Pitch contest, 48 hours only! We’re looking for sexy romance!

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Dear Authors,

The Carina Press editors are looking for super sexy books to acquire before the holidays. This is where you come in!

The Carina Press editors are offering a personal feedback opportunity on the Carina Press blog between November 17th 9am and November 19th 9pm EST. Pitch your book in the comments below—we’ll be requesting manuscripts and offering personalized, expedited feedback on everything that catches our eye!

You’re probably wondering what it is we’re looking for, so before we move on to the rules, these are the requirements for this particular pitch opportunity:

First and foremost, your book must be, well, sexy. It can range in heat level from super sexy to almost erotic to most definitely erotic, but if you close the door on your sex scenes or have none at all, your project isn’t right for this particular opportunity (but you’re welcome to submit it to us here anyway!). The tone can be humorous, dark and twisty, or a great combination of both.

A specific number of sex scenes is not required, but we do want to see high sexual tension sustained throughout the book. Dirty talk, foreplay, and titillating banter throughout is excellent. BDSM is not a must-have, but it is certainly welcome! We’re absolutely open to M/F, M/M, and M/M/F, M/F/M or whatever combination you’re writing!

We will happily look at (and acquire) standalone books, but some of our editors are particularly interested in building a series. If your book is selected for feedback and it’s part of a series, please also submit a brief series proposal with your manuscript and synopsis.

Eligible Genres

Contemporary romance featuring fresh, edgy, envelope-pushing plots. More traditional conflicts are definitely welcome, but we’re also quite interested in ones that have taboo elements in them. Take a look at this post for more information on some of those ideas!

Paranormal romances, especially those featuring shapeshifters like werewolves and dragons, demons, vampires, and a brotherhood of alphas.

Science fiction, bio punk, post-apocalyptic, aliens, space…all are welcome as long as they’re clearly romance!

Romantic suspense and thrillers featuring police, firefighters, first responders, black ops, assassins, and lots of action and adventure.

Historical romances in the Tudor, Regency, and Victorian eras. Scottish highlanders? Yes, please


  • You must have a complete, ready-to-send, manuscript that falls within the commercial fiction genres that we publish. (Please view our submissions guidelines here.)
  • You must pitch your manuscript in the form of a comment on this blog post between November 17th 9am and November 19th 9pm EST. Be sure to include your genre and word count. Also, please be sure to use a valid email address in the comment form (which is not public and no one but us will see it) in case we need to get in contact with you.

* Check back on November 20th to see if your pitch has gotten a request! Unfortunately, there is no subscribe-to-comments function on the blog at this moment, so you will need to check back.

  • You must be prepared to send your manuscript no later than November 29, 2015. Any manuscripts sent to our attention after November 29, 2015 will still be fairly reviewed but won’t be eligible for the feedback opportunity.
  • The manuscript you’re pitching must be new material, not previously published material, whether self-published or released via a publisher. Only new material will be considered during this event.
  • The manuscript cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from Carina Press.
  • You may pitch more than one project!


  • If your book meets the guidelines above, pitch it in the comments of this post.

* To pitch: Start by listing your title, genre and completed word count.

* The pitch itself should consist of no more than 4-5 or so sentences describing your book’s conflict. Think of this as your marketing hook, not a synopsis. Find the sweet spot—start your pitch at the right point. Not necessarily the beginning or the background of your book, but what is most interesting about your book.

Hook us with the concept, the plot or the characters. The pitch should not be more than approximately 100 words. We’re not counting so if you need 2 more, okay, but we don’t want, or need a novel. Again, remember—marketing hook!

  • *Watch for a response in the comments on November 20th! If we respond to your pitch asking you to submit, please send it to us via Submittable, following the submission guidelines. Make sure to address your query letter to me and to note that your manuscript was requested in the blog pitch session.

We will be selecting as many pitches for feedback as we love. If your pitch isn’t selected for feedback, you are still welcome to submit it to Carina, as we’re always open to submissions and, in the end, it’s the book that will sell us on your writing, not the pitch! All submissions will be considered, but only those with requests in the comments will receive personal feedback as a part of this opportunity.

And one last note. If you don’t have something ready to go, no worries! We’re always open for submissions, and would be happy to consider your project at a later date through the regular submissions process.

