Thursday, November 16, 2017

Drop the Needle #9

Title: Will Not Fade Away
Adult Women's Fiction

 A.J.(Audrey Jane) met Reid while on her journey cross-country to locate her missing son after a volcanic eruption. Reid is a mysterious man fighting his own past demons. A.J. is on the road of healing, while juggling widowhood and parenthood to an autistic child. They’re sharing a hotel room at this stop. Reid wakes from a nightmare. He lifted our locked hands and placed one on his chest.

Dear God.

Perhaps it was my need for soulful resuscitation and human intimacy. Perhaps it was my vulnerability. Or perhaps I liked him.

…a man who had proven himself enough to earn a ticket on our trip…a kindred spirit who had wiggled his way into my heart the slightest…an attractive man who stirred my once dusty desires off and brought them bursting to the surface…

He pulled me toward him, and I allowed it. His kiss was warm, heavy, and slow. It was g****** intoxicating and I drank it in like a parched desert cactus. The stubble on his chin brushed my face. Tender lips caressed mine in a simple, sexy, non-intrusive way. Our hands remained interlaced, one set on his cheek, one set on his heart. God, oh, how I had forgotten what desire was like. His mouth was inviting and stirred me.

He removed his hand from mine on his cheek and drew it to the base of my head, urging me closer for a deeper kiss. His touch tickled the fine hairs on the nape of my neck. He tasted like chocolate and sleep. Before it went too far, he pulled away and stared at me, only inches from my face, dark eyes swirling with sentiment, a slight smirk upon his lips. I exhaled. He held my gaze for a long could-hear-the-clock-ticking-in-my-head moment, and then he fell on his pillow, closed his eyes, and was asleep.


  1. Just a small formatting glitch (it was probably my pasting error):

    The "He lifted our locked hands and placed one on his chest" is actually part of the excerpt. :)

  2. I really liked, "could-hear-the-clock-ticking-in-my-head moment" (don't we all have one!)

    The ellipses in the center paragraph confused me a bit. It could be the nature of the snippet, but they felt out of place and more of a way to provide backstory. The heat index is high in this which is great (though I did wish he didn't fall asleep--such a cop out for him!) How would she know he had a nightmare? Was he thrashing earlier and she grasped his hand to settle him?

    Tender lips caressed mine in a simple, sexy, non-intrusive way.

    - It may be me, but these sentiments seem contradicting. Maybe non-threatening? Straightforward, confident, or is he hesitant? I was confused.

    I like the thought of two damaged people working their way through their demons to find peace with each other. You've laid the groundwork for that. Well done!

  3. Thanks! And yes, he was having a nightmare (and she is well aware that it was a nightmare). There is more before this snippet to illustrate that. Then he wakes from it. And that's where we land. Thank you for the feedback! I'll use it when I revise. :)

  4. Hi there!

    I thought this was pretty good. Just like a guy to fall asleep after getting to first base.

    I agree with Patti about the ellipses. If you’re going for a stream-of-consciousness type deal, use less punctuation, not more. Your reader will get where you’re going.

    “stirred my dusty desires off” - You could cut “off” here and not lose anything.

    I’d use a different word than “brushed” to describe stubble on her face. Maybe she is lonely, but I still don’t think she’d be so bad off that she’d enjoy a five o’ clock shadow.

    “He tasted like chocolate and sleep” - excellent line.

    I hope some of this helps. Good luck!

  5. I liked this a lot!

    I will say that the paragraph with the ellipses distances the reader from the emotion of the moment. I definitely get where you were headed with it, but it falls a little flat because there's nothing anchoring it to the scene. He's holding her hand and is about to kiss her, and she's sort of musing about it, which leads the reader to think she's not totally into it. A possible alternative for that section would be to almost hyper-focus on him. What he's doing. What his touch is doing to her (reaction-wise). You 100% don't have to take out the bit you have, but something to hold us present in the scene would a great addition.

    I like what you have with the kiss, though it might read a little stronger if there's some emotional reactions in between the actions. The actions are good! But since this is a big moment for them, I think she'd be feeling something. Desire, guilt, longing--whatever fits best. Just something to break up the string of actions a little bit, and allow us deeper into her POV.

  6. I enjoyed this.

    As mentioned by others, the way the thoughts are presented in the paragraph with the elipses, I am distanced from the scene to think about each of these thoughts. It's like a voice over narrative.

    Your actions in this moment of intimacy are well written. My only point of confusion was at "Our hands remained interlaced, one set on his cheek, one set on his heart."
    - how close are they that the set on his heart aren't caught between them?
    - this is not something I see often, though I love the concept, so I paused for a moment to picture it in my mind. It is incredibly intimate and my pausing to picture it isn't a bad thing, but I thought to mention it as an FYI to pacing.

    I would also like to see you add a bit of deep POV, interlaced with the actions here, to get insight into what character development is happening as they gain this intimacy. How does this change her moving forward? It doesn't have to be in a huge way, but as in romance or any other genre, I strongly believe a moment of intimacy should be a driving element in the character development.

    I was intrigued by this sample and would flip back to page 1 to read a chapter or two for sure to see if I got hooked!

  7. This is a lovely moment, and I heartily approve of "I allowed it." The only note I really have is that I wasn't crazy about all the ellipses. I suspect that whole paragraph could probably be cut, as all of those points have likely been made clear earlier in the story...

    Nicely done.

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