Monday, April 21st will kick off a week long celebration of Black Swan with reviews and giveaways. ending with a blog takeover on April 27th.
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CDT (Central Daylight Time)
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CDT (Central Daylight Time)
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
Prizes, chat, surprise character visits, trivia, Victoria’s favorite music and SURPRISE GUEST CELEBRITIES!!!
Late summer I will be launching a new series entitled Exiled.
Rosie had waited on a tabletop boulder on a windswept mountaintop of Prescient Dimension where she went when she needed to contact Kellareal for longer than usual. She explained that she wanted a change of environment, where she could take a break from her life and rethink the direction of things.
She knew she’d pushed things with Glen, but she also knew that, despite her feelings and desires to the contrary, the relationship wasn’t serious and wasn’t going to be. Not for a while. He’d made his decision. He was going wherever Z Team went and at least she had enough pride to know she wasn’t going to follow along like a camp whore. Even if he’d let her. Which he probably wouldn’t.
So she’d take a lesson from that and maybe look for a little adventure of her own while she was young. While she was young.
The breeze that blew her wild hair back from her face grew a little softer. Kellareal appeared to float down from the sky wearing a long white robe that billowed around him, arms outstretched as if inviting embrace, and landed in front of her soundlessly. She knew he would want to be congratulated on the theater, so she clapped. He bowed.
“Lally. How long do you think I’m going to live?”
“You called me for that?” He picked up a pebble, sat down beside her, and threw it out over the canyon overlook. “We may have to rethink your summoning privilege if you’re going to abuse it, young lady.”
“No, that’s not why I called, but since you’re here…”
“Well, your elemental side is very long lived, meaning eons. Your human side is cursed with short life under the best of circumstances. Then there is the issue of fragility, the moment to moment uncertainty, the… risk, if you will, of being human. I tell you, it causes me to marvel constantly at their courage. Living under those circumstances, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t just curl into a ball and hope for sudden death to put an end to the suspense.”
“If they only knew how cynical real angels sound, you would never get your own TV shows.”
“Hmmm. No doubt.” He grinned. “But a few feather sightings would bring them right back around.”
Rosie giggled. “You’re hopeless.”
“And is that why you wanted to see me?”
“No. I need to get out of town for a while, change of scenery. Maybe I need to broaden my experience.”
“Get out of town,” he repeated drily. “What does your mother think of this?”
“She thinks she can get in touch with you if there’s an emergency and that you’ll know where to find me.”
The angel pursed his lips, stood and paced for a while. “Vacations are fun. Sabbaticals are informative. Quests are enlightening, sometimes cathartic. Retreats are rejuvenating. Treks are adventurous. This?” He stopped and looked at Rosie. “This sounds like running away. Hard to put a noble spin on running away.”
“I’m not necessarily asking for your blessing, Lally. Just a place to…”
Rosie flushed. “It’s a favor.”
Kellareal looked at her for a long time. “I can’t decide without hearing the whole story. I want to know exactly what it is you’re running from and what you’re hoping to gain.”
By the time Rosie finished spelling it out, she was sorry she had started the whole thing. Spelling out what had brought her to that mountaintop sounded spoiled, selfish, childish and silly, even to herself as she said it. She supposed that was one of the angel’s goals in having her connect the dots out loud. She hoped that the worst of it, humiliation-wise, was over.
“Have you thought about how long you want to be away?”
She hadn’t thought about it.
“Do I have to decide that now?”
“No. I suppose you can do a pay-as-you-go plan.”
“Wait. What do you mean pay-as-you-go?”
The angel took her elbow and pulled her to her feet. Standing several inches taller, he looked down into her face. “You’re right, Elora Rose. It is time for you to learn something of the world. First lesson, nothing’s free.”
A few minutes later they were standing on the periphery of an enclosure – a crude, gray stone wall. From what Rosie could see, there were homes and buildings built around a park-like commons area with sparse gas lighting, but the overall impression of the place was of a fort. Through a break in the wall that formed a gate with iron bars, she could see that they were on a hilltop overlooking the lights of a large town.
The air was scented with the welcoming smell of wood burning fires releasing white smoke into the atmosphere. The prominent feature of the compound was a long row of motorcycles, some of which had parts shiny enough to reflect in the cold moonlight.
“It’s a project of mine, Rosie. A secret. You can’t ever tell anyone.”
“They’re what’s left of Telstar.”
“Telstar? Isn’t that one of those worlds that went crazy with genetic engineering?”
“I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘went crazy’.”
