I rarely tell you about a sale, but this is one that I was intimately involved with from it's conception, so I am overjoyed with the good news.
I had co-edited an erotic anthology and one of the stories really stood out for me (I loved them all). When I met the author at a reading for the book, I asked her what happened to the main characters after the story. She said she hadn't thought about it and I told her there was a novel in the story.
A few months later she sent me the first three chapters of the novel featuring these characters, and I began sending it out, knowing it was a a bit wild for the mainstream women's fiction market, but loving it just the same.
One publisher told me "there was too much sex." It's erotica after all, although the sex could have been muted or cut back.
Then I got a call from the author telling me that Harlequin (Harlequin!!! the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval of Women's fiction) had asked for more chapters. She sent in half the novel (this was a first novel, although the author has written hundreds of short stories). I emailed them to other houses who had the partial as well.
The Harlequin Spice line made a two book offer.
I was floored.
This was hardcore erotica about a 40 year-old duchess who runs off with the stable boy and there was a lot of sex between maidservants and eunuchs and all sorts of variations in between.
The other publishing houses all came in and said they loved the material, but weren't as daring as Harlequin.
I am soooo excited to see what becomes of this book.
It is a delicious erotic tale and Harlequin will get it into the hands of more women than I could have ever imagined.
I am thrilled for the author. I am thrilled for the state of erotic fiction in America (and Canada, I guess).
And I feel that a little piece of my reading taste made it into the zeitgeist.