Romance Weekly Blog Hop: First Kiss

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Thanks to Kim Handysides for the topic this week…first kisses.

Did you just come from J.J. Devine If not, head back and find out about her first kiss with the boy on her street. Picture

This is the first kiss with my future husband.



The summer after my first year in college I returned home to three summer jobs; waitressing, coaching, and interning at the Statehouse. I planned on using all of my free time to watch television and hang out at a local pool.

The second week of break, however, I ran into an old friend in the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts. Hanging out with him in high school had been easy. We had a similar sense of humor and both were on a quest to leave town and find adventure. After talking for hours in the parking lot, we vowed to get together the next day. We never spent more than a day apart the rest of the summer. We hiked, went scuba diving, watched movies, and drove for miles listening to Stevie Wonder. Inseparable and yet completely unattached. Just friends.

Imagine roller skating with your perfect match, holding hands during couples only skates, or lying with your head on his stomach to watch the stars from the top of a mountain, and always feeling perfectly at home. I don’t think either one of us wanted to break the magic. Pushing for more could destroy the friendship and that would be unbearable.

 August arrived and I’d be returning to college within two weeks. Returning to school didn’t have the same appeal as before, because I had to leave my best friend behind. Tension wormed into my gut and started destroying the purity of our time together. He must have felt it as well, this strange desperation. 

One night, I remained at his parents’ house for hours longer than appropriate. We stared at mindless shows on television and talked about nothing, but neither wanted the night to end. The pauses, however, became awkward. The relationship had to evolve or fizzle 

“Can I use your Chapstick?” I asked, my eyes glancing at the mint tube on the table.

He’d just put some on, so the question wasn’t all that odd. As soon as he answered in the affirmative, I inhaled a few deep breaths, moved to his side, and then brushed my lips over his. I didn’t pull away. He wouldn’t have let me. His hand held me in place and I removed every bit of the Chapstick from his lips. The kiss lasted until all the awkwardness of the previous days transformed into a renewed level of comfort and something so much more.

And I’ll take all the credit!


Head over to Vicki Mixon Does she dish on herself or a character?

Romance Weekly Blog Hop: Flash Fiction Challenge

Today’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop gave the writers a challenge. Create a 100-150 word Flash Fiction using the words, scarf, candle, and chocolate.

If you’ve just come from S. C. Mitchell: welcome! If not, check out his Flash Fiction. Does he keep it under 150 words? Does he kill anyone? ….hmmmmm.


Don’t challenge me. I never lose.

I dipped each finger in the hot wax of a candle to hide my fingerprints. The burn soothed my nerves more than the three pieces of chocolate I’d inhaled.

Every last wisp of my red hair hid under a black headscarf. Black robes completed my disguise. He’d never see me coming.

Steady, even steps through the marketplace, blue eyes pointed to the ground, I became one of a thousand women maneuvering through a rainbow of silk and leather hanging from wood frames. Several hundred dollars dropped from my hand in the middle of the crowd. My stomach tightened as I stepped to my target. During the frenzy of greed on the ground behind me, I unlocked the glass case and took the ruby ring. Child’s play.

I turned and smacked into a hard chest. Jake’s chest.

He clasped my arms and grinned. “You lose.”


When this Flash Fiction Story is made into a movie, as I’m sure it will be considering the depth of the characters and the intensity of the emotion, I’m casting Ryan Reynolds as Jake and Jennifer Lawrence as the crazy woman putting her fingers in hot wax.

Hop over to Gemma Brocato to find out what she wrote in the Flash Fiction Challenge!

Romance Writers Weekly

Welcome, if you came from J.J. Devine’s blog: If not- go back! She recently published “Into the Darkness.” It’s vampires, it’s witches, it’s way more. 

This week’s questions come from the awesome Fiona Riplee.

1.Does humor help or hinder you in your creative process?

I love using humor in my stories, but I never add something funny if I have to force it. Natural humor in dialogue or situations can turn a regular scene into something special. If I can’t think of something funny, I leave it out.

I once tried to make a character have a funny comeback to an insult. It took me months to try to find the perfect phrase. Never happened. Instead, I shot it out to my critique partners and ended up with something far better than the comebacks I had created. Same thing happens in my real life.

Robin williams

Robin Williams: He made it look easy.

2.What is a favorite go-to book or movie you use to unblock a problem in your writing?

I struggle to avoid creating boring passages. When I’m stressed, my words flow fast. Fast and generic. Dick and Jane books have more description and feeling than anything I write under pressure.

“She walked into the room and sat. He dropped the paper and glanced at her. She smiled.” Are you asleep now?

I have one major “go to” source to kick my rear back into quality writing. I re-read Susan Elizabeth Phillips novels. I love her voice and the fast pace she brings to every scene. More important, she uses words like an artist uses color. Each word is chosen to provide background, action, or emotion. I could read other authors as well, but I find reading a few pages from her books shows me how slowing down and focusing on the art of writing makes a difference.

“Gwen sashayed across the room and dropped her left hip onto the corner of his desk. Her skirt slid up enough to reveal the edge of a black lace garter. He noticed. The legal brief he’d been reading floated from his hand to the floor. His gaze floated down as well, stopping at the hem of her skirt.

‘Can I help you?’ His fingers tapped out his annoyance, but his eyes stayed transfixed on her thigh.

‘Nope. I just wanted to observe that iron clad control you’ve been bragging about.’ She touched her finger once under his clenched chin. ‘Impressive.’”


3.What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read this week or month that’s generated a new idea?

I listened to Kristen Higgins “Catch of the Day” on a recent road trip. Her hero, a lobsterman named Malone, barely spoke throughout the entire book. In addition, his POV was never used to provide a fuller picture of him. Despite all of this, he captivated me. Kristen Higgins formed a perfect picture of an introvert who felt deeply, but didn’t express himself to the outside world. A very tough hero to create. I love challenges and I’d love to create a Malone type character someday.


Next up is Kim Handysides. I can’t wait to see how she tackled the questions!

Romance Weekly-Orange Cinnamon Crockpot Chicken

Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we give you the secret to adding time to your day for working (or avoiding work), playing with kids, or romancing the love of your life. Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

So we’re all providing quick meals this week. If you missed Carolyn Spear, hop back for her Caribbean Fish With Mango Salsa recipe!!!


I make this meal before I sit at my computer in the morning and don’t think about it all day. Serve over rice and add a salad for a complete meal.


Orange Cinnamon Crockpot Chicken

This is gluten free because I have a GF kid.


  • 4 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 lb olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pepper
  • salt
  • orange slices
  • cinnamon sticks.


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and brown chicken.
  • Remove chicken to the crockpot as they brown.
  • Combine all other ingredients in skillet.
  • Mix well and pour over chicken.
  • Cover pot, turn on LOW and cook 4-6 hours, or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove one cup of sauce from pot and combine with flour, mixing well.
  • Return flour mixture to the pot.
  • Turn pot on HIGH and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with the orange slices and cinnamon sticks.


The next stop is Leslie Hachtel Check out her quick fix!