2016-07-03

Summer Magic


The house I lived in while I was growing up stood next to a vacant, wooded lot that belonged to my grandparents. As no one else in my family spent any time there or even seemed to give it any thought, I came to think of it as my own private forest. I spent countless hours there, especially during the summer months. It was where I went to hide treasure, to dig up arrowheads, to observe the local plant and animal life, to read, or just to daydream. It was always a most magical place. I guess that was partially in my mind when I wrote The Oak King, my re-telling of the legend of the Oak King and the Holly King. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, the Oak King's magic has to do with growth and new life, and so he rules the light half of the year, just as his counterpart, the Holly King, rules the winter months. In the scene below, my heroine, Aine, comes face to face with Fionn, the current Oak King, for the very first time--although, of course, she has no idea of his true nature. 

I'll be giving away a digital copy of The Oak King to one lucky reader. To be entered to win, just leave me a comment telling me what magical being or creature best embodies the spirit of summer to you. 

The woods were shadowed, tranquil and green as Aine made her way into the forest. This early in the day the sun had yet to burn off the morning mist, but although the day promised to be fine, an unidentifiable melancholy seemed to hang in the soft, still air. It was just a trace, but enough of one that Aine took note of it and thought it strange. Why should the forest feel so gloomy today? What grief dared mar so perfect a morning?

When she reached her destination, a secluded grove where a stately oak and wizened holly stood a short distance from one another, she paused and glanced around, feeling the hair rise on the back of her neck. The sense of sorrow, of loss—of despair, almost—was even stronger here. She did not consider herself a fanciful woman, but there was an unusual sentience in the woods today. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear she was being watched.

She shook her head, waiting for the odd notion to dissolve. It was naught but foolishness. She was well aware that there was no one to see her. Indeed, that was another of the reasons why she’d chosen this particular place for her ceremonies; it was as far from her neighbors’ prying eyes as she could get. She brushed her concerns aside and set about getting ready for the morning’s ritual, taking comfort in the familiar routine—the same one she’d followed for several years now, ever since her husband’s death had freed her to worship as she saw fit.

She began by setting up her altar, reverently laying out the tools she would be using. Then she walked the circle, calling on the directions and raising power as she went, carefully placing eight stones around the perimeter to denote the quarter and cross-quarter days. When she’d returned to the start point, she stopped and removed her cloak. Cool air caressed her bare skin, raising goose bumps on her arms and legs and pebbling her nipples. A hush seemed to fall over the forest. The feeling of being watched grew stronger.

Her heart beating uncomfortably fast, she entered the circle and knelt upon the soft green moss. She’d come here today to sing songs of praise; to greet the newly crowned Holly King and pay homage to the fallen Oak—a ceremony that had always brought her joy in the past—but the atmosphere this morning had unsettled her. No longer in the mood to tarry, she rushed through her opening prayers and started right in on a hymn in honor of the Oak King. She was midway through the second stanza when her ordinary day caved in upon her. A naked stranger materialized from out of the fog, nearly scaring the life out of her in the process. Aine gasped in surprise. “Gods save me.”

The stranger said nothing. He stared back at her, looking almost as surprised as she. For one shocked instant Aine was convinced she’d somehow conjured the very Spirit of the Forest. Then reason reasserted itself. This was no insubstantial sprite—his heavy muscles and gleaming flesh attested to that. However godlike he appeared, he was likely no more than a no-account rover, a drifter who’d stumbled drunk onto her property the night before and judged this sheltered grove to be a perfect place to catch a night’s sleep.

“Who-who are you?” she demanded shakily, still staring at him. “Whence did you come?”

His chestnut hair was shaggy and overlong, streaked gold as though by the sun and in desperate need of a trim. It hung in his face, very nearly obscuring his beautiful hazel eyes. Even partially veiled, those eyes were remarkable, a warm amber color overall, like honey and cinnamon swirled together, but with bright flecks of summer green shimmering in their liquid depths. His strong brown body was broad and tall. Perhaps not quite a match for the oak tree that spread its branches above their heads, but still he was an impressive sight to behold. He quite captivated her attention. Although, given that they were both skyclad at the time, their mutual surprise was not so astonishing. She, at least, had a cloak with which to cover her nakedness.

“Answer me,” she demanded as she scrabbled for her cloak and hastily wrapped it around her. She was pleased that her voice no longer shook, though her heart was still pounding at far too swift a pace. In truth, she should be running away, but she feared her legs wouldn’t carry her.


“There’s no need to fear me, lass,” the stranger said, smiling in a way she suspected was meant to be reassuring. “I mean you no harm.”

Aine’s mouth tightened. “Sure, and wouldn’t you like me to think so?”

The stranger blinked and appeared confused. “I would, indeed. Why else would I have said it?”

Aine choked back a laugh. Her hands were shaking as she began to gather her tools together, spilling everything repeatedly, her motions too jerky and uncoordinated for anything else. “Why indeed.”

