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  • Manuscripts submitted for critique must be unpublished and uncontracted work (we do not want to step on another editor’s editing process!)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.

Please email editor@carinapress.com with questions.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER.  Sweepstakes opens 6/1/2015 at 12:01 AM (EDT) and closes 6/30/2015 at 11:59 PM (ET). Enter online at https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/42944 (the “Promotion Website”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence or older. Void where prohibited by law. Void in Quebec. Ten (10) prizes available to be won consisting of a spot at a critique group workshop in New York on July 23, 2015. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Full details and Official Rules available online at Promotion Website. Sponsor: Harlequin Enterprises Limited.

 

 

From the Editor’s Desk: Query Letters

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Here at Carina, we’re always looking for new authors to sign, publish and build. But we recognize that putting your manuscript out on submission can be an intimidating process. How do you make your manuscript stand out, from the query letter to the last page? We’re here to demystify the submissions process by giving you some insight into what a Carina Press editor looks for when she opens up a submission for review.

Today’s post comes from Stephanie Doig, Assistant Editor. Stephanie is the first pair of eyes on many queries submitted to Carina Press, so she’s here today to talk about how you can make your query letter shine.

Sending your manuscript out on submission is a big deal. You’re putting yourself out there, asking us to fall in love with your manuscript and make you an offer. We want that too! At Carina we are looking for books to acquire, not books to reject. A good query letter can be an extremely effective way to rocket your book to the top of our TBR pile.

There are two things you’re showcasing in a query letter:

1) Your book

2) You (the author)

We want to learn about both, but it’s vitally important that your book come first. Think of a query like the marketing blurb you see on a retailer site; if you were selling your book to a reader, what would make them pick it up? The first paragraph(s) of your query letter should convey tone and character, and hook us on the key story elements so that we want to dive in right away.

And don’t forget to include the basics: word count, genre, and whether there are any future books planned in the series. These details are vital information for your potential editor to have.

After you’ve hooked us on the story, it’s time to tell us a little more about yourself. What kind of information should you include? While basic bio information can be helpful, at this stage we’re more interested in knowing what kind of support plans you have for spreading the word about your writing. Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you have a website set up? Our digital commerce and marketing teams work closely with our authors to promote their books across your platforms as well as ours (and those of third-party retailers), and having an online presence is the first step to building marketing momentum for your book.

Additionally, we give authors the option to submit to a specific Carina Press editor when sending in manuscripts. Although this is an option, not a requirement, I would recommend taking advantage of it. Research us online, find out who loves what type of story, and target your submission if you think it’s perfect for one of our editors.

One last note: professionalism is important in querying; by sending a query you are proposing a business partnership. Editors are friendly people, but too casual a tone can be off-putting before we’ve met officially. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality, but keep professionalism in mind! (No need to send pictures of your cats, for example. :) )

Remember:

  • Start with story–personal details can come later!
  • Put any story hooks front and center
  • List your website and social media information
  • Be professional

Writing query letters can be stressful, but we really do appreciate all the effort you put in. And remember, in the end, your book is the most important thing. We look forward to reading it!

Thank you for reading—we hope these tips have you excited to submit your manuscript to Carina Press! Here are some quick references to help you through the submissions process:

  • We’re always open to submissions!
  • We respond to all submissions within 12 weeks.
  • Have a question and can’t find the answer on our guidelines page? Email us at Submissions@CarinaPress.com and we’re happy to help.
  • Looking to target your submission to a specific editor? Find out more about editor submission calls here.
We are currently acquiring We do not publish/no longer accept submissions in
All subgenres and heat levels of romance (excluding inspirational romance) Non-fiction of any form, including memoirs, biographies, poetry
New Adult Women’s Fiction
Historical romance Horror
Mystery and Crime (all sub genres) Thrillers
Action Adventure Literary Fiction
Science Fiction (and sub genres) Faith-based/inspirational fiction or romance
Fantasy (and sub genres) General historical fiction (any historical fiction that does not contain mystery, fantasy, alternate history or romance as primary focus)
Interactive Adventures Young Adult

 

Looking for more information on our submissions process? We’ll have more posts coming in this series, and in the meantime, you can read about our acquisitions process here, and find out more about what an editor does here.

