Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Friday, July 31, 2015

First, Second, Third...

My children had to learn that parenthood is forever and ever. Once a mother, always a mother. And the only real way to figure out if you really want children is to have a couple. Then it is too late to change your mind.

Now my grandchildren are learning the same lesson. They’re also learning that just because they successfully raised one child past teething and potty training does not mean the second one is going to be a clone of child number one. But then why should it e. We, as parents, did not raise all our children alike. Heaven forbid! Give us come credit for learning from our mistakes.

Every “day one” of a pregnancy is different. When I found out I was expecting child #1 I rushed out and bought a whole wardrobe of cute little maternity clothes. When the doctor confirmed I was pregnant the second time, I wore bigger tee shirts and held my jeans together with a shoe lace. Works pretty good if you tie it into the button hole and wrap it around the button about a dozen times. With the third child, I didn’t bother with the shoe lace, I just used a diaper pin from the first child. (Some of y’all might not remember diaper pins but there was a day when disposable diapers were a thing of the future).

And the baby’s name…with the first baby we looked the ink off the baby name books and practices pronouncing and writing all the combinations of our favorites. Second child we simply had to name her after Great Aunt Gert. We gave thanks her middle name was acceptable. With the third one we found the baby name book under the sofa, opened it up, closed our eyes and pointed.

With the first baby we practiced all that breathing stuff until we had it down to perfection. Second time around we didn’t practice anything because it didn’t work with the first one. Third one, I asked for an epidural in my seventh month.

Clothing was another thing. First time around I pre-washed all the baby’s clothes, coordinated everything from socks to pacifiers. With the second one, I checked to see which clothing was clean and discarded the ones with the worst yellow stains. The third one, I wondered if it was all right for a girl to wear a Dallas Cowboy’s onesie home from the hospital.

First child could whimper and I’d have him in the emergency room. I had the doctor’s office phone, his home phone and that fancy car phone number all memorized. If my baby was crying, I didn’t care if they had to call the doctor away from the Presidential Inauguration Party. Second child, I did pick her up if she wailed loud enough the neighbors started turning on their lights. The third one? I taught number one to wind up the swing.

Read to your child. That’s what the books said so I did with number one. After a guilt trip provided by the grandparents, the second child got read to exactly three nights before she was five. By the third one, not even Mother Theresa could lay a guilt trip on me.

So now it’s time for the next generation to learn what we already know and we’ll sit on the porch in our rocking chairs and smile, just like our grandmothers did!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Remember that Y2K scare back in 2000? I found a package of those Oriental noodles hiding in the back corner of my pantry the other day and it brought back all those memories in a rush.

On the day after the millennium began we had computers that worked, running water and the toilet paper had not reverted back to a Sears and Roebuck catalog. The car sitting in the driveway was still a vehicle and had not turned into a horse and buggy. Yes, sir, we could go down in the history books as survivors.

Of course there were a few things we had to take care of before the History Channel came calling for an interview. I had to find the receipt for 10,000 packages of those Oriental noodles. The way I figured it was that we would never starve with that much dried up square noodles in the house. I could boil water over an open fire in the back yard, squirt a little catsup in one bowl of noodles and it would be spaghetti; drizzle some blackberry jelly over another bowl full and it would be cobbler for dessert, and we could always cube up some Spam and call it a casserole.

Ohhh, Spam! I had to look through recipes and recipes (thank goodness the computer had not crashed) to figure out what to do with four cases of the stuff. Fried with some onions and green peppers, it wasn’t too bad with a side dish of those instant mashed potatoes. I only had about twenty bags of those and they ran out before the Spam did.

Then there was the matter of 50 cans of pork and beans that had a no return policy on them, either.

But I did pass up the opportunity to order a Claymore mine for the backyard. The tabloid said the aliens were waiting to attack until right after midnight. Seemed to be a bit much in those pre-zombie and pre-walking dead days so I just dug a bunch of holes in the back yard and tossed in empty soup cans. I coated the back steps with bacon drippings in case they made it through the yard without breaking a leg. When we found out that we’d survived the big Y2K scare, I didn’t have to disarm the mines and the local tom cats had a party to lick all the bacon grease off the stairs.

I had to cancel my subscription to Stockpilers Quarterly, but I got to keep the manual can opener, so it wasn’t a big loss.

