Welcome Serial Flashers!

 First the disclaimer. If everything is going according to plan, you should be coming from Vivian Arend's site.  http://vivianarend.com/blog/

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably wandered in here all unaware. In which case, if you like what you read in the comments section, you might want to start over at the beginning at  http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/blog/

Otherwise, when you leave here you should head over to Jolie Cain's blog http://joliecainauthor.blogspot.com/ for more hot flashes...well, in a manner of speaking, that is.But don't worry, I'll remind you again at the bottom of this post.

But, first, a word about the contest I'm running. Join my Yahoo group:

Click to join pgforte

(or if you're already a member, simply sign in) and leave me a post telling about a memorable holiday gift you've received over the years--good or bad--or a favorite holiday memory. The contest is running until January 5th, 2010 and the prize is a stocking full of LUSH Cosmetics products and Ghirardelli chocolate. Mmm.

You know, setting this post up for this event put me in mind of setting up refreshment stations along the route of a marathon or walkathon or...well, you know, some kind of thon. So I thought this might be a good place to give you a chance to cool down.  Kind of like this...

well...okay, maybe that won't do it. How about...

or this...

Okay, never mind. Obviously, this was a bad idea. Why don't I just tell you a little about what inspired my own flash today instead?

This story has been rattling around in my brain for longer than I probably should admit. It goes all the way back to a poem I wrote in high school. Yeah. That long ago. About a dozen years later, it resurfaced as part of a short story. My husband and I were traveling regularly to the Caribbean at that point, and I wrote a lot of stories set there.

Today, I've deconstructed it into a piece of flash. Who knows what it will turn into next?

I've actually taken a look at quite a few of those old stories lately, with an eye to doing something with them, inspired in part by the island retreat my husband and I have recently acquired.

I know...it's hard to see and it doesn't look like much (although the iguanas seem to like it) but it's 300 ft. from the crystalline waters of the Caribbean (just past the Yoga Studio--I kid you not!) on a teeny little island (only about 1 mile by 4 miles) with no cars and really good local beer.

And did I mention they have internet? Oh, yeah, I'm in heaven. So...look for more stories with island themes from me in the future. And, in the meantime, have fun on the rest of the tour.

Next stop: Jolie Cain http://joliecainauthor.blogspot.com/ And the boys and I wish you a very cool yule!

Happy Holidays!
The Spirit of the Place – SynergEbooks
IRON - Liquid Silver Books
In the Dark - Samhain Publishing


Chatting Today! And Contest Announcement

I've got a busy weekend planned! There's today's chat at the Samhain Cafe at 1 p.m. EST. Where I'll be talking about my newest release, In the Dark. And also going over the details of my new contest!

For the benefit of anyone who misses it, the contest is a fairly easy one. Simply join my Yahoo group (and if you're already a member-go, you!!!) and  post a message about either a memorable holiday gift you received or a favorite holiday memory. The contest runs between now and January 5--when I'll be blogging over at the Manic Readers' MySpace blog.

What can you win?  How about a stocking full of LUSH cosmetics and Ghirardelli chocolates (inspired by In the Dark )? Can we say YUM???


But the fun is just beginning because on Sunday, I'll be taking part in another all day blog tour, (complete with chat!) this one featuring serial flash by some of Liquid Silver Books hottest authors.  That's set to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST and the only time I won't be there is during 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. when I'll be visiting the Ellora's Cave Chat Group where author Kelly Jamieson will be talking about her new release, Rigger!

I downloaded the book this morning and let me tell you, it looks hot!! Can't wait for a chance to read it...maybe Tuesday!  Because on Monday I'll be back at the Samhain Cafe for their annual Christmas party! Expect lots of excerpts, recipes, prizes, and fun!!

And more exclamation points than you can shake a stick at...although why you'd be shaking sticks in the first place, is a mystery!


And now, just to get you in the mood, here's an excerpt from In the Dark.

Holding her breath, Suzanne went up on her toes, her arm stretched out as far as it would reach, to hang yet another sparkling ornament on the tree. Her hand hovered over the branch tip. She released the hook and smiled as the tiny, silver bell swayed safely in place. Relaxing again, she took a deep breath. The scent of pine was so strong it nearly knocked her off the ladder.

She loved Christmas—all the shiny, bright wonder of it. Familiar carols playing on the stereo. The cool taste of peppermint tingling on her lips. The sugar and spiciness of gingerbread cookies still warm from the oven mixing with the buttery fragrance of freshly made popcorn. And, this year, she was going to have the best Christmas ever. There could be no doubt about that.

Cocking her head to the side, she admired her handiwork, or as much of it as she could see from this angle. The tree was so big it was impossible to take it all in at a glance, so big that, even standing on the top of the stepladder, she still couldn’t reach the highest branches. That meant the placing of the final star would have to be done by someone else, by Conrad, she hoped, as her mind started spinning a happy little fantasy.

They would stand on the ladder together, his arm around her shoulders, and after he’d affixed the star to the top-most branch he’d turn to her with love in his eyes and a smile on his lips. “Merry Christmas,” he’d whisper as he bent to kiss her…and outside the house, in the dark, star-filled San Francisco night, it would begin to snow…

Well, maybe someday. Or, then again, maybe not. What were the odds, really?

From inside the room—where it was almost as dark as night—came a long, low, furious rumble to distract her from her thoughts. Words she didn’t know, yet whose meaning couldn’t be more clear, spilled in a seemingly endless stream from Armand’s lips.

“You know what’s funny?” she said as she turned to face him. “Even in French, cursing still sounds like cursing.”

Eyes narrowed, he glowered at her, glancing up from where he sat on the floor surrounded by the string of lights he’d been attempting to fix. Most of the exterior decorations were already in place when this string had inexplicably gone out and the workmen, unable to discover the problem, had returned it to Armand in its present condition: a dark, tangled seaweed-looking mass. That had been almost an hour ago.

“This is all your doing,” Armand growled, sounding so much like Conrad, she had to laugh.

