Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fool's Friday by Liz Flaherty

I remember April Fool's Day being something hilariously and broadly celebrated when I was in elementary school. The local newspaper always had a front-page news story about something unlikely and possibly horrifying that ended with the reminder that it was indeed April Fool's Day. When our kids were little, we used to make things up just to get their days off to laughing starts (didn't usually work--they rolled their eyes at us and went on their merry way), but that was pretty much the end of it. If anyone pranks me now, I'm so slow on the uptake that it isn't any fun for them.

So today I have a book out. Counting a couple of novellas, Every Time We Say Goodbye is my 12th. And it's out on April Fool's Day. Really? It kind of goes along with the whole publishing gig, doesn't it? What was it Jo Ann Brown mentioned the other day? I think she said--correct me if I'm wrong, Jo--that she and a group of writers got to counting up and they had seen no fewer than 50 lines and imprints close during their tenure.

It's something all of us  have seen more often than we like. I hope I'm not tempting fate when I mention a few of my favorites that have gone into the archives of romantic fiction. Starting, of course, with our own Precious Gems. What an uproar there was about being paid a flat fee without royalties. I remember hesitating (but not long!) before signing the contract. I kind of chuckle about that now, because there are a few books in my dozen that have made less money than that first one.

Somewhere there was a line called Duets. They were funny and there were two stories to a volume.

There was Meteor. Kismet. Omnibus. The original Loveswept.

I loved Second Chance at Romance books. I don't remember the publisher, but I still remember exactly where the new issues would be on the rack at the drugstore. I bought every one of them.


I was so thrilled when Harlequin published the "Next" imprint, aimed at older readers and more about women's fiction than romance. It was probably my favorite line ever, and it only lasted for 100 titles. Which, I might add, are still available digitally and still just as good as they were when they first came out.

Even shorter than Next was Everlasting Love and Signature. Precious Gems author Holly Jacobs said about Signature that it "was gone before the first books hit the shelves."

What were some of your favorites?


33 comments:

  1. I liked Harlequin's Flipside line that was shorter books with light humor and the covers were whimsical. I could spot them right away and enjoyed the stories.

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    1. I think I remember those--did they have cartoon covers?

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    2. Well, I wouldn't call them cartoons. I guess they were drawings rather than photos or art images, though.

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    3. I think they were referred to as cartoon covers, though, because of the drawings. Anyone else know?

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  2. I can't think of any, Liz, but I did want to wish you a very happy release day, and much success with Every Time We Say Goodbye!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I do love release day, even on April Fool's. :-)

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  3. Congrats on the new release, Liz! I love hearing good news in the publishing world. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Becky. My problem is I'm not always sure what's good and what's not!

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  4. I thought "all" books released on Tuesdays. I thought you might be kidding about a Friday release?

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    1. Really? I've never heard that! I think most Harlequins (mine, anyway) are the first of the month.

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  5. Happy release day!
    I don't remember specific Harlequin book lines, however, I DO remember sneaking my mom's Harlequins to read when she was outside! :)

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    1. Yeah, me, too, and they were harder to hide than the True Story magazines, which would slide right under the couch cushion without being seen. :-)

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    2. Ah. A blast from the past. I used to write for True Story.

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  6. Congrats on the new release! Hope you're taking the time to celebrate!

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    1. I may as well, because I certainly can't seem to settle down to doing anything else!

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  7. Congratulations and Happy Release Day!!!!!

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  8. Happy Release Day, Liz! I remember all those lines. Flipside did have the graphic image cartoon covers. You mentioned Second Chance at Romance. I believe that was actually called Second Chance at Love, but I can't remember which publisher did that line.

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    1. Oh, you're right! I don't know where I got "romance" from. It was a definite favorite, though.

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  9. Congratulations on the new book, Liz! I'm looking forward to it. As you know, I'm a huge fan of your writing. I loved Harlequin's Flipside, as someone else mentioned above. The one I miss the most is Kiss, also by HQ. They folded about two years ago. I felt like the line was designed for my reading preferences and was seriously disappointed when it was gone. I'm still buying them online and have followed a couple of my favorite authors elsewhere.

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    1. I don't remember READing Kiss (too many books--too short of a memory), but I remember the huge disappointment when the line folded. That's how I felt--and still do--about Next. Gosh, you'd think they'd listen to us, wouldn't you? Thanks for coming by, Carol!

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  10. Liz, congrats on your release today, even if it is April Fools Day. :-) I hate to see any line close!

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    1. Hi, Pat. Me, too! And so many publishers have gone down, too. Sad.

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  11. Many hearty congratulations on your release today! That's terrific! I hated to see NEXT go--they were just my cup of tea!

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    1. I know--mine, too! Thanks, Nan. See you tomorrow!

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  12. Congratulations on the release, Liz! I think it's a perfect day to thumb your nose at whatever the past dished out and score a triumph!

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  13. Liz, congrats on your new book. I love that title! I really liked the Loveswept books too. And Second Chance At Love. I wrote one Next book and have the rights back to another--which I need to self publish. I was so sad when that line closed.

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    1. Oh, me, too. I'll have to look up your Next book. I have probably read it!

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  14. Liz, really enjoyed the "walk" down memory line with the publishing programs that have come and gone through the years. Some aren't lamented, but most had some great books and we as readers as well as writers really enjoyed them and were sorry to see them go.

    Hope the new book does fabulous!

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    1. Thanks, Jo. I will say, though, I think they're all lamented--by someone--because we know someone got hurt by their failing.

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  15. I used to write for Barbour Heartsong that ended about a year ago.
    The two I miss the most, that I purchased regularly, were Harper Monogram (never got around to submitted) and the old Loveswept. Leigh, I used to read True Story. I thought they were true, but then I was a pre-teen when I read them.

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    1. Oh, I loved Monogram! For some reason that I can't begin to explain, I read very few Loveswepts. I think I didn't happen onto voices I liked right away, because I sure liked some of them later!

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