Mr. Lucy and I ventured out to San Diego last week for the Romance Writers of America convention where I met NORA ROBERTS! Okay, it was a book signing and she basically met everyone in a 50-mile radius of San Diego, but it still totally counts.

You may wonder why this is such a big deal to me. Nora Roberts is literally the reason I write romance novels. I’ve been reading Nora’s books since I got tall enough to sneak them off my mom’s book shelf. Her latest book, The Obsession, is one of my all-time favorites. So you can imagine how embarrassingly excited I was last week. Like horribly embarrassing because this happened.


Nora and the mysterious Mr. Lucy are photobombed by a crazy woman.

Yup. I photobombed Nora Roberts. She was a very good sport about it.

So my Nora exposure continued with a Q&A during the conference. And here are a few of the highlights of said Q&A.

Nora Roberts cleans her glasses before her Q&A and we watch in fascination.

Nora Roberts cleans her glasses before her Q&A and we watch in fascination.

Nora drops the f-bomb

“Put a f*&#ing period!”

In an anecdote about the editing process, Nora mentioned a writer who confessed to spending two weeks on a sentence and couldn’t figure out how to end it. Nora’s response:

Nora on marriage

“Being married to a writer, you have to be insane.”

When asked what qualities a writer should look for in a spouse/partner, Nora recommends finding someone who “knows when to shut the f&%* up” and doesn’t “invade your space when you’re working.”

I think we could pass for sisters.

I think we could pass for sisters.

Question for Nora 

“Do you have regular human emotions?”

A guy in the audience asked Nora if she experiences the same doubt and anxiety as the rest of us. She does. We’re basically sisters. See?

Random entertaining quotes

“A little head wound will just gush.”

“A dog, for me, completes your life.”

“Bring out the fish sticks.”

“I don’t want to talk to anyone at all. Probably ever.”


LucyScoreHR-86To celebrate this holiday weekend, I thought I’d give you a teensy peek into THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PRETEND YOU’RE MINE.

How’s that for excitement? Let’s jump right in, shall we?

The Idea

The idea for Pretend You’re Mine came from binge watching surprise military homecoming videos and sobbing hysterically. The videos made me think that if that day is so joyful, how painful is the day of deployment? And then the entire Luke leaving and the “Stay” scene popped into my head. And voila! The book was born.

No Bad Guy?

The original storyline didn’t have Clive Perry in it. I know, right? What was I thinking? I was almost done with the first draft when I realized I really wanted to give Harper something that she’s been running from, a physical obstacle to her putting down roots. And creeper Clive was born.

When Did Luke Fall in Love with Harper?

Luke fell for Harper the second he saw her jump on Glenn’s back in the parking lot. He just didn’t know what he was feeling because of his sense of guilt related to his past. He tried to tell himself it was just lust, but he was as fiercely protective of Harper as he was the rest of his family.

Luke’s sister Sophie recognized his feelings and schemed to get them together so nature could take its course. Its very slow, stubborn course. In fact, all of Benevolence knew that Luke loved Harper before Luke ever admitted it to himself.

My Favorite Scene

The grocery store fight. I wanted the first time that Harper saw Luke again after the breakup to be really emotional…and a little funny. I loved the tension between Luke and Harper here, even before they see each other. And the escalation that happens with Luke finding Harper wrapped up in Linc’s arms in the cooler, was so exciting to write.

It was so much fun incorporating the townspeople into this scene. They know the score and do their best to protect Harper, but when they’re efforts fail they’re happy to watch how it all unfolds even with their freezer goods melting in their abandoned carts. And Ty getting to punch Luke in the face was kind of like every reader getting their shot at knocking a little sense into him.

My Favorite Character

Aldo. I still have a huge crush on that man.

High FiveLet the celebration begin! Beckett Pierce’s story has officially entered the editing process, which means – barring any notes from the publisher that say “Worst book ever. You need to go get a day job,” – you’ll be reading it at the end of April!

This is the part of the writing process where I go into my little coma and don’t write for a bit. I’ll read the 137 books that have piled up on my desk, binge watch something on Netflix (I’m dangerously close to finding out who Gossip Girl really is!!), and tackle some kind of home organizational project that has been irking me since I started the last book.


The writing process for me is a roller coaster of emotion … and eating. There are days when it goes so well, I feel like a professional. Then there’s days where I’m convinced that I’m writing gibberish that wouldn’t even sound good if someone read it with a British accent.

I thought I’d give you a little peek into my brain and how it functions while writing a book. There are several confusing, nonsensical stages:

  1.  Idea: In this stage, an idea careens into my head and I fall in love with it, convinced that it’s genius and beautiful and romantic and exciting. In Pretend You’re Mine, it was the scene where Luke comes back from deployment. I built the rest of the book around that.
  2. Outlining: This is a new, yet very important stage for me. I don’t know how my first two books weren’t complete disasters without an outline. During this stage I try to map out all the important parts, how they meet, what the conflict is, how many sexy times there are, and how they get to happily ever after.
  3. Writing: This stage goes something like this. OMG, this is amazing. I would totally read this! Wait, that’s a huge plot hole. How am I going to fix that? I don’t really like this character right now. Oh, that’s funny/sweet/hot! I’m back in the game! What’s another word for walked/said/smiled/sighed? How many sex scenes is too many? I’m hungry. Why does the cat want out AGAIN? There’s no way I’m hitting 3,000 words today. How do you spell _____? I’m thirsty. Ugh, this scene is so boring! The readers are going to hate this. Or wait, will they love it? Is this even good anymore? I’m so confused … and hungry. Agh! I’ve been writing for 42 minutes … FOREVER! This goes on for between eight to ten weeks.
  4. More Writing: Even with a carefully crafted outline, new scenes and sub-plots pop into my head constantly. So I’ve got to incorporate them into the framework and make sure they don’t destroy the entire storyline. This happens concurrently with stage 3 over the course of eight or ten weeks.
  5. The Last Week: Once I glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel, I run for it. Or rather I slowly drag my bruised and battered brain toward the finish line. I skip grocery shopping, the gym, showering … It’s not pretty. But when I’m done …
  6. The Four-Second Celebration: OMG! I wrote another book! I’m amaz— Oh, crap. I have to edit it now?

Once the writing part is done, the book undergoes close scrutiny by my publisher Aubrey, Mr. Lucy, a few beta readers, and my eagle-eyed proofreader. I am forever grateful for those eyeballs. They save me and my past English teachers considerable embarrassment.

In the immortal words of Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, it’s all part of the experience.

all part of exp

So, there you have it. My writing process. Or as I like to call it, my Writing Hot Mess. Keep an eye out for the second Pierce Brothers Book at the end of April. Beckett and Gia are sweet, sexy, and very spicy! If you haven’t read Carter and Summer’s story No More Secrets, check it out on Amazon. Happy reading!



P.S. Now, who wants to help me organize my closet?

I freaking love love. Granted, you kind of have to in order to write romance novels. It’s a prerequisite. But even if I wasn’t a writer of romance, I’d still love love.

I hit the love lottery with Mr. Lucy. Growing up reading romance novels gave me some pretty lofty expectations when it came to relationships and Mr. Lucy has surpassed those expectations! So when a reader tells me she wishes that the men in my book were real, I tell her they are and I mean it.

When you have a great source of love in your life it makes you more sensitive to recognizing it in other forms. You’ll find it in any soul that makes you feel like you’re home, no matter where you are.


You’ll find love in the way…

  • Your mom rolls her eyes when you tell a funny family story that wasn’t funny when it happened.
  • Your dog sighs and falls asleep in your lap when you finally sit down at the end of the day
  • Your heart feels happy after reading a beautiful story.
  • Your face hurts from laughing with your best friend.
  • Your grandparents hold hands when they think no one is looking.
  • A kid’s face lights up when he asks you to watch him (somersault, take a big bite of pizza, jump into the pool) and you do.
  • Your neighbor shovels the snow from your walk or drops off a casserole when they know you could use an extra hand.

It’s all love. And that’s what I enjoy writing about. Big, messy families, crazy neighbors, poorly behaved pets, and heroes and heroines who have finally found each other.

My Valentine’s Day wish for you, dear reader, is that you feel loved today. Even if it’s just from me! Thank you for reading, for reaching out, for sharing my books with your friends. Thank you especially for telling me that the stories and characters who hold my heart also hold yours.

I’ll leave you with this picture of two of my favorite Valentine’s. My grandparents.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.