Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day Four of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest

Day Four of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest!

This is from one of my favorite books, Match Me if You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. In this scene Annabelle is a matchmaker and Heath is her client. They are away at a camp with some mutual friends and after a night of dancing and more than a little drinking they have just kissed. Annabelle broke it off after only a moment, and they are now discussing it.

[Annabelle] heard [Heath] sigh. “We’re talking about simple physical attraction brought on by some moonlight, a little dancing, and too much liquor,” he said. “Do you agree that’s what this is?”

“I guess.”

“Basic physical attraction.”

“I suppose.”

“I don’t know about you,” he said, “but it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good time.”

“Okay, I’ll admit it was fun. The dancing,” she added hastily.

“Damned right it was. So we got a little carried away. Nothing more than circumstances, right?”

Pride and self-respect dictated that she agree. “Of course.”

“Circumstances… and a little animal instinct.” His huskier pitch began to sound almost seductive. “Nothing to get worked up about. Are you with me?”

He was throwing her off stride, but she nodded.

He moved closer, his gravelly whisper a rasp over her skin. “Perfectly understandable, right?”

“Right.” She was still nodding, almost as if he’d mesmerized her.

“Are you sure?” he whispered.

She kept nodding, no longer remembering exactly what the question was.

His eyes gleamed in the moonlight. “Because that’s the only way… you can explain something like this. Pure animal attraction.”

“Uh-huh,” she managed, beginning to feel like a bedazzled, bobble-headed doll.

“What sets us free”—he touched her chin, the barest brush—“to do exactly what neither of us can stop thinking about, right?” He dropped his head to kiss her.

The night wind hummed; her heart pounded. Just before his lips touched hers, his eyelids flickered, and she glimpsed the faintest hint of cunning loitering in those green irises. That’s when it hit her.”

“You snake!” She pushed against his chest.

He stepped back, all wounded innocence. “I don’t deserve that.”

“Ohmygod!” You’ve just put me through Sales 101. I bow to the master.”

“You’ve had way too much to drink.”

“The Great Salesman asks just the right questions to get the mark agreeing with everything he says. He makes her nod her stupid head until it feels like it’s coming off her neck. Then he dives in for the kill. You just tried to make a sale!” (192-3)

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth. Match Me if You Can. New York: Avon Books, 2006. (192-3)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Three of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest

Day three of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest!

This clip is from one of my favorite TV shows ever, Firefly (May it rest in peace). This may not totally count, but it’s absolutely hilarious. (It's the first 3 and a half minutes or so... For some reason it wouldn't let me pull a clip.)


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day Two of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest!

Day two of the Countdown to the No Kiss Blogfest!

This excerpt is from Leaving Carolina, the new novel from Tamara Leigh from Multnomah. Some background for the story is that Piper, the narrator, has wandered into some poison ivy and Axel is providing her with some lotion that is supposed to help, if you get it on early enough. Also, Axel was wounded in battle and he lost a leg and wears a prosthesis. This is after their first kiss. Afterward he discovered that she was seeing someone else, someone she is no longer dating.

[Axel] steps forward and extends the bottle of lotion. “If the rash appears, wash again. If nothing else, it should lessen the severity.”

“Thank you.” Our fingers brush as I accept the bottle, and attraction hums through me. Did he feel that? I glance at him in time to catch the curve of his mouth before it flattens and his brow pinches. […]

I snatch my hand back, only to wonder where to put it. As the options are limited, I clasp it with the other around the bottle, but it feels awkward. No wonder my clients groan and complain about the tasks I breezily set for them. It takes a tremendous amount of preparation and practice, both of which I’m lacking.

“What I didn’t say was that I hardly notice it anymore.”

Disbelief crosses Axel’s face, and I’m reminded of his fiancee’s inability to reconcile herself to his loss of a limb. “It makes a lot of women uncomfortable.”

“Not me,” I say with an eagerness that surprises—and embarrasses—me. “I mean, yes, it came as a shock, as I had no idea your limp was anything more than that, but it isn’t off-putting. In fact, I think you’re…” This is not the direction I should be going.

“What?”

Oh Well. “You’re attractive, even with that whole”—I wave a hand at his lower face—“mustache-goatee-ponytail thing you have going on.”

His skepticism remains in effect, though I do detect amusement.

“I mean it.”

“Under the circumstances, you shouldn’t.” He smiles. “You are taken.”

Reminded of the last time attraction drew me to him when Grant and I were still “on,” so to speak,” I feel an urgent need to update him. “Actually, it’s basically over between me and… the man I was dating.”

Axel tilts his head. “Should I say I’m sorry?”

I almost laugh. “Would you mean it?”

“It depends on how heartbroken you are.”

Why am I not? I was practically engaged. Or was I? “I’m recovering fine.”

He glances at my mouth, which suddenly feels dry. And in need of kissing. Not good.

I hold up the lotion, “Thank you again.”

Without giving him time to respond, I hurry around the side of the cottage. (294-6)

Leigh, Tamara. Leaving Carolina. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2009. (294-6)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Count Down to No Kiss Blogfest - Day 1

January 2nd is the Official No Kiss Blogfest, so I’ve decided to start a five day count down to kick off this big event by posting some of my favorite non-kisses from page and screen.

And to kick off the countdown I would like to start with a scene from the TV show How I Met Your Mother


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lady Emily Ashton Series - Tasha Alexander

First I want to thank everyone who commented yesterday. I hope everyone comes back.

Next, I’d like to go WAH! because the ACFW announced who will be teaching the Early Bird session at the 2010 Conference, and it’s James Scott Bell. So here is goes: WAH!

