Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interview with author Lori Sjoberg

Interview with author Lori Sjoberg

Hello again everyone! I have another fabulous treat for you all today! I haven’t ha the opportunity to read anything from author Lori Sjoberg before, but this book sounded really great when I read about it. I have also done several reviews for Kensington Publishing and had fairly good luck with their authors so far. Both factors paired together and I knew I had to share this book with you. I wanted to change things up a bit today because I haven’t done an interview in a while. I thought you all might like one, so please enjoy. Allow me to introduce to the blog:


Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for staying out past curfew.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science, Lori worked for nearly a decade in retail management. When that got boring, she switched to financial planning, and then insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.
 You can find out more about Ms. Sjoberg at the following places:

How has your life changed since becoming published? 
The biggest change has been to my writing habits.  Before, I treated it like a hobby.  I’d write when I had time, but I didn’t maintain any type of set schedule.  Now that I have deadlines, it’s become a lot more structured and disciplined.
What is your typical day like? 
Well, I still have a day job, so that eats a huge chunk of my time.  After work, I spend time with my husband and our four-legged fur baby, and then squeeze in a couple hours of writing time.  By nine or ten, I’m ready to kick back with a good book and/or watch a little TV. 
Tell us a little about your current release, Grave Intentions. 
Grave Intentions is a character driven paranormal romance.  It’s the story of David Anderson, a damned soul given one final chance to earn his salvation by reaping the souls of the recently departed.  Sixty years on the job have left him burned out and emotionally dead.  But then he meets Sarah Griffith, a scientist and lifelong skeptic who doesn’t believe in anything paranormal, and things become…complicated.
Any upcoming projects you would like to tell us about? 
I’m currently working on book two of the Grave series.  One of the supporting characters from GI takes center stage this time around.  She’s working a gig on a cruise ship, and things aren’t going according to plan.  And when she starts finding bodies that aren’t on the roster, she’s tasked with finding the responsible party before the ship reaches port. 
How do you keep in contact with your readers? 
I’m active on Facebook, and recently dipped my big toe in the Twitter & Goodreads waters. 
What is your favorite thing about this book? 
I love David’s character arc.  The internal damage brought on by so many years of being a reaper has left him hardened and jaded.  But then he meets Sarah, and that tough exterior begins to crumble. 
How about an excerpt to share from the book?
“Rise and shine, Newbie,” David said as he walked past Adam’s rumpled form. “Time to face another fun-filled day of death and dismemberment.”
He’d given the kid an extra half hour to sleep off the booze from the night before, but now they needed to get moving. When Adam mumbled something incoherent and burrowed deeper under the covers, David gave the end of the couch a solid kick. “Come on, get your ass in gear. We’re rolling out in twenty.”
The covers shifted and Adam’s head popped out, squinting like a mole under a floodlight. He pushed himself up to a seated position and swung his legs over the side of the couch. Teeth gritted, he cradled his head in his hands and groaned. “Just kill me now and get it over with.”
“Too late. And you’re not getting off that easy.” David moved to the kitchen and poured two cups of coffee. In a rare act of mercy, he brought one over to Adam. “Here, it’s good and strong. It’ll help with the hangover.”
“Thanks.” Adam accepted the mug and took a healthy swig. “You got any aspirin?”
“Bathroom. Medicine cabinet, bottom shelf.” He watched while the kid gingerly eased up from the couch and lumbered toward the bathroom, coffee mug in hand. “And if you think you’re going to puke, do it now. I’ll kick your ass if you blow chunks in my ride.”
Adam glanced back over his shoulder, his expression saying, “Drop dead,” but instead he uttered, “Thanks for the compassion.”
David could have sworn he heard a muffled, “asshole” right before the bathroom door slammed shut.
Fifteen minutes later the rookie emerged, clean-shaven and hair still wet from the shower but appearing slightly more human and a little less green around the gills. He set his empty coffee cup on the kitchen counter before moving back to the couch to lace up his shoes.
“Feeling better?” 
“Define better.”
“You still feel like heaving half your body weight?”
Adam shook his head and winced. “Already did.”
“Good, let’s move. We’ve got a busy day, four stiffs on the schedule.” David rinsed both mugs and loaded them into the dishwasher.
“Four?” Adam’s face paled.  
“Yeah, but between the two of us, it shouldn’t be too bad.” Besides, it wasn’t like they had much in the way of alternatives. Reap or damnation? When you boiled it down to the bare essentials, there was little left for debate. David stuffed his wallet in his back pocket and picked up his keys. “Two for me, and two for you. First stop’s at the railroad tracks down on Colonial. Give you three guesses how this one’s going to play out.”

