Thursday, February 7, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Review - Stronger than Magic by Melinda VanLone

Welcome to my stop on Melinda VanLone's Virtual Book Tour for Stronger Than Magic.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question for Melinda below to let her know you stopped by.  

A Day In The Life by Melinda VanLone

I treat writing like I would any other job. That means I keep regular hours, and try to be professional about what I get done for the day or week. Working from home is a privilege but also a responsibility. It's so easy to get distracted.
My typical day goes something like this:
• Grumble at the alarm. Poke the husband to get him out of bed, then drag myself out of bed.
• Feed the cat.
• Get a cup of coffee.
• Sit down to answer emails. Get distracted by shiny things for sale on the internet.
• See husband out the door, then sit down to take advantage of the caffeine surge. I'm a morning person by nature, so often a spark of inspiration will hit first thing and I usually want to grab it before it flits away.
• Type furiously on whatever project is at hand.
• Look up and realize it's 11 am and I haven't showered and the kitchen is a mess. Attempt to remedy those things.
• Get distracted by shiny object.
• Grab more coffee.
• Sit down to write, fighting the urge to surf the internet or chat on Twitter.
• Type furiously for a few minutes.
• Get distracted by fluffy plot bunny in an entirely different project. Firmly push plot bunny off to the side to continue with the main project.
• Leap out of chair and head for a different room. Realize I have no idea why I'm there or what I intended to do and force myself back to the office to write.
• Urge to chat on Twitter wins...spend next few minutes with internet friends.
• Get lost in internet research for new series.
• Look up and realize it's now 4 pm and I have no idea what I'm making for dinner.
• Get distracted by dirt on keyboard.
• Type furiously for a few more minutes until the door opens and husband arrives home from work.
• Order take out since dinner never got made.
• Spend a bit of quality time with husband.
• Wander back to keyboard and type some more.
My writing usually doesn't take place all at once, but the writing day also never really stops. I write when I have an idea, and I write when I don't. I write when the urge hits, and when it doesn't. It's a heck of a job that invades every part of my life. Anything and everything I see is potential material for a story. It often means I suffer from sensory overload and spend a lot of time out in public taking furious notes and muttering to myself. I know I look slightly insane, but such is the price of my art and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Stronger than Magic
by Melinda VanLone
House of Xannon, Book 1, (Volume 1) 

Publisher: WrittenHouse Publishing
Release Date: December 15, 2012
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Length:  388 Pages 
ISBN: 978-0988745506

Book Description: 

Being attacked by a demon in Philadelphia shouldn’t have been a big deal.  is, after all, heir to the Dolphin Throne and the strongest magical talent in generations.

Never mind that demons aren’t even supposed to exist. Never mind that the demon managed to swipe some of her blood. She’s never met her match before and she’s confident she can handle the situation.

She creates a plan to find the demon, and kill him, before he destroys her, or worse, steals her power and the Dolphin Throne.

Of course, she hadn't counted on the throne insisting that now would be a great time for her to provide the next heir.

She’s a modern woman with a demon to kill, and a baby to produce. What could possibly go wrong?


“Tari? Are you okay?” The soft voice echoed down the hallway and reverberated in her head.

Tarian turned to see her sister, Calliope, standing just outside the door to the main healer room. She held a bundle of cloth, and her forehead creased as she got a good look at Tarian.

The odd force inside Tarian’s stomach leapt and pushed toward Calliope. Tarian backed away, even as her sister moved forward.

“Get back.” Tarian put her hands up to block her sister. “I mean it, Calli. Get away from me.”

She turned and ran, before her sister could protest.

She didn’t even look where she was going, as long as it was away from Calliope. The force inside her felt like a string pulled tight from somewhere outside herself. Her injured arm nearly lifted on its own. If the demon did this, he did it from thousands of miles away through some of the toughest magical walls ever built.

Her mind spiraled, then she slammed down on that thought process. It was too fast. Too soon. She had a week. That’s what Daric Voltain had said. A week, dammit.

What if he was wrong?


Author Bio:

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 hovered over coffee in Starbucks.
twitter: @melindavan

My Review 

A reluctant heir to the Dolphin Throne, a demon on the loose with plans to seize the thrown, a magical P.I. attracted  to the heir and the triggering of a Succession Ritual, all play a part in Melinda VanLone's Stronger Than Magic, the first book in the House of Xannon series.  With a likable "take no prisoners" heroine, a trio of potential mates and a magical mystery which must be solved, this urban fantasy grabbed my attention from the first page and kept me turning the pages.  Taking place both in the magical and physical realms, this is a strong start to this new series.

Trying to control as much of her life as she can, Tarian Xannon is the reluctant heir to the Dolphin Throne.  When a routine locate and capture turns into a battle with a demon, Tarian suddenly finds herself in a battle for the throne and with an escalating Succession Ritual to complete.  Refusing to have sex with three random magical strangers chosen by the throne, Tarian is determined to locate the demon who stole a taste of her blood in an attempt to get power over her and the potential heir.  Falling in love with one of her potential mates wasn't a part of her plan.

Magically strong, independent and a modern woman, Tarian has always had issues with the rules and regulations in her life.  Hoping to get a chance to change things, Tarian is infuriated at what's taking place in her life.  Determined to protect her family from danger, and possibly losing the thrown, Tarian is determined to do things her own way.  Forced to rely on others, Tarian finds herself making choices she had hoped to avoid.  Ms. VanLone did a good job developing Tarian's character; at the start Tarian is stubborn, determined to do things her own way and disdainful of the rules and traditions from the past.  As the battle heats up and she's forced to rely on the help of others; Tarian realizes her "independence" has resulted in magical ignorance and emotional distance.  

Will the new men in Tarian's life help her fight off the demon's attempt at the throne?  And just who will she chose to be the father's of the next heir to the throne?  You'll have to read Stronger Than Magic to find out.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading what happens next.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Remaining Tour Schedule:

February 8 - Ashley's Bookshelf - Review
February 9 - Sitting with a book - Review/Interview
February 10 - Inside BJ's Head - Guest Post/PROMO
February 11 - Love in a Book - Guest Post/PROMO
February 12 - Twinsie Talk Book Reviews - Review/Interview
February 14 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown - Review/Guest Post
February 15 - Say It With Books - Interview/PROMO
February 16 - Bookishly Devoted -Review
February 17 - RABT Reviews - Review
February 18 - Marked By Books - Review/Guest Post
February 19 - Stressed Rach - Review
February 20 - Jody's Book Reviews - PROMO
February 21 - Read Between the Lines - Interview/PROMO


  1. Lol great post! I have the same problem with the shiny objects distraction and grumbling at the alarm clock (evil monster)


  2. Great post & review! I am always walking into a room to do something, and immediately forget what that was as soon as I enter.

    Congratulations on your release!

  3. Congrats on the release :)
    Seems like it will be a great book to read

    Thanks for sharing the post and review :)


  4. Loved the GP and the story sounds great! Thanks for having Melinda today Maria!!

  5. Thanks for having me over Maria! I wasn't sure if I should post my appreciation in the comments or not, which is why the long delay. But I've decided it feels strange not to, so here I am :-) Thanks for stopping by everybody!