Buried Treasure Reads

I like booksAnd so it goes in that with the thousands and thousands of books published, some great voices go unrecognized or go under the radar. Such a pity too. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to read some really terrific books in my 18+ years of reading. Most of those books are by authors who are relatively unknown or not as popular.

It seems so unfair that everybody doesn’t love Roberta Gellis like I do. I just love, love, love her medieval series that features a whore who runs a priory guesthouse in the 12th century London and has no shame about it either. The series, starting with A Mortal Bane, are well written and have a nice and subtle romance in them.

Gellis also wrote an excellent historical romance (heavy on the historical parts) that has a hero who is good looking and completely unaware of it. “Fortune’s Bride” somehow incorporates a “marriage of convenience” in the middle of a war that had me on the edge of my seat. Gellis does tend to pay a lot of attention to her settings and her characters. Love her for it. The attention to detail in her historicals is truly appreciated.

Whatever happened to Penelope Williamson? I so enjoyed her western saga, Heart of the West. Be aware that it does feature a triangle of sorts. I know many readers are not fans of triangles but in here, it worked. She also wrote some great stories like The Passions of Emma and a couple of mysteries under Penn Williamson. I have The Outsider sitting on my shelf. Must read it soon.

The late Sandra Canfield wrote an excellent contemporary romance about a woman battling Rheumatoid Arthritis. The story was Night Into Day. I enjoyed the story and highly recommend finding it and reading it. As another reader stated, disability in romance, when done right, can be a rewarding and inspiring reading experience. And reading Night Into Day, you’ll see what I mean. Aside from that, I know some readers enjoy Catherine Anderson but I don’t. I find her stuff lackluster and lacking any fundamental human behavior.

There’s also Annette Reynolds’ Remember The Time that features not one but two themes: best friends to lovers and unrequited love. The story can be a bit melodramatic but Reynolds debut was her one and only book. She hasn’t written anything else that I am aware of at the moment. Sad since she could actually write a decent contemporary romance that didn’t bore me to tears.

Kathleen Gilles Seidel is yet another talented writer who deserves a larger audience. I enjoyed the two books I read from her, Till the Stars Fall and Don’t Forget to Smile. Most of her contemporaries and yes, most were straight contemporary romances are sadly OOP but they are so worth hunting down.

Then’s there Theresa Weir (who also writes suspense as Anne Frasier). She wrote some fantasitc romances during the 1990’s, Amazon Lilly, American Dreamer and Cool Shade to name a few right off the top. What I liked a lot about Weir was her prose style and voice. Plus it didn’t hurt that can write great chemistry, too.

Last but not least, Laura Leone. Laura. Leone. I once begged her to write more romances and she replied to me: but no one reads them! How sad. Readers scrambled all over themselves to read Fallen From Grace. I have a worn out copy of Fever Dreams (bought another one just for my bookshelf). Another talented writer who lacked an audience strong enough to give us more contemporary romance stories.

Enough about my buried treasure authors/reads. What authors do you love that you’d like to share with other readers? Authors who are relatively unknown and you think are just as good as the big name authors?

photo credit: faeryn

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Avid Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Buried Treasure Reads

  1. Tee says:

    I have a few authors whom I wish were more well known because, to me, they write a fine piece of material. I agree with you about Theresa Weir. My favorite of hers is “Long Night Moon.” I hope she’s been successful as Anne Frasier; but other than her first couple of books under that name, which were terrific, I no longer read her due to changes in story styles.

    Georgia Bockoven–now there’s a writer who knows how to draw great characterizations and develop wonderful stories. I don’t know why she’s never clicked out there, but she hasn’t. Her books are wonderful, the few that are around. Robyn Carr used to be on that list; but since her recent “Virgin River” series, she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves. Kathleen Korbel, Annette Broadrick and Pat Warren, who used to write (and maybe still do) for Silhouette, are also good authors who never got their due in my eyes.

    Good article, Keishon. I always wonder why some authors make it and some don’t. A few who obviously don’t have as much talent as others skyrocket to the top and the others don’t. But that’s my opinion and it may not represent what the majority are looking for in certain genres.

