Despite the overflowing TBR bookshelf and a couple of dozen unread ebooks (all books I truly want to read), sometimes I’m just hungry for a new book from a particular author, one whose books I love, but who seems to have disappeared from bookstores—brick and mortar and cyber.
I celebrated when Laura Kinsale’s Lessons in French was published after four years without a new book from her and crossed my fingers when I heard a recent rumor that a new book is in the works. I was delighted when this past spring brought an ebook sequel, The Mask of Night, to Tracy Grant’s Mélanie and Charles Fraser books (originally published in 2002) and a prequel, Vienna Waltz, even if the characters are now called Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch and the author’s name on the cover is Teresa Grant. I’ve mourned a year without a new novel from Lisa Kleypas, and even the three Friday Harbor books scheduled for release in 2012, although I anticipate them eagerly, won’t satisfy my longing for a new Kleypas historical. Alas, Maggie Osborne has retired, but I haven’t given up on reading another Judith Ivory book in my lifetime.
But there are other authors I also miss, names that I don’t see mentioned in online discussions. It doesn’t matter how many wonderful books I read by other gifted writers, when I think about the joy I derive from books by these particular authors, I still feel like a child on Christmas morning surrounded by unwrapped treasures yet looking for the longed for gifts that aren’t there. If I were Samantha, I’d twitch my nose and make sure I had new books by the following authors under my Christmas tree on December 25:
Butler has been busy over the last few years writing Marvel’s graphic novel adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma, but her last Regency romance was The Kindness of a Rogue (November 2004). This two-time Rita winner (The Rake’s Retreat, 2000 and Prospero’s Daughter, 2004) wrote a dozen Regencies and several novellas between 1998 and 2004. I’d love to read another reformed rake story as good as Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh or a Christmas novella as delightful as “Christmas with Dora Davenport” (Regency Christmas Courtship).
I know Gaffney’s third novella in a Nora Roberts-headlined anthology was just released last week, but I want a full novel. Whatever Gaffney writes, I love it. I’m not picky. A new book could be a controversial, powerful, dark historical in the vein of To Have and To Hold (1995), a sexy romp similar to Crooked Hearts (1994), or another women’s fiction celebration of friendship like The Saving Graces (1999). It’s been over four years since her last novel, Mad Dash (August 2007). That’s way too long to be without a new Gaffney.
Moyer announced shortly after the release of The Return of the Stardust Cowgirl (February 2008) that she would be writing no more Lucy Hatch books. Since Return tied all the loose ends up and left the characters I’d followed through four books with the promise of happiness they would continue to work for, I accepted that if I wanted more of Lucy, Ash, Denny, and the rest, I’d have to be content with rereading. But I never dreamed that more than three and a half years later, I’d still be looking for the next book. Please, somebody tell me Moyer is still writing.
Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Seidel creates books I’d like to live in. Her characters are people I can imagine having dinner with, discussing books and movies and art. I’ve reread Till the Stars Fall (1994) more times than any book I haven’t taught and cherished it more after each reading. I’ve read Again (1994) almost as often, and I’ve read the other dozen books she’s written multiple times. It’s been about three and a half years since Keep Your Mouth Shut and Wear Beige (May 2008), and I really, really, really want a new Seidel book—if not for Christmas, then for Easter, the Fourth of July, or just any ordinary day between holidays.
I read too few romantic suspense authors to be missing one who writes such sexy, funny, unforgettable books with great dialogue and characters. I read Stillings’s account at All About Romance of her journey to publication with her debut, The Damsel in This Dress (August 2004), awaited that book eagerly, and never missed a Stillings book after that. Killer Charms (September 2008) was her last book, but according to her web site, as of April this year, she was “writing and submitting proposals to various editors and hop[ing] to hear good news very soon.” I’m hoping too, and if she doesn’t hear from one of those editors, maybe she’ll go the route of another favorite: Candice Hern, whose e-book The Social Climber is scheduled for release next month—Hern’s first new novel since In the Thrill of the Night (2006)—in plenty of time for Christmas.
Janga spent decades teaching literature and writing to groups ranging from twelve-year-olds to college students. She is currently a freelance writer, who sometimes writes about romance fiction, and an aspiring writer of contemporary romance, who sometimes thinks of writing an American historical romance. She can be found at her blog Just Janga and tweeting obscure bits about writers as @Janga724.