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Meet Golden Heart Finalist Caroline Bradley!

Today, we’re thrilled to be introducing the first of our guests from the newly-minted Class of 2015 Golden Heart Finalists. Caroline Bradley is a nominee in the Erotic Romance category with her manuscript INDULGE MY FANTASY.

It’s especially delightful to welcome her here to celebrate her Golden Heart nomination because (under another name…ssshhhh!!!) she’s been a Friend of the Rubies for years and has done fabulously in our annual Make It Golden Contest. We’ve seen this moment coming for her for quite a while now, and we know how well deserved it is!

caroline bradleyINDULGE MY FANTASY is the first time Caroline dipped her toe in the Erotic Romance waters, but she enjoyed it so much, she’s back for more with her newest completed manuscript, HEATED COMPETITION. Her alter ego wrote contemporaries until Caroline decided to step out of the shadows and take a walk on the wild side. She’s having so much fun, she may never go back.

Caroline lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her two teenage sons and a very noisy boisterous cat. She’s never ever telling who inspired her fantasies…

So what’s INDULGE MY FANTASY about?

Auto mechanic Grace Bennett has forgotten how to dream. Her life is so entrenched in the everyday world that when she finds Aaron Elias, the hottest actor in Hollywood, stranded on a mountain road in a snowstorm, she’s not sure what to believe. In a snowed-in cabin, she gives in to her wildest fantasies, but she’s sure he’ll forget her name the moment she repairs his water pump and sends him on his way.

After one night together, Aaron can’t get Grace out of his head. He brings her to Hollywood to experience his world of sports cars, Malibu beach houses, and movie magic. The Cinderella treatment is more than Grace ever imagined. Then she finds out why Aaron was really up in the mountains that day, and Aaron’s dream world brings back Grace’s nightmares.

Grace and Aaron can’t live in each other’s world. Is this love or are they both just indulging their fantasies?

Okay, that sounds utterly delicious. And I’m going to hit that pre-order button so hard the minute HEATED COMPETITION is up for sale. Wooooot!!!Now some questions for you. Caroline, tell us a little about your Golden Heart finaling book and the process of writing it.

It started over a beer. A writer friend and I met for dinner one night at a local sports bar. We debated some of the issues in her new series, and then she asked me what I was up to. Being a single mom who hasn’t dated in two years, I said, “Not much.” I did confess to allowing my imagination to be preoccupied by a certain handsome actor. Daydreams were turning into night dreams but given my single status, it was the most action I’d seen in a while. She sipped her beer and said, “So write that.”

 I cringed. To that point I’d only ever written contemporaries. Your standard category fare. Two love scenes and a HEA. Erotic? Not to this girl who had to have “69” explained to her in her 20’s.

 “So?” she countered. “Write that.”

I did. With no holds barred, I went home and wrote down whatever came to mind, or really, what had been coming to mind for weeks already. I finished the first love scene that night and exhaled. This was fun! I’d used words I didn’t dare speak aloud, let alone in public or on a page, and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

Six weeks later, INDULGE MY FANTASY was finished, so titled because it was literally me indulging a fantasy of mine. I’ll never tell who inspired the hero, however. Well, unless he shows up on GH awards night, and then I’ll happily tell everyone. Starting with him. (I’m still single, still dateless, but oh, what I wouldn’t give to have him show up and escort me up the stage.)

 Yay for your friend for giving you that crucial little push, and yay for you for running with it!! (And I think many of the best books out there have started over a beer…or with a friend saying, “YES!!! You can do this!!”) And you’ve got the second book completed already! Can you tell us a little about HEATED COMPETITION?

 Sure! I just finished it. I mean, literally; I wrote “The End” on Sunday morning. The hero and heroine are both Type-A personalities, both PE teachers at a high school, and they’re constantly trying to outdo each other until they come to realize that sometimes when you give up control to someone else, you win. The hero is the varsity soccer coach and personally, I think soccer players don’t get the recognition they deserve. I run in my spare time (as do the hero and heroine; that was fun to write into the story) and those guys run all over the field All. The. Time. I have yet to see a soccer player with a single ounce of fat anywhere. Needless to say, the hero fits that mold perfectly. Think Michael Fassbender crossed with David Beckham. He, too, was inspired by a real person who shall remain nameless. <wink wink>

 “Michael Fassbender crossed with David Beckham.” Lady, you may just have inspired my daydreams for the next six weeks. *Fans self rapidly.* So, you’ve gotten two books completed since that first beer. Impressive! What is your writing process like? How do you balance writing and the rest of your life?

