Monday, February 7, 2011

Highlander’s Heart First Kiss

by Amanda Forester

Ta da!! Here is my new cover for The Highlander’s Heart, which will be released in November. Since we are on the romantic topic of first kisses this month, I thought I’d share the first kiss from The Highlander’s Heart.

Let me set the scene. The year is 1355 and tensions are high between England and Scotland. The English Lady Isabelle manages to escape her murderous husband but gets lost along the border and wanders into Scottish territory. Isabelle stomps through thick brush all day only to find highwaymen on the road, and worse yet, one of those barbarian Highlanders.

Laird David Campbell is returning home to the Highlands when he discovers a bonnie lass being accosted on the road. He races to her defense only to find she is actually English, and a disgraced miss from the look of her. She demands to be taken back to England but since there is a price on his head Campbell refuses. With indomitable English spirit, Isabelle marches back into the forest to walk home herself, but finds a wild boar instead. We pick up the scene right after Campbell has saved Isabelle from being gored to death.

Campbell dropped his sword and covered her trembling hand with his. “Hush now, ’tis over. The beast is dead.”

Isabelle stifled a sob and clung to her protector, wrapping her arms around his neck, her body still shaking from the fright. She took a deep breath and tried to compose herself. “’Tis not only the beast. It has been a horrid day. Ghastly wretched day.” She pressed her face into his shoulder, trying to keep from crying like a small child. He smelled nice for a barbarian.

“I understand.” The big man sighed. “My day has no’ been going so well either.”

“And yet you stopped to save me – twice. I should thank you.”

“Indeed ye should.”

“I wish I had something to give you to show my appreciation but I have nothing I fear.”

Campbell wrapped both arms around her waist. “I woud’na say that.”

Isabelle swallowed hard on a throat that had instantly gone dry. “I… I have no…” It occurred to her somewhat belatedly that she was in the middle of a forest with a man she did not know holding her close, and the only thing she wanted was for him to be closer.

“Would you accept a kiss as a boon?” she asked, surprising herself with her own boldness. She had been lost in the woods, attacked by highwaymen, and nearly gored by a wild boar, all valid justifications for this shocking lapse in propriety.

“Aye.” His green eyes smoldered.

With some hesitation she gently pecked his cheek with her lips. He frowned.

“You do not appear to like my kiss,” said Isabelle, frowning herself.

“I dinna ken ye would kiss like my Aunt Edna, God rest her soul. She used to pinch my cheeks to keep me from running and give me a peck like that. I warrant if I saved good ol’ Edna from a boar, even she might find a wee more passion.”

Isabelle could not suppress a smile. “I do apologize for kissing like Aunt Edna, how dreadful.”

“We’ll ne’er speak o’ it again. And to show ye how forgiving I can be, I’ll give ye another chance.”
Heat crawled up the back of her neck. She was acutely aware of all the parts of her that were touching all the parts of him. Very wrong. Very nice. She went up on her toes and lightly gave him a peck on his lips.

“Thank ye, Edna.”

She scrunched her nose. “I am not your sainted Aunt.”

“Then stop acting like it.”

She grabbed either side of his head and smashed her mouth to his. She came away breathless. It was the single boldest thing she had ever done with a man. “There! Not Edna.”

He looked up at the sky, considering. “Better, I grant ye. But still with an Edna quality.”

“Oh! You are a wretched man to say so! Pray tell, how would you give a kiss?”

He smiled at her, his eyes gleaming. “Since ye have asked, I will give ye some instruction.” He leaned down and brushed his lips across hers, soft and tempting. He kissed her sweetly on her lips, while massaging his hands up her back to her neck. It was achingly good. She arched back into his touch and a small “Ahhhh,” escaped from her lips. He kissed her again, caressing her open mouth with lips and, shockingly, tongue. She had not known such a thing was possible and leaned into the kiss, the rest of the world slipping away.

When their lips finally parted she took several short breaths, trying to remember who she was and what she was doing.

“Not Edna,” she said, stepping back from him, trying to regain some composure.

“God rest her soul.” He made the sign of the cross.

“Sainted woman she was.” She also made the sign of the cross. He raised an eyebrow. “To tolerate you, she must have been.”

