The Power of First Loves

Welcome to the latest stop on the Blog Tour De Force!

First off a huge thank you to all my FABULOUS sponsors (see the big long list of pretty logos in the sidebar?).  Be sure to visit them for other great recommendations for indie reads!

I am a sucker for first love gets a second chance stories.  Or just first love stories, period.  There is absolutely nothing like that very first heady trip off the cliff–even if you wind up with someone totally different.  That first one will shape you.

I suppose this is a thing for me because my first love so often pops into my mind as I’m writing romance.  Especially now as I’m up to my eyeballs in teen romance with my current project, Red. It’s really handy to be able to conjure up what it felt like to be eighteen and in love for the first time.  I was convinced he was The One.  Of course he wasn’t, and I’m delighted with my hubby, and First Love is happily married to his wife, but I’ll be forever grateful to him for giving me that experience to draw from to add some reality to my fiction, because young or first love is so often very different from forever love.

Take Rachel for example (she was yesterday’s stop on the Tour).  In the midst of her fantastically hilarious Best of Rachel In The OC (which is a must read with a bottle of good wine and some chocolate, and a box of tissues because you will laugh so hard, you’ll cry), Rachel gives us a heartwrenching view into her first serious relationship.  The humor of the rest of the book is really enhanced by the counterpoint of the serious issues raised by her first love.  He was possessive.  Violent.  And he helped to make her the rock-solid, fiercely-strong chick we know and love.  She came out of the crucible of that experience stronger and better able to appreciate the solid relationship she has with her hubby

In my own debut, Forsaken By Shadow, Embry is absolutely shaped by her love for Gage–and by her belief for all those years that she’d killed him.  Without that experience, without having had him in her life, would she have ever become the controlled, kick-ass IED agent that was needed to help rescue her father from Fort Hurley?  And having lost him once, I think she was absolutely more appreciative of getting a second chance in the end–even if she didn’t think she deserved it.

In Pull The Trigger (by tomorrow’s fab hostess Melissa Ecker), the heroine Rebecca Harper gets out of a marriage to a cheating bastard of a man and winds up finding solace–and passion–in the arms of cop Justin Cain, source of a massive crush since fifth grade.  He helps her find herself and gives her the strength to make the decision what she really wants out of life.  With plenty of steam along the way. :wink wink:

What about you?  How did your first love shape you?  Tell us in comments and earn a shot at a free ebook copy of Forsaken By Shadow, a 2011 UFC calendar, and a chance to get a character named after you in my next Mirus book!  For a bonus entry, pop back over to Rachel‘s and tell me what her term is for the truly horrific pants some men wear.  And just for playing, all commenters will receive a FREE COPY of my latest release, Devil’s Eye in the e format of their choice (so please be sure to leave an email address).

43 thoughts on “The Power of First Loves

  1. Hi Kait! The theme of getting a second chance with your first love is a good one, and it resonates with lots of readers. My guess is that after you’ve been married (not to the first love) awhile and had kids, after your body no longer looks svelt and twenty-something, after your job becomes sheer drudgery but you have to hang with it to pay the bills, the theme hits with a “what if” whammy. We fantasize about that road not taken, and how life might have been better (excitement, wealth, etc.) had we made different choices.

    The “second-chance-first-love” theme figures in my first book, Paper Woman, winner of the Patrick D. Smith Literature Award. When my editor and I were discussing my use of the theme, he got tears in his eyes and admitted that he had a first love that he’d never be able to forget, even though she was now happily married to someone else.

    I bet you receive a lot of email from readers who are touched by this theme. Best of luck with the blog tour.

    Suzanne Adair

  2. Without going into details, my first love made me more cautious before getting into another relationship. Absolutely love the man I’m married to now. 🙂

    Forsaken By Shadow is a wonderful book and I look forward to reading Devil’s Eye and Red. 🙂

  3. Hi Kait! I’ve already read both of your books, which were absolutely fantastic page-turners! (I’m an official fan!) Can’t wait until you make sequels out of them…you are making sequels at some point, right? LoL I’m looking forward to reading Red as well.

