When Research Ruins Your Plot

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By Christi Barth, author of ALL FOR YOU

When I came up with the idea for All For You, I knew right off the bat that I wanted the heroine to be a park ranger. Lots of tromping down trails, communing with nature and breathing fresh air. ..all while exchanging brisk banter with the hero.

Except….that’s not what actually could happen. I went to Watkins Glen State Park and interviewed the park ranger – who happens to be the office manager. Because she’s the only full-time employee. When I heard that, my whole plot just thudded to the floor.  Gulp.  I heard more than I wanted to about paperwork (nope-boring), training at other parks in the off-season (nope-she needs to stay in one place to be wooed by the hero) and budgets (come on – was I being pranked? Budgets aren’t sexy!).

What’s a writer to do when research tanks her best laid plans? Pump up the few things that DO work for you, and gloss over the rest. Instead of showing Casey frowning over spreadsheets, I open the book with her leaving work and discovering a half-naked man emerging from a lake.

What was she supposed to do with a six-foot-tall mansicle frozen in place at the edge of the lake? Knowing body heat was the quickest way to deal with hypothermia, she wrapped her arms around him, too. Tried not to notice that it brought her flush against ridged abs. Or how well her head tucked into the hollow of his collarbone.

This was strictly basic first aid. If he were a woman, or a sixty-year-old guy with a pot belly and a bad comb-over, Casey would still be responding the same way. His core temp had to be raised ASAP. But still, it didn’t suck that he was a wall of sheer, solid muscle against her torso.

My portrayal of the park ranger is correct….I just pick and choose which parts to show. Has reality ever crept in and ruined part of a book for you?

CARINA_0215_9781426899515_AllForYouSmall-town park ranger Casey Hobbes has spent her life under the radar, carefully guarding a secret. “The forest flirt,” as her best friend calls her, keeps things casual with men. That way she’ll never care enough to be tempted to share the truth about her past. But when she spots a half-naked stranger on the lake’s edge, Casey can’t resist his muscles or his charm and she’s all-in for enjoying both, while keeping emotion out of it. What could be the danger of one summer fling?

Professor Zane Buchanan has built his entire career on exposing the dark realities of cults, but one—the Sunshine Seekers—remains infuriatingly impossible to crack. Zane’s shocked to discover its sole anonymous survivor is hiding in his new hometown. It’s nearly impossible to concentrate on work, however, when he’s derailed by his attraction to the beautiful blonde in khaki uniform shorts.

As things between Casey and Zane heat up, she struggles with keeping her past from him. And Zane’s on a quest to expose the truth, no matter the consequences. Will their growing emotions finally unseal Casey’s big secret? Or will she turn her back on love to keep the past safely buried?

Get your copy of ALL FOR YOU from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.  Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Connect with Christi!
Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

Not your usual copy meeting

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It was an ordinary Thursday morning and six people gathered around an inauspicious conference table to workshop cover copy changes for a number of upcoming Carina Press titles. Some have had coffee, some not so much. But this is more or less how the conversation goes in the first five minutes:

“We could go with ‘save the girl, squash the chupacabra.’”

“Squash, tackle, I feel equally enthusiastic about those words.”

“Are we JUST squashing the chupacabra or…?” *

The chupacabra in question was a reference to an upcoming Ricardo Sanchez book, “Bigfoot Blues”(on sale in May 2015!). Discussion on this particular line of copy continued and more edits were put on the table. Minutes later, the chupacabra and the final back cover copy were put to bed.

The mood in the room is generally relaxed and humour-filled. For an hour, the team goes through five to six upcoming titles, usually varying genres, to make sure the tone of the book is reflected on the copy. Also, I mean, where else can we have conversations like this?

“I’m not sure how I feel about ‘more than a notch on his bedpost’. Do people still say that?”

“What do people say? A swipe on his Tinder?”

“More than just a hookup?”

“More than just a meatsuit.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why Carina Press cover copy meetings are perfection.

*No chupacabras were harmed in the creation of this blog post.
———
Patty Anasco (@pattyanasco) is Site Operations Manager for Harlequin.com and a member of the Carina Press Acquisitions team.

What Keeps You Safe?

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By Alyssa Cole, author of RADIO SILENCE

Everyone has that special item that they tuck in a purse pocket, perch on their desk or drape over the foot of their bed. You know, that seemingly insignificant thing that somehow wards off any bad guys, bogeymen, or ne’er-do-wells who might try to do you harm. It could be as cliché as a rabbit’s foot or, if you’re religious, a rosary. For others, it might be a blanket passed down from one generation to the next. The Peanuts gang always made fun of Linus for his security blanket, but even as adults we hang onto those things that make us feel protected and loved.

