Spotlight on Historical Romance

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If you prefer your romance to be a blast from the past, these historical romance reads are the perfect additions to your to be read pile. Keep reading for the latest historical romance from Carina Press as well as some older favorites not to be missed!

About A Duchess in Name by Amanda Weaver

0116_9781459290617_ADuchessInName_WebAfter graduating from British finishing school, an American heiress fulfills her duty and weds a destitute earl. A lie brought them together, but will it also tear them apart? Find out in this can’t-miss Victorian marriage-of-convenience story from a compelling new voice in historical romance.

Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham’s finishing school, she’s been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can’t matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.

Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he’s devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family’s fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn’t care to know.

Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn’t so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.

Book one of The Grantham Girls

More Historical Romances

Viscount’s Wager by Ava March

lgcover.9781459290051You never forget your first love, but is a second chance worth the gamble?

Anthony, Viscount Rawling, knows exactly what he wants in life and he isn’t above having a look about London for it. When he spots recently widowed Gabriel Tilden at a tonfunction, he thinks he might have found love…again.

Gabriel is as gorgeous and reserved as he was when he broke Anthony’s heart seven years ago. But they were only adolescents then…surely Anthony won’t hold the incident against him. And especially not when the attraction between them is stronger than ever.

Gabriel came to London in search of distraction, and a teasing Anthony is impossible to resist. As Anthony introduces Gabriel to the pleasures that can be found in the city—and in his bedchamber—their bond deepens into something more. Yet both men are hiding secrets that could pull them apart forever…

The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett

lgcover.9781459290037London, 1821

When John, Viscount Welford, proposed to Caroline Fleetwood, the only daughter of the Bishop of Essex, he thought he knew exactly what he was getting—a lovely, innocent bride.

Five years later, he knows better. The woman who ran to another man on their wedding night—after they’d consummated the marriage—is hardly innocent. Years spent apart while John served as a diplomatic attaché have allowed them to save face in society, but all good pretenses must come to an end. When Caroline receives word that her father is dying, she begs John to accompany her on one last journey to see him.

But there’s an added problem—Caroline never told her father that her marriage to John was a farce. As they play-act for others, Caroline is delighted to find she never really knew her husband at all. But can she be the kind of wife he needs—and does she want to be?

An Immortal Descent by Kari Edgren

lgcover.9781426899843Selah Kilbrid, descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, has been ordered to remain in London and leave any dangers in Ireland to her goddess-born family. They fear she’s no match for Death’s most powerful daughter and—if the legend holds true—the witch who once nearly destroyed the Irish people. But Selah has never been good at following orders, and nothing will stop her from setting out to find the two people she loves most—her dearest friend, Nora Goodwin, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan.

Hiding from kin, traveling uneasily beside companions with secrets of their own, Selah is forced on an unexpected path by those who would steal her gift of healing. With precious time ticking away, she turns to a mortal enemy for help, heedless of the cost.

Selah would pass through hell to rescue Nora and Henry, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Her only chance is to claim the fullest extent of her birthright—at the risk of being forever separated from the man she longs to marry.


An Excerpt from CRAZED: A BLOOD MONEY NOVEL by Edie Harris

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CRAZED, the latest book in Edie Harris’s Blood Money series is available now. If you like sexy romantic suspense with an edge, you won’t want to miss this series! Get caught up with this spoiler-free primer from Edie.

Keep reading for an excerpt from CRAZED: A BLOOD MONEY NOVEL by Edie Harris—available now!

9781426899393CRAZED: A BLOOD MONEY NOVEL by Edie Harris

Casey Faraday was a soldier before he was a spy, but family always came first, no matter what.

When a member of the Faraday clan is snatched off the streets and dragged halfway across the world, it’s Casey who follows the kidnappers’ trail to South America. Thrust into the heart of the cartel he barely escaped during an undercover assignment four years earlier, he’s unprepared for the shock awaiting him on Colombian soil.

Ilda Almeida—the only woman to ever tempt Casey into madness, the beautiful wife he’d mourned for years—is very much alive. And keeping a secret that will forever change life as he knows it.

Casey can’t control his hands—or his heart—around Ilda, but neither can he abandon his rescue mission. When cartel violence turns the jungle into a bloodbath, he can only protect one family: his.

