Sunday, December 27, 2009
Regency Christmas Stories, Then and Now
At this time of year, I like to read Regency Christmas stories. Every year I looked forward to the Signet Regency Christmas anthology. Many of my favorite authors contributed to these books over the years--authors like Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney, the late Edith Layton, Barbara Metgzer and Sandra Heath.
I loved those anthologies. Each book contained five stories brimming with Christmas spirit: Mary Balogh's stories full of emotion, Mary Jo Putney's with a twist, Edith Layton's character studies, Sandra Heath's complex, riveting tales, and Barbara Metzger's laughing-out-loud stories. By the way, A Regency Christmas Eve, the book pictured here, contains Barbara Metzger's Little Miracles, one of the funniest stories I've ever read.
Sadly, the Signet Regency line closed in 2006. Except for the sorely-missed Edith Layton, all those authors still write, and I read their books, but I still like a Regency Christmas story at Christmas time.
I think there are quite a few people besides me who like Regency Christmas stories. This year, Harlequin put out not one, but three, Regency Christmas anthologies: A Regency Christmas (Gail Ranstrom, Lyn Stone, Carla Kelly) with three new stories, The Heart of Christmas (Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, Courtney Milan) with one new story, and Together By Christmas (Nicola Cornick, Catherine George and Louise Allen) with two new stories, one a contemporary.
I also read the full-length Seduced by Christmas by Deborah Raleigh, the third in her Regency series (after Bedding the Baron and Seducing the Viscount) about three high-born illegitimate sons forced to make their own way in the world. Ms. Raleigh wrote for the also defunct Zebra Regency Romance line, and her stories are the type I like--her heroines are strong and out of the ordinary, and her heroes have been wronged and have to make their own destinies.
Which leads me up to the Shameless Promotion. Next year, my own Regency Christmas story will be published. The Wild Rose Press has contracted my Regency Christmas novella, Mistletoe Everywhere. The short blurb: A man who sees mistletoe everywhere is mad--or in love. For more info, read last week's post.
Thank you all,
P.S. I purchased all these books.