Ready to submit? Click here to start your publishing journey with Carina Press!

 

I Have a Fairy Godmother and Her Name is #CarinaPitch

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By Pamela Cayne, author of THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN

I remember February 10th, 2014 for one very specific reason: it was the day I saw Carina Press was doing their next #CarinaPitch on Twitter. (Yes, I know it was announced before that, but it was a busy weekend for me and I didn’t see the announcement until Monday.) You see, I had this book—no, scratch that. I had The Book, the absolute book of my heart. But that poor story had been more tortured than any character I’d ever written and it didn’t look like a HEA was forthcoming. Could it be the universe sent me a fairy godmother by way of Twitter? I had to find out.

The pitch was the next day, so I had just the evening to create my 140-character pitch (minus 12 characters for #CarinaPitch) and for a gal who takes weeks on a query letter, one evening was less than a blink. Got the perfect pitch all polished up and come the morning of the 11th, I pasted it in and saw it didn’t fit—I forgot to count for the spaces. Broke out my editing pen, got that baby down to exactly 140 characters and posted before I overthought it.


In less than 2 minutes, I had 2 requests for the full. I was beyond thrilled, but I also knew it was one step in a very long march. Once I submitted my manuscript, the next step was one every writer knows all too well—the long wait. Yes, I kept editing the story I had been working on and yes, I tried to keep my email check to once a day (okay, once an hour), but the weeks felt like eons and my fairy godmother remained stubbornly silent.

But then it happened. I got The Call. I was at work that Tuesday morning, and my cell rang, showing an unknown number. I honestly wasn’t thinking Carina at all, but when my caller identified herself as Angela James, I knew. My wonderful fairy godmother, a beautiful broad by the name of #CarinaPitch, came through and I had an offer for The Fighter and the Fallen Woman. I kept it together (writing copious notes as I knew I wouldn’t remember any of it) through Angela’s call, but as soon as she hung up the emotion started to get me. I started to walk outside so I could call my husband, but first I had to go back to my desk and grab a tissue. When I called him and told him the great news, I got strange looks, laughing and crying at the same time, but I think there was a reason nobody looked twice at me.

That Tuesday? It was April 1st. I got The Call on April Fool’s Day. Whoever said my fairy godmother doesn’t have a sense of humor?

About The Fighter and the Fallen Woman:

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“People like us don’t get happy endings.”

In twelve years as a bangtail, Lady has never feared a man’s kiss. Owned by the ruthless Hannibal Adams, the “Earl of the East End,” she’s draped in jewels and dead inside. Lady learns fear, however, when she kisses Mr. Adams’s best fighter for luck–for King sees the real woman locked away behind finery and falsity.

King’s life is made of fists and scars, the only things that have ever felt real to him. Even his name came from the man who owns him–the man who turned him into a champion. From the moment Lady’s kiss sends him reeling, King resists wanting what he can’t have. Mr. Adams never gives up what he owns.

When Lady is sent to nurse King through the tournament, she finds a new strength through the one man who’s never treated her like a whore. King discovers that the woman who shares his dark world might also be the one to lead him out. And as the tournament comes to a violent finale, Lady and King must decide–stay spoiled and shackled, or break free and risk what happens when fear and dreams collide.

Get your copy of THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Video: Angela James Talks Game Play

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Are you a fan of sexy sports romance? So is Carina Press Editorial Director Angela James — and we interviewed her about the first book in erotic romance author Lynda Aicher’s new Power Play series, Game Play. Find out what Angela loves about the book — and why you will, too — in this video:

About Game Play:

One night, one time, nothing more. That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together–and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.

