Friday, February 7, 2014

Summer Kisses in the snow…by senior editor Victoria Curran

It’s the second month of Heartwarming’s redesigned covers and I still love them. I know they’re posted to the right of this blog, but I’m posting them again—tradition. What strikes me when I look at them? Not a smidge of snow anywhere in sight. These February books aren’t the most wintery, are they? (Except, of course, that one of our authors is Jennifer Snow—thanks for the unintentional nod to the season, Jen.) I wish I could say that was the plan…that we predicted this was going to be a blizzard-filled winter and wanted to give readers refuge from the storm. But when you see a snow-covered mountain in our July offering, I’m going to have a tougher job explaining….

Gradually, as we move out of the series launch crazies, we’re going to have more opportunity to move stories into more seasonally correct sync. At least that really is the plan.

I’ve asked Editorial Assistant Dana Grimaldi to snap a picture of the Harlequin Toronto snow mountain in our parking lot to give you the context of what we’re working in up here. Because I have to say, we’re all thinking Summer Kisses sound pretty good right now.

 
It’s a fun mix, this month. Melinda Curtis (who set her miniseries in a California vineyard, so of course there’s no snow!) continues her Harmony Valley stories with book two, Summer Kisses, Flynn’s struggle not to care for his grandfather’s caregiver (did that make sense?). Jennifer Snow is also on book two of her Brookhollow series, What a Girl Wants, in which she tells us about a tomboy auto-mechanic—one of the guys—who sets her sights on a popular firefighter but has her job cut out getting him to see past her skill with engines.

 
We’re also thrilled to introduce Marion Ekholm and Cheryl Harper and their Heartwarming launch books, Just Like Em and A Minute on the Lips. We hope you find their stories as exciting and romantic as we do. It must be kind of wonderful to share your romance launch month with Valentine’s Day. Welcome to the group, Marion and Cheryl! Thank you for your heartfelt stories.

 
The rest of the Heartwarming editorial team probably wants to hurt me for saying this—because I’m testing working from home three days a week for the first quarter of the year…and they are not—but I confess that I love the winter we’re having. Even if I’m trapped in a house with an adoptee kitten who’s either matured unexpectedly fast or is a lot older than the rescue centre told me, and am trying to survive the feline’s incredibly high stakes need for cat romance (the only obstacle facing her and romance is me shutting the door behind me as fast as I can).

Winter gives me respite from the garden I can’t seem to tame and all the outdoor chores: who thought wood was a smart choice for building decks and porches, and how do wasps burrow into a soffit anyway? The longer and snowier the better, I say. And by the end of this I may truly propose to the single neighbour man who keeps plowing my drive. And maybe there’s a romance novel about our struggle toward love. (I just found out his first name, John, so I’m halfway there.) If so, there would have to be snow on the cover. Oh! Maybe you could write it, Jennifer. That would be perfect. Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

23 comments:

  1. Victoria, I'm also loving the new covers for the line. Definitely makes me feel more hopeful when the skies are gray and snow is piled high!
    Hmmm.... Romance with the single neighbor.... Hmmm..... That's got my creative juices flowing!
    Good luck with your kitten and her need for romance. Seems that's in the air these days which is a perfect theme for February.

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  2. Aren't they, great, Syndi? We each have different favourites here in the office for this month's selection. Oh, and if you want a precocious kitten, I can drive her down to you, no charge. Holy smokes, it's something to behold, this feline...yearning...for love. The vet scheduled us in for March 3... I have no idea how she's going to survive until that date.

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  3. I love the covers too! I can gaze at them and pretend it's warmer outside than it really is :).

    And you know, Victoria, you now have us all hooked with this guy-next-door story of yours LOL. We expect updates, turning points and all...;)

    As for cats, by boys had their vet appt 2 1/2 wks ago and try to make it to the door...unless the dogs are there. Good luck!

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  4. Well, I promised...John...a bottle of single malt Scotch as a thank-you. Must ask for romance writers' best input on how to present him with it. Keeping in mind all I know is his name. Oh, and he also said he'd tried marriage once in the 80s. (Makes me wonder if I accidentally did propose marriage, and he's already shot me down. But I think that was just my inside voice...) So what's next, Romance Writers? Keep it clean!

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  5. Victoria, you need to bake some homegoods - cookies, brownies, something with cinnamon in it to entice his senses.

    How can that kitty be so sensual when you edit sweet romance and it's like 0 degrees out there? Those are some strong hormones.
    Mel

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  6. If I need to bake, then this love is doomed. I think Starbucks sells cinnamon something...

    Hey, how do you know my kitten's yearning isn't emotional rather than physical--oh, who am I kidding. There's no mistaking high-stakes cat love for anything but what it is. I feel like I'm living with a frustrated Blaze heroine. The clean romance editor is blushing.

