Here’s Your Weekend #WritingChallenge!

Hi everyone,

We hope you all enjoyed the wild ride of #SYTYCW15, and congratulations to our wonderful winner, Lauren Smith! (If you haven’t watched it already, see her get the ‘you’ve won’ call here.)

This #WritingChallenge, we have a bridesmaid heroine for you…but is she about to meet the man who will walk her down the aisle?

Your heroine is bridesmaid…again. Then she sees him in the crowdand she knows she won’t be forgetting this wedding in a hurry! Describe the moment she first meets her hero-to-be.

Leave your comments below the line and we’ll give feedback on Monday – we can’t wait to have a read!

The SYTYCW Editors

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116 replies on “Here’s Your Weekend #WritingChallenge!”

Shyla McTavish gave the long forest green skirt of her bridesmaid dress a kick to make it spread out and not hem in her long legs. Shyla rarely wore dresses and never anything this frilly.

Well, okay it wasn’t really frilly but it was much more feminine than anything she had ever worn.

She had received several complements on the way the velvet flowed down her trim swimmers figure. The cut of the dress flattered her broad shoulders and muscular arms, something she was grateful for.

With her long medium brown hair, swirled up on top of her head like the other four bridesmaids, Shyla felt, well, pretty.

She didn’t know Heloise or Helly as she liked to be called, all that well yet. But Shyla did like the latest addition to their little community along with her future husband Will.

Helly was short on female relatives and friends so how could Shyla refuse a request for help out at their winter wedding?

This was one of the most important days in Helly and Will’s lives. Next would be when their baby was born in a few more months.

Shyla sighed a bit ruefully. It would be a long time until she found a mate. Probably not until she moved back to the east coast after her stint here as a guardian was done.

Shyla straightened her posture and adjusted the lace that dangled from the bouquet of white and yellow roses she held. She glanced toward the double doors that stood open.

The grooms men were coming through to join Will. They each wore matching black tuxes with a forest green cumberbun that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Shyla let her eyes track the fourth groomsman. He was to be her partner.

Her eyes found him and widened when she saw he was checking her out too. She knew his name was Zav Koering and he was a friend of both the bride and the groom.

He stood taller than Shyla with broad shoulders that tapered down to a trim waist. Zav would make an excellent dance partner later at the reception. He had thick, thick black hair without a touch of silver and his firm square jaw had a hint of five o’clock shadow. In contrast, his eyes were a startling emerald green.

She realized his tux was tailored and was much better quality than the rental apparel the other groomsmen wore. He must shop at the same place Will and his best man Iain did.

Shyla moved her eyes back up to his face and he gave her a slow half smile as he strolled over to her side of the foyer.

“Hello, you must be Shyla McTavish,” his words we gently accented and tickled her ear. He held out his right hand. It was broad and tanned like his face.

“Yes, nice to meet you Zav,” Shyla smiled, liking the feel of his grasp as he shook her hand. He smelled of some subtle aftershave that made Shyla automatically breath it in to enjoy it.

“You have the most beautiful azure blue eyes I have ever seem,” he said study’s her face.

“Thank you.” Shyla bit her lip. This was going to be such an interesting day, she looked forward to spending it at Zav’s side.

“I suppose I should let you have this back,” He said as he slowly released her hand. He lifted it so that her fingers slide over his as they broke contact.

Shyla swallowed. She missed the feel of him already.

“Groomsmen,” Trudy called out. With that tone all the males snapped their attention to matronly woman. “Please take your places beside Will. Bridesmaids, please line up. Helly will be out shortly.” Trudy turned and swept back into the church to prod the organist to begin.

“Until later then.” Zav gave Shyla a brief bow before heading over to the other men.

Wow, Shyla thought as she grinned to herself. She took her place as last in line and glanced one more time at the intriguing man. She hoped and prayed he was as good as he seemed. Maybe this could turn into something, dare she hope?

He looked back at her and winked then turned to follow his fellow groomsmen.

That’s when Shyla saw the flash of a gold wedding ring on his left hand.

I screamed at the computer because of the last line! EXCUSE ME!! Great cliff hanger. I definitely found myself wondering if Zav is possibly a widower.

What an intriguing way to finish – you certainly know how to keep your readers on the edge of their seats! Very fun 🙂

The SYTYW Editors x

It had to be pink. Aggie smoothed down the poofy taffeta, wondering if the other bridesmaids felt like they’d escaped from the fairy floss stall at a fete. Six of them and at nearly thirty she was the eldest by a mile. One of the joys of being single in a large extended family. Designated fill in bridesmaid. She was already closing in on that chick in the movie with all the dresses. This one didn’t even fit. The girl who was supposed to be wearing it was taller and less endowed in the bust department. A lot less endowed. Heels had solved the height problem but, short of a mastectomy, she was stuck with showing off her boobs to all and sundry.
The bridal car slowed to a halt in the portico and Aggie gave a last tweak to the corseted top. She was way too close to a nipple slip just from breathing too deep. Looking up, she met the amused glance of the guy opening the door of the limousine. Now he was someone she wouldn’t mind meeting up close and personal. The look had lingered just a moment too long, sparking something warm and dangerous. A silver fox, but the face underneath was unlined and could have graced the cover of any upmarket magazine. She smiled and received a slow wink from piercing blue eyes. She was going to melt into a puddle any moment now and not from the unseasonably warm autumnal weather.
There was no time for more as the mother of the bride shunted them into line before vanishing into the church. The stunning brunette was a scarily efficient second cousin Aggie hadn’t met until she’d gone for the dress fitting earlier in the week. With all the money the girl’s billionaire father had, they could have hired a dozen wedding planners. Apparently that wasn’t how this mother of the bride operated.
The music started and Aggie made her way up the aisle, following the three shorter girls and before the taller ones. The decorations matched the dresses, lots of pink taffeta ribbons and a bower of pink roses. She turned with the others to watch the bride come up the aisle, avoiding the baleful stare of the groomsman who was supposed to be her partner. He looked like he was barely out of high school. Probably was. The younger brother of the bride who had not long finished teachers college.
The bride, despite her taste in poofy wedding garb, was lovely. A younger version of her mother. Aggie turned her gaze to the man walking her up the aisle and sucked in a breath. The silver fox. She’d been flirting outrageously with the father of the bride.

