When Harlequin announced that the Blaze line would be discontinued in 2017, we were near inconsolable with grief. There was word a new series would replace it, and at last we have some details! The publisher announced yesterday that they were launching a new series — their sexiest yet, complete with “highly explicit sexual encounters.” Harlequin Dare will launch in January 2018 with stories set in glamorous cities like Paris and New York as well as vacation-dream settings like Hawaii and the Amalfi coast. The tales will be released in ebook in North America and print in UK and Australia. Submissions details for the 50,000-word stories are available at Harlequin Submittable.
We, of course, had some follow-up questions (and we knew you would too) and Senior Editor Kathleen Scheibling kindly filled us in on all the details:
Dare is billed to be Harlequin’s sexiest series yet— how did your reader base inspire this shift?
The sexy contemporary category in romance is very crowded, so this needs to be a series that stands out! We’ve worked really hard to find talented authors who write stories that readers will respond to with a deep emotional connection. And some eyebrow-raising sex!
We are firming up the first six months of Dare books and are thrilled about our authors. We’ll be announcing the launch authors soon … I’ll tease you by telling you we have incredibly sexy stories from Maya Blake (writing as Zara Cox), Katee Robert, Anne Marsh and so many more. Some stunning debut authors, as well.
Will Dare be replacing Blaze?
Dare will be a unique series, with stories that are quite different from Blaze. But we hope that Dare will address a gap for readers who loved the sizzle that Blaze offered. I so loved working on Blaze! But we found the need to push the boundaries of sexual explicitness to satisfy readers looking for more intensity.
Why did you decide to make Dare ebook only in North America but print in UK and Australia? Any long-term plans to go to print in North America?
The UK and Australian print markets are clamoring for sexy editorial. We’re satisfying that need (ahem) because it’s what readers want. In North America, the sexy contemporary category lives most in ebook, so that’s the market we’re playing in here. We wouldn’t rule out publishing in print in North America if it made economic sense.
Why did you decide on the name Dare?
Coming up with a dynamic, punchy name that conveys sexy was deceptively hard! One important element was that the name had to work in North American and our global markets – specifically the UK and Australia, where Dare will be a very important part of the series business. Some words mean different things in different countries … which led to some hilarious conversations when we were brainstorming the name!
How can potential authors learn more?
Look for our workshop at the RWA national convention in Orlando this July: “Sex…If You Dare: How to Write Good Sex Scenes.” Acquisition editors — as well as some Dare authors — will be there to answer all your questions about the new series.
Keep an eye out for new and exciting reads from Harlequin Dare! In the meantime, why not enjoy some romantic reads on our Everything Romance page?