The Music Behind Wild & Sweet

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I’m always intrigued by the music that calls to me with each book. I seldom write with music on, but I listen to it heavily while each story plays out in my head—usually while I’m driving to and from the day job or doing things around the house. Whenever I find a song that resonates with the story, I capture it in a playlist and use it as my go-to for getting back into the story’s groove.

It’s also cool to see how the overall playlist turns out. This was especially true with WILD & SWEET. Sure, there are some awesome rock tunes in it. I’m a rock ’n’ roll gal at heart and the brothers demand a certain edge, but there’s also an abundance of what I’d call laid-back-Sunday-night music. Or maybe laid-back-Sunday-night-fooling-around music. Either way, I love how it turned out and I think it fits Zeke and Gabe.

Give it a listen and see if you agree. Even better, share songs you think would fit in the comments below! And if you’re ever curious about the playlists for other stories, you can check them out on my website here.

A native Oklahoman with two beautiful girls and a fantastic husband, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie and has a résumé that reflects her passion for new experiences. Since graduating with a bachelor’s in radio, television, and film at Oklahoma State, she’s racked up positions ranging from on-air radio talent, skip tracer and promotions director, to real estate agent, project manager, and business analyst.

Like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dawn to dusk. To combat the crush of reality, she’s turned to romance as her primary source of escape ever since she cracked the spine on her first Christine Feehan book years ago. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want.

For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at For social antics and an abundance of smoking-hot man candy, follow her on FacebookTwitter or Rhenna’s Romantics.




Limited time opportunity: Accepting paranormal romance proposals (no full manuscript needed)

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Submitting to Carina Press has always—with a few exceptions—required a full manuscript and detailed synopsis. We’re pleased to announce that we’re living lighter this year and relaxing those restrictions for several proposal calls in 2017. We want to see what’s been brewing in your mind and have a taste of your fresh works in progress!

From April 13th to June 4th, we’re accepting proposals for paranormal romance.

Maybe you’ve heard that no publishers want paranormal, that paranormal is dead or that readers aren’t buying paranormal romance? Wrong! Carina Press is actively acquiring and publishing paranormal romance—and readers are buying it. So bring us your shapeshifters, your vampires, your fae and demons and witches. We want to read your paranormal romance proposals, because we love this genre and readers do too!

Details on this limited-time-only proposal call can be found below. You can also keep an eye on our blog and Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up-to-date on all our submission calls.

Submission link:

Closing date: June 4th, 2017 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)

Requirements for this proposal call:

  • Your book must fall within the paranormal romance subgenre, but can be of any heat level or pairing, including same-sex/multiples.
  • Paranormal elements should play an important role in story development, plot and characterization.
  • We will look at paranormal romances in different time periods and unique settings—they do not need to be contemporary or based in the US.
  • Your proposed book must be a completely new work and not have been previously published in any form, whether self-published or released via digital or traditional publisher. Only new material will be considered during this submission call.
  • You cannot submit a project you have submitted to Carina Press before.

Materials needed to participate:

  • A query letter with a 1-2 paragraph book description, plus an introduction of yourself as an author/your writing and publishing history.
  • Three complete, ready-to-send chapters of a WIP. If you have more than three chapters, you can certainly send more!
  • A thorough, well-thought-out synopsis that is at least 5 pages long. The synopsis is extra important with a proposal because we need to see progression of plot, character arc, storyline and, also really crucial—how it ends! See more about writing a synopsis here.
  • You may submit more than one project! However, please submit only one proposal per series.

How to submit:

  • If your book meets the guidelines above and all your material is ready and properly formatted, please use this link to submit.
  • Direct your submission to the editor who has advertised an interest in seeing manuscripts like yours! In doubt? Direct your submission to Editorial Director Angela James or Senior Editor Kerri Buckley.
  • We will consider all proposals that fulfill submission call requirements and are received by 11:59pm EST on June 4th, 2017.
  • All eligible proposals will receive a response within 12 weeks of submission.

Not going to be ready in time? Not to worry. We remain open to full manuscript submissions all year long via, and more submission and proposal opportunities are coming in 2017.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit

We can’t wait to get reading!

Call for Submissions: Contemporary Royal Romance Anthology

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Calling all modern-day kings and queens, princes and princesses…

Carina Press is very pleased to announce a call for royal-themed romances, to be digitally published both individually as novellas and as an anthology. Please see below for specific information on what we’re seeking, closing dates and submission guidelines.

The novellas should be from 25,000 to 40,000 words each. We’re accepting submissions of new material only; nothing that has been previously published (including self-published) for this particular call, please!

Description/story focus:

There aren’t nearly enough tiaras to go around, in our opinion.

We’re looking to bring readers inside the contemporary royal court—wherever that may be—with tales of unconventional princesses, groveling hangers-on, bitchy queen mums, and princes behaving very badly. Whisk us away from the commoners and into a world where the crown jewels are super-sized, the palaces are sumptuous, and being so front-and-center in the public eye makes true love…tricky.

Think TV’s The Royals, not The Crown. We’re after storylines so juicy and salacious they’d make tabloid editors blush.

