Reunited and It Feels So Good

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By Alison Packard, author of STEALING SECOND

A few years ago, when I was writing The Winning Season, the minor characters of Tom Morgan and Katherine Whitton were nothing more than a blip on my radar. At the time, the only thing I knew about them was that they’d shared a bittersweet past. So when it came time to write their story in Stealing Second, I decided that Tom and Katherine had once been deeply in love and committed to each other in high school and then something awful happened to break them up just before they were set to leave for college together. Now, seventeen years later, and both working for the San Francisco Blaze, they have to deal with each other and the break-up that changed them forever. But the question is—can they? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s a sucker for the reunited lovers’ trope. Because who doesn’t love second chances, right? And speaking of second chances, for me, no other couple deserved one more than Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls of the cult TV show Veronica Mars. Seriously, teenage angst doesn’t get much better than this:

When the series was abruptly canceled at the end of the third season, Veronica and Logan had broken up. But thanks to a boatload of fans (affectionately nicknamed ‘Marshmallows’) who donated to the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign, those of us rooting for our favorite ‘epic’ couple were overjoyed to see the former lovers fall into each other’s arms and admit to what all of us Marshmallows already knew…they’d never stopped loving each other. A satisfying ending for LoVe fans everywhere!

 

Please tell me I’m not the only one here who loves Logan and Veronica. Or if not, do you have another favorite fictional couple who were parted by circumstance and later got their happily ever after? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

{B4D3D24C-76AA-41C7-BA67-86141BD4CDFA}Img100Katherine Whitton doesn’t purposely avoid men and relationships, but she doesn’t mind that side effect of immersing herself in her job with the San Francisco Blaze. Years ago she was betrayed by her one true love, and she’s never fully recovered, though she’s tried by building a new life in a city she loves.

It’s taken seventeen years for Tom Morgan to get over Katie—Katherine now. Sober now and faced with the incredible opportunity to manage the Blaze, he thinks he’ll finally be able to handle working with this beautiful woman without falling to pieces…as long as she doesn’t get too close.

A crisis with the team’s star pitcher forces Tom and Katherine to put in long hours together. Years of animosity melt away as the sexual tension between them ignites. But it’ll take more than scorching kisses to avoid the wreckage of the past. And neither Tom nor Katie are sure they’re ready to trust each other or risk their hearts for a second chance at happiness.

Read The Winning Season and Catching Heat for more stories about the San Francisco Blaze.

89,101 words

 

Available from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison Packard 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.

Cuteness Overload

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By Dana Marie Bell, author of SONG OF MIDNIGHT EMBERS

DMB Blog Post 6-23-2015

 

CARINA_0615_9781426899812_SongOfMidnightEmbersFire elemental Mollie Ferguson is on the wrong side of a group of enraged shifter wolves. She’s been secretly investigating a plot that could destroy the small-town supernatural haven of Maggie’s Grove. But when a beloved pack member is killed, everyone thinks she’s the murderer. In desperation, she turns to the one person who will help her—the true mate she rejected. His presence rekindles an old, irresistible desire, and makes her wish she’d chosen differently.

Without Mollie as his lover, the dryad Greer Berkley is dying, the leaves of his birch turning to autumn shades. But he will not allow himself to fade until he has ensured Mollie’s safety. All know Greer as a healer, but few know the true depth of his power as a defender.

Greer and Mollie must complete her investigation and clear her name before the pack demands vengeance. And if they are to know each other’s touch at last, the only chance is now, before it’s too late for Greer.


Get your copy of SONG OF MIDNIGHT EMBERS from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo



Dana Marie Bell lives with her husband Dusty, their two maniacal children, two evil ice-cream stealing cats and two dogs who think barking should become the next Olympic event. You can learn more about Dana and her addiction to series at www.danamariebell.com.

