The LOOK Challenge

Jennifer Wells has asked me to join in the LOOK Challenge. Before I talk about the challenge, let me encourage you to drop by her blog and check out her latest novel, Practically Dreaming.

Now on to the challenge! Here are the rules:

Find the first usage of the word “look” in your work in progress and paste the surrounding paragraph(s) into your blog.

Invite as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

I’m excited to share with you a brief peek at my work in progress, Speak of the Devil which is due out in March. High school junior Lily Tyler dies along with her two best friends in a car accident but miraculously comes back to life several minutes later. Unable to deal with her loss and her survivor’s guilt, she moves to her dad’s. While trying to heal from this tragedy and come to terms with the event, she meets some people at her new school who are all too eager to help her. Struggling to fight her feelings for two of them, Luc and Mo, she finds out who they really are.

The spinning lights brightened, and rain spattered my face. I blinked and turned my head to the side. I lay on the road on the hard gravel. My head pounded, and a loud ringing split my eardrums. I tried to look around to get my bearings, only to start coughing and choking.

“Jesus Christ! She’s awake, Sheriff!” Someone shouted. I tried to focus on the voice, but nothing made sense.

Several booted feet stomped towards me and a half a dozen flashlights aimed in my face.

“God Almighty,” someone’s voice echoed nearby. “Lily? Lily? Look at me.”

I tried but only saw a swarm of faces shadowed by hat brims.

“My head.” I reached for it. Even my own touching it sent shockwaves of pain through me. Trying to speak brought on another wave of coughing.

“Turn her over!”

“Get the paramedic, now!”

They needed to quit shouting. It didn’t help my head. They turned me on my side, and I coughed until an unusually long stream of water sputtered and poured from my mouth. Gross. Talk about embarrassing. Have I been drinking?

Someone patted my back. “That’s it. Get it all out.”

I obeyed. When I finally stopped coughing and caught my breath, I asked for them. “Julie. Where’s Julie and Mike?” I didn’t recognize my hoarse voice. My throat felt raw and shredded. It all flooded back to me. Where I’d been. Who I’d been with. What happened.

No one responded. Maybe I hadn’t asked it out loud, I wondered for a second, but then I focused on the men there. I didn’t recognize any of them, but they were all dressed in uniforms of police officers and paramedics. The one who had turned me on my side and patted my back, wore a bigger hat than the others. The sheriff maybe?

“Julie and Mike?” I croaked.

He didn’t answer. He just pursed his lips and glanced at the others. Sadness? Regret?

“No!” I cried.

“Honey, you’re ok, but we want these nice folks to check you out.” He spoke in a strong Missouri accent.

“No. Julie and Mike—” I pushed myself up to search for them and took in the entire the scene. An ambulance, two police cars, and three more pick up trucks with decals on the side, all parked haphazardly with roof lights spinning madly, encircling the crash site. The twisted and bent rail on the side of the road pointed at the river waters below. And beyond, on its side submerged in the water with only its back two tires peeking above the surface was Julie’s car.

___

Here are a few authors whose current works in progress I’d love to check out! Want to play along?

1. Jody Kessler
2. Tara MacDonald
3. Sasha Summers
4. Julia Phillips Smith
5. Kate Evangelista
6. Cathryn Fox
7. Cindi Madsen
8. Sara Hubbard
9. Constance Phillips
10. Lilly Cain

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5 Responses to The LOOK Challenge

  1. Sara Hubbard says:

    I accept your challenge, although my manuscript is at the proof stage so it isn’t perfect yet. 🙂

  2. I Love this idea! Thanks for sharing with me, only, my blog is still not up. When someone offers to help you, I guess you’re stuck with their timeframe. Speak of the Devil sounds good already! Cheers and I hope to participate in the ‘Look’ in the near future.

  3. Shawna says:

    Thanks Jody! What about posting it on your Facebook author page?

  4. Lilly Cain says:

    Don’t know what happened to my earlier attempt to reply, but I took up your challenge on my facebook page. 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilly-Cain-Fan-Page/217511441502

    Thanks for the fun!

    Lilly Cain

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