I recently was laid off from my full time job, so as long as my severance package lasts, I’m calling myself a full time writer. My intention is to self-publish HEATED COMPETITION as soon as it’s polished and ready. Hopefully that’ll be by summer.

I look at writing as a full time job now. I still have to get my youngest on the school bus so I get up at the same time I did before the layoff, make coffee and breakfast, and once Junior is off for the day, I read back my pages from the night before. I work on it for as long as I can, get up and make lunch, write some more, go for a run (weather permitting), see Junior back in, and write some more. At least, that’s a perfect day. Most days have errands and appointments thrown in there too. Sometimes I don’t get to write until after 8 p.m. When I worked full time outside the house, I pledged myself to write one thousand words per day. Without that obstacle, the sky’s the limit. Honestly, on my last day of work, I passed around my writing business cards. Some day they’re going to say, “Caroline Bradley worked here before she became a successful bestselling author.”

I love it!!! You’ve made the best out of a tough situation, and you’re on your way, girl!! I’m betting in another year, you’ll look back and realize it was the best thing that could have happened. Go forth and conquer!! But before you go, tell us about what it was like getting that coveted Golden Heart phone call.

On March 26th, RWA announced the finalists in the Golden Heart contest. A number of friends in my critique group enjoyed the story immensely and one SWORE I’d get a finalist call. I wanted so much to believe that I added a picture of the Golden Heart necklace to my Vision Board.

The first Erotic finalist was posted at 8:30. From then on I sat in front of the computer, occasionally hitting F5 in hopes my name would appear and I’d just simply missed the phone call. 10:00; nothing. 11:00; nothing. Noon; nothing, and my oven botched a spinach quiche to boot. This day was just full of swell, wasn’t it?

I had an appointment at my son’s school at 12:45 so I hit F5 a few more times, then pushed my sad, sorry ass out of my computer chair. I was pretty much out of hope but because there was still 1% of hope left in me, I took my cell with me as I went upstairs to get ready for the meeting.

Halfway up the stairs, the phone in my hand rang. A 904 area code. I thought, “I don’t know anyone in 904.” Then I thought, “I don’t know who this is!” Almost a sure sign that this was it, but dare I dream? Did I make the cut? Was my story good enough?

Yup. I got my call. I was a Golden Heart finalist with “Indulge My Fantasy,” one of three finalists in the category. It wasn’t lost on us that our category is a threesome. Ba-dum-bum.

LOL!! Just as it should be! Thanks so much for being here with us today, Caroline! Good luck at Nationals….and beyond!! Readers, Caroline has a question for all of you now:

After entering the Golden Heart for ten years, finaling in the Golden Heart is a dream come true, drawing me closer to a chance for even more dreams to come true. If your longest-running dream could come true, what would it be?

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You can learn more about Caroline Bradley and connect with her online at:

www.carolinebradley.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolineBradleyAuth

Twitter: @CaroBradAuth

 

99 responses to “Meet Golden Heart Finalist Caroline Bradley!”

  1. Congrats, Caroline!!!! You ms sounds awesome! Wow. I am living my dream right now and I wish you the very best in that area.

    Thanks for joining us!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Darynda! OMG, I’m fangirling over here just a bit. Most times when I hit a plot knot I think, “What would Darynda do?” 🙂 I still remember “First Grave” being a Sheila entry when I was the contest coordinator and look where you are now! Squee!

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  2. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Caroline!! It’s so fun to have you with us!!!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank YOU, Elisa!! I’m so excited to be here, it’s like Call Day all over again! 🙂 You were an awesome help getting me here! I hope you still have some of your hair left after I had you yanking it out by whole handfuls. 🙂

      Mwah!!

