Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Kiss Gone Wrong by Elisabeth Naughton

Late, but not never! (Someday I will learn how to set the post-ahead feature, I swear I will.)

I've had a lot of fun reading the first kiss posts this month. And I absolutely love reading first kiss scenes in romance novels. They're all so varied. One I have yet to read, however, is the first kiss gone wrong. Be honest, most of our first kisses probably didn't go the way we planned. Take me, for example. I remember my first kiss well. I was in middle school, and I'd had a crush on this boy for months, and he knew it. At one of our school dances he asked me to dance. I was giddy with nerves, super excited. He didn't say a word to me during the whole song and I didn't talk to him either, but when the music died, he kissed me on the cheek. Sounds sweet (and tame), right? Uh, not to me. The moment he kissed me my insides flipped from giddy to revolted and whatever crush I'd had on that boy flew right out the window.

First kisses don't always go the way we planned. But I've yet to read a first kiss scene in a romance novel that wasn't heart-stopping and soul-rocking. The reasons are obvious...one, it's a romance novel, the kisses are supposed to be heart-stopping and soul-rocking. But the other reason is that by the time most women have reached romance heroine age, they've already been kissed...by someone. But what if they hadn't?

In my last book, ENTWINED (book 2 in my Eternal Guardians series), I had a secondary character who had never been kissed. Her name was Isadora and she's the cloistered princess of the land and the one female, by law, who is still a virgin. She has no experience with men, is shy and self conscious, and everyone--including her father the king--thinks she needs a man so that the Council of Elders won't overthrow her rule when the king eventually passes on. Through a series of events, her father betroths her to one of his Guardians, the warriors of the land, and Isadora finds herself about to be married to someone she doesn't like, doesn't really know, and has no desire to get close to.

ENTWINED is really Zander's story--the Guardian Isadora's father has betrothed to--and Isadora is not the heroine of that book, though she plays a large part in the story. But when the two became engaged--even though it was neither's choice--I needed to show that Zander was committed to the union. So after the King makes his announcement, Zander goes to see Isadora in her chamber, and through their conversation, the scene leads to Isadora's first kiss.

Her reaction to her first kiss wasn't the same as my first kiss. Oh, her stomach didn't turn over like mine did, but after 200 yrs of imagining, she wasn't exactly elated by the experience, either. There's no passion, there's no toe-curling, there's not even a spark when their lips meet. And when she looks up at Zander after the fact, she can tell no fireworks went off for him either. I've read lots of "romance writing rules" that say the hero shall not kiss anyone other than the heroine after the heroine shows up in the book, but in this case, this kiss between the hero and someone who is not his heroine--Isadora's first kiss--was important for both Zander's arc and for Isadora's character growth. And Isadora, by the way, is the heroine in book three--TEMPTED--my October release with Sourcebooks, so her character growth is definitely important in the grand scheme of the series.

What about you...was your personal reaction to your first kiss different from what you expected? And have you ever read any first kiss scenes in books that weren't all fireworks and tingles...and maybe could be considered, well, as going wrong instead of right?

I've got two books to give away to two lucky commenters today. One winner will win a copy of MARKED, book one in my Eternal Guardians series, and one will win a copy of ENTWINED, book two. Simply leave me a comment answering the above question.

29 comments:

  1. My first kiss was definitely not what I had dreamed about. I was actually at a party during my first weekend of college. I got a little too tipsy, and don't remember a thing. But my friends loved to tell me all about it, over and over, for the next couple weeks. My second kiss, which I remember, didn't have the fireworks I had dreamed of and expected. But I think that's because that guy ended up coming out of the closet a couple months later. My first semester of college was definitely interesting. :)

    Sara M

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  2. I'd been trying, unsuccessfully, to remember my first kiss, then after reading another post I did remember. It wasn't spectacular other than that it was new. It was a quick peck.

    I love reading about first kisses too. It's so much fun. And I love throwing in things that don't follow the rules. I am really not a fan of rules in writing, so I like the kiss between the two characters who aren't hero and heroine.

    The series sound fabulous, Elizabeth.

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  3. My first kiss far exceeded my expectations;the guy on the other hand, left alot to be desired. And since I'm going on with the idioms, I might as well add, he left me in the lurch. Which I'm glad he did, I found someone better.

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  4. My first kiss was very interesting in that when it first started I thought "what's the big deal"? Then tongue came in to play *snicker* & it seemed to have a mind of it's own...it KNEW what to do, & it was FUN! I remember he asked me "Where did you learn to kiss like that"?

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  5. My first kiss was not what I had hoped for, but the person I was kissing was the man for me. And over time, his kiss developed into something wonderful and as we got to know each other well, electricity sparked, too.

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  6. Loved the post, Elisabeth. I have a scene in Love Drunk Cowboy that doesn't go so well...imagine getting a charlie horse in your leg right before the big moment!
    My first kisses? I remember a dry kiss on the lips and wondering, "Why is Momma so afraid this will produce something that'll get me in trouble?"
    Later on I got a real kiss and knew exactly what Momma was afraid of!

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  7. My real first kiss was pretty spectactular. I was about 15 or 16 and boy was he a kisser. He is still a friend and married one of my girl friends. I met my "hubby" when I was 17 and he was a great kisser also and I knew he was the one for me.

