Slide show!

I just discovered Slide.com I love this site. Almost as much as I love the wonderful artist who created the fantastic covers for the Oberon series.

Check it out:

Sigh. Only one more book to go...I wonder what she'll come up with for the last cover?



Don’t ya hate it when life imitates art?

I’ve got a new novella coming out soon with Venus Press…perhaps I’ve mentioned it before? It’s called Waiting For The Big One. It’s first person, the heroine is a Pisces. She hates to wait.

A character trait I happen to share.

And yet, it seems like waiting is all I’ve been doing lately, especially when it comes to this book. I’m waiting for a release date (‘sometime this summer’ is NOT a date, IMO), I’m waiting to hear from my editor about revisions, I’m waiting for an update from the cover artist…you name it, I’m waiting on it.

I’m also waiting for the unveiling of my new website ( pgforte.com ) just a little something with which my wonderful webmistress is teasing me (yes, I know it will be worth the wait, but I want it NOW!!! *grin*). I’m waiting on a critique of the first three chapters of my current WIP––a book that’s sure to drive me completely crazy before I’m done...if i ever get to that point. I’m waiting on reviews for books five, six, seven and especially EIGHT in the Oberon series (see website for details: Oberoncalifornia.us ). And, yes, I’m even waiting on the cover of book nine in the series And Shadows Have Their Ending.

I suppose this could be payback…I’ve been making my characters wait for their HEA’s, after all (and wait, and wait, and wait…). So, I’ve gotten pretty good at dishing it out. But taking it? Not so much.

So, while I’m on the subject, here’s an excerpt (and one of my favorite scenes) from a book YOU don’t have to wait for. Scent of the Roses, my first book, is available now as a download.

It’s even in print, for you die-hard paper fans, but for that you might have to wait a few days (snail mail…how do we stand it?).

In this scene, our hero is trying hard not to think about the girl he loved and lost…

It wasn’t working. Nick slammed his coffee mug down on the table. His usual Sunday morning routine of newspapers and coffee on the deck outside his apartment, was doing nothing to alleviate the angry confusion of emotions that had been building inside him since yesterday afternoon.

She was back. After all this time, she’d finally come back.

He couldn’t believe the way he felt. He couldn’t even put a name to what he felt – angry, bitter, nostalgic, more than a little crazy. Plus some other, inexpressible combination of hopeful sensations, part daydream, part memory, that he thought he’d buried long ago. Back when he’d finally made himself accept the painful truth: she was never coming back to him.

It had been so long since he’d seen her. Hell, it had been a long time since he’d even thought about her. Really thought about her, anyway. Thought about her in the kinds of ways that made sleep impossible and sent him speeding angrily up and down the coast for hours at a time. Thought about her in ways that made him drink too much or smoke too much. Not that he wouldn’t mind a cigarette right now, he thought, in the instant before he remembered that his daughter had made him quit. Again. Six months ago. Shit.

What was she doing here, anyway? And why now? Not that it mattered, of course. Now. Next week. Next year. He didn’t have the faintest clue, anymore, what he’d say to her if he saw her.

What was he thinking? He wouldn’t say anything if he saw her.

Why the hell should he? She was the one who’d left him, after all. So what if she’d been a minor at the time, with no say in the matter? She had gone away and, apparently, forgotten all about him. And he’d be damned if he’d give her the time of day, now.

He probably wouldn’t even recognize her, anyway, come to think of it. Although she seemingly hadn’t changed so much that Lucy hadn’t known her.

Oh, hell. Lucy. Had she known about this? Is this what had her on edge the other night?

Well, shit. Of course it was.. And wasn’t it just like his cousin to try and hide something like this from him? How typical of her to jump to the conclusion that he’d even care.

So, she was back. Big deal. What the hell kind of idiot did Lucy take him for?

Okay, so it had taken him a little while to get over her. Years in fact. But he had done it, hadn’t he? Nobody could say that he hadn’t. He had moved on with his life. Hell, he’d even gotten married! Not like that had been an incredible improvement, relationship-wise.

You sure know how to pick ‘em, don’t you?

Yeah, Lucy’d got that right. That pretty much summed up his whole love life, didn’t it? But no more. No way. Seeing her now was the last thing on his mind. The absolute. Very last. Thing.

She’s probably not even up there anymore, he thought, a few minutes later, as he stared out at the mountains.

