Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pucker Up!

It's Day Two of the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest (hosted by Danielle B. and Jackie) where participants (click on the picture on the left for a list) are asked to share excerpts from their WIPs (old or new).  Day One was devoted to fight scenes, either verbal sparring, physical sparring or a nice wizards' duel (click HERE to read my entry) but today is all about that first kiss.

My excerpt comes from my manuscript, Effigy, because where else would it have come from?  Actually, I do have a few other WIPs in existence.  Some of them even have fight scenes and kissing scenes and one WIP has some scenes where the two are combined (think Buffy and Spike in Smashed).  But I'm choosing, once again, to feature Effigy.

I hope you won't be disappointed.

This scene features the novel's two main characters, Haleine Coileáin and Dana (no last name).  Haleine is the queen of a country at war.  Dana is the leader of the rebellion seeking to take Haleine's husband down.  They have a chance encounter where there's an immediate attraction and then, three meetings later, they act upon that attraction.

I'm not posting the entire scene.  It's much too long so I'm posting the middle of the scene, the part that leads up to their first kiss, ending with their first kiss.  As always, I hope you enjoy it...

“Why do you always keep your distance?” she asked, feeling grateful for it nonetheless.

“Maybe I’m afraid.”

“What is there to fear?” she asked.  “And why should it matter?”

“I’ve never been in love before.”

Her heart stopped.  “And are you in love now?”

“I’m afraid so.”

She chanced another look at him.  “You say that as though it were a death sentence.”

“I don’t know what it is,” he said.  “The longing, the lust.  I wanted to ignore it and I’ve tried; I just don’t think I can because no matter what I do, I think of nothing else.  God, Haleine, to touch you would be heaven.”

Her heart soared.  Her head told her to move away, to order him away from her, but she remained seated and silent.  She thought perhaps she agreed.  Didn’t she dream of it every night?  To feel his lips on her skin, to be held in his arms?  Aye, it would be heaven.

“But I am untouchable,” she said, stating that which he had not.

“Aren’t you?”

She wanted to kiss him.  She wanted him to kiss her.  She wanted to know what he tasted like.  She held out her hand, palm up, to him.

“No,” she said.  “I am not.”

He backed away.  “Don’t, Haleine, please.  Don’t offer me your hand like that.”

“Why not?”

“I won’t be able to stop.”

He hovered near the servants’ entrance.  She pushed herself out of the chair and crossed the room to stand in front of the balcony doors.

“We’ve talked about fear before, you and I, and it is that which prevents you from taking what is offered freely.  I understand for it is the same force which drives me to extend to you my hand each time we are together.  And I do not know how it is possible that we have spoken but thrice before and I feel for you what I do, but I do know the terror of becoming untouchable.

“It is an awful feeling to sit in a room full of people, my ladies, the entire court, and know I have not a friend among them.  No one touches me, not even Bronagh if it can be avoided.  But Maddox is a jealous man.  Maddox is a possessive man and every law in this land says he has the right to keep isolated what is his and there are few who dare to oppose him.  It chokes me a little more each day.

“But you?  You make me feel as though for the first time since I came here I am not fighting to stay alive.  I simply am alive.  So understand, if you will, that when you say you dare not take what is offered for fear that you shall not be able to stop, not after one chaste kiss, that I have only this to offer in response,” she said and then paused.  “What if I don’t want you to?”

The room was silent.  Tears filled her eyes but she held them back as she turned around to face him.  He stood so close to her, it made her gasp.  She swallowed hard as she looked up at him.  He touched her hair.

“You frightened me,” she said.  “You move so quietly I did not hear you approach.”

“It has its advantages,” he said, his voice low.

Haleine nodded.  “I would think—“

Her words were cut short by his kiss.  The hand that had touched her hair moved behind her neck.  His other arm encircled her waist and pulled her body against his.  The kiss itself was sweet, delicate and inviting.  It surprised and even shocked her.  Despite its fragile nature, it was still overwhelming, this one kiss, even frightening, and she put her hands on his chest, meaning to push him away only to find herself betrayed by her body as her hands gripped his tunic and held him as tightly as he held her.


And that's gonna do it for me today...  Big thanks to Danielle and Jackie for creating and hosting this event.  Thank you for letting me come to the party late. (As if I'd ever come to a party any other way)

Until next time...


  1. Perfection. That is all I have to say! :D

  2. That was so good! *fans self* (:

  3. Oh my...M.J. That was good. More please.

    1. Thank you and, with luck, the entire novel will be out this fall.

  4. So good! I especially liked reading it after yesterday's excerpt, seeing where Haleine ends up...

  5. Oh, that was really good! Nicely done. :)

  6. "What if I don't want you to?" *sigh* Lovely :)
    This was great to read after your fight scene, perfect!

  7. Again... WOW! So great! It flowed so effortlessly!

  8. MJ, that was gorgeous. With not a lot of words, you really conveyed the character of a terribly lonely and friendless, outwardly tough yet really fragile queen...and just two people bound to one another in a very dangerous situation. Well done.
    Some Dark Romantic

  9. Great scene! I loved the conflict and resistance

  10. Absolutely beautiful!

    Thanks for joining the blogfest!

  11. Very intense scene. I feel like the story, and the rebellion you mentioned pivots on this moment. I was holding my breath the whole way through with anticipation. Excellent excerpt.

  12. *sigh* Where's my fan?? That was hot and lovely, MJ!

  13. Bah!
    I am unhappy now.
    Two scenes posted, but you won't let me read it?

  14. Eee! You had me thoroughly hooked at "untouchable".

  15. Forbidden love is the best. I'm terribly curious about the rest of the story.

  16. I left you an award on my blog today :)