A Horror Romance?!?!

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By Joely Sue Burkhart, author of ONE CUT DEEPER

The original idea for One Cut Deeper developed from an interview I did with Romantic Times in Chicago 2012. They asked what crossovers I’d like to see more of. The first thing that popped in my head was a cross between Horror and Romance.

I know. I was setting myself up for failure. I don’t write horror, but I couldn’t shake the idea.

So what’s the most horrifying thing I could do…and still land solidly in Romancelandia? Because that’s the kicker, right? The hero and heroine have to still be alive at the end or it’s “Fauxmance” ala Nicholas Sparks. More, we have to really believe in their happiness—so neither character should need extensive therapy to recover from the trauma of the book.

But I wanted to write something scary. Something brutal and horrifying and yet end with all the hope and love of a really good romance. Even more, I wanted their love to be what saved them from the horror. It would be beautiful and moving, despite the danger and fear they faced.

It took a few years to get the idea to completely gel in my head, but I finally realized that the most horrifying thing I could do in a romance was make the heroine fall in love… and then yank the rug out from under her when she finds out the man she loves isn’t who he says he is. At all. Maybe he’s the villain, not the hero, and completely unworthy of her love and trust. Everything she knows is a ruse. A deliberate plan that she’s only just beginning to suspect. As her world begins to unravel, only their love remains solid.

Is their love real? Can she really trust him? Can they survive the danger and find a safe place to be together? Can the hero be redeemed for misleading her in the beginning?

In One Cut Deeper, Charlie has a damned good reason for everything he does. He just never expected to have a happy ever after for himself. Which makes it all the sweeter.

What other horrifying circumstances interests you from a romance perspective? Have you read anything you’d consider a thriller or horror with a strong romance?  Please share in comments, and I’ll draw one name for a free electronic copy of One Cut Deeper and a $20 gift certificate to the winner’s choice of online book retailers.

{8A2EC1D4-B85E-441D-94DD-C135B0C417FA}Img100Her needs are dark. His are dangerous.

Charlie MacNiall has been bringing his beautiful king shepherd to the vet clinic where Ranay Killian works for the better part of a year. She doesn’t realize he’s been slowly wooing her. She certainly has no idea that he picked her deliberately—that she is to become his. A broken heart and a desperate desire to be dominated make her the perfect victim.

His perfect victim.

Charlie fixes Ranay, testing her emotional limits while pushing her sexual boundaries past anything she’d imagined possible. Pain is their shared pleasure…until Charlie disappears and Ranay is all but destroyed.

The FBI says the man she loves is a serial killer. Ranay can’t deny there’s a darkness in Charlie, a monstrous hunger that drives him to the brink. She even believes he could kill. But Charlie’s hunger is what bonds them—it’s the foundation of their love. Would he actually kill her?

91,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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Joely Sue Burkhart has always loved heroes who hide behind a mask, the darker and more dangerous the better.  Whether cool, sophisticated billionaire, brutal bloodthirsty assassin, or simply a man tortured by his own needs, they all wear masks to protect themselves.  Once they finally give you a peek into the passionate, twisted secrets they’re hiding, they always fall hard and fast.  Dare to look beneath the mask with delicious BDSM in a wide variety of genres with Joely on her websiteTwitter and Facebook.  Be sure to check out her free reads!

Badass Babes and Where to Find Them

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By Edie Harris, author of RIPPED

 

I’ve got this thing about women who kick ass and take names. Women who are simultaneously strong and vulnerable, brilliant but fallible, multifaceted and all too human. Women who are completely capable of handling their business without assistance–and probably yours, too–but who make mistakes, because it is our mistakes that make us.

The heroine of RIPPED, Chandler McCallister, has made a lot of mistakes in her 29 years. She traded her military uniform for undercover work in the Russian mob and, as the saying goes, “fell in with a bad crowd.” Her journey toward redemption is chock-full of pitfalls and missteps, but throughout it all, she never loses the core of who she is: an incredibly loyal, fiercely protective, bonafide badass babe.

Chandler’s toughness and capability in handling whatever problems life throws at her is a huge part of why hero Tobias Faraday surrenders his heart into her keeping. He knows she’ll fight to the death to keep that heart in one piece; just as Chandler knows that if she falters in the heat of battle, Tobias will have her back. In fact, he makes exactly that promise to her in RIPPED.

There are several badass babes in entertainment right now whose characterization I find exceptionally inspiring, but my top three at the moment are Elizabeth Keen (NBC’s “The Blacklist”), Catherine Chandler (CW’s “Beauty & the Beast”), and Sarah Manning (BBC America’s “Orphan Black”). I love Sarah–and all the clones, really–for how organically she reacts to and takes action against the negative forces trying to control her life. Catherine is amazing because she’s a hand-to-hand combat rockstar who’s never afraid to take a few hits. And Elizabeth…oh, Lizzie. From start to finish, her fight scenes feel real, and while she’s been the victim of some pretty shady circumstances, she always comes out swinging–and spitting; the girl’s got a mean mouth on her when cornered and frustrated. Plus there’s the whole husband-is-a-sociopathic-spy-who-is-madly-in-love-with-her subplot, which makes me happy.

