Embracing Chaos

facebook twitter

By Caroline Kimberly, author of AN INCONVENIENT WIFE

“Mom!  I have a bead stuck in my nose!”

Yep.  That’s my life.  Sadly, not one but both of my daughters have woken me up with that particular statement. They’re actually intelligent kids—despite shoving jewelry up their nostrils—but they’re also both very spirited and inquisitive, which can be a blessing and a curse.

Over the years, there have been many such fiascos. Case in point: my younger daughter once asked me sweetly, “Mommy, do you ever wish we had blue carpet?”  I was vacuuming at the time and gave a distracted, “No.”  I should have been immediately suspicious because she got very quiet (a sure sign something’s brewing) and said simply, “Oh. Okay.”  You’d think I’d learn, yet it took nearly five minutes before I chased after her, realization dawning.  Sure enough, my little interior decorator had taken it upon herself to color a large corner of the living room carpet with a crayon. Sky blue.

I love my kids.  I really do. But sometimes…well, I just need to escape.  At least temporarily.

My latest romance, An Inconvenient Wife, was just such an escape.  It’s actually the first book I started writing, though it’s second in the Ashford Brothers series.  Out of the three books, however, it holds a special place in my heart. Granted, that could be because it took me longer to finish this story.  Much longer.  I spent a lot of time getting to know Kyra and Grif as I worked their adventures around naptimes, play dates, and the general mayhem that comes with children.

I think it’s more than the time spent though. This book was my happy place. It was my sanity, when screaming toddlers and girl drama and exhaustion threatened to overwhelm me.  I’d daydream about characters and storylines—spinning the plot, making up dialogue in my head, jotting down notes in the hopes that I might remember each detail.  Whenever I could carve out a chunk of time, I’d sit down and type frantically before anything slipped my memory.

As hodgepodge as the process was, I loved every minute of it.

In hindsight, it’s probably no coincidence that Kyra spends a good part of the book trying to run away.  The story was my chance to run away too—a temporary respite from the chaos of reality. I didn’t really want to flee, of course, and neither does Kyra.  Thankfully Grif was there as a reminder that home really is where the heart is.

My children are growing up—too fast if you ask me.  They’re no longer sticking beads in their noses, or coloring carpet, or squeezing lotion directly into their mouths like it’s chocolate syrup. (Yes, they did that too.)  I can devote entire days to writing now that the girls are in school.

Still, there are times I miss that hodgepodge process.  It was fun.

Who am I kidding? It was therapy.

Whatever the reason, I love this book.  I hope you enjoy it too.

9781426899317-COVAn Inconvenient Wife

The only thing worse than watching the woman he loves marry someone else would be marrying her himself…

Ethan Ashford, Earl of Griffin, swears on what little honor he has left that fetching Lady Kyra Deverill home from Scotland for her wedding is his familial duty and nothing more. Yet Grif finds the assignment all but impossible, and not just because Kyra escapes him at every turn. In truth, he’s lusted after her for most of his life.

Fleeing England after her father’s death is by far the most reckless thing Kyra has ever dared. It’s either hide in the Highlands or marry the repulsive Earl of Brumley, and she simply refuses to spend her life married to a troll. But from the enthusiastic way Grif chases—and kisses—her, it’s clear he no longer thinks of himself as simply her guardian.

Even if Grif wanted to marry Kyra—which he doesn’t—it’s quite out of the question. He is standing on the brink of financial ruin, after all. And though Kyra has quietly mooned over Grif since they were children, she’s never trusted him with anything. The rest of her life doesn’t seem to be the place to start. 

Get your copy of AN INCONVENIENT WIFE from Carina Press of your these ebook retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

 

About the Author

Caroline Kimberly has spent most of her life reading and making up stories in her head.  It wasn’t until she was in graduate school, however, that she realized she wanted to write for a living.  Since then, she’s worked at a newspaper as a reporter and copy editor and at a children’s book publisher, where she had the chance to write a number of school library books.  While she very much enjoyed those experiences, romance writing has been her favorite genre by far.

She lives in Minnesota with her husband, their two children, and three lazy cats.  She loves to hear from readers!  Check out her website at:  www.carolinekimberly.com

Submissions Call/ Freelance Editor Alissa Davis Wants Your LGBT Romance!

