Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Addicted Excerpt: Meet Lindsay, Viscount Raeburn

I believe that every writer has an opus, and Addicted is mine. For as long as I can remember, I have been lured by the dark side in me. I've always been fascinated by the submersive, and as a consequence, I always wanted to write about the mysterious, and exotic opium dens that littered London in the 1800's.

On a whim, and after a good solid push by my cp (Kristina) I decided to write the book of my heart. The thing with writing the 'book of your heart' is that it can cause you a tremendous deal of angst and fear. Will it sell? Will I get an agent with it? Will readers want to read it? Will readers like him? Will I be trashed for writing such a book?

When one writes such a book, the first and foremost rule is that one cannot be afraid of the book. It is made that much easier when the editor involved sees your vision and supports it. I was most lucky when my editor, Susan Swinwood emailed me to say, 'please bring the opium use to the forefront. Show readers just how messed up Lindsay really is'. That email was most freeing as a writer. The further edits were liberating, and really allowed me to write not only the book, but Lindsay as I saw him.

Lindsay is, the most complicated, and complex character I have written to date. Upon reflection, it is not the opium use that makes him thus (although that's a significant part) but because he is, well...human. He is beautiful and sensual, and sexy as anything, but he is also at times stubborn, short sighted, easily tempered and self-righteous. Everyone is wrong, and he is right. Everyone is against him, and he is alone in the world. In essence, he is everything that we ourselves have been at times in our lives. This made him most difficult to write as a romance hero. And Addicted is a romance. Yes, it is erotic, and the characters are not something you'll find in mainstream romance, but their story is, first and foremost a romance, as well as a journey in betrayal, loss, growth and love.

In my writing, I have grinned, chuckled, laughed, become aroused by characters and situations. I have never cried-- until Addicted. There are three separate places where I balled like the proverbial baby. This sense of emotion really stretched my writing skills. While blubbering like a watering pot, I visualized him so clearly, and felt his and Anais' pain so acutely.

I always saw Lindsay very clearly. And like my LIT ladies, I like to have visual inspiration for my characters. In Eric Bana, I saw Lindsay. The curly hair, the mainly physique, the brooding, the mysteriousness, the ability to laugh. In essence, complex, manly, sexy. Lindsay's hair is darker, his eyes blue, but the rest of him is very much like the pictures in this post. (I hope the visuals don't disappoint!)

Finding a suitable excerpt for a PG13 audience was a bit of a challenge. I wanted to give you a good feel for the book. I wanted to entice you. I wanted you to fall in love with him, as I have done. I'm not sure if this is a good starting point, but I've chosen it because I love the visuals, and I think you'll have good feel for Lindsay's inner mindset.

I hope you enjoy, and please, feel free to comment, negatively or postively after reading.

Without further ado, I give you the beginning of Addicted!

Slave. Minion. Fiend. The others who have come before me have been called such things, but I prefer to think of myself as a disciple; a devout follower of my voluptuous mistress.
They say my lover is a sinister beauty, and perhaps they are correct. But when caught in her heady embrace there is nothing sinister about her. How can she be evil, when she bathes my body in a thousand raptures? How can she be anything but a radiant sorceress when she takes me to heights never before experienced?
No, my mistress is many things, but not a succubus in a gossamer cloak. True, she demands much from me, but I know how to coax and coddle her so that her black flesh responds to my skilled hands. Between my fingers, she melts like a woman in the throes of climax.
I warm her, care for her, wait patiently for her to cloak me in her sensual and supple embrace.
I worship her.
She is here now, I realize, as I see the gray fingers of her arrival begin to swirl up from the altar I have prepared for her. Soon she will be curling her fingers in my hair, caressing my face and covering my mouth with her evocative beauty. I will taste her heady fragrance on my tongue, inhale her bittersweet scent deep into my lungs. My mind will cloud, will begin to wander and float. I will fall back on my red velvet cushion, drunk with anticipation…
Among the gossamer tendrils, my mistress rises up like Venus from the shell. She beckons me and I allow her to take over, her greedy hands swathing my body and mind in a frenzy of orgasmic temptations.
Soon her ethereal mist will begin to evaporate and part like the branches of a tree in the wind, revealing the flesh and blood woman my body desires. The flesh and blood woman who will never be found here in this den of pleasure.
This is the moment I live for with my mistress. This power she has to conjure up my most sacred, private fantasies. The beckoning enchantment she entices me with is the glimpse of the woman I crave, the woman who has ruled my heart for so long that I can see no others except her. Desire no on but her.
Through heavy-lidded eyes I will see my flesh lover, her pale skin tinted the color of cream, her long golden hair glistening like corn silk in the sun as she stands before the candle and brass burner. Through the vapors, I watch her disrobe for me, her breasts spilling from her gown. Unbound, they are lush and full, the pale pink nipples pearled, waiting for my hands and mouth to show her pleasure. Slowly, as if to extend my torment, she waits to reveal the rest of her lovely form.
She is always naked, my angel, and she always desires me. The real me. The man I am. Even though my mistress is there watching, whispering into my ear.
It is always a ménage, this coming together. Always my mistress comes between my flesh lover and me. But in the world of red smoke and dreams, the two who hold me enraptured, live harmoniously side by side. There is no anger. No petty jealousy for my attention. No demands that I give up the other.
For I couldn’t. I need both like I need breath.
One rules my mind and my strength; the other, my heart, soul and body.
The one knows me as a man, an aristocrat with a secret.
The other knows me for what I am. An opium addict.
Slave. Minion. Fiend. I suppose I am. But I prefer to think of myself as a disciple. It is so much more palatable to believe that this path I walk is based on devotion and faith—not the bonds of slavery.
next week, I'll give you a glimpse of Anais, Lindsay's lover.


Amanda McIntyre said...

I loved this opening the first time I read it, Charlotte! Bravisimo!


Genella deGrey said...

That was soooo beautiful!

Whew! PG-13 ain't what it used to be!


Charlotte Featherstone said...

Thanks Genella, and Amanda.
did I shock you, Gennlla??? Sorry, if I did...blush...

Kristina Cook said...

I can TOTALLY see Eric Bana as Lindsay!!

Amanda McIntyre said...

More Eric, please????

Is he of Canadian persuasion , Charlotte???
I MUST come visit my friends in the nort'land!

flchen1 said...

Wow!! Thanks for that! That was quite fabulous :)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Thank you all for your kind words.
I'm glad Lindsay pleased!