A Kiss to Build a SCENE On with Deeanne Gist

by | Feb 8, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 7 comments

Kiss – (According to Webster’s) “to salute or caress one another with the lips.”

According to WordIQ “romantic kissing tends to be more intense and prolonged”.

Medicine.Net states that a kiss is “The anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction.” – nurses will get this one 😉

Hershey’s says a kiss is, “A small piece of chocolate…” 😉

But a kiss isn’t JUST a kiss. It’s a symbol of something happening inside of the people engaging in such lip smackin’ ‘ juxtapositioning 😉 It’s a breakthrough, as one soul nears another. Beautiful. Breathtaking.

And boy do I have an orbicularis oris contraction for you today. Deeanne Gist, author of fantastic novels like Deep in the Heart of Trouble (sorry Dee, this one is my favorite so I have to list it first), A Bride Most Begruding, A Bride in the Bargain, and Courting Trouble is here to define what makes a great kissing scene. Her books are chock full of humor, romance, and especially in her ‘Brides’ series, adventure.

To read a review of her novel Deep in the Heart of Trouble, check out this link: http://pepperbasham.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/deep-in-the-heart-of-trouble-by-deeanne-gist/

Now Dee, what do you think makes a great kissing scene?

My favorite kissing scene of all time was in the movie WITNESS with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. Why? Because the romantic tension between the two characters had a slow, slow build through the entire movie and when they finally kissed, it was such an expression of joy and celebration. I learned something from that movie. The characters don’t have to go to bed for a scene to be potent and sexy. A kiss, when done well, can do the job very nicely.

And what wonderful excerpt do you have to tease our senses today? 😉

This was really tough, mainly because it’s an excerpt and I haven’t had the rest of the book to engage your emotions. You haven’t met the characters. You don’t know he’s a saloon owner and she’s trying to tame him. You don’t know she’s the first respectable woman to hit the shores of San Francisco during the gold rush and is way out of her element. You don’t know she had to leave her treasured bug collection back East, so he courts her by presenting her with dead bugs (instead of flowers).

     So you’re getting the kiss without the slow build. Without the underlying tension that has been simmering between them for quite a while. But, Pepper said ya’ll wanted an excerpt, so excerpt it is. From The Measure of a Lady, meet Johnnie and Rachel …  

            The temperature had dropped and all she had on was that brown work dress, wet from being caught in the rain. He shrugged off his jacket and taking it by the collar, draped it around her shoulders.

            Yet after he had it securely about her, he did not relinquish his hold of the lapels. Her thick hair strained against the pins within it. Several tendrils had escaped to tickle her face and coil down her back.

            He explored the delicate lines of that face, the pinkish hue the sun had painted onto her cheeks this day, the long, thick lashes framing her rich brown eyes.

            She moistened her lips.

            He brushed a lock of hair from her cheek. “I’m going to kiss you now, Rachel.”

            Her eyes widened slightly, but she didn’t pull away.

            He applied some pressure to his jacket, drawing her closer. “Have you ever been kissed?”

            She slowly nodded her head. “By you. Last night.”

            “That’s not the kind of kiss I mean.”

            She frowned in sweet confusion.

            He slipped an arm about her waist. “If you want me to stop, just say stop. ”

            “I want you to stop,” she whispered.

            He lifted one corner of his mouth. “That’s cheating. I haven’t started yet. You have to wait until I start. Those are the rules.”

            And with that, he leaned into her and captured her lips with his. They were soft and smooth and very still. He gathered her nearer, trying to coax a response from her. But she moved nary a muscle, like a doe who senses danger.

            He followed the line of her jaw with his lips, then nipped the lobe of her ear. “Kiss me back, love. Kiss me back.”

            He felt her exhale-inhale in quick succession.

            Touching her chin with the crook of his finger, he stroked her lips with his thumb. “You might ought to breathe as well.”

            He bent his head and this time she relaxed a bit. Need flooded him, but he held it in check. He just wanted a little taste. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. But it was all he would allow himself.

Woohoo, I love it when we can get a kiss from the man’s pov – Go Johnnie Go! He’s so tender and his own insecurities surface with her unresponsiveness. Beautifully done, Dee. It makes me want to pick up the book again.

Btw, Dee has a new historical novel coming out in June entitled Maid to Match and it takes place at America’s Biggest House – the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. Romance and mystery surround that place, so I can’t wait to see what you do with it, Dee. Thanks for being a part of this BlogFEST.

Kissing Quote for the Day:

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”  – Ingrid Bergman

Bible Kissing Quote:

Has anyone ever seen anything like this—
   dawn-fresh, moon-lovely, sun-radiant,
   ravishing as the night sky with its galaxies of stars?” 

 One day I went strolling through the orchard,
   looking for signs of spring,
Looking for buds about to burst into flower,
   anticipating readiness, ripeness.
Before I knew it my heart was raptured,
   carried away by lofty thoughts!
-Song of Solomon 6:10-12

I love the way the Lover in SOS details his ‘love at first sight’ kind of moment for his Beloved. ‘his heart was raptured’. Wow! Ever written a scene like that? When the hero realizes he’s in love? Sometimes it happens slow, like rising dawn, but other times it burst through him like the sun’s ray through a thundercloud. Totally unexpected, but intensely beautiful.

Stop by tomorrow for some a Southern Howdy with Missy Tippens.


  1. sherrinda

    Oooo-la-la! What a kiss! I absolutely love a kiss from the hero’s POV! I love his command, his being the teacher, the one wooing….sigh. I love kisses. 🙂 I’ll definitely be reading more of Deeanne’s books!

    • Pepper

      You won’t be disappointed with Deeanne’s books. They not only have wonderful kisses, but some hilarious characters.

  2. Missy Tippens

    Ahhhh…can you hear my big, long sigh after reading the excerpt? Dee, I loved it! And you set it up nicely as well–even if we didn’t get the full build up. 🙂

    Thanks, Pepper, for a great Valentine’s week. How fun!

  3. Julie

    Hubba, hubba, Deeanne … there’s a reason you’re known as the Queen of Edgy, girl!! Masterfully done and oh, soooo good!!

    And, Sherrinda, I SO agree with you about a kiss from the hero’s point of view, which is, as a matter of fact, Point #1 in my Seeker blog on Wednesday when I talk about how I write an emotionally charged love scene! So, I hope you will stop by.

    Pepper? As always … you start my week off right!!


  4. Deeanne Gist

    LOL, Pepper. I L-O-V-E-D the “anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction” definition. That is HILARIOUS!!! Great week last week and a great line up this coming week. Thanks for including me!

  5. Renee

    Deeanne’s books are DEFINITELY the books to read for great kiss scenes! I have to say so far I think Measure of a Lady and A Bride Most Begruding are tied as my two faves by Deeanne! I CANNOT wait for Maid to Match! Love this Kiss week Pepper! 🙂

  6. Meg Moseley

    Yep, kisses from the guy’s POV are fun, fun, fun. That was a VERY nice scene!


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