To celebrate the release of the fourth book in The Maker’s Song saga, Etched in Bone, I convinced the story’s badass and beautiful Dante Baptiste—Cajun, sexy frontman for Inferno, not to mention nightkind AND Fallen (provided I can get him to stop rolling his eyes and pretending to gag) to join y’all and discuss a few subjects close to his heart. And now I turn the blog over to Dante.
Merci beaucoup, but a simple “it’s all yours, asshole” woulda done for an intro. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Dante Baptiste, I live in New Orleans, and I’m the frontman for Inferno—among other things.
Very cool to meet y’all . . . well, in a non-visual kinda way. Since Adrian gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted (mistake), I decided to touch on three subjects: sex, pet peeves, and motherfucking lies. And no, that ain’t the name of a band, but it should be. It should be. <grins>
Sex and love. Do they hafta go together? Someone once warned me that a lotta people – mortals and nightkind alike – think the two go together. Pourquoi? I don’t see it.
Sex is fun, definitely friendly (though it doesn’t have to be), a satisfying way to blow off steam and one of the best ways to get to know someone. Sex is all laissez les bons temps rouler.
But I’ve never tied sex to love or expected the person(s) I played with under the sheets to love me. Hell, they don’t even hafta be my friend(s) if they don’t wanna. Yeah, I’ll admit that if I feel something all warm and tender for my under-the-sheets partner, the sex is even hotter, but . . .
Sometimes sex is the farthest thing from love on this fucking planet. And, I found out the hard way, for some sex *is* love. So there’s my question: Do sex and love hafta go together?
I gotta admit though, since I met Heather Wallace, my woman of heart and steel, some of my views have changed a bit. Sex is definitely better, more intense, with her—even that first time up in my bedroom in the candlelit dark. I have a feeling a tumble between the sheets with someone other than her would feel good, yeah, but the intensity, the hunger, the trust would be missing.
But do I feel like because I love her—cuz I do, ain’t no denying that—that I can only have sex with her? Is sex a promise? What does fidelity mean? My heart is hers. Ain’t that fidelity? No mistakes here, I ain’t trying to justify a wandering eye or a casual tumble, I’m trying to understand. In all honesty, I don’t want to be with anyone but Heather.
I know that sexual, physical fidelity is important to Heather, so that’s all that should matter. I’d never do anything to hurt her. And if I slept with someone else, it would. Maybe that’s all I need to know. I think about her with someone else, and I get knotted up and that’s totally fucking new, for true. Yeah, I’m learning as I go. Still, I’m curious about the ties between sex and love.
Which brings me to pet peeves. Pet peeve numero un is this question: What’s it like being vampire? (Oh, btw, I’m born nightkind, but Adrian mentioned that, yeah?)
Merde. Beaucoup merde. Dunno. It’s all I know, so it feels normal. It’s who I am. I don’t analyze it. Do y’all analyze being human? What’s it like being human? Being mortal? Care to wrap that up in a sweet one paragraph answer? After all, what do you have to compare it with?
Another question that rates high on the pet peeve o’meter is: “Will you turn me?” In truth, that question’s no different than asking, “Wanna have a baby? One that you’ll have to raise alone? Forever?” Yeah. D’accord. Sign me up for that one.
But my pet peeves ain’t aimed at just mortals. Hell, no. Nightkind are often the biggest, loudest assholes of all. My personal fave? This one: “Lady Nose-in-the-Air/Lord Kiss-My-Boots requests a personal audience with you before/after the show.”
Just because they’re nightkind, they believe they should get special treatment – especially from other nightkind. Like me. <snorts> Yeeeaaaahhhhh . . . like that’s gonna happen. They can get in line for the meet and greet after the show like everyone else.
Do they? Nope. They usually stalk away, faces looking like they just sucked down a mouthful of cold blood, muttering promises regarding my future comeuppance(s). <yawns> So what’s new, yeah?
But the grand pooh-bah of all pet peeves are the assholes who prey on others by using their hopes and dreams, their aching hearts. Assholes who eat up their trust. Twist them. Scar them. Strip them of everything. For money. Out of envy. Or just because they can.
