A Little Bit of Lust… Don’t you love the title? It’s the newest book in Shirley Goldberg’s Starting Over series, and today is its release day! I’m thrilled and honored that she’s sharing this special day with us. To celebrate, I thought it might be fun to learn a little more about her literary life and to get to know more about A Little Bit of Lust straight from her.
Welcome, Shirley! Thank you for sharing launch day with us.
You’re welcome. I’m thrilled to be here. Seriously.
1. Going back to the beginning, what sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
I read dog and horse stories when I was little, along with Nancy Drew and books about animals, especially dinosaurs.
2.What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
I read across genres. My favorites are humorous relationship books––I guess they’re called women’s fiction (even though there’s no genre called men’s fiction) although it’s a broad term. I like my stories with a heavy dab of romance but I don’t limit myself. Right now, I’m reading fellow author Marilyn Barr’s ARC Quartermaster, a spin-off of her pirate series, and Amor Towles The Lincoln Highway on audio.
3. Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I wrote and illustrated a newsletter with my best friend as a kid and started writing short stories when I was thirteen. Tried a novel in my thirties. Didn’t have a clue how to structure a book. We all know it ain’t easy, hah.
4. What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
I wrote essays and newspaper articles and began thinking seriously about writing but didn’t give up my ESL teaching job. Fortunately, I enjoyed the company of kids.
5. You have an amazing website. Please tell us about what drives you and about the creative force within you. What inspires you to write, to create?
I blog less often than I used to. It’s not that I have to be inspired to sit down and write, because the idea of waiting for a muse has never been my driving force. Writing is hard work. The creativity comes when we authors up the stakes or throw breadcrumbs into the story to foreshadow an event to come. It’s all about the characters. If your readers love your characters, chances are they will love your writing. By the way, I love making graphics for promotions, but I’m slow and still learning. I’m also reluctant to star in my own reels.
6. What’s your writing space like?
My study has old photos and a painting I did a few years ago. My desk is a rolling table and I wish I had a better, more expensive chair. But I love my monitor, a 32 incher!
7. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I try to write in the morning but I have to go to the gym and that breaks up my day. Which is a good thing. I couldn’t write if I didn’t exercise. When I’m working on a book, I often let the little things go, like laundry and social media. The only way I can get into the book is to immerse myself, and my study is strewn with papers and notes, a real mess. I admire writers who are better organized than I am and welcome any suggestions or comments in the organization department.
8. Congratulations on A Little Bit of Lust! Won’t you tell us about a little about the book and also the series?
Starting Over is the name of the series and my characters are in their forties and fifties. They’re all starting over in life and love. That’s a simple way to put it. The books are standalone, but the characters pop up in other books for an occasional guest appearance.
In Lust, the three characters, Lucy, Deon, and Phoebe are best friends and then there are…complications. Yes, love complicates everything and with the lust factor, well, things get messy.
I love a happily ever after, though. A satisfactory ending is all-important in my reading and in my movie watching, although I’m also a sucker for a great tear jerker, too.
Deon, the hero, is a hot harmonica player who’s based on a musician friend of mine.
I love using my friends’ names for minor characters and sometimes borrow their quirks and habits. Do other authors do that?
My friends don’t mind. At least they haven’t complained yet.
I would think they love it. How fun -- and the story sounds riveting!
9. I comprehend that today is the launch day of your new book. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have another story waiting in the wings?
Yes, how sweet of you to ask. I’m part of a series with six other authors. Each book has a magical mortar and pestle that travels through the Middle Ages to present day, causing people to fall in love.
My book, Revamped, stars an energy vampire who doesn’t want to be an energy vampire––he wants out of that life. And he meets a “normal” woman. Coming in 2023.
This is all so exciting for us fans!
10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Only that I’ve read paranormal romance, but I’ve never written it. Writing in a genre that’s unlike anything I’ve ever written in was more fun than humans should have. I’d recommend the experience of tiptoeing on the other side, however you’d define “the other side.” Both in our reading and our writing lives. Has anyone reading this column done that? I’d love to know more.
I think that is excellent advice! Thank you again for sharing your time, talent, and launch day with us! Also, thank you for the sneak peak that follows. What a fabulous excerpt! I can hardly wait to read the book!
Time for A Little Bit of Lust!
How many second chances will she give him?
Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional special guy, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into "ignore" status afterward?
Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife's death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.
Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life putting Lucy on "ignore." Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.
“You’ve got chick flicks? Seriously?” Lucy read the movie titles aloud. “When Harry Met Sally. You’ve Got Mail. Sleepless in Seattle. Nora Ephron.” She turned to him. “So you love Nora as much as I do?”
“Well, it’s more––”
“An Affair to Remember. That’s romantic. Heartburn, not so much, but it’s a great movie. Who doesn’t love Meryl and Jack?”
“There’s more,” he said, gesturing inside the cabinet.
“Let’s watch You’ve Got Mail. I always cry at the end.”
“So do I.”
“You’re a man. What are you doing with romantic––” She stopped in mid-sentence.
“Melinda loved them, yeah. We weren’t big on vacations or fancy restaurants. She loved a plain old movie night. And men cry at the movies too, you know.”
“Oh, of course.” Lucy hugged him. “You cry at the movies, that is so, so romantic.”
“Sit, relax.” He knelt down. “And by the way, my lips hurt from all that good kissing. Do yours?”
“Nope, because I’m tough and you’re a wuss.”
Deon leaned in and kissed her a nice juicy one right when the opening credits started rolling.
Halfway through the movie, when Meg Ryan was losing her bookstore, Deon paused the movie. They opened the bags to let out the oregano and basil and homemade tomato smells and prepared the plates with all the delicious Italian from Niki’s. Deon warmed the food and poured more wine, which contributed to their getting all misty-eyed at the end when Tom Hanks comes around the corner and Meg says, “I hoped it was you.” Which is what Lucy remembered her saying when she thought back on this moment.
Then Deon found Arsenic and Old Lace and they took turns fast-forwarding to all the scenes with Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey. Deon did his Raymond Massey imitation, thrusting out his jaw, threatening the Cary Grant character. “Mortimer, just because you’re my brother doesn’t mean I won’t kill you.” Lucy howled and they rolled on the couch and made out a little.
And then it was time for bed. Lucy’s new favorite time, since of course, she’d be staying over.
About the Author
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look at dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Shirley’s characters all believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and she agrees.
It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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