Happy anniversary to me!

Cat_243_dover By Mary Jo

Twenty years ago, at the end of October 1987, the first copies of my first Signet Regency were creeping into bookstores.  The Diabolical Baron was a November release, so late in October I began haunting my local Walden’s to see if my book had arrived. 

Yesss!!!  There it was, my book, my story, with my name on it!  And I even liked the cover!  One of life’s great moments.

Twenty years is a very long time to be regularly published as a novelist, though not uncommon among Word Wenches.  (In fact, 1987 was a bumper year, as I believe that the first Regencies of both Loretta and Jo were released within months of mine.  And Edith and Pat were already established authors by then.)

As a farm girl who never met any authors, it had never occurred to me that I might actually get a book published.  Becoming a writer was definitely in the realm of dream, not reality.  When I started my first story, I marked the disk RR for Regency Romance because I had trouble admitting even to myself that Old_floppy I had the temerity to try to write a book.  (The disk was a 5 ¼” floppy—as I said, it was a long time ago!)

That book led to another, and then another, and twenty years later I’m still writing, still pulling out my hair in the middle of a story when it becomes clear that there is no conflict, the characters are boring, and this is the book that will end my career.  Same old, same old.  <g>

But much else has changed.  When I sold my first book, the romance genre was past its explosive beginning, but it was still expanding, and optimism was rampant.  Aspiring writers believed that if they worked hard enough, they’d get published.  Success was within one’s grasp, not a question of if, but of when.

Diabolical_baronoriginal The late, beloved traditional Regency genre was flourishing—four of us Wenches started there.  There were lots of different settings, too, with writers like Johanna Lindsey leading the way by jumping from Vikings to Westerns to British historicals.  Lots of places, lots of time periods.

There was also more room for experimenting.  Historical writers might decide to write a suspense, contemporary writers might try a historical.  If the book didn’t do very well,  no big deal.  At least you’d had a chance to try, and you got that story out of your system.  And maybe the book would be a great success.

Computers changed everything.  I find this ironic, since I owe my whole writing career to buying a computer for my graphics business, then deciding to see if I could write a book.  The career-killing computers are those of the bookstore buyers that mercilessly keep track of sales figures of previous books.  A bad cover, an unpopular story line, publisher errors, some great public crisis like 9/11 when nobody buys books—any of these things can tank your numbers and put a serious dent in your career.  Maybe end it all together. 

Needless to say, this has really cut into creative experimentation.  Write a book in a genre that isn’t your usual and it probably won’t do well because stores would rather stock proven bestsellers.  Then those low numbers can go on to hurt your bread and butter books.  It’s generally a better career strategy to write consistent stories with a proven audience—unless your genre crashes altogether, as has happened with traditional Regencies.  Then you have to start all over, maybe under a new name, like the veriest newby. 

It’s a tough business.  I know a fine and long-term published sff writer who has written science fiction, horror, and fantasy, but these days, all his publishers want is fantasy, which has the best numbers.  He’s good at that, but he misses the variety.

Big_whirlpool

Another thing that is striking about my twenty years in the business is how many writers have come and gone.  We battle-scarred survivors play the “Whatever happened to….?” game now and then as we think of all the writers who did a book or few and have since vanished.  There were writers whose debuts were greeted with wild acclaim who are now gone as thoroughly as if they were sucked down into the murky depths of a whirlpool.

There are many, many reasons why a writer might stop writing.  At my first writers’ conference, I met a very talented Canadian Regency writer who wrote and sold easily, but she kept getting sidetracked by other interests.  Ultimately she had two books published, both very well reviewed, but nothing since.  Not that she was wrong to make the choices she did.  It’s her life and the choices were valid.  But that doesn’t make for a long term writing career.

Plenty of writers have had to take day jobs to earn a steady income, and they no longer had the energy to write.  Or they get discouraged by the craziness of the business.  Or family demands such as sick parents or divorce or new babies or health problems get in the way.  Some writers retire to enjoy the grandchildren.  And most painful to watch, some hardworking, competent writers simply can’t sell books any more for reasons beyond their control. 

Piled_books What I’ve concluded from all this is that long term success as a writer—and by success, I mean continuing to write books one enjoys, selling them, and having an audience, not success as making a particular amount of money or achieving any particular bestseller list—requires a combination of talent, tenacity, flexibility, and luck.  And a very large dollop of crazed obsessiveness.  It’s not always a pretty sight. 

But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the satisfaction of a good story well told.  Not all readers like my books, and not all who are fans like all of my books equally. But I’m proud of every one I’ve written.  They said what I wanted to say.  They all have their advocates.  Even the ones that didn’t particularly aid my career are beloved children.

Bblackreader The other thing that hasn’t changed is readers, and how great it is when someone finds pleasure in the stories I’ve told.  The internet makes it possible to connect with readers as never before.  Some people send e-mails, almost always nice ones.  There is this blog, where we can chat back and forth.  We can interact with writing buddies who understand why we howl, and give us a kick when it’s time to snap out of our funk.  So accounting computers may be the bane of our sales, but internet computers have helped us create this world-wide community of readers and writers. 

Twenty years.  A long time, a lot of books.  For those of you who have read my work, are there particular stories of mine that have spoken to you?  Or characters?  Or phrases?  Have my stories A_distant_magic_new0001 helped you celebrate, or helped you through a bad time?  If you have any particular memories of my stories that you’d like to share, please do!  We’re all in this together—

Mary Jo


PS: Typepad keeps removing the spaces between paragraphs.  If that happens again this third time–my apologies for the smooshed together type.  Mercury Retrograde winds this one….

130 thoughts on “Happy anniversary to me!”

  1. Back in the early 1990s, I hardly ever read romances unless they were by Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. But my graduate school roommate had a stack of paperback romances lined up on the top of our sofa, which was almost as flat as a shelf. Since I had exhausted all of my fantasy novels, I asked her to recommend something good. She handed me The Rake and the Reformer.
    As introductions went, that one was hard to top. I was curious enough to grab a copy of The Would-Be Widow when I saw it in the local bookstore, and soon I was happily reading through your backlist. I did manage to miss a few titles here and there–for example, I never heard of Lady of Fortune until a few years ago. But overall, I’d say I’ve kept up with your output.
    I knew a few pages into Thunder and Roses that I’d be buying the others as fast as they came out. And even today the Fallen Angels books are among my favorite historical romances. As for the others, I fell in love with Robin Andreville and Maxie Collins in both their trad and historical incarnations. I rediscovered my affection for David Lancaster when The Would-Be Widow was rewritten as The Bargain. And sentimental sap that I am, I still enjoy rereading several of your Christmas novellas during the holiday season, especially “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” and “Sunshine for Christmas.”
    Happy 20th anniversary! Thanks for the memories and may the next 20 years be just as rewarding.

    Reply
  2. Back in the early 1990s, I hardly ever read romances unless they were by Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. But my graduate school roommate had a stack of paperback romances lined up on the top of our sofa, which was almost as flat as a shelf. Since I had exhausted all of my fantasy novels, I asked her to recommend something good. She handed me The Rake and the Reformer.
    As introductions went, that one was hard to top. I was curious enough to grab a copy of The Would-Be Widow when I saw it in the local bookstore, and soon I was happily reading through your backlist. I did manage to miss a few titles here and there–for example, I never heard of Lady of Fortune until a few years ago. But overall, I’d say I’ve kept up with your output.
    I knew a few pages into Thunder and Roses that I’d be buying the others as fast as they came out. And even today the Fallen Angels books are among my favorite historical romances. As for the others, I fell in love with Robin Andreville and Maxie Collins in both their trad and historical incarnations. I rediscovered my affection for David Lancaster when The Would-Be Widow was rewritten as The Bargain. And sentimental sap that I am, I still enjoy rereading several of your Christmas novellas during the holiday season, especially “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” and “Sunshine for Christmas.”
    Happy 20th anniversary! Thanks for the memories and may the next 20 years be just as rewarding.

    Reply
  3. Back in the early 1990s, I hardly ever read romances unless they were by Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. But my graduate school roommate had a stack of paperback romances lined up on the top of our sofa, which was almost as flat as a shelf. Since I had exhausted all of my fantasy novels, I asked her to recommend something good. She handed me The Rake and the Reformer.
    As introductions went, that one was hard to top. I was curious enough to grab a copy of The Would-Be Widow when I saw it in the local bookstore, and soon I was happily reading through your backlist. I did manage to miss a few titles here and there–for example, I never heard of Lady of Fortune until a few years ago. But overall, I’d say I’ve kept up with your output.
    I knew a few pages into Thunder and Roses that I’d be buying the others as fast as they came out. And even today the Fallen Angels books are among my favorite historical romances. As for the others, I fell in love with Robin Andreville and Maxie Collins in both their trad and historical incarnations. I rediscovered my affection for David Lancaster when The Would-Be Widow was rewritten as The Bargain. And sentimental sap that I am, I still enjoy rereading several of your Christmas novellas during the holiday season, especially “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” and “Sunshine for Christmas.”
    Happy 20th anniversary! Thanks for the memories and may the next 20 years be just as rewarding.

    Reply
  4. Back in the early 1990s, I hardly ever read romances unless they were by Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. But my graduate school roommate had a stack of paperback romances lined up on the top of our sofa, which was almost as flat as a shelf. Since I had exhausted all of my fantasy novels, I asked her to recommend something good. She handed me The Rake and the Reformer.
    As introductions went, that one was hard to top. I was curious enough to grab a copy of The Would-Be Widow when I saw it in the local bookstore, and soon I was happily reading through your backlist. I did manage to miss a few titles here and there–for example, I never heard of Lady of Fortune until a few years ago. But overall, I’d say I’ve kept up with your output.
    I knew a few pages into Thunder and Roses that I’d be buying the others as fast as they came out. And even today the Fallen Angels books are among my favorite historical romances. As for the others, I fell in love with Robin Andreville and Maxie Collins in both their trad and historical incarnations. I rediscovered my affection for David Lancaster when The Would-Be Widow was rewritten as The Bargain. And sentimental sap that I am, I still enjoy rereading several of your Christmas novellas during the holiday season, especially “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” and “Sunshine for Christmas.”
    Happy 20th anniversary! Thanks for the memories and may the next 20 years be just as rewarding.

    Reply
  5. Back in the early 1990s, I hardly ever read romances unless they were by Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. But my graduate school roommate had a stack of paperback romances lined up on the top of our sofa, which was almost as flat as a shelf. Since I had exhausted all of my fantasy novels, I asked her to recommend something good. She handed me The Rake and the Reformer.
    As introductions went, that one was hard to top. I was curious enough to grab a copy of The Would-Be Widow when I saw it in the local bookstore, and soon I was happily reading through your backlist. I did manage to miss a few titles here and there–for example, I never heard of Lady of Fortune until a few years ago. But overall, I’d say I’ve kept up with your output.
    I knew a few pages into Thunder and Roses that I’d be buying the others as fast as they came out. And even today the Fallen Angels books are among my favorite historical romances. As for the others, I fell in love with Robin Andreville and Maxie Collins in both their trad and historical incarnations. I rediscovered my affection for David Lancaster when The Would-Be Widow was rewritten as The Bargain. And sentimental sap that I am, I still enjoy rereading several of your Christmas novellas during the holiday season, especially “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” and “Sunshine for Christmas.”
    Happy 20th anniversary! Thanks for the memories and may the next 20 years be just as rewarding.

