Spotlight on Babies at Coconuts

I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Beth Carter. Today, Beth shares the top twenty reasons to visit Coconuts and her new release, Babies at Coconuts.

TOP TWENTY REASONS TO VISIT COCONUTS

1. To overhear the juicy gossip of long-time best friends Suzy, Alex, and Hope, who go to Coconuts weekly (or more if there’s an emergency, which is often!)

2. Getting a glimpse of the gorgeous, wealthy New York socialite, Cheri Van Buren, and ask if you can borrow her incredible designer clothes or shoes.

3. Having the cute flip-flp wearing server, Gus, who always knows what cocktail everyone wants for Happy Hour, serve your favorite drink—or possibly serve him!

4. Hoping to be handcuffed by sexy, bad-boy cop Lt. Tony Montgomery. He may be a rascal at times, but he sure is sexy. Those arctic blue eyes…

5. Adding your initials (or painting something tropical) on the floor-to-ceiling beach mural.

6. To ask hunky, dark-sunglass-wearing Gage for a ride in his limo and hoping he remembers the chilled champagne!

7. Showing Alex she isn’t alone with her OCD tendencies by tying a paper straw holder into a knot in solidarity—and handing her some anti-bacterial gel after you touch her hand.

8. Hugging Suzy for all she has been through.

9. Ditto for Alex.

10. Double ditto for Hope.

11. Giving Alex advice on whether she should ditch the cop once and for all and pursue Gage, Cheri’s limo driver.

12. Giving Suzy advice on how to handle her surly teen stepdaughter, Izzy.

13. To discuss wedding themes with Suzy and hire her company, Weddings by Suzanne, for a wedding.

14. To share (or gather) Italian recipes with Fernando’s mom, Mama Gia, but scooting away before you offend her and she thumps you on the head!

15. Commiserating with Hope for everything she’s gone through with her hippie parents and telling her that her frizzy hair is beautiful and to stop worrying about her weight!

16. To see newlyweds Jon and Fernando and hope Fernando teaches you to dance the salsa.

17. Requesting the infamous zebra print menu and scouring it to order every item on the menu—or at least the crab cakes or truffle popcorn.

18. Hoping to catch a glimpse of either Nikki, Tony’s hateful, spiteful ex, OR Hannah, Alex’s bank marketing intern who is gunning for her job, and possibly trip them or spit in their drink. Trust me, they deserve it!

19. To find out about the unique, hilarious cocktail the New York socialite insists the women drink.

20. To tell the women you admire their unbreakable bonds of friendship and wish you had friends like them. Who knows? Maybe they’ll invite you to join them at their high-top table at Coconuts!

Blurb

For Fans of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Italian-style!)

A clash of cultures.
A chaotic wedding.
A surprise baby.
Just another day at Coconuts.

Coordinating the most joyous day of her son’s life should be easy. After all, Suzy is a wedding planner. But a meddling future mother-in-law wasn’t on the checklist. A wacky rehearsal dinner, a beach wedding, and a baby—not necessarily in that order—ensures bedlam, if not hilarity, among the two head-butting moms. The show must go on, with or without the wedding party.

Hope is adept at counseling students but has given up on dieting and having sleek hair. She has even gotten used to the fact that her adopted father no longer remembers her—until a surprise engagement and a newspaper article leave her in shambles.

Sexy banker Alex conveys totally in control while ignoring the simmering boil of her disastrous relationship. Her marketing rival is her kryptonite, but a disastrous bank event may spell her downfall.

Socialite Cheri Van Buren seems to have the perfect life. The New Yorker deftly juggles celebrity events but is growing concerned about her jet-setting parents’ strained marriage. After competing in a cake-decorating contest, another chef leaves her speechless.

More than a Happy Hour haven, Coconuts is the unknowing guardian of shared secrets, bombshell revelations, a few tears, and joy. Will the best friends ever find happiness? It doesn’t look good.

NOTE: Even though this is Book 3 of my Coconuts series, it may be read as a standalone.

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Author Bio

At a certain mid-life crisis, er, age, multi-award-winning author Beth Carter shed her corporate bank suits and heels to pen novels and children’s books. She much prefers afternoon writing at Starbucks to 8 o’clock board meetings.

Carter’s novels include: THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS (Book 1), CHAOS AT COCONUTS (Book 2), BABIES AT COCONUTS (Book 3), SLEEPING WITH ELVIS, MIRACLE ON AISLE TWO, and SANTA BABY, a novelette. There will be six books in the Coconuts series, and all may be read as a standalone.

