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The Wenches

  • Mary Jo Putney

  • Patricia Rice

  • Susan Fraser King

  • Anne Gracie

  • Nicola Cornick

  • Andrea Penrose

  • Christina Courtenay

In Memoriam

  • Jo Beverley
    Word Wench 2006-2016

  • Edith Layton
    Word Wench 2006-2009

Word Wenches Staff

Wench Staff Emeritae

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  • Want to read ALL the posts by a specific Wench? Just scroll down to the bottom of her post and click on her name!

June 2023

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Wenches Statistics

  • Years published: 164

    Novels published: 231

    Novellas published: 74

    Range of story dates: nine centuries (1026-present)

    Awards Won:

    • RWA RITA

    • RWA Honor Roll

    • RWA Top 10 Favorite

    • RT Lifetime Achievement

    • RT Living Legend

    • RT Reviewers Choice

    • Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews

    • Golden Leaf

    • Barclay Gold

    • ABA Notable Book

    • Historical Novels Review Editors Choice

    • AAR Best Romance

    • Smart Bitches Top 10

    Kirkus Reviews Top 21

    Library Journal Top 5

    Publishers Weekly Top 5

    Booklist Top 10

    • Booktopia Top 10

    • Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement

    Bestseller Lists:

    NY Times

    • Wall Street Journal

    • USA Today

    • Waldenbooks Mass Market

    • Barnes & Noble

    • Amazon.com

    Chicago Tribune

    • Rocky Mountain News

    • Publishers Weekly


« No Genius Here | Main | What We're Reading in September »


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Mary M.

I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I've met in my world travels) if it weren't fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.

Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

Faith Freewom

Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.



Mary Jo Putney

Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can't remember title or author's name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they're out of print. It's an under-utilized setting.

Mary Jo Putney


By all means journey mentally to New Zealand! It's wonderful. And don't forget watching Lord of the Rings. *G*

Cat Kimbriel

I always thought I'd like to go to New Zealand someday. Now I'm sure of it. Thank you for sharing your great trip!

Sue W. McCormick

Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.

And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.

I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)


And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?

My husband's uncle (father's brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He'd send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I'd ever seen. Maybe someday...


Thank you for the armchair traveling. :)


I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers' book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip - I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It's not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we'll manage that trip in 2017.

Anne Gracie

It's a gorgeous place, isn't it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I've never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

Mary Jo Putney

Cat, you're welcome! I'm sure you'll love New Zealand when you get there.

Mary Jo Putney

Sue McCormick,

Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn't it?

I'm glad you're enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don't know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

Mary Jo Putney


I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we'd had more time!!!

I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

Mary Jo Putney

Reina, you're welcome!

Mary Jo Putney

It is a loo WELL worth visiting, Anne!

Mary Jo Putney

Put that cruise on your schedule for 2017! I have friends who have cruised around both countries, and they say it was wonderful.

Laura Boon

New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we've been to the North Island, we've never been to Russell. Now you have made it a 'must visit'.

Mary Jo Putney

Laura, I think you'd find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

Judy Goodnight

I'm green with envy! New Zealand is tops on my travel the world bucket list.


For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
We've just returned from our fourth visit to NZ - it's a magical place.
Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

Mary Jo Putney


The Long Drop Loo sounds so striking as to be a little off putting. The Hundertwasser is definitely surreal, but charmingly so.

Mary Jo Putney

Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the "Lucky Country" with justification.


Now you've made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.


Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris - I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

Mary Jo Putney

Karin, you're right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

Mary Jo Putney

Candace Proctor, yes! Her name was floating around the edges of my mind. She's the sister of Penelope Williamson, another fine historical romance writer.

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