What Do We Really Want?

Readshorthairwomanhandheadgif
Pat here, just back from a writer’s conference in New York City. I’m still trying to finish half a dozen contemporary proposals. And I haven’t even begun to dream of researching the next historical. So, obviously, I’m still not in a good place to talk about exciting research projects, unless you consider Googling trendy designer clothes exciting. Looking at the price tags is certainly diverting.  Designergown

And because of the discussions at the conference between authors, agents, and editors, I’m thinking about the business before I dive into any more research.  While the Regency historical market is selling like hotcakes, there seems to Regency_fashion
be a general restlessness, an eagerness for something different—only no one can exactly pinpoint what they want. So “different” could take any number of directions, from settings, to time periods, to deeper history, or heck, alien space culture for all I know.  Personally, I’m into the latter. I want to relate the brilliant mathematics of ancient Egypt and Celts and pre-Mayan cultures to aliens from outer space, but then, I’m insane and far more willing to dream up ideas than actually write them. My imagination wiggles in joy when offered a wide drawing board.

So I thought I’d do an informal survey and ask for opinions.  What kind of historical would you like to Chariot
see break into the next big “thing”?  Victorians? Westerns? Egyptians? Would you like to see more sex? More focus on the characters and their relationship? More history? And maybe—sorry about this—you might give some indication of what age group you’re in, as in “I glommed Woodiwiss’s entire backlist in high school” or “I read Woodiwiss when the FLAME AND THE FLOWER first hit the shelves.”  It would be interesting to know if we have a disconnect based on generation.

Feel free to roam as far and wide as you like, from wanting more humor to more vampires—as long as we stick to historicals.  Give examples, if that helps.  I know we’ll never see a new form of Gellis’s Roselynde Gellis
Chronicles again, we don’t want history to repeat itself, but if you want to live in that kind of detailed world, however gritty, it’s a good comparison point.

But in hopes of generating an active discussion, I’m willing to give away one of my newly arrived ARCs for MYSTIC RIDER—which I’ll remind you is a paranormal historical with a fair amount of sex (not that I want to influence anyone, just saying!)—to a Mysticrider
winner Sherrie will draw out of the hat after midnight, Pacific Coast Time, on April 8th. Or I suppose, technically, the first minute of April 9th, but who’s counting?

430 thoughts on “What Do We Really Want?”

  1. I like the Regency period, and a little beyond, but would like to see more stories with central characters in the newly emerging worlds of work– not the aristocracy.— e.g. the stewards, the people involved with the courts, the bow street runners, the teachers, the dancing masters, etc.
    Merry

    Reply
  2. I like the Regency period, and a little beyond, but would like to see more stories with central characters in the newly emerging worlds of work– not the aristocracy.— e.g. the stewards, the people involved with the courts, the bow street runners, the teachers, the dancing masters, etc.
    Merry

    Reply
  3. I like the Regency period, and a little beyond, but would like to see more stories with central characters in the newly emerging worlds of work– not the aristocracy.— e.g. the stewards, the people involved with the courts, the bow street runners, the teachers, the dancing masters, etc.
    Merry

    Reply
  4. I like the Regency period, and a little beyond, but would like to see more stories with central characters in the newly emerging worlds of work– not the aristocracy.— e.g. the stewards, the people involved with the courts, the bow street runners, the teachers, the dancing masters, etc.
    Merry

    Reply
  5. I like the Regency period, and a little beyond, but would like to see more stories with central characters in the newly emerging worlds of work– not the aristocracy.— e.g. the stewards, the people involved with the courts, the bow street runners, the teachers, the dancing masters, etc.
    Merry

    Reply
  6. Hey, 40 here – and I think there absolutely is a generational disconnect. As much as my grandmother instilled a love of gothics in me, they died out as my generation rejected them. Short form Regency fell next, and while I’d love to see both cycle back, I won’t hold my breath.
    Interestingly, what I have seen be warmly received by 20ish readers lately is the ‘girl bachelor’ series of LLG and books set in the very early victorian, the rise of the mechanical age. Trains seem to have a strong appeal. The still socially restrained but more modern workforce focused heroines, etc. Myself, I love a good Restoration era novel, but I don’t see that setting off a hot new trend.
    And no, not more sex. But I’ve not been a fan of the increasingly lower barrier between erotic romance and standard romance since about ever. I think sex always sells – so proved Harold Robbins. All the buzz around Private Arrangements shows that books centered on character development are still important, ditto for The Spymaster’s Lady – two strong heroine books with a focus on the personalities.

    Reply
  7. Hey, 40 here – and I think there absolutely is a generational disconnect. As much as my grandmother instilled a love of gothics in me, they died out as my generation rejected them. Short form Regency fell next, and while I’d love to see both cycle back, I won’t hold my breath.
    Interestingly, what I have seen be warmly received by 20ish readers lately is the ‘girl bachelor’ series of LLG and books set in the very early victorian, the rise of the mechanical age. Trains seem to have a strong appeal. The still socially restrained but more modern workforce focused heroines, etc. Myself, I love a good Restoration era novel, but I don’t see that setting off a hot new trend.
    And no, not more sex. But I’ve not been a fan of the increasingly lower barrier between erotic romance and standard romance since about ever. I think sex always sells – so proved Harold Robbins. All the buzz around Private Arrangements shows that books centered on character development are still important, ditto for The Spymaster’s Lady – two strong heroine books with a focus on the personalities.

    Reply
  8. Hey, 40 here – and I think there absolutely is a generational disconnect. As much as my grandmother instilled a love of gothics in me, they died out as my generation rejected them. Short form Regency fell next, and while I’d love to see both cycle back, I won’t hold my breath.
    Interestingly, what I have seen be warmly received by 20ish readers lately is the ‘girl bachelor’ series of LLG and books set in the very early victorian, the rise of the mechanical age. Trains seem to have a strong appeal. The still socially restrained but more modern workforce focused heroines, etc. Myself, I love a good Restoration era novel, but I don’t see that setting off a hot new trend.
    And no, not more sex. But I’ve not been a fan of the increasingly lower barrier between erotic romance and standard romance since about ever. I think sex always sells – so proved Harold Robbins. All the buzz around Private Arrangements shows that books centered on character development are still important, ditto for The Spymaster’s Lady – two strong heroine books with a focus on the personalities.

    Reply
  9. Hey, 40 here – and I think there absolutely is a generational disconnect. As much as my grandmother instilled a love of gothics in me, they died out as my generation rejected them. Short form Regency fell next, and while I’d love to see both cycle back, I won’t hold my breath.
    Interestingly, what I have seen be warmly received by 20ish readers lately is the ‘girl bachelor’ series of LLG and books set in the very early victorian, the rise of the mechanical age. Trains seem to have a strong appeal. The still socially restrained but more modern workforce focused heroines, etc. Myself, I love a good Restoration era novel, but I don’t see that setting off a hot new trend.
    And no, not more sex. But I’ve not been a fan of the increasingly lower barrier between erotic romance and standard romance since about ever. I think sex always sells – so proved Harold Robbins. All the buzz around Private Arrangements shows that books centered on character development are still important, ditto for The Spymaster’s Lady – two strong heroine books with a focus on the personalities.

    Reply
  10. Hey, 40 here – and I think there absolutely is a generational disconnect. As much as my grandmother instilled a love of gothics in me, they died out as my generation rejected them. Short form Regency fell next, and while I’d love to see both cycle back, I won’t hold my breath.
    Interestingly, what I have seen be warmly received by 20ish readers lately is the ‘girl bachelor’ series of LLG and books set in the very early victorian, the rise of the mechanical age. Trains seem to have a strong appeal. The still socially restrained but more modern workforce focused heroines, etc. Myself, I love a good Restoration era novel, but I don’t see that setting off a hot new trend.
    And no, not more sex. But I’ve not been a fan of the increasingly lower barrier between erotic romance and standard romance since about ever. I think sex always sells – so proved Harold Robbins. All the buzz around Private Arrangements shows that books centered on character development are still important, ditto for The Spymaster’s Lady – two strong heroine books with a focus on the personalities.

    Reply
  11. I agree with Merry. I am a little tired of the numerous dukes that apparently populated England during the Regency. I am VERY tired of vampires and mostly don’t pick them up at all! That being said, I did enjoy Shanna Abe’s dragon series. Anything paranormal has to be by a favorite author, such as yourself, ma’am. I like fairly detailed, not too kinky sex, but what makes it hot to me is the relationship that leads to the sex. If there’s no relationship it’s just juxtaposition of flesh. I started with Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen in the 60s, graduated to the divine Georgette in the 70s then rapidly went to Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and have never stopped reading romance. I never got into Woodiwiss or Wilde. However, I read a lot of other genres: Sci fi, fantasy, biography, history, technothrillers, mystery. I think I’m pretty firmly in the middle of romance-reading demographic: 55, college educated, caucasian. The next big thing? Absolutely no idea. What I want is well written, historically accurate (or carefully researched if info is spotty), character-driven stories. I like to know about the world the characters inhabit and what makes them tick. I loved the old, sprawling multivolume series that dealt with generations of a family and the social changes they encountered. Probably those kinds of novels are gone because many readers don’t want a big book and they are expensive to print. But I first picked up the Gabaldon “Outlander” series *because* it was big and fell in love with Jamie and Claire. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Reply
  12. I agree with Merry. I am a little tired of the numerous dukes that apparently populated England during the Regency. I am VERY tired of vampires and mostly don’t pick them up at all! That being said, I did enjoy Shanna Abe’s dragon series. Anything paranormal has to be by a favorite author, such as yourself, ma’am. I like fairly detailed, not too kinky sex, but what makes it hot to me is the relationship that leads to the sex. If there’s no relationship it’s just juxtaposition of flesh. I started with Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen in the 60s, graduated to the divine Georgette in the 70s then rapidly went to Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and have never stopped reading romance. I never got into Woodiwiss or Wilde. However, I read a lot of other genres: Sci fi, fantasy, biography, history, technothrillers, mystery. I think I’m pretty firmly in the middle of romance-reading demographic: 55, college educated, caucasian. The next big thing? Absolutely no idea. What I want is well written, historically accurate (or carefully researched if info is spotty), character-driven stories. I like to know about the world the characters inhabit and what makes them tick. I loved the old, sprawling multivolume series that dealt with generations of a family and the social changes they encountered. Probably those kinds of novels are gone because many readers don’t want a big book and they are expensive to print. But I first picked up the Gabaldon “Outlander” series *because* it was big and fell in love with Jamie and Claire. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Reply
  13. I agree with Merry. I am a little tired of the numerous dukes that apparently populated England during the Regency. I am VERY tired of vampires and mostly don’t pick them up at all! That being said, I did enjoy Shanna Abe’s dragon series. Anything paranormal has to be by a favorite author, such as yourself, ma’am. I like fairly detailed, not too kinky sex, but what makes it hot to me is the relationship that leads to the sex. If there’s no relationship it’s just juxtaposition of flesh. I started with Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen in the 60s, graduated to the divine Georgette in the 70s then rapidly went to Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and have never stopped reading romance. I never got into Woodiwiss or Wilde. However, I read a lot of other genres: Sci fi, fantasy, biography, history, technothrillers, mystery. I think I’m pretty firmly in the middle of romance-reading demographic: 55, college educated, caucasian. The next big thing? Absolutely no idea. What I want is well written, historically accurate (or carefully researched if info is spotty), character-driven stories. I like to know about the world the characters inhabit and what makes them tick. I loved the old, sprawling multivolume series that dealt with generations of a family and the social changes they encountered. Probably those kinds of novels are gone because many readers don’t want a big book and they are expensive to print. But I first picked up the Gabaldon “Outlander” series *because* it was big and fell in love with Jamie and Claire. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Reply
  14. I agree with Merry. I am a little tired of the numerous dukes that apparently populated England during the Regency. I am VERY tired of vampires and mostly don’t pick them up at all! That being said, I did enjoy Shanna Abe’s dragon series. Anything paranormal has to be by a favorite author, such as yourself, ma’am. I like fairly detailed, not too kinky sex, but what makes it hot to me is the relationship that leads to the sex. If there’s no relationship it’s just juxtaposition of flesh. I started with Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen in the 60s, graduated to the divine Georgette in the 70s then rapidly went to Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and have never stopped reading romance. I never got into Woodiwiss or Wilde. However, I read a lot of other genres: Sci fi, fantasy, biography, history, technothrillers, mystery. I think I’m pretty firmly in the middle of romance-reading demographic: 55, college educated, caucasian. The next big thing? Absolutely no idea. What I want is well written, historically accurate (or carefully researched if info is spotty), character-driven stories. I like to know about the world the characters inhabit and what makes them tick. I loved the old, sprawling multivolume series that dealt with generations of a family and the social changes they encountered. Probably those kinds of novels are gone because many readers don’t want a big book and they are expensive to print. But I first picked up the Gabaldon “Outlander” series *because* it was big and fell in love with Jamie and Claire. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Reply
  15. I agree with Merry. I am a little tired of the numerous dukes that apparently populated England during the Regency. I am VERY tired of vampires and mostly don’t pick them up at all! That being said, I did enjoy Shanna Abe’s dragon series. Anything paranormal has to be by a favorite author, such as yourself, ma’am. I like fairly detailed, not too kinky sex, but what makes it hot to me is the relationship that leads to the sex. If there’s no relationship it’s just juxtaposition of flesh. I started with Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen in the 60s, graduated to the divine Georgette in the 70s then rapidly went to Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and have never stopped reading romance. I never got into Woodiwiss or Wilde. However, I read a lot of other genres: Sci fi, fantasy, biography, history, technothrillers, mystery. I think I’m pretty firmly in the middle of romance-reading demographic: 55, college educated, caucasian. The next big thing? Absolutely no idea. What I want is well written, historically accurate (or carefully researched if info is spotty), character-driven stories. I like to know about the world the characters inhabit and what makes them tick. I loved the old, sprawling multivolume series that dealt with generations of a family and the social changes they encountered. Probably those kinds of novels are gone because many readers don’t want a big book and they are expensive to print. But I first picked up the Gabaldon “Outlander” series *because* it was big and fell in love with Jamie and Claire. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Reply
  16. I started out reading historicals in high school when Tom Huff was still alive and writing as Jennifer Wilde. I miss the wide variety of historicals that were available back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I cut my teeth reading Taylor Caldwell, Victoria Holt, and Anya Seton. I loved Cynthia Wright’s novels that were set around the American Revolution and Miranda Jarrett’s Colonial America books. I would love to see more books set in the early days of our country, particularly around the War of 1812 or the American Revolution. I’ve been dying to write a Scarlet Pimpernelesque book set in New York when the British were occupying the city.

    Reply
  17. I started out reading historicals in high school when Tom Huff was still alive and writing as Jennifer Wilde. I miss the wide variety of historicals that were available back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I cut my teeth reading Taylor Caldwell, Victoria Holt, and Anya Seton. I loved Cynthia Wright’s novels that were set around the American Revolution and Miranda Jarrett’s Colonial America books. I would love to see more books set in the early days of our country, particularly around the War of 1812 or the American Revolution. I’ve been dying to write a Scarlet Pimpernelesque book set in New York when the British were occupying the city.

    Reply
  18. I started out reading historicals in high school when Tom Huff was still alive and writing as Jennifer Wilde. I miss the wide variety of historicals that were available back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I cut my teeth reading Taylor Caldwell, Victoria Holt, and Anya Seton. I loved Cynthia Wright’s novels that were set around the American Revolution and Miranda Jarrett’s Colonial America books. I would love to see more books set in the early days of our country, particularly around the War of 1812 or the American Revolution. I’ve been dying to write a Scarlet Pimpernelesque book set in New York when the British were occupying the city.

    Reply
  19. I started out reading historicals in high school when Tom Huff was still alive and writing as Jennifer Wilde. I miss the wide variety of historicals that were available back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I cut my teeth reading Taylor Caldwell, Victoria Holt, and Anya Seton. I loved Cynthia Wright’s novels that were set around the American Revolution and Miranda Jarrett’s Colonial America books. I would love to see more books set in the early days of our country, particularly around the War of 1812 or the American Revolution. I’ve been dying to write a Scarlet Pimpernelesque book set in New York when the British were occupying the city.

    Reply
  20. I started out reading historicals in high school when Tom Huff was still alive and writing as Jennifer Wilde. I miss the wide variety of historicals that were available back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I cut my teeth reading Taylor Caldwell, Victoria Holt, and Anya Seton. I loved Cynthia Wright’s novels that were set around the American Revolution and Miranda Jarrett’s Colonial America books. I would love to see more books set in the early days of our country, particularly around the War of 1812 or the American Revolution. I’ve been dying to write a Scarlet Pimpernelesque book set in New York when the British were occupying the city.

    Reply
  21. What I always want, and I think I probably say this over and over, is a novel that surprises me. In a good way; with sharp characterizations of characters I haven’t met before five hundred times! I’m in the older age group, but a relative newcomer to genre romance, so didn’t get in on the early greats and don’t care much for them when I try them… except for Heyer.
    I’d probably pick up something set in fin de siecle France or Austria, and the idea of the Gibson girl has always intrigued me. I haven’t noticed a lot of historical romance that focuses on the lives of artists and writers, which kind of surprises me, as that seems a natural direction for a novelist to go; don’t we all love novels about novelists ourselves?
    It’s interesting to try to figure out what the big attraction of the Regency is, at bottom; apart from Jane Austen, of course. Is it the fact that high society wasn’t entirely focused on the Court? Is it the clothing? Almacks? The sheer reckless exuberance of it all? Or is it just that it’s a familiar, ready-made world where we feel at home? I do somewhat prefer a historical setting I know at least a bit about. If I pick up a book and see that it’s set in pre-Columbian Brazil, I’m apt to put it right back down again!
    I have digressed; sorry. I will be interested to learn what era you land in for your next!

    Reply
  22. What I always want, and I think I probably say this over and over, is a novel that surprises me. In a good way; with sharp characterizations of characters I haven’t met before five hundred times! I’m in the older age group, but a relative newcomer to genre romance, so didn’t get in on the early greats and don’t care much for them when I try them… except for Heyer.
    I’d probably pick up something set in fin de siecle France or Austria, and the idea of the Gibson girl has always intrigued me. I haven’t noticed a lot of historical romance that focuses on the lives of artists and writers, which kind of surprises me, as that seems a natural direction for a novelist to go; don’t we all love novels about novelists ourselves?
    It’s interesting to try to figure out what the big attraction of the Regency is, at bottom; apart from Jane Austen, of course. Is it the fact that high society wasn’t entirely focused on the Court? Is it the clothing? Almacks? The sheer reckless exuberance of it all? Or is it just that it’s a familiar, ready-made world where we feel at home? I do somewhat prefer a historical setting I know at least a bit about. If I pick up a book and see that it’s set in pre-Columbian Brazil, I’m apt to put it right back down again!
    I have digressed; sorry. I will be interested to learn what era you land in for your next!

    Reply
  23. What I always want, and I think I probably say this over and over, is a novel that surprises me. In a good way; with sharp characterizations of characters I haven’t met before five hundred times! I’m in the older age group, but a relative newcomer to genre romance, so didn’t get in on the early greats and don’t care much for them when I try them… except for Heyer.
    I’d probably pick up something set in fin de siecle France or Austria, and the idea of the Gibson girl has always intrigued me. I haven’t noticed a lot of historical romance that focuses on the lives of artists and writers, which kind of surprises me, as that seems a natural direction for a novelist to go; don’t we all love novels about novelists ourselves?
    It’s interesting to try to figure out what the big attraction of the Regency is, at bottom; apart from Jane Austen, of course. Is it the fact that high society wasn’t entirely focused on the Court? Is it the clothing? Almacks? The sheer reckless exuberance of it all? Or is it just that it’s a familiar, ready-made world where we feel at home? I do somewhat prefer a historical setting I know at least a bit about. If I pick up a book and see that it’s set in pre-Columbian Brazil, I’m apt to put it right back down again!
    I have digressed; sorry. I will be interested to learn what era you land in for your next!

    Reply
  24. What I always want, and I think I probably say this over and over, is a novel that surprises me. In a good way; with sharp characterizations of characters I haven’t met before five hundred times! I’m in the older age group, but a relative newcomer to genre romance, so didn’t get in on the early greats and don’t care much for them when I try them… except for Heyer.
    I’d probably pick up something set in fin de siecle France or Austria, and the idea of the Gibson girl has always intrigued me. I haven’t noticed a lot of historical romance that focuses on the lives of artists and writers, which kind of surprises me, as that seems a natural direction for a novelist to go; don’t we all love novels about novelists ourselves?
    It’s interesting to try to figure out what the big attraction of the Regency is, at bottom; apart from Jane Austen, of course. Is it the fact that high society wasn’t entirely focused on the Court? Is it the clothing? Almacks? The sheer reckless exuberance of it all? Or is it just that it’s a familiar, ready-made world where we feel at home? I do somewhat prefer a historical setting I know at least a bit about. If I pick up a book and see that it’s set in pre-Columbian Brazil, I’m apt to put it right back down again!
    I have digressed; sorry. I will be interested to learn what era you land in for your next!

    Reply
  25. What I always want, and I think I probably say this over and over, is a novel that surprises me. In a good way; with sharp characterizations of characters I haven’t met before five hundred times! I’m in the older age group, but a relative newcomer to genre romance, so didn’t get in on the early greats and don’t care much for them when I try them… except for Heyer.
    I’d probably pick up something set in fin de siecle France or Austria, and the idea of the Gibson girl has always intrigued me. I haven’t noticed a lot of historical romance that focuses on the lives of artists and writers, which kind of surprises me, as that seems a natural direction for a novelist to go; don’t we all love novels about novelists ourselves?
    It’s interesting to try to figure out what the big attraction of the Regency is, at bottom; apart from Jane Austen, of course. Is it the fact that high society wasn’t entirely focused on the Court? Is it the clothing? Almacks? The sheer reckless exuberance of it all? Or is it just that it’s a familiar, ready-made world where we feel at home? I do somewhat prefer a historical setting I know at least a bit about. If I pick up a book and see that it’s set in pre-Columbian Brazil, I’m apt to put it right back down again!
    I have digressed; sorry. I will be interested to learn what era you land in for your next!

    Reply
  26. I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian. I’m interested in most all European history. I think the Renaissance is a really lush period that has been overlooked and would be exciting to write about. I’d like to see more things set on the continent of Europe. I also love Georgian time period. Love comedy, but comedy is pretty subjective and I think really hard to write.

    Reply
  27. I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian. I’m interested in most all European history. I think the Renaissance is a really lush period that has been overlooked and would be exciting to write about. I’d like to see more things set on the continent of Europe. I also love Georgian time period. Love comedy, but comedy is pretty subjective and I think really hard to write.

    Reply
  28. I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian. I’m interested in most all European history. I think the Renaissance is a really lush period that has been overlooked and would be exciting to write about. I’d like to see more things set on the continent of Europe. I also love Georgian time period. Love comedy, but comedy is pretty subjective and I think really hard to write.

    Reply
  29. I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian. I’m interested in most all European history. I think the Renaissance is a really lush period that has been overlooked and would be exciting to write about. I’d like to see more things set on the continent of Europe. I also love Georgian time period. Love comedy, but comedy is pretty subjective and I think really hard to write.

    Reply
  30. I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian. I’m interested in most all European history. I think the Renaissance is a really lush period that has been overlooked and would be exciting to write about. I’d like to see more things set on the continent of Europe. I also love Georgian time period. Love comedy, but comedy is pretty subjective and I think really hard to write.

    Reply
  31. I’m 40 and I would like to see more romances in Ancient Roman and the Edwardian period. I wish American historicals would make a comeback but not necessarily westerns or Indian romances. I think Colonial times is underdeveloped.

    Reply
  32. I’m 40 and I would like to see more romances in Ancient Roman and the Edwardian period. I wish American historicals would make a comeback but not necessarily westerns or Indian romances. I think Colonial times is underdeveloped.

    Reply
  33. I’m 40 and I would like to see more romances in Ancient Roman and the Edwardian period. I wish American historicals would make a comeback but not necessarily westerns or Indian romances. I think Colonial times is underdeveloped.

    Reply
  34. I’m 40 and I would like to see more romances in Ancient Roman and the Edwardian period. I wish American historicals would make a comeback but not necessarily westerns or Indian romances. I think Colonial times is underdeveloped.

    Reply
  35. I’m 40 and I would like to see more romances in Ancient Roman and the Edwardian period. I wish American historicals would make a comeback but not necessarily westerns or Indian romances. I think Colonial times is underdeveloped.

    Reply
  36. Gen-Y here (22). I’d like to see a little bit more historical detail become a trend. I never realized how much I loved the small historical details until I read a few novels that were infused with more historical detail than the average romance.
    I’ve also heard that there’s a move towards the Victorian which is great, but I think that getting away from the strictly aristocracy in any historical genre would be a good thing. I’m inclined to believe that there’s so much to do with Regency because it’s what people know. I’d like to think that if we readers were introduced to novels that were well-written and set in new and exciting eras that we’d appreciate the change! Then again, I agree with Elaine in saying that if I were to pick up a romance set in a very exotic locale I’d put it back down. I think anything European or American is intriguing but I’m not drawn to many areas outside those locations.

    Reply
  37. Gen-Y here (22). I’d like to see a little bit more historical detail become a trend. I never realized how much I loved the small historical details until I read a few novels that were infused with more historical detail than the average romance.
    I’ve also heard that there’s a move towards the Victorian which is great, but I think that getting away from the strictly aristocracy in any historical genre would be a good thing. I’m inclined to believe that there’s so much to do with Regency because it’s what people know. I’d like to think that if we readers were introduced to novels that were well-written and set in new and exciting eras that we’d appreciate the change! Then again, I agree with Elaine in saying that if I were to pick up a romance set in a very exotic locale I’d put it back down. I think anything European or American is intriguing but I’m not drawn to many areas outside those locations.

    Reply
  38. Gen-Y here (22). I’d like to see a little bit more historical detail become a trend. I never realized how much I loved the small historical details until I read a few novels that were infused with more historical detail than the average romance.
    I’ve also heard that there’s a move towards the Victorian which is great, but I think that getting away from the strictly aristocracy in any historical genre would be a good thing. I’m inclined to believe that there’s so much to do with Regency because it’s what people know. I’d like to think that if we readers were introduced to novels that were well-written and set in new and exciting eras that we’d appreciate the change! Then again, I agree with Elaine in saying that if I were to pick up a romance set in a very exotic locale I’d put it back down. I think anything European or American is intriguing but I’m not drawn to many areas outside those locations.

    Reply
  39. Gen-Y here (22). I’d like to see a little bit more historical detail become a trend. I never realized how much I loved the small historical details until I read a few novels that were infused with more historical detail than the average romance.
    I’ve also heard that there’s a move towards the Victorian which is great, but I think that getting away from the strictly aristocracy in any historical genre would be a good thing. I’m inclined to believe that there’s so much to do with Regency because it’s what people know. I’d like to think that if we readers were introduced to novels that were well-written and set in new and exciting eras that we’d appreciate the change! Then again, I agree with Elaine in saying that if I were to pick up a romance set in a very exotic locale I’d put it back down. I think anything European or American is intriguing but I’m not drawn to many areas outside those locations.

    Reply
  40. Gen-Y here (22). I’d like to see a little bit more historical detail become a trend. I never realized how much I loved the small historical details until I read a few novels that were infused with more historical detail than the average romance.
    I’ve also heard that there’s a move towards the Victorian which is great, but I think that getting away from the strictly aristocracy in any historical genre would be a good thing. I’m inclined to believe that there’s so much to do with Regency because it’s what people know. I’d like to think that if we readers were introduced to novels that were well-written and set in new and exciting eras that we’d appreciate the change! Then again, I agree with Elaine in saying that if I were to pick up a romance set in a very exotic locale I’d put it back down. I think anything European or American is intriguing but I’m not drawn to many areas outside those locations.

    Reply
  41. Wow, I stopped for a lunch break and to tune in here, and already you’ve sent the wheels of creativity spinning! I, too, would adore seeing a “working class” historical fad start. I have very little fascination with nobility beyond their ability to make things happen.
    But Elaine added a perspective I hadn’t considered–people want to have some familiarity with their subjects. English Regencies have built a familiar world of their own, so it would take a whole lot of writers building another world to make anything like “Pre-Columbian Brazil” work–at least in the romance genre.
    I think western historical writers once had a similar “world” happening, where readers felt comfortable with the mores and manners.
    All of which, of course, makes my restless fingers itch for the “different.” I am thrilled that readers are more interested in character development than sex for the sake of sex.
    But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period? I’m enjoying a lot of these action/adventure books I’ve been reading, but most of the ones I enjoy are driven by the characters’ internal motivation.
    Keep it coming, folks! This is wonderful.

    Reply
  42. Wow, I stopped for a lunch break and to tune in here, and already you’ve sent the wheels of creativity spinning! I, too, would adore seeing a “working class” historical fad start. I have very little fascination with nobility beyond their ability to make things happen.
    But Elaine added a perspective I hadn’t considered–people want to have some familiarity with their subjects. English Regencies have built a familiar world of their own, so it would take a whole lot of writers building another world to make anything like “Pre-Columbian Brazil” work–at least in the romance genre.
    I think western historical writers once had a similar “world” happening, where readers felt comfortable with the mores and manners.
    All of which, of course, makes my restless fingers itch for the “different.” I am thrilled that readers are more interested in character development than sex for the sake of sex.
    But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period? I’m enjoying a lot of these action/adventure books I’ve been reading, but most of the ones I enjoy are driven by the characters’ internal motivation.
    Keep it coming, folks! This is wonderful.

    Reply
  43. Wow, I stopped for a lunch break and to tune in here, and already you’ve sent the wheels of creativity spinning! I, too, would adore seeing a “working class” historical fad start. I have very little fascination with nobility beyond their ability to make things happen.
    But Elaine added a perspective I hadn’t considered–people want to have some familiarity with their subjects. English Regencies have built a familiar world of their own, so it would take a whole lot of writers building another world to make anything like “Pre-Columbian Brazil” work–at least in the romance genre.
    I think western historical writers once had a similar “world” happening, where readers felt comfortable with the mores and manners.
    All of which, of course, makes my restless fingers itch for the “different.” I am thrilled that readers are more interested in character development than sex for the sake of sex.
    But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period? I’m enjoying a lot of these action/adventure books I’ve been reading, but most of the ones I enjoy are driven by the characters’ internal motivation.
    Keep it coming, folks! This is wonderful.

    Reply
  44. Wow, I stopped for a lunch break and to tune in here, and already you’ve sent the wheels of creativity spinning! I, too, would adore seeing a “working class” historical fad start. I have very little fascination with nobility beyond their ability to make things happen.
    But Elaine added a perspective I hadn’t considered–people want to have some familiarity with their subjects. English Regencies have built a familiar world of their own, so it would take a whole lot of writers building another world to make anything like “Pre-Columbian Brazil” work–at least in the romance genre.
    I think western historical writers once had a similar “world” happening, where readers felt comfortable with the mores and manners.
    All of which, of course, makes my restless fingers itch for the “different.” I am thrilled that readers are more interested in character development than sex for the sake of sex.
    But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period? I’m enjoying a lot of these action/adventure books I’ve been reading, but most of the ones I enjoy are driven by the characters’ internal motivation.
    Keep it coming, folks! This is wonderful.

    Reply
  45. Wow, I stopped for a lunch break and to tune in here, and already you’ve sent the wheels of creativity spinning! I, too, would adore seeing a “working class” historical fad start. I have very little fascination with nobility beyond their ability to make things happen.
    But Elaine added a perspective I hadn’t considered–people want to have some familiarity with their subjects. English Regencies have built a familiar world of their own, so it would take a whole lot of writers building another world to make anything like “Pre-Columbian Brazil” work–at least in the romance genre.
    I think western historical writers once had a similar “world” happening, where readers felt comfortable with the mores and manners.
    All of which, of course, makes my restless fingers itch for the “different.” I am thrilled that readers are more interested in character development than sex for the sake of sex.
    But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period? I’m enjoying a lot of these action/adventure books I’ve been reading, but most of the ones I enjoy are driven by the characters’ internal motivation.
    Keep it coming, folks! This is wonderful.

    Reply
  46. ***I think Colonial times is underdeveloped***
    I think this is because it’s hard to get around the slavery issue during that period, which makes it a hard sell. At least this is what I’ve heard agents and editors say.
    ***I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian.***
    I’m all about the morally loose Georgian era!!! Jo’s new book made me SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

    Reply
  47. ***I think Colonial times is underdeveloped***
    I think this is because it’s hard to get around the slavery issue during that period, which makes it a hard sell. At least this is what I’ve heard agents and editors say.
    ***I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian.***
    I’m all about the morally loose Georgian era!!! Jo’s new book made me SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

    Reply
  48. ***I think Colonial times is underdeveloped***
    I think this is because it’s hard to get around the slavery issue during that period, which makes it a hard sell. At least this is what I’ve heard agents and editors say.
    ***I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian.***
    I’m all about the morally loose Georgian era!!! Jo’s new book made me SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

    Reply
  49. ***I think Colonial times is underdeveloped***
    I think this is because it’s hard to get around the slavery issue during that period, which makes it a hard sell. At least this is what I’ve heard agents and editors say.
    ***I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian.***
    I’m all about the morally loose Georgian era!!! Jo’s new book made me SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

    Reply
  50. ***I think Colonial times is underdeveloped***
    I think this is because it’s hard to get around the slavery issue during that period, which makes it a hard sell. At least this is what I’ve heard agents and editors say.
    ***I love Regency, to me Regency is a time period between what I consider the morally loose Georgian and the really uptight Victorian.***
    I’m all about the morally loose Georgian era!!! Jo’s new book made me SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

    Reply
  51. ***But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period?***
    I’m not opposed to a balance of external vs internal plot, but as a reader I’ve grown tired of the books that rely mostly on an external plot device to move the story and characters forward. You have to have SOME external plot, but for the past 4-5 years I’ve been finding a lot of books that have almost no internal plot, and it’s the internal, twisted, angsty mess that makes the book interesting to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I want real character development amidst all the external plot forces, and not all authors are delivering it (this finger is not being pointed at any of the ladies here, clearly!).
    But then I have an Amazon review that’s titled “Where’s the dialogue?” so what do I know. LOL!

    Reply
  52. ***But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period?***
    I’m not opposed to a balance of external vs internal plot, but as a reader I’ve grown tired of the books that rely mostly on an external plot device to move the story and characters forward. You have to have SOME external plot, but for the past 4-5 years I’ve been finding a lot of books that have almost no internal plot, and it’s the internal, twisted, angsty mess that makes the book interesting to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I want real character development amidst all the external plot forces, and not all authors are delivering it (this finger is not being pointed at any of the ladies here, clearly!).
    But then I have an Amazon review that’s titled “Where’s the dialogue?” so what do I know. LOL!

    Reply
  53. ***But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period?***
    I’m not opposed to a balance of external vs internal plot, but as a reader I’ve grown tired of the books that rely mostly on an external plot device to move the story and characters forward. You have to have SOME external plot, but for the past 4-5 years I’ve been finding a lot of books that have almost no internal plot, and it’s the internal, twisted, angsty mess that makes the book interesting to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I want real character development amidst all the external plot forces, and not all authors are delivering it (this finger is not being pointed at any of the ladies here, clearly!).
    But then I have an Amazon review that’s titled “Where’s the dialogue?” so what do I know. LOL!

