THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER

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I’m incredibly excited to tell you about a new digital anthology,THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER, and to offer one commenter a copy of the anthology, a digital ARC of my debut, FIRST DO NO EVIL, and a $25 gift card.

But first, I hope you’ll bear with me on a little side trip. I think you’ll understand why in a moment.

I want to share with you something very personal that my mother said to me, not to be dramatic, but because it made a difference in my life. When my mom was only a few years older than I am now, she lost her battle with breast cancer. She was an amazingly loving and courageous woman, and she shaped my life in so many ways; by her example in the way she lived, and by the love and support she gave her family.

In the days before her death, when it became apparent that there was nothing more that medicine could do for her, she said something to me that I will never think of without heartache. But even though her statement saddened me, I am grateful she shared her emotion with me.

As we talked in her hospital room, my mother reminded me that early on in her disease she’d declined a certain treatment because she’d felt afraid. Her fear was natural since it was a difficult procedure to undergo. Not only that, but, the value of the treatment was uncertain—and of course, neither she nor her doctors had a crystal ball in hand.

Then she said to me: “Oh, how I wish I had that chance again.”

I don’t know if the treatment would have made a difference or not, and that isn’t the point I’m trying to make. What I am driving at is this: I believe it took courage for my mother to admit her fear to me, and I know that we all have fear in our lives. But fear is not a good basis for decision making.

I am afraid, half-terrified even, every time I am due for a mammogram because I know I have risk factors, and I don’t want to get bad news. But then I remember my mother’s words, “Oh, how I wish I had that chance again.”

I pick up the phone and schedule my mammogram.

Mammograms save lives. They are a proven means of reducing mortality (that means death!) from breast cancer. That’s just a fact. Detecting breast cancer early via mammograms cannot only lead to better treatment options, it can lead to a cure in many cases.

So please, don’t let fear stop you from getting a yearly mammogram if you are 50 or older, or if you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors. If you are at high risk please see your doctor regularly and ask about preventive options.

Back to fear. We all have talents—gifts, if you will. But so often we let fear stop us from using those gifts. We are afraid our talent isn’t big enough, and that we will appear foolish to others. We don’t finish a manuscript, or maybe we don’t even begin a manuscript, because we are afraid our talent isn’t big enough. If we do finish it, and we are brave enough to submit our work, we may give up after a handful of rejections because of that same fear:

My talent isn’t big enough.

But I believe, with all my heart, that our talents are big enough. They are as big as they need to be. We cannot all hit the New York Times list, or make it on American Idol, or become class valedictorian. But our talent is big enough to enhance our lives and to make a difference in the lives of others.

I want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, and I believe that with a team effort, I can. So, I’m joining forces with three amazing authors and participating in the Avon Breast Cancer walk Sept.22 and 23, 2012. Tessa Dare, Leigh LaValle, Courtney Milan and I are going to walk forty miles to show we care. Our team name? The Bodice Rippers, of course!

We’ve also written four original novellas and combined them into an anthology: THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER.  The anthology will be available for a limited time this summer leading up to the Avon walk. All profits from the sale of THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER will be donated to the cause.

My dear friends, Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, and Leigh LaValle at the 2011 Rita/Golden Heart ceremony. And that’s me, taking the picture 🙂

Here’s a taste of each author’s story:

“The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright” by Tessa Dare
Excerpt

Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, Miss Eliza Cade is not allowed “out” in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she’s trying to be good, Eliza keeps bumping elbows—and lips—with the notorious rake Harry Wright. The passions he stirs in her are so wrong…but she just can’t resist Mr. Wright.

“The Misbehaving Marquess” by Leigh LaValle

Having awaited the return of her husband for half a decade, Catherine Raybourne, the Marchioness of Foster, has no intention of reconciling with her misbehaving marquess. But when he insists he needs an heir—immediately—she must confront her own lingering desires. Can she protect her heart while attempting to win his once again?

“The Lady Always Wins” by Courtney Milan
Excerpt

Railway financier Simon Davenant has waited seven years for a second chance with his childhood sweetheart and best friend. He isn’t about to let his impending financial ruin destroy the opportunity. This time, he’ll do anything he can to secure her hand in marriage—even if it means losing her heart for good.

