Friday, September 4, 2015

End-of-summer crazies!


By Senior Editor Victoria Curran

I’m a little late posting this today because…we’ve all got the end-of-summer crazies! There seems to be so much going on at Harlequin Heartwarming, including a last-minute Thanksgiving promotion the authors have dragged me into (I love it—am not actually kicking and screaming at all!) and I have to get the in-house team to make it all happen. Plus, you’ll be able to buy your Heartwarming paperbacks at select Walmarts starting in January, which has driven all of us into a state of wild hysteria. Excitement’s definitely in the air!

Because of that, I don’t have much to say except: We’re working our butts off over here! You want proof? This is where I was at 10 this morning when I should’ve been writing this blog: 4th floor, Big Dipper Boardroom (yes, that’s what I said: the Big Dipper), with (clockwise from bottom left) Leyah Javed (DTC marketing, Superromance and Heartwarming), Piya Campana (editorial, SR and HW), me, Karen Reid (editorial, SR) and Dan Cuison (artie, SR).



Okay, so it was a Superromance art brief and not exactly a Heartwarming meeting, but it’s a lot of the same people and same Big Dipper (no I don’t mean Dan, the boardroom). And here’s us after we brief, jazz hands:



And here’s where the art director got to the meeting exactly on time… Can you feel Dan’s love for the rest of us when he snapped this shot?




And finally, hats off to the September 2015 authors and their wonderful Heartwarming stories: Cynthia Reese’s Out of the Ashes, Anna Adams’ Owen’s Best Intentions, Cerella Sechrist’s Harper’s Wish and Loree Lough’s Sweet Mountain Rancher



We couldn’t do it without our gifted authors. Thank you for writing—and thanks to the readers for choosing clean romance!

And if you've got some advice for dealing with the end-of-summer crazies...we'd love to hear it!

Victoria

47 comments:

  1. I'm still chuckling over the jazz hands and Dan's humorous shot of the empty boardroom. No wonder such wonderful things are happening at Heartwarming- look at our amazing team! This has been a great month with lots of amazing news. Victoria, your smile in the picture says it all. Kudos to you for all your hard work in making such wonderful things happen for our line. I'm so proud to write for Harlequin, you and Laura! And I want to be part of that meeting :)

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    1. Well, in the Superromance art briefs, Dan always makes Karen cry. That's pretty much the highlight: when he breaks into a Scottish brogue and she starts to cry from laughing so hard. (He's somewhat a master of accents, our Dan.)

      Krista Oliver who is our Heartwarming art director doesn't do accents. But she does have purple hair and is uber cool.

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  2. Exciting times, indeed! Enjoy these last days of summer--and the craziness. It's all good. Heartwarming rocks!!

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    1. I guess the cold hard truth of it is, the best cure for summer crazies is September. Sigh. (And yes: Heartwarming rocks, Leigh!)

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  3. Wait a minute........did I read this correctly? Will select Walmarts really start carrying Heartwarming books??!! I've been patiently waiting for this great news. That's wonderful for readers like myself who can have easy access to these wholesome books, both for myself and as gifts for my friends. I hope they will appear in the Walmarts in my area. There are certainly enough of them.
    I don't have much advice for the end of summer crazies other than to take a time out whenever it gets too much and read a fulfilling Heartwarming book. ( :

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    1. You read it correctly, Laurie I! We don't have all the details yet, and I'm not sure if we'll be able to know ahead of time which stores will carry the Heartwarming books. But as soon as I find out, I'll share!

      Great advice: read a Heartwarming and calm the crazies. Love it.

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    2. We're so excited, too, Laurie!! Walmart is the perfect fit for our wholesome romances :) Please help us spread the word. We needs super fan support like yours! xo

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    3. I always thought Walmart would be a good place for Heartwarming titles. I think they would fly off the tables at my local BJ's even more so for sure, but for now I'm happy to hear about Walmart. And you know I will be letting everyone know when they're available. ( :

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  4. The end of summer is always crazy, no matter where you live or what you do for a living. I say...enjoy! Thanks for all the great news! Harlequin rocks!

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    1. I still get back-to-school nightmares every September. Can't stand that the TV ads are being aired earlier and earlier. Kill all the joy!

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  5. Tara has the right idea about the end-of-summer crazies - go with it. Come on, we're all halfway there, anyway! How cool that we have this amazingly wonderful unit of writers, editorial, and art geniuses weaving Heartwarming magic for our readers and, truly, for all of us involved.

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    1. Well, we don't call them art "geniuses", Muriel. Don't want it to go to their heads, eh?

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  6. Ha ha! Love those pictures! Smiles like those show that you all love what you're doing, no matter how crazy it gets lol. The teams behind Supers and Heartwarming are the best. We're so lucky to have you all!! And I'm still bubbling from the news about print Heartwarming books in Walmart come January. Talk about a phenomenal way to ring in the New Year!

    This has been our back-to-school week (the amount of paperwork aka parent homework that comes home between 3 kids is insane) and we have a 3-day weekend...the crazies are still in full swing here but I'm embracing it because with all the great news here, it's worth it! :)

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    1. LOVE that there will be Heartwarming paperbacks in Walmart in January!!! I'm with you in the bubbling, Rula. May actually sip some bubbly this long weekend. Hope you have a nice Labour Day weekend (you do have Labour...Labor Day, right?)!

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  7. Having Heartwarming in Walmart as of the new year is so amazingly exciting. Both as an author and reader. Way to go, Harlequin!

