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F E B R U A RY- M AY 2 0 1 3
Enjoy your free magazine subscription from the Harlequin Reader Service
SHARES THE SECRET TO CREATING INTERESTING CHARACTERS
MOM’S THE WORD!
A SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY AUTHOR TALK
SPECIAL VALENTINE’S ISSUE:
OUR TOP ROMANTIC BOOKS OF 2012
PLUS! A FREE VALENTINE’S DAY NOVELLA
2 4 6 8
Robyn Carr introduces her NEW series
The Lure of THUNDER POINT Embracing the Disfunction Spring Reading Guide Raising the Stakes in Texas
B. J. Daniels’ fondness for flawed characters
A Harlequin® Romance Suspense series The author discusses her new trilogy
10 Q & A with Christie Ridgway 12 Introducing Harlequin® Kiss™
A NEW romance series An exerpt from Pam Jenoff’s new book
This spring issue of Simply Books
14 The Ambassador’s Daugther
magazine comes from the heart. I hope it touches your heart as much as it touches mine. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this could possibly be our most romantic issue ever.
Inside, B.J. Daniels discusses her upcoming books and Robyn Carr gives us the inside scoop on her brand-new series. There’s a special Q&A with Christie Ridgway and an excerpt from Sherryl Woods’ latest book. We’ll introduce you to the new contemporary romance series appropriately called Harlequin® KISS™.
16 Pet Corner: Peanut the Rescue Dog 18 Sand Castle Bay
An exerpt from Sherryl Wood’s lastest
20 Steamy Romances for Valentine’s Day
A selection of great Valentine-themed reads
22 Mom’s the Word
Authors share fond memories of their Moms
24 Top 10 Romantic Books of 2012
26 The Real Secret Behind Weight Loss
An exerpt from The Virgin Diet by J.J.Virgin
28 Series Spotlight—
Harlequin® Historical® 29 His Cowgirl Valentine
Your FREE Harlequin® Romance Novella
As a special treat for Mother’s Day, we asked some of our authors to talk about mothers and grandmothers. They discuss what they enjoy about being a mother or grandmother and shared moving memories about their own mothers and grandmothers. Plus, we’ll introduce you to Peanut, a very special dog in this issue’s “Pet Corner.” And, we’ve included two very special reading lists—the top ten romance books of 2012 and a Valentine’s Day romance round up. So, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Mother’s Day and...
45 Bonus Bucks Catalog 54 Meet the Customer Service
55 Book Order Form 56 The Last Word
Mary Ann MacKenzie
The Lure of
Introducing the new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr
Robyn Carr’s new THUNDER
POINT series is something she and I have been talking about and planning for many months. We talked about location ideas and character studies and story lines. But most of all, we talked about wanting to develop a new series that would contain all the things that Robyn is known for: emotional writing, sexy heroes, lots of humor and a great sense of community. I think she has delivered in spades. I hope you enjoy The Wanderer, the first book in the THUNDER POINT series. I have a feeling you will be spending a lot of time in Thunder Point in the months and years ahead. Happy Reading! Valerie Gray, Executive Editor, Harlequin® MIRA® Books 2
Sometimes a man has to accept certain things about himself and for Hank Cooper, his reality was that he’d never stayed in one place for long. In fact, since leaving home at the age of nineteen, his longest stint in one place was with the army as a helicopter pilot, and that was saying something, given the fact that the brass in the army seemed to stay up nights looking for excuses to transfer people. But Cooper never minded that—he usually felt restless about a week after getting to a new place. He wasn’t the settling-down type; he even pulled a fifth wheel so his very life was lived on wheels. Cooper liked being flexible and ready to roll. It’s with exactly that philosophy that he went to attend to the unfinished business of a recently deceased friend and found himself camping out on the ridge
above a still, dark bay on the Oregon coast. From where he sat outside his trailer he could see a small, ordinary town, a long and peaceful beach, a little marina filled mostly with fishing boats and, beyond the bay peppered with tall, haystack rock formations, the crashing, frothing Pacific Ocean. Picturesque, but nothing spectacular. Until storms over the Pacific rolled into the bay, then it was like one of the seven wonders. Cooper had traveled the world. He’d seen beauty in every corner and it had only inspired him to look further. He was a rolling stone and had reached the age of thirty-seven without putting down roots. He had no bills or obligations and life was easy, just as he liked it. Cooper met a deputy who was the law of the town, a man driven to keep a quiet place safe and peaceful. There was a young single mother who served him his breakfast at a little diner who knew everyone and how each one of them liked their eggs. A search-and-rescue pilot who looked more suited for a modeling career, and a teenage boy who was too alone. The town, so ordinary and unaffected, was populated by people who seemed to fit together like the last two pieces of a puzzle. And something bizarre began to happen, something that had never happened to him before. They began to draw him in despite the fact that he was ready to move on. Something snagged at his heart, something he was more than ready to resist. A kindhearted town, a beautiful woman, a fatherless boy. A heart-stopping view. Feelings of responsibility; feelings of desire. In his mind he heard, Run Cooper, run. And he thought—Tomorrow I leave. He knew he couldn’t stay because he never had. But that little town and its people tugged at him. The town is called Thunder Point, and you’d never know to look at it that dreams are built there.
