Tag Archives: first kiss

First Kiss

23 Aug

The wonderful Amanda Brice is a friend from over at Romance Divas. She’s a lovely lady, a talented writer, Golden Heart alumnae, and just plain fun (she’ll never live down a certain spin-turn-oops in a San Fran Thai resturant. Not only did she write a fun blog about her own first kisses (and who doesn’t love to hear those stories???) but if you go to the bottom, make sure to check out her book trailer for

Do you remember your first kiss?

I so totally do.  Both my first-ever kiss and my first kiss with my husband. Not sure why, but I seem to get urged by others to have that all-important first kiss.

I was 12-going-on-13 when I had my first kiss. I’d been “going out with” Matt (and I put that word in parentheses, because we didn’t really go anywhere) since the junior high Valentine’s Day dance. Mostly we just talked on the phone and sat next to each other at lunch or on the school bus.

Oh, and held hands. I can’t forget that.

Anyway, about a month or so into being boyfriend and girlfriend, our friend John poked his head over the top of the seat on the school bus to ask why he’d never seen us kiss. Of course, a better response than immediately turning a deeper scarlet than the dress I’m wearing today would have been for me to ask why he’d been watching. But that didn’t occur to me at the time.

Instead, my boyfriend Matt said, “We kiss. All the time.” Um, we do?

John said, “Oh yeah?”

So I guess Matt felt the need to live up to his claim, and leaned over and kissed me. Right then and there in front of an entire bus full of 7th and 8th graders.

I wish I could say it was magical, that it left me reeling and I saw hearts and flowers or fireworks or all the clichés. But that would be a lie. To be honest, I don’t remember what I felt. I think I was just so surprised at the time.

Fast forward 12 years. I’d been flirting with Mr. Brice for a few months at that point, after inadvertently spitting red wine on him the very first time I met him (at the Student Bar Association party during law school orientation). We were study buddies for first semester exams, and, well, let’s just say that had we flirted a little less we both probably would’ve had much better grades first semester. (Oops!)

Anyway, I went home to visit my parents over Christmas break, but returned before New Year’s because my old roommate Amy came to visit me. We went to Sedona and the Grand Canyon and all the cool touristy places in Arizona, but on New Year’s Eve we went to the Fiesta Bowl Tostito’s Block Party at Tempe Town Lake to watch the fireworks and enjoy the free Bryan Adams concert.

Yes, I said Bryan Adams.

Anyway, I went with my friend who was visiting, plus one of my law school friends, Alyssa. Oh, and Mr. Brice tagged along. Just before midnight, just after Bryan Adams finished singing “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”, Alyssa started encouraging Mr. Brice to kiss me.

“Kiss her, kiss her, kiss her,” she chanted.

I rolled my eyes. “We’re just friends.

I guess we weren’t really just friends, however, because Mr. Brice listened to Alyssa. And we went on our first official date (a day trip down to Tucson, ending up later that night with yet another kiss – this time in the hot tub) a week later.

We got married two years later.

So both of my most important “first kisses” happened as a result of someone else’s prompting. Weird, huh? Maybe I ought to work that into my books….



Amanda Brice leads a double life. By day, she’s an intellectual property attorney for a large federal government agency in the Washington, DC area. In her spare time (when she’s not wrangling an 8-month-old and a terrorist – I mean a two-year-old), she writes young adult fiction. A two-time Golden Heart finalist, Barnes & Noble called her newest release, Pointe of No Return, a “compelling read from an author you need to know.”


What I Talk About When I Talk About Learning to Kiss

22 Aug

As the Month of Kisses continues and we race on to the Kiss / Kiss-off contest Agency Sister @ValerieFM80 & I are having, I may have sucked another Agency Sister into the mix. I’m excited to welcome Sashi Kaufman to the blog!


I can be as swoony as the next person when reading a great smooching scene. But when I write, I’m more likely to write about a kiss gone awkward than one gone awesome. Maybe it’s my own personal history. Or maybe it’s because I teach middle schoolers and write YA. Regardless, I’m charmed by the awkward factor when lips meet, mesh, slop and slide around for the first time.