    Reply
  54. ***But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period?***
    I’m not opposed to a balance of external vs internal plot, but as a reader I’ve grown tired of the books that rely mostly on an external plot device to move the story and characters forward. You have to have SOME external plot, but for the past 4-5 years I’ve been finding a lot of books that have almost no internal plot, and it’s the internal, twisted, angsty mess that makes the book interesting to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I want real character development amidst all the external plot forces, and not all authors are delivering it (this finger is not being pointed at any of the ladies here, clearly!).
    But then I have an Amazon review that’s titled “Where’s the dialogue?” so what do I know. LOL!

    Reply
  55. ***But Kalen, that leads me to question your statement–is it explicitly external plot motivation as opposed to internal conflict, or are you opposed to external plot, period?***
    I’m not opposed to a balance of external vs internal plot, but as a reader I’ve grown tired of the books that rely mostly on an external plot device to move the story and characters forward. You have to have SOME external plot, but for the past 4-5 years I’ve been finding a lot of books that have almost no internal plot, and it’s the internal, twisted, angsty mess that makes the book interesting to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I want real character development amidst all the external plot forces, and not all authors are delivering it (this finger is not being pointed at any of the ladies here, clearly!).
    But then I have an Amazon review that’s titled “Where’s the dialogue?” so what do I know. LOL!

    Reply
  56. I’m 34, and what I love are “historical” historicals, with lots of details about the time (which are relevant to the story) and a … real connection to the political and social situation it’s set in. a lot of historicals get the details right but do not bother to picture the power struggles, the court intrigue, that kind of stuff. Think the Roselynde books or the Mallorean novels for (positive) examples. I’d also like longer time frames. Why does everything have to happen in a short week? And life beyond hte aristocracy please! The whole adoration of the aristocracy always leaves me a bit puzzled and well frustrated, you’d think nobody else had a live but the aristocracy. And that’s just not true! As for setting, do them well and I will read them all!

    Reply
  57. I’m 34, and what I love are “historical” historicals, with lots of details about the time (which are relevant to the story) and a … real connection to the political and social situation it’s set in. a lot of historicals get the details right but do not bother to picture the power struggles, the court intrigue, that kind of stuff. Think the Roselynde books or the Mallorean novels for (positive) examples. I’d also like longer time frames. Why does everything have to happen in a short week? And life beyond hte aristocracy please! The whole adoration of the aristocracy always leaves me a bit puzzled and well frustrated, you’d think nobody else had a live but the aristocracy. And that’s just not true! As for setting, do them well and I will read them all!

    Reply
  58. I’m 34, and what I love are “historical” historicals, with lots of details about the time (which are relevant to the story) and a … real connection to the political and social situation it’s set in. a lot of historicals get the details right but do not bother to picture the power struggles, the court intrigue, that kind of stuff. Think the Roselynde books or the Mallorean novels for (positive) examples. I’d also like longer time frames. Why does everything have to happen in a short week? And life beyond hte aristocracy please! The whole adoration of the aristocracy always leaves me a bit puzzled and well frustrated, you’d think nobody else had a live but the aristocracy. And that’s just not true! As for setting, do them well and I will read them all!

    Reply
  59. I’m 34, and what I love are “historical” historicals, with lots of details about the time (which are relevant to the story) and a … real connection to the political and social situation it’s set in. a lot of historicals get the details right but do not bother to picture the power struggles, the court intrigue, that kind of stuff. Think the Roselynde books or the Mallorean novels for (positive) examples. I’d also like longer time frames. Why does everything have to happen in a short week? And life beyond hte aristocracy please! The whole adoration of the aristocracy always leaves me a bit puzzled and well frustrated, you’d think nobody else had a live but the aristocracy. And that’s just not true! As for setting, do them well and I will read them all!

    Reply
  60. I’m 34, and what I love are “historical” historicals, with lots of details about the time (which are relevant to the story) and a … real connection to the political and social situation it’s set in. a lot of historicals get the details right but do not bother to picture the power struggles, the court intrigue, that kind of stuff. Think the Roselynde books or the Mallorean novels for (positive) examples. I’d also like longer time frames. Why does everything have to happen in a short week? And life beyond hte aristocracy please! The whole adoration of the aristocracy always leaves me a bit puzzled and well frustrated, you’d think nobody else had a live but the aristocracy. And that’s just not true! As for setting, do them well and I will read them all!

    Reply
  61. I agree that Elaine has a good point about Regencies and our familiarity with that world. However, I’m ready to become familiar with another era. One that we’re starting to see emerge is ancient Rome. I hope we’re going to see many more books set there. The Roman Empire spanned many centuries and a broad geographic area so there’s certainly room for a lot of variety.
    And I’m 50, white, and from the American midwest. I read Heyer in high school and Woodiwiss in the early 80’s.

    Reply
  62. I agree that Elaine has a good point about Regencies and our familiarity with that world. However, I’m ready to become familiar with another era. One that we’re starting to see emerge is ancient Rome. I hope we’re going to see many more books set there. The Roman Empire spanned many centuries and a broad geographic area so there’s certainly room for a lot of variety.
    And I’m 50, white, and from the American midwest. I read Heyer in high school and Woodiwiss in the early 80’s.

    Reply
  63. I agree that Elaine has a good point about Regencies and our familiarity with that world. However, I’m ready to become familiar with another era. One that we’re starting to see emerge is ancient Rome. I hope we’re going to see many more books set there. The Roman Empire spanned many centuries and a broad geographic area so there’s certainly room for a lot of variety.
    And I’m 50, white, and from the American midwest. I read Heyer in high school and Woodiwiss in the early 80’s.

    Reply
  64. I agree that Elaine has a good point about Regencies and our familiarity with that world. However, I’m ready to become familiar with another era. One that we’re starting to see emerge is ancient Rome. I hope we’re going to see many more books set there. The Roman Empire spanned many centuries and a broad geographic area so there’s certainly room for a lot of variety.
    And I’m 50, white, and from the American midwest. I read Heyer in high school and Woodiwiss in the early 80’s.

    Reply
  65. I agree that Elaine has a good point about Regencies and our familiarity with that world. However, I’m ready to become familiar with another era. One that we’re starting to see emerge is ancient Rome. I hope we’re going to see many more books set there. The Roman Empire spanned many centuries and a broad geographic area so there’s certainly room for a lot of variety.
    And I’m 50, white, and from the American midwest. I read Heyer in high school and Woodiwiss in the early 80’s.

    Reply
  66. As far as historicals go, I adore Regencies, but I would like to see more books set in the Victorian Era. I think there is so much to explore there that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

    Reply
  67. As far as historicals go, I adore Regencies, but I would like to see more books set in the Victorian Era. I think there is so much to explore there that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

    Reply
  68. As far as historicals go, I adore Regencies, but I would like to see more books set in the Victorian Era. I think there is so much to explore there that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

    Reply
  69. As far as historicals go, I adore Regencies, but I would like to see more books set in the Victorian Era. I think there is so much to explore there that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

    Reply
  70. As far as historicals go, I adore Regencies, but I would like to see more books set in the Victorian Era. I think there is so much to explore there that hasn’t been tapped into yet.

    Reply
  71. Hmmn. I’m 34 and started out with Jane Eyre and Gone With The Wind in 6th grade, moved through Victoria Holt in all her various names, Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Woodiwiss, Barbara Wood (good for weird locales) and then read my first regency by April Kilstrohm? around 9th grade. Picked up Mary Balogh around the same time and scoured every Waldenbooks and garage sale I could find for the old Signets. Austen was a high-school revelation. I’m a big fan of the Outlander books and I glommed Dunnett over the past few years.
    I’d love to see more things like Karleen Koen’s, Through a Glass Darkly and the sequel. More big stories please. One of the things I love about series books is that they can have that feel.
    I just finished “A Lady’s Secret” and loved it. I got chills on page 199. That kind of stuff will get me every time, and you don’t get that without an extensive backstory and long life with characters.
    I would also like to see a series set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is a challenge, but a good writer should be able to make it work. I’ve always wanted to do a series based on Revolutionary era Long Island, which lends itself to all sorts of intrigues and family dissonance, since New York was so split politically.
    Not more sex! I enjoy romantica etcetera, but one of the hottest books I read in years was Jo’s Hazard and it was not brimming with bursting bosoms, thank goodness. It didn’t need it. Frankly, I found the first card game left me feeling warm all over and it just got better from there on out.
    So, I guess what I’d like are bigger stories, with higher stakes and more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.
    I’d be willing to embrace more Tudor period romances, in between the major periods of uber-religious-strife, more Georgians, and the Roman period with all its lovely bathing. This is probably due to the wonderful recent cable series set in these times, however. I wonder if following the tv trends makes any sense?

    Reply
  72. Hmmn. I’m 34 and started out with Jane Eyre and Gone With The Wind in 6th grade, moved through Victoria Holt in all her various names, Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Woodiwiss, Barbara Wood (good for weird locales) and then read my first regency by April Kilstrohm? around 9th grade. Picked up Mary Balogh around the same time and scoured every Waldenbooks and garage sale I could find for the old Signets. Austen was a high-school revelation. I’m a big fan of the Outlander books and I glommed Dunnett over the past few years.
    I’d love to see more things like Karleen Koen’s, Through a Glass Darkly and the sequel. More big stories please. One of the things I love about series books is that they can have that feel.
    I just finished “A Lady’s Secret” and loved it. I got chills on page 199. That kind of stuff will get me every time, and you don’t get that without an extensive backstory and long life with characters.
    I would also like to see a series set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is a challenge, but a good writer should be able to make it work. I’ve always wanted to do a series based on Revolutionary era Long Island, which lends itself to all sorts of intrigues and family dissonance, since New York was so split politically.
    Not more sex! I enjoy romantica etcetera, but one of the hottest books I read in years was Jo’s Hazard and it was not brimming with bursting bosoms, thank goodness. It didn’t need it. Frankly, I found the first card game left me feeling warm all over and it just got better from there on out.
    So, I guess what I’d like are bigger stories, with higher stakes and more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.
    I’d be willing to embrace more Tudor period romances, in between the major periods of uber-religious-strife, more Georgians, and the Roman period with all its lovely bathing. This is probably due to the wonderful recent cable series set in these times, however. I wonder if following the tv trends makes any sense?

    Reply
  73. Hmmn. I’m 34 and started out with Jane Eyre and Gone With The Wind in 6th grade, moved through Victoria Holt in all her various names, Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Woodiwiss, Barbara Wood (good for weird locales) and then read my first regency by April Kilstrohm? around 9th grade. Picked up Mary Balogh around the same time and scoured every Waldenbooks and garage sale I could find for the old Signets. Austen was a high-school revelation. I’m a big fan of the Outlander books and I glommed Dunnett over the past few years.
    I’d love to see more things like Karleen Koen’s, Through a Glass Darkly and the sequel. More big stories please. One of the things I love about series books is that they can have that feel.
    I just finished “A Lady’s Secret” and loved it. I got chills on page 199. That kind of stuff will get me every time, and you don’t get that without an extensive backstory and long life with characters.
    I would also like to see a series set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is a challenge, but a good writer should be able to make it work. I’ve always wanted to do a series based on Revolutionary era Long Island, which lends itself to all sorts of intrigues and family dissonance, since New York was so split politically.
    Not more sex! I enjoy romantica etcetera, but one of the hottest books I read in years was Jo’s Hazard and it was not brimming with bursting bosoms, thank goodness. It didn’t need it. Frankly, I found the first card game left me feeling warm all over and it just got better from there on out.
    So, I guess what I’d like are bigger stories, with higher stakes and more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.
    I’d be willing to embrace more Tudor period romances, in between the major periods of uber-religious-strife, more Georgians, and the Roman period with all its lovely bathing. This is probably due to the wonderful recent cable series set in these times, however. I wonder if following the tv trends makes any sense?

    Reply
  74. Hmmn. I’m 34 and started out with Jane Eyre and Gone With The Wind in 6th grade, moved through Victoria Holt in all her various names, Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Woodiwiss, Barbara Wood (good for weird locales) and then read my first regency by April Kilstrohm? around 9th grade. Picked up Mary Balogh around the same time and scoured every Waldenbooks and garage sale I could find for the old Signets. Austen was a high-school revelation. I’m a big fan of the Outlander books and I glommed Dunnett over the past few years.
    I’d love to see more things like Karleen Koen’s, Through a Glass Darkly and the sequel. More big stories please. One of the things I love about series books is that they can have that feel.
    I just finished “A Lady’s Secret” and loved it. I got chills on page 199. That kind of stuff will get me every time, and you don’t get that without an extensive backstory and long life with characters.
    I would also like to see a series set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is a challenge, but a good writer should be able to make it work. I’ve always wanted to do a series based on Revolutionary era Long Island, which lends itself to all sorts of intrigues and family dissonance, since New York was so split politically.
    Not more sex! I enjoy romantica etcetera, but one of the hottest books I read in years was Jo’s Hazard and it was not brimming with bursting bosoms, thank goodness. It didn’t need it. Frankly, I found the first card game left me feeling warm all over and it just got better from there on out.
    So, I guess what I’d like are bigger stories, with higher stakes and more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.
    I’d be willing to embrace more Tudor period romances, in between the major periods of uber-religious-strife, more Georgians, and the Roman period with all its lovely bathing. This is probably due to the wonderful recent cable series set in these times, however. I wonder if following the tv trends makes any sense?

    Reply
  75. Hmmn. I’m 34 and started out with Jane Eyre and Gone With The Wind in 6th grade, moved through Victoria Holt in all her various names, Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Woodiwiss, Barbara Wood (good for weird locales) and then read my first regency by April Kilstrohm? around 9th grade. Picked up Mary Balogh around the same time and scoured every Waldenbooks and garage sale I could find for the old Signets. Austen was a high-school revelation. I’m a big fan of the Outlander books and I glommed Dunnett over the past few years.
    I’d love to see more things like Karleen Koen’s, Through a Glass Darkly and the sequel. More big stories please. One of the things I love about series books is that they can have that feel.
    I just finished “A Lady’s Secret” and loved it. I got chills on page 199. That kind of stuff will get me every time, and you don’t get that without an extensive backstory and long life with characters.
    I would also like to see a series set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Slavery is a challenge, but a good writer should be able to make it work. I’ve always wanted to do a series based on Revolutionary era Long Island, which lends itself to all sorts of intrigues and family dissonance, since New York was so split politically.
    Not more sex! I enjoy romantica etcetera, but one of the hottest books I read in years was Jo’s Hazard and it was not brimming with bursting bosoms, thank goodness. It didn’t need it. Frankly, I found the first card game left me feeling warm all over and it just got better from there on out.
    So, I guess what I’d like are bigger stories, with higher stakes and more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.
    I’d be willing to embrace more Tudor period romances, in between the major periods of uber-religious-strife, more Georgians, and the Roman period with all its lovely bathing. This is probably due to the wonderful recent cable series set in these times, however. I wonder if following the tv trends makes any sense?

    Reply
  76. I turned 37 in January, so I’m Gen-X. My first historical romances were the Sunfire YA historical romances (which I adored and am still sentimentally attached to), Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regencies, all of which I read in high school.
    Like Kalen, I’d like to see more character-driven romances. But I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place. Maybe that’s because I started romance with the Sunfire series, which focused on specific historical events–girl finds love on Oregon Trail, girl finds love at Jamestown, girl finds love aboard the Titanic, etc. It’s not so much that I want my romances to be educational as that I like to see all the history I’ve studied brought to life through fiction.
    As for settings, count me as another vote for colonial. I’d love to see something in 17th or 18th century Philadelphia. I’m also becoming fascinated by India, but again more the 17th and 18th centuries than the 19th.
    I just can’t get interested in the Victorian era. I think for me it’s the industrial factor–once you have steamships and railroads and telegraphs and all that, you lose some of the romance and otherness of the Regency and earlier periods. I sometimes *read* Victorian settings, but I can’t see myself *writing* a British-set story set much later than 1815. (America is different for some reason–I think the frontier factor helps me stay interested despite the telegraphs and trains, and I can’t help being interested in the Civil War, since it’s literally in my blood!)

    Reply
  77. I turned 37 in January, so I’m Gen-X. My first historical romances were the Sunfire YA historical romances (which I adored and am still sentimentally attached to), Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regencies, all of which I read in high school.
    Like Kalen, I’d like to see more character-driven romances. But I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place. Maybe that’s because I started romance with the Sunfire series, which focused on specific historical events–girl finds love on Oregon Trail, girl finds love at Jamestown, girl finds love aboard the Titanic, etc. It’s not so much that I want my romances to be educational as that I like to see all the history I’ve studied brought to life through fiction.
    As for settings, count me as another vote for colonial. I’d love to see something in 17th or 18th century Philadelphia. I’m also becoming fascinated by India, but again more the 17th and 18th centuries than the 19th.
    I just can’t get interested in the Victorian era. I think for me it’s the industrial factor–once you have steamships and railroads and telegraphs and all that, you lose some of the romance and otherness of the Regency and earlier periods. I sometimes *read* Victorian settings, but I can’t see myself *writing* a British-set story set much later than 1815. (America is different for some reason–I think the frontier factor helps me stay interested despite the telegraphs and trains, and I can’t help being interested in the Civil War, since it’s literally in my blood!)

    Reply
  78. I turned 37 in January, so I’m Gen-X. My first historical romances were the Sunfire YA historical romances (which I adored and am still sentimentally attached to), Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regencies, all of which I read in high school.
    Like Kalen, I’d like to see more character-driven romances. But I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place. Maybe that’s because I started romance with the Sunfire series, which focused on specific historical events–girl finds love on Oregon Trail, girl finds love at Jamestown, girl finds love aboard the Titanic, etc. It’s not so much that I want my romances to be educational as that I like to see all the history I’ve studied brought to life through fiction.
    As for settings, count me as another vote for colonial. I’d love to see something in 17th or 18th century Philadelphia. I’m also becoming fascinated by India, but again more the 17th and 18th centuries than the 19th.
    I just can’t get interested in the Victorian era. I think for me it’s the industrial factor–once you have steamships and railroads and telegraphs and all that, you lose some of the romance and otherness of the Regency and earlier periods. I sometimes *read* Victorian settings, but I can’t see myself *writing* a British-set story set much later than 1815. (America is different for some reason–I think the frontier factor helps me stay interested despite the telegraphs and trains, and I can’t help being interested in the Civil War, since it’s literally in my blood!)

    Reply
  79. I turned 37 in January, so I’m Gen-X. My first historical romances were the Sunfire YA historical romances (which I adored and am still sentimentally attached to), Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regencies, all of which I read in high school.
    Like Kalen, I’d like to see more character-driven romances. But I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place. Maybe that’s because I started romance with the Sunfire series, which focused on specific historical events–girl finds love on Oregon Trail, girl finds love at Jamestown, girl finds love aboard the Titanic, etc. It’s not so much that I want my romances to be educational as that I like to see all the history I’ve studied brought to life through fiction.
    As for settings, count me as another vote for colonial. I’d love to see something in 17th or 18th century Philadelphia. I’m also becoming fascinated by India, but again more the 17th and 18th centuries than the 19th.
    I just can’t get interested in the Victorian era. I think for me it’s the industrial factor–once you have steamships and railroads and telegraphs and all that, you lose some of the romance and otherness of the Regency and earlier periods. I sometimes *read* Victorian settings, but I can’t see myself *writing* a British-set story set much later than 1815. (America is different for some reason–I think the frontier factor helps me stay interested despite the telegraphs and trains, and I can’t help being interested in the Civil War, since it’s literally in my blood!)

    Reply
  80. I turned 37 in January, so I’m Gen-X. My first historical romances were the Sunfire YA historical romances (which I adored and am still sentimentally attached to), Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regencies, all of which I read in high school.
    Like Kalen, I’d like to see more character-driven romances. But I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place. Maybe that’s because I started romance with the Sunfire series, which focused on specific historical events–girl finds love on Oregon Trail, girl finds love at Jamestown, girl finds love aboard the Titanic, etc. It’s not so much that I want my romances to be educational as that I like to see all the history I’ve studied brought to life through fiction.
    As for settings, count me as another vote for colonial. I’d love to see something in 17th or 18th century Philadelphia. I’m also becoming fascinated by India, but again more the 17th and 18th centuries than the 19th.
    I just can’t get interested in the Victorian era. I think for me it’s the industrial factor–once you have steamships and railroads and telegraphs and all that, you lose some of the romance and otherness of the Regency and earlier periods. I sometimes *read* Victorian settings, but I can’t see myself *writing* a British-set story set much later than 1815. (America is different for some reason–I think the frontier factor helps me stay interested despite the telegraphs and trains, and I can’t help being interested in the Civil War, since it’s literally in my blood!)

    Reply
  81. I agree on the Victorian being too close to industrial era. There’s just something about horseless carriages, telegraphs, gas-lights, telephones etc., that takes the romance away for me. Although, I love the Edwardian dresses.
    I loved Jo’s new book also.

    Reply
  82. I agree on the Victorian being too close to industrial era. There’s just something about horseless carriages, telegraphs, gas-lights, telephones etc., that takes the romance away for me. Although, I love the Edwardian dresses.
    I loved Jo’s new book also.

    Reply
  83. I agree on the Victorian being too close to industrial era. There’s just something about horseless carriages, telegraphs, gas-lights, telephones etc., that takes the romance away for me. Although, I love the Edwardian dresses.
    I loved Jo’s new book also.

    Reply
  84. I agree on the Victorian being too close to industrial era. There’s just something about horseless carriages, telegraphs, gas-lights, telephones etc., that takes the romance away for me. Although, I love the Edwardian dresses.
    I loved Jo’s new book also.

    Reply
  85. I agree on the Victorian being too close to industrial era. There’s just something about horseless carriages, telegraphs, gas-lights, telephones etc., that takes the romance away for me. Although, I love the Edwardian dresses.
    I loved Jo’s new book also.

    Reply
  86. I have a friend currently in NYC talking to editors and agents who would love to have your responses in hand when she goes! Bigger stories, more big events, court intrigue… These are books a lot of us grew up on and apparently some of us are missing.
    I agree that a good writer should be able to make all time periods come alive–why not a slave? It happened. It needs to be shown with all the variations and people involved. I’m drawn more to the American period of 1812 than colonial times, and more to England during the 1700s than America. No clue why. Reincarnation? “G” Or maybe something to do with that class consciousness? Hard to say.
    And I agree, I prefer my Victorians as westerns!

    Reply
  87. I have a friend currently in NYC talking to editors and agents who would love to have your responses in hand when she goes! Bigger stories, more big events, court intrigue… These are books a lot of us grew up on and apparently some of us are missing.
    I agree that a good writer should be able to make all time periods come alive–why not a slave? It happened. It needs to be shown with all the variations and people involved. I’m drawn more to the American period of 1812 than colonial times, and more to England during the 1700s than America. No clue why. Reincarnation? “G” Or maybe something to do with that class consciousness? Hard to say.
    And I agree, I prefer my Victorians as westerns!

    Reply
  88. I have a friend currently in NYC talking to editors and agents who would love to have your responses in hand when she goes! Bigger stories, more big events, court intrigue… These are books a lot of us grew up on and apparently some of us are missing.
    I agree that a good writer should be able to make all time periods come alive–why not a slave? It happened. It needs to be shown with all the variations and people involved. I’m drawn more to the American period of 1812 than colonial times, and more to England during the 1700s than America. No clue why. Reincarnation? “G” Or maybe something to do with that class consciousness? Hard to say.
    And I agree, I prefer my Victorians as westerns!

    Reply
  89. I have a friend currently in NYC talking to editors and agents who would love to have your responses in hand when she goes! Bigger stories, more big events, court intrigue… These are books a lot of us grew up on and apparently some of us are missing.
    I agree that a good writer should be able to make all time periods come alive–why not a slave? It happened. It needs to be shown with all the variations and people involved. I’m drawn more to the American period of 1812 than colonial times, and more to England during the 1700s than America. No clue why. Reincarnation? “G” Or maybe something to do with that class consciousness? Hard to say.
    And I agree, I prefer my Victorians as westerns!

    Reply
  90. I have a friend currently in NYC talking to editors and agents who would love to have your responses in hand when she goes! Bigger stories, more big events, court intrigue… These are books a lot of us grew up on and apparently some of us are missing.
    I agree that a good writer should be able to make all time periods come alive–why not a slave? It happened. It needs to be shown with all the variations and people involved. I’m drawn more to the American period of 1812 than colonial times, and more to England during the 1700s than America. No clue why. Reincarnation? “G” Or maybe something to do with that class consciousness? Hard to say.
    And I agree, I prefer my Victorians as westerns!

    Reply
  91. ***I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place.***
    I’d like to write them!!! But when I submit ideas for these kinds of books my agent and editor give me the big *yawn*. I’ve been told that it’s too highbrow, too intellectual, too dull, too academic, etc. I’ve also been told flat out that using obscure 18th century politics as a large part of the external plot is just too damn boring and won’t engage readers (that even expecting Readers to grasp the difference between Whigs and Torries is asking too much).
    I think this is bunk. Jo has done great stuff with obscure court politics in her Malloreen series, and Pam Rosenthal has done really interesting political stuff in her books too (the most political of which finaled for a RITA).
    I love the idea of grounding a book in the Gordon riots, or the abolitionist movement, or even the various plots to rescue people from the Terror.

    Reply
  92. ***I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place.***
    I’d like to write them!!! But when I submit ideas for these kinds of books my agent and editor give me the big *yawn*. I’ve been told that it’s too highbrow, too intellectual, too dull, too academic, etc. I’ve also been told flat out that using obscure 18th century politics as a large part of the external plot is just too damn boring and won’t engage readers (that even expecting Readers to grasp the difference between Whigs and Torries is asking too much).
    I think this is bunk. Jo has done great stuff with obscure court politics in her Malloreen series, and Pam Rosenthal has done really interesting political stuff in her books too (the most political of which finaled for a RITA).
    I love the idea of grounding a book in the Gordon riots, or the abolitionist movement, or even the various plots to rescue people from the Terror.

    Reply
  93. ***I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place.***
    I’d like to write them!!! But when I submit ideas for these kinds of books my agent and editor give me the big *yawn*. I’ve been told that it’s too highbrow, too intellectual, too dull, too academic, etc. I’ve also been told flat out that using obscure 18th century politics as a large part of the external plot is just too damn boring and won’t engage readers (that even expecting Readers to grasp the difference between Whigs and Torries is asking too much).
    I think this is bunk. Jo has done great stuff with obscure court politics in her Malloreen series, and Pam Rosenthal has done really interesting political stuff in her books too (the most political of which finaled for a RITA).
    I love the idea of grounding a book in the Gordon riots, or the abolitionist movement, or even the various plots to rescue people from the Terror.

    Reply
  94. ***I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place.***
    I’d like to write them!!! But when I submit ideas for these kinds of books my agent and editor give me the big *yawn*. I’ve been told that it’s too highbrow, too intellectual, too dull, too academic, etc. I’ve also been told flat out that using obscure 18th century politics as a large part of the external plot is just too damn boring and won’t engage readers (that even expecting Readers to grasp the difference between Whigs and Torries is asking too much).
    I think this is bunk. Jo has done great stuff with obscure court politics in her Malloreen series, and Pam Rosenthal has done really interesting political stuff in her books too (the most political of which finaled for a RITA).
    I love the idea of grounding a book in the Gordon riots, or the abolitionist movement, or even the various plots to rescue people from the Terror.

    Reply
  95. ***I’d also like to see external plots more connected to the big events of the time/place.***
    I’d like to write them!!! But when I submit ideas for these kinds of books my agent and editor give me the big *yawn*. I’ve been told that it’s too highbrow, too intellectual, too dull, too academic, etc. I’ve also been told flat out that using obscure 18th century politics as a large part of the external plot is just too damn boring and won’t engage readers (that even expecting Readers to grasp the difference between Whigs and Torries is asking too much).
    I think this is bunk. Jo has done great stuff with obscure court politics in her Malloreen series, and Pam Rosenthal has done really interesting political stuff in her books too (the most political of which finaled for a RITA).
    I love the idea of grounding a book in the Gordon riots, or the abolitionist movement, or even the various plots to rescue people from the Terror.

    Reply
  96. I’d like to get more historicals, any time period, set outside of England (and with both main characters NOT being English). There is some fascinating history that I’ve never seen in romance yet – has anyone done a romance in medieval Russia or Renaissance Italy or Heian Japan?

    Reply
  97. I’d like to get more historicals, any time period, set outside of England (and with both main characters NOT being English). There is some fascinating history that I’ve never seen in romance yet – has anyone done a romance in medieval Russia or Renaissance Italy or Heian Japan?

    Reply
  98. I’d like to get more historicals, any time period, set outside of England (and with both main characters NOT being English). There is some fascinating history that I’ve never seen in romance yet – has anyone done a romance in medieval Russia or Renaissance Italy or Heian Japan?

    Reply
  99. I’d like to get more historicals, any time period, set outside of England (and with both main characters NOT being English). There is some fascinating history that I’ve never seen in romance yet – has anyone done a romance in medieval Russia or Renaissance Italy or Heian Japan?

    Reply
  100. I’d like to get more historicals, any time period, set outside of England (and with both main characters NOT being English). There is some fascinating history that I’ve never seen in romance yet – has anyone done a romance in medieval Russia or Renaissance Italy or Heian Japan?

    Reply
  101. Oops, forgot the age thing – I’m 30 😀 So I never read any of the bodice rippers (that I remember…), though I’ve read lots of trad Regencies through my older sister and mom.

    Reply
  102. Oops, forgot the age thing – I’m 30 😀 So I never read any of the bodice rippers (that I remember…), though I’ve read lots of trad Regencies through my older sister and mom.

    Reply
  103. Oops, forgot the age thing – I’m 30 😀 So I never read any of the bodice rippers (that I remember…), though I’ve read lots of trad Regencies through my older sister and mom.

    Reply
  104. Oops, forgot the age thing – I’m 30 😀 So I never read any of the bodice rippers (that I remember…), though I’ve read lots of trad Regencies through my older sister and mom.

    Reply
  105. Oops, forgot the age thing – I’m 30 😀 So I never read any of the bodice rippers (that I remember…), though I’ve read lots of trad Regencies through my older sister and mom.

    Reply
  106. I started reading genre romance about the time Remington Steele came on TV. I had of course read Heyer, Austen, Bronte, Sayers, Holt, Doyle, McGraw and others, but I didn’t think of them as “romances” — I thought of them as historicals (some were contemporary when written) with romance in them. Regency and early Victorian are my favorite periods, when everything was changing in England but the Victorian lockdown wasn’t in effect. I’m heartily tired of what someone just told me is called “plot driven erotica” — it’s just so shallow and simplistic to me. The regencies I go back to are those written 15 give-or-take years ago, when there was more attention to setting & character and to graceful prose as well.
    I want an imaginary world of the sort I used to find in science fiction, with a fully thought out setting with which the characters interact. I just finished a couple of Eva Ibbotson books, and right now I’m reading some Victorian mysteries-with-romance by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Caro Peacock, and I find them very absorbing. They are filled with the tiny details of people’s lives then, and the characters don’t have 21st century attitudes, even when you kinda wish they would.
    I retired on disability a few months ago and so at last I have all the time to read I ever wanted — and I realize that puts me right out of the key demographic that publishers listen to 🙁

    Reply
  107. I started reading genre romance about the time Remington Steele came on TV. I had of course read Heyer, Austen, Bronte, Sayers, Holt, Doyle, McGraw and others, but I didn’t think of them as “romances” — I thought of them as historicals (some were contemporary when written) with romance in them. Regency and early Victorian are my favorite periods, when everything was changing in England but the Victorian lockdown wasn’t in effect. I’m heartily tired of what someone just told me is called “plot driven erotica” — it’s just so shallow and simplistic to me. The regencies I go back to are those written 15 give-or-take years ago, when there was more attention to setting & character and to graceful prose as well.
    I want an imaginary world of the sort I used to find in science fiction, with a fully thought out setting with which the characters interact. I just finished a couple of Eva Ibbotson books, and right now I’m reading some Victorian mysteries-with-romance by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Caro Peacock, and I find them very absorbing. They are filled with the tiny details of people’s lives then, and the characters don’t have 21st century attitudes, even when you kinda wish they would.
    I retired on disability a few months ago and so at last I have all the time to read I ever wanted — and I realize that puts me right out of the key demographic that publishers listen to 🙁

    Reply
  108. I started reading genre romance about the time Remington Steele came on TV. I had of course read Heyer, Austen, Bronte, Sayers, Holt, Doyle, McGraw and others, but I didn’t think of them as “romances” — I thought of them as historicals (some were contemporary when written) with romance in them. Regency and early Victorian are my favorite periods, when everything was changing in England but the Victorian lockdown wasn’t in effect. I’m heartily tired of what someone just told me is called “plot driven erotica” — it’s just so shallow and simplistic to me. The regencies I go back to are those written 15 give-or-take years ago, when there was more attention to setting & character and to graceful prose as well.
    I want an imaginary world of the sort I used to find in science fiction, with a fully thought out setting with which the characters interact. I just finished a couple of Eva Ibbotson books, and right now I’m reading some Victorian mysteries-with-romance by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Caro Peacock, and I find them very absorbing. They are filled with the tiny details of people’s lives then, and the characters don’t have 21st century attitudes, even when you kinda wish they would.
    I retired on disability a few months ago and so at last I have all the time to read I ever wanted — and I realize that puts me right out of the key demographic that publishers listen to 🙁

    Reply
  109. I started reading genre romance about the time Remington Steele came on TV. I had of course read Heyer, Austen, Bronte, Sayers, Holt, Doyle, McGraw and others, but I didn’t think of them as “romances” — I thought of them as historicals (some were contemporary when written) with romance in them. Regency and early Victorian are my favorite periods, when everything was changing in England but the Victorian lockdown wasn’t in effect. I’m heartily tired of what someone just told me is called “plot driven erotica” — it’s just so shallow and simplistic to me. The regencies I go back to are those written 15 give-or-take years ago, when there was more attention to setting & character and to graceful prose as well.
    I want an imaginary world of the sort I used to find in science fiction, with a fully thought out setting with which the characters interact. I just finished a couple of Eva Ibbotson books, and right now I’m reading some Victorian mysteries-with-romance by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Caro Peacock, and I find them very absorbing. They are filled with the tiny details of people’s lives then, and the characters don’t have 21st century attitudes, even when you kinda wish they would.
    I retired on disability a few months ago and so at last I have all the time to read I ever wanted — and I realize that puts me right out of the key demographic that publishers listen to 🙁

    Reply
  110. I started reading genre romance about the time Remington Steele came on TV. I had of course read Heyer, Austen, Bronte, Sayers, Holt, Doyle, McGraw and others, but I didn’t think of them as “romances” — I thought of them as historicals (some were contemporary when written) with romance in them. Regency and early Victorian are my favorite periods, when everything was changing in England but the Victorian lockdown wasn’t in effect. I’m heartily tired of what someone just told me is called “plot driven erotica” — it’s just so shallow and simplistic to me. The regencies I go back to are those written 15 give-or-take years ago, when there was more attention to setting & character and to graceful prose as well.
    I want an imaginary world of the sort I used to find in science fiction, with a fully thought out setting with which the characters interact. I just finished a couple of Eva Ibbotson books, and right now I’m reading some Victorian mysteries-with-romance by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander and Caro Peacock, and I find them very absorbing. They are filled with the tiny details of people’s lives then, and the characters don’t have 21st century attitudes, even when you kinda wish they would.
    I retired on disability a few months ago and so at last I have all the time to read I ever wanted — and I realize that puts me right out of the key demographic that publishers listen to 🙁

    Reply
  111. I’m 46. High school romance influences were Victoria Holt, The Far Pavilions, and The Mists of Avalon. Loved early Dick Francis, especially the ones that included a love interest.
    I also vote for Colonial/Early American. Slavery and the Native American genocide offer fabulous opportunities for stories with depth of plot and character. Even love stories!
    Who says the best love stories have fairy tale/Pemberley settings? Just because Regency romances don’t often focus on society’s underbelly doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
    As for Victorian: I’d love Jules Verne/HG Wells/Steampunk/Sci-Fi love stories. I’m not holding my breath for any of the above. I’ll probably have to sit in my unpublished ivory tower and write them myself. 🙂

    Reply
  112. I’m 46. High school romance influences were Victoria Holt, The Far Pavilions, and The Mists of Avalon. Loved early Dick Francis, especially the ones that included a love interest.
    I also vote for Colonial/Early American. Slavery and the Native American genocide offer fabulous opportunities for stories with depth of plot and character. Even love stories!
    Who says the best love stories have fairy tale/Pemberley settings? Just because Regency romances don’t often focus on society’s underbelly doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
    As for Victorian: I’d love Jules Verne/HG Wells/Steampunk/Sci-Fi love stories. I’m not holding my breath for any of the above. I’ll probably have to sit in my unpublished ivory tower and write them myself. 🙂

    Reply
  113. I’m 46. High school romance influences were Victoria Holt, The Far Pavilions, and The Mists of Avalon. Loved early Dick Francis, especially the ones that included a love interest.
    I also vote for Colonial/Early American. Slavery and the Native American genocide offer fabulous opportunities for stories with depth of plot and character. Even love stories!
    Who says the best love stories have fairy tale/Pemberley settings? Just because Regency romances don’t often focus on society’s underbelly doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
    As for Victorian: I’d love Jules Verne/HG Wells/Steampunk/Sci-Fi love stories. I’m not holding my breath for any of the above. I’ll probably have to sit in my unpublished ivory tower and write them myself. 🙂

    Reply
  114. I’m 46. High school romance influences were Victoria Holt, The Far Pavilions, and The Mists of Avalon. Loved early Dick Francis, especially the ones that included a love interest.
    I also vote for Colonial/Early American. Slavery and the Native American genocide offer fabulous opportunities for stories with depth of plot and character. Even love stories!
    Who says the best love stories have fairy tale/Pemberley settings? Just because Regency romances don’t often focus on society’s underbelly doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
    As for Victorian: I’d love Jules Verne/HG Wells/Steampunk/Sci-Fi love stories. I’m not holding my breath for any of the above. I’ll probably have to sit in my unpublished ivory tower and write them myself. 🙂

    Reply
  115. I’m 46. High school romance influences were Victoria Holt, The Far Pavilions, and The Mists of Avalon. Loved early Dick Francis, especially the ones that included a love interest.
    I also vote for Colonial/Early American. Slavery and the Native American genocide offer fabulous opportunities for stories with depth of plot and character. Even love stories!
    Who says the best love stories have fairy tale/Pemberley settings? Just because Regency romances don’t often focus on society’s underbelly doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
    As for Victorian: I’d love Jules Verne/HG Wells/Steampunk/Sci-Fi love stories. I’m not holding my breath for any of the above. I’ll probably have to sit in my unpublished ivory tower and write them myself. 🙂

    Reply
  116. OK, looks like I’m officially the old lady of the lot at 48, but I have to agree with those who are saying the time period is less important than the writing. I happen to love the Wars of the Roses, but if it’s anachronistic, poorly written, or just plain silly–clearly someone who can’t write trying to cash in on a popular time period–I won’t read it. (I wish I could remember the name of the author of a book I brought along to read on a trans-Atlantic flight. After 30 pages I simply could not bring myself to read another word, and had to spend the next 7 hours staring into space.) Having said that, although I generally prefer medieval, I think it’s a little harder to get “right”–maybe that’s why Regency is so popular these days? And I agree that the Roselynde books are a sterling example of real history with your romance, which is very appealing.

