Saturday, July 15, 2006

Welcome to KISS!
Hi everyone. It's Julie Wilson, the heroine from THE FINE ART OF KISSING. I'm everyone's favorite relationship guru and kissing expert. I took some time out from THE FINE ART OF KISSING the other day to go shopping and guess what? I met the heroine from Catherine Chernow's soon-to-be-released sizzling, fast-paced, contemporary romance - KISS!
Kat Sullivan is the owner and proprietor of this fantastic store called KISS. I stopped by KISS on my way out to Long Island's East End. KISS is right on Main Street in this adorable little town called Summerville. Now, don't tell Brad, my handsome hunk of a hero from THE FINE ART OF KISSING, because, well...what I bought at KISS is really a surprise present for him...
Oh heck, when you get right down to it, it's really a present for the two of us. I say this because Kat's store, KISS, has got all this gorgeous, classy, sexy lingerie - that Kat's designed herself. LOL...I'm sure Brad's going to love seeing me in what I bought at KISS - it's a beautiful, sheer-thong style teddi. I know, I know...a teddi? On me? I have to tell you, I wouldn't have dared to even handle it, let alone try it on, but Kat convinced me. See, Kat's really special - she makes you feel special, too, when you walk into KISS. Her lingerie brings out, well, our secret selves. You're drawn to her and KISS. Her sensual designs make you want to parade before your man and show off all your best assets. Yes, I know what you're saying - I'm the woman who hates my legs, particularly my thighs and you know something? That's just what Brad loves about me!
So...what better way to treat him to me than in the privacy of our own bedroom in that wonderful 'kissing bed' we share. Okay, I've got to hurry now and get home so I can get ready. I want to take a long, relaxing bubble bath, do my hair, spritz on my favorite perfume and slip into that sexy teddi. Oh! I think I'll dim the lights and place a few scented candles around our bedroom. Maybe what I'll do is wait for him in our 'kissing bed.' I'll be wearing that teddi, stretched out on the bed...
My body will beckon him, my arms will welcome him into the sheltering haven of our bed...and our love for each other.
I have Kat and KISS to thank for this night of sensual pleasures with Brad. I'm sure I'll be back at KISS real soon to buy more of Kat Sullivan's wonderful designs. I have to find out what happens when Jared Martin, the King of the Discount Stores, the MegaMart Mogul, meets Kat Sullivan, a small-town girl who designs sexy lingerie. You can read an excerpt from KISS! on . It's a hot excerpt...sizzle!
Julie Wilson

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Hi everyone! It's Julie from THE FINE ART OF KISSING. I'm so excited! We just found out today that THE FINE ART OF KISSING got reviewed at Romance Junkies and guess what we got...

The review will be posted soon on

Sunday, May 14, 2006

We're going to Romantic Times! Hi everyone, it's Julie Wilson, the 'Love Doctor.' I'm the heroine from Catherine Chernow's latest book, THE FINE ART OF KISSING (available from I'm so excited...Catherine has decided to take us to the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention in Daytona, Florida. Oh, I have so much to pack - my sunscreen, bathing suits, sunglasses, flip flops. We're going to have so much fun. We'll be away May 16th through May 22nd. There's going to be parties and mixers and workshops and lots of good things so check out this link for more information If you're going to be in Daytona, Florida, please come and visit Catherine at Club RT. In the meantime, please check out our latest posts and excerpts. Don't forget to leave a comment or two, 'cause Brad and I love to hear from all of our readers. Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there and we'll see you all when we get back. Love, Julie

Friday, May 12, 2006

Brad O'Malley Revealed! Check it out, ladies...Hi it's Julie Wilson from THE FINE ART OF KISSING. LOL...I'm sure by now you've all read Brad's kissing tips. Don't believe a word he says, because I can certainly tell you that he knows how to kiss. All that nonsense about using your tongue, well, you'll all just have to read THE FINE ART OF KISSING (available from and take my kissing advice, not Brad's. In the meantime, I've got a real treat for all of's time to reveal what Brad looks like and I guarantee you'll all be panting, drooling and on fire when you see him. Ready? Click on and check out the 'Handsome Hunks' section on the right side of my home page. My heart's pounding just thinking about it! Happy reading everyone...and may all your kisses be blissfully unhurried.