What’s next for Lori Sjoberg? 
Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on book two.  Once that’s finished, I’ll probably take a week or two off and go on a reading binge.  Then it’s off to start book three!
Any special quirks or habits when writing? 
I have a hard time writing with music playing in the background – either I don’t like what’s on and it irritates me, or it’s a song I love and it distracts me from writing.  Because of that, I usually write in silence, or I put something on television (like football or one of those 24-hour news channels) that serves as white noise.
How do you celebrate when you finish a novel? 
Chocolate, followed by a reading binge.  And then more chocolate.
What are you reading now? Any favorites you tend to go back to? 
I’m currently reading A Taste of Ice by Hanna Martine.  As far as favorites, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, the first three books of the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie, and One For the Money by Janet Evanovich. 
Any advice you’d like to share for aspiring writers? 
Make sure your manuscript is polished to within an inch of its life before searching for an agent or publisher.  Find some beta readers and/or critique partners, ones who will give you an honest evaluation of your work. (And no, your friends and family don’t count.  They love you too much to be brutally honest.)  This is an extremely competitive business, so it’s critical to put your best foot forward when pitching your work.
Tell us one thing that readers wouldn’t know about you. 
I laugh when I’m nervous. 
What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing? 
I wish I’d found sites like Agentqueryconnect a lot sooner.  Not only are they an amazing source of industry information, but they’re also one of the most supportive groups of writers I’ve ever encountered online.  
Salty or Sweet? 
Definitely sweet.  I keep a jar of Smarties on my desk at work.
What is your favorite holiday? 
Halloween!  What other time of the year can I watch hubby hide in the bushes to scare the bejeezus out of the neighborhood children?
Favorite place you have ever visited? 
The highlands of Scotland. 
Long hair or short hair on a guy? 
Short hair.
Who is your favorite fictional character ever?
 Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  When I visited Scotland, I got my picture taken by the Fraser Clan Stone at Culloden Battlefield Museum. 
Caffeine or Decaf? 
I couldn’t make it through the morning without caffeine.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 
I’m an introvert until I get to know you.  Then you’ll never get me to shut up.
Flowers or chocolate? 
Chocolate.  Flowers wither and die, but chocolate hangs around your hips for years to come!
Are you a night person or morning person? 
I’m a night person trapped in a morning person’s world.
Favorite meal? 
Hubby makes lasagna that’s to die for.

 So what did you think? Ms. Sjoberg sounds like a pretty fantastic individual. What a fun interview! So how about I tell you more about the book, GRAVE INTENTIONS? Thought so! Here you go!

**Book 1 ~ Book Of The Grave Series**
Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 9781601830067
Number of pages: Approx. 289
Word Count: 96,100

He's handsome, reliable, and punctual-the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death's best agent-and now he's got more than his soul to lose . . .
One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper-an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good.

Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can't be influenced by his powers-even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living-and a passion he can't afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he'll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah...and gamble on a choice even an immortal can't win.


