Assassins

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By N.J. Walters, author of ASSASSIN’S AWAKENING

The Project Alpha trilogy features Alphas—men who were created in a lab. Genetically enhanced with computer implants, they are strong, fast, smart, adaptable, and ruthless. In short, they are the perfect assassins. But they’ve broken free of the men who controlled them and now they want vengeance. Their only allegiance is to one another. What they don’t count on is falling in love.

Now, I love a good assassin movie where the cold-hearted professional finds himself helping someone he normally wouldn’t have, maybe even falling in love. Or perhaps he’s walked away from his former life, but it just won’t let him go. There are some great ones out there, but here are three of my favorites.

Hitman: Agent 47

 

John Wick

 

RED

 

 

What is your favorite assassin movie?

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ASSASSIN’S AWAKENING by N.J. Walters

Project Alpha, book two

This book was previously released in 2009 by another publisher under the title Have Mercy. It has been revised and updated for rerelease with Carina Press.

The pulse-racing Project Alpha trilogy continues as a rebel fugitive comes under the care of a woman whose touch means the difference between life and death.

Logan is pure Alpha, a genetically enhanced human who has escaped from the brutal gated city in which he was designed, and from the creators who want him dead. Running for his life across a ravaged Earth, Logan’s goal is to survive. It’s in his blood. Until he awakens wounded, bound and naked, exposed to a beautiful stranger. Now he’s vulnerable to sensations he’s never felt before.

Mercy Dockins has tended to many wounded men, but none as intoxicatingly perfect as Logan. Or as responsive to her curative strokes. But as passion ignites between them, Mercy’s very purpose in the bleak new world order is shaken to its core: Logan has brought her not only ecstasy, but danger, too. He’s drawn the enemy to her sanctuary, and now their love could soon be just another casualty of war.

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Pugs in Sweaters

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By Shannon Stacey, author of HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST

Pugs are funny little creatures, aren’t they? My heroine’s sister has a pug in my holiday novella, HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST, and Atticus was supposed to be a minor secondary character. Well, if you’ve ever known a pug, you can guess how that went. I was totally in love with the little guy by the time I was finished writing the story

It didn’t hurt that, while writing a particular scene in the novella, I went searching for photos of pugs in Christmas sweaters for a little inspiration. Nothing lifts the spirits like animals in cute costumes, but pugs in sweaters are especially adorable. I bookmarked a few to share with you!

This little cutie might be going to Grandma’s house for Christmas.

A sweet girl in the snow.

Double the cute!

This one might be my favorite. The sweater is perfect!

And this technically isn’t a pug in a sweater, but I had to share it. That hat!

In keeping with the cute pets theme, what’s your favorite holiday animal? Rudolph, Snoopy, etc. Who do you love to see on the screen during the holidays? Mine would be Max, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST by Shannon Stacey

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey celebrates the season in this brand-new holiday novella 

After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she’ll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh’s best friend broke Croy Dawson’s heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh’s fault. They’ve never liked each other, but Croy isn’t cruel: he’d never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn’t expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn’t expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can’t escape the truth: he can’t walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

This book is approximately 30,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her favorite activities are writing romance and really random tweets when she’s not off-road in her RZR. She loves mud, books, football & watching way too much TV.

Shannon’s website | Facebook | Twitter

The Cocktail Party

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By Anna del Mar, author of TO THE EDGE

True story. Fancy cocktail party. I’m introduced to the hostess. Invariably, the conversation drifts toward the inescapable question. “What do you do for a living?”

The woman to my right is a financial advisor. The woman to my left is a cardiologist. The hostess is a well-known philanthropist. She narrows her eyes on me. “What about you?”

Until recently, this was the precise point in which I broke out into a cold sweat. After all, 2016 marks my first official year as a romance writer. It’s been a whirlwind for sure, with two romantic suspense releases, The Asset and The Stranger, and two erotic romances, At the Brink and my latest, To the Edge. My learning curve has been steep, but I’d like to think I’m with it. Still, I’ll be honest. Cocktail parties as a romance writer, especially one who occasionally admits to writing erotic romances? Terrifying.

