Spotlight on New Adult

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Looking for a fresh start this summer? Check out a New Adult read for books that are all about new beginnings! Keep reading for three recommendations we know you’ll love and click here for more from this genre.

Red Blooded by Caitlin Sinead

{7D299B75-1F47-47D8-B963-070B09AEA803}Img100Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one–a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.

Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel

25584499After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.

When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.

But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna’s hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it’s her turn to protect him.

Finding Center by Katherine Locke

{57B5EDCA-1C48-4019-97E1-4EE8D16260AC}Img100 (1)It took all of Aly’s strength to get them back after a tragic accident ripped them from her six years ago. A long road to recovery led to her return, dancing full-time for the District Ballet Company and carrying Zed’s child. But Aly is slipping. Each day becomes a fight to keep her career from crumbling under the weight of younger talent, the scrutiny of the public eye and the limitations of her ever-changing body. A fight she fears she’s losing.

I’m scared Aly is broken to her core

Zed recognizes the signs, but he doesn’t know how to fix her. The accident left him with his own demons, and while he wants nothing more than to take care of the woman he loves, it’s getting harder the farther downward she spirals. When Aly’s life is threatened and Zed’s injuries prevent him from saving her, he’s never felt so useless, so afraid he’s not capable of being the man Aly and their child needs.

With new life comes new hope. And with their fractured lives already hanging by a thread, Aly and Zed must discover if they have what it takes–both together and apart–to rebuild and carry on.

May 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!

May 4 | May 11 | May 18 | May 25

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May 4

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BIGFOOT BLUES by Ricardo Sanchez
(mystery)
ISBN: 9781426899850
Price: $4.99

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

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SIGNAL BOOST by Alyssa Cole
(new adult, post-apocalyptic romance)
ISBN: 9781426899881
Price: $3.99

CARINA_0515_9781426899881_SignalBoostWhen 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

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May 11

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TAMING THE LEGEND by Kat Latham
(contemporary romance, sports)
ISBN: 9781426899836
Price: $3.99

9781426899836-COVBook 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?

95,000 words

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

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BACK IN PLAY by Lynda Aicher
(erotic romance, sports)
ISBN: 9781426899416
Price: $4.99

9781426899416-COVFor 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.

Book two of Power Play

99,000 words

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

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May 18

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RIPPED: A BLOOD MONEY NOVEL by Edie Harris
(romantic suspense)
ISBN: 9781426899386
Price: $3.99

9781426899386-COVAttorney 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

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ONE CUT DEEPER by Joely Sue Burkhart
(erotic thriller)
ISBN: 9781426899898
Price: $3.99

0515_9781426899898Her 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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May 25

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LONELY SHORE by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
(male/male romance, space opera)
ISBN: 9781426899829
Price: $3.99

9781426899829-COVBook two of Chaos Station

All they can do is live day to day…

Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos‘s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.

When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos’s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.

As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.

Don’t miss the start of the series—Chaos Station is available now!

67,000 words

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

Kindle Daily Deals! December 29, 2014

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Is the eReader you got for Christmas begging to have great romances added, without breaking the bank? Here are 10 Kindle daily deals, ranging from historical to suspense, sports to new adult, contemporary to male/male—all 99¢–$1.99 each!

Click on the image or title below to read more.

Prices valid December 29, 2014 ONLY. 

Fatal AffairMidnight VengeanceAll In with the DukeUp To MeNo Such ThingWild OnesNo Accounting for CowboysHate to Love YouOn The SurfaceThe Kent Brothers Trilogy

Salvation Release Week—Stephanie Tyler

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Thanks for joining me during release week for Salvation–this is the 3rd book in the Defiance series, and it’s Bishop and Luna’s book.

Whenever I write a book, I start with a soundtrack—I love music and I find that it helps to ground me in the books. There are certain songs I associate with certain characters, certain situation and I always like to give my readers a sampling of the types of music that accompany my books.  Sometimes, the songs surprise me—sometimes it’s all about the lyrics, or a memory or the type of music itself that makes it work for my soundtrack.  But as I go through my giant music library, it’s really very easy to pick out songs, since my characters always come through the strongest for me, before anything else.

Below is the sampling for Salvation, which was released this week.   Feel free to browse them, as each title links to iTunes so you can listen to a sample.