The Oriental noodles that had an expiration date of April, 2001 reminded me of my radical cousin. He took a whole bunch of rebels into an underground bunk house somewhere out in the Arizona desert. I was supposed to get in touch with him by some kind of crazy phone he’d rigged up if it was all just a big scare…so he’d know that we weren’t out here fighting each other with machetes over Spam and noodles.

I found the phone under a pile of shoes in the floor of my closet and called the coded number. He answered right away and made me go through a whole line of code before he’d believe it was me. I told him I was sorry that I’d forgotten about him but he laughed and said that he’d been out of the bunker for fourteen years. He’d only stayed down there until he ran out of Spam and noodles.

So we are survivors! Never forget.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Body Language...

They were just two hard working old country fellers waiting patiently for their women folks. They weren’t even aware that there was another soul between them and Dallas.

But there I was not ten feet away waiting for the granddaughters to make one more trip around the sales racks. I had been ready to leave the mall thirty minutes before but when those two cowboys leaned against the wall and started whispering, I found a bench, sat down and didn’t care if the granddaughters took another hour.

It was not eavesdropping since I couldn’t hear a word that the two guys said to each other but I could figure out the whole story by watching their gestures and body language.

The tall, dark and handsome one was telling a story about two women…two fingers in the air and a strange gleam in the eye, along with a glance toward the dress shop next door to the arcade. That woman was endowed like a prime Holstein cow…two hands under the pockets of his pearl snapped shirt trying to support something very large and heavy. The other woman was built like an hour glass according to the hand gestures. She wasn’t every tall…one hand flat out and measuring about an inch below his shoulder. And she must’ve been wearing some very nice perfume from the way he waved his hand under his nose and rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. His euphoric expression said that it wasn’t the fresh smell of road kill skunk that put that smile on his face.

Evidently these two women had gotten into an argument. I’d guess at a bar the night before because the other cowboy threw back about four imaginary shots. First it was push and shove, then a down right double-up-the-fist and sock-her-in-the-eye fight. I gathered that much because the feller reenacted the scene right there in the mall. He did a little jig that resembled something between the achy-breaky line dance and the electric slide with a little of the Elvis-pelvis thrown in. And I bet he tells his wife he doesn’t know how to dance.

About that time two ladies came out of the dress shop. Neither of them fit the description of the two women they’d been discussing. One was a tall redhead wearing designer jeans and custom made boots. The other could have been her twin only with blonde hair.

Did their wives…yep, both those cowboys were wearing wedding rings…know where their husbands were the night before when they were having a make-up party? I did overhear that much as they walked past me.

One cowboy winked at the other and told him to keep their whereabouts secret…that’s one finger laid across the lips. The other did the phone sign and mouthed something about next Saturday night.

They call it body language these days. I call it people watching or pure entertainment and fodder for my next book. On the downside, I couldn’t get “Achy Breaky Heart” out of my mind the rest of the day.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Mama should have given me a far different middle name. Mine means famous warrior. Surely there is one out there that means acute clumsiness. If someone moves a drop of air from the living room to the kitchen, I will fall over it. Forget about rocks or furniture, if there is a blade of grass that has grown taller than all the rest out there in the yard, I can find it and stumble over it.

So the RWA Conference was over and we’d snagged a cushy ride back to the airport with another author so the price didn’t make my bank account whimper. Had the best visit with the driver and other author the whole way. Then he parks right in front of the outside check in so all I have to do is get out of the black van, walk a few steps and boom, we are on our way back to Oklahoma.

It was the “getting out of the van” that got me into trouble. Mr. B was sitting on the side next to the curb and he hopped out to help get out bags all sorted out. All I had to do was slide over, carefully find the step down on the side of the van, and I was on my way.

I slid before I remembered that the cushy black car did NOT have a bench back seat. My fanny wasn’t wide enough to hook the edge of the other bucket seat (maybe I didn’t eat enough cheese cake while in New York). It was wider than the space between the seats and stuck firmly right there. Evidently, I did eat entirely too much cheesecake while in New York City.

One foot went up under the front passenger’s seat and the other one got tangled up in my gypsy skirt, which thank the Lord, had the grace not to fly up over my head. So there I was stuck between two seats like a hot dog in a bug and I could not get any kind of traction to pull myself up. Those seats were hugging me like a long lost sister and visions of being buried in that black van flashed through my mind.

