Friday, February 28, 2014

Pucker Up … and kiss like you mean it!

Fair warning: Not a G-rated post… then again, I seriously doubt anyone reading this is under the age of 7 so I shouldn’t upset any delicate sensibilities.

In the words of Meg Ryan from one of my all time favorite movies French Kiss… “A kiss… two peoples’ lips together, their breath, a little bit of their soul…”

I agree with Meg. “A kiss is where the romance is.”

Mmm, there is nothing quite like a first kiss, is there? And I’m not just talking about in fiction. ;) Though, I know most of us die-hard romance readers wait anxiously for the first tangle of lips on the page. But that’s the thing about fiction. It has the power to cross over that invisible plane and find a grip in reality. When the character embraces that first kiss, we can almost feel it as we live vicariously through them, reliving our own memories of budding romances and earth-shattering kisses.

Unfortunately, far too often fiction falls wayyyyy short of the real thing. I mean, come on… we’ve all got swoony romance on the brain if we are writing a love story. Many of us are living in our own happily ever after, and yet… the kiss we pen on the page is stale. Vague. Unrealistic. Utterly unremarkable. 

Well, for today you can call me the kiss doctor because I may just have the remedy to rev up your smooch.

So here is where I kiss and tell: 3 Keys of KISS Perfection!

1. ANTICIPATION 

Oh, I can hardly stand it! The tension. The seductive dance of possibility in that moment of shared breath. Will he? Won’t he? Just kiss the girl! Or for heavens sake, chick, grab that man and kiss him senseless! How many of you know that the moments preceding the kiss are almost as important as the kiss itself. Bringing the reader to their breaking point with a near kiss moment can illicit a hot flash as smokin’ as the moment those sparks ignite in a meeting of lips.

How are you building your tension here? What is your character thinking? Have they envisioned what it might be like? Is that shivery touch pre-kiss a tingling anticipation of what’s to come? Play up your senses in the seconds before. Let your character slip into a moment of fantasy. Sometimes this isn’t even directly before the kiss. Often you can steadily build that slow burn from the first moment they meet on the page. Other times you want the tension to be so tight, so unexpected, so heady at that precipice, we can do nothing but hold our breath and silently beg for that first kiss.

2. SENSATION

Think about real life. Married or not, do you remember that first kiss with someone special? How many of you can attest--not all kisses are created equal. With the right someone there is more than just woven lips and shared saliva (sorry, not the prettiest picture there) but there is heat, and sweetness, and hunger (oh, yes I did! Kissing: the gateway drug) and don’t forget…. MAGIC!

Hopefully, when you are mid-kiss you aren’t thinking about your enormous pile of laundry, what you’re going to make for dinner, or what your schedule looks like tomorrow. The kiss we want to read about is the kind that transcends a time frame, it transcends rational though, and becomes a bundle of sensations. The first tentative brush of smooth soft lips. The catch in the back of your throat. The butterflies that flutter through your pulse. The feel of his hair between your fingers, the roughness of his jaw scraping your skin. The press of his fingers against your spine. 

Do you remember that kiss? I sure do! I remember exactly what it felt like when my husband made his first move. I remember standing by my car door saying goodnight, I remember the uncertain yet smoldering look in his eyes when he asked for the kiss, the slight smile that curved my lips and trapped my breath before I looked up from heavy-lidded eyes and nodded. The anticipation! And then, BAM! Sensation took over. And I wasn’t just simply feeling his full lips on mine. It was a dance. Our breath tangled and I breathed him in. My arms acted on their own, slipping around his warm neck, testing the softness of his hair. My blood super-heated. Heck, my foot probably would have popped if I hadn't ended up backed against the cool metal of my SUV. I felt new. Alive. I was completely swept away. Each of my senses were honed and heightened by the exploration. It wasn’t tawdry or obscene… and writing a detailed kiss doesn't have to be either. Just because you expound on the experience doesn't make it some clawing, sleazy thing.

A kiss contains romance, and passion… a precursor of things to come. If I can’t see or feel or taste that kiss you wrote in some way, it loses its power and becomes a cardboard representation of something meant to be unforgettable. 

So whether you write conservative romance or more spicy stuff, know that your most innocent details stir your readers response. They give credibility to the emotion of the scene. And most importantly, they put your reader in a moment worth reading about.

3. RECOLLECTION

Okay, seriously…why waste all that goodness? A kiss doesn’t expire when lips untangle. The memory of the kiss is just as potent as act itself. I hate it when I read a book that belittles the effects of a solid smooch. I mean, if you are really good and kissed there is no way you forget about it, right?

So reach back and draw out those stolen moments. Revisit the sensational reaction of such a simple touch. (Yes, Meg… this is where the romance is. This is where the line is crossed between friends and lovers. Spark!) Is there something that comes back to mind later when they are either desperate to forget it or can’t stop reliving the glorious and long-awaited moment? When you are wrapped up in a swoon-worthy kiss there are often things that go unprocessed at the time. Things that return to us and make us sigh, or blush, or grow giddy as a school-girl. Draw on your own experience, or dare to dream about a kiss that could turn your world upside down. THIS is the kiss to write. This is the kiss we crave on the page. The kiss that reminds us of the magic of falling. And the undeniable connection in a perfect match!


Your turn to kiss and tell! Share one of your kiss scenes—just for fun or for some pointers. Juicy or tame, all are welcome here! (I’m obviously not shy.) So go on… pucker up! Make it count. Let’s wrap up this week with a kiss! MUAH!

*************************************************************************************************

Amy Leigh Simpson writes Romantic Suspense that is heavy on the romance, unapologetically honest, laced with sass and humor, and full of the unfathomable Grace of God. She is the completely sleep deprived mama to two little tow-headed mischief makers and wife to her very own swoon-worthy hero. Represented by the oh-so-wise and dashing Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.

96 comments:

Jennifer Major said...

The full moon hung like a giant silver coin in the sky, turning the night and everything round them an icy shade of blue. Nez sat on the ground behind her, his back against the log and his long legs stretched out in front of him. Each time she looked over her shoulder, he was asleep with one arm crossed over his chest and his head resting against the log. The other hand rested on the knife hilt on his upper thigh.
The fire burned strong, sending embers floating above the treetops. Although barefoot, she was warm enough in her shift and his blue calico shirt. She put another piece of firewood the fire and watched the sparks spin upward to blend in with the stars.
She turned around again. Looking at him was so easy.
He was unerringly patient and kind. A stone fortress to all her dizzy, indecisive behaviour. He loved her and proved his strength with his self-restraint.
He said he’d stop if…
“Nez?”
“Mmmm?”
“Are you awake?”
“Somewhat.”
“Good.”
He’s never hurt you.
Sarah ran her hands down her hair and un-did her braid. She pulled at the shirt she was wearing. His shirt. She looked at him again. Solid man. Her solid man. Her fortress.
He loves you.
A deep breath. Exhale. Her fingers found the buttons and fumbled on each one, like she’d never used her fingers before. On the last one, she tossed his shirt at him. It hit his legs and startled him enough that he opened his eyes, kicked out his legs and pulled his knife.
“Wha—?”
A few steps and she was beside him. He looked up at her and stared, like he’d never seen a woman in a lace nightgown before. His eyes traveled all over her, but in warmth and softness, like he was wrapping her in his gaze and covering her tender bravery with his protection.
She put her hand on his hard, rounded shoulder, stepped over him and sat down on his thighs. Sarah looked at the knife in his hand then at the ground.
He didn’t take his eyes of her, then stabbed the blade into the dirt. His chest stopped moving.
“Breathe, Nez.”
He swallowed hard and gulped in some air.
His mouth waited. She could see it. Then she tasted him. But only for a moment. She put her hands on his cheeks and kissed his jaw. His hair. His face. Even his forehead. His mouth opened, so she kissed him. Hard. And hungry. He groaned as she kissed up and down his neck. Then back to his waiting mouth. Over and over. His hands gripped her nightdress and pressed her body onto his.
“No…”
She sat back, then one by one, she undid his buttons, silencing each of his attempts to speak with longer and deeper kisses. His hands traveled from her back, to her knees, to her hips, then up her back again. Once more, he tried to speak, so she went up on her knees and ran her hands through his hair, hushing him with kisses to his face. Sarah pushed the shirt off Nez’s shoulders and down off his arms.
He looked back at her. He was breathing so hard, his chest heaved. His hands folded around her. “May I?”
His voice was like deep, rolling thunder and it went right through her.
“Y..yes.”
She could feel the gentle care in his arms as he lifted her up, then put her down on the quilt. His hair flowed down over his shoulder, bathing her with black silk. Every one of his muscles was taut with power. He looked at her and raised his eyebrows. Before he could speak, she ran her hands down his back and whispered.
“Teach me to fly, Natanii.”

