From Adult Reader…to Carina Press!


Hello, Carina Press Friends! I’m Kelly Lynn Parra and I will be debuting my first Romantic Suspense Criminal Instinct with Carina Press in June.  It is such an honor to be part of Carina’s launch and to be chatting with you.  I thought I’d kick off today by sharing my journey from reader to Carina…

What’s a girl who once lived to draw and paint, who found school reading a chore, doing writing novels?

Good question, and one I still sometimes hear from friends and family.  You see, it wasn’t until I was round with my first baby–trying to entertain myself during maternity leave–that I was given a book that went on to change my life’s path.

Now this wasn’t just any book, although I did not know this at the time.  It was a romance novel, obviously loved by someone else, yellowed from time, and bent around the edges.

From the first page, I was swept away to Ireland. Where I quickly learned more about those two main characters than I knew about some of my own family members.  I rooted for this man and woman, envisioned them in my mind so clearly that it seemed they had to be real. Yes, I was pregnant, I needed my sleep, but how could I not find out what would happen next?

Soon, I finished that book, closing it with a contented sigh.  I was in love.  Yes, I was in love with romance, and with Nora Roberts!

I went straight to the bookstore and waddled through the aisles until I found the other two books in the series.  The manager of the store was a Nora Roberts fan too. She showed me entire shelves of her books and backlist. *Instant reader bonding took place*

Can you take a guess of the trilogy?

The Born In trilogy:  Born in Fire, Born in Ice, and Born in Shame.   I did not know at the time, but I had started the series out of order.

The first magical romance I read was Born in Ice.

And there I became a voracious and dedicated romance reader.  Once I worked my way through all the Nora Roberts backlist I could find, I read her J.D. Robb books and fell in love all over again!  I think my husband thought I lost my mind.  From there, I read many Harlequin’s series books and that was when I read an author bio about a mom who was staying at home with her children and had become a romance writer.

My son was born and I continued reading more than ever.  My little home was becoming packed with as many books and bookshelves as Pampers and bibs!  So the idea of idea of writing while I stayed at home with him seemed like a daring, but doable venture.

Maybe just for fun.  Fun turned into passion.

I joined Romance Writers of America and on-line sister chapters.  I researched and took on-line workshops.  This passion had soared into a dream of publication!  I think my family humored me, sure, write your stories, they said.  Well, I did and I met other great aspiring writers on-line.  We learned to support each other and share our experiences.  I found a fabulous critique partner and wrote a very rough first book called Deadly Adam.  Then I met a wonderful mentor on-line who told me I had a good voice and I should write the next draft of this book to the best of my ability and submit it to agents.  It took me a year to rewrite it, and then it was time to query.  Many rejections and two offers of representation I had an agent. After another year of many rejections from publishers and rewrites, Deadly Adam sold to Harlequin Bombshell.

Yes, yes, YES!!  I couldn’t believe it!! My hard work had finally paid off. My dream would come true!!

Meanwhile, I had started writing young adult stories. Reflecting on my own teen years, there were never any books I was interested in during school.  I wanted to write something kids could relate to today.  I wrote Graffiti Girl and it sold, meanwhile I received some bad news.  The Bombshell line closed its doors. My first book, which I spent nearly two years writing and a year trying to sell, would not be published.

It was devastating not only to me, but the other Bombshell writers for their unpublished stories.  I cried like a baby.  I had grown to love my characters Ana and Jonas, their faults and their good qualities after all this time with them. Yes, I would be published in young adult but it was tough to say goodbye to them.  I wiped my tears and continued to write.

So jump ahead a few years later.  I heard about this new and fresh e-press opening called Carina Press.  I thought about Deadly Adam.  I thought about Ana and Jonas, and I took a chance and submitted the novel after some sprucing up and gave it a new name of Criminal Instinct.   The day I received the good news email from Angela James my chest tightened and my eyes watered.

My first romance would finally be published.

Thank you, Carina Press, you helped a writer complete a long-sought-after journey. And in support of Carina, I will treat one visitor today to any pick of a Carina Press’s digital launch titles.  All you have to do to enter is leave a blog comment.

I hope when Criminal Instinct is released in June you’ll meet Ana and Jonas…  Stay tuned for my next post so I can introduce them to you.

~ Kelly Lynn Parra

**reminder: Commenting on an author’s blog entry/entries for the day will enter you to win a digital copy of their Carina Press title. One winner daily. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. One winner at end of Countdown.**

Kelly Lynn Parra’s earliest stories were told with paintbrushes, but upon discovering the drama, forbidden love, and danger of romance and suspense novels, those paintbrushes were replaced with a keyboard.  Now a multi-published author, she has created memorable characters such as a graffiti artist, a psychic teen, and a tough undercover narc. A two-time RITA finalist, she divides her time between her novels, freelance writing, and the adventures of motherhood, where she juggles her home life with two children, a tattooed husband, a sweet poodle, and a stealth turtle.  Kelly loves to chat with readers and other writers through facebook, twitter, and her website,

56 thoughts on “From Adult Reader…to Carina Press!”

