Saturday, September 26, 2015

"The Intern" was fantastic! #moviereview

"The Intern" review

Summary70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

Rated PG-13. 121 minutes.

My short review is that everyone will want a friend like Ben, Robert De Niro's character.

The long version: Ben is a retired widow that's done everything he could think of to spend his time, yet he's still unfulfilled. When he spots a flyer for a senior intern program - that asks for a video application - he jumps on the opportunity to be useful. Jules' partner assigns Ben to her, but she isn't interested in having an intern at first. Ben is very observant, though, as well as charming and a true gentleman, and eventually wins her over. He has many years of work experience, after all. What starts as a great working relationship becomes a truly beautiful friendship the audience knows will last to the end of the characters' lives.

There are story surprises I loved. Anne and De Niro have great chemistry. There's also a fantastic supporting cast that really fleshes out the workplace, including Rene Russo. There isn't a single thing I would change. As Anne Hathaway described the film, it's a love story about a friendship. My previous Nancy Meyers movie review is here. Like It's Complicated, this movie is a comedy with actual grown-up characters and lots of heart. And it looks amazing. Meyers' aesthetic is gorgeous.

The movie premiered in theaters this weekend. Go see it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to School Romance Party!

Sept. 15, 2015

An online party celebrating New Adult Romance set in colleges and universities! 

Hosted by Cecilia Tan, Abigail Strom, Suzanne Rock, Rebecca Grace Allen, Victoria Adams, Carla Krae, & Kimbra Kasch!

Join us for giveaways, prizes, exclusive excerpts, and discussion of your favorite back-to-school romances!

Hosting schedule (Eastern Time):
4pm Cecilia Tan
5pm Victoria Adams
6pm Carla Krae
7pm Suzanne Rock
8pm Rebecca Grace Allen
9pm Kimbra Kasch
10pm Abigail Strom
11pm Cecilia Tan

Friday, July 31, 2015

New Story Excerpt - The whole band at Mikey's house. #amwriting #WIP #rockstars


I've been working on Mike and Hannah's story. On 7/23, I posted "Just wrote a chapter of the whole band hanging out and giving each other crap." 

Here's a sample of that. It's a Sunday and the band has a rare day to chill. Mike's POV:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Christmas in July Party! #rockstarromance #independenceday

Christmas in July Facebook Party

Jul 4 at 6:00am to Jul 6 at 9:00am (UTC+10).

A bring-a-book party for authors to post their free books and readers to scoop them up. Living in the southern hemisphere, Aussies often host Christmas in July parties. Everyone is welcome! 
Please join and share.

I'll be sharing DYLAN AND JEN this weekend!

Dylan is the bassist for Jake Lindsey's band, but not when he's in his hometown. It's Christmas Eve and a sudden, strong blizzard has left the mountain submerged in snow, wrecking his plan to drive back to Los Angeles in time to attend Jake and Beth's party Christmas Day.

Jennifer's family was coming to spend the holiday at her cabin, but the storm is keeping them off the mountain. Resigned to entertaining herself for the night, she's startled by someone pounding on her front door--a handsome man needing shelter from the storm. Dylan is sweet, funny, and so damn hot she can't resist learning what he has to offer.

Was this a single night of passion, or the beginning of lasting love?

This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations. 

My Once and Future Love Revisited series stand-alone story. Takes place after Beth and Jacob's final book. Minor spoilers.  

Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#WIPWednesday 2015 Excerpt #5 by @carlakrae #contemporaryromance #amwriting