Fantastic! Your writing is so vivid and so clear that it brings to life your characters and the setting. I know I’ve said it before but you are such a skilled writer Fiona. Reading your writing is like watching a movie. I also LOVE the humour in your writing too! 🙂

I bet it’s an uncle or friend standing in. The age gap in the bride siblings is a clue to a jigsaw family configuration. If it is daddy winking, he didn’t behave too well on his daughter’s big day.

Father of the bride? Oh wow! Fi, that’s an unexpected twist. I love your description of the heroine and the hero.

Hahaha brilliant – what a fab twist! Love the sizzle between the two, and your heroine’s spiky, feisty voice!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Georgiana touched the soft silk material of the beautiful evening gown. What on earth had possessed her to come into this exclusive boutique when she knew the prices of the dresses would cost her at least six months wages. Letting out a wistful sigh, she was about to move on when a shop assistant came over to her.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” she stated.
“Very much so.” Georgiana touched the turquoise dress again.
“Would you like to try it on?” Offered the woman kindly.
Georgiana looked at her, an embarrassed flush staining her high cheekbones. She felt like such an impostor, she didn’t belong in this shop…
“Go on, try it on.” Coaxed the other woman.
Georgiana hesitated. Oh what the heck! Why not!
“May I see?” asked the shop assistant from outside of the changing room.
Throwing open the door Georgiana stepped out. She knew how she looked but the expression on the shop assistants face made her glow. Feeling a pair of eyes on her, Georgiana’s gaze drifted to a tall, broad shouldered dark haired figure who stood several feet away from her, his gaze fixed on her. He hadn’t been in the boutique earlier, he must have just come in with the model like woman who was checking out the designer gowns.
He was exquisite. The way he was looking at her made her bones melt and her her heart pound crazily. Feeling flustered, she tore her gaze away.
“You must buy it!” exclaimed the assistant in excitement.
It took a few seconds for the woman’s words to register then shaking her head as if to clear the sensual mist which had clouded her mind. “I’m sorry, I can’t afford it.” She said hurriedly and rushed back into the changing room. All she wanted to do was to get out of the dress, get out of the boutique and get some air before she passed out. How could one look from a stranger create such a state of internal upheaval?
Georgiana held her breath as she stepped out of the little room again after she’d changed into her normal attire. Adrenaline pumped through her veins at the thought of seeing the tall stranger again. Disappointment speared through her. The boutique was empty. He had gone. For a strange moment she felt like the loneliest person in the world. Handing the dress back, Georgiana was about to turn away to leave when the assistant stopped her.
“Your dress, madam.”
“Oh no, I’m sorry.” Georgiana said apologetically. “I… I won’t be buying it.”
“It’s been paid for.” The assistant stated, gift wrapping the garment.
Georgiana’s mouth fell open. “I don’t understand…”
“My colleague told me that the dress had been paid for and the buyer had told her that it was a gift for you and we were to make sure that you got it.”
The words made no sense. “Where is your colleague?”
“She’s gone out for her lunch break.”
Georgiana felt numb. Who could have bought her the dress? Surely it couldn’t have been the stranger… no. He had been with someone else. Then who?
Taking the bag, she thanked the assistant and left the boutique in a daze.
Who could have been so kind? She wondered as she got into her little car. Whoever it was would never know just how happy they had made her. Holding back a sudden urge to cry, she started her car. Her dress for her best friend’s wedding had been sorted. Thank you, whoever you are.

“Georgie!” Brook gasped. “You look… you look stunning!”
“You’re the stunning one, Brook.” Georgiana smiled. “Paolo is a very lucky man.” She broke off on a whisper. What on earth had gotten into her? Why had she become such an emotional wreck since that day at the boutique?
“Don’t set me off, Georgie! You have no idea how long it took to get my make-up done!” A slight frown creased her friend’s brow. “I’m a little anxious about meeting Paolo’s step-brother and sister. They flew in from Italy a couple of days ago. I’ll be meeting Vincente for the first time today. I’ve heard he can be very intimidating.”
“You’ll be fine.” she reassured her friend.

Georgiana had lost count of the amount of times she had accompanied brides-to-be down the aisle. Up until a few weeks ago she had thought her time had come to be the bride. But her fiance had had a change of heart or… change of partner would be more apt.
“Ready?” She whispered to her friend.
Brook nodded, her eyes full of love and happiness. The organ music began to play as they walked down the aisle. As Georgiana followed close behind her friend, she noticed a tall man stood beside Paolo. The stranger’s eyes locked with hers. Georgiana felt her breath stop as recognition struck her. It was him! The stranger in the boutique! Georgiana felt her legs morph into jelly. The way his eyes travelled over her set fire to her skin. It was almost like a physical caress. Hold it together, Georgie. She repeatedly told herself silently. Leisurely, the dark eyes made their way back up and held her blue gaze captive. She couldn’t break eye contact with him as she carried on walking on unsteady legs. Exhilaration rushed through her at a sudden crazy thought of him waiting at the alter, for her.

Thank you so much Yvonne, Elizabeth, Amanda and Mary for your kind words. 🙂 I always look forward to the Writing Challenges because I love reading all the entries. So many wonderful writers! The entries are like lovely gifts at Christmas, you can’t wait to open them and enjoy what’s inside. 🙂

You’re welcome:) I so agree, Calida Ally! This is the first time I’ve done a writing challenge like this. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s entry and how creative everyone is. No story is the same. It’s amazing the wonderful creativity out there.

