So Much News!

Dark Rooms is off to the copy editor, and will be on its way to you in FOUR WEEKS. Phew! Also if you haven't seen this cover? *Pets abs, fans self.*

But seriously, this story is near and dear to my heart. Wes is adorable, Aimee is bad at feelings...They're a mess. And I love them. That's totally the official blurb, too. (It is not.)

OTHER FUN STUFF!

If you're in the greater Boston/southern New Hampshire/southern Maine type area, you can catch me doing my very first reading on July 13! The event is FREE, but space is limited. Get there early for snacks, wine, and red-faced me trying to figure out what excerpt I can read in front of my mother. 

On July 19, join me and a whole bunch of Boroughs Publishing authors for Christmas in July! All day, authors will be taking over the Boroughs Facebook page with sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff. I'll be there from 11:00 - 11:30 am. Shenanigans TBD.

And finally, if you're at the RWA annual conference in Orlando, I'll be at the Harlequin signing event on July 28 from 8:30 - 9:30am. Bonus? They're doing a special print run for digital authors, so I'll have actual books to sign! 

OH! AND! We just found out the the Mated anthology has been selected from Harlequin's direct-to-consumer print program starting in December. What the hell does that mean? It means you'll be able to order the anthology IN PRINT from Harlequin and select other online retailers, like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. More details to come, but SO EXCITING.

Stay tuned for more updates like pre-order links for Dark Rooms, Christmas in July shenanigans, details on the Harlequin signing, and other upcoming releases. (You heard me.)

It's My Anniversary

So you'll have to excuse me while I get sentimental. I wrote this a year ago, nearly ten years to the day of when my husband and I met (he asked me to cover his shift so he could go sailing, I said no), and I still believe every word. So, a love letter to my husband, to the romance genre, and to my sometimes difficult to manage relationship between my brain and my body.

Reposting it all here, in its entirety (original here.)

Romance Novels Saved My Marriage. Seriously.

Hey look, it's the old Memorial Bridge! Photo credit goes to our fabulous wedding photographer. (You can message me for her details.)

Hey look, it's the old Memorial Bridge! Photo credit goes to our fabulous wedding photographer. (You can message me for her details.)

 

Sunday marks my sixth wedding anniversary, and almost exactly ten years since my husband and I first met. As anyone who has been a long-term relationship with another human—romantic, platonic, or even familial—knows, relationships take a lot of fucking work. Sometimes when the deck is stacked against you, in the outside world or just in your own head, it feels like the only thing to do is walk away from it. Sometimes it is the right thing to do. But sticking around even when things absolutely suck, when you know it's not irretrievably broken but you have no idea what to do to fix it, is what long-term relationships are made of.

Every single day, I am so glad that both of us were too stubborn (and maybe a little too stupid) to throw in the towel and walk away. Even when it would have made perfect sense to do it.

And now for TMI (look away, Mom). Not all marriages are built the same, but ours is one with romantic love at its heart, and for us, sex is kind of really important. Except that for years of our relationship, I could not have cared less about it. A combination of internal and external factors, not least my struggle with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, left me with no interest, and worse, guilt and anxiety about that same lack of interest. A fun and exciting cocktail of lady boner killers, if ever there was one.

I tried everything I could think of. I addressed my mental health issues. I got medicated, I went to therapy, we went to therapy together. I struggled to get myself out of my head and into my body. And finally, in a fit of 'what the hell could it hurt' I read a contemporary romance novel. (I'm not telling which one.) And it...gave me pants feels. It felt like a freaking miracle.

Romance novels saved my marriage. Really. Reading romance, aside from being entertaining and filled with sexy fantasy adventures, gave me a vocabulary for expressing what I wanted when it came to real-life sex. I could point to specific passages and scenarios when talking to my husband, and that felt less risky to me than trying to put words to desires that had only ever been nebulous at best.

Romance gave me tools to have agency over my body again. For years, I felt betrayed by a body that just. Would. Not. Cooperate with me. But in reading so many (so many) novels that celebrate pleasure and agency, I found ways to put my head and my body back together again.

I devoured romance across genres and heat levels. I hated some, I love some. I've reread others multiple times, and not just the sexy parts. When romance writers are good, they're damn good. And I keep reading them, not only for the dirty bits, but because at their core, romance novels are about hope. The hope that two (or more) people can connect in a lasting and meaningful way. That love really can conquer all. Even when they're dark, romance novels promise us that we can have a happily ever after. That we deserve a happily ever after, no matter how flawed and fucked up we are. And the world needs more of that right now. More hope, more love, more working to overcome our fears so we can connect with others.

So along with celebrating my anniversary with my husband, I'm celebrating my love affair with the romance genre. Thank you, to all of the writers out there, putting more love and joy and yes, sexy sex out into the world. Thank you for making me one of you, for helping me find my own calling writing joy, love, and sex. For giving me hope.

Wolf Summer Out NOW!

I am still in  state of general shock and disbelief that this is happening. 

I hope readers love Sam and Callie the way I did. And if they don't I hope they don't tell me about it. 

I am eternally grateful to a large number of people for making this possible. My dreams are coming true, and that does not happen in a vacuum. People think of writing as solitary, but the shift from sitting alone in front of my laptop to getting this book into your hands is a team effort.

These two goobers and their shenanigans wouldn't be seeing the light of day without the fine folks at Carina Press, who wanted to publish it. (True story: it took weeks for me to believe that they hadn't called me by mistake. I kept waiting for the "Whoops! Our bad!" phone call.) Then my editor, Deb Nemeth, came in and helped me make the story so much better than it was. Editors = superheroes. Then there's the team of people who make things like covers, blurbs, and marketing happen. 

Then there are the people who make my life go round. Team Lu, my friends, my family, my Brady, and especially my husband. Every one of you has amazed me with your love and support for my hare-brained scheme of becoming a romance writer. I love you all.

Cheers to Sam and Callie, and here's to the next one! (And details on that are coming sooooooon.)

 

Wolf Summer is Out in ONE WEEK

Don't forget, newsletter subscribers are getting a sneak peek at chapter one! (And updates about new releases, sales, and bonus material after that. I dislike a cluttered inbox as much as the next guy.)

Hello from Under the Laundry

RT17 was a blast, y'all. But holy crap, does my introverted little heart need a few days to recover. Alas, the world marches on. 

SO! Wolf Summer and Mated are out in TWO WEEKS! That high-pitched squealing sound is me being ridiculously excited to share these two goons with you. 

AND! If you want a sneak peek at the first chapter of Wolf Summer, I'm sending it to newsletter subscribers next week. You know the drill:

The newsletter will only be for updates about new and upcoming releases, sales, and perhaps some bonus material. I promise I won't clutter your inbox.