Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Harlequin!

Today marks Harlequin's 60th birthday, and the Diamond celebrations are well and truly underway!

One of the things going on this year starts TODAY, and that's the launch of the Harlequin Celebrates website! You are NOT going to want to miss this. Harlequin is graciously giving away - that's right - FREE!!!!!!! - ebooks. Sixteen of them. And two are by Romance authors.

First up is Liz Fielding's The Bride's Baby.

It’s the wedding planner’s worst nightmare and when the bride elopes with one of her staff three days before the wedding, it isn’t only the groom’s heart that has a debit balance. Sylvie Smith has bills to pay. The jilted groom has his own way of settling debts, however.

Six months on, wedding organiser to the seriously rich, Sylvie Smith is organising a glittering fundraising event: a fantasy wedding at a wedding show, held in a stately home that will be featured in a lifestyle magazine. Not just any fantasy wedding. They want her fantasy…

It should be every woman’s dream, designing her own dream wedding with no expense spared, but for Sylvie it was her worst nightmare.

One, she’s pregnant. Two, Longbourne Court was her ancestral home and she’s just discovered that the new owner is Tom McFarlane: her baby’s secret father.
Now Tom’s standing in front of her, looking at her bump…

Then we have Linda Goodnight with her Inspirational title, A Very Special Delivery!

Since her nephew died while in her care, reclusive Molly McCreight has panic attacks around children. Former flight paramedic Ethan Hunter is a single dad raising his infant daughter alone. But then an ice storm traps the three together. . .and God has plans that neither of them expected.
So join us in helping Harlequin celebrate this fantastic milestone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cataromance Reviewer's Choice Awards

Brilliant news!

Three Harlequin Romance titles have been chosen for a 2008 Reviewer's Choice Award at Cataromance. They are:

Last Minute Proposal - Jessica Hart
Falling For Mr. Dark and Dangerous - Donna Alward
The Single Dad's Patchwork Family - Claire Baxter

Congratulations ladies! And check out the full list of winners!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great news!

We take a break from our freezing winter (well okay, here in Canada it's freezing, obviously in other parts of the world it's not) to bring you some good news!

First, congrats to Patricia Woodside who was our December winner if Shirley Jump's draw. Patricia wins a copy of Miracle on Christmas Eve!

As well, the shortlist for Romance Novelist Association's 2009 Romance Prize is out and there are a few familiar names on the list. Here's the official release:

The Romance Prize will be presented at the RNA’s Awards Lunch on 10th February 2009 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington.

The winner will be selected from the following books:

What's Love Got to Do With It? - Lucy Broadbent (Little Black Dress, Headline)

The Wild Card - Beth Elliott (Robert Hale)

Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure - India Grey (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Sold to the Highest Bidder - Kate Hardy (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Saying Yes to the Millionaire - Fiona Harper (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Promoted to Wife and Mother - Jessica Hart (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Fiona Harper has been short-listed before, and both Jessica Hart and Kate Hardy are past winners. Kate Hardy, who won in 2008 with Breakfast at Giovanni’s, had this to say: "Winning the Romance Prize has been the highlight of my career to date, and it's certainly opened up opportunities. I'm very proud to have won the award and to be part of the RNA - and have been delighted by messages of support over the year. I even had a personal letter of congratulations from the chancellor of the University of Leicester!"

The shortlist will be judged by Margaret James, creative writing teacher for the London School of Journalism and regular columnist with Writing Magazine; Paul Reizin, writer, producer and journalist; and Linda Leatherbarrow, prize-winning short story writer, reviewer and MA lecturer at Middlesex.