    It took me three times to get it right when it came to true love (third times a charm, right?) My first true love taught me to stand up for myself, to never back down on something I believe in and I still carry that stubborn spirit with me today.

    Our relationship also taught me that some people and some relationships aren’t healthy for you and you need to recognize these situations and get out of them while you can. Some relationships turn abusive, some even deadly, when people can’t let go. Love doesn’t hurt, plain and simple.

    I’m a believer that there is someone for everyone and you can’t settle because of fear, but that’s just me. I am a hopeless romantic and was fortunate enough to find the love of my life. This was a great blog and a great topic today. I wish you all the success with this blog tour and for your upcoming book.

    1. Yes yes. There will absolutely be more in the Mirus series. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed FBS and DE.

      During the whole dating game, before I met my husband, I often thought to myself that no relationship was ever a loss, so long as you LEARNED something from it–be that about yourself or about relationships. It sounds like you absolutely did that.

  4. I met my first love in High School and he’s now my hubby. Fortunately we’ve grown together and still have the same things in common. We’ve been together for 20 yrs now and have to handsome boys.

    Rachel’s terms for tacky pants is Stupid Pants Syndrome.

    Thanks Kait!


    1. I am always astonished when I meet people who married their high school sweeties. Because it seems like all the boys I went to high school with were total morons! 😀 More power to you!

  5. Well, I guess as far as first loves have gone I am blessed since I am married to my first love. We met in the 9th grade and have been together ever since. This year will be our 15th wedding anniversary but we have been together for 26 years. He is a wonderful man and father. Don’t get me wrong he has quirks that aggravate like any other guy does but I’m happy to have him.

    And for sure he doesn’t have “stupid pants syndrome” he’s too old-fashioned for that! hahaha.

    I’ve loved both of your books, Kait, and can’t wait for “Red” to come out. Oh and I’m voting for you the last day? 😀

  6. How did my first love shape me? Well, I ended up with a love child! 🙂 And my love bailed during my pregnancy. Soooo. I guess I learned that just because they are smokin’ hot and you love them, doesn’t mean they are the best choice for you!

    Stupid Pants Syndrome!


  7. So fun to come over and visit you, babes!

    Love what you wrote about my book (of course…it’s all about me hehe). Kidding aside, the humor is what I’m known for, but it’s the deeper more serious pieces that I really wanted to share with people. I think those bonds can be universal and I hope they reach a place that makes someone stop and think, even for a moment, about their life and what is, and what could have been.

    I loved your book Forsaken. Very happy you’re expanding it. Can’t wait to read it!

  8. My first love? Excluding all the crushes I had from 1st to 4th grade (after that I was pulled out and homeschooled) my first love was someone I met at an anime convention last year. When we got together I had a subtle feeling it wouldn’t last but I allowed myself to give it a try. They lived a few hours from me and everything was fine and dandy. We’d have games where we’d have to take turns answering questions about ourselves that the other asked, and talk about the future… They’d visit me often and we’d be up late talking and joking and trying not to wake anyone else in the house up.
    We promised each other that if we were ever unhappy in our relationship we wouldn’t drag it out and we would tell the other right away. We also promised that it would be in person or, if we were back at our own houses, over the phone. It would never be over the computer or in a text message.
    But one night, they sent me a text saying that we had to talk and I had to get on the computer and when I got on the computer they told me that they were unhappy and had been unhappy for a while… And had to end it because they were going back to their previous lover.
    In one night those two big promises we had made had been broken. That, I think, hurt more than the break up.

    But I learned from the whole thing. I take away knowledge from every experience in my life so I don’t regret anything.