One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt–not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down–hard–and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

Book one of Power Play

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

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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

Journeys with my Editor

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By April Taylor, author of TASTE OF TREASON

The Tudor Enigma books deal with crime fantasy set in an alternate Tudor universe. They concern an apothecary in the Outer Green of Hampton Court Palace, who is also an elemancer – a magician who uses the elements to perform magic for the good of all but especially at the behest of Queen Anne Boleyn and her son, Henry IX, who now sits on the throne of England. A love of Tudor history and Hampton Court Palace made the setting for the books obvious. It was not until my first foray into the world of the partnership between editor and writer that I had any idea just how complicated this process was going to be.

I know many people, myself included, who are avid readers. In my green pre-publishing days I always imagined that the role of an editor was to tidy up the writer’s grammar, find the howlers and polish up the prose. Nothing could be farther from the truth, dear reader. During my publishing adventure with Carina Press, my editor, Kerri Buckley, has been far more than a tidier-upper.

Kerri forced me to think deeply about the magic element in my world. I knew elemancers believed in cosmic balance, so they had to have enemies – sunderers, who work to rip that balance asunder and cause chaos. She made me realize I needed to know the precise structure of the magic hierarchy, levels of elemancy and details of spells in order to make the magic parts authentic. I was forced to consider my characters’ motivations and conflicts in a way I never had before.

Editors walk a fine line. The prose must be accurate while not being pedantic. It must flow with no bumps in the road to jolt the reader and at the end, it must still be the writer’s work. Of course, in the process, the editor also keeps an eye out for the errors. Witness Kerri’s comment in Taste of Treason – “In this chapter her wrists have been slit. In the last chapter, it was her throat.” Good point and one I had not spotted, which just goes to prove that the writer is not always the best editor of their own work. Other comments have included – “Do you mean x or y here?”; “Hasn’t he already given her a potion and she has drunk it?”; “Is this phrase historically correct?” and my personal favorite – “This is wonderfully informative, but not relevant at this point.”

I know that Kerri has improved my books immensely. At the same time, she has also made me a better and more thoughtful writer. It hasn’t all been fun. But it has been worth it.

Taste of Treason

CARINA_1014_9781426899188_TasteOfTreasonBook two of The Tudor Enigma

Blood, frogs and a deadly threat to the firstborn…

Luke Ballard, Dominus Elemancer and Privy Inquirer into Divers Mischiefs and Grievances, has grown his magical powers since his last encounter with the Sunderers, dark sorcerers who will stop at nothing—including partnering with England’s mortal enemies—to destroy the throne. But is he skilled enough to protect his own and prevent tragedy from reaching the royal family?

The continuation of Tudor rule and the future of England’s true religion rest with King Henry IX’s new bride, Queen Madeline of Scotland. Pregnant with a possible heir, she’s nearly killed—twice—in incidents that bizarrely mimic the Plagues of Egypt. And she is not alone. All of Hampton Court, it seems, has been surrounded by a dark cloud of otherworldly danger.

Fearful for his wife and unborn child, King Henry can only turn to one man.

 

April Taylor has been writing stories since she was a child. She lives, with her husband and a blind rescue golden retriever, in the north east of England on the Yorkshire coast where the land crumbles into the sea, In her former life, April was an information professional working in public and prison libraries. Before giving up work, she was the R&D Information Manager for a global pharmaceutical company. April has also worked for the police and been the choir mistress for passengers on  cruise liners traveling all around the Caribbean, as far south as Cape Town and up into the Arctic Circle. April has published an anthology of short stories and two guides, one for students on how to write their dissertation and the other on research for fiction writers. In May 2014, the first book in The Tudor Enigma, Court of Conspiracy, was published by Carina Press.

Connect with April! Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

 

What We Want—Mystery!

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So many intricate details make up a good mystery book. Our Carina Press authors craft their stories with the right amount of set-up and characterization, told in unique voices, and, sometimes, with a dash of humor! For great examples of some of our most excellent titles, see the newest releases above!

