Love for my mentor…Lynne Silver #Beshert

Tell a person they’ve done a good job and often they will tell you the name of someone they couldn’t have done it without. For me, that person is Lynne Silver. This past weekend, Lynne was presented the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring award at the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat in Westminster, MD. I cannot tell you how honored I am to have had the nomination letter I wrote be a small part of that. If I’m a good writer, it’s because Lynne is an outstanding mentor to me…

Dear WRW (Washington Romance Writers) President,

I am nominating Lynne Silver for the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring Award.

I’m not sure when I realized that the lady I’d seen at monthly chapter meetings and Lynne Silver were one in the same. What I do know is that on November 16, 2011, my birthday of all days, I left a light-hearted, somewhat joking response to Pintip’s Waterworld Mermaids post about Accountability Partners. Lynne left a thought-provoking comment that had me staring at my laptop, hand over mouth, gawking. See below:

Carlene: I think I need an AP for shaving my legs! And writing of course but darn, with the cooler weather lately and the long pants, I’m just saying!!! Love your post P.H.!

Lynne: I’d love an accountability partner. I’ve been eyeing large wall calendars at Staples to start planning manuscripts and due dates. Hey- we all want to have multiple deadlines at multiple publishing houses someday, we might as well pretend we’re there now and get some practice in. Carlene, if you’re really looking, I’d love to be APs with you. Email me cause I also have something else to ask you about. Lynne

Lynne Silver wanted to work with me? You’d think I’d just been asked out on a date by Casey James! (This is major, friends. It would be the equivalent of most people in the room being asked to take a trip to the moon with Jamie Fraser.) I had a small freaking out moment as I read her words. And then I went and Googled Lynne and saw that she had published like, a load of books! They looked so good too. There were dukes and mistresses and debutantes, all super sexy looking to little ole me who had written a couple gigantic stories that needed serious work. She wanted to work with me? Maybe this Lynne Silver person was crazy.

In complete fan-girl mode, I wrote back to her. Don’t have a clue as to what I said but whatever it was, it must have been good because we became not just accountability partners, but critique partners. I actually do remember that she wanted me to read her work because of my infatuation with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Note to writers, let your freak flags fly and obsessions be known, they could snag you an amazing partner too. The first thing I read for Lynne was amazing, the first of her Coded for Love books. I loved it. It was pretty much flawless but I did get to have one moment where I felt worthy of being this woman’s partner. She’d misspelled her heroine’s name and also left a butt plug (can we say that in an award nomination letter?) (Sorry Ms. WRW President, wink) in place and forgot to remove it. Score one for little ole me ‘cuz I caught the mistakes! Now, I wasn’t just blushing and walking around the house grinning from reading Lynne’s super-hot writing (I’d never read anything like it before), I felt like I might be “writerly” enough to hang with her. Lynne was super appreciative of my comments, excited even, which made me feel overjoyed.

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The book where those wee little mistakes were caught. ;-)

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Wicked Flower voted Best Happily Ever After! xoxo

Tonight I’m sitting here in my living room, watching a little Green Bay Packers football before bedtime. My dogs are already snoring loudly, the family kitten already has her eye on the Christmas decorations I’ve got setting out, and the Flores boys, well, they are lounging around in their skivvies, as usual, after a long hard day of work and school. If I  took a look at the thermostat, it would read a toasty 70 degrees (welcome to San Diego winter), even at 8 o’clock at night. I should probably get my lazy bones up and go see if anyone has snuck a dirty dish into the sink when I wasn’t looking. But I won’t, because I’m just too darn comfy (and lazy) to move. Plus from my spot, I can smell the cinnamon and pine candles decking the fireplace mantle, even though they’re not lit. Those Glade holiday editions are potent puppies. It’s a perfectly normal evening here at Casa Flores.

Except for one thing…

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This author girl is completely touched, humbled, giddy, overwhelmed and downright honored because something I wrote, well, you liked it! A lot! Enough so that you voted it your favorite “Happily Ever After” in this year’s Evernight Readers’ Choice Awards! And not just that, but you also voted Wicked Flower your second favorite Contemporary Romance! If I could, I’d hug each and every one of you. And I’d get Stefan to help because he likes hugging. A lot. ;-)

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From the both of us, and the entire Wicked Flower family of characters, we thank you. We thank you, we thank you, we thank you. This means the world. You have made this night spectacular, extraordinary, one of a kind, unforgettable. Mwah!