You pack lots of emotion – both on the page and in your heroine’s backstory – into this Challenge, great stuff! (What a delicious fairy godmother Vincente is too!)
The SYTYCW Editors x

This wedding is going to be a catastrophe, Tabitha Evans thought to herself. As head bridesmaid of her best friend Jennifer’s wedding, she had to take charge NOW! Her neck peered over the crowd in the narthex of the downtown Springfield Virginia’s No Hope Episcopal Church. She started counting all the plaid kilts she could find: one, two, three, four, five, six…and…seven!
Finally.
She had yet to meet the eighth bridesmaid since she was coming today from New York City, but the plaid made them stand out in the church narthex. Tabitha was eager to go over her fourteen step easy to follow bridesmaid wedding plan.
Confidently she glanced down at her own plaid skirt and sash, to make sure every pleat was in place. Perfect. This is not her taste for a spectacular wedding because it wasn’t her wedding. They never are her weddings. Sure, her friends love for her to be in their wedding party, knowing she will take charge to make sure it becomes flawless. But when and if it ever comes to her own wedding, plaid and bagpipes will not make an appearance.
At twenty seven years old, Tabitha is quite confident she has many years left to perfect her own wedding but it’s no time to think of the wedding she started planned since at twelve years of age. As Tabitha glanced at the clock over the double doors leading to the nave, there was less than an hour before the ceremony. Barely enough time.
Tabitha pushed through the crowd toward the bridesmaid she had yet to meet hoping she got the email with her updated fourteen point plan. As she came up to the back of the very large muscle bound woman, Tabitha tapped her on her burly shoulder and started with the speech she memorized last week, making sure to perfect it with her co-worker Daniel in HR.
“Excuse me Lilly, I am Tabitha, one of the other bridesmaids. I wanted to introduce myself. I hope you had a lovely flight and are well rested for today’s festivities. We have a lot to do before the ceremony even starts, so if you wouldn’t mind coming with me, we can set about getting our bridesmaids duties on like Donkey Kong.” Tabitha’s eyes landed on the crowd as her hand waved over the people to reinforce the work they had to do as she gave her speech. She chucked at her own Donkey Kong joke, proud of the silly reference and hoped it put the new bridesmaid at ease.
When she finally gazed up into the green eyes of what she thought was the other bridesmaid her face fell as Tabitha immediately realized her mistake.
“Lilly?” The large bearded man’s thick, velvety Scottish brogue comes out clear as butter and renders Tabitha utterly catatonic.
Her eyes sweep over the form fitted white shirt, revealing swell after glorious swell of muscle on his chest, arms, and stomach. They were mesmerizing. It was that fact and the shock of the moment that caused Tabitha to do something she had never done before in her life, reach out and feel the man up.
“What are you doing?” Again, his melty voice surprises her and Tabitha snaps her eyes up to him.
As much as her actions are unusual for her, it’s what falls out of her mouth that makes her want to leave this wedding and maybe live in a log cabin in the woods as a hermit. Everything in her life is planned, practiced, and precise but this moment is none of that.
“Oh God you’re beautiful.” Tabitha practically moans the words.

I’m so sorry, Elizabeth! My second comment was meant for Amanda Siegrist’s entry. 🙂 Will try again. Sorry!

Love that she mistakes him for a burly bridesmaid 🙂
Would love to see a little hint of the emotional baggage she’s carrying, but still a very fun set-up!
The SYTYCW Editors x

She smoothed her hands down the front of her periwinkle dress, trying to dispel the nerves away. She really had no reason to be nervous. She had done this a million times already. Nothing new. She even looked quite beautiful in her bridesmaid dress, like always. No matter how many times she walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid, she always managed to look elegant and beautiful. Not as gorgeous as the bride herself, but she could hold her own. That alone made her nervous when her day finally came, making her think she wouldn’t look as elegant and beautiful. What a silly thought.

She blew out a breath, wiped away all of her ridiculous nerves, and turned around.

“Oh, geez, I’m so sorry,” she mumbled, trailing her eyes up a broad chest to a face she didn’t recognize. And she would’ve recognized him if she had seen him before. His bright green eyes twinkled brightly, a slight amusement lingering. This wasn’t the time to be running into handsome men. She needed all her wits about her.

“It’s alright. My fault, really. I wasn’t paying attention.” He offered a charming smile, lighting his eyes up even more. “I’m Jared. I’m sorry for almost knocking you down.”

She looked at his outstretched hand, suddenly afraid to touch it. The brief moment when she smacked her face into his chest sent a small tingling flame of desire down the length of her body. So brief, it was almost as if she imagined it. What would it feel like to hold his hand? When she noticed his brow rise at her lack of response, she stopped thinking altogether, shoving her hand into his.

“I’m Fina…or Sarafina. Most people just call me Fina. You can call me that. Or you can call me Sarafina. Heck, some people even call me Sara.” She cleared her throat, mortified at her rambling. And also curious how long he would continue to hold her hand. Those flames of desire were starting to burn her from the inside out.

Jared caressed her hand with the tip of his thumb before letting her hand go. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sarafina. You have a beautiful name. Ah…are you a bridesmaid?” He glanced at her dress, a small laugh escaping. “Of course you are. What position are you walking down?”

She ran another trembling hand down her dress. “Um…I’m third. Why?”

Her insides continued to melt when another laugh left his mouth. “Me too. It will be my honor to escort you down the aisle.”

She tried not to look horrified at that thought. She would have to let him hold her. How would she manage down the aisle with his warm hand on her the entire time? “Great. You weren’t at the rehearsal dinner, were you?”

“No, I had some business I needed to wrap up. It was unavoidable. Are you a friend, or family of the bride?”

“A friend. You?”

“I went to college with Ryan.”

They stood staring at each other. Fina wondered what she should say next. His smile indicated he wanted to say more as well. But she needed some air. Especially if his hands would be touching her again so soon.

“Well, I need a last minute touch up…and I should go see if Lilly needs my help. I’ll see you soon,” she said a bit awkwardly.