And that’s when I heard the tinkling sound. My purse had fallen out onto the street and the contents had fallen out for all the world to see. That put me into third gear and I tried desperately to pull myself up. Nothing doing! It was like quicksand pulling me down between those seats.

Finally, the poor little driver came to my rescue and I’m sure he’s seeing a chiropractor this whole week after helping me out of that predicament. But the thing I worried most about was my purse…not my phone, not my wallet or even my favorite ink pen but I did not want all those staring eyes to see that pair of bright pink granny panties stuck inside the purse. I do go prepared especially when I have a head cold and a terrible cough…but I sure didn’t want the whole world to see!

The rest of the story…Mr. B hurriedly put all the items back in my purse and in my haste that morning I’d forgotten to pack my emergency under britches, so I was saved!

Lessons learned…zip your purse, Carolyn! AND check the seats before you slide.

Today I'm giving away a signed copy of  The Trouble with Texas Cowboys! I'll chose a winner tonight from the folks who comment on this blog. What was your recent embarrassing moment...or just comment if it was so bad you can't talk about it!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Monday...

And so the RWA Conference in New York is now written into the pages of history. But it was amazing. The adrenaline rush has settled and I'm almost back to normal this morning. I'll share a few more pictures with all y'all and tomorrow we'll turn the channel and get back into our normal blogging mode.
These are the lovely roses that came with that big diamond for selling one million books with Montlake Romance...
Just in case you haven't seen it splashed all over my FB pages the past couple of days. I'm hoarse from telling everyone who'd stand still about it.
And these lovely folks are part of the Montlake team, Kelli, Marlene, Anh and Jessica...
The Montlake book signing was awesome. I LOVE my readers! Y'all are the most awesomest (yes, that is definitely a word because it is in my dictionary...never mind that I wrote it in there myself) folks in the whole world.

And in case  you missed the other BIG news...How to Marry a Cowboy won this for best contemporary single title book at the National Reader's Choice Awards ceremony.
And there was a make up session for some filming. I didn't realize I looked so much like my sister!
And that night we had the grand finale...the RITA'S which is the Oscar's to a romance author. No, I didn't win or even final in that contest this year, but there were some amazing authors who were presented with the golden lady statue and I congratulate every single one of them.
This last picture is four of us getting ready to go into the Grand Ballroom at the Marriott hotel...
And so the fastest week in the world has ended. It's time to write books so my amazing readers can have something to read...it's time to start planning for next year...which will start July 13 in San Diego, California...hey, that's less than a year away!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Recipe Day...Cream Puff Cake

Kristi asked for this recipe last week. It's mentioned in The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop. My family loves it, especially in the summer time when a cool dessert hits the spot! For other recipes that fans have asked me to put on the recipe page of my website, go to www.carolynlbrown.com and take a look at the recipe page!

1 cup water
1 c. all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
4 c. milk
3 3.5 oz pkgs. Vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
¼ cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a large heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk and beat until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until thickened. Spread over cooled shell. Top with whipped topping, and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

1 Million Copies!!!

I was presented with this magnificent piece of art right after the Montlake book signing...one million copies of my Montlake books have sold!!! Thank you Montlake Romance for making this happen.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pictures, pictures, pictures...busy, busy, busy...and oh, so much fun!

Day started at the Blue Fin with breakfast with the Kindle Love Stories!

Then it was a quick walk back to the hotel for the National Reader's Choice Awards...YES, I won the Contemporary Single Title Award for How to Marry a Cowboy!!! And YES, I was very excited!!!

Then off to lunch with Leah, my Forever editor at a lovely Italian restaurant...Barbetta...

A quick visit with a friend, Holly Jacobs....

And then it was time for the Hachette Publisher's cocktail party at their offices right here in NY...

And now it's Friday and a new day begins here in NY with lots more adventures....see y'all tomorrow!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Yesterday was so busy. First it was breakfast with my friends, Grace Burrowes, Shirley Marks and Carolyn Hughey. We discussed books, agents, publishers, the food and what we were working on next in our writing.
Then there was seeing folks I hadn't seen since last year. Like Cheryl Brooks and Cathy Genna.