The stranger took a step closer. “Here, let me help you with that.”

“No!” Aine raised her hand in a futile effort to stop him. “Stay right where you are. Do not come any closer.”

“As you wish.”

His easy acquiescence emboldened her. She stopped what she was doing to level a glare at him. “What I wish is that you would answer my questions. Who are you and what are you doing here?”

FIONN DIDN’T ANSWER right away. If truth be told, he was having trouble finding his voice. It wasn’t just that her beauty stole his breath; he was also dazed and disoriented, momentarily depleted of power. Who knew it took so much effort to work magic? Well, Kieran, probably. Fionn suspected there were many things the Holly King knew but had not bothered to share with him.

Bitterness rose inside him at the thought. The hurt he’d once felt had long since turned to anger, but the old resentment smoldered still. If there was one thing Fionn would not be wasting time on—neither in the next six months nor ever again, if he were lucky—it was Kieran.

Now that he had broken free, Fionn intended to live as a human, at least until the winter solstice. Perhaps he wouldn’t go back at all. Maybe, if he were truly lucky, he would find that the winds could not find him on this side of the veil. Or maybe, in his absence, his Lord and Lady would find someone else to take his place, someone better suited to the task than he.

“Answer me,” Aine demanded again. Despite the hint of steel in her voice, her eyes were huge and her breath was shallow and far too fast. She is still frightened. The realization struck at Fionn’s heart and didn’t help him find his words any more quickly. She’d always seemed so supremely confident each time he’d seen her, like a goddess in the flesh. It had not occurred to him that his appearance would cause her to become anything more than momentarily startled. He hadn’t thought of…well, entirely too much, obviously, damn him for a fool. As usual, he’d acted on impulse, thinking only of his own needs.

But that thought merely strengthened his resolve. It was one more reason why he’d been right to take this step and leave the throne behind. If he could not live up to even his own expectations of how the Oak King should behave, why not try and carve out a life for himself here, where no one had any expectations of him at all?

“My name is Fionn. I heard you singing.”

“And what of it?” Aine’s chin rose. A hint of challenge hardened her gaze. “This is all private property. You would not have been in a position to hear anything if you were not where you’ve no right to be in the first place!”

“But why should I not hear your song?” Fionn asked in surprise. “You have such a beautiful voice. I had to come out and…and meet you.”

Her voice was beautiful, beautiful, honest, clear, and she’d been singing to him, though she did not yet know it, sweet words of love, honor, and respect, when all he’d had elsewise for year upon year was censure. Her song had been balm to his wounded soul, a lure he could not resist. “I had to come.”

* * * * *

Twice each year, Aine Murphy ventures into the woods to hold ceremonies to honor the Oak King and the Holly King, never dreaming these Lords of the Forest could be anything more than myth. When the legends spring to life in front of her, how can she help but fall for the sexy demi-gods she's loved all her life? 

From midwinter to midsummer, Fionn O'Dair rules the Greenworld as the Oak King--a role he feels is beyond his abilities, and one that dooms him to a loveless future, forever craving the one man he can never allow himself to have. How can he resist what Aine offers--the sweet devotion that soothes his aching soul, and the slim chance to live a "normal" life as her husband, if only for half a year? 

Holly King Kieran Mac Cuilenn never desired a human lover--until now. Seeing Fionn and Aine together fills him with longing for the love he threw away and awakens feelings he thought he'd buried with the last Oak King. Is there enough magic in the solstice to correct the mistakes he made years ago? Or is he doomed to be forever left out in the cold? 




Available in digital format at AmazonLoose IdAll Romance eBooksKobo, and Barnes & Noble

Don't forget to visit all the other wonderful blog posts as the Summer of Magic Blog Hop continues!


2015-12-23

Kinky New Year's Blog Hop


I think  you'd approach New Year's a little differently if you were a vampire. Especially after the first several hundred years. With so many chances to get things right--and so many years to regret mistakes-- I suspect every New Year's Eve would be either more poignant or less momentous for the undead.

At least that's the premise I've been working with in my Children of Night series. I'm highlighting this series in this post because the newest book in the series, To Curse the Darkness just released on December 22. 

My vampires are, not unexpectedly, living under cover, attempting to blend in and act like humans. As a result, they end up celebrating all sorts of holidays, New Year's Eve among them. In fact, in the course of just two books in the series--Now Comes the Night and Ashes of the Day--they celebrate a total of five different New Year's Eves: from 1968 up until the present. 

Here's an excerpt of just one of them. This is from Ashes of the Day:  

December 31, 1999
New Year’s Eve

Damian leaned against the railing of the second-floor balcony and cast a jaded eye over the crowded ballroom below. The decorations were a tad overdone, in his opinion. Gaudy gold-and-silver Mylar festooned every surface—the bar, the tables, even the walls. The glare all but blinded him. Overhead, a billowing mass of champagne- and platinum-colored balloons were tethered to the ceiling, awaiting the stroke of midnight, when they’d be released. The last day of the year had dwindled down to the final hour. Y2K was on the verge, that ticking time bomb that would shortly send the world hurtling back toward the dark ages…or not.