I love a little adventure in my romance, and a bit of humor too. What was your most adventurous or most humorous kiss?

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  1. My most humorous kiss also coincides with my worst kiss. Well he dated my friend (yeah I know the whole no dating a friend's ex, but we weren't that great of friends anymore), well we kissed and he was terrible! He shoved his tongue down my throat he was very sloppy and it made me laughed and I really thought he was joking with the kiss. But I figured out he wasn't, so that made me wonder who taught him to kiss? Was it my kinda friend, if so she is a crappy kiss teacher. Thankfully things didn't work out and I didn't have to deal and try to re-teach him how to kiss. It still makes me giggle to this day to think about how he kisses :)

  2. Now I'm wishing I'd been around in 1355, wandering the Scottish border, attracting the notice of wild boars and highwaymen--and oh, by the way, the murderous husband, the price on David's head--well done. Now I HAVE to read this book.

  3. I'm with Grace. Where do I find him exactly??? I must have missed him when I toured the castles in Scotland. Oh, aye, wrong century. :) Well the good thing is, I can enjoy him in your book! I love medieval historicals with sexy Highlanders!

  4. Amanda, I loved the humor and the build up to their first that Laird David Campbell would qualify as one!

    I cannot wait to read HHFK!

  5. Long platinum blonde (that's the new Miss Clariol color for gray) hair dripping down my back after that cold shower! If the rest of this book is this hot, they should market it with one of those little misting fans to cool down the hot flashes!

  6. Great scene, Amanda - love those Highlanders. Maybe I can get Scrape to wear a kilt...
    Funniest kiss ever? I briefly dated a guy in college who seemed to think that kissing meant plastering his mouth over yours and BREATHING into you. Hard. It was awful. He was nice, smart, and stunningly good looking, but he couldn't seem to grasp that all-important skill - so I moved on.

  7. Kristina - oh no - talk about awkward! I hope you have since found a kissing partner who makes you sizzle, not giggle!

    Grace - thanks - I had some fun writing this.

    Terry - I still wish I could have come with you to Scotland. Next time!!

  8. C.H. - thanks!

    Carolyn - I started going "platinum blond" when I was 13 and I've been fighting it ever since. My mom was completely white by the time she was my age - but I'm not ready to look like my mama yet!

    Joanne - yikes! You definitely learn a lot from that first kiss.

  9. I don't think I've ever had a humorous kiss and I've never been very adventerous so I don't think I ever really had one of those

    Will have to add your book to my tbb...great cover!

  10. Too cute (and then nice and steamy!). Love it!

  11. Maria - you've probably lived your life right - the best kind of kisses are the ones that touch your heart.

    Shana - thanks!!

  12. Amanda ~ Great excerpt! I can't think of a good funny kiss story, but I'm still laughing about Joanne's. :) I must have lived a humdrum life.

  13. I love the cover and the scene makes me going to look for the book in November.


  14. Lydia - probably for the best you don't have any humorous kiss stories since the ones I've seen so far have been commedically awful.

    Lavada - thanks - I hope you will enjoy!

  15. Beautiful cover and I can't wait for the book!

  16. Gorgeous cover Amanda! I can't wait to read it :)

  17. Alexa - thank you! I like this cover too!

    Eliza - thanks! I wish it were coming out sooner, but hopefully worth the wait!

  18. Sound like your book is going to be a winner! And wow! What a hot looking guy on the cover! Wishing you many, many sales!

  19. Love the excerpt! And the cover.

    I remember my first tongue-kiss. The new boyfriend and I were saying good-bye at my parents' front door (this was near the end of 9th grade). I felt something "unusual" against my lip. When I figured out what it was, I was so shocked that I pushed him away, ran inside and slammed the door in his face. By the time I realized I had liked it, I was too embarrassed to go back outside. I later married him. And then I divorced him. :-) He was a good kisser, just a bad husband.

  20. I can't think of a humorous or adventurous kiss! But I really liked the excerpt you posted - He sounds like a rascal!

  21. Hi Amanda, love the cover of the new book, very nice. Looking forward to reading it in November. Wishing you all the best with it.

  22. That was a fantastic excerpt. I love the humor that it has in it also. Really looks like a great read, I love Highlanders!!!

