A Little Sizzle…A Little Burn…

My romantic comedy, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, comes out this October. Top off your wine glass, take a sip, and read on for an excerpt:

Streetlights shine through the windows of the closed diner, illuminating my office booth. I sit in the dark, alone, licking envelopes. The taste of cheap mint reminiscent of expired generic mouthwash pervades my lips, my tongue. These envelopes are the only things needing my tongue these days, and I’m getting paid to do it, so I sit, and I lick. Perhaps that qualifies me as a stationery whore. Perhaps I should care. I do not.

The dangling bell above the diner door rings, and I check the reflection in the wall mirror. It’s a man, silhouetted in the dark, an unknown entity, stalking my periphery. Broad shoulders, narrow hips, and delicious thighs fill the shadows. Boots pound on the wooden floor, headed my way.

But I’m not afraid.

The boots march on, drawing the man ever closer. In the glow of the lamp light streaming through the window, a face emerges in the reflection.


Leisurely, I draw an envelope across my tongue, savoring it. A sting burns my lip as the edge bites my flesh. I fold the envelope closed, set it aside, and pick up another one. My tongue caresses the cut on my lip.

Sam is beside me now. He reaches out, grasping my upper arm. There’s pressure, undeniable pressure. He pulls me to my feet, lifting me from my booth. Arms encircle me.

I drop the envelope. Our bodies fuse together, welded like magnets. Sam claws his way along my shoulder, finds the back of my neck, grasps my hair, and turns my face to his own. His mouth crashes upon mine. He rakes my lips with his tongue, forces them apart, unheeding my paper-cut pout and my minty, envelope tang. My tongue finds his. He kisses me deep, Grand Canyon deep. I kiss him right back.

Fingers grope and squeeze, find purchase, test boundaries. They land on my collar and buttons fly from the front of my blouse, falling on the table like yesterday’s paper wads. Desperate, panting, wanting me, Sam slides his hands down my ribcage, ripping my blouse apart, flaying the fabric, exposing me to the world. Expert fingers grip my front-hooking bra and make short work of the clasp. He frees my heaving breasts from the lace and the Lycra and the elastic. Boobs tumble out along with a half-dozen Cheerios and a school of rock-hard Goldfish crackers stashed in my cleavage. Cracker dust coats my upright nips.

Sam is undeterred. Better still, he’s even harder than the stale sea creatures released from my bra. He reaches past me and swipes envelopes and crackers to the floor. Gripping me by the waist, he lifts me with ease, and sets me on the edge of the table. My mini skirt bunches at my thighs which, miracle of miracles, are cellulite free.

His belt blocks my way, halting my progress. I grasp it and rip it from his jeans, casting it aside. The button bursts open, sending the zipper cascading down his bulge.

He’s at my knees now, under my skirt, parting my legs. I don’t question this, I give into it, breathless, panting, needing Sam to take me on this booth, to take me now, now, now, even if Charlie just entered the diner and is seated at the table beside us, rattling on about crop yields and moisture checks.

Charlie flips through a notebook, apparently unperturbed by our after-hours foreplay. He scrutinizes something in its pages. “You won’t need to run that load through the dryer, Sam.” He stops, writes down some numbers, then studies me with squinty eyes. “She’s pretty dry. No moisture check needed. Saves on the dryer bill for sure. Gotta like that.”

I don’t like that–why am I so dry? And why would anyone like that? I search Sam’s face, yet it’s morphed into a nondescript blur of formless contours. He warps in and out, overtaken with soft lines and wispy edges.

Armed with a spatula, clear as a bell, Eli, the young fry cook, is beside us. “Want me to flip her for you, Sam? You gotta brown both sides.” He slides the metal edge of the spatula under my ass cheek, ready to cook me well and brown me even. Instead, he stops and points past me.

Maddy’s here–where’d she come from? “Mommy, will you wipe my butt?” She holds a wad of toilet paper and waits. Her nose runs. I tear off a piece and wipe.

Surrounded by shadow, slipping away, Sam lets me go as he backs away, zipping and buttoning, disappearing in the dark. My knees slam together with a thunderclap. The sound rolls through the diner. It echoes out of my dry, empty, money-saving vagina, bounces off the walls, and scares the Goldfish crackers, which swim away under my booth. My bra snaps back on its own accord, enveloping my crumb-covered breasts. I grasp at the rapidly dissolving Sam, panting, wanting, needing. He stares at my child and slips into nothingness.

With a start, I snap awake.

