Performance Review on My Second Job

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By Matt Sheehan, author of HELMUT GOES ABROAD

I found writing my second book in my Helmut series – and only my second written anything since college English 1B – mostly easier that writing the first book. Writing is my second job and I get most of my work done on the bus or at night after the kiddo goes to bed. (Can you really call it a job if it doesn’t actually generate income. But that’s beside the point.) I’ve found that where I used to labor over a few paragraphs some nights, I can now consistently crank out a page or two at one sitting. That’s probably why HELMUT GOES ABROAD a good 15k words longer than it’s predecessor.

The hard part was keeping the tone and characters the same. When I turned in my unedited copy of book two to my editor Jeff, I thought I had hit a home run. After all, my mom said it was even better than my first book. When you have an objective and unbiased opinion like that, what more do you need. Well Jeff didn’t agree. I’m pretty sure I had more red – yes they use red, just like in high school – on this manuscript than I did on my first.

The spelling and grammar errors didn’t surprise me. That’s why I got C’s in high school English. (That and because my Catholic School teachers didn’t have a sense of humor.  But once again I’m getting off topic.) What did surprise me were the places where Jeff felt Helmut wasn’t being Helmut. Of course he was right. He’s always right. I found that out during the last editing process. But how could the character that I patterned after my best friend not be Helmut enough?

Part of the problem is I’ve been friends with Helmut’s real life counterpart since we were eight year old kids playing pranks on the neighbors. (Doorbell-ditching is best with houses that have double-doors. For whatever reason those doors tend to have the closed-loop style handle on both doors. A thick stick for the doors and a bush to hide behind is all you need for great fun – until they come out their garage door that is.) I had to separate the source material from my new creation. Helmut was now his own person and had to be treated as such. I was still able sneak in old stories from my childhood – I just made them more consistent with where Helmut is in life. I hope you enjoy HELMUT GOES ABROAD.


CARINA_1014_9781426899102_HelmutGoesAbroadLife is pretty good for me, Helmut Haase, dashing detective and ladies’ man extraordinaire. I’m the industrious and charming half of the Fog City Detective Agency. My partner, Shamus O’Sheagan, is the most gifted and lazy Druid this side of the pond, but even he’s settled down with an Amazonian police officer. Together we managed to save the world once already, but our next case is hitting closer to home.

It all started when an old friend came to our door with a wild story about angel bones and necromancers. The bones belong to Azazel, former hero of the dreaded Cretan Empire, and the necromancers want to bring him back to life. The last thing anyone wants is Azazel to return and start another angelic war.

When Shamus locates our quarry in the Mediterranean, it’s bye-bye Wudong, hello luxury voyage to Capri, with a girl in every port and downtime to work on my fighting skills. Too bad such pleasures won’t last. Not with a coven of necromancers ready to fight us to the death over those angel bones and the fate of the world…

Read about Helmut and Shamus’s previous adventure in Helmut Saves the Worldavailable now.

Where Will You Find Danger?

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By Sheryl Nantus, author of IN THE VOID

Out on the edge justice is hard to come by. And if you look too hard you might just find yourself adrift in an escape pod, hoping someone rescues you before you run out of air…

Danger is everywhere when you’re In the Void!CARINA_1014_9781426899096_InTheVoid

Here Catherine Rogers discovers she’s been rescued by the last people she ever wanted to meet…


“What sort of ship is this?” She couldn’t help sighing as he spread the white ointment over the burned areas. “Touring? An acting troupe?” She could see him on the stage doing a soliloquy, maybe Shakespeare. The crew had, in the few moments she’d seen them, seemed to fit the image.

He looked up at her, his blue eyes twinkling. “A Mercy ship.”

Her breath caught in her throat. “A what?”

“My name is Sean, Sean Harrison. And this is, as we said before, the Bonnie Belle. A Mercy ship. We caught your emergency call and responded since there was no one else around.”

“A—” She couldn’t bring herself to say the words.

“A brothel. Whorehouse. Ship of ill repute.” He applied a thick dollop on her leg, concentrating below her knee. “It’s nothing we haven’t heard before. And a lot worse.”

“A Mercy ship.” She spat the words back at him. “Of all the—”

She couldn’t finish the sentence. Fate had it in for her, that much was certain.

A damned Mercy ship.


