Week Eight…2009 Drew to a Close

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Late, this post is late, so late! Today has been a Monday, on so many levels and a few times I’ve been tempted to just shut down the computer and try again tomorrow. I hope no one else had a day like that! But I don’t get paid to give up, so here I am, still chugging along. I have one more item on my to-do list for the day before I actually shut down. Payables for 2009 are being closed down, so all invoices have to be turned in, from freelance editing to expense reports, so I spent some time today devoted to that. I spent all day on email. There seems to be a never-ending supply of that!

Last week seemed like such a short week, but really it was only shortened by one day! You’ve all seen the post on the missing emails now, so I’ll tell you that I spent a portion of several days last week working with the Help Desk to try and locate them. They were fairly convinced that I’d accidentally deleted or misfiled them, so they remotely took control of my computer and went through my email to see if they could find them. It’s weird to have someone else working on your computer remotely. Very odd. Unfortunately, they didn’t find them. Honestly, I’d have been happy to take 100% responsibility for whatever happened to them if only we could find them. I still have my fingers crossed that they’ll magically appear, but that’s looking less likely as the days pass and we don’t recover them.

On a more positive note, the copy editor applicants (and tests) are rolling in, we’re moving quickly through submissions now, and we targeted five more books for acquisition last week in a variety of genres. I think that will be the Carina Press word of the moment: acquisition. It’s all about acquisition right now! Something did come up that made me think it might be interesting for us to do a post on the cost of submissions. I have the blog content planned for the next week, but I’ll try and get that post up in the next few weeks. Someone remind me if I forget!

Coming up this week, I’ll be posting the final acquisition from Christmas week, and also a few more posts introducing the Carina Press team members. Slowly but surely they’re getting those posts in. I may have to nag a few of them, though. On my own to-do list is a lot of correspondence with the editors, setting up our editorial steps and style because these books are ready to be edited! So I’ll be working on mostly editorial this week, because I’ll also be going over the copy editor applications, and sending more tests out. Oh, and I have lots of phone calls scheduled with incoming Carina authors. Wheee! It’s going to be a busy (but productive) week.

Emails between December 15th-24th

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**this post is a sticky. Please scroll down to see the next post/new content.

Due to the vagaries and curses of technology, everything in our submissions and general inquiries main inbox disappeared sometime on Christmas Eve. Like…poofed into cyberspace in a place not to be found. Not the way I hoped to start my holidays, believe me! This was emails sent between December 15th and December 24th only, as all other emails had been moved out of the main inboxes and filed appropriately. I’ve been stressing over this for two weeks, and the Help Desk has made a valiant effort to find the missing emails. They’re still trying and will exhaust every possibility, I’m sure, but in the meantime I don’t want anyone to have to wait longer than necessary for a reply.

So, please accept my apologies for any inconvenience, but if you sent a submission or an inquiry of any kind to the submissions@ or generalinquiries@www.carinapress.com inboxes between December 15th and December 24th, and haven’t received a personal response (not an autoresponse, but a personal response) please resend your email. When you resend, please note the original date you sent it, if it’s a submission, so I can be sure to move it to the proper place in the queue and be sure it doesn’t add any extra time to your wait.

*it is not necessary to resend any emails that fall outside this time period, even if you haven’t received a personal response!

Acquisition: Out of Tears by Toni Anderson

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Toni Anderson was born and raised in the UK, and now lives in the harsh, but beautiful Canadian prairies.
Formerly a marine and fish biologist, she (unfortunately) lives about as far from the ocean as physically possible. In an effort to recapture her love affair with the sea, she writes dark, contemporary, Romantic Suspense stories set in the beautiful, ancient, cobbled streets of Scotland, where she lived for many years. Crumbling sea walls and windswept beaches provide the backdrop for tangled romance and treacherous murder.
When she’s not writing, or traveling the world, she’s out walking, cycling and generally looking for plot ideas about how to kill people without the law catching up with her. Nothing like murder to get the brain working and nothing like true love to nourish the soul.

Visit Toni at her blog and Facebook. Or follow her on Twitter.

Out of Tears by Toni Anderson

Detective Inspector Nick Archer has a dark past and hides a terrible secret.  He’s spent the last decade putting Britain’s most notorious criminals behind bars, but hasn’t forgot the vow he made to the wife he lost to infidelity and murder.