Book three of the Blood Money series

Excerpt

Casey sensed the moment Ilda lost her footing, the momentum from his push driving her forward into the treacherous ravine. Tightening his hold on her tank top, he yanked her backward, sliding the barn door closed as quietly as possible at the same time. As soon as that was done, he looped his arm around her waist and hauled her body against his, leaving her feet dangling off the ground.

There was no time to lose, on the chance he hadn’t been as stealthy as he thought and the guards decided to investigate the door and what lay beyond. Steeling his grip on her, he grabbed the metal stake to his left and, planting one boot on the teensy path, swung them around the massive blue plastic rainwater tank affixed to the stable exterior. The metal stake, along with some questionable-looking bungee cords, kept the tank upright under the weight of the water it collected.

Pivoting on the ball of his foot, he brought them to a sudden stop on the other side of the tank, their bodies hidden from view should the door open. Feet steady on the path, he shifted Ilda in his arms until he brought her shoulders to the exterior wall.

Uncontrollable shaking had taken hold of her, adrenaline and fear coursing through her body. Concern gripped him by the throat, and he soothed her the only way he knew how. Crowding her up against the wall, he gently hooked her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck, and let her cling. He pressed as much of his weight as he dared into her, knowing she needed to feel secure, knowing his hulking body had always made her feel so in the past.

His strength was good for many things, but none so vital in this moment as easing Ilda’s fear.

Nuzzling her ear, he feathered kisses over her cheek, jaw, throat. “Can’t believe you already forgot what I said.” he whispered as he ran his hands comfortingly over her ribs, her hips and thighs. Up and down, back and forth. “I’ve got you, Ilda. I’ve always got you. Shh, now, shh.” She trembled so violently, her face tucked tight to the side of his neck, and he started to worry she wouldn’t calm, despite the fact that she clung to his torso like a monkey.

“I f-fell.”

Never. He’d never let her fall. “Nah, baby. Look at us standing here, safe and sound.” He adjusted his hold so one arm looped beneath her bottom, his other hand continuing to stroke a firm, reassuring pattern along her side, cotton to skin to cotton again. “You didn’t fall.”

Her voice trembled below a whisper, but she was so close he needn’t strain to hear her. “Because you caught me.”

“I never let go of you in the first place.”

Order your copy of CRAZED to keep reading:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Carina Press | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Love the Ride

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By Joshua Roots, author of PARANORMAL CHAOS

 
With Paranormal Chaos out and The Shifter Chronicles winding down, I’ve had some time to sit back and think about my journey from would-be writer to published author. Basically, it was one heck of a roller coaster ride and an experience well worth the years of toil, sweat, and tears. For this, my final Carina Press blog post (for now), I’d like to share with you all some personal lessons learned.

Do It Wrong:

It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be great, but it does have to exist. If you’re wishing to see your name in print, there is no greater leap forward than having the courage to actually sit down and write a story. Doesn’t matter if it’s an epic of 200,000 words or a flash fiction, so long as you write it. A lot of people never start, much less finish, a book because they’re afraid of doing it wrong. Don’t be. Every first, second, and even tenth draft is rough. It takes time to polish that thing to a shine. But you can’t fix what you don’t have.

Be Tenacious:

Life is long and complicated. There are twists and turns you can’t plan for or anticipate. But keeping your nose to the grindstone will likely mean the difference between finishing a work and it lounging in a drawer. Accept the fact that Real Life will interrupt you, but do what you can, when you can.

Be Optimistic:

Everything has been done before. Yes, even your But what separates the wheat from the chaff is attitude. Well, and talent, but mostly attitude. Rejections will happen. Don’t let them stop your drive.

Build a Great Team:

No one publishes alone. Even self-published authors have help somewhere along the line. Having a team of supporters is crucial. Mine happened to be some of the best, from family and friends that beta-read each book to the folks who designed the cover art. If you can find quality people to be on your side, hold onto them like they’re gold.

Have Fun:

Writing, like all things in life, is about perspective. There will be ups and downs, but anything that isn’t done with a joyful heart isn’t worth doing. Your story, no matter how outlandish, sexy, dark, or funny, should resonate with the joy you get from sitting down at the keyboard and hammering out words.

Ultimately, writing is a long climb up a winding mountain path. It can feel lonely or intimidating at times, but with the right attitude and a team of quality folks, it’s an experience well worth the emotional and physical investment.