“I can’t wait.” Jared watched as she hustled away, hiking her dress up a little as not to trip on it. It gave him a lovely view of her legs. Way too lovely of legs. He was screwed. This would be a lot harder than he imagined.

He groaned as she disappeared behind the corner, wondering how he always managed to get himself involved in this sort of stuff. Worst decision ever. He jumped slightly, a hand grabbing his shoulder.

“You ready, man? I really wish you’d stick by me,” Ryan said, the annoyance plain in his tone.

Jared tried not to roll his eyes. “I’m a big boy. I don’t need a baby-sitter. I was just meeting the lovely Sarafina who I’ll be walking down the aisle.”

“Just keep your damn hands to yourself. I don’t need any trouble. I don’t want this,” Ryan said through clenched teeth.

“You have no say in the matter. You’re the one who decided to marry a woman who has ties to the Chilani Family. Let me do my job. Go fix your bow tie. I’ll be right there,” Jared said, giving him no room for argument.

“If you ruin my wedding, I’ll…” Ryan shook his head and walked away.

“Good choice, buddy, not finishing that sentence,” Jared muttered under his breath. Again, he wondered how he let himself get wrangled into this assignment. He never worked undercover. Sarafina’s beautiful face entered his mind, suddenly wishing he never started. Worst decision ever.

A great hint of intrigue here – we like how the introduction of his undercover work immediately raises the stakes and broadens the storyline beyond the wedding. Poor Fina, she has no idea what’s on the horizon for her 🙂
The SYTYCW Editors x

“Lilly, will you go and see if the stylist has arrived yet, and top up my champagne on the way back”. Lilly dutifully set about her tasks, secretly grateful for any reason to take a break from the company of her cousin Stella. Normally so modest and unassuming, as a bride to be, Stella’s ego had undergone a rather unfortunate transformation and she was ordering people about left, right and centre. Their other cousin Rebecca had not long huffed off in disgust, although Stella seemed blissfully unaware of the stir she was causing. Lilly reminded herself that Stella had waited over a decade for the proposal after all, and this must go some way towards accounting for her behaviour.

In the hall she paused briefly before the huge gilt mirror and assessed her silver silk slip, the same as all the bridesmaids were wearing. Even with her slender figure, it really left very little to the imagination and her long strawberry blond hair that tumbled over her shoulders was yet to be tied up. Poor Rebecca, who had only had a baby a couple of months ago was up in arms, and Stella had finally conceded that she could wear a light shawl over the top. Rebecca’s wedding had been a winter one and Lilly and Stella’s bridesmaid dresses had been made from red raw silk with green velvet sashes, crowned by wreaths of holly and ivy. What a different kind of bride Rebecca had been too; thoughtful and undemanding, clearly only really caring that she was marrying the love of her life. Being the youngest of the eight girl cousins and footloose and fancy free as she was, Lilly did vaguely wonder how many more times she might be a bridesmaid before it was her walking up the aisle, if indeed it ever happened.

Shaking herself from her musings, she walked out of the neoclassical portico and onto the gravel drive, scanning about for any vehicles that might have arrived. Just as she was turning to re-enter her grandparent’s house, she caught the soft, but powerful sound of a sports engine coming down the drive. Thinking it might be her elder brother Freddy, she waited for the car to come into view. As the car turned the corner she could see that it wasn’t him, but realised that whoever the driver was, they must have seen her. Deciding that it would be impolite to walk off, she remained on the drive feeling increasingly exposed in her wafer thin coverage. Eventually the car pulled up and a tall suited figure got out and approached her. It wasn’t until he stood before her that she recognised Freddy’s old friend James who had been away travelling for the past couple of years. Grinning at her, brown as a berry and staggeringly handsome, he swept her into a hug. “You didn’t recognise me, did you”, he laughed putting her down and holding her at arms length. As James regarded her, the perception subtly changed on his face and Lilly felt herself beginning to blush. “Come inside and have some champagne”, she spoke a little too quickly, her heart pounding, pulling him by the arm and hoping he would miss her face turning scarlet.

I love how you introduce characters with concise descriptions. I can easily visual bridezilla, the other bridesmaid and most importantly, car loving, traveller, brother’s friend, James.

