Submissions Call/ Freelance Editor Alissa Davis Wants Your LGBT Romance!

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Dear Authors,

I’m Alissa Davis, one of Carina’s freelance editors, and I live in Mississippi, where U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has overturned the state’s gay marriage ban. Hooray! The state will appeal this decision, but I still want to celebrate. To that end, the first fifteen authors who submit LGBT romance to my attention at Carina Press will receive personal feedback from me. From those fifteen, I will select one author/manuscript to receive personal feedback AND a ten-minute phone convo with yours truly.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. (Yup, even celebrations have rules.)

* Your manuscript must be a romance and it must meet the Carina Press submissions guidelines: http://carinapress.com/blog/submission-guidelines/

* The main characters must be LGBT and the story needs to end with them getting an awesome HEA.

* I’m happy to see any heat level and any Romance sub-genre–New Adult, Historical, Erotic, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, etc.

* Only the first fifteen submissions will receive personal feedback, but I will evaluate all submissions directed to my attention. I’m always looking for more great LGBT romance to add to my list!

* The authors of the first fifteen submissions will receive a response letting them know they will be receiving feedback. All authors will receive an automated response acknowledging receipt.

* Manuscripts must be submitted by 1/10/15 to be considered for this opportunity.

* I will provide the feedback via email by 2/1/15, at which point one author will receive an email to set up our phone call.

* Please upload manuscripts to Submittable HERE

* Submitting and receiving feedback does not guarantee acquisition by Carina Press.

Even if you don’t have a manuscript to submit, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this wonderful first step on the path to bringing marriage equality to all Mississippians. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.

Alissa Davis

Freelance Editor, Carina Press

What We Want—Erotic Romance!

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Going Under Sharp Love Shattered Bonds Of Shadows and Ash

We’re always on the lookout for fresh new voices in erotic romance. Erotic romance is wonderfully varied; see the above examples for some of Carina’s stellar offerings. Here are some specific types of stories our editors are looking for:

Angela James, Editorial Director, is looking to acquire a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism.

Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor, would like to see:

  • Fantasies of control, set outside of the BDSM club world
  • Erotic romances that revisit the same sequence of events from alternating h/h POVs. Think Showtime’s The Affair.
  • Dark, erotic romantic thrillers with an underlying sense of real danger and/or suspense.

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Hot historical romances, sexy dark gothic romances (historical or contemporary), and romances featuring first responders or military; people of color/multicultural & LGBT welcome!

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Erotic romance with couples who are in competition or have hidden agendas, and who work out trust issues while pursuing a physical relationship. 

  • Historical erotic romance, especially Victorian, Regency, Tudor, Georgian, Edwardian and Jazz Age.

  • Multicultural/interracial erotic romance, including historical, contemporary, NA or m/m. An erotic NA Bollywood romance would be right up my alley.

Submit your erotic romance to Carina Press now, right here!

What We Want—Romantic Suspense!

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In the mood for some suspense with your romance? So are we! We have some truly thrilling romantic suspense books available—see above for a sample—and we just can’t get enough. What makes a good romantic suspense? Fast-paced, exciting stories full of action and tension—sexual and otherwise! :P

Here is what our editors are eager to acquire in the romantic suspense genre:

Angela James, Editorial Director, would like to see:

  • A romantic suspense series that features mercenaries who are anti-heroes and anti-heroines. Something a little dark, with heroes/heroines who take you to the edge, don’t see things in black & white, and who have delicious sexual tension and dirty sex. Work hard, play hard!
  • I’m still looking for that one cracktastic project to really pull me in and it fits here because something that has suspense elements can help up that cracktastic feel!

Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor, would like to see:

  • A super sexy romantic suspense series in which an assassin or a spy falls for his/her mark
  • Romantic suspense stories set against an Eastern European backdrop
  • A Mr. & Mrs. Smith-style setup, with dual betrayal and non-stop action that takes h/h across the globe

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • A fab, action-packed New Adult romantic suspense. Ramp up that angst!
  • Any M/M romantic suspense? I so want to see it, please!

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • A sexy romantic suspense with a female mercenary heroine and her team tasked with liberating an imprisoned hero.
  • A super sexy m/m romantic suspense series, either historical or contemporar

Deb Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • You name it, I want it all: mercenaries, assassins, crime bosses, capers, secret baby rom suspense, m/m rom suspense, stalkers, serial killers, cartels, political intrigue/conspiracies and coverups
  • Military romantic suspense with plenty of action/adventure played out across dramatic landscapes such as snowclad mountains or windswept deserts
  • Gritty, tautly paced crime investigation romances with savvy investigators facing high-stakes situations
  • New Adult romantic suspense featuring a con artist or cat burglar protagonist
  • Espionage romance featuring a female—or gay—spy who falls for their target

Submit your romantic suspense to Carina Press now, right here!

 

What We Want: Dark, Contemporary Romance

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At Carina Press, we’re always looking to acquire contemporary romance but this month we dare you to step over the line into darker territory…

We want searing stories and risky editorial; books with high emotional tension and lots of dramatic conflict. We want sexy or erotic manuscripts with troubled characters and mysterious backstories. More specifically, if you’re writing any of the following, we’d like to see it:

  • Dark, erotic and/or psychological thrillers
  • Stories of adultery and betrayal
  • Capture fantasies and encounters of questionable consent
  • Gritty, graphic and explicit stories about organized crime and hit men
  • Mercenaries on a mission
  • Conflicts involving non-traditional h/h pairings
  • Anti-heroes and anti-heroines. Real, unredeemable bad boys and bad girls
  • Heavily atmospheric, gothic-inspired sexy contemporary romance
  • Super sexy (but not necessarily erotic) contemporary romance with sexually charged dialogue, off-the-charts sexual tension and/or a dirty-talking hero/heroine

HEAs not required, but please appease us—and your readers—with a HFN (Happily for Now).

Please note that submissions featuring the following will not be considered:

  • Rape for titillation
  • Bestiality
  • Incest
  • Characters under the age of 18 engaging in sex or illegal activity

 

 

What We Want—Mystery!

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So many intricate details make up a good mystery book. Our Carina Press authors craft their stories with the right amount of set-up and characterization, told in unique voices, and, sometimes, with a dash of humor! For great examples of some of our most excellent titles, see the newest releases above!

Do you have what it takes to twist a plot into a tale our readers cannot put down? We’re looking for stories that keep us guessing, and series that keep us coming back!

Here is what our editors are currently looking to acquire in the mystery genre:

Kerri Buckley, Editor, would like to see:

  • A dark mystery/thriller in the vein of Tana French’s In the Woods
  • Mysteries full of kooky, fast-talking characters and helmed by an unforgettably quirky gumshoe
  • A series starring a Rosemary & Thyme-esque amateur sleuthing duo

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • Geeks and nerds! A cozy mystery featuring a brainiac amateur sleuth—inventor, archaeologist, scientist or historian
  • Action-packed capers and slick heists with clever twists

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, would like to see:

  • A sexy gothic novel-length mystery, contemporary or historical, with intense emotions and a strong setting.

 

What We Want—Erotic Romance

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August brings the heat, and we want you to bring it too!

We’re actively seeking to acquire novel-length erotic romance and what better examples than works by our superstar authors Lynda Aicher and Jeffe Kennedy! Lynda’s new Game Play series will feature h-o-t hockey player romances and Jeffe has just released her new erotic romance/BDSM series, Falling Under. We’re also excited for Emily Ryan-Davis‘s new San Sebastian Sinners series which tangles with ménage…coming in 2015!

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Our editors’ complete wish lists for what they want to acquire RIGHT NOW is available here, but below are more specific requests in the erotic romance genre. Give us your passionate/kinky stories where sexy-times happen in the most daring of places! We know BDSM and club erotic romances are still hot, but we want to see where else you can take us!

