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Passion-filled pages for Kimani Press.

Kimani Press launched its new romance line this summer with four novels. The first four books (for July) were Solid Soul by Brenda Jackson, Her Secret Life by Gwynne Forster, Flamingo Place by Marcia King-Gamble--all veteran romance authors--and If Only You Knew by Gwyneth Bolton, a relative newcomer. Early sales figures show strong demand for the line, particularly Jackson's, according to those familiar with the market.

Launched in August were Love Becomes Herby Donna Hill; Someone to Love by Karen White-Owens, An Innocent Man by Deirdre Savoy, and A Lover's Pretense by Altonya Washington.

Kimani Press is the new home of the Arabesque, Sepia and New Spirit imprints at Harlequin Enterprises, the leading publisher of romance novels in the world. It plans to publish four new paperback novels each month under the Kimani Romance series, priced at $5.99.

Mavis Allen, associate senior editor at Kimani Press. "The series will include rich, realistic and emotional romances that feature innovative plots and appealing characters who have professionally made it and yet are still seeking love."

Linda Gill (pictured below), general manager of Kimani, who came with the deal when Harlequin bought the BET/Arabesque imprints, hopes the series will lure fans who favor romance over urban fiction. "While the current tastes for African American fiction includes quite a bit of street lit, we've heard from black women they want to see more sexy and sophisticated love stories that reflect their lives," declares Gill. "These captivating novels will provide all readers of romance with wonderfully passionate sensual first-love, reunion and second-chance romances ... including stories with older heroines!"

The new lines will reach new audiences and strengthen Harlequins strategic position, said Pare Laycock, the company's executive vice president, strategy and new business development.

Harlequin undertook a major marketing campaign through consumer and trade publications, including Black Issues Book Review, Romantic Times and others. In addition, the debut books and a preview sampler with chapters from the launch titles were distributed to readers at fairs, expos and festivals, including the Romance Writers of America, National Book Club Conference, Harlem Book Fair and National Black Nurses' Association this summer, according to Julia Shaw, consulting publicist for the line. The debut authors were on hand at RWA and NBCC for books signings. Kimani also sponsored a reception at NBCC, where the books received much "buzz" among black book club members.

Releases coming this fall are:

September 2006

Night Heat by Brenda Jackson; She's My Baby by Adrianne Byrd; Sweet Surrender by Michelle Monkou; Embracing the Moonlight by Wayne Jordan.

October 2006

Rapture by Sonia Icilyn; If Love Is Good to Me by Francine Craft; Finally, You and Me by Lisa Harrison Jackson; Secretly in Love by Loure Bussey.

November 2006

Saying All My Lovin' by Donna Hill; My Lover, My Friend by Shirley Hailstock; Sweet Southern Comfort by Candice Poarch; Sparks by Dara Girard

For more information on the series see: www.Harlequin.com.

By Angela P. Dodson: E-mail your news to angela4bibr@aol.com
COPYRIGHT 2006 Cox, Matthews & Associates
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Title Annotation:new novels launched
Author:Dodson, Angela P.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:499
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