Thursday, March 11, 2021

Today's Special - - Ten First Dates with Abigail Sharpe

I'm pleased to welcome contemporary romance author, Abigail Sharpe to the blog today. Her books are comfort reads for me, filled with charm, humor, and feel-good, happy endings, so when I found out she was part of a new anthology, I knew I'd want to check it out. Abby graciously agreed to stop by to tell us a bit about the anthology and share a few of the anthology authors' real-life, first-date stories.  

Welcome, Abby!


Thank you, PJ, for inviting me to post today!

Pop quiz – what do all readers of The Romance Dish have in common?

Answer: We love our romance novels!

I was a romance reader long before I became a writer. And books that had more than one story?  Romance reading gold. Fewer trips to the bookstore!

That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to participate in Ten First Dates, an anthology of TEN (shocking, right?) full-length romance novels that will hit your funny bone and introduce you to some great authors.  I’m proud to be among them.

And just to tie into the theme, some of these wonderful writers and I decided to share real-life first date stories, some of them even with the happy ending!

I’m Abby (Abigail Sharpe) (, and I write passionate and playful contemporary romance. Moonshine and Magnolias is my story in Ten First Dates.

It was the end of this particular first date, and we were nearing The First Kiss. Slowly he leaned in....slowly I joined him... and then we were kissing.  And he somehow sucked my lips into his mouth. I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't tell him I couldn't breathe, because he had my mouth hoovered.  I finally freed myself, and there was a thin line of saliva connecting our lips, grossing me out so completely that if not being able to breath hadn't warranted a second date, that would have definitely killed the deal. 

I still get grossed out thinking about it.

Karen Grey ( goes old school, inviting us to escape back in time with her retro romcoms.  Her contribution to Ten First Dates is What I’m Looking For, and her first date incident led to one of those You’re Going Into My Novel moments. 

There's what I call a "juggler incident" in What I'm Looking For. It's one of those events that probably seems unrealistic, but it's based on a real (accidental) first date I had. I met a guy in Harvard Square and we ended up bonding when we were aggressively berated by a street performer. He and I ended up going the "just friends" route after only a couple of dates, but in a roundabout way, meeting him was just the first in a series of steps that led me to my husband of 20+ years, so I'm very happy things turned out the way they did!

Mary Frame ( writes quirky romantic reads, and added Imperfect Chemistry to Ten First Dates. 

I wish I could tell you a funny anecdotal first date story, but I don't know if I have one! I've been with my husband for almost twenty years, and I think I may have repressed everyone prior to him. There were a few, but they were pretty unmemorable (clearly).  The first date with my now husband, was just dinner and drinks. I tried to get him to come into my apartment with me after, and he wanted to wait. He was playing hard to get, but I nabbed him in the end ;)  

Yay for happily ever afters!


Jill Brashear ( writes whole-hearted romance and contributed Love, Lacey Donovan to Ten First Dates. Her first date story is definitely NOT romance novel-hero material!

My early years of college included a lot of first dates that went nowhere. One of the most memorable ones was with a sexy older guy who often ate lunch at the bar where I worked. When he asked me out, I was flustered and flattered. All the girls I worked with thought he was a hunk, but he’d singled me out. I was ecstatic, and then apprehensive when my date took me to a lonely road near the airport to “watch the planes land.”

He’d brought a bottle of red wine and some sandwiches, so maybe it was kinda sweet. Maybe he wasn’t a creep. I wasn’t old enough to drink, so I guess it made sense that he hadn’t taken me out to dinner or a bar. 

Things were going okay until I spilled a little wine. He reached over me to grab a napkin from the glove box, and a photograph fell out into my lap. I picked it up and managed to catch a glimpse before he ripped it out of my hand.

“Who’s that?” I asked. The photo had featured my hunky date with a woman and a blonde-headed toddler. “Your sister? Nephew?”

He cleared his throat awkwardly and admitted, “That’s my wife.”

Sarah Peis ( is the mastermind behind our anthology (thank you, Sarah!), and wrote Some Call it Love.  She laughs, flirts and swoons her way to a happily ever after.

I was on a first date with a guy I'd met through a friend of a friend and things were going well. As we were saying goodnight, he leans in and instead of the expected smooch, he tells me that he likes me, but we'd have to keep it quiet that we're seeing each other because he has a girlfriend. I don't know what I was more shocked about, the fact he just told me straight out or that he went on a date with someone even though he had a girlfriend.

This is where I’d invite you to share your first date story for a chance to win a copy of Ten First Dates, but guess what?  Everyone’s a winner, because it’s FREE!  But I’d still love to hear your story. Romance authors are always looking for new sources of inspiration for our next anthology.



Meet the sassy ladies and their hunky heroes in this free romantic comedy anthology.

Whether you’re in the mood for enemies to lovers, second chances, small town romance, billionaires, strong females or opposites attract, we’ve got you covered.

All novels are full-length standalones and first in a series. This anthology will be available for a limited time only.

Go on ten first dates with these laugh-out-loud romantic comedies:
Loved You Once by Claudia Burgoa
What I’m Looking For by Karen Grey
Love Under Construction by M.C. Cerny
Mixed Signals by Mia Heintzelman
On The Rox by Kat Addams
Moonshine and Magnolias by Abigail Sharpe
Too Tempting by Bethany Lopez
Love, Lacey Donovan by Jill Brashear
Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame
Some Call It Love by Sarah Peis

Download Ten First Dates:


Barnes & Noble

Apple Books


  1. Sounds very good. My 1st date was a mess, my older brother would not let us alone for 10 minutes we were sitting out on the porch having lunch that my boy friend brought for us and every 5 to 8 minutes my older brother kept coming out there saying ok what's up with you too??? he was such a pain in the back side.

    1. My sister did that to me - and she usually didn't pay attention to me at all! (And vice-versa.) Was REALLY annoying!

  2. This does sound like a fun anthology. Thanks for all the introductions to fun stories.

    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

  3. The first date that stands out for me was a blind date I was talked into when I was about 20. He was a hometown friend of my friend's boyfriend, coming to town for the weekend, and I finally caved to her relentless begging to double date with them. What her boyfriend neglected to mention was the fact that his friend was just home from a year in Vietnam and looking for a good time. My last view as I exited the party we went to was my half-clothed "date" dirty dancing on a table with some girl he met at the party. Needless to say, there was no second date! LOL!

    1. Oh, no! I bet that's the last time you trusted that friend to set you up!

  4. Thank you!

    First date with my now-husband was perfect.


    1. My now-husband made me the worst, driest tuna salad I'd ever had in my LIFE. And his mom is such a good cook!

  5. I was soooo nervous. He took me bowling, I'd never bowled. When I released the ball, it went backwards, all the way past where people were sitting. I wanted to fall in a hole. But we laughed and actually had a good time.

  6. Thanks to you all for the book.
    I can't think of any first date stories. I didn't really date in college or high school. I don't think my husband and I ever really dated. The only Dress Up and Go Out to Dinner date we had was the night we got engaged. We've been married almost 49 years, so I guess "dates" aren't really necessary.

    1. I bet you knew something was up when you all dressed up to go out!