Music to Find the Angst

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

By Sidney Bell, author of BAD JUDGMENT

I’ll be honest—I’m the type to play it safe in life, which might be why I like so much risk and angst in my love stories. My new novel, BAD JUDGMENT, is the story of warm-hearted bodyguard Brogan Smith, who falls for his dangerous client’s assistant (and boyfriend!), the cagey Embry Ford. Both Brogan and Embry know it’s smarter to keep their distance, but that’s never as easy as it sounds, is it? Cue the dramatic overture!

However, since I’m the responsible sort, sometimes I needed a little musical help to get me in the mood for gun runners and forbidden love. Here are some songs that helped me get started:


Frederic Chopin: Nocturne in C Sharp Minor No. 20

Embry’s a complex guy. He’d like to believe he’s part robot, but under the surface, he’s a cyclone of feelings (so, so many feelings). Chopin’s Nocturne is simultaneously one of the most restrained and most deeply emotional pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Sometimes called the “Reminiscence Nocturne,” the piece is deeply melancholic, surprisingly sweet, and littered with occasional chords and rhythm that are unsettlingly dissonant. Like Embry, Chopin’s Nocturne is torn between clinging to the past and letting it fade.


Flume & Chet Faker: Drop the Game

I think of this song as Brogan’s theme because they’re such a perfect match. The music of “Drop the Game” is both warm and bold, but what really caught me are the unabashedly romantic lyrics. The singer doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to revealing his devotion and neither does Brogan. It can be terrifying to lay it all on the table like that, and this song captures both Brogan’s bravery in sharing his heart, and his desperate need to have Embry return the favor.

Sóley: I’ll Drown

This song serves as a sort of overall mood-setter. Sóley’s ability to layer elements into a coherent whole (and then sing in English, which isn’t her first language) always reminds me of the gears inside a clock. In the best novels, that’s how the plot works: a series of interconnected pieces coming together to build something bigger than the sum of its parts. Writing BAD JUDGMENT made me feel like a puppeteer trying to get everything into one place by the end. Only my readers can decide whether or not I managed it, but either way, this song got me excited to try.


Nina Simone: Wild is the Wind

And because Nina Simone played a tiny but emotional role in Embry’s backstory, no playlist for BAD JUDGMENT would be complete without a song of hers from Embry’s record collection.


So now it’s your turn. What songs get you in the mood for a dramatic love story?


lgcover.9781488020124Sidney Bell’s debut male/male romantic suspense Bad Judgment delivers an emotionally charged and adrenaline-packed story perfect for fans of Josh Lanyon’s Fair Game

Embry Ford was a quiet, ordinary guy—until tragedy ripped his life apart. Now he’s living under the radar, desperate to hide his identity and determined to learn the truth behind what happened. Even if that means working for—and bedding—a man he loathes.

As a bodyguard to a shadowy arms dealer, Brogan Smith knows distractions can kill as easily as a bullet. But when he sets his eyes on his client’s sexy assistant, he can’t get him out of his mind. Even more unnerving: the closer he gets to Embry, the more Brogan starts to suspect he might be protecting the wrong man.

Embry was sure nothing but vengeance would satisfy him—until Brogan offers him something far more tempting. Now Embry must choose: punish the people who nearly destroyed him or fight for a future with the man who has become his entire world.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at

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.

Some Other Hollywood Hot Messes

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


America’s fascination with Hollywood gossip is hotter than ever. In my debut novel, Hollywood Hot Mess, the tabloids have all but ruined former child star Carly Klein. Most of the stories are lies. The truth hiding in her past is far worse.

Who doesn’t love celebrity gossip? To whet your appetite for the scandals you’ll find in my new releases, I’m counting down my favorite Hollywood hot messes.

You Want Fries with That?