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  7. Victoria, you did say that your cat is a rescue...there could be some interesting back story that explains her yearning for love...just sayin'...

    And ditto what Mel said. Studies show that men are drawn to the scent of cinnamon. I think once the snow is gone and spring is underway, you may need neighborly help with those wasps. And ants...remember my citrus peel/cinnamon blend used as bug control? Help with wasps AND your yard smelling like cinnamon. He'll keep coming over. Then your cat might escape and go to his place...perfect excuse for you to go over :). Match-making critters.

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    1. I just remembered to hit reply--better late than never! Very good point, Rula. And, Jen, when you write my Snow romance, you can be the first author to include animal matchmakers. It'll sell millions, I think.

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    2. Love it-count me in:) But I'm not sure, I could pull off a heroine that knows how to bake because I'd probably have to know something about it lol:)

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  8. Victoria, Our area is looking very much like Marion's cover. You have all of that lovely snow and we are in the worst drought in many years. I think Mother Nature has gone mad. Can't wait for your next installment on John and the cat. Hey, you can do a blog serial for us.

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    1. Maybe by the first Friday in March, I'll know John's last name. I know his mom is Gwen (he lives with her--no judgments, people!--there's nothing wrong with that). Will keep unfolding the story for you.

      Roz, I'm actually going to be coming to your state--but nowhere near you. I'm a guest at a faith-based multi-genre writers conference, Feb. 20, in Phoenix. I've been too busy to do anything but book myself two extra days there. I don't mean for you to come up the more than two hour drive, but I'll be reaching out to Marion and Pamela (anybody else in Phoenix?) to see if we can get together for lunch or dinner on one of my extra days. Then I'll get my first glimpse of Arizona and see this drought for myself. I wish you rain!

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  9. Victoria - Kitty doesn't want to get out for herself, she wants to entice John to you. So - as Mel says - be ready with cookies, brownies, snickerdoodles to go with the whiskey.
    Am also loving the sunny covers - even Oregon is under a few inches of snow today. Set off with the dog and my walking stick this morning and spotted a bright red ship in the river, surrounded by an otherwise white world. ( Must be for women's heart health day, Rula!) It's so beautiful! Happy Day, everybody.

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    1. I wish you'd had a camera with you, Muriel. Sounds like a stunning visual. Maybe Lucy needs her own secondary "very clean!" romance--as long as it doesn't detract from the central one, mind.

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  10. I'm so intrigued by the single man plowing your driveway... I think you should propose to him- or offer him hot chocolate anyway ;) Your picture of the snow in Toronto looks a lot like Plattsburgh, NY... snow everywhere... it is pretty but I'm eager to dive into Summer Kisses, What a Girl Wants, A Minute on the Lips and Just Like Em to get away from it all. That's the magic of books. They take you to places with the turn of a page, introduce you to new friends in a single paragraph. I'm so excited for all that Heartwarming has accomplished! Congratulations to you, Kathryn, and Dana :)

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  11. My last name definitely looks better on the holiday titles lol:) Can't wait to read these books...but I'm still on Sept releases:( I need to hire someone to read to me while I work lol.

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    1. So...not excited about animals as matchmakers, with secondary love stories of their own, Jennifer?

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    2. lol, we have FIVE cats in our home right now...there's not much love going on-just a lot of fighting and fur balls that I have to vacuum every five minutes...oh, who am I kidding-I don't vacuum:)
      I'm up to the challenge-maybe a book 5 idea??

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    3. Five? That is so not fair. Because you're married with a child, you can do that. But because I'm single (look out, John), I'm the Crazy Cat Lady at 3 of them. (Friends considered me Crazy Cat Lady at two.) The world is unjust.

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  12. The covers are great :) Makes it hard to decide which one to read first.
    I've never been the 'bake cookies' kind of gal. But, that might be why I was single a loooong time. I'm thinking if he's shoveling the drive, there's already a spark Maybe you can buy him an extreme shovel Just joking.

    My old cat Aquila came to me at four weeks. I already had a two year old, not spayed, female. She really was a cougar. Next time, post a picture of your cat. I think we're all animal people :)

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    1. It really is difficult to post a good picture of a 100% black cat, Pamela. You just see a whole lot of black with two yellow eyes popping out of it. What I should do is send a video of her while she's in this high-stakes romance pursuit--that would go viral.

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  13. I met with Pam today at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire where we share a booth filled with Romance writers and sign our books. First signing for me. Pam and I are looking forward to meeting with you, Victoria. I'm through shoveling snow, thank goodness. We've had hardly any rain, which is a shame because winter is our rainy season, but the temps of 70-80 have been delightful.

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  14. I'm coming late to the party, Victoria :) Just found out about the blog. The covers are yummy. I've read several of the stories. Fabulous! And I think your John would like spaghetti and home made bread.

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