American marine biology profession Dr. Susie Cooper has just started her dream job and wants to settle down.  Unfortunately, she’s attracted to men like Nick Archer, whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night.

For the first time in decades Nick’s actually falling for someone, the only problem is he’s using Susie to get closer to the man he believes murdered his first wife.  Another student is murdered outside the marine lab and Nick thinks he’s got a chance to nail his wife’s killer.

Betrayal and madness put Susie in danger and a tangled web closes around her until she finds herself fighting for her life.  Nick has to put aside preconceived ideas and prejudice if he is to figure out exactly who is threatening to destroy the woman he loves.

Coming in 2010 from Carina Press

Acquisition: Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape

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Author of over thirty popular books and novellas in paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance, Cindy Spencer Pape is an avid reader of romance, fantasy, mystery, and even more romance. According to The Romance Studio, her plots are “full of twist and turns that keep the reader poised at the edge of their seat.” Joyfully Reviewed said, her “colorful characters and plot building surprises kept me spellbound,” and Romantic Times Magazine says her “characters are appealing, and passionate sex leads to a satisfying romance.”

Cindy firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty years to her own, sometimes-kilted hero, she lives in southern Michigan with him and two teenage sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets. Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the three male humans who share her household. For more about Cindy and her books, you can find her on her website, www.cindyspencerpape.com or her blog, www.cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com

Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape
Coming from Carina Press in 2010. Read an unedited excerpt below!

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Meet Amy…Erotic Romance Expert?

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Note: Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a second member of the Carina Press team, Amy Wilkins. You can see from her bio that she likes Chuck. I knew I liked her for a reason.

Amy Wilkins is Assistant Manager, Digital Content & Social Media for Harlequin Enterprises. When not dabbling with Carina Press, she works on Harlequin’s eBook production, blogs, Twitter account, and more. She has a growing reputation as the office geek. Her favorite things include: Chuck (TV), Lord of the Rings (movies), books (duh) and her Sony eBook Reader (just awesome).

You can follow Amy on Twitter

Last week, Emily introduced herself and blogged what it’s like being a Carina Press reader – and I’m here to introduce myself, too! At Harlequin, my title is Assistant Manager, Digital Content and Social Media. I work on things like Harlequin’s blogs, Twitter, audiobooks, and –the biggest part–eBooks. In 2010, a new job will be helping to figure out how to make the best Carina eBooks, too…but that’s a post for another day. Like Emily – and Malle, and Angela, and Aideen, and the others you’ve already met – I’m part of the Carina Press acquisition team, reading submissions for possible acquisition.

For Harlequin I have read slush submissions for Spice Briefs and Silhouette Nocturne Bites, and I currently still read submissions for Harlequin Historical Undone. In fact, some of you submitting may even have received rejections from me before. If you have, don’t let that stop you sending your work to Carina! I have a good memory for recognizing names and if I think a story comes in that I have read before, I let someone else read it. We are committed to giving everything – including manuscripts rejected by Harlequin – a fresh chance. For Carina, I tend not to read the historical submissions since I already read so many for Undone and I like the variety we see in the Carina inbox. Luckily there are plenty of other historical fiction fans on the team to read them instead!

My other responsibilities mean I don’t read nearly as much as Emily or Angela, but for the few submissions can get to, I find myself being drawn to stories similar to what I read on a regular basis: some fantasy/paranormal, the odd historical and erotic romance.

If you had asked me a couple years ago if I would become an erotica/erotic romance “expert”, I would have thought you were crazy. But between reading Spice Brief subs and reading the new Spice Briefs each month to write the blurbs that appear on websites, I’ve ended up reading quite a few erotic stories! I knew I had crossed a point of no return when Emily called me up to ask, “Is this normal in ménages…?” and I knew the answer. I’m sure my parents would be horrified!

So what stands out to me in a good submission? Some things I like are:
– Innovative settings and set-ups.
– Snappy dialogue.
– Heroes who strike the right balance between strong but not too aggressive (especially in a sexual way).
– Historical accuracy – I’m all for artistic license, but if a “fact” is a major part of a story, I have been known to crack open my university texts to look something up.

Keep in mind that I am also just one reader – at this point, many submissions are read by at least two people, so even if something doesn’t appeal to me personally, it has another shot.

But our erotic romance inbox is looking a bit slim these days, writers. If you have a story, please send it in! I’d love to read it… :)

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