Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. Since I’d like to move back to my WIP, I’m skipping ahead quite a bit with the story of how Cinnimin and Levon got together. Much of the material needs thorough editing, revising, and rewriting. The sixth Max’s House book in particular, which today’s segment comes from, is a hot mess.
It’s December 1942, and Cinni is finally single again. She was humiliated to be turned down by Todd on account of her big mouth and attitude, and spent the summer flirting with Levon, whom she secretly met twice more after last week’s scene. She even kissed him a few times, though it wasn’t reciprocated. On her birthday in August, she shocked all her friends by revealing a new boyfriend, Julian, whom no one felt was a genuine love match or cool enough for her. Finally, her friends Elaine and Kit conspired with her mother to get her to dump Julian, in the hopes that she’d do the right thing.
During lunch, Cinni gets Levon behind the bushes and, after enjoying a cigarette, point-blank tells him she’ll be his girlfriend. Levon seems a little uncertain to make a move, but then he surprises her.
“You prayed for this day since you saw me and now you won’t even—”
It was what she had secretly prayed for all those months. It was the first time he had kissed back, and she knew she would never kiss another boy so long as she lived. Now he was hers and she was his, and she never wanted this one perfect moment to end. She lost track of the time and let time stand still behind the bushes. Fate had brought her this boy from Bulgaria whose parents had survived unspeakable cruelties, and she wasn’t about to argue with Fate itself! But she knew the moment couldn’t linger on forever. As soon as he let go of her for a moment, she decided to see what else he might do and started undoing her buttons.
The problems with the sixth Max’s House book aren’t about bad writing so much as it’s overwritten, far too long for this type of book, focused on the wrong characters, and trying to tell two stories at once, the 1942-43 main story and a (very spoilerific) parallel story about Cinni’s granddaughter Livia and her husband Liam in 2007. Max, Elaine, and their family, the supposed stars of this series, seem more like secondary characters in much of the fourth through sixth books.