Wednesday, February 10, 2016

KISSES, KISSES, KISSES!



"You should be kissed and often
 and by someone who knows how."

—Rhett Butler to Scarlett O’Hara

in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind


Oh, honey, can I hear a big AMEN to that???

Julie here, and as a die-hard romance writer and reader, I thought we should talk about “kisses” in honor of Valentine’s Day. Why? Because on the subject of kisses, I am sooooo in agreement with my most flirtatious heroine, Charity O’Connor who said in A Passion Redeemed:
“You have to be tough and focus on the end result—getting Brady to admit he’s in love with you.”

“But how do I do that?” Lizzie chewed on her thumbnail.

Leaning back in her chair, Charity placed her hands over her pregnant stomach, lips pursed in a satisfied smile. “With the most deadly weapon in a women’s arsenal.”

Both Faith and Lizzie stopped breathing. They leaned forward. “And what’s that?” Lizzie whispered.

Charity paused, tone hushed with reverence.“The kiss.”                                     A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman

Ah, yes, “the kiss”!

The very subject people have been talking about for centuries, immortalizing “the kiss” in every medium possible:

IN BOOKS
The kiss itself is immortal.
It travels from lip to lip, century to century,
 from age to age.  Men and women garner these kisses,
 offer them to others and then die in turn.
—Guy de Maupassant

IN MOVIES
“A kiss may not be the truth,
but it is what we wish were true.” 
—Steve Martin in L.A. Story (1991)

IN SONG TITLES
This Kiss
by Faith Hill 
BY MOVIE STARS 
A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear;
kisses are the messengers of love and tenderness. 
—Ingrid Bergman 
BY PLAYWRIGHTS AND POETS
Make me immortal with a kiss.
—Christopher Marlowe

BY SINGERS/SONGWRITERS
Well, it’s either kiss me or kill me,
 that’s how I see it.
—Tom Waits 
AND EVEN IN CHILDREN'S RHYMES
Julie and Keith sitting in a tree,
KI-—SSING
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes Julie with the baby carriage.

So … I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the favorite kisses I’ve written and analyze WHY they appeal to me so much. Well, fun for me, at least … and the other kissaholics out there, maybe!

But first—a caveat. Some in the Christian market have called me “The Kissing Queen,” so it’s no secret I like my kisses way more hot than sweet. You see, before I came to Christ, I was one of the huge majority of women who read secular romance, so for me, romantic passion is key. However, as some of us know from judging Rita books, most of the secular market is prettttttttty passionate/graphic, which is why I don’t read secular books anymore except when judging the Ritas.

So … when I started reading Christian romance over forty years ago, it was like going from five-alarm hot tamales to pabulum, the final straw being a book I read by a top-name author when I was in my fifties, where the hero kissed the heroine on the last page in front of seven people after he asked her to marry him.

Uh, no.

That was the moment I decided to write my own Christian romance for women like me— “hot tamales” who love God with all of their heart and want to honor Him in their reading and writing.

That said, when I combed all the love scenes in my books—and those who have read my books know there are plenty—I only found a few kissing scenes that were “sweet” vs. hot.

Yeah, pathetic, I know.

Therefore … if you like your kisses “sweet” (i.e. almost kisses, non-kisses, mental kisses, all of which you can find on my KISSES, KISSES, KISSES tab of my website) rather than “hot,” then you might want to stop reading after point  #1 below, which is one of the sweetest kisses I have ever written. Shall we begin?

1.)  THE SWEET KISS:

Now a soft kiss—aye, by that kiss,
I vow an endless bliss.
—John Keats

This is a scene from A Love Surrendered, where the hero, Steven O’Connor, is railroaded by his family to take the heroine, Annie Kennedy, and her five-year-old sister home. When he walks them to the door, the little girl, Glory, is in her sister’s arms and gives Steven a kiss goodnight on the lips, then insists he kiss her sister as well.

        Heart thudding, he did the only thing he knew to do. He kissed Annie right on the tip of her nose. Clearing his throat, he stepped back. “Well, good night, ladies.”
        “No, silly,” Glory said, “like this . . .” She demonstrated with a sweet little peck on her sister’s lips as if he were too stupid to understand, then tilted her head. “See? It’s easy.”
        Too easy, he thought with a trip of his pulse. Way, way too easy . . .
        “Stop it, Glory, Steven doesn’t want to—”
        “Sure I do,” he whispered, his words shocking him as much as Annie. Gaze holding hers, he slowly leaned in, close enough to see the long sweep of her lashes, the pale gold in eyes so green, he felt like he was in Oz, about to be granted a wish. He heard the soft hitch of her breath when she stopped breathing because it coincided with the halt of air in his own lungs. Cupping her face in his hand, his eyelids sheathed closed at the touch of her lips—soft, supple, and just a hint of peppermint from the candy she’d offered him in the car. It was meant to be no more than a peck like Glory had given him, but somehow his mouth wanted to linger and explore . . .
       He stepped in close, body grazing hers and Glory’s till they were one. A little-girl giggle broke the trance, and Annie’s lips curved beneath his.
       “His whiskers are itchy, aren’t they, Annie?” Glory asked, patting his face. “Kind a makes you wiggly all over, doesn’t it?”
       Annie’s eyes glowed as she caressed her own cheek. “Very wiggly,” she whispered.

To me, what makes this kiss so romantic are the following things:

   MALE POV: Too easy, he thought with a trip of his pulse. Way, way too
 easy . . .
    FIVE SENSES:  Sight—close enough to see the long sweep of her lashes, the pale gold in eyes so green; Hearing—He heard the soft hitch of her breath; Smell and Taste— a hint of peppermint; Touch— the touch of her lips—soft, supple.
    RESTRAINED PASSION: Believe it or not, I DO like restrained passion, which a lot of my heroes employ as you’ll see in the next scene, because it thuds the pulse without steaming the glasses. ;)
Okay, all you “sweet” kiss lovers out there—thank you for joining us and we bid you farewell as we continue on with anyone who likes a litttttle bit more heat …


2.) THE KISS THAT UNLEASHES HIDDEN ATTRACTION:

Never ask a woman if you may kiss her.
Instead, learn to read body language.
—Neil Strauss

In A Hope Undaunted, while hero Luke McGee is comforting heroine Katie O’Connor, he is shocked to sense her attraction to him despite her prior disdain, a dream come true for the boy who’s had a crush on her since she was eleven. When he kisses her, his suspicions are confirmed, escalating the romantic tension … and “the kiss.”

       As if under a spell, his gaze was drawn to her lips, parted and full, and the sound of her shallow breathing filled him with a fierce longing. “Oh, Katie,” he whispered, no power over the pull he was suddenly feeling. In slow motion, he bent toward her, closing his eyes to caress her mouth with his own.
       A weak gasp escaped her as she stiffened, but he couldn’t relent. The taste of her lips was far more than he bargained for, and he drew her close with a raspy groan. With a fierce hold, he cupped the back of her neck and kissed her deeply, gently, possessive in his touch. His fingers twined in her hair, desperate to explore.
And then all at once, beyond his comprehension, her body melded to his with an answering groan, and he was shocked when her mouth rivaled his with equal demand. Desire licked through him, searing his body and then his conscience. With a heated shudder, he gripped her arms and pushed her back, his breathing ragged as he held her at bay.
“We can’t do this,” he whispered. He dropped his hold and exhaled, gouging shaky fingers through disheveled hair. His gaze returned, capturing hers and riddled with regret. “Believe me, Katie, as much as I want to, I’ve learned the hard way to take things slow. I should have never started this, and I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”

To me, what makes this kiss so romantic are the following things:

   AGAIN, MALE POV: He was shocked when her mouth rivaled his with equal demand.
    FIVE SENSES:  Sight— his gaze was drawn to her lips, parted and full; Hearing— the sound of her shallow breathing; Taste—The taste of her lips; Touch—His fingers twined in her hair.
    RESTRAINED PASSION: Once again, longing vs. restraint is very attractive in a Inspy hero.
   OPPOSITES ATTRACT: Not just with characters, but with words too, combining opposite phrases such as “he cupped the back of her neck” (implying gentleness) with “he kissed her deeply (implying passion) and “gently” with “possessive in his touch.”
   TRIGGER PHRASES: I’m sorry, but I LOVE trigger phrases like: “raspy groan” or “ragged breathing” because I can hear it and almost feel what he’s feeling.


3.) THE RETALIATORY KISS:

A kiss, and all was said.
—Victor Hugo

Later in the same scene from above, Katie slaps Luke silly despite her obvious attraction to him, unleashing his anger toward the girl who’s mocked him since he was a boy. This ramps his earlier tender attraction all the way to wounded ego, resulting in an angry kiss to not only prove she's lying when she says she's not attracted to him, but to spurn her like she did to him.

       She tried to shove him out of the way. “I’m going home.”
       “Not yet,” he whispered, blocking her in with a push to the wall. “You can turn your nose up at me all you want, Katydid, 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. To you I’ll always be riffraff, something vulgar and crude. Well, welcome to my world, Miss O’Connor. And, please, let me show you how we do it on the ‘streets.’”
       In a catch of her breath, he took her mouth by force, his late-day beard rough against her skin. A faint moan escaped her lips and all resistance fled, burned away by the heat of his touch, leaving her weak and wanting. His mouth roamed at will, no longer gentle as he devoured her, ravenous against the smooth curve of her throat, the soft flesh of her ear. With a guttural groan, he jerked her close with powerful arms, consuming her mouth with a kiss surely driven by the sheer will to ravage.

What makes this kiss so romantic for me is the following:

   WIDE RANGE OF EMOTION: Both of the above scene clips from #2 and #3 are from the same scene in A Hope Undaunted (WHICH, by the way, is not only my favorite book I've ever written, but will be available for FREE DOWNLOAD beginning March 1st, so mark your calendars and take advantage!), creating a roller-coaster effect of emotions from caring and concern on the hero’s part in the very beginning … to shock, attraction, and passion during the first kiss … then shock and anger over Katie’s rejection, culminating in revenge and retribution with a kiss that creates hurt and regret for both characters. In my opinion, this roller-coaster effect of emotions not only heightens the tension in the plot, but the romantic tension as well.         NOTE: You can read this scene in its entirety on the  FAVE KISSING SCENES tab of my website.  AND GUESS WHAT??? A Hope Undaunted will be available for FREE DOWNLOAD beginning March 1st, so put it on your Amazon Wish List and download it then because it is my MOST FAVORITE book of all the books I've written! And if you don't think so too, I'll give you a money-back guarantee beginning March 1st! ;)
   POWERFUL WORDS: I love, Love, LOVE the use of emotionally charged words such as devour, consume, guttural, ravage, each further enhancing the drama of an already tense situation, ratcheting up the romantic tension I so love.


4.) THE STILL-WATERS-RUN-DEEP KISS:

He kisses like he’s dying of thirst, and I’m water.
—Jennifer L. Armentrout

In this scene from A Passion Denied, heroine Lizzie O’Connor has been in love with hero John Brady since she was fourteen, but he only sees her as a little girl … until she tricks him with a surprise—and forbidden—kiss.

A fraction of a second became eons as she awaited his rejection. His body was stiff with shock, but no resistance came. And in a sharp catch of her breath, he drew her to him with such force, she gasped, the sound silenced by the weight of his mouth against hers. He groaned and clutched the back of her head as if to delve in her soul, a man possessed. His lips broke free to wander her throat, and shivers of heat coursed through her veins. In ragged harmony, their shallow breathing billowed into the night while his arms possessed her, molding her body to his.
“Oh, Brady, I’m so in love with you,” she whispered.
Her words severed his hold as neatly as the blade of a guillotine. He staggered to his feet, and icy cold replaced the warmth of his arms. Opening her eyes, she saw pain in his and grabbed his arm. “Brady, can’t you see? You love me too … not as a friend or a sister, but as a woman.”
“God help me, Beth, I can’t love you that way.” He stared like a zombie, chest heaving with jagged breaths that swirled into the cool night air, drifting away.
Just like her dreams.

To me, what makes this kiss so romantic are the following things:

   EXPOSING FORBIDDEN DESIRE: John Brady is attracted to Lizzie, but he refuses to act on it due to secret sins and pains from his past. To me, few things are more romantically passionate and tense than exposing desire in a hero who works so hard to hide it.
   RESTRAINED PASSION: From this kiss on, “restrained passion” is the hallmark of John Brady (a Billy-Graham-type hero) in the rest of the book, thus the title—A Passion Denied!


5.) THE NO-NONSENSE COWBOY KISS:

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature
to stop speech when words become superfluous.
Ingrid Bergman

Okay, I’ll admit it—I have never written a cowboy kiss before, but I can still see Mary Connealy’s cowboy kiss in my mind from Sharpshooter in Petticoats, which practically gave me heatstroke. 