Catherine Rodgers doesn’t like Mercy spaceships, or the courtesans who work on them–not after her husband left her for a Mercy woman. But after her luxurious transport ship gets blown up to prevent her from cracking the lid off a corporate scam that’s left hundreds dead and a few people very rich, the only vessel around to save her is the Bonnie Belle.

Sean Harrison has worked as one of the Belle’s courtesans for years, bringing happiness to countless women along the space lanes. When he’s asked to look after Catherine while the Belle brings her to safety, it should be just another job. Somehow it’s anything but.

Sean is captivated by Catherine’s sense of justice and responsibility. And Catherine finds a softer, more emotionally intelligent man in Sean than she expected. Drawn together in darkness under the threat of death, they find the beginning of something lasting. But with pirates after the Belle and a price on Catherine’s head, that beginning might be all they get.


Name me your favorite television show based in the future! Is it Battlestar Galactica or Firefly or Star Trek… which future do you like the best?

Drop by AmazonBarnes & NobleGoogle PlayiBooksKobo and Carina Press to board the Bonnie Belle!

Also on Goodreads!

Sheryl Nantus grew up in Toronto, Canada. In 2013 she won a Third-Place Prism Award from the FF&P chapter of RWA for her book, Blood of the Pride.

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On the Run

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By Rosie Claverton, author of Code Runner

I have an overactive imagination when it comes to potential disasters. I view most of my daily activities in terms of survivability and, once you reckon that walking down the street and skydiving are equally anxiety-provoking, life gets a lot calmer. I like to make elaborate plans in case I end up in a hostage situation, lost in the woods at night, or framed for murder.

I think about my exit strategy if I get into hot water. I plan what I would pack, what disguise I would use, and what route I would take out of the city. Writing a hacker has also taught me that I need to dump all my electronics—not even a pocket calculator would make it onto my grab-and-go list. I consider how I would cryptically communicate with my loved ones (latest football scores on a postcard) and where I could stay for only a few pounds and fewer questions.

Would I try to go it alone? Is it easier to get lost in the hubbub of a city or find a remote caravan park and hole up for the foreseeable future? Would I gravitate to somewhere I know well, like my hometown or my beloved Cardiff, or would the bad guys think to follow me there? Would I try to skip the country, catch a ferry into Ireland or France?

Most of all, I think about who I could trust. Who would protect me? Would the police think to search that person’s house? Where would they hide me? Would they give me away?

In Code Runner, my loveable ex-con Jason doesn’t have the luxury of planning. First, he’s framed for murder. Then, he’s busted out of his prison transport by someone trying to kill him, leaving more bodies in his wake. Wounded and alone, he is thrust out into the Welsh countryside, with nothing but an old suit and the ever-present rain.

What can he do? Where can he run? Who can he turn to?

Enter Amy Lane. She may be a demanding employer, but she goes above and beyond the role of “understanding boss”. Jason knows Amy will help him, knows she’s the only one who can prove his innocence, and he makes a beeline for her. (It helps that she planted a tracking device on him. She’s a little overprotective like that.) Trouble is, there’s only so much help she can give him, confined to her flat by her agoraphobia. And all the tech in the world is no help if the phone signal is dodgy out in those woods…

Who would you trust with your life? Where would you run to? What’s in your essential grab-and-go bag? Except books, of course!

Code Runner is Book Two in The Amy Lane Mysteries, sequel to Rosie’s debut novel Binary Witness.


 Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped. 

Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.

But Amy hasn’t been honest with him—her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?




Watch the Code Runner book trailer!

Order Code Runner at all good ebook stores:

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Read an excerpt | Add to Goodreads

About Rosie

Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study medicine and adopted Wales as her home. Her short film “Dragon Chasers” aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. Currently exiled to London, she lives with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog. You can find Rosie at Swords and Lattes and @rosieclaverton on Twitter.

Carina Press Paranormal Romance sale!

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October is full of tricks, treats and spookiness, so we’ve got 10 spine-chilling, creeptastic paranormal titles for just 99¢ each until October 27! Whether you’re into ghosts, zombies, graveyards, or monsters, we’ve got a great read for you that’s less than a buck away. How long will you need to read them all?