“Rise and shine, Newbie,” David said as he walked past Adam’s rumpled form. “Time to face another fun-filled day of death and dismemberment.”
He’d given the kid an extra half hour to sleep off the booze from the night before, but now they needed to get moving. When Adam mumbled something incoherent and burrowed deeper under the covers, David gave the end of the couch a solid kick. “Come on, get your ass in gear. We’re rolling out in twenty.”
The covers shifted and Adam’s head popped out, squinting like a mole under a floodlight. He pushed himself up to a seated position and swung his legs over the side of the couch. Teeth gritted, he cradled his head in his hands and groaned. “Just kill me now and get it over with.”
“Too late. And you’re not getting off that easy.” David moved to the kitchen and poured two cups of coffee. In a rare act of mercy, he brought one over to Adam. “Here, it’s good and strong. It’ll help with the hangover.”
“Thanks.” Adam accepted the mug and took a healthy swig. “You got any aspirin?”
“Bathroom. Medicine cabinet, bottom shelf.” He watched while the kid gingerly eased up from the couch and lumbered toward the bathroom, coffee mug in hand. “And if you think you’re going to puke, do it now. I’ll kick your ass if you blow chunks in my ride.”
Adam glanced back over his shoulder, his expression saying, “Drop dead,” but instead he uttered, “Thanks for the compassion.”
David could have sworn he heard a muffled, “asshole” right before the bathroom door slammed shut.
Fifteen minutes later the rookie emerged, clean-shaven and hair still wet from the shower but appearing slightly more human and a little less green around the gills. He set his empty coffee cup on the kitchen counter before moving back to the couch to lace up his shoes.
“Feeling better?” 
“Define better.”
“You still feel like heaving half your body weight?”
Adam shook his head and winced. “Already did.”
“Good, let’s move. We’ve got a busy day, four stiffs on the schedule.” David rinsed both mugs and loaded them into the dishwasher.
“Four?” Adam’s face paled.  
“Yeah, but between the two of us, it shouldn’t be too bad.” Besides, it wasn’t like they had much in the way of alternatives. Reap or damnation? When you boiled it down to the bare essentials, there was little left for debate. David stuffed his wallet in his back pocket and picked up his keys. “Two for me, and two for you. First stop’s at the railroad tracks down on Colonial. Give you three guesses how this one’s going to play out.”

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a bit about Ms. Sjoberg and her new release GRAVE INTENTIONS. How exciting is it to know that she has more books planned in the series? I mean a paranormal romance with a reaper? Yes, please!  I am definitely adding this one to my TBR list! I hope you will too!
And please feel free to tell me what you thought about today’s interview. Are you likely to read this book? What did you think of it? What do you think of reapers? Tell me anything you want.
And thank you very much for stopping by today and spending some time with us. I hope that you enjoyed your time spent today. Until next time …

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Extended Excerpt with author Nana Malone

Extended Excerpt with author Nana Malone

What’s up everyone? Back with the catch up craze today. And another post to change things up a bit. Today I have for you an extended excerpt with author Nana Malone from her release SULTRY IN STILETTOS. Nice title, yes? I thought so. And guess what? Ms. Malone has a tour wide giveaway going on so be sure to read to the very end of the post for the details on how to enter. Who doesn’t love to enter for freebies from authors??? EXACTLY!!!!!! So kick back, grab a hot cup of tea or coffee because it is dang cold out there tonight, and let’s find out more about this great book. Please allow me to introduce to the blog:

Nana's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin. It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is. Though, until that ninja job comes through, you'll find her acting out scenes for hubby, baby and puppy while catching up on her favorite reality television shows in sunny San Diego.
You can find out more about Ms. Malone in the following places:

**The Stilettos Series**

Shy, Fantasy Event Planner, Ricca Munroe has never been lucky in love, so when the latest in a long line of Mr. Oh So Wrongs publicly dumps her, she focuses on her career.  All she has to do to land the job of a lifetime is work side-by-side with the one man who can break her heart.
Beckett Mills has never been in love. Personal entanglements are a recipe for disaster—that is until one kiss from Ricca Munroe changes everything.  Beckett needs this job to fulfill a promise he made.  All he has to do is resist the seductive charms of his best friend.
Can Ricca come out of her shell to land her dream job and the love of her life? Can Beckett trust himself enough to actually fall in love and still keep the promise he made?
Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear.