“I know,” she said, unable to keep from ginning. It was for her—all for her—that Conrad, that Armand, that

all of them, were doing this. The tree, the tinsel, the cookies, the lights—all because she said she wanted it. And she wasn’t about to feel the least bit sorry about that, either.

Armand watched her for a moment longer, his expression softening until he was smiling too. “Well then, don’t you think the least you could do is come down here and help me straighten this mess out?”

“All right.” She jumped down from the ladder, grabbed the plate of cookies from the side table, then seated herself across from him, with the bulk of the lights—and the plate piled high with gingerbread—on the floor between them. “Now, what do you need me to do?”

Happy Holidays!
The Spirit of the Place – SynergEbooks
IRON - Liquid Silver Books
In the Dark - Samhain Publishing


Tales from the Kitchen (Holiday Recipes, part 3)

Today's recipe is one I invented when my kids were young--and then shared with my character Marsha (and her family) when I was writing The Spirit of the Place.

I have to admit, the recipe has changed some over the years, in large part because I never can leave well enough alone. The cranberries and spices are new and can be left out, if desired. I've included directions for making both a traditional and vegan version.



1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp tsp anise extract and/or ground cardomom (optional)
2 Tbs. sugar
1 egg (or 1Tbs ground flaxseed combined w/ 3 Tbs water)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of one orange
2 Tbs. Melted butter (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)


Combine dry ingredients. Stir in beaten egg (or flax mixture), orange juice, zest and butter/coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Add cranberries if desired. Thin batter as needed with additional juice or water. Cook on a hot, lightly-oiled griddle.

And now, I thought I'd throw in an excerpt. This is from Chapter Four, right after Jasmine has come home for the holidays--and her mother's wedding. But first, the blurb:

It's Christmas in Oberon. Got ghosts?

'Tis the season to be jolly, but Jasmine Quinn is far from happy about her mother's latest folly: her upcoming wedding to former Wall Street financier, Sam Sterling. Sam's assistant, Brandon Ablemarle, is also finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit, thanks in part to the fiery redhead with some of the goofiest ideas he's ever heard of.

But what else would he expect from the daughter of a self-proclaimed psychic? Marsha Quinn has a lot to answer for, in Brandon's opinion. Not only has she encouraged her daughter's esoteric craziness, she's also turned one of the most brilliant stock analysts Wall Street had ever seen into a nutcase as well.


Oh, baby, it’s so good to have you home again,” Marsha murmured the next morning, as she wrapped her arms around her daughter in a fierce hug. “I’ve missed you so much.”
I’ve missed you, too, Mom,” Jasmine answered, blinking back tears. Her mother looked just the same as always, but...home? It was a funny word to use for a place you no longer lived and barely even recognized. New paint. New landscaping. New furniture. A dog?
Jasmine ignored the beast as it sniffed curiously at her ankles—probably picking up the scent of her aunt’s dogs. What is it doing here? This couldn’t be her mother’s idea, Marsha had always preferred cats. So had she, for that matter. So had Celeste. This dog had to be Sam’s pet.
And didn’t that just figure? Holy crap, was there anything that man hadn’t messed with?
Marsha pulled away and fixed her with a worried gaze. “Is everything all right, Jazz? You look tired. How’d your drive go? You didn’t have any trouble on the way here, did you?”
Everything’s fine,” Jasmine lied, resolutely turning her thoughts in another direction. She envisioned the closet she hoped to have eventually—climate controlled, cedar lined, color corrected, lighted mirrors, et al––and began cataloging the clothes in her dream wardrobe. Beginning with the sweaters. Black cashmere v-neck. Red fleece pullover. Green lambs wool cardigan. It was an old technique, but it still worked surprisingly well.
Well, anyway, I’m glad you got in early,” her mother said, lips quirking into a small smile. “Maybe this way you’ll be able to get a little clothes shopping in before Christmas, huh?”
Yeah, that sounds good,” Jasmine answered, her mind moving on to shoes. Black pumps. Brown stacked heels. Navy sling backs. Open toed sandals. Two pairs of boots—one short, one tall…
Come on, Imelda.” Her mother wrapped an arm around her waist and propelled her toward the kitchen. “Let’s get you some breakfast. I’m making the orange-corn meal pancakes this morning.”
Winter Solstice pancakes?” Jasmine looked at her in surprise. “Already?”
Marsha shrugged. “I have to work early on Monday, so I thought we’d have them today, instead. Besides, I know how much you like them.”
Had her mother been expecting her, after all? It looked like Sinead was right; she really couldn’t keep the fact that she was back in town a secret from her mother. But then a more likely, and far less pleasant solution presented itself to her mind. Sam. Maybe he liked pancakes, too. Maybe Marsha had really been making them for him.
In the kitchen, her mother’s cat, Shadow, uncurled herself from her customary spot on the lowest shelf of the greenhouse window, yawned and stretched and then came over to greet Jasmine with a lazy flourish of her big, plumed tail. Jasmine was relieved to see that Shadow paid no attention to the ugly brute of a dog, who had followed them into the kitchen.
Good for you, sweetie, Jasmine thought, as she bent down to rub the cat’s chin. Don’t let that monster bother you. We both know who really belongs here, don’t we?

Happy Holidays!
The Spirit of the Place - SynergEbooks
IRON - Liquid Silver Books
In the Dark - Samhain Publishing


Tales from the Kitchen (Holiday Recipes, part 2)

Today I'm going to talk about rice pudding. I have a long history with this dish. It was one of the first things I learned to cook (the very first being chocolate chip cookies, but that's a story for another day) from a recipe right out of Seventeen Magazine.

I've experimented with various recipes over the years and made it with and without eggs, with and without raisins, with and without cinnamon on top, with brown rice, with white rice, with honey instead of sugar...you name it. My favorite version is Cuban style--very simple, flavored with cardomom. To me it tastes like Christmas. Of course, I also think Hoisin Sauce tastes like Christmas. Why, I don't know.

