Today in YA History: July 28, 2009 – Harlequin TEEN imprint founded!

July 28, 2009: Harlequin premieres new Harlequin TEEN Imprint with “My Soul to Take” by Rachel Vincent!

The 60-year-old publisher–a staple in the romance genre for decades– has come a long way since their days as a paperback reprinter. With 9 imprints in the Harlequin Category romance, plus 14 other imprints in 3 other categories, and 8 Other imprints, it was only a matter of time before Young Adult romance had its own place!

Harlequin TEEN titles have been developed for readers who liked the Twilight Series, since the hunger for young adult spiced with supernatural romance has taken the book buying public by storm. Indeed, according to the Association of American Publishers, sales of YA hardcovers had been up 36.4% through that May.

Harlequin’s new imprint was a smart move then and continues to be today as they add more teen-favorite titles to their list such as The Iron Fey Series (a twist on the realm of faeries by Julie Kagawa), The Goddess Test (Aimee Carter’s take on the Hades/Persephone myth) and The Girl in the Steel Corset (Kady Cross’ steampunk sensation that answers what an X-Men type might be like in the Victorian Era).

As Kathleen Adey of Romance Writers of America said in 2009, “The teen-romance readers of today are the adult-romance readers of tomorrow. Courting them when they are younger is probably a good thing.”

And the book that kicked it all off? “My Soul to Take” by Rachel Vincent! MSTT follows the story of a girl who can sense when people will die… which is a nice way of saying that she lets loose a death-scream whenever she knows someone’s going to kick it. In this, the first book in the Soul Screamers Series, Kaylee has received the attention of a popular boy by the name of Nash who knows a lot more about her ‘panic attacks’ than she does.

I haven’t seen too many banshee stories (been writing one myself!) so it’s excellent to hear that the first book out with the Harlequin TEEN imprint was one that didn’t rely on vampires and werewolves! Happy book-day to Ms. Vincent and congrats on two years of stellar Young Adult Romances to Harlequin TEEN!


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