I am a proud former librarian. I am also the possessor of a potty mouth, a bawdy sense of humor, and an e-reader that should’ve melted long ago because of its smutty contents.
While I worked at the library, the combination of my job and my personality sometimes surprised people. I understood why. In the popular imagination, librarians love silence, propriety, and—above all else—glaring over the tops of their bifocals at troublesome patrons. They don’t swear. They don’t tell dick jokes. And they certainly don’t read sexy books.
Turns out, though, that’s not quite true. If you talk to librarians, you’ll find a wide array of personalities. Some of my favorite coworkers did direct death stares at noisy library visitors, and a few refused to read books with sexual content. Others, however, actually ended up getting shushed by patrons (*coughMEcough*) for speaking too loudly or laughing too hard at dirty internet memes.
And many of us loved romances. In my case, that love led to writing romances of my own.
But I didn’t forget the library, even though I no longer worked there. My debut novella, Broken Resolutions, is set in one. It features a quiet but determined librarian named Penny, who meets her perfect match on New Year’s Eve. The later books in my Lovestruck Librarians series feature her friends, all of whom work in the same library system.
So before Broken Resolutions downloads onto e-readers around the world, I should probably clarify a few things. Here are four true/false questions to test your librarian knowledge:
- True/False: Librarians are all quiet and prudish.
Answer: This one’s a gimme. You already know I’m loud and love dirty jokes. Next question.
- All we need to identify a book is the cover color, and/or the decade you saw that book.
Answer: True…occasionally. I once had a lady request a book with “kitchen” in the title. She wasn’t sure if it was fiction or not. It could have been a cookbook, a remodeling guide, or…anything, really. I finally figured out she wanted The Help, because library miracles sometimes occur. In general, though, a full title or author name helps expedite the process and stop the librarian from pulling out handfuls of her own hair.
- True/False: If you’ve forgotten your e-mail password, we know it.
Answer: False. Although “password” or “unicornlover1967” seem to be common answers.
- True/False: We have eyes in the backs of our heads.
Answer: False. Our extra sets of eyes can be located in a variety of places. On the backs of our heads, sure. But also our shoulder blades, our knees, even our breasts. Which no doubt explains why so many patrons kept looking there, especially when I wore formfitting shirts.
In conclusion: Librarians can be proper, but they can also be a bit dirty. And we’re probably watching you with our extra sets of eyes at all times. But not in a creepy way. I promise.
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?
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.