Always love,

Carlene Love♥

 

In the Pages of a Good Book Blogoversary Celebration & Giveaway: Friendship!

Blog-Invite-300x264When I heard about Beckey’s blog turning one year old, and that I could be a part of her celebration, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Through the blog “In the Pages of a Good Book”, Beckey has supported so many authors and books and it’s a real treat to get to thank her and congratulate her. And I love that she chose the theme of Friendship for the blog hop posts.

I recently moved from Virginia (where I’d lived for six years) back home to San Diego, CA. And tonight as I was sitting at the park where my son practices football, with the perfect weather all around me, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, this is the perfect place for the friends I made back in Virginia. But they’re all out there and now I’m here.” You see, I lived in Virginia for those six years, but it took me about four of them to come out of my shell and start making friends.

Real friends.

As an army wife the past twenty years who moved a whole lot, it was just easier not to become attached. Not making close friends meant not having to say goodbye to them when orders came down. It was a mistake I made for most of my hubby’s time in the service. But this group of Washington DC area women, they were a real force to be reckoned with. Once they had me, they really had me by the heart strings. Continue reading

Give the Gift of Education with Evernight!

 

Education rocks!

Education rocks!

Hello friends! There are many times when I smile about being part of the Evernight Publishing family and this is one of them. Starting right now and for the next seven days, Evernight is giving 100% of profits from books sold at their site to a truly wonderful cause. Please consider visiting Evernight and picking up a new romance read, or two or three. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, erotic or any other genre of romance, pick up a book during this event and be part of something special. 

♥ Take one of Carlene’s Rock Stars home today and give a child an education forever. ♥

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Tuesday Treat: Scribbling Women Anthology Cover Reveal!

I’m truly honored to be a part of this brand new anthology put together and edited by the exceptional Hope Tarr. When Hope (whose credits blow me away as founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon in New York and author of Operation Cinderella which was recently optioned by 20th Century Fox Studios!) put out the call for true romance tales, I volunteered mine, hoping but not really thinking it would be selected. When Hope emailed me to let me know mine and hubby’s story, When You Come Home, was going to be included, I was flabbergasted! Being part of this anthology is one of the proudest things I’ve done in my writing career. It’s an anthology for everyone and I invite you to pick up a copy as all proceeds are benefiting the incredible organization, Win (formerly Women In Need).  And now for our lovely cover…

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Thursday Thoughts: My Real Life Hero

Happy Thursday!  Today is hubby’s last day at work for a while as he gets back to pursuing a lifelong dream of earning that elusive Master’s Degree.  He sent me this note on Monday and I spilled a bunch of pretty pleases his way to let me share it.  Please welcome my real life hero, the Fabulous Mr. Flores.

RecRoom March 4 AToday is my last Monday of working for the federal government. Thinking about that makes my stomach hurt, makes me nauseous and queasy. However, it also brings a smile to my face. For months, I have struggled to get up in the morning and go to work. In all of my adult life, I have never gotten up and gone to work. My Army career, through all the trials and tribulations, I never once got up in the morning and said, “All right, I am off to work.” I always just got up and did what the Army asked me to do. Being a Soldier was not work, it was my life. It was part of me. I was the Army and the Army was me. It was exhiliarating.

Even near the end, as I got older and tired easily, I loved it.  I did however retire when it was time to retire. I never became that fat, old, disgruntled Master Sergeant. Do not get me wrong, I did get fat and old, but I was not disgruntled. I retired when it was time to retire, at the right time, as some might say.

Since retiring, I have worked at perhaps one of the best places to work in Northern Virginia; it is a government position, but not your typical type of government job. I work in a place that utilizes innovative technology to inform government decision makers and warfighters alike, what is occurring around the world. I work at a place that allows me to work a flexible schedule, thus balancing my work life with my family life. I work at a place that most would be envious of. Continue reading