AND … because I love it SO much, I am posting Mary’s “no-nonsense cowboy kiss” first, then following up with my first cowboy kiss ever, which Mary inspired from her book, Sharpshooter in Petticoats:

“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’ve been mine since the day we met. You were mine when you were married to another man. You were mine when you were giving birth to someone else’s child. 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.

Quick—somebody give me a fan—please! Okay, I’ll end today’s blog with my own version of the “no-nonsense cowboy” from my upcoming spring Seeker novella, “For Love of Liberty”:

           “No, ma’am, I’m tired of your yammering and I mean to go home, so I’m not going to tell you again, Liberty Bell—move that fancy dress of yours out of my way, or I’m going to move it for you.”
“You wouldn’t!” Those full pink lips parted in shock, and he mentally grazed them in his mind, tasting their softness.
“Try me.” He singed her with a glare as hot as the fire she’d lit in his belly.
Sparks and words continued to fly while that beautiful mouth just jabbered away, but the only thing he heard was the violent thud of his own pulse and the sound of those lips calling him home ...
“So there, Finn McShane!” she said with a stomp of her foot, “I will not get out of your way, and you can’t make me!”
He sighed. Poor, misguided little rich girl.
“Yeah?” He pushed the brim of his hat up. “Watch me.” Hurling his satchel to the floor, he heard the catch of her breath when he struck like lightning with an arm to her waist, jerking her close to kiss the daylights out of her while her boots dangled in the air.
Unfortunately, the moment he tasted those soft lips parted in surprise, he was struck by a little lightning of her own, electrifying every nerve in his body while his blood simmered to a dangerous boil. When a soft telltale mew escaped her, he was helpless to contain the low moan that scraped past his throat. Butting her to the door, he cradled her face in his hands, longing pumping through his veins as he claimed the sweetest lips he’d ever known, completely disarmed by the scent of her skin, the soft flesh of her ear. He’d dreamed of kissing Liberty O’Shea for as long as could remember, but he never expected this—a kiss that could surely tame his taste for all other woman.
The very thought bucked like a thorn-saddled bull, and with a shiver of sleet through his veins, he dropped her to the floor like he’d been bit by a rattler. She teetered precariously—along with his heart—eyes glazed and mouth still open in shock. Mustering all the calm he owned—a mite short at the moment—he yanked his hat down low and reached for the knob.
She bolted away so fast, Finn had to stifle a chuckle, tossing her a wink as he opened the door. “Told you.”

To me, what makes both of these kisses so romantic is the following:

   NO-NONSENSE MALE: I’m sorry, but as a reader (ahem … and a writer), I am a “wall-pusher” from way back, beginning with books/movies like Gone With the Wind and McClintock all the way up to The Notebook, so for me, that’s what makes this scene. I realize a lot of women take offense to this type of action in a romance novels due to evils such as abuse and sexual harassment found in today's society. Please note that this is merely romance in the same vein as the old Hollywood movies (or newer ones like The Notebook) with one exception—in my books, such behavior is always addressed throughout the course of the novel when the hero finally learns the error of his ways.

Okay, that’s it for today, and if you’d like to read some of my favorite kissing scenes in their entirety, be sure to check out the KISSES, KISSES, KISSES page of my website.

 GIVEAWAY:
Now I'd like to hear from you all—name or post your favorite kiss you’ve ever written or read, and I’ll enter you to win both my new contemporary, Isle of Hope, or it’s brand-new prequel, A Glimmer of Hope. And if you already have IOH, I’ll substitute with the Seeker spring novella, so either way, it’s win-win!

ADDITIONAL GIVEAWAYS!!
I have a TON of sales/giveaways going on right now, so check out my weekly JOURNAL JOTS BLOG for details and links.  

BUT ONE YOU DEFINITELY MUST VISIT IS THIS ONE ON THE "READING IS MY SUPERPOWER" BLOG FOR A  LIST OF TEN OF THE TOP KISSING BOOKS IN CHRISTIAN FICTION where you can win  11 BOOKS!! Here's the link -- go for it!!  KISSING BOOKS 101

"IT'S TIME TO FALL IN LOVE" TREASURE HUNT!! Win Kindles, gift baskets, gift cards, books, and a character named after you in my next book, so check out the "It's Time to Fall in Love" Treasure Hunt on Debbie Lynne Costello's, MaryLu Tyndall's, and my blogs! Here's the link to get started, so get on your mark ... get set ... GO fall in love!! http://theswordandspirit.blogspot.com/ 

1/2-PRICE SALE ON ISLE OF HOPE!!
This is your chance to get my latest book,  Isle of Hope, at the lowest price yet!  It has a five-star rating on Amazon  with 108 reviews, so I hope you’ll  check them out soon because this  sale ends at midnight on Valentine's Day!  ORDER ISLE OF HOPE HERE!

PRE-ORDER SALE ON IOH PREQUEL, 66% OFF!!
Yes, it's true -- this is your chance to get the prequel to Isle of Hope at the lowest price, so here's the link! PRE-ORDER A GLIMMER OF HOPE HERE!




ABOUT JULIE:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series with Revell Publishing, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list. Her latest novel, Surprised by Love, appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014, and her independent novel 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. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.
Hugs,
Julie

181 comments:

Trixi said...

Ok Julie, you have me running to my freezer door.....probably thawing everything in it to boot...whew!!!!!!

I like any kiss, from the sweet to the passionate (with boundaries, of course). The barely restrained adds a dimension of danger and edge-of-your seat thrills, where I find myself yelling at the characters that they need to stop before they go too far. I don't read those too often, and I respect and admire Christian authors who never go past that line. I too, used to read secular romance way before I gave my heart to the Lord, so I never want to read smut in my books. I want to honor Him in whatever my eyes see in a story. If I become uncomfortable, I simply stop reading and go on to a different book. :-)

Your post definitely has my favorite kissing scenes. I've read hundreds of various romance books that feature different levels of kisses & each one is just as good as the next. I think it depends on the situation, the theme of the story and how the author wants to portray the kisses. Some make me sigh & some get my heart racing...lol! Some I say to myself "kiss the girl already for crying out loud"...haha!!

Since I have IOH, please add my name to the other two drawings. I also have 2 of three of your Winds of Change series (1 & 3), must get that second book now, you have me intrigued :-) Thanks for sharing your kissing post....gonna read website kisses, kisses, kisses now!

Vince said...

"You should be kissed and often,
and by someone who knows how."

"I'd rather be kissed by someone who gives a damn."

"Frankly, my dear, that stage left before the first tear drop fell."


—Rhett Butler to Scarlett O’Hara, director's cut.

Actually, what I think makes your kissing scenes so passionate, for me at least, is their context in the story. You wait until enough foundation is established to allow the reader to know that the hero and heroine really do care for each other (even to the point where they are fighting off falling in love) and thus 'the kiss' is not just a kiss, it's an event that the reader has been rooting for and as such brings out some of the passion in the reader that a fan feels at a game when his team scores. ('Scores' is my emotionally charged word).

That cute scene between Annie, Steven, and Glory happens at the 52% mark in the book. And it's a sweet kiss!

Like the famous wine commercial, "No wine before its time" a Lessman kiss always waits until it's bliss. :)

BTW: That kiss of Mary's, to wit:

He grabbed a hank of her hair. “You’ve been mine since the day we met. You were mine when you were married to another man. You were mine when you were giving birth to someone else’s child."

That's not my 'cup of tea' as I was a fan of her husband who I thought was going to be redeemed in book three! That Tomcat neighbor had his eyes on her the whole time!

Context is king!

Vince

Lynne Feuerstein said...

Thank you Julie for that wonderful and entertaining post! I just had to leave a comment and say that as far as this aspect of Romance books go I'd say you're one of the masters!! I've always loved how not only have you mastered the type of kiss(from sweet to passionate),but you also are able to have different kisses depending on the couple and situation. I also appreciate how you know when to pull back and not let the kiss go too far. As far as favorites go ,it's hard to choose .I love them all! :) I do admit though there are a couple that come to mind: The sweet kiss you mentioned between Steven and Annie,their kiss when they become engaged,and the first kiss between Faith and Collin. Of course these are just the tip of the iceberg,I could probably go on and on about all the wonderful kissing scenes in your books.To paraphrase a song from Casablanca as far as your books go a kiss is not just a kiss!

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

I love all kisses, and every kiss needs its own kind of description. Whether it takes a paragraph, or a single sentence to give us the idea, every kiss should have the right description for the couple.
I've written kisses that were edited to almost nothing ("nothing below the jaw, please") and have written kisses that were verifiable "Julie Lessman hot" ! In one of my books ("Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs") the hero and heroine are most certainly not enjoying a "get to know you" kiss... and I have the one stars to show for it, haha! But it's also interesting how many of the five star reviews mention that super hot kiss, too. I couldn't have written that long, long, long-overdue kiss between the two best friends any other way. It's not a hair-yanker but it's surely no peck on the cheek. The passion is real.
I'm glad you clarified the "wall pusher" bit. I do get tired of the hair pulling, head grabbing, mouth ravaging, arm jerking, body slamming kisses. Reading them all at once is... yeah. But when you've led up to it for 150 pages of no kissing, I'm all on board with it!
And that reminds me of when a friend of mine said her favorite movie was "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne. I ran over to Amazon to rent it and watch this "romantic" movie. Ohhhhh, BOY. I was horrified at the rough and abusive behavior towards the heroine. But my friend found it very romantic. It really is a perspective issue, I think. What one reader will find romantic, another finds stomach-churning.
Maybe it comes down to our own experiences? When I met my husband I was completely taken with his respectful, conscientious demeanor. He was raised in a very traditional, Old World, religious household. And I was coming fresh from a liberal arts college where there were lots of assumptions and "grabby hands" was the middle name of every guy I knew. It was such a nice change. He seemed like a real gentleman, and that's what I find romantic, to this day.

In literary hero terms, maybe I'm a Mr. Darcy rather than Rhett Butler type. :D

Great post and here is to more KISSING!

Tina Radcliffe said...

You wrote a western?

Yeah. totally I am a Gilbert and Anne kiss.

Favorite kiss ever is Jude Deveraux, Sweet Liar. (Warning -the book is for sure secular steamy stuff). But the first kiss is when the h/h first met is the kiss by which I measure all kisses. It's better than any sexual tension or sex scene which btw I yawn at.

It really is all about the kiss.

"Putting one big hand behind her head, he turned her to the side and began to kiss her with all the passion she had missed in her life. He kissed her the way she had always wanted to be kissed, had dreamed of being kissed, kissed her the way fairy tales are supposed to end, the way all the books say a kiss should feel--the way no one had ever kissed her before."

This allows every woman to fill in the blanks and this one kiss becomes a universal kiss because it lacks details..yet it lacks..NOTHING.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Gilbert and Anne kiss FAN..I meant,lol. That was the insomnia talking. HA!

The Artist Librarian said...

Ironically, though I'm a total romantic and love reading kissing scenes it's the more descriptive scenes (like Julie's) that have made me even more determined to save my first kiss for my future husband. They made me realize how much a kiss can affect someone in love --I think for me, I'd need those boundaries. =)

I'll try and think up my favorite kiss scene later ... too many to choose from!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I think Mary Jane points out a huge and important fact... it's all in the reader's perspective.

I love the kiss, but more than that I love the emotional roller coaster leading up to the kiss, because the kiss isn't the frosting on the cake to me, it's the beautiful array of hand-crafted roses atop the frosting and the border enrobing the cake.

I loved the Anne and Gilbert kiss, and I'm always in the less-is-more category on this, but I do love that we've got a full range of scope for the imagination. In movies the North and South kiss in the train depot... and the dance at the ball at the end of "Enchanted" are two amazingly romantic moments.

Mary Jane noted that her hot kiss earned one-stars and five-stars, and we see that in our novella collections because the stories embrace a wide range of styles... Some folks love them all, some pick one or the other, but I love that variety rules the day!

Julie, my post tomorrow is not this long!!! :) You win this month's contest, darling!!!!

From your verbiose friend!

Jessica Nelson said...

OH. MY. I adore those kisses....wow...mmm, and borrowing one of your quotes for my FB.
I will admit to being flabbergasted by the lack of heat in Christian romances. There was one I read by a very famous author and when I was finished, I felt like the hero and heroine were brother and sister. There was absolutely NO attraction.

I know kisses can range from sweet to "let's skip this page" but I still think attraction is incredibly important. Great post!

Jackie said...

Hi Julie,

We need authors like you to take us beyond the sweet kiss. Thanks for sharing today.

I recently read Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann and she has some impressive chemistry between her characters, and great kisses.

Have a great day!





Jill Weatherholt said...

