2014-12-17

Return to Oberon, now on sale pretty much everywhere...


Well, it's been a very long two weeks for me, waiting until all the vendors got on board with my new release, but I'm pleased to announce that--so far as I can tell--the second Oberon boxed, Return to Oberon, set is finally available at e-tailers everywhere.

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble , All Romance eBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, and SynergEbooks.

AND...even better...it's on sale for only .99. That price should be good until the end of the month, but why wait?

Welcome back to bewitching Oberon, California! This small, coastal town is an enchanting place. Anything can happen here—and all too often it does! Clinging to corrugated cliffs above a windswept beach, and isolated amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, Oberon can be a hard place to get to.  But, as all too many visitors have learned over the years, it can be an even harder place to leave behind.

In Return to Oberon the series continues with books four through six. Once again, these are full-length novels. Although many of the same characters appear in each one, all the books in this collection can be read as stand-alone stories.

Book Four: A Taste of Honey

As far as Lucy Greco Cavanaugh is concerned, her life is a dream come true.  She has it all, the perfect family, the perfect husband, the perfect marriage.  What more could she wish for—other than the chance to do it all again, to experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams, to recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.

For her husband, Shakespeare-quoting Dan Cavanaugh, however, that dream has just become a nightmare.  His storybook marriage is on the line thanks in part to Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend. Deirdre’s intent on proving Dan is her father. When she accidentally hooks up with Dan and Lucy’s son, Seth, the Cavanaughs are left to wonder: how did their fairy-tale romance turn into a classic Greek tragedy?

It’s going to take an entire band of angels to bring the Cavanaughs’ story to a sweet conclusion. Lucky for them, that’s exactly what’s coming to town.

Book Five: Touch of a Vanished Hand

Sinead Quinn has always been something of a drifter.   But now, with her ex-husband trying to blackmail her, and her ex-boyfriend's widow trying to put her in jail, she has no choice but to go to ground.  What better place to hide than with your family?   After all, what are sisters for—especially when you're a twin?  But the first rule of hiding out, is to keep a low profile.  That does not mean kissing your sister's boyfriend (even if he can't tell the two of you apart); rescuing a troubled teen; or taking a highly visible job as hostess of Oberon's most celebrated new inn.

 Adam Sasso has always dreamed big.  But big dreams beget big complications.  First, his goal to turn the vineyard he inherited from his grandfather into a world-class winery is threatened by a mysterious saboteur.  Next, his plan to run the finest bed & breakfast Oberon has ever seen, is broadsided by a hostess who seems to want to run him instead!  Finally, his fondest wish, that of finding love-everlasting with the soul mate of his dreams, is about to go up in smoke when he can't convince the lady in question that they're destined to be together.

Things are really heating up in Oberon this summer—and it’s not just the arson! It's going to take all the wizardry the town can summon up in order to craft a happy ending for the drifter and the dreamer.

Book Six:  The Spirit of the Place

It’s a week before Christmas and Marsha Quinn has a lot on her mind, like the fact that her entire family is about to arrive—including her daughter, Jasmine, who’s far from happy about Marsha’s upcoming wedding. In fact, there’s only one thing about her future stepfather that Jasmine can't help but admire, and that’s the graduate student he’s recently hired as an intern.

 Brandon Ablemarle was already having a hard time finding the holiday spirit, and that was before the fiery redhead he can’t manage to keep his hands off hit town. If his new boss’s radical book is published, it could sink both their careers.  Can he and Jasmine ignore the attraction between them long enough to stop the wedding and the book, or will the psychic energy they unwittingly raise put a stop to them, instead?
With so much chaos going on, is it any wonder Marsha finds herself wishing on a star? But it’s not just any star she chooses; it’s Venus, the Star of Love. Now Marsha’s about to be visited by three very special ghosts.

2014-12-10

It's beginning to look a lot like...

It's Day Two of the Smutketeers' annual Twelve Days of Xmas event. I'm one of the authors featured today and I'll be GIVING AWAY a copy of the first two Oberon Boxed Sets, so hurry over and leave a comment! 

http://www.smutketeers.com/

And don't forget, in order to be eligible for the big, grand prize, you'll need to comment on each of the twelve posts.

In the meantime, here's a Christmas-themed excerpt from The Spirit of the Place.


