Cate Lord | The First Date: The Good, the Awkward, and the Deliciously Romantic
August 23, 2011
It seems a long time ago that I was single and dating. That was part of the
fun, though, of writing LUCKY GIRL, my quirky
romantic comedy to be released September 6th by Entangled
Publishing. When writing the book, I mentally slipped on my three-inch heels,
donned my slinky size 6 dress, and sashayed back through memories of when I
lived and studied in England—the good experiences, the awkward, and the
deliciously romantic. Best of all, I got to relive once again my first date
with the man I affectionately call "The Brit," who later became my husband.
The heroine of LUCKY
GIRL, Jessica Devlin, finds herself single at twenty-nine, months before she
was to be married. Heartbroken, she takes an overdue vacation from her job as
beauty editor of Orlando's O Tart magazine and flies to England to be
maid-of-honor in her cousin's wedding. Jess is anxious about the trip, and not
just because her cousin is living the fairy tale romance Jess wanted so badly.
There's also the embarrassing episode that took place two years ago after Jess's
grandfather's funeral; it involved an English pub, too many drinks, and a
handsome Brit who held her in his arms and soothed her while she cried.
Of course, Jess believes there's zero chance of her running into James Bond
gorgeous Nick Mondinello again—but guess who is at the wedding?
Jess firmly believes marketing exec Nick isn't right for her, since he's a
playboy like her dad who left when she was twelve. Determined to enjoy her
single-gal vacation to the fullest, she agrees to a date with one of the
handsome ushers. He isn't exactly her type, but she decides to see how the
first date goes. She hasn't dated in a while and she's nervous. Of all
embarrassing happenings, Nick shows up at the same restaurant where she and her
date are having dinner. As her vacation progresses, fate keeps bringing her and
Nick together when she least expects it. It's almost as though Nick is her Mr.
Right. But he couldn't be. Could he?
I'll never forget my first date with The Brit. Like Jess, I hadn't dated in a
while, was still getting over a prior relationship, and was nervous. The Brit
seemed to be, too. He arrived on my doorstep right on time, though (a point in
his favor; I appreciate men who are punctual) and took me to a trendy pizza
restaurant established in an old building with wooden beams and creaky floors.
The atmosphere was wonderfully romantic, the pizza was delicious, and he never
once commented on my nerves.
I was managing pretty well until I tried to spear a whole black olive on my
pizza with my fork. The olive bounced off my plate, rolled across the table,
dropped onto the floor, and disappeared under a nearby table where another
couple dined. Yikes! I was mortified. But, when I looked at The Brit, he
grinned, and soon, we were both laughing. From that moment on, we were able to
relax and enjoy our evening. More dates with him followed, and from that point
on, the runaway olive became our private little joke. I found the Brit to be
charming, witty, intelligent, kind, and romantic. I fell in love. He and I
celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary this summer. To this day, I
still can't eat black olives without thinking of that first date. :-)
I didn't work that black olive episode into LUCKY
GIRL. That may well
end up in another book. I did, however, use The Brit for inspiration when
creating the character of Nick. I hope readers will enjoy Jess and Nick's story
and see how, thanks to the good, the awkward, and the deliciously romantic, she
ends up being one lucky girl.
Connect with Cate: Facebook | Goodreads | CateLord.com
Find LUCKY GIRL at Amazon & Books On Board
Comment on your own First Date to be entered to win an e-Book copy of LUCKY
68 comments posted.
Re: Cate Lord | The First Date: The Good, the Awkward, and the Deliciously Romantic
My first date was in fourth grade with Danny Perkins. He was quite handsome. He came right on time and we walked up two avenues to the movies together. A sweet date. He even invited me back to his apartment.
(Kathleen Bianchi 4:04am August 23, 2011)
My first date gave me a nickel since Valentine's day was the next day and now after 45 years of marriage he still gives me a nickel on Feb 13th.
(Karen Gervasi 6:51am August 23, 2011)
Not too many first dates to remember, since I married my high school sweetheart. But I've been a klutz most of my life and have managed to embarass myself and him several times!. Looking forward to this book, I love the UK!
(Cate Sparks 7:01am August 23, 2011)
I was 32 when I had my first date, a blind date, with my husband of 49 years. Worth waiting for!!!
