Beginning with Issue
#29 of Laurie's
News & Views, I began to compile a
page of authors whom various readers feel passionately
about. These are authors who are buried treasures and
whom readers wish were brightly shining stars in the
genre. Sometimes new talent quickly rises to the top,
but in other cases, talent lies latent, waiting to be
discovered and savored. In an attempt to illuminate the
talent of these authors, here are some posts to kick
off this page, which ends with links to later columns spotlighting buried treasure authors and books.
Ann Klein (firstname.lastname@example.org): If your readers are looking for a great author of books set
after 1900, I recommend Elizabeth Villars. You'll probably
have to hit the library to find her books, but they are
excellent. She has a couple of contemporaries (which
are also good) but her best stuff is set in the first
half of this century. She also writes mysteries under
the name of Ellen Feldman. I believe her books are considered
women's fiction (vs. romance). They don't always have
HEA endings, some are more like bittersweet - but they're
always very satisfying.
Donna (email@example.com): I just love Barbara Boswell's books. They're funny, sexy, and
have witty dialogue. She also has great supporting characters
and sub-plots. The three books of hers I've read are:
Wicked Games (my favorite), Red Velvet, and Winning Ways.
I really hope she catches on with other readers - she's
too good to not be a big success.
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Anne Hayes Cleary (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Another author I think is under appreciated is Michelle
Martin. I have thoroughly enjoyed the regencies of Michelle
Martin. And, I also enjoyed her complex contemporary, Stolen
Hearts. I was amazed that an author who wrote so well about
the Regency period, could also write an intriguing contemporary.
Another under appreciated author I enjoy is Barbara Boswell.
She has and still does write categories (originally Loveswepts
and more recently Silhouette Desires) but she has published
three single mainstream books, all of which are on my keeper
shelf. (It's really a room with lots and lots of shelves but
I hate to brag) Wicked Games, Winning Ways, and Red
Velvet contained all the elements I enjoy in a "good read"!
Heather Deiss (email@example.com):
One author I really like but never hear anything about is Patricia
Camden. To my knowledge, she has only three books out.
The first two are a short series; the third is unrelated.
I can't remember the first two titles unfortunately, although
I think that Scarlett Kisses might be in there somewhere.
The third book is entitled Promise me Magic, and
no, it's not about a magician. Warning though, in her first
book, the love scenes between the villian and his _itch
are not for the squeamish. The love scenes between the
hero and heroine are quite nice however.
LLB: I checked
my reference book for books by Camden. They are as follows: Promise Me Magic (1995), and duo of Surrender in Scarlet (1991) and Scarlet Kisses (1992).
Joan Towey (firstname.lastname@example.org):
A number of years ago, my sister passed a book entitled The
Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick, an English author. This
particular book, and the two that follow it, are carefully
researched and discuss political situations in Britian during
the middle ages that are never discussed, ie the Welsh marcher
lords, the civil war between William the Conqueror's heirs
and realistic discussion of things like living off the land,
merchants and what serfdom was really like. She has also written
a few other books set in the Middle Ages, most notably Daughters
of the Grail. This book discusses a particular heresy which
was popular in France and how it and its adherants were dealt
with by the Church and political leaders. All this and romance,
too. I truly believe that Ms. Chadwick is the author who will
take romance onto the pages of the NY Times Book Review, if
only she could catch on in the US. She's a better writer than
anyone out there, even Laura Kinsale and Mary Jo Putney (who
are my other favorites).
Sally Simmons (email@example.com):
I really like Loretta Chase's newer books but she isn't too
prolific and the publisher did not return my email request
for when her next one will come out. I liked your column!
You always bring up interesting topics. (Sally, Loretta's next
book is scheduled for 1998 release.)
Buried-treasure authors I'd like to recommend: Eva Ibbotson
(for four books esp., A Company of Swans, The
Morning Gift, Magic Flutes, and A Countess
Below Stairs Elizabeth Linington (for one book esp., The
Anglophile - nicely romantic and well written book
set in 18C Dublin and of interest to anyone interested
in Irish history; first published 1950s and actually a
bit daring in sexual content for its day - though not very
explicit) The once-popular but now largely forgotten author
I'd like to recommend: Mary Stewart, for the romances she
penned before she got in to her well-known
Arthurian trilogy. Esp. recommended: The Ivy Tree.
Anne Cleary: (firstname.lastname@example.org):
An author I've long admired is Mary Spencer (Liming) who also
writes as Susan Spencer Paul for the Harlequin Historical
line. (There was a controversy about the Susan Paul name
so she has recently added the Spencer. . . interesting
story behind the name addition). Her medieval, The Vow,
featured a heroine who stuttered. Her "western", The
Coming Home Place was quite controversial because of
the hero's adultery. It's sequel, Fire & Water was
also enjoyable. The Bride trilogy for HH was exceptionally
well done in comparison to some other medievals from that
line, again IMHO, with well fleshed out characters, wicked
villains (I love really nasty villains) and very different
yet related plots.
