Sunday, June 12, 2011

Love All Year Long Contest!

Gabriela Lessa is hosting this fantastic contest, and I just had to enter.  Especially since we have the chance to win a critique from agent Weronika Janczuk!

First, please accept my apology if I'm unable to hop over to your blog and leave feedback.  I'm going to have very limited internet access for the next week or so, but please feel free to leave comments on mine and I'll drop in as soon as I can.  And thank you, Gabriela, for letting me enter despite my absence!

This is a scene from my paranormal romance, LIFE BEFORE DEATH.  I would love to call it YA, however, the characters are in college so I'm told the correct term is "new adult," not "young adult." *grumbles*

In this scene, Michael and Alexis are walking on the beach, eating ice cream. I think it speaks for itself, so without further ado, here goes.  Hope you enjoy!

It was the second time Michael had mentioned being a different person since I’d met him, and I was just about to ask what he meant by it when the wind kicked up, just as I had been afraid it might. It was even stronger coming off the water, and I stood in place squeezing my eyes shut and holding my hands (shoes, ice cream and all) in front of me, as if that would actually help.

Bits of sand flew up and attacked like angry bees, stinging my cheeks. I shrieked, turning toward Michael’s arm to shield my face. He pulled me to him, hugging me protectively against his chest. The direction of the wind changed just then, blowing my hair against his shirt and sending fat, airborne droplets of cold ocean water smashing against his arm and the side of my head. Then, as suddenly as it had come on, the gusty outburst was over.

I felt Michael’s chest shaking with laughter as I peeled my face from his shirt and opened one eye, the one that didn’t have wet hair plastered over it.

“This is starting to become a habit,” I said through my own laughter, recalling the way I’d wound up doused in water the night I met him.

He smiled down at me. “Guess you were right.” His hands were on my shoulders, but before I could reach up to peel the sodden hair from my cheek, his fingers were gently brushing it away for me.

I wanted to answer with some witty reply, but the air evaporated from my lungs when his fingers touched my face. They traced the lines of my cheek, then moved back to stroke my hair, though none of it stuck to me anymore. Even if I had been able to speak, there was only one coherent thought flashing through my head: he’s going to kiss me.

And he did. His lips pressed gently against mine, cool and soft and electrifying all at once. I closed my eyes, afraid I might wake up if I moved any other part of my body. My eyelids fluttered open when he pulled away suddenly, and I saw him look at me as if to ask if this was okay. My reaction surprised even me.

I threw my ice cream in the sand, wrapping my arms around his neck and pressing my lips against his with complete abandon. His arms wrapped around me and I reveled in the way he felt and smelled and tasted. All my defenses had been carried away with the wind. I wasn’t doing this for Becca. I wasn’t doing it for my mother. This was entirely for me, and it felt like something I had waited for my whole life.

Michael lifted me right off the ground and I felt his lips curl into a smile.

“Not bad for just friends,” he said huskily.


  1. I liked the intimation, the character insight behind, 'I wasn't doing this for Becca, I wasn't doing this for my mother.'
    One very small suggestion - Peeled my face from his shirt left me with an image that was awkward - maybe another word other than peeled?

  2. Yay for beautiful steamy kisses. I wasn't drawn in immediately - perhaps just a bit too much description and not enough reaction. Telling rather than showing? but by the end I was right in it.

  3. I liked the 'peeled'; it was funny. I liked her thoughts/emotions. Perhaps the 6th para could be tightened. Good job overall.

  4. I like that the last line describes their relationship for the reader. Up until now, they were just friends. The only word that seemed a little out of place was the "smashing" water droplets, because it didn't seem like they should have that much force. Good luck!

  5. It took me a little while to get into the scene, but once things got personal, it really picked up for me. The first line was too long I thought. Maybe cut it into two since it deals with two separate things.

  6. I really liked this! I'm loving that there are more people writing college aged novels, I really enjoy them! I thought this was really well done, and really like the last line thrown in there, it helps us better understand this snippet. Good luck!

  7. What a lovely kiss! I love that she throws the ice cream away--ice cream is totally unimportant when there is good kissing to be had! :) Beautiful writing.

  8. Hi Gina!

    This was a very well done scene! I really have nothing to add in the way of a crit. You did such a great job.

    I like Michael already. He seems very protective from the way he touches her and shields her, almost instinctively, from the wind.

    And I loved how she threw her ice cream into the sand!!! Such a subtle detail but it was great. And I bet any YA or "new adult" would notice it and laugh, too.

    Best of luck to you!

  9. I like the way the elements are pushing them together.

  10. Thanks for the contest link. I'm going to check it out!

    You're not the first person I've met who has had to change to new adult from YA. The good news is there's probably less competition in the genre. Good luck!

  11. Congratulations! You're our 2nd place winner! Email me about your prize. Aren't you glad you entered even though you were away? ;)

  12. Wow, this is great - how did I miss it earlier?