• We've been blogging since May of 2006, making us one of the longest-running group author blogs on the internet.

Sign up for Blog notifications

  • Please enter your email below to sign up for notifications when we publish a new blog post.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

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

Contact Us


  • 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

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

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


« Craftsmanship and Comfort Zones | Main | The Price of Creativity »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sonya Heaney

I read Midsummer Dreams a while ago. I love anything to do with A Midsummer Night's Dream, (my first paid job ever was at age eight, playing the Changeling in the Queensland Ballet's production, and I went on to perform pretty much every role there was). People need to write more "Dream-themed" books!

I'm trying desperately to catch up on my review books before I go away. At the moment that means I'm reading lots and lots of Harlequin's Christmas ARCs, and it is *far too early* for that!

The Phantom Tree has a really pretty cover. :)

Mary T

I just finished reading A STARDANCE SUMMER by Emily March. It's the latest in her Eternity Springs series. I don't read a lot of contemporary romance, but I do enjoy this author and this series. Normally, I tire of a series after about six or eight books. And I think this is about the twelfth or thirteenth book in this series. However, each of these books, while similar, still seems fresh to me.

Just started AUNT DIMITY AND THE WIDOW'S CURSE by Nancy Atherton. If it's true to form, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I have also been reading a few of Mary Balogh's older books that are now available in e-book form. I can't say that I enjoy them as much as her more recent works - but I did enjoy them none the less.

Joanne Bourne

I love the Phantom Tree cover. Andrea seems to have all the lovely colors.

Good luck on reviewing Christmas books while the temperature soars outside. If I recall correctly, they used to make Christmas puddings far in advance (and saok them in brandy). Must have been something of the same "feel".

Sue McCormick

As usual, I have been doing a lot of rereading (for the usual reason — allergy attacks).
New books are: "A Natural History of Dragons" and "The Tropic of Serpents" — the first two of the Lady Trent novels, and recommended here at an earlier time, as Joanna mentions. I have started "The Strange Case of theAlchemist's Daughter" by Theodora Goss. I have read only one chapter; it has a fascinating narrative style.

During my rereading, I downloaded an ebook version of Stephanie Laurens' "Four In Hand"; it came bundled with "The Dissolute Duke" which I liked so much, I looked up her Penniless Lords series. So I have been enjoying those five new-to-me books.

Sue McCormick

I seem to have failed to name the Author of those five book: Sophia James, from New Zealand.

Joanne Bourne

How lovely to have a new Stephanie Laurens series to jump into. I'm always delighted when I find something I wasn't expecting. Serendipity.

Anne Gracie

Still it's cold here at the moment, Sonya, so reading all those chilly Christmas books will feel appropriate, even if it's not snowing.

Anne Gracie

Sue, Sophia James is a lovely writer, I agree. She's also a very nice person. I'll be going to the NZ conference later in the month and will be catching up with a lot of the very fine writers there, so I'll pass on your comment.


I'm adding titles from today's post to my wish list with great enthusiasm.

My recent romance reading has been largely devoted to ARCs--lots of Christmas books, as Sonya mentioned, but also Mary Jo's Once a Rebel, Mary Balogh's Someone to Wed, and Loretta Chase's A Duke in Shining Armor, all of which I loved. I've also been rereading a great deal. I bought Mariah Stewart's Enright trilogy for my Kindle when one book was on sale, and reading them reminded me that there was an Enright connection in her Chesapeake Diaries series. I am in the process of rereading that series; I finished The Long Way Home, the sixth book today. I picked up my copy of Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings to check a quote and was seduced by that irresistible voice into rereading the full book. That in turn prompted a reread of Losing Battles, my favorite Welty novel. And a longing for Mary Oliver's poetry led me to my well-worn copy of her New and Selected Poems, which I have been rereading slowly. Today I read "Peonies" several times. It begins
"This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers"
I may reread it again.

Michelle Athy

I've recently been re-reading the Outlander books--well, the Roger and Brianna parts anyway. I'm excited to see them come to life when the next season starts.

Most recently, I finished "Let Us Dream" by Alyssa Cole and Act Like It by Lucy Parker--both were so good in different ways.