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Whew!!! Is it hot in here? ;) oh, Jennifer... So so good. You are so perfectly in the moment! And just enough in her heard to ratchet the tension, and build the emotionality without bogging the pace. And my goodness... That's my kinda heat!!!! Excellent sensation in these descriptions. I expected nothing less from one of my "Spice Girls". Can't wait to read this story someday!

Mary Connealy said...

FIRST KISS, VINCE AND TINA, STUCK TOGETHER, COMING IN JUNE.

Vince turned around to face…trouble.
“Do you need anything, Vince?” Tina stepped into the room. That same kindness on her face that had been there earlier. He couldn’t keep away from her when she was picking at him. How was he supposed to resist when she was being so sweet? He closed the distance between them and faced her with only inches separating them.
“I can think of just one thing I need from you,” Vince snapped, wishing she'd run. Protect herself from what he had in mind. Wishing he wasn’t so stirred up that he couldn’t stop himself from doing something stupid.
Instead she rested one hand on his upper arm. “What is it? You know I’ll do whatever it takes to make this work.”
“This? Make this work? There’s a word that could mean anything.”
From Tina’s furrowed brow, Vince knew sure as certain she didn’t mean it the way he wanted her to.
Her touch set off a shudder of longing that shook loose the last of his self-control. His thoughts ran wild to that first moment he’d seen her. One good look and he’d walked faster, intending to drag her right out of Jonas’s grip. Then he’d tripped over the steps, which had slowed him down.
By the time he was standing again, moving forward again, she’d burst into tears. That had blown those wild thoughts out of Vince’s head with the force of a Texas cyclone.
Vince had gotten himself and his unruly thoughts under control. A couple of times since then, he’d almost lost his grip on sanity. But each time he’d gotten a handle on the turmoil inside him. Each time it’d been harder but he’d won.
This time he lost.
He grabbed Tina around the waist, hoping she’d slap him and run. Hoping she’d be smart enough for both of them.
Instead she blinked those pretty Texas blue bonnet eyes at him and a little gasp shaped her lips into a perfect little pucker--almost like she did mean it the way he wanted her to.
He wanted someone to hold, someone that was truly his. No, not someone—only her. And he was through pretending he didn’t. He did what he’d wanted to do ever since he’d seen the prettiest woman on earth held in his good friend Jonas’s arms. He lowered his head while he lifted the little pest to her tiptoes and took a good long taste of that sassy mouth.
Holding her, kissing her was like finding a resting place. A resting place in the center of a cyclone. The swirling madness of his worries were pushed aside.

Mary Connealy said...

You know I just came over here to see how you're doing, Amy. :)
But I can do a kissing scene.

Casey said...

Oh these kisses being shared! Give a single girl a BREAK, would you?? ;-)

I love a good kiss in a book, but you're right Amy, so many times the author cheapens it by not going back to recap or doesn't fully describe every sense the way we like to truly become part of that moment. Two of my favorite kisses are the waterfall one in Laura Frantz's The Frontierman's Daughter (Pepper will attest to this with me! Oh baby...) and Jody Hedlund's kiss in the rain in A Noble Groom. W-O-W.

I think I need a drink of water...excuse me...

;-)

Great post, Ames!

Pepper said...

Good GRAVY, Jennifer! I'm awake now!

Pepper said...

Oh oh! Mary, I love the way you describe a guy's brain!!! So fun!!! YAY!!

Pepper said...

Amen-ing Casey's choices. Woohoo! Love kisses. LOVE them in fiction and in real-life. And I love putting in as many as I possibly can for the story.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh, Mary Connealy!!! I LOVE this! Talk about anticipation!!!! And the term "sassy mouth" is perfect! Mmm mmm! There's just something about a man on the edge. Can't wait to read this one!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh, and can I just point out that these kisses giving the baby a workout! I'm at the hospital hooked up to fetal monitoring and lil miss's heart rate picked up and she started beating the heck out if my stomach. We've got a hopeless romantic on our hands ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I'm gonna need to read those kisses Casey!

And girls... Ahem... Where are those kiss scenes at?? Pepper I know can bring the heat! I might need to read one from my sweet lil Casey ;)

Ashley Clark said...

I'm on my phone right now so I don't have a scene handy, but I just wanted to say how much I loved this post! I agree! I hate when a kiss isn't anticipated or reflected on by characters. And what an adorable picture of you! ;)

Casey said...

You totally should! They are sooo good--I know Pepper has Laura's kiss in her blog archives somewhere.

I might have to go dig in my novels for a kiss...

Carol Moncado said...

Names changed to protect the innocent... or the Genesis entry. One of the two. I have others but this is a face. Oooo. Wait. I have another fave... /Ponder/ But I already have this one copied to be pasted... ;) [Sammie is their daughter though they were never really a couple. And the Lessman? Well, who else do you think of when talkin' smoochies???]

Decision made, he headed to the stereo and pulled out a CD Sammie had bought him as a joke. Hit romantic songs from the turn of the century. It and a couple of CDs filled with classics went into the CD changer. He hit random, then play.

"Gabbie Lessman?" Trevor asked, slipping into the role.

She opened her eyes as the sound of Backstreet Boys filled the room. "Huh?"

"You're Gabbie Lessman, right?"

She nodded. "Yeah."

He held a hand out. "May I have this dance?"

A half-smile turned up one corner of her mouth as she took his hand. "Sure."

She stood, leaving her hand in his as Trevor's other hand came to rest on her hip. They didn't stand too close, but began to move in time to the music. He couldn't begin to count how many songs they danced to as they talked about high school, college, life since, purposefully avoiding any mention of Kristy, Clark, or the daughter they shared.

"Wonderful Tonight" came on.

"You do look amazing tonight, Gabbie," he told her. With one hand, he reached up to play with the curls hanging over her shoulder. Soft and silky, just like he imagined, like he remembered.

"Thank you." She smiled up at him, her eyes soft as moonlight filtered through the open blinds. "You look pretty wonderful yourself. How I'd imagined you'd look at prom. Mostly."

They continued to dance, moving closer with each song, until his arms were wrapped around her waist and her hands rested on his biceps, with his chin leaning against the side of her head.
"Unforgettable" came on.

"I never forgot you, Trevor," she whispered, looking up. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. "Never. Not you, not..."

Trevor stopped her with a finger to her lips. "Not now, Gabs." With his fingertip he traced her lower lip, awed and scared by the war going on inside. "I never forgot you either and not just because..." He didn't say it. Wouldn't ruin the moment by bringing up the past.

Who moved first, Trevor could never say, but a second later, she was kissing him.

Or he was kissing her.

Or they were kissing each other.

And something stirred inside him, deep inside, in a place no other woman had ever come close to reaching.

Trevor framed her face with his hands, fingers tangling in the soft wonderfulness of her hair as her arms slipped around his back, under his suit coat, setting his skin on fire even through the shirt.

Once the initial furor died down, they continued, for long minutes, exploring each other's lips with all the delicate tenderness he could imagine. Never had kissing a woman felt so right.

Except once.

Then Trevor had written it off to being partially drugged, but he couldn’t any longer.

The things this woman stirred in him couldn't be compared to anyone else.

When the kiss ended, they danced some more, continuing the way they had been, but closer if possible, stopping to exchange long, sweet kisses, but not ruining the moment by talking about it, by breaking the spell woven around them.
But after the most intense kiss yet, Trevor knew he had to do something before he broke all sorts of promises.

"I need to take you home." His voice was husky, nearly foreign even to his own ears.

"Why?" she whispered, as breathless as he felt.

"Because if I don't, we'll both regret what could happen here tonight. I won't let that happen again, Gabbie. Not like this."

Carol Moncado said...

Er, this is a FAVE but you knew that ;).

Sally Bradley said...

Okay, I'm going rogue here and sharing a kiss that happens too early and for all the wrong reasons. These two are my main characters, but they both have major issues at this point. Which is so fun! Here goes.

Miska opened the door, her forehead marred by questions. "Dillan? What is it?"

“This." He held the paper in front of her, aware that he was shaking with anger. "This garbage you wrote on your blog."

She took the page from his hand and stared at it, backed up a bit as she read.

He barged into her hallway, her door banging behind him. "The things I could write about you. The way you pretended interest in what I thought. The way you asked me what you should do about Mark. And here he was, only one of your men."

"We had just argued, Dillan. If you bothered looking at the date, you'd remember this was right after you told me you were waiting."

"Well, you sure took it and ran with it. Wrote some great fiction there. Attached my name to it."

"I never gave your name."

"Tracy knew it was me."

"I'm sorry, but I never imagined you'd see this--"

"No. Really?"

"Dillan, I'd never met someone who thought this way. I'm serious. You were an anomaly. I couldn't believe people like you existed."

"So let's just mock them, huh?"

"Look, I'm sorry." She crumpled the paper. Dropped it. "I told Adrienne about you, and she said people like you existed."

"Yep. Put us in the zoo."

"Dillan, stop it! What do you want me to do? Right a retraction on my blog? Take it all back? It's a stupid blog! What does it matter?"