“So...what are you doing tomorrow?” [Jasmine] asked as they pulled up in front of her house. 
Brandon cut the engine and turned off the lights.  “Tomorrow?  Not too much, why?” 
“Well, because it’s Christmas, that’s why.”
“Yeah?  So?”  Christmas.  Right.  And wasn’t that special?  Come to think of it, that probably went a long way toward explaining his lousy mood tonight, didn’t it?  He walked around to her side, intending to simply hand her the keys and leave, and then decided to walk her to the door.  After all, there was no place he had to be and, with no one expecting him, he was in no hurry to get there.
“Don’t you have any plans at all?” she persisted, as they headed toward the house.  “What about dinner?”
“I haven’t really thought about it.  Your aunt’s going out somewhere, so I guess I’ll be on my own.  Maybe I’ll go into town for dinner, or something.”  Or maybe he wouldn’t even bother.  How long could one day be, after all?
“You could always come to dinner with us,” she offered climbing the steps to the front porch.  “We’re going to my Aunt Lucy’s house, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you joined us.”
Another aunt?  Not on your life, sugar.  “Thanks,” he said, trying hard to hide his lack of enthusiasm.  “But I’m kind of looking forward to the time alone.”
Jasmine bit her lip.  “You can’t want to be alone, Brandon.  It’s Christmas.”
Once again, Brandon found himself staring at her mouth.  She was right.  He didn’t want to be alone, he wanted to be with her.  No, he wanted to be inside her.  He felt the beast’s claws rake his insides again and all but snarled at her.  “I told you.  It’s not a big deal.  Besides, if I don’t want to spend Christmas with my family, what makes you think I’d want to spend it with yours?”
The words registered in his brain several seconds after they’d come out of his mouth.  Oh, shit.  He hadn’t meant it to come out that way, but the sight of her teeth worrying her lip made him crazy as always.
“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it like that,” he said, sighing a little at the hurt she tried to hide.   He put his hands on her shoulders and stared into her eyes, hoping to look and sound sincere.  “Really, I didn’t.”
She shrugged, still looking like she didn’t believe him.  “I just thought...it might be nice for you not to be alone,” she said, quietly.  “That’s all.”
Nice?  He couldn’t keep from smiling.  “You really want to help me have a nice Christmas, Jasmine?”
She nodded, looking surprised and slightly confused.  Brandon knew another brief moment of guilt, remembering Paco’s words.  Could she really be as innocent as she looked right now? 
Oh, impossible.  She has to know exactly where this conversation is heading
“Then why don’t you give me something nice to think about, while I’m all alone tomorrow,” he murmured as he crowded her against the wall of the house and lifted her chin.
He thought, at first, she was going to resist, but, apparently she was sincere about wanting him to have a nice Christmas.  She raised her face willingly.  Her lips opened under his and, when he felt her arms slip hesitantly around his neck, he moved his hands to her waist.  They closed around bare skin and he was all at once wrestling with himself to maintain control.  He wasn’t going to make the mistake of rushing her again, but it was definitely time to take this thing to the next level.
He deepened the kiss deliberately.  Taking his time.  Gauging her mood.  Waiting for the moment when he could finally begin sliding his hands slowly up her sides, under her sweater.  Ahh, yes... 
She was breathing hard by the time his hands came to a stop just beneath her breasts.  He shifted his hands slightly, felt her shudder as his thumbs brushed across her nipples.  He did it again.  And again.  And then...he shifted his hands once more to cup her breasts in his palms.  She moaned deep in her throat as she pressed herself against him.
Oh, yeah, that’s what I call nice, all right, he thought, all but growling in satisfaction.  But still he wanted more.  He pulled back a bit and, as he’d hoped, she followed after him, pushing herself even closer.  He slid his arms around her.  His hands skimmed down her back to her butt.  He held her against him and let one hand move lower still, lifting her leg and wrapping it around him, and then trailing his hand back up along her bare thigh.
She was clinging to him now, trembling slightly, almost whimpering, barely seeming to breathe.  And then— with a muffled shriek she pushed away from him.  He stared at her in surprise.
“Something bit me,” she exclaimed, looking down at the floor.
He followed her gaze.  Her mother’s cat sat at her feet, ears laid back, an angry look on its furry little face.  He moved his gaze to Jasmine’s ankle and, sure enough, blood was oozing from several small wounds. 
“Why would she do such a thing?”
Oh, who the fuck knows?  Brandon sighed, tiredly.  The whole world seemed joined in a conspiracy to interrupt them every time things got even slightly interesting.  But, just like always, it was probably for the best.  “You’d better get inside,” he said.
She turned startled eyes to him again.  “What?”
“It’s late,” he told her.  “It’s probably already Christmas by now.  And you’ve got a big dinner to go to, remember?”
“Brandon,” she paused, frowning uncertainly.  “Please come with us?”
He smiled and shook his head.  “No.  But, thanks for asking.”  He leaned in to brush one last kiss against her lips.  “Have a merry Christmas, Jasmine.  I’ll see you in a couple of days.”