Novellas should be contemporary in setting and royals or royalty must be key to the story, conflict or character development. However, your modern-day royalty can be based in fictitious principalities and be royal figures with made-up titles. Want to write a beautiful countess and a down-and-dirty duke from the land of Cliffbrook (we just made up that name on the spot)? Bring. It. On.

**Please note, the use of actual people as main characters is prohibited.

Stories should stand alone, though they can be part of existing series or the start of a new series or trilogy, they should contain a satisfying romance as part of the central plot and storyline, and should conclude with an HEA or HFN. Heat level can be from low to the erotic, as long as the focus is on the romance.

Submission link:


Closing date: July 30, 2017

Decision made by: September 22, 2017

To submit:

• Complete* manuscript in .doc, .docx or .rtf

• Query letter containing a 2 paragraph description of the story, as well as an introduction to yourself as a writer.

*While Carina Press generally only accepts submissions of full, completed manuscripts, if you have previously published with Carina or another digital/traditional publisher, or if you have independently published multiple books with a solid positive rating history, please query about submitting a proposal. If we agree to look at a proposal in place of a full manuscript, the editorial team reserves the right to request a full manuscript prior to making a final decision, and all full manuscripts for accepted novellas would be due to editor 6 weeks after the close of anthology call.



Are same sex pairings permitted? Yes, we’ll absolutely consider same sex pairings or multiples in this anthology.

What’s the word count for this call? The word count is 25k-40k words.

What if I write more than 40k words or less than 25k? We’ll consider novellas that are within a few thousand words on either side (I know, we’re so strict) but if you write a lot longer, never fear, we’re acquiring longer books in this same genre outside the anthology call! If you write shorter, we hope you can add more plot, story, characterization to bring it up to 25k!

If I submit on proposal, when is the full manuscript due if my manuscript is accepted? Approximately 6 weeks after the anthology close date for each individual anthology.

Do I need to have a synopsis? A synopsis is not required for this particular call, but if you have one, please include it! In the event that we acquire your novella, we will ask for one at that point. What we do require is a two paragraph description of the novella story, to be included in your query letter.

When will the anthology and novellas be published? They will be released simultaneously in May 2018.

If I’m a returning author, should I submit to you or to my editor? Submit via the unique Submittable link for this anthology, please.

How do royalties work? These will publish individually as novellas, in which case you’ll get the full, individual royalties for your novella sales. They also publish as anthologies, for which you split the same royalty structure with the other authors–for the sale of the full anthology eBook only.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit

*Permission to forward granted*

Dear Reader: April Edition

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Dear Reader,

It’s hard to write about April when it’s the day before New Year’s Eve as I’m writing this. I’m still full of good intentions and big plans for 2017, with my head full of ideas and goals. One thing I’m excited about is my new 2017 reading journal that I’ve created in a 4×6 planner I was gifted. I decided to try tracking my reading a little differently this year and go old-school tracking it on paper versus electronically. I’ve completely decorated it and tricked it out with a reading challenge, TBR lists and so much more. I wonder if I’ll still be using it when you’re reading this! Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram (links at the bottom of this letter) and ask me how that’s going—I’ll show you pictures too, if you want!

This April, there are plenty of good reads to go in your own reading journal, starting with His Alone, the next full-length novel from bestselling author duo Alexa Riley. Featuring secondary characters from reader-favorite Everything for Her, a seemingly perfect hero has secrets only Mallory can uncover, and his obsession with her becomes her greatest weakness. This sexy, romantic read is available in ebook, audio and print!

Rhenna Morgan’s first book in the Haven Brotherhood series, Rough & Tumble, received many reviews like this one: “Holy Hell what a great book this is! My first read from Rhenna Morgan and won’t be the last.” And now it’s time for Zeke’s story in Wild & Sweet. He doesn’t always play by the rules, and he’ll do anything for the woman he loves. Available in digital, audio and print on online retailers.

We have four fantastic male/male contemporary romance titles this month. Author K.A. Mitchell concludes the sweet but sexy story of Ethan & Wyatt in Relationship Status. As a couple, Ethan and Wyatt have faced jealous exes and disapproving parents, but now they face one of the scariest relationship tests ever: living together. Unfortunately, there’s no syllabus for real life. The first two novellas in this trilogy, Getting Him Back and Boyfriend Material, are now available. You can also buy the trilogy as one bundle in audio and print formats in June 2017.

Sidney Bell, author of Bad Judgment, begins a new series, The Woodbury Boys. In Loose Cannon, Edgar-Allen Church’s violent past is about to catch up with him, and it’s going to put his best friend—aka the man he’s secretly in love with—squarely in the crosshairs.

When a hard-nosed SEAL lieutenant and widower relies on his best friend’s little brother for child-care help, unexpected sparks fly—but will passion be enough to keep them together after the summer? Pick up At Attention by Annabeth Albert, the follow-up to the book readers raved about, Off Base. Both are available in digital and print at online retailers.