I first tried this version the year my son was in kindergarten. It was made by the grandmother of the boy who was his best friend that year. Sadly, at the end of the school year, both our families moved away and we lost touch with them. Sure would like to know what they're doing now. Sure would like that recipe.

Of course I've tried to recreate it, but my natural tendency to complicate things gets in the way, leading me to try and add things. Things like crystallized ginger--which is a keeper--and lemon zest, which is decidedly less so.

Although it's not something I grew up with, there's apparently a big precedence in Northern Europe for eating rice pudding as part of a holiday meal. Why this should be the case is a mystery to me. I seriously doubt rice is native to that part of the world and while eating fruit and grains makes perfect sense for midsummer festivals and I totally get the harvest motif for most Autumnal feasts...rice at the Winter Solstice seems decidedly random. But, I digress...

I keep trying for the ultimate rice pudding recipe, complicated by the fact that there's only so much of the stuff you can eat before it all begins to taste like...well, rice pudding. Another complication is that I'm generally the only one doing the sampling as my husband prefers his rice pudding to be store-bought and my kids have long since decided that I can't cook rice. I, of course, disagree, but whatever. This year, I have a new version and here's how it came about...

I've always referred to my son as Starch Boy because, from the time he was first learning to eat solid food, the key to getting him to eat anything was to start with some form of starch and go from there. Cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes, pastry, baked goods and, of course, rice, were his mainstays. He's been an off-and-on vegan for several years and loves anything Asian. Lucky for him, he lives in San Francisco, where Chinese-Japanese-Korean-Vietnamese-Thai-Indian-you name it restaurants are to be found on practically every block. Being as he's part Italian, he learned to cook early.

(For more detailed information regarding my theories involving Italians and cooking, I recommend reading either Scent of the RosesTouch of a Vanished Hand or Dream Under the Hill )

When he was still in middle school he experimented a lot with creating new dishes out of leftovers. His motto was: Welcome to Dillon's Kitchen where we fry everything!

NB: Some food products really should not be fried. I'm just sayin...

So, as I said, this year's version of my traditional-nontraditional holiday rice pudding is a very simple vegan version using leftover rice.

  1. 2 cups leftover white or brown rice
  2. 2 cups rice milk, almond milk or soy nog
  3. 1/2 cup blue agave syrup (sugar or other sweetener may be substituted)
  4. Small pinch salt
  5. 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional--especially if using nog)
  7. 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  8.  Dash of nutmeg(also optional...although nutmeg is my go-to spice for almost any dish)
Combine cooked rice, milk/nog, sweetener and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the vanilla and ginger. Cook until most of the milk is absorbed. Stir in cardamom and nutmeg.
Makes 4-6 servings. May be served either warm or chilled but it's best the next day, after the ginger has fully infused the dish.



Well, thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday's tour and chat. What a fabulous event! I don't know about you all, but I enjoyed myself enormously.  

The prize results are in and the winners are:

Sharon K
Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily and Elise
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad

Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain

Boone Brux
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler

Amy S.
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar

Shawn F
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow

Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster
TBA by J. Morgan
Hearts Afire December by Emily, Elise and Ella
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan

The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell
Tastes of Pleasure by Shara Lanel

Congratulations to all the winners and be sure to check back often for info on more tours, more chats and more fun events.

Happy reading and happy holidays!


More Holiday Hotties

If you're following the Holiday Hotties Blog Tour, you should have just come from Annie Nicholas's blog.

Santa and his helpers are very glad you're here.

They want to ask you a very important question...

I guess we know which answer they'd give, huh? I've definitely been naughty this year, but I'm not worried because I think that's the kind of girl this sexy santa is looking for!

Or maybe he's not looking for a girl?

Mmm. Love those eyes... But I digress.  The elves have been busy buying you presents...

And more presents...

And even more presents...

Hmm...guess he wants to be your present, huh? But all that shopping has left them very, very tired.

Oh, the poor elves. I guess you should move along now. Shara Lanel is your next stop. http://sharalanel. wordpress. com/

And I'll be looking forward to chatting with you at Gem's place ( http://gemsivad. wordpress. com/blog/ )when you're done with the tour! Have fun along the way. Don't forget to comment!! And, if you get lost (or just want to go back for another look *g*) the fun starts at: Trina M, Lee's blog http://trinamlee. com/blog/  

Happy Holidays!!


Thursday Excerpt: Meet the Hero

Well, it's Thursday, so this must be an Excerpt. 

 This week, the Nine Naughty Novelists are trotting out their yummiest heroes for your viewing...er, reading...pleasure. Of course, I have to be different. 

I'm showcasing Mike from Let Me Count the Ways. He's not the youngest or hottest of my heroes, and he's definitely not the kind of hard bodied stud Claire (the heroine) is used to dealing with, but he has been described by one reader as “deliciously dominant”. In addition, the following scene, written in Claire's perspective, prompted Mrs. Giggles to say this about him:

While I often find that authors dropping the names of actors as a way to describe how their characters look like too much of a shortcut, I like what Ms Forte does here. She has Claire comparing Mike to Brian Dennehy, for example, but Claire describes why she thinks the comparison is apt, and in such a lovely way too that for a moment I find myself thinking that maybe every woman should have her own Brian Dennehy.

Yeah, ya got that right, Mrs. G. Brian Dennehy as a closet Dom? What's not to like about that? Ooh, baby, where did I put those handcuffs?

(to read the whole review go here: http://www.mrsgiggles.com/ebooks/forte_count.html )

If you've just come from the NNN blog, you've already read part of this scene—taken right out of the middle, too! Mea Culpa—but here's the whole enchilada. Which, as a bonus, includes Claire's description of yet another hero the very hot and delightful Derek Novello--who just happens to be the hero of Waiting for the Big One. Enjoy...

Chapter One


Yoga is not easy, so the Bhagavad Gita warns, for those whose minds are not subdued. But I can tell you, it’s pretty damn hard for any of us. Especially after forty.

