Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Excerpt from Carolyn Brown

We usually post interviews on Wednesdays, but since Carolyn Brown has already been interviewed several times, we thought an excerpt from this prolific author would be welcome. Did I say prolific? How prolific? Well, I asked Carolyn about that. Here's her answer:

65 books sold to date.
6 to Kensington, four were published, two died on the shelf when the line died.
44 to Avalon, forty published, four more on the docket.
15 to Sourcebooks, ten published, five on the docket.

I've had books translated into nine foreign languages and have two Manga reprints, one already published and one in the works. Fourteen were reprinted in large print. Nine have sold to Rhapsody and Double Day book clubs with eight available now and one coming out in April. I sold my first two books, This Time Forever and Love is The Answer, the same day in 1997 to Kensington and sold my first one, Love Is, to Avalon in 1999. I also had the honor of being the debut historical author with Emma's Folly when Avalon decided to publish two historicals in each cycle. My Avalon book, Trouble in Paradise, won the National Reader's Choice Award and two of my other Avalon books have been finalists in that contest. My books have been reviewed in USA Today, RT Magazine, Affair de Coeur, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist and too many other places to list. (Sandy, I'd send you the file for the reviews but it's in excess of a hundred pages and that would be a bit of overkill. LOL) Love Drunk Cowboy was on the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller lists and is still in the top 100 B&N contemporary cowboy romance best sellers.

For any of the readers that have a Kindle or a Nook or any other ereader my first cowboy romance, Lucky in Love, is part of a Share the Love promotion for Valentine's Day and will be free for your ereader at Amazon, B&N, and most other places that sell e-books through Feb. 15.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm both inspired and intimated by Carolyn's numbers. Enough from me. Let's get back to Carolyn ...

Sometimes just when we’ve got life all figured out and know exactly where we are going, fate steps in and boom! Life is suddenly like putting a jig saw puzzle together a blind fold on and one hand tied behind your back.

That’s what had happened to three teenage girls, Fancy Lynn, Kate and Sophie, from Shackelford County, Texas fifteen years before. They’d been best friends their whole lives and suddenly their parents moved away and they were split up seven ways to Sunday.

And then different circumstances brought them all back to the area again when they are older and wiser than they’d been at fifteen. On the night of their reunion, they are sitting around the kitchen table and the conversation went like this:

“What I want to know is why in the devil you aren’t married yet? You’re one of those little women that men drool over. One of those I-can-protect-you and you-make-me-feel-all-big-and-macho women. So how is it you’re in the same boat with the smart and border line fool?” Kate asked.

“Haven’t found a man who can say the magic words and make me believe them.” Fancy tipped up her root beer and gulped.

Sophie giggled. “And those words would be ‘I love you?’”

“That’s part of it. But any fool with the ability to speak can say the words. I want to hear the words and know there’s one of those forever things attached to them. Why aren’t you married?” Fancy looked at Kate.

(Note: I’m skipping a bit here)

“Oh, I’d like the traditional words. But I want them said from a knight in shining …” the next word escaped her and she waved her hand in the air trying to remember it. Neither of her friends helped her out a bit. “From a knight in shining …” it still didn’t come to her. “Well, dang it, he has to say the words from a big white horse and be in my knight in shining whatever.”

“Now it’s your turn Sophie. What’ll it take for you to get married?” Fancy asked.

“You mean get married again?”

(NOTE: Skipping some more here)

“What would it take for me to get married?” Sophie asked. “He’d have to prove to me there could be life after wife. Because after I read that detective’s report there wasn’t life after wife; just lots of deception.”

And those are the reasons behind the titles for the Three Magic Words trilogy. The first book, A Forever Thing, is now available for purchase and has hit the library shelves. In Shining Whatever will be out in April and the last one, Life After Wife is due in August.

This series was so much fun to write that I thought you might enjoy an excerpt of A Forever Thing. Let me know what you think after you read it. Would you read the rest of this book? The next two?


 Fancy Lynn wasn’t going a single mile over the speed limit. Not that she drove within the law. Far from it, but that evening she was actually driving five miles below the limit until that silly black cat darted out from the curb and headed straight for her front tire. She would never admit to being superstitious but the first thought that ran through her mind was that cat was a blasted bad omen.

She swerved to miss it and hit the curb, bounced back, overcorrected and hit the curb again. By the time she had control of the car the black cat had shot across the street to the court house lawn, climbed the nearest tree and there were red, white and blue lights flashing behind her. She dutifully pulled over, rolled down the window and the aroma of almond extract hit her nose.

