Guest Blogger: PG Forte
Jul 26, 2011 Filed under: guest blogger
Thank you for being with us today and sharing about your writing and yourself. Tell us about your latest release.
My most recent release is Old Sins, Long Shadows, which is the second book in my Children of Night series. This book, which picks up a couple of months after the first book in the series (In the Dark) leaves off, tells part of the love-story between Conrad and Damian, two of the vampires who were introduced in In the Dark.
Conrad had already been a vampire for a few hundred years when he met Damian, who was a Royal courtier in fifteenth century Spain. Theirs is really an epic love story—lots of tears, heartbreak and heroics.
Because they’ve both lived so long, I really couldn’t do their entire story justice in just one book. I’m sure their fans will be pleased to hear that there will be more of the two of them in at least a couple of the other books in the series.
What is your favorite genre to write? What other genres do you enjoy?
Well, paranormal—in all its many variations—I guess. I also love contemporary romance, especially light romantic comedies, although comedy is very hard to write! I enjoy writing erotic romance and lately I’ve been on a M/M romance kick—both reading and writing.
I fall in love with all my characters, so it’s really hard to choose. I guess, at the moment, I’d have to say Damian from Old Sins, Long Shadows.
Is there a style or genre of writing that you haven’t tired yet but you’d like to explore?
Oh, no, don’t ask me that! LOL! Every time I’m asked that question, I start to think, “Let’s see, what would I like to write that I haven’t yet?” Next thing you know, I’m writing one.
Not that I’m complaining, really. After all, that’s how I came to write This Winter Heart, my new steampunk story that’s being released this December by Carina Press as part of their Holiday Steampunk collection At this point, though, I’m kind of running out of genres that I’d like to explore but haven’t yet.
I still really, really want to write cozy mysteries, but I’m about to give up on that. Each time I start one, it ends up turning into something else.
How do you make time in your life for writing?
Oh, dear…I think it’s more like the other way around, at this point. I kind of have an obsessive personality and writing is pretty addictive. Unless I’m suffering from writer’s block, I generally have to be pulled away from the computer on a regular basis, otherwise I’d never do anything else at all.
Before I wrote I read all the time—and I’d read just about anything. Now, I’m much more picky. Generally I like to read the same genres I write. But most of the time I find myself reading my friends’ books. Luckily, I’m friends with some really rocking authors, so it’s not a hardship!
If you decide to take a Saturday off, what are we likely to find you doing?
Hopefully kicking back in Sonoma or Calistoga: a little wine tasting, a little restaurant hopping, soaking in the hot springs or maybe enjoying a mud bath.
Choose six adjectives to describe yourself.
Hmm, let’s see… Funny—in the amusing sense, hopefully. Eccentric. Nocturnal. Obsessed. Creative. Talkative.
Describe the perfect meal.
Okay, there’s this restaurant in Calistoga—Checkers–that does the best Butternut Squash ravioli dish with smoked chicken, candied walnuts, dried cranberries in a cream sauce. I actually gave that dish (minus the chicken, because he’s a vegetarian) to one of my characters in A Sight to Dream Of (Oberon, Book 2). So, one version of a perfect meal would include that as an entree along with a great local wine—a Cab or a Zin—along with one of the awesome salads they do there (maybe with pine nuts and goat cheese) . And then coffee, of course. I’d probably need several shots of espresso at that point. And…ooh. Maybe a slice of Meyer’s Lemon pie. Yeah, that should do it.
If you were a dessert what would you be and why?
Wow…uh, gee, I dunno….Tiramisu? Because you have to pour a lot of coffee into it, if you want it to work out right (and a lot of liqueur, too, come to think of it—lol). It’s vaguely Italian with more than a hint of spice. Oh, and it’s very sweet, of course. Just like me. LOL!
Dawn tinged the sky as Damian made his way home, but he paid it no mind. He wasn’t at all concerned about the lateness of the hour. At his age, he was more than strong enough to be able to function at close to normal capacity no matter what time of day it was. And given the surfeit of blood he’d consumed over the course of the night, a few extra minutes exposure to sunlight didn’t even rate a second thought.
