Shine a Positive Light

Out of the many blogs today offering viewpoints on 9/11, this one from Tymber Dalton touched me deeply.
Hold your loved ones close, today and always. And blessings to the angels who watch over us.




Image via Depositphotos, courtesy of Simonalvinge


Special from R.E. Hargrave!

R.E. Hargrave is a fav author of mine and she has a special offer for those of you who love (or are curious about) BDSM romance. I can vouch for the quality of the writing in this series. Check it out and see if you agree with me…  😉


Now that the 2015 Golden Flogger Award Winners have been announced, I can move forward with offering all three novels of The Divine Trilogy as one complete installment! I’m super excited to be able to do this for the readers who have been with me from the beginning and the new ones who’ve yet to meet Master Jayden and his Irish lass, Catherine.Enter a world where pleasure and pain are one . . .
when in the hands of a skilled Master.

Cover Designed by J.C. Clarke of The Graphics Shed
Release Date: August 2015
Genre: BDSM Erotic Romance
Length: Approximately 255k words / 754 pages Trade Paperback
An erotic read meant for adults, The Divine Trilogy is not your typical romance.
When you first meet Catherine and Jayden they aren’t looking for love at all. Catherine O’Chancey is a young submissive whose second Dom turned out to be an abusive fake. This is the story of her subsequent recovery and reentry into the BDSM lifestyle with the help of a new Dominant, Jayden Masterson. Come with me, and I’ll take you on the journey alongside Catherine and Jayden while their bond grows and deepens. It’ll be sexy and intense, but never fear, you get to be there to see the tender side of her new Dom as he helps her through her past tragedies.
The Divine Trilogy offers a different view of the BDSM world. 
One that will enlighten readers and show them that those who live this Lifestyle often do so because it is a deep-seated need within their psyche, something that can’t be ignored. And that need is okay because, when practiced properly, BDSM is all about being Safe, Sane, and Consensual. Find within the pages a sampling of the different dynamics which can occur amongst kinksters. Everything from hardcore pain sluts to docile “littles” who want to be pampered and coddled, but the important thing to remember is that everyone has a place of acceptance, without judgement, in this Lifestyle.
Time and again reviewers have said they couldn’t put this book down . . . even when they don’t usually read this genre.
“Never has a trilogy made me feel like it has come full circle. As much as I didn’t want the story to end, when it did, it left me feeling complete and not lacking for anything. It was hard to say goodbye to my new friends but their story will stay with me.”
~ Goodreads Reviewer
“How do you put into words the love that has grown as we watched Jayden and Erin start out as broken souls and evolve into the people they become in this book Surreal? The author has proven that with the right person, love and acceptance, you can bloom into the person you were meant to be all along and soar to heights that not even you could dream possible.”
~ Tbird, Beyond the Valley of the Books
“Overall this trilogy was amazing and is the perfect trilogy for fans of BDSM romance. The theme was well researched and RE Hargrave absolutely nailed it.”
~ Kirsty, Sarah and Kirsty’s Book Reviews
“Brilliantly written, and with wonderful character development, The Divine Series is simply one of the best I’ve had the privilege of reading. Surreal, the last in the series, is the icing on this most delicious, most decadent of cakes. Not only are the scenes unique as well as sizzling, Hargrave gives us the right balance between heat and passion and an absorbing storyline, one never detracting from the other.”
~ L.J. Harris, author of Just Like Pulling Teeth
Separately, these books would total $11.97 on Kindle or $54.49 for all three paperbacks. By condensing them into one volume, I’m able to offer you the full Trilogy at a reduced price.
Amazon Paperback $24.99 ~ Coming Soon
Follow R.E. Hargrave on Facebook or Twitter

Release Day – Fire Lust by R. E. Hargrave

Lucy note: I had the pleasure of reading this and it’s a wonderful story!

