Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I'm happy today to welcome award-winning writer Kathy Carmichael, a fellow Medallion Press author. A popular guest lecturer, she gives seminars to writers and readers. Two of her books have won the Reviewers International Organization's prestigious RIO Award of Excellence in two different genres. Prior to becoming an author, Kathy worked in advertising, as a paralegal and as a communications consultant. She also tended bar while in college, where she served drinks mixed with advice. This gave her a unique glimpse into people's lives and motivations, which she uses in her writing.
Her latest release, Hot Flash, received a starred review from Booklist, Coffee Time Romance's highest rating of 5 Cups and a CTRR Award, Reviewer Top Pick from Night Owl Romance, was a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction, received 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies, and a Top Pick from Romance Reader at Heart.
Hot Flash features heroine Jill Morgan Storm, who on her fortieth birthday declares she is through with love. After her husband decided to become a woman, sous-chef Jill found a lover who not only dumped her for a comely young college student but also kept Jill’s perfect, well-seasoned skillet, an important tool of her trade. Her father is in prison. Her mother’s behavior is more than slightly crazy. Jill’s son, Stephen, rarely speaks to her, and when he does, it’s usually in French. The only positive thing about Jill’s life is her faithful group of friends. They decide to help Jill find love—and in the process, a way to finance Stephen’s art school. With Jill, they put together a “Marriage Satisfaction Survey” and send it to couples featured in the newspapers on their 25th and 50th anniversaries, hoping to discover the secret of these long unions. Unfortunately, Jill discovers the one thing they have in common: the husband is never home. As Booklist's starred review puts it: "The road to true love has many twists and turns, and Jill stumbles across all of them in Carmichael’s delightful romantic comedy."
Kathy resides on Florida's west coast, along with her Scottish husband, two not-so-wee-sons, and a bevy of cantankerous felines. Despite rumors to the contrary, she has never been recruited by the CIA or the other CIA (Culinary Institute of America).
Kathy will put a signed copy of Hot Flash in the “Weddings & Beginnings” gift basket for our lucky winner. Her next book, Diary of a Confessions Queen, will be released in February 2010. She loves chatting with readers. Please visit her website at KathyCarmichael.com or friend her on Facebook.
IMHO: Welcome, Kathy! So, what is your opinion on our theme, “Weddings & Beginnings”?
KC: Weddings. You gotta love 'em.
Whether you laugh or cry through them, one thing you can count on: there's no such thing as perfect.
Are they really married? During the vows at author Kimberly Llewellyn's wedding ceremony, her almost-husband said, "I, Kimberly, take you, Michael."
At author Elizabeth Sinclair's granddaughter's wedding, the cake collapsed.
She graciously agreed to let me share a photo of it here (note the curving edges of the cake).
Most of us have watched TV's funny videos of either the bride or groom fainting during the wedding ceremony. I've never fainted, but I sure empathize! My wedding dress was incredibly hot, with all those layers of petticoats and lace. There were moments I thought I might pass out -- and no, it wasn't because of too much champagne :)
My nephew was supposed to be the ring bearer at my wedding. Everything went perfectly during the rehearsal, but as we lined up for the wedding processional, three-year-old Jamie took one look at me in the wedding garb and let out a frenzied scream. The terrorized toddler ran and hid behind his mother's back. Who knew brides were so scary?
I'm one of those sappy, sentimental types who cries through weddings, graduations, movies and TV commercials. If it's touching, I'm sobbing. Years ago, a dear friend got married. It was a gorgeous wedding and I stood up as one of her bridesmaids. She started crying while saying her vows and I swear I think everyone else at the ceremony sobbed along with her. At one point, the groom pulled out a hanky, held it up to the bride's face and said, "Blow." We all laughed, but afterwards we cried even harder!
I'm not sure why anyone else cries, but for me it's because I love seeing someone receive their Happy Ending. It's a major reason why I love reading and writing romance novels -- the happy ending is incredibly important to me.
At my own wedding, however, I didn't cry. Go figure! It was a time of laughter, family, love and sharing. My husband is over a foot taller than me and that made for many funny moments.
Here's a couple of photos of him squatting in order to do the champagne toast with me.
In the interests of learning why people cry at weddings, I Googled it. I found some very interesting comments, like the website where the poster said she sobbed at her sister's wedding, but she thinks it was because she was so drunk. Or the other site that said people cry because of their dissatisfaction with their own lives. Huh? I guess that psychologist just didn't get that whole "Happy Endings" thang.
Whether you cried or laughed through your wedding or the weddings you've attended, I hope you receive your very own happy ending!
If you have a wedding story you'd like to share, please do! And tell us, do you cry through weddings? Do you cry when you watch movies or read the Happy Ending in romance novels?
IMHO: Thanks, Kathy. Those photos are great--love the wide lapels on the brown tuxedo. :-) How about it, folks? Do you cry at Happy Endings like Kathy? Be sure to leave a comment for her and at least one of our other guests this month (the more comments you leave, the better) for a chance to win the "Weddings & Beginnings" gift basket full of autographed books by Deeanne Gist, Kathryn Albright, Gemma Halliday, Kathy Carmichael, TJ Bennett, and a free e-book download from Eppie-winning bonus guest Teri Thackston, as well as a $20 gift certificate to Target. Details on how to win are on my contest page so I won't repeat them here, but the contest period ends June 26, 2009. Come back for the announcement of the winner on June 27, 2009.
And of course stay tuned for my big RITA extravaganza the month of July, where I'll be giving away over 50 autographed books by RITA-nominated authors all month long before the big RWA Awards ceremony on July 18, 2009. After that I'll be taking a short break and we'll see what happens next...