Jan Clemson

Anne, I loved 'The Little Paris Bookshop', definitely a keeper. I looked for more of Nina George's books but none had been translated. I recently found her 'The Little Breton Bistro' on iBooks. Can it be as good???

Anne Gracie

Janga, I'm envious of your advance reading books -- except for Mary Jo's Once a Rebel, which I've read and enjoyed and will interview her about when it comes out. *g* I'm particularly enjoying Mary Balogh's new series and am looking forward to Someone to Wed.

I don't know Mary Oliver's poetry — thanks for sharing.

Anne Gracie

Jan I saw the next book in the series in Readings Bookshop the other night, so it's landed here. But I'm flat out at the moment and don't have time for it. Yet.

Nicola Cornick

Thanks, Sonya! Yes, I love the cover of TPT. It's very atmospheric.

What fun that you performed all those different Midsummer Night's Dream roles! It was one of the first plays I ever saw and my favourite for so many years. I do enjoy Shakespeare-inspired books and loved Alison's version.

Nicola Cornick

Four in Hand was one of the very first of Stephanie Laurens books that I read, Sue, right back in the day when she wrote for Mills & Boon. In fact I still have the original paperback! I did enjoy it and I can already see her style developing in it but I wish it had been longer and the secondary characters given more space. That wouldn't happen in M&B at that time, though!


I have various reading projects on the go at present:

Audio books
Working through available books by favourite authors:

Julia Quinn - Smith-Smythe series

Mary Balogh - Bedwyn Series

Nicola Cornick - Phantom Tree - completed - very enjoyable

Anne Gracie - Chance Sisters series - now on book 3 and having a lot of fun.

Mary Jo Putney - read them all now - would love to see more in audio soon!

Andrea Penrose - Murder on Black Swan Lane - made my own audio for this - just starting

Rosanne Bittner - love her Western Romances - finished them all now and wishing for more in audio

Thesis on many-body Green Functions - refreshing my memory before looking at some ideas for understanding the mind and remote healing using quantum field theory.


Anne, Mary Oliver is an award-winning American poet. I think you would enjoy her work. Her poems make me look at the natural world with a new appreciation. I know you are a dog lover, so I'm guessing you would take particular delight in her collection Dog Songs.


I;m reading Beauty Like the Night today.

Joanne Bourne

I went to read a few poems by Mary Oliver. They are splendid.

I stopped at three because poems are not meant to be gobbled. But I'll be back.

Thank you for the heads up.

Joanne Bourne

I read the Outlander books as they came out, one by one.
I've fallen a little behind in the last year or two. I must go catch up.

Joanne Bourne

Y'know how folks listen to audiobooks when they commute or when they exercise. I don't do so much of either of those, so I never seem to have time to listen to books.

I will keep trying. It's a whole 'nother way ofenjoying.

And I, too, love nonfiction. I'm finding it relaxing at a time when I need some peace of mind.

Joanne Bourne

(jo nods gravely)
... sounds like a great idea.

Hope you enjoy *g*

Andrea Penrose

How fun to have performed all those Shakespearean roles, Sonya!

And The Phantom Tree is everything the cover promises—and more! I promise.

Andrea Penrose

I'm not much of a contemporary reader either, but you have me intrigued, Mary!

Andrea Penrose

The Goss book sounds fascinating, Sue. Thanks for the recommendation.

Vicki L.

Still encountering a bunch of meh or yuck books. (Grin). But I did have 6 new to me books that I enjoyed...

Anne Gracie - Marry in Haste. Read it the same day I got it...no pacing for me! Very enjoyable.

Sabrina Jefferies - The Pleasures of Passion. It was good enough to pass on to my sisters.

Jennifer Ashley - 4 more in her Mackenzie series. Those were very enjoyable. I think I have most of what she has written in that series now except for an eBook. Though I think there are 2 more to follow but nothing definite yet. No links on Amazon or on the author website yet.

Andrea Penrose

Oh, you always have SUCH a great list, Janga. I'm looking forward to the new Loretta Chase. She's a great favorite of mine.
And love your mention of classics. Must look up Welty again.