Title: Fire Lust by R.E. Hargrave
Cover Design by: J.C. Clarke (c) Grafix Momma
Genre: Fantasy / Bi-Sexual Erotica / Short Story
Length: 86 pages (~13k words)
Price on Amazon: Kindle $0.99 , Paperback $5.50 , FREE with Kindle Unlimited
***Contains explicit adult content meant for mature readers 18+,
including graphic sexual situations and recreational drug use.***
Heather Marsden and Cody Stevens have been an item since their first year of high school. With their future planned and their college graduation within reach, Cody gets devastating news from his doctor. Heather must now cope with the knowledge that she might lose the man who was supposed to be her forever.
While trying to come up with a grand final birthday surprise for him, Heather ends up befriending the new girl in town. Suzanne Cross lives a hippie life full of color and extravagance, seemingly without a care in the world. In truth, she’s all alone and hides a secret.
Heather’s new friend is something more than human, but how far will she be willing to go to save Cody? Just how much faith in “love” can she muster?
A few minutes into class, the door opened and a tall, dark-haired beauty rushed in, apologizing to the teacher with an innocent smile. The girl rushed across the room and slid into the seat right in front of Suzanne, who found herself staring and not caring one bit that she was. The purple aura around the newcomer was comforting . . . welcoming.
With a soft sigh, the girl dropped her bag before rummaging around in it for something. She finally found what she’d been after—a hairpiece—and as she straightened up and twisted the satiny lengths of her onyx hair into a messy bun, Suzanne was hit with a wave of sweet scent.
The smell reminded her of the beach—coconuts and limes. Surprisingly, she found herself leaning forward to try and sniff the girl who chose that moment to turn around, her pretty brown eyes widening at Suzanne’s proximity.
“Oh, sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you,” she whispered and though her voice shook, she pressed on. “Hi, I’m Suzanne Cross. I just transferred here and well, I’m having a party on Friday to try to get to know some people . . .” The words rambled out while she pushed a flyer toward the girl, trying to cover her inappropriate sniffing. What the hell? Suzanne didn’t do girls, but something about this girl was calling to her.
The girl didn’t grunt. She didn’t give Suzanne a noncommittal nod either. Instead, she took the flyer, looked it over, and then looked up at Suzanne with a brilliant smile.
She couldn’t help thinking how very beautiful the girl was and her head was having a hard time wrapping around that.
“Nice to meet you, Suzanne,” she whispered back. Her breath was tinted with a minty scent. “I’m Heather. This sounds great, but I need to check my calendar. I might have something going on,” she said politely before turning back around to pay attention to the history professor.
Suzanne had to give the girl credit for at least being amiable. She was the first person to speak to her all day—even if it had been a tactful dismissal. It hadn’t escaped Suzanne’s notice that most of the invitations she’d distributed throughout the day were left behind on seats, or even blatantly wadded up and tossed in the trash when people left the classrooms.
Class ended an hour later, and Suzanne was beyond ready to get home and light up. There was a shitload of homework to tackle, but it could wait a little bit until she’d mellowed. She was gathering her things when Suzanne felt a tap on her shoulder. Looking up, she was met with Heather’s sweet face.
“Hey, Suzanne, I just wanted to ask, if I can make it, is it okay if I bring my boyfriend? Friday’s his birthday and it would be awful of me to ditch him.” Heather let out a cute giggle, and she found herself smiling despite the absurdity of her reaction.
R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter, and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of music. A native ‘mutt,’ Hargrave has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories—which range from the sweet to the paranormal to the erotic—on location in South Carolina and Texas, but it’s anybody’s guess as to what the genre will be!
Current titles on Amazon:
The Crazy Lady Authors Present: Treasured Moments
Sugar & Spice
Haunted Raine
Unchained Melody (ebook only)
The Food Critic
Fire Lust
To Serve is Divine (Bk 1 of The Divine Trilogy)
A Divine Life (Bk 2 of The Divine Trilogy)
Surreal (Bk 3 of The Divine Trilogy) — 2015 Golden Flogger Award Nominee
Coming Soon