    Reply
  117. OK, looks like I’m officially the old lady of the lot at 48, but I have to agree with those who are saying the time period is less important than the writing. I happen to love the Wars of the Roses, but if it’s anachronistic, poorly written, or just plain silly–clearly someone who can’t write trying to cash in on a popular time period–I won’t read it. (I wish I could remember the name of the author of a book I brought along to read on a trans-Atlantic flight. After 30 pages I simply could not bring myself to read another word, and had to spend the next 7 hours staring into space.) Having said that, although I generally prefer medieval, I think it’s a little harder to get “right”–maybe that’s why Regency is so popular these days? And I agree that the Roselynde books are a sterling example of real history with your romance, which is very appealing.

    Reply
  118. OK, looks like I’m officially the old lady of the lot at 48, but I have to agree with those who are saying the time period is less important than the writing. I happen to love the Wars of the Roses, but if it’s anachronistic, poorly written, or just plain silly–clearly someone who can’t write trying to cash in on a popular time period–I won’t read it. (I wish I could remember the name of the author of a book I brought along to read on a trans-Atlantic flight. After 30 pages I simply could not bring myself to read another word, and had to spend the next 7 hours staring into space.) Having said that, although I generally prefer medieval, I think it’s a little harder to get “right”–maybe that’s why Regency is so popular these days? And I agree that the Roselynde books are a sterling example of real history with your romance, which is very appealing.

    Reply
  119. OK, looks like I’m officially the old lady of the lot at 48, but I have to agree with those who are saying the time period is less important than the writing. I happen to love the Wars of the Roses, but if it’s anachronistic, poorly written, or just plain silly–clearly someone who can’t write trying to cash in on a popular time period–I won’t read it. (I wish I could remember the name of the author of a book I brought along to read on a trans-Atlantic flight. After 30 pages I simply could not bring myself to read another word, and had to spend the next 7 hours staring into space.) Having said that, although I generally prefer medieval, I think it’s a little harder to get “right”–maybe that’s why Regency is so popular these days? And I agree that the Roselynde books are a sterling example of real history with your romance, which is very appealing.

    Reply
  120. OK, looks like I’m officially the old lady of the lot at 48, but I have to agree with those who are saying the time period is less important than the writing. I happen to love the Wars of the Roses, but if it’s anachronistic, poorly written, or just plain silly–clearly someone who can’t write trying to cash in on a popular time period–I won’t read it. (I wish I could remember the name of the author of a book I brought along to read on a trans-Atlantic flight. After 30 pages I simply could not bring myself to read another word, and had to spend the next 7 hours staring into space.) Having said that, although I generally prefer medieval, I think it’s a little harder to get “right”–maybe that’s why Regency is so popular these days? And I agree that the Roselynde books are a sterling example of real history with your romance, which is very appealing.

    Reply
  121. — a few more ideas. How about a Regency set in Cambridge or Oxford dealing with the lives of scholars, and their having to deal with the different characters of their students, as well as finding romance? How about a younger brothers club (of families with entailed land) at some school where the older brothers don’t die, and the younger brothers have to figure out how to make a life for themselves— and that is central to the connection between them.
    Merry

    Reply
  122. — a few more ideas. How about a Regency set in Cambridge or Oxford dealing with the lives of scholars, and their having to deal with the different characters of their students, as well as finding romance? How about a younger brothers club (of families with entailed land) at some school where the older brothers don’t die, and the younger brothers have to figure out how to make a life for themselves— and that is central to the connection between them.
    Merry

    Reply
  123. — a few more ideas. How about a Regency set in Cambridge or Oxford dealing with the lives of scholars, and their having to deal with the different characters of their students, as well as finding romance? How about a younger brothers club (of families with entailed land) at some school where the older brothers don’t die, and the younger brothers have to figure out how to make a life for themselves— and that is central to the connection between them.
    Merry

    Reply
  124. — a few more ideas. How about a Regency set in Cambridge or Oxford dealing with the lives of scholars, and their having to deal with the different characters of their students, as well as finding romance? How about a younger brothers club (of families with entailed land) at some school where the older brothers don’t die, and the younger brothers have to figure out how to make a life for themselves— and that is central to the connection between them.
    Merry

    Reply
  125. — a few more ideas. How about a Regency set in Cambridge or Oxford dealing with the lives of scholars, and their having to deal with the different characters of their students, as well as finding romance? How about a younger brothers club (of families with entailed land) at some school where the older brothers don’t die, and the younger brothers have to figure out how to make a life for themselves— and that is central to the connection between them.
    Merry

    Reply
  126. Merry’s suggestion reminds me that I am an admirer of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who would make a great protagonist for either a historical mystery series or a paranormal series (how do you build a bridge if the nymph of the river is mad at you?). There have been series featuring Beau Brummell and Jane Austen as detectives (neither of which I cared for much); and an enjoyable one by Carrie Bebris featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as detectives (with a paranormal slant).
    I’m currently reading ENCHANTING THE LADY, an alternate Victorian historical with magic and a werelion hero.
    A lot of the sort of stuff I like has been published as mystery or SF or fantasy rather than romance, including Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s series SORCERY & CECELIA, THE GRAND TOUR, and THE MISLAID MAGICIAN, set in an alternate Regency with magic. Wrede has written another couple of novels in the same world; and Stevermer has a couple in what seems like a late-Victorian world with magic: the hero in the second one has performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Both have lovely academic settings; the first very reminiscent of STALKY & CO., the second an Oxford-like college.
    So what I’m looking for is a historical setting that is NOT primarily romance, but focused on a mystery, problem to solve, or suchlike, with either magic or a real historical character in an unexpected role. I guess SF would only work in an alternate-history novel or a time-travel one. I also like animals (preferably cats) playing a prominent role, especially if they can talk.
    Amanda Quick has made good use of the Victorian era, as have a couple of you Wenches in the Signet VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS anthology. One of the things that makes the Regency especially interesting, aside from the sheer fun and glamour, is that it was a cusp period in which a lot of things were changing: modern science and industry were being invented; evangelical religion, with its emphasis on applying Christian values to social issues, was on the rise; political power was becoming more widely spread; and the like.
    Oh, there are a great couple of books by Teresa Edgerton set in a 17th- or 18th-century city that very much resembles Amsterdam, with the scientific revolution going on there; and in the New World in the sequel; GOBLIN MOON and THE GNOME’S ENGINE. Out of print but WELL worth searching for.
    I’m wondering if there is a cultural divide that separates younger readers today from those of us antiques who received a more thorough grounding in world history, and if that’s why more of the past isn’t utilized in fiction. I am in my mid-60s and got started on historical fiction in my early teens with Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Thackeray, Georgette Heyer, and LORNA DOONE. I also read stuff like HEREWARD THE WAKE, WESTWARD HO!, and THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH. I also majored in history as well as English, and did medieval and Renaissance lit. in grad school; so I am pretty widely grounded.
    As for what the next big thing will be, I have no idea. I just hope there won’t be any vampires in it. There’s been a sort of Edith Wharton boom in the movies in recent years, so that period might be fruitful. Especially the whole “American heiresses marrying impoverished English nobility” thing. Did you know that Consuelo Vanderbilt so did NOT want to marry the Duke of Marlborough that her mother had to lock her in her room under guard to keep her from eloping with someone else?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consuelo_Vanderbilt
    For an interesting history of the romance novel’s earliest days, see Utter and Needham’s PAMELA’S DAUGHTERS, which parallels the themes and behaviors of characters in popular fiction with what was actually happening in the lives of women at the time. It has a whole chapter on tears, and another on fainting!

    Reply
  127. Merry’s suggestion reminds me that I am an admirer of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who would make a great protagonist for either a historical mystery series or a paranormal series (how do you build a bridge if the nymph of the river is mad at you?). There have been series featuring Beau Brummell and Jane Austen as detectives (neither of which I cared for much); and an enjoyable one by Carrie Bebris featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as detectives (with a paranormal slant).
    I’m currently reading ENCHANTING THE LADY, an alternate Victorian historical with magic and a werelion hero.
    A lot of the sort of stuff I like has been published as mystery or SF or fantasy rather than romance, including Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s series SORCERY & CECELIA, THE GRAND TOUR, and THE MISLAID MAGICIAN, set in an alternate Regency with magic. Wrede has written another couple of novels in the same world; and Stevermer has a couple in what seems like a late-Victorian world with magic: the hero in the second one has performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Both have lovely academic settings; the first very reminiscent of STALKY & CO., the second an Oxford-like college.
    So what I’m looking for is a historical setting that is NOT primarily romance, but focused on a mystery, problem to solve, or suchlike, with either magic or a real historical character in an unexpected role. I guess SF would only work in an alternate-history novel or a time-travel one. I also like animals (preferably cats) playing a prominent role, especially if they can talk.
    Amanda Quick has made good use of the Victorian era, as have a couple of you Wenches in the Signet VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS anthology. One of the things that makes the Regency especially interesting, aside from the sheer fun and glamour, is that it was a cusp period in which a lot of things were changing: modern science and industry were being invented; evangelical religion, with its emphasis on applying Christian values to social issues, was on the rise; political power was becoming more widely spread; and the like.
    Oh, there are a great couple of books by Teresa Edgerton set in a 17th- or 18th-century city that very much resembles Amsterdam, with the scientific revolution going on there; and in the New World in the sequel; GOBLIN MOON and THE GNOME’S ENGINE. Out of print but WELL worth searching for.
    I’m wondering if there is a cultural divide that separates younger readers today from those of us antiques who received a more thorough grounding in world history, and if that’s why more of the past isn’t utilized in fiction. I am in my mid-60s and got started on historical fiction in my early teens with Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Thackeray, Georgette Heyer, and LORNA DOONE. I also read stuff like HEREWARD THE WAKE, WESTWARD HO!, and THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH. I also majored in history as well as English, and did medieval and Renaissance lit. in grad school; so I am pretty widely grounded.
    As for what the next big thing will be, I have no idea. I just hope there won’t be any vampires in it. There’s been a sort of Edith Wharton boom in the movies in recent years, so that period might be fruitful. Especially the whole “American heiresses marrying impoverished English nobility” thing. Did you know that Consuelo Vanderbilt so did NOT want to marry the Duke of Marlborough that her mother had to lock her in her room under guard to keep her from eloping with someone else?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consuelo_Vanderbilt
    For an interesting history of the romance novel’s earliest days, see Utter and Needham’s PAMELA’S DAUGHTERS, which parallels the themes and behaviors of characters in popular fiction with what was actually happening in the lives of women at the time. It has a whole chapter on tears, and another on fainting!

    Reply
  128. Merry’s suggestion reminds me that I am an admirer of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who would make a great protagonist for either a historical mystery series or a paranormal series (how do you build a bridge if the nymph of the river is mad at you?). There have been series featuring Beau Brummell and Jane Austen as detectives (neither of which I cared for much); and an enjoyable one by Carrie Bebris featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as detectives (with a paranormal slant).
    I’m currently reading ENCHANTING THE LADY, an alternate Victorian historical with magic and a werelion hero.
    A lot of the sort of stuff I like has been published as mystery or SF or fantasy rather than romance, including Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s series SORCERY & CECELIA, THE GRAND TOUR, and THE MISLAID MAGICIAN, set in an alternate Regency with magic. Wrede has written another couple of novels in the same world; and Stevermer has a couple in what seems like a late-Victorian world with magic: the hero in the second one has performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Both have lovely academic settings; the first very reminiscent of STALKY & CO., the second an Oxford-like college.
    So what I’m looking for is a historical setting that is NOT primarily romance, but focused on a mystery, problem to solve, or suchlike, with either magic or a real historical character in an unexpected role. I guess SF would only work in an alternate-history novel or a time-travel one. I also like animals (preferably cats) playing a prominent role, especially if they can talk.
    Amanda Quick has made good use of the Victorian era, as have a couple of you Wenches in the Signet VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS anthology. One of the things that makes the Regency especially interesting, aside from the sheer fun and glamour, is that it was a cusp period in which a lot of things were changing: modern science and industry were being invented; evangelical religion, with its emphasis on applying Christian values to social issues, was on the rise; political power was becoming more widely spread; and the like.
    Oh, there are a great couple of books by Teresa Edgerton set in a 17th- or 18th-century city that very much resembles Amsterdam, with the scientific revolution going on there; and in the New World in the sequel; GOBLIN MOON and THE GNOME’S ENGINE. Out of print but WELL worth searching for.
    I’m wondering if there is a cultural divide that separates younger readers today from those of us antiques who received a more thorough grounding in world history, and if that’s why more of the past isn’t utilized in fiction. I am in my mid-60s and got started on historical fiction in my early teens with Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Thackeray, Georgette Heyer, and LORNA DOONE. I also read stuff like HEREWARD THE WAKE, WESTWARD HO!, and THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH. I also majored in history as well as English, and did medieval and Renaissance lit. in grad school; so I am pretty widely grounded.
    As for what the next big thing will be, I have no idea. I just hope there won’t be any vampires in it. There’s been a sort of Edith Wharton boom in the movies in recent years, so that period might be fruitful. Especially the whole “American heiresses marrying impoverished English nobility” thing. Did you know that Consuelo Vanderbilt so did NOT want to marry the Duke of Marlborough that her mother had to lock her in her room under guard to keep her from eloping with someone else?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consuelo_Vanderbilt
    For an interesting history of the romance novel’s earliest days, see Utter and Needham’s PAMELA’S DAUGHTERS, which parallels the themes and behaviors of characters in popular fiction with what was actually happening in the lives of women at the time. It has a whole chapter on tears, and another on fainting!

    Reply
  129. Merry’s suggestion reminds me that I am an admirer of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who would make a great protagonist for either a historical mystery series or a paranormal series (how do you build a bridge if the nymph of the river is mad at you?). There have been series featuring Beau Brummell and Jane Austen as detectives (neither of which I cared for much); and an enjoyable one by Carrie Bebris featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as detectives (with a paranormal slant).
    I’m currently reading ENCHANTING THE LADY, an alternate Victorian historical with magic and a werelion hero.
    A lot of the sort of stuff I like has been published as mystery or SF or fantasy rather than romance, including Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s series SORCERY & CECELIA, THE GRAND TOUR, and THE MISLAID MAGICIAN, set in an alternate Regency with magic. Wrede has written another couple of novels in the same world; and Stevermer has a couple in what seems like a late-Victorian world with magic: the hero in the second one has performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Both have lovely academic settings; the first very reminiscent of STALKY & CO., the second an Oxford-like college.
    So what I’m looking for is a historical setting that is NOT primarily romance, but focused on a mystery, problem to solve, or suchlike, with either magic or a real historical character in an unexpected role. I guess SF would only work in an alternate-history novel or a time-travel one. I also like animals (preferably cats) playing a prominent role, especially if they can talk.
    Amanda Quick has made good use of the Victorian era, as have a couple of you Wenches in the Signet VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS anthology. One of the things that makes the Regency especially interesting, aside from the sheer fun and glamour, is that it was a cusp period in which a lot of things were changing: modern science and industry were being invented; evangelical religion, with its emphasis on applying Christian values to social issues, was on the rise; political power was becoming more widely spread; and the like.
    Oh, there are a great couple of books by Teresa Edgerton set in a 17th- or 18th-century city that very much resembles Amsterdam, with the scientific revolution going on there; and in the New World in the sequel; GOBLIN MOON and THE GNOME’S ENGINE. Out of print but WELL worth searching for.
    I’m wondering if there is a cultural divide that separates younger readers today from those of us antiques who received a more thorough grounding in world history, and if that’s why more of the past isn’t utilized in fiction. I am in my mid-60s and got started on historical fiction in my early teens with Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Thackeray, Georgette Heyer, and LORNA DOONE. I also read stuff like HEREWARD THE WAKE, WESTWARD HO!, and THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH. I also majored in history as well as English, and did medieval and Renaissance lit. in grad school; so I am pretty widely grounded.
    As for what the next big thing will be, I have no idea. I just hope there won’t be any vampires in it. There’s been a sort of Edith Wharton boom in the movies in recent years, so that period might be fruitful. Especially the whole “American heiresses marrying impoverished English nobility” thing. Did you know that Consuelo Vanderbilt so did NOT want to marry the Duke of Marlborough that her mother had to lock her in her room under guard to keep her from eloping with someone else?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consuelo_Vanderbilt
    For an interesting history of the romance novel’s earliest days, see Utter and Needham’s PAMELA’S DAUGHTERS, which parallels the themes and behaviors of characters in popular fiction with what was actually happening in the lives of women at the time. It has a whole chapter on tears, and another on fainting!

    Reply
  130. Merry’s suggestion reminds me that I am an admirer of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who would make a great protagonist for either a historical mystery series or a paranormal series (how do you build a bridge if the nymph of the river is mad at you?). There have been series featuring Beau Brummell and Jane Austen as detectives (neither of which I cared for much); and an enjoyable one by Carrie Bebris featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as detectives (with a paranormal slant).
    I’m currently reading ENCHANTING THE LADY, an alternate Victorian historical with magic and a werelion hero.
    A lot of the sort of stuff I like has been published as mystery or SF or fantasy rather than romance, including Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s series SORCERY & CECELIA, THE GRAND TOUR, and THE MISLAID MAGICIAN, set in an alternate Regency with magic. Wrede has written another couple of novels in the same world; and Stevermer has a couple in what seems like a late-Victorian world with magic: the hero in the second one has performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Both have lovely academic settings; the first very reminiscent of STALKY & CO., the second an Oxford-like college.
    So what I’m looking for is a historical setting that is NOT primarily romance, but focused on a mystery, problem to solve, or suchlike, with either magic or a real historical character in an unexpected role. I guess SF would only work in an alternate-history novel or a time-travel one. I also like animals (preferably cats) playing a prominent role, especially if they can talk.
    Amanda Quick has made good use of the Victorian era, as have a couple of you Wenches in the Signet VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS anthology. One of the things that makes the Regency especially interesting, aside from the sheer fun and glamour, is that it was a cusp period in which a lot of things were changing: modern science and industry were being invented; evangelical religion, with its emphasis on applying Christian values to social issues, was on the rise; political power was becoming more widely spread; and the like.
    Oh, there are a great couple of books by Teresa Edgerton set in a 17th- or 18th-century city that very much resembles Amsterdam, with the scientific revolution going on there; and in the New World in the sequel; GOBLIN MOON and THE GNOME’S ENGINE. Out of print but WELL worth searching for.
    I’m wondering if there is a cultural divide that separates younger readers today from those of us antiques who received a more thorough grounding in world history, and if that’s why more of the past isn’t utilized in fiction. I am in my mid-60s and got started on historical fiction in my early teens with Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Thackeray, Georgette Heyer, and LORNA DOONE. I also read stuff like HEREWARD THE WAKE, WESTWARD HO!, and THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH. I also majored in history as well as English, and did medieval and Renaissance lit. in grad school; so I am pretty widely grounded.
    As for what the next big thing will be, I have no idea. I just hope there won’t be any vampires in it. There’s been a sort of Edith Wharton boom in the movies in recent years, so that period might be fruitful. Especially the whole “American heiresses marrying impoverished English nobility” thing. Did you know that Consuelo Vanderbilt so did NOT want to marry the Duke of Marlborough that her mother had to lock her in her room under guard to keep her from eloping with someone else?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consuelo_Vanderbilt
    For an interesting history of the romance novel’s earliest days, see Utter and Needham’s PAMELA’S DAUGHTERS, which parallels the themes and behaviors of characters in popular fiction with what was actually happening in the lives of women at the time. It has a whole chapter on tears, and another on fainting!

    Reply
  131. Just finished Jo’s book…my favorite era…an excellent book.I like the Regencies and around that era…would like to see some Victorian stories with Scotland Yard ‘tecs.
    I started “modern” romances with Emile Loring …Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and others. Right now I’m getting back into mysteries..Lindsey Davis, Robert Parker, and others.I can’t see having YEX on every other page…some to carry along the story…and there must be a story to make it interesting.
    As for my age…I’m pushing the mid eighties…and still enjoy a good romance.

    Reply
  132. Just finished Jo’s book…my favorite era…an excellent book.I like the Regencies and around that era…would like to see some Victorian stories with Scotland Yard ‘tecs.
    I started “modern” romances with Emile Loring …Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and others. Right now I’m getting back into mysteries..Lindsey Davis, Robert Parker, and others.I can’t see having YEX on every other page…some to carry along the story…and there must be a story to make it interesting.
    As for my age…I’m pushing the mid eighties…and still enjoy a good romance.

    Reply
  133. Just finished Jo’s book…my favorite era…an excellent book.I like the Regencies and around that era…would like to see some Victorian stories with Scotland Yard ‘tecs.
    I started “modern” romances with Emile Loring …Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and others. Right now I’m getting back into mysteries..Lindsey Davis, Robert Parker, and others.I can’t see having YEX on every other page…some to carry along the story…and there must be a story to make it interesting.
    As for my age…I’m pushing the mid eighties…and still enjoy a good romance.

    Reply
  134. Just finished Jo’s book…my favorite era…an excellent book.I like the Regencies and around that era…would like to see some Victorian stories with Scotland Yard ‘tecs.
    I started “modern” romances with Emile Loring …Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and others. Right now I’m getting back into mysteries..Lindsey Davis, Robert Parker, and others.I can’t see having YEX on every other page…some to carry along the story…and there must be a story to make it interesting.
    As for my age…I’m pushing the mid eighties…and still enjoy a good romance.

    Reply
  135. Just finished Jo’s book…my favorite era…an excellent book.I like the Regencies and around that era…would like to see some Victorian stories with Scotland Yard ‘tecs.
    I started “modern” romances with Emile Loring …Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and others. Right now I’m getting back into mysteries..Lindsey Davis, Robert Parker, and others.I can’t see having YEX on every other page…some to carry along the story…and there must be a story to make it interesting.
    As for my age…I’m pushing the mid eighties…and still enjoy a good romance.

    Reply
  136. Kalen, in many cases, I have to agree with editors that politics can be dead awful boring unless we manage to bring the situation down to the personal level. In romance, there is a terrible tendency for the hero to nobly save the downtrodden by hurrying to vote for some proposed bill. Meaningless garbage. Since historicals took a turn for the rich, we can’t actually see how the political situation affects anyone. And a really big situation would take a really big book–again, sadly unpopular in today’s market. A book like this would have to be written in its entirety and done very well before anyone would look at it.
    Hey, Janice! If publishers disregard the retired readers, they’re ignoring a huge portion of the reading public. I know they’re weird up there in NYC, but surely they’re not that dumb!
    lijakaca–I suspect your education is more rounded than most Americans, who barely know their own history much less European history. Following the earlier comments about people wanting to read what’s familiar, it may be a long time before American publishing will move too far out of the “known” of England.
    OK, Jane, I’m blanking, but I’m pretty sure there’s an author out there who says she writes Steampunk, because it’s a phrase I noticed. And since she’s on a romance list, my bet is that it’s romantic too. Alas, my dreadful memory for names…
    Merry, I adore your ideas, and I had something similar but a little more hard-edged in mind…

    Reply
  137. Kalen, in many cases, I have to agree with editors that politics can be dead awful boring unless we manage to bring the situation down to the personal level. In romance, there is a terrible tendency for the hero to nobly save the downtrodden by hurrying to vote for some proposed bill. Meaningless garbage. Since historicals took a turn for the rich, we can’t actually see how the political situation affects anyone. And a really big situation would take a really big book–again, sadly unpopular in today’s market. A book like this would have to be written in its entirety and done very well before anyone would look at it.
    Hey, Janice! If publishers disregard the retired readers, they’re ignoring a huge portion of the reading public. I know they’re weird up there in NYC, but surely they’re not that dumb!
    lijakaca–I suspect your education is more rounded than most Americans, who barely know their own history much less European history. Following the earlier comments about people wanting to read what’s familiar, it may be a long time before American publishing will move too far out of the “known” of England.
    OK, Jane, I’m blanking, but I’m pretty sure there’s an author out there who says she writes Steampunk, because it’s a phrase I noticed. And since she’s on a romance list, my bet is that it’s romantic too. Alas, my dreadful memory for names…
    Merry, I adore your ideas, and I had something similar but a little more hard-edged in mind…

    Reply
  138. Kalen, in many cases, I have to agree with editors that politics can be dead awful boring unless we manage to bring the situation down to the personal level. In romance, there is a terrible tendency for the hero to nobly save the downtrodden by hurrying to vote for some proposed bill. Meaningless garbage. Since historicals took a turn for the rich, we can’t actually see how the political situation affects anyone. And a really big situation would take a really big book–again, sadly unpopular in today’s market. A book like this would have to be written in its entirety and done very well before anyone would look at it.
    Hey, Janice! If publishers disregard the retired readers, they’re ignoring a huge portion of the reading public. I know they’re weird up there in NYC, but surely they’re not that dumb!
    lijakaca–I suspect your education is more rounded than most Americans, who barely know their own history much less European history. Following the earlier comments about people wanting to read what’s familiar, it may be a long time before American publishing will move too far out of the “known” of England.
    OK, Jane, I’m blanking, but I’m pretty sure there’s an author out there who says she writes Steampunk, because it’s a phrase I noticed. And since she’s on a romance list, my bet is that it’s romantic too. Alas, my dreadful memory for names…
    Merry, I adore your ideas, and I had something similar but a little more hard-edged in mind…

    Reply
  139. Kalen, in many cases, I have to agree with editors that politics can be dead awful boring unless we manage to bring the situation down to the personal level. In romance, there is a terrible tendency for the hero to nobly save the downtrodden by hurrying to vote for some proposed bill. Meaningless garbage. Since historicals took a turn for the rich, we can’t actually see how the political situation affects anyone. And a really big situation would take a really big book–again, sadly unpopular in today’s market. A book like this would have to be written in its entirety and done very well before anyone would look at it.
    Hey, Janice! If publishers disregard the retired readers, they’re ignoring a huge portion of the reading public. I know they’re weird up there in NYC, but surely they’re not that dumb!
    lijakaca–I suspect your education is more rounded than most Americans, who barely know their own history much less European history. Following the earlier comments about people wanting to read what’s familiar, it may be a long time before American publishing will move too far out of the “known” of England.
    OK, Jane, I’m blanking, but I’m pretty sure there’s an author out there who says she writes Steampunk, because it’s a phrase I noticed. And since she’s on a romance list, my bet is that it’s romantic too. Alas, my dreadful memory for names…
    Merry, I adore your ideas, and I had something similar but a little more hard-edged in mind…

    Reply
  140. Kalen, in many cases, I have to agree with editors that politics can be dead awful boring unless we manage to bring the situation down to the personal level. In romance, there is a terrible tendency for the hero to nobly save the downtrodden by hurrying to vote for some proposed bill. Meaningless garbage. Since historicals took a turn for the rich, we can’t actually see how the political situation affects anyone. And a really big situation would take a really big book–again, sadly unpopular in today’s market. A book like this would have to be written in its entirety and done very well before anyone would look at it.
    Hey, Janice! If publishers disregard the retired readers, they’re ignoring a huge portion of the reading public. I know they’re weird up there in NYC, but surely they’re not that dumb!
    lijakaca–I suspect your education is more rounded than most Americans, who barely know their own history much less European history. Following the earlier comments about people wanting to read what’s familiar, it may be a long time before American publishing will move too far out of the “known” of England.
    OK, Jane, I’m blanking, but I’m pretty sure there’s an author out there who says she writes Steampunk, because it’s a phrase I noticed. And since she’s on a romance list, my bet is that it’s romantic too. Alas, my dreadful memory for names…
    Merry, I adore your ideas, and I had something similar but a little more hard-edged in mind…

    Reply
  141. Okay. I’m 67 and I never read Woodiwiss at all. When she started publishing, I had two pre-schoolers and a full-time teaching position. By the time I caught my breath some fifteen years later, the phenomenon had passed.
    I like a very high plot-to-sex ratio. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but six pages of it rarely does much for moving the plot along. Personally, I’ll go with the approach that Kasey Michaels took in the Maggie Kelly books (“and that was the last rational thought she had for quite some time” followed by waking up with a need to brush her teeth and use the facilities). Personally, I believe in the HEA for Maggie and her regency romance hero sprung to life from her head, like Athena from the mind of Zeus 🙂
    I like a lot of history (but I’m a retired historian, so why not?). If I’m going to read a historical, I want it solidly in period. If it isn’t, I’d just a soon read a contemporary.
    At present, I’m doing a non-fiction data base on French Canadian settlement in and around the Lake Champlain Islands, from the days of Fort St. Frederic in the 1750s through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Canadian revolt of 1837. Now there’s a setting that no romance writer has tried, as far as I know. Surely someone could do something with Hazen’s and Livingston’s regiments in the U.S. service. Just the adventures of father Huet de la Valiniere as he stirred up trouble from the Illinois posts on the Mississippi all the way back to France could form a hook, I would think . . . . And there’s George Rogers Clark. Nobody’s done a historical on the Clark expedition for a century, I think.
    Well, anyway. You get the idea. There’s a whole world out there 🙂

    Reply
  142. Okay. I’m 67 and I never read Woodiwiss at all. When she started publishing, I had two pre-schoolers and a full-time teaching position. By the time I caught my breath some fifteen years later, the phenomenon had passed.
    I like a very high plot-to-sex ratio. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but six pages of it rarely does much for moving the plot along. Personally, I’ll go with the approach that Kasey Michaels took in the Maggie Kelly books (“and that was the last rational thought she had for quite some time” followed by waking up with a need to brush her teeth and use the facilities). Personally, I believe in the HEA for Maggie and her regency romance hero sprung to life from her head, like Athena from the mind of Zeus 🙂
    I like a lot of history (but I’m a retired historian, so why not?). If I’m going to read a historical, I want it solidly in period. If it isn’t, I’d just a soon read a contemporary.
    At present, I’m doing a non-fiction data base on French Canadian settlement in and around the Lake Champlain Islands, from the days of Fort St. Frederic in the 1750s through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Canadian revolt of 1837. Now there’s a setting that no romance writer has tried, as far as I know. Surely someone could do something with Hazen’s and Livingston’s regiments in the U.S. service. Just the adventures of father Huet de la Valiniere as he stirred up trouble from the Illinois posts on the Mississippi all the way back to France could form a hook, I would think . . . . And there’s George Rogers Clark. Nobody’s done a historical on the Clark expedition for a century, I think.
    Well, anyway. You get the idea. There’s a whole world out there 🙂

    Reply
  143. Okay. I’m 67 and I never read Woodiwiss at all. When she started publishing, I had two pre-schoolers and a full-time teaching position. By the time I caught my breath some fifteen years later, the phenomenon had passed.
    I like a very high plot-to-sex ratio. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but six pages of it rarely does much for moving the plot along. Personally, I’ll go with the approach that Kasey Michaels took in the Maggie Kelly books (“and that was the last rational thought she had for quite some time” followed by waking up with a need to brush her teeth and use the facilities). Personally, I believe in the HEA for Maggie and her regency romance hero sprung to life from her head, like Athena from the mind of Zeus 🙂
    I like a lot of history (but I’m a retired historian, so why not?). If I’m going to read a historical, I want it solidly in period. If it isn’t, I’d just a soon read a contemporary.
    At present, I’m doing a non-fiction data base on French Canadian settlement in and around the Lake Champlain Islands, from the days of Fort St. Frederic in the 1750s through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Canadian revolt of 1837. Now there’s a setting that no romance writer has tried, as far as I know. Surely someone could do something with Hazen’s and Livingston’s regiments in the U.S. service. Just the adventures of father Huet de la Valiniere as he stirred up trouble from the Illinois posts on the Mississippi all the way back to France could form a hook, I would think . . . . And there’s George Rogers Clark. Nobody’s done a historical on the Clark expedition for a century, I think.
    Well, anyway. You get the idea. There’s a whole world out there 🙂

    Reply
  144. Okay. I’m 67 and I never read Woodiwiss at all. When she started publishing, I had two pre-schoolers and a full-time teaching position. By the time I caught my breath some fifteen years later, the phenomenon had passed.
    I like a very high plot-to-sex ratio. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but six pages of it rarely does much for moving the plot along. Personally, I’ll go with the approach that Kasey Michaels took in the Maggie Kelly books (“and that was the last rational thought she had for quite some time” followed by waking up with a need to brush her teeth and use the facilities). Personally, I believe in the HEA for Maggie and her regency romance hero sprung to life from her head, like Athena from the mind of Zeus 🙂
    I like a lot of history (but I’m a retired historian, so why not?). If I’m going to read a historical, I want it solidly in period. If it isn’t, I’d just a soon read a contemporary.
    At present, I’m doing a non-fiction data base on French Canadian settlement in and around the Lake Champlain Islands, from the days of Fort St. Frederic in the 1750s through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Canadian revolt of 1837. Now there’s a setting that no romance writer has tried, as far as I know. Surely someone could do something with Hazen’s and Livingston’s regiments in the U.S. service. Just the adventures of father Huet de la Valiniere as he stirred up trouble from the Illinois posts on the Mississippi all the way back to France could form a hook, I would think . . . . And there’s George Rogers Clark. Nobody’s done a historical on the Clark expedition for a century, I think.
    Well, anyway. You get the idea. There’s a whole world out there 🙂

    Reply
  145. Okay. I’m 67 and I never read Woodiwiss at all. When she started publishing, I had two pre-schoolers and a full-time teaching position. By the time I caught my breath some fifteen years later, the phenomenon had passed.
    I like a very high plot-to-sex ratio. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but six pages of it rarely does much for moving the plot along. Personally, I’ll go with the approach that Kasey Michaels took in the Maggie Kelly books (“and that was the last rational thought she had for quite some time” followed by waking up with a need to brush her teeth and use the facilities). Personally, I believe in the HEA for Maggie and her regency romance hero sprung to life from her head, like Athena from the mind of Zeus 🙂
    I like a lot of history (but I’m a retired historian, so why not?). If I’m going to read a historical, I want it solidly in period. If it isn’t, I’d just a soon read a contemporary.
    At present, I’m doing a non-fiction data base on French Canadian settlement in and around the Lake Champlain Islands, from the days of Fort St. Frederic in the 1750s through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Canadian revolt of 1837. Now there’s a setting that no romance writer has tried, as far as I know. Surely someone could do something with Hazen’s and Livingston’s regiments in the U.S. service. Just the adventures of father Huet de la Valiniere as he stirred up trouble from the Illinois posts on the Mississippi all the way back to France could form a hook, I would think . . . . And there’s George Rogers Clark. Nobody’s done a historical on the Clark expedition for a century, I think.
    Well, anyway. You get the idea. There’s a whole world out there 🙂

    Reply
  146. IOW, if someone’s writing a historical, there’s no legal obligation to set it in the south. Margaret Widdemer’s Lady of the Mohawks did the New York/Canada frontier in the pre-Revolutionary era, but I don’t know of anything significant set in the region/era since then.

