Thursday, August 15, 2013



Harlequin, one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, and Cosmopolitan, the world’s largest women’s magazine, have formed a book publishing partnership to bring Cosmopolitans fun, fearless female sensibility to fiction readers everywhere. Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin will present independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance.

Sylvia Day
Sylvia Day, New York Times’ bestselling author and Romance Writers of America President, signed a seven-figure, two-book deal to launch the new series.  AFTERBURN, will be released on August 15. The sequel, AFTERSHOCK, will follow on November 15.  “I’m excited to share these sizzling new romances with readers, and to do so hand in hand with Harlequin and Cosmopolitan, beloved brands known for giving women exactly what they want,” commented Sylvia in a press release.

Below are the highlights from an interview with Malle Vallik, Editorial Director of Harlequin’s Digital Editorial Initiatives, who heads this new line.  

Q: How do you plan to marry “Happily Ever After” and “Happy Right Now”?

A: Great question! Most of our heroines will be in their twenties so I think Happy Right Now may lead to Happily Ever After. While I am a fan of the happily ever after story and read them all the time, I think these shorter (30,000) word stories featuring women living and loving and figuring out their lives and how to achieve the happily ever after can mean finding the great guy who may be the forever guy, but these books can also include plot lines where she realizes she is better off kicking him to the curb and considering his friend who didn’t lie or isn’t afraid of commitment. These stories will be truly current romances. Cosmo readers and romance novel readers will enjoy the HEA but I believe they will also be more than accepting of the heroine having a slightly untraditional HEA.

Q: What kind of stories are you looking for? Is this new line sort of like chick lit with a happy ending or erotica with a happily ever after?

A: These are sexy, contemporary romances featuring a heroine you can recognize from the Cosmo brand: fun, fearless female. They are different from chick lit in that you most likely would want to be friends with this woman; she is more satisfied with her life, career and friends; she is not desperate to get married. However there are many elements in chick lit I do admire: humor, sparkling voice, 1st person, contemporary voice. The stories should be sexy, very sexy. The sex needs to be true to the stories and characters. The stories may veer to erotic romance if that is what the characters demand.

Q: Who will be the editor of this new line? Where can a writer send her submission? What is the turnaround time to getting a response?

A: I am in charge of the editorial development of Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin.  However, I am lucky enough to have many editors from all of our offices work on the program! If you are a Harlequin author you can submit to your editor directly. Other writers should send their material to  [Yes, unpublished authors can submit stories. Study the guidelines first!]

Q: Will these books be serialized in Cosmo magazine?

A: Some of the books may be serialized in Cosmo. We are making these decisions on a case by case basis. Cosmopolitan is putting a lot of marketing muscle behind this new program!

Congratulations to Harlequin, Cosmopolitan, Malle and Sylvia.  I am celebrating the Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin launch with some appletinis.  Join me!♥

For the full interview, visit

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