When you live forever, you're bound to make a few mistakes...
What can you say about a 1960s hippie chick who died? That she was as beautiful as Ali McGraw playing Jennifer Cavilleri. And possibly braver. That she loved Christmas and chocolate. And the Beatles. And a sexy, eleven hundred year old vampire she met while crashing a party.
Or that I'm totally ripping off Erich Segal's Love Story with this opening.
It's fitting, actually, because In the Dark (which was just released in print this week) really is a love story, as opposed to a romance.
I know. That totally surprised the hell out of me as well. In fact, the book was finished before I realized what I'd done and, by then, with the rest of the series mostly planned out, it was too late to change it even if I'd wanted to. Which I didn't.
I will admit that the final scene between Conrad and Suzanne/Desert Rose was the most difficult I've ever written. I will admit to having become convinced, at one point, that I was channeling the ghost of Nick Spark's evil, dead, gay twin brother (a bitchy and totally fictitious [so far as I know] spirit whom I decided to call Dick). But what can I say? As my malicious muse kept insisting, you really can't write about vampires without writing about death. Besides, this book opened the way for the sequel, which Samhain has just contracted, which is a romance So I guess it all worked out after all.
So if you like vampires and tragic love stories with what Holly from Long and Short Reviews has termed "a different kind of happy ending," I hope you'll give it a try.
Blurb: 1969 San Francisco. World-weary Conrad Quintano should have known better than to fall in love with a human—much less Suzanne Fischer, the barely legal, adventure-seeking hippie beauty known as Desert Rose. And the very last thing he should have agreed to do was to raise her babies and protect them with his life. But even twelve-hundred-year-old master vampires can find it hard to reject a deathbed request—especially when issues of love, guilt and blood are involved.
Present day. Raised in virtual isolation, twins Marc and Julie Fischer have always known they are vampires. But they never knew their parentage—or their unique status in the vampire world—until their “uncle” Damian comes to fetch them home. The family reunion, however, isn’t what they expect. They’re thrust into a world for which they’re totally unprepared. And the father they expected to see, Conrad, is missing.
How to find him…and whom to trust? Solving the mystery of betrayal and vampire family values will prove the Beatles had it right. All you 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.
Excerpt: “This is not what I had in mind for tonight, chérie,” [Conrad] protested but she was already pressing closer, going up on her toes. At the first brush of her lips on his, he was lost.
Mine, his body insisted again, even louder than before. Growling in satisfaction, he caged her in his arms and kissed her back voraciously. Knowing he would never get enough of the taste of her, knowing this would likely be the last night they would ever spend in each other’s arms, he decided to throw caution, common sense and all his scruples to the wind. He would make the most of their time together. He would make love to her as she had never been made love to before.
He’d picked her up and was headed for the bed when she stiffened suddenly, a muffled exclamation bursting from her lips.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, pulling back to look at her.
She pointed over his shoulder. “I can see you. Look, there in the mirror. I thought vampires didn’t have reflections?”
Conrad shook his head. “Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about us, chérie. Very little of it is true.”
“Like what?” she asked as he deposited her on the bed. Curling up on her knees, she gazed at him curiously as he began to undress.
“Well, as you can see, I have yet to explode in sunlight, for one thing. I don’t die again each day at dawn. Crucifixes bother me not in the slightest, nor does holy water.”
“How about things like wooden stakes?” she inquired, bringing a teasing smile to his lips as he dropped his pants to the floor.
“I do not believe that I am the one who needs to worry about being impaled here tonight, mignonne.”
She blushed and dropped her gaze. “Stop it. I’m being serious.”
“So am I.” Climbing into bed beside her, he took her hand and wrapped it around his erection. “Very serious.”
Her fingers trembled as she tightened her hand on him and shyly stroked up and down the length of his shaft. “So, you’re saying things like that really don’t hurt you either?”
Sighing, he leaned into her and softly kissed her lips. “Yes, my curious one, I’m sure it would hurt to be stabbed through the heart, or to be set on fire, or any of the many other equally unpleasant things you can, no doubt, imagine. Many things can hurt me. For the most part, however, only something that destroys my heart, severs my head, or leaves me drained of blood would likely be fatal. Other than that…” He shrugged dismissively. He’d been wounded on numerous occasions over the course of his lifetime. To live at all was to know pain, in one form or another. But pain, like pleasure, was a transitory thing. One endured and moved on.
“Will you really live forever?” she asked as he drew her down beside him. “And never grow old?”
“Forever is a long time, chérie, and there are always accidents waiting to happen. I suspect that, sooner or later, something will occur to put an end to my life. But, it will not be tonight.” He rolled on top of her then, settling himself between her thighs, wrapping her legs around his hips. “Tonight we are both safe and the only ‘death’ either of us need worry about is la petite mort, the little death.”
“What’s that mean?” she asked, pushing at his shoulders until he’d raised his head. Her eyes were wide with dismay.
Conrad grinned wickedly, enchanted anew by her innocence. “Have you really never heard the term? Then relax, my sweet, and I will show you.”
Link to reviews: http://pgforte.com/reviews_for_In_the_Dark.html
Link to buy book: http://samhainpublishing.com/print/in-the-dark-print