Sizzling First Encounters with Tina Pinson

Well, pull up your Kindle or Nook, and welcome Tina Pinson- whose ebook just came out last month, In the Manor of the Ghost. If you haven’t had a chance to see her book trailer or see her  cover, check it out at Tina’s blog –

1. What do you think makes a good hero/heroine first encounter?

Excellent question, and a bit hard to answer because there are so many factors that can be added together to make an encounter.

First and foremost, there has to be a memorable, tangible tension.

This tension can be romantic in nature, thick with notable emotional, even physical chemistry. Here, our characters have this inner for each other, the draw is like that of a silken cord. But they are strangers, their desire is caught behind an invisible insurmountable wall. Still you know, without a doubt, that sooner or later they will fall for each other. That is the nature of love.  Or the nature of hope.

Then there is the static friction type tension.  One’s oil and one’s vinegar. Or maybe baking soda and vinegar, and you get Mount Vesuvius whenever they’re together, but you understand. With one searing glance, the hero or heroine is burned by the fire from the other’s eyes or tone.  They are argumentive, at constant odds. Love has not even entered their minds, perhaps murder, but not love. But over time that changes, and the rough edges began to melt away to love.

That’s kind of how it was when I first meant my husband. I thought he was such an obnoxious, arrogant snot, my hand itched to slap him whenever he was around. He thought I was a brat, a know it all.

We finally worked it out, shared Love’s First Kiss so to speak, and we’ve been married thirty-plus years

Ah love. 

Of course, in some of my novels, the characters meet without all the usual fanfare and romantic tension, good or bad, because they are children. In one, they grow up together for sometime, then meet years later. In another they meet then are separated, meeting again only after they are grown. But I love those touching moments, these innocent moments of love, because you know they’re going to meet again somehow, someway. And you hope they’ll fall in love.

 Great points! And I can’t wait to read about some of your ‘innocent’ meetings and young love.

Following are two excerpts for young love and hearts that reunite. 
Set up: Its during the Civil war. Thea is eight, dressed as  boy, she works the culm banks gathering coal at a mine in Kentucky to help make extra money for the family. When she sees the coach arrive with Stephen and his father, she decides to make some money watching their horse. 

While his father escorted the babbling rock thrower home to his mother, with a death grip on his shoulder, Stephen helped Thea to her feet. Dazed, she balanced against him.

“You okay, girl?” he whispered, wiping a tear from her eyes. Her eyes wide, she pulled away. He held her. “It’s okay, I won’t tell, neither will my pa. I won’t even ask why.” Lifting her cap, he gently fingered the lump. She winced. “No blood. You okay?” he asked again. His eyes mirrored the depth of concern in his voice.

“Yeah. They hit your horse,” she cried. Sniffing, she wiped a dirty sleeve across her face. 

              He pulled a clean hanky. She looked up with sad gray eyes as he wiped her face. His hanky quickly turned gray and black, and served to smear the grime on the little girl’s face. 

            She looked at him. “You’re only gonna get your pretty hanky dirty.”

“No matter.”

She swiped at her eyes again. “I did my best to protect him. But they got >im. Your pa won’t be mad, will he?”


“Would he hit me if he was?”            

Stephen’s hand stilled, he jerked his head. “The bosses would hit you?” She nodded. He knelt down. “Pa would never hurt you.” He wiped another tear from her cheek, making another black gray streak on his boiled, white hanky. “I can’t say the same for that boy he dragged home,” he added with a grin, wresting a smile from Thea.

Thea closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead.

“Maybe we should take you home?” Stephen offered.
It’s now 1872. The characters are all grown up, Stephen uses his middle name, Marcus, because it’s simpler to distinguish him from his father and grandfather who bear the same first name. Thea and Marcus don’t know each other. He saw Thea in the dining room before, but this is the first time he talks to her.

Marcus took a short walk and returned to the hotel. In a jovial mood because he’d managed to escape an evening with Phoebe and Grace, he’d bounded up the stairs, catching two at a time — sometimes three — ready to rest before the coach ride the next morning. He came to a halt when he found Thea. She was standing, silently, a few feet away– too far by his estimation. Her curls, loosed from the pins that held them aloft earlier, encircled her face in soft wisps and spilled over her partially bared shoulders. She was leaning against the door to her room striking as nonchalant a pose as any lady could when she was trapped in the hotel hallway in her under drawers.

Marcus had wanted to make her acquaintance in the restaurant, and now she was alone. Had there been a gambler’s moon outside? He wasn’t sure, but good fortune seemed to smile on him. He wasn’t much a church going man, or a time even considered himself agnostic, but maybe there was a God in heaven after all.

