Wednesday, February 11, 2015

“THE PERFECT KISS” … A CDQ’s Perspective!

Sigh …“The Perfect Kiss” … one of my favorite subjects! 

Julie here, resident CDQ (caffeinated drama queen), and since I am a romance author ... and since this is Valentine’s Week, I thought to myselfSelf? How would you describe the perfect kiss?

I know, I know … that’s a little bit like asking about somebody’s favorite food, isn’t it? I mean, come on—some people like their chili flamin’ hot and others like it mild and sweet.

Which means that the “perfect kiss” to some might be a nose nuzzle while to somebody else—like moi—it’s a liplock that not only curls your toes, but your tummy as well.

You know what I’m talking about—like Rhett laying one on Scarlett before he swoops her up the stairs in Gone With the Wind? Or George Peppard in a liplock with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in the rain no less, with a cat in between! Or how ‘bout that kiss in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling kisses Rachel McAdams in the rainstorm, then carries her inside and pushes her to the wall?

Whew! Trust me, as a “wall-pusher” from way back, and one heavily influenced by old-fashioned Hollywood movies like The Quiet Man or McClintock with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, the perfect kiss to this CDQ is when a hero makes no bones about staking his claim!

But … whether one’s taste leans toward sweet and mild … or cranks it all the way up to a 3-alarm fire, this CDQ suggests that one of the real secrets to a great kiss is the emotion surging around it like a romantic riptide that rolls in and out.

Yes, you have to get the actions of a kiss just right, of course, taking the reader through the step-by-step as if they’re watching a movie (like I blogged about in a prior Seeker blog entitled Keeping It “Reel” … or a “Novel” Approach to Putting a Movie in Your Readers’ Mind). But … I contend it’s those waves of emotions before and after the “kiss” that sweep the reader through a tsunami of feelings, hopefully leaving them breathless and longing for more.

One of my favorite things to do with a kiss—which, in fact, is why the two examples you’ll find at the link listed below are what I consider my “perfect kisses”—is to use powerful emotions to frame a powerful kiss. 

For instance, my favorite love scene I’ve ever written is from A Hope Undaunted and takes the reader through the ebb and flow of several strong emotions before and after “the kiss” (or “kisses” as in the first example below). In this example, the actual kiss portion of the scene begins with caring and concern on the hero’s part, then swells to shock, attraction, passion, more shock, anger, revenge and finally retribution and regret for both hero and heroine.

Deep breath …

Okay, I’m sorry, but for me as a CDQ, the more emotion the better, and I think for the reader, the more emotion, the better the kiss! Which is why the second example you’ll find at the link below, also from A Hope Undaunted, is my second favorite kiss because it has all the elements I love in a romantic scene—tenderness, passion, humor—unleashing a groundswell of emotions from the hero’s malaise to his jealousy, attraction, longing, shock, gratitude, desire, embarrassment and humor.

Herman Hupfeld claims in his famous song, As Time Goes By, that “a kiss is just a kiss, and a sigh is just a sigh,” but I respectfully disagree because one of the little tricks I’ve learned is that “a kiss is NOT just a kiss”—it’s a series of roller-coaster emotions that carry the reader to the Shores of Sigh on a tidal wave of feelings.

Ready to see what I’m talking about? Here are my first and second favorite kissing scenes that I’ve ever written. Why? Because when it comes to emotions, both are very multi-dimensional. But, don’t take my word for it—YOU be the judge!

GIVEAWAY!! Just leave a comment to be entered in today's giveaway, but IF you take the time to read the two clips and tell me which is your fave, you will be entered into a second giveaway as well, so TWO CHANCES TO WIN!!

To be entered in the second giveaway, just click on the link below to read both kiss clips, then arrow back to tell me which YOU prefer and why, and I’ll enter you for a chance to win a signed copy of any of my books, including a paper copy of my Charity and Mitch novella, A Whisper of Hope, from the Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection. OR you can also choose a paper copy of my upcoming novella, Grace Like Rain, which is about Blake “The Rake” McClare from my Heart of San Francisco series.

And remember … a few drops of Tabasco doesn’t make the chili bad … only a little spicier!



BONUS GIVEAWAY!!
In honor of Valentine's Day, my award-winning novel, A Light in the Window is available for FREE DOWNLOAD from February 10 - 14, 2015, so check out the very cool VIDEO starring my daughter, then download the book HERE. And if you would be kind enough to spread the word, I would greatly appreciate it it. Thank you! :)

VALENTINE'S CONTEST FROM 2/10-14/15!!
Guess what? You can enter my Valentine's Contest by simply doing any or all of the following: 1.) Watching the video for A Light in the Window starring my daughter; 2.) Downloading ALITW free; 3.) Sharing on FB and Twitter; 4.) Or by getting others to view the video/download ALITW free. Just hop on over to my JOURNAL JOTS BLOG, enter in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of the page, choosing any or all options to enter, and you're entered. It's that easy!

What do you win? A signed copy of any of my books, including a paper copy of my Charity and Mitch novella, A Whisper of Hope, from the Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection  OR a paper copy of my upcoming novella, Grace Like Rain, which is about Blake “The Rake” McClare from my Heart of San Francisco series. GOOD LUCK!!

ABOUT JULIE:
Award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for her newsletter.



129 comments :

  1. Kiss 1. It's the first kiss. Love it. Well done!

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  2. Great post! My dad made us watch McClintock when I was young, and it's a classic he still adores. I adore it too, and nothing is better than watching it with my dad.

    Thanks for the great advice on the emotions surrounding the kiss.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  3. Ahh Katie and Luke...their romance never fails to make me melt! While I love both scenes I definitely like the first a little more! Talk about a toe curling kiss!! Also, I totally agree with you about the emotions making a kiss more than just a kiss!

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  4. I like the first kissing scene. (Hope Undaunted is my favorite book of yours. I love Katie.) The first kissing scene is a build-up of emotion. Katie and Luke did not just jump into the kiss. They fought internally and physically for it.
    I would love to win either of the prizes offered by you, Julie. I don't have Hope for the Holidays collection, and I am missing one of your books on my shelf. Thank you for writing such GREAT books.

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  5. Love anything you write, Julie. The first kissing scene is great. Although I have ALIMW in print, I need it on my kindle so off I go! And thanks for the chance to win another of your books.

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  6. HAPPY V-DAY WEEK, EVERYONE!!!

    THIS IS A BIG WEEK FOR ANYBODY WHO WRITES ROMANCE (OR READS IT), SO THANKS FOR COMING BY!!

    Since romance takes a lot of time and energy, I have a full cyber brunch spread for you today with everything from made-to-order omelets, eggs, and waffles ... to smoked sausage and brown-sugar bacon, crazy-good hash browns, pastries, cobblers, watermelon boat, and every flavor coffee and tea known to man, so DIG IN!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  7. TINA ...thank you, my friend, that is high praise from one of my favorite authors and a truly respected peer.

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  8. LOL, JACKIE ... that is sooooo cute, your comment about "nothing is better than watching it with my dad." He sounds fun, so you are blessed!!

    And although McClintock and Quiet Man don't rank at the top of my favorite romance movies, there the ones I always think of when I talk about head-butting (or wall-butting) romance! ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    JULIE

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  9. ABS!!! Seeing you pop in always makes me smile, my friend, so THANK YOU for coming by!!

    Yeah, we've discussed this before that Katie and Luke's romance is our fave (along with Charity and Mitch's), and I have to agree about the 1st kiss. Gotta love that Cluny McGee ... ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!!

    Julie

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  10. KELLY SAID: "The first kissing scene is a build-up of emotion. Katie and Luke did not just jump into the kiss. They fought internally and physically for it."

    WOW, KELLY ... great insight, my friend, which tells me you are or would be a pretty darn good romance writer!! That internal battle really hikes the romantic tension, doesn't it??

    Thanks for reading my books, Kel, and we are going to have to finish that JL portion of your book shelf, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  11. Aw, MARIANNE, THANK YOU!!! Since you're downloading ALITW, make sure you enter my blog contest for another chance to win, okay?

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!!
    Julie

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  12. Loved your post, Julie! :-)

    I agree, the first kiss is very important and the build up of emotion surrounding it is what makes the reader hold their breath and sigh happily when it is completed.

    Happy Valentines day to all! :-)

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  13. Wonderful timely post, Julie! You write active emotion and great kisses. I think I need to watch some old movies for inspiration. :-)

    A kiss often ups the conflict, the tension between the hero and heroine. Until that last I love you kiss and the happily ever after ending.

    Janet

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  14. Thanks, MARY, and I totally agree! All that emotion building is kind of like a volcano building heat until it melts a romantic's heart! At least this one!!

    Hugs and Happy V-Day right back!

    Julie

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  15. Julie, I love your books and am anxiously awaiting the next one!

    As for my favorite scenes, I liked the first one better. I could picture them both wonderfully, but this one tugged at my emotions just a bit more, leaving more suspense. I also liked the setting and description!

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  16. Oh Julie - no one does kisses like you. Kiss 1 is my favorite because it happens without planning, without Luke or Katie even wanting it to happen. And when it does, it's a toe curler. As Luke so aptly put it, "but we both know that slap wasn’t so much about an innocent kiss . . .” He bent close, his eyes on fire and the scent of peppermint hot against her face. “As how it made you feel.”
    Julie Lessman will always be my mentor in writing kisses. Romance-ology 101 is never far away when I'm writing. It's all about the emotion!

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  17. My favourite is the first one. Absolutely. I love the build up and the emotions and what we see happening between the hero and heroine and I LOVE it that its in his pov. I love a slow buildup to a kiss. I hate the movie kisses where the hero and heroine come charging across the set at each other and their faces mash together and while we're supposed to think it impulsive and romantic I keep going "Ouch....watch the dental work". And think of split lips.
    This is a great post, Julie, and very timely.

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  18. Loved your post! I absolutely love all of your books they are def page turners for sure!!! Every time I read one of your books I can't put them down!! I def like the first scene better! It shows a lot of passion and discovery of feelings for each other. I like the spontaneity and how neither of them wanted it to happen but it did.

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  19. JANET SAID: "A kiss often ups the conflict, the tension between the hero and heroine. Until that last I love you kiss and the happily ever after ending."

    Oh, you bet, my friend, which is why I like to include them sooner rather than later if I can, but not all story lines allow that.

    THANKS, JANET!!
    HUGS,
    Julie

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  20. Enjoyed today's blog.. I think I like kiss 2. Going so well until that interruption.. Please enter me I'd love to read another of you books.. I have a copy of ALITW :)

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  21. KATE ... thank you SO much, you sweet thing!

    And obviously #1 is my fave, too, so thank you for agreeing with me AND for "anxiously awaiting the next one!"

    The next one will be Blake's novella, which will be released in the Seeker spring anthology, and I gotta tell you -- I am having SO much fun writing it, that I'm thinkin' novellas just may be my new thing ... ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    JULIE

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  22. OH, WOW, CINDY, I do believe you just made my day, my friend -- THANK YOU for your incredibly kind comment and for just reading my books in the first place! Now ... let's see if we can get a copy of Blake's novella in your hands before anybody else even sees it ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  23. CAROLYNE SAID: " hate the movie kisses where the hero and heroine come charging across the set at each other and their faces mash together and while we're supposed to think it impulsive and romantic I keep going "Ouch....watch the dental work"

    LOL, Carolyne, that is a hoot and sooooo true!! And, HOLY COW, I love to include male POV, too, because it really ramps the romantic tension, which is actually one of my chapters in my Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets," so thanks for agreeing with me!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    JULIE

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  24. LEAH SAID: "I like the spontaneity and how neither of them wanted it to happen but it did."

    OH, AMEN, girlfriend, I totally agree because there's something soooo darn romantically charged about a scene like that where cool heads collide with heated hearts in both hero and heroine!!