(adult content)
After the day from hell, Ricca sat on Micha’s orange, shag carpet and blinked at the glass of amber liquid Micha placed in front of her. "What is that?"
Micha shook her head. "You don’t want to know. Just drink it. You'll feel better."
Ricca eyed the glass dubiously, then grabbed it and chugged its contents. The liquid flowed down her throat and warmed her stomach. It only took a moment before she felt the lancing burn spread through her gut.
"Holy shit.” She sputtered and coughed. “What the fuck, Micha?"
Micha gave her a satisfied nod. "Kentucky bourbon. Good for a broken heart, a pissed off girlfriend, or plotting to kill your co-workers." She pointed at the label. “It says so right here.”
"But I don’t have a broken heart."
Jaya gave her a soft smile and patted her knee. "I think the bourbon works for being pissed off at an asshole ex too."  She sniffed her own glass but put it down on the coffee table before taking a drink.
Ricca glanced down at her glass. Jaya had a point. Feeling almost uncomfortably hot, she slipped off her double layers of cardigans. "Hit me again."
Micha grinned as she cocked her head, her silky spirals spilling over her shoulder.  She poured Ricca another glass then sat across from her. "Okay. You ready to talk?"
Ricca shrugged. "You guys already know what happened."
Jaya squeezed her knee again. "Ricca, all you said in your email was ‘Charles and I broke up. Talk when you get back.’ Then you didn’t answer my emails or calls."
Micha nodded in agreement. “Talk about cryptic. Then Beckett is the one who calls us to check on you tonight. What gives?”
Ricca drank this round a little slower. She’d just gotten her couch reupholstered and didn’t need bourbon spittle on it. "Shit, I'd love to understand it. Charles dumped me at the Gala."
Jaya sat up, her brows furrowing. “Wait, what? Ricca, why didn’t you say anything? That was over a week ago.”
Ricca squirmed under their scrutiny. “Look, at the time, you had just gotten engaged. I think, perhaps, you were getting engaged as I was being broken up with. And, Micha, you were schmoozing the Mayor, and Beckett came over and was distracted about some girl or another, and then we all dispersed for the holiday.” She shrugged. “This is the first night we’re getting to sit down and talk.”
Micha narrowed her eyes. “I told you to dump that ass-wipe before the holidays.”
Ricca nodded. “Yeah, I know. You were right.”
Micha nodded ruefully. “Annoying, isn’t it?”
Ricca had to chuckle. "Extremely." The warmth in her belly started to spread to her extremities. "God, it’s like he wanted to embarrass me. He told me I was too clingy, that I wasn’t fun, and that I didn’t dress well.“
“Clearly he’s a moron,” Micha said.
Jaya tipped her head. "So what are you going to do?"
For the first time that day, Ricca felt like laughing. "Yeah, I might have intimated that I planned to find the fucker and torch his car."
Both Micha and Jaya stared at her, their mouths agape. Then Micha laughed. "I'm glad to see I’m rubbing off."
Ricca shrugged. "You guys honestly don’t have to worry about me and the break up. I’m fine. Mostly.” She shrugged. “And as for the job, it seems that Serena wants me to work with the mean girls. Just been a rough couple of weeks.”
“You should have called us, kid,” Micha grumbled.
Jaya studied her with big brown eyes. "Ricca, are you sure you're okay?"
"You guys, honestly, I’ll be fine. I'm just a little sad to have been stuck with the loser for so long then to have him dump me with some bullshit excuse about how I’m too clingy and I clearly want marriage." She scoffed. She finished the contents of her glass, then stuck it out to Micha, who poured another two fingers. In that moment, Ricca made the conscious decision not to tell her friends about Beckett. The situation was already complicated enough. And she didn’t need them mother-henning her. She could take care of herself.
Several hours later, Ricca woke to cottonmouth and the urge to pee. Sitting up, she peered at her surroundings. Shit. She’d gotten drunk, Micha and Jaya had brought her home and they'd left her on the couch to sleep it off. Perfect. Humiliation complete. Just what she needed. Swinging her legs off the micro-suede cushions, she padded into the bathroom. After using the bathroom, she washed her face and stared at herself in the mirror. Yesterday had been a shit day. It was up to her to make today better.
First order of business—no more Mrs. Nice Guy to the Bitch Brigade. They only treated her the way they did because she allowed it. It paid to be nice, but it didn’t pay to have anyone walk all over you. She dimmed the light when the vein above her eye started to throb. There. That's better. She quickly brushed her teeth to get the shame and bourbon cocktail out of her mouth.
Next order of business, NEVER drink Kentucky bourbon again. She was nowhere near sober yet, and she already felt like she'd been kicked in the teeth. Oh wait, that's right, that was her day, not her lack of tolerance for alcohol.
And finally, no more letting people get away with murder—starting with Beckett Mills. He’d been the one to kiss her the other night. He’d been the one with his hands on her ass. Not the other way around. But somehow, she'd let him off the hook and blubbered around him yesterday. If she wanted them back on normal footing, she needed to actually talk to him. Not stutter like some lovesick school girl whose crush had been revealed via Twitter.
