Yay, glad you got into the Agora again! I felt bad putting Dabney to all that trouble for me, and I hate to say I was glad whatever computer glitch that was causing the problem wasn’t something on my end. :-)
On the subject of queer romances-including asexual/demisexual- I’m glad to say you might see more contemporary variations soon. I was poking around Harlequin’s Submittable page the other day and noticed they are now accepting LGBTQ+ romances for their Harlequin Medical Romance and Harlequin Romance lines. Harlequin Medical Romance’s submission guidelines page now says, “We are looking for stories with a diverse range of characters, and are happy to see romances between LGBTQ+ characters.” Harlequin Romance recently added this bullet point on their page: “We are also happy to see LGBTQ+ romances that deliver the same feel of sweep you away romances in wonderful locations around the world.” So far, these notes only appear for those two lines, and they weren’t there at all when I looked before. It looks to me like they’re finally testing the waters a bit rather than keeping all non-m/f queer romances under the Carina Press and Avon imprints, but slowly. Eventually, they might open up some of the other lines too. Roan Parrish, for example, is set to do an m/m for Harlequin Special Edition that should be released in 2022, IIRC.
It’s interesting to me that Harlequin is starting to accept queer romance submissions just for those two particular lines, though. I have heard at least one Harlequin Medical Romance author complain the line isn’t as popular or promoted as the others, and I haven’t seen much pushing of Harlequin Romance either. In light of this, is it possible that Harlequin is trying to breathe some new life into their less promoted lines? Or are they testing out queer romances in two lesser known lines specifically because the threat of backlash would cause less of a dent in the bottom line than if they suddenly accepted LGBT+ entries for the more prominent Harlequin Historical, Desire, Presents, Intrigue, and Romantic Suspense lines? This is all just speculation on my part, but I’ll be curious to see how this plays out. Does anybody else have some follow-up thoughts or insights on this?