Who could forget a certain silver fox laid out on the floor, making sweet, shirtless love to a double cheeseburger?  He was guarding that thing with his life! It was cell phone cinematic (and PR) genius. People were so obsessed with his drunken munchies that he trended on Twitter. Raise your hand if you’ve ever said, “I’m too drunk to eat that cheeseburger.” I didn’t think so.

It’s Raining Divas

She looked like Jon Snow fending off a white walker army that time a certain naughty Catholic schoolgirl battled an SUV with an umbrella. Maybe it was in her way. Maybe she was pissed about gas prices. Or maybe it was singing her breakout single and she felt obligated to indulge it…

What the Fire Crotch?

This moment of tabloid infamy started my love affair with Urban Dictionary.  That time a handful of reality star WASPs stumbled from an LA club and started explicitly describing a former child star’s…ummm…lady bits. How do they know, you ask? Some starlets cannot exit a vehicle without flashing a money shot.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

This beautiful starlet ended her highly publicized relationship with a big ole “It’s not you, it’s me” when she made out with a married man for the whole world to see. There was pandemonium in the streets. Everyone involved went into hiding. And tabloid publishers lost their Ever. Living. Minds. How awful to have your breakup broadcast on the nightly news. Ahh, young love. *sigh*

Sorry, Not Sorry

Pop princes can be a hot mess, too. Like that time a certain baby-faced crooner loved himself enough to think he did restaurant workers a favor by taking a leak in their yellow mop bucket. He didn’t even say he was sorry. Nothing says “I’m heading for a major crash and burn” quite like assuming your urine is a literal golden shower.

lgcover.9781460397466HOLLYWOOD HOT MESS by Evie Claire

Hollywood Hot Mess, book one

Hollywood’s hottest mess gets a shot at redemption—and a chance to star alongside Tinseltown’s most sought-after silver fox. But when their on-screen acting becomes a scorching-hot, forbidden offscreen romance, she discovers he’s hiding a dark secret behind his carefully crafted public image.

All the dirty details of former child star Carly Klein’s fall from Hollywood grace were tabloid news…and they only knew about half of it. But now she’s sober and grasping at the last chance to revive her flatlined career.

Devon Hayes is Hollywood royalty. Branded the sexiest man alive, granted his first shot at producing, he’s living a life most only dream of. But his offscreen reality is more like a nightmare and makes the twisted tales in his movie plots look tame.

When Carly and Devon are cast opposite each other, Carly is pretty sure Devon is an asshole. Devon is certain Carly is a spoiled brat. But with chemistry that would make a nun lust like a schoolgirl, these two are DTF. Classic.

As their broken parts begin to pull them together, on-screen love turns…could it be? Into the real thing. Faced with the prying paparazzi, vindictive agents and career-ending secrets, Devon and Carly have already sacrificed their souls for fame. Living a lie in public is a small price to pay for ecstasy in private…for now.

lgcover.9781460397473TOTAL TRAINWRECK by Evie Claire

Hollywood Hot Mess, book two

In a town where every illusion comes with a price, a girl can have love or fame. Carly Klein wants both. The A-list drama continues in this compulsively readable follow-up to Evie Claire’s Hollywood Hot Mess

Hurricane Carly hits the big leagues and her offscreen drama hits DEFCON-level F*ck

From tabloid trainwreck child star to award-nominated starlet, Carly Klein wants it all. And being silver fox Devon Hayes’s f*ck buddy isn’t cutting it anymore. The gloves are off as she comes out swinging for the man she loves.

Devon Hayes, aka the sexiest man alive, is the toast of Tinseltown as half of a Hollywood power couple HeaVon—but he doesn’t want to be. Yet his A-list showmance lover will stop at nothing to keep their marital sham alive. So when Carly and Devon’s scorching connection off set threatens his soon-to-be ex’s dynasty, a sh*tstorm of trouble is unleashed.

