Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Welcome, Shirley Goldberg

 Interview with Shirley and Lucy, A Little Bit of Lust


Hi, Jenn, I’m Lucy Bernard, the main character in A Little Bit of Lust. Along with Deon Goldbloom, of course. He’s the male lead. I’m here with Shirley Goldberg, who wrote the book. I’ve asked her to talk about writing love scenes, and I’m a bit embarrassed about our subject. I’m not sure why. We’re all adults. [Clears throat] Shall we get started? 

Shirley: This is supposed to be fun. Relax. Feel free to ask questions. 

Lucy: Okay. How steamy are your love scenes? 

Shirley: Everyone’s idea of what is hot in a love scene differs. When my first book, Middle Ageish, came out, one reader told me she thought my sex scenes were “pretty hot.” This surprised me because the love scenes are closed door. 

Lucy: How to you work up to the first love scene in the book?

Shirley: I’m all about discovery, going slowly, a few moans, lots of kissing and…talking. My characters need time to warm up to one another. 

Lucy: I liked the way Deon and I warmed up, as you put it. 

Shirley: Careful. No spoilers. 

Lucy: Tell us more. 

Shirley: Some readers like it hot, while others prefer it sweet or steamy.  Writing love scenes is more about the feels and less about lust. 

Lucy: That may be true, but I like the title of the book. 

Shirley: Thanks, but I’m thinking of Deon saying at one point, “It isn’t easy kissing my best friend.” After he thinks that, he immediately realizes he’s lying to himself. He knows he’s got it bad for Lucy and he worries. The reader picks up on his doubts. 

Lucy: He said that?”

Shirley: Yes, and there’s a ton of subtext behind that one sentence. 

Lucy: You love writing dialog, don’t you? Deon and I banter a lot in the book. 

Shirley: Dialog is such a great way to let readers get to know the characters. In a love scene, the couple talk, banter, tease, and even ask questions. Sexy scenes can be playful. They can be fun and gentle. A drawn out smoochy scene with agonizingly slow undressing is a way to show the emotional connection between characters.  

Lucy: How difficult is writing a love scene? 

Shirley: If I know my characters well, writing love scenes comes naturally as a logical progression of the relationship. [Pauses] Now, let me ask you a question. What are your favorite genres and how steamy do you like your romances? 

Lucy: I’m all over the place, genre-wise. Women’s fiction, romance, historical fiction, paranormal, fantasy and biography. As far as steam, I need those feels you mentioned. As long as emotion is part of the story, I’ll take my books any way they’re served up. 

Shirley: As a writer, steamy is a new thing for me. So far, my sex scenes are closed-door, so when the characters get heated, the door swings shut and the reader imagines the rest. 

But I’m working on a book that takes place in Crete, the largest island in Greece. I lived there for eleven years. My heroine, a widow, rediscovers love and sex. I’ve left the door ajar after a long buildup to the major sex scene. No specific naming of moving parts, by the way.

 Lucy: Sounds intriguing. Anything you’d like to add before we take off? Jenn’s taking us for hot cocoa around the corner. 

Shirley: Diana Gabaldon says that most sex scenes are about “exchanging emotions, not bodily fluids.” 

Lucy: We can ponder on that one. Thanks so much, Shirley, and I appreciate your writing me into your book. Everyone, please post a comment. Tell us if you’re  a sweetie when it comes to love scenes or do you like them steamy? 



Anyone interested in more of author Diana Gabaldon’s wisdom may like to read her excellent book, I Give You My Body, How I Write Sex Scenes. I’d also recommend her Outlander series, but you’re probably well aware of it already. 





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.



Lucy and Deon wandered through the store to the missy department, jammed with displays and sale racks. What to wear on her Marcus date? A dress or jeans? She could use Deon’s advice, but something told her he was in no mood for anything Marcus. 

He stopped at a rounder of sleeveless, scoop neck tops in jewel colors. “Pink.” He chose a top from the rack. “This is you.” 

She held it against her chest. “Good color for me?”

“That guy Steve was totally flirting.” 

“You think? Should I go for it?” Casual tone with an ah-hah on the inside. Her spine tingled realizing Deon noticed their flirtation. And he was irked. He had no right. She’s the one who should be irked. 

“Depends.” He frowned. “He’s an actor. How long’s he in town for?” His hand scraped his cheek. “I know you’re pissed at me. Ever since that weekend––”  

“Me?” She flipped the price tag on the pink top and her eyebrows shot up in exaggerated surprise. Pissed at Deon? Sure, but she wouldn’t admit it, not to him. “You have good taste.” 

“I’m sorry about––”

“Expensive good taste.” Whatever Deon felt he needed to say, she wasn’t revisiting old wounds.

“Lucy, don’t make me come over there.” An attempt at humor, followed by a hangdog look of regret. “Look, I want to talk to you about…can we talk later? At dinner?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t we? We always talk at dinner.”  

“You maintain price is no object,” Deon teased, deftly dropping the subject. “A good fit is everything, right?” He moved closer and cupped her chin. “I’m dead serious. About talking.”

She twisted away. So this is how he wants to play it. Seriously, a talk? After the Ignore thing, what more could he possibly say? She wasn’t sure she wanted dinner with Deon after all. “Did I say price is no object?” She pulled out a short black dress and danced it on the hanger. “This is cute.” 

“Nice. You don’t wear much black. Try it on,” he urged. “Try them both on.”

 In the dressing room, Lucy smiled in the mirror. Deon was acting ultra nice, like he had an agenda. Weird. Close dancing at O’Donahue’s and those long looks she’d caught him giving her in her kitchen a week ago. Mixed messages, definitely. 

The pink top showed off her shoulders. At $118.00, it was no bargain, but why did everything have to be on sale? She wasn’t her mother, the ultimate bargain shopper. She wanted this sexy little top so Deon could picture her in it later. With Marcus. 

The pink top has punctum. 

The word came back to her, a surprise. Punctum, the word Deon used a while ago on the beach while they were taking photos. When he’d kissed her for the first time.




Author Bio


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 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. 







  1. So nice to meet Lucy. Looks like a great book, as always. Best of luck with it.

  2. Congratulations on your new book, Shirley! Wishing you all the best.

    1. Mary, we've both got new books, isn't it great!

  3. Love the title! much luck, dear lady!

    1. Hey, Peggy, thank you so much!

  4. Replies
    1. Appreciate the thought, yes, it's playful.

  5. Love exchanging emotions, not bodily fluids! Best of luck!

    1. Yes, she's a sharp writer. I got a kick out of that too.

  6. I like that your characters talk--even if the guys aren't always in for it--and get to know each other. Important aspect of love!! Best wishes on this new book :)

    1. Yes, and I love writing dialog almost as much as I like talky men! Hah.

  7. Oh, wow! I don't know which I enjoyed more - the interview or the excerpt! Both! Congratulations on your new release!

    Happy Holidays, ladies! Cheers!

    1. That's really sweet of you. I enjoy reading other authors excerpts too!