Fun, Fantasy, Release…#FourOneNight

Woot! I’m celebrating today, and I hope you’ll join me. My novelette, Four One Night, is up and available for purchase exclusively on Amazon Kindle! Yes, that means I’m celebrating a NEW RELEASE!

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

Some of you may have stopped by Emma Meade or Loni Flowers’ pages when they invited me to share my (then) upcoming release and read an excerpt while you were there. This one’s a little different.

I realized while working on my final edits that I have a huge penchant for including bits and pieces of my favorite things into my stories. Those of you who know me aren’t shocked to hear about the music…. but this time, I mentioned one of my favorite shots…so, I thought I’d share that excerpt and the recipe for the drink.

Excerpt:

Nudging Candace with my elbow, I inclined my head in their direction. “See those two hotties headed our way?”

She nodded. “Are they both for you or is one for me?”

“Well,” I shrugged, barely able to hold back a grin, “If you’re good I may be convinced to share.”

Candace rubbed her hands together in anticipation, “Yum!”

“Drinks are always yummy!” James said as they joined us, extending liqueur glasses with shots of green liquid to each of us. Wrapping one arm around Michael’s neck, I grabbed the tumbler with my free hand and pulled his head down toward my mouth.

His green and gold eyes held mine as his velvet lips brushed mine. “Hi, Bad Girl,” he murmured against my mouth.

Nipping his lower lip between my teeth, I tugged lightly, then released. “You know what they say. When I’m good, I’m good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.”

“A-hem,” the exaggerated clearing of James’ throat had me ducking my head into Michael’s shoulder to hide my amusement. “You’ll have to excuse their rudeness. Obviously when they see each other they forget their manners. I’m James.”

“Thanks for the drink. I’m Candace.” She took the tumbler he handed her, toasting him in acknowledgement. “I’m assuming the guy she’s snuggled up to is the infamous Michael?”

With a sigh, I turned to face our audience. “Yes, this absolutely edible man I’ve been nibbling on is Michael Gallo. Michael, meet the notorious Candace Lawrence.”

Lifting his fingers from their perch on my hip, he offered his hand to Candace. “Finally, a face to go with the name. In fact, why don’t we make that our first toast of the evening?”

Twisting my wrist so the lime green liquid swirled in the glass, I looked at James. My voice raised to be heard over the loud music. “What is this?”

“It’s called an Alien Secretion, Sweetie,” he gestured toward my hand. “It’s yummy and 100 proof and will help you ladies forget about your horrible day. Drink up so we can get to partying!”

“I don’t know, James.” Stepping away from Michael to stand next to Candace, I nudged her shoulder with mine. “The name doesn’t make it sound very appetizing, does it?”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s just a little Midori Melon, pineapple juice, some Malibu and a touch of vodka. Trust me, Dani. You’ll love it!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So what’s the book really about?

Blurb for Four One Night:

Life is all about taking chances. You’ll never know how far you can go unless you try. Well, that’s my philosophy, anyway. My name is Danielle Monroe, but everyone calls me Dani. I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t just pay lip service to living life to the fullest. I reach out and grab it!

After a brutal day at work, unwinding by taking one of my best girl friends to a club for drinks and dancing was just what I needed. It also gave me the opportunity to make a shared fantasy with my boyfriend, Michael, come true. All it took was a quick phone call, a few friends, and the stage was set. Now, if I could just get everyone to take a walk on the Wild Side with me…

There’s no harm in asking, right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, on to that recipe:

Alien Secretion Shots

Alien Secretion Shots

Alien Secretion:

1/4 oz Absolut vodka
1/4 oz Midori melon liqueur
1/4 oz Malibu coconut rum
1/4 oz pineapple juice

Add ingredients together in a shaker with ice. Stir. Strain into a shot glass.

Voila! Tasty alcoholic treat!

So, how will you help me celebrate my milestone today? Share your favorite shot? Buy the book (hint, hint)? Tell a friend? Have a drink?

