What’s The Plan with Kerri Carpenter

In my new book, Come What Maybe, my heroine Lauren is a planner with a capital P. That woman knows her way around a list and an Excel spreadsheet for sure.

You know that expression: you make plans and God laughs? Well, I’ve altered it a bit: you make birthing plans and labor and delivery nurses laugh. Allow me to explain. 

When I was writing Come What Maybe, my ultimate planning heroine Lauren finds herself in a delicate way. That’s right, her little one-night stand with our yummy hero Ethan results in an unplanned pregnancy. A fun plot to write, albeit a little difficult when you’ve never been pregnant before. What does it feel like? Are there pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester? When do you start showing? 

Naturally, to help me understand better, I bought the book What to Expect when You’re Expecting. I had just cracked it open when—what’s that?—I got some news. I was pregnant! 

Enter a new term into my life: birth plan. 

Other pregnant moms and the internet kept asking me about birth plans. Have you made your birth plan yet? What’s in your birth plan? Did you write your birth plan down? 

At that point, I had a full-time job, plus I was writing. I had just moved into a new house in a new city. I had a very demanding, yet adorable, dog to take care of, and, oh yeah, it was still Covid. While I do consider myself a planner, I didn’t really have the time to come up with a birth plan. In fact, my plan was to simply give birth in a hospital and call it a day.

In the end, it didn’t really matter when at 35 weeks pregnant, I went in for a normal checkup and found out my blood pressure had skyrocketed. Off to the hospital I was sent. 

When I got there, the nurse was asking me the barrage of questions they have to ask and she got to, “do you have a birth plan?” 

“Well, um, I meant to, I mean, I could come up with some stuff. Okay, not really, I’m sorry.” 

She replied with a joyful, “oh, thank god!” 

Maybe things would be okay. 

Because if I had made a birthing plan, being in the hospital five weeks early would not have made the cut. Having a c-section would also not have been in my plan. And my daughter being in the NICU for a week definitely wouldn’t have been on my list, nor would me staying in the hospital for 8 days due to extremely high blood pressure. 

That’s my story. I don’t know what it says for my heroine Lauren. Actually, I do. Because that’s the thing with romance novels. Birth plan or no plan at all, you can always plan on a happy ending. 

And I’m happy to report, so can I….

Kerri Carpenter with her newborn.





Social media strategist Lauren Wallace plans everything. But when she returns to the charming—if not too small for comfort—town of Seaside Cove, it’s only about a second before her tough-love Grams is already on her case. So when Grams tells her not to go to that bar, Lauren decides it’s time for a temporary rebellion. Which is exactly when the trouble starts.

Grams was right. The bar was not a good plan. Because suddenly super-cute bar owner Ethan McAllister has gone from being Lauren’s (kind of) high school nemesis to a very unexpected one-night stand. And worse, Lauren’s attempts to resume her ultra-responsible life keep getting thwarted by more unwelcome spontaneity. And a pregnancy.

Now there’s a baby on the way, Lauren’s the talk of the entire town, and all her planning has gone right out the window. All that’s missing is childbirth to make her pain complete. But it’ll be nothing compared to Grams’s reaction when she finds out that Lauren broke the biggest rule of all…falling for the wrong guy.



About the Author Kerri Carpenter Kerri Carpenter began writing in her grandmother's kitchen at the age of seven in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. A life-long fan of reading, she got lost in the worlds of The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. She also assumed that everyone had characters and plots forming in their heads at all times. Once she turned to romance novels, she couldn't get enough of books with happy endings, so she started writing her own. Now, Kerri writes contemporary romances, usually set in small towns. She enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, taking Zumba classes, rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams, and anything sparkly. Kerri lives in Northern Virginia with her adorable (and mischievous) poodle mix, Harry.

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