Guest Post and Review: My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann

I’d like to welcome Victoria Danann today.  She is here promoting her first book in The Order of the Black Swan series, My Familiar Stranger.  Be sure to check out my review My Familiar Stranger after Victoria takes over. Victoria is also hosting a giveaway.  Be sure to check out the giveaway question following my review.   So without further adieu here is Victoria Danann.

BLURBS

by Victoria Danann

 If blurbs were herbs, they’d be called Authors Bane. A blurb is a short description of a book. It’s distinguished from an actual “book description” by length. It’s basically a paragraph. Smashwords allows 386 characters. Sounds sufficient to describe a 113,000 words book?

If you’re a reader you take these mini-synopses (Yes. I had to look up the plural of synopsis.) for granted, just as authors did before we became authors. It looks easy. A ten minute task at most. Four months and a hundred revisions later, I’m still tearing my hair out.

You say: “Come on. How hard could it be? Has anyone ever called you melodramatic?”

I say: “Well, yes. They have. But that’s not relevant to this discussion. Really!”

I would much rather write a full length novel than try to compose a blurb. Trying to pare that 113,000 words down to 75 is not just hard, it’s torture. It’s cruel, I tell you. The short description that I currently use for My Familiar Stranger follows. This is the best I can do while avoiding spoilers.

“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?”

I can’t tell you how often reviews will say something to the effect of “don’t pay too much attention to the description”. See, the problem is that I wanted to create something that hadn’t been done before, something that defies both formula and genre categorizing. I succeeded at that, but, it turns out that, like everything else in the universe, that comes with two sides. The good news is that it’s different. The bad news is that the difference throws a wrench into the way the industry is set up to market books.

The second book in the series, The Witch’s Dream, is due to release October 14th and the problem has expanded. It’s snowballing. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

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

See what I mean? There’s no way to give a SHORT description of this book without having it sound stupid or juvenile or both which leaves me standing here as usual saying, “But it’s not! I swear!”

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

ASIN: B007V8RAKW

Number of pages: (estimated 370)

Word Count: 111,268

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/embed/wIDjWBWHg2k

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.

Review: 

I really enjoyed My Familiar Stranger.  I thought it was unique and incorporated a lot of different paranormal aspects.  Everything from Vampires, time travel, dimensions, Fairies and Elves.  The love triangle between Elora, Ram and Storm is definitely one that keeps you going.  You really don’t know who Elora will choose.  Will she go with her heart or her mind.  Who can she live without?  You really go back and forth on who you’d like to see “win” Elora’s heart. Another character who captured my heart and was trying to catch Elora’s heart was Baka.  Baka is a Vampire that you can’t help but just totally fall for.  He is quite funny but he has a sad past.  I hope he gets his HEA.  I think there is a lot more when it comes to his story.  I also, really loved the back story of the Order of the Black Swan.  I thought it was captivating and almost felt like the Order was Arthurian in some respects.  Another character who captured my heart was Baka.  I hope he gets his HEA.  I think there is a lot more when it comes to his story.

I highly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read The Witch’s Dream.  I will also be reviewing that book.  I recommend this book for anyone who is into PNR.  The romance builds slowly to a become hot and steamy.  It is definitely not a jump in the sack right away kind of book.  I enjoyed the pace and I think for a Book 1 in a series it definitely did what is was supposed to do.  Set up the story and want you to come back for more.  Can’t wait for the next!!

I’d like to thank Victoria Danann for stopping by today and Bewitching book tours for giving me the chance to host this stop.  For more information about Victoria be sure to click on the link’s below.  For additional information about My Familiar Stranger and The Order of the Black Swan you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

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.

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.

web http://www.victoriadanann.com

blog http://www.victoriadanann.me

facebook http://www.facebook.com/Victoria.Danann.9

goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8920457-victoria-danann

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