It’s a party! Don’t leave me dancing by myself….

 

I Took A Trip To Ireland….Well, Kinda.

Okay. Maybe the trip was just virtual, but what can I say? I wish it were for real. I’m always excited when I get to hang out with someone as cool and sweet as my friend, Emma Meade! Can you imagine how awesome it would be to meet her in person?

My Fab Friend, Emma Meade!

My Fab Friend, Emma Meade!

 

Today she has me at her blog, Emma’s Ramblings, to share a bit about my upcoming release, Four One Night…. I’m extremely grateful for her generosity! If ya’ll ever see her on the streets here in the US, take her to Taco Bell. She’s seen the commercials and is dying to check it out for herself!

In the meantime, in honor of her Irish roots, I’m going to share Cups in Gaelic…because it’s awesomesause, just like Emma!

 

When Ireland Meets #BeneathManhattanSkies

My friend, the beautiful and sweet Emma Meade, has stopped by for a quick chat and to share with us her newest release, Beneath Manhattan Skies.

For those of you who don’t know Emma, she was one of the first friends to welcome me on my blog. Despite our different time zones (Emma’s in Ireland), we’ve forged a wonderful friendship based on our mutual love of hunky heroes from some of our favorite Supernatural tv shows, including Supernatural, and great music.

When I found out that Emma had released a new book I jumped at the opportunity to share her (and her new book) with you. Hope you guys enjoy!

Me:Thanks for stopping by today, Emma! So, as folks probably figured out by my intro above, your love of the supernatural started with TV shows. What was the first show to get you hooked?

Emma:The X-Files. I think I was ten years old when I came across a trailer for a new alien show, and I ran to my dad, all excited to tell him about it. Myself and my big sis, Lucy, would huddle on an armchair together each week for Mulder and Scully’s latest adventure. The X-Files was my first major TV obsession and I fancied Krycek like mad, especially when he went bad. 🙂

Me: Out of curiosity, What made you choose New York/Manhattan as the backdrop for this book?

Emma: In Under the Desert Moon, the protagonist, Erin Harris, always dreamed of going to art college in New York. I never really planned on writing a follow-up novel, but when I decided to go ahead about a year ago and see what Erin was up to after high school. I wanted to make sure her dream of studying in The Big Apple came true. And New York is such a contrast to Erin’s small hometown, a sleepy place in Arizona called Copperfield.

Me: As a follower of your blog, I know you have a passion for music. Were there any specific songs that helped to inspire specific scenes in this book?

Emma: “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon is one of Erin’s favourite songs. She’s a young woman, it’s her first time living away from home, and she’s looking for romance and passion, and this song makes her think of being with the vampire James, the first guy she fell in love with. The scene on the roof of Erin’s apartment when she and James can’t keep their hands off each other, is a result of this song being on repeat in her mind.

Me: Oooh! That’s great! So, speaking of Erin, what character traits do you like best/least about her?

Emma: Erin’s probably a little too serious for her own good. Her mother died when she was a young teenager, her father is a drunk, so Erin’s had to make the transition into adulthood largely alone. It’s no wonder she’s not as carefree as other girls her age. She has to put herself through college and has no parental support, financially or otherwise to fall back on. I’d like to see her let loose a bit more. She’s a strong women. That’s her best trait. She’s been through a lot and gets thrown into some vampire chaos in New York, yet she keeps her cool.

Me: She sounds fantastic! Just the sort of character I’ve always loved. A bit of a badass Buffy. 😉 Can I talk you into sharing a bit more?

Beneath Manhattan Skies Blurb-

November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.

Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?

Beneath Manhattan Skies follows the character Erin Harris from Under the Desert Moon, but it can be read as a standalone story.

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber 

Teaser: Erin is chatting to Tommy, one of her college buddies in a club.