    Can't think of a humorous kiss, it has been so long with someone beside hubby. I just seem to remember how bad so many of your your men were at kissing. I hope they have learned something in all the years since them:)

  23. I can't think of a humorus kiss unless it was one when I was thirteen and went to a party where they played kissing games. I thought those kisses where awesome back then but now I think they were quite funny because not many guys knew how to kiss but some did.

  24. Gorgeous cover and I loved the first kiss excerpt. Those Highland men have a wonderful sense of humor. I look forward to the read.

  25. Amelia - thanks for the sentiment - wishing you the same!

    Olivia - you made me laugh out loud! So sorry your good kisser was not such a good husband - at least he was good for something!

    Lisa - thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed. I had fun writing Campbell!

  26. Debby - hi there! Thanks!

    Judy - sad but true, sometimes those young guys don't know how to kiss. Guess there is only one cure for that!

    Virginia - oh, I had completely forgotten about kissing games. Remember spin the bottle? Ugh! I'm glad I'm married now!

    Victoria - a dreamy dude in a kilt with a good sense of humor is my kind of man. I write what I like!

  27. Way, way back in the day,our fave
    team was returning from an away
    game. We, as was our habit, went
    to the airport to welcome them
    home. It turned into a meet and
    greet autograph session. My fave
    player greeted me with a wee kiss.
    Every time we passed in the crowd
    he kissed my cheek again. When we
    left, my 9 y/o niece informed the
    group that "that man kissed Aunt
    Pat seven times!" She had been
    following me & keeping count of
    all the kissing!

    Pat Cochran

  28. I already commented but a funny kiss came to mind. It wasn't mine but my best friend's kiss. She was this gorgeous six foot tall red head. She was out on a first date with a really nice fellow who was about about five feet six. So picture this. She's six feet tall and he's going to kiss her goodnight at the edge of her lawn. So he stood on this pile of dirt on the side of the road which put him right at the right level to land a kiss smack on her lips ... until the dirt gave way and the kiss slipped right off her lips and landed on her boobs! She never dated a shorter guy again!

  29. Pat - I love kids. They never pay attention when you talk to them, but keep an eagle eye on what you do when you think they are not looking. What a cute story!

    Carolyn - ha ha ha! Slipped? Yeah, right! I bet he had that move planned for days!

  30. I loved the cover. This sounds like it will be a very good book. I don't have a humorous kiss stories either.

  31. Amanda, that excerpt was AWESOME!! And I soooooooooooo love the cover!!! I HAVE TO READ THIS!!!


  32. I don't have a humorous kiss story, or an adventurous one either. (my bf tells me I've led a "sheltered life.") I did enjoy the first kiss story you wrote about, though, Amanda!

  33. My most memorable kiss was the first kiss that I shared with my hubby.

  34. Sherry - glad you liked it.

    Mary - thanks!

    Andrea - thanks, so glad you liked it! I was pretty happy when I found this cover in my in-box!

    Jannette - a happy sheltered life shared with someone special sounds pretty good.

  35. Cindy - mine too! I wasn't sure my now hubby was quite the right man for me... then we kissed. Oh yeah - he was Mr. Right!

  36. Sorry I'm late commenting. Loved the excerpt Amanada. I can't wait for this book. Loved the first one. Great excerpt!!

  37. I do NOT kiss and tell, so you will just have to wonder about any of my kissing adventures (yes, they were adventures!!!)

    LOVE that cover - and the exerpt too...November is definitely too far away to wait, I need to read the rest of this story - now would be good.

  38. Hello, I can't wait to read the book. I love your cover model Sam Bond Your cover artist did a great job of turning Sam into a sexy highlander :)

  39. Omg! That was just too sweet and silly. Does it take her long to realize she's been teased into playing along after said 'real' kiss? I'm definitely going to get this!!

  40. Ah, Aunt Edna. That was fun to read.

  41. God, I love that cover and Love David already. Nothing is better then a gorgeous, sexy and kilted Highlander.:) It's on my TRL.
    I can;t recall any funny kisses. But the worst was one a guy I was friends with caught me off guard to plant what he thought was a great kiss but ended up almost pushing my lips back into my throat it was so hard. lol
    Carol L

  42. Hi Amanda! I loved the first kiss as a boon! Terrific!