Welcome to my Tiki Lounge...

I have a bad habit when I write.

Well, actually I have several bad habits. But I think the worst of them is my need to surround myself with visual aids, with things that speak to me of the story I’m writing...or, in this week’s case, trying to write.

In fact, the term visual aid is a tad misleading. I need something evocative to look at, sure. But I also need the right sounds, smells, tastes…sometimes even textures…to get the job done.

So I might spritz some vanilla-cedar perfume in the air, pour myself a glass of cabernet, slip, a tango CD into the stereo and light a wine-scented votive candle in an art-glass globe.

Or perhaps I’ll sit down to write with a mug of blackberry-sage tea at my elbow, pinon incense burning in an earthenware dish, Melissa Etheridge blaring from my earphones, and a Canada goose mobile twirling in the air above my head.

(and if anyone cares to hazard a guess as to which books those would be…there could be a prize in it!)

The props change from book to book, or scene to scene…sometimes I vary them with every POV. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, things do tend to get a little crowded around my desk—especially if I happen to be in the middle of a long book!

Right now, however, I’m not in the middle of a long anything—but I’m trying. Although my immediate goal is to complete some of the novellas I have planned, I’m also trying to plot at least one of the full-length series that have been ricocheting around in my brain for some time.

Hence the Tiki Lounge, which, while marketed as a decorative bird house, seems highly impractical for such a purpose. But it's tailor made for mine…which is, of course, to give me something to write about. It’s been sitting atop my desk for the last ten days (where it's already become home to my Zuni chicken fetish); a cheerful reminder of the series I have yet to write. I gaze at it now and then, as I ponder the stories which are set on Gran Paradiso, a fictional tropical island, I’ve already used in a score of short stories.

Collectively titled the Devil Tree Inn, the books will feature a rather dysfunctional family who inherit an odd, obscure, somewhat run-down sugar plantation turned hotel. Here’s the blurb:

"There are worse things in life than inheriting a couples-only vacation resort on a beautiful tropical island. Too bad Patience Sinclair can’t think of any."

Patience is the main character. A writer of romances, a wife, a mother, a step mother, she’s somewhat harried and distracted when the series opens. Patience longs for a simpler life, not a whole new set of problems!

Jaden McKinney is her husband. A former fashion photographer who’s become addicted to prescription drugs, Jaden is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. He thinks moving to Gran Paradiso could be the family’s salvation.

Alyssa McKinney is Jaden’s teenage daughter. Rebellious, dyslexic and sullen she did not inherit her super-model mother’s looks, but she sure has her attitude!

Cole Sinclair is Patience’s son. Cole is an artist, a charming, itinerant reproduction of his father, Patience’s first husband. A gentle-hearted dreamer, or so his mother believes, Cole is quite content to be supported, possibly forever, while he pursues his art.

Shalimar is Cole’s girlfriend. If she ever had a last name, she doesn't want us to know it! She’s a little bit kooky, but she’s so damn hot, Cole doesn’t seem to mind. She’s also a bit of a grifter. He doesn’t mind that, either.

Lucius St. Germain, the lawyer handling Patience’s dead aunt’s estate, is another hottie. Something Patience must try hard to ignore. Little does she know, he’s also her competition. If she fails to abide by the terms of her aunt’s will, the property reverts to him.

Rosalita. Again, a woman with no last name. She’s a psychic. She’s a psycho. She’s a housekeeper. And, if nothing else does it, she’s sure to make Patience insane.

It’s The Osbornes inherit The Money Pit. It’s Fantasy Island with a few Chuck Berry modifications. And it is, of course, entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to me or my family…or to any other person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I swear!

©PG Forte 2006 All Rights Reserved


New Cover!!

What a wonderful Mother's Day present. My newest cover is here and it's awesome. Check it out:

And Shadows Have Their Ending

And to further whet your appetite, here's a brief excerpt.