Salvation soundtrack

I always include extras on my website for all my books, so tell me, do you like author extras?  What’s your favorite kind of author extra?  Leave your comment to be entered for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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CARINA_0514_9781426897740_SalvationSalvation:  A Defiance Novel

(Book three of The Defiance Series)

Luna is headed for trouble. She knows exactly what the men who run motorcycle clubs are capable of—the ruthless violence, the grabs for power, the brutal treatment of women. The one bright spot in her dark world is being held against his will by a rival gang after sacrificing himself for the sake of the club—without saying goodbye first. She needs to bring Bishop home to Defiance, both for the good of the MC and for herself.

Keller’s mafia has thrived in the fallout from the Chaos and their compound is a city of sin, a world of depraved excess where people live in fear with nowhere else to go. When Luna is taken prisoner, Bishop has no choice but to lie. As far as the enemy knows, she’s his. It’s the one thing that will keep her safe.

Caught off guard, Luna follows Bishop’s lead. And that’s where the lines begin to blur, because what’s been building between them for real is undeniable. But what Keller’s protecting is something he’ll kill to keep under wraps and with Defiance unable to come to their rescue, and only each other to turn to, Luna and Bishop may be facing their final goodbye.

Get your copy of Salvation from: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

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New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler was a Secondary Ed teacher for grades ranging from middle school to college while she pursued a PhD in English Literature, all while trying to convince herself that she would get back to her dream of writing as a career eventually. When her daughter was born with serious medical problems, Stephanie found inspiration in the fighter her child proved to be—and found her own way back to writing. She’s published in a variety of genres, including romantic suspense, new adult and paranormal, and she also co-writes erotic paranormal romance under the name Sydney Croft.  She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus, and they’re all cool with the fact that she’s permanently on deadline.  Stephanie loves to hear from readers—you can reach Stephanie through her website at www.StephanieTyler.com, or on Facebook or Twitter (@StephanieTyler).

Author Spotlight: Stephanie Tyler

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Have you been following The Defiance Series? It combines New Adult with a post-apocalyptic setting to create thrilling stories filled with feisty heroines and motorcycle clubs. Find out more about the latest in the series below, as well as some valuable writing advice from Stephanie Tyler.

“Finish the Book”: Writing Advice from Stephanie Tyler

Tyler-1849

I always get asked, ‘what was the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?’  Hands down, it was, ‘finish the book.’  I don’t remember where I read it, but it makes so much sense.  Partials are easy.  But getting through an entire book (whether it be a novella or a category length book or a single title length work) is a whole different thing.  Until you actually finish a book, one with a beginning, middle and end (or a reasonable facsimile of all three) you have no idea if you can.   It’s such a simple thing, but it truly resonated with me.

About Salvation:

salvationBook three of The Defiance Series

Luna is headed for trouble. She knows exactly what the men who run motorcycle clubs are capable of—the ruthless violence, the grabs for power, the brutal treatment of women. The one bright spot in her dark world is being held against his will by a rival gang after sacrificing himself for the sake of the club—without saying goodbye first. She needs to bring Bishop home to Defiance, both for the good of the MC and for herself.

Keller’s mafia has thrived in the fallout from the Chaos and their compound is a city of sin, a world of depraved excess where people live in fear with nowhere else to go. When Luna is taken prisoner, Bishop has no choice but to lie. As far as the enemy knows, she’s his. It’s the one thing that will keep her safe.

Caught off guard, Luna follows Bishop’s lead. And that’s where the lines begin to blur, because what’s been building between them for real is undeniable. But what Keller’s protecting is something he’ll kill to keep under wraps and with Defiance unable to come to their rescue, and only each other to turn to, Luna and Bishop may be facing their final goodbye.

 

Want to find out more about The Defiance Series? Check out Defiance and Redemption! and remember to visit Stephanie Tyler’s website for news and fun extras!

Author Spotlight: Allison Parr

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New Adult is a unique genre, located somewhere between YA and the more grown up genres we’re all familiar with. It’s about your first real job, your first serious relationship, and figuring how just how this whole adult thing works. Allison Parr is an expert on the New Adult heroine. Combined with the Sports genre, her New York Leopards series has sexy football players who could be the real relationship these new adults are looking for.


