I remember February 10th, 2014 for one very specific reason: it was the day I saw Carina Press was doing their next #CarinaPitch on Twitter. (Yes, I know it was announced before that, but it was a busy weekend for me and I didn’t see the announcement until Monday.) You see, I had this book—no, scratch that. I had The Book, the absolute book of my heart. But that poor story had been more tortured than any character I’d ever written and it didn’t look like a HEA was forthcoming. Could it be the universe sent me a fairy godmother by way of Twitter? I had to find out.
The pitch was the next day, so I had just the evening to create my 140-character pitch (minus 12 characters for #CarinaPitch) and for a gal who takes weeks on a query letter, one evening was less than a blink. Got the perfect pitch all polished up and come the morning of the 11th, I pasted it in and saw it didn’t fit—I forgot to count for the spaces. Broke out my editing pen, got that baby down to exactly 140 characters and posted before I overthought it.
Dark Victorian romance-A prostitute & a street fighter, owned by the same ruthless man. Is a chance at love worth life & death? #CarinaPitch
— Pamela Cayne (@PamelaCayne) February 11, 2014
In less than 2 minutes, I had 2 requests for the full. I was beyond thrilled, but I also knew it was one step in a very long march. Once I submitted my manuscript, the next step was one every writer knows all too well—the long wait. Yes, I kept editing the story I had been working on and yes, I tried to keep my email check to once a day (okay, once an hour), but the weeks felt like eons and my fairy godmother remained stubbornly silent.
But then it happened. I got The Call. I was at work that Tuesday morning, and my cell rang, showing an unknown number. I honestly wasn’t thinking Carina at all, but when my caller identified herself as Angela James, I knew. My wonderful fairy godmother, a beautiful broad by the name of #CarinaPitch, came through and I had an offer for The Fighter and the Fallen Woman. I kept it together (writing copious notes as I knew I wouldn’t remember any of it) through Angela’s call, but as soon as she hung up the emotion started to get me. I started to walk outside so I could call my husband, but first I had to go back to my desk and grab a tissue. When I called him and told him the great news, I got strange looks, laughing and crying at the same time, but I think there was a reason nobody looked twice at me.
That Tuesday? It was April 1st. I got The Call on April Fool’s Day. Whoever said my fairy godmother doesn’t have a sense of humor?
“People like us don’t get happy endings.”
In twelve years as a bangtail, Lady has never feared a man’s kiss. Owned by the ruthless Hannibal Adams, the “Earl of the East End,” she’s draped in jewels and dead inside. Lady learns fear, however, when she kisses Mr. Adams’s best fighter for luck–for King sees the real woman locked away behind finery and falsity.
King’s life is made of fists and scars, the only things that have ever felt real to him. Even his name came from the man who owns him–the man who turned him into a champion. From the moment Lady’s kiss sends him reeling, King resists wanting what he can’t have. Mr. Adams never gives up what he owns.
When Lady is sent to nurse King through the tournament, she finds a new strength through the one man who’s never treated her like a whore. King discovers that the woman who shares his dark world might also be the one to lead him out. And as the tournament comes to a violent finale, Lady and King must decide–stay spoiled and shackled, or break free and risk what happens when fear and dreams collide.