Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kissing Books

by Stephanie Black

Since Valentine’s day was last Sunday, it seems like a good time to talk about romance. I’m afraid I’ve been corrupted by the strong current of romance that runs through much LDS suspense fiction. My last book was a kissing book (!) and my book being released in August is a kissing book (!!). That’s two books in a row, which means this kissy stuff has practically become a habit. In fact, yesterday the main characters in my work-in-progress got very close to some lip contact. If the heroine had just leaned in a little closer instead of freaking out due to unresolved guilt over the death of the hero’s former girlfriend . . . ah, complications. But I think this book could use less relationship angst and more suspense. Maybe I’ve been channeling a soap opera writer. Troubled marriages, a crush on an unattainable guy, a can’t-let-go-of-a-former-relationship problem, a toxic mother-in-law—and now a hero and heroine who want to kiss each other. Maybe I’ll let them. Or maybe I shall deliberately torment Julie by having their relationship never get past a good, brisk handshake.

Kidding. They’ll (spoiler alert!) kiss. Eventually. I wouldn’t want to risk incurring the wrath of the people who were disappointed when the only thing the hero’s and heroine’s lips did at the end of Fool Me Twice was talk. Actually, I don’t feel the slightest bit of regret about that. Romance is awesome when it fits naturally into the story and is credible. But at the end of FMT, the hero and heroine, in my opinion, simply weren’t ready for romance. I made it obvious that they were leaning in that direction, but a kiss before The End? No. No way. Too soon. Not true to the characters. The heroine has some gone through serious physical and emotional trauma and has some major issues she’s dealing with and the hero is a staunch member of the church who would never consider getting romantically involved with someone he couldn’t take to the temple. She’s investigating the church, but that’s as far as it’s gone. They’re friends, they like each other, she blushes when the hero’s sister teases her about him, but a kiss? Not yet. Give them time.

But in deference to those who were disappointed at the lack of kissing at the end of the book, I am thrilled to announce that I have resolved that deficit. I have . . . wait for it . . . written an epilogue to Fool Me Twice. Rather than try to get it included in any future printings of the book, I have decided to give it away for free, right here, right now, on this blog, as my Valentine’s gift to you. Here it is:

Six months later:

He pulled her into his strong arms and pressed his lips to her newly baptized lips in a kiss that turned her heart to an oversized Jell-o Jiggler. “I love you,” he said, or at least that’s what she thought he said—it’s not easy to enunciate clearly with your lips pressed against someone else’s lips, but given the context, she was pretty sure he hadn’t said “Hi fluff glue,” which had been her second guess.

She wrapped her arms around him, her trembling knees as soft as the funeral potatoes the Relief Society would, at some point, be called upon to serve up in quantity, since, given the perpetually creepy nature of her life over the past year, someone in her vicinity was bound to end up with a knife in the back sooner or later.


No need to thank me. Knowing I’ve made hearts go pitter-patter is thanks enough. Hear that zinging noise? That’s Cupid, shooting arrows.

Now for today’s question: what books have you read lately where the romance warmed your heart? As for me, the romance I like is the friendship-based romance where the hero and heroine actually get to know each other and like each other and then fall in love, as opposed to the crazed-hormonal-do-we-even-have-anything-in-common-who-cares-I-just-know-you’re-handsome/beautiful relationships. For example, I really enjoyed the romance that grew between a couple of the main characters in Heather Moore's Alma. What in your reading over the past months has made your heart go thumpety-thump?


16 Comments:

At 2/17/2010 1:36 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I just finished Lockdown by Traci Abramson Hunter. She always has kissing in her books :-)

 
At 2/17/2010 1:51 PM, Blogger Darrin said...

Very nice. Maybe you should enter that blurb in this contest: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

 
At 2/17/2010 3:02 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

Ewww. Yuk. Puke. Kissing?!?

Loved your epilog.

I try to avoid romance but just finished The Last Waltz. Which had three romances in it. The book was great and the romance was tolerable. :)

 
At 2/17/2010 4:11 PM, Blogger Don said...

I think kissy stuff should always become a habit.

 
At 2/17/2010 10:23 PM, Blogger Kathi Oram Peterson said...

There's nothing like a good suspense with a well written kiss. Keep 'em coming. :)

 
At 2/18/2010 12:53 AM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

Finally, the ending with the kiss and a great lead in to the sequel. Can't wait to see who the next victim is :) I admit, I love books to have some kissing, but not too much.

 
At 2/18/2010 9:58 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I love the Bulwer-Lytton stuff! We have one of their books--Bride of Dark and Stormy.

Someone ought to do a study on what percentage of LDS novels DON'T have kissing in them. I'm betting the number would be pretty small . . .

 
At 2/18/2010 10:28 AM, Blogger Rebecca Irvine said...

Love the epilogue--and you made 'Today in the Bloggernacle'! Congrats.

 
At 2/18/2010 12:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Awesome! Thanks, Rebecca.

 
At 2/18/2010 12:37 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Nooo, torment me no longer, Stephanie Black. Shame on you for even thinking it. But with how twisted your villains are and how creepy your plots are, I'm sort of seeing a window into your soul, I think. Your sweet and innocent facade is finally cracking. ;)

Great epilogue by the way.

 
At 2/18/2010 3:13 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

ROFL! You SHOULD get that printed. ;)

 
At 2/19/2010 12:28 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Dang, Julie. I just knew someone would figure me out sooner or later. Don't tell my kids, okay? Oh, wait, they already know.

 
At 2/19/2010 6:35 PM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

I love kissy books! Now if only J. Scott Savage and James Dashner could figure that out . . . =)

Thanks for the epilogue!

 
At 2/22/2010 11:30 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I am shamefully the one author who forgets about the kiss. I am all for romance and a huge advocate of lip action, but for whatever reason I always get so wrapped up in the romance that I forget the one action that seals the deal. I usually end up having to rewrite the ending to get it in there.

I love your kissing scene though, "hi fluff glue" dang if that didn't make me laugh like a lunatic. You are awesome.

And I love Methods of Madness btw

 
At 2/23/2010 12:42 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

:) Thanks!

 
At 2/24/2010 11:44 PM, Blogger UTMomof4 said...

I just read Murder by the Book. That had some good romance, but more suspense than anything, which I like. I'm not into the romance much, but if there's lots of suspense and mystery in a novel than I'll put up with the kissing.

 

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