If vampires and Christmas seems like an odd match-up–and I think it does. Then vampires and Christmas cookies has to be even stranger, right? Well, put me down for #TeamStrange, then because my vampires hit the cookies in the very first scene. I don’t know why. Authors are rarely in control of their characters–and that goes double for vampire characters, for some reason. They do what they want…unless their sire tells them otherwise. I have at least four vampire books that include Christmas scenes and probably an equal amount of scenes that include cookies. It is what it is. lol!
Since Children of Night is still with a traditional publisher, theye Christmas-themed books are not on sale, but here’s an excerpt from In the Dark all the same…
In The Dark
San Francisco, 1969. Vampire Conrad Quintano has been around for centuries—long enough to know that falling for a human is a terrible idea. Much less falling for adventure-seeking hippie Desert Rose. An even more terrible idea? Agreeing to raise her babies and protect them with his life.
Present day. Marc and Julie Fischer have always known they’re vampires. Raised in virtual isolation, they’ve never known their parentage or their unique status in the world. But once their uncle comes to take them home, the family reunion is nothing like they anticipated and they’re thrust into a world they’re completely unprepared for.
Buy links at: www.PGForte.com/children-of-night
“Armand?” a woman’s posh British accent called out imperiously. Rapid footsteps, loud as gunshots, pattered across the tiled floor of the foyer. “Armand, where are you?”
“Georgia?” Armand jumped to his feet to greet the woman as she appeared in the doorway. “I-I mean, Lady Lancaster, it’s so good to see you again.”
“Ah, there you are.” Tugging a wide-brimmed mink hat from her head, the woman swept into the room, her matching fur coat swirling ’round her ankles. She was tall, aristocratic, perfect in every way, Suzanne couldn’t help thinking, just like a blonde Mary Poppins, only a lot more fashionably dressed. “My dear boy,” she said as she tossed her hat on a chair. “Will you please be so good as to tell me what is going on here today? There are men outside the house stringing lights in the trees and…oh…dear…Gawd. You’ve one in the house, as well?”
“It’s a Christmas tree,” Suzanne explained, still sizing the woman up. She was very beautiful, she supposed, if you liked dishwater blondes with flawless complexions. Her hair was streaked several shades of gold, from tawny to very light to slightly darker than the palomino mink that still enveloped her. “Because, you know, it’s almost Christmas.”
“Thank you,” the woman murmured, smiling coolly. “You’ve been most helpful. I’m sure I would never have been able to make the connection on my own.”
“Is Conrad expecting you?” Armand asked, brow furrowing. “I’m sure I don’t remember his telling me you were arriving today.”
“What’s this now?” The woman’s perfect eyebrows rose. “Are we become so formal I cannot drop in on my sire unannounced?”
“No. Of course not. It’s just that we’ve all been so busy preparing for the Christmas party that I thought, perhaps—”
“A Christmas party? Conrad? Are you mad? Why on earth would he do something like that?”
“Because I asked him to,” Suzanne replied, suddenly very conscious of her bare feet, her patched jeans, her uncombed hair. Why would Conrad even bother with me, if he could have her? She shouldn’t care. She already knew what she had with Conrad was nothing permanent, didn’t she? But she really hated the idea that this woman might somehow influence him to change his mind about the party.
“Because you asked him to?” Eyes like lavender blue ice bored into hers. “Well, that explains everything, doesn’t it? And who might you be?”
“Desert Rose is a…a recent acquaintance,” Armand answered, coming to her rescue. His smile, and the tiny wink he gave her, warmed away a little of the chill Suzanne was feeling as he continued with the introductions. “Chérie, this is Lady Lancaster one of Conrad’s…ah, cousins.”
I’ll just bet she is, Suzanne thought, watching as the blonde’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“And where is dear cousin Conrad?” she asked, smiling at Armand with poisonous sweetness. “I would so love to have a word with him right now.”
Suzanne shrugged. “Oh, he’s still in bed.” She picked up one of the gingerbread women from the plate on the floor and bit off her head. “When I got up he told me to try and keep things quiet down here. He said he didn’t want to be bothered until at least midnight. Not by anyone.”
Armand winced. He frowned sharply in Suzanne’s direction, then turned back to the blonde. “You must be so tired from your trip, Lady Lancaster,” he murmured in soothing tones. “Why don’t you let me show you to your room?”
“Later perhaps.” The ice blonde’s eyes gleamed with a hard, metallic sheen as she sloughed out of her coat, revealing a lavender tweed Chanel suit and a long string of pearls as white as her teeth. She threw the coat on the chair with her hat, and pushed Armand aside. “First, I simply must have something to eat,” she said as she advanced on Suzanne.
Vaguely surprised, Suzanne picked up the plate of gingerbread and extended it toward her. “Did you want a cookie?”
“Georgia, no,” Armand said, almost tripping over the tangled lights in his haste to get between the two women. “Stop, please. You can’t!”
“I can’t?” A very unladylike snarl lifted the lady’s lips as she turned on him. Cold fire raged in her eyes. “Why, Armand, are you saying you don’t wish to share your snack with me? How very ungallant.”
Armand shook his head. His voice coming out half strangled, he answered, “Conrad’s snack, Georgia, not mine. And, no, he’s…he’s not been in a very sharing mood of late.”
“What?” Georgia’s eyes widened. “Are you serious?”
“Oui. Very much so.”
Puzzled, Suzanne glanced at them both. “I really don’t think Conrad will care if she has a cookie, Armand. It’s not like he’s going to eat them. You were there when he said he doesn’t care for gingerbread. Remember?” She looked sadly at the plate, at all the happy sugar faces smiling back at her. And, if he’d only said something earlier, I’d have been glad to make some other kind of cookie.
“Cookies?” Georgia sounded confused. Suzanne looked up again to find the other woman regarding her curiously. “How sweet. Tell me, did you make those yourself?”
Suzanne nodded. “Well, mostly. Armand helped.”
“Did he?” Georgia arched one eyebrow at him. “You bake, Armand? I’m astonished.”
“Oui. I astonish myself, at times.”