You set up their backstory – and how the dynamic between them immediately shifts now that they’re both older – nicely! I wonder how Stella will react to Lilly’s own romance blossoming on her wedding day!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Claire sipped the pink drink and glanced around the ballroom, wondering again where her date was. She took another sip and decided it wasn’t really important.
“You should pace yourself.” A deep voice rolled up her spine again and she took a bigger gulp that she should have. “Where’s your date?”
She didn’t look at him. Couldn’t really. She was afraid to lift her eyes as he moved around her. Why should she? He had a great tie on. She would look at that and study the intricate mix of charcoal and gray.
“Do you want another?” He took her empty glass and set it on a passing tray.
“Then I wouldn’t be pacing myself, would I?” She smiled, please that for once she’d answered him back. Normally, when she was around Alex she lost the ability to speak. She still couldn’t believe her best friend planned to marry him in the morning. But Claire had the hideous lavender bridesmaid dress to prove it.
Alex laughed and she accidently looked up, away from the safety of his tie.
Claire forgot to breathe. No man should be that beautiful. Golden skin, black hair, heavy black eyebrows and blue eyes so dark they could almost be black.
“If you are going to stare at me like that, we should dance before anyone notices.”
She was just about to say no, when his hand went to her waist and she found herself dancing with him.
“How long have you and Preston been together?”
“Six months.” Why had she told him that?
“And you aren’t engaged?”
“No.” She tried not to sigh.
“Always the bridesmaid?” His cynical tone made her pull away, but he only laughed and brought her closer. “The thing is, Claire,” he continued, “Your boyfriend.” He brought his mouth to her ear, his breath warm on the delicate skin of her jaw. “…is sleeping with my fiancé. So we should talk.”
She stumbled, glancing up at him shock. He lifted one dark eyebrow as if he didn’t quite believe her surprise. Then he did something awful, so incredibly vile, that years later, looking back on that night, Claire would have to remind herself that it had really happened that way.
He kissed her. And not a sweet friendly peck on the cheek. No, he covered her startled mouth with his and lay siege to her last shred of sanity.
But even worse, Claire kissed him back.
Right there. In the middle of the ballroom, in front of hundreds of friends and family.
It was a kiss you could live on for the rest of your life. A kiss that wiped away the memory of any other kiss and ruined her for all future attempts. The taste of Alex, the smell of Alex, the strength of Alex holding her in his arms, imprinted on Claire and became muscle memory. The essence of him wove its way through her and shut out every drop of common sense Claire had had ever had. Alex Volikov became the only thing that mattered in the universe.
So even when she started to become aware of the shocked gasps surrounding them, and the indignant outcries, she still couldn’t stop. And he didn’t stop, damn him. He just kept fanning the flames, taking her higher until he was dangling her off the very highest peak they could find and just as she reached for it, he gave her a hard shove back down and the only thing that penetrated the thrall Claire was in was the sound of his laughter and the mocking Russian words she couldn’t understand.
She hadn’t quite got back to herself, but parts of her registered the humiliation and devastation he had just caused before her mind and brain could even comprehend what had happened.
“Darling, I’m so sorry,” he was saying, scandalizing everyone who heard him. Even the wait staff and bartenders stopped and turned. Flashes were going off around them. “I couldn’t help myself.” He made it sound like…like it wasn’t the first time. Then he slid his arm around her waist and headed toward the doors.
“Everyone, the wedding is off,” he announced to whoever was listening. “but Claire and I can no longer keep our secret. We were meant to be together.” He smiled down at her, something hard and dangerous in his eyes. “Come my love, we have a plane to catch.”

Wow! Wow! Wow! Lexi, my goodness! What a read! I LOVE this! I LOVE your hero. I SO want to read the whole book! 🙂

We totally love this! It’s dramatic, emotional, sexy and has a great fresh feel, with very convincing and compelling characterization i.e. we fancy your hero! Great writing!
The SYTYCW Editors x

This is an extract from my current WIP. Their first meeting is told in flashbacks. Donna’s are here but Ryan’s happened earlier and next.

On the upside friends stopped asking her to be their bridesmaid. On the downside they gossiped she got pregnant with a random guest from a simultaneous wedding at the Rock of Falmouth.

Her pulse increased more than it did during childbirth as he approached her. His hair was shorter but his facial hair remained as unruly. How would he link her to this specialist clinic? Today’s appointment determined Liam’s treatment and ultimate prognosis. She needed to calmly use her professional expertise for his benefit. Without distractions.

Hello, Donna.’ A blue balloon floated behind him and he carried a teddy bear.
A strange affinity coursed through her as she met his green eyes. She moved the infant carrier closer. Liam’s identical eyes only opened briefly.

She kept her tone even for the sake of the baby whose life began with more disadvantages than an elusive father. ‘I searched for you, in vain as I didn’t have a surname.’
He bent down to the level of the baby carrier. ’What? You did, Ryan.’
‘No it’s your christian name.’
‘It’s both. Long story. I’ll tell you some day.’ He revealed uneven teeth in a smile as the blanket moved in the second hand baby carrier. ‘What’s his name?’
‘Liam. A strong name. He needs it. You see…’
‘I recognised him immediately.’ He put the teddy bear on top of her baby bag.’ ‘It took me longer to link you to the newspaper picture, Donna.’
‘Yeah, after a difficult pregnancy followed by a week of labour, both alone, I look less glamorous than at the wedding.’
‘No, I mean, a coffee stain covered your face in my airport copy.’ He let the balloon float to the ceiling. ‘And you used Madonna at the wedding.’

Let him figure out why she shortened it for newspaper baby announcements and her professional career. ‘How did you know he was yours?’
‘I looked the same. I’ll explain some day’ He rubbed his dense facial hair. ’That’s why I became a paediatrician.’
Another bridesmaid mentioned his marathon wins so she presumed he was a professional athlete. He wouldn’t know she worked as a consultant’s worse nightmare. Career details became superfluous the moment he ran into the wrong wedding. They avoided both ghastly weddings for the best weekend of her life. Her logic and heart intuited they would be together forever.
Lesson learnt. First impressions should never be trusted.

You’ve sure given them a lot of baggage to work through here! Your hero is quite cryptic – it would have been nice to have understood a little more about his backstory and motivations – but he’s going to have plenty of opportunities in the front story to prove himself!
The SYTYCW Editors x

This was the first time Rose had felt so nervous being a bridesmaid. Her legs felt weak as she climbed out of the back of the white limousine. As she headed over to join Jackie and her mother, she could feel a tear start to escape from its cage of black lashes. She grabbed a tissue out of the hidden pockets in her pale lemon strapless A-line dress, that cascaded down to finish just above her knees.
Rose was so happy for her best friend, Jackie, and also a little jealous as she had always wanted to have the kind of relationship that Jackie had found with her groom. She also found the groom to be drop dead gorgeous and was always teasing Jackie about it. “I can’t believe you are marrying the man of my dreams.” She joked as she reached out and hugged the bride.
“Oh Rose, I’m sure you’ll have no problems replacing him with one of the many eligible bachelors attending today.” Jackie replied.
“I’m counting on it.” Rose smiled as she held her friends hands in a silent gesture of support.

Rose slowly made her way down the aisle, staring at the ornate gold filigree cross that was hung on the front wall of the church in front of her. Each of the rows of seats had a large white daisy stuck to the wooden ends. They matched the small daisy pins that were scattered through her red hair. She saw Dom, the groom, nervously swaying backwards and forwards on his feet and gave him a quick smile as she approached the end of the runway. Her eyes drifted passed Dom at the best man standing next to him. Her head started to lift off into outer space as she could feel the tingle start to surge through her veins. She couldn’t divert her eyes away from the strong dark chiseled face as the world around her seemed to fade into the background and she forgot where she was for a split second. She blushed as she turned to take her place by the alter.

