It's the Luck of the Irish Bloghop!

Click here for Details

Welcome back once again, blog hoppers and a very happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Once again we have our awesome tour bar at the top of the page (courtesy of our awesome tour guides—thank you Alanna and Michael). Simply follow the trail for yummy reads and a chance to win some great books, a Kindle 3 and other prizes.

If you stumbled upon this tour by accident (or if you happen to fall off along the way) not to worry! Just visit http://justromance.me/bloghop/ to start at the beginning.

This time around, as you probably already know, we're treating you to stories with an Irish theme, featuring a certain set of words. It should be fun to see what everyone comes up with! And you all get to help decide whose story wins.

My story is set within the "world" of my novel Iron. Here's the blurb for the book: 

Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O’Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back—the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth—taking their firstborn son with her.

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he’s been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who’s vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy’s reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She’ll need to win Gavin’s heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he’s trying to save.

And here's my story...

  Gavin O’Malley rarely smiled. 'Twas a fact to which any of his neighbors in the small town of Killbanning would readily attest. Such had been the case for many a year now, ever since the untimely death of his wife, the presumed love of his life. Word in the tiny Irish village was that sure and whenever Gavin stood upon the green grass and the shamrocks that covered Mairead’s grave he must feel the kiss of death upon his own soul, as it were. It was this, or so they believed, that kept the smile from his face and froze his heart so that the love he might have given to another was all but withered away. Nor did anyone expect him to ever be recovering from his grief—not until he had joined his love on the far side of the grave.

In heaven there could be no doubt but that Gavin would wear a smile. Especially an it were a heaven such as an Irishman like himself was most certain to love—a green and pleasant land where the whiskey ran freely and horses were forever grazing in fields of shamrocks, just waiting for someone to come along and ride them.

But, recently, there’d been a change come over O’Malley and he was smiling now though there was none 'round to see it. What's the reason for the change, you ask? Ah, but there's a story worth the telling!

To be sure, the good people of Killbanning had no idea of all that had happened down at O'Malley's forge these past few months—and was happening still. And wouldn't they have had their knickers in a twist were they to be after knowing the cause for this alteration in the fortunes of one of their own? Oh, their tongues would be a-wagging most fiercely, I can assure you of that! There'd be much shaking of their heads if any had had the least inkling about Aislinn Deirbhile, the beautiful Faery princess whom Gavin had been sheltering—and who was even now, if they but knew it, seated by his fireplace with a book in her lap and a wee glass of whiskey within her grasp; her tongue peeking out to lick her lips every now and again when the story reached an especially good part; drumming her fingernails on the arm of his chair if the tale grew tense.

They’d be quite green with envy, all those good Christians, if they'd been made privy to any of this, for there’d be no stopping them from jumping to the very logical conclusion that the Fae must've gifted Gavin with a pot of gold—or even several pots of gold, as her kind was wont to do—as thanks for his gallantry to her the previous winter.

And so she would have done too, had he not turned her down when she’d offered it. Quite shocked O’Malley’s neighbors would be to learn of that! Or to know of the reward he was receiving instead; one that consisted, for the most part, of kisses and cuddles and making love.

Not that they had anything against kisses and cuddles and making love, you’ll be understanding, just so long as they were kept in their proper place—within the bonds of Holy Matrimony. But, in any case, 'twas not this—the kisses and cuddles and the making love, as it were—that was putting the smile on Gavin’s face this fine day. At least not directly. But I digress…

Now, as sometimes happens, O’Malley had had occasion to ride to Dublin on business and was even now on his way back home. It was a most pleasant ride, especially on such a lovely Spring day. There was nary a cloud in the sky and the green fields all around him were abloom with flowers and there was naught but the gentlest breeze, soft as a silk scarf, blowing across his face.

I think it was that breeze as was the very thing causing him to smile, for it carried the fragrance of all those flowers to his nose and that couldn't help but bring the Fae to his mind.

Tall and fair was she, with bright flowing hair and eyes as gray as mist. She'd been dressed in a fine silk gown, all green and gold, when first he saw her and he thought then that in all the green world there could be none so fair as she.

But beautiful and magical though the Fae may be, they do have their weaknesses and one of these is an inability to handle objects made of iron. A sore trial that had been proving to be for poor Aislinn, forced as she was to find shelter within a blacksmith's home!