Hi Julie!
Even if you hadn't started this post with "Julie Here," I would have known you wrote it. You're the master!
I've always been partial to the sweet kiss. Thanks for a great post!

Janet Dean said...

Julie, you are the Queen of Kisses! Terrific examples of sensual and sweet kisses and how to vary the impact and timing. Those seeking publication need to remember that publishers permit different levels of sensuality, easy to see when reading the books they publish. Though kisses can easily be tamed if need be.

Janet

Pepper Basham said...

Woohooo!!!! Good morning to ME!!!
Julie, always such a pleasure to spend time reveling in the residual steam of your kissing blog post!
Love, love Liberty's kiss! Oh how fun.
I have a thing for a guy's POV in a kiss. I just love to try to describe things from their POV!!
I have a kiss in my upcoming release, The Thorn Keeper, where the hero pursues the heroine for the specific purpose of kissing. Oh that was so much fun!

YAY!! So...I just brought some apple pancakes out of the oven if anyone is interested? We serve them with powdered sugar on top and today they're in celebration of my 2nd son's 16th birthday!!!

Pepper Basham said...

Ruthy,
The North and South kiss?!? Whew...be still my heart!! Yes!
I love sweet kisses, but I'm fond of some sizzle too.
It's hard to decide whether I like 'unexpected' kisses or 'decisive' kisses best.
Variety keeps things sweet and spicy, and I'm a fan of both :-)

Pepper Basham said...

Jen (The Artist Librarian)
Great point! I love that you see the power in a kiss!! Of course, after reading Julie's kisses here, it's difficult NOT to see the power in them ;-) LOL

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pepper, I like the variety, too... the unexpected (which I like but I've found some editors don't, they think it cheats the reader...) And I like sizzle, I'm a fan of sizzle!!!! And I'm a huge fan of Pepper's profile picture! LOVE IT!!!!

Pepper Basham said...

Ah Ruthy, thank you!!
That's interesting about 'unexpected' kisses. I mean 'unexpected' in the fact that it surprises the hero/heroine, not the reader. I wonder if I've ever read a book where the kiss surprised the reader? Hmm....not sure.
And I'm so glad we got a snow day today so I could visit Seekerville before late evening! :-)

Abbi Hart said...

*HAPPY SIGH*
Now you have me swooning over these kisses all over again!! (And wanting to reread all of your books!!) Your kisses are definitely my favorite!
I loved how you broke down each scene, it made them even more powerful!
Cannot wait to read the IOH prequel!!

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Thanks, Julie. I agree with a couple of the earlier comments that a lot of Christian fiction tames down the romance. I have even commented in a couple of my reviews that the couple acted more like brother and sister than love interests. I REALLY love your love scenes. It is hard to pick just one!! :). But I do enjoy watching the passion from Marcy and Patrick because it shows how the passion should still be in the marriage. Passion doesn't die after saying "I Do." I found one of their passionate kisses. It comes from A Hope Undaunted, also my favorite book, "With soothing whispers, Patrick kissed brow, her cheek, her lips--gentle brushes all, laden with repentance. He cupped her jaw in the palm of his hand and fondled her lips with a gentle caress, then pulled away to plead with his eyes. 'Marcy, I was wrong'" (301). Boy, do I want my husband to admit when he was wrong. That made me sigh! Thanks, Julie. Now, I want to go and reread all your books from the beginning.

Janet Dean said...

Julie, I loved seeing you sitting with the Hershey Kisses, a delightful image that's perfect for your post today.

Janet

Julie Lessman said...

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE -- it's 16 degrees at Lake of the Ozarks and the lake is freezing over, so I'm hoping I can do a little thawing with this post today! ;)

Kisses have been one of my favorite subjects since I first read Gone With the Wind at the age of twelve, and the fire is still going strong, so let's dive in to some of my favorite kissing scenes I've ever written, and I hope you think so too!

We have a "hot" breakfast for you this morning (of course!) of made-to-order omelets, maple-cured bacon and ham, flambe crepes, hot cereals, and hot coffee and tea -- every flavor under the sun, so dig in and let's warm up for the day ...

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

TRIXI!!! Goodness, girl, you're a late owl, aren't you!! Thanks for coming by, my friend and sorry about the freezer -- hope there wasn't any spoilage! ;)

And I would LOVE to send you a winning copy of A Heart Revealed, especially that's the only one of my books that I didn't write the ending -- God did!! I've told that story before on Seekerville about how because Emma is married in this book (and Catholic, so divorce/annulment was incredibly rare back then), the likely ending was that I needed to "free" her from this abusive marriage. But as far as I could see, that left me with with only a couple of options, both of which were TOO obvious and what the reader would expect me to do. And we all know I NEVER like to do what people expect, right?

So I remember sitting on my porch in the fall, straining my brain to come up with a clever ending when I looked up at the sky and said, "God, you are the God of creativity -- can You please give me an ending nobody will guess??" Within ten seconds, an idea floated into mind like the leaves floating from the trees off my deck, and I literally sat right up and started laughing because He did! And I'm happy to say that no one has guessed it yet, that I know of -- just ask Vince! ;)I just love when God gets involved, don't you???

Anyway, thanks for coming by, my friend, and here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Good morning, VINCE, my you're either up realllllly early this morning, my friend, or you couldn't sleep -- either way, a kissing blog is certainly an appropriate reason for either, in my opinion! ;)

You said: "Like the famous wine commercial, "No wine before its time" a Lessman kiss always waits until it's bliss. :)"
LOL ... can I quote you??? ;) Actually, I do quote you a lot, one of my favorites being:

"A Julie Lessman kiss actually acts as a detonator which ignites an explosion of pent-up emotions that rock the hero and heroine's world while sending out shock waves that reverberate through a reader's body, from the inside out, ending in virtual fireworks."

You do have a way with words, Mr. Mooney, which is one of the many reasons I cannot WAIT to buy your first book, so make it snappy, will you???

Hugs!
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

Okay, Julie! I had to go back and find my favorite kiss I've written from my yet-to-be-published novel, Just The Way You Are.

Hope it's not too long. I tried to cut to the best part :-)

“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, claiming her lips, and 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 back together against the wall, all those soft curves trapped against him and the unyielding wall. Two years of waiting? No, he’d been waiting a lifetime for this.

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, LYNNE, THANK YOU, my sweet friend -- you always make me smile! And I do love that first kiss between Faith and Collin as well because it was my VERY FIRST love scene I ever wrote, and frankly, I was surprised Revell let me keep it because it certainly veered from the norm in the CBA back then!

LOL ... now, it seems almost tame compared to some of my later ones AND compared to many of the wonderful kisses I've read today in Christian romance! Sooooooo glad we Inspy readers are "warming up" to the idea of passionate kisses! ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!

Julie

Sarah Claucherty said...

Okay, now I feel the need to go reread Julie's books! Hello, snowy roads, clear yourselves please so that I can run to the library and pick up those I don't own SO I CAN HAVE A LESSMAN BOOK-ATHON! Ahem.

Well, in the absence of that pipe dream (can you tell I'm ready for spring?), I'll content myself with enjoying this post and the Julie books I do have. :)

I can't pick a favorite kiss, really, but I love when the tension and the relationship builds up to the event. That's one reason I prefer Christian fiction: the lack of overwhelming physicality (y'all know what I mean LOL) leads authors to build the tension in other ways. And that can make for wonderful stories!

I do enjoy Julie's characters and how she gradually brings them together, so their kisses are on the list of my favorites. :) I do love those others where it's done more subtly and yet it's so clear, like the Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice, at the very end. (I like both versions, so please don't boot me off the island!)

Sarah Claucherty said...

Pepper, I feel the need to hunt down your books now...Glad you got a snow day, too! :)

Cindy Regnier said...

Oh my goodness. I want to go write a kissing scene, not a comment. Julie, you absolutely are the queen of kisses. You know my favorite book is A Passion Denied, and the kiss between Brady and Lizzie ranks right at number one, but that last kiss in your post, the cowboy and the rich girl, oh mercy! Sleet in the veins? What a great phrase! That book better be coming out soon because now I can't wait!

Sarah Claucherty said...

Oops! Forgot to say that I'd love to be added to the drawings today, Julie. :) I do have Isle of Hope already though.

When is your Seeker novella collection coming out, Julie? I'd forgotten you were working on a Western story too.

Julie Lessman said...

MARY JANE SAID: "And have written kisses that were verifiable "Julie Lessman hot"

LOL ... okay, you need to post a clip of that "super hot kiss" for our audience today, my friend, because no "drive-by" mentions of "super hot kisses here -- I want copy!!

You're not going to believe this, but I agree with you about The Quiet Man, which kind of shocks me to the core since I am DEFINITELY an "old school," "old Hollywood movie" type of gal. I, too, had a friend (she is 40 years younger than me, too!) who told me I just HAD to watch that movie because it was SO romantic.

Uh, no, I didn't think it was, but McClintock? With the same hero and heroine (John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara)??? OH. MY. GOODNESS!! I loved that movie, and don't even get me started on The Notebook!! That wall-pusher scene is one of my THREE top favorite kisses ever!!

You said: "I'm glad you clarified the "wall pusher" bit. I do get tired of the hair pulling, head grabbing, mouth ravaging, arm jerking, body slamming kisses. Reading them all at once is... yeah. But when you've led up to it for 150 pages of no kissing, I'm all on board with it!"

Yeah, I get 1- and 2-starred a lot because of my take on "wall-pushing," and I certainly understand why. But for me, a lot of it is my age and the type of romance Hollywood doled out WAY BACK when I was a girl, so I see it as pretty innocent -- at least in "Calgon, take me away" vein of romance novels. Uh that, and the fact that I am what my husband calls "a handful," so I need a strong man, which wall-pusher kisses convey to me. Don't get me wrong -- my husband is one of the sweetest, kindest men I've ever met, but there is a scene in A Heart Revealed that involves a chicken and a can of shaving cream that is taken straight from our marriage, conveying a temper I never knew my husband had, so he definitely has his moments ...

I think you hit a nail on the head with your comment about one's own experiences in romance, Virginia -- that is SO true and I can definitely see how the gentlemen type of hero is more appealing to you now.

Thanks for your great comments, my friend, and please post that scene, okay?

Hugs!!
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

SARAH,
Thank you!! There is the 'wall slamming' moment but in the story we have been waiting about 150 pages for that kiss to happen!!! But in my soon-to-be released book, The Thorn Keeper, there's a few really nice ones. Oh yes. :-)

Grace Dickerson said...

Hey, Julie! I love your kissing scenes! YOu don't hold back! LOL! HOnestly, I've tried to hold back, since I write Young Adult books, but when Thomas Nelson gave me the chance to write books for the Christian adult audience, I felt a little bit more freedom in that area. I was just reading through the brand new ARC for The Beautiful Pretender, which comes out in May (doesn't everyone read their own books when they get them in print for the first time?) and I was a little bit . . . freaked out? Worried? About all the kissing at the end! LOL! I didn't realize there was that much. I always try to make the first kiss the reader's reward, since I make them wait for it until the end. :-) But in this one, there are so many almost-kisses, lots of thinking about kissing, both before and after the first kiss. So much fun. Sigh. ;-)
And in A Spy's Devotion, this is Regency England, so there is no kissing. Ah-hem. Or so the propriety police would want you to think. It creates a lot of uptight-ness, and my heroine is quite the uptight type at first. She realizes, finally, that denying one's feelings and trying to adhere to society's rules is not as important as pleasing God. She gets quite honest in the end. ;-) But she--and the reader--has to wait for the kisses until the end, but then she makes up for it!!!!!!!! Haha. Lots of kissing in the carriage after the proposal. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

YIKES!!! I can't believe I wrote all that under my daughter's account! Don't tell her! She will kill me! Ha!!!!!!!

Wilani Wahl said...

Julie, I have pre-ordered Glimmer of Hope.

Dare I get brave enough to insert here a kiss I wrote in the book I am editing in preparation for the Genesis contest. To set the scene, Eric has arrived at Dreama's door with roses for her and a kitty for her grandma who has Alzheimers so Dreama is living with her.

Eric and Dreama sat on the couch beside each other. Ever so slowly Eric reached his arm behind the back of the couch. Realizing where his arms was, Dreama scooted closer to him until there was nothing between their bodies and his arm moved where she was snuggled underneath it.

All of a sudden, Grandma spoke, "Well, are you going to kiss her or not? What is taking so long?"

"I knew you were a woman after my heart. With your permission I will kiss your granddaughter right now."

Dreama could not believe what was happening. Her face felt so warm as she looked at Eric who was lowering his face to hers. She quickly closed her eyes as his lips gently touched hers slowly at first and then more intense as she melted into him. Wow, he tasted wonderful. She wondered about the special funny feeling inside. She definitely wanted another kiss and a taste of his lips, but yet knew she shouldn't.