Congrats to our "Romancers" Fiona and Jessica, and also to Presents authors India Grey and Kate Hardy. And look for a report on the Awards Lunch in February!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Foreign Releases for January


Viele glückliche Paare hat die Hochzeitsfotografin Regina schon aufgenommen! Ihre eigene Trauung mit dem vermögenden Dell O’Ryan dagegen war nüchtern: Nur aus Vernunftgründen hat er sie geheiratet. Seitdem lebt Regina in einer traumhaften Villa – aber in Einsamkeit. Und plötzlich kann sie es nicht länger ertragen! Entschlossen bittet sie Dell um die Scheidung. Doch sie erlebt eine Überraschung: Statt einzuwilligen, küsst er sie mit atemberaubender Zärtlichkeit. In Regina erwacht Hoffnung. Wird aus ihrer Freundschaft eines wundervollen Tages doch noch Liebe?

Colegas y amantes por
Shirley Jump

Bajo el traje de negocios se escondía la mujer más bella que había visto en su vida
Para el guapo abogado Nick Gilbert salir con una mujer normalmente implicaba una cena romántica, no un picnic benéfico. Pero no quiso perdérselo, especialmente porque su acompañante era Carolyn Puff, una compañera de trabajo recatada, pero que le resultaba fascinante.

Al verla junto a los niños del picnic, Nick descubrió una nueva faceta de Carolyn y de pronto entendió la tristeza que había en sus hermosos y brillantes ojos verdes.


Sposarsi per le ragioni "sbagliate" non è mai stato così giusto.

Connor Madsen ha bisogno di parecchi soldi o la sua proprietà finirà in rovina. Se solo potesse accedere al fondo fiduciario che è stato stipulato a suo nome! Ma le clausole sono chiare: potrà entrare in possesso del denaro al compimento del trentesimo anno o il giorno delle sue nozze. E siccome il suo compleanno è ancora lontano, a Connor non resta che optare per la seconda ipotesi: cercarsi una moglie, possibilmente carina e abbastanza folle da accettare un legame a termine. Alexis Grayson, per esempio. Anche lei sta attraversando un momento di difficoltà e non disdegnerebbe di avere qualcuno al suo fianco, soprattutto se rispettabile e coraggioso come Connor. Quando glielo chiede, lei risponde...

A noiva inadequada por Liz Fielding


Quando uma rapariga normal conhece um xeque…

Zahir ficou muito surpreendido quando descobriu que o seu novo motorista era uma mulher lindíssima. Uma mulher que não passava despercebida, porque Diana Metcalfe falava, ria-se e conseguia fazer com que Zahir se divertisse como já não acontecia há muitos anos.

No seu reino do deserto havia um casamento preparado para ele, porém, embora parecesse uma loucura, Zahir começava a desejar que aquela rapariga maravilhosa e completamente inadequada para um xeque fosse a sua noiva…

Monday, January 12, 2009

January's Author Post - Barbara McMahon

Best Laid Plans

This past summer the Romance Writers of America's conference was held in San Francisco, California. I was presenting a workshop with two other Harlequin American authors - Jessica Hart and Barbara Hannay. We worked for months via the Internet deciding how we would present the workshop, dividing up the different aspects and garnering photos to illustrate our points.

Since Jessica lives in the UK and Barbara H in Australia, both decided to fly into the States a bit early and see something of California. We decided to visit Yosemite National Park. It's one of the loveliest parks in the US National Park system. I live only a couple of hours away so go frequently and have seen it in all different seasons. It's truly spectacular.

The first clue that things might not go as planned was on Friday night when I was heading for the Bay Area to pick up Jessica and Barbara on Saturday for our three days in Yosemite. The news was reporting a new forest fire near Mariposa - which is a few miles south of Yosemite. Oh, oh. California had been plagued with major fires prior to that July, was this going to be as bad?We headed for Yosemite Saturday morning and when we reached the first lookout which normally displays Bridal Veil Falls in all it's beauty, the entire valley had a hazy look. Plus, thanks to a very dry winter resulting in a smaller-than-average snowfall, the billowing plumes of water normally associated with Bridal Veil was missing. It was a mere trickle.

Not to be deterred, we continued and drove around the valley floor. There definitely was a smoky haze and the air was not clear, but we could see towering El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and some of the amazing sights of the valley.

