Happy Monday Dear Readers! Celia here. I’m pleased to welcome my editor at Champagne Books, Cassiel Knight to the Paranormal Unbound blog. Cassie writes paranormal romance with, as her Web site tagline puts it, “Kick-Assitude.” My new favorite word. 🙂
Cassie joins us today with a walk down Paranormal Romance Memory Lane. Take it away, Cassie!
A Walk in the Past: Paranormal Romances
by Cassiel Knight
I have fond memories of the nineties. I got married, left the military, embarked on a legal career and moved to Oklahoma and got to own horses–a dream of mine. All that was great but that’s not why I have some of my fondest memories of the nineties.
I was first introduced to the wonderful world of paranormal stories by reading romance. In particular, Janelle Taylor’s, Moondust and Madness, a jaunty tale about a dashing spaceman coming to Earth and grabbing a beautiful, intelligent, feisty doctor to take into space to repopulate planets dying from a disease. Who wouldn’t love such a tale?
At the time, while I read every paranormal romance I could find, my favorites were (called then) futuristic romances. First, I discovered all the Dorchester LoveSpell releases in the 1990s. Stories of dashing spacemen and beautiful, strong women filled my bookshelves. Some of my favorite authors and stories included Saranne Dawson, Touched by Light by Catherine Spangler, Nighthawk by Kristen Kyle, everything by Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle, Stopie Piel, and Dara Joy.
I’ve heard these stories likened to wacky, screwball sci-fi romantic comedy, and maybe so. But I devoured them like cake and would spend hours at the bookstores looking for LoveSpell’s little futuristic icon and the word futuristic.
What made them so special?
They had all the familiar elements of a romance, including a hero, heroine, yet were set in places so foreign they didn’t exist, places populated by strange and unusual creatures. These provided the reader with more places to explore. It wasn’t always about the characters being different as much as the setting. Love in the stars.
Paranormal Romance Pioneers
The authors who first ventured into this subgenre were true pioneers, taking what Ms. Woodiwiss, Rogers and the other “bodice ripper” romances had started (sidebar: mind you, the term bodice ripper here isn’t negative–I don’t mind that phrase–or the clinched covers. In fact, I love them). These ladies fought to lure uninitiated romance readers into strange new worlds and did such a great job of it, their work lives on. And for me, I’ll never forget them.
I’ve spent a large part of this post talking about futuristic romances but there was so much more happening during the same time. Time-travel was huge as was magic. Wink and a Kiss and Magic Love series were very popular.
Another favorite, and the first book that actually touched my heart and made me cry, is Jude Deveraux’s time-travel romance, A Knight in Shining Armor. It’s still available, but looks like it had its cover redone many times but this one, here, is the one I still own.
And as wonderful as the stories are now, for me, those paranormal romances of the past hold a special place in my heart, and on my shelf.
To the authors I mentioned as well as the many others who set the stage, thank you!
Join the Discussion
Thanks for joining me down memory lane. Do you have any paranormal romances of the past that touched your heart either as a reader or writer?
About Cassiel Knight
Cassiel Knight writes her own brand of paranormal romances with kick-ass heroines and the heroes who tame them–or not. While she’s not yet taking her stories to the stars, her books are inspired by the magic of the past, specifically archeology and mythology. She writes for Samhain Publishing, Kensington/Lyrical and Champagne Book Group. You can find her online at www.CassielKnight.com or on Twitter @CassielKnight and GoodReads.
I enjoyed your post very much. I loved all the books you listed. I gobbled them up in my younger years. I still reread my Dara Joy stories!
Hi Liz! Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, Dara Joy sucked me in with A Knight of a Trillion Stars. Shoot, I should have mentioned that one. I loved all her heroes but had a real love of Rejar. Sigh. Thanks for commenting!
I had never read a genre romance (long time fan of sf, mystery and historical fiction) until I discovered futuristic romance in the mid 90s. Next thing I knew I was joining RWA and writing a time travel! Thanks for reminding of those first romance reads.
Hi Kay! Thanks for commenting! You sound just like me and how I got started. My favorite publisher was Dorchester. I was sad when they closed because they brought the best futuristic romances.
Great article, Cassie. Thanks for visiting us today and sharing a blast from the PNR past.
Trying to remember what I was reading in the ’90s…
… Laurell K. Hamilton, Neil Gaiman, Phillip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, Terry Pratchett, Anne Rice… my brain is tired. I’ll add more later, if I remember! We love reading recs around here. 🙂
Celia, thanks for having me here! I had fun revisiting my past loves. Makes me think I need to drag a couple of them out. But if you are only going to pick up one, do pick up A Knight in Shining Armor. You might start out wanting to kill the heroine 🙂 but you’ll be satisfied with the ending even thought it’s not quite what one expects.
I haven’t read many of the books you list here, but they sound like my kind of brain candy. I’m going to have to try and hunt some of them down. Thanks for the great post!