The Scenes that Stick With Us

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By Tamara Morgan, author of WHEN I FALL

There are certain scenes from books and movies that we seem to be unable to shake. Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in the middle of a diner in When Harry Met Sally, Emma Thompson sobbing at Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility, Colin Firth emerging soaking wet from the pond at Pemberley—these are the types of iconic scenes that stick with us months and even years after we first experience them.

It’s impossible to know, going in, exactly what kinds of scenes will stick most with an audience. While authors and filmmakers can do their best to manufacture these moments of grand romance, it’s usually the little things that make the biggest impact. Forget the sweeping gestures—it’s the hero in Kristan Higgin’s Just One of the Guys slowing down to run with the heroine, the kissing in the rain scene in Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels that really make me swoon.

In When I Fall, the scene that stands out in my mind as a personal favorite is the proposal scene. (Since this is an engagement-of-convenience story, it’s safe for me to confess there’s a proposal. Spoiler alert: it’s not real.) I won’t go into the details, since that really would spoil things, but it’s probably the least romantic proposal of marriage of all time, since the hero is mostly annoyed while he’s making it.

Every time I pick up the book to search for a quote or a passage for promotion reasons, I end up right back at those pages for a quick re-read. And then I smile. And then I get excited for readers to experience it too.

I can’t promise the scene will stick with you the same way it does with me, but I do hope you’ll find something between Becca and Jake to celebrate. They share plenty of grand, sweeping moments and smaller, quiet ones—so no matter what kinds of moments have the biggest impact on you, you’re sure to find one to fit!

when I fallWhen I Fall (Montgomery Manor #2)

Socialite Rebecca Clare gets through life one vodka tonic at a time. Emotionally shattered after her best friend’s death, she’s cast as the latest pseudo-celebrity screwup and hounded by paparazzi 24/7. So naturally, the cameras are rolling when she gets into a scrap at a club (he started it). But then an unexpected white knight steps in.


Playing caretaker isn’t Jake Montgomery’s usual role, but Becca is his stepmother’s little sister. As they bond over their bad reputations, they find they have a lot more in common than the spotlight. When a photo of the nightclub incident goes viral, it raises protective instincts that Jake never knew he had. What better way to save Becca—and the family—from scandal than by claiming he’s her fiancé?


Becca agrees to play along, never expecting a fake engagement to feel so right. But she’s vowed never to depend on a man for happiness; how can Jake convince her that falling in love is worth the risk?

 Available from Carina Press.

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.

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Energy on Both Sides of the Stage

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By Nico Rosso, author of MÉNAGE WITH THE MUSE

CARINA_0814_-9781426898792_MenageWithTheMuseBook three of Demon Rock

What happens when two very different satyr rock stars find their Muse…and discover it’s the same woman?

Musician Mia Dillon’s having the week of her life. Sharing the stage with the world’s biggest acts at a hedonistic festival is a rush, but she discovers new thrills as she frees her sensual side. A brief flirtation with sexy drummer Wolfgang quickly escalates as they lose themselves in wild music and the desert heat.

And then there’s Ethan. Silent, almost samurai-like, he’s the best guitarist she’s ever seen. He’s broken out of his quiet reserve just for her.

But Wolfgang and Ethan share two secrets. One: they’re demons. Two: they’re starving. The ancient rules of demons have shifted and if they don’t feed soon, the lights will go out for good. Mia’s energy has marked her as The One…for both of them.

 Mia’s never had two men—let alone two demons—at once. Nobody’s heard of demons sharing a Muse, either. But the three of them make a sexual melody unlike anything else. Mia’s never felt so alive, but with the enemy growing closer by the minute, it will take everything Wolfgang and Ethan have to keep her that way.

There’s nothing quite like seeing a band perform live. The music becomes more immediate. Even if you’ve heard the songs a thousand times, you don’t know where the musicians and singers might take you. Solos change, lyrics change. What might seem like a flaw in a recording studio is part of the excitement of a live show.

You’ve probably heard Tina Turner do “Proud Mary,” now see how different the live performance is (where she has what looks like a million people in the palm of her hand).

But what about the other side of the stage? What’s it like to get up in front of an audience and perform without a net, for everyone to see?

I’m not a musician, but I did some acting in high school and college and got a taste of the interaction between the performer and the crowd. Even though everything I was doing was scripted, with little room for improv, the energy of the people still had a lot to do with the way the show played out.

If the audience isn’t very engaged, the actor can try harder to pull them in, but that can seem forced. A raucous crowd, keyed to every beat of the show, can drive the energy even higher. I can only imagine what this would be like for musicians, in a performance that can change with every beat.

With the satyr rock stars I created in the Demon Rock series, they literally feed off the energy of the audience. They’ve been alive for thousands of years, drawing this life force and adapting themselves to the different trends of music. Things change, though, when a demon’s Muse shows up. She’s his one true love, the only other being he can feed from.

In the third book, Ménage with the Muse, Wolfgang is a bona fide wild rock drummer, free and reckless. Contrasting him is Ethan, also a demon, but more focused on the music in his guitar and less on the partying. They’re both aware that other demons are finding Muses, but don’t know if that kind of pairing is in their own destiny. Neither expects that Mia, a hard-rocking guitarist, is the Muse to both of them.

And she has no idea what’s going on the first time the literal energy from the audience rises up like a wave of fire and electricity during a performance, and slams into her.

So my questions for you are: what experiences have you had in front of a live audience? Did you feel the energy? How did it affect you? And if you haven’t been in font of a crowd, would you ever get up on stage? Looking forward to hearing from you!

If you want to further the discussion I can be found here: website, Twitter, Facebook

Nico Rosso was a writer in search of a genre until his wife, Zoë Archer, brought romance into his life in more ways than one. He created the sci-fi romance Limit War series, and set off the apocalypse in The Last Night. With the steampunk Ether Chronicles, he got to write more closely than ever with his wife, trading off tales that span the globe.  In Demon Rock, he takes you into the dark world of satyr rock stars and the Muses who feed them.  

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!


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!

Fly, My Flock of Dirty Birdies, Fly!

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By Stacy Gail, author of ONE HOT SECOND

So, I have a posse.  I know, I know. Usually that sort of thing is left behind by the time you leave high school. But I’ve totally got a posse… or a flock, to be precise.  I call them my flock of Dirty Birdies, and they’re the ones I go to when I’m not feeling, shall we say, inspired.

Carina_0814_9781426898785_OneHotSecondFor instance, in ONE HOT SECOND I had to create a Norman Bates-era, no-tell motel called The Lunar.  Since it’s the only motel for thirty miles, this is the place where secret assignations happen (or not-so-secret, since this motel’s in such a small town :D ). In fact, it’s so infamous for being the place to get your freak on, the locals of Bitterthorn, Texas refer to The Lunar as The Nooner.

Sounds like a fun place, no? ;)

I knew what I wanted for a backdrop. Parker, the heroine in ONE HOT SECOND, was to be given The Nooner’s official honeymoon suite, a skanky, over-the-top room that would look good in any porn movie.  But when it came time to describe it… I went blank. Honestly, I’ve never gone so fricking blank EVER in my writing. For two days I stared at the screen, and the emptiness of it mocked me.  All I had come up with in terms of décor was a bunch of candles.

Candles, y’all.  Seriously.

I’ve learned that when I’m stuck, it helps to talk it out. So when I went to work at the ice arena (where my flock of Dirty Birdies roosts every Tuesday), I mentioned the scene to my girls, and the “décor” I had come up with so far.  They stared at me in shock and yes, more than a hint of disappointment.

“Candles?” Cathy J., the dirtiest Birdie of them all and damn proud of it, curled her upper lip in disgust and let her East Texas drawl off the leash.  “Candles???  What the hell, woman, d’you think set designers for porno movies go shopping at f*ckin’ Pottery Barn?”

I hung my head in shame. Clearly I had let my flock down. Big time. “Uh, probably not.”

“At the very least you need shag carpeting and a vibrating heart-shaped bed, a bear rug, mirrors on the ceiling and a lube and condom dispenser in the bathroom.  And a stripper pole.”

“Oh!” Another Dirty Birdie, Joanie, snapped her fingers. “And a disco ball!”

“Satin on the walls!” Another Kathy, this one with a K, chimed in.

