Five Historical Women Warriors Who Kicked Butt

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By Nico Rosso, author of ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT


In ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT, Black Ops: Automatik book two, the heroine Mary Kuri is a former Delta operator and a current member of the secret organization known as Automatik. She’s partnered with former SEAL Ben Jackson to recon a town that’s possibly a hub for gunrunners moving their deadly wares across the United States.

Mary and Ben soon find that the town is more dangerous than expected, and the attraction between their false identities might be more real than either wants to admit. When the action heats up and the gunrunners fight to defend their territory, we learn how Mary got her nickname “Bolt Action.” She’s a first-class sniper. You might remember her incredible shooting from the end of COUNTDOWN TO ZERO HOUR Black Ops: Automatik Book 1. In this book you get to see all her skills. And she gets to discover with Ben that there’s more to life than combat.

In honor of Mary, here are five historical women warriors who kicked butt:

The Amazons: We begin with one of the classic representations of warrior women. Once believed to be just myths created by the Greeks, recent archeological finds have supported the fact of a nomadic society roaming the steppes north of the Black Sea full of women who were buried with daggers, swords, and their chosen weapon, the bow and arrow.

Nakano Takeko: This woman warrior lived in mid-19th century Japan, where she studied the literary and martial arts. She was expert in the sword as well as the naginata (Japanese polearm). During a civil war, in the Battle of Aizu, she wasn’t officially recognized by the military, so she formed her own group of fighting women against the invading Imperial Japanese Army.

Queen Boudicca: This Celtic queen led her tribe and others against Rome around 60 AD, when the nation state tried to take her land. With an army said to reach 100,000 strong, she leveled the then capital of Roman Britain, as well as what would later become London. A subsequent defeat ended her rebellion, but her actual fate and the place of this battle remains unknown.

Amanirenas: Also fighting the Romans, this woman made her mark as queen in the Kingdom of Kush (now Sudan) from 40 BCE to 10 BCE. Said to have lost the sight in one eye from a battle wound, she pushed against the Romans in Egypt, who bordered her country to the north. After several conflicts, the Romans gave her a very favorable treaty.

Russian Snipers of WWII: As many as 2,000 Russian women acted as snipers for their army during World War Two. Some were merely teenagers, but all fought for their country with the same skill and determination as their male counterparts. The most famous, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, was heavily decorated and reached the rank of Major.

Is there a particular woman warrior that’s always fascinated you?

0716_9781459290488_OneMinuteToMidnight_WebONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT by Nico Rosso

Black Ops: Automatik, book two

Nico Rosso, author of the critically acclaimedCountdown to Zero Hour, returns with Book Two in theAutomatik: Black Ops series—a sizzling romantic suspense in which two undercover operators fight to reclaim a small town from the ice-cold grip of gunrunners

He was her safety.

She was his backup.

Former navy SEAL Ben Jackson knows that sexy “Mary Long” is nothing but a cover; that beneath the stylish clothes and flirty smile is a stone cold super-soldier no one ever gets close to. Until her kiss hits him like one of her sniper rounds. But Morris Flats is no place for a hookup—menace hums through the town, and the more the two operators keep pushing for answers, the more deadly the current seems to run.

For former Special Forces sniper Mary Kuri, flirting with her muscular teammate feels like playing with fire. It’s hard to tell where the cover ends and the real feelings begin. What she does know is they can’t afford to lose focus. Their mission is to gather evidence, and with the gunrunners watching their every move, a single mistake could prove fatal.

It’s two against the world, and Ben and Mary are about to discover that not only do the lives of innocent people hang in the balance, but they’re also fighting to save the rare connection they’ve found with each other.

This book is approximately 72,000 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

10 Badass Warrior Women You Might Not Have Heard Of

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By Lauren D.M. Smith, author of THE EMPEROR’S ARROW

Growing up a tomboy, I’ve always loved stories of badass women not afraid to fight, part of what made Evony, the heroine in THE EMPEROR’S ARROW so fun to write. But while most people have heard of Joan of Arc and Boudicca, there are some amazing women from history that sometimes fly under the radar.

  1. Tamar of Georgia– Not only a ruler, but expanded her country and brought it to its zenith in the Middle Ages during her reign

  1. The Trưng Sisters– Who rebelled against the Chinese rule and resisted the subsequent attacks for three years with an army of mostly women

  1. Tomoe Gozen– A female samurai who took more than one enemy’s heads

  1. Æthelflæd– Fortress builder and sole ruler after the death of her husband, she kept her people safe from the Vikings

  1. Khutulun– Warrior princess who wrestled men for her hand in marriage, taking 100 horses from them when they lost. She gained 10,000 horses doing it

  1. Artemisia I of Caria– Queen in her own right and an ally of Xerxes, she personally commanded her fleet of ships against the Greeks

  1. Lozen– Her brother, Victorio’s, right hand, upon his death, she led a two month campaign of vengeance. She also fought beside Geronimo, using a prayer to feel for the enemy