He had no business kissing her. Matter of fact, she was going to tell him that—first thing in the morning. Except, he was always late, and sure as shit, she wasn't having a conversation like that with him at work. And she wasn’t waiting until the end of day tomorrow. Because she knew herself. She was all bravado now, but when the rest of the alcohol wore off, she’d be too mortified to give him a piece of her mind. Might as well do it now. Never mind the time—what the hell time was it? The digital clock on her cable box blinked 2:30 AM. Whatever.
He’d sent her a million texts at this time of night, erm, morning. And like an idiot she’d tolerated it. He'd bragged about his exploits. He’d way over-shared. Well, tonight, he was going to get woken up.
She grabbed her keys and looked down at them. No way in hell she could drive. Swaying on her feet a little, she put her keys down—definitely still too drunk to drive. Annoyed, she snatched her phone off the coffee table and texted BC Cab Company. They specialized in late night pick-ups around the city. The girls had started calling them booty call cab. Which was accurate in so many ways.
The pickup text arrived within five minutes. As she stumbled out of the door, the rational, fearful part of her wondered if this could have waited till morning. Beckett always hit the beach or the pool depending on the waves. She could wait and meet him there.
No. Don’t be a chicken shit. They were having this talk.
The cab ride took exactly seven minutes from her place on Robinson back down toward his place on Park. Handy. She leaned over to talk to the cabbie and nearly smacked her head on the grate that separated the compartments. "Um, do you mind waiting?"
The pixie-haired female cabbie raised an eyebrow. "Sure. But the meter's running."
Fine by her. She'd make Beckett pay for it later. This was all his fault anyway. If he hadn't kissed her, everything would have been fine. Then she wouldn't have been so mad about being dumped. She'd be safely ensconced in her apartment, listening to Tracy Chapman and eating a tub full of ice-cream, wallowing. Instead, she was mad.
Ricca typed in the key code and swung the door open. As she knocked on Beckett’s door, the doubts started to creep in. What the hell was she doing? Was she insane? Maybe just a little.
"Too late now," she muttered and knocked.
It took two minutes for him to come to the door, and when he did, he blinked. His expression morphed from an angry frown into confusion. "Ricca? What’s the matter? What are you doing here?"
She pushed past him and entered, praying he was alone. He had pajama bottoms on, so that was a good sign. Though he was standing there shirtless, and his broad shoulders and chiseled abs made her forget what she wanted to say.
"Ricca, are you okay? You’re freaking me out."
"I'm fine,” she mumbled as she tilted to the left.
Beckett sniffed and narrowed his gaze. "How did you get here? You didn't drive, did you?”
She shook her head and immediately wished she hadn’t. Her stomach rolled, and she was a little terrified the contents would make an appearance. She cursed the bourbon gods again. Why did alcohol make it seem like it made you invincible? At best, she felt shaky on her feet.
“Nope. I’m drunk. But a responsible drunk,” she slurred. Responsible had come out sounding like reshponshible
"Why don’t you sit down?” He put a hand on her arm, trying to lead her to his couch.
Ricca shrugged him off. "No. I'm not sitting down. I just want you to answer one question for me."
"Uhm, okay, what is it?"
"Why did you really kiss me?"
His expletive broke the silence between them. He ran his hands through his hair. "Shit, Ricca, I kno—"
"No. You don't. You shouldn’t have done that. And I let you get away with it this afternoon, and I shouldn't have. I was so confused. Turned on. Confused. Mad. Why did you do that?" Shit had she just said turned on?
"Fuck. I'm sorry. I just—" Beckett started.
"Just tell me, and I’ll go. I'll go and forget this ever happened. Why would you kiss me like that?" She placed a hand on his bare chest and instantly felt the pull in her core. The light dusting of hair on his chest distracted her as she reveled in the softness of it. “You used t-tongue. That was against the rules. Like you wanted to turn me on. Why?”
"You can’t just waltz in and give me the Mills treatment. I'm not one of your hoards. I'm your friend. You text me when you’re having a bad day, when your horrid brother gives you shit. When you have a shitty date or you've got a stage nine clinger. Now you ruined that. Hell, I'm not even your type."
“Not good enough, Beckett.”
Beckett started to pace. Ricca stared at him. All she needed was an answer, and she’d go home. Then she’d forget Beckett Mills. Even the fantasies? A little panicked voice from her subconscious nagged.
No, definitely not. She’d still have her fantasies, but no real world stuff. Way too sticky.
“Ricca, I don’t have any answers for you. Truth is, it just happened. It shouldn’t have, but it did. You said we’d be okay.”
She frowned. “I think I lied.” Tears pricked her lids. She blinked at him through the salty liquid. "Beckett." Her stomach rolled, then clenched as if someone had just kicked her in the gut. She straightened. “Oh no.” Her stomach clenched once, then again. Before she knew it, vomit and bile made an appearance at Beckett’s feet.

