In My Words: The Power of a Kiss

“The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial one in any love story.”  ~Emil Ludwig (1881-1948), German author

My debut novel, Wish You Were Here, hangs on the question: Can the wrong kiss lead to Mr. Right?

Within the first 10 pages of the book, there’s an “oh no, we didn’t!” kiss between Allison, the bride-to-be, and Daniel, who just happens to be her fiance’s brother.

Their kiss — a mere moment in time — is enough to upend Allison’s longed for happily ever after. With that one kiss, life as she imagined it ends. The question is: Will Allison be able to find happy ever after again?

Can I be honest with you? When I first condensed Wish You Were Here down to the “Can the wrong kiss lead to Mr. Right?” question, I thought: This is one shallow book.

At the time, I was attending author Susan May Warren’s first ever pitch workshop (now called the Scrimmage). I sat and listened to other writers say what their books were about — and everyone else’s book seemed so much more meaningful than a book about a kiss gone awry.

It took me a while to realize the power of a kiss.

That kiss between Allison and Daniel? It was so much more than an “uh-oh” moment written to create tension or to surprise my readers.

Allison and Daniel’s kiss was a mistake.

I know what it’s like to make mistakes … and to be overwhelmed with “How could I have done that?” thoughts afterward. My faith also tells me that God can bring good out of my mistakes — that he can redeem them. But do I truly believe that? Or do I live like I am the sum total of my mistakes — and nothing more?

That’s the deeper question my characters wrestle with in Wish You Were Here. Yes, it’s an inspirational contemporary romance. Yes, there’s laughter (and llamas). But woven within the romance and the humor and the wrong kiss (and the right ones), there’s the question: Are mistakes irredeemable?

In Your Words: Do you believe there’s power in a kiss? Have you seen God bring good out of your mistakes?





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  1. Jeanne
    June 5, 2012, 6:45 am   /  Reply

    Great post today, as usual. 🙂 Mistakes are not irredeemable. There’s definitely power in a kiss. 🙂 Perhaps that’s partly why my kids turn their cheeks to me for a kiss each morning.

    I have seen God bring good out of mistakes I’ve made, forging depth into the shallow areas of my character. He’s shown me His trustworthy nature and loved me in my darkness. And I’d like to hope He’s created beauty as a result of the goodness He wrought through my mistakes.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      I love the hope in your statement, Jeanne, that God creates beauty as a result of the goodness He weaves through out mistakes.

  2. June 5, 2012, 7:03 am   /  Reply

    Maybe not an accident but a strategy that turned out well–I remember going to a community for a mtg. where I knew no one, though a close friend of mine had just moved away from there. I went to the home of a family I knew were her close friends there and introduced myself. That resulted in excellent lasting friendship. Actually, I might add a similar event to my WIP.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      No, not an accident … but truly, something I didn’t see at first.
      Sometimes symbolism evades the author too.

  3. June 5, 2012, 7:14 am   /  Reply

    You are right and this depth is one reason that I enjoyed Wish You Were Here!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 8:24 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for those encouraging words, Heather!

  4. June 5, 2012, 8:09 am   /  Reply

    Oh yes, there’s power in a kiss. My husband waited until we’d dated for a whole year to kiss me. Talk about anticipation! But he’d said he didn’t want to kiss me until he could say “I love you.” And he didn’t want to say “I love you” until he knew he’d propose to me soon. He proposed a week later.

    I just have always loved how he associated kissing with love. There’s power in that!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 8:24 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Lindsay. What a precious story.
      Thank you for sharing a bit of your true-to-life romance today!

  5. June 5, 2012, 8:11 am   /  Reply

    I agree, Beth, there is tremendous power in a kiss. Especially if it curls your toes! There’s also incredible power in living in God’s redemptive forgiveness when we’ve stepped over the line. And may I say again? I love the fact that your novel has llamas!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      Yes, well, there’s power in llamas too, Donna.
      More of the comedic kind, though.

  6. June 5, 2012, 9:27 am   /  Reply

    Great power in the kiss between Allison and Daniel. All the implications…past and present. Great job, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 9:45 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Pat.
      I believe there was a lot of power driving that kiss between Allison and Daniel … and while it was a mistake — there were reasons it happened too!

  7. June 5, 2012, 9:36 am   /  Reply

    I don’t think mistakes (or kisses) are irredeemable! Jesus has an forgiving love for us and we should share the same forgiving love with those around us!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 9:45 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Margaret. Agreed!

  8. Glenda Fowlow
    June 5, 2012, 12:30 pm   /  Reply

    I’m waiting with hope to see how God redeems my mistakes. And praying for the eyes to capture it!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 5:51 pm   /  Reply

      Having seen God redeem mine, I know he will redeem yours too!
      May hidden blessings be revealed.

  9. Patti Mallett
    June 5, 2012, 7:40 pm   /  Reply

    I find myself sitting here wondering how God came up with the design of a kiss, and what He was thinking. (Every good and perfect thing comes down from the Father of Lights…)

    I think there is a good chance that we are redeemed the instant we mess up, if we belong to Christ. (And also a good chance that we mess up a lot more than we realize.) :<)

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 9:39 pm   /  Reply

      Agreed, Patti, agreed … with everything you said.

  10. June 5, 2012, 8:49 pm   /  Reply

    A kiss is powerful. I appreciate your openness about how you felt when you boiled down the story. It’s not shallow at all. It’s a powerful story and I’m grateful you wrote it. Thankfully, many good things come out of mistakes.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 5, 2012, 9:39 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you for encouraging me, Stacy.
      You do that a lot.

  11. June 6, 2012, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    I absolutely believe in the power of a kiss. Kisses heal. They comfort. They ask questions. They console. They say “I like you a lot,” or even “I love you.” I’ve blogged about “the kiss” before– it’s powerful. It’s the first thing romance readers yearn for between the two characters.

    Your book hooked me with one. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      June 6, 2012, 10:46 am   /  Reply

      I need to go back and read your blog posts on kisses, Jennifer.

  12. June 11, 2012, 4:38 pm   /  Reply

    we’re already forgiven before we’ve ever made the mistakes –
    Christ’s work is already complete – we just need to accept that forgiveness and live in it!
    and also, not to live sin focused! our focus is Christ ~ we’re to live Christ focused ~
    who He is, is to be Who we reflect..
    so if we’re focused on Him, we’re not constantly struggling within.. oh for people to LIVE in the freedom for which Christ has bought and paid! what a revelation to be that image of Christ in our world !

    and yay for kisses~ powerful in many ways .. more than just romance ”)

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