*  *  *

Jasmine watched as he walked away.  She hadn’t meant to let things go so far tonight, but Brandon had a way of getting to her.  A way of short circuiting her intelligence, derailing her good intentions, screwing up her judgment and making her act all crazy.  He was bad news.  No doubt about it.
She leaned against the door frame as she stared into the night; gazing down the empty road long after his car had disappeared from sight.  Shadow meowed plaintively and rubbed against her ankles, her earlier hostility obviously forgotten.  Finally, Jasmine stirred, opened the door and let them both inside. 
The house was dark and quiet.  Obviously her mother was already asleep.  Jasmine didn’t know whether to feel relieved or disappointed about that.  Could she talk to her mother about something like this?  She needed to talk to someone—but who?   The dog stood motionless in the shadows like a sentinel, but for once Jasmine felt a stray surge of sympathy for the mutt.  It must be hard, after having been raised in one environment, trained for a certain purpose, to find yourself thrust suddenly into another life altogether. The poor dog must feel as out of her element here as Jasmine knew herself to be.
And she couldn’t even be certain anymore that it was all Sam’s fault she felt this way.  What if she succeeded in making him leave, only to find that her problems remained?  What then?
She fed the cat and headed for bed, although she doubted she’d get much sleep tonight.  Her body hummed with an unfamiliar energy.   Her head was spinning.  And if Brandon were to show up again, unexpectedly, if he were to throw rocks at her window, like they always did in movies, would she sneak out to meet him?

She didn’t even have to think about that one.  She’d go in a heartbeat.  It was foolish, and she was no doubt dooming herself to heartbreak by even thinking like that, but for the chance to explore more of this feeling, she’d take the risk.


Welcome back to bewitching Oberon, California! This small, coastal town is an enchanting place. Anything can happen here—and all too often it does! Clinging to corrugated cliffs above a windswept beach, and isolated amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, Oberon can be a hard place to get to.  But, as all too many visitors have learned over the years, it can be an even harder place to leave behind.

In Return to Oberon the series continues with books four through six. Once again, these are full-length novels. Although many of the same characters appear in each one, all the books in this collection can be read as stand-alone stories.

Book Four: A Taste of Honey

As far as Lucy Greco Cavanaugh is concerned, her life is a dream come true.  She has it all, the perfect family, the perfect husband, the perfect marriage.  What more could she wish for—other than the chance to do it all again, to experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams, to recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.

For her husband, Shakespeare-quoting Dan Cavanaugh, however, that dream has just become a nightmare.  His storybook marriage is on the line thanks in part to Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend. Deirdre’s intent on proving Dan is her father. When she accidentally hooks up with Dan and Lucy’s son, Seth, the Cavanaughs are left to wonder: how did their fairy-tale romance turn into a classic Greek tragedy?

It’s going to take an entire band of angels to bring the Cavanaughs’ story to a sweet conclusion. Lucky for them, that’s exactly what’s coming to town.

Book Five: Touch of a Vanished Hand

Sinead Quinn has always been something of a drifter.   But now, with her ex-husband trying to blackmail her, and her ex-boyfriend's widow trying to put her in jail, she has no choice but to go to ground.  What better place to hide than with your family?   After all, what are sisters for—especially when you're a twin?  But the first rule of hiding out, is to keep a low profile.  That does not mean kissing your sister's boyfriend (even if he can't tell the two of you apart); rescuing a troubled teen; or taking a highly visible job as hostess of Oberon's most celebrated new inn.

