Reader's Corner: Where Are They Now?

I didn’t get a chance to read and review The Spiderwick Chronicles and will save that for another day. So, I have come up with another topic that I hope will spark discussion: Where are They Now? There are certain authors whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past who now seem to have disappeared into obscurity. Many of these authors hit their stride in the late 80’s and 90’s and then vanished from the publishing world. What gives? Are they writing under another pen name that I don’t know about? Or have they unofficially retired? I mean what’s the deal?

my bookshelf

I’ve come up with a list of authors who I used to read but who have disappeared. If you have any info to share about their current status in the publishing field, do drop me a line as I am curious to know if they are still writing. Also, this post gives me a chance to spotlight the books I’ve read and enjoyed that maybe some of you have never heard of before. A trip down memory lane. I haven’t reread them so I don’t know if I would enjoy these stories today. You’ve been warned.

Bad Moon Rising by Katherine SutcliffeFirst up is Katherine Sutcliffe. Despite my half-hearted search on the ‘net for her status as an author, I have nothing to report. I personally thought she wrote excellent romantic suspense novels. Her heroines oft proved to be controversial but she wrote with plenty of verve and atmosphere. My first Sutcliffe novel was actually a historical romance called Dream Fever. It’s been years since I read it but I remember the hero was tortured. She wrote a lot of historicals and was just getting started with romantic suspense and then – nothing. Ms. Sutcliffe’s last published work was Bad Moon Rising. She had another book that was due to come but it never saw the light of day.

Mortal Sins by Penelope WilliamsonPenelope Williamson. If you’ve read this blog or know me or visited my about me page, her book, Heart of the West sits at the top of any list I put together. I love that book even though it is not perfect. Heart of the West is a frontier book and it just resonated with me on a level that is hard to explain. In case you didn’t know, Ms. Williamson wrote a couple of suspense novels set in New Orleans, featuring detective Daman Roarke. The books are Mortal Sins and Wages of Sin. The books do have a romantic subplot but I’ve only read the first book and have the second on my bookshelf. From what I remember, the romantic relationship in the novel was not the focus but the chemistry was nice. I’d always heard wonderful things about her historicals especially Once In A Blue Moon which sits on my bookshelf as well. I loved her contemporary novel, The Passions of Emma. Ms. Williamson always wrote with grace and style. Her books were always emotionally rich and I really miss her voice in romance fiction.

Elizabeth Elliott. Remember The Warlord? That was the only book from her that I read and I loved it. There is also Betrothed The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott(1996) and Scoundrel (1996). I own her entire back list–short as it is and glancing through used bookstore shelves, you’ll find a title or two but The Warlord is hard to find around these parts. Ms. Elliot wrote historical romances during the 1990’s. I remember The Warlord was such a hit back then. I haven’t read any of her other historicals and I don’t know when I’ll ever read them but I always wonder what ever became of her.

Remember the Time by Annette ReynoldsAnnette Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds penned a contemporary romance that I loved, titled, Remember the Time. It features a best friends to lovers theme and it was Ms. Reynolds first book and the only book she published. I remember being so engaged in the story that I just couldn’t put it down. Yes, it’s melodramatic and flawed but overall the novel was a page-turner for me. I’d heard from the author one time – a few years back that she was working on a project but I haven’t heard from her in awhile. She would be what I would classify as a “one hit wonder.” The reason why she left the publishing world was due to an editor disagreement.

Fallen From Grace by Laura LeoneLaura Leone. Ms. Leone still writes only she just doesn’t write romance. She doesn’t have an audience she says. Well, with the Five Star release of Fallen From Grace, a book about a male prostitute, romance fans were raving left and right about the book. Some even went looking for her backlist. Alas, she still doesn’t write romance. Her books tend to be a bit controversial with readers. It’s not everyday you have a hero as a male prostitute and even with Fallen From Grace, she still held back. Yes, the romance world would welcome Ms. Leone I say but you all may say something different. I loved her road romance, Fever Dreams, which is getting more difficult to find around these parts.

