Friday, April 4, 2014

It’s All About the Books…by Victoria Curran

It’s finally spring in Toronto so I have to stop to smell the roses (no, way too early for that!)…celebrate the successes. Huge congratulations to you, Karen Rock! Karen's Heartwarming debut book Wish Me Tomorrow (September 2013) won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for Contemporary Series!!! We’re so happy for you and your editor, Laura Barth. But we’re also really, really happy for all of us, since this marks the first award recognition for Harlequin Heartwarming since the launch of original stories in June/July 2013.

I suspect the authors will agree that reader recognition is our number one goal, and I keep seeing the glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for the Heartwarming books, which—not to belittle Karen’s tremendous achievement in any way—is right up there with industry awards from our peers. And I don’t want to miss this opportunity to also congratulate everyone for doing such a great job of building rapport directly with our readers online.  I only wish I could remember how to log back into Goodreads (watch out: old lady using high tech).
 
The April books arrived in our Toronto office from the Buffalo warehouse yesterday, which is always pretty exciting for us. I like to spread them out on the shelf so I can see the month as a whole and consider the variety that the packaging and the authors’ vision bring to Heartwarming each time. I guess I like to figure out what we could do better…and revel in what we do very right. Like the covers, which once again, are so lovely. I keep thinking I have a favourite, but really, I love them all.

Successes come in all shapes and sizes, and this month we introduce two Heartwarming debut books along with Kristine’s third book in her Willing to Wed series and Muriel’s second book for us (I think I’ve got that right, Muriel?).
 
 
Welcome to Heartwarming, Catherine Lanigan and Linda Hope Lee!
 


Catherine was one of the first authors in Harlequin’s Mira program, when we were just launching single title books back in the day…I believe in the early 90s. (If you’re reading, Catherine, jump in with specifics?) And Linda Hope Lee, who belongs to several writing groups and is the author of How to Write and Sell Romance Novels (which I confess I just read on her blog and now want to get my hands on a copy!), also brings a wealth of publishing experience to the table.
 
For some crazy drive-an-editor-insane reason, all the books this month were ones I’d acquired. The frustrating reality is that I can’t edit four books a month, so I needed help from Editorial Assistant Claire Caldwell and from trusted freelance editors, one who used to be a colleague on Superromance and Harlequin American.

Oh, and please excuse us for the doubling up on “love” in our titles this month. We brainstormed other titles, but nothing seemed quite as perfect as the four you see now. (FYI: “love”, “heart” and “forever” are the most popular words authors seem to want on their Heartwarming books: warning, we’re trying not to use them so much…at least not every month!)
 
Let’s celebrate the success of four wonderful new books! Proud to call them Heartwarming.
 
Victoria


14 comments:

  1. I agree, Victoria :) It is - for want of another word- heartwarming :)- to see the wonderful reviews of the wonderful books being written for Heartwarming! They are well-deserved. Thank you so much for your kind comments about the Gayle Wilson Award. It was such a surprise and a testimony to romance readers' hunger and appreciation for clean romance like ours :) I'm looking forward to reading this month's selections. They all sound terrific. Have a great weekend!

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  2. I've just posted twice but they both disappeared! If you get three identical responses, Karen, the old lady is totally screwing up the tech. All I was going to say, repeatedly, is that I'm giving myself little pats on the back for having been the one to buy your winning book after reaching out to your agent, Barbara! (I thought that was too crass to say in the blog, but all gloves are off in the comment section.) Congrats again.

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    1. Aw! Thank you, Victoria! I thank my lucky stars that you believed in the story and gave me such a wonderful opportunity! I'll go further than the pat on the back and give you a hug instead :)

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  3. Major congrats, Karen! I'll do something on the sidebar.
    Victoria, you must be doing something right. All the books sound wonderful. I cannot decide which one to read first.

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    1. I really think we've got a dynamite team of editors at Heartwarming who really care about the books--coupled with authors with strong vision and passion--a winning formula. Thanks for being part of the team, Pamela.

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  4. Hi, All! Congratulations again, Karen! I've been congratulation her all over the place, but it warrants being done again and again. LOVE ME FOREVER is my second Heartwarming - you're right. And I am happy to be a part of the line and our wonderful group.

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    1. Make that 'congratulatING' her all over the place. Why didn't you catch that, Victoria?

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    2. Wait! You're too fast for me, Muriel. You know what a slow editor I am...! (Heard back from me on that partial yet? Yikes.)

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    3. You are such a wonderful author and exactly the writer I aspire to be, Muriel!

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    4. High praise, Karen. Thank you.

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  5. Congratulations on you award, Karen, and thank you for all that you are doing for the group on Goodreads, too. And while I'm thanking, I must include Victoria and her staff for their work on Eva's Deadline. I'm very pleased to be a Heartwarming author.

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    1. Thank you very much, Linda! We are lucky to have such a great group that includes you :)

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  6. Sorry for the late reply-but BIG HUGS AND CONGRATS KAREN! Your last name suits you well-you really do rock!!:)

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