  2. Jorrie Spencer says:

    I loved Fall From Grace but that’s the only Leone title I’ve read. I’m also surprised Virginia Kantra–she’s written SIMs and single titles–isn’t read more.

  3. senetra says:

    I can’t believe you’ve only read two books by Seidel. Do you have others in your TBR pile or just don’t have them? I’ve read most of her books, but not all of them because once I’ve read them, I won’t have a “new” book by her to read. Kind of like Carla Kelly, but she’s being pubbed again, so yay!

    I don’t know if I have that Gellis book, but Ellora’s Cave’s Cerridwwen Press has it! Oddly enough, I have two copies of the Cornish Heiress and the Sword and the Swan.

    Wen Spencer is completely underrated, and I thought Robyn Carr was when I read her first trilogy.

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  5. Janine says:

    Totally agree on Kathleen Gilles Seidel — I haven’t read a single book from her that I would consider bad.

    I also liked Laura Leone’s Fever Dreams and Fallen from Grace, though I’ve heard mixed things about her categories. I think with Leone maybe the timing wasn’t right. Because I bet you if Samhain published a book like Fallen from Grace now, it would get some attention, the way Butterfly Tattoo has.

    I liked Wiliamson’s The Passions of Emma also. I need to read more of her.

    With Gellis, sorry, but the one I tried (I think it was Masques of Gold) I barely finished. It seemed impeccably researched but there were such long infodumps and the pacing was slooooow. I found the prose really hard to get through, though the heroine was likable. I may try Gellis again sometime, though — I’ve heard good things about Fires of Winter.

    Weir is sort of a mixed bag for me. Amazon Lily was okay. I liked another one, I think it was Cool Shade, better. It definitely showed freshness and originality, though it still wasn’t a keeper for me.

    I haven’t read Canfield or Reynolds. I should probably try them.

  6. Janine says:

    What authors do you love that you’d like to share with other read­ers? Authors who are rel­a­tively unknown and you think are just as good as the big name authors?

    Definitely the aforementioned Kathleen Gilles Seidel.

    Sharon Shinn I think deserves to be better known among romance readers, for her angel books especially.

    Elizabeth Chadwick has a great crusades-era historical fiction with romantic elements called The Falcons of Montabard. I also really enjoyed her medieval The Wild Hunt.

    Megan Chance had some great historical romances back in the day. A Candle in the Dark may be the best starting place. I think she’s writing mainstream historical fiction now.

    I remember loving a book called Merely Married by Patricia Coughlin. I have no idea where this author has gone but I adored that book.

    Ivory’s Cuevas books Bliss and Dance deserve to be better known. Alas, they are out of print.

    Ginn Hale’s m/m romance novellas in Wicked Gentlemen would be read by more people if I ran the universe. They have a strong suspense element so I think you would like them, Keishon.

    Eva Ibbotson’s books, most especially Madensky Square.

    Candice Proctor’s Night in Eden.

    Meagan McKinney’s historicals no longer hold up for me but her contemporary romantic suspense, A Man to Slay Dragons, has really stood the test of time.

    Patricia Ryan wrote some great medieval romances back in the day.

    Among more recently published romance authors, Carolyn Jewel deserves to be WAY better known. Scandal was one of the year’s best books IMO.

    Pam Rosenthal writes really thought-provoking and different books. I don’t love everything of hers but her last three works were all good. My favorite of hers is probably the novella “A House East of Regent Street.” I really badgered Jennie of DA into reading it and she finally did and enjoyed it.

    Lydia Joyce’s books aren’t all equally good but I thought that Voices of the Night and Wicked Intentions were quite good.

  7. Tee says:

    Janine said: I remem­ber lov­ing a book called Merely Mar­ried by Patri­cia Cough­lin. I have no idea where this author has gone but I adored that book.

    Yes, I read that one too and enjoyed it. Coughlin is also one of those authors who wrote for the Silhouette line and one whom I liked a lot.

  8. Janine says:

    Tee! Give me a high five! I thought there wasn’t anyone else left who remembered that book or Coughlin.