Cover Reveal – Lorenz Font

cool TWCS logo


A Cover Reveal for

Indivisible Line

by Lorenz Font


Release Date: March 12 , 2015


Pre-med student Sarah Jones is back in Beaver, Alaska, for summer vacation.  A loyal member of the Gwich’in tribe, she accepts the rules set by her father, the leader of their small town. Raised in a strict household, she learned early on to do what is expected of her and has agreed to an arranged marriage. Despite her reluctance to marry without love, Sarah is unwilling to defy her father’s wishes. She hopes to help usher in an era of independence and stability for the town, but for now, her focus is finishing med school so she can become Beaver’s resident doctor.IL pull quote

Business owner Greg Andrews needs a change of atmosphere, away from his philandering wife and life in general. Leaving New York City to join a hunting expedition in Alaska, Greg’s plans are turned upside down when he is shot on Gwich’in land and ends up on Sarah’s operating table. In the absence of a qualified doctor, Sarah must operate to save his life. She refuses to wait for the consent of their tribal leader, and her father banishes her from the tribal land in punishment.

Grateful for his life, Greg concocts a scheme to help. Plagued by the side effects of her unconventional operation, he convinces Sarah to become his live-in nurse. Without the means to support herself, Sarah agrees to the questionable arrangement, but she soon finds herself in even more trouble. Her new problem is that she is falling in love with this infuriating man, and the choices she now must make are much more difficult than the simple act of saving a man’s life.

Together, Sarah and Greg must both decide whether they can overcome the vast differences between them, or if the indivisible line that separates their worlds will ultimately pull them apart.



For the first time since he had been brought in the clinic, Sarah got a good, long look at him. She noted the perfect blond hair that fell on the side of his face—matted but still perfect. His features were rather forbidding, even in his unconscious state. The defined jawline framed well-proportioned lips that were pale and parted slightly. The suggestion of dimples on either cheek made her ache to see him smile. Then there were the long, dark eyelashes and the contoured nose, all coming together to create a striking, attractive package that kept her eyes glued to his face.

Indivisible-Line-3D-PaperbackHer heart began to race. What is wrong with me? Shaking off another wave of nausea, Sarah closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing. Her knees weakened underneath her, but she kept on inhaling and exhaling. A few more minutes and it would be over.

In her short life, Sarah hadn’t met a man who evoked the well–documented “butterflies-in-the-stomach” phenomenon. Now here she was, staring at a complete stranger with her heart banging against her chest in a frenzy. This man was just too perfect, too beautiful almost. She was even gladder she’d managed to keep him alive. He’d make a woman happy someday, if he hadn’t already. Instinct made her eyes travel to the man’s ring finger, and her heart skipped when she found it bare.

Goodreads Add to Want To Read List




Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. She is currently enjoying the buzz from her vampire novels Hunted, Tormented and Ascension, Books 1-3 of The Gates Legacy Series, Feather Light, an erotic romance and Pieces of Broken Time, a military romance.

Lorenz’s perfect day consists of writing and lounging on her garage couch, aka the office, with a glass of her favorite cabernet while listening to her ever-growing music collection. She enjoys dabbling in different genres, with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.

Lorenz lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. She divides her time between her full-time job and her busy writing schedule.






feather_light_hi-res coverPieces_of_Broken_Time_Low-Res_Cover



Release Day – R. E. Hargrave

Looking for well written BDSM books with heart AND depth? My friend, R. E. Hargrave is releasing the final installment of her Divine Trilogy today. I invite you to check her out. Tell her Lucy sent you.

Congratulations, R. E.!


