Fall seemed like the perfect time to re-evaluate our Carina Press MSWLs and update this post! A full breakdown of what each individual CP editor is looking for right now is down below, but I also wanted to take a moment to highlight the areas we’re especially interested in as we build our 2016/2017 publishing schedule:
1. Super Sexy Contemporary: Not-quite erotic but still off-the-charts crazy hot and full of dirty talk, sexual tension, and unique h/h pairings. Think Time Served by Julianna Keyes.
2. Erotic Romance: BDSM welcome but not required. We are very hungry to build a brand-new erotic series at Carina, in the vein of Lynda Aicher’s Wicked Play books. 70,000 words and up, please!
3. Male/Male: While we’re always looking for contemporaries, we’d also love to see different genres with a m/m romance at the center. Romantic suspense, sci-fi, and mysteries are all fair game (like Josh Lanyon’s Fair Game). New Adult m/m is a particular area of interest for us. Please see A.M Arthur’s Belonging series and j. leigh bailey’s Reckless Hope.
4. Romantic Suspense: Real danger, high stakes, and/or total alphas, please. Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight Fire is character-driven RomSusp at its very best; Library Journal compared Edie Harris’s Blamed to “a James Bond movie.”
5. Paranormal Romance: We’re on the hunt for a paranormal series that features alpha heroes, perhaps a band of brotherhood type warrior society or great clan/shifter politics. The series should be sexy, with great worldbuilding, and larger than life characters. Shifters, dragons, demons, vampires are all okay. What we are not looking for at this time is ghosts, psychics, angels, mythology, or ancient-setting paranormal. For examples, think Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound or D.B. Reynolds’s Vampires in America.
As always, just because something is not listed above does not mean we aren’t acquiring it. If we publish it, we’re looking for it—and if you’ve written something that fits within our submission guidelines, we want to see it!
Angela James, Editorial Director:
This fall and winter, I’m looking for submissions to push my limits, give me an incredible romance to fall into, deliver a good alpha hero with lots of possessive qualities, and a heroine who isn’t timid, a pushover or afraid to go after what she wants. And I’m looking for it all from authors who want to write more than one book for me, will deliver on deadline and want to work with an editor who will take them to the next level (that’s me ;) or any of the other amazing and awesome Carina editors, of course!)
Here’s a look at some of what I’ve recently tweeted that I’m still in search of:
Otherwise, some of my wish list remains much the same.
• I’m still looking for that one cracktastic project to really pull me in.
• I long for a super, super sexy (but not necessarily erotic) contemporary romance with sexually charged dialogue, sexual tension build-up and a dirty-talking hero.
• I still love motorcycle club romance, and haven’t gotten to work on a contemporary-set project yet, so you’d be my favorite if you hit my dirty, rough, law-breaking notes there!
Mostly, I would really love to see projects that push the boundaries, make me squirm a little in discomfort, but still deliver a satisfying romance with a happily ever after and a great sexiness. All alpha heroes welcome, including those who are kind of jerks to start off with, but spunky heroines who aren’t doormats are an absolute must!
Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor: I’ve been doing a lot of walking over on the darker side lately, across genres. I plan on staying here a while longer—it’s fun ;). Please send me your:
• Dark, steamy romances with aspects of psychological manipulation or suspense
• Tales of sexual obsession
• Stories where the hero or heroine must compromise his/her morals in order to get that HEA…romances that involve real personal sacrifice
• Mysteries that could be classified as romantic thrillers
• Larger-than-life romance heroes: wicked billionaires, insatiable CEOs, misbehaving royalty (and so on and so forth) On the sunnier side of the street, I’ve been asking for a series reminiscent of Army Wives for years now and would love for this to be the year my call is answered. I can’t wait to see couples falling in love on the homefront and abroad, and especially combinations of both. Hero, heroine or both must be active-duty military.
Freelance editors actively acquiring:
Rhonda Helms: Here are some types of submissions I’m always eager for:
• Romance in any steaminess level from sweet to spicy, though I love super-hot stuff… ;-)
• Laugh-out-loud romantic comedies
• Contemporary, historical or sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic erotic romance
• Genre blends with fresh, unique voices
• Diverse submissions
• Mysteries, especially cozy (series please! romance not required, but a romantic subplot is great) And now, a few specific submissions I’ve been craving:
• LGBTQ romantic comedy
• An historical erotic romance novel featuring PoC
• A sexy romance featuring heroes or heroines who work with their hands, like carpenters or skilled tradesmen/tradeswomen (series are great!)
• First-responders romances featuring firefighters, police officers, EMTs, etc. (series are great!)
