Never before has there been so much variety in the world of romance reading, which is fabulous because there really is something for everybody. It’s also confusing, sometimes, for a reader with a taste for something new, because there are that many choices. With the wide, wide world of indie and small press publishing, there is a flavor for every taste. Does that mean there could be a source or three of new romances with an old school feel for the modern reader? Let’s look at a few likely prospects.
Madeline Martin: I first discovered Madeline Martin on the Journeys of Romance podcast, and the book of hers that, right now, I am most excited to read, is Highland Wrath, actually the third in her Mercenary Maidens trilogy. In one word, Sylvi, the character that made such a strong impression on the author, caught my interest, big time, and I am thinking she will most likely be worth the wait. I love an alpha historical heroine, with grit, beauty, and an axe to grind, and Sylvi looks like she might fit that bill. This series is set in the early seventeenth century, right in the middle of my top-top-top favorite eras (roughly 1485-1785) and I very much liked what I heard on the podcast, so this is an absolute must-read. Since I do have to read in order, or puppies will wither, flowers will wilt, and your particular (yes, your, I am not playing around here) favorite celebrity hunk will wake up ugly, I will start with the first book in the trilogy, Highland Spy.
Suzan Tisdale: That’s Suzan with a “Z,” thankyouverymuch, which I will be very sure to remember. I had heard her name before (and misspelled it in my head) but had not investigated further. Then a (former? I do not think this gent will be getting much work in the future) said something online that was “a special kind of stupid” and some of the internet fallout was a response from Suzan Tisdale (video is here; mature content and language, so gentle readers may want to skip this one) won my respect instantly. A historical romance writer willing to kick butt and take names in real life has got to be the same way in her fictional worlds, amirite? I think I am. I love, love, love an author who has strong opinions and can articulate them, and if her heroines are the same way, I think I am going to find a new autobuy. I will be starting with her very first book, Laiden’s Daughter, which starts off her first series, The Clan MacDougall. HIghland gals who take no guff? Sign. Me. Up.
Kathryn Le Veque: Have you ever picked a new-to-you author because of her business acumen? That’s what I’m doing right now. The reason I’m putting Kathryn Le Veque on this list is the same reason I didn’t read her until now. There are a lot of books to this gal’s name. I mean a lot. There. Are. Over. Fifty. Of. Them. Several different series, most apparently family sagas where the family name starts with some form of “de,” and that got super confusing, super fast. Even so, this is an author who got her own Kindle World, when that program was active, and now has her own publishing company, Wolfbane Publishing, where authors are welcome to connect their books to her DeWolfe world, and boy have they ever. Authors like Danelle Harmon (a long time favorite of mine,) Alexa Ashton, Victoria Vane, and more, have answered the call, with stories set anywhere from the ancient world to the modern age. How can I not have a peek into that? I will be starting with her DeWolfe series starter, Warwolfe.
That’s only three, and the romance landscape is vast, so this is only dipping a toe in the waters. Whereas, only a few years ago, a romance reader in search of something new had a set amount of opportunities, whatever was on the shelves of a bookstore or library stack. Now? Sky’s the limit, and it’s not possible for everybody to know about everything, but romance readers know stuff, so there’s always new books to discover. That’s a happy never-ending in my book. Pun intended.
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. What indie or small press authors deliver the goods time and again? What elements in a new-to-you author will move their stuff to the top of the list right off the bat? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.