Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Kiss Blogfest Fun!

Since Sherrinda's, Katie's and Krista's Kissing Day Blogfest was such a big hit, Frankie over at Frankie Writes decided to do a No Kiss Blogfest--where we post our great "almost kisses" from our books. The only rule so far as I gather is that the lips can't touch.

So without further ado, here's an excerpt from my book, Blessed Beyond the Curse, in which the hero and heroine are about to dance in a fundraiser spoof of Dancing with the Stars.

“You want to go over some of the basic steps?” He itched to get started, needing to see where her skill level was. She nodded, her eyes big as she took in the camera crews.

“Ignore them. Focus on me.” Joshua escorted her to an unoccupied corner of the floor. “So we’ll be dancing in a closed position. Like this.” He stepped close and slid his right arm around her back to rest on her left shoulder blade. Her skin was cool to the touch, but oh-so-soft. A slight bit of pressure from his fingers brought them closer.

She raised her left hand to rest on his right shoulder and put her left hand in his right, which he held out from his body in a horizontal ninety-degree angle. In her heels, their position was just so they could look over each other’s shoulder.

“That’s great! Our line is perfect, actually.” He cleared his throat to begin his instruction. “The most basic waltz step is a box step. I’ll step forward with my left while you step back with your rig—”

“Let’s just give it a whirl, shall we?”

He frowned. He had just known she was going to pull something like this. Let her fall flat on her face, then.

“Fine.” His mouth thinned. “I’ll just count it off.” How could one woman be so aggravating and so tempting at the same time? “One, two, three, one, two, three…”

She followed his lead without missing a step, their feet in between each other’s just as his dance instructor had taught him. A little relief worked its way into his shoulders. At least she could do the basic step.

He moved on to more complex steps, and his relief gave way to amusement. Kathy was far better than the average beginner. No wonder she had been smug earlier. It didn’t take much effort on her part to dance with him, and she still got her end of the bargain.

Clever girl.

“I think someone was holding out on me,” he said close to her ear, before continuing to count aloud to keep time, since they didn’t have any music.

“Mm-hmm,” she said. After a while, she cocked her head to the side and he saw the question in her eyes before she asked. “So who was this Malinda you cancelled on tonight?”

“Curious?” Joshua answered her question with one of his own.

“I’m simply asking because I feel bad for her, that’s all.” She closed her eyes like a queen might do when talking to one of her subjects, her lashes fanning out on her cheek.

Joshua supposed it was his turn to tell the truth. “Don’t. She’s my younger sister, married, two months pregnant and exhausted. You did her a favor.” Lindy was no doubt ecstatic over being relieved of her sisterly duty.

Kathy tucked her chin in, her brow furrowed. “Then what was all this about a ‘special relationship?’”

“Siblings are a special relationship.” He couldn’t help his own smile at her look of disdain. “But honestly? I wanted to give you a taste of your own medicine. You know—sort of like how you led me to believe you had a date tonight.”

She harrumphed, turning her head to look the other direction, which was the best show of aggravation she could manage while being held as close to him as she was.

Joshua took the opportunity to whip her into a promenade and then into a spin. The dance itself was exhilarating, of course, but dancing with her was even more exciting. They were a fluid pair, each an extension of the other.

As he altered his footwork to pull her into a dip, she did the same to accommodate a backward lean, elongating her body. His gaze traveled the length of her exposed neck, his pulse a staccato drumbeat in his ears. His desire to kiss her very nearly made him lose control in front of all the other dancers.

After a brief interlude, Kathy turned her head to glance up at him, as if to ask, Why aren’t you pulling me up? When she focused on the look in his eyes, though, her own widened in…what? Fear? Surprise dampened his longing, and he sprang into action, helping her right herself before releasing his hold on her. She busied herself with smoothing her dress, her eyes flicking what Joshua interpreted as mistrustful glances his way.

Would she be afraid if he kissed her? That would be a first for him, but wasn’t that what the apprehension in her eyes said? He cleared his throat in order to shut out his questions and break the awkward silence between them. “I think you might be better at this than I am.”

“You’re a very good partner. I just let you lead,” She spoke much faster than her usual Southern pace. Her hand on her chest revealed her breaths rising in time to his own.

“Ah, well, it’s about time.” Maybe a joke would lessen the uncertainty in her regard. Sure enough, he was rewarded with a partial grin.

“Just don’t get too attached to the experience.” She ran a hand underneath her hair, lifting it from her shoulders and allowing it to fall back into place.

Joshua spoke without thought. “What if it’s already too late?” As soon as the last syllable left his mouth, he wished the cufflink on his shirt had been fitted to his mouth. The timing of his first blatant flirtation couldn’t have been worse.

“Sounds like you have a problem on your hands, then.” If he hadn’t been sure before, he was now positive Kathy was treating tonight as strictly a business transaction, not a date. The problem lied in that he hadn’t counted on finding himself at the other end of that spectrum. Tonight was a date, even if it had come about unconventionally.

He also hadn’t counted on the feel of her in his arms. The silken skin of her back, the softness of her palm. They toyed with his memory so much so his hand wanted to move to touch her again.

His brain overrode the impulse, and he shoved them in his pockets instead.

Don't be fooled...this almost-kiss wasn't as one-sided as it might have appeared. Kathy wanted it every bit as much as Joshua did, which is why she was so scared. But you'd have to read the book to know why she's scared....gotta leave you hanging a little, right?

Hope everyone had a blessed New Years. I won't be on the blogosphere much today, as my family and I just moved into our new place YESTERDAY! But I look forward to reading as much as I can during my breaks.

Wordle: signature


Katie Ganshert said...

I recognize this scene. :)

Call me when you're all settled, would you? Maybe we'll get to talk before 2011. :)

Hayley said...

Dancing, almost kissing, the magic for a almost kiss scene. the tension was amazing! Loved it felt for Joshua.

storyqueen said...

loved the detail of wishing he could stuff a cufflink in his mouth!

And I think you did a lovely job of describing the dancing as well as the almost kiss...I could really feel them gliding across the floor.

Well done!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I felt like I was twirling with them on the dance floor. Lovely character development as well as sensual moments. I agree with Shelley that the cufflink line really rocks!

Anonymous said...

Great scene. I stopped by to wish you a happy New Year!

Iapetus999 said...

Nice dancing scene.
Definitely a good way to pump up the tension.
Good job!

Shannon Messenger said...

Okay, I loved this scene. (Anytime a character Harumphs I'mm sold--but there was also some amazing writing in there.) And I glanced through some of your other posts while I was here and really enjoyed them, so I hope you don't mind that I'm following you now... (and I swear I mean that in the non-stalkerish way) :)

Ash. Elizabeth said...

this is the first dancing scene I've seen and I like it : )

Elle Strauss said...

Dancing is so intimate. Great place for an almost kiss. Nice.

sherrinda said...

Mmmmm, mmmmm. I am loving a close dance scene. And oooo-la-la....loved the line. "What if it's already too late?" *sigh* I love romance. :) GREAT job!

LittoMiss isuet said...

Dancing, twirling, spinning, and dipping. All very Romantic (:
Good Job on your scene !

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Gotta love a good dancing scene. :) Very nicely done. I'd def keep reading.
My Blog

V. S said...

I could picture them dancing, him wanting her. Such a beautiful scene! Great writing!

Donna Gambale said...

This is one of my favorites I've read so far! Excellent scene.

Amalia T. said...

I love dancing scenes! It's the perfect vehicle for the kiss/no-kiss! Thanks for sharing this!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Dancing AND an almost kiss? Loved it! Great writing!!! And thank you so much for participating in the fest!

Diana Paz said...

So great! Thanks for posting this and good luck in your new place :)

Marybeth Poppins said...

I love those no kiss dancing moments. They are so perfect! Great scene :)

Marissa Alwin said...

Enjoyed your scene!Dancing is always a wonderful way to get up close and personal and to build tension.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Great scene. You painted a vivid picture, I could imagine every move. Plus, what's sexier than dancing with someone? :)

Vicky said...

Very nice! I've always wanted to write an almost-kiss-while-dancing scene. You probably did it better than I ever could :)

C R Ward said...

*sigh* Dancing and almost kissing. What a wonderful combination!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I agree with the other commenters--a dancing scene fits PERFECTLY with an almost kiss scene!

elizabeth mueller said...

Ooo! I loved the charismatic way you wrote this! I could feel them moving throughout their conversations! I also enjoyed the fresh male POV! Well done!

Come by and read mine when you get the chance! I can't wait to hear what you think of it! :)