“Solomon’s Wisdom” by Carey Baldwin
Excerpt

Bad-boy-turned-pediatrician Charlie “Drex” Drexler returns to Tangleheart, Texas hoping to reconnect with his old flame – but Anna won’t cooperate, his dark past resurfaces, and his best friend’s baby disappears. How will Drex and Anna mend their broken hearts while dodging bullets and racing to bring baby home safely?

Remember, all the profits from sales of this anthology will be donated by the authors to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. To learn more about where the money goes from there, please see: http://www.avonwalk.org/why-we-walk/where-the-money-goes.html

Can people donate directly to your Avon Walk team?
Absolutely! We want to raise as much money as possible, and to that end, we encourage and appreciate direct donations to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer via our team page: http://bit.ly/bodicerippers

Let’s take our chances and go for it! 

PS The anthology will go on sale very soon. Possibly today. When it does, I’ll post a link. So please check back if you’d like to fight back against breast cancer and get yourself a rockin’ good read all for the bargain price of $2.99! Update! Three Weddings and a Murder is ready to order.

Do you have any special talent or passion you share or would like to share with others? 

Commenters: I’m giving away an electronic copy of THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER,  an electronic ARC of my debut FIRST DO NO EVIL and a $25 gift card! 

Links

About Carey Baldwin

Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award winning author of edgy romantic thrillers by night. What's a nice girl like Carey doing writing scare-you-silly romantic thrillers? When you are a former clinical psychologist, writing about psychopaths comes naturally, and when you are a hopeless romantic, well, you do the math! Look for Carey's upcoming release, CONFESSION, coming from Harper Collins this spring. Learn more at www.CareyBaldwin.com

Posted on May 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Carey, I’m so touched by the story you shared about your mother. How wonderful that she made such an impact on your life, and that you are paying it forward, helping others, by reminding them to get their mammograms and by raising money to fight breast cancer. My family too has been affected by this horrible disease, and because of my strong family history I’ve been getting mammograms every year since I turned 30. I hate mammograms. They are often painful, and humiliating, but each year when it’s time to schedule another one, I remind myself of the loved ones I’ve lost to cancer. And I remind myself that my sister wouldn’t be here today if she hadn’t gotten a mammogram that caught her breast cancer. So, no matter how much I hate mammograms, I will never skip them. Thank you so much – and your wonderful writing partners on the THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER anthology, for helping to save lives! Good luck with your debut in June, FIRST DO NO EVIL, which I had the honor to read and absolutely LOVED. Oh – and before I forget – CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR UPCOMING WEDDING!!!! Hugs!

  2. Carey, What a wonderful tribute to your mother. My mammogram is scheduled and while I’d love to see a push for additional thermograms, the industry isn’t there yet.
    Congratulations on your debut, the anthology and your wedding! Having friends willing to walk the forty miles is a blessing. Good Luck!
    Jean

    • Thanks for the congratulations, Jean and Lena!

      And thanks for sharing! I feel so strongly about mammograms. They are the number one thing you can do to detect breast cancer while it is early enough to squash! Good for you for faithfully scheduling yours every year. And Lena, I’m so glad your sister caught her cancer early.

      Talk about the blessing of friends, I am so lucky to have Tessa, Leigh, and Courtney. They rock!

  3. Perfect post to read today, Carey. While my family hasn’t been affected by breast cancer, we’ve seen every other type you can think of. And there’s nothing more difficult than watching the people you love suffer and not being able to help them.
    Fear is a huge block for me right now, esp. with my current manuscript, and your message is just what I needed. Thanks!

    • I agree Sharon, watching people you love going through such difficult times and not being able to help them is the worst feeling ever. But it does help to get out there and put on our walking shoes, or cheer others on and let them know we care.

      As for fear and writing blocks, I had to power through that myself to write Solomon’s Wisdom- my contribution to TWAM. I was aghast at being compared to such brilliant talents as Tessa, Leigh and Courtney. It helped that we were on such a tight timeline I had no way to procrastinate!

  4. Carey,
    Thanks for sharing this information. I have a sister-in-law who was diagnosed a year ago. After a mastectomy and chemo, she is cancer free. I’m so grateful the mammogram found it before the cancer spread to the sentinel nodes – so her prognosis is excellent.

    I have no family history of breast cancer and have been hearing conflicting information on whether or not I should have a mammogram now or wait 5 or even 10 years – and this is from my own doctors! Because of this, I haven’t scheduled my mammogram yet, but will likely schedule one in the next year.

    Go team Bodice Rippers! It is wonderful that Courtney, Tessa, Leigh, and you are all doing the walk together, and incredible that you each have donated a novella to the cause.

    And huge congrats on your upcoming wedding!

    • Rachel I am so happy your sister-in-law is cancer free. The surgeries have changed so much and are giving women such good results.

      I might just take this opportunity to mention that there is now even a type of mastectomy called a nipple-sparing mastectomy (only if the cancer is small and located in a select spot) where the doctors can leave the skin and nipples in place and with reconstruction leave a wonderful appearing result.

      As for the mammogram- I say just do it. There is little down side and so much to gain.

  5. CAREY!! You’re getting married next week!!!! And I’m so thrilled to be part of this team and this anthology with you and Courtney and Leigh. All three of you are inspirations to me, in so many ways.

    What a great post. Thanks for being brave enough to share your mom’s story and encourage everyone to get regularly tested. I’m not eligible for mammograms yet (due to my age and body type, I’ve been told they wouldn’t be a useful diagnostic tool), but that’s why regular self-exams and GYN visits are important too. Since I have friends close to my own age who’ve been diagnosed, I’ve tried to be vigilant.

    I am so excited for THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER to release — for many reasons — not least of which is that the world can get a taste of the amazing talent that is Carey Baldwin! eeeeee!

    • Tessa, thanks for reminding us about regular self-exams and visits to the Gyn and primary care docs. They are an important part of early detection! And thanks for reminding us that not every woman who develops breast cancer is in her mid-life.

      I am so excited for THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER too! I can’t believe I get to share the page with three women I admire so much, both personally and as authors.

  6. My grandmother died of breast cancer, Carey, so your story is really close to my heart. Dealing with my father being ill this weak brought home all kinds of fears. Don’t be afraid of comparing to the other writers, your own unique voice will stand up very nicely — and the good that you and the others are doing, even more so.

    Great post!

    Have a GREAT WEDDING!!!! Wish we could all be there cheering you on in person, but our hearts will be thinking of you as you walk down the aisle.

    Much happiness, health, success, and especially LOVE.

    Hugs,
    Diana Belchase

    • Diana all the best for you and your family. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment with all that you are going through with your father.

      Talk about wonderful friends! I am truly blessed and this Kiss and Thrill gang- Diana, Sarah, Lena, Manda, Rachel, Krista, Gwen, and Sharon are a wonderful light and blessing in my life! Thank you all for that!

  7. What a wonderful and important post, Carey! I’m looking very much forward to reading your debut and this anthology.
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I always enjoy your wedding updates on twitter. 🙂

    • Aww. Thanks! I appreciate those comments! I always worry the bride tweets could grate after awhile. But it’s hard not to tweet when you’re excited!
      Thank you again!

  8. What a sweet post, Carey. I know how alive your mother is in your heart and I am so happy to be a part of this project with you! My risk factor is melanoma, which took my mom at an early age, and I am totally terrified of going in for skin screenings. I just now searched dermatologists and… made an appointment! 🙂 Thanks for the motivation.

    I, too, am so excited for THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER to hit eBook shelves! And yaaayyyyy for your first release!

    And now for the wedding…

    • Thanks Leigh! And I know how alive in your heart your mom is. I think that somehow this has deepened the bond we have with each other. I always know you understand when I am missing her, even after all these years. And I appreciate you sharing your heart about your mom with me.
      Wedding!! Yay!!

  9. Oh Carey, what a poignant post. I know it’s so easy for me to let fear get in the way of prompt or common sense decision making, especially when it’s medical and it’s me (if it’s a family member I’m a Momma Bear!)

    Thrilled that you’ve linked how we can donate to your Avon walk, I’m so proud of you and your author/teammates! I wish you all the best on book sales and fundraising.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming wedding, you must be dancing on air these days!

    • Sarah thanks for your comments! I figured I couldn’t be the only woman out there who is scared to get a mammogram! It may not be rational, but it’s real. Fear is just something we have to beat down and get on with it.

      Wedding? Oh, yes! I am dancing on air and I cannot wait to be relaxing with my new husband and pretending I don’t have a book releasing! Bill is wonderful, and hardly notices all the hoopla that takes my attention from him. I can’t wait to focus on him and him alone for a few days.

  10. Congratulations on your upcoiming wedding. Also, good luck with your walk. That’s a great cause and a wonderful tribute to your mother.

  11. Carey, thanks for sharing your story. I had to deal with breast cancer and went through additional treatment so I wouldn’t have to wonder. I’m a six year survivor and your mother is my hero.

    And what a fabulous way to raise money!

    • Abigail thank you so much for sharing that with us. My mother is my hero too, and so is everyone out there who faces down cancer with their fists up. Six years is a beautiful number and it’s going to keep growing. Thank you again for sharing.

  12. Hooray! Guys, I notice our thermometer is rising! Thanks for making direct donations! Your money is going to a great cause, and my feet and my friends’ feet are going to work hard to deserve your support! As soon as Avon emails me with the names of the contributors I will add them to our honor roll! If you don’t see them yet it’s only that I am waiting on the names. I won’t forget you!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Carey. What a touching and poignant post. Cancer runs in my family too, so prevention is definitely something that is near and dear to my heart.
    I think it’s also important to acknowledge our fears and other perceived weaknesses. A very lovely post.
    And good luck with your Team Bodice Rippers goal! I’m sure you’ll surpass it!

    • LIme! Thanks so much for stopping by today. And thanks for your comments. I know there are so many other forms of cancer that affect us and our family and friends, and I am grateful for everyone who works hard on those other fronts to advance treatment and research.

      I also know you have personally spearheaded fund raising efforts for worthy causes. Thank you for that! Isn’t the romance community wonderful?

  14. I have to tell you all one more thing (at least ) about THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER. The stories by Leigh, Tessa, and Courtney are some of the best I’ve ever read!
    And…Courtney Milan has personally designed the book with meticulous attention to detail. It’s so beautiful! And Courtney is, at this very moment, perfecting those details so the book can go up- and that’s after staying up half the night. Hat’s off to Courtney Milan!

  15. Hi Carey –

    Thank you for sharing your personal story of a loved one with breast cancer with us. I think all of us have had someone in their family face the challenges of breat cancer. It has been a part of my family as well including all three of my Aunts as well as my grand-mother and my daughter-in-laws mother.

    While I help spread the word to others by giving them information and let them know of resources available to them in the Northeast my son and daughter-in-law run marathons and raise money to support breast cancer research in South Caorlina. While my daughter-in-law supported her mother during her treatments and recovery she also decided to change her focus in nursing to serve those with breat cancer and now works in hospice to help and support patients and their families with breast cancer and other life treatening diseases.

    One of the most important things she always says is important is to talk freely to your physician about any concerns you have and to reach out and get the inoformation and support you need to make a well informed discision. My wish goes out to all of you to talk to and encourage women of all ages to be sure they are being checked annually but also to be there for the families of those who are facing this life treatening disease.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story Jeanne. With one in eight women affected by breast cancer, it touches all of us or will sooner or later. What a wonderful family you have!

      And thanks for reminding us to never be afraid to ask questions and express our concerns with our physician.

      As families, we give support, but as you point out, we need support too. Best wishes for your family, Jeanne.

  16. mandacollinsauthor

    Thank you so much for the honest and poignant post, Carey. Your Mom was one brave lady. I have an aunt who is going through her second round of chemo now, so this is a subject near to my heart.

    Congratulations on the anthology! And surely I’m not the first one to notice that you, the one who’s getting married, are the one who wrote the murder! 😉

    Go team Bodice Rippers!

  17. Thanks for sharing your story and for the information. How generous to share the profits from the anthology. The anthology sounds very good.

