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Sexy Kisses

As I revise the covers for my original romantic women’s fiction series, I wonder what makes a kiss sexy? Scrolling through photo after photo in search of the perfect couple, I’m tantalized by all the seductive imagery. Positions and intimations, illusions and insinuations. With characters in my mind, I know exactly what I’m looking for.

Young lovers in bed kissing.

Unfortunately, as with anything in life, the more I look and see, the more I become desensitized to the power and appeal. Lips and hands, eyes and teeth. What will my readers think? What will they want to see? After a while, the analytical part of my brain kicks in and I find myself asking the question, what makes for a sexy kiss?

kissing

Mouth closed or lips parted? Easy submission or playing hard to get? Faces, no faces? Up against the wall, in the ocean, alone in a bedroom? How about the emotion exuded? Sweet and smiley or spicy and daring?

I guess kisses are one of those very personal things in life. What appeals to one person doesn’t appeal to the next. Kisses vary in mood and degree, depth and emotion. What lights an inferno in one woman might not spark the smallest flame in another. I fire up while you fizzle.

At the beach

It is fun to think about, though. Kinda like writing a romance. I get in the heads of my characters, get them to act out in all those crazy ways I would not. I think that’s what makes writing so enjoyable for me. It’s never boring—unless you make it so. It’s never the same adventure twice—unless you become burned out on the subject. It’s fun and lively or dark and scary—writer’s choice.

I love it! And I love kisses. 😉 Can’t wait to share ALL my new covers with you!

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Work and Romance and Church, Oh My!

I have a confession to make. We went to church for the first time in months yesterday. I know, I know, we have no excuse other than summer vacations and a busy schedule. I’m glad to be back and know my life will feel more centered once I regain my focus on what’s important.

Not my church, but pretty!

Not my church, but pretty!

We attend a large church, what some would call a mega-church. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle of people and most days that’s fine by me. Whenever I’m in church, especially after a long absence, I find my mind wanders to my work—romance.

This is not a statement about our preacher. He’s a wonderful speaker and keeps everyone’s attention (if he wasn’t, it wouldn’t be such a large church). I suppose I’m like most people who drag their work along with them wherever they go. The man next to me might be thinking about a big meeting he has this week and the woman in front of me could be worrying about her kids.

I’m plotting my stories as ideas pop left and right out of nowhere. And it begs the question, why? The best I can figure is that there are couples all around us, all of them freshly showered, looking good, smelling good, and feeling friendly toward each other. As I look around the crowd, I can’t help but wonder what brought certain couples together for their first date, for their fourth date, and all the way down the aisle (if they have gotten that far).

Romance is everywhere and Sunday mornings (or Sunday afternoons as was our case yesterday) are no exception. I love what I do and I suppose that insatiable curiosity is what keeps my head spinning with stories and brings me back to the keyboard every day.

And just so you know, I still managed to hear the word. 🙂 So what about you? Does your work sneak in and tap you on the shoulder at the strangest times and places?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholas_t/6585866275/”>Nicholas_T</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

In Defense of Marriage

My mom, sister, and I recently went on a girl’s trip to Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend. Over our three-day adventure, our routine became this: we’d get up, eat breakfast, and head out on foot to explore. We hit all the stores, the outdoor market, and the beautiful mansions along the water. I bought fun gifts for my family, myself, and even a few birthday gifts for friends. We had a wonderful time together.

Me and my sister, Kim. (I'm on the right)

My Sister, Kim, and Me in Charleston

Most afternoons we’d poop out around three and head back to the hotel to rest before venturing out for dinner. During those few vegging hours, we usually had the TV on my mom and sister’s favorite channel, HGTV. I have to admit I don’t watch much TV, however they were very well versed in the shows that aired.

During some sort of marathon of shows that involved couples looking for a new home in their price range, I noticed a trend I found very disturbing. Every couple—every one—was not married. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a traditional and conservative person, but that doesn’t mean I’m naïve to the fact that many people live together. Heck, my husband and I (then boyfriend) practically lived together in college.

What I found so astounding was that these couples were willing to share finances, children, pets, furniture, and mortgages with one another, but not marriage. And it begs the question, why?

It seems to me if you’re going to tangle your lives so completely with someone that you’re buying a home together, then why not get married? If the person you’re going to sign mortgage papers with isn’t someone you want to sign a marriage license with, then what’s the point?

As a mother, I’d be very disappointed with my children if they told me they were buying a home with their boyfriend/girlfriend and yet they had no plans to marry. Am I being too old fashioned? I’m a romance writer and my stories end with couples getting married. For them, marriage is the golden pot at the end of the rainbow.

Maybe, in light of this trend, I should have my characters walk into a bank to sign mortgage papers instead of walking down the aisle.

Somehow that doesn’t sound as romantic…

My Date

No, this isn’t about my first date with a young boy when I was a teenager.  This is about the first date my husband and I had yesterday in months and months.  Frankly, I don’t remember when we last took off in the middle of the week to spend time with each other.  We celebrated our 20th anniversary last October and we rarely spend time alone together since we have two kids.

Well, that doesn’t really explain the entire story.  Our son is a senior in high school and is 17 and our daughter is in 8th grade and is 13-years old.  They don’t exactly like each other that much, at times I suspect they hate each other’s guts.  I haven’t felt comfortable leaving my son home alone taking care of her when we are too far away to jump in the car and head home to run interference, if you know what I mean.

It’s not like I would think he’d hurt her.  He’d just tease her and make fun of her in his usual relentless fashion, thus forcing her to cry and slam her bedroom door and stay there for six hours until we got back.  So, we decided to go an hour and a half away from home, mid-week, when they were both in school, and we’d be back before they even walked in the door at 4 p.m. later that afternoon.

So at 9:30 a.m. we got in the truck and headed for Capitola, a small city of around 55,000 people just north of Santa Cruz.  The weather was a nice 55 degrees and if you were in a sheltered area it got to be about 65 in the afternoon.  We took our bikes and rode about two miles down to the harbor and then back up the hilly area to our car that we parked by the beach.  The ocean was almost perfectly flat and there were very few tourists there at this time of year.  Then we had lunch at Margaritaville out on the deck overlooking the beach.

And, believe it or not, we actually put our arms around each other’s waists and walked down the street like we used to when we were young and in love!  It was an enjoyable day spent without kids listening to our every word and the silence at times was lovely as well.

I don’t know if our experience is typical of couples with or without kids, no matter the age, but we surely don’t take enough time to just enjoy being by ourselves any longer.  And this was kind of a spontaneous gesture on my husband’s part that turned out to be an enjoyable experience.

What about any of you out there with a husband and no kids or a husband and kids?  Do you date?

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