When a Man Loves a Woman by Alina AdamsAlina Adams wrote two contemporary romance novels, Annie’s Wild Ride and When A Man Loves A Woman. She no longer writes romance. She’s now writing cozy Ice skating mysteries under the same name. I’ve read three of the books thus far in the series and find them entertaining with a mystery that is not very challenging. I only mention her because I remember how popular her first book was or should I say how controversial the hero was in the book of Annie’s Wild Ride. I think it was a marriage in trouble type theme. I’m too lazy to look it up. I never read her romances but just in case readers were ever curious about her, she writes cozies now.

Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevas – MIA. Love her voice and miss it. One of the best writers of romance fiction and she no longer writes. It is depressing to even say out loud. Top favorites: Bliss, Dance, Beast and The Proposition.

Laura Kinsale is the standard of which I compare all historical romance writers. She is the queen of angst and of character flaws. Her prose is lyrical and her novels are to be devoured and reread again and again. Her heroes are Shadowheart by Laura Kinsaletortured and flawed or as one reader said “too flawed.” Kinsale’s last book was released back in 2004 and that book was, Shadowheart, the sequel to For My Lady’s Heart. My favorite Kinsale novels are Flowers From the Storm, Prince of Midnight and The Shadow and the Star. She is currently without a publisher and that is too disheartening to say out loud, too. I still haven’t read Dream Hunter but I will. *I did email Ms. Kinsale and she said that she is currently working on updating her website and if there is any news to be shared it would posted there.

The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie OsborneMaggie Osborne, as I heard it has retired. She wrote many historical romances but I loved The Wives of Bowie Stone. Love. That. Book. I don’t often list it on a top ten list but it’s up there. The heroine in the book is an alcoholic and the hero she saves from being hung, is already married. The hero was sentenced to death and could only be pardoned through marriage. It was due to some kind of law where men were needed for labor. The book has long since been out of print but it’s worth finding it.

I could go on and on as there were many, many excellent writers from the good ole days. The Golden era of romance where it seems that every book was a hit. Sigh. I still have quite a few books from that era sitting in my TBR pile. Ok, talk to me. What authors do you miss most? What authors from the 90’s do you still enjoy today? What up and coming authors are you excited about today? I wonder if readers will reflect on the books of today with the same nostalgic feeling of greatness and fondness of the 90’s?

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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13 Responses to Reader's Corner: Where Are They Now?

  1. Wendy says:

    Maggie Osborne has definitely retired, despite my repeatedly begging her not too. When I spoke with her many moons ago (RWA in Reno – 2005?) she was looking forward to spending time with her family. Bah! Like they need her more than I do!

    Katherine Sutcliffe is also retired. I read on a writer’s group blog (Murder She Writes, if memory serves) that she’s happily retired and raising horses. And let me tell you, it broke my heart – because I really thought she has insane potential as a romantic suspense writer. Alas, I’ve never read any of her historicals. Lurved Bad Moon Rising….

  2. Phyl says:

    I haven’t read any of Katherine Sutcliffe’s RS novels, but I certainly loved her historicals and I went to a great deal of trouble to buy up as many of them as I could. I am sorry to hear she’s retired.

    I’ve never read Maggie Osborne. I guess I should, huh?

    Another author I have wondered about is Danelle Harmon.

  3. Brie says:

    As soon as I began reading this post I thought: Laura Kinsale. I love her work (Flowers From the Storm is my absolute favorite) and really wish she was still writing. I can’t believe she doesn’t have a publisher, that is a shame. I hope some publishing company takes advantage of this woman’s talent and signs her soon.

    I’m sad to admit that I haven’t read any of the other authors you have listed here, but I will be looking into their back lists now.

  4. trisha says:

    I’ve read a couple of these authors, but the main thing that comes to mind is that some of these books need better titles! I can’t remember the titles of the books I read by Sutcliffe and Elliott. I had to go look up Dream Fever because at first I thought it was the one I really liked (it wasn’t) about the scientist’s daughter in the Amazon…

    Leone’s Fever Dreams is available on Fictionwise. At least, I bought it there a couple of years ago, after reading Fallen From Grace and thinking to myself that I needed to read more of her books. I did pick up a couple of her series books at a booksale last year, and they were pretty good (for their age, at least), but not great. I’m waiting for her urban fantasy series under the Laura Resnick pen name to be continued. After Luna dropped it, she said on her website that it was acquired by another publisher and it looks like it’ll be published next year.

    And I would add Denee Cody to the list. She wrote a couple of books in the ’90s, and as far as I know, that’s it. (Though I’m pretty sure I saw her mentioned in the acknowledgments of a recent book.) I’ve read The Conquered Heart a couple of times, and each time I read it, I like it more, going from “really like” to “really, really like” to “love the book.”

  5. Avid Reader says:

    Yes! Denee Cody! I have some of her historicals in my TBR pile. She was good.

    As for Danelle Harmon, I loved The Beloved One. I read the first one in the series, The Wild One. While her books are sexually explicit, some of them are very good books with half-way decent characterizations and emotionally stirring. Yep, her books were pretty good. Last I heard from her was that she was taking time off for personal issues.

    Wendy, it just breaks my heart to read that Sutcliffe has retired. Sigh. She was awesome.

    Brie – you and I are on the same page – Flowers From The Storm was the best but you know what? The Shadow and the Star was also awesome. You need to read that if you haven’t.

  6. icedtea says:

    I’m still hunting down Judith Ivory’s backlist, but I’ve read the reason she’s MIA is due to health issues.

  7. Ana T. says:

    I loved most of those authors… I heard Denee Cody was writing historical fiction but that was a while back…

  8. CindyS says:

    I didn’t know that Sutcliffe had retired. I loved almost every one of her books (the infamous one with no ending almost killed me).

    I figured Kinsale took a long time to write and would be out sooner or later.

    I miss Lavyrle Spencer but I believe she is retired.

    Megan McKinney wrote some seriously angsty historicals that I loved in the early 90s. I think she wrote a few Harlequin books there a few years ago but I don’t know what happened there.

    Kathleen Kane is an author I wish would return. One of the pioneers of paranormal romance. Historicals (westerns) set with aliens and angels.

    I know there are plenty more but I can’t think of them right now.

    CindyS

  9. Rosie says:

    Ditto on Sutcliffe. In fact I sighed when I saw that cover before I even got through your post. Penelope Williamson HEART OF THE WEST…me too! I think I still have BLUE MOON too. I’ve written down the PASSIONS OF EMMA, I’m gonna go trolling for that one.

    What a great trip down memory lane.

  10. Avid Reader says:

    Hey CindyS – ditto on LaVyrle Spencer and I haven’t read all of her books either. I still have a few that I hope to tackle one day.

    Rosie – I hope you enjoy The Passions of Emma. Great book.

  11. LesleyW says:

    I am not an historicals fan, but Maggie Osborne is my exception to the rule. I love her stories. The Wives of Bowie Stone, The Seduction of Samantha Kincaide. Her characters make mistakes and they feel real. She does not write Mary Sues. Any time she wants to come out of retirement I’ll be waiting with my purse ready to buy.

    And I’m also waiting on Lisa Valdez’s next book which has been delayed. My fingers are crossed that we will get to read that story.

    LOL – for someone who doesn’t like historicals this post has been about nothing but.

  12. Maggie says:

    Did anyone ever find out whether Elizabeth Elliott was publishing any more books after The Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel. Once read an internet article where she indicated there might be a series of books around the Remington family in these 3 books. Despite looking on amazon and fantasticfiction.com every now and then I’ve never seen any new publications. Thanks for any info.

  13. Avid Reader says:

    Maggie: Did anyone ever find out whether Elizabeth Elliott was publishing any more books after The Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel.

    Yes, apparently she is. Her next project is tentatively titled, The Assassin. It is still in the editing process but she is very much on track to release another book after such a long hiatus.

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