So what did you think? Have you read Nana Malone before? Are you likely to read this book or series? What did you think of the extended excerpt? Will you be entering the giveaway? *wink* Of course you will so how about I tell you about it now?


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hurry! There are only a couple of days left on this tour so do NOT delay! Enter now!

I want to thank everyone for stopping in and spending some time with us today. I hope you enjoyed everything you read. And I wish all of those who enter best of luck in the contest. Don’t forget to support this author and buy the book if you like what you read. Have a wonderful day! And until next time …

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blog Post with author Victoria Danann

Blog Post with author Victoria Danann

Hello again to all of my wonderful peeps! Continuing the catchup craze today with author Victoria Danann. I had her scheduled for a promo post, but came across some other materials for the tour an found something that I thought you would all find interesting. It is a post created my Ms. Danann entitled The Art Of The Review. It is packed full of interesting information that many of you, especially bloggers and reviewers, will very likely enjoy reading about. So let’s kick back and relax while I tell you about Ms. Danann’s book and her thoughts about reviews. Please allow me to introduce to the blog:


For the past fourteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners for
Though works of fiction are a departure for me, I have had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, I play rock music and manage 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.
You can find out more about Ms. Danann in the following places:

~~ By Victoria Danann

There was a time when the purview of book reviewing was limited to a very small and exclusive club of literary critics who wrote for newspapers or magazines. Those highly prized jobs were few and far between and were bestowed upon only the most qualified journalists who had passed a series of tests. The first rung of the ladder required a degree in journalism and, often, a double major in English as well. The second step was years of dues-paying tasks that were much less glamorous and desirable. If a candidate survived the business until a spot opened up, they might be offered a probation period with permanent assignment dependent upon satisfactory performance.
The book review revolution coat tailed so closely with the rise of as to virtually coincide. The first wave came in the form of Amazon customer reviews. For the first time, any individual was able to publish their personal opinion anonymously without vetting of any kind.
Although Amazon publishes "General Review Creation Guidelines", I doubt that many have read them. The bulk of the remarks dedicated to guidelines deals with "what's not allowed". What I would like to quote here is the section on tips. Keep in mind that this section is not exclusive to book reviews, but includes products as well.