We headed for our motel room in the late afternoon. Entering the lobby we were surprised to find it crowded with long lines of guests-- and very dim. Were they conserving on electricity? No. The power was out. Only emergency lighting was available and only one computer running, so all reservations had to be checked on that one computer, leading to a very long check in time. When it was our turn to check in, we were also issued a flashlight to light our way. The clerk also suggested we might wish to buy a candle from the gift shop. Which we did.

It gets worse. Not only is there no power, the restaurant we expected to eat at was also without power. Fortunately they had brought in box lunches. Which were not the best thing in the world, but with word that the power was off from the fire all the way to where we were staying, we knew there was no other place open to eat, so took the box lunches and went to our room.

It was a lovely room with a balcony off the back that overlooked the Merced River and the hillside beyond. Very pretty despite the smoky haze. We sat out until very late, with our one candle. We ate, talked, laughed and had a great time. The next morning we were up early and back to Yosemite. We decided to visit Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, the giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron gigantea), about an hour's drive from where we were staying. Once we crested one set of mountains, we dropped down toward the Big Trees and the air was clear, the sun shining and the temperature pleasant. Reaching the Grove, we initially wanted to walk the trail to the top and see all the Sequoias along the way, but after only a short trek, the two Barbaras (me and Barbara H) turned back. I injured my knee several years ago and it's not up to hiking steep trails. We took the tram and ended up running into Jessica at the top. We all enjoyed the day. And on the way back, saw two small brown bears frolicking near the side of the road. What fun to watch. My first bear sighting in Yosemite.

We stopped at Glacier Point on our way back which normally offers a grand view of the valley floor, but it was so smoky, we couldn't even see the valley floor and could barely make out Half Dome. Such a disappointment.

Back to the powerless motel. This time to take cold showers (no power to heat the water). We had stopped at one of the stores in Yosemite so had another picnic dinner on the balcony.

Nothing was turning out as planned. We couldn't access Jessica's laptop with no power. We couldn't read our own notes with only one flashlight and a single candle. So another night was spent on the balcony. But by the next morning, we had had enough and decided to leave after our day in Yosemite--no more cold showers. After another day in the valley, Jessica who is a champion trekker, going to Vernal Falls, and the two Barbaras to Mirror Lake, we headed for Sonora, a gold rush town from the 1850's. Good thing we'd already checked out of our motel - as we made the turn for Sonora, we saw the road we would have taken to the motel was closed. The fire was spreading and the road closed due to even heavier smoke. Can you imagine all our clothes and things being there and we stuck 20 miles away in Yosemite Park? We found a nice motel room in Sonora, and the first thing we did was take hot showers. Then the rest of the evening and most of next day we finally worked on our workshop. As Jessica said on our way to San Francisco, it was good that things happened as they did. We got to know each other very well on our late night balcony talks and were more candid and forthcoming when working on the program than we might have been otherwise. After the conference, one of my editors visited Yosemite. The fire was out, the air crystal clear and she had a wonderful visit. How sad that my two writer friends missed all that. So the best laid plans...

Yet we had an adventure few share and grew closer because of it. Have you ever had a vacation that didn't go at all as you'd planned? Did it turn out to be even more special because of it? I have a book out in January, Nanny to the Billionaire's Son. In it the heroine has always wanted to be a National Park Ranger. Only, her goal is to work in any of the western parks and she ends up in Mesa Verde. It's a beautiful park as well, but nothing compares to Yosemite when the air is clear! Sam should have gone for Yosemite!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Contests you don't want to miss!

Several of our authors are holding contests! Read on to see what freebies are available to readers and aspiring authors!

Liz Fielding is running her Here Come The Grooms contest with Kate Walker and Anne McAllister again this year. Visit her blog during the last 2 weeks of January for more details on how to enter:

Myrna MacKenzie runs a quarterly contest on her site. The current contest runs until February 15th and the prize is fab - a $25 Amazon Gift Card, an autographed book, and a keychain. Two other winners will each receive a book and keychain. To enter visit her site at

Melissa McClone runs a contest every week on her blog. She picks a winner from those who post comments and they can choose a book from a list of novels ranging from category to paranormal.