Link

Dear Authors,

I’m Alissa Davis, one of Carina’s freelance editors, and I live in Mississippi, where U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has overturned the state’s gay marriage ban. Hooray! The state will appeal this decision, but I still want to celebrate. To that end, the first fifteen authors who submit LGBT romance to my attention at Carina Press will receive personal feedback from me. From those fifteen, I will select one author/manuscript to receive personal feedback AND a ten-minute phone convo with yours truly.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. (Yup, even celebrations have rules.)

* Your manuscript must be a romance and it must meet the Carina Press submissions guidelines: http://carinapress.com/blog/submission-guidelines/

* The main characters must be LGBT and the story needs to end with them getting an awesome HEA.

* I’m happy to see any heat level and any Romance sub-genre–New Adult, Historical, Erotic, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, etc.

* Only the first fifteen submissions will receive personal feedback, but I will evaluate all submissions directed to my attention. I’m always looking for more great LGBT romance to add to my list!

* The authors of the first fifteen submissions will receive a response letting them know they will be receiving feedback. All authors will receive an automated response acknowledging receipt.

* Manuscripts must be submitted by 1/10/15 to be considered for this opportunity.

* I will provide the feedback via email by 2/1/15, at which point one author will receive an email to set up our phone call.

* Please upload manuscripts to Submittable HERE

* Submitting and receiving feedback does not guarantee acquisition by Carina Press.

Even if you don’t have a manuscript to submit, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this wonderful first step on the path to bringing marriage equality to all Mississippians. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.

Alissa Davis

Freelance Editor, Carina Press

2014 Spotlight: Year In Review

facebook twitter

Still have some space on your reading list? Here are eight 2014 titles from Carina Press that are sure to add an extra spark to any eReader! And if you still need some convincing, we have reviews from fellow Carina Press readers to show you why these books are the perfect way to celebrate the end of 2014.

Hate to Love You by Elise Alden

“It is incredible that a book of this caliber could be someone’s debut novel because the writing style is flawless, competent, truly sophisticated and engaging, and in no time, the story pulls you in like a rip current and your mind does not know which way is up.” –Goodreads review

“Have you ever finished a book and immediately thought to yourself “I wish I could unread what I just read, so I can experience it all over again!”? Well, that is exactly how I felt when I finished Hate to Love You.” –Goodreads review

“Books like these make me so happy, its the unknown of picking up a new author, having no idea what I am going to get myself into and then coming out excited and wanting to share this story with the masses.” –Amazon review

hatetoloveyouDespite my slutty reputation, I was technically a virgin at eighteen. But it turns out all those sex-ed teachers aren’t just trying to scare you. The faint positive on a budget pregnancy test sent me spinning, moments before meeting my sister’s snooty new fiancé.

Shaking hands with upper-crusty James was like downing a triple shot of vodka. Dizzy with desire, confused by my body’s reaction, and shocked by the possessiveness flashing in his eyes, I deceived him that night and told the world at their wedding reception.

The truth?

I slept with my sister’s fiancé. Hot and sweaty, all night long in a room so dark he couldn’t tell I wasn’t her.

The lie?

Said fiancé is the father of my child. The one I signed over my rights to just before he was born.

That was seven years ago.

It’s time to come clean.

 

Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

“Right from the word go, every word counts, the characters are so well drawn, the reader can see them and hear their voices, the locations are almost characters in their own right, the whole feel is spot on.”–Amazon review

“Josh Lanyon is the reason I got up and started reading at 3 o’clock this morning.”–Goodreads review

“Josh Lanyon’s new mystery is already on my favorites list. “Stranger on the Shore” is for those of us who love mysteries with a dash of romance – a real Who Done It with well written plot (plus twists).” –Amazon review

strangerontheshoreTwenty years ago, little Brian Arlington was kidnapped from his family’s Long Island estate and was never seen again. The trail went cold, but investigative journalist Griff Hadley has always thought there was more to the story–much more. When the Arlingtons’ patriarch invites him to stay at their estate to research his true crime book, Griff can’t say no. It’s the story of a lifetime.

But not everyone is happy about Griff’s presence. Relatives and staff alike regard him coldly, including Pierce Mather, the Arlingtons’ attractive lawyer, who is more than a little wary of Griff’s motives.

