Saturday, November 28, 2015

Best Historical Romance Trilogies!

It takes talent to write a great historical romance novel, but it takes even more to write three in a row and make them all worthy reads. Of course, I recognize this omits some wonderful single titles and some great multibook series, but if you like to read trilogies, as I do, here’s my list of the top ones I recommend:


2.       Virginia Henley’s Medieval Plantagenet trilogy: THE FALCON AND THE FLOWER, THE DRAGON AND THE JEWEL and THE MARRIAGE PRIZE

3.       Virginia Henley’s Medieval Plantagenet trilogy: THE FALCON AND THE FLOWER, THE DRAGON AND THE JEWEL and THE MARRIAGE PRIZE


5.       Judith McNaught’s Westmoreland trilogy: A KINGDOM OF DREAMS, WHITNEY MY LOVE and UNTIL YOU

6.       Lisa Kelypas’ Bow Street Runners trilogy: SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, LADY SOPHIA’S LOVER and WORTH ANY PRICE

7.       Johanna Lindsey’s Wyoming trilogy: BRAVE THE WILD WIND, SAVAGE THUNDER, and ANGEL

8.       Pamela Clare’s Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy: SWEET RELEASE, CARNAL GIFT and RIDE THE FIRE

9.       Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon’s Rangers: SURRENDER, UNTAMED and DEFIANT

10.    Kaki Warner’s Runaway Brides trilogy:  HEARTBREAK CREEK, COLORADO DAWN and BRIDE of the HIGH COUNTRY

11.    Kaki Warner’s Blood Rose trilogy: PIECES OF SKY, OPEN COUNTRY and CHASING THE SUN

12.    Heather Graham’s North American Woman trilogy: SWEET SAVAGE EDEN, A PIRATE'S PLEASURE and LOVE NOT A REBEL

13.    Heather Graham’s Civil War trilogy: ONE WORE BLUE, AND ONE WORE GRAY and AND ONE RODE WEST.

14.    Heather Graham’s Viking trilogy: GOLDEN SURRENDER, THE VIKING’S WOMAN and THE LORD OF THE WOLVES

15.    Marsha Canham’s Pirate Wolf trilogy: ACROSS A MOONLIT SEA, IRON ROSE and THE FOLLOWING SEA

16.    Marsha Canham’s Scottish trilogy: THE PRIDE OF LIONS, BLOOD OF ROSES AND MIDNIGHT HONOR

17.    Marsha Canham’s Robin Hood trilogy: THROUGH A DARK MIST, IN THE SHADOW OF MIDNIGHT and THE LAST ARROW

18.    Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers trilogy: IF YOU DARE, IF YOU DESIRE and IF YOU DECEIVE

19.    Iris Johansen’s Wind Dancer trilogy: THE WIND DANCER, STORM WINDS and REAP THE WIND

20.    Shirl Henke’s Cheyenne trilogy: CAPTURE THE SUN, THE ENDLESS SKY, and SUNDANCER

21.    Shirl Henke’s Santa Fe trilogy: NIGHT WIND’S WOMAN, WHITE APACHE’S WOMAN and DEEP AS THE RIVERS

22.    Elizabeth Lowell’s Medieval trilogy: UNTAMED, FORBIDDEN and ENCHANTED

23.    Jennifer Blake’s Three Graces trilogy: BY HIS MAJESTY’S GRACE, BY GRACE POSSESSED and SEDUCED BY GRACE

24.    Lisa Jackson’s Medieval Welsh trilogy: ENCHANTRESS, KISS OF THE MOON and OUTLAW

25.    Lisa Jackson’s Medieval Welsh trilogy: IMPOSTRESS, TEMPTRESS and SORCERESS

26.    Mary Jo Putney’s Silk Trilogy: SILK AND SHADOWS, SILK AND SECRETS and VEILS OF SILK

27.    Susan King’s Medieval Maiden trilogy: THE SWAN MAIDEN, THE STONE MAIDEN and the SWORD MAIDEN


29.    Connie Brockway’s Scottish trilogy: THE PASSIONATE ONE, THE RECKLESS ONE and THE RAVISHING ONE

30.    Laura Parker’s Rose trilogy: ROSE OF THE MISTS, A ROSE IN SPLENDOR, and THE SECRET ROSE

31.    Emma Jensen’s Regency Spy trilogy: ENTWINED, FALLEN and MOONLIT

32.    Renee Vincent’s Emerald Isle trilogy: RALIKSEN, MAC LIAM and THE FALL OF RAIN

33.    Tina St. John’s Warrior trilogy: WHITE LIONS LADY, BLACK LION’S BRIDE and LADY OF VALOR.


35.    Laurel McKee’s Daughters of Erin trilogy: COUNTESS OF SCANDAL, DUCHESS OF SIN and LADY OF SEDUCTION

36.    Christine Dorsey’s trilogy: THE RENEGADE (first published as THE RENEGADE AND THE ROSE), THE REBEL and THE ROGUE

37.    Judith E. French’s Fortune trilogy: FORTUNE'S MISTRESS, FORTUNE'S FLAME and FORTUNE'S BRIDE

38.    Aleen Malcolm’s Cameron trilogy: THE TAMING, RIDE OUT THE STORM and THE DAUGHTERS OF CAMERON

39.    Sandra Worth’s The Rose of York trilogy (Richard III’s life and love): LOVE AND WAR, THE CROWN OF DESTINY and FALL FROM GRACE

40.    Caroline Hartman’s Camelann trilogy: SUMMER ROSE, SACRED PONIES and STAR RIDERS

And do consider my own Agents of the Crown trilogy of Regency romances: RACING WITH THE WIND, AGAINST THE WIND and WIND RAVEN. (In 2015 I also released a prequel, To Tame the Wind, set in 1782.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shirl Henke's Santa Fe Trilogy - Love in the Old West!

Shirl Henke’s Western historical romances are all excellent. This trilogy is no exception.

It begins with Night Wind’s Woman. Set in 1787 in the north of Mexico and New Mexico, it tells the story of a half Apache-half white renegade, Night Wind (his Apache name), who as a child was taken captive by the Spaniards and forced to work in the mines, a virtual death sentence. 

Keenly intelligent, Night Wind escaped and was raised and educated by the Catholic fathers. As an adult, he regained his Apache roots and works to free Indian prisoners and take vengeance on the Spanish conquerors. His hated enemy is an Irish mercenary who is now the Governor.

Night Wind decides to take the Governor’s son captive and raise him as an Apache. Instead, by mistake he captures the Governor’s stepdaughter, Orlena Valdez, a beautiful golden-haired Spanish Castilian. Orlena is no shrinking noblewoman. She is educated, outspoken and willing to fight for fair treatment for the Indian prisoners. It never occurred to her that sneaking out in boys’ clothes to view a festival would land her in the arms of Night Wind.

In her well-researched, intricately detailed novels, Henke captures the feel of the Old West as she weaves a wonderful story of cruelty, injustice and revenge—revenge that is conquered by both goodness and love. She brings us into the time when Spain dominated not only Mexico, but what would one day become the Southwestern United States, a time when both the Apache and the Comanche were preyed upon and sought their revenge on the white man. As Henke recognizes in her Author’s Note, there were good and bad men among both camps.

The 3-book series on Amazon.

Book 2
Book 3
I highly recommend this trilogy!

The Santa Fe Trilogy:

Night Wind's Woman
White Apache's Woman
Deep As The Rivers

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lisa Kleypas' Bow Street Runners trilogy

Kleypas’ Bow Street Runners trilogy is a fun one. They are the romances of the first unofficial police in London. Though a date for the first two stories was not given and no monarch is mentioned, since the Bow Street Runners operated from 1749 to 1839, I guessed it was late Regency era or early Victorian. The hero in book 1 had been a runner for many years when the story begins. In book 3, we have a date--1839--so by the 3rd story, we are into the Victorian era.

Book 1, Someone to Watch Over Me begins as Grant Morgan, a famous London Bow Street Runner, is called to the Thames where a half dead woman is fetched out of the water. Grant recognizes the redhead as the infamous courtesan, Vivien Rose Duvall. Grant takes her home where his staff cares for her. When she wakes, he discovers Vivien has amnesia.

Vivien accepts Grant’s claim she is a prostitute and that they were lovers, despite her misgivings. He tells her a lie about them being together as revenge for her snubbing him once at a ball. He believes she is the courtesan and tells her she sells her body for money. While Vivian is appalled by the thought, she knows her near drowning in the Thames was no accident. Someone wants her dead.

Meanwhile, Grant hunts for the criminal all the while very attracted to Vivian who he believes is playing the innocent.

I have to say that I did not want to put this one down. Kleypas does a great job with the sexual tension between the hero and there is just enough of a mystery as to who the heroine is and who wants to kill her to keep you reading. Though I figured out her identity before I was half way through, I still wanted to know how it ended.

The other two stories are similar but the first remained my favorite.

Buy on Amazon.

Book 2
Book 3

The Bow Street Runners trilogy:

Someone to Watch Over Me
Lady Sophia’s Lover
Worth Any Price

Saturday, November 21, 2015

And the Winner is...

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

Thanks to all who commented on Caroline Hartman's fascinating post on how she came to write the Camelann trilogy! Didn't you love diving into the history?

Well, Caroline has chosen a winner of the trilogy... It's Haley Whitehall. Congratulations!

Haley, I will be in touch to see if you want the eBooks or the paperbacks.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Favorite Author and my Guest Today... Caroline Hartman!

Hello all! My guest today is Caroline Hartman, author of the Camelann trilogy, stories set in America’s past during and after the Civil War. Caroline taught elementary school, raised a family, and was ultimately impelled by her love of history and literature to craft historical romances.

Caroline's first novel, Summer Rose, emanated from her early reading of the handwritten diary her great grandfather left behind recording his years spent with the Army of the Potomac.  Caroline was ever after a constant student of the Civil War, consuming hundreds of reference books. She dragged her children through battlefields, cemeteries and countless museums listening for the drums and feeling the pride as well as the heartache. 