    – Siddy

    P.S. Stupid Pants Syndrome. 😉

  9. Although, I think I am unusual in that my previous relationships qualified more as first lust, not first love, I did learn a lot from being with them. Namely what I didn’t want and that I was worth more and deserved more.
    I finally found my true love and yes life still gets bumpy from time to time, but I know he will always be there.

    dreamsgate at clearwire dot net

  10. First Love stories are so great. I hadn’t even thought about it until I just read your post, but that’s what my current WiP is too.

    My first love taught me that it didn’t have to be forever after (I never thought it would be) to be real love. And that a valued friendship in a relationship goes a long way.


  11. OMG. I heart you! I just happened to see the FBI for writers link on my way up the page. I’ve been needing to do this for a while now, as I get into my 2nd book of my series. I had no idea where to start. Wow. Thank you (even tho you didn’t even know it).

  12. Wow…I really had to break into ‘flashback’ mode on this. My first love– he just made me stronger and taught me what real love was BY NOT truly being the one. hehehe. I learned what to look out for and love myself more through that experience and you’re right Kait, it definitely gives you something REAL for your readers to connect with in your stories. GREAT POST and I LOVE THE HEADER of this website. Congrats on your success and know your best is yet to come!

  13. My first love is my true love. He and I fell deeply in love, and we’ve stuck it out through thick and thin. He’s my best friend, and my protector, and my caretaker, and everything that makes me happy.

  14. Rachel’s word for tacky pants men ware is “stupid Pants Syndrome”. I love your welcome page graphic! I’m going over to read from your book now! Can’t Wait! Good luck on the tour!

  15. Hello dear! *waves*

    How did my first love shape me? Wow… I still get chills and picture myself listening for the sound of his motorcycle. Hoping to hear it and feeling the rush when I did. He was my best friend, hero and a complete unfaithful ass. Oh the things I could have done if I were just a touch more irresponsible. Thankfully my husband came along and saved me from myself.

    1. Now see, I married the one with the motorcyle(s). We aren’t going to talk about the fact that between the two of us there are 5… they’re projects…

        1. Mine definitely not a player…unless you’re talking guitars…now those we have…7 at last count? between the two of us… We totally have space issues.

  16. My first love was just kinda puppy love. We just were in “love” because everyone else thought we were. I did love him, but he wasn’t my soul mate. Still sometimes I’ll sit back and think about what we did and the good times we had. I could never regret my first love no matter how trying he could be. It was a great experience.
    Stupid pant syndrome.
    Great post and your book sound amazing too!

  17. I true first love was and still is my husband now. We met in the 11th grade when he transferred to my school. I did have a couple puppy loves that I thought was the real thing, but goodness I was 15 or 16:)

    Stupid Pants Syndrome (that’s a great name for many boys pants out there).

    Your books look really good!! Can’t wait to read!!


  18. I was reading your article and had to comment. I recently married my first love. What can I say about him? He’s awesome, a pain in the butt, my love, my headache…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to love him, and sometimes want to kill him…lol I should mention that although we were just married, we have been together for 10 years so I have already passed the “newlywed” phase. We have been on the real life stage for quite a while and I think we are doing awesome. That’s one of the reasons I love the romance in Forsaaken By Shadow. It’s not perfect or easy, but love (or anything else worth having) never is. I love every moment I have with him, the good and the bad, cause in the end it brings us closer together *blush*

    Thanks for the awesome book and article Kait!

  19. Ah… first love. My first love was in high school…and he’s been my husband for 25 years now. We were lucky; life hasn’t been perfect, but we’ve always found that it is better together than apart. Now, after 30 years together, 8 children and dealing with growing health problems, I can still see that twinkle in his eye that was there way back when.

    Wish you much success with your book! 🙂

    reikibirth at gmail dot com

  20. Second chances at first loves.. I thoroughly enjoyed FBS and just picked up DE through Amazon, will be reading it this weekend. I like the development and pace of FBS, and found it enjoyable both times through.

    As for me, I am only recently getting my “second chance at first love” after reconnecting with an old friend from high school – the girl I should have dated and didn’t, having been dating her best friend (and she was seeing a friend of mine). We had many fun double-dates back then, but now that we are older and look back, we realize we had been with the wrong people then.

