Cover of Rock Bottom Girl

5. It’s a girthy standalone. That’s right. You don’t have to read 17 books before this one. There’s no commitment! It’s a once and done trip to small-town central Pennsylvania.

4. Jake and Marley are almost 40. Which means they’re good at sex and things like paying bills and navigating professional relationships. Sure, they’ve still got problems. Jake has never been in a committed relationship that lasted longer than a few orgasms. And Marley is still looking for her place in the world. But together, they make 38 look pretty damn good. Especially since they’re high school teachers and deal with teenagers all day.

3. I’m not going to call this an ugly duckling to swan story (there is an actual swan in Rock Bottom Girl), but there is a pretty great makeover. In fact, Marley’s entire character arc is an inside out makeover. And there’s a scene at Ulta that would make a great music montage.

2. It’s funny. Like really, really funny. Here are a few of my favorite snippets:

“I had rebelled and complained and limped my way through the minefields of popularity, academic achievements, and athletic accomplishment. None of those had I any actual personal experience with.”

“I couldn’t think of anything in this world that could compete with the feel of Jake’s palms on my boobs. Not a litter of golden retriever puppies. Not world peace. Not even triple chocolate fudge brownies with ice cream.”

“The Eighth Wonder of the World: Jake Weston’s Erect Penis.”

“I was buried inside Marley Cicero and trying my hardest not to explode. I thought about Homer and my grandma. Homer eating my grandma’s broccoli casserole at Thanksgiving. I thought about the gas bill I’d left laying on a flat surface somewhere in the house. Anything but the woman under me, around me. Damn it. I was thinking about her again. I could feel my pulse in the tip of my dick and knew I was one jerky thrust away from coming so hard my fillings would pop out.”

Numero Uno: This is a fake relationship that starts with a meet-puke, a girls soccer team, a rescue dog, a perfect sister, and the bad boy from high school. Oh and a high school nemesis who only got meaner with age. Did I mention the best bonus epilogue I’ve ever written? Two words: Wedding. Day.

If you’re thinking this book sounds like your cuppa tea, check it out on Amazon, my friends!

Lucy Score and Nora Roberts at Turn the Page Bookstore.
Me and Nora Roberts. Right before I hyperventilated and died.

My first book signing ever

On February 2, I attended my very first book signing. At Turn the Page Bookstore. WITH NORA ROBERTS. The following is my abbreviated (Yeah right, let’s be serious. I don’t abbreviate anything.) recollection of the happiest blur of a weekend ever.

Mr. Lucy and I arrived at our hotel Friday night. It just so happened that there were 25+ BRAs (Binge Readers Anonymous is my reader group on Facebook) also staying there. We ALL met spontaneously in the lobby in a screamy, squeally lovefest that the Hampton Inn of Hagerstown was incredibly tolerant of for several hours. Oh, and my admin and PA Joyce who was “so sad” that she “couldn’t be there” strolled through the dang front door of the hotel and surprised the everliving crap out of me! She’s a truly excellent liar. One of her many favorable qualities. There were hugs, gifts, and a lot of pictures! They presented me with a charm bracelet with charms representing EVERYTHING I’ve ever published. ????????????

It was an overwhelmingly amazing preview of the fun to come… So the morning of the signing dawned freakin’ freezing. It was 10 degrees, or scientifically known as really effing cold. Readers braved the inhuman temperatures to line up for their tickets. Meanwhile, back at the hotel I pulled out every trick in the book and every YouTube hair and makeup tutorial to look like a put-together adult human being.

On our way into Boonsboro, a reader sent up the alert that the bookstore had sold out of my books. Sold. Out. Before the signing even started. Mr. Lucy, knowing that I’m a total panic monster about going into new situations, had genius-ly suggested we drive down earlier that week to drop off the paperbacks and get the lay of the land. We took 90 paperbacks. And they were gone before the signing started. I was basically living the dream of some other super cool and famous author. (Actually, I thought maybe the bookstore had misplaced like two boxes.)

Photo Credit: Tanya Strembiski. The spot on the table where Lucy books used to be before they sold out.

But not to worry! In a fit of optimism heretofore unbeknownst to Mr. Lucy, he brought an additional 40 or 50 books back to Boonsboro “just in case.” I thought he was nuts at the time. But once again, he was just proving his handsome genius.

