Goodreads giveaway! Enter now to win a free, signed copy


Your very own copy via snail mail!

If You Have to Ask is currently on Goodreads as a giveaway! Hooray for free!

Enter now to win.

There will be 10 lucky winners. If one of them is you, I’ll mail a signed copy to your house. Or business. Or wherever you want. As long as it’s in the US, Canada, UK or Australia. I won’t mail to space, even though it would be super awesome if someone (or something) in space read my book.

The contest runs through June 15. Tell your friends! Then maybe we can have a book club together.


Book release party! If You Have to Ask is out in the world!

You’re invited to a book release party for If You Have to Ask, which is now available! Hooray!


No, that’s not true. I’ve always been optimistic and committed. But still, it’s exciting to have it be for reals really real. I hope you can join me to toast an indie accomplishment. And by indie I mean indie published, but community supported. It wouldn’t be here, existing on the interwebs, if it weren’t for many collaborators and supporters. Thank you.

CroquetParty details

Sunday, June 1, 3-6pm; Contact me for location

What to expect: Cocktails, snacks and print books for sale. I can autograph them if you like. We’ll set up croquet, too.

Can’t make it? Your support matters! Please consider reading the book and sharing your review online and with friends. Bonus! I’m giving away 10 free copies on Goodreads.

Thank you, friends

If this is in any order, it’s chronological:

Continue reading

What the readers say: Latest reviews of Bea’s Notes

The story has left the station. Find Bea's Notes on Amazon.

The story has left the station. Find Bea’s Notes on Amazon.

I used to write in a diary, which was a great thing for an only child growing up overseas with very crooked teeth. It was something I could do for myself to keep myself company. My diary was almost like a first teddy bear. Yes, I understood it was an inanimate object, but really, it was very easy to image it was something more, like a pal.

But now that my teeth are straight and my teddy bears have gone off to the stuffed animal playground in the sky, I want not to write in a diary for myself, but in a format to share with others. Which is why my first handful of Amazon reviews for Bea’s Notes are so exciting.

People are responding. What are they saying?

WolfAlice: Warm and Clever

For a pair of scientists, our two young lovers have a lot of heart, too. This is a delightful, light look at a newbie’s early sexual experiences. I love that Bea is inexperienced but open, awkward but unashamed. Highly recommended.

Jan K: Funny/touching trip back to your 20s

Bea captures what it’s like to have your first halting experiences with sex during college, with a twist: since she’s a future scientist, she and her partner in crime, Peter, approach the process as a lab experiment. She sets out to control everything controllable, and even hypothesizes about possible outcomes. The joke, of course, is that how they both feel about their experiences, and about each other, isn’t so easily controlled, quantified, or understood. She’s right that this will always be a “baseline experience.” But how she sees it emotionally will change from minute to minute, and will continue to evolve into a future where there are more experiences to compare it to.

Kells seamlessly creates an endearing character making an earnest effort to understand herself. Bea is believable, relatable, and yet totally original.

Anonymous: A sweet story about discovering sex, and about writing about discovering sex…

This story features some really poignant “coming of age” details, from the contemporary (the excitement of being called to go out on a date, rather than texted) to the timeless (tension in the differences between male and female arousal). The author treats the themes with an open-eyed tenderness, conveying sexual discovery in a universally relatable way that belies the uniqueness of human experience.

Please review it too!

Read all the reviews of Bea’s Notes on Amazon and buy your own copy of the short story while you’re there! It’s only $0.99. Then please consider leaving your own review. It’s greatly appreciated, because you actually can talk back, unlike my diaries and teddy bears.

Thank you, reviewers!

Twitter is no fun as a party of one.

Photo of people preparing for a party

Every party needs potatoes, too.

It takes people to make a party! I’m new to Twitter, but that much I know.

Twitter is a good place for sharing. You’ve got to be pithy, which is a parameter that may even encourage your creativity. It does mine. I must admit though, I’m still learning how to write a good tweet.

Better to share a conversation than a monologue

Sometimes I share, then… quiet. But sometimes I share, then… connect. I’ve been surprised and delighted to enjoy twitter conversations with people I’d never otherwise have access to. For example, I was excited chat with Jen Kirkman about her experience being on the road for her book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself. We got to talking (okay, tweeting) after I wrote, I can totally take care of myself: On (not) having kids, which was a reflection on her book.

I share this story to say that Twitter can be fun! I’m working to figure it all out still, but hope to make it a place to continue conversations, share related links and continue to build community.

Let’s share and connect on Twitter together! I’m @namedlauren.

Moral of the story? Don’t eat a burrito on a date.

Photo of a dried meat market.

Dried meats are probably okay on a date. Or are they? Tell me in the comments.

Below is an excerpt from Bea’s Notes, which is free for Kindle through January 11. That’s 100% off the cover price! Seriously, I’m a discount shopper and 100% is nuts. I never see that at TJMaxx or Marshalls.

Don’t own a Kindle? It’s okay! Kindle books can be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android.

Here we join Bea and Peter late in the story:

About an hour later, they got ready for bed. There had been some kissing, but not much because it turned out that burritos were really hard to digest. Bea would have been happy to fall asleep holding hands. She didn’t even feel like doing it that much anymore, but would soon have her period, which meant a whole week without doing it.

“I’m really full,” Peter said.

Bea agreed. She was growing slightly worried that she might have to use the bathroom in a big way, which she really didn’t want to do because Peter’s bathroom didn’t have a fan and it shared a wall with his bedroom. Bea tried to pray the urge away, even though as a biologist she didn’t believe in anyone or anything hearing her prayers. I’ll pray to probiotics, she thought, which didn’t make much sense.

Peter put on Miles Davis again and shut the door to his room. Bea sat on his bed, a king, which was a little crazy for a college student. He liked to spread out at night, he explained, when she first saw it. I sleep like a starfish, he had said.

“We have to do it,” Bea announced, when Peter sat down next to her.

“Okay,” he said, and pulled a condom out of his top dresser drawer. He opened a different drawer to find the lube that she had bought after the first time. He put them both on the nightstand, like a staging area. He also kept a white mug stained with coffee on the nightstand. There was a big blue whale on it, with a rainbow coming out of the waterspout.

“Sit down next to me,” Bea said.

Peter did as he was told. She leaned towards him and they began to kiss in that small, warm way that he had taught her. Bea felt her stomach settle and relax. She pushed into him with an urgency that surprised her. Their lips mashed together, like they were both looking for something. Bea reached around his head and tugged on his hair, moving her mouth from his lips to his cheeks to his ears to his neck. He had shaved that night and she could smell the crème he used, which smelled like a woodpile after rain, the kind of thing you’d smell at the lake house. She pushed Peter back onto the bed and pulled his shirt from his pants. It was so cute that he tucked in his shirt for their dates.


OMG, want to know what happens next? You can, for NOTHING. Bea’s Notes is free for Kindle through January 11.