I suppose I shouldn’t say such things. After all, Yoga did save my life. I turned to it in much the same way Tina turned to Buddhism after Ike. Married to a cruel, emotionally distant man, my career, my health, my looks, my self esteem had all hit the skids. Yoga offered me a way out, a way back. It offered sanity, peace of mind, discipline, and the courage I needed to pick myself up and turn my life around.

That’s why I used the money I got in my divorce settlement to open The Body Electric. I wanted to give something back, to share the blessings I’d received, to support myself by working at something I could still believe in. Still, as the Gita says, it’s not easy. Of course, the same can be said of pretty much anything; business, relationships, life itself. There are days, and today was definitely one of them, when it all seems damn near impossible.

Standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling smoked glass that lined one entire wall of my second-floor office, I watched the class working out in the studio below me. A dozen and a half youthful beauties—mostly female—twisted their bodies into pretzels. Willingly. Eagerly. Effortlessly.

The first two were something I could completely understand and totally empathize with, given that their instructor was Derek Novello. Derek has some of the most beautiful musculature I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot. What woman wouldn’t be eager to give her all for a piece of that? But the effortless part—now, that’s where they had me beat. That’s what had me feeling every last year of my age today.

How many years, you wonder? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but there are some things I just don’t share. Age is nothing but a number, you know, and a girl’s entitled to keep a few secrets.

Derek is the most popular teacher we have here, which is saying rather a lot. Especially when you consider that his classes are also among the hardest we offer. He’s tough enough to challenge the men to push themselves to their limits, charming enough to make the women want to melt—into those same willing pretzels I’ve mentioned.

Tireless, talented, passionate, intense. Derek brings everything he has to his teaching. For almost five months, he brought most of it to our lovemaking, too. All but his heart. That, I suppose, was par for the course, and frankly I wasn’t expecting anything more. These older woman/younger man things rarely last long and are almost never about love. I knew the moment it was over. Probably before he did. I could tell right away that Derek’s heart had been lost to a pretty blonde pretzel.

Still, I really can’t complain. I’ve been dumped before, but never so discreetly. To the casual observer I’m sure it appeared that I’d tired of him, rather than the other way around. I think even the pretzel was confused. And, in the months since our affair ended, I’d discovered another reason to be thankful. I no longer have to take even one of his classes. I can’t tell you what a relief that’s been!

At least I still look fit, I thought, taking a step back so that I could see my reflection in the glass. I sucked in my tummy, tucked in my buns, pivoted from side to side. “Not bad,” I murmured as I thrust back my shoulders and studied my breasts, wondering how much longer I could get away without having them lifted. “But you’re not what you used to be, that’s for sure.” Still, things could be worse, and no doubt they will be, in time.

“Nonsense,” a male voice insisted from somewhere behind me. “You’re as beautiful as ever.”

I spun around, startled to find Mike Sherman watching from the doorway—which just goes to show you the kind of funk I’d been in all day. I’d totally forgotten his standing, bi-monthly appointment to go over the books, three p.m. every other Thursday.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, his face flaming. “I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“Don’t be silly.” Calling on all my training to hide my own embarrassment, I rolled my eyes and grimaced slightly. “Actors, you know.” I waved my hand in a negligent gesture as I seated myself—not in my chair but on the edge of my desk—where my crossed legs would appear to their best advantage. “We’re always so focused on appearances.” And ain’t that the truth?

“Well, you have to be, don’t you? The same way singers have to take care of their voices.” He looked so sincere as he said it too. As if he really might mean it.

“What a nice way of putting it.” I beamed at him as he crossed the room to his own desk. “How are things with you, Mike? How’s your day going?”

He didn’t answer right away. A small smile played over his lips as he slid his briefcase beneath the desk and seated himself. Then he glanced up at me, his eyes twinkling. “It’s always a good day when I know I’m going to see you, Claire. Don’t you know that?”

“Flatterer.” Laughing, I leaned forward a little, just enough to flash some cleavage in his direction. Call it a reward, if you will. “You have all the right answers today, don’t you?”

If they ever make a movie of my life, no doubt they’ll get someone like Danny DeVito to play the part of Mike, which will be a shame. Don’t get me wrong, I think Danny is a fine actor and he’s got the bald head, the soulful brown eyes and the teddy bear physique the part calls for. He’ll do a fine job of catching the nervous, slightly awkward exuberance Mike exhibited when we first met. But there’s so much more to the role than that.

For starters, Mike is big. Brian Denehy big. With Denehy’s surprising gracefulness—when he’s not acting all nervous. Mike, I mean. Then there’s his impeccably trimmed beard, the wicked twinkle in his eye and his rare and wondrous smile, all of which bring Sean Connery to mind.

But, even though Sean would be a dream to work with, if I were casting for the part I’d go for something different. I’d pick someone like a young James Earl Jones, for example. For his eyes and his smile and his size. For his astonishing ability to shift from fearful to fierce, from stern to boyish, from gentle to regal to commanding to jovial—or back again, or all at once. But, more than anything else, for his voice. For that deep, dark, delicious river of sound that could never be anything but male and can’t help but leave you wondering, why all the fuss about Tenors?

“It doesn’t count as flattery if it’s fact,” Mike replied in that lovely, low rumble of his.

“Oh, fact, is it?” I couldn’t help but smile as I recalled my recent conversation with Dave, my lawyer, over tapas and drinks. Dave had been pleased I’d taken his advice and gone to see Mike, but he’d seemed shocked by the deal we’d worked out...

He’s handling it himself?” Dave asked, looking up from his seared tuna, clearly having trouble coming to grips with the idea. “Didn’t he assign you to one of the people who works for him? You don’t have to bring your paperwork there? He just shows up at your office—himself—every month?”

No, twice a month,” I corrected, nibbling at the celery stalk that had come in my michelada. “Why? Isn’t that what you told me to do—to hire someone reputable? Someone I could trust? You said he was the best.”

