So you can read my books

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Once again, it is time to be romantic in a challenge. The challenge this time from Denise and Francine

is to write on the theme : FORGOTTEN.

My entry is entitled "WITH THE SOFT VOICE OF TWILIGHT" from my urban fantasy, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE

(a review of which can be seen on the gracious Wendy Ewurum's FABULOSITY NOUVEAU : )

Samuel McCord and his best friend, the vampire priest, Father Renfield, are walking across the Katrina-damaged Tulane campus on their way to a rendezvous with Death ( an old tradition with the two old friends.):

With the soft voice of twilight, ghost music sang in my memory. It was accompanied by the chorus of the whispers of the wind from the listening sky.

I closed my eyes. New Orleans was timeless, especially to me with the blood of Death in my veins.

My transformed eyes only told me the truth, and the truth was not what I wanted to see. So I closed my eyes, and for a moment the truth was what I wanted it to be.

Meilori was back in my arms, supple and vibrant, the peach velvet of her cheek nestled against mine. She pulled back to murmur "Beloved."

Slanted eyes looked up into mine, seeming like jade quarter moons waiting to rise.

Her smile was a promise of wicked delights to come in the evening hours before us. And my heart quickened.

Her hand lightly squeezed my gloved one. Her head bent forward, and soft lips tickled my ear.

And we were dancing, dancing as if our bodies were the wind given life. It had taken me a hundred years,

but I had learned to be a damn fine dancer. The firm body in my arms had been ample incentive.

Some moments lose their way and grope their way blindly back from the past into the present. Such a moment swept me up now.

Meilori and I were dancing across this very grass. I had paid a prince's ransom to pry King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band out of Tulane's old gymnasium to play out here under the stars.

Renfield rasped beside me, "Sam, are you doing this?"


I opened my eyes and went still.

The speechless shades of a long-gone night whirled and wheeled all around us.

That long-ago evening was replaying itself before our eyes. Renfield and Magda were laughing as they danced beside Meilori and me.

Renfield sighed, "I'd forgotten how your face looked happy."

I looked at my ghostly double, envying him the sheer delight in his eyes. "I'd forgotten how it felt."

The sound of my words settled an old score with truth, and the evening shades slowly faded from sight.

I shivered. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Renfield look wistfully at the disappearing Magda in his own double's arms. I sighed along with Renfield. Some truths were best seen only by starlight.



  1. 'That long ago evening,' a perfect placement of the Forgotten motif. Great excerpt Roland, replete with your lyrical prose: Today I especially loved: ,...the chorus of the whispers of the wind from the listening sky.' Ooh, aah.


  2. Roland, this sounds like the kind of night I'd be happy with...dancing & wicked delights.
    I like the accompanying music...really sets the tone for the excerpt.

  3. Thanks, Denise :
    I'm glad you liked Sam's turn of phrase. And be careful in your world adventuring!

    Andy :
    If you ever saw the bewitching Meilori Shinseen, you would be caught in her spell -- as I am -- even though I only see her in my mind's eye! I'm glad you liked the accompanying music -- it's what I think Sam and Meilori danced to that long ago evening.

    Everyone :
    I'm still being kept from my apartment by the broken air conditioning and the 110 degree heat inside! So I must squeeze in visiting you in short snippets here at the blood center. But the blood runs are not being helpful!! Roland

  4. This flowed beautifully, except for this: "Meilori and I were dancing across this very grass. I had paid a prince's ransom to pry King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band out of Tulane's old gymnasium to play out here under the stars."

    The previous paragraphs are all about the dancing, the feel of her in his arms, which is wonderful, I am so THERE, and suddenly he's telling us how much he paid for the band. It jerks me out of the scene, so that when Renfield jerks us out of it in the next paragraph, that interruption loses its impact.

    If I may suggest, move "I had paid... ...under the stars" to it's own paragraph just after "the truth was what I wanted it to be." I don't think you need "Meilori and I were dancing across this very grass."

    Try and see if you don't think it flows better - or, leave it the way it is. :-)

  5. I was right there with them watching the dancers dancing in the night air under the stars.
    Another good job.

    Pamela Jo

  6. Oh, the regret and whistfulness from both of them!

    I love how the memory is filled with people and yet I feel the very private moments between these two friends.

    Adore DeLovely!

  7. Loved it...great job. Your piece is my favorite so far. I must say, I generally don't like vampires, but your vampire is still so human in his emotions that I would probably love him. Another book for my TBR.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  8. Oh, but do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? Yep, sure do -- especially when I read your lyrical prose, Roland. You paint a gorgeous picture, tell a compelling story. Did have a bit of a jolt, like Beverly commented, about paying for the band.