Monday, May 08, 2006

You know, Julie Wilson, 'the Love Doctor,' thinks she knows everything about kissing. She writes an entire book about it, THE FINE ART OF KISSING, and just like that...she becomes America's darling. A self-made relationship guru. A relationship expert. She's even got her own blog going at Julie's loaded with advice. And everyone's raving about it. They claim her book, THE FINE ART OF KISSING, has turned their lives around.

That's such bull. You know why? I'll tell you why: She says she's kissed a hundred men as research for her book, yet she won't admit to ME that my kiss is the one that set her on fire. Made her crave more. Oh, I know it affected her, even if she won't admit it. I could feel the way her body molded to mine, I felt her tremble.

So, I've got some kissing tips. Yeah, me, Brad O'Malley. The 'King of Truth,' America's most popular talk-show host. Here's the real skinny on kissing, just seven simple rules to follow...

Rule 1 - No Sloppies. Don't lick her. Yeah, that's right. Keep that tongue under control!
Rule 2 - Kiss her in between tonguing her. It's not just about your tongue, it's about your lips, too! You have to let her experience the entire package.
Rule 3 - Don't shove your tongue down her throat. That's a sure-fire way to turn her right off.
Rule 4 - Don't keep your tongue too far back in your mouth. Too little tongue is just as bad as not enough.
Rule 5 - Don't incorporate your teeth. No biting!
Rule 6 - Eyes closed. There's nothing worse than kissing your partner while your partner is staring you down.
Rule 7 - No funky orgy sounds. Just keep it down to low moans, okay?

So there you have it. Seven simple kissing rules, guaranteed to set her aflame in an instant.

Let me know how they work for you.

Brad O'Malley
Available now from

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Julie's not the only one who's all mixed up inside! I am, too. Kissing her sets me on fire, but I'm not going to let her take my show away from me and I'm not going to go along with her latest crazy scheme. Do you know what she plans on doing now? Thanks to my producer, Sam, I've got to participate in this idiotic 'Kissing Challenge' segment the network is so hot to trot for. And Julie thinks that she's going to compare MY kiss to that idiot celebrity, Roberto Conciador. You can find out more about that by getting your copy of THE FINE ART OF KISSING from In the meantime, my creator, Catherine Chernow, has something to share with you. Did you know she's also a columnist for SUITE MAGAZINE SUITE MAGAZINE is an e-zine (on-line magazine). Suite is 'the provacative alternative for the intelligent woman,' and you can read Catherine Chernow's article, 'Speaking of...Seduction,' in the SENSATIONS column. There's a lot to be said for the art of seduction. Of course, I don't need much help in that department, after all, Julie's really not going to kiss that idiot Roberto Conciador, not after the way I've kissed her. I've got this 'seduction' thing all wrapped up. Wait a minute...I see Julie now! She's going into that meeting we're supposed to have with all the network people, and if I know her, she's going to try and push this ridiculous idea she has to kiss that moron Roberto Conciador and compare his kiss to mine. I've got to run, but you check out SUITE MAGAZINE and read Catherine Chernow article 'Speaking of...Seduction,' in the Sensations column.