Either way, Damian could not find it in himself to be concerned, or even very interested, in the fate of the world. The new millennium, as most people counted it, was about to begin. For the time being, it was still 1999 and the throng of people gathered on the hotel dance floor was certainly partying like it.

Exhibiting far more enthusiasm than skill, the crowd sang loudly along with Prince’s signature anthem as they bounced and gyrated to the music. The once-familiar song struck a bittersweet chord in Damian’s heart and he closed his eyes as nostalgia overwhelmed him. How many times had he danced to this same record back when it was first popular? He didn’t feel even remotely like dancing tonight. Hadn’t felt like dancing in years.

Memories rose in his mind of a supple young body pressed tight against his own, warming his back, more often than not. He remembered arms holding him possessively close, sweet lips dropping kisses all along his cheek, his neck, his shoulder…

He remembered the feel of strong hands splayed on his hips, guiding him as they moved together, thrusting, grinding, taunting each other with graphic reminders of everything they’d be doing together later in bed.

Oh, how he longed to feel that way again, careless and wanton, desired, loved. Oh, how he longed to hear that sexy voice whispering in his ear. To feel those muscular arms encircling his waist or his neck, or wrapped around his shoulders. To see that smile, hear that laugh, just one more time.
Knowing those wishes would never come true, that those days of joy and innocence were lost to him, gone for good, never to return, did nothing to improve his mood.

Folding his arms across his chest, he surreptitiously touched the small gold rings with which his nipples had been pierced. The rings had been Paul’s originally, a final gift of sorts. Since he was Vampire, the pain had been mild and fleeting. The tiny wounds had healed almost instantly and had done nothing to ease the heavy sense of loss that weighed against his chest. Perhaps if the physical pain had been more intense, more prolonged, more on par with his emotional pain, it might have helped distract him from his inner turmoil. As it was, all he’d had to make do with was Conrad’s anger. While that was certainly painful to endure, it didn’t so much detract from Damian’s distress as add to it.

“Slaves were once made to wear such things,” Conrad had complained when he learned what Damian had done. “Is that your wish? To be thought of as a slave now? Is that how you want people to think of you? Is it how you want them to think of me?”

¡Ay, puñeta!” Damian had snarled, baring his teeth and shocking himself with his own boldness. “Déjate de leches. Tell me, who are these people about whom you’re so concerned? And what has any of it to do with you? Are the rings yours? Did you force me to wear them? No! So why should you have a say in this at all? Why do you even care what I do?” It was not his usual habit to disregard his sire’s wishes so recklessly or to respond so rudely to his complaints. No one spoke to Conrad in that fashion. No one without a pronounced death wish, that is.

Is that what it’s come to? Damian wondered. Am I so weary of drawing breath I’m looking to end it all? Perhaps he was.

“Silence,” Conrad commanded. “You go too far. Have you forgotten who I am that you dare speak to me in this manner? Are you trying to make me lose my temper?”

Damian looked away. For all that a shudder ran through him when he contemplated the likely result of Conrad’s losing his temper, he still couldn’t honestly say no, that wasn’t exactly what he was trying to do. He needed something, didn’t he? Needed something drastic and extreme, something strong enough to pull him out of the abyss of grief he’d fallen into. Anything was preferable to what he was feeling now.

“Everything you do concerns me,” Conrad said after a moment, his voice lower but no less intense. “Don’t ever think otherwise. You’re a part of me, Damian, a part of my family, blood of my blood. Nothing will ever change that. And I will always have a say. Always.”

And that, Damian thought, was precisely where the problem lay. It was obvious that what Conrad objected to most of all was the idea of someone else’s “mark” being made visible on Damian’s body—a body Conrad still thought of as belonging to him, however little he wanted anything to do with it anymore.

Yes, the small bits of metal would last for centuries—another of Conrad’s complaints, and far more valid than the rest, in that at least it was true. They were as permanent a reminder of Paul as any Damian could think of, something he would carry with him wherever he went, something he could keep symbolically close to his heart for potentially the rest of his life. But what right had Conrad to rage about that either? None at all. Not when he himself had two living, breathing vampire children to remind him of his last lover. As a bequest, they had no equal. As a memorial, nothing else could come close. Of that Damian had no doubts whatsoever. They were his one saving grace, the only things that made his life worth living…

“A penny for your thoughts,” Conrad said, appearing at Damian’s elbow with two glasses of champagne in hand.

Damian started. As his mind returned to the present, the first thing that struck him was that the same song was playing—whether again or still he didn’t know. Memories washed over him once more and his heart twisted in grief. How was it the years could flash by, while the minutes lagged? Time was cruel, fickle, wearisome. How much more could he bear before it broke him?