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  3. Gwyn says:

    It’s funny how dreams change given time and circumstances. I’ll spare you mine but do want to wish you the best of luck in New York. Being a Philly girl myself, I hope you rock the Big Apple.

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    • Caroline says:

      Aw, you can’t leave us hanging like that, Gwyn! Do tell! I showed you mine… 😉

      Funny but I think writing has always been my dream. I started at 10 with an essay on how to raise kids (as if my aunt was never one herself) and I caught the bug from there. I had to put it aside numerous times but it always came back and found me.

      Philly girls!! Do you order your cheesesteaks wiz wit? 🙂

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  4. Abby Sharpe says:

    Still makes me grin when I see your name listed as a finalist. So excited for you. Layoffs schmayoffs!

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    • Caroline says:

      What on earth are you doing up at this hour, Abbygail? 🙂 Thank you!! I’m so glad I got to hug you in Philly last fall! Sorry about the Jags/Eagles game. And my sons want to know when you’ll be back. They want more ice cream.

      Lalala! 🙂

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      • Abby Sharpe says:

        I take back what I said about layoffs!!!! :P~~~~ Hey, at least we got a GREAT first round pick this year! … which we won’t see play until 2016 *sigh*

        and hey! The night was just getting started!

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  5. Jen Gilroy says:

    Happy to be part of the Golden Heart Class of 2015 with you, Caroline. Enjoyed your post and learning more about your writing. Cheering you on!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Jen! Can’t wait to find out what our name will be but does it matter? A rose by any other name, and all that jazz. We’re sisters forever bonded by that awesome day back in March! 🙂

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  6. Carrie Padgett says:

    Congratulations, Caroline! Your ms sounds like a lot of fun. Enjoy the ride, it’s amazing. Best of luck to you in July!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Carrie! This has been SO exciting! But in a fun way, not a “Why did I get on this roller coaster?” way. 🙂

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  7. Lynn Cahoon says:

    So, so happy for you… and all because of a beer. lala rocks.

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    • Caroline says:

      Lalala!! 🙂 Yup, all because we went out for beer. If a tiny voice in your head says to do something and you’re not sure if you should, just do it. That voice is never wrong. I’m learning to listen to it more than I ever did before.

      And sometimes that voice has a name like Valerie or Judi or Hope or… 🙂

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  8. Can’t wait to buy and read both of these!

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  9. I TOLD YOU SO! 😉 Love you and will be cheering you on in NYC!

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    • Caroline says:

      YES SHE DID, folks! OMG, this amazing lady swore up, down, left, right, and sideways that I’d final and she was right. Valerie had faith in me when I didn’t. I owe her SO much, from that first, “We didn’t final either; who wants to kick GH butt next year?” to “This is the year we HUSTLE!” I could run out of superlatives trying to thank you. You are amazing and inspirational and tough and I’m happy to call you Queen Valerie. Put simply, YOU ROCK!

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  10. Judi says:

    Pretty fabulous friend you have there, Caroline…. Just sayin’ ;P.

    And I can be bribed for the name of the actor who inspired the story. But let’s hope he shows up at the ceremony instead.

    All the best!

    Raising my beer to you!

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    • Caroline says:

      It’s a lucky thing Sean didn’t acknowledge me that night at dinner, or I might have gone home with other fantasies in mind. Proof yet again that things work out the way they’re supposed to. 🙂

      Thank you again! And I’d be thrilled if he showed up on the GH awards that night but it’s a Saturday and I know he’s, uh, somewhere else in July. 🙂 Sorry to break this to you, Hope Ramsay, but if he does show up, your GH table ticket is taken. Wink wink…

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I’m totally up for starting a tradition of having movie stars escort winners up to the stage.

      My choice would be Richard Armitage.

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  11. Mary says:

    Yay, Caroline! I loved this story!! You never know how close you are to success–and walking up the stairs you proved it!

    Can. Not. Wait. To cheer for you at the Golden Hearts!

    See you in NYC!

    LaLaLa

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    • Caroline says:

      Lalala! LOL Mary, when the finalists get called for the Erotic category, people are going to wonder if I brought my own cheering section. I’ll be happy to say, yes I did!

      Can’t WAIT to hug you in NY!!