Well, crap.

The Party’s Over… But The Fun Isn’t!

Thank you everyone who stopped by my Champagne Book Group Author Facebook party on Friday! A good time was had by all despite some technical difficulties, so like a good hangover – is there such a thing? – let’s wrap it up, shall we?

The first chapter of SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED in collage form

First off, congrats to Joanne Renauld! She won the $20 Amazon gift card for signing up for my website email. Check your inbox, Joanne. There’s a card waiting for you – spend it well.

May I suggest a few wonderful options:

Kelley Griffen’s Binding Circumstance To save the life of the man she loves, she’ll have to risk her own. Costume designer, Leslie Carroll has mastered the art of flying under the radar. She’s had to, or risk being found by the psychopath who almost killed her.

The first in Laney Kaye’s Bent, Not Broken series, Malicious DesireThey think they can break her. But if life hasn’t succeeded, how can four men? It’s an Amazon best seller!

Elizabeth Chatsworth’s delightful novelette, Ten Minutes Past Tea TimeA Victorian spinster-scientist and a Viking shield-maiden find passion and danger in dark-age Ireland.

Another Amazon best seller, Outling, the first in Marty Mayberry’s Crystal Wing Academy seriesWelcome to Crystal Wing Academy, where the magical Elite reign…and Outlings are an endangered species.

Next up, some poll results. I asked our tipsy little party goers what they like in romance and here are the results:

  • First place – Include suspense, paranormal, and/or sci-fi elements
  • Second place – just make me break out into a full-on sex sweat
  • Third place – Take place in the past and/or feature well-known historical events
  • Fourth place – Make me laugh out loud and cheer for a hapless main character gulp (I wrote a freaking romcom)
  • Fifth place – Are set in the modern day and are relatable to my life
  • Rounding up the rear – Always feature enemies to lovers regardless of time, place, setting, and heat level

Tell me, has frenemies been done to death? Your thoughts on these? Share in the comments what you love to read and, if you dare to share, tell me why.

Moving on, I’ll post an excerpt from SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED next, but in addition to my upcoming ebook, keep an eye out in October for my humor essay, Mom and Her Midday Mahem, featuring one of my mom’s cookie recipes, coming to the nationally recognized food blog, Eat, Darling, Eat. It’s a brief foray into my mom’s imaginative exploits hunting our midday meals with our pet cat, Tigger Tom, in the 1960s. You won’t want to miss it.

Time to share some social media info should you like to stay connected. Follow me on Twitter at @robinfritz – I promise NOT to get political (Ugh, am I right?), on Instagram at RobinFritz86, and on Pinterest at RobinFritz86.

Last but not least, a huge shout out to Champagne Book Group for hosting this shindig, and a giant thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat. I really appreciate it and I hope to hear from you again soon. Until then, don’t forget about my upcoming release of SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, stick around to meet more CBG authors, and if you do nothing else, keep on reading!

It’s a Party and You’re Invited!

Hey, everyone, come join me on Friday, September 6th from 6:30 – 7:30 EST (3:30 – 4:30 PST) for my first ever Champagne Books Author Facebook Party!

I’ll answer questions about my upcoming book, post some get-to-know me trivia, share a http://www.robinwinzenread.com scavenger hunt (complete with a prize!) and will give away another Amazon gift card. Who knows, maybe a barn cat or a gassy bulldog – or a sexy boyfriend – will stop by too. And I’ll even share a teaser from my novel, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. Best of all – one lucky party goer will win an ecopy of my book, though you’ll have to wait for it’s release, coming soon this October.

To *attend* like “Champagne Books* in Facebook, and follow along. I’ll be joined by other CBG authors too, so don’t miss it! See you next Friday!

Some Assembly Required – Cover Reveal

The powers that be at Champagne Book Group blessed me with a draft cover for my upcoming release of SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED and I LOVE IT!!! Expect some refining and tweaking, but I’m thrilled to share.

And the winner is…

Thank you, everyone, who took the time to follow my website and share your email address. I’ll be sure to keep you posted of upcoming information regarding the book’s release and my latest posts.

Until then, let’s all say congrats to:

Lisa Morgan!

Daren drawing out the winner – doesn’t he look thrilled? Or possibly constipated?

who just won a $20 Amazon gift certificate. It will be coming your way soon, Lisa, so keep an eye on your email.