Learning to kiss, like anything it seems, is not natural. Everyone has to learn at some point and I’m willing to bet that a majority of people learned to kiss by turning to their good friend (regardless of gender) and saying, wanna try it? That’s how it went for me anyway.

My favorite all time learning to kiss scene is this one.

Watts, the tomboy, asks her best friend Keith, about to head out on his date with the super popular diva Amanda Jones, if he can deliver the kiss that kills. Apologies for the synopsis to those of you that screamed OMG as soon as I even mentioned the scene. Like it needs explaining.

The best part of this scene, is that after she tells him where to put his hands and how to turn his head, it turns into this uber hot -I might really love you- make out scene that you’ve been waiting the whole movie for. In addition to being initially awkward, it’s unexpected, and ultimately supremely sexy. Such was not the case for me in my parents’ basement the summer after freshman year. But that’s why I write. So I can upgrade my own reality with just enough of the truth to make it painful. Not scalded flesh painful; awkwardly painful….and charming, of course.

Sashi Kaufman writes contemporary YA with some kissing and lots of awkwardness. Her debut Go West is due out from Carolrhoda Lab sometime in the next year and she is represented by the amazing Lauren Macleod of the Strothman Agency (Clan MacLeod). You can find more of her wit and embarrassing life stories at www.sashikaufman.wordpress.com;

The Magic of First Kisses

14 Aug

I am amazingly lucky to be able to tell you that not only is Sara Ramsey’s writing super fun, but so is Sara. She’s a lovely person and a talented writer. I’m so glad to have her here kicking off our first week of writers *waves another thanks to last week’s reviewers*) for the Month of Kisses!

Welcome Sara!


Thanks for inviting me to blog, Bria! I must admit, though, that I deeply regret accepting this challenge. Writing a couple’s first kiss scene stresses me out so much that even writing a blog post about first kisses had me panicking and procrastinating all day. How embarrassing is that?

For romances, whether they are traditional romances or YA, that first kiss is crucial — it’s no wonder they give me ulcers. A first kiss is a declaration. It says, in no uncertain terms, that one or both characters recognize some potential between them, some connection that they want to explore. It usually forces the characters to acknowledge that even though there are seemingly insurmountable obstacles standing between them and happiness, they are helpless to control their attraction to each other. It’s a little piece of fantasy for a reader, and it’s fun to imagine being so swept away by someone that you forget everything else — a rare, magical us-against-the-world feeling that so many of my favorite romances seem to capture.

That first kiss has to serve many functions. In a traditional romance (one with a happy ending for the couple, whether it’s YA or adult), it has to get the reader to care about and cheer for the couple. It has to increase the emotional and sexual tension and convince the reader that this is a story they want to follow. It has to entertain. It has to make the reader feel something — perhaps remembering her own first kiss, or dreaming of a first kiss with a perfect partner. And it has to come at exactly the right point in the book — not too early, or the characters look like they’re crazed by instalust, but not too late, or the reader begins to feel ripped off by the author throwing artificial obstacles in to keep the couple apart.

When a first kiss is well written, it shows the reader something beyond just a bit of passion or exploration. It goes deeper than that, into the hearts of these characters, and reveals the first glimpse of the love that might exist for the two of them if they can overcome whatever external obstacles stand in their way. And while the kiss might not be perfect (comedy gold!), or might get interrupted by overbearing guardians, or might lead directly into something more passionate, that first kiss is an opportunity for us as readers to see whether a couple has some spark that will make us follow their love story all the way to the end of the book.

Is it any wonder that I love reading first kisses, but hate writing them? I’m curious to know your opinions — what makes a first kiss work for you? Are there any first kisses that make you stop reading the book? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Sara Ramsey reads too many novels, drinks far too much caffeine, pays excessive attention to fashion, and is inordinately proud of her bad taste in music and movies. Her second book in the Muses of Mayfair trilogy, SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES, came out in April 2012. Sara is currently living the hip Regency writer life in San Francisco, California. You can find her online at http://www.sararamsey.com, or on Twitter at @sara_ramsey.