Unplugged: A Day in the Mind of Two Romance Writers by Courtney Cole and Eliza Freed

by Maryse on November 12, 2014 · 8 comments

in Behind The Books

To celebrate the latest releases from both author Eliza Freed (Forgive Me (Lost Souls) and Courtney Cole (print release of Before We Fall: The Beautifully Broken Series: Book 3), I have a SUPER fun post today that they’ve written.

They’ve put together a hilarious “day in the life” of two romance writers and the struggle to not think about romance novels while doing daily tasks or spending time with their loved ones.


Unplugged:  A Day in the Mind of Two Romance Writers

By: Courtney Cole and Eliza Freed

Ever wonder what goes on in a romance writer’s head? It’s pretty much the same as the rest of the world.

9:30 a.m.   Meet with Carpenter for Hail Damage Estimate


The knocking on the door interrupts me scouring my brain for a synonym for thrust. As in, “He ______s into me.”

I mutter, “hammers, thumps, plunges” as I open the door.

“Hi, I’m Vaughn Steele. I came to look at your roof.” I raise my eyebrows, immediately intrigued.

Vaughn Steele…great name. What I could do with that name. I appraise him. Cargo pants, tight T, tan. What I could do with him.

drives, dives, collides, into me.

“Oh yes. Follow me.” I take him out back to spank him. Huh? To show him the damage. I point to the golf ball size holes in my siding and he examines the side of my house. I think he’s actually interested in it. Hmm…plot twist.

“Your fascia, too,” he says.

Fascia…great word. I run it again in my head. Sounds a little 70’s pornish, but—

He points to the fascia damage and his bicep pops out of his shirt. I’m supposed to look at the faasshhheeeaaaa. (gets better every time) I look up, and he moves closer, still pointing with his muscle.

“I’m going to grab my ladder and take a look at the roof.”

jams, rams, wham bams

He walks to his truck and lifts off an extension ladder. I am enthralled. He extends it, the aluminum slashing to the height he demands. Once erect, he shimmies up it, leaving me standing far below.

presses, pounds, plunges

Vaughn Steele finishes my estimate and on his way out, points to a loose spindle on my staircase. He’s a guy who notices things; a man aware. He’s looking out for me. Fascia rolls off my mental tongue as he examines the spindle closer and warns me it needs to be repaired.

“Okay, that’s hot,” I say, not really looking at the spindle. Vaughn Steele’s unsure for the first time today.

“Huh?” Real world, Eliza! Not your head.

“I said, Thanks a lot.”

bangs, booms, girates into me

3:30 p.m. Coffee Stop


I’m late, of course. And Starbucks is a zoo, of course. I wait in line, minding my own business—because I’m late. The couple morphing into a single human being by the window catch my eye.

“Can I get a venti dark roast, whole milk please?” I ask when I reach the front of the herd.

I pay for my order and step to the side, still reading the menu.

Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Coffee

Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème

Okay. They should just call those venti orgasms to go.

Caffè Misto

And what the hell is that?

The couple five feet away continue to amaze me. It’s almost impossible to discern which body part belongs to who, they’re so tangled. His hand is actually slipped inside the rear waistband of her pants…right here in Starbucks. They stand completely expressionless, only staring across the room.

I wonder if they do anal.

According to Twitter, everyone does anal. Lots of exploration.

“Whole milk’s over by the sugar, miss?”

“Thanks.” Whole…that’s the problem. The “If there’s a hole, we should fill it” mentality. I’ve got two holes in my nose, is someone going to plug them something during sex? I reach up and touch my nostrils and pull my fingers back, furrowing my brow. What would go up there? I need to google that. They’re probably already doing it.

They? Who are they? To each his own, Eliza.

“Sorry to butt in,” half the unibody couple says as he reaches across me for sugar.

“Don’t apologize. There are no freaks here.” I smile, satisfied with my high-minded acceptance, and he looks at me disturbed.

“I just need some sugar.”