 Adam Sasso has always dreamed big.  But big dreams beget big complications.  First, his goal to turn the vineyard he inherited from his grandfather into a world-class winery is threatened by a mysterious saboteur.  Next, his plan to run the finest bed & breakfast Oberon has ever seen, is broadsided by a hostess who seems to want to run him instead!  Finally, his fondest wish, that of finding love-everlasting with the soul mate of his dreams, is about to go up in smoke when he can't convince the lady in question that they're destined to be together.

Things are really heating up in Oberon this summer—and it’s not just the arson! It's going to take all 
the wizardry the town can summon up in order to craft a happy ending for the drifter and the dreamer.

Book Six:  The Spirit of the Place

It’s a week before Christmas and Marsha Quinn has a lot on her mind, like the fact that her entire family is about to arrive—including her daughter, Jasmine, who’s far from happy about Marsha’s upcoming wedding. In fact, there’s only one thing about her future stepfather that Jasmine can't help but admire, and that’s the graduate student he’s recently hired as an intern.

 Brandon Ablemarle was already having a hard time finding the holiday spirit, and that was before the fiery redhead he can’t manage to keep his hands off hit town. If his new boss’s radical book is published, it could sink both their careers.  Can he and Jasmine ignore the attraction between them long enough to stop the wedding and the book, or will the psychic energy they unwittingly raise put a stop to them, instead?

With so much chaos going on, is it any wonder Marsha finds herself wishing on a star? But it’s not just any star she chooses; it’s Venus, the Star of Love. Now Marsha’s about to be visited by three very special ghosts.

2014-11-18

Dads Behaving Badly

Three of my very favorite authors have new releases out now that share something surprising in common--no, not the suberb writing, that was a given, as were the hot heroes, hot sex and heated exchanges. Nope, this is something else entirely. All three books featured less than exemplary fathers. Let's explore this phenomenon...

Stacy Gail's new release, Where There's a Will has not one but two nasty dads, and oh, the issues they have caused for the hero and heroine! All the lovely, lovely angst! If you like a bad-boy hero to die for and characters who come with a heaping helping of baggage, this is the book for you! 

This is installment number four in the Bitterthorn, Texas series, and it just might be the angstiest one yet--no mean feat when you consider that the series kicked off with last year's Starting from Scratch, and OMG, I knew that one was going to be a three-hankie read from the moment Stacy first told me the story line! Yummy...and I don't just mean the cookies. Both books are also reunion stories--and that is probably my all time favorite trope. Come to think of it, book two in the series, Ugly Ducklings Finish First was also a reunion story. No wonder I love this series so much! 

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo 

Next up is Kelly Jamieson's new menage Three of Hearts, which is set in Nashville, TN. I was privileged to have spent time with Kelly in Nashville last year while she researched locations and wrote the song that is at the heart of this story. Yes. She wrote a whole, entire, frickin' country song. In like...half an hour. The woman's ridiculously talented. This book has only the one disappointing dad--he belongs to the heroine, who is also saddled with a cheating, hockey player boyfriend, by the way (because even Kelly's throwaway characters are delish). But before you get to feeling too sorry for our poor heroine, you should know the girl gets two smokin' hot heroes in exchange for those losers. And they're both swoon-worthy musicians, don't you know. Yeah, I'm thinking that's sooooo much better and sooooo worth it.

Three of Hearts is set at Christmas time. Is there anything better than a Christmas menage? No, I didn't think so. This is a sparkly Christmas present of a book. Sadly, it's not part of a series--yet. I do have hopes of changing that, however. Oh, Kelly, we need to talk...

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Kobo

Last, but certainly not least, is Jenny Schwartz's Kiss it Better. Don't you just love that title?  This is a tale of two dads.  Okay, not really. It's a delightful steamy romance set in my new favorite Australian coastal town, Jardin Bay. The hero of Kiss it Better is a doctor and a CEO with a taste for motorcycles and classic cars. Mmmm. I'd call that a triple threat! There are two dads, however--along with an assortment of other relatives, both good and bad. One dad I loved. He's totally deserving of his own HEA. Are you listening, Jenny? The other dad, I wanted to strangle! Grrr. It's called parenting, people! Let's get it right!


So there you have it. Bad news fathers and, sadly, all of them seemed pretty true to life. But are they part of a trend? A new trope? A sign of things to come? Or is it all no more than coincidence? Why not pick them all three books up and decide for yourself? Any way you look at it, these books make for some great reading. 