"What does it matter?" He took a step closer, relishing the way he towered over her. "You called me gay!"

"I was trying to make sense of it, and that was the only thing that fit."

"Are you kidding me?"

"Real men don't wait. Real men, in my world, don't make it to twenty-nine--"

"You can't even recognize a real man."

She rolled her eyes. "Here we go."

"You think Mark's a real man, that Kendall's a real man? Why? Because they use you?" He couldn't help the snarl in his lip, the way his gaze jerked her up and down.

"It's because of how he makes me feel, Dillan. Because he knows how to take care of a woman--"

If he hadn't been mad before-- "They're using you, Miska! Wake up!"

"Fine!" She clenched her fists, stepped up to him. "Call it how you see it--I don't care--but a real man knows how to make a woman remember she's a woman--"

If that's what it took. He grabbed her shoulder and pushed her back against the wall. His mouth covered hers. He felt her soft lips open in shock, heard the intake of breath.

Good.

He kissed her again, pressing himself against her to make his point--

Her hands settled low on his chest. Her lips moved against his.

Oh. Oh, man.

(Continued on next comment! My bad.)

Sally Bradley said...

(Continued)

His hand slipped from her shoulder to the wall behind her, pressing her curls flat.

Her hands slid up his chest.

He pulled back just enough to give himself a better angle, and she came with him, like metal filings to an industrial-sized magnet. He wrapped his good arm around her back while her hands glided up over his collarbone and his neck. Her fingertips slipped into the hair around his ears, the length of her fingers blazing against his skin.

He groaned against her mouth. She was so soft, so much woman. And the way she responded-- He didn't want to stop. He couldn't stop.

She stretched up on tiptoe against him, her back arching beneath his palm. "Dillan," she breathed against his mouth. Her kiss turned aggressive. "Oh, Dillan."

His breath was coming even faster. He had to stop. He'd made his point. But he didn't want to let her go. Her body against his felt so amazing--

"Dillan," she groaned. He stumbled back a step, and she came with him again, firmly against him. "Let me show you. Please."

He pulled his mouth from hers. Show him?

"Let me show you how wonderful it can be."

What had he done? What was he doing? He raised a shaky hand to his hair, rested it on top of his head. God, no. Please. No.

"We can take our time. Go as fast or slow as you like--"

No. No, he couldn't. "Oh, God," he begged, everything in him shaking with longing and shock. What was he doing? What was he thinking? To treat her like this? To touch her? Kiss her? He closed his eyes and backed away, his fingers clenching his hair. "Oh, God. Help."

"Dillan, it's okay. We'll just--" She grabbed his elbow, tried to pull it down. "We'll go slow."

"No!" He jerked away. "Get your hands off me."

"Dillan--"

She reached for him again, and he frantically grabbed at her doorknob, yanking on it. The door flew open, and he raced the few steps to his door and banged it open, relieved that he'd forgotten to lock it.

He slammed it behind him and flipped the deadbolt. Safe at last, he sagged against the wall and stared at the thick white baseboards. His chest heaved as if he'd finished a set of sprints. He leaned over, hand pressed to his thigh. What had he been thinking? What was wrong with him? What kind of a man was he?

He swallowed. God, what have I done?

A knock sounded on the door. He startled and stared at it.

"Dillan?" Miska called. "Will you open the door? Please?"

Catherine West said...

Well that's an offer I can't refuse. :)
Here's a scene from my current WIP Winter's Edge.

Brock fills our glasses and lets them sit, his eyes fixed on me. A light shadow of stubble runs the length of his jaw and I wonder what he’d do if I ran my finger over it.
The insane thought almost chases me from the room.
I must be drunk already.
Except I know I’m not.
Which means I’m actually attracted to him.
And seriously contemplating doing something about it.
“So.” Brock takes a sip and puts the glass down again. “I’m going to assume you have a good reason for wanting to tie one on, this fine Sunday afternoon just a few days prior to Christmas, but why don’t you go ahead and tell me anyway.”
Oh, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do that. I hoist myself upward and sit on the counter, swinging my feet like I used to as a kid. My mother would not approve. “I’m not sure I want to talk about it right now.”
“Uh huh.” He plants his palms down on the counter on either side of me. For a long moment that makes me more than nervous, he just stands there and stares. “I think there must be at least ten different colors in your eyes. They’re kind of fascinating.”
“My eyes are fascinating?” I tap him on the chest, laughter building. “That’s the best line you can come up with, Mr. NYT Best Seller man?” Okay, I’m flirting now. Shamelessly.
“All right. Give me a minute.” Brock smiles and tips his head in a way that allows a lock of blond hair to fall forward, almost covering one eye.
My hand moves of its own accord and brushes it back into place. The moment it’s done, I inhale and close my eyes against the truth of it. Because I know I’ve just crossed the line.
“Savannah.” The way he breathes out my name says he knows it too. I don’t dare think about what might come next. Not until he moves forward, slides his arms around me and searches my eyes with his. He shakes his head, his lips mere inches from mine. “You don’t want to do this.”
“Yes, I do.” My husky whisper echoes around the kitchen and startles me. I let my fingers finally touch his face. “You have no idea how much.”
“You are very wrong about that, darlin’.” He angles his head slightly and presses his lips to mine in one exquisite moment that is both beautiful and unbearable. A low moan gets stuck in his throat as he pulls me close until I’m crushed against him, his hands warm on my back, then tangling through my hair while his lips increase their demand on mine.
My arms lock around his neck and he lifts me against him in one easy motion, still plying my mouth with his, seeking and finding my answer in the way I’m responding to him. It’s only once we’re on the couch and he’s trailing hot kisses down my neck and reaching for the first button on my shirt that I realize exactly what we’re doing and where this is headed.
And just how far I have fallen in less than five minutes.

Michelle Massaro said...

They drifted along the shore, stepping over seaweed and past occasional sandcastle remnants, saying little as they looked out over the red horizon. John peeked at Jenni, her hair blown back by the salty breeze. The wind had freed a several strands which danced around her face. Without a word, John moved his hand to graze hers. She laced her fingers through his and nothing could have felt more right. A perfect fit.

They stopped to watch the edges of the sun dip below the horizon, a stunning sight. John’s gaze drifted to Jenni's face, watching her admire the sky. She smiled at him and when their eyes met, the desire he saw in them sent his pulse skyrocketing.

Everything else seemed to vanish. And now there were no sandy fingers to stop him. No uncertainty to hold him back. He grazed his knuckles along her cheek and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. She closed her eyes, gently leaning into his touch, then looked up at him again with questioning eyes.

Whatever the question, his answer was yes.

His lungs filled with electrically-charged air, and he watched Jenni's shoulders rise and fall with her quickened breath. She stepped closer, taking in his features. When her gaze landed on his mouth, he did the only thing a man could do. He took her face in his hands, tasted her breath, and bent slowly toward her waiting lips. The first soft touch sent fire licking through his veins and he pulled her closer, held her tight against him. Her fingers caressed his temples before sliding into his hair. He gently pressed in for more, savoring her sweetness, searching, challenging his self-control. She trembled in his arms, a soft hum coming from her lips into his. Her kiss was everything he imagined it would be, and he didn’t ever want to stop.

Michelle Massaro said...

What the heck, here's the follow-up. Same night... ;)

When they arrived back at her house, he stood with her on the porch as she fished her keys from her purse.

After finding them, she bit her lower lip and looked into him with those honey-brown eyes. "I had a great time tonight, John."

"Thanks for taking me to the beach." He smiled. "I hope we can do it again. Dig up those sand crabs you told me about." He tapped the tip of her nose.

She grinned back at him, eyes sparkling. Lingering. When he realized what she was waiting for, he stepped forward. The air between them thickened. Slowly lowering his face to hers, John paused briefly for permission, then hooked his index finger under her chin. She closed her eyes and slipped her arms around his neck as he grazed his lips across hers. His pulse spiked as the kiss deepened and he registered the softness of her mouth, the movement of her lips with his. Every sensation, every ounce of emotion flowing through him, was dangerously returned in equal measure.

With agonizing effort, he pulled away. She mirrored the backward motion without opening her eyes. When she slowly raised her lashes, the flushed look on her face almost sent him back for more, but he knew he had too little self-restraint left to allow it.

"Wow." He cleared his throat.

"Yeah." Her eyebrows shot up. "Wow."

He touched his forehead to hers and together they let out a whispered laugh.
John straightened. "Well, on that note…I’ll say goodnight.”

Sally Bradley said...

LOL, Michelle.

Casey said...

Oh my....Sally...good. golly. Now I know why you are always finaling in the Genesis.

Good. GRAVY! that was good. And I loved your back and forth dialogue tension. So well done!

Sally Bradley said...

Aw, thank you, Casey! I was actually very nervous putting that up there because it's kinda... yeah. I'm looking for a few more beta readers next month if anyone's interested. :)

Carol Moncado said...

