I cannot believe it’s October. I’m still clinging to the idea of taking a summer holiday, and am definitely not ready to pack away the hammock I’ve only swung in twice since May. I can’t escape the fact, however, that I’m in a race to mow the lawn before the neighbour’s silver maple dumps its leaves. Which means that autumn must really be here. And on the bright side: it’s time to read some October 2013 Heartwarming romances!
When Harlequin first announced that it was launching a line of original, clean romances, we got a lot of interest from writers of sweet (= no sex) romance who’d been published by various inspirational publishers and who wanted to explore past the parameters of faith-based stories, as well as from Avalon Books, a smaller publisher that mainly produced hardcover mysteries, Westerns and wholesome romances, which was in the process of being acquired by Amazon in the summer of 2012 when we were making a push for acquisitions. Some of the Heartwarming authors who contribute to this blog might even recognize themselves as having come to us via these avenues.
Like Loree Lough. I first came across Loree when we were acquiring the third-party rights to reprint a collection of “Love Finds You” books from inspirational publisher Summerside Press. Once upon a time Loree had written for our inspirational series, Love Inspired, too. I’m glad she wanted to explore clean storytelling without faith elements, and we were quick to contract her three-book A Child to Love series, which launches this month with Raising Connor. Poor Loree wrote this book for us a long time ago, but I was stockpiling her stories in an attempt to bring them out in consecutive months. Well, the best laid plans of mice and launch editors: inventory didn’t allow for that kind of tight, specific planning. The closest I could publish them is every other month (October/December/March). All right, almost every other month…. So happy Raising Connor is finally here!
British writer Eleanor Jones’s Footprints in the Sand came to us
through Executive Editor Paula Eykelhof, and was previously intended for another line but fits beautifully with Heartwarming. It’s a departure from the third-person perspective we’re more used to seeing, told mostly in first person by the traumatized, orphaned heroine. Eleanor also writes children’s stories and at times this book took me back to beloved children’s and adult classics like Black Beauty and Jane Eyre. It’s haunting and deeply emotional. Welcome to Heartwarming, Eleanor!
And last but by no means least, we have Dandelion Wishes by Melinda Curtis, the first of the Harmony Valley series about three former dot-com buddies trying to open a winery in California (with a lot of push-back from the town!), and Blue Ridge Hideaway by Cynthia Thomason, in which the heroine lands on the hero’s doorstep, having been bilked of her savings by his dad, and she won’t leave until she gets satisfaction. (And as you can guess, she gets more satisfaction than she bargained for…clean read, though, clean read!) Both Melinda and Cynthia are authors I have worked with in the past at Harlequin Superromance and I’m delighted they now call Heartwarming home.