    Reply
  147. IOW, if someone’s writing a historical, there’s no legal obligation to set it in the south. Margaret Widdemer’s Lady of the Mohawks did the New York/Canada frontier in the pre-Revolutionary era, but I don’t know of anything significant set in the region/era since then.

    Reply
  148. IOW, if someone’s writing a historical, there’s no legal obligation to set it in the south. Margaret Widdemer’s Lady of the Mohawks did the New York/Canada frontier in the pre-Revolutionary era, but I don’t know of anything significant set in the region/era since then.

    Reply
  149. IOW, if someone’s writing a historical, there’s no legal obligation to set it in the south. Margaret Widdemer’s Lady of the Mohawks did the New York/Canada frontier in the pre-Revolutionary era, but I don’t know of anything significant set in the region/era since then.

    Reply
  150. IOW, if someone’s writing a historical, there’s no legal obligation to set it in the south. Margaret Widdemer’s Lady of the Mohawks did the New York/Canada frontier in the pre-Revolutionary era, but I don’t know of anything significant set in the region/era since then.

    Reply
  151. Hey Pat!
    Gen X here. I’ve been reading since I was five (that’s a total of 37yrs) but didn’t get into romance until two years ago. I was mostly Si-Fi and EHF. Star Trek, Dragons, Camelot, Vampires, Werewolves…
    Settings: It doesn’t matter to me as long as the author takes a bit of time to orient me around the objects in the world. I want to know what a gauntlet is before the hero casually picks it up off the table and smacks it across the villain’s face.
    Plot: It has to run deep, very deep, for me. Make me scream in anger, cry my eyes out, ache to the bone, and laugh for joy. I just saw The Prestige. Movies do not easily impress me. But The Prestige was awesome! In the end, neither man had grown enough to see what was before his eyes, but the audience had. It was a powerful lesson in “Limited vision is the curse of the sighted.”
    Finally, I like books that are real. MJ’s KOF comes to mind. The marriage happened very early on (something we often have to wait for) and we “lived” Gwen and Duncan’s honeymoon. We also watched their relationship fall apart under the strain of differences and then of course come back together. That was real for me.

    Reply
  152. Hey Pat!
    Gen X here. I’ve been reading since I was five (that’s a total of 37yrs) but didn’t get into romance until two years ago. I was mostly Si-Fi and EHF. Star Trek, Dragons, Camelot, Vampires, Werewolves…
    Settings: It doesn’t matter to me as long as the author takes a bit of time to orient me around the objects in the world. I want to know what a gauntlet is before the hero casually picks it up off the table and smacks it across the villain’s face.
    Plot: It has to run deep, very deep, for me. Make me scream in anger, cry my eyes out, ache to the bone, and laugh for joy. I just saw The Prestige. Movies do not easily impress me. But The Prestige was awesome! In the end, neither man had grown enough to see what was before his eyes, but the audience had. It was a powerful lesson in “Limited vision is the curse of the sighted.”
    Finally, I like books that are real. MJ’s KOF comes to mind. The marriage happened very early on (something we often have to wait for) and we “lived” Gwen and Duncan’s honeymoon. We also watched their relationship fall apart under the strain of differences and then of course come back together. That was real for me.

    Reply
  153. Hey Pat!
    Gen X here. I’ve been reading since I was five (that’s a total of 37yrs) but didn’t get into romance until two years ago. I was mostly Si-Fi and EHF. Star Trek, Dragons, Camelot, Vampires, Werewolves…
    Settings: It doesn’t matter to me as long as the author takes a bit of time to orient me around the objects in the world. I want to know what a gauntlet is before the hero casually picks it up off the table and smacks it across the villain’s face.
    Plot: It has to run deep, very deep, for me. Make me scream in anger, cry my eyes out, ache to the bone, and laugh for joy. I just saw The Prestige. Movies do not easily impress me. But The Prestige was awesome! In the end, neither man had grown enough to see what was before his eyes, but the audience had. It was a powerful lesson in “Limited vision is the curse of the sighted.”
    Finally, I like books that are real. MJ’s KOF comes to mind. The marriage happened very early on (something we often have to wait for) and we “lived” Gwen and Duncan’s honeymoon. We also watched their relationship fall apart under the strain of differences and then of course come back together. That was real for me.

    Reply
  154. Hey Pat!
    Gen X here. I’ve been reading since I was five (that’s a total of 37yrs) but didn’t get into romance until two years ago. I was mostly Si-Fi and EHF. Star Trek, Dragons, Camelot, Vampires, Werewolves…
    Settings: It doesn’t matter to me as long as the author takes a bit of time to orient me around the objects in the world. I want to know what a gauntlet is before the hero casually picks it up off the table and smacks it across the villain’s face.
    Plot: It has to run deep, very deep, for me. Make me scream in anger, cry my eyes out, ache to the bone, and laugh for joy. I just saw The Prestige. Movies do not easily impress me. But The Prestige was awesome! In the end, neither man had grown enough to see what was before his eyes, but the audience had. It was a powerful lesson in “Limited vision is the curse of the sighted.”
    Finally, I like books that are real. MJ’s KOF comes to mind. The marriage happened very early on (something we often have to wait for) and we “lived” Gwen and Duncan’s honeymoon. We also watched their relationship fall apart under the strain of differences and then of course come back together. That was real for me.

    Reply
  155. Hey Pat!
    Gen X here. I’ve been reading since I was five (that’s a total of 37yrs) but didn’t get into romance until two years ago. I was mostly Si-Fi and EHF. Star Trek, Dragons, Camelot, Vampires, Werewolves…
    Settings: It doesn’t matter to me as long as the author takes a bit of time to orient me around the objects in the world. I want to know what a gauntlet is before the hero casually picks it up off the table and smacks it across the villain’s face.
    Plot: It has to run deep, very deep, for me. Make me scream in anger, cry my eyes out, ache to the bone, and laugh for joy. I just saw The Prestige. Movies do not easily impress me. But The Prestige was awesome! In the end, neither man had grown enough to see what was before his eyes, but the audience had. It was a powerful lesson in “Limited vision is the curse of the sighted.”
    Finally, I like books that are real. MJ’s KOF comes to mind. The marriage happened very early on (something we often have to wait for) and we “lived” Gwen and Duncan’s honeymoon. We also watched their relationship fall apart under the strain of differences and then of course come back together. That was real for me.

    Reply
  156. i’m taking myself out of the draw, dropped in to say: funny is always good, and i’m very attracted to any kind of new geography. nothing wrong with the ‘traditional’ ones, but i’d be much more likely to pick up something set in, maybe, brazil rather than england.

    Reply
  157. i’m taking myself out of the draw, dropped in to say: funny is always good, and i’m very attracted to any kind of new geography. nothing wrong with the ‘traditional’ ones, but i’d be much more likely to pick up something set in, maybe, brazil rather than england.

    Reply
  158. i’m taking myself out of the draw, dropped in to say: funny is always good, and i’m very attracted to any kind of new geography. nothing wrong with the ‘traditional’ ones, but i’d be much more likely to pick up something set in, maybe, brazil rather than england.

    Reply
  159. i’m taking myself out of the draw, dropped in to say: funny is always good, and i’m very attracted to any kind of new geography. nothing wrong with the ‘traditional’ ones, but i’d be much more likely to pick up something set in, maybe, brazil rather than england.

    Reply
  160. i’m taking myself out of the draw, dropped in to say: funny is always good, and i’m very attracted to any kind of new geography. nothing wrong with the ‘traditional’ ones, but i’d be much more likely to pick up something set in, maybe, brazil rather than england.

    Reply
  161. Paranormals and erotic romances have been very popular and I enjoy them a lot, but I still love historicals and hope to see more of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there aren’t as many historicals being published. I would also love to see more Victorians.

    Reply
  162. Paranormals and erotic romances have been very popular and I enjoy them a lot, but I still love historicals and hope to see more of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there aren’t as many historicals being published. I would also love to see more Victorians.

    Reply
  163. Paranormals and erotic romances have been very popular and I enjoy them a lot, but I still love historicals and hope to see more of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there aren’t as many historicals being published. I would also love to see more Victorians.

    Reply
  164. Paranormals and erotic romances have been very popular and I enjoy them a lot, but I still love historicals and hope to see more of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there aren’t as many historicals being published. I would also love to see more Victorians.

    Reply
  165. Paranormals and erotic romances have been very popular and I enjoy them a lot, but I still love historicals and hope to see more of them. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there aren’t as many historicals being published. I would also love to see more Victorians.

    Reply
  166. lijakaca — see if you can find a copy of THE TOKAIDO ROAD: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson.
    Louis — try Steven Saylor’s mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, a private eye in late Republican Rome, and Lynda S. Robinson’s featuring Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh to the boy Tutenkhamen.
    Waving at Virginia, the only other person in the known universe who’s read Margaret Widdemer. She’s got a couple of others set in colonial America, and one Gothic set in New York state in about the 1830’s, I think–THE RED CASTLE WOMEN.
    Maya — have you ever come across THE BRAGANZA PURSUIT by Sarah Neilan (1976)? It was pretty good:
    A young Englishwoman takes a position as governess in the household of the Portugese ambassador in London. She finds herself caught up on the edges of political intrigues in the Portugese royal family and is sent off on an adventure to Brazil in charge of the ambassador’s young children.

    Reply
  167. lijakaca — see if you can find a copy of THE TOKAIDO ROAD: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson.
    Louis — try Steven Saylor’s mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, a private eye in late Republican Rome, and Lynda S. Robinson’s featuring Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh to the boy Tutenkhamen.
    Waving at Virginia, the only other person in the known universe who’s read Margaret Widdemer. She’s got a couple of others set in colonial America, and one Gothic set in New York state in about the 1830’s, I think–THE RED CASTLE WOMEN.
    Maya — have you ever come across THE BRAGANZA PURSUIT by Sarah Neilan (1976)? It was pretty good:
    A young Englishwoman takes a position as governess in the household of the Portugese ambassador in London. She finds herself caught up on the edges of political intrigues in the Portugese royal family and is sent off on an adventure to Brazil in charge of the ambassador’s young children.

    Reply
  168. lijakaca — see if you can find a copy of THE TOKAIDO ROAD: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson.
    Louis — try Steven Saylor’s mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, a private eye in late Republican Rome, and Lynda S. Robinson’s featuring Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh to the boy Tutenkhamen.
    Waving at Virginia, the only other person in the known universe who’s read Margaret Widdemer. She’s got a couple of others set in colonial America, and one Gothic set in New York state in about the 1830’s, I think–THE RED CASTLE WOMEN.
    Maya — have you ever come across THE BRAGANZA PURSUIT by Sarah Neilan (1976)? It was pretty good:
    A young Englishwoman takes a position as governess in the household of the Portugese ambassador in London. She finds herself caught up on the edges of political intrigues in the Portugese royal family and is sent off on an adventure to Brazil in charge of the ambassador’s young children.

    Reply
  169. lijakaca — see if you can find a copy of THE TOKAIDO ROAD: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson.
    Louis — try Steven Saylor’s mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, a private eye in late Republican Rome, and Lynda S. Robinson’s featuring Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh to the boy Tutenkhamen.
    Waving at Virginia, the only other person in the known universe who’s read Margaret Widdemer. She’s got a couple of others set in colonial America, and one Gothic set in New York state in about the 1830’s, I think–THE RED CASTLE WOMEN.
    Maya — have you ever come across THE BRAGANZA PURSUIT by Sarah Neilan (1976)? It was pretty good:
    A young Englishwoman takes a position as governess in the household of the Portugese ambassador in London. She finds herself caught up on the edges of political intrigues in the Portugese royal family and is sent off on an adventure to Brazil in charge of the ambassador’s young children.

    Reply
  170. lijakaca — see if you can find a copy of THE TOKAIDO ROAD: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Lucia St. Clair Robson.
    Louis — try Steven Saylor’s mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, a private eye in late Republican Rome, and Lynda S. Robinson’s featuring Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh to the boy Tutenkhamen.
    Waving at Virginia, the only other person in the known universe who’s read Margaret Widdemer. She’s got a couple of others set in colonial America, and one Gothic set in New York state in about the 1830’s, I think–THE RED CASTLE WOMEN.
    Maya — have you ever come across THE BRAGANZA PURSUIT by Sarah Neilan (1976)? It was pretty good:
    A young Englishwoman takes a position as governess in the household of the Portugese ambassador in London. She finds herself caught up on the edges of political intrigues in the Portugese royal family and is sent off on an adventure to Brazil in charge of the ambassador’s young children.

    Reply
  171. 43 and the Roselynde Chronicles was one of my introductions to romance reading. I shamefacedly admit to not really wanting to read any historicals that are not in “civilised” areas as all I can think of is dirt, grot and smell.
    The problem I have with stories set in say Rome, Brazil, France, etc. would be that well …frankly we know that things just don’t go well for them. Rome falls, South America is a tad war torn and France had the revolution. I know none of this may happen within the fictional lifetime of the people in the book, but I still like to think that somewhere they and all their progeny live happily ever after. Personally I think this is why the Regency romance is so popular. Yes, there was a war, but the battlegrounds were not seen. England still stands, is not currently war torn and we can imagine our fictional couple living a long prosperous life. I like some history in my historicals, but not too much gritty reality. Why do we like the aristocracy? Well perhaps because their standard of living was better and they had more likelihood of surviving and living the happy life. (fictionally).
    This is all relating to historicals, but besides them I would love to see more books taking on is the complex fantasy worlds. I adore the paranormal books, but think more fantasy stuff like CL Wilsons series are fantastic. Coming from originally reading sci fi/fantasy I love finding these involved series with complex world building.

    Reply
  172. 43 and the Roselynde Chronicles was one of my introductions to romance reading. I shamefacedly admit to not really wanting to read any historicals that are not in “civilised” areas as all I can think of is dirt, grot and smell.
    The problem I have with stories set in say Rome, Brazil, France, etc. would be that well …frankly we know that things just don’t go well for them. Rome falls, South America is a tad war torn and France had the revolution. I know none of this may happen within the fictional lifetime of the people in the book, but I still like to think that somewhere they and all their progeny live happily ever after. Personally I think this is why the Regency romance is so popular. Yes, there was a war, but the battlegrounds were not seen. England still stands, is not currently war torn and we can imagine our fictional couple living a long prosperous life. I like some history in my historicals, but not too much gritty reality. Why do we like the aristocracy? Well perhaps because their standard of living was better and they had more likelihood of surviving and living the happy life. (fictionally).
    This is all relating to historicals, but besides them I would love to see more books taking on is the complex fantasy worlds. I adore the paranormal books, but think more fantasy stuff like CL Wilsons series are fantastic. Coming from originally reading sci fi/fantasy I love finding these involved series with complex world building.

    Reply
  173. 43 and the Roselynde Chronicles was one of my introductions to romance reading. I shamefacedly admit to not really wanting to read any historicals that are not in “civilised” areas as all I can think of is dirt, grot and smell.
    The problem I have with stories set in say Rome, Brazil, France, etc. would be that well …frankly we know that things just don’t go well for them. Rome falls, South America is a tad war torn and France had the revolution. I know none of this may happen within the fictional lifetime of the people in the book, but I still like to think that somewhere they and all their progeny live happily ever after. Personally I think this is why the Regency romance is so popular. Yes, there was a war, but the battlegrounds were not seen. England still stands, is not currently war torn and we can imagine our fictional couple living a long prosperous life. I like some history in my historicals, but not too much gritty reality. Why do we like the aristocracy? Well perhaps because their standard of living was better and they had more likelihood of surviving and living the happy life. (fictionally).
    This is all relating to historicals, but besides them I would love to see more books taking on is the complex fantasy worlds. I adore the paranormal books, but think more fantasy stuff like CL Wilsons series are fantastic. Coming from originally reading sci fi/fantasy I love finding these involved series with complex world building.

    Reply
  174. 43 and the Roselynde Chronicles was one of my introductions to romance reading. I shamefacedly admit to not really wanting to read any historicals that are not in “civilised” areas as all I can think of is dirt, grot and smell.
    The problem I have with stories set in say Rome, Brazil, France, etc. would be that well …frankly we know that things just don’t go well for them. Rome falls, South America is a tad war torn and France had the revolution. I know none of this may happen within the fictional lifetime of the people in the book, but I still like to think that somewhere they and all their progeny live happily ever after. Personally I think this is why the Regency romance is so popular. Yes, there was a war, but the battlegrounds were not seen. England still stands, is not currently war torn and we can imagine our fictional couple living a long prosperous life. I like some history in my historicals, but not too much gritty reality. Why do we like the aristocracy? Well perhaps because their standard of living was better and they had more likelihood of surviving and living the happy life. (fictionally).
    This is all relating to historicals, but besides them I would love to see more books taking on is the complex fantasy worlds. I adore the paranormal books, but think more fantasy stuff like CL Wilsons series are fantastic. Coming from originally reading sci fi/fantasy I love finding these involved series with complex world building.

    Reply
  175. 43 and the Roselynde Chronicles was one of my introductions to romance reading. I shamefacedly admit to not really wanting to read any historicals that are not in “civilised” areas as all I can think of is dirt, grot and smell.
    The problem I have with stories set in say Rome, Brazil, France, etc. would be that well …frankly we know that things just don’t go well for them. Rome falls, South America is a tad war torn and France had the revolution. I know none of this may happen within the fictional lifetime of the people in the book, but I still like to think that somewhere they and all their progeny live happily ever after. Personally I think this is why the Regency romance is so popular. Yes, there was a war, but the battlegrounds were not seen. England still stands, is not currently war torn and we can imagine our fictional couple living a long prosperous life. I like some history in my historicals, but not too much gritty reality. Why do we like the aristocracy? Well perhaps because their standard of living was better and they had more likelihood of surviving and living the happy life. (fictionally).
    This is all relating to historicals, but besides them I would love to see more books taking on is the complex fantasy worlds. I adore the paranormal books, but think more fantasy stuff like CL Wilsons series are fantastic. Coming from originally reading sci fi/fantasy I love finding these involved series with complex world building.

    Reply
  176. Great thought-provoking post, Pat, and lots of interesting comments, too.
    Back in the 90s, most of the books I wrote were set in Colonial America, but as many of you have noted, that setting is regarded as complete poison now. Editors won’t even consider it. I’ve never been told that it’s the slavery issue that makes it a hard sell, but that readers don’t think of 18th century America as very sexy, that it’s burdened with memories of dry high school history class.
    I don’t know WHY this should be, or why it suddenly struck all readers around 2000 or so (it certainly didn’t affect earlier readers of Anya Seton, Kenneth Roberts, or John Jakes, did it?) but that’s the line across the board, at every publishing house in NYC. For that matter, it’s very hard now to get any American-set book published, in any time period.
    BTW — regarding slavery in fiction — Philippa Gregory wrote a novel that features a romance set in the late 18th century between a slave-owner’s wife and a slave. “A Respectable Trade” sold well in England, but it took ten years (and the success of “The Other Boleyn Girl”) for skittish American publishers to release it here — and even then, with very little fanfare.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  177. Great thought-provoking post, Pat, and lots of interesting comments, too.
    Back in the 90s, most of the books I wrote were set in Colonial America, but as many of you have noted, that setting is regarded as complete poison now. Editors won’t even consider it. I’ve never been told that it’s the slavery issue that makes it a hard sell, but that readers don’t think of 18th century America as very sexy, that it’s burdened with memories of dry high school history class.
    I don’t know WHY this should be, or why it suddenly struck all readers around 2000 or so (it certainly didn’t affect earlier readers of Anya Seton, Kenneth Roberts, or John Jakes, did it?) but that’s the line across the board, at every publishing house in NYC. For that matter, it’s very hard now to get any American-set book published, in any time period.
    BTW — regarding slavery in fiction — Philippa Gregory wrote a novel that features a romance set in the late 18th century between a slave-owner’s wife and a slave. “A Respectable Trade” sold well in England, but it took ten years (and the success of “The Other Boleyn Girl”) for skittish American publishers to release it here — and even then, with very little fanfare.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  178. Great thought-provoking post, Pat, and lots of interesting comments, too.
    Back in the 90s, most of the books I wrote were set in Colonial America, but as many of you have noted, that setting is regarded as complete poison now. Editors won’t even consider it. I’ve never been told that it’s the slavery issue that makes it a hard sell, but that readers don’t think of 18th century America as very sexy, that it’s burdened with memories of dry high school history class.
    I don’t know WHY this should be, or why it suddenly struck all readers around 2000 or so (it certainly didn’t affect earlier readers of Anya Seton, Kenneth Roberts, or John Jakes, did it?) but that’s the line across the board, at every publishing house in NYC. For that matter, it’s very hard now to get any American-set book published, in any time period.
    BTW — regarding slavery in fiction — Philippa Gregory wrote a novel that features a romance set in the late 18th century between a slave-owner’s wife and a slave. “A Respectable Trade” sold well in England, but it took ten years (and the success of “The Other Boleyn Girl”) for skittish American publishers to release it here — and even then, with very little fanfare.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  179. Great thought-provoking post, Pat, and lots of interesting comments, too.
    Back in the 90s, most of the books I wrote were set in Colonial America, but as many of you have noted, that setting is regarded as complete poison now. Editors won’t even consider it. I’ve never been told that it’s the slavery issue that makes it a hard sell, but that readers don’t think of 18th century America as very sexy, that it’s burdened with memories of dry high school history class.
    I don’t know WHY this should be, or why it suddenly struck all readers around 2000 or so (it certainly didn’t affect earlier readers of Anya Seton, Kenneth Roberts, or John Jakes, did it?) but that’s the line across the board, at every publishing house in NYC. For that matter, it’s very hard now to get any American-set book published, in any time period.
    BTW — regarding slavery in fiction — Philippa Gregory wrote a novel that features a romance set in the late 18th century between a slave-owner’s wife and a slave. “A Respectable Trade” sold well in England, but it took ten years (and the success of “The Other Boleyn Girl”) for skittish American publishers to release it here — and even then, with very little fanfare.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  180. Great thought-provoking post, Pat, and lots of interesting comments, too.
    Back in the 90s, most of the books I wrote were set in Colonial America, but as many of you have noted, that setting is regarded as complete poison now. Editors won’t even consider it. I’ve never been told that it’s the slavery issue that makes it a hard sell, but that readers don’t think of 18th century America as very sexy, that it’s burdened with memories of dry high school history class.
    I don’t know WHY this should be, or why it suddenly struck all readers around 2000 or so (it certainly didn’t affect earlier readers of Anya Seton, Kenneth Roberts, or John Jakes, did it?) but that’s the line across the board, at every publishing house in NYC. For that matter, it’s very hard now to get any American-set book published, in any time period.
    BTW — regarding slavery in fiction — Philippa Gregory wrote a novel that features a romance set in the late 18th century between a slave-owner’s wife and a slave. “A Respectable Trade” sold well in England, but it took ten years (and the success of “The Other Boleyn Girl”) for skittish American publishers to release it here — and even then, with very little fanfare.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  181. Baby boomer here- I first read Heyer, Lorna Doone, Jane Eyre, and Austen- as well as traditional Regencies. Even some Babara Cartland, and the “Gothic” paperbacks by authors like Phyllis Whitney. I want multi-dimensional characters, humor, and plot, and I don’t really care if there is sex since I skip most of it to get back to the story. I like the Golden Age mysteries by Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and what are generally refered to as “Cozies”. I am okay with some paranormal but nothing gory or violent. I want my fictional world to be a happy place; spare me the starving masses, bubonic plague, open sewers, beheadings, rape, pillage, and generally gross details. Of course the story can have sad parts for plot purposes, but I want happy endings for all the major characters unless they are villains. It is fiction, after all. For new settings- what about Roman Britain, homesteaders in America, or any colonizing efforts- Canada, Australia, gold rush in the Yukon, or if you are into sci fi, new planets. I like the theme of a struggle to make a home in a new environment. I’m really picky, eh?

    Reply
  182. Baby boomer here- I first read Heyer, Lorna Doone, Jane Eyre, and Austen- as well as traditional Regencies. Even some Babara Cartland, and the “Gothic” paperbacks by authors like Phyllis Whitney. I want multi-dimensional characters, humor, and plot, and I don’t really care if there is sex since I skip most of it to get back to the story. I like the Golden Age mysteries by Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and what are generally refered to as “Cozies”. I am okay with some paranormal but nothing gory or violent. I want my fictional world to be a happy place; spare me the starving masses, bubonic plague, open sewers, beheadings, rape, pillage, and generally gross details. Of course the story can have sad parts for plot purposes, but I want happy endings for all the major characters unless they are villains. It is fiction, after all. For new settings- what about Roman Britain, homesteaders in America, or any colonizing efforts- Canada, Australia, gold rush in the Yukon, or if you are into sci fi, new planets. I like the theme of a struggle to make a home in a new environment. I’m really picky, eh?

    Reply
  183. Baby boomer here- I first read Heyer, Lorna Doone, Jane Eyre, and Austen- as well as traditional Regencies. Even some Babara Cartland, and the “Gothic” paperbacks by authors like Phyllis Whitney. I want multi-dimensional characters, humor, and plot, and I don’t really care if there is sex since I skip most of it to get back to the story. I like the Golden Age mysteries by Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and what are generally refered to as “Cozies”. I am okay with some paranormal but nothing gory or violent. I want my fictional world to be a happy place; spare me the starving masses, bubonic plague, open sewers, beheadings, rape, pillage, and generally gross details. Of course the story can have sad parts for plot purposes, but I want happy endings for all the major characters unless they are villains. It is fiction, after all. For new settings- what about Roman Britain, homesteaders in America, or any colonizing efforts- Canada, Australia, gold rush in the Yukon, or if you are into sci fi, new planets. I like the theme of a struggle to make a home in a new environment. I’m really picky, eh?

    Reply
  184. Baby boomer here- I first read Heyer, Lorna Doone, Jane Eyre, and Austen- as well as traditional Regencies. Even some Babara Cartland, and the “Gothic” paperbacks by authors like Phyllis Whitney. I want multi-dimensional characters, humor, and plot, and I don’t really care if there is sex since I skip most of it to get back to the story. I like the Golden Age mysteries by Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and what are generally refered to as “Cozies”. I am okay with some paranormal but nothing gory or violent. I want my fictional world to be a happy place; spare me the starving masses, bubonic plague, open sewers, beheadings, rape, pillage, and generally gross details. Of course the story can have sad parts for plot purposes, but I want happy endings for all the major characters unless they are villains. It is fiction, after all. For new settings- what about Roman Britain, homesteaders in America, or any colonizing efforts- Canada, Australia, gold rush in the Yukon, or if you are into sci fi, new planets. I like the theme of a struggle to make a home in a new environment. I’m really picky, eh?

    Reply
  185. Baby boomer here- I first read Heyer, Lorna Doone, Jane Eyre, and Austen- as well as traditional Regencies. Even some Babara Cartland, and the “Gothic” paperbacks by authors like Phyllis Whitney. I want multi-dimensional characters, humor, and plot, and I don’t really care if there is sex since I skip most of it to get back to the story. I like the Golden Age mysteries by Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and what are generally refered to as “Cozies”. I am okay with some paranormal but nothing gory or violent. I want my fictional world to be a happy place; spare me the starving masses, bubonic plague, open sewers, beheadings, rape, pillage, and generally gross details. Of course the story can have sad parts for plot purposes, but I want happy endings for all the major characters unless they are villains. It is fiction, after all. For new settings- what about Roman Britain, homesteaders in America, or any colonizing efforts- Canada, Australia, gold rush in the Yukon, or if you are into sci fi, new planets. I like the theme of a struggle to make a home in a new environment. I’m really picky, eh?

    Reply
  186. I have read only one historical book set in Russia and I have never seen a book set in for instance in Sweden (or Finland, for that matter, which of course would be part of Sweden or Russia, as we didn’t become independent until 1917). Aren’t they exotic enough?

    Reply
  187. I have read only one historical book set in Russia and I have never seen a book set in for instance in Sweden (or Finland, for that matter, which of course would be part of Sweden or Russia, as we didn’t become independent until 1917). Aren’t they exotic enough?

    Reply
  188. I have read only one historical book set in Russia and I have never seen a book set in for instance in Sweden (or Finland, for that matter, which of course would be part of Sweden or Russia, as we didn’t become independent until 1917). Aren’t they exotic enough?

    Reply
  189. I have read only one historical book set in Russia and I have never seen a book set in for instance in Sweden (or Finland, for that matter, which of course would be part of Sweden or Russia, as we didn’t become independent until 1917). Aren’t they exotic enough?

    Reply
  190. I have read only one historical book set in Russia and I have never seen a book set in for instance in Sweden (or Finland, for that matter, which of course would be part of Sweden or Russia, as we didn’t become independent until 1917). Aren’t they exotic enough?

    Reply
  191. I’m 34 as well. I started reading romances in the late ’80’s after having read all the classic “girl” books, Austen, Holt/Carr, the Sunfire YA romances, etc. I read the first two Woodiwess romances but like most of the ’70’s romances, they did not rock my world. Actually, some of them are almost distasteful. I can wax much more eloquently about the significance of Judith McNaught than Ms. Woodiwess. I definitely think that’s a generational difference. My local library did not have Georgette Heyer books, and she’s another one of the classic romance authors who have not resonated so much with me.
    What I miss most in historical romances are the “big stories” and the variety of settings. I find almost all historical time-periods interesting and love when a great story-teller can bring that world alive for me. I’m a big history buff so I like the stories to “feel” historical.
    I really miss the American and western historicals. 10-15 years ago, there were so many wonderful choices in American historicals, and now there is very little. If Harlequin Historicals did not exist, I’d really have a hard time finding any. I also appreciate how HH publishes some Roman romances and other stories in different settings. I try to buy all their Western/Americana and more exotic setting novels. I had a major work event last week and went on a huge reading binge after to “recover”. I started reading some westerns (all HH) and really wished for more choices. I took comfort in the fact that paranormals were deader than dead about 5-7 years ago, and perhaps american/western historicals will have the same come back.
    That said, most of my favorite romance writers write novels set in Regency England. Sometimes that will expand to the 1700s or the 1900s. I really think the appeal of these novels for me are that the best “voices” or writers are penning these stories. For example, I enjoyed Jo Beverley’s Canadian Frontier novel as much as her more traditionally regency-set novels. Though, I do admit I find the Regency setting appealing.
    When I mention “big stories”, I mean novels in which I can be completely lost – totally swept away. These tend to be my keepers. They can be “big” because of the great characterization – e.g. Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous – or they can be big because they take place over a large canvas – e.g. some of Laura Kinsale or Iris Johanson’s historical romances. I like there to be depth to the characterization, but I also really like a plot. The last debut novel that felt “big” to me was The Spymaster’s Lady.
    And, historicals are my favorite. I’ll read all kinds of romances, fiction and non-fiction, but my favorites are always the best historical romances.

    Reply
  192. I’m 34 as well. I started reading romances in the late ’80’s after having read all the classic “girl” books, Austen, Holt/Carr, the Sunfire YA romances, etc. I read the first two Woodiwess romances but like most of the ’70’s romances, they did not rock my world. Actually, some of them are almost distasteful. I can wax much more eloquently about the significance of Judith McNaught than Ms. Woodiwess. I definitely think that’s a generational difference. My local library did not have Georgette Heyer books, and she’s another one of the classic romance authors who have not resonated so much with me.
    What I miss most in historical romances are the “big stories” and the variety of settings. I find almost all historical time-periods interesting and love when a great story-teller can bring that world alive for me. I’m a big history buff so I like the stories to “feel” historical.
    I really miss the American and western historicals. 10-15 years ago, there were so many wonderful choices in American historicals, and now there is very little. If Harlequin Historicals did not exist, I’d really have a hard time finding any. I also appreciate how HH publishes some Roman romances and other stories in different settings. I try to buy all their Western/Americana and more exotic setting novels. I had a major work event last week and went on a huge reading binge after to “recover”. I started reading some westerns (all HH) and really wished for more choices. I took comfort in the fact that paranormals were deader than dead about 5-7 years ago, and perhaps american/western historicals will have the same come back.
    That said, most of my favorite romance writers write novels set in Regency England. Sometimes that will expand to the 1700s or the 1900s. I really think the appeal of these novels for me are that the best “voices” or writers are penning these stories. For example, I enjoyed Jo Beverley’s Canadian Frontier novel as much as her more traditionally regency-set novels. Though, I do admit I find the Regency setting appealing.
    When I mention “big stories”, I mean novels in which I can be completely lost – totally swept away. These tend to be my keepers. They can be “big” because of the great characterization – e.g. Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous – or they can be big because they take place over a large canvas – e.g. some of Laura Kinsale or Iris Johanson’s historical romances. I like there to be depth to the characterization, but I also really like a plot. The last debut novel that felt “big” to me was The Spymaster’s Lady.
    And, historicals are my favorite. I’ll read all kinds of romances, fiction and non-fiction, but my favorites are always the best historical romances.

