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Harlequin Challenges Readers to Read


Harlequin is issuing a challenge to readers. Read and blog, collectively, 100,000 books at the Harlequin community and Harlequin will donate 100,000 books to the National Center for Family Literacy. The estimated retail value of the donation is $700,000 U.S.

At least 50% of the books need to be Harlequin (any subgenre). The remaining half bloggers discuss can be from any genre by any other publisher and ANY format is acceptable including ebook and audiobook.

You have to sign up for a blog at eHarlequin and obviously, have to record your reads there. I think it is an ambitious project and while not completely altruistic definitely has a good deed aspect to it that you cannot ignore, particularly when Bush is cutting funding to Reading is Fundamental.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jill Myles
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 14:46:50

    That sounds really neat. I might just check it out since I’ve been reading a lot more Harlequin lately.

    Very cool of them.

  2. Wendy
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 14:56:23

    I know some people doing this. I probably should have signed up given the obscene number of Harlequin books I have lying around, but I’ve never been able to get a handle on Harlequin’s forums. There’s something about the format that confuses me – although admittedly, I’m rather easy to confuse.

  3. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 14:59:06

    Wendy, I’ve been thinking about doing this too because it is a) for a good cause and b) I read more Harlequins than I review and I could put up probably two paragraph reviews and c) it is for a good cause. We could put a team together. I think it said something about that which I admittedly didn’t read carefully. Will tonight.

  4. Patrice Michelle
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 15:05:57

    If you haven’t been to lately, they do have a new forum set-up that they started up at the beginning of this year.

  5. Wendy
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 15:06:42

    Yeah, you sign up in teams. I just browsed through the group I “know” and most of their reviews are a couple of paragraphs. Let me know if you decide to do it – I probably could be persuaded.

  6. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 15:10:22

    We would have to come up with a name. You are clever with that. And rope Rosario into doing it with us. She reads alot of Harlequins. Would we set a team goal? Should we solicit commenters to come and do this with us? I wonder if I could copy some of my reviews here over there because I could pledge like 10 a month or so. I think I can read 5 harlequins a month.

  7. Sara Dennis
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 15:11:48

    I have a blog over there, though since I’m reading RITA stuff I haven’t been blogging my reads, but I did it last year and it was a lot of fun. It’s also interesting to see what the most popular reads are.

    I think a Dear Author team would be a lot of fun, too!

  8. Wendy
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 15:22:47

    Oh Lord – you expect me to come up with a name? LOL This mission could fail before we even get off the ground.

    I’m hesitant to make an official pledge, only because I’m happily skipping around the TBR pile at the moment – although I can easily squeeze in one or two HQ-published books a month. I say solicit interested commenters, the more the merrier….

  9. Gina
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 16:46:18

    Thanks for the info, I joined and posted my first today. I’m not a big Harlequin reader but I can fall somewhere into the other half of the books needed. Now when my mother tells me I’m wasting my life in “those trashy” books, I can tell her I’m doing it for a good cause!

  10. Lorie
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 16:52:20

    I’m Lorie, the web host for the Book Challenge.

    I’m a blog junky, I admit it, and I lurk here from time to time because I enjoy reading your blog. So imagine my pleasure at popping in to get my fix today, and discovering this post.

    I came out of lurk mode because I wanted to touch base and tell you that you are most welcome should you wish to join us, and I wanted to address a couple of the questions I noticed, and any others you have.

    First, teams are welcome. We do ask that you devise your own team name to be used as an identifier tag. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something y’all feel suits you.

    And yes, you may cross post your reviews. I do it myself.

    The ideal review really is just a couple of paragraphs. We want to know who wrote it, who published it and when, what the book’s about, and did you enjoy it, why or why not?

    Also, there is no need to pledge a specific number. We are well accquainted with the way real life likes to mess with reading and posting time.

    Every book reviewed brings us that much closer to making our goal and helping the Family Literacy program.

    And Wendy, the forum has changed in recent weeks. The review process is now considerably easier to understand and y’all get your personal profile pages as well as the ability to get rss feeds and add forum posts to your favorites.