“Don’t forget the handcuffs,” Celyne (to whom I dedicated STARTING FROM SCRATCH) added, as if handcuffs were a natural thing to be found in a hotel room.

When my flock gets on a roll, they really get into it.  And boy howdy, did they roll right over my idea of candles, turning it into the stinky road kill it was. I’m eternally grateful.

I dedicated ONE HOT SECOND to Cathy J., who started the whole shebang and got me unstuck.  The honeymoon suite at The Nooner is a true testament to just how wonderfully dirty a mind can be. :D


QUESTION:  If you were putting together a room for The Nooner, what would you have in it?

Dirty Birdies 5

From left to right: Me, Joanie, Kathy, Celyne and Cathy J.


Buy Links:

iTunes | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Google Play


About Stacy Gail: A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.

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Punching Fear in the Face

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By Steve Vera, author of BLOOD SWORN 

There’s nothing like an exploding geyser of panic to get the juices flowing. I don’t know why I thought I had more than three months to write an entire novel from word-one, page-one—August had seemed so far away from November—but I suspect it had to do with the fact that my brain had been put on a spit and shish kabobed while re-writing and editing the first two books of the Last of the Shardyn trilogy.

By the time my brain did make the connection, as you might imagine, my sphincter puckered. Three months? It took me fourteen years to write the first one! I calmed myself by remembering that I’d increased time efficiency from fourteen years to ten months between Books I and II, Drynn and Through the Black Veil respectively. A 1400% improvement or something (I’m a writer not a mathematician, Jim!). I had this.

Of course, this wasn’t just any novel. This was the climax, the final installment of my Last of the Shardyn trilogy—a blend of Dragonlance style fantasy and Stephen King horror, mixed with a lil Tom Clancy. At least that was the plan. ;) This baby had to be legendary. I already knew how it ended, had it mapped out and plotted. My brain felt like the converging lasers of the Death Star right before it went planet-hunting. I was ready to fire, but first—venue.

CabinI made a quick call to my dear friend Abby who’d twice offered me her father-built cabin in the woods of upstate New York. When I say artist’s sanctuary, I mean fuggedaboutit. Loft, wood burning stove, electricity, plumbing—a perfect blend of rustic beauty and functionality.

Once there, I unleashed the green lasers. Whenever my brain began to ooze out of my ears from writing fourteen hours straight, all I had to do was open the door and stare outside. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the woods at night but the dark is different there, like a presence, and would seep into the cabin rather than give way to the light. I’d step outside onto that front porch and close the door behind me, heart-in-throat. Every chipmunk rustle was a lurking Drynn.  Every breeze a shadow without a body. Ten minutes proximity to primal fear was all that was needed to infuse me with another dose of inspiration and adrenaline. I’d go back in and fire it back up. Every time I did, I’d give myself a little smile. No witnesses, just me and God. Not only had I just punched fear in the face, but I’d used it. Owned it.

When I arrived at that cabin back in mid-October, I had about 40K words written. When I was done two weeks later I had 160K, cut down to 140K when I turned it into my editor (Rhonda, you were my compass). To that point, qualifying for the Pararescue Selection Team in the U.S. Air Force had been the most gratifying thing I’d ever done. Not anymore. Allow me to introduce you to Blood Sworn.

Book three of Last of the Shardyn

CARINA_0714_9781426898754_BloodSwornOnly scattered groups of exhausted heroes remain…

Veteran police chief Skip Walkins has really done it this time. After crossing realities to fight the onslaught of the Drynn, the spawn of the Underworld, he’s one of only a few motley survivors of an epic massacre. By his blood, he’s sworn to unite with Shardyn Knight Gavin Blackburn against the armies of Asmodeous the Pale, Lord of the Underworld and ruler of the Drynn. The two must seek resistance fighters wherever they can–even in Vambrace, among those who killed Gavin’s father.

Reformed sociopath Donovan Smith has traveled to Vambrace for his own reasons–the new voice in his head claims that there he will learn how he came to be the Antimage, impervious to the deadliest magical attacks.

Donovan’s secrets may hold the key to defeating the Drynn, but they may upset the delicate alliance of the Blood Sworn in the process. And if Skip and Gavin can’t fight together as one, the Drynn will attain total victory over Earth and its magical twin, Theia.