    Thanks for coming by AND for your very kind comments -- MUCH appreciated!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    JULIE

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  25. YAY, DEANNA, thanks for downloading ALITW, and I sure hope you enter my blog contest because that's one of the entry options.

    Ah, yes ... the interruption of the kiss ... but somehow that helps to make it all the better, doesn't it? At least it does in the plot ... ;)

    Hugs and good luck!
    Julie

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  26. Julie, I would definitely say the second. The first hit a little too close to possessiveness and in the context of a whole story may have come off a bit different but in short felt as if he intended to hurt her. A Hope Undaunted is on my read list this year. Look forward to getting to know you and your work better.

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  27. I love this post, Julie. And you are the QUEEN of kissing scenes. Oh my stars, my pulse is racing. Well done. :) And I love how you've shown how emotion adds such depth to any kiss in a story. It makes perfect sense! I'm keeping this in mind as I revise my story.

    I like the second scene best. :)

    I downloaded ALITW, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  28. JESSICA SAID: "The first hit a little too close to possessiveness and in the context of a whole story may have come off a bit different but in short felt as if he intended to hurt her."

    I totally agree, which is part of the storyline. He DID want to hurt her because she's not only hurt him in the past when they were children, ridiculing him, but she is now doing the same when they meet again as adults, even though she is attracted to him. This sets the stage for a battle of wills throughout the entire story.

    You know, Jess, like I mentioned in the blog above, I am a product of old Hollywood movies like Gone with the Wind where the man is more dominant in a kissing scene, so that's what I like in a kiss. But I totally understand that with today's problems with abuse and disrespect of women, how a kiss like that might offend some. Believe me, I've gotten enough letters to prove it!

    But the way that I look at it is most of the secular market romance is BASED on this same dominance (i.e. 50 Shades of Gray a perfect example), which is sadly enough, a large portion of the romance read in today's world. There's a HUGE market of women out there that are reading that garbage because they like the more dominant type of hero. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a book could give that to them and God's precepts too?? That is what my heart longs for, to reach those kind of women, who are just like I used to be -- lost and believing the lie that one can be happy serving self rather than God.

    Thanks for your input, my friend -- MUCH appreciated! And I appreciate you wanting to read AHU too, but you do know it's the 4th book in the saga, right? Due to a large number of twists that would be ruined if read out of order, if you haven't read book 1, A Passion Most Pure yet, PLEASE read that one first, or ALITW. APMP is also free right now, so those two are the ones to start with.

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  29. Aw, JEANNE, thank you SOOOOO much, my friend -- MUCH appreciated!!

    And thanks for downloading ALITW -- that's one of the entries for my Valentine's Contest on my Journal Jots blog, so I hope you enter.

    And I think you will like ALITW if you liked the 2nd scene best, because it's a little softer and sweeter book than my others, so happy reading!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. I vote for the second one! I like that fact that there's just joy in the moment over a loving action.

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  31. Fun post, Julie. I also really liked the kissing scene in Breakfast at Tiffanys. That is a fun movie. I read your two scenes and I like the second one where he is so grateful to Katie that he has to kiss her and I also love when Parker comes in and says "A
    simple thank you wouldn't have been enough?
    Please enter me into the giveaway!

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  32. No one writes kissing scenes like you do, Julie! Spectacular. And you do milk it for every speck of emotion. I'm in awe!

    Loved both kisses.

    SMACK!

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  33. Julie
    I can't seem to choose between the two scenes for a favorite. I liked Katie's spunk (slap) in the first, but I equally like the caught up in the moment kiss of the second.

    I already had ALITW (from the last freebie offering you gave us). And I LOVE Katie and Luke's story (have it - read it). Wouldn't mind having one of your latest though. I LOVE your passionate stories. Also have your Romance-ology book to for reminders for my writing.

    This is a great post for V-day week.

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  34. Just my thoughts, but Scene 1 is my preference of the two.

    And I was just thinking about this subject this morning. The perfect "morning" kiss is one that I can still feel and taste my entire commute.

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  35. Excuse me, Julie, while I reach for my fan! *whew* :) I love 'em both, but #2 is my fave. A "forever family" united by a precious little child will always bring happy tears. (And of course, a kiss to seal the deal doesn't hurt!)

    I'll always remember your workshop at the 2011 ACFW conference. BEST. WORKSHOP. EVER. I hope you'll do it again!

    And I highly recommend Romance-ology 101. I refer to my copy quite often as I create the "perfect" kiss.

    Cheers! *clink* (my coffee mug to yours!)

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  36. Good morning, Julie! I think one of my absolute favorite kissing scenes in a movie is at the end of Ladyhawke, when the two characters have been apart for SO LONG (three years, I think). Their kiss is joyous, passionate, full go longing, and love, and I just love it.

    As for your kissing scenes, I like No. 1 best, because it's Katie and Luke's FIRST kiss. It's not the tentative kiss of people just trying it out, but full of pent-up passion and angst. Although Katie's insults to Luke make me want to slap her silly. SO MEAN!!! But I guess he shows her, in the end ;)

    Have a wonderful day!

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  37. Julie,

    I love both of them. The second is my favorite.

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  38. Julie! Great post! And I loved reading your "Romance-ology 101" e-book! I plan on reading through it again as I revise the romantic scenes in my WIP.

    I recently read a kiss in a YA book that left me thinking, "that's it?" I had waited 90% of the book for that kiss, and it fell flat. Trying to figure why, I finally realized it was the lack of emotion. It's so much more than a meeting of the lips. These characters had fought for one another and basically kept each other alive by sacrificing their own needs. But the kiss was like opening the book at the end without knowing the characters and they share a little smack. So unromantic. You're totally right. Emotion plays a HUGE part!

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  39. Nothing like a Katie and Luke kiss to wake one up, lol!!

    An impossible task - choosing a fave from among the kisses in your books, Julie - there's one for every emotion, if you will, and I love each of the two you quoted - for different reasons. The quote from Parker brings a laugh every time I read it.

    Emotion is what kisses are all about - not that I would know anything about emotions, lol!!