SALLY!!!!!!!!!!! Love it!!! I'm SO INTRIGUED!!!!!

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Perfect timing! I just rolled around to the first kiss in my edits. Thanks for letting me channel you :)

Michelle Massaro said...

Sally! Definitely would like to read more! :) Everybody's excerpts are so good.

Christina Rich said...

Sally, I'll beta!!!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ahh! I got stuck at the doctor's office and now I'm behind on all these juicy kisses! Yay!! Reading now!

Pepper said...

Okay, here's a brand new one from my WIP. I haven't had a chance to give it the thorough edit it needs, but it was such a fun scene to write.
WWI era Appalachia. City teacher/mountain girl (and probably WAY too long)


He cupped her cheek, forcing her gaze back up to his. “Could you love me if I wasn't from the city? If I was just some teacher from Summit or Pilot?”

The tears were coming, slowly fighting for control of her vision. “You ain’t from Summit or Pilot.”

His other hand came to cradle her face. One thumb brushed back a tear she hadn't felt. He was so close, and movin’ closer at the pace of sunrise. His breath fanned her face so she closed her eyes to enjoy his warmth and within that moment, his lips covered hers.

Soft, gentle, as smooth as the petal of a flower. The simple touch spilled a sweet heat, a tingling spark over her skin. She could hardly breathe, barely move. Her stories never prepared her for something this...real.

It was a good-bye kiss. The ones she’d read about in her books. The kind she’d remember until her dyin’ day.

She stopped breathing to memorize the feel of his mouth, warm and gentle against hers, one hand smoothing down her braid. She’d never felt fragile, but his thumb smoothed across her cheek like she might break. She’d never felt beautiful, but each new touch of his lips whispered to her in ways words never could.

Her last moments as Mrs. Daniel Carson.

Well, might as well make it worth the rest of her life. She wrapped her arms around his waist and flattened her palms against his back, just like she’d wanted to do when she saw him bent over the wash stand. Heat from his skin pressed through his shirt, as muscles moved beneath her trembling hands. He pulled her close and brought the touch to boiling ‘til death seemed inevitable. Was it his lips that caused her whole body to burn from the inside? To stir up some unyeildin’ need?

Just about the time she thought she might survive, his lips left her mouth and traveled a smooth path down her neck. Her legs grew weak, but he seemed prepared for it, because one arm slipped around her waist to keep her from collapsing on the floor. Oh Jesus, please let this be the longest good-bye in all of history.

His mouths found hers again, alternating between linger caresses and soft flutters. Her palms explored his taunt back and finally her curious fingers reached the skin just above his collar at the nape of his neck. He inhaled quickly at her touch, a sound that somehow encouraged her fingers into his thick curls.

He pulled away, only far enough to look at her, his breath dancing an uneven jig against hers.
“Laurel?”

She didn't want to talk. All she wanted was to say ‘goodbye’ again…for even longer. Without being too sure of what to do, she drew his head down until she caught his lips with her own. He groaned and weaved his hands into her hair, methodically unfastening her braid. A growing fire flickered alive inside of her, a longing she didn't understand, but didn't mind at all. Oh sweet Heaven. Ain’t no way something this hot could be holy.

How would she go back to her normal life? How does a body just up and stop lovin’ someone?

She buried her face against his neck, taking in his earthy scent and the salt taste of his skin. She didn't want to let go, or cool down, or listen to the preacher. She wanted to be closer to Jonathan, but how on earth was that even possible? They were already pressed together like the pages of a book.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ooo, I Love this Carol! I love how it melts into sweetness. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you made it a series of kisses. I mean, who can stop after just one, right? The kiss, the dance, the memories intertwined and the pull of longing. It's lovely. Yes, ma'am... that's my kinda kiss!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh my, Sally Bradley!!!! I'm... Well... I'm flustered... And trust me, that doesn't happen often. ;) I love the tension here! An angry kiss... Ooo these are fun! Such volatile emotions here, and I love how they flip... Pull us away from the anger and then slam us right back. Talk about reader investment! Love this! Very nicely done!!!!

Jennifer Major said...

Catherine West???

"plying my mouth with his"

Can I just be transparent here? I tried this move, it totally works...

ANyone have ice?

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Cathy West!!! You know how I feel about this one! Though you cut us off here! Just as good the second time around! Love the honesty Savannah brings here! She rocks... And Brock. Swoon! Love a southern boy!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Lol, Jennifer!! Agreed!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Michelle... These are fantastic!!!! Great descriptions and vivid sensations here! Love the grazing knuckles. The only thing I would add to the porch scene is a sense if time... Or rather timelessness. They kiss gets going and then he reluctantly pulls away. Obviously this is necessary and it may not even be hasty but with out some rational spinning away. Or some passage of time or length it felt slightly short! What can I say... I wanted more! I wanted to linger in it because it was do good. Maybe after he breaks apart he just can't help himself from sneaking one last taste. The follow up kiss. Nothing says you enjoyed the first one like another immediate inoculation ;) so half you shared! Loved it!!!

Casey said...

Oh...Pepper.

Man alive.

I love the romance on the Alley today!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love ya, Laurie! You got your own spice girl, but you can borrow some of mine anytime ;)

Casey said...

Um, yeah, Cathy I'm with Amy here. What's up with cutting us off at the knees here?

Casey said...

Okay, I'll share mine now. Still in rough draft mode...you were warned. :-)

“Addie?”

“Hmm?” She twisted in the seat. Levi faced out the front windshield, wrist draped over the steering wheel as though he didn’t have a care in the world. But she knew the man beneath the cares and knew there lurked someone desperate to find his place in the world. Who did he belong to? She wanted to say her and surprised herself with the power behind that conviction.

“Yes, Levi?”

“What if I said I wanted to kiss you?”

What would she say? The heat firing her cheeks should be enough to answer the question, but instead she let the silence hang, biting her lip to keep the smile in check.

“Addie?”

“What?” She really shouldn’t be teasing him, but then he turned and the light glowed in his eyes like soft campfire warming the depths of his iced baby blues. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair and ruffle the edges. Longing drove through her fingers and she reached out, slowly, slowly until her fingers connected with his hair. It was soft as she thought it would be and she teased an anxious strand around her finger, letting it fall back across his forehead.

“Are you going to answer me?”

“Why don’t you just shut up and kiss me?”

He smiled and leaned forward. She didn’t move, only waited for him to come closer until she could smell the bit of chocolate dessert on his breath. His fingers searched for hers and she gave up her hand. “Addie?”

“Are you going to quit talking and just kiss me?”

He smiled wider, this time his teeth a soft gleam in the dimness. Then his lips were over top hers. He lingered there for just a moment before pulling back, searching her eyes as if for permission.

She smiled and he took that as all the invitation he needed. And he would be correct. She leaned into him as his lips once again took possession of hers and moved with a hungry longing. She scooted closer and his hands came around her shoulders, pulling her closer until there was no seat between them. His lips moved with longing and hunger as they drank and gave back, searching and probing. She buried her hands into his shoulders, weaving her fingers through the hair at the base of his neck. Wanting him closer, wanting more of him.

Levi gently pulled back, untangling his fingers from her hair, smiling softly and looped a strand of hair behind her ear. “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“Now you finally have. Was it everything you thought it might be?”

“More.” He leaned forward and kissed her nose.

Mary Vee said...

I couldn't begin to compete with some of the heat here on the Alley. Wow!
Such deep romance. sigh It's beautiful.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

THIS!!!! Pepper Basham!!! This is why we are crit partners. And probably why we're best friends too! DANG! And no... don't you dare trim this down. It is too freakin' good! "Ain’t no way something this hot could be holy." Ah haha! I about lost some water through my nose. So unexpected. So perfect. And even from the little I read about her, so perfectly Laurel! Please please finish this story so I can devour it!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

CASEY HERRINGSHAW!!! Is that you!? Wowsa! I was NOT expecting that, you sweet, sassy thing you! Oh my goodness! LOVE this!!!! and this... “Why don’t you just shut up and kiss me?” Ahh, I'm grinning like such an idiot right now. Girlfriend, you got it going on. And the campfire reference heating up his baby blues. Sighs. Yep, felt that one tingle in my belly. OH!!! And the teeth... why does no one ever mention teeth. Very often a lovely surprise in a kiss scene. Love that you slipped it in there!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh, and Pepper... I felt you channeling some Mary Connealy with that unraveling braid. ;) You know I love that!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

And MARY VEE!! All kisses are welcome. You are a fabulous writer. I'd love to see your take on a kiss. :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

And can I just say how much I am enjoying this little exercise! It's like we need to institute a monthly kiss-a-thon to toss around wip's and kiss ideas. A lot of swooning going on over here. Blame the pregnancy hormones! ;)

Casey said...

LOL--well I don't know about *that*, but I can be sassy when I want to be. ;-) Glad you liked it. You made my day! :D

Catherine West said...