  1. Congratulations, Kelly! The story about getting to published is almost an epic novel on its own. I’m so glad your romance is getting its HEA :)

  2. Angie says:

    Congrats on your new book, Kelly! I can’t wait to read it ; ).

  3. Yvonne says:

    Hi Kelly! What a great road-to-publication story!! You generously donated a guest critique to a contest I won last year. Your comments were very helpful and I am getting ready to start the querying process with that project. This is belated but very heartfelt: Thank you!!!

    I’m looking forward to the launch of Carina Press and to reading Criminal Instinct!

  4. Elizabeth Bass says:

    Wow! Fantastic blog, Kelly. I had no idea that Criminal Instinct was the first book you wrote. This was the first book I edited for Carina–practically the first book I read for them–and it set the bar very high. I’m looking forward to readers finally meeting Ana and Jonas, too. It’s been a long wait!

  5. Jim B says:

    Thanks for the trail, it’s very interesting to see the path authors take to get their loves published. As a reader it adds antoher dimension to the book.

  6. Amanda says:

    Sounds like an awesome book :) And congradulations!

  7. Thank you for all the congrats!! They mean very much to me!

    Kathleen, I’m so glad too!

    Hello Yvonne! It’s so great to hear from you and you’re very welcome! How exciting about the query process–good luck and stay true to your dreams!!

    Hi Elizabeth!! Yes, it’s been a journey with CI, and thanks to your helpful editing we’ve made the novel even better!

    Thank you, Amanda, Jim, and Angie! I’m excited to be sharing today!

  8. Cyn W. says:

    Kelly, as a fan of Bombshell, I was so sorry when the line closed. I had been looking forward to many of the awesome stories that came through that line, so I’m thrilled to know that your book will be coming out here at Carina Press. In fact, it’s thrilling to know that Carina is open to that kick-ass heroine that you enjoy and that hero that you can’t help but fall in love with. Congratulations on your sale and even more- congratulations on following your dream!

  9. Tina Ferraro says:

    Kelly, I am so excited that CRIMINAL INSTINCT will be soon available to the world at large, and know that Ana and Jonas will WOW all your readers with their adventures, conflict and attraction, the way they have me all these years as your critique partner!

  10. Cyn, yes, I was saddened by the line closing too! And it’s been so awesome that Carina will let me share Ana and Jonas’s story and that they ARE open to any great story, thank goodness. haha! Thank you so much for your kind words!

    Hello Tina!! Thank you for being a fan of Criminal Instinct and helping me from the very beginning. You’re the ultimate CP. Tina has been my critique partner for years and she’s up for her second RWA RITA this year for The ABC’s of Kissing Boys!

  11. Jen Binford says:

    What a wonderful story! Congrats on the book!!! I’m so happy you were able to follow your dreams. Very few people get to see their dreams come to fruition like you have. Good for you!

  12. EC Sheedy says:

    It’s always fascinating to hear what book or books inspired a writer to sit her imagination down and write one of her own. You had some A-1 inspiration, Kelly. I’m looking forward to reading CRIMINAL INSTINCT!

  13. Leanne Dyck says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is insightful and encouraging for this emerging author. All the best for the success of Criminal Instinct.

  14. Wendy says:

    This is so exciting, Kelly! Congratulations!

  15. Good for you, Kelly, for sticking with your book through thick and thin until seeing it published – yea, you!!!

  16. Congrats on this first book getting a fresh start, Kelly! I’ve loved your YA and cannot wait to read it. And I love how pregnancy turned you into a reader! Great tale!

  17. Thank you, Jen! I’m just so thankful Carina is allowing me share this story.

    EC, Born in Ice is a book I will always cherish. Thank you for the congrats!

    I appreciate that, Leanne, thank you for reading!

    Thank you Wendy and Lauren, and Steph for your great support!! For you YA readers stop by for more from this talented authors!

  18. Patti Duplantis says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming release. It’s sounds exciting. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  19. Alyson Noel says:

    Huge Congrats Kelly on your upcoming release–I’m so happy for you! :)

  20. Deborah Nemeth says:

    What a great road-to-publication story. Thanks for sharing it! I hope it will inspire other authors.
    Congrats on your upcoming release,

  21. Patti, Alyson, and Deborah, thank you for your congrats!!

  22. Lisa J says:

    Congratulations. I will look for your book when it comes out in June. It sounds like there will be a number of great books.

  23. Thanks for sharing your road to writing and publication, I love these stories!

  24. Liz Fichera says:

    I love a good publication story! Thanks for sharing, Kelly! And thanks for not giving up–looking forward to reading CRIMINAL INSTINCT!

  25. Anne Frasier says:

    I’m so excited about this book! Can’t wait for the release!

  26. Lisa J, thank you! And I agree, I can’t wait to read these Carina Press titles!

    Thank you for reading, Claire!

