The Witch's Dream Releases Under the Auspices of the Hallows Spirit

Released October 14th.   Amazon BEST SELLER in Fantasy Romance.

a love letter to Paranormal ROMANCE

In keeping with the season, I’m including an excerpt from the book at the end of this post that described a witchcraft event. (Not to be confused with Wicca. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan, just as all Christians are not Catholic.)
Litha Brandywine is a witch who is employed by The Order of the Black Swan and, when it comes to events of a paranormal nature, she’s the best tracker alive. In the scene cited here, she is performing a rite to locate a missing person.
Though the book has been out for less than a week, several people have commented about the details of the working described. Let me take the opportunity to say that this is a work of fiction. The magick described in the book is based on actual practice, but, according to the very wise policy originally established by the Egyptian Mystery Schools, I would never accurately recreate the details of a spell or method that could hold a potential of harm in the wrong hands; either to the would-be practitioner or others. Enough things are depicted to convey the feeling, but enough details are always scrambled, disguised, and withheld to prevent misuse as a result of the description.
READING THE SERIES IN ORDER HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  MyFamiliar Stranger, BOOK ONE. This series is a true serial in the sense that every book begins where the last ended. BOOK TWO, The Witch’s Dream is a PURE romance and might be seen as the second act in a three act play.

DESCRIPTION: From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley, a secret society, 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 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.

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 Dreambegins with B Team on 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 celebrate a handfasting at the palace in Derry.When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly turns all business. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora is no longer willing to give – finesse.

INCLUDES: The first chapter of the third book, The Summoner’s Tale.

Erotic content: 18+ A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

EXCERPT.
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 are risk takers, comes with the territory. Even so, few witches would dare wear red when practicing the magickal arts because the color red possesses powerful attraction properties. That means red can be a shortcut in summoning, but also attracts 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 were 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 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.”
Hope you enjoy this book and have a wonderful
Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowstide, Hallowmas, the Great Sabbat, the Feast of the Dead, or Witches’ New Year. For Witches who practice one of the branches of magick based in Celtic heritage, it is called Samhain. Pronounced like sau’-wan.
(The image is one my illustrations. It first appeared in Seasons of the Witch in 2011.)
My Best,

The Witch's Dream BOOK TRAILER

In some ways this book trailer will be sweeter AFTER you read the book.  Click the post title to enlarge the video for viewing.

My very, very special thanks to Derik Nelson, the genius behind the gorgeous voice, spellbinding acoustic guitar, and brilliant arrangement of “Never Gonna Give You Up” which is an integral part of the story.

I have this music on every single jog playlist on my iPhone. I listen to it every day and always hear something I didn’t hear before. Derik – you’re the best.

[wpvideo 6jy6Laej]

Week 13: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

Week 13: The Next Big Thing   – September 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing . . . we all like to think we will be.  I suppose there can only be so many Twilight’s in a lifetime, but you never know . . . right?
We are blog hopping our way through some new reads.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop . . . to me it’s kind of like a treasure hunt – once you find something on one blog you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure.  In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers . . . it’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Bridgette O’Hare for tagging me to participate. (Click the link to read Bridgette’s Big Thing Entry.)
In this particular hop I answer 10 questions . . . you get to learn about my current WIP (work in progress), some of the characters I’ve come to think of as real, and how I got to the point of being nuts enough to write down over 70 thousand words worth of what the voices in my head have been whispering to me.  When it’s all said & done . . . comments and questions are always welcome.

What is the working title of your book?

The Summoner’s Tale, The Order of the Black Swan, Book Three

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Although the series is not a trilogy, the first three books have formed their own story arc so in many ways this book is like the third act in a three act play. There are two simultaneously running plots. One is the story of one of the major characters: a six-hundred-year-old former vampire, named Istvan Baka, who has amassed a fan base among Black Swan readers. The other will be a surprise.

What genre does your book fall under?