“Things are looking up.” He sighed under his breath when he started down the hall.

Ah! What a meeting! Poor Thea – this ought to be a fun scene.

 I love your writing, Tina, and so glad I could feature it here – and hopefully introduce people to your books.

Thanks so much for being here.

Now, for those of you who have enjoyed these little ‘encounters’ – I’m trying to convince some of my aspiring writer-buddies to post a sizzling encounter from their books. Will they? Hmm, I’ll let you know what next week holds – but for now, I’m off to work on my ACFW Novel Track: Writing.

Have a great weekend.

Sizzling First Encounters – Final Week!!

It’s going to be a very busy week. The final week of Sizzling First Encounters and, boy, is there a great lineup. I hope you guys have enjoyed this series as much as I have. I’m already devising my next series, which won’t start until September and has to do with …er…’fall’ (As in, When I Fall in Love) 🙂

 Monday – Siri Mitchell

Tuesday – Missy Tippens

Wednesday – Audra Harders

Thursday – Jamie Carie

Friday – Kaye Dacus

Saturday – Tina Pinson

ACFW Novel Track: Writing starts on July 1 – and I’m participating. I’ll post tips and tidbits I’m learning along the way.

For some great posts on writing and just fun, check out The Writers Alley or Seekerville.



A Kiss to Build a SCENE On with Tina Pinson

Nonverbal communication. We all use it, even without a touch. A look, a twitch of the lips, a tilt of a smile or frown; a long steady breath released into a sigh or a gasp; fingers to the throat, wetting lips with a slow…or fast wisp of the tongue.

It’s that little bit of info when you’re on the phone with someone who says, “I’m fine.”, but you can tell by the tone of their voice that they’re not. Their melody of speech can give it away, fast, slow, halted.

Why would you ask someone if they just woke up? Because something in the tenor of their voice gives you a hint…without them actually saying so.

Sometimes the most profound things ever communicated are done without words. A kiss, and all the lovely things associated with the romance surrounding a kiss, is a prime example. To demonstrate this truth, welcome Tina Pinson. You can find out more about Tina’s books at Now, I’ll turn it over to Tina 🙂

The Look of Love

The look of Love is in your eyes, the look your heart can’t disguise

The look of Love is saying so much more than words can ever say

And what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away…

Songwriters: Burt Bacharach & Hal David

Pepper asked the question — What do you think makes a good kissing scene

After much consideration, I would have to say it’s the dance that takes place before the kiss. It’s the age old song that lovers dance to.

Interestingly enough this song cannot be heard. Its rhythm is carried in the coursing of the blood, its movement and clarity is louder than the most beautiful concerto played by a full symphony.

Strange, but sometimes you don’t even need the lips to touch to know someone has been kissed.

What you say, that can’t be.

Au Contrare.

Imagine…He’s standing across the room; his gaze sweeps the crowd and finds her. She shivers and looks up to find him watching. She tries to look away, but she’s held by invisible cords. There is smoldering warmth in his eyes, he touches her lips and caresses the tender skin along her cheek, neck and shoulder all without saying a word, all without a single touch. Her skin heats under his perusal and flushes rose. His brows arch, a soft grin plays on his lips when he nods his head. She puts her hand to her cheek to cool herself. Her eyes fill with an unspoken desire, her lips part in a soft sigh. She takes a deep breath and runs her tongue against her lips.

Those simple movements embolden him to continue the dance they’ve begun.

He moves closer.

Well… I think you get the gist of what I’m saying.

Think of movies like Pride and Prejudice w/ Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen

 They didn’t kiss till the end of the movie, and even then it was chaste little kisses to the forehead and cheeks before he moved in on her lips

Still you probably sighed. I know I did. Why? Because you watched the dance throughout the movie. You saw the way he scorched her lips with his just by the look in his eyes. You felt him caress her skin without putting a hand on her.                                                          

You knew he wanted her, loved her. And you probably wanted to be her.

That is the dance before the kiss. And if choreography is right, you don’t have to see their lips touch to know that they’ve shared their souls.

With that in mind, here’s my Kissing Scene. Let’s hope this choreographer got the dance steps right.

This is a scene from When Shadows Fall. Matthew and Rebekah are on their way to Oregon. It’s her birthday and he wants her to be his wife in more than name.

He’s given her a couple of gifts and is down to the last two. The most important.