    Reply
  6. I love many of your books, but especially the Diabolical Baron, The Rake, and the Marriage Spell. — which means I’ve probably read each 5 or 6 times. The stories do help me hope– and feel that my values are alive.
    I don’t know why it moves me so, but I just get chills every time I read the scene in the Diabolical Baron which includes the duel when Richard announces “There are two important things you don’t know about me. One is that my father was a fencing master, and would never have let his son disgrace his teaching. And the other- he drew a deep breath before he made the step from which there would be no turning back- He was Julius Davenport” —and then when Reggie bursts into laughter. Wow! What a scene! Anyone else have the same reaction?
    I think you do a great job of capturing the truth of psychological and emotional growth. You seem to do it in a way that doesn’t get stuck in the pain, but stays focused on how people move beyond it. You show how important contact with others, who have some kind of integrity, is to making that growth happen. There are many ways in which your characters come to recognize the humanity of others at deeper and deeper levels. Seeing this process described as part of a story is one of the ways in which I feel my values are affirmed.
    So thank you Mary Jo. Your books have been important to me, and, of course, given me a great deal of pleasure.
    Merry

    Reply
  7. I love many of your books, but especially the Diabolical Baron, The Rake, and the Marriage Spell. — which means I’ve probably read each 5 or 6 times. The stories do help me hope– and feel that my values are alive.
    I don’t know why it moves me so, but I just get chills every time I read the scene in the Diabolical Baron which includes the duel when Richard announces “There are two important things you don’t know about me. One is that my father was a fencing master, and would never have let his son disgrace his teaching. And the other- he drew a deep breath before he made the step from which there would be no turning back- He was Julius Davenport” —and then when Reggie bursts into laughter. Wow! What a scene! Anyone else have the same reaction?
    I think you do a great job of capturing the truth of psychological and emotional growth. You seem to do it in a way that doesn’t get stuck in the pain, but stays focused on how people move beyond it. You show how important contact with others, who have some kind of integrity, is to making that growth happen. There are many ways in which your characters come to recognize the humanity of others at deeper and deeper levels. Seeing this process described as part of a story is one of the ways in which I feel my values are affirmed.
    So thank you Mary Jo. Your books have been important to me, and, of course, given me a great deal of pleasure.
    Merry

    Reply
  8. I love many of your books, but especially the Diabolical Baron, The Rake, and the Marriage Spell. — which means I’ve probably read each 5 or 6 times. The stories do help me hope– and feel that my values are alive.
    I don’t know why it moves me so, but I just get chills every time I read the scene in the Diabolical Baron which includes the duel when Richard announces “There are two important things you don’t know about me. One is that my father was a fencing master, and would never have let his son disgrace his teaching. And the other- he drew a deep breath before he made the step from which there would be no turning back- He was Julius Davenport” —and then when Reggie bursts into laughter. Wow! What a scene! Anyone else have the same reaction?
    I think you do a great job of capturing the truth of psychological and emotional growth. You seem to do it in a way that doesn’t get stuck in the pain, but stays focused on how people move beyond it. You show how important contact with others, who have some kind of integrity, is to making that growth happen. There are many ways in which your characters come to recognize the humanity of others at deeper and deeper levels. Seeing this process described as part of a story is one of the ways in which I feel my values are affirmed.
    So thank you Mary Jo. Your books have been important to me, and, of course, given me a great deal of pleasure.
    Merry

    Reply
  9. I love many of your books, but especially the Diabolical Baron, The Rake, and the Marriage Spell. — which means I’ve probably read each 5 or 6 times. The stories do help me hope– and feel that my values are alive.
    I don’t know why it moves me so, but I just get chills every time I read the scene in the Diabolical Baron which includes the duel when Richard announces “There are two important things you don’t know about me. One is that my father was a fencing master, and would never have let his son disgrace his teaching. And the other- he drew a deep breath before he made the step from which there would be no turning back- He was Julius Davenport” —and then when Reggie bursts into laughter. Wow! What a scene! Anyone else have the same reaction?
    I think you do a great job of capturing the truth of psychological and emotional growth. You seem to do it in a way that doesn’t get stuck in the pain, but stays focused on how people move beyond it. You show how important contact with others, who have some kind of integrity, is to making that growth happen. There are many ways in which your characters come to recognize the humanity of others at deeper and deeper levels. Seeing this process described as part of a story is one of the ways in which I feel my values are affirmed.
    So thank you Mary Jo. Your books have been important to me, and, of course, given me a great deal of pleasure.
    Merry

    Reply
  10. I love many of your books, but especially the Diabolical Baron, The Rake, and the Marriage Spell. — which means I’ve probably read each 5 or 6 times. The stories do help me hope– and feel that my values are alive.
    I don’t know why it moves me so, but I just get chills every time I read the scene in the Diabolical Baron which includes the duel when Richard announces “There are two important things you don’t know about me. One is that my father was a fencing master, and would never have let his son disgrace his teaching. And the other- he drew a deep breath before he made the step from which there would be no turning back- He was Julius Davenport” —and then when Reggie bursts into laughter. Wow! What a scene! Anyone else have the same reaction?
    I think you do a great job of capturing the truth of psychological and emotional growth. You seem to do it in a way that doesn’t get stuck in the pain, but stays focused on how people move beyond it. You show how important contact with others, who have some kind of integrity, is to making that growth happen. There are many ways in which your characters come to recognize the humanity of others at deeper and deeper levels. Seeing this process described as part of a story is one of the ways in which I feel my values are affirmed.
    So thank you Mary Jo. Your books have been important to me, and, of course, given me a great deal of pleasure.
    Merry

    Reply
  11. one more note about my evolution into reading romances. I started with mysteries. No, no, — correction– I started with Jane Austen. Later, while I was in grad school, a friend turned me on to Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night and Busman’s honeymoon are both romances and mysteries— and the mystery doesn’t even begin to compare to the romance) Then I decided that I really prefer mysteries written by women, and only certain authors. Mary Stewart, josephine tey, amanda cross (carolyn heilbrun) joanne dobson, laurie king, etc. Then I got hooked on Elizabeth Peters for a while,and she seems to be, in every single book, both a mystery and romance writer. Then, after about the 15th elizabeth peters, I became saturated with her books, and moved on to romance writers.
    Amanda Quick was first, then pretty early into checking out romance I started reading you and Jo. I sometimes wonder if I will get saturated with romance as I did with mystery. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
    Merry

    Reply
  12. one more note about my evolution into reading romances. I started with mysteries. No, no, — correction– I started with Jane Austen. Later, while I was in grad school, a friend turned me on to Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night and Busman’s honeymoon are both romances and mysteries— and the mystery doesn’t even begin to compare to the romance) Then I decided that I really prefer mysteries written by women, and only certain authors. Mary Stewart, josephine tey, amanda cross (carolyn heilbrun) joanne dobson, laurie king, etc. Then I got hooked on Elizabeth Peters for a while,and she seems to be, in every single book, both a mystery and romance writer. Then, after about the 15th elizabeth peters, I became saturated with her books, and moved on to romance writers.
    Amanda Quick was first, then pretty early into checking out romance I started reading you and Jo. I sometimes wonder if I will get saturated with romance as I did with mystery. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
    Merry

    Reply
  13. one more note about my evolution into reading romances. I started with mysteries. No, no, — correction– I started with Jane Austen. Later, while I was in grad school, a friend turned me on to Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night and Busman’s honeymoon are both romances and mysteries— and the mystery doesn’t even begin to compare to the romance) Then I decided that I really prefer mysteries written by women, and only certain authors. Mary Stewart, josephine tey, amanda cross (carolyn heilbrun) joanne dobson, laurie king, etc. Then I got hooked on Elizabeth Peters for a while,and she seems to be, in every single book, both a mystery and romance writer. Then, after about the 15th elizabeth peters, I became saturated with her books, and moved on to romance writers.
    Amanda Quick was first, then pretty early into checking out romance I started reading you and Jo. I sometimes wonder if I will get saturated with romance as I did with mystery. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
    Merry

    Reply
  14. one more note about my evolution into reading romances. I started with mysteries. No, no, — correction– I started with Jane Austen. Later, while I was in grad school, a friend turned me on to Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night and Busman’s honeymoon are both romances and mysteries— and the mystery doesn’t even begin to compare to the romance) Then I decided that I really prefer mysteries written by women, and only certain authors. Mary Stewart, josephine tey, amanda cross (carolyn heilbrun) joanne dobson, laurie king, etc. Then I got hooked on Elizabeth Peters for a while,and she seems to be, in every single book, both a mystery and romance writer. Then, after about the 15th elizabeth peters, I became saturated with her books, and moved on to romance writers.
    Amanda Quick was first, then pretty early into checking out romance I started reading you and Jo. I sometimes wonder if I will get saturated with romance as I did with mystery. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
    Merry

    Reply
  15. one more note about my evolution into reading romances. I started with mysteries. No, no, — correction– I started with Jane Austen. Later, while I was in grad school, a friend turned me on to Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night and Busman’s honeymoon are both romances and mysteries— and the mystery doesn’t even begin to compare to the romance) Then I decided that I really prefer mysteries written by women, and only certain authors. Mary Stewart, josephine tey, amanda cross (carolyn heilbrun) joanne dobson, laurie king, etc. Then I got hooked on Elizabeth Peters for a while,and she seems to be, in every single book, both a mystery and romance writer. Then, after about the 15th elizabeth peters, I became saturated with her books, and moved on to romance writers.
    Amanda Quick was first, then pretty early into checking out romance I started reading you and Jo. I sometimes wonder if I will get saturated with romance as I did with mystery. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
    Merry

    Reply
  16. Congratulations on 20 wonderful years of publication. In earlier times I had a standing order at the bookstore for the Signet & Zebra Regencies that were published monthly. It was a way not to miss favourite writers and to meet good new authors who then went on to write longer historicals as you and Loretta Chase and Jo Beverley have done.
    I have a shelf of Mary Jo Putney books and have just finished re-reading all of them including The Fallen Angels series, Silk Trilogy, Bride Trilogy, Dearly Beloved, The Bargain, Uncommon Vows, The Diablolical Baron, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know,The Rake and other short stories.
    Lately I have enjoyed the fantasy novels but can see why you are returning to straight historical romance writing. Reading so many of them in a short period of time made me realize how moving and well-constructed the stories are. The characters and the plotlines support each other completely. I loved Stephen Kenyon’s epiphany on the journey to the realization of what is important in life in One Perfect Rose and of course who doesn’t love The Rake Reggie Davenport. I appreciated the emotional growth of Ian Cameron and Laura Stephenson in Veils of Silk.
    As I consider the stories that have made the biggest impact I can see they are the ones where the characters have struggled to find their way both mentally and physically.
    Also when I think about it I am amazed at how well you portray your male characters. Recently Ian Rankin said that he didn’t think he could write a good female lead character but he knew women mystery writers who wrote excellent male leads.
    I hope you feel up to writing for 20 more years.
    All good wishes,
    Brenda Kinnear