Personally, I aspire to be a badass babe, but my right hook needs some work. Maybe Chandler can train me, once she’s done taking names.

Who are your favorite badass babes in television, movies, books?

23208552Attorney and political heavyweight Tobias Faraday is the Ice King, a man alone in the eye of a deadly storm. And in the wake of his sister’s torture, he’s out for blood.

The key to Tobias’s revenge is the disavowed British spy he’s kept imprisoned for weeks. Chandler McCallister can get him behind enemy lines in Russia, but the clever double-agent has a demand of her own before she puts her life on the line in the name of redemption.

Posing as Chandler’s boyfriend at an aristocratic wedding in the English countryside won’t kill Tobias. Not in theory.

As the threat of Moscow looms larger and the enemy reveals himself to be crueler than any human can imagine, Tobias reluctantly partners with his prisoner to derail the immediate threat—to their families, to Faraday Industries, and to their lives. What he finds in the process is a feverish, relentless need already melting the ice from his veins.

Book two of the Blood Money series

88,500 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Edie Harris studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College. She fills her days with writing and editing contract proposals, but her nights belong to the world of romance fiction. Edie lives and works in Chicago.

Connect with Edie Harris! Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | website

Author Spotlight: Joely Sue Burkhart

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Summer is on the way, which means it’s time to make the temperature rise! What better way to do that than with an Erotic Thriller by Joely Sue Burkhart? One Cut Deeper will get your pulse racing!

A Christmas Story Gone Wrong by Joely Sue Burkhart

You’re going to laugh, but I started One Cut Deeper as a Christmas romance novella. (Disclaimer:  Although the characters do celebrate Christmas at the beginning, it’s *not* a holiday novel!)

I finished what went on to be one of three parts of the novel, stepped back to look at it, and shook my head. It wasn’t right. Everything had gone wrong.

I’d wanted this to be a sexy, emotionally charged holiday novella. I had a sweet, caring hero with a dark secret in the bedroom, and a damaged heroine who’d learned how to survive despite her family’s misguided love. They get together at Christmas and live happily ever after, right?

Wrong. That’s how I’d written it… but it wasn’t right.

There was something wrong with Charlie. Something he’d been lying about, even to me. Part of me didn’t want to look deeper. I didn’t want to ruin this incredibly tender and loving Master who was determined to heal Ranay. He lifted her up, bolstered her confidence, and gave her exactly what she needed.

But it wasn’t what he needed. At all. He’d been lying to her too.

My holiday romance unraveled. The more I read and tried to fix it, the more Charlie’s secret leaked out, spreading like a thick shadow through everything it touched.

No! I stomped my foot and made Ranay wrap presents and spend Christmas day with her family. She was going to be happy. He was the perfect Master. She deserved that Christmas with him.

But she woke up the next day alone.

I had to pull off that mask and look at what he’d been hiding. I think I was even more scared than Ranay. But I had to keep pushing. For her. For him. And for myself most of all.

About One Cut Deeper:

{8A2EC1D4-B85E-441D-94DD-C135B0C417FA}Img100Her needs are dark. His are dangerous.

Charlie MacNiall has been bringing his beautiful king shepherd to the vet clinic where Ranay Killian works for the better part of a year. She doesn’t realize he’s been slowly wooing her. She certainly has no idea that he picked her deliberately—that she is to become his. A broken heart and a desperate desire to be dominated make her the perfect victim.

His perfect victim.

Charlie fixes Ranay, testing her emotional limits while pushing her sexual boundaries past anything she’d imagined possible. Pain is their shared pleasure…until Charlie disappears and Ranay is all but destroyed.

The FBI says the man she loves is a serial killer. Ranay can’t deny there’s a darkness in Charlie, a monstrous hunger that drives him to the brink. She even believes he could kill. But Charlie’s hunger is what bonds them—it’s the foundation of their love. Would he actually kill her?

Click here to discover more from Joely Sue Burkhart, and don’t forget to visit her website! Also, be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Genre Spotlight: Military Romance

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These heroes are brave, strong, and not afraid to stick up for the ones they love! Our readers share why they love Military Romance below, PLUS you won’t want to miss our recommendations!