See how the forces of the Underworld were unleashed in Drynn and Through the Black Veil.

137,000 word

I hope you love it.


Steve VeraSteve out.

Connect with Steve: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Newsletter


The (Sometimes) Famous Side Character

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By Joshua Roots, author of SUMMONED CHAOS

I’ve always been a huge fan of Side Characters, the men and women of fiction who help the Hero/Heroine along the way. Playing a supporting role, they’re the ones who often get to say the things the Main Character can’t or won’t. Other times, they’re the ones who find an important clue that helps solidify the MC’s theory of whodunit.

The thing is, Side Characters sometimes get the short end of the stick since they are, on occasion, catalysts for motivation. Life is probably a little safer if you’re Hammer McThunder*, but what about Charlie Von Labcoat**, his fast-talking scientist buddy? The guy decides to work late in the lab only to be gunned down by international criminals bent on stealing the latest time-travel technology he’s been working on. Next thing he knows, he’s dying in McThunder’s arms. Sure, the MC gets to utter some awful catch phrase like, “It’s time to drop The Hammer” and then spends the next 200 pages hunting down bad guys, but that’s no solace to Charlie.

Poor, poor Charlie.

But not all Side Characters are under the Sword of Damocles. Sometimes they’re there to break up the tension. Add some spice to an otherwise dark situation. One of my absolute favorites has to be Zathras from Babylon 5. Stuck on a planet tending The Great Machine and with nothing but insects for conversation/food, the guy didn’t have a lot going for him. And yet, the few episodes where he appeared made a huge impression on me because he wasn’t 2-demnsional. The character had depth and humor, something that separates an outstanding Side Character from the ones that are Just Okay.

It didn’t hurt that he had some of the best lines in the series.

Side Characters can also serve as a point of reference for the reader by contrasting with the Main Character. Watson, no intellectual lightweight in his own right, is there so that we see the true extent of Holmes’ intellect. The fact that Watson is a deeply fleshed out person with motivations and desires, rather than simply being a story-prop, makes Holmes all the greater.

No matter what role the Side Character plays, the critical component for me is the connection. During the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when Indy’s partner, David, is killed, I remember thinking, “That stinks. Oh, hey Shorty!***.” There was no development and, as such, no sense of loss.

But Obi Wan? Oh man. Talk about a huge disturbance in the Force when Vader turned him into an empty robe.

In the end, Side Characters can make or break a story/series for me. Doomed from the start, used as a humor-tool, or serving as a reference point, I’ll struggle through a book if the supporting cast is lack-luster. But give me me a handful of well-defined, strong characters that I can connect with and I’ll gladly stay up till 4AM to gobble down every iota of awesome.

So what about you? What are some of your favorite side-characters and why?


Oh look, books!



Author Bio:

Joshua Roots

Joshua Roots is a former Marine, car collector, and beekeeper. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, playing video games, and reading comic books. He is still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.


Connect with Josh: Twitter | Website | Blog | Goodreads

*You can almost smell the testosterone wafting from this fake name.
** Alas, poor Charlie. I knew him, Horatio! Also, another made up name.
*** Shorty!

The Kowalskis and Musicals

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By Shannon Stacey, author of FALLING FOR MAX

Readers who remember Max Crawford from his introduction in All He Ever Dreamed know he’s not a typical hero for me. He’s shy and a little awkward, and there’s rumor going around Whitford he’s a serial killer. (Don’t worry. They’re mostly kidding.)

Max came about while I was writing Josh and Katie’s story because I realized Whitford didn’t have a sports bar and I needed a place where they went to watch games. Enter Max Crawford, with his awesome leather couches, big-screen television, and mysterious goings-on in his basement. Because his place had become the go-to place on game days, he’d developed friendships with some of the Kowalskis, as well as other residents of Whitford, which wasn’t something that came easy to him.

He was quirky and I fell in love with him immediately. What I wanted was for a fictional woman to fall in love with him, too. But Max works from home and Whitford’s not exactly known for singles hot spots so, when he decides he’s reached a point in his life when he’d like a woman to share it with, he starts at the Trailside Diner.

Tori Burns, who works part-time at the diner, sees Max strike out at his first attempt at conversation, and she’s intrigued. Not only is he Whitford’s man of mystery, but she likes him and thinks he’s funny. It seems to her, with a little bit of coaching, Max can find the woman of his dreams.

