Guest blogger Elizabeth Michels talks about kisses and her newest release + a giveaway

I’m so excited to be here on Books-n-Kisses today to celebrate the release of the second book in the Tricks of the Ton series, Desperately Seeking Suzanna! And, what better juicy tidbits of this story to share with you on this fabulous blog than the first kiss scene between Holden and Sue.  Technically, the first kiss in this story occurs on page 34 when Holden and Suzanna have an unexpected evening together at a masquerade ball…after she accidentally kicks him in the nose.  But, when she disappears later that night, he spends the London season searching for her, only to find simple, girl-next-door, Sue Green, standing in his path.

Finally, on page 191, Holden realizes not only that Suzanna was a myth, but he has developed a fondness for the very real lady at his side on the bench in the garden…

                She wasn’t sure at what point in his story she’d slid her hand down his arm to wrap her hand around his, but she glanced down to find their fingers entwined now.  She should move. She should remove her hand from his grasp.  Instead she squeezed his fingers and laid her other hand on his forearm, attempting to rub the tension away.

                With his story came understanding.  A few of the missing pieces that made him whole snapped together in her mind.  Not all of them, but enough for now.  “Your father can’t honestly hold you responsible for such a thing.”

                “I can’t believe I told you any of this.  What is it about you?”  He glanced down at their joined hands, pulling away as if burned.  Flexing his fingers for a moment, his gaze returned to her face with an intensity she hadn’t seen since they’d met on the stairs that night. 

                “Holden.” Her mouth went dry and she licked her lips.  “This is why you try as you do to play the disreputable rake.”

                “Might we return to the subject of wiggling toes?”  His breathing seemed harsh as he looked at her. 

                “You wish to confirm your father’s presumptions about you.  You try to sink to his expectations.  I can’t say I blame you.  I suppose…”

                Unexpected warmth flooded her senses as he reached up to frame her face with his hands, pulling her closer.  His kiss was harsh, punishing, but with a desperation she matched.  She heard a startled whimper escape her throat as his lips moved over hers.  Her hands fluttered in the air for a moment before landing on his chest.  He pulled back, watching her.  There was an awareness in his eyes that she didn’t quite trust, as if he remembered something he’d forgotten long ago.

                Her lips parted in question, yet she had too many thoughts to ask.  He’d released her lips but his hands held her head still.  His thumbs brushed against the wisps of fallen hair at her temples.

                Blinking up into dark green eyes and lips she wanted back on hers, she tugged on his lapels until his mouth met hers once more.  He chuckled, the rough sound vibrating through her, only to be soothed by the softness of his mouth.  His tongue traced the lines of her lips until she opened to him, allowing him in.  Time must have passed but she was unaware of anything beyond his lips on hers. 

                His hands slid to the back of her neck as he tasted her, his warm skin heating hers more than a thousand suns.  His lips slashed over hers, pulling her deepest desires from her, then delving for more.  Exposed, in need, she bit at his bottom lip, dragging him into the spiral of longing with her.  As if in a battle where neither side would surrender, she matched every movement he made.  She’d learned.  Whether he knew it or not, he’d been her teacher.  Her hands were inside his coat now, splayed on his chest and slipping further around him with every passing second.

                Nearness.  That’s what she needed.

                His body pressed close to hers.  His hand moved down her neck, sliding down her back to rest on her hip.  He pulled away with a lazy smile, his eyes darting across the garden.  “Where’s a bedchamber when you need one?”

                “Holden, we shouldn’t.”

                “Yes, actually I believe we should.” He pulled her in for one more kiss, leaving her flustered, confused, and giddy. 

                She touched her fingers to her lips as he pulled away.  He’d kissed her.  Not Suzanna, her! Sue Green!

                “For someone who hasn’t danced a quadrille before, you certainly are experienced,” he mused.

                “You.  Only you,” she whispered.  Had she spoken aloud or only in her mind?


How do I go about writing a first kiss?  There are 3 steps that lead to the creation of a scene like this one: longing, atmosphere and wine.

  1. Longing- The characters have to earn that first kiss by surviving far too many pages of heartache.  Readers have to want these two crazy characters to get together, and to cheer for it when it finally happens.  Also, the characters have to finally reach that turning point in their relationship.  This was a challenge in Desperately Seeking Suzanna because Holden had to have time to befriend Sue and then choose her over the image of Suzanna.  And for a disreputable rake, he doesn’t move very fast. *grins*
  2. Atmosphere- The couple must be alone with no prying eyes, preferably, in a location with a romantic atmosphere.  This isn’t easy in Regency England when chaperones were required and matronly eyes were always watching.
  3. Wine- This is the point when the characters have suffered, the setting is perfect, the couple is ready to turn that corner in their relationship, and I just need to pour a glass of wine, close the door to my office, and write it.