  9. Estara says:

    Can I plug some buried treasure fantasy authors?

    Sherwood Smith is mostly loved for her Crown Duel book, but that’s only one glimpse into the huge world of Sartorias-deles which she has dreamed of and written since she was a teenager. She had quite a few books published in recent years but they haven’t taken off like Crown Duel has (for the people who have read that, did you know that she published a prequel about Vidanric’s youth at Norilana?). I think she’s at least on a par with Tamora Pierce in her ya lines (at Norilana and Samhain) and her insight into military epic fantasy makes the DAW Inda series on a par with the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon and the books of Orson Scott Card. With all the love within the writing community at the moment she doesn’t have any other book under contract.
    Visit Amazon’s Sherwood Smith Page

    Much less prominent than Sherwood Smith is P.C. Hodgell who had the misfortune to become a darling of the small publishers in the 80s, getting writer’s block and having her small publishers die under her – her Kencyrath books who had a proactive epic fantasy heroine as early as the middle of the 80s are as epic, imaginative and wonderful a fantasy as the world’s thought up by Tolkien or Rowling.

    Or had you heard of a female being raised by the dark nemesis of her people and her world as a future bride for him – but in reality being the avatar of the destructive side of the three-faced god of her people (none of which she respects or is really interested in, she’d much rather connect to her only surviving family and survive the chaos she unintentionally leaves behind: stuff like researching the gods of a city which doesn’t belong to her people, managing through deduction and experiment to destruct one of them, being sorry for it and concocting a successful scheme with the only remaining priest of that god to resurrect said god?). By the way, Michelle West’s Demon child in her Sun Sword book series came later.

    From this year on you can not only get all of the series so far in ebook (God Stalker Chronicles) at BAEN, but they’ve taken her on as a print author as well, but she needs sales of the new book coming out next year – Bound In Blood (Seeker) – so the series will keep on being released! All the available novels are only $ 25 as ebooks, which is a pretty good deal, I’d say.
    Visit Amazon’s P. C. Hodgell Page

  10. Tee says:

    @Janine: High five, Janine!

  11. Ana T says:

    Hi, I’m a fellow Gellis lover (I actually found this post by googling her up) and I definitely agree that it’s very unfair that not everyone loves her like we do. 🙂

    I would like to suggest Denee Cody, she only wrote 4 books that I’m aware of but I enjoyed them very much.

  12. Avid Reader says:

    Ana T: I would like to sug­gest Denee Cody, she only wrote 4 books that I’m aware of but I enjoyed them very much

    I’ve read Denee Cody and YES, I agree she is excellent. I have maybe two of her medievals on my bookshelf. Darn, I should have put her on my list. She’s another great writer.

  13. Janet W says:

    Way too late to do this but here goes! Half of my keeper shelves are off my bedroom (ending at LAU for laurens …) so, and hoping cats doesn’t just mean Harlequins ’cause if it does I’ll look ridickulous 😀
    1. Velvet Bond, Archer … bought because it’s supposedly the best grovel evah
    2. The Boyfriend School, Sarah Bird, haven’t read: bought because of BWOM (blogwordofmouth)
    3. Her Ladyship’s Companion, Joanna Bourne, found it for $25 and considered myself lucky! It’s OK but fun because of her writing now 🙂
    4. Sweet Lullaby, Lorraine Heath … everyone said it was great and it was.
    5. Just an example: Mackenzie’s Mission, Linda Howard, could they be better? NO!
    6. Mad Dog and Annie, Virginia Kantra (see above!!!)
    7. A Scandalous Proposal, Julia Justiss … just run over to AAR Right Now and read their review of this: it’s awesome.
    8. Lightning Strikes/A Soldier’s Heart (PTSD story), Kathleen Korbel … why aren’t they re-issued?
    9. Bride of Emersham, Leslie Lance, my first and never forgotten Gothic with a capital “G”
    10. Do-Over, Dorien Kelly, not to take anything away from Julie James but this is a fantastic look at lawyers, partnership and the decisions we make when we’re young. I so wish we, as book readers, would reach back to our past … like to Do-Over … when we find a great new book/author. Pair ’em up!!

