A Kiss to Build a SCENE On with Cathy Marie Hake

by | Mar 1, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 3 comments

Almost.  What a hateful word. So taunting. Teasing. It means absolutely nothing in weightloss, chocolate, and salaries. In fact, as the old saying goes..

 It only counts in “horse shoes and hand grenades” 


 What about in kisses?

Can an ‘almost’ kiss leave you with the same amount of anticipation, throbbing pulse, and warm fuzzies as a full-fledge lip-locker? I think a few of my previous guests have really put this question to the test. Those ‘almost’ kisses might be as dangerous as a hand grenade 😉 or as playful as a horseshoe toss.

Well, well…one of my favorite authors is here to give us a glimpse at an ‘almost’ kiss to sizzle up the page and leave us anticipating the real thing. Cathy Marie Hake is known for her historical novels that leave the reader laughing and loving with a lingering touch of God’s grace.

My ALL-TIME favorite Hake book is Forevermore and you can read a review right here: http://pepperbasham.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/forevermore/

 To learn more about her books, check out her website at www.cathymariehake.com

Now, I’m going to turn it over to Cathy, who leaves us with a great lesson at the end of her excerpt from her hilarious novel, Fancy Pants:

“Thought you might like this.” Tim came out with a glass of milk for her
and a cup of coffee for himself. He eased himself down on the porch swing
and started to move it with a bit more effort. It no longer merely swayed
a few inches each direction, but rocked a good two feet forward and back.
The creaking of the chains made Tim grin. “I’m going to have to oil
    “They do make a racket.”
    “It’s going to be a pain in the neck if I don’t.” He winked. “Want me to
take it down and move it back a foot or so?”
    “Why?” She accepted her milk and sipped.
    Tim emptied his mug with a few healthy swigs, then leaned a bit closer.
“It wouldn’t be as easy to see from the barnyard.”
    Her brows knit. “Don’t you want me to watch what’s going on?”
    Tucking a stray curl behind her shoulder, he asked, “Don’t they have
courting swings in England?”
    “A courting swing?” She tried her best to modulate her voice.
Disappointment swamped her. Tim must have changed his mind and decided to
agree with Fuller.
    “When a man wants to be with his sweetheart, he asks her out onto the
porch. They sit and visit while they swing. Most a man can do is hold his
sweetheart’s hand on one of these things, because if he wants to crank up
enough courage to kiss her, the rhythm of the swing changes, or it stops
all together. Believe you me, if the chains stop making noise, her
parents find an excuse to walk on out to check on them!”
    He gave her an odd look. “You don’t seem very happy about the idea.”
    Staring at the contents of her glass, Sydney confessed, “I’m not. I don’t
want to go anywhere else. Uncle Fuller must have spoken to you by now.
It’s obvious he wants me gone.”
    “What in the world gave you that notion?”
    “He spent the entire afternoon bringing up every last one of your
neighbors and telling me about their strong points and fortes. To hear
him talk, you’d think all of the unmarried men for miles around are
paragons. I daresay if the Hunchback of Notre Dame were a neighbor, my
uncle would declare I’d be hearing beautiful music for my entire
    Tim let out a bark of a laugh.
    She didn’t bother to say anything more. Tim hadn’t been there and heard
Fuller. Worse, he didn’t seem in the least bit sorry she’d be leaving. It
wouldn’t surprise her if Velma was upstairs at this very moment, packing
for her. I thought we were all friends, but their loyalty still belongs
to Fuller. Friends. That’s how Tim thinks of me. I love him, and he
thinks of me as a comrade. I did this to myself. I masqueraded as a man,
and this is the consequence. Heart burning worse than her mouth, she
lifted the glass and took a sip.
    “That was Fuller being Fuller. In all the time I’ve known him, I’ve
never once heard him say a bad thing about anyone else. He sees the best
in others. It’s one of his finest qualities.”
    She swallowed and forced herself to admit, “Admirable.”
    “He wasn’t trying to pair you up with anyone, Sugar.”
    If she squeezed the glass any tighter, it would shatter. “Are you sure?”
    Tim trailed his fingernail back and forth over the shoulder seam of her
dress. “Positive. I thought maybe you’d like the swing set back. I sure
would. I don’t cotton to having the men in the bunkhouse watch us sit
    “Us?” She could hardly believe her ears. A moment ago, she’d convinced
herself that he didn’t have feelings for her. Was he declaring himself?
    “Yes, us.” He took the glass from her. As the swing arced backward, he
set the glass on the porch planks, then turned toward her. “I have you
just where I want you.”
    She could barely whisper, “And where is that?”
    He slid his hand back to cup her neck. His mouth came closer as he
murmured, “At home with me, where you belong.”
    A loud whistle and hoot from the yard made them pull part at once. Tim
growled, “I’m moving the swing!”
    “Yes, I think,” Sydney agreed in a shaky tone, “that is a brilliant idea.”
    “I heard the swing stop creaking,” Velma observed from the door. As Tim
chuckled, Velma winked. “Figured I’d best check up on the two of you.”

I had a lot of fun writing this almost-kiss. Tim’s making a declaration
and Sydney is oblivious to his interest. Finally, when she’s aware and
happy, everyone conspires against them!  Romance isn’t romance if there
aren’t obstacles. 🙂

There’s also a parallel in our relationship to Christ. We are wooed to his
side and want to be committed to Him–but we’re distracted by family,
friends, and co-workers. Their interruptions can pull us away if we allow
their opinions, needs, and plans to be more important than our desire for

Oh Cathy, thanks so much for providing us a glimpse into Fancy Pants. Just in case you guys don’t know this, Syndey dresses as a guy for a little while in this book, which just adds to the humor and tension of the story. So funny!!

Sherrinda can definitely appreciate that little twist 😉

Thanks for being here today, Cathy!

Kissing Quote of the Day:

Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.  ~Rene Yasenek 

Inspirational Quote for the day:

4You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

 7So let God work his will in you.”

James 4:4-7

 It’s okay to be consumed by this kind of love, because you can never get enough. And as you become enflamed by his grace, his beauty, the glow will ignite others. It’s an all-consuming fire – a purge for your soul of anything unworthy and a radiant light of love to the world.


  1. sherrinda

    Oooooo, yes!!!! I am DEFINITELY going to get this book! A gal disguised as a boy AND an almost kiss!!!! I adore almost kisses!!!! The tension, the held breath, the pounding heartbeat…sigh. LOVE it!

    Pepper…however did you know????? lol

  2. Julie

    WONDERFUL scene, Cath, and WONDERFUL analogy to Christ!! Not only do you have some of the best “almost kisses” in the business, but your books are as delightful as you, my friend! And the covers? To die for and ALSO some of the best in the business!!

    Pepper … loved the kissing quote girl, and your intro! How the heck do you find the time for everything you do???


    • Pepper

      Hi Julie,
      I’ve heard so many authors say it’s good to give back as you learn.

      I figure I’ll give in advance in the hopes that good things come to those who serve and wait. 😉

      Besides, who doesn’t want to meet such wonderful people as these authors have been – with the added bonus of ‘sneak peeks’ into their writing.


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