So, Mr. Lucy and I pulled into the parking lot behind the bookstore. I’m sitting in the passenger seat trying to psych myself up and not be all nervous bladdery when the back door of the store opens…

Out strolls Nora Freaking Roberts in a full length fur coat with the skinniest cigarette in the universe.

I opened my mouth and made a deflating balloon noise that dragged on long enough that Mr. Lucy had to physically pull me out of the car. My first words to my hero, the reason I write romance, the literary dynasty we all know and love were as follows:

Me: Hi. Where do I go in? *spoken eight octaves above my normal voice*

Nora: Are you signing today?

Me: *nods dumbly*

Nora: Then you go in this door.

Me: Thank you. *whispered breathily, nine octaves higher*

I stumbled inside the store away from the fabulousness that is Nora Roberts and walked right into the bookstore manager. Janeen is a wonderful human being. She looked at my dazed face and said, “Hi. WHERE ARE YOUR BOOKS?”

Mr. Lucy shot pistol fingers at us. “Pew pew! I’ll be right back!” (That didn’t actually happen, but it’s funnier that way.) He hustled back out the door to grab the remaining books. While I sat on the floor to change out of my snow boots—did I mention it snowed the day before and made for pretty messy travel?—Janeen also politely asked me to choose a new favorite Nora book. Why? Because I’d blabbed my big fat mouth to everyone about how much I love The Obsession (seriously if you haven’t read it yet, GET IT) and readers had listened and purchased every copy they had in stock. Oops. At this point, I felt like a really small-time Oprah. It was glorious!

Anyway, I put my super cute boots on and introduced myself to the rest of the authors who were all really, really nice. And then it was time for the signing to start. The first 20 or so people who poured in bee-lined for Nora so I had a few minutes to drink some water and try to bring the register of my voice down to normal levels. The first person who had me sign a book was a white-haired gentleman who also writes romance! Next up was a husband-wife couple who were there picking up some books for their daughter, an avid romance reader. They had me sign one of the books “Your dad is awesome.” ????

Then #LucyCon happened. Ya see, BRAs don’t just show up to a signing. They all buy matching #LucyCon merchandise and show up at Nora Roberts’ bookstore and tell her they’re there to see me. Thankfully, Nora, her fabulous publicist, Laura, and the rest of the staff have really wonderful sense of humor and had no problem with the #LucyCon invasion.

I proceeded to have the best day ever. I hugged a ton of people. Took a lot of pictures. Signed a lot of books. Shot only slightly disturbing admiring glances in Nora’s direction. And enjoyed a pizza and champagne lunch with all of the authors. Nora even ate some of the chocolate chip cheesecake I brought (because I’m afraid no one will like me unless I bribe them with baked goods). One of the highlights of the day was when my sisters surprised me. I had no idea they were coming and they made it the whole way through the line to my table before I even spotted them!

After the signing, we took pictures with all the authors and then it was time to leave and act like a normal human being. It was difficult. Mr. Lucy and I got in the car and sat there for a full minute without saying a word. It had been so much fun and such a perfect day not just as a writer, but as a reader who has been devouring Nora books for a few decades now. It was so perfect it almost felt traumatic. The conversation went something like this.

Mr. Lucy: *staring through the windshield at nothing* Uhhhhhhhhhh…

Me: *whispers* We must never speak of this day.

I bet you’re thinking this would be a good place to wrap it up, right? I had the best first book signing in the history of authors signing books. And this blog post is already novel-length. But wait! There’s more!

We met all of the BRAs for dinner at a golf course/tavern place hosted by my stunningly lovely and fiercely organized admin Tammy. There were 45 of us. Drinking drinks. Eating incredible food (shoutout to Schroyer’s Tavern for not batting an eye at the size and volume of our group, your food and service were amazing). Hugging some more. They got me a Happy Birthday/Book Signing Taco Cake and sang to me.

It was. Amazing. And I am beyond grateful from the depths of my romance writery heart (so you know its deep, y’all) for everyone who turned up for that freezing cold weekend in February in Boonsboro, Maryland. Thank you to the bookstore staff for being so damn nice and so damn organized. Thank you to Nora and Laura for your graciousness and sense of humor. To my BRAs, thank you for picking each other up at the airport. For sharing hotel rooms. For carpooling. For being so incredibly generous. For choosing to read my books. For being people with obvious great taste and big hearts.

