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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Moonlight with Loucinda McGary and a Giveaway


First of all, a BIG THANX to the ladies of Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem for inviting me to guest blog today.

Recently one of my critique partners and I were discussing favorite scenes in books, what we liked and why we liked them. After throwing out a few and analyzing our choices, my CP came to the conclusion that she consistently liked scenes where the hero and heroine kiss for the first time. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I liked those scenes too! I loved reading them and writing them.

Unfortunately, the details of Aunty’s very first kiss are somewhat blurry. It was so very, very long ago… (I think, perhaps, it may have been Og and he hit me over the head with his club before he dragged me by my hair, hence the faulty recollection.) But I have very fond memories of first kisses from special ‘dates’ over the years. Usually the anticipation of those kisses proved more enjoyable than the actual lip contact, but AH! – the build-up!

Maybe that is why first kisses in fiction make such enjoyable scenes? The author can take her time building up all that wonderful tension between the hero and heroine and the actual moment of contact never has to be disappointing. Unlike real life, no clubbing, hair-pulling, bad breath, or tangling of tooth braces need ever happen! The author can revise and reinvent to her heart’s content, and the reader can savor all the lovely anticipation as many times as she wants.

Since my new release, The Treasures of Venice has a dual storyline and two sets of lovers, I got to have all the fun of writing the ‘first kiss’ scene twice! Here is the first kiss between my contemporary hero, Keirnan Fitzgerald, and my heroine, Samantha Lewis:

She stopped abruptly and pulled her hand away. Keirnan followed her gaze across the street where white letters on a green cloth awning proclaimed “Bello Giardino.” Window boxes filled with pink and yellow primroses decorated the front of the four-story hotel.

“Looks like we’re here.”

His libido suddenly over-rode his conscience, and urged him to do more than walk away.
Impossibly bad timing! He fought back the urge.

“Thank you again for being such a good sport, Samantha.”

When had he raised his hand? But he must have because it was poised next to her face. Of their own volition, his fingers cupped her cheek. Her smooth skin felt overheated in the cool air. Those ten thousand volts sizzled up his arm and made his pulse hammer.

“And I meant what I said back there on the Bridge of Sighs. He’s a fool. You’re better off without him.” And me.

Though shock flickered across her expressive eyes, she said nothing, the tip of her tongue moistening her bottom lip His hand moved from her cheek to cradle the back of her head, the silky strands of her hair flowing over and through his fingers. He lowered his head and slanted his mouth across hers, his own tongue lightly following the path of hers. She tasted warm and sweet. But without warning, the painted image of Serafina Lombardo flashed behind his closed eyes.

Saints in heaven, he was losing it! Keirnan pulled back and dropped his hand, but instead of releasing her as he’d intended, he grasped her hand and raised it toward his mouth.

“Take care, Samantha, luv,” he murmured and pressed his lips lightly against her palm.
Blood roared in his ears, but somehow he managed to drop her hand before he made an even bigger and far more stupid blunder.

And here is the first kiss between my Renaissance couple, Serafina and Nino:

Nino paced the open space in front of the bench. His graceful movements made her think of dancing. Who had he danced with during Carnevale?

“Well, he was right about the Doge’s niece.”

Serafina shifted her voluminous skirts so that he could sit next to her on the bench. He hesitated for a moment before he sat down.

“Maybe so, but he should not have poked fun at you.”

“I…” As at the cemetery isle, warmth seemed to radiate from him to her. “…don’t mind. Besides, I may not have a wart on my nose, but my jaw is too square and my mouth is too small.”

She repeated the faults her mother so frequently pointed out, except she never should have mentioned mouth. The instant she spoke the word, her eyes immediately went to his.

She watched in fascination as his lips parted and he spoke. “Your mouth looks perfect to me.”
“Not…” Her hand moved of its own accord. “…so perfect as yours.” Her fingers lightly brushed across his cheek and traced the edge of his lower lip. “Yours feels so soft.”

Serafina lifted her face and his warm smooth lips touched hers. The unexpected contact jolted them apart.

“Forgive me!” Nino leaped to his feet.

“Kiss me again,” she whispered, pulling him back down beside her.

Now THAT is a woman after Aunty’s own heart! I’ll bet she could even handle Og.

What about you? Care to share some memorable first kisses, either your own or fictional? One lucky commenter will win an autographed copy of The Treasures of Venice.

