Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Old School is In Session

There's an author I'm crazed for named Marsha Canham. She wrote fab Romance for Nerds starting about 20 years ago, and does a righteous medieval. Her heroes and heroines are dashing, and her dialogue can be intense or funny.

And. She. Writes. Great. Sex.

I love her series based around the Robin Hood legend including "Through a Dark Mist," and "The Last Arrow." Her latest book, "My Forever Love," has a fallen Knight Templar hero. Sigh.

Who's Your Favorite Old School Author?
Judith McNaught circa "Whitney, My Love?" Kathleen Woodiwiss? LaVerle?
Canta, Bellas!
Encore! Nina Bruhns' new novel, "Royal Betrayal" is due in July. It's part of the Intimate Moments Capturing the Crown series. And look for Sully's story in an upcoming sequel to Nina's "Ghost of a Chance."


amy kennedy said...

I'm going with two:
Kathleen Woodiwiss--because she was my first.
Laura Black--who only wrote two books (I think)Glendraco and Ravenburn (which my friend and I would call Ravenbum--I have no idea why, but we thought it was hilarious)

The ones you were talking about sound great--Robin Hood legend and knights templars.

Oh and Michelle thank you for putting a link for the Nathan covers--I tried it myself from Stacy's comment and could not type the right sequence.

Thank goodness you're back.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

So glad I can provide such valuable services to the community at large, Ames.

Hey, you're the one who turned me on to Woodiwiss, remember? You also turned me on to that restaurant with the soup, salad, and PIE lunch special. Not sure which I love you for more.

I think any woman I've ever heard mention Woodiwiss' Wolf and the Dove has mentioned it in some type of Feminist context. Like, "I loved it, but had to hide it from chicks in my college NOW group..."

20+ years later and we're still apologizing for being Feminists and liking a nice Midieval warlord takes (literally) a virgin bride scene.

They just don't write forced intimacy like they used to...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Aagh. My spelling suks. That's medieval. I only ever remember how to spell it medaeval for some nerdy reason. Obviously, that's the wrong usage.

Stacy~ said...

I adore Judith McNaught's historicals, as well as Johanna Lindsey and Jude Deveraux. Grew up on all 3 authors' books. No matter how many times I read them (I'm a huge re-reader of faves) I still get a kick out of them.

Sorry about the links Amy - I just copied & pasted.

amy kennedy said...

Stacy, why are you apologizing for my ineptituted? I'm just lazy.

Before my first sweeping romance I read all gothic--Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Joan (Jane?) Aiken Hodge.

I may have told you about Wolf and the Dove, you've only turned me on to a gajillion more--so there. And Thank you.

amy kennedy said...

Stacy--I had no idea, you have such a cool blog--I looked around a bit, but I'll go back later--wow.

Anonymous said...

I tried reading a Marsha Canham a couple of years and wasn't able to get through it. I can't remember the name of it right now but it just may have been that particular book. She's been recommended to me many times over. Is there one book anyone would recommend of her?

My favorite old school authors would be Jude Deveraux and Julie Garwood. I started reading romance with each of them, can't remember which one I picked up first, at the age of 11. And I was hooked from there, devoured everything I could get my hands on.

Anonymous said...

Oh, The Last Arrow! I absolutely adore that book. Yeah, he's bad; yeah, she's mouthy; yeah, he almost does her up against the door the first time he meets her; and yeah, they squabble and argue a lot. I still love it. Almost any Robin Hood story will get me, but this is possibly my favorite.

Judith McNaught was one of my early favorites, although when I go back and read them now, it ain't quite the same. Not sure why-- I still like them-- but not with the same rapturous delight I once did.

Julie Garwood was one of the very first romance authors I read, but it's been years. I still remember my husband teasing me about these new books I was reading. I might have to go find some of those Garwood medievals and re-read them, now that you bring it up, Michelle...

Kristi Cook said...

Definitely Judith McNaught!! I stayed up all night reading her historicals back when I was in college. I just bought all the reissues, and loved them just as much this time around, especially Whitney, My Love and Kingdom of Dreams.

And I don't know if they'd be considered quite 'old school' but I love Jill Barnett's old historicals, too.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

[Add the sound of me shrieking out loud here.] Caroline! You are so dead-on with that scene in the beginning. Cripers, I can actually feel her imagery of when he's pressed up against her in that hot, steamy room. And then he keeps the cloth from her wimple? Oh! It's dreadfully romantic. That whole series KILLS me, and is probably an example of books that I can actually remember the heroines from cause they're so cool and strong, but not in a "let's add modern sensibility to the past" way.

I've never found many people who actually read Marsha through, cause some of her stuff is tough, like you said, Valeen. I'm thinkin the Blood of Roses/Culloden series. But I am an animal for lots of backstory, which is why I like this week's RBtheBook, "Surrender." (NOT because it has tons of backstory)but because I learned some of the Surrender history from reading Marsha. If it weren't for Marsha,Marsha, Marsha I'd not know more about Culloden than most college history professors. (I exaggerate.) God, I wish blogger had spellcheck.

HEY EVERYBODY: Click on Caroline's name.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, Kristina: Girl after my heart. Whitney was delicious and the book most women recommend when I hound them in a bookstore aisle to tell me their fave of all time. Kingdom of Dreams? LOVE it!

I'm such a sucker for a historical.

I guess when I talk ab out old school, I mean either the sweeping sagas like Woodiwiss and McNaught, etc. from back in the day; when consumers were looking for quantity reads, I guess. Also, the books gave backstory that was engaging to readers of historicals at that time.

It's so cool to get to talk about my favorite kind of romance with women like you and Caroline who actually write it, and write it so well...

CLICK ON Christina's name, Bellas...

YIKERS! My deadline's at 10am. It's 9:13. I'm still not done. You do the math.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

That's Kristina with a K. Mi scusi.

Tara Marie said...

I cut my romance reading teeth on Kathleen Woodwiss, way back in high school, so she's is must on any old school list.

Lavyrle Spencer's Years is still one of my all time favorite books, reread it over the weekend.

I love Marsha Canham's writing style, an all time favorite, and I wish she would come out of retirement.

I reread Whitney, My Love last year and I've moved on from Clay and Whitney.

I also have fond memories of:

Catherine Coulter
Brenda Joyce
Johanna Lindsey
Megan McKinney
Mary Jo Putney
Jude Deveraux

but am not sure I would want to reread their oldies, they may not be goodies anymore.

amy kennedy said...

It's funny how sometimes it's so much better just remembering how good it was.

Amanda said...

I'll have to go with LaVyrle too. I read and loved McNaught and Woodiwiss way back when, but I actually REMEMBER the Lavyrle Spencers. SEPARATE BEDS or MORNING GLORY anyone?

Like Stacy and Tara Marie, I don't want to revisit all those early books, though. Am afraid I wouldn't like them as much.

On the book recommendation front,(and a little off the subject) I read THE LILY BRAND by Sandra Schwab yesterday (she sometimes posts on Squawk Radio) and it was wonderful. Reminded me of Julia Ross. I sent her an email to tell her how much I liked it, then found her blog so I did a little post on there, but now I feel like a stalker. I'm not a stalker of course, but this seems like a variation on the middle of the night "I hope she didn't take that blog comment the wrong way" phenomenon...Any thoughts?

Amanda said...

Uh, Michelle, just read your post of yesterday in which YOU feel like a stalker for doing your job! What is it with us fangirls? Have we seen one too many comedy sketches about Trekkies?

Vivi Anna said...

Um, old school for me is Nora Roberts...

That's who I cut my romance baby teeth on when I was 21.

Monica Burns said...

WEll, Michelle,

I'd have to say Woodiwiss. I still remember sitting at the lunch room table with a group of us reading it out loud softly so no one around us knew what we were reading. LOL Holding it under the table. It was the Flame and the Flower for me. TOTALLY hot!!

I also have to say I just loved Jane Aiken Hodge's books. They're romance, but not hot. They're great characterizations with romantic suspense and have a gothic overtones. Marry in Haste is my favorite of all of hers.


Monica Burns said...

Hey, I meant to ask Michelle, did you get a tan??


Stacy~ said...

Drat! I hate not being able to access this blog while at work - I miss out on all the fun!

All right Amy, I'm taking back my apology. I know how being lazy gets me into trouble too. And thank you! I'm glad you like the blog, but I can't take full credit. I'm trying to keep it updated with fun stuff but I am so techy challenged. I will be running a contest in the next couple of days, so stay tuned ;)

I still re-read McNaught and yes, LaVyrle Spencer. My favorite is "Vows". But Coulter I haven't read in years. I forgot to mention Julie Garwood. I love her historicals.

I think it would be hard now to read some of these older books for the first time. I know a few people who have a problem with "Whitney, My Love", and I just love that book, even now. It was written over 20 years ago, so yes, it's not p.c. But there is such intense passion and emotion in JM's stories that not a lot of authors can come close to, so those books will always be keepers.

Manda, I feel a bit relieved that I'm not the only one who feels like I'm coming across as a stalker. Or maybe just a big dork LOL.

And sadly I will admit to never having read Woodiswiss. What is the name of that book: Flame & the Flower? It's like an all-time classic and I've never read it. Would it ruin the mystique if I read it now....

amy kennedy said...

Stacy, my God woman--run out now and get one or all of these:

The Wolf and the Dove (medieval--or medeaval as Michelle would say--I'm joking LOL)

The Flame and the Flower (1800s I think)

Ashes in the Wind (civil war)

Try one from the library, then you won't hate me if you hate it--which you won't.

Amanda said...

Whew! Thanks, Stacy! Glad I'm not the only one. I'm unclear on the defining line between dorkdom and stalkerdom, hopefully we err on the side of dorkdom, though I prefer to think of it as insightful admiration:)

Re: Woodiwiss, I don't think I've read her since about the eighth grade so I'm not sure how she'd hold up over time.

Monica, I used to LOVE Jane Aiken Hodge. I was looking at one of her books on my shelf today thinking about how excited I used to get when she'd come out with a new book.

Stacy~ said...

Thanx Amy & Manda - I might pick one of KW's up just cuz they ARE classics, but I will keep the expectation level on "low", just to be safe.

"Insightful admiration"? Manda, I like that! Makes us sound like the intellectual, independent women with impeccable taste that we are LOL.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yes, Monica! I did get a little tan, which, I think, always helps the cause?

Stace: glad you brought up the whole PC thing. Ten years ago I would have been indignant about the Feminist issues around Woodiwiss' Wolf/Dove rape scene. I just can't work up the ire anymore since I'm looking at it clinically.

That said, rape fantasy doesn't work for me, but it sure does for some. I'm just glad we don't have to accept that construct as the only one in romance any more. I also would be mortified if my daughter were reading it and I didn't get to have a discussion about the context of the time period and the importance of owning one's body in real life.

Yikes. Another one of my favorite subjects. Sorry.

You know, I gotta say I preferred W/D to Fl/Flowr. But I love Medievals. I think I spelled it right that time.

Manda: do we need to add another acronym to our RBtheBlog lexicon? IA (insightful imagination)? You get full IP (intellectual property) rights, of course! IA does make us sound like some classy chicks, though, donnit?

Everybody who brought it up? I love LaVyrle Spencer's "Years." She really gets men. And is Vows the one woman two husbands one? No, not a m/f/m, you creeps. She thought her husband died at sea, and so remarried. I love the flashbacks to when she and her hsb were young.

I've gotta go write my CosmoChix blog. I'm such a slacker.

Stacy~ said...

I think you're thinking of "Twice Loved". "Vows" is with Tom & Emily. Emily becomes engaged to a man she's known since childhood. He's totally in love with her, but she only thinks of him as a friend. Then she meets Tom, and her world is never the same....

Anonymous said...

Hi there-I hope it's alright to leave this message. I read your blog often and I saw that you were discussing fallen Knight Templar-I a member of the sweet taboo web group and one of the authors who posts on there has written a wonderful story about a Templar. Its called SPY and its by a lady called Josephine Dwaah Fay. I'm not sure exactly who she is but the story is posted on her blog. Not only is it one of the most romantic and unusual stories I have read it also has the most gorgeous sex scenes you could want. Her hero Simon Mason works for a secret British Intelligenc Organisation called THe Brotherhood, they are what happened to the original Templar Order..if you like great sex, sensual sex then this ladys work is for you.

Thanks Sherillyn Alisa Alan