Saturday, February 12, 2011

First kiss...and taking things IN context!

Most readers and reviewers love The Werewolf Upstairs. However, I read one review recently that may have been written by someone who didn't care for romantic comedy. The person called my dialog stilted--and then edited the following lines from my couple's first kiss until it DID sound stilted. That's not fair!

Tell me what you think. If your "crush" ran out into traffic to grab a two-year old, what would your next breathless words be? I think my attorney heroine did just fine.

“I can’t believe you saved that child without getting

“Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I
wasn’t thinking at all, just reacting to the situation.”

“You were so brave and so selfless.” And so amazing
and so…hot!

He smiled and placed a finger under her chin. Tipping
her face up, he bent low, hovering just over her lips.
“Can I have a kiss as my reward?”

“I’m sure the boy’s mother would have kissed you if
you’d asked.” She was teasing, but also trying to keep
her distance. After all, he had just been in trouble with
the law.

“I didn’t want to kiss her. I’m asking you.”

Aw, I’m melting. Roz slipped her arms around his neck
and closed her eyes.

He held her in a surprisingly gentle
embrace and closed the short gap between their lips.

The pressure was just right. Firm, but not bruising. He
opened his mouth slightly and slanted his head, allowing
her to deepen the kiss if she wanted to. She answered by
slipping her tongue past his teeth, but something sharp
pricked her.

She almost pulled away, but his big paw of a hand
cradled her head and kept her mouth fused to his. He
slipped his tongue past her lips and lapped at the sore
spot. Suddenly the pain faded and disappeared.
Roz let her body mold to his and felt petite in his
arms. Now, that’s a first.

The hot, drugging kiss continued, right there on the
sidewalk, heedless of passersby and traffic. The world fell
away, and soon the only thing she could name that existed
outside herself was his arousal nudging her stomach.
She even wanted to incorporate the hard length inside
her body and join with him completely. Whoa, where
did that thought come from?

“It came from us, darling.”

Roz snapped out of her trance. Pulling away, she
mumbled, “Wha…what just happened?”

Konrad kissed her forehead and smiled. “I think it’s
called telepathy.”

“You heard me?”

“Yes, as if you were speaking inside my head.”

Shocked, Roz lost the power to communicate—or

Konrad stroked her cheek with his thumb. “It’s never
happened to me before, but I’ve heard of it. Certain
members of my family can do it with their m…uh,
people they’re very close to.”

She inhaled deeply and tried to steady herself. “Well,
I’ve never heard of it happening to anyone at all.”

- - - - -

Has that ever happened to you? Not the telepathy part. LOL. Ever had your words twisted or taken out of context? How is that helpful?


  1. I loved it, Ash!!! Happy Valentine's early! I feel love in the air. :)

  2. Great kiss scene!

    I once had a blogger excerpt an oral sex scene out of Backstage Pass. There was no build up, no what came after, just the act all by itself. Reading it out of the context of the romance made me blush. Me. Blush. It takes a lot to make me blush. I was like, OMG, did I really write that? The blogger was complementary about the scene, saying how hot it was, but out of context the spark between the characters was missing and it through me for a loop.

  3. Yup, it sounds like you're feelin' my pain, Olivia. That build up is absolutely necessary. If readers aren't rooting for the characters, it looses a lot!

    Thank you for your kind words, Terry. You're always supportive.


  4. Hi, Ash - That scene worked for me! I think reviews are one of the hardest parts of being a writer. Not everyone can love your book, and it can feel like a stab to the heart when they don't! But it's their job to express their opinion - and our job to learn from it. After we scream and throw things, of course:)

  5. I love the scene it really worked for me. Never had anything like that happen to me.

  6. Thanks for the support, Joanne and Virginia. I know it's subjective, and that's fine. But don't twist the facts, man!

  7. Wonderful kiss scene. I could taste that kiss and I've been reading romances for more than 50 years (whoops, I just told my age)! Reviewers as well as readers express opinions. As writers we do well to remember that's what they person's opinion. Got to admit though, that when they get too cutting, it makes me want to put my favorite curse upon them!

  8. LOL, Carolyn,

    Those of us who know how to cast spells and place curses have to remember the law of three.

    Sometimes all you should do is shake your head and tell yourself how stupid and wrong they are, even if they deserve more.

  9. Oh my goodness what a great scene! I feel for all of you authors who have your excerpts pulled apart for reviews. I love reading them but I agree that if they are cut too short they can mislead the reader on the author's intention for the scene.

    Happy Saturday everybody!

  10. I've had reviewers write about the same scene in such wildly different ways I wondered if they read the same book. Writing is such a subjective enterprise, I try to focus on what resonates with me and hope others will feel the same way.

  11. I think that having something taken out of context happens to just about everyone but I do think that it can happen more publically with authors. Great excerpt and I liked it!

  12. That was a very entertaining and amusing scene!

    Only thing that I can think of is when my ex and I were having our issues during our relationship.

  13. I really enjoyed the excerpt!! I found it very satisfying. I really can't think of my words being taken out of context. I am not an author, but I am sure this has happened to most everyone. The older I get the more my memory goes South :)


  14. My words are always being taken out of context, or perhaps I'm just saying them out of context because I've got a whole deffirent conversation happening in my head.
    I guess the perfect match for me would be someone who could hear my thoughts ;-)

  15. Good scene, Ash! If I've learned anything in this business, it's that you can't please 'em all. I've gotten reviews and comments from people who love my books, and some from readers who don't like them at all--for the exact same reason. Different strokes...

  16. Thanks for your words, everyone. I had a dinner party tonight so wasn't able to pop in more frequently.

    Now, it's time for bed.


  17. Ash, it worked just fine for me. Sounds realistic. The shock and surprise. Once you get to the spot where he mentions telepathy, it also brings another level to the actions and thoughts that happened before.

    All you can do is write the best book you can. Be true to your vision. There are always going to be people who don't *get* it. Okay, it's not a story for them. *shrugs

    I review. I try always to see the story in the context the author wrote it. Do I think some scenes could be better? Sometimes. But I read the story, not get bogged down in words and phrases. If the story is good, you rarely pay attention those things because you are involved. The only time that would be different is if you're critiquing and then you read with a different mind set.

    It takes a lot of balls to rewrite someone else work and say it's better.

  18. Worked fine for me, Ash. Reviews just one person's opinion and I find most readers i know aren't really influenced by them, we make up our own minds reading excerpts.

  19. It's definitely not fair to have things taken out of context. Excerts should be done by the author in the most part.

  20. I loved the telepathy element, Ash! And the entire scene was just perfect, and wonderfully written.