WIP Wednesday #5

Here's excerpt #1. And excerpt #2. And excerpt #3. And excerpt #4.
The weeks preceding the Grammys had been comfortable, so Beth wasn’t tense around him anymore…no more so than she’d ever been since age fourteen.  Spending the day with him was fine.  It was the not-knowing what scheme he had up his sleeve that was the problem.  She didn’t like surprises.  They tended to not go well.
Ready to leave, they headed for the garage, where she saw an unfamiliar car.  “New?”
“A rental.”
“Why do you need an SUV?”
“One, the paparazzi don’t know it, and two, I’m not tellin’.”
“Are we going off-roading?”
“How far away is our destination?”
“You’ll see.”
“Patience, love. I promise today will be fun.”  He opened her door and helped her up.  “I could blindfold you if you intend to be difficult.”
“Very funny. No.”
He winked, shut the door, and ran ‘round to his side.  The windows were tinted as dark as legal in CA, making it harder for any paparazzi lurking outside the gate to identify them, and Beth hoped they wouldn’t be followed.  Jacob found his way to the 10 Freeway and pointed the SUV east.
With a comfy leather seat and warm cabin, she drifted off.
Pressure in her ears woke her up.  She yawned.  Why would…altitude?  The SUV was moving up a grade. 
“Good morning again,” he said.
“Where are we?”  Unzipping her purse, she dug for gum.
“Almost there.”
“How long was I out?”  Never could give a straight answer to a question…
“’Bout an hour.”
She popped a stick in her mouth, then glanced out the window.  Snow lined the road.  “The mountains? Jacob, neither of us is wearing snow gear.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“So you plan to stay in the car all day and drive around?”
“Why can’t you answer questions like a normal person?”
“When have you ever called me ‘normal’?” he replied with a grin.
She might hit him.  She wanted to hit him.  A nice sock on the bicep, right within reach.  He did this shtick on purpose to annoy her and it worked every time.  “You’re not nearly as amusing as you think you are, bud.”
“Aww, that hurts.”  He turned off the main road.
“Where are we going?”
“Patience, love.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

KISSED is on Wattpad! ‪#‎wattpadsummerlove‬ #romance

KISSED was specially chosen to be showcased on Wattpad starting today! Read for free!

One kiss ignites chemistry and passion they can’t ignore, but is this only a summer fling?

Neighbors. Best friends. It was only a crush Beth harbored for Jacob until she was eighteen. Until London.

Neighbors. Best friends. That was all Jacob thought of her until London. Until she kissed him and stole his heart.

It's funny what Geometry class and a shared backyard wall can bring about. With a two-year age difference, Beth and Jacob were firmly in the Friend Zone during high school, but a pre-college trip to London will change their lives forever.

KISSED is the first of five books in the MY ONCE AND FUTURE LOVE REVISITED series exploring Beth and Jacob’s relationship with all its joys, flaws, and heartache. 

New Adult Contemporary Romance saga. This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#WIPWednesday 2015 Excerpt #4 #contemporaryromance #amwriting

WIP Wednesday #4

Here's excerpt #1. And excerpt #2. And excerpt #3.

Chapter Four

Jacob awoke at nine.  He brushed his teeth, pulled on a pair of sweatpants, and went downstairs expecting to find Beth dressed and fed already.  But the kitchen was empty and the house quiet.  She wouldn’t have left.  Her car was at home. 
Finding her asleep in his chair with her phone on her lap was a surprise.  He touched her shoulder.
“What?”  She blinked.  Looked around.  Looked up at him.  “What time is it?”
“A smidge after nine. What were you doing in here, besides drooling on my chair?”
“I didn’t drool. I woke up and couldn’t sleep and checked my messages. It was early, so I was trying not to wake anyone. Guess I dozed off.”  She stretched and stood.  Her spine made a satisfying crack.  “Good morning.”
“Hey.”  He leaned in and kissed her.  “I haven’t seen Maria.”
“Maybe she’s running errands. You know she can walk silently when she wants to.”
“Aye. Well, better fuel up and head out.”
“Where are we going?”  She followed him out of his office.
“Still supposed to be a surprise,” he said over his shoulder.
“I don’t like surprises.”
“No, you don’t like leaving plans in other people’s hands.”
“That, too.”  They started upstairs.  “Do you even have a plan, or are you winging it again?”
“Yes, there’s a plan. Trust me.”

“Now unless you want to shower with me, go get dressed.”  He swatted her bottom—she yelped—and went into his suite. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#WIPWednesday 2015 Excerpt #3 #contemporaryromance

WIP Wednesday #3

Here's excerpt #1. And excerpt #2.