“My father wouldn’t be so understanding.” Erin frowned, not liking to think about her dad. “Did she have a boy or girl?” Erin shrugged in apology for not remembering.

“A boy. I feel sorry for my sister. She was surrounded by us growing up.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. She had a cool big brother.” She groaned inwardly. Why did she have to say that?

Tommy looked at her. Erin thought she saw a hint of a smile hovering around his lips. Where the hell was Sadie with the drinks? That girl was in big trouble for setting this up. A blush rose in Erin’s cheeks. She was grateful for the dim lighting in the bar.

“So, I’m cool, am I?” Tommy said after a moment, smiling easily again.

The tension alleviated and Erin breathed normally. “I thought you might have noticed that. You have a motorcycle. That automatically puts you in the cool club.”

“I’d like to take you out on the bike.”

And the hard-to-breathe thing started again.

EmmaMeade

About the Author:

Emma Meade lives in Ireland where it rains a lot. Reading and writing supernatural fiction, watching marathon re-runs of Buffy and drinking lots and lots of tea are some of her favourite activities. She’s never met a vampire, but thinks it would be kind of cool to meet one. Visit her on her blog, Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural fiction at emmameade.com or on her website emmameadebooks.com

Website:  emmameadebooks.com

Blog:  emmameade.com

Twitter:  @EmmaMeadeIrl 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4229395.Emma_Meade

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/emmameadewrites

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Emma-Meade/e/B0064LKMK2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon.com –  http://amzn.to/HZtjxO

Amazon.uk –  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Manhattan-Skies-Emma-Meade-ebook/dp/B00GPKHN22/ref=la_B0064LKMK2_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384966212&sr=1-2

Smashwords –  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/374189?ref=emmaM83

Barnes & Noble  – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-manhattan-skies-emma-meade/1117444078?ean=2940045420013&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-TnL5HPStwNw-_-10:1&r=1

Kobo –  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beneath-manhattan-skies

iTunes –  https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/beneath-manhattan-skies/id747022107?mt=11

Romance On Grey Covers

A close friend of mine recently asked me to read a book and let her know if I thought it was appropriate to add to her stable of books. I do this sort of thing for her on occasion because our tastes invariably run along the same styles. She sent me the book to check out through my Kindle app. I’m not going to lie…I LOVE books. I get excited over books. I enjoy discovering new authors. Libraries and bookstores are my third home! (What can I say…Coffee shops trump bookstores for me…which is why I absolutely ADORE Barnes & Noble for combining the best of both worlds.)

This time was different…and prompted this post. Many of you already know how I feel about 50 Shades Of Grey. It’s simply not my cup of tea (yes, pun intended). I’m not going to rehash that…because the reality is that it’s different strokes for different folks. The part that made this new book so different with my excitement level was simple. It had one of those trendy “50 Shades” style covers. Blah. Ho hum. Boring! (I know, ask me what I really think, right?)

If nothing else, 50 Shades will have a legacy of 2 things:

  • Gaining exposure for awesome writers in the BDSM realm of erotic romance (And I’m THRILLED about that! There are some amazing writers out there with great work who are finally getting the recognition they deserve.)
  • Those danged boring covers are everywhere these days. (Though this is all the rage that the NY Publishing houses kicked off, I no likey!)

Honestly, I get why the publishing houses are going this way. The younger set aren’t bothered by the lusty covers. The senior set don’t particularly care what people think of them anymore, love them or leave them (LOVE that attitude!) and they realize that no one can really see the covers of what they’re reading if they’re reading from an ebook anyway.  It’s the women in my age bracket (and no, I’m not going to get into that…and it’s rude to ask) that remember when there was a nasty stigma attached to those lusty romances with the half naked men and the heaving bosomed women. Personally, I enjoyed them. There were certain authors I might never have read if it hadn’t been for their racy covers.

And I know I’m not the only one. Like my friend Emma who wrote an entire post about it, I, too, judge a book by it’s cover. When all you see are grey tones and inanimate objects (ties, flowers, masks, handcuffs) how can you really gauge heat levels? How do you even know if it’s a romance? Heck, handcuffs could signify bondage or they could be a police/mystery novel! And THEY’RE BORING!!! I want my fun. I miss my spice!

Sands

Here’s a Lynsay Sands cover from her Argeneau series! It’s a bit sexy, but quite a bit more classy than the old historicals. There’s no question it’s a romance. The man and the tattoo give us something to fantasize about. And we know it’s going to be in the paranormal romance realm. Love the cover, love the author, love the book…!

Arthur

Or here’s a cover from Keri Arthur. This is from her Riley Jensen series. She’s also a paranormal romance writer. Hers is a bit more subtle, but you still know you’re getting a sexy romance. She, too, has fun, excitement and suspense rolled into her books.

Gena

Of course if you don’t want to do couples but still want to let a woman’s imagination run wild and sell books, Gena Showalter does an awesome job. No heaving bosoms…just man. And yes, I’m a HUGE fan of her Lords Of The Underworld series. She, too, in case anyone was wondering writes paranormal romance.

Foster

Of course one of my most favorite mainstream authors is Lori Foster. Obviously this is designed with women in mind. Definitely a romance…and in the ever growing popular realm of Sports related romance. This is from her MMA series…. If you’ve read the books, I’ll tell you Simon from Simon Says is my favorite…both character and book.

c phillips

Here’s another one, also tastefully done, but still completely droolworthy! Yes, Carly Phillips also does the whole Sports Romance (though both from player and agent perspectives) quite successfully. Love her characters, but probably never would’ve picked up her books had it not been for the fun covers.

Gibson

Rachel Gibson proves that fun covers and books don’t always need men on the cover. With this whimsically fun cover, combined with the awesome title-was there any doubt that this is a romance or fun? And it isn’t overly risqué, either, is it?

Andersen

If you need something even more subtle, but still sexily appealing, how about this cover by Susan Andersen? I loved the strong hand around the waist, the hint of romance and seduction with just a simple pose.

Garwood

Even this one, by one of my all time favorites…Julie Garwood. Simple, but still lovely, and nothing overtly racy about it. A cover like this would have you expecting a romance, maybe with a bit of mystery.

Phillips

And if you needed something even more tame? How about going the route of the wonderful Susan Elizabeth Phillips? Her cover shows nothing but foot and ankle and still gives off the fun, playful vibe.

But if you absolutely HAVE to go grey? Do it right, people! Do it like one of my all time favorites, Kresley Cole! I’ll buy her kind of grey any day. And the truth is, her writing is amazing!

Cole

I can’t be the only one irritated by this cover trend, can I? How do you feel about it? What things are driving you nuts about the “popular” books of today? (BTW, though I LOVE romance books, they aren’t all I read…it just seems that their covers are the most impacted by this new “trend”.)

Since I started off knocking on those shades…let me leave you with a black and white video…and one of my favorite songs as I continue my Valentine’s Day music countdown to love…Shania Twain is absolutely beautiful, and so is this song.

 

The Greatest Gift

I’ve discovered in life that my favorite thing in the world is to watch someone’s face light up with pleasure when….Yeah…get your minds out of the gutter…I find just the right gift to convey how much I appreciate them. I must not be the only one because my awesome friend, Joe, decided to gift me with the Blog Of The Year 2012 award for Christmas. That means I’ve either been very, very good…or very, very naughty. Since he’s become like a brother to me, I’m betting on the former.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Here’s the thing….when I started this blog a few months ago I had no idea what I was doing or if anyone would read my stuff…and quite frankly, I wasn’t doing it for them. Along the way, though, I made some great friends. So, I’m embracing Joe’s idea…since I can’t send all my lovely friends Christmas gifts (I’d go broke) or Christmas cards…I wanted to at least gift you with this award to let you know that you helped to make my year an awesome one.

