Giving Thanks and *Still* Writing

SusanMermaidI must confess, this is not a Thanksgiving I will be happy to remember. Multiple instances of sad news from family and friends, the highways are already treacherous with distracted drivers, and the Ferguson grand jury results and resulting suffering are bad enough. A snowstorm forecast which will cancel all family journeys (three of us to Maryland, one to Rochester).

And, since I didn’t expect to be home for the holidays, I didn’t buy anything at all for the weekend! And yet, we console ourselves that there is plenty of food in the refrigerator (thank you again, Peapod!). I have Wednesday off to prepare (thank you, benevolent employer!). I have a loving  family (please let Young Son and his sweetheart travel safely tomorrow, in spite of the snow). How will I make use of these five glorious days of leisure (three glorious days, since tomorrow and Thursday are devoted to falling over with cookingcookingcooking and eatingeatingeating)? Read the Rest…

A Lifelong Student

Highlighters: green, blue, yellow, orange, and pink. Check. Three-ring binder with printed-out manuscript. Check. Lecture packets on how to write fresh, use rhetorical devices, and assess my writing for weaknesses using a rainbow-colored system. Check, check, and check.

Can anyone guess what I’m doing today? That’s right! I’m attending one of Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Classes.pintip

I am so excited to meet Margie, to hang out with fellow writers for the next four days, and, most of all, to learn!

I love school. From kindergarten through college through law school, I adored exploring new subjects and acquiring the skills needed to think about old subjects in a new way. But just because I’ve graduated doesn’t mean my days of study have to end.

This morning, my son asked where I was going this weekend.

“Class,” I said.

“What?” He scrunched his eyes the way he does when I tell a particularly funny joke. “You mean you’re going to be the teacher?”


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Interview with Cover Model James Rizzo

This next few weeks will be an exciting time as I officially reveal the cover of my sequel to Wanted: One Ghost, Distilled Spirits. I knew I wanted the wonderfully talented Taria A. Reed to create my cover again since she’d done such a fantastic job on Wanted: One Ghost. As I anxiously awaited her design, I couldn’t even imagine what she’d come up with. When I saw the proof I was floored! I couldn’t have picked a better cover. She captured my characters Millie Taylor and Sean Lightfoot beautifully. See for yourself!DistilledSpirits-1600x2400

I asked Ms. Reed who the models were and she told me. I wanted to thank them for such a fantastic job. My ghost, Millie Taylor is portrayed by the lovely, Liana Young and her hero, Sean Lightfoot is portrayed by the very handsome, James Rizzo.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to have the gorgeous James Rizzo with me today. I still can’t believe he is the cover model for my latest novel, Distilled Spirits. How fantastic is…
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NaNo Midway Point

Okay, people. This will be short today because I can’t be wasting my word count on a blog post. Some of you are nodding because you understand. Some of you won’t read this post until December. I understand that too.

For those of you in the dark, I’m talking about NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month.

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Like Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, it happens every November. You commit to writing a 50,000-word novel. That’s it. That’s all. It’s very simple. Right?! Can I get an AMEN?

This year I started off strong, mostly because my local chapter (WRW) had a first annual write-in on November 1st. My kids had soccer games and other activities previously scheduled. If I had followed the same pattern as every other November 1st, I probably wouldn’t have written a word that day. Instead, when Kathy Seidel opened her home to fifty chapter members, I jumped at the chance. I knew if I committed far enough in advance, I…
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My Shameful Secret

If you read the title of this post, you are probably dying to know what my shameful secret is. Have I committed some crime? Did I rob a bank? Am I a double-agent? Do I moonlight as a real housewife on a reality show? The what-ifs could go on and on.

But here it is. My shameful secret…Kerri Carpenter

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

I’m a slow reader!!!

*Hangs head*

A really, really slow reader. I pick up a book. I begin reading. Flowers begin to bloom. Babies are born. The Earth completes countless rotations. And I’m flipping to page 20. Page 20 out of 220.

It’s shameful for me because I’m a freaking writer. And because I read every single night and have been reading every single night since I was a child. I even read when I’ve had a couple glasses of wine and am somewhat tipsy. That might actually help with my speed, come to think of it…


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The VOICE, Romance, Weapons, and Outlander: My Mind on a Thursday

Denny (PortRoyale)I write romantic suspense, except this week I’ve been doing more researching than writing☺…

I am working on my second book in a three-book series about three sisters (relatives:). And as I am apt to do, I’m writing the first draft during NaNoWriMo (just hit the link, and you’ll find out all about it, if you don’t already know). And since its November 6 and I’m talking research, I’m behind. However, let’s not dwell on the negative. Today, because I’ve been in the rabbit hole for a few days now, I decided to share some of the FUN findings from my research—

So let me get right to it!

First find – Rory Miller’s blog – He is hysterical, but also a weapons expert. I know I said funny, but seriously, read anything the man writes, and you will crack up. His wit and sarcasm—well, I want to take a class from him. Sure, I also want to learn more about…
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One Day in Vegas: Celebration of Life

Happy Wednesday, fishy friends!

Two weeks ago I accompanied my mom to Las Vegas with the purpose of honoring the passing of the love of her life. His one wish was that his life be celebrated and not mourned. I think we rocked that request. Today I’d like to share that day with you in pictures. Here was our day in honor of Cliff…

 

In the happiest memory of Clifford Joseph Salvador Merced! It was my honor to have known you! Thank you for being everything to my mom.

Fishy kisses,

Carlene Mermaid

 

 

Once Upon a Time

NaNo 2014Hello, the lagoon. Welcome to November! And you know what that means…NaNoWriMo!

Since I am 1.) not in the middle of editing or revising a novel at the moment and 2.) new to the East-Central Florida area, I have not only thrown myself straight into the fires NaNo this year, but I have committed to attend several of the Brevard County kickoff parties and write-ins in order to make a few friends and meet some like-minded folks. You know…people who just LOVE writing so much that they can’t seem to think about anything else.

What I’ve forgotten about fledgling writers, though, is that sometimes they would rather just talk about writing instead of actually writing. *sigh* Like teenagers who are in love with the idea of being in love.

And after the jaded “Get Off My Lawn” exasperation in me subsides, I remember what it was like. The dream of writing. The romance. The what-if. Knowing that if I just…
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Food and FLIRTING with Kerri-Mermaid

Friends,

I’m so excited to be talking food with Kerri-Mermaid today! As you may have noticed, we’re big foodies here in the lagoon. That is, if brightly colored drinks with cocktail umbrellas qualify as a food group. And in the lagoon, it totally does. :)

It’s been a busy few days for Kerri, since her first book debuted earlier this week. FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION is as much fun as it sounds! Almost as fun as Kerri herself. But don’t take my word for it. Read on to find out for yourself.. .

* * *

Did you know that the two main characters in my new book, FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION, make a food-related bet? Whitney and Jordan are up for the same job. They decide whoever loses buys a traditional steak dinner with all the fixings for the other. Who doesn’t love a steak dinner with some creamed spinach and a nice big glass of red wine! Okay, maybe I’m revealing…
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Five Secrets of FLIRTING

My dear fellow Mermaid and Sparkle Twin Kerri Carpenter’s VERY FIRST BOOK releases this week — a novella called FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION.

My favorite parts of a story are the hidden gems. You know, those inside jokes that family members or close friends will get, those nods to literary, film, or musical influences that superfans will pat themselves on the back when reading. Like the way Tori Amos referenced Neil Gaiman in one song on almost every one of her albums. (That’s right, folks. I was not born a Gaiman Girl, I sprang into his world a fully-formed Toriphile.)

As a writer-geek who enjoys stuffing her books chock full of as many referenced oddities as possible, I am here to assure readers everywhere that we have as much fun including these hidden gems as you do when finding them.

Overall, I think it adds more to the reading experience–especially on multiple readings–when a reader knows more “Behind the Story” — we can connect with the author in…
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