    Love ALL the emotion and kisses in your books, and love you too, my dear friend!! "Happy Valentine's Week!!"

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  40. Great scenes, Julie!

    :D Great choice for a Valentine's Week blog, too.

    I have a really sweet (and a bit spicy) kissing scene I love in In Too Deep, Ethan and Glynna.

    In a kind of upside down take on the usual kiss, my heroine is a widow with knowledge of 'married' things...though she never liked the old man she'd been forced to marry.

    And my hero is a complete innocent. He's wandered the west and kept to manly places. He's barely ever spoken to a woman.

    So when they kiss, Glynna knows what to do next and Ethan, well, he's in for a big surprise. I think it's a very sweet and slightly hot scene, of course they swing the door shut, but we all KNOW.

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  41. Thanks, MISSY ... it's definitely a sweeter kiss, just by virtue of the motivation -- gratitude vs. anger, so I can see why that appeals more.

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  42. And in Stuck Together, their attraction to each other is causing all the problems for Vince and Tina.

    Tina believes no one will ever love her so she throws herself into her 'causes'.

    Vince believes he's a bad deal for a woman and has committed to never marry.

    And the fact that they keep ending up in each other's arms is just purely upsetting for them both. And each time Vince pushes her away.

    And each time, Tina believes more deeply that she's unloveable.

    And then he kisses her again!

    Vince, especially is so determined to live his life alone that not being able to stop what keeps happening between him and Tina is really ANNOYING!

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  43. Oh, SANDY, I absolutely LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany's!! It's on my list of top-five fave movies of all time. :)

    And I just LOVE Parker, too, and what he says in this scene. He cracks me up with his response, mostly because he's such a great character who's usually so calm and cool AND Luke is the best friend he'd take a bullet for. So to use sarcastic humor to show his aggravation is as ticked as this guy ever gets. :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

    Julie

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  44. THANKS, DEB ... yes, I am known to "milk a scene" for every drop of emotion I can squeeze out. It's sure better than letting it stay inside of me, you know? ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  45. Hey, DEB ... do you mean you already have A Passion Most Pure from the prior freebie? Because ALITW has never been free before unless you are Amazon Unlimited, in which it's been free for the last three months.

    Either way, you are entered to win your choice of my books, so you go, girl!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  46. The Perfect Kiss Should…

    begin with tentative anticipation,
    as an adventure into the unknown,
    a leap of faith into a shadow land
    of passion and vulnerability.

    The first gentle touch of lip on lip
    should electrify every pore in the body
    sharpening the senses to an awareness
    never before experienced.

    Taste should be felt as sublime
    and be totally indescribable;
    emotions should surge in strength
    until they explode in a cascade of feelings
    more real than the body that feels them.

    Any awareness of space and time
    should cease;
    no boundary should exist
    between where one lover begins
    and the other ends.

    At the zenith there should be
    a moment of universal elation
    as two unique souls merge
    in mind, body and spirit
    to become soul mates forever.

    This ecstatic experience
    will open, for one brief moment,
    a glimpse of God’s world—
    a world without limits.

    ***

    That’s the kind of kiss a philosopher likes. : )

    Vince

    P.S. There may be a kiss like this in Hedy Lamarr’s biography, “Ecstasy and me: My life as a woman.” But I’m not sure.

    P.P.S.: I like a pure kiss, one driven by love, and not by conflict, slapping, gratitude, or reluctance. So I chose many of your other kisses rather than numbers one or two. I prefer that love not be a battlefield. Can I still win a book? : ) (There is only one that I don't have.)

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  47. WALT SAID: "The perfect "morning" kiss is one that I can still feel and taste my entire commute."

    LOL, Walt -- you are soooooo meant to be a romance writer, my friend, right next to Nick on the store shelves ... ;)

    I find it interesting that #1 is your fave of the two because that shows me as a man, you prefer the more dominant kiss in a story -- true or false?

    Hugs and happy kissing!
    Julie

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  48. CYNTHIA SAID: "'ll always remember your workshop at the 2011 ACFW conference. BEST. WORKSHOP. EVER. I hope you'll do it again!"

    AW, thank you SOOOO much, my friend -- I really appreciate your comment. We actually tried to "do it again" by pitching a different workshop for the next ACFW, but we didn't get selected, which I thought was a bit odd since the workshop you attended was not only the most attended (largest) workshop that year, but almost ever, I think if I remember correctly. I do know they received a couple of complaints from some more conservative types, so maybe that's why we weren't asked back, but oh well.

    And, yes ... CLINK!! :)

    HUGS!!
    Julie

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  49. Julie
    Ah, I knew I glommed onto a freebie from you at some time. And I definitely have ALITW. Actually, I've gotten a couple of your books through Seekerville giveaways, so who knows? I just know I love reading your books.

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  50. STEPH!!

    Okay, that settles it -- I am gonna have to watch the Ladyhawke movie, I guess. Have never heard of it, but sounds yummy!!

    Oooooo ... love your description of "pent-up passion and angst"!! That is sooooo me and what I love to read and write, so thanks for boiling it down. :)

    And, yes, Luke DOES "show her in the end" ... and more than once! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  51. Hey, LANI, thanks for casting your vote, my friend, and I hope your trip was WONDERFUL!

    Hugs and Good luck!!
    Julie

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  52. Great emotional kisses, Julie! I love kiss number 2 best because of its joyous tenderness with a bit of surprise.

    I'll be rereading Romance-ology 101 as I work on my romantic scenes. Thanks for all the valuable instruction and your examples of writing with passion!

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  53. You are definitely the 'kissing queen' for a reason!!! WOWZERS! And I love Katie's story...and her swoony all grown up Cluny! Oh heavens! Love!!

    Sighing now....

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  54. NATALIE SAID: "I recently read a kiss in a YA book that left me thinking, "that's it?" I had waited 90% of the book for that kiss, and it fell flat. Trying to figure why, I finally realized it was the lack of emotion."