Hunger and Homeless Amongst LGBT Youth

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By Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin, co-authors of IN THE DISTANCE

Our In The Kitchen Series revolves around food and foodies. Our most recent book in the series, In The Distance, revolves around Tyler, a former homeless youth who Ethan takes under his wing and gives a job at his restaurant. Food banks and shelters play a prominent role in the story, both because of Tyler’s past and his future. Hunger is a problem that many face, but no population faces it quite as much as the homeless, especially LGBTQ homeless youths. The statistics are harrowing:

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people ages 10-24
  • LGBT from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than peers in no- or low-level rejection families
  • Each episode of LGBT victimization (physical and/or verbal) increases the likelihood of self-harm by 2.5 times.
  • 39% of homeless are under age 18
  • 75% of homeless teens use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate
  • The average age of homeless youth is 14.7

(Statistics taken from Jaycee Edward)

The statistics are even more devastating for LGBTQ homeless youth:

  • 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.
  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%)

(Statistics taken from National Coalition For The Homeless)

There are several awesome organizations around the country that specialize in helping LGBTQ homeless individuals. One incredible shelter is Lost-n-Found, located in Atlanta, Georgia. A list of other phenomenal charities and shelters can be found on Brandon Shire’s BLOG. Please consider helping one today so that homeless youth, like our beloved character Tyler, have a chance at finally getting off the streets and living a safe, healthy, life.

CARINA_0615_9781426899713_InTheDistanceIn The Distance, Book Three of the In The Kitchen Series

Because sometimes it takes some distance to finally see what’s right in front of you…

Tyler Mitchell has worked hard to rebuild his life after his family kicked him out. A culinary student and sous chef who spends his spare time volunteering with kids, he’s happy enough even though he has no time to consider a relationship.

Trevor Pratt is finally getting over losing his best friend and the one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but it’s taken screwing every cute guy in Manhattan to get there. He’s vowed to repair the friendship he endangered, but that’s hard to do when his friend’s new employee catches his eye. Despite being warned to stay away from Tyler, Trevor knows the sous chef is more than just a hookup.

Romance is a terrible idea. Trevor is ten years older and a relentless playboy. Tyler is still unsure of his place in the world. Neither of them is ready for life-changing love, but as things heat up, their chemistry in the bedroom might just take that decision out of their hands.

Length: 105,000 Words

Get your copy of IN THE DISTANCE from Carina Press or your favorite online retailer:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Read about Ethan and Jamie’s romance in In the Raw and In The Fire, Books 1 & 2 in the In The Kitchen Series, available now!

Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance.

Connect with Eileen!
Blog  |  Twitter  |  FB Author Page  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon US

 

Nikka Michaels lives in the Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking up romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story.

Connect with Nikka!
Website  | Twitter  |  FB Author Page  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon US

How Do You Play Around?

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By Julie Rowe, author of DEADLY STRAIN


Board games, cards, chess—playing games isn’t just for kids, adults play a wide range of games, too. Chess has been played for approximately 1500 years, and checkers is even older, with versions of it played as much as 4000 years ago.

Steampunk chess set w/bullet casing pieces

When I was a teenager Dungeons and Dragons was all the rage and my friends and I would play for hours at a time. My grandfather taught me how to play Cribbage and Gin Rummy, we’d bet with pennies and I somehow always won more than I lost. My family likes to play Rummoli during holiday gatherings, along with Trivia Pursuit and Balderdash (my personal favorite!).

In Deadly Strain, the hero and heroine play both chess and poker together, both among the most popular games adults play, but hardly the only ones. Cards Against Humanity is very popular these days as is a multitude of role playing board and card games.

Check out this list of the top 50 card and board games from Dice Tower News (do you agree with the ranking?).

What is your favorite game to play with your partner?

Julie Rowe’s first career as a med lab tech in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details and a lot of adventure in her romance novels. Julie writes contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor

{A35A5F21-5B9D-4E2E-B372-EF77C1E67CD8}Img100Book one of Biological Response Team

Major Grace Samuels, a trauma surgeon deployed to Afghanistan, spends her life helping her fellow soldiers overcome disease and combat injuries. But her own wounds are harder to heal. Wracked with guilt over the death of a fellow soldier, she finds comfort in her only friend and appointed bodyguard, weapons sergeant Jacob “Sharp” Foster.

