote a PNR and showed it to my husband. After hearing what he had to say, I didn’t write again for decades. I didn’t understand, at that time, that he is the very furthest thing from my audience.

      The pull to write was actually kick-started by reading Kresley Cole’s “A Hunger Like No Other”. I LOVED IT, but also had the thought, “I can do that as well as she can.”

      I spent two years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success so that I would know what had already been done and not repeat it. The last thing I wanted was to become a boilerplate author. Since I own 7th House Publishing, it was easy to get my books out there because I already had the skills and structures in place to do so.

      This October I will be giving a talk about Indie publishing to the first ever Indie Rom Con.

  67. how much time do you spend writing one novel on average?

    • Since I don’t get to write at all most days, it’s hard to answer that question, but, right now, I’m trying to publish three books a year. If I wrote 80,000 words (the length of most novels), that would be four books a year, but one of the reasons why I’m an Indie is because I want to let the story decide how long it will be.

  68. Amanda Greene-Lebeck

    I am just starting the Black Swan series, and already I love it. Thanks so much for your wonderful work!!!!

  69. Victoria :) I truly love your sense of humor! Where do you think you got it from?

    • I KNOW where it came from… my dad’s side of the family. They were cattle ranchers who came to Texas before it was even a Republic, much less a state. They were probably horse thieves just one step ahead of the law. It’s a family that thrives on adversity and blooms in the face of hardship. There is also a theme that runs in the family of sardonic/dry wit coupled with the ability to see humor in ANY situation no matter how dire.

      Nothing pleases me more than comments about laughing out loud when reading one of my books.

  70. I’ve just discovered these books and am looking forward to checking them out.

  71. Who is your favorite Author? besides yourself of course! lol

  72. Are any of these based on dreams or imaginative ideas from your youth?

    • Some of these are loosely based on stories that neighborhood children helped me act out after school. The world was safe enough then for kids to roam far and wide and be adventurous.

  73. What is your education in the paranormal (as mentioned)? What got you interested in it?

    • I have an M.A. in psychology and did some work in parapsychology along the way. I spent several years working in Houston as a “metaphysician”. I was the “who you gonna call?” girl. I witnessed some out-of-the-ordinary things and counseled through many STRANGE events.

      In addition to fiction, I teach the Danann Method of Magickal Arts through my online school, Seasons in Avalon.

      BUT… my interest in fiction – at least at the moment – goes more toward paranormal ROMANCE than paranormal.

  74. I am excited to find your site, I had not heard of your books before now but they sound so interesting I will be picking one up this weekend. What would you say is your most prized possession and why?

    • My husband and I wanted to get married, but couldn’t afford much in the way of rings. I didn’t care about an engagement ring. I chose a gold band – which I actually describe at the end of Book 3.

      He was 19. I was 26. That was A LONG time ago. Now I could afford anything, but this gold band is still perfect. Can’t imagine being separated from it.

  75. I haven’t read any of your books yet- but am looking forward to it!

  76. What are you currently working on?

  77. Do you agree with the advice that writers should write every day? Or do you believe in taking a day to “clear the pipes” so to speak?

  78. This series is right up my alley…I’ll have to check it out! What made you decide to write in this genre? And do you ever experiment in other genres?

    • I set out to write PNR and that’s what I’m doing for so long as it holds my interest. It’s a big-tent genre. I can’t imagine getting bored, but I might pursue rock star romances at some point because I am a rocker and have first hand experience in what it’s like to be in a band.

  79. Who’s your favorite author? Do you find your writing was influenced by him/her?

  80. I have a couple of the series but haven’t read them yet,after reading the excerpt,I believe I will do just that as soon as I make it home. Sorry been away taking care of a friends animals and house whose in the hospital. Thanks

  81. what is your favorite fairytale creature? wolve, vamps, etc.

  82. I am also looking forward to book 4. Are you a vegitarian?

  83. Hi! I am new and will be checking in more often! I am really enjoying snooping through and reading what you’ve written.

    As an author myself, I have a question for you. With your first novel, how did you go about presenting it for publication? Did you submit directly to a publishing house that was accepting new submissions at that time? Or did you first seek out an agent?

    I’m about halfway through a fiction novel (chick lit) and am sort of gearing up to take the next steps…

    Thanks!
    Melle

  84. and assuming that was asking for a second question…. do you find that your best novels are those that you sit down and pre-write? Where you make notes and develope a past and future for your characters before you ever begin wwriting? or Do you find that your best work just simply is *there*… flowing right out?

    I sometimes feel that my poor characters won’t hush until I write what they’re saying… But I find that when I sit down and try to *sketch* them before I write that they appear to put me in literary time out. LOL

    Just wondering if this is par for the course… or if I’m doing something wrong.

