Authors Susanna Kearsley and Genevieve Graham Talk Favorite Reads, eh?

Canadian historical romance authors Susanna Kearsley and Genevieve Graham stopped by the XOXO site to dish on their favorite reads of the moment! Keep reading to get to know the tastes of these two insanely talented ladies, and, if you live north of the border, catch them on their Timeless Tour, running May 9th-13th across Victoria, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Uxbridge. How ABOOT that?!

Susanna Kearsley

Thanks for inviting me here!

Since my latest book, A Desperate Fortune, is built round a real-life historical road trip, I thought I’d pick five of my favourite historical road-trip romances:

I’ve enjoyed Tessa Dare’s writing for several years now. A Week to Be Wicked is part of her Spindle Cove series, and features a fun, mismatched pair on a dash north to Scotland that proves to be more than they bargained for. Loved it.

Carla Kelly, in Marrying the Royal Marine, does what she does best: She takes two believable, deeply drawn people and throws them together in troubled times, testing the honour of one and the strength of another in memorable, quiet, emotional ways.

The Rebel Pirate, second in the Renegades of the Revolution series by Donna Thorland, starts with one of the best first sentences I’ve ever read: “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.” I couldn’t stop reading after that, and I’ll be you can’t, either.

Captured by Beverly Jenkins is a terrific book. Wonderfully researched and written, inspired by true history, it features a swashbuckling hero and a determined heroine, both black, one born free and one a slave, who give an unforgettable, original perspective on the Revolutionary War era.

And finally, for a different twist on historical romance, there’s Meljean Brook’s Heart of Steel, the second of her Iron Seas steampunk books set in an intricately reimagined world that’s built so beautifully its history seems as concrete as our own. The couple in this book is equally matched in wit, fighting ability, bravery and love of adventure, and I read this all in one sitting.

 

Genevieve Graham

I’m not a “romance” kind of reader. Just like the books I read, the books I write contain real history and the often unpleasant truths about living in those times. I don’t pull punches and neither do my favourite authors. I love sweeping, epic adventures with believable heroes and heroines. I also love to learn about different time periods. Growing up, I had no interest at all in history, but these novels have brought history to life for me. Here are my top five historical fiction/historical romance favorites:

The books I love are often called both Historical Fiction and Historical Romance, even though the author doesn’t always set out to write a romance. I once saw Diana Gabaldon speak at a convention of the Romance Writers of America, and she said she was confused as to why she was there. “I don’t even write romance,” she said, and yet her books are incredibly romantic while also being unabashedly real. The first Historical Fiction novel I ever read (other than the “Little House on the Prairie” books when I was oh, so much younger!) was hers. I read the Outlander series seven times. After that, well, not only did I dive headfirst into any historical novel I could find, I was inspired to write my own.

After the Outlander books, I turned to Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness series and enjoyed it tremendously. Book series allow an author to explore not only their lead characters, but their supporting characters as well. Ms Donati did a beautiful job of raising memorable generations of characters both good and evil.

A couple of years ago I read Paullina Simons’ Bronze Horseman trilogy. Wow. The first book simply wrung out every emotion I had while teaching me an incredible amount about Russia and World War II. The books opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I’m looking forward to reading her next novel.

Penelope Williamson is another wonderful, descriptive author, and The Outsider took me away. I love good, thick epics, and she is a master at those. I’d never read a western before and knew nothing about the Amish. Suffice to say, I’ve now read all her books and am constantly on the lookout for more like hers.

A few years ago I came across the name Susanna Kearsley. I’ve since devoured all her books. Time travel is terribly hard to write. Not only must the author come up with a mechanism which allows the character(s) to pass through years (or days, or whatever), they also have to reflect how one time zone might affect the other. Ms Kearsley does it seamlessly. As a bonus, her main characters are occasionally authors, which means we get a brief glimpse into the author’s mind as well. I don’t really have a favourite, but I recall some beautiful sections in The Winter Sea which perfectly describe what it’s like to be in an author’s head when they become lost in a “writers’ trance”.

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A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Susanna Kearsley

An amateur codebreaker is hired to decipher a Jacobite exile's mysterious journal that has laid unread for 300 years--but little does she know what mysteries await her...

HEAT METER
A Week to be Wicked

A Week to be Wicked

Tessa Dare

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin . . . time is not on their side.

HEAT METER
Marrying the Royal Marine

Marrying the Royal Marine

Carla Kelly

An "ugly duckling" finds that she blossoms into a swan under the gaze of a protective Royal Marine in this Regency by fan favorite Kelly.

HEAT METER
The Rebel Pirate

The Rebel Pirate

Donna Thorland

We're suckers for a girl-dressed-as-boy story here at XOXO, and when you throw in that she's from a family of pirates and set it in the rarely-seen-these-days Revolutionary War period? Aye aye, cap'n!

HEAT METER
Captured

Captured

Beverly Jenkins

Jenkins is one of the major voices of African American romance, and her stories CAPTURE (see what we did there?) slices of history rarely seen in the genre. (Plus, more pirates! What's not to like?)

HEAT METER
Heart of Steel

Heart of Steel

Meljean Brook

The reigning queen of steampunk weaves a tale of a beautiful airship captain who crosses paths with a swashbuckling adventurer in this novel from Brook's Iron Seas series.

HEAT METER

Diana Gabaldon

The story that started it all--the first installment in Diana Gabaldon's celebrated Outlanders series, now a major show on Starz!

HEAT METER
Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness

Sara Donati

The first book in this series kicks off with Englishwoman Elizabeth Middleton, who hardly expects to fall for an American frontiersman when she travels to the New World. But alas, such is love...

HEAT METER
The Bronze Horseman

The Bronze Horseman

Paullina Simons

The first in a trilogy, this book is a sweeping love story that takes place in war-torn Russia during World War II. Sounds cold.

HEAT METER
Outsider

Outsider

Penelope Williamson

A daughter of the Amish faith; a stranger with a gun; a forbidden love. Need we say more?

HEAT METER
Tides of Honour

Tides of Honour

Genevieve Graham

In the summer of 1916, Private Daniel Baker marches into battle with the boys of Nova Scotia’s 25th Battalion. Out of brutal necessity, Danny has steeled himself against the trials and horrors of war, but he is completely unprepared to meet the love of his life in war-torn France.

HEAT METER
The Winter Sea

The Winter Sea

Susanna Kearsley

A novelist creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors, and starts to write. But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, she wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory...

HEAT METER

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1 comment so far


  1. gpangel

    Wow! You all have great taste in books. I’m going to have to check these out. There is a little something here to satisfy all taste.

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