(Marjorie Carmony 7:13am August 23, 2011)
Kathleen, Aww! What a wonderful first date. :) Thanks so
much for sharing.
(Cate Lord 8:24am August 23, 2011)
Karen, that's fabulous! Congrats, by the way, on 45 years of
marriage. That's definitely a milestone these days.
(Cate Lord 8:26am August 23, 2011)
Cate (Great name,BTW!), hugs on being a klutz. Don't tell
anyone, but I'm a bit of a klutz too. :)
(Cate Lord 8:28am August 23, 2011)
Marjorie, that blind date was definitely meant to be. Married
49 years? Wow. Congratulations.
(Cate Lord 8:31am August 23, 2011)
my first date was a movie - Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner). fond memories
(Pam Howell 8:35am August 23, 2011)
My first date was to the county fair. I was 13. He was a great date. I don't like heights so he held my hand while we were on the ferris wheel. And then he won me a stuffed animal. It was a great time.
(Dawn Staniszeski 9:01am August 23, 2011)
My first date was the valentine's day dance at the local boys club. My mother had actually hand knitted my sweater and matching knee socks. (Ouch!)
(Stephanie Strausberger 9:05am August 23, 2011)
This sounds like my type of book! Sounds like a fun romp!
(Margay Roberge 9:07am August 23, 2011)
Pam, I loved that movie! I saw it with The Brit. Fond
memories for me, too. :)
(Cate Lord 9:23am August 23, 2011)
Dawn, Aww! Shh, don't tell anyone, but I'm afraid of heights
(Cate Lord 9:24am August 23, 2011)
I'm looking forward to reading Lucky Girl! Too funny about the
black olive incident!
(Wynter Daniels 9:25am August 23, 2011)
Stephanie, sounds like you have a talented mom! :) I admire
anyone who can knit; I'm hopeless at it. Thanks for stopping
(Cate Lord 9:25am August 23, 2011)
Margay, thank you! I'm glad LUCKY GIRL intrigues you! It is
definitely a fun story.
(Cate Lord 9:27am August 23, 2011)
Wynter, my talented friend, it's great to see you here! :)
Yes, the black olive incident was pretty darned funny. I'll
never forget that one. Thanks for commenting. :)
(Cate Lord 9:28am August 23, 2011)
My first date was in third grade to see the movie Rocky. lol
My life of bad dates started then. While we were walking out of the movie the strap on my dress broke. Me and my best friend, who was there and we are still friends, we still crack up every time we talk about it.
(Patti Paonessa 9:30am August 23, 2011)
I loved hearing about your first date! I never liked olives, but now I love them. I guess the taste grows on you after a awhile. That's so great you can associate it with your first date.
Your book sounds awesome! I can't wait to host you on your blog tour!
(Aubrie Dionne 9:40am August 23, 2011)
Just stopped into wave high! Love that you used the Brit for inspi. :) Makes the story that much more special.
(Rachel Firasek 9:41am August 23, 2011)
Eeeks... my first date seems like eons again! I have been married for a while now so didn't have to worry about first dats for a looooong time... my first date was definitely awkward... way too nervous...
(May Pau 9:41am August 23, 2011)
Great post. My first date was too long ago to remember too clearly.
(Wilma Frana 10:27am August 23, 2011)
First date... He picked me up, talked to my father who told him to have me home by 9pm and we went for pizza. I was so nervous and scared that I didn't eat and we went home early. We ended up going steady the whole school year and then broke up when he graduated. I talked to him once about 15 years later and he didn't remember the date or me. I guess I made an impression- ahhhh memories.
(Christine Arcidiacono 10:45am August 23, 2011)
Dating is a distant memory. What I remember most of my first date was my grandfather meeting him in the living room and grilling him with no mercy. I'm surprised he still took me out!
(MaryEllen Hanneman 11:09am August 23, 2011)
Hi Cate. That's a sweet story (both yours and your
character's). Looking forward to reading this. It's right up
my alley. And being from Ireland, I appreciate the travel
(Lucianne Rivers 11:14am August 23, 2011)
My firdt date at 14 was a blind date because my friend fancied his friend but didn't want to go alone. I arrived to find it was a guy i knew from primary school and had disliked because he put a beetle in my bottle of milk and I had drunk part of it! He was very embarrassed and so was I but we ended up having a real laugh about it. I got my own back though. I married his best friend!
