Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm baffled - truly baffled

Other words which mean the same thing

  • confused
  • mystified
  • perplexed
  • puzzled
  • bewildered

All of those apply. Once upon a time, back in July of 2005 a book came out - a rather controversial book of the time; Passion by Lisa Valdez. I read it, I enjoyed it, Ron, without realizing I'd read it, reaped the benefits from it. But while I enjoyed it, there were parts that certainly made me go ouch and want to close my legs!!! Big time. Because of big size, big time big size. There was also a scene at the end that squicked a lot of readers out at the time. There was to be a sequel to the book and if it had come out not long after, I probably would have purchased it, hoping I didn't think OUCH during the second book.

But time passed and we readers kept hearing that due to one reason or another, the next book was delayed. Eventually, I moved on from that author and probably would have forgotten about her altogether, being the fickle type I can be. But her name kept popping up when other readers wondered when her next book was coming out - one year after Passion, two years after, three years after, four years after. The longer it took, the more confused I became as to the - well - passion that some readers had for her next book. Well, you've probably heard by now that there is finally a release date set - either at Dear Author or All About Romance. I've made my thoughts known at both places so no need to repeat them here again.

Being a long time romance reader, I remember when Loretta Chase took an extended break from writing. The previous book I read by her, The Last Hellion was published in 1998 and it wasn't until 2004 that her next book, Miss Wonderful came out. While I checked the shelves monthly for a while, hoping for her next book, gradually I got over looking and found other authors to replace her. And THIS was the author who wrote possibly one of the premier romance books in recent history, Lord of Scoundrels. I had also read other excellent books by her, Lion's Daughter and Captives of the Night. So for me, she had a track record.

Another author who just disappeared was Elizabeth Elliot. And she wrote some fine books too, The Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel. Now while her name kept popping up in the 'whatever happened to' questions, there still didn't seem to be the fervor, associated with Lisa Valdez. And it seemed Ms. Elliott definitely had a third story to tell. Anyone who has read The Warlord and Betrothed knows what I'm talking about. Word is though that Ms. Elliott will be coming out with the third book in this trilogy soon. Now this one I'm excited about!

But I still can't figure it out why there is this much buzz on the Valdez book as opposed to other authors who have gone missing. She just wrote the one book so it's not like she had a long track record. Is it because during the lull in Ms. Chase' books, the internet was fairly new and we didn't have the sites and message boards etc that we do now? I think that is a big part of the reason. I have noticed that Lord of Scoundrels in particular is still being read and enjoyed by newer romance fans. So if she were to 'disappear' again, would she be missed even more than Ms. Valdez?

Did Elizabeth Elliott's books come out before this 'younger' generation of romance readers meaning that many haven't read her books and therefore don't know what they are missing?

If you are one of those who has waited so long for Patience, what has kept you going? What is it about this book that was so good? I liked it but not as much as some it seems. Or are you like me - you've moved on in the past five years? If you are one of those who has waited the entire five years, do you think the anticipation might be a bit too high?

Are there any other authors who went 'missing' whose books that you are waiting for more?


Armenia said...

Robin Schone, I know Cry For Passion released in March 2009, but I don't know if she's back to writing yet. And Julia Ross, since 2006.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Judith Ivory? I know she had a series coming out or something, but I haven't heard anything in years.I was really anticipating it.

meljean brook said...

Katherine Kingsley. I loved her books, but I hear she's not writing at all anymore.

I enjoyed Passion and I'm looking forward to Patience. I can't say that I've been 'waiting' for it, though, in the sense that I've been longing for it or have put aside other books thinking, "Oh, if only I had Patience!"

I think that the drama surrounding the delay has probably made the 'waiting' seem more obvious than other missing author's books. Take Laura Kinsale, for example -- everyone was looking forward to her next book, whenever that would be, but that anticipation became worse when everyone KNEW that she had a manuscript finished, but no word of a publisher or release date.

If we knew that any of the above authors had manuscripts that just didn't sell or weren't being published (or whose publication date was pushed back again and again, with plenty of drama surrounding it) I imagine similar posts would pop up all over the place.