Brad's driving me crazy! Oh, everyone, including my good friend, Paz Edwards, wants to know if I enjoy his kisses. And then my other friend, Doreen Orsini says if I don't want Brad's kiss, she'll take it. But it's not just about his kiss, Paz & Doreen. It's what his kisses are doing to me inside. I'm all mixed up. My heart tells me one thing and my head tells me another. I just can't figure Brad out. One minute, he's kissing me until I feel it to the tips of my toes and in the next instant, he's tearing my book apart. And he's tearing me apart, too. He must be the most cynical man on the face of the planet. Sigh...but then he has this uncanny ability to catch me off guard. Read this and tell me what you think... ************************************************************************************* Julie removed a steaming mug full of water from the microwave and placed the cup on the counter. She reached up into a cabinet and grabbed a tea bag from a box, then dunked it into the cup, watching the water bubble around it. Maybe the peppermint tea would calm her queasy stomach. She rubbed her forehead to relieve the dull ache building inside her head then spooned some sugar into the mug.
“I didn’t mean to upset you.”
She looked up to see Brad standing at the entrance of the small kitchen off the set. He leaned against the door jam.
“You didn’t,” she sniffed. His face had a tender look, his eyes warm. Julie’s heart tumbled at the sight. Just another one of his tricks, she thought. She had to stay on her guard. “It’s–it’s the air conditioning in the studio, it stings my eyes.” Was he truly capable of compassion or was this just another excuse to grandstand?
He walked in and grabbed a napkin from a dispenser on one of the tables. “I recognize pain when “I recognize pain when I see it. Someone hurt you.”
Julie’s heart slammed from one side of her chest to the other.
Brad moved farther into the small room. He stopped in front of her and angled his head, striking a thoughtful pose. “You know it’s the strangest thing.”
“What?” she whispered.
“I’d like to kill him.”
She swallowed, hard. “Who?” A tear trickled down her face. She turned her head, but not before Brad saw the teardrop and brushed it away with the pad of his thumb. She shivered at his touch. At the same time, a coil of heat unfurled deep within her.
“Him.” Brad pressed the napkin into her hand, grasping her shoulders gently with his hands. “That’s who.”
“Well, you know what they say. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” Julie’s voice wavered. Her lips trembled.
Brad pulled her forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. His lips lingered there for a few seconds then traveled down to her temple and cheek. She shut her eyes as his mouth worked its magic across her cheeks and nose. His breath smelled of mint; felt warm against her face. When his lips settled on hers, he applied gentle pressure. Her mouth opened, like the bud of a flower stretching its petals wide as the sun’s rays shone down on it. Julie took comfort in the feel of his warm mouth closing over hers. He took her face into his hands as he angled his mouth over hers, first one way then another.
She kept telling herself she sought comfort from him, but soon realized she perpetuated another lie as comfort which turned into something more. Something that broke open every wall she had placed around her heart.
When Brad pulled his mouth away from hers, she had to resist the urge to cling to him.
“He was the fool, honey, not you.” With that said he turned on his heel and walked out.
“Damn you, Brad O’Malley,” she whispered as the tears streamed down her cheeks. “Damn you.”

Sunday, April 30, 2006

“This is what a kiss should be. You’re not an Olympic starter, it’s not a rush to the finish line...”

Hi everyone! It's Julie Wilson. I just read a comment a friend of mine posted the other day. Paz Edwards wanted to know if I enjoyed Brad O'Malley's kiss. If you all don't know Paz Edwards, let me introduce her - she's a terrific writer with a book coming soon from Triskelion Publishing:
Jenna returns home from vacation with an unexpected souvenir.
Vacation Souvenir - A May 2006 release from
Triskelion Publishing
Paz Edwards -

So Paz, you want to know if I enjoyed Brad O'Malley's kiss in that bookstore? As long as you promise not to tell Brad, then I'll tell you...

Chapter One

“Please make it out to Sarah – with an ‘h’ on the end, okay?”

Julie Wilson grabbed her run-away bestseller, The Fine Art of Kissing, from the young woman’s outstretched hands. Julie never expected her book to take off the way it did. Now a “relationship guru,” people asked her advice on love constantly.

“Your book’s wonderful, Ms. Wilson.”

“Thank you,” she replied warmly and smiled as she scribbled her name on the inside. The bookstore was crowded that Saturday afternoon; people gathered where Julie sat, eager for an autographed copy of Julie’s book and a chance to meet her. Another young woman leaned over Julie’s table, blushing.

“Your book has changed our lives--our love lives, if you know what I mean,” she said conspiratorially.

“I’ll just bet it did,” came the sound of a deep, male voice from behind the two young women. Julie’s head snapped up. She’d know that voice anywhere! It belonged to Brad O’Malley, the host of America’s leading cable talk show. She received countless calls from his producers ever since her book hit the NY Times bestseller list. Julie knew why they wanted her on the show. Brad O’Malley’s ratings had slipped. She knew if she went on his show he’d subject her to the badgering that his viewing audience loved. Julie thought if Brad O’Malley could make ‘the relationship guru’ squirm, his ratings would skyrocket. Julie’s manager said appearing on ‘O’Malley’s Corner’ would be great publicity for the book, that she could handle Brad. She just didn't’t want that kind of publicity. Julie took The Fine Art of Kissing seriously.

“Now, what is it you say in your book, Ms. Wilson? ‘A kiss should be blissfully unhurried. You don’t want to squander a single moment thinking of anything but the kiss.’”

He quoted verbatim from her book. Brad leaned against the table, one muscled thigh propped lazily against the edge, arms folded casually across his chest but his lips thinned and his face grew taut. When she refused to go on his show for the third time in a row, he had called her himself. She gave him the same answer she gave his producers, a flat out ‘no.’ Brad slipped the Ray Bans from his eyes and glanced over at the young women. Their eyes nearly bugged out when they recognized him. Another look at his stormy face made Julie’s pulse skitter.

“So Julie…”

“That’s ‘Ms. Wilson’ to you,” she snapped.

He grinned at her; a sexy, lopsided smile that made her heart flutter. Brad O’Malley was talented, arrogant, demanding…and exceedingly handsome, much to her chagrin. She did’t like the way her heart skipped when she gazed at his chiseled, golden face and cursed her traitorous hormones.

“Do you practice what you preach?” he asked.

Julie’s chin jutted out defiantly. “Of course.”

“Then let’s see if you’re up to snuff.”

Quick as lightning, Brad pulled her to her feet and began kissing her in the middle of the bookstore.

“This is what a kiss should be. You’re not an Olympic starter, it’s not a rush to the finish line,” he quoted as he placed small, butterfly kisses on the corner of her mouth. “Sensual tulips,” he continued, “they comfort your soul through kissing.” He placed feathery-light kisses along her jaw, ending by her ear then his lips trailed back down. He made a small “O” with his mouth and sucked softly against the super-sensitive underside of her jaw.

She grabbed his shirtfront to keep from collapsing as he retraced his fiery path along her jaw, causing ripples of pleasure to cascade across her back every time his lips touched her skin. “No one is a good kisser by themselves,” Brad whispered, “it requires cooperation and teamwork from both people.” He moved slowly, tracing the fullness of her lips with the tip of his index finger, then treated them like priceless treasures as he explored her upper lip first, then the bottom with gentle pressure from his own, teasing and licking slowly until her mouth opened.

Julie’s hands crept up to his neck to pull his head down further.

“If the eyes are the portals of the soul, then the lips are the portals to the mind,” Julie quoted as she began her own exploration. Her tongue slid over the soft, inside part of his lower lip then she slowly nibbled on it until she felt his body stiffen with desire. He tightened his hold and pulled her closer, as though yearning for more. She didn't’t know in that minute who had outsmarted whom when she finally felt his mouth close over hers. Julie gave herself up to the sweetest, softest kiss she had ever experienced. Its very gentleness stole the breath from her body and made her quiver. The sound of clapping and cheering finally brought her around.

“That’s absolutely, positively, the most romantic kiss I’ve ever seen!”

Julie turned to see one of the young women smiling at her. She quickly broke away from Brad.

“It’s very obvious, Ms. Wilson,” he drawled, “that you know you’re stuff.” Brad then whispered in her ear, “We start taping at two p.m. tomorrow. Be at the studio by noon, so we can go over the notes for your segment.” Julie could only nod as she watched him turn and exit the bookstore.

Read the rest of Chapter One of THE FINE ART OF KISSINGLog onto:Click to join catherinechernowsheartofromanceto read the rest of chapter one of THE FINE ART OF KISSING and to enter my 'April Showers' contest forTHE FINE ART OF KISSING!Details posted on:

Buy THE FINE ART OF KISSING now! Log onto, click on the 'New Releases' page, then click on THE FINE ART OF KISSING.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"You don't want to squander a single second thinking of anything but the kiss..."

Hi...I'm Julie Wilson, America's favorite relationship guru and kissing expert, the 'Love Doctor.' I wrote a book called THE FINE ART OF KISSING. Brad O'Malley is an arrogant, obnoxious, oh....I can't think of enough names to call him! You know what he did? He kissed me...that's right...he walked right up to me during one of my book signings and kissed me. He's angry because I wouldn't appear on his talk show and boost his sagging ratings. See, that's one little fact he probably hasn't told you. He needed ME to give his show, 'O'Malley's Corner,' a ratings boost, but I won't allow him to put me in the 'hot seat.' He's just going to trash my book. So I fixed him! On the very first segment we did together, I told him that I kissed 100 men as research for my book...well, I did...sort of...kind of...oh! Groan! Now what am I going to do? I figured if he could pull that publicity stunt and kiss me at the bookstore in front of the whole world, well, I could say I kissed 100 men, but now, the producers of 'O'Malley's Corner' really want me to do that. Hmmm...if I have to kiss 100 men on Brad's show, I'm going to need to brush up on my kissing. I know! Maybe I'll check out the link to the article on thefineartofkissingblogspot. There's a link there to the top 10 best places to kiss. Wow, do I have a lot of research! So, while I'm pucking up, you check it out, too. 'The Top Ten Spots to Kiss in the United States.' Top 10 Spots to Kiss Let me know which spot YOU think is the best place to be kissed in. Now, back to brushing up on MY kissing skills..................

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Meet Brad O'Malley - The Hero from THE FINE ART OF KISSING

"A kiss should be blissfully unhurried..."
That's what I told Julie Wilson, America's favorite relationship guru and author when I kissed her for the very first time during one of her book signings. You see, Julie Wilson refused to make an appearance on my talk-show, 'O'Malley's Corner.' To tell you the truth, I NEEDED her to come on my show to boost sagging ratings.
Her book, The Fine Art of Kissing, took off like a rocket and people everywhere were clamoring to meet her. But I put my guests in the 'hot seat,' and Julie didn't like that. She claimed I would
trash her book, so she just kept refusing my requests...
Until I kissed her that day in the bookstore. I did it as a publicity stunt, knowing that she couldn't possibly refuse to come on my show after that. Our kiss made the six o'clock news that day. Julie's popularity soared even higher and now, she had to make an appearance. I showed her! I'm the master showman, the best in the business.
There's only one problem: I didn't expect to feel the way I did after I kissed that beautiful, bowshaped mouth of hers. And now I'm hooked...I want more, but I'm not falling for another woman, not after what my ex-wife did to me. And now Julie claims she kissed a hundred men to do research for that book of hers, but I'm not falling for it. In this scene, we're sharing a nice, cozy dinner together, but my mind's definitely NOT on food when Sam, my producer barges in...
"You know, I think I'll join you and order some dinner." Sam slid his chair closer to Julie's chair. "By the way, Brad, I meant to tell you, the network likes that idea we discussed about `the kissing challenge.'" He reached into the breadbasket and popped a piece of bread into his mouth. Then he ordered a beer from a passing waiter.
"Get lost, Sam."
"Is that how you treat your friend…and your producer…your hungry
friend and producer?"
"Did you just say the network likes the idea?
"Yup," Sam answered. "They sure did."
"Which means you went right over my head. After I specifically told you last week that my absolute, final answer on it was an unequivocal no?" Brad's lips thinned. He'd let Sam order dinner all right, then gladly help him choke on it.
Sam took a pull of his beer. "Yup."
"Don't you know any other three-letter answers?"
"Nope," Sam smiled.
Julie looked at Brad. "Would you mind telling me what you're talking about?"
"Nothing," Brad grumbled. "Just a stupid, silly idea."
Sam turned to face her. "A great idea, actually. All based on what you said during that very first interview you had with Brad."
"Something I said? What?"
"When Brad asked you about your research for the book. What you
said about kissing those hundred men."
"Oh, that statement." She bit down on her lower lip. "I forgot about that."
"Well, your viewing audience didn't, that's for sure. I told Brad we're still receiving hundreds of calls and emails about that segment. The network wants us to go ahead and have this `Kissing Challenge' thing."
Her eyes shot to Brad's eyes. "You never told me about this `Kissing Challenge.'"
"I didn't tell you because I don't like the idea-it's stupid."
"Here we go again." She threw both hands up in the air. "You don't like something, so it's stupid."
He aimed his thumb at his chest. "It's my show, honey. I'm in charge."
"Don't call me `honey,'" she huffed. "I told you I don't like it."
What he didn't like was Sam's presence…and his big mouth. Brad was enjoying his delicious dinner, some good jazz and a bonus. He was having a delightfully erotic fantasy about Julie Wilson. If she ever got an inkling of how many times he had played back that mind-
blowing kiss they shared in the bookstore, and the fantasy he was having about her right now, she'd probably walk off the show and sue the pants off him. Tonight he had come close to hauling her out of her chair and right into his lap. Brad wanted to run his hands over those pointy little knees of hers and work his way up her slender thighs. He wanted to kiss her nose and all those freckles sprinkled across it. If he had his way, he'd kiss a hell of a lot more than
that, too.
Now Sam had to bring up that stupid Kissing Challenge thing.
Brad shook his finger at him. "To go over my head the way you did was dirty and underhanded."
"Yup…it was." Sam winked at Julie.
"I swear, if you say `yup' one more time, I'll…"
"How's that gumbo, Julie?" Sam asked her, ignoring Brad.
"Fine," she murmured. "Spicy."
"Waiter!" Sam called over to a young man standing a few feet away from them. "I'll have what she's having." He pointed to Julie's half-filled dish.
Brad looked at it, too, but all he saw were the five giant shrimp and thick, brown gumbo sauce congealing in her plate. His stomach flipped at the sight of it, and at the thought of Julie Wilson kissing five different men each week during one of their segments, an idea he had turned down flat when Sam brought it up every day during the last three weeks. No way was he going to share Julie Wilson's delectable little mouth with his viewing audience. He wanted it all to himself and intended to keep it that way. Although why he wanted her so badly totally baffled him. She was attractive, but she wasn't drop-dead gorgeous like his ex-wife – the kind of woman he usually went for. He glanced at her face. He liked seeing that pretty face sitting across from him twice a week with that small, upturned nose that she stuck straight up in the air when she wanted to make a point… Like she did now. Oh hell, this was getting crazy.
"Don't get too comfortable," he growled at Sam. "You're not staying."
Sam grinned and looked at Julie. "You don't mind if I stay, do you?"
"No," she glanced at Brad. "Of course not."
"See?" Sam looked over at him. "She's nice."
Julie tugged on Sam's sleeve. "He hates that word, you know."
She propped her chin in her palm and nodded towards Brad. Her face bore a triumphant look. Brad felt like kissing her each time she got him back. Why did Julie Wilson continue to fascinate him? She didn't even travel in his professional circles like his latest on- again, off-again love interest, journalist Kristin Daley. Lately, all Kristin seemed to need was an "in" with someone so she could secure an interview. Now every time he looked at her, Brad saw a mirror image of himself in his early years-ambitious and selfish. He recalled that old saying about not liking someone because you saw something in that person that you didn't like in yourself.
"I hope you're enjoying yourself," Brad scowled at her.
"I can make life very difficult for you on our next segment."
"Oh," she waggled her fingers at him. "Like you don't already
do that," she huffed.
He liked those little hand gestures she always used, particularly when she was making a point…and that little huff she always made. Julie didn't seem to need or want a darn thing from him. Brad thought of all those times she had refused to come on his show. Most people wanted to appear on his show because of the publicity, no matter how much he badgered them. But not Julie Wilson. She didn't seem to care. And what baffled him even more was the fact that he truly liked her. It was a first for him…to actually like a woman. He could certainly claim to have loved a few in his lifetime but he could never say that he actually liked them…until Julie.
It scared him. He didn't need to add her to his pile of relationships-gone-sour. She was bright, witty and not afraid of him, a fact that served him, and "O'Malley's Corner," well. That's what this was all about, anyway. His show, and keeping it on the air – his way – not Sam's, and certainly not the network's.
"But everyone loved what she said, Brad. It also lends credibility to your segments, knowing that she researched her book so thoroughly," Sam cut into his thoughts.
Brad didn't want to know how thorough Julie's hot little mouth had been. She had buttoned up tighter than a clam about her own relationships when they were chatting during dinner. Maybe she had done far more than kiss those hundred men. Maybe they sampled her delightful little body. Felt those beautiful, pointy knees; let their hands ride up her thighs. Maybe they even felt those pert breasts of hers, too. This was ridiculous. She couldn't possibly have kissed a
hundred men. It was absurd.
"It's a terrible idea and I'm not going for it," Brad snapped.
"The network is. They love it," Sam said.
Julie tapped Sam on the shoulder. "Would you mind telling me exactly what this idea involves?"
"Of course," Sam smiled at her. "Then maybe you can convince this blockhead here," he aimed his thumb over his shoulder at Brad, "that it's a good one." He cleared his throat. "Your comment about kissing those hundred men sparked a lot of interest with our viewing audience. They'd like to see a sort of, well, demonstration, if you get what I'm saying."
She paled. "Do you mean to tell me, I'm supposed to kiss a hundred men on TV?"
A waiter came by and placed a dish full of steaming gumbo in front of Sam. "Not all at once," Sam answered. "Just a few of them each week."
"What's a few?"
Sam dug into his gumbo. "Four or five. Just enough to demonstrate technique."
Brad threw down his napkin. "This is not the damn Jerry Springer show. We're not making a spectacle out of anyone."
"No spectacle. Just good old-fashioned…kissing." Sam grinned at
Julie. "Think those guys you kissed would be willing to come on the show?"
Seconds went by until Julie answered. "Uh, maybe. I-I don't know."
Sam's face fell. "I just thought…"
She shifted in her chair and sipped some water. "It's just that it was a private, controlled study." Brad leaned back in his chair, balancing it on its two back legs. "What?" He came crashing forward. "What kind of crap is that? Private, controlled, study, my butt."
She sat up straighter. "Just what are you saying?"
"That there were no hundred men. You made it up."
"I did not."
"Did, too."
Sam held up a hand. "Okay now kids, no fighting." He looked at Julie. "Can you get hold of some of those, uh, test subjects?"
"Here's the thing about that." She smoothed her napkin over her lap, fingering the edge. She looked up at Sam and pushed her plate aside then leaned her arms on the table. "It was an anonymous study. I-I can't tell you who those men were that I kissed, because, well, I promised I wouldn't."
"Oh, this is such nonsense." Brad folded his arms across his chest.
She turned towards him. "Why is it so hard for you to believe that I kissed a hundred men?"
"It's impossible." He had a vision of one hundred hunky, half- naked men, like the ones he accused her of having on her book covers, lined up, waiting their turns to plant a kiss on those sweet, bow- shaped lips of hers. Brad broke out into a sweat. He felt it trickle down the back of his shirt.
"Did I say I did it all at once? This study was done over a period of years."
"Yeah? How long?" Brad leaned in, bending his arm over his
right thigh.
She backed up an inch. "Uh…th-three years." Her eyes darted towards the stage where Ravi's sax wailed on a high note.
"See?" He turned to face Sam. "She can't even look me in the face. She's lying. "
Sam frowned at Julie. "Looks mighty honest to me."
She poked Brad in the chest. "You know what your problem is? You think you're the only one who knows how to kiss."
Brad leaned a forearm on the table, his look smug. "Why thank you, Ms. Wilson, care to endorse that publicly?" Julie turned beet red.
Brad grabbed her wrist, tugging her forward. He made his face level with hers, his voice husky. "As I recall, you almost fainted the day I kissed you in the book store."
She stuck her nose in the air. This time, it bumped his. "It was hot in there, that's why."
"Right," he leaned back, releasing his grip on her and crossed his hands over his stomach."Sure." "Are you afraid someone might outdo you? Is that fragile ego of yours really that shaky?"
"That's it! You want kissing? You've got kissing, lady. Bring in a hundred guys…two hundred…I don't care, I'll outshine them all, you'll see." He aimed his index finger at his chest. "I'm the
world's greatest kisser."
It got very, very quiet in Birdland as the other people enjoying Ravi Coltrane's set and Ravi glanced in Brad's direction when he made his big announcement.
"That's the spirit, Brad." Sam clapped him on the back. "I knew you'd go along with this."
Brad knew he had lost his mind. What in hell had he just done?