    OK, that’s it for now. Great blog topic. TY!

  14. KristieJ says:

    Ah yes!! Laura Leone. I wish she would write more romance too. And yep to Penelope Williamson. Once you read the book, you’ll have to watch the movie. It’s a very good book to movie. And yes, yes, yes to more romance from Teresa Weir. I have all her backlist now and I’m slowly making my way through it.
    Janine mentioned Candice Proctor and I agree – I miss her romances. A couple of others I miss
    Elizabeth Minogue
    Marsha Canham
    Kristen Kyle
    Leslie LaFoy

  15. Janicu says:

    Oh great, I haven’t heard of most of these authors and now I must look for them.

    I have nagged you about Dru Pagliassotti, but she’s not in the genres people are talking about here – she’s pure Fantasy I’d say (OK so are Sherwood Smith and Sharon Shinn, who I like too). 🙂 (nag nag).

  16. Estara says:

    @Janicu: You and me both. I have ordered lots of Seidel now – waiting for them to arrive.

    However *points up to the right* I thought mentioning fantasy authors should be fine since the blog owner reads fantasy, too ^^ – and anyway there’s romance in Clockwork Heart, even if it’s not the main focus of the story.

  17. Senetra says:

    I thought of some other buried treasure authors I read way back when.  Zebra Holograms were what me and my friends read, and two of my favorite authors were Patricia Pellicane and Millie Criswell.  Pellicane wrote some of the funniest westerns I have ever read.  Criswell wrote some good Colonials.  Jane Bonander wrote westerns for Pocket, and Barbara Boswell wrote for Loveswept.  They were writing almost 20 years ago, and I don’t know if they are still writing, but they had some great books.

  18. Avid Reader says:

    @Senetra: Oh hey now, Barbara Boswell! I read her and liked her stuff, too. I still have a few of her books. Must go find them.

  19. Avid Reader says:

    @Janicu: I bought it. I just need to read it! Tx for the reminder.

    You all have shared some great titles. A few I’ve read and others I haven’t. Will have to search for them. A big thank you. Much appreciated it.

  20. bahamia says:

    I read your post on Diane Norman a.k.a. Ariana Franklin, and I been a devoted reader of her ever since. I hooked my Mom, too. I can’t find The Vizard’s Mask, but I have read everything else I can find. So, keep posting those buried treasures from little known but great authors because it’s these discoveries that keep me reading your blog, and finding the bliss of a “first time” great read. I’ll be adding some of the books in your post and the comments to my TBR pile.

  21. Avid Reader says:

    @bahamia:

    I read your post on Diane Nor­man a.k.a. Ari­ana Franklin, and I been a devoted reader of her ever since. I hooked my Mom, too.

    Awesome. Love to hear this. I love Diana Norman who also writes as Ariana Franklin. Thank You for your kind words. I am in the middle of reading a lot of my older books right now so I hope to find some more buried treasures to share with you all.

  22. ag says:

    ooh … love her rewriting of Greek mythologies. Shimmering Splendour and Dazzling Brightness. Some of the best, IMO.

  23. Hilcia says:

    Goodness, it’s so funny to see Roberta Gellis’ name here. I just finished a book by Margaret Campbell Barnes and decided to look for some books by Gellis! I’m hoping to get my hands on Bond of Blood again and Siren Song, Winter Song and Fire Song. I’ll be hunting. 🙂

  24. SarahT says:

    I am way late to this party but here are some buried treasure reads I cherish:

    ‘Knight’s Move’ by Jennifer Landsbert (Medieval Romance)
    ‘The Last Innocent Hour’ by Margot Abbott (WWII Romance)
    ‘Clara Morison’ by Catherine Helen Spence (by 19th Century Australian author)

  25. Rosie says:

    I love when readers do these nostalgia posts. It’s very often a trip down memory lane. Roberta Gellis and Teresa Weir were two very big favorites of mine.

  26. OPatricia Pellicane says:

    @Senetra: Back to writing again. Doing erotic romances now. E-books. Find her at Total-e-bound. Look for her Christmas story, pub date Dec 21. You’ll love it

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