Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Into the Shadows is OUT!!

***Release week sale price - just $2.99***

It's summer! Time for ice cream, frosty lemonade, lazy days at the beach, and awesomely hot, tortured heroes trying to solve dangerous mysteries!! My sexy summertime romantic suspense, Into The Shadows, is out!

ebook: Amazon | Nook | ARE | Kobo | Apple | Smashwords |
print: End of July
Standalone: Yes, this novel stands completely alone
Length: 94k words
Price after the sale: $4.99


Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.


Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father.

Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?

Pssst:  for a fun release day interview, review and giveaway check out Love Affair with an e-reader!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Into the Shadows - the awesomely beautiful cover & other details!

Following my vow to never again announce a release date until a book is actually with my proofreader (because of what we’ll call the Off the Edge constantly moving release date due to perfectionistic tendencies incident), I’m pleased to announce that Associates #3, entitled INTO THE SHADOWS, has a tentative release date of the week of July 15th for ebook and paperback. This is Thorne's story.

I am crazy about this yummy cover, which was created by Amber of I love the mood of velvety, gritty richness she achieved, and the drama, and how it pops, and she even added true-to-the-tale tattoos. Plus, the attitude of Thorne here is pitch perfect. 

This is by far the most dramatic book I have ever written (in my mind, anyway!), and I am just crazy about this hero. That sounds like something an author might say about every book, doesn’t it? But I’m really not just saying it!! And it’s almost here! 


Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.


Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father. 

Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?


My proofreader is a wonderfully prompt person, so I should have it back in early July at which point I will:
  1. Read it over yet again, making myself so wildly tired of reading it I will not be able to see straight, because I’ve only read it 100 times and it will feel like clawing my way to the finish line. 
  2. Lovingly format the print edition.
  3. Order and inspect print proofs.
  4. Finish up formatting the final digital editions and test them and read them some more. 
  5. My eyes fall out!

As noted, it should be live around the week of July 15th. Yippee! I hope you enjoy it! If you are the sort who likes to read chapters early, you can read the first two chapters on my site.  


**Reviewers: this title will be on Netgalley for a limited time; also, feel free to contact me about review copies at carolyn (at)

Monday, June 16, 2014

24 reasons why you should NOT subscribe to Carolyn Crane's newsletter!

Just in case you were wondering, here are the top reasons not to subscribe to my newsletter!
  1. Carolyn Crane sometimes includes a cat picture in her newsletters and her cats aren’t as cute as she thinks they are. Frankly, it’s embarrassing!
  2. I do not like hot secret agents and I do not care to know when such “books” are released.
  3. Carolyn Crane shouldn’t be encouraged in the “things she does.”
  4. Carolyn Crane only sends a newsletter when she has a release. What is UP with THAT? 
    not cute
  5. I love Carolyn Crane’s writing too much, too unwholesomely, and I am trying to take a break just for my sanity because my mind cannot comprehend the hugeness of such a love!
  6. Carolyn Crane sucks!!
  7. Bears.
  8. Carolyn was nominated for a RITA award for her second Associates romantic suspense book, Off the Edge, and we all know how you get nominated for a RITA: sexual devilry.
  9. Carolyn Crane’s secret agents talk dirty. It's as if she thinks it's hot when a man narrates every single obscene thing he is thinking and doing. Well, it's not hot, mister; it's uncouth! 
  10. You can tell from reading Carolyn Crane’s Associates series that she is really into brainy tough guys with glasses, and it’s a little embarrassing, like, how into them she is. It’s almost as if she has no life!
  11. I never even heard of Carolyn Crane, I’m just reading this list for the WTF factor.
  12. I have a special and truly beautiful psychic connection with Carolyn Crane that she doesn’t yet acknowledge or even comprehend, and a newsletter would just be insulting to the utter purity of that connection.
  13. Sadly, Carolyn Crane reached her artistic high point in Mind Games, particularly when she described a man’s cock as cucumbery. It’s all been downhill from there. A tragedy!!
  14. I already signed up for Carolyn Jewel’s newsletter. So, as you can imagine, I've pretty much had my fill of Carolyns.
  15. I do not care to be alerted when Associates #3, INTO THE SHADOWS, Thorne's story, comes out in July at a special limited-time sale price.  
  16. Carolyn Crane is a totally manipulative person, like with this list, which is obviously a ploy to remind people she has a newsletter. Sad!! 
  17. I don’t like exciting books with hot men and lots of sex.
  18. I tried to sign up for her newsletter, but there is a puppy pictured at the top of the form. It's as if she knows nothing about branding whatsoever!
  19. Carolyn sometimes has freebies and swag and opportunities for ARCs and stuff like that. No thanks! I have a three-dimensional printer that satisfies ALL my needs, if you know what I mean.
  20. Have to wash my hair.
  21. I was going to sign up for her newsletter until I saw this list. There are some very compelling arguments here!!
  22. My inbox cannot handle so much amazingness!
  23. I can’t just “sign up” for Carolyn Crane’s newsletter like it’s nothing. The time needs to be right at which point I will light candles, put on some music, pour a glass of wine, and sign up like it means something…over and over and over again. 
  24. I am a cave man. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Associates update and one scary thing about self publishing!

