Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Carly did her first 5K and other news

Hey Guys, it's Carly! I haven't had any guest scheduled for October, so I decided to write about a new experience, my very first ever 5k.

I made a promise to a friend before he passed away that I would train and complete a 5k. The goal being for me to get healthier in the process. He's been gone for three years now so I thought it was time for me to keep that promise. I started walking which I have posted about before. Check out my past blog on the top ten strangest things to happen in the cemetery while I was walking. 

I have also been trying to watch  what I eat. I am down 13 pounds and just completed my first 5k on Saturday. The day was cold and wet. We had a down-pouring of rain on Friday night and were calling for a rain/snow mix on Saturday morning. It was like 36 degrees and miserable. We considered cancelling, but it wasn't raining yet so we decided to go for it. 

I decided I wasn't going to run because the trail was really wet and had debris. I was afraid of falling and that would really mess me up. I did surprisingly well. I walked the complete 3.1 miles in 1 hour 11 minutes. The was my best time ever. I had gone 3.0 miles before and took 1 hour 15 minutes so I went farther and shaved some off my time. We even took a couple of selfies with some cows and pretty trees.

We all got a fun medal and a cape for participating. It was a lot of fun and I fullfilled my promise to my friend. Now that the pressure is off, I think I want to participate in some more 5k's and get to a better me. 

I really want to thank my "girls" who supported me and showed up to battle the elements on Saturday morning with me. Many thanks to Joanne, Deanna, Heather, and Sandy. Also to Lanna who moved recently and did the 5k in her new hometown. We had two other ladies, Debbie and Lisa who had things come up with their kids and couldn't make it, but I value their support all the same.

Earlier in the month, I took my daughter and mom to Tennessee for a little getaway in Pigeon Forge. My daughter was actually at school the day we left. She had no idea we were going. I signed her out early, put her in the Jeep, and announced we were going to Tennessee for the long weekend. She was so surprised she didn't know how to react. We had a wonderful time visiting the Dixie Stampede, Titanic, and the Island. It was so worth it to see the joy and excitement on my daughter's face. 

On the writing front, I have been working hard on Forest of the Mist: Guardians, Sasha Bishop: The Return, and The Last Girlfriend. I'm hoping to have Guardian done by the end of the year. My goal is to finish the Return by March. Those two books will complete both of those series. I can then concentrate on promoting two complete series while finishing The Last Girlfriend.  

Well, that is all for now. Hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope to have some new guests on the blog soon.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Sofie Darling: Author Interview and Book Feature

Carly's View welcomes writer Sofie Darling, author of Three Lessons in Seduction. 

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I went to university as a Biology major, but, like everyone else, had to take a few basic English classes. I’d always been a reader, so this was no great burden. At the top of an essay I’d written, a professor wrote, “By the way, you write beautifully.” Well, that was it. I was hooked.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

I love George Eliot, and her masterpiece, Middlemarch, for her ability to create a complex plot structure while never losing sight of the characters who drive the narrative. I love Judith Ivory’s novels not only for their exquisite writing, but mostly for the unforgettable chemistry between her heroes and heroines.

If you could be any character in any book, who would it be and why?

Oh, this is an easy one: Elizabeth Bennett. Why? I could say she’s an intelligent woman who speaks her mind, but is also willing to change it, and that would be true. But the real reason? She makes Mr. Darcy fall madly in love with her. And she gets Pemberley. :)

Do you have any hobbies you would like to share?
For whatever mad reason I became a distance runner about ten years ago. To this day, I can’t say I particularly enjoy it, but it’s something I feel compelled to do, if that makes any sense. Distance running is a lot like novel writing in that way. Both are work, but provoke a strange love in me.

Tell me about your first kiss? Was it magical or not so magical?

Well, I hope my Darling boys won’t read this, but my first kiss was pretty magical. I was sixteen and visiting my cousin in East Texas. Ever the wilder one of the two of us, she encouraged me to sneak out of the house one night with her and some boys. After a good bit of country road driving, we found ourselves at the Lake O’ the Pines. The sky that night was so clear we could see the Milky Way above and its reflection on the ink-black water below. One of the boys had long blonde hair and was just different enough to catch my city-girl eye. Anyway, we ended up kissing on the hood of his car beneath that star-bright sky. I never saw that boy again, and I didn’t have another kiss for over a year.