2014-08-30

Oberon Box Set #1 ~ Now Available for Pre-Order
























The first of THREE box sets is now available for pre-order on Amazon, for only .99 (for a limited time only). Welcome to Oberon contains three full-length novels: Scent of the Roses, A Sight to Dream Of and Sound of a Voice That is Still.  Buy now for a savings of almost $14! http://www.amazon.com/Oberon-Boxed-Set-Books-Welcome-ebook/dp/B00N5AOKSA/

Such Fleeting Pleasures, the Oberon prequel, is also available for only .99. And with a snazzy new cover, too!  http://www.amazon.com/Such-Fleeting-Pleasures-Oberon-Novella-ebook/



2014-05-09

RT!

I'm leaving home early, early tomorrow to attend the 2014 RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans! If you're going, I hope I see you! You can click on the calendar tab at the top of this page to get an idea of my schedule. I might have books and treats and all sorts of goodies to give away.

I'll also be running a drawing for one of two Oberon mini-baskets.


Baskets contain: A "Scent of the Roses" rose petal sachet, a Crone's Nest coffee mug (and complimentary tea bags), decorative seashell-shaped soap, a jar of locally-sourced lavender honey, a wine-scented candle (it's sparkling peach chardonnay, to be exact--a little detail that readers of Touch of a Vanished Hand might appreciate), a rose-quartz beaded book thong, a sage smudge stick, some yummy Scharffen Berger chocolate (Lauren's favorite) and a packet of flower seeds--California poppies, of course!

If you're going to be at RT, stop by the Nine Naughty Novelists' table in Promotion Alley...or Lane...or whatever they call it, and drop your name and email addy in the box. That will add you to my mailing list and enter you to win the basket.

If you're NOT going to RT (or if you are and you want to enter twice--fine by me) you can still enter--because I have two of these bad boys! Just head on over to Facebook and join my Crone's Nest group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheCronesNest/

Already a member? Shoot me an email at: pgforte@pgforte.com or comment below and I'll figure something out. :)

2014-04-03

Fools for Love



Hi there, blog-hoppers! Welcome to another fabulous blog hop brought to you by Just Romance Me! As always, if you fall off somewhere along the line, just go to http://justromance.me to jump back on.

I love the theme of this blog hop! As soon as I heard it, I knew just which of my characters I'd be talking about today: Conrad and Damian from my vampire family saga, the Children of Night series. Conrad Quintano is a vampire, but not just any vampire. He's one of a special breed of vampires, the super-powerful Lamia Invitus. He's also the leader of Clan Quintano, the largest and most powerful vampire family in the San Francisco Bay area. When he's faced with the unexpected, in the form of newborn vampire twins Marc and Julie, he knows he needs help, so he reaches out to the one person he trusts more than anyone else, former lover Damian Ysidro Esposito-Montoya (the former Vizconde de Castille).

Conrad and Damian have been separated for a little over a hundred years when fate thrusts them back together. Working as a team to co-parent the twins, they eventually craft an uneasy truce between them.

When I first started writing In the Dark, the first book in the series, I had assumed that the two would remain exes for the rest of their days. After all that time apart, all the other lovers in their lives, all the bad-blood, so to speak, between them...sorry, bad vampire pun...they must be over each other by now, right?

Well, apparently not. As the first book came together, it quickly became obvious that they both still had very strong feelings for each other. And they both wanted nothing more than to reunite. In the end, I couldn't say no. I had to devote most of book two (Old Sins, Long Shadows) to telling their story. And that still wasn't enough for them! I'm working on book five at the moment, and by now I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that they've taken over the series.**

Luckily, readers seem to love these guys as much as I do.

**Not to worry, however. The twins will be stealing center stage away from their parents very soon. But, shhhh. Don't let the boys know that yet!

Here's part of the flashback scene from when they're first reunited. And if you'd like to catch a glimpse of their very first encounter with each other, way back in fifteenth century Sevilla, click on the Free Reads tab at the top of this page and check out Spanish Love Song. Enjoy!

When you live forever, you’re bound to make a few mistakes.

