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Harlequin: Surely, you jest

Harlequin Enterprises, one of the most well-known and respected names in romance publishing, caused quite a furor a few days ago with its announcement of a self-publishing venture, Harlequin Horizons.

This has authors and agents ranting about predatory practices toward uninformed wannabes, and tarnishing the Harlequin brand for its paid authors. For great level-headed coverage and an explanation of the whole ordeal, check out the pubrants blog.

My inbox has been overflowing with emails from the author loops I'm on, with every reaction from mild disappointment to downright fear. Especially since RWA and the Mystery Writers of America both revoked Harlequin's status as a legitimate publisher.

Right now, the situation is still fluid, and I'm guessing that in a few weeks–when the emotions aren't running so high–everyone's questions will be answered, and some sort of compromise will be reached that satisfies both sides.

In the latest round, Harlequin has decided to remove its name from the venture, but the conflict of interest still exists, so the controversy isn't over yet.

I'm not in the Chicken Little camp, but I'm not ready to let Harlequin off the hook, either.

The Daily Squirrel: Arizona

It was hot. The scorched, dry air stole her breath as she stepped out of the air-conditioned building onto the soft asphalt of the parking lot. Immediately, sweat trickled down her back and beaded on her nose. Her legs felt baked as if she were standing next to an open oven door. It might be a dry heat, but it didn't matter. Dry or not, it was stinkin' hot.