WIP Wednesday: A Thousand Oceans

Happy Wednesday, all! It’s WIP Wednesday, and since I’m in the home stretch of the Aimee novel, here’s an excerpt from the work in progress!

Aimee nearly dropped the glass of rum when she heard the words. Hook took her hand into his good one, intertwining his fingers with hers. It bordered on some kind of impropriety, but Aimee had to confess that she rather likes the feeling of is hand against hers. Even though he was a gentleman, he was a man who was not above work, for though his hand was well cared for, the palm was callused.

“Why do you ask such a thing?” she said to him, her heart beginning to beat rapidly. “I have nothing to offer you, Captain, other than being nothing but an incessant thorn in your side. You would have to protect me from Peter…”

“The boy forgets,” Hook repeated. “He forgets…but I do not.”

Aimee put her glass down on the desk, holding out her free hand. Carefully he placed his iron hook in her open palm. “I dreamed of you,” he went on. “I have dreamed of you for a very long time. Have you dreamed of me as well…Aimee?”

She stared into his piercing eyes, and it was then that she recognized that gaze. He was her cavalier, the one of whom she had dreamed before she had left France for Martinique.

She now understood why he seemed so familiar to her, and why he seemed to almost ache so for her to be near him, and why, just now, she felt so drawn to him.

“I have dreamed of you,” she told him. “Shortly before I left France, I dreamed of you…and of the boy.”

“Dreams,” he murmured. “Such an odd thing they are.”

“Yes,” Aimee said, her eyes widening. He took her hands and kissed them, his warm lips lingering on her wrists for what seemed some moments. He lifted his head and relinquished his hold on her hands.

“Think on it,” he said, “of whether or not you would like to stay in Neverland. I would forever be at your service.”

“But why?” she asked him. “Why would you like me to stay with you?”

He rose, drained his glass, and set it down. “Mademoiselle…Aimee, I have been in Neverland for almost a century. I have had nothing to sustain me but my desire for revenge on Peter Pan…and when one lives only for revenge, one finds that life can grow very bleak. I lived alone, with nothing but this hatred for the boy in my heart. Loneliness is a terrible thing, Aimee, and that was part of Pan’s curse: to grow old and die in this land, and to be forgotten by those who knew me and reduced to nothing but a villain in a child’s game. It changed when we first met.”

“I don’t understand,” Aimee said.

“Peter’s curse upon me might be broken, and perhaps I would someday be able to sail from Neverland,” Hook replied, “but only after the curse is lifted.”

“And you believe that I could lift it?” Aimee said.

“I know that you could,” he said. “If not…”

“If not?”

He shrugged “If not,” he said, “then if you should stay, we would pass many pleasant moments together. But I you choose to leave, I will do what I must to ensure that you reach the Faerie Queen’s island safely, so that you might return home to France.”


WIP Wednesday – from The Painted Sea

Happy Wednesday! I’m trying to blog more, since that’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and I’m starting off with an excerpt from the WIP. I hope you like it!

He carefully put down his goblet of wine and stared at her with those eyes that seemed to pierce through to the darkest corners of her heart. “Mademoiselle, are you implying that it was my men who attacked the Esperance and killed all those aboard, except you, who, through happenstance, was lucky enough to survive?”

:”I am, Captain,” Aimee replied, lifting her chin and daring to return his icy stare with her own.

He averted his eyes from hers, tucking into his dinner with great zeal. Aimee picked at what was on her plate and was finally able to eat most of her pork loin, potatoes dauphinois, and haricots verts. Smee filled the goblet with more wine. Aimee sipped it cautiously, watching as the captain reached for more grapes. The captain looked at her as picked a small branch from the bunch and put it on his plate.

“You seem very convinced of this, mademoiselle,” he stated. “Would you stake your lfie on what you believe?”

“I don’t wish to go that far,” Aimee said. “But if i had to, I would make it known to the French authorities, and you would be condemned to hang.”

“Ah, but we are no longer in France, mademoiselle!” Hook reminded her. “The law of Neverland is based on the whims of a child, and anything else in the island beyond would be brought to the Faerie Queen for a final judgment!”