    Melle

    • 1.) See an outline of my writing process in Comment #89. I pay meticulous detail to events and situations before I start “writing”. Dialogue and spontaneity take place in my Step 3.

      2.) I started down the path of traditional publishing. The more I learned the more I wanted to run away. For me, Indie is a perfect fit. I’m too independent and defiant to allow someone to tell me what should be in my book. (research shows 2.3 sex scenes… really????) And too impatient to wait for months to hear back. This is not the 17th century. I could have two more books published and in the hands of readers by the time somebody from one of the dinosaur New York houses gets enough **** together to even respond with a “no”.

      I’m presenting on this subject at the first ever Indie Rom Con this October. Bottom line is this. E-books caught the gatekeeping publishing houses – that hadn’t changed a thing about the way they do business for 400 years – by surprise. In another few years, there won’t be many paper books anymore. How many local bookstores are in your neighborhood? They still keep paperbacks in the grocery store for the older ladies who just can’t seem to make the transition to e-reading.

  85. What was your favorite childhood book?

  86. Have you ever written fan fiction? For what fandom?

    • The answer is no. However, I’m a fan of Laurann Dohner’s NEW SPECIES series. I have a very big thing for this character of hers named Justice. His book was #5. All I can say is Laurann doesn’t love him the way I love him. I have rewritten it in my mind, but it will never be published.

  87. Questions: who or what inspires you to write the stories you write? What method do you use to create your characters?

  88. I get this general idea about a situation or a character and begin asking myself a series of “what if” questions until one of them catches my interest. That’s when I create my first step which I call the “bare outline”. I make a list from 1-22 to represent possible chapters. The final number may be more or less, but it’s a starting point.

    When the plot begins to gel in my mind, I start to block phrases into the bare outline that will eventually represent scenes. This is, by far, the hardest part of the process for me. Once I’m fairly satisfied that my proposed book has a beginning, a middle, and an end, then I can begin engaging both conscious and subconscious parts of my mind.

    Step 2 is creating the “extended outline”. Throughout my work day, if I think of something I want to include, I pull up the extended outline and plug it into the place where it would logically go in the story. I frequently wake during the night with this or that and have trained myself to remember it long enough to record it the next morning so that no creative tidbit falls through the cracks.

    The extended outline also helps me keep straight the complexities of chronology and backstory. Cross-checking is crucial to making sure it all works. (I don’t want to hear from a reader later, “Well, what about…?” So I do all possible to get it right in the first place.

    Step 3. The actual writing. After the extended outline is complete, I’m ready to write. This is the fun, the joy, the love, and the easy part for me. Since I ate my veggies first (the outlines), I can just relax and let the characters tell me what they want to wear, what they want to say, how they want to act and react, etc.

  89. Did you ever have writer’s block when writing any of your books?

  90. love books about vampires. right now i am reading the sookie stackhouse series. I am on book number 6. I will have to look into yours next! :)

    • I made a huge mistake with Sookie – a series I used to LOVE. I watched the HBO series “True Blood”. I’m sure it has a big audience because they continue with a new season every damn year, but it sucked all the fun and pleasure out of it for me. The images are so gruesome and horrific – they get stuck in your head and then you can’t appreciate that Sookie was intended to be a comedy.

  91. Thanks for all the great reviews that you give us.

  92. Okay. I think I hit every comment/question and hope I didn’t miss anybody. This was great fun.

    If you should have a question for me in the future, you’re always welcome to write me personally at vdanann@gmail.com

    Happy Valentines. Thanks to you A Summoner’s Tale made it to #14 on the Amazon Best Sellers list in urban fantasy and #38 in vampire romance before noon on release day.

  93. I noticed that you have a charcter, The Order’s own genius inventor, Thelonius M. Monq; are you a jazz fan?

    • I’m a musician, but not a jazz fan. I just Googled for your reference and was more shocked than I can tell you. I suppose I must have heard or read it at some point, deposited it subconsciously, and thought it was my own. Wow.

  94. Hi. I am new to the site and new to your books. I just went and got the first one. I plan to start it as soon as I finish the book I am on now.

  95. What made you decide to write about Vampires? How about Zombies? Would you try your hand at Zombies?

  96. I love these books

  97. How many books will be in the series?

    If your book was made into a movie, who would you pick to play the hero and heroine?

  98. you are a new for me author. Looking forward to read one of your books soon :)

  99. sorry to be late to this awesome post. love the book titles alot too :)

  100. I’m intirgued. I must start reading your books!

  101. I am a new fan. Can I just jump right in, or will I be lost?

  102. Who is your favorite author?

  103. Where do you write and do you write mornings or evenings?

  104. Who inspires you?

  105. Thanks for the great giveaway !

  106. What a great excerpt! Can’t wait to read the rest.

  107. I used to read a lot of vampire novels when I was younger. Now that I am older it seems harder for me to get into them because they are usually geered toward younger readers. Although I did enjoy reading the chapter posted above! When you are writing, do you write with a certain age demographic in mind?

