Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Thursday 13 :(

Since I'm traveling to Boston today, and probably won't be able to get some quality online time, there's no 13 today. Plus, I want to be able to actively participate, and visit all of you as well.

But next week will be a GREAT 13. With links to my trip photos, other interesting links, etc. So COME BACK THEN!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quill Magazine Feature

I mentioned yesterday that THE LIST was featured in THE QUILL, the Alpha Xi Delta sorority magazine.

If you'd like to read the snippet, click on the link below for the PDF. I'm on page 29!

Read the article.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Monday

What is it about weekends that makes them fly by so quickly, while weekdays seem to drag along? I guess it's the "time flies when you're having fun" theory.

It was a good weekend. On Friday, I did a co-hosting stint on LitChat, search for #LitChat on Twitter, or view the transcript on the LitChat blog. It was a lot of fun!

Because of that chat, I networked with lots of new people. Including a representative for several local Virginia newspapers. We're going to see if one of them might interview me about my book. Fingers crossed!

And then on Saturday, I got a copy of my sorority alumni magazine, The Quill, and there was a little snippet on me and THE LIST!

Plus, it was just a gorgeous weekend, so all was good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday 13 - Why My List Isn't Better This Week

1. I just flew in last night from my trip to Amsterdam and Brussels. Boy, are my arms tired (along with everything else.)

2. I'm still on Amsterdam time. Right now, it's six hours ahead there. So my body is still adjusting, and I'm beat.

3. We walked and walked and walked. That's what I love about Europe. But it takes its toll on normally sedentary bodies. ;) So I'm tired from that.

4. I can't wait to share my photos from the trip, but there are a LOT of them, so I'm spending time getting those together.

5. After only one week, our DVR is 100% full. I've got to make room for new stuff, and get caught up on Lost and Heroes before someone spoils it for me.

6. Do you know how much dirty laundry can come out of a small suitcase?

7. There is no food in the kitchen for eating. None. Except the milk I bought on the way home last night. Grocery store, here we come.

8. We also shot a lot of video. Need to upload that (takes forever).

9. Then we need to edit the video. Also takes a while. But all for your enjoyment!

10. Need to prepare to go to Boston next week, pitching my book to some agents at Connecticut Fiction Fest!

11. I have a ton of books that I need to get to reading!

12. Came back from vacation to job cuts at work. Spared this time, but still nervous. Grateful and feel guilty for being okay, too. So I need to put in special extra effort.

13. Still need to do some promoting work for \THE LIST to get more people to check it out!

Home of the new Thursday 13

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well, I had some airplane connection drama, so my trip was delayed by one day, and then we were delayed coming home, so I apologize for my extra absence. Did anyone notice? :)

I just want to thank those of you that welcomed Kimber Chin as guest blogger while I was gone, and I want to thank Kimber for giving the site a little life last week!

I sold a few books while on vacation, which means my hometown food bank will be getting some much needed aid. So I thank those of you who purchased as well. Tell others!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday 13, By Guest Blogger Kimber Chin - Another List. :)

Candace, in Carmen's novel The List, has a list of 50 qualities she wants in a man. I'm happily married to the man of my dreams but my heroine, Maeve, in Invisible is looking. Well, actually she's NOT looking and that's part of the problem. But if she DID look, these would be her requirements (for fun, lets see how our hero Hagen stacks up)…

Thursday 13 – Maeve's List Of Requirements For The Perfect Guy

1) The perfect man knows the less said the better.
Hagen: Silence is to be filled with words, many, many, many words.

2) The perfect man accepts that there is no reason to discuss the past. It is over and done with.

Hagen: As an antique dealer, I know that the history of any object adds to its value. I apply the same concept to people. The more I know their past, the tighter our bond.

3) I don't like to be touched. The perfect man would respect that.
Hagen: Why would women be so soft and rounded if they weren't meant to be cuddled with?

4) Loyalty to people is everything. The perfect man would kill for me.
Hagen: I completely agree. I would do anything for my loved ones. That's why I'm spending three weeks with the most irritating woman on the planet.