What’s an item on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?
I’ve never gone blonde.

Tell us the best vacation you have ever been on.

Last year, I visited Ireland with Mr. Darling and the Darling boys. The eldest had just graduated from high school, so the entire trip had this lovely sweetness to it as we drove all over, hiked glorious cliffs, stomped around ruined castles, and just enjoyed being together as a family. It was wonderful.

Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

I generally find inspiration in other genres, mostly historical non-fiction.

Thank you for joining me today, Sofie.


Paris, September 1824

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.
Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent. Even if the thought makes his blood boil. Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping . . .

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.


Nick watched Lady Mariana slip through a crack in the exterior French doors. He paused. A man like him had no business following virgins into the night for he had no intention of ever marrying. Marriage and children crippled a man involved in espionage.

Yet the hesitation lasted only long enough for him to set down his brandy. In three short strides, he was through the doors and beneath an indigo sky dotted with a million stars, the sort of sky only possible outside the fog-bound city. He stood uncertainly on the stone portico feeling exposed and a thousand ways a fool.

Where had she gone?

Instinct guided him down the wide staircase and onto a crushed granite path lined with all manner of flowers. Montfort’s was the quintessential English garden with its riots of overgrown blooms of every hue, tonight rendered monochromatic by the stark rays of the moon.

He’d begun to doubt his instinct when he rounded a bend in the path and spotted her some ten yards ahead, seeming to be in no particular hurry. Her ease was apparent in the relaxed set of her shoulders and the way her hand trailed idly above the flowers, allowing their velvety petals to brush the bare flesh of her palm. The way the light washed over and embraced her called to mind Selene, goddess of the moon.

He should turn back before they ruined each other.

Just as he made to retrace his steps toward the house, she called out over her shoulder, “Are you going to skulk behind me all night?”

They were the first words she ever spoke to him. His heart kicked up a notch, and his tongue became a sodden blanket in his mouth as a series of facts occurred to him:

He’d followed her. He was alone with her. And he wanted nothing more than to touch her and know the scent of her. His stride increased in length to catch her.

“Do we need a formal introduction before you will speak to me?” she teased, presenting him her flawless profile. The moon above limned her features in a contradictory soft, yet crisp, glow. “Or are you simply shy?”

“You must know who I am,” he called out to her back.

“He speaks.” An enchanting giggle floated over her shoulder. “I know you are one of many young men who venture out to my uncle’s estate to discuss England’s politics. But who you are specifically, I can’t say.”

They reached the ha-ha, and he watched her clear its low wall with ease before turning toward the edge of the woods, him following at her heels like a lap dog hungry for the tiniest crumb of her attention.

He found himself close behind her, close enough to catch her scent of jasmine and neroli. It struck him that this wasn’t the one-note scent of a debutante. On the surface, the floral jasmine indicated the shallow innocence of her peers, but the deep bitter-orange neroli complicated that assessment and made for a more interesting conclusion. She was different.

“Why did you leave the house?” he asked.

His lips curved into a half-smile when she jumped at his words. Words so close she might have felt their dewy warmth on the nape of her neck.

“I was hot.”

Three simpler words didn’t exist in the English language. Yet that one simple word—hot—sent a spike of longing straight through him. “I suppose the air was a bit stale,” he rasped.

They climbed a short rise that overlooked a small pond, wavy beams of moonlight rippling across its fluid surface. What was he doing in the woods with this moon goddess? It wasn’t too late to turn back.

Then she spoke the next words, and he was lost.

“I wasn’t hot from stale air.” She faced him, her amber eyes, clear and unflinching, gauging his reaction. “It was you. I was hot because of you.”

No longer could he keep his emotions under a tight rein. She’d negated that control with a few careless words that struck his core with the precision of a well-aimed arrow.

“Did no one ever teach you not to say such things to strange men?”

“They tried,” she said with the assuredness of a woman with far too much experience, or maybe it was far too little. “There is nothing strange about you.”

“You should try those words on a different man,” he said, straining for a tone of paternal guidance. If she believed it, he might, too. “One who would marry you.”

“Oh, I care naught for that,” she said on a laugh.