I know I did, but, damn it, Claire, he doesn’t even do that for me anymore, and I was one of his very first clients! How much is he charging you, anyway?”

Surprised, I told him.

Oh, hell, no,” Dave replied, sounding almost insulted. “That’s nothing!”

I sipped my drink and refrained from pointing out that, in my current financial state, it hadn’t seemed quite like nothing to me. Then again, neither had Dave’s fees. You get what you pay for, I suppose.

Dave’s gaze had turned speculative. If he were anyone else, I know exactly what he’d have been thinking—that I must be giving Mike some additional form of compensation. Entirely too many people still confuse the terms ‘actress’ and ‘prostitute’.

He’s a fan, Dave,” I tried to explain. “It’s not that uncommon.” Although, these days, I’m afraid it really is.

But Dave had his own ideas. “You know what I think it is? He probably knows your business is too small to afford his usual rates yet. Probably he figures he can afford to give you a break because he’s banking on the fact he can use your name to attract other Hollywood types.”

Well, that would be foolish,” I sighed. I knew just how far my name would take him in Hollywood, even if Dave didn’t. It wouldn’t even take him as far as it takes me. Which is close to nowhere anymore. “Maybe he’s just being nice.”

Nice is no way to stay in business,” Dave grumbled, which only made me laugh because Dave is one of the nicest people I know. “He probably doesn’t want to pay one of his employees to work on an account he’s not making any money on. I bet that’s why he’s doing it himself.”

I’m sure you’re right,” I murmured. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there’s no arguing with a man who’s made up his mind about something. So why bother trying? Reason and logic are no match for sheer, pig-headed, male determination. And, when it turns out you were right all along, that’ll just prove to him that you’re a bitch. Directors are especially good at making that connection.

“It is,” Mike insisted now. “Absolutely fact.”

And I wasn’t about to argue with him, either. Not just because he’s a man. Not just because I didn’t want him to re-think the great deal he was giving me, or assign my account to someone else. No, I had an even better reason than those.

Mike’s a fan, no matter that Dave doesn’t see it that way, and you never, ever argue with your fans. That’s rule number one of being a celebrity. Fans are the lifeblood of our business. They’re why we do what we do. They’re the customer. They’re always right. And you never want to run the risk of their turning into Kathy Bates.

copyright 2007 PG Forte All Rights Reserved.

Buy this book HERE.


Tales from the Kitchen (Holiday Recipes, part 1)

You know, I do try to remember that the holidays aren't just about food, but I come from a family of what I like to call compulsive feeders, so in a way...it really kinda is.  My plan for the next couple of weeks is to toss in a recipe every now and then. It's something of an odd, eclectic collection of dishes because...well, I'm somewhat odd.

The first recipe is for strufolli, AKA honey balls. Struffoli is an Italian Christmas classic so, of course, being half Italian you'd think I'd grown up eating it, right?  Not right. My family is Sicilian and struffoli is originally from the Naples area. According to Sicilians, Napolitanos are not quite right in the head. Which is not a good reason for giving this dish a skip, IMO, but that's another story.

I first sampled struffoli when I was dating my first Italian boyfriend--who my parents could not stand, btw, leading me to think I was Juliet--probably not the effect they intended. Honestly, I can't imagine what their problem was with him. Unlike some members of my family, I never dated anyone with mob ties. And  I learned a lot from that boyfriend. Things like minestrone, calzones and struffoli.

And to think, my parents were worried about where it might lead. But, I digress...

We dated for about a year--long enough for me to sample struffoli at the houses of various of his relatives and friends because, that's something else you should know about Italian Americans. Come Christmas--they like to visit.  Anyway...it didn't last. We had a falling out over a ham sandwich--I kid you not. Also our tastes in soda were completely incompatible. A year later, I met my husband. Come Christmas,  I met his grandmother. And his aunts. And his cousins. They knew all about struffoli too.

Turns out his grandmother's family did come from the Naples area and, truth be told...the Sicilians maybe have a point. But, for struffoli...ah, I'd risk a little insanity for these babies. Any time.

Struffoli Recipe 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt (sea salt, preferably)
  • 2 cups oil
  • 2 cups honey
  • juice and zest of one lemon (preferably a Meyer's lemon--but that's just me. I have rather a thing for Meyer's lemons)

  1. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in center.
  2. Add the eggs, zest and salt and knead until smooth.
  3. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out on lightly floured board until 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch strips, and then cut the strips into tiny pieces 1/2 inch long. To be honest...I tend to make them a bit bigger--because I have no patience whatsoever and all those little teeny pieces take waaaaay too long to make. 
  6. Shape pieces into balls.
  7. Heat oil to 350F.
  8. Drop the balls into the oil a few at a time.
  9. Cook until lightly golden, turning constantly with a wooden spoon.
  10. Remove balls and drain them on paper towels.
  11. Combine the honey and lemon juice in a saucepan and boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until thin.
  12. Add fried cookies, 1 cup at a time, and cook in honey syrup, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  13. Remove and allow to cool--on a plate or tray.
  14. When cool enough to handle shape into pyramid/cone (or a Christmas tree?) shape. Can be decorated with colored sugar, sprinkles, etc...or not. Personally, even though it looks deliciously festive with sprinkles, I don't care for the crunch. Call me a purist. But, then again, what do I know? I'm Sicilian. I leave the crazy Napolitano stuff to my husband.


Chat tonight!

PG Forte and Juniper Bell chat with us in the Realms of Love Chat Castle Monday December 7 at 9 PM EST. Join us and find out about these Samhain author's upcoming releases. You just may get a give-away download of one of their books!

How does a romance writer live with no running water? How does a romance writer get her husband to research vampire romance? We ask the tough questions at Realms of Love and we demand ANSWERS!

In the Dark by PG Forte In the Dark (the first book in the paranormal series, Children of Night)
PG Forte
Available December 8, 2009 at Samhain Publishing

In the Dark is her debut into the world of the nightwalkers.

