Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Kiss #15

GENRE: YA Paranormal

Jess and Silas just met. She planned to reconnect with her former fearless self by jumping off a bluff, but had a panic attack instead.

We stared at each other, neither blinking. It was the first chance I’d had to really look at him, and I saw now that he wasn’t just handsome, he was heart-stoppingly beautiful, the kind of boy whose face greets you from the walls of hip clothing stores. There were flecks of green in his golden-brown eyes, and his lashes, much darker than his light brown hair, grew away from his eyelids in long, lush curves. My pulse quickened as I noted his straight nose and cleft chin, the smooth skin, brown and slightly pinker on his cheekbones. He was sun-kissed. A golden-boy. His light brown hair was streaked with blond.

I remembered my reason for coming to the creek, the intentions I’d had, my failure to jump. And then I did something crazy. Something the old Jess would’ve done.

I kissed him.

He flinched a little as my mouth made contact. His lips were soft, like downy, and I drank them in, a strange, tingly warmth spreading through my body. His breath hitched, and he held it, his muscles stiffening. He smelled like pine and musk, the slight hint of soap. My heart fluttered. I felt dizzy and light. And then something unexpected happened.

He kissed me back.

My lips parted at his gentle tugging. There was no sound. No wind. No earth moving. My pulse slowed. I felt drugged, like I was floating outside my body, and nothing in the world mattered, not my cancer, my fear. There was just me and the boy…


I opened my eyes. The boy glared at me, wild-eyed and flushed. His fingers were wrapped around the tops of my arms, holding me at arm’s length.

“You can’t do that,” he said. “It’s—”


  1. I love all the description. When you compared him to guys on walls of clothing stores, that was a good one. I like how this scene had a feel of intensity to it from the start, but then you throw in there toward the end that she has cancer and we get why. That makes him pulling away enough to tug at the heart strings a bit. Nice job with this one!

  2. I thought the first paragraph was a little long with all the description and makes me think it'll like a lot of other YA paranormal romances that focus on the hot gut's looks.

    Still, I really like the end of this excerpt, especially where he seems to stop the kiss. It makes me think something bad just happened or will happen either because of their kiss or if they happen to kiss again. Either way, it makes me want to read more to find out.

  3. I really like the descriptions of the kiss and i also like how kissing him reconnects her to her old, daring self.

    But i'm with Yttar in that i thought the first paragraph, where you descirbe in detail what he looks like and how amamzingly beautiful he is was a little too much for me. It struck a little too close to cliche for my preference, but it could just be my tastes, too.

    I'm also not sure what "His lips were soft, like downy" means. Downy the fabric softener? Because that's not actually soft, it just makes clothes soft. Unless you mean down feathers?

    I do love how everything goes still and quiet for her. That was very nice

  4. I really liked the descriptions. It helped bring me into the scene. The only thing I would cut is that you described his hair twice.

    From the first paragraph I didn't realize she was close enough to kiss him, but that's probably because it's not the start of the scene. I want to know how she came to be that close. And what happens next.

  5. I agree that the first paragraph description could be cut down. The line about him looking like the guys on the wall of the stores is a keeper. You probably don't need much more than that.

    Love the part about her doing "something crazy. Something the old . . ."

    "His lips were soft . . ." This sentence has a lot going on and would be smoother if shortened.

    You did a great job of holding me in the moment of the kiss. That made his "stop" all the more jolting. I was totally sucked in. Makes me want to know why he stopped!

  6. I liked her impulsivity and how she's trying to get back in touch with the self she knows she could be, and then her surprise when he kisses her back. The pacing here is good, and I like how she's a little disconnected during the kiss. Very well done!

  7. Whoa! Need a transition between them kissing and him talking and holding her at arm’s length. Maybe delete the “Stop” and add something to the end of this sentence: “There was just me kissing a boy…” such as “Suddenly he had me at arm’s length. I opened my eyes to see him glaring at me, wild-eyed and flushed.”

    But backing up a little. Good descriptions in the first paragraph but maybe tighten some.

    The paragraph with the flinching has his actions mixed in with her reactions. Maybe rearrange??: “He flinched a little as my mouth made contact. His breath hitched, and he held it, his muscles stiffening. But his lips were soft, like downy(?), and as I drank them in, a strange, tingly warmth spread through my body. I breathed in his scent—pine, musk, a hint of soap—and my heart fluttered. I felt dizzy and light. And then something unexpected happened.”

    I didn’t quite understand “at his gentle tugging.” In the same paragraph, you could add a lighter note to balance the mention of cancer: “…nothing in the world mattered--not my cancer, not my fear, not the fact that I’ve only known this boy for two seconds.”

    I like the hints of her personality, and her effort to reconnect with her old self. It explains the impulsive kiss. His hesitation, then participation, then withdrawal sets up great tension!

  8. Really like the pacing here and how it takes a bit of time for him to kiss her back. Agree that there's too much description of his looks although I do love the long eyelashes! You might be able to find something a bit more interesting for his smell--I see pine and soap a lot for the guy's smell! Also, should he push her away first before we hear "Stop"? Love how she feels drugged and outside her body. Nice scene!