WOW, y'all…sooooo good…
:)

Michelle Massaro said...

Honestly never thought about adding more to that good-night kiss but I have NO problem doing just that! LOL. Thanks for the suggestion. ;-)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Okay, I know I shared a bit of real life snogging on here but now I'm gonna have to go dig out a juicy kiss scene myself. ;) Stay tuned...

Dana Black said...

Wow - has this been an interesting read! I love how everyone's take on the kiss is unique, too, and yet all so good!

I'll be brave and toss my scene out here. It's a little different, since my characters don't really know each other at this point...

I'll have to post it separately, since I hit my character limit. Whoops. :)

Dana Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Sadie tipped her head back, exposing the long, elegant curve of her neck and groaned her mortification. When she came back from indulging her embarrassment, she leaned in, breathtaking vulnerability swimming in her luminous eyes. “Did I mention how sorry I am?”

He leaned in more, this time brushing his lips against her ear. “Did I mention how incredibly beautiful you look tonight?” He was toeing the line, failing this exercise of control but he didn’t care. He should care, wanted to care. But he didn’t.

When she pulled back the smoldering look in her eyes had him eating Saltine’s again. Emboldened by her steady, wanting gaze, he decided to test the waters further. He slipped his hand under the table and found her delicate fingers.

The conversations around them continued as she traced circles in his palm and stared at him with what Archer could only describe as a sort of “come hither” look that pushed him to the brink.

Matching the intent of her gaze, he saw her longing reflected back like the bluest sky on a clear, placid lake. His world was already upside down, so before he could think better of the repercussions, he withdrew his hand, stood, and pulled out her chair. When they drew a few curious glances he stated simply, “Excuse us for a minute.”

His heart boxed his ribs as he took her hand again, wove like a running back toward the end zone and led her out of the room. Neither of them shattered the moment with words, there was no need for them. And he didn’t dare steal a glance at her for fear he would lose his nerve, but he wondered if she knew what was coming. He led her to a through a roped off area and found a dark corner in the closed exhibit.
She took charge, pressing him against the wall. His chest heaved against her palm. There was only a moment, one breath between them and then they were locked together in a kiss.

Have. Mercy.

This was no sampling. It was an all out feast.

His mind unhinged, and there were no consequences, no dangers. Nothing else but this.

It had nearly killed him not to kiss her last night when she’s spent hours in his arms. Now it felt like he’d die if he stopped.
He’d never been indulgent in anything. Sadie was the exception. And while he could admit to himself that his intentions were careening down an over-indulgent path, there was also something so tangibly honest and full of promise contained in the kiss that both thrilled and terrified him.

Chapter 24
Sadie Carson

Was this really happening? One minute she thought he was pulling back and the next the gloves had been thrown down and they were charging ahead recklessly. She’d wondered if their first kiss had been an anomaly—wondered if anything would ever compare. But somehow this one—which was definitely more than one—was in a league of its own.

And though it was only a kiss, it was so much more. It was a force so strong it swept her away. It was hurricane Archer, its power was unparalled.

But this thing, this perfect storm, was destined for calamity. Their story didn’t get a happy ending. She wasn’t even sure she believed in them anymore. And that meant this was a moment to be savored because nothing could possibly measure up to the kind of fierce and unquenchable passion they created together with a—not entirely innocent—kiss. She might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

He broke away, letting his lips roam her face—her eyelids, her cheekbones, her jaw . . .
Her breath caught, shivers shifting through her when he found a spot to claim on her neck behind her ear. The devastating combination of his tenderness and desperation literally loosed her knees. His arms wrapped tighter and he lifted her before she buckled, capturing her lips again.

Sadie more than enjoyed the moment, not wanting it to end until she heard—

“Excuse me, I’m looking for my daughter.”

No. way. It was her mother’s voice. And it wasn’t far away.

“Blonde, pink dress, with a, uh, tall, strong looking fellow.” Her mother was questioning someone. She was on the hunt.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Continued....

Pulling back, Sadie wiggled back down to earth, attempting to smother a laugh as Archer lavished her neck with affection. She gave him a playful, scolding look to which he shushed her and kissed her again, soundly.

Fighting the unrestrained pull of their passion, she pushed him back again before she lost her mind completely to his intoxicating kisses. “What are we gonna do? She could find us?” A giddy grin tugged at her face. She clamped her hand over the tell-tale swoon and the giggle that accompanied it. In less than two weeks she’d become a woman who giggled. What had become of her?

He shook his head with mock seriousness. “Never. This is a perfect hiding spot.” He set to work, trailing kisses from her ear to her mouth and locked in, slow and thorough sweetness stealing her breath.

Lorelei’s voice grew closer, dousing ice water on their fiery embrace. Their lips instantly untangled.

“She can not find us here. Look at us! How on earth will I explain myself?” Archer whispered through a panicked smile.

Sadie covered another giggle. If she looked anything like he did, disheveled and kissed-breathless, there would be no denying their clandestine rendezvous. They were adults. They should be able to make out if they wanted to. And yet, like teenagers, they were hiding from her mother.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Dana!! Fantastic! Sensational reactions!!! And feisty too. I love how I can see exactly how this plays out. It's scripted perfectly!!!!

Mary Vee said...

Here is mine. It is a small excerpt. A token.

Hank pressed play on the remote starting another song and drew Sam close to him. “Dance with me?”

She laid her head against his chest and closed her eyes as they danced. Their feet moved in harmony as if the dance began a long time ago. He rested his chin on her head and his arms draped around her. In their own corner of the dance floor, their steps slowed. Sam looked up at Hank and smelled the sweet wood scent, the essence of who he was.

His head lowered until their cheeks touched. “You truly are a beautiful woman.” The whispered words ignited her heart. She closed her eyes, letting his warmth consume her thoughts. The music faded as his lips brushed along her cheek until they rested on her lips. Tender, yet strong. Sweet and true.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and passionately embraced his kiss. How she had longed for this moment, not knowing he was the one to rescue her. He pressed his lips harder against hers and pulled her closer. Their feet barely moved anymore.

If only time would stand still.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Mare... So sweet and tender and beautiful. Love this moment. Love the soft sweep of his lips cover her check before he finds her lips. Ooh, mama, I could just shiver thinking about it ;)

Sally Bradley said...

This has been a really nice day. Huh. I wonder why?

:D

Carol Moncado said...

Okay - it's probably a bit long to paste for as smidgy as the kiss is but... ;) Christiana is queen of her country [orphaned as a girl] and just found out that her fiance [wedding's in two weeks] is part of an assassination plot. Alexander is one of her most trusted friends.

She turned a sad smile his way. "I do not meet a lot of men, Alexander. How am I going to meet a man who loves me for me and not my position, especially after the debacle that is about to descend on my life?"

He took several steps until he stood less than a foot in front of her. "Marry me."

 [chapter break]

Christiana blinked. Alexander stood close enough she could see the flecks of gold in his hazel eyes and smell the mint of his toothpaste. "Pardon?"

"You heard me, Your Majesty. You're right. The cancellation and assassination plot is more than your country can bear. Even if the assassination never comes to light, and we're planning to keep it under tight wraps, the cancellation of the wedding will cause potentially irreparable harm to your reputation. You said it yourself. Your saving grace is the secret of your fiancé's identity. You could walk down the aisle with anyone and few people would know the difference. Those who do are loyal and would keep your secret."

She felt drawn to him in a way she could not explain. "You are an American. You would be willing to denounce your citizenship, give up the women I know make themselves available at you on a regular basis, and volunteer for a loveless marriage that can never end in divorce without throwing the country into revolutionary uproar, while being required to produce heirs with a woman you do not love?"

He did not answer her question. Instead, he took a step closer until his fingertips slid down her arms to link with her own. A gentle tug pulled her close enough for her body to come in contact with his. Before she knew what was happening, he lowered his face to hers. His lips covered hers sending a thrill down her spine as she leaned on her toes, following him as he pulled slightly away, saddened when he was too far for her to reach.

"I may not love you, Christiana. You may not love me. But I will always be faithful to you. I will never leave you. Divorce isn't an option for me, no matter the royal status or legal statutes surrounding my wife. And I have a feeling, even if we don't love each other right away, we'll find a way to make the 'producing an heir' part not awful."

Alexander took a step back. "Think about it, Your Majesty. If you agree, I will take care of everything short of getting you to the chapel. Most of it is already done, but between my parents and my knowledge of the wedding industry in Ravenzario, we can finish the arrangements. This country has been my adopted home for many years. I love the people. I love the culture. I love the land." He ran his forefinger down the side of her face. "I adore the royal family. I have since before I knew you were royal." After a swift movement, pressing his lips hard against hers, he moved away.

Dana Black said...

Amy! Thank you so much!! I'm smiling from ear to ear. I'm so glad that it translated out of my head in a way that worked. Haha.