I take a sip of my champagne and look my hostess in the eye. “I’m a writer.”

Predictably, my hostess follows up. “And what do you write?”

“Romance.”

Her mouth puckers. “Oh.”

I suspect I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd. I’m going to need more champagne.

“Who’s your publisher?” asks the financial adviser.

“Carina Press.”

“Isn’t that Harlequin?” the doctor asks.

“Yup.”

The hostess frowns, but the doctor’s mouth relaxes into a smile. “I love Harlequin,” she says. “I grew up on Harlequin romances.”

The financial adviser jumps up and down on her high heels and squeals. “Me too!”

I’m now officially in friendly territory.

“Do tell.” The doctor flashes me a conspiratorial smirk. “What’s your next release?”

I toy with the idea of pitching my Wounded Warrior series, sizzling romantic suspense that’s just barely on the “right” side of the erotic line. Hell, no. I love my romantic suspense but I’m also proud of my erotic romances, of the quality, originality and work I put into my At the Brink novels. My erotic romance fans are some of the most discriminating readers on the planet. I’m not giving any of that up.

So I cling to my flute and tell the ladies that To the Edge is a second chance love story about Noah Blake and Clara Luz. I explain that, in order to learn about kink, Clara had to learn the ropes, but she never expected to be so compromised she’d need rescue by none other than Noah, the first man she ever loved, the ex-SEAL who almost destroyed her, the wounded warrior determined to reclaim her heart and fight for redemption to the very edge of sexual obsession. Because the champagne has temporarily empowered me, I add that To the Edge is the sexiest, kinkiest, most explicit erotic romance I’ve written to date.

You write erotic romance?” My hostess’s blush mirrors her cabernet’s crimson shade.

Uh-oh. Back to sweating again.

My hostess grins, “Is To the Edge on pre-order?”

Those discriminating readers of erotic romance? They hang out at cocktail parties too.

Do you?

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TO THE EDGE by Anna del Mar

At the Brink, book two

To learn about kink, she had to learn the ropes. Yet she never expected to be so compromised she’d need rescuing. And by him. The first man she’d ever loved. The former navy SEAL who’d broken her heart. 

Don’t miss this seductive and erotic romance from Anna del Mar, author of The Asset and The Stranger. 

Clara’s gone wild.

Naked. Cuffed. Caged. Is this the sweet senator’s daughter I left behind?

I didn’t know it was her when I rushed into that room filled with flames, but I’ll never let her go again.

She’s proposed a unique way to thank me. It could bring us both to the edge of ecstasy—or to the point of no return.

Clara wants to submit. To me. Totally. Damn any limits. The very thought of it has brought me back from the dead.

But a stranger is watching from the shadows. He’s made us his fantasy. And he plays rougher than I do. Where he’s taking us now is somewhere so dark, and so dangerous, that this time it could be inescapable.

This book is approximately 104,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

Five Things that Azariah Hayes Can’t Live Without

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By Elizabeth Varlet, author of DARK & DAZZLING

Without giving too much away, there is a scene in Dark & Dazzling where Azariah must make some tough choices. When writing that scene I needed to think about who Azariah was and what he needed. Why would he hold on to some things and let other’s go?

Here are the top five things that he can’t live without.

  1. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania, because a good lip color can make you feel 100% better.


  1. His Round Toed Lace-up Ankle Boots, because they are the first pair of heels he ever bought and are precious to him.


  1. His favorite black nail polish, because without nails he feels naked.


  1. His addiction, because they soothe him.


  1. Ardell Natural Demi Wispies, because even though he has naturally long lashes he loves taking things to the extreme.


Now, what’s on your list? If you could only carry five things what would you pick? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you want to take a look at more of Z’s favorites you can check out my Dark & Dazzling Pinterest board.

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DARK & DAZZLING by Elizabeth Varlet

Sassy Boyz, book two

Z doesn’t need a hero… 

Azariah “Z” Hayes is a diamond. Equal parts strength and sparkle, he’s more than capable of standing on his own stilettos. So if waiting tables and stripping at The Vibe are what it takes to keep a roof over his head, well, there are worse ways to earn a living.