    Reply
  17. Congratulations on 20 wonderful years of publication. In earlier times I had a standing order at the bookstore for the Signet & Zebra Regencies that were published monthly. It was a way not to miss favourite writers and to meet good new authors who then went on to write longer historicals as you and Loretta Chase and Jo Beverley have done.
    I have a shelf of Mary Jo Putney books and have just finished re-reading all of them including The Fallen Angels series, Silk Trilogy, Bride Trilogy, Dearly Beloved, The Bargain, Uncommon Vows, The Diablolical Baron, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know,The Rake and other short stories.
    Lately I have enjoyed the fantasy novels but can see why you are returning to straight historical romance writing. Reading so many of them in a short period of time made me realize how moving and well-constructed the stories are. The characters and the plotlines support each other completely. I loved Stephen Kenyon’s epiphany on the journey to the realization of what is important in life in One Perfect Rose and of course who doesn’t love The Rake Reggie Davenport. I appreciated the emotional growth of Ian Cameron and Laura Stephenson in Veils of Silk.
    As I consider the stories that have made the biggest impact I can see they are the ones where the characters have struggled to find their way both mentally and physically.
    Also when I think about it I am amazed at how well you portray your male characters. Recently Ian Rankin said that he didn’t think he could write a good female lead character but he knew women mystery writers who wrote excellent male leads.
    I hope you feel up to writing for 20 more years.
    All good wishes,
    Brenda Kinnear

    Reply
  18. Congratulations on 20 wonderful years of publication. In earlier times I had a standing order at the bookstore for the Signet & Zebra Regencies that were published monthly. It was a way not to miss favourite writers and to meet good new authors who then went on to write longer historicals as you and Loretta Chase and Jo Beverley have done.
    I have a shelf of Mary Jo Putney books and have just finished re-reading all of them including The Fallen Angels series, Silk Trilogy, Bride Trilogy, Dearly Beloved, The Bargain, Uncommon Vows, The Diablolical Baron, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know,The Rake and other short stories.
    Lately I have enjoyed the fantasy novels but can see why you are returning to straight historical romance writing. Reading so many of them in a short period of time made me realize how moving and well-constructed the stories are. The characters and the plotlines support each other completely. I loved Stephen Kenyon’s epiphany on the journey to the realization of what is important in life in One Perfect Rose and of course who doesn’t love The Rake Reggie Davenport. I appreciated the emotional growth of Ian Cameron and Laura Stephenson in Veils of Silk.
    As I consider the stories that have made the biggest impact I can see they are the ones where the characters have struggled to find their way both mentally and physically.
    Also when I think about it I am amazed at how well you portray your male characters. Recently Ian Rankin said that he didn’t think he could write a good female lead character but he knew women mystery writers who wrote excellent male leads.
    I hope you feel up to writing for 20 more years.
    All good wishes,
    Brenda Kinnear

    Reply
  19. Congratulations on 20 wonderful years of publication. In earlier times I had a standing order at the bookstore for the Signet & Zebra Regencies that were published monthly. It was a way not to miss favourite writers and to meet good new authors who then went on to write longer historicals as you and Loretta Chase and Jo Beverley have done.
    I have a shelf of Mary Jo Putney books and have just finished re-reading all of them including The Fallen Angels series, Silk Trilogy, Bride Trilogy, Dearly Beloved, The Bargain, Uncommon Vows, The Diablolical Baron, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know,The Rake and other short stories.
    Lately I have enjoyed the fantasy novels but can see why you are returning to straight historical romance writing. Reading so many of them in a short period of time made me realize how moving and well-constructed the stories are. The characters and the plotlines support each other completely. I loved Stephen Kenyon’s epiphany on the journey to the realization of what is important in life in One Perfect Rose and of course who doesn’t love The Rake Reggie Davenport. I appreciated the emotional growth of Ian Cameron and Laura Stephenson in Veils of Silk.
    As I consider the stories that have made the biggest impact I can see they are the ones where the characters have struggled to find their way both mentally and physically.
    Also when I think about it I am amazed at how well you portray your male characters. Recently Ian Rankin said that he didn’t think he could write a good female lead character but he knew women mystery writers who wrote excellent male leads.
    I hope you feel up to writing for 20 more years.
    All good wishes,
    Brenda Kinnear

    Reply
  20. Congratulations on 20 wonderful years of publication. In earlier times I had a standing order at the bookstore for the Signet & Zebra Regencies that were published monthly. It was a way not to miss favourite writers and to meet good new authors who then went on to write longer historicals as you and Loretta Chase and Jo Beverley have done.
    I have a shelf of Mary Jo Putney books and have just finished re-reading all of them including The Fallen Angels series, Silk Trilogy, Bride Trilogy, Dearly Beloved, The Bargain, Uncommon Vows, The Diablolical Baron, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know,The Rake and other short stories.
    Lately I have enjoyed the fantasy novels but can see why you are returning to straight historical romance writing. Reading so many of them in a short period of time made me realize how moving and well-constructed the stories are. The characters and the plotlines support each other completely. I loved Stephen Kenyon’s epiphany on the journey to the realization of what is important in life in One Perfect Rose and of course who doesn’t love The Rake Reggie Davenport. I appreciated the emotional growth of Ian Cameron and Laura Stephenson in Veils of Silk.
    As I consider the stories that have made the biggest impact I can see they are the ones where the characters have struggled to find their way both mentally and physically.
    Also when I think about it I am amazed at how well you portray your male characters. Recently Ian Rankin said that he didn’t think he could write a good female lead character but he knew women mystery writers who wrote excellent male leads.
    I hope you feel up to writing for 20 more years.
    All good wishes,
    Brenda Kinnear

    Reply
  21. Congratulations!
    I’ve not read many of your books yet because (a) I’m fairly new to romance of the non-Heyer, Austen or Mills & Boon variety and (b) I don’t think many (if any) of your books have been published in the UK, so there aren’t many in the library system.
    I have come across Reggie, though, (in the single title version, rather than the trad regency) and although I don’t fall in love with heroes, I have to admit to having a bit of a crush on him. As he’s not my type at all, and I’d usually think of a drunken libertine as repellent rather than attractive, I think that says a lot for how well you wrote him, because managing to seduce the unwilling is the true hallmark of a successful rake, isn’t it?

    Reply
  22. Congratulations!
    I’ve not read many of your books yet because (a) I’m fairly new to romance of the non-Heyer, Austen or Mills & Boon variety and (b) I don’t think many (if any) of your books have been published in the UK, so there aren’t many in the library system.
    I have come across Reggie, though, (in the single title version, rather than the trad regency) and although I don’t fall in love with heroes, I have to admit to having a bit of a crush on him. As he’s not my type at all, and I’d usually think of a drunken libertine as repellent rather than attractive, I think that says a lot for how well you wrote him, because managing to seduce the unwilling is the true hallmark of a successful rake, isn’t it?

    Reply
  23. Congratulations!
    I’ve not read many of your books yet because (a) I’m fairly new to romance of the non-Heyer, Austen or Mills & Boon variety and (b) I don’t think many (if any) of your books have been published in the UK, so there aren’t many in the library system.
    I have come across Reggie, though, (in the single title version, rather than the trad regency) and although I don’t fall in love with heroes, I have to admit to having a bit of a crush on him. As he’s not my type at all, and I’d usually think of a drunken libertine as repellent rather than attractive, I think that says a lot for how well you wrote him, because managing to seduce the unwilling is the true hallmark of a successful rake, isn’t it?

    Reply
  24. Congratulations!
    I’ve not read many of your books yet because (a) I’m fairly new to romance of the non-Heyer, Austen or Mills & Boon variety and (b) I don’t think many (if any) of your books have been published in the UK, so there aren’t many in the library system.
    I have come across Reggie, though, (in the single title version, rather than the trad regency) and although I don’t fall in love with heroes, I have to admit to having a bit of a crush on him. As he’s not my type at all, and I’d usually think of a drunken libertine as repellent rather than attractive, I think that says a lot for how well you wrote him, because managing to seduce the unwilling is the true hallmark of a successful rake, isn’t it?

    Reply
  25. Congratulations!
    I’ve not read many of your books yet because (a) I’m fairly new to romance of the non-Heyer, Austen or Mills & Boon variety and (b) I don’t think many (if any) of your books have been published in the UK, so there aren’t many in the library system.
    I have come across Reggie, though, (in the single title version, rather than the trad regency) and although I don’t fall in love with heroes, I have to admit to having a bit of a crush on him. As he’s not my type at all, and I’d usually think of a drunken libertine as repellent rather than attractive, I think that says a lot for how well you wrote him, because managing to seduce the unwilling is the true hallmark of a successful rake, isn’t it?

    Reply
  26. It is a lowering thought-I have been reading Romance more than twice as long as you have been writing it! But I loved Stolen Magic as much as The Would-be Widow- and I have re-read both more than once. Thanks for sticking with it! This blog has opened my eyes to the many roadblocks even a bestselling author can encounter. Wenches, I salute you all! And to those who are aspiring authors- keep trying. Readers like me are waiting and cheering for you.

    Reply
  27. It is a lowering thought-I have been reading Romance more than twice as long as you have been writing it! But I loved Stolen Magic as much as The Would-be Widow- and I have re-read both more than once. Thanks for sticking with it! This blog has opened my eyes to the many roadblocks even a bestselling author can encounter. Wenches, I salute you all! And to those who are aspiring authors- keep trying. Readers like me are waiting and cheering for you.

    Reply
  28. It is a lowering thought-I have been reading Romance more than twice as long as you have been writing it! But I loved Stolen Magic as much as The Would-be Widow- and I have re-read both more than once. Thanks for sticking with it! This blog has opened my eyes to the many roadblocks even a bestselling author can encounter. Wenches, I salute you all! And to those who are aspiring authors- keep trying. Readers like me are waiting and cheering for you.

    Reply
  29. It is a lowering thought-I have been reading Romance more than twice as long as you have been writing it! But I loved Stolen Magic as much as The Would-be Widow- and I have re-read both more than once. Thanks for sticking with it! This blog has opened my eyes to the many roadblocks even a bestselling author can encounter. Wenches, I salute you all! And to those who are aspiring authors- keep trying. Readers like me are waiting and cheering for you.

    Reply
  30. It is a lowering thought-I have been reading Romance more than twice as long as you have been writing it! But I loved Stolen Magic as much as The Would-be Widow- and I have re-read both more than once. Thanks for sticking with it! This blog has opened my eyes to the many roadblocks even a bestselling author can encounter. Wenches, I salute you all! And to those who are aspiring authors- keep trying. Readers like me are waiting and cheering for you.