    YES, YES, YES, YES!!! I have read kisses like that and actually blinked at the page, thinking I may have missed it. :)

    Actually, since I'm such a passionate CDQ, I kind of felt that way at the end of Pride & Prejudice movie with Keira Knightly. I remember sitting straight up at the end and saying to my husband, "You're kidding me -- that's it? One second of a kiss before the screen goes blank????" I definitely felt cheated. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  55. BONNIE SAID: "Emotion is what kisses are all about - not that I would know anything about emotions, lol!!"

    YES, they DEFINITELY are all about emotion, my friend, and who are you kidding??? You are one of the most emotional people I know, WHICH is why we get along so well and why you are one of my dearest friends!! :)

    Love you, too, girlfriend!

    Julie

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  56. MARY SAID: "I have a really sweet (and a bit spicy) kissing scene I love in In Too Deep, Ethan and Glynna."

    Oh no you don't, Mare ... you do NOT just waltz in here, drop a casual comment about "a bit spicy" kissing scene and then vamoose!

    NO WAY!! I want to see a clip from that scene in a comment here before the day is out, young lady, or your name is MUD!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  57. MARY ... LOVE VINCE AND TINA!!

    But then I love ALL of your characters ... :)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  58. VINCE!!!!

    I cannot tell you just HOW wonderful it is to see you here, my friend -- must be all the praying I've been doing for you. ;) Hope things are looking up.

    WOW. Let me just say that again. WOW.

    That is perhaps the BEST definition of a kiss I have ever seen, but NO SURPRISE THERE!! The Philosopher is definitely in the house ... ;)

    LOL ... and, yes, OF COURSE you can still win a book, you gentle, non-confrontational boy, you!! Which book don't you have, anyway?
    And I already know what your favorite kiss of mine is -- the scene between Marcy and Patrick where they make up AFTER a fight, I might remind you, so go ahead -- tell me that didn't make the kiss all the sweeter!! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  59. Hey, DEB, as long as you have the two freebies, we're good -- I'm just THRILLED you like reading my books, girlfriend! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  60. Oh Vince,
    That was lovely....wow! Beautiful definition through poetry!

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  61. Julie, Ladyhawke is one of my favorite childhood movies. It's a medieval love story of two lovers (Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer at his most gorgeous) cursed to be "always together, eternally apart:" she is a hawk by day, human by night, while he is a wolf by night, and human by day. The story is how they break the curse with the help of a thief played by Matthew Broderick. The soundtrack is sooooo synthesizer '80s, but I LOVE it. Of course, the lovers are apart most of the film, but when they finally reunite...ah, so wonderful.

    Hope you can find it! I personally have it on DVD and I own the soundtrack. :)

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  62. SHERIDA SAID: "I love kiss number 2 best because of its joyous tenderness with a bit of surprise."

    You sound like a gentle soul, my friend! :) But I agree the tenderness and joyful surprise does make it special to me, too. :)

    And THANK YOU for rereading Romance-ology too -- that makes me smile. HAPPY WRITING AND HAPPY KISSING!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  63. PEPPER SAID: "You are definitely the 'kissing queen' for a reason!!! WOWZERS!"

    LOL ... trust me, darlin' ... you're not so bad either! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  64. Hey, STEPH, THANK YOU!! I'll look for it. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  65. Yes--that workshop was standing room only! (And I never saw anyone leave or look offended.)We laughed, learned, and had fun!

    I don't get it. In this day and age of 50 Shades of Polka Dots, it seems that presenting true romance AND love from a Godly perspective would trump content that was less Christ-focused.

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  66. Fun post, Julie! Your kissing scenes are always emotion-packed. Whenever I need to write a kissing scene, I always ask myself, "How would Julie write this?"

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  67. Julie,

    The more dominant kiss?

    I just think that, in reference to certain women, Rhett Butler was right. And Katie was one of those women. It might not work for another woman though. (i.e. If you're going to kiss Scarlett, then method #1. If you're going to kiss Melanie, one of the most amazing book/cinema characters ever created, then method #2.)

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  68. I, too, would love to read that "spicy" kissing scene of Mary's. I love her description of the female showing the male how romance is done, lol.

    Beautiful description of a kiss, Vince, and blessed are the ladies who have hubbies that feel that way. Walt's is pretty sentimental also, guess I should have sought a writer for a hubby, lol!!

    Julie, the only down-side of the kisses, emotion and passion in your books is that they made some other books I've read - just plain boring, lol!! Love that passion/emotion and the connecting stories of redemption through a loving God - that are found in your books!!

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  69. Terrific post, Julie. There's so much here I need to read it again.

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  70. CYNTHIA SAID: "I don't get it. In this day and age of 50 Shades of Polka Dots, it seems that presenting true romance AND love from a Godly perspective would trump content that was less Christ-focused."

    Okaaaaaaay, girl, NOW you've done it ... gone and pulled my soapbox!!

    Honestly? With 50 Shades of Gray releasing tomorrow and everybody AND their grandmothers talking about (and most reading it), I would think some people would understand that the reason it's so popular in the first place is that humans were created to be PASSIONATE!

    A few years back, I quoted a statistic from the American Religious Identification Survey conducted by the Barna Group that said “nine out of ten women nationwide (90%) consider themselves to be Christian” -- Ironically, most of these women who do read romance wouldn’t choose Inspirational romance to save their soul.

    Why, you may ask? Well, I can only speak for myself and some of my friends who wanted more heart-pounding, 21st-century realistic romantic tension interlaced with God’s precepts (i.e. on the "edge," like mine). As a result, most of my friends, Christian and non, read secular romance, which, of course, generally promotes the world’s amoral lifestyle rather than God’s.

    What’s wrong with this picture? I mean if the world can take something that God created and use it to sell its amoral agenda, then why can’t Christians utilize this God-given passion to promote Him and His precepts? And hopefully give a whole bunch of 50-Shade readers true passion that will make their life better, not worse.

    I rest my case. :)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  71. MYRA SAID: "Whenever I need to write a kissing scene, I always ask myself, "How would Julie write this?"

    LOL .. WWJD!! LOVE IT!! I do the same thing in my books, Myra -- I have Faith always thinking: Now what would Charity do??? ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  72. Oh, my. I needed to fan my face. Example #1 is my fav, so filled with tension, peeks into character, feisty Katie, undaunted Luke. Loved them both.

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  73. WALT SAID: "I just think that, in reference to certain women, Rhett Butler was right. And Katie was one of those women. It might not work for another woman though. (i.e. If you're going to kiss Scarlett, then method #1. If you're going to kiss Melanie, one of the most amazing book/cinema characters ever created, then method #2."

    EXCELLENT POINT, MY FRIEND!! And something tells me you married a Melanie, yes?

    LOL ... thus you have discovered my secret just WHY I like strong heroes like Rhett, Luke, and Mitch. I am -- without the physical beauty, of course -- a Scarlett! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  74. BONNIE SAID: "Julie, the only down-side of the kisses, emotion and passion in your books is that they made some other books I've read - just plain boring, lol!!"

    LOL ...now THAT'S a "down-side" I can live with ... ;)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  75. LOREE ... LOL ... I bet you thought you were going to get off easy with a SHORT (compared to my others) Seeker blog today, but noooooooo ... I couldn't do that!

    Sorry for the trick post, but I'm glad you liked the excerpts. :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    JULIE

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  76. VINCE love your list of what a kiss should be. :)

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  77. Hi Julie,
    What a great topic! I am neck deep in edits and now must go back and re-vamp all my kissing scenes!! LOL.

    Vince, I love that description of a kiss! So powerful and poetic!

    Pepper was here and didn't even mention her big COVER REVEAL today over at Gabrielle Meyer's blog (I'd put the link if I was that talented!) But seriously go check out her first book cover!! It's gorgeous!

    Happy Valentines everyone!

    Sue :)

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  78. MARY!!! You need to come back and post that scene ... several people have mentioned they would LOVE to read it! :)

    Hugs,
    JUlie

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  79. SUE!!! It IS a great topic, isn't it? Especially given the week it is.

    Good luck on your edits, and I am going to have to hunt Pepper down for that cover, so thanks for the heads-up!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  80. I like the 2nd kiss better. Well, I now have another book to add to my TBR list! I downloaded both A Passion Most Pure and A Light in the Window. Looking forward to reading them, but I have a few books that I committed to reviewing that are on the docket first.

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  81. BECKY, YAY!! Soooo glad you downloaded both, my friend, and I do hope you enter my Valentine contest on my blog since one of the entry requirements is to download ALITW!

    If you like them, let me know, okay?

    And if you don't? Uh, well ... never mind. ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  82. Hi Julie:

    While I think the kiss between Marcy and Patrick makes an ideal love scene, I also think the kiss between Sean and Emma in “A Heart Revealed”, is the most ‘perfect’ from my POV. And this kiss is between young people.

    Sean’s kiss is driven by love and his strong desire to protect and cherish Emma. If he could love her any more, I don’t know how you would show this. Their kiss, as given below, is one I could happily vote for:

    “Shh . . . shh . . . it’s okay, Emma . . .” He fanned his fingers through her hair , then cupped her face in his palms, his gaze a tender caress. “I’m here now,” he whispered, kissing her forehead, her temple, her cheek . . .

    Her pulse quickened while her weeping stilled to soft, little heaves, and as her eyelids drifted closed, her heart stuttered when he brushed them with his lips.

    “I’ll keep you safe, I promise ,” he whispered, and a silent moan faded in her throat as his mouth trailed to her temple. “I swear no one will ever hurt you again . . .”

    Heat throbbed within as she lost herself in the caress of his hand, her mind dazed while his mouth explored. The soft flesh of her ear, the curve of her throat, her body humming with need as never before. She felt his shallow breaths, warm against her skin, and with a low groan, he cradled her neck to capture her mouth with his own. “Oh, Emma,” he whispered, his voice hoarse against her lips, “I want to be there always, to protect you, cherish you . . .” He deepened his kiss, and she tasted the salt of her tears.

    All reason fled and she was lost, the air hitching in her throat a mere heartbeat before she returned his passion, her mouth warm beneath his. She knew it had never been like this with anyone— not with Rory or others or even in her wildest dreams. A merging of souls as well as bodies, where hope soared and love swelled in her chest until she thought she would burst.

    Sean— her Sean— tasting her like this, loving her like this, felt so right, so natural, the missing piece of her soul. Kisses both tender and hungry, uniting them, changing them, molding friends into lovers for the rest of their lives . . .

    “God, forgive me,” she whispered, her body shivering from the caress of his mouth to her throat. Her words vibrated beneath his lips, fragile and tinged with awe. “I never knew . . . never dreamed . . . it could be like this . . .”

    He clutched her close, his uneven breathing in rhythm with hers. “Emma, I’m so stupid— I never saw this coming, but God help me . . . I’m in love with you.”

    ***

    Why would you not select this kiss? This kiss is almost existential! It very much is in the spirit of my poem. Of course, this kiss is even better when you know how the story ends. :)

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Vince

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  83. Hey JULIE! Great post...HOT, HOT, HOT.

    I liked the 1st kiss with all that RAW emotion and heat. Spicy is the best!

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  84. Ah...isn't Sue sweet?!?

    IF you're looking, Jules - her blog addy is www.gabrielle-meyer.blogspot.com

    It's my very first blog interview as a published author! Crazy!

    And the Seekers will need to check the Acknowledgments at the end of this debut! ;-)

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  85. SuWEET Choice, Vince!!!
    Wow....that's an awesome example of Julie's!!

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  86. Vince, thats my favorite kiss Julie wrote. Its gorgeous and romantic. I can see it just like a movie. The North and South kiss has a similar feel. Just beautiful. I have a scene in a potential book that has much the same set up but I don't have Julie's skill. Can I steal your brain girl? That scene is amazing. My scene just doesn't have the same "pop".
    As for the two in question I have to go with #2. I never liked angry or unwilling kisses too much. But #2 is hot and sweet at the same time.
    I still refer to old Seeker posts when trying to write these kinds of scenes. But I still don't do very good. So I tend to make the rest of the story romantic and then at least if the kisses fail I have a good story anyway.

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  87. VINCE!!! All I can say is ... "WHEW"!!!

    I forgot about that kiss, my friend, but yes, I think that may be one of my new favorites, so thank you for reminding me!! I stand corrected ... AGAIN!! ;)

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  88. CARYL SAID: "Spicy is the best!"

    OKAY, now I KNOW you will like my books, girlfriend, if you like "spicy," so let me know what you think after you read ALITW or APMP,
    okay?

    HUGS and GOOD LUCK!!
    Julie

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  89. PEP, YES, Sue is one of the SWEETEST people I know, but then you fall in that category, too, my friend, so it takes one to know one, right?

    LOVED your interview on Gabrielle's blog and left a comment. I'll tell you what, Twist of Faith sounds AMAZING!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  90. PEPPER ... yeah, I kinda forgot about that kiss till Vince reminded me. I remember how hard it was for me to write because of the taboo of the situation (a kiss between a married woman and single guy), so I wanted it to be both tender and hot, which apparently worked, thank God, at least according to Vince. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  91. ELIZABETH SAID: "Can I steal your brain girl?"

    LOL ... you know not what you ask, girlfriend, trust me!! At 64, my memory is a LOT worse than my ability to write kisses, which is not a good trade-off! ;)

    And I think that's cool that you picked that Sean/Emma kiss as your fave, too. Mmm ... and now it's one of mine as well. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  92. um...
    thanks to VINCE, my vote for best kiss goes to the Sean/Emma scene. *whew* that was a heart melter.

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  93. I vote for #1 kiss, Julie! I have read all your books..loved them....except Surprised by Love..so would love to win that one....now!! Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day, Julie!!

    To Mary C.....I loved Vince/Tina also...just finished all that series, and I like how you named your characters "familiar Names"...i.e. Seeker authors! lol

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  94. Julie, you are an expert on kissing! I will willingly bestow the crown of chief kisser/kissing expert because I don't know anyone else who does it better....

    Amazing!

    I am a boring kiss writer, I have to just raise my hand and own it...

    I am raising my latest mug of coffee to you, Jules! You've rocked the kiss from the get-go!

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  95. Walt....

    You stinkin' romantic.

    What a great thing to say.

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  96. Aw, DEB H ... THANK YOU!! And thanks to Vince for reminding ME just how much I liked that scene too! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  97. JACKIE!! Sounds like we need to get SBL into your hot little hands, my friend, so here's to a win!! I have lots of chances going on -- 2 here, and 3 on my Journal Jots blog, so you go, girl!!

    Hug!!
    Julie

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  98. Aw, RUTHY, that blesses the socks off of me because I happen to LOVE your romance scenes, my friend, so that's a HUGE compliment!!

    Gosh, at least I'm good at something ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  99. That WAS a great thing for Walt to say, Ruthy, wasn't it??

    I already liked the guy a lot, but now, he's to the moon! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  100. That WAS a great thing for Walt to say, Ruthy, wasn't it??

    I already liked the guy a lot, but now, he's to the moon! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  101. No one writes a kiss like our CDQ! Seriously Julie, I've taken notes on your kissing techniques and have come to the conclusion emotion is THE element that makes or breaks the kiss.

    Kiss #1 is toe curling enough to make a munchkin envious : )

    But the excitement of your books isn't just in the kiss. Following the growth and emotions of your characters is an adventure not to be missed!

    Excellent post for Valentine's week!!

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  102. I don't know if I can choose ... I love #2 (plus an interruption featuring Parker, LOL) but all the tension in that scene wouldn't be possible without the tension and kiss in scene #1 so ... =)

    But yes, kisses can be as detailed or graphic as you want, but if there's no emotional connection, it's worthless to a reader. ;-)

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  103. AUDRA SAID: "Kiss #1 is toe curling enough to make a munchkin envious : )"

    LOL ... you always make me smile, girlfriend, you know that??

    Thanks SO much for swinging by when I know you've been working hard all day. Go lay some kisses on Gary ... that should help you unwind. Or not. ;)

    Love you!
    Julie

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  104. ARTIST LIBRARIAN (AKA JENN) SAID: "But yes, kisses can be as detailed or graphic as you want, but if there's no emotional connection, it's worthless to a reader. ;-)"

    PREACH IT, girlfriend, because emotion is what romance is all about for me -- those feelings of love, sometimes swamped by feelings of anger or crabby moods, which makes the sweet times all the sweeter. :)

    Thanks for coming by, Jenn, and GOOD LUCK!!

    HUGS,
    JULIE

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  105. Wow, Julie, you write amazing kissing scenes! I loved both of the them. Please, don't make me choose one!! Too bad the editor already has my r&r back in her hands...I feel the need to rewrite (heat up) my kissing scenes. Oh well, I'll just have to do a better job writing the kissing scenes in my current wip. Thanks for a wonderful post.

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  106. LOL, RHONDA, what a SWEET thing to say, my friend, THANK YOU!! It means all the more coming from a pier, I assure you.

    And I don't know if you are aware, but I put together a writers' workbook called Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets, where I break it down in short chapters how to spike the romance in your books. Here's the link in case you want to check it out.

    ROMANCE-OLOGY 101

    Thanks for coming by and happy writing!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  107. I already have Romance-ology 101 on my Kindle. It's in my to-be-read pile. Guess I need to move it to the top of the pile. :)

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  108. Julie, it's so late but here is my Ethan and Audra kissing scene (I said Glynna before, but she's the heroine of Fired Up)

    "Right before you showed up. I decided all the people who'd been running my life had done a poor job of it. My father who as good as sold me to Wendell to pay off a gambling debt."
    She saw Ethan flinch at that.
    "And my husband who'd brought me to that dreadful, lonely place. So I decided I was going to take over and run my life myself."
    "And that's when you went to punching Wendell."
    "I didn't exactly punch him." Audra felt a little dangerous when she said it though. "But he put his hands on me in anger and I…I put a stop to it." She jerked her chin. "But I suppose it wouldn't have gone as well if he hadn't most fortunately been deathly ill."
    "Most fortunately?" Ethan grinned.
    Audra narrowed her eyes. "I should think you'd be just the littlest bit frightened of me, Ethan Kincaid. I've proved I can do some damage."
    "I'm shakin' in my boots, darlin'." He kissed her.
    "Glad to hear it." She spoke against his lips, loving the taste of his smile.
    "So it sounds like you've cured yourself of being a coward." Then Ethan's smile faded. "Now we only have me left to cure. Then maybe I can learn to…to…care again."
    Sympathy like none she'd every felt before welled up in her. "You care about your brothers."
    With a shrug, he said, "I rode away from here five years ago and only just came back. My pa and ma are dead and I haven't visited their graves since I've been home. I never wrote a letter or even though much about it."
    "You care about Maggie."
    A smile crept onto Ethan's lips. "I reckon I like the little ones good enough."
    "And you know what, Ethan Kincaid?" Audra kissed him. It wasn't the first time she'd noticed he liked that. Audra realized right then that she knew more about being married than Ethan did and mMaybe it was time she showed him some of what it all meant. She took her own meager courage in both hands. "I can show you something else you'll care about."
    "What?"
    She deepened the kiss and unlike the other times, she pulled him closer instead of pushing him away. This time she didn't tell him they mustn't. It had been long enough since Lily's birth, far longer than she'd been able to make Wendell wait.
    "You didn't answer me. What is it you think I'll care about?" Ethan asked.
    Audra smile as she realized Ethan was far more of an innocent than she. For some strange reason, that pleased her deeply.
    She rose from his lap and reached out her hand. "Come on upstairs to bed, and I'll show you."
    His eyes got wide. He clearly had some idea of her intent. He stood, so much taller than Wendell, so much stronger, so much kinder.
    "We pledged before God to be man and wife.” She took his hand. “That vow is about a spiritual union and a lifetime commitment, but there's more to it than that."
    Ethan smiled and tugged her forward. Arm and arm they went upstairs.
    Audra couldn’t be certain, but as they took the final step to being fully married, she thought Ethan acted like a man who cared very much.

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  109. Loved your kissing scene, Mary!!

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  110. The 1st kiss, I think. I don't know why but I like it a LOT ;)

    Thanks for offering a giveaway, Julie!

    HUGS <3

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  111. MARY, YES!!! LOVE THAT SCENE, MY FRIEND -- it definitely sizzzzzzzles!!

    LOVE the line "She spoke against his lips, loving the taste of his smile."

    Mmm ... I just may steal that ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  112. LOL, MICAELA ... good enough, darlin' ... you're in the draw!! :)

    Good luck and happy kissing ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  113. ANNA!!! Always good to see you here, my friend, no matter how brief. ;)

    You're in the draw, darlin', so GOOD LUCK!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  114. RHONDA ... GOOD GIRL!! ;) And THANK YOU!!

    I would not be offended if you moved it up on TBR, no. ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  115. Oh my goodness. Can't believe I missed this yesterday. Was at Market Daze, selling books. sigh'

    Sorry I missed this yesterday but so glad to read it now. YOu do kisses very well Miss Julie. smile

    I was writing one the other day so am glad to have the resource.

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  116. SANDRA!!! No worries, my friend. :) And thank you for your sweet comment. :)

    Hope you sold a ton of books, girlfriend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  117. I believe that the first kiss is the most powerful, or the one that makes you fall in love with someone. <3

    Where can I find the clips u mentioned in your article?
    Adele

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  118. Hey, ADEL, thank you for coming by!

    I actually included a link in the blog above to the clips I mentioned, "Julie’s 1st and 2nd Favorite Kissing Scenes," but I will post the link here in this comment as well.

    Julie’s 1st and 2nd Favorite Kissing Scenes

    All you do is read both clips, then tell me which you prefer. That automatically gives you a second entry into my contest, the first being your initial comment.

    Happy Reading and GOOD LUCK!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  119. ohhhh , Julie!
    for a single woman w/o a Valentine in sight, those are quite the excerpts :)
    Should've had a tall cold drink at hand before I started reading !

    You def know what you're about in both scenes but my vote is for #1 of the 2.
    And every BEST VALENTINE WISH for you <3 !

    MUCH LOVE,
    Sharon

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  120. Thanks, KARA ... you're my kind of gal! Although since I posted this blog, one of my commenters reminded me of HIS favorite of my kiss scenes, and I have to admit, it's a close call. If you search the comments for the phrase "A Heart Revealed" and read that scene to tell me if it ousts your chosen scene (#1) or not, I'll give you an extra entry in the draw. :)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  121. SHARON!!! Do you have ANY idea just how fun it is to see you here??? I have missed you, my friend, and always smile when I see your addy on the Web. :)

    Sorry about the heat, but we have to do SOMETHING to counter the 50-Shades-Week debacle, right??

    Good choice on #1, although since I posted this blog, one of my commenters reminded me of HIS favorite of my kiss scenes, and I have to admit, it's a close call. If you have time to search the comments for the phrase "A Heart Revealed," and read that brief scene to tell me whether it ousts your chosen scene (#1) or not, I'll give you an extra entry in the draw. :)

    Don't be a stranger, my friend!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  122. Luv your warm hospitality, Julie, TY!
    I did find and read the other entry, but not ousting #1's HoTness :)
    Thanks, though, for another verry tasty hors d’ oeuvres !

    ~Sharon <3

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  123. LOL, SHARON, okay ... I'll let #1 stand as your fave of the two because it definitely IS hotter than the others. :)

    HUGS!!
    Julie

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  124. Your kissing scenes are always good, Julie, but I prefer scene number 2.

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  125. Thanks, PAM ... it's about 50/50 on the two scenes, that shows how different we all are. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  126. Your daughter is a lovely young woman. Very nice video. Hope to see her in future pieces.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

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  127. LIBRARY PAT, thank you SO much!! She's as beautiful on the inside as she is the outside, so I am blessed! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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