Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fascinating “Classic” Women! AND a Giveaway!

by Danielle Jackson

Many of you may know this, but we have a program in place called Casablanca Classics, bringing back into print the “old school” romances of the 80s and 90s (sometimes older than that), at a great price point—trade paperbacks for $9.99! These wonderful authors are some of the pioneers of the romance genre, broke new ground, and are favorites of many romance readers! I have been reading them like crazy this year! Below is info on each author, along with the Casablanca Classics now back in print.

Laurie McBain
If there’s one thing Laurie McBain knows how to do, she knows how to make you feel for her characters! I am always intrigued by the complexity she brings to both the hero and heroine in her books.

Laurie McBain became a publishing phenomenon at age twenty-six with her first historical romance. She wrote seven romance novels during the 1970s and 80s, all of which were bestsellers, selling over 11 million copies. She is a winner of the Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance Author. Laurie’s books have been out of print for over 5 years.
Devil’s Desire
Moonstruck Madness

Jennifer Blake
Sultry—that what I think when I read Jennifer Blake, and not just because some of her books take place in New Orleans! Her characters have passion and attraction, and you can literally feel the heat :)

Since publishing her first book at age twenty-seven, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over sixty historical and contemporary romances. She brings the seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her seventh-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.
Royal Seduction
Fierce Eden

Midnight Waltz

Jeanette Baker
So far, the books I’ve read by Jeanette Baker have been time-travel romances, and they are AWESOME. Her heroines really discover who they are, and those special traits the heroes fall in love with are only magnified by them traveling back in time, outside of their comfortrt zones.

Award-winning author of fifteen novels, including the RITA Award winning Nell, Jeanette Baker has been hailed by Publisher's Weekly as a forceful writer whose novels are “irresistible reading.” Jeanette lives in California during the winter months where she teaches literature and writing, and in County Kerry, Ireland during the summer.

Jan Cox Speas
I read My Love, My Enemy over a weekend and was totally wrapped up in it! It originally came out in 1961, and it is a novel that has stood the test of time. I think it appeals to both romance and historical fiction readers!

Bestselling author Jan Cox Speas began her writing career in her early twenties and between 1954 and 1960 published three historical romances that became runaway bestsellers and established her as a cult favorite and breakout romance author. She also taught English and Creative Writing at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. By 1978 there were 1 million copies of her books in print. She lived in Raleigh, North Carolina.
My Love, My Enemy

Patricia Rice
Patricia Rice’s Magic Series is one that I had heard of before I was even an avid romance reader. I was totally consumed by the storyline of thee first book—two families, one magical and the other completely scientific… of course the hero and heroine are polar opposites in their logic and being, but it makes for a great, passionate story!

Former CPA Patricia Rice is the author of over thirty bestselling romances with over 5 million copies sold. Winner of the 2002 RT Book Reviews Book of the Year, and the RITA awards, she is a member of RWA, the Authors Guild, and Novelists, Inc. She lives with her husband in St. Louis, Missouri. (Insider Info—we have a BRAND NEW book coming from Patricia Rice in 2012!)
Merely Magic

Roberta Gellis
If you are looking for a medieval romance, this is IT. I think medieval romance is one of those quiet subgenres that never quite goes away, and has a steady readership, and I think Roberta Gellis’ book are why! They have an epic feel, both the hero and heroine are headstrong (in their own ways) and the love story is goooooood :)

Roberta Gellis has written over 25 romances with over 1 million copies sold. Publishers Weekly called her a master of the medieval historical. Her many awards include: The Silver and Gold Medal Porgy, the Golden Certificate and Golden Pen, and the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Tapestry of Dreams

Rosemary Rogers
This was one of the first Casablanca Classics (we re-released it before we even had this new line in place!), and I was blown away! So much happens—the book goes from India to England to the US—the heroine goes through A LOT (and so does the hero) and the ending is completely satisfying.

New York Times bestselling author Rosemary Rogers has been called the "reigning queen of romance," "the princess of passion," and "the bestselling novelist in America," with over 60 million copies of her books sold. She has written twenty-four bestselling romances, 19 of which have been New York Times bestsellers. The Wildest Heart is her #1 bestseller, with 3 million copies sold. She was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and currently lives in California.
The Wildest Heart

GIVEAWAY: I have an awesome Casablanca Classics Prize Pack: 5 copies of different books to give you an idea of our fun program. Just leave answer to one the following questions in the comments (please be sure to leave an email address; US and Canadian addresses only): What do you think about the "evolution" of romance novels? Are there any romance authors you'd love to see back in print? The winner will be chosen and contacted tomorrow morning! Good luck!


  1. I love it, love it, love it : ) My favorite book is "Ashes in the Wind" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I read it when it first came out in 1979, and when I reread it thirty years later, I loved it even more! I adore the great "door-stopper" romances of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. When I read those books, they really take me away to another place in time, and they bring back a lot of memories about why I love romance reads. I regularly alternate reading current titles and earlier releases. A great story will always be a great story, whether it's "Old School" or "Today's Rule" : )

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  2. My all time fave author is Judith Ivory, whom you no longer see on the shelves. That gal can WRITE. And because I grew up on those classics, I love 'em. Headhopping, bodice-ripping, swashbuckling.... My favorite line, "D*amn you precious virgins!" about says it all for the vintage heroes.
    They were a wonderful place to start and my, how romance has grown.