The internets just love the drama :-D

meljean brook said...

Anon -- my understanding is that health problems have prevented Judith Ivory from writing (a bad back?) AAR had an update about this during the summer -- I think Sandy talked to Ivory's agent, and the word was that no new books were coming out in the near future.

meljean brook said...

Er, I should add -- Kinsale has that proven track record, so I'm not comparing her books to Valdez's debut (which had plenty of people talking, but we have no idea if Patience will live up to the first book, unlike Kinsale, who is pretty much a sure thing.) I just mean that the information regarding finished manuscripts, missed deadlines, and who does/doesn't have contracts is out on the webs, and so there is a lot more discussion surrounding it.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, Kristie. I had not realized Chase took 6 years off, and the other authors I had never heard of.

But of course, I have heard of Valdez. I think the reason is not great writing -- I have read an excerpt on the author's web page -- but the sex, the amount and unusual nature of it. No, I havent; read this book, but I almost feel like I have since so much time has been devoted to discussing the sex in this book.

There are all different ways for an author to make her mark, I guess.

One problem with the long wait, it seems to be, is the big buildup. Unless Valdez knocks it out of the park, this is bound to be a disappointment for many due to the heightened expectations.

PS. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

pattepoilue said...

I haven't read any of these books but i received Lord of Scoundrels not long ago and i can't wait to read it. It's been recommended to me by many many people.

I heard about the release of Patience but i didn't know there was a previous book. You got me all curious about Passion now. There must be something to this book if people kept waiting for a sequel.

Bev(QB) said...

I agree with Meljean, Kristie, it was all the drama Valdez and her cronies created (and more than one missed publication date) that has the upcoming release (assuming it actually happens this time) attracting so much attention. I haven't read that first one, I *think* it might be buried somewhere around here though.

I've often wondered what happened to Donna Boyd. She released a few books in a werewolf series (The Passion, The Promise) and then nothing else.

Irene Maillol wrote Across the Sea and nothing else. That book, while not perfect, was an amazing epic (still available at Fictionwise) and I emailed her to find out what else she had written. Turns out that it was her first and only book. What a shame because she had such promise. In fact, Karen Scott had a post a while back on One Hit Wonders, and when I mentioned Maillol, others chimed in about her too. One author (I forget who) even referred to her as a writing phenom!

Kati said...

I'm with you, Kristie. I read and quite enjoyed Passion, although the whole cervix thing did make me wince, LOL! But I'm not *waiting* per se for Patience. I'll buy it, I'm sure. But I'm not dying to read it, and frankly, I don't really care what circumstances came about to have Valdez take so long to write this next book. Now, if only Judith McNaught wrote faster, that would make me happy!

As to writers who went away, no surprise, I *STILL* mourn the fact that Tom and Sharon Curtis are no longer writing. I just want ONE more book from them. Cat's book. And then they can be done. LOL!

Preeti said...

The versatile Donna Boyd writes in other genres as Donna Ball at the moment.

Her werewolf books were amazing, weren't they? She would have rocked the market today. The stanadalone ones of course weren't as much 'romance' as her Rebecca Flanders ones (loved!)

I'd emailed her back in January 2009 after re-reading THE PASSION (pubbed 1998) and her response was this, for what it's worth, Bev:

"Thank you so much for writing! It has been a long journey between books and I do appreciate my loyal readers. I am working on a third book now, but please understand it's not up to the author when (or if!) our books will be published."

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Thank you Kristie, exactly what I was thinking.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why such a big buzz on Patience (the irony with the title really cracks me up). Again Passion was an okay read, but it was historical fluff plain and simple with some hot purple prose like sex scenes.

It's not like Valdez was writing her opus here and for the life of me, and yes it may sound cruel, how she still has an agent and Berkley didn't drop her when she didn't deliver the book.

I think the only reason Patience is being released because of the buzz and the major desire to read it. I think after this, that's it for Valdez, because what took her 5 years to write a 300, give or take historic love fest?