But pussing out isn’t in Carly’s DNA. Through sex tapes, murder and epic Hollywood takedowns, Carly and Devon will be together and HeaVon will burn in Hollywood Hell…

Part Two of Two

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at


Evie Claire lives in Athens, GA with her husband and two daughters. After graduating from the University of Georgia she worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative before becoming a writer.  An avid equestrian, devoted wino, coffee snob and occasional runner, Evie is in a monogamous relationship with her favorite yoga pants.


Philadelphia According To Anthony Romano

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

By A.M. Arthur, author of SAY IT RIGHT


To celebrate the release of my newest All Saints novel, SAY IT RIGHT, I’m turning this blog post over to one of the book’s heroes, Anthony Romano. Anthony’s family moved to Philadelphia, PA, when he was sixteen and Philly was his home for almost eight years, so he knows a little something about it.


He’s here to tell you about his ten favorite places to go in Philadelphia.


Thanks, A.M., and hello readers. A.M. made me promise not to swear in this post, and I’ll do my best, but I’ve got a dirty mouth. Just ask my best friend Marc. Besides belching contests, sometimes we’d see who could out-cuss the other one best. But that’s a whole other topic.


So Philly. My city. Lots of places to visit and things to do, so I’ll stick to ten spots you should hit the next time you visit. In no particular order….

  1. The Academy of Natural Sciences. This one’s kind of personal, because Marc and I went on a field trip there once when we were kids, so I have memories. But the place is awesome, with all kinds of exhibits. Plus dinosaur bones!
  1. Independence National Historical Park. This is where you’ll find Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but there are other things too, like Benjamin Franklin’s house and an underground museum.
  1. Reading Terminal Market. Like food? Go there. Period. Full stop.
  1. The Franklin Institute. I’m not a huge science guy, but if you are, then this place is worth it. Didn’t make the school field trip that year because of money, but got there later.
  1. Geno’s Steaks. They’re an institution, man, and hands down the best Philly Cheese Steak in the entire city.
  1. Philadelphia Zoo. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t like animals?
  1. Rocky Statue. I may or may not have a picture of myself standing beside it, mimicking his pose. But I’m not telling.
  1. Franklin Square. A gorgeous city park with a carousel, putt putt, and a playground if you got kids.
  1. South Street. The place to go for whimsical shopping, great food, outdoor performances, and it’s the place to be if you enjoy the nightlife.
  1. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. One guy who fought in a war. No one knew who he was, but he got remember. Makes you think.


What’s your favorite city to visit?

0916_ 9781459294363_SayItRight _WebSAY IT RIGHT by A.M. Arthur

All Saints, book two

After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he’s giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he’s sure is straight.

Anthony Romano hasn’t seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant’s absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he’s in love with Marc. Always has been.

Marc swore he’d never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he’s always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.



No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child, and scribbling them down nearly as long.  When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself with her cuisine experiments.

Contact her at with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (, on Tumblr ( on Twitter (@AM_Arthur), and on Facebook (

2016 Erotic Romance Sale

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Back to school season means a return to reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic. But what about romance? Let us help you hit the books with six supremely sexy stories that’ll school you in erotic romance!


99¢ each, September 7–13

9780373002047_TSTHE THEORY OF ATTRACTION by Delphine Dryden, with stories from Christine d’Abo and Jodie Griffin

The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

Camilla can set her watch by her sexy rocket–scientist neighbor’s schedule…but she soon learns that isn’t the only thing Ivan likes to be strict about. He needs to be in charge in the bedroom as well—and Cami discovers there can be more pleasure in submitting than she ever imagined…

A Shot in the Dark by Christine d’Abo

Carter is one of the hottest men ever to walk into Paige Long’s coffee shop. Firefighter by day, Dom by night, he’s her ultimate fantasy. But can Carter convince Paige to submit to happiness outside the bedroom, too?

Forbidden Fantasies by Jodie Griffin

After fifteen years of marriage, Jessica and Alex’s sex life is, well, a little predictable. It just can’t compare with the hot new world Jessica discovers in the pages of erotic romances. Until their fantasies are brought to life during a special weekend at a unique B&B: Bondage and Breakfast…

Get all three for only 99¢!