Amazon. Com's Tips on writing a great review:

Include the "why": The best reviews include not only whether you liked or disliked a product, but also why. Feel free to talk about related products and how this item compares to them.
Be specific: Your review should focus on specific features of the product and your experience with it. For video reviews, we recommend that you write a brief introduction.
Not too short, not too long: Written reviews must be at least 20 words and are limited to 5,000 words. The ideal length is 75 to 500 words. Video reviews have a 10-minute limit, but we recommend 2 to 5 minutes to keep your audience engaged.
Be sincere: We welcome your honest opinion about the product--positive or negative. We do not remove reviews because they are critical. We believe all helpful information can inform our customers’ buying decisions.
Full disclosure: If you received a free product in exchange for your review, please clearly and conspicuously disclose that that you received the product free of charge. 
The Rise of the Blog
"Like cream, the best critics rise to the top in terms of readership/followers/subscribers."
The second wave of upheaval can also be attributed to the innovation of The explosion of self-publishing created a coexisting demand for self-marketing which created a demand for more book reviewers.
Should blog reviews carry more weight than customer reviews? The answer to that question is definitely yes. Sometimes. Anyone can put up a blog within minutes and call themselves a book reviewer. Some of the larger sites attract reviewers with the lure of free books and require absolutely nothing from them other than a name, email, and, perhaps, what genre they would like to review. In the case of a blog, there is no newspaper or magazine editor vetting the reviewer for you, you are left to your own devices to discriminate. The good news is that seems to be working in many cases. Like cream, the best critics rise to the top in terms of readership/followers/subscribers.
The good thing about customer reviews is that, again, while individual reviews may not be worthwhile, numbers usually prove true. I can look at the number of total reviews (regardless of rating) then look at the publication date and predict whether or not it's a good book. If a book has been out for six years and has two reviews, it's probably not going to be memorable in a good way. On the other hand, if a book has been out for a year and has a lot of reviews relative to other books within the genre, it means that many people were moved by that book to take the extra step of returning to the purchase page to register their opinion. Again, cream rising to the top.

An Author's Review of the Reviews System
Speaking as myself, for myself. Many would say I'm going where angels fear to tread, but, hey, I'm no angel.
1.) My biggest complaint hinges around the question of summarizing which often includes SPOILING!! There's a reason they call these plot giveaways "spoilers". I may spend months perfecting a turn in the story that could potentially give a reader a surprise jolt of pleasure. You, as a reviewer, can ruin that in two sentences and thirty seconds. Please believe me, if given the choice, I would much rather you trench my lawn or egg my house. You may think you're providing a service to other readers by revealing the plot twists or outcomes, but you're not. To other readers, it's simply selfish, thoughtless, and inconsiderate. To the author, it's disregard and disrespect.
A review isn't a middle school book report. A good review isn't a summary to prove you "really" read the book. If the book should be publicly summarized, I assure you the author of that book could do a better job than you. There's a really good reason why they didn't.
People do say things in reviews that they would not dream of saying to someone in person. They also say things they wouldn't say if they knew their name was going to be on it - their real name. What's wrong with that? Well, hiding behind anonymity brings out mean spiritedness in some people.
In the days when the only published critics were legitimate literary critics, their names (real names) were proudly displayed on their columns. They took responsibility for what they wrote and knew that they might be out to dinner one night in New York and run into the person whose work they reviewed. That didn't mean that all reviews were good. It just meant that there was a measure of accountability.
Authors are all too aware of the fact that our worst reviews are often written by other authors who establish "sock puppet" accounts for the solitary purpose of bringing down a book's rating.
One last thing regarding my host. Night Owl Reviews, as a collective, has mastered the art of the review in the sense that the reviews are well thought out, informative, and entertaining without crossing the line of giving away the point of reading the book. NOR is part of the new elite of literary critics - bloggers who can be relied upon to review for the benefit of readers.
On my own blog I have listed some of these and Night Owl Reviews is among them.
My first book of the serial The Order of the Black Swan, My Familiar Stranger, has just topped the milestone of 100 FIVE STAR reviews. It is available for FREE download from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, KOBO, and Diesel. The second book, The Witch's Dream, is available exclusively at Amazon. The third book, The Summoner's Tale, will release Valentine's Day on Amazon along with a three book collection edition that will release everywhere in electronic form.