Grace Aliff (email@example.com):
Being on the listserv gives you a false sense of intelligence regarding
romance. Most of the posters are extremely knowledgeable and
have shared favorite authors, so I sometimes assume in my head
everyone knows about them but of course they don't so I had
to think of authors I really like whose books are not found
in Target, supermarkets and drug stores readily or who may
not write too many books. I came up with a few: Jennifer Horseman,
Elizabeth Stuart, Mandalyn Kaye, Betina
Krahn, Denee Cody.
Rebecca Ekmark (firstname.lastname@example.org):
An author that I have recently discovered is Rita Boucher.
I don't read regencies too often, but I am so glad I picked
up a couple by this author. She creates characters that
are very personable, characters that I can cheer for and
that I care about for the length of the book.
Seeing your comments about your two favorite Harlequin Historical
authors made me want to write to you about my own personal
favorite, and that's Miranda Jarrett.
She is a wonderful, wonderful author, and though she seems
to always get good reviews and win awards (I'm fortunate
enough to recieve her newsletter, so that's how I know
about this), she doesn't seem to have gotten the push from
her publisher that you mentioned in your last page, and
I don't know why. Her books are very distinctive historicals.
Not only does she set all her books in colonial times in
America (at least the ones I've read, though I haven't
been able to find them all), but she writes about very
real people with real problems instead of more lords and
ladies. (which is my biggest problem with all the regency-time
books. Not everyone in the world is born a duke!) Her stories
always have very believable romances that are poignant
and full of adventure yet also have some humor in them.
Plus she really does her research, much like Diana Gabaldon.
You read her books and you really feel as if you're "back
then." Ms. Jarrett's books are all about one family, too,
which I also enjoy since you can check in from book to
book and see how the last hero and heroine are doing, how
many children they had, and so on. I hope that Miranda
Jarrett is one of those authors who is going to be on your "rocket" and
not one that is being stifled by lazy publishers. IMHO,
she is one of the best historical writers right now, and
I highly reccommend her to you and other readers. (So you
know who else I like to see if our taste is the same, I
also like Loretta Chase, Mary
Jo Putney, and Laura Kinsale probably best of all.)
Bonnie Malmat (email@example.com):
Hi! Like Soozie, I enjoyed the Miranda Jarrett books. Family
series are very appealing, and it is nice
to know what happened to characters that I've encountered
in other books. I've not picked up her new one yet (It's
supposed to be the start of a new series), but I had noticed
that her last two books were not quite up to the quality
of the rest of the series. I didn't know if it was because
she ran out of steam, deadlines or other problems happened,
or that she was moving to Pocket books. I'm looking forward
to her new book ----
Nancy Hosmer (firstname.lastname@example.org):
One of my favorite all time authors is Curtiss Ann Matlock.
I have read all of her books and enjoyed each and every
one of them. She always writes about down to earth people
in down to earth situations. Her two newest and longer
novels, The Loves of Ruby Dee and Love in A Small
Town are among my very favorite of all
time! The dialogue is witty and entertaining. I just wish
she was as prolific as another "famous" favorite of mine,
Karen Wheless (email@example.com):
I agree with you on several of your choices for "stars of the
future". Especially Catherine Archer - thanks for introducing
me to her books! There are many authors that seem to be on
the border - well known to us, but haven't crossed the line
to publisher success. I love JoAnn Power and
Mary Spencer for medievals. There are a number of Regency writers
who are well known to Regency readers, but not to others. I
consider Carla Kelly the best Regency
writer today. I don't want her to stop writing Regencies, but
I wish she could get some recognition for what she does best,
instead of being lumped in with all the other underpromoted
and badly distributed Signet Regencies.
Allison Gaines (firstname.lastname@example.org):
I don't know if you consider these particular authors "Buried
Treasures". I think they're great, though. Here goes:
June Lund Shiplett - For
her Journey to Yesterday and Return to Yesterday series
(I really enjoyed these two, and you don't see much of
Ms. Shiplett lately)
Barbara Bickmore - I love her Australia
books, Back of Beyond and Moon Below
Ross - Confessions and No Regrets were
great reads and kept me on the edge of my seat
Pamela Simpson - Partners
in Time and Mirror, Mirror were enjoyable.