    Reply
  31. Congratulations on your 20th. I remember when you were just a little tadpole and I still have “The Diabolical Baron” on my shelf. Your observations on the publishing world were wonderful and sadly accurate. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, but in the late 60’s I was reading what I would call Gothic novels: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Daphne DuMurier. I didn’t really start romance until I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s “Regency Buck” at the library and said to myself, “What’s a Regency Buck?” So, after I read all of her books it was on to trying to find others and then wonderful Fawcett, Signet and Zebra came along and with them came: Constance Gluyas, Constance Heaven, Sheila Holland, Mira Stables, Sheila Walsh, Blanche Chenier, Maggie MacKeever, Margaret Sebastian, Freda Michaels, Joan Smith, Dorothy Mack, Claudette Williams, Patricia Veryan, Laura London, Norma Lee Clark, Elizabeth Mansfield, Marion Chesney, Joan Wolf, Margaret Summerville, Elizabeth Chater, Laura Matthews, Julie Jeffries and how could I forget Barbara Cartland. Yes, I read Barbara Cartland. I’m not sure but I think that Joan Wolf is the only one on that list that is still writing. So I must say thank you and I’m grad you and your compatriots are still here writing. And by the way, my favorite of yours is “The Rake and the Reformer/The Rake”. I loved Reginald Davenport, one of my all time favorite characters.

    Reply
  32. Congratulations on your 20th. I remember when you were just a little tadpole and I still have “The Diabolical Baron” on my shelf. Your observations on the publishing world were wonderful and sadly accurate. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, but in the late 60’s I was reading what I would call Gothic novels: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Daphne DuMurier. I didn’t really start romance until I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s “Regency Buck” at the library and said to myself, “What’s a Regency Buck?” So, after I read all of her books it was on to trying to find others and then wonderful Fawcett, Signet and Zebra came along and with them came: Constance Gluyas, Constance Heaven, Sheila Holland, Mira Stables, Sheila Walsh, Blanche Chenier, Maggie MacKeever, Margaret Sebastian, Freda Michaels, Joan Smith, Dorothy Mack, Claudette Williams, Patricia Veryan, Laura London, Norma Lee Clark, Elizabeth Mansfield, Marion Chesney, Joan Wolf, Margaret Summerville, Elizabeth Chater, Laura Matthews, Julie Jeffries and how could I forget Barbara Cartland. Yes, I read Barbara Cartland. I’m not sure but I think that Joan Wolf is the only one on that list that is still writing. So I must say thank you and I’m grad you and your compatriots are still here writing. And by the way, my favorite of yours is “The Rake and the Reformer/The Rake”. I loved Reginald Davenport, one of my all time favorite characters.

    Reply
  33. Congratulations on your 20th. I remember when you were just a little tadpole and I still have “The Diabolical Baron” on my shelf. Your observations on the publishing world were wonderful and sadly accurate. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, but in the late 60’s I was reading what I would call Gothic novels: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Daphne DuMurier. I didn’t really start romance until I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s “Regency Buck” at the library and said to myself, “What’s a Regency Buck?” So, after I read all of her books it was on to trying to find others and then wonderful Fawcett, Signet and Zebra came along and with them came: Constance Gluyas, Constance Heaven, Sheila Holland, Mira Stables, Sheila Walsh, Blanche Chenier, Maggie MacKeever, Margaret Sebastian, Freda Michaels, Joan Smith, Dorothy Mack, Claudette Williams, Patricia Veryan, Laura London, Norma Lee Clark, Elizabeth Mansfield, Marion Chesney, Joan Wolf, Margaret Summerville, Elizabeth Chater, Laura Matthews, Julie Jeffries and how could I forget Barbara Cartland. Yes, I read Barbara Cartland. I’m not sure but I think that Joan Wolf is the only one on that list that is still writing. So I must say thank you and I’m grad you and your compatriots are still here writing. And by the way, my favorite of yours is “The Rake and the Reformer/The Rake”. I loved Reginald Davenport, one of my all time favorite characters.

    Reply
  34. Congratulations on your 20th. I remember when you were just a little tadpole and I still have “The Diabolical Baron” on my shelf. Your observations on the publishing world were wonderful and sadly accurate. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, but in the late 60’s I was reading what I would call Gothic novels: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Daphne DuMurier. I didn’t really start romance until I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s “Regency Buck” at the library and said to myself, “What’s a Regency Buck?” So, after I read all of her books it was on to trying to find others and then wonderful Fawcett, Signet and Zebra came along and with them came: Constance Gluyas, Constance Heaven, Sheila Holland, Mira Stables, Sheila Walsh, Blanche Chenier, Maggie MacKeever, Margaret Sebastian, Freda Michaels, Joan Smith, Dorothy Mack, Claudette Williams, Patricia Veryan, Laura London, Norma Lee Clark, Elizabeth Mansfield, Marion Chesney, Joan Wolf, Margaret Summerville, Elizabeth Chater, Laura Matthews, Julie Jeffries and how could I forget Barbara Cartland. Yes, I read Barbara Cartland. I’m not sure but I think that Joan Wolf is the only one on that list that is still writing. So I must say thank you and I’m grad you and your compatriots are still here writing. And by the way, my favorite of yours is “The Rake and the Reformer/The Rake”. I loved Reginald Davenport, one of my all time favorite characters.

    Reply
  35. Congratulations on your 20th. I remember when you were just a little tadpole and I still have “The Diabolical Baron” on my shelf. Your observations on the publishing world were wonderful and sadly accurate. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, but in the late 60’s I was reading what I would call Gothic novels: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Daphne DuMurier. I didn’t really start romance until I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s “Regency Buck” at the library and said to myself, “What’s a Regency Buck?” So, after I read all of her books it was on to trying to find others and then wonderful Fawcett, Signet and Zebra came along and with them came: Constance Gluyas, Constance Heaven, Sheila Holland, Mira Stables, Sheila Walsh, Blanche Chenier, Maggie MacKeever, Margaret Sebastian, Freda Michaels, Joan Smith, Dorothy Mack, Claudette Williams, Patricia Veryan, Laura London, Norma Lee Clark, Elizabeth Mansfield, Marion Chesney, Joan Wolf, Margaret Summerville, Elizabeth Chater, Laura Matthews, Julie Jeffries and how could I forget Barbara Cartland. Yes, I read Barbara Cartland. I’m not sure but I think that Joan Wolf is the only one on that list that is still writing. So I must say thank you and I’m grad you and your compatriots are still here writing. And by the way, my favorite of yours is “The Rake and the Reformer/The Rake”. I loved Reginald Davenport, one of my all time favorite characters.

    Reply
  36. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I’ve enjoyed all your books, for different reasons, but the two that stand out in my mind are Silk & Shadows and Dancing on the Wind: heroes, heroines, atmosphere, and attitude. Images from those stories remain imprinted in my brain.

    Reply
  37. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I’ve enjoyed all your books, for different reasons, but the two that stand out in my mind are Silk & Shadows and Dancing on the Wind: heroes, heroines, atmosphere, and attitude. Images from those stories remain imprinted in my brain.

    Reply
  38. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I’ve enjoyed all your books, for different reasons, but the two that stand out in my mind are Silk & Shadows and Dancing on the Wind: heroes, heroines, atmosphere, and attitude. Images from those stories remain imprinted in my brain.

    Reply
  39. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I’ve enjoyed all your books, for different reasons, but the two that stand out in my mind are Silk & Shadows and Dancing on the Wind: heroes, heroines, atmosphere, and attitude. Images from those stories remain imprinted in my brain.

    Reply
  40. Congratulations, Mary Jo! I’ve enjoyed all your books, for different reasons, but the two that stand out in my mind are Silk & Shadows and Dancing on the Wind: heroes, heroines, atmosphere, and attitude. Images from those stories remain imprinted in my brain.

    Reply
  41. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    As for naming favorites, it’s so hard to choose. I do particularly enjoy your contrarian streak, as in The Diabolical Baron falling for the older former flame rather than the young beauty.
    It takes a special kind of courage to tackle some of the subjects you’ve addressed and a lot of talent, imagination and empathy to make them work. I look forward to reading many new works from your keyboard in years to come.

    Reply
  42. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    As for naming favorites, it’s so hard to choose. I do particularly enjoy your contrarian streak, as in The Diabolical Baron falling for the older former flame rather than the young beauty.
    It takes a special kind of courage to tackle some of the subjects you’ve addressed and a lot of talent, imagination and empathy to make them work. I look forward to reading many new works from your keyboard in years to come.

    Reply
  43. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    As for naming favorites, it’s so hard to choose. I do particularly enjoy your contrarian streak, as in The Diabolical Baron falling for the older former flame rather than the young beauty.
    It takes a special kind of courage to tackle some of the subjects you’ve addressed and a lot of talent, imagination and empathy to make them work. I look forward to reading many new works from your keyboard in years to come.

    Reply
  44. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    As for naming favorites, it’s so hard to choose. I do particularly enjoy your contrarian streak, as in The Diabolical Baron falling for the older former flame rather than the young beauty.
    It takes a special kind of courage to tackle some of the subjects you’ve addressed and a lot of talent, imagination and empathy to make them work. I look forward to reading many new works from your keyboard in years to come.

    Reply
  45. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    As for naming favorites, it’s so hard to choose. I do particularly enjoy your contrarian streak, as in The Diabolical Baron falling for the older former flame rather than the young beauty.
    It takes a special kind of courage to tackle some of the subjects you’ve addressed and a lot of talent, imagination and empathy to make them work. I look forward to reading many new works from your keyboard in years to come.

    Reply
  46. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    My favorites of your books are ONE PERFECT ROSE and SHATTERED RAINBOWS, both of which I read early in my rediscovery of romance when I was in my 20’s (I read traditional Regencies and Sunfire YA historicals in high school, then didn’t read romance in college or for a few years thereafter) and found especially moving.

    Reply
  47. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    My favorites of your books are ONE PERFECT ROSE and SHATTERED RAINBOWS, both of which I read early in my rediscovery of romance when I was in my 20’s (I read traditional Regencies and Sunfire YA historicals in high school, then didn’t read romance in college or for a few years thereafter) and found especially moving.

    Reply
  48. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    My favorites of your books are ONE PERFECT ROSE and SHATTERED RAINBOWS, both of which I read early in my rediscovery of romance when I was in my 20’s (I read traditional Regencies and Sunfire YA historicals in high school, then didn’t read romance in college or for a few years thereafter) and found especially moving.

    Reply
  49. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    My favorites of your books are ONE PERFECT ROSE and SHATTERED RAINBOWS, both of which I read early in my rediscovery of romance when I was in my 20’s (I read traditional Regencies and Sunfire YA historicals in high school, then didn’t read romance in college or for a few years thereafter) and found especially moving.

    Reply
  50. Congratulations, Mary Jo!
    My favorites of your books are ONE PERFECT ROSE and SHATTERED RAINBOWS, both of which I read early in my rediscovery of romance when I was in my 20’s (I read traditional Regencies and Sunfire YA historicals in high school, then didn’t read romance in college or for a few years thereafter) and found especially moving.