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

9781460319642 BLINDFOLDED INNOCENCE and MASKED INNOCENCE by Alessandra Torre

The first two books in the fan-favorite erotic romance trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre. Only 99¢ each!

Blindfolded Innocence:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Harlequin

9781459253834Masked Innocence:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Harlequin

CARINA_9781426897672_TheDomProjectTHE DOM PROJECT by Solace Ames and Heloise Belleau

By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle “The Picky Submissive,” she’s on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.

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

CARINA_0115_9781426899461_UnderHisTouchUNDER HIS TOUCH by Jeffe Kennedy

Amber Dolors knows better than to get involved with her boss. Devastatingly handsome in his sharp suits and sexy beyond belief, he possesses an air of command that fuels her darkest fantasies. But she’s worked too hard to get this job, and keeping it will lead to a brilliant future. She won’t cross that line—even if his way of giving orders and demanding her best performance gives her delicious warm shivers.

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

CARINA_9781426894039_SharingHaileySHARING HAILEY by Samantha Ann King

Hailey Anderson’s deep, dark secret? She’s been madly in lust with her overprotective brother’s two best friends for years. Gorgeous woodworking artist Mark Allen and sexy doctor Tony Adamo have no idea they star in her fantasies every night.

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

Best Places for a Meet-Cute

Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

By Annabeth Albert, author of CONNECTION ERROR

In my new Carina Press release, CONNECTION ERROR, computer game programmer Josiah and navy SEAL Ryan meet on a plane. This is often described as the “meet-cute” of a story—the moment when the main characters stumble into each other’s lives, often in adorable, humorous, or awkward ways. In movies this is often accomplished by one character doing something embarrassing right at the exact moment the love interest appears. This got me to thinking about the all-time best places—and worst—to meet the love of your life. And I’m eager to hear what you think!

Best places for a meet-cute:



This one is so classic it’s almost cliché, but I know several happy couples who started as a chance encounter in the stacks at a bookstore or library.

Natural Foods Store


Don’t laugh! Wandering your local equivalent of Whole Foods is a great way to meet crunchy singles. Again, I know people that have met this way.

Volunteering for a campaign or cause.

‘Tis the season for political staffer romances, but this also applies to volunteering for a shared cause like the humane society.

On transit.

Between the train and the platform. #thisisonfacebook #whocares #mindthegap #londontube #london

A photo posted by Anna (@annaperchuk) on

Okay, I’m partial to this one because there are elements of meet-cute involving transportation in all three #gaymers books, but I love books and movies where people meet on the bus or the train, and I know several real-life romances that started that way.

Coffee Shop

I wrote a book featuring this trope, and it’s one of my very favorites. Whether coffee shop patrons or staff, there’s something adorable about meeting at the neighborhood coffee spot.

Worst places for a meet-cute:

Dentist’s office

Numb mouth isn’t a good conversation starter!

Running a marathon.

I actually know a couple that met this way, but hot, sweaty, and breathing hard… Wait. Maybe this one should go on the best…

Plumbing aisle of the home improvement store

#plumber #Lego #suds #plunger #blockage

A photo posted by Julie Rutherford (@julie.rutherford) on

Swapping drain clog stories isn’t conducive to romance for anyone other than the truly fearless.

Frat party

Oh I know, lots of people meet at college parties. It’s as much a cliché as bookstores and coffee shops. But loud, noisy, revelry isn’t my cup of tea.

Eye doctor’s office

Like the dentist, it’s hard to feel sexy while blinking at the sun with dilated eyes!

What do you think? Additions or subtractions to my list? Where did you meet your current partner? What meet-cute locations would you like to see more of in stories?


lgcover.9781459290679CONNECTION ERROR by Annabeth Albert

#gaymers, book three

It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

This book is approximately 66,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at