“Okay. Let me put it this way. You start out with a wolf. You end up with a Shih Tzu or a Pug. You start out with a human, you end up with a …”
“The flaw in your argument is the owners of dogs like that would say they’re an improvement on the prototype.”
Rosie blinked. “So you’re saying you’re taking me to a place where I should be prepared for…” She left the end of that sentence for him to fill in the blank.
“Okay. Consider this your briefing in a nutshell. There were some experiments that went on for a couple of generations. People became concerned and even invoked religious invective to fuel a movement to eradicate all the produce of the experiment.”
“Produce?” He nodded. “You mean the people?”
“That is what I mean and I, ah, intervened. I saw an opportunity to solve two problems. There was a group of people here in need of protection, which is one of the ways Telstar skills might be used. This group was under threat of genocide. I knew the Telstar survivors would relate. So I paired them with the humans that needed them. “
He waved his hand at the darkness. “It’s pretty here. This dimension hasn’t been ruined yet. Lots of everything. Gives them a chance.” He looked at Rosie. “You know?”
“Wasn’t that against some rule?”
The angel pursed his lips and heaved a big sigh. “Rules need to be placed in the context of knowing the rule makers. And their agenda.”
Rosie studied his face in the darkness. “Lally, you’re an anarchist.”
“Guess that depends on who you talk to.”
“Are there others?”
“Other elementals who think like I do?” She nodded. “Yeah. Anyway. They’ve been here for a while now. Some have started families. Their own take on culture is starting to emerge. Interesting to watch. The one in charge of the place is a nice fellow with a nice family. Owes me a favor. Simple as that.”
“Does everybody in the multiverse owe you a favor?”
His mouth twitched at the corner as he looked down at her. “Working on it.” His eyes drifted back to the settlement. Rosie thought she saw a hint of pride. Proud sponsor perhaps.
“This could be a good place to get your thoughts sorted out. They’ll give you a job and who knows? Maybe a new perspective. So welcome to the EC. That’s what they call it, short for Exile Camp. By the way, don’t mention Telstar. They don’t like to be reminded. I don’t blame them. They left that behind to start a new life.” He turned to face Rosie. “A new world really.”
She looked around again. “What’s with the motorcycles?”
His expression was definitely sheepish. “Oh, they, the Telstar, like them. A lot. So they became part of our arrangement. I made an adjustment to the engines so they’ll run on water and threw tools and maintenance stuff in with the deal.”
“Are you saying that they’re weren’t motorcycles here before?”
“No. Every dimension develops differently. You know that.”
“Well, yes… So how did you get motorcycles here?”
He laughed. “Rode them.”
“You did not.”
He nodded, grinning. “One at a time.”
“I didn’t know you could ride a motorcycle through the passes.”
“For all I know, I’m the only one who knows it. Let’s keep it that way. Okay?”
She shrugged. “Okay. What do they look like?”
“Look like?” Kellareal laughed out loud. “Oh, sweet baby.”
For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me why you’d like a signed copy of Moonlight.
THANK YOU for visiting my stop on the hop. To continue go here… http://theherdhops.blogspot.com/p/march.html
My most emotional writing moments…
Perhaps it won’t surprise you that many of them conform to your most emotional reading moments.
There have been three times that I have cried so hard, when writing, that I couldn’t see the PC screen and had to take breaks to get through the scene. 1. Elora’s dolmen labor. 2. Kris Falcon getting a medal. 3. When Storm sees Rosie on a San Francisco street corner and says, “I missed it.”
The sexiest moments I ever wrote were both in My Familiar Stranger. 1. Elora: If you bite me, I will stake you. Baka: If I bite you, I’ll stake myself. 2. Ram tries to draw Elora back into the New Forest cottage. He rubs the collar of her sweater between his fingers and says, “Soft.”
There have been a few times that I have made myself laugh. Baka’s enjoyment of the alley scene wherein he blabs about Elora taking out a vamp with a toothpick. Another not mentioned here, at Derry when Kay has tried to cover up a blunder and tells his sister that his reference to Baka as a vampire is an inside joke. Baka says, “Indeed. Nothing says funny like vampire.”
This was the question as posed on author and fan page on Facebook.
What was your MOST emotional moment in the whole Knights of Black Swan series? (laughter, tears, shock, etc.)
Can’t tell you how much fun I had reading the responses. There were nearly seventy answers in all. Here are the results. I have included a smattering of comments. If yours isn’t here, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. We just got a lot.
THE TOP NINE RESPONSES…
9. Elora finding out she was pregnant. (Book 1)
8. Spaz on the intercom. (Book 5)
7. Storm waiting at the wall for Litha. (Book 2)
6 CREATION: Prologue to A Tale of Two Kingdoms. (Book 6)
5. Sol’s death. (Book 5)
4. The trainees being honored for heroism. (Book 5)
3. Elora leaving Storm for Ram. (Book 1)
Lindsay Thompson I was so shocked when Elora left with Storm, at first and then realized it was Ram she was meant to be with.
The most emotional for me was when Elora told Ram she wasn’t picking him. I think I died inside! – Sarah, Assistant to Victoria
2. Storm missing Rosie’s childhood. (Book 5)
A. Gathering Storm is the most emotional book. Four out of the top nine answers came from events in Book 5.
B. When reporting emotion, you chose crying over laughter or surprise. Seven out of the top nine answers referred to tear spillage.
C. The #1 event received TWICE as many votes as #2. In other words, it won by a landslide.
In a class by itself.
I admit to being clueless the first time a fan asked for a photo with me and a toothpick. LOL – Victoria
p.s. Somebody always has to be different…
Cover Reveal for BLACK SWAN #7.
I promised an announcement with the cover reveal and here it is.
As some of you know, I had toyed with the idea of doing a series of novellas this Spring, but they had their own idea. Raif and Mercy wanted to be part of Sol’s book. So the next release will be a full length novel and it will be #7 in the Knights of Black Swan serial.
Target date for release is May 1st. Expect another announcement when the release date is firm.
Here’s a brief excerpt.
Kay gave Storm an amused look. “In some ways this feels more familiar than watching TV with my wife. ”
They were separating from Ram and Rev, going opposite ways in an alley. Storm looked back over his shoulder at Ram and Rev walking away. On a whim he called out, “Sol!”
Without hesitation, Rev turned and said, “Yeah?” The four of them stood frozen, Storm and Rev staring at each other, Kay and Ram looking back and forth between the two.
Let it never be said that Ram didn’t know how to handle a situation delicately. “What the fuck, Stormy?”
“You know, that’s a good question, Ram. And well put.” Storm didn’t take his eyes off Rev. “Something you want to tell us.”
Rev pursed his lips before growling. “No.”
“You gone hard of hearing?”
Storm’s gaze was a concentrated challenge, pinning Rev in place, but he moved in close enough for quiet conversation.
“How about clueing us in, brother,” Kay was as calm as the eye of a hurricane as he nudged Storm. “What’s going on here?”
“Has it seemed to you that there are things about the new Sovereign that seem familiar? Eerily so?”
“Like what?” Ram asked as he eyed Rev from top to bottom.
“Oh, like the fact that he smokes the same brand of Turkish cigars that Sol used to smoke. And lights them with an old school fluid lighter. Then he puts the lighter down in front of him and turns it around and around the same way Sol used to.” Kay turned his attention toward Rev and began regarding him with increased interest. “How about the way he screws up his mouth when he’s aggravated or the way he steeples his fingers when he’s making a decision?”
Rev lifted his chin in defiance and narrowed his eyes at Storm. “And let’s not forget the fact that he took a bead on Farnsworth about thirty seconds after arriving Jefferson Unit. Doesn’t it strike you as a little strange that he handles Sol’s job like he knows what he’s doing? No. Not like he knows what he’s doing. Like he’s done it before!”
Ram eased around in front of Rev so that the three veteran members of B Team appeared united as the inquisitors they had just become. They stood in a dimly lit alley with accusation hanging in the air, waiting for Rev to answer.
“Your imagination’s just got the better of you, Sir Storm.”
“There! Right there. I never met another knight who called me Sir Storm. But Sol did.” Storm glanced at Kay. “All the time. Called me Mr. Storm when I was a kid. Switched to Sir Storm when I was inducted.” He stepped closer to Rev. “When I called Sol’s name, you turned around like you’d been answering to that name your whole life.”
Ram and Kay were giving Rev looks that said the questions weren’t going to go away just by staring Storm down. Finally Rev replied with the cool of an iceberg. “So what are you saying? Exactly? That I’m a body snatcher?”
“What I’m doing right now is asking questions.”
“I don’t have answers for you.”
“Is that because you don’t have an answer or because you can’t answer?” Rev gave nothing away. Storm blinked twice rapidly. “Well, then there’s no harm in sharing this with Simon and the Council.”
“NO!” Rev’s answer was a little too forceful and a little too quick.
Rev blew out a breath and looked around at the alley. “Let’s go sit down somewhere private.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I’ll buy a round of drinks and tell you a story. Not about me mind you. A story about a guy I heard of.”