  11. azteclady
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 17:09:06

    Lorie, I just posted about this at another forum that I belong to–may I copy your comment over there, to answer potential questions from the members?

  12. Jill Myles
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 17:34:04

    Jane, your team should definitely be called the ‘Mean Girls’. ;)

  13. Lorie
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 17:39:28

    Azteclady ~ Be my guest.

  14. Wendy
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 19:35:25

    Oooh, Mean Girls is good. I was thinking of a take-off of an HP title. We could be The Greek Tycoon’s Secret Mistresses ;P

  15. Keishon
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 20:15:10

    Sounds like fun but I couldn’t read more than one a month.

  16. Jackie L.
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 20:41:08

    Let us know if you set it up. There’s a Harlequin I wanted to buy, but I talked myself out of it because it’s hardbound. However, if I can do it for a good cause. . .

  17. Michele Lee
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:00:50

    I’m in.. there’s just one problem.. I don’t think I have a Harlequin book on my shelf. I’m just beginning to dip into romance. I do however keep a review blog ( so I have a number of reviews to offer. If you all are doing a group count me in and I’ll donate the reviews that I own rights to to the group.

    Oh, yes, and can I have permission to repost this?

  18. KCfla
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:23:12

    Well, I would be willing to put into this as well. I’m not too experienced in review for “pubic consumption” but I love the idea of donating to the cause.

    And I read about 5 books a week, so a couple of HQ’s should be no problem

  19. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:28:54

    I’ll make up a team then and put up a notice tomorrow for anyone who wants to join the “group.” It can’t be mean girls though. Lord, the flack we would take for that. Wendy, I know you are super creative, so think up a better name!!!!

  20. azteclady
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:33:59

    Jane, I’m trying to set up another group, but if I don’t get enough people, would you accept those reviews for the one here?

  21. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:49:15

    I signed up. Apparently all you have to do to be part of a “team” is put the team name in the Tags. and it is also apparent I can’t write a review in 2 paragraphs. Sigh.

  22. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:50:16

    Sure, azteclady. We can all be one big happy group/team/whatnot.

  23. azteclady
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 21:51:44

    Thank you, Jane!

  24. Wendy
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 23:03:28

    Jane, you are grossly misinformed if you think I’m creative. I love the idea of using an HP-style title as a name, but that admittedly makes it too long. We could always go with something more generic. Uhhhh, just brainstorming here so some of these probably really suck (OK, I know they really suck): The Blogging Divas, The Book Bandits, The TBR Queens, The Secret Babies (Ha!), The Virgin Secretaries (Ha!), We Heart Tycoons – OK, I need to stop now, this is just getting sad……

    Help me out people! The pressure! She is killing me!

  25. Jane
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 23:06:07

    I’m pretty sure that “forced” needs to be in the title. The Billionaire’s Forced Secretary/Mistress/Virgin Bride. Hmm. How about a play on Julie Cohen’s book: his for the taking. We could be Theirs for the Taking. Or BFBs (Billionaires’ Forced Brides). Maybe we’ll make it a contest. I give away Fictionwise GC for best team name.

  26. Robin
    Feb 07, 2008 @ 23:55:50

    How about “The Billionaires’ Secret Babes”?

  27. Anonym2857
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 00:18:19

    I looked around but must have missed the page detailing the rules/criteria about the books — did anyone see if the half that consists of Harlequin books needs to be current reads (still in circulation) to count toward the category goal, or will out of print ones count as well?



  28. azteclady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 00:24:16

    I found a set of Rules for the Book Challenge, but it doesn’t make clear whether all books have to be released this year, or simply currently in print, or what. That’s an important question, methinks.


  29. Sara Dennis
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 01:01:45

    The books don’t have to be recent releases. They just have to be HQ/Sil. books.

  30. azteclady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 01:05:10

    The books don't have to be recent releases. They just have to be HQ/Sil. books.

    But… actually, the rules say that only half of them have to be Harlequin from any line.

    As for the rules, we'll keep them simple.