    Reply
  193. I’m 34 as well. I started reading romances in the late ’80’s after having read all the classic “girl” books, Austen, Holt/Carr, the Sunfire YA romances, etc. I read the first two Woodiwess romances but like most of the ’70’s romances, they did not rock my world. Actually, some of them are almost distasteful. I can wax much more eloquently about the significance of Judith McNaught than Ms. Woodiwess. I definitely think that’s a generational difference. My local library did not have Georgette Heyer books, and she’s another one of the classic romance authors who have not resonated so much with me.
    What I miss most in historical romances are the “big stories” and the variety of settings. I find almost all historical time-periods interesting and love when a great story-teller can bring that world alive for me. I’m a big history buff so I like the stories to “feel” historical.
    I really miss the American and western historicals. 10-15 years ago, there were so many wonderful choices in American historicals, and now there is very little. If Harlequin Historicals did not exist, I’d really have a hard time finding any. I also appreciate how HH publishes some Roman romances and other stories in different settings. I try to buy all their Western/Americana and more exotic setting novels. I had a major work event last week and went on a huge reading binge after to “recover”. I started reading some westerns (all HH) and really wished for more choices. I took comfort in the fact that paranormals were deader than dead about 5-7 years ago, and perhaps american/western historicals will have the same come back.
    That said, most of my favorite romance writers write novels set in Regency England. Sometimes that will expand to the 1700s or the 1900s. I really think the appeal of these novels for me are that the best “voices” or writers are penning these stories. For example, I enjoyed Jo Beverley’s Canadian Frontier novel as much as her more traditionally regency-set novels. Though, I do admit I find the Regency setting appealing.
    When I mention “big stories”, I mean novels in which I can be completely lost – totally swept away. These tend to be my keepers. They can be “big” because of the great characterization – e.g. Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous – or they can be big because they take place over a large canvas – e.g. some of Laura Kinsale or Iris Johanson’s historical romances. I like there to be depth to the characterization, but I also really like a plot. The last debut novel that felt “big” to me was The Spymaster’s Lady.
    And, historicals are my favorite. I’ll read all kinds of romances, fiction and non-fiction, but my favorites are always the best historical romances.

    Reply
  194. I’m 34 as well. I started reading romances in the late ’80’s after having read all the classic “girl” books, Austen, Holt/Carr, the Sunfire YA romances, etc. I read the first two Woodiwess romances but like most of the ’70’s romances, they did not rock my world. Actually, some of them are almost distasteful. I can wax much more eloquently about the significance of Judith McNaught than Ms. Woodiwess. I definitely think that’s a generational difference. My local library did not have Georgette Heyer books, and she’s another one of the classic romance authors who have not resonated so much with me.
    What I miss most in historical romances are the “big stories” and the variety of settings. I find almost all historical time-periods interesting and love when a great story-teller can bring that world alive for me. I’m a big history buff so I like the stories to “feel” historical.
    I really miss the American and western historicals. 10-15 years ago, there were so many wonderful choices in American historicals, and now there is very little. If Harlequin Historicals did not exist, I’d really have a hard time finding any. I also appreciate how HH publishes some Roman romances and other stories in different settings. I try to buy all their Western/Americana and more exotic setting novels. I had a major work event last week and went on a huge reading binge after to “recover”. I started reading some westerns (all HH) and really wished for more choices. I took comfort in the fact that paranormals were deader than dead about 5-7 years ago, and perhaps american/western historicals will have the same come back.
    That said, most of my favorite romance writers write novels set in Regency England. Sometimes that will expand to the 1700s or the 1900s. I really think the appeal of these novels for me are that the best “voices” or writers are penning these stories. For example, I enjoyed Jo Beverley’s Canadian Frontier novel as much as her more traditionally regency-set novels. Though, I do admit I find the Regency setting appealing.
    When I mention “big stories”, I mean novels in which I can be completely lost – totally swept away. These tend to be my keepers. They can be “big” because of the great characterization – e.g. Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous – or they can be big because they take place over a large canvas – e.g. some of Laura Kinsale or Iris Johanson’s historical romances. I like there to be depth to the characterization, but I also really like a plot. The last debut novel that felt “big” to me was The Spymaster’s Lady.
    And, historicals are my favorite. I’ll read all kinds of romances, fiction and non-fiction, but my favorites are always the best historical romances.

    Reply
  195. I’m 34 as well. I started reading romances in the late ’80’s after having read all the classic “girl” books, Austen, Holt/Carr, the Sunfire YA romances, etc. I read the first two Woodiwess romances but like most of the ’70’s romances, they did not rock my world. Actually, some of them are almost distasteful. I can wax much more eloquently about the significance of Judith McNaught than Ms. Woodiwess. I definitely think that’s a generational difference. My local library did not have Georgette Heyer books, and she’s another one of the classic romance authors who have not resonated so much with me.
    What I miss most in historical romances are the “big stories” and the variety of settings. I find almost all historical time-periods interesting and love when a great story-teller can bring that world alive for me. I’m a big history buff so I like the stories to “feel” historical.
    I really miss the American and western historicals. 10-15 years ago, there were so many wonderful choices in American historicals, and now there is very little. If Harlequin Historicals did not exist, I’d really have a hard time finding any. I also appreciate how HH publishes some Roman romances and other stories in different settings. I try to buy all their Western/Americana and more exotic setting novels. I had a major work event last week and went on a huge reading binge after to “recover”. I started reading some westerns (all HH) and really wished for more choices. I took comfort in the fact that paranormals were deader than dead about 5-7 years ago, and perhaps american/western historicals will have the same come back.
    That said, most of my favorite romance writers write novels set in Regency England. Sometimes that will expand to the 1700s or the 1900s. I really think the appeal of these novels for me are that the best “voices” or writers are penning these stories. For example, I enjoyed Jo Beverley’s Canadian Frontier novel as much as her more traditionally regency-set novels. Though, I do admit I find the Regency setting appealing.
    When I mention “big stories”, I mean novels in which I can be completely lost – totally swept away. These tend to be my keepers. They can be “big” because of the great characterization – e.g. Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous – or they can be big because they take place over a large canvas – e.g. some of Laura Kinsale or Iris Johanson’s historical romances. I like there to be depth to the characterization, but I also really like a plot. The last debut novel that felt “big” to me was The Spymaster’s Lady.
    And, historicals are my favorite. I’ll read all kinds of romances, fiction and non-fiction, but my favorites are always the best historical romances.

    Reply
  196. I’ve been packaging up my proposals and getting them ready to mail, so bless you talpianna for stepping in with your wonderful insight and memory! If only I could remember all I read as well as you do…
    It does seem as if the publishers belief that “exotic” and “comfortable” conflicts with reader desire for more history, but “grit” appears to have differing levels of tolderation. I see lots of dark and angsty out there in paranormal land, but that’s fantasy, so I think that makes readers more comfortable with it. If an historical writer tries to write about slavery or plague, it may be too real for most of the market. There is much here to ponder. And I’m sending a link to these comments to my editor to show her what a diverse readership is out here!

    Reply
  197. I’ve been packaging up my proposals and getting them ready to mail, so bless you talpianna for stepping in with your wonderful insight and memory! If only I could remember all I read as well as you do…
    It does seem as if the publishers belief that “exotic” and “comfortable” conflicts with reader desire for more history, but “grit” appears to have differing levels of tolderation. I see lots of dark and angsty out there in paranormal land, but that’s fantasy, so I think that makes readers more comfortable with it. If an historical writer tries to write about slavery or plague, it may be too real for most of the market. There is much here to ponder. And I’m sending a link to these comments to my editor to show her what a diverse readership is out here!

    Reply
  198. I’ve been packaging up my proposals and getting them ready to mail, so bless you talpianna for stepping in with your wonderful insight and memory! If only I could remember all I read as well as you do…
    It does seem as if the publishers belief that “exotic” and “comfortable” conflicts with reader desire for more history, but “grit” appears to have differing levels of tolderation. I see lots of dark and angsty out there in paranormal land, but that’s fantasy, so I think that makes readers more comfortable with it. If an historical writer tries to write about slavery or plague, it may be too real for most of the market. There is much here to ponder. And I’m sending a link to these comments to my editor to show her what a diverse readership is out here!

    Reply
  199. I’ve been packaging up my proposals and getting them ready to mail, so bless you talpianna for stepping in with your wonderful insight and memory! If only I could remember all I read as well as you do…
    It does seem as if the publishers belief that “exotic” and “comfortable” conflicts with reader desire for more history, but “grit” appears to have differing levels of tolderation. I see lots of dark and angsty out there in paranormal land, but that’s fantasy, so I think that makes readers more comfortable with it. If an historical writer tries to write about slavery or plague, it may be too real for most of the market. There is much here to ponder. And I’m sending a link to these comments to my editor to show her what a diverse readership is out here!

    Reply
  200. I’ve been packaging up my proposals and getting them ready to mail, so bless you talpianna for stepping in with your wonderful insight and memory! If only I could remember all I read as well as you do…
    It does seem as if the publishers belief that “exotic” and “comfortable” conflicts with reader desire for more history, but “grit” appears to have differing levels of tolderation. I see lots of dark and angsty out there in paranormal land, but that’s fantasy, so I think that makes readers more comfortable with it. If an historical writer tries to write about slavery or plague, it may be too real for most of the market. There is much here to ponder. And I’m sending a link to these comments to my editor to show her what a diverse readership is out here!

    Reply
  201. Having slept on the matter overnight, I have thought of several more “colonial” scenarios that would not involve dealing with slavery.
    The French expulsion of the Palatine Germans from the Rhineland, their migration, and their transformation into “Pennsylvania Dutch” on the then-frontier.
    Early New Amsterdam under the Dutch, before it became New York, with the Calvinist domini’s complaints about the misbehavior of the inhabitants and the difficult of keeping track of a settlment in which the 450 residents spoke 28 different languages.
    Lord Calvert’s settlement of Maryland in the 1630s.
    New Jersey — if Janet Evanovich can make a success of contemporary New Jersey, why couldn’t someone do it in historical New Jersey? FYI, it’s the only one of the original colonies that never had an Indian uprising, which says quite a bit about the rational policies followed by the proprietors.
    Maine in the era of The Midwife’s Story (late 18th century). There are a couple of historical mysteries set there, but no romances as far as I know.
    Detroit and the fur trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Cadillac, the Montours, and again a set of improperly behaved residents.

    Reply
  202. Having slept on the matter overnight, I have thought of several more “colonial” scenarios that would not involve dealing with slavery.
    The French expulsion of the Palatine Germans from the Rhineland, their migration, and their transformation into “Pennsylvania Dutch” on the then-frontier.
    Early New Amsterdam under the Dutch, before it became New York, with the Calvinist domini’s complaints about the misbehavior of the inhabitants and the difficult of keeping track of a settlment in which the 450 residents spoke 28 different languages.
    Lord Calvert’s settlement of Maryland in the 1630s.
    New Jersey — if Janet Evanovich can make a success of contemporary New Jersey, why couldn’t someone do it in historical New Jersey? FYI, it’s the only one of the original colonies that never had an Indian uprising, which says quite a bit about the rational policies followed by the proprietors.
    Maine in the era of The Midwife’s Story (late 18th century). There are a couple of historical mysteries set there, but no romances as far as I know.
    Detroit and the fur trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Cadillac, the Montours, and again a set of improperly behaved residents.

    Reply
  203. Having slept on the matter overnight, I have thought of several more “colonial” scenarios that would not involve dealing with slavery.
    The French expulsion of the Palatine Germans from the Rhineland, their migration, and their transformation into “Pennsylvania Dutch” on the then-frontier.
    Early New Amsterdam under the Dutch, before it became New York, with the Calvinist domini’s complaints about the misbehavior of the inhabitants and the difficult of keeping track of a settlment in which the 450 residents spoke 28 different languages.
    Lord Calvert’s settlement of Maryland in the 1630s.
    New Jersey — if Janet Evanovich can make a success of contemporary New Jersey, why couldn’t someone do it in historical New Jersey? FYI, it’s the only one of the original colonies that never had an Indian uprising, which says quite a bit about the rational policies followed by the proprietors.
    Maine in the era of The Midwife’s Story (late 18th century). There are a couple of historical mysteries set there, but no romances as far as I know.
    Detroit and the fur trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Cadillac, the Montours, and again a set of improperly behaved residents.

    Reply
  204. Having slept on the matter overnight, I have thought of several more “colonial” scenarios that would not involve dealing with slavery.
    The French expulsion of the Palatine Germans from the Rhineland, their migration, and their transformation into “Pennsylvania Dutch” on the then-frontier.
    Early New Amsterdam under the Dutch, before it became New York, with the Calvinist domini’s complaints about the misbehavior of the inhabitants and the difficult of keeping track of a settlment in which the 450 residents spoke 28 different languages.
    Lord Calvert’s settlement of Maryland in the 1630s.
    New Jersey — if Janet Evanovich can make a success of contemporary New Jersey, why couldn’t someone do it in historical New Jersey? FYI, it’s the only one of the original colonies that never had an Indian uprising, which says quite a bit about the rational policies followed by the proprietors.
    Maine in the era of The Midwife’s Story (late 18th century). There are a couple of historical mysteries set there, but no romances as far as I know.
    Detroit and the fur trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Cadillac, the Montours, and again a set of improperly behaved residents.

    Reply
  205. Having slept on the matter overnight, I have thought of several more “colonial” scenarios that would not involve dealing with slavery.
    The French expulsion of the Palatine Germans from the Rhineland, their migration, and their transformation into “Pennsylvania Dutch” on the then-frontier.
    Early New Amsterdam under the Dutch, before it became New York, with the Calvinist domini’s complaints about the misbehavior of the inhabitants and the difficult of keeping track of a settlment in which the 450 residents spoke 28 different languages.
    Lord Calvert’s settlement of Maryland in the 1630s.
    New Jersey — if Janet Evanovich can make a success of contemporary New Jersey, why couldn’t someone do it in historical New Jersey? FYI, it’s the only one of the original colonies that never had an Indian uprising, which says quite a bit about the rational policies followed by the proprietors.
    Maine in the era of The Midwife’s Story (late 18th century). There are a couple of historical mysteries set there, but no romances as far as I know.
    Detroit and the fur trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Cadillac, the Montours, and again a set of improperly behaved residents.

    Reply
  206. Talpianna’s mention of Consuelo Vanderbilt reminds me that Frances Hodgson Burnett (she of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess) also wrote adult romances. The Shuttle, which was quite a best-seller in its day, was on the English nobles/American heiresses theme.
    Also, given the current interest in Guhrke’s Victorian “bachelor girls” theme, people might give a try to The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The couple doesn’t quite measure up to modern standards of demonstrativeness (in fact, the marquess is so reticent as to be the perfect pattern of the traditional stick-up-his-a** English aristocrat.
    But the scene during which Emily is in danger of dying from childbirth and he kneels by her bedside for hours, just holding her hand and saying her name, always leaves me in tears. The doctor’s comment is, “He had followed her as far into that other realm as a living man could go.”

    Reply
  207. Talpianna’s mention of Consuelo Vanderbilt reminds me that Frances Hodgson Burnett (she of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess) also wrote adult romances. The Shuttle, which was quite a best-seller in its day, was on the English nobles/American heiresses theme.
    Also, given the current interest in Guhrke’s Victorian “bachelor girls” theme, people might give a try to The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The couple doesn’t quite measure up to modern standards of demonstrativeness (in fact, the marquess is so reticent as to be the perfect pattern of the traditional stick-up-his-a** English aristocrat.
    But the scene during which Emily is in danger of dying from childbirth and he kneels by her bedside for hours, just holding her hand and saying her name, always leaves me in tears. The doctor’s comment is, “He had followed her as far into that other realm as a living man could go.”

    Reply
  208. Talpianna’s mention of Consuelo Vanderbilt reminds me that Frances Hodgson Burnett (she of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess) also wrote adult romances. The Shuttle, which was quite a best-seller in its day, was on the English nobles/American heiresses theme.
    Also, given the current interest in Guhrke’s Victorian “bachelor girls” theme, people might give a try to The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The couple doesn’t quite measure up to modern standards of demonstrativeness (in fact, the marquess is so reticent as to be the perfect pattern of the traditional stick-up-his-a** English aristocrat.
    But the scene during which Emily is in danger of dying from childbirth and he kneels by her bedside for hours, just holding her hand and saying her name, always leaves me in tears. The doctor’s comment is, “He had followed her as far into that other realm as a living man could go.”

    Reply
  209. Talpianna’s mention of Consuelo Vanderbilt reminds me that Frances Hodgson Burnett (she of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess) also wrote adult romances. The Shuttle, which was quite a best-seller in its day, was on the English nobles/American heiresses theme.
    Also, given the current interest in Guhrke’s Victorian “bachelor girls” theme, people might give a try to The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The couple doesn’t quite measure up to modern standards of demonstrativeness (in fact, the marquess is so reticent as to be the perfect pattern of the traditional stick-up-his-a** English aristocrat.
    But the scene during which Emily is in danger of dying from childbirth and he kneels by her bedside for hours, just holding her hand and saying her name, always leaves me in tears. The doctor’s comment is, “He had followed her as far into that other realm as a living man could go.”

    Reply
  210. Talpianna’s mention of Consuelo Vanderbilt reminds me that Frances Hodgson Burnett (she of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess) also wrote adult romances. The Shuttle, which was quite a best-seller in its day, was on the English nobles/American heiresses theme.
    Also, given the current interest in Guhrke’s Victorian “bachelor girls” theme, people might give a try to The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst. The couple doesn’t quite measure up to modern standards of demonstrativeness (in fact, the marquess is so reticent as to be the perfect pattern of the traditional stick-up-his-a** English aristocrat.
    But the scene during which Emily is in danger of dying from childbirth and he kneels by her bedside for hours, just holding her hand and saying her name, always leaves me in tears. The doctor’s comment is, “He had followed her as far into that other realm as a living man could go.”

    Reply
  211. As a Latin American history major, novels set in Brazil sound just fine to me; I’m open to just about any time or place. OTOH, I’m one of the reasons American historicals, particularly westerns, do not sell. I grew up in Arizona and had so much American and state history that I overdosed by the time I was out of high school. Knowing that the wide open spaces were soon to be filled with strip malls and housing developments was another factor that reduced the romantic aspect of a western setting for me. That said, I recently finished the final book in Maureen McKade’s “Reason to” trilogy and enjoyed them, especially the first, so I try not to be too hard and fast with rules about what I will or won’t read.
    Kalen’s comment about the slavery element is probably true; I immediately discarded one book whose back blurb began “when he took his child bride home to his plantation” (couldn’t decide which element was more distasteful to me). However, I don’t understand why this would necessarily be an issue for a novel set in New England or New York.
    I like the idea of younger sons finding their way in the world. Nancy Butler had a trad Regency about the third son of a duke, “Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh”. This was actually one of the themes of the book, and it was refreshing to see it addressed: what do you do to give meaning to your life when you are young, rich, and not only don’t have to work but work is looked down on by many in your social set?
    As a baby boomer, I discovered Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts as a young teen when my mother brought their books home from the library, but mostly I read mystery stories. Perhaps one reason I like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is that they combine my love of mysteries with my love of historicals. Set in the 1920s in England, they capture a world in transition. The loss of so many young men in WWI left huge gaps in society that women were allowed to fill for the first time, so it was a world of both tragedy and opportunity.
    Like almost anything else, it comes down to the author. One reason I come to this blog is because the Wenches are so good at creating worlds and characters that I’m willing to follow them to almost any time and place. Some I have a natural affinity for, such as Regency or Georgian (shallow of me, but I love the clothes and houses), some not so much (Victorian mutton chop whiskers are a definite no-no for the hero). Good authors can make the plague years (see “Forever Amber” or Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”), Peterborogh massacre (Pam Rosenthal’s latest), canals (Ms. Chase’s “Miss Wonderful”) or just about anything fascinating.

    Reply
  212. As a Latin American history major, novels set in Brazil sound just fine to me; I’m open to just about any time or place. OTOH, I’m one of the reasons American historicals, particularly westerns, do not sell. I grew up in Arizona and had so much American and state history that I overdosed by the time I was out of high school. Knowing that the wide open spaces were soon to be filled with strip malls and housing developments was another factor that reduced the romantic aspect of a western setting for me. That said, I recently finished the final book in Maureen McKade’s “Reason to” trilogy and enjoyed them, especially the first, so I try not to be too hard and fast with rules about what I will or won’t read.
    Kalen’s comment about the slavery element is probably true; I immediately discarded one book whose back blurb began “when he took his child bride home to his plantation” (couldn’t decide which element was more distasteful to me). However, I don’t understand why this would necessarily be an issue for a novel set in New England or New York.
    I like the idea of younger sons finding their way in the world. Nancy Butler had a trad Regency about the third son of a duke, “Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh”. This was actually one of the themes of the book, and it was refreshing to see it addressed: what do you do to give meaning to your life when you are young, rich, and not only don’t have to work but work is looked down on by many in your social set?
    As a baby boomer, I discovered Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts as a young teen when my mother brought their books home from the library, but mostly I read mystery stories. Perhaps one reason I like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is that they combine my love of mysteries with my love of historicals. Set in the 1920s in England, they capture a world in transition. The loss of so many young men in WWI left huge gaps in society that women were allowed to fill for the first time, so it was a world of both tragedy and opportunity.
    Like almost anything else, it comes down to the author. One reason I come to this blog is because the Wenches are so good at creating worlds and characters that I’m willing to follow them to almost any time and place. Some I have a natural affinity for, such as Regency or Georgian (shallow of me, but I love the clothes and houses), some not so much (Victorian mutton chop whiskers are a definite no-no for the hero). Good authors can make the plague years (see “Forever Amber” or Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”), Peterborogh massacre (Pam Rosenthal’s latest), canals (Ms. Chase’s “Miss Wonderful”) or just about anything fascinating.

    Reply
  213. As a Latin American history major, novels set in Brazil sound just fine to me; I’m open to just about any time or place. OTOH, I’m one of the reasons American historicals, particularly westerns, do not sell. I grew up in Arizona and had so much American and state history that I overdosed by the time I was out of high school. Knowing that the wide open spaces were soon to be filled with strip malls and housing developments was another factor that reduced the romantic aspect of a western setting for me. That said, I recently finished the final book in Maureen McKade’s “Reason to” trilogy and enjoyed them, especially the first, so I try not to be too hard and fast with rules about what I will or won’t read.
    Kalen’s comment about the slavery element is probably true; I immediately discarded one book whose back blurb began “when he took his child bride home to his plantation” (couldn’t decide which element was more distasteful to me). However, I don’t understand why this would necessarily be an issue for a novel set in New England or New York.
    I like the idea of younger sons finding their way in the world. Nancy Butler had a trad Regency about the third son of a duke, “Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh”. This was actually one of the themes of the book, and it was refreshing to see it addressed: what do you do to give meaning to your life when you are young, rich, and not only don’t have to work but work is looked down on by many in your social set?
    As a baby boomer, I discovered Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts as a young teen when my mother brought their books home from the library, but mostly I read mystery stories. Perhaps one reason I like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is that they combine my love of mysteries with my love of historicals. Set in the 1920s in England, they capture a world in transition. The loss of so many young men in WWI left huge gaps in society that women were allowed to fill for the first time, so it was a world of both tragedy and opportunity.
    Like almost anything else, it comes down to the author. One reason I come to this blog is because the Wenches are so good at creating worlds and characters that I’m willing to follow them to almost any time and place. Some I have a natural affinity for, such as Regency or Georgian (shallow of me, but I love the clothes and houses), some not so much (Victorian mutton chop whiskers are a definite no-no for the hero). Good authors can make the plague years (see “Forever Amber” or Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”), Peterborogh massacre (Pam Rosenthal’s latest), canals (Ms. Chase’s “Miss Wonderful”) or just about anything fascinating.

    Reply
  214. As a Latin American history major, novels set in Brazil sound just fine to me; I’m open to just about any time or place. OTOH, I’m one of the reasons American historicals, particularly westerns, do not sell. I grew up in Arizona and had so much American and state history that I overdosed by the time I was out of high school. Knowing that the wide open spaces were soon to be filled with strip malls and housing developments was another factor that reduced the romantic aspect of a western setting for me. That said, I recently finished the final book in Maureen McKade’s “Reason to” trilogy and enjoyed them, especially the first, so I try not to be too hard and fast with rules about what I will or won’t read.
    Kalen’s comment about the slavery element is probably true; I immediately discarded one book whose back blurb began “when he took his child bride home to his plantation” (couldn’t decide which element was more distasteful to me). However, I don’t understand why this would necessarily be an issue for a novel set in New England or New York.
    I like the idea of younger sons finding their way in the world. Nancy Butler had a trad Regency about the third son of a duke, “Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh”. This was actually one of the themes of the book, and it was refreshing to see it addressed: what do you do to give meaning to your life when you are young, rich, and not only don’t have to work but work is looked down on by many in your social set?
    As a baby boomer, I discovered Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts as a young teen when my mother brought their books home from the library, but mostly I read mystery stories. Perhaps one reason I like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is that they combine my love of mysteries with my love of historicals. Set in the 1920s in England, they capture a world in transition. The loss of so many young men in WWI left huge gaps in society that women were allowed to fill for the first time, so it was a world of both tragedy and opportunity.
    Like almost anything else, it comes down to the author. One reason I come to this blog is because the Wenches are so good at creating worlds and characters that I’m willing to follow them to almost any time and place. Some I have a natural affinity for, such as Regency or Georgian (shallow of me, but I love the clothes and houses), some not so much (Victorian mutton chop whiskers are a definite no-no for the hero). Good authors can make the plague years (see “Forever Amber” or Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”), Peterborogh massacre (Pam Rosenthal’s latest), canals (Ms. Chase’s “Miss Wonderful”) or just about anything fascinating.

    Reply
  215. As a Latin American history major, novels set in Brazil sound just fine to me; I’m open to just about any time or place. OTOH, I’m one of the reasons American historicals, particularly westerns, do not sell. I grew up in Arizona and had so much American and state history that I overdosed by the time I was out of high school. Knowing that the wide open spaces were soon to be filled with strip malls and housing developments was another factor that reduced the romantic aspect of a western setting for me. That said, I recently finished the final book in Maureen McKade’s “Reason to” trilogy and enjoyed them, especially the first, so I try not to be too hard and fast with rules about what I will or won’t read.
    Kalen’s comment about the slavery element is probably true; I immediately discarded one book whose back blurb began “when he took his child bride home to his plantation” (couldn’t decide which element was more distasteful to me). However, I don’t understand why this would necessarily be an issue for a novel set in New England or New York.
    I like the idea of younger sons finding their way in the world. Nancy Butler had a trad Regency about the third son of a duke, “Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh”. This was actually one of the themes of the book, and it was refreshing to see it addressed: what do you do to give meaning to your life when you are young, rich, and not only don’t have to work but work is looked down on by many in your social set?
    As a baby boomer, I discovered Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts as a young teen when my mother brought their books home from the library, but mostly I read mystery stories. Perhaps one reason I like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series is that they combine my love of mysteries with my love of historicals. Set in the 1920s in England, they capture a world in transition. The loss of so many young men in WWI left huge gaps in society that women were allowed to fill for the first time, so it was a world of both tragedy and opportunity.
    Like almost anything else, it comes down to the author. One reason I come to this blog is because the Wenches are so good at creating worlds and characters that I’m willing to follow them to almost any time and place. Some I have a natural affinity for, such as Regency or Georgian (shallow of me, but I love the clothes and houses), some not so much (Victorian mutton chop whiskers are a definite no-no for the hero). Good authors can make the plague years (see “Forever Amber” or Diana Norman’s “The Vizard Mask”), Peterborogh massacre (Pam Rosenthal’s latest), canals (Ms. Chase’s “Miss Wonderful”) or just about anything fascinating.

    Reply
  216. I can remember lots of wonderful incidents in the colonies that stirred my creative interests decades ago, and I was highly disappointed that no one found them as entertaining as I did. Maybe it’s time to revisit them from a different perspective. With a sufficiently intriguing situation, almost anything ought to hold the interest of a reader…but we still have to sell these ideas to marketing, and I’m not entirely convinced they read!

    Reply
  217. I can remember lots of wonderful incidents in the colonies that stirred my creative interests decades ago, and I was highly disappointed that no one found them as entertaining as I did. Maybe it’s time to revisit them from a different perspective. With a sufficiently intriguing situation, almost anything ought to hold the interest of a reader…but we still have to sell these ideas to marketing, and I’m not entirely convinced they read!

    Reply
  218. I can remember lots of wonderful incidents in the colonies that stirred my creative interests decades ago, and I was highly disappointed that no one found them as entertaining as I did. Maybe it’s time to revisit them from a different perspective. With a sufficiently intriguing situation, almost anything ought to hold the interest of a reader…but we still have to sell these ideas to marketing, and I’m not entirely convinced they read!

    Reply
  219. I can remember lots of wonderful incidents in the colonies that stirred my creative interests decades ago, and I was highly disappointed that no one found them as entertaining as I did. Maybe it’s time to revisit them from a different perspective. With a sufficiently intriguing situation, almost anything ought to hold the interest of a reader…but we still have to sell these ideas to marketing, and I’m not entirely convinced they read!

    Reply
  220. I can remember lots of wonderful incidents in the colonies that stirred my creative interests decades ago, and I was highly disappointed that no one found them as entertaining as I did. Maybe it’s time to revisit them from a different perspective. With a sufficiently intriguing situation, almost anything ought to hold the interest of a reader…but we still have to sell these ideas to marketing, and I’m not entirely convinced they read!

    Reply
  221. talpianna, thanks for that suggestion! I will definitely try and order that book, it looks very interesting.
    I can understand how it would be difficult to sell something really exotic – until a bestseller is released. 😀 And I know that the Regency feels “safe” – but it really wasn’t, there was the war…and the industrial riots…and the mad king. I bet that there are periods in other European countries which are just as amenable to a romance setting as the Regency. I’m not that conversant with European history, but just using Wikipedia late 18th-early 19th Prussia looks interesting, as does 16th century Russia…drat, now I feel the need to go ‘waste’ time learning some history. Darn you wenches! 😀

    Reply
  222. talpianna, thanks for that suggestion! I will definitely try and order that book, it looks very interesting.
    I can understand how it would be difficult to sell something really exotic – until a bestseller is released. 😀 And I know that the Regency feels “safe” – but it really wasn’t, there was the war…and the industrial riots…and the mad king. I bet that there are periods in other European countries which are just as amenable to a romance setting as the Regency. I’m not that conversant with European history, but just using Wikipedia late 18th-early 19th Prussia looks interesting, as does 16th century Russia…drat, now I feel the need to go ‘waste’ time learning some history. Darn you wenches! 😀

    Reply
  223. talpianna, thanks for that suggestion! I will definitely try and order that book, it looks very interesting.
    I can understand how it would be difficult to sell something really exotic – until a bestseller is released. 😀 And I know that the Regency feels “safe” – but it really wasn’t, there was the war…and the industrial riots…and the mad king. I bet that there are periods in other European countries which are just as amenable to a romance setting as the Regency. I’m not that conversant with European history, but just using Wikipedia late 18th-early 19th Prussia looks interesting, as does 16th century Russia…drat, now I feel the need to go ‘waste’ time learning some history. Darn you wenches! 😀

    Reply
  224. talpianna, thanks for that suggestion! I will definitely try and order that book, it looks very interesting.
    I can understand how it would be difficult to sell something really exotic – until a bestseller is released. 😀 And I know that the Regency feels “safe” – but it really wasn’t, there was the war…and the industrial riots…and the mad king. I bet that there are periods in other European countries which are just as amenable to a romance setting as the Regency. I’m not that conversant with European history, but just using Wikipedia late 18th-early 19th Prussia looks interesting, as does 16th century Russia…drat, now I feel the need to go ‘waste’ time learning some history. Darn you wenches! 😀

    Reply
  225. talpianna, thanks for that suggestion! I will definitely try and order that book, it looks very interesting.
    I can understand how it would be difficult to sell something really exotic – until a bestseller is released. 😀 And I know that the Regency feels “safe” – but it really wasn’t, there was the war…and the industrial riots…and the mad king. I bet that there are periods in other European countries which are just as amenable to a romance setting as the Regency. I’m not that conversant with European history, but just using Wikipedia late 18th-early 19th Prussia looks interesting, as does 16th century Russia…drat, now I feel the need to go ‘waste’ time learning some history. Darn you wenches! 😀

    Reply
  226. Jo here. Wow, this is a great discussion. Seems to me that one consensus might be more variety! The publishers keep thinking that a lot of a few things is better than less of a lot, and the economics of scale supports that to a point. But I think there’s a place in the middle that would work for everyone.
    (Pause to say thanks for kind words about A Lady’s Secret. 🙂 )
    I’m a boomer and English born and bred and I confess I prefer upper class books, at least in English settings. If I pick up something about a land steward or industrialist it’ll probably go back on the shelf because I like to play in grand circles. Sometimes there seems to be a sort of reverse snobbery that implies that the land steward is going to be a nobler character than the duke. I don’t see there’s any inevitability about that either way.
    I also don’t particularly want real social issues of the time to be a large part of my fiction. I read non-fiction for that. I hate to feel that an author is preaching at me.
    Ihave some practical reasons for liking aristocratic books. My idea of a great ending to a romance novel is not just the couple in love and bonded, but heading off into a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their children. In historicals, high rank, powerful friends and family, and lots of money tends to help in that direction.
    It’s interesting that you all pointed to slavery as the problem with colonial set romances because that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I see something set in the societies of places like Boston and Philadelphia, or on what amounted to landed estates in those northern colonies. They did try to start American Regencies with stories very like the English ones but set in such places. Didn’t work for some reason.
    I have really enjoyed some Western romances, especially Maggie Osborne’s. They were very much based on individual struggles in the midst of an expanding and chaotic country. I think we can write strong, reality based historicals without going neck deep into issues, and too often the authors who tackle issues do so from a modern standpoint rather than being true to their characters and times.
    Kalen, perhaps I get away with real political issues in my books because I don’t make much of them in any pre-information. (I try not to talk much about a book anyway until I’m well into it because I never know what it’ll really be about anyway.) But also, I’d never think of a romance as “about the Jacobite spies in London in 1763” or about “injustices to the tribes after the War of 1812” or about Luddite uprisings, child labor laws, political reform etc etc. Because, if I thought about the book like that I’d not be writing a romance anymore. A romance is about those two people and their relationship. Period. However, those people are not going to be idle fribbles. They’re going to be intelligent and engaged in their world, so whatever’s happening is going to be part of their story to a minor or major extent, and in particular if the hero is a high-ranking aristocrat he’s bound to be either a fribble or involved.
    My thoughts on this. Let’s have more. It’s fascinating.
    Jo

