Anywho. Today Katharine is talking all about smooches! She's giving away 2 of her books too! So check out her guest post and check out that giveaway down at the bottom! She's giving away a copy of How to be a Proper Lady in the grand prize too so be sure to stop by!
When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again ...
Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
Partial List of Kinds of Kisses
- Hello Kisses, as in “Hello, dahhling!” air kisses on either cheek.
- Long-Time-Haven’t-Seen Kisses, usually accompanying a big hug.
- Speedy Peck Kisses, as in “Have a great day, honey!” (Note: these kisses generally make the Classic Kiss Smacking Sound.)
- Forehead Kisses, as in “There, there, it’ll be all right, I promise.”
- Spontaneous Affection Kisses, from your nine-year-old randomly in the kitchen, or to the top of your dog’s shaggy head, etc.
- Goodnight Kisses, on the brow or cheek, warm and soft and sweet.
- Back-Of-The-Hand Kisses, SWOON!
- Goodbye Forever Kisses, which I won’t go into detail about because they make me cry no matter what the reason for the goodbye, and I’m weeping now just thinking about it, and oh good Lord why did I bring this up?!?
- Big-Bejeweled-Ring Kisses, very medieval (like Good King Wenceslas, you know), performed while on one’s knees, indicating reverence for a monarch or prelate.
- Kisses Upon the Feet, in worship, like the kiss in the story about the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
- First Kisses, sometimes awkward, sometimes perfect, sometimes on stage in eighth grade in front of 100 people while rehearsing Ado Annie and Will Parker’s “Oklahoma hello!” for the school musical for which I, a girl who had never been kissed, was hugely miscast as the “girl who can’t say no” and thus began my rapid journey into many, many kisses thereafter, but it’s possible I’m veering off topic here.
- Kisses Blown Across the Palm, teasingly, lovingly, conveying playful affection and admiration.
- Passionate Kisses, hot, deep, full-bodied, breathtakingly delectable . . .
There are many more sorts of kisses, and I am grateful for all of them. But the kisses I love the most in books, the kisses that never fail to make me sigh dreamily while speeding my heartbeat to its quickest tempo, are mistletoe kisses.
Mistletoe kisses are magical. Sometimes stolen, at other times willingly offered and enthusiastically accepted, mistletoe kisses are kisses spun of joy, fashioned of delight, full of hope, tingling with excitement, and trembling with desire. Mistletoe kisses can be the impulse of a moment or the climax of years of yearning. Mistletoe kisses remind us that secret longings can be deliciously good and that public honesty can be even better.
Moreover, mistletoe kisses can lead to shy blushes and demurrals, but they can also lead to other sorts of kisses altogether (see Passionate Kisses, above). This is probably why I adore mistletoe kisses. Oftentimes forbidden and frequently unexpected, they suggest a delectable variety of possibilities for the future, dreams that could finally be realized and wishes that just might come true. Since that’s what the Christmas season seems to me to be all about — the birth of something new and thrilling into the world, and with it joy and hope — I think kisses beneath the mistletoe are just about the most romantic thing around during the holidays.
That also happens to be why I adore romance fiction, by the way. Every time I open up a romance novel or start writing a book, I feel all the brimming excitement of infinite possibility about to unfold before me. It’s positively addictive!
Which is why in my debut novel a few years ago, Swept Away by a Kiss, I wrote a mistletoe kiss. It was just too much fun trapping my hero and heroine beneath that snow-laden bough and forcing them to come to terms with what they felt for each other. Then — because I couldn’t get enough of that particular kind of Christmas magic — I wrote another novel set at Christmastime, When a Scot Loves a Lady. In it a London socialite and a roguish lord are trapped in a snowbound inn in the wilds of the countryside, but there is no actual mistletoe to inspire their kisses. So they find other inspirations: dark corners, dimly lit stairwells, secluded stables, anywhere they can get their hands on each other . . .
After all, when Christmas magic is in the air, every kiss is a perfect kiss.
Upon the publication of her debut novel in 2010, the American Library Association named Katharine Ashe among its “New Stars of Historical Romance”. Reviewers call her books “thrilling,” “breathtaking” and “lushly intense.” She is a two-time nominee and 2011 winner of the Reviewers’ Choice Awards for Best Historical Romantic Adventure, and her novella A Lady’s Wish launched HarperCollins Publishers’ newest imprint, Avon Impulse, in 2011. How To Be a Proper Lady was awarded a place on Amazon's list of the 10 Best Romances of 2012. Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, two dogs, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European history, she has made her home in California, Italy, France, and the northern US.
Katharine is offering two lucky commenters who answer her question gifties today!
One SIGNED copy of Swept Away by a Kiss (INT)- One winner
One SIGNED copy of When a Scot Loves a Lady (US/CAN)- One winner
What is your favorite kind of kiss? — in novels or real life or both!
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