My own personal talisman was a camping axe; I slept with it beside my pillow for several years of solo apartment dwelling (and that one time I had the creepy roommate who opened my door and watched me sleep. Tip: never trust Craigslist for electronics or living partners.). I’d picked it up before my first big camping trip, just in case I had to show some stray bear that he’d chosen the wrong tent to raid (N.B.: a bear would have used my mini axe for a toothpick after eating me, but such is the power of a talisman that I thought I could ward one off). My friends thought my choice in sleeping partners was weird, but as a woman living alone, my little axe gave me just enough peace of mind to get some much needed shut-eye every night. I never had to use it, thank goodness, but its presence lulled me into the belief that it would keep away anyone who might go bump in the night.

In Radio Silence, my heroine Arden and her best friend John flee their college town in the aftermath of an unknown cataclysmic event. They have a long hike ahead of them and they must pack light. One of the only items Arden carries with her is her Louisville Slugger, a gift from her dad when she moved across the country to attend school. She hopes that it can keep her and John safe; unfortunately, she is wrong. Luckily for her, John’s brother Gabriel intervenes when they are attacked, kicking off a contentious relationship that evolves from disdain to desire.

I’ve revealed my security blanket, and Arden’s as well. Now it’s your turn! List your lucky charm in the comments for the chance to win your very own Louisville Slugger baseball bat.
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9781426899638-COVNo one expects the apocalypse.

Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the “off” switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family’s cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn’t necessarily equal safety.

When scavengers attack, it’s John’s ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden’s life, so he can’t be all bad…but he’s also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren’t bloodthirsty maniacs.

No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there’s a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

Book one of the Off the Grid series

Get your copy of RADIO SILENCE at Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

 

Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC life and island-paced life in the Caribbean. Her recent releases include the historical romance shorts Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight (Scottish medieval ) and Be Not Afraid (Revolutionary War).

Connect with Alyssa!
Website | Twitter | Facebook

From Russia with Love

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By Elizabeth Harmon, author of PAIRING OFF

When I told people I’d written a novel set in Russia, I was sometimes asked, ‘Is it about spies/oligarchs/mobsters?’…and ‘have you been there?’

When the answer to these questions turned out to be ‘no,’ another one usually followed: “Why Russia?”

First, it made sense from a plotting standpoint. Russia is known for pairs figure skating champions and PAIRING OFF is the story of two pair skaters, an American woman and a Russian man, who team up when both are left without partners prior to the Winter Olympics.  Not only that, but after my heroine’s career and reputation are ruined by the outrageous antics of her ex-skating partner, Carrie has good reason to pack her bags.

I also loved the idea of placing my Southern belle heroine in a huge, foreign city.  Though Carrie’s skating career has taken her all over the world, it’s one thing to visit a place for a week-long competition, and another to move there.

In Moscow, Carrie encounters architectural beauty, surly fast food and subway employees; discovers that fish pie tastes much better than it sounds, and that a GPS doesn’t work so well when your destination is spelled with Cyrillic letters.

But one of the things I loved most about writing PAIRING OFF was the fun I had presenting Russia, and Russians, in a different way.  Though Moscow is a familiar setting for thrillers, PAIRING OFF is less Tom Clancy and more Nora Ephron. Inspired by the portrayal of Manhattan in When Harry Met Sally and my own experience of living in downtown Chicago, I tried to create a vibrant city of restaurants, coffee shops, parks, quirky neighborhoods and people falling in love.

Carrie doesn’t go to Moscow expecting any of those things, but she finds them, along with a gorgeous sexy man who’s just as beautiful on the inside. Anton is a different kind of Russian hero too, and with him, Carrie realizes that home isn’t just where you are, it’s who you’re with.

Have you ever lived abroad? What did you enjoy most, and what was the biggest challenge?

9781426899508-COVAmerican figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented–and handsome–skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close–with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

Get your copy of PAIRING OFF from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.

Elizabeth is a member of Romance Writers of America.  Watch for her future Carina Red Hot Russians releases, TURNING IT ON, Aug. 2015, and GETTING IT BACK, March 2016.

Connect with Elizabeth!
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads

What We Want—Male/Male!