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

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 were 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 be reunited with, Conrad, is missing.

How to find him... and whom to trust? Solving the mystery of betrayal and vampire family values will prove the Beatles had it right. All you need is love...and an occasional side of blood.

Warning: 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.

PG Forte writes stories where anything can happen and anyone can fall in love.

When she’s not pestering her husband to help her research scenes for upcoming books, or being entertained by her vastly amusing children, she can usually be found serving the needs and whims of her characters...and her cats.

It’s a difficult job, but someone has to do it.

Doll  by Juniper Bell Doll
Juniper Bell
Coming December 15, 2009 from Samhain Publishing

Even a plaything can be pushed too far


Chloe Barnes thought her marriage to a wealthy politician would be the stuff of fairy tales. Instead, he took advantage of her naiveté and used her as a plaything to fulfill his twisted sexual needs. Ten years is enough. She returns to Bellhaven Island to sell the summer cottage she inherited, hoping the money will buy her freedom—and custody of her daughters.


Fisherman Dustin McDougal never forgot the childhood crush he once had on the fairy-like Chloe. The woman she’s become has a haunted look that brings his feelings back, stronger than ever...with a mature edge. Along with all his protective instincts.

Sexual healing.

Their passion blows stronger than a Maine nor’easter, awakening Chloe to the joy of true love. Yet it may not be strong enough to free her from the past...

Warning: This title contains politicians doing all sorts of nasty things and flashbacks of male domination. It also features hot sex on a boat, hot sex in an attic, hot sex on a work bench...you get the idea.

Juniper Bell lives with her dream man in a cabin in Alaska with no running water and a spectacular view of glaciers (no, she’s not making that up). She wound up in the frozen north after leaving her career as a stressed-out Los Angeles TV writer. Luckily, her love for writing survived the move, and she soon found out that nothing heats up those long winter nights like an imagination and a computer! Her first erotic romance was published in August 2009, and two more are coming soon from Samhain Publishing. She loves the Samhain motto, "It’s all about the story." Her stories are about those unexpected turning points in life when you transcend your limits and become someone braver, wilder, more sensual, more free, more adventurous, more... whatever you desire!
Please visit her website at www.juniperbell.com. You can also find her on Facebook.


Release Week

I have a very busy week planned, starting tomorrow night (9 p.m. EST) when I'll be chatting at Realms of Love along with fellow Liquid Silver/Samhain author Juniper Bell. We both have new books releasing this month and we'll each be giving away an ARC to one lucky participant!

Next comes Tuesday, December 8. Join me (along with author Meg Benjamin) at the Samhain Cafe as well as on the Nine Naughty Novelists' blog for fun, excerpts and the chance to win again!

On Wednesday Meg and I and the rest of the Nine Naughty Novelists will be celebrating just because it's the ninth day of the month. What? That's not reason enough to party?

On Thursday...no contests, but there will be excerpts because it's Excerpt Thursday. This week's theme: Meet the Hero. And, I tell you, we have some outstanding heroes to share with you all!

Then comes Friday and if you haven't gotten your fill of heroes...or hotties...come on board the Holiday Hotties Blog Tour...

We'll be giving away a Santa-sized pile of books to several lucky winners! PLUS at the end of the tour you'll find directions to our all-day chat. Join your favorite authors--or meet a bunch of new favorites!


Thursday Excerpts ~ Fight Scene

We're posting excerpts over at Nine Naughty Novelists. This week's theme is arguments between main characters. Man, did I have trouble picking just one. It seems all of my characters like to argue. A lot!

I finally decided to go with a seasonal excerpt. This is from The Spirit of the Place (Oberon: Book 6). In this scene a somewhat Scrooge-like Brandon is attempting to reason with an inebriated Jasmine...

Brandon sighed in frustration.  He’d been up and down every street in a five block radius surrounding the downtown park, at least three times.  As far as he could tell, two thirds of Oberon was doing the exact same thing.   But, was Jasmine anywhere among them?  Not as far as he could tell.  He was beginning to wonder if he hadn’t been stood up.

He looked around.  Colored lights glowed brightly on the surrounding houses, in the windows and doors, along the rooftops.  Groups gathered to gaze in admiration at lawn decorations gone wild.  In one yard, Santa had arrived in a cherry-red, classic Mustang convertible.  A busy pit crew of mechanical elves attired in Team Santa jumpsuits worked feverishly to change oil and rotate tires.

A life-sized creche, complete with real sheep and a miniature pony, graced another lawn.  It was amazing to see the lengths people would go to, just to outdo their neighbors.  But this was not what Brandon had come here for.  He’d come to see Jasmine, and so far, she was nowhere in sight.

He slowed to study another band of carolers.  Nope.  Not there, either.  Wasn’t that just like a woman?

He had no idea where to look next.  He’d looped through the park once, already; detouring through the maze of tents, checking out faces in the lines.  He’d even made a stop at the wine garden.  Right now, he was about to give up.  She’d told him she’d be here, tonight.  But, was she? 

What did you expect from Marsha’s daughter? an evil voice in his head scoffed.  You knew she was weird.  Why would you imagine she could be trusted?  Why would you take her at her word about anything?

Maybe because he wanted to believe her?  And because he wanted to believe she was different—not like her mother.  And, not like the long list of other women whose word had proved false.  Starting with his own mother, the queen of revisionist history.

I don’t recall ever saying that, Brandon.  That’s really not quite the way it happened, you know,” were just a couple of his mother’s favorite phrases.  But, why was he thinking about her?

Oh, the hell with it.  He should just give it up.  Go back to the inn and—  Shit.  And what?   He sighed.  And nothing, most likely.   Maybe, one more turn through the park, then?

A familiar peal of laughter caught his ear and he turned toward the gazebo, where a small crowd of people were dancing.

Finally!  A curious sensation of relief sluiced through him when he saw her, and then almost instantly drained away again.  Who the hell is she dancing with this time? 