Release Date: December 15, 2014
Genre: BDSM Erotic Romance
Series: The Divine Trilogy
Available on: Amazon



Catherine O’Chancey is a young submissive who has found her happily ever after with a man far better than she’d ever dreamed.
Or has she? When does life ever work out so conveniently?
Jayden Masterson first opened his playroom to Catherine, a provocative Irish beauty with a penchant for pain. Then he opened his heart to her everyday persona, Erin. For him, life has never been more perfect, or more confusing, since he’s comfortable as a Dominant but still finding his way as a lover and equal partner. Jayden is also learning that he can’t protect his jewel from everything—nor should he. Some battles she must fight on her own.
Erin’s past still haunts her, and as the couple move forward in their merging relationship, they must cope with the physical damage left behind by her abuser.
Catherine and her Master still have a lot to learn about each other, and about themselves. If Jayden and his jewel can overcome the challenges they face on the next chapter of their journey, their ending just might be . . . Surreal.
*Cover design by J.C. Clarke of Grafix Momma
What Reviewers Are Saying:
“The Divine Trilogy was an emotional journey for not only these characters, but for me as a reader. I could not have asked for any more from Ms. Hargrave than what she did – write a beautiful story about intriguing characters that entertained me and touched my heart. And in doing so, she has earned not only my admiration and respect, but gratitude.  The dictionary defines the word divine as being supremely good or superb; in that case, The Divine Trilogy was appropriately titled because that’s exactly how good this series was. This is a must read series!” ~Robin with Sizzling Hot Books


“What an amazing 3rd book in this series! I love this series like no other! Jayden is one smoking, sexy, caring Dom that loves with all he has! Erin is an amazing sub that keeps surprising me as the story goes on! She’s strong, sensual, caring, loving and most of all submits to her Dom with all her soul! This is one of those books that you want more from, one that gives you so much that you keep taking it all in and just can’t stop! I loved this series and hope and pray there are more like this one to come from an amazing Author who has put so much into what she writes!” ~Maria, Goodreads Reviewer
There is so much more to this story than you can possibly imagine! The plot of Surreal unfolds in layers. The writing keeps you guessing, questioning and wanting more information. The writing is also clever and witty, even humorous at times! I highly recommend this story to any BDSM lover and anyone who wants to read about an emotionally moving love story that will leave you thinking about it for days!” Kristin, Goodreads Reviewer
Before the driver could pull the car out of the parking lot, Jillian was talking a mile a minute. Paige seemed to be following it all, but Erin felt lost while she watched them banter like a tennis match.
“Whoa, slow down. We’ve got all day and the only actual appointment is at the dress shop. Paige is meeting the seamstress who will be doing the custom work on her gown.”
Paige and Jillian shared a look.
“What?” Erin was on alert at once.
“Erin, sweetie,” Paige began.
“Oh, no. This isn’t about me today, Paige. We’re doing stuff for your wedding, not mine. Jayden and I haven’t even set a date yet.”
“And? Your point is?”
Jillian took over, “Because you two haven’t pinned down a date is all the more reason to get busy straight away. There is so much to sort out and plan—”
“I don’t know. In my mind, I kind of thought it would be small and quick.”
Paige snorted at that, and Erin kicked her friend in the shin before she said something not suitable for Jillian’s ears.
Jillian leaned toward Erin to lay a manicured hand on her knee. “I’ve waited almost forty years for my son to get married. This is one event that will not be downplayed if I have anything to say about it.”
Erin felt her eyes begin to lower under the intensity of her future mother-in-law’s stare. Paige nudged her knee, which reminded her that submitting to one Masterson was quite enough.
“Surely you’ve got some ideas, Erin? A general time frame and colors, for instance.”
The young woman’s thoughts went to the ink encircling her waist. It captured her heritage, the red and green braiding a permanent reminder of her Irish roots.
Paige clapped. “That dreamy look means yes!”
Across from her, Jillian relaxed into her seat with a smug grin, and Erin threw up her hands. “Fine. Bear in mind that I haven’t discussed any of this with Jayden yet—and no decisions will be made without him.”
“Yeah, yeah. Give us the goods, girl,” Paige said with a snicker.
“Well, I don’t want white.” She glanced at Jillian and was relieved her preference didn’t seem to be an issue. “I’ve always liked ivory—it’s more down to earth. For accents, I was thinking red and green. Oh, and for flowers,” she smiled at the secret she shared with her Dom, “I’m pretty sure Jayden will want orchids.”
“Good, keep going.” A notepad had materialized in Paige’s hands, and she was scribbling at a furious pace.
Erin shook her head in amusement. “I like roses, too, so maybe we can combine them?” She continued to ponder aloud. “As for when, that will all depend on when Jayden can take time off from work—”
“My dear child, that boy would move mountains for you. If you have a special date you want, I assure you that business will not keep him from making it happen.”
Go back to the beginning:
When Jayden Masterson–a gentleman Dom with a taste for perfection–meets a submissive with a mysterious past and a natural desire to submit, he can’t resist the spark that ignites inside him. He wants to learn everything about Catherine O’Chancey; not just the intricacies of her body, but her mind as well. But does she want the same? Can Catherine stand up to her past and find the right Dom who can make her feel alive again?
To Serve is Divine (Book One of The Divine Trilogy):Amazon Kindle
A year has passed since Jayden Masterson collared his first submissive, Catherine O’Chancey. To celebrate, Jayden has orchestrated a special day for his jewel: one during which her final fantasies will be realized and his own inner strength tested. Are these two ready to move beyond just Master and submissive? Can they set aside their fears to tell each other the truth at last?
A Divine Life (Book Two of The Divine Trilogy):Amazon Kindle
About the Author:
R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children from elementary age to college age. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of a music.
A native ‘mutt,’ Hargrave has lived in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and California. She is fond of setting her stories on location in South Carolina and Texas, but its anybody’s guess as to what the genre will be!
Her novella works include:
Don’t forget to enter the multi-author Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Losing Genre Virginity

