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

first page

First Page: Untitled 1 – Urban Contemporary Romance

First Page: Untitled 1 – Urban Contemporary Romance

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.

It’s been a little over a year since my wife died.

Every evening, alone in Central Park, I run laps around the Reservoir. That’s the only time I allow myself to think about Kelly. I don’t count how many laps I run; I just run in the darkness until I can’t go on anymore, thinking about the woman that she was, and about our life together.

She was a kind woman. Helpful to people in need, always willing to help friends in a jam. And was she sexy? Lord, she was sexy. In Manhattan, where professional models run around like squirrels in a park, they would eye her enviously. It wasn’t just that Kelly was pretty; there was more to her than just being pretty. The way she dressed and carried herself, the way she spoke and laughed: she had grace, you know what I mean? And to top it off, she was whip-smart, too. Running rings around her peers. She was making a name for herself, a name that was already beginning to shine.

Then she died.

She was only 26. Not fair. I don’t know how such a thing can happen. We’d been married for four years—we were waiting for our first child to be born—when Kelly was diagnosed.

And then she died. There weren’t any last-minute cures, no eleventh-hour salvation. She got sick, and then sicker, and then she died.

And I was there. She died in my arms, as the brain cancer stole the last of her. In the end, she was hallucinating that we were both walking on a beach, hand in hand. A beach with sand as fine as flour, a turquoise sea that glittered in the sunlight, and a sky as big and as blue as the world.

That was the vision she was dreaming of when she died.

I want to believe that there was a reason for this. As I run through the cold and cruddy night, I want to believe that she did not die in vain. She was sexy, and she was beautiful, and she was smart, and she had the world at her feet.

But most of all, she was kind. It was in her voice, in her touch, in her smile. It wasn’t that fake sort of kindness, the Look-at-me-I’m-being-so-kind-to-you sort of fakery. She was true-blue. She was decent. She never spoke badly about anyone; not even about people who deserved it. She never did anything behind someone’s back; she was always up-front and honest.

She made me a better man. I didn’t think that was part of our deal, when she picked me.

Because like she always teased me, she picked me.

“Yes you did,” I’d tell her. “But I was your first pick.”

“Yes you were,” she’d agree. “You were my very first pick.”

Dear Author

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript Futuristic Sci/fi Romance

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.

2136 – New York City, New York

The water fountain’s chiming sounds soothed her heart as she walked into the elegant lobby. The edges of the fountain gleamed of gold with a marble statue of a mystical Queen in the middle.

Jessie looked around the lobby. She wondered how much that gold marble cost and how it was made. Did one person sit there and chisel out the silhouette of the imperious Queen looking down at the peasants gathering at her skirts? Can you even chisel gold? Maybe she is thinking of marble. Her thoughts kept tumbling one after another as she looked around.

“Can I help you, Miss?” a cultured voice speaks out to her left. Jessie looks over and notices an older gentleman standing behind the gold desk. The opulence of this hotel was a little overwhelming. She tried to smile, and forced her legs to walk over and greet him.

“Yes, I was looking to meet Dimitri Maletski. I have his business card here along with some paperwork that I need to speak to him about.” Jessie explained, holding up her manila folder as justification for her request.

The gentleman looked intrigued as he eyed her folder. Jessie hugged it close to her chest. After cleaning out her mother’s files, these papers were a mystery she needed to solve and she didn’t want to lose them. She was being silly. She smiled at him sweetly and forced her arms to lay down next to her sides with the folder clutched in her left hand.

“Ahh, and your name please?” He asked politely. His graying hair flopped over his eyes as he typed into his computer, presumably looking up an appointment calendar.

“My name is Jessamyn Lacross, however I don’t have an appointment. Is he available?” She asked, equally polite. Good manners never hurt when asking favors.

“Mr. Maletski is currently in meetings all day. I would be more than happy to help you, or leave your papers on his desk. I am Vasily Savin, the General Manager of the Golden Crown Hotel, and can help you with anything you need.” He smiled urbanely and held out his hand to shake mine.

Jessie left her folders clutched in her left hand next to her side, and held out her right hand to shake his hand. She thought about what the best course of action was. She had already debated all of her options endlessly during the time it took to travel to New York City to locate the Golden Crown Hotel and Mr. Maletski.

“Thank you so much, Mr Savin. However, I do need to speak with Mr. Maletski personally. His name is on these papers regarding the Golden Lottery Commission and if you could let me know the best time to come back and meet with him, that would be great. I can give you my contact information and return when he is available.” Jessie explained nicely.

His hand kept shaking hers while he looked Jessie up and down. He seemed surprised. Jessie wanted to remove her hand from his and gently tried to pull it back.

“The Golden Lottery Commission, you say?” He murmured. He slowly looked back up into her eyes. His eyes were a dark gray and they studied her intently. Her smile froze and she felt uncomfortable. Should she not have mentioned the lottery? She couldn’t find any information in Google about it which was why she felt compelled to travel into the city to find out more about why her mother had these papers hidden away in her lock box.

Mr. Savin glanced down to the folder Jessie held by her side. She finally tugged her hand out of his and reached down to put the folder away in her bag. She adjusted the strap on her shoulder and put a smile back on her face and looked back up at Mr. Savin.

He smiled at her again. “Miss Lacross, why don’t you have some lunch in our award winning restaurant here,” he gestured across the lobby, “and I’ll talk to Mr. Maletski’s secretary about getting you an appointment today.”

“Thank you.” Jessie replied. “I have someone joining me, so I’ll just go and wait for her.” She looked around and started to walk toward the restaurant.

“I recommend the prime rib.” Mr. Savin called behind her.

Jessie looked sharply behind her. Seriously? The fact that the restaurant had steak available was amazing. She wondered which area they were getting their beef from. The news reports had been relentless about the shortage of beef around the Eastern States, not to mention the rest of the world. Considering she could probably only afford water with lemon, she knew the steak would be out of her budget. Although if her Mother’s papers on this mysterious Golden Lottery were correct, she might have a change of fortune soon.