Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hello American!

Today Donna Alward joins us to talk about making the move from Harlequin Romance to Harlequin American with her new release, HER RANCHER RESCUER.

A little over a year ago I had a series of phone calls from my editors and agent about making a shift within Harlequin. I'd spent six years and over 20 books writing for Harlequin Romance; but the feeling was that from an editorial standpoint, I'd be a better fit in American. Considering that American publishes a LOT of cowboys and ranchers, it made sense. And of course, when I'm not writing ranchers I'm writing soldiers, and that fits too.

The differences in my writing are so subtle it's not even funny. Basically it comes down to this: I can leave the bedroom door open if I like, which I couldn't with Romance. The word count is approximately 5000 words longer, which is no biggie. And the biggest adjustment for me by far was that I now have to set my books in the US instead of Canada.

I was always really proud of how my books were set in Canada, and I miss that a little. Still, when you think of Alberta and BC, Montana isn't much of a stretch. And my June book, which is part of a continuity, is set in Texas. :)

But the tone, the voice, the CORE STORY of my books is the same, which means that transition hasn't been hard and I still feel very much at home. They are similar enough that my first book with American is also my last book in my Cadence Creek Cowboys series.

Now. That did require some creative thinking. My book had to be set in the States BUT it was also a series set in a Canadian town of Cadence Creek. I also already knew the characters - Jack Shepard and Amy Wilson. Canadians.

After some brainstorming, I gave sports store mogul Jack an  Adventure Ranch in Montana. It operates as a corporate retreat, and companies from all over the US use it for team building. He's in a bit of a bind and Amy volunteers to help him out, which means the bulk of the story happens south of the border. :)

Add in some fun stuff like dog sledding, snow shoeing and sleigh rides, and it really was a lot of fun to write, no matter where it was set.

Here's the blurb for a little taster:

Small-Town Girl, Big-Time Crush

Amy Wilson longs to escape the pointed barbs and knowing looks that come with having a certain reputation in a small town. A temp job with CEO and rancher Jack Shepard seems to offer a way out, if only she can stay focused on her goal.

Former world-class athlete Jack is as relationship-phobic as they come, so he's not worried that the soul-shattering kiss he and Amy shared will affect their working partnership. She's a girl who's going places, but Jack starts to wish that maybe he could tag along for the ride….

And look for upcoming stories later this year - including a digital-only exclusive prequel to the Texas Rodeo Barons continuity, THE TEXAN'S BABY, book 1 in the Texas Rodeo Barons, and a brand new trilogy beginning late 2014.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful book! I think you are a great fit for the line!

    susan meier

  2. Welcome to Harlequin American Romance, Donna! Looking forward to more great reads from you.

    Leigh Duncan
    Second Chance Family, Feb 2014

  3. Welcome, Donna. Looks like a great read and a perfect fit for Harlequin American.

  4. I'm adding my welcome, too. You'll fit right in and American readers will love your books.