His mortal life stolen by a vampire, his undead life saved by a werewolf, William walks now in darkness. Scarred by her silver on the night he was turned, he secretly protected Mary until the day she died.
And now the fading song of their daughter's life has called him back to the glen.
Will tonight be the night he can reveal to her the eternal love that has kept her safe, and that will now protect her son?
He sat on the side of the hill, beneath the wind-stunted oak, and looked down on the thin stream of smoke drifting from the croft into the star-littered sky. A faint wisp of the Northern Lights swept like a wraith across the inky black. The wind flicked his raven-black hair from his face and stung his eyes.
She was in there. The time was coming. The conflict in his heart hoped that it might not be tonight, but that if it was, it would be before the dawn broke over the hills opposite.
The howl of a wolf echoed across the valley. He recognized Aatu's cry. She had been here always, before him. She'd been here all the time he'd been far away, far from the pain. She would still be here after he left.
A bird splashed in the dark reeds along the side of the beck at the cry, protecting her young from the night, just as he'd protected the woman in the croft when he could. And when his presence had threatened her, he'd left to take the threat far away.
He wrapped his cloak tight around him, though he didn't need it against the cold. He felt neither cold nor warmth—only loss.
He touched the deerskin pouch that hung from the leather thong around his neck. The soft vibrations of the uisge, the life force, from the silver cross inside were fainter now. One pattern of vibrations, one of the harmonies within the song, was fading. The pattern had lived with him for nearly a century. It was what had brought him back, the realization that one part of the song was coming to an end.
The journey had been long and hard. The dark highways of his existence had made it so, but he had come. And he would leave again. After he had had one last moment with her, to tell her. So that she would, at the end, know. Just as he had with her mother.
1. How did you start writing erotic romance?
Well, I was an Olympic standard prevaricator and procrastinator until… I met the author Raven McAllan. There she sat, in a bikini, wine in one hand, MacBook on her lap, by a swimming pool in South Africa. I asked what she was doing, she told me, showed me how, said I should, and I did. Almost exactly a year to the day after that meeting we both had books published by the same publisher on the same day. It's all her fault, as I often tell her.
2. Plotter or pantster?
Pants, oh dear yes pants… with the merest hint of a plot idea floating away at the back of my mind. Usually my characters drive what I write. Sometimes you just have to let them have their head and hang onto the reins. I usually have an idea of the arc of the story and the plot points I need to hit but even the starship in my previous book, As Dreams Are Made On, dictated some of what happened, deciding its own layout and technology. In my current WiP I even have a whole planet that won't do as it's told!
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
It's not so much a desk as an ad hoc writing event – my desk is sometimes a smartphone in my hand on a commuter train to London, it can be a Kindle Fire with a Bluetooth keyboard in a hotel and quite often it's a MacBook Air on a table in a coffee shop, jostling for space with a latte and a pain au raisin. Everything ends up in dropbox so I can carry on with whatever I have to hand whenever.
4. Favorite food?
Almost anything really. I've eaten a bug straight off a tree in the Amazon jungle, what looked like frogspawn in Cambodia and a horse steak in Iceland but the one thing I always, always say 'yes' to is a full English breakfast.
5. Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
The Song In The Silver started life as a short story for an anthology where all the stories centred on a farm in Scotland. However it kind of ran away from the farm and became a paranormal romance all on its own. It has influences from Highlander, Buffy and even nods a little to Dr Who but I like to think it stands on its own two feet as a genuine love story.
For me it's William's story, it was his situation that kicked it off, the image of him. The first paragraph wrote itself, I realized who and what William was and just took it from there .
6. I write because - I can't not write.
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
Conflicted, uncertain individuals facing a challenge that just might make them rethink who and what they are. Which is all of us?
8. What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote?
I'm blushing, but it was the final chapter of His Secret Dancer where the inevitable collision of Tomasz, Francine and Daniel/Danielle takes place in Danielle's dressing room after Francine has discovered Daniel's secret life. I've had people ask me to prove that what I wrote could happen – even to the point of almost having to draw a picture.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the erotica/romance field?
Do it. Now. Stop reading this and start writing. Those who can, do; those who can't "are going to write a book someday..."
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
I'm deep into my next full length novel, a sci-fi romance where the captain and first mate of a starship on a dangerous peace mission have their emotions and sexuality challenged by the mysterious alien empaths tasked with bringing about peace on a planet ravaged by a gender war.
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Faberge Nostromo's career has been one in the true sense of the word - "move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way"; expelled from school, he finally arrived, through fortuosity and belligerence, at a stage in life where he can genuinely claim to be a writer and musician. Whatever you do, do not encourage him.