(Linda Guest 11:31am August 23, 2011)
Thanks for sharing Cate. I look forward to reading the story.
(Shelly Bustrom 12:56pm August 23, 2011)
Enjoying all of the first date stories... mine was to a school dance in junior high... very awkward...
(Colleen Conklin 1:24pm August 23, 2011)
my was funny i met a guy Danny when i was 16 and during the war era Danny got out of school early to go to Vietnam well he came to meet my family and was standing out side with his uniform on and had roses for me and then Lilly for my mom and dad sad if he that dumb he a keeper he want to take me to the concert wood stock and i could not go but he got me album and had it sign and i still have it
(Desiree Reilly 1:54pm August 23, 2011)
Hardly a first date but when I was 15 with a group of 5 other friends. Nothing exciting, the movie and hanging out.
(Darci Paice 2:24pm August 23, 2011)
Cute first date story!!! :)
Good luck with the new release!!!
(Lisa Kessler 2:36pm August 23, 2011)
I'd be willing to bet my first date wasn't much of a thrill for either myself or whomever it was I was with, since I can't remember anything about it! Can't remember much about my last date, for that matter! Oh, well.
However, if your Brit has a single twin brother that would like to move to Madison, however, ....
Love the black olive story!!
(Lynn Rettig 3:20pm August 23, 2011)
Patti, I can only imagine how embarrassing it must have been
when the strap on your dress broke, especially at that tender
age. Yikes! Thank goodness you can laugh about it now.
(Cate Lord 3:40pm August 23, 2011)
Aubrie, thanks for your kind words and for stopping by! :)
I'm looking forward to visiting your blog on my tour.
(Cate Lord 3:49pm August 23, 2011)
Rachel, I'm waving back atcha, my friend! And yes, Lucky Girl
will always be a special book to me because it's partially
inspired by The Brit.
(Cate Lord 3:58pm August 23, 2011)
May, I think we all were nervous on our first dates. :)
Wilma, thanks for commenting!
Christine, Aww! At least you have those memories of your
MaryEllen, too funny about your grandfather grilling your
(Cate Lord 4:01pm August 23, 2011)
Lucianne, thanks! How neat that you're from Ireland. It's on
my list of places to visit someday. I've heard it's
(Cate Lord 4:02pm August 23, 2011)
Linda, I laughed out loud when I read about the beetle! :)
Thank goodness you didn't swallow it!
Shelly and Colleen, thanks for stopping by today.
Desiree, what a wonderful story! You deserved those roses,
my dear, and I'm so glad you got that signed album.
Darci, sounds like a good first date to me.
(Cate Lord 4:07pm August 23, 2011)
Lisa, thanks for your good wishes. :)
(Cate Lord 4:07pm August 23, 2011)
Lynn, tee hee! The Brit doesn't have a twin brother,
unfortunately, but if he did, I'd gladly send him to Madison.
:) I'd be sure to buy him some black olives, too. ;)
(Cate Lord 4:10pm August 23, 2011)
Lucky me, I've read Lucky Girl and everyone will love Jess and Nick's story!
I can't even remember my first date, yet can say that I look forward to 'date night' with my husband every Saturday night. It's the best night of the week and, believe it or not, always includes pizza with black olives! :)
(Tracy March 5:33pm August 23, 2011)
My now husband stranded me on the Arctic tundra. It was a five hour walk back to civilization. I'd dressed in jeans, boots, a cute shearling coat, and a ski headband, cuz I was on a first date, not an Arctic explorer. By the time we got home I was hypothermic, but I never once complained, trying to be a good date. He'll often reference that experience and asks if I could do that "not complaining" thing again.I tell him to bite me.
(Boone Brux 5:40pm August 23, 2011)
What a sweet story, Cate. If it were me, the pizza probably would have ended up in my lap. Yep, that's how I roll. No wonder no one takes me out in public.