This is from chapter 3:

Ending up in his office, she settled into the soft leather chair, pulled out her phone, and pushed the button for a preset number.  The blinds were open, showing the garden in cloud-filtered light.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#WIPWednesday 2015 Excerpt #2 #contemporaryromance

WIP Wednesday #2

Here's excerpt #1 if you missed it last week.

This excerpt is from chapter 2:

Afterward, they picked up the real statue with his name engraved on it.  The band did press and such while Celeste and Beth found the limo.  They’d finally be able to relax at the party. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

KISSED made it into the June/July issue of Rom Con magazine! #romance

KISSED review!

A review of Kissed was selected to appear in the RomCon Reader Magazine’s June/July 2015 Issue as a Nerdy Girl Book Reviews Hot Read! You can take a look at this month’s issue here.

Finalist in the RomCon 2014 Readers' Crown contest! 

Amazon UK

One kiss ignites chemistry and passion they can’t ignore, but is this only a summer fling?

Neighbors. Best friends. It was only a crush Beth harbored for Jacob until she was eighteen. Until London.

Neighbors. Best friends. That was all Jacob thought of her until London. Until she kissed him and stole his heart.

It's funny what Geometry class and a shared backyard wall can bring about. With a two-year age difference, Beth and Jacob were firmly in the Friend Zone during high school, but a pre-college trip to London will change their lives forever.

KISSED is the first book in the MY ONCE AND FUTURE LOVE REVISITED series exploring Beth and Jacob’s relationship with all its joys, flaws, and heartache. 

New Adult Contemporary Romance saga. This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Released November 3rd, 2013 in paperback. MSRP $6.99 USD. Buy on Amazon. $6.29 USD. Buy on Amazon UK. 2nd Edition paperback. ISBN 1500655309 MSRP is $12.99.  Buy on AmazonBuy at Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#WIPWednesday 2015 Excerpt #1

WIP Wednesday #1

February 2012

January was more difficult than Beth and Jacob imagined it would be when he came back from tour.  The month-and-a-half leading up to the Grammys had been full of adjustments and hiding from the paparazzi, but they were finally in a good place now.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Never Forget

A good place to start is here:  Find out how to volunteer, share a remembrance with others, and more helpful links.

If you see a member of the military today, say thank you. Thank your fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers who served. Tell them we will not forget you.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

$0.99 Series Bundle May 11-13 only! #contemporaryromance

Four Books, One Great Price!

As most of you know, Beth and Jacob were born on May 13th, 2007, the day I wrote the first scene ever. To commemorate the series birthday this year, there is special pricing on Amazon.

May 11-13 - The 4-book bundle will be $0.99! Regular price is $6.99

Gift to your friends!

This volume contains KISSED, BETRAYED, FORGIVEN, and LOVED. Four books, one great price. The My Once and Future Love Revisited series explores Beth and Jacob’s relationship with all its joys, flaws, and heartache.

New Adult Contemporary Romance saga. This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Author Spotlight - Vivian Lane releasing three books in March from @WillowickPub

Author Spotlight

My pubmate Vivian Lane is having a busy March! Phantom Ridge is releasing three of her novellas back-to-back! 

Vivian Lane is an American author.  Born a Gemini, her interests fall under a myriad of subjects including classical music, American and World History; fantasy books, TV shows, and movies; travel, marine biology, and fashion. She is the author of the Echoes of Ossiria and Echoes of Ossiria: Origins series.

March 24 - SEVEN AWAKENED. $2.99.

March 24 - STRANGE ALLIES. $2.99.

March 31 - ENTHRALLED. $2.99.

Vivian has three titles already published: The First Vampires (Echoes of Ossiria #0.5), Catherine (Echoes of Ossiria: Origins #1), and Knight Rejects (Echoes of Ossiria: Origins #2). The first two titles are free downloads. Knight Rejects is $2.99.

Sign up here to be notified of more new releases.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Read An Ebook Week starts today!

My publisher is offering all my books for 50% off this week only!

KISSED is already free. This week only, DYLAN AND JEN is also free!