Children of Night, Book 1

1969 San Francisco. World-weary Conrad Quintano should have known better than to fall in love with a human—much less Suzanne Fischer, the barely legal, adventure-seeking hippie beauty known as Desert Rose. And the very last thing he should have agreed to do was to raise her babies and protect them with his life. But even twelve-hundred-year-old master vampires can find it hard to reject a deathbed request—especially when issues of love, guilt and blood are involved.

Present day. Raised in virtual isolation, twins Marc and Julie Fischer have always known they are vampires. But they never knew their parentage—or their unique status in the vampire world—until their “uncle” Damian comes to fetch them home. 

The family reunion, however, isn’t what they expect. They’re thrust into a world for which they’re totally unprepared. And the father they expected to see, Conrad, is missing.
How to find him…and whom to trust? Solving the mystery of betrayal and vampire family values will prove the Beatles had it right. All you need is love…and an occasional side of blood.

San Francisco, CA
Monday, November, 3, 1969
Damian stood on the sidewalk outside the gate of the Italianate Victorian mansion, staring irresolutely at the building before him, trying hard to quell the queasy nervousness he was feeling. So it had been a hundred and thirteen years since he’d last seen Conrad, was that any reason for him to be trembling inside like a virginal debutante hoping she’d be asked to dance? It wasn’t likely the man had changed. No doubt Conrad was still the same tyrant he’d always been. Short-tempered. Overbearing. Domineering. Ruthless…
“So then why are you here, you fool?” he asked himself. Good question. Why had he dropped everything and rushed to Conrad’s side the minute the selfish bastard snapped his fingers? “You’re acting just like the good little lap dog he always wanted you to be.”
But, the answer to that was obvious. He was here because it was Conrad who’d asked him to come. Conrad, who never forgot and never forgave and never took anyone back, who couldn’t possibly be reaching out to Damian now in hopes of reconciling with him…but who could hardly have had any other reason for contacting him, either.
“Idiot,” Damian chastised himself, as he leaned on the doorbell. After all this time, he should know better than to get his hopes up too high. He should have ignored the summons, pretended he’d never gotten the entirely too cryptic message and stayed at home.
Ah, but that was the problem, wasn’t it? Because, however much he might wish it were otherwise, home was still exactly the same place it had always been for him. Wherever Conrad was.
Chi è esso?” Conrad’s rich baritone sounded exactly the same, as well—even despite the distortion caused by the intercom. “Who is it?”
Damian’s heart contracted. He bit back a shaky sigh. “Es-es yo,” he replied, his voice faltering just a little. “Damian.”
The intercom shut off with a snap and a buzzer sounded as the gate was unlocked—for all of an instant. Damian grabbed for it just in time and headed toward the house muttering beneath his breath—roundly cursing himself and Conrad and whatever unlucky stars had happened to have been in alignment on the day they’d first met. “I should have never have allowed myself to become involved with such a…with such a peasant.” That had been his first mistake.
The front door was ajar. Damian froze with his hand extended toward the doorknob and his pulse racing with the thought that it could be a trap he was walking into. For just an instant he considered retreating. But, what the hell? He’d come this far, what was a little more lunacy?
Still, as he pushed through the door and stepped into the darkened entrance hall the sound of his own heartbeat was so loud in his ears it drowned out any other sound. “Lucy, I’m a-home,” he called in his best Ricky Ricardo impersonation, almost jumping out of his skin when Conrad growled softly, “Quiet.”
Damian spun around to face him. For a very long moment he just stared, unable to do anything but drink Conrad in, as though his eyes had been starved for the sight of him. Finally, inexcusably late in the day, his self-preservation instincts kicked in. Fear had him drawing back, straightening his spine—even as his insides continued twisting themselves into knots. There was a faint frown on Conrad’s stern face, a wary gleam in his glittering, ametrine eyes. Damian’s own eyes widened in uneasy surprise when the squirming bundles in his old friend’s arms finally registered.
He waved one hand at the babies in a seemingly careless gesture as he joked, “Why, what are these, mi querido? Appetizers? But, they’re so small! You cannot possibly be planning on our making a meal of them?”
Conrad’s eyes blazed with a look that was just this side of insanity. He laid back his lips and snarled savagely, “They’re not food, you imbecile.” Then he turned on his heel and stalked away. “Shut the door,” he hurled over his shoulder as he disappeared down the hallway.
Shaking his head, once again, at his own stupidity—for not leaving while he still had the chance—Damian did as he’d been told and then followed Conrad into the large room that had been intended as the mansion’s formal dining room. Flames leaped and crackled in the ornate marble fireplace. Another unwelcome surprise. Even though today was the first decently overcast day the city had seen in weeks, it was certainly not cool enough to warrant a fire.
Perhaps Conrad had another purpose in mind for the blaze? Fire could serve as a weapon, could it not? Or as a devastatingly efficient means of destruction. But who, or what, might he be intending to burn in its flames tonight?
“Conrad, what the hell is going on?” All kidding aside now, Damian studied his friend with mounting concern. Conrad, his face drawn, sat slumped in an armchair uncomfortably near the hearth, and within arm’s reach of the crib into which he’d placed the two infants. “You look terrible.”
Conrad ignored the question and waved Damian toward a second armchair, on the other side of the fireplace. “Sit down.”
Damian crossed to the chair, but he cast a worried glance at the hungry flames as he did. His nerves were shrieking warnings. What was it that most alarmed him, he wondered; the doubtlessly deadly blaze, or his potentially murderous companion? He’d never seen Conrad in such a mood as this and he didn’t trust it. Standing in front of the chair, he hesitated. “Conrad,” he murmured pleadingly. “What is this? Why am I here?”
Conrad roused himself. Eyes flashing darkly, he fisted one hand on the arm of his chair, leaned forward and fixed Damian with a menacing glare. “It’s a long story. If you want to hear it, sit down!” Their eyes met. As his gaze focused on Damian’s face, it seemed as though a little of the madness left Conrad’s expression. His face relaxed. A small smile appeared and graced his lips. “Please?”
Too surprised to reply, Damian plopped into the chair behind him—quickly, before his legs could give out. It was the shock of being addressed so cordially, he told himself, refusing to even consider the awful possibility that it could have been Conrad’s smile that had once again made him go weak in the knees. No. I can’t. Never again.

