Saturday, January 2, 2010

The No-Kiss Blogfest -- Donna's Scene!

Today, bloggers throughout the blogosphere will post scenes from their WIPs, favorite books, movies, and TV shows that show the almost kiss -- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing tension that comes from when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it ... and then ... they don't!

(Sorry, Jacob, you just don't sparkle enough.)

Our lovely crit group member Frankie started this whole shebang at her personal blog, Frankie Writes, and of course we had to participate! (Did you guys miss the Official Kissing Day Blogfest a couple weeks ago? It was too much fun to read everyone's posts!)

Without further ado, here's the Donna Gambale contribution to the No-Kiss Blogfest! (Inspired by life's potential for drama on New Year's Eve.)

Natalie giggled. Uh oh. She never giggled, especially not at jokes by her ex-boyfriend. Her inner Tipsy-O-Meter flashed a warning. Giggling meant she was in the Bad Decisions category somewhere above Dancing Like an Idiot but below Karaoke. She set her half-full glass of wine down on top of the sink. One more sip might just inspire her to belt out "Wind Beneath My Wings." On second thought. She poured the drink down the porcelain, feeling significantly more sober.

"That's good wine you're wasting," said Ethan.

"You made me giggle."

"I'm not allowed to make you laugh anymore?"

"Not since you broke up with me." She wanted to say 'broke my heart,' but refused to lose any dignity she'd scraped together in the past eight months.

"I told you how much I regret that," Ethan said. He stepped closer and ran a finger from the hollow behind her ear down to the point of her chin, knowing that it always made her shiver. As her body reacted, Natalie realized that James still hadn't learned that particular trick.

"James," she repeated aloud.


"My boyfriend. The one I came into the bathroom looking for in the first place?"

"If he disappeared on you, I'd be happy to be your date. You look beautiful tonight."

She avoided the compliment. "He didn't."

They'd gotten in a fight, actually. Because once Natalie saw Ethan at the party, she wanted to drown herself in wine, which James interpreted as "I'm still not over him."

She'd insisted she was, but now she couldn't bring herself to walk away. She could smell his spicy cologne, the same he'd always worn. While they dated, the slightest hint of it turned her on. After the breakup, it made her cry. And now? she asked herself. Definitely more of the tingle-in-the-belly reaction.

"Don't you have a date waiting for you out there?" Natalie said. Fifteen minutes had passed since she first walked in on him washing his hands. Fifteen more minutes than she ever thought she'd want to be in his company.

He shook his head. "I came to this party for you."

"Me? How did you know I'd be here?"

He smiled. "I asked around. And last year you said you wanted to go to Lydia's for New Year's."

Last year. When he was her midnight kiss.

Ethan moved closer, his shirt grazing her chest. Her breath caught.

"I made a mistake, Natalie. I tried to tell you, but you wouldn't talk to me."

She swallowed. "I'm talking to you now."

His lips brushed her forehead, and he wrapped a warm, slightly rough hand around hers. Those hands used to touch her. She looked into his eyes, really looked, and knew that he meant every word. He would be hers again, if she wanted.


He leaned forward so that their foreheads touched, and then his nose bumped hers softly. Eskimo kisses. She smiled without thinking and titled her chin to meet his, a breath away. The moment hovered between them. She felt his urgency, and his restraint. It was her decision.

Her entire body fought her as she moved backwards incrementally. But he didn't let go of her hand.

"I have to find James," she said, her voice cracking.

Ethan swallowed, then nodded. His thumb rubbed a slow circle in her palm. "If you change your mind..."

She slid her hand from his and walked back into the party, which suddenly was too loud for the confusion in her brain. A hand grasped hers a moment later, and she turned, a smile spreading across her face.

"I've been looking everywhere for you," James said.

She hated her disappointment. And her guilt.

"I'm sorry about before," he said. "I was being stupid."

She stood on tiptoes to kiss him. "Don't worry about it."

Natalie leaned into his arms, inhaling the fresh, light scent of his cologne. They hadn't been together long enough for her to associate it with him, but she'd been hoping to make those memories. Over James' shoulder, she watched Ethan walk out of the bathroom. He caught her eye, and though she knew James would be her midnight kiss, she wondered where her heart would be when the clock struck twelve.

Alright, there it is --- written just for you guys on the No-Kiss Blogfest! (Go HERE for Frankie's amazing scene.) Can't wait to read everyone else's!

What's your favorite almost-kiss from a TV show, book, or movie?


  1. I like it. As a guy, I'm taking notes here. I think I might appropriate the "tingle-in-the-belly" thing for future works I might write from a female POV. Thanks!


  2. I like the tingle in the belly note, too!

    Nice job! But poor James...

  3. Nicely done. I love the almost kiss and you captured a great one!!!

  4. I love the narrator's voice in this so, so much! Her sense of humor is just awesome, and I think it rachets up the contrasting tension later.