A Dangerous Leap by Sharon Calvin

“An excellent read, with lots of information about the work of coast guards which I found very interesting and added to the tale.” –Goodreads review

{395657B4-7502-420A-A08F-A5CED6B86786}Img100Raised by navy parents, Kelly Bishop learned how to pack light and say goodbye at an early age. She’s earned her Coast Guard rescue swimmer stripes in some of the toughest waters out there, outperforming men along the way. Now she’s ready for a new start in Florida, eager to prove herself as the best of the best.

What she isn’t ready for is the spark between her and fellow Coastie Ian Razzamenti.

Ian knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. And what he’s always wanted is a stay-at-home wife–someone who can take care of their children while he’s out on missions. The attraction he feels for Kelly is intense, but is it worth giving up his big-family dreams?

Life-or-death situations leave little time for distraction–or doubt. When a tropical storm becomes a hurricane and a dangerous enemy reveals himself, their air station springs into action, and Kelly and Ian may not have the chance to decide whether they want to take the leap…

High and Tight by Vanessa North

“What a fantastic, unexpected surprise!” –Amazon review

{3CE8C6B8-0D67-40A7-A783-53850A404911}Img100Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.

Harris never wanted to be anyone’s dirty little secret. When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He’s picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren’t afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.

Adam’s been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he’s desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks’ leave and a Navy man’s conviction, he’s ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he’s ready to come out and commit.

His Road Home by Anna Richland

“What an incredibly moving, beautiful story with an incredibly creative set-up.” –Amazon review

{87E6010E-8E72-4300-9A4E-7993835C4125}Img100Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship–a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving–a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Want more Military Romance? Click here!

Starting Over

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By Lynda Aicher, author of BACK IN PLAY

 

How often in our lives do we get the chance to start over? It’s a common plot element in many books, but I had to really think about how frequently we choose to make this happen compared to when it is forced upon us.

Change isn’t something a lot of people are comfortable with. It’s hard and challenging. It requires learning new things and adapting when we might not want to. Often, change is forced upon us instead of taken on by choice. A new technology, a job layoff or move, a tragedy of some kind—these are all catalysts that force us to change that can be seen as opportunities to restart, even if we don’t want to start over.

I never gave much thought to what professional athletes did after their careers are over. In a lot of cases, that happens before they hit thirty. Then what? Do they have a college degree to fall back on? Do they find jobs within their sport? Do they do something completely different like become a florist or accountant? Are they really that different than anyone else who is laid-off with no idea what they’re going to do next? Back in Play digs into that question while exploring a deeper problem that is often hushed among professional athletes.

What would you do if the only job you’ve ever done and loved is suddenly at an end? How do you start over? Where do you go to do that? Would you see this as an opportunity, a setback or simply a fate to overcome?

This also brings to question if starting over is an event or more of a mindset. What do you think?

 

“Aicher’s memorable second Power Play sports contemporary…is both sensual and moving….”
Publishers Weekly

 

9781426899416-COVBack in Play, Book Two of Power Play

For Minnesota Glaciers captain Scott Walters, skating on a bum knee—and self-medicating to keep skating on it—is all part of the game. That the painkillers he’s eating prevent him from having meaningful relationships is just one more sacrifice in a lifetime of them. He’s worked too hard to let his image be ruined by injury or dependency, so he hides the pain and fakes the rest—a girlfriend would only complicate matters.

High school teacher Rachel Fielding never needed a man in her life, but she also never intended to grow old alone. When she meets Scott while visiting her brother, she’s intrigued to find herself wanting him in her bed. For hours at a time, as often as possible. Scott is a giver, and just the memory of his attentions is enough to drive her crazy. Anything long-term is out of the question, though—the pills she finds in Scott’s house indicate he’s struggling with a lot more than growing older in a young man’s game.

When what starts out as a what-the-hell weeklong fling turns into Scott and Rachel exploring each other outside the bedroom, Rachel hesitates. But Scott asks for her support to break his addiction, and hearing him admit his secrets has her ignoring her own rules—until he breaks her heart. With the Glaciers refusing to renew his contract and his future with Rachel uncertain, Scott has some big decisions to make and a lot to prove—especially to himself.

 
Get your copy of BACK IN PLAY from Carina Press or your favorite online retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Lynda-8310-LR-ColorAbout Lynda Aicher

After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, Lynda ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, cleaner and mediator. If writing wasn’t a priority, it wouldn’t get done.

Connect with Lynda

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Five Fun Facts About Rugby

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By Kat Latham, author of TAMING THE LEGEND

 

One of my favorite things about reading romance is having the opportunity to learn new things in a fun way, instead of through textbooks or strenuous study. Through romance novels, I’ve learned about historical events, places I’ve never visited, and sports I’ve never watched.

That’s why I’m always so thrilled when readers contact me to say that reading my London Legends series sparked an interest in rugby. Several readers have told me they watched a rugby match after reading one of my books, and that’s just about the biggest compliment I could get!