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  12. Seana Kelly says:

    Great interview, Caroline!
    You keep writing your fantasies and we’ll keep reading them. I can’t wait to add your books to my pre-order queue.

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    • Caroline says:

      LOL You know, I think the funniest part of this journey has been realizing, OMG, people are going to READ this? Why? But these stories were fun to write, and my mom always told me to share, so… 🙂

      Thank you, Seana my 15Sister!

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  13. Kathy says:

    I’m so excited for you, Caroline! I can’t wait to read both books.

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Kathy! I hope you like them! I also hope they’re available SOON! 🙂 15Sisters Forever!

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  14. True story: Caroline gave me the biggest butt-kicking ever the moment I needed one. And that butt-kicking led directly to where I am now. So cheers to that friend who kicked your butt. And cheers to all the good things yet to come for you!

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    • Caroline says:

      Lalala! LOL I’m THRILLED for your success, Ash, and I’m so happy I could help! Really, yours was not the kind of light that should hide under a bushel! I may have kicked your butt but you had the goods to take it somewhere, and look at you now! 🙂

      Thanks! I’m tempted to say I could use some good things (given my current job situation) but I already have some great people in my life like my Lalala Sisters! And really, does it get much better than that?

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Sounds like good karma to me!!

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  15. Caroline,
    Your post is hilarious, just like you. 🙂 I had an outline for a main character who worked with her dad as a mechanic, but I kept getting hung up on the fact that I don’t know how to check my own oil. Or change a flat tire. Or where the tire is… Probably buried under hidden Michaels bags in the trunk.
    I can’t wait to read your books! And just like I told you before, this full-time writer situation getting dropped into your lap is THE BEST THING for you right now. Keep writing. Keep putting those fantasies on the page. Keep sharing. 🙂
    I’m proud to be a 2015 GH Sister with you. Can’t wait to meet and have a few drinks and try to say, “Excelsior.” lol

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    • Caroline says:

      LOL Thanks Kim! I got lucky. My dad is/was an auto mechanic (retired now but he still fixes mine) so I grew up sniffing Gunk in the air like it was roses. The smell still takes me home. I’ve always had a fascination for cars and can often tell makes/models at a distance. I even know a Cooper from a Fiat. That and $3 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks or it’ll help me answer a few questions on Jeopardy. 🙂

      Funny you bring up spare tires. I got a flat pulling into my driveway once and my son had JUST finished driver’s ed so I said, “Here you go. You learned this in theory. Now implement that information.” (I work out but I’m still meh in the upper body strength department, so I knew I was a lost cause with a lug wrench.) An hour later we ended up calling AAA…and got a female driver/mechanic. Twenty minutes later, spare in place and off she went to the next repair. I looked at my son and said, “That’s the type of woman you need to date.”

      Oh yeah, lady; we’re going to “Excelsior!” all over New York City! 😀

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  16. Life can be wonderful, and you’re busy proving it. Can’t keep up with you in running shoes, but you’ve added a lot to my daily amusement (and amazement!) quotient. My lala heart quivers for you and the glorious fact that you made finalist. I don’t know when I’ve whooped so with joy as when I read that. The cats thought I’d lost my mind and immediately hid.

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks! and HUGS to my Lalala, Beppie!! 🙂 Sorry about scaring your cats. You should’ve seen my kids when I got the call. They were both home that day and after I hung up, I started jumping and yelling, “Oh my God I ****ing did it!” The older one got it, for the most part. The younger one with autism wasn’t quite sure if Mom was mad or, well, *mad*. 🙂 He figured out which is was when we went out to dinner to celebrate.