I love you all! Thank you for being the best part of my best day! ????

I will get to see your face live and in person! My very first book signing will be with Nora Roberts at her bookstore! And I’m so excited I might throw up.

Date: Saturday, February 2

Time: Noon-2 p.m.

Place: Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland

Event Information: Turn the Page Bookstore has detailed information about how their book signings work.

Authors In Attendance: The One and Only Nora Roberts, Darynda Jones, Donna Kauffman, Roni Lauren, Maria V. Snyder, K.L. Ramsey, and Sean Daniels.

Books Available at the Signing: Pretend You’re Mine, Finally Mine, and The Worst Best Man.

If you are interested in attending and are on Facebook, check out the Lucy Con group and coordinate your travels with other Lucy Readers!

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say a a million times more. But readers are the best people in the world. One of my favorite readers in the romance world is my pal Jenny. She makes my reader’s group fun and hilarious and she’s beyond helpful. When my brand new Kindle Paperwhite got a tiny little HORRIFIC GOUGE in the screen, it was Jenny who knew what to do.

I think it’s because she’s a nurse and that’s makes her so prepared for everything! She’s a joy to talk books with and twisted my arm until I read Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things (read it!!).

I, of course, demanded that she let me interview her for this blog. Read on for our chat!

Awesome reader Jenny Smith

 

Lucy: Give us a nutshell view of your life (family, hobbies, work etc).

Jenny: I’m the youngest in a family of nine.  The age span for my family is 20 years.  I’m married with two kids ages 19 and 11. My hobbies are writing (a little fan fiction and my own concoctions). reading and photography, which is mostly family photos and sunrises and sunsets.  I work as an RN in an Operating Room.

Lucy: When did you first fall in love with reading?

Jenny: I can’t remember a time I wasn’t reading.  I remember being very young and my Mom would read to me. Little Bear was my favorite book and I vividly remember her reading it to me. My Mom was an avid reader and we went to the library regularly.

Jenny’s bookshelf including her collection of children’s short stories.

Lucy: How do you choose your next book?

Jenny: I read books kind of on the fly. I do, usually, have a plan, but I will rearrange things depending on my mood!

Lucy: What’s one thing that you think you should do but don’t/aren’t/never will?

Jenny: Hmm, this is a difficult question! I guess the one thing I should do but don’t is have more time to slow down and enjoy things in the moment. I always feel rushed.

Lucy: What do you do to cure a book hangover?

Jenny: Oh, I eat chocolate and drink coffee.

Lucy: How about a book slump?

Jenny: I don’t get in a lot of book slumps but when I do, I read something I’ve read before that I know is going to be great.

Lucy: What’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’ve ever had?

Jenny: Parasailing in Mexico.

Lucy: If you weren’t a nurse, what else could you see yourself doing?

Jenny: I’d probably be teaching English Lit in a college somewhere, writing books, or writing for a magazine. That was my original intent, but things don’t always work out the way you hope they will.

Lucy: What quality in a significant other do you admire most?

Jenny: Trust; Trust in me and my trust in him.

Jenny’s signed paperback from some super cool author.

Lucy: Favorite trope in a romance novel?

Jenny: 2nd chance; but 2nd chance after a long-term committed relationship. I find that trope really complicated and messy, but it’s a hopeful trope!

Lucy: What drives you insane and/or murders your soul?

Jenny: All kinds of things, but the biggest one is when people don’t help when they should, or reach out to someone who needs help.

I like technology. It’s what gave us airbags and crockpots with built-in timers and e-readers that can hold thousands of books. There are two cool pieces of tech that have made my life as a reader better too. I use both and I love them so much I want to make out with the apps.

OK, so you all know I’m a romance novelist. But I am a reader first. And two of the biggest obstacles I face as a reader (besides bankruptcy from buying too many new books thank you very much KU Korner and BookBub) are:

  1. Finding new writers that I will love, and
  2. Remembering when a favorite author has a new release.

I found two apps that punch both of these issues in the face. Let’s look at finding new writers first. I have a hard time picking new books to read based off of just covers and blurbs. Blurbs aren’t long enough to give me a sense of the story and a good blurb can disguise flaws in the writing or the story. What to do? What to do?