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  8. Hello Elisabeth!
    My first kiss wasn't anything to write home about. I just remember that he had been drinking beer. I hate the taste of beer so I wasn't thrilled. I didn't date him for very long. LOL

    I would love to win Entwined because I have Marked on my TBR shelf!

    StacieDM

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  9. My first real kiss was not that special. It wasn't with someone that I really wanted to be kissing. I was just a kid being stupid. My first real kiss with my current boyfriend was great though. It was nice and sweet.

    iqb99@yahoo.com

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  10. I thought it was gross. It was wet and sloppy - nothing like I read about.
    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. In a word, it was...slobbery. I was a bit grossed out, to be honest. But he was more experienced than I, so I just went with it and hoped that it would get better. Not exactly the stars and fireworks I was hoping for!

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  12. is it sad that i dont even remember my first kiss or the guy i kissed? all i remember was that it was a quick peck.

    quimbayai@hotmail.com

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  13. My first kiss...definitely not what I expected thats for sure. It wasn't awful because there was emotion behind it but not the zinger you'd expect for Love to be in the picture.

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  14. Sarah M - oh man, your story definitely qualifies as going wrong instead of going right! And wow, what a first semester! LOL Hopefully things have taken a turn for the better for you!

    Anita - yeah for rule breakers! ;) Thanks so much.

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  15. Witchy Woman (love the name) - so glad things turned out for the best!

    CL - LOL about the tongue coming into play. My first real kiss was like that. *What the heck was that?* LOL. Nice to know your tongue got kudos for it's "instinct:.

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  16. Lil - how sweet! Proof that practice makes perfect.

    Carolyn - love the charlie horse scene! And LOl about wondering what the big deal was. I thought that too...then figured out for myself.

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  17. Judy - too funny about your first kiss marrying your friend. Glad you found someone who kisses just as well (hopefully better).

    Stacie - LOL. Funny how what the other is eating or drinking prior to a kiss lingers with you. I hope you enjoy the Eternal Guardians Series!

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  18. Danielle - obviously the kiss with the current boyfriend must have been good if you're still with him. :)

    Victoria - LOL. That's the same thing I thought the first time I experienced a "real" kiss. (not the jr. high dance peck)

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  19. Julie - one must ask...after that, did it get better?

    Stephanie - hoping the second kiss was better.

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  20. Your two books just got moved to the top of my TBR pile! they look great. My first kiss was very similar to yours. A whole lotta...ewww.

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  21. My first kiss was with the best friend of the guy I actually liked. It was pretty icky. And wet. Not a good wet. More of a slimy wet. And thus I learned (in 5th grade) to never go out with a guy because you're actually interested in his friend. It never works out.

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  22. First was about 7 yrs old, unexpected from a boy I was friends with. Was sweet, what's not to like at that age, lol.

    Have all your books, Elisabeth, so don't enter me.

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  23. This sounds like an amazing book, I want it!

    My first kiss was a dare kiss while playing on the bus in 4th grade. I was the one being kissed on the check, you see I had this standard to uphold of the sporty slightly tough girl not to mess with. So I did the whole gross, press up against the window and threaten to kick him where it hurts. So I kinda liked it but I didn't want to admit it at all. We "dated" for about 2 weeks and didn't even talk at all in that time span. Kids...never make since at that the young age, still getting over that boys are gross stage.

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  24. I have been boy crazy since the day I was born hehehehe, my first kiss was in kindergarten and yes my teacher was mortified and I remember being in big trouble. I just had to kiss this boy Seth, so I dragged him to the back of the room and basically grabbed him by the shirt and smashed my lips to his. My first real real kiss was some years later in 5th grade I think, I'd had enough of pecking and hand holding and shoved my tounge in my boyfriends mouth when we kissed goodbye. When we pulled apart I think my first words were "Oh gross!!" That started my real kissing and from that point on kissing was sloppy. In 8th grade I dated a boy who was a year younger but oh so hot. I was a little nervous about him being younger, face it, it's a big deal in middle school LOL, but the first time we kissed everything clicked and the first time ever where everything fell into place and the kiss was amazing. We only dated for a week, I eventually gave into the pressure of dating a younger guy and couldn't take the snickers from friends. (kids are mean) Broke his heart and he was really upset, but he had the last laugh, the turd turned out to be insanely built and gorgeous and to this day I still refer to him as the best kisser I have ever had. Ssshh, don't tell my husband LOL

    june111(at)att(dot)net

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  25. I was oh so innocent for my first kiss - it was kind of an arranged thing on a school camp and I was "assigned" to the only other boy around my age - blyergh. I didn't think much of the whole tongue thing either.

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  26. My first guess was a friendly peck under water. First "romantic" kiss... at age 13 I was too scared to like it. I waited a few years for the next one but to be honest I don't really remember any details.
    When I finally met my Hubby - our first kiss zinged very nicely!

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  27. I'm reading a book now where the heroine kisses the man that she thinks is her true love. She's loved him since she first laid eyes on him, but the kiss was flat. Nothing that she had dreamed of. Then in steps a stranger who kisses her and makes her forget everything.

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  28. Oh, I still remember my first real kiss which was over 40 years ago. I married the guy so I have no kisses gone wrong to report lol. I can't think of any stories where it was a kiss gone wrong off hand but I think it would be interesting lol.

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  29. Neat way to approach the first kiss, Elisabeth. Thanks for sharing!

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