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Topic: Who's jumped the shark?

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Subject: Who's jumped the shark?
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
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So I've been thinking about authors that I used to glom like crazy and now am more than happy to part with and move on. Sometimes I think it's just my taste and interests have changed, but in other cases, the author's writing not to mention editing has gone downhill. Most authors have their occasional misfires and of course, to each their own, but in my opinion these are authors I used to read pretty much religiously and now don't even bother with anymore. Please correct me if you feel I'm missing out and chime in with your own input.

Catherine Coulter - used to be into her historicals, but now see that they've not aged well with the times; I'm also not into her jump into romantic suspense but I have a hard time liking romantic suspense in general unless it features Eve and Roarke....le sigh....

Jane Feather - some people didn't really like her earlier books but I thought they showed good attention to detail, innovation as far as time setting, and historical accuracy unlike her current releases that she keeps churning out

Christine Feehan - on the forefront of the paranormal/AR trend, but so formulaic it makes my head hurt

Julie Garwood - blasphemous, I know, but will she ever get back to writing historicals and if so, will they be any good? I'd heard a rumor that she was writing a historical but all I ever see is contemporary romantic suspense. No!!!!

Susan Johnson - What in the sam hill happened to you?!? Your early historicals were epic, lush, and oh so satisfying. Why are your contemporaries nothing but c*ap? Do you even care? You were such a good writer and now write meaningless trash filled with shallow boinkfests and not even an attempt at a plot. Can you tell I'm a little bitter?

Stephanie Laurens - I think she was very innovative at the beginning of her rise to stardom, particularly pushing the envelope with the love scenes, but I haven't read any of her new releases in awhile and probably never will

Johanna Lindsey - older ones are dated but beloved, newer ones are inexplicably bad...I hate to say it, I really do

Amanda Quick - gobbled up everything by her until I got tired of all her not beautiful, but "interesting" or "arresting" looking heroines and the bookish but hunky heroes that were involved in some arcane conspiracy or something or other; plus they all have weird names like Iphigenia or the stereotypical bluestocking name of Olivia

I'm sure I'll think of more...in any case, authors I have a hard time getting why they're so popular include:

Victoria Alexander, Suzanne Brockmann, LIz Carlyle, Lori Foster, Karen Hawkins (cover art is deceiving), Eloisa James (mediocre, IMO), Julianne MacLean, and Carly Phillips (I enjoyed the Hot Zone trilogy, but everything else is lacking)




Last Edited on: 5/28/08 6:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2006
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I can agree with Feehan - that's why I don't read her Carpathian books - same ish different day.  But I do continue to read some other series that are also formulaic - her formula just never floated my boat.

Catherine Coulter - I haven't re-read one of her historicals in awhile - actually I'm having a tough time trying to remember any!  I know I read some of her FBI stuff with Dillon and Savich and while I didn't hate it - I wasn't overwheimed by it.

Jane Feather - her V series stuff will always be on my keeper shelf but I can't say I've really loved anything by her recently.

Julie Garwood - still adore her historicals.  I think I've only read one of her contemporaries - again not horrible just didn't really grab my interest.

Stephanie Laurens - still love her despite the formula.  Her formula makes me smile and I continue to buy the books.

I think authors try and branch out of their starting genre which I can respect - but I sometimes wonder if it's their choice or if their publisher wants them to keep up with the new, hot trend - i.e., paranormal or urban. 

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2007
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Definitely feel  the same about Susan Johnson. I used to buy Amanda Quick pretty religiously and now I don't even look at her new titles that much. Haven't read Catherine Coulter in years.

Like the Carpathian still though her last one was a little weird (?trying to hard).

Haven't really like Nora Roberts paranormal books (the morrigan's cross one) though I haven't tried the latest trilogy.

Also liked Diana Palmer but now the book has to sound good before I buy. Always good in a pinch still.

Used to buy Linda Lael Miller all the time too but now only selectively.

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
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I loved Amanda Quick during what I think of as her one word title period.  Desire, Deception, Dangerous, Mystique. . .etc. etc.  But then she veered off into this Arcane Society thing and I just did not follow her.  The one word titles are for the most part on my keeper shelves and have been reread many times.  Same thing with her Jayne Castle persona.  Amaryllis, Zinnia and Orchid were so good but then the whole planet Harmony thing sort of veered off and I lost interest.  I have three or four shelves of keepers under the Jayne Ann Krentz name but nothing new.

Christine Feehan was my introduction to paranormals, a genre which now accounts for the majority of my new book purchases.  Because they were the first and captivated me so much, Dark Prince and the other first  9 or 10 Dark books are on my keeper shelves and often reread.  But after that I lost interest in going over the same ground again.  Moved on to new authors.