Inspiration in the Small Things by Allison Parr

Allison-Parr-headshot-RT-757x1024I’m a thief.

For my latest book, I’ve stolen three different restaurant, two apartments, and one rooftop party. I’ve snagged four outfits, one eavesdropped conversation, and several awful winter storms.

When I’m looking for inspiration on settings, conversations, or even events, I go straight to my largest bank of information: my own experiences. I generally know the bulk of the plot – say girl meets boy next door, confesses love, things get awkward – but when I need a location or a celebration, I find basing them on things I’ve seen can provide a wealth of detail and authenticity.

This is both really fun and really useful; if I’m ever stumped, I just look around or think back to something interesting, and throw it in the mix. If it’s freezing out today, it’s freezing in the scene I’m writing. And if the girl at the café table across from me has a super cute dress, well, that’s showing up on my heroine.

However, fair warning: if you chose this route, don’t be surprised if your friends start texting you madly when they realize you just described your old apartment. Or when they recognize the brief appearance of their ex-boyfriend.

Happy reading!


About Imaginary Lines

CARINA_0414_9781426897757_ImaginaryLinesTamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She’d always considered it destiny that they’d end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she’d ever felt before, and it’s nothing she’ll ever forget.

Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York’s premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she’s felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.

But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar’s decided to move on, Abe’s realized she’s the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who’s been holding her back all these years.

Read more about the New York Leopards in Rush Me and Running Back, available now!

 

What readers are saying about Allison Parr:

Not only does Rachael constantly make intresting insights into what it means to be a woman in the twentieth century but she does it with snark! The entertaining dialogue had many laugh out loud moments.

–Amazon review

 

This was a cute story that made me cry and laugh and wish for a happy ending. It’s broadens your horizons and gives you a new perspective on meeting people that seem like they are completely the exact opposite of you. –Amazon review

 

Sometimes, when I’m about a quarter of the way through a book, I feel like I don’t want it to end because it is so entertaining and because the characters are the kind that I want to spend a lot of time with. Running Back was one of those books for me. –Goodread review

To find out more about Allison Parr, be sure to follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and visit her website.

Stalking For Ideas

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When I first decided to delve into the world of New Adult stories, I was hit with the usual fear that strikes most writers: What the heck am I going to write about? But then I remembered something I once read. When we think of stalkers, the names of celebrities such as Jodi Foster, David Letterman, Selena Gomez, and Steven Spielberg come to mind. But they aren’t the only ones at risk; we all are, and even more at risk are college-aged students.

Perfect, I thought. I can write about stalking. Except in Tell Me When, I decided to focus on what happens after the stalker is caught. Even if he is caught and locked away for life, you’re still left with the memories of what happened, which can often be traumatic.

Another reason I decided to write about stalking was because it happened to me, in university, like the statistics claim.

I met the guy at a nightclub while my friends were dancing. He seemed nice enough and we started talking, but I really wasn’t into him. He was just someone to entertain me while my friends were busy. At the end of the evening, he asked for my phone number and I made my first mistake. No, I didn’t give it to him. I gave him a fake number. I figured he would get the hint that I wasn’t interested if he tried it. Recently I learned that if you give a stalker any number—fake or not—it makes him think you’re interested.

Mistake #2 was telling him where I worked. You’re probably groaning now, wondering why I did that if I wasn’t interested; I’ve often wondered the same. Apparently my mouth and my brain weren’t communicating very well that day. I don’t even remember telling him where I worked, but he showed up one day. Not only that, he applied for a job there just so he could be near me. Is there anyone here who doesn’t think that’s creepy?

While researching the topic of stalking for Tell Me When (and freaking myself out), I talked to several of my writer friends. Turns out I wasn’t the only individual with a story about how they’d been stalked in high school or college. Fortunately for most, the stalker moved on, but this isn’t always the case. For some victims, the stalking can become deadly for the victim or her loved ones. This is why prevention is the key to avoiding the situation to begin with.

Have you or someone you know ever been stalked? Do you know what to do to avoid becoming a target?

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. For more information, check out the Stalking Awareness Website.

 

Tell-Me-When-cover

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her—and Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

 

First chapter can be found on website.

Stina 1 Born in England, Stina Lindenblatt loves to travel and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina is a photographer, mother of three adorable kids, and devoted wife.

