WRAL.com at the State Fair

Finding a little love at the Fair with Harlequin

Posted October 20, 2010 5:22 p.m. EDT

You may have noticed the red tent on one side of Dorton Arena staffed with folks in cowboy hats. They're giving away copies of Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, a romance from Harlequin's "Intrigue" series of paperbacks.

(If you're not familiar with Harlequin, it's a romance company that publishes several different lines, including historical, paranormal, and mystery/action series like Intrigue. Did you know Harlequin celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2009?)

That tent has a lot of books! In fact, Michelle Renaud, Senior Manager of Public Relations at Harlequin, told me the company was planning to distribute 160,000 copies of the book at our Fair. From what I saw of people strolling along with the book in bags, back pockets, and in one case tucked into a belt, I think it's made a good start (though that's still something like giving the book to 20% of the people who come to the Fair.)

This is the first year Harlequin has done a book giveaway at state fairs. Ours is one of only four in which the company participated: Minnesota, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina. The company does hope to continue doing giveaways at fairs in 2011.

I hope they come back to ours, but maybe with a different book. Hey Harlequin! How about something from the Superromance line?