Since this is the last book in the series, I'd sworn I wasn't going to introduce any new characters. Sadly, or maybe not, I couldn't keep my word about that. I've got not one but TWO new characters in this book––both of them bad guys! Here's a look at one of them:

The coppery taste of fear filled Jack Connelly’s mouth as he thought about what he had done, what he had nearly done, and what he was going to do. It was a feeling and a flavor he hadn’t sampled in over twenty years.

As he left the town of Abraxas behind and headed toward home his heart was racing. His glance returned repeatedly to his rear view mirror as he waited for the wail of sirens behind him, the rotating flash of police lights that would spell disaster.

“I can’t fucking believe I’m doing this,” he muttered, still appalled at the risk he’d taken, even as, faint but unmistakable, a sensation, half-forgotten, and not entirely unpleasant, began to unfold within him. “Christ, I must be outta my mind.”

For most of his adult life Jack had been a model citizen, a pillar of the community. He was a successful businessman, a respected lawyer, a senior partner in the firm his late father had helped found. Every deal he’d made, or touched, or had taken part in had been above board. Or at least that’s how he’d made damn sure they appeared. His life and his practice were secure, successful, seemingly above suspicion, beyond scrutiny or reproach. Caesar’s wife should look so good, he’d often thought.

Which was not to say he never took risks. Of course he did. One had to, he’d found, if only to keep the juices flowing. Otherwise one got sloppy. And lazy. And careless.

And that was the biggest risk of all.

But, in all those years, the risks he’d taken were small and carefully hedged. The kind that weighed big profits against negligible consequences and always included a scapegoat; someone else to catch the flack if the deal went bad.

There were some lessons you learned fast and never forgot. Cover Your Ass was one of those. Whatever else he did, Jack had always, always made sure he had his own back.

Or so he believed.

Those twenty years of safety had come to an abrupt halt a little over six months earlier when he’d received a surprising summons from a former friend...

Gregg Gilchrist had been the leader of the gang to which Jack had belonged when he was still a wild and impressionable young man. With his head shaved, his hands and neck and the back of his skull vividly decorated with grotesque tattoos, the man now known as Rev. Gregg Stevens looked very little like the Gregg that Jack remembered. In fact, if it weren’t for those strange, pale eyes, that indefinable something in Gregg’s manner, and the twisting in Jack’s innards when the other man looked at him––a feeling akin to having swallowed a live snake––Jack would never have recognized his old master at all.
*   *   *
©PG Forte 2006  All Rights Reserved.


New Website and Updates

There are times when I think I should be known as the Queen of Excess, rather than Angst.

I can't have one blog, I have to have three. And I can't have one website, either. But, hey, at least I only have one pen name...I do have some limits, after all!

But let's get back to the websites, for a minute. My original website www.oberoncalifornia.us is geared to a particular series of books. And, at the time I came up with the idea for it, I wasn't looking any further ahead than that. It's a really nice website, if I do say so myself. And the reason I can say that is because I can take almost no credit for it. *grin* Most of what you'll see there is the fruit of my webmistress' labor--not mine.

When the website first went online I had grandiose plans of updating the links on my Activities page on a monthly basis. That hasn't happened. Until now. I finally figured out enough HTML code to do a basic cut and paste, so now I can change links to my heart's content without adding any extra work for my webmistress...until I mess up, that is, and accidentally erase the entire page. LOL! Let's hope not, anyway.

So, if you have a mind to, please check out my newly updated Activities Page . And check back often, because I plan on changing the links every six weeks or so.

Or, if you'd like to be kept informed of any updates, you could join my newsletter group.

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But I believe I mentioned a second website, didn't I?

Website number two--brainchild of the same awesome webmistress--is the result of my having branched out into a new writing direction.

New direction, new website, same old name. Go figure.

What can I say? Growing up with a name like Patricia, with all its many variations, the whole multiple name thing gets old fast. Unless you're a Gemini, I suppose. Or maybe a Scorpio.

Neither of which I am. Hell, I only have one planet in Scorpio and none at all in Gemini.

Distractable tonight, aren't I?