As I was writing the latest book in the series, Taming the Legend, I learned some fun facts about rugby that worked their way into the story, which (I hope!) makes it a fun way to learn about the sport, even for readers who know nothing about it.

  1. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in America.

Move over, football! Rugby is on the rise in the U.S., and it’s largely down to a fun, fast-paced form of the sport called Rugby Sevens. In Taming the Legend, the hero, Ash Trenton, retires as a rugby player and goes to California to coach a Rugby Sevens team. When he arrives, he discovers they aren’t quite the team he was expecting.

There are Sevens tournaments all over the world, and they tend to be like festivals. The U.S.A. Sevens are held in Las Vegas every February. Hands up—how many of you have gone to a Sevens tournament? I haven’t, sadly, but I would love to one day!

Source: http://bit.ly/1FbgYkx

 

  1. The U.S. is the Olympic gold medal-holder in rugby.

That’s right—the last time rugby was an Olympic sport, the U.S.A. won gold. That was 1924, so quite a while ago. After that, football gained more and more popularity as generations of Americans embraced a more American identity at the expense of a sport that was seen as English and colonial.

Source: http://bit.ly/1bMmZZ9

  1. Rugby will be an Olympic sport at Rio 2016.

For the first time since 1924, rugby will be an Olympic sport—for men and women. This time, it’ll be Rugby Sevens. The fact it’s going to be at the Olympics has helped the sport gain even more popularity in the U.S. So get your flags ready to cheer on your national team! Who will you be rooting for?

If you don’t know much about Rugby Sevens, you can prepare for the Olympics by watching this video.

 

  1. England are the current Women’s Rugby World Cup champions.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup was played in August 2014, when I was writing Taming the Legend, and England beat Canada in the final. While women’s rugby doesn’t get nearly the attention men’s rugby does, its profile is growing—especially considering no one even knows when women started playing rugby because playing contact sports was so taboo for women in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Two of the women on England’s World Cup-winning team were given honors (MBEs) by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours List this January. That’s a great achievement and recognition for women’s sports—especially since the women weren’t getting paid to train or to play. However, when England’s men won the World Cup in 2003, THE WHOLE TEAM was given MBEs (as well as being paid). Personally, I find it shocking that the women’s team didn’t get the same honor.

  1. Many professional rugby teams have youth academies to prepare young players for life after the sport.

The academy system helps teams nurture young talent, but the people involved in academies know that most of the teenagers they’re training will never go pro or, if they do, will have quite a short career. That’s why they require young people to get other qualifications, such as certificates in coaching or business or anything else they might be able to fall back on.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed these rugby facts.

Did you know any of these facts already? Did any of them surprise you?

9781426899836-COVTAMING THE LEGEND

Book four of the London Legends

When retiring rugby star Ash Trenton considered his next career move, coaching troubled teens at his ex-girlfriend’s California camp wasn’t on the list. But when Camila Morales reappears after eighteen years, begging for his help, he can’t say no to his first and only love.

Camila was just sixteen when Ash moved on to start his rugby career, leaving her heartbroken…and on her own to make a life-changing decision. Now she needs his help to win a tournament prize and save her camp. Relying on Ash is the last thing she wants. But while it’s hard to get over being dumped for a sport, it’s even harder to ignore the rush of attraction that has only gotten stronger after so many years apart.

Coaching teens is the hardest job Ash has ever had, and the task becomes personal when he begins to fall for Camila all over again. But when he is offered his dream job, will he choose the job—or the woman whose heart he already sacrificed once?

Carina Press | Amazon | Amazon UKBarnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Kat Latham - 350pxAbout Kat Latham

Kat Latham is a California girl who moved to Europe the day after graduating from UCLA, ditching her tank tops for raincoats. She taught English in Prague and worked as an editor in London before she and her British husband moved to the Netherlands. Kat’s other career involves writing and editing for charities, and she’s traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia and India to meet heroic people helping their communities survive disasters. She would love to hear from you!

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June 2015 Releases

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Enjoy our Carina Press new releases! With new titles available for download every week, visit this page to plan your shopping for the month. You’re sure to find a story you’ll love!

P.S. Shop our presale titles—buy upcoming titles now and download on the street date!

JUNE 1 | JUNE 8 | JUNE 15 | JUNE 22 | JUNE 29

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June 1

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NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND: A LEXI CARMICHAEL MYSTERY by Julie Moffett
(action/adventure, mystery)
ISBN: 9781426899782
Price: $4.99

CARINA_0615-9781426899782_NoWomanLeftBehindMy mother’s life goal has been to see me, geek extraordinaire Lexi Carmichael, happily married. So bringing my first boyfriend, Slash, home for dinner has me hyperventilating. Things get a lot worse when bullets start flying over our corn chowder.

Now the entire alphabet soup of government agencies want my help finding the man behind the attack—Johannes Broodryk, a cyber mercenary I foiled on my last case. He wants revenge and he’s taken something of mine to ensure I’ll play, so it’s game on. But the government has its own agenda, and Slash is not on board with the plan. Things are a bit bumpy in paradise.

Although I’m more comfortable with computer code than commandos, I’ve been assigned a team of navy SEALs to help bring Broodryk down. The question is, will they survive me long enough to solve his cryptic puzzles and save the day?

Don’t miss Lexi’s first adventure in No One Lives Twice!

81,400 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME by Dani Irons
(new adult romance)
ISBN: 9781426899911
Price: $3.99

CARINA_0615_9781426899911_OliviaChristakosandherSecondFirstTimeMy perfect life…

True, I’m in the hospital waking up from a coma, but my loving parents and adorable boyfriend, Wyatt, are here by my side. It’s weird that I don’t remember them—thanks, amnesia! Wyatt’s an amazing person. He’s a Big Brother, volunteers at soup kitchens, delivers food to the hungry—your basic angel. Your basic filled-out-in-all-the-right-places, naughty-thoughts-inducing angel, that is.

Might be the perfect lie…

In fact, the more I get to know Wyatt the harder it is to believe he’s my boyfriend. The more I find out about my life before the accident, the more I don’t like who I used to be. I can’t understand what a guy like that—kind, considerate, generous—would see in a girl like me.

I don’t know what’s worse, living in the darkness of amnesia or discovering the despicable person I once was. But I’ve got to figure out if I have what it takes to be the person Wyatt truly deserves—before I lose my heart as well as my memories.

91,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo
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June 8

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MIDNIGHT SECRETS by Lisa Marie Rice
(romantic suspense)
ISBN: 9781426899928
Price: $4.99

9781426890697_MidnightSecretsFormer navy SEAL Joe Harris nearly died—twice—on a medevac helo after being blown up by an IED. He’s not moving too great these days, but if there was ever a woman designed to jump-start a man’s hormones, it would be his new neighbor.

Meeting Isabel—loving Isabel—brought Joe back to life.

Isabel Delvaux came from one of America’s foremost political dynasties, until the greatest terrorist attack since 9/11 killed her entire family. She barely survived the Washington Massacre, only to become prey for rabid reporters. Fleeing to Portland and changing her name was a way out, a way to start over. The only way.

She knows she’s safe with Joe Harris. Not just because he’s big and strong, not just because he’s part of a security team that obliterates threats on the regular, but because he’s been to the abyss and back.

But as they help each other heal—through talk, through touch, through spectacular sex—the past comes back to play. When Isabel’s memory starts to return and a mysterious stranger sends Joe emails indicating Isabel is in imminent danger, he’ll do anything to help her uncover the truth. Even if that truth is the most terrifying thing of all.

80,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo
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June 15

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DEADLY STRAIN by Julie Rowe
(romantic suspense)
ISBN: 9781426899805
Price: $3.99

Carina_0615_9781426899805_DeadlyStrainBook one of Biological Response Team

Major Grace Samuels, a trauma surgeon deployed to Afghanistan, spends her life helping her fellow soldiers overcome disease and combat injuries. But her own wounds are harder to heal. Wracked with guilt over the death of a fellow soldier, she finds comfort in her only friend and appointed bodyguard, weapons sergeant Jacob “Sharp” Foster.

Sharp feels more for Grace than a soldier should, more than he wants to admit. When the team discovers a new, quick-to-kill strain of anthrax, he tries to focus on the mission to find its source. He knows he can help Grace defeat her demons, but first they must defeat the deadly outbreak.

Sharp is Grace’s most loyal ally, but in close quarters, he starts to feel like more. She can’t watch someone else she cares about die—but she might not have a choice. The closer they get to finding the source of the strain, the closer it gets to finding them.

79,830 words
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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IN THE DISTANCE by Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin
(male/male romance, contemporary romance)
ISBN: 9781426899713
Price: $3.99

CARINA_0615_9781426899713_InTheDistanceTyler Mitchell has worked hard to rebuild his life after his family kicked him out. A culinary student and sous chef who spends his spare time volunteering with kids, he’s happy enough even though he has no time to consider a relationship.

Trevor Pratt is finally getting over losing the one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but it’s taken screwing every cute guy in Manhattan to get there. He’s vowed to repair the friendship he broke along the way, but that’s hard to do when his friend’s new employee catches his eye. Despite being warned to stay away from Tyler, Trevor turns on the charm.

Romance is a terrible idea. Trevor is ten years older and a relentless playboy. Tyler is still unsure of his place in the world. Neither of them is ready for life-changing love, but as things heat up, their chemistry in the bedroom might just take that decision out of their hands.

