Posted by Stacy Gold on 9th March 2023
I’m finishing edits on the second book in my Wild Love romance series, Drive Me Wild, and it’s got me thinking about the themes and ideas recurring throughout this series. What I’m writing and why I’m writing it, and what ties all three books together.
I’ve spent a lifetime working and playing hard in the still male-dominated outdoors. Starting out as a raft guide and then as a backcountry ranger, I was at best greeted with skepticism, and at worst ridiculed, scoffed at, and told to go back to the mall. I was also informed, in no uncertain terms, that I’d never have a successful life or career, and damn sure never attract a man, if I didn’t adhere to society’s standards of feminity.
So, when I decided to write romance novels, I knew I wanted to write books featuring women like me in the outdoors finding all the success and happiness they deserve. Women who are independent, smart, determined, and worthy of love even if everyone tells them they’re not. The result is a funny, sexy, feminist adventure romance series set in the great outdoors.
Each book in the series is a standalone, and tells the story of one of three best friends, Jules Martinez, Aly Teller, and Bryn Jones, finding greater fulfillment in their lives and love along the way.
This first book is Jules’s story of solo hiking most of the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington State solo—at least she’s solo until she meets Evan, an inexperienced hiker out for a solo because he’s struggling to find joy and meaning in his life, and who keeps getting in over his head. Wild at Heart was a 2022 Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize finalist.
Learn more and grab your copy here.
Book Two – Drive Me Wild (Coming July 2023)
Aly’s a successful, career-driven real estate agent who doesn’t have time for a man—definitely not one who doesn’t check every box on her list. When she agrees to go backpacking as part of a fundraiser for Jules’s new summer camp, she has no idea she’s going to end up hiking solo with a man she doesn’t even know. One who checks none of her boxes but turns out to be far more attractive than he has any damn right to be.
Book Three – Wild About You (Coming in 2024)
Bryn’s book is a second chance story about her first love from college. He’s the man who set the bar for everyone else she’s ever dated, and the man who left her with no warning years ago and shattered her heart. When he turns up at the nonprofit backpacking program she volunteers for, despite the combustible chemistry between them, a simple apology isn’t going to be enough. They’ve got issues to work through (like everyone in the series) to find their happily ever after.
What we read, and what we see in movies and on TV, changes our perception of the world and ourselves. I’m working to change the narrative about strong women in the outdoor. That’s why my books include…
Snarky, badass heroines. The women in my books are like so many badass outdoor women I’ve known—perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, in the outdoors and out. Jules, Aly, and Bryn run successful businesses, lead kids in the outdoors, and are comfortable alone in the wilderness. These women don’t need a man or children to make their lives complete, but they discover they enjoy having partners who love, support, and respect them—and give them amazing orgasms.
Speaking of orgasms… All of my books are smexy as hell. We’re talking steamy, spicy, graphic descriptions of sex—along with how that shared intimacy transforms people’s relationships with each other and themselves. Why include graphic sex? Because conversations about women’s pleasure still aren’t front and center in our society, and they need to be. And because it’s fun to get a little turned on reading about other people having sex.
Found family and the power of deep friendships between women. We aren’t all blessed with wonderful parents who love and support us unconditionally. And too often women are portrayed as mean girls who’d cut each other out in an instant for their own benefit. Luckily, blood isn’t what makes someone family. Bryn, Aly, and Jules have formed a family unit dedicated to each other’s happiness, success, and well-being.
Mansels in distress being rescued by the woman in the wilderness. I remember my first outdoor job as
a river raft guide, and men being shocked a woman like me could do the job. And even more, shocked when they fell out of the raft and I rescued them. Flipping the script on the usual damsel in distress romance trope is realistic, and can be funny, awkward, heartwarming, or parts of all three. It definitely shifts the power balance of the typical romance novel relationship in interesting ways.
Adventures through the remote wilderness with stunning scenery. If I can’t be in the great outdoors, I’d just as soon be thinking and writing about it. So, each of these books is designed to transport you to the high crags and lush temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. And I’ve learned firsthand how being out in the wilderness brings out the best and worst in people. Which is a ton of fun in a romance. Whether you enjoy hiking or backpacking, or you’re more of an armchair adventurer, I hope you get swept away.
All the feels. I believe every great romance novel should make you laugh, cry, think, and get a little turned on. So, I do my best to make that happen in every one of my books.