Flirting with the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July weekend!!!

Adorable!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. That’s why I set the very first book I ever published, FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION, around it. Why do I love this holiday so much?

  1. The Food: July 4th cries out for fun summer goodies like hamburgers, potato salad, watermelon, chips, and great drinks. I know I’m not the only one attending a BBQ this weekend.
  2. No Pressure: Unlike other stressful holidays (I’m looking at you Christmas), the Fourth of July is pretty chill in nature, even if the temperature is far from cool. There are no presents to be bought or cards to write out. It’s all about the fun.
  3. Sparkles in the Sky: If you know me, then you know I LOVE sparkles of any kind. Does it get more glittery than fireworks bursting into the sky? I think not.

Plus, I live in the DC-area and I feel like that gives the holiday a little extra sparkle. As long as we don’t go the way of the movie Independence Day, we should be good to go.

So, I wish you all a very happy and safe Fourth of July weekend full of great food, sparkles, and relaxation. For those of you looking for a short, fun, flirty read while you’re next to the pool or on the beach, please check out my award-winning novella, FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION, only 99 cents!

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Flirting with the Competition

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.

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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!

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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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!

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?

Effort = Results

Happy Wednesday to everyone!

In May of 2011, I attended the Washington Romance Writer’s annual Retreat. It turned out to be one of the most amazing weekends ever. Among many awesomesauce things that happened, I bonded with some other newbies and together we formed the Waterworld Mermaids, a group blog site by “fantastic women writers.”

I blog there at least once a month (sometimes more) about a whole manner of things – writing, life, my dog. And guess what? Today is one of my blogging days. This year I’ve been focusing on losing weight and feeling better about myself. I invented The Sparkle Plan, a strategy to improve my health and well-being. I set small monthly goals to help achieve a couple of larger goals, like losing twenty pounds and running a 5K.

Today’s post is Month 5 and you can view it here. I hope you’ll stop by to see how I did. (Hint: It’s good news!)

Here are the Waterworld Mermaids in 2012 at our 2nd annual WRW Retreat.

Here are the Waterworld Mermaids in 2012 at our 2nd annual WRW Retreat.

It’s a Facebook Party!

What are you doing for lunch today? Nothing? Great!

Because I’m taking part in a Facebook party. Or, more accurately, I’m having lunch on Facebook with my two critique partners.*

Lynne Silver, Carlene Love Flores and I have been critique partners for over a year now. We often get together and have lunch to discuss writing and lots of other fun stuff. So we thought we’d taken our Threesome Lunch to Facebook. Today we are introducing ourselves by talking about where we’re from. For me, that means I’m talking about one of my favorite things: Pittsburgh!

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Come join us at my Facebook author page and use #3SomeLunch to get in on the action. Because we want to know about you too!

#3SomeLunch will happen the first Tuesday of every month.

*What’s a critique partner? We writers like to have critique groups that consist of other writers. We read each other’s writing, discuss, critique, help plot and brainstorm.

My Own Website!

Welcome to the inaugural blog for my very own website! Can you tell I’m excited? If not, here are some more exclamation points!!!

This website has been a long time in the making. Here’s the story.

I’m a very superstitious person and I’d decided at some point that I did not want to have a writing website until publication was imminent. I felt like if I put one together, it would anger the soon-to-be-published writing gods and I definitely didn’t want to do that.

2013 and 2014 have been whirlwind years for me. I bought my first condo last March – a major dream of mine. In August, I achieved another huge dream – I rescued my dog, Harry.

I thought that maybe after the condo and dog, my luck would run dry. After all, how much good ju-ju can one person have? I didn’t want to become greedy!

But in December, my good luck kept on rolling. I signed with my fabulous agent, Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency. Having someone in my corner made all the difference.

I signed my first contract with Entangled Publishing in January. This is for my contemporary novella, GOING UP, and it will be published later this year. Time to finally get my website up and running.

Once again, I feared I was pushing my luck to hope for more. But in April, one more amazing thing happened. I signed with Soul Mate Publishing, who will be publishing my first full-length contemporary novel, RETURN TO LOVE. Not sure when it will come out yet, but for the moment, it doesn’t matter. I’m on cloud nine.

So good thing I started this website!

On a serious note though, I want everyone to know that dreams do come true. But not without hard work, patience and much perseverance. I look forward to sharing my journey to publication and beyond with all of you and I wish you the very best in achieving your dreams! I hope you’ll share them with me too.

Happy Reading!
Kerri