Sharp feels more for Grace than a soldier should, more than he wants to admit. When the team discovers a new, quick-to-kill strain of anthrax, he tries to focus on the mission to find its source. He knows he can help Grace defeat her demons, but first they must defeat the deadly outbreak.

Sharp is Grace’s most loyal ally, but in close quarters, he starts to feel like more. She can’t watch someone else she cares about die—but she might not have a choice. The closer they get to finding the source of the strain, the closer it gets to finding them.

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

With a Little Help from Your Friends

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By Lisa Marie Rice, author of MIDNIGHT SECRETS

81M7ZdjiUQL._SL1500_ (1)MIDNIGHT SECRETS is a book of the heart for me because both the hero and heroine come from dark places and must make it into the light together.

Joe Harris was grievously wounded in battle. He nearly died twice in the helicopter taking him back to base. He was on his last deployment and he had a contract for a job with the company run by John Huntington—aka the Midnight Man—and Douglas Kowalski—aka the Senior. He was brought so low he nearly died but he had teammates and a company of people who cared for him at his back.

His good friends Metal and Jacko wouldn’t let him quit. Metal was a medic and Jacko a gym rat and they bugged him and hounded him and made his life impossible until he was forced to push his rehab harder and harder. And thanks to his friends, he astounded the doctors. And Metal and Jacko were with him every step of the way.

Isabel Lawton was grievously wounded, too, in a terrorist attack. But she was on her own, with no friends or family to help her, and she remained mired in weakness and sadness.

Until Joe. Until Joe and the Midnight team—the guys and their women—had her back and helped her get back on her feet.

No one can suffer a terrible loss and come back on their own, without help.

 

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? A terrible loss, a horrible blow. At one time or another in our lives we are all brought low. Brought to a point where we don’t have the strength to go on, where the future is a dark place with no hope, no light. If you get to that place, you can’t make it back into the light on your own, you need help. Whether the help comes from friends or family, from a spiritual advisor or therapist, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s as if someone has to infuse you with some strength that comes from outside yourself, because you yourself have none.

It is a humbling lesson, and a necessary one. We need each other, at times desperately.

Joe and Isabel heal each other because there is love and that is what love does. It heals the broken spots, it enhances the bright spots, it is a universal balm and blessing.

But the fact is, Joe and Isabel aren’t alone. They are part of a crew, a group of smart, tough people—men and women—who have known pain and adversity and who have come out of it thanks to people who love them. All the Midnight crew know what it is like to suffer and know how important it is to be there not only for that special love, but for their friends, as well.

Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Nothing exists in a vacuum except darkness.

Have you overcome adversity thanks to a little help from your friends?

MIDNIGHT SECRETS PLAYLIST

JOE

Live for What I’d Die For

ISABEL

Time to Run – Lord Huron

THE BAD GUY

Sinnerman- Nina Simone

LOVE

Sleeping at Last – Turning Page

Long Way Down – Tom Odell

Here With Me – Robot Koch

Celebrating—and Reminiscing on—Five Years of Carina Press PLUS a Giveaway!

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By Angela James, Editorial Director, Carina Press

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It’s been five years since one of the most crazy periods of my life. Last week, our team was reminiscing on Carina Press’s first anniversary via email and a member of our leadership team mentioned that he didn’t think I slept during the six months leading up to our launch. I’m sure he’s right, but launching a business is similar to childbirth in some ways: the sleepless nights, the stress, the worry, and the heartache along the way—they’re all worth it to see the thing you love grow and thrive.

This week, it hardly seems possible that we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of Carina Press! Many things have changed in the past five years (there are fewer sleepless nights now that we’re full grown) and often those changes feel accelerated at warp drive, because five years is a very long time in digital publishing, where things change daily. But so many things have remained from our early days, including our commitment to acquiring and publishing fantastic stories by wonderful and talented authors. If anything there has changed, it’s a daily increase in my gratitude to those authors who continue to choose us to publish their incredible stories, in a time when they have an array of publishing choices.