Happy summer, friends!

I'm busy at work on a final draft of Associates #3, which is Thorne's book.  My critique partners and I have been calling it the Secret Baby book, but the official title will be something more like  INTO THE SHADOWS, though I was also toying with UNDER THE SHADOWS.

Do you see my clever title system? (Against the Dark, Off the Edge) They all begin with prepositions! Don't ask me what I'll do when I run through all the good prepositions and I'm left with prior to, or barring.

I'm at that scary point of revising where all the decisions I make are kind of final. Except for actual mistakes, which my proofreader will hopefully catch. So, every time I change a description or a passage I'm hyper-conscious that it will be the version that ends up in the final.

It's SO much pressure!!

One of the best things about self-pubbing is the control - I love the control - but it's also one of the scariest things because of this. When I was with Random House, if I changed something on a whim at the last minute, there was always somebody to tell me this won't work, don't you dare change that! Which is both good and bad.

Anyway, this is the 5th draft. I'm accepting it takes me a good 6 months to crank out a book. (perfectionist? Me?) Fabulous Amber Lin of BookBeautiful is making my cover. Things are on track for a July release! I'm really excited.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week. And, if you have a strong opinion about UNDER THE SHADOWS vs INTO THE SHADOWS, do tell!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's new?

Hi, friends!!

Sometimes I miss the old days when I blogged all the time! How is everybody? And how is there so much more to do these days? Is it spring yet? Because it's snowing out the window. *sob* The mister and I just watched an episode of our new massively fave show, The Americans, and I'm settling into some long procrastinated day job work. *eyes chocolate drawer* But first, an update!

RITA® nomination!
I was so crazy thrilled last week that Off the Edge was nominated for the prestigious RITA award in the category of Romantic Suspense, bestowed by RWA for the best in romance. It is a huge honor. I don't find out if I actually won it until the convention in July - it's like the Oscars where you don't know until they announce it, but just to be nominated is MASSIVE. I'm especially grateful because of how many excellent RS books were released in 2013.

New projects
I recently finished the second draft of the third Undercover Associates book, which is about Thorne, and it involves a secret baby. I'm also involved in a very secret project that I can't talk about yet, and Annika Martin is putting the finishing touches on the third in her dirty-minded Hunky Bank Robbers series. So, three projects. Little buds of spring that will hopefully bloom into nice flowers instead of misshapen weird things! Isn't that every writer's dream?

I'm putting up all my short stories over the next few weeks. Kitten-Tiger and the Monk, the story from Wild & Steamy is currently out. Conjuring Max, the story from Fire & Frost is coming, and so is Old Salt, the Story from Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance.  I'll post when they're up!

I did a really fun interview at Love is a Mystery today, and I'm giving away a free ebook if you comment (your chances of winning are VERY good as of this writing!)

Also, look at this psycho picture of Tiberius! lol. That's all. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Monday, February 3, 2014

My day as the neighborhood psycho!

click to enlarge
I'm at Smexy Books today with a funny story about the scraps of paper I scribble notes on for novels (often while out running) getting out of the recycling bin and blowing all over the neighborhood - and out of context, how psycho they must sound! 

