Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Shy Kiss for Valentine's Day

As a writer of romance and reader of romance, I savor that 'first kiss' moment. I love the anticpation, the sweet build-up, the will-they, won't-they romantic tension. There are all kinds of kisses to celebrate - passionate, tender, bold, kind, comforting, sensual, explosive and more.
Here is one of mine, taken from the ancient world historical romance, 'Bronze Lightning'. The heroine Sarmatia and the hero Fearn are now reunited after many trials, but both are still a little shy of each other, so this is a shy, tentative kiss.
(The sacred hill mentioned in this excerpt is based on where I live. I can see it from my window.)


One hill was separate from the rest. It rose out of a wooded valley and lay like a curved shield upon the land, with no tree or bush growing on its sides to mar its smoothness. Sarmatia was looking at the hill sidelong. The view pleased her. The hill was so open. Mist and rain had obscured it before, but now she could see far in this amber-colored air. 'What's that hill called? I'd like to go there.'

Without a glance, Fearn did not look up. 'You can't. We're going to the Mushroom Wood today.' He finished tying the leather thongs of his shoes and rose, turning to damp down the fire embers.

Sarmatia was annoyed. Fearn did not usually stamp out the fire but let it die naturally. Then there was his refusal to take her where she had asked to go, his curt response to her questions. She drummed on the hurdle gate with her fingers. 'But I'd like to go. Why not?'

'We need more food. I know where there's plenty in the wood.' He would not have spoken so to one of his warriors, thought Sarmatia.

'We can do both: search the wood this morning and climb the hill at noon.' Sarmatia stepped away from the gate to open it.

Fearn whipped round and reached her in a few strides. He threw the gate shut, standing before it. 'Remember, Sarmatia, that I'm no more your slave than you're mine. The hill is sacred. We can't go there for your pleasure.'

Sarmatia sank back against the sharp hurdles. She had not seen Fearn like this, harsh, like a king, like Carvin. Despising her own fear, she spat back, 'Fine. You should have told me at once!'

Fearn gave a bark of laughter, the hard planes of his face dissolving. 'You're right, that was unfair. It's just—' He stopped, coloring up slightly.

Moved by his shyness, understanding now why he was on edge, Sarmatia put her hands up towards him. 'Fearn?'

She could ask no more. He drew her close, lifting and sitting her on top of the gate post. 'Shall we begin again? Now that you've said my name, which you speak so rarely and I listen for so hard.'

As though it had never been, his ill humor had vanished. Fearn held her lightly, one hand at each side of her waist, and from being afraid, Sarmatiafelt she was floating. Impulsively, feeling like a bubble, she leaned forward to kiss Fearn. She missed and bumped noses, her lips resting on his moustache. She could feel his heart quickening, his fingers tightening round her middle. 'You'll not span my waist with your hands.' Her face pressed hotly against his cheek. She had tried to kiss him! And he was not moving or speaking. Was she wrong? Did he feel only pity for her?

'No, Sarmatia!' Fearn rebutted her thoughts. 'No, Sarmatia.' His beard pricked and tickled against her mouth and then his lips, gentle at first and fumbling. They told her she was beautiful to him. Sarmatia closed her eyes and gave herself to the kiss, winding her arms around Fearn's neck.

When they broke apart both were shivering. 'We'd best stop.' Fearn spoke in Atterian, his voice furred, but Sarmatia understood. She too, was ready to stop, a little nervous, though she put her lips to him again, teasing him. His mouth was fresh. He hadn't kissed many women before her. She hadn't kissed many men. They would learn together.

'That's enough!' Laughing, Fearn lifted her from the post and set her down, turning then to make a dash for the summer house with a muttered excuse about forgetting something. Sarmatia was not displeased by this. She hung her flute across her back on its thong and pushed the four wooden armlets past her elbows to her wrists, so she might feel them rub together on her flesh. Then she went to fetch the horses.

The cover and buy details can be seen here:

Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend


Maria said...

Great first kiss! I loved this line "He hadn't kissed many women before her. She hadn't kissed many men. They would learn together"...


doxymom said...

That was sweet. I enjoyed it.

I agree with Maria. I really liked that part, too.

doxisrcool at

Michaela said...

I love the way you depicted the desire of each and the thrilll of the kiss

Chicks of Characterization said...

Awh loved it!!! Great cover! Thanks so much for sharing!!


Virginia said...

I loved this first kiss, they do seem so important. Thanks for sharing


Elie said...

Sounds great. I like the description of the heat level on the link, sensual...sounds romantic.

Di said...

really enjoying all these excerpts today - this was a good one!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Raquel Byrnes said...

Aw, she melted his anger and resolve. That was a very sweet kiss.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Karin said...

Great excerpt! What a sweet kiss.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thank you, everyone! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Happy Valentine's Day!