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  17. Caroline, Great interview. I’m trying to figure out who your yummy inspiration was. I’ve narrowed it down to two Hollywood hunks that you’ve mentioned. Care to give us a hint? Can’t wait to read your book!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Renee! I’m sworn to secrecy, though I will say I finished one last read-through last night and I realized in the last 5 pages, there’s a huge clue to his identity. I might need to change that except that tidbit fits the heroine’s character so well, it may have to stay. But HE won’t know until he reads it. Sigh. I’d happily read it to him if he just asked…

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  18. June Love says:

    Congratulations, Caroline! Welcome to the Ruby blog. I love the story of how Indulge My Fantasy came into being. My first book, the one under the bed, was written from a dream I’d had. You know, I think the next time someone asks where our ideas come from, we should say, “First, you dream, then you find a friend and have a beer…” 🙂

    Good luck in NYC! Both books sound fabulous!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, June! I’m just so happy when the inspiration hits! Though I will say, there have been times since then that I had a beer, hoping for another blissful visit from The Muse. I’m starting to think she’s a bit of a lush… 🙂

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  19. Fantabulous, Caroline. I’ll be cheering for you on Awards night.
    ~kristal

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Kristal! And I’ll be cheering for YOU too! We’re going to raise the roof at the ol’ Marriott! They may be sorry they invited us…

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  20. Kate Forest says:

    Caroline, I can’t wait to read this story. And good luck with the contest.

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Kate!! Can’t wait to see yours all printed out and in my hot little hands too! Hope it’s soon!! 🙂

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  21. Maura Troy says:

    I guess this means we should all go out for beers in NYC! I’m so happy for you, Caroline! I knew this day would come for you and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Congratulations and enjoy every minute of this glorious ride.

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    • Caroline says:

      Awww, thank you, Maura! You make me melt! 🙂

      Yeah, I kinda laugh about the beer influence. I heard a joke once that said, “You’d seen the ad campaign, ‘Every kiss begins with K’? Ha. I bet a lot of babies began with Budweiser.” This one worked out in my favor, but I don’t advocate too much application of hops-based inspiration. Sometimes it has the opposite effect.

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  22. Huge Congratulations, Caroline!

    Your book sounds wonderful! Yes, those little fantasies can lead to great stories. So glad you harnessed yours into a GH awesome book!

    Heather

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Heather! I don’t know if it was the beer or Judi’s encouragement (probably both) but once I stopped worrying about “will this work” or “can I say that”, I liked where it went. I followed the freestyle method of writing and may have unleashed a genie that has no interest in going back in the bottle. 🙂

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  23. Caroline, your books sound fabulous! And I love the idea of having a Vision Board. Big congrats and good luck on Awards Night!
    Jen

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    • Caroline says:

      Jennifer, I LOVE my vision board! I wish I’d done it years ago but I’m glad I tried it now. So far it’s ringing pretty true. I wanted to run the NYC Marathon but I didn’t get into the lottery, and their “Get Your 2015 On” poster is there on my VB. I was heartbroken that the board was wrong until I saw an ad for the Staten Island Half Marathon. I’m from Staten Island and it still amazes me, I lived there for 33 years and never knew the race existed, even though it was blocks from my house. Registration was way less for the SIHM so I said, “Sure, let’s do that.” It’s also sponsored by the NY Road Runners and their logo is the same as the NYCM, so technically I’m still running NY in 2015 for the NYRR; it’s just a different race. The vision board held true!

      Now about that Amazon logo that’s up there too… 🙂

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  24. elise hayes says:

    Your books sound amazing, Caroline.

    I *love* that you left your job by giving out your writing business cards. You’re going to rock the release of your latest manuscript!

    Congratulations on the final and enjoy the excitement of the GH ride over the next few months!!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Elise! Yeah, I got some funny looks when they saw my card. They had no idea what was going on inside the head of that quiet lady in row 2. Still waters really do run deep.

      This has been a great ride! I’m eagerly looking forward to July and meeting everyone but at the same time, I don’t want it to end! 🙂

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  25. Caroline, how do you know so many of my 2011 GH sisters?? Valerie, Ash, Gwyn. I know there are others. You popular girl, you!

    I have a pretty good idea of who might be escorting you onstage for awards night, cough B.C. cough. As long as you leave Gerard Butler for my date, I’ll be happy!