For fans of romance author Mariana Zapata comes a long-lasting male/male tale of slow-burn romance from debut author M.K. York. In the high-intensity hospital world, there’s no room for romance between surgical resident Neil and his gorgeous superior, cardiologist Eli, but when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love a greater risk than laying their hearts on the line? Necessary Medicine will captivate you from first word to last.

Science fiction romance fans will be glad to see the start of a new series from Robyn Bachar. In Relaunch Mission, the first in The Galactic Cold War series, Privateer Captain Lindana Nyota faces her most dangerous mission yet, but to succeed she must rely on the one agent in the galaxy she trusts the least—Lieutenant Gabriel Steele, the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. This is a stand-alone romance, but look for the next book featuring secondary characters later in the year!

Maybe you’re craving something a little more kinky and erotic. Debut author Brianna Hale’s Little Dancer can help with that. Abby thought attracting the ire of the theater owner was going to get her fired, but Mr. Kingsolver has other ideas—he wants to be her dom, wants her to call him daddy, and will bring her face-to-face with her darkest fears.

Last but not least is the rerelease of paranormal romance Bonded Pair from award-winning author Lauren Dane’s much beloved Cascadia Wolves series. Cade would do anything for his pack family, but his life isn’t complete without someone to share it with—only he didn’t expect to find his reason for being in the heart and soul of the sister of his greatest enemy. Previously rereleased titles in this series include Wolves’ Triad, Wolf Unbound, and Alpha’s Challenge, all now available in digital and print at online retailers.

That’s all for this month, but we’ve given you quite the lineup of romance genres for your April reading! If you’re interested in hearing more about my 2017 reading journal (now I’ll feel like I have to keep it up so I don’t embarrass myself!) you can tweet me @angelajames or find me on Instagram @angelajameseditor.

Coming next month: two anthologies of paranormal romance, plus much, much more.

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


Happy reading!


Angela James

Editorial Director, Carina Press




The Loose Cannon Playlist

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Loose Cannon is the story of two men coping with change—Edgar-Allen Church is trying to overcome a violent past and a bad childhood, and Miller Quinn is coming to terms with his sexuality while concealing his struggle from his family. Transformation can be tough to write about, but here are some songs that helped me capture my heroes’ journeys.


Brandon—Shame OST, Harry Escott

I prefer music without lyrics when I’m working on complicated scenes because it sets a mood without distracting me from my thought process. “Brandon,” like most of the Shame soundtrack, is complex, weary, and troubled, and the piece resonated with me through writing the entire first draft of Loose Cannon. Both Church and Miller stumble from time to time and I had to write some pretty gut-wrenching moments to reflect that reality. This piece fit the tone of those scenes flawlessly.


Let Me In—Snowmine

Church fell in love with Miller when he was only sixteen, and that means he has years of pining under his belt. Despite this, Church is determined to be patient with Miller’s fumbling attempts at learning about who he really is, even if that means concealing his feelings until Miller’s in a better place. “Let Me In” perfectly cues in to that secret plea that Church doesn’t dare speak aloud.


Ode to My Family—The Cranberries

It’s easy to write off intolerant people as villains, but it’s rarely that simple in practice, especially when the villains in question are people we love. Like all families, Miller’s family is flawed, and through much of the book he’s torn between two needs that seem very mutually exclusive—his desire to make his family proud, and his desire to be with Church. While I don’t envy Miller his tough choice, I think it’s an all-too-common one, and this song does a lovely job of capturing what it feels like to recall easier times with a heavy heart.


Chelsea Dagger—The Fratellis

You can’t write about two Chicago Blackhawks fans falling in love without at least one listen to the song that forms the basis for the Chicago Goal Horn, which plays anytime the Blackhawks score. The music after the horn comes from the indie-rock song Chelsea Dagger, and just like Church does in the book, Chicago fans tend to sing along as loudly as possible whenever they hear it. Be warned, the chorus is about as earworm-y as music can get, although fans of other teams don’t seem to enjoy it as much for some reason. ;D


So that’s the Loose Cannon playlist! Which songs would you pick as the soundtrack for your most transformative moments?


About the Author:

Sidney Bell lives in the drizzly Pacific Northwest with her amazingly supportive husband. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late. Visit her online at


Loose Cannon Blurb:

“An edge-of-your-seat tale of suspense paired with a heart-stopping romance. Sidney Bell does it again, rescuing indelible characters from a tricky situation.”—Sarina Bowen, USA TODAY bestselling coauthor of Him 

Released after five years in the system for assault, streetwise Edgar-Allen Church is ready to leave the past behind and finally look to his future. In need of a place to crash, he’s leaning on Miller Quinn. A patient, solidly masculine pillar of strength and support, Miller has always been there for him—except in the one way Church has wanted the most.

With his staunchly conservative upbringing, Miller has been playing it straight his whole life. Now with Church so close again, it’s getting harder to keep his denial intact. As they fumble their way back to friendship after so many years apart, Miller struggles to find the courage to accept who he really is. What he has with Church could be more than desire—it could be love. But it could also mean trouble.

Church’s criminal connections are closing in on the both of them, and more than their hearts are at risk. This time, their very lives are on the line.