(Shea Berkley 5:44pm August 23, 2011)
Dating is such a four letter word most times. I was almost a spinster of 18 before I had my 1st real date and by then I had joined the Army and my family didn't meet him until we decided to marry one year later. I know, I'm a chicken right?
(Marcelle Cole 5:52pm August 23, 2011)
I'ts been so long I don't remember my first date, but I
remember my first blind date. We went to see the first "Rocky"
movie together and we've been married 35 years.
(Linda Hall 6:02pm August 23, 2011)
The first date with the man I'm with for the last ten years, he was my
nurse when I was sick in the hospital. I had surgery, complications, but
not enough to effect my flirting. I think he was suprised. He was
attracted, but rules are rules, until I signed those papers. More or less
saying well, I'm not a patient any more..he said, so that gave him the go
ahead to ask me out. We did. Right after his shift. Been together since.
(Carla Carlson 6:08pm August 23, 2011)
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We've been married 13 years, but never really had a first date. We sor of fell into the relationship, and I decided he was a keeper. :)
(Jess Macallan 7:27pm August 23, 2011)
I went out on a "first date" again with my Husband, after not seeing him for close to 15 years. Anyway, he decided to take me out to dinner to a nice place before we were going to the movies, and he thought we should have a cocktail. I wasn't planning on it, but I was so nervous, and decided to order a Black Russian, which is what I was drinking at the time. He asked me what was in it, which I told him, and he said he could handle it. When the cocktails came, he took one sip, and asked me how I could drink them, because it's straight liquor!! lol He's had drinks that I couldn't touch, and I was never much of a drinker anyway. To me, the most important part was reconnecting with the person that I always cared about, and sitting across the table from. I was hoping it was the start of something greater than I could imagine, and as it turned out, I was right.
(Peggy Roberson 8:49pm August 23, 2011)
I don't even remember my first date. He must not have made an
(Lisa Garrett 9:07pm August 23, 2011)
Well....it began in an El Paso, TX, apartment parking lot on a scorching high noon while I was trying to wax my car for the first time ever. I heard a voice which startled me so much that I fell onto the pavement from a crouched position. My first view was of questionably white tennies and questionably white sox; he was tall and sweaty perched atop a bike and insisted on assisting me. Then he insisted on taking me to eat; I wanted a burger. I was bored. He collected me later after we'd both cleaned up and took me to the best restaurant in town, then to a movie, then to a hotel rooftop to dance. The next evening, I found an envelope with an original poem and two tickets to the ice capades. Two and one half months later, I married him at the Kensington Registry in London.....and there's a tale for that as well.
(Carla Schuller 9:17pm August 23, 2011)
My first date was with a basketball player who broke my heart. Then dated my cousin.
(Debra Knotts 9:22pm August 23, 2011)
My first date was out to dinner and a movie......and I ended up marrying the guy! :)
(Veronica Jarvis 9:25pm August 23, 2011)
My first date with my now husband, was a platonic one. I offered to take him out to dinner for his 21st birthday. We were both in college, so money was pretty scarce.
We went to a small diner. While there he asked me if I was going to eat my pickle (Yeah real fancy place we went to, huh?). I told him that I was going to and his response was, "None of the other girls I've dated have ever wanted them". I then told him that it was a good thing that we weren't dating, so I didn't have to impress him by lying about wanting my food.
We are celebrating our 24th anniversary in a few months & just saw our youngest off to college last week.
(Monique Santos 9:34pm August 23, 2011)
It was the summer that I turned 14. I dressed in a full skirt with lots of crinlins underneath to make it full for a dance we were going to. He was so nervous that I discovered when I got home that he tied knots it the bottom of my skirt and I didn't even know it. Things got better when I turned 15!
(Rosemary Simm 9:40pm August 23, 2011)
My first date was a trip to a traveling circus that was in town. It was so long ago!!
(MaryAnne Banks 9:40pm August 23, 2011)
Lordy, my first date was nothing to write home about. I was young, starry eyed and stupid. I was just lucky that the guy was a true gentleman!
(Jennifer Beyer 10:18pm August 23, 2011)
Gosh, First Date, it was so long ago I can hardly remember, it was a Friday night at the roller rink. Met him there and I was maybe 13. Big times for us from the little bitty towns. My best friend's uncle drove us all to one of the favorite hang outs. It was 35 miles away in a larger town.
