- Samhain Publishing
- Release Date
- May 2011
- Book 2 of Children of Night
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance
Living forever is hard, but loving forever? That's damn near impossible.
Children of Night, Book 2
1856, New York City. Moments after Conrad Quintano drives his life-mate away, heartache and guilt descend around his heart like a pall. Convinced that Damian's hatred is as permanent as the scars Conrad has inflicted on him, Conrad steels himself for an eternity of emotional torture.
Present day, San Francisco. For the sake of vampire twins Marc and Julie Fischer, Conrad and Damian present a united parental front. In reality, their truce is a sham. Conrad, weakened by his recent ordeal, struggles against the urge to bring his mate back to his bed. And Damian misinterprets Conrad's explosive temper as proof their relationship is irreparably broken.
When an old enemy's quest to create a dangerous new breed of vampire threatens the twins' lives—and the precarious state of vampire peace—it's imperative the estranged lovers put the past behind them. Or the shadows of the past will tear apart everything they hold dear.
Warning: This book may not be suitable for readers with an aversion to emotionally damaged vampire heroes. Caution is advised if you have experienced prior sensitivity to any of the following: costume parties, fencing lessons, interspecies, inter-generational or intra-gender dating, occasional mild violence, and/or recreational blood-drinking.
BOOK INTERVIEW on May 2011
Hi PG, thanks for taking the time to tell us more about your latest book.
Q: OLD SINS, LONG SHADOWS is book 2 of your Children of Night series. What's the series about? What's your inspiration for the series?
Believe it or not, my original idea was to write a series of mysteries featuring a brother and sister vampire detective team. I started writing In the Dark (the first book in the series) thinking I was going to use it to introduce the twins and set up the first mystery they needed to solve. As usual, things got out of hand and the series turned into more of a romantic family saga.
In the future, I still might let the twins have some unrelated mysteries, but for now I'm concentrating on telling the story of the Fischer-Quintano Vampire Clan, its members, and how it came to be.
This book focuses on Conrad and Damian. They'd been lovers for hundreds of years then had a huge falling out with each other. Over the past forty years they've been forced into close contact with each other again...and the tension's been mounting.
Q: In OLD SINS, LONG SHADOWS, where are we in the series?
As you mentioned, this is the second book in the series, and right now I'm planning a total of five books, so we're not very far into the story as yet. I thought I was going to string Conrad and Damian along for a couple more books before allowing them to get back together again as an actual couple, but it turns out I'm just not that mean. Who knew? lol!
This story opens a few months after In the Dark ends. Like all the books in the series, the action is split between present day San Francisco and some point in Conrad's past. In this case, fifteenth century Spain, which is where he and Damian first met.
Q: Your main characters are vampires. What makes your vampires different from those that we see in the market today?
Well, they don't sparkle for one thing! I set out to make my vampires as scientifically viable and close-to-realistic as possible. So a lot of the myths are missing. They're still nocturnal. They still need to feed on human blood. They still live basically forever and change hardly at all. But they don't combust in sunlight, they have no problems seeing themselves in mirrors, they don't need to sleep in anything special and they're not demons in the classical sense, although some of them occasionally view themselves as monsters.
My vampires are made, not born—all except for the twins—which makes them very, very rare and is the reason for the secrecy surrounding their past. No one knows where the original vampire organism came from. It may or may not have been extraterrestrial. I suspect it was. Marc has actually tried for years to convince the others of this, but for some reason the rest of the family is oddly resistant to the idea that they're in any way related to space aliens. lol!
Q: How would you describe Conrad to us? In both books, in the excerpts you provided on your website, he seems to be a very conflicted man with a very complicated past.
Oh, yeah, that's twelve hundred years of complicated man right there! I think the most important thing to realize about Conrad is that he never asked for any of this. You know the saying, some men are born great, some become great and some have greatness thrust upon them? Well, that's Conrad. He was a very simple person, a family man, a soldier and he was content with that. He was turned against his will by a sadistic monster who did her best to break him and he's had to live every day since with huge guilt due to some of the things he had to do in order to survive.
I touch on this a little in books one and two, but book four is where we really learn about the horror he was put through and how that shaped him.
While the two sides of his nature will always be at odds, at heart, Conrad is still an honorable man. He's loyal and loving and absolutely ruthless when it comes to protecting his family.
