Welcome to another special Friday Feast in the Tavern! I'm thrilled to have a sister rose (from The Wild Rose Press) here with me today. We're celebrating Shirley Goldberg's new release, A Little Bit of Lust! Isn't the cover gorgeous? As a treat, Shirley is sharing a cookie recipe with us and has brought a special guest with her.
Grab a cup of mulled cider and let's hear what Shirley and her guest have to say about this latest story...
Thanks for hosting us on your blog, Mary. I’m here with Lucy Bernard, one of the main characters in A Little Bit of Lust, the third book in my Starting Over series.
Lucy: Let’s talk about five things readers need to know about the characters, the book, and what you can’t live without. And I want to interview you, Shirley.
Shirley: Good. That’s a lot to cover. You start.
Lucy: It’s tough to talk about the book without spoilers popping out. Readers need to know that my best friend Deon, and I get together and break up near the beginning of the book.
Shirley: Yeah, that’s in the blurb, so it’s not a spoiler.
Lucy: It’s complicated.
Shirley: Have you seen the movie, It’s Complicated? Meryl Streep and Steve Martin.
Lucy: Love it. Alec Baldwin plays the ex-husband. He’s hilarious. Sexy, too, for a chunky guy.
Shirley: So, you guys are besties, along with Phoebe. And you have this hot weekend that starts with kissing on the beach––
Lucy: Don’t remind me. Why did you do that?
Shirley: Do what?
Lucy: Have us go from friends to…well, it was a tremendous weekend and then pfttt. Nothing.
Shirley: Don’t blame me. That was Deon’s fault.
Lucy: You wrote the book! [Frowns and glares at Shirley] Why isn’t Deon here?
Shirley: I didn’t invite him. I was afraid you two would embarrass me in front of Jana and her readers.
Lucy: That’s ridiculous.
Shirley: Now you’re embarrassing me.
Lucy: You’ll get over it. [Clears her throat.] I think the readers need to know Lust is about starting over. All the characters start over in some way. Deon’s a widower, I’m divorced, and Phoebe is moving on after a break up. We all hang out together, so our friendship is a big thing too. [Turns to Shirley] Did you ever start over?
Shirley: More than once. I was married and living in Crete, Greece and moved back to Connecticut. Went back to school to become a teacher. Lived with my mom.
Lucy: Me too. My husband left when I as nineteen. I had a two-year-old. My parents invited me to move in with them. We’re very close.
Shirley: What’s one thing readers need to know about you?
Lucy: I love to bake and I have a small business concocting yummy desserts for local businesses. I cater to a few of the restaurants around the New Haven area and on the shoreline.
Shirley: Yes, and Lust is all about summer and the beach and going dancing.
Lucy: It’s also about me getting up at an ungodly hour because I can’t sleep and I have to bake to get my mind off…things.
Shirley: No spoilers. One more question. What’s the one fun thing you can’t live without?
Lucy: That’s easy. Besides trying out new recipes, I love posting on Instagram. I have my own account and an account for my students’ work. They love it.
Lucy: What’s your one fun thing you can’t live without?
Shirley: Dancing with my honey. Oh, and dropping my characters into steaming hot soup. Metaphorically.
Lucy: Not funny.
Shirley: So funny.
Lucy: Hey! Speaking of baking. I have a special recipe for the readers.
Shirley: Thanks, Lucy. They’ll love that. And thank you, Mary. This was fun.
Delighted you could join us in the Tavern, Shirley and Lucy! All the best!
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.
Sneak preview from A Little Bit of Lust ~
Twelve days until summer vacation.
Between spoonfuls of oatmeal, Lucy dictated her list of summer resolutions into the Reminders app on her phone. Birds chirped outside the open kitchen window where the scent of freshly mown grass hung in the air.
A text blew in from Phoebe. ––Hot guy Marcus got my number and already asked me out. Let’s talk later.––
Her thumb hovered over the message icon. She and Phoebe going out with the same man? A lousy idea. Maybe she wouldn’t go out with him. Then she remembered his biceps, his negative stomach in the black T-shirt, his full-on banter.
This will sort itself out, a phrase her mom was fond of and which she’d never for a moment believed. It roosted in her head conveniently as she moved on to more pleasant tasks than telling her best friend her hottie was keen on two women.
At the sink, she texted Deon her list of resolutions.
––Dude, take a look at how productive MY summer’s gonna be. You?––
She opened the cupboard to get out the ingredients for chocolate orange brownies. On autopilot, she preheated the oven and grabbed an orange and the zester. Slopped a half cup of butter in the pan, stirred in the cocoa, and took it off the burner to cool. Marcus didn’t waste time. Last night after their beach stroll, he’d dropped her home and asked for her number. No kissing but she knew. They hit it off. Everything was effortless, the banter, a little hand holding.
Except for the part where he’d asked out her best friend.
Lucy greased and floured the pan. Marcus probably had no idea which one of them he liked better.
Next, she beat the eggs and added the cocoa mixture, turning Marcus over in her mind. Pretty clear he’d asked them both out to compare. Couldn’t blame the guy.
“I’ll blame if I want to,” she sang out loud to the tune of an ancient Leslie Gore song. Instantly, her mood improved. She measured and threw in sugar, flour, walnuts, juice, zest and salt. Poured the mixture into the brownie pan and shoved it in the oven. She set the timer and wiped down the counters and stovetop.
In the study at her computer, she checked the dating site for notifications. There were four lame attempts to grab her attention and she deleted them. Posting photos on Instagram or baking a new pie was more fun.
On Safari, she typed in fruit pies and 699,807,368 results popped up, including a fruit pie with a lattice crust that would photograph oh, so well for Instagram.
The doorbell rang, and she startled, peeked out the window. Deon. Deon? At nine am? She trotted down the stairs and swung open the door.
“Hey.” His hair stood up cartoonishly. “I was out for a run and I ended up here. Smells like you got up early. Watcha makin’?” He entered, sniffing and rubbed his belly in a parody of a ravenous person. “Got any of those orange brownies? You hiding ‘em?” He jerked open the sliding door to the mini laundry room. “Those brownies? I dream about them every so often.”
Available from these online retailers HERE!
Or purchase from:
Shirley's books on sale for 99¢!
Middle Ageish: https://books2read.com/u/mY7jvV
Eat Your Heart Out: https://books2read.com/u/m2dDEj
Chocolate Macaroon Cookies
*How can anyone not love a crunchy, chocolatey macaroon? These macaroons are a similar version of the favorite little gem but since it’s a healthier version, it’s perfect eaten as part of breakfast or better yet, for an afternoon energy pick-me-up!
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
1 cup oats
1 cup milk of choice
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted or very soft
½ cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp flour
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix coconut, oats, milk and honey together in a bowl. Stir in melted coconut oil and chocolate chips. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time until you form a dough. Spoon tablespoon sizes of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
This and all the recipes for A Little Bit of Lust are originals, contributed by Eva Papadogiorgaki, The Cretan Nutritionist. Find her on Instagram and Facebook @thecretannutritionist. Thank you so much, Eva, for your hard work and support.
Meet 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.
Connect with Shirley here: