Before I left work for my summer vacation, I was lurking on a different website (OK, it was ALL ABOUT ROMANCE) and got sucked into their message board discussion about LITTLE WOMEN. I was completely shocked to discover that hardly anyone loves this book as much as i do. While I don't think of it as a romance (it's a children's book plain and simple), it's one of those books that certainly lead me to the genre. As for the preachy bits, I just skipped them and got to the good stuff.

So I started going through my bookshelves and thinking about the books that got me here. There was the obvious ones like JANE EYRE and anything by Georgette Heyer. There was, conspicuous by her absence, Jane Austen, who I've never been able to get through and now realize I never will. But there were some others...

One is this absolutely wild book called JANE-EMILY. Whenever I mention this book to fellow editors, I'm always shocked because so many of them love this story and remember it in vivid detail. Believe it or not, Harper Perennial is reissuing it soon.

I also loved books by authors who are probably forgotten today: Jane Aiken Hodge, Dorothy Eden, and Phyllis A Whitney. And, of course, the hopefully unforgotten Victoria Holt, who taught me not to trust blonde men. I'll be going through my late mom's book collection soon, and I have a feeling I'm going to find a gold mine of these authors.

What authors (perhaps forgotten) influenced you? Does anyone else remember JANE-EMILY? It's tame...yet really spooky.

On a different summer reading note, I've recently finished PEYTON PLACE. If you haven't read it, it's worth it. I thought it was as scandalous as its reputation...and trust me, it ain't nothing like the movie!

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6 Comments:

Blogger Mary Castillo said:

Madeleine Brent is my all-time favorite. When I got a job that actually paid my bills, I went on Alibris and bought a first edition of "Moonrakers Bride." It's a savory Gothic with a plucky heroine and a mysterious rake who may or may not be trying to kill her.

Landower Legacy is my favorite Victoria Holt. I was stunned with the heroine found out that she was the daughter of her mother's lover ... delicious!

And then my all time fav, Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor. Amber is the only heroine who can equal Scarlet!

I'll keep my eyes open for Jane-Emily.

1:44 PM  

Anonymous ShanaGalen said:

I guess I'm weird. I read Stephen King and Gone With the Wind when I was young. I seemed to have skipped over YA literature all together. I remember a Trixie Belden story here and there. Maybe a Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume book, but I didn't read Little Women or Tom Sawyer or any of the classic children's books until I was in college.

3:00 PM  

Blogger Santa said:

Victoria Holt's books were the first romances I ever read. I can't really pick a favorite but she led me to Phyllis A. Whitney! Gothic have always been dear to me and although it's not her best work 'Northenger Abbey' is one of my favorite Jane Austin books!

I've never read Jane-Emily but will see if my library has it. They seem to have everything else!

11:33 PM  

Blogger Camilla said:

OOOH Victoria Holt and Madeline Brent! They were my first forays into the "adult" section of the library(for some odd reason, until I was 18--not that long ago *G*--I thought the librarians would yell at me if I set foot outside of the children's section and later, the YA section. LOL But I only hope to write as well as those two! Whenever I get burnt out by modern romances, they'll always be my comfort reads.

12:19 AM  

Blogger LuciaMacro said:

I liked Northanger Abbey, too! And Moonraker's Bride. It's interesting how so many of us at different ages have the same shared reading history.

3:17 PM  

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