Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #7

TITLE: She Dances in Blood
GENRE: YA post-apocalyptic/urban fantasy/romance

Grayson and Ivy (Ivanka) are trying to get their supplies, and themselves, out of the sudden rain when Ivy slips. Their moment is interrupted by Ivy’s best friend, Rosie.

She pulls up short, her foot slipping in mud. My arms go around her waist and catch her. She clutches my arms, and we stand frozen in the rain.

I don't know what I'm doing, don't know that Ivanka’s not going to level me flat for touching her this way. I do know I have to hold her.

She doesn't push me away; she just looks at me with those big blue eyes.

I’ve imagined this but never thought it would happen. I slide my hand up her jaw and cup the side of her face. My other hand pulls her closer. She tilts her head, looking up at me. My heart clatters in my chest louder than the thunder rumbling above.

“Ivy,” I breathe.

Her lips part; her eyes close.

I'm almost afraid to kiss her, sure she’ll lash out, rebuild the fortress around her heart, and once again become the death angel I can only admire from afar. I press a single kiss to her cheek and hear her short intake of breath. Her hands slide up my back, her palms firm against me, keeping us together.
I want to tell her I love her, but I know it’ll scare her. I kiss down her jawline instead, telling her without words.

“Oh,” she breathes, her fingers grasping my shirt, digging into the muscles of my back. “Please kiss me.”

My thumb caresses her bottom lip. “Yes, ma’am.”

The warmth of her lips is just meeting mine when …


  1. I love how you built up the anticipation of the kiss, rather than just going right for it. I like how tentative he is, how scared he seems to push her away even when she clearly wants to be kissed.

    Given that, I'd suggest some internal reaction to when she finally tells him to kiss her. Is he still apprehensive? Is he jumping through the roof that she's not bolting?
    Also, mix in the elements. Are they getting rained on? Is the rain cold or warm? Mix that into the scene.

    1. Thanks so much. Great idea on giving his internal reaction and on reminding me to include the sensory details. I appreciate it!

  2. I love the build up and anticipation. It's delicious! I want to know more about the rain, how it's mixing with the kiss. The only thing I wondered is that he catches her when she starts to slip... isn't he holding her pretty close already? Because you say later that he pulls her closer, so that confused me a bit. love how he starts with the cheek kiss first, to sort of test the waters, then gets more intense with it. Thanks for being brave and sending this out for the world to see!

    1. Ah, good point. I'll fix that pulling closer bit and add in more details about the rain. Thank you!

  3. I know I’m supposed to offer a critique but... this was perfect. IMHO. The build up, the MC’s thoughts, the actual kiss. Loved it. I felt the MC’s emotion and it was all just awesome. Great job. Good luck with it!

  4. A few things:
    1) Be careful with double negatives like "don't know that Ivanka’s not going to level..." - I had to read this twice to figure out what it meant and even then, I'm still not sure what you're trying to say.
    2) Don't give the actions to the body parts (ie, "My other hand pulls her closer" AND "My thumb caresses..."). Give the action to the character instead.
    3) You mention breath 3 times in this short passage. Try to eliminate 2 of these. 3 is too much for 250 words.
    4) I can't put my finger on it but this reads a little like a girl's voice. It might be the length of the sentences or the detail. I'd definitely watch this. You want your male characters to sound like teen boys.


    1. Oops - too much breath! I'll fix that and the other points. I'm going to read to my hubby and have him help make it more manly :) But the character is 20 so he hopefully wouldn't sound like a teen; I do want him to sound like a man, though. Thank you for the feedback!

  5. Good cadence in the sentences here, giving a sense of the POV character’s mental state.

    “don’t know that Ivanka’s not going to level me flat” reads somewhat awkward. Suggest adjusting while keeping the don’t know - don’t know - do know pattern in the thoughts here. I like it.

    The tension was so good in the second half of this, I held my breath reading.

    I’m definitely hooked!

    1. Darn that awkward sentence; I'll work on fixing it. Thanks for the feedback and the compliment! That makes me happy :)