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Title: The Summoner’s Tale

Series: The Order of the Black Swan #3

Author: Victoria Danann

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: 7th House

Format: Ebook

Length: 300 pages

Release Date: February 14th, 2013

Purchase: TBD

Book Description:

Coming Valentines’ Day 2013

Book Three – The Summoner’s Tale

Reading The Series In Order Highly Recommended.

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.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE:

 

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

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 cognizance 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. To no avail. She was prickly to the core, spurning every effort on his part to develop a rudimentary standard of civility. She behaved as if simple courtesy was more than she could manage which meant that “nice” was a goal way too distant.

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 with her head bowed over work. Or the shine of her chestnut hair when she walked through a ray of light. Or the way her lips pursed whenever he gave her something to do. It was damned aggravating.

To make matters worse, he seemed to have lost interest in pursuing other women.

At exactly fifteen after five she double checked her wristwatch, closed an open folder, rose, pushed her arms into her sweater jacket, put her purse on her shoulder and, like every other day, walked out of the office without saying goodnight.

He perpetually struggled to concentrate because the space seemed to vibrate with a low level, but annoying irritation when she was there. It was stand to reason that he would be glad to see her gather her things and go, but, in fact, he hated it even more when she left. He heaved a big sigh. Fuck me.

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 turned himself into The Order and served as “consultant” voluntarily consuming only artificial sustenance.

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 OldTown 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 OldTown 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. 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 two dart guns and as many canisters as he could carry without being slowed down. 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 that infamous history should have given him some peace of absolution. But didn’t. He said good evening to the doorman and headed out into the night.

Interview:

Let’s talk about the book first. Who is your favorite character in Black Swan and why?

Ram. One person recently told me that, if action figures of my characters ever come out, she wants to place a preorder for Ram. I have to agree with her. Because this saga has a lot of balls in the air (pun not intended, I swear). Ram is on the zigzag path of a hero’s journey in a classical sense. Add to that the fact that he’s drop dead sex and a one-woman elf and, really, what more could you want?

I don’t think Paranormal will ever go away. Too many people love vampires for them to disappear. Yet others guess the PNR genre is on the way out. Do you agree? Are there any changes you’d make to stay on the cutting edge of this genre? Will you change genres?

I think that will be true if more authors don’t stop the vamp-by-number, more-weres-the-better rehash and try for something different.

Before I started writing I spent two full years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success to find out what had already been done, then set out to create something new. I get a lot of feedback that starts by saying, “I don’t really know what genre to put this in…”  I love comments like, “She explodes stereotypes.”

Also, I’m writing true Paranormal Romance. It’s not paranormal suspense or paranormal mystery or paranormal thriller with a love interest back story. The romance is the main plot for me. And romance is never going to be on the way out.

Romance novels are my way of joining in the female fantasy world.  Reading is awesome, and I am taking time out of March on this site to go back to reading more professional books for a month. I need to get away, and focus on my for a few. Writing never stops thought. As writers, we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. What’s the idea behind this series and  how did it come about?

I read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein when I was about twelve-years-old and have always been fascinated by the concept of other worlds that are similar, but not identical.  I combined that with my formal academic education in Paranormal Psychology, the fact that I always got along super well with boys, and voila.

Paranormal Psychology? That’s your education. Someone this sounds way cooler than my own engineering, turned lawyer turned teacher path. Mid life crisis at age twenty four was not cool. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

My working theory is that, if you watch children carefully, they will show you who they really are by the time they are eight or nine. At that age I had two stacks of legal pads on my bed. One I used to sketch glamorous evening wear. The other I used to write my own Bobbsey Twins novels. I did spend a few years as a designer of glam dresses and was copied by the biggest names in the business. I had a big following in the Northeast, South America, and Europe and still see some of my dresses show up in the movies. So I checked that off the list and did it until I was done. Now I’m writing.

Creativity is awesome. Wish I was encouraged to be creative all my life, though it’s not practical. I spent many years doing what my parents or teachers wanted. Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

The answer is yes, but the someone was one of the characters. My Familiar Stranger started out to be a different story. My heroine was supposed to end up with the character of my choice. I was about 80% finished when another one of the guys (characters) started insisting that he was the one who should get the girl! I let him make his case and finally had to agree, but it caused a lot of overhaul.

Since then I have done a poll on Facebook asking fans who they wanted to end up with the girl and the big majority agreed with my character. It was him all along.

Learning to cut off people’s opinions, yet listen to others with apt attention is such a hard line to walk. One might be over critical and not see the point while the other is onto to something big. It’s hard to know. What unique factor do you think you bring to the book/story market?

For one thing, I waited to start writing until I was old enough to really have something to say.

Really? In evaluating my life, and talking to a Rabbi, though I’m not Jewish, he asked me what I do in my time by myself. My answer was writing. I wrote all the time. When deciding that was a good thing to do, the hard part was learning the professional rules of writing. And I hate being a grammar nazi. I have such blinders on my own work. I know what it’s say and skip the comma all the time. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing is slogging through the emotion. I know that, if I’m crying so hard I can hardly see the  PC screen, I’ve gotten it right, but it’s also very emotionally draining and it ruins my looks for half a day. Conversely, if I’m lying in bed at night reading my own book and laugh out loud, I know I got that right as well.

