Sorry I'm late with my To Serve is Divine tour stop! Been a rough week!
Writing is not easy. To create a written work that can hold the interest, or better yet, transport readers to another time and place, takes time – and tears, sleepless nights, coffee overdoses, forgotten mealtimes; in other words, a writer’s soul. Whether we mean to or not, when we write, a piece of ourselves ends up on those pages. The same goes for when I quilt; I haven’t made one yet that I’ve not drawn blood with a pin prick or even a sewing machine needle through my fingertip (eek!). I chalk it up to really putting my all into my creations.
Taking on the task of converting my fan fiction story into an original three book series has been daunting, but thrilling. If there’s one thing I like to do, its challenge myself. The easiest route for my writing style has always been point A to point B, yet this project has me starting at B, backtracking to A which then needs to be bridged to B before I can move forward to C*. A little more complicated isn’t it?
After assessing what I had to work with in B, I was thankful that I’d started Catherine and Jayden’s story far enough in to give me room to backtrack. So that’s what I’ve done. Going off the primary plan of building their first year together gave me the opportunity to take the reader from the first moment the characters lay eyes on each other forward. As the story unravels, the reader gets to experience the sweet and awkward “get to know you” phase, the moments of raw passion that ebb and flow between Master and his jewel, but beyond that there are the small details: where they live and work, some of their history including family connections, and just the everyday stuff life hands them.
In short, the reader gets to witness these two stubborn people fall for each other though they refuse to admit it to anyone, least of all themselves. The pivotal bridging point came in concocting the impetus for Catherine and Jayden to push their limit: acceptance, and then deciding what to do about it. Which is where I end To Serve is Divine; on the cusp of their one year collaring anniversary, and filled with foreign emotions heavily weighed down with an undeniable need for the other.
Have no fear, however. A Divine Life is well under way and will be released late summer 2013, and will throw the reader into a scene heavy, emotion filled rollercoaster ride of a weekend. The question is whether or not Catherine and Jayden will come out on the other side unscathed.
An exclusive advance excerpt from A Divine Life**:
“So, how does that work? I mean, how does one draw the line between Master and husband?” Was such a complicated relationship possible? Could Jayden see her that way? Just thinking his name caused a funny feeling in Catherine’s chest. Her thoughts continued, now on overdrive . . .
No. Master didn’t do personal relationships – he’d said as much when they’d first signed their contract together. They’d both agreed to the understanding that this was nothing but a sexual relationship. Hell, he was fucking two other people besides her – that she knew of. If there was a chance that he wanted something more with her he wouldn’t have handed her over to complete strangers today. Would he? Oh, God. Sir Jonathan’s offer to take Catherine on flashed through her mind, along with the knowledge that she had more sessions today with an unknown amount of Doms. Was that what today was? Had the “inspection” Sir performed not just been a part of the scene? Was Sir Jonathan looking her over as a potential acquisition? What about Miss K offering to take her on all those months ago? Catherine’s stomach soured again.
“No. No, please, no. I- I can’t,” Catherine mumbled, and began to shake.
Her world was crumbling around her and panic took root. Catherine gasped for air while she wrapped her arms around her mid-section.
“Erin! What’s wrong?” Paige’s shriek snapped Catherine to attention and she raised her watery eyes to meet Paige’s.
“Paige –” Catherine started to cry. “He figured it out. I tried to be so good, so careful. He knows and he’s going to get rid of me!” She thought she’d done so well at hiding her secret over the months; that she’d protected her heart.
Paige had wrapped her arm around Catherine and was rubbing slow circles on her back. With a wince Catherine became quite aware of every lash mark from Sir Jonathan’s whip – they burned to her core as Paige’s soft hands brushed over them. Catherine flinched away from her.
“Shh, Erin,” she said in a calming voice. “Who knows what, sweetie? What are you talking about?”
Turning wide eyes on her, Catherine choked out, “Jay . . . Master. He knows I’ve fallen in . . . in love with him. I wasn’t supposed to, and he found out and now he’s interviewing me with strange Doms to get rid of me. I broke the rules and he –” she swallowed a sob, “he doesn’t want me anymore!”
Warm arms embraced her. “Oh, Erin, sweetie, you’ve got it all wrong. He doesn’t want to get rid of you. I’ve never seen a Master so enamored of his submissive as Sir Jayden is with you.”
“But –” Catherine started to argue. Her gut was telling her that she was right, not Paige. Master had taken her pearl collar this morning and labeled her a slut – she now assumed to be auctioned off like cattle.
“No ‘buts’, Erin, you have to believe me. I know this is all going to work out for you,” Paige said with affirmation.
Oh how Catherine wanted to believe Paige, but in her mind she scoffed. Of course Paige thought it was all going to be fine. She had her fairytale: a Master and a life partner in one, so arguing with her would be pointless. Sad resolution became Catherine’s bedfellow as she came to what she felt was the right decision in her mind. No matter what, Catherine knew she’d always love Master, and because of that she’d see the day out so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed by her behavior in front of his peers. However, when Master made the move to take her collar she would just beat him to it. She would claim they needed to end their contract for personal reasons, and then try to walk out with her head held proud. It would hurt less if Catherine was the one to leave.
*A: To Serve is Divine
B: A Divine Life
** This excerpt is from the rough draft, and as such has not been edited at this time.
Catherine O’Chancey is a reserved, demure, and graceful submissive. All traits she trained hard to enhance when she discovered the world of Dominance and submission in college. In an attempt to start fresh after the unexpected death of her last Dom, Catherine moves to Dallas, TX to escape the shroud of darkness he left behind in her life. She has tried to fight the need that resides deep within her to submit, but finally has to admit she can’t for it is not a choice, but part of who she truly is. After months of mental preparation, she ventures back into the lifestyle by attending a coveted open-night event at Dungeons and Dreams, an exclusive BDSM club.
Is it fate or coincidence that Catherine garners the attention of one of the club’s board members who happens to be on the hunt for the perfect sub – a partner who enjoys receiving pain and pleasure as much as he enjoys doling it out?
Jayden Masterson is many things: a firm Dom, a shrewd businessman, and a gentleman. What he isn’t, is someone who partakes in relationships outside of contractual ones with his multiple, uncollared, regular submissives. While he likes rough sex, he is not an animal, and can find pleasure only if it is consensual. What his harem is missing is a pain slut, could there be one in his future?
Upon meeting Catherine, Jayden feels an instantaneous spark inside him that has him wanting to know not just her body, but her mind. He wants to unravel her mysteries and discover her secrets. Through pain can they find the pleasure they seek? Can part-time pain lovers find full-time fulfillment when it’s not in their contract?
R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.
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