Instinctively, protectively, he reached out and pulled her close, her upturned lips a hairsbreadth away from his, her playful eyes inviting him to bridge the distance. “Society doesn’t tolerate ladies who entertain loose morals.”

With feelings of longing, desire, and bewilderment warring inside him, he lowered his head and touched his mouth to hers, unprepared for the responding punch of electricity. His hands slid to her waist, and her fingers found the back of his neck, her nails tickling across sensitive skin, her body swaying into his in surrender.

Kisses had the power to reveal truths about two people that extended far beyond trivialities like compatibility and incompatibility. This kiss revealed a single unshakeable truth: she was the only woman for him.

It was a truth that shook him clear through to his bones.

His eyes flew open, and he broke the kiss, eliciting a tiny gasp of protest from her. He watched with a mixture of self-loathing and thwarted passion as she opened desire-glazed eyes and closed kiss-crushed lips.

“A girl like you is a girl one could marry,” he murmured. They were heedless and dangerous words that fell from his lips, and he couldn’t understand why he spoke them.

“A girl like me?”


“One could marry?”


“Careful,” she whispered into the space between their lips. It was the only space that mattered in the universe. “I might hold you to such words.”

“I might hope you do.”

Again, words fell from his mouth of their own accord, and he’d proposed to her. There had been no biting it back.

And he hadn’t wanted to.

At least, not for another five seconds.

He’d proposed to Lady Mariana Montfort, a girl he didn’t know.

That wasn’t precisely true.

In the ways that mattered, he knew her.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Character Interview with Becka Clemmons of the Health Nut Cafe

Today we are interviewing Becka Clemmons, a character from Rhonda Frankhouser's newest book, Health Nut Cafe.

Thank you for joining us, Becka. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Becka Clemmons. I’m dedicated to running my parent’s cool little restaurant, the Health Nut Café. My mother, Silvy and my best friend, Annie think I should spend more time looking for love, but I have no time for that.

What is your greatest fear and why?
I have a devastating fear of the ocean, for absolutely no reason at all. I wake up in cold sweats from the same nightmare every night. It makes me dread going to sleep.

 What's an item you really want to cross off your bucket list?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE old movies. I work too much to do it, but I would love to tour the homes of old Hollywood stars. That sounds like fun.

 Tell us about your last vacation.
I don’t really take vacations, but my mother just purchased tickets for a Hawaiian vacation for me and my best friend. I know she’s up to something, because she always is, but I’m not sure what. I’m terrified to fly over the ocean to get there, but I’ll go to appease her and to figure out what she has in store for me there.

Do you prefer the mountains or the beach? Why?
I live at the beach and I do love it, but my heart belongs in the mountains. When my father was alive, we escaped up there as often as we could manage. The pine-scented air and the quiet calms me down.

 What's your relationship status?
Much to my mother’s dismay, I haven’t been in a serious relationship since high school.  I don’t have the time or desire to complicate my life. The new owner of Parker’s Antique Bookstore, Jonathan, is the first man who’s had any effect on me in years. And I admit it’s quite an effect. He seems so familiar and yes, gorgeous. I can’t stop thinking about him.

 Anything else you want the readers to know about you?
I think anyone who steps into the Health Nut Café will not be disappointed. We serve up more than just delicious foods, we provide a safe haven for some crazy, beautiful people and solve some mysteries along the way. With the help of my meddlesome, lovely family and friends, I’m sure to solve a few mysteries of my own.

How did you like Becka's interview? Do you want to know more about the Health Nut Cafe? Read on for a short blurb.

Imagine recognizing someone you’ve never seen before…
Becka Clemmons’ one true passion is running the Health Nut Café. Awakened every morning by the same nightmare, Becka sees the world through tainted eyes. She’s never believed in fairytale romances until Jonathan Parker walks through the café door one cool, foggy morning. She struggles to understand why this familiar stranger makes her crave things she’s never craved. Solving the mystery of Jonathan is the first thing that has ever taken her focus away from her cafe.

Imagine missing someone you’ve never met…
Jonathan Parker is the idealistic son of old money who knows exactly what he wants. Day after day he searches to find the missing connection that eludes him, until the morning he lays eyes on Becka. He knows his search is over but the struggle to make her believe has just begun. From that moment he works to prove to Becka that they belong together. 

