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Everlasting Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2009
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About the Author
(1939 - 2007) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, creator of the modern historical romance, died July 6, 2007 in Minnesota. She had just turned 68. Her attorney, William Messerlie, said that she died after a long illness.
Born on June 3, 1939 in Alexandria, Louisiana, Mrs. Woodiwiss was the youngest of eight siblings. She long relished creating original narratives, and by age six was telling herself stories at night to help herself fall asleep. At age 16, she met U.S. Air Force Second Lieutenant Ross Woodiwiss at a dance, and they married the following year. She wrote her first book in longhand while living at a military outpost in Japan.
Woodiwiss is credited with the invention of the modern historical romance novel: in 1972, she released The Flame and the Flower, an instant New York Times bestseller, creating literary precedent. The Flame and the Flower revolutionized mainstream publishing, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and impassioned sex scenes. "Kathleeen E. Woodiwiss is the founding mother of the historical romance genre," says Carrie Feron, vice president/editorial director of William Morrow and Avon Books, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers. Feron, who has been Woodiwiss's editor for 13 years, continues, "Avon Books is proud to have been Kathleen's sole publishing partner for her paperbacks and hardcover novels for more than three decades." Avon Books, a leader in the historical romance genre to this day, remains Mrs. Woodiwiss's original and only paperback publisher; William Morrow, Avon's sister company, publishes Mrs. Woodiwiss's hardcovers.
The Flame and the Flower was rejected by agents and hardcover publishers, who deemed it as "too long" at 600 pages. Rather than follow the advice of the rejection letters and rewrite the novel, Mrs. Woodiwiss instead submitted it to paperback publishers. The first publisher on her list, Avon, quickly purchased the novel and arranged an initial 500,000 print run. The novel sold over 2.3 million copies in its first four years of publication.
The success of this novel prompted a new style of writing romance, concentrating primarily on historical fiction tracking the monogamous relationship between a helpless heroines and the hero who rescued her, even if he had been the one to place her in danger. The romance novels which followed in her example featured longer plots, more controversial situations and characters, and more intimate and steamy sex scenes.
"Her words engendered an incredible passion among readers," notes Feron. Bestselling author Julia Quinn agrees, saying, "Woodiwiss made women want to read. She gave them an alternative to Westerns and hard-boiled police procedurals. When I was growing up, I saw my mother and grandmother reading and enjoying romances, and when I was old enough to read them myself, I felt as if I had been admitted into a special sisterhood of reading women."
New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, a leading voice in the women's fiction arena, says, "We all owe our careers to her. She opened the world of romance to us as readers. She created a career for us to go into."
The pioneering author has written 13 novels over the course of 35 years, all New York Times bestsellers. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's final literary work, the upcoming Everlasing, will be published by William Morrow in October 2007. "Everlasting is Kathleen's final gift to her fans," notes Feron.
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, who was predeceased by her husband and son Dorren, is survived by sons Sean and Heath, and numerous grandchildren.
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The only person who interests Abrielle is Raven Seabern but he's a Scot so not appropriate for her, especially as he doesn't seem particularly interested in her, just seems to watch her. In the end, in order to save the family from penury, Abrielle agrees to marry Desmond de Marlé and counsels her stepfather to arrange the biggest payment possible for her - which he does.
Abrielle seems rather bad news as a potential wife. Her first fiancé died on the eve of the wedding, her second lasts slightly longer, but all too soon Abrielle is on her own again, this time with a great deal of money and with suitors flocking round her, as well as those who would do her evil trying to get at her. Throughout all this, Raven Seabern is a constant, often rescuing her or protecting her, and yet Abrielle doubts his motives. Can a Scotsman and a Saxon woman ever get along?
The writing style of this book is very simple with light descriptions of places and events, no very deep characterisation and a plot that was never very taxing. It's always easy to spot the 'baddies' as they smell or have rotting teeth or are fat; the 'goodies' are always attractive, clean, lean and with good teeth! The story is really a collection of events including kidnappings, sieges and rescues, through which Abrielle learns to trust Raven. It's a pleasant enough read but nothing special.
However, I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I finished Everlasting. I don't know. Something was missing. That special spark that I can feel in e.g. Shanna or The Flame and the Flower. We are lacking some real tension between the main characters, some real verbal battle, emotional chaos... all of which I can find in some of her other books.
Still, I will always remember her as a great writer who enriched my days with her amazing books which can be read over and over again.
So I thank Mrs. Woodiwiss for her legacy.
Yet, if Abrielle could choose her mate, it'd be Raven Seabern, the dashing Scottish ambassador who can't seem to keep his stunning blue gaze from hers. Raven is considerate, yet masterful and nobody's fool. He awakens in Abrielle new emotions and sensations with one intimate dance and a single, stolen kiss. But one fateful night, Abrielle's fortune changes. A gruesome occurrence forces her to become a competent woman instead of an uncertain young maiden. And now Abrielle has to decide if she's ready for everything that goes along with getting exactly what one wishes for.
Everlasting is a lovely and engaging novel. It entices the reader with a charming central love story surrounded by intrigue, action and plenty of heroines in dire straits. An appealing and sweetly sensual final offering to readers who remain devastated by the loss of the author. And it is, perhaps, a gift to readers yet to discover the charm, passion and inspirational quality of her books. For discover her they shall. As long as women continue to support this magnificent genre, they will read--and pay homage to--the woman who made it possible. Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it.
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Most recent customer reviews
Have nearly read all her novels. Love them!
I haven't finished it yet as I lost interest and put it aside.Read more