It’s Too Early in the Morning for This: Reading, Writing, and Editing Sex

I also wrote a post for the Just Contemporary Romance blog, where I discuss how I approach sex scenes. (Hint: Carefully. Especially at eight in the morning.) And click over to their blog for a giveaway!


When it comes to romance novels, I’m promiscuous. I have very few nonnegotiable demands, other than an entertaining story, clear consent before sex, and non-abusive behavior from the heroes and heroines. I don’t care whether the book is set in the past, present, or future. It makes no difference to me whether the protagonists are humans, vamps, or aliens. The story can be funny or angst-ridden, lyrically written or brutally efficient in its verbiage. And while I don’t mind novels where the climactic payoff is a simple kiss, I also get a kick out of erotica.

But I understand that many—most?—readers are not like me. They have favorite subgenres and definite opinions about heroes, heroines, preferred mood, and writing style. This is especially true, I think, when it comes to sexual content. I’m happy to read almost anything, but not everyone wants to encounter tumescent body parts every few pages.

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Love in the Stacks

Today, I’m visiting Mary Gramlich’s blog to discuss how I perennially disappoint my mom by not making my heroes baby-toting cowboys who also play professional sports and volunteer for the local firehouse. (Love you, Mom!) Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for my book on her site!

Book with heart

As far as my mother is concerned, all good romances feature cowboys, firefighters, or professional athletes. And if the hero happens to be a hockey-playing rancher who volunteers for the local firehouse—and preferably acquires an infant at some point in the story—all the better.

Unfortunately for her, those stories aren’t my catnip. No, I focus on a slightly different type of hero and heroine: Nerds. Book jockeys. Smart, snarky, and sometimes socially awkward human beings.** Which inevitably results in the following conversation every time I start writing a new book:

Mom: So is your hero a firefighter?
Me: No.
Mom: A cowboy?
Me: Nope.
Mom: A hockey player?
Me: NO.
Mom: Does he play baseball?
Me: For the love of God, NO!
Mom: [pauses] Maybe your next book?
Me: NO, MOM. IT WILL NEVER BE A COWBOY, OKAY?
Mom: So…nerds again?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Huh.

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Librarians: We’re Way Filthier Than You’d Think

I’m visiting Shelley K. Wall’s blog today to talk about librarians! We may seem innocent, but…well, you’ll see.


I am a proud former librarian. I am also the possessor of a potty mouth, a bawdy sense of humor, and an e-reader that should’ve melted long ago because of its smutty contents.

While I worked at the library, the combination of my job and my personality sometimes surprised people. I understood why. In the popular imagination, librarians love silence, propriety, and—above all else—glaring over the tops of their bifocals at troublesome patrons. They don’t swear. They don’t tell dick jokes. And they certainly don’t read sexy books.

Turns out, though, that’s not quite true. If you talk to librarians, you’ll find a wide array of personalities. Some of my favorite coworkers did direct death stares at noisy library visitors, and a few refused to read books with sexual content. Others, however, actually ended up getting shushed by patrons (*coughMEcough*) for speaking too loudly or laughing too hard at dirty internet memes.

And many of us loved romances. In my case, that love led to writing romances of my own.

But I didn’t forget the library, even though I no longer worked there. My debut novella, Broken Resolutions, is set in one. It features a quiet but determined librarian named Penny, who meets her perfect match on New Year’s Eve. The later books in my Lovestruck Librarians series feature her friends, all of whom work in the same library system.

So before Broken Resolutions downloads onto e-readers around the world, I should probably clarify a few things. Here are four true/false questions to test your librarian knowledge:

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The Public Librarian’s Ultimate Guide to Flirting with Cute, Single Patrons (Unabridged Ed.)