When a stranger shows up claiming to be the long-lost Brian, Griff and Pierce are united in their suspicions. Startled to have found an ally in the buttoned-up lawyer, Griff soon realizes it’s hard to keep a professional distance. Even in the midst of a groundbreaking investigation, even in the face of a shocking family secret…

 

No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur

“I was hoping for an gripping love story and that was exactly what I found, as well as a whole lot more.” –Goodreads review

No Such Thing is the first in a new series from A M Arthur, one of my favourite writers in this genre, and it gets off to a promising start with two very likeable characters. ” –Goodreads review

“Fast paced yet slowly and carefully unfolded, the plot had me clenching my kindle at times, truly frightened that the boys I had grown to love in this story would be damaged beyond repair. It was exciting and riveting and held me captive.” –Goodreads review

nosuchthingTwenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent’s reputation, he’s lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he’s back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss’s hot brother.

Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he’s still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister’s diner awakens desires he’d long ago given up on.

The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he’s scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro’s past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…

 

Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher

“In true Lynda Aicher style, it was sweet, sexy,beautiful, heart wrenching, heartwarming and did I mention sexy?”–Amazon review

“I absolutely loved this story. The moment when the two MC’s actually meet is so awkward, but so sweet at the same time. Seeing Rock’s transformation, and then watching Carter’s is just so touching.” –Barned & Noble review

“What a fantastic, emotionally charged, ultra sexy, yet not gratuitous or repetitive, love story this was. I absolutely loved it!” –Goodreads review

denialIt’s been twenty years since Rockford Fielding’s father punished him for kissing another boy. Now a grown man with a military career behind him, Rock continues to deny his true desires, even while working security at The Den, the most decadent sex club in town. But after a year of watching gorgeous Carter Montgomery come and go on the arms of other men, Rock can no longer resist the cravings he’s denied for so long.

Carter has just four months left on his contract with an escort agency, and he doesn’t know whether to feel relieved or afraid. Being an escort is all he knows. Adding to his confusion is the way his latest client, the sexy but stoic Rock, makes him feel things he hasn’t wanted in years.

One charmingly awkward date turns into two and soon the men are meeting off the clock. But with Rock in the closet and Carter unsure how to pursue a real relationship, how can they build a future both in and out of the bedroom?

 

On the Surface by Kate Willoughby

“I really enjoyed this book. It was simply a fun, entertaining contemporary romance with the added benefit of a sports/hockey setting which I loved.” –Amazon review

“What a great series opener that introduced future main book characters for me to look forward while giving a strong and engaging romance set against a sports backdrop. Lovers of sports romance should really give this book a try.” –Barnes & Noble review

“I love a good hockey romance. Really, what’s not to like about hockey romance? You have incredible athletes, hot guys, women who can tame them, and the most awesome sport in the world!” –Barnes & Noble review

onthesurfaceBook one of In the Zone

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can’t get her to see beyond what’s on the surface, they’ll never last longer than a single season…

 

Midnight Vengeance by Lisa Marie Rice

“A welcome return to my absolute favorite series by Lisa Marie Rice!” –Goodreads review

“A little mystery, a little danger, a sexy Alpha male, just perfect!” –Amazon review

“The suspense of Midnight Vengeance is very intriguing and Lisa Marie Rice expertly blends it with the relationship of Jacko and Lauren. It’s a steamy, don’t put me down book.” –Goodreads review

CARINA_0814_9781426898822_MidnightVengeanceMorton “Jacko” Jackman isn’t afraid of anything. He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he’s been in more firefights than most people have had hot meals. Lauren Dare scares the crap out of him.

Gorgeous, talented and refined, she’s the type of woman who could never be interested in a roughneck like him. So he’s loved her fiercely in secret, taken her art classes, and kept a watchful but comfortable distance. Until now.

Lauren had finally found a home in Portland, far from her real identity, far from the memories of her mother’s death, and outside the reaches of the drugged-out psycho who’s already tried to kill her twice. One tiny misstep–a single photograph–has shattered it all. She has no choice but to run again, but this time she’ll give herself a proper farewell: one night with Jacko.

Their highly charged emotional encounter changes everything. In Jacko’s arms there cannot be fear, there can only be pleasure. Anyone wishing her harm will have to pass through him, and Jacko is a hard man to kill.