I loved yours, too. Especially the last bit. "They were adults. They should be able to make out if they wanted to. And yet, like teenagers, they were hiding from her mother."

I just know that *if* I were to get into a situation like that, it would probably end similarly for me. LOL.

Michelle Massaro said...

This is just so much fun. :) Dana, I loved yours! :) Amy, fantastic! My heart is racing from all these kisses, lol. So I just gotta play again. The kiss still needs some polish but here it is. This takes place after the couple hasn't spoken for a full week. A very big and painful problem has sprung up for them, one they may not be able to overcome. She's finally ready to talk:

"I miss you, too." Her lips quivered. "John…we need to talk."
"Just tell me where."
A smile eased out from her lips at the eagerness in his voice. "The coffee shop?"
"I can be there in twenty minutes."
Another sad smile. He was trying so hard. He must hurt so bad. "Twenty minutes then. John?"
"Yes?"
"…See you twenty minutes." It wasn’t what she wanted to say but was all she could get out.
Fifteen minutes later Jenni sat at the coffee shop with her hands wrapped around a hot cappuccino. The coffee did nothing to ease her jitters. She tried in vain to steady her hands and heart. The door opened. Her head jerked up and she saw him. Dressed in dark wash jeans and a brown cabled sweater, blowing into his hands as he scanned the room. Then he found her.
With a hesitant upward tip of his lips, he approached her round table and sat. "Hey."
"Hey."
He looked unsure, as if waiting for a cue from Jenni. Unable to bear the chasm any longer, she reached for his hand. He drew in a deep breath and placed his other hand over top.
He inched forward. "How have you been?" Worry etched his brow as he searched her her soul—looking for the truth.
Jenni blinked, swallowing a gasp. She pulled her left hand into her lap. Did he…know? "Been better." She moistened her lips.
"Jenni?" He ran gentle fingers over her hand, plying for a fuller answer.
"I'll be okay." She steadied herself with a fortifying breath. "John…" God, give me the right words. "John, it’s been…hard. I can’t make any promises right now. I’m…confused."
He looked stricken, but then his features smoothed to a calm acceptance. Closing his eyes, he nodded in understanding.
Jenni slipped her hand from beneath his and touched her fingertips to his face. Ran her thumb across his cheek. "I’m not done. I’m confused. Overwhelmed. But…I know that I love you. No confusion about that."
He met her gaze and held it, hope flickering in his eyes.
"That one fact has come into sharp focus this week. None of this…stuff…changes how I feel about you. I…" She chewed her lip, wondering if what she wanted to say was more selfish than anything else. "I want to be there for you through this. I want to try. I just…can’t give you any guarantees right now. So this might be unfair to do to you. But I want to try to be at your side through this."
He grasped both her hands in his and brought them to his lips. "I’ll take it. I’ll take you with or without guarantees."
He touched his forehead to her hands, and his shoulders rose and fell several times. When he lifted his gaze, his eyes were wet with unshed tears.
Jenni’s heart broke. "Oh, John," she whispered. She wanted to hold him, to reach for him, but was confined to the table. "Let’s go somewhere else. A walk at the park or something."

(to be continued)

Michelle Massaro said...

(continued)

They stood and went out the door hand in hand and nothing had felt so right since that woman showed up. They headed toward his car but before she could open her door, he slid his arm around her waist and pulled her close. Cradled her under his chin, cocooned her within his arms. Tension melted off her shoulders and evaporated with her sigh. It was the kind of embrace she never wanted to be free from.
She rested her cheek against his chest and wrapped her arms tight around his waist. His pulse throbbed against her throat. He pressed his face to the top of her head, his body surrounding her with warmth and strength. This was what she’d been aching for, what she needed, where she belonged.
She felt the tears slide from her lashes, the slight convulsion of her shoulders. There was intensity in him as well, his muscles taut, his grip strong. His body shook against hers, a cry to match her own, and she squeezed him tighter.
Stroking the back of her head, John buried his face in her hair, and whispered, "Thank you, God."
Jenni placed her hands on his chest and raised her face to see him, cheeks wet with tears. His gaze bore into her as he ran his fingers through her hair and then framed her wet face with both of his hands. “Oh, Jenni.” Warmth oozed through her veins as he breathed out her name. She covered his hand with hers, fingers tingling with the touch. His eyes were searching her, loving her. Healing her.
He swayed toward her and she held her breath as he brought his lips to hers—soft, warm, and grateful. Her head swam. It was all too much. “I love you, John.”
He feathered another kiss on her lips, drawing out a shuddering exhale. Her heart hammered against her ribs as need uncoiled within her middle and fanned out through her limbs. Her legs went weak, threatening to drop her, but John held on like he had no intention of ever letting her go. He responded to her mounting desire, his kiss building, intensifying till she lost all ability to think.
One hand moved to the small of her back, pressing his palm against her spine, locking her in place. The other trailed up between her shoulder blades, her neck, plunged into her hair to cradle the back of her head. She sagged against him as his mouth claimed hers, bold and possessive. Stealing her breath. Stealing her heart. Again.
Driven equally by relief and sweet suffering, she clutched his sweater and pressed into him, desperate and hungry and still crying. He relaxed his grip and eased back from her, but she fought to hold on. Afraid of releasing him.
His breath tickled her ear as he whispered, "We are still in the parking lot you know."
Chest heaving, Jenni glanced around and saw two elderly women giving them looks as they shuffled into the coffee shop. "Oops." She slid a peek at John. His smile singed her belly.
"Yeah, oops." He breathed a laugh and tapped the tip of her nose with his finger.
Jenni’s lips curved into a smile and she tamped down the ominous warning circling her heart. The one that told her it wasn’t really gonna be this easy.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Haha!! Sally, I know just what you mean! Some sugar and spice can brighten any day ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ahh, Carol! I remember this one! That undeniable spark!!! Ooo, yes... Love in bloom! :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Michelle... This is lovely. Very emotional. Males me so darn curious what this giant obstacle is!!! And this line.... "She sagged against him as his mouth claimed hers, bold and possessive. Stealing her breath. Stealing her heart. Again." SOLID GOLD!!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Sooo... I'm starting to see that the scene I slapped down from my very first book is lacking some of my signature spice. Hmmm... I might post the closet scene from book 3. Anyone want another hot flash???

Carol Moncado said...

One more. Because it's too fun... And of course we need more Amy :D.

Once again names and deets have been changed to protect the innocent. And the Genesis entry... :D Lucy is his daughter who adores Abby.

"I should go back inside. I'm sure your parents won't be happy about us being outside alone. Be well, Lady Abby. I'll be praying for you." He turned to walk away and she nearly let him.

Grasping his forearm before he moved out of reach, she looked up into his beautiful eyes. "There is one other thing I would like from you, Chris."

Her fingers burned where they touched his sleeve, tingles running up her arm. The goosebumps had nothing to do with the chill in the air.

"What is it, Lady Abby?"

She moved a half step closer until his breath mingled with her own. "This."

Feeling more bold than she had in her entire life, Abby placed both hands on his face and leaned into him, her lips brushing against his. She swayed against him, struggling not to lose her balance.

Chris groaned and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tight against him as he kissed her again. This kiss was different than the few others they had shared, or the one Jonathan had given her. Her arms wound around his neck as the intensity of the kiss grew. This was not a gentle kiss, but one full of passion, of need, of longing. Not just hers, but his.

First one tear, then another, streaked down her face as her fingers threaded through his hair, knocking his hat askew. When he pulled back, his mouth was mere millimeters from hers.

"This is wrong, Abby. I love you, but we can't be together." He tried to set her away but she grabbed hold tighter. "Only one man should kiss you like that." Chris pressed his lips to hers, a hard, final kiss. "Your husband."

She sagged against him, knowing he spoke the truth. "I do not believe I will ever find a man who stirs me like you do, Chris Butler."

His thumbs stroked her cheeks, wiping away her tears. "You will find love, Abby. I believe that. A man who adores you, heart and soul, no matter the title you have." With a final brush of his lips against her forehead, he moved back and this time she let him go. "Lucy and I are going to leave. I can't stay."

Abby nodded, unable to trust her voice. She sank backwards against the railing as she watched him walk away.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh heck ya!!! I love it when the woman initiates the kiss!!!! Whoo hoo!! Girl you are definitely ramping up your spice :) awesome!!! And great little cliff-hanging nibbles here, Carol! Sal's closet scene will be coming right up as soon as I get back home. Beware!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Wow, these are all amazing!! Just now getting the chance to catch up on these on a busy Saturday morning. I love all of them!! Pepper, I think yours might just be a fave - I love your turns of phrase. "Pressed together like the pages of a book" - so very lovely! You have such a way with words. And Cathy, your writing is so beautiful! I could go on and on - you're all amazing.

And Casey, aren't you full of surprises! What I'd like to know is where you learned to write a kiss scene like that... :)

Amy, don't be a tease! You HAVE to share the closet scene now. It's basically famous and I still haven't read it!

