Romance excerpt contest

Sunday – contest entry day! Here is my romance scene snippet for the ‘Love All Year Long’ contest. The scene is excerpted from my Young Adult/Adult fantasy, magical realism novel, Carry on the Flame: Part One, Destiny’s Call.

Guethyn is sitting in a café in a small coastal village in Wales, U.K.
Okay, he reasoned with himself. First things first. He’d promised himself years ago to never again get involved in grandfather’s magic.
He could still taste Sharay’s lips. Moist, soft.
He shook his head. Refocused. He firmly recalled his vow to never again trust the Goddess he had been taught to revere when he was a small child. 
He could still feel the eagerness of Sharay’s mouth when it met his.
He drank a mouthful of tea, sat up straighter. He’d felt betrayed by the Goddess, by the magic he’d learned as a child. He’d resolutely put that life behind him. It had never given his mother any peace, and his father had still died a tragic death.
He remembered the feel of Sharay’s silken, silver blond hair sliding through his fingers.
He held tightly onto his tea mug and took a steadying breath. Concentrate he told himself. As he’d grown older, he’d found another calling to take the place of the magical one he inherited from his mother and grandfather. He had studied hard at the university, plunged headfirst into the precise science of marine biology.
The memory of Sharay’s kiss flooded his body with heat. Roused him.
He slammed his tea mug down on the table, threw his napkin onto his lap, took a huge bite of his currant cake. It was stale, but he didn’t care.
No time for this nonsense, he murmured defiantly. He forced himself to continue to sort through things. He was close to getting his doctoral degree. It would be his in a few months. His life had made much more sense without the quest of the ancient Celtic Imram, without magic, without the Goddess’s rituals.
His imagination flicked back to an image of Sharay.
Her eyes gazed into his. Searching. Tender. Filled with the same desire he felt.
Guethyn swallowed the rest of the dry cake in one gulp, washed it down with more tea. He’d allowed himself a few relationships over the years, testing the boundaries of his heart. No one had come close to pushing its limits or holding him in captive fascination.
 Until Sharay.
She pressed him up against his resolve to reject magic. She opened his heart in a way he had dreaded and, at the same time, always hoped for. Realization came quickly and it came as a shock. He couldn’t help, and couldn’t stop, his feelings for her. He didn’t want to. He was bound to her. There was a part of him that mysteriously knew he always had been. He rubbed his eyes with his palms, and exhaled sharply.
If Sharay came along with magic, along with the Goddess, well then so be it. Damn it.

9 thoughts on “Romance excerpt contest”

  1. I love the back and forth in his internal monologue. That's how so many of us think, isn't it?

    The one suggestion I might make is to keep him a little bit more on topic. At times, his non-italicized thoughts veer into the land of info-dumping, like you want to get the whole history of them in this little 750-word snippet. I think you can get away with doing just enough exposition to hook the reader and then deal with more of their complicated past (and his struggle with the magic in his life) later on.

    I really love how attached you can feel to him in just this little bit, though. In under a thousand words, I get that he's struggling with reconciling his love for her with his desire to have the magic completely out of his life.

  2. I love the memories of Sharay–very well written–and I liked his actions, indicating his emotions. I really liked it was done with tea and muffin! However, you seem to have put his life-history in there, too. That's backstory and dulls the narrative, IMO.
    Good luck!

  3. His thoughts are passionate and well drawn, but there's too much backstory in between. We don't need his whole life story in one scene. it slows the pace and grinds the narrative to a standstill.

  4. Love the last line! I also love that you posted a unique love scene, because she's not really there with him, it's his "ah ha" moment, but even with her not physically present, it's still got this tension of the love scene with his thoughts about her.

    I think it can be trimmed down a smidge, but keep the italicized thoughts for sure. We really got a sense of his passionate side that he seemed to be fighting.

  5. I've got to echo all the other comments. Good writing but a bit boggy on the back story. The setting and character names are great. As is the stale current cake and a mug (not tea cup) of tea.

  6. Lovely!

    I agree with the previous comments about info dumping. It's pulls you away from the momebt. Also, because we are in his head, you could forgo the number of the pronouns 'he'.

    Also, like introducing magic upfront and ending with magic.

    Good work!
    PS: thanks for dropping by the SpecSalon


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