AN INTERVIEW with Haversfil Grieve
This is a “clip” depicting Grieve’s introduction to the saga in Book IV, Moonlight. The following exchange is with his boss, Duff Torguil, prince of the Scotia Fae.
At first it had annoyed Duff that Grieve jumped in his chair whenever Duff opened the door to the outer offices and spoke to him. Grieve had been appointed by his father without giving the prince any say in the matter. Whatsoever. As usual. But eventually he came to terms with the fact that there was an odd little bespectacled man sitting just outside the entrance to his suite of rooms. He managed this internal resolution largely by appreciating the humor of the thing.
Grieve’s display of shock had become part of Duff’s day to day reality and one that he’d come to look forward to. In fact, he imagined that, should Grieve develop nerves of steel, he, Duff Torquil, Prince of the Scotia Fae and heir to the throne, would be forced to devise ways to deliberately create surprises, simply for the pleasure of seeing Grieve jump, gasp, and clutch his chest.
With that thought, Duff lowered his chin into his chest and chuckled while Grieve got himself together.
“Grieve,” Duff repeated.
“Aye, your Highness.”
“Please send an additional reception invitation to an Istvan Baka at the Black Swan Charitable Corporation offices, Charlotte Square.”
“But, sir, there are no odd invitations left to offer.”
“Are you goin’?”
Grieve pushed his glasses higher on his nose. “Oh, aye. My presence is expected.”
“Do you want to go?”
Grieve hesitated, mouth open, while trying to decide whether it would be in his interest to speak plainly or not. “I, ah…”
“The truth, man.”
“There you have it then. Problem solved.” Duff ducked his head back into his rooms and began to close the door.
“But, sir, your father…”
The prince opened the door and reappeared, but without his customary affable and approachable expression. He was clearly not pleased and might even have been scowling, although it could be hard to tell on such a beautifully smooth and youthful face.
“Who do you work for, Grieve?”
“Is that a question or an answer?”
“An answer, sir?”
“Hmmm. Well. I understand that my father hired you.”
“But he is no’ in a position to oversee the minutia of my affairs every day. Do you no’ agree?”
Grieve nodded. “Aye, sir?”
“Well, then it seems you must make a choice. Is your loyalty to the one who appointed you or to the one whom you serve?”
Grieve paused for only a moment before standing and pulling his shoulders back. “My loyalty is to you, sir. You can rely on me.”
Truly, Duff was half joking and had not expected the equivalent of a chivalric vow of service, but seeing that the little man was serious, the prince was touched and decided not to dismiss it as a jest.
“Thank you, Grieve. I will treasure your declaration and count on it, from this day forward.”
Looking like he had just experienced the best moment of his life, Grieve smiled like he’d just been knighted.
Duff withdrew and closed the door, but stowed away in his heart the knowledge that allies could be made from something so small as a little respect and recognition.
from Victoria’s Journal…
I arranged to meet Haversfil Grieve at a tea room of his choice. It’s actually a combination tea room and rare book store. It was an interesting place for an interview, eclectic but relaxing in the way that a combination of tea, old books and a cloudy day are guaranteed to relieve stress for a particular sort of person.
He was already seated when I arrived
and stood to welcome me when I approached his table. The subject’s presentation was even more proper than I expected. He cut a trim little figure wearing a three piece striped suit with a starched pocket square. The addition of an antique pocket watch with chain and round glasses in gold wire frames complete the suggestion of anachronism. The only hint that there is an individual style hoping for an opportunity to escape the confines of caricature are the two-tone saddle oxfords on his feet.
As he sat he reached in his vest pocket for the watch and glanced at it. I don’t know if that was to punctuate the fact that I was two minutes late or to send a message that his time was at a premium. I ordered a Russian Black tea, removed my scarf and began the recording.
Victoria: Mr. Grieve, thank you for joining me and for agreeing to give an interview.
Grieve: My pleasure, madam.
Victoria: I understand that you were a secretary in the king’s offices before you came to work for the prince. So let me ask how you find the position.
Grieve: (smiles ever so slightly) ‘Tis a vocation, but still a job, you know.
Victoria: Perhaps. Will you expand that thought?
Grieve: Well, as to the good, I am the totality of the prince’s staff whereas, in the king’s offices, I was one of several.
Victoria: Ah. Big fish, little pond.
Victoria: Never mind. Please go on.
Grieve: I do no’ wish to complain nor do I wish to leave an impression of complaint.
Victoria: I understand and promise not to portray you as a whiner.
Grieve: (scowls at my use of the word “whiner”) As I was sayin’, I’m very pleased to be in the prince’s employ. Naturally. As anyone would be.
Grieve: The prince is very young and…
Grieve: And no’ entirely serious minded.
Victoria: (I study Grieve for a couple of heartbeats.) As he should be?
Grieve: Aye. As he should be.
Victoria: Can you give my readers an example?
Grieve: Well, when I’m workin’ I’m very concentrated on what I’m doin’, which means that somethin’ unexpected is likely to give me a start.
Victoria: Yes. I see. And how does that relate to your position as the prince’s secretary?
Grieve: (looks around nervously, leans forward, and speaks in a hushed tone) There are times when I believe he may startle me deliberately.
Grieve: Aye. I have no proof, you understand. ‘Tis a suspicion only.
Victoria: (I find I need to clear my throat before proceeding.) Is that the only way in which you find his Highness not serious minded?
Grieve: Oh, no. He’s always plannin’ escapades with his fellows from school. Huntin’ or pubbin’ or galavantin’.
Victoria: You mean in the sense of cavorting?
Grieve: (narrows his eyes as if he suspects I may be putting him on) Enough about that. Time is short.
Victoria: As you wish. Tell me about your typical day.
Grieve: Very well. I arrive promptly at seven in the mornin’ and have a scone with Irish Breakfast Tea at my desk while I organize the prince’s early calls and appointments. The phone will begin ringin’ ‘round nine with people askin’ if the prince is available for this or that. It could be anythin’ from posin’ for a photo with a junior rugby team to bein’ a date for a charity date auction. (I giggle. Grieve seems to enjoy making me laugh and smiles in response.) Aye. I suppose ‘tis humorous at that. The money some females are willin’ to pay for his attention is astoundin’ to be sure.
‘Tis my job to make sure the prince’s schedule is populated with activities worthy of the royal presence, without double bookin’, and make sure he is where he needs to be when he needs to be there.
I leave between seven and nine dependin’ on the to-be-done stack.
Victoria: So you’re saying you work fourteen hours a day sometimes?
Victoria: And what do you do for fun?
Victoria: Would it be too personal a question to ask if you have a girlfriend?
Grieve: A girlfriend?
Victoria: A special friend then?
Grieve: (blushes) My work keeps me busy.
Victoria: Hmmm. Well, the prince is certainly lucky to have someone so completely devoted to him and dedicated to the work.
Grieve: (sits up a little straighter) You might think so, but he does no’ particularly appreciate my approach. He’s always sayin’ thin’s like, “Grieve. Go home.” Or, “Grieve, have you thought of takin’ up the fiddle?” I sincerely hope that he comes to better understand the gravity of his station before he becomes king or Fae Gods help us.”
Victoria: Don’t worry yourself about it, Mr. Grieve. I have it on good authority that Duff will be a fine king when the time comes.
Duff was unable to attend the dinner he arranged to thank the tour guides for their help. After giving up on persuasion as a tactic, he resorted to threats, but eventually Grieve acquiesced and shuffled out of the office to host the dinner party in the prince’s stead. The tour guide supervisor, who had not actually been invited, but crashed on the off chance she wouldn’t be turned away, shoved a girl out of the chair next to Grieve so that she could sit by his right hand.
The bottom half of the woman’s natural blonde hair was dyed fuchsia and practically glowed in the dark. She wore one ear bare and the other collared with a feather and wire design that hung to her collar bone. Grieve had no personal experience with leftovers from the punk era of London’s Soho District. That was probably why he found her so fascinating that he could barely look away.
Originally published on http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspot.com/
2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal Romance Series – BLACK SWAN
2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal
Romance Novel (General) – A
2013 WINNER – Best Paranormal Romance Novel (Vampires & Shifters) – MOONLIGHT
To everyone who voted, and especially those who campaigned by sharing, thank you more than I can say.
WHAT A THRILL !!!
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. Deliverance
Knights of Black Swan 13. Black Dog
Order of the Black Swan D.I.T.
D.I.T. 1, Simon Says
D.I.T. 2, Finngarick
D.I.T. 3, Irish War Cry
Order of the Black Swan Novels
Black Swan Novel, Prince of Demons
Exiled 1. CARNAL
Exiled 2. CRAVE
Exiled 3. CHARMING
New Scotia Pack 1, Shield Wolf
New Scotia Pack 2. Wolf Lover
New Scotia Pack 3. Fire Wolf
Witches of Wimberley 1. Willem
Witches of Wimberley 2. Witch Wants Forever
Witches of Wimberley 3. Wednesday
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