    • Yes. Adults. I have actually done the grade level testing on my books and they read at the same level as John Gresham. Add the steam and I assure you that my books are not for younger audiences.

  108. I love anything paranormal

  109. This sounds like a great series! What is your favorite series of books?

  110. Thanks for this. I’m a fan of Vampire Series besides your own what’s your favorite Vampire Series?

  111. ou MUST ask an author a question to qualify

    what brand of broom do you fly with,or whats the best broom..ha ha

  112. What are your future endeavors in terms of writing?

  113. Thank you for your wonderful series!

  114. How many books are in the series currently?

  115. What is the proper way in writing a good ROMANTIC VAMPIRE STORY?

    • “Proper” is one of my least favorite words in the language and using it in association with writing makes me want to run from the building screaming. A good romantic, vampire story is an original art form written by someone who rejects convention and rules.

  116. VICTORIA, JUST WANTED TO CONGRAGULATE YOU ON YOUR NEWEST BOOK. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE FEELING THAT MUST BE. YOUR BOOKS SOUND ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING. ALSO KINDA FRESH AND DIFFERENT. I LIKE THAT!! ANYROAD, WANTED TO WISH YOU MANY BRIGHT BLESSINGS AND MUCH CONTINUED SUCCESS. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORIES WITH US.

  117. Do you have a certain place and time you like to write? Is it a zone you have to get into

  118. Congratulations, Looking forward to reading the books,thanks for the chance to win a kindle fire.

  119. This is my first experience with your writing, but I love what I am reading! To what extent does your personal experience influence you writing? What are your other sources of inspiration?

    • We are all the sum total of X experiences that are either random chaos or part of a plan depending on your philosophy. The bits and pieces of experience go into the tumbler of our imagination and come back out recycled as new stories.

  120. I wrote a few stories, something for my own peace of mind when I’m not happy or when dreaming of something I put it into words, story and characters. But I can’t seem to stop putting myself in paper. My responses to any situation and how I act is in how the heroine would act.
    Have you done anything like this before? Is there a way to get rid of doing that and create unique characters that has nothing to do with me?

  121. i am reading your books now, they look great… the question i had was already asked i believe and that is where do you get the ideas for your books?

  122. Where do you get the inspiration for your character’s names?

  123. Got Elora from my favorite movie which is “Willow”. Got Storm from a dream. As to the others I have no idea. I thought Thelonius Monq was an original name, but someone at this party pointed out that there is a Thelonius Monk who is a jazz player. I must have come across it and filed it away subconsciously. Maybe the same is true of all of them.

  124. This looks really good. How long have you been writing?

  125. I know I’m late to this party, but I was wondering where your inspiration for the series came from. How did the idea come to you?

  126. If you had to live as one of your characters, who would you want to be?

  127. Hi Victoria,

    I’m just curious, how do you choose the names for your characters?

  128. Hi Victoria,

    I was just wondering, how you choose the names for your characters?

  129. Do you wear the witch’s hat to inspire you when writing?

  130. I’ve just read through all of the questions and your comments and I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been asked. I love to get to know the authors this way. Now off to get the books and start reading. :D

  131. Thanks for this giveaway. I cant wait to read more interesting things.

  132. Sweet! I have books 1 and 2 but haven’t got to them yet. Love getting 3 at once so I can read back to back. I haven’t seen these listed for audio. Do you know if they will be? Do you listen to audiobooks?

  133. Gonna pick up your book at my local book stores! I’ll let you know if it does not suck!

  134. How much of your writing is based on personal experience, ie, encounters with the paranormal?

  135. What is your all time favorite book?

  136. Do you like when books are turned into movies? which one is your favorite?

  137. Hi Victoria,
    My question is about your music interests. Classic Rock, excellent choice. So who are on your top list of favorites? It the band you manage basically classic rock as well?

  138. What inspires you to write the books you do.And why those types of books

  139. I’d like to ask what kind of education in paranormal have you had?

  140. I love the paranormal romance and mystique that you portray in your books.You leave your readers greedy for more.Do you ever feel panicky about having writer’s block or the feeling that you can’t write fast enough to satisfy them all?

  141. I love your work, and so glad you decided to write paranormal romance books. But what was your motivation to write these types of books? If you could write another line of fiction, what would it be?

  142. I won a copy of the Black Swan Anthology, and I LOVED it! I’m looking forward to reading more!

  143. Hi Victoria
    It is a honor to have you here! I was wondering as such a talented author, besides your family, what are the things that bring you peace when you are “stuck”,while writing, and what is your favorite thing to do if you get some down time.
    Lynn T

  144. what was your inspiration for the series?

  145. Congrats on the release! Going to add it to my TBR on Goodreads now!