Do you have what it takes to twist a plot into a tale our readers cannot put down? We’re looking for stories that keep us guessing, and series that keep us coming back!

Here is what our editors are currently looking to acquire in the mystery genre:

Kerri Buckley, Editor, would like to see:

  • A dark mystery/thriller in the vein of Tana French’s In the Woods
  • Mysteries full of kooky, fast-talking characters and helmed by an unforgettably quirky gumshoe
  • A series starring a Rosemary & Thyme-esque amateur sleuthing duo

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Geeks and nerds! A cozy mystery featuring a brainiac amateur sleuth—inventor, archaeologist, scientist or historian
  • Action-packed capers and slick heists with clever twists

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • A sexy gothic novel-length mystery, contemporary or historical, with intense emotions and a strong setting.

 

What We Want—Erotic Romance

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August brings the heat, and we want you to bring it too!

We’re actively seeking to acquire novel-length erotic romance and what better examples than works by our superstar authors Lynda Aicher and Jeffe Kennedy! Lynda’s new Game Play series will feature h-o-t hockey player romances and Jeffe has just released her new erotic romance/BDSM series, Falling Under. We’re also excited for Emily Ryan-Davis‘s new San Sebastian Sinners series which tangles with ménage…coming in 2015!

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Our editors’ complete wish lists for what they want to acquire RIGHT NOW is available here, but below are more specific requests in the erotic romance genre. Give us your passionate/kinky stories where sexy-times happen in the most daring of places! We know BDSM and club erotic romances are still hot, but we want to see where else you can take us!

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

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is looking for super-sexy erotic contemporary romances, esp. military or first responders. Series potential is a bonus. LGBTQ/PoC welcome—actively seeking diverse submissions! She’s also looking to acquire envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre.

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romances featuring badass alpha heroes, and she’d love a contemporary erotic series not set in a sex club.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romance with strong dialogue and great sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty.

Mallory Braus, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic thrillers and suspense. She’d love to see a femme fatale character. She’s also intrigued by the potential of a cross genre Erotic Urban Fantasy with a strong female lead against a strong male lead… For example: something like a Catwoman and Batman pairing.

Tina Burns, Freelance Editor, wants erotic romance for both het and LGBT. Give her it all!

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

Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session

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Feel like you’re missing out by not attending RWA Nationals this year? Good news! Not all of the editors here at Carina Press are attending either! And those who couldn’t attend this year are taking your pitches in the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session hosted right here on the Carina Press blog!

Have a manuscript you want considered by our fabulous editors? Now’s your chance! Post your pitch below in the comments section and check back to see if an editor has requested your material!

Editors participating in the pitch session:

Deborah Nemeth @DebNemeth
Alissa Davis @AlissaDenay
Melissa Johnson @MelissJohnson
Tina Burns @TinaBurns

PITCH CONTEST INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to pitch their 200 word (maximum) query and first 100 words or first paragraph for submission. The contest will run from July 23 – July 27 – pitches submitted after this date will not be considered. Please check back on the blog! You must submit your pitch with a valid email address. Authors whose pitches are chosen will be contacted via email. Editors will request materials from authors by July 28. Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route. Good luck to all!

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE:

1) A complete, ready-to-send, manuscript that falls within the commercial fiction genres that we publish. (Please view our submissions guidelines here)

2) You must be prepared to send your manuscript within 3 days of the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session.

3) The manuscript cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from us.

4) The manuscript cannot be one that is currently under review with another Harlequin imprint

5) You may pitch more than one project.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: 

1) Post your pitch as a comment on the “Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session” blog post which is where the editors will be monitoring the pitches. this blog post will go live on July 23, 2014 9am Eastern.

2) Please do not post pitches for one book in the same blog comment. Enter a separate comment for a new book pitch

3) Please do not post your pitch for the same book more than once

4) Watch for a reply from a Carina Press editor.