Lunch with Kimberly Rocha, Janet Rodman, Jennifer Stoermer-Butler at Junior's. I'm glad there's not one of these restaurants in Davis, Oklahoma. My bathroom scales would flash "tilt"!
Meeting with my awesome editor, Kelli Martin. That's always so much fun!
Then there was the Literacy Signing. No, I did not sell all the books my publishers provided but I think Nora Roberts probably did!! Oops...Nora wasn't there...it was J. D. Robb!

 And after the whirlwind of a literacy signing that included about 500 authors, a small Montlake party and a couple of pictures with the ever sexy Sara Humphreys we went back to Junior's for cheesecake! Great way to end the day.
And this is our view from the 39th floor of the Marriott Marquise in the day time!
And the elevator that takes us up to that room!
Now I'm off to another day...see y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


As an author I wait all year for the RWA Conference. It's where two thousand authors gather for workshops, visiting, eating, parties, visiting, eating, meetings with agents, editors, publishers, visiting, eating. We talk past books. We talk present books. We talk future books.
We pack. We plan. We anticipate. And it's finally here this week.
AND I've arrived. The schedule is full and I'll share some of what's going on with y'all each day. Last night when we FINALLY arrived...I'd forgotten that in this traffic a cab drive from the airport takes as long as driving from Davis, Oklahoma to Dallas...we were starving so we went over to Juniors for supper. Their potato pancakes are awesome but then so is their coffee and they serve it huge cups (not mugs but cups).
And right there at a table close to us was Marina Adair and Marnie! So we all came back to my room to talk about books some more. Here we are, bleary eyed from getting up so early...Marnie arrived  from Rome, Italy with a layover somewhere in Russia; and Shirley came from London...Marina from the west coast and Carolyn H. from Arizona!

Shirley, Carolyn B., Marnie, Marina and Carolyn H.

We're on the 39th floor of the hotel and this is our view (last night) from the window...I try not to look down at the cars below that resemble those toys my son played with when he was a little boy...
And today the fun really begins with breakfast with friends, lunch with another set of friends, meetings and the Literacy Signing tonight! If any of y'all are in or near NYC, it's free to the public and 400 authors will be signing books. all proceeds go to the Literacy Program! I'll be signing The Trouble With Texas Cowboys and The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Wedding Pearls

I am so excited to show off the brand new cover for The Wedding Pearls. These characters really carved out a place in my heart while I was writing this book. I loved every quirky one of them and writing the last paragraph was one of the hardest things I ever did because I didn't want to tell them goodbye!
Back cover:
Tessa Wilson’s life is all over the map. She may be clumsy, but this time she’s stumbled into a pickle by choice, not by accident. She’s agreed to take a month-long trip around Texas jammed into a ’59 Cadillac with a drama-loving teenager, two elderly spitfires, and—oh, yes—her biological mama who gave her away at birth. And the ride gets even crazier when hot-as-sin cowboy Branch Thomas crosses into her lane. They don’t call him the sexiest man in the Lone Star State for nothin’.
As the miles pass and sparks fly between Tessa and Branch, her grandmother starts dropping hints about family wedding traditions. And as Tessa discovers the power of her budding friendships and the unbreakable strength of her newfound family of strong Texas women, she wonders if she’s also on the road to the biggest adventure of all: true love.


His eyebrows knit together into a frown. “I’m not sure how to put this in words and it might come as a shock. I guess the only way to say it is to blurt it out. You’d think this would be easier since I’m a lawyer.”

“Spit it out,” she said.

“Okay then.” He nodded seriously. “I’m here on behalf of your biological mother and grandmother. They would like to meet you. And that trip I was talking about, they’re leaving on Tuesday for a month long road trip around the perimeter of Texas and they would like for you to go with them so y’all can get to know each other.” His words tumbled out so fast and she was so intrigued with his eyes that they didn’t sink in for several seconds.

“I’m sorry we don’t usually plan trips like that but if you’d tell me how far they want to travel each day I could maybe work up some tourist sites and hotels.” And that’s when she clamped a hand over her mouth. “What did you say?”

To preorder (paperback, audio or ebook) click HERE!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Traffic Stop...