Adult Paranormal ROMANCE, Adult Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Chick Lit, Vampire Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

It sort of surprises me that I have an answer for this one, but, I would definitely tap Hayden Christensen to play Baka. Directors don’t always manage to get performances out of him, but I saw him in “Life As A House” when he was still a teen and know he has enough heart to give me Baka’s angst.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I could not despise this question more. Ex-vampire tortured by six hundred years of misdeeds seeks happily ever after. See why I hate that question? Synopsizing always makes my work sound juvenile and stupid or both. AND IT’S NOT! I SWEAR!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point I’m comfortable an indie, in the sense that I own the publishing company that publishes my books. I love the complete freedom that goes with deciding what I write, when, how, where, and what length the finished product will be. Editing would be a nightmare for me and I don’t want to have to go six rounds with somebody over a paragraph. I’m old enough to know better than to say never, but it seems less likely with every day that passes. Now, if we can just overcome the built-in industry prejudice toward Indies…

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months, but that is after the first two steps of my outline process are finished and those take a year if you count the simmering in the depths of my subconscious mind.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I couldn’t be more pleased to say that is an impossible question by design. Before I started writing, I spent a full two years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success at all so that I had a thorough understanding of what had already been done. That way I could be assured I wasn’t copying or being formulaic. People are always trying to find similarites. “Well, it’s a little like Black Dagger, but, then, as soon as you get into it you realize it’s not.” One of my favorite reviews says, “She explodes stereotypes.”

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Kresley Cole. About three years ago I read A Hunger Like No Other and fell in love with PNR.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Book One, My Familiar Stranger, and Book Two, The Witch’s Dream. Like Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series, these must be read in order. I logged over 100 reviews on Amazon (74 five star and most of the four stars read like five) as an unknown author, first book, and an Indie at that within four months of release. That’s pretty much unheard of. Whether they liked it or didn’t, lots of readers were moved to talk about it.

Tagged for next week – you’re it!

Lindsey Parsons http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com/
William MacMillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/
Joss Landry http://josslandry.com/category/wednesday-book-reviews-other-news/
Trish Marie Dawson http://writertrishmdawson.wordpress.com/
Allison M. Cosgrove http://www.stanbrookshire.comstanbrookshire.com

VICTORIA’S LIBRARY

Not Too Late 1. Midlife Magic

Not Too Late 2. Midlife Blues

Knights of Black Swan 1. My Familiar Stranger

Knights of Black Swan 2. The Witch’s Dream

Knights of Black Swan 3. A Summoner’s Tale

Knights of Black Swan 4. Moonlight

Knights of Black Swan 5. Gathering Storm

Knights of Black Swan 6. A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Knights of Black Swan 7. Solomon’s Sieve

Knights of Black Swan 8. Vampire Hunter

Knights of Black Swan 9. Journey Man

 Knights of Black Swan 10. Falcon

Knights of Black Swan 11. Jax

Knights of Black Swan 12. Trespass

Knights of Black Swan 13. Irish War Cry

Knights of Black Swan 14.  Deliverance

Knights of Black Swan 15. Black Dog

Knights of Black Swan 16. The Music Demon

Order of the Black Swan Novels

Black Swan Novel, Prince of Demons

THE HYBRIDS

 Exiled 1. CARNAL

Exiled 2. CRAVE

Exiled 3. CHARMING

THE WEREWOLVES

Hotblooded 1. Stalk

 New Scotia Pack 1, Shield Wolf

New Scotia Pack 2. Wolf Lover

New Scotia Pack 3. Fire Wolf

WITCHES

Witches of Wimberley 1. Willem

Witches of Wimberley 2. Witch Wants Forever

Witches of Wimberley 3. Wednesday

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

SSMC Austin, TX, Book 1. Two Princes

SSMC Austin, TX, Book 2. The Biker’s Brother

SSMC Austin, TX, Book 3. Nomad

SSMC Austin, TX, Book 4. Devil’s Marker

SSMC Austin, TX, Book 5. Roadhouse

CDMC Lafayette, LA Book 1. Batiste