… She held her chin up waiting for a kiss, it never came. His arms dropped from around her and he rose to stand, leaving her alone on the cot. Her gaze followed him, filled with disappointment. Matthew suppressed a smile as he bent to blow out the lantern, the moon high there was no need for the light.

“What are you doing?” she exclaimed, blinking to adjust to the change in light.

Matthew took her hand into his own. “Mrs. Cavanaugh, you look lovely in the moonlight,” he whispered. “Are you ready for your second gift?”

“Yes.” She tilted her chin upward, her shoulder hitched.

“Will you dance with me?”

“I guess,” she said after some hesitation. Aided by his hand, she rose slowly and found herself in his arms. “I’m an awful dancer,” she declared.

“Who knows that better than me? I danced with you when you were twelve?” He laughed at the memory of the party where she’d stepped on his feet.

She laughed with him. “Yet you still want to put yourself through the torture?”

“Anything for you, Darling,” he whispered his lips against her hair. “Besides, you weren’t wearing your green dress and I think it’s time we make that dream come true too.”

“Oh, Matthew.” She laid her head on his shoulder. “I hate to tell you this. But there is no fancy ballroom and there is no music.” She pushed a box with her foot. “There’s barely room to move.”

“Why, Mrs. Cavanaugh,” he scolded playfully. “Who says this isn’t a ballroom? I can=t see enough to say it’s not. Can’t you hear the music?”


“I can hear it, Becca.” The mischief was gone from his voice, replaced by a soft caress. “I hear it every time I=m with you.” He stepped back and taking her hand gently, raised it to his lips. He kissed it softly before he laid it, palm down, over his heart. Then he drew her close until the space disappeared between them. “Dance with me and let me show you the music.”


Words were lost as he twirled her around the back of the wagon. Her hand on his heart, her head on his shoulder, she danced with the man of her dreams. Each time she closed her eyes she could almost see the opulent ballroom that surrounded them. Until, even when she opened them, it was there.

She could see the chandeliers, and the ornate chairs lining the room. Light emanated from the fireplace, the glow and warmth of it circled the room, illuminating the darkness.

How long they danced, she didn’t know. But somewhere in the veil of dreams she too heard the soft sweet tones of music. Rich and deep, they kept time with the beating of the heart beneath her hand.

They danced on. Rebekah hoped the song would never end. She opened her eyes when Matthew, arms never leaving her body, moved to stand behind her.

“Are you ready for your third gift?” He leaned over and whispered in her ear. His breath touched her skin, sending a tingle up her down her neck. She shivered at the closeness of his lips.

“There’s more?” she whispered in astonishment. She took a deep breath to slow the racing of heart and started to turn. He held her.

“I hope this will be the most wonderful gift of all.” He ran his chin along the side of her neck warming her blood.

Rebekah shivered as a million tiny fingers danced on her skin. She looked around the wagon. “I don’t see anything else.”

“You will, my love.” His lips lingered on the skin at the back of her neck. “First there’s something precious I have to unwrap. And it has to be done very carefully.”

Thinking she missed something, Rebekah looked around the wagon once more. She shook her head. “Matthew, I don’t see….”She started to turn again. This time he helped her. Moving her till she faced him. “Just what is it you have to unwrap?”she asked, gazing into his eyes.

The arms that encircled her tightened their embrace. Bending until his lips were so close to hers they seemed to breathe together, he whispered her answer. Those tiny fingers doubled in strength and number as they ran wildly over her body in a gentle caress when he said. “You.”

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt.  Thanks for letting me share my kiss scene.

Look for Tina Pinson’s books In the Manor of the Ghost June 2010 and Touched by Mercy December 2010 through Desert Breeze Publishing.

Wow Tina, gotta love a guy who doesn’t go for instant gratification, but expresses the treasure of this moment more than just the act.  BEAUTIFUL. He’s already a favorite hero for me and your book isn’t out until July! I guess I’ll have to release my desire for instant gratification and learn from Matthew’s example. And what a good reminder, Tina, that love is so much more than the kiss, it’s a blending of emotions, hopefully spirits, and unadulterated pleasure in that person, plus much more than words can ever express.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Kissing Quote for the Day:

With a kiss let us set out for an unknown world.

–    Alfred de Musset

Inspirational Quote for the Day:

5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
      his loyalty astronomic,
   His purpose titanic,
      his verdicts oceanic.
   Yet in his largeness
      nothing gets lost;
   Not a man, not a mouse,
      slips through the cracks.

 7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
      How eager we are to run under your wings,
   To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
      as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
   You’re a fountain of cascading light,
      and you open our eyes to light. “Psalm 36:5-8