Monday, July 27, 2009

A Visit with Carleen Brice (and a Book Giveaway!)

We've just returned from our whirlwind Northeastern U.S. trip (as of the wee hours this morning!), and I'm finally able to plunge back into the Blogosphere. I've missed being a regular poster, and I've missed my short but daily chats with many of you, either here or on your own blogs... I have much to catch up on, both online and off, but I promise to fill you all in on details later this week with headers such as: "D.C.--THE place to see the Cubs play the Nationals while simultaneously getting a decent tan" or "Lobster, breathtaking coastlines and other delights of Massachusetts and Maine, even amidst a flood-like downpour" or "Vermont--home of Ben & Jerry's and, yes, of course I made the family go on the ice-cream-factory tour with me!"

But, for now, I have the pleasure of introducing fellow GCC'er Carleen Brice to Brant Flakes. Carleen’s debut novel, Orange Mint and Honey, was an Essence “Recommended Read” and a Target “Bookmarked Breakout Book.” She won the 2009 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the 2008 Break Out Author Award at the African American Literary Awards Show for this book, AND Orange Mint and Honey was optioned by Lifetime Movie Network. (Wow!)

Her second novel, Children of the Waters (One World/Ballantine), is a book about race, love and family, and it was just released at the end of June. Booklist Online called it “a compelling read, difficult to put down.” Essence says, “Brice has a new hit.” You can read an excerpt at her website.

Right now, she's at work on her third novel, and she maintains the blogs “White Readers Meet Black Authors” and "The Pajama Gardener". She's also generously offered a signed copy of Children of the Waters to one commenter, so thank you, Carleen, and welcome!

New readers want to know about your newest book! Can you tell us the basic premise? Two women, 1 black and 1 white, discover several family secrets, including the fact that they are related. (Sounds fabulous!)

What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why? I loved writing the scene that introduced a secondary character who’s a senior citizen pot dealer. He only deals to other seniors and the idea just cracks me up.

Name a few of your favorite musical artists/groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role? One of my characters is a musician, so music plays a role in the story. I mention Stevie Wonder’s music a couple of times.
My favorites include:
Aretha Franklin
Mary J. Blige

I've never been able to choose just one favorite food, but what are some of the foods you love? Pizza, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, roast chicken, hummus and good bread to name a few. (Oooh, I love all of these...I think we need to go out together for lunch. :-)

Who was the first person you told when you got The Call announcing you'd sold your first novel? My husband, but soon after I had called all my friends and many relatives too!

Thanks so much for visiting, Carleen, and for offering an autographed copy of your latest novel to one commenter! I'll draw a name on Thursday night from all who leave a message on this post and will pass the winner's name along to Carleen. Good luck, everyone!


Marlyn said...

Ms. Brice's new book sounds intriguing!

Eliza said...

Oh, this sounds really interesting! I've bookmarked Ms. Brice's blog, too. Thanks for the contest, Marilyn :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Marlyn and Eliza~thanks to you both for stopping by!! Hope you're having a great start to the week ;).

Morgan Mandel said...

I'll go along with the food choices except for the humus.
The new book sounds like a must read.

Morgan Mandel

Pamala Knight said...

Yay, Mariyn's back!! I'll need a coffee date so that I can hear all the details.

Thanks for the great interview with Carleen Brice. I love her blog and am anxiously awaiting the new book. It sounds awesome. As always, excellent interview.


erica said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating -- I missed you! Welcome home!

I love the notion of the senior dealer. What a retirement community that would be!

Marilyn Brant said...

Morgan, what? No hummus?? :) That's okay...nothing beats pizza and chocolate chip cookies, right?

Erica, I laughed about the senior dealer, too!! I can only imagine my grandmother's shock... ;)

Vesper said...

The idea of a senior citizen dealing pot only to other seniors is just great - I'd love to read that scene! :-)

Thanks for a very interesting interview! I'm glad you had a good trip. :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamala--It's great to be back! I've missed seeing you (and I can only claim lack of sleep at somehow having missed reading your comment last night...). Looking forward to coffee soon, I hope :-).

Vesper--I hope YOU had a good trip, too! Nice to "see" you back!!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

This sounds like a fabulous read. I would love a chance to win this book.
journey through books @ gmail dot com

Nancy J. Parra said...

Welcome home!

So glad to have you back. This is a great post- I enjoy reading your blog and meeting new authors.

Can't wait to add this to my TBR pile.


Marilyn Brant said...

Sheila~so glad you stopped by! Your name will definitely be added to the drawing :).

Nancy~thank you! It's great to be back, and WHOO-HOO on the release of your new book (Mr. Charming) tomorrow!!!

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks everyone for your comments about my book!

Marilyn Brant said...

Carleen~it was lovely to have you here this week :).

And, to all~thank you for your messages on Carleen's post. Being that it's after 10pm, I figured it was name-drawing time. And the winner of the autographed copy of Carleen's latest novel is...(drumroll)...Eliza!! Congrats! :)