The ceremony was beautiful and had gone off without a hitch. Back at the reception, it was time for the first dance. Jackie had given Rose strict instructions to wait until after the first chorus, before heading onto the dance floor with the best man. She sat at the head table watching the striking couple captivate the whole room. As the beginning of the chorus started, Rose drained the last of the champagne from her glass before standing to join them as instructed.
Levi Tucker was standing behind her as she pushed back her chair. Rose felt her blood rush to her face as she realized that he had been waiting for her to take his hand. Reaching out to place her long slender fingers in his palm she hoped that he wouldn’t notice the tremble.

“Just remember that everyone will be watching Jackie and Dom, not us.”

Damn! He did notice. “Thanks, there are just so many people here tonight.” Rose forced her legs into motion as he led her into the middle of the dance floor.
Levi placed his arm around her waist, and pulled her in closer as they started to move with the music. Rose could feel his strong hands move down her body as they moved around the floor. She grabbed his fingers and persuasively moved his hand back to the small of her back and away from the firm roundness of her butt. He gave her a mischievous smile.

“C’mon, You know you want too.” Levi was sure that Rose was like all the other bridesmaids and wanted to get his clothes off. He noticed her glowing green eyes and fiery red hair the second she entered the church, and he couldn’t wait for this moment. To hold her body next to his, to feel her modest bosom against his chest. His blood rushed to his loins as he imagined what he could do to her.

“Excuse me?” Rose questioned.

Levi swung her around and dropped her into a dip. “You want to see me naked, lying next to you.” He pulled her up and held her so close that their noses almost collided. “To be honest, I’d quite like to see you naked next to me too, with a complete look of satisfaction that I know I can give to you.”

The blush on Rose’s face deepened but not from embarrassment. She was appalled at how arrogant this guy was. She wanted to storm off but held her ground. She didn’t want to upset anything for Jackie. “If you think that just because I am the bridesmaid, and you are the groom, that this entitles you to sleep with me you have it all wrong buddy.” Rose whispered. The dance floor was now full as other couples had joined them.

Levi had locked eyes with her in a defiant gaze that exuded a challenge. A lock of his thick dark hair flopped lazily over his forehead to frame his grey smoky eyes. His smile was lopsided in a smirk. Before Rose knew what was happening he had moved in closer and placed his lips against hers.
She found herself returning the passionate kiss, slowly pulling his bottom lip into her mouth as she gently tasted him. The sweet smooth taste of bourbon enveloped her tongue. Her body responded by relaxing and falling deeper into his hold on her.

The music stopped and she snapped out of the trance he had placed over her. Lifting her right hand she flung it towards his cheek. His hand came up just in time to catch it before it stung his skin.

“Feisty! I’ve heard that about red heads. I guess it’s true.” Levi was so sure of himself.

“You are such an arrogant, egotistical . . . . . Argh!” Rose wrestled her wrist from his grasp. She turned and stormed off the floor towards the ladies room. She couldn’t let him see how he had affected her soul. He had managed to awaken something in her that she hadn’t known existed, but she was damned if she was going to let Levi Tucker be the one to steal her heart.

I like how she is attracted but then the reality of his arrogance is not what she wanted…even though he is still attractive.

Steam right off the bat…love it:) I can see the sparks flying between these two later down the road.

I think Rose will change Levi’s perceptions about red hair before the end of the wedding. I can see a good grovelling scene later on.
Lovely description of the first dance scenario.

We like your feisty heroine very much! Arrogant heroes can be challenging to pull off – too much arrogance and the reader can disengage. For us to really stay on-side with Levi, it would have been nice to spend more time inside his head – so we understand more about where this confidence with women comes from, and see the emotional layers underpinning it. But this relationship has certainly gotten off to an explosive start!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Thanks for the feedback. Totally agree that I need to work on Levi’s backstory too to uncover his motivations.

