Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Into the Dreaming: the missing Dageus portraits

Over the years, many of you have written in to ask why you never got to see the two paintings Dageus painted of himself to warn future generations of Keltar that he was dark, so if he showed up on their doorstep one day, they’d be forewarned. I just got my comp copies of Into the Dreaming, which contains The Dark Highlander, Lite my first try at telling Dageus’ story. (There’s also a foreword in the book that explains why I wrote it twice.) In the Lite version, Dageus doesn’t live in Manhattan, the heroine, Elizabeth is very different than Chloe, and I had a completely different strategy for saving him. When I threw it away 250 pages in and started over, I had to be able to see it new, which meant recycling as little as possible—which meant details, scenes, tensions, characters I used to shape the Lite version never made it into the Dark. The paintings were one of many things that went into the trash with the manuscript.

I was thumbing through my comp copy and was delighted to realize those paintings have finally made it to print, LOL! This is an excerpt from Into the Dreaming, the special hardcover edition. (It goes on sale April 24th.)

Elizabeth is unwrapping a package, tearing off strips of paper that protect the painting within…

She bared more of it in strips. A grassy knoll. A night sky. A brilliant purple and black tartan, that ended above powerfully muscled calves, and clung to lean hips. More of that sculpted stomach and chest. Strong arms and broad, powerful shoulders. All the makings of a woman’s most primitive fantasy…

The laughter died abruptly in her throat as she tore off the last remaining strip, revealing the magnificent man’s face.

Er…faces, she amended uneasily. For the man had two, and the breath hitched in her throat.

She stared in silence for a long, long time, feeling something stir within her that made her deeply uneasy. Curiosity. Fascination. An intense unbidden flash of sensual awareness.

For heaven’s sake, she chided herself, blowing out an uneasy breath, it’s only a picture!

But it was more than that. He radiated barely harnessed, fantastic energy. The man—and he was every inch raw male, dripping dark, intoxicating sexuality—had been painted standing on a grassy slope, with silhouettes of standing stones behind him. The night sky was the backdrop; a velvety canvas pierced by glittering stars. Clad in only a kilt, he was magnificent, with skin like golden velvet poured over steel, a sculpted physique, and silky black-as-midnight hair that spilled down his back and over one shoulder. He chiseled face was exotic, almost impossibly beautiful.

But the beauty ended abruptly, or rather, to the left it ended, for the man’s face turned both ways. One face turned right, breathtakingly handsome, with glittering golden eyes, firm pink lips, an arrogant blade of a nose and a strong jaw. Stunningly male, stunningly sensual, it made places low in her belly feel tight.

The other face turned to the left was evil incarnate…


Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Scary!!! Yikes! Thanks for posting. I had an email from Amazon yesterday recommending I pre-order this book. Amazon knows me scarily well!!!


bookster said...

oooh I love it when you dig up things like this to share with us!!!