Donna Alward has two contests this month - one for newsletter subscribers (if you aren't a subscriber, sign up boxes are on her website and blog) and the other for aspiring authors.

Aspiring authors can send a pitch to all this month (any subgenre of romance is acceptable). Donna will pick 5 pitches to send a first chapter, and the winner will get a partial critique and Donna as a mentor for the remainder of 2009.

Complete details of both contests on her site at

Monday, January 05, 2009

January Releases

Luke never saw himself as a cowboy. But he is a Randell, and the land is in his blood. Now it's calling him back. Blond beauty Tess Meyers is waiting for Luke. Ready to fight for the ranch she and her little daughter call home. She thought she was prepared, but that was before she caught the piercing gaze of the tycoon cowboy….

The businessman in Luke would evict them without a care. But the cowboy in him has different ideas. They come with his land—and he's here to lay claim to what's his.

Read Excerpt

For one night, Sam Duncan is determined to dress to impress and let her hair down. It's New Year's Eve, and with her hands on the hottest ticket in town, she finds herself dancing with billionaire Mac McAlheny!

When the clock chimes twelve, reality strikes! Sam doesn't belong in Mac's world—in fact, her stolen night costs Sam her job! But Mac comes to the rescue and makes her nanny to his adorable little son, Tommy. Everything about Mac seems like a dream, but the butterflies Sam feels are definitely real….

A secluded cabin nestled in the Rockies is the perfect place for Melody Crawford to hide from the world. With her two faithful dogs, she fearlessly puts her life on the line to rescue missing people…but the rest of her life is a mystery. Ex-army ranger John North needs Melody's help—she knows the unforgiving mountains better than anyone. Melody sees John as an outsider, but this enigmatically beautiful woman calls to the man inside him. She needs to trust him, and, come what may, he'll break down her barriers—kiss by snowy kiss….

Life has been tough on Pollyanna, who has constantly been at someone's beck and call. So when she journeys to the desert with magnificent sheikh Rashid, it feels like a dream! Charisma. Power. Danger. In just days, Rashid has taken Polly's world and changed it. He can't ever be hers, but what she is feeling is as old as time itself.

Pollyanna came to Amrah to relive her great-grandmother's adventure. But as the fairy-tale trip draws to an end, her adventure—with Rashid—has only just begun….

What was I thinking? As if a new dress and a pair of borrowed hopes-and-dreams shoes were going to get me noticed by my scrummy boss! After all, he has barely looked at me in the last three years…

But last night, after Jarrod drove me home from that posh work party, things seemed different, and for one crazy moment I felt sure he was going to kiss me! Oh, well, it will be back to business on Monday.

Brooding ranch owner Brody Hamilton keeps his heart out of reach. But there's something about vivacious stable manager Lucy that brings joy to his hardened soul.

Lucy Farnsworth has just discovered she's of royal blood. She should be glad, but it has blown her world apart, and she finds herself just wanting to be the old Lucy again.At Prairie Rose Ranch, Lucy's found the man who makes her feel she belongs. Only, she hasn't told him she's a princess….

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year from Romance!

Happy New Year from your Harlequin Romance authors! It's hard to believe it's already 2009, and we have tons of exciting things going on this year.

Harlequin is celebrating it's Diamond birthday this year and there are scads of celebratory type things planned including special stories and events from Romance authors. We'll be bringing you news of a special website, online events and best of all FREE BOOKS in the weeks to come!

We have a romance author blogging with us every month on a variety of topics, so you never know what might happen!

We've also got some special posts for those readers of the blog who are also aspiring authors. And we already have two debuts this year from Nina Harrington and Nikki Logan...will another author make that sale and join the ranks?

We'll kick it all off on Monday with our latest releases, so stay tuned!