    Reply
  227. Jo here. Wow, this is a great discussion. Seems to me that one consensus might be more variety! The publishers keep thinking that a lot of a few things is better than less of a lot, and the economics of scale supports that to a point. But I think there’s a place in the middle that would work for everyone.
    (Pause to say thanks for kind words about A Lady’s Secret. 🙂 )
    I’m a boomer and English born and bred and I confess I prefer upper class books, at least in English settings. If I pick up something about a land steward or industrialist it’ll probably go back on the shelf because I like to play in grand circles. Sometimes there seems to be a sort of reverse snobbery that implies that the land steward is going to be a nobler character than the duke. I don’t see there’s any inevitability about that either way.
    I also don’t particularly want real social issues of the time to be a large part of my fiction. I read non-fiction for that. I hate to feel that an author is preaching at me.
    Ihave some practical reasons for liking aristocratic books. My idea of a great ending to a romance novel is not just the couple in love and bonded, but heading off into a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their children. In historicals, high rank, powerful friends and family, and lots of money tends to help in that direction.
    It’s interesting that you all pointed to slavery as the problem with colonial set romances because that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I see something set in the societies of places like Boston and Philadelphia, or on what amounted to landed estates in those northern colonies. They did try to start American Regencies with stories very like the English ones but set in such places. Didn’t work for some reason.
    I have really enjoyed some Western romances, especially Maggie Osborne’s. They were very much based on individual struggles in the midst of an expanding and chaotic country. I think we can write strong, reality based historicals without going neck deep into issues, and too often the authors who tackle issues do so from a modern standpoint rather than being true to their characters and times.
    Kalen, perhaps I get away with real political issues in my books because I don’t make much of them in any pre-information. (I try not to talk much about a book anyway until I’m well into it because I never know what it’ll really be about anyway.) But also, I’d never think of a romance as “about the Jacobite spies in London in 1763” or about “injustices to the tribes after the War of 1812” or about Luddite uprisings, child labor laws, political reform etc etc. Because, if I thought about the book like that I’d not be writing a romance anymore. A romance is about those two people and their relationship. Period. However, those people are not going to be idle fribbles. They’re going to be intelligent and engaged in their world, so whatever’s happening is going to be part of their story to a minor or major extent, and in particular if the hero is a high-ranking aristocrat he’s bound to be either a fribble or involved.
    My thoughts on this. Let’s have more. It’s fascinating.
    Jo

    Reply
  228. Jo here. Wow, this is a great discussion. Seems to me that one consensus might be more variety! The publishers keep thinking that a lot of a few things is better than less of a lot, and the economics of scale supports that to a point. But I think there’s a place in the middle that would work for everyone.
    (Pause to say thanks for kind words about A Lady’s Secret. 🙂 )
    I’m a boomer and English born and bred and I confess I prefer upper class books, at least in English settings. If I pick up something about a land steward or industrialist it’ll probably go back on the shelf because I like to play in grand circles. Sometimes there seems to be a sort of reverse snobbery that implies that the land steward is going to be a nobler character than the duke. I don’t see there’s any inevitability about that either way.
    I also don’t particularly want real social issues of the time to be a large part of my fiction. I read non-fiction for that. I hate to feel that an author is preaching at me.
    Ihave some practical reasons for liking aristocratic books. My idea of a great ending to a romance novel is not just the couple in love and bonded, but heading off into a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their children. In historicals, high rank, powerful friends and family, and lots of money tends to help in that direction.
    It’s interesting that you all pointed to slavery as the problem with colonial set romances because that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I see something set in the societies of places like Boston and Philadelphia, or on what amounted to landed estates in those northern colonies. They did try to start American Regencies with stories very like the English ones but set in such places. Didn’t work for some reason.
    I have really enjoyed some Western romances, especially Maggie Osborne’s. They were very much based on individual struggles in the midst of an expanding and chaotic country. I think we can write strong, reality based historicals without going neck deep into issues, and too often the authors who tackle issues do so from a modern standpoint rather than being true to their characters and times.
    Kalen, perhaps I get away with real political issues in my books because I don’t make much of them in any pre-information. (I try not to talk much about a book anyway until I’m well into it because I never know what it’ll really be about anyway.) But also, I’d never think of a romance as “about the Jacobite spies in London in 1763” or about “injustices to the tribes after the War of 1812” or about Luddite uprisings, child labor laws, political reform etc etc. Because, if I thought about the book like that I’d not be writing a romance anymore. A romance is about those two people and their relationship. Period. However, those people are not going to be idle fribbles. They’re going to be intelligent and engaged in their world, so whatever’s happening is going to be part of their story to a minor or major extent, and in particular if the hero is a high-ranking aristocrat he’s bound to be either a fribble or involved.
    My thoughts on this. Let’s have more. It’s fascinating.
    Jo

    Reply
  229. Jo here. Wow, this is a great discussion. Seems to me that one consensus might be more variety! The publishers keep thinking that a lot of a few things is better than less of a lot, and the economics of scale supports that to a point. But I think there’s a place in the middle that would work for everyone.
    (Pause to say thanks for kind words about A Lady’s Secret. 🙂 )
    I’m a boomer and English born and bred and I confess I prefer upper class books, at least in English settings. If I pick up something about a land steward or industrialist it’ll probably go back on the shelf because I like to play in grand circles. Sometimes there seems to be a sort of reverse snobbery that implies that the land steward is going to be a nobler character than the duke. I don’t see there’s any inevitability about that either way.
    I also don’t particularly want real social issues of the time to be a large part of my fiction. I read non-fiction for that. I hate to feel that an author is preaching at me.
    Ihave some practical reasons for liking aristocratic books. My idea of a great ending to a romance novel is not just the couple in love and bonded, but heading off into a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their children. In historicals, high rank, powerful friends and family, and lots of money tends to help in that direction.
    It’s interesting that you all pointed to slavery as the problem with colonial set romances because that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I see something set in the societies of places like Boston and Philadelphia, or on what amounted to landed estates in those northern colonies. They did try to start American Regencies with stories very like the English ones but set in such places. Didn’t work for some reason.
    I have really enjoyed some Western romances, especially Maggie Osborne’s. They were very much based on individual struggles in the midst of an expanding and chaotic country. I think we can write strong, reality based historicals without going neck deep into issues, and too often the authors who tackle issues do so from a modern standpoint rather than being true to their characters and times.
    Kalen, perhaps I get away with real political issues in my books because I don’t make much of them in any pre-information. (I try not to talk much about a book anyway until I’m well into it because I never know what it’ll really be about anyway.) But also, I’d never think of a romance as “about the Jacobite spies in London in 1763” or about “injustices to the tribes after the War of 1812” or about Luddite uprisings, child labor laws, political reform etc etc. Because, if I thought about the book like that I’d not be writing a romance anymore. A romance is about those two people and their relationship. Period. However, those people are not going to be idle fribbles. They’re going to be intelligent and engaged in their world, so whatever’s happening is going to be part of their story to a minor or major extent, and in particular if the hero is a high-ranking aristocrat he’s bound to be either a fribble or involved.
    My thoughts on this. Let’s have more. It’s fascinating.
    Jo

    Reply
  230. Jo here. Wow, this is a great discussion. Seems to me that one consensus might be more variety! The publishers keep thinking that a lot of a few things is better than less of a lot, and the economics of scale supports that to a point. But I think there’s a place in the middle that would work for everyone.
    (Pause to say thanks for kind words about A Lady’s Secret. 🙂 )
    I’m a boomer and English born and bred and I confess I prefer upper class books, at least in English settings. If I pick up something about a land steward or industrialist it’ll probably go back on the shelf because I like to play in grand circles. Sometimes there seems to be a sort of reverse snobbery that implies that the land steward is going to be a nobler character than the duke. I don’t see there’s any inevitability about that either way.
    I also don’t particularly want real social issues of the time to be a large part of my fiction. I read non-fiction for that. I hate to feel that an author is preaching at me.
    Ihave some practical reasons for liking aristocratic books. My idea of a great ending to a romance novel is not just the couple in love and bonded, but heading off into a secure and comfortable future for themselves and their children. In historicals, high rank, powerful friends and family, and lots of money tends to help in that direction.
    It’s interesting that you all pointed to slavery as the problem with colonial set romances because that wouldn’t have occurred to me. I see something set in the societies of places like Boston and Philadelphia, or on what amounted to landed estates in those northern colonies. They did try to start American Regencies with stories very like the English ones but set in such places. Didn’t work for some reason.
    I have really enjoyed some Western romances, especially Maggie Osborne’s. They were very much based on individual struggles in the midst of an expanding and chaotic country. I think we can write strong, reality based historicals without going neck deep into issues, and too often the authors who tackle issues do so from a modern standpoint rather than being true to their characters and times.
    Kalen, perhaps I get away with real political issues in my books because I don’t make much of them in any pre-information. (I try not to talk much about a book anyway until I’m well into it because I never know what it’ll really be about anyway.) But also, I’d never think of a romance as “about the Jacobite spies in London in 1763” or about “injustices to the tribes after the War of 1812” or about Luddite uprisings, child labor laws, political reform etc etc. Because, if I thought about the book like that I’d not be writing a romance anymore. A romance is about those two people and their relationship. Period. However, those people are not going to be idle fribbles. They’re going to be intelligent and engaged in their world, so whatever’s happening is going to be part of their story to a minor or major extent, and in particular if the hero is a high-ranking aristocrat he’s bound to be either a fribble or involved.
    My thoughts on this. Let’s have more. It’s fascinating.
    Jo

    Reply
  231. I forgot…flower child here…I remember “The King’s Brat” and the sequel “My Lady Penbrook” by Constance Gluyas. The plague was a featured player in those two, plus the hero in the first one died. Also, Blanche Chenier’s “Return of the Swallows”, which is about the French Revolution.

    Reply
  232. I forgot…flower child here…I remember “The King’s Brat” and the sequel “My Lady Penbrook” by Constance Gluyas. The plague was a featured player in those two, plus the hero in the first one died. Also, Blanche Chenier’s “Return of the Swallows”, which is about the French Revolution.

    Reply
  233. I forgot…flower child here…I remember “The King’s Brat” and the sequel “My Lady Penbrook” by Constance Gluyas. The plague was a featured player in those two, plus the hero in the first one died. Also, Blanche Chenier’s “Return of the Swallows”, which is about the French Revolution.

    Reply
  234. I forgot…flower child here…I remember “The King’s Brat” and the sequel “My Lady Penbrook” by Constance Gluyas. The plague was a featured player in those two, plus the hero in the first one died. Also, Blanche Chenier’s “Return of the Swallows”, which is about the French Revolution.

    Reply
  235. I forgot…flower child here…I remember “The King’s Brat” and the sequel “My Lady Penbrook” by Constance Gluyas. The plague was a featured player in those two, plus the hero in the first one died. Also, Blanche Chenier’s “Return of the Swallows”, which is about the French Revolution.

    Reply
  236. I’m 88 well on the way to 89, which probably explains why I am addicted to humor in my romances. (There is little enough of it in the world today.) And I think I’m just a little tired of angst and misunderstandings. Historicals in the Regency or Georgian periods are OK — but I still prefer Regency Regencies!

    Reply
  237. I’m 88 well on the way to 89, which probably explains why I am addicted to humor in my romances. (There is little enough of it in the world today.) And I think I’m just a little tired of angst and misunderstandings. Historicals in the Regency or Georgian periods are OK — but I still prefer Regency Regencies!

    Reply
  238. I’m 88 well on the way to 89, which probably explains why I am addicted to humor in my romances. (There is little enough of it in the world today.) And I think I’m just a little tired of angst and misunderstandings. Historicals in the Regency or Georgian periods are OK — but I still prefer Regency Regencies!

    Reply
  239. I’m 88 well on the way to 89, which probably explains why I am addicted to humor in my romances. (There is little enough of it in the world today.) And I think I’m just a little tired of angst and misunderstandings. Historicals in the Regency or Georgian periods are OK — but I still prefer Regency Regencies!

    Reply
  240. I’m 88 well on the way to 89, which probably explains why I am addicted to humor in my romances. (There is little enough of it in the world today.) And I think I’m just a little tired of angst and misunderstandings. Historicals in the Regency or Georgian periods are OK — but I still prefer Regency Regencies!

    Reply
  241. The first historicals I read were Victoria Holts. Personally I love gothics. In the 70’s I became obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives. Thanks to the PBS series, then I moved on to Elizabeth I. Then I got hooked on SergeAnne Golon’s Angelique series. Read everthing I could about Louis the Sun King.
    Moved on to Charles II, because of a book about one of his mistresses. In the 80’s I stopped reading historicals, I can’t remember why, was heavily into sci fi at the time. Started reading romantic suspense, which somehow lead me back to historicals. I read em all, time period doesn’t really matter, as long as they are vampire free. I’m so tired of vampires… this from a woman who adored Barnabas Collins and Nick Knight. They’ve been over done.
    What I want good characters, well written stories with good plots that remain true to spirit of the time period they are set in. I would like to see more good Westerns or books set in the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900s. I would LOVE to see a series sent in the American Revolutionary War period. I know it had to divide families on both sides of the pond.
    But mostly I just want well written books, with great characters falling in love, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
    Anna

    Reply
  242. The first historicals I read were Victoria Holts. Personally I love gothics. In the 70’s I became obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives. Thanks to the PBS series, then I moved on to Elizabeth I. Then I got hooked on SergeAnne Golon’s Angelique series. Read everthing I could about Louis the Sun King.
    Moved on to Charles II, because of a book about one of his mistresses. In the 80’s I stopped reading historicals, I can’t remember why, was heavily into sci fi at the time. Started reading romantic suspense, which somehow lead me back to historicals. I read em all, time period doesn’t really matter, as long as they are vampire free. I’m so tired of vampires… this from a woman who adored Barnabas Collins and Nick Knight. They’ve been over done.
    What I want good characters, well written stories with good plots that remain true to spirit of the time period they are set in. I would like to see more good Westerns or books set in the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900s. I would LOVE to see a series sent in the American Revolutionary War period. I know it had to divide families on both sides of the pond.
    But mostly I just want well written books, with great characters falling in love, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
    Anna

    Reply
  243. The first historicals I read were Victoria Holts. Personally I love gothics. In the 70’s I became obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives. Thanks to the PBS series, then I moved on to Elizabeth I. Then I got hooked on SergeAnne Golon’s Angelique series. Read everthing I could about Louis the Sun King.
    Moved on to Charles II, because of a book about one of his mistresses. In the 80’s I stopped reading historicals, I can’t remember why, was heavily into sci fi at the time. Started reading romantic suspense, which somehow lead me back to historicals. I read em all, time period doesn’t really matter, as long as they are vampire free. I’m so tired of vampires… this from a woman who adored Barnabas Collins and Nick Knight. They’ve been over done.
    What I want good characters, well written stories with good plots that remain true to spirit of the time period they are set in. I would like to see more good Westerns or books set in the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900s. I would LOVE to see a series sent in the American Revolutionary War period. I know it had to divide families on both sides of the pond.
    But mostly I just want well written books, with great characters falling in love, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
    Anna

    Reply
  244. The first historicals I read were Victoria Holts. Personally I love gothics. In the 70’s I became obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives. Thanks to the PBS series, then I moved on to Elizabeth I. Then I got hooked on SergeAnne Golon’s Angelique series. Read everthing I could about Louis the Sun King.
    Moved on to Charles II, because of a book about one of his mistresses. In the 80’s I stopped reading historicals, I can’t remember why, was heavily into sci fi at the time. Started reading romantic suspense, which somehow lead me back to historicals. I read em all, time period doesn’t really matter, as long as they are vampire free. I’m so tired of vampires… this from a woman who adored Barnabas Collins and Nick Knight. They’ve been over done.
    What I want good characters, well written stories with good plots that remain true to spirit of the time period they are set in. I would like to see more good Westerns or books set in the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900s. I would LOVE to see a series sent in the American Revolutionary War period. I know it had to divide families on both sides of the pond.
    But mostly I just want well written books, with great characters falling in love, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
    Anna

    Reply
  245. The first historicals I read were Victoria Holts. Personally I love gothics. In the 70’s I became obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives. Thanks to the PBS series, then I moved on to Elizabeth I. Then I got hooked on SergeAnne Golon’s Angelique series. Read everthing I could about Louis the Sun King.
    Moved on to Charles II, because of a book about one of his mistresses. In the 80’s I stopped reading historicals, I can’t remember why, was heavily into sci fi at the time. Started reading romantic suspense, which somehow lead me back to historicals. I read em all, time period doesn’t really matter, as long as they are vampire free. I’m so tired of vampires… this from a woman who adored Barnabas Collins and Nick Knight. They’ve been over done.
    What I want good characters, well written stories with good plots that remain true to spirit of the time period they are set in. I would like to see more good Westerns or books set in the US in the late 1800’s to early 1900s. I would LOVE to see a series sent in the American Revolutionary War period. I know it had to divide families on both sides of the pond.
    But mostly I just want well written books, with great characters falling in love, with a touch of mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
    Anna

    Reply
  246. Susan/Miranda wrote earlier that colonial romances died in 2000. That seems to be about the same time that all american-set historicals started to die. Do any of you know why these novels died??

    Reply
  247. Susan/Miranda wrote earlier that colonial romances died in 2000. That seems to be about the same time that all american-set historicals started to die. Do any of you know why these novels died??

    Reply
  248. Susan/Miranda wrote earlier that colonial romances died in 2000. That seems to be about the same time that all american-set historicals started to die. Do any of you know why these novels died??

    Reply
  249. Susan/Miranda wrote earlier that colonial romances died in 2000. That seems to be about the same time that all american-set historicals started to die. Do any of you know why these novels died??

    Reply
  250. Susan/Miranda wrote earlier that colonial romances died in 2000. That seems to be about the same time that all american-set historicals started to die. Do any of you know why these novels died??

    Reply
  251. lijakaca, I don’t think it’s just that the Regency era was a “safe” time that makes it so appealing. I think it’s a build up of world building over decades. Regency readers are familiar with names like “Beau Brummel” or “Lord Alvanley,” they’re familiar with the costumes, which aren’t as outre as other periods, they’re familiar with the manners and etiquette and love catching an author in an error. The list is quite lengthy. So just finding a lovely time and place isn’t enough, which is unfortunate for those of who would love to explore.
    Jo, I totally agree about wanting my characters to ride happily into the sunset, and that involves knowing they’ll have sufficient income to live without conflict. But I’ve never thought of great wealth as being without conflict. So, to me, a butler and cook who manage to save and start their own inn are going to live very happily, indeed. And while I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne’s westerns, you will note that she is no longer writing, which is a HUGE loss to the romance market. So even with terrific writing and great characters, it’s tough to sell gritty.
    But my editor is thrilled with this discussion and is glad to have confirmation of some of her hopes for new historicals.

    Reply
  252. lijakaca, I don’t think it’s just that the Regency era was a “safe” time that makes it so appealing. I think it’s a build up of world building over decades. Regency readers are familiar with names like “Beau Brummel” or “Lord Alvanley,” they’re familiar with the costumes, which aren’t as outre as other periods, they’re familiar with the manners and etiquette and love catching an author in an error. The list is quite lengthy. So just finding a lovely time and place isn’t enough, which is unfortunate for those of who would love to explore.
    Jo, I totally agree about wanting my characters to ride happily into the sunset, and that involves knowing they’ll have sufficient income to live without conflict. But I’ve never thought of great wealth as being without conflict. So, to me, a butler and cook who manage to save and start their own inn are going to live very happily, indeed. And while I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne’s westerns, you will note that she is no longer writing, which is a HUGE loss to the romance market. So even with terrific writing and great characters, it’s tough to sell gritty.
    But my editor is thrilled with this discussion and is glad to have confirmation of some of her hopes for new historicals.

    Reply
  253. lijakaca, I don’t think it’s just that the Regency era was a “safe” time that makes it so appealing. I think it’s a build up of world building over decades. Regency readers are familiar with names like “Beau Brummel” or “Lord Alvanley,” they’re familiar with the costumes, which aren’t as outre as other periods, they’re familiar with the manners and etiquette and love catching an author in an error. The list is quite lengthy. So just finding a lovely time and place isn’t enough, which is unfortunate for those of who would love to explore.
    Jo, I totally agree about wanting my characters to ride happily into the sunset, and that involves knowing they’ll have sufficient income to live without conflict. But I’ve never thought of great wealth as being without conflict. So, to me, a butler and cook who manage to save and start their own inn are going to live very happily, indeed. And while I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne’s westerns, you will note that she is no longer writing, which is a HUGE loss to the romance market. So even with terrific writing and great characters, it’s tough to sell gritty.
    But my editor is thrilled with this discussion and is glad to have confirmation of some of her hopes for new historicals.

    Reply
  254. lijakaca, I don’t think it’s just that the Regency era was a “safe” time that makes it so appealing. I think it’s a build up of world building over decades. Regency readers are familiar with names like “Beau Brummel” or “Lord Alvanley,” they’re familiar with the costumes, which aren’t as outre as other periods, they’re familiar with the manners and etiquette and love catching an author in an error. The list is quite lengthy. So just finding a lovely time and place isn’t enough, which is unfortunate for those of who would love to explore.
    Jo, I totally agree about wanting my characters to ride happily into the sunset, and that involves knowing they’ll have sufficient income to live without conflict. But I’ve never thought of great wealth as being without conflict. So, to me, a butler and cook who manage to save and start their own inn are going to live very happily, indeed. And while I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne’s westerns, you will note that she is no longer writing, which is a HUGE loss to the romance market. So even with terrific writing and great characters, it’s tough to sell gritty.
    But my editor is thrilled with this discussion and is glad to have confirmation of some of her hopes for new historicals.

    Reply
  255. lijakaca, I don’t think it’s just that the Regency era was a “safe” time that makes it so appealing. I think it’s a build up of world building over decades. Regency readers are familiar with names like “Beau Brummel” or “Lord Alvanley,” they’re familiar with the costumes, which aren’t as outre as other periods, they’re familiar with the manners and etiquette and love catching an author in an error. The list is quite lengthy. So just finding a lovely time and place isn’t enough, which is unfortunate for those of who would love to explore.
    Jo, I totally agree about wanting my characters to ride happily into the sunset, and that involves knowing they’ll have sufficient income to live without conflict. But I’ve never thought of great wealth as being without conflict. So, to me, a butler and cook who manage to save and start their own inn are going to live very happily, indeed. And while I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne’s westerns, you will note that she is no longer writing, which is a HUGE loss to the romance market. So even with terrific writing and great characters, it’s tough to sell gritty.
    But my editor is thrilled with this discussion and is glad to have confirmation of some of her hopes for new historicals.

    Reply
  256. Jo, I think you’re right about politics. Too often either the story stops dead for a political lesson, or the hero makes a grand Noble Gesture by voting for something or another. It’s neither compelling, nor immediate.
    That said, I’ve been able to include lots of politics in my historical novels. Granted, they’re not romances, so I can range further, but they still have to be focussed on the characters as people first and foremost. With Sarah Churchill as a heroine (in DUCHESS), it would be pretty hard to avoid politics, really, since she’s there in the thick of the evolution of the Whigs and the Tories. But I tried to keep free of political lectures, and stress how and why the political squabbles, power-wars, and general greediness mattered and influenced the characters directly. That works for readers, and for editors.
    Actually, as I think back to my oldie colonial historical romances, those had their share of politics, too, again on a small, human scale. My fictional family, the Sparhawks, began as affluent, loyal Englishmen living in 18th century Rhode Island, and as the books moved through the century, it seemed pretty clear that they’d remain loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. And they did, with pretty grim consequences to my characters. Can’t imagine getting away with that for any publisher now…
    But what do the rest of you think? Is politics palatable if it’s on a smaller, personal scale than the grand gestures of Parliament or Congress? A dangerous question to ask in an election year, I know…!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  257. Jo, I think you’re right about politics. Too often either the story stops dead for a political lesson, or the hero makes a grand Noble Gesture by voting for something or another. It’s neither compelling, nor immediate.
    That said, I’ve been able to include lots of politics in my historical novels. Granted, they’re not romances, so I can range further, but they still have to be focussed on the characters as people first and foremost. With Sarah Churchill as a heroine (in DUCHESS), it would be pretty hard to avoid politics, really, since she’s there in the thick of the evolution of the Whigs and the Tories. But I tried to keep free of political lectures, and stress how and why the political squabbles, power-wars, and general greediness mattered and influenced the characters directly. That works for readers, and for editors.
    Actually, as I think back to my oldie colonial historical romances, those had their share of politics, too, again on a small, human scale. My fictional family, the Sparhawks, began as affluent, loyal Englishmen living in 18th century Rhode Island, and as the books moved through the century, it seemed pretty clear that they’d remain loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. And they did, with pretty grim consequences to my characters. Can’t imagine getting away with that for any publisher now…
    But what do the rest of you think? Is politics palatable if it’s on a smaller, personal scale than the grand gestures of Parliament or Congress? A dangerous question to ask in an election year, I know…!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  258. Jo, I think you’re right about politics. Too often either the story stops dead for a political lesson, or the hero makes a grand Noble Gesture by voting for something or another. It’s neither compelling, nor immediate.
    That said, I’ve been able to include lots of politics in my historical novels. Granted, they’re not romances, so I can range further, but they still have to be focussed on the characters as people first and foremost. With Sarah Churchill as a heroine (in DUCHESS), it would be pretty hard to avoid politics, really, since she’s there in the thick of the evolution of the Whigs and the Tories. But I tried to keep free of political lectures, and stress how and why the political squabbles, power-wars, and general greediness mattered and influenced the characters directly. That works for readers, and for editors.
    Actually, as I think back to my oldie colonial historical romances, those had their share of politics, too, again on a small, human scale. My fictional family, the Sparhawks, began as affluent, loyal Englishmen living in 18th century Rhode Island, and as the books moved through the century, it seemed pretty clear that they’d remain loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. And they did, with pretty grim consequences to my characters. Can’t imagine getting away with that for any publisher now…
    But what do the rest of you think? Is politics palatable if it’s on a smaller, personal scale than the grand gestures of Parliament or Congress? A dangerous question to ask in an election year, I know…!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  259. Jo, I think you’re right about politics. Too often either the story stops dead for a political lesson, or the hero makes a grand Noble Gesture by voting for something or another. It’s neither compelling, nor immediate.
    That said, I’ve been able to include lots of politics in my historical novels. Granted, they’re not romances, so I can range further, but they still have to be focussed on the characters as people first and foremost. With Sarah Churchill as a heroine (in DUCHESS), it would be pretty hard to avoid politics, really, since she’s there in the thick of the evolution of the Whigs and the Tories. But I tried to keep free of political lectures, and stress how and why the political squabbles, power-wars, and general greediness mattered and influenced the characters directly. That works for readers, and for editors.
    Actually, as I think back to my oldie colonial historical romances, those had their share of politics, too, again on a small, human scale. My fictional family, the Sparhawks, began as affluent, loyal Englishmen living in 18th century Rhode Island, and as the books moved through the century, it seemed pretty clear that they’d remain loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. And they did, with pretty grim consequences to my characters. Can’t imagine getting away with that for any publisher now…
    But what do the rest of you think? Is politics palatable if it’s on a smaller, personal scale than the grand gestures of Parliament or Congress? A dangerous question to ask in an election year, I know…!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  260. Jo, I think you’re right about politics. Too often either the story stops dead for a political lesson, or the hero makes a grand Noble Gesture by voting for something or another. It’s neither compelling, nor immediate.
    That said, I’ve been able to include lots of politics in my historical novels. Granted, they’re not romances, so I can range further, but they still have to be focussed on the characters as people first and foremost. With Sarah Churchill as a heroine (in DUCHESS), it would be pretty hard to avoid politics, really, since she’s there in the thick of the evolution of the Whigs and the Tories. But I tried to keep free of political lectures, and stress how and why the political squabbles, power-wars, and general greediness mattered and influenced the characters directly. That works for readers, and for editors.
    Actually, as I think back to my oldie colonial historical romances, those had their share of politics, too, again on a small, human scale. My fictional family, the Sparhawks, began as affluent, loyal Englishmen living in 18th century Rhode Island, and as the books moved through the century, it seemed pretty clear that they’d remain loyal to the Crown during the Revolution. And they did, with pretty grim consequences to my characters. Can’t imagine getting away with that for any publisher now…
    But what do the rest of you think? Is politics palatable if it’s on a smaller, personal scale than the grand gestures of Parliament or Congress? A dangerous question to ask in an election year, I know…!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  261. Jo, slavery is a problem for the “hero who made a fortune in the Colonies” plot in English Regencies, too. The fact is that it’s a bit hard to make a fortune in colonial North America without being involved in either slavery or whaling (and we all know cetateans may be more human than was thought back then). About all that’s left are shipping and the fur trade, as it’s too early for coal and iron mining to be important and the major gold and silver strikes were made not only much later but on the other side of the country.
    Some other recommendations: I can remember reading an interesting YA historical (I think a romance) set in Philadelphia during the time it was occupied by the British. The heroine was either the younger sister or the cousin of Peggy Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold.
    There are two novels by Emily Eden that are contemporary mid-Victorian: THE SEMI-DETACHED COUPLE and THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE (1859-1860). The first tells of the marriage of a young girl from a warm, affectionate landed-gentry family to an aristocrat who has been trained never to display emotion and always to consider propriety. There is a lively account of a pre-Reform Bill election campaign.
    In THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE, which is more of a comedy but is marred by a strain of anti-Semitism, an earl’s young and pregnant bride is settled into one-half of a semi-detached London suburban house while her husband is away on a diplomatic mission. She is horrified by the thought of having middle-class neighbors, but ends by being taken under their wing. Turns out the father of the family, a sea captain, saved the earl’s life when he fell ill on a voyage. A good deal of gentle humor, some fierce satire, and romance.
    And I cannot recommend too strongly THE BURNING LAMP by Frances Murray. The heroine is a spunky Scots orphan trained at Miss Nightingale’s nursing academy, who accepts an offer to be head nurse at a new hospital in Indian territory in the American West. When she arrives (having lost her two companions en route), she discovers that the hospital hasn’t even been built because the funds were embezzled. So she has to raise the money herself, tend the ills of the townspeople, prevent a war with the Comanches, and win over the local cavalry commander, partly by removing an arrow from his butt and NOT TALKING ABOUT IT!. (Romance ensues.) She has another good one set around 1820, MY DEAR COLLEAGUE, where the heroine is a Scottish heiress who makes an arranged marriage to the son of her guardian, a diplomat stationed in Paris. He is immediately sent to Russia, of course (I sense a theme here); and she has to cope with the situation in Paris, including a dying young woman whom he had helped to escape from her brutal husband; they had a brief affair and she bears his child and dies. The heroine has to protect the baby from the husband, for whom she is the ticket to her mother’s inheritance. Then her husband returns, deathly ill, and she has to nurse HIM back to health. Oh, and the plot to kill the Emperor Louis Napoleon…
    –talpianna, the BookMole-bile

    Reply
  262. Jo, slavery is a problem for the “hero who made a fortune in the Colonies” plot in English Regencies, too. The fact is that it’s a bit hard to make a fortune in colonial North America without being involved in either slavery or whaling (and we all know cetateans may be more human than was thought back then). About all that’s left are shipping and the fur trade, as it’s too early for coal and iron mining to be important and the major gold and silver strikes were made not only much later but on the other side of the country.
    Some other recommendations: I can remember reading an interesting YA historical (I think a romance) set in Philadelphia during the time it was occupied by the British. The heroine was either the younger sister or the cousin of Peggy Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold.
    There are two novels by Emily Eden that are contemporary mid-Victorian: THE SEMI-DETACHED COUPLE and THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE (1859-1860). The first tells of the marriage of a young girl from a warm, affectionate landed-gentry family to an aristocrat who has been trained never to display emotion and always to consider propriety. There is a lively account of a pre-Reform Bill election campaign.
    In THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE, which is more of a comedy but is marred by a strain of anti-Semitism, an earl’s young and pregnant bride is settled into one-half of a semi-detached London suburban house while her husband is away on a diplomatic mission. She is horrified by the thought of having middle-class neighbors, but ends by being taken under their wing. Turns out the father of the family, a sea captain, saved the earl’s life when he fell ill on a voyage. A good deal of gentle humor, some fierce satire, and romance.
    And I cannot recommend too strongly THE BURNING LAMP by Frances Murray. The heroine is a spunky Scots orphan trained at Miss Nightingale’s nursing academy, who accepts an offer to be head nurse at a new hospital in Indian territory in the American West. When she arrives (having lost her two companions en route), she discovers that the hospital hasn’t even been built because the funds were embezzled. So she has to raise the money herself, tend the ills of the townspeople, prevent a war with the Comanches, and win over the local cavalry commander, partly by removing an arrow from his butt and NOT TALKING ABOUT IT!. (Romance ensues.) She has another good one set around 1820, MY DEAR COLLEAGUE, where the heroine is a Scottish heiress who makes an arranged marriage to the son of her guardian, a diplomat stationed in Paris. He is immediately sent to Russia, of course (I sense a theme here); and she has to cope with the situation in Paris, including a dying young woman whom he had helped to escape from her brutal husband; they had a brief affair and she bears his child and dies. The heroine has to protect the baby from the husband, for whom she is the ticket to her mother’s inheritance. Then her husband returns, deathly ill, and she has to nurse HIM back to health. Oh, and the plot to kill the Emperor Louis Napoleon…
    –talpianna, the BookMole-bile

    Reply
  263. Jo, slavery is a problem for the “hero who made a fortune in the Colonies” plot in English Regencies, too. The fact is that it’s a bit hard to make a fortune in colonial North America without being involved in either slavery or whaling (and we all know cetateans may be more human than was thought back then). About all that’s left are shipping and the fur trade, as it’s too early for coal and iron mining to be important and the major gold and silver strikes were made not only much later but on the other side of the country.
    Some other recommendations: I can remember reading an interesting YA historical (I think a romance) set in Philadelphia during the time it was occupied by the British. The heroine was either the younger sister or the cousin of Peggy Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold.
    There are two novels by Emily Eden that are contemporary mid-Victorian: THE SEMI-DETACHED COUPLE and THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE (1859-1860). The first tells of the marriage of a young girl from a warm, affectionate landed-gentry family to an aristocrat who has been trained never to display emotion and always to consider propriety. There is a lively account of a pre-Reform Bill election campaign.
    In THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE, which is more of a comedy but is marred by a strain of anti-Semitism, an earl’s young and pregnant bride is settled into one-half of a semi-detached London suburban house while her husband is away on a diplomatic mission. She is horrified by the thought of having middle-class neighbors, but ends by being taken under their wing. Turns out the father of the family, a sea captain, saved the earl’s life when he fell ill on a voyage. A good deal of gentle humor, some fierce satire, and romance.
    And I cannot recommend too strongly THE BURNING LAMP by Frances Murray. The heroine is a spunky Scots orphan trained at Miss Nightingale’s nursing academy, who accepts an offer to be head nurse at a new hospital in Indian territory in the American West. When she arrives (having lost her two companions en route), she discovers that the hospital hasn’t even been built because the funds were embezzled. So she has to raise the money herself, tend the ills of the townspeople, prevent a war with the Comanches, and win over the local cavalry commander, partly by removing an arrow from his butt and NOT TALKING ABOUT IT!. (Romance ensues.) She has another good one set around 1820, MY DEAR COLLEAGUE, where the heroine is a Scottish heiress who makes an arranged marriage to the son of her guardian, a diplomat stationed in Paris. He is immediately sent to Russia, of course (I sense a theme here); and she has to cope with the situation in Paris, including a dying young woman whom he had helped to escape from her brutal husband; they had a brief affair and she bears his child and dies. The heroine has to protect the baby from the husband, for whom she is the ticket to her mother’s inheritance. Then her husband returns, deathly ill, and she has to nurse HIM back to health. Oh, and the plot to kill the Emperor Louis Napoleon…
    –talpianna, the BookMole-bile