• Military erotic romances (series are great!)
• A dark, atmospheric, sexy gothic romance–contemporary or historical
• Edgy, envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre
Deborah Nemeth: I’m looking for stories with high-stakes conflict and flawed, passionate characters who are super-motivated to achieve their goals. In my favorite books, the protagonists have to suffer before saving the day, figuring out whodunit, or getting their happy-ever-after.
Right now I’m eager to acquire more romance and mystery manuscripts, and I’m especially drawn to whip-smart characters and snappy dialogue. I’m actively seeking amateur-sleuth cozy mysteries with a strong hook, such as an unusual profession, hobby or setting. Think roadie, cartographer, cirque acrobat, wilderness tour guide, geocaching… In procedurals and PIs I like to see strong characters on which to base a series.
I like my romances sexy to erotic with alpha heroes who fall hard and are prepared to go to any lengths to win their love. Romance tropes I enjoy include marriage/engagement of convenience, enemies to friends, reunion romances, forbidden romances, and secret baby.
I love stories featuring cons and schemes and secret agendas and fake engagements. I have a special fondness for antiheroes, geeks, soldiers, cops, athletes, cowboys, scientists, blue-collar workers and spies. Included in my romance wishlist:
• Adrenaline-fueled romantic suspense—military, revenge, espionage, terrorists, serial killers, stalkers, conspiracies and cover-ups. I particularly enjoy RS that contain elements of action/adventure in rugged landscapes such as mountains, ocean, jungle, glaciers, desert…
• Edgy contemporary romance in urban settings with emotional intensity and off-the-charts sexual tension
• GLBT, especially m/m romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I’d love to acquire military-themed m/m, such as boot-camp-set NA, or a Tops Guns-type series featuring fighter pilots. I’m also looking for m/m with an extreme sports theme, a Southern hero, a May/December romance, a rock ’n roll theme, m/m erotic romance…
• For SFF and paranormal, I’m looking for sexy to erotic SF, PNR and UF romance with plenty of action/adventure, a band-of-brothers feel, and series potential.
• Manuscripts with diverse characters, including interracial romance, a Bollywood-themed romance or mystery, and a Veronica-Mars-type series featuring a heroine of color.
Alissa Davis: • Inter-office romance, where coworkers are faking it at the office and heating it up at home
• Erotic romance with strong dialogue and scorching sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty
• M/m in any subgenre and heat level, but especially stories with high emotional stakes and romance that will make me cry. I’d especially love college or NA roommates, coworkers, or teammates.
• Sexy contemporary romance (not small town, please) with memorable characters and an edgy voice • Marriage of convenience romance, either contemporary or paranormal
• Paranormal romance, particularly werewolves or other shifters
• Sports romance, particularly soccer, football, hockey and baseball. I can’t catch a ball to save my life, but I love editing and reading these books
• Geeky or shy heroes and heroines. The more awkward they are, the more I love them
• Military romance, m/m or m/f. The hero or heroine can be active military or retired.
• Political romance with intrigue, betrayal, and quickies on the campaign trail
• Dark, dominant heroes who can coax a reserved heroine to broaden her horizons
• I’d love to see a teacher and student scenario where one of the adult characters is in the other one’s adult dance class, cooking class, film, etc.
• Any combo of the above. New Adult military LGBTQ romance, anyone?
Libby Murphy: • Steamy, laugh-out-loud funny contemporary romance with whip-smart banter, sexually charged situations, and characters with quirk. I’d especially love to see enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract, marriage of convenience, and forced proximity romances with high concept plots and strong hooks.
• Athletic heroes (and heroines!). Prefer baseball, football, hockey, soccer, rugby, and swimming.
• Fun, smart, adventurous capers featuring rogue-ish heroes and/or heroines, along the lines of White Collar. Series potential is a must!
• Alpha first responder/military/black-ops heroes who have a secret geeky side. Give me an otherwise total badass who goes nuts over code, gadgets, or other geekery, especially if he uses gruffness as a way to cover up a bit of inner awkwardness. On the other hand, I’d really love to see an Olicity-type relationship, too!
• Teacher and student romance, whether it’s at a university, an ongoing class, or a quid pro quo arrangement.
• M/M marriage of convenience romantic comedy—can be sexy, but a sweeter romance is great, too!
• Edgy futuristic, paranormal romance, and science-fiction romances with high concept plots, cinematic writing, and lots of bite. Erotic heat levels preferred, and series potential is a must.
• Cowboys! Whether it’s a contemporary or a steampunk western, I want to see them.
• High-octane romantic suspense. Push the envelope, give it an edge, and send it my way!