He took a sip of his coffee, probably giving himself some time to think. “How do you think you’re going to make me more dateable?”

“We’ll spend some time together and I’ll get to know you a little better so I can help you play up your better qualities. And, like I said, we can have practice conversations. It’ll be fun, like one of those dating makeover shows.”

“So that makes you Professor Higgins and me Eliza Doolittle?”


“From My Fair Lady.”

“Isn’t that some old musical? Like from the black and white days?”

Of course, as Tori goes about helping Max become more “dateable”, she discovers she likes him just the way he is. The problem is that she might just like him a little too much.

There are a few references to My Fair Lady in Falling For Max, and my feelings about the classic musical fall in line with Tori’s reaction when she watches it. (Sorry, you’ll have to read it.) My sister, who’s currently in college, loves it. (Okay, spoiler: I don’t love it. But I’m not telling you why. You really have to read it.)

How you do you all feel about musicals? If you’ve seen My Fair Lady, did you love it or not? (I must admit I sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” a lot.) What’s your favorite musical? I grew up rewatching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at every opportunity, but The King & I will always be my favorite. What’s yours?

About Falling For Max:

CARINA_0814_9780373002290_FallingForMaxMax Crawford has reached the point in life where he’s starting to think about settling down. Unfortunately, he’s always been a little awkward when it comes to social interactions, and working from home doesn’t help. He spends so much time alone, painting beautiful, historically accurate model trains that half of Whitford has begun to joke that he may be a serial killer. Not exactly prime husband material.

Tori Burns has found happiness in Maine, thanks in large part to her shifts at the Trailside Diner. She likes the work, and she loves the local gossip. When shy, geeky Max Crawford becomes a regular, she’s intrigued. When she finds out he’s in the market for a wife, she’s fascinated…and determined to help.

Molding Max into every woman’s dream turns out to be much easier than expected. But has Tori’s plan worked a little too well? As she turns his comfortable life all sorts of upside down, she’ll have to find a way to show just how she’s fallen for him…the real him.

About Shannon:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. She can also be found blogging (almost) daily on her website, and is often spotted running amok on Twitter, Facebook, and the community. Her current release, Falling For Max, is available now from Carina Press.

Author Spotlight: Karina Cooper

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Steampunk is a fun genre that takes what we know of history and adds a fantastical twist with steam-powered technology. This is the world of Cherry St. Croix, heroine of Karina Cooper’s St. Croix Chronicles. Keep scrolling to find out more about the latest St. Croix adventure, as well as world-building advice from Karina!

Playing with Magic by  Karina Cooper

When I was a kid, devouring every fantasy book I could reach, I developed a fascination not just with magic as a thing that exists in adventures, but as a thing that exists in this world. While I can’t claim to believe in fairies—sorry, Tink, hang in there!—I do believe in a lot of the fundamental theories that people these days call “magic”. These beliefs, these desires, tend to color everything from our various religions to our efforts at bettering ourselves.

One of my favorite tools is a Tarot deck. Call it whatever you want, magic or a memory tool or just a random chance draw that may or may not be useful, the foundation of every card is drawn in exquisite balance towards —are you ready for this?—good advice. It doesn’t have to shed fairy dust to be helpful! A single card can remind you of something that you’ve forgotten: the need to take a breath between projects, the opportunity to reflect on your well-being, and even reassurance that we can overcome the conflicts in front of us. Like flash cards for the incurably stressed (guilty!).

When astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson talks about the mysteries left in this world, I always feel a shiver of delight. I think a little magic, a little dream, a little wish for something better isn’t by default a bad thing. What do you think? Is there magic left in this world?

Engraved by Karina Cooper

engravedCherry St. Croix returns to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London, where the balance of power threatens all that she loves.

I will not wither without laudanum. Sober and determined, I have chosen another way—alchemy, and the pursuit of wellness it embodies. My name is Cherry St. Croix, and though freedom is finally at my fingertips, I return to the blackened streets intent on righting the wrongs I’d left behind.