Bev(QB) said...

Preeti, a *maybe* third book? WOOT! Those books were fascinating and so different from anything else.

I agree that they'd be a hit if they were released today. Because of the breathtaking sensuality without graphic sex, I think they'd be a sort of "bridge" book between the teen angst of the current YA paranormals and the more graphic sex of most of the PNRs.

Who knows, maybe if she does release that third book, the first two will be re-released in anticipation of it. In fact, I'm feelin' the need to dig them out from somewhere around here and re-read them just in case. Actually, I better dig them out anyway because in my memory there WAS a third book. However, it wouldn't be the 1st (or even the 101st) time my memory mixed up books. :-(

Jill Sorenson said...

I checked on Amazon, and Passion has over 100 reviews. That book makes people react! I imagine it sold well, also. A publisher won't drop an author who creates this kind of stir.

Maybe she turned in the book on time, and it needed five rewrites (nightmare!). Maybe she has health issues, or a family member with health issues. Who knows?

I've struggled with some projects, and have had release dates put back, so I hesitate to jump to conclusions.

I haven't even read Passion, and I'm excited about Patience! :)

Preeti said...

Bev, yeah, I'm wondering as well how the series would need to be marketed if a third book were to be released. She wrote a book called THE ALCHEMIST under the Donna Boyd name that I never read. Don't think it was part of the series, though. And even though I re-read THE PASSION in January, I've already re-forgotten it, too. :-)

Lynn Spencer said...

For me, a lot of my "long losts" aren't authors who no longer write, but simply no longer write romance. I miss big, meaty historicals from the likes of Patricia Gaffney, Susan Wiggs and Barbara Samuel (though Samuel's Ruth Wind contemporaries make good reading).

I am so thrilled Laura Kinsale is back with a new release and I'm also excited to hear that Elizabeth Elliott has a new book in the works, though. I've only just now discovered Elliott's old releases because as KristieJ mentioned, they did come out a little before my time. I read Harlequin Historials and otherwise dipped my toes in the romance waters, but the serious romance reading habit didn't hit until I was out of law school.

Wendy said...

As previous commenters have already mentioned - I suspect it has more to do with the drama surrounding the umpteen delays - most of which involved writer's block and "mean girls" if my memory serves. Also, this whole thing sort of exploded, just as blogs really gained some traction. No blogs? Then it probably would have just garnered a mention every now and then on the AAR and RT boards....and that's it.

I doubt I'll buy and read Patience - unless readers I "trust" read it first and lurve it. I *liked* Passion, but felt the melodrama was slathered on pretty thick. And I'm not much for melodrama. I'd have to check my records, but I think I gave it a B.

Another factor I think that may be feeding into the buzz, I suspect, is that Passion was packaged as a regular-looking historical romance. Readers who normally wouldn't have touched erotic-romance with a ten foot pole (heh) got blind-sided a bit - I think - and some of them LOVED it, and some of them HATED it. I suspect Valdez maybe responsible for turning more than one reader on (heh) to the erotic romance sub genre.

It's a theory anyway.

Oh, and my missing in action author? Kathleen Eschenburg. She wrote 2 books for Harper/Avon - then vanished. She did have breast cancer, and at this point, I'm just hoping she's healthy and well.

orannia said...

If my library purchases Patience then I might read it. I'm with you all on the 'ouch' factor :)

A MIA author...well, sort of MIA because she is releasing other books, just not the one I want...is Melanie Rawn. She has writte the first two books in the Exiles (fantasy) trilogy - the second was released 12 years ago - and I'm still hoping for the third (I just want all the loose plot ends [and there are many] tied up). I know she has had healthy issues, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get the third book...or a definitive answer. That's really all I want - to know if the book is coming or not.

My verification word is supple...as in be flexible :)

Tumperkin said...

I think it might be something to do with the preview of Patience that was at the end of Passion. I was another not-blown-away-by-Passion reader but I do distinctly remember reading that preview and thinking Oho!

Kristie (J) said...