Confession time…

Although I’ve read all types of romance for over forty years, I’ve yet to read a paranormal. And I’ve only read one shifter novel.

I know, I hear the collective gasps all over the world.

Are you crazy? Do you know what you’re missing?

Um, no. I don’t. They’ve never interested me.

That’s about to change. Yep, Lucy is losing her paranormal virginity to *insert drum roll*


“Casey’s Warriors” will be my first venture into a new realm. I hope. I heard Ann speak on a panel at Author’s After Dark in Savannah last year. She’s a hoot! Then I read an excerpt of Casey’s Warriors online and it sounded…intriguing. As in, the first of its type where I couldn’t forget the snippet. (Damn good marketing, Ann.)

So off I go to one-click. Let’s see how this goes…

Get Out of Your Way

When you are a linear thinker, *raises hand and waves frantically*  learning new things takes on a life of their own. You, er, I spend way too much time searching, reading, and studying before settling down to a course of action. (The psychology major in me would call that procrastinating.)

My writing process follows this all too predictable pattern. I started with classes in May of 2013, leaping in with terror and enthusiasm. Surely there had to be a formula writers used?

Yep. There is.

It’s called writing.

Of course, there were other things to learn. Plot, conflict, character development, voice. Not to mention all the details about writing for a specific audience.

*Screech* What?

Once I finished my first book, 42 Rue de Jardin, I thought I knew what the next story would be. There was a logical progression in my mind. But one character (Stoney Carrington) had a different idea and demanded his story be told next. He was so insistent, he talked to me the entire way on a beach vacation trip. Garage Guy suffered through three hours of my dialogue with an imaginary person. Can you picture that scenario?

By the end of our vacation, I had the basic plot for Belle Chene. So I rolled up my sleeves. Outline done, things moved along nicely. Then, BAM. I hit a roadblock. Like an avalanche across the road.

For over two weeks, I stared at the blinking cursor as it mocked me, feeding my insecurities. I knew writers hit snags, so once again, I resorted to my tried and true methods. Remember that whole linear thinking and formulas strategy? Off I went on a tangent.

I’d like to say that this worked, the boulder in my mind cleared and I merrily moved on. Didn’t happen. HUGE frustration. Instead of reaching out for help, I pulled a turtle and withdrew into my shell. Why let others see what an abysmal failure I was at this stuff?