(paranormal romance, urban fantasy)




DANCING WITH DRAGONS by Lorenda Christensen

(dragons, paranormal romance)



ALL FOR YOU by Dana Marie Bell

(angels & demons, paranormal romance)





(new adult, paranormal romance)

Quicksilver Dreams



REAPER’S TOUCH by Eleri Stone

(dystopian, fantasy, paranormal romance)





(angels & demons, erotic romance, paranormal romance)




A REASON TO BELIEVE by Diana Copland

(male/male, mystery, paranormal romance)





(paranormal romance, urban fantasy)




BITE ME by PJ Schnyder

(paranormal romance, shifters)

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NOBODY’S ANGEL by Stacy Gail

(angels & demons, paranormal romance)



You Have to Pry My Fingers Loose

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By Julie Anne Lindsey, author of MURDER IN REAL TIME

Everyone I’ve ever let go has claw marks on them. Know anyone like that? If you didn’t before, you do now. I’m a hold on for dear life and love them to death kind of girl. I have been since the day I bawled my eyes out at preschool graduation. Even before then, probably. Hey, I was young, but I knew I’d never see most of those kids again and I loved them. I hate to think of how I’ll respond when my children begin leaving for college. It’s hard enough seeing them climb onto the bus every morning. I admit it. I’m a mess. If we’re in line too long together at an amusement park, I’ll probably ask for your email before I get on the ride. It’s tough for me to let you go.

Like most personality traits, I’ve learned to take the good with the bad. I’ve stayed in some relationships longer than I should have, but I’ve also stuck it out long enough to see others thrive. Discernment is hard, especially when every fiber of my soul screams, “Keep them! Love them! Feed them!” (I will love you with food, but that’s another post all together).

Today, I’m blogging for therapy and dealing with my most bittersweet book moment yet. My September release happens to be the series conclusion and I’m a little frantic. I’m letting go of characters I love. Of my friends. I’ve spent as much time talking with this cast of characters as I have with tangible people in my life this year. Strange? Maybe, but true anyway. Saying goodbye to them has left me sad and hungry. I’m thrilled they get to meet new people, but I hate to think I’ll never accidentally blow up another car, office or boat house with them again. No more sundaes from the Tasty Cream or Mai Tais with friends on a deck overlooking the harbor. It kills me inside.

I shouldn’t be surprised. Authors kill me all the time. Does that happen to you? The fact I’m doing this to myself is new territory, but the feeling’s the same. If I could literally die from the loss of fictional characters, I’d be dusty bones by now. I still mourn the loss of characters I haven’t read since grade school. More recently, I’ve plotted letters, in the shower, for authors who ended series I wasn’t ready to let go. I need them.

Is it just me? Are other people so attached to book friends? Is it insane that I want one more of my favorites? Is there a series or character you’ve never let go?

I’d love to hear!

Murder in Real Time

CARINA_0914_9781426899065_MurderInRealTimeWith the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?

When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience’s FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn’t want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can’t help herself.

Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don’t know who the target is?

Grab a copy from Carina Press!

About Julie:

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Murder in Real Time is the conclusion to The Patience Price Mysteries series, from Carina Press.

Learn About Julie at: | Find Me on Facebook! | Tweet Me!!Read with me on Goodreads | Pin with me on Pinterest

How to Spot Hookers or What I Learned Researching LOVE ON THE BOARDWALK

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By Christi Barth, author of LOVE ON THE BOARDWALK

This book is a sequel (although it also stands alone – everyone can buy it, I promise!) to Love at High Tide, which is set in Ocean City, MD where I vacation every year. Half the reason I wrote the book was because I wanted a diary of the awesomeness of our beach life. Pretty much the only thing I researched was the name of the flag alphabet the lifeguards use (semaphores – see, I still remember!).  And how long it takes to buy a gun in both Maryland and Delaware (ooh, now you’re intrigued, huh?). Love on the Boardwalk, while full of the same zany characters, moves up the coast to take place in Atlantic City, NJ. While I’d been there once for a wild and crazy New Year’s Eve, it wasn’t exactly familiar. So I took a research trip to the boardwalk.

I learned that this rolling wicker chair—the ultimate in laziness for two people—pushed by another human being while you loll about beneath an umbrella (yes, I’d feel pretty darn guilty if I was in it) is called…um…a rolling chair. They are iconic to the AC boardwalk.  Down on the Ocean City boardwalk, we have a motorized tram. Just sayin’.

I learned all about how credit card scams work, and how many different scams there truly are. Writers often joke that the FBI must have secret spycams on our computers, given the odd things we research. In a week I was all over the web looking up white collar crime, how easy it is to buy a gun under the table, and the NJ mob. Pretty suspicious, I’ll admit. Let’s see, time for a disclaimer: no crimes were committed while plotting this novel.