“What’s wrong? Is one penny not enough? Perhaps you’re holding out for more?”

“What are you talking about?” Damian snapped. “More what?”

Conrad frowned. “Why must you scowl at me in that fashion? I did not invent the phrase and I’m quite sure I used it correctly. If you think I meant to imply your thoughts were not worth very much, I assure you you’re mistaken. I merely intended to inquire what was on your mind.”

Damian sighed. “Of course. I beg your pardon. Your use of the vernacular is exemplary. But I have nothing whatsoever on my mind—not even a penny’s worth.” He waved at the dance floor. “I was merely observing the crowd.”

“Ah.” A pleased smile curved Conrad’s lips. “Getting hungry, are we? Good. I’m pleased to hear your appetite’s returning.”

“No, I’m not particularly hungry.” There was only one taste Damian was craving, and as he had virtually no chance of satisfying that craving… “It all seems somewhat pointless, I’m afraid.”

Conrad’s smile disappeared. “Here,” he said, handing Damian one of the glasses. “Take this, at least. You look as though you could use something.”

“Thank you.” Damian took the glass and looked at it with distaste. Here was something else he’d felt no inclination for in well over a decade. “But I’m not, as they say, in the mood for it.”

“Hold on to it just the same,” Conrad said when Damian attempted to give him back the glass. “You’d do well to keep up appearances.” He studied him for a moment then asked, “Damian…you would tell me if there was anything you needed, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course,” Damian replied dutifully, lying again because what was the point of anything else? The truth wouldn’t do either of them a damn bit of good.



I'll be gifting one lucky visitor with digital copies of both Now Comes the Night and Ashes of the Day. Just comment below for the chance to win!

To read more about the series, check out the Children of Night series page on my website:

http://www.pgforte.com/ChildrenOfNight.htm

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing…
Children of Night, Book 6
When Conrad goes full disclosure on the twins’ heritage, Julie isn’t all that surprised. She’s already figured most of it out. But Armand’s shock over learning the woman he loves was born vampire drives him away for space to think. The chasm between Conrad and Damien yawns wider than ever as Conrad grapples with the pain he’s unintentionally inflicted.
As all hell breaks loose at home, Marc is dangerously out of touch on a trip down the coast to find Elise and bring her home—though she insists he’s a fool to trust her.
Armand, still struggling with his own feelings of guilt, inadequacy and betrayal, returns to find the Fischer-Quintano house in chaos. Julie is determined to go ahead with her plans to save Georgia for Conrad’s sake, though the knowledge she seeks—and the venom-drenched ritual she must endure to get it—could cause her to lose her mind. If not her life.
Warning: Handle with care. Contents are under pressure. Contains past violence, present violence, future potential violence, including, but by no means limited to, matricide, fratricide…possibly even patricide. In short, pretty much everything you’d expect to find in a multi-generational vampire love story.


2015-11-02

November News

November is shaping up to be a busy month! Here's some of what I have going on:

 #1. The first book in my Children of Night series, In the Dark, is going to be on sale for just .99 until November 13. 
In the Dark
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 needis love…and an occasional side of blood.
Product Warnings
While reading this book you may experience any of the following, an increased desire to wear flowers in your hair, dress in tie-dye or nap during the day. Other symptoms may include an intolerance to sunlight, an aversion to garlic-flavored tofu and a pronounced urge to bake…or get baked.

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…


























SAMHAINPUBLISHING.COM


#2 I'm also taking part in a PTSD and Wounded Warrior fundraiser happening now through November 8 on Facebook. 


There's a ton of great books available. I've donated a couple of print copies of Midnight Ink--the book is no longer available ANYWHERE, so if you want one, here's your chance to get it and give back a little to our warriors. 

One tattoo shop in one infamous city sets the stage for 8 ALL NEW stories about resolutions, kink, love and ink. Get ready to let the good times roll! 

#1 All Romance Ebooks Best Seller
Top 10 Amazon Best Seller
Top 50 Barnes & Noble Best Seller

#3. Both In the Dark and Inked Memories (my story in the Midnight Ink antho) are part of Heavenly Sent's second book review bash happening now! 



Welcome To the Book Review Bash the 2nd!

We all know that reviews are a big part of the Authors world. I also know that there are a ton of you that love helping Authors out! 

So this event is to designed to help those Authors we know and love, and maybe some amazing new ones, get those reviews that can help them in ways we just couldn't imagine!


So sit back and prepare to get your reading on. 

#4. Finally, I'll be in Huntington, WV next weekend (November 7 and 8) at the Rebels & Readers Author Event, a two day book signing event. Woohoo! I'll be signing books from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days at the Pullman Plaza Hotel. 

Hope to see you there!