    So glad to be taking this ride with you, my friend. Huge congrats!!! xo

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    • Caroline says:

      Arlene, I knew you sounded familiar! 🙂 Valerie and Ash are my Lalala Sisters, and I’ve been hanging out with the Rubies (courtesy of Hope, my CP, BFF and best baseball girl) since the beginning. Hope can even tell you, I’m the one who called to let her know she finaled in the GH. 🙂

      Gerard’s a good choice too, but I have a thing for guys with–uh, oops, almost gave it away. 🙂

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  26. OMG, Michael Fassbender… *fans self* He’s so inspiring, isn’t he? LOL

    And I love your call story. How cruel that they made you wait all day, but I’m glad you were there for the call. Thanks for sharing.

    The stories sound fabulous. Congratulations on the Golden Heart final!!

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    • Caroline says:

      Anne Marie, thanks! I don’t mind that it took a while. It was sure worth waiting for!

      I strongly suspect that when God asked for the perfect male specimen, Michael Fassbender walked up to Him and said, “I’m here. Where do You want me?” Alas, God hasn’t pointed him to my current location. Get with the program, Almighty One! 🙂

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  27. Tamara Hogan says:

    Congratulations, Caroline! The book sounds awesome. Enjoy the ride. 😉

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Tamara! This has been SO much fun. I never would’ve thought I’d say this at 48 but this could be one of my best years ever (including 1995 and 1996 when my sons were born).

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  28. Mia Sosa says:

    Great interview, Caroline. It’s been a blast getting to know you, and I can’t wait to hang out with you in New York!

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    • Caroline says:

      Mia my Ever After Dragonfly sister! Thank you! I’m so glad Fate has brought us together!

      Somebody better warn New York that we’re on our way! 🙂

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  29. jbrayweber says:

    Erotic? I had no idea you dabbled here, Caroline. What fun! Great interview, ladies. Congrats on your GH final! I’m so happy for you!

    Jenn!

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    • Caroline says:

      Jenn, Thanks! I had no idea I dabbled there either! I suspect Caroline was there all along and it took a beer and some friendly encouragement to bring her out into the open. Now I don’t even WANT to put this genie back in the bottle!

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  30. So excited to meet you in New York this July! Love how your manuscript came to be. Maybe after a few drinks you’ll whisper the inspiration for you hero into my ear 😉

    My wildest dream is to publish a novel, so here’s to the dream!

    Awesome interview!

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    • Caroline says:

      I like that dream, Tina! I can’t wait to see you make it reality!

      As for the inspiration, just check my phone. I have his pic as my wallpaper. Other people’s wallpaper is their kids, their pets, their husband, pretty landscapes. Me, I turn on my phone and no matter who’s calling, I smile. 🙂

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  31. Marnee Blake says:

    Longest running dream, huh? *fades off, visions of housekeepers and cooks running through my head*

    Congrats Caroline!! This book sounds delicious and I’m so happy I’m getting to know you!

    XO
    Marnee

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    • Caroline says:

      Marnee my homie, that’s not a dream; that’s a fantasy. 🙂

      Thanks! What do you say at the dress rehearsal, we each break into an Eagles chant? E-A-G-L-E-S…

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  32. I was so, SOOOOOO happy for you, Caroline! I remember screeching at the top of my lungs when I saw your name pop up in the list of Golden Hearters!

    Come awards night, I’ll be screeching for you again — I’m sure of it!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Eileen! But gulp, at this point I don’t know if I’ll be hyper-excited on awards night or scared out of my wits! 🙂

      It honestly still doesn’t feel real. I look at the RWR once in a while just to make sure. (I know several GH15 sisters who did the same thing.) I’m still waiting for someone to figure out the math error and wipe my name off the list but until they do, I’m loving it! 🙂

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  33. Congrats, Caroline on your GH final. Loved hearing your story and hope to meet you in NY!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Miranda! I’d love to meet you too! You won’t be able to miss me. If I get it done in time, I’ll be the one in the crazy rainbow wrap. (I crochet in my spare time and I’m SO trying to finish this thing.) Come say hi and get a hug! 🙂

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  34. Addison Fox says:

    I LOVE this interview!!! Congratulations, Caroline, on your GH final!!!!!!

    Addison

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  35. Tracy P says:

    Caroline,

    Loved ready this. Your sparkling, live life out loud personality shines through as I’m sure it does in your writing. I think all of have been tempted to indulge in a little (or a lot!) of fantasizing and kudos to you on getting a Golden Heart final and making $ from using your talent and bravely sharing yours. Mine motivate me to write as well, though the more explicit fantasies are still in my head versus on the page.

