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The Friday Five - Romance Authors Who Shaped The Way I Write

Today I wanted to take a look at some of the romance writers that inspired me to write romance. 'Course there are a slew of writers who inspired me, but these are special for couple of reasons. Oooo, especially the last one. Just wait.

#1) Rosanne Bittner - In The Shadow of the Mountains
This is the first romance novel I ever read. I was 12 and it was summertime and we were at a used bookstore. It has been many a year since I read it, but I always remember what the poor heroine had to go through to marry the man she loved. First, despite the fact that she looks blonde on the cover, she's part Native American. Second, she was forced to marry a man who was cruel to her while her little sister was perfectly happen to have relations with him. Third, this other guy she might possibly have loved got killed by an arrow and lastly, her step-mother wouldn't allow her to see the man she loved because he was Mexican. It was a story and a half. But it had an HEA. I don't know, but it made me want to write romances. There it is.

#2) Leigh Greenwood - Rose (Seven Brides #1)
This is the second author I recall reading. The thing that sticks out most in my mind was when the circulation clerk at the library accused me of stealing one of the books from this series. Turns out it was on the shelf the whole time. That was a terrible story. Sorry. I recently reread Fern, because it was on the freebie shelf at the library. I'd love to read them all again. I haven't read a lot of romances by men, but Mr. Greenwood is wonderful in his detail and his romancin'.

#3) Linda Lael Miller - The Women of Primrose Creek Series
To me, Linda Lael Miller brings to life characters I would love to meet. Her heroes are usually cowboyish men who uphold the laws of the land. It's been many, many years since I read the books centering around the women in this anthology, but these are the ones who got me started on her books. More recently it's the McKettricks and the Stone Creek books, since those are the newest ones out. Beautiful characters, vivid details. Just love everything about them. I'm never disappointed when I finish one of her books.

#4) Leigh Michaels - On Writing Romance
I read this in the summer of '09, right around the time I was getting back into writing. I was delighted to realize that I understood the basics of writing a romance just from reading them for many years. Leigh's tips and instructions really helped me out. Well, okay, not so much with the novel I was writing then, because I still haven't properly finished it, but it's helped with THL. Her great advice reminds you that it is entirely possible to plot, write and give a HEA to your characters. A must-read for beginners.

#5) Norah Hess - Caleb's Bride
Oh God, what can I say about this one? I picked it up at a $1 Shop in Branson, Mo (the live entertainment capital of the world, I believe they're calling it now. You know, the place where famous singers come when no one cares about them anymore. Andy Williams, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tony Orlando, Mickey Gilley to name a few.) I thought, yay, a book for a buck.

I got took. This is possibly one of the worst romance novels I've ever read. It was badly written and it was vulgar. There's no other way to say it. Vulgar. The heroine has to have sex with the hero (who's a class-A jerk and remains that way through the entire book) in front of a bunch of natives, then she teases him by pulling out her boob and playing with it at the breakfast table one morning while her male cousin is there. Male cousin makes lewd faces to enhance the scene. I finished it, but I swore to myself I would never write a book as bad as this one.

So, the question of the day is, what romance novel(s) hooked you into writing romances or hooked you on the writing thing in general? Favorites? Books you'd like to burn?


  1. When I was a teen--I think I was 14--I read one of my mom's HQ romances--can't remember the name or what happened, but that started my journey into reading romance novels.
    But the one that really hooked me was A Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey. Tristan was the hero. In my head he was soooo gorgeous.
    I quickly gobbled up all the Johanna Lindsey books I could find. She was my favorite author back then.


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