Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hot enough for you?

I don’t know whether any April showers are going to be cold enough to put out the kind of heat that is being generated over here!

SpiceMay marks the launch of Spice, the newest imprint from Harlequin Enterprises, and it is hot! But for all of us who have been reading romances—Harlequin, Silhouette or whatever—we have known about the birds and the bees for some time now!

Spice Titles

I asked our eHarlequin expert, Eleanor Elliott, “Does sex…sell?”

She shared the following insights: “On eHarlequin.com, we’ve known for a long time that ‘Hot’ books are…hot! Month after month, books in our Passion category are the top sellers, and some of our most popular online reads and community discussions are about Desire, Blaze, and Presents.

“Needless to say, we’re very excited about the introduction of Spice books – and I personally think the upcoming covers are gorgeous.”

I thought I’d check in with the women “in the know” when it comes to Passion.

Empress of Desire, Melissa Jeglinski (no, of course she doesn’t call herself that. I just made it up on the spot. What do you think? It certainly sounds sexier than Senior Editor) had this to say: “Silhouette Desire, is undergoing many exciting changes in the coming months. Our heroes are becoming more powerful, our settings more glamorous, our conflicts more dramatic. It all adds up to dynamic, passionate novels sure to make readers salivate for…more, of course!

“Desire is also launching an exciting new series, Secret Lives of Society Wives this May with Metsy Hingle’s The Rags-to-Riches Wife. Think Desperate Housewives at the country club and you’ve got the basis for this dramatic series about six socialites who find themselves blackmailed into the most scandalous situations. We’ll have one title each month for six months and the juicy stories will have you tuning for the next hot installment.

Brenda Chin says, “The big deal in Harlequin Blaze, right now is variety. It’s not just six sexy stories every month—we want to make sure we give our readers six different reasons to enjoy everything Blaze has to offer….

“For those craving a little adventure, we’ve come up with Adrenaline Rush, sexy stories to get your heart racing. Or for people who’d like to see a little history laid bare, we’re offering Perfect Timing, Blaze’s answer to time travel. Readers who enjoy being thrilled to death will like It Was A Dark and Sexy Night…, our upcoming Gothic mini-series.

“And hopeless romantics should love Forbidden Fantasies, extremely sensual tales that contain Hot Tips from Oxygen’s Sex Expert Sue Johansen for spicing up your own love life. Fans of Chick-lit should watch for our spiced up version – It’s All About Attitude, and readers who want to take their reading experience to a whole new level can’t miss out on Extreme Blaze.

“I’m really excited about the variety of stories in the line…and I hope readers will be too!”

As our eBook maven, Malle Vallik notes the Harlequin Presents, series is a fantastic success story—as you may recall in a previous posting of mine, I mentioned two Presents recently beat out The DaVinci Code, landing on the #1 and #2 spots on the eRetailer list. Cool, eh? She’s also created two bundles, Royal Brides and Mediterranean Men both very popular themes with the Presents reader. And starting in July, the entire Passion category will be available in eBooks.

And for anyone who missed Bertrice Small’s Lara: Book One of The World of Hetar, published last year in HQN, it will be available in eBooks in May. Sensual stories are everywhere you look…!

And coming in May, Ignite Your Senses with Spice--sexual and sensual stories for the discerning woman. Are we talking to you? These books are unabashedly self-declared erotic fiction. And yes, there also is a contest with BootyParlor.com, (it’s exactly what it sounds like) check out the Live Your Fantasy flash onTease by Suzanne Forster and Getting Even by Kayla Perrin

As to why this flowering of erotic fiction, Susan Pezzack feels “It's happening because women are experiencing sex in a more open way."

And yes, it’s challenging to find writers who are able to write wonderful sensual stories—though I think you’ll find we’re doing a good job! Susan notes: "Unless you've experienced something, it's difficult to write about it in a convincing way. For example, unless you've experienced really great sex it would be hard to write about really great sex." But hey, that’s why we read books and use our imaginations, right? Life isn’t always perfect….

So now I’ve given you some great “hot tips” for all your summer reading needs, get out there and get HOT.

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