Book+Main Bites

Book+Main Bites is a brand new social media platform FOR READERS. Create your profile, download the app, and boom! You just spent two hours reading excerpts (“bites”) of books based on your mood (wait, that was me). Thinking you want a hot forbidden stepbrother romance? Maybe a bodyguard trope? Looking for a new Christmas read? YOU CAN SEARCH BY THOSE! Search, explore all the bites you have time for, discover new books and writers, and follow your favorite authors.

You can follow me on Book+Main Bites here: @lucyscore

Fave thing about Book+Main Bites: I can try out new-to-me authors before I commit to a buy.

Booksprout

When you love a few dozen authors it gets hard to keep up with all their new releases. Some of my readers put my release dates in their calendars just in case they miss the emails or social media blitzes. Or, if I release on a day with twenty bestsellers… Enter Booksprout. Booksprout is an app that allows you to follow your fave authors and GET ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE when they have a new release or a sale. It’s. Awesome.

Follow me on Booksprout: Lucy Score.

Fave thing about Booksprout: I never miss a new release or a sale!

Other Stuff To Know

Both apps are relatively new (Book+Main launched this week) so functionality is advancing and the number of authors on both platforms will continue to grow. I use both apps and love them and no one is paying me to use them or say nice things.

Check them out and see if they feed your book addiction!

Cornelia and I met via my ARC team when she introduced herself to Mr. Lucy. Mr. Lucy immediately forwarded her email to me with something like “This woman is awesome.” Conny lives in Germany. She speaks and reads German but, disappointed with the limited availability of German language translations for romance novels, SHE TAUGHT HERSELF TO READ IN ENGLISH! I think that’s one of the coolest things I’ve heard.

I enjoy chatting with Conny whenever I get the chance. She works as a dog groomer, which is quite different from a dog groomer in the U.S. (Lucy note: She’s practically a therapist to dog parents who grace her shop and confess all their secrets to her! Believe me she has some hilarious stories to tell!)

Conny’s Life in a Nutshell

Cornelia is 62 years old has 5 children, 1 grandson, and is divorced. Her beloved Dachshund, Bente, is four years old.

Her hobbies include: reading(!!!!), sauna, gymstudio, cinema with her girlfriends, and beach holidays.

She’s a dog groomer and Tellington TTouch Practitioner I for dogs and companion animals. And in her spare time, she’s studying English at a German Evening University (“Thats what reading English romance books will do to a German grandma! Starting studying again.” )

Most of her books are stored on her Kindle, but she does keep some on a lovely shelf (pictured below). Her much larger bookcases managed to disappear in the divorce , but as Conny likes to say “Shit happens!”

When did you first fall in love with reading?

“I was nine years old. I read during the day in my preferred hiding place and at night under the sheets with a flashlight — until my father caught me!”

How do you choose your next book?

“It’ll choose me. It’ll be the next Titan book from Cristin Harber and then there are waiting a lot of books in my Kindle, including Morgana Best, JoAnn Bassett, Susan Kiernan-Lewis, CK Dawn, H.Y. Hanna, Paula Hawkins, Katie Cross, C.E. Thornton, Jean Lowe Carlson, Liliana Hart etc.”

What’s one thing that you think you should do but don’t/aren’t/never will?

“Have a complete plan for my day and follow it till the evening.” (One of Cornelia’s daughters is a doctor and impressively disciplined.)

What do you do to cure a book hangover?

“I like thinking about the characters and about possibilities how the storyline could continue if it would continue. Or I take Bente for a long walk in the forest.”

What’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’ve ever had?

“My first ride on a motorbike.”

If you weren’t a dog groomer and Tellington TTouch Trainer, what else could you see yourself doing?

“A herb woman. It’s such a great way of living.”

What quality do you admire most in other people?

“The determination of my son Henning. He’s setting a goal, starting, continuing and reaching it always to the target time.”

Favorite trope in a romance novel?

“I love reading military/law enforcement and enemies to lovers!”

What drives you insane and/or murders your soul?

“Lying. When I find that a person is lying to me, I get really pissed and try to avoid this person. Also, eating noisily and slurping during meal.” (Lucy note: This is so me, too! I can’t stand sitting near loud eaters!)

My reader friend Nishi and I met on Facebook through a shared love of books. Her comments about her life caught my eye and I thought she would be the perfect person to kick off my Reader Interview blog series. We’re both Aquarians and share an obsessive appreciation for the Sweet Valley High books and Beverly Hills 90210. She’s well-traveled, organized, and has excellent taste in books. Speaking of books, her bookcases in London are going to give you a serious case of bookshelf envy. Scroll down and check those babies out.