5) The perfect man wouldn't want anything from me. Nothing at all.
Hagen: I share everything with my loved ones. What is mine is their's. What is their's is mine.

6) The perfect man would understand if I disappear for weeks at a time. He wouldn't ask questions.

Hagen: No freakin' way. I update everyone on where I am (and why). I expect the same.

7) My perfect man would love me.
Hagen: I made a mistake not marrying Isabelle. I plan to fix that. She's the perfect woman for me. Not some closed mouth green-eyed witch.

8) My perfect man would like to travel. Discretely. Without fuss.
Hagen: I like to travel. In my private jet. Big freakin' seats.

9) My perfect man wouldn't mind that I hang with sugar daddy mafia bosses and knife wielding vigilantes.

Hagen: My loved ones should be untouched by the unsavory sorts in the world. D--- it, I don't even cuss around them.

10) Sex is not a requirement for my perfect man.

Hagen: (Raises eyebrow) Do I even have to address this one? I'm a big guy with big appetites.

11) My perfect man wouldn't draw attention to himself.

Hagen: I'm built like a truck. I'm ugly as sin. I have more money than royalty. People staring is a given.

12) My perfect man would eat my cooking.
Hagen: See Number 10. I eat anything that's at all edible. (snorts) Not that the crazy woman cooks or anything.

13) My perfect man wouldn't leave me.
Hagen: The second we find the d--- deed, I'm never seeing this nutcase of a madwoman again

Named Love Romances And More's Rising Star for Spring 2009, Kimber Chin writes contemporary romances set in the sexy world of business. Her latest release, Invisible, is a contemporary treasure hunt romance through the world of hidden identities. A world where loyalty and love can be found in the most unexpected places. You can track her down on where she gives away her favorite eBooks, shares short stories, and posts photos of good looking men in business suits.

Home of the new Thursday 13

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guest Blogger, Kimber Chin

Note from Carmen: While I'm away on vacation, Kimber agreed to write a few guest posts. You'll adore her as much as I do, I'm sure.

Being True To Your Characters – Kimber Chin

I don't cuss. At all. Sometimes I say hell but that's about it. This isn't because I hold myself to any higher moral code than the profanity using world. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

No, I don't cuss because I am the second eldest of six kids and because I babysat during my teenage years to raise much needed cash. As any mom, big sister, honorary auntie will tell you, kids quite happily repeat everything you say and will then give you full credit for teaching them that wonderful word.

My characters cuss. Hagen, my hero in Invisible, deals with his grief by getting angry. Extremely angry men cuss. And he does. Often and loudly.

That's what being true to your character is all about. It is about writing them as THEY should be written, not as you'd like them to be. It is about having them do things you'd never in a million years consider doing. In Breach Of Trust, the hero Philippe, when in doubt, fires the woman he loves. Because he would. That's the type of man he is. I'd think about the situation more but he's used to making quick decisions and taking action on them.

Characters doing things I wouldn't normally is my benchmark for whether I'm feeling a character or not. I create situations. My characters should react to them. If I'm pulling the strings, making the character say things or do things, I know he or she isn't real enough to me. I know that if Maeve, my heroine in Invisible, is faced with a dangerous situation, she's going to turn tail and run. I know if she's asked a question, she'll give the shortest possible answer. I know that as surely as I know my own hubby would, like Hagen, give the longest possible answer. That's how real she is to me.

Of course, that's also why writers get so defensive about their characters. Their heroes or heroines are friends, family. But that's a whole other post.

Named Love Romances And More's Rising Star for Spring 2009, Kimber Chin writes contemporary romances set in the sexy world of business. Her latest release, Invisible, is a contemporary treasure hunt romance through the world of hidden identities. A world where loyalty and love can be found in the most unexpected places. You can track her down on where she gives away her favorite eBooks, shares short stories, and posts photos of good looking men in business suits.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And They're Off

Heading to the airport to leave on a jet plane. Amsterdam, here we come!

Don't forget, there will still be new blog content this week, with guest blogger Kimber Chin. Don't miss it!

