Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

First Page: Resurrection

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Chapter One

Puna, Peru

The ceiling fan had an annoying squeak.

Sam gave it an irritated glance. The weary days of traveling, the long hours of worrying and doubting, the agitated phone conversations with the others, had culminated in a squeaky ceiling fan. He supposed it said something about him that the annoyance seemed more real than the man standing at the window staring out into the empty street.

Luc, if it was Luc, looked remote, a stranger in a stranger land, his graying hair braided into a long tail hanging with almost mathematical precision down the middle of his back. The tightly woven black poncho exaggerated the power of his upper body; at least Sam hoped it was an exaggeration. In contrast, his legs in their thin cotton pants looked weak and wasted. There was something odd about him, something that didn’t quite match, but other than the physical changes Sam couldn’t put a finger on it.

This man should have been dead. He was an enigma wrapped in a mystery and he should have been dead seven years ago. Sam was appalled at the lack of sympathy he felt.

He studied the still figure. It could be a mistake; it could all still be a mistake. Nothing about him seemed familiar. There was nothing about this man to warm Sam’s heart, to make him glad his band mate had survived the plane crash and had emerged from it relatively whole.

The reluctant fan blades sent long, slow shadows sliding over bulky shoulders and the muscled arm exposed by a flipped back corner of the poncho. The shadows slipped to the wooden floor and circled around to climb the mismatched body again. Luc’s immobility was complete. If he knew someone had entered the room he gave no indication.

Sam cleared his throat.

The still figure finally shifted awkwardly, turning his head to present his profile. Sam’s heart sank. He recognized the arrogantly arched nose, the sensual lips now pressed tightly together instead of curving into the well-remembered smile. He found his hands were sweaty so he wiped them on his jeans while his heart pounded in his throat.

“Sam.” The voice was harsh.

“Luc.” Sam smiled weakly. “Welcome back.”

Luc turned all the way around and Sam gasped. “My God…”

“Pretty, no?” Luc said bitterly as he limped toward the nearest chair.

Same was quite literally speechless. He couldn’t tear his gaze away. It was Luc, of that there could be no doubt, but so changed. Where was the handsome, laughing man he remembered; the man so light on his feet, so charismatic, so in love with life? He was gone, replaced by this imposter with the lurching walk and the anger in his soul.

For seven years Luc had been dead and gone, his body and indeed, the entire plane, lost in some remote, rocky tomb; having him rise from the grave so suddenly made the whole situation surreal. He didn’t know this man who lowered himself so carefully into the hard wooden chair.

His gaze was drawn from the Jekyll-Hyde face with the horrendous scar slashing down the left side, to the hands fumbling in a pouch at his waist. Once almost daintily elegant in their beauty, now they were thickened and callused, the nails jagged and rough. A leaf was raised to the sullen mouth and disappeared inside. Luc hunched down as if trying to disappear within himself, his jaw muscles bunching as he chewed.

Sam nervously twisted his cap in his hands. “Where have you been all these years?” he asked softly, feeling as if he was speaking to a ghost. “Why did you call me and not Willie or Vic?”

“Vic.” The right side of Luc’s mouth curled in dislike as he shook his head. “No Vic. No.” He looked at Sam in frustration, the lines of pain around his eyes and mouth deepening.

“Micah!” he called out in his ruined voice.

“You could have called Kat,” Sam insisted.

“No.”

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. Katie T.
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 04:17:20

    Good writing and descriptions, though I felt the descriptions and sentences were too long and run-on at times. Is this meant to be a M/M romance? That’s what it feels like right now because there’s no mention of a potential love interest unless I’m dead wrong and this is meant to be a suspense. I was confused at the end. Too many names thrown out of nowhere.

    ReplyReply

  2. SAO
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 04:27:44

    Luc is intriguing, when you got to him, I was drawn in.

    At the beginning my impression of Sam was that he was completely self absorbed. Sam has travelled days, he’s spent hours on the phone to meet Luc, whom he thought was dead for 7 years. But instead of focussing on Luc he’s thinking about the squeaky fan.

    The scene is static, with Luc standing and Sam describing the scene for half the page. In fact, you can ditch the first 7 paras with no loss to your page. Which means you should ditch them (this would resolve the issue of Sam thinking about himself while Luc stands like a piece of scenery in the corner).

