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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


« Barbara Hannay — The Secret Years | Main | Adventures in Middle Earth »


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Mary Jo Putney

It is WAY too easy to download a sale book by an author I want to try--and then forget to read it, or even to remember WHY I wanted to read it!

Sue W. McCormick

The thing about being retired and old is that you finally have more time to read. The thing about being a former proof-reader/copy-editor is that you can read more quickly than any tachistoscopic training would ever lead you. So, no, I don't have a back-list; the only unread books in my reading list are the ones I have never gotten back to for some reason on other. I can read more than one book a day — none of you can write that quickly! And if you did, the books would be horrible. So I do lots of re-reading. Right now I'm rereading Jennifer Asheley's "Highland Pleasures" series, because her new book will also come out Tuesday. There is still time to reread the Genius books before Tuesday. Re-read in that order because the Genius books are more complex. Great fun!

Patricia Rice

Amen, although it's very handy to have all those strange books available when bored with everything else!

Patricia Rice

oh, that's brilliant, Sue! I've often wished I could re-read series books I've enjoyed when a new one comes out. Instead, I struggle with my missing brain cells to remember what's already happened and who all the characters are. Have fun!


I've got a huge number of books to read. I keep finding new authors I love, and it's so easy when you can download free samples! I'm guessing there are at least 100 in my box of "TBR" books, and maybe a couple dozen more on Kindle. And more on my wishlists. I read 2 or 3 books a week, and the reason the pile gets so big is when I find a new author, I want to read everything on her backlist.

Patricia Rice

which makes you our favorite kind of reader!

Sonya Heaney

One publisher is accepting "vintage romances" at the moment, which is basically anything from around September 11 or before. I remember that particular time very clearly, because it was around when I moved to London (I was on the Continent when it happened, and the whole travel industry shut down overnight - we had no hotel room the next day), and thinking back on it, EVERYTHING was different!
Not just technology, but also things like airport security. I used to carry all my shampoo, conditioner etc. in my carry-on luggage to save weight in my suitcase. You can't do that anymore!

I have a pile of TBR books, and also a mountain of review books. I'm becoming pickier with the review books I accept. I used to just get everything, and reading started to feel like homework! I've been reading Christmas ARCs since July!

Recently I've been trying to include more books I chose for myself in my reading. I keep missing good things because I'm trying to hard so keep up with release dates!

Patricia Rice

Everything really did change after 9/11, not necessarily for the better unfortunately. And I hadnt thought about reviewers not ever having time to read books of their choice! Ive just always been jealous of all the available material and an excuse for reading it. G Definitely make time for your own choices if you can!

Patricia Rice

Sharon Waldron

You are going to laugh I have over 700 on my Kindle, I just finished Evil and started undercover and ordered cyber Genius! I find books I like I keep reading them! Thank you for such colorful characters what a joy to read!

Sharon Waldron

I'm in love with Genius Family!

Patricia Rice

Im not laughing, Im grinning all over! 700 books is my kind of person. Glad you found time to read mine!

Patricia Rice

Patricia Rice

Awww, thank you, maam! Im kinda fond of them too. G

Patricia Rice

Mary Jane

My "stack" of unread novels (and a few non-fiction) filled a Safari van last fall, when in desperation to actually clean a few rooms, I moved them down to the driving shed (which is not weatherproof!) They reside under a tarp awaiting the installation of multiple book stacks.
WHY do I start and not finish books? 1. "I know where I'm going"... 2. The author brings in anachronisms or the proofreader misses not just spelling and grammar, but the author's malapropisms. (The most recent this week was "nap" for "nape" - "he stroked the nap of her neck"; I had visions either of a very hairy bearded lady from the circus or an alien cat-lady! )When I see these errors, I have the feeling that the whole production of the novel is slipshod. 3. More seriously, the author pulls me in so deeply that I'm afraid I won't get out - some of the Wenches do that. It can be disconcerting to use Regency slang in contemporary conversation! I have lived through WWII and the Cold War but I find this current decade unsettling, not because of terrorism or war, but because I sense a loss of some of the basic ideals which carried us through earlier times - such as tolerance, a sense of honour, the ability and duty to see the other point of view as well as a basic caring for all in the community. At any rate, I seldom finish a novel which is too "dark". From Austen through Heyer , wit and social satire are hallmarks of the Regency novel; these days, I don't find them often.

As for novels set in the 20th century and later, I find them too close to home. My parents lived through WWi, the depression and WWII. I can't separate the history I know from the novel settings. One uncle went into the trenches aged 14. A younger husband to my aunt came from a family who raised horses for the Czar's cavalry and fled Russia with only the clothes on their backs during the Revolution (with gold coins sewn into the clothes!). He was conscripted by the Nazis to the Eastern Front and only escaped the Russian slave labour camps because his sergeant marched the whole company from the east across Germany to the Western front to surrender to the British. He never located any of his family after the war.

I've rambled - but there was all that empty space!

Patricia Rice

I love your rambling and you may fill our empty spaces any time! I hear you on all counts. I am in desperate search of humor in books--but honestly, sometimes its really difficult to write humorously. Im not certain why some books cry out for it and others dont. As to the shed full of books... I had to bite the bullet and give mine away. It was a tearful day, so I hope you get your shelves soon!

Patricia Rice

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