Thank you for hosting me on Books-n-Kisses today! I hope you enjoy Desperately Seeking Suzanna.  What’s your favorite setting for a first kiss scene?



Desperately Seeking Suzanna Cover


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Her Cinderella Moment…

Sue Green just wanted one night to be the pretty one. But a few glasses of champagne and one wild disguise later, she’s in some serious trouble. Who knew the devastatingly handsome face of Lord Holden Ellis would get in the way of her foot? And how exactly did all that high-kick dancing start in the first place? At least she blamed it on her new persona—Suzanna—so Society’s most eligible bachelor will never find out the truth.

All Holden wants is the truth. Who was that vixen who seduced him so thoroughly, then disappeared? The only one who seems to have any answers about Suzanna is Miss Sue Green. She’s promised to help him find his mystery woman, but she’s not being all that helpful. And the more time Holden spends with Sue—witty, pretty, and disarmingly honest—the more he realizes he may have found exactly what he’s been looking for all along…



Elizabeth Michels grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri, before settling down in North Carolina. She attended Park University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interior Design. Elizabeth is a lover of happily-ever-afters; she invites you to read her stories, get lost, and enjoy. For more information, please visit



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14 Responses to Guest blogger Elizabeth Michels talks about kisses and her newest release + a giveaway

  1. Janie McGaugh March 19, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    I like a garden setting for a first kiss scene.

    • Elizabeth Michels March 19, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      Me too, Janie! The romance of being surrounded by flowers combined with the threat of discovery is delicious! :)

  2. bn100 March 19, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Don’t really care about setting

    • Elizabeth Michels March 19, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Haha! Just get down to the business of the kissing scene, right? 😉

  3. Penney Wilfort March 19, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    I would say my setting would have to be up in the mountains or in the woods., this sounds really good,

    • Elizabeth Michels March 19, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Penney, I love the mountains too! I know of a mountain lake where the rhododendron grow down to the water’s edge and create a cave made of leaves and blossoms along the shore line… I so want to put it into a book, just waiting for the right book and the right characters. :)

  4. Diane Sallans March 19, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    somewhere outside is nice – perhaps in a garden so there is the scent of flowers to make a sensory memory

    • Elizabeth Michels March 19, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      So true, Diane. I heard once that the sense of smell is most closely linked to memories. And what better memories than a first kiss! :)

  5. Marcy Shuler March 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    I love the thought of a garden. Or maybe in an alcove at a ball. Someplace private, but with the risk of being seen to up the tension. LOL


    • Elizabeth Michels March 20, 2014 at 6:29 am #

      Marcy, the alcove off of the ballroom is my favorite kiss setting too! There’s an element of excitement added with a ballroom full of people nearby as well as a sense of urgency because alone time there won’t last long. It makes for a great scene! Who knew there were so many alcoves in homes in the 1800s? LOL

  6. Virginia Campbell March 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    I love the story line for “DESPERATELY SEEKING SUZANNA”. Who hasn’t thought of being someone else, at least long enough to do something delightfully decadent and daring?

    A garden is a splendid location for a first kiss–preferably a stolen kiss–one as heady as the fragrances from the cloaking blooms surrounding that passionate embrace.

  7. Maureen March 23, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    I like a setting with privacy like a library.

  8. Jeanne Miro March 23, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Elizabeth!

    I loved reading Must Love Dukes and loved your excerpt from Desperately Seeking Suzanna! Before I answer your question I was wondering when How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less for the Kindle version will be available for pre-order because I saw that your “book” version is available to order now for release on July 1st but didn’t see it available for my Kindle?

    I love to have the first kiss scene in a story when the “hero” manages to find the “heroine” in an unexpected place – like coming upon her in a room where she went to get away from the crowded ballroom or in a situation where while out walking in the garden finds a kitten that has escaped rom the barn – otherwise somewhere that she would have not expected to be “caught-out” by trying to hide!

  9. Joanna Moreno March 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    I’d have to say the setting is not that relevant to me but I wholeheartedly agree that the characters must have earned that priceless first kiss. It’s kind of a bummer when the kiss happens in the firs few pages. I’m not saying it’s bad but almost always I want them to be in some kind of special understanding before the kiss happens. Thanks for the excerpt!

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