The only thing she hated more than being a bridesmaid was flying across the country to be a bridesmaid. She’d been a bridesmaid so many times she could open her own bridal boutique with her dresses. Ok, maybe she was exaggerating but she was sure it was a lot. She had worn that pepto bismol pink dress for Jenny’s wedding, the brown potato sack dress for Cordelia’s wedding, her personal favorite was the blue mermaid dress for Jackie’s wedding. That dress was hideous, it had no room to walk. It was a straight line down with a lighter shade of blue tulle at the bottom. It was so gathered that she couldn’t take a normal step. Do you know how hard it is to baby step to the wedding march?
The dresses weren’t the only horrible things at the weddings she was a part of, they paled in comparison to some of the men that had walked her down the aisle. At Carrie’s wedding she was walked down the aisle by the groom’s younger brother, way younger, 15 to be exact. He may have been a young man but he acted like a grown man, all hands. She had smacked his hands away from her bottom a couple times before they walked down the aisle. Then at Erin’s wedding, her groomsman was every bit the gentlemen, except he smelled like onions and sauerkraut, she held her breath most of the way to the groom. At each wedding, there was at least one single groomsman that thought because she was single that they should hit on her.
The best part of all of those weddings was that they each had an open bar. She reminded herself of that each step down the decorated aisle. With each “accidental” feel. With each smelly breath.
If this were any other wedding she would bail but she couldn’t do that to Morgan. It’s not every day your little sister gets married. Family obligations trump any other feelings, comfort included.
She hated flying. The airplanes were too crowded and she was always stuck next to the most talkative flyer. This particular trip was even more horrendous than normal. A severe storm on her layover flight in Dallas grounded the planes. It wasn’t just any storm; it was left over from a hurricane that had hit land in the gulf.
She had spent the night in the airport, dozing as comfortably as she could next to her boarding gate. She missed the wedding rehearsal and the dinner. The bridesmaids were scheduled for a day of pampering at the spa she and Morgan had frequented since they were younger.
Finally, her flight was cleared for boarding and take off. She was mere hours away from home and that open bar. She had been to so many weddings, when she finally found the right man, she was going to elope.
She landed in time to run to their parent’s house and shower before being whisked away to the stylist and then on to the church.
Morgan looked so beautiful in her empire waist silk chiffon dress and just as she had promised the bridesmaids dresses were a simple and elegant burgundy.
“Oh, by the way, Kevin’s brother was going to walk you down the aisle but he was hit by a stomach bug so we had to find someone to fill in really quick. Just remember that I love you so very much.” Morgan said before she was whisked away for final make up touch ups and extra hairspray.
Dread filled her stomach. Morgan never said she loved her like that unless something bad happened. Like after Morgan had dyed her hair. She looked in the mirror and stared at bright orange hair and when Morgan came home after borrowing her car and putting a huge dent in the bumper.
She couldn’t wait for this to be over.
“Places,” the wedding planner yelled and get a glass of champagne.
She stood at the end of the line on the right side of the entry way. She couldn’t see any of the groomsman on the other side of the entry. She was anxious to see what kind of disaster would be walking her down the aisle.
It was her turn to join the groomsman and walk down the aisle but her groomsman wasn’t standing there. Panic set in, what was she supposed to do?
“I’m coming!” a familiar voice loudly whispered as he came into view.
Her eyes narrowed and she imaged steam was escaping from her ears as the heat started traveling up her neck and into her face. She was going to kill her. Kevin was going to be a widow before he even made it to the honeymoon.
“Ah, Serena. Kevin didn’t tell me that I’d be walking you down the aisle.”
“Well, Trace, Morgan didn’t tell me it would be you to walk me down the aisle.”
“Please play nice. Just hook arms, walk down the aisle and step to the side and then walk back to the exit after the wedding and then you won’t have to see or talk to each other anymore tonight.” Morgan’s pleading voice came from behind her.
He held out his arm for her to grab. She took it rather roughly and walked with him down the aisle to the large lattice arch filled with beautiful flowers that Kevin and Morgan were going to be married under. The same lattice arch that she and Trace were supposed to be married under 2 years ago.

This time the dress is fine but…
Great tone changes from bored exasperation to sensual conflict to the final poignant line.

We love this – and what a killer last line to end on! Your characterization is really strong, and you’re great at establishing relationship dynamics really quickly – love the anger and emotion still sizzling between Trace and Serena!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Now the bride was turning her face upward for the kiss. Her husband smiling, anticipating the connection. Corrina couldn’t watch, Yet she had looked forward to supporting her best friend, sorting out the small frustrations that might have marred the day. Now she didn’t feel like being happy for her friend at all. When would it be her turn to wear white?
Above her an eagle silhouetted against the sky chattered, a strong, masculine cry warning those below to beware, drawing her gaze skyward, despite her dejection. Her eye’s grazed the crowd of guests, but she saw only one of them. He was staring right at her, His look was intense, too steady to be unintentional. She could see that he was tall and slim, good strong shoulders, but his shock of red hair made it certain that she could find him again. Suddenly, she smiled, she would survive to live another day, and who knew what would happen next. Right now, she needed to join the others for pictures. He would be waiting for her when she came back to the party.

Love the sensual chemistry between the hero and heroine! I also love the line with the eagle, the way it draws her attention. A wonderfully written excerpt, Kathryn. 🙂

Sounds like Corrina attracted either Prince Harry or a lookalike! Nice character development. In spite of her desire to wear white, she lets him wait around for her.

‘His look was intense, too steady to be unintentional’ – great line!! It’s only a brief connection that is set up, but you can tell its going to be a strong one 🙂
The SYTYCW Editors x

Thank you Flo and writing challengers for the feedback and comments and for sharing your work. That was helpful and a lot of fun.

The wedding at the beach had been a beautiful, I was one of the bridesmaids at my best friend Abbie’s wedding. Abbie and Marcus were perfect for each other, how could I not feel happy for them? I was happy, just feeling down that I would be the only singleton at the wedding.

I plastered a smile on my face and watched Abbie and Marcus as they greeted each guest, Abbie hadn’t let go of his arm since they had married four hours ago.

Feeling empty and lost I turned away, and that’s when I spotted him, he was stood in the doorway, sunglasses covered his eyes and his hand rubbed over his dark stubble before he took off his glasses. I gulped and my stomach flip flopped at the simple movement. My eyes travelled over his massive shoulders and his white dress shirt. My mouth filled with moisture and I touched my lips to make sure I wasn’t drooling down my chin. He was wearing a pink tie that matched the colour of the bridesmaids dresses but I would have seen him if he’d been a groomsman, wouldn’t I?

His gaze flicked my way, he had the most amazing blues eyes. He smiled and mouthed “Hi.”

The Butterflies in my stomach shifted up a notch and I filled with panic that he was speaking to someone else and looked around, there was no one.

He headed my way and my mouth went dry. I shifted from foot to foot, nerves danced around my whole body.

“Keep calm Nicole, don’t say anything stupid,” I muttered to myself.

“Hi,” he said softly.

“Hi,” I replied in what I hoped was my most sexy voice and he laughed.

“Oh Nicole, you don’t remember me do you?”

I frowned confused, did I try and bluff it out and say yes or just be honest and admit that I didn’t, honesty won the day.

“I… Sorry, you look familiar,” I admitted.

“Don’t worry I’ve changed a lot since you last saw me, what was it five years ago?”

“Now you have me at a loss.”

“Oh my god Ben you made it.” Abbie literally jumped into his arms, flinging her arms around him. Realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks, Abbie’s younger brother Ben. I’d been drooling over him, she would kill me.

“Oh hi sis, you look lovely. Sorry I’m late, the flight was delayed. Marcus is a lucky man,” he told her and hugged her back.

“I can’t believe you’re here, you’ve made my day complete.”