  3. Romance fiction has been through a lot of changes since The Flame and The Flower debuted, and the current resurgence of interest in the classics of the genre couldn't delight me more. Bring on the big, sweeping sagas that span years and continents and bad things, even very bad things, can happen to our hero and heroine on their way to happily ever after.

    I would love to see Valerie Sherwood or Aola Vandergriff's books back in print.

  4. These sound great, Danielle! As a relative newcomer to the genre (I read my first romance in 2000) I missed all these! I have a lot to catch up on--thank God!

  5. Woodiwiss, Rogers, Gellis, Blake, and Lindsey were the base of my romance addiction from the later 70's. A writer I discovered later and have really enjoyed and would like to see on the shelves is Marsha Canham. Happy reading!

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  7. I'll admit that I haven't read any of these authors only because I only got back into reading for fun and reading romances in the last two- three years. The 80's, 90's and even a part of the last decade were either school years or a period when I rally didn't read. I couldn't tell you a lot about the evolution of romance novels but I know that heroines in today's historical novels are more assertive than they were in the past. I think it's great that a program like Casablanca Classics is republishing these works- I hate to see any book go out of print. I've heard of Patricia Rice and Rosemary Rogers but the other ladies would be new to me:)


  8. I had no idea about Casablanca Classics. What a great idea to bring back timeless favorites.

    I agree with Virgina C. A great story will always be great. I think the evolution of romances is natural. I identify more with heroines in newer releases but the old school heroes still are still very attractive to me.

    Thanks for the great giveaway! I would love to try some of the Casablanca Classics!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  9. Sounds like a great idea - especially for those of the younger generation. I would go back to my first gothic romances - Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart.

  10. I love the evolution of todays romance novels. You can get almost anything in romance: shifters, vamps, historical, contemporary, mystery. I love the variety. Romance has changed over the years and I am so happy to be a reader and enjoys all the flavors of my romance reads today.
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  11. Nora Roberts holds the candle for my romance author. She has written a little bit of everything over the years and is perfect to read again and again.
    I love the evolution of romance over the years. There is almost everything in romance from historicals to vampires. Our romantic heroines can be strong or delicate flowers. Our hero's can be rakes or werewolves. I love all of the books coming out now, they have so much to offer readers.

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  12. Hi Virginia-Kathleen E.Woodiwiss is a name I've heard come up in many a romance discussion. I have to admit I've never read her, but while I'm on my Classics Kick, I'll add her to my list!

    Grace-I think my mom has a few Judith Ivory books on her shelves. I'll have to check her out!

    Anna-I love a big sweeping saga, too! Thanks for stopping by.

    Robin-I'm a romance newbie, too! I dabbled from time to time in high school, but it wasn't until I became a publicist at Sourcebooks that I really started read romance on a regular basis, and I'm so glad I have :)

    Hi Debbie-I haven't read anything by Marsha Canham, but judging from your reading taste, I will give her a try!

    Maria-I hope you will give these authors a try. It took me a few chapters to get used to the different style, but it's well worth the reading!

    Stacie-I'm glad I was able to bring something new to you. Thank you for the comment!

    Hi CatsLady-Gothic Romance is definitely something I'm looking to get into. I'll check out your suggestions!

    Teril-I love the variety of romances, too :) Thank you for stopping by the blog today!

    Hi Kaya-There's no one quite like Nora. Hers are among my early romances as well!

  13. There are a few of Lisa Kleypas' books that I wish to be back in print like Forever My Love.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  14. My favorite book of all time has been Gone With the Wind, Margarte Mitchell. But there is a lot of authors I would love to read again. Sometime the older books were better. I would love to see some of Kathleen Woodiwiss books back out in print. Some of the older books of Constance O'Banyon like her Rebel Temptress was a great read. Rosemary Rogars is another great author.


  15. The evolution of romance writing? There have been changes I suppose. But really, the best parts are the same. Shocking, hot sex, sweet love, and a happy ending. There are differences of course. But really, the best stuff is still there. Thank goodness!!

  16. Hi Jane-love Lisa Kleypas! Thanks for the comment :)

    Virginia-you know, I've never read Gone with the Wind!

    KrazyMama-you are right, most of the staples of romance haven't changed. Thanks for pointing that out.

  17. Oh, the list is long, long for my romance reading days and very varied since for years I read four to seven books a week. LaVryle Spencer comes to mind, along with Jude and Nora and Catherine Cookson, and...
    Love the post and the remembrance of those classic romance authors!

  18. I am loving the authors you are republishing. I started reading romance with McBain, Woodiwiss and Heyer.

    One author I would like to have new copies of is Justine Davis writing as Justine Dare. The books are The SkyPirate and Lord of the Storm. Also Marilyn Campbell's Futuristics such as Stardust Dreams. My old copies are barely hanging on!

    lb_tb at yahoo dot com

  19. My favorite romance author of yesteryear is Georgette Heyer, which Sourcebooks has already been kind enough to publish for me. I am very much enjoying them!

  20. Thank you to everyone who commented! There are some great suggestions for authors for our Casablanca Classics line to look into :)

    Congrats to Virgina C., the winner of our prize pack! I'll be emailing you today.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  21. Ooobie Doobie! Thank you : ) Old School Baby, Yeah That's Me To A T!!!

  22. What a cool group of authors. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Too late for the give a way, but thank you for sharing all these great authors. My TBR pile is growing!