She currently lives in Calgary, Canada, and can be found on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

Giveaway:  I’m giving away two Amazon gift cards ($25 and $5) and a beautiful, heart-shaped locket keychain. You get extra entries if you answer the question (in the comments). Or you can just say ‘hi’.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The weird magic of New Adult.

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God, your late teens/early twenties. How weird were those years? The weirdest, right? You’re trying to figure it out. Who you are, what you’re doing, where you’re going. There’s new expectations placed on you, new responsibilities, and you’re balancing all that with work and/or school, and your social and love lives.

But, at the same time, you’re free. Probably freer than you’ve ever been up until that point. Maybe freer than you’ll ever be again. You don’t have your parents down the hall, and you’re largely in charge of yourself, your future, who you are and who you’ll be. And you can buy a drink legally, which was probably my favorite thing back then. Might still be my favorite thing, come to think of it.

There’s a certain magic in those wild, hazy, sometimes overwhelming years and I love that we have a shelf now full of books dedicated to it. I love that I get to add to that shelf, and my Lane gets to become a place there you can go to buy a drink from a scrappy, pretty waitress who may or may not get into a brawl before the night is over. And maybe on your way out of the bar, you’ll be approached by a shady looking guy who mumbles an invite to an underground fight later. Just be careful if you accept. Accidents have been known to happen down dark alleys. Bring a friend. Preferably someone who’s not afraid to walk the line of legal.

 

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBri Martin likes her skirts too short, her heels too high, and trouble close at hand. So when big, brooding underground boxer Luke Turner comes into the bar where she works and starts a fight before she brings his first drink, she can’t help being intrigued. Luke is everything she never wanted and everything she can’t resist.

Soon, Luke is showing up everywhere Bri is, and she can’t break free of his hold on her, nor does she want to. When her best friend turns on her, it’s Luke who is there. When Luke’s opponent comes after her to send Luke a message, it’s he who comes to her rescue.

Before Bri knows it, she’s caught in the midst of a rivalry between her boyfriend and her boss, both of whom are not content to settle their scores inside the ring. She swore she’d never live this life, so like the one she once ran from. But only by confronting her past can she decide where her future lies…and whether Luke can be a part of it.

 

You can find Wild Ones over this way.

Giveaway: I’ve got a $15 gift card to the retailer of your choice for a random commenter. Tell me your favorite drink. Your favorite memory from your own wild years. Or just say hey. That works too.

 *  * *

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Kristine Wyllys is a hopeless romantic with crazy hair, big lips, and bigger sunglasses. She lives in a town too tiny to be called one where she plays pretend and dances around a dusty kitchen with a baby on each hip. You can find her everywhere on the web, because she’s a shameless social media junkie.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Taking the leap!

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Three weeks before my book was set to be released I ran into an old college professor. She taught English Lit, and we had a love hate relationship. And by that I mean, she loved when I didn’t show up to class and hated when I did. I was a science major. Chemistry, physics, and biology were the places I put my heart. I loved formulas, constants, and laws—not words. I liked numbers, because they were easy to figure out. You can imagine her surprise when she asked what direction life had taken me, and I told her I was writing novels. She was in such shock, I had to repeat myself three times, but when she came to, she said something that struck a serious chord with me.

“You finally took the plunge.”

The plunge off the proverbial cliff—the one that we’re all so scared to approach. That’s just human nature, right? I mean, think about the feeling you get when you scoot too close to the edge of a cliff. It’s unsettling—scary, even. It feels the way your first kiss tastes, or the way your hands shake when you finally touch the person your heart’s been screaming about for days.

It has a tendency to turn your world upside down, and that’s not just unsettling. It’s terrifying. But we all do it eventually—take the plunge. For me, this happened when I took the stories from my mind and put them on paper. I stopped tip-toeing around the ledge and jumped. That’s the bravest thing you can do, right? Throw all your weight into something. Because you’re gonna fall, and I’ll tell you right now, gravity won’t let you land on your feet. If life gets its way, you’ll land on your ass; it won’t be graceful, and it’s gonna hurt like hell. There isn’t anything pretty about it. The beautiful part comes after the dust settles and you pull yourself up—when you reach the one thing that was worth leaping for.