  1. Zenobia– Ruled her empire after the assassination of her husband and step-son, revolted against the Roman Empire, and conquered Egypt

  1. Rani of Jhansi– A queen who was one of the leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, who took and held her country and refused to surrender it back to the British

  1. Grace O’Malley– Chieftain, businesswoman, and pirate, she successfully negotiated face to face with Queen Elizabeth I for the return of her sons and half-brother

Had you heard of these badass warrior women?

lgcover.9781460397435THE EMPEROR’S ARROW by Lauren D.M. Smith

Grand Prize Winner of Harlequin’s 2015 So You Think You Can Write contest

Debut author Lauren D.M. Smith delivers an epic fantasy romance in this soaring tale of a kickass warrior and the emperor she’s honor-bound to defend

The bride candidates have been summoned. Their numbers are many, yet only one is an Amazzi warrior. Only one would give her life to protect him.

Evony of Aureline, warrior of her people, has no intention of becoming a hideous old man’s bride. Though her people have sworn their loyalty to the legendary emperor Galen, Evony knows little of courts and intrigue. It’s simply not her world.

Yet it’s on the palace training grounds where Evony’s archery skills gain her the respect of soldiers and legates alike. The emperor himself takes notice of the beautiful, ruthless warrior. In turn, the young, steely eyed Galen is nothing at all what Evony expected.

This man could very well conquer her heart. But does he feel the same?

As the rivalry among the remaining bride candidates intensifies and the plot for the throne unfolds, Evony must make a grave choice: fulfill her destiny and protect her people or follow her heart and pursue true love.

Either way, the honor of the Amazzi people and the future of the empire now rests with Evony of Aureline. For she is the Emperor’s Arrow.

This book is approximately 85,000 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

Carina Press Author and Staff Picks!

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Until July 31, 2016, you can save 30% site-wide at, using coupon code RWA3016! Because Carina Press authors and staff are also Carina Press readers, we asked them which books they recommend you pick up during the sale.

Jenn Burke, co-author of the Chaos Station series:

CARINA_1114_9781426890451_FairGameA REASON TO BELIEVE by Diana Copland: I love stories with cops and stories with psychics, and this has both! Kiernan and Matthew make a great team.

FAIR GAME by Josh Lanyon: Josh Lanyon is one of my go-to authors for fantastic m/m mysteries, and I think the All’s Fair series is one of the best out there. I can’t wait for book 3!

IN THE FIRE by Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels: If you’re a foodie, the In the Kitchen series is a must read, particularly this middle volume. It’s a hard-won happily-ever-after for these guys!


Ana Luxton, Marketing Director, Single Title

0616_9781459291980_Didn'tIWarnYou_WebThe Bad for You series by Amber Bardan: If you’re looking for a sexy, action-packed series, I recommend picking up Amber Bardan’s DIDN’T I WARN YOU and DIDN’T YOU PROMISE—but be forewarned! You are going to be up all night reading these because they’re as addictive as candy!

Emma Barry, author of The Easy Part series

ifistayThe Montgomery Manor series by Tamara Morgan: I loved these books! They’re set on a Connecticut estate and have a Sabrina/modern Downton Abbey/upstairs—downstairs vibe. They’re smart, sexy, and funny—the perfect cocktail.


Laura Carter, author of the Vengeful Love series

CARINA_0715_9781459290013_UnderContractACT LIKE IT by Lucy Parker: As a Brit myself, I have to tell you ALL to read Lucy Parker’s witty rom-com set in London’s West End. It’s funny, smart and downright adorable.

Erotic romance: If you want serious heat and good storytelling, look no further than Kira A. Gold’s THE DIRTY SECRET. In UNDER CONTRACT, let Jeffe Kennedy convince you that having a contract for sexual favors in return for money is somehow okay…and, in fact, seriously hot!

Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor, Carina Press

DoubleShotFinalThe Long Shots series by Christine d’Abo: Some of the first books I read when I joined Carina Press were from this series, and I recently found myself re-reading a few of them while on vacation. They’re just as tightly-crafted, sexy, and clever now as they were when they were first published and we’re so lucky to have them on our list. Start with DOUBLE SHOTyou won’t be disappointed.


Lucy Parker, author of ACT LIKE IT

9781426899621-COVContemporary romance: If you like gritty romance with lots of sexual tension and emotional pay-off, I highly recommend Julianna Keyes‘s books, particularly TIME SERVED, and for fans of steamy, alpha-hero romance, Laura Carter’s Vengeful Love trilogy. And if you like lighter contemporary romance, Alison Packard’s pairing of soap opera actors in LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is a super fun read.

Historical romance: One of my favorite historical romances is Susanna Fraser’s THE SERGEANT’S LADY. Susanna Fraser has a similar ability to authors like Carla Kelly to create heroines and heroes who feel like real people, and to make you strongly invest in their happily-ever-after.