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Carina Press has been a proud publisher of male/male fiction for almost five years now—and we’re eager for more! Here are some details on the types of male/male books our editors are looking to acquire.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Mismatched heroes—think lawyers with bikers or professional dancers.
  • Adult or new adult male/male romance featuring heroes falling in love while in high-stakes competition with each other–on sports teams, for the same college internship, or for a big promotion at the hospital where they work.
  • Dark, angsty male/male romance with high stakes and series potential.
  • Male/Male historical erotic romance.
  • Raw, badass antiheroes, like mercenaries or assassins.

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • M/M erotic romance featuring people of color—series welcome!
  • A deliciously funny m/m romantic comedy.
  • An m/m gothic romance, dark and emotional and intense.

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • M/M military romantic suspense with a high level of action and intense sexual tension.

  • Sports-themed contemporary m/m romance with strong external and internal conflict.

  • New Adult m/m romance with a virgin hero.

Submit your male/male manuscripts to Carina Press now, right here!

Genre Spotlight: Sports Romance

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Sports fans, are you ready to add a little romance to your collection? These stories feature sexy athletes not only winning the game, but falling in love in the process. Discover some of our athletes below, and keep reading to see why author Lynda Aicher likes mixing sports with romance!

Sports and Romance – A Power Couple by Lynda Aicher

Take a hot, sweaty, driven athlete and pair it with that strong, overwhelming and often scary thing called love and how could they not work? Put them together and you know you’re in for a hard fight, a long struggle, and a whole lot of compromise on the road to a happy ending.

The era of woman hating sporting events or being excluded from sports is long, long gone. Now, a large majority of professional sports fans are women. We root and cheer alongside the men, sometimes louder than the men. Seeing those games come to life in the pages of a book is great. Plus we get the added bonus of watching that big athlete drop his barriers (and drawers) for the right person. That’s just icing on an already delicious cake.

Stick a stubborn man against a strong woman (or vice versa) and the battle that’s destine to happen off the field or court or rink or ring or pool is going to be epic.

So you see—a Power Couple. Sports and Romance are a perfect match.

Game Play by Lynda Aicher


9781426899409One 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

Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon

9781426899508-COV“The Cutting Edge” with a Russian twist.

American pairs figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in America, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is reunited with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to see her again…never mind skate with her.

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real between them, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country, and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

Red Hot Russians, Book #1

Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr

CARINA_0414_9781426897757_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.

Need more Sports Romance? Click here!

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Harmon

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Elizabeth Harmon finds inspiration in many places, especially in music. Her debut novel Pairing Off, set in the world of international competitive figure skating, is sound-tracked by a diverse playlist that highlights the story’s humor and heart.

Tuneful Inspiration by Elizabeth Harmon

“The only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind…”

The haunting lyrics coming out of my car stereo one chilly October morning made me swerve across traffic and into a parking lot. Quickly, I grabbed a pen and paper to scribble down the words to a U2 song that perfectly captured the emotional struggle of my heroine, who travels with a suitcase containing reminders of a family tragedy.

Pairing Off, the story of a gutsy American figure skater heroine and a sexy Russian figure skater hero, has music woven into the fabric of the book.

Some songs play up the fun in a scene, such as when Carrie and Anton find common ground through a shared love for The Ramones, or jump into an ice-cold swimming pool, while Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine” plays in the background.  Songs also add emotional depth. When Carrie returns to the United States for a not-so-happy holiday visit, the ubiquitous Christmas music underscores her sadness.

Other songs, though never mentioned, reflect elements of the story.  What soundtrack for a book set in Russia would be complete without the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.?”  Death Cab for Cutie’s “You Are A Tourist,” has a great line about the many destinations we call home.  U2’s “Walk On,” which I consider the book’s theme song, is about leaving behind our baggage of guilt and sadness, to find love and a place to belong, all central themes of “Pairing Off.”

As Carrie and Anton train, laugh, fight and fall in love, music—from Pachelbel’s Canon in D, to Peggy Lee’s “Fever;” Abba’s “Dancing Queen” to the Foo Fighters’ “Wheels,” – drives their story, bridges their differences, and unites their hearts.

About Pairing Off:

9781426899508-COVPairing Off (Red Hot Russians #1) is available February 2 from Carina Press
American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.
When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

Visit Elizabeth’s website, www.romancewriter-girl.com for more information and her social media links.

Cozy up with Great Romances from Carina Press

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The seemingly endless days of cold, snowy winter weather are enough to make anyone long for a sweeping romance. Heat up your reading routine with a sweet, sensual or downright sexy story!


