Oct 6, 2010

Lancelot's Lady and Life in the First Draft by Cherish D'Angelo

Thank you so much for hosting me during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour, which launches my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot's Lady. In 2002, I started writing a romance novel, rather than my normal suspense, and began what was titled Reflections.

Here's the original first draft opening:

A woman's naked body, wrapped only in a thin veil of mist, rose from the shimmering stillness of the lake. Her long legs, half-submerged in the water, were gracefully slender. Rich auburn hair cascaded down her shoulders swirling over the peaks of her firm breasts. Her jade-green eyes gleamed with such yearning and expectancy.

The mist rose from the lake in spiraling tendrils like fairy hands grasping at the woman's body. The wind whispered in hot, humid breaths. Water trickled from the falls above, showering the plants with glistening moisture. And from the depths of the lush green forest, a bird called to its mate, inviting her to share in nature's beauty.

The woman in the mist appeared to be waiting for something―or someone . . .

Though the imagery in the scene above is beautiful, it was confusing to early readers. So the scene was moved. As well, there were two other changes: the main character's name was changed from Jessi to Rhianna as her name was too close to a character in my thriller Divine Intervention and Reflections became Lancelot's Lady.

Here's the new opening:

Pacing in the expansive marble foyer of Lance Manor, Rhianna McLeod tried to calm her nerves as she waited for her life to change. One man’s decision would determine her fate. Would she have a new job and a place to call home? Or would she be sent packing?

A tall, thin man in a dark gray suit approached her.

“Are you Mr. Lance?” she asked, holding her breath.

The man smiled and fine lines crinkled the corners of his warm brown eyes. “I’m Higginson, Mr. Lance’s butler. He’s resting at the moment. Perhaps you can leave your name.”

Rhianna blinked back tears. She couldn’t be turned away. The trip to Florida had taken most of her savings and she didn’t have enough money to fly back to Maine. Besides, if it weren’t for Mr. Lance’s letter, she wouldn’t even be in this predicament.

Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherishdangelo.com and http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com. Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.


  1. Oh, I rather liked the first one ... I hope that's allowed :-)


  2. lol Tim, I liked the first one too, but I do like the new one better for the opening scene. That first scene shows up a bit later, so it's still there. :-)


  3. What is the saying... kill your darlings? I always find I have more trouble killing off scenes and sentences I like than killing off characters. :P What does that say about me....?


  4. It says you're a killer writer. ;-)

    Luckily I didn't have to kill that scene. I resurrected it in a later scene. But yeah, killing your darlings is tough. We do get attached to our words.


  5. I liked the the first one too :). I can also see that it may have perhaps divulged a little bit more than what you wanted in the beginning.

    It's pretty interesting to see how stories change up during edits and drafts.

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

  6. I am playing catch up!! I had a wedding to go to and got behind. Sometimes even stalkers take a break!!!

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com