See you there. Bring your dreams.
THE WANDERER IS AVAILABLE IN APRIL!
To learn more about Robyn Carr, visit www.RobynCarr.com. Visit www.ReaderService.com/SimplyBooksExtra to read an excerpt from The Wanderer. 3
Christie Ridgway opens
and the characters of the Beach House No. 9 trilogy.
emergency emails landed in my in-box overnight—and then I slip on headphones up about what inspired her to to listen to the current book’s playlist and start writing, her morning routine, return to the story in my head.
You started writing your own romantic stories as a young girl, but it wasn’t until much later that you decided to pursue your dream of being a published author. What or who inspired you to start writing?
After working in the tech industry for a number of years, I stayed home to care for my first son and immersed myself in reading romances during naptime. One of my best friends from high school came to visit, saw what I was reading and asked why I wasn’t writing those books, since I’d always aspired to do just that. It was the nudge I needed. Two weeks later I’d joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America and I was invited into a critique group right away. There was no looking back! I was on my way to my dream job.
What inspired the BEACH HOUSE NO. 9 trilogy? I imagine, living in California, there’s no shortage for inspiration.
The original inspiration was just the words “Beach House No. 9,” reminiscent of the song “Love Potion No. 9,” floating into my head. I was working on something else at the time, so I wrote the phrase down and pinned the paper to the bulletin board in my office. It stayed there for a couple of years, waiting for me to find the exact place to set my beach house. I call it Crescent Cove, but it’s very much like the real-life Crystal Cove in Southern California. It’s now a state park and is a great place to visit for the day, or even overnight in some of the refurbished bungalows.
When starting a new trilogy, is it more or less daunting knowing there are characters and plots to be explored later in following books?
It’s definitely worrisome! I live in fear I’ll paint myself into a corner, because as I’m writing the first book, I don’t know every detail of the second and third. But it’s amazing how a casual insertion in book one turns out to be an important point that I didn’t see coming. For example, that
When and where do you most like to write?
I’m a morning person! I like to get up early and head downstairs to my cozy office. A few rituals to get going—feed the pets, make coffee, check that no 10
silent movies were filmed at Crescent Cove in the 1920s was something I knew about the real Crystal Cove and so I put that in the first book, merely as a colorful piece of history. But it became important to the plots of the succeeding stories.
Do you have a favorite character? Is there a character you relate to more than the others?
Oh, boy. Can I just name my favorite child instead? I’m going to go a little off the grid here and say my heart really went out to the secondary characters of Beach House No. 9, Tess and David. But the wounded heroes of the trilogy— Griffin, Vance and Gage—are the kind of tough-on-the-outside, tender-on-theinside men that I adore. The heroines— Jane, Layla and Skye—all have wry senses of humor and spines of steel. I’d love to have lunch with them.
a song before we married!). He’s the type of man who gives you what you need, such as the birthday when I received a brown paper bag full of greasy car parts. What he’d given me was a tune-up and those were the pieces he’d replaced. So I was surprised a few years ago to discover a stash of cards he had, filled with loving words in a feminine hand…my loving words. He’s saved all the cards I’ve given him throughout our marriage.
What are you working on next?
Another book set in California, of course! I’m a native Californian and it’s my pleasure to share with readers the unique beauty of my state, from the wildflower-filled deserts to the tree-covered mountains to the long, golden stretches of sand.
BEACH HOUSE NO. 9 IS AVAILABLE NOW! LOOK FOR BUNGALOW NIGHTS With Valentine’s Day just around the IN MARCH AND THE LOVE SHACK corner, one can’t help but reflect on IN APRIL! their favorite romantic memory. This month, visit www.ReaderService.com/SimplyBooksExtra What is yours?
Speaking of tough-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, my husband isn’t a great romantic (though he did write me
to read an excerpt from Beach House No. 9. For more information about Christie Ridgway visit www.christieridgway.com.