We’re looking forward to seeing your pitches!


From the Editor’s Desk: Revise & Resubmit Requests

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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 Editorial Director Angela James. Angela originally wrote about this topic in an earlier version of this post, which you can find here.

What is a revise and resubmit request?

Many authors may have heard the term, or they may have even received one, but just not been sure what to do with it. And I’ve heard of many authors who think of an R&R as a rejection.

So let’s talk about an R&R from the Carina Press editorial point of view. At Carina, I try to encourage the editors to think of submissions in terms of probability for acquisition first, pass to another editor second, revise and resubmit third and rejection last. We don’t reject unless we don’t believe the manuscript is a good fit for one of the other three possibilities.

Why do we do a revise & resubmit? 

It can be a variety of reasons, really, but most often, there are several factors at work 1) the editor sees a lot to like about the manuscript 2) she likes the author’s voice and potential and 3) despite all of those, the manuscript needs significant revisions in one or more areas. Sometimes, if an author is someone we know well or have worked with before, we’ll acquire a book with the understanding that we’ll be doing (really) significant revisions. But for the most part, we don’t like to acquire a book if we’re going to be asking for certain major changes. Why? Because it’s not fair to the author, for one thing. You don’t want to sign a contract, thinking the basic structure of your book is fine with the editor, and then suddenly find yourself ripping out major chunks or making changes like cutting a character or subplot.

And on our side of things, we have no way of knowing if an author is either willing or able to make those changes. Some authors believe a book should be accepted “as is” with only basic editing done after that. Some authors simply haven’t yet developed the skill necessary for making the revisions we’re asking for. And some authors just aren’t interested in doing the revisions. These are things it’s better to find out before the book goes to contract, so we utilize the revise and resubmit.

Did I just get a rejection? 

The revise and resubmit letter should never (ever) be viewed as a rejection. Trust me, if the editor wanted to reject your book, it would be a lot less time consuming. The R&R letter can often take hours for the editor to craft, after they’ve made extensive notes while reading your book. We don’t just whip out an R&R letter in 15 minutes and send it out. It gets crafted by the editor and then read by me and we discuss. We want to make sure that the letter is clear, lays out the issues, but also tells you why we love the book and want to see it again.

So, in my mind, I think a revise and resubmit letter should be viewed as the highest form of praise an editor can give you, short of actually contracting the book. That they took so much time to give you feedback means they saw a lot to like in the book. Don’t ignore that letter and think your chances with that publisher are done, read through it and see if you agree with their critique.

The author point of view

On that note, I know that there are authors who don’t care for the revise and resubmit, because it’s not a contract, and so you’re making the changes on faith. And there is no guarantee of a contract (we’re careful to note this in our letters) so you may make changes and still not find your book acquired. So once you get the letter, you do have some decision-making to do. Read the letter, evaluate the changes, walk away from it for a day (or two) and see if time and distance gives you objectivity to the letter (sometimes it can sting to get such a thorough critique) and then come back and evaluate: do you agree with the requests (at least some, if not all)? Are you able to do them? Are you willing to do them? Will making these changes result in a book you can sell elsewhere if they don’t end up working for the requesting publisher? Or will the changes result in a book that you feel isn’t true to your vision of the book? These are all things you should ask yourself before you either A) tackle the revisions or B) decline to make the revisions.

Revise & Resubmit etiquette

If there is such a thing. If not, I’m making it up now! There are times when we’re in the situation of deciding whether or not to offer an R&R and we ultimately decide not to offer the revisions, but instead pass on the work. Why? Because, as I said earlier, R&Rs take a tremendous amount of editorial time and effort, and we know not every author is going to want to do the requested revisions. So we try to balance what we know of the author, their opportunity to publish the book elsewhere, and the likelihood that they’ll be receptive to revisions and go from there. I’m not sure there’s anything that stings more for an editor who’s put hours into a manuscript than to hear “Thanks for your revision suggestions. I sold the book to another publisher before I heard from you and I know you’re going to be happy to hear that I’m going to use your suggestions to make the book even stronger!”