All is not well in London low. Caught in a war between gangs, men are torn limb from limb, and I am called on to ascertain how. The immoral Karakash Veil is no doubt involved, and Micajah Hawke, a prisoner in his own Menagerie, cannot soften the danger this time.

Armed with the alchemical arts I have learned, my ever present guardian, and what few friends are left to me, I embark on a campaign to rescue the ringmaster I cannot abandon, save the Brick Street Bakers from annihilation, and finally face that which frightens me the most—my own heart.


What Readers are saying about the St. Croix Chronicles

mrstrangeway“A great prequel to one of my favorite steampunk series. It’s a must-read for loyal St. Croix fans and a perfect introduction for readers who have been interested in starting the series.”

–Goodreads review, The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway


“This entire series has been a fast paced thrill ride, containing non-stop action and heart gripping emotion. Corroded had me white knuckle clutching my kindle till the end and left me wanting more.” –Goodreads review, Corroded

“Oh man. Yet again, Karina Cooper had me glued to the edge of my seat for the entire ride. Once the story really got going, I knew there was no putting it down until I finished.”

–Amazon review, Tempered



“This book shows that weaknesses can be overcome and insanity is merely one step away from sanity. Mysterious and filled with supernatural suspense. Can’t wait for the next book in the series. Thumbs up to Karina Cooper!”

–Amazon review, Tempered



You can find out more about Karina Cooper on her website and on Twitter!

Congratulations to Carina Press Prism Award Winners and Finalists!

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On Thursday, July 24, the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P) Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America announced the winners of the 2014 Prism Awards at #RWA14.

Carina Press authors were in attendance and received some pretty serious accolades. Please join us in congratulating Cathy Pegau, PJ Schnyder and Jeffe Kennedy on their recognition from FF&P.

Best of the Best and Futuristic Prism Award Winner

CAUGHT IN AMBER by Cathy Pegau

Caught_In _Amber_finalRecently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home–a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony’s top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.

Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy’s latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can’t refuse–her freedom. From the chip, her parole and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go…

Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time?

Cathy’s DEEP DECEPTION was also a finalist in the futuristic category!

Connect with Cathy: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Novella Prism Award Winner


SingForTheDead final coverBook two of London Undead

Kayden, a lone were-leopard allied with the London werewolf pack to keep the zombie infestation in check, is used to working solo–until he discovers a beautiful fae woman surrounded by the aftermath of battle. He’s immediately drawn to Sorcha, but quickly discovers she’s much more than a pretty face.

Half Bean Sidhe and half berserker, Sorcha trained over centuries to become the perfect warrior. She agrees to work with local weres to investigate a new type of zombie capable of coordinated attacks–and is partnered with Kayden. He’s strong, darkly handsome and completely unafraid of her. And his kiss fills her with insatiable desire instead of bloodlust.

As Kayden and Sorcha work together, their attraction grows and their deepest scars are bared to each other. But with the force behind the deadly new zombies poised to overwhelm the city, Sorcha can only pray that the next time her bloodlust strikes, Kayden isn’t among the fallen…

PJ may have been a little excited about her win. ;)

Connect with PJ: Twitter | Facebook | Website | YouTube

Fantasy Prism Award Finalist


Rogues_Possession_finalBook two of Covenant of Thorns

A human trapped in the world of Faerie, in possession of magic I could not control, I made a bargain for my life: to let the dangerously sensual fae noble known as Rogue sire my firstborn. And one does not break an oath with a fae. But no matter how greatly I desire him, I will not succumb. Not until I know what will happen to the child.

Though unable–or unwilling–to reveal the fate of human-fae offspring himself, Rogue accompanies me on my quest for answers. Along the way he agrees to teach me to harness my power, in exchange for a single kiss each day and sleeping by my side each night. Just as I am about to yield to temptation, I find myself in a deadly game of cat and mouse with an insane goddess. Now my search for the truth will lead me to the darkest of all Faerie secrets.

Sequel to Rogue’s Pawnavailable now! Rogue’s Paradise releases September 8!
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Visit the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal website to learn more about the Prism Award.

