Not-So-Easy Rider

For Fresh Fiction, I wrote a post about the, um, ambivalence toward bikes shared by me and my heroine, Sarah.


“I need to learn to ride a bike.” Sarah didn’t try to hide her grimace. “By the middle of next week. Even though riding one of those things is basically daring God to smite me.”

That’s the opening of Ready to Fall, my fourth Lovestruck Librarians book. Now, I will freely admit that my heroine, Sarah Mayhew, has a flair for hyperbole. She’s earned her nickname DQ (for Drama Queen) among her friends honestly. But in this instance…well…

I can’t help but agree with her.

unhappy woman with defect bike

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Full Circle, Full Heart: Female Friendship in My Book (And My Life)

Over at the Manic Readers blog today, I’m talking about female friendship in my books and my life. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway there!

Hen party! Funny friends for your design

Yes. This is what my friends and I do when we get together. Every time.

In many ways, Penelope Callahan is just like me.

Penny—the heroine of my debut novella, Broken Resolutions—works at a small, rural library in Maryland. For almost two years, so did I.

She serves as the children’s librarian for her branch. Until I switched to the central branch of our library system, I too ran storytimes for kids.

She’s an introvert, quiet and uncomfortable in crowds no matter how calm she appears to be. Among trusted friends, though, she’s mouthy and raunchy. As am I.

And in the first draft of my story, she was like me in one other crucial way: unmoored by a strong circle of female friends.

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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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Library Sex: Pros and Cons of Getting It On

I’m visiting Romance Divas today to talk about sex in the library: the good, the bad, and the potentially unlawful. And there’s a giveaway on their site!


So… sex in the public library. Many of you likely had no idea that even happened outside of fiction. But it does! And [spoiler alert] it’s usually not hot at all, at least to outsiders!

During my five years as a librarian, I never interrupted a couple inspired by the 613.9 section of our stacks. I witnessed passionate kissing and ill-advised groping, certainly, but nothing that required contraception, a roll of paper towels, or even a wet wipe.

My coworkers told me stories, though. Oh, so many horrifying stories.

I imagine coming across patrons having sex in the library is much like visiting a nudist colony: Generally, the people you’d most like to see under those circumstances are not those you’ll actually encounter.

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