 

Tap Out by Michele Mannon

“Fantastic fun romp with lots of action, spunk and sizzle!!” –iBooks review

“She does an excellent job of capturing your attention, pulling you into the story, the characters, and the events. The relationship, the interaction between these characters is amazing, I definitely felt like she had me from the start.” –Amazon review

“This book earned these 5 stars. You will not be disappointed in any way. It was a darn good read.” –Amazon review

tap outBook two of Worth the Fight

Late-night shock jock Sophie Morelle has been fired, dumped by her network after an embarrassing incident cost them big bucks. But she knows just how to get back on her feet–by filming a raw, gritty documentary about MMA fighters, starring the hottest welterweight around. The only problem? He’s the one responsible for ruining her life.

MMA-champion-turned-model Caden Kelly is hell-bent on reestablishing himself as the best fighter in the country. He’d been on a roll, too, until that loudmouth reporter hit him in the head with a camera on national TV. The headaches he’s suffered since are nothing compared to the one he gets when she shows up, seeking an exclusive. That Sophie’s gorgeous is undeniable…but she’s also the most infuriating woman he’s ever met.

Stepping into the ring with Caden Kelly is not for the faint of heart, but Sophie’s never been the delicate type. This champion may have finally met his match–both in and out of the bedroom.

Don’t miss Knock Out, available now!

 

Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr

“I honestly can’t think of something in this book that I didn’t like, it was perfect and everyone should read it.” –Goodreads review

Imaginary Lines was an excellent story, even better than I’d hoped for. I’m excited to find a new-to-me author and series I can whole-heartedly recommend. ” –Barnes & Noble review

A very sweet, thoroughly enjoyable read, Imaginary Lines was a wonderful New Adult romance.” –Barnes & Noble review

imaginarylinesTamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She’d always considered it destiny that they’d end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she’d ever felt before, and it’s nothing she’ll ever forget.

Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York’s premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she’s felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.

But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar’s decided to move on, Abe’s realized she’s the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who’s been holding her back all these years.

Genre Spotlight: Holiday Romance

facebook twitter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And what better way to celebrate the holiday season than with some romances that truly convey the Christmas spirit. Read on to discover three Holiday Romances sure to warm even the coldest of hearts.

A Christmas Reunion by Susanna Fraser

christmasreunionGabriel Shepherd has never forgotten his humble origins. So when he discovers a war orphan at Christmastime, he resolves to find a home for her–even if that means asking help from the very family who found and raised him, only to cast him out for daring to love the wrong woman.

Lady Catherine Trevilian has spent five years poring over the British Army’s casualty list, dreading the day she sees Gabe’s name. She’s never forgotten him, and she’s never forgiven herself for not running away with him when she had the chance, though she’s agreed to a marriage of convenience with a more suitable man.

When Gabe returns home on Christmas leave just days before Cat’s wedding, a forbidden kiss confirms their feelings haven’t been dimmed by distance or time. But Cat is honor-bound to another, and Gabe believes she deserves better than a penniless soldier with an orphan in tow. How can Cat reconcile love and duty? She must convince Gabe she’d rather have him than the richest lord in all of England…

 

Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey

holidaymanChristina Forrester is starting over. After a financial scandal sent her ex-husband to prison, she’s left raising her young son without any of the comforts of their old life. Budgets, coupons, lawn care–you name it, she’s learning to do it all on her own. Well, almost on her own–she’d be lost without Gail Broughton, the kind widow across the street. But when Gail’s son comes home, Christina’s vow to never trust a man again is put to the test.

Will Broughton left town because he was tired of being “that poor man” who lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident. But years have passed and, with his dad gone and his mom alone, it’s time to go home. Only his mother’s not alone. She’s taken Christina under her wing, and the beautiful and determined single mother awakens something in Will he thought was buried forever.

As Will and Christina are forced to spend more time together, feelings that are more than neighborly grow between them. And with Christmas coming and a child filling both houses with holiday cheer, it becomes nearly impossible not to embrace the joy–and the love–in their lives.