    Reply
  51. Congratulations on 20 years and so many great books! The book that first hooked me was _Wild Child_. I was studying abroad in Germany during college and had no access to English-language romance novels (except the occasional Nora Roberts in translation). So my good friend and companion in romance-novel reading took pity on me and sent me a well-packed box of romance novels every two months. _Wild Child_ was by far my favorite book that she sent me that year. I read it in one night, put it down, said “wow” and read it again the next day. It was playfully written, yet told a serious, unformulaic story. I’d never encountered a heroine like Meriel before – she’s a mixture of the 19th century ‘mad woman in the attic’ and a grown-up version of the little girl from _Secret Garden_; plus she gets the bonus of a happy ending!
    Once I was home for the summer, I bought all your books that I could get my hands on. Each of Fallen Angels books is a gem of a story and as a whole the series feels positively epic. When I finally finished _One Perfect Rose_ , I was sad because I knew that it was the last one in the series. I’ve appreciated all of your books and enjoy your versatility as a writer. From the _Diabolical Baron_ to the contemporaries to the more recent tales of magic – the characters and the depth of their experiences are what keep me coming back!

    Reply
  52. Congratulations on 20 years and so many great books! The book that first hooked me was _Wild Child_. I was studying abroad in Germany during college and had no access to English-language romance novels (except the occasional Nora Roberts in translation). So my good friend and companion in romance-novel reading took pity on me and sent me a well-packed box of romance novels every two months. _Wild Child_ was by far my favorite book that she sent me that year. I read it in one night, put it down, said “wow” and read it again the next day. It was playfully written, yet told a serious, unformulaic story. I’d never encountered a heroine like Meriel before – she’s a mixture of the 19th century ‘mad woman in the attic’ and a grown-up version of the little girl from _Secret Garden_; plus she gets the bonus of a happy ending!
    Once I was home for the summer, I bought all your books that I could get my hands on. Each of Fallen Angels books is a gem of a story and as a whole the series feels positively epic. When I finally finished _One Perfect Rose_ , I was sad because I knew that it was the last one in the series. I’ve appreciated all of your books and enjoy your versatility as a writer. From the _Diabolical Baron_ to the contemporaries to the more recent tales of magic – the characters and the depth of their experiences are what keep me coming back!

    Reply
  53. Congratulations on 20 years and so many great books! The book that first hooked me was _Wild Child_. I was studying abroad in Germany during college and had no access to English-language romance novels (except the occasional Nora Roberts in translation). So my good friend and companion in romance-novel reading took pity on me and sent me a well-packed box of romance novels every two months. _Wild Child_ was by far my favorite book that she sent me that year. I read it in one night, put it down, said “wow” and read it again the next day. It was playfully written, yet told a serious, unformulaic story. I’d never encountered a heroine like Meriel before – she’s a mixture of the 19th century ‘mad woman in the attic’ and a grown-up version of the little girl from _Secret Garden_; plus she gets the bonus of a happy ending!
    Once I was home for the summer, I bought all your books that I could get my hands on. Each of Fallen Angels books is a gem of a story and as a whole the series feels positively epic. When I finally finished _One Perfect Rose_ , I was sad because I knew that it was the last one in the series. I’ve appreciated all of your books and enjoy your versatility as a writer. From the _Diabolical Baron_ to the contemporaries to the more recent tales of magic – the characters and the depth of their experiences are what keep me coming back!

    Reply
  54. Congratulations on 20 years and so many great books! The book that first hooked me was _Wild Child_. I was studying abroad in Germany during college and had no access to English-language romance novels (except the occasional Nora Roberts in translation). So my good friend and companion in romance-novel reading took pity on me and sent me a well-packed box of romance novels every two months. _Wild Child_ was by far my favorite book that she sent me that year. I read it in one night, put it down, said “wow” and read it again the next day. It was playfully written, yet told a serious, unformulaic story. I’d never encountered a heroine like Meriel before – she’s a mixture of the 19th century ‘mad woman in the attic’ and a grown-up version of the little girl from _Secret Garden_; plus she gets the bonus of a happy ending!
    Once I was home for the summer, I bought all your books that I could get my hands on. Each of Fallen Angels books is a gem of a story and as a whole the series feels positively epic. When I finally finished _One Perfect Rose_ , I was sad because I knew that it was the last one in the series. I’ve appreciated all of your books and enjoy your versatility as a writer. From the _Diabolical Baron_ to the contemporaries to the more recent tales of magic – the characters and the depth of their experiences are what keep me coming back!

    Reply
  55. Congratulations on 20 years and so many great books! The book that first hooked me was _Wild Child_. I was studying abroad in Germany during college and had no access to English-language romance novels (except the occasional Nora Roberts in translation). So my good friend and companion in romance-novel reading took pity on me and sent me a well-packed box of romance novels every two months. _Wild Child_ was by far my favorite book that she sent me that year. I read it in one night, put it down, said “wow” and read it again the next day. It was playfully written, yet told a serious, unformulaic story. I’d never encountered a heroine like Meriel before – she’s a mixture of the 19th century ‘mad woman in the attic’ and a grown-up version of the little girl from _Secret Garden_; plus she gets the bonus of a happy ending!
    Once I was home for the summer, I bought all your books that I could get my hands on. Each of Fallen Angels books is a gem of a story and as a whole the series feels positively epic. When I finally finished _One Perfect Rose_ , I was sad because I knew that it was the last one in the series. I’ve appreciated all of your books and enjoy your versatility as a writer. From the _Diabolical Baron_ to the contemporaries to the more recent tales of magic – the characters and the depth of their experiences are what keep me coming back!

    Reply
  56. When I first started reading romance, I didn’t pay close attention to authors. I chose by plot, and I read every anthology I could find. Later, I used my favorite anthology stories as references to search for authors. My first MJP was probably “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” and then “The Wedding of the Century.” (Reading by marriage of convenience, don’t you know.) Those two plus “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” are still at the top of my favorite short stories list.
    Man, the internet is great. I remember when I was in high school reading all of Mary Stewart’s books and thinking that I’d never find another good author to read. I still remember that dread of being without books. Then the library was my sole source of reading material, and now the whole world is open to me.

    Reply
  57. When I first started reading romance, I didn’t pay close attention to authors. I chose by plot, and I read every anthology I could find. Later, I used my favorite anthology stories as references to search for authors. My first MJP was probably “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” and then “The Wedding of the Century.” (Reading by marriage of convenience, don’t you know.) Those two plus “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” are still at the top of my favorite short stories list.
    Man, the internet is great. I remember when I was in high school reading all of Mary Stewart’s books and thinking that I’d never find another good author to read. I still remember that dread of being without books. Then the library was my sole source of reading material, and now the whole world is open to me.

    Reply
  58. When I first started reading romance, I didn’t pay close attention to authors. I chose by plot, and I read every anthology I could find. Later, I used my favorite anthology stories as references to search for authors. My first MJP was probably “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” and then “The Wedding of the Century.” (Reading by marriage of convenience, don’t you know.) Those two plus “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” are still at the top of my favorite short stories list.
    Man, the internet is great. I remember when I was in high school reading all of Mary Stewart’s books and thinking that I’d never find another good author to read. I still remember that dread of being without books. Then the library was my sole source of reading material, and now the whole world is open to me.

    Reply
  59. When I first started reading romance, I didn’t pay close attention to authors. I chose by plot, and I read every anthology I could find. Later, I used my favorite anthology stories as references to search for authors. My first MJP was probably “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” and then “The Wedding of the Century.” (Reading by marriage of convenience, don’t you know.) Those two plus “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” are still at the top of my favorite short stories list.
    Man, the internet is great. I remember when I was in high school reading all of Mary Stewart’s books and thinking that I’d never find another good author to read. I still remember that dread of being without books. Then the library was my sole source of reading material, and now the whole world is open to me.

    Reply
  60. When I first started reading romance, I didn’t pay close attention to authors. I chose by plot, and I read every anthology I could find. Later, I used my favorite anthology stories as references to search for authors. My first MJP was probably “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” and then “The Wedding of the Century.” (Reading by marriage of convenience, don’t you know.) Those two plus “The Best Husband Money Can Buy” are still at the top of my favorite short stories list.
    Man, the internet is great. I remember when I was in high school reading all of Mary Stewart’s books and thinking that I’d never find another good author to read. I still remember that dread of being without books. Then the library was my sole source of reading material, and now the whole world is open to me.