THE RESCUE DOG
Hi. My name is Mary and I’ve
worked at the Harlequin Reader Service for twenty-five years now. My friends here asked me to share the story of Peanut the Rescue Dog. Until last fall my “pack” consisted of me, my lovely husband, John, and our two dogs, Barney and Sacha. At eighteen, it wasn’t surprising that Sacha was slowly fading until one morning we awoke to find that she had passed away during the night. It was very sad but we had the pleasure of knowing that we had given her as much joy as she gave us. And the silver lining was that Barney, our thirteen-year-old “youngster” could now have our full time and attention. He had been so great about the adjustments that came with having a senior sister, and now it was his time. And so the next week was filled with longer, faster walks and accompanying my husband on his errands. And a routine visit to the vet for a consultation about something minor. Being thorough, our vet gave Barney a nose-to-tail look. “How long has Barney’s eye been like this?” Then began a whirlwind of visits to specialists until, ten days later, the shocking news that Barney had an inoperable tumor, and the prognosis—eight good months. And then, worse still, Barney’s condition 16 progressed rapidly and two weeks later we had lost Barney, too. I was in shock. Thank goodness for my wonderful friends here at the Harlequin Reader Service. They were so supportive and understanding. And I sure needed it. As well as my feelings of loss, I felt the burden of knowing that we could have given Barney more. A few weeks later my husband asked me about what type of dog I thought we should get. He had been diligently researching various breeds and keeping me informed about their different qualities. I reminded him of my theory of Dog Kismet—that somehow the right dog finds the right owner. John agreed with me. He’d seen it happen many times. But how, he asked, was Dog Kismet supposed to happen if I didn’t start to look. “Do
you think they’re just going to phone you?” The next day the phone rang. A rescue organization had contacted our vet about a seven-month-old puppy that needed a home. And our vet thought of us. One look at Peanut and I knew that our dog had found us. Over the next week, as we spent time together, I noticed something. Was it simply my wishful thinking? It wasn’t just me. Our vet had noticed it too. “You know,” she said, “it’s as if Peanut is a combination of Sacha and Barney.” Yes. She has Sacha’s intelligence and all of Barney’s heart and sweetness. I had been given a second chance. That’s when I realized…Peanut IS a rescue dog. She rescued me. Mary Abthorpe, Director, New Member Acquisition and Retention P.S. All of our dogs have had their quirks. Peanut is a bird-watcher. Not to chase. Just to look at and admire. In the picture of Peanut and her chicken friends, you can see from the chicken’s expression the interest is mutual.
We’d love to hear from you! Send us your pet story and we’ll feature it in the Pet Corner on the Reader Service blog at www.ReaderService.com/SimplyBooksExtra or in an upcoming issue of Simply Books magazine. Email to: ReaderService@harlequin.com with “Pet Corner” as the subject. Or U.S. Residents Canadian Residents mail to: mail to: Pet Corner Pet Corner 3010 Walden Ave., 225 Duncan Mill Road, P.O. Box 9048 Don Mills, Ontario Buffalo, NY 14240-9048 M3B 3K9
Sand Castle Bay
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods takes readers to the North Carolina coast with a new family and her trademark heartfelt emotions.
ENJOY THIS EXCERPT FROM
Of course Samantha would beat the storm! Emily couldn’t seem to
again unless they were a lot smarter when they did the repairs after the last storm.” “How’s Grandmother?” Cora Jane Castle was in her mid-seventies, but still going strong and determined to continue operating the beachfront restaurant opened by her late husband even though no one in the family had demonstrated any interest in running it. In Emily’s view, she ought to sell it and enjoy her golden years, but the mere mention of such an idea was considered blasphemy. “Stoic about the storm, but mad as a wet hen that Dad drove over and picked her up to bring her to Raleigh to ride out the hurricane,” Gabi assessed. “She’s in my kitchen cooking and muttering a few very bad words I had no idea she knew. I think that’s why Dad dropped her here, then took off. He didn’t want to be around when she got her hands on my knives.” “Or it could be he had no idea what to say to her. That’s his way, isn’t it?” Emily said with a hint of bitterness. Under the best of conditions, her father, Sam, wasn’t communicative. Under the worst, he simply wasn’t around. Most of the time she’d made her peace with that, but
stop herself from frowning. Though she’d never totally understood it, the odd competitiveness she’d always felt with her oldest sister kicked in with a vengeance. She supposed with three sisters, there were bound to be rivalries, but why with Samantha and not Gabi? Gabi was the driven, successful businesswoman, the one most like her in terms of ambition. “I’m getting on a flight out of here tonight,” Emily said determinedly, motivated by Samantha’s plans. “If I have to drive from Atlanta, then that’s what I’ll do.” ather than admonishing her, Gabi R chuckled. “Samantha said you were going to say that. From the time you understood the difference between winning and losing, you hated it when she beat you at anything. Okay, fine. Get here when you can. Just do it safely. This storm isn’t looking pretty. If it wobbles even the slightest bit to the west, Nags Head will take a direct hit. You can bet the road down to Hatteras will wash out 18
on occasion simmering resentments rose to the surface. “He has work to do,” Gabi said, immediately defensive, as always. “Important work. Do you know the kind of impact these biomedical studies at his company could have on people’s lives?” “I wonder how many times he said exactly we all are of your accomplishments. that to Mother when he went off and left You’re a top executive at one of the her to cope with raising us.” hottest biomed companies in North For once Gabi didn’t overreact. “It was Carolina, if not the entire country.” a constant refrain, wasn’t it? Well, we’re all grown up. We should be over all those “I know. You just struck a nerve, that’s missed school plays and recitals and soccer all,” Gabi said, then added briskly. “Let me know when you’re getting in and I’ll games by now.” pick you up at the airport, okay?” “Says the not-so-well-adjusted woman Before Emily could offer another who’s doing her best to follow in his apology for what had obviously been an footsteps,” Emily taunted with good insensitive, ill-timed remark, Gabriella had humor. “You know you’re no better hung up. Not with the sort of clatter that than he is, Gabriella. You may not be a scientist, but you are a workaholic. That’s would mirror Emily’s own quick flares of temper, but quietly. Somehow that was why you get so uptight when I criticize much, much worse. him.” The silence that greeted her comment was Copyright © 2013 by Sherryl Woods deafening. “Gabi, I was only teasing,” SAND CASTLE BAY Emily apologized, aware that she’d crossed IS AVAILABLE IN APRIL! a line. “Seriously. You know how proud 19
Earlier this year, as part of a company-wide
BEHIND WEIGHT LOSS
challenge, I tried The Virgin Diet. By day 4, I felt more energetic and less stressed and within one week, I lost 5 pounds. So I’m particularly happy to share this excerpt with you. In the book, JJ Virgin explains that many common issues—weight gain, bloating, fatigue and joint pain—are caused by food intolerance. She’s helped thousands of people feel better with her customizable program and now it’s your turn to feel the benefits. I hope you enjoy and I wish you happy reading and the best of health.
—Sarah Pelz, Senior Editor, Harlequin® Nonfiction Books An excerpt from The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS If you wanted to be your skinniest self and to follow the healthiest diet in the world, what would you eat? Egg-white veggie omelets? Greek-style nonfat yogurt? Whey protein shakes? That sounds like the regimen famous trainers and A-list stars follow, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that I’ve been a sought-after fitness and nutrition expert for over two decades and worked with thousands of clients, including some of Hollywood’s hottest bodies? And what if I told you what I told them, which is that many of these supposedly “healthy” foods could actually be making you fat? calories. It isn’t fat. It isn’t protein. It isn’t even carbs. You can count them and cut them all you want, but you won’t lose weight if you’re eating foods that your body can’t handle. The key to weight loss is avoiding and overcoming food intolerance.
Food intolerance is a series of physiological responses that your body has to certain types of food. They aren’t the same as allergies. Food-intolerance symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common include bloating, gas, indigestion, fatigue, mental fog, irritability, moodiness—and weight gain. If you’re Well, that’s exactly what I am going to eating foods that your body can’t tolerate, tell you. So listen up, because I’m about you’re likely to gain weight, feel crummy, to share the secret to weight loss. It isn’t and look years older than your actual age. 26
Maybe your daily diet is stressing your body through its high content of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods, which tend to contain lots of soy, corn, and gluten. Or perhaps you’ve maintained a seemingly healthy regimen, but have never realized that all your healthy efforts are being sabotaged by foods that commonly cause food intolerance like yogurt (even nonfat), eggs (even Omega-3-rich), and grains (even whole). Either way, if you weigh more than you’d like and look older than you’d prefer, you are most likely struggling with food intolerances. How can you tell? Let me ask you what I ask my clients:
• Have you tried unsuccessfully to lose weight? • Is what you used to do to lose weight no longer working? • Are you a yo-yo dieter? • Do you frequently experience discomfort after • Are you feeling and looking older than you should?
If the answer to even one of these questions is yes, you’ve likely been eating too many High-FI foods, or problem foods that are likely to trigger food intolerance. What’s the solution? Stop eating High-FI foods and replace them with Low-FI foods: foods that are unlikely to trigger food intolerance. If you can cut out the top 7 High-FI foods for just three weeks, you’ll see weight loss and beauty results that will have you looking and feeling terrific. Hey, if those old low-fat, low-carb, or high-protein diets had worked for you in the past, you’d already be at your ideal weight and peak vitality, right? There’s a reason that approach to food doesn’t work—and there’s a reason that the Virgin Diet does.
Copyright © 2012 by JJ Virgin
eating—bloating, gas, indigestion?
THE VIRGIN DIET IS AVAILABLE NOW!
For more information about JJ Virgin and The Virgin Diet, visit www.JJVirgin.com. For a recipe from the book, visit www.ReaderService.com/SimplyBooksExtra.