Then I received a phone call from one of my coaches who said she knew there was a problem. (I swear the woman is psychic.) After discussing my book vision, she made suggestions. Go back before the spot where you’re blocked and take it out. Look at where the characters are going. What are they doing? How do they feel?

And it worked. It took me another couple of days to clear out the debris in my head, but the words started flowing again.  *happy dance*

So Belle Chene got back on target with a finished first draft.

Lesson learned — To get out of your own way, sometimes we all need a little push (and a large shovel) from someone in our corner.

The Lies of Perfectionism and Confidence

Well, the universe has expanded to smack me along side the head. Again. Two recent posts from bloggers I follow wielded their respective two-by-four planks to say, “Listen up, Lucy!”


First came Kristen Lamb and a post on perfectionism. Then Marie Forleo talked about confidence with a quote from Lao Tzu that I LOVE:

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

(By the way, if you are in business or thinking about it and aren’t following these two women, just do it.)

Perfectionism sucks. Let’s just put that out there. It’s tied in to the whole confidence thing. “Do I believe in myself enough to…” whatever it is I’m considering. Or do I change and tweak for wa-a-a-ay too long?

Like this post. Rather than publish the initial draft – which made me cry with its simplicity and emotion – I fussed and messed with the text, placement, fonts. It always has to be more. Better. Perfect.

No. It. Doesn’t.

The world is waiting for the gifts that only YOU can provide. When you wait until you have the confidence it (whatever IT is) is perfect, you deny others the opportunity to share your talents.

Don’t do that.

Life is too short. And it would be a pity for the world to not see your shiny magnificence. This is the one time when distraction by bright shiny objects *ooh squirrel!* is a good thing. Just sayin’.

Hard truth —> With very few exceptions, the reality is that no one else CARES if it’s perfect or not.

Do it.

This perfectionist did. With no prior experience, I took classes, surrounded myself with talented people and am publishing my debut novel on March 7.

Is it perfect? Nope. Never will be. And I’m okay with that.

Am I confident? Not just no, but HELL, no.

And I’m okay with that, too.

Show the world what you’re made of. We’re waiting.

Dinosaur Survival in a Technology World


Image courtesy of PANPOTE /

Image courtesy of PANPOTE /

 Yep. That’s me. Lucy aka Tyrannosaurus Tessie.


Hello. My name is Lucy and I’m an old fogey. *hangs head*

I’ve come to that conclusion after a string of technology (mis)adventures. Like setting up Twitter and Facebook author accounts, creating a self-hosted website, starting a blog. Oh and writing books using software other than MS Word. Yes, I know, everyone else has been doing this stuff for years. Hey, I never claimed to be current.

So even though I’ve been using a computer since the early 1980’s (when they were practically the size of a refrigerator – remember?), I now admit to making the walk of shame as a technology dinosaur.

The past nine months have seen excessive hair pulling, teeth gnashing, throwing objects, excessive swearing and generally snapping at Garage Guy when he asks what’s wrong. He’s learned to avoid me when there’s a certain look on my face that is obviously not indigestion.

“But Lucy,” you ask, “How can that be? Everyone knows all of those things are intuitive, user friendly, with forums and places to get help.”

To be fair, that’s true for normal people. I have met some incredibly helpful people who have pulled my sorry ass out of the tar pits. (Get it? Dinosaur-tar pit?) LOL

The sad reality is the ol’ Lucy fogey brain doesn’t work like normal people’s. I present the following as evidence…

1. Computer Conversion

In 2012, I converted from PC to Mac.  It was six months before I could navigate around without my eyes crossing. The poor Apple tech people had their hands full with me. You know, whatever the acronym is for ‘stupid person sitting before the screen’? I know there’s a term for us.

2. Twitter

It wasn’t too bad to set up although there are still things I can’t figure out — How do people get pictures in that area of their profile?

3. Facebook

It took 2 failed attempts at the Facebook Author page before it finally worked.

4. Website

OMG.  If I could figure it out, I’d insert a video of a screaming banshee here. Assuming I could find one.