    Reply
  61. From MJP:
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and reminiscences! I’ll admit that it’s rather feeble of me to invite people to say nice things, but an author thrashing around in the middle of a book needs positive strokes. 🙂
    Reggie definitely seems to have a fan club all his own. That is the most visceral book I’ve ever written, and I think that burned through in the story.
    As for the Fallen Angels–the new series I’m starting for Kensington is intended to be a somewhat similar series, hopefully without me repeating myself. Since book lengths are much shorter now, it maybe be hard to get as many layers in, but I’m doing my best.
    Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoy the holiday novellas. They’re such a nice size to read during a busy season. I’m also very fond of The Christmas Cuckoo as well as all the ones you named.
    Merry, I’m glad that scene in The Diabolical Baron worked for you so well. I think it was Reggie’s sense of humor that turned him from a wallpaper villain into a tortured hero. He kept developing unexpected depths.
    As a side note, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels was writing romantic suspense at a time when there was almost no other RS on the market. The trick is to balance the romance and the suspense, and it’s not easy! But there are now some great romantic suspense authors that started out in straight romance.
    Elaine, you’re dead right about the contrarian streak. 🙂
    M. Elise, I love that your care packages of books got you to reading my stories. 🙂
    Mary K, your comment made me think of something I meant to say, but forgot. There can never be enough authors we adore, but a silver lining to the fact that the market is very difficult now is that the new authors who -do- get published tend to be very, very good. So there are always new possibilities.
    So thanks to all, and happy anniversary to Loretta and Jo, since they’re so close to the 20 year mark! Even our Word Wench “newbies,” the two Susans, are somewhere around 18 years, I think. We’re a tough lot of survivors!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  62. From MJP:
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and reminiscences! I’ll admit that it’s rather feeble of me to invite people to say nice things, but an author thrashing around in the middle of a book needs positive strokes. 🙂
    Reggie definitely seems to have a fan club all his own. That is the most visceral book I’ve ever written, and I think that burned through in the story.
    As for the Fallen Angels–the new series I’m starting for Kensington is intended to be a somewhat similar series, hopefully without me repeating myself. Since book lengths are much shorter now, it maybe be hard to get as many layers in, but I’m doing my best.
    Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoy the holiday novellas. They’re such a nice size to read during a busy season. I’m also very fond of The Christmas Cuckoo as well as all the ones you named.
    Merry, I’m glad that scene in The Diabolical Baron worked for you so well. I think it was Reggie’s sense of humor that turned him from a wallpaper villain into a tortured hero. He kept developing unexpected depths.
    As a side note, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels was writing romantic suspense at a time when there was almost no other RS on the market. The trick is to balance the romance and the suspense, and it’s not easy! But there are now some great romantic suspense authors that started out in straight romance.
    Elaine, you’re dead right about the contrarian streak. 🙂
    M. Elise, I love that your care packages of books got you to reading my stories. 🙂
    Mary K, your comment made me think of something I meant to say, but forgot. There can never be enough authors we adore, but a silver lining to the fact that the market is very difficult now is that the new authors who -do- get published tend to be very, very good. So there are always new possibilities.
    So thanks to all, and happy anniversary to Loretta and Jo, since they’re so close to the 20 year mark! Even our Word Wench “newbies,” the two Susans, are somewhere around 18 years, I think. We’re a tough lot of survivors!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  63. From MJP:
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and reminiscences! I’ll admit that it’s rather feeble of me to invite people to say nice things, but an author thrashing around in the middle of a book needs positive strokes. 🙂
    Reggie definitely seems to have a fan club all his own. That is the most visceral book I’ve ever written, and I think that burned through in the story.
    As for the Fallen Angels–the new series I’m starting for Kensington is intended to be a somewhat similar series, hopefully without me repeating myself. Since book lengths are much shorter now, it maybe be hard to get as many layers in, but I’m doing my best.
    Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoy the holiday novellas. They’re such a nice size to read during a busy season. I’m also very fond of The Christmas Cuckoo as well as all the ones you named.
    Merry, I’m glad that scene in The Diabolical Baron worked for you so well. I think it was Reggie’s sense of humor that turned him from a wallpaper villain into a tortured hero. He kept developing unexpected depths.
    As a side note, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels was writing romantic suspense at a time when there was almost no other RS on the market. The trick is to balance the romance and the suspense, and it’s not easy! But there are now some great romantic suspense authors that started out in straight romance.
    Elaine, you’re dead right about the contrarian streak. 🙂
    M. Elise, I love that your care packages of books got you to reading my stories. 🙂
    Mary K, your comment made me think of something I meant to say, but forgot. There can never be enough authors we adore, but a silver lining to the fact that the market is very difficult now is that the new authors who -do- get published tend to be very, very good. So there are always new possibilities.
    So thanks to all, and happy anniversary to Loretta and Jo, since they’re so close to the 20 year mark! Even our Word Wench “newbies,” the two Susans, are somewhere around 18 years, I think. We’re a tough lot of survivors!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  64. From MJP:
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and reminiscences! I’ll admit that it’s rather feeble of me to invite people to say nice things, but an author thrashing around in the middle of a book needs positive strokes. 🙂
    Reggie definitely seems to have a fan club all his own. That is the most visceral book I’ve ever written, and I think that burned through in the story.
    As for the Fallen Angels–the new series I’m starting for Kensington is intended to be a somewhat similar series, hopefully without me repeating myself. Since book lengths are much shorter now, it maybe be hard to get as many layers in, but I’m doing my best.
    Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoy the holiday novellas. They’re such a nice size to read during a busy season. I’m also very fond of The Christmas Cuckoo as well as all the ones you named.
    Merry, I’m glad that scene in The Diabolical Baron worked for you so well. I think it was Reggie’s sense of humor that turned him from a wallpaper villain into a tortured hero. He kept developing unexpected depths.
    As a side note, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels was writing romantic suspense at a time when there was almost no other RS on the market. The trick is to balance the romance and the suspense, and it’s not easy! But there are now some great romantic suspense authors that started out in straight romance.
    Elaine, you’re dead right about the contrarian streak. 🙂
    M. Elise, I love that your care packages of books got you to reading my stories. 🙂
    Mary K, your comment made me think of something I meant to say, but forgot. There can never be enough authors we adore, but a silver lining to the fact that the market is very difficult now is that the new authors who -do- get published tend to be very, very good. So there are always new possibilities.
    So thanks to all, and happy anniversary to Loretta and Jo, since they’re so close to the 20 year mark! Even our Word Wench “newbies,” the two Susans, are somewhere around 18 years, I think. We’re a tough lot of survivors!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  65. From MJP:
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and reminiscences! I’ll admit that it’s rather feeble of me to invite people to say nice things, but an author thrashing around in the middle of a book needs positive strokes. 🙂
    Reggie definitely seems to have a fan club all his own. That is the most visceral book I’ve ever written, and I think that burned through in the story.
    As for the Fallen Angels–the new series I’m starting for Kensington is intended to be a somewhat similar series, hopefully without me repeating myself. Since book lengths are much shorter now, it maybe be hard to get as many layers in, but I’m doing my best.
    Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoy the holiday novellas. They’re such a nice size to read during a busy season. I’m also very fond of The Christmas Cuckoo as well as all the ones you named.
    Merry, I’m glad that scene in The Diabolical Baron worked for you so well. I think it was Reggie’s sense of humor that turned him from a wallpaper villain into a tortured hero. He kept developing unexpected depths.
    As a side note, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels was writing romantic suspense at a time when there was almost no other RS on the market. The trick is to balance the romance and the suspense, and it’s not easy! But there are now some great romantic suspense authors that started out in straight romance.
    Elaine, you’re dead right about the contrarian streak. 🙂
    M. Elise, I love that your care packages of books got you to reading my stories. 🙂
    Mary K, your comment made me think of something I meant to say, but forgot. There can never be enough authors we adore, but a silver lining to the fact that the market is very difficult now is that the new authors who -do- get published tend to be very, very good. So there are always new possibilities.
    So thanks to all, and happy anniversary to Loretta and Jo, since they’re so close to the 20 year mark! Even our Word Wench “newbies,” the two Susans, are somewhere around 18 years, I think. We’re a tough lot of survivors!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  66. My first MJP was “Thunder & Roses”, and it still represents the textbook example of how to create exquisite sexual tension (those kisses!) without having your H/H fall into bed by page 27 or within 15 minutes of meeting, whichever comes first. I then searched the Internet for your other books and devoured “The Would-be Widow” and “The Rake & the Reformer”. I loved the scene in the former when Rafe kisses Jocelyn. David walks in and Rafe disengages and calmly tells J that “your husband is not as indifferent as you think.” And I thought that Reggie’s battle against alcoholism was both emotionally true and appropriate for an era when it was considered a moral failing and not a disease. I liked that the heroine did not heal him but he found the strength in himself because he wanted to be the best man he could be for her.
    My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. I reread a number of your books in that period, and they each held up beautifully. So thank you for making a difficult year a little easier.

    Reply
  67. My first MJP was “Thunder & Roses”, and it still represents the textbook example of how to create exquisite sexual tension (those kisses!) without having your H/H fall into bed by page 27 or within 15 minutes of meeting, whichever comes first. I then searched the Internet for your other books and devoured “The Would-be Widow” and “The Rake & the Reformer”. I loved the scene in the former when Rafe kisses Jocelyn. David walks in and Rafe disengages and calmly tells J that “your husband is not as indifferent as you think.” And I thought that Reggie’s battle against alcoholism was both emotionally true and appropriate for an era when it was considered a moral failing and not a disease. I liked that the heroine did not heal him but he found the strength in himself because he wanted to be the best man he could be for her.
    My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. I reread a number of your books in that period, and they each held up beautifully. So thank you for making a difficult year a little easier.

    Reply
  68. My first MJP was “Thunder & Roses”, and it still represents the textbook example of how to create exquisite sexual tension (those kisses!) without having your H/H fall into bed by page 27 or within 15 minutes of meeting, whichever comes first. I then searched the Internet for your other books and devoured “The Would-be Widow” and “The Rake & the Reformer”. I loved the scene in the former when Rafe kisses Jocelyn. David walks in and Rafe disengages and calmly tells J that “your husband is not as indifferent as you think.” And I thought that Reggie’s battle against alcoholism was both emotionally true and appropriate for an era when it was considered a moral failing and not a disease. I liked that the heroine did not heal him but he found the strength in himself because he wanted to be the best man he could be for her.
    My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. I reread a number of your books in that period, and they each held up beautifully. So thank you for making a difficult year a little easier.

    Reply
  69. My first MJP was “Thunder & Roses”, and it still represents the textbook example of how to create exquisite sexual tension (those kisses!) without having your H/H fall into bed by page 27 or within 15 minutes of meeting, whichever comes first. I then searched the Internet for your other books and devoured “The Would-be Widow” and “The Rake & the Reformer”. I loved the scene in the former when Rafe kisses Jocelyn. David walks in and Rafe disengages and calmly tells J that “your husband is not as indifferent as you think.” And I thought that Reggie’s battle against alcoholism was both emotionally true and appropriate for an era when it was considered a moral failing and not a disease. I liked that the heroine did not heal him but he found the strength in himself because he wanted to be the best man he could be for her.
    My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. I reread a number of your books in that period, and they each held up beautifully. So thank you for making a difficult year a little easier.

    Reply
  70. My first MJP was “Thunder & Roses”, and it still represents the textbook example of how to create exquisite sexual tension (those kisses!) without having your H/H fall into bed by page 27 or within 15 minutes of meeting, whichever comes first. I then searched the Internet for your other books and devoured “The Would-be Widow” and “The Rake & the Reformer”. I loved the scene in the former when Rafe kisses Jocelyn. David walks in and Rafe disengages and calmly tells J that “your husband is not as indifferent as you think.” And I thought that Reggie’s battle against alcoholism was both emotionally true and appropriate for an era when it was considered a moral failing and not a disease. I liked that the heroine did not heal him but he found the strength in himself because he wanted to be the best man he could be for her.
    My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. I reread a number of your books in that period, and they each held up beautifully. So thank you for making a difficult year a little easier.

    Reply
  71. Oooooo, major congrats. What a wonderful achievement. I think my first MJP was THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER. At least that’s the first one I remember (and I LOVE IT) . . . sometimes I find that I read something a long before I realized that I “knew” the author (the first Jo book I ever read was CHRISTMAS ANGEL, I think I borrowed it from a roommate in college, imagine my surprise years later when I actually started reading romance regularly and discovered that this book was several books into the Rogues. LOL!).

    Reply
  72. Oooooo, major congrats. What a wonderful achievement. I think my first MJP was THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER. At least that’s the first one I remember (and I LOVE IT) . . . sometimes I find that I read something a long before I realized that I “knew” the author (the first Jo book I ever read was CHRISTMAS ANGEL, I think I borrowed it from a roommate in college, imagine my surprise years later when I actually started reading romance regularly and discovered that this book was several books into the Rogues. LOL!).

    Reply
  73. Oooooo, major congrats. What a wonderful achievement. I think my first MJP was THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER. At least that’s the first one I remember (and I LOVE IT) . . . sometimes I find that I read something a long before I realized that I “knew” the author (the first Jo book I ever read was CHRISTMAS ANGEL, I think I borrowed it from a roommate in college, imagine my surprise years later when I actually started reading romance regularly and discovered that this book was several books into the Rogues. LOL!).

    Reply
  74. Oooooo, major congrats. What a wonderful achievement. I think my first MJP was THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER. At least that’s the first one I remember (and I LOVE IT) . . . sometimes I find that I read something a long before I realized that I “knew” the author (the first Jo book I ever read was CHRISTMAS ANGEL, I think I borrowed it from a roommate in college, imagine my surprise years later when I actually started reading romance regularly and discovered that this book was several books into the Rogues. LOL!).

    Reply
  75. Oooooo, major congrats. What a wonderful achievement. I think my first MJP was THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER. At least that’s the first one I remember (and I LOVE IT) . . . sometimes I find that I read something a long before I realized that I “knew” the author (the first Jo book I ever read was CHRISTMAS ANGEL, I think I borrowed it from a roommate in college, imagine my surprise years later when I actually started reading romance regularly and discovered that this book was several books into the Rogues. LOL!).

    Reply
  76. Happy Anniversary, Mary Jo!
    Discovered your books a few years ago and working through more of them.
    Reggie and The Rake, one of my alltime favorites, such a complex, emotional story. Loved the Fallen Angel books, Dancing in the Wind my favorite of them. Good to hear you’ll be doing another similar series.
    The Marriage Spell is another favorite. While I do definitely want to see more straight historicals, I did like the aspects of the wizards in this one, though it was a great romance discounting that.

    Reply
  77. Happy Anniversary, Mary Jo!
    Discovered your books a few years ago and working through more of them.
    Reggie and The Rake, one of my alltime favorites, such a complex, emotional story. Loved the Fallen Angel books, Dancing in the Wind my favorite of them. Good to hear you’ll be doing another similar series.
    The Marriage Spell is another favorite. While I do definitely want to see more straight historicals, I did like the aspects of the wizards in this one, though it was a great romance discounting that.

    Reply
  78. Happy Anniversary, Mary Jo!
    Discovered your books a few years ago and working through more of them.
    Reggie and The Rake, one of my alltime favorites, such a complex, emotional story. Loved the Fallen Angel books, Dancing in the Wind my favorite of them. Good to hear you’ll be doing another similar series.
    The Marriage Spell is another favorite. While I do definitely want to see more straight historicals, I did like the aspects of the wizards in this one, though it was a great romance discounting that.

    Reply
  79. Happy Anniversary, Mary Jo!
    Discovered your books a few years ago and working through more of them.
    Reggie and The Rake, one of my alltime favorites, such a complex, emotional story. Loved the Fallen Angel books, Dancing in the Wind my favorite of them. Good to hear you’ll be doing another similar series.
    The Marriage Spell is another favorite. While I do definitely want to see more straight historicals, I did like the aspects of the wizards in this one, though it was a great romance discounting that.

    Reply
  80. Happy Anniversary, Mary Jo!
    Discovered your books a few years ago and working through more of them.
    Reggie and The Rake, one of my alltime favorites, such a complex, emotional story. Loved the Fallen Angel books, Dancing in the Wind my favorite of them. Good to hear you’ll be doing another similar series.
    The Marriage Spell is another favorite. While I do definitely want to see more straight historicals, I did like the aspects of the wizards in this one, though it was a great romance discounting that.

    Reply
  81. Congratulations Mary Jo!
    Twenty years. Awesome!
    As you know, my first MJP was KISS OF FATE. It literally changed my life’s direction. Other favorites are STOLLEN MAGIC and THE MARRIGAE SPELL.
    Your contemps came to me at a very dark time in my life. On planes, trains and in automobiles, I listened to those stories with tears running down my face. (A definite plus to books on tape) I don’t know how you do it, MJ, but you never fail to reach into my heart.
    My current ms is all your fault, too. One lazy summer afternoon, I was quite innocently enjoying PETALS IN THE STORM and found this. “The cat was much better entertainment than the book, since the servant who filled her requests seemed to think that females enjoyed reading the most appalling tripe. Besides having characters too absurd to believe, the novel had a spy subplot that was pure idiocy. The author had no idea what an unglamorous business spying was.” The heroine, a spy herself, was reading about herself. Or at least, that’s how I took it, and the first scene of my first romance, bloomed.
    You have touched me in so many other ways, MJ, ways in which words can not express. So I leave you with this…
    I am because you are,
    They are because I was,
    You have changed the world.
    Love to you, Mary Jo.
    Nina

    Reply
  82. Congratulations Mary Jo!
    Twenty years. Awesome!
    As you know, my first MJP was KISS OF FATE. It literally changed my life’s direction. Other favorites are STOLLEN MAGIC and THE MARRIGAE SPELL.
    Your contemps came to me at a very dark time in my life. On planes, trains and in automobiles, I listened to those stories with tears running down my face. (A definite plus to books on tape) I don’t know how you do it, MJ, but you never fail to reach into my heart.
    My current ms is all your fault, too. One lazy summer afternoon, I was quite innocently enjoying PETALS IN THE STORM and found this. “The cat was much better entertainment than the book, since the servant who filled her requests seemed to think that females enjoyed reading the most appalling tripe. Besides having characters too absurd to believe, the novel had a spy subplot that was pure idiocy. The author had no idea what an unglamorous business spying was.” The heroine, a spy herself, was reading about herself. Or at least, that’s how I took it, and the first scene of my first romance, bloomed.
    You have touched me in so many other ways, MJ, ways in which words can not express. So I leave you with this…
    I am because you are,
    They are because I was,
    You have changed the world.
    Love to you, Mary Jo.
    Nina

    Reply
  83. Congratulations Mary Jo!
    Twenty years. Awesome!
    As you know, my first MJP was KISS OF FATE. It literally changed my life’s direction. Other favorites are STOLLEN MAGIC and THE MARRIGAE SPELL.
    Your contemps came to me at a very dark time in my life. On planes, trains and in automobiles, I listened to those stories with tears running down my face. (A definite plus to books on tape) I don’t know how you do it, MJ, but you never fail to reach into my heart.
    My current ms is all your fault, too. One lazy summer afternoon, I was quite innocently enjoying PETALS IN THE STORM and found this. “The cat was much better entertainment than the book, since the servant who filled her requests seemed to think that females enjoyed reading the most appalling tripe. Besides having characters too absurd to believe, the novel had a spy subplot that was pure idiocy. The author had no idea what an unglamorous business spying was.” The heroine, a spy herself, was reading about herself. Or at least, that’s how I took it, and the first scene of my first romance, bloomed.
    You have touched me in so many other ways, MJ, ways in which words can not express. So I leave you with this…
    I am because you are,
    They are because I was,
    You have changed the world.
    Love to you, Mary Jo.
    Nina

    Reply
  84. Congratulations Mary Jo!
    Twenty years. Awesome!
    As you know, my first MJP was KISS OF FATE. It literally changed my life’s direction. Other favorites are STOLLEN MAGIC and THE MARRIGAE SPELL.
    Your contemps came to me at a very dark time in my life. On planes, trains and in automobiles, I listened to those stories with tears running down my face. (A definite plus to books on tape) I don’t know how you do it, MJ, but you never fail to reach into my heart.
    My current ms is all your fault, too. One lazy summer afternoon, I was quite innocently enjoying PETALS IN THE STORM and found this. “The cat was much better entertainment than the book, since the servant who filled her requests seemed to think that females enjoyed reading the most appalling tripe. Besides having characters too absurd to believe, the novel had a spy subplot that was pure idiocy. The author had no idea what an unglamorous business spying was.” The heroine, a spy herself, was reading about herself. Or at least, that’s how I took it, and the first scene of my first romance, bloomed.
    You have touched me in so many other ways, MJ, ways in which words can not express. So I leave you with this…
    I am because you are,
    They are because I was,
    You have changed the world.
    Love to you, Mary Jo.
    Nina

    Reply
  85. Congratulations Mary Jo!
    Twenty years. Awesome!
    As you know, my first MJP was KISS OF FATE. It literally changed my life’s direction. Other favorites are STOLLEN MAGIC and THE MARRIGAE SPELL.
    Your contemps came to me at a very dark time in my life. On planes, trains and in automobiles, I listened to those stories with tears running down my face. (A definite plus to books on tape) I don’t know how you do it, MJ, but you never fail to reach into my heart.
    My current ms is all your fault, too. One lazy summer afternoon, I was quite innocently enjoying PETALS IN THE STORM and found this. “The cat was much better entertainment than the book, since the servant who filled her requests seemed to think that females enjoyed reading the most appalling tripe. Besides having characters too absurd to believe, the novel had a spy subplot that was pure idiocy. The author had no idea what an unglamorous business spying was.” The heroine, a spy herself, was reading about herself. Or at least, that’s how I took it, and the first scene of my first romance, bloomed.
    You have touched me in so many other ways, MJ, ways in which words can not express. So I leave you with this…
    I am because you are,
    They are because I was,
    You have changed the world.
    Love to you, Mary Jo.
    Nina

    Reply
  86. Great books… Reggie of course stuck with me, so has Richard his quiet,strong way was not so much in your face but still alpha enough to enjoy(hope that makes sense), Stephan’s Book One perfect Rose, was also a favorite, I too enjoyed his journey, loved his brother’s also.. I also loved they one with the Gypsy and the mines,(of course I can’t remember)….some books just strike you in your soul
    Tal

    Reply
  87. Great books… Reggie of course stuck with me, so has Richard his quiet,strong way was not so much in your face but still alpha enough to enjoy(hope that makes sense), Stephan’s Book One perfect Rose, was also a favorite, I too enjoyed his journey, loved his brother’s also.. I also loved they one with the Gypsy and the mines,(of course I can’t remember)….some books just strike you in your soul
    Tal

    Reply
  88. Great books… Reggie of course stuck with me, so has Richard his quiet,strong way was not so much in your face but still alpha enough to enjoy(hope that makes sense), Stephan’s Book One perfect Rose, was also a favorite, I too enjoyed his journey, loved his brother’s also.. I also loved they one with the Gypsy and the mines,(of course I can’t remember)….some books just strike you in your soul
    Tal

    Reply
  89. Great books… Reggie of course stuck with me, so has Richard his quiet,strong way was not so much in your face but still alpha enough to enjoy(hope that makes sense), Stephan’s Book One perfect Rose, was also a favorite, I too enjoyed his journey, loved his brother’s also.. I also loved they one with the Gypsy and the mines,(of course I can’t remember)….some books just strike you in your soul
    Tal

    Reply
  90. Great books… Reggie of course stuck with me, so has Richard his quiet,strong way was not so much in your face but still alpha enough to enjoy(hope that makes sense), Stephan’s Book One perfect Rose, was also a favorite, I too enjoyed his journey, loved his brother’s also.. I also loved they one with the Gypsy and the mines,(of course I can’t remember)….some books just strike you in your soul
    Tal

    Reply
  91. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, Mary Jo. I have been reading–and rereading your books almost as long as you have been writing them. Nearly all of them have homes on my keeper shelves. I belong to the Reggie fan club, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the Fallen Angels books. Each time I do, I discover something new to appreciate. The Spiral Path, too, is on my all-time favorites list. Such a moving, powerful story.
    I owe you another thank you for being so generous in your praise of other writers. I have tried, and in some cases added to my autobuy list, authors I would never have encountered without your recommendation.

    Reply
  92. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, Mary Jo. I have been reading–and rereading your books almost as long as you have been writing them. Nearly all of them have homes on my keeper shelves. I belong to the Reggie fan club, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the Fallen Angels books. Each time I do, I discover something new to appreciate. The Spiral Path, too, is on my all-time favorites list. Such a moving, powerful story.
    I owe you another thank you for being so generous in your praise of other writers. I have tried, and in some cases added to my autobuy list, authors I would never have encountered without your recommendation.