    Reply
  264. Jo, slavery is a problem for the “hero who made a fortune in the Colonies” plot in English Regencies, too. The fact is that it’s a bit hard to make a fortune in colonial North America without being involved in either slavery or whaling (and we all know cetateans may be more human than was thought back then). About all that’s left are shipping and the fur trade, as it’s too early for coal and iron mining to be important and the major gold and silver strikes were made not only much later but on the other side of the country.
    Some other recommendations: I can remember reading an interesting YA historical (I think a romance) set in Philadelphia during the time it was occupied by the British. The heroine was either the younger sister or the cousin of Peggy Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold.
    There are two novels by Emily Eden that are contemporary mid-Victorian: THE SEMI-DETACHED COUPLE and THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE (1859-1860). The first tells of the marriage of a young girl from a warm, affectionate landed-gentry family to an aristocrat who has been trained never to display emotion and always to consider propriety. There is a lively account of a pre-Reform Bill election campaign.
    In THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE, which is more of a comedy but is marred by a strain of anti-Semitism, an earl’s young and pregnant bride is settled into one-half of a semi-detached London suburban house while her husband is away on a diplomatic mission. She is horrified by the thought of having middle-class neighbors, but ends by being taken under their wing. Turns out the father of the family, a sea captain, saved the earl’s life when he fell ill on a voyage. A good deal of gentle humor, some fierce satire, and romance.
    And I cannot recommend too strongly THE BURNING LAMP by Frances Murray. The heroine is a spunky Scots orphan trained at Miss Nightingale’s nursing academy, who accepts an offer to be head nurse at a new hospital in Indian territory in the American West. When she arrives (having lost her two companions en route), she discovers that the hospital hasn’t even been built because the funds were embezzled. So she has to raise the money herself, tend the ills of the townspeople, prevent a war with the Comanches, and win over the local cavalry commander, partly by removing an arrow from his butt and NOT TALKING ABOUT IT!. (Romance ensues.) She has another good one set around 1820, MY DEAR COLLEAGUE, where the heroine is a Scottish heiress who makes an arranged marriage to the son of her guardian, a diplomat stationed in Paris. He is immediately sent to Russia, of course (I sense a theme here); and she has to cope with the situation in Paris, including a dying young woman whom he had helped to escape from her brutal husband; they had a brief affair and she bears his child and dies. The heroine has to protect the baby from the husband, for whom she is the ticket to her mother’s inheritance. Then her husband returns, deathly ill, and she has to nurse HIM back to health. Oh, and the plot to kill the Emperor Louis Napoleon…
    –talpianna, the BookMole-bile

    Reply
  265. Jo, slavery is a problem for the “hero who made a fortune in the Colonies” plot in English Regencies, too. The fact is that it’s a bit hard to make a fortune in colonial North America without being involved in either slavery or whaling (and we all know cetateans may be more human than was thought back then). About all that’s left are shipping and the fur trade, as it’s too early for coal and iron mining to be important and the major gold and silver strikes were made not only much later but on the other side of the country.
    Some other recommendations: I can remember reading an interesting YA historical (I think a romance) set in Philadelphia during the time it was occupied by the British. The heroine was either the younger sister or the cousin of Peggy Shippen, who married Benedict Arnold.
    There are two novels by Emily Eden that are contemporary mid-Victorian: THE SEMI-DETACHED COUPLE and THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE (1859-1860). The first tells of the marriage of a young girl from a warm, affectionate landed-gentry family to an aristocrat who has been trained never to display emotion and always to consider propriety. There is a lively account of a pre-Reform Bill election campaign.
    In THE SEMI-ATTACHED HOUSE, which is more of a comedy but is marred by a strain of anti-Semitism, an earl’s young and pregnant bride is settled into one-half of a semi-detached London suburban house while her husband is away on a diplomatic mission. She is horrified by the thought of having middle-class neighbors, but ends by being taken under their wing. Turns out the father of the family, a sea captain, saved the earl’s life when he fell ill on a voyage. A good deal of gentle humor, some fierce satire, and romance.
    And I cannot recommend too strongly THE BURNING LAMP by Frances Murray. The heroine is a spunky Scots orphan trained at Miss Nightingale’s nursing academy, who accepts an offer to be head nurse at a new hospital in Indian territory in the American West. When she arrives (having lost her two companions en route), she discovers that the hospital hasn’t even been built because the funds were embezzled. So she has to raise the money herself, tend the ills of the townspeople, prevent a war with the Comanches, and win over the local cavalry commander, partly by removing an arrow from his butt and NOT TALKING ABOUT IT!. (Romance ensues.) She has another good one set around 1820, MY DEAR COLLEAGUE, where the heroine is a Scottish heiress who makes an arranged marriage to the son of her guardian, a diplomat stationed in Paris. He is immediately sent to Russia, of course (I sense a theme here); and she has to cope with the situation in Paris, including a dying young woman whom he had helped to escape from her brutal husband; they had a brief affair and she bears his child and dies. The heroine has to protect the baby from the husband, for whom she is the ticket to her mother’s inheritance. Then her husband returns, deathly ill, and she has to nurse HIM back to health. Oh, and the plot to kill the Emperor Louis Napoleon…
    –talpianna, the BookMole-bile

    Reply
  266. I prefer Georgian and Regency period novels. I seldom purchase victorian era books and never purchase Western or Egyptian setting novels. As I am limited in the number of books I can buy, I prefer novels set in England. I like humor but most of all I want characters who I beleive I could meet, that are real to me.
    I want the couple to get to know each other, having interaction, before any explicit sexual relationship. Also, no foul language.
    Give me courteous main characters. If there is a villian, he or she can be rude or uncaring. I want to read about charaters with whom I would want to associate in real life.
    If the writer can do it, I like mystery that fits within the story line.
    I will read a paranormal if it fits in my other preferences. I do not read contemporary novels as I cannot suspend belief. I want to be entertained and taken out of my every day life.

    Reply
  267. I prefer Georgian and Regency period novels. I seldom purchase victorian era books and never purchase Western or Egyptian setting novels. As I am limited in the number of books I can buy, I prefer novels set in England. I like humor but most of all I want characters who I beleive I could meet, that are real to me.
    I want the couple to get to know each other, having interaction, before any explicit sexual relationship. Also, no foul language.
    Give me courteous main characters. If there is a villian, he or she can be rude or uncaring. I want to read about charaters with whom I would want to associate in real life.
    If the writer can do it, I like mystery that fits within the story line.
    I will read a paranormal if it fits in my other preferences. I do not read contemporary novels as I cannot suspend belief. I want to be entertained and taken out of my every day life.

    Reply
  268. I prefer Georgian and Regency period novels. I seldom purchase victorian era books and never purchase Western or Egyptian setting novels. As I am limited in the number of books I can buy, I prefer novels set in England. I like humor but most of all I want characters who I beleive I could meet, that are real to me.
    I want the couple to get to know each other, having interaction, before any explicit sexual relationship. Also, no foul language.
    Give me courteous main characters. If there is a villian, he or she can be rude or uncaring. I want to read about charaters with whom I would want to associate in real life.
    If the writer can do it, I like mystery that fits within the story line.
    I will read a paranormal if it fits in my other preferences. I do not read contemporary novels as I cannot suspend belief. I want to be entertained and taken out of my every day life.

    Reply
  269. I prefer Georgian and Regency period novels. I seldom purchase victorian era books and never purchase Western or Egyptian setting novels. As I am limited in the number of books I can buy, I prefer novels set in England. I like humor but most of all I want characters who I beleive I could meet, that are real to me.
    I want the couple to get to know each other, having interaction, before any explicit sexual relationship. Also, no foul language.
    Give me courteous main characters. If there is a villian, he or she can be rude or uncaring. I want to read about charaters with whom I would want to associate in real life.
    If the writer can do it, I like mystery that fits within the story line.
    I will read a paranormal if it fits in my other preferences. I do not read contemporary novels as I cannot suspend belief. I want to be entertained and taken out of my every day life.

    Reply
  270. I prefer Georgian and Regency period novels. I seldom purchase victorian era books and never purchase Western or Egyptian setting novels. As I am limited in the number of books I can buy, I prefer novels set in England. I like humor but most of all I want characters who I beleive I could meet, that are real to me.
    I want the couple to get to know each other, having interaction, before any explicit sexual relationship. Also, no foul language.
    Give me courteous main characters. If there is a villian, he or she can be rude or uncaring. I want to read about charaters with whom I would want to associate in real life.
    If the writer can do it, I like mystery that fits within the story line.
    I will read a paranormal if it fits in my other preferences. I do not read contemporary novels as I cannot suspend belief. I want to be entertained and taken out of my every day life.

    Reply
  271. I go into hyper-lurkdom and return to find all you prolific bloggers! Wow. I’m 40-ish. Funny, you Gen-X’ers don’t strike me as the skateboarder types. And I’m with Romana; I still like a Regency-Regency. I just reread THE RAKE AND THE REDHEAD by Emily Hendrickson. But lately I’ve been reading ancient historicals by non-romance authors: Ken Follet’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Diamonte’s THE RED TENT, I even dabbled with a RED TENT kinda story idea … My flowery voice just seems to lend itself to that stuff. I feel like I’d have license to write some purple prose I think is beautiful but would cause others to throw the book against the wall… Not that Anita Diamonte wrote purple prose. She didn’t, of course.

    Reply
  272. I go into hyper-lurkdom and return to find all you prolific bloggers! Wow. I’m 40-ish. Funny, you Gen-X’ers don’t strike me as the skateboarder types. And I’m with Romana; I still like a Regency-Regency. I just reread THE RAKE AND THE REDHEAD by Emily Hendrickson. But lately I’ve been reading ancient historicals by non-romance authors: Ken Follet’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Diamonte’s THE RED TENT, I even dabbled with a RED TENT kinda story idea … My flowery voice just seems to lend itself to that stuff. I feel like I’d have license to write some purple prose I think is beautiful but would cause others to throw the book against the wall… Not that Anita Diamonte wrote purple prose. She didn’t, of course.

    Reply
  273. I go into hyper-lurkdom and return to find all you prolific bloggers! Wow. I’m 40-ish. Funny, you Gen-X’ers don’t strike me as the skateboarder types. And I’m with Romana; I still like a Regency-Regency. I just reread THE RAKE AND THE REDHEAD by Emily Hendrickson. But lately I’ve been reading ancient historicals by non-romance authors: Ken Follet’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Diamonte’s THE RED TENT, I even dabbled with a RED TENT kinda story idea … My flowery voice just seems to lend itself to that stuff. I feel like I’d have license to write some purple prose I think is beautiful but would cause others to throw the book against the wall… Not that Anita Diamonte wrote purple prose. She didn’t, of course.

    Reply
  274. I go into hyper-lurkdom and return to find all you prolific bloggers! Wow. I’m 40-ish. Funny, you Gen-X’ers don’t strike me as the skateboarder types. And I’m with Romana; I still like a Regency-Regency. I just reread THE RAKE AND THE REDHEAD by Emily Hendrickson. But lately I’ve been reading ancient historicals by non-romance authors: Ken Follet’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Diamonte’s THE RED TENT, I even dabbled with a RED TENT kinda story idea … My flowery voice just seems to lend itself to that stuff. I feel like I’d have license to write some purple prose I think is beautiful but would cause others to throw the book against the wall… Not that Anita Diamonte wrote purple prose. She didn’t, of course.

    Reply
  275. I go into hyper-lurkdom and return to find all you prolific bloggers! Wow. I’m 40-ish. Funny, you Gen-X’ers don’t strike me as the skateboarder types. And I’m with Romana; I still like a Regency-Regency. I just reread THE RAKE AND THE REDHEAD by Emily Hendrickson. But lately I’ve been reading ancient historicals by non-romance authors: Ken Follet’s PILLARS OF THE EARTH, Diamonte’s THE RED TENT, I even dabbled with a RED TENT kinda story idea … My flowery voice just seems to lend itself to that stuff. I feel like I’d have license to write some purple prose I think is beautiful but would cause others to throw the book against the wall… Not that Anita Diamonte wrote purple prose. She didn’t, of course.

    Reply
  276. I had forgotten about those Sunfire romances! Oh, I loved those! My favorites were Amanda, about the Oregon Trail, and Susannah, about the Civil War. The hero in Susannah had green eyes, I remember. I can’t remember who mentioned these above, but thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂
    “more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.” This made me laugh out loud! (I’m only confirming my family’s consensus that I’m mad.) I totally agree. It’s the chemistry between a pair that makes me read on, not whether or not I get to read about “the act.”
    I love witty dialogue, like Dare and Mara in To Rescue a Rogue. It reveals intelligence and humor, both on the part of the characters and on the part of the author. Stilted dialogue kills the mood for me and I struggle to read on, no matter what the setting is.
    I seem to be in a vast minority here, but I love Medieval settings. I’m fascinated with the early Norman kings. They were writing the rules for the first time, real trendsetters, for good and bad. I’m not much into the paranormal/sci fi stuff, although I do enjoy it occasionally.
    I’m 34, almost 35, and I started with Sunfire, of course, but also Holt, Austen, Bronte, etc. A few years ago, Coulter got me into the Regency romance genre, but when I couldn’t stomach her writing anymore, I went in search of others. I found Jo and haven’t looked back. 🙂
    Good post, Pat!

    Reply
  277. I had forgotten about those Sunfire romances! Oh, I loved those! My favorites were Amanda, about the Oregon Trail, and Susannah, about the Civil War. The hero in Susannah had green eyes, I remember. I can’t remember who mentioned these above, but thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂
    “more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.” This made me laugh out loud! (I’m only confirming my family’s consensus that I’m mad.) I totally agree. It’s the chemistry between a pair that makes me read on, not whether or not I get to read about “the act.”
    I love witty dialogue, like Dare and Mara in To Rescue a Rogue. It reveals intelligence and humor, both on the part of the characters and on the part of the author. Stilted dialogue kills the mood for me and I struggle to read on, no matter what the setting is.
    I seem to be in a vast minority here, but I love Medieval settings. I’m fascinated with the early Norman kings. They were writing the rules for the first time, real trendsetters, for good and bad. I’m not much into the paranormal/sci fi stuff, although I do enjoy it occasionally.
    I’m 34, almost 35, and I started with Sunfire, of course, but also Holt, Austen, Bronte, etc. A few years ago, Coulter got me into the Regency romance genre, but when I couldn’t stomach her writing anymore, I went in search of others. I found Jo and haven’t looked back. 🙂
    Good post, Pat!

    Reply
  278. I had forgotten about those Sunfire romances! Oh, I loved those! My favorites were Amanda, about the Oregon Trail, and Susannah, about the Civil War. The hero in Susannah had green eyes, I remember. I can’t remember who mentioned these above, but thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂
    “more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.” This made me laugh out loud! (I’m only confirming my family’s consensus that I’m mad.) I totally agree. It’s the chemistry between a pair that makes me read on, not whether or not I get to read about “the act.”
    I love witty dialogue, like Dare and Mara in To Rescue a Rogue. It reveals intelligence and humor, both on the part of the characters and on the part of the author. Stilted dialogue kills the mood for me and I struggle to read on, no matter what the setting is.
    I seem to be in a vast minority here, but I love Medieval settings. I’m fascinated with the early Norman kings. They were writing the rules for the first time, real trendsetters, for good and bad. I’m not much into the paranormal/sci fi stuff, although I do enjoy it occasionally.
    I’m 34, almost 35, and I started with Sunfire, of course, but also Holt, Austen, Bronte, etc. A few years ago, Coulter got me into the Regency romance genre, but when I couldn’t stomach her writing anymore, I went in search of others. I found Jo and haven’t looked back. 🙂
    Good post, Pat!

    Reply
  279. I had forgotten about those Sunfire romances! Oh, I loved those! My favorites were Amanda, about the Oregon Trail, and Susannah, about the Civil War. The hero in Susannah had green eyes, I remember. I can’t remember who mentioned these above, but thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂
    “more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.” This made me laugh out loud! (I’m only confirming my family’s consensus that I’m mad.) I totally agree. It’s the chemistry between a pair that makes me read on, not whether or not I get to read about “the act.”
    I love witty dialogue, like Dare and Mara in To Rescue a Rogue. It reveals intelligence and humor, both on the part of the characters and on the part of the author. Stilted dialogue kills the mood for me and I struggle to read on, no matter what the setting is.
    I seem to be in a vast minority here, but I love Medieval settings. I’m fascinated with the early Norman kings. They were writing the rules for the first time, real trendsetters, for good and bad. I’m not much into the paranormal/sci fi stuff, although I do enjoy it occasionally.
    I’m 34, almost 35, and I started with Sunfire, of course, but also Holt, Austen, Bronte, etc. A few years ago, Coulter got me into the Regency romance genre, but when I couldn’t stomach her writing anymore, I went in search of others. I found Jo and haven’t looked back. 🙂
    Good post, Pat!

    Reply
  280. I had forgotten about those Sunfire romances! Oh, I loved those! My favorites were Amanda, about the Oregon Trail, and Susannah, about the Civil War. The hero in Susannah had green eyes, I remember. I can’t remember who mentioned these above, but thanks for the trip down memory lane! 🙂
    “more psychological foreplay and less multi-orgasmic virgins.” This made me laugh out loud! (I’m only confirming my family’s consensus that I’m mad.) I totally agree. It’s the chemistry between a pair that makes me read on, not whether or not I get to read about “the act.”
    I love witty dialogue, like Dare and Mara in To Rescue a Rogue. It reveals intelligence and humor, both on the part of the characters and on the part of the author. Stilted dialogue kills the mood for me and I struggle to read on, no matter what the setting is.
    I seem to be in a vast minority here, but I love Medieval settings. I’m fascinated with the early Norman kings. They were writing the rules for the first time, real trendsetters, for good and bad. I’m not much into the paranormal/sci fi stuff, although I do enjoy it occasionally.
    I’m 34, almost 35, and I started with Sunfire, of course, but also Holt, Austen, Bronte, etc. A few years ago, Coulter got me into the Regency romance genre, but when I couldn’t stomach her writing anymore, I went in search of others. I found Jo and haven’t looked back. 🙂
    Good post, Pat!

    Reply
  281. I’m interested in the late Victorian era–in England and elsewhere. F’rex, Edith Wharton’s New York. (Mind you, I love the egghead stuff–so many interesting ideas floating around in that period. So I may not be a bellwether reader.)
    I’m also intrigued by the 1920s-40s. I keep picking up mysteries set in 1920s England/Scotland/Australia, but they all seem to have the same type of heroine. There’s a niche waiting to be filled.
    Here’s an oddball thought for historical setting. A few years ago I enjoyed reading about the former British expatriate communities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I’m sure there were other interesting communities–they were everywhere. (I’m not listing the more contentious colonial settings, but I think those are under-explored too.)
    Sex… depends. However, if in your research you discover anything particularly outré, please do share 😉
    I’m Gen X. Never read the old bodice rippers. Woodiwiss was writing before I was born. I read category and traditional Regency in high school, then moved on to single title.
    No book, please! I’ve just stocked up my to-read pile, and it could squash me if it topples.

    Reply
  282. I’m interested in the late Victorian era–in England and elsewhere. F’rex, Edith Wharton’s New York. (Mind you, I love the egghead stuff–so many interesting ideas floating around in that period. So I may not be a bellwether reader.)
    I’m also intrigued by the 1920s-40s. I keep picking up mysteries set in 1920s England/Scotland/Australia, but they all seem to have the same type of heroine. There’s a niche waiting to be filled.
    Here’s an oddball thought for historical setting. A few years ago I enjoyed reading about the former British expatriate communities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I’m sure there were other interesting communities–they were everywhere. (I’m not listing the more contentious colonial settings, but I think those are under-explored too.)
    Sex… depends. However, if in your research you discover anything particularly outré, please do share 😉
    I’m Gen X. Never read the old bodice rippers. Woodiwiss was writing before I was born. I read category and traditional Regency in high school, then moved on to single title.
    No book, please! I’ve just stocked up my to-read pile, and it could squash me if it topples.

    Reply
  283. I’m interested in the late Victorian era–in England and elsewhere. F’rex, Edith Wharton’s New York. (Mind you, I love the egghead stuff–so many interesting ideas floating around in that period. So I may not be a bellwether reader.)
    I’m also intrigued by the 1920s-40s. I keep picking up mysteries set in 1920s England/Scotland/Australia, but they all seem to have the same type of heroine. There’s a niche waiting to be filled.
    Here’s an oddball thought for historical setting. A few years ago I enjoyed reading about the former British expatriate communities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I’m sure there were other interesting communities–they were everywhere. (I’m not listing the more contentious colonial settings, but I think those are under-explored too.)
    Sex… depends. However, if in your research you discover anything particularly outré, please do share 😉
    I’m Gen X. Never read the old bodice rippers. Woodiwiss was writing before I was born. I read category and traditional Regency in high school, then moved on to single title.
    No book, please! I’ve just stocked up my to-read pile, and it could squash me if it topples.

    Reply
  284. I’m interested in the late Victorian era–in England and elsewhere. F’rex, Edith Wharton’s New York. (Mind you, I love the egghead stuff–so many interesting ideas floating around in that period. So I may not be a bellwether reader.)
    I’m also intrigued by the 1920s-40s. I keep picking up mysteries set in 1920s England/Scotland/Australia, but they all seem to have the same type of heroine. There’s a niche waiting to be filled.
    Here’s an oddball thought for historical setting. A few years ago I enjoyed reading about the former British expatriate communities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I’m sure there were other interesting communities–they were everywhere. (I’m not listing the more contentious colonial settings, but I think those are under-explored too.)
    Sex… depends. However, if in your research you discover anything particularly outré, please do share 😉
    I’m Gen X. Never read the old bodice rippers. Woodiwiss was writing before I was born. I read category and traditional Regency in high school, then moved on to single title.
    No book, please! I’ve just stocked up my to-read pile, and it could squash me if it topples.

    Reply
  285. I’m interested in the late Victorian era–in England and elsewhere. F’rex, Edith Wharton’s New York. (Mind you, I love the egghead stuff–so many interesting ideas floating around in that period. So I may not be a bellwether reader.)
    I’m also intrigued by the 1920s-40s. I keep picking up mysteries set in 1920s England/Scotland/Australia, but they all seem to have the same type of heroine. There’s a niche waiting to be filled.
    Here’s an oddball thought for historical setting. A few years ago I enjoyed reading about the former British expatriate communities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. I’m sure there were other interesting communities–they were everywhere. (I’m not listing the more contentious colonial settings, but I think those are under-explored too.)
    Sex… depends. However, if in your research you discover anything particularly outré, please do share 😉
    I’m Gen X. Never read the old bodice rippers. Woodiwiss was writing before I was born. I read category and traditional Regency in high school, then moved on to single title.
    No book, please! I’ve just stocked up my to-read pile, and it could squash me if it topples.

    Reply
  286. I’ve been reading romance novels for well over fifty years (I’m 67). Heyer and Elsie Lee introduced me to Regency stories. and Roberta Gellis to medieval romance. I don’t know why publishers ignore readers like me; we buy a heck of a lot of books.
    I love the Regency period and the Georgian just a little less. For medieval, anything 12th or 13the century is fine. I’d like to see a series set in Anglo-Saxon England as well.
    One trend I’d like to see more of is alternate history. What if? is one of my favorite questions. What if Prince Arthur, nephew of Richard the Lionheart hadn’t been murdered by his uncle Prince John? What if Richard III had defeated Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field?
    Another is good paranormal fiction. I was saddened to learn that Mary Jo Putney was not going to continue her “Stone Saints” series. I loved The Marriage Spell, and was anxiously awaiting the stories of Ashby, Ransome, and Winslowe. I’ve bought copies of TMS and given them to many friends who read Regencies but weren’t famililar with paranormal fiction. They all have loved it.
    And one final note. I can do without the gratuitous, repetitive, boring sex scenes that add little to the plot and even less to character development.
    They’re a real turn off for me.a
    Oh, I forgot. Humor is a good thing.

    Reply
  287. I’ve been reading romance novels for well over fifty years (I’m 67). Heyer and Elsie Lee introduced me to Regency stories. and Roberta Gellis to medieval romance. I don’t know why publishers ignore readers like me; we buy a heck of a lot of books.
    I love the Regency period and the Georgian just a little less. For medieval, anything 12th or 13the century is fine. I’d like to see a series set in Anglo-Saxon England as well.
    One trend I’d like to see more of is alternate history. What if? is one of my favorite questions. What if Prince Arthur, nephew of Richard the Lionheart hadn’t been murdered by his uncle Prince John? What if Richard III had defeated Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field?
    Another is good paranormal fiction. I was saddened to learn that Mary Jo Putney was not going to continue her “Stone Saints” series. I loved The Marriage Spell, and was anxiously awaiting the stories of Ashby, Ransome, and Winslowe. I’ve bought copies of TMS and given them to many friends who read Regencies but weren’t famililar with paranormal fiction. They all have loved it.
    And one final note. I can do without the gratuitous, repetitive, boring sex scenes that add little to the plot and even less to character development.
    They’re a real turn off for me.a
    Oh, I forgot. Humor is a good thing.

    Reply
  288. I’ve been reading romance novels for well over fifty years (I’m 67). Heyer and Elsie Lee introduced me to Regency stories. and Roberta Gellis to medieval romance. I don’t know why publishers ignore readers like me; we buy a heck of a lot of books.
    I love the Regency period and the Georgian just a little less. For medieval, anything 12th or 13the century is fine. I’d like to see a series set in Anglo-Saxon England as well.
    One trend I’d like to see more of is alternate history. What if? is one of my favorite questions. What if Prince Arthur, nephew of Richard the Lionheart hadn’t been murdered by his uncle Prince John? What if Richard III had defeated Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field?
    Another is good paranormal fiction. I was saddened to learn that Mary Jo Putney was not going to continue her “Stone Saints” series. I loved The Marriage Spell, and was anxiously awaiting the stories of Ashby, Ransome, and Winslowe. I’ve bought copies of TMS and given them to many friends who read Regencies but weren’t famililar with paranormal fiction. They all have loved it.
    And one final note. I can do without the gratuitous, repetitive, boring sex scenes that add little to the plot and even less to character development.
    They’re a real turn off for me.a
    Oh, I forgot. Humor is a good thing.

    Reply
  289. I’ve been reading romance novels for well over fifty years (I’m 67). Heyer and Elsie Lee introduced me to Regency stories. and Roberta Gellis to medieval romance. I don’t know why publishers ignore readers like me; we buy a heck of a lot of books.
    I love the Regency period and the Georgian just a little less. For medieval, anything 12th or 13the century is fine. I’d like to see a series set in Anglo-Saxon England as well.
    One trend I’d like to see more of is alternate history. What if? is one of my favorite questions. What if Prince Arthur, nephew of Richard the Lionheart hadn’t been murdered by his uncle Prince John? What if Richard III had defeated Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field?
    Another is good paranormal fiction. I was saddened to learn that Mary Jo Putney was not going to continue her “Stone Saints” series. I loved The Marriage Spell, and was anxiously awaiting the stories of Ashby, Ransome, and Winslowe. I’ve bought copies of TMS and given them to many friends who read Regencies but weren’t famililar with paranormal fiction. They all have loved it.
    And one final note. I can do without the gratuitous, repetitive, boring sex scenes that add little to the plot and even less to character development.
    They’re a real turn off for me.a
    Oh, I forgot. Humor is a good thing.

    Reply
  290. I’ve been reading romance novels for well over fifty years (I’m 67). Heyer and Elsie Lee introduced me to Regency stories. and Roberta Gellis to medieval romance. I don’t know why publishers ignore readers like me; we buy a heck of a lot of books.
    I love the Regency period and the Georgian just a little less. For medieval, anything 12th or 13the century is fine. I’d like to see a series set in Anglo-Saxon England as well.
    One trend I’d like to see more of is alternate history. What if? is one of my favorite questions. What if Prince Arthur, nephew of Richard the Lionheart hadn’t been murdered by his uncle Prince John? What if Richard III had defeated Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field?
    Another is good paranormal fiction. I was saddened to learn that Mary Jo Putney was not going to continue her “Stone Saints” series. I loved The Marriage Spell, and was anxiously awaiting the stories of Ashby, Ransome, and Winslowe. I’ve bought copies of TMS and given them to many friends who read Regencies but weren’t famililar with paranormal fiction. They all have loved it.
    And one final note. I can do without the gratuitous, repetitive, boring sex scenes that add little to the plot and even less to character development.
    They’re a real turn off for me.a
    Oh, I forgot. Humor is a good thing.

    Reply
  291. I’m over 65, but several of the ladies have me beat. Congratulations, gals. Also college-educated. I agree with you Ramona. Humor is a must with me. I’ve read some books without it, but it gets boring. My favorite authors don’t spare on the humor, either with the couple or the antics of children or animals. Because I love history, I do enjoy the Regency and Georgian period novels by Jo, as well as others. That’s one reason I love the author’s notes; often she will discuss the event or entity, like Scotland Yard. One thing in Jo’s book that I like there and in others is the use of what I call companion books – some of the same characters running through a series. About a year ago I got into modern novels; there are a lot of series in these. It would be interesting to see what some of “classical” novelists could do with a modern setting, either in town or a western. I grew up on the Republic serials at the movies so love westerns. Someone not nobility might be a novelty, but don’t know if their life would be as interesting in a story. Another interesting subject might be fantasy – no SciFi. I’ve read several fantasies with animals as major characters. We discussed sex on Jo’s list and many of us agreed – NO heavy sex in a book; I tend to skim those parts. I also skim a lot of description too. Guess I’m just there to read the story. Even though I know how a romance will end and have read hundreds of them, what’s different is how the couple comes together and what they have to overcome. Despite the 100 or so authors I’ve read, only 3 of them are male. Got to go read.

    Reply
  292. I’m over 65, but several of the ladies have me beat. Congratulations, gals. Also college-educated. I agree with you Ramona. Humor is a must with me. I’ve read some books without it, but it gets boring. My favorite authors don’t spare on the humor, either with the couple or the antics of children or animals. Because I love history, I do enjoy the Regency and Georgian period novels by Jo, as well as others. That’s one reason I love the author’s notes; often she will discuss the event or entity, like Scotland Yard. One thing in Jo’s book that I like there and in others is the use of what I call companion books – some of the same characters running through a series. About a year ago I got into modern novels; there are a lot of series in these. It would be interesting to see what some of “classical” novelists could do with a modern setting, either in town or a western. I grew up on the Republic serials at the movies so love westerns. Someone not nobility might be a novelty, but don’t know if their life would be as interesting in a story. Another interesting subject might be fantasy – no SciFi. I’ve read several fantasies with animals as major characters. We discussed sex on Jo’s list and many of us agreed – NO heavy sex in a book; I tend to skim those parts. I also skim a lot of description too. Guess I’m just there to read the story. Even though I know how a romance will end and have read hundreds of them, what’s different is how the couple comes together and what they have to overcome. Despite the 100 or so authors I’ve read, only 3 of them are male. Got to go read.

    Reply
  293. I’m over 65, but several of the ladies have me beat. Congratulations, gals. Also college-educated. I agree with you Ramona. Humor is a must with me. I’ve read some books without it, but it gets boring. My favorite authors don’t spare on the humor, either with the couple or the antics of children or animals. Because I love history, I do enjoy the Regency and Georgian period novels by Jo, as well as others. That’s one reason I love the author’s notes; often she will discuss the event or entity, like Scotland Yard. One thing in Jo’s book that I like there and in others is the use of what I call companion books – some of the same characters running through a series. About a year ago I got into modern novels; there are a lot of series in these. It would be interesting to see what some of “classical” novelists could do with a modern setting, either in town or a western. I grew up on the Republic serials at the movies so love westerns. Someone not nobility might be a novelty, but don’t know if their life would be as interesting in a story. Another interesting subject might be fantasy – no SciFi. I’ve read several fantasies with animals as major characters. We discussed sex on Jo’s list and many of us agreed – NO heavy sex in a book; I tend to skim those parts. I also skim a lot of description too. Guess I’m just there to read the story. Even though I know how a romance will end and have read hundreds of them, what’s different is how the couple comes together and what they have to overcome. Despite the 100 or so authors I’ve read, only 3 of them are male. Got to go read.

    Reply
  294. I’m over 65, but several of the ladies have me beat. Congratulations, gals. Also college-educated. I agree with you Ramona. Humor is a must with me. I’ve read some books without it, but it gets boring. My favorite authors don’t spare on the humor, either with the couple or the antics of children or animals. Because I love history, I do enjoy the Regency and Georgian period novels by Jo, as well as others. That’s one reason I love the author’s notes; often she will discuss the event or entity, like Scotland Yard. One thing in Jo’s book that I like there and in others is the use of what I call companion books – some of the same characters running through a series. About a year ago I got into modern novels; there are a lot of series in these. It would be interesting to see what some of “classical” novelists could do with a modern setting, either in town or a western. I grew up on the Republic serials at the movies so love westerns. Someone not nobility might be a novelty, but don’t know if their life would be as interesting in a story. Another interesting subject might be fantasy – no SciFi. I’ve read several fantasies with animals as major characters. We discussed sex on Jo’s list and many of us agreed – NO heavy sex in a book; I tend to skim those parts. I also skim a lot of description too. Guess I’m just there to read the story. Even though I know how a romance will end and have read hundreds of them, what’s different is how the couple comes together and what they have to overcome. Despite the 100 or so authors I’ve read, only 3 of them are male. Got to go read.

    Reply
  295. I’m over 65, but several of the ladies have me beat. Congratulations, gals. Also college-educated. I agree with you Ramona. Humor is a must with me. I’ve read some books without it, but it gets boring. My favorite authors don’t spare on the humor, either with the couple or the antics of children or animals. Because I love history, I do enjoy the Regency and Georgian period novels by Jo, as well as others. That’s one reason I love the author’s notes; often she will discuss the event or entity, like Scotland Yard. One thing in Jo’s book that I like there and in others is the use of what I call companion books – some of the same characters running through a series. About a year ago I got into modern novels; there are a lot of series in these. It would be interesting to see what some of “classical” novelists could do with a modern setting, either in town or a western. I grew up on the Republic serials at the movies so love westerns. Someone not nobility might be a novelty, but don’t know if their life would be as interesting in a story. Another interesting subject might be fantasy – no SciFi. I’ve read several fantasies with animals as major characters. We discussed sex on Jo’s list and many of us agreed – NO heavy sex in a book; I tend to skim those parts. I also skim a lot of description too. Guess I’m just there to read the story. Even though I know how a romance will end and have read hundreds of them, what’s different is how the couple comes together and what they have to overcome. Despite the 100 or so authors I’ve read, only 3 of them are male. Got to go read.

    Reply
  296. Someone way up above mentioned steampunk. One of Emma Holly’s series is in a steampunk universe. (Demon’s Daughter, Prince of Ice, etc.)

    Reply
  297. Someone way up above mentioned steampunk. One of Emma Holly’s series is in a steampunk universe. (Demon’s Daughter, Prince of Ice, etc.)

    Reply
  298. Someone way up above mentioned steampunk. One of Emma Holly’s series is in a steampunk universe. (Demon’s Daughter, Prince of Ice, etc.)

    Reply
  299. Someone way up above mentioned steampunk. One of Emma Holly’s series is in a steampunk universe. (Demon’s Daughter, Prince of Ice, etc.)

    Reply
  300. Someone way up above mentioned steampunk. One of Emma Holly’s series is in a steampunk universe. (Demon’s Daughter, Prince of Ice, etc.)