Voted Favorite Contemporary Runner-up in the 2018 & 2017 Raven Awards, winner of a 2015 RONE Award, and named Best Debut Author in 2015, the author pens romantic women’s fiction contemporary romance, and romantic comedy in what she calls rollercoaster romance. The author infuses plenty of humor, suspense, heartwarming romance, and page-turning plot twists.

Also a children’s picture book author, Carter has four children’s books published: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?, SOUR POWER, SANTA’S SECRET, and THE MISSING KEY. All have been well received by kids, parents, teachers, and counselors.

You’ll likely find Beth Carter sipping a skinny vanilla latte while writing. That is, if she isn’t on a boat or at T.J. Maxx.

Where to find Beth Carter…

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



I read this delightful novel in two sittings and had trouble putting it down. Ms. Carter has a way of drawing me into her stories quickly and keeping me hooked until the end. It definitely helps to have an eclectic cast of characters, family and workplace drama, plot twists, and an unexpected ending. Away from the book, I found myself recalling and chuckling at Mama Gia’s antics. Having grown up in an Italian household, I could easily imagine many of those over-the-top scenarios.

Next, please!

Giveaway

Beth Cater is offering a $40 Amazon gift card and 10x ebook copies of Babies at Coconuts in a Rafflecopter giveaway. Find out more here.


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Sharing My Christmas Reads

christmasreading2After surviving a grueling (but gratifying) November where I focused exclusively on my NaNoWriMo project, I needed to destress and start preparing for Christmas. To get into the mood of the season, I decided to look for Christmas novellas that can be easily read in one sitting.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to look too far.

Over the past year, six author friends–two Canadian and four American–have released delightful reads that transported me from the west coast of Canada, across the American Midwest and Southwest, to the eastern seaboard.


biggarnovellaWill a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

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Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

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Single mom Abby Jenkins runs a detective agency out of a haunted teahouse in the Pacific Northwest town of Sunset Cove, and while she finds tackling the usual supernatural suspects easy, she can’t face Christmas. She wants this one to be perfect for her kids. With a yuletide to-do list longer than Main Street, a jealous Viking-ghost boyfriend with existential issues, and unreliable witch powers, she’s in a twisted-tinsel, holiday funk, when the mayor asks her to find a missing angel. The statue, which sat on top of the Christmas tree in the town square for the last hundred years, symbolizes all that’s good about the holidays: love, peace and joy. Abby drops everything to look for the stolen angel.

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Fired two weeks before Christmas, distraught single mom Madison wonders how she’ll afford to pay for her young daughter’s Christmas gifts and still keep a roof over their heads. Sleigh bells and twinkling lights are the last thing on her mind—until a handsome stranger intervenes.

Successful architect Adam Donovan dives into his work by renovating an elaborate hotel after his wife leaves him. He barely notices it’s Christmastime until he overhears a young mother’s tearful plea. Stepping in makes Adam feel like Old Saint Nick himself.

Will Madison and Adam find holiday joy—and possibly love—after discovering Adam’s secret or will it tear them apart?

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jaegernovellaWith Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind. Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not. Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

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hallnovellaThis romantic thriller is a steamy way to warm up your winter. Perfect for holiday reading, this Christmas novella will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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10 Fun Facts About the Hero and Heroine of Sleeping With Elvis

I’m thrilled to welcome Soul Mate author Beth Carter to the Power of 10 series. Today, Beth shares ten fun facts about the protagonists of her latest release, Sleeping With Elvis.

Here’s Beth!

Five fun Facts about my hero, Elvis impersonator Ty Townsend:

male sign1. Every year, Ty retreats to his favorite island, Key Lime Island, between his Elvis gigs in Branson and Vegas.

2. He rethinks his unique profession after trolls on social media berate him after twice forgetting the legend’s lyrics. But he’ll never stop performing. Besides, Ty enjoys paying homage to Elvis Presley and honors him during performances.

3. Ty has a hilarious African Grey parrot, Saylor, who curses like a, well, sailor. Saylor is a hoot and always knows the exact curse word for every situation.

4. When he performs, Ty practically morphs into a young version of the King with jet black hair, gyrating hips, and a lock of hair that constantly falls over his forehead like a sign from the King himself.

5. Ty never expected to meet a special woman during his beach downtime—especially one from Nowhere—but the stranded woman needs his help, and what’s a gorgeous guy with key lime pie all over his face to do?

Five Fun Facts about my heroine, Pepper Langley:

femalesign1. Pepper is from a tiny town in Nowhere, Arkansas, where she lives with her rogue boyfriend, Derek, in a shabby trailer. She hates her life and what her once-nice boyfriend has become.

2. Her confidence has taken a hit due to his nastiness and she decides she’ll end their relationship—right after their dream vacation to Key Lime Island. She scrimped all year to go on this trip and isn’t backing out now, even if that means having a cheating boyfriend in tow.

3. Pepper is afraid of boating and flying but most conquer both fears since the charming, lime-green themed tropical isle is only accessible by boat or the occasional helicopter.

4. Pepper and Derek board Reel Time, an excursion boat, with several other couples. There’s a horrific tropical storm and… You’ll just have to read it.

5. Once her feet hit the sand, Pepper is thrilled by the birds, shells, key lime everything—and is especially taken by the handsome stranger who looks oh-so-familiar. She knows she is meant to be on this island and never wants to return to her life with Derek in Nowhere but will this be the best—or worst—vacation of her life?

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Blurb

Pepper Langley, an unemployed pre-school teacher with a fear of flying and boating, hopes a vacation to remote Key Lime Island will bolster her confidence and salvage her relationship with her rogue boyfriend. From tiny Nowhere, Arkansas, she scrimped all year to afford the lavish trip, but a deadly storm changes everything.

Gorgeous Elvis impersonator Ty Townsend flees to Key Lime Island between gigs. During this hiatus, he reevaluates his profession after twice forgetting the King’s lyrics. He craves the isle’s solitude—far away from social media haters—where he shares beach life with a cursing parrot. The last thing on his mind is a woman, especially one who isn’t supposed to be there.

Will their secrets tear them apart or will they find happiness on the sand and stage?

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Bio

bethcarterAward-winning novelist Beth Carter pens novels and children’s picture books. Her latest release is SLEEPING WITH ELVIS, a contemporary romance, with elements of suspense and humor. Her debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, won the 2015 RONE award for best “Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit Novel,” as well as “Best Debut Author” by BTS Books. Her novelette, SANTA BABY, appears in the 2015 Christmas anthology, SIZZLE IN THE SNOW, alongside eight romance authors’ stories.

Carter’s three picture books include: SANTA’S SECRET, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? and THE MISSING KEY. Additionally, the author’s short stories and poems are published in four anthologies and four six-word memoir collections alongside famous authors and celebrities. A former bank vice president, Carter worked in marketing for 20 years in healthcare and banking. The author happily divides her time between her home state of Missouri and her adopted state of sunny Florida.

Where to find Beth…

Website | Facebook (Women’s Fiction) | Facebook (Children’s Books) | Twitter | Amazon


Spotlight on Beth Carter

I am thrilled to spotlight Beth Carter and her delightful novel, Thursdays at Coconuts, one of my favorite summer 2014 reads. I am also impressed and inspired by her remarkable writing journey.

Here’s Beth!

My writing journey has been filled with sunny days, pouring rain, hills, curves, pot holes, and detours. But let’s get off this country road, shall we?

Beth Carter Facebook Crop (2)I’ve always loved to read and checked out many library books as a child. Reading and writing were my two favorite school subjects so it’s a natural fit. My first foray into writing was in eighth grade. I was hooked once I read my byline in the Pipkin Pirates newsletter. I was a staff writer and the roving reporter. From there, I loved writing papers in my English and literature classes in high school and college. Almost all of my college papers received “As” with encouraging remarks that I should submit them to national magazines. I didn’t. I just wanted to hold onto those words from an esteemed professor. She gave me the hope and boost I needed.

Enter marriage, a baby, and a divorce by the age of 25. Suddenly, I was a single mom and the head of our household. I had bills to pay. I worked full time and went to college at night. My daughter was just three years old. I wasn’t able to attempt a novel then, but I did a great deal of non-fiction writing. After my divorce I worked at a private college where I was executive secretary to the president, got a business administration degree, and later left and became a public relations director for a local hospital.