Angela James, Editorial Director, is looking to acquire a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is looking for super-sexy erotic contemporary romances, esp. military or first responders. Series potential is a bonus. LGBTQ/PoC welcome—actively seeking diverse submissions! She’s also looking to acquire envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre.

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romances featuring badass alpha heroes, and she’d love a contemporary erotic series not set in a sex club.

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.

Mallory Braus, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic thrillers and suspense. She’d love to see a femme fatale character. She’s also intrigued by the potential of a cross genre Erotic Urban Fantasy with a strong female lead against a strong male lead… For example: something like a Catwoman and Batman pairing.

Tina Burns, Freelance Editor, wants erotic romance for both het and LGBT. Give her it all!

Submit your erotic romance to Carina Press now, right here!

Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session

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Feel like you’re missing out by not attending RWA Nationals this year? Good news! Not all of the editors here at Carina Press are attending either! And those who couldn’t attend this year are taking your pitches in the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session hosted right here on the Carina Press blog!

Have a manuscript you want considered by our fabulous editors? Now’s your chance! Post your pitch below in the comments section and check back to see if an editor has requested your material!

Editors participating in the pitch session:

Deborah Nemeth @DebNemeth
Alissa Davis @AlissaDenay
Melissa Johnson @MelissJohnson
Tina Burns @TinaBurns

PITCH CONTEST INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to pitch their 200 word (maximum) query and first 100 words or first paragraph for submission. The contest will run from July 23 – July 27 – pitches submitted after this date will not be considered. Please check back on the blog! You must submit your pitch with a valid email address. Authors whose pitches are chosen will be contacted via email. Editors will request materials from authors by July 28. Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route. Good luck to all!

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE:

1) A complete, ready-to-send, manuscript that falls within the commercial fiction genres that we publish. (Please view our submissions guidelines here)

2) You must be prepared to send your manuscript within 3 days of the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session.

3) The manuscript cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from us.

4) The manuscript cannot be one that is currently under review with another Harlequin imprint

5) You may pitch more than one project.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: 

1) Post your pitch as a comment on the “Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session” blog post which is where the editors will be monitoring the pitches. this blog post will go live on July 23, 2014 9am Eastern.

2) Please do not post pitches for one book in the same blog comment. Enter a separate comment for a new book pitch

3) Please do not post your pitch for the same book more than once

4) Watch for a reply from a Carina Press editor.

5) If an editor lets you know that they’d like to see your submission and your manuscript is NOT currently on submission with us:

a) The editor will contact you via your email address which is required to comment on the blog post. Please be sure to use a valid email address for this purpose
b) Please follow the submission guidelines here and include all required information via the received Submittable link.

If more than one editor asks for your submission, you may choose which editor to send to, though you may also wish to indicate the second editor who had interest, in case the first editor chooses not to read it.

d) Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route.

NOTES ABOUT CARINA PRESS NOT-AT-NATIONALS PITCH SESSION

  • You don’t need to direct your pitch to a specific editor. The editors participating will be monitoring the blog comments throughout the day. However, if you want to bring it to the attention of an editor you think it’s particularly suited for, you are welcome to do so. At the bottom of this post is a list of participating Carina Press editors.
  • Please don’t post your pitch more than once on the blog. This includes not changing your pitch five times and posting it five different ways, please. This allows all authors equal opportunity to be seen. Thank you!
  • An updated list of what different editors are looking for is available here. You can see editor bios here.
  • Information about what we publish, our submissions guidelines and specific FAQs can be found here.
  •  Feedback is welcome! Please email us at generalinquiries@carinapress.com if ever you have specific, constructive feedback you’d like to share.