 

Contemporary Romance

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PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon
(contemporary romance, sports)

9781426899508-COV

Passion gets a Russian twist in this sports romance!
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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ALL FOR YOU by Christi Barth
(contemporary romance)

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Fall in love with a new romance from Christi Barth!
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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SLOW RIDE HOME by Leah Braemel
(contemporary romance, Western)

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99¢ sale
February 7–21

“I absolutely love a good cowboy romance and Leah Braemel knows how to write them. This story is not only first loves coming back together but a story of discovery, deception and hidden secrets.” Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

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ON THE SURFACE by Kate Willoughby
(Contemporary romance, sports)

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99¢ SALE
February 3–20


 “Kate Willoughby seamlessly weaves together all the best characteristics with phenomenal dialogue allowing this reader to fall in love.” —Harlequin Junkie, Top Pick!

Amazon | iBooks

 


 

Erotic Romance

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GAME PLAY by Lynda Aicher
(erotic romance, sports)

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Ice hockey has never been this hot!
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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SHATTERED BONDS
(erotic romance, BDSM)

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Release your secret desires and come join in the wicked play!
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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THE COMPANION CONTRACT by Solace Ames
(erotic romance, BDSM)

9781426899522-COV

“…an excellent balance of rock-and-roll zaniness, California kitsch and sensational sex scenes.” —Publishers Weekly
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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ALL IN WITH THE DUKE by Ava March

(erotic romance, historical, male/male)

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99¢ sale

February 7–21

“You just can’t go wrong when you pick up an Ava March historical. She takes everything there is to love in a historical romance, inserts two wonderfully strong heroes, adds just the right amount of naughty  love scenes, sprinkles the whole thing with angst and misunderstandings and then finishes it all off with a believable HEA.” —Fiction Vixen
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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TEMPTING MEREDITH by Samantha Ann King

(erotic romance, ménage)

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 99¢ sale

February 3–21

“King gives readers an engaging erotic romance that addresses not only the physical highs and lows of a ménage relationship but also the emotional.” —RT Book Reviews
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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IMPROPER RELATIONS by Juliana Ross

(erotic romance, historical)

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99¢ sale

February 7–21

“Ross’ novellas are always surprising, always refreshingly different and always wonderfully memorable.” —RT Book Reviews
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

How do acquisitions work at Carina Press?

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It’s been a while since our last update on the acquisition process at Carina Press, and a few things have changed! We hope the following will serve as a handy update, and give you even more insight into our process and the accompanying timelines.

To start, all submissions are now routed through our Submittable inbox: https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit. Even when a submission is sent directly to me, Kerri, or a freelance editor from a returning or referred author, the submission is ingested into Submittable so we can track it in our system, and have a record of all submissions.

Within Submittable, you now have the option of directing your submission to a particular editor. Did you read on the blog that Rhonda Helms is looking for diverse books? See a What Carina Wants Twitter post about Deb Nemeth looking for sexy historicals? Get a request for a full from Alissa Davis? You’re now able to send your manuscripts directly to their attention.

Although you’re able to direct your submission to a particular editor, you don’t have to. Unassigned submissions are still sent out for reads on a preference basis. This means I keep a spreadsheet (a very thorough spreadsheet) of editor genre preferences. They’ve indicated if a genre is preferred, something they’ll read or something they don’t want to see. This allows me to match up editors and manuscripts, so no editor is reading a genre they don’t enjoy, and they are often reading genres they love. Additionally, I check in with the editors every few months to see if they want to make updates or changes, or if they’d like to see more or less of a genre. Also, I should mention that freelance editors are paid for each step of the process, so we’re not asking for free labor from our freelancers and they have incentive to meet the deadlines (and incentive to read, read, read your submissions. It’s a win all around!)

When editors indicate they’re ready to read submissions, I send them out in batches of ten. Editors then have a week to respond with a preliminary report (of a few sentences to a paragraph for each book) based on a read of no more than 3 chapters (and often much less, as they get good at weeding through submissions). Do they recommend rejection, a full read or a look by another editor? Sometimes it’s a genre they enjoy, but a particular book is not for them but seems to have potential. For instance, we had a recent submission of a cracktastic New Adult with a heroine the original editor found a little too unlikeable, but she recognized the manuscript as being exceptionally well written. That editor suggested a second editor have a look. The second editor loved it, and that ended in acquisition!

Once the editors have returned their preliminary reports, they have two weeks to return reports on any manuscripts kept for full reads. Based on those reads, they recommend acquisition, rejection or revise and resubmit (more on revise and resubmits here). Manuscripts recommended for rejection get filed for response via Submittable, unless the editor has worked with the author in the past, then they may send the response. We’ve discussed rejections in detail here and here.