Hell, I guess that ain’t just a pet peeve. It’s a soulless something that edges right up against evil. Fuckers who shapeshift a person’s dreams into delusions and suck them dry of all hope. And it usually starts with a lie.
Mortals and nightkind alike are guilty. Mortals and nightkind alike are also victims.
“A little white lie doesn’t hurt anyone. Sometimes it’s better than a painful truth.” Or how about this popular tune: “People lie. It’s just human (insert species here) nature.”
I’ve heard those words or variations of them over and over. And it’s pure top of the charts bullshit.
A lie is a lie is a lie. Hiding the truth is a kind of lie – a lie of omission, and just as harmful.
Sure, I expect someone who doesn’t like me or is fucking with me or whatever to lie to me. That’s all part of the you-suck-and-I-hate-your-guts routine.
But a friend? No. With people you like and trust, everything they say becomes a part of your foundation, a part of your reality. Because you believe them. And you build on it – your friendship, your love, your every-night life.
A lie is a termite in that foundation, devouring its integrity. It doesn’t matter why that termite’s in there chomping happily away – Oh, I didn’t want to hurt you or I was worried you’d get jealous or I thought you wouldn’t understand or even the classic, I had your best interests at heart – the fact remains that the termite is in there. And it ain’t coming out on its own and it ain’t coming out without doing damage.
There’s so much of my life that I don’t remember, even things that I’ve done, because my memory’s been tampered with big-time (so I’ve learned). But I’m gonna find out and learn my own truth. So night by night, friend by friend, I'm building a foundation, a solid one I hope. A foundation to live my life by. And I’ll never lie – not to spare a friend's feelings, not to ease a lover’s jealousy, and I’ll never believe a lie is in anyone’s best interest. Not even the teller’s.
I expect the same – no lies. No matter how painful it is, no matter how ugly, if I ask, give me the truth. The truth will never come between us, but a lie will.
I believe deep down, we all crave the truth – mortals and nightkind, yeah even assholes. I think sometimes we’re scared to ask for it. But we gotta, if we’re ever going to move ahead.
Wow. Pet peeves spiraled into a rant enorme. <laughs> So let me know what y’all think. About sex. About your pet peeves. About trust and lies. Now, I’ll turn this back over to Adrian so she can tell you more about the books. Here ya go, chère!
Thanks, Dante! Um . . . there’s a bottle of absinthe waiting for you in Club Hell. <winks>
You can read a chapter from the book that started it all. Here’s a link to a sample chapter of A Rush of Wings.
Etched in Bone is also a featured read for March on BN.com’s Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club – which I’m very excited about.
Book five, On Midnight Wings, is my current project and should be out the end of this year, the start of 2012.
Here’s a link for the first chapter of Black Dust Mambo. (The first book in my second urban fantasy series from Pocket. The second, Black Heart Loa, will be released June 28.)
Thanks so much for having me and Dante! It’s been a blast—well, for me, anyway. Dante’s busy playing his guitar and drinking of the green fairy. LOL.
From April 6-10th, I’ll be in Los Angeles attending and signing at the RT Booklover’s Convention.
You can also find me at:Website My blog Facebook Facebook Fan Page Twitter MySpace Goodreads
Dante's Club Hell Forum
Dante's Club Hell Yahoo Group
Pocket After Dark
Click here to go to my Amazon page with buy links to each of my novels.
Click here to go to my BN.com page with buy links to each of my novels.
One winner gets a signed set of all four Maker's Song books.
Three more winners each get to choose one of my books to date, including Black Dust Mambo, winner's choice. They will also be signed copies.
Rule for entry:
1.) Must be a follower and be the age of 18 or older.
2.) Leave a comment for the author along with your email address (For shipping purposes).
3.) This contest is open internationally.
Contest is closes at 11:59 p.m. PST On the day of (today).
The winners will be selected using Random.org. Then they will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to claim their prizes. If we do not hear from the winner(s) within that time, a new winner will be selected.