More contests will be underway as release day approaches, so if you aren’t following my blog or haven’t shared your email address yet, get on it – see the contact page for more info. With any luck, you just may win a barn cat…

Galloping Gophers, It’s Gyno-Day

After procrastinating myself into a corner, I’m locked in the downstairs bathroom psyching myself into combat mode. It’s Gyno-Day, my 11:20 appointment with my OBGYN beckons, and I’ve waited until the last minute to do my pre-appointment prep. And I’m panicking. Frankly, detailing my SUV would be easier, even if there’s a summer’s worth of French fries encrusted in the carpet and a horde of perpetual salt dunes hug every nook and cranny of my console.

But I digress. This is about my nooks and crannies and their deplorable current state.

Light a candle for me, people. It’s going to be bumpy ride.

Seriously, though, ladies, am I the only one who launches into full scale remodel mode, preening, plucking, and prepping like a contestant in the fair queen pageant for Gyno-Day?

Am I?

My current plan is to tackle the manageable things first – teeth brushed, make up on, hair washed – the stuff on my head first, thank you very much – blow dryer cranked to high, armpits shaved and possibly hit with the dryer too, then coat my pits with a thick lacquer of deodorant that will hopefully outlast the hour I’ll spend in the waiting room trying to stay “fresh.”

Once Plan A is executed, I’ll launch into the real battle – defollicle’ing myself from the waist down – which would be easier if science would get behind us gals for a change. I mean, c’mon, if we can genetically modify corn to withstand drought, why can’t we borrow a few genes from hairless cats so I can save some time not to mention weed-eater string? Is it too much to ask?

And it’s not even a matter of defollicle’ing the down under either, is it, ladies? If only, right? No, after a fun-filled hour of trimming the hedges, I rubbed my thighs with coco butter in hopes they’ll appear fragrantly tight and smooth, lulling myself with this temporary fantasy, while fully aware the main attraction resembles the moldy-ass cave where Dumbledore and Harry Potter did battle with a horde of Voldemort’s enviously skinny Inferi.

Do I really stirrups at this point?

And am I done? No! Of course, not silly. Because now I have to get dressed which means I sprinkle my undies with perfume and powder – ironically willing to risk cervical cancer for a day so my gyno doesn’t think I’m disgusting – and I gave my girl parts a quick once over with the extended reach Swifter Duster too, just to be safe, because I’m not as flexible as I use to be and I’ve already said it, people,…nooks AND crannies.

It paints a picture, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, I’m constantly asking myself why bother? My baby-making days are behind me, I don’t have to worry about STDs as my lady parts aren’t active on the dating scene, and menopause is rapidly morphing my middle into something resembling a thumb. Although, on second thought, my thumb still sports a six-pack so my apologies to my stubbly fifth digit.

At least one part of my body toned

Plus, it all leads me to wonder, is there anything guys prep for as much as Gyno Day? Besides the Superbowl? Do they even care when it’s time for a relative stranger to whisper into their ears, “Turn your head and cough?”

I doubt it. They’re probably completely unfazed. I imagine many a poor doctor has uttered that hallowed phrase, reached down into a patient’s nether regions for a quick squeeze only to dislodge a sprinkling of last night’s nachos and a lug nut from between the boys.

Ironic, isn’t it?

I tell myself it doesn’t matter. I imagine every gyno has seen worse. And I’ll troll the waiting room, seizing up the competition, hoping and praying I’m not the day’s horror story. Today, hopefully, I’ll be unmemorable.

Just as long as I don’t fart.

Little Tidbits to Tide Me Over

I’m currently sitting in my itty, bitty, 90-degree yard-barn office feeding sweat beads to the corn flies while I simultaneously nag summer interns for missing homework assignments. It’s a glamorous life.

But in my mind, I’m cool as a cucumber.

Autumn comes to the heartland


My brain cells are already channeling October.

Ah, October, that blissful autumn month when the weather doesn’t quite suck – a real treat, here in the Midwest. I’m meditating on my favorite season because that’s when my novel, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, makes its debut.

Until then, however, I’ll just sit here and ooze odor while I anticipate a few months ahead. To distract myself, though, I think I’ll take a stroll down Facebook memory lane and share a few musings and tidbits from my otherwise quiet, little country life:

Just a small, blind kitty “helping” me grade papers

“Right after my 15-year-old son hit the tree with the Jeep, he told me what I did wrong.”

“Splurged and got a Swifter 360 Extended Duster and now I can reach the crucifix over my doorway and finally dust Jesus.”

