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Emotional Beats | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

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Last month, I mentioned the launch of Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings. As promised, here is the first installment from the book. It lists beats you can use to convey desire.


Many of the reactions mentioned in surprise, fear and nervousness may also be present with desire; for example, an increased heart rate; a reddening of the cheeks; talking faster etc. Here are some physical reactions pertaining to desire alone:

  • A low and pleasant hum warmed his blood.
  • Her brain fizzled.
  • She forgot her left from her right.
  • Her thoughts wouldn’t line up. Every time she tried to align one, it tumbled down, scattering the rest.
  • She imagined herself melting, just sliding onto the floor in a puddle of hormones and liquid lust.
  • Thinking about it gave her sharp palpitations.
  • Those feelings took over and turned her mind to mush.
  • The thought turned her mind into a buzzing mess of static.
  • She clasped him to her.
  • Her face lit up.
  • Every hair on his scalp stood to attention, every skin cell tingled, every neuron fired.
  • Warmth spread across his chest.
  • His heart pounded hard as she finally came to a halt before him, inches from his face.
  • …he said, his breath tickling her ear.
  •  …she asked, her voice a bare whisper in the night.
  • With a crooking of her index finger, she beckoned him over.
  • …his body draped all over her.
  • He brushed his hand across her cheek.
  • She tapped a finger on his lips.
  • He grabbed her hand and brought it to his mouth, pressing a soft kiss to her knuckles.
  • She hooked an arm.
  • She gave him the thumbs up.
  • She put her hands on her hips.
  • She rested a hand on his hip.
  • …she said in a husky voice.
  • The heat from his hand burned her skin.
  • Desire burned a hot spot in the pit of her belly until his grin doused her heat.
  • He flung a high-ended wolf whistle at her.
  • His name felt smooth against her tongue, slightly cool. She licked her lips as if savoring its sweetness.


  • She felt the heat of a blush on her cheeks.
  • He felt the heat of shame.
  • Scarlet heat caressed/warmed her cheeks.
  • Her cheeks burned hot scarlet.
  • The boy’s cheeks pinked up a nice deep shade.
  • Her cheeks flushed.
  • Her cheeks went hot with that scarlet burn.
  • A lovely scarlet flush colored her chocolate complexion.
  • Her cheeks flushed warm red.
  • That familiar scarlet heat warmed her cheeks.
  • His cheeks pinked up real nice, like a schoolgirl’s.
  • A warm girlish blush pinked his cheeks. I caught his eye and his pink went full-on scarlet.


  • He stopped abruptly, first looking at the ground, then letting his gaze drift up to her face.
  • He was unable to peel his gaze off the woman.
  • She did a double take as they passed.
  • Her eyes bored into his.
  • He wrenched his gaze away.
  • All eyes shifted straight to her.
  • He sighed, moving his blue gaze to blink up at the ceiling for a few silent moments.
  • His eye caught on a sight that brought him up short.
  • She closed her eyes and summoned a deep breath, holding it in, then looked blindly skyward.
  • She stopped and faced him, holding him by the shoulders as her green eyes bored into his soul.
  • …he said, his eyes rapt on her face.
  • His gaze cut to hers.
  • His gaze whipped to hers.
  • She goggled him.
  • He snapped his gaze away.
  • His sharp gaze landed on her.
  • He angled a glance down at her.
  • He dragged his hawkish gaze.
  • Her eyes caressed him.
  • His gaze cruised her figure.
  • His gaze dipped to her.
  • Her gaze lingered over him.
  • She lowered her eyes.
  • His penetrating gaze probed her face.
  • She perused the sea of faces [in hopes of…]
  • He plugged his eyes back into their sockets.
  • She pried her eyes off him.
  • He studied her with piercing scrutiny.
  • She gave him a subtle wink.
  • She swung her restless gaze.
  • She tracked the man’s gaze.
  • She unglued her eyes from him.
  • Her eyes strayed to his face.
  • He watched until distance obscured her features.
  • His gaze devoured her beauty.
  • His eyes implored.
  • She ignored his appraising glance.
  • She cast him an astute gaze.
  • She ignored his crudely insulting stare.
  • His eyes held her hostage.
  • His magnetic eyes were liquid pools of desire.
  • He noticed the tears pooling in her eyes and he faltered.
  • His gaze penetrated the mist in her eyes.
  • His sharp gaze landed on her.
  • He angled a glance down at her.
  • Her gaze cut sideways.
  • She slid a curious glance.
  • He lifted his head, pinning her with a feral look.
  • His eyes brimmed with warmth.
  • The sparkle in his eyes spelled mischief.
  • Her eyes tripped up on the sharp angles of his face.
  • His dark liquid eyes swore to memorize every part of her.


  • He played with the silky tendrils of her hair.
  • She tossed her head. Her hair whipped wildly, sending droplets of cold water all over the place.
  • She flattened down a tuft of his hair.
  • He reached out a hand to brush a lock of long hair away from her face.

* More beats on hair are available in Fear and Nervousness

Kissing, Hugging, Other Beats

  • Bringing their mouths within the same breathing space…
  • He broke away.
  • He skimmed his lips along the sweep of her cheek.
  • His lips were meshed with hers.
  • His lips entwined with hers.
  • Their lips met.
  • She met his tongue and gave it teasing laps with her own.
  • Her lips were swollen from all the kissing.
  • She sank into his body instantly, the hard planes of his muscles enfolding her.
  • He swung her up into his arms as he slogged his way out of the water.
  • He reached out and bracketed her waist, rubbing the arc of her hip bones with this thumbs.
  • Her collarbone left a pool of shadow in which he buried his mouth.
  • A quick tug put her sitting pretty on his lap.
  • Goosebumps clothed her bare skin.

His lips brushed her ear, raising goose bumps across her skin.

Next week: fear and nervousness. View all posts on the subject, or buy the book on Amazon – free on KU!