The Evolution of Ansel

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By Elizabeth Varlet, author of FIERCE & FABULOUS

I can’t even remember where or when Ansel Becke came to me. It’s like one day I was going on about my everyday life and the next my mind was full of glitter and attitude. He wasn’t fully formed but the skeleton was there and it was strong. Stronger than any character I’ve ever written before.

Ansel wanted his story told, like NOW.

During the planning/plotting process I became obsessed with pop music and YouTube choreography videos, especially those that featured people dancing in heels. Music became such a huge part of shaping Ansel’s world that when I closed my eyes I could see The Sassy Boyz performing to a song that came over the radio.

The opening number in Fierce & Fabulous is a song that I’d never heard of before starting my research but now it’s one of my favorite songs.

Anyone familiar with men in heels surely knows about Yanis Marshall. His popularity is staggering. So the fact that he is one of my biggest inspirations shouldn’t be a surprise. Here are two videos that really helped develop Fierce & Fabulous into the book it is today.

And of course, the famous lap dance scene which started it all. Watch this and imagine Ansel and Fitch together. Sexy no?


So, I want to know, which songs inspire you? Do you have a favorite song or artist that helps you get through your day?

lgcover.9781460397404FIERCE & FABULOUS by Elizabeth Varlet

Sassy Boyz, book one

The first in a scorching new male/male series by Elizabeth Varlet. Behind the Sassy Boyz’s seductive smiles and sinful dance moves are desires that will leave readers breathless. 

Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.

Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn’t need. Spotlights aren’t made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.

Though Ansel tries to pretend that what’s between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there’s something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel’s world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go.

Spotlight on Bad Boys

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Summer is all about heat, and we have the reads to really make your temperature rise. Have a truly steamy summer with these bad boy heroes, including Dare from Enough: A Dark, Erotic Motorcycle Club Romance, the latest from author Jade Chandler!

Meet a new bad boy…

About Enough: A Dark, Erotic Motorcycle Club Romance:

lgcover.9781460397411She wanted nothing to do with me. Well, that’s too f*cking bad.

My MC brothers call me Dare for a reason. I never back down from a challenge. And Lila was the sweetest challenge I ever faced.

From the moment she walked into my tattoo shop, she was going to end up in my bed. Tied up, moaning my name and begging for more.

Her past was a nightmare and I couldn’t guarantee her a future. But I could promise her a good time.

I didn’t know what we would turn into, let alone how hard it’d be to stay away after my selfish ass sent her packing.

Problem is, my girl is hot, so the same men I call brothers tried to claim her.

There’s not enough bourbon in the world to help me forget the love we shared. But to get her back, to prove she’s more to me then a quick lay, I’ll have to tell her the secret I’ve been hiding from everyone.

Before she’s gone forever.

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More bad boys for your collection…

About Two Cuts Darker:

lgcover.9781459290365Life on the run with an assassin hasn’t been what Ranay thought it would be. In fact, parts of it more closely resemble a sex-fueled vacation—until duty calls. The FBI believe Charlie’s brother is working for a human trafficking ring, and Charlie is the only one who can bring him down.

Charlie fears Vincent has become a murderous monster like their father. He owes a mercy to the brother he remembers, the one who’d never want to be an uncontrollable killer. But Charlie has never had to kill someone he loves. Not even to save them from a dark, inherited curse.

Killing his brother might be enough to push him over the edge.

Enough to ruin everything he’s built with Ranay.

As a bodyguard for the Vlasenko bratva, the very cruelest arm of the Russian mob, Vincent Gyres has seen and survived the worst the world has to offer. Former Special Forces, ex-CIA and a past inmate at Russia’s most brutal prison, he’s earned his reputation. They call him Ghost because he’s already dead inside.

Madison “Mads” Archer’s hatred for scumbags who traffic in human lives is personal—her sister was taken when the girls were just children. Now Madison’s on a joint FBI task force, deep undercover as a sex slave. It’s a small price to pay to see the Vlasenko bratva taken down.