Those recommended for R&R will get responses directly from the editor. And those recommended for acquisition get moved to a special folder and put on the agenda for our bi-weekly acquisitions team meeting.

In our acquisition meetings, the acquiring editor’s recommendation report is presented and one or two acquisitions team members (that team is comprised of people from marketing, production, promotion, sales, community and editorial) volunteer to read it. In addition to these volunteer readers, all submissions brought forth for acquisition are read by a core team comprised of the Carina Press editorial staff (Angela James, Kerri Buckley, Stephanie Doig) and our marketing leadership team.

Manuscripts are reported on in the next meeting, after everyone listed above has read. Acquisition team members often offer feedback to the acquiring editor. Two people must say yes (and the initial editor who brought the project forward does not count) before a manuscript is acquired, but a manuscript isn’t rejected or sent for R&R without at least six members of the acquisition team looking at it first, to give it a fair chance.

If you’re counting along at home, this means that once the manuscript reaches the acquisitions team, it can take up to 6-8 weeks (depending on when the report is received, especially if it’s received the day after our bi-weekly meeting) for it to go through this step of the process.

After we’ve agreed to make an acquisition, Kerri and I assign it to our list of calls/emails to make. We try and reach out as quickly as possible after a decision has been made. If an author is in the US or Canada, we make the offer call. If an author is outside US/Canada, we generally send an offer email or look to set up a chat via Skype or another similar program. And from there, a new process begins!

So, if you’ve been counting along, you can see how we come to allow 12 weeks for response time on some submissions. The process can be prolonged in several places: if the original editor recommends it be seen by a second editor, if the acquisition team needs more time to discuss, if anyone in the process (the editor or one of the core team readers) needs more time in the process

Have a further question about how submissions work? You can comment here and we’ll respond, or please email submission@carinapress.com.

The Equation for Love and a Happy Life

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By Lisa Marie Rice, author of MIDNIGHT PROMISES

Midnight Promises, the 5th book in the Midnight series, has just come out. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Each Midnight book is a romance but it is also a component in the creation of a big, extended family, the family of Alpha Security International. ASI is a company made up of former Navy SEALs and just as the men were teammates and had each other’s backs in the military, now they are teammates and have each other’s backs in civilian life.

The men making up ASI are without a biological family. The Navy became their family. Once out of the service, and members of ASI, they have a ready-made family in their colleagues. Once they fall in love, that’s it for them, so they have their nuclear family and the extended ASI family.

Their women, too, are friends among themselves. They listen to each other’s problems, are fiercely loyal to each other and always help with problems (while consuming vast quantities of chocolate and white wine, essential components in problem-solving).

So when John found Suzanne, and Douglas found Allegra, and Bud found Claire, and Jacko found Lauren and now when Metal finds Felicity, they form not only strong couples but a strong network.

Isn’t that what we all want? To live our lives among people who love us, people we can love right back. The rest of the world can be—and often is—hostile, but the Midnight people have their enchanted circle of close friends. Life has and will continue to throw harsh stuff at them. Luckily, the men and women of the Midnight world are strong, resilient and smart.

But sometimes your own strength and smarts aren’t enough and that’s where their circle of friends is an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Every member of the Midnight clan will help you bury the body, will stand fast with you against the world, will provide a shoulder to cry on and will give unquestioning loyalty.

To me, that is the best possible life you can live. With your life partner and soul mate by your side, doing work you love, among true friends. Love and friendship, the two greatest things in the world.

Do you have a circle of friends that are like family? I hope you do and I hope you realize how precious they are!

Happy reading! Lisa Marie Rice

CARINA_0115_9781426899348_MidnightPromisesIn their race for the truth, love must prove more powerful than America’s worst enemy…

When a gorgeous, bleeding woman on the run falls into the arms of Sean “Metal” O’Brien, the former SEAL medic knows just what he can do. Heal her. Tend to her. Keep her safe.

What he can’t seem to do is keep his guard up. Something about the haunted, hunted beauty knocks down all his defenses.

Felicity Ward is no stranger to secrets. Raised in the Witness Protection Program, her whole childhood was a lie. But she couldn’t have known that her family’s secrets—secrets she didn’t even know she was keeping—could spark a nuclear war.

And nothing could have prepared her for the tough, sexy warrior who first saves her life and then vows to protect it, no matter what.

 

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