Opening Editorial by Tina Smith
Valentine’s Day. Homemade cards, surprise flowers, chocolates—as soon as the New Year is rung in the stores fill with reds and pinks and pastel-pressed sugar candies that declare little sweet nothings. Some dread it for its commercial-ness or a reminder of lost chances. Some embrace it for the chance to connect with those for whom we care the most. Love it or hate it, it’s the holiday of romance and that means Heart’s Kiss wants to celebrate it. And boy, have we this month!
After choosing a holiday theme for our last issue we looked ahead to the next year of the magazine and thought we couldn’t pass up another themed issue. So many of our writers took up the challenge. Returning to our magazine, we have fan favorite L. Penelope with a very fun office romance of sorts with the first part of “Before I Break.” Luce and Mat will have you rooting for them, from helping a lost child find his parents, to getting trapped together after an earthquake—fate keeps forcing these two resistant romantics together. Our second contemporary offering is a reprint of Jacqueline Seewald’s, “Just One Look,” where a romance on a cruise ship leads the heroine to go without her glasses to impress the hotty, but he’s into the real her, glasses and all. Then we have Alice Faris with a romantic comedy. Can love be manufactured in a laboratory? Two characters venture into an experiment to find out in “Late for Valentine’s,” but one of them isn’t truly a participant in the study.
Paranormal romance is one of my favorite genres and I’m so happy to have two to showcase this issue. The wonderful Petronella Glover returns with “A Wintery Tail,” set on the beaches during Australia Day festivities. When the hero has a fishy secret, but the heroine also understands what it’s like to be different, sparks fly in this erotic novelette about embracing diversity to find your heart’s true desire. And Rei Rosenquist’s “A Real Ace V-Day,” examines several facets of love, such as the depth of companionship through the lens of a gritty science fiction romance.
If it’s historical romance that gets your heart a flutter, then we have a dose of that too. Meghan Ewald is back with a story set in 1836 during the Battle of the Alamo, with “Women Hollering Creek.” A laundry woman is in hiding from her abusive husband, but her attraction to a kind soldier brings her hope and new possibilities.
For our non-fiction offerings this issue, we have not one but two interviews with bestselling Australian authors. Popular regency romance writer, Stephanie Laurens, sat down with co-editor Lezli Robyn to talk about her prolific career, how she got her pseudonym and the state of the publishing industry. Lezli Robyn also extended her interview with Juliet Marillier, getting to the heart of what makes her historical fiction tick. With all those Aussies in our table of contents (including my co-editor!), and a story set on Australia day, this co-editor has to wonder if Lezli has been planning a down under takeover for this issue!
What is romance without the tearjerkers too? Julie Pitzel, our columnist, discusses why we love to cry, when those times are needed, why we sometimes choose a happy ending, and what is better suited for our emotional health. “I’ll Cry if I Want To” is a fun look into the science of sadness in our literature. And after all that, if you’re still looking for more to read, C.S. DeAvilla has a new list of recent releases and some old gems that will keep you entertained through to Easter.
Oh gosh, they haven’t started decorating the stores with bunnies and pastels yet, have they? One holiday at a time! I like to spend a little time appreciating them, just as I do a good love story, like the ones we offer you in this issue, dear reader. Lezli and I hope you enjoy.