Brandon shouldered his way through the crowd, until he was standing in front of her.  The tall kid who appeared to be her partner looked vaguely familiar.  He nodded at Brandon and shuffled aside obligingly.

“Hey.  So here you are,” Brandon said, trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.  “I’ve been looking everywhere.”

“Oh?” Jasmine’s smile faltered as he reached for her hand.  She came to a stop, hid her hands behind her back and frowned at him uncertainly.  “What do you want?”

Nice greeting.  He bit back the answer on his lips and forced a smile.  “We need to talk—remember?  But, since you asked, at the moment I wouldn’t mind a dance.”

“Dance?”  Lips pursed she scanned the crowd.  “Well…sure, okay, why don’t you find Maya, then?   I think she’s around here someplace.”

“Maya?”  He stared at her in confusion.  “Who’s she?” 

“Oh, you know Maya,” Jasmine scolded.  “She’s Doctor H’s— Brent’s daughter.  “She’s got a crush on you, you know.  I’m sure she’d love to dance with you.”

“Huh?”  Yeah, he knew Maya.  She was a cute kid, and almost as exotic looking as Jasmine, with her mother’s Pan-Pacific features and coloring, and her father’s wide smile.   “A crush?  What makes you think that?”

Jasmine shrugged.  “She told me.  She is one of my best friends, you know.”

Friends?  Great.  If he needed any more proof that he’d come close to robbing the cradle the other night, there it was.  He shook his head, disgusted with himself.  “Yeah, well,  I’m sure she’ll get over it.  And, as for dancing with her…I asked you.”

“Oh.”  With no warning, Jasmine’s mood morphed from ditzy into anger.  “Well,  maybe I don’t want to dance with you, Brandon.  Did you ever think of that?”

Uh-oh.  We’ve been here before.  He looked at her sharply, studying the faint glassiness in her eyes.  “You’ve been drinking again, haven’t you?” he asked, feeling annoyed and disappointed on the one hand, and far too hopeful on the other.  Do not go there, he admonished himself.

She tossed her head, beads clacking as her braids swung behind her shoulders.  “So?  What if I have?  What’s it to you?  I do what I please, you know.”

Yeah.  He’d definitely got that point.  A nice, sharp point it was, too.  Kind of like stepping barefoot on a piece of glass.   He shook his head.  “You’re right.  It’s none of my business.  I don’t care if you want to get wasted every night of the week.  But I can tell you one thing, you’re not driving yourself home in this condition.”  There were limits, after all.

She looked at him for a moment.  Then, to his surprise, a slow smile stole across her face.  “You’re right,” she said at last.

His eyebrows rose.  Okay, what was he missing?   That was too easy.  There had to be a catch, somewhere.  “I am?”

“Mm-hmm,” she murmured, lips pursing into a mischievous pout.  “I’m not driving anywhere tonight.  I’m gonna walk home.”   

“Walk?”  He stared at her in confusion.  She couldn’t mean it?

She nodded.  “Sure.  It’s how I got here, after all.  Well, almost.  I got dropped off, actually.  But, either way—look Ma, no car.”

Terrific.  He sighed.  “Okay, so, when you’re ready to leave tonight, you let me know.  I’ll give you a ride.”

The smile left her face in a hurry.  “I don’t think so,” she snapped.  “I’ll be fine on my own.  Besides, you’re the one who thinks we shouldn’t see each other.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” he insisted. “I’d have to be insane to let you go anywhere by yourself tonight.  You’ll likely wake up dead in a ditch somewhere.  So, like it or not, I’m driving you home.  End of conversation.”

“Oh, really?”  She arched one brow.  “What if I want to get a ride with someone else?  You’re not the only person on the planet with a car, you know.  You’re not even the only person in town with one.  Look,”  She made a sweeping gesture that encompassed the whole street.  “There’re cars everywhere.  And I could probably get a ride in any one of them if I wanted to.”

Brandon shook his head.  “Forget it,” he said flatly.  “You don’t need to ride with anyone else.  You’ve already got a ride.  With me.  And that’s final.”

It was clear they weren’t going to have the discussion he’d been hoping to have tonight, but, all the same, he’d be damned if he was going to stand by and watch as she went off  with some other guy.  Not after she’d been drinking.  Not remembering the way she’d reacted to him after a couple of beers.  He might be a gentleman, but he wasn’t a saint.  If she was gonna jump anyone tonight, it might as well be him.  No.  He took that back.  It had damn well better be him.

And he absolutely refused to consider the implications there.  Because if he really didn’t care what she did, why should it matter so much who she did it with?

*  *  *

“I’m really not ready to go home yet, you know,” Jasmine protested as she fumbled with her seat belt.  “Leaving this early is your idea.”

Brandon reached across to help her with the belt, trying hard to ignore the smell of her perfume.  “Yeah?  So, you want to stop somewhere for coffee, or something?”  Good idea.   Coffee would probably do her good.  It would probably do them both good, in fact.

“I don’t drink coffee,” she answered.  She grabbed the strap away from him.  “I got it, thanks,” she mumbled, ducking her head, still struggling to secure the belt, not even coming close.

This could go on all night, he thought, watching her efforts.  He reached for the belt again.  “Here, let me just—”

“No!” she answered, a little too quickly.  Her voice sounded suspiciously squeaky.  “I said, I got it.”

But, saying it didn’t make it so.  Why was she being so stubborn?  “Jasmine, you don’t have it.   Just—”

“Yes, I do.”  She pushed at his chest.  “Now, back up, Brandon.  Go away.  Shoo.”

 Shoo?  “Okay, how about some light, then?” he suggested, flipping on the interior lamp.  He leaned back in his seat and studied her face.  There was a slight flush on her cheeks, and she was biting her lip again.  Interesting.  What was making her so nervous?  Did she think he was going to try and kiss her, or something?