 

His Road Home by Anna Richland

roadhomSpecial Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship–a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving–a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Why readers love Holiday Romance:

“This time of year I like to curl up with Christmas romances. My requirements are simple: chemistry, good romantic scenes, family and some laughter. Christmas Curveball had all of the above and more…” –Goodreads review, Christmas Curveball

“A great Christmas read with a message buried down in there that touches your heart and makes you remember those in your life that might need you this Christmas Season.” –Amazon review, A Christmas for Carrie

“It is a holiday story but I wouldn’t limit myself to enjoying it just around the holidays. It has a lot to offer all year long — Highly recommend!” –Amazon review, Kissing Her Scrooge

 

The Revolution Will Be Trancehacked

facebook twitter

By Sonya Clark, author of FIREWALL

One of the first things I came up with when I started writing the Magic Born trilogy was the concept of trancehacking itself. In the futuristic Magic Born world where witches are segregated into urban zones, Normals assume that living in cities deprives spellcasters of a necessary connection to nature. The secret truth is that magic has evolved. More and more witches have forged a connection with the elements that make up city life. Instead of invoking fire, earth, water, and air, some of the Magic Born are able to call on neon, concrete, crowds, and cyberspace.

Trancehacking is the ability to use astral projection to enter cyberspace. In book one, Trancehack, it’s used to uncover all sorts of secrets. In book two, Witchlight, trancehacking is first seen as a means of blackmail and then a conduit to the outside world for witches restricted to their local zones. That conduit is desperately needed, too, after the way Witchlight ends. (But you’ll get no spoilers from me!)

There were a lot of things I wanted to do with book three, Firewall. One of them was a rocky reunion romance between fugitive witch Tuyet Caron and the commanding officer who loved her and let her escape, Dale Hayes. Not only do Tuyet and Hayes have to find their way back to each other after years apart, but Hayes has to decide if he’s willing to upend his life and walk away from everything he believes in to be with the woman he loves. And they have to do this in the middle of city rocked by protests.

Which leads me to the other big thing I wanted to do with Firewall – find a way to give not just this new couple but all of the Magic Born a happy ending. I created this world (in Trancehack), I broke this world (in Witchlight), and in Firewall I wanted Tuyet and Hayes, along with characters from the first two books, to save it. Trancehacking turned out to be the key to that, along with a series of riots and revolutionary new attitudes about witches. Ultimately, the Magic Born world wound up right where I wanted it to be from the very beginning. I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I have.

 

***

9781426899300-COVFirewall

She was the only Magic Born to ever escape the Rangers. Now there’s a ten-million-dollar bounty for her return.

Trancehacker Tuyet Caron could have left New Corinth for good, but instead uses her magic and risks her life on a daily basis to help the Magic Born. She’s been careful to avoid capture, but a careless glance at a video camera brings her face to face with the Ranger who let her go.

Captain Dale Hayes let Tuyet walk away once, but he won’t make that mistake again. When faced with the ultimate choice, however, he chooses her with barely a thought. But that also means siding with the Magic Born and becoming a fugitive in the eyes of the law.

Tuyet and Dale plan to flee, but are caught in a deadly riot that kills innocent people. Outraged, the pair vows to bring an end to the Magic Laws, regardless of what that means for their own safety.

 

About Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration. Learn more at www.sonyaclark.net.

Going Back to High School — A Geek’s Worst Nightmare!

facebook twitter

By Julie Moffett, author of NO TEST FOR THE WICKED 

Lexi Carmichael, geek girl extraordinaire, is back and she’s headed to high school. Again. Returning to high school is not something she ever wanted to do over—it was awful the first time around. So why do she have to go back as part of a new undercover assignment? Because the universe loves playing jokes on her, obviously.

She’s been ordered to go all 21 Jump Street and track down the students who are breaking into the computer system, changing grades, and causing all kinds of havoc. Although she’s not thrilled about her new gig, at least it gives her something to do other than worry over the fact that she now has a boyfriend. And no freaking idea what to get him for Christmas.

Or it did give her something else to worry about, until she stumbled across a more sinister threat. Lexi is shocked to find distinct traces of a group of international hackers inside the network. Why would dangerous cyber mercenaries be interested in a high school in the middle of Washington, D.C.? What exactly has she gotten herself into?

For those of you not familiar with the series, Lexi is a geek first-class—a gamer, hacker, book nerd and fangirl who double-majored in mathematics and computer science and has zero social skills. Her day job as IT director of a hot new cyber-intelligence firm has landed her the undercover job at a posh high school for gifted and technologically savvy students in Washington, DC. Before she knows it, Lexi and her new friends are racing against the clock to save the high school from a lot more than just a few changed grades.