ONE LAST (VERY IMPORTANT) NOTE:

Even if your pitch isn’t selected by an editor, that doesn’t mean your project isn’t right for us. In the end, it’s the words you write in the story that will get us to acquire the book, not the words you wrote for the pitch, so if you’ve written something we publish, please still submit it to us. Your chances of having the manuscript acquired are just as good as those whose pitches we single out.

*Permission to forward this post, use it on blogs and author forums is permitted.*

Submit your pitch in the format below. Please be sure that your query and first 100 words/first paragraph adhere to the word counts below.

Name:

Title:

Genre:

Manuscript Word Count:

200 maximum word query:

First 100 words or first paragraph of your story:

Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch is Coming!

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The Carina Press editorial team will be holding a pitch event on THE CARINA PRESS BLOG from july 23, 2014- july 27, 2014. 

 

Good news! Not all of the editors here at Carina Press are attending this year’s RWA Nationals in San Antonio. And those who couldn’t attend are taking your pitches in the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session hosted right here on the Carina Press blog!

This pitch session will be similar to the very popular #carinapitch we held back in February, but this time all action will take place on the Carina Press blog. Our pitch sessions have been very successful events! Our February pitch event resulted in requests for over 75 manuscripts and resulted in three new contracted authors.

Our ultimate goal is always to find new authors to acquire, not new authors to reject!

Please read on for details of how the event will work.

 

Beginning July 23, 2014, Carina Press freelance editors will be monitoring the Carina Press blog for book pitches from authors.

Eligibility:

1) 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)

2) You must be prepared to send your manuscript within 3 days of the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session

3) The manuscript pitched cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from us

4) The manuscript cannot be one that is currently under review with another Harlequin imprint

5) You may pitch more than one project.

How to participate: 

1) Post your pitch as a comment on the “Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session” blog post which is where the editors will be monitoring the pitches. This blog post will go live on July 23, 2014 at 9am Eastern.

Get ready to submit your pitch in the format below. Please be sure that your query and first 100 words/first paragraph adhere to the word counts below.

Name:

Title:

Genre:

Manuscript Word Count:

200 maximum word query:

First 100 words or first paragraph of your story:

2) Please do not post pitches for one book in the same blog comment. Enter a separate comment for a new book pitch

3) Please do not post your pitch for the same book more than once

4) Watch for a reply from a Carina Press editor

5) If an editor lets you know that they’d like to see your submission and your manuscript is NOT currently on submission with us:

a) The editor will send a Submittable link to the email address provided in your blog post. Please be sure to use a valid email address for this purpose.

b) Please follow the submission guidelines here and include all required information via the received Submittable link

If more than one editor asks for your submission, you may choose which editor to send to, though you may also wish to indicate the second editor who had interest, in case the first editor chooses not to read it.

c) Send your submission no later than midnight (EST) on July 31, 2014. The Submittable link provided will expire after that, and you will unable to submit.

  • Notes about carina press not-at-nationals pitch session: 

  •  You don’t need to direct your pitch to a specific editor. The editors participating will be monitoring the blog comments throughout the day. However, if you want to bring it to the attention of an editor you think it’s particularly suited for, you are welcome to do so. At the bottom of this post is a list of participating Carina Press editors.
  • Please don’t post your pitch more than once on the blog. This includes not changing your pitch five times and posting it five different ways, please. This allows all authors equal opportunity to be seen. Thank you!
  • An updated list of what different editors are looking for is available here. You can see editor bios here.
  • Information about what we publish, our submissions guidelines and specific FAQs can be found here.
  •  Feedback is welcome! Please email us at generalinquiries@carinapress.com if ever you have specific, constructive feedback you’d like to share.

One last (very important) note:

If your pitch isn’t selected by an editor, that doesn’t mean your project isn’t right for us. In the end, it’s the words you write in the story that will get us to acquire the book, not the words you wrote for the pitch, so if you’ve written something we publish, please still submit it to us. Your chances of having the manuscript acquired are just as good as those whose pitches we single out.

