Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Romantic Comedy author Kathy Carmichael!

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 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...



etirv said...

I just love this interview with Kathy! Great photos! I also love happy endings (that's why I read romances!) and this interview brought back memories of my own wedding, thanks! I can't wait to read Hot Flash!


Book Video Productions said...

Loved the photos! Especially the last one; a very "awww, how sweet" photo. And I don't know *what* the three-year-old was crying about, that's a lovely dress!

Margay said...

I feel so bad for the woman who's cake collapsed, but hopefully, that was the worst of it. My older sister's wedding was such a wild ride that I wrote a story about it (couldn't even begin to summarize it here!) - maybe some day, I'll publish it!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Love the photos! Can you imagine your cake collapsing?


Thanks for sharing.

I forgot to pick my wedding cake up the day before the wedding as scheduled. Luckily I had just enough time to pick it up the morning of, but I half expected to have them tell me they'd chucked it.

Kathy Carmichael said...

etiry: I'm with you on the happy endings!

book video: I was totally surprised by my nephew's reaction. Who knew I was so frightening?

Margay: Maybe you should throw us a few morsels about your sister's wedding?!

At Home Mommy: Thanks. The styles have changed a bit since I got married. LOL!

Kelly: Oops on the cake. So glad they didn't chuck it.

My family is really nuts at weddings. During one of my sister's weddings a few years ago, I thought there would be a revolt because the wedding planners made everyone wait so long before being able to eat :) -- KC

Nancy Kay Bowden said...

Hi,Kathy and TJ!
Oh the memories! Pre-wedding comedy on my big day was not as funny at the time as it is looking back. I was too worried to cry. My six bridesmaids were all first timers and totally excited. Got dressed like a whirlwind in our tiny quarters and ran off to play, leaving me, the bride to get dressed by herself. My mom, a first time mother of the bride, thinking there was enough chaos with seven crazy twenty-two year olds getting dressed in cramped quarters, stayed away--although she was tempted to see if I needed help. Which I did. Oh I did. I wound up with plenty of space when I got dressed all by myself. I could only pray I looked okay when I caught up with my wayward bridesmaids outside where everyone was waiting for me to come down the aisle, which in our case was a hill. I'm so happy I look okay in the pics!

jcp said...

Your photos are sweet.

Karen Rose said...

Love your wedding photos, Kathy! I cry at weddings, too - and everything else. Not sure why. It's just like ... too much beauty to keep in so it leaks out my tear ducts :-)

You guys look so dang happy in that last photo, it made me smile.

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the post and photos today!

chey said...

Great pix!
Hot Flash sounds like a great read!

Jean P said...

Loved the photos.
Yes I cry at weddings, cry when I watch certain movies and even cried reading books.

dag888888 said...

I enjoyed this post, thanks!

Jody F. said...

Can I just say that the cake made me really hungry. Those are some really gorgeous photos.

And no, I'm not a big cryer, not at weddings or movies.

Kathy Carmichael said...

Oh, Nancy! How awful to have to dress alone. So glad you looked beautiful, though :)

Thanks JCP!

Karen: Thanks for stopping by the blog! Love what you said about the beauty leaking from your tear ducts :) On the last photo, I forgot how young we were.

Thanks Chey!

Jean P: So glad I'm not alone in the tears!

Dag: Thanks!

I was thinking about other funny wedding stories and remembered another. I was matron-of-honor for a friend's wedding and donated a silver serving platter to hold the little bags of rice seeds to be tossed on the happy couple when they left. One of the attendees snuck my platter into her purse and left. The bride saw her do it, though, and chased her down to retrieve it! I so wish I had a photo of that one! -- KC

Kathy Carmichael said...

LOL Jody F! Tilted and all, that cake does look tasty! -- KC

Judy said...

Kathy, I enjoyed your wedding pictures. I didn't cry at my wedding, but when my daughter got married she cried all through the ceremony. My father was sitting behind me and he is very emotional and he started crying. He married off three girls and I don't think he cried at any of our weddings.

Maureen said...

Those were some great photos. My eyes will get watery sometimes but I don't usually cry during weddings. I actually am more likely to smile or laugh because, no matter what goes wrong, they're usually such happy days.

Virginia said...


Great interview, loved it! I usually don't go to weddings so no I don't cry in them. I will say that I have been known to cry during reading a book or watching a movie and even some shows on TV. I love a good tear jerking movie. Sometimes we all need a good cry!

Kathy Carmichael said...

Judy: The story about your father crying almost made =me= cry, too!

Thanks Maureen! I think I cry because I'm so happy for the new couple :)

Virginia: There's some movies that do it to me everytime I watch them. And I watch them again and again :) -- KC

TJ Bennett said...

Folks, I'd like to think Kathy for stopping by and being such a great guest. Thank you, Kathy! Feel free to continue the party without me, but as I have an early day tomorrow, I'll be saying goodnight.

Feel free to continue commenting here, everyone, and on our other guests posts' for the month of June for a chance to win the "Weddings & Beginnings" gift basket. And check back on Saturday, June 27, for the announcement of the lucky winner.

But wait, there's more! Be sure to keep checking back, because you know there are always surprises here at IMHO, and beginning July 1, we'll start our RITA tote bag giveaways, and you will NOT want to miss that.



Donna Confer said...

Kathy: Loved your wedding pics and your stories. I generally don't cry at weddings but when the oldest of my two boys got married Idid. I thought about how he oculd have rown up so fast and where had all the years gone and his lief as a child kind of passed before. I did sheed a couple of tears then.
I also liked your funny stories and wanted to add one. When my younger sister got married no one cried except the groom. He was a blubbering fool and had to repeat the vos 3-4 times untilthey could be understood. It was fnny yet all so embarrassing. Thanls for the memories!!

Kathy Carmichael said...

Donna: What a sweet story about your son's wedding and about your sister's wedding (and her groom weeping)!. Thanks so much for posting!

TJ: Thank you so much for inviting me as a guest. I've had so much fun and appreciate everyone who has shared their stories with us and those who visited, but didn't post.

Thanks all! -- KC

Carol L. said...

I loved your post and pics Kathy.
I cry at weddings because I love to see people happy and starting that new life together with all those new expectations. I laughed so hard about your nephew,leave it to the toddlers to entertain everyone. :)
Carol L.

Wilma Frana said...

The photos were great. Loved the interview.