The other thing that hasn’t changed is our promise to readers: to find and publish compelling books that they think about, talk about and share. Along with that is our continued promise to be the publisher you can trust in genre fiction. Romance readers, no messing around with that happy ending!

As I reflect back, and okay, ask for a little help from our numbers people, it’s astonishing to realize we’ve published almost 900 individual titles, worked with over 400 individual authors, launched several dozen debut authors’ careers and sold over 6 million books around the world. In five years. Maybe I do need a nap now.

But it all started in June 2010, when we published 40 books. And we got there in just six months, after we opened our doors to submissions in November 2009.  No wonder people think I didn’t sleep; sleep wasn’t possible. Still, when I reflect back on some of those titles, and how far those authors have come today, how far Carina Press has come, it truly was all worth it, and if I had to go back and do it all over again, I totally would.

Here’s  a look back at just a few of those first books.

CARINA_9781426893513_ExclusivelyYoursEXCLUSIVELY YOURS by Shannon Stacey

Book one of The Kowalskis was one of 10 books that released our very first day! Since then, Shannon has written eight more books in The Kowalski series, five novellas, and on August 25, HEAT EXCHANGE, book one of Boston Fire will be available in print and ebook. Featuring the brotherhood of a Boston firehouse, this series packs plenty of heat!

If you’ve read and loved Shannon’s Carina books already, check out some of our other contemporary romance authors from the past five years:

CSP_MotorCityFaeMOTOR CITY FAE by Cindy Spencer Pape

Cindy wrote three more books in the paranormal shifter series Urban Arcana before the release of STEAM & SORCERY in 2011, the first book in The Gaslight Chronicles, her steampunk romance series.  Steampunk is just one of the many genre trends and mashups that Carina Press has been on the forefront of over the years. Cindy has written eight steampunk romances for us, including ETHER & ELEPHANTS, out in August.

If you’re a fan of Cindy’s Urban Arcana series and want more steampunk or shifter books, try these Carina authors:

JSB_TheBloodgateGuardianTHE BLOODGATE GUARDIAN by Joely Sue Burkhart0515_9781426899898

This fantasy romance was Joely’s first book with us. Joely has written three more for Carina since, including the deliciously dark erotic thriller ONE CUT DEEPER, which released last month. Seriously, you want to read this book.

If you read and loved ONE CUT DEEPER (and if you haven’t, go on, we’ll wait!) and want more dark, intense romance, check out these Carina authors from the past five years:

FATAL AFFAIR by Marie ForceFatal-Affair-covers

Marie Force and her wildly popular characters Sam and Nick have been with Carina Press right from the beginning. There are now eight books in The Fatal Series (plus the novella FATAL DESTINY), with FATAL FRENZY releasing this September. And there’s more! The Fatal Series has had three cover changes. The gorgeous Washington, DC-inspired covers showcase the newly available print editions.

9780373002573_prdIf you can’t get enough Marie Force, make sure you check out the print edition of Fatal Affair, in stores now, to read ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, a brand-new prequel novella about Sam and Nick’s intense first night together all those years ago.

And if you’re looking for more romantic suspense reading, add these Carina authors to your TBR today:

 

CARINA_0413_9781426895685_TEXASTANGLETEXAS TANGLE by Leah Braemel

Proving that cowboys are always hot, Leah has written five books from Carina Press, ranging from contemporary to historical, from erotic to ménage to BDSM—always with a cowboy hero (or two). TEXAS TANGLE is the first in Leah’s Texas Tangle duology, also available in a box set.

If you’re eager for more erotic romance, check out these talented Carina authors:

HF_LifeAfterJoeLIFE AFTER JOE BY HARPER FOX

LIFE AFTER JOE was the first male/male title Carina Press published, but it was far from the last LGBT book we acquired. Harper went on to write Nine Lights Over Edinburgh and Winter Knights for Carina Press, and was joined by many authors who write inclusive fiction across all our genres.