Q: Please tell us more about Damien and how his past with Conrad shaped him to be the man...er, vampire that he is today.
Ah, Damian. What can I say? Beneath that pampered, spoiled exterior beats the heart of a pragmatist. He's one of my very favorite characters. I think it's fair to say that being with him has helped shape who Conrad is as well.
Damian started life as a courtier in fifteenth century Spain. He was born to be a royal consort. He's very much a power-behind-the-throne kind of guy. He spent his formative years playing palace politics—very successfully, I might add—until he finally achieved a certain level of influence. But he threw it all away when he met Conrad and, in the five hundred years since, he's regretted his decision on only a very few occasions.
Q: Why is Damian perfect for Conrad?
Damian is everything Conrad desires and doesn't think he deserves. He also doesn't scare easily, which is a really big plus because Conrad can be one very scary vampire at times!
Since he's forever mourning his lost humanity, the things that attract Conrad to a lover are all those qualities he associates with being human: youth, innocence, exuberance, an indomitable spirit. He loves nothing more than to pamper his lovers, to protect them, to preserve all those things that first drew him to them. Eventually, however, Conrad's vampire nature will get the best of him and he'll do something to frighten his lovers or drive them away. Damian left Conrad once because of this, but he has no intention of making the same mistake twice.
Conrad does a good job of hiding who he is from the people close to him, but Damian knows his weaknesses and he loves him in spite of them. He's probably the only person who's ever tried to protect Conrad from himself. They make a really good couple, even if I do say so myself.
Q: Marc and Julie Fischer, the twins that Conrad's ex-lover gave birth to, sound like they have intriguing stories to tell. What part do they play in Conrad's and Damian's lives? In the overall series?
I love the twins. Julie has always enjoyed being a vampire while Marc was always wishing he was human. By the end of book one, they're both re-evaluating their positions on this. By the end of book two...well, let's just say that pendulum keeps on swinging. Eventually they'll each have to make their own peace with what they are and come to terms with everything that's good and bad about their reality.
Conrad and Damian raised the twins from birth. For the first thirty-something years of the twins' lives, the four of them lived a fairly traditional life as a nuclear family. Now they're all faced with the task of trying to re-adjust to a life within Conrad's extended family. It's a struggle for some of them. I think it's fair to say that raising the twins saved Conrad and Damian's relationship and gave them a chance to start again.
In a lot of ways, the twins are every bit as important to the series as Conrad is. Their unique nature gives them some unusual attributes (I'd call them "powers" if it didn't sound too super-hero-like) which they've yet to discover. It also puts them in very grave danger. As yet, Conrad and Damian are the only ones who know the truth about the twins, but that will change as the series goes on.
Q: Which character was the most difficult to write? Why?
Really, none of the characters have been difficult—although some of the scenes with Suzanne, in the last book, were a little tough to write. I did have one character who wouldn't die when he was supposed to, but I can't say more because I don't want to give too much away.
Q: What's your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Pretty much any scene where Conrad and Damian are together! I guess I find the idea of all those centuries of built-up angst irresistible. Here's a clip from their very earliest days, back in fifteenth century Spain, when Damian was still human:
Alcázares Reales de Sevilla, España
Late Fifteenth Century
The evening was balmy and warm. The air, already thick and sweet with the fragrance of a thousand blossoms, was made even more so by the guitars of the Sevillanas. The courtyard of the royal palace was crowded tonight and in the flickering torchlight, the jewels and glittering raiment worn by those in attendance threatened to outshine the stars.
Truly, if the world had an epicenter, Sevilla was its name. Of that, Damian Ysidro Esposito-Montoya, Vizconde de Castile was absolutely certain; and he was one of the privileged few lucky enough to live here, at the very heart of all that was cultured and elegant, beautiful and refined. As he glanced around appreciatively, he was aware of an almost unbearable excitement welling inside him. The night was young and filled with infinite possibilities.
"Well, amigo, it appears your beauty has caught someone's eyes," the voice of the duke, his patron, murmured in Damian's ear. "Did you know of this?"
Damian inclined his head and smiled back at him, his expression an almost perfect blend of humility, adoration and gratitude. "Sí. Muchisimas gracias, Excelencia. I am flattered. You honor me, as always, with your kind regard."