There, I had the opportunity to spread my wings and write press releases, newspaper articles for our various departments and physicians, and a hospital newsletter. I also ventured into script writing and created television commercials for the hospital and later for a bank. I won a second-place award in the state of Missouri for one of my television commercials on substance abuse. I also won two third place state-wide awards for an annual report and newsletter. It was a thrill but I still wanted to write a novel.

After being in marketing for over 20 years, watching my daughter grow up and go off to college, I turned back to my dream. In 2009, I enrolled in a “How To Write Your First Novel” series of classes at a community college. It was taught by a novelist who had written about 90 novels. He was entertaining and full of great information. I started my novel the next day. It was a romantic suspense and when I was nearly half finished, I lost the manuscript. I mean my computer ate it. I was sick. I was depressed. I cried. I got angry. We hired a tech guy who was the “best.” He couldn’t retrieve it. My hopes were dashed. Then, we heard about a computer lab in California that could find anything on a hard drive. My sweet husband paid the fee, shipped it off, and we crossed our fingers and toes. The lab described their clean room as akin to a hospital operating room where everything is sterile and the contents are spread out on a table. I didn’t hold out much hope. Months had passed, so I started a second novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS.

Once I got into THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, I fell in love with my characters and their journey. I was about one-third into it when we received the amazing news that the lab had retrieved my first novel. I was ecstatic but really wanted to finish COCONUTS, so I did. In the meantime, my husband copied off my first manuscript so I’d always have a back-up and bought a second hard drive. I still haven’t finished that novel but I will. In the meantime, the sequel to THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS is calling. Loudly.

That’s not the end. We had a family tragedy of epic Dateline proportions. Everything stopped. The world stopped. My writing stopped. Tiny spoiler: I have a tragic scene in THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS so I couldn’t bear to read my own work and the ensuing grief and depression that follows. (It all works out and there’s a happy ending.)

So…I turned to writing children’s picture books. Some family members went to grief therapy but writing kidlit became my therapy. I have three picture books that have been published including WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? THE MISSING KEY, and SANTA’S SECRET. My fourth, SOUR POWER, is with an editor now. Going to schools and reading to kids has been a tremendous joy. I will always write children’s books in addition to novels.

All of this, and I didn’t even get to my pitching fiascos. Suffice to say, I flew to one state to pitch to a well-known agent and broke out in hives. I pitched to agents and editors who came to conferences in Missouri. All were receptive and asked for partials and fulls. My contract came when I pitched online where we had to boil our novels down into just five lines. A huge thanks to Debby Gilbert, senior editor of Soul Mate Publishing, for believing in me and my work.

Thank you for this opportunity, Joanne, and I hope you enjoy THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS. I’m happy to say I’ve gotten rave reviews (mostly from strangers!) and I can’t wait to get back to the sequel and that mysterious, playing-hard-to-get first novel.

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Blurb

As the go-to wedding planner, Suzy can’t find her own wedded bliss and has one shocker of a wedding day. It doesn’t help that she’s still pining for her high school sweetheart, the one who got away. Handling neurotic brides is the best part of Suzy’s day until her son brings home a bombshell from Europe.

Alexandra, a beautiful marketer with a “touch” of OCD, falls for a bad-boy cop who’s married and possibly stalking her. But he sure is sexy. Alex tries to stay at arm’s length after she puts her job—and life—on the line for the officer who isn’t always a gentleman.

Hope hates her name, looks, and frizzy hair. As a high school counselor, she dishes out sage advice to students, yet can’t see she’s enabling her deadbeat, stuck-in-the-seventies hippie parents. After tragedy strikes, she reexamines their relationship and discovers a secret that almost went to the grave.

Friends since high school, the thirty-something women meet every Thursday at Coconuts for their own form of friendapy.

Bio

A former bank vice president, Beth Carter shed her suits and heels to pen novels and children’s picture books. Her debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, released in August, 2014, by Soul Mate Publishing. A sequel is planned.

Her three picture books are: SANTA’S SECRET, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? and THE MISSING KEY. Carter’s short stories and poems are published in four anthologies and three six-word memoir collections alongside famous authors and celebrities. Previously, she worked in marketing for 20 years in healthcare and banking. When she isn’t writing, you’ll likely find her sipping a skinny vanilla latte or at T.J. Maxx.

Where to find Beth…

Website: http://bethcarter.com

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/bethcarter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethcarter007

Facebook (Women’s Fiction): https://www.facebook.com/authorbethcarter

Facebook (Children’s Books): http://is.gd/ii12F2