For all other titles - Use the code RAE50 at checkout for 50% off during the site-wide promotion!

Offer good through March 07, 2015.

Tell your friends!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Writing Exercise - Bitter Closure

Bitter Closure

The phone rang.  It was still dark out.  I fumbled for the handset.  “What.”

“Is this Miss Barton?” a man asked.

“Who is this? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“I am sorry to inconvenience you, miss, but I have some bad news. Your parents died.”

I sat up in bed.  “Both of them?”

“Yes. I’m terribly sorry for your loss—”

“Yeah, whatever. Did you just call to inform me, or is there something else?”

“Well, I…yes. There will be a reading of the will in a few days, and the service will need to be scheduled. You are the nearest next of kin, miss.”

“Fine… I assume you have my address if you have my number. Mail me what’s necessary. Goodnight.”  I hung up the phone before he could reply.

You might think I’m being cold and callous.  Well, I have good reasons to not be sad my parents are gone. 

My father left bruises on me, and my mother once changed the locks on me because I was worried she was three hours late coming home.  I don’t know what they were doing in the same space to die together since they were separated, and I don’t care. 

They were sadists that lived to make my life hell.  Getting away was the only way for me to survive, or stay out of prison.  Started to scare myself with dreams of their murders.  It was them, or my soul.

Ten years later, they’re pulling me back in.  I’ll try to refrain from dancing on their graves.

It was only a two hour drive, but the lawyers sent me a plane ticket to hop back to my hometown.  I considered it a likely attempt for my mother to control me from beyond the grave. 

Whatever.  Perks were perks, and I had a top-of-the-line seat.

Some young guy was waiting with a sign with my name on it in front of a Town Car.  I tossed him my bag and got in the front passenger seat.

“Welcome home, Miss Barton.”

“This stopped being home a long time ago.”

The lackey didn’t know how to reply to that, so he stayed silent, and pulled the car out into traffic.

Twenty minutes on the freeway, five on surface streets, and we stopped at the nearest motel to my parents’ houses.  They never lived very far from each other, though they hadn’t shared the same house for several years. 

I was never sure whom it was that couldn’t let go.

“The reading is in the conference room here tomorrow morning. Do you require anything, miss?”


He nodded, and left me with the key to a room. 

“Home sweet hell…”

Only three others were attending besides me.  My parents each had one brother. 

My father’s brother was the only one married.  I actually liked my mother’s brother.  He lived in the Midwest now, though, so I hadn’t seen him in years.  He’d always been kind.

I was the last to walk in.  My aunt and uncle looked disapproving.  They never believed how awful my father really was and saw me as an ungrateful child. 

I hugged the good uncle and sat down next to him.

Since my parents had never finalized the divorce, some of their assets were still co-mingled.  The lawyer explained a lot of mumbo jumbo, then got down to the list of specified inheritances.

The only thing my mother left me was her jewelry and the family photographs.  Everything else was to be sold or given away, the assets used to pay off her debts.  What was left over would be split evenly between me and her brother. 

If anything was left.

My father’s list was the surprise.  The bulk of his assets were to go to his girlfriend.  I was amazed any woman would want him.  He left his investments to his brother, and I got shafted.  No surprise.

The lawyer handed me two letters, one from each parent.  “I’m sorry for your loss, Miss Barton. Your father’s service is already being arranged. Your mother wanted to be cremated and asked that the ashes be given to her church for a ‘proper ceremony’. I don’t know if those letters contain any last instructions”

“No, they just want one last attempt at screwing with my head. Burn them.”

“Are you sure—?”

“Look, you seem like a nice guy doing your job, but my parents were horrible people. At least to me. I don’t want anything to do with this. I’ll get a few mementos from my mother’s house, and then I’m going home.”

“As you wish, of course.”  He handed me a business card.  “If you need anything.”


I didn’t bother staying.  Agreed to have dinner with the good uncle before leaving town, then left before the other two could corner me.  They got what they came for, anyway.


Mother’s house.  Looking just like I left it.  It had been a home, until I was sixteen and my mother started going wacko in the head. 

