Nov 11 2011 1:30pm

Where Are They Now? Authors I Wish Would Write More Books

Lessons in French by Laura KinsaleDespite 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:

Reclaiming Lord Rockleigh by Nancy ButlerNancy Butler
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).

Patricia Gaffney
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.

Return of the Stardust CowgirlMarsha Moyer
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.

Killer Charms by Marianne StillingsMarianne Stillings
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.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. KateRothwell
Yes. YES. Absolutely yes to all of your list. Also Emma Jensen--who also retired but who cares-- Myretta Robens, Barbara Metzger (but only the short trad romance), Diane Farr, RA MacAvoy, and I was putting Edith Layton on the list as usual, but damn, I forgot. RIP That Layton Woman, as she used to call herself.
2. Hellion
If you hear Marsha Moyer is writing another book, LET ME KNOW! *LOL* I miss her! I also loved Patricia Gaffney's books too. There was one I read by her--about twin brothers, and the heroine had been married to one twin (but he died) and now had to pose with the other twin...It was good. Really.

My person on this list is J.K. Rowling. Her last book came out in 2007. It's been a while. And you get the occasional rumor of her writing, but nothing. Granted, there is still the world of HP to keep us entertained, but it's not the same as reading one of her books. I would love, love, love to read something new by her.
3. Janga
Great additions, Kate. I hope that since Diane Farr is self-publishing her backlist now that we'll see new Regency-set romances from her soon. And wouldn't it be lovely to have a new one from Lady Layton? I'be been rereading some of her Christmas novellas recently. I'd love to see her children or someone make her books available as e-books. Nonnie St. George is another. She wrote two wonderfully funny books and disappeared.
4. Janga
Hellion, I promise to let you know if I hear anything about Moyer. I know you'd share my jubilation over a new book. And I'm convinced Gaffney could persuade me to read any kind of story. I love Wild at Heart, but if anyone else had written it, I'd have run away from a person trying to give me this book about a "lost man."

I'd love to have something new from Rowling too. A prequel, a sequel, something totally new--I'm not picky.
5. TanyaK
I completely agree with you about Lisa Kleypas. I really like her contemporaries but nothing can replace her historicals for me.
Anna Bowling
6. AnnaBowling
I still hold out hope that Laurie McBain will write something new, now that her backlist is being reissued. If LaVyrle Spencer or Maggie Osborne ever want to come out of retirement, they will be welcomed with open arms. Anita Mills, Flora Speer, it's been a while, I know, but please come home, all is forgiven.
7. Janga
Tanya, I know. I'm really looking forward to Rainshadow Road in February and the other Friday Harbor books, but even if they are all five-star reads for me, I'll still be impatient for a new historical.
8. Janga
Anna, thanks for reminding me of Anita Mills. It would be lovely to have another book from her. I may have to pull The Duke's Double for a reread.
9. HJ
Yes to Tracy Grant (soon to publish another Mélanie and Charles Fraser book, Imperial Scandal), and I too would like more Regencies from Nancy Butler.

I would also welcome more books from Nita Abrams (nothing since The Spy's Reward) and from Julia Ross aka Jean R Ewing (nothing since Clandestine).
10. Vi Dao
Whatever happened to Maura Seger/ Josie Litton? The Viking trilogy is one of my faves.
11. Janga
HJ, I'd love to read a new book from Julia Ross. But I've been longing for one from her and from Judith Ivory for so long that I've about given up hope of seeing one from either of them.

I just added Grant's Imperial Scandal to my 2012 calendar. Thanks for the info.
12. Janga
Vi, I've heard good things about Maura Seger/ Josie Litton, but I've never read one of her books. I'm not sure why, probably just a matter of so many books. I know hers is a name that crops up consistently in discussions like this one.
Carmen Pinzon
13. bungluna
Count me in on the waiting list for more Seidel. She writes such great characters!
14. willaful
I've been so thrilled that Gaffney is writing romance again, even if only in short story form... I hope we will be blessed with a novel someday.
15. Janga
Bungluna, Seidel is at the top of my list, and I'd be especially grateful if she wrote another romance--or maybe one of the romance/women's fiction hybrids. Maybe if the reissue does well, we'll see a new one soon.
16. Janga
Willaful, I agree. I'm thrilled to see anything new from Gaffney, but I am hungry for a new novel.
17. cate
Elizabeth Elliot ! She wrote three cracking romances...Had a teaser for the fourth in the back of her last book......and then the fourth book never appeared ...WAAAAHHHHH!!!
18. Piper
I'd like to see another from Leslie LaFoy!
19. SueLee
I'd love a new Laura London. I spent a weekend reading and re-reading The Windflower
20. SueZ
I would love a new book by Joan Bonander. I really enjoy her westerns. Check out her back list....
21. JenM
Does anyone know whatever happened to Laura London/Sharon & Tom Curtis? Their books are still the best romances I've ever read. I know Loveswept just re-issued Lightning that Lingers in ebook form, but I'd like to know who has the rights to the rest of their books. I'd practically kill to be able to get a copy of The Windflower in that format.
Myretta Robens
23. Myretta
I miss most of these authors, too. And especially Judith Ivory, @MFrampton. But thanks for this post, @Janga. Knowing how our tastes coincide, it's sent me on a hunt for Kathleen Gilles Seidel (although your favorite book seems to be only available to the wealthy) and Marsha Moyer.
24. Laura Russell
Where is Carla Kelly? (Another Signet Regencies author)
Kathy Davie
Personally, I think authors should get a special dispensation from God not to die... Or would that turn into Hell on Earth if they had to keep writing forever??
26. rdsangel127117
You can add Elizabeth Stuart to this list. The last book I read by her was Without Honor.
27. mary beth casper
I also wish Marsha Moyer would write something new.
I think my favorite of her books is and always will be: The Last of The Honky Tonk Angels. I think she wrote her heart out with that one. ThHe two following books did not impress me as much, but I did want to see what happened to Lucy, Ash and Denny.

If she does write again, we are eager to read her books!
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