For another long moment the two men stared wordlessly at each other. Finally, seemingly satisfied with whatever he’d seen in Damian’s face, Conrad dropped his gaze. He slumped back in his chair and sighed. “It’s good to see you, caro.” And then, again without giving Damian any chance to recover from this latest shock, he launched into his tale. “There was this girl…”

Living forever is hard, but loving forever? That’s damn near impossible.



Children of Night, Book 2



1856, New York City. Moments after Conrad Quintano drives his life-mate away, heartache and guilt descend around his heart like a pall. Convinced that Damian’s hatred is as permanent as the scars Conrad has inflicted on him, Conrad steels himself for an eternity of emotional torture.



Present day, San Francisco. For the sake of vampire twins Marc and Julie Fischer, Conrad and Damian present a united parental front. In reality, their truce is a sham. Conrad, weakened by his recent ordeal, struggles against the urge to bring his mate back to his bed. And Damian misinterprets Conrad’s explosive temper as proof their relationship is irreparably broken.



When an old enemy’s quest to create a dangerous new breed of vampire threatens the twins’ lives—and the precarious state of vampire peace—it’s imperative the estranged lovers put the past behind them. Or the shadows of the past will tear apart everything they hold dear.


2014-03-17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


So it's St. Patrick's Day and I suppose I should be having little shamrocks falling down the page instead of roses, but I just finished my blog re-design...and my web re-design and several other art projects as well, and it's late and I'm tired so let's just imagine they're there, shall we?

What I do have, in lieu of shamrocks, is an excerpt from my Irish-themed story, Iron. Enjoy!

Blurb: Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O’Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back--the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth--taking their firstborn son with her.

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he’s been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her--without losing his immortal soul in the process.

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who’s vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy’s reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She’ll need to win Gavin’s heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he’s trying to save.

Excerpt:

The weeks continued to pass and it seemed to Gavin that if only time were not rushing away from him, as it was, he might find the time to think rationally about the matter. But time did not stop and rationality was nowhere to be found, and all too soon it was summer.

All at once, the roses were in bloom and the constant chirping of baby birds begging for their next meal had been replaced by the lazy drone of bees foraging among the flowers. The branches of the apple tree, which had long since lost their blossoms, were bent now under the weight of green fruit and the warm, sweet scent of clover greeted Gavin whenever he stepped foot out of doors.

