Editor's Note by Lezli Robyn
We might still have nearly two months more of summer, but the staff at Heart’s Kiss are excited for the fall’s cooler weather to arrive; the promise of change is in the air. At the beginning of summer my co-editor, Tina, attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Conference. We were sad to learn it would be the very last of its kind. For decades RT has been a cornerstone in the romance community, offering early reviews and articles for readers to enjoy. RT will be missed, but we hear the conference will continue under another name, Booklovers Convention, in New Orleans next May. We’re very curious to see how it will be received and looking forward to seeing the authors in attendance.
Along with fall changes on the horizon, we have new writers to introduce to our Heart’s Kiss family. Rei Rosenquist has written us a heart-tugging short story, Running from Love, Already Lost that had me in tears by its closing paragraphs. It’s not to be missed. Another newcomer, Gracie Wilson, thrills us with a delightful flash piece, Big Trouble, ahead of our publication of her novella, Beautifully Imagined, in our next issue. We are so delighted to share their talent with readers and know there will be more to come from these new authors!
We also have our fan favorites back again and they have written to impress! One of those soon-to-be well-loved reads comes from L. Penelope, who has not only delivered a brand-new installment, Before I Run, in the series she started for our magazine, but was also interviewed by yours truly. A review of her newly published St. Martin’s Press novel, Song of Blood & Stone, also appears in C.S. DeAvilla’s review column. We are so thrilled to have her as one of our regular contributors and wanted to go all out to celebrate her release by crowning her as our featured author for this issue.
If you still thirst for paranormal romance, we have more in store for you there. Petronella Glover’s titillating mermaid tale, When the Ocean Calls, or the futuristic thriller, Old Scars by Meghan Ewald, may curb your cravings. Or if it’s a historical you’re after, then check out The Piano Tutor by USA Today bestselling author, Anthea Lawson, and discover the fun of a titular hero in hiding for love.
Sometimes readers want it all: a true genre-bending story. I steer you towards Andrea Dale’s Penny Dreadful; with steampunk, supernatural elements, a historical feel and a steamy plot, this short story is sure to entice. We also have a contemporary romance as our novella this issue, welcoming Alice Faris with her first fiction sale to Heart’s Kiss, Pregnant Girl’s Guide to Love—a hysterical tie-in to her Guide to Love series.
Many of our stories this month deal with scars, physical or emotional, and how the right relationship can help you overcome them. Julie Pitzel also delves into an important issue in our industry today: Diversity; something we must continue to work toward, including in our fiction, to keep it true-to-life and relevant in the market.
Speaking of relevance, we love keeping up-to-date with the buzz in the romance field and what authors are up to, which is why we’re ecstatic to publish an excerpt from New York Times bestselling contemporary romance author Susan Donovan’s latest book, Breathless, co-written with Celeste Bradley. It’s a little teaser ahead of her exclusive interview with us, which will appear in our next issue.
So even as we wrap up this instalment and prepare to pack up our sunscreen and beach towels, the stories we choose to transfix and transport us into thrilling, loving, enticing, compelling, intellectually-stimulating—and whatever else we read romance for—settings remain with us; we never have to pack those fictional journeys away. We continue to welcome them onto our bookshelves and into our e-readers. Because fiction is an escape and romance offers a passport to a broad and brave wide world.
Tina and I hope you enjoy this issue and the journey forward.