Anyway...check out the new website, too, if you'd like. It can be found at www.pgforte.com. I've got excerpts posted for two of my new books and short blurbs posted for three others. Okay, okay, so four out of five are Works In Progress, but take a look and tell me what you think of my new direction.


Why I love e-books

I got fan mail this morning.

Fan mail, in case you don't already know this, is one of the best things about being an author. Praise from people you know is always nice and a good review always puts a big smile on my face, but for someone to take the time to write you––right out of the blue––for no other reason than to tell you that she loves your books and when will the next one be out...well, wow. Does it get any better than that?

But, I digress...

There's a reason why this post is titled 'why I love e-books' rather than 'why I love fan mail' after all. The letter this morning (okay, it was an email post) came from a woman in Norway (where, as my daughter very helpfully pointed out, they speak another language––lol!). If it weren't for ebooks, this woman would never have found my books.

In fact, if it weren't for e-publishing and the internet I wouldn't have readers in Australia or Singapore either, not to mention my favorite reviewer in London!

I really don't understand why more people aren't enthusiastic about ebooks. You can buy them almost instantaneously, from the comfort of your home--or anwhere else you happen to be. They take up no space at all AND if you happen to lose them all due to a computer crash, many publishers will replace them for you––try that with a print publisher! You can load who-knows-how-many of them onto an ebook reader (ebookwise has a nice one) and carry around ONE paperback-sized reader instead of a small library. And a lot of e-book stores and sites routinely offer GREAT deals, like Fictionwise's 15% off for all newly released books or ebooklove's buy-two-get-one-free special.

Even without the deals, new ebooks are cheaper to buy than new print books (especially big ol' books like mine) which means you can afford to buy even MORE books. And the technology is getting better and more readily accessible all the time. Last week, the New York Times even published an article about the possibility of e-paper subscriptions becoming available later this year! Yes, daily newspapers that you can read on a flexible, foldable, re-usable reader.

Where's the bad, unless you're looking for something to line a birdcage? Besides, think of all the trees we'll save (just printing book eight alone would be enough to deforest a small state)

Sure, ebooks have taken a lot longer to hit the mainstream than many of us thought (or hoped) would be the case. I know a lot of people who are still waiting for my books to make it into print before they read them. Certainly I would have sold more books by now if they were readily available in brick-and-mortar bookstores and I would have made more money if I had a NY publisher handing out big advances, too. But could you buy them in Norway or Singapore? I doubt it. Which means I would never have received the lovely note this morning that totally made my day.

So, now, in honor of my new friend, here's a brief excerpt from And Shadows have Their Ending (aka Oberon: Book 9) which will be available soon.

This is the second scene in the book. To read what comes before check out the excerpt on my website: oberoncalifornia.us

Deirdre pushed blindly through the crowd with no clear idea where she was headed, just wanting to put as much distance between Seth and herself as she could. She knew they’d run into each other sometime. With so much unfinished business between them, how could they not? But she hadn’t been expecting it today, and she definitely hadn’t been expecting something like this.

What had happened to him? The Seth she remembered would never have acted like that. But, they’d known each other for so short a time, maybe she was stupid for having any expectations, for trusting in her memory or her heart. For thinking she knew him.

Her stomach roiled. She felt sick. Hurt. Angry. Confused. Betrayed. And vaguely disgusted by the detached, journalistic part of her mind that continued to observe her reactions, to catalogue her feelings, and which now, apparently, had decided that lonely was a good addition to the list of words by which she might be described.

A sob nearly broke from her throat then, and the tears she would not shed threatened to overwhelm her; tears born of anger and outrage, much more than sadness. So what if she was lonely? She had known when she’d left for Oberon three weeks ago, right after her high school graduation, that she’d be on her own for a while. It had been her choice.

Her friends had declared the gap between high school and college a ten-week-long party, but Deirdre hadn’t been interested in partying. Some inner voice had been whispering to her for some time, warning that she was running out of time; that she needed to start living now. Right now. Today.