2015-10-23

Haunted


Hello and welcome to day 6 of the 13 Days of Halloween Blog Hop! If you missed yesterday's post it's at: All Things Candi http://allthingscandi.blogspot.com/2015/10/lokis-revenge.html?zx=9a14eea0ace70c3e

Today's post offers a look at the lighter side of haunting...although I suspect I find the story more amusing than most of the people involved. Oh, did I mention this is a true story?


I'm no stranger to bi-location. For those of you who aren't sure what that is, it's basically the ability to be in two places at once. It's a form of astral projection, the main distinction being that, when you bi-locate, people can see your astral form and you retain some (usually very slight) ability to interact with them or with physical objects that you come into contact with.

For example, the first time I recall bi-locating was when I was about two-and-a-half years old. We were visiting my grandparents (who lived next door) and as this was in an era before child monitors, my parents chose to put me down for my nap there rather than carry me home where I'd be alone and too far to be heard. This did not suit me nearly as well as it did them. I was uncomfortable sleeping in an unfamiliar location and worse yet, I was missing my favorite stuffed animal. So I traveled home and retrieved it from my crib--much to everyone's consternation when they went to get me up. It was generally assumed that one of my older cousins must have felt bad for me and took it upon themselves to go and get it for me (and then subsequently refused to come forward and admit it, thinking that they'd get in trouble). Obviously, no one thought to ask me, but if they had...eh, they probably wouldn't have believed me anyway.

Apparently, the ability runs in my family, as I'm not the only one who's done it. When my sister was in college she used to come back for visits periodically. The first time it happened I thought I'd simply dreamed it--until my sister called the next morning and was able to recount our entire conversation. 

Many years later, I was living on the other side of the country. My parents had sold the house where I'd grown up by that point and I wasn't handling it well. I don't like change--I feel like I should mention that point. It bothered me that I no longer had access to the house, or that my children would never get to see where I grew up. It bothered me more than it should, to the point where I began visiting it in my dreams.

These dreams were oddly unsatisfying due to the fact that I was perplexed by the obvious changes that had been made to the house. There was a different carpet on the floor. The furniture was different. And I didn't recognize any of the people I encountered sleeping in the various bedrooms. I assumed they were guests, so mostly I left them alone. But sometimes I'd wake them up to ask them if they knew about the changes. 

Unfortunately, they rarely seemed to understand what I was saying. None of them wanted to talk to me. Some of the time they'd pull the covers over their heads. Other times, they'd run from the room. It was rude and annoying...and then I'd wake up back in my own bed on the opposite coast wondering what my subconscious mind was trying to tell me with these crazy dreams!

This went on for several months. 

On one of my visits, I discovered that someone had attached several flimsy looking book shelves to one of the walls in the living room. Did I mention I don't like change? I really don't. So no one who knows me would be surprised that I could not just leave things as they were. I decided to put the books back where they belonged--on the built in shelves that flanked the large bow window on the other side of the room. 

This, however, proved to be a surprisingly difficult task. For some reason the books kept slipping from my hands. Eventually I got so angry I knocked a whole bunch of them off the shelf and onto the floor.  I guess I must have woken someone up because I heard a noise behind me and, when I turned around, I found a strange man staring at me in horror. I started towards him, intending to ask him to help me move the books but he turned and ran from the room too.Like I said: Rude. And annoying. 

On my last visit, I found myself up on the roof trying to gain access to the house via my former bedroom window. My grandmother (who was dead) appeared floating in the air nearby and called me away from the house. She told me I didn't belong there anymore and made me promise not to go there anymore...a promise I've mostly kept. 

The dreams stopped at that point and I didn't think any more about it until one day--I think it was about a year or so later--I received a phone call from my brother who had moved back into the neighborhood where we used to live. He told me he'd been introduced to the man who now owned our family's house, and that this man immediately began to ask him a series of very strange questions. Like had anyone ever died in the house? Had anyone ever complained that it was haunted? Did we ever have any trouble with books falling off shelves in the middle of the night?

That's when it hit me. I'd become a ghost without even realizing it. Uh...oops? 


I hope you're enjoying our hop. The next post in the hop goes up tomorrow at: https://www.facebook.com/michael.f.troy


If you enjoy romantic suspense with a psychic twist I hope you'll check out the Oberon series.

 There’s something magical about the California Coast town. Oberon’s idyllic setting makes it a perennial favorite with tourists, but danger lurks beneath the bright surface and things there are seldom what they seem. Visitors and residents alike find their lives forever changed by mystery, romance and intrigue. 

Contemporary romance meets magic realism in this engaging series by PG Forte. This first set, Welcome to Oberon, contains three full-length novels. While each book can be read on its own, you’ll want to return again and again to visit with the friends you’ve met within their pages. 

http://www.amazon.com/Oberon-Boxed-Set-Books-Welcome-ebook/dp/B00N5AOKSA


 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. 