Heather Goldberg, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Carina Press

CARINA_0615_9781426899959_TurningItOnContemporary romance: If you like romances with a touch of issues that are still fun and light, check out Elizabeth Harmon’s Red Hot Russians series. PAIRING OFF is a 2016 RITA Award finalist for Best First Book. And TURNING IT ON features a Jewish heroine! ✡✡✡

Mystery: Julie Moffett’s Lexi Carmichael Mystery series will have you rooting for Lexi, a slightly awkward, yet brilliant, accidental sleuth. In Lisa Q. Mathews’s Ladies Smythe & Westin series, an amateur crime-solving duo of a reformed party girl reminiscent of Cher from Clueless and a spry resident from a Florida retirement community have more than a few obstacles to overcome to help the good guys win. Yentas, humor, and witty banter? I’m in!

Amanda Weaver, author of The Grantham Girls series

0316_9781459294349_The Dirty Secret_WebTHE DIRTY SECRET by Kira A. Gold: This is a steamy, riveting read, but it’s also lyrical, seductive, and a visual masterpiece, a delicious blend of sex and art. The characters and scenes come to life in perfect, beautiful detail. Kira Gold delivers a beautifully written, evocative treat for the senses.


Julianna Keyes, author of the Time Served

1115_9781459290587_ActLikeIt_webACT LIKE IT by Lucy Parker: My favorite type of hero is the jerk who has to redeem himself, and temperamental Richard has a long way to go. Combined with Parker’s brilliantly funny (and simply brilliant) writing, this book was one I couldn’t put down and recommend often.



Enjoy Dare’s Favorite Songs….

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ENOUGH is a dark, erotic motorcycle romance and the first book in the Jericho Brotherhood series available now everywhere digital books are sold. When Lila starts her new job at Marked Man, she finds her boss too sexy to resist. Dare takes what he wants and that means the new girl, but he doesn’t know how to handle it when he can’t get enough of her.

1.Nobody Praying for Me, Seether

  1. Broken as Me, Papa Roach

  1. Porn Star Dancing, My Darkest Days

  1. Whiskey Hangover, Godsmack

  1. I Stand Alone, Godsmack

  1. Duality, Slipknot

  1. Guilty All the Same, Linkin Park

  1. FML, Godsmack


Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!



lgcover.9781460397411ENOUGH by Jade Chandler

Jericho Brotherhood, book one 

She wanted nothing to do with me. Well, that’s too f*cking bad.

My MC brothers call me Dare for a reason. I never back down from a challenge. And Lila was the sweetest challenge I ever faced.

From the moment she walked into my tattoo shop, she was going to end up in my bed. Tied up, moaning my name and begging for more.

Her past was a nightmare and I couldn’t guarantee her a future. But I could promise her a good time.

I didn’t know what we would turn into, let alone how hard it’d be to stay away after my selfish ass sent her packing.

Problem is, my girl is hot, so the same men I call brothers tried to claim her.

There’s not enough bourbon in the world to help me forget the love we shared. But to get her back, to prove she’s more to me than a quick lay, I’ll have to tell her the secret I’ve been hiding from everyone.

Before she’s gone forever.

Book one of The Jericho Brotherhood

This book is approximately 100,000 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

Jade Chandler lives in Kansas City with her children and animals in less than organized chaos. From an early age, bad boys piqued her interest as much as the strong women who could meet them dare for dare. A romance addict, she turned to writing when her own stories refused to stay in her head. As a debut author, Enough is the first of three books in the Jericho Brotherhood series. Look for Release in the fall and Deny this winter. Visit her at, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The Evolution of Ansel

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By Elizabeth Varlet, author of FIERCE & FABULOUS

I can’t even remember where or when Ansel Becke came to me. It’s like one day I was going on about my everyday life and the next my mind was full of glitter and attitude. He wasn’t fully formed but the skeleton was there and it was strong. Stronger than any character I’ve ever written before.

Ansel wanted his story told, like NOW.

During the planning/plotting process I became obsessed with pop music and YouTube choreography videos, especially those that featured people dancing in heels. Music became such a huge part of shaping Ansel’s world that when I closed my eyes I could see The Sassy Boyz performing to a song that came over the radio.

The opening number in Fierce & Fabulous is a song that I’d never heard of before starting my research but now it’s one of my favorite songs.

Anyone familiar with men in heels surely knows about Yanis Marshall. His popularity is staggering. So the fact that he is one of my biggest inspirations shouldn’t be a surprise. Here are two videos that really helped develop Fierce & Fabulous into the book it is today.

And of course, the famous lap dance scene which started it all. Watch this and imagine Ansel and Fitch together. Sexy no?


So, I want to know, which songs inspire you? Do you have a favorite song or artist that helps you get through your day?

lgcover.9781460397404FIERCE & FABULOUS by Elizabeth Varlet

Sassy Boyz, book one

The first in a scorching new male/male series by Elizabeth Varlet. Behind the Sassy Boyz’s seductive smiles and sinful dance moves are desires that will leave readers breathless. 

Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.

Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn’t need. Spotlights aren’t made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.

Though Ansel tries to pretend that what’s between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there’s something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel’s world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go.