Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where's the Love Blog Hop

Heather at the Between the Sheets blog generously created the Where's the Love blog hop to help celebrate Valentine’s Day. The rules were pretty simple, participants should post an amorous, but nothing x-rated, scene they've written. What could be more fun.

I toyed with posting something from DWARFED, but since I always use that for my Sunday posts, I  decided to post a snippet from a novella I started writing a few weeks ago. When all is said and done, it’s going to be a sweet (chaste) historical romance. Since life knocked me off schedule last week, I had to jump ahead and hurriedly wrote my snippet late last night. It’s still very much a first draft so I apologize for the mistakes,  and for going a bit over the 250 words.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my Valentine’s Day post.  I hope you take the time to check out the other romance writers who decided to take part in this romantic blog hop. 

I'm pretty sure the snippet stands on it's own and doesn't need much explanation or set up. I am hunting for a title and welcome suggestions. It's going to be a shortish, Regency era Christmas story. The main character, Maria, creates bee's wax sculptures.


           “What are you doing?”


            Oliver rested his cheek on Clover’s roan flank and studied her. “I assumed it was obvious.”

 “There’s no need for you to do the milking. I’m well enough to handle the chore myself.” As soon as the words were out of Maria’s mouth, she wished them back. They sounded so harsh, so unappreciative and rude. Considering everything Oliver had done for her over the past few days, everything he’d sacrificed, he didn’t deserve to be mistreated, her only excuse was that the sight of him wearing his expensive clothes while milking Clover unsettled her.

            Amusement danced in the depths of Oliver’s gray eyes. “Is that so?”

            Something in his voice unleashed a sensation, equal parts anxiety and anticipation, in Maria. The uncomfortable sensation spread from the middle of her chest all the way to her toes. She sucked in her breath and took a step backwards.

            Oliver moved the bucket of warm milk out of the cow’s way and rose from the stool. A smile hovered about the corners of his mouth.

            Maria swallowed, desperate to ease the dryness in her throat. Unsure of what to do with her hands, she twisted her fingers together and pressed them to her jumpy stomach. “Yes.”

             Oliver loomed closer. She shifted backwards until a support beam pressed into her spine. He lifted his hand, Maria smelled a faint hint of Clover’s clean, earthy scent clinging to his skin, and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, allowing his fingers to linger. Oliver leaned in, his warm breath washing over her face. “Good.”

            Maria licked her dry lips. She gestured blindly at Clover who watched the pair of them, her expression one of pure bovine patience. “I can finish the milking … and the rest of the chores while you prepare to return to London.”

            Oliver placed his brow against hers and chuckled. “I don’t want to.”

            “Oh, than what do you-“ His mouth covered hers, silencing her words and wiping her mind of thought.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my snippet. 




 

17 comments:

  1. I loved this! Even in a small snippet, we get such a sense of both characters. Since this is a new draft, I won't comment on typos, etc. But I wonder if you could do without the sentence, "The sounded so harsh, so unappreciative and rude." The rest of the paragraph already gives a good sense of that. Also, the last line might be fun if you changed it to, "What don't you--"

    My favorite part? "Something in his voice unleashed a sensation, equal parts anxiety and anticipation, in Maria. It spread from the middle of her chest all the way to her toes. She sucked in her breath and took a step backwards." [fanning myself]

    So nicely done. I'd certainly want to read more.

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wish I could blame the typos on the fact it's a first draft, but, well they seem to creep in to all my drafts. Thanks for the suggestion about the line, I kept going back and forth about whether or not I should keep it. Getting a second opinion is always helpful.

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  2. Ooh as soon as Oliver stood up and started approaching Maria, I could practically touch the sexual tension through my computer screen. Her feelings and reactions are so well done, and you do a great job of building up the intensity until it explodes with that kiss. For me, "Amusement danced in the depths of Oliver’s gray eyes" pulled me out of the characters' world and brought my attention to the author's craft. But all the other descriptions are great. Also, I agree with Barb about cutting "They sounded so harsh..." It's not necessary, and I want to get back into the scene as quickly as possible! Great job. I definitely want to find out what happens after that kiss!

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    1. Fyi, that was my reply. Dunno what I did wrong with the name. Thanks for yours as well!

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    2. LOL, sometimes my blog behaves strangely when it comes to comments, I've no idea why. Thanks. The more I read it, the more I agree with you and Barb about that line. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Lovely scene! I was right there, feeling like I could be Maria with a dry throat.

    The one phrase that jarred me was "...while you prepare to return to London.”

    Perhaps it's simply because I was "feeling" Maria and this sentence didn't sound like something I would say. In my mind, as Maria, I'd have to stop the sentence at "and the rest of the chores..." not able to say out loud what I didn't want to think. And then Oliver would finish my sentence for me, saying, "I don't want to pack for London."

    So - excellent job turning me into Maria (or Maria into me!) in 250 words!

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    1. Thank you! I'm thrilled you liked it and connected with Maria. I'm inclined to agree with your about that line, at least in context of this snippet, but I think it will work within the rest of the sentence, at least I hope so.

      Thanks for the feedback, I truly appreciate it :)

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  4. Beautiful scene! I agree with both Donna's and Barb's comments, but other than that, the tension is very well done and the piece is beautifully crafted. Would love to read more. :) Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. Thank you :) and thanks for putting this hop together. It's been fun and informative.

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  5. Boy, this doesn't seem like an early draft to me, Jess. The sensory detail was wonderful! Great job!

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  6. Yes to both Donna and Barb's comments, in the interest of perfecting an already terrific scene. I enjoyed the setting and thought the characters might be Amish, at first. The scene felt real - not fictional - which is a good test.

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  7. Very vivid passage! I love how the cow is the passive observer of the encounter. Oliver sounds like an intriguing guy, a Londoner who's comfortable milking a cow!

    There were two spots where I got tripped up by the syntax. "Considering everything Oliver had done for her over the past few days, everything he’d sacrificed, he didn’t deserve to be mistreated, her only excuse was that the sight of him wearing his expensive clothes while milking Clover unsettled her." I feel this should be two sentences: "Considering everything Oliver had done for her over the past few days, everything he’d sacrificed, he didn’t deserve to be mistreated. Her only excuse was that the sight of him wearing his expensive clothes while milking Clover unsettled her."

    The second: "He lifted his hand, Maria smelled a faint hint of Clover’s clean, earthy scent clinging to his skin, and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, allowing his fingers to linger." When I read this, I thought Maria pushed her own hair back, then the final words confused me. I think dashes might help clarify things: "He lifted his hand--Maria smelled a faint hint of Clover’s clean, earthy scent clinging to his skin--and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, allowing his fingers to linger."

    Otherwise, a great passage! Good luck with your story!

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  8. I was also tripped up by the passages Julianne mentioned, so I'll just add a "ditto" to her comment. :)

    The other part that pulled me out of the story was this: "Something in his voice unleashed a sensation, equal parts anxiety and anticipation, in Maria. The uncomfortable sensation spread from the middle of her chest all the way to her toes. She sucked in her breath and took a step backwards." - I never like to see the "something" card played. It's too vague. What about his voice made her react so? Also, the "unleashed a sensation" seems vague and awkward to me. I get the feeling that you're trying to rush through the build-up to "get to the good part" (the kiss), but maybe it would help to slow down a bit here, describe his voice and give us a better picture of her reaction. The slow-building tension might make the kiss at the end even more steamy.

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