Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this concept for this book?

Shirley:  I wanted to do a friends-to-lovers story for the Sweet & Savory series. I hadn’t done one of those before and thought this concept, sort of turning the tables on it, would be fun.

Rad-Reader:  What is it that we don’t know as far as the backstories for Angie and Max that the synopsis/blurb doesn’t tell us?

Shirley:   I think they have had a crush on each other the whole time they have known each other, but neither has ever said anything. I think there was some sidelong glances in school and a few regrets about not dating when they were younger.

Rad-Reader:  Why make Max become obsessed with the list?

Shirley:   I think he needed to focus on something else so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the feeling he had that he was making a mistake. If he’s busy with other thoughts, he can ignore the ones he doesn’t want to face.

Rad-Reader:  Why has Angie been so afraid of commitment?

Shirley:  I think she’s had her heart broken often, and that she’s seen relationships fall apart around her. When you’ve gone through a couple really bad breakups, it’s harder to believe in forever.

Rad-Reader:  Aren’t they both basically committed already to each other for the last twenty years?  That’s a long time.

Shirley:  Yes, but with no real expectations. Friendship has a lot less commitment to it than marriage ;-)

Rad-Reader:  How many years had they been apart when she had to move around with her mom?

Shirley:  Just a couple years, but I imagine they stayed in touch with letters and phone calls.

Rad-Reader:  Were his parents still together making each other suffer?

Shirley:   I think so because that’s part of what has made Max go for the safe woman instead of the one who makes him go out on a limb.

Rad-Reader:  She was willing to try anything to get Max to see her as more than just a friend.  Why couldn’t or wouldn’t he see it?

Shirley:   Because, back to the other question about his focus on the list, doing that would mean admitting he was making a mistake. And dealing with the feelings he has for Angie—and what doing that might do to their friendship.

Rad-Reader:  When was the first time he noticed Angie was a girl?

Shirley:   I imagine it was in school, probably when he gave her that Starburst. I bet he had no idea that she treasured it, but like all boys at that age, the candy was his way of saying he was interested in her.

Rad-Reader:  What was Max so afraid of that the list made him feel safe?  Even his partner at work didn’t agree with it.

Shirley:   I think Max is just really risk-averse. Most of us really like having control in our lives, and so much of what happens to us is outside of our control. For him, the checklists allow him to feel like he’s got some degree of control over the situation.

Rad-Reader:  He got jealous of the fact Angie had condoms and a date on their night of the week.  Yet, when he did the same he didn’t consider her.  Why is that?

Shirley:   Well, most of us are like that 😃. I think we all get more indignant at other people making the same choices we do. And for Max, realizing that Angie did have a dating life, sort of surprised him, and woke this jealousy inside him that he didn’t know he had.

Rad-Reader:  What did he really feel for Angie?

Shirley:  He loves her. He always has :-) He just doesn’t know it right away. 

Rad-Reader:  Did he feel it since he met back up with her after all those years away?

Shirley:   I don’t think Max ever stopped loving Angie. I think in the back of his mind, she was the standard that he held all other women too.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you have play…

Angie:  Kat Denning

Max:  Chris Hemsworth

Shirley:  I’m not one of those authors who pick actors as my imagined hero and heroine. They are alive and well in my mind, and to me, don’t look like anyone but the people in my imagination, if that makes sense.

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your couple or book as a whole?

Remember Me This Way– Brett Young
Max loves Angie with all that he is but knows she has ideas about marriage and how it’s not in her DNA.  So, now he’s planning on marrying a woman because it looks good on paper.


It’s You – Maggie Rose
The fact that Max is her best friend and man.  She is now in a panic over him wanting to marry someone who looks good on paper, not love.

Shirley:  Maybe “One Fine Day - The Chiffons” 

Because Angie is waiting for that day when Max finally wakes up and realizes she’s standing there.


Rad-Reader:  When did you know you were going to take writing seriously?  You were going after your dream.

Shirley:  I’ve written all my life and published my first piece at the age of eleven, so pretty much from the day I learned to read. I’ve never wanted or really pursued any other career.

Rad-Reader:  Once you had the book written what was your next step?

Shirley:   The next step is always to write another book 😃 I write four to six books a year, so I’m almost always starting another one as soon as I finish the current one.

Rad-Reader:  Do you use a storyboard?

Shirley:   Nope. I just write. I go back and revise or edit on hard copy, but everything happens in my head.

Rad-Reader:  Do you do series or stand-alone?

Shirley:  Both. I have several series out right now (Sweet & Savory, Sweetheart Sisters, Barlow Brothers, O’Bannon sisters) and also write some stand-alone books. 

Rad-Reader:  Where is your favorite place to write?

Shirley:  Right here at home on the sofa, with my dogs snoozing on either end 😃

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it due out?

Shirley:   Right now, I’m working on four books for Harlequin Special Edition, to continue from the Barlow Brothers with the newly-remodeled Stone Gap Inn. Those will all be out in 2019.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books? Link

Shirley:  Everything is available on Amazon and BN.com, but more info is available at:

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web? Links

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