Diana Palmer, I used to eagerly wait for each new book.  I haven't read her in ages now.  I've only got shelf space for so many chain smoking, sexy but sexually dysfunctional jerks, LOL.  I would never part with The Patient Nurse or Matt Caldwell, Texas Tycoon or some of those older ones though.

Nowadays there are only three writers I regularly buy in Hardcover, Linda Howard, Karen Marie Moning and Naomi Novik. 

I loved Connie Brockway but her change to contemporaries left me cold.  On the other hand Lisa Kleypas and her genre change was wonderful.  I may have to put her on the Hardcover auto-buy list.

I think it's not just the authors, though, that have caused me to move on to other writers.  I used to go to my local bookstore and choose from what they stocked and the info and announcements they had up on the bulletin board and the ads in the back of the books I read.  Then I discovered the internet -- for shopping, for swapping, for book reviews, for the opinions of like minded readers from all over the world.  Changed the dynamics of my choosing  and my reading. That was only five years ago but it seems like a lifetime. 

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Jule Garwood I totally agree with.  Unless something changes soon, I'm just re-reading her oldies but goodies.

Johanna Lindsey - haven't read her in years...same reason.

Diana Palmer - can't stomach the uber-alpha males in some of her books.  I'm all for a strong man but not one who bulldozes over you.

Nora Roberts - never have liked her or understood her appeal.

Janet Chapman - loved her highlanders but the last book was nothing to write home about.


Now I have to disagree with you on Suzanne Brockmann and Lori Foster - I love their books and read every one that comes down the pike.


Date Posted: 5/28/2008 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
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Ohhhh i so understand where you guys are coming from.

Julie Garwood - one of my all time favorite and keeper. Historical only.Her contemps ane romantic suspense? Not for me.

Joanna Lindsey - it makes me cringe what she throws out now. I loved her old ones. I adore the Mallorys. Big time! But the ones that came out past 2005 - i have read them only once. And then took them to the ubs.

Nora Roberts - the same. I loved all her older stuff. Her Chesapeak saga is gold!

Amanda Quick - i agree with you Bronwyn, her one word period was great! And everything seemed so fresh and different back then. But you can bring the same thing only for so long.

Now thanks to pbs i have found so many new (to me) writers and i'm happy to move on. :D

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
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Nora Roberts - Her new stuff are not that good.

Amanda Quick/ Jayne Ann Krentz - she used to be an auto-buy for me but not anymore. Now, I borrow her books from the library.

Jude Deveraux - Has she written anything lately? I love her Montgemory and Taggert series as well as The Summerhouse. Not much of late.

Stephanie Laurens - don't get me started. Yawn!!

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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Nora needs to get away from the woo-woo and go back to what made her who she is, strong tales about love and family. I agree, I loved the Chesapeake Bay books! Or she could just write J.D. Robb books full time!

I think I am the only one who doesn't like Brockmann and Foster. I keep trying, but something is just missing.

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Brenda Joyce has really jumped the shark for me. Her historicals are still fairly readable, but I didn't bother to seek out the last one - if  I happen across it or get a good deal, I'll read it. Her paranormals are just gawdawful, IMO. 

Galean Foley. Her Only Desire was so terrible, I haven't sought out anything since. Again, I'll try them if they come along.

I wasn't thrilled by the last few Jo Beverleys, which is why I haven't rushed to get A Lady's Secret, but I certainly will read it at some point.

Edith Layton. Her books have gotten so dull in the last few years. I did order the latest, just because I figure I owe her some money, but I'm not expecting much. Will be very nice if I'm surprised.

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
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No, you're not the only one.   I have exactly one Brockmann keeper - Into The Night.  I read that one first, thought ya hoo, got a bunch for the TBR and have been finding that the thrill is gone ever since.  Usually I end up skimming them, just can't be bothered to sit and read the whole thing.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I seem to be in the minority but I really like Julie Garwood, but have only read her historicals. 

Have never read Johanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts, Edith Layton, or Connie Brockman.  I have Catherine Coulter, Madeline Hunter, Galen Foley, and Brenda Joyce books in my TBR piles. 

I know I read Jude Devereaux many years ago but apparently I wasn't impressed enough to continue reading her.

I've only read 3 by Christine Feehan--all historicals--though I have her Game series waiting to be read. I've not read any of the Carpathian books.

Diana Palmer has basically written the same story for 20 years but just changed names of the H/h, though I did enjoy them initially. 

One of my problems is when I read a book I really like, I want read everything I can by that author.  After about the 4th book, it all begins to read the same and I get bored and burned out.  I'm trying harder to only read a couple in a row then change authors and/or genres so as to avoid this. 



Date Posted: 5/29/2008 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
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Madeline Hunter and Rachel Gibson.  They used to be my auto-buy, but no more.  So depressing...................

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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I jump around between authors so much I am not good at keeping up with everything they have. A year or so ago I read everything I could find by Nora Roberts. A lot of them were her older books and though I enjoyed them the stories started running together for me. I have been very happy to find new authors on PBS and am enjoying reading them when I have time. I recently purchased a Linda Lael Miller but wasn't impressed at all. I remember really liking some of her past books....I am starting to be afraid of getting ones I won't like since it seems a lot of my past favorite authors are going down hill......


Date Posted: 5/29/2008 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
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I'm another one that actually still likes the Julie Garwood's (both the contemporary and the historical).  Her latest book was a return to the historicals with a tie in to the Buchanan's from her contemporary story line.  I really liked it.  I tend to buy her stuff in hardcover and it goes immediately on my keeper shelf.  I don't even let my mom borrow those (she is much harder on books than I am) LOL

I agree with the minority here about Suzanne Brockmann.  The only stuff by her I have been able to get through and continue to read is the Tall Dark and Dangerous series from Silhouette.  I never managed to make it through a single one of her Troubleshooter series or anything else by her.

Laurel K. Hamilton is one that has really disappointed me lately.  I LOVED Anita Blake and her cadre when the series first started.  Then the series shifted from engrossing paranormal suspense with an actual plot to one continuous 600 page orgy after another.  I have stopped reading anything she writes and have actually taken all of her other stuff off my keeper shelf.  NOT because of the sex, I have many many romantica books on that keeper shelf, but because I lost respect for the author.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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OK, I'm with you Sherri on Brockmann and Foster LOL! Now, to be honest I haven't read all of Brockmann's nor all of Foster's but I do like the ones I've read. I do agree with whoever said Brockmann's tall dark and dangerous series was good - I do seem to prefer those to the longer Seal books(troubleshooters) but a couple of troublehooter titles were just so good - don't rmember the titles of course but the one that featues Kenny and savannah(kenny is MY MAN!) I love love love Kenny and wish I had one like him.great sense of humor and so 'honest'...and I enjoyed the drama in the one where sam and alyssa finally seem to 'hook up' where he goes to see his ex to give her the house so she'd live closer and he could see Halley...

Now I do know that I tend to get turned off on an author from time to time and I think it's because I tend to get on a kick and read a bunch of their stuff at once though sometimes it's because they change their writing style and it doesnt' appeal to me. I burned out on Beatrice Small a long time ago when I shelled out $20 for her brand new hardback expecting ot get the same number of sex pages (hey my main purpose at the time for buying a book!) only to find out that there wasn't that much (someone told me later she was tired of her books being known for that and changed a bit..geez should put that on the front cover then!)..I read too much Susan elizabeth phillips that I didn 't want to touch another of her books for a long time! jayne ann krentz started getting too weird and I absolutely loved her earlier stuff jerky alpha males and all..now I buy them but just not the same and I'm even more into paranormal stuff and they're still a bit much...same with Nora Roberts..I"m so pissed at her for changing! I loved lovd loved her 'born in 'trilogy and the other one set in ireland..and esp a lot of her shorter books like the stars of mithra..even those were a bit 'out there' but now all she writes it seems like areall witch, etc. though I did enjoy the key trilogy but not nearly as much as her other stuff.

I read an article in romantic times that says publishers are forcing authors to write what they think will sell - paranormal, etc and that's why that 'deadly' series hasn't been finished; that historicals weren't big sellers or something to that effect..heck I've just recentnly discoverd historical! I now have a bunch of amanda quick in my TBR pile! but I'm learning to read several then go to a different genre to keep it fresh..

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I'm thinking that if we really care, we could send a letter to specific authors' publishers and say, don't tell us what we want! We want another Garwood or McNaught historical. We want more Francesca Cahill books by Brenda Joyce. Enough with the crap Susan Johnson contemps. I could go on and on.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
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I agree with you completely about every single author you have up there.  In fact, I was astonished when I read;

"Amanda Quick - gobbled up everything by her until I got tired of all her not beautiful, but "interesting" or "arresting" looking heroines and the bookish but hunky heroes that were involved in some arcane conspiracy or something or other; plus they all have weird names like Iphigenia or the stereotypical bluestocking name of Olivia"

I thought I was the only one getting sick and tired of all the not so beautiful, plain but interesting in a odd way h/h in every single book of this authors books.....every single name she even uses.  Great writer tho but STIll... sheesh

Adding to this list..

Judith McNaught... OK the last ...what 4-5 books ( all her contemp  romance.mystery) were not all that great. Lets be honest here,  compare it with what Linda Howard is writing... its actually horrible.  I wish she'll just stick with straight romance.

Lisa Kleypas... I wasn't happy with Sugar Daddy, her newest historical called something-something-Midnight was just OK... her last book that was sequel to Sugar Daddy I have no interest even reading.... I see a trend here... she's going down hill... Ugh, why! 



Last Edited on: 5/29/08 2:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: jumping the shark
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2007
Posts: 28
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I would like to add Iris Johansen.  What she did to Joe in the Eve Duncan books I may never forgive.  I gave up on Judith McNaught a while back:  same book, different names.  Jude Deveraux lost me with the Forever book.  I despised the main character(can't even remember the name).  Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick I still buy but I wait for the paperback.  Sandra Brown, Karen Robards and Elizabeth Lowell, I approach with caution.  I agree on Connie Brockway, didn't care much for the contemporary, her historicals were so fun and interesting.  And what happened to Laura Kinsale and Theresa Weir?

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
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I don't think I'll ever try Lisa Kleypas' contemps. I like her historicals too much. I understand maybe wanting to try and stretch yourself as an artist and writer, but as a reader, I just want people to stick with what they're good at. If SEP ever stop writing funny contemps, I will die! Well, nothing the melodramatic, but you get the idea. I also don't care for McNaught contemps. I'm a lot pickier about contemps and well, anything, outside of historical really.
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
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You all have mentioned many that I agree with, especially the historical writers switching to contemporaries.

Diana Palmer - she "jumped" with Boss Man in 2005 and I haven't read any new ones since.  Thank goodness for her ol' realiables!

Another for me is Janet Evanovich - #7 in the Plum series was the last straw in that frustrating series, and I haven't bothered with the reissues of her early works that have come out in the last few years.

And Cheryl Holt - LOVED her earlier stuff, but the last few have been crapola that luckily I got at the library.  I won't even bother with that from now on.

And Sherrilyn Kenyon - too many other series by her, seemed to distract her from writing the Dark Hunters well.

Last Edited on: 5/29/08 4:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Laura Kinsale is having problems getting a good contract, from what I hear. Makes me want to tear my hair out.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
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I agree about Laurell K. Hamilton.  i had her entire series up to Harlequin ?? autographed but got rid of all of it.  The first six or so of the Anita Blakes and the first couple Merry Gentrys were perfect and then it became a sex fest.  LIke Heather said, I enjoy erotica but these books weren't even that.  No involvement, no commitment.  And when she fired her editor, the writing just became sloppy. 

Linda Howard has gone downhill for me.  I think Dream Man (or Now You See Her) were the last really great books she wrote.  I still read on occasion but I don't buy anymore.

Sherrilyn Kenyon has gone drastically downhill. I will read Ash's book when it comes out but that will be the end of it for me.  And I have a feeling that Ash's book is going to be like Harry Potter 7:  an extreme let down.

Linda Lael Miller used to be a great, sexy read.  Now...I don't read anymore.  Someone told me her McKettrick series was a return to her old stuff but I couldn't get past chapter 2 in the first one.

Ditto with Julie Garwood.  LOVED her historicals but was warned away from the new one by someone whose opinion I trust. 

I will read the new Rachel Gibson when it comes out because I want to see how this quartet ends. 

Susan Elizabeth Phillips disappointed me with Natural Born Charmer (actually Match Me If You Can wasn't all that and a latte on the side either).  For the conclusion of a long running series, it didn't tie up loose ends.  I will give her another try though.

And Susan Andersen has disappointed with her Las Vegas showgirls books. 

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
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I did not list out Janet Evanovich b/c I was not sure if she belongs to Love&Romance or Chick Lit. I will not touch another Stephanie Plum book. Actually, I did not read the last two - same book over and over again.

Never read a contemps from Judith McNaught. Why did she go and ruin a good thing.

Jane Feather - her latest stuff are creepy sometimes.

Jude Deveraux - yes, she lost me with the "Forever" series.


Date Posted: 5/30/2008 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
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Sherrilyn Kenyon has gone drastically downhill. I will read Ash's book when it comes out but that will be the end of it for me.  And I have a feeling that Ash's book is going to be like Harry Potter 7:  an extreme let down.

She wrote his book years ago, so hopefully it will be better then her recent ones. I will be done with her series after his book as well... ( and I love her lol)

Date Posted: 5/30/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2006
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Really?  She wrote Acheron's book years ago?  Interesting. I thought her last book Devil May Cry was pretty good and close to her normal good stuff.  I'll still continue to read her stuff in the Dark Hunter Universe - I am just addicted and I still want to see what happens to Nick and to Savitar.