Ignoring the approaching cop she grabbed the brown bag with the leaking bottle and had it in hand when she looked up into the mossy green eyes of the policeman. His expression was pure disgust as he stared at the small brown bag.

“I can explain,” she said.

“License and insurance to begin with.”

No smile; not even a hint of one in his eyes. The man was all business.

She carefully set the bag on the floor while she fumbled through her purse for her license and the glove compartment for the insurance verification. There was barely an inch of tequila left in the bottom of the bottle. Three dollars sucked into the carpet and her car would smell like almonds for weeks.

“Fake identification if I ever saw one,” he mumbled. “This says you are thirty years old. Does it belong to an older aunt who looks like you?”

Fancy narrowed her blue eyes into slits and glared at the man. “I can explain this mess. A black cat ran out in front of me. I swerved. The bag has almond extract in it and must have fallen off the seat and broken when I stomped the brakes.”

“Would you get out of the car please?” He ignored her explanation. He’d heard better from teenagers before and never had he been snookered into believing a single one of them. He wasn’t starting that night; not with the aroma of amaretto liqueur reeking through the window and the blue eyed teeny bopper wearing cut off jean shorts and a tank top holding the evidence in plain sight.

She opened the door, crawled out and yanked her jeans down, then pulled the straps of the bright yellow tank top over to cover her bra straps. A portion of her hair escaped the pony tail and stuck to her neck within seconds of leaving the air conditioned car. She’d forgotten just how hot Texas could be in August. One step outside of a car or air conditioned house could flat suck all the breath out of a person before they could count to five.

He shoved an apparatus in front of her face. “Blow into this.”

“I have not been drinking,” she said from clenched teeth.


She did.

He checked it and made her repeat the test.

“Well, I guess you were telling the truth but I’m still taking you to jail for having an open bottle inside the car. You can call your Mommy and Daddy to come get you. So hands behind your back.”

Cuffs appeared out of nowhere. The snap was as loud as cracking thunder. Fancy was surprised everyone in the little town of Albany, population less than two thousand, wasn’t out on their porch looking to the southwest to see if a tornado was on the way.

“Why are you doing this? I told you the truth.”

“We’ll see, young lady.”

“I’m thirty years old so stop treating me like a child,” she protested.

“Let’s go call your parents and find out how old you really are.” He nodded toward the court house.

She giggled. Her mother wasn’t ever going to believe this; neither were Sophie and Kate. In all her fourteen years of driving she’d never even had a speeding ticket much less been hand cuffed and dragged to jail. Leave it to a black cat to cross the street right in front of the Sheriff’s Department and the Shackelford County Court House. Was the man totally stupid? Didn’t he realize if she had been drunk she would have taken the back roads into town and not driven right into the lion’s den?

“You think that’s funny,” he said.

“Yes, I do but then you are acting just like a short man, all cocky and jacked up on ego. Never met one yet that didn’t think he had to throw his weight around to show he was just as important as a tall man,” she said.

In answer to Carolyn's question, I definitely want to read more - and, as for the other two in the series - maybe she'll share an excerpt from those when the time comes.


Victoria M. Johnson said...

Hi Carolyn. I love this trilogy already! Yes I would definitely keep reading and I am intrigued by the other two character's stories as well.

Carolyn Brown said...

Good morning everyone! Correction to make on that excerpt which was pulled from uncorrected the finished book, it reads extract not tequila. Last time I checked tequila did not smell like almond extract.
Yes, I tried to make it a bottle of tequila in the original and Lia put a quick stop to such a thing.

Jennifer McAndrews said...

wow, Carolyn, I'm staggered and awed by the amount of novels you've published. You're a wonder. And this excerpt is delightful. Can't wait to get my hands on these books!

Carolyn Brown said...

Victoria, thank you for stopping by today. Glad that the excerpt intrigued you!

Carolyn Brown said...

Jennifer, when I was almost 50 someone asked me, "What are you going to be when you grow up?"
My answer: "Do I have to decide today?"
That year I sold my first two books and decided I wanted to write. It's still a passion after more than sixty books.
Hope you like the Three Magic Word trilogy and thanks so much for stopping by today.

Kathye Quick said...

definately getting this one! CArolyn, you are an amazing writer

Carolyn Brown said...

Thank you, Kathye. I don't know about amazing...sometimes I think it's a touch of insanity but when a story gets a toe hold in my brain, there is no rest until I get it told!

Beate Boeker said...

. . . wonderful! I so love the titles of your three novels!

Carolyn Brown said...

Thank you! I really was glad that the powers-that-be let me keep the titles even though they are a bit off-key!