Book Spotlight: Pluff Mud Murders


New Release: Pluff Mud Murders by Ann Carpenter

 
Atlanta, Georgia:
Local author releases brand new suspenseful read, Pluff Mud Murders now available at Amazon.com.

Mandi Christine Kerr,an
American actress, director.
 
 
 

Book Description: Riley Jordan has come home to Charleston to begin a new life—a life interrupted when she was a young child, and still haunted by vague memories of danger and mystery. After years of living the fast-paced life of New York’s publishing world, Riley will be the editor-in-chief of Charleston’s Premier
Health 
Magazine.
It should be the perfect life. But things are not what they seem.
Soon, Riley, who has suffered amnesia since a traumatic event in her childhood, finds herself embroiled in the past history and current events of the powerful Radisson family, a family whose evil deeds have evaded the long arm of the law, and whose influence reaches far beyond the city limits. When Riley is confronted with three tiny coffins upon a visit to the former Radisson Estate, she begins a journey into the past that will bring her into contact with Summer Radisson and her sister Hayden. Forced by current events to return to her tortured past, Riley is confronted with long-buried secrets that have an impact not only on her life, but on the lives of Alex Keys, a detective who is trying to find out who she really is, and his former partner, Phil Leatherman, who was forced from his position in the department because he knew too much. Under suspicion herself, Riley vacillates between wanting to remember whatever may have happened, and a desire to put the past—whatever it might reveal—behind her, and start life over. But the past is imposing itself upon her very life. As she learns through a series of revelations, “Death is the key that opens the door to the past.” This epitaph from Jefferson Radisson’s grave may indeed provide answers to the secret that has been buried too long—and that will finally set Riley free.

 
 
About Ann Carpenter:

Ann Carpenter is the author of three novels, Pluff Mud Murders, Circle of Player, and The Mystical Doll House. She is the founder of Kidz By Dezign, and lives in Atlanta, Ga with her husband and granddaughter.
 
 
 
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Behind The Book: Carmen Denise Davenport


The best place to start when discussing Carmen is with her name. Let me first say that there is no significance or meaning behind her middle name (Denise) or her last name (Davenport). Those names were just chosen randomly when I started writing the first book. For her first name, I chose the name “Carmen,” after watching Carmen Jones, a 1954 adaptation of the play Carmen, which starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. I fell in love with the way the name sounded and wanted to use it in a novel. Thus, the character of Carmen was born. 

Then, in 2001, another adaptation of the play came along that showcased one of the traits that I wanted Carmen to have. That trait was ambition and the movie was Carmen: A Hip-Hopera, which starred Beyonce Knowles and Mekhi Phifer. In the movie, Beyonce plays Carmen Brown an aspiring actress whose aspirations to make it to the top are so great that she doesn’t care who she hurts along the way. Sound sort of familiar?

While I definitely did not want to make a spin-off of Carmen: A Hip Hopera, I did want to take the trait of ambition and illustrate it in my novel. I showed this in the journey that Carmen takes to save Flame, the clothing boutique she inherits from her mother. If you’ve read the book, Diamonds in the Rough, then you know that Carmen does a few things that will make anybody question her morals and values. My goal was to create shock value by first showing her as a virginal, well-to-do college student who evolves into a woman who is somewhat of a femme fatale. The ultimate good girl gone bad. The good part about all of this is that Carmen is able to work through all of her obstacles and still come out on top.

It is this position of power that brings me to my next discussion. It may seem that every man wants or desires her, but it is not because of Carmen’s looks. Yes, she is attractive, which almost every main female character of a novel is, but it is Carmen’s wealth and power that attracts her to men. It is often said that a man will run from a financially independent woman, but if you are on the same level as her than there is no need to run. You are attracted to her status because her status is equal to yours. Besides, most of the men who are running after Carmen are on the same financial level as her. (Some of you may argue that Kane wasn’t, but you have to remember that Carmen was not rich or successful when they first met. She was a struggling store owner whose parents had moved to Dallas, Texas, leaving her to fend for herself.)

Speaking of attraction, I would like to share the visual I see when I think of Carmen. I see a woman who has a curvaceous shape, stands about 5’6, with dark brown eyes that matches a dark mocha skin tone. Her hair is relaxed and hangs just past her shoulders. I think the model depicted on the front cover of Diamonds in the Rough is a good representation of what I see. Even the model on Diamonds are Forever is a good match.

What do you see when you think of Carmen? Feel free to share

For those of you who haven’t read the books, check them out, and concoct your own visual masterpiece!

Tidbits about Carmen

-At the beginning of Diamonds in the Rough, Carmen is 21.

-At the beginning of Diamonds are Forever, Carmen is 39.

-Her favorite wine is Alice White Chardonnay

-One of her favorite foods to eat is honey barbecue ribs which is served at the fictional Old Town Bistro

-Her ethnic makeup consists of African-American, Bahamian, and… (This will be revealed in a future novel!)

-At the conclusion of Diamonds are Forever, Carmen is mother to 6 children!

-Carmen is an only child (currently)

Something else you want to know? Leave a comment!

Behind the Book: Brookstone, New York


 The fictional Brookstone, New York is the main setting of The Diamond Collection. Other minor settings are San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dallas, Texas, and the fictional Copperton City, Georgia, which will be introduced in The Ace of Diamonds.

When I first started writing Diamonds in the Rough, I knew that I wanted the main characters to live in a city that matched the lifestyles that I wanted them to have. In other words, I wanted them to live in a populous city that was fast-paced, vibrant, had glitz, glamour and offered a wealth of opportunities. In addition, I wanted it to be a place that was also crime-ridden. The first place I thought of was New York City. The added bonus was that it was known for being immersed with entertainment and fashion. To me, it was the perfect setting for the novel.

Having never visited New York, I realized early on when I first started developing ideas for the novel that this would be somewhat of a problem. Almost everything I knew about the city came from what I saw on television and the internet. Deep down, I knew that I could make it work. The plus of having a real city/state in a novel is that it allows your readers to form an instant connection with the book. It is easier for them to visualize the setting if it is a place that they are already familiar with. For example, if the setting was New York City and I had the characters in Times Square, most readers will automatically see busy streets, tons of people, and billboards everywhere. 

However, with a fictional city, you can create more of your own world. You can create your own restaurants, your own street names, your own colleges, etc. You have more creative control with a fictional city than one that actually exists. The good part about this is that you can take some elements of various “real” cities and combine them into one.

Realizing this, the city of Brookstone, New York was born.

To begin, I’m unsure of where the name actually came from. I just remember writing and typing Brookstone. It’s like it came to life on its own. In the series, Brookstone is one of the biggest cities in the state of New York. It’s not as big as New York City, but it’s a decent size. It is also divided into two parts, East Brookstone and West Brookstone. East Brookstone is stereotyped as the part of the city where the upper class resides while the lower class is considered to live in West Brookstone. To illustrate this, I have Carmen, whose family is well off, living in East Brookstone while her best friend, Tiara, whose family is lower middle class, lives in West Brookstone. I put these characters in two different parts of the city to show that they do mingle despite the stereotypes.

As for the businesses that are established throughout the book, most are in Downtown Brookstone, which is on the Eastside. Below are a few major landmarks that are mentioned in the series.

Landmarks in Brookstone, New York

Brookstone High School- attended by Carmen and Tiara (and a few others who I’ll discuss later *winks*)

Brookstone University- attended by Carmen, Tiara, and Rakim

Davenport Realty- owned by Harold Davenport/ Lotus Pagua (Carmen’s father)

Flame, Inc. – clothing company owned by Carmen (previously owned by her mother, Patricia Davenport)

Sapphire- hip-hop club and bar owned by Jay (was previously an elite gentleman’s club owned by his father, Hector Santiago)

Blue Magic- soul food restaurant owned by Jay and Carmen (introduced in Diamonds are Forever)

Iceland- jewelry store owned by Jay Santiago (introduced in Diamonds are Forever)

Something else you want to know? Leave a comment!

 

 

Hot Spot: Rosetta’s Live Music and Comedy, Rock Hill, SC


During the week, we are consumed with so much (work, errands, etc.) that by the time the weekend comes, we are looking for a way to relieve ourselves of our hectic schedules and everyday life, period. Well, the relief now comes in the form of a new local club and sports bar, Rosetta’s Live Music and Comedy. Located on 1335 Celanese Rd., Rock Hill, SC, you can visit anytime between the operating hours of 11am-2am. I had the chance to visit this new establishment on Saturday and was HIGHLY impressed.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect in terms of the building:

-Spacious dance floor with VIP room and bar

-Sports bar with several flat screens

-Tables for casual dining

-Excellent customer service

Food & Drinks

(Here’s a little bit of what the club has to offer, there is so much more!)

Big Daddy Burger (6 patties)- $12.50….with fries, $16.50- Take the Rosetta’s Challenge and try to down this bad boy in 2o mins! Chicken sandwich, hot dogs, chicken strips, wings, chili fries, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, onion rings, fish and hush puppies, salad ($6.99), hoagies (turkey, ham, roast beef, salami, Philly cheese, Trios sandwich)- hoagies come in either 6-in or 12-in.

Beverages: Fountain drinks, iced tea, bottled water

Drink specials (this may be subject to change)- Sex on the Beach- $5, Crown and Coke- $5, Vodka and Cranberry- $3, Gin & OJ- $3, Blue Motorcycle- $5

If you live in Rock Hill, any of the surrounding cities, or are simply visiting the area, I would definitely recommend this as a place to gather with friends. Not to mention, there are a ton of menu items so feel free to stop in for a quick bite to eat! Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself! I dare you!

A Diamond Affair


Author Vogue hosts “A Diamond Affair” Book Release Dinner Party

Fort Mill, SC-July 21, 2010- First-time author, Vogue, will host, “A Diamond Affair,” a book release dinner party and signing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at Captain Steve’s Family Seafood Restaurant at 1975 Hwy 21 Bypass in Fort Mill, SC.

Vogue will be signing copies of her debut novel, Diamonds in the Rough, which is the first installment of a ten book urban fiction series aptly named The Diamond Collection. Released on June 1, 2010, Vogue has been named as Author of the Month by Angelique the Novelist, BK Walker Books, Etc. and Levitate Magazine.

Please Note:  Guests are responsible for their own meal. Dress attire is business casual and guests are highly encouraged to wear black, white and/or pink.