0116_9781459290303_ParanormalChaos_WebPARANORMAL CHAOS by Joshua Roots

Whoever said “violence is a last resort” never had a Minotaur for a best friend.

Warlock Marcus Shifter has been sent on the most dangerous mission of his career: travel to the remote Minotaur nation and convince them not to abandon the tenuous peace agreement between the humans and the paranormals. But securing that peace requires his best friend, Steve the Minotaur, to help him find a way in to the isolated homeland. A homeland Steve left behind long ago, intending to bury his complicated past.

Secrets and intrigue aren’t the only trouble Marcus uncovers with the notoriously blunt Minotaurs. Between political upheaval and their own civil unrest, rebellion is brewing. A Minotaur revolt wouldn’t just mean the end of the Reformation Treaty, but a shattering of the peace it represents. Cut off from allies and low on ammunition, Marcus must find a way to prevent the coming storm before the human and paranormal worlds are plunged into a horrific, bloody war…

Book three of the Shifter Chronicles

Joshua Roots is a car collector, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He’s 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.


From the Editor’s Desk: Writing a Synopsis

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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 Libby Murphy, who is a freelance editor for Carina Press, and gets to read synopses on a daily basis. She’s seen it all, and is going to help you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Happy New Year! I hope everybody rang in 2016 with some fresh ideas for works in progress and new story and series ideas.

Today I’m going to talk about synopses. I should probably duck and roll to safety at this point, because I know so many of you hate writing them—I know I used to, too! But give me a few minutes to show you why it’s so important, how to break it down, and how you can make yours seriously rock.

Every Carina submission requires a two- or three-page synopsis with your full manuscript. Each of us editors use the synopsis for different purposes. For example, I don’t want a book to be spoiled before I dig in, so I usually read it after I read the first few chapters of a book, especially if I’m not sure about reading the full at that point. Sometimes story issues I’m worried about in the first few chapters can be further analyzed in the synopsis, and I can decide if it’s something that I can fix in edits after the book is acquired, or with a revise and resubmit. If it’s more than I think we can work on in either of these, I will likely make the decision to reject the book, but sometimes I’ll write up a note to the author to let her know that while I loved some things, there were others that were problematic enough that I couldn’t take it further. Sometimes the synopsis will give me enough information to include helpful feedback.

You might be surprised to know how important it is to the acquisition process, too. Several of our acquisitions team members weigh in when a book is brought to acquisitions, and although most of them read the entire book, not all of them need to. They do need your synopsis, however, to help decide if a book is a good fit for the market, for example. And once a book is acquired, we do use it for several purposes. It is the gift that keeps giving.

Which leads to my next topic: what do you need to include in your synopsis? It’s easy to get carried away with telling the reader everything, but it’s important to stay focused. So I’d suggest focusing on conflict/theme, and romantic tropes.

Conflict is what drives a story, and without it, there’s not much to keep the story going. Theme is the heart of the story, or what your characters discover about themselves. Your synopsis (and of course your book!) needs both to work together. Show the hero and heroine’s internal and external conflicts and how they drive the story. For example, what’s keeping them from a HEA? What’s the adhesive that makes them stay together throughout? Show main turning points in their growth arcs, and how they’ve affected your character and the romantic relationship. One thing I see a lot is skimping on the climax, the black moment, and the HEA, and they’re the culmination of what the character has done to grow. Don’t leave those out!

Okay, now for romantic tropes. Tropes are what readers look for when they consider buying a romance, and they go hand in hand with conflict. And if you take a look at our most recent What the Editors Want post, you’ll see that it’s full to the brim with romantic tropes. These are things like marriage of convenience, best friend’s older brother, enemies to lovers, fake engagement, and so on. The tropes are a large part of what’s going to make your book marketable, and they’ll also go on your back cover copy, so you’re going to want to make sure they’re apparent in your synopsis, too! If you notice when you write your synopsis that one or two of your tropes is resolved too early, you’ll be able to fix that in your book before you send your submission.

A great resource to help nail these things is the book Save the Cat. Go to chapter four and check out the beats—those beats are pretty much what I’m looking for, and I think this book makes them wonderfully easy to identify in your own book. If you want to explore them in more depth, the entire book is definitely worth the read.

So now for the stuff I really don’t care to see. Let’s look at how to refine your synopsis a bit more by listing some of the things that don’t work.

  • Physical characteristics. Unless it has something big to do with the plot, it’s probably not necessary. However, if a soldier who has lost a leg is trying to overcome his or her physical limitations before he or she can fall in love, that’s important. Or if it’s a rags to riches type of story where the heroine starts out wearing ratty jeans and a torn hoodie, but morphs into a Chanel-wearing hottie. But telling me a character is a fiery redhead or a buxom brunette? Meh. Not necessary.
  • Let’s go back to the mantra “show don’t tell” for this item. If you’ve shown me the conflict, tropes, and plot well enough I will totally put together that your hero is crestfallen when he discovers the heroine was using him to get revenge on her ex. Show actions and reactions instead.
  • Characters stopping to think about things. And if I see this in your synopsis, I’m going to be certain you have lots of navel-gazing in your book, too. If you catch yourself writing this in your synopsis, go to those scenes in your book and double check that they’re tight enough—don’t just make revisions to your synopsis and move along.
  • Too many secondary characters. I don’t need to know about every rando character in your book. If they don’t influence major plot points, leave them out. Keep it to the hero and heroine, the antagonist, and maybe one or two secondary characters who are crucial to the plot.
  • Too much setting and description. Big picture stuff like cities, main locations, and seasons are great, but let’s not list every room the characters wander into, what kind of car they drive, and that kind of thing.
  • Not revealing the ending. Show how your story ends—the synopsis, unlike your query letter, isn’t a hook like your query. It’s more like the Cliff Notes. Believe it or not, how your book is resolved is important for us all to consider in an acquisition meeting, because we might ask you to change it if trends aren’t in favor of the type of ending you have. Or we’ll know we need to schedule it a certain way if you have a cliffhanger.
  • Your synopsis doesn’t match the book. It’s frustrating when I read the book, then go back to the synopsis and see that it’s not like the book. When I write up an acquisition, it’s another step for me because I have to rewrite the whole thing. On the other side of that, if an editor who reads the synopsis first likes the synopsis enough to read the book, they’re going to be frustrated when the book doesn’t match. It’s like false advertising.
  • Typos and grammatical errors. If you’ve had your book critiqued within an inch of its life, you’re doing it a disservice by skimping on your synopsis. For one, it’s harder to read when there are errors. Recruit some friends to take a look at it for you before you send it in. Every bit counts.

I hope that’s enough of a starting point for you, and helps you organize the elements of your synopsis. I’ll keep an eye on the comments below for a few days and answer any questions you have, so please feel free to ask away.

Happy writing in 2016!

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.

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


Spotlight on Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke

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It’s time to kick off 2016 with reads that are out of this world! Authors Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke have created a science fiction series not to be missed…the Chaos Station series. Don’t miss the latest book in the series, Inversion Point, and find out why our readers love these two authors below!

New from Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke

About Inversion Point:

lgcover.9781459290327Zander and Felix’s relationship has been to the brink and back: the Human-Stin War, imprisonment and an actual death/resurrection. Zander’s death, to be specific, and the experience has left him…changed. The mysterious race known as the Guardians chose to revive him and appointed him as their emissary. A high honor, but he could do without the group of would-be cultists following him around the galaxy.

When a recently discovered species destroys a stin probe, Zander’s new role soon commands all of his time and focus. The human ambassador—Felix’s ex-lover, much to Zander’s annoyance—pulls them into strategy talks aimed at preserving galactic peace. Soon everyone is relying on Zander’s Guardian tech to telepathically communicate with the strange aliens.

Only Felix seems concerned with the strain piling up on Zander, but he has his own resolve tested when the very stin that imprisoned him show up to a summit. Zander and Felix will both have to find a way to face their doubts and preserve their love—while preventing another galaxy-wide war.

Book four of Chaos Station

Why readers love the Chaos Station series:

“I absolutely love this series. It has so much heart and emotion – and some great sci fi concepts. The characters are well written and people you really want to follow. It gets better and better with each book.” –Amazon review, Chaos Station

 

“I can’t wait to take the next step in the journey! 5 stars.” –Barnes & Noble review, Lonely Shore

 

“I really enjoy the characters and the storyline in this series. The action feels so real, that it just grabs you and holds you until the end of the book.” –Amazon review, Skip Trace

 


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