See you soon!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Turn It Off Week 2009

I don't know about you, but going without TV for an entire week would be an exercise in sheer restraint. I may need valium. Or something stronger.

But that's just what next week is, April 20-25 is - Turn it Off Week. Turn off that television. Let your DVR stock up on Lost and Heroes and Idol (couldn't they do this in the summer during re-runs to make it easier?)

So what are you going to do with an entire week of free time away from the television?

The obvious choice is READ A BOOK!

Now, I'm hoping you'll get prepared for the week's events by getting your copy of THE LIST now so you'll have a great book to get you through some of the no-TV time.

There are also events at Barnes & Nobles around the country (even though they don't sell my book) like book scavenger hunts, readings, etc. Check with your local store.

Some TV facts for you (quoted from
1. The average American home has the television on for well over 8 hours every day. That is an hour more than just a decade ago.
2. The average American watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of television each day.
3. Young people 12-17 years of age increased their television viewing by 3% just this year…a pretty big increase in just 12 months.
4. 50% of American homes have at least 3 televisions or more 19% of homes have only 1. Compared to 1975 nly 11% of US households had more than 3 TVs…and 57% only had 1
5. New research on America's fattest cities has been released. This study is conducted by Men's Fitness Magazine. The award for the fattest city in 2008 is Miami. When asked about this, the magazine was quoted as saying "Miami received poor marks because of a large number of overweight people, a high rate of TV viewing among residents...(and) almost three times as many fast-food restaurants as the average city."
6. Many devices that are “always on” while seemingly “off” draw power so that they can spring into action on demand. How much electricity does a television, for example, use when plugged in but not turned on?

Hey, I'm as guilty as the next person for my bad TV vegging habits. It's not called the "boob tube" for nothing. Even says it mushes our brains. All I can say is, I'll try. To watch less. But miss Lost? Ummmmmmmmm. . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Ideas in My Head

I often get asked how I came up with the idea for THE LIST (which you can still by on Amazon. Click here. Do it! You know you want to.)

I don't know if anyone believes my answer. But it's true.

My brain is the most creative in the wee hours of the morning. That time of day where sane people are snoozing away peacefully. Not me! I'm coming up with ideas for songs (I'm also a songwriter), good movie script ideas, and of course, the premise for THE LIST. (Which you can still buy by clicking here, btw.)

The story is about a girl who shares my initials, Candace Saunders, and shares my love of Type-A lists. Her list takes things to a funny level, with more than 50 items she wants in her future husband. The trouble is that she meets two men. One is her list-perfect man. The other is the anti-list, but she's still attracted to him. My brain shouted to me "STORY HERE!" and "FUNNY STUFF" so I listened.

You see, I had my very own list. When I was in my 20s, the list was a little longer than it is now. My friends used to make fun of my list, saying I was really picky. I just thought I was being, um, organized about it. :) I learned over time that a lot of the things on my list weren't deal breakers. So I figured out what was important to me, and narrowed it to 12.

But one night, my mind thought it would inform me at 2 a.m. that this would be a great idea for a movie. I got up and started writing things down, and two hours later, I had enough on paper to be able to get back to sleep. The idea morphed from there into a book (though I'm still thinking of adapting it into a movie script.)

So you really want to buy it now, right?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Friday Dance

Fridays are the best days of the weekend. Why? Because Friday, when I get off work, there are two whole days stretching out in front of me with no requirement to go to work. Saturdays are okay, because they're pretty lax, but Sundays are tainted with their proximity to Mondays.

This Sunday won't be so bad, though, because next week is a short week due to my vacation! Woot!

However, when I'm away on vacation, I can't be actively selling my book, THE LIST. So I'm offering incentive. For every book purchase between now and when I return, I'll donate some of the proceeds to my hometown food bank. So you can enjoy reading AND do something good for the community.

So BUY YOUR COPY of THE LIST! Tell your friends. And I thank you muchly. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday 13, My To-Do List

I leave for Amsterdam and Belgium in 5 days! Woot! I'm excited for the trip, but I have lots of things to do before I go. You know this site is all about my book, THE LIST, but I now have a list of what I need to do before next Tuesday.