Lucy: Give us a nutshell view of your life (family, hobbies, work etc).

Nishi: I am 32 years and live in London though currently relocated to Sri Lanka. I always travel between London and Sri Lanka as I have family living at both ends. I am a very bubbly and happy person in general and a proper Aquarian at heart. No, I don’t think I am Jennifer Aniston but I do so in my dreams sometimes. I love the simple things life and I do believe life is definitely an adventure. I have a sweet, bossy sister that I would die for, who keeps me in place in life. She is my safe place. My mom and dad are retired and run a B&B in a coastal area of Sri Lanka, which I help out at when I come on vacation. We are a close-knit family and there for each other any time or day.

I currently work as an event planner mostly doing destination weddings in Sri Lanka and running the B&B as well. After finishing my hospitality degree I worked in world class hotels in London such as Hilton, Four Seasons, and Claridges for almost 15 years. So, after a continuous loop of working and no life, I just wanted to take some time off and enjoy looking at the sunset. My hobbies are reading, travelling, photography, and reading.

Lucy: When did you first fall in love with reading?

Nishi: I was introduced to reading from the age of 8 by my granddad who I always saw asleep with a book. I thought that was awesome, but I wasn’t in to it as such until I was about 12. This was when I was introduced to The Famous Five, Secret Seven, and when I grew in to my early teens Sweet Valley High. I loved Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and thought it would be so cool to have a twin (not how I looked then but maybe now :) ). I first fell in love reading was when I reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” Although unlike my granddad I didn’t fall asleep, it kept me wide awake which didn’t actually give me the extra hours of sleep as I expected.

Lucy Note: I loved The Alchemist as well and had just finished a re-read of it when Nishi mentioned it. It’s a beautifully told hero’s journey full of timeless wisdom.

Lucy: How do you choose your next book?

Nishi: I choose my next book by researching what are the best books to read on for the next six months by different genres. Also, I do have a book fairy whom I met through Lucy’s Binge Readers her name is Denise Hoffman DeCuir. Denise has been recommending the greatest books to read. My very own Amazon matchmaker :). I love science fiction, romance, and mystery.

Lucy Note: Denise has incredible taste in books! I swear I’m not just saying that just because she likes mine. :)

Lucy: What’s one thing that you think you should do but don’t/aren’t/never will?

Nishi: Bungee jumping!

Lucy: What do you do to cure a book hangover? How about a book slump?

Nishi: For a book hangover, I don’t think I will ever have a cure :) and for a book slump, I think I will have a cup of coffee and rest my mind and then start over with the next best book.

Lucy: What’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’ve ever had?

Nishi: The biggest adrenaline rush I have is when I am just starting on an adventurous holiday. When I have planned everything to the hilt and just envision myself and visualize of the perfect holiday and destination.

Lucy: If you weren’t an event planner, what else could you see yourself doing?

Nishi: If I weren’t what I do now, I see myself as an acrobat in a circus :). I just love Cirque du Soleil.

Lucy: What quality in a significant other do you admire most?

Nishi: I admire a good sense of humor in a significant other. Even if they are serious and broody but they still can crack a joke? That’s the best thing ever.

Lucy: Favorite trope in a romance novel?

Nishi: My favorite trope in a romance novel is in Live out Loud by Marie Meyer where Harper who is deaf, but gorgeous meets rock star Thor who falls instantly for her. I just love the way he shows his love in his songs and she feels it through the vibrations of his music and how he learns ASL just to be a part of her world.

Lucy: What drives you insane and/or murders your soul?

Nishi: What drives me insane is when people are unkind to the beautiful environment we live in and litter it without giving a second thought. To me this explains more about a person.

Lucy Note: One of the MANY reasons I fell hard for Mr. Lucy is that he has no tolerance for litterbugs. If you litter, you’re an ass. It’s pretty simple. He told me the story of how once he was in his car in a parking lot and a man pulled in a few spaces down. The man threw his fast food bag out his window and got out of the car and went into the store. Mr. Lucy picked up the bag and “redistributed” the contents in the man’s open sunroof. I love him so hard!

Curious what a well-read reader like Nishi has on her bookshelves? Check out her beautiful London library. 

Nishi’s Favorite Books:

Nishi’s To Be Read List: