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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Promise of Magic by Melinda VanLone: Interview & Giveaway

Promise of Magic
House of Xannon, Book 3
Melinda VanLone

Genre: urban fantasy

ISBN: 978-0-9887455-4-4

Word Count: 65k

Cover Artist: bookcovercorner.com

Book Description:

On instinct, Tarian bowed her head in return, shocked. “Dulra. Welcome.” She breathed the words, awed by the presence of creatures she’d only known through legends. What is the Balance Court doing here?

“Tarian A’marie Maitea Xannon, of the House of Xannon, Keeper of the Water Artifact, you are summoned to the Balance Court.”

 She’d been summoned, and every particle of her being cried out to answer it.
Despite the advanced stage of her pregnancy, Tarian has some explaining to do. Fulfilling her Agreement with the Carraig was an issue of honor—but it led to complications. The Keeper of the House of Xannon is called to account, and Tarian must embark on a dangerous mission which could cost her the life of her unborn daughter, end in disaster for all planes of existence—or save the world.

Some promises are deadly to keep. Will the promise of magic be one of them?


Tarian forced her eyes open to focus on the rock in front of her. Earth as dense as anything she’d ever seen, more power than she’d ever experienced. The feeling of old that surrounded it. The sense of longing as if the stone itself wanted freedom from the long and arduous task it had been set. She grabbed onto the longing and let the stream of energy pour into it, into the Stulos, then twisted it as she’d done once before. Another twist, and the flow of power into the Stulos reversed. Three streams of colored light became one solid column of white.
A thousand voices sounded in her head. High ones, low ones, her sister’s voice, dolphin cries and emotion, all around and through her. The energy bound them into something greater than mere humans and Ancients. They were timeless. Eternal. It was almost like she felt when she made love with Daric, but…different. At once more intense and at the same time more encompassing. Less personal. More global. As though the universe spoke through her, and she through it. The awe of it. Tears spilled onto her cheeks.
Another cramp gripped her body and she swayed on her knees, gripping the rock as it crumbled, trying to maintain her balance as the ground shifted and her body twisted. Not now. Too soon. Not now. Too soon. She couldn’t be…the baby couldn’t be…
The voices rose in her head. Everyone joined in as the power flowed around and through, around and through, until she, the Caraigg, her sister, the baby, and the dolphins were all one with it. The crack in the Stulos widened, a giant lesion extending from the floor all the way up until she couldn’t see the end. Cold retreated, heat entered. A loud snap. The Stulos shattered into a million pieces that hung suspended in air for a flash of eternity before rushing outward to the edges of the cavern.
A dolphin cry sounded, triumphant, exalted, as the world exploded in a rain of cold fire, magic power, ash and lava.

About the Author:

Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she's not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or nursing coffee in Starbucks.

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Please welcome Promise of Magic author Melinda VanLone to Diane's Book Blog.

How long did it take you to write Promise of Magic?

I started the rough draft of Promise in November of 2012, finished it by January 2013, then set it aside to do some revising of Stronger Than Magic and Finding Flame. Once I picked it back up it took about five months of revising, editing, proofreading and formatting before it hit the virtual shelves. Every book I write goes through multiple stages, first with me and then with my editorial team, before it lands in reader’s hands. All that tinkering with words takes time. Especially with a complicated story like this one, with multiple moving parts.

If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?

Tarian. Without a doubt. She’s loyal, protective and can totally kick ass. Plus if she were there with me, we wouldn’t be stranded at all. She can make travel portals!

What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I wrote has never been published, and was inspired by a dream. Sometimes my dreams seem more like watching a movie than actual dreams. That one plunked me right in the middle of a scene full of tension and Obviously Big Things Happening, and when it ended I was so disappointed, because I wanted to know what happened next. Of course, the only way to know that is to write it. And though I tried to capture the essence of the story, the rough draft didn’t turn out like I wanted, so I put it aside. I still have plans to go back and revise it, but not until Xannon is finished.

What is your favorite book that you wrote?

I’m really proud of the latest release, Promise of Magic. Tarian is coming into her own and accepting change, plus there’s so much happening it’s hard to know which way to look first. The whole story feels like the buildup that comes during pregnancy, just before child birth. Which is exactly what it is, on several levels. It’s the buildup to the birth of Tarian’s child, and the buildup to the birth of magic in our world. It’s an exciting time, and exploring the possibilities is so much fun!

How do you overcome writer’s block?

To be honest, I don’t really believe in writer’s block. If I’m having trouble getting started, it’s usually because there’s something wrong with the scene. Somewhere in my subconscious I know it’s the wrong direction, so my fingers won’t type it. I’ll find myself surfing the internet or doing silly things on Facebook instead of writing…what I call ADD moments. I’ll even do dishes. I’ll be in the kitchen before I realize I’ve moved from the chair.
When this happens and the scene refuses to surface, I know to step back and examine the overall story. I’ve derailed somewhere, and I need to figure out why and how. Usually I put on my headphones, turn on some Creativity Beats, which are special recordings of binaural beats that stimulate the creative centers in your brain, and just start typing what-if statements. “What if Tarian didn’t go into the cave. What if she swam away instead?” A few what-if statements usually is enough to get my muse involved in the answers. I type until a scenario emerges that gives me an “Ah! That’s it!” moment. Then I’m off and writing once more.
I never, ever argue with my muse. If she gives me an idea that I’m unsure of, I just ask her to tell me more. Usually she does. And usually there’s a really good reason for her input. She’s especially helpful if there’s dark chocolate in the house. Always have dark chocolate!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Right now I’m working on book 4 in the Xannon series. The working title is Finding Earth. It takes place immediately after Promise of Magic, and is about a young detective in Philadelphia who is trying to stop a human trafficking ring when she suddenly comes into magic power with no idea how to use it. She’s up against someone who is evil, and very powerful, and who wants what she has. I hope she can figure out her own abilities fast enough to thwart him.

What book are you reading now?

I have two books going at the moment, one on audio and one in ebook. The ebook is Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic (Dowser Series Book 3), by Meghan Ciana Doidge. I am so in love with this series, I almost can’t stand it. If you like magic, and cupcakes, check it out. Have chocolate on hand, ‘cause it’ll make you hungry.
The audio book I’m listening to is Haunted, book 5 of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. I don’t know how it took me so long to find this series, but I’m glad I did. They’ve made a TV show out of the first book, Bitten, and I loved it too. Waiting to see what they do with the rest of them!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

One of my all-time favorite authors is Anne McCaffrey. I love her Dragonriders of Pern series. So much awesomeness there. My absolute favorite series of hers, though, is The Talents Saga. These first books (all with Pegasus in the title) are the introduction to a later series called The Tower and the Hive, and all of the stories about people with Talent totally inspire me. I want to live in those worlds. I want to be one of the ones with Talent. I admit, it inspired a lot of the magic ability in my own series. My magic isn’t spells and incantations or potions and wands. It’s an innate ability, honed through evolution and natural selection, provided by nature herself. It’s an inherent ability to connect to the elements sewn into DNA. Sorta like how someone might be pre-disposed to drawing or music. In the Talents saga, people are evolving to use a portion of their brains that allows for things like telekinesis and telepathy. It’s all scientifically based, but it feels magical to me. She created a world that I couldn’t bear to leave, and I still re-read the saga every other year or so. I’m glad for ebooks, because I wore out three or four print copies over the years.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Readers are why I write. If I’ve entertained even one person, all the late nights and turmoil over the right words is totally worth it.
And thank you so much for having me here today!


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  1. This series looks very interesting, I will have to pick it up!!

    I love the cover :)

  2. Thanks! And thanks for stopping by :-)


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