1.I have to schedule the posts for my GUEST BLOGGER! That's right, come back next Wednesday, and then Thursday for the Thursday 13 to meet Kimber Chin. She's also a romance novelist, and publishes her works in the form of ebooks. She's a hoot, and I think you'll enjoy her posts. You can learn more about her before-hand by visiting her Website.

2. I need to make sure my favorite PJs are washed and ready to go.

3. I also have to make sure that the rest of the clothes I want to take are laundered. I hate laundry, btw.

4. I need to exercise a bit more. Walking in Europe is exhausting. And I'm sure all the biking will take a toll on my bottom. I'm hoping that my recent walking and biking endeavors here at home will lessen the pain.

5. I need to make sure all our tickets and passports are ready to go.

6. I need to start my "packing pile." Days before actual packing begins, I start piling up items that I'm likely to forget.

7. I need to print out my nice Excel packing list - yes, I have a list for that, too. It includes little boxes for me to check off when I've packed a certain item.

8. I need to confirm with the pet sitter that Pooh Bear will indeed get fed, and the occasional head scratch.

9. Need to print out our Dutch travel words, so I can at least try. I know "thank you" and "hello" and "please" so far. And interestingly enough, "toilet" in Dutch is almost exactly like it is in French. Good think they speak English over there. However, I do like to try and not be the conceited American and make an attempt.

10. I need to decide which book I'm going to take for the plane. I have so many to read, but several are signed by the authors, so I don't want to risk losing them.

11. I have to finish my current book, TURN COAT, by Jim Butcher before I go. No problem, because it's so good. I'll likely be done quickly.

12. I need to keep checking the weather, and crossing my fingers for sunshine and very little rain.

13. I need to post about my new book selling plan. For every purchase of THE LIST between now and the time I return, I am donating part of the proceeds to my hometown food pantry. So, if you've been thinking of getting a copy of THE LIST, now's a good time!

Home of the new Thursday 13

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are We There Yet?

In 6 days, I will be off on my next travel adventure, this time, to Amsterdam and Belgium. So I won't be able to post on this here blog during that time.

But wait! My loyal readers (Renee) won't be left entirely in the cold. I'm going to have a guest blogger. Woot!

Her name is Kimber Chin, and she is also a romance novelist. She writes ebooks, and you can check her out before next week by heading over to her website. She'll even be guesting for the Thursday 13, and I think you'll find her engaging and fun.

So treat her well, throw her some comments and play nice. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Today Is Monday

Today I am all about stating the obvious. Like "Today Is Monday" and "It's Rainy Outside."

Other than that, I don't have much to say, today. Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something better to write about. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday 13 - Interview with Rekaya Gibson

I feel that my readers may be getting a little tired of hearing about "me me me" all the time (I don't understand this. Ha!) So, this week, I'm introducing you to another author besides myself. Meet Rekaya Gibson, author of THE FOOD TEMPTRESS. I've asked her 13 questions, and she's answered them below. You can find her book on Barnes & Noble's Website. Buy it here.

Of course, if you never tire of hearing about my book, THE LIST, or me, Rekaya is interviewing me over on her site. There, you can see my interview and learn more about Rekaya.

1.Quick! You've met a movie producer, he says "walk with me for 15 seconds" tell him what THE FOOD TEMPTRESS is about. My main character, Ambrosia, uses food to not only seduce men, but to convert them into the perfect guy. Paralleling southern cuisine, each short story captures the hearts and minds of different men ranging from the local police chief to a Bourbon Street musician. The Food Temptress serves up a delectable treat connected by Ambrosia’s continuing quest for both romantic and culinary perfection.

2. Each chapter has a different food theme. Which was your favorite to write? I loved writing the last chapter, Hurricane Katrina. I wrote it halfway through the book. Certain details were fresh in my mind and I wanted to capture them.

