Bookscapes by Helen McIver

A Good Book and Chocolate – Flowers Optional
Romantic Authors

bookpile2Following the library’s (and Facebook’s) alphabetic lists of either books or authors, here is a list of authors that write romance fiction.  I, personally, never knew that Jane Austen or Garrison Keillor was considered a romance writer (searching Kindle selections). These are some of the authors I have enjoyed reading, especially classics and Regency or historical novels.

To quote Robertson Davies, “It is dangerous to condemn stories as junk which satisfy the deep hunger of millions of people. These books are not literary art, but a great deal of what is acclaimed as literary art in our time offers no comfort or fulfillment to anybody.” (From For Your Eyes Alone; the Letters of Robertson Davies, ed. Judith Skelton Grant, Viking Press)
Jane Austen, Jennifer Ashley, *Laurie Anderson

Mary Balogh, *Angela Benson

Gail Carriger, *Jennifer Crusie, Mary Chase Comstock

Christina Dodd

Suzanne Enoch

Jane Feather

*Diana Gabaldon, *Roberta Gellis

*Madeline Hunter, *Deborah Harkness

Iris Johansson

*Eliosa James

Lisa Kleypas, Susanna Kearsley, Lynn Kurland

Stephanie Laurens

Karen Marie Moning, *Lucy Muir

Brenda Novak

Constance O’Day Flannery

Mary Jo Putney, *Elizabeth Peters, * Nina Coombs PyKare,

Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick

Karen Rose, Karen Ranney, Deanna Raybourn, *Pamela Regis

*Christina Skye

Adriana Trigiani

Joan Vincent

Susan Wiggs, Lauren Willig, Edith Wharton, Kathleen Woodiwiss

*Jane Yardley, Rebecca York

Mia Zachary
* Denotes authors who have a PhD in various subjects and take the romance novel to a new level.

Book of the Moment
Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea

I read Shadowy Horses, Mariana and The Rose Garden, quite quickly in succession, charmed by the writing and locations. Historical Scotland, medieval England, magic as well as reminding me greatly of reading Mary Stewart as a teenager. Then I discovered Mary Stewart was one of Kearsley’s favorite authors growing up, and I couldn’t wait to read more. Her first novel Mariana won the Catherine Cookson literary prize, all of her books have become bestsellers. She also writes classic thrillers under the name Emma Cole.

The Winter Sea is her most recent book, and rumor has it her next one is a sequel (you have time to read this one before Firebird is released in June). Prepare to be enthralled: this is a beautiful and engaging work of historical fiction, with a dash of romance, tragedy, mystery in an engrossing story. She has done her research, both in richly detailed history but also in the present day settings – interesting characters, a moody sea, enchanting Scottish village and local customs.

Summary: Carrie McClelland moves to Scotland to continue to research her next book on a relatively unknown Jacobite rebellion of 1708. She is drawn to Slains Castle, rents a remote cottage and begins to dream of her characters, creating a parallel story.

If you like Barbara Erskine (Lady of Hay), Diana Gabaldon and Mary Stewart, read on.


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