KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
BY OLIVIA DADE
LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES
Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…
Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?
BY OLIVIA DADE
“I can’t host the New Year’s Eve singles event tonight,” Angie said, her voice crackling slightly in Penny’s ear. “My sister thinks she might be in labor. Again. I need to get to the hospital right after my shift.”
“How many false alarms have there been?”
“Too many.” Angie sighed. “Remind me never to get pregnant. If I decide to have children, I’ll contact a stork. Or a cabbage patch.”
“Thanks. But that’s not why I’m calling. I need someone to cover for me tonight.”
“Then you should call Mary. She’s always looking for extra hours.” Penny held the cell phone next to her ear with one hand and squeezed some ketchup onto her plate with the other. She dipped a fry and popped it into her mouth.
“You know how flustered Mary gets when she’s working alone. And this is such a big event.” Angie paused. “Penny—”
She closed her eyes at the pleading sound of Angie’s voice. The other woman was Penny’s dearest friend, as well as her supervisor at the small library branch where they both worked. Penny wanted to help her. Really. But there was no way in hell she was spending her New Year’s Eve at her workplace, especially as the host of this particular event.
“I know you’re really excited about the singles’ night, Angie,” she said. “And I know we need the money for children’s programs. Believe me, I’ll be grateful to get a larger budget. But I’d be a terrible host for the event. I just don’t see the library as a romantic hotspot. Or how we can connect a singles’ night to our branch’s mission.”
Penny loved the Battlefield Library. But it was hardly a repository for eligible bachelors. In fact, spotting a handsome, single man there evoked much the same reaction as watching a unicorn canter through the stacks: Awe. Wonder. Confusion. And then, inevitably, he turned out to have a life partner named Raoul or Steve. Or she’d see him listed in the sex offender database. Or he’d spend way too long in the true crime section, emerging sweaty and trembling.
Which reminded her—Bob had gotten a book in the delivery that morning. She needed to set Murderous Intent: The Most Gruesome Killing Spree Ever Recorded aside for him.
“I took care of the library-romance connection,” Angie said. “I came up with games and activities that involve books.”
“Are they bobbing for paperbacks?” Penny asked. “Because I might enjoy watching that.”
“Nah. I’ve got a few other things in mind. Sexier things.”
Penny paused with a fry halfway to her mouth. “Angie…”
Just last week, the two women had celebrated the end of Angie’s month-long work probation. The library administration had objected to her display of erotica, especially the big poster at the top. That sign had read “Spanking-New Books” and featured a flesh-colored book cover with a large pink handprint on it.
Meet the Author, Olivia Dade…
While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?
Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.
During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.
Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.
So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.
Links to Olivia’s website, blog, books, etc.
Barnes & Noble:
Twitter: @OliviaWrites; twitter.com/OliviaWrites
Facebook fan page: facebook.com/OliviaDade