Friday, July 23, 2010


Thanks to all the wonderful critters that came out yesterday to have DINNER WITH JAWS. 'Twas quite tasty. Mmm, BY GRACE ALONE, yum!

In all seriousness, your suggestions and catches were grand. Below is Charli's final version. Leave your thoughts, and if you think it can be EVEN BETTER, do tell her! She'll buy you a drink!


People die.

Heartless, perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Parents die, spouses, even children. We pay homage to them with vibrant, colorful flowers. But the aromatic tokens eventually rot too.

That’s why Miguel never brought flowers.

Just his thoughts. His love.

Why give the dead something that wilts and perishes? Idiotic when you think about it, cruel if you ponder it. Yet it endures as a symbol that the person buried beneath still matters. Loved, cherished, and even missed.

If she could speak, she would tell him, it was time to move on, from many things. But, he knew, as he stood over the spot where she rested, he wasn’t ready to let go.

Philadelphia, Once Upon A Time

"Maybe different, but remember… I want you not to go." Stay or Leave, Dave Matthews

The soft chords of an acoustic guitar thrummed through the air. Dave Matthews live at Radio City Music Hall filled the room. Stay or Leave. My God, he hoped Grace stayed – forever.

Miguel made due on his promise – he made love to her, soft, slow and long. Their gaze never broke. Every stroke, every caress, and every move intensified their connection. He filled her body. She filled his heart, his soul.

They were one.

The fire cast shadows against rich honey brown walls. Cherry wood work and mahogany furniture mirrored the warm feeling inside his chest.

Light fingers traced the contour of her hip. “Comfortable?” he asked.

“Hmm, mmm.” Grace moved a hand across his cheek as she tucked her head beneath his chin. Dark tresses scented with lavender tickled his senses. “Mig, tonight was perfect.”

Never in a million years did he think they’d be together, especially after being apart for so long. “Tell me how perfect, Grace?” He moved the hair from her face, so his lips could take hers, soft and brief.

“Well, dinner at Nikki’s Bistro, salsa dancing, even the vanilla custard and cherry water ice, it was all so… amazing. Every moment.” Her legs entwined with his. “Especially now.”

How many people were given a second chance at love? And not just any love but the kind that went all the way to your soul.

Grace had always been the one.


  1. Wow, way different and much cleaner. ;) Grabs you right from the start and kind of shoves a knife into your heart. Gets you thinking and does what it ought to, makes you want to read more.

    I dunno, could it be better?

  2. A.R. - what a way you have with words. That's exactly the way I felt when I read it. Great job Charli!

  3. Holy doodle. Unreal. The emotion got me right off! Fantastic writing, C.

  4. I've critted the hell out of this, but you know what? I could read BGA all over again. Thanks ladies! :-)

  5. Charli girl I loved this story. I felt every emotion you put out there. Your characters pulled at my heart strings. I laughed and cried with them. Not many stories do that to me. You do have a way with words Charli girl. I can't wait to read Paddy's story next. I would definitely read Grace again. Good Job!

  6. Much better action to start us off, and I feel much more connected than before. I still think there are some sentence-level things that could be cleared up and improved upon. Your second sentence, for example, could be more concise if you shorted it to "Heartless, perhaps, but no less true," which would eliminate the fuzzy nature of "it."

    Later in the prologue, you have "yet it endures," but it is unclear what the "it" is referring to. I assume flowers?

    In the final paragraph of the prologue, I feel like you have an overuse of commas.

    When we get into the first chapter, there are little things like "Dave Matthews live at Radio City Music Hall filled the room," and I'm left wondering if they are AT Radio City Music Hall hearing Dave Matthews live, or if they are in some room somewhere, listening to an album. Looking back, I see that we're in Philadelphia, but you still don't want that sort of ambiguity.

    Also, if you have a they or a their, you have more than one, and so you will have multiple gazes, not a single gaze.

    Woodwork is a single word, not two separate words.

    But as you can tell from what I had to say, these are all sentence-level concerns. Everything else? Great.

  7. Thanks everyone, it means heaps. It goes to show that good CRITTING means everything. Learning from it and applying it, doing the work yourself. To all my ROCKIN CP's and my BETA's THANKS. :) Now, go to my website and see what happens when the doorbell rings and their night is shot to hell. Chapter 1 opens with Mig in the chair, remembering. I hope you like how that evolved too.

  8. Catherine, you're a FANTASTIC critique partner! Kudos, ye rock, lassie!

    If anyone - who hasn't read BGA -is interested in what actually happened to Miguel sitting on the beach, hop over to - She has up to Chapter 3 posted for download in PDF

  9. I think it is f*cking hilarious, Charli! We did it again! Get out of me head!!!

  10. WOOT Catherine, thanks! You should be the cleaner. We all tore through this pro like a gazillion times, my cp's and I. LOL. Good catches.

  11. The cleaner, huh? I could adopt that. LOL.

  12. BTW, Tammy has offered up the first page of her MS, Monster Mine, for next week's course. I bet JAWS will be nice and hungry by then. I can't wait. I sure hope Tammy is ready for he Mighty Jaws...I got your back sweetie but I only go so far with her. Charli isn't scared of much, but a hungry JAWS, I shudder.

    If any of you are brave enough, email them to us...I double doggie dare ya!

  13. Woot! DARES! I love them :-) Ya'll will get a chance to rip me one . . . eventually! Muha ha ha.

  14. I posted a comment yesterday on your tear-up piece but it didn't come though.

    Better luck to me next time. Loved the story, btw. Really grabs at heartstrings.

  15. Thanks Zee! Feel free to offer up something of yours...Muah ha ha ha

  16. Lol, Charli. I will. Give me a few weeks until the madness settles. Kids will be back in school and I'll have eased into the uni semester by then.