Looking for more male/male or female/female books? These Carina Press authors are some of the best in their genres:


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 Comment on this post with your favorite Carina Press book for a chance to win 1 of 5 Carina Press prize packs! Sweepstakes ends June 12, 2015 at 11:59pm ET. Open to US and Canada only, excluding Quebec. Full rules HERE.
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Congratulations to our winners, Amy M., Susan T., Heather Coulter, Leanne Hiner and Christina Marie Rose!

The Fashion Items that Olivia Christakos Can’t Live Without

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By Dani Irons, author of OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME

 

What is the one fashion item that you can’t live without?

Me, I’m pretty low maintenance, but I sure love my leggings and warm boots in the wintertime. For summer, I like a loose-fitting tube top while I garden and a cowboy hat to shade my face. I also need chapstick, which isn’t exactly a fashion item, and my glasses, which make me look smarter. I also like comfy shoes for work (or all the time, really—the last time I wore heels was at my sixth grade dance) cardigans because I get cold easily.

Olivia is much more into fashion than I am. It would be difficult for me to pick just one item that she couldn’t leave behind, but if I had to choose, it would be shoes. Oh man, that girl loves her shoes. If she had fifty dollars in her purse and had to choose between groceries for a week and a new pair of shoes, she would definitely pick the shoes. She’s embarrassed by how many pairs she has.

Follow Olivia Christakos’s board Fashion Items I Can’t Live Without on Pinterest.

Her Pinterest board is full of shoes, among other things. She likes strappy heels mostly, with a girly style to them. Italian leather, animal print, and fake bling pumps…she loves them all. She also likes dresses and skirts (preferably leather, but she’d take faux leather in a pinch). She also loves designer bags, but can’t afford them. Her secret love is celebrity fashion. She doesn’t know why she cares so much, but she just loves to see what famous people are wearing. If she could pull off some of the crazy things they wear, she’d do it.

When Olivia loses her memory, though, her tastes change drastically. I think the new Olivia would probably chose a comfy old pair of jeans and ballet flats over high fashion any day. She doesn’t go for a lot of jewelry and her hair is usually pulled back in a ponytail. She does this at first because she’s confused about her relationship with Wyatt and doesn’t want him thinking that she’s dressing up for him. But after a while, she gets more comfortable and the dresses start to make an appearance again.

So what is a wardrobe staple you have to have in your life? Sweatpants? Your grandma’s ring? A headband to keep your bangs out of your face?

CARINA_0615_9781426899911_OliviaChristakosandherSecondFirstTimeMy perfect life…

True, I’m in the hospital waking up from a coma, but my loving parents and adorable boyfriend, Wyatt, are here by my side. It’s weird that I don’t remember them—thanks, amnesia! Wyatt’s an amazing person. He’s a Big Brother, volunteers at soup kitchens, delivers food to the hungry—your basic angel. Your basic filled-out-in-all-the-right-places, naughty-thoughts-inducing angel, that is.

Might be the perfect lie…

In fact, the more I get to know Wyatt the harder it is to believe he’s my boyfriend. The more I find out about my life before the accident, the more I don’t like who I used to be. I can’t understand what a guy like that—kind, considerate, generous—would see in a girl like me.

I don’t know what’s worse, living in the darkness of amnesia or discovering the despicable person I once was. But I’ve got to figure out if I have what it takes to be the person Wyatt truly deserves—before I lose my heart as well as my memories.

91,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Dani Irons is a teacher, mother, wife, and gardener. She shares her life with four messy guys (her husband and three sons), two heelers, twenty-five chickens, two turkeys, and a handful of quail. Her house is never very clean because she’d rather be reading or writing than picking up.

 

How Well Do You Know Lexi Carmichael (or How Geeky Are You?)

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By Julie Moffett, author of NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND

To celebrate the release of the seventh book in my humorous, geeky Lexi Carmichael mystery series, NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND, I’m offering the chance to match wits with the geek girl herself. For those of you not familiar with the series, Lexi Carmichael is a twenty-five year old geek, fangirl, gamer and hacker. She has a high IQ, but struggles with social skills and personal relationships. Being a female in a male dominated career field also makes getting the job done a lot more difficult. But by using her brains and wit, she always seems able to save the day, world, guy…whatever. Throw in a couple of sexy spies, hot secret agents, capable hackers, and cute geniuses, and life for Lexi gets really, REALLY interesting.