“Whatever you want to call it.” I pat his back. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, I think, and touch my nose again. Anal and Caffè Misto…don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

4:30 pm   Buy son a girdle for football (because what the hell is a girdle?) (@Court_Writes)

I stare at my list.  Then look again.

“A girdle? What?”

I realize that once again, I’m standing in the parking lot, in public, talking to myself and people are starting to stare.  Perfect.  It’s either the fact that I forgot to comb my hair this morning, or the fact that I’m talking to the air.  Let’s go with that one.

I hurry into Dick’s Sporting Good’s, because I’ve got girdles to buy.  Right.

This store is like a strange and foreign land filled with tiny running shorts, huge muscular men (Did you know that you can measure a man’s elbow to his wrist and get an approximate size of his penis?)  and tennis racquets.  Ooh-look at that tennis skirt. I could totally get that, work out for a couple of weeks so I look awesome, then…

Whatever.  I’m a writer.  I sit all day.  I live in my mind.  I’m not learning to play tennis. Even I don’t write fiction that far-fetched.

I somehow manage to find the football section, and I start scanning labels for girdles because they’re probably packaged like underwear, right?

No.  They’re not.

And there are no girdles here.

As I straighten up from scanning the bottom shelf, a guy stands in front of me.  Name tag says Jensen.  Holy cow—are people actually named that in real life??  And can I use it?  Wait no.  Because Jensen Ackles.  He should probably be the only Jensen in the world. No other Jensen would compare.

I look up at this faux Jensen.

“Can I help you, Miss?”

I’m instantly putty in his hands.  Because I’ve been m’am for at least a decade and he knows it.  His green eyes are sparkling.  What’s another name for green eyes… a good descriptor?   Emerald orbs? Puke.  No.

“Uh.  My son needs a girdle,” I blurt. He smiles.  His emerald orbs twinkle while my auto-editor cringes.  Emerald orbs.

“You’re in luck.  We’ve got a few left.”  He gestures to the right, and I notice how freaking long his forearm is.  From elbow to wrist, he must be well over a foot long.  Which means…. !!!!  My eyes fly to his face, then to his crotch.  No.  Freaking.  Way.

That’s when I remember I’m wrong.

It’s the size of the feet, Courtney.

Instantly, against their will, my eyes fly back down to his feet.

They’re an unimpressive size ten-ish.

I curb my disappointment because it doesn’t matter what fake Jensen is packing.  I can totally give my next main character a huge package.  He’ll be super tall so he can totally pull it off.  But wait. Over a foot long??  That’s porn star territory. I’m not writing about porn stars.

Or am I?  Because that could be different.  The jaded, damaged porn star and the feisty woman who saves him?


“How big is your son?” Jensen asks, sifting through a rack.

“Excuse me?” I gasp, because my train of thought… penises… porn stars…

Jensen stares at me curiously.

“What size does your son wear?”

For his girdle.  Right.  Thank God.

“Uh.”  I stare at the hip pad looking thing that Jensen is holding.  “Um.  He wears a 36×34 in jeans.  Does that help?”

Don’t ask me his shoe size, because I’m not telling you, you freak.

10:40 pm Early bed-time.  


“Did you get T his girdle?” my husband asks around a mouthful of toothpaste.

I wonder how many men can honestly brush their teeth sexily? Is it possible? Maybe Jensen Ackles?  Absolutely Jensen Ackles.  Because remember that one time in Supernatural…

“Court?” my husband asks, staring at me.  I focus.

“I did,” I answer.  “A girdle is a hip pad thingie.”

Hubs rolls his eyes. “Yes. It will protect your son’s kidneys.”

Good to know.

Hubby strips his shirt off and climbs into bed.

Now we’re talking.

“Hey,” I tell him suggestively.  “I shaved my legs tonight.”

His look of utter surprise is too adorable to be offensive.  I forget to shower sometimes.  Let’s move on.

“You showered?”

I nod. “I did.  And shaved my legs.”

I waggle my eyebrows sexily. Wait. Waggling is usually not sexy. I pat the bed next to me instead.

“Come here.”

My husband needs no encouragement and bounds the width of our king size bed on all fours in one second flat.