A violent criminal like Vincent Gyres doesn’t make a trustworthy ally, regardless of his CIA background. But Mads will use anyone and anything to stop the taking of another innocent young girl’s life. Vincent’s invitation to her to play his submissive in order to get closer to the leader isn’t the problem. Trusting him, wanting him…loving him is.


About At the Brink:


I should never have agreed to it.

A woman will do a lot to keep her husband happy. But when my husband sells me to the highest bidder—billionaire, former navy SEAL, pride of Boston’s business scene—I agree, not to keep him happy, but because it gives me the chance to finally escape. Escape my marriage, escape my debts, escape my life…

Josh Lane demands a steep price: my pride and my morals. But the truth is, I’ve never felt anything like what I feel for him. He brings color into my gray world. And his insistence that I submit to his commands—his depraved, filthy,amazing commands—only feeds my craving to be taken by him. Again. And again.

I should never have agreed to it, but I’m so glad I did.


I don’t need to pay to keep women in my bed. Though my preferences may be unorthodox, I never leave a woman unsatisfied—far from it. Lily Boswell, though… Her innocence draws me, her secrets intrigue me. Having her is worth dealing with her cowardly scum of a husband.

I want to release her passions and heal her wounds.

On my terms.

Because the blindfolds and restraints hide more than she could imagine. I must keep her safe from the people who would destroy me—and the demons that haunt my dreams.


About Taming Her Wolf:

lgcover.9781459290112For disgraced physician Kim Sharpe, Fire Creek was supposed to be a sanctuary, a place to hide from media scrutiny and the public eye. But when a group of wolf shifters break into her clinic and demand she save the life of a packmate, her serene world unravels. And when the wolf dies despite Kim’s efforts, she’s dragged into a hunt she can’t control, led by a man she desperately wants to understand.

All shifters live with their beasts, but Chris “Brick” Preston’s is dangerously close to the surface. And it wants Kim. Sex keeps the beast sated for now, but unless Kim can help him find a more permanent solution, Brick risks becoming a feral, banished—or put down—by his pack.

With each incredibly intense encounter, Brick and Kim grow closer. But time is not on their side. When Kim is faced with betraying the pack in order to save Brick’s life, the consequences may be more than they can survive.

July 2016 Dear Reader Letter

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Every Carina Press ebook includes a letter from Carina Press Editorial Director Angela James to you! She gives you a peek inside all of the amazing books published by Carina Press that month. Get ready for your TBR list to grow; here is a handy guide to all of our July 2016 releases. Enjoy!


Dear Reader,

There’s something magical about being the one to publish an author’s first book. It’s a wonderful feeling to experience the joy, the excitement and even the terror along with a debut author. Everything is new and wonderful, even while being new and sometimes scary as we work to release the book into the world. This month, I had the privilege of working with not one, but two debut authors, and I know you will love their books as much as I do, so please check them out!

The winner of Harlequin’s 2015 So You Think You Can Write Contest, chosen from thousands of submitted manuscripts, debuts this month with her fantasy romance, The Emperor’s Arrow. Lauren D.M. Smith delivered a kick-ass warrior and the emperor she’s honor bound to defend in this story of romance, adventure and intrigue that will have you wishing you could stay with the characters longer!

Also debuting this month is Jade Chandler. The subtitle of this fab romance might give you a hint of what you’re in store for, so hold on for the ride! His MC brothers call him Dare for a reason. He never backs down from a challenge. And Lila is going to be the sweetest challenge he’s ever conquered. Don’t miss Enough: A Dark, Erotic Motorcycle Club Romance.

Fans of Julie Moffett will be thrilled to know that not only does she have a new release out this month, but it is also available in print at select online retailers. Pick up a copy for your bookshelf today! Everyone’s favorite geek girl is back in No Strings Attached: A Lexi Carmichael Mystery, and this time Lexi and her hacker friends are taking on the Chinese in a dangerous game of revenge. Haven’t tried Lexi yet? You can start at the beginning with No One Lives Twice.

