THE REST OF THE STORY…
First off, I am happy to call myself employed by Harlequin. I have been fortunate to write many books for them, currently working on number thirty. Most people know of them, many have preconceived attitudes and roll their eyes, others are avid readers of series romance.
Here’s the news – Harlequin is turning 70!!!
They’ve written a great blog about their trailblazing in publishing which you can read here
I’d like to add to their story.
Harlequin has published an interesting history at their blog which I linked to above. One thing stood out to me that two other important players were not mentioned, and both are women. Yes, the most well-known publisher of category length romance in the world is Harlequin and it was founded in 1949 by Richard Bonnycastle, a Canadian, who specialized in reprints of books such as westerns, thrillers and classics.
For those who used to watch 60 Minutes when the wise curmudgeon Andy Rooney closed out the show, you’ll remember the phrase I’m using regarding the trailblazing Mr. Bonnycastle. So here we go:
AND HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY…
Bonnycastle’s wife, Mary, and the first acquiring editor for Harlequin – Ruth Palmour, discovered a surprise at the local library. A Large assortment of well-written medical romances published by a long-established London firm.
In 1957, at the request of Ruth Palmour, Harlequin began buying the rights to those romance novels from the English firm Gerald Mills & Charles Boon limited. Heard of them? They’ve been around since 1908. By 1930 Mills & Boon concentrated on women’s fiction, and during WWII the books proved to be popular as an escape from reality.
The first romances Bonnycastle bought from M&B were doctor nurse stories. (Yes, the conflict centered around a Lordly doctor and a subservient nurse) Of course we’ve come a long way, baby! These little doctor nurse stories written by women for women became so successful that, in 1964 the Canadian company began to concentrate on them, and soon romance comprised the entire Harlequin LTD list.
Interesting, right? Where would Harlequin be today if Mary and Ruth hadn’t opened the door to the solid romances published in the UK?
Now, here is a bit of shameless self-promotion (a requirement for every author these days of digital dominance), along with, I hope, an interesting tidbit.
My May 14th release is a book I’ve had the rights returned to me on from Harlequin Mills & Boon. I’ve updated it and changed things out and in, but overall it is the same story that Harlequin bought and published back in 2010. Yes, it is a doctor nurse story. I believe we still love to read them, though mostly these days, the books tend toward doctor/doctor romance. Currently, in the USA, statistics show more women are applying to med school than men.
Now for the SSP:
Here’s the book and the blurb.
He’s stuck in the past. She shows him their future.
The brooding doctor Jason Rogers prefers to keep people at a distance and his pain tucked safely inside. So what if he’s a grouch? He doesn’t care.
Claire Albright isn’t afraid to waltz into her new boss’s office and give her opinions. The fact she has a tagalong little girl, Gina, who reminds Jason of the daughter he lost, only adds to their bristly start.
Soon, against Jason’s will, Claire and Gina inject hope back into his dull existence. Dare he dream of a life he never thought he’d have again?
Here are links to two early 5 Star reviews:
On sale Mary 14th, 2019 – book #1 in Santa Barbara Sunsets trilogy.
I hope you’ll check it out!
DO YOU HAVE ANY HARLEQUIN TRIVIA TO SHARE? PLEASE COMMENT.
Until next time, make it a great one,