Monday, February 9, 2009 last!

Today is my day to squee about Addicted, my erotic historical from Harlequin Spice. It's here!!!!! Okay, really, it was released Feb 1, but hey, it's never to late to squeal about a release. This is my first large press release and the glitter of it all hasn't faded yet. Thus far, it's been getting good reviews and it made its way onto the Barnes and Noble romance bestseller list. #28 the second week. It was a top pick at Night Owl Romance, and will also be All Romance e-Books Feb book club pick (so, if you want a chance to win Addicted, sign up for the book club because they're giving away a code for 50 copies--check their My Space page for deets) or you could hang around here for the next couple of days for a chance to win a copy.

Now that the official pimping is done, I have no idea what to talk to about. What do you as readers want to know? I have had numerous emails from readers asking if this is a) a romance, and b)has a happily ever after. Yes on both counts, with some tears and trials in between!

So, I was thinking last night, after filling out some interview questions about Addicted, why don't I tell you a bit of the 'behind the scenes' on dits about Addicted. I as a reader like to know all the little nuances that go into a book, so maybe I'll share those with you guys.

Addicted was written in the spring of 2006 and it took the better part of eight months to write. The only other eyes to see it were Kristina's. She was incredibly supportive and helpful during the writing process. Many of her suggestions are in the book. Addicted landed me an agent, and sold to Susan Swinwood in Oct 2007 (yes, it really does that long for a book to be published!)

It's original title was Obession, but Kayla Perrin already had a book coming out named Obsession. We rattled around other titles like, 'A Sinister Beauty', 'A Heavenly Demon', 'Red Smoke' but finally settled on Addicted. My editor suggested it, and we both liked the edgy feel of it, as well as the fact that it could also reference something sexual.

I had revisions. Revisions I was afraid of. I had edited out quite a few of the opium scenes, fearing editorial disgust. She wanted those back in, which, I was thrilled about because I thought some of those scenes contained my best writing. However, my editor was very keen about having me put in a love scene while Lindsay is 'using'. I was terrified of reader response. Amanda and Kristina will vouch for this. I bugged the hell out of them for days, mulling this over, brainstorming scenarios, and generally whining like a three year old. Amanda was very helpful and most creative during this particular session of brainstorming. The result is one of my most favorite scenes in the book, because it allowed me such freedom with Lindsay. It also allowed me to explore the world of addiction, and the subsequent 'detox' parts. I really was afraid of what readers would think, but in the end, it served the plot and the characters well. I was true to Lindsay, and ironically, the scenes which I feared most, are the scenes that readers have emailed me to say were their favorites.

One of my very favorite scenes was a late 'almost didn't make it into the book' additions. It's the scene where Lindsay is withdrawing and Anais is taking care of him. He's in utter ruins, broken physically, emotionally,spiritually. Anais takes him into the bath and shows him the physical love he is crying out for. I really felt that Anais needed to do this, to take an active role in Lindsay's healing. It just felt right, and I pleaded and begged with my editor, trying to convince her that this scene was crucial to not only Lindsay, but to Anais as well. The trouble was, I decided I needed this during the copy edit stage, a stage where nothing gets changed except typos and the odd word. She agreed to read it, and emailed me with an enthusiastic 'yes, it MUST get in there'. So, the scene made it into the book, and I'm thrilled by it. It adds another emotional dimension to their healing, and I think it's beautiful.

Which leads me to my favorites. I have a scene or two which are my favs, but I have some lines as well. Besides the opium love scenes, I love the scenes where Anais stays with Lindsay when he quits using opium. These scenes were a challenge to write. I wanted them factual and raw, while balancing romance, eroticism and emotion. My background is medical, so I was afraid of coming off like a textbook, but in the end, I think it was a good balance. I'm proud of those scenes.

Other favorites are lines that I remember writing and feeling 'something' while doing so. They are...

"He was beautiful, the very epitome of a brooding poet, but with his hair worn long, and the sinful curve of his mouth, which was usually shadowed with a night beard, he reminded Anais not of a poet, but a fallen angel, the sort who would tempt any woman into an indiscretion with a smile and a flash of his eyes."