It built gradually, until one day, I didn’t know who my mother was anymore.  It was like a demon had taken up residence in her body. A mother that had been a best friend was now the enemy, and I knew one of us was going to kill the other.  It was only a matter of time. 

We had one last argument, then I came home to find my stuff outside and all the locks changed.  It didn’t stop there, though.  Mother would track me down to harass me, giving crazy conditions for coming back.  It went on and on until five years ago. 

Then, she only tried to relay messages through my uncle who didn’t want to be in the middle.

I stood on the front porch, key in hand, trying to psych myself up for crossing the threshold.  This place held so many memories.  So much pain. 

I finally put the key in the deadbolt, then the doorknob, and let myself in.  The house still smelled the same.  The carpet had been changed, but the furniture was the same.

Two cats came running to greet me.  “Wow, I didn’t know you two were still alive.”  I sneezed.  “Maybe Uncle D can take you.”  I checked their bowls in the kitchen and changed the water.

The collector plates on all the walls would fetch a nice sum, but I didn’t have any interest in them.  Same with the extensive Beatles collection.  I could take some of the books, though.

I walked toward the hall, passing the home office, bathroom, and my old room.  It looked nothing like when I had lived here.  A futon sat in there for guests, and there were more bookshelves pushed against the walls.  The final room was the master, her bedroom. 

Here, the scent was the strongest, of lotions and perfumes and leather shoes.

The dresser was to the right.  I walked around the bed and opened the far left drawer.  In the back, under the clean underwear, was the good jewelry, the special occasion stuff.  Mother owned a large collection, though.  There were two jewelry boxes, plus a tray for the rings.  I put the smaller items in a backpack and stacked the two boxes to carry out.  The costume pieces were in the bathroom.  I selected what I wanted – some of it mine at the time I was kicked out – and left.

Hoped the garage would have an empty box or two for the books.  The photographs were stored out there, provided nothing had changed.  I was doing fine, until I found a box of my old dolls. 

A tear slipped down my cheek.  I wiped it away with a dusty hand.  The Cabbage Patch Dolls had been a game for us.  I never played at being a bride, but I was a mommy to all my dolls and stuffed toys, and my mother had played along as grandmother.  The CPDs all had personalities, and I eventually sent them off to school.  They were very smart children, of course, and rarely misbehaved.  But, when they did, I would say things through them I never would say myself. 

It was a way of venting without getting in trouble for it, of testing boundaries.

The dolls would come home with me, too.  Finally finding the box of photos, I carried everything outside. 

My uncle waited with the car.  “Find what you wanted alright?”

“Yeah. The rest is yours. She left the cats, you know.”

“Yup. I can take them home. Sorry the dogs weren’t here to greet ya. They died a couple years ago.”

“I remember. Are you going to need help boxing everything up?”  I didn’t want to stay any longer, but it was the polite thing to offer.

He saw through the gesture.  “Nah. I have the time.”

“Retirement. Right.”  I stuffed the boxes in the trunk.  “Thanks.”  It occurred that no one had told me, yet.  “Hey, how did they…?”

“Multiple car pile-up on the way back from your cousin’s wedding. Drunk driver hit both cars, sent them into traffic.”

I suppressed the urge to laugh.  An odd thing.  “Some timing.”

We drove to a mail center where I could ship the boxes home, then he dropped me back at the hotel.

I retrieved my car from the airport storage lot and drove back to my apartment.  Dropped my keys on the stand by the door and flopped on the couch.

“Was it awful?”

I leaned into my boyfriend’s shoulder.  “A little. Thankfully, nobody wanted me involved, so I scavenged a few things and escaped.”

“Wish you’d let me come.”

“Only had one ticket.”  I lay across his lap.  “I could use a massage. Couldn’t tip my seat back on the plane.”

He slid his hand up my shirt.  “Naked massage?”

I grinned.  “The best kind. I need a shower. I’m dusty.”

“Get started. I’ll scrub your back.”

Now, when a man left bruises on me, they were left in ecstasy.

The End