    Hello Liz, thanks! I’m looking forward to your release, Captive Spirit!

    Anne, thanks for stopping by! Anne Frasier is another one of my favorite authors!!

  27. Janie Emaus says:

    Congratulations. I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  28. Sara Hantz says:

    Kelly, HUGE congrats I can’t wait to read it I LOVE books like this.

  29. Lara Kairos says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Kelly! I can sympathize with your disappointment about Bombshell. I had a similar experience with an e-pub (now defunct). I admire your perseverance!

    I looked up ‘Graffiti Girl’ on Amazon, and it seemed to be a very interesting book.

  30. Thank you Sara!!

    Lara, I’ve learned a lot in my first years of publishing–and still learning more everyday as it changes–and one of the most important lessons is that there is no straight road with publishing. It definitely has it’s ups and downs and as a writer you have to adapt and keep going. Thanks for looking up GG. I call that book, my little book that could. :) :) Best of luck with your writing!!

  31. Congrats Kelly on your upcoming release.. I love the blurb and the cover rocks.

    I look forward to reading it..


  32. Amanda Ashby says:

    Kelly, I totally remember when you sold this book the first time around and I’m so excited that not only have you found it a new home but that you’ve taken the knocks and become stronger from it. You rock!!!!!!!

  33. Congrats! Will have to keep an eye out for the book.

  34. EH, thank you! I really love the cover too!

    Thank you, Amanda, you and the TFC girls rock too!! *hugs*

    Thanks, Ms. Bookjunkie!!

  35. Yay, Kelly!!! Can’t wait to check out your new release!! :) :) Congrats! :)

  36. Julie Moffett says:

    Loved, loved, loved Graffii Girl!! You go, Kelly! Congrats!!

  37. Shannon McKelden says:

    What a great story, Kelly! It just goes to show we should never give up on our books. There must might be life left in them yet!

  38. Pearl says:

    Congratulations on your Carina Press release! As a romantic suspense fan I can’t wait to get this one on June 7th!

  39. Cathy M says:

    It was great to get to know you Kelly, I look forward to reading your story.

  40. Thanks for your support, Keri!!

    That is so cool, Julie, thanks so much for telling me! Yay!

    Thank you, Shannon, Pearl, and Cathy! I’m looking forward to the release too!

  41. Estella says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to read your book.

  42. Lilly Cain says:

    Hey Kelly! Congratulations on what looks to be an awesome new book! I am so excited for you that it found a great new home. I love all forms of romance and I expect to go broke here at Carina, LOL. There are so many wonderful stories!


  43. ElizabethN says:

    Congratulations! I’m glad that the opportunity to re-submit occurred and that Carina Press gave your book a home. Can’t wait to read Ana & Jonas’ story.

  44. Eve Vaughn says:

    Congrats on being published, it must be an amazing feeling!!

  45. Marie Force says:

    Congratulations, Kelly! I had a similar long and winding path to Carina with Fatal Affair. Your story sounds awesome! Can’t wait for June!

  46. Marcelle says:

    Congratulations, Kelly! Can’t wait to read Criminal Instinct!

  47. Estella, Elizabeth, and Marcelle, thanks so much!

    Lily, LOL! I know the feeling. So many enticing stories debuting with Carina in June!

    Eve, it is a lovely feeling! I just hope I can entertain some Carina readers!

    Thank you, Marie! I can’t wait to hear about your story and to read Fatal Affair!

  48. I just want to give one big THANK YOU to Carina Press and to all the visitors today! It really has been a pleasure to share and to be part of Carina’s launch and countdown till June 7th!! Woo-hoo!! Thank you for all of your kind comments!!

    Once the winners are announced for Criminal Instinct, I’ll also choose a random visitor for my personal launch title ebook giveaway!

  49. Christine O'Neil-Bell says:

    The book sounds AWESOME! Great job.

  50. Sharon M says:

    Kelly, your story is so inspiring to other moms who’ve had the pleasure of finding romance novels while pregnant or taking care of their little ones. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on the release of Criminal Instinct!

  51. Thank you Christine!

    Sharon, you’re welcome! I wanted to share because I never dreamed I would one day be published. And after these first few years, I’m still amazed it happened. Thank you for the congrats!

  52. Diane M. says:

    I always enjoy reading how an author got published.

  53. I’m glad you enjoyed reading, Diane!

  54. Dianna Love says:

    Kelly –

    You are one of my favorite authors and your story to publication is one of determination for sure. I can’t wait for Criminal Instinct to come out!

  55. Veit says:

    Servus , sehr interessanten Blog betreust du da. Ich selbst hab genauso schon länger eine HTML-Seite gebaut, eine Such-Maschiene. Im Moment noch zu finden unter Währe toll von dir wenn du mir schreibst wie du sie findest und was vielleicht noch verbesserbar dabei ist. Ein Design kommt erst im Laufe des Wochenendes dazu. Schönes Wochenende – 345zhf4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *