Around the Fire New Release Book Spotlight.
A Little Bit of Lust
How many second chances will she give him?
About the book
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.
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Shirley shared with us a character interview with, Lucy and Phoebe, about A Little Bit of Lust
Hi, I’m Shirley Goldberg, a guest on D.V. Stone’s blog. Thanks so much for hosting me.
Lucy Bernard, the main character in A Little Bit of Lust, and Phoebe Karis, her friend, interviewed me. They had to be careful not to spring any spoilers on our readers, but their questions made me think back to why I wrote the book.
Lucy: Phoebe, Deon and I are good friends in the book. Do you think men and women can be platonic friends? Do you have male friends?
Shirley: Yes, I do. I’ve always had male friends, and my writing partner, who’s married, is one of them. We beta read for each other and help with proofreading. Another friend of over fifteen years is a former professor, and we’ve never dated.
Phoebe: Yes, but those sound like literary types. What about being friends with a guy you’re attracted to? That’s different.
Lucy: Yeah. Are you friends with anyone you used to date?
Shirley: Yes, actually. My good friend Peter, a retired teacher and musician. We used to date. I see him whenever I’m in Connecticut. Since he’s single, I often heckle him to give me the man’s perspective on dating. He has tons of stories most people wouldn’t believe are true. He’s a charmer with great hair and meets women wherever he goes.
Lucy: The book opens at a restaurant where they host a band every Sunday afternoon. Does that place exist?
Shirley: Yes, that’s Donahue’s. We used to go every week because the band started playing at four thirty and finished by eight. Teachers like to get to bed early.
Phoebe: I love the idea that you made us all teachers. You don’t read about teachers as romantic leads in books all that often.
Shirley: Exactly. I wanted to show that teachers can be funny and experience heartache like anyone else.
Lucy: Deon is a widower who hates the idea of moving on and dating. Why did you choose that status for the character?
Shirley: When I began dating, a friend of mine told me to date widowers, if possible, said they’re the best. “Widowers have a proven track record, kids, and usually good jobs,” she said. That advice stuck in my mind when I began the book.
Phoebe: Was it true what she said about widowers? Are they more understanding than divorced men?
Shirley: I can’t make a blanket statement. Some are, some aren’t.
Lucy: What was another reason for Deon to be a widower?
Shirley: I liked the idea that my main character had had a loving and successful marriage. This was the main reason he wasn’t interested in dating, although his wife had died four years earlier. To better understand my character, I researched support groups for the bereaved. Also, I’d dated a widower who fell apart after his wife died. I wanted Deon to be strong, stronger than he’d realized. Also, friendship played an important part in all my characters’ lives, as well as significant in the recovery process.
Phoebe: In the book, I host an ice cream social. It’s an eight-minute dating social event where people meet a new person every eight minutes. How did you get the idea?
Lucy: Good question.
Shirley: I made it up. I’ve never attended an event like that, although I talked to a friend who’d taken part. It wasn’t difficult imagining how awkward meeting a new “date” every eight minutes would be.
Lucy: In the book, Phoebe and I are interested in the same man.
Phoebe: Wait. I can’t tell the folks if that man and I are still together, can I?
Shirley: Absolutely not!
Lucy: Moving on. Since I know you’ve done a lot of dating, have you ever been interested in the same man as a close friend? If so, how did it get worked out?
Shirley: No. I used to go to dances and Meetups with a friend. She and I laughed about how we were never interested in the same men.
Lucy: Do you have someone special in your life now?
Shirley: Yes, I do. Our favorite datey thing is dining at home and going out dancing afterward. I hope everyone reading this has at least one date night a week.
I know your dying for a bit more and here's an excerpt.
~Lucy and Deon are hanging out at her place before the Eight Minute Dating ice cream social~
Lucy aimed her phone at Deon’s Patrick Dempsey hair. The young Patrick.
“Throw your head back. Run your hand through your––”
“Come on. Unbutton a few buttons.” He’d been working out more, she could tell by the swell in his arms and chest. The nerd was looking good.
“Stop it.” He held his hand up blocking her view.
“You’re all gussied up for this eight-minute dating thing. I just wanted to mark the occasion.” She climbed up the ladder. No fun teasing Deon if he wouldn’t play.
“You tried on this crap already?” He gestured to the bed where her dress, jeans, and tops lay splayed like scarecrows minus the stuffing.
“Pardon?” She shot him her most stern teacher look. “Deon Goldbloom, it isn’t crap. You’re supposed to be my calming influence.”
“Relax, Ms. Bernard. I’m here, aren’t I?”
True. Irritatingly present, like a fungus.
“What happened? Did Noelle cancel?” Noelle was their friend who taught at the high school.
Lucy took a few shots and climbed down to reposition the ladder. “Yeah. Phoebe needed help.”
“You’re saying I’m your last resort?” He looked genuinely hurt.
“Of course. You’re a guy.” Lucy smirked. “I didn’t even know you were coming.”
“Not just any guy. A guy with sensitivity and extraordinary taste.”
“Sensitivity, my ass.”
“Are you bickering?” called a voice from the hall, and Lucy’s daughter, Lily, flew into the room to say goodbye. Lucy wobbled on the ladder, almost dropping her phone. Lily was on her way out for dinner with her grandparents, who lived one town over, in Hamden. “Play nice, you two.” She shot them an amused glare.
“Hey, Lily, nice to see you.” Deon and Lily hugged. “When do you start the internship?” Lily, visiting for the weekend from grad school, had snagged a much-coveted internship at the NPR Boston station.
“I’m so excited I can’t stand myself,” she snorted and ran a hand through her wild mane. “Staying with my besties. It’ll be a blast.”
Lily and Deon caught up for a few minutes while Lucy took more photos and rearranged the flat lay.
“So,” Lily said, eyeing her mother on the ladder, “ice cream dating is a thing now?”
“Crap, I hope not,” Deon laughed.
Lucy was glad Lily barged in with her freshness and humor, and her white jeans shorts and tiny, blue, raggedy-cool top. Her daughter disappeared a moment later, and Lucy got off the ladder.
She should stop picking on Deon. A tad sick that getting under his skin had become a game. Forty-seven years old, and she’s playing games. Pitiful.
What she’d like to do is punch him in the mouth. Since she kick-boxed Mondays and Wednesdays, this wasn’t an idle threat, even way inside her head.
Only a month ago, her legs had turned to marshmallows when he touched her. Now she’d happily crush his thumb in a vise. Or stomp on his big toe with her hiking boots and ask him, “How does that feel, dear?”
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.
12/12/2022 10:48:34 am
What a fantastic interview, you three ladies! :) Glad you got Shirley to reveal a little more about herself. And, hey, as a retired teacher myself, I can attest to much of those sentiments! Wishing you the best, Shirley. And, of course, Phoebe and Lucy!
12/12/2022 12:36:43 pm
Love the interview! Makes me want to learn more about those ladies!
12/13/2022 09:51:22 am
Grinning from ear to ear over here! What a great interview! I'm looking forward to reading the book.
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Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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