And so it was that when Gavin went up to Dublin he'd made several purchases—and it was these that were putting the smile upon his face today. Nor was it the new leather boots he'd acquired for himself that filled his heart with satisfaction, I'll have you be knowing. 'Twas rather the gifts he was bringing back for the Fae that most pleased him—gifts sure to gladden any woman's heart, or so he thought. Gifts of cookware—that's what he planned on surprising the Fae with! Covered baking dishes made of earthenware quite handy for making stew,wooden spoons with which to stir the stew, a copper tea kettle, even a cunning tin rack which could be set upon the hearth and used to toast bread.

Ah, now, I know what it is you're thinking. Sure and cookware is not the type of gift any woman would be overjoyed to receive from a man—and a royal princess, such as Aislinn was, even less so. And, in most cases you'd be right! But not this time. For though it might be hard to imagine a less romantic gift, it showed a surprising amount of thoughtfulness on the part of the smith, who might not be expected to understand how it galled the lass to be always at his mercy, so to speak, unable to fix a decent meal for herself without fear of injury due to the iron pots and pans and other utensils with which the smith's hearth was furnished.

So now, as you'll see, the day has mostly passed and O'Malley has just returned to his forge. He's still wearing a smile as he comes through his own front door, arms laden with packages. Aislinn lays down her book and returns his smile. She rises from her seat by the fireplace, eying the packages curiously. No doubt she's hoping that at least a few of them contain food for, you see, the poor thing has had naught to eat the whole time the smith was gone but for the aforementioned whiskey, some cheese and a bit of brown bread to go with it.

“What's all this then?” she asks, trying hard to hide her hunger. And even though Gavin is generally as quick with his words as anyone who'd kissed the Blarney Stone, it takes him more than a moment to find his tongue.

“Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes,” he says at last. For it seems to him she looks lovelier each time he sets his eyes on her and this evening in particular. She's wearing her own green dress again—the one cut scandalously low across the bodice so that her nipples are almost peeking out over the top of it. Her hair is tied up with a silk scarf, also green, and elegant ear bobs, fashioned out of gold and set with glittering stones—green again—dangle from her earlobes. Sure and those jewels she's wearing are, without question, each worth a great deal—as much as a pot of gold, most likely—yet they only serve to bring his gaze back to her face. Indeed, it would take a much greedier man than ever Gavin could be to notice anything beyond the Fae's bright smile—even though said smile has turned quite wry at the moment.

“I thank you kindly for the compliment. And pleased I am to see you as well. But, tell me, might I not be getting an answer to my question any time soon?”

“Aye,” says Gavin heaving a happy sigh. “That you will.” Then he crosses to his table and begins to unload his burdens upon its scarred surface. “Come and see.”

The Fae's eyes grow wide as the smith commences to unwrap the gifts he's brought—and, yes, there's some food among them as well—and he cannot help but notice when her nipples peak beneath the thin silk of her gown. Finally, when everything's laid out upon the table, he turns to her. “Well?” he asks, not quite hiding a smile at her excitement and obvious surprise. “What have you to say to all of that?”

“Are they for me then?” Aislinn asks, reaching out to just barely touch the lid of one dish—just dragging the tips of her fingernails across it. Gavin shivers in response, and it's as though it's him she's touching; as though he can feel the bite of her fingernails as they rake across his own bare skin.

“Aye,” he answers her, though he has to swallow hard to do it and his voice is husky and thick. “Do they please you?”

“They're quite wonderful,” she says as she raises her eyes to his face and smiles again—and he all but loses his breath entirely, she's that lovely. “However can I thank you?”

“I'm sure you can think of a way,” Gavin says; by which he means that agreeing to stay with him—to accept a permanent place beside his fireplace and, perhaps, within his heart—would be all the thanks he'd need. But I don't think the Fae has quite understood, for her smile glimmers even brighter and she chuckles in a decidedly sly manner as she slips into his arms.

“Indeed and I'm sure you're right,” she murmurs, her voice little more than a purr. “Perhaps something like this would suit?” So saying, she rises up on her toes and kisses him. As she cuddles against him, he can feel her nipples poking his chest. Her tongue tangles with his and he's lost. It's naught but kisses and cuddles he's thinking of and...no, what are you thinking? They're not about to make love. Not yet anyway; for the smith has it in his head that do to so before the Fae's been properly fed, would be unmannerly of him and, in case you've missed it, he's trying to be on his best behavior with her. But after dinner...oh, well, to be sure, making love is not something he'd be likely to hold off doing any longer than that!

After a long, long interlude of kisses and cuddles—so long, in fact, that Gavin's beginning to forget his resolve to not make love to her yet—Asilinn asks, “Mightn't we begin using them now?”

“Using what?” Gavin asks, for sure and his ability to think has been severely impaired. His mind is taken up entirely with thoughts of kisses and cuddles and making love—aye and nipples and tongues and earlobes and other assorted body parts—and he is, in fact, all but tongue-tied with lust.

“Why, all this lovely cookware, of course!” Aislinn says—and this time she doesn't smile, she laughs out loud, so amused by Gavin's befuddlement she can scarcely help herself. “Wasn't that your purpose in bringing them home to me?”

Home. The word wends its way into Gavin's heart, bringing back his smile. It pleases him to hear the Fae refer to his cottage in such a fashion and, indeed, that was his purpose and so he's quite content with himself, at the moment, and with her as well. “Aye, it was indeed.”

“Good,” Aislinn says, still with a smile, as she disengages herself from his arms. “Then I have just one question for you.”

As always, Gavin cannot stop himself from returning the smile. “Just one? Well, that's a first, surely. And what would this question be then?”

“This kettle,” she says as she picks up the copper kettle, quite pretty with its verdigris, and lets it dangle from her fingers. “Why is it green?”


The story doesn't have a title yet. Perhaps someone would like to suggest one? I'll offer a signed Romance Trading Card to the best answer...once the cards arrive, that is. Here's a picture of what it looks like.


P.G. Forte
ISBN 978-1-59578-585-5 

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, Gavin O'Malley knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give him everything he’s been missing. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.


More Luck of the Irish

It's been a long time since I've gotten my act together and posted something for Six Sentence Sunday, but I'm on a bit of a blog roll, if you will, so here's six sentences from Iron. If you're interested in reading more, just check out the blog post below this one.

And, in keeping with this week's theme, here's six sentences in which my very Irish hero is about to get very lucky indeed. lol!

Gavin groaned. “Ah, Aislinn, no one else has ever spoken to me thus. To hear you speak of such things, ’tis like putting a spark to dry tinder; for, in truth, you set me aflame with your words.”

      Aislinn pulled him tight against her and whispered in his ear. “Then do as I ask, mo chroí, and take me now. Put your rod inside me and I’ll speak such words as will make your hair ignite.”

And don't forget to stop back here between Thursday and next Saturday for the Luck of the Irish Blog Hop for fabulous stories, the chance to win some great books or even a Kindle!

Click here for Details

P.G. Forte
ISBN 978-1-59578-585-5 

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, Gavin O'Malley knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give him everything he’s been missing. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.


Feeling Lucky?

Not counting e-Bay, or last year's best dressed blog award--ooh, or that game of Bingo I played while on vacation with my grandmother when I was about nine years old--I don't think I've ever won anything. It's no big deal or anything, just the luck of the draw. Some people have it, others don't. I generally don't. Which is why it was such a huge surprise when my book Iron was chosen as one of the finalists in Epic's 2011 e-book awards for Paranormal Erotic Romance. I guess for once I entered something in the right category. Much thanks to everyone who dissuaded me from entering it as a Historical Romance!

The winners will be announced tonight and even though I took one look at the books I'm up against and said, "It's an honor just being nominated," I'll admit to feeling a bit excited today. Lightning could strike twice...couldn't it? I also love that this is all happening so close to Saint Patrick's Day because this is such an Irish book and that's such an Irish holiday and maybe I'll have the luck of the Irish...

Anyway, to celebrate all this good stuff--'cause it's still a pretty cool thing either way--I thought I'd post a couple of excerpts. I also wanted to take the chance to remind you all to stop back here between Thursday and next Saturday for the Luck of the Irish Blog Hop--and maybe you'll get lucky too.

Click here for Details

We're doing something different again this hop; creating short, Irish-themed stories for you to vote on.

Yes! More voting! I'm clearly on a roll here!

My story for the blog hop will involve the characters from Iron (because, c'mon, given the theme, who else am I gonna write about?) but I'm not going to say any more about that now. You'll just have to come back and read it on Thursday.

In the meantime, on to the excerpts...

Excerpt #1. This scene occurs very early in the book--the day after Aislinn's arrival when Gavin still has a lot to learn about the Fae. I've included this one because it will help explain part of the story I'm posting on Thursday.

Since several of the windows in the cottage faced the road, Gavin had hoped Aislinn might have been looking out one of them, so to have observed his victory over her enemy. But, when he let himself in he found her seated by the fireside singing softly to herself as she sewed, seemingly unaware of anything that had transpired outside of the room.

He stared at her for a moment, entranced not just by her song but by the cozy, domestic picture she made. Though the fire had burned low, the room had never seemed so warm or welcoming to him. By comparison, his usual existence seemed colorless and drab.

When she glanced up at him, the look in her eyes had him wondering if she hadn’t read his mind. Was she mocking him again? Surely the glow on her cheeks was suspiciously rosy, but when she smiled it was with such disarming sweetness Gavin couldn’t help but smile back.

“What’s all this?” she inquired, laying aside the green gown she was repairing and nodding at the bundles in Gavin’s arms.

“Why, I’ve brought home the Christmas,” he replied, feeling suddenly expansive as he deposited his bounty on the table and shrugged out of his jacket. “Come and see.”

His neighbors had done him proud this year. He’d been gifted with both a Barm Brak cake and a loaf of brown bread, a jug of ale, several hand-sized mince pies, one sack of oranges, one of turnips and another of potatoes, and a dressed goose all ready to be roasted for tomorrow’s dinner.

The fae eyed the food greedily. “But is it all for tomorrow then? Can we not eat at least some of it now?”

“Now?” Gavin glanced at her, askance. “Why, today’s a Fast Day. Don’t you be knowing anything about church law? You shouldna have more than one full meal today.”

“Indeed?” the fae replied waspishly. “Well, and if ever I should feel myself bound to abide by the rules of your religion I do hope I shall recall that. But, at present, I feel no such compunction. Besides, you’ve already left me here to fast for most of the day, as it is. Do ye really mean to starve me then?”

Gavin frowned. “And, if you do starve, how would that be my doing? Are ye so helpless then, you could not have fed yourself? Or is it that you think I exist to be your servant? If you wanted to eat, why did ye not cook yourself something afore now?” Aislinn’s lips tightened and she looked away as though reluctant to answer. Gavin glanced toward his hearth where all the implements anyone would need to fix a meal stood ready, most of them made by his own hand, or that of his da. All of them of iron. And, finally, understanding dawned. “Ah-ha. You couldn’t, could ye?”

Aislinn hesitated for a moment then finally shook her head.

“’Tis because of the iron, isn’t it?”

She nodded, even more reluctantly.

Crossing his arms over his chest, Gavin allowed himself a small gloat at the fae’s expense. ”Well, now, my fine lass, this is a pretty mess you’ve made for yourself, is it not? Perhaps you should ha’ given a little more thought to what you were about afore you forced yourself upon me and made me take you in.” 

“I did think about it. I knew exactly what I was facing coming here.”

Gavin grimaced. “Having met your intended, I canna say as I’m surprised. I believe I’d sooner take a chance at starving, too, rather than find myself fallen into his clutches.”

Aislinn’s mouth tilted in a rueful smile. “Aye. ’Tis what I thought as well.”

“Ah, well,” Gavin sighed, unbending just a little. “I suppose a spot of tea wouldna be out of place. Especially when I’ve a heathen such as yourself as a houseguest.” As the insult registered, anger flashed in Aislinn’s eyes. Gavin smiled mockingly and allowed his own gaze to rove openly over her figure, feeling certain that her treatment of him this past twenty-four hours more than justified any insolence he cared to show her. But insolence soon turned to incredulity. “Sweet Saint Joseph. Woman, where the devil did you get that dress you’re wearing?”

“’Twas in the chest in your bedroom,” Aislinn replied, sounding puzzled by the question. “You did seem offended by my nakedness this morning, and I thought it more fitting that I find something other than your shirt to wear. Did I do wrong?”

“Nay,” Gavin muttered, looking away. It was just that he remembered the garment too well and had thought never to see it again—one of the reasons he’d stored it out of sight, rather than giving it away. It was the dress Mairead had been wearing the day she’d informed him he was to be a father. He remembered how her breasts, swollen by her condition in a way he’d found endlessly fascinating, had filled the bodice to the straining point. He’d wanted to fill his hands with them, to draw their distended nipples through his fingers and marvel at the sweet globes in all their ripe fullness. But she’d waved him away when he tried to embrace her, insisting she was too uncomfortably sore to endure his touch. And also insisting that, until such time as she could conceive again, there was now neither reason nor need for the two of them to lie together. Gavin had never been certain which had given her more joy—the thought of the babe growing inside her, or the fact that she’d finally found an excuse to avoid his bed.

“You’re not pleased,” Aislinn said quietly.

Gavin shook his head. “’Tis not that. I’m just surprised to see it. And I wouldna thought it would fit you so well as it does.”

“Well, I did have to let the hem down.”

“Aye, that you’d have had to do,” he sighed, as he hung the kettle on the hook over the fire. “She was just a little slip of a thing as wore it.” Small but spirited, or so Mairead had seemed to him at one time; with eyes of the brightest blue, a smile he thought would surely one day break his heart. And an unexpected coldness that seemed to grow worse each day they were together, and which was what finally ended up doing to him what her smile could not. He took the dishes down from their shelves and the silverware from their drawer and stacked them on the table. “Well, now,” he said, after clearing his throat to dislodge the lump that had formed there. “If dishware isn’t a problem for you, why don’t you see about setting the table for us?”

Excerpt #2. This scene takes place several months later and, obviously, Gavin and Aislinn have grown much closer.  

The weeks continued to pass and it seemed to Gavin that if only time were not rushing away from him, as it was, he might have a chance to think rationally about the matter. But time did not stop and rationality was nowhere to be found, and all too soon it was summer.

All at once, the roses were in bloom and the constant chirping of baby birds begging for their next meal had been replaced by the lazy drone of bees foraging among the flowers. The branches of the apple tree, which had long since lost their blossoms, were bent now under the weight of green fruit and the warm, sweet scent of clover greeted Gavin whenever he stepped foot out of doors.

But the changes to the landscape were insignificant next to the alteration the season had wrought in Aislinn’s appearance. She was even lovelier now than she’d been when first he saw her. Though how that was possible he didn’t rightly know, for she’d seemed then to be the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on. Now, however, her cheeks were rosy and flushed—even though she’d not set foot outside since that day he’d dragged her to the forge—and there was a new lushness to her body that held him utterly transfixed. It was as though she embodied summer; as though the season itself radiated from her, charging the atmosphere around her until Gavin would have sworn he was living within a sun-drenched glen, or a palace of sorts; anything other than an ordinary cottage.

But, that was just by day. At night, her presence infused his rooms with all the warm, wild glory of a sultry, star-studded night—and she the brightest star of all—until the mere sight of her, lying beside him in bed, left Gavin awe-struck and dazzled, too hesitant to even touch her.

“You’ve a peculiar look about you,” she observed, on one such night, her brow puckering slightly as she studied his face. “Is aught wrong with ye?”

He started to shake his head no, and then changed his mind. “Aye,” he answered, struggling for words. “Perhaps. Or, nay, now I think on it. ’Tis you. ’Tis everything about you...do you know how beautiful you are?”

An amused smile curled one corner of her mouth. “I do, aye, for ’tis summer, is it not? Do you not recall my saying you knew naught of my true nature, having never seen me at this time of year?” She cast back the covers so there was nothing hiding her from his sight and stretched languidly. “So, Gavin O’Malley, do you like what you see? Does it please you? What is it you feel when you look at me? Tell me. For ’tis been a long time since I’ve been admired by a man who was seeing me thus for the first time.”

Gavin’s eyes roved greedily, taking it all in. But his thoughts were a muddle and, “How do I feel?” Ah, if only he knew the answer to that. He felt...distracted, conflicted, confused, humbled and, “Fearful,” he replied at last.
“Fearful, are ye?” A silvery laugh broke free from Aislinn’s lips and swept through Gavin, brightening his spirit like a sudden shower after a dusty day. “And what is it you’re afraid of then, my darling one? Surely not of me?”

He nodded, still reeling from the effects of her laugh. “Aye, of you, indeed. Mortally afraid, I be.”

“You silly man,” she murmured, circling her arms around his neck and grinning up at him. “And why, pray tell? Dost thou think I would ever hurt you?”

Gavin sighed. Reaching a hand to her head, he fingered a strand of her hair, which still gleamed gold, even in the starlight. “Lass, I think you could very well destroy me. And I think you know it, too.” He shook his head. “I’m a simple man, Aislinn, whereas you...”

“Are not so simple?” she supplied helpfully, as her smile dimmed and turned mocking.

“Not even a little bit.”

“Perhaps not. But, I didn’t ask for it to be thus, you know. Besides, mo chroí,” she murmured wickedly, her smile returning as she rubbed her mound against him. “I’ve always been one who’s enjoyed the simple things life has to offer.”

“Have you now?” He took hold of her hips and pulled her against him, letting her feel the growing length of his shaft, enjoying the smoky look it brought to her eyes, the slight hitch in her breathing. Fearful or not, he planned to take full advantage of all that she offered; for he was a man, after all, and she was a risk well worth the taking. “And would I be one of those simple things to which you’re referring, then?”

“Oh, you are indeed, mo chroí,” she breathed delightedly. “Without a doubt.”

P.G. Forte
ISBN 978-1-59578-585-5 

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, Gavin O'Malley knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give him everything he’s been missing. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.