As he broke the kiss, the two of them gazed into each other's eyes. Dreama knew she could drown in that look.

Grandma cheered and clapped.

"I want to see you do it again."

"We shouldn't." Dreama said, but she never moved from Eric's arms and even got bold enough to lay her head on his chest so she could hear his heart beating. Some chaperone Grandma is, especially since she is acting like a little girl. They stayed just like they were, in peaceful contented silence.

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, TINA, I totalllllly agree -- that IS a super hot kiss for that very reason -- it DOES allow every woman to fill in the blanks, truly making it a universal kiss! EXCELLENT clip, my friend -- THANK YOU!!

LOL ... I would LOVE to know the percentage breakdown in Christian romance of "Gilbert & Anne" kisses versus "The Notebook" type of kisses, so maybe I should take a very loose poll -- a choice of HOT or SWEET??

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JENN -- good for you, my friend!! I know a number of young people who saved their first kisses for their hubbies, so you go, girl! I promise you this -- going that route will save you A LOT of heartbreak!

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Dana Michael said...

I love all of your books Julie and all of the kissing scenes. I think I'm gonna sag my favorite though is drop A Passion Denied. I just loved Brady so much.

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, RUTHY, YES!!! (she says with a fist pump in the air)!!

Actually, believe it or not, I had a TON more scenes picked out, but quickly realized that if I included them all, that one blog would be longer than all the other Seeker blogs put together for a week, so I actually showed "restraint" ... something I don't do very often when it comes to kisses ... ;)

YOU SAID: "I love the kiss, but more than that I love the emotional roller coaster leading up to the kiss, because the kiss isn't the frosting on the cake to me, it's the beautiful array of hand-crafted roses atop the frosting and the border enrobing the cake."

YES, YES, YES!!! I totallllly agree, my friend, which is why my kiss clips are so long because I just CANNOT not show the emotional roller-coaster leading up to the liplock, so I include as much in the clips as I can. In fact, my all-time favorite kiss of mine (listed on the FAVE Kissing Scenes tab of my website) IS my favorite BECAUSE of the roller-coaster of emotions in that particular scene, as well as the 2nd most fave I've listed, so you are correct!

AGAIN! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

YAy for A Passion Denied!! It's my fav of hers too, Dana. Though I'm a big fan of Cluny and Katie too.

Melanie, I'm reading A Spy's Devotion right now!!! What a wonderful hero!!! Can't wait to get to some kissin' at the end :-)

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, JESSICA ... "brother/sister" hero/heroine??? Ewwwww ... I agree with you, obviously!! ;)

YOU SAID: "I know kisses can range from sweet to "let's skip this page" but I still think attraction is incredibly important."

PREACH IT, darlin', because I'm with you, girlfriend!!

Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

HUGS,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIE SAID: "We need authors like you to take us beyond the sweet kiss."

LOL ... well, it's a dirty job, but SOMEBODY had to do it, right?? ;) Thanks, my friend, I sure give it my best shot, that's for sure! ;)

And I have read GREAT things about Kristen's book, so I'm going to have to get my mitts on that one, I think ...

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JILL SAID: "Even if you hadn't started this post with "Julie Here," I would have known you wrote it. You're the master! I've always been partial to the sweet kiss."

LOL, certainly not (the "master" of) sweet kisses, that's for darn sure! ;)

I really need to figure out how to do a quick poll on this because I have a feeling "hot tamales" would NOT be on the menu! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

EXCELLENT POINT, JANET -- thank you!! Aspiring authors DO need to know publisher parameters when it comes to kisses -- both in heat factor and how soon they can appear in the book!

Hugs,
Julie

CatMom said...

Wow, Julie....WOW!! What a sensational (SENSE-ational? LOL) post!! I need to go and re-write the kiss scenes in my WIP after reading this. I've said before that being a former kindergarten teacher, I have a natural tendency to want everyone to "play nicely" (which I know does NOT work in creating an emotion-filled story with enough conflict). So...now I'm thinking some of my kiss scenes need some sizzle---which YOUR post has inspired me to do. :) Thank you for sharing this today (yep, going into my Keeper File for sure).
Hugs, Patti Jo

Myra Johnson said...

Sizzling-hot post today, Julie! Yes, I agree, you are "The Kissing Queen" of inspirational romance!!! The romantic scenes in my novels are no competition for yours, but whenever I'm writing one, always in the back of my mind is, How would Julie write this?

And then I lower the heat about 20 degrees--LOL!!!

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR SON!! May his knowledge of "kisses" be sorely lacking till the right time! :) And those apple pancakes sound TO DIE FOR!!

I'm with you on the male POV -- sooooooooo much more telling and fun than the female POV in my opinion because as female readers, our eyes are on the hero, experiencing what the heroine is experiencing, so why do we need her POV over his??? But both are nice too ... :)

Thanks for coming by, Pep, and thanks for your sweet comment!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER SAID: "It's hard to decide whether I like 'unexpected' kisses or 'decisive' kisses best."

I'm an equal-opportunity kiss person -- I like a mix, with a heavy accent on the "unexpected"! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY, I totally agree about Pepper's pic -- GORGEOUS!!

HUGS,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ABBI!!!! ALWAYS soooooo great to see you, my friend, and THANK YOU for all of your incredible support! I hope you enjoy AGOH when you read it -- I think it might even be better for having read IOH already, but that's just me!

Hugs and more hugs!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KELLY -- YES, those are definitely magical and VERY romantic words -- "I was wrong!! ;)

Thanks SO much, my friend, for your sweet comment AND for posting one of my favorite Marcy/Patrick clips, especially since their marriage is based on my husband's and mine! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Tracey Hagwood said...

I agree with Tina too. I don't need specifics or a road map drawn for me. I like the kiss she described for exactly the reason she stated, you can fill in your own blanks, which is why I prefer reading over most movies anyway, I can imagine the scene the way I want it to look and be.

In the past two weeks I've read four terrific books that had awesome kiss scenes in them, not because of the specifics descriptions, although they were good, but because of the groundwork already established by the attraction and chemistry. If anyone is curious about the books I'm referring to, they are:

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon/Romantic Suspense
Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey/Romantic Suspense
Jilted by Carla Laureano/Romantic Comedy
The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter/Best toe-curling Romance so far this year


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, JANET, but Keith kept having to slap my hands to stop me from nibbling!! Uh ... the Hershey kisses, that is -- not him! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

DebH said...

You don't have to be rich to be my girl
You don't have to be cool to rule my world
Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your kiss
- song lyrics, Kiss by Prince


Hi Julie
I'd have to say, all your kiss scenes are my favorites. I also happen to enjoy all of Mary's cowboy first kiss scenes as well. And then there's Tina's books... aw man, I just realized Seeker books all have the BEST first kiss scenes. I can't pick a favorite, they're all so good. *sigh*

I did a story prompt once that involved a kiss or two. It's below:

A Study of Torts
Jeff was studying… again and Cassie felt enough was enough. He was uber smart yet uber paranoid that he would fail his pre-law courses. Current class was Tort law. She happened to remember a couple of terms from the quizzing he had her give him. He, no, they needed a break.

She approached his recliner and plopped herself onto his lap, plucking his study book from his hands and tossing it aside.

"Hey now…"

"Pop quiz, Husband." Cassie buried her fingers into his hair and gently pulled his head closer, keeping her lips just beyond reach. "Which tort do I presently represent?"

He was so adorable when he got confused. "Uh, represent?"

Cassie moistened her lips with a slow slide of her tongue, and Jeff's eyes locked on her mouth. She hoped she'd completely derailed his legal train of thought.

"Bzzzt… time's up," she teased. Her lips hovered a mere centimeter from his.

"Correct answer?" He breathed the words, eyes dilated.

"Why, Assault, of course," she whispered before pressing her lips to his for a brief moment. "And that, dear Man, was Battery."

She hovered. "Assault…" Feather kiss. "Battery…"

Hover. "Assault…" Feather kiss. "Battery…" She repeated her assault and battery several more times, his body trembling more with each cycle. Around the fifth repeat, his ardor soaked growl sent her pulse skyrocketing.

Next thing she knew, Jeff surged from the recliner, cradling her in his arms as if she were no heavier than a small child.

"Time to change venues..." He murmured against her lips, his own tort law application beginning in earnest.

DebH said...

p.s.
I've got Isle of Hope and Glimmer is on pre-order, so PLEASE put me in the draw for the Seeker novella.

Julie Lessman said...

OH, PEPPER -- WOW, WOW, WOW!!! LOVE that scene, my friend, and beautifully executed!!

Love phrases like "predatory territory" and "the potency of a perfect match."

You definitely got it all going on, my friend, so THANK YOU for sharing that WONDERFUL clip! Can't wait to read the book!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, SARAH ... "A LESSMAN BOOK-ATHON!" indeed!! I second that!! ;)

And the Keira Knightly P&P is my absolute fave, but I will say that I was a wee bit ticked off at the end when the FIRST KISS in the movie went to black!!! I literally blinked at the screen and said, "Are you kidding me????" My poor hubby had to hear me grouse for a few minutes after, I can tell you that. But I did love the rest of the movie ... ;)

And, Sarah, I got your email, but I'm behind in answering, so I will get back to you, my friend, okay?

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, CINDY -- go, go, GO right a kissing scene, my friend, and come back and post it!!

Thanks for your kind comments, Cindy -- really appreciate them AND you reading my books! "For Love of Liberty" will be in the Seeker spring novella, but it also will kick off a Western series next year, so lots more to be heard from Liberty & Finn, I assure you! ;)

Would you believe I changed the phrase "butting her to the door" from "pushing" to "nudging" and back to "butting" because I wasn't sure if somebody was going to get upset over more "pushing," you know? Oh, well ... it's an indie, so who cares??

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH, my Seeker novella, "For Love of Liberty" was actually supposed to be a part of the Seeker "With This Kiss" historical collection that released last year, but we sold our house unexpectedly, so I had to drop out of the collection, much to my angst because I tailored that story to that collection. But waste not, want not, so I revamped it for the spring collection this year, which should release in April, I think.

Thanks for asking!

Hugs,
Julie

bonton said...

Never tire of those electrifying, passionate kisses you portray in your writing, Julie!! As commented on another blog this week, you had me at the first kiss of the first book of yours I read - so long ago. Although yours are my fave literary kisses, please don't ask me to pick the one I most love. I love them all, both sweet and "hot tamale", lol.

The kiss from "For Love of Liberty" was so passionate, yet the visual picture gave me a chuckle. A little reminiscent of Rhett also, I feel.

You've certainly earned your title of "Kissing Queen" - I think your literary kisses are truly the next best thing to receiving one from an adoring male in real life!! Oh, the visuals, lol!!

Julie Lessman said...

MELANIE!!!

OH. MY. GOSH, PEOPLE -- I absolutely LOVED Melanie's new book, The Beautiful Pretender, which I read for endorsement. Mel, this has to be one of my top faves of all your books, my friend, and that's saying something!! I have one word for everybody reading this post today:

PREORDER!!!

And, YES, YES, YES -- I DO read read every single one of my books after they come out in print, so I'm glad I'm not alone. But I bet I go you one better (or one crazier, I should say) and that is each year when the O'Connor books came out, I would start several months prior and read from the beginning (A Passion Most Pure) so that I was refreshed and up to speed to read the next one in the lineup! ;)

Hugs and cannot WAIT for those carriage kisses, girlfriend!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, MELANIE (OR GRACE), "mom" is the word ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WILANI!!!

GREAT scene, my friend, so you go, girl!! And I LOVE Grandma -- she's a gal after my own heart!!

Thanks so much for sharing AND for ordering AGOH -- I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed reading your love scene!

Hugs and more hugs!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DANA, thank you SOOO much, my friend, and there is something uniquely special about Brady, I will admit -- the still-waters-run-deep thing going on, you know? Especially since he's a Billy Graham type ... sigh.

Hugs and here's to a win!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER!!! Would NOT have taken you for a Brady/Lizzie fan, but I'm glad you like Luke and Katie, too, because those two (and Charity and Mitch) are the ones I would have pegged for you. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PATTI JO SAID: "Being a former kindergarten teacher, I have a natural tendency to want everyone to "play nicely"

LOL ... yeah, you can't "play nicely" in romance because as we all know, conflict = sizzle in that genre, or any genre, for that matter!

And I have to say, my friend, "a former kindergarten teacher" is sooooo how I picture you because you are one of the sweetest, nicest people I know, so it definitely fits. I bet they just LOVED you to pieces!!

Always glad to "inspire" when it comes to kisses, girlfriend, so go forth and sizzle!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MYRA SAID: "How would Julie write this? And then I lower the heat about 20 degrees--LOL!!!"

