Harlequin is celebrating their sixtieth anniversary this year. That’s a lot of years — and a lot of great books. To mark the occasion, they are giving away 16 free books to download at HarlequinCelebrates.com (a $60 value). Check it out!
I still remember the very first Harlequin Romance I read. I found it in my mother’s treasured library of creased and dog-eared paperbacks. It was called FLOWERING WILDERNESS by Kathryn Blair, a 1967 release. I was probably in my early teens, already a voracious reader, and I’d read all own books (many of them repeatedly) and was looking for something new to read, and she handed me that one.
I fell in love. With the hero. With the exotic setting. With the romance genre. True, the story would seem very dated now. The hero was so alpha he’d be considered a chauvinistic jerk now — but she made me love him, anyway. She used humor; I still remember a line that made me laugh out loud, though it wouldn’t seem funny to you if I quoted it out of context. The heroine would seem a bit too angsty and dependent by today’s standards, but she managed to stand up for herself, anyway, and get what she wanted by the end of the story. By the end of that book, not only was I a confirmed Harlequin reader, I dreamed of someday writing for them.
Selling my first book to Harlequin Temptation in 1987 was the culmination of that longtime goal. After writing more than 90 books for Harlequin/Silhouette, I am still so proud to be a part of their long and distinguished history.
As for these book downloads — well, I’m still adjusting to the idea of reading books on a screen. I love the feel of a book, either hardcover or paperback, in my hands. I love seeing my many “keepers” with their colorful covers on my shelves. I sit at a computer for so many hours a day that the thought of doing all my reading on screen makes me twitch a little, I confess.
And yet, I can see the advantages of electronic readers like the Kindle. To be able to download several books for a trip, especially now when baggage space is at such a premium, would be a definite advantage. And my books do take a lot of space in my home. It would be nice to be able to increase the font for books that have small print (something that bothers me more as I age, I hate to admit). My son has an iPod Touch. Now that he’s discovered he can download books from sites like Amazon, he’s been reading more. His iPod is always handy, always available when he has a few spare minutes, which means the book he is reading is always at hand. He’s even discussed some of the books he’s reading with me. Anything that keeps our technology-saavy young people reading is a good thing in my opinion. I’m beginning to think I might like an electronic reader, myself, though I’m not planning to purchase one at the moment.
There are quite a few free book download offers. From Harlequin and other publishers giving away samples of their offerings in hopes that you’ll come back for more in the future. From places like Amazon offering older books that are considered public domain. The prices of legal downloads are very reasonable, usually less than ten dollars, which is often less than the same book in hard copy.
I hope you’ll take advantage of Harlequin’s free download offer of 16 great romances from some of their most popular authors. Check out eHarlequin.com for other offers and news. It’s a fun site.
I have my own contribution to the big anniversary coming out in June, a short story in an anthology with two other authors. I’ll tell you more about it as the publishing date nears (I haven’t even seen the cover yet. Can’t wait!). In the meantime, happy 60th anniversary, Harlequin.