Connelly is a white knight with a badge… 

For NYPD detective Connelly Reid, to serve and protect is just another day at the office—even if that means protecting himself from his own true desires. He’s been curious about Z, his waiter, for months, but it’s not until he sees him in his makeup and heels that the curiosity becomes a fierce attraction. Z, despite all his over-the-top dazzle, might just be the man Connelly has been waiting for his entire life.

But when Connelly investigates underground porn and drug activity with ties to The Vibe, one thing becomes very clear—acting on what he knows is going to hurt Z, financially and emotionally. And though Connelly would love nothing more than to fix all of Z’s problems, no amount of mind-blowing sex can make Z comfortable becoming dependent on his lover. Yet if there’s one thing Connelly knows from his years on the force, it’s this: when things go bad, you need a trusted partner to have your back.

Book two of the Sassy Boyz series 

This book is approximately 87,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise.

A Makeup Routine that Colors Outside the Lines!

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By A.R. Barley, author of OUTSIDE THE LINES

In Outside the Lines, drag queen Chi-Chi sashays into Mitch Dalton’s life and steals his heart. Is it his muffin recipe? His razor sharp wit? Or, his on-point makeup routine?

Chi-Chi and I both agree on one thing: when it comes to your face, moisturizer is your best accessory. I like anything that absorbs fast and doesn’t smell too floral. Chi-Chi likes a little luxury in his morning routine.

After moisturizer, it’s on to primer (a godsend). It smooths everything out while still allowing great skin (and the occasional freckle) to shine through.

Next step is eye shadow! First a swipe of eye primer and then a dip of the brush. I use indie brands like Hello Waffle to get glimmering shadows at a great price, but that means dealing with loose powder. Chi-Chi likes indie shadows too. For him, it’s all about the jewel tones and duo chromes. During the day that’s a swipe of Femme Fatale’s Candied Apple and at night he’s got Shiro Cosmetics Complete Super Effective Collection. Pro tip: don’t overload your brush. Of course, going up on stage also means some black cat-eye eyeliner, fluffy fake lashes, and mascara, mascara, mascara.

I don’t contour. Chi-Chi only does it if he’s going for a Rocky Horror look. Otherwise, it’s some blended blush and a swipe of highlighter. I like a soft shimmering highlighter while Chi-Chi is all about the glitter bombs. Anything that lights his face up like a disco ball is good for a night up on stage.

Chi-Chi has 37 shades of lipstick—but only one lipliner. It’s the color of crushed red velvet, and he doesn’t remember where he got it. When he runs out, there’s going to be trouble. That’s why Mitch—the love of his life and his co-star in Outside the Lines—ordered him a replacement. It’s not a birthday present or a Christmas present. It’s just an ‘I was thinking of you’ present, and it’s perfect.

On performance days Chi-Chi hits his face with a blast of hairspray to keep everything fresh. On lazy Sunday mornings, he’s too busy making muffins with Mitch and the kids to get past the moisturizer. That’s okay, sometimes life is about coloring Outside the Lines.

What about you? What’s your makeup tip or one must-have cosmetic item that makes everything come together?

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OUTSIDE THE LINES by A.R. Barley

The Boundaries Series, book 3

Falling for the drag queen next door

Mitch Dalton can’t stop fantasizing about his sexy and confident drag queen neighbor. He wants to make a move, but he’s had a lot less experience with men and isn’t sure Chi-Chi would be interested in a guy who’s never gone all the way—let alone a widower and struggling single father. And when Mitch’s child care falls through, he needs Chi-Chi’s help more than he needs a boyfriend.

Chi-Chi Ramirez has his own struggles: getting his degree one class at a time, working too many jobs and performing at a nightclub to make his Broadway dreams come true. Mitch’s offer of a nanny position is too good to pass up, even if seeing Mitch every day and not being able to touch him is torture. But when even a simple handshake feels like pure sex, soon touching is all either of them can think about.

A one-night stand, a quick fling—that’s all Chi-Chi can give if he’s going to leave town for New York City. But once they finally get a taste of each other, what if Mitch wants more?

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

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