Don’t miss In the Raw and In the Fire, available now!
104,230 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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June 22

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SONG OF MIDNIGHT EMBERS by Dana Marie Bell
(paranormal romance)
ISBN: 9781426899812
Price: $3.99

CARINA_0615_9781426899812_SongOfMidnightEmbersBook four of Maggie’s Grove

Fire elemental Mollie Ferguson is on the wrong side of a group of enraged shifter wolves. She’s been secretly investigating a plot that could destroy the small-town supernatural haven of Maggie’s Grove. But when a beloved pack member is killed, everyone thinks she’s the murderer. In desperation, she turns to the one person who will help her—the true mate she rejected. His presence rekindles an old, irresistible desire, and makes her wish she’d chosen differently.

Without Mollie as his lover, the dryad Greer Berkley is dying, the leaves of his birch turning to autumn shades. But he will not allow himself to fade until he has ensured Mollie’s safety. All know Greer as a healer, but few know the true depth of his power as a defender.

Greer and Mollie must complete her investigation and clear her name before the pack demands vengeance. And if they are to know each other’s touch at last, the only chance is now, before it’s too late for Greer.

83,000 words
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo
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STEALING SECOND by Alison Packard
(contemporary romance, sports)
ISBN: 9781426899942
Price: $3.24

Carina_0615_9781426899942_StealingSecondBook five of Feeling the Heat

Katherine Whitton doesn’t purposely avoid men and relationships, but she doesn’t mind that side effect of immersing herself in her job with the San Francisco Blaze. Years ago she was betrayed by her one true love, and she’s never fully recovered, though she’s tried by building a new life in a city she loves.

It’s taken seventeen years for Tom Morgan to get over Katie—Katherine now. Sober now and faced with the incredible opportunity to manage the Blaze, he thinks he’ll finally be able to handle working with this beautiful woman without falling to pieces…as long as she doesn’t get too close.

A crisis with the team’s star pitcher forces Tom and Katherine to put in long hours together. Years of animosity melt away as the sexual tension between them ignites. But it’ll take more than scorching kisses to avoid the wreckage of the past. And neither Tom nor Katie are sure they’re ready to trust each other or risk their hearts for a second chance at happiness.

Read The Winning Season and Catching Heat for more stories about the San Francisco Blaze.

89,190 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

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June 29
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TURNING IT ON by Elizabeth Harmon
(contemporary romance, sports)
ISBN: 9781459290549
Price: $3.24

CARINA_0615_9781426899959_TurningItOnBook editor Hannah Levinson couldn’t be happier. This “Nice Jewish Girl” is ready to marry the man she’s longed after for half her life. When her fiancé suggests they audition for Last Fling, a steamy new reality show for engaged couples, she lets herself be swayed. Maybe she’ll learn a thing or two.

Vlad Shustov’s fall from a once-bright career as a competitive figure skater was swift. Now trapped by a shameful past and an uncertain future, “Vlad the Bad” strips for cash. Joining the cast of Last Fling could earn him a fortune—or at least enough to finally leave stripping. But to win the show’s prize, he must seduce an engaged woman, something he can’t even bear the thought of.

Hannah’s not like any woman Vlad’s met before. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and relegated to the ugly-duckling role she’d worked so hard to shed, can she trust there’s more to Vlad than meets the eye? With sleazy TV tactics shattering the last shreds of the contestants’ confidence, they’ll have to believe true happiness is not only possible…it may be looking right at them.

For more Red Hot Russians, don’t miss Pairing Off—available now!

96,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo
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THE ADVENTURES OF CASSIUS FLYNN AND MOLLY MCGUIRE by Eleri Stone
(steampunk romance)
ISBN: 9781459290532
Price: $FREE

CARINA_0615_9781459290532_Cassius_MollyA Reapers novella

Cassius Flynn is a smuggler. An outlaw. A scoundrel. Charming, devilishly handsome in a maverick sort of way and fiendishly clever to boot. He’s also the only man Molly McGuire has ever loved.

Molly’d left him a year ago. Stolen his airship, broken his heart and made him look like a damn fool. Still, he’s rushed to her rescue, storming into Reaper territory to snatch her out from under the repulsive bounty hunter who brought her in.

High above the plains, up among the clouds in the most rarefied Scraper city of them all, a ruthless statesman has stolen everything Cassius considers important. And without Molly, without her quick hands, sharp mind and pretty face, he doesn’t stand a chance of getting it back…

20,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

When Geeky Met Nerdy: Unconventional Heroes

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By Alyssa Cole, author of SIGNAL BOOST

As I mentioned in my Harlequin blog post for Radio Silence (Bros Before Heroes) a few months back, when I began the Off the Grid Series, I was really enamored of the friendship between my heroine Arden and her best friend John. So when it came time to write book two, Signal Boost, I knew that I wanted someone really spectacular to partner John with. Now, John is a slim, self-deprecating tech geek who, while fully capable of protecting himself and those he loves, doesn’t exactly fit the mold for “romance hero.” First I thought I would pair John off with someone big, brawny and alpha—who doesn’t want someone like that to protect them during a journey into a post-apocalyptic world? Apparently, John, that’s who.

