Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Kiss Is Still a Kiss

One of my frequent problems in my manuscripts is that my characters would rather banter than kiss. I like to reassure right here that I would rather kiss my Deerhunter than banter with him, though he’s excellent at both; however, in my own manuscripts, I’d rather have the witty one-liner than to let my characters be swept away by emotion and start making out like ravenous wolves. (Note: this is not how Deerhunter kisses. He has more finesse than that…though there are moments. Never mind.)

It’s no secret I’m a fan of dialogue. I think it’s why I watch so many movies: the banter. But here I was many, many chapters into my novel and these idiots refused to kiss each other. They’d rather have the last word. They were making me crazy.

So I did what all good writers do. I stared at the wall for several days, bitched to the Bo’sun about my uncooperative characters, and flipped through the pages of my manuscript, trying to figure out how to get them making out like ravenous wolves. Finally after about night six—I do a lot of wall staring—I backed up another chapter and realized I was trying to get them to kiss too late. They should kiss a chapter or so before. In fact, I found the exact spot that a kiss would work.

I weaved in a kiss. Which is not quite as nerve-wracking as writing a sex scene, but still, writing about something as personal as kiss is dicey. You run the risk of saying too little…and too much, too sparse or too purple. I read a lot of kisses. Most of them aren’t very memorable—much like the ones in my twenties—but there are kisses I’ve read that are like the kiss in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The wedding kiss between Will and Elizabeth, which for me is one of the greatest cinematic kisses around.

But cinematic kisses are rather easy to come up with. Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, Sound of Music…. People like the kiss in Spiderman. But literary kisses are a little sparse to come to mind.

So I hunted through my bookshelf. Here are a few of my favorite kisses:

Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.

After several long moments—or it might have been half an hour or possibly several sunlit days—they broke apart. –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince

It was not like the first kiss he had given her—that swift, startling stolen kiss that had wiped her mind as blank as a new slate and left her lips tingling many minutes afterward.

This was altogether more…more…

Just more. –Anne Gracie, The Perfect Rake

There was such gentleness in the way that he held her, in the way his hands moved over her. It was the tender and gentle side of him he usually hid from the world with a veil of cynicism.

He kissed her temples, then threaded his fingers through her hair and held the back of her head, tilting it up so his mouth could capture hers. He stroked her lips with his tongue, once, twice, then parted them gently and laved her mouth thoroughly. –Jill Barnett, Dreaming

Of course, while I love a wonderful romance novel kiss, I do have the biggest preference for Harry’s kiss. The detail about the “blazing” look I know so well, and the whole bit about how he wasn’t sure how long the kiss had lasted—maybe days. It just makes me grin and sigh. But I also love ones like Anne’s, where the mind is wiped clean; and I’m a sucker for a man who uses his hands to tilt your head and kiss you proper.

There’s a lot of ways to deliver a great kiss. And kisses pretty much make or break a book for me.

How do you write kisses? Me—I think I lean toward the more vague. Less about tongue and more about how the mind has gone blank and time has no meaning. What are some of your favorite kisses in books or movies? Any tips for writing the perfect kiss?


2nd Chance said...

Wow. Favorite kiss... In Gross Point the nurses office, she slaps him, he grins and then they are lip locked.

I really have no idea what it is about that kiss that speaks to me. But it makes me smile and for some reason...I get it!

Literary kisses? Well, I like mine in A Caribbean Spell. I like how Reynard is studying her, she is being a smart ass, mouthing off, even as she tries to press closer to him...and he just kisses her. She tries to make it longer and deeper (just warming up to it and getting a bit of a rise out of her sexual magic) and he stops it, pulls back, still studying her!

So, I think I'm with you, Hel. It's hard to stop the banter and get beyond the ear spell!

Marnee Jo said...

Great blog Hells!!

I have no idea how to describe my current first kiss. So, I just thought I'd post it.

She didn’t usually enjoy kissing. Most of the time it was just messy—sloppy and wet. Most men applied too much pressure, made her feel like they would consume her. Or they would hurry through the kiss, like it was an obstacle they had to surpass before they could move on to the rest of the sex act.
James kissed like he had nowhere to go, no other goal than to connect them in this way, to cover her mouth with his own. His lips pressed against hers, moved across them until she sighed. Then his tongue eased inside her mouth. He stroked her, caressed her as if he savored the taste of her. As if he couldn’t get enough.
Of their own volition, her hands buried in his hair, massaged the roots and tugged at him, pulling him closer to her.
And maybe he wasn’t the only one who couldn’t get enough.
Their mouths moved like dancers learning steps together. She melted herself into him and he moved forward, one hand on the bed and the other cupping the nape of her neck. She allowed him to control the kiss, savoring the shiver that ran through her and the feel of his breath mingling with hers.
It was a slow, easy assault. No pressure, no urgency. A kiss of caring, of attraction. Innocent yet incredibly sensual.
A perfect kiss.
But when he pulled back, reality reinserted itself.
A perfect kiss—yes. But also a horrible mistake.