Aimee scowled as Hook’s voice took on a tone of amusement. Hook seemed to see that the game was drawing to an end. “Mademoiselle,” he said, “allow me to tell you that it was not my crew who attacked the Esperance and killed all of the poor souls aboard. We came upon the ship, perhaps some hours after Peter Pan had taken you. We buried the bodies of those who had fallen at sea, foraged what we could from the ship, and set it afire so that whatever had gotten to it first would not use it to lure other ships to their doom.”

Aimee watched Hook’s face grow graver as he told the tale. He asked Smee for more wine, and the bosun refilled both of their goblets.

“Do you know who might have taken the Esperance and killed everyone aboard?” Aimee said quietly, her heartbeat quickening as she remembered the fear that had consumed her that day.

“‘T’wouldn’t be a question of who, mademoiselle, but what sort of creatures took it, and why you were spared,” Hook replied.

“You saw what happened–what may have killed everyone else aboard?”

“I did not see the creatures themselves, but I did see their handiwork–and I can tell you that these are not creatures of our world…or even this one.”

“Then what do you think they are, Captain?”

“They are the creatures made from our worst nightmares, mademoiselle.”

And there it is! I will be updating the story on Wattpad a few times a week, so there is more to come!

Meet the Heroine: Aimee Dubucq de Rivery

Since the work in progress, a novel called The Painted Sea, is in its final stages, it’s only appropriate to introduce the heroine of the novel, who, believe it or not, was actually a real person, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, a young Creole heiress who was lost at sea in the summer of 1788. There is actually much debate about the legend concerning her ultimate fate and whether or not she was actually even related to Empress Josephine.

A rendering of Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, artist unknown. Image via Wikipedia.

A rendering of Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, artist unknown. Image via Wikipedia.

Of course, since this is a fictional work, I’m going to go with the legend and assume that Aimee was a cousin of Josephine’s because it makes for a good story later on. And I’ve made sure to incorporate the dubious tale of young Yeyette and Aimee journeying to see the Obeah woman to have their fortunes read, but in a very different way, and without using “magical Negro” trope. It was well known that Josephine consulted tarot cards every now and again, and instead of an Obeah woman, it is Rose’s fictional  friend from court, another Creole woman married to a French nobleman, who can predict someone’s future by reading his or her palm. There has also been some debate regarding Aimee’s date of birth, since it seems there were two women in the Dubucq de Rivery family who bore the name Aimee, one born in 1763 and the other born in 1776. So I chose 1770 for my Aimee’s birth year, since it seems to be in the middle, and since it also makes things less problematic for the romance with our antihero.

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette in the 2006 film. Image via Fanpop.

Of course my Aimee, being a Creole heiress who stands to inherit the prosperous sugarcane plantation her father, a minor nobleman by rank, left her, is very certain of her rank and carries a certain hauteur about her, but she also has a heart and is conscious of the plight of those who are not as fortunate as she is, and she possesses the intellect and education demanded of an eighteenth-century salonniere. Her return to France after her time in Faerie will be a rude awakening, as things are about to come to a head and erupt into revolution, but she will see it on the side of the aristocracy, as her story of her ordeal will capture the interest of Marie Antoinette and put her in the queen’s inner circle while her uncles and the Duc d’Orleans try to determine, with the help of the sailor-turned-foreman of the plantation in Martinique, just where Aimee had been and whether or not this sailor had been there before. And of course our antihero will somehow find himself embroiled in this intrigue.

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette in the 2006 film. Image via Fanpop.

It was so easy to picture Kirsten Dunst as Aimee based on her portrayal of Marie Antoinette in the 2006 film. Not that Aimee is a manic pixie dream girl, but that she is a rather naive young woman who has had to hold her own during her time in Faerie and who must regain her footing in the French court and rebuff her uncles’ and the Duc d’Orleans’ efforts to use her as a pawn in the intrigue they are planning. And of course our antihero, who has yet to be introduced, will find himself embroiled in all of this in that summer of 1789.

The first few chapters of The Painted Sea are up on Wattpad. I will post a link to it soon, as well as post whom I’ve “cast” as the other characters in the novel.