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Anything Can Happen!

by Susan Litman, Editor, Harlequin Special Edition

Fortunes of Texas fans know that this continuity has been around for quite some time – in fact, it started long before I came to work at the company, originally running under the name Fortune’s Children! Over the years it has appeared in a number of incarnations, but in 2009, The Fortunes of Texas found a home at Harlequin Special Edition with Return to Red Rock, and we’ve never looked back.

 It takes a lot to put together such an ambitious project, and it all starts with some research – namely, what has been done with the Fortunes family before, and are there any available family members we can spin off and pair up? (But of course!) Should we create an entire new branch of the family (In 2011, the answer was yes – which has given us a plethora of spinoff characters in the Atlanta branch of the Fortune family J!)  And what paces can we put the family through this time around? We’ve resolved the secrets behind long-lost family members, deep-rooted family secrets (including secret babies – always a favorite), had a tornado – and of course celebrated many weddings and babies with the Fortune family!

The FORTUNES have been connected by the families and the setting – the all-important town of Red Rock – has become a character unto itself, though that doesn’t mean we might not tweak the setting in the future.  The books feature members of the wealthy Fortune family (the Texas branch are wealthy ranchers and business tycoons – or both! – while the newer, Atlanta Fortunes are successful in the financial world, though of course they each find a new lease on life and romance waiting for them as they make their way to Red Rock – usually to talk one of their relatives out of falling prey to Cupid’s arrows!)  We also feature members of the Mendoza family, a local Latino family of restaurant owners, artists, ranchers and a tycoon here and there who have been longtime friends of the Fortunes. Some members of the Mendoza family have married into the Fortunes as well, and will continue to do so in The Fortunes of Texas: Southern Invasion, which launches this very month with HER NEW YEAR’S FORTUNE by Allison Leigh.  And of course, we’re constantly introducing new stand-alone characters who get involved with the Fortune family and find life in Red Rock to be just what they are looking for.

Once our editorial brainstorming is complete and the bible is written by the excellent Marcia Book Adirim (how lucky is she to have that name?), it’s time for the authors to take over. As the project editor, it is always a pleasure to work with the Fortunes team and watch these authors take the core bible and develop it into an outstanding series of books for our loyal readers to enjoy – books that fit beautifully into the history of this most excellent Harlequin franchise. And I’m so thrilled to report that The Fortunes of Texas: Southern Invasion is no exception to that rule! Starting this month through June of 2013, we’ll be continuing the story of the Texas and Atlanta Fortunes and their Red Rock neighbors, the Mendozas, as they make new friends, find new loves . . . and uncover some juicy family secrets. So please read on and join us on this terrific journey – we all hope you enjoy every word!

 Ask Susan a question OR tell us your favorite previous Fortunes of Texas book OR say which title listed below piques your interest the most and be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Nancy Robards Thompson’s 2012 book:  Fortune’s Unexpected Groom!  Remember the winner of the book will be posted on Sunday so check back then!



Allison Leigh

January 2013


Susan Crosby

February 2013


Marie Ferrarella

March 2013


April 2013


Cindy Kirk

May 2013


Crystal Green

June 2013


Susan Litman is the Editor for Harlequin Special Edition. She started reading in first grade and never stopped – and she’s got the (over)crowded bookshelves to prove it! In her spare time (what’s that?!) she reads cookbooks, watches Mad Men, Homeland and Top Chef and still obsesses over the unresolved mysteries of LOST.  You can follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/susan_litman or Facebook at www.facebook.com/susan.litman.5.



27 thoughts on “When Wealthy Texas Ranchers Meets Sexy Southern Charm . .

  1. Welcome to the Jaunty Quills, Susan! So happy to have you with us. I love ALL the Fortunes of Texas books. It’s a fabulous series. I feel so fortunate to have contributed to last year’s Whirlwind Romance collection. It was such fun working with you and the other authors as we brought the stories to life. I just started reading HER NEW YEAR’S FORTUNE, and I can’t put it down. It’s. So. Good. I’m looking forward reading all the others, too. Have fun today!

  2. Welcome, Susan! Great to see you here on the JQs. I love all the Fortune’s books and always gobble them up. Thanks for stopping by here today.

  3. Sandi in OH says:

    All the books in the series sound good. Can’t wait to read them.

  4. Laurie G says:

    I have enjoyed several books in this series. Several by Marie Ferrarella.