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    1. You said it, Kathy! And hey, all our hard work is paying off around a long weekend referred to as Labor/Labour Day... Appropriate?

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  8. Love the snapshot into your existence! I had purple hair once, but it was by accident LOL
    So excited about Heartwarmings going into Walmart Yabba Dabba!

    Had green hair once, too. TOTAL ACCIDENT and didn't look good.

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    1. I got a little chartreusey once. Like you said, Pam, not good. :-(

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    2. I used to dye my hair red and went to a new place that dyed it almost burgundy. I had an event to go to afterwards and I received several email addresses from gentlemen callers. Clearly burgundy is a good look for me. (Freaked me out; never went back!)

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    3. I had a sort of eggplanty color - also by accident. A reddish Clairol color over an ash color. Very yukky.

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  9. I love the pictures--especially the empty table. Like everyone else, I'm so excited about the retail test and hope it goes on forever. I've been in Thanksgiving mode all week, so coming back to end of summer was startling.

    And I love purple hair--go, Krista!

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    1. Hope you're right, Liz: forever sounds like a plan. Hope we can make it happen. The clean romance edge!

      Yes, our next step with the Thanksgiving promotional online shorts will be images. I have a feeling there's going to be suggestions involving turkeys...

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  10. The trouble with the end-of-summer crazies is they lead to the back to school chaos, the pre-Thanksgiving bustle, and the Christmas-is-coming rush. But that's life in the fast lane.

    Exciting news about Walmart! I'll be checking my local stores come January.

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    1. Hopefully we can help direct you closer to January, Beth, cross fingers. Meanwhile, why does life always seem to be a series of deadlines or hurdles? I sometimes have to remind myself that the list in front of me includes social outings with friends and those shouldn't be on my To Do list! We need more time in our lives...

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  11. Great pictures, Victoria. Thank you for sharing them.

    We are so excited about our books being available in select Walmart stores.

    Congratulations to Cerella, Loree, Anna and Cynthia for their September releases!

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    1. I think Krista did a really great job with the covers this month. Of course she DID have your ranchers and firefighters and dads to work with. Thank-you to the writers for inspiring our creative department.

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  12. Heartwarming in Walmart???? Whoo hoooo!!!! I live in a small town (aka no bookstore) and the only place to shop is Wally-World. This makes me happy. :)
    And since I started teaching school back in July, I feel like the summer crazies left me a long time ago. :(

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    1. What do you mean you started teaching back in July??? That might just be part of my recurring back-to-school nightmare. You wouldn't happen to be in Nevada, would you?

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    2. Unfortunately, Victoria, even in Mississippi teachers return to school in July. :-/ Students around the 8th of August.

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    3. Nope, not Nevada. Arizona. I started back to school the day after RWA Nationals. I started on Monday and the kids started on Thursday. We actually started later this year than last year. I didn't make it to the San Antonio nationals because it was the same week I started to school. :( Stupid day job, lol!

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  13. Thanks for the humorous and encouraging post, Victoria!! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Cerella! I should figure out a way to tape Dan doing accents and somehow post that. I'm a bit of a tech idiot, but I'm sure it can be done... Will add more humour to your day, for sure.

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  14. Thank you, Victoria! For everything. "Heartwarmers" are beyond ecstatic. I'm celebrating with pizza AND ice cream tonight.

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  15. Victoria,
    I am doing the Jazz hand thing and so are all my friends over the news about the Wal Marts. Last night we had a girl's night out at a lovely restaurant on Lake Michigan and we toasted the great news!!! I loved your photos in the conference room and all your excited faces!! I have been and still am so very proud to be a Heartwarming author and to have the support of you and your massively talented team behind us is such a blessing! Who could ask for more?
    Heartwarming rocks!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Catherine!
      And may I say that the image of a girls' night out overlooking Lake Michigan sounds very appealing. Nice. (Am at home now--still on early Friday summer hours--eating curds on my deck overlooking my skunk-churned lawn. Not quite the same appeal.)

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    2. Curds? Like lemon curd on a scone? Or cottage cheese?

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    3. Young cheese. (I don't love cottage cheese, but maybe the two are similar?) Huh. Will have to google.

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  16. EEEEEEEEeeee!!!! That's me squealing about the Walmart deal!! Heartwarming is such an awesome line and now everyone will discover it. Thanks, Victoria, and everyone else who has worked so hard to make it happen

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    1. You're preaching to the choir, Patricia! (That's a thing, right?)

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    2. AAHHHH! That's me squealing in harmony with you, Patricia, about the Walmart deal! We're so blessed to write for this fantastic line, and you're so right: Now even more people will learn about it. You're also right about how many people there are to thank, from our talented editors to the design staff to the marketing team! Color me happy!

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    3. AAHHHH! That's me squealing in harmony with you, Patricia, about the Walmart deal! We're so blessed to write for this fantastic line, and you're so right: Now even more people will learn about it. You're also right about how many people there are to thank, from our talented editors to the design staff to the marketing team! Color me happy!

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  17. Can't wait to buy all the Heartwarmings in Walmart! It's great news. Congrats to all the new releases this month.

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    1. Now wait a minute, Amy. The authors aren't supposed to buy all the Heartwarming books...leave some for the readers, ok?

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  18. I'm so happy for the Heartwarming folks--authors, editors and especially readers!!! What a coup!

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  19. I am thrilled the books are going to be in Walmart.

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