    Reply
  93. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, Mary Jo. I have been reading–and rereading your books almost as long as you have been writing them. Nearly all of them have homes on my keeper shelves. I belong to the Reggie fan club, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the Fallen Angels books. Each time I do, I discover something new to appreciate. The Spiral Path, too, is on my all-time favorites list. Such a moving, powerful story.
    I owe you another thank you for being so generous in your praise of other writers. I have tried, and in some cases added to my autobuy list, authors I would never have encountered without your recommendation.

    Reply
  94. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, Mary Jo. I have been reading–and rereading your books almost as long as you have been writing them. Nearly all of them have homes on my keeper shelves. I belong to the Reggie fan club, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the Fallen Angels books. Each time I do, I discover something new to appreciate. The Spiral Path, too, is on my all-time favorites list. Such a moving, powerful story.
    I owe you another thank you for being so generous in your praise of other writers. I have tried, and in some cases added to my autobuy list, authors I would never have encountered without your recommendation.

    Reply
  95. Congratulations on your twentieth anniversary, Mary Jo. I have been reading–and rereading your books almost as long as you have been writing them. Nearly all of them have homes on my keeper shelves. I belong to the Reggie fan club, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have read the Fallen Angels books. Each time I do, I discover something new to appreciate. The Spiral Path, too, is on my all-time favorites list. Such a moving, powerful story.
    I owe you another thank you for being so generous in your praise of other writers. I have tried, and in some cases added to my autobuy list, authors I would never have encountered without your recommendation.

    Reply
  96. Happy Twentieth!!!
    So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?
    Thanks for the happy hours.

    Reply
  97. Happy Twentieth!!!
    So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?
    Thanks for the happy hours.

    Reply
  98. Happy Twentieth!!!
    So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?
    Thanks for the happy hours.

    Reply
  99. Happy Twentieth!!!
    So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?
    Thanks for the happy hours.

    Reply
  100. Happy Twentieth!!!
    So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?
    Thanks for the happy hours.

    Reply
  101. From MJP:
    >>My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. << This must have been a solid year of being strung like steel wire, Susan/DC. I'm so glad that my stories helped ease some of that strain. I'm so glad you have your son back now! >>And many many more happy returns!
    Not books! Books should not be returned!>>
    LOL, Edith. So true. May all our prints runs sell out entirely with no returns.
    <
    <>So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?<< Hmm, interesting thought, Jane. Time tends to circular, at least subjectively. I can clearly recall writing all these stories--but so much has happened over those years! But books can be useful at pegging memories. For example, while I was trying to finish one of the Silk books, two guys where hammering a new wood shake roof into place. 🙂 I thought I'd be done with the book before the roofers came. I shouls know better by now.... Mary Jo

    Reply
  102. From MJP:
    >>My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. << This must have been a solid year of being strung like steel wire, Susan/DC. I'm so glad that my stories helped ease some of that strain. I'm so glad you have your son back now! >>And many many more happy returns!
    Not books! Books should not be returned!>>
    LOL, Edith. So true. May all our prints runs sell out entirely with no returns.
    <
    <>So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?<< Hmm, interesting thought, Jane. Time tends to circular, at least subjectively. I can clearly recall writing all these stories--but so much has happened over those years! But books can be useful at pegging memories. For example, while I was trying to finish one of the Silk books, two guys where hammering a new wood shake roof into place. 🙂 I thought I'd be done with the book before the roofers came. I shouls know better by now.... Mary Jo

    Reply
  103. From MJP:
    >>My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. << This must have been a solid year of being strung like steel wire, Susan/DC. I'm so glad that my stories helped ease some of that strain. I'm so glad you have your son back now! >>And many many more happy returns!
    Not books! Books should not be returned!>>
    LOL, Edith. So true. May all our prints runs sell out entirely with no returns.
    <
    <>So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?<< Hmm, interesting thought, Jane. Time tends to circular, at least subjectively. I can clearly recall writing all these stories--but so much has happened over those years! But books can be useful at pegging memories. For example, while I was trying to finish one of the Silk books, two guys where hammering a new wood shake roof into place. 🙂 I thought I'd be done with the book before the roofers came. I shouls know better by now.... Mary Jo

    Reply
  104. From MJP:
    >>My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. << This must have been a solid year of being strung like steel wire, Susan/DC. I'm so glad that my stories helped ease some of that strain. I'm so glad you have your son back now! >>And many many more happy returns!
    Not books! Books should not be returned!>>
    LOL, Edith. So true. May all our prints runs sell out entirely with no returns.
    <
    <>So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?<< Hmm, interesting thought, Jane. Time tends to circular, at least subjectively. I can clearly recall writing all these stories--but so much has happened over those years! But books can be useful at pegging memories. For example, while I was trying to finish one of the Silk books, two guys where hammering a new wood shake roof into place. 🙂 I thought I'd be done with the book before the roofers came. I shouls know better by now.... Mary Jo

    Reply
  105. From MJP:
    >>My oldest son was stationed in Iraq between September 2006 and September 2007 where he worked as a mental health counselor. While he was away I needed the HEA and hope that romance novels represent. << This must have been a solid year of being strung like steel wire, Susan/DC. I'm so glad that my stories helped ease some of that strain. I'm so glad you have your son back now! >>And many many more happy returns!
    Not books! Books should not be returned!>>
    LOL, Edith. So true. May all our prints runs sell out entirely with no returns.
    <
    <>So, when you look back at your first book and it seems like yesterday, does it slow time down at all to review all of your book children?<< Hmm, interesting thought, Jane. Time tends to circular, at least subjectively. I can clearly recall writing all these stories--but so much has happened over those years! But books can be useful at pegging memories. For example, while I was trying to finish one of the Silk books, two guys where hammering a new wood shake roof into place. 🙂 I thought I'd be done with the book before the roofers came. I shouls know better by now.... Mary Jo

    Reply
  106. Congratulations, MJ–you are such an inspiration. And you’ve been such a wonderful person to know. This year was my tenth anniversary of that first book on the shelves…and even in ten years, things have shifted so much. I hope that in another decade, we can both celebrate new milestones. 🙂
    Hugs,
    Yasmine

    Reply
  107. Congratulations, MJ–you are such an inspiration. And you’ve been such a wonderful person to know. This year was my tenth anniversary of that first book on the shelves…and even in ten years, things have shifted so much. I hope that in another decade, we can both celebrate new milestones. 🙂
    Hugs,
    Yasmine

    Reply
  108. Congratulations, MJ–you are such an inspiration. And you’ve been such a wonderful person to know. This year was my tenth anniversary of that first book on the shelves…and even in ten years, things have shifted so much. I hope that in another decade, we can both celebrate new milestones. 🙂
    Hugs,
    Yasmine

    Reply
  109. Congratulations, MJ–you are such an inspiration. And you’ve been such a wonderful person to know. This year was my tenth anniversary of that first book on the shelves…and even in ten years, things have shifted so much. I hope that in another decade, we can both celebrate new milestones. 🙂
    Hugs,
    Yasmine

    Reply
  110. Congratulations, MJ–you are such an inspiration. And you’ve been such a wonderful person to know. This year was my tenth anniversary of that first book on the shelves…and even in ten years, things have shifted so much. I hope that in another decade, we can both celebrate new milestones. 🙂
    Hugs,
    Yasmine

    Reply
  111. I finished One Perfect Rose just today (for the first time) and I can’t say whether it’s my new favorite or if Shattered Rainbows is still my old favorite of your works. My favorite thing about OPR is the mutual respect between the characters, which is what love and romance should be in my opionion. What I love about Shattered Rainbows is the hard fought desire of both characters to stay honorable, while yet falling in love. Twenty years is a long time in a career – celebrate!
    Congratulations,
    HeatherB.

    Reply
  112. I finished One Perfect Rose just today (for the first time) and I can’t say whether it’s my new favorite or if Shattered Rainbows is still my old favorite of your works. My favorite thing about OPR is the mutual respect between the characters, which is what love and romance should be in my opionion. What I love about Shattered Rainbows is the hard fought desire of both characters to stay honorable, while yet falling in love. Twenty years is a long time in a career – celebrate!
    Congratulations,
    HeatherB.

    Reply
  113. I finished One Perfect Rose just today (for the first time) and I can’t say whether it’s my new favorite or if Shattered Rainbows is still my old favorite of your works. My favorite thing about OPR is the mutual respect between the characters, which is what love and romance should be in my opionion. What I love about Shattered Rainbows is the hard fought desire of both characters to stay honorable, while yet falling in love. Twenty years is a long time in a career – celebrate!
    Congratulations,
    HeatherB.

    Reply
  114. I finished One Perfect Rose just today (for the first time) and I can’t say whether it’s my new favorite or if Shattered Rainbows is still my old favorite of your works. My favorite thing about OPR is the mutual respect between the characters, which is what love and romance should be in my opionion. What I love about Shattered Rainbows is the hard fought desire of both characters to stay honorable, while yet falling in love. Twenty years is a long time in a career – celebrate!
    Congratulations,
    HeatherB.

    Reply
  115. I finished One Perfect Rose just today (for the first time) and I can’t say whether it’s my new favorite or if Shattered Rainbows is still my old favorite of your works. My favorite thing about OPR is the mutual respect between the characters, which is what love and romance should be in my opionion. What I love about Shattered Rainbows is the hard fought desire of both characters to stay honorable, while yet falling in love. Twenty years is a long time in a career – celebrate!
    Congratulations,
    HeatherB.

    Reply
  116. From MJP:
    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by. Ten years of being published is a very significant milestone. Congratulations!
    Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed One Perfect Rose. I think of it as my ‘death and dying’ romance. The issues are series, but the story very positive, I think. With Shattered Rainbows, one thing I wanted to do was show two people behaving honorably, because so many people really do try to do that. (My soapbox is showing. :))
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  117. From MJP:
    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by. Ten years of being published is a very significant milestone. Congratulations!
    Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed One Perfect Rose. I think of it as my ‘death and dying’ romance. The issues are series, but the story very positive, I think. With Shattered Rainbows, one thing I wanted to do was show two people behaving honorably, because so many people really do try to do that. (My soapbox is showing. :))
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  118. From MJP:
    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by. Ten years of being published is a very significant milestone. Congratulations!
    Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed One Perfect Rose. I think of it as my ‘death and dying’ romance. The issues are series, but the story very positive, I think. With Shattered Rainbows, one thing I wanted to do was show two people behaving honorably, because so many people really do try to do that. (My soapbox is showing. :))
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  119. From MJP:
    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by. Ten years of being published is a very significant milestone. Congratulations!
    Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed One Perfect Rose. I think of it as my ‘death and dying’ romance. The issues are series, but the story very positive, I think. With Shattered Rainbows, one thing I wanted to do was show two people behaving honorably, because so many people really do try to do that. (My soapbox is showing. :))
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  120. From MJP:
    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by. Ten years of being published is a very significant milestone. Congratulations!
    Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed One Perfect Rose. I think of it as my ‘death and dying’ romance. The issues are series, but the story very positive, I think. With Shattered Rainbows, one thing I wanted to do was show two people behaving honorably, because so many people really do try to do that. (My soapbox is showing. :))
    Mary Jo

    Reply

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