ROTFLOL ... yep, that's a darn good thermometer, my friend! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Ohhhhhhh, TRACEY, I've been DYING to read Denise's The Goodbye Bride, and now you made it even harder for me to wait!! But I have a ton of Rita books yet to read and just found out that the Carol books are on their way, so it'll have to wait!

Thanks for the suggestions -- definitely going to give them a try!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DEB!!!!!

Like I said to Pepper, WOW, WOW, WOW, girlfriend -- that was AWESOME!!! AND absolutely ADORABLE!!

What do you mean by a "story prompt," though? Is that scene from your WIP or a finished novel??

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

BONNIE SAID: "You've certainly earned your title of "Kissing Queen" - I think your literary kisses are truly the next best thing to receiving one from an adoring male in real life!! Oh, the visuals, lol!!"

AH ... the ultimate compliment, my friend -- THANK YOU!! And I'm with you, Bonnie, (AGAIN, I might add!), I like a mix of hot tamale and sweet!

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

Quotable quotes are often more the product of that which inspired them than they are the result of the wit and wisdom of those being quoted.

(The faster the pitch, the further the batter can hit the ball.)

Seeking permission to quote is praise enough to grant the request.

You wrote this about God helping with plot ideas:

"I just love when God gets involved, don't you???"

Well, considering God gets His 10%, I more than love it. I relish it!

Sweet or hot?

I like my kisses to be al dente.

Vince

Barbara Fox said...

Gee Julie I'm sitting here in my flannel jammies with scottie dogs on them and a cup of coffee; just having sent links to my husband on how to rid our place of moles, snakes and other undesirables when I opened your post. Wow- how to turn my thought process around within a few sentences- or with a title even. :-) Nice post. Thanks for the jolt!

I loved Isle of Hope and would love to read Glimmer or the spring novella

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

For my generation there is but one 'kiss' -- the one that takes the viewer from here to eternity.

The Kiss...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHYd9DRhh-c

And while this was considered the most erotic film kiss of its time, today, while still being as erotica as ever, it could find a home in a well tempered, edgy Christian, romance.

Or don't you think so?

Vince

Missy Tippens said...

Fun Valentine's post, Julie! I'm laughing so hard at Myra's thermometer comment! :)

Sarah Claucherty said...

JULIE, no worries! :) Get back to me when you can; I'm just tickled pink at the idea of you visiting my blog :) :)

And I'm eager to read the new novella, and then the books to follow! Marking my calendar for April right now...

Pepper Basham said...

Vince!
Wow! Yep, I think that fits in with Julie's post splendidly. Woohoo! What a kiss!

DebH said...

hi Julie
Story prompt was from the Harlequin boards. Write a short piece based on a picture. So what I posted is about it. You're the Queen of Kissing, I seem to excel in brevity. I sound brilliant with "stories" under 1K. After that? The Jury's still out.

Someday, when I grow up, I'll be able to carry a story idea out longer.

Marianne Barkman said...

I agree, Julie...you are the QUEEN OF KISSING and I think it's because you know how to lead up to it I. Such a fantastic way. . I'd love your GLIMMER OF HOPE. Can anything be better than ISLE OF HOPE? I'd like to find out! Thanks for the post, Julie

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "I like my kisses to be al dente."

LOL ... just half-cooked, huh? Well, at least that's better half-baked! ;)

And, I'm starting to sound like a parrot here, I know, but about that scene from Here to Eternity???

WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!

You said: "it could find a home in a well tempered, edgy Christian, romance."

Uh ... not unless it's an indie inspy!!! If it were a traditional Christian romance, safety would be the call, setting the love scene in a sandbox instead of on a beach, digging in with shovels instead of bodies, and kissing while sitting on the edge! ;)

Would you believe I've never seen that movie???? Must correct that!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL ... Me, too, Missy!

The little brat ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH ... good girl!! Mark away! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DEB H SAID: "You're the Queen of Kissing, I seem to excel in brevity. I sound brilliant with "stories" under 1K. After that? The Jury's still out."

Well, this jury member has voted, and I'd say your "brevity" is prettttty darn good, my friend!! And sounds like you need to pursue submitting stories to Splickity Publishing, my friend, because "flash fiction" sounds right up your alley!! Here's the link:

http://splicketypubgroup.com/lightning-blog/

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA FOX SAID: "Wow- how to turn my thought process around within a few sentences- or with a title even. :-) Nice post. Thanks for the jolt!"

LOL ... my pleasure, my friend, because for me, nothing is better than a little kiss caffeine to get me going in the morning ... ;)

Thanks for reading Isle of Hope, my friend -- MUCH appreciated -- ESPECIALLY the review!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MARIANNE SAID: "I'd love your GLIMMER OF HOPE. Can anything be better than ISLE OF HOPE? I'd like to find out!"

Uh ... probably not, because you can only go so deep in 25,000 words, you know? AGOH is actually just a teaser novella that will also include the first chapter of IOH, so hopefully that will entice people to read more!

Hugs and more hugs!
Julie

Carrie said...

WHEW! Mercy. I've already listed my fave kisses over on my KissingBooks 101 post yesterday so I won't recap here except to say that Luke and Katie's kisses are right up there on top! :D

And... Mary Connealy has inspired you well. LOVE cowboy kisses.

I love your breakdown of what makes a kiss so great - helped me clarify what I love the most about my fave kisses. The Male POV is my fave. The restrained passion (whew.). The trigger phrases. Gonna go hang out in the snow for a while in case anyone needs me ;)

Julie Lessman said...

CARRIE!!!! You made it, girlfriend ... I was afraid you'd get stuck in the "snow"!! ;)

And I just realized I need to send everybody over to YOUR blog to check out top kissing books, so I'm going to remedy that right now!

IF YOU WANT A LIST OF SOME OF THE BOOKS THAT CONTAIN SOME OF THE BEST KISSES IN CHRISTIAN ROMANCE, YOU MUST VISIT CARRIE'S POST, "KISSING BOOKS 101" RIGHT NOW!! Here's the link:

KISSING BOOKS 101 ON THE "READING IS MY SUPERPOWER BLOG"

HUGS!!
Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Laughing at Carrie in the snow, LOL!

Vince, that clip is totally in keeping with Julie kisses! Well done!

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Carrie!! So glad you shared about your blog!! FANTASTIC kisses and an AWESOME giveaway!!

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

You wrote:

VINCE SAID: "I like my kisses to be al dente."

LOL ... just half-cooked, huh? Well, at least that's better half-baked! ;)


Well, to me, 'al dente' means 'just right' -- not too hard, not too squishy. I'd like to challenge this interpretation with one of the Yankee Belle belles in New York like they do in the NFL. : )

You really don't think a Christian fiction romance could not have a couple on the beach in bathing suits, the woman with a modest one piece suit at that, kiss while the hero's hands stay above her neck?

Didn't you have a kissing scene where the heroine is wearing her sexiest and most seductive nightgown and they were both in bed? (And being married does not mitigate the hotness!)

Vince

Just Commonly said...

O, Julie! What a post! Like Carrie said on her Kissing post, we need to keep a fan going when it's like 20 degrees weather here! Really?!?! I'm so glad you out Charity in there. That girl can kiss. I love all the ones you've posted of course, but I have a special place in my heart for Faith & Collin in A Passion Most Pure, since it was the first Christian book I read years ago with so much passion! Love Mary's fun cowboy kisses too! I'd say Pepper's The Thorn Keeper and Dawn's The Hesitant Heiress have some memorable kissing scenes as well. Recently, Julie Klassen's The Painter's Daughter was one to get your personal fan starting too. Ahhh..so many to choose from, but what I love most about these is that it shows that Christians are humans too. We have our needs and desires. What makes us different is our faith in doing the right thing in the eyes of our Lord. Passion is not a bad thing, but taking that passion and defile it is.

Thanks for your giveaways! I have all your books, either in paperback or digital (eventually, I'll get them all in print!), so please put my name in the hate for the new Seeker book.

Thanks!

DebH said...

hi Julie
you said: "And sounds like you need to pursue submitting stories to Splickity Publishing, my friend, because "flash fiction" sounds right up your alley"

Have been contemplating Splickity for a time. I appreciate your encouragement. It will help me hit that next deadline for subbing something for their issues. I know not to expect too much, but my goal this year is to a least submit short stuff to places who take it because nothing ventured, nothing gained. I REALLY appreciate your nudge of 'do it'.

Carolyn Astfalk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn Astfalk said...

<< . . . where the hero kissed the heroine on the last page in front of seven people after he asked her to marry him.

Uh, no.>>

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "You really don't think a Christian fiction romance could not have a couple on the beach in bathing suits, the woman with a modest one piece suit at that, kiss while the hero's hands stay above her neck?"

Uh, no.

And I'll tell you why. Because I pitched Isle of Hope to my publisher, a top CBA publisher who is known for its leniency (obviously, because they published ME, right?), and although they wanted IOH, they said I needed to A.) Cut it in half (it's 520 And cut the prologue, which was a "skinny-dipping" scene. Now, when I say "skinny-dipping" scene, what I mean by that is I used the actual word "skinny-dipping" when the heroine is trying to tempt her seminary boyfriend to go for a "moonlight swim" with her. Now mind you, she has a suit on and a T-shirt, and no actual skinny-dipping takes place -- just the mention of that word. But that was no-go.

So, you want to put a couple lying on a beach in swimsuits even with the hero's hands staying above her neck?

I repeat. Uh, no.

Lying down on ANYTHING between singles is a not-gonna-happen with the traditional CBA big guns, so much so that my editor made me put Mitch in a chair to sleep in the ship cabin rather than lying with Charity on a bed, fully clothed with a comforter balled up between them.

If you can find a single couple laying down together in traditionally published inspy book --and I'm talking the big-dog publishers -- then I want to see it!

And, YES, all of my "married" scenes are pretty hot, no question, so I'm STILL wondering how I got away with it ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ANNIE SAID: "but what I love most about these is that it shows that Christians are humans too. We have our needs and desires. What makes us different is our faith in doing the right thing in the eyes of our Lord. Passion is not a bad thing, but taking that passion and defile it is."

Oh, girl, I could NOT have said it better myself, so THANK YOU for your comment because, YES, Christians were human beings first, created by God with all the "needs and desires" you mentioned. Or at least I am, which is why the earlier Christian romance made me feel like a total sinner for having those needs and emotions.

I like bottom-line Christianity, and bottom-line romance. And when you mix the two together -- look out -- you're gonna step on some toes as well as win a lot of souls!! ;)

Hugs and more hugs!
Julie

Caryl Kane said...

SIZZLIN' in Seekerville today! Ms. JULIE can definitely "bring the heat"!

We may need more swooning couches today!

Please enter me in this HOT drawing!

Julie Lessman said...

YAY, DEB!!! Sooo glad I could rattle your cage on this one because I honestly think you'd be perfect for Splickety, given the scene you posted and what you said.

And honestly, I'm so intrigued by Splickety as well, so much so that I contacted them about possibly submitting. Problem is, one of their stories is practically a paragraph for me. :|

Hugs and YOU GO, GIRL!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, CAROLYN!!!

Yep, I kinda figured you'd like that statement, my friend! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, CARYL ... yes, it is! And when it comes to "some like it hot," I am definitely at the front of the line. ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Julie
I wrote my first 'married' couple scenes recently and now I'm ready to create an entirely new book so I can start early on with my couple married. LOL
I LOVED the tension, the fun, and the freedom of writing within that context. Wow!

Okay, okay..now back to writing my nonmarried couple scenes :-)

Carrie said...

Pepper ... wowZAH would be a better description of your married couple scenes :D

Trixi said...

JULIE.....I'm not the night owl you assume me to be, I'm usually in bed by no later than 10pm (with book in hand). It just so happens that Seekerville time is 3 hours ahead of me, so I jump on at 9pm my time to comment. It works well for me as I have so many other things going on during the day that I couldn't possibly fit it in.

Goodness, I haven't been a night owl since I was much younger....lol!! :-) And no worries, no spoilage of food commenced....

Carrie said...

Ruth - LOL! I'm surprised there's any snow left between Julie's post today and mine yesterday! Goodness gracious. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Carrie
*snicker* THANKS! :-)

Carrie said...

Julie - thank you, my friend :D I so appreciate the share! Great/hot tamale minds think alike - I updated my post to mention this giveaway/post as well :) HUGS!

Janet Dean said...

JULIE, LOL!! Thanks for clarifying! But are you sure???? ;-)

Janet

Debby Giusti said...

Julie, you are The Kissing Queen...or is it The Queen of Kissing. Okay, both!

Great post!

Sending hugs and kisses! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carrie, I was over at your blog last night and it's SMOKIN'!!!!!!

So well done!