"Rise up from this bed and walk to me amidst the smoke. Crawl atop me, just like the smoke does, Anais."

"Innocence and wonder. It was all lost now, save for the times when the opium ruled him. More and more, he allowed his mistress to govern his mind and body. He was dependent upon her to take the pain away. He needed her, not to die, but to live-- or at the very least-- exist. Gone was the shining knight, replaced with a tarnished dragon chaser."

"He hadn't bothered with the women at the opium dens. Instead, he concentrated on his visions of Anais and pleasured himself in the temporal plane while the physical plane withered away."

"Don't she begged through a choking gasp. "Please don't say anything. Just...go away."
"I don't think I'll ever be able to leave you, Anais."
Her heart squeezed as she listened to the hope, the longing in his words. Her own hope flared, thinking of what-if. Then she looked at him, a shell of a man he once was, an empty husk that had once held so much potential. "You've already left, Lindsay. You just don't realize it yet."

"She was as high as he now, drunk on the passion, the pleasure he was giving her."

"Why can't you see?" he raged, "that the only thing I could possibly quit for is you?...The truth is, the only thing that could possibly bring me out of the darkness is a chance that at the end of the tunnel I might find you waiting there in the light."

"He thought he might have been weeping, knew he was when she kissed the corner of his eye, taking the droplet away on her lips. She knew what he needed, knew what that one broken word-- please-- meant."

"The world looks different to me now, Anais. The future is bright. I can't wait to to start it. It was so beautiful this day, to awaken and find you at the end of the tunnel standing in a ray of light. I have hope now, where I only ever had fear."

And there you have it, some of my fav lines. I have some naughty favorites as well, but this is a PG site, so I'll have to keep mum about them. They all mean different things to me, but they're the ones that I recall moved me when I was writing them.

If you've read Addicted, what were your favorite parts or lines? And if you haven't, in the comments section just write 'Addicted Contest' and I'll randomly choose a name to win an autographed copy of Addicted. I'll announce the winner on Wicked Wendesday

Thanks for letting me share the memories of writing this book, and thank you for all the support you've shown to me, as well as Lindsay and Anais!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on all the good reviews and everything, but most of all, congrats on the BOOK! It's out! Hurray!

I am looking forward to reading it.

CrystalGB said...

Addicted Contest

Addicted sounds wonderful. :)

Amanda McIntyre said...

congratulations on the release! A wonderful story about "steppin into the bad side!"


Kristi Cook said...

HUGE congrats on the release--I have my copy sitting right here by my desk! It's been long enough since I read it as a WIP that it was all fresh again when reading it this time--and still as wonderfully romantic and heartbreakingly beautiful as I remembered.

Lindsay is one of my all-time favorite romance heroes!

Anonymous said...


oh please oh please pick me pick me.

WTG on the book and everything, The cover is fantabulous.

Jennifer said...

Congrats on the release of ADDICTED! The cover art is beautiful. I picked up a copy on Saturday, and can hardly wait to read it.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Thanks, everyone!
I totally lucked out on the cover!!!!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Jen, welcome to LIT, have you been here before? And thanks so much for picking up Addicted!

Genella deGrey said...

'Addicted Contest'

SQUEEEE, back at you, Charlotte!
I can't wait to read Addicted!

Jane said...

Addicted Contest

Congrats on the new release and on hitting the Barnes and Noble romance bestseller list.

Fedora said...

Addicted Contest

Huge congrats on this, Charlotte! How thrilling! Are you doing anything special to celebrate your releases? A charm bracelet or other bling? Framed cover flats? ;) And I don't remember having said so before, but that's a truly lovely cover!

Also, thanks for sharing some of your favorites and some of how your story came together--I'm glad you've got such a terrific editor and that you were able to tell Lindsay and Anais's story in the way you wanted!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Flchen, I did a framed cover flat and am making a cover gallery for my wall. It looks so good up there!

Jennifer said...