    Reply
  301. ^ I should have added a warning: some of Emma Holly’s books are *very* graphic about sex. Not sure if it’s generational or just a strong stomach, but I’ve enjoyed some of her books 🙂 However, they’re definitely not for everyone.
    Of Holly’s books, I think the Medieval werewolf books are the least sex-oriented. The steampunk world is mostly not sexy but has the occasional outrageous scene. The contemporaries are sexsexsexsexsex–some use it to develop character, but others are sexseexsexsex(plot)sexsexsex.

    Reply
  302. ^ I should have added a warning: some of Emma Holly’s books are *very* graphic about sex. Not sure if it’s generational or just a strong stomach, but I’ve enjoyed some of her books 🙂 However, they’re definitely not for everyone.
    Of Holly’s books, I think the Medieval werewolf books are the least sex-oriented. The steampunk world is mostly not sexy but has the occasional outrageous scene. The contemporaries are sexsexsexsexsex–some use it to develop character, but others are sexseexsexsex(plot)sexsexsex.

    Reply
  303. ^ I should have added a warning: some of Emma Holly’s books are *very* graphic about sex. Not sure if it’s generational or just a strong stomach, but I’ve enjoyed some of her books 🙂 However, they’re definitely not for everyone.
    Of Holly’s books, I think the Medieval werewolf books are the least sex-oriented. The steampunk world is mostly not sexy but has the occasional outrageous scene. The contemporaries are sexsexsexsexsex–some use it to develop character, but others are sexseexsexsex(plot)sexsexsex.

    Reply
  304. ^ I should have added a warning: some of Emma Holly’s books are *very* graphic about sex. Not sure if it’s generational or just a strong stomach, but I’ve enjoyed some of her books 🙂 However, they’re definitely not for everyone.
    Of Holly’s books, I think the Medieval werewolf books are the least sex-oriented. The steampunk world is mostly not sexy but has the occasional outrageous scene. The contemporaries are sexsexsexsexsex–some use it to develop character, but others are sexseexsexsex(plot)sexsexsex.

    Reply
  305. ^ I should have added a warning: some of Emma Holly’s books are *very* graphic about sex. Not sure if it’s generational or just a strong stomach, but I’ve enjoyed some of her books 🙂 However, they’re definitely not for everyone.
    Of Holly’s books, I think the Medieval werewolf books are the least sex-oriented. The steampunk world is mostly not sexy but has the occasional outrageous scene. The contemporaries are sexsexsexsexsex–some use it to develop character, but others are sexseexsexsex(plot)sexsexsex.

    Reply
  306. Ann H.–You should dig up the late Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series:
    Too Many Magicians (1966)
    Murder and Magic (1979)
    The Napoli Express (1979)
    Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
    Lord Darcy (omnibus) (2002)
    It’s set in a world in which Richard Coeur de Lion recovered from his wound, settled down, and became a good king. Europe is divided between the Angevin and Polish Empires, while the Aztecs rule in the New World.
    Lord Darcy is the London-based chief investigator for the Duke of Normandy; the stories are detective stories, many of which include some witty puns on other literary character names (master spy Sir James le Lien, for example). Most of the books are collections of short stories or novelettes. Very enjoyable.
    I should have pointed out somewhere along the line that aside from Regencies, I’m not that much of a fan of historicals; I prefer my history nonfictional. Although I make an exception for Richard III.

    Reply
  307. Ann H.–You should dig up the late Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series:
    Too Many Magicians (1966)
    Murder and Magic (1979)
    The Napoli Express (1979)
    Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
    Lord Darcy (omnibus) (2002)
    It’s set in a world in which Richard Coeur de Lion recovered from his wound, settled down, and became a good king. Europe is divided between the Angevin and Polish Empires, while the Aztecs rule in the New World.
    Lord Darcy is the London-based chief investigator for the Duke of Normandy; the stories are detective stories, many of which include some witty puns on other literary character names (master spy Sir James le Lien, for example). Most of the books are collections of short stories or novelettes. Very enjoyable.
    I should have pointed out somewhere along the line that aside from Regencies, I’m not that much of a fan of historicals; I prefer my history nonfictional. Although I make an exception for Richard III.

    Reply
  308. Ann H.–You should dig up the late Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series:
    Too Many Magicians (1966)
    Murder and Magic (1979)
    The Napoli Express (1979)
    Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
    Lord Darcy (omnibus) (2002)
    It’s set in a world in which Richard Coeur de Lion recovered from his wound, settled down, and became a good king. Europe is divided between the Angevin and Polish Empires, while the Aztecs rule in the New World.
    Lord Darcy is the London-based chief investigator for the Duke of Normandy; the stories are detective stories, many of which include some witty puns on other literary character names (master spy Sir James le Lien, for example). Most of the books are collections of short stories or novelettes. Very enjoyable.
    I should have pointed out somewhere along the line that aside from Regencies, I’m not that much of a fan of historicals; I prefer my history nonfictional. Although I make an exception for Richard III.

    Reply
  309. Ann H.–You should dig up the late Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series:
    Too Many Magicians (1966)
    Murder and Magic (1979)
    The Napoli Express (1979)
    Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
    Lord Darcy (omnibus) (2002)
    It’s set in a world in which Richard Coeur de Lion recovered from his wound, settled down, and became a good king. Europe is divided between the Angevin and Polish Empires, while the Aztecs rule in the New World.
    Lord Darcy is the London-based chief investigator for the Duke of Normandy; the stories are detective stories, many of which include some witty puns on other literary character names (master spy Sir James le Lien, for example). Most of the books are collections of short stories or novelettes. Very enjoyable.
    I should have pointed out somewhere along the line that aside from Regencies, I’m not that much of a fan of historicals; I prefer my history nonfictional. Although I make an exception for Richard III.

    Reply
  310. Ann H.–You should dig up the late Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series:
    Too Many Magicians (1966)
    Murder and Magic (1979)
    The Napoli Express (1979)
    Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
    Lord Darcy (omnibus) (2002)
    It’s set in a world in which Richard Coeur de Lion recovered from his wound, settled down, and became a good king. Europe is divided between the Angevin and Polish Empires, while the Aztecs rule in the New World.
    Lord Darcy is the London-based chief investigator for the Duke of Normandy; the stories are detective stories, many of which include some witty puns on other literary character names (master spy Sir James le Lien, for example). Most of the books are collections of short stories or novelettes. Very enjoyable.
    I should have pointed out somewhere along the line that aside from Regencies, I’m not that much of a fan of historicals; I prefer my history nonfictional. Although I make an exception for Richard III.

    Reply
  311. I’ve read all of Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, and loved them. What I’d like to see is a book set in medieval times (either with or without magic) in which Arthur lives.
    For anyone who loves well-written, intelligent historical novels I heartily recommend Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (I’m not as fond of her Niccolo stories).

    Reply
  312. I’ve read all of Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, and loved them. What I’d like to see is a book set in medieval times (either with or without magic) in which Arthur lives.
    For anyone who loves well-written, intelligent historical novels I heartily recommend Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (I’m not as fond of her Niccolo stories).

    Reply
  313. I’ve read all of Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, and loved them. What I’d like to see is a book set in medieval times (either with or without magic) in which Arthur lives.
    For anyone who loves well-written, intelligent historical novels I heartily recommend Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (I’m not as fond of her Niccolo stories).

    Reply
  314. I’ve read all of Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, and loved them. What I’d like to see is a book set in medieval times (either with or without magic) in which Arthur lives.
    For anyone who loves well-written, intelligent historical novels I heartily recommend Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (I’m not as fond of her Niccolo stories).

    Reply
  315. I’ve read all of Garrett’s Lord Darcy books, and loved them. What I’d like to see is a book set in medieval times (either with or without magic) in which Arthur lives.
    For anyone who loves well-written, intelligent historical novels I heartily recommend Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series (I’m not as fond of her Niccolo stories).

    Reply
  316. More thoughts on insufficiently-exploited North American historical settings.
    Has anyone used the expulsion of the Acadians recently? Evangeline was certainly a blockbuster for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote it 🙂
    In the American west, to get outside of the “ranch” setting, what about freighting along the Santa Fe trail? Steamboating on the Missouri and Mississippi?
    There’s the California gold rush (how many burgeoning romances were interrupted when all those young men pulled up stakes suddenly and went west? how many sweethearts did they strand in difficult circumstances?).
    So many stories to be written — so few writers, alas!

    Reply
  317. More thoughts on insufficiently-exploited North American historical settings.
    Has anyone used the expulsion of the Acadians recently? Evangeline was certainly a blockbuster for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote it 🙂
    In the American west, to get outside of the “ranch” setting, what about freighting along the Santa Fe trail? Steamboating on the Missouri and Mississippi?
    There’s the California gold rush (how many burgeoning romances were interrupted when all those young men pulled up stakes suddenly and went west? how many sweethearts did they strand in difficult circumstances?).
    So many stories to be written — so few writers, alas!

    Reply
  318. More thoughts on insufficiently-exploited North American historical settings.
    Has anyone used the expulsion of the Acadians recently? Evangeline was certainly a blockbuster for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote it 🙂
    In the American west, to get outside of the “ranch” setting, what about freighting along the Santa Fe trail? Steamboating on the Missouri and Mississippi?
    There’s the California gold rush (how many burgeoning romances were interrupted when all those young men pulled up stakes suddenly and went west? how many sweethearts did they strand in difficult circumstances?).
    So many stories to be written — so few writers, alas!

    Reply
  319. More thoughts on insufficiently-exploited North American historical settings.
    Has anyone used the expulsion of the Acadians recently? Evangeline was certainly a blockbuster for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote it 🙂
    In the American west, to get outside of the “ranch” setting, what about freighting along the Santa Fe trail? Steamboating on the Missouri and Mississippi?
    There’s the California gold rush (how many burgeoning romances were interrupted when all those young men pulled up stakes suddenly and went west? how many sweethearts did they strand in difficult circumstances?).
    So many stories to be written — so few writers, alas!

    Reply
  320. More thoughts on insufficiently-exploited North American historical settings.
    Has anyone used the expulsion of the Acadians recently? Evangeline was certainly a blockbuster for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote it 🙂
    In the American west, to get outside of the “ranch” setting, what about freighting along the Santa Fe trail? Steamboating on the Missouri and Mississippi?
    There’s the California gold rush (how many burgeoning romances were interrupted when all those young men pulled up stakes suddenly and went west? how many sweethearts did they strand in difficult circumstances?).
    So many stories to be written — so few writers, alas!

    Reply
  321. Ann, for King Arthur’s times, try Jo Walton, The King’s War and The King’s Peace.
    Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a whole series on the Arthurian period.

    Reply
  322. Ann, for King Arthur’s times, try Jo Walton, The King’s War and The King’s Peace.
    Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a whole series on the Arthurian period.

    Reply
  323. Ann, for King Arthur’s times, try Jo Walton, The King’s War and The King’s Peace.
    Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a whole series on the Arthurian period.

    Reply
  324. Ann, for King Arthur’s times, try Jo Walton, The King’s War and The King’s Peace.
    Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a whole series on the Arthurian period.

    Reply
  325. Ann, for King Arthur’s times, try Jo Walton, The King’s War and The King’s Peace.
    Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a whole series on the Arthurian period.

    Reply
  326. I like sex in a novel but I like the story to build, build up to it so the sex is – – dare I say the “climax” to the sexual tension in the story. DO NOT enjoy it when the heroine jumps into bed with hero first day she meets him (unless as Jo did it–her whole future depends on producing an heir and getting pregnant is so important to her and her estate!)
    .
    I really like historical facts wrapped into the plot (personal notes about influential people of that time? Fashion notes but not to the extent of the early 60’s when what she was wearing took more space than the plot!
    Elysbeth Thane wrote a series of a family that covered the Revolution (OURS USA), War of 1812(family on both sides), Civil war and then the WWII. This was great!
    I love it when the hero is a “wounded” hero (either spirit or body) and the heroine’s personality and/or knowledge “saves him” and heals him. But wouldn’t want that in every one.
    I love Egyptian history but somehow that period doesn’t lend to romances that I enjoy. And so far as the laborers or serf’s love stories, I’m afraid as in the Middle Ages the serfs and trades people didn’t have much of a personal life!
    I read a historical novel because:
    1. I inhale history!
    2. I love romance!
    3. I love to have a “mental vacation” from cares, worries, stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  327. I like sex in a novel but I like the story to build, build up to it so the sex is – – dare I say the “climax” to the sexual tension in the story. DO NOT enjoy it when the heroine jumps into bed with hero first day she meets him (unless as Jo did it–her whole future depends on producing an heir and getting pregnant is so important to her and her estate!)
    .
    I really like historical facts wrapped into the plot (personal notes about influential people of that time? Fashion notes but not to the extent of the early 60’s when what she was wearing took more space than the plot!
    Elysbeth Thane wrote a series of a family that covered the Revolution (OURS USA), War of 1812(family on both sides), Civil war and then the WWII. This was great!
    I love it when the hero is a “wounded” hero (either spirit or body) and the heroine’s personality and/or knowledge “saves him” and heals him. But wouldn’t want that in every one.
    I love Egyptian history but somehow that period doesn’t lend to romances that I enjoy. And so far as the laborers or serf’s love stories, I’m afraid as in the Middle Ages the serfs and trades people didn’t have much of a personal life!
    I read a historical novel because:
    1. I inhale history!
    2. I love romance!
    3. I love to have a “mental vacation” from cares, worries, stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  328. I like sex in a novel but I like the story to build, build up to it so the sex is – – dare I say the “climax” to the sexual tension in the story. DO NOT enjoy it when the heroine jumps into bed with hero first day she meets him (unless as Jo did it–her whole future depends on producing an heir and getting pregnant is so important to her and her estate!)
    .
    I really like historical facts wrapped into the plot (personal notes about influential people of that time? Fashion notes but not to the extent of the early 60’s when what she was wearing took more space than the plot!
    Elysbeth Thane wrote a series of a family that covered the Revolution (OURS USA), War of 1812(family on both sides), Civil war and then the WWII. This was great!
    I love it when the hero is a “wounded” hero (either spirit or body) and the heroine’s personality and/or knowledge “saves him” and heals him. But wouldn’t want that in every one.
    I love Egyptian history but somehow that period doesn’t lend to romances that I enjoy. And so far as the laborers or serf’s love stories, I’m afraid as in the Middle Ages the serfs and trades people didn’t have much of a personal life!
    I read a historical novel because:
    1. I inhale history!
    2. I love romance!
    3. I love to have a “mental vacation” from cares, worries, stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  329. I like sex in a novel but I like the story to build, build up to it so the sex is – – dare I say the “climax” to the sexual tension in the story. DO NOT enjoy it when the heroine jumps into bed with hero first day she meets him (unless as Jo did it–her whole future depends on producing an heir and getting pregnant is so important to her and her estate!)
    .
    I really like historical facts wrapped into the plot (personal notes about influential people of that time? Fashion notes but not to the extent of the early 60’s when what she was wearing took more space than the plot!
    Elysbeth Thane wrote a series of a family that covered the Revolution (OURS USA), War of 1812(family on both sides), Civil war and then the WWII. This was great!
    I love it when the hero is a “wounded” hero (either spirit or body) and the heroine’s personality and/or knowledge “saves him” and heals him. But wouldn’t want that in every one.
    I love Egyptian history but somehow that period doesn’t lend to romances that I enjoy. And so far as the laborers or serf’s love stories, I’m afraid as in the Middle Ages the serfs and trades people didn’t have much of a personal life!
    I read a historical novel because:
    1. I inhale history!
    2. I love romance!
    3. I love to have a “mental vacation” from cares, worries, stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  330. I like sex in a novel but I like the story to build, build up to it so the sex is – – dare I say the “climax” to the sexual tension in the story. DO NOT enjoy it when the heroine jumps into bed with hero first day she meets him (unless as Jo did it–her whole future depends on producing an heir and getting pregnant is so important to her and her estate!)
    .
    I really like historical facts wrapped into the plot (personal notes about influential people of that time? Fashion notes but not to the extent of the early 60’s when what she was wearing took more space than the plot!
    Elysbeth Thane wrote a series of a family that covered the Revolution (OURS USA), War of 1812(family on both sides), Civil war and then the WWII. This was great!
    I love it when the hero is a “wounded” hero (either spirit or body) and the heroine’s personality and/or knowledge “saves him” and heals him. But wouldn’t want that in every one.
    I love Egyptian history but somehow that period doesn’t lend to romances that I enjoy. And so far as the laborers or serf’s love stories, I’m afraid as in the Middle Ages the serfs and trades people didn’t have much of a personal life!
    I read a historical novel because:
    1. I inhale history!
    2. I love romance!
    3. I love to have a “mental vacation” from cares, worries, stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  331. I’ll ask. What is steampunk?
    Several people mentioned loving the Dunnett Lymond series. I tried to read it several years ago. I plowed through the first one, but I really had no idea why Lymond was doing what he did. His motivation was not apparent to me. Should I go back and try to read that series again? Are there any gen x/y folks out there who loved it?

    Reply
  332. I’ll ask. What is steampunk?
    Several people mentioned loving the Dunnett Lymond series. I tried to read it several years ago. I plowed through the first one, but I really had no idea why Lymond was doing what he did. His motivation was not apparent to me. Should I go back and try to read that series again? Are there any gen x/y folks out there who loved it?

    Reply
  333. I’ll ask. What is steampunk?
    Several people mentioned loving the Dunnett Lymond series. I tried to read it several years ago. I plowed through the first one, but I really had no idea why Lymond was doing what he did. His motivation was not apparent to me. Should I go back and try to read that series again? Are there any gen x/y folks out there who loved it?

    Reply
  334. I’ll ask. What is steampunk?
    Several people mentioned loving the Dunnett Lymond series. I tried to read it several years ago. I plowed through the first one, but I really had no idea why Lymond was doing what he did. His motivation was not apparent to me. Should I go back and try to read that series again? Are there any gen x/y folks out there who loved it?

    Reply
  335. I’ll ask. What is steampunk?
    Several people mentioned loving the Dunnett Lymond series. I tried to read it several years ago. I plowed through the first one, but I really had no idea why Lymond was doing what he did. His motivation was not apparent to me. Should I go back and try to read that series again? Are there any gen x/y folks out there who loved it?

    Reply
  336. I forgot to mention that humor often is very lacking and I really love humor in novels!
    I read every book written by Jill Barnett with relish!
    In my own life, my husband and I often mention that it’s good we can laugh at life or we’d have shed a lot of tears!
    Sorry I forgot that element.

    Reply
  337. I forgot to mention that humor often is very lacking and I really love humor in novels!
    I read every book written by Jill Barnett with relish!
    In my own life, my husband and I often mention that it’s good we can laugh at life or we’d have shed a lot of tears!
    Sorry I forgot that element.

    Reply
  338. I forgot to mention that humor often is very lacking and I really love humor in novels!
    I read every book written by Jill Barnett with relish!
    In my own life, my husband and I often mention that it’s good we can laugh at life or we’d have shed a lot of tears!
    Sorry I forgot that element.

    Reply
  339. I forgot to mention that humor often is very lacking and I really love humor in novels!
    I read every book written by Jill Barnett with relish!
    In my own life, my husband and I often mention that it’s good we can laugh at life or we’d have shed a lot of tears!
    Sorry I forgot that element.

    Reply
  340. I forgot to mention that humor often is very lacking and I really love humor in novels!
    I read every book written by Jill Barnett with relish!
    In my own life, my husband and I often mention that it’s good we can laugh at life or we’d have shed a lot of tears!
    Sorry I forgot that element.

    Reply
  341. I love it when a hero is wounded either of body or mind and the heroine heals him with her spirit and character.
    SEX: I love it in the story but I like the sexual tension to build up and have the actual “act” be the (dare I say it) “climax” of the story!
    I love older characters and humor injected into the plot now and then. I now own all of Jill Barnett’s books and several times had to stop reading to mop my eyes from laughter! That is rare and so much fun.
    Elysbeth Thane wrote of two sides of a family (one English and one American) and featured Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and WWII. This series was absolutely riveting!
    Egyptian history is a love of mine too but somehow–a romance in that period just doesn’t grip me.
    I believe the 1500’s to very late 1800’s is the best period.
    As to tradesmen and serfs–I believe that in the middle ages these people didn’t really have a life and in the 1800’s only the top artisans might have had a real “life” as we know it. Just think–women opera singers weren’t even respected but thought of as “trollops” or whores!
    I read historical novels for:
    1.romances
    2. history
    3. insights or cameos of famous people of the day.
    4. humor and older characters I can “feel for”.
    5. something to give me a “mental vacation” from cares and stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  342. I love it when a hero is wounded either of body or mind and the heroine heals him with her spirit and character.
    SEX: I love it in the story but I like the sexual tension to build up and have the actual “act” be the (dare I say it) “climax” of the story!
    I love older characters and humor injected into the plot now and then. I now own all of Jill Barnett’s books and several times had to stop reading to mop my eyes from laughter! That is rare and so much fun.
    Elysbeth Thane wrote of two sides of a family (one English and one American) and featured Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and WWII. This series was absolutely riveting!
    Egyptian history is a love of mine too but somehow–a romance in that period just doesn’t grip me.
    I believe the 1500’s to very late 1800’s is the best period.
    As to tradesmen and serfs–I believe that in the middle ages these people didn’t really have a life and in the 1800’s only the top artisans might have had a real “life” as we know it. Just think–women opera singers weren’t even respected but thought of as “trollops” or whores!
    I read historical novels for:
    1.romances
    2. history
    3. insights or cameos of famous people of the day.
    4. humor and older characters I can “feel for”.
    5. something to give me a “mental vacation” from cares and stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  343. I love it when a hero is wounded either of body or mind and the heroine heals him with her spirit and character.
    SEX: I love it in the story but I like the sexual tension to build up and have the actual “act” be the (dare I say it) “climax” of the story!
    I love older characters and humor injected into the plot now and then. I now own all of Jill Barnett’s books and several times had to stop reading to mop my eyes from laughter! That is rare and so much fun.
    Elysbeth Thane wrote of two sides of a family (one English and one American) and featured Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and WWII. This series was absolutely riveting!
    Egyptian history is a love of mine too but somehow–a romance in that period just doesn’t grip me.
    I believe the 1500’s to very late 1800’s is the best period.
    As to tradesmen and serfs–I believe that in the middle ages these people didn’t really have a life and in the 1800’s only the top artisans might have had a real “life” as we know it. Just think–women opera singers weren’t even respected but thought of as “trollops” or whores!
    I read historical novels for:
    1.romances
    2. history
    3. insights or cameos of famous people of the day.
    4. humor and older characters I can “feel for”.
    5. something to give me a “mental vacation” from cares and stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  344. I love it when a hero is wounded either of body or mind and the heroine heals him with her spirit and character.
    SEX: I love it in the story but I like the sexual tension to build up and have the actual “act” be the (dare I say it) “climax” of the story!
    I love older characters and humor injected into the plot now and then. I now own all of Jill Barnett’s books and several times had to stop reading to mop my eyes from laughter! That is rare and so much fun.
    Elysbeth Thane wrote of two sides of a family (one English and one American) and featured Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and WWII. This series was absolutely riveting!
    Egyptian history is a love of mine too but somehow–a romance in that period just doesn’t grip me.
    I believe the 1500’s to very late 1800’s is the best period.
    As to tradesmen and serfs–I believe that in the middle ages these people didn’t really have a life and in the 1800’s only the top artisans might have had a real “life” as we know it. Just think–women opera singers weren’t even respected but thought of as “trollops” or whores!
    I read historical novels for:
    1.romances
    2. history
    3. insights or cameos of famous people of the day.
    4. humor and older characters I can “feel for”.
    5. something to give me a “mental vacation” from cares and stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  345. I love it when a hero is wounded either of body or mind and the heroine heals him with her spirit and character.
    SEX: I love it in the story but I like the sexual tension to build up and have the actual “act” be the (dare I say it) “climax” of the story!
    I love older characters and humor injected into the plot now and then. I now own all of Jill Barnett’s books and several times had to stop reading to mop my eyes from laughter! That is rare and so much fun.
    Elysbeth Thane wrote of two sides of a family (one English and one American) and featured Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and WWII. This series was absolutely riveting!
    Egyptian history is a love of mine too but somehow–a romance in that period just doesn’t grip me.
    I believe the 1500’s to very late 1800’s is the best period.
    As to tradesmen and serfs–I believe that in the middle ages these people didn’t really have a life and in the 1800’s only the top artisans might have had a real “life” as we know it. Just think–women opera singers weren’t even respected but thought of as “trollops” or whores!
    I read historical novels for:
    1.romances
    2. history
    3. insights or cameos of famous people of the day.
    4. humor and older characters I can “feel for”.
    5. something to give me a “mental vacation” from cares and stress!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  346. Typepad disappeared most of this page of comments this morning, and I’m just coming in to catch up with them. This has been a tremendous discussion, thank you ever so much! I may even get brave enough to discuss an early American with my editor. I’d been planning on it anyway, but this gives me impressive feedback.
    I totally agree about humor, have no idea what Steampunk is, and I’m a boomer and couldn’t get into Dunnet. My education felt woefully lacking when I tried to interpret all the references. I think Dunnet might be a state of mind, because the writing is truly brilliant.
    Virginia, many of my early books explored facets of the American topics that you mentioned. I wish I knew why American historicals dropped off the map, but I can only offer theory. It happened shortly after the period when the independent wholesalers collapsed or got bought out, reducing the distributors to about three, who bought by the number. My theory is that they discovered books set in England sold faster than books set in the States.

    Reply
  347. Typepad disappeared most of this page of comments this morning, and I’m just coming in to catch up with them. This has been a tremendous discussion, thank you ever so much! I may even get brave enough to discuss an early American with my editor. I’d been planning on it anyway, but this gives me impressive feedback.
    I totally agree about humor, have no idea what Steampunk is, and I’m a boomer and couldn’t get into Dunnet. My education felt woefully lacking when I tried to interpret all the references. I think Dunnet might be a state of mind, because the writing is truly brilliant.
    Virginia, many of my early books explored facets of the American topics that you mentioned. I wish I knew why American historicals dropped off the map, but I can only offer theory. It happened shortly after the period when the independent wholesalers collapsed or got bought out, reducing the distributors to about three, who bought by the number. My theory is that they discovered books set in England sold faster than books set in the States.

    Reply
  348. Typepad disappeared most of this page of comments this morning, and I’m just coming in to catch up with them. This has been a tremendous discussion, thank you ever so much! I may even get brave enough to discuss an early American with my editor. I’d been planning on it anyway, but this gives me impressive feedback.
    I totally agree about humor, have no idea what Steampunk is, and I’m a boomer and couldn’t get into Dunnet. My education felt woefully lacking when I tried to interpret all the references. I think Dunnet might be a state of mind, because the writing is truly brilliant.
    Virginia, many of my early books explored facets of the American topics that you mentioned. I wish I knew why American historicals dropped off the map, but I can only offer theory. It happened shortly after the period when the independent wholesalers collapsed or got bought out, reducing the distributors to about three, who bought by the number. My theory is that they discovered books set in England sold faster than books set in the States.

    Reply
  349. Typepad disappeared most of this page of comments this morning, and I’m just coming in to catch up with them. This has been a tremendous discussion, thank you ever so much! I may even get brave enough to discuss an early American with my editor. I’d been planning on it anyway, but this gives me impressive feedback.
    I totally agree about humor, have no idea what Steampunk is, and I’m a boomer and couldn’t get into Dunnet. My education felt woefully lacking when I tried to interpret all the references. I think Dunnet might be a state of mind, because the writing is truly brilliant.
    Virginia, many of my early books explored facets of the American topics that you mentioned. I wish I knew why American historicals dropped off the map, but I can only offer theory. It happened shortly after the period when the independent wholesalers collapsed or got bought out, reducing the distributors to about three, who bought by the number. My theory is that they discovered books set in England sold faster than books set in the States.

    Reply
  350. Typepad disappeared most of this page of comments this morning, and I’m just coming in to catch up with them. This has been a tremendous discussion, thank you ever so much! I may even get brave enough to discuss an early American with my editor. I’d been planning on it anyway, but this gives me impressive feedback.
    I totally agree about humor, have no idea what Steampunk is, and I’m a boomer and couldn’t get into Dunnet. My education felt woefully lacking when I tried to interpret all the references. I think Dunnet might be a state of mind, because the writing is truly brilliant.
    Virginia, many of my early books explored facets of the American topics that you mentioned. I wish I knew why American historicals dropped off the map, but I can only offer theory. It happened shortly after the period when the independent wholesalers collapsed or got bought out, reducing the distributors to about three, who bought by the number. My theory is that they discovered books set in England sold faster than books set in the States.

    Reply
  351. Ann H.–Arthur DOES live! He lies in an enchanted sleep on the Isle of Avalon, waiting till his country needs him again. This is one of the many Sleepers legends, along with Holger Danske, Frederick Barbarossa, and Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Hawthorne wrote an American one, the title of which escapes me at the moment. So having a medieval story with Arthur recovering and retaining the kingship would ruin the story. As T.H. White said in THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, there’s a reason why it’s called the MORTE d’Arthur.
    I do know of a few stories in which Arthur returns in modern times (it’s a rather popular theme in fantasy).
    Pat, if you or any of the other Wenches wants to write a Western, I’ll lend you my great-grandfather, who ran cattle on the Old Chisum Trail and was Sitting Bull’s interpreter.

    Reply
  352. Ann H.–Arthur DOES live! He lies in an enchanted sleep on the Isle of Avalon, waiting till his country needs him again. This is one of the many Sleepers legends, along with Holger Danske, Frederick Barbarossa, and Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Hawthorne wrote an American one, the title of which escapes me at the moment. So having a medieval story with Arthur recovering and retaining the kingship would ruin the story. As T.H. White said in THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, there’s a reason why it’s called the MORTE d’Arthur.
    I do know of a few stories in which Arthur returns in modern times (it’s a rather popular theme in fantasy).
    Pat, if you or any of the other Wenches wants to write a Western, I’ll lend you my great-grandfather, who ran cattle on the Old Chisum Trail and was Sitting Bull’s interpreter.

    Reply
  353. Ann H.–Arthur DOES live! He lies in an enchanted sleep on the Isle of Avalon, waiting till his country needs him again. This is one of the many Sleepers legends, along with Holger Danske, Frederick Barbarossa, and Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Hawthorne wrote an American one, the title of which escapes me at the moment. So having a medieval story with Arthur recovering and retaining the kingship would ruin the story. As T.H. White said in THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, there’s a reason why it’s called the MORTE d’Arthur.
    I do know of a few stories in which Arthur returns in modern times (it’s a rather popular theme in fantasy).
    Pat, if you or any of the other Wenches wants to write a Western, I’ll lend you my great-grandfather, who ran cattle on the Old Chisum Trail and was Sitting Bull’s interpreter.

    Reply
  354. Ann H.–Arthur DOES live! He lies in an enchanted sleep on the Isle of Avalon, waiting till his country needs him again. This is one of the many Sleepers legends, along with Holger Danske, Frederick Barbarossa, and Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Hawthorne wrote an American one, the title of which escapes me at the moment. So having a medieval story with Arthur recovering and retaining the kingship would ruin the story. As T.H. White said in THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, there’s a reason why it’s called the MORTE d’Arthur.
    I do know of a few stories in which Arthur returns in modern times (it’s a rather popular theme in fantasy).
    Pat, if you or any of the other Wenches wants to write a Western, I’ll lend you my great-grandfather, who ran cattle on the Old Chisum Trail and was Sitting Bull’s interpreter.

    Reply
  355. Ann H.–Arthur DOES live! He lies in an enchanted sleep on the Isle of Avalon, waiting till his country needs him again. This is one of the many Sleepers legends, along with Holger Danske, Frederick Barbarossa, and Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Hawthorne wrote an American one, the title of which escapes me at the moment. So having a medieval story with Arthur recovering and retaining the kingship would ruin the story. As T.H. White said in THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, there’s a reason why it’s called the MORTE d’Arthur.
    I do know of a few stories in which Arthur returns in modern times (it’s a rather popular theme in fantasy).
    Pat, if you or any of the other Wenches wants to write a Western, I’ll lend you my great-grandfather, who ran cattle on the Old Chisum Trail and was Sitting Bull’s interpreter.

    Reply
  356. A steampunk setting has a mix of Victorian and modern (or futuristic) technologies and cultures, but powered only by devices Victorian inventors understood. Lots of steam-engines and clock-work mechanisms. So the internet might exist, but in pre-digital form–as a telegraph system developed to a crazy extent.
    Emma Holly’s steampunk books use that confusion of times and ideas as the backdrop for a romance between misfit characters caught up in culture clash.
    Wikipedia says:
    “Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
    Here are some fun images of *real* steampunk items–that is, modern inventions with a steampunk style:
    http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2007/06/gallery_vonslatt?slide=7

    Reply
  357. A steampunk setting has a mix of Victorian and modern (or futuristic) technologies and cultures, but powered only by devices Victorian inventors understood. Lots of steam-engines and clock-work mechanisms. So the internet might exist, but in pre-digital form–as a telegraph system developed to a crazy extent.
    Emma Holly’s steampunk books use that confusion of times and ideas as the backdrop for a romance between misfit characters caught up in culture clash.
    Wikipedia says:
    “Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
    Here are some fun images of *real* steampunk items–that is, modern inventions with a steampunk style:
    http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2007/06/gallery_vonslatt?slide=7

    Reply
  358. A steampunk setting has a mix of Victorian and modern (or futuristic) technologies and cultures, but powered only by devices Victorian inventors understood. Lots of steam-engines and clock-work mechanisms. So the internet might exist, but in pre-digital form–as a telegraph system developed to a crazy extent.
    Emma Holly’s steampunk books use that confusion of times and ideas as the backdrop for a romance between misfit characters caught up in culture clash.
    Wikipedia says:
    “Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
    Here are some fun images of *real* steampunk items–that is, modern inventions with a steampunk style:
    http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2007/06/gallery_vonslatt?slide=7

    Reply
  359. A steampunk setting has a mix of Victorian and modern (or futuristic) technologies and cultures, but powered only by devices Victorian inventors understood. Lots of steam-engines and clock-work mechanisms. So the internet might exist, but in pre-digital form–as a telegraph system developed to a crazy extent.
    Emma Holly’s steampunk books use that confusion of times and ideas as the backdrop for a romance between misfit characters caught up in culture clash.
    Wikipedia says:
    “Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
    Here are some fun images of *real* steampunk items–that is, modern inventions with a steampunk style:
    http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2007/06/gallery_vonslatt?slide=7

    Reply
  360. A steampunk setting has a mix of Victorian and modern (or futuristic) technologies and cultures, but powered only by devices Victorian inventors understood. Lots of steam-engines and clock-work mechanisms. So the internet might exist, but in pre-digital form–as a telegraph system developed to a crazy extent.
    Emma Holly’s steampunk books use that confusion of times and ideas as the backdrop for a romance between misfit characters caught up in culture clash.
    Wikipedia says:
    “Steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances of the 19th century, by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
    Here are some fun images of *real* steampunk items–that is, modern inventions with a steampunk style:
    http://www.wired.com/culture/design/multimedia/2007/06/gallery_vonslatt?slide=7

    Reply
  361. Kay – I remember “The King’s Brat”. I really liked that one, and it got me interested in that period of Scottish/English history. I was in high school when that one came out.
    I really like the regencies, but I would like to see more American based romances. Not westerns, as there seem to be plenty of those around. I like the Colonial through Civil War eras, with some later periods too. One of my favorite “sagas” is the Williamsburg series by Elswyth Thane. Those were good stories, with romance and excellent history combined.
    Eleanora Brownleigh wrote a series of romances that took place around the turn of the century (19th to 20th) that were well done also — and long enough to be a satisfying read.
    Susan

    Reply