 

9781426899164-COV

A few reviews for NO TEST FOR THE WICKED:

“Another winner! This is one of my favorite series. I love how Lexi is smart and doesn’t pretend to be anything less than she is…I started this book late in the day and stayed up late to finish it – it was just that good that I couldn’t put it down. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would.”  ~GoodReads

 

“TOP PICK! I absolutely love Lexi Carmichael. She is a geek that knows how to rock it…Fun and fantastic.” ~Night Owl Reviews

 

“This is one amazing read…None of Moffett’s characters are cardboard…you expect them to knock on your door for a visit. I am in awe of an author that can create on such a high level…”~Armchair Beauty Sleuth and Book Diva

 

“Fun, quirky (because Lexi’s friends are a crack up!), and nicely entertaining. GIRL POWER!” ~GoodReads

 

“I am a major Lexi Carmichael fangirl and I highly recommend this book and series.” ~GoodReads

 

“Lexi grows so much in the book…I promise you will laugh so hard tears will be rolling down your face.” ~ GoodReads  

 

Download NO TEST FOR THE WICKED from Carina Press here.RWA1

I love writing about Lexi and her adventures. Who knew geeks could be so much fun? Haven’t tried a Lexi Carmichael adventure yet? Well, you’re in luck! Just for answering the following question on this blog, I’ll enter you in a random drawing to WIN a rare signed print copy of an earlier Lexi Carmichael mystery, NO BIZ LIKE SHOWBIZ, and some geeky swag to go with it. Here’s a photo of the book.

 

 

 

Would you go back to high school again if you had the chance?

 

Thanks for hanging with Lexi and me! In the meantime, “Get Your Geek On!” Hooray!

Julie Moffett is a bestselling and award-winning author who writes in the genres of mystery, historical romance and paranormal romance. Learn more about Julie and her books on Facebook, Twitter and her website. She has won numerous awards, including the Holt Medallion 2014, Holt Merit for Best Book by a Virginia Author 2014, the EPIC Award for Best Action/Adventure Novel 2011, the PRISM Award for Best Romantic Time-Travel and the PRISM for Best of the Best Paranormal Books of 2002. She has also garnered nominations for the Daphne du Maurier Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

What We Want—Erotic Romance!

facebook twitter

Going Under Sharp Love Shattered Bonds Of Shadows and Ash

We’re always on the lookout for fresh new voices in erotic romance. Erotic romance is wonderfully varied; see the above examples for some of Carina’s stellar offerings. Here are some specific types of stories our editors are looking for:

Angela James, Editorial Director, is looking to acquire a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism.

Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor, would like to see:

  • Fantasies of control, set outside of the BDSM club world
  • Erotic romances that revisit the same sequence of events from alternating h/h POVs. Think Showtime’s The Affair.
  • Dark, erotic romantic thrillers with an underlying sense of real danger and/or suspense.

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Hot historical romances, sexy dark gothic romances (historical or contemporary), and romances featuring first responders or military; people of color/multicultural & LGBT welcome!

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Erotic romance with couples who are in competition or have hidden agendas, and who work out trust issues while pursuing a physical relationship. 

  • Historical erotic romance, especially Victorian, Regency, Tudor, Georgian, Edwardian and Jazz Age.

  • Multicultural/interracial erotic romance, including historical, contemporary, NA or m/m. An erotic NA Bollywood romance would be right up my alley.

Submit your erotic romance to Carina Press now, right here!

Genre Spotlight: New Adult

facebook twitter

One of the great things about the New Adult genre is how well it blends with so many other categories. Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy… you name it, New Adult can fit into it. It’s all about discovering what it means to be an adult, something everyone can relate to, no matter what reality you live in!

The Evolution of New Adult by Anne Tibbets

Ask any Romance writer their definition of “Trope” and you get a pretty standardized answer: ‘Up-tight debutant meets rugged cowboy, loosens her corset and rides off into the sunset,’ or ‘College girl with damaging past meets Good Boy with a chip on his shoulder and moves past her skeletons to find true love.’ You name it; the trope has been explored.

The beauty of writing tropes is that readers who love them can locate them with the ease of a Google search or a GoodReads list. It’s not difficult.

Personally, my favorite aspect of tropes is taking them and putting them in supernatural or science fiction settings, and seeing how the environment affects those tropes.

