Connecting with the Why, not the what

Hello everyone out there!

5I hope your April is off to a great start. Mine has been rich, we’ll say. Rich with new experiences and thoughts. From hosting a bachelorette party for the first time (on April Fool’s Day no less, and I’m embarrassingly awkward and shy so you get the picture) to prepping for this weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books where such iconic heroes as Buzz Aldrin will also be appearing (my mind is beyond the moon that I’ll be there signing too, just craziness). It’s definitely shaping up to be a month to remember.

When a month like this hits, when you can just sense that the norm will not necessarily be the norm, I feel it’s always a good idea to assess yourself, see where you’re at in life and with your goals. And one thing that was posed to me last month that still has me thinking today, by the incredible author and teacher, Mary Buckham, was a very simple question. She talked to my writing group about what we are writing. Once we all kind of figured that out–you know, our specific genres and subgenres–she then got “real” with us. Mary explained that readers don’t buy what you write. They buy why you write what you write because that is where the special connection between a reader and author is formed. And then she challenged us to figure that out. Amazingly, the answer came to me as clear as day. (This is not usually the case. I think too much, do you do that too? Try to come up with one simple answer and end up with thousands of “could be” answers? You’re not alone!) But to this question, I knew right away.

My why is simple…

I don’t ever want you to feel ashamed or alone. I think one of the worst things that can happen to a good-hearted person is that they make a mistake, or something bad happens to them. An unforgiving person (or society) then shovels so much unwarranted guilt and shame on top of them that they can’t dig their way out. This can happen to a child or an adult. Their good heart is buried, and the rest of us never get a chance to see what it was that made them so special and unique. I write so that I can show you those souls. I want you to see and feel their worth. In turn, I want you to remember your own worth.

Whatever it is that you do, I’m inviting you to share your “why” here in the comments. Or if it’s something you’d like to keep to yourself, something you’re not ready to share yet, I’m always understanding of that too. I hope I’ve helped by posing the question. If you can answer your “why”, then I think you’ll be primed to take on the month of April like a champ. I’m in your corner. I know what you’re worth. A lot.


If you have a chance, come on out to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I’m happy to say that general festival admission and all outdoor programming is free to the public! I will be signing in Booth 916 on Sunday, April 10th, from 2 to 5 pm. I hope to see you there! Click HERE for the romance author signing schedule and HERE for the festival at large. Serioulsy. Buzz. Aldrin.

Always love (to the moon and back),

Carlene Love♥

Make A Difference in 2016

7Hello everyone♥

I see you out there. Hope you’re smiling.

I’d like to take a moment and send you all my best wishes and thoughts for this new year we’ve already delved into. I know there are a million and one things we all hope to accomplish each year and I truly am rooting for you (and myself, because goodness knows I need the motivation too!).

I decided this year that every day, I’m simply going to make a difference. Continue reading

Little Wave in a Big Ocean

“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.”

~Orson Scott Card

We all have those times in our lives when we know we have to take a break from some things in order to try and fix others. It’s been a minute since I sat down and wrote a thoughtful blog post. That changes today.

               “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

It is my belief that most of us have heard this at some time in our lives and I can honestly say that I have lived my life by it. Growing up, I heard it nearly every day. What makes a person repeat something like this to a child they are molding into an adult? I can think of a few reasons. Continue reading

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.


The book where those wee little mistakes were caught. 😉

Continue reading

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…


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. 😉



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