At the same time, I noticed that most of the books I confiscated from girls who were sneakily reading in class were Mills & Boon (aka Harlequin), so we started reading and critiquing those, too. However, I hit a snag when I asked the head of department to stock M&B in the school library. She was shocked, shocked, shocked, though the school inspector urged her to consider it seriously. "Never!" she said.
Now, I have decided I was right. Undoubtedly inspired by the roaring success of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (you heard about it first here), Harlequin is launching a romance-for-teens series this coming April.
To help get input from teens, the publisher has set up the online Harlequin Teen Panel -- "hosted by none other than BFF Quin," they say (who on earth is she?).
Teens need to get parental sign-off before they can participate, but once a membership is approved, the panel will send participants free books and invitations to enter sweepstakes.
Excellent idea, say I. I can attest that it works. One of my reluctant readers became addicted to one of the books in my boxes, the first of the wonderful Anne McCaffrey Dragonflight series. As long as she was at school, she and I borrowed each other's books, and then she went on to an innovative career in film.