Time again for hand selling online, when book mastermind Billie Bloebaum from Powells books (conveniently located in the Portland airport!) matches enquiring minds with required reading.
Deborah writes: I adored Bewitching by Jill Barnett. I’ve read the rest of her books, some I liked, some I didn’t, but I was looking for another author or book that has the same good sense of humor and adventure.
Billie says, “Barnett hasn’t had anything new since 2007 (before that it was 2002) and hasn’t written an historical since 1999. But, if you want historicals with magic, then Kathryne Kennedy (e.g. My Unfair Lady) might appeal.
Sally writes, I love Love LOVE the Bookmatcher feature.
Seattle Mystery Bookstore does handselling extraordinarily well (so much so
that I keep hoping for another business trip to Seattle…). Elliott Bay
Bookstore in Portland has very astute staff as well.
I entirely endorse the idea of learning about books that are similar to the
Great Heyer’s “Venetia” (and also, her “Frederica” and “The Grand Sophy”and,
Although I don’t quite know why, I find Crusie’s “Faking It” and “Welcome to
Temptation entirely satisfying: I’ve read them multiple times, especially
when I’m feeling low. I would gladly trade several Wimpy hamburgers for
“akin to” recommendations.
Other contemporary romance writers for whom I’d like to find comps: Julie
James and Penny McCall. And, Katie Fforde in her early days (e.g. “Wild
Designs” and “Stately Pursuits”). One of the best books that Suzanne
Brockmann has ever written is “Heart Throb”; a comparable book by a
different author would indeed be something to treasure.
There are several “classic” Signet Regency writers that I always enjoy
re-reading: Diane Farr, Alison Lane, and Barbara Hazard, for example.
On the mystery side: I’d love to learn about mystery writers who display the
depth of characterization, insight, atmospherics, and humanity that Louise
Penny and Charles Todd always demonstrate in their books.
And then, of course, there are two other favorite mystery authors that I’m
always recommending to friends: P.J. Tracy (her female characters are
strong, heroic, brainy, and fragile—all at the same time) and Carol
O’Connell (ditto, except assuredly NOT fragile…).
Billie says, “Elliott Bay is in Seattle as well. But, they are awesome, and Portland would love to claim them.
Yay! Someone else asking about mysteries! This is my first love and gives me a chance to gush over an uthor I love, but who doesn’t really have a huge following: Susan Hill. Simon Serrailleris such a richly drawn character and the plots unfold slowly, but not to the point of frustration. (And these books are good enough to forgive Ms. Hill for ‘Mrs. DeWinter’, the second most unnecessary sequel ever.)
I’d also recommend Fred Vargas, Tana French, Hakan Nesser, and Henning Mankell. Or, on the historical side, David Liss writes really smart mysteries and ‘A Conspiracy of Paper’ and ‘The Coffee Trader’ are still two of my favorite recommendations.
Both Julie James and Penny McCall write for Berkely Sensation, so I’d suggest looking for other authors from that imprint. It’s not a guarantee that she’ll find someone else she likes, but it’s likely. There’s good list online here.
I don’t think it’s 100% complete (and “erotic” is a bit of a misnomer, at least where Sensation titles are concerned; Heat is Berkley’s “erotic” imprint). There’s also http://berkleyjoveauthors.com/ but it doesn’t break things out by imprint.
(And, I’d mention Jill Shalvis here, but even I’m tired of me mentioning her.)
Lena writes: I seriously love Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series, especially for their intricate world building and their great well-rounded characters. I would love to find something similar but since the paranormal sector is so swamped right now, I really don’t know where to start looking. I don’t really care what kind of supernatural creatures there are (I don’t even insist on supernatural anythings, actually), but I would love to find a series (or two or three…) that satisfies my romance itch but also has a good overarching plot.
Another two things that are important to me are that the books are feminist (meaning strong female characters who can handle their shit on their own and don’t need the heros to save them etc) and the prose isn’t too flowery.
Again with the broken-recordness. I keep thinking, since I’ve read all these authors and know a lot of others who have as well, that everyone must have. But, I’m starting to get the feeling that I only talk to people who like the same books I do.