Sarah Claucherty said...

Hi RUTHY! I can't wait 'til An Unexpected Groom comes in the mail...so excited that I won it here in Seekerville last month. :)

How does it rate based on JULIE's scale of sweet vs. hot tamale? ;)

Carrie said...

thank you, dear Ruthy :D

Elaine Manders said...

Go glad I dropped by today. I would've worn out your Romancelogy 101 book if it was in print. I have one of the hardest kisses coming up, a girl has never been kissed and a dangerous man, and the kiss must convince her he isn't going to kill her. I have to go back and reread this post. Thanks Julie.

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER SAID: "Oh JulieI wrote my first 'married' couple scenes recently and now I'm ready to create an entirely new book so I can start early on with my couple married. LOL
I LOVED the tension, the fun, and the freedom of writing within that context. Wow!"

LOL ... now you know WHY I write family sagas!! It's no fair that the youngsters get to have all the fun!!

Pretty darn sure you will be a natural at it, my friend!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, TRIXI ... glad you cleared that up, girlfriend, because I hate to think I'm the only one who poops out before midnight!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

cARRIE SAID: "I'm surprised there's any snow left between Julie's post today and mine yesterday! Goodness gracious. :)"

LOL, CARRIE, me too!!! ;)

AND, girlfriend, I am FOREVER indebted to Sydney Anderson for introducing you and Annie to me in a more personal way -- both of you have been a TOTAL blessing in my life!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANET SAID: "JULIE, LOL!! Thanks for clarifying! But are you sure???? ;-)"

LOL ... you know me TOO WELL, my friend!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, DEB ... I'll gladly take either title, my friend, and all the 1-star reviews that go along with it! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY SAID: "Carrie, I was over at your blog last night and it's SMOKIN'!!!!!!"

Uh, you bet it is -- one of the best I've seen!! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH SAID: "Hi RUTHY! I can't wait 'til An Unexpected Groom comes in the mail...so excited that I won it here in Seekerville last month. :)

How does it rate based on JULIE's scale of sweet vs. hot tamale? ;)"

SUPER CONGRATS, SARAH, ON THE WIN -- and it truly is a win-win with Ruthy's books!! But I have to admit, I'm anxious to hear her answer on your last question!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you for such an interesting post, JULIE! I’ve seen you referred to as the Queen of Kissing several times here, now I know why :-)

I’ve only finished one manuscript, and I believe the kisses probably fall into the “sweet” category. Although the Hero/Heroine don’t actually kiss for the first time until about the halfway point I have two “almost kiss” moments prior to that.

Here’s one of those scenes (he’s just found the city girl heroine in the garden—she’s excited that something she planted had actually grown and has been babbling on about it).


“That is one good-looking tomato, no doubt about it,” Joshua said. “Is it destined for a sandwich or a salad? Or maybe you won’t be able to part with it at all. You could just set it on a shelf and admire it.”

Rolling her eyes at him, Lainey laughed. “I know one thing, I won’t be sharing it with you!”

Rising awkwardly to her feet, she was startled when Joshua reached out and took her free hand to help steady her. She could tell by the look on his face that he felt the same jolt she did when their fingers touched. Instead of letting go and stepping back as he had on several other occasions, he held on tighter.

Her breath caught in her throat as he brushed his thumb across her palm. The slow, deliberate movement was in direct contrast to the fevered intensity in his brown eyes. She was sure he wanted to kiss her—but not sure enough to close the distance between them herself. He had just started to lower his head to hers when Maude opened the back door and yelled that supper was ready. When Joshua drew back and gently turned her toward the house, Lainey tried to suppress her feeling of frustration—and a sudden urge to lob her prized tomato at Maude’s head.

I was hoping to use them to build tension and interest for the “big kiss.” Do you think that’s okay? Or does it just frustrate readers?

Julie Lessman said...

ELAINE SAID: "Go glad I dropped by today. I would've worn out your Romancelogy 101 book if it was in print. I have one of the hardest kisses coming up, a girl has never been kissed and a dangerous man, and the kiss must convince her he isn't going to kill her. I have to go back and reread this post. Thanks Julie."

WOW, Elaine, that sound verrrrrrry interesting!! Would love to read it when you're done, girlfriend!

And I actually had to do something like that in Blake McClare's novella, Grace Like rain, in which the heroine saw him as "dangerous." Here's the short blurb:

He's Plays the Field.
She Doesn't Play at All.
Until Grace Like Rain Sweeps
Them Both Away in a
River of Love!

Hugs!!
Julie


Julie Lessman said...

Oh, LAURA, HOLY SMOKE!!!

And I mean that literally, my friend -- that's one "smokin'" almost-kiss scene, and I absolutely LOVED IT!!

I know a scene is good when I don't edit it when I'm reading it -- just sink into it with a blissful sigh, which I did, so GREAT JOB!!!

Hugs,
Julie

Caryl Kane said...

WOWZERS! It's hotter than a Texas summer in here!

It's fun seeing your PASSION for life and love!

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you, JULIE!! I'm just getting started and that means so much! All the SEEKERS have been so helpful and encouraging and I truly appreciate it! I forgot to say it earlier, but please put my name in for the drawing!

Carrie said...

Julie, the blessing thing is so very mutual! Love ya! HUGS!

Janet Dean said...

Julie, this kiss is from my LIH, The Bounty Hunter's Redemption:

Nate brushed two fingertips over her lips, so soft, parting now, rosy and beckoning. He wanted to kiss her badly. He wanted to be that good man she sought. He wanted to give her everything.

"You smell good," she said, leaning in, as if she couldn't get enough of his scent.

He touched the silky, fragrant strands of her hair. "You're beautiful, Carly, inside and out." He lowered his head, looking into her eyes for permission.

Her eyelids drifted closed. "Nate," she whispered.

His name rolling off her lips filled with longing was all the invitation he needed.

With a moan, he pulled her to him, brushing his lips over hers. With Carly in his arms, the years of loneliness fled. As he deepened the kiss, Carly rose on tiptoe and slid her arms around his back. The touch of her soft curves shot through his veins, igniting the wild beat of his heart.

With a sigh, she broke away. "I...I have work to do. I can't get wrapped up in..."

"In what?"

She raised her forlorn gaze to his. "In foolish dreams."

Julie Lessman said...

CARYL SAID: "It's hotter than a Texas summer in here!"

UH, just exactly how hot is that, Caryl? ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LAURA, you are MORE than welcome, my friend, and you are in the draw!

SO glad Seekerville has been a blessing to you, Laura -- that makes me smile!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WHOA, JANET ... talk about cranking up the pulse and then gut-punching me at the end of that post ... YOWZA!!! I want to shake Carly silly after that Nate moan and kiss -- WOW!!

That is one HOT scene, my friend, and I have a question for you. Is that the first "moan" I've ever read in one of your books??? Because it definitely heats up the room!!

Thanks for sharing, and then no thanks. You see, I've had The Bounty Hunter's Redemption sitting on my nightstand, TAUNTING me for about a month now. I had five books to read for review/endorsement when my eight Rita books came, which really kind of ticks me off, you know? Now it's really killing me to wait on your book. Sigh.

But ... I know it will be sooooo worth it, my friend! They always are. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, thanks, Julie!!! I was so, so grateful for your endorsement of The Beautiful Pretender. I honestly hate asking people for those, but some publishers insist on them, while others don't even ask for any. You're awesome for doing that.

Looks like you're having a sizzling hot day here in Seekerville. :-)

And THANK YOU, PEPPER!!! :D

Julie Lessman said...

As I told you in my email, Mel, I LOVE endorsing your books, so never hesitate, okay? And I don't say that lightly either. I've cut WAY back on endorsements, but now with my top faves!

Hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

Since you have been there and have done it, you've convinced me that Christian fiction is not ready for the "From Here to Eternity" kiss; however, since it seems that editors are more concerned with morality than they are with sensuality, could you do that scene in the epilogue if the hero and heroine were on their honeymoon?

Vince

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "Since you have been there and have done it, you've convinced me that Christian fiction is not ready for the "From Here to Eternity" kiss; however, since it seems that editors are more concerned with morality than they are with sensuality, could you do that scene in the epilogue if the hero and heroine were on their honeymoon?"

LOL, VINCE, great minds!! As a matter of fact, I went one better than that! I took that prologue and made it the last chapter of the prequel novella, then also duplicated that scene on their wedding night, so we are definitely on the same page, my friend.

I sent you the ebook for Isle of Hope, but it doesn't sound like you read it yet. I can't remember -- have you read it yet?

Hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Janet:

I well remember the kissing scene you mentioned from, "The Bounty Hunter's Redemption," and it made me wonder what makes 'the kiss' more emotionally powerful: the kiss itself as described by the author or the importance of the kiss to the unfolding story?

The kiss you described was like an emotional earthquake along the plotline since the hero had recently killed the heroine's husband and was currently trying to take away the heroine's home and business in court proceeding in order to give a livelihood to his handicapped sister.

As such, when a reader reads:

With a sigh, she broke away. "I...I have work to do. I can't get wrapped up in..."

"In what?"

She raised her forlorn gaze to his. "In foolish dreams."


The response, "In foolish dreams" hits the reader like an earthquake.

What is it that produces the most powerful emotional impact: is it the passion or the consequence of that passion?

I think that in the context of the story, it would take such a passionate desire to kiss for a kiss to have any chance of happening.


Vince

Sandy Smith said...

Julie, I knew that this post had to have been written by you! You do write the greatest kissing scenes. I can't think of any off the top of my head that are favorites from books. I don't know how I would do with kissing scenes. I am pretty reserved that way!

Please enter me in the drawing.

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID TO JANET:
"I think that in the context of the story, it would take such a passionate desire to kiss for a kiss to have any chance of happening."

LOL ... thus the "moan," right, Janet??? ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, SANDY ... you know me too well, my friend! ;)

Thanks for your sweet comment, and "reserved" is something I definitely am NOT, so I'll write the kissing scenes if you read them, okay? ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Beth Schwarzlose said...

WoooWeeee! Julie, you always bring the heat and I love that you included one of Mary's cowboy kisses too! I love her Kincaid brothers and their feisty ladies. You already know I love O'Connor kisses so I'll share a new to me author that recently knocked my socks off.

"Jewels, I know you're in there. Either open up or I'm going to break the door down." The door continues to jiggle. "I'm not playing games with you, pretty girl." There's a stern edge to his words.
And I know he's not going away, so I reluctantly open the door and look up into his stormy blue eyes. I let out the breath I was painfully holding and tears follow suit. He walks in and grabs me in a fierce hug and lifts me right off the ground.
"Hot dang!" I hear Jen's muffled squeal from being wrapped in his embrace. "That's so hot!" It's the last thing I hear Jen say because Dillon kicks the door shut in her face. I hear her laughing with excitement.
It all happens at once and way too fast - kissing and grabbing at clothes and I know I'm in trouble. Dillion is claiming my lips like a starved man. His jacket has hit the floor and he is working at getting my shirt over my head when I come to my senses. What is wrong with me?
"Stop," I say sternly, trying to snap him out of his lustful fog. I try to wiggle free, but he pulls me back to him. I try to push away again. "No, Dillon. We can't do this."
"Right," he says caveman style. "Cabin." He grabs my hand and heads to the door...

Goodbyes and Second Chances by T.I. Lowe
Fantastic Christian romance with a fun twist

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

"Isle of Hope" is a little complicated. It is on my Kindle as "Chaff Before the Wind". It is also over 400 pages long and has over 100 excellent reviews. Unlike a single man with a fortune, it is not in want of immediate reviews. : )

Nevertheless, I was three chapters into the story when I pre-ordered the prequel, "Glimmer of Hope," which I decided to read first given that it is shorter and a prequel and would most likely enhance the reading enjoyment of reading "Isle of Hope".

Also, given that I had several just released Seeker books in my TBR selection, each with fewer than 10 reviews, I decided to read these first. It's not that I love any one Seeker less but that I love them all more. (Oh, my, I think Brutus said that about Rome!)

In any event, I'm saving the best for last!
(At least I'll hope that's so.):)

Vince

Vince said...

P.S.

I should add here that I appreciate getting an early copy of "Isle" and that I did intend to read it ASAP. When I was three chapters into it, I had my fall which interupted my reading of all books for over a month and still limits my reading and working time.

That's the rest of the story.

Thanks,

Vince

Mary Jane Hathaway said...


Okay! Here's the excerpt from "Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs". It may start out slow but I think it's the horizontal aspect that made some readers upset. There are some raging one stars on good reads and Amazon, including one that calls it "R-rated" and "disgusting". To be fair, I understand. I'd rather have the kiss be left to the imagination. I don't need to hear "mouths being plumbed" (ew, what does that even mean?) or gasps and groans of desire. But this kiss was right for this couple at that time. :) And that's what it's all about, right? Writing the kiss that fits the story. These were two very passionate friends who were in love with each other and in denial for years.
And not describing the kiss doesn't mean I skirt passion or make the characters feel "safe and comforted" . In fact, they're usually older than the usual inspy couple, so they're very aware of what's out there, combined with married friends and frank-talking grandmothers, etc. But I usually let the reader fill in the blank... until I don't, haha.

So, here ya go!
"The next moment he’d reached out, slipping his hand behind her head and placing the very softest kiss on her lips. There was an infinite pulse of time where neither of them moved. He leaned back and she met his eyes, stunned.
“Finley.” His voice was rough. “Now is when you tell me to get on home.”
Of course she should. It was late. They were tired. Rum punch had addled her brain. Something strange and incomprehensible was happening. The very best thing would be to put a firm hand to his chest and get some space.
Instead she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him as if she were drowning, as if he were her lifeline in a stormy sea. He let out a sound that was part groan, part sigh. His tongue touched hers for a fraction of a second and her knees went weak.
Her head was spinning and she shifted, catching her heel on the edge of the carpet. Losing her balance, but not willing or able to let go, she brought them both tumbling down to the couch. For the barest moment, she hesitated and then all thought was gone. Pulling him close, she matched him kiss for kiss, breath for breath. Her universe narrowed to the fire that was building in her, to the desperate need that made her grip his shoulders. The rough shadow of his beard rasped against her cheek, her chin and she ran her hands up through his hair.
Brooks, she was kissing Brooks. Her friend. It made no sense, but nothing had ever felt so right. His hands skimmed up her rib cage, making her gasp. His weight should have felt like a burden, like she was being crushed, but she welcomed it with an arching need. Time ceased to have meaning and all she knew was the heat they created, like they’d been soaked with fuel and someone had tossed them a lit match.
He kissed a trail across her collarbone and she wanted to weep. The familiar scent of him, the warmth of his skin, was like a drug and she was helpless to refuse, to push away.
“Caroline?” her mother’s voice sounded down the stairwell.
They froze for just a moment. Brooks rolled off the couch onto his feet and tugged his jacket back over his shoulders. She hadn’t remembered tugging it off. He glanced over at her and his eyes traveled down her gown, to the hem. He pulled it from where it had crept, back down to her ankles.
Brooks met Caroline's eyes and his face was a mixture of shock and dismay."

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Clarification+ Finley is his nickname for the character. :) That was probably confusing.

And longest post ever! Yay, me!

Natalie Monk said...

JULIE!! I haven't yet plotted the kisses for my WIP, but this makes me want to!!! Talk about motivation, whew!

There are too many of my favorite book kisses to list, but I'll mention a couple movie ones I love:
The first kiss from Cold Mountain before he goes off to war.
The final and first kiss between Gabe and Bathsheba in Far from the Madding Crowd.

These are both sudden, unexpected kisses, but I think what I love about them is the hero has been holding back his affection so long. My girly interpretation: When he finally kisses her, even he is shocked by the force of what he feels for her, and by the time he's through, she knows exactly where she stands with him, no words needed. There's both security and wildness wrapped up in that one blazing, heartwarming moment. Their lives will never be the same. :)

OOOOHHH PEPPER! I love your "married kiss" scene! Can't wait to read that book! The book I have out on submission now is about married characters falling in love, and I LOVED the conflict and emotional angst involved. Like you said, there's so much freedom when writing romance between married characters. And I love that, because I think that's how God designed things to be, right?

JANET!! Oooh la la! I'm working on a MS for LIH right now, and I'm excited to see what's new in that line. Can't wait to read yours!

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Julie, you said, "Lying down on ANYTHING between singles is a not-gonna-happen with the traditional CBA big guns."

The above excerpt is published by Howard Books, which is CBA. But admittedly, they were accepting a book that had been published before by me and if they significantly altered the book, fans of the series would know. Maybe that's the difference? Anyway, the third book in that series, written just for them, has some heat, too... but no horizontal action (that's not a euphemism, lol).

Loraine Nunley said...

Wow! I loved the recaps of those kissing scenes. I haven't gotten to that detail in my WIP yet. I'm a little scared to take it on...

I think one thing type of kissing scene I like is when you think they are going to kiss but they tease you with a little close conversation.

I would love to be entered into the giveaway for Isle of Hope. Thanks!!

Dana R. Lynn said...

Hi Julie! I love kissing scenes, so I really enjoyed this topic. I don't have the books in hand (because I have so many books that I can't find them, but I have two scenes in mind. One is from Julie Garwood's book The Wedding. Secular, I know. In this scene, the hero has a revelation and rides out on his war horse to find his dejected wife. He gallops up behind her, lifts her up from the ground to settle her on his lap and kisses the daylight out of her in front of his entire clan. (He's the laird.) It was very well done, and full of emotion. It was told from his POV.

The second kiss was the first kiss between Blake and AJ in the LI book The Best Gift by Irene Hannon. This was on the sweet side, but so tender and emotional, I have reread that scene many times. I always like it when the kiss is just a kiss and doesn't lead to more, even if the characters want more.

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "And it made me wonder what makes 'the kiss' more emotionally powerful: the kiss itself as described by the author or the importance of the kiss to the unfolding story?"

As an author who LOVES "emotionally powerful" books, I would have to say it's a combination of both, although the accent mark is definitely on the "importance of the kiss to the unfolding story." I say this because you can have an emotionally powerful kiss, but if you are vested in the characters or the story, it's little more than a secular novel with a sexy kiss. On the other hand, if you are sucked in to the story, plot, and characters, it can be a kiss on the cheek or even a mere look, and it's romantic.

Case in point: One of my favorite (i.e. sexiest) clips in A Hope Undaunted is when Katie O'Connor and Luke McGee or eating at a suspected speakeasy restaurant with friends. The waitress flirts with Luke and gives him more bacon on his burger than she gives anyone else. Katie calls Luke on it, and Luke's answer immediately takes her back to the night he pushed her to the wall in the office and kissed her silly, something she liked A LOT -- even though she slapped him into the middle of next week. In the following scene -- with a simple look -- Luke sprints my pulse AND Katie's based on the what went done in the plot earlier -- Here's the clip:

Katie’s gaze flitted from the thick stack of bacon on Luke’s burger to the two measly pieces on each of hers. She frowned. And his pile of fried potatoes was downright obscene too. “You must have a pound of bacon on that burger. For pity’s sake, what’d you do, bribe her?”

He pulled several pieces of bacon off and handed them to Bobbie Sue. “This’ll tide you over till your food comes.” His eyes shifted to Katie’s plate. “Unless Miss-Eyes-Bigger-Than-Her-Stomach can part with one of her burgers till Shirl delivers yours.”

Katie pushed her plate toward Bobbie Sue, who grinned and took a sandwich. “Why, thank you, sassy girl, much obliged.”

Luke lifted the mammoth burger to his lips, pausing to give Katie a weighted gaze. “Bribe her? No, Katydid, because unlike you, some women actually enjoy doing what I ask.”

“Ask maybe, but force? Do they enjoy that?”

He bit into his sandwich and chewed slowly, a smile surfacing at the edges of his lips. “Sometimes,” he said, heating her with a shuttered look while he took a slow swig of his drink.

Katie’s cheeks flamed hot, and she itched to slap that smug smile off his handsome face. Instead, she turned to Betty while nibbling a scrawny piece of bacon. “So, how are the ribs?”

Hugs
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WHOA, BETH ... that's a pretty fun (and steamy) scene for the Christian market, which means I definitely need to read it! ;)

And I love Mary's cowboy kisses, too!

Thanks for sharing that scene, Beth!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "Isle of Hope" is a little complicated. It is on my Kindle as "Chaff Before the Wind". It is also over 400 pages long and has over 100 excellent reviews. Unlike a single man with a fortune, it is not in want of immediate reviews. : )"

First of all, Vince -- we have got to stop meeting like this!! ;)

Secondly, uh, YEAH -- IOH is realllll "complicated! It's loosely based on my own life, so what did you expect???

Thirdly, yeah, I know about the "Chaff Before the Wind title popping up in your library, and trust me -- I had a number of professionals try to fix that, but they couldn't. The good news is that the actual book IS Isle of Hope, not Chaff Before the Wind -- which, by the way, was the original title of A Passion Redeemed! :)

But seriously, I totally understand your rationale and actually applaud it, my friend. Whenever you get to IOH is fine by me. Now ... whether you're saving the "best" for last -- I have no earthly idea!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Vince, I've had people "fall" for my books before, but never to get out of reading them ...;)

Read A Glimmer of Hope first. I'm anxious to get your opinion as to whether it entices you to want to read IOH, okay?

Hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Pepper:

Wow! I'd sure like to read your book with that kissing scene when it comes out. I was lost in the moment, as with all excellent writing, however, I did not understand this line:

"Her mouth proved the best discovery in the entire tower."

What am I missing here?

Vince

Vince said...

Hi Mary Jane:

I would be one to give your kissing scene five stars! However, is the book marketed as being Christian fiction? I didn't think it was.

A question for Julie: "Are you ever allowed to have tongues touch?" In other words, "Is there any room in Christian fiction for soul kissing?"

Vince

P.S. Mary Jane: How is the Austen series going? How many are out and how many yet planned to come? I pretty much love all things Austen.

Julie Lessman said...

MARY JANE HATHAWAY, YOU LITTLE MINX!!!

I've read your Virginia Carmichael books, but never your Austen books, so obviously I have been missing it BIG TIME!! MUST remedy that!!

Thank you SO much for posting that -- I LOVED it!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

NATALIE MONK SAID: "There are too many of my favorite book kisses to list, but I'll mention a couple movie ones I love: The first kiss from Cold Mountain before he goes off to war. The final and first kiss between Gabe and Bathsheba in Far from the Madding Crowd.

OKAY, girlfriend, I am obviously reallllly lacking tonight because first, I haven't read Mary Jane Hathaway's Austen books NOR have I ever seen either Cold Mountain or Far From the Madding Crowd. I feel incomplete. :(

Especially since you say these are "both sudden, unexpected kisses" where "the hero has been holding back his affection so long." Because I'm with you -- that SO sounds like my kind of kiss!!!

Note to self: Rent both of these movies!!

Hugs,
Julie

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Hi Vince:

This is from their description: "Featuring a colorful cast of southern belles, Civil War re-enactors, and good Christian women with spunk to spare, Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs brings the modern American South to light in a way only a contemporary Jane Austen could have imagined."

Good Christian women... and the Amazon tags say romance/ Christian/ Religious Inspirational... so I assume it's Christian fiction. I sure wrote it that way. Not sure if that's the way they marketed it.

And there are three more in the series! Stay tuned. ;)

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

OK, seconding Natalie's Cold Mountain kiss. I'm not a big movie buff but I REALLY remember that kiss, hahaha. I think instead of a wall-pusher it was a cabin wall-pusher and frantic slide to the porch floor. I think I actually had my hands over my face for a few seconds because I didn't know where it was going. I mean, I definitely knew where it was GOING, I just didn't know how much they were going to show. LOL

Julie Lessman said...

MARY JANE HATHAWAY SAID: "Julie, you said, "Lying down on ANYTHING between singles is a not-gonna-happen with the traditional CBA big guns. The above excerpt is published by Howard Books, which is CBA. But admittedly, they were accepting a book that had been published before by me and if they significantly altered the book, fans of the series would know. Maybe that's the difference? Anyway, the third book in that series, written just for them, has some heat, too... but no horizontal action (that's not a euphemism, lol)."

You're probably right, MJ, that and the fact that Howard is more lenient since they are Simon & Schuster, right? I mean, aren't they Deeanne Gist's publisher, and heaven knows she rocks the boat at times.

Personally, I applaud them -- and you!! We need to broaden the tent pegs of Christian romance to win some souls in the huge romance market. In my original query letter, I cited a statistic given by the Barna Group that said 9 out of 10 women in the U.S. profess some form of Christianity, but you want to take a gander at how many read Christian romance? Not very many, trust me, so that's a HUGE market that I have LONGED to reach since I started writing, so you go, girl!!

Hugs,
Julie

P.S. If you ever do a bundle or a collection -- I would be soooo game!!

Julie Lessman said...

LORAINE SAID: "I think one thing type of kissing scene I like is when you think they are going to kiss but they tease you with a little close conversation."

Okay, Loraine, now you have my curiosity piqued!! If you can post an example, I would LOVE to see it, my friend! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DANA R. LYNN SAID: "One is from Julie Garwood's book The Wedding. Secular, I know. In this scene, the hero has a revelation and rides out on his war horse to find his dejected wife. He gallops up behind her, lifts her up from the ground to settle her on his lap and kisses the daylight out of her in front of his entire clan. (He's the laird.) It was very well done, and full of emotion. It was told from his POV."