So, come test your knowledge with my little quiz to see if you pass the geek test. There are questions about Lexi and the gang with a couple of geeky questions thrown in for fun. Get Your Geek On!

 


 

Scoring

If you score 100% — You are a True Geek (and a real Lexi fan!)

If you score 90% — You are a Geek-on-the-Edge

If you score 80% — You are a Geek-in-Training

If you score below 80% — Read some more of the Lexi Carmichael series! J

Put your score in the comments below to be entered for a signed PRINT mass market paperback copy of NO ONE LIVES TWICE. Good luck!

CARINA_0615-9781426899782_NoWomanLeftBehindMy mother’s life goal has been to see me, geek extraordinaire Lexi Carmichael, happily married. So bringing my first boyfriend, Slash, home for dinner has me hyperventilating. Things get a lot worse when bullets start flying over our corn chowder.

Now the entire alphabet soup of government agencies want my help finding the man behind the attack—Johannes Broodryk, a cyber mercenary I foiled on my last case. He wants revenge and he’s taken something of mine to ensure I’ll play, so it’s game on. But the government has its own agenda, and Slash is not on board with the plan. Things are a bit bumpy in paradise.

Although I’m more comfortable with computer code than commandos, I’ve been assigned a team of navy SEALs to help bring Broodryk down. The question is, will they survive me long enough to solve his cryptic puzzles and save the day?

Don’t miss Lexi’s first adventure in No One Lives Twice!

81,400 words

Get your copy of NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Julie Moffett is a bestselling author and writes in the genres of historical romance, paranormal romance and mystery. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious 2014 HOLT Award for Best Novel with Romantic Elements, a HOLT Merit Award for Best Novel by a Virginia Author, a PRISM Award for Best Romantic Time-Travel and Best of the Best Paranormal Books of 2002, and the 2011 EPIC Award for Best Action/Adventure novel. She has also garnered additional nominations for the Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.  Follow Julie on Facebook here, or on Twitter @JMoffettAuthor, or her website at www.juliemoffett.com. Watch an interview with Julie on the Lexi Carmichael series here.

Enter to Win a Group Critique in New York City!

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We’re bringing our popular critique group workshop to RWA in New York City and giving you a chance to win a spot in the group!

This workshop is an opportunity for authors to solicit professional and peer feedback on their manuscript, in real time, in a helpful, constructive and kind environment. We’ll discuss overall story arcs, the all-important “hook,” pacing, characterization and tension (among many others). Attendees are given marked-up manuscript pages to take with them when they go.

WIN the opportunity to join either Carina Press Editorial Director Angela James or Senior Editor Kerri Buckley and a small group of your fellow authors, and get feedback from both Angela/Kerri and your peers on your work-in-progress.

Critique groups will be held concurrently on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 from 1-3p EST in New York City at an office location a five-minute walk from the RWA conference hotel, the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

At the event, each author will be allotted 20 minutes in which they will receive feedback from both Angela/Kerri and the other author participants. Participants are asked and expected to read and comment on all chapters prior to the event and not just attend to receive comments on their own work. All critiques will be expected to be helpful, constructive, and framed kindly. These types of groups are most successful with a variety of feedback and discussion! Participants are encouraged to print out the pages and comment directly on them, so they can be handed directly to the authors after the critique session.

To enter: 

  • Visit https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/42944 and follow the onscreen instructions to submit title, genre, target market and 150-word summary of the story you would like to have critiqued at the Critique Group.
  • We will select winners via random selection from qualifying entries on July 1, 2015. Winners will be notified by email.
  • Click here for Official Rules.

 Parameters:

  • Manuscripts submitted for critique must be unpublished and uncontracted work (we do not want to step on another editor’s editing process!) but authors who want to participate may be at any stage of their writing career.
  • Manuscripts for the critique groups must fall within these adult fiction genres:
    • Romance (all genres/subgenres & heat levels)
    • New adult (all subgenres)
    • Mystery (of any subgenre/niche)
    • As we do not publish young adult or younger, we are unable to offer feedback on these genres/manuscripts in these critique groups.