5) If an editor lets you know that they’d like to see your submission and your manuscript is NOT currently on submission with us:

a) The editor will contact you via your email address which is required to comment on the blog post. Please be sure to use a valid email address for this purpose
b) Please follow the submission guidelines here and include all required information via the received Submittable link.

If more than one editor asks for your submission, you may choose which editor to send to, though you may also wish to indicate the second editor who had interest, in case the first editor chooses not to read it.

d) Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route.

NOTES ABOUT CARINA PRESS NOT-AT-NATIONALS PITCH SESSION

  • You don’t need to direct your pitch to a specific editor. The editors participating will be monitoring the blog comments throughout the day. However, if you want to bring it to the attention of an editor you think it’s particularly suited for, you are welcome to do so. At the bottom of this post is a list of participating Carina Press editors.
  • Please don’t post your pitch more than once on the blog. This includes not changing your pitch five times and posting it five different ways, please. This allows all authors equal opportunity to be seen. Thank you!
  • An updated list of what different editors are looking for is available here. You can see editor bios here.
  • Information about what we publish, our submissions guidelines and specific FAQs can be found here.
  •  Feedback is welcome! Please email us at generalinquiries@carinapress.com if ever you have specific, constructive feedback you’d like to share.

ONE LAST (VERY IMPORTANT) NOTE:

Even if your pitch isn’t selected by an editor, that doesn’t mean your project isn’t right for us. In the end, it’s the words you write in the story that will get us to acquire the book, not the words you wrote for the pitch, so if you’ve written something we publish, please still submit it to us. Your chances of having the manuscript acquired are just as good as those whose pitches we single out.

*Permission to forward this post, use it on blogs and author forums is permitted.*

Submit your pitch in the format below. Please be sure that your query and first 100 words/first paragraph adhere to the word counts below.

Name:

Title:

Genre:

Manuscript Word Count:

200 maximum word query:

First 100 words or first paragraph of your story:

What Carina Press editors are looking for

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Don’t miss #carinapitch, taking place on March 19, 2015! 

We’re always on the lookout for new submissions to read and authors to grow at Carina Press. A full breakdown of what each individual editor is looking for right now is down below, but I also wanted to take a moment to highlight six areas Carina Press is especially interested in as we build out our 2015/2016 publishing schedule:

  1. 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. Mysteries, romantic suspense, sci-fi, you name it! And we are really hunting for New Adult m/m–all  heat levels considered.
  2. Erotic Romance: Sexual tension is a must in this genre, and we’d really like to see projects with strong series potential. BDSM welcome but not required. 70,000 words and up, please!
  3. Romantic Suspense: True detective/FBI/true suspense, organized crime, and more. High stakes and real danger rule, and again we’re very interested in building a killer (ha!) series. 70,000 words and up preferred.
  4. Historical Romance: Send us your kilts, please! Scotland-set historicals are on our wish list this year, along with Regencies.
  5. New Adult: As noted above, M/M New Adult is a particular area of interest for us in 2015. We’re also looking to acquire other subgenres of NA, beyond contemporary.
  6. Mystery: Cozies, amateur sleuths, detectives, offbeat mysteries & grittier crime fiction. We want ’em all.
  7. Paranormal Romance:


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:

Right now my personal wish list focuses heavily on two things: a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism, and a romantic suspense series that features mercenaries who are anti-heroes and anti-heroines.

Otherwise, some of my wish list remains much the same.

  • 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’d go to bat in the acquisitions meeting for a great cowboy rebellion-type space opera, still (I wonder how many years I’ve been asking for that Firefly-flavored story? 8? 10?)