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. 

http://www.amazon.com/Oberon-Boxed-Set-Books-Return-ebook/dp/B00QHC8YQW



Mystical forces are once again at work in Oberon, the quirky small town set amid the beaches, wineries and forests of California’s Central Coast. Evil has come home to roost, an evil that threatens everyone’s happy endings and that brings with it a darkness that only love can dispel. 

The exciting Oberon series concludes in Happily Ever After in Oberon, a collection that contains books seven through nine. Once again, these are full-length novels in whose pages you will re-visit many of the characters you’ve previously met. Unlike the first two collections, however, a familiarity with those earlier books is recommended.

2015-06-20

Summer Solstice scene from The Oak King


Welcome to the Midsummer Night's Tea Party! You can find more participating blogs HERE.

The Oak King is one of my latest releases. It's a re-telling of the Oak King/Holly King story, which means that many of the scenes take place during either the summer solstice or the winter solstice.

Here's a scene from very early in the book. It's when Kieran (the current Holly King) meets Fionn (the future Oak King) for the very first time.

But first, the blurb:

 Twice each year, Aine Murphy ventures into the woods to hold ceremonies to honor the Oak King and the Holly King, never dreaming these Lords of the Forest could be anything more than myth. When the legends spring to life in front of her, how can she help but fall for the sexy demi-gods she's loved all her life?

From midwinter to midsummer, Fionn O'Dair rules the Greenworld as the Oak King--a role he feels is beyond his abilities, and one that dooms him to a loveless future, forever craving the one man he can never allow himself to have. How can he resist what Aine offers--the sweet devotion that soothes his aching soul, and the slim chance to live a "normal" life as her husband, if only for half a year?

Holly King Kieran Mac Cuilenn never desired a human lover--until now. Seeing Fionn and Aine together fills him with longing for the love he threw away and awakens feelings he thought he'd buried with the last Oak King. Is there enough magic in the solstice to correct the mistakes he made years ago? Or is he doomed to be forever left out in the cold?


Available in digital format at AmazonLoose IdAll Romance eBooksKobo, and Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:
June 1837
At the time of the summer solstice

The Holly King was not happy. Kieran Mac Cuilenn, Lord of Misrule and Ruler of the Waning Year, had been awake since before the dawn, intent on making the most of every last minute of freedom before his six-month reign began. He was also eager to be reunited with his lover, if only for a few short hours. But the day was swiftly passing, and the Oak King had yet to make an appearance. This made the third time since sunrise that Kieran had climbed to the top of this lonely hill to stand beside the Oak King’s tree, to lay a hand against the oak’s rough bark and whisper words of encouragement. But, just like the last two times, his pleas went unanswered. Naught but the faintest of pulses emanated from within the massive trunk, letting him know that his friend and lover continued to slumber.

“Damn you, Rory,” Kieran grumbled as worry and disappointment ate away at his temper. “What ails you? Why won’t you wake up?” He struck the tree with his fist, feeling more like a petulant child than a mature dru just settling into midlife.

He sighed in exasperation. It was getting harder each summer to coax the older tree spirit from his tree. If things kept up at this pace, Kieran imagined it would not be very long before the two of them would see each other only at the winter solstice when it was Kieran who would set the pace. If that was to be the way of it, he was half-tempted to play the same sort of game this next December.

Why should he not pay the Oak King back in kind for worrying him so? But he knew he would never do so. They already had so short a time to be together that anything less was unacceptable. All the same, however, something would have to be done. Kieran had been as patient as he knew how, but the time had come for action.

“I’ll be back soon, you old goat,” Kieran promised, dealing the heavy trunk another sharp blow. “And I’m warning you now, I will have you out of there this day if I have to set fire to your roots to do so.” Then he turned and headed back down the hill, a foggy idea already beginning to take shape.

He’d tried soft words and sweet enticements—they hadn’t worked—and Kieran was no longer in the mood for gentle coaxing. He would find another way to rouse Rory and draw him forth. All he needed was the proper goad, something to ignite the Oak King’s passion and force him from slumber. But what?

He’d gone no distance at all before the exact thing he needed appeared to him in the person of a handsome young dru lurking in the shadows of the trees adjacent to the path Kieran trod.

Kieran’s footsteps slowed. The lad was vaguely familiar, though Kieran did not know him by name. Something about the self-conscious expression on the youth’s face, the flush on his cheeks, the awkward way he dived for the shelter of the trees as though attempting to conceal himself, caught Kieran’s attention. He stopped in his tracks and fixed the lad with a piercing gaze. “You, there. Come out here at once and tell me what you are doing.”

The young man flushed even harder. “Why, n-nothing, sire. I mean, Y-your Majesty.” Taking a deep breath, he squared his shoulders, then stepped boldly onto the path. “I was just… I hoped… I wanted to wish you a H-happy Solstice, m-my liege.”

“Happy?” Kieran repeated the word thoughtfully. He did not consider either of the solstices to be joyful occasions. Once he might have done so, he supposed, but they’d long since become the dreariest of days, forever associated with sacrifice and loss.