But the changes to the landscape were insignificant next to the alteration the season had wrought in Aislinn’s appearance. She was even lovelier now than she’d been when first he saw her. Though how that was possible he didn’t rightly know, for she’d seemed then to be the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on. Now, however, her cheeks were rosy and flushed--even though she’d not set foot outside since that day he’d dragged her to the forge--and there was a new lushness to her body that held him utterly transfixed. It was as though she embodied summer; as though the season itself radiated from her, charging the atmosphere around her until Gavin would have sworn he was living within a sun-drenched glen, or a palace of sorts; anything other than an ordinary cottage.

But, that was just by day. At night, her presence infused his rooms with all the warm, wild glory of a sultry, star-studded night--and she the brightest star of all--until the mere sight of her, lying beside him in bed, left Gavin awe-struck and dazzled, too hesitant to even touch her.

“You’ve a peculiar look about you,” she observed, on one such night, her brow puckering slightly as she studied his face. “Is aught wrong with ye?”

He started to shake his head no, and then changed his mind. “Aye,” he answered, struggling for words. “Perhaps. Or, nay, now I think on it. ’Tis you. ’Tis everything about you ... do you know how beautiful you are?”
An amused smile curled one corner of her mouth. “I do, aye, for ’tis summer, is it not? Do you not recall my saying you knew naught of my true nature, having never seen me at this time of year?” She cast back the covers so there was nothing hiding her from his sight and stretched languidly. “So, Gavin O’Malley, do you like what you see? Does it please you? What is it you feel when you look at me? Tell me. For ’tis been a long time since I’ve been admired by a man who was seeing me thus for the first time.”

Gavin’s eyes roved greedily, taking it all in. But his thoughts were a muddle and, “How do I feel?” Ah, if only he knew the answer to that. He felt ... distracted, conflicted, confused, humbled and, “Fearful,” he replied at last.

“Fearful, are ye?” A silvery laugh broke free from Aislinn’s lips and swept through Gavin, brightening his spirit like a sudden shower after a dusty day. “And what is it you’re afraid of then, my darling one? Surely not of me?”

He nodded, still reeling from the effects of her laugh. “Aye, of you, indeed. Mortally afraid, I be.”

“You silly man,” she murmured, circling her arms around his neck and grinning up at him. “And why, pray tell? Dost thou think I would ever hurt you?”

Gavin sighed. Reaching a hand to her head, he fingered a strand of her hair, which still gleamed gold, even in the starlight. “Lass, I think you could very well destroy me. And I think you know it, too.” He shook his head. “I’m a simple man, Aislinn, whereas you...”

“Are not so simple?” she supplied helpfully, as her smile dimmed and turned mocking.

“Not even a little bit.”

“Perhaps not. But, I didn’t ask for it to be thus, you know. Besides, mo chroí,” she murmured wickedly, her smile returning as she rubbed her mound against him. “I’ve always been one who’s enjoyed the simple things life has to offer.”

“Have you now?” He took hold of her hips and pulled her against him, letting her feel the growing length of his shaft, enjoying the smoky look it brought to her eyes, the slight hitch in her breathing. Fearful or not, he planned to take full advantage of all that she offered; for he was a man, after all, and she was a risk well worth the taking. “And would I be one of those simple things to which you’re referring, then?”

“Oh, you are indeed, mo chroí,” she breathed delightedly. “Without a doubt.”

 
And for more Irish-themed stories, be sure and check out Kelly Jamieson's delicious story Irish Sex Fairy!
 
The Irish Sex Fairy believes sex will cure all problems…

So says Great-aunt Maeve, owner of the Irish Sex Fairy, a sex shop in Kilkenny, California. When stressed-out Keara visits Maeve after a hostage situation where she was held at gunpoint, she’s ready to try anything to get over the flashbacks and nightmares and intense guilt over her role in the incident.

Enter sexy Shane Dunstan, Kilkenny’s deputy police chief and old flame of Keara’s. With black hair and blue eyes and a body a girl could easily lose herself in for a lifetime, he’s perfect for putting Maeve’s remedy to the test. He’s more than happy to help. A lot.

But while all the sizzling sex does seem to make Keara feel better, it creates a whole new set of problems. Keara needs to overcome her fears and get back to her career, but that means leaving Shane and Maeve. And when the past comes back to haunt her in a terrifying encounter, she’s about to find out just how effective Maeve’s cure-all is.