And I love Harry and Ginny. sigh....

Marnee Jo said...

Oh and movie kiss? Alli and Noah in the Notebook. The one in the rain. WOw.

Quantum said...

I like it, Marnee! Don't often see you here so early.
I hope the little one is behaving like a gent!

Like Chance, I think I'm with Helli in enjoying some banter to spice the action.

I forget the book title and even the author, but somewhere within its pages was the most amazing kiss. The lovers were on holliday camping and had quarelled over over some trivial incident, as lovers do, and were no longer speaking.

At night, together in the only sleeping bag, he was listening to the torrential rain and the thunder claps echoing from the cliffs and rolling repeatedly around the bay. Julia was turned away from him and slept through it all, making soft grunting noises. Gradually he dozed off and began to dream.

In the dream, Julia had her arms around his neck and her hair was tickling his nose. Then she started to nibble his ear and lick his cheek. The licks became more vigorous, turning into slobbering saliva laden flannel wipes.Her hair was tickling him all over as she lay naked on top of him. He couldn't understand why she was so hairy.

He gradually surfaced from the dream, gasping "enough, enough. I love you Julia", to find Robo their dog, lying over them and licking both their faces in turn. Julia was awake now and gazed at him with a deep shining admiration.

" You said you loved me!" He gazed back at her smiling "course I do". They were then wrapped in each other's arms, lost to this world in a kiss that both would remember for a very long time.

Robo did his 'happy dance' with tail wagging like a wind screen wiper!

Thats how I remember it ... may not be accurate! :D

Donna said...

Great post, Hellie! I'm a big fan of the banter--it's definitely foreplay for my characters. LOL I like the emotional aspect to be described, because that's what makes the kiss so important -- it's changing the characters, whether or not they realize it.

I find the JK kiss to be interesting because it pretty much says "they kissed". LOL Telling, not showing -- but it works.

Marn, I love that kiss -- especially that he kissed like he had nowhere else to go. That's perfect. The ending line is awesome too.

Okay, I'll have more to say later -- LOL -- gotta get some caffeine first!

Hellion said...

2nd: I love your kiss. *LOL* I've seen that sort in books, where the heroine is going off about something, but the hero is either studying her mouth or the way her hair curls around her ear, and boom, he kisses her. *le sigh*

Hellion said...

Marn: that is a PERFECT kiss. Great set up; great cliffhanger. Just perfect. And I love the kiss where she's comparing it other kisses--favorably to the hero of course--and the hero just loves kissing and does it so well. *sighs*

The Notebook kiss was phenomenal. *sighs* That whole scene is crazy hot!

Hellion said...

Q, adorable scene. Unfortunately I wouldn't kiss a man who had just been french kissing a dog. Disgusting. I'm very much like Lucy (from Peanuts) on this aspect. Whatever a dog has been licking before it licked me is REVOLTING. But still...the disgust factor aside, very cute scene!

Hellion said...

Donna, the emotional aspect definitely needs to be addressed. And I agree: the Harry kiss is a "TELL" kiss and not a "SHOW", but it works. It goes on a little later when he stops kissing her and looks up and meets Ron's gaze (since Ginny is Ron's sister) and Ron gives a nod of approval. Then it says the beast in Harry's chest purred. *LOL* Yes, a lot about the Harry Potter story is in a "TELL" method rather than show, but it just works.

Bosun said...

I'd almost pay these cable networks (I know, I'm already paying them) to stop playing The Notebook. Because I can't stop watching the damn thing!

For the record, I HATE that Spiderman kiss.

The kiss in Sweet Home Alabama in the pet cemetary is pretty dang hot. And heartbreaking because Jake pushes her away and she looks all dazed and confuzzled.

I can't think of any kisses in romances that have stuck with me more than others. Though a little voice in my head is whispering about the Lisa Kleypas contemps.

Marn - That kiss is awesome. And somehow it doesn't surprise me that Chance likes the slap and then the clinch. LOL! I loved the first kissing scene I wrote, but I'm not sure that WIP will ever see the light of day again. Maybe, I hope.

Here's my first kiss from the current MS:

But then he was leaning over her and she was all wide-eyed and short of breath, a heady combination of stubborn pride and melting woman. And he knew why.
He leaned closer and she retreated another inch, but then her eyes were on his mouth and she came back to him. All the way back. The moment the kiss started it was out of control. A burst of orange and mint hit his tongue, and then her hands were in his hair.
An almost cat-like sound came from her throat and Nate registered every soft curve beneath his palms. And against his chest. And against his…
“We can’t do this,” she said, pushing him away. Nate settled his hands on the hood on each side of her, the metal hot from the afternoon sun, but nothing compared to his current body temperature.
He rested his forehead on Emma’s shoulder, trying to catch his breath. Her scent filled his senses, Honeysuckle floating on a summer breeze, and his lips moved to her throat. God she tasted good.
Even as she said his name in protest, Emma leaned her head to give him more access. He took the invitation with pleasure, too far gone to turn back.

Hellion said...

Bo'sun, I hate the Spiderman kiss too. I don't get it. But I know it's referenced a lot.

Love your kiss! Very, very good! *fans self*

Julie said...

Here mate’s, it’s The KISS from Pirates. And may I say one of the funniest proposal scenes I‘ve ever seen!

Julie said...


make that mates

Donna said...

Oh, and the dog kiss -- ack.

It reminds me of my favorite line from a BBC show, Red Dwarf: "Now I know why dogs lick themelves. To get the taste of dog food out of their mouth." LOL

Donna said...

Chance, how did I miss your kiss? *blushes* You know what I mean? I love all that studying he does of her -- LOL -- especially when she's more interested in gettin' busy!

Bo'sun -- HOT kiss. Whew. *runs behind bar to steal some ice cubes*

Hellion, I am not criticizing the HK kiss -- I'm actually thrilled that there's telling, not showing. :) I like when somebody gets away with breaking "the rules".

Julie, thanks for the visual aid. I needed that!

hal said...

Wow, Marn and Terri - LOOOOOVE the kisses! For some reason, I can't seem to write sweet kisses. My kisses are always mean. At least the first one. Hmm, that probably says more than I want it to say about me :)

On screen kiss? The episode of Burn Notice when Michael thought Fiona was dead, and after hours of searching finally gives up and goes home, and she's there in his loft like nothing happened, running her mouth about something. He takes one look at her and never even pauses--just marches right up to her, grabs her, and kisses her mid-rant. You can just feel his level of sheer relief at finding her so perfectly alive and normal. Ahhhhh.

Hellion said...

Jules, thanks for posting my favorite scene. *grins* I love that scene. I want to kiss someone and suddenly have music crescendo in the background...*LOL* Life would be so much more entertaining with a soundtrack playing in the background. *LOL*

Hellion said...

Donna: *LOL* I need to watch more Red Dwarf!

Sin said...

Sweet holy sneakers. I haven't written a kiss in so long I can't remember how to do it.

Hal, that sounds perfect. I need to make a mental note to watch this show sooner rather than later.

Hellion said...

Sin, I'm sure the kiss gets in the way of the sex which is why you haven't written one in so long...right?

Hellion said...

Hal, your stories are so tense, it's little wonder the first kiss is always done in anger or frustration.

Love the Burn Notice scene. I can totally see that in my head. *sighs*

Sin said...

I haven't even written sex in God knows how long. I'm WAY out of practice.

But my general rule of thumb is kissing gets in the way of a lot of things. Though, you could kill someone pretty effectively if you're kissing them. You're all close and in the moment and the moment you look up into his eyes with your lowered lashes staring at his lips you could just shove the knife right into his gut with one swift push. Then you could lightly brush your lips against his as you push him backwards off your knife.

Donna said...

Sin, who says you're not a romantic? LOL

Bosun said...

You guys think that's hot? Huh. I was just thinking it was short and lacking. There is another kiss (and more) later in the book, but that's their first one. Which happens to take place on the hood of her best friend's car, who happens to catch them in the act. :)

Janga said...

I love kissing scenes. One complaint I have about some hot romance novels is that they don't use the kiss effectively to build sexual tension. I love Hellie's examples. They are not generic kisses. They are crafted for the particular characters and scenes. Yes!

I love Marn and Terri's scenes. They're very different, but both are beautifully written. We learn about the characters' relationship in both of them.

Eloisa James writes great kissing scenes. One of my favorites is just a kiss on the hand, but wow!