    I did like the introduction of the Mendosa family.

    Most intriguing title:

    A close second MARRY ME MENDOSA!

  5. Shana Shana says:

    Welcome, Susan! I live in Texas, so it’s always fun to read books set there.

  6. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:


    I love the setting of Red Rock (I wish I could steal it and make it my own)

    My favorite title is my own: Expecting Fortune’s Heir out in May!!

  7. Hi, Susan! I was always curious about those bibles…how much came from the editors, and how much comes from the authors. Very cool to read about it!

  8. Susan Litman says:

    Thanks for having me everyone – it is so great to be here! Kristan, that is a great question about the bibles. We do quite a lot of brainstorming and plotting in-house, but once we turn the bibles over to the authors, we’re happy to invite them to brainstorm as a group and let their fabulous creativity lead them wherever it might. The only caveat is that we cannot, of course, contradict any existing character histories or storylines, so we do have to tread carefully. Thanks to digital copies of EVERYTHING, I’m able to check details of names or character histories from bibles or books from past continuities fairly easily, which keeps us out of trouble. 😀

  9. Susan Litman says:

    Oops – I meant to add that the bibles really give us the classic Fortunes setting, detailed (VERY detailed! :grin:) family history, and setup for the new characters, as well as a book-by-book outline, but we definitely want each author to bring their voice and talent to their book. If you read Southern Invasion (or Return to Red Rock, or Whirlwind Romance) you’ll see not only a Fortunes of Texas book, but a Cindy Kirk book, or a Nancy Robards Thompson book, etc. Each author’s story bears the Fortunes mark, but also the author’s stamp – which is what we hope for!

  10. CrystalGB says:

    I have always loved the Fortunes of Texas series. I think all the books sound great. 🙂

  11. Rebe says:

    I’m from Atlanta, so I’m glad to see the series move to a new Southern city!

  12. Susan Crosby says:

    Hi, Susan and everyone–
    My book for The Fortunes of Texas: Southern Invasion comes out in a couple of weeks. It’s a Valentine’s story, and I had so much fun writing it. I LOVE the Fortunes, and the hard work that Susan and Marcia put into the bible is evident in all the stories. They are great talents. Allison Leigh’s heroine and mine are roommates, so emails between us were constant. We read each other’s scenes where our heroines had conversations to make sure everything was correct. We became good friends in the process, too!

    Long live the Fortunes 😀

    Susan Crosby

  13. Ann s. says:

    I haven’t read any of the Fortune books, but I love a series and getting to read all the wonderful authors sound great. I am really looking forward to Her New Years Fortune, it sounds like a great way to start off the year.

  14. Susan Litman says:

    So great to hear that everyone is enjoying the Fortunes of Texas! Long may they reign 😀 😀

  15. Stefanie D says:

    I haven’t read any of the books yet, but this title: MARRY ME, MENDOZA! absolutely spikes my interest. :mrgreen:

    1. Susan Litman says:

      If you like the title, you will really love the book. I divulge no spoilers. You’ll have to read . . . 😈

  16. Susan! Wonderful series, great blog! 🙂 It is amazing and exciting to watch the Fortune family grow and change through the years–and keep on delivering those unputdownable family stories we all love so much.

  17. catslady says:

    A Change of Fortune sounds like a rags to riches which is always a great plot!

  18. I love these books – especially how each author brings her own voice to this classic family series. Interesting to hear how Susan and Allison worked together on their ‘roommates’. Can’t wait to read!

  19. Jo's Daughter says:

    Series are great, I haven’t read any of these books though & placed a few on my wishlist 😀

  20. I’ve always liked connected stories! I think the Fortunes and Montana Mavericks are my favorites!

    I enjoy seeing the individual authors’ takes on the overall storyline!

  21. Oh, and “Hi!” to Susan! 😉

    1. Susan Litman says:

      Hi back to you, Stacy!

  22. Susan Litman says:

    So nice to hear what everyone loves about the Fortunes of Texas! Since I rarely get to creep out of my editing cave, feedback from readers is always wonderful – and helps us as we get started on the next round, too!

  23. Helen Lacey says:

    Hi Susan – I LOVE the Fortune’s series. What a fabulous list of books from such great authors. 🙂

  24. Susan Litman says:

    Thanks, Helen!

  25. bn100 says:

    Sounds like a nice series. EXPECTING FORTUNE’S HEIR sounds good.

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