“Aye, Your Majesty. And also…to wish you well as your reign commences.” He paused, tongue darting nervously out to wet his lips, then continued in a rush. “I know you are always with us, my liege, whether we see you or no. But the world will seem a bleaker place until you return again to grace us with your presence.”

“I see.” Kieran felt a rush of attraction such as he could not remember feeling in a very long time. It was followed almost immediately, however, by one of regret. What a shame they had not crossed paths earlier in the year. As it was, he now had no time to pursue anything with… “Tell me, what is your name, lad?”

“F-fionn, m-my liege. Fionn O’Dair.”

Fionn. Kieran repeated the name silently. He would really have to try and remember that. “Well, I thank you, Fionn, for your well wishes.” The boy was delightful, bright as a summer morn—an oak, obviously—and, perhaps because of that, Kieran was suddenly reminded, most forcefully, of Rory.
It was then that the half-realized ideas in Kieran’s head coalesced into a plan. What better way to gain the Oak King’s attention than to flaunt a new lover in front of him, to make love to this lad right in the shade of Rory’s branches? Why, nothing could be more perfect! He could indulge in a harmless flirtation with Fionn and roust Rory from his bed at the same time.

Knowing Rory as he did, Kieran was certain the oak would waste no time in making Kieran pay for his insolence. He’d be wont to take his wayward lover hard and fast—very much in the same manner as Kieran planned on taking Fionn, if he were willing. The thought only added to Kieran’s excitement.

A smile overspread Kieran’s face. “I wonder, young Fionn, how sincere you are in wishing me happy. For, if you’re willing, I can think of a way in which you might assist me in making this solstice a very happy one indeed.”

* * * *

The world was not what it once was. Of that Rory Tighearnach, high king of the drus—the tree spirits of Éire—was certain. Why, he had only to look around him to see the proof of that! His home grove was naught but a memory now. All of his family, stately creatures, tall and proud, trees that had once clustered about him, that had sheltered him from wind and rain when he was but a sapling, were long gone. Even the deer and the squirrels that had once lingered in their shade, or browsed upon the abundance of acorns and nuts the trees let fall, had deserted him. He alone remained now, surrounded by gorse and furze and heather, with only a handful of birds—who still returned, year after year, to make their nests in his branches—for company.

Were he a simple dru, like others of his kind, he would have long since moved on. For contrary to what the legends claimed, tree spirits were not solitary by nature, nor must they remain always where their trees were rooted. But Rory’s life was no longer his own. He was the Oak King, Lord of the Forest, Protector of the Greenworld, Ruler of the Waxing Year, and it was these responsibilities that kept him bound here.

For six months—midwinter to midsummer—Rory was held in a kind of stasis, unable to take shape or venture forth. That was his body, but his mind was also not his own. Though not similarly constrained to remain in one place, it was almost completely subsumed by the Forestmind. His awareness flowed outward, through a wide and varied network of root and branch, rhizome and filament. Working its way through lichen and algae, through seaweed and moss, it circled the globe. It was everywhere at once, cognizant of all that transpired within the entirety of the Greenworld.
It was an honor to have been chosen for so exalted a purpose. And there was a certain amount of bliss to be had in his yearly melding with a will so much greater than his own. But it was a burden also. Some years, he’d been scarcely able to wait for the summer solstice to arrive. He’d been so eager to be released from his service—freed him to be just himself once again—that he’d fair burst from his tree the first moment he was able.

More and more often, however, he’d begun to find it hard to return to regular consciousness. The magic needed to extricate himself from his tree seemed more elusive than in years past. The Greenworld continued to pull at his soul in a way it had not done before. He could feel it calling him, urging him to stay submersed in its depths, to lose himself within it. Perhaps to lose himself permanently.

Today, for example, though the morning had fled—and most of the afternoon as well—he had yet to make the slightest effort to free himself. He could not recall a single reason why he should. Did the noonday sun not feel pleasant as it caressed his leaves? Was not the warm breeze that stirred amid his topmost branches a delight to experience? Why not tarry a while longer, right where he was, dreaming of days gone by? Why force himself to face the reality of a world grown bleak and dismal?

The sound of laughter filtered into his thoughts, such a gentle, rousing sound. Rory smiled when its source was revealed. Two drus were at play upon his hill, pursuing each other through the brush—naked and unafraid. As well they might be. For even if there had been humans present, they would not be seen. No human senses could pierce the magic veil that had been erected to keep the two species separated, and no dru would ever be so foolish to do so.

But ah, their laughter took him back, it did. Once upon a time he too had played such games. It warmed his heart to realize there was still some joy left in the world. His heart heated even more when he recognized one of the two men. Kieran Mac Cuilenn, the Holly King, he who ruled over the Waning Year.

The other dru was as yet unknown to him. Rory studied the newcomer with some interest. He was tall, though still somewhat gangly, with a curly mop of copper-colored hair bleached gold in places by the sun. Judging by his coloration and his build, Rory could tell he was an oak, but a very young one, little more than a stripling.