Third, I’d like to talk about a series of books I’ve been reading that I would like to recommend. I know it’s been a while (like a month) but I’m back on board here (I think).

Today I’d like to talk about the Lady Emily Ashton Series by Tasha Alexander. These books follow the adventures of Lady Emily Ashton, a young widow who discovers a love for adventure outside the traditional life of society in Victorian England. These are mysteries with a thread of romance, all told from the first person perspective of Emily.

The first book in the series And Only to Deceive tells the story of the time shortly after Emily comes out of mourning for her husband. They had only been married a very short while, and Emily did not know him well, but after his death she begins to read the books in his library and his journals and discovers things about her late husband she never knew, and she falls a little bit more in love with him as the days go by. While she is getting to know him a little too late rumors are spreading that her husband’s death may not have been as innocent as she was lead to believe, and the man closest to her husband may be to blame.

The following books, A Poisoned Season, A Fatal Waltz, and Tears of Pearl, tell stories as Emily finds that she is not satisfied with simply being who society expects her to be and that she wants more out of life than parties, much to the dismay of her mother.

For those who like the Secret History books from Lauren Willig (new one Betrayal of the Blood Lily is coming out next month btw) I think that this will be right up your alley.

Monday, December 21, 2009

OFFICIAL Kissing Day Blogfest!

Woo-Hoo! I’m super excited about today and I didn’t even know it existed until about half an hour ago. It’s the OFFICIAL Kissing Day Blogfest! Bloggers all over the blogosphere are posting their favorite kissing scenes.

This kiss is from my current WIP Matches & Matrimony.


To set the scene a little Amanda (the narrator) and Jordan are good friends. Jordan is getting married in a month or so and he has been fighting with his fiancée, Sarahlynn. Amanda has a crush on Jordan, so the whole wedding business has been difficult for her. They are currently trapped in Amanda’s bathroom (it’s a long story involving a distracted contractor – Jordan – and a defective doorknob). Fortunately when they got trapped they had food with them (which is more than a little disgusting now that I think about it). Anyway, here it is:

“Are you going to eat the rest of your chips?” Jordan asked. I’d eaten my sandwich while he was telling me about this guy that he’d hired that was really nice, but a bit of an idiot who had to be walked through each step of every process about every time he did it. I knew how he felt.

“I’m willing to share,” I flirted. I immediately started berating myself. I wasn’t supposed to be flirting with him. He wasn’t available to flirt with.

He scooted from where he’d been sitting by the tub during our whole conversation over to where I was sitting by the sink. He started picking the chips off my plate.

“You’re a really good listener,” he said softly. “I didn’t mean to totally unload on you like that. I guess it just all came out before I could stop it.”

I smiled. “It’s okay. We all need to unload every once in a while.”

He picked at my chips some more, then he turned and looked at me. “You’re a really good friend, Amanda.”

“You’re a good friend, too,” I replied.

Then, almost in slow motion, it happened. Jordan reached one hand over, cupped the back of my head in his large palm, and pulled my face to his. And then he kissed me. Not a simple, friendly kind of kiss, but a real kiss. A full, close-your-eyes-and-throw-yourself-into-it kind of kiss.

There was a part of me that immediately said that this was wrong, but the part of me that had been longing for this for months was louder, and I slipped one hand behind his neck and started to kiss him back.

He pulled away slightly, only for a moment, to angle his head a little better before claiming my lips once again, only now deepening the kiss. But that moment was all the rational part of my brain needed to tell me that what I was doing was wrong and that I needed to stop. And this time that voice won out.

I wrenched myself away from him, and quickly stood up. Jordan!” I cried. “What are you doing? What are we doing?”

Jordan also stood. He looked slightly confused for a moment, before his eyes widened and I knew that he realized exactly what I was talking about.

“Oh, God,” he whispered, more as a prayer than an expletive. “Amanda, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have… I don’t know…”

Jordan, I’m not the one you need to apologize to. That’s Sarahlynn.”

Jordan’s eyes grew wide again, before he closed them as though he were in extreme pain. “Sarahlynn,” he moaned.

“Yeah. You remember her. Your fiancée, Sarahlynn. The woman you’re going to marry in a month. That Sarahlynn.”

He sank back down to the floor and then buried his face in his hands. “What am I going to do?”

“Nothing,” I told him. “You do nothing. You say nothing. You change nothing. You only do exactly as you’ve planned on doing for the last three months. You marry Sarahlynn at Christmas. You forget that this ever happened.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FTC Guidelines Stuff

About a month and a half ago or so I received an e-mail making me aware of some FTC guidelines about book reviews. It’s a little hazy about how this applies to blogs, but I’ll attempt to comply. Apparently, as a book reviewer I am supposed to disclose where I got the books that I review. Most of the books I review I either purchase myself, borrow from the library, or receive through Paperback Swap. There are some, however, that I have received for free from various conferences I have gone to. I frequently cannot remember which ones they are. No one has specifically asked me to review these books and I in no way benefit from someone else purchasing them after reading my review. The companies, of course, benefit from it, but I don’t believe that was their goal in giving them to me for free (but it may have been, I am not a mind reader :P)

Also, in the nature of full disclosure, if you click on the Paperback Swap link at the bottom of the page and then decide to join I should receive a free credit for recommending you. I have no idea how well this works because to my knowledge no one has tried it and I don’t really read computer code, so it may not be connected to my account correctly and I would never know. And to be honest, I’m not really that concerned about it. I want more to share the wonder of Paperback Swap with the world than to get the credit for it. The credits are just a bonus :P.

Hopefully this is what the FTC is looking for and they will not fine me thousands of dollars I don’t have.

Have a good day!