Meljean: Laura Kinsale *smacking my head I didn't think of her!* How long has it been since For My Lady's Heart came out? Yet there hasn't been the same kind of - well - angst for lack of a better word - over her long absence. And unlike LV, LK has a fabulous back list. Even for those who she doesn't work for, I think will agree the writing is very lyrical.

Jessica: *laughing* That's because I've been reading romance for so long. I've been waiting for many an author to 'come back' and if they do - great - but if they don't, or as Lynn mentioned, switch genres, I may be disappointed but I find new authors to replace them.

Katie: Exactly - it's the BUZZ for the next one that has me scratching my head. There hasn't been that much for other authors who have disappeared like Kinsale or Ivory, both of whom wrote better books - though I too am thrilled that Kinsale is coming out with a new book.

Pattepoilue: Having read romance for so many years now, and been part of the online community for quite some time a well, I think Lord of Scoundrels comes as close as any book to being a 'classic' of the 'modern' romance book. I hope you enjoy it and I'll be waiting to see what you think of it!

Wendy: I think that's a large part of it too - the explosion of blogs that came out in the past few years. They were too late for some of the other books I mentioned. And I hear you on Kathleen Eschenburg. I was thinking of mentioning her too, but probably very few people have even heard of her!

Kati: From your mouth to God's ear on Cat's book *sigh*. Of all the secondary characters in all the books I've read over the years, I can't think of a single secondary character that calls out more than Cat for his own story!!

Armenia: Has it been that long since Julia Ross came out with a book? Boy time flies! I remember reading somewhere that she was taking an extended break as her passion/ideas had dried up. Hopefully they will come back as I love her books too! I've yet to read Robin Schone though I have a few of her books...sitting...waiting.

Preeti: I've never tried any of her books though now you've given me another author to try out :-)

Lynn: I'll be interested to read Elizabeth Elliott's book when it comes out. I think more than any other author, she wins the prize for 'whatever happened to....'.

Orannia: 12 YEARS!! That is a long time to wait isn't it? I hope for closure, her third books gets published!

Jill: I've heard a number of theories on why it's taken so long for book 2 and I think any or all of them are valid. Life happens - to all of us. But it's the 'passion' some readers have after only one book that confuses me. Where has that passion been for Laura Kinsale (excellent example!) or other authors who have been MIA. Why so much for a rookie - using a sports analogy.

Tumperkin: The preview did sound a bit revolutionary for the time didn't it? But the world of books - she has achanged a lot since then and what would once have shocked many a romance reader, seems almost tame these days *g*.

Bev: I think you're right - that does have a lot to do with it. It will be out soon - oh no, wait, no it won't - wait, yes it will, hold that, no it won't. It's taking readers on a real roller coaster ride.
Me - I've never liked roller coasters though *g*.

Tabitha said...

It was the sex that caught my attention and had me purchasing the book. I read about a chapter or two and stopped. The sex was just non-stop and the size emphasized to the point that I got tired of eye-rolling. Maybe I'll go back to finish the book. But not anytime soon. My TBR is already long and there are other books that are further at the top of the list.

Amy said...

One I've been wondering about is Melanie George. She wrote The Pleasure Seekers a few years ago, and if I remember right, there was one or two books after that. But since -- nada.

Allison('s)Reads said...

Hi Kristie, I guess for me it's that I enjoyed Passion, and I the excerpt for Patience sounds/sounded interesting. It is simply a book that I am looking forward to, much as I would look forward to any other read by an author that is tried and true or new to me that sounds like it might be a good read for me. I guess it is worth a little bit extra "talk" as it has taken so long for the second book to come out. I don't think I anticipate it any more than another book that is forthcoming...

Lynn Spencer said...

@Wendy - Oh yes! ITA about Kathleen Eschenburg. I hadn't heard she had cancer but I hope she's doing well, too.

sula said...

Marsha Canham is an author I miss. With the success of the Johnny Depp-featuring pirates movies, one would think that there would be a market for her swashbuckling tales. Alas, I haven't seen anything new from her since...i don't know when. sigh.