Since long time passing, the worlds of romance fiction have been populated by vampires. Lots and lots of vampires. I like vampires – to a certain extent – but one day I started thinking about the idea of an immortal male that wasn’t a vampire.
How and why might that happen? How about a wizard. The Lord of the Rings was getting a good run along with that Harry Potter guy, so a wizard seemed like a good idea. A wizard who could grant a guy immortality in exchange for complete control of his kingdom, i.e. a little kingdom, like a duchy. Oh, and there’s one other thing; everyone within the borders of his kingdom must do as he commands. If he says jump, his subjects ask “how high?” Imagine trying to have a decent romantic relationship if you know the woman can’t say no. It might be fun for a while, but eventually, you’d want to know someone loved you without being told to. Thus was the birth of Lord Gavin Richard Montague, Grand Duke of Maninberg. (Maninberg = man & mountain – picture a man standing alone on a mountain top)
Since Lord Gavin is the Grand Duke of a duchy, the story had to take place when duchy’s were still common, before Napoleon conquered them all. So the story takes place in the late 1700’s in central Europe, home of such romantic greats as Dracula and Don Juan.
The following is a snippet from Dreaming In Moonlight:
It seemed so simple, so amazingly simple. In exchange for accepting immortality, he had been granted complete and total control over his kingdom, the small but prosperous Duchy of Maninberg. At the time he had thought it to be the most magnificent blessing possible, the ultimate fulfillment of his grandest desire, to live forever with complete and total control. Only he soon discovered that there was one stipulation he had not fully considered. He was absolutely, positively, and completely limited to inhabiting only his domain, always and forever, and not one step more. . . .
His kingdom was his cage.