When John’s hero, Mykhail, came into being, he was the perfect fit for John, but the exact opposite of who I had originally imagined. Mykhail is a lean, lanky Ukrainian astrophysicist who really should have invested in LASIK surgery before the world went to hell. (All myopic people whose greatest apocalyptic fear is losing their glasses, please get in line after me.) But it turned out that John didn’t need a protector—he needed someone who could show him how his own geekiness and resourcefulness were as useful as big honkin’ muscles or a gun.

Writing two heroes who are intelligent in their own specific but complimentary ways was incredibly fun for me. I’m a real “competency porn” kind of woman—I love seeing people talk about their passions, whether they be gardening techniques or string theory, with such fervor that you can’t help but get swept up in their excitement. Having nerdy heroes allowed me to explore this trope in new and fun ways. I can’t be the only one who digs this: who else here has a thing for heroes with big…brains? Are there any particular nerd heroes who have rocked your world? Tell me more in the comments!

{881AA019-DAF1-4FCB-8A1A-47BAC88F7A44}Img100When technology stopped working, the world as they knew it ended.

In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he’s pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.

Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John’s gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He’s on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can’t let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that’s so obvious even John’s mom is playing matchmaker.

The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they’ll have to save themselves.

Read Arden and Gabriel’s story in Radio Silence, available now!

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | 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). Visit her website at www.alyssacole.com, talk to her on twitter at @alyssacolelit, or send her a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlyssaColeLit.

From the Mind to the Page

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By Ricardo Sanchez, author of BIGFOOT BLUES

Bigfoot Blues was not supposed to be the sequel to Elvis Sightings. I had a totally different book in mind that leaned heavily on the work of Agatha Christie (I’m a huge fan.) I spent countless hours reading every manor house mystery story I could find doing research. I wrote out all the rules of the genre and then spent a good month plotting out the story, complete with red herrings, an heiress and false accusations. But I was noodling around one day and asked myself, “Who would be harder to find than Elvis?” The answer, Bigfoot, kind of slapped me in the face and ten minutes later I had an outline for Bigfoot Blues that is pretty close to where the book ended up.

I’ve been writing professionally for almost twenty years now, and when I talk to non-writers, the conversation almost always comes to the creative process, which, I’m sad to say, is still a bit of a mystery to me. As an example, a friend who read an early draft of Bigfoot Blues asked me how the hell I could come up with the idea that a woman would ever elope with Bigfoot. And that somebody else would want to hire a P.I. to find her. And that there might be a town full of women who have hooked up with Sasquatch. My very unsatisfying answer was “What other kind of case would Floyd get hired for?”

I don’t know if it is true for all writers, but in the back of my head, the worlds of my stories exist in a sort of parallel universe. And in the one inhabited by the Elvis Sightings books, it’s only natural that there are collectors of cryptotaxidermy, brides of Bigfoot and reporters convinced that everything is a conspiracy.

The process of writing, for me, is a lot like the process of reading. When I’m doing it, I’m completely lost to the real world. I have no sense of time. And I’m dying to find out what happens next. Even though I the plot, I don’t actually know how I’m going to write it or what my characters are going to say. And I don’t know what changes to the plot I’m going to make thanks to the magic of serendipity. But that’s what makes writing fun.

The same friend who asked me about the plot to Bigfoot Blues said he could never come up with a whole world populated with characters who felt like real people. But I challenged him on that. It’s true not everybody can be a great writer (and I’m not necessarily claiming I’m one) but I firmly believe there is a writer in everyone, whether it’s just telling a good joke or coming up with a bedtime story for your kid. If you enjoy the world of the Elvis Sightings Mysteries, steal it. Tell a story with Goliath, or your own Lifestyle Elvis. Or just come up with a bizarre mystery for Floyd to solve. I’d love to read what you come up with.

Ricardo is a writer, toy buff, and lifelong comic book fan. In addition to writing Elvis Sightings and its sequel, Bigfoot Blues, for Carina Press, Ricardo has written for DC Comics, including Batman, Teen Titans Go!, Resident Evil and Line of Defense. His Kickstarter, A Hero’s Death, is coming out later this year, as is his illustrated book of zombie poetry. When he’s not writing, Ricardo drives old muscle cars and collects Halloween decorations for his home in California.

CARINA_0515_9781426899850_BigfootBluesShe eloped with Bigfoot. Or maybe Bigfoot kidnapped her. Either way, I’ve been hired to uncover the truth behind Cindy Funk’s disappearance. Me? I’m Floyd, and I’m a PI living my life as Elvis would have wanted. Not just in sequined jumpsuits. With character.