    Best of luck!
    Tracy

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Tracy! Considering I still haven’t forgotten your Bad Karma piece, that’s high praise!

      But hey, c’mon over to the wild side! It’s fun, and we have whipped cream, hot guys, and handcuffs! 🙂

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  36. Maria Powers says:

    Caroline! Read the interview earlier today and then had to run so didn’t have a chance to comment. You make me laugh and I am thrilled to share this crazy ride with you as a Golden Heart Finalist.

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Maria! Buckle up and hang on, it’s going to get wild when we get to New York! 🙂 (Cue Taylor Swift here, singing “Welcome to New York”!)

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  37. Brynn Kelly says:

    Great that you’re working so hard to prioritize writing while you’re in flux. May that become your permanent state! (The writer life, not the flux 🙂 )

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    • Caroline says:

      Brynn, LOL! It seems everything’s been in flux for the last 3+ years. I’m so used to it, I don’t know what normal is. (Can you tell? twitch twitch…) 🙂 Thanks!!

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      • Brynn Kelly says:

        So true. It’s probably sensible to just acknowledge that life itself is a state of flux, and just enjoy the journey 🙂

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  38. Fab interview, Caroline – love the story behind you switching genres, over a beer! 🙂 Looking forward to meeting the ‘threesome’ in NYC – you Erotica girls are so funny.

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! Someone told me a long while back, if you’re ever in quicksand, stop struggling; you’ll sink faster. I’ve learned how well this applies to a lot of aspects of life, particularly writing. You know how sometimes you forget a word and it’s on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t think of it? Then ten minutes later when you’re not fixated on it, you remember. (Or if you’re like me, you Google it.) I’ve found ideas are the same way. The more I struggle to find the right thing to write about, the farther it gets. Now I just relax, don’t fight it, and it comes right to me.

      It also drives Hope up a tree because she’s (mostly) a plotter and I’m all pantser. We’re the odd couple of crit partners. 🙂

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  39. Julie Glover says:

    It’s funny how many of us started writing in one genre, then switched and found our place in a different genre.

    Congrats on your final! Thanks for sharing about your journey.

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  40. Kristin Contino says:

    Woot woot!!! Super excited for you!! 🙂 And like Eileen said, we’ll be cheering way loud at the ceremony!

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  41. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks so much for being with us today, Caroline! It’s clear from your wit and vivaciousness that your books are going to be wonderful fun!!!

    Enjoy NYC!!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thank you, Elisa and the Rubies! This has been fantastic fun!! 🙂 And now I can’t wait for you all to meet my incredible GH Sisters!! 😀 Have a wonderful weekend!! I hope to see SO many of you in New York!!

      **dances offstage to “Welcome to New York**

      🙂

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  42. Jo Anne Banker says:

    Great interview, Caroline. It’s always fun to share our fantasies, so thank the goddess for story and romance. Good luck in New York, and have a great time!!

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    • Caroline says:

      Thanks, JoAnn! I PROMISE to post a ton of pictures! When I went in ’11, I had a dumb phone that barely texted. Now I have a smart phone so photos will be going to Facebook *immediately*! This could be dangerous and people might start avoiding me… 😉

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  43. Hope Ramsay says:

    So I am hanging my head in shame. Caroline is my BFF and somehow I managed to miss this blog post. I have an excuse, but, really, it’s not a good one. Just suffice it to say that I am tickled pink that Caroline is a GH finalist and I will be holding her hand on awards night. And since I didn’t make it here yesterday, I will also be buying her drinks for the entirety of the RWA conference. 🙂

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    • Caroline says:

      LOL Uh oh. Relative to my previous comment about posting pics to Facebook in real time, this might get really embarrassing. 🙂 I missed you yesterday but I’m glad you’re here! Sorry about the crazy month. One day I’ll remember your manic PDJ month is May, not March. (Hey, I got the M part right.) Hang in there, it’s a long weekend!

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Picking up the drinks tab for RWA is mighty fine restitution!!!

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