What if the Cowboy is a wanted space smuggler? What if the heroine’s damaging past involves demons, or a poltergeist? The trope automatically takes on a life and death element, raising the stakes, adding danger and intrigue and WHAM! I’m hooked.

This is why I love New Adult titles that crossover into other genres. It adds layers!

Take your standard twenty-something girl, a girl who struggles with her place in society as a woman, on her own, building a life outside her childhood and the safety of her family (if her family is indeed safe), and twist that trope, meld it, heat it like molten glass and blow it into something beautiful and unexpected.

Now, this girl not only has to find her way to happiness, but the obstacles compound the issue and make it that much more difficult. Conflict! What’s not to love about that?

New Adult is the perfect playing ground for such trope manipulation. But since the category is still so new, and the readership is still growing, the difficulty is exposing readers to other types of New Adult that go beyond the college campus, and explore those same issues, and still get the attention of those tried and true tropes that readers love so much.

The good news is that publishers like Carina Press understand the need for New Adult variety. They seek to push the limits, and for this, I rejoice.

I hope the growth of New Adult continues to flourish. I pray NA readers find diversity and embrace it. Because without that, there are so many incredible trope manipulations possible – and only good things can come from that.

Three New Adult Books You Should Be Reading

The Line Book Two: Walled by Anne Tibbets

walledFreedom means making brutal choices.

Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever. 

When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this. 

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.

A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

agraveSelah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Dreams of a Wild Heart by Danube Adele

wildheartI dance, rock climb, and have mastered MMA, because just being a twenty-six-year-old doctor isn’t enough. It doesn’t keep me from remembering the terrifying night my life changed, the night my true love died. I was nearly seventeen.

Life goes on, but the secret I keep is that I still talk to him in my dreams. That was getting me by until Tabron showed up—or, more specifically, until the six-foot-two brute of a Viking whisked me off to another planet because his leader is dying. And the joy didn’t end there. I’m being forced to choose a mate. The Brausa are facing extinction.

Tabron has no need for a mate, himself, and he’s told me as much. Multiple times. What he does have are hands and wicked lips that stir feelings I thought lost forever. Choosing him (just to play along until I can find a way home) seems to irk him and I find this surprisingly fun. But surviving a hidden conspiracy and the dangers of this alien place might be more difficult than I could ever imagine…

Looking for more New Adult? Click here!

Author Spotlight: Kelsey Browning

facebook twitter

Are you a writer trying to make your story even more compelling? Author Kelsey Browning is here to talk about how to create interesting characters and draw inspiration from almost anything. Plus, find all the latest details about her upcoming book, Designed for Love!

“I loved this book, and did not want to quit reading until I had reached the end.” –Goodreads review, Personal Assets

 

“What I’d love to do is rent a giant billboard to exclaim my love for this series!” –Goodreads review, Running the Red Light

All About That Character by Kelsey Browning

I’m all about that character. No plot. (Okay, I admit it. I’ve been listening to Meghan Trainor’s “I’m All about the Bass” too much lately.)

But when folks ask me how I come up with my story ideas, I’m certain I’ve never said, “I read this cool newspaper article about bank fraud and the price of chai and a missing puppy and BOOM, there was a book idea.” In fact, I’m pretty allergic to the news. About once a week, I ask my husband (aka Tech Guy), “So what’s happening in the world?” He keeps me from missing major events.

So when it comes to my stories, I’m more likely to hear a country song and think Whoa, what would happen if there was a woman who’s self-centered, complicated, and mercurial? But she wants to become something more than a shallow socialite?

My characters begin mucking around in my mind way before the actual bones of the story do. If you’re wondering if starting with no real idea of the book’s plot makes it hard to actually write the thing, the answer is kinda. I’m learning—book by book—to plot. I often know how the character should feel at a certain place in the story, but I have to work hard to figure out what events make that happen. Regardless, I never plot at the expense of the characters themselves.

To me, a compelling story isn’t really about the events that occur, but about the people who make them happen and how they change because of them.

About Designed for Love

22888232Ashton Davenport: Hot blonde. Old Money. Off-limits.

That’s how Mac McLaughlin sees her, anyway. And now that he’s enduring a temporary self-imposed exile in tiny Shelbyville, Texas, he’s seeing her way too often. Mac only wants to succeed as the contractor for the Lily Lake development in order to rebuild his reputation and return to Dallas, pronto. A sexy distraction like Ashton was not in the plans.

