Fellow Loveswept Author Ruthie Knox joins us today to talk about her debut novel Ride With Me, coming next month from Random House digital!
When I first had the idea to write a sexy romance novel set on the TransAmerica Trail—a forty-two-hundred mile paved bike route that crosses the United States from Virginia to Oregon—I was so overcome with giddiness at the idea of getting to put bikes in a book, I didn’t think it all the way through. I neglected to consider that I’d just given myself a rather intimidating mandate: I was going to have to make bikes sexy.
I mean, it’s all very well if you’re Jessica Scott, and you write about men who wear boots and carry guns and blow shit up. Women are conditioned from birth to find guys like that hot. Cyclists, on the other hand? Not so much. And it’s all the these fellows …
I know. I know.
But I was undaunted. I would bring the sexy back to cycling. I had the power! And anytime I felt faint of heart, I just reminded myself that the Venn diagram of “cycling” and “sex” does have overlap.
See? His name is Lance Armstrong.
Or, wait, no. Diagrams are too brainy. I’m supposed to use more pictures. How about this? Does this do it for you?
Eddy Mercx was also quite the hottie back in the day, what with his sideburns and that sweetie-pie-Elvis face. Plus, his name has an “x” in it, which makes him automatically sexy.
Point being, yes, okay, cycling isn’t our manliest sport. It’s got the grunting and the sweating, but it’s also got the spandex shorts, the helmets, and products with names like “Butt Butter.”
For me to make this bicycling romance novel thing work, I needed guidelines. So I made myself a little index card, and I propped it up on my monitor.
Here are Ruthie’s Rules of the Road:
(1) The hero may not wear spandex or engage in any kind of gearhead weenery.
(2) The hero may putter around bare-chested in the sun, getting grease on his hands as he tunes the heroine’s derailleur.*
(3) The hero may not drink any liquids from a tube or be seen fretting about hydration levels or eating power bars.
(4) The hero may drink beer and eat burritos. (See? Manly!)
(5) The hero must wear both helmets—because safe sex is important, but so is making sure you don’t leak gray matter all over the pavement after you get hit by a logging truck.**
**Corollary to Rule 5: The writer need not mention either sort of helmet more than once or twice, so as to make it easy on the reader to conveniently forget all about them.
(6) The hero may not make use of any products designed to “prevent chafing.” No butt lubricants were employed in the writing of this book.**
**NB: The writer is still laughing five minutes after having typed that sentence.
(7) The hero may pound his tent stakes into the ground with a giant rock, all caveman-like.
And, finally, the rule that trumps them all—
(8) The hero may make up for any perceived deficiencies by being astonishingly good at tent sex. Like, seriously gifted, people. He’ll prove it to you. Repeatedly.
Ride with Me, available from Loveswept on February 13, 2012!
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.
These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.
One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all!