Andrea Penrose

Quantum, is that your thesis you're re-reading or is there a book on mind/remote healing using quantum field theory? It would likely be WAY over my head but I have a good friend who would comprehend it, and find it very intriguing.

Joanne Bourne

I loved Anne's Marry in Haste. Isn't that a lovely cover?


I think I read the Sabrina Jeffries book some time back, but I haven't got to the Jennifer Ashley books yet. Looking forward.

Teresa Broderick

At the moment I'm rereading Helen Carey's series of Lavender Road books. I've been a bit overwhelmed with life at the moment. I don't get a lot of reading time as it is. I read these back in the nineties and enjoyed them very much. She's just released books four and five in the series so I felt it was so long ago I needed to reread the others to refresh my memory. I'm enjoying the reread very much and I have a list as long as my arm of other books to read, including Nicola's Phantom Tree. I can't believe I haven't it read yet!!! My life will be changing slightly next month so I'm hoping I might get a little more 'me' time which basically means reading time!!


It took a while but I finally finished "A Lady in the Smoke" which I mentioned I had started a month or two ago. It was terrific, and it had a wonderful courtroom scene at the end. I LOVE courtroom scenes.
I read "The Black Angel" by Barbara Samuel, also a great book. How did I miss this author until now? She created such a fascinating family for the heroine, that I was heartbroken to find out that she didn't write stories for the two brothers, whom I adored. There is a sequel for the heroine's sister though, "Night of Fire" which I have to get hold of. The atmosphere is very Georgian, more lush and sensual and also more drama and violence than the Regency. And not just the women but the men get to wear great clothes, and have long flowing hair(swoons a bit).

Joanne Bourne

I won't exactly have 'free' time, but I'll be able to schedule my non-free time a little differently. I think this may be what you're doing. More "me" time. Yes.

It feels good. It feels very good.

So I'm looking forward to change, theway you are. And -- yes -- some reading time.

Joanne Bourne

Great recommendations !!

I love the Georgian period -- though with reservations. The clothing doesn't seem suited to adventuring, somehow.

I'll have to rethink that, about the clothing.

Barbara Samuel, btw, writes contemporary (http://www.barbarasamuel.com/)
and has won the RITA more times than is humanly possible ...

Anne Gracie

Thanks, Janga. I'll look her up.

Anne Gracie

Thanks so much Vicki, glad you enjoyed it.
Jennifer Ashely is a favorite author of mine and she's amaaaazingly fast and prolific, so you wont have long to wait.

Anne Gracie

Very glad you're enjoying my Chance sister series, Quantum.

I don't do as much driving as I used to so I'm not listening to as many audio books, nor have I been tackling the dreary house chores where I also use audio books to whisk me to a different reality as I scrub. But right now I'm writing, so no time for distractions.

Anne Gracie

I'll be interviewing Joanne about Beauty Like the Night on Friday.

Anne Gracie

Thanks Joanna. If you haven't read Jennifer Ashley, start with The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie.

Anne Gracie

Barbara Samuel is a superb writer. She also writes as Barbara O'Neill and she used to write for Harlequin many years ago as Ruth Wind. I have most of her books under the various names. She's a writer's writer (like Joanna)

Vicki L.

What an odd coincidence you mentioned Ruth Wind, I recently picked up 4 Ruth Winds at a Friends of the Library sale. I'd never heard of her before but at 5 books for a $1.00, I couldn't go wrong.

I'm always a little skeptical of the depth of the writing since so many Harlequin's don't have much to them. However Ruth Wind wrote very well developed characters and plots. Very enjoyable.

I'll have to look for her in using her other names.


Lady Luck's Map of Vegas was genius :)


How interesting! I used to read and like the Ruth Wind books many years ago. And I'll have to look for "Lady Luck's Map of Vegas"

The comments to this entry are closed.

Social Media

Word Wench Newsletter

  • Word Wench Newsletter
    By signing up, you are agreeing to receive the Word Wenches monthly newsletter. We will never spam you or share your info. You can easily unsubscribe from the mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails.