Monday, November 23, 2020

Romance Means Kisses by Elva Cobb Martin

If you write or aspire to write romances, you will know the importance of learning how to describe romantic kisses. As Christian writers we want to show romantic passion, but it’s not that easy to do in the Christian market. Anybody can warm up their pages with blatant bedroom scenes, but it takes skill to heighten the romantic tension in a book with only a look...a kiss...or even an almost kiss. 

I highly recommend two authors who have taught me much about romance and “kissology.” Susan May Warren has a great workbook available on Amazon that I treasure, How to Write a Brilliant Romance. (Kiss and Tell I think was the earlier version and the one I have.) And Julie Lessman, in my opinion, is the queen of romantic tension and kisses. A blog series of hers, I think she did on Seekerville, is in my file that I refer back to often, Sixteen Suggestions to Warm up the Pages with Romantic Tension.  

I personally love the first heady kiss between my hero and heroine. 

Here’s a scene from my just released novel, Georgia Ann, English Rose, of the first kiss and reaction. You always need a reaction. Georgia Ann is Book 2 in my Charleston Brides series. 

He (Samuel) touched a tendril of her hair curling on her shoulder. 

She gazed into his shining jade eyes so close to hers. 

His glance fell to her lips, and he drew her nearer. Slowly he bent and pressed his mouth to hers. 

Fireworks exploded in her head and travelled down her frame. Her arms came around his neck without forethought. The kiss deepened until she felt transported on a soft, wispy cloud. 

Suddenly he released her and stood. “It’s time to go back.” He reached a hand to help her stand, but she couldn’t. Her knees buckled. 

He chuckled and held her against him for warm moments. Her cheek pressed into his shirt and the spicy scent of cloves enthralled her. Did all his clothing carry that delectable scent now? "

Then there is another type of kiss like this one when my hero Samuel first sees Georgia in the sultan’s dungeon. It’s a kiss of sorrow and imminent danger. Up to this moment she had thought him dead from his earlier ship wreck. And I found a photo that helped me see my captured heroine. 

Samuel knew the moment Georgia understood he was at her cell door. 

 Her body stiffened on the pallet. She sat up and stared toward the cell door. Tears overflowed her eyes. She arose and stumbled toward him. They clutched fingers through the bars. 

His heart jumped into his throat at her loveliness even in her rough Turkish slave garment. Her hair, parted in the middle, hung down her side in a thick blond plait. Silky curls, escaped from the braid, framed her lovely face covered with tears. 

“We thought you were dead,” she whispered between shuddering, repressed sobs. They kissed through the metal bars, and Georgia staggered as if she might fall, but Belle grabbed her around the waist and held her erect. 

Another favorite kiss of mine is the “almost kiss.” 

This scene comes from Marisol, Spanish Rose, Book 1 in this Charleston Brides series. One night Marisol is discovered as a stowaway on her indentured master Ethan’s ship—with her six-month old son, Samuel, and a servant girl. Captain Ethan loses his usually gentle nature. 

"What is going on in that head of yours, Marisol, to bring your baby and Amy aboard my ship, upsetting all my crew?” He gave her a little shake and looked at her with such a derisive expression, her temper flared. 

She stomped her booted foot and, to her surprise, smashed down on his. Hard. 

He growled and pulled her to him, scrunching her bouffant skirt. His tight, bearded face came within inches of hers. Manly, warm breath feathered across her cheek. “Now that kind of attack will never do, my Spanish lady. Maybe for a snake, never for a captain. Did you mean to do that?” His blazing eyes held her captive as much as his arms. His glance fell to her lips. 

Her knees threatened to fold, and she couldn’t breathe. She tried in vain to pull away from the warmth emanating from his encircling arms and firm chest. “No, I promise I didn’t, Ethan. Please let me go.” She couldn’t prevent the tremor in her voice. 

He released her, and her knees buckled. 

He chuckled and caught her elbows to steady her. 

New strength flowed to her limbs, and she pushed away from him. “Let me go back to my cabin, sir, I have a plan to help you rescue your sister, but we can talk about it tomorrow.” 
In the daylight. 

So work on it. Get those romantic kisses in your romance and elicit those sighs. 

Georgia Ann, English Rose Blurb 
The lure of the legendary Spice Trail beckons, but he may never find a spice more precious than the treasure he left in Charles Town. 

Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both intrigues and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. 

When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made easier when she sets out on her own journey to England on one of her father’s merchant ships. 

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades in Charles Town and the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail and along the Barbary Coast of the Mediterranean. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when at Tripoli he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in a sultan's dungeon, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget. 

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel. 
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to have your feedback and how you describe a great kiss. And please do share this on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.

Elva Cobb Martin is a mother and grandmother who lives in upstate South Carolina. She is president of  ACFW-SC Chapter. All her novels have spent time on Amazon's 100 Bestseller's list for Women's Religious

Link to Georgia Ann, English Rose (click on redirect link              to go to Amazon page)
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