Harlequin Heartwarming is our newest series–but the stories are already becoming favorites for readers! Victoria Curran, senior editor for Heartwarming, is looking for new authors and is happy to give a few tips…
At Harlequin Heartwarming we’re eager to acquire world rights for “clean” romances of 70,000 to 75,000 words where the attraction is far more than simply physical, and emotional tenderness is a priority over sensuality.
These big, contemporary books give women of all ages a chance to enjoy emotional, satisfying love stories steeped in wholesome family values. These emotionally complex stories could be compared to two other Harlequin series: Superromance (without the sex and cursing!) and Love Inspired (without the faith element).
The books can be international; currently we have one British author, Eleanor Jones, who sets her stories in the U.K. and a couple of U.S. writers (Melanie Mitchell and Rula Sinara) who’ve set their first Heartwarming stories in Kenya, Africa, where one heroine saves human lives and the other heroine saves orphaned elephants.
And because Heartwarming books are longer reads, we invite authors to explore secondary romances or secondary character arcs: we want to give our readers a complex, satisfying read. These books focus on the high-stakes romance between the hero and heroine while also exploring the community and relationships around them.
Original Heartwarming books launched in June 2013 with Innkeeper’s Daughter, Marie Ferrarella’s poignant story of loss and love, and Ingrid Weaver’s Winning Amelia, which is a chase-the-missing-winning-lottery-ticket romance! In July, 2013, we began publishing four books a month.
In September, new author Karen Rock (sister-in-law to Blaze author Joanne Rock) debuts with Wish Me Tomorrow, the two-hanky story of a survivor who, living in the shadow of a possible cancer recurrence, falls in love with his support group leader.
We’ve signed new-to-Harlequin author Cerella Sechrist, who has made a name for herself in inspirational publishing: her December 2013 book, Gentle Persuasion, is set in Hawaii as the hero tries to escape the high-pressure world of corporate America and the heroine is a recruiter determined to drag him back from paradise.
Among so many good books, keep your eye out for Kristine Rolofson’s poignant and humorous bachelor reality-TV series Willing to Wed, and Homespun Christmas by guest author Aimee Thurlo (Harlequin Intrigue), set in New Mexico as a heroine strives to save her dying hometown.
We’re very excited at Heartwarming to have offered several authors their first book-publishing contract—in some cases, a multi-book contract. The group brings a fresh voice and vision to the team of writers and we can’t wait to see their books come off the press! A warm welcome to: Melanie Mitchell, Syndi Powell, Karen Rock, Rula Sinara, Jennifer Snow and Amy Vastine, whose book first came to our attention last fall when she submitted to the So You Think You Can Write 2012 contest.
You’ll find all the technical details at the Heartwarming Writing Guidelines or follow #HarlequinHeartwarming on Twitter for more info!
Leave a comment below for Victoria–she’ll be checking back for the next week!