Mac McLaughlin: Hot builder. Cash poor. Hands-on.

Ashton kissed her trust fund goodbye and left her life as a society princess to prove she could make it on her own. Developing Lily Lake is her big chance, but it’s hard to stay focused working side-by-side with bossy, rough-around-the-edges Mac. Especially when he pulls off his shirt.

When the discovery of an endangered species derails the project, Mac can’t afford to stick around for a stalled job. His and Ashton’s explosive chemistry aside, he’s outta there…unless she can convince him that they just might be able to build something together.

Christmas, in and out of Season

facebook twitter

By Susanna Fraser, author of A CHRISTMAS REUNION

Usually I’m the first person to complain about Christmas decorations or advertisements out of their proper season. One holiday at a time, people! Why must stores try to sell me Christmas ornaments before I’ve even selected my Halloween candy?

In our household Christmas music is never played until Thanksgiving is over, the tree doesn’t go up until the first Sunday in Advent, and it absolutely must come down by Epiphany on January 6. Those are the rules. To me, if the Christmas season extends much beyond a month, it becomes too ordinary.

But sometimes I cheat. I’ve sung in choirs off and on for much of my life, and I always enjoy the Wednesday night in October when the director passes out that year’s Christmas music.

And then there was one scorching July day in my native Alabama when I was home for the summer from college. I was flipping from one radio station to another as I drove around running errands when suddenly I stumbled upon a full-on, festive, wintry arrangement of a traditional carol. I think it was Joy to the World. I listened in pure shock at the incongruity of it, especially when it was immediately followed by a more contemporary but equally Christmassy song.

Then the DJ came on to explain that the AC in the studio had broken. It was so hot, sweaty and miserable he had to do something to cool down—so he broke out the Christmas carols. So for the rest of the afternoon, that station played one holiday favorite after another. Laughing listeners called in requests, and a big chunk of Birmingham got to enjoy a preview of Christmas in midsummer.

I got to cheat the holiday rules again when working on my latest Carina release, A Christmas Reunion. I drafted it in January and February, very much in the “Thou shalt not Christmas” zone, but it’s sort of impossible to write a holiday romance without thinking about the holidays. Gabe and Cat, my hero and heroine, both love music, and a small but significant part of their bond is their enthusiasm for the singing the old wassail songs together at their village’s Christmas Eve festivities.

I kept myself in the right mood to write by putting together a Christmas playlist to listen to when I was alone in my car. Since the story is set in 1810, before most of our current holiday standbys were written, I mostly stuck to the old and traditional yet obscure—The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, and the like. While I dutifully put the playlist aside once I typed “The End,” I can hardly wait to pull it out again as soon as Thanksgiving is over.

What are your boundaries for holiday celebration? Do you ever listen to Christmas music in the middle of the summer?

CARINA_1114_9781426899249_AChristmasReunionA Christmas Reunion

Gabriel Shepherd has never forgotten his humble origins. So when he discovers a war orphan at Christmastime, he resolves to find a home for her—even if that means asking help from the very family who found and raised him, only to cast him out for daring to love the wrong woman.

Lady Catherine Trevilian has spent five years poring over the British Army’s casualty list, dreading the day she sees Gabe’s name. She’s never forgotten him, and she’s never forgiven herself for not running away with him when she had the chance, though she’s agreed to a marriage of convenience with a more suitable man.

When Gabe returns home on Christmas leave just days before Cat’s wedding, a forbidden kiss confirms their feelings haven’t been dimmed by distance or time. But Cat is honor-bound to another, and Gabe believes she deserves better than a penniless soldier with an orphan in tow. How can Cat reconcile love and duty? She must convince Gabe she’d rather have him than the richest lord in all of England…

A Christmas Reunion is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks. You can read an excerpt here.

About Susanna

Susanna Fraser has been writing since the age of 9. Her youthful efforts featured talking horses, but she now writes Regency-set historicals with a focus on the soldiers who fought the Napoleonic Wars.

A native of Alabama, she never lost her love for barbecue or stopped saying “y’all” as life took her to Philadelphia, England and Seattle, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

For more information on Susanna and her books, visit susannafraser.com, sign up for her newsletter, read her blog, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.