The Rules are:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

Please keep in mind if you aren’t given this gift…it doesn’t mean I don’t love you…or don’t plan on giving you one. In the last 3 days I’ve stacked up 3 of these bad boys so I’m not trying to hit the same people twice…And I’ll be spacing out the awards.  🙂

  • First goes to my first real friend on here…she’s looked out for me, she’s commented on my stuff, she welcomed me with open arms, then included me in some of her challenges and invited me to be part of her Triberr group… Mae Clair, with her talent for writing and her dreamer’s heart, this lady is one in a million. I love her Mythical Mondays best…and I’m wishing her all the success in the world on her books, the first which was also published this year! Check her out!
  • Another of my earliest friends on WordPress is Sheri DeGrom. Her advocacy for Veterans rights is awesome and her heart is just as sweet. She does a great job reviewing women’s fiction and she’s a pretty prolific writer in her own right. Our shared passions for words and music drew us together. If you haven’t been introduced, consider this your introduction.
  • Then there’s Emma Meade, my sexy music buddy…and vampire lover extrordinaire. She loves her supernatural stuff and makes no bones about it. The badder the boy, the sexier she finds him…well, at least on paper.  And she’s got great taste in sexy songs. Did I mention that she, too, has a book out? This awesome Irish woman is wonderful and I’m so glad I met her.
  • Have ya’ll met my girl, Katie? She is a fellow Chi-town girl and rip roaring hilarious! Not only has she lost a shit ton of weight, but she calls things like she see’s them.  She is not ashamed to discuss the fact that she’s cheating on her DVR with her boyfriend…or that she thinks her boyfriend may be stepping out on her with the TV…or about the horrific things that happen in a gym.  (My favorite is her most recent post about panty lines and the assacre it creates, so I linked it in…just so you can share in the hilarity.)
  • What about Miz Vagenda Vixen, who has her page decked out in my favorite…Hello Kitty. She is always looking for the brighter, more colorful side of life…and has a unique dancing style that will keep you in stitches…because all she wants is smiles, bright colors and sunshine…
  • I can’t do one of these awards without including the indomitable Natalie Hartford and her love of Urban Word Wednesday, pink and bedazzlers. There’s hardly anything out of bounds on her blog…except maybe talking bad about Mac…but hey, she’s a self professed Macturbator. Tears and howls of laughter ensue when I’m at her place… The cause nearest and dearest to her heart? MADD…and you should ask her why.
  • My buddy LJ has been the unfortunate victim of Blog loss in the last few months…which has enabled her to migrate over to WordPress…Yay, US! She is a writer friend who has been a huge support to me, and who had great taste in men. (Something I like to encourage). She always has time for a kind word, and that means everything.

These are a few of the people who’ve made a difference to me… I sincerely hope you check them out…and find something worth following, just like I did. For my nominees? I hope you like your early Christmas gifts….:-)

So, I sincerely hope you check out these folks and

Erotic Vampire Vignettes

Hey Everyone! I’ll be traveling today but before I head out I’m going to do something I’ve never done on this blog before. I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic series of vignettes called Night Sighs by my wonderful friend from Ireland, Emma Meade.

What’s a mortal girl to do if her boyfriend is rakishly handsome, determinedly immature with amazing sex appeal? Simple, right? But what if he’s also this generation’s most popular rock star and a vampire? Not so easy if you’re human…and recovering from the loss of your last boyfriend. So begins the story of Alex and her sexy vampire lover, Tristan.

Emma Meade, through a series of five short stories weaves the tale of the immortal Tristan and Alex, the lovely woman with whom he’s fallen in love. Tristan is used to getting what he wants…and why not? He’s a talented rock star with the typical celebrity’s propencity for narcissism and immaturity. Alex is a woman  who met Tristan after losing her last fiance to death. Life has given her no choice but to grow up. She loves Tristan… but does she love him enough to take the final step in the journey and join him for all eternity? Good question.  Would you?

I really enjoyed these 5 sexy little interlocking stories that gave us glimpses into the lives of Alex and Tristan. Though immature, there’s something sweet and raw and loveable about our hero. In fact, I believe by making him less than perfect, he became more charming. And he really loves his woman. Alex, the heroine, was no wilting flower. She was strong, with a mind of her own and willing to fight for the things she wants in life…once she decides what that is.

Ms Meade has a passion for the supernatural, and it shines through in her writing. In these vignettes you will find a lovely balance of sex (of course there’s got to be sex…he’s a vampire! If Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries decided he wanted me…even if I wasn’t sure if I wanted forever with him, I wouldn’t turn down a romp in the sack!), action, romance and sweet.

If you’re in the mood to bite into something fun and playful, I recommend you check out Night Sighs. These little stories are sexy fun and are only $.99 through Amazon for Kindle. Pick it up today! If you don’t believe me, why don’t you check out this exerpt from one of the vignettes, The Dead Beats,…see if that doesn’t convince you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dawn rose, blazing hot. Standing by the attic window her skin looked pink and luminous. Heat and light were promised on her lips as the last shadows fell, leaving her naked and in full control. The London street outside was still quiet, its squalid alleyways no longer hidden under night’s friendly mask. Daylight was not everyone’s friend.

 

 

 

**************

 

“She left me that morning,” Tristan spoke to his avid audience. “Crept out into the light, knowing I couldn’t follow. Saving herself and me is how she put it. Because the night was too dark for her…”

A roar rose up from the 50,000 strong crowd in the rural landscape miles outside London. Tristan stepped back from the microphone and lowered his head. His long black mane had been cut into jagged spikes. Silver crosses hung from his ears and on a chain around his neck, gleaming brightly against his black t-shirt and dark ripped jeans. A glance behind at his band told him they were good to go.

 

The moon illuminated the five vampires on the roofless stage, spotlighting Tristan as the opening bars on the piano sounded. His fans screamed again. Some were crying, others fainting, many more were as high as the grey clouds overhead.

 

Because the Night was a favourite cover the band liked to perform. Another haunting note on the piano followed and then the first strum of Tristan’s guitar. His thumb scraping well used strings was met with the wild screams of teenage girls. He satisfied them with a few more twangs.

 

And then. Silence. The band stopped. The crowd was unsure, excited and dizzy with anticipation.

 

Tristan lifted his head and stared straight ahead. The cameras focused on him for a close up and his face appeared on the dozens of temporarily erected screens throughout the park. He blinked, deliberately, emphasising his sad, wicked eyes all the more. Several young women dropped to the grassy ground. And then he sang.

 

The screams were deafening yet Tristan’s gruff, melodic voice rose over their noise as he spoke of the night belonging to lovers. His mouth touched the mic as he sang, loud, strong and clear. Those closest to the stage broke out in goosebumps. The sweetness of the piano seeped into their pores and they were more aware and more alive than ever. Tristan knew what they were feeling; he shared it with them every night on tour. Haunted. He, the band and the fans were held together amidst something beautiful but fleeting, an intermingling of love with the divine. The band had been both Tristan’s salvation and damnation. For every night through the music he felt so much, too much for one being to stay sane. The loyal crowd shared his burden.

 

The audience sang along with him, their shouts mixing with the sultry tones that slid so seductively off his tongue and into the hearts of every woman listening to him, and some men too.

 

His music embodied him entirely; it was moody, sorrowful, artistic, compelling and ultimately self-destructive. And this song captured the beauty of his pain perfectly.

 

Tristan strolled across the stage, one bare foot stamping down hard in front of the other, feeling the wood beneath his feet and the splinters drawing blood. He moved gracefully but there was a predatory sway that always ensured the enthrallment of his spectators. He knelt on one leg and sang to a group of young girls in the first row. All four friends were weeping, screaming and laughing, and begging him to take them up on the makeshift stage.

 

He winked at them and returned to centre stage, grinning at his bandmates. The red and yellow lights beat hotly against his forehead and his pale visage became ivory and near transparent. Like a ghost. He played his guitar heavily in time with the drum beats and almost drowned out the soft romance of the piano.

 

The elation of the audience was building as the notes rose higher, rushing towards a crescendo that was not unlike sex. His voice, always husky deepened to an overt show of masculinity.

 

No one his age should possess a voice like that, Tristan recalled one New York music journalist writing. He smiled in amusement.

 

His voice portraying carnal hunger drifted to the furthest corners of the gathering.

 

She was at the rear of the crowd, standing close to a fifteen foot screen mounted next to a great oak. It wasn’t his true face she was looking at now but that was enough to swell her heart and tug the memories loose. Tristan was separated from her by thousands of crazed fans. Distance didn’t seem to matter. Alex was as enthralled and on fire as the girls she could see screaming in front of her. They all wanted him and knew nothing. Those big brown eyes filled the screen until some of his hair came free of its gelled spikes and fell across his eyelashes. Tristan blew it out of his vision and carried on singing.

 

Two years had passed since they had last set eyes on one another but it may as well have been two minutes. Nothing had changed, not his luminous vitality or her longing to be with him. She thought that he may still love her, definitely thought of her but also possibly despised her now. Alex shivered as she listened to him. A rock star, she thought with faint amusement.

 

Tristan had spent years hiding from the human world and now he was one of its most famous players. The Dead Beats finished their opening number to a storm of yelling, whistling and clapping.

 

Alex didn’t move. What was she doing here? Why this concert and why now? Time had moved painfully slowly since she had left Tristan but some old semblance of herself had returned and the days and the nights held beauty again, and loneliness.

 

Without conscious thought, her legs moved of their own accord and Alex found herself walking forward through the throngs. Eyes fixed on the dot that was the stage, she was wholly unaware of the nasty comments and the irritated looks on the faces of the girls she swept past. Her progress was gradual but effective. One song melded into another and then another as she approached the front few lines of dedicated groupies, and then finally she was at the foot of the stage.

 

Alex shut her eyes to truly hear him, and it was his real voice now that floated over her, not an imitation that blew through the loudspeakers across the park. Soft, sensual, erotic and deadly. Cobain, Morrison and now Tristan. A long line of powerful, doomed rock stars, too big to exist comfortably in a repressive world. Would Tristan fall to the same fate? She feared he was drawing too much attention to himself and that many in his secret society were already displeased. Then stop him Alex, her inner voice urged and she opened her eyes.

 

He had moved on to singing Secret Garden. He always did love Springsteen, she thought wryly, remembering how he would pop on a record many a time after sex. Raw, passionate and oozing sex appeal, Tristan was all these things and more. Up on that stage now, he even sounded more than a little like the Boss. Alex listened to the words. Was he singing about her?

 

Tristan was on the far side aiming his words directly at a particular young girl, perhaps only a teenager. Alex’s lips curled up in a smirk. Some things never changed. And then he was glancing across the crowd, and then at the front row. Alex’s breath stopped and she clutched her locket as a reflex.

 

At that moment he saw her and stared. His lips no longer moved and the crowd filled in the words instead. Alex met his shocked gaze and offered him a shrug to let him know she was as confused as him. He recovered himself and completed the song. A moment later Tristan announced a short break and disappeared back stage.

 

Lively chatter ascended from the concert goers and Alex slipped away to the sidelines, walking numbly through empty space away from the lights and friendly noise. Shadows enveloped her, removing her from the view of the crowd.

 

She felt his presence behind her but didn’t move, preparing herself for his questions. Finally Alex turned to face him.

 

“Tristan I- ”

 

He flew at her bird-like and she hit the soft ground silently. Falling over her, Tristan clamped a hand over her mouth.