Okay, well, that involves a whole other world of etiquette (the one in which you TELL a publisher if you’ve sold a book, and pull it from submission but…ahem…I digress) but it’s still happened where we’ve had people take the revisions, make the changes, strengthen the manuscript and then sell the manuscript elsewhere. And, yep, that’s certainly the author’s right. But it explains why we think carefully about whether we’re going to do a revise and resubmit.

So what should you do if you receive a revise and resubmit letter from a publisher/editor/agent?

1) Don’t feel you have to respond immediately. If you want to acknowledge receipt, that’s always nice, just send an email thanking them for the feedback and asking for time to think about it.

2) Take a few days to think about it. Once you’ve decided, let the publisher know that you’re going to either tackle the requested revisions, or that you appreciate the time they put in, but don’t feel the revisions are what’s best for the book at this time. It’s okay to say no. But letting the publisher/editor/agent know either way is very courteous.

3) If you decide to do the revisions, take your time. Don’t rush. This is probably your last chance for this manuscript with this publisher. And we’re going to raise an eyebrow if we get your revisions back in a day or two (no really, we don’t think this is possible). Do a thorough read or five of your manuscript. Carefully read and re-read the editor’s suggestions. Have a critique partner or beta reader give feedback. Do Not Rush.

4) If you decide not to do the revisions and think the suggestions are worse than that orange and green plaid sweater your great aunt Hilda gave you for your last birthday, well, go ahead and vent about it. In private. To a few close friends. Not to your entire Twitter, Facebook and blog audience. That is not very courteous.

5) Last, above all, pat yourself on the back that, no matter what happens, someone thought your book had enough potential to take the time to send you that letter. That’s pretty flattering and you should be proud of the hard work that got you there!

Thank you for reading—we hope these posts 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.


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.

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


From the Editor’s Desk: Adding Tension and Suspense to Your Writing

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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. Libby has been editing for Carina Press since May 2015, and is actively building her author list. Although the action in her life stems mostly from raising teenagers and the books she reads, she’s here to give you some tips on how to add more tension and suspense to your writing.

One question I’m asked when I take a book to acquisitions is what made me fall in love with the book. Aside from a killer plot, intriguing characters, and fantastic writing, the most accurate gauge for me is if I can forget about about the world outside the book while I read. And if I totally don’t care. That’s what I call unputdownable.

In many manuscripts I see the initial conflicts move to the back burner not long after the inciting incident, and the characters are setting up for the final conflict and black moment here and there…but not doing much otherwise. That’s about as exciting as a Walking Dead episode where they sit around and talk about their feelings, but there are no zombies. While there are several ways to ramp up conflict, today I’m going to talk about ticking time bombs (Bruce Willis not included).

A ticking time bomb is an element you can add to your book, something that’s quietly approaching in the background that you know is coming. Like your editing deadline next week ;) It has different meanings across genres, so you’ll want to make sure you use something that fits with the type of book you’re writing. I’ll give you some ideas below—this list is by no means exhaustive, though!

Romantic Suspense & Mystery

  1. You could have a literal bomb ticking. And maybe Bruce Willis, while we’re at it. We can fantasize.
  2. A ransom that must be paid by a certain date, either to stop a blackmail plot or rescue somebody from a kidnapping.
  3. The hero or heroine has been poisoned, and only has 24 hours to find the antidote before they die.
  4. Preventing a terrorist attack, or a serial killer from striking again.

Romance (contemporary, new adult historical, etc.)

  1. A fling of some sort. Maybe it happens on vacation, or during a mutual work assignment, or even just a week or two of no-strings-attached sex.
  2. A marriage of convenience, where they have to pretend to be married for a certain amount of time so one of them can get an inheritance.
  3. Two people who fall in love even though one of them has to move far away, join the military, or make a huge life change in a month.

Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy

  1. The heroine has been bitten by a werewolf, and must find a way to reverse the curse before the next full moon.
  2. Two opposing factions will go to war in three weeks, unless the hero and heroine can forge an alliance that will bring peace.
  3. The hero and heroine must catch the Big Bad, who is working on a spell so powerful it will wipe out all witches on the solstice.

Once you’ve decided on your initial idea for a ticking time bomb, you have to decide how it will work within the setup of your story. The biggest problem I see in ticking time bombs is that the deadline runs too long. Drag something out more than a few months, and that’s really too long to create tension. And hardly exciting. You have more than enough time to plan, to mobilize, to take naps. If anybody has time for a nap, your timeline is too long. Make this a challenge.