But the funniest thing for me was the time I spent getting the down-low from a pit boss at the biggest casino in AC. He and four croupiers stood around an empty craps table—right beneath a security camera—spilling the dirt on what really happens at casinos. They started by teaching me how to spot hookers. Trust me, I did not *ask* for this information, and I’m not sure what about me gave them the impression I wanted to know. But it did make me giggle…and it did make its way into the book. I could not find a way to work in the description of the out and out sex they’ve watched people have at the slot machines (ewwww – I went to a different casino to play slots later that night).

So that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever learned – how to spot hookers. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever learned?

CARINA_0914_9781426898945_LoveOnTheBoardwalkAtlantic City is the perfect place for detective Bradley Hudson to nurse his broken heart. A week of beer and strippers is sure to erase his former fiancée from his memory for good. What he didn’t count on was running into a sassy redhead from his past. Maybe a rebound romp is an even better plan…

Trina Trimble, private eye in training, is thrilled to be reunited with the hottie she almost hooked up with last summer. She’s undercover on her first solo case, but there’s always time to lock lips with a sexy cop. Besides, a fun fling with Brad doesn’t have to last beyond his week in town.

Brad and Trina are supposed to be just flirting, not forging a new forever. Brad’s still healing, and although Trina changes careers the way other women change shoes, she has finally found her calling in her new life of disguises and stakeouts. But when an irresistible job offer threatens to lure her away, Brad will need to decide to let her go or bet it all on love and risk his heart again.
Purchase your copy at Carina Press

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Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.  Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Historical Small Towns

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By Tyler Flynn, author of HUNTING THE SPY

I love those small towns that few people have ever heard of but which have a rich history soaked into the stones of the buildings and roads. Deal on the coast of Kent is one of those places, a small town in the shadow of Dover, strung out along a pale line of beach fronting onto the choppy waters of the channel that separates England and France.

Deal was best known in centuries past for being the haunt of smugglers. A smart church at one end of the town served a few respectable families, a burial chapel at the other end served for the poor who thronged the slums and alleys of the lower town.

The smugglers ran wild. The story goes that when the government threatened to send in the army to flush them out, the smugglers simply mounted cannons at every street corner and prepared to blast the soldiers to smithereens.

Deal is part of my family history. Ancestors were sea captains and policemen, post office messengers, green grocers and fish sellers. Women in our family toiled along the windy streets to market. And all of them keeping a wary eye across the sea in case the French decided to invade. I always knew I wanted to set a story here – somehow the place seems both romantic and poignant. The ideal place for lovers to meet. But they would have to fight to stay together, as Nathan and Peter do in Hunting the Spy.

Is there a place that has a special meaning for you?

CARINA_0914_-9781426898938_HuntingTheSpyEngland, 1792: Revolution rages in France, and war with England is imminent. But Nathan Kennett is fighting his own battle. An undercover spy catcher, he’s after an unknown informant who’s supplying valuable secrets about the English coastal defenses to the French.

When he discovers a dead body in his employer’s house, with Sir Peter Ross hunched over it, he has his suspect. Lean, strong and firm, Peter is Nathan’s ex-lover—and a member of the aristocracy. He represents everything Nathan hates and has the arrogance to match. Peter broke off their affair with no explanation, but is he capable of murder, and treason besides?

Trying to keep one step ahead of his enemies, Nathan has only two days to identify and deliver the informant to his superiors in London. Peter swears his innocence and offers to help find the true culprit, but as riots swell in the streets, Nathan can’t be sure he can trust him. Or himself, when they’re together.

Tyler Flynn was born in the English Lake District which has left her with an abiding love of mountains and water, and of the great outdoors generally, as well as a passion for history. Her favourite hobbies are travelling and reading, and she adores cycle racing – but the armchair variety which involves watching other people do all the hard work.  She loves writing because it allows her to live in worlds that ought to exist.

Of Sacrifices and Stories

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By Kristine Wyllys, author of LOSING STREAK

We hear about sacrifices all the time. The grim-faced soldier on dusty land, protecting their country. The firefighter who runs into buildings others are running away from. The good Samaritan who jumps into dangerous waters to pull out a drowning stranger. The romantic in me, the one who celebrates bravery and heroism, loves to hear about men and women risking everything for the sake of someone else. Judging by how often those stories get shared about the web, I’m not the only one. We love to hear a good story. We love recognizing those who sacrifice. And we should. They deserve recognition.

