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.