Genre Spotlight: Contemporary Romance

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To the romantics out there, this spotlight is for you! Contemporary romance is a wonderful genre… but why not let author Stacy Gail tell you why:

Stacy Gail on what makes Contemporary Romances unforgettable…

What is it that makes so many contemporary romances unforgettable? You know the kind I mean. They’re the books on your “keeper” shelf, and they’d have to be pried from your cold, dead hands before you’d ever give them up! I’m the same way, and all my faves have certain elements that make them stand out and just plain work. Such as:

Heroine Addiction: I LOVE strong heroines! They’re not the helpless damsels in distress of old waiting to be saved. Hell, no. They might be in distress, but my favorite contemporary damsels can save themselves, thank you very much. (But if there’s a powerful shoulder to cry on later, that’s cool too ;) )

I Can Relate: My favorite stories are populated by characters I can relate to.  No matter the backdrop—a cityscape, a small town, the athletic world or the great outdoors—my favorite contemporary romances resonate because the character’s thoughts and emotions feel like my own. Get me to fall into a character’s head, and I’ll be your lifelong starry-eyed fangirl.

Oh, The Feels: Contemporary romance often deals with real life issues that strike without warning. Nothing rips me up faster than characters enduring modern-day pressures like foreclosures, car accidents or a stalker ex who just won’t freaking stop. When you combine those factors with the internal pressure-cooker of falling in love, everything’s amped up until the characters (and readers!) feel like a quivering, raw nerve.

Super Hero: Last but not least, I NEED A HERO (sorry for the earworm, heh). Contemporary romance heroes are more sensitive to the needs of their lady-loves than ever before. I get swoony over the Alpha male who taps into his inner gladiator to protect the love of his life, while still respecting her inherent right to think for herself. Domineering Alphaholes… well, they’re still out there. But fans of contemporary romance (like me!) love a sexy hero who’s confident enough in himself to not perpetually strong-arm his significant other into doing everything his way.

Today’s contemporary romance is more complex than ever, and Carina Press gets that. Carina’s authors are some of the best in the genre, so if you haven’t tried them out, now is the perfect time to see for yourself. Happy reading!


What’s New in Contemporary Romance…


One Hot Second by Stacy Gail

onehotsecondParker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she’s come to Texas to restore, isn’t the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it’s merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.

When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he’s gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.

Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won’t be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.


Midnight Vengeance by Lisa Marie Rice

midnightMorton “Jacko” Jackman isn’t afraid of anything. He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he’s been in more firefights than most people have had hot meals. Lauren Dare scares the crap out of him.

Gorgeous, talented and refined, she’s the type of woman who could never be interested in a roughneck like him. So he’s loved her fiercely in secret, taken her art classes, and kept a watchful but comfortable distance. Until now.

Lauren had finally found a home in Portland, far from her real identity, far from the memories of her mother’s death, and outside the reaches of the drugged-out psycho who’s already tried to kill her twice. One tiny misstep—a single photograph—has shattered it all. She has no choice but to run again, but this time she’ll give herself a proper farewell: one night with Jacko.

Their highly charged emotional encounter changes everything. In Jacko’s arms there cannot be fear, there can only be pleasure. Anyone wishing her harm will have to pass through him, and Jacko is a hard man to kill.


Across the Line by Kate Willoughby

acrossthelineBook two of In the Zone

Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he’s determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother’s shadow.

For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can’t keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can’t last. They live on opposite coasts, and they’re both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love…

See how Calder’s teammate Tim found love in On the Surface.


Some Like It Deadly by Heather Long

somelikeitdeadlyBeing the best friend to a prince isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As attorney and spokesperson for the royal Andraste family, Richard Prentiss lives under a microscope. Fair or not, he’s not able to date like a regular person. So when his personal assistant retires, Richard knows her pretty replacement, Kate, is strictly off-limits.

Kate Braddock’s resume includes special forces training and enough profiling work to pick a threat out of a crowd. None of that prepares her to resist the charming, down-to-earth attorney she’s assigned to protect. Determined to treat him like any other body to guard, she struggles to maintain her distance. It’s her job to step in front of the bullet with Richard’s name on it, nothing more.

When threats against the royal family take a deadly turn and his new assistant foils two attempts on his life, Richard’s grateful—and more than a little intrigued. There’s more to Kate than meets the eye, but what is she hiding? He’ll have to trust her with his life when the danger proves to be closer than either realized…

Book three of Going Royal


Click here for more Contemporary Romance!