Well, the male POV cinches it for me, Dana, so I'll have to check that one out!

YOU ALSO SAID: "The second kiss was the first kiss between Blake and AJ in the LI book The Best Gift by Irene Hannon. This was on the sweet side, but so tender and emotional, I have reread that scene many times. I always like it when the kiss is just a kiss and doesn't lead to more, even if the characters want more."


OKAY, really??? You're going to brag on this kiss and say you've reread it "many times" and not post it??? You canNOT do that, my friend -- you need to post it!! PLEASE???

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THIS LINE MEANS AND SO DO I, PEP!!

"Her mouth proved the best discovery in the entire tower."


But honestly, the scene was so good, I didn't even care! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "I would be one to give your kissing scene five stars! However, is the book marketed as being Christian fiction? I didn't think it was."

Mary Jane, I was wondering the same thing. I know Howard published it, but was it marketed as Christian fiction???

VINCE ASKED ME: "Are you ever allowed to have tongues touch?" In other words, "Is there any room in Christian fiction for soul kissing?"

Not as far as I am concerned, and certainly not that I ever saw indicated by my publisher, but then I never tried it except once, and my editor nixed it. Here was the scene in which they removed the line, "Preferably in my mouth," which was when Rigan was nearly molesting Charity after they got engaged:

He loomed over her, his eyes gleaming in the lamplight. “And in the words of my father, ‘It would behoove you to mind your tongue with your husband.’” His throaty laugh invaded her ear with a sinister heat. “Preferably in my mouth.” He gripped the back of her neck and plunged her lips with his own while his fingers gouged her shoulders with pain."

Don't get me wrong -- I have read a few "tongue touches" in the Christian market and have been shocked every single time, especially since one was an LI!! I believe it was Naomi Rawlings book, if I'm not mistaken.

However, I did go out on a limb with A Glimmer of Hope and "imply" a soul kiss with the following lines:

“Not necessarily.” He leaned in to prove his point, teasing her lower lip with a playful nip before he parted her lips to explore ever so briefly. By the time he pulled away, his breathing was as shallow as hers. “I propose a compromise.”

Hugs,
Julie


Julie Lessman said...

MARY JANE HATHAWAY SAID: "OK, seconding Natalie's Cold Mountain kiss. I'm not a big movie buff but I REALLY remember that kiss, hahaha. I think instead of a wall-pusher it was a cabin wall-pusher and frantic slide to the porch floor. I think I actually had my hands over my face for a few seconds because I didn't know where it was going. I mean, I definitely knew where it was GOING, I just didn't know how much they were going to show."

LOL ... okay, since two of you mentioned it, I went to Youtube to watch it and HOLY COW, what a kiss!! Never saw the movie, but I promise you, I will!! ;)

And ahem ... I rest my case on "wall-pushing"!!!

Hugs,
Julie

ohiohomeschool said...

As a reader. . I like the ones from the Hesitant Heiress. Though .. I love the what would Julie do quote from Myra.

Fun post.
Becky

Dana R. Lynn said...

Ha! So I need to go find that book I guess. And as to the Julie Garwood one, I love JG, but she does write hot. So I always had to skip some pages. But she's just so funny.

Janet Dean said...

Julie, Not sure. But one thing I know. If I were keeping tabs, you'd have way more character moans in your column, than I'd have in mine. :-) I hope a preview of the kiss doesn't ruin it for you the second time around.

Janet

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, BECKY, thanks for coming by, and I absolutely LOVE Dawn Crandall!

I have to admit, however, I didn't understand your second sentence, but that's probably because auto-correct messed it up! :|

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DANA, I think I may have read one of Julie Garwood's books -- something with "Roses" in it, maybe? But I may just have to The Wedding! ;)

And don't worry about finding Irene's book for me, sweetie -- I don't want you to go to any trouble.

Hugs!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANET SAID: "But one thing I know. If I were keeping tabs, you'd have way more character moans in your column, than I'd have in mine. :-) I hope a preview of the kiss doesn't ruin it for you the second time around."

LOL ... I'm thinkin' you're right, my friend, but I guarantee you the preview only entices me more, so now I'm chomping at the bit ALL the more! ;)
Hugs!!
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

I just noticed a number of responses that I missed!

Good news! I now have an official copy of "Isle of Hope" on my Kindle! I was not sure Kindle would let me do this but even Kindle did not notice the other title. So now I can read and review the book as a verified purchaser.

I also do favor reading the prequel first. I'll let you know how the two work hand in hand. I recently read a J. A .Jance novella which let the reader in on a wedding at least six months before the wedding would take place in the next full book release. The wedding was good but the novella mystery was weak. I think some authors don't take well to the novella format.

I was interested in Loraine's comment: "I think one thing type of kissing scene I like is when you think they are going to kiss but they tease you with a little close conversation."

Since I do not like being teased by a fictional situational any more than a real woman, these occasions stand out in my memory.

BTW: it seems to me that you have one that takes place in the kitchen in APMP somewhat early in the book. Also, I seem to think that there were more than a few in the Emma book as she was married and it would not have been proper to consummate the kiss.

However, with Emma there was good reason not to fall into temptation and kiss while at the same time she was such a wonderful heroine that not to kiss her required the hero to have the willpower of a saint and even saints are not asked to spend so much time in the occasion of sin! Emma is my favorite of your heroines.

Vince

Janet Dean said...

Vince, you called Nate and Carly's kiss an emotional earthquake. Wonderfully said! Only a powerful attraction could overcome all the conflicts between them and result in a passionate kiss. The kiss has to matter, to make an impact, but for me, the impact on the characters and on the story matter more. In this case, that kiss awakens a deep sense of hopelessness in them both, stemming from wounds in their pasts and the lies they tell themselves.

Janet

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

It just occurred to me as I was reading your comments about Luke's bacon eating scene that perhaps the most important question to ask about a kissing scene is this:

"How important is the kiss to the story at this point?"

The more important the kiss is to the story, the more emotional impact it should have -- even if the kiss is short and sweet.

Context is king.

Vince

Natalie Monk said...

I must include a disclaimer for the movies I mentioned, otherwise I'll feel like a heathen, lol!

I haven't seen all of Cold Mountain, just the beginning, mostly because I'd heard about some of the violence and sex scenes and knew I couldn't stomach watching all that in real-time. But a friend and I got to talking about book and movie kisses like we are here and she sent me the clip on Youtube. Definitely unforgettable!! And the painfully shy, poor hero secretly admiring the rich plantation owner's daughter is a sweet thought.

And another fair warning here, the first kiss in Far From the Madding Crowd (not between Gabe and Bathsheba) was altogether unpleasant for me, BUT the other one totally makes up for it! FFTMC is one of my favorite new period dramas, though I could strangle the heroine at times. :)

Edwina said...

Dear Queen of Kissing,

You definitely deserve that title! I love every kissing scene you ever wrote! You have mastered the kissing scene well and I plan to study the kissing section on your blog until I know it inside and out - although you will always remain Queen.

Please enter my name in for the drawing!

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID:
"I also do favor reading the prequel first. I'll let you know how the two work hand in hand. I recently read a J. A .Jance novella which let the reader in on a wedding at least six months before the wedding would take place in the next full book release. The wedding was good but the novella mystery was weak. I think some authors don't take well to the novella format."

Okay, I'm going to go on record right now and WARN you that THIS prequel novella is the FIRST novella OR book I have ever written that doesn't have any surprises, twists, or actual plot, so do NOT expect that! All it is is a detailed "flashback," if you will to more fully show the role reversal that takes place in IOH.

The only reason I wrote this prequel novella in the first place was because I was sad I had to delete the skinny-dipping prologue to IOH that my editor kindly recommended I take that out, even if I pubbed it myself. I was telling Keith that one day, and he said, "Well, why don't you make it into a prequel?" So I did, hoping that the 99-cent price would lure people, then hook them into IOH since I also include its first chapter at the end of the novella. So that, said, PLEASE, do not overexpect from this novella, okay? I promise you, IOH is WORLD'S better!!

YOU ALSO SAID: "BTW: it seems to me that you have one that takes place in the kitchen in APMP somewhat early in the book. Also, I seem to think that there were more than a few in the Emma book as she was married and it would not have been proper to consummate the kiss. However, with Emma there was good reason not to fall into temptation and kiss while at the same time she was such a wonderful heroine that not to kiss her required the hero to have the willpower of a saint and even saints are not asked to spend so much time in the occasion of sin! Emma is my favorite of your heroines."

I'm not surprised Emma is your favorite heroine of mine -- she's my hubby's too, so it must be a male thing, the longing for a sweet and truly noble woman as a wife, something I hope YOU have, because my hubby sure doesn't ... ;)

You may be thinking of the kitchen scene in APMP where Collin comes to ask Patrick if he can court Charity, and when Faith goes to get him a drink of water, Collin comes in the kitchen to taunt her, but they don't kiss.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "The more important the kiss is to the story, the more emotional impact it should have -- even if the kiss is short and sweet. Context is king."

I TOTALLY agree, my friend, in both fiction AND in the Bible! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

NATALIE SAID: "I must include a disclaimer for the movies I mentioned, otherwise I'll feel like a heathen, lol!"

LOL, no worries, my friend, trust me! I haven't seen either movie, although I did watch the Cold Mountain kiss on Youtube -- WOW!!! Need to do the same far FFTMC ...

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, EDWINA, thank you SO much, you sweet thing!

And I think I may have mentioned this on a prior blog where you left a comment, but didn't we discuss me doing a blog interview for you? If so, I would be happy to do so, PLUS, I would love to send you an ecopy of Isle of Hope to review if you like as well.
Just let me know, okay?

Hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

You wrote:

"THIS prequel novella is the FIRST novella OR book I have ever written that doesn't have any surprises, twists, or actual plot, so do NOT expect that!"

Not to worry.

"Glimmer of Hope" is marketed as a prequel. All I expect is that it make me more motivated to read "Isle of Hope" and that with the information given in "Glimmer" renders me more able, in the early stages of "Isle", to enjoy a richer reading experience.

Actually, I think the title, "Glimmer of Hope", shows an insightful understanding of this objective: A glimmer of something brilliant to come!

The very idea has motivated me to want to read "Glimmer" even sooner!

Vince

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "Actually, I think the title, "Glimmer of Hope", shows an insightful understanding of this objective: A glimmer of something brilliant to come!"

LOL ... well, I don't know about THAT, but I AM hoping it's a "brilliant" strategy to lure more people in to what I believe is the most important book I've ever written! We shall see ...

Thanks for the latitude, my friend, because even if the novella isn't worth it, I truly believe the novel is. :)

Hugs,
Julie




Courtney Clark said...

This post is such fun!!

I'm extremely excite (especially after that preview) to read For Love of Liberty. It will be fun to read a western story from you, Julie!

I have to say, Luke and Katie's kiss(es) are some of the most memorable of yours.

There are a few awesome ones in Dawn Crandall's The Captive Imposter. And, while I'm at it, all I've read from Pepper Basham are wonderful! (I've just started reading The Thorn Keeper). Her snippet from an upcoming book was great, too!

After reading several of these comments (ahem, Mary Jane Hathaway), my TBR list has grown!

Julie Lessman said...

COURTNEY!!! Soooo fun to see you here, my friend -- thanks for coming by!!

Yes, both Pepper's and Dawn's kisses curl my toes, too, so I'm thrilled to see them doing so well. The Thorn Keeper is AWESOME!! Pepper honestly blew me away with her writing, even though I have ALWAYS loved everything I've read of hers, that still dropped my jaw. :)

Yeah, I'm with you on Mary Jane Hathaway -- HUBBA, HUBBA!!

Hugs,
Julie

Deanne Patterson said...

I enjoy reading about a tentative kiss when the couple has an attraction for each other but are not courting yet. He leans in for a tentative kiss and is unsure of how she will react.

Please enter my name in the drawing.


Deanne P.

Julie Lessman said...

DEANNE, I've read several books lately where the hero leans close and holds, as if asking permission to kiss the heroine, so I'm assuming that's what you mean, yes?

That automatically reminds me of the movie, Hitch, with Will Smith and Kevin James -- have you ever seen it? If you haven't, I STRONGLY recommend it because it is in my TOP FIVE favorite movies EVER!! The scene I am referencing is when Will Smith (a dating coach) is teaching Kevin James the art of first kisses, stating that he needs to go 90% of the way in and hold, waiting for the woman to come close the last 10% to kiss him. Honestly, it is one of the funniest, most wholesome (by Hollywood's standards), most romantic movies I've ever seen, so if you do watch it, let me know what you think, okay?

Hugs and thanks for coming by!!
Julie