Will Becka let herself believe? Will Jonathan’s family ruin their chance at love?

Bio of Rhonda Frankhouser:

Rhonda Frankhouser has been an author with SoulMate Publishing since November of 2016. Her debut novel, Return to Ruby's Ranch, earned an InD'Tale Magazine RONE Finalist award, an Uncaged Magazine Raven Finalist, and a Books and Benches Reviewer's Top Pick, Seal of Distinction. Her second release, Health Nut Café, is due out in October 2017. Rhonda lives with her own knight in shining armor in central California, with her two pug puppies, Geddy and Ruby, and their beautiful Labrador, Dutch. 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

The Cycle of Friendship

Hey Guys, It's Carly and I'm blogging myself this week. Once again I find myself trying to find something to say when the word friendship crossed my mind. Friends are important to me. I love laughing and living life with those I am close to. This made me reflect on the friends I have had through the years and how those friendships could be categorized in lifetime, season, Church, and cycle.

A lifetime friend is someone you connect with on many levels. Through those common interests the friendship grows until you become almost like siblings. Many of my lifetime friends are extended family to me. I would do anything for them and the same goes with them in turn.

A seasonal friend is someone you connect with instantly. The friendship grows fast and burn bright until it has nowhere else to go. I believe seasonal friends come into our lives to help with something specific you are dealing with. When the situation has passed, the friendship fades.

A Church friend is somebody you share your religion and spiritual beliefs with. Many of these friends can become lifetime or seasonal friends too. The common bond of faith keeps you together 

A cycle friend or recycle if you will, is a friend that keeps repeatedly coming back into your life. I would say this could be kids you went to school or college with, co-workers, or people who belonged to a same club as you.

Now that you get where I am coming from, I want to share a little bit about all four of these friendships in my personal life. I have several lifetime friends. These are people I have known since I was a little girl. They know almost everything there is to know about me and love me anyway. Truthfully, I am closer to some of these friends then some of my blood relatives. I know in a pinch that this core group of people will have my back no matter what the situation. Time and distance do not make a difference with a lifetime friend. Most of the time, you can pick up exactly where you left off before life separated you for awhile.

I have had a few seasonal friends during key points in my life. For example, getting married. It's a major milestone in your life. When my ex hubby and I got married, a lot of our friends were too. All of us brides discussed our dresses, flowers, attendants, and color schemes. The thing is, when the weddings were over, the friendships began to fade. You discover there is not enough common ground for the friendship to build on. Sadly, you drift apart. You are still nice to each other when you see each other in public and you are probably friends with them on Facebook, but as for important life interaction, it's just not there.

Church friends is pretty self-explanatory. I've been attending my Church since the cradle except for a brief period during college and when I was married. Growing up in the Church, everyone gets to know you. They get both the good and the bad. I hit it lucky with my Bible study group. We have been together for twenty years and these people get me. Most people think that Church is full of hypocrites... whatever! I look at it as I'm in the right place to repent and try again to be better. What I like about my friends in Bible study is they are genuine. We are not perfect. We are married, divorced, widowed, and single. Some have kids, some have grandkids, and others don't have any yet. We come from all walks of life, but we all love one another regardless of the background. I'm very lucky to have these people in my life. They make me strive to be a better person.

Finally we come to cycle friends. I like to think of these as recycle or do-overs. Sometimes these are friendships that fell into the seasonal category originally only to come back around years later. Whenever this has happened with me, the friendship will grow stronger than it was before. For example: friends and acquaintances from school or work. How many times have you been "best friends" with somebody from college or work? We've all been there. At the time, they are close to you but then you either graduate or leave the company. What happens then? Most of the time, the friendship fades. It comes to find out the only thing holding you together was the job or class. Years later, you find yourself on a reunion committee or at another job and there is so and so from school or work. You start to talk and the friendship renews. It grows stronger and sometimes you have changed from the person you used to be. The friendship may last longer as a result.

I count myself as very lucky to have had some really good friends over the years. I value friendship and all that those people bring to my life. They help mold me into who I am. They make me stronger. They make me better. They support and encourage. They lift you up when you are down. That is what friendship is all about. 

Until next time...Carly