—–

Charlie Day knows a thing or two about landing on her ass. Unfortunately, she didn’t choose to jump. Instead, life gives her a swift kick from behind when Jackson Stiles saunters back into her life. You see, Jackson was Charlie’s first love, and only for that matter, but that was before he and her brother enlisted and served in Iraq. Before Jackson came back different. Before they told Charlie her brother would never come back at all.

 

When Jackson takes a job at the company where Charlie works, it becomes painfully clear that the spark between the two of them is still there. A spark that could very easily become a flame. And you know what they say about that . . . where there’s fire, someone’s bound to get burned.

He looks at me, and my wits vanish into thin air. Just poof, gone. Here’s the thing about Jackson…he’s always had this crazy effect on me. Like this weird magnetic pull. Here’s the other thing about Jackson… He’s perfect, and by perfect, I actually mean perfect. Perfect nose. Perfect jawline. Perfect teeth. Perfect eyes. Perfect body. He’s gorgeous in all the ways that make girls do stupid things. In fact, his only visible flaw is the small scar above his right eyebrow that he got during his first tour in Iraq. But it’s sort of rugged and sexy. So if anything, it adds to his perfectness. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Jackson is intimidating, extremely intimidating.

 

“I miss you,” he says, leaning in.

That’s when I catch a good whiff of him. He smells the same, like body wash and citrus fabric softener. The same body wash and fabric softener, actually. The way he smelled in high school when he was sort of mine.

All of a sudden, my mind slams into overdrive and he starts tumbling through it…a kaleidoscope of memories, flashing and burning bright. Jackson kissing me, me kissing Jackson, Jackson and his smile, Jackson laughing… Jackson, Jackson, Jackson. All the feelings come rushing back, and for a moment, I feel like everything is the same, like he’s the same.

Except for the scar. So he’s not the same, not really. He’s been to war…he’s changed, and he isn’t my Jackson anymore. The thought sends my stomach plummeting to my feet. My gaze trails across his familiar face. Up the tanned skin of his neck, over his scruffy jawline, to his lips and then his eyes. I take a deep breath and look at the scar again. Then I burst into tears.

Giveaway: Who was your first love? Where you seven? Sixteen? Twenty-nine? I wanna hear about them. Or even better, tell me about the first big leap of faith you took—into life, love, adulthood. Post a comment below, and I’ll pick two winners at random to be the recipients of a $20 gift card to their e-book retailer of choice!

Headfirst Falling available for purchase at: Carina Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

Melissa Guinn is a caffeine-driven Respiratory Therapist by night and writer by day. She was born in West Texas, where pump jacks outnumber the locals, and you never forget to say “yes sir” and “yes ma’am.” It’s in West Texas that she currently resides with her husband, their two dogs, and half-tailed cat-dog. Loves include: Books, people, nail polish, coffee, and sometimes tequila.

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Now acquiring: New Adult at Carina Press

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It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting.

Carina Press is now accepting submissions in the new adult genre. We are looking for submissions with a strong story and fully developed, very definable protagonists, 18 and above (or at an age eligible to enter college), in their early to mid-20s. While at least one protagonist should fall in this age range, it is possible the other protagonist may fall in their upper 20s.

Story elements should be targeted to an adult, not teen audience, and should contain adult contemporary themes, frank, modern language, high relationship drama and intense conflict. Characters actions, dress and dialogue should all be age-appropriate. Think of the relationship drama of the college years and run with that!

Other elements that work in this genre (but are not required to be considered for publication) include increased sensuality, love triangles, protagonists with traumatic events in their background, and protagonists who have celebrity status–actors, musicians, athletes, etc. (Please do not use real celebrities).

Stories can be stand alone or part of a series. For those that are part of a series, please also submit a series overview–a brief, one-page outline of future books or plot elements.

As we are seeking romances, these stories should contain a happily ever after or happily for now. If the relationship takes place over the course of several books and the HEA will occur in a later book, please submit a series overview as stated above.

We’re looking for manuscripts of 50,000 words and up and though we are particularly interested in the contemporary genre, we will also consider books in other sub genres as well (such as paranormal, post apocalyptic, dystopian, etc)

Editors for this genre will be Angela James, Rhonda Helms and Mallory Braus.

For a further explanation of New Adult, please see this interview I did on the Harlequin blog: http://harlequinblog.com/2013/01/exploring-the-new-adult-genre/