I don't think she writes anymore. I really enjoyed her
books. If anyone is a buried treasure find, it is Pamela
Shelly Hill (email@example.com):
I must say that my buried treasure is Celeste Deblasis. Of
course trying to find one of her books is hard and usually
only found at your local library. Her books may not be
considered romances, but her characters always care deeply
and passionately for one another, sometimes after fifty
years. If that isn't romance I don't know what is. My favorite
book of hers , and my personal all time favorite, is The
Proud Breed. A story of two people who fall in love
and then spend their lives caring, fighting, raising their
children and just dealing with surviving. The way Miss
Deblasis writes about these people you can almost feel
the passion between these two, and what they go through
together and keep the love in their lives is to me what
romance should be about. Her Wild
Swan series is exceptional also and I would recommend
her books for anyone. Just one word of caustion. Even though
I know her books by heart I always end up crying anyway.
She makes you care deeply about these wonderful people.
Kate Smith (AAR
Danelle Harmon is loved on the bulletin boards, but it's hard
to find her on romance sites. Her books are emotional and witty,
and wonderfully written. She has grown so much as a writer
and is capable of such diversity. I've read almost all of her
books and have loved every one. Lovers of historical fiction
who enjoy an author who pays attention to historical detail
will love reading any of Danelle's books.
LLB responds: Perhaps
that is true at other sites, but I first interviewed
Danelle more than two years ago. And, you wrote a Desert
Isle Keeper Review of The Wild One, so maybe this buried treasure will become
more well known.
Mark Pottenger (MarkPottenger@msn.com):
All of these authors and books rate well on my 5-star humor
scale (actually negative, zero, and +1 to +5), and I don't
recall seeing their names mentioned much in my on-line
browsing to date:
Lee Damon aka Jane H. Look
I don't believe that Lisa Kleypas has gotten the recognition that she deserves.
She has come up with really unusual heroes and heroines and
often given them very unusual and fascinating occupations and
avocations. I am referring to her books set in England. The
only one I did not like is her most recent, Stranger
in My Arms. She more than makes up for it with Dreaming
of You, and Then Came You.
Another author who deserves more recognition
is Betina Krahn. Her early books weren't that unusual but about
4 years ago they got a lot more interesting. These titles are: Last
Bachelor, Perfect Mistress, The Mermaid, and Unlikely
Angel. In these, she takes a really fascinating development
in history and wraps an entire romance novel around it. She
covers everything from women's legal rights to ease in clothing
restrictions to the enlargement of the prostitution class and
Gladstone's efforts to eradicate...just great stuff and the
romance is wonderful as well. If you've only read her other
romances, you will barely recognize this as the same author.
I think Melinda McRae deserves recognition
for her historicals, not only her regencies. She wrote 2 I
loved: Sweet Rewards, set amidst the Women's Suffrage
movement in England, and Stolen Hearts about the development
of surgeons and physicians in England in the earlier 1800s,
including body snatching for anatomy work! The hero teaches
surgery as well as practices it (his family disowned him for
doing something so ignoble; they wanted him to be a clergyman).
These are 2 terrific books with 2 terrific romances!
LLB: Carol, Lisa
Kleypas is one of Avon's lead authors; she's very well known
and beloved amongst romance readers. Betina Krahn is a lead
author as well, perhaps not as well known as some others,
but way up there nonetheless.
Sharon Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Please add Judith Merkle Riley to your Buried Treasures list.
I highly recommend all of her novels, most especially A
Vision of Light and In Pursuit of the Green Lion.
Both of these novels tell the story of Margaret of Ashbury
(a heroine whom you'll absolutely adore) and her life and
loves. For me, it's rather difficult to classify these
books, which are clearly historical (medieval) but meander
through the paranormal (Margaret is a faith healer) and
the fantastical (one of her cohorts is an alchemist.) Ms.
Riley's novels are extremely well-written and researched.
I learned more than I expected about medieval English village
life while being enormously entertained. Other novels by
Judith Merkle Riley:
The Oracle Glass and The Serpent Garden. Both are excellent as well. I'm sure that I'm not
the only one who anxiously awaits Ms. Riley's next work.
Tanya Wade (email@example.com):
I just have to mention how stunning I think Megan Chance is.
I stumbled upon The Gentleman Caller a few months
ago, and was floored by her emotional writing. After some
wonderful suggestions from the listserv, I glommed what
I could find of her backlist and am eagerly awaiting her
next book in October. I don't read much about her, but
I'm so glad I found her. I just finished The Way Home,
and if this wasn't one of the most unique romances I've
ever read, I don't know what is. It had the bonus of two
beautiful 'poems', written by the h/h that had me in tears.
Her love scenes are very subtle, but she tackles some very
Post your comments and/or questions on the Let's Talk Romance Message Board
2008 Buried Treasures
2007 Buried Treasures
2006 Buried Treasures
2005 Buried Treasures
2004 Buried Treasures
2003 Buried Treasures
2002 Buried Treasures
2001 Buried Treasures
2000 Buried Treasures
1999 Buried Treasures
More discussion on
Buried Treasures in December 1999 edition of Laurie's
News & Views