The second biggest problem I see is a deadline that’s way too short, especially in romance. For example, if the goal of your romance is to end with a happily-ever-after, making two characters believably fall in love over a weekend probably isn’t going to work if they’ve just met. That’s insta-lust! I’d find a happy-for-now more likely. However, if they’ve known each other for quite some time and use this weekend to decide if they are going to make it or break it, that’s probably all right.

Be sure you’re periodically reminding the reader how much time is left. Count it down in a way that’s not too telling, that’s interesting, and shows the conflict rising with each page. I don’t want to see a deadline imposed on page 20, see the characters going about their normal business for the next 200 pages, then suddenly see that deadline again. That is not enough tension!

Over the next couple of weeks, pay extra attention to the TV shows and movies you watch, as well as the books you read. Make a list of the ticking time bombs you see. Do any of them fit with the book you’re writing? Look at ways to tailor those scenarios for your world, and come up with some ideas of your own while you’re at it.

Happy writing!

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.


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.

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

What Carina Press Editors are Looking for: Fall 2015

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Fall seemed like the perfect time to re-evaluate our Carina Press MSWLs and update this post! A full breakdown of what each individual CP editor is looking for right now is down below, but I also wanted to take a moment to highlight the areas we’re especially interested in as we build our 2016/2017 publishing schedule:

1.  Super Sexy Contemporary: Not-quite erotic but still off-the-charts crazy hot and full of dirty talk, sexual tension, and unique h/h pairings. Think Time Served by Julianna Keyes.

2.  Erotic Romance: BDSM welcome but not required. We are very hungry to build a brand-new erotic series at Carina, in the vein of Lynda Aicher’s Wicked Play books. 70,000 words and up, please!

3.  Male/Male: While we’re always looking for contemporaries, we’d also love to see different genres with a m/m romance at the center. Romantic suspense, sci-fi, and mysteries are all fair game (like Josh Lanyon’s Fair Game). New Adult m/m is a particular area of interest for us. Please see A.M Arthur’s Belonging series and j. leigh bailey’s Reckless Hope.

4. Romantic Suspense: Real danger, high stakes, and/or total alphas, please. Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight Fire is character-driven RomSusp at its very best; Library Journal compared Edie Harris’s Blamed to “a James Bond movie.”

5.  Paranormal Romance: We’re on the hunt for a paranormal series that features alpha heroes, perhaps a band of brotherhood type warrior society or great clan/shifter politics. The series should be sexy, with great worldbuilding, and larger than life characters. Shifters, dragons, demons, vampires are all okay. What we are not looking for at this time is ghosts, psychics, angels, mythology, or ancient-setting paranormal. For examples, think Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound or D.B. Reynolds’s Vampires in America.

As always, just because something is not listed above does not mean we aren’t acquiring it. If we publish it, we’re looking for it—and if you’ve written something that fits within our submission guidelines, we want to see it!

Angela James, Editorial Director:

This fall and winter, I’m looking for submissions to push my limits, give me an incredible romance to fall into, deliver a good alpha hero with lots of possessive qualities, and a heroine who isn’t timid, a pushover or afraid to go after what she wants. And I’m looking for it all from authors who want to write more than one book for me, will deliver on deadline and want to work with an editor who will take them to the next level (that’s me ;) or any of the other amazing and awesome Carina editors, of course!)

Here’s a look at some of what I’ve recently tweeted that I’m still in search of:

Otherwise, some of my wish list remains much the same.

• I’m still looking for that one cracktastic project to really pull me in.

• I long for a super, super sexy (but not necessarily erotic) contemporary romance with sexually charged dialogue, sexual tension build-up and a dirty-talking hero.

• I still love motorcycle club romance, and haven’t gotten to work on a contemporary-set project yet, so you’d be my favorite if you hit my dirty, rough, law-breaking notes there!

Mostly, I would really love to see projects that push the boundaries, make me squirm a little in discomfort, but still deliver a satisfying romance with a happily ever after and a great sexiness. All alpha heroes welcome, including those who are kind of jerks to start off with, but spunky heroines who aren’t doormats are an absolute must!

Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor: I’ve been doing a lot of walking over on the darker side lately, across genres. I plan on staying here a while longer—it’s fun ;). Please send me your:

• Dark, steamy romances with aspects of psychological manipulation or suspense

• Tales of sexual obsession

• Stories where the hero or heroine must compromise his/her morals in order to get that HEA…romances that involve real personal sacrifice

• Mysteries that could be classified as romantic thrillers

• Larger-than-life romance heroes: wicked billionaires, insatiable CEOs, misbehaving royalty (and so on and so forth) On the sunnier side of the street, I’ve been asking for a series reminiscent of Army Wives for years now and would love for this to be the year my call is answered. I can’t wait to see couples falling in love on the homefront and abroad, and especially combinations of both. Hero, heroine or both must be active-duty military.

Freelance editors actively acquiring:

Rhonda Helms: Here are some types of submissions I’m always eager for:

• Romance in any steaminess level from sweet to spicy, though I love super-hot stuff… ;-)

• Laugh-out-loud romantic comedies

• Contemporary, historical or sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic erotic romance

• Genre blends with fresh, unique voices

• Diverse submissions

• Mysteries, especially cozy (series please! romance not required, but a romantic subplot is great) And now, a few specific submissions I’ve been craving:

• LGBTQ romantic comedy

• An historical erotic romance novel featuring PoC

• A sexy romance featuring heroes or heroines who work with their hands, like carpenters or skilled tradesmen/tradeswomen (series are great!)

• First-responders romances featuring firefighters, police officers, EMTs, etc. (series are great!)

• Military erotic romances (series are great!)

• A dark, atmospheric, sexy gothic romance–contemporary or historical

• Edgy, envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre

Deborah Nemeth: I’m looking for stories with high-stakes conflict and flawed, passionate characters who are super-motivated to achieve their goals. In my favorite books, the protagonists have to suffer before saving the day, figuring out whodunit, or getting their happy-ever-after.

Right now I’m eager to acquire more romance and mystery manuscripts, and I’m especially drawn to whip-smart characters and snappy dialogue. I’m actively seeking amateur-sleuth cozy mysteries with a strong hook, such as an unusual profession, hobby or setting. Think roadie, cartographer, cirque acrobat, wilderness tour guide, geocaching… In procedurals and PIs I like to see strong characters on which to base a series.

I like my romances sexy to erotic with alpha heroes who fall hard and are prepared to go to any lengths to win their love. Romance tropes I enjoy include marriage/engagement of convenience, enemies to friends, reunion romances, forbidden romances, and secret baby.

I love stories featuring cons and schemes and secret agendas and fake engagements. I have a special fondness for antiheroes, geeks, soldiers, cops, athletes, cowboys, scientists, blue-collar workers and spies. Included in my romance wishlist:

• Adrenaline-fueled romantic suspense—military, revenge, espionage, terrorists, serial killers, stalkers, conspiracies and cover-ups. I particularly enjoy RS that contain elements of action/adventure in rugged landscapes such as mountains, ocean, jungle, glaciers, desert…

• Edgy contemporary romance in urban settings with emotional intensity and off-the-charts sexual tension

• GLBT, especially m/m romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I’d love to acquire military-themed m/m, such as boot-camp-set NA, or a Tops Guns-type series featuring fighter pilots. I’m also looking for m/m with an extreme sports theme, a Southern hero, a May/December romance, a rock ’n roll theme, m/m erotic romance…

• For SFF and paranormal, I’m looking for sexy to erotic SF, PNR and UF romance with plenty of action/adventure, a band-of-brothers feel, and series potential.

• Manuscripts with diverse characters, including interracial romance, a Bollywood-themed romance or mystery, and a Veronica-Mars-type series featuring a heroine of color.

Alissa Davis: • Inter-office romance, where coworkers are faking it at the office and heating it up at home

• Erotic romance with strong dialogue and scorching sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty

• M/m in any subgenre and heat level, but especially stories with high emotional stakes and romance that will make me cry. I’d especially love college or NA roommates, coworkers, or teammates.