Come say hi! Here is the link.

AND, if you reveal in the comments whether or not you like to read scraps of paper you find in the street, I might send you your choice of backlist ebooks from me AND a candy bar!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My first week with my new treadmill desk: a scintillating report!

So I recently got a new treadmill desk, and I wanted to talk about it, because it's kind of fun and exciting and also, a lot of people have been asking me about it.

I got the idea from my BFF Jeffe Kennedy, who has written about her desk here. I was talking with her just before Christmas and she told me how many miles she puts on it a day. That kind of sold me.

Like Jeffe, I have a straight job where I spend tons of time at my desk, (freelance marketing writer) and when you put that together with writing novels, I'm sitting a good 12 hours a day, which is apparently Very Deadly, according to many articles. Even though I run outside when it's not snowy, it's still bad.

So, I splurged on this treadmill desk. Because, even at $1500, a treadmill desk is a lot cheaper than the chronic degenerative diseases that the articles warn about, that was my rationale. After a bit of research, I chose this manual crank table ($479) and this treadmill ($999).

It's been one week with it up and running, and I already know it was a good investment. At first, I felt like I could only read and email and brainstorm while on it, not do full-blown creative writing. But the last few days, I've been doing lots of copywriting work on it. Yesterday I wrote a whole big piece I had due, and when I was done, I'd walked 2 miles, and it was nothing. So I'm really excited. I can see writing books on here. I am now on it as I type these very words!

I have my low desk next to it, as you see from this picture, complete with my overlord, bathed in golden light, as befitting his station in life.

If I had a different kind of space, I might roll the treadmill out of the way and crank the table down when I want to sit (the crank is really easy to use) but that's not the kind of space I have (corner of living room).

A few random things:

  • At night after dinner, I typically go back to work. It used to be that when I felt tired, I'd eat some chocolate for energy. Now I hop on the treadmill desk and work there for a bit, and it perks me up. Don't get me wrong, I still eat chocolate for dessert, but not as an energy thing and not as much.  
  • I go on and off it; that is, I don't do one big push. That really works for me. Yesterday I felt like I hardly used it at all, and at the end of the day when I turned it off, I had over 4 miles on there, just from popping on now and then when the mood struck.
  • It actually has worked when I'm stuck with a project or super bored, as a change of scenery.
  • I tried using it in my bare feet, but it was kind of hard on the soles of my feet after a while. But, I'm going to work up to bare feet. I think I'd like that better. Bonus: when summer hits, I will be able to walk on the sidewalk in bare feet with ease. 
  • Jeffe suggested I work up my speed, starting slow and increasing. Right now, I'm going 1.8 mph. That feels about right. When I go super slow, it's almost harder. If I was on a phone call, I'd likely go faster. 
  • This might be overall harder than regular walking. Sometimes when I use it a lot, I really feel it. I am in reasonable shape and I can walk miles outside without getting tired, but this thing uses slightly different muscles, it seems. 
  • There is this plastic key thing that you stick in the console and it has a clip on the end of a cloth cord, and it mystified me for the longest time. The cat played with it a lot. Then one day my treadmill wouldn't go, and I noticed the key thing had been pulled out. So I stuck it back in and the treadmill worked again. So I'm now thinking you are supposed to clip it to yourself, and if you forget to keep walking...does it stop the treadmill before you fall off the end? I don't know. The image is kind of funny. Whatever. Like I'm going to clip myself to the console. Not. 
  • It's kind of too bad I'm sort of a healthy eater, because I was thinking, walking on this thing, I could really chow down on pizza and french fries and not gain weight. 
  • I was worried the cats would claw the tread, and I had evil plans to turn it on if they did, but so far, no clawing, Though Oblio is completely baffled by it. Tiberius doesn't much care. 
Okay, just working on this post and taking a client call and doing some emailing, I have walked 2.01 miles. Yeah! Now I'll change gears and sit for a different project.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Off the Edge: Print arrival and end of sale price....