There were, however, other circumstances that did concern him. He paused in the mansion’s entry hall to scent the air, searching for any hint of danger, any sign of impending ambush. With two Lamia Invitus in residence, only a fool would proceed without proper caution.
Satisfied that the coast was clear, he headed for his room, his muscles protesting as he climbed the stairs. His body felt pleasantly and thoroughly used, aching in all the right places.
Once inside his room, he slipped off his shoes and let down his hair. Perhaps he wouldn’t even wash before bed. As tired as he was, he’d no doubt sleep soundly, but it was early evening that was still the most difficult part of his day. If he could wake up tonight with the scent of so many strangers lingering on his skin—how could that not help to ease the craving with which he usually awoke? The craving for that which he could no longer have.
He turned to his bureau to retrieve his hairbrush. He might be willing to put off bathing before bed, but failing to give his hair its customary one hundred strokes—that was simply too uncivilized to contemplate. As he reached for the brush, a slight motion in the mirror caught his gaze. He turned around, scarcely daring to believe his eyes. “Conrad?”
“You failed to return to the party as I’d requested,” Conrad said as he rose from the chair in which he’d been seated. “Imagine my surprise to learn you’d gone out instead.”
The husky edge to Conrad’s voice set Damian’s heart racing. His body, so recently sated, ached with need. An all-too-irrational hope took root in his soul. “Wh-why are you here?”
“I believe my questions take precedence,” Conrad replied as he crossed the darkened room. “Where have you been? I won’t ask what you’ve been doing, since that, at least, seems obvious. You stink of blood and sex.”
Damian shrank back against the bureau as his knees went weak once more. After all this time, how was it Conrad still had the power to affect him like this? He curled his fingers around the dresser’s edge, determined to hold himself erect by whatever means necessary. “Sí. I imagine I do. It’s hardly the first time and, strangely, I don’t recall it ever bothering you before.”
If anything, the reverse had once been true. For ages it had seemed as though nothing excited Conrad more than the knowledge there had been others before him. Damian’s heart tripped and faltered, recalling the hours of furious lovemaking that had so often followed; of a passion so intense he doubted anyone human would have survived it.
“Did I say I was bothered?” Conrad replied, stopping right in front of him; just out of reach, yet still so close it was all Damian could do to keep from lunging at him. “I was merely making an observation. I’ll tell you what does bother me. That would be you telling Julie you intend to leave, agreeing to take her with you. You know that can never happen.”
Damian’s temper flared. “Why must you twist every circumstance around—and always to my disadvantage? What makes you think I said anything of the kind? If you must know, I told her you would not allow her to leave. And I never said I had any intentions to leave here either. She asked me if I ever thought about it—that was all. It seemed a simple-enough question. Should I have lied and told her no?”
“If that’s true, then what made you go out tonight?”
The abrupt change of subject caught Damian by surprise. He shrugged. “I was hungry. Why else? On a night like tonight… Well, you know yourself there’s always plenty of food available on the street. Why should I not take advantage of such an opportunity?”
Conrad’s eyebrows rose. “You’re saying there was not enough for you to eat here? Why should that be? You run the household, do you not? Perhaps you’ve grown tired of the task? If you’d prefer for me to give the job to someone else, you need simply say so. I’m sure I can find someone willing to take it over for a while. Armand, perhaps.”
Damian stared at him in dismay. “You’d humiliate me like that?” Oh, why was he even asking? What wouldn’t Conrad do, if it suited him?
“It was not my intention to humiliate you,” Conrad growled.
“Yet you would replace me, demote me, force me to stay on in a diminished capacity?” Damian couldn’t keep the bitterness from his voice. “Was that not why I left the first time?”
Conrad’s eyes flashed. “Was it? My memory must be at fault. I thought it was for quite a different reason.”
“There were several reasons,” Damian answered stiffly. “As I recall.”
“Well, whatever your reasons are this time, you will put them from your mind,” Conrad ordered. “We had an arrangement, Damian. I will ask that you honor it. You will leave me again only if and when I decide it can be done without causing disruption. Are we in agreement?”
Damian looked away—as much to hide his relief as anything else. What would he do if Conrad insisted he leave? How could he live through that agony again? “I already told you I have no plans to leave. Why can you not take me at my word? Did I not come back to you of my own free will, and as a friend, besides? Did I not promise to assist you in any way I could? One might think that would still carry some weight with you.”
“Of course it does! When have I ever suggested otherwise? And I would gladly let you go again if things were different.” Conrad shrugged. “But, since they are not… Surely you can see how important it is that you stay? You must realize how much the twins still need you?”
Damian glared at him. “Gladly? Yes, I’m sure you would. But, do not attempt to use the children as bargaining chips, Conrad. You insult us all. You know in what regard I hold them. I would never knowingly do anything that might endanger them or cause them distress.”
“Then we need say no more on the subject,” Conrad replied, adding after a moment, “why do you not simply put on more staff if we’re short on meals? There should be no need for you to resort to scrounging for food in the street.”
So hunting was forbidden now, too? What next? “Well, if it matters so much, why do you not simply stop inviting people to stay indefinitely? Then there’d be no need for extra meals and we all could grow fat and lazy and never get any exercise at all.”
“I assume this is in reference to Georgia’s visit? Did I not already explain why I need her here? I told you both about the danger we’re facing. Were you not listening?”
“I heard what you said. Although I doubt it’s your only reason.”
“What other reason could I have?”
Damian shrugged. “Say what you will, Conrad, but I know you. And I know you enjoy the lady’s company far more than you pretend.”
Conrad shook his head. “I never claimed I wasn’t fond of Georgia. I care very deeply for her. It is you who’s always had a problem with her.”
“And with good reason. She’s dangerous—you’ve admitted as much yourself. Your decision to invite her here puts us all at risk. Especially the twins.”
“The twins were already at risk. Bringing them here— But, no, let us not get into that again. This is my house, Damian. And it is for me to decide how best to protect it.”
“Sí. Your house. As I recall, you already made that point tonight. Quite effectively.”
Conrad sighed. “What would you have had me do? Should I have let Georgia attack you? Would that have suited you better? Or would you have preferred me to attack her, in your defense? You must know what would be the outcome of any battle waged between us now. Only one of us could survive it. Would you ask me to kill her—or perhaps die at her hands—for no better reason than because you cannot keep a civil tongue in your head?”
“Oh, no, by all means, why not offer her a carte blanche, instead?” Disgusted, Damian turned away, glaring at Conrad in the mirror. “Perhaps you’d like her to run your household for you? I daresay she’d quite enjoy it!” Let him go back to the bitch then. Why should I care what he does? They deserve each other. And as for what he deserved…
He faked a yawn. “I am suddenly feeling quite fatigued.” He stretched sensuously, allowing his memories of the evening that had just passed to filter onto his face, and into his voice. All the men who’d had their hands on him tonight. All the pleasure he’d received at those hands. “These nights of debauchery do take their toll. So if there’s nothing else you wish to discuss, I will ask that you restore me my privacy, por favor, so that I might get some much-needed sleep.”
“Are you attempting to eject me from your room?” Conrad’s voice was laced with anger and disbelief and… Yes, with something else, as well. Something that sounded a lot like desire.
Damian cast a quick glance at the mirror. Heat darkened Conrad’s eyes. Bueno. Let him know what it’s like to hunger and yearn, to look but never touch. “It would hardly be my place to do so.” He dipped his head submissively. “After all, señor, this is your house.”
“Careful, my friend.” Conrad moved a half-step closer, crowding Damian up against the front of the bureau. “You try my patience with these little games you play.”
Damian’s heart pounded fiercely. So close. So close! Oh, if only he would touch me now as he used to … He banished the thought and forced himself to speak calmly. “You know, Conrad, I also recall this arrangement you spoke of earlier. Did you not promise, as part of it, that I might have my own rooms and the freedom to comport myself as I pleased within them?”
Conrad stilled. A soft snarl rose from his lips. Damian trembled at the sound. He held his breath and waited. Had he gone too far this time? Did he even care? Perhaps a quick death at Conrad’s hands would be preferable to whatever interminable fate awaited him otherwise.
Still snarling, Conrad leaned in even closer. “Don’t push me too far.” Then he was gone, leaving Damian light-headed, shaken and aching with frustrated desire.