For the debut of Broken Resolutions, I wrote a ton of blog tour posts. The first one goes live today. Here’s a peek at it. And it includes a giveaway!

pretty african college student reading in library

[NOTE: The American Library Association denied the very existence of this guide—written by the famed and mysterious Librarian X—for years. In a daring caper, however, I managed to steal a copy from a sealed vault in the Library of Congress, shortly before Nicolas Cage came in through the air vent. You’re welcome. —Olivia Dade, former librarian and author of Broken Resolutions]

So you’ve spied a single, attractive patron in the stacks of your library or in front of your circulation/reference desk, and you think the two of you would make a perfect couple. Congratulations! Some librarians go their entire working lives without experiencing true love at the library. Librarians like me, for example. But I’m not bitter at all!

Anyway, you should immediately begin to activate Protocol 613.9. Please follow the steps below.

1. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you asleep? Or hallucinating? Have you taken any new medicines or eaten any mushrooms of dubious provenance? Because honestly, hot patrons aren’t exactly thick on the ground in public libraries. I would know.

In the unlikely event you answered “no” to all those questions, please proceed to step 2.

2. Observe the people around your hot patron. Could any of them be his/her spouse? Yes, I know you said the patron was single, but that just seems so unlikely, I wanted to make absolutely certain—

Okay, fine. Let’s move on to step 3.

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Yet More Wedding Tales from Laura Curtis, SonomaLass, and Gwendolen Crane

I wrote about my own (long-ago) wedding last week, and since then, I’ve been posting stories by friends about their own wonky nuptials. Here’s a new batch for your amusement!

Laura Curtis’ Marital Manual (Which She Doesn’t Read):

My husband and I got married in Las Vegas because my husband was a road manager for rock bands and the guy he wanted for his best man was the drummer of the band he was currently touring with. And here’s the thing: every bad drummer joke you’ve heard? They’re all true. So we knew if we wanted Frank to make it to the wedding, we had to get married on tour.

I called and arranged the chapel. They did weddings every twenty minutes, so ours was at 1:20. They have an atrium, the chapel itself, and then you go out the back. The ceremony is seven minutes long. You wait in the atrium until the couple before you gets all their paperwork signed and goes out the back and then it’s your turn.

When I’d called to arrange the chapel, they’d asked if I wanted a secular or religious ceremony. I said secular, but the first thing the minister — an embittered French-Canadian — said when he began the service was “The Bible is a manual for marriage. Especially the New Testament.” My father, one of our only guests, said “She never reads the fucking manual,” which set the tone for the whole ceremony.

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More Wedding Tales from Amara Royce, Jane Lee Blair, and Philippa Lodge!

I wrote about my own (long-ago) wedding last Thursday. When I did, many of my author friends chimed in with their own stories of nuptials gone right or very, very wrong. Here are a few more wedding tales for your enjoyment!

Amara Royce’s Trusting Husband and Exhausted Bagpiper:

I was thirty minutes late to my wedding. My husband was the only one still sure I was coming.

This was before everyone had cell phones! So there was no way for me to contact anyone at the church to let them know that me and my parents and bridesmaids were delayed.

As part of our ceremony package, we’d opted to have a bagpiper playing outside the church as the guests arrived. By all accounts, she was great…and must not have had any breath left by the time I arrived!

I never got to hear her play a single note. The moment the limo arrived at the church, I hurried up the steps, was ushered into a side room where the bridal party’s flowers were, and promptly burst into hysterical tears.

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More Wedding Tales from Emma Barry, Cat Sebastian, and @ThatTallFriend!

When I wrote about my (long-ago) wedding on Twitter, a dozen of my friends chimed in with their own stories of ceremonies gone wonky and wonderful. Here are a few of those tales!

Emma Barry’s Badass Husband:

My wonky wedding story didn’t occur at my own wedding, but at that of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. For lots of complicated reasons, the rehearsal didn’t occur, so my husband didn’t get a chance to practice the reading he was supposed to deliver. So when the big day came, and the first reader got up to give his reading, my husband froze–because the first reader produced the text from out of his jacket pocket.

“I was supposed to bring it?” my husband whispered, aghast.

Minutes ticked by, minutes during which I began to shake with nervous suppressed laugher because what the hell was he going to do? Get up and admit that he didn’t have it? Ask the priest if he happened to have a spare Bible?

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