  5. Simon - Thanks! Glad I could give you some girl insight. The male POV can be a little intimidating for me, also.

    Frankie - :)

    Just Another Sarah - I know! I like James too. But he just can't compete with the history between Natalie and Ethan. Or can he? That's the magic of a single scene!

    One Pushy Fox - Thanks! This blogfest will be so much fun!

    Laurel - So happy you think that! This is the first time I've written outside my novel in two years, and I was afraid it would be awful. New characters are fun.

  6. Fabulous. There are so many wonderful moments in this. I love that when Ethan runs his finger to her chin she realizes James hasn't learned the effect that has on her. It tells so much about these relationships. As does the last line. I am so impressed you wrote this just for the fest because it feels more layered that that. Great job!

  7. Okay, you had me at the first paragraph with the varying drunk descriptions. Awesome Donna! Love! I can't think of a better word than that. Now please get it published so I can read the rest!

  8. That last line got to me! Very nice job:)

  9. That was gooood. So believable yet so gut-wrenching of a decision. I didn't know who I was rooting for--Ethan or James. Very well done.
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  10. she wondered where her heart would be when the clock struck twelve.

    Nice job. I had a moment like this in high school. Poor James, poor Ethan and poor her. At first I thought James was playing her until she looked into eyes and saw that he meant every word.'s hard not knowing what to do!

  11. That was intense ! I love your scene, one of my favorites! (:

  12. Tricia - You made me smile so much with that comment! I really tried to balance the little details without over-telling, and I'm glad you think it worked!!!

    Shannon - As of now, Natalie, Ethan, and James just exist in this one scene... but who knows where else they might go! And your scene was awesome, too! I especially loved your voice.

    Melissa - Yay! I was actually afraid it was cheesy.

    Karen - I love two eligible guys in a love triangle! (Very Dawson vs Pacey and Gale vs Peeta.) It really rachets up the tension and makes the decision even harder!

    Kelly - You had two cute guys to choose from? I wish I had that problem in high school, teehee. But it's really an agonizing decision, which is why I left it for Natalie to make!

    LittoMiss Isuet - I've read a bunch of terrific ones, so this means a lot to me!

    Myra - Shucks, you made me squee!

  13. His lips brushed her forehead, and he wrapped a warm, slightly rough hand around hers. Those hands used to touch her. She looked into his eyes, really looked, and knew that he meant every word. He would be hers again, if she wanted.

    - Loved, loved, loved it! Such a great scene!

  14. I love this!! Definitely amazing tension. I especially love the tingle-in-the-belly moment--it was perfect!

  15. I love the inner Tipsy-O-Meter and the Bad Decisions Categories! I'm totally rooting for Ethan. I shouldn't, but I am. This has a great voice!

  16. OH this was a great scene! Very well done of you! It would be really fun to read a whole book based on this story!

  17. Fantastic! Love the narrator's rye humor and her internal struggle. She may want "it" to be James, but she knows Ethan still owns her heart - we don't always get to choose who we love.

  18. Aww, I love how she hates her disappointment when it's James grabbing her arm! So good!

  19. Inner tipsy-o-meter...ha! I love your voice. Great scene!

  20. Oh wow--I want to read the rest of this! The heartbreak, the longing, regret, anticipation--excellently written!!

  21. Donna - great tension, great sense of indecision (so natural for teens and 20-somethings for sure!)
    I can already imagine scenes from the rest of the novel and how naturally they'd play out!

  22. Great excerpt! The tension is amazing, great job! :)


  23. Awesomeness. Terrific voice. Love her tipsy-o-meter, lol.

  24. *Sigh* I so feel for her right now, the confusion increased by her wine consumption, I want to know more, how they broke up. How they met, why she's with James when Ethan is so obviously hot.

  25. I think there are SO many girls/women out there who could read this and relate so well. *raises hand* me included! It's so hard to fully get over the boy who cheats/leaves you! Great scene!!

  26. LOVE this! Great voice and I adore when a guy touches a girl's face, the finger under her chin *sighhhh* Very swoon-worthy, thanks for posting :)

  27. Great inner conflict! I love that last line: though she knew James would be her midnight kiss, she wondered where her heart would be when the clock struck twelve.

  28. I love the way she wonders where her heart will be while she's kissing her heartbreaking to have something but desire something else!
    This was awesome, I loved it!

  29. I like your entry. Love those eskimo kisses! And yours is the first I've read that incorporated one. But what a silly girl....she better run after that Ethan.

    Great blog, as well.


  30. I went so quickly from laughing at the Tipsy-o-Meter to breathless and squirming at the tingly, forehead-and-noses touching moments, it was unbelievable. I love this scene! There are so many different emotions going on, it's just perfect.

  31. Loved it! Loved every little detailed movement. Excellent.

  32. OMG. I LOVE THIS. I think it was the tipsy-o-meter thing that clinched it for me. Hilarious. You rock, Donna!

  33. I love how the scene flowed - I was engrossed in the moment.

  34. You guys are so nice! Thanks for taking the time to comment about the scene. I had a ton of fun participating in the No-Kiss Blogfest!


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