• Sexy contemporary romance (not small town, please) with memorable characters and an edgy voice • Marriage of convenience romance, either contemporary or paranormal

• Paranormal romance, particularly werewolves or other shifters

• Sports romance, particularly soccer, football, hockey and baseball. I can’t catch a ball to save my life, but I love editing and reading these books

• Geeky or shy heroes and heroines. The more awkward they are, the more I love them

• Military romance, m/m or m/f. The hero or heroine can be active military or retired.

• Political romance with intrigue, betrayal, and quickies on the campaign trail

• Dark, dominant heroes who can coax a reserved heroine to broaden her horizons

• I’d love to see a teacher and student scenario where one of the adult characters is in the other one’s adult dance class, cooking class, film, etc.

• Any combo of the above. New Adult military LGBTQ romance, anyone?

Libby Murphy: • Steamy, laugh-out-loud funny contemporary romance with whip-smart banter, sexually charged situations, and characters with quirk. I’d especially love to see enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract, marriage of convenience, and forced proximity romances with high concept plots and strong hooks.

• Athletic heroes (and heroines!). Prefer baseball, football, hockey, soccer, rugby, and swimming.

• Fun, smart, adventurous capers featuring rogue-ish heroes and/or heroines, along the lines of White Collar. Series potential is a must!

• Alpha first responder/military/black-ops heroes who have a secret geeky side. Give me an otherwise total badass who goes nuts over code, gadgets, or other geekery, especially if he uses gruffness as a way to cover up a bit of inner awkwardness. On the other hand, I’d really love to see an Olicity-type relationship, too!

• Teacher and student romance, whether it’s at a university, an ongoing class, or a quid pro quo arrangement.

• M/M marriage of convenience romantic comedy—can be sexy, but a sweeter romance is great, too!

• Edgy futuristic, paranormal romance, and science-fiction romances with high concept plots, cinematic writing, and lots of bite. Erotic heat levels preferred, and series potential is a must.

• Cowboys! Whether it’s a contemporary or a steampunk western, I want to see them.

• High-octane romantic suspense. Push the envelope, give it an edge, and send it my way!

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Genre Spotlight: Sexy Contemporary Romance

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If you enjoy the sexier side of Contemporary Romance, this spotlight is for you! These four new sexy contemporary reads are the perfect way to spice up your reading list.

Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

24692826Lydia Kincaid’s shipping back to Boston, but she’s not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother’s a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother’s handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He’s had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it’s her. Aside from being his mentor’s daughter, she’s his best friend’s sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can’t uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia’s flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter’s wife was the hardest thing she’s ever done, and she doesn’t know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can’t imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he’ll have to decide who’s first in his heart.

Riding Dirty by Jill Sorenson

{A546562C-D143-4C3E-B47E-DBE9547B71A3}Img100He’s her weapon of choice

Psychologist Mia Richards wants revenge. Her new client, tattooed Cole “Shank” Shepherd, provides the perfect means. She just has to manipulate the felon-turned-informant into eliminating her husband’s killers–members of Cole’s rival motorcycle club. The first step, seducing Cole, is simple. As for walking away before she falls hard–it’s already too late…

Dirty Eleven practically raised Cole, and he plans to double-cross the cops rather than sell the club out. But smart, sexy Mia is an irresistible distraction. While she’s evaluating his mind, all he can think about is her body…until he discovers her true intentions. Walking a fine line between desire and betrayal, they’ll have to outrun her past, his enemies and the law for a love that’s dangerously real.

Penalty Play by Lynda Aicher

{98B4DF63-FA43-4E42-9B3C-0EBDE897097D}Img100Minnesota Glaciers’ starting defenseman Henrik Grenick is good at two things: hockey and sex. He’s got it all–the career, the biceps, the babes. But the steady parade of women through his bedroom just leaves him wanting more, hunting for the next distraction. Until he meets Jacqui, who awakens a hunger he never knew he craved.

Fiercely independent Jacqui Polson has no time for the seductive hockey player demanding her attention. More band geek than bimbo, she’s in an entirely different league, and growing up with four hockey-crazed brothers left her with no interest in that world. But damn, Henrik’s hot. And when it comes to sex, Jacqui knows exactly what she wants.

