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The Unsung Books

We’ve done posts on your favorite books and on those you are embarrassed to admit you’ve never read, but I have a new one for you. What about the unsung books? Those books or authors that haven’t made a bestseller list and aren’t raved about in reviews. They should be because we love them, but they haven’t made it there (yet).

Having just read Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Leopard Prince, she is one of my new unsung favorites. Who is yours?

Category: Blog



  1. Sins of the Seventh Sister by Huston Curtiss. A novel based on his growing up as the only son of a true southern belle who knew how to stand up for herself at a time when it was unexpected. I think it’s the only book he has written, but I loved it. Any time I’ve suggested it to others, no one has heard of it. We read it for book club.

  2. This is a really hard question to answer, because when I love books, I search out everything I can find about them, so I don’t know whether or not they are “sung” with a given industry award or whatnot.

    I know I was flogging everyone to read Betina Krahn’s THE BOOK OF TRUE DESIRES. I’m so happy it won a RITA award. So deserved!

    Jennifer Echolls’ MAJOR CRUSH was an amazing YA novel out last year.

  3. Um, I think I might’ve mentioned once or twice that I’m a big fan of gothics. I was thrilled to discover Diane Tyrrel’s ON THE EDGE OF THE WOODS and ON WINDING HILL ROAD. They reminded me of the Phyllis Whitney books I devoured as a teenager, but more updated. I haven’t yet had a chance to read her latest, THE INN AT HALF MON BAY, but it has top priority on my TBR pile.

  4. Demon Angel, by Meljean Brook.
    Dirty Deeds, by Mark Terry.
    Bodyguard of Lies, by Robert Doherty.

    And is Emilie Richards still unsung? I don’t think so. But if you haven’t tried her out, she writes with the most amazing emotional depth.

  5. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton. I read it in my my mom’s Readers Digest condensed books when I was 13 and never forgot it. Finally found a copy in a used book store and plan to read it again. It was Carleton’s only book, told from the various points of view of family. On the other end of the spectrum, I am hooked on a new author in Kensington’s Aphrodisia line (the one I write for) Devyn Quinn. Her book, Flesh and the Devil, was absolutely exquisite dark erotic romance and I can’t wait to read her next one, Sins of the Flesh, which is due out at the end of September.

  6. Like Diana, it’s difficult for me to say whether anyone but me is “singing” about an author. I sing so loudly, no one else has to!

    I’ve just started Margaret Maron’s Hard Row, after finishing John Connolly’s The Unquiet. It’s been a heavy summer of hardcovers!

    On the lighter side, someone I adore who isn’t probably that well known yet is Ellen Byerrum, who writes the “Crime of Fashion” mysteries.

  7. I’m a book reviewer so any books I get a sing their praises loudly! LOL. Anyone wanting to read any of my reviews, go to my blog,

  8. About a year ago I read a novel called Rock Orchard by a debit author. I think her name was Paula Wall if I remember right. I can’t believe that one didn’t take off. She had a great voice and style.

  9. It got some very good reviews, including the NYT, but I don’t know if it made any bestseller lists – The Keeper by Sarah Langan. Really good original horror. Grim, disturbing, haunting, and not a sexy vampire or charming lycanthrope in sight. Just good character development, plot and storytelling.

  10. If you want something dark and dangerous, I’d go for THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE by Anonymous – a fabulous story about a woman who loses her path, and doesn’t necessarily want to find it again. It’s hot, hot, hot and definitely not for the fainthearted….

  11. Most of the books that I’ve read recently were recs from other people and are generally popular. But, when I was a kid I read THE SEER AND THE SWORD by Victoria Hanley – even now, it’s one of my favorite books.

  12. Tallgrass, by Sandra Dallas is a wonderful book and should be required reading in our high schools. It’s the story of a Japanese internment camp in Colorado, and what happens when the prisoners run up against the residents of a farming town. Great stuff.

  13. I’d encourage everyone to give the Calamity Jayne series by Kathy Bacus a try. It’s sort of chick lit meets cozy mystery – very funny and smart.

    I also love the Ophelia and Abby series by Shirley Damsgaard. Paranormal cozy mysteries with touches of humor. Plus the heroine is the local librarian. I can really relate to Ophelia.

  14. Well, I’m flattered SpyScribbler that you mentioned Dirty Deeds.

    I would want to volunteer all the historical mysteries by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer featuring “John the Eunuch.” The 7th book comes out next year, I believe. The only historical mysteries I read and they’re wonderful. They’re published by Poisoned Pen Press and I know they’re trying to find an agent for a supernatural historical they’ve written. Really terrific authors.

    Also, Jeff Cohen’s “For Whom The Minivan Rolls,” “A Farewell to Legs” and “As Dog As My Witness.”

    These authors deserve significantly larger audiences than they’re currently getting. Jeff might, as he’s got a new series coming out this fall from Berkley, I believe.

  15. I loved Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Leopard Prince too. Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep is a fun, fun book, a comic book meets romance and the reader is the winner. I read the ARC of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, and I think she’ll be a sung hero soon. The book is awesome.

  16. Hm.. Hard to choose. Lately I’ve been rather enamoured of chick-lit. Particularly Kristen Billerbeck, but there are two relatively new authors that I absolutely adore.

    Erynn Mangum is a little light on the plot but I could barely put the books down. Jenny B Jones has a stronger plot but is written for teens. They’re both absolutely hilarious, though Erynn is more on the sugar/caffeine rush funny, and Jenny is more on the sarcastic/quick wit funny side.

  17. I like J.A. Konrath books. They keep me up at night and make me check the locks! Mark Terry’s last Derek Stillwater book was good too. One nice surprize was Robert Gregory Brownes 1st time novel “Kiss her Goodbye”. The ending was a real surpize. Creepy.

  18. I recently read The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. It’s a sort of contemporary gothic, very strong, literate voice that’s almost mesmerizing and a wonderful story. I also like Carol Goodman, especially The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water. Like Setterfield’s, Goodman’s voice is strong and compelling and she knows how to put together a good mystery. Both writers pull you in and their voices stay with you long after you finish the book.

  19. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell and Nearly Roadkill by Caitlin Sullivan and Kate Bornstein. Both of them made me re-evaluate the way that I looked at life, and yet I’ve never met anyone else who’s even heard of them.

  20. A few years ago, Linda Winstead Jones wrote a series of gothic paranormals under the name Linda Fallon.

    SHADES OF MIDNIGHT, SHADES OF WINTER and SHADES OF SCARLET are three of my all time favorite books.

    When I met Linda Winstead Jones a few years ago, I asked (okay, begged) her to tell me when she planned to continue that series. Alas, there are no more “Shades” books in the works.

  21. What a great question-there are too many “unsung” authors. My contribution: Sophia Nash! Her most recent novel is Dangerous Beauty. She writes intelligent, witty and sexy Historical Fiction.

  22. Best author you’ve never heard of in the literary fiction category: Ernest Hebert, a writing professor at Dartmouth College. He’s written seven novels; five of them are set in the fictional town of Darby, NH and he really captures the working people of that region. The Dogs of March was his first book, published in 1979 and it will always be one of my very favorites.

  23. Rebecca’s Tale! It’s by Sally Beauman. I found it just because it was on the front table at Barnes and Noble and I’m soooo glad I picked it up. It tells Rebecca’s side of the story, from du Maurier’s Rebecca.

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