Readers praised Nico Rosso’s romantic suspense Countdown to Zero Hour, and One Minute to Midnight delivers the same action-packed thrill ride and swoon-worthy romance. Seasoned black ops soldiers Ben Jackson and Mary Kuri have never worked undercover together, but when their fake identities start flirting, a very real passion flares between them, and it seems like nothing can stop it—except maybe the dangerous gunrunners they’re investigating.

You fell in love with the hero of Julianna Keyes’s Time Served, and this month she’s back with a new hero who hits all the right buttons in The Good Fight. Former fighter Oz returns to his dying hometown where he falls for a stubborn, sexy doctor. He’s willing to jump back into the fight to gain her love, her trust and her forever.

Don’t forget, we have a full backlist of books across genres to keep your e-reader or reading app full. Make sure to check out our selections in paranormal romance, male/male romance and historical romance at!

Coming next month: Scott Hildreth makes his Carina Press debut with a bad-boy mafia romance, we launch a new paranormal romance series full of alpha heroes from Kerry Adrienne, and Anna del Mar is back with a sexy new romantic suspense.

As always, until next month, my fellow book lovers, here’s wishing you a wonderful month of books you love, remember and recommend.

Happy reading!

Angela James

Editorial Director, Carina Press

No Strings Attached Sweepstakes

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We’ve all been there, right? You’ve set aside the day to read when reality beckons and you have to deal with people. Whether you’re trying to impress your boss or flirt with someone, you fall flat on your face—literally and/or figuratively. You know the book you abandoned would never let you down like that. Lexi Carmichael can relate. As a reformed hacker and expert in all things computer, Lexi’s objective is to always to do whatever it takes to help the good guys win. But she’s had some pretty big social fails. Her gaffes run the gamut and have caused a LOT of trouble, both personally and professionally. One thing is for certain: these situations could’ve been avoided if Lexi went with her rather-be-reading instincts.

Enter to win a fabulous reading prize pack that includes: a Kindle Oasis eReader, a $50 Amazon gift card, the first three books in the Lexi Carmichael Mystery series PLUS fun reading swag!

How to enter:

In the Sweepstakes Widget below, complete the tasks for up to NINE sweepstakes entries!

See Official Rules here for details.

When you think you can pull off a sexy dress…and you can’t.


When you assure the Pope you know what you’ve talking about because you’ve read the Bible.


When your parents ask for your boyfriend’s address and you don’t know.


When you wish you could speak to orcs instead of people.


When you are more turned on by Doctor Who than Magic Mike.


When you think reality television is real.


When a fake geek girl pretends to be a REAL geek girl in front of you.


When you try to be a stripper, but you have the flexibility of a board.


The moment you stuff a Rubik’s cube down your bra, in hopes that cute guy will notice your small boobs.


You’d rather endure 26 pap smears in a row than have to go to a party and engage in small talk with strangers.


The moment you slam the car door on the fingers of that super sexy guy.


His eyes when you start talking about security vulnerability metrics.

When Velma was always your favorite character on Scooby Doo.


When you can’t quite pull off Trinity from the Matrix trilogy.


When facing down terrorists is less scary than styling your hair.


Meet geek girl extraordinaire Lexi Carmichael in the Lexi Carmichael Mystery series. Start at the beginning with NO ONE LIVES TWICE, or catch Lexi’s latest adventure in NO STRINGS ATTACHED.


Oops, I did it again…

Leave it to me, Lexi Carmichael, to become a target for an elite organization of cyber criminals simply by being in the wrong place at the right time. As if I weren’t already freaking out about planning my best friend’s bachelorette party, I now have to keep my eyes peeled for people trying to kill me.

After accidentally intercepting a dangerous hack into the NSA and discovering the involvement of a foreign country in said hack, things begin to get seriously complicated. Diplomats, danger and spies, oh, my!

With Slash and my loyal friends by my side, I’m in a race against time to stop a team of sophisticated hackers on a deadly mission. My team of geeks is brilliant…but derailing an international plot for revenge will take everything we’ve got.

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Top Five Reasons Bull Riders are Better!

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By Sarah M. Anderson, author of CRUSHING ON THE COWBOY

I love a man in chaps—who doesn’t? While anyone who gets on a bull is a special kind of crazy, I love to watch the battle between man and bull, eight seconds at a time. In Crushing on the Cowboy, there are two bull riders at one time—Mitch (the American) and Paulo (the Brazilian). Here’s a list of the top five reasons why bull riders are better:

5. No Fear.

Bull riders are adrenaline junkies. In reality, I like a man who doesn’t risk his life for fun and profit. But fiction, I love a hero who lives for the rush of the ride! In Crushing on the Cowboy, Mitch skipped college to start riding after high school. Mitch is deep in the closet but his ability to work around his fear pushes him into the macho world of bull riding. He lives for that rush!

4. Sheer Skills.

Bull riders may be crazy, but they’re also crazy talented. There’s an art and a science to riding bulls and different styles to consider. In Crushing on the Cowboy, Paulo already knows how to ride in the Brazilian style. He comes to America to learn the American style—different grips on the ropes. The ability to dig in his spurs and hold on no matter what has many applications outside of the arena!

3. Thighs.

If you want to be a bull rider, you danged well better have thigh muscles that could crack walnuts. This comes in handy in lots of situations. A good grip is…invaluable!

2. The Buckle.

Bull riders win buckles for winning it all and you know what they say—the bigger the buckle, the bigger the…belt! In Crushing on the Cowboy, Mitch wears the very first buckle he ever won at the Cody Rodeo when he was sixteen. He has others, but he’s a sentimental kind of guy. Paulo hasn’t won a buckle in America yet—but he’s going to keep trying!

1. The Chaps.

God bless a man in chaps. They’re both completely functional, in that they protect a cowboy’s legs from kicks, cuts and barbed wire, and a gift in that they give us all quite a view from the back! Paulo goes home with Mitch and helps him work cattle in between rides during the week. Those chaps lead to a lot of heated moments in the hay room!

What do you love about bull riders? Tell me what I missed!

lgcover.9781488020100CRUSHING ON THE COWBOY by Sarah M. Anderson

Award-winning Western author Sarah M. Anderson proves love needs no words in this sexy male/male novella about two rodeo cowboys facing their future once the rodeo ends

As The Heartbreak Kid, Mitch Jenner is known as the biggest womanizer of all the rodeo cowboys—but it’s just an act to keep himself safe. In fact, Mitch is so afraid of coming out that he’s opted to stay single—and a virgin. He’s fine with being alone…until he meets the mysterious Paulo.

Paulo Bernardes is here to learn the American style of bull riding well enough to teach it back home in Brazil. Anamorado—a boyfriend—will distract him from his goal, but he’s captivated by Mitch, who understands him even when they don’t speak the same language. In return, Paulo wants Mitch to accept himself—and their relationship.

In private, Mitch yields to his attraction to Paulo and is rewarded with a heat and tenderness he comes to crave. But he still fears exposing their relationship. And as they grow closer, Paulo wonders how he’ll live without Mitch once their time together is up—how he’ll pick up the pieces of his heart when it’s time to say goodbye.

This book is approximately 40,000 words

Sarah M. Anderson is an award-winning author who writes new western romances, where the cowboys have cell phones, pick-up trucks, and occasionally advanced degrees, because she hates a stupid hero. She won RT Reviewer’s Choice 2012 Desire of the Year for A Man of Privilege. The Nanny Plan was a 2016 RITA® Finalist.

Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and billionaires. Find out more at and sign up for the new-release newsletter at