Every writer is so different. But there is something guiding us. Words affect us. What is the most inspiring quote you have ever heard? This actually relates to how busy I am. It’s a motto used as my email signature on personal mail. THE QUOTE: “It’s better to burn out, than fade away.” – Rock of Ages, Def Leppard. Some people have wrongly attributed this to Kurt Cobain. Sorry. No. Others have said it wasn’t Def Leppard, it was Neil Young, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away,” – My, My, Hey, Hey. Also wrong. Neil Young used an extra “to”. Big difference you see.

I have no idea what song that is. My parents were controlling and music was not allowed in my house. I never let a song pull me into another universe. It wasn’t a childhood option, though I’ve seen musical theater all my life. Guess this makes me strange. And I read. So what’s your favorite book?

Memnoch the Devil, Anne Rice. Also high up on the list: The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S Tepper and Good Omens  by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

Books I wasn’t allowed to read. My Anne Rice novels were hidden under my bed, tucked away so no one would know I read them. Dad would have burned them on me. Women’s Country has an awesome title. I’m checking it out as well as your novel here, A Summoner’s Tale: the vampire’s confessor, BLACK SWAN 3

As a single title this book will be available exclusively at Amazon.com in Kindle and print.

COMING UP…

At the same time The Summoner’s Tale releases February 14th, a collected works edition of the first three books also releases. The story will finally be told as it was meant to be, as a saga without interruption.

Moonlight: big bad wolf, BLACK SWAN 4 will release in May.

BOOK TRAILER: http://victoriadanann.com/SummonersTale.html

Victoria Danann

WEBSITE: http://www.VictoriaDanann.com

BLOG: http://VictoriaDanann.me

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/vdanann  

TWITTER: @vdanann

About the Author:

Though works of fiction are a departure for me, I have had this series simmering on the back burner of my mind for years, but time is at a premium. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch and writing course work for Seasons in Avalon, I play Classic Rock music and manage Houston’s premier variety and R&B band.

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

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

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Tour Schedule:

Feb. 14th- Not Now…Mommy’s Reading (Spotlight)

Feb. 14th- Books & Tales (Excerpt)

Feb. 14th- Kaidans Seduction (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- Musings of a Writing Reader (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- Free eBooks Daily (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- The Avid Reader (Interview)

Feb. 15th- My Reading Obsession (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 15th- Bookluvrs Haven (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 15th- Love in a Book (Interview)

Feb. 16th- I am Indeed (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 16th- Paranormal Romance Fans for Life (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 16th Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery and More! (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 17th- CS Maxwell ~ Where’s My Muse? (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- KMN Books (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- Herding Cats & Burning Soup (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- Blood, Lust and Erotica (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 19th- Books Amour (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 19th- The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Deal Sharing Aunt (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Book Addict (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Full Moon Bites (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 21st- Bloodthirsty Muses (Review)

Feb. 22nd- Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 22nd- Paranormal Romance and Beyond (Excerpt)

Feb. 23rd- LilyElement (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 25th- Tamara’s One Stop Indie Shop (Excerpt)

Feb. 26th- Sweet n’ Sassi (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 26th- Book- Marks The Spot (Review)

Feb. 28th- A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books (Excerpt/Giveaway)

March 1st- A Book Lover’s Library (Review/Giveaway)

GIVEAWAY

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SummonersTaleTour
Tour Schedule:

Feb. 14th- Not Now…Mommy’s Reading (Spotlight)

Feb. 14th- Books & Tales (Excerpt)

Feb. 14th- Kaidans Seduction (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- Musings of a Writing Reader (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- Free eBooks Daily (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 14th- The Avid Reader (Interview)

Feb. 15th- My Reading Obsession (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 15th- Bookluvrs Haven (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 15th- Love in a Book (Interview)

Feb. 16th- I am Indeed (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 16th- Paranormal Romance Fans for Life (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 16th Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery and More! (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 17th- CS Maxwell ~ Where’s My Muse? (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- KMN Books (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- Herding Cats & Burning Soup (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 18th- Blood, Lust and Erotica (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 19th- Books Amour (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 19th- The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Deal Sharing Aunt (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Book Addict (Excerpt/Giveaway)

Feb. 20th- Full Moon Bites (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 21st- Bloodthirsty Muses (Review)

Feb. 22nd- Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews (Interview/Giveaway)

Feb. 22nd- Paranormal Romance and Beyond (Excerpt)

Feb. 23rd- LilyElement (Spotlight/Giveaway)

Feb. 25th- Tamara’s One Stop Indie Shop (Excerpt)

Feb. 26th- Sweet n’ Sassi (Review/Giveaway)

Feb. 26th- Book- Marks The Spot (Review)

Feb. 28th- A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books (Excerpt/Giveaway)

March 1st- A Book Lover’s Library (Review/Giveaway)