Running a hand along one calf, he nods in confirmation.  “You did shave.  I like.”

Dipping his head, he kisses my neck, just the way he knows I like.

“We should do this more often,” he murmurs, his lips soft on my neck.  “You’ve been working a lot of hours with this release.”

He kisses me, but now I’m thinking about this release.

Even though he starts doing the thing that he knows I like.


Wait.  I didn’t… I wouldn’t have… did I use the term emerald orbs at any time in that manuscript??

“Court?” My husband pulls away for a second to look at me, and then his face clouds over.  He recognizes my expression.  “Do it tomorrow,” he advises me softly.  “Whatever it is will still be there tomorrow.”

I pause.  That’s true.  My husband sees my hesitation and springs on it, clutching me close to him like his sheer will can keep me in bed.

But emerald orbs.

I spring out of bed. “I’ll be right back,” I call over my shoulder.  “Hold that thought!”

As I hurry up the stairs to my office, I hear him grumbling and settling in under the blankest because he knows that’s a lie.

I do a quick document search and find zero emerald orbs.  Thank God.

But you know, while I’m here and the computer is already on, I should outline the super-sized package guy really quick before I forget. His name will be… something exotic.  Something not Jensen.  He’ll be at least 6’3.  Blue eyes, because emerald orbs.

“Courtney?” my husband calls from downstairs.  “Should I go to sleep, or are you coming back soon?”

“I’ll be right there!” I answer, typing furiously.

That’s a lie.

Author Eliza Freed

FORGIVE ME by Eliza Freed (November 4, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book)
The thing he loves most in the world will kill him. It’s only a matter of time . . . ”

College student Charlotte O’Brien is lost and she can’t find her way home. Devastated by her parents’ tragic deaths, she aches for any kind of connection…and finds it in a man who is all wrong for her. Jason Leer is a rough-hewn steer wrestler from Oklahoma-and the hottest thing Charlotte has ever laid eyes on. Yet he has his own dark secrets…

Burying herself in Jason, Charlotte soon discovers that life doesn’t have to be so painful. When they’re together their passion eclipses everything-and Charlotte can finally begin to see a way out of the darkness of her past. Fighting for a future with Jason won’t be easy, but for the first time since her parents’ deaths, this lost soul might have finally found a place that feels like home.

About the author:
Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.


Author Courtney Cole

BEFORE WE FALL by Courtney Cole (November 4, 2014; Forever Trade Paperback;)
Sometimes before we fall . . . we fly.

One dark moment was all it took to turn twenty-four-year-old Dominic Kinkaide’s world black. On the night of his high school graduation, a single incident changed him forever, and he became a hardened man-famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured inside. Now all he cares about is losing himself in the roles that he plays.

At twenty-three years old, Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but an absence of moments. She tries to find acceptance in the arms of men to fill the void-a plan that has worked just fine for her, until she meets Dominic.

When jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, the combination of his secrets and her issues turns their attraction into the perfect storm. It could change their lives for good-if it doesn’t tear them both apart . . .

About the author:
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family. She’s always working on her next project… or staring dreamily out her office window.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Pia November 13, 2014 at 3:36 AM

That was fun :)

Jensen is the most common surname in Denmark :) :)

Megan Mularz November 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Maryse, I am confused. Is this a re-release of Before We Fall? I read this book in December 2013 and I absolutely LOVED it!!

Maryse November 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

It’s the paperback release (it just came out a few days ago). :)

Denise Willson November 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

This was hilarious! Way to give me a good chuckle this morning, ladies.

Denise Willson
Author of A Keeper’s Truth and GOT

donna tanner November 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM


Kathryn November 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM

I have never left a comment before on any blog but I have to say I follow your blog religiously Maryse and I LOVED this post – so funny!!

Carrie Marie November 13, 2014 at 7:03 PM

*giggle* these gals did great with this assignment! :D

Cheryl November 13, 2014 at 9:36 PM

So funny, and it seems like Eliza and I live in the same area. Maybe one day we’ll meet up in Starbucks! ;)

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