    But now we are together, I’m working on relating back to the hometown area, and I asked her to marry me over the holidays. It might have taken us almost 25 years to be together, but we still have plenty of life and happiness ahead.

    Keep up the great work, Kait 🙂

  21. First love. First love did have a large part in shaping the person that I am now. It’s difficult loosing every last bit of oneself to someone because, ‘we’ are so certain that “they” are our safety net catching our pieces and keeping us grounded.
    It is even more difficult when they drop that precious cargo, our heart, while expecting that we will be equipped to mend and salvage the remains, alone.

    Loyalty, purity, innocence, make LOOSING first love that much MORE devastating.
    These are for, me, the things that I thought would make that first love last, solidify it.
    I never had a plan, or was engaged in some elaborate game. It was what I felt. It was real, complete and deep.

    There’s no use in rehashing the past. What’s done is done; whatever “they” think was done, to “them”, it’s over. True love cannot last without honesty and trust. The judgments and misinterpretations can stay there too, in the past. I will never fight to deserve “HIS” trust, when he had possessed MY trust and so much more, from practically the moment we met.

    First love. What about it? It can be the most beautiful experience or an incredibly destructive force.

  22. Well my first love was a Dud and that made more cautious. I met my husband 0f 22 years on a trip to Australia. He may be a pain at times but I would never give him up!

    Tacky pants me wear- “Stupid Pants Syndrome.”

  23. My first love definitely taught me that I’m valuable and to never thing anything less of myself. You should always be comfortable in your own skin.

    Rachael’s term is Stupid Pants Syndrome or SPS.

    Love the tour!!

  24. Oh to have a second chance with my first love! I learned honesty is not always the best policy when it accomplishes nothing but being hurtful. The blog tour is great!

  25. My first love was a long time ago but I still know him. Was crazy about him but even though I never saw it as a forever thing it hurt terribly when he dumped me. I’m not sure how it shaped me, I’ll need to think on that a bit more. I am a romantic and I love the feeling of being in love.

  26. My first love was in high school. I actually turned him down at first. Then after we became friends I came around. No happy ending on this one, we split and went our separate ways. I guess what I should have learned is that your best loves are usually your friends. Had I actually learned that lesson, it might have spared me a mistake marriage. I did get a beautiful daughter out of the mistake marriage so not all was lost. I did find my best friend and love that I will grow old with.

  27. My first love and I were high school sweethearts. From the moment we saw each other we were drawn to one another. We dated for 2 years and then broke up when I went off to college and then traveled up to Alaska. Nine years ago we reconnected via the internet, life had brought changes, but we still fel the same. Now I’m a step-mom and a wife to someone who knew me as an akward and rebellious teen.

  28. I hadn’t thought of that! Maybe cos my first love was such a fangirlish high school crush that I don’t really draw on it at all, but rather on the first heady emotions I had when I met my husband, especially now that I know what a good thing it’s turned into [g] I think when I’m writing romance, it’s that sort of happy ever after that I draw on, trying to combine the initial rush and passion with a sense of longevity and sweetness. Am I making any sense? I’d like readers to take away a sense of forever when they finish the novel.

  29. I’ve been married 35 years to my first love, so I’ve been truly blessed.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  30. I honestly can’t tell you who my first love was. Because who do you start with? The first little boy you kissed? The first one in eighth grade that broke your heart? The one you dated for three years and thought you would marry? Which one would you say is your first love? I just don’t know. LOL But I do know that my husband is my TRUE love. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Stupid Pants Syndrome. Hahahahaha

  31. My first love was my teddy bear. I got him when I was 5 years old and have him to this day. Unfortunately of all my loves his has been the only constant one. SO Hopefully one day I will find a true love worth the wait.
    Teddy will be 40 in February.

    And the would be the Stupid Pants Syndrome!

    That book is hilarious!

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