Villiers saw; he knew. There was laughter in his eyes now, competing with a dissolute, and altogether enthusiastic, invitation to pleasure.

In one swift gesture he turned her hand over and pressed a burning kiss on her palm, a touch so fast that she didn't see it, though her hand curled instinctively, as if to protect the kiss itself.

She didn't have to see it to understand it.

It was the kiss of a man who was staking a claim.

There wasn't a man or a woman in the tent who could possibly have misunderstood that.

And that's just the beginning of the kisses Villiers and Eleanor share in A Duke of Her Own.

Tessa Dare is another writer who understands the importance of kisses. I've read four of her books and drafts of the other two Stud Club books, and I think the great kissing scenes are a trademark, one that begins early in Goddess of the Hunt with three kisses. The scene is too long to quote, but it is superbly done.

I'll be back later to post one of mine.

Bosun said...

Oh, Villiers. *sigh* What a character.

And Tessa is good at the kissing scenes. I've only written a few and realize I included something in the one above that I also wrote into the the very first one. I can't imagine how tough it is for those who have written dozens of books now to come up with new and original kissing scenes.

Hellion said...

Yes, Bo'sun, it was hot.

Hellion said...

Janga, it IS hard to find a kiss nowadays where kiss actually BUILDS tension and reflects the character rather than, well, NOT doing any of those things.

I'm sorry I sound hazy, guys. The benedryl I took in hopes I'd stop scratching at my skin has now made me a zombie.

Julie said...

IMO. The “rain kiss” from Breakfast at Tiffanies is one of cinema’s best.

Some movie kisses. Sorry about the commercial & the narrator sounds like she is still going through puberty.

More classic kisses, No voice over, thank goodness!

Julie said...

Janga, IMO few director/writers could build up the tension like Preston Sturges. The man definitely had a way with mixing lust and laughter. One of my favorite moves is his The Lady Eve. He wrote the script with Barbera Stanwyck in mind. And she is superb in the part.

The Lady Eve (not quite a kiss … but you get to watch fonda melt into a puddle of goo!)

Julie said...

Eloisa James' A Duke of Her Own was simply wonderful!

Liz Carlyle is very good at building up the tension too. In her book “A Woman of Virtue” the H&H are very physically attracted to each other. But emotionally …. Mentally …. They have a tremendous dislike. Call it hate, if you will.

Hellion said...

Jules, I love Liz Carlyle's books for that reason. *LOL* Lots of tension, the lovemaking is hot, but lots of P&P sort of interactions. I love to hate you stuff, you know?

Julie said...

Hellion, i think that “A Woman of Virtue” is one of her best.I highly recommend it. Not just because of the great sex. Carlyle writes wonderfully flawed characters.

2nd Chance said...

Wow, kissing Monday. Which is unusual, since Monday is usually cursing Monday!

Love yer kiss, Q! What's a little dog slobber between lovers, sides...the dog didn't kiss his lips, just his ear and neck, etc...


So many sweet kisses...maybe I don't get sweet kisses. I adore the one in Burn Notice...

I seem to go for the surprise flash grab kiss. I know somewhere in The Philadelphia Story there's a great one between Katherine and Cary...

Now I need to watch the pirates trilogy again! I do adore how Hector officiates w/such flair! He's a romantic at heart, ya know! ;)

Terr - Ya didn't think that kiss was hot? Kisses where ya get caught up and then caught are always hot!

Julie said...

For a complex-not-so-nice kiss go to page 129 in “A Woman of Virtue”.

Bosun said...

Okay, y'all are making me feel better. And you're reading it out of context. That kiss happens pretty much in the middle of a very long argument. So it's got that going for it too. LOL!

Julie said...

Itssss Hot Terri ... and i don't mean the outside temp!

Julie said...

Marnee ... that kiss made me sigh. It revealed a lot about your heroine's babkstory. And it left me wanting more. As in more of the story. well done!

2nd Chance said...

I was just looking at the last kiss I wrote and I obviously like the surprise kiss...

They waltzed slowly, gradually building speed and moving across the floor. There were other dancers, but they began to back away, leaving the dance floor, standing in a circle to admire them.

He watched her, those sapphire eyes sharp yet warm at the same time. Blue was a cold color, right? Not his. She melted into his arms and those eyes. They whirled, spun, following the music until dizzy with each other.

1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3…

Her skirt swirled out in what she knew had to be a graceful sweep. Her back arched, thrusting her pelvis close to his and she flushed. One corner of his mouth lifted, one eyebrow. He took a decisive step forward, inserting his thigh neatly betwixt her legs. She obediently stepped back, albeit reluctant to do so. He released her hand and she spun in a circle under his raised arm.
He pulled her back and continued to circle.

