"My promises were in secret wrought
and only offered thus
that you might understand the depths of my torment
and forgive the man whom you have called Brother."
Next comes a tale that spans over a thousand years of pain and torment, of love lost, found, and lost again. I promised my readers insight deeper than ever before presented, and I've delivered! Secrets & Promises lives up to its name, revealing the Heart of the Community and fulfilling promises both old and new. Prepare yourself for danger, uncertainty and passion as I spin a tale that will keep you turning pages.
I knew Vincent's story had to come next at the end of Haven's King when I closed the issue with the Community's hunter. There she was, captured by the Jason and tied to a tree while the Council argued her fate. Suddenly Vincent defies his brethren and steps into a defending posture. Once again, the story took off. What surprised me more was the split in plot that was impossible to separate.
Although I knew Vincent had a deep, dark secret to tell, I didn't understand until I contrived to capture the hunter. He always kept himself tightly closed, but readers took notice of the sorrow I wasn't sure I could write into the deepest reaches of his heart. But his pain was clear, and some of his trauma was answered in Jason's story. The service he rendered in the fourth volume of the Haven's Realm saga left him drained beyond his limits, and now he'll be forced to reveal his secrets and face his deepest pain. The moment he realized who the hunter was, my quiet, brooding Elder went into panic mode and told me everything. Then he begged me to let it go, but I knew in my own heart what this tormented soul needed most.
Vincent was born a poet and musician in Constantinople before the end of the first millennium AD. He fell to a gypsy curse, forcing him to relive in his dreams the death of his only love. Tormented to the point of his own death, he stumbles into a Romani encampment, where Antonia cares for him. He accepts her dark gift, surrendering his mortality in hopes of silencing his dreams. Instead, he perverted the curse into something much more dire. Doomed to find his love in living flesh only to lose her, time and time again, he passes the centuries in sorrow and shame, because he's never able to save her life and end the curse.
Charlotte "Chari" Vinetti is a geneticist, working on her thesis in the private laboratory built under her home. On the verge of a cure for AIDS, she shares her research with her 'friend with benefits' just before he is taken by a Rogue. Determined to understand what makes someone a vampire, she shifts her focus and begins hunting specimens for research, never dreaming there exists more than one kind of vampire. Now she is the captive of a group of surprisingly sentient creatures, and knows without doubt she is about to die a horrible death until a sensitive, handsome vampire comes to her rescue. Terrified beyond rational thought, the enemy of the Community cannot comprehend why she feels she should know him. She'll soon find out she's the forty-ninth incarnation of Vincent's soul mate, and destined to die for his punishment.
Forced to defy the Council by the promise he made centuries ago, Vincent stands ready to do battle. In his weakened state, he's no match for even one of his fellow Elders, and now they're all ready for his blood. But Mirissa, the Community's fledgling queen, pleas for mercy and gains them a Reckoning, a ritual in which demands for restitution will be made. Vincent explains to Chari this is their one single hope for survival and convinces her to surrender to him. She embarks upon a journey few mortals have taken, and none with such depth. She is to learn their secrets, understand without doubt the differences in vampire clans, and embrace the Community as one of its own. Vincent knows he must win her heart if he is to prove his claim and justify his actions to the Council.
Vincent and Chari are not the only ones begging attention in Secrets & Promises. Even as the Council deliberates mentally to determine their fate, Rudy becomes aware of the acceptance of a gift he left a young mortal thirty years earlier. Overcome by joy, he is unable to keep his shift in focus from his brethren. After Hope advises haste and caution, Rudy leaves his position in the Reckoning to an old friend of ours - Joshua MacAaron!
Unfortunately, Rudy wasn't the only one to sense the ancient magic that performed his blood bond with Lindsey. A member of the Savant, in another attempt to possess Hope (formerly Tyler Jenkins in Dragon Lord), kidnaps the couple while en route to Haven and takes them to Blackhawk, the Savant's headquarters, where they discover the astonishing reason behind the Savant's desperate need of Hope's unique talents.
My husband is often my best source of inspiration, and he played a crucial role in both pointing me in the right direction and extending this work to a full year of research. One night, while sitting by our backyard fire and discussing my evolving novel, he suggested the title. The moment he spoke those three words, Vincent's head popped up, his sapphire eyes began to burn, and he spoke the words that head both this article and the work. Of course, I jumped up right away to write it down. Mike also proposed an innovative suggestion that made the Council what they are today and explains at last the ornately carved oaken doors leading to the library and Council chamber.
In Secrets & Promises, you will learn the complete histories of the Council of Elders, how the Community was formed and the Elders' roles in keeping it balanced, and watch as the Community stands on the brink of war. You'll witness the transformation of one of Haven's own through the eyes of a scientist, visit traumatic deaths as Chari's past unfolds, and ache for Vincent while he works in frustrated patience to win Chari's heart. I kept the poor man tortured to the last, and the outcome carries a few new surprises!
Praise for Secrets & Promises:
5 our of 5 stars!
by Rhonda Valverde, "VampireRomanceBooks.com and ThatsErotica com"
"Monteau delivers once again on what has to be my favorite Haven’s Realm book so far. She writes with such passion you can’t help but be pulled into her supernatural world. I truly believe she is an author who is very talented and deserves more acknowledgements."
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November, 2011 -
September 20, 2012 -
Submitted to Secret Cravings Publishing
April 25, 2013 -
June 14, 2014 -
Listen to my interview on The Book Club with John Austin
September, 2015 -
All books removed from sale - publisher bankrupt. Began rewrites