As their relationship moves beyond games, Henrik needs more–not just of Jacqui’s touch, but of her. Jacqui discovers there’s more to Henrik than just the gruff facade. But after a lifetime of fighting their own battles, neither has ever let anyone get so close. As they soon find out, needing someone isn’t a weakness, it’s the only thing that matters…

Book three of the Power Play series

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.

Genre Spotlight: Military Romance

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These heroes are brave, strong, and not afraid to stick up for the ones they love! Our readers share why they love Military Romance below, PLUS you won’t want to miss our recommendations!

A Dangerous Leap by Sharon Calvin

“An excellent read, with lots of information about the work of coast guards which I found very interesting and added to the tale.” –Goodreads review

{395657B4-7502-420A-A08F-A5CED6B86786}Img100Raised by navy parents, Kelly Bishop learned how to pack light and say goodbye at an early age. She’s earned her Coast Guard rescue swimmer stripes in some of the toughest waters out there, outperforming men along the way. Now she’s ready for a new start in Florida, eager to prove herself as the best of the best.

What she isn’t ready for is the spark between her and fellow Coastie Ian Razzamenti.

Ian knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. And what he’s always wanted is a stay-at-home wife–someone who can take care of their children while he’s out on missions. The attraction he feels for Kelly is intense, but is it worth giving up his big-family dreams?

Life-or-death situations leave little time for distraction–or doubt. When a tropical storm becomes a hurricane and a dangerous enemy reveals himself, their air station springs into action, and Kelly and Ian may not have the chance to decide whether they want to take the leap…

High and Tight by Vanessa North

“What a fantastic, unexpected surprise!” –Amazon review

{3CE8C6B8-0D67-40A7-A783-53850A404911}Img100Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.

Harris never wanted to be anyone’s dirty little secret. When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He’s picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren’t afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.

Adam’s been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he’s desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks’ leave and a Navy man’s conviction, he’s ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he’s ready to come out and commit.

His Road Home by Anna Richland

“What an incredibly moving, beautiful story with an incredibly creative set-up.” –Amazon review

{87E6010E-8E72-4300-9A4E-7993835C4125}Img100Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship–a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving–a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Want more Military Romance? Click here!

Genre Spotlight: Post Apocalyptic

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The world as you know it may have ended, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great stories to be told. Post Apocalyptic fiction is all about life after the civilization we know is brought to an end, leading to action, adventure and romance!

Three Post Apocalyptic Reads You’ll Love:


Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole

{881AA019-DAF1-4FCB-8A1A-47BAC88F7A44}Img100When 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.


Salvation: A Defiance Novel by Stephanie Tyler

{5C94A94C-7CE1-4824-97B7-91539841BFD1}Img100Luna 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.

Click here to discover the rest of the Defiance series

Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone

{C860E668-76B5-473D-97E0-E8F6AC801C63}Img100Abby is a Ranger, part of an elite group who defend the border against Reapers-humans infected with a parasite that turns them into mindless cannibals. Rangers are immune to Reaper infection, and as one of the only female Rangers, Abby is expected to settle down and breed more Rangers-a fate she’s keen to avoid. When she’s ambushed on the plains, she’s ready to go out with guns blazing-until a mysterious, handsome cowboy rides to her rescue.

Jake has his own motives for helping Abby, beyond aiding a damsel in distress. He’s a Reaper, and while he’s learned to wrest control of his mind from the parasite, the effects won’t last without a permanent cure. And he needs Abby to get it.

Abby and Jake are natural enemies and unlikely partners. But when their search reveals a conspiracy between Reapers and the rich industrialists who own the mountain cities, they must work together to find the cure-or lose the border, and each other, forever.

Why Our Readers Love Post Apocalyptic Books:

“I fell in love with this book from the moment I started reading it and couldn’t put it down.” –Goodreads review, Redemption: A Defiance Novel

“If I had one complaint about Desert Blade, it would only be that I wanted more.” –Goodreads review, Desert Blade

“Stephanie Tyler did such an amazing job taking our minds and submersing them into this futuristic yet archaic world.”–Goodreads review, Defiance


Want to discover what Post Apocalyptic life is like for yourself? Click here for more great reads!

Genre Spotlight: Regency Romance

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Looking for a new Historical Romance to swoon over? Why not try something from the Regency era. We have a new release from author Caroline Kimberly below as well as feedback from Carina Press readers on why they love Regency Romance!

Why our readers love Regency Romance!

“A sweet and enjoyable read, Romancing the Runaway was a lovely historical romance.” –Amazon review, Romancing the Runaway

“Lovely prose, two likable leads, a gentle, slowly-building romance and a captivating whodunit.” –Goodreads review, An Heir of Uncertainty

“The romance was sweet, the thrills kept me on the edge of my seat, and the story was enjoyable. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out.” –Barnes & Noble review, Cloaked in Danger

Don’t miss this new Regency Romance!

About An Inconvenient Mistress:

23565760Jamaica, 1820

Isabelle North needs a hero, and if an arrogant mercenary is all she can find… he’ll just have to do. She must get back to England before her past catches up with her, even if that means booking passage on a vessel captained by a man she cannot abide.

Phillip Ashford, notorious smuggler and captain of the privateer Intrepid, knows Miss North is trouble. She’s stubborn, for starters, and it’s painfully clear she’s conning him—she looks more like a schoolmarm than the rich man’s mistress she claims to be. But beneath her prim exterior is a sharp wit and courageous spirit that draws him in despite himself.

They both know they should keep their distance. But passion flares as they defend themselves on the high seas—until Phillip begins asking questions Isabelle would rather not answer. After all, how much can she really share with a man she’ll never trust?

Meet Phillip’s brothers in An Inconvenient Kiss and An Inconvenient Wife!


Get your copy at CarinaPress.com or on online retailers!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

What We Want–Greatest Hits

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This month’s What We Want post is something a little bit different–we’ve collected some of our favorite submission calls to let you know we’re still eager to acquire in these genres! So whether you write mystery, male/male, romantic suspense, paranormal, contemporary, or a little bit of everything, we want to hear from you! Here’s some insight on what our editors are looking for in these genres.

Erotic Romance: 

Bring the heat! Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romance with strong dialogue and great sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty.


Keep us guessing. Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see action-packed capers and slick heists with clever twists.

Contemporary Romance: 

Step right over that line. Angela James, Editorial Director, is looking to acquire a dark contemporary romance featuring one or more of the following: capture fantasies, anti-heroes and -heroines, mercenaries on a mission, sexually charged dialogue.

Romantic Suspense: 

Thrill us! Senior Editor Kerri Buckley would like to acquire romantic suspense stories set in Eastern Europe, as well as a super sexy romantic suspense series in which an assassin or a spy falls for his/her mark.


Make it emotional. Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is looking for a male/male gothic romance, dark and emotional and intense.

We hope this post inspires you! Carina Press is always open to submissions. To review our submissions guidelines, click here. To submit a manuscript to Carina Press, click here.


What We Want—Paranormal Romance!

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CARINA_1114_9781426898983_BladeOnTheHunt   CARINA_1014_-9781426899133_OfShadowsAndAsh   CARINA_1014_9781426899171_TilDragonsDoUsPart

Can’t get enough paranormal romance? Neither can we! We’re on the lookout for new paranormal romance series to grow and build. Here are some details on what our editors are looking to acquire in this genre.


Kerri Buckley, Editor, would like to see:

  • Paranormal spins on romantic suspense–think werewolf mafia or other shifters engaged in organized crime and/or government agencies.
  • Super sexy or erotic PNR (paranormal romance) of all flavors, all time periods welcome!
  • PNR/psychological thriller mashups–creatures or shifters with cases of mistaken or stolen identity or missing spouses/partners, for instance.

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Time travel romance with robust world-building and an epic feel.

  • Historical paranormal, especially Regency, but with something new, not the same old vampires, shifters, demons or zombies.

  • Superheroes and fairytale retellings with a fresh twist, something I haven’t seen before. I also enjoy witches, fae, Norse and non-Western legends.

  •  Paranormal heists and capers with plenty of action and sparkling banter!

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Gothic romance with paranormal elements (like ghosts/hauntings).
  • Sexy contemporary romance with unusual paranormal creatures/mythology.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Dark, emotional paranormals with intense conflict and strong worldbuilding.
  • Historical paranormals, particularly those featuring werewolves.
  • An erotic romance paranormal series.

Submit your paranormal romance manuscripts to Carina Press now, right here!