1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3…

Damn, what would it be like to tango with this man?

The music reached crescendo, slowed. Her heart calmed while the frantic circling eased with sweet deliberation. He held her closer, drawing their extended arms to tuck against his chest.

The music faded away.

Her breath caught, totally lost in his arms. Without thought of where they were or who might be watching, they kissed. She wrapped arms around him, sank into his desire. And clung to him, wanting him with a matched desperation and a calm knowingness, a deep chime of belonging rang inside her.

Very slowly, the kiss ended. She sighed, turned her face and set her head upon his chest. Her eyes opened and directly across the floor stood Captain Jezebel, Mick at her side, the crew spread out behind them.

Her heart froze.

Julie said...

And sorry about the italics.

2nd Chance said...

Yeah, one a' those secret love affairs that just got exposed... Ooops.

I do love waltzing kisses... Sigh.

Bosun said...

Chance - I've only read your synopsis and I knew exactly what moment that was. Good stuff!

How do you guys feel about when the kiss appears in the book? The sooner the better or later, when the tension has been good and amped up?

Janga said...

I can hear the music, Chance, both kinds. :)

Julie, I love The Lady Eve. Other favorite screen kisses are It's a Wonderful Life with Donna Reed in tears and James Stewart insisting he's not getting married and the series of Hepburn-Tracy kisses from cab to darkened apartment in Woman of the Year.

Here's one of mine. It's pretty clear such scenes are not among my writing strengths.

One step and I’ll be in his arms. Dori’s throat burned. Her heart hammered. She was a girl again, fear and excitement fighting for control. And then Max took one step.

His fingers moved across her face like a blind man’s searching to learn tactilely what cannot be seen. Dori couldn’t bear the intensity in his eyes. She closed her own. His fingers followed the path his fingers had traced, feathering kisses on her forehead, across her cheeks, at the corner of her mouth, finding her lips. Gentle at first, close mouthed, his fingers stroking the nape of her neck as he kissed her again and again.


She heard his question, but she couldn’t think. She didn’t want to think. She wanted to let the burn that was beginning grow until there was only feeling left, hot and sweet and consuming. She moved into him, pulling his head down.

There was nothing gentle in his kisses now. His mouth was demanding, his tongue thrusting, his teeth nipping. It was too much. She turned her head away from that devouring mouth, trying to remember why this was a bad idea, but his lips moved to her neck, licking, nibbling, soothing, moving ever lower. She clutched his arms. To push him away? For support as her knees threatened to buckle?



Her mother’s voice was a beat behind her daughter’s.

“Damn.” Max hastily pulled Dori’s dress in place and pushed her into a chair. He turned to stare out the window just as Lauren and her grandmother entered the room.

Julie said...

Again with the italics? time to turn off my laptop!
"You’re right. That’s not good, dear. Its perfect."

is me talking to you.

Quantum said...

Helli said: Unfortunately I wouldn’t kiss a man who had just been french kissing a dog. Disgusting. I’m very much like Lucy (from Peanuts) on this aspect. Whatever a dog has been licking before it licked me is REVOLTING.

Donna said: Oh, and the dog kiss — ack.

Ummm, the memorable kiss wasn't supposed to be the dog slurping! :lol:

Admirable attention to hygiene in REAL life Ladies. BUT in fiction, as in art, one is allowed artistic license! You only have to consider some of the unhygienic places explored with the tongue by main stream romance writers, to see my point.

I suppose a cloth and disinfectant spray could have been kept nearby to satisfy the prudish! *grin*

Chance said: Love yer kiss, Q! What’s a little dog slobber between lovers, sides…the dog didn’t kiss his lips, just his ear and neck, etc…

I love you Chance!
As a fellow dog lover, I knew you would empathize. :D

2nd Chance said...

You are so right, Q! The places the human mouth goes and one worries about a dog's tongue! And don't go there about the whole licking their balls thing... If I were wounded, I'd rather let a dog lick my wound clean than a human. Human mouths are really filthy!

Hee, hee. Dogs clean their own wounds because that really gets them clean!

Love ya back, Q.

Hellie said...

You only have to consider some of the unhygienic places explored with the tongue by main stream romance writers, to see my point.

There are some funny romantic scenes in favorite romances where this issue is addressed. There was a Jude Deveraux book where the hero had been dipping his fingers into a wineglass and playing with her. Later when he offers her wine for her parched throat, she scowls and says, "This better not be the glass you were dipping your fingers into."

