Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to paranormal/fantasy romance author, Victoria Danann!

by Victoria Danann

When I first heard the idea that PNR is on the way out, I dismissed it. I may have even dismissed it with an audible snort. Now, however, I've heard this advanced enough times that I feel compelled to address it in a more serious way.

First, let me begin by saying that, in the 50's, the general consensus among people over the age of seventeen was that rock and roll was an overnight fad that was on the way out. Sixty years later my band is still rockin' it out in Classic fashion and sometimes we get to play for big crowds like Warrior Dash.

 Did rock and roll die? Of course not. Did it change? Oh yeah.

And it kept on changing and changing and reinventing itself. (Even people who are not rockers like Muse "Uprising". I particularly love the last line of the chorus: We will be Victoria's.) If Buddy Holly had lived, he would have had to change or perish because the glory of musical relevance is fleeting.

The moral of this story is this. Anne Rice broke ground. Kresley Cole and Karen Marie Moning broke ground. If more authors don't stop the vamp-by-number, more-weres-the-better rehash and try for something different, then PNR is going to end up being recalled as fondly as rockabilly. We (musicians) love it (for a few minutes at a time) and honor it (for its place in rock history), but are we going to buy it or play it? No.

Before I started writing I spent two full years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success so that I could know what had already been done. Then I set out to create something apart.

I get a lot of feedback that starts by saying, "I don't really know what genre to put this in..."  Those comments make me want to jump up and do a little victory dance. My idea of a great day is a review that says something like, "She explodes stereotypes." I guess my work is a fusion between paranormal, fantasy, and scifi. That would make sense because I was steeped in a pop culture ripe with these influences.

Second, we need to redefine PNR so that everybody agrees on what it means. I'm writing true Paranormal Romance. It's not paranormal suspense or paranormal mystery or paranormal thriller with a love interest back story. Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs do not write Paranormal Romance. Their books are fun, exciting, sometimes thrilling, but they are not PNE. In order to be a subgenre of romance, the romance has to be the story.  You can't say John Gresham writes legal romances because there's a love interest thread in a subplot.

All this is to say that if PNR is defined as primarily romance, then we're not in trouble because, so long as there are women, there will be fantasizing about romance.

What do I see as the biggest threats to PNR? That would be who not what. The biggest threats are Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series) and E.L. James (Fifty Shades). Stephanie Meyer's success has some of PNR's most talented writers switching to YA. E.L. James's success has PNR authors in a headlong dash toward the erotica cliff. (That's erotica with an "a" at the end.) I don't have to be psychic to know that's a dead end.

Will I switch genres? No. I want to write what I write more than I want celebrity or wealth.

From the ancient Greek philosophers, to Freud’s Theory of Psychoanalysis, to the “Man Show”, one question has haunted and eluded mankind. WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? I believe a common manipulation of reality used in stories of Paranormal Romance holds the key to that question. Do you know the answer? I think I do.

Anyone who leaves a serious comment will receive a Smashwords coupon for a download of My Familiar Stranger in the electronic format of their choice. (Make sure to leave your email address with your comments!)

Put it on your calendar to join Victoria for The Witch’s Dream RELEASE DAY PARTY on Facebook, October 14th to find out how to get a discount coupon for the new book plus several fabulous giveaways.

My Familiar Stranger, By Victoria Danann
The Order of the Black Swan #1
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: April 21, 2012  
ebook ISBN: 978-1-933320-49-6  
WORDS 113,000
Date of Publication: August 31, 2012  
print ISBN: 193332077X   
PAGES 328 (5x8 paperback)
Purchase Links:
A secret society, hot guys, 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.
Erotic quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

The Witch's Dream, By Victoria Danann
The Order of the Black Swan #2 
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: 7th House
Release Date: October 14, 2012
ebook ISBN: 978-1-933320-56-4
WORDS:  97,000
print ISBN: 978-1-933320-63-2      
Amazon (available 10/06/12) 
PAGES: 260 (5x 8 paperback)
BOOK TRAILER: UNLISTED until 10/01/12 
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 loan for 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 Ram and Elora celebrate their 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. From New York to Ireland to Edinburgh to Siena to the Texas Hill Country to Napa Valley. From promises to rages to hunts to epiphanies.This is a story that proves true love can find you when you’re least expecting it – even when you’re far, far from home.Erotic quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Author Bio: 
For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.
Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston's premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.
This series will eventually 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 - of course.


  1. I love PNR! And you should stick to writing what you love, screw everyone else :)

    Email is
    Thanks for the coupon!!

  2. Good for you! Stick with what you love.
    I don't think PNR is going anywhere. It will change... everything changes, but it will still be here.
    And where do you find all this time to write, manage and play in a band?
    I can barely find the time to read, LOL.

  3. I think PNR will always be around - Its all about the fantasy life :) who doesnt want to be a witch, shapeshifter, vampire - or have one as a lover?

  4. I don't know the answer to your question; I do know what I like to read and PNR is one of those choices for me. I don't read only PNR but it is by far the genre I most read. The realm to which I get taken from reading PNR along with the HEA make me very happy!
    diane dot sadler at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks for a great post! I was a bit taken aback by the statement that PNR is on the way out, cuz from what I've read and what I *do* read is that PNR is saturating the market. If anything, like you said, the actual label of PNR may be incorrect as there are a lot of subgenres that are confusing. But I'm loving the creativity and the uniqueness that's coming out. The sky's the limit and it's so much fun to browse Amazon and bookstores and see so much being offered. I'd have to say that right now, 70% of what I read is PNR and UF (which is what a lot of the new stuff coming out is... urban fantasy.. but being mislabeled).


  6. I know what I want. I love reading paranormal romance the most. I am a hopeless romantic who loves romance and wants alot of that in her life. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I read just about every genre and I think paranormal romance is here to stay. There are a lot of readers that don't read erotica or YA for various reasons. I read all of them but even though contemporary romance is what I started with many years ago I probably read more paranormal than anything right now. And I have not read 50 Shades yet, don't know if I will either.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  8. I LOVE paranormal romance and wouldn't have gotten back into reading if I hadn't started it up again with paranormal romance. I totally agree too with your assessment on the biggest threats to the genre.

  9. Hi Victoria
    What do women want? That might be a difficult question to answer?
    What do I (a woman) want when reading a book? HEA, yes, the hero and his woman or the heroine and her man to be together at last. I want the story to be about them, their feelings and how a relationship between them develops. And I like them to be "not normal" (at least one of them). I like new worlds and realities different than mine, worlds I can sink into. I like romance and love.

    Thanks for sharing your thought about PNR with us.

    dany7578 at hotmail dot com

  10. I´m with you, it´s always fun going back and enjoy the classics, but it´s even more fun reading something new and groundbreaking. For example Delilah S Dawson´s Wicked as they come, i thought it was "just another vamp story" but it was a great surprise reading something new, a new take and something that makes me want to read more! =) (She´s got bludbunnies!!)
    And i don´t understand why everyone wants to copy success, then you´re just another copy, why not try to do something new? It´s more memorable with a crazy new take than another run of the mill story imho.
    Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Monday!
    fr_larsson at hotmail dot com

  11. What a great sounding read and so interesting. I cannot wait to add these to that TBR list. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com


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