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’m actively acquiring in all genres except for sci-fi. Here’s what I’m crossing my fingers to find in my submission inbox ASAP:

  • Dry, funny, or sarcastic mysteries, cozy or otherwise. If your gumshoe has a standout or off-color sense of humor, please send him/her my way
  • Darker, grittier mysteries, particularly psychological thrillers
  • Heroine-driven romantic suspense. Kickass girls with guns/knives/lasers/nunchucks. Unusual, non-traditional professions a bonus: female firefighters, submarine captains, military unit leaders, etc. Emphasis on the suspense (rather than the romance) or a 50/50 split
  • Contemporary *and* historical projects set in Eastern Europe and/or involving Eastern European families, traditions, mysticism, lore. A lot of flexibility here, but no time travel, please
  • An Army Wives-like contemporary series where the focus is on the homefront rather than the battlefield

Freelance editors actively acquiring:

Rhonda Helms:Here are some types of submissions I’m always eager for:

  • New Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic, historical)
  • LGBTQ romance
  • 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 (LGBTQ western? Paranormal Victorian? Hit me with ‘em!)
  • Multicultural and/or PoC (people of color) submissions
  • Action-packed sci-fi/futuristic non-romance (or with romantic elements)
  • Epic fantasy series with clear, thorough worldbuilding and unique/atypical elements

And now, a few specific submissions I’ve been craving:

  • LGBTQ romantic comedy
  • A regency/Victorian romance or western romance featuring PoC
  • A fresh take on the upstairs-downstairs romance (like Downton Abbey)–contemporary or historical
  • A sexy romance featuring heroes or heroines who work with their hands, like carpenters or skilled tradesmen/women (series are great!)
  • First-responders romances featuring firefighters, police officers, EMTs, etc. (series are great!)
  • Military romances (series are great!)
  • A dark, atmospheric, sexy gothic romance–contemporary or historical
  • Edgy/envelope-pushing New Adult romance, any genre
  • Edgy/envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre

Deborah Nemeth: I’m looking for stories with flawed, passionate characters and high-stakes conflict. In my favorite books, the protagonists have to suffer before saving the day or getting their happy-ever-after. I’m drawn to antiheroes and clever characters, and I have a special fondness for alphas, geeks, soldiers, cops, athletes, cowboys, blue-collar heroes/heroines, and bad boys who walk on the wrong side of the law.

Here are some things on my current wish list:

  • Romantic suspense so adrenaline-fueled it will keep me reading all night—military, revenge, espionage, terrorists, serial killers, stalkers, conspiracies and cover-ups…
  • Male/male, especially New Adult, mystery, romantic suspense or contemporary romance
  • Mysteries and crime fiction, particularly brain-teasing cozies and gritty procedurals, with strong hooks, sharp sleuths and series potential. Also fast-paced capers and heists with elaborate cons à la Ocean’s Eleven and The Thomas Crown Affair
  • Historical romance that will transport me back in time, especially Regency but also Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and the courts of the Tudors and Plantagenets
  • Contemporary romance with solid conflict and sparkling dialogue in any heat level/setting
  • Edgy New Adult with a fresh voice and emotional intensity that pushes the envelope
  • Political and palace intrigue, whether in fantasy (think Game of Thrones), historical romance (Tudors) or contemporary settings (West Wing, House of Cards, Scandal)

Alissa Davis:

  • Erotic romance with strong dialogue and great sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty
  • M/m in any subgenre and heat level
  • Marriage of convenience romance
  • Sports romance, particularly soccer, football, hockey and baseball. I can’t catch a ball to save my life, but I love editing these books
  • New Adult, particularly m/m New Adult
  • Geeky heroes and heroines. The more awkward they are, the more I love them
  • Foodie romance, where preparing or eating food plays a large role in the plot and is part of how the characters come together
  • Military romance, m/m or m/f. The hero or heroine can be active military or retired.
  • Angsty, dark historical romance with high-stakes conflict keeping the hero and heroine apart
  • Medical romance
  • Romantic suspense with high-stakes conflict, twisted plots and awesome heroines who aren’t about to be damseled
  • 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 mystery military LGBTQ romance, anyone?