Well, hell. No wonder he couldn’t stop thinking about her; sitting here with a perfect view of Mt. Totawka, and the foothills where the festival would still be going on. He just needed to get off this deck, that was all. He just needed to find something else to do. Something else to focus on.

That shouldn’t be a problem. There were always plenty of things he could be doing on a day like this. He could always go to work, for one thing. Just because it was his day off, that didn’t mean he had to stay away. Or maybe he could go fishing. He hadn’t been fishing in months. Or else…he could go for a hike. Or out to a movie. Or he could just stay here and wash his car.

His car really needed a wash. Hell, he could wax it, too, while he was at it. Maybe change the oil, clean the sparkplugs. And when was the last time he’d taken the time to really detail it?

But thinking of cars was not such a terrific idea, he realized a little too late, because so many of his memories of her included cars. That was how they met. She’d been hitching a ride one foggy April night. And he had stopped for her.

He picked up his paper and tried once more to read it, but put it down a moment later, when he realized that his mind was working up a ridiculous fantasy about seeing her again. Of coming across her trying to hitch a ride back from the festival. Maybe, if he drove up there right now—

Jeez. What was he thinking? She wasn’t a teenager, anymore. Why would she be hitching a ride back from the fair?

It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter. He ground his teeth, as his eyes strayed back to the mountain. It didn’t matter because he was not going up there again. He hardly ever went to any of the festivals, and he’d just been to this one, yesterday.

There was no way he was going back up there again. No way in hell.

Actually, he was glad he had found out that she was back in town, but only so he could make damn certain he did not run into her by accident.

Which did not exactly explain the impulse that had caused him to back out of the camping trip, a small voice in his head reminded him. But really, that had nothing to do with her. He did have a lot of work to catch up on. And it made perfect sense to save a few of his vacation days for later in the summer, so he could take Kate somewhere.

I wonder what she looks like now?

The thought came out of nowhere, and for a moment he was overcome with the longing to find out. Jesus, but this was getting ridiculous. What could she look like, after all? She was thirty-six years old, for pity’s sake. She was probably settled and dull. Probably nothing at all like the wild, unpredictable girl he remembered.

Thirty-six year old women do not look or behave like teenagers. Which was, on the whole, he thought, a very good thing. There was a whole range of really objectionable, immature behaviors that he associated with those years, and he, for one, was just as happy to have seen the end of them.

Thirty-six year old women did not hitch rides, for instance – a dangerous and illegal activity the whole world would be better off without. And they don’t go around creating the kind of havoc Scout had positively excelled at when she was sixteen.

They had jobs and they had families and they had mortgages and commitments. And most of them wouldn’t be caught dead dancing around a balefire in the middle of the night, not even with their clothes on. Most of them--the sensible ones--wouldn’t even have bothered going to any damn pagan festival in the first place!

Except she had been there.

And she had not forgotten all about him, damn it.

She said I have your eyes...

Her own eyes had been a smoky, warm, greenish gold; like the moss that grew in damp, secret hollows all along Domingo Creek.

And her hair had been a streaky mass of yellow and brown. The same color as the grass along the cliffs there, late in summer, after it had been bleached and debauched and blown about by the sun and the wind.

And when she smiled – but, no, he wouldn’t even think about that. He’d spent years forgetting her smile.

And anyway, none of it mattered. Not any more. He was over her now, he reminded himself again, more firmly. Definitely over her. And he was not going to go there again.

No possible way.

©PG Forte 2006, All Rights Reserved.


Judging Books by Their Covers

The artist who has designed all my Oberon covers thinks I’m easy.

Ha! If only she knew! Sure, I’m ecstatic with everything she’s done, but, then again, I’m sure she’s reading my mind.

Well, reading my mind and then making it look tons better than I ever could––that’s a certainty!

But, covers are not always so trouble-free. I’m currently awaiting the cover of a new novella, Waiting for The Big One, due out this summer from Venus Press.

Considering the amount of harassment I've already given the unfortunate artists assigned to me, I’ll be lucky if it even gets a cover. I’m afraid my rather lengthy list of…ahem…corrections…may have quite frightened the poor man away.

But, what’s an author to do? Covers are sooo important, n’est pas? According to common wisdom, they’re one of the top two things readers look at when deciding whether or not to buy a book by a new-to-them author.

The other, of course, being the back-cover blurb. Followed by favorable reviews––depending on the source, of course––word of mouth, and whatever buzz an author can stir up via promos, chats, giveaways, website contests, etc, etc, etc.

