Monday, January 28, 2013

Choose Your Own Romance Ending: Sidewalk Flower Hero Edition

This week the Rockville 8 welcomes the beautiful and talented Carlene Love Flores! She's here to talk about her debut book, Sidewalk Flower, which has one of the yummiest heroes ever to hit the page. I'm still reading Sidewalk Flower, so I can't say for sure that Carlene actually chose the right ending, but I can tell you that she chose the right hero! Lucky captured my attention from the moment he walked up to Trista's Jeep . . . and he can capture yours, too, because Carlene is giving away a copy of Sidewalk Flower to one lucky commenter!

Welcome to the Rockville 8, Carlene!


Okay, I know I’m supposed to be cool and sophisticated now that I have a book out there…well that’s not happening!  I am having the biggest Holy Moly moment because this is the very first time I have been asked to guest blog!  Uh-huh, oh yeah!  Okay, now I will revert back to the non-silly guest that the esteemed and lovely Rockville 8 ladies intended to present to you today ;)   Need I say that I am honored to have been asked?  Thank you!

Remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books?  Man, I loved those.  My favorite was “Jungle Safari” by Edward Packard.  I loved it so much that at the tender age of ten, I wrote my very own and completely unique (snickers and grins) CYOA called…The Jungle.
I guess it’s not a huge surprise that my debut novel, Sidewalk Flower, at one point was on track to becoming a “Choose Your Own Romance Ending” book!  I can smile fondly now at the discarded “When it was this guy or when it was that guy” files on my laptop, but at the time I was beginning to feel like the anti-cupid.
You see, it took a while to find Trista, the story’s heroine, just the right guy.  The Sheryl Crow lyrics “Are you strong enough to be my man” sum up our hero search and the answer was all too often NO.  I’m not kidding when I say it took years.
There were moments when desperation set in and I asked Trista to consider her best friend, Jaxon, as her hero material.  After all, “friends-to-lovers” is one of my favorites to write.  Yeah, no.  “Ew.  That isn’t happening, Carlene,” she said to me.
Then there was the time I tried to push Sin Pointe’s (the band Trista works for, led by her besty, Jaxon) webmaster on her.  All I can say is poor, poor Benny.  Not only did he have to pull me aside and let me in on the fact he’s pretty deep into a secret crush on another woman but next to Trista, he’s the most overworked, underappreciated, low-man-on-the-totem pole in the Sin Pointe world.  “No time for love for the Benny,” he said to me.
Finally, I had resorted to writing Trista these silly love poems in attempts to cheer her heart and assure her I wasn’t giving up on her happily ever after when KABLAM!
He.  Showed.  Up.
Potential Romance Hero #3 was holding his own in their scenes!
It took a few months to work things out, (theirs is a roller coaster of a romance ride) but Trista and Lucky made the best ending ever.  I hope you’ll agree and enjoy reading Sidewalk Flower!
It was my absolute pleasure to be here with you today at Rockville 8!
So tell me, if you could take your favorite romance novel and choose your own ending, how would it go?
Happy 2013!


  1. Loved hearing the story of your journey to find Trista's hero! It's a good lesson to keep working on it til it's right! Can't wait to read your book.

  2. Good Morning, Misha. Thank you! You know, I'm just thankful I didn't force the wrong choice and kept listening to Trista. She really made her story what it is :)

  3. Yay for Carlene!!!! Great guest post, Hero!

    That's funny it took you a long time to figure out the right fit for Trista. You know, sounds just like my real-life dating scene. Ha-ha! Gives me hope. I guess you have to consider all the options until you find the one that fits. ;-)

    (Don't enter me in the giveaway please because I already own Sidewalk Flower and I'm reading it right now.)

  4. Hi Kerri Hero :) Wouldn't it be nice if the universe was just a little bit easier on a girl's love life?? That's why we are so lucky to be romance writers! We get to pick the right guy every time in our stories ;) Thank you for being such a wonderful and supportive friend. xoxo

  5. Carlene, it's great to have you at the 8 as our esteemed guest! You've highlighted one of the seven wonders of creative writing (not sure what the other six are, but this is definitely a wonder), that is the ability for your characters to come to life: walk around your kitchen, drink your coffee, try on your clothes, and tell you their deepest thoughts, dreams and fears.

    I love the way you describe your interaction and the knowledge you and Trista both had that good enough is NOT good enough.

    Can't wait to read your book and thanks for joining us at R8.

  6. Hi Shellie! Thank you for putting that so well. I'm going to steal from my favorite band and say that one of the greatest joys of being a writer is that we get to "Get the balance right" for our characters. In fact, we'd better get it right for them! Thank you so much for saying hi!

  7. Thanks, Carlene for sharing your adventure of how Lucky came about. I look forward to reading your book. And thanks, too, for guest blogging today! ;0) Yay! Congratulations on Sidewalk Flower!

  8. Hi Candy! It was my pleasure to share a little more about Lucky and Trista today. Thanks for having me :)

  9. Hi Carlene - Welcome and thank you so much for guest blogging at the Rockville 8! I loved to hear about your journey to find the right hero for your character. I do love the journey you embark on with your characters to find out who they are and to help them realize who they are. That's part of the fun of writing. Thank you again for blogging with us. Good luck with your book! I can't wait to read it.

  10. Hi Lisa, thank you so much. I wasn't kidding when I said you ladies were the first ever to ask me to guest blog. Pretty cool stuff :) Yes, and a cheers to the journey, both in real life and fictional!

  11. Carlene,
    I'm so glad you took the time to find the right hero for trista (Lucky) and not the easy way out (Jaxon) Love Sidewalk Flower.

  12. Happy Friday Night! I hope everyone had a nice week. Mine was very special with hubby retiring from the army. So it's with a very celebratory smile that I am happy to congratulate Misha on winning my eBook giveaway! Congrats Misha! And thank you again for having me here this week.

  13. Only two weeks late in commenting, Carlene, but OMG! I can't wait to read Sidewalk Flower. I loved your short story on Waterworld Mermaids in the same universe and I know I will love this one!

  14. Hi Keely! Aww, thank you so much! Also it was great seeing you at our get together. Love the pink. :)