“Just had a college finance major ask me why getting a C on her final exam didn’t raise her B+ to an A-. “

“If you happen to be in the left stall in the women’s restroom at Nick’s in Bloomington, can you please pass me some TP?”

“Only two days after joining choir, my son took up song writing and penned a tear-jerking ode about a boy who comes home from school hungry and wants his mother to cook for him. Now.”

“Are vegetarians allowed to have chickens on their kitchen towels or does that constitute false advertising?”

“There must be a moron tattoo on my forehead that only children can see.”

“Today the world isn’t my oyster because I don’t give a shuck.”

“I must be part manatee because I have the innate ability to turn lettuce and seaweed into fat.”

A rural route sunrise

My Avatar Has Cankles

I’m worried about my brain. My body? Not so much. Sure, it’s chubby and spongey and my joints sound like bubble wrap in the a.m., but the women in my family tend to chug on and on and on like paunchy little Energizer bunnies that last for freaking ever so yay, right?

Their brains, however? Not so much.

Living, breathing 3D me…

To stem my future foray as a living, breathing fruit noodle, I’ve embraced a plan I like to call the Better Brain for Robby Plan. If you occasionally read health articles at one in the morning because your aging bladder confuses the toilet for your bedroom too then you also know the best way to keep that brain alive and kicking is to challenge it, the harder, the better.

My plan?

Xbox Live.


More specifically, Call of Duty BlackOps Four.

Actually, this plan also checks off a box in my Better Relationship with My Baby Plan too, as my sexy, studly life partner, Daren, is a level-four-million apex predator who can often be found stalking fresh meat in the Alcatraz game portal. Learning to play – and play with him – was a no brainer.

Oh, BTW, did I mention I haven’t touched a controller in, like, a decade? H’mmm…what could possibly go wrong?

I’ve read that, for some, the appeal of these games lies in the ability to leave reality behind and be a different person. Like Steve Austin from the Six Million Dollar Man, better, faster, stronger.

If only.

My level one newbie avatar can barely run a straight line, much less simultaneously punch and jump through a window while also fragging three other dudes. I can look right or I can look left, but I can’t look left and also up while running in a straight line and don’t even get me started on shooting and who put that freaking fence in my way, son of a bitch!!!???

Daren can not only bust out that window while jumping through it, he can also take out a squadron, loot their bags, launch a sensor dart, cover his buddies’ backs, and skirt the white line of death while also occasionally rocking an ammo belt/kilt combo that highlights his electronically muscle-bound thighs to perfection.

Give me a sec…I’m picturing it…

Meanwhile, my online twin is aimlessly plodding back and forth into a non-existent wall because I still can’t jump through this imaginary freaking window without getting shot in the back by an eight-year-old with poor grammar and an impressive potty mouth.

The little shit…

In the world of Xbox, I’m the fresh meat people like Daren and the eight-year-old take out in two minutes flat. My online avatar has fallen off roofs, flailed into my own friendly fire, been run over by multiple online vehicles, shot while UNDER water, tried to escape a zombie – that’s right, there are zombies – only to run into an ENTIRE zombie horde, and my poor little simulated bitch even got sliced by another guy’s razor wire – which, BTW, doesn’t even move. Seriously, stationary objects are ripping me a new one and often. And, if the white line of death even flits in my general direction, I panic to the point of voluntarily running into someone else’s cluster grenades. Not to mention more zombies.

I’m an online disaster.

For Daren, it can be a real patience tester. Bless his pea-picking heart. But I think our relationship is stronger now, partly because of all the practice we’ve gotten from shouting things at each other like, “Which floor are you on again?” and “Your mic is off…no off…okay muted……it’s muted…UNMUTE your freaking mic!!!…and “I AM trying to get into the f*cking car!” and “You took my controller batteries, are you kidding me???”

And, the other thing is, where my brain is concerned, I think it’s working there too. This game is HARD, unbelievably hard. The multi-tasking involved is off the charts. And it’s so freaking fun when we’re not screaming at each other! Plus, slowly but surely, I’m getting a wee bit better.

I once accidentally landed on another dude while parachuting into the map and – get this – I KILLED HIM WITH MY FANTASY FISTS OF FURY! I confused him with my level one chaos! I didn’t even know what I was doing or how it even happened – I was frantically hitting levers and moving the joystick while screaming in tongues – but I did it! I got my first kill.

I swell’eth with pride.

Sure, I have a long way to go and many more levels to master, but it’s all downhill from here, right?


Daren? Hello?