2nd Chance said...

Janga - Julie is right, that is a perfect bit of heat and romance. And tells a lot of story.

And thanks, I love waltzing kisses...and tango kisses...and all manner of dancing kisses... ;)

Donna said...

Wow, I missed some good kissing while I was gone!

Chance, waltzing is so romantic, and kissing during a waltz -- you captured it in such a lovely way.

Janga, kissing can definitely short circuit the brain. I love how you show this.


Donna said...

Q, and Chance -- you haven't convinced me on the dog kisses. LOL Too much slobber.

Ewww. I think I must made myself throw up in my mouth. LOL

2nd Chance said...

Geez, not all dogs kiss sloppy! My beagle was quite sedate and particular with his tongue. His 'kisses' were mainly bumps with his nose...

No, I wouldn't want to be drenched by a bloodhound or a mastiff...but a bump from a sweet old beagle who seldom showed such sentiment?

Oh, man. Now I miss him and those rare nose bumps.


Donna said...

Nose bumps are good. :) Sorry I made you miss your beagle.

2nd Chance said...

Sigh. I've never really had a dog that was obsessed with licking my face... He was so damned aloof, when he nose bumped me it just was the sweetest thing.

It's good to remember him, Donna.

Sorry, Hel. Didn't mean to change the discussion.

Hellie said...

I don't want dog noses on me either. Also an ick.

You can have all my dog kisses, 2nd, you're welcome to them.

Hellie said...

We were still talking about kisses. Some of us just prefer them from our furry friends. *LOL*

Not me. Well, I think it's cute when my friend Holly's cat licks me. She's very particular who she kisses. For some reason, cat licking doesn't bother me nearly on the level that dog licks do. I think it's because dogs tend to be too enthusiastic and all over the place. Like a 14 year old boy french kissing a girl for the first time and mistaking the procedure for an epileptic fit.

Donna said...

I was going to post a kiss, but I think it might be too long. Let me go look at it.

2nd Chance said...

Remind me not to kiss 14 year old boys anytime soon!

Cat kisses are fine, long as they haven't been nose deep in the cat food moments before! I think I actually prefer dog breath to cat breath...

I can remember sneaking kisses with my boyfriend in high school. And being caught by the science teacher, told to knock it off. Ah, if Mr. Doe could see us now! Married 30 years!

Donna said...

Wow, Chance! Those musta been some awesome kisses. :)

Di R said...

Great blog, Cap'n!

I'm approaching the first kiss between Drake and Sarah, and this has me excited with all the possibilities.

Love the kisses posted! Teri, Chance, Janga, and Marnee. All are very different, yet each one conveys the essence of their character.


2nd Chance said...

Actually, Donna... They were a bit sloppy. But that's how we thought kisses were meant to be!

Julie said...

Dog kisses are SWEET!

I was sitting on my couch last night with the DH. Okay I wasn’t sitting so much as leaning. On my husband’s shoulder , semi sprawled across his chest. One leg dangling off the couch. Got the visuals? We were watching season 2 of True Blood when ... Cue in freaky scary music … when I felt something licking my toes. OMG?! WTH?! Vampire? Werewolf? No? Ooooh! My dog. How annoying. I was going to tell her to stop. But then I realized that it kind of ticked. The feeling wasn’t so much annoying … as it was … warm & relaxing & pleasant. A sort of I-adore-you-tongue-massage. My mind wandered and all I’ll say is … why can’t my DH be more like the dog?!

Julie said...

Hellion said: I think it’s because dogs tend to be too enthusiastic and all over the place.
Like I saidddd " Why can’t my DH be more like the dog?!"

2nd Chance said...

Julie - ;)

A sort of I-adore-you-tongue-massage.

Hee, hee. Yeah, carefully given, I bet. My aunt had a huge doberman who used to love to clean feet and toes. With concentration and adoration, he'd sneak feet out from under blankets and clean them... Done with such stealth and care, it was impossible to object.

Bosun said...

Count me in the not kissing after the dog incident. I can take a lick maybe. A nose doesn't bother me. But it's the word "slobbering". You threw that in and that's where ya lost me.

My cat doesn't give kisses, but he will get his nose up real close, which tickles like crazy because of the whiskers. However, my cat drools something crazy when you give him a good scratch behind the ears or around his neck. Never knew cats drooled before. It's quite annoying.

Thanks for the kudos, Di. Janga, that's a lovely scene. And the being interrupted makes reality return with a slap instead of a gradual dawning. It becomes a thing in my MS about the H/H constantly being interrupted.

Elyssa Papa said...

Probably one of my most favorite things to write in romances are the kisses. I think it stems from my love of classic movies, and how the romantic comedies were all about leading to that first kiss at the end. One of my favorites is from It's a Wonderful Life (not exactly a romantic comedy, I know) but it's when George goes over to visit Mary and they get into this awful fight, and he's about to leave but their friend calls, and they're just half-listening to the phone. Finally the phone call ends, and George takes Mary in his arms, kissing her, and oh god, it was such a great kiss, that displayed all the pent-up feelings and emotions between these two.

I absolutely love the examples that some have posted.

This comes from my current wip and is the first kiss of the book.

[i]“You want?” His tone was harsh and full of need; a rumble of thunder echoed in the distance. A storm was coming, and he was powerless to stop it. But he could control this.

“I want.”

He lowered his head to the swell of her breasts. His tongue darted out, lapping up the spilled beer, tasting the tartness of the alcohol and the crisp scent of lemons. He traveled up until he was at her neck, and felt her pulse skip like a pebble on a lake. He licked her stubborn chin, up to her pouty mouth, and she trembled in his arms.

He dipped his tongue along the bottom of her mouth like a painter’s brush, tracing the shape of her, and then the seam. Her lips tasted like apples. A whimper of need escaped her. She was soft, and he couldn’t help but nip at her lower lip.

She opened, but he didn’t enter. Not yet. He wanted to kiss her, taste her . . . know her. And find out why he couldn’t get enough. His lips weren’t gentle on hers. He demanded and urged, throwing caution to the wind. He didn’t even know her name.

With that thought, he lifted his head. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted and reddened from his kisses, all traces of her lip gloss gone, and he leaned down to kiss her again. Once. Twice. He started to get lost again in that succulent mouth of hers. Her name, he thought. He wanted to know what it was.[/i]

Bosun said...

I can't stand a dog licking my toes. Or anyone else! *gives pointed look to Julie*

Julie said...

Kind of ticked? Ticked? I'm picking up on Hellion's Negative dog licky vibes.
Make that
"it kind of tickLed"

2nd Chance said...

Bo'sun - I've known dogs that slobbered less when they licked than men who kissed. Including, at times, my DH. And oh, yeah...the cat drool factor. I had one who would totally have ropes of the stuff dripping from her mouth when she was blissed out. Cats drool!

Elyssa! Oh! He didn't know her name?! I like! Makes it even more interesting!

Elyssa Papa said...

And, hee, Janga, I see that we both have a love for the It's a Wonderful Life kiss. Somehow I had missed your comment, and that nice kiss you just posted.

Julie said...

Elyssa ...She opened, but he didn’t enter. Not yet. He wanted to kiss her, taste her . . . know her. And find out why he couldn’t get enough

He didn't take her? You wicked Tease! And I agree with Chance on not knowing her name.

Donna said...

Elyssa, very sexy! The spilled beer, the no-names. I like it.

Julie said...

“You wicked tease” BTW is Julie Speak for ‘You did a Great job at building up the sexual tension.’

2nd Chance said...

Doesn't it just leave you wanting to know if she's thinking the same thing... "What is his name?"

And where can I get more beer to spill?

Donna said...

Okay, here's my contribution:

Ryan brushed a strand of hair away from my eyes.

It was such a surprising gesture, and so tender, I almost couldn't breathe for a few minutes.

"We'll think of something, Shotgun." He curled his arm around my shoulder, pulling me towards him. "I promise." He punctuated it with several feather-light kisses on my temple.

I wasn't sure if he realized what he was doing, but I didn't resist. I mean, who am I kidding? I knew we'd agreed to stay in separate corners until we'd solved this case. The best I could do was tell myself he was being comforting, not frisky.

It seemed like a decent loophole to me.

Besides, I could use a metric ton of comfort right now.

I leaned against him, and he dropped a soft kiss against my closed eyelids. I had no intention of breaking the spell by speaking, reminding him we were forbidden territory for each other. Verbal warnings didn't seem too effective for us anyway.

The hell with being practical. None of this made any sense. But who wants to be sensible all the time anyway?

I shifted slightly, enough so I could tangle my fingers in his hair, like I'd wanted to earlier. I loved the silky texture of it, tempted to ask him never to cut it again, just so I could play with it whenever I wanted.

Ryan dotted kisses on my cheekbone, and my eyebrow, and then the tip of my nose. He traveled to my earlobe, biting tenderly, in no hurry to leave. And then he trailed kisses down my neck while I shivered with each one. Instead of the sexy growl I was used to, I heard a soft satisfied moan, and felt it rumbling against the side of my throat.

His lips were perfect. Tender, gentle, comforting.

My lips couldn't wait any longer, wanting more of this delectable version of Ryan I hadn't experienced until now. I smoothed my hands through his hair, caressing his neck as I guided his lips toward mine. He responded with deliberate slowness, making us both anticipate the moment our mouths finally touched.

The wait nearly demolished me. His breath was hot and sweet as his lips descended towards mine. My breath was uneven, tortured, as I reveled in something way beyond longing or passion. It was an exhilarating sensation, yet frightening, since it was unknown to me.

I caved, rushing my mouth towards his, desperate to return to familiar territory.

Bosun said...

So, ah, Donna, how do we get to meet this Ryan fellow?


Ely - Nothing like adding the hook at the end there.

Donna said...

LOL, Bo'sun -- if he materializes, I get first dibs on him. (Fingers crossed an editor or two falls for him. LOL)

2nd Chance said...

Whew! Where is that special shamwow I save for face wiping?

Very nice!

Donna said...

Thanks, Chance. :)

Julie said...

My breath was uneven, tortured, as I reveled in something way beyond longing or passion.
It was an exhilarating sensation, yet frightening, since it was unknown to me.
I caved, rushing my mouth towards his, desperate to return to familiar territory.
Such tender and raw emotions. Thank you for sharing, Donna!

Julie said...

I origenally wrote:
So tender and raw. Well done, Donna.

But then I realized that it sounded like I was Describing how people like their Steak cooked! :0

Donna said...

Julie, you crack me up! LOL And thanks for the kind words.

Quantum said...

Very nice, Donna. Liked it a lot.
Do you always favor first person in your writing?

I think I might be able to identify with Ryan if I knew more about him. And he doesn't get too frisky!

I often connect 'frisky' with horses. You wouldn't be an equestrian by any chance?

Wish I had more time to savor all these lovely kisses.

Janga and Chance and Elly and Helli and Teri and ... well everyone really!

Lady writers do this sort of thing so well. I guess men would tend to feel uneasy writing like that. It taps into the emotions and psyche so deeply. You might figure out what really drives them!

Helli said: There are some funny romantic scenes in favorite romances where this issue is addressed. There was a Jude Deveraux book where the hero had been dipping his fingers into a wineglass and playing with her. Later when he offers her wine for her parched throat, she scowls and says, “This better not be the glass you were dipping your fingers into.”

I like it Helli. Scotch with the higher alcohol content would have better anti-septic properties, but I take the humor. :lol:

Donna said...

Thanks,Q. I've only done a couple things in 1st person POV, and it was actually fairly recently.

Ryan shows his personality a lot more, before and after -- this scene was meant to show the heroine's reaction to a kiss that was tender rather than erotic, not her usual experience. :)

I'm definitely not an equestrian. :) I admire them from afar! LOL

Bosun said...

Notice she didn't say she doesn't ride...

Julie said...

Yor verrah Sharp, Bo'sun!

Donna said...

And very naughty! LOL

Bosun said...


Volleyball season is officially over. Tough loss, but it saves me from spending the rest of the week in hot, smelly gymnasiums.

2nd Chance said...

Ahhhh! Sorry fer Isabelle and the volleyball team... Now you have some evenings with her and not the entire team afore she heads to dad's...

Hey, on Bo'sun's recommendation, I just saw "Letters to Juliet" and wow... Just loverly...

Bosun said...

Glad you liked it, Chance! I'd actually consider paying to see that again.

Marnee Jo said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments. Sorry I can't seem to get here during the day. Yeesh, things get a little crazy around here right now.

I loved the other contributions too. Chance, Ter, Donna, Ely, Janga.... All so wonderful and full of your specific voices. :)

Hellion said...

I'm sorry I dropped out. Doctor's appointment--and well, an evening trying not to scratch. Thanks to everyone for keeping the discussion going.

I loved everyone's contribution to kisses--from your manuscripts. I agree with the consensus that everyone did a bang up job of reflecting character through their kisses...character and hot-hot-hot kisses. *sighs* Can't wait to have each of your guys' books in my hands so I can read each kiss in context.

Julie said...

Thank you everyone for sharing your kisses. I can’t wait to have each of your guys’ books in my hands either. And Hellion ... I hope that you are feeling better.