    We ask that a minimum of 50% of the books you read come from one of our imprints: Harlequin, Silhouette, Spice Books, Mira, HQN, Kimani Press, Steeple Hill, Red Dress Ink, Luna, and Worldwide Library.

    I’ve been trying to find if there was some post or comment specifying year of release or some such, but I’m getting confused navigating the forums.

  31. Sara Dennis
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 01:19:42

    Right, yes, 50%. I was just answering the year of release part.

    If you take a look through the book challenge entries, there are current books and older books. Several people this year are cleaning out their TBR backlogs, and haven’t been told that’s not allowed. They really don’t have to be current.

  32. Ann Bruce
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 01:53:45

    I, um, *cough* have half a bookshelf of Harlequin/Silhouette romances.

    I generally finish 3 books a week. Reviews, however, might be a little more difficult.

  33. Jules Jones
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 07:20:03

    I’ve been thinking I ought to try some Luna titles. Wonder if Waterstones in town has any…

  34. Lorie
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 10:07:30

    LOL @ the titles Wendy, and you said you weren’t creative.

    Jane ~ The length of the reviews are entirely up to you. I suggest 2 paragraphs to reassure those who fear having to write something longer.

    Diane ~ Because we are continuously releasing our backlist as ebooks we do count out of print books.

    This is the Book Challenge Forums and these are the posted Reviews. Between the two you should find answers to your questions. If you don’t find an answer please feel free to email me at [email protected]

  35. Cady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 11:36:54

    I have been the Challenge for three years now and love it. It has added a variety of books to my TBR – both harlequin and non-harlequin. I would highly recommend it as it is a fun site with lots of community.

    Cady – who many just lurks and enjoys reading this site.

  36. Michele Lee
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 18:43:33

    So where do I send my reviews to add the the Dear author team?

  37. MaryK
    Feb 09, 2008 @ 00:04:21

    “Dear Harlequin” ??

    I’ve been wanting to develop my reviewing skills. Did you decide if the DA team was open to commentors?

  38. Jane
    Feb 09, 2008 @ 00:08:43

    Yes, definitely. I’ll post on Sunday about the “team concept” and make sure I have all the rules down. We’ll run a contest to get a name. Maybe Robin will win :). And then we all need to get writing and reading! I’m kind of excited because I plan to use the Harlequin blog to talk about books, both new and old, that might not get attention from a more mainstream reading group i.e., ebooks, debut authors, aa authors, and the like.

  39. Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary » Dear Author Takes Up Harlequin’s Reading Challenge. Who’s With Us?
    Feb 16, 2008 @ 23:25:42

    […] week, Harlequin sent bloggers an email letting us know about the Harlequin reading challenge. If readers read and blog about 100,000 books in 2008, Harlequin will donate 100,000 books to the […]

  40. Jayne
    Feb 26, 2008 @ 14:23:16

    Hi ladies,

    Jayne from the community here. I just want to clarify that we ask for a minimum of 50% of the books be Harlequin/Silhouette. If you choose to read/blog from our imprints exclusively, more power to you! And if you register with Lorie ([email protected]), she’ll be sending you a monthly email with a 10% off coupon to apply to purchases on eHarlequin to help you with those book purchases. That combined with our FREE book Friday’s makes keeping up with the challenge easier on the pocket book.. :-)

    Cheers, and thanks SO much for your support!

  41. Gina
    Feb 26, 2008 @ 14:30:31

    That combined with our FREE book Friday's makes keeping up with the challenge easier on the pocket book.. :-)

    I didn’t see that on eHarlequin’s website – where do I sign up?

  42. Lorie-eHarlequin
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 15:06:09

    Hi everyone.

    I’m popping in for two reasons. The first being to remind you that it is nearly the first of the month, meaning that my monthly email containing the mini challenge and coupon code will be going out. If you wish to join and avail yourself of this discount then I need for you to email me ([email protected]) and confirm your participation.

    At the very least I require a list of names and emails for the folks on your team. I cannot send the email to you otherwise.

    I’m also going to answer Gina.

    You don’t need to sign up for Free Book Fridays specifically. We do offer a different free book every Friday, so if you place an order with our print store, then you get the free book.

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