Go ahead, a soft voice in his head suggested.  That’s a great idea.  But, oh, hell, no, it was not!  He ran the list of reasons through his brain once again:  too young, Marsha’s daughter, world’s apart, nothing in common, big time trouble.  The only problem was, he’d been telling himself the same things, over and over again, for three days now, and familiarity had begun to breed acceptance.

He leaned in close again, just to test his theory, and she glanced up at him.  Eyes wide, lips parted. 

“Brandon, I—”

Well, whaddaya know, he thought, unable to keep from smiling.  That’s exactly what she did think, wasn’t it?  And, what she wanted, too.  At least...did she? 

Only one way to find out.

He leaned closer.  She shrank away from him.  “No, don’t.  Please.”

Okay, maybe not.  And, probably just as well, he supposed.  Still, it was an effort to pull himself away from her.  He snapped the light off to conceal his annoyance.  “Okay, so, you don’t want to go home and you don’t want coffee.”  And you don’t want to kiss me.  “So what do you want?”  And, if his voice sounded a little too cold, well, it was hardly his fault.  Disappointment was welling up inside him, clashing with the frustration he’d been feeling all day, and tightening his insides into a knot. 

“We could...I don’t know, drive around for a bit and look at the lights?” she suggested in a tiny voice.

Oh, yeah, didn’t that sound like fun.  “You gotta be joking, right?  What are you, a kid?”

She smiled, although it looked a little shaky.  “Well, sure.  It’s Christmas.  Everybody’s a kid at Christmas, aren’t they?”

“No,” he answered, turning the key in the ignition.  “Not everyone.”  As a matter of fact, he hadn’t been a kid in a very long time.

It was a weird-ass Christmas, that was for sure, he thought, glancing around him as he drove.  Jasmine had her window rolled all the way down and the air that rushed in was warm, not cold. It smelled of lemon blossoms instead of evergreen.  There was no snow on the ground, no frost on his windows, and he’d be damned if those weren’t magnolias in bloom.

Magnolias at Christmas?  Now, there’s something you don’t see every day.

They drove around in silence for several minutes, the tension between them increasing with every mile, until the only thing Brandon wanted was to get her out of the car.  Well, maybe it wasn’t the only thing he wanted, but it was the only sure way to cut the screaming pressure he was feeling without one of them losing several articles of clothing.

He pulled up in front of her drive and turned off the engine.  She looked at the house in surprise.  “That’s it?  We’re back?  Already?”

So, what did she think?  He was just gonna chauffeur her around all night?  “Yep.  End of the line.  Time for all good little girls to go to bed.”

She looked at him, eyebrows raised, and Brandon could have bitten his tongue in two.  Now, why’d he have to go and say that, for Christ’s sake?  So help him, if she told him she wasn’t a ‘good little girl’ he would not be responsible for his actions. 

“Good night, Jasmine,” he gritted from between clenched teeth.

“Hmph,” she murmured darkly.  She got her belt unfastened on the third try and then struggled with the door.  “Well.  You know what, Brandon,” she said, as she pushed the door open at last.  “I really think you should consider a career change.  You obviously have great natural talent as a tour guide that you’re completely ignoring.  What do I owe you for this wonderful driving experience?”

“Don’t even start,” he sighed. 

Her eyebrows went up again.  “What?  You don’t think the ride was worth anything, either?  Well, maybe you’re right.”  She got out of the car, leaving the door open behind her, and started up the drive.  She was weaving just a little––but enough that, unless she corrected her course, she’d miss the front porch and end up in the Japanese style meditation garden that ran across the front of the house.  She might fall into the koi pond, or—

“Shit,” Brandon muttered as he watched her trip over an ornamental stone lantern and crash into a bonsai pine.  “I knew it.”  He set the brake and got out of the car.  “Hold on a minute,” he called as he hurried after her.

By the time he got to her, she was on her feet again, brushing pine needles from her butt.  The scent of resin was sharp and sweet and for the first time all night, the world smelled like Christmas.  Brandon breathed it in, almost forgetting his mission as ancient longings, deep, painful and unfulfilled swirled to life inside him.

For just an instant, he felt like a child again.  Standing in the dark.  Bathed in the colored lights spilling down from the bulbs strung beneath the eaves.  Waiting for the magic of the season to enfold him.  The spangled light illuminated Jasmine’s face as well, turning her into an angel, an elf, an honest-to-God fairy princess, and he reached for her, without thinking.

Buy book Here:


KINDLE CONTEST! To help you chase away the chills this winter...

Is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than curling up with a good book?

Um…okay, besides that!

Uh-huh, didn’t think so.

That’s why a group of Samhain authors (and our editor) have dreamed up the perfect holiday contest—happening now!

Check out www.editortera.wordpress.com every day, from November 16th to December 14 to read an interview with one of the participating authors. To enter the contest, all you have to do is:

#1. post a comment on the blog regarding that day’s interview

#2. send an email to answer that day’s scavenger hunt question.

Details are posted HERE.

What might you win? Just a brand new Kindle, pre-loaded with lots of great new books, including my own up-coming release, In the Dark.

Here’s the list of authors and dates:

Day 1, November 16 = Leslie Dicken

Day 2, November 17 = Nicole Austin

Day 3, November 18 = Denise Belinda McDonald

Day 4, November 19 = Avery Beck

Day 5, November 20 = P.G. Forte

Day 6, November 23 = Kelly Jamieson

Day 7, November 24 = Angelle Trieste

Day 8, November 25 = Dawn Brown

Day 9, November 30 = J.K. Coi

Day 10, December 1 = Cheryel Hutton

Day 11, December 2 = Rita Oberlies

Day 12, December 3 = Kate Johnson

Day 13, December 4 = Leah Braemel

Day 14, December 7 = Deidre Knight

Day 15, December 8 = Cooper Davis

Day 16, December 9 = Kimberly Nee

Day 17, December 10 = Joely Sue Burkhart

Day 18, December 11 = T.A. Chase

Day 19, December 14 = Samantha Sommersby