**The Order Of The Swan, Book 3**
ISBN: 978-1-933320-67-0
ISBN: 978-1-933320-80-9 Paperback
Coming Valentines' Day 2013

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.

Chapter One, The Summoner's Tale
The plural of vampire is vampire.

When the rush of activity subsided, he found himself alone with his own thoughts; a condition that was more than 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.
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.
The large work space, intended for several people, seemed deserted with him alone 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 instantly put him on edge and made him feel anxious.
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. She was prickly 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 was bowed over work. Or the shine of her chestnut hair when she walked through a ray of morning light. Or the way her lips pursed in protest and disdain whenever he gave her something to do.
It was damned aggravating and, ro make matters worse, he seemed to have lost interest in pursuing other women which really wasn't like him at all.
She behaved as if simple courtesy was more than she could manage. That meant that "nice" was a goal way too distant. He knew it wasn't her nature in general because he had often watched her from across the dining hall as she laughed and interacted with other associates and employees of The Order in a manner that was open and unguarded. He found himself wondering how it might feel to have her turn the sunshine of that smile his way or, even better, to angle that smile up at him while she pressed her beautifully packed curves against his body.
He was staring at the clock on the wall, 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 his voice stopped her when she put her hand on the door pull.
"Yes?" she asked over her shoulder.
"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?", in her crisp British accent that hinted of a touch of posh.
Before he could frame an answer to that question, she was gone. He heaved a big sigh. Fuck me.
Life had become a conflict with no 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.
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 help back to the light.
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 vampire at a time and extracting him, while paralyzed, without engaging other vampire. 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 tunnels, caverns, and cells 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. Plague victims were not removed and buried or burned, but just sealed in their cells.
Modern day Ghost Tours offer a shallow excursion - 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 leaves miles 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 so valuable to The Order as "consultant". He knew that the days of the Beltane 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 which was bloodletting; when, as a rite of passage, young pagans would stand in a pit under a grate where a bull was sacrificed and bathe in the blood that fell.
So Baka finished his day, went to dinner alone, and slowly savored every bite of his 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 guns that each held five revolving canisters, a thinsulate, a lighted helmet guaranteed to give fourteen hours of use in exchange for three AAA batteries, and six pair 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. So he ignored the foreboding of his own intuition and proceeded with the plan.
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.  

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with the first two books in the series, here is a little info:

**The Order Of The Swan, Book 1**
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
ISBN: 978-1-933320-49-6 E-Book
ISBN: 978-1-933320-77-9 paperback
Number of pages: 360
Word Count: 111,268

Thirteen times on Amazon Best Seller List in Fantasy Romance.
A secret society, modern day knights, and vampires come together for a once in a lifetime adventure and a once in a lifetime opportunity proving that true love can find you in the strangest places, even far, far from home.
Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own.
Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?
My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.   

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**The Order Of The Swan, Book 2**
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Paranormal Adult Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House
ISBN: 978-1-933320-56-4
ISBN: 978-1-933320-63-2
Pages: 300 -5×7 book
Word Count: 100,000

Amazon BEST SELLER Fantasy Romance.

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 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.
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 Dream begins 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.

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So tell me what you think! How about that Review article? What about the books? Have you read any of them before? Are you looking forward to the release of Book 3? It only has about 3 weeks left now. Are you familiar with Ms. Danann? What about these books draws you to them? I always welcome your thoughts and comments.
I want to thank all of you for spending some time with us today. I hope that you enjoyed getting to know a bit about Ms. Danann and her books. As always, if you like what you read here today, please support this author and buy her books. You can probably also pre-order Book 3 by now. I will see you all soon! And remember … until next time …