Sunday, June 12, 2011

Contest with Gabriella Lessa

       Weronica Janczuk, an agent for Lynn C. Franklin is judging this contest. Go here for the details. We are all posting a love scene from our novels. Here is one of my favorites from my new ms, Falling.

Name: Kaylee Baldwin
Title: Falling
Genre: Contemporary YA
Entry word count: 726 words
Manuscript word cout: 75 K
Link #: 16

I'd love any feedback you have!

     Philip’s whole house smelled comforting, like cinnamon and vanilla, wrapped in warmness and peace. I inhaled a deep breath of that feeling, wishing it could remain with me when I went back to my house, back to the loneliness so thick it reeked of mildew.
            Gabe sat on the couch and patted the seat next to him. Ricky jumped into the armchair I’d set my sights on, pulling the lever for the footrest before I could make my move, before I could even blink. I sighed and shuffled toward Gabe, sitting as far from him as I could without actually being on the other side of the couch.
            Philip had run off somewhere once he dropped his dish in the sink, and I pushed down disappointment that he wouldn’t be joining us.
            Lizzie popped the movie in and turned off the lights before lying down on the lush carpet in front of us. I sank further into the leather couch as she found the DVD menu and pushed play.
            “Thought you might still be cold,” Philip murmured in my ear as he sat down on the couch beside me. He draped a worn quilt across my legs, his arm and leg pressing against mine, making it hard for me to breath. I was much closer to him than I probably should’ve been, but I didn’t want Gabe to get the wrong idea if I scooted his way.
            I pulled the quilt up higher, trying to concentrate on the opening action sequence of the movie. Philip shifted, angling his body toward me just a little bit. The fresh shower scent I’d had a small taste of from his sweatshirt was so much better, stronger, with the real thing sitting beside me.
            “How do your hands feel?” Philip whispered close to my ear, his warm breath shooting tingles of awareness down my spine.
            “A little sore, but not too bad.” I smirked, knowing that his hands had to be worse off than mine. “How about you?”
            His shoulder shrugged against mine. “My hands got pretty tough building houses this summer. It’s actually my forearms that are killing me.”
            “Shhhhh.” Ricky turned to us with a stern expression.
            “Sorry,” I whispered. I pretended to be engrossed in the movie, even when Gabe’s gaze lingered on me and Philip before turning back to the show.
            After a few minutes, Philip’s hand brushed against mine where it rested on my leg under the quilt. He turned my palm face-up and ran his finger across the beginnings of new calluses. I knew he had to have felt, or heard, my breathing hitch as he continued to trace the lines in my palm and fingers.
            “It’s hard to believe that these little hands could pull you up so quick,” he breathed against my ear, before entwining my small, cold fingers between his large, warm ones. His thumb continued to dance patterns on the top of my hand, causing my blood to rush so fast through my body that I couldn’t have paid any attention to the movie if my life had depended on it.
            Suddenly, Gabe scooted closer to me and slipped his arm around my shoulder. Philip raised an eyebrow, his hand squeezing mine once more before letting go. The room seemed to come back into focus for me again, the sound of squealing cars in the movie, of Philip shifting away from me, of Gabe breathing too close to my ear. What was I doing? I was on a date with Gabe and holding hands with Philip? And hating that he had to let me go?
            I was possibly one of the worst people in the world at that moment. Philip was Brian’s boring friend. And my friend too, but only a friend. I needed to remember this. But, really, he wasn’t so boring, as I’d found out that morning. And maybe his flirting wasn’t horrible all of the time. I forced myself to stop thinking about that, stiffening when Gabe began to tickle the little hairs at the back of my neck. Philip must have noticed because he folded his arms and leaned even further away.
            We’re just friends. We’re just friends. I chanted it over and over in my mind, but all I could think about was how good it felt when Philip touched me so softly.


  1. I enjoyed this so much I wanted to continue! Not knowing the characters, I was confused at the beginning, but you explained everything with her inner turmoil. Nicely done!

  2. Nicely done with describing her inner dialogue/turmoil. I had a good sense of her.

  3. Very naughty. Love this! Great job.

  4. Nice job! I also was a bit confused at the beginning, only because it was introducing a lot of characters at once, but once I got into the story it all made sense :) Good luck!

  5. I'd add in one line about climbing, just to clarify with the whole sore hands thing.

    I also love the opening of this scene. NICE =)

  6. Okay that was a tease. I'd love to read more. :-)

  7. I don't want to get nitpicky right out of the gate, but the last sentence of the first paragraph kind of pulled me out of it for second. I know you are trying to set a scene here and that line was a little jarring for me, like it was a little too dramatic. I think the sentence would work just fine if you ended it with the loneliness and left out the descriptive part. I don't think that really adds much to the sentence.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed this scene and the tension you built up between all of the characters. Well done!

  8. I really got a sense of the tension and teenage hormones the MC is experiencing! I was very curious what caused the callouses on their hands. I'm sure you explain it in another scene, but it sparked my interest. I like the MC and I think you do a good job of showing her thoughts. :)

  9. Oh, this was really, really good! I have to know what happens and who she winds up with! Youve done a really great job in this scene. You've created a great sense of tension--all that scooting closer, shifting away, etc., etc. I could literally feel the awkwardness.

    And Phillip--he's a great character. I think you sold me when you described his "shower scent". I always tell my husband that I like him best without any cologne--just smelling like soap. :)

    Only one typo--I think the word "breath" was mistakenly used for "breathe".

  10. I liked this. It was an awkward moment. I was confused at first because she clearly wasn't into Gabe so I was surprised she was on a date with him. But the tension is there. Nice job.

  11. Ohhh this is very good - I want to keep reading:) She has two guys, and in the end she may loose both. Nice. I saw nothing needing fixing.

    Good luck.

  12. There you go, Kaylee, we all want to read more. Very cool!

  13. I also liked it for much of the same reasons as mentioned above. Loved this turn of phrase, "shooting tingles of awareness". Also liked, "Ricky jumped into the armchair I’d set my sights on, pulling the lever for the footrest before I could make my move, before I could even blink." Like how you set up the whole scene and capture that awkwardness of where to sit in a group situation. Like how Phillip's touch is nice, tracing her hand, but Gabe's could be seen as annoying, "tickling" the hairs on the back of her neck. Great voice! I have to disagree with an above commentator, I liked the smell of loneliness like mildew and think you should keep it, (but writing is so subjective, isn't it?) Good luck, Kaylee! You've done a nice job here.

  14. You did such a good job of showing her inner turmoil. I totally felt for her. To begin with I was a little confused, but you cleared it all up toward the end and now I just want to find out what happens next!


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