    If you quickly got to the mystery of why Luc let himself be thought dead, I’ll be drawn in. (But you’ve got to convince me that if Sam didn’t have a clue, it’s for a good reason)

    As a side point, most ceiling fans don’t have sources of light, like windows or lights above them. If the light comes from below, the fan blades don’t create shadows.

    ReplyReply

  3. AA
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 07:23:50

    With the set up of the ceiling fan, I was expecting guns to come out blazing, not a set up for a reunion story. I agree with the above commenters that there were too many names thrown about in an instant. Maybe introduce the band? If you’re looking for a place to put background perhaps in the first paragraph? That way it could introduce a whole cast of characters, not just the two that seemed to be entering into the scene.

    If Luc wanted to be though dead, and had not reached out to his bandmates or other family members, perhaps there should be more surprise on his part that he had been located by someone from his past?

    Interesting set up, though. This would hold my interest to see how the plot will unfold.

    ReplyReply

  4. Shy
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 10:22:29

    The writing is more than competent. Very easy to read, excellent syntax, lovely descriptions.

    I loved this line — “Sam was appalled by the lack of sympathy he felt.” I know exactly what you mean.

    The ceiling fan thing is a little jarring. I know the point you’re trying to make: that its ridiculous, focusing on little annoyances like a squeaky ceiling fan when your dead band mate is alive and in front of you. I felt it was well-done enough to work, but it might not for others.

    You could cut back a little on the description, but I wouldn’t say its a real problem.

    I’m getting M/M vibes here. Hope they’re intentional; I’d love to read this.

    ReplyReply

  5. Lucy Woodhull
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 11:23:30

    I enjoyed this. The fan thing works for me, as does the slow build. We are learning about the narrator, and he’s likeable but complicated and conflicted. Nice to see on a first page. I have no idea who the heroine (or the other hero) is, but I don’t care at this point. The mystery is cool and I don’t need the romance spoon fed to me in the first paragraph.

    Only a couple of nitpicks from me:

    “He was an enigma wrapped in a mystery” — very cliche in a page that doesn’t have a lot of that.

    “Sensual” lips. If this is M/M and Luc was Sam’s lover or something, then keep it. If Sam is a hetero guy, then I really wonder at remembering Luc’s sensual lips. It initially read to me as a word a woman would use when she writes a man, not necessarily a word a buddy would use for another buddy in his own head.

    Good luck, author! I think you’ve done good.

    ReplyReply

  6. Lil
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 14:21:59

    This is excellent. The only thing I would suggest is getting rid of the enigma wrapped in a mystery. It knocked me out of the story because I started wondering about the reference and whether it should be an enigma wrapped in a mystery or something wrapped in an enigma. I don’t think you want to send your readers off to page through Bartlett’s this early in the story.
    I would certainly pick this up in a bookstore unless the cover warns me that it’s a subgenre I don’t much like.

    ReplyReply

  7. Elizabeth
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 18:28:25

    I like the writing style, but this doesn’t seem like something I would read. It didn’t really pull me into the story and I didn’t really like Sam. I felt that he was really self-absorbed, thinking only about his long journey and not about the fact that a friend he hasn’t seen in a long time, someone he thought was dead, is within spitting distance. The last part, where he was asking why he didn’t call someone else also struck me as someone who didn’t much want to be there.

    As others have stated this definitely has an M/M feel, although I’m not sure if that was intentional. The fact that Sam asked why Luc hadn’t called Kat and Luc made it perfectly clear that he did not want to see her made me think that she was an old lover and that he did not want her to see him looking the way that he does.

    ReplyReply

  8. cleo
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 19:47:08

    This drew me in, although I agree with some of the other commenters that the descriptions could be toned down. It’s a bit wordy for my taste.

    There were two references / quotes that took me completely out of the story – “an enigma wrapped in a mystery” as others have mentioned, and “stranger in a strange land.”

    ReplyReply

  9. Sylvie
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 19:58:23

    Really liked it. Only thought is that I’d start with the dialogue. I love expository writing, but I’m beginning to think I’m quite alone.

    ReplyReply

  10. Daisy
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 15:46:17

    I agree with what others have said, that the first half is a little bit thinky. I don’t mind backstory first as much as some people, but it did seem strange that Sam was supposed to be thinking all this while his friend is just standing there silently: I had to scroll up to check that Luca was actually supposed to be in the room at this point. I think you should save all that stuff until later. I also don’t think all the names are necessary- no one’s going to remember them when they’re thrown at the reader in a random list. Good writing generally though.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: