Who wants a free book?

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My publisher, Entangled Publishing, is turning 5 years old this month! *GLITTER TOSS* To celebrate, they have put the entire Lovestruck line (that’s the imprint I write for) on sale for 99 cents!!! What a great time to stock up on books for the long, cold winter months.

Even better? My award-winning novella, FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION, is FREE for one week. That’s right, FREE! Click here to download your copy today. Happy reading!

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***Stay tuned. I have a new book, TEMPTING MR. WRONG, the sequel to KISSING MR. WRONG, releasing on March 14. Check back here for details.***

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What a Year!

I can NOT believe that today is October 27th. One year ago today my first book, the contemporary novella, Flirting with the Competition, was published, thrusting me into unchartered territory as a newly published author. Naturally, everything else fell into place as soon as my book hit the e-shelves of Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I dropped ten pounds, paid off my mortgage, convinced Prince Harry to marry me, and discovered fat-free peanut butter M&Ms.

Okay, maybe not….

But lots of amazing things did happen over the last year. So I give you my top five (plus one bonus) list of awesomesauce adventures that have happened while I’ve been a published author.

The Best Kind of Love

My second book, and first full-length contemporary, The Best Kind of Love, was published in December. This book is very special to me and I’m so happy I was able to share it with the world.

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Kissing Mr. Wrong

More book news. I published another contemporary novella, Kissing Mr. Wrong, in May. Even better? Kissing Mr. Wrong is the first in a three-book series. Look for book 2 in 2016. Can’t wait!

KMW Cover

White House

There is something magical about the White House. No matter what party is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, being able to visit the White House is just cool. And I got to go there twice. First, we celebrated my birthday with a little bowling and then we got to return for a West Wing tour. I feel both patriotic and awesomesauce. (Thanks, L!)

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Sedona

Not many people know this, but Sedona, Arizona is one of my most favorite places on the planet. I can’t really describe it in words. There’s a feeling you get when you visit the Red Rocks. Maybe it’s all those vortexes. Who knows. But this past August, I was able to go back with my friend T. Here we are being silly on the Red Rocks.

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Winning

I AM AN AWARD WINNING AUTHOR!!! Okay, I’ll stop being so obnoxious now. But I will never get tired of saying that. At the beginning of this month, I learned that my first book – the reason for this whole post – won first place in the Aspen Gold Contest for Best Romantic Novella. I still can’t believe it! What a great way to cap off this year. Hey – if I can’t marry Prince Harry, this is a close second.

Aspen Gold Winner web medallion

Bonus

Speaking of Prince Harry… I celebrated two years with my fur-baby, Harry. Who rescued who? I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky one. Even when he eats my pens, hides under my bed, and sits on my laptop so I cannot write, I still love him the most in the whole world. And I get the impression that the feeling is mutual.

Harry CutenessHere’s to another fabulous year as a published author, patriot, friend, and fur-baby mommy!

Thank You!

Kissing Mr. Wrong has already been out for one whole week – can you believe it! It’s been doing incredibly well too! It got into Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 Nook Books list and has received fabulous reviews everywhere from Amazon to Good Reads! I’m grateful to all of you for buying, reading, and supporting me with all of my books. So please allow me to offer a very heartfelt THANK YOU…

Thank YouKissing Mr. Wrong is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and kobo.

Book Release Eve

You may be wondering what a writer does in the days before her book is released to the world. I know what you’re thinking: champagne, caviar, lazing around a pool while holding a fruity drink with an umbrella in it.

Well…my experience is slightly different. I thought I would share what’s going on in my world before my next book, Kissing Mr. Wrong, comes out.

1. Grocery Store

What author doesn’t love going to the grocery store in the hours before her book launch.  What scrumptious food did I get? No, not that caviar I talked about. It’s Memorial Day weekend so think tri-colored pasta, olives, cheese, Italian salad dressing, some veggies. Gold stars to anyone who can figure out what I’m making.

2. Target

Sure, you’re probably imagining me buying a pre-book release present for myself since I’ve been working so hard. Sorry to disappoint. Actually had to pick up some supplies for my dog, Harry. Mini-Milkbones, rawhides wrapped in chicken, squeaky tennis balls – you know, the norm.

3. Laundry

Goes without saying. All authors must have clean clothes and sheets.

4. Writing

A writer’s job is never done. That’s why I’m taking some of this three day weekend to work on my next book. It’s a follow-up to Kissing Mr. Wrong and I think you’re really going to like it.

5. Sleeping in late

I’m sorry, did I say sleeping in late on Memorial Day, my day off of work? Ha-ha! I meant, waking up earlier than I do during the week when my little ball of fur pounced on me like a lion stalking his prey. (Said little ball of fur is currently curled up sleeping in his bed under my desk as I type this while I am now wide awake.)

Okay, so my list may not be as glamorous as you thought. But maybe one day I’ll live a life of leisure. Only, if I do, I hope I still get woken up by my little ball of fur pouncing on my head. Because that was damn cute. What can I say? Harry is probably just as excited about tomorrow as I am.

Kissing Mr. Wrong comes out tomorrow, May 26. It will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and kobo. Pre-order your copy today!

Two Truths, One Lie

Happy 2015!!!

I hope you all had wonderful holidays and your new year is off to a sparkly start!

I blogged at the Waterworld Mermaid site today and am re-posting my blog here. I hope you enjoy!

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I had two books come out in 2014, which adds up to one fabulous year. In honor of my glittertastic 2014, I’m playing a couple rounds of Two Truths, One Lie. Can you separate the facts from fiction?

Round One

  1. My novella, Flirting with the Competition, came out with Entangled Publishing in October.
  2. In my novella, two competitors get stuck in an elevator, which was based on an actual elevator incident that happened in my life.
  3. I set the story in Washington, DC-area, because I live in Washington, DC-area.

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Round Two

  1. My contemporary novel, The Best Kind of Love, came out with Soul Mate Publishing in December.
  2. I subconsciously based the fictional town of Blue Lake in the story on my hometown of Monessen, PA.
  3. I named my main character Penelope because that’s my middle name.

Round Three

  1. It took me over a decade of trying before I got published.
  2. An editor once told me she wouldn’t consider my manuscript because I was too young.
  3. I started writing my first romance novel after a summer of reading Nora Roberts books.

Round Four

  1. Even though I’m a proud member of the Waterworld Mermaids, I am actually terrified of the idea of mermaids.
  2. I often wish my adorable dog, Harry, had opposable thumbs so we could text throughout the day.
  3. My favorite color is purple.

Harry loves his mommy

Round Five

  1. My Nunnie declared I was a writer when I was a little girl so I just always believed her.
  2. I really love doing revisions and edits.
  3. I had so much fun putting this post together!

What are the answers??? I’m not going to tell you! Okay, okay, maybe I’ll tell you, since you were all such great sports. Answers will be in the comments later today. Happy guessing!

The Best Kind of…Review

I’m so excited to share that my first full-length contemporary novel, THE BEST KIND OF LOVE, is out today! Hoorah! Yay! Glitter toss!

It’s scary to put your creative baby out there, but this review on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog certainly made it a little easier.

The Best Kind of Love by Kerri Carpenter

“Sweet, Sexy, Sparkly” is Kerri Carpenter’s brand. How on point because The Best Kind of Love is a romantic treasure. In the first of the series, the Walker sisters are a force to be reckoned with as they work on the family unit after the untimely deaths of their parents. The sad occasion brings them all to Blue Lake, the hometown that has lost some of its bloom. And … it is where sexy Ethan ‘The Heartbreaker’ Callahan has returned to live.

Carpenter is great with setting up the feud and sparks between Ethan and Penelope. There is a good balance of humor and poignant scenes for this rich story of forgiveness and renewal of love and spirit.

A big thank you to USA Today for the amazing review. It filled me with extra sparkle for sure. You can read the full “Must-Read Romances” article here.

To order your copy of THE BEST KIND OF LOVE, click here. Happy Reading!!!

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Get Wicked in an Elevator!

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Happy (Almost) Halloween!!!

I’m so excited to be part of this Entangled blog hop. And since my first book, Flirting with the Competition, just came out yesterday, I’m super-wickedly excited. In Flirting with the Competition, Whitney and Jordan get stuck in an elevator on their way to a really important job interview. Even worse, they are competing for said dream job. Okay, I had to make things even worse than that…they hated each other before they stepped into the elevator.

Yikes!