*Permission to forward this post, use it on blogs and author forums is permitted.*

Participating editors:

Deb Nemeth @DebNemeth
Alissa Davis @AlissaDenay
Melissa Johnson @MelissJohnson
Tina Burns @TinaBurns

 

Romantic Suspense – Give Us Your Drama!

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Publishing trends can be funny. What’s “dead” one year could very well be on a must-have list the next, and vice versa. Romantic Suspense is all the rage at the moment—it’s being asked for at conferences, highlighted on third-party retailers, and hailed as the next “big thing,” once again. That’s exciting to us, because the Carina editors have a special kind of love for heart-pounding stories of love mixed with danger, and Romantic Suspense has always been a genre we actively acquire.

We’ve seen incredible success with and reader investment in Marie Force’s New York Times bestselling FATAL series and others, and are eager to expand our already-robust offerings in 2015 and beyond.

Angela James, Editorial Director, has been asking for a great series featuring mercenaries. Anti-heroes and anti-heroines welcome. Strong female protagonists a must! She is looking for something both action-packed, with lots of things blowing up and getting shot (she’s bloodthirsty!), and also sexy. Heroes who are totally into their heroines will be adored. Heroines who can hold their own against alpha dudes and kick some ass will be moved up to the top of her reading queue.

Kerri Buckley, Editor, would like to see a romantic suspense series set in the wilds of Alaska. Think “Northern Exposure” with a strong suspense arc. She’s also looking for romantic suspense with Eastern European anti-heroes. Real Russian bad boys, please. And finally, suburban spies. Kerri would love to see a high-octane romantic suspense series centering on spies gone deep undercover in an American suburb.

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is actively seeking a New Adult romantic suspense. Angsty, thrilling, with active characters and a real sense of danger. LGBTQ/PoC welcome—show her the diversity!

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would love to acquire a military romantic suspense series, featuring intense alpha heroes and men or women in uniform—SEALs, Rangers, SAS, marines, firefighters, pilots, smoke jumpers…

Melissa Johnson, Freelance Editor, would love to edit a romantic suspense standalone or series that has a new adult flare. She’s looking for well-crafted danger and intrigue, and high emotional drama between the main characters.

Mallory Braus, Freelance Editor, is looking for romantic suspense series that feature a ”Band of Brothers” feel. Especially stories that involve a group-a specialized FBI team, a crew of firemen, a police unit, etc. Where the job risks are high, and there’s a solid connection. Also, thanks to a sudden obsession with television shows “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD,” she’d love to read a series based around a fire rescue squad or an intelligence unit.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, would like to find a military romantic suspense series—m/m or m/f, historical or contemporary.

Have you been working on something that fits the bill for one of our editors? Submit your story HERE.

 

Series Books that Stand Alone

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If I fall in love with an author’s world and characters, it’s wonderful to discover that there are more of them—a series, available to buy and read now.

On the other hand, I hate starting to really get into a book and then getting the sinking feeling that I’ve missed something. That this book is part of a series, and to follow along I really need to read the previous however many volumes first. This forces a decision: do I go to the trouble of buying the first book(s), or DNF and read something else in my TBR pile?

While reading the books of a series in order can be rewarding, that’s not always how we discover them. As subsequent books come out, there will always be new readers checking them out.

I like it when authors make it easy for us to read their series out of order.

If I’m reviewing manuscripts submissions for possible acquisition, I look for this quality in a sequel. This means giving the sequel its own beginning, middle and end. Giving it its own villain, or at least introducing the villain of previous adventures in a new way, in action. Likewise, all characters need to be introduced again. Prior episodes should be treated as backstory, with the focus of the book on the current conflict, goals and motivation.

A book can become overcrowded if the characters of previous books appear for no reason other than to wave at the reader and announce the birth of their youngest child. If the cast is too large, a story can sometimes lose focus.

Of course I realize there are many series that tell one long story and are really best read in order. But if the stories are independent enough, why not write the series so that each book can work as a stand-alone read?