I lurk often and have posted once before. This is a terrific blog. I enjoy it a lot.

Tam G. said...

I can't wait to read Addicted!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new release! Thanks for the chance to win!

Addicted Contest

Tez Miller said...

Addicted Contest (if you don't mind posting to Australia, that is).

Have a lovely day! :-)

Amanda McIntyre said...

Our deepest condolences here at the LIT blog, Tez, for the recent wildfire tragedy that has affected your country!


Charlotte Featherstone said...

Good luck, everyone, and Tez, I most certainly don't mind posting to Australia!
Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Addicted Contest

Thanks for the chance to participate. Congratulations to you!

Romance is alive, well, and thriving everywhere especially this week and more so on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Addicted Contest

Congrats, your cover look amazing, can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

I adore Addicted! But sobering fact for any writer trying to get they’re work published that it takes time but have faith!

Addicted made me cry and it made me happy it was just so beautiful. I loved Lindsay because he was so human, he wasn’t perfect but his love was true for Anais. I went through a dark depression when I started to suffer from my panic disorder so I could understand when he hit rock bottom, but he had someone to love and was waiting for him, and I to had people and family there to pick me up.
Although I love Lindsay it was Lord Wallingford who really caught my eye and I hope that you write more about him and his past! I like these two lines he said to Lindsay

“The angel is dead. It is time to embrace the sinner, for if you do not, I shall expect to see you in hell with me”

“To hell,” “make certain you bring your pride. It is the only thing that makes monotony bearable”

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I'm SO glad you liked Addicted! I love Lindsay, he was so much fun to write. He was such an open book to me. Now Wallingford....he's a tricky one. He's every bit as tortured as Lindsay, without the addiction. he can be so cold, and sometimes cruel, but he's utterly redeemable. Wallingford is catching many readers attention, and I'm happy, because his book, Sinful is coming out in May next year!
Thanks for your kind words, Ranearia, and I'm happy you had someone there to help you. We all need that, don't we, someone to hang on to when we we feel we can't go another step ourselves!

Anonymous said...

OMG! Wallingford will have his own book next year!?! YES!!! I can't wait!

I wonder what he looks like...

Thank you Charlotte, I am blessed with my family and love ones and give thanks everyday

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hey, glad to see you're excited about Wallingford! lol! My editor is very excited by him as well. (I'm feeling soooo much pressure to make him perfect. Everyone wants his book. It's intimidating! lol!)Maybe it's that whole bad boy image, I dunno.

Well, Wallingford's name is Matthew. Took me forever to learn his name. He's very tall, like 6'4 He's bulky with muscles, not lean. He's more the boxer type, with big shoulders and a thick chest. He has an olive complexion and black silky hair that is short, but considered just a bit too long to be fashionable. His eyes are dark blue, but they look almost black until you get up close to him. He's fond of facial scruff...grrrrr
While I thought of Lindsay as beautiful in a manly way, I think of Wallingford as virile and very masculine. He's also, shall we say, a more 'earthy' in his bedroom habits.

Anonymous said...

It's Wallingford outlook on life and why he became that way is what really drew me. He has love and kindess in him as shown when he's with his sister Sara and how he trys to make Lindsay see beyond his pride then again maybe it is the bad boy image!

He does sound really hot~! *fans self* I think he's a real foil to Lindsay..but earthy in his bedroom habits..oooh I do wonder *wink*

Charlotte Featherstone said...

And May seems so impossibly far away, doesn't it? I cannot wait to see his cover.

And one last glimpse of him, through his heroine-- Jane's eyes.

"Wallingford was the kind of man you needed to peel the layers from, one by one. Rather like an onion, Jane thought, and like an onion each layer would make you cry."

All’sReads said...

Addicted Contest!

Hi LIT Ladies, I followed Charlotte here from her site. I've been missing out! I will comment only when I have something (in)appropriate to say - lol!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hi Allison!
Welcome to the LIT manor. We have lots of fun here, and speak up whenever you like!

Kammie said...

I love getting "inside" information on how a story came to be. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on the release! Adding this one to my wish list.