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All About Kissing - Excerpt from 'A Code of Love'

Excerpt from A Code of Love

Gus pounced as Henrietta rose from her knees, the task of weeding the flower beds complete. Henrietta teetered but the impact of the four-stone Labrador couldn’t be stopped. She fell backward on her heels, giving Gus the perfect position to lick her face. His wet kiss landed squarely on her lips and was followed by a full frontal assault. Her shrieks encouraged Gus to intensify his slobbery affection.

“Gus, you kiss better than the gentlemen of the ton.” She stood, brushing the paw marks from her pale yellow muslin dress.

“You never told me that you kissed a lot of men.” Edward came down the steps. Her younger brother never appeared to be listening, but it was like him to hear her slightly risqué comment.

“I was joking, and a gentleman would never ask a lady whom she has been kissing.”

“Why were Michael and his friends laughing about Lady Hawksley’s lips?” Edward asked.

Henrietta was going to wring their older brother’s neck for being indiscreet about the voracious widow in front of Edward. “I’ll let Michael explain what he and his friends were discussing.”

“I knew you weren’t going to tell me anything. Michael is in France and isn’t going to be home for at least four or five years.”

With his round baby cheeks and the golden Harcourt hair, Edward looked like a cherub in a Raphael painting. Leaning over, she tousled his hair. “I’m sure Michael will be home before you’re twelve years old and will answer all your questions.”

She had definite plans for educating Edward on the relationship between women and men, to shatter the male balderdash that women needed to be protected and thus excluded from the workings of the real world. With Michael’s departure to France for intelligence work, the management of the entire household fell on her shoulders.

Edward chased Gus over the grass and behind a tree. The dog came then waited for Edward to give chase again. The boy and dog ran circles around the giant oak.

Watching their enthusiastic play, she felt a deep longing for something she couldn’t identify. When Edward and Gus came to a halt near her, she hugged her younger brother. “I’ll tell you about kissing. It’s delightful when you’re kissing someone you care about, like your younger brother or your dog.”

“Hen, I’m not talking about that kind of kissing.” Edward, appearing to have no interest in the conversation, drew away and threw a stick to Gus.

“Kissing between women and men is exactly like kissing between families, a sign of mutual affection between people who care about and respect each other.” She shook her gardening gloves, carefully choosing her words. “Women want to know men respect them for their minds, their wit, who they really are, before they share their affection.”

Why was she thinking of a man whose kisses wouldn’t be the least respectful?

New Year Resolutions for Readers and Writers

Happy New Year! Are you ready for a new start? I know I am. The New Year always brings a sense of optimism. There’s something both healing and invigorating about a clean slate ~ putting the past to rest and facing unlimited potential.

Do you make New Year resolutions? Even if you don’t, here are some ideas for achieving your reading and/or writing goals.

Resolutions for Readers

Share your love of reading. Donate or volunteer with literacy organizations, your local library, student tutoring programs, schools or organizations that support at-risk youth. You can donate time, books or financial support.

Try a book in a different genre than you usually read.

Send fan mail to a favorite author.

Keep a reading log. Write down the titles you read and rate them (1 star being the worst/didn’t finish to 5 stars, the best). Make a note about which books you’d like to re-read or which books were especially meaningful.

Visit and explore your local library.

Resolutions for Writers

Make time to write every day (start with 15 minutes).

Document your daily word count.

Learn more about the business of writing.

Try writing in a new genre, even if it’s “just for fun.”

Every month, read a new book about the craft of writing.

Share your knowledge and experience. Mentor a new writer, give a workshop, speak at a conference.

Connect with other writers.

What are your writing or reading goals for 2018?

Regency Naming Conventions

During the Regency, it was typical to recycle names, especially if you were in a high class family. Due to this, you find a lot of Elizabeth, Anne, John, and William floating through Regency history, and not a lot of variety.

Do you have a common name that runs in your family?

Regency Architecture

Columns, arches, and ironwork were some of the common themes in Regency homes.

What style of home do you love?

Pink or blue? How about white!

Pink for girls and blue for boys? Not during the Regency. All children were typically swaddled in white as babies, and as they grew up wore mostly white clothing, boys and girls alike!