Cindy’s trail leads me to River City, Oregon—aka the Mythical Creature Capital of the World—where I catch Case #2. This one from an eccentric billionaire who’s lost a priceless piece of “art.” Enter one dead body and I end up deputized to solve Case #3, tracking down a man-eating mountain lion. Or maybe it’s a chupacabra. Or just an ordinary murderer. Hard to say.

I’ve handled my fair share of crazy, but River City’s secrets have me spooked. With an influx of tourists arriving for the town’s annual Elvis tribute contest—what are the chances?—I’ve got to save the girl, solve the rich guy’s problem and leash that chupacabra before a second body is discovered. It might just be mine.

Read more about Floyd’s adventures in Elvis Sightings, available now!

81,000 words

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Follow me @rickzilla (http://www.twitter.com/rickzilla) on Twitter, WriterRicardoSanchez (http://www.facebook.com/writerricardosanchez) on Facebook, or come by my blog, Ricardo-Sanchez.com (http://www.ricardo-sanchez.com)

From the Editor’s Desk: Query Letters

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Here at Carina, we’re always looking for new authors to sign, publish and build. But we recognize that putting your manuscript out on submission can be an intimidating process. How do you make your manuscript stand out, from the query letter to the last page? We’re here to demystify the submissions process by giving you some insight into what a Carina Press editor looks for when she opens up a submission for review.

Today’s post comes from Stephanie Doig, Assistant Editor. Stephanie is the first pair of eyes on many queries submitted to Carina Press, so she’s here today to talk about how you can make your query letter shine.

Sending your manuscript out on submission is a big deal. You’re putting yourself out there, asking us to fall in love with your manuscript and make you an offer. We want that too! At Carina we are looking for books to acquire, not books to reject. A good query letter can be an extremely effective way to rocket your book to the top of our TBR pile.

There are two things you’re showcasing in a query letter:

1) Your book

2) You (the author)

We want to learn about both, but it’s vitally important that your book come first. Think of a query like the marketing blurb you see on a retailer site; if you were selling your book to a reader, what would make them pick it up? The first paragraph(s) of your query letter should convey tone and character, and hook us on the key story elements so that we want to dive in right away.

And don’t forget to include the basics: word count, genre, and whether there are any future books planned in the series. These details are vital information for your potential editor to have.

After you’ve hooked us on the story, it’s time to tell us a little more about yourself. What kind of information should you include? While basic bio information can be helpful, at this stage we’re more interested in knowing what kind of support plans you have for spreading the word about your writing. Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you have a website set up? Our digital commerce and marketing teams work closely with our authors to promote their books across your platforms as well as ours (and those of third-party retailers), and having an online presence is the first step to building marketing momentum for your book.

Additionally, we give authors the option to submit to a specific Carina Press editor when sending in manuscripts. Although this is an option, not a requirement, I would recommend taking advantage of it. Research us online, find out who loves what type of story, and target your submission if you think it’s perfect for one of our editors.

One last note: professionalism is important in querying; by sending a query you are proposing a business partnership. Editors are friendly people, but too casual a tone can be off-putting before we’ve met officially. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality, but keep professionalism in mind! (No need to send pictures of your cats, for example. :) )

Remember:

  • Start with story–personal details can come later!
  • Put any story hooks front and center
  • List your website and social media information
  • Be professional

Writing query letters can be stressful, but we really do appreciate all the effort you put in. And remember, in the end, your book is the most important thing. We look forward to reading it!

Thank you for reading—we hope these tips have you excited to submit your manuscript to Carina Press! Here are some quick references to help you through the submissions process:

  • We’re always open to submissions!
  • We respond to all submissions within 12 weeks.
  • Have a question and can’t find the answer on our guidelines page? Email us at Submissions@CarinaPress.com and we’re happy to help.
  • Looking to target your submission to a specific editor? Find out more about editor submission calls here.
We are currently acquiring We do not publish/no longer accept submissions in
All subgenres and heat levels of romance (excluding inspirational romance) Non-fiction of any form, including memoirs, biographies, poetry
New Adult Women’s Fiction
Historical romance Horror
Mystery and Crime (all sub genres) Thrillers
Action Adventure Literary Fiction
Science Fiction (and sub genres) Faith-based/inspirational fiction or romance
Fantasy (and sub genres) General historical fiction (any historical fiction that does not contain mystery, fantasy, alternate history or romance as primary focus)
Interactive Adventures Young Adult

 

Looking for more information on our submissions process? We’ll have more posts coming in this series, and in the meantime, you can read about our acquisitions process here, and find out more about what an editor does here.

Ready to submit? Click here to start your publishing journey with Carina Press!