The latest cover I’ve received, for the not-yet-released eighth book in the Oberon series, Dream under the Hill

Dream under the Hill

Lovely, isn’t it? It is, IMO, the prettiest cover in the series. Odd, considering this is the absolutely darkest book I’ve ever written.

How dark is it? Well, opinion varies. I’ve heard everything from, "It’s not as dark as you think," to "If I hadn’t been reading it for a critique, I would have stopped reading after the first couple of chapters."

Now, contrast that to the cover of book seven, Visions Before Midnight:

Visions before Midnight

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE this cover, as well. In fact, it might be my favorite…although the cover of book 3 Sound of a Voice That Is Still, which was exactly as I’d pictured it, certainly gives it a run for its money.

Sound of a Voice That Is Still

See what I mean? And if you think it’s gorgeous here, you ought to buy the book and see it in its real color.

But, as I started to say, before I got sidetracked by all this beauty, was this: Anyone who judges Dream under the Hill by its cover, is probably in for a surprise. It’s a dark, violent and complex story. Not to mention really, really long. But, it’s a good story, I think, with a fabulous ending that ties things up, not just for this book, but for a lot of the series, as well.

Which gave the last book in the series, And Shadows Have Their Ending the chance to be light and uncomplicated, And short, since I sent most of the Oberon’s residents out of town for the course of it!

All the covers, as well as excerpts, reviews and other goodies can be found on my website: www.oberoncalifornia.us

But, while we’re here, here’s an excerpt from Dream under the Hill, just to whet your appetite…

This is one of my favorite scenes. Taking place at a wedding reception, it features an upset Marsha being waylaid by her husband, Sam. I thought it very romantic when I wrote it, and I still do.

"What’s wrong, angel?" Sam asked, intercepting Marsha just as she’d been about to make good her escape into the ladies room.

Oh, crap, what’s he doing in here, she wondered staring at her husband in dismay. He’d been out on the terrace only a moment earlier. Why couldn’t he have stayed where he was? "Nothing," she said, trying to blink the tears from her lashes. Damn it, she hadn’t wanted him to see her this way. She’d spent entirely too much time in tears lately, and that had to be the most boring thing on earth to deal with; someone else’s useless self pity.

"Nothing? Are we starting that again?" Sam took a handkerchief from his pocket and lifted her chin. "Here, let me see. You’re going to smear your makeup."

"Serves me right," Marsha murmured. "I don’t know why I even bothered putting it on."

Sam dabbed carefully at her eyes. "I don’t either. I can barely see your freckles under all this stuff.

Marsha sighed. "Oh, like that’s a loss." She was usually an extremely pragmatic person, and she’d long ago come to terms with her looks. Or, so she’d thought. But vanity was a funny thing and very hard to kill. It kept coming back, like crab grass or shingles or fleas or any other pernicious ill. Migraines. The IRS. And, at the moment, she hated her freckles.

"It is a loss," Sam insisted. "I love your freckles."

"Sam!" She stared at him open mouthed, surprised by the baldness of the lie. "You do not!" She knew damn well the type of woman her husband admired. Or, at least, she used to know. Not one of them had freckles.

Sam stopped wiping and looked at her sternly. "Yes, I do. I even have favorites."

"Favorites?" Marsha smiled in disbelief, daring him to continue. This should be good. It was hard to hide your tastes from someone who could read your thoughts, and it had always amazed her that Sam had managed to fall in love with her in the first place, especially considering how far she fell from his usual type. Tall, slim blondes with porcelain skin and classic features, those were the kind of women he favored. No one who looked remotely like her.

"You have one right here," Sam said, as he placed the tip of his finger on her cheekbone, just below the outside corner of her eye, "that’s shaped like the map of Australia. But, sometimes, if you smile in just the right way, your face crinkles up and it turns into Cuba."

"Cuba?" she repeated on a gurgle of laughter.

Sam smiled. "Mm-hm. Just like that. And then, over here on this cheek," he continued, as he turned her head and gently traced a meandering cross along the side of her face, "there’s a whole bunch that resemble the constellation Cygnus. The Swan."

"Then there’s your back," he said, taking hold of her shoulder and starting to turn her around–

"Okay." Marsha stopped him. "I got it. I believe you." She didn’t care if it was true, or if he’d just now made it up, she was touched by his tenderness. Although, tonight, when she removed her makeup and scrubbed her face clean, she would check it out and see––just to know.

©PG Forte 2006, All Rights Reserved.