Michelle Massaro said...

Thanks, Amy, that makes me smile! And uh, heck yeah I do! Bring it on! :)

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

I don't really have a proper kiss scene to share myself. :( Am I the only non-romance writer here? Ha! I have a kind-of kiss scene, but... well... it's complicated. It's kind of... oh heck, I can't even explain. Maybe I should just post it instead. ;)

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Ok, deep breath - here goes! I haven't shared my writing with anyone in a very long time. It's a little bit terrifying.

Maya could taste the salt of her own sadness on her lips. Why was she crying? For her father, who’d abandoned her by dying? For her mother, who’d never had enough to give?

Neither of those, she realized at last. She was crying for herself. For what might have been; what should have been. For the wasted years. For the past she thought she’d left behind, not realizing that a past is not attached to a place but something as inseparable from self as a shadow.

“It’s okay,” Jed whispered. “I’m here now. I’m here.”

Blinded by her tears, she focused on the feel of his arms around her, so much stronger than she, as if she might vanish into vapor if he ever let her go. She could feel his heart pounding through the thin fabric of his shirt, and when he led her to the bed, she followed as though in a dream.

Gently, so gently, he pulled her down beside him on the mattress, holding her against his heart. She felt herself trembling. He stroked away her tears, stroked her hair from her face, holding her so tenderly that she thought she might die. She was losing herself, she was falling, she was melting into him. He trailed his fingers over her skin, grazing his knuckles over the hollow at the base of her throat, kissing the soft skin beneath her jaw that jumped with her pulse.

“Maya,” he whispered. “I love you so much…”

She closed her eyes as he began to unbutton her blouse, and her mind filled with a dream of falling stars. Jed, walking away from her into a rain of fire. Striding, joyful, into their future, as desolation yawned inside her.

She couldn’t lose him too.

Her heart beat into his hands.

He loves me, she thought, and everything else slowly faded away under his burning touch. They could be happy. They could. They could.

He loves me, he loves me, he loves me…

Mary Connealy said...

Here's a contender for my favorite kissing scene ever (of my own work)

Sharpshooter in Petticoats
Mandy marries Tom, then abandons her kids with him and rides off to kill the men who just tried to kill her children, her new husband and her. She's going to end it now, even if she has to commit the greatest sin of her life...murder.
And Tom stops her, that's where the scene begins. It's their wedding night.
>>>>>>>>>
“Tom are we—”
“Do not talk to me, woman.” His shouted words practically took a bite out of her hide. “I’m about one wrong word from turning you over my knee.”
No one talked to her like that.
Tom had his horse unsaddled before Mandy could get her mouth shut. She wanted to dare him to manhandle her but was just the least bit afraid he might be serious, so she went to work stripping the leather off her own horse. Tom had a small fire crackling by the time she’s finished with her horse and put it on a lead rope to graze.
And now finally it was time to talk.
“I’m made my choice.” She stalked over to Tom. “I’m not going to sit like a frightened rabbit and wait for those Cooters to come for me and my children and you.
Tom looked up from the fire, where he was feeding in sticks, with eyes so blazing hot Mandy felt burned.
“So you headed out to kill them, is that right?” He threw in a bigger stick. “You were crawling up that rise to murder those men in cold blood—”
“They deserve to die!”
“Because you don’t trust me to protect you, is that right?” Tom shouted the last three words.
“I did it to save your life. I know you’d protect me. I know you’d die for me. I understand all of that. But I can’t let you.”
“The one thing you don’t seem to know, woman”—Tom surged to his feet—“is that you can’t stop me.”
His arm whipped out quick as a striking rattler and he yanked her hard against his body. “You’re mine.” He grabbed a hank of her hair. “You’re mine, and I’m through waiting for you.” He sank his heavy hand deeper into her hair and tilted her head back. “We’re married. I will protect you. I will die for you.”
He kissed her until her knees went weak and her arms wrapped around his neck to keep from falling. Long moments later he raised his head, his blue eyes burning into hers.
“Better than that. I will live for you. That’s all you need to understand.” He swooped his head down, and Mandy had one flash of a moment to think she was still prey, this time to a diving hawk.
She understood. At last she finally and completely understood that she was Tom’s, and he was hers.
As he lifted her up in his arms, she accepted it. Tom had just saved her from doing something beyond the pale. He’d stopped her from breaking her covenant with God. God had surely seen to it that Tom arrived in time. God had protected her.
His lips never left hers as he lowered her to a blanket and came down with her to hold her hard against him. She clung to him. His iron muscles, his iron will.
The Cooters would come and come and never stop. But if she’d destroyed them, she’d have destroyed herself.
Then she forgot all about the Cooters, Tom drove them out of her very thoughts and all she knew was she’d done it right this time.
She’d married herself a strong, smart, decent man.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Post, post, Karen!!!! And yes, I will risk offending many and post the closet scene as soon as I can get back to my laptop. :)

Carol Moncado said...

TOM LINSCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's really all you needed to say, Mary :D.

Mary Connealy said...

What fun. KISSES! How can you go wrong. LOL

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Karen, it's beautiful! And kinda sexy ;) I literally sank into each word like I was already immersed in the story. Wow! And you say you're not a romance writer... Pff!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Thanks Ames - you're too kind to me! :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ahh, Mary Mary Mary!! Sharpshooter in Petticoats is my absolute favorite!!! Tom Linscott... Oh my, you said it, Carol. Dang it, he's so darn cranky and bad-A! I swear I love that man! Something about him!!! Probably all that aggression and tenderness rolled into that delectable package. I also just love the way he's always untangling her braid. There are some goooood kisses and love scenes in this story... Shew

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Mary Connealy - Wow!!!! Great scene!

Michelle Massaro said...

Another nice one, Mary! And Karen, wow that was so sensual. Very good! :)

Carol Moncado said...

Oh I know Amy!!! I even used the Linscott name in a manuscript [two actually though one is more an aside than anything] because I LOVE TOM LINSCOTT SO MUCH!!!!!!

Carol Moncado said...

Oh I know Amy!!! I even used the Linscott name in a manuscript [two actually though one is more an aside than anything] because I LOVE TOM LINSCOTT SO MUCH!!!!!!

Pepper said...

Trying to decide whether to share a little Eisley and Wes

Carol Moncado said...

I'll decide for you.

Yes.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

okay... the infamous closet scene. Again, not for the timid. You've been warned. ;) And this will be a two parter... it's a bit long.

“We’re supposed to be pretending to be in love. I know it’s like your Everest, but you said you could handle it. Well, you can’t. You’re blowing it. If everyone doesn’t leave here thinking we’re brother and sister I’ll be amazed.”

“What?” She shrugged, then rubbed her arms. “Maybe we’re just not an affectionate couple?” Holding on to her sass, she jutted her hip, and kept her sunshine eyes on full blast. They were so beautiful it was almost scary, but regardless of the way she weaponized them, he kept on looking.

Come on, Sal, feel the burn.

He cleared his throat. “Well, that would be sad and boring, but it's not what I'm talking about. You simply refuse to see it.”

“See what?”

The darkness should have been a shield, but somehow he was more tuned in than ever.

He was right. He hadn’t imagined it. It was there.

But it was her blazing sun, and she just couldn’t bring herself to look at it.

"Somebody really did a number on you, Candice. But here's a news flash. I'm not him. And I'm not some swooning jail-bait either. I’m so done with your patronizing big sister act. So ditch the shades and take a good long look because here it is, kitten . . . I’m a man.”

“Yes, I can see that. The he-man testosterone you’re putting off is as potent as these cleaning agents. I’m getting asphyxiated on all your dominance. Congratulations. You’re a credit to your gender.”

He wanted this to be a serious moment, but his lips curled in defiance. “No, Brat. You might see that I’m male. But what you refuse to see . . .”

Here it is. The loaded gun. He couldn’t wait to see the look on her face.

“. . . is that I'm sexy."

Chapter 23
Candice Stevens

“Oh, brother!” She rolled her eyes, waited for his next quip to follow, but nothing came. Curious about his uncharacteristic silence, she braved a peek at his eyes.

Bad move. They were magnetic, probing in his psychic way that made her want to close her eyes, click her heels, and pray for tornadic winds to take her to Kansas, or anywhere but here.

He couldn’t be serious. Who even made a declaration like that? No, he was fishing for something, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Candice tilted her head, smoothed her expression into something bland and unaffected. "You about done with your tantrum?"

"Not even close." His voice had gotten all thick and rumbly. A sliver of light melted the centers of his eyes into dark chocolate ganache. Her stomach reacted first, grumbling and shrinking in want, then little spirals of heat trilled outward on a faulty pump of her pulse.

A tiny giggle bubbled up in her throat and exposed all the charges hanging in the eighteen inches between them. She clamped down on her lip to keep another batch of nervousness in check.

What kind of scam were her emotions running? All she knew for sure was they were running amok because some confused chemical imbalance told her Dorian suddenly looked different.

Gone was the hapless class clown with the boyish smile. The man standing before her was rugged, and serious, and kind of... hot?

Huh. Dorian, sexy?

Was it a trick of the light? She was tempted to seek out a switch but she was frozen in place, fully consumed by his stare.

He took a step forward. Then another. Frustration and quite possibly something more dangerous defined the angles of his face. Sculpted cheekbones, large, endlessly rich espresso eyes, perfectly straight nose, and his lips . . .

The lips usually delivering bone-head lines were sensuously full and downright drinkable.

"What are you doing?" The words were hers but the voice belonged to some breathy late night phone operator.

He pressed the pads of his fingers over her mouth to silence her. With a slow tender stroke they traced the crest of her lip.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Continued....
The tickly touch shivered down to her toes, a stuttered breath dragged in the cool air wrapped around his warm fingers. And then he ventured south. Which should have frightened her but for some reason, anticipation injected into her veins.

His hard fingers shimmied with the gentlest touch across her jaw. Callused knuckles continued the caress down the side of her neck to her throat.

He didn't speak. His eyes patiently roaming her face from inches away. His fingers stirring up goose bumps spreading to regions far beyond the respectable planes he touched.

When he leaned in, she could do nothing but wait. Surprisingly, the thought of his kiss was too exciting, and confusing, to turn away. Closing her eyes, she gave herself over to the inevitable.

Only, his lips didn't land. They touched just beyond the corner of her mouth, traced the same shivering path over her cheek, down her jaw . . .

He wasn't kissing her, but his lips, so soft and hot doted on her skin until her knees trembled, joints dissolving like they were now made of warming Jello.

The silk pads of his lips continued to work their magic, painting her neck with nothing but the tantalizing skim of his mouth. Without realizing it, she tilted her head back and exposed her neck.

He took that as his invitation, and she felt the first kiss press into the hollow of her throat. And then another on her collar bone, and up her neck. Each kiss teasing and tempting until her heart nearly shattered with exertion. She swallowed a whimper, taking with it a heady breath of his sweet and spicy intoxication. Her head swam, hints of the woman she’d denied for so long escaped into her bloodstream on a needy rush of estrogen.

"Are you trying to seduce me?" She couldn't believe she'd breathed the words because
at the moment, the last thing she wanted him to do was stop.

He ignored her, which was just as well, and placed one last kiss on the sensitive flesh behind her ear, before he nipped gently on the lobe. She heard herself gasp, though her voice seemed so far away.

And then, as if sensing her knees about to buckle, he gripped her hips with thinly controlled animalism, dragging her close until no sliver of space could be found between them.

Lifting his face from her neck, she could feel his eyes on her again, as if they could touch her as perfectly as his mouth. She opened her eyes and met his.

Man alive, they were an easy mark. He wanted her. Not shocking since he'd always been clear on that but more surprising was that . . . she wanted him too.

"No." He finally answered, huffing out a heavy breath, and with one word squashed her surge of desire. "I'm not trying to seduce you, Candice. I'm changing the way you see me."

Oh. And it had been a wildly successful exercise. One she desperately hoped wasn't quite over.

He bent down until lips tickled hers, and without kissing her, or manipulating lips in any way, he twisted his head, let his mouth shift and caress hers, as if to memorize the contours of her lips without giving in to them.

She couldn't take it anymore. Her need had become a force stronger than she could stuff down. In one swift move she dug both hands into his thick hair, gripped tight, and pulled him to meet the full force of her kiss.

.... to be continued (again!)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

...(ahh so long... and I cut a ton!)

She strained against him, and he surrendered to her request. Melding together, just lips and breath, and soul. Still just teasing her mouth with his, he released her hips, slipped one arm around her waist, anchored at her low back. The other skimmed up her naked spine to pull her tighter to his chest where her heartbeat ran off into the sunset with his.

Surrounded by his strength and his lips was the most exquisite sensation, she had to have more. Easing her mouth open, she tilted her neck to deepen the kiss.

But he pulled back.

Stunned and rejected, Candice stood bereft, feeling the cool air wrap around what had been kindled by Dorian’s warmth.

She wanted to scream. That or throw herself at his lips and beg them to finish the conversation.

With bunched fists at his sides, and labored breathing, it was clear stepping away hadn’t been an easy decision for him.

It was a small sort of consolation. Much preferred over a blatant rejection, especially since she’d basically attacked his mouth and demanded his kiss. Not her style. So… why had she done it?

And furthermore, now that the smoke of his seduction act had cleared, why did she want to kiss him again? And then some, Jersey added. It had been more than a decade since she’d willingly touched a man, one who wasn’t dead, that is. Why now? Why Dorian?

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Yes... pepper... most closet scenes!!! ;)

Michelle Massaro said...

Whoo, it's getting steamy in here! good job, Amy. Pepper, I vote for both. ;)

Pepper said...

Okay, Ames.
You asked for FIRST kisses -so here's Eisley and WEs's first kiss. I've been in love with this couple since I first met them five years ago. (btw, Wes is my lovely British hero)

Her eyes flashed open and her breath eased out a long sigh, sending a whiff of chocolate with it.

“Poetic and perfectly placed?” Her free hand slid up his chest to hook on his lapel, gaze studying his mouth, focused and a bit diverting. “No wonder you can write lips…er…scripts.”

He would have smiled at her misnomer if her nearness and solid grip on his jacket hadn't sent his thoughts into predatory territory. “Oh, pet.” He breathed in her closeness, her heat. “If you could see what I see—”

One second he was trying to express his admiration and the next her hold tightened on his collar, drawing him the short distance to the object of his previous distractions. Her mouth.

Soft, inviting, and shocking his system with the potency of a perfect match. Gone was her uncertainty, as her lips explored his. He delved in with the same enthusiasm, tasting a rare combination of mint, chocolate, and Eisley. Quite Christmasy –and he loved Christmas.

She released a satisfied moan and ran her hands up his arms to link about his neck, offering fully as she’d said she’d do. Trusting him. A fierce protectiveness tempered desire with a deeper burn, not enough to quiet the flames licking the inside of his chest or shooting predacious thoughts through his head, but enough to garner God’s sensible control.

Her mouth proved the best discovery in the entire tower. Pliant, curious, and delicious. A delicacy to last a lifetime.

“Whoa.” She pulled back, with a little stumble, hand to her chest. “I didn't mean to—” Her breaths pulsed in shallow puffs. “I’m…um…not quite sure what happened just then.”

He tightened his hold against her waist. “I am.”

He drew her lips back to his, lost in her scent and taste, warmth shuddering through him with a sweet sense of home. They stumbled together, all of those soft curves trapped against him and the unyielding wall. Two years of waiting? No, he’d been waiting a lifetime for this. His palms itched to explore down her body, but he shoved the urge aside and threaded his hands under her wealth of hair instead. Tilting her head, he kissed her until another sweet moan escaped. Her hands clenched and unclenched his shoulders, massaging him closer into the kiss, until her fingers moved to entangle in his hair.
She kissed with as much commitment as she did everything else. Fully. And he didn't harbor one complaint. He tasted her cheekbone and brushed a few kisses against her hairline before returning to her chocolate-flavored lips.

“Wesley? Eisley? Are you there?” Lizzie’s voice drifted up through the stairwell just beyond the locked door.

He drew back only enough to feel her mouth stretch into a smile against his. Lizzie who?

The door shook with a clank. “Christopher Wesley? Eisley?”

Eisley unwound her fingers from his hair as her lips grazed the edge of his jaw in sweet benediction. “I personally recant every ugly word I’ve ever said about happily-ever-after.”

He tipped her chin with his forefinger. “That’s smashing, because I couldn't make it happen without you.” His thumb skimmed over her swollen lips and then he leaned in to take another taste.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Yep, all the mirrors are foggy! Everyone's scenes are fantastic!!!! So much fun!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh yes... Big sighs over here!!! Pepper, you know how much I love Wes and Eisley! And I absolutely love when the first kiss isn't a mistake..and an interruption can't put on the brakes. Perfect dreamy tower kiss. I can float away now ;)

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Am I ever glad I came over here to see what the fuss was about. AMY, MAN CHOCOLATE!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Man chocolate is right!!! ;)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Wish you'd shared the sink scene, Laurie! Gets me every time!!!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Amy, now I can see what all the fuss was about! You do anticipation like a pro. The line about his soft, hot lips doting on her skin - what a great verb and such a shiveringly good line! Phew!! Is it steamy in here or what??!

And Pepper, I said it already, but your writing is amazing. So rich and full of character. Her "wealth" of hair - such a great, sensory adjective. You know when you just can't stop "tasting" a word? (Maybe it's just me). But that one's still rolling around under my tongue, I just love it!

Ok, that just makes me sound weird, doesn't it. Regardless - you girls are awesome writers!!