So that got me thinking. Who would I NOT want to be stuck in an elevator with? Funny how all of my answers are from TV shows and movies. Without further ado, here’s my top five list…

5. Candyman – yes from the movie Candyman, a slumber party favorite from my adolescent days. My face still breaks out just thinking about that movie.

4. Any creepy child. I’m talking to you, girl from The Exorcist, weird twins from The Shining, freaky kid in the doll shop on Pretty Little Liars, etc….

3. Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh Caleb, how I still have nightmares about what you did to Xander!

2. The Governor from The Walking Dead. True, I probably shouldn’t want to be stuck with zombies either. But at least you can kill zombies. I feel like the Governor would talk me out of killing him so that he could kill me.

And the #1 bad guy I wouldn’t want to be stuck on an elevator with…

1. The evil, terrifying, creepy-as-hell clown from Stephen King’s, It. You know that clown is the reason the majority of the population hates clowns. *shivers*

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

I’d love to give one wicked reader an e-copy of my new novella, Flirting with the Competition. All you have to do to enter is answer the following question in the comments: What TV or movie bad guy (or girl) would you NOT want to get stuck on an elevator with?

(Contest runs until 11:59 p.m. EST on October 30th. Winner will be revealed right here on Halloween. Trick or Treat!)

Release Day!!!

I am beyond excited to announce that today is (finally!) the release day of my very first book, Flirting with the Competition!!!

I got the idea for this story while taking a writing webinar. Someone mentioned using the different objects in your characters’ environments, and I thought, what if there aren’t any objects? What if they’re stuck in an elevator? For the entire story! 

I started writing Flirting with the Competition the next day.

A huge thank you to everyone who’s been supporting me throughout this journey. I’m the luckiest (and, some might say, most sparkly) girl in the world! Without further ado, please enjoy, Flirting with the Competition, available now!

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The sexiest things happen in confined spaces…

Under normal circumstances, Whitney March might have appreciated sharing an elevator with a ridiculously attractive and clearly wealthy guy. Even enjoyed it. But when her companion turns out to be the man who almost ran her over in parking garage moments earlier? Nope and nope. Besides, she’s on her way to a job interview at a prestigious law firm, and she needs to stay focused. Not staring at the rich and sexy jerk.

Then the elevator comes to an abrupt stop. They’re stuck.

Jordan Campbell has every intention of acing the interview for his dream job, and he’s not about to let anything stop him. Not even the sexy, capable, and fiery woman who turns out to be his main competitor he’s trapped with. The only thing they have in common is determination to get the job…and an escalating attraction. And it’s only a matter of time before these competitors indulge in a very sexy little connection between floors.

Buy Flirting with the Competition here. 

Harry is so excited for release day!!!

Harry is so excited for release day!!!

I’m celebrating my book release all over the web today. If you would like to read more about me or Flirting with the Competition, here are some other interviews I’m doing.

Join me with my Mermaid sisters at the Waterworld Mermaid site here.

Even Harry’s getting in on the action. If you missed his interview last Friday, you can still read it here.

Please stop back tomorrow when I’ll be taking part in the Entangled Blog Hop. It’s going to be a “wicked” good time!

An Interview with Samanthya Wyatt

Hi everyone and happy summer!

I’m so excited today because my friend and fellow Soulie (that means we are both authors with Soul Mate Publishing) is here today. Samanthya has a new book publishing today called Something More. Welcome, Samanthya!

Something More

Something More

Tell us about your process. Do you plot/make outlines for your WIPS, or are you a total pantser?

I find that I get a lot more accomplished if I just sit at the computer and write. But if I want my story to go somewhere and be a good MS, there has to be GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict). I learned this from many workshops. I learned how to do character sketches, GMC charts, plots—everything one needs to bring a story together. As I write, I make notations on names, color of hair, anything I may need for reference later in my story. It pays off.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Coming up with the characters and their traits. Everyone wants a strong – tall dark and handsome – hero. The trick is not making them all look the same. I do character sheets on my hero and heroines. Then I have to refer back to those sheets throughout the MS so I don’t goof.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Getting started. Seems like I procrastinate a bit. Takes me forever to get settled in. Then I have so many ideas I can’t get them on paper fast enough.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

I have a full time J O B. But I’m retiring this year and can not wait. I don’t have to tell any writer how difficult it is to find time to put words to paper, let alone create them in your mind. I’m so proud I finally managed to finish a novel and now it is being published. Looking forward to the day I may spend more time on my writing. I have so many ideas for books and I hope Something More is the first of many.

What are you most proud of about your writing?

That I never stopped. I get a lot of joy from creating new characters and bringing them together in a romantic tale. It took years of putting words on paper, joining RWA, joining other chapters, entering contests, submissions, rejections. Every one of these things created the author I am today. Keeping my spirit and turning criticism into drive.

What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

No# 1. Join RWA. From there you learn to do a number of things. You can join chapter groups, critique groups, you’ll find friends and receive a lot of help. Take every workshop offered—GMC, POV, character interviews, etc. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did. Enter contests and keep your mind open. Take criticism as constructive. Make your writing better. Don’t expect success overnight. It is a long, hard process. If you are determined, keep trying. Don’t give up.

Tell us something eccentric about yourself.

“If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”

I heard this when I was a child and I have never forgotten it. Every day is a new day, why not greet it with a smile?

I love to make people laugh. My hubby is so silly. And his playfulness has rubbed off on me. Anything can come out of my mouth sometimes, just for fun. I’ll say things that don’t make sense, have people raising their eyebrows, or just busting out with laughter.

I love to do fun things. At my age I still love rollercoasters.

 Lastly, where can we find out more about you?

Please visit my webpage. You can also find me on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and SMP Authors. Thank you for your interest. Tell your friends.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Samanthya.

Bonus: There is even more to this interview. Stop on by the Waterworld Mermaids‘ site today for extra questions and more on Samanthya’s new release. Now, for a special excerpt….

Something More

A determined man, a headstrong woman, and a battle of wills.

Matthew just got a jolt to his solar plexus. His eyes darted to her mouth. His breathing slowed at the thought of his tongue sliding across and through those daring, full lips. Why was he even considering the idea?

He’d seen her in the airport. A striking female who had his pulses leaping with excited interest. He was a leg man, and she had killer legs. He thought a light flirtation might be just the thing he needed to recover from a frenzied airport. He’d grabbed a last minute flight, got stuck in coach, and had to survive the aircraft from hell. Screaming, undisciplined children only made matters worse with the headache from an already bad day. When he’d seen her dash for the taxi, he immediately decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.

One of the sexiest women he’d ever seen sat mere inches away. True, her long blond hair might be plastered against her lovely head and shoulders, but heat came off her like an inferno. Her shoulders squared like a warrior preparing for battle. Blue-eyed, bottle-blondes were too available, too anxious to be the next one in his bed. This poised creature was about as far from a Barbie doll as one could be. She didn’t need to flaunt her beauty like other self-centered females. In only a few moments, she’d shown self-assurance and a strength many men lacked.

She had blue eyes the color of the bluest sky on any summer day. They sparked fire, yet generated warmth. Her intense scrutiny gave a good kick to his already skipping pulse. The magnetism pulled him in like a fish on a reel that wanted to be caught. At the same time, her look cautioned—don’t be too sure of yourself, for I may throw you back.

It had been a long while since he’d seriously craved a woman. Matthew boldly studied her profile. His creative mind already imagined the possibilities. A kiss on her round little nose. A lingering caress over her smooth cheeks. A nibble on her stubborn chin. His gaze traveled lower to find the clinging wet material molded to her body exposed every curve and valley of sinful bliss.

Jesus!

Air hissed between his teeth as he recalled her beaded nipples poking the front of her soaked blouse. His blood thickened and so did another part of him. He shifted hoping to give the impression he was uncomfortable from sodden clothes.

A soft rush of air brushed his damp face causing his gaze to focus on hers. He’d been caught staring—again. Long brown lashes fanned out around her spearing gaze. Her eyes brightened. Sensuous lips promising delight curled into an evocative smile, parted as if awaiting his kiss, and then she laughed. The throaty sound sent electric shocks of awareness drumming through his system.

His body responded to her in a way it had not stirred in a long time, and he relished the moment. His thoughts clouded as his pulse surged. He needed to explore why this creature enflamed his senses and fueled his desire. Thank God, she had a sense of humor.

“I believe in being a gentleman, no matter what you may have deemed from my actions earlier.” Matthew reluctantly released her hand. “Please forgive me.”

He remembered his sister’s puppy, and how sad little eyes had secured her devotion. Matthew tried for the most pitiful look he could manage, hoping to warrant Carrie’s empathy. “Am I forgiven?” A delicious smile formed on her mouth wrenching his groin. Her intoxicating scent made him long to lean closer. The idea of tasting those sumptuous lips led to other delightful fantasies.

“What kind of female would I be if I left a poor unfortunate man out in the cold, pouring rain without a care to his distress?”

If she only knew.

“Surely you’re not suggesting the kind of female as those during the bra burning era? The ones who refuse to allow a man a simple act such as opening the door for them. That type of female would lock the door at the butcher shop and dangle the steak in front of a starving man looking in the window.” He leaned toward her. “But certainly not you. You, dear lady, have been most kind.”

“Kind that I didn’t throw you out after you manhandled me into this vehicle?”

Mathew gave his most disarming grin. “You must take into account I’m not responsible for my actions. I’d just survived irrational people and belligerent children. I landed in bedlam instead of an airport. Disorderly people turned into an angry mob. Then I was distracted by a most beautiful woman. How can I be blamed for my quick thinking?”

The twinkle in her eyes warmed his sense of humor. His gaze dropped to her mouth. The instinct to kiss her rose-colored lips made him wonder what she would taste like. Cherries? Sweet caramel? He concentrated on their fullness instead of the words coming from her mouth. Her voice exposed confidence and control. Forcing his gaze from temptation, he met her stare. Her eyes sent the message—I will chew you up and spit you out if I want to.

A challenge?

How often was it he actually met someone sexy who didn’t immediately try to seduce him? How long since he’d met a woman smart and entertaining. Not only had she captured his attention, she’d seized his curiosity. And nothing got his adrenaline flowing faster than a hardy challenge.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Write!

A question often asked of writers is whether or not we write to music. Many writers need coveted quiet with no distractions. Others require noise of some kind.

As for me, I’m with the latter. Even back in college, my favorite places to study were either the coffee shop on campus or right smack in the middle of the student lounge. Something about the hustle and bustle allowed me to focus in on my studies.

Now, I always have music on when I write and if I really, really need to concentrate, in go the earplugs. That leads to the next question. What do I listen to?

I find the best songs for concentration are the ones I already know. That way, I’m not pulled away from the writing to stop and listen to a new song. Some album staples of mine are:

–          Michael Buble – “It’s Time”

–          Paul Simon – “Graceland”

–          Ben Folds Five – “Whatever & Ever Amen”

–          The Soundtrack to Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion

–          Mary Chapin Carpenter – “Come On Come On”

–          And many more!

I love all of those albums and can listen to them straight through over and over. That’s why they’re perfect for when I need to get into the writing groove.

Also helpful is making a good playlist. For my contemporary romance, RETURN TO LOVE, coming out this December, I had an entire playlist that helped me get in the mood. Here’s a little sample of some of the songs on Penelope’s Playlist:

–          Lady Antebelum – “Dancin’ Away With My Heart” – I have a lot of Lady A. songs on this particular playlist but this is THE song for Penelope and Ethan, my two main characters, who were high school sweethearts and each other’s’ first loves.

–          Dixie Chicks – “Hello Mr. Heartache” – Sadly, Penelope and Ethan had a bad breakup that greatly impacted their entire lives.

–          Miranda Lambert – “Makin’ Plans” – (I didn’t realize how many country songs I had on this list!) This is a kind of cheeky addition to the playlist. Penelope is a total planner. Naturally, she finds out in the story that you can’t always plan everything.

–          Martina McBride & Pat Monahan – “Marry Me” – Perhaps this hints at the ending of the story but I’ll never tell. (Wink)

Other albums I like to listen to while writing are instrumental soundtracks. The past winter I was really into the soundtrack from Jurassic Park. I love me some John Williams, but I think it’s kind of funny I was writing love scenes to music composed for dinosaurs.

Currently, I’m working on a new contemporary. I’m writing pretty fast and haven’t had a chance to get a good playlist going so I’m instead I’m writing to the soundtrack from Field of Dreams, a favorite movie and chill soundtrack.

So there’s my long answer to whether or not I write to music. Any suggestions for songs I should consider?