  9. That one forgotten night... great write!

  10. Hi,

    I'm in this novel at the mo, and love it. As for comments on jerky memory scene: when will women learn men don't always think like women?! It's the irony of it all. Sheesh, sometimes I don't understand women, either. ;)


  11. As always you never cease to astound me. This was beautiful and haunting, my heart broke with his.

  12. My words settled an old score with truth.


    You have these little -isms peppered throughout that are classic and poetic. You do this in all your work.

    Looking at the backlog of books you're publishing, I see now why your prose is so well-drafted, and why it comes so easy. You'll be one of those writers at whom we all stare in wonder at his prolificity.

    - Eric

  13. Lovely. You make me feel like waltzing.

  14. Beverly :
    Like Francine mentioned : Sam is a man and thinks in ways, though they are poetic, are still in the male perspective.

    There's just Life :
    Thank you so much for the kind words.

    Margo :
    Isn't it that way sometimes? The room is filled with people but your heart has room for only one. I'm glad you liked my entry.

    Nancy :
    And Samuel would like you. He is a monster who mourns his lost humanity -- an irony since he is usually more humane than any human he meets.

    Kittie :
    Thanks for liking my lyrical prose. Sam is a male and will think like one forever, much to Meilori's dismay ... and delight.

    AndyMac89 :
    I'm so happy you were swept along with Sam's memories.

    Francine :
    I'm so very glad you're liking FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. It is the favorite of my novels so far myself. Thanks for having my back with Sam's thoughts being male and not female oriented.

    Heather :
    I am moved that you were so taken by Sam's love and grief.

    Thanks, Eric :
    Your liking my -ism's mean a lot. I sometimes think of them as McCordism's! LOL. Now, if AN HONEST LIE will take a liking to McCord, my day will be complete!! Hey, I can dream!

    Laila :
    Sam would be proud to waltz with you ... if Meilori will let him. (She returns in NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE.)

    It is 111 degrees now in my apartment -- I have to run or melt!

  15. Ah, the bewitching spell of that night! The complex emotions of the immortal, captivated by reminiscences, stepping around remourse and regret to dance with death.


  16. Have to admit, the line about settling an old score was perfect. I love the atmosphere in all of your work, and the accompanying music.
    Sympathy for the lack of air conditioning - you must really be suffering!

  17. Thanks, Tony and Li :
    The lack of AC is killing me. I need to amble on over to Meilori's for the Ac and the jazz!

  18. Flying high in the sky :
    I'm happy I tweaked your interest. Have a lovely day, Roland (still exiled from my sweltering apartment)

  19. ...I'd take my chances on an evening with Meilori any time;)
    The accompanying tunes seemed made for this piece, Roland.
    Well done as always,


  20. Thanks, Elliot :
    On a fast visit to my sweltering apartment -- 0nly 98 degrees -- cool!

    I think it would be worth the danger to share a table with you and Sam at Meilori's!!

    High sales to both of us, Roland

  21. I was right when I said you were poet. I agree with the comment about Padre' being a lovable vampire. I suspect if this were a movie, he could easily end up stealing the limelight from the the Greys Anatomy thing.....I kept wanting to say to him, just bite someone already, stop this torture. Thank you for mentioning my blog.

  22. Always glad to mention your blog, Wendy :
    Sam keeps bottle of blood in his refrigerator for his old friend. Renfield takes his priestly vows seriously -- no murdering.

    But you read in FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE's end where he almost lost control upon arriving at a murder scene of a street woman he knew.

  23. Yes I know the Sam arrangement and that's what I find so torturous. He's so ashamed when he has to do this. I know its his cross but I can't help but feel so terrible for him having to.

  24. Yes I know the Sam arrangement and that's what I find so torturous. He's so ashamed when he has to do this. I know its his cross but I can't help but feel so terrible for him having to.

  25. Wendy :
    Renfield's former wife, Sister Magda (the gypsy who stole the 4th nail from the centurion at Golgotha) supports Renny (as she calls him). And Sam is working behind the scenes to free his old friend from his curse (in following novels.)

    Both Sam and Renfield are heroes in the Greek tragedy sense : their noble natures are their tragic destinies.

    Thanks for caring so much about my characters. You've won their hearts with that. Roland

  26. Hi Roland - sorry I'm late reading this! It is a really beautiful piece, very rich and vibrant but I loved the undertone of wistful sorrow.

    Great read