If Selected:

  • Winners must confirm their attendance and upload the following (via link provided in notification email) by July 8, 2015:

2 chapters

A longer synopsis (~500 words recommended), if desired

  • Please remove all identifying name/address/phone number information from your pages.
  • Chapters will be forwarded to all critique group participants for blind commentary prior to arrival at the critique group.

Additional Information: 

Those entering must be able to attend the critique group on the date and time set above in person. Potential winners may not attend via any other means, including conference call or video chat. No date/time substitutions will be offered and feedback will not be given at any other time. Participants must be aware that their chapters will be shared with the other group participants in order to provide commentary and critique. Winning authors may not transfer their place in the group to another author. In the event that someone cannot attend, a new participant will be selected. All authors must confirm their attendance no later than July 8th, 2015. If attendance is not confirmed by that time, a new participant will be chosen.

Entries and/or submissions are not considered to be submissions to either Carina Press or Harlequin and all non-winning entries will be deleted.

Note: Authors should consider this an opportunity to solicit professional and peer feedback on their manuscript, not as an opportunity to pitch their project to each editor.  Authors who participate in these sessions are welcome to submit to Carina/Harlequin following official submission guidelines, but chapters for this session will be used only for the purpose of critique and will not be considered submitted for potential publication.

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Sexuality in the Future

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By Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen, authors of LONELY SHORE

 

It’s tempting to suggest sexuality will be a non-issue in the future. When humanity is more concerned with solving energy crises, preserving our planet, exploring our galactic neighbourhood and/or defending our existence against the ant people from Celeron 5, should it matter who we’re sleeping with? No, but it shouldn’t have mattered in the last century, or way back before we measured time—and often, it didn’t.

Our history is full of instances of homosexual love. Not just sex, but love and relationships between same sex couples. It’s tempting to delve into that history, because I find it fascinating—what writer wouldn’t—but the setting for Chaos Station series is 240 years from now, and Jenn and I had a very specific thoughts on how we’d like to present sexuality in the future: who you chose to sleep with would be nobody’s business but your own.

Zander questions his sexuality early in life when he’s sorting out his desires—partly because he’s a thoughtful guy and likes to label and sort his life, and partly because he’s attracted to both women and men. He knows that the choice is his, however. Felix always knew he preferred men. He always knew he preferred Zander over other men, too, which is a more essential part of his character than his preference alone. Both of their attitudes are normal in the world of Chaos Station, as are three-way partnerships, sex bots and being best friends with your left hand.

“…in the black, sex was all about comfort and companionship, or just something to do on the long jumps between stations.”

No world is perfect, however, and the one we created is no exception. In Lonely Shore, our guys attend a festival on the planet Risus where their relationship makes the colonists uncomfortable. It’s our alien pilot’s fault. Qekelough (pronounced kek-eh-low) finds human sexuality fascinating—probably because ashushk sexuality is pretty obscure. Qek is genderless and will likely remain so for her entire life. She’s chosen a female pronoun because she works with a human crew. The refrigerator is an it. If she returns to her home planet, an ashushk gender might manifest, which would trap her there for the rest of her natural life. For ashushk, sexuality is not about finding comfort and love, it’s a biological imperative.

For the colonists of the planet Risus, it’s all about procreation.

“On a colony, sex meant procreation, and some settlements had adopted old, outdated attitudes toward sex that had no possibility of creating life.”  

It would be naïve to assume everyone on Risus is heterosexual, and if we were to write the coming out story of one of their sons or daughters, I would hope we could make it hopeful. That the future Jenn and I envision comes with choices. That love is, and always will be, love.

Do you envision a more tolerant future?

9781426899829-COVLonely Shore

Book two of Chaos Station

All they can do is live day to day…

Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos‘s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.

When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos’s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.

As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.

67,000 words

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Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

www.chaosstation.com

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