From Summer Rose, sprang her second and third books, Sacred Ponies and Star Riders, furthering the adventures of the characters as they evolved and moved through events and cultures, going ever westward, returning as desire and need arose to their roots at Camelann.

Caroline Hartman lives in Chester County Pennsylvania, where she continues to entertain her Muse.

Note: Caroline is giving away her Camelann trilogy (winner’s choice of paperback or ebooks) so be sure and leave a comment and your email! (The trilogy is reviewed on my blog just below this post.)

How I Wrote the Camelann Trilogy by Caroline Hartman

Good Morning.  I send a giant cross-country hug and an enormous thank you to Regan Walker for inviting me to write for her incredible blog, which this month celebrates trilogies. And although I never intended to write three closely related historical romance novels, I am honored to be here. I thought today I would tell you about how the melding of history and romance happened for me.

The history came first. It was mid-July 1960. I remember sitting on our big shaded front porch, my summer reading spot, and deep into Pride and Prejudice, when my mother handed me a well-worn notebook, bound in supple black leather, slightly larger and thicker than a deck of cards.
Great Grandfather Furst
"This was your great grandfather's diary.  He fought for the Union during the Civil War.  You might find it interesting."

His diary

The Civil War rang a vague bell from my childhood. A vision of three old codgers struggling with the flags at the head of the Memorial Day Parade came to mind. Even as a child I knew they were special.

I closed Jane Austen and opened the onionskin pages, which were filled with neat script in black ink. As I read the honorable account of Sgt. Luther Calvin Furst, a shiver ran down my spine and a love of history bloomed. Here in my hands I held this hundred-year-old diary my great grandfather carried through three years of bloody war. My heart pinged. From that moment I devoured anything written about America's Civil War.

Along with the history books, I also read historical fiction and noticed how a love story intermingled with the facts kept me reading long into the night. I fed my babies, I vacuumed and I all but drove while reading. To this day, a book is always with me.

Decades later, all those thousands of books fermented in my psyche and gave me the raw material for Summer Rose. Please don't misunderstand, the words never just flew off my keyboard. A great deal of agony and learning preceded those first words. And always, decisions had to be made.

I noticed interesting novels followed a theme, maybe more than one. I chose friendship, love, betrayal, and forgiveness and I figured a love triangle would add tension and drama.  Two soldiers and a girl promised to work but they needed names. I agonized for days before deciding on Daniel, Hal, and Summer Rose, and at least a week for their last names. Then good grief, I realized the animals needed names, too. (No one told me it was this difficult.) Daniel's horse became Chester, named after my current residence in Chester County.  Summer's dogs became Nip and Tuck, named after my grandfather's dogs. (One early beta reader pointed out that facelifts were not done in 1863, so for clarification I added a line about good old-fashioned sewing.)

Nip and Tuck
Themes and names proved child's play compared to character descriptions. Just tall, dark and handsome or gorgeous and voluptuous would not do. They needed warts and flaws. Is anyone perfect? Decisions, decisions, this writing business was proving much more difficult than I ever anticipated. I marched forward. Where do they live? The men were officers. Where did they go to school? Who were their parents?  Did the characters have siblings, old loves, enemies, etc. Great Scot, the et ceteras would need names and descriptions, too. All these decisions--do I really want to write a novel?

Not one word had yet made it to paper. And where would this story take place? America, yes, but this country is a big place. Furthermore, where and when will they fight?  America's Civil War took place over four long years and battles happened over one-third of the continent. Where do I start?

Providence, serendipity, or perhaps simply magic happened. Visiting in Columbia, Maryland, I decided to drive home via Harper's Ferry and Gettysburg. As I drove through the stunning countryside on the Maryland-Pennsylvania, border, my heart pinged like a Geiger counter. 

While I drove north through the twenty-first century Camelann, the 19th century characters of Summer Rose, Sacred Ponies, and Star Riders took form. Seasoned through war, lust, jealousy and intrigue in tents, tipis, brothels, in elegant homes and even the Executive Mansion, Daniel, Summer Rose, Hal and the others grew.

Along Pennsylvania highways, I found Camelann, which becomes the Charteris and St. Clair homeland, the place where the families and friends of my characters always return. In my mind I began to type... two union officers halted their horses…

When Summer Rose ended, how could I allow all those characters to fade into oblivion? To do so would have been comparable to abandoning my children. So Sacred Ponies with its western venue, expanded history, and new characters came to life, and serendipity again smiled on me.

While researching Sacred Ponies, I stumbled across the fabled 7th Cavalry led by Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his younger brother, Major Tom Custer. The history is breathtaking, the real-life characters walked into my heart. And, like Abbey, when she steps onto an outbound train to take her ill husband East and she meets Tom Custer, pings fly all over the place. How could I resist? 

Star Riders was born.

Buy book 1, Summer Rose, on Amazon

Tom Custer
Tell me, has your heart ever gone ping over a place, a thought, or an event? 

And keep up with Caroline via her website.