Kieran led his playmate to the very foot of Rory’s tree. There the chase ended. Kieran turned and fixed his pursuer with a heated gaze—part challenge, part invitation. The second dru halted but a few steps away. He glanced up briefly, uncertainly, hazel eyes growing wider as his gaze took in the spread of Rory’s branches, the majestic bulk of his trunk; then his eyes focused once again on Kieran.

The reverence with which the lad regarded the holly was as obvious as it was understandable. In his human form Kieran was stunning. Long limbs. Lean, sinewy muscles. His bare skin was winter-pale. His hair, dark as a crow’s back for the most part, was laced with starlight threads. And his eyes, as Rory well remembered, were the deep, pure green of a pine forest reflected in a moonlit lake.


The unknown dru stared longingly at Kieran. His hazel eyes held a stormy mix of doubt and desire. “Your Majesty?” He addressed Kieran hesitantly, clearly eager for more of his attention yet reluctant to overstep his bounds.

To read more about this title, please visit my website: http://www.pgforte.com/CelticLegends.htm

To read another Summer Solstice excerpt from The Oak King at: http://www.loose-id.com/the-oak-king.html#product_tabs_Excert

To read a Summer Solstice excerpt  from Scent of the Roses visit my other blog: http://oberoncalifornia.blogspot.com/

PG Forte inhabits a world only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come true.

She wrote her first serialized story when she was still in her teens. The sexy, ongoing adventure tales were very popular at her oh-so-proper, all girls, Catholic High School, where they helped to liven up otherwise dull classes...even if her teachers didn't always think so.

Originally a Jersey girl, PG now resides with her family on the extreme left coast where she writes contemporary and paranormal romance in a variety of sub-genres.


PG can be reached directly at: pgforte@pgforte.com

2015-05-25

California Dreaming

Well. We've arrived at the last day of my pity party. So I guess I'd better get this last contest link posted! Today's prize is a digital copy of any book in my backlist. I haven't decided how many winners I'll pick. It depends on how many entries I get! That is not to say I'm giving books away to everyone who enters! My publishers might object to that! But the more entries, the more prizes. That's all I'm saying.

Today I'm featuring books from my LA Love Lessons series. Because, they're the only books I haven't really talked about yet this week. But first the contest link.



An aspiring actress, an amnesiac heiress, a tarnished movie star...and the men who love them. Love like this could only happen in LA. 

Includes: Waiting for the Big One, Love, From A to Z, and Let Me count the Ways

The entire trilogy is now available in print! Available at AmazonCreateSpace and Barnes & Noble

I love the cover. I think it was the first one I designed myself. 

I wrote this series right after Oberon, still riding the California high!


Gabby Brown refuses to consider her best friend Derek for the role of soul mate because she fears sex will ruin their friendship. 

When she meets Zach, she’s convinced that he could be The One. But, Derek has ideas of his own, and they don’t include sharing Gabby with anybody.

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Big-Love-Lessons-Book-ebook/dp/B003URRPBW/ref=la_B002BMG4JQ_1_2_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432571249&sr=1-2

Total amnesia is not what Richie Valenzuela had planned on when he drugged his cousin. A few missing hours, which could easily be blamed on April’s having had too much to drink, was all he was aiming for. And he certainly never expected the reclusive heiress to slip out the club’s back door with the sexy guitarist she’d been making eyes at all night. 

http://www.amazon.com/Love-L-Lessons-Book-ebook/dp/B003URRPDA/ref=la_B002BMG4JQ_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432571134&sr=1-32



As the owner of The Body Electric, LA’s hottest new exercise studio, sexy, former film star Claire Calhoun has her pick of studly young men eager to do her bidding. Small wonder she’s used to calling the shots, both in and out of bed. But everything changes the night the actress-turned-entrepreneur has one mojito too many at a party and decides it would be fun to pick up her accountant, Mike Sherman. She's thinking fling. He's thinking forever. 


http://www.amazon.com/Count-Ways-Love-Lessons-Book-ebook/dp/B00422LFX8/ref=la_B002BMG4JQ_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432571204&sr=1-26

Waiting for the Big One is also available on audiobook!

Everyone in LA is waiting for The Big One - the big break or the big quake. Gabby's no different, but she's also waiting for the Big O - the elusive, G-spot, ultra orgasm. She thinks Zach, the super hot musician who's just moved into her building, might be able to give it to her. But her friend Derek, a martial arts instructor with whom she's co-writing a screenplay, keeps getting in the way.
Gabby refuses to even consider Derek for the role of soul mate because she fears sex will ruin their friendship. Derek has his own script in mind, and it doesn't include sharing Gabby with anybody.
When an early morning earthquake hits LA, Gabby realizes who her leading man has always been. As for the Big O...well...she's ready for her close up.