(Carrie will give a free download of Song of Seduction to one lucky commenter today!)
Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor’s final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price; fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him…
Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda’s passion for the violin–and ignites a passion for the man himself.
But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?
My latest historical romance, Song of Seduction, was released by Carina Press last week, and I know that many readers and writers have questions about Harlequin’s brand new digital-first venture. I can only speak for my experiences, but I also dragged my lovely editor, Deborah Nemeth, to give us her point of view too.
I submitted Song of Seduction to Carina on its first day open for acquisitions. The tagline “Where no great story goes untold!” really caught my attention. For three years I’d tried finding a good home for my Austrian-set historical romance. Editors loved my voice and the characters, but the setting was a deal-breaker.
Carina seemed different, with the full weight of Harlequin at its back to ensure the venture had a fighting chance. When Executive Editor Angela James offered to acquire Song of Seduction and make it part of the initial batch of Carina offereings for the June 7th launch, I was thrilled.
Working with Deborah Nemeth was also a thrill. She adored my story, which had so long been overlooked because of its unusual setting. Her editorial direction helped resolve a few pesky places that had been bugging me for ages. The romance is stronger because of her input.
To be honest, there’s no telling how well all of this will go. Carina Press is, at its heart, an experiment. But they’ve taken a chance on my story and given me the tools to make it a success. If those same chances are being taken across the whole of Carina Press’s literary offerings, then as readers we’re all in for a treat! I couldn’t ask for more.
Now I’ll turn it over to Deborah. What types of manuscripts are you interested in acquiring?
As much as I love romance, I enjoy having the freedom to acquire and edit in any genre, from straight mysteries and SFF to love stories that don’t have a traditional romance structure/ending. Carina gives authors this same freedom from genre constraints while enabling them to benefit from Harlequin’s publishing expertise.
With regard to acquistions, I want to see strong, flawed characters who are passionate about their goals. I like stories to take off from the first page and mount to a grand finale, engaging my emotions, although with a mystery the engagement may be more cerebral. I acquire all heat levels from sweet to erotica, all lengths over 15K words. I’m open to most genres–anything but young adult, inspirational, or super-gory horror (but there are other Carina editors who’ll love to read your inspy or horror ms).
–I like mysteries to be clever, whether cozy or hard-boiled or procedural, with or without romantic elements
–I’m seeking richly detailed, well-researched historical fiction or historical romance with dialogue that subtly conveys the period flavor while still being readable and natural-sounding. I’m wide-open when it comes to time periods, settings, and characters–centurions, knights, Saracens, Vikings, princes, artists, explorers, Moguls, concubines, mandarins, privateers. Regency bucks, cowboys, samurai, sheriffs, courtesans, bootleggers, squadron leaders.
–I’m looking for all sorts of SFF, from epic fantasies, space operas, and steampunk to paranormals featurings shifters, vamps, demons, witches, ghosts, psychics, djinn, and fae.
–In a thriller/suspense novel I look for fast-paced action and plenty of plot twists.
–I enjoy both angsty women’s fiction and lighthearted romantic comedies/chick lit.
–In a contemporary romance I like to see a strong, well-structured conflict, something beyond a misunderstanding or a character’s determination not to commit.
–I’m seeking multi-cultural fiction that explores challenges posed by different traditions. A former resident of Puerto Rico, I’m particularly attracted to Latin cultures, but I’m interested in all types of heritages as well as interracial romances and fiction depicting any immigrant experience.
–I’m open to GLBT fiction in all genres and heat levels.
–Genre blends are welcome: historical paranormal, m/m fantasy, paranormal suspense, and so on. I’d love to acquire a space opera, steampunk, or historical mystery with a really cool sleuth to base a series on.
I accept direct submissions. Send your query in the body of an email and attach a full, polished ms and synopsis in .rtf or .doc files to deborahnemetheditor AT gmail.com
Born in California and raised in the Midwest, Carrie Lofty met her English husband while studying abroad–the best souvenir! Since completing a master’s degree in history, she’s been devoted to raising their two precious daughters, managing the blog Unusual Historicals, and writing romance. Also look for her “Dark Age Dawning” trilogy of hot-n-dirty apocalyptic romances co-written with Ann Aguirre under the name Ellen Connor. Nightfall kicks it off in June 2011, available from Berkley Sensation. You can catch up with Carrie on Twitter and Facebook.
About Deborah Nemeth
Since Deborah began reading before her fourth birthday and stops only when she absolutely has to, it was probably inevitable that she would major in English literature and eventually become and editor, a profession she’s pursued for five years. As an utter bookslut, she loves to read all sorts of things, from SFF to mysteries to historical romance. Over the years she’s lived in Ohio, Michigan, Chicago, and Puerto Rico, though she spends most of her time in places such as 19th century Bath and Middle Earth. Currently she lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her husband (a candidate for sainthood) and two beautiful daughters. You can follow her on Twitter.