Week Six…Where Does the Time Go?

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Last week we all received an updated “action plan”. Meaning, all the major actions that need to be done in order to launch were on there, with their proposed due dates for our proposed launch date. That was cause for a great, big EEP! from me because, well, my initials are next to quite a few of the action steps, meaning I’m responsible for them. Go ahead, say it with me…Eep!

I’m still working with two more editors to get them on board, and hopefully they’ll be ready to go at the new year. Copy editor tests are going out this week (tomorrow, I hope)! I know, great timing for those of you who are interested in testing for the job, given the holidays, but submissions and content editors have been consuming my days these past weeks and no worries, I just want to get them out so anyone who does have time over the holidays can work on them if they like, but they’re not due back immediately, by any means.

Last week I sent out the first round of rejection letters. We knew it had to happen sometime, but they’re no fun for anyone involved. As of Friday, I’d sent out one hundred rejections to both agented and unagented submissions. If you submitted your book in the first few days of our opening and haven’t heard yet, don’t despair, it means it’s with an editor getting a closer look! With 8 editors as well as the Carina acquisitions team going through submissions, we are getting through them pretty well, but there’s a lot to get through!

Aideen (our marketing guru) and I put together some mock cover art forms from five different genres, and Aideen sent those to several different cover artists. We’ve gotten our first mock cover art back and have been analyzing it and discussing it with the Carina Press team. In January, we’ll be sharing all five mock covers with you, so you can get a taste of just what Carina’s cover art might look like–or even possibly what your cover art might look like.

Last, but certainly not least, we made two more acquisitions last week. We’re very excited to welcome these two authors to Carina Press:

Ann Bruce, with her Untitled contemporary romance, for launch month publication.

Goddess with a Blade, an urban fantasy by Lauren Dane for fall 2010 publication

I’ll be sharing further details of both books on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, so stay tuned! You know, if your submission isn’t in our inbox, you can’t be next!

Coming up in the next week: We’ll be off on Friday for Christmas, and Toronto is off on Monday for Boxing Day, but I’ll still be here! This next week will be about sending out copy editor tests, reading submissions (I’m reading! I’m reading!), sending more rejections–I promise not to send any past tomorrow, in deference to the holiday spirit–and just keeping on top of my action items. No pressure!

Acquisitions From a Reader’s POV

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Note: Meet Emily, she’s one of the Carina Press Acquisitions Team and probably the one person on the team other than the editors who reads the most submissions. She is super enthusiastic about reading manuscripts and she agreed to write a blog post for us. So please welcome Emily!

When Emily is not moonlighting on the Carina acquisitions team, she works at eHarlequin.com. She loves to read, tan, and spend time outdoors, though not necessarily in that order. She is still experimenting in the kitchen, and tests frequently on her friends. Her favorite ingredient is garlic, and she’s convinced that the more she eats, the less likely she is to get sick.

I tried a new recipe the other night and had a friend over for dinner. This friend had once criticized a soup I’d made (corn chowder, from scratch). We’d fought. Granted, I’d put the bowl in front of her, saying: “I’m not sure how this is going to be.” But I hadn’t wanted her to be honest with me, really.
“It’s sweet,” she’d said—in the same tone she uses to tell me that she thinks I should wear something else. I was totally deflated. When I served this new thing—a kind of chick-pea curry—I was nervous. Every time I’ve served her something since the corn chowder incident (which was almost four years ago), I’ve been nervous. This one went over fine—it wasn’t a showstopper, but it did the job.

But the experience got me thinking about something else: being nervous about someone’s reaction, or rather, not doing something because you’re afraid of the reaction. And so, rather selfishly, I’d like to take a moment to encourage shy writers to submit their manuscripts. If you’ve got a completed manuscript and you’re afraid to send it in— overcome!

I work in publishing because I love to read. Even before I started here, the thought of employee books thrilled me. Now that I’m with Carina and reading manuscripts in their most raw form, that thrill has intensified. Sometimes I think: This is having an ear to the ground. I am obnoxious to friends slogging over expense reports at night; I frequently make comments like: “Ah, you know. I’m going to tuck in early. Do some work reading.” or: “I know—I take work home with me all the time.” When you submit, you make it possible for me to say these things. Please, please—keep them coming! And remember: we know how it feels to put something on the table and have someone not love it. We will be gentle, and we are happy to read whatever we can get our hands on!

Acquisition: Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty

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Born in California, raised in the Midwest, Carrie Lofty met her husband in England—the best souvenir! She earned her BA in English and history, and then her master’s in history from with a thesis on the impact of Old West legends on society. Since happily abandoning academia in favor of make-believe, she’s been devoted to raised two precocious daughters and writing romance. She also manages Unusual Historicals (http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com), the multi-author blog she founded in 2006 to celebrate romances set in unusual times and places.

Carrie’s romances have been praised as “inventive” (Dear Author), “shattering” (Nights & Weekends), and “intelligent” (Smart Bitches). With Ann Aguirre, she also co-writes hot’n’dirty apocalyptic paranormal romances as Ellen Connor. Visit Carrie at her websites or follow her on Twitter.

Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty

Salzburg, Austria 1804

After claiming his late mentor’s symphony for himself, Dutch composer Arie De Voss became wildly famous across Europe. But the undue praise twists his conscience. Arie’s fear of discovery poisons any attempt to write a redemptive masterpiece, until the adoration of his newest student inspires him.

Hoping a quiet life will diminish the scandal of her birth, widowed violin prodigy Mathilda Heidel hides her musical gifts. But a chance introduction to Arie De Voss, the composer she’s idolized for years, dares her to heed the lure of the stage. In the face of public scrutiny and Arie’s fraud, can she sustain her new identity and salvage their love? And how will Arie choose between Mathilda, his career, and the truth?

Coming in 2010 from Carina Press.

Read chapter one at Carrie’s website.

Acquisition: Djinn and Sin by Charlene Teglia

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Award-winning author Charlene Teglia loves penning tales of romance and adventure. Among other accolades, Charlene has been presented with the prestigious Romantic Times BOOKreviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for “Best Erotic Novel” and nominated for “Best Erotic Romance”. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking or opening and closing doors for cats.

For news and excerpts, please visit http://www.charleneteglia.com, or follow Charlene on Twitter

Djinn and Sin by Charlene Teglia

Sara Warren believes in delayed gratification. After three years of eighty hour weeks installing enterprise computer systems, her goal is in sight—a year-long globe-trotting sabbatical. She just needs to hang in there for a few more months and she’ll be free from the corporate grind.

Zaki deals in instant gratification. It’s what the djinn do. He’s been imprisoned since his capture three hundred years earlier. Now that his bottle has passed to a new owner, he just needs to tempt Sara into making three wishes and he’ll be free—free to pursue his long-delayed revenge.

Zaki presents Sara with the ultimate temptation for a woman who’s put her needs on hold for too long. The djinn is gorgeous, built, and, well, hung. Even if she’s lost her mind, she’s not dumb. Zaki offers to fulfill her every desire and the closer Sara gets to Zaki, the more desires she has. Nothing is off-limits, including a risk-free chance to experience more than one male focused on her pleasure.

But when he’s granted her last wish, going back to the work-centered lifestyle that leaves no room for personal time has about as much appeal as day old bread after feasting her senses on Zaki. And Zaki finds the present competing with the past on his to do list. Get even, or get the girl?

First in a new trilogy, with All Bottled Up and As You Wish.

Coming in 2010 from Carina Press!

Acquisition: Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

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Shannon Stacey married her Prince Charming in 1993 and is the proud mother of two incredible sons. She lives in New England, where her two favorite activities are trying to stay warm and writing stories of happily ever after. Her two cats refuse to curl up on her lap and keep it warm while she writes, but her Shih Tzu is never far away.

When she’s not writing, she’s indulging in her other passion—four wheeling! From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer.

You can find Shannon at her blog and website or on Twitter.

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

The Characters:

Keri Daniels is a journalist for an entertainment magazine, but she’s been hiding prior carnal knowledge of a reclusive celebrity. Now her secret’s out and her editor-in-chief is sending her back to face the boy she left behind.

Joe Kowalski isn’t a boy anymore, but he’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart. Through eleven bestselling novels he’s been able to protect his privacy, but he’s prepared to step into the spotlight if it means a chance to finish what he and Keri started.

Tina Deschanel is the editor-in-chief of Spotlight Magazine and she’s had her sights set on an exclusive interview with Joseph Kowalski for years. She doesn’t think sending her favorite reporter into the northern woods of New Hampshire to fan an old flame is too great a sacrifice.

Teresa Kowalski Porter wants nothing to do with Keri Daniels. Her former best friend abandoned her several years before breaking her twin brother’s heart. There’s only one reason Terry’s willing to spend two weeks in the woods with Keri—payback.

The Set-Up:
One random blog entry is all it takes to pull the safety net out from under Keri Daniels. One minute she’s shopping with her boss, and the next she’s holding a photo of an eighteen-year-old version of herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, Joe Kowalski. Tina Deschanel—the editor-in-chief of Spotlight Magazine—has been trying to get an interview with the reclusive, bestselling author for years. And when Tina tracked down a blogger who claimed to go to school with the man, she discovered her best reporter had been withholding some very interesting backstory. Now she’s given Keri a choice—the interview or a new career. She’s worked too hard and is too close to achieving her promotion to say no.

The entire Kowalski family is preparing for their annual camping trip in northern New Hampshire when Joe learns Keri Daniels is back in town. It’s not her first visit home since she left all those years ago, but it’s the first time she’s let it be known she’s looking for him. But he’s nobody’s fool and suspects Tina Deschanel—the most persistent stalker his agent has to fend off—has discovered her reporter’s connection to her prey.

Joe proposes an outrageous plan he’s positive will send Keri running in the other direction—for every day she survives with the Kowalski family on their annual campground vacation, she gets to ask him one question. But Keri’s worked too hard to walk away from her career and two weeks in the woods with her high school sweetheart is the lesser of two evils.

But not by much. The chemistry between Keri and Joe is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister Terry—Keri’s former childhood best friend—is out for revenge, and the cabin—the one she shares with Joe—has no running water. Being expected to take part in the ATV riding—something she hasn’t done since she was ten—is the icing on the pity party cake.

Coming from Carina Press in 2010!