(Lisa Kendall 10:31pm August 23, 2011)
My first 'official' date was Freshman year of Highschool. I went to a boarding academy and our school arranged for us to all see a live play. A friend of a friend asked me out and 9 years later we're getting ready to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary :)
(Kayla Garland 10:44pm August 23, 2011)
My first date was the summer I was 17. We had just moved to Maryland from Ohio. We went to Bob's Big Boy for burgers and root beer.
(CarolJean Guth 10:51pm August 23, 2011)
My first date with my husband was from a personals ad. He answered mine with "how he was caught by my beautiful smile". We met for a drink and reuban sandwiches, and went for a long walk in a cemetary. I still have the 2 pieces of birch tree bark from that walk and we have now been together almost 4 years and married for just over 1 year.
(Debra Simning-Chapman 11:01pm August 23, 2011)
I was 15...he was 19.
we were married for 36 years' faerie tells do come true.
(Doris Stewart 11:30pm August 23, 2011)
I'm still going on first dates so I have lots of material if you run out, Cate. I haven't experienced any olive incidents but since I talk with my hands, I've learned to only drink white wine or there won't be a second date. The book sounds great. Can't wait to read it.
(Cindy Sample 2:38am August 24, 2011)
Thanks so much to everyone who commented! I loved reading
about your first dates. Lots of wonderful stories here. :)
(Cate Lord 9:03am August 24, 2011)
Of course, first dates are awkward since there's so much anticipation and expectations. Mine was with a friend of my brother's and when we stopped dating, he left a black trail on the road from the tires squealing since he was in such a hurry to leave.
(Alyson Widen 5:11pm August 24, 2011)
My first date was a Minnesota Twins baseball game with a lot of people from work.
(Sue Farrell 6:29pm August 24, 2011)
My first date was actually arranged for me by my best friend while we were on a "all girls club" hayride one cool fall evening. The teacher of our school club had arranged for two guys from one of our local colleges to play guitar and sing songs while we rode on the large wagon pulled by horses. It was a fun evening until my friend told me the one guy would be taking me out to the movies the next weekend. I thought she was joking, but found out he wanted to, and I gave in and went. It ended up in a second date going to a winter formal dance at the college. That ended it when he accidentally bumped the round pedestal table of drink over and they all went into my lap. I was totally upset and embarrassed to be in front of 150 people with a stained dress--go to the banquet tables and out to dance that way. He got drunk and acted like a fool, so we left. I told him that was it and he still tried to put moves on me, until I kicked him out of my car and he sadly left. I think he liked me a whole lot more than I liked him!
(Linda Luinstra 4:44pm August 28, 2011)
My first date with my husband of 13 years was at a steakhouse that dancers hung out at. I ran a Swing and Hustle dance club of dancers that met monthly and I wanted to meet someone who at least loved to dance even if he wasn't trained in the type of dancing that I did which was ballroom and swing couples dancing. My hubby and I met on Match.com and we talked such a long time by email and then by phone before we met and I never saw a picture of him before he showed up on my doorstep. He saw a black and white of me just before he came to pick me up or perhaps the day before. He didn't have a scanner and mine was black and white. He was in a suit and looked like the accountant he was with a nice smile and blue eyes. We had dinner and some friends came in an older couple I had known for years.
Before I knew it my Tom had Manny pulling up his pant leg and showing him where he had gotten jungle rot in WWII and had more information out of this couple than I had ever been told. The band started up and I found out that this "accountant" in a suit could dance free style with the best of them. He had learned from his african american basketball buddies while in high school and college. My man tried some things I showed him and when the music was at it's best he would smile and his eyes would just reflect all of the fun he was having. We so enjoyed each other and my friends that night and I have to say, I who never did this, would tell friends forever after taht he came over and he never went home again. He took care of me when my back went out and helped me get dressed, take my pain meds and would drive me to work on his way to his.... He's taken care of me now through eight surgery's and bacterial spinal meningitis and still loves to dance. We don't get to dance much these days but we are dancing through life together and are as happy together now as we were in the beginning maybe more!
(Brenda Rupp 6:57pm August 28, 2011)
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