“That’s fantastic sis, will you excuse us? I’m starving and Nicole was just going to show me where I could get something to eat and a drink.” He winked at me over her shoulder and I’m sure I blushed the same colour as the dress I was wearing.

“Yes of course,” she said, but didn’t sound too happy.

“Thanks sis,” he told her and kissed her cheek.

He grabbed my hand and almost dragged me out of the room and out onto a balcony.

“This isn’t…”

“Shush, I know. You look so gorgeous and I’ve waited for five years to do this. I won’t wait any longer.”

His huge hands cupped my face and his mouth claimed mine, he teased my lips apart and I melted into him. My arms slid around his neck and my hands tugged his head closer. He pulled away slightly and rested his head against my forehead. I whimpered at the loss of his kiss.

“I’m sorry I left Nicole I had to go. I couldn’t stand seeing you with him, will you forgive me?”

His arms wrapped around my body and it felt like coming home. His lips brushed across my swollen lips and his eyes searched mine, they burrowed deep into my soul.

“Kiss me,” I begged.

Love how he instantly calls her out on not recognizing him! They move quite quickly from saying hi, to kissing – to motivate this more strongly, would have loved to learn more about their shared past first. But Ben’s certainly a sexy, confident hero!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Jessica closed her eyes as the elevator bumped to a stopped. Her stomach lurched upward. The pie she’d consumed, along with ungodly amounts of alcohol, sometime during her hazy, lust-filled night, threatened to make its reappearance all over her oversized t-shirt and sweat pants.

She was thankful the strapless A-line dress with its pleaded bodice was safely secured in the black garment bag with her named etched on it. Should she have ruined the Maid of Honor dress her twin sister, Jennifer, picked out for her, she more than likely would’ve ended up missing.

Her thoughts went back to the warm bed she’d reluctantly left and the naked body, sculpted to perfection that had left her both breathless and spent. As images of the night before ricocheted through her mind, a crimson blush stained her toffee colored cheeks. The night ended perfectly and regardless of what would happen when she arrived to her sister’s side, she didn’t regret it.

She pulled in a breath and ran shaky fingers through her shoulder length, dark brown hair, mentally checked off the itinerary she’d been given. She was a little late. No—a little would suggest five or ten minutes and she was more than a little late. The bridesmaids received strict instructions to arrive at the bridal suite at seven for hair, makeup and to ease Jennifer’s frayed nerves.

She was now more than forty minutes late. As Maid of Honor, it was her duty to set an example. To get her sister’s ducks, or bridesmaids, lined up in a row and disciplined; at least that’s what her mother tried instilling in her during the course of the wedding planning. With one hand inches from the door and the other gripping the knob, Jessica almost leaped out of her skin when the door was snatched opened.

A pair of russet brown eyes, similar to hers, greeted her with a twinkle in their depths. “You better have a good reason why you’re late,” Jennifer whispered softly. She allowed the door to close. “Mom is all but breathing fire in there.”

Jessica smirked. “You know I do, and let me tell you. He was tall, dark, and handsome with a body of a God.”
***
Almost two hours later, Jessica wrapped her arms around the tiny waist of her sister and squeezed her tightly. “I can’t believe you’re getting married.”

Jennifer smiled, her eyes took on a dreamy trance Jessica saw one too many times. She was thinking about her soon-to-be-husband, Wendell, and the memories they would create together. She sighed ruefully, but kept a smile plastered on her face. Oh how she wished she’s meet the one and fall in love. Nothing would ruin the magic and bliss it created.

The men she found herself bored enough to stomach a date with, were men all set up by her parents in hope of forming bonds with the city’s elite. None of which tickled her fancy. But the man last night. Her face flushed with color. Beneath the soft material o her dress, her skin hummed to life with remembrance of what Keven had done to her body. How he easily set her ablaze with a caress of his skilled hands or the over parts of his body he used to incinerate her to a crisp.

“I’d bet you a million dollars that silly smirk on your have has everything to do with why you were late this morning.” Jennifer whispered, breaking into her scantily thoughts.

Jessica nodded, “Last night was…”

The door to the garden opened and Wendell marched in along with his groomsmen behind him. Jessica took in the beaming faces of the six men then felt her breath catch in her abdomen as her eyes connected with a pair of hauntingly familiar eyes. They widened, imitating her own, with each step their owner to towards her. A gasp tumbled from her lips.

What was Keven doing there?

The loud thumping of her heart drowned out all the noise surrounding her, all but they screams, grunts, and sexual banter of the night before. Kevin’s softly spoken words of encouragement or taunts of how she couldn’t handle him. His moans and groans that mingled with hers to fill the spacious penthouse suite he’d rented.

“Hey!” Wendell greeted. He wrapped her in a strong embrace and pressed a kiss to her temple, however, her eyes never left the man standing inches behind him. Why was he there?

How had he found her?

Jennifer moved into Kevin’s opened arms and giggled like a school girl before turning to face her. “Terrance, I want you to meet my twin sister and Maid of Honor, Jessica.” Jennifer turned her pearly white on Jessica. “Jess, this the next senator of Maryland, Wendell’s best friend and best man, Terrance Lindfield.”

He extended a hand in her direction, but unable to move or formulate a single word, Jessica continued to stare with her mouth hung opened. Her eyes were glued onto his, swimming with questions only he could answer.

“It’s nice to finally meet you, Jessica.” He pressed on with a lick of his lips, hoping to alleviate the growing tension within the small group. “Between Jennifer and Wendell, I feel as though I already know you.”

“Of course you do. I’m sure you know me all too well, Kev—Terrance.”

OMG how awkward… she’s going to have to put her game face on to handle this unexpected reunion! Would love to know why he gave her a different name too – very intriguing!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Thanks for all the fabulous entries, everyone – we’ve so enjoyed reading them! Hope to see you all back here for the next #WritingChallenge in two weeks time!
The SYTYCW Editors x

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