Opening Editorial by Lezli Robyn
While I sit here, sipping an Australian hot chocolate “Milo” drink, reading wonderful romance for this wonderful magazine, I cannot help but be proud of what Tina Smith and I have created with Heart’s Kiss. We have been dedicated to celebrating love in all forms, and this issue is no different, with one of my favorite pieces, “Threshold of the Heart,” being a second chance romance between two gifted women who just cannot stop thinking about each other. Not only have we published “own voice” stories, and diverse writers over the years, but we also publish all the tropes readers so love to curl up with in a romance book. We wanted to show our readers that everyone deserves their happily-ever-after story to be published.
Which means it is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Heart’s Kiss magazine. While Tina Smith had recently left the magazine to go back to being a practicing psychologist, it is still true that we both absolutely loved editing this magazine, and our publisher, Shahid Mahmud, loved supporting it. However, we discovered after three years of publication that a magazine format was just too unusual for a genre that is not very used to romance in the shorter form.
Fear not, for you haven’t seen the last of us! The feedback from Heart’s Kiss has been intensely positive, and while a magazine was not the right format to be displayed prominently in bookstores, we’ve realized a series of themed romance anthologies would allow us to distribute romance fiction nationally, on a level the magazine format limited us from. The romance book world is much more used to seeing romance in novella or novel format, so our future anthologies are guaranteed to reach a much wider audience. It also means we can continue to deliver diverse romance fiction to our loyal readers several times a year. While one door is closing, another is already open for us to step right through and discover new love stories.
Along with the aforementioned second chance story by newcomer T. Thorn Coyle appearing in this last issue, we interview celebrated romance author, Rick R. Reed and regular contributor and Harlequin author, Melinda Cutis (who is having a UPtv movie made from one of her novels as we speak!). We also welcome back to our pages paranormal romance author Kate Pavelle with “Upon a Bed of Bones,” and Harlequin author, Kayla Perrin, with another installment in Dante and Bella‘s bumpy road to love in “One More Night With You.” Anna J. Stewart also delivers a new novella, “In Wraith Danger,” depicting an unexpected paranormal romance set on a cruise ship. (She also just had one of her recent Harlequin novels turned into an UPtv movie! Our writers are so talented!)
We’re also delighted to publish two great flash fiction pieces in this final issue, showcasing newer talent. In “Making the First Move,” by Ian Cai Mercer, we relive the jitters and exploration of chemistry when a non-date turns into a first date. And in “The Unexpected” we are gifted with this heartbreakingly beautiful story about treasuring your loved ones and doing everything you can to celebrate important milestones, in a piece that brought this editor to tears. So understated in words, yet so impactful in its delivery.
Julie Pitzel once again delivers a thought-provoking piece in her “You Read That?” column, showing how perceptions of romance fiction can generate more criticism than other genres, and C.S. DeAvilla returns to us one last time with books she recommends our readers devour while they are waiting for our first romance anthology, “Thankfully in Love,” to hit the shelves later this year. (Bookmark www.heartskiss.com to keep updated on all our release news.)
And with that, I thank you, dearest readers and writers. What a wonderful love story we have had with you, and hears to many more romances in the future!