Interview & Giveaway with Carly Phillips

Today is officially Carly Phillips day at The Book Pushers! We had MinnChica’s review of Serendipity this morning, and now we have Carly here answering all of our questions!

Carly is a New York Times Bestselling romance author of contemporary romance, with more than 25 titles in her back list with publisher Harlequin. She got her “big break” when her book THE BACHELOR was chosen by Kelly Rippa for her on-air monthly book club for her popular show “Regis & Kelly.”

Carly’s newest release, SERENDIPITY, is not only the first in a new series, but it is also her first release with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA).


Carly, welcome to The Book Pushers!

Thank you! I’m so happy to be with The Book Pushers today!!


The Book Pushers: The Serendipity series is a small town romance series. Where did the inspiration for Serendipity come from?

Carly: In general, Serendipity came from my love up smaller upstate NY towns.  More specifically, I love writing brothers, tortured heroes who need TLC and are who only too happy to give it when they find the right woman.  The Barron brothers are so perfect for their heroines and they have so much back story that they made for an intriguing premise.  All that to say, I’m not sure where the inspiration came from but once I found it, the books were just THERE.


The Book Pushers: How many books do you have planned and contracted for the Serendipity series?

Carly:  The initial SERENDIPITY series is 3 books – three brothers – but the plan is to remain in the town of Serendipity and continue to put out stories with characters readers come to love.  I enjoyed having an ongoing back story throughout the books, so I’d like to continue this concept in three book arcs.  The future depends on how the books do with readers!


The Book Pushers: DESTINY, the 2nd book in the series comes out in January.  Can you tell us a little about that book?

Carly:  DESTINY is Nash Barron’s story.  Nash is the middle brother, the angriest brother, the one who wears his hurt on the outside.  He has the hardest time relating to their new teenage half sister, Tess, and he needs serious healing.  His heroine, Kelly Moss, is also Tess’s half sister (they share a mother/Nash and Tess share a father).  When Ethan and Faith (hero and heroine of SERENDIPITY) go on their honeymoon, Kelly moves into the mansion to look after Tess – and if Nash wants a relationship with his new sister, he has to go through Kelly – a woman who he is dangerously attracted to.  I love these two together.  This story is about secrets and hidden pain and the healing power of love!


The Book Pushers: Here at The Book Pushers we are all big fans of sports romance books, and the Hot Zone series was FABULOUS! Any plans to write more sports romance books? (please say yes, please say yes, please say yes!!)

Carly:  Thank you!!! My April More Than Words Anthology for Harlequin (proceeds go to charity) featured a sports hero.  As of now though, Serendipity hasn’t had any sports stars, although thanks to your idea, that may change! I will definitely keep it in mind.


The Book Pushers: Many of your HQN books have been re-released with new covers, do you have a preference between the caricature drawings and the picture based covers?


Carly:  Yes. Definite preference for covers.  I LOVE my new covers for SERENDIPITY and DESTINY.  I think they are fresh and modern and show the content of the stories well.  The old cartoon covers were great in their day but that time has passed.  For me, the bare chested man covers have also seen their day, and I’m truly pleased to have moved forward with Kiss Me If You Can and now the SERENDIPITY series covers.


The Book Pushers:  Have you ever considered writing outside the contemporary genre?

Carly:  I have considered it and quickly discarded the idea.  I love reading paranormal romance but the mind it takes to put those stories together … that’s beyond what I’m capable of, at least right now.  I envy authors who can create whole new worlds!  I’m very happy being a paranormal reader and a contemporary romance author!


The Book Pushers: You attribute a lot of your initial success to Kelly Ripa choosing THE BACHELOR for her book club. What was it like getting the news, and then being on their show?

Carly:  The Kelly Ripa experience was in a word, surreal. A dream come true.  I have the whole story on my website on the Diary of a Cinderella Story.  When I got the news (and this was almost 10 years ago now!) I definitely screamed and then I panicked about having to go on live television.  I managed to hold my own but the highlight for me was meeting Kelly Ripa, who I have adored since her All My Children Days.  Kelly’s book club gave me a huge push and I’ve worked hard ever since to do well since in reality, that kind of success can never be replicated.


The Book Pushers: You’ve recently released a few of your older back list books as ebooks through Kindle, B&N, and other e-retailers. Do you have plans to continue to do this with other titles?

Carly:  I am so happy that readers can now get the following books in eBook format: SOLITARY MAN, PERFECT PARTNERS, THE RIGHT CHOICE, and a short story, “MIDNIGHT ANGEL.”  Those are the only four books I have the rights back to and so as of now those are the only books I plan to release that way.  All my other books are available in eBook format via the original publisher, so essentially readers can now find them all!


