Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #19

TITLE: Ride One
GENRE: Young Adult Western

Seph and Avery just rescued her brother from the man who killed Seph’s Father, and when he had the chance to kill him, he didn’t take it.

Now, that I think about it, I’ve never seen him kill anyone. Not the guard on the train, not even the gang following us out of Houston—he shot the rider in the shoulder that brought him off his horse. I just thought he missed.

“You are nothing like him,” I say. “And you never will be.”

We stare at each other. The sky rumbles above us and for the first time in weeks, it rains. Drops of water splash into the dust. sending more up into the air until it comes down harder. We don’t move and we’re soaked in seconds.

Seph stands there with a wet bandana around his neck, his gun still belted crookedly around his hips, his shirt more grey than white in the rain. But everything tells me he doesn’t care.

Because I don’t either.

My heart urges me forward so hard it hurts. But I can’t move.

I make a weak attempt to keep my argument up, not knowing what else to do. “He’s going to come after us,” I say.

Seph shakes his head steps towards me. “I don’t give a s***.”

Then he’s kissing me. One hand slipping through my hair, the other pulling me closer. His lips are wet and taste like rain, softer than I could imagine. Somehow my hand is on his chest, feeling everything through his shirt—the curves of his muscles and his beating heart. I’m aware of all him but nothing at once.

How I haven’t known to want this before now is beyond me.

Seph slowly pulls away and I open my eyes. Rain drips from his hair and I can see every shade of green staring back.

He gives me the smallest smile. And kisses me again.


  1. Gotta love a good rain kiss! :) (Ok, I'm going to call every line separated by a space a paragraph)

    Fourth paragraph from the bottom, the last sentence: I could do for some specifics there :3 What isn't she aware of? The actual kiss? Or the rain? His body? We kiss-obsessed readers want to know!

    Also, 3rd from the bottom: I would reword that. Slightly confusing, plus the way I understand it makes it seem like he's a guy so she should just know to like him from the beginning. A little wording change will clear that all up.

    (PS--this is their first kiss!?!? Nooo! This seems like the end of the book! How can you write a sexy cowboy and only one kiss!?!?)

  2. I liked this. I like the premise and enjoyed the writing. But I also felt like the kiss came on suddenly. I am not opposed at all to a sudden kiss but I think it could use a little more build up, you're building some nice tension before the kiss but it didnt feel to me like the kiss happen at the height of the tension.

  3. Overall this scene is very effective. I agree with both the previous comments. Maybe some adjusting of the order, or adding a clear interior thought, would help with your tension build. When they stare at each other and it starts raining, we aren't sure why they don't move right away until "Because I don't" and the next sentence. You could try:

    We stare at each other. My heart urges me forward so hard it hurts. But I can’t move.

    Then go into the rain starting and continue the rest and see if you like it that way.

    I haven't read a YA western, but yours sounds like a good read.

  4. I think you need a better segue into the kiss. It's too sudden. I wanted to get a sense of it about to happen.

    I like the rain description, though I don't understand what the "sending more up" into the air means. More dust? More rain? It's incomplete.

    There were a few sentences that could use some proofreading and corrections.

    I get that she's responding to his kiss, but I want to know what this means to her. Was she expecting it? Is it something she's been longing for? Or is she surprised by his ardor. I don't get a sense of her emotions from this scene. And we need more from him, too. A small smile says very little about what she observes about him during this pivotal point of their relationship.

    Good luck with this!

  5. You've got a good set-up here-- rescue, revenge, romance--but I think I needed to know more about them up to this point for this scene to work.

    How does she get from not caring to her heart urging her forward? Also, this passage doesn't include quite enough to convince me that he's about to kiss her.

    I’m aware of all him but nothing at once." I know what you're trying to say but the phrasing doesn't work (for me). I like the feeling through the shirt bit, though.

    How I haven’t known to want this before now is beyond me" could be tightened to "How have I not known I wanted this before now?"

    "Rain drips from his hair and I can see every shade of green staring back" sounds like his green hair is staring back.

    Good luck with your sexy cowboy tale!


  6. This is a nice scene, but what's missing is her emotional
    reaction. You tell us how it happens, but you don't show us her reaction and what she's feeling.

    On the technical side --

    Parg 3, when it starts to rain, reads awkward. You have 'drops' (little bits) of water falling, but they are "soaked' (a downpour) in seconds. Make those two things compliment each other rather than contradict each other.

    'Sending more up into the air.' I'm not sure what this means. Is it dust, or rain, and regardless of what it is, how could it fall back harder? Maybe rewrite this parg.

    'Because I don't either.' Cut 'because.' It says Seph doesn't care because she doesn't care. But the real reason he doesn't care is because he loves her.

    Seph shakes his head AND steps towards me.

    'Then he’s kissing me. One hand slipping through my hair, the other pulling me closer.' This is telling. SHow it. Then he KISSES me. One hand SLIPS through my hair, the other PULLS me closer.

    'SOmehow, my hand is on his chest.' Change 'is' to a stronger verb and cut 'somehow.' AND I FEEL the curves of his muscle etc.

    I’m aware of all him but nothing at once. - BUT NONE OF HIM. 'But nothing' says she is aware of nothing in the world.

    How I haven't known to want this before now is beyond me. - Perhaps - How I haven't wanted this before is beyond me.

    I can see every shade of green staring back - this is unclear. I'm guessing he has green eyes and is staring back at her? rewrite for clarity.

  7. Barbara pointed out all the grammar spots that irked me. Little things, but they do add up.

    That said, I really enjoyed the kiss. I happen to like the build up. My interpretation: In voicing how different Seph is from "him", in not being a killer, is that recognition for both of them.

    I'd like more on why she can't move. Does she fear he doesn't feel the same way?

    The kiss itself is nice. Good use of description. I like how she feels him through the wet shirt, and the taste of rain.