  18. Carey, what a lovely tribute to your mother. Such wise words about overcoming fear. My grandmother was diagnosed in her early 50s and my mom, two years ago. Big shout out to the doctors at Duke Medical Center for taking such great care of my mom! It was a scary time, but her prognosis was so good with early diagnosis.(Note to self: schedule that mammogram pronto)

    The anthology sounds FABULOUS 🙂 I can’t wait to download it on my kindle. I wish you and the Bodice Rippers fair skies for the Avon Walk!

    • I’m so happy to hear about the good prognosis. I know I sound like a broken record- yes I’m old enough to have owned records- but … Mammograms save lives.

      As for the fair skies, we’re walking I’m Santa Barbara so chances are good !

      • Carey, how did you train for the 3 day walk? I keep thinking I should do the DC walk in May, but you know what they say about good intentions.

        • Er…I haven’t really trained yet! But they have a great training guide available on the Avon site after you sign up. Guess I better get crackin- right after the honeymoon!

          If it’s anything like training for a marathon.( Yeah, I ran a marathon. I’m all that and a bag of chips :-)) – you do short miles during the week and one long set on the weekend- building up to about 3 miles less than your race total distance. You save that total distance for the event. If you want to walk, I’ll forward you the info after I download it. Are you thinking May 2013?

  19. kierankramer

    Carey, what a poignant post about your mom! Thanks so much for sharing! It takes a caring person to see past regrets and tragedy to create something positive, and you and your mom have both done that in your own ways and at your own special moments–her for you, and you for us. Thanks again for the incredibly important reminder.

    This year was my first time being scared about my mammogram. I had to go in and get it repeated, along with some other more intensive test, and I cried when I lay down on the gurney. I have never been so scared. It brought home to me how important it is to stay vigilant about our health and to cherish every moment we have to live.

    Good luck on your big walk!!! And best wishes for a successful launch of this fabulous e-book!!!

    XO

    • Thank you so much Kieran! I had a similar experience this year but I had so much support and it made me that much more certain that I need to take care of myself . Especially with a new husband and a new step daughter in my life.

  20. This is such an inspiring post. My mother is one of the strongest person I know and I admire her so much. She has shaped and influenced so much that is good in me and in our whole family. There was a time when she was sick and that was when my fears really rose to the surface.

    Talents come in many forms and the most profound for me are those that have the ability to touch lives – it can be one voice raising awareness and that could be the beginnings of change. I know that cancer has touched many lives but I also know there are many ways fight against it. Happy walking and with each step you making a positive impact 🙂

  21. It’s Carey with a quick check in from the bridal salon. Thanks for all the love and support! I’ll be back in a couple of hours to reply to comments . Please bear with me 🙂

  22. A very poignant story. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Carey: Thanks for sharing your story. I too lost my mother way too soon to cancer. I learned a lot from her in life, and I found lessons in her death. Good luck with both fundraisers, and congratulations on the anthology. The stories sound great!

  24. Carey,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it wasn’t recent, but those kind of losses always feel that way.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and encouraging us to not let fear get the better of us in any area of our lives–whether it’s writing or scheduling life-saving tests like mammograms.
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and best of luck to you on the Avon walk. We’ll be rooting you on.
    Thanks again for sharing your story. I’m certain that your mom is so proud of you and your accomplishments, and may her presence be with you on your special day.

  25. Brandie Nickerson

    Thank you for this post. I haven’t written a word in the last week and a half because of fear. I was excited by a project then began to think it wouldn’t be good enough, it’s been done before, and I don’t have enough to write a full novel. Thank you for sharing your mother’s words and I will remember them always.

    Brandie N.

    • Aw. Thank you, Brandie. I’m glad the post helped. I really do think back on her words every time I want to give up or quit before I start. If you’re excited about your project, I bet that will translate onto the page. Good luck with it!

  26. What a great inspirational post! Thanks so much!!!!

  27. I am so very excited and happy for all of you! You are all inspirations with your talent and wit. Each of you has faced your fears and making your dreams of publication come true. Well done for creating such marvelous stories, making them available to us and also sharing a part of your success with the Avon Walk.

    Can’t wait to read each of these stories! Wish I was seeing you all in CA this year. Here’s to 2013 and turning my own fears into my dreams come true.

    • Oh Santa! You will be sorely missed at RWA! It won’t be the same without you. And I too will raise a glass to 2013 and Santa’s dreams! I can’t wait for your turn!

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