I was on the way to the grocery store and everything came to a screeching halt. I live in a one red light town which meant the train on the other end of town had dropped the bars and nothing was moving until the train passed on through. Or there was an accident.

My cell phone was not ringing so that ruled out an accident and no matter how hard I l, I listened I could not hear the train. Something was seriously wrong for sure.

By the time I started and stopped three times there were as many cars behind me as there were in front of my red Chevy, and there was no way to back up and take the back streets to the grocery store.

Finally I could see the familiar red, white and blue flashing lights. Good lord! Someone must have blown up the cell phone tower because there had been an accident. That’s the only way that every phone in town was not buzzing. Great Uncle Moe has a police scanner and he lets his wife, Aunt Hilda, know the minute there’s an accident. She’s got the numbers of all her buddies taped to the front of the ‘fridge and they’ve got the next line of gossip offense tapped to theirs. It takes less than one minute for every one in town to know about an accident.

Half an hour later, the car in front of me made it to the front of the line. By this time I was expecting to be waved over into one line of traffic while they cleaned up glass and car parts. The policeman checked to see if she was wearing a seat belt so I slyly fastened mine. Then he asked for license and registration and she rifled around in her glove compartment for-evvvv-er!

Then it was my turn.

“Routine seat belt and insurance check,” the policeman said.

Seat belt was on and insurance papers were in the glove compartment. No problem!

I opened the glove compartment and enough stuff tumbled out to fill a good sized garbage bag. Leftover napkins from the last time we stopped by a fast food drive through, a couple of packages of half eaten donuts (those little chocolate ones), six tubes of lip gloss that had melted and frozen several times and papers of all sizes, including receipts from stores from the past five years.

“Sorry, Officer. I promise I did not steal these extra napkins. They always give you too many at the drive through.”

He glared at me.

I picked up the remains of two fortune cookies. They were so old they fell apart in my hand.

“Sorry, Officer. But this one does say that today is my lucky day.”

This time I got a sigh but at least he didn’t put his hand on that big gun slung on his hip.

The insurance form was supposed to be in a yellow envelope marked “Insurance” in big bold letters on the outside. Nothing to finding something that distinctive, right? No problem! I found it and opened it to find forms for 2003-2014 but nothing for 2015.

“Sorry, Officer. It must be stuck in there somewhere. Give me a minute.”

His hand looked like it might be going toward the gun.

I found a package of vacation pictures from twenty years ago, a chocolate candy bar that was only half eaten and two of those miniature donuts that could probably be misconstrued as a weapon of lethal destruction.

Then right there on the bottom of everything, stuck to the lining of the glove compartment was the right insurance form. It only had a greasy stain in the middle, but hey, the dates were still clear. And they don’t put people in jail for defacing an insurance form, do they?

He took one look at it and waved me on. I checked the rear view when the gray haired lady behind me took my place. The policeman checked the seat belt and evidently she had the same problem I did because he threw his hands up in the air, took down the road block and motioned all the cars on through. I guess her glove compartment was even worse than mine. She did give me the thumbs up sign as she pulled on around and passed me. I recognized her as one of Aunt Hilda’s buddies and waved. And that’s when my cell phone rang. It was Aunt Hilda telling me to take the back roads to the grocery store. She would have called sooner but Uncle Moe had been taking a nap.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ranch Potato Salad...

Kristy was reading The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop and found a couple of southern dishes that she would like to have the recipes for. So this week I'm posting Ranch Potato Salad and next week I'll post Cream Puff Cake! Both are great favorites of my family for any occasion from Family Days to Holidays! For other recipes that fans have asked me to put on the recipe page of my website, go to www.carolynlbrown.com and take a look at the recipe page!

2 stalks green onions (chopped)
1 package dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 cup mayonniase
1 cup Sour Cream
5 lbs. red potatoes
1 lb. cooked crisp bacon, cooked, crumbled and cooled
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Scrub potatoes and cut into chunks. (I leave the skins on because it gives the potato salad more color)
Cover with water in a large pot and cook until done. Do not overcook or the potatoes will turn to mush when you stir in the other ingredients.
While they are cooking, chop the green onions and cook the bacon. Mix those with the other ingredients and gently stir into the cooked potatoes. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I've been interviewed by Ognian Georgiev, author, journalist and TV commentator in Bulgaria! To read the entire interview click HERE!!