3. Which would be your favorite to eat? Jambalaya

4. New Orleans is a supporting character throughout your book. Tell me about your time there, and how it influenced your writing. I lived in New Orleans approximately 13 years until Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. I connected with the city and its people. Some considered me a native, but I was born and raised in Indiana. New Orleans was the perfect backdrop for The Food Temptress because of its culture, food, and history. Of course, I feel in love with the food, and how it was the focal point of most activities. I began a serious writing career the same year as Katrina and I never looked back. I wanted to make sure that I captured all her grace and charm prior to the storm.

5. How would you clarify THE FOOD TEMPTRESS? Is it a pure romance? Food romance? Romantic comedy? Chick Lit? I have always considered The Food Temptress a Chick Lit.

6. I hear tell that there are recipes that induce proposals, I think one is called "marriage chicken." What would be your own, personal recipe to "reel him in."? I know this answer is going to freak some folks out, but I use spaghetti. I make my own meat sauce. My secret is to include a little hot sausage with the ground meat.

7. My favorite of the dishes would be the peach cobbler. Tell us about the chapter where the peach cobbler ends up in the wrong hands. :) While in Atlanta, Ambrosia is invited to a birthday party by her best friend, so she decides to make peach cobbler for the “birthday girl”. When she arrives at the party, she places the dish in the kitchen. Well, when the stripper, Black Thunder, finishes his routine, he heads to the kitchen for a snack. Guess what dish he selects?

8. How did you come up with the idea for THE FOOD TEMPTRESS? I developed the concept from the adage, “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I took my interpretation and expanded upon it, using my creativity. As result, I birth The Food Temptress.

9. What is your writing process? How do you work? I write best at night. Lately, I notice the creative juices kick-in after midnight, not a good thing when you have to work a full-time job. I do write during the day, but I am not as productive. If I have time, I write on my lunch hour. The adrenaline rush is nice since I have a limited amount of time, perhaps that is my answer to procrastination.

10. I understand there's a sequel in the works. Give us the cover blurb. Yes, I am working on the sequel, “The Food Temptress: Ambrosia’s Delight.” I rather not give the cover blurb for three reasons. One, some folks are still reading the first book or have not read it. Two, I have not completed the sequel yet. Three, though I have written the ending, it may change. However, I will tell you this; Ambrosia continues her quest to find real love and a life-long partner.

11. Tell me about your publishing process. How did you get representation? I spent ten months writing “The Food Temptress.” I searched for an agent for twelve months, to no avail. I conducted research on several publishing companies. Xpress Yourself Publishing Company (XYP) was the right fit, so it was the only one that I submitted my manuscript to for review. Six months later, I received a contract.

12. Tell me something about Rekaya that you put into your main character, Ambrosia. I think Ambrosia and I have a great love for cooking.

13. How do you come up with the names for your characters? Well, Ambrosia is the Greek Goddess of drink and food, so it made sense to use that name. I come up with names as I make my keystrokes. I do not spend a great deal of time thinking about it.

Home of the new Thursday 13

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twilight: The Book and the Movie

I think that I am perhaps the only person on the planet that did not like the book, TWILIGHT. Well, that's not true. I know Stephen King didn't like it, and he took it, and it's author Stephanie Meyer, to task about it. I guess that should make me feel a bit better, since I agree with Stephen King, and he's published a kajillion books. Problem is, I don't like his stuff either - not for the same reasons. He writes well, just scares the bejeebers out of me. I didn't like the writing in TWILIGHT, I didn't like the dialogue, I didn't like the story, I didn't like that it was, well, boring. Of course, I compare all vampire lore to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and it just didn't live up.

Now the movie adaptation is out on DVD. I didn't see it in the theaters, not wanting to waste money on a movie when I know I didn't like the book. Now that I can watch it at home, however, I'm considering giving it a chance. Mostly because the guy star was in Harry Potter, but partially because I don't want to feel left out in my pop culture obsession.

I usually find the movie version of books less than par. I always enjoy the books more, possibly because the movie never lives up to my imagination when I'm reading the story. However, in this case, there are no expectations, so maybe the movie will be okay.

Have you seen it? Did you like it? Did you like the book?