I want to send a HUGE thanks to Aunty Cindy for accepting my I want to send a HUGE thanks to Aunty Cindy for accepting my request to guest post on our little blog here. As always, Aunty, when you post something, it is truly entertaining! And this looks like another great book to throw on top of the wish list pile. Two love stories in one? I'm in! And with a cover like that, how can you go wrong? Okay, everyone, let the competition for the book giveaway begin! ~ Margay

UPDATE: The winner of The Treasure of Venice is Molly Daniels!! Congratulations!

29 Moonbeams (comments):

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi AC -

Love those first kiss scenes!

I somewhat remember my first kiss with my husband. I was about 300 miles away from my home visiting a college roommate. We went to a bar with a bunch of friends. I met a guy and we hit it off. We went outside for some fresh air and ended up sitting and talking on a bench at a bus stop. It may have been the beer consumed before that particular moment - or it may have been the freedom one feels when you think you'll never see this guy again - but I ended up sitting on his lap making out like there was no tomorrow. I married him a couple of years later. We celebrate our 37 year anniversary in a couple of months.

Love those first kisses!

Carrie said...

Congrats on your anniversary Donna!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WTG, Donna!

Sounds like a memorable first kiss that led to MANY MANY more! ;-)

I remember my first kiss with my DH, too. Because he is so tall, I had to pull him down to my level. LOL! But as you know, Aunty is NOT the shy type.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Good morning, Carrie!

Thanx for having me on your blog today.


Joan said...

Whoa, Aunty....LOVE the two excerpts...especially from the hero's POV!

My first kiss was memorable not for the passion of it, but because the boy chose to bestow it on me outside my back porch...not knowing my Daddy was out in the backyard!

I can't wait to read Treasures of Venice! Yanno I have soft spot in me heart for those Irish boys!

Cassondra said...

Aunty Cindy, what great scenes!

OMG. I'm going to have to pound the table at Barnes & Noble for this book now.

I think first kisses are so powerful because of the buildup, yes. You can take a long time to get to it, and you learn an awful lot about the characters during that buildup. When they get to the first kiss, I love the "OH, THANK GOD FINALLY!" thing that happens for me as a reader.

Margay, thanks so much for hosting today!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Joanie!

LOL on being busted by kissing in front of your Daddy. So did that boy ever get to kiss you again?!?! :-)

I too have that soft spot for Irish lads, esp. a certain tall blond one. ;-) Hope you Enjoy TToV. It just got a TERRIFIC 5 star review from Single Titles!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Cassondra!

(Aunty waves wildly to her Bandita!)

I totally agree with you about the build up to the first kiss being a great opportunity for revealing character. I also really like to write kisses in the hero's POV. Hmmm, I just realized that and wonder what that says about ME! LOL!

Don't pound that table too hard and B&N. Just tell them to special order. The ones here in my area have been very good about that with my friends. ;-) Perhaps the Bandita reputation precedes us?!?


Kate Carlisle said...

Yoo hoo, hi Aunty!! Hi Margay!! Hi ladies!

What a fun post! I love the build-up to the first kiss. Love to read them, love to write them. And Aunty, you've got two fabulous scenes here. I'm so excited for you and I can't wait to get me liddle hands on a copy ASAP!

And such a gorgeous cover. Wow!

Sheila Deeth said...

I love those scenes! Love your writing. Looking forward to the book.

Molly Daniels said...

What a fun post! Hi Aunty Cindy:)

I've got two memorable ones: My very first kiss, my shy boyfriend said he wanted to ask me something, so I turned my head, thinking he was going to whisper in my ear. Instead, his kiss landed on my cheek. I pushed him away, and then looked at him.

'Can we try that again?' and then I kissed him on his cheek and ran out of the room.

My husband and I's first one was a joke. I had snuggled up against him in a restaurant, because I was cold, and my current b/f was sitting at the end of the table, while D and I were in the booth. We had been taking wacky pictures, and I pulled D's arm around my neck and lifted my face to his, thinking it would simply be a sweet picture of our lips not quite meeting. Well he went ahead and kissed me, startling the heck out of me! My b/f was laughing so hard the shot is a bit blurry! 4 years later, I finally agreed to go on an official 'date' with D...and married him several months later.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Kate,
YAY! Another Bandita swinging by!

I must say the Sourcebooks Art Dept. REALLY did a fantastic job with the cover (I can take NO credit)! The red lettering has this wonderful metallic glow... Okay, (Aunty smacks self back to reality) back to business here! I hope you enjoy TToV and I'm sooo excited to be a multi-published author!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Sheila!

Thanx so much for your compliments (Aunty blushes daintily)! I hope you enjoy TToV as much as you did TWS.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Molly,
Thanx for sharing two such sweet kisses! And WTG on FINALLY snagging your DH 4 years later. You're a lot more patient than yer olde Aunty!


Molly Daniels said...

LOL:) It was more like the other way around; he was waiting for ME to wake up and notice him! I just called him my 'big brother':)

Helen said...

Anty Cindy

I really am getting excited about reading this book can't wait Whoo Hoo.

I can remember my first kiss by my now husband on the front veranda at my house when he walked me home after we had been ice skating I will never forget it.

I too love the first kiss scenes in books there have been so many and you authors always make them fantastic for me.

Have Fun

Carrie said...

Hi "Aunty Cindy" and thanks for stopping by today!

I also want to thank Donna for picking up the thread and prompting a very cool topic of conversation!

Fedora said...

Hi, AC!

What a lovely post! And I agree with Cassondra, I think that in books and in reality, much of the magic of the first kiss is the anticipation! My first kiss was in high school and while I'm not entirely sure I still remember the kiss, I do remember the heightened feelings before it happened :D I don't think that the anticipation necessarily outweighs the experience itself, but it surely improves it as a whole!


Nancy said...

Hi, Cindy--

I agree about the buildup to first kisses and the "Finally!" bit Cassondra cited. The will they/wont' they tips more toward "will." Even though we know it'll end up there in a romance, there's a huge payoff to that first kiss. And another big payoff, later, if problems ensue from it.

I picked up this book last night and am eager to read it!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Wow, I'm loving all of these comments! I'm learning a lot about you ladies here!

Hi, Kate, so happy you stopped by.

Donna, GREAT first kiss story! Thanks for sharing.

Joan, that's a pretty fun first kiss story. What I want to know is - how did your daddy feel about being a part of it?

Cassondra, I'm with you - this looks like a fabulous book. I'm excited about reading it. It's going straight to the top of my wish list. And it was my pleasure to host Aunty Cindy today.

Sheila, thanks for stopping by. I had a feeling you'd like this post and Aunty's excerpts.

Wow, Molly, that's some story! And the first "first kiss" is so sweet!

Aw, Helen, another sweet first kiss story! And after ice skating - did he heat up your cold lips? I, for one, can't think of a better way to heat up frozen extremities.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx sooo much Margay for inviting me to kick off my blog tour here! It's been fun hearing about first kisses.

And I'm with you, Helen had the right idea, or maybe that was her DH who thought of taking her ice skating so he could warm up her lips later! Obviously you both enjoyed it Helen because all these years later you are still together. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I AGREE it is the anticipation! (and now I have that Carly Simon song stuck in my head! ACK!!!) That definitely keeps me reading a story, eagerly awaiting that first lip-lock. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Score another in the build up and FINALLY column! Thanx a bunch for buying TToV, I'll be anxiously awaiting your verdict. ;-)


jo robertson said...

Those are super scenes, Aunty Cindy! Whoooottt! Can't wait to see Treasures of Venice in print!

Pat said...

The first time I kissed my sweetie was under the mistletoe at a friend's party. I'd put him off with a cheek the first time (hey, I hardly knew him!), but my girlfriend didn't. Pissed me off. So next chance, I laid one on him. The world stopped. I swear, every hair on my head stood on end. The electricity was so potent, everyone had a comment.

That was 1972. We're still at it!

Jane said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
My first kiss was definitely awkward and his lips were a little chapped. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't more exciting.

Sharon Lathan said...

Wowza!! I am feeling a bit steamy here! Can't wait, Cindy.

My first kiss, so I am told, was when I was 6 or 7 or so and with my "cousin" Danny. Neither of us ever remembered the Momentous Occasion, but our respective parents had a terrific time telling the story over and over! I think they thought it was a Sign that we were MFEO. No such luck! LOL!

Great blog. You are on a roll! Sharon

Carrie said...

Aw, I love all this first kiss talk! Too bad y'all weren't part of that discussion in our yahoo chat group during the week of August 10th! These stories would have fit in great there!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Hey, sorry this is late - I dropped my daughter off at college this weekend, so there was a lot of last minute stuff to take care of - but the winner of the book giveaway is

Molly Daniels!!

Please contact us with your information.