Her parents may have been dismayed, initially, by her decision, but they’d recovered quick enough. And then, perhaps feeling that someone in the family should be taking the summer after graduation off, perhaps intent on re-living one of the pivotal events of their own youth, they’d gone to Europe in her stead.

In general, Deirdre didn’t mind being on her own. A lot of the time she actually preferred it. But there were other times, times like now, when she really wouldn’t mind seeing a friendly face.

"Whoops. Careful, now," a voice boomed out, right in front of her, just as she barreled into someone she would have sworn had not been there a moment before. "It doesn’t always hurt to look where you’re going, you know."

Startled, Deirdre looked up into a familiar face––a familiar, friendly face. "Rafe?"

Two years ago, when she’d run away to Oberon, she’d been befriended by a group of surfers who were camping out near the beach––Rafe among them. They took her in, fed her, gave her a place to stay. She never got the chance to thank them, or even say good-bye. As the memories crowded back, Deirdre surprised herself by throwing her arms around Rafe’s neck and hugging him fiercely. The loneliness, the sadness and much of the confusion she’d been feeling receded.

Rafe chuckled softly. "Hey, there, Dee. It’s good to see you, too."

She pulled back to look at him. "What are you doing here?" From his sandaled feet to the gold-and-copper curls on his head, he looked just as she remembered. Even his outfit, surfer shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, was reassuringly familiar. "Where are the others?" She glanced around, half-expecting that Ana and Gabby and the rest of the crew would materialize from out of the crowd.

"Oh, they’re all busy elsewhere." Rafe lowered his voice conspiratorially. "I’m flying solo this mission."

Mission? Deirdre eyed him curiously. "So, you don’t live here now?"

"Heavens, no." He appeared vaguely scandalized by the thought. "No fixed abode for me. I’m just visiting." He cocked his head to the side, eyes twinkling as he added, "Same as you, hmm?"

Deirdre shook her head. "No, actually, I moved down here a couple of weeks ago. I’m over in Abraxas."

Rafe’s smile held a hint of challenge. "Yeah? Think that’ll last?"

"I hope so." Deirdre stared at him in dismay as doubts assailed her. "I-I think so." All her life had been leading her here. For as far back as she could remember, she’d dreamed of moving to Oberon, of following in her birth mother’s footsteps.

But had that been her dream, or Paige’s dream for her? She was no longer certain.

She’d been learning a lot about her mother lately, and there were a few steps along Paige’s path she’d just as soon skip. Giving birth to a child she couldn’t raise was one such step. Being murdered was another.

But they weren’t the only ones.

She now knew that a big part of the reason Paige had stayed in Oberon was because she was in love with a man who didn’t love her back, who’d broken her heart. Seth’s father, in fact. Bile rose in her throat as she remembered Seth’s sneer, the coldness in his eyes. Could two years really make that much of a difference? Wasn’t it more likely she’d been wrong about him from the start? Just as Paige had been wrong about Dan.

It wasn’t too late to learn from her mother’s mistakes; to avoid repeating Paige’s pattern of wasting her life and her love on some man who couldn’t care less. Seth Cavanaugh could go to hell.

"Careful what you wish for," Rafe murmured. He smiled at her sadly. "Don’t be so quick to judge, Dee. Remember, things aren’t always what they seem at first glance. Most people aren’t bad, you know. They’re just lost."

Deirdre shrugged. "Maybe." Not that it mattered. If Seth was lost, he could damn well stay that way. And all the dreams she’d had for the two of them, her visions of the future they might someday share, could damn well die. How many times in the past had she cried over Seth, or wished for the power to magically transport herself back here, just so she could be with him? So many, she’d lost count. Even once was too much.

Rafe sighed. "Don’t look so sad. Keep the faith. Eventually, you know, things do work out according to plan."

Not for me they don’t. Deirdre shook her head. Never the way I want them to. "I don’t have a plan." Not anymore.

Rafe smiled. "Well, that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? You don’t need one. The plan has you."
©PG Forte 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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