Monday, September 12, 2011

Today's Special - - Carly Phillips

I first discovered Carly Phillips with the publication of her Hot Zone books.  Since then, I've devoured her back list of books and eagerly await each new book that's released.  Her newest, SERENDIPITY, kicks off her new series of the same name and is a heartwarming, emotionally complex story you won't want to miss.  Carly is the New York Times Bestselling author of over 30 romance novels with contemporary characters and plotlines that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. She's a stay at home mom of 2 daughters (now almost old enough to read her books!), one soft coated wheaten terrier and a brand new Havanese puppy. She’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. More information on Carly can be found at, and  She's also a regular blogger at  Please welcome Carly to The Romance Dish!

All About Serendipity 
By Carly Phillips

SERENDIPITY, both the town and the stories, were born of trying to take what I love to do – write contemporary romance – and focus on how living in a small town affects all dynamics – family, friendships and especially love.

Serendipity is a fictional upstate NY town, about an hour outside of New York City. It’s a contemporary romance that turns the concept of the bad boy around when former troublemaker Ethan Barron returns home after ten years, determined to make amends and reclaim the family he left behind. He thinks he has no time for romance because he has to focus on making amends, but his brothers want nothing to do with him. But just because Ethan is ready to move forward doesn’t mean everyone else is … and so begins the story of SERENDIPITY and the first Barron brother.

Book #1 - Sept. 6, 2011
Despite his brothers’ resentment, Ethan’s not going anywhere and while waiting for them to come around, he is reacquainted with Faith Harrington, the girl who got away. Faith is special because she’s back in town to face her demons and find a new life, no matter how hard it may be. She returns to Serendipity and opens an interior design business – and her first big job offer is Ethan’s house – her family’s old mansion that he bought on the SEC auction block. But Ethan doesn’t only own her family home, he was her one time teenage crush. When she meets him again, she realizes the old feelings only burn stronger. Can she redecorate her childhood home and face those demons while dealing with a man who affects her on so many different levels?

I think we can all relate to someone like Faith. She has to dig deep and find the courage to stay, to face people, to fight for the life and ultimately the man she wants. She will hold her head high no matter how humiliated she is over her father’s Ponzi scheme or her family’s fall from grace. She’s got guts and I admired that about her.

As for Ethan, once he is reunited with Faith, he can’t stop thinking about her. Offering her the decorating job seems like a way to help her get back on her feet and keep her in his life.

I loved writing SERENDIPITY. Someone asked my favorite scene and that would have to be the love scene after Ethan has an ugly fight with his brothers where they confront him over leaving them ten years ago, making him face the kind of life he abandoned them to and his new half sister overhears it all. He’s at his darkest point and wants nothing to do with anyone. And Faith comes to him because she knows he needs her—even though she promised herself she’d never compromise herself for a man, she’s willing to take whatever he dishes out because she cares and he’s so lost. For me, writing it, it was such a sexy, emotional scene coming from such a dark place. I just loved this hero and heroine!! And add Tess—the delinquent half sister that the brothers didn’t know about, and the story came alive. Tess is a hellion and she says what’s on her mind. She’s sad and funny and brave all at the same time.

Book #2 - Nash's story - Jan. 3, 2012

I hope readers fall hard for the small town of Serendipity, the family dynamics of the Barron brothers, and the push, pull and the pain that so many families feel when dealing with each other.

What do you love about small town contemporary stories? What makes you come back for more?

Three randomly selected people leaving comments on Carly's blog today will each receive a set of her Serendipity series trading cards.  Thanks, Carly! 



  1. Congrats on your new release!

    I think of small towns like large extended families, with everybody knowing everyone else's business.

  2. Hi Carly, Good luck with your new books!! Can't wait to get my hands on them!!!

  3. There are some pretty sappy "small town" type books that I have been avoiding. But this sounds like one I would enjoy. I like to see bad characters redeem themselves.

  4. I hope you'll all try out Serendipity1 Thanks for having me at The Romance Dish! :)

  5. Hi Sheree! You said, I think of small towns like large extended families, with everybody knowing everyone else's business.

    Having grown up in a town of 1800 people I can tell you that it's very much like that. When I was in high school, my parents would know what I'd done on dates before I even got home! lol!

  6. Hi deerdoe69! I read SERENDIPITY last week and loved it! Fell head over heels for Ethan. He's such a great hero. ::Sigh::

  7. There are some pretty sappy "small town" type books that I have been avoiding.

    Hi,Chick Lit Guy! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you give SERENDIPITY a try. It's a terrific story and not at all sappy.

  8. Welcome, Carly! Great to have you with us today.

  9. Small town settings remind me of where I grew up, I don't know how other kids managed to get in trouble because anything I ever did remotely wrong was duly reported to my parents.
    I had "Uncles" and "Aunts" everywhere I went, I was almost in my teens before I discovered we weren't related at all and it was just my parents way of teaching me to respect my elders by not calling them by their first names.
    Serendipity sounds like my kind of place.

  10. loved your Hot Zone books can't wait to read your new series!!

  11. I didn't grow up in a small town, but a small neighborhood. Hope that counts. That is also where everyone knows everyone else and they all look out for one another. Wish we had more of that sort of security and friendliness available for everyone today. However, we do have those good feelings when we sit down to read a Carly Phillips novel. Really looking forward to reading "Serendipity."

  12. I had "Uncles" and "Aunts" everywhere I went

    Sounds like my hometown, Dianna!

  13. loved your Hot Zone books can't wait to read your new series!!

    Hope you enjoy SERENDIPITY, Amy! Like you, I fell in love with the Hot Zone characters and have already started doing the same with the fine folks of Serendipity. :)

  14. I didn't grow up in a small town, but a small neighborhood. Hope that counts.

    Small, close neighborhoods are like small towns! I live in a neighborhood like that, Connie and I love it. We all look out everyone's family (including the pets!) and property like it was our own.

  15. Hi, all! I love the comments on small towns. So much food for thought for me! Thanks for visiting with me here :_

  16. Congrats on your new release. I love small town stories. It seems to me the people are closer in the small towns.

  17. Congrats on the release Carly I really like the sound of this one

    I love small towns because of the closeness in the community you can always rely on help when needed and of course there is always the gossip LOL

    Have Fun

  18. Hey Carly! So good to have you here today.

    I absolutely love small town love stories. Not only do we as the reader get to fall in love with the hero and heroine, but we get to fall in love with the charm of a small town and all of the interesting characters who live there. Every novel I read with a small town always reminds me of the very small town my grandparents lived it. Walking a couple blocks to the downtown area, stopping at the diner where everyone knows everyone, etc. It just makes me feel happy

  19. Hi, Carly, and welcome to the Romance Dish! Congrats on your newest release! I love small town romances, so this one sounds perfect.

    I agree with most of the other ladies--I love small town romances because everyone is so close knit and is there for each other. Love 'em!

  20. Hi ^^

    Congrats on your new release. *\^o^/*

    I love the small town stories because i'm constantly reminded of "Gilmore Girls". Everyone knows everything about a person in a small town and sometimes because of that can lead to some pretty hilarious reactions. ^^

    Melissa or

  21. Hi, Carly! Sorry I'm so late checking in. Congrats on your new release!

    I love romances set in small towns. Since I grew up in a small town, and I live in one now, I guess that may have something to do with it. :-)

  22. In small towns, everyone pretty much knows everyone else's business, or thinks they do. The stories are on an elemental level. You don't need complicated plots, international scope, or larger than life people. You need regular people dealing with the issues, large and small, we all have to deal with at one time or another. They are easy for the reader to get into, and relate to.

  23. Another great review, thanks! I grew up in a BIG city so I really enjoy reading small town stories. I'm looking forward to this own!

  24. In small town contemporary stories, the gossip runs rife. Wonderful to read, not in real life though!!