Friday, August 1, 2008


What discussion by an author would be complete without covering the author’s influences?

The very first romance novel I ever read was “A Rose in Winter” by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I loved it so much I then read everything she had ever written to that point and have kept pretty good tabs on her work since. She does have a newer book out that I haven’t read yet, but now that I know there is one, I’ll be picking it up soon. Her website can be found at:

I can’t really say what it is I like most about her writing, except that it is really believable. She does a great job painting the visual for her reader so you can almost imagine yourself there with the characters. Her dialogue is compelling and often funny, and for the most part her characters are wonderful, fully fleshed personalities. I will say that I really prefer her earliest works over anything more recently. If anyone has read “The Flame and the Flower” and knows Heather and Brandon, and Brandon’s brother Jeff, knows that Jeff got the short end of the stick when it comes to brides. Raelynn is just a moron, and I can’t stand stupid female characters.

Ok, enough ranting, here are my top picks and absolute must reads by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.
“A Rose in Winter”
“Ashes in the Wind”
“The Wolf and the Dove”
“The Flame and the Flower”

My next favorite author would have to be Jude Deveraux. You can read about her here: . Her official site through Simon and Schuster is a pain to navigate, and mostly just trying to get you to buy books, rather than link them in any sort of sensical fashion.

I can’t tell you which of her books I read first, but she has a tendency to do things in groups, primarily by family. Almost every one of her books will feature a Montgomery or a Taggart. (If you get to reading her, you’ll know what I mean.)

Jude also does a great job of setting the scene for her readers, and she moves through time periods with ease, even having one book about a time traveling knight. (“A Knight in Shining Armor”) But what I love about her most is her gift for dialogue. Her characters are witty, funny, and very to the point. It makes for really great reading, and I wish someone would make one of these books a movie already!

My top picks for Jude are:
The “Velvet” Series – introduces the Montgomery family, very important to understanding later family stories
The “Taggart” Series – introduces the Taggarts, cousins to the Montgomeries, and just oh… so yummy!
“The Duchess”
“Mountain Laurel”

My next favorite author is Johanna Lindsey. I love her pretty much for the same reasons as I love Jude Deveraux, but she is more prolific. I can’t really say much more except demand that you start reading her! You can find a great site for her here:

My top picks are:
The “Malory-Anderson” Series, but specifically “The Magic of You”
“Defy Not the Heart”
“Warrior’s Woman”
“Man of My Dreams”

I love to read many different authors, but when it comes to romance novels, these are my top three. Other favorite authors include:
Louis L’amour, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb), Amanda Quick, Laura Kinsale, Rebecca Brandewyne, LaVyrle Spencer, Zane Grey, Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, Jeffrey Deaver, (just to name a few).

I also have a big interest in trying to get my oldest son to enjoy reading as much as I do, so I’m all into the Harry Potter series, and other popular children’s books out there now. Here are a few good ones: The “Redwall” Series by Brian Jacques, The “Chronicles of Narnia” and “Lord of the Rings” Books, the Lemony Snicket books, and well… I could just go on and on and on… But I think I will stop here for now!

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