"You misunderstand me," the duke replied peevishly. "The eyes to which I'm referring are not my own. They belong to that creature over there, the one lounging against that pillar on the far side of the hall. Who is he? Do we know him?"
Dutifully turning his head in the direction the duke was indicating, Damian cast a desultory glance across the marble floor of the patio de las Doncellas, already knowing what he would find. "Ah. Sí, Excellencia. He arrived here a fortnight ago in the company of that Italian baron you found so amusing at dinner the other night. His name is…oh, dear, let me see if I cannot recall it for you. Is it Señor…Quintano, perhaps? Sí. I'm almost certain that is what he is called."
While the duke processed the information he'd been given, Damian allowed himself a small smile of satisfaction. Yes, that was very well done. As the duke's most trusted attendant, he was expected to remember and keep track of the names and status of everyone at court, as well as any other information His Excellency might find useful to know. As his most intimate companion, on the other hand, he was not expected to have eyes, or even the smallest level of interest, for any other man.
It was important, therefore, that he strike the proper tone when attempting to recall the name of the man who, had the duke but known it, had spent most of the past few evenings watching Damian from beside that very same pillar. Damian was confident his answer—calm, disinterested, just hesitant enough—had achieved the desired effect. In truth, however, there had been no "perhaps" about it. By now, he knew the man's name almost as well as he did his own.
His name was Conrad, Conrad Quintano, and those eyes that had been at the center of the duke's complaint, the eyes that Damian could feel trained upon him even now, were surely the most astonishingly mesmerizing orbs the good God had ever created.
In fact, those same adjectives could also be applied to the man himself. Conrad was, perhaps, half a head shorter than Damian, but possessed of so powerful a physique that, just gazing upon it, quite literally stole Damian's breath away. His face was hard, not beautiful in any sense of the word, but strong and so very masculine. His usual expression was dour, grim, the look of a man who had perhaps seen too much of the world. But fierce as Conrad was wont to appear, there was yet a sweetness to his mouth that Damian could almost taste and he wished, oh, how he wished, that he could taste it in truth.
As of yet, they'd exchanged only a few brief smiles and a handful of words in passing, but Damian had spent most of the intervening hours spinning deliciously erotic fantasies in which they did and said so much more. These last few nights in particular, as he rolled about on his cot, quite unable to sleep, those same sweet syllables had repeated themselves endlessly within his head. Conrad Quintano. Conrad Quintano. Con-rad Quin-ta-no.
Q: Please share a unique behind the scenes experience or fun facts you encounter while writing this book or this series.
I had a lot of fun researching the scientific background for my vampires. I studied bats, because they've always been associated with vampires and learned that the bite of the vampire bat is painless—which I use extensively in the series. I also studied snakes and other venomous creatures, and parasitic animals, such as wasps. It's absolutely fascinating the dramatic impact parasites have on their hosts. They can change their brain chemistry, their physiology, alter their lifespans. It's actually a little frightening...but perfect for vampires!
Q: What's next in the Children of Night series? Could you give us a peek?
Well, in book three we get to revisit some scenes from the twins' childhood—which means that book will focus quite a bit on Conrad and Damian's relationship as well. I'm really excited to get to work on that one because it will be fun to go back and revisit the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Q: What's up for you in the coming months?
I have quite a few projects in the works right now. Besides the third Children of Night book, I'm also working on a short steampunk series and an m/m/m menage involving angels, which is sort of a follow up book to last year's Edge of Heaven.
Thanks a lot for the insight into Conrad's and Damian's world, PG!
Bio: PG Forte inhabits a world only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come true…it also bears an uncanny resemblance to Berkeley, California.
She wrote her first serialized story when she was still in her teens. The sexy, ongoing adventure tales were very popular at her oh-so-proper, all girls, Catholic High School, where they helped to liven up otherwise dull classes. Even if her teachers didn't always think so.
PG loves hearing from readers and can be emailed at email@example.com
Find PG Forte at the following places:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pgforte or http://www.facebook.com/pages/PG-Forte/42214106922
In the Dark
Edge of Heaven
Waiting for the Big One
Scent of the Roses
PG Forte is giving away 1 digital copy of the first book in the series, IN THE DARK!
Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!
Contest ends May 31.
Winners will be announced in June.
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