Monday, December 21, 2009

Official Kissing Day Blogfest!

Okay, writers, readers and guests! It's the Official Kissing Day for blogs everywhere as we give a Writer's Tribute to MISTLETOE!! The following is an excerpt from The Character Therapist, my current WIP. I don't really think you need a lead in. You'll pick it up. :)



Charlotte helped herself to a cup of hot water provided by the hotel in the back of the room. While she was steeping her Earl Grey tea bag, a cough issued behind her. Charlotte whirled around to see a snarl of a grin on Jorja Patterson’s face.

“Lottie. Fancy running into you, of all people.”

Jorja's use of her father’s pet name for her was Jorja’s way of throwing the gauntlet down. Charlotte stirred her tea with measured calm. “Jorja.” So many other names would have fit better, though, like home-wrecker, adulteress—

“I was real sorry to hear about your mama. Just tragic, really. How’s she doing?” Jorja’s honey-sweet drawl was razor sharp, cutting Charlotte to the quick faster than any gang member walking the streets of Atlanta.

Charlotte would sooner spit on the doorstep to her mother’s nursing home before she talked about her to the one woman responsible for it all. It took two to tango, but no doubt Jorja had wagged her little finger—or shaken her caboose—at her father until he’d come running, throwing their family into utter chaos and pain.

She deposited her teacup on a round, linen-covered tray, the thought of drinking it now souring her stomach. “Good-bye Jorja. And, uh, good luck covering the conference.” Charlotte allowed just enough superiority to creep into her tone that Jorja’s impeccably made-up face twitched. Her ex-stepmother was close to forty, but her botoxed face and lipoed body was that of a twenty-year-old.

“You might have landed the opening story, Lottie, but there’s a lot more of Brock Corbin to go around.” She lifted a brow. “I should know.”

The inappropriate innuendo Charlotte had come to expect from Jorja would have normally made her roll her eyes and turn away. But instead of her usual response, a balloon began to inflate in her chest, filling her up and spilling out her mouth with a gust of laughter. “Like I said, good luck with that.”

With her ex-step-mother’s hawk-like eyes tracking her , Charlotte made a beeline to the front where Brock was sitting. Her neck burned hot as she bolstered her courage to do what needed to be done. He glanced up at her approach and stood to say hello.

Charlotte didn’t say respond as she dropped her bag in the chair next to the one he had occupied. She didn’t so much as hesitate as she reached up, grasped Brock’s tie to pull him down a few inches, and lay a kiss on him Jorja wouldn’t mistake for a chaste kiss hello.

It wasn’t until Brock’s mouth opened under hers with a surprised strangled sound that Charlotte wondered what the heck she was doing. She was already trying to figure out how she could explain Brock shoving her away to Jorja when one of his hands threaded around her waist to pull her closer while his mouth slanted on hers. Just as Charlotte’s knees began to buckle, Brock used his other hand to hold on tight, the folder occupying his attention earlier now pressed against her back.

Charlotte had no idea how long they stood there, kissing like leading actors instead of fundamental strangers, but it wasn’t long enough. All she knew was that when Brock raised his head, his eyes were curiously alight.

“So…um…is that your way of wishing me luck, or saying your sorry for getting me into the mess in the first place?”

As she stepped away to adjust her blazer jacket, Charlotte risked a quick glance back at Jorja in time to see her eyes narrow.

“Oh, the kiss?” She turned back to Brock. Interesting how she could sound so glib about it, like it hadn’t been completely bone-turning-to-Jello good. She congratulated herself. She had to make Jorja think things were far more normal than they were. She tossed her hair over her shoulders and smiled at him for Jorja’s benefit. “All you need to know is that it was spur of the moment, urgent, and necessary. I figured it would be better to ask for forgiveness later than permission first.” That certainly would have lost the impact for Jorja.

Brock ran a hand through his hair, drawing Charlotte’s eyes there. “Was there an apology in there somewhere? It’s not like I’m used to getting accosted by females.”

“You better get used to it.” Charlotte pointed out the French doors to the mob of women. “They are going to descend on you in less than five minutes for the first session. Are you ready?”

“I was just going over my notes before you distracted me. What was the urgency?”

Charlotte almost laughed. She had momentarily sidetracked herself, as well. Seconds after their mouths had touched, Charlotte forgot about Jorja. She forgot about the Hilton, the conference, Mack, and the Journal-Constitution. All she could think about was the dry warmth and fit of his lips against hers.

She had to put some distance between herself and this man, if only to gain perspective for the article she had to write. She couldn’t very well turn in a story about the sporty clean smell of aftershave that teased her nostrils. Or the darker rim of olive that surrounded his irises, irises that were regarding her intently.

She decided on the truth. “I needed someone to think you and I are an item.”

One of Brock’s eyebrows raised. “Glad I went with it, then.”

“Me, too.” Her lips still buzzed with how glad she was.

“So, am I going to get that apology or not?” Though his words were demanding, his tone was playful, teasing.

One last peek assured her Jorja was still watching the show. “I don’t believe so.” She stepped closer, letting her eyes follow the progress of her hand as it ran under his jacket lapel, smoothing it down. Then she moved to his tie, needlessly straightening it, before her fingers found their way to the hair at his nape. She stroked the softness there by his neck, reveling in the feel of his hair. She hadn’t realized how much she’d wanted to touch it until now.

Brock shifted his weight from his right foot to his left, his eyes sliding shut. “Why, uh, why not?”

She stood on her tip-toes to reach the thicker hair at the back of his head, the hair that just brushed his collar. While she fanned her fingers, she stretched to whisper in his ear. “I was taught that you shouldn’t apologize if you don’t really mean it.”

Leaving him with one mussed hairstyle, two incredulous eyes, and three minutes to spare, she turned to walk off.


Hope you enjoyed my excerpt. Don't forget to check out everyone else's kissing scenes around the blogosphere!

Oh, in case you missed it...

I'm going to be a new columnist on Christian Fiction Online Magazine! Starting in February, I'll be doing my signature Character Therapy...so if you have questions about your characters or plot feasibility, email me and you could be one of the lucky monthly winners to be featured in my column on the magazine! You'll get links back to your website or blog, so this could be great exposure for your breakout or high concept novel. So what are you waiting for? :)

Wordle: signature

49 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

Dude...when do I get to start reading this puppy? This is classic-Jeannie. Witty, snappy dialogue. Effortless reading. Love it!

Krista Phillips said...

WOW! I love it!!!!! Well done:-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh that was great! I could easily picture his shock (and pleasure) when she came over and impulsively kissed him!

Jessica said...

Hhahaa! Loved the apology line. LOL And I loved how his arms went around her and that he kissed her right back. What a man! LOL

Tina Lynn said...

Nice bones turning to jello kiss. Mmm...

destrella said...

Rrrrrroooooowwwwww! In my best kitty cat snarl. Great job! :O)

Karen Denise said...

Nice! Love the cover kiss or the kiss to fool someone else. Great job.

Amalia T. said...

The last sentence was AWESOME. Excellent way to wrap up an exciting scene!

Natalie said...

WOW! I loved it. Sounds like a great read :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

WHAT?!????? THAT'S AWESOME!!! Yay for you, Jeannie!

This scene was great! Thanks for sharing your work with us. I really enjoyed reading it!!!

Jaime said...

Awwwwwhawwwwsome! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

That was so witty and fun and, oh yes, steamy. Nothing like a little table turning and surprises all around!

Jamie D. said...

Excellent - what a great scene, and so snappy. Love it! Happy Kissing Day! :-)

Carol J. Garvin said...

Oooo, that was great! This blogfest is so much fun. :)

Carla Gade said...

“I was taught that you shouldn’t apologize if you don’t really mean it.” I'm likin' it!

Congrats on becoming a columnist for CFO.

Wendy Sparrow said...

I loved it! Kissing in front of an audience is so full of awesome.

Kelly Lyman said...

I loved it! I like how it was playful and teasing and that he "went with it." ;)

sherrinda said...

Oh, I am soooo jealous of Katie getting to be your crit partner! Seriously, this is AWESOME!!!!!! Whew! Fanning here, and really wanting to read your book! Thanks for sharing this most sigh-worthy kiss! You rocked it!

Nisa said...

Wow! There's a lot going on there and I have a lot of questions! Interesting characters. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Jeepers, Jeannie! Wow...um...wow. Fantastic excerpt.

Pepper

V. S said...

This scene left me wanting to read the entire story! I loved it! Thanks for sharing!

C R Ward said...

Great excerpt! It makes me want to read more. :-)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Terrific excerpt, loving your MC. :)

Elle Strauss said...

So much fun! I love how the guy responds, surprised, happy, confused....

VR Barkowski said...

Well done Jeannie! Love the dialogue and the kiss. Fun!

Iapetus999 said...

Interesting but complicated.
Nice job!

T. Anne said...

Fun excerpt! Congrats on the CF magazine deal! I'll look forward to your articles.

Melissa said...

You left me wanting more! I could just see it all. Nice job:)

Sara ♥ said...

I love that the motivation came from her snide ex-stepmother - and I am SUCH a huge fan of the "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" concept! (I frequently use it when I've gone to the mall without speaking to my husband first, hahaha)

Killer line about not apologizing when she doesn't mean it!

Pepper Basham said...

Jeannie,
I just came back to read it again. Sigh...

Jade said...

I loved the apology line!!

Impulsive kisses are the best.

giddymomof6 said...

Whew! This was hot! And so awesome! I LOVED it!
Jenni James

Stephanie Jenkins said...

Very, very nice! The entire scene was made of win, especially this line--> “I was taught that you shouldn’t apologize if you don’t really mean it.”

Diana Paz said...

Definitely enjoyed this, nice and steamy. I love when they mess with a guy's hair.

Congrats on your new column!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Congrats on your column!

This excerpt is awesome! Your voice is really strong and I love the hyperbole. Fabulous!

Mary said...

Very nice - I'm fully intrigued. Can't wait to read more. Thank you for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower. Also thank you for your comment.

Bethany Mattingly said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! I loved your excerpt! I'm dying to know more now :D

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, you are one superb writer, Jeannie. Thanks for the teaser. I knew you were spot on when I wanted to slap Jorga and cheer for Charlotte!

Kaye Dacus said...

Fantastic, Jeannie. I'm anxious to read more!

Karen said...

Great job. Love the "one mussed hairstyle, two incredulous eyes, and three minutes to spare"!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Whoa, mama...love it! :-)

ElanaJ said...

I agree with the others. This is beautifully done. Effortless reading, which is exactly what you want when reading. Great job!

Karla Calalang said...

Thanks for the comment! And I really liked this! I loved the last bit too! So awesome!

elizabeth mueller said...

Jeannie!

Wow! I really liked that! Brock's reaction was so real and it made my heart melt how he liked her kiss and I like how Charlotte teased him one last time. *sigh.
I just love kissing scenes! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog!

BTW, Merry Christmas!

Tamika: said...

Phew! It's steamy in here! Great writing Jeannie! I loved that she didn't expect to enjoy the kiss so much. I can see more of that on pages to come!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Ohhh la la when can I read more???!!! That's an awesome kiss scene!!!! Thank you for sharing it!

XOXO~ Renee

Hayley said...

Wow! Charlott is so sassy! I loved this scene!

Hayley said...

Oops, Charlotte, my e key was revolting.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Great scene, Jeannie! Love it when the rivalry is there.

Merry Christmas!