Who takes 4 days to transfer their domain name because they can’t find the link that was supposed to make it easy?  *Raises hand* 

Picking a theme that I just HAVE to modify because I really want to create the brand vision that’s swirling around in my head. Took me six months to figure out.

Designing a sign up form.  Arghhh. Still haven’t figured it out. I know what I want and can’t translate it to the screen.

5. Book Software

I use Scrivener and it’s jam packed full of so many goodies it’s almost overwhelming. I love it but am intimidated at the same time. It can take my finished book and convert it to all different types of formats. Cool. Problem is I can’t figure out how to get chapter titles to work. *Head/desk*

6. This Blog

Ah, the easy part. All I have to do is write. How well is up for debate. But since my audience is comprised of the forty two crickets and three squirrels in my backyard, I write what I want.

Finally something that works. And it makes my old fogey, dinosaur brain happy.

9.5 Inviolate Rules for Successful Relationships

Two of my children are married, two are in relationships. Garage Guy and I have been together forever. Or 210 dog years, it seems like. Plus we both experienced a few “connections” prior to our marriage. So we have some expertise in what makes things tick between two people. Notice I said ‘some’ expertise, not ‘all’. Our life isn’t perfect.

But there are certain things couples should determine if they are considering cohabitation or marriage. All of which I feel would have been helpful before I took the plunge. So, with tongue firmly in cheek, I offer the following pearls of wisdom in no particular order of importance:

Lucy’s Rules for Successful Cohabitation (or How to Share Your Blanket Fort Without Strangling Someone)

1. How much counter space do they require in the bathroom? If there isn’t three inches left for a hairbrush or tube of toothpaste among the products and gadgets, there might be a wee problem with sharing. Or just live in a space with two bathrooms.

2. Staying in the bathroom, there’s the proverbial squeezing of the toothpaste tube. Middle or end squeezer? Again, separate tubes resolve this if it bothers you.

3. Toilet paper. Over or under? We all know the PROPER way, don’t we?  LOL  Does your future partner/roommate feel the same? If not, be prepared to change it. Often and behind closed doors.

4. General clothing/laundry tidiness. If there’s always dirty jeans, socks, bras and thongs strewn about and clean clothes are never folded, beware if you are a neat freak. It will make you crazy. There are just so many times you can pick them up or treat your partner like they’re five before they throw a temper tantrum.

5. Kitchens. Personally, I cannot go to bed if there are dirty dishes out. Yeah, it’s a personality flaw. Garage Guy doesn’t care. But who wants to get up in the morning to a sink or counter full of used glasses and gravy encrusted plates? Ugh.

6. Watch how they treat someone important to them – parents, siblings, other family members, close friends, business/work associates. It’s a powerful indication how they will treat you. And look at their actions, not just their words. If anything makes you uncomfortable, investigate further. Keep yourself safe.

6.5 In that same light, watch how they treat all the other people. You know, the times where no one is looking and there is nothing to be gained. Powerful revelation about character.

7. Controlling the thermostat. Hot? Cold? Really, do we need to have this talk again?  *Oh, sorry, thought I was talking to Garage Guy. Again!*  Seriously, I know many couples who argue about this way too much. It still goes back to priorities – comfort vs. money. Unless, of course, you marry a trust fund baby.

8. Money management. You need to have the discussion about personal debt, spending habits and overall financial philosophy. Coupons? No coupons? Saving for long and short term goals or impulsive spending? All of this needs to be out in the open as much as your past sexual history and health. Because it matters.

9. A good balance between talking and listening. Everyone wants to feel important, validated and heard. If your partner doesn’t seem invested in your life and opinions, why subject yourself to a longer term relationship?


Hmm, looking back over this list, Garage Guy and I are doing okay. Well, except for the thermostat issue.

You cannot change someone else. Cold, unvarnished reality. The only truth is to change yourself or your reactions.

Just what I’ve observed over many decades from my little corner of the world.

You’re welcome.

Now I need to go turn the thermostat down. Again.