Thursday, May 8, 2014

If You Were Single, Would You Look up an Old Love?

By: Marilyn Kelly

Giveaway Alert!

First of all, thank you for hosting me. I see many names I recognize well on your list of authors and I am honored to be among you.

If You Were Single, Would You Look up an Old Love?

In my contemporary romantic fiction, All the Boys I Ever Kissed, the heroine is a widowed travel writer looking for a new husband. She’s struck out online and with blind dates, so her sister suggests she looked to her old boyfriends for inspiration. Lana makes a list of all the boys she ever kissed, and she finds several worth contacting. She’s an ambassador’s daughter, so she has a Washington DC firefighter, an Argentine millionaire and an English baron on her list. If you made a list of all the boys you ever kissed, would there be anyone on there you would consider dating if you were single?

I posted this question on my Facebook page and was surprised that the majority of women said “no way”. Clearly I have fonder memories of my old boyfriends than most women. I’ve been trying to understand why. Maybe because I lived in three countries, so I have a variety of guys to choose from. I’m also an extrovert and had no problem meeting boys. In fact, the night I met my handsome husband at a party, he was leaving. He’d asked a friend about me, so I knew he was interested, and I boldly offered to walk him home. That was my freshman year of college; we’ve been together ever since.

Because I’ve been with my husband since I was nineteen, most of the boys I’d kissed were boys, not men. A lot less testosterone involved. Since I moved around a lot, there were no lingering breakups. Moving wasn’t an option and I have a close-knit family, so I made the best of each situation. 

The first kiss I remember was fourth grade, soft, thrilling, and brief. I haven’t spoken to the boy since we moved a few years later, but I have a sweet memory of him. If I were single, I would definitely try to find him online. I hope he’s happily married with a large family, and we could have a pleasant, platonic conversation as old school friends. But if he was single, and I was single, I would be more interested in him than I would a random man. Wouldn’t you?
Of course, I didn’t fall in love with every boy I kissed, but they all had potential. One or two turned out to be jerks, but most of them were good guys. In a different time or place, who knows? There are many steps to attraction before kissing, so those boys passed that test. My dearest hope is that my husband and I will pass away old and gray days apart, but I thank every boy I ever had a crush on for making my life richer. 

While writing this steamy romance, I fell in love with the three male protagonists, and I wrote three different endings. I still couldn’t choose a favorite, and since I planned to publish this myself, I decided to keep all three endings and let the readers choose their favorite. This is my only first-person novel and I missed the man’s point of view, so I wrote The Men Tell All Q&A. Essentially, I deconstructed a novel and put it back together differently than anything I’ve experienced. What do you think of the concept of choosing your own ending?

Do you remember your first kiss? Can you describe the experience in three words? One commenter will win an e-copy of my contemporary novel All the Boys I Ever Kissed.

All the Boys I Ever Kissed Buy Link: 
You can find me around the web:

Pinterest  (come see my storyboards for All the Boys I Ever Kissed)

All the Boys I Ever Kissed – A Choose Your Own Ending Novel blurb.

Lana Patterson wants a husband, but she's striking out online and with blind dates. Her sister suggests she look to her past to find her future, and Lana starts contacting old boyfriends. She's been practically housebound since her husband died, so she starts local, in Washington DC. 

Captain CPR is Chippendale firefighter hot, but other than his incredible body and compatible sense of humor, Lana doesn't find him the ideal bedmate or potential husband. Pierce Abrams runs into burning buildings for a living, and she wants a husband who will be there to walk her daughter down the aisle.

Lana grew up as a Foreign Service child and is now a travel writer. Her sister and daughter insist she hit the road, so Argentina and England are her next stops. The first boy she ever kissed is athletic, adventurous, intelligent, wealthy, and the most amazing Latin lover. Unfortunately, polyamorous Sergio Salazar has a closet full of girlfriends that he claims he's willing to give up. Lana has her doubts.

Her high school boyfriend has more potential, since his current girlfriend is on the wane. Duncan Claymore is a baron with a castle, and oh so tempting, even introducing Lana and family to the Duchess of Cambridge. It would be a fantasy life, but his conniving sister threatens to derail their renewed love affair.

Three amazing men are all having adventures of their own. Which one will capture Lana's heart? The reader gets to choose!

Marilyn Kelly bio:

I write super-strong women, which is no surprise. Growing up with five brothers, my theme song was Anything They Can Do, I Can Do Better! I’ve traveled the world, visited over 40 countries and lived in three, earned a Master’s in Microbiology, obtained a patent, and trained thousands of emergency responders internationally. My creative side constantly knocked, and I beaded, faux painted and entertained as a wedding DJ on weekends for years. A few years ago, I started writing sexy historical romances and my college sweetheart husband jumped in, helping me with research and grinning all the way.
My Wanton Widows series, published by Ellora's Cave, is about three accomplished women in Victorian England who are all searching for love, respect, and passion. The first in the series is Sounds of Love about a matchmaking novelist, a scholarly widow and an arrogant earl. 

All the Boys I Ever Kissed (A Choose Your Ending Novel) is my first contemporary romantic women’s fiction. If you like The Bachelorette or Mamma Mia, I hope you'll love this book! 
My goal is to make thousands of readers happy and fulfilled. Please let me know if I've succeeded. If you would like to receive my newsletter and participate in contests, visit my website, or email me at

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 9th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. First kiss in three words: Move your nose? LOL That's probably not what you meant, but I was very nervous and had been overthinking it a lot.

    I wouldn't look up an old love. It didn't end well and I've changed greatly since then. Better to just move forward, not back. (And I'm sure my hubby would be glad to hear this, too. LOL)

    I've never read a book with multiple endings, but it's a fascinating concept and I'd love to try it out. I'm putting your book on my wish list.

    Marcy Shuler

    1. Great answer! You win a copy of the book. I'll send you an email tomorrow with details.

  2. Hmmmm... do I dare admit that a high school friend and I wrote a list of the boys we kissed from high school through to when I got married? The funny thing was when we had several names that were on both our lists!

    1. That is funny. I went to a small school, so we all made the rounds, I think. If the memories are good ones, they are worth smiling about.

  3. somewhat; would rather not

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. That's a cryptic answer - would you rather not have had the first kiss, or look up old boyfriends (or girlfriends)?

  4. First kiss - Unexpected but nice.
    yenastone at aol dot com

  5. I realized I gave away the book early, so will do one more after midnight.

  6. I saw the title of the book and now I have the song To All The Girl I've Love Before by Willy Nelson. I even creating the lyrics for To All the Boys I Ever Kissed (Before). Need to think of something else.

    1. I forgot my email address: kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com.

      I still have that song in my head.


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