But all around us, all the time, sacrifices happen. It’s the father who works a job he detests to provide for his family. The single mom who devotes her every hour to her children, leaving none for herself. The child who goes to a community college so they can stay behind to help their parents. The friend who empties their bank account to help another friend. The person who devotes their every free hour to volunteering. On and on, every day, in tiny, quiet ways. It’s done out of love. Out of duty. To make our world, and the worlds of others, better.

In Losing Streak, my main character, Rosie Young, sacrifices everything for her family and the boy she loves. Her sanity, happiness, and later, her freedom and even morals. Often, all she wants is for someone to stop and notice. To recognize it. She wants to feel like someone sees it and it matters. I’m sure everyone who has quietly sacrificed has felt this way at some point. We’ve wanted someone to look over and say, “I see what you’re doing. It doesn’t go unnoticed and it absolutely matters.” Sometimes we need that in order to keep going.

That’s what I’d like to do today and I’d love it if you’d help me. Use the comments to tell me about someone you admire for their sacrifice. Maybe it’s big or maybe it’s small. Maybe it’s loud or maybe it’s quiet. Maybe they’d be okay with you telling us their story. Maybe they’d only be comfortable with you talking in generals. If you’re not sure, you should probably check with them. A random commenter’s “nomination” will be chosen to receive a $20 Visa giftcard. The commenter will receive a signed print copy of book one, Wild Ones, and a free e-copy of book two, Losing Streak.

And the rest of us? We’ll get to recognize and be recognized. We’ll get to tell the people around us, “we see you and your story.”


CARINA_0914_9781426899041_LosingStreakHappiness doesn’t come without a price.

Rosemary Young knows the Lane. It’s where she grew up, raising a brother barely younger than she was. It’s where she served drinks, wearing a gaudy uniform in a low-lit bar to support her mama. It’s where she fell for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Brandon Williams might’ve had a taste for gambling and been headed nowhere fast, but something about him made her almost forget every promise she ever made.

These days when Rosie walks the Lane, it’s on the orders of the man who owns it. The man who owns her—Joshua King. A bet gone wrong ties her to him, serving as the collateral Brandon didn’t have. For Brandon the guilt is a white-hot brand, but Rosie can’t bring herself to regret it completely. The safety of those she loves is worth the sacrifice.

Now King’s called Brandon back to town early and given Rosie one last job to do before they’re free. Nothing—not even King—will keep Brandon from Rosie, not after three years of simply existing without her. And before it’s all over, everything that had been done in darkness will come to light and nothing in their lives will ever be the same again.

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo



Kristine Wyllys is a hopeless romantic with wild hair and a thing for twangy music. Born near Detroit, these days she dances around a dusty kitchen in the south with a baby on each hip and the boy she fell in love with at fifteen. When she’s not playing pretend, you can find Kristine at her website

Saying Goodbye to a Series

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By Lynda Aicher, author of SHATTERED BONDS

The release of Shattered Bonds brings an end to the Wicked Play series and it is truly bitter-sweet for me. I spent the last two years creating this world, these characters, their stories. They are my people. Ones I’ve toiled and cried over, cheered and sighed for. I love them in a crazy way maybe only authors and readers can understand, but crazy or not, they are mine. And now it’s time to let them go.

Shattered Bonds is Noah and Liv’s story, but it is also the series end which meant involving all the previous characters, winding up plotlines while evolving the world forward. It created challenges that required me to do something I almost rebelled against, yet the story had to be told. I confess, I cried while writing the epilogue. I’m a sap, I know, but it was my last goodbye to a cast of characters who I believed earned and deserved their happy endings. They are a family by choice and I will miss them in that crazy author way.

Now maybe, okay really, one of the reasons I didn’t lament too long is that my next series, Power Play, releasing next year is a spin-off of Wicked Play. Do you remember those hunky hockey players who were friends to Holden Hauke in Bonds of Courage? Yeah? Well they get their own stories! Which means some (maybe all) of the Wicked Play characters will be sneaking into the new books. Some things work out so well. It’s almost like I planned it that way… (You can read the first chapter of Game Play, Power Play #1 in Shattered Bonds. ☺)

So as a reader, are you sad when a series ends or do you like having a clear ending to a world?


“For loyal fans, this is well worth a read.” - 4 stars, RT Book Reviews

  {49225590-7E3D-4CF1-A3F4-F6B0FBA0A8B8}Img100Shattered Bonds, Book Seven of Wicked Play Will the doors of The Den close forever? When the lives and friendships of The Den owners are thrown into chaos, Noah Bakker steps in to deal with the fallout. He hasn’t had a sub or participated in a Scene since tragedy changed his life four years ago. But as an investor in the exclusive BDSM club, he can’t walk away from the lifestyle completely. As he works to keep the club running, he finds himself drawn to Liv Delcour, the seemingly naïve sister of one of the other owners. Liv didn’t know about the naughty things her friends were up to behind closed doors, but when their secrets become headline news, she’s more curious than shocked. As she works with Noah to keep the media at bay, she finds that his dominant strength is more than a little arousing. Soon they’re exploring their mutual desires in the most wicked ways. Liv isn’t sure if she can completely submit to Noah the way she thinks he wants her to—and Noah isn’t sure he can withstand the pain of falling in love… New to the Den? Start at the beginning with Bonds of Trust. Start reading Shattered Bonds now!



About Lynda Aicher After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, Lynda ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, cleaner and mediator. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Facing Fear Can Change Your Life

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By Alison Packard, author of BREAKING HIS RULES

It’s hard to believe that my new release, Breaking His Rules, is my fifth book with Carina Press. It’s an accomplishment I’m very proud of, but it’s one that almost didn’t happen.

You see, about three years ago, my local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter announced that Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, was to be a speaker at an upcoming meeting, and in addition to her presentation she would be doing a Kamikaze cold read. A what, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing and when I was told that the first five pages of manuscripts submitted by the members of my chapter would be read aloud in front of the group, and that Angela would stop the reader exactly where she would stop reading if the manuscript had been submitted directly to her and then give an honest critique, my immediate reaction was…oh hell no. I’d never had my work read aloud to anyone and I was petrified that everyone in the room, including Angela, would think it was total crap.

As the submission deadline approached, I agonized over whether or not to participate. But then I realized that if I was serious about this writing thing then I needed to hear what a respected editor thought of my work. So, still scared to death, I plunged ahead and sent in my five pages.

On the day of the meeting I was as nervous as I’ve ever been. Throughout Angela’s presentation all I could think about was the cold read coming up. Finally it arrived. One of my chapter mates started reading the submissions aloud. As Angela gave her feedback, I was sweating and my stomach was in knots as I pondered the fate of my five pages. After six of my peers’ pages were read to the group, it was time for mine. My knees shook as my work was read aloud. I kept waiting for Angela to stop the reader so she could critique the words I’d written, but she allowed the reader to finish all five pages. I was in shock. Did that mean she liked it? I wasn’t sure.

I’d like to tell you I remember everything she said after it was over, but the only thing that stands out in my mind were these words: “I’d like to see more of this.”

Long story short, I sent her the manuscript for Love in the Afternoon and it was published by Carina Press a year later. When I look back, I’m proud of myself for facing my fear and submitting those five pages. If I hadn’t, I might not be celebrating the release of Breaking His Rules today.

Just for answering the following question on this blog, I’ll enter you in a random drawing to WIN any e-book of mine OR a print copy of my second book, The Winning Season. The question is: “What fear have you faced, and did overcoming it change your life in any way?”

About Breaking His Rules

CARINA_0914_9781426898921_BreakingHisRulesLosing fifty pounds is an incredible achievement. But for Melissa Atherton, progress doesn’t come with praise—a scathing comment from an evil cousin at a bridal shower threatens to crush her new self-esteem. Who will she bring to the upcoming wedding? Showing up without a date would be humiliating. It just isn’t an option.

Personal trainer Jake Sawyer was attracted to Melissa before she lost weight, but her progress has him floored. When she admits she plans to hire a male escort—and why—his heart all but breaks. Melissa’s come too far to be knocked down, especially by her own family. He’ll go as her date…and figure out a way to keep his hands to himself.

But when a steamy hotel room encounter takes them both by surprise, Jake balks. He’s sworn never to date one of his clients, not again. And Melissa can’t bear to be just friends with the man who treated her so tenderly, even if it was only for a weekend. Jake’s helped her see she’s strong enough to stand up for herself, but will she find the strength to pursue the only man who’s ever seen the real her?

70,000 words

About Alison:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s still getting used to the blistering summers and the slot machines in every grocery store.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, Alison spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

For more about Alison, you can visit her website, hang out with her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.