Thank you to everybody who bought Off the Edge and for all the enthusiastic words and tweets and reviews. It's been such a fun release. And I've been so crazy, I haven't updated forever. And look! Our Christmas lights are still up!

The print edition (pictured) is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and in bookstores by special order). Amber at BookBeautiful did this cover, and it is even more stunning in print than in ebook. If you buy it at Amazon, you get the ebook free!

printAmazon | Nook | Book Depository

Ebook sale coming to an end
The ebook has been $2.99, but it's raising up to $3.99 this week. So, last few days of sale!

ebookKindle | Nook | Apple | Kobo | ARE | Smashwords

"I was captivated by the story and flow of Off the Edge and I cannot wait to read more."
~FV Jen, Fiction Vixen

"One of the very best romantic suspense novels I read in 2013."

"Do yourself a favor and pick up this Carolyn Crane book.  It is unique and stimulating and one of my favorites for this year."
~Sunny, Love Affair With an Ereader

"The book was seriously on-the-edge suspenseful. I loved the chemistry between Laney and Peter."
~Christi, Smitten with Reading

Monday, December 23, 2013

The 13 holiday gifts you must not buy for werewolves under any circumstances!

 It is not easy to buy gifts for paranormals - especially werewolves. While they are typically polite about accepting items they don't like, quietly returning them when you're not around, some gifts that can upset them greatly, and should be avoided at all costs.

Hopefully this post, which I have reprised in part from the Christmas past, will help.

Do NOT give your werewolf friends and family the following gifts:

1. Any chia pet in the shape of a canine. Deeply offensive to the werewolf psyche.

2. A Friendship bracelet that you worked really hard on, that the werewolf must never take off, and you'll be really mad if they lose it. Because they will! 

3. The complete 5-volume Dog Whisperer DVD set featuring Cesar Millan. A werewolf will instantly rip it apart.

4. Nature's Sense Aromatherapy patchouli-scented Joy candles. Due to the werewolf's keen sense of smell, such a gift is not joyful. Plus, patchouli.

5. Actually, any heavily scented products are poor gift choices for werewolves.

6. Ten-hour video set of the historic Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. This type of close-up non-stop full moon footage can be overstimulating to werewolves, and lead to destruction of furnishings and upholstery and also set off howling that can result in noise complaints from the neighbors.

7. Road Runner vs. Wiley Coyote cartoon DVD set. (Not even as a joke, unless you hated your TV set anyway.)

8. Joy of yodelling CD. (Gets werewolves riled up, not in a good way.)

9. A surprise pre-paid trip to the dentist to get all cavities filled with silver fillings.

10. The clapper, or worse, if you helpfully change all their lights over to operation by the clapper. This is not something that the werewolf in your life will find at all helpful .

11. Rogaine.

12. The Slanket. While this gift may be exciting and attractive to your comfort-loving werewolf friend, it is actually very restrictive, and when it comes to shifting form unexpectedly, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

. The Miau Kitty Christmas Carol album: definitely NOT a recommended buy for werewolves this holiday season.

Do not under ANY circumstances purchase this music CD for a werewolf. 

Best gifts for a werewolf: 

1. Subscription to "venison of the month" club. Helpful hint: in the box where it asks for delivery instructions for postal carrier, write: throw onto doorstep; do not carry to door and ring bell.

2. Ultra-whitening toothpaste for an extra scary effect out on the hunting trail. Rawr!

3. A fabulous book to read while waiting for the next full moon. Might I suggest:

• Seven Steps to Impressing Your Friends With a Truly Vicious Snarl:  Workbook edition with facial muscle exercises
 The Secret Lives of Rabbits: Your Next Meal May Be Closer Than You Think
• Or, of course: Off the Edge, my awesome new romantic suspense, which is now live at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and ARE.  Because what werewolf wouldn't want to read about a sexy, badass secret agent-linguistics expert?

Hey, happy holidays everyone! I hope you have a cozy, safe holiday full of your favorite people and favorite books.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Off the Edge: popping up in stores + special holiday price

I'm so excited to see Off the Edge starting to hit the stores!

It's at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ARE right now (at ARE you can get epubs, mobi, and PDFs). It will appear in Kobo, Sony, Apple and elsewhere after Christmas. Print will be available then, too.

Special holiday price!
Right now Off the Edge is on sale for $2.99, but in early January it will go up to $3.99 and stay there for the long haul. So, grab it now if you want a buck off!

I loved writing this book and I loved being able to combine two of my passions - badass toughness and word nerdiness - into one yummalicious hero.  I guess I like to have my peanut butter with my chocolate. Because, why not?

Thank you so much, everybody, for all your enthusiasm, and the lovely early reviews. It makes my heart so happy to have such awesome readers!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Your odds of winning chocolate, free ebooks & an ARC are pretty AMAZING!

The odds are sooooo excellent that you could win one of these fabulous giveaways! Rake it in!

Chocolate treats in the mail, and an advance ebook copy of OFF THE EDGE.
My awesome pal Jeffe Kennedy is counting down the days to Christmas on her blog (go there to win something fun every day!) Today, Sunday, is Ten Lords A-Leaping. Why are they leaping? Chocolate and ebooks from me!

Closes: Monday morning 12/16
Entering: RT or spread the link with the hashtag #JK12daysGifts on twitter, Facebook or elsewhere and comment to let her know you did it. As of this writing, there are only two entries!

Holiday ebooks written by author pals of mine!
So I noticed some of my favorite author pals have written holiday books. I am giving them away on my Facebook author page. Some have NO entrants yet. Is everybody out Christmas shopping or what?

Closes: Tuesday 12/17 5 pm CST
Entering: I have put like 7 covers up on my Facebook page, and all you have to do is comment under the cover of the book you want to win. There is no limit to how many you could win. Comment on them all! 

Off the Edge ARC
You could win an early ebook copy of Off the Edge on my post at lovely Twimom's blog. While there, you can read up on dirty Secret Agent holiday tricks.

Closes: Wednesday 12/18 12 AM EST
Entering: Just leave a comment about a holiday tip or trick.

Good luck, friends! And happy holidays.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Secret Agents reveal their dirty holiday tips and tricks!

As part of Twimom and Book Nympho's big Mistletoe Madness celebration, I gathered the secret agents of the Association together to tell their best holiday tips and tricks.

Their tips and tricks were not very wholesome! Or festive. But what can you expect from secret agents?

Drop by and see how secret agents handle holiday madness, and you could enter to win an advance copy of OFF THE EDGE!!

Click here  to stop by! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Off the Edge - mad cover makeover and upcoming release!

Off the Edge is with the proofreader!! I'm super excited to release this one, which will come out around Christmas.

I did a Facebook and blog poll not too long ago on my former covers asking readers about shirt vs. shirtless cover for Off the Edge, and it was really interesting how readers loved a shirt guy. I was feeling like it was a good change for the series, too.

Former covers:

But when I thought about it more, much as I love shirt-suspenders guy, the reader fave, and agreed a shirt guy is right for The Associates, after living with the cover a while and talking with other authors, I realized you kind of can't tell the genre that well. (Way more my fault than the first designer - I had this whole vision. Don't ask. My wayward cover visions - that is another post.)

Anyway the first says suspense but also contemporary romance, and suspenders guy isn't very romance. It's more adventure.

So, I decided the series needed a fresh look - a shirt guy, but more RS. I have so loved the work of Amber Shah at BookBeautiful. I especially like how she works with lighting, and color, and just her entire sensibility, so I asked her to do a new set that would have a guy in a shirt, but be specifically romantic suspense, so that it is clear what kind of tale is here. I wanted something in the genre, but I wanted something that I would personally like full of sexy fun and danger.

Amber totally pulled it out. I am so loving this new cover for OFF THE EDGE.

I love the drama of the yellow and black and orange, and I'm so into this image of my secret agent, Macmillan, who is a linguistics expert, and also badass. It feels strong and smart and sexy.

Here is the new one for Against the Dark, which is already published. I'm going to flip these out soon. I love the colors of this, and just how my name is kind of gritty. But there is also a brightness to both of these covers, like they don't take themselves overly seriously.

Anyway, it feels so good to get the right cover system for a book series. Look for Off the Edge around Christmas! And print of both really soon.