The Book Pushers: A few of your series are set in small towns. If you had to choose to live in one of your own small towns, which one would you choose?

Carly:  Great question! I’ve never been asked this one before.  It’s hard and the main reason is that picking a small town means picking a set of characters I’d love to live in that town with and I love them all.  At the moment, SERENDIPITY holds a very special place in my heart as do all three Barron brothers! I can’t wait to see if readers agree.


The Book Pushers: Have you ever thought about collaborating with anyone?  Who would be your dream partner to write a book with?

Carly:  Another interesting question! No, I’ve never thought about collaborating.  I like doing things my way and at my own pace.  I think the control freak in me would have a problem with the co-writing.

Thanks so much for having me at The Book Pushers!

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Carly has graciously donated a copy of one of her back list books to a lucky commenter. Just leave her a question or comment below to be entered. Contest ends September 12. Good Luck!


56 thoughts on “Interview & Giveaway with Carly Phillips”

  1. My question goes back to what you answered about covers. Do you get to choose the direction in which they go with the covers?
    tlabunski ***<> gmail

  2. I love books set in small towns, so this new series sounds like a real winner to me. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  3. Carly I just wanted to say that I love your books their so magnificent and I can’t wait to read more of them!!!

  4. I read most of your contemporary novels. They are great. Even if some of your books are re-issue, it’s still a great way for us to re-associate with them again.

  5. I enjoy stories set in small towns, however, I don’t want the town to be too small! I grew up in a very, very small town in upstate New York and it wasn’t a lot of fun. All it had was a gas station and a combination hardware/gift/antique store and a tiny grocery store.

    The new series sounds like fun!!


  6. Congrats on the new release and series, Carly. I just reread “The Bachelor” over the weekend and my love of the Chandler brothers came rushing back.

  7. HELLO, CARLY!=)

  8. Hi Carly. You are a new to me author, but I love the cover and blurb for Serendipity so I will definitely check it out. Destiny looks good also. Best wishes on the new release.

  9. I loved Serendipity. I am so excited for Destiny! Thank you so much for the giveaway.

  10. Great interview, I enjoyed it. I have not read this series yet, but they sound like fantastic reads, so thanks for the giveaway!


  11. Victoria Zumbrum

    Carly what inspired you to be a writer? Have you wrote any time travel books/ Please enter me in contest. I would love to read your books. They really sound good.

  12. Hi Carly .
    I’m so excited about your new book Serendipity . Small town , bad boy – princess girl , reunited , Just things I always want to read.
    I also like your previous books . It ‘s pity that only 2 your books have been released in my country>___<.
    So, What do you think about writing a romance suspense book?


  13. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I don’t think I will ever be able to say that the bare chested man covers have seen their day.


  14. Thanks so for a wonderful interview! Carly Phillips is a new to me author as well and I’m definitely interested in her new book! Put it on my Amazon wishlist already 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. Hey Carly,

    I’m a long time reader and fan of yours, and I would LOVE to win a copy of any one of your books! Thanks for the awesome giveaway 🙂

  16. I have not read a contemporary romance. I am guessing this nothing like the old harlequins. I would like to give it a shot.

  17. Congratulations on the new release. What town(s) in upstate NY have you visited?

  18. I absolutely lived your HOT ZONE series, as well as the LOVE ME IF YOU DARE, and KISS ME IF YOU CAN BOOKS! I cannot wait until I can get my hands on SERENDIPITY, etc!

    Have you considered writing a soap actor/actress as a character? I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen one of those from you… 🙂

    what_ever_for (at) cox (dot) net

  19. Love your books. Can’t wait to read Serendipity. I look forward to all your book releases but read them far too quick. 🙂

  20. I live in a small town near Ithaca NY and there may not be a lot going on; but there is a lot of time for reading and romance. Everyone always knows everyone else’s business in small towns, so it can make some romances quite interesting!

    I cannot wait to read your new book. Did you have a specific town in mind while writing Serendipity?

  21. I have read Cross My Heart by Carly Phillips and I loved it!I love reading contemporary romances as they give me a nice break from tiring life!

  22. I love series romance books and am sure this one will be great as I have really enjoyed all your books.

  23. I also think that stories set in small towns are a lot of fun and give ample people and gossip to have a fun series. Throw folks having “trysts” with their neighbors and then the fun really begins!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  24. I love your books and can’t wait to get my greedy hands on this one too!

    musicalfrog at

  25. I read a lot of contemps. but I have not tried any of Phillips’s books yet. Sounds great!

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