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Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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(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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(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.

Books by thisAuthor
  • The Reluctant Suitor

    The Reluctant Suitor
    Lady Adriana Sutton has long adored Colton Wyndham, to whom she has been promised by an agreement of courtship and betrothal since childhood. As a young girl, she was wounded by Colton's stubborn refusal to comply with his father's wishes and by his angry departure for a life of adventure and danger in the British army. No longer the plain tomboy Colton had spurned, Lady Adriana has blossomed into a much desired beauty. Yet the only man she desires is the decorated hero who has finally come home to his rightful title. Arrogant and seductive as ever, he remains averse to the idea of their betrothal, in spite of his growing desire for her. Forced into a courtship with this spirited woman, Colton's heroic heart is moved by her charm, grace and sensuality. But a secret from his past may doom their burgeoning love ... even as the treacherous schemes of a sinister rival threaten to steal the remarkable lady from his arms forever. Performed by Lynn Redgrave.

    Everlasting

    Everlasting
    Once, Abrielle was a privileged daughter coveted for her bearing, her breeding, her wit, and her beauty. But when her stepfather is denied his rightful title and the wealth that accompanies it, Abrielle finds herself suddenly disgraced. Only one man would still have her: the oafish and grotesque Desmond de Marlé. To rescue her once-proud family's honor, Abrielle must sacrifice her virtue to this scoundrel she fears and detests . . . even as she yearns for another lover. Dashing, handsome, tall, and kind, Raven Seabern is quite unlike any man Abrielle has ever encountered. But their love can never be, for Abrielle is betrothed to a monster. And the well-being of everyone she cares for demands that she honor her promise. Still, Raven knows he has found the true one and must never let her go—though secrets, deceptions, dishonor, and unimaginable peril will surely be their fate if they follow the dictates of their hearts.

    Ashes in the Wind

    Ashes in the Wind
    A woman burdened by war...A doctor torn between passion and duty...A sweeping tale of love in the face of dishonor from the incomparable storyteller--Kathleen Woodiwiss. Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, innocent "lad" in need--never suspecting the rags conceal a bewitching belle suspected of being a rebel spy. But Alaina's masquerade does not fool Cole for long. And the strength, courage, and breathtaking sensuality of this woman whom it would be treasonous to love sets duty and desire at war within him. Yet Destiny has joined them for good or ill--and they both must follow where their hearts would lead them, if they are to build a glorious new life together out of the ashes of the old.

    Shanna

    Shanna
    A pact is sealed in secret behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison. In return for a night of unparalleled pleasure, a dashing condemned criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress, thereby rescuing her with his name from an impending and abhorred arranged union. But in the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a solemn promise is broken, as a sensuous free spirit takes flight to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the stranger she married to face the gallows unfulfilled. But Ruark Beauchamp's destiny is now eternally intertwined with that of the tempestuous, intoxicating Shanna. He will be free . . . and he will find her. For no iron ever forged can imprison his resolute passion. And no hangman's noose will deny Ruark the ecstasy that is rightfully his.

  • Forever in Your Embrace

    Forever in Your Embrace
    On a dark and dangerous road, a daring British adventurer saves the life of a countess of royal blood. In all his travels, Colonel Tyrone Rycroft has never encountered a woman as breathtaking, alluring, and inscrutably mysterious as the bewitching Synnovea. But his selfless bravery has drawn him into peril -- and into an inescapable web of intrigue and seduction. In an opulent and treacherous imperial court, the proud, headstrong lady′s dashing champion has become a pawn in a dangerous game of power and influence -- and only his great courage and wits will enable him to survive it. But Rycroft′s enflamed desire will not let him escape to the safety of his own world -- not until his dream is realized, and the enigmatic, highborn beauty has given herself to him freely, honestly, and forever.

    A Season Beyond a Kiss

    A Season Beyond a Kiss
    At last life can begin again for Raelynn Barrett. In the loving embrace of her new husband, the dashing American shipping magnate Jeff Birmingham, she can forget her painful past and the tragic, undeserved disgrace of her family. Jeff has brought passion into her heart once agin -- and each sweet, lingering kiss is a promise of a future rich in joy and sensual fulfillment. But Raelynn can hear the whispered rumors that damn the man she loves. And what her own eyes have witnessed seem to brand her adored and adoring Jeff as the worst sort of criminal. Yet even as she flees his desire and his love, Raelynn cannot escape the memory of his tender touch and the heated nights they shared. But in the face of the devastating treacheries of ruthless, hidden enemies, how can Jeff ever hope to win back the trust of the woman he cherishes...and secure his place eternally in his beloved Raelynn's betrayed heart?

    Come Love a Stranger

    Come Love a Stranger
    A woman with no name and no memory...The two men who claim her:one with love, the other with fear...A dazzling tale of secret passions--and a love tragically lost and miraculously reborn--by the incomparable storyteller. Mere days after Ashton Wingate's wedding to the enchanting Lierin, capricious Fate stole the Mississippi plantation owner's beloved from him. Now, three years later, his carriage has collided with a cloaked rider on horseback: a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the young bride who was swallowed up by the merciless river. She awakens from unconsciousness in his magnificent home with no memory of who she is. Yet the tenderness of this noble, caring stranger who lovingly calls her "Lierin" soon captures her heart and inflames her with wanting. Then another enters their lives, threatening to destroy the happiness they have rediscovered in each other's arms--the dark and dangerous Malcolm Sinclair, who claims the enigmatic beauty is, in fact, his own wife, Lenore. But Ashton has sworn that he will not lose his adored one a second time, and he will risk any peril to preserve their newfound joy--no matter what the unremembered secrets of his lady's past ultimately reveal.LIERIN With no name and no memory, she awakens from a nightmare of madness into the lives of two stranger. One she desires, one she fears--but both have claimed her heart. To handsome plantation owner Ashton Wingate, she is Lierin--the cherished bride cruelly stolen from him by capricious Fate. The other calls her Lenore--entangling the lost, tormented beauty in his sinister web of perilous deceit. But it is in the adoring arms of noble Ashton that her true destiny awaits--as they join together to unlock the mysteries of a shadowed past. . .and to rekindle the flames of a glorious love once vanished but never forgotten.

    So Worthy My Love

    So Worthy My Love
    Maxim Proud and passionate, the Marquess of Bradbury swore vengeance on those who had stolen his title and lands. . .and branded him a traitor to the Crown. Elise Beautiful and spirited, she found herself the innocent prisoner of the marquess, her family's most hated foe. So Worthy My Love They were bitter enemies caught in a dangerous tide that swept through Elizabeth's England—And thus began a battle of wit and will between two people so perfectly matched that they could only fall in love.

  • Petals on the River

    Petals on the River
    A proud and spirited woman whose life was stolen from her. . .A man of secrets accused of a terrible crime. . .In a place of new beginnings their destinies are joined—in a gloriously romantic new work from the incomparable storyteller. The fiery and outspoken adopted daughter of one of England's most formidable a women, Shemaine O'Hearn has made powerful enemies. And now her adversaries have found a way to remove the hot-blooded beauty from her life of privilege: by falsely convicting Shemaine of thievery and sending her in shackles to America, where she is to be sold in indentured servitude to the highest bidder. In a bustling port city in the colony of Virginia, she becomes the servant of Gage Thornton—a shipbuilder with a young child in need of a nanny. And despite whispered rumors condemning the handsome widower for the untimely death of his wife, Shemaine cannot ignore her desire for this caring, generous and enigmatic stranger who silently aches with his growing need for her—even as grave peril reaches out from across a vast ocean to threaten their flowering love. The fiery and outspoken adopted daughter of one of England's most formidable women, Shemaine O'Hearn has made powerful enemies. And now her adversaries have found a way to remove the hot-blooded beauty from her life of privilege: by falsely convicting Shemaine of thievery and sending her in shackles to America, where she is to be sold in indentured servitude to the highest bidder. In a bustling port city in the colony of Virginia, she becomes the servant of Gage Thornton-a shipbuilder with a young child in need of a nanny. And despite whispered rumors condemning the handsome widower for the untimely death of his wife, Shemaine cannot ignore her desire for this caring, generous and enigmatic stranger who silently aches with his growing need for her-even as grave peril reaches out from across a vast ocean to threaten their flowering love.

    A Rose in Winter

    A Rose in Winter
    The fairest flower in Mawbry is Erienne Fleming, the enchanting, raven-haired daughter of the village mayor. Charming, spirited and exquisitely lovely, she is beset on all sides by suitors, any one of whom would pay a king's fortune for a place in her heart. But Erienne has eyes for only one: the dashing and witty young Yankee, Christopher Seton. But marriage for love is not to be, for her irresponsible and unscrupulous father, crippled by gambling debts, is intent on auctioning off his beautiful daughter to the highest bidder. And in the end, Erienne is devastated to find it is the strange and secretive Lord Saxton who has purchased her—a mysterious, tragic figure who wears a mask and a cloak at all times to hide disfiguring scars gained in a terrible fire some years back. But in the passing days, Saxton's true nature is revealed to her. A gentle and adoring soul, he treats his new bride with warmth and abiding tenderness, yet appears to her only by daylight. She, in turn, vows to be a good and loyal wife to him. And then Christopher Seton reenters Erienne's world Conflicted by emotions she cannot suppress, Erienne valiantly attempts to remain honorable to her elusive, enigmatic husband but feels herself irresistibly drawn to Seton's passion, his fire, and his secrets. Entangled in intrigues she doesn't yet understand, Erienne Fleming will soon have to make a devastating choice: between love and honor . . . between her duty and her heart.

    The Flame and the Flower

    The Flame and the Flower
    The Flower Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger. The Flame A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed lovely his woman. . .and to carry her off to far, uncharted realms of sensuous, passionate love.

    The Wolf and the Dove

    The Wolf and the Dove
    The Wolf Noble Aislinn grieves as the Iron Wolf and his minions storm through her beloved Darkenwald. And she burns with malice for the handsome Norman savage who would enslave her. . .even as she aches to know the rapture of the conqueror′s kiss The Dove For the first time ever, mighty Wulfgar has been vanquished--and by a bold and beautiful princess of Saxon blood. He must have the chaste, sensuous enchantress who is sworn to his destruction. And he will risk life itself to nurture with tender passion a glorious union born in the blistering heat of hatred and war.

  • Elusive Flame

    Elusive Flame
    A woman in desperate straits ... A fearless man ...A marriage of convenience on turbulent waters ... Cerynise Kendall has been left destitute and in dire need following the death of her doting patron and protectress. A brilliant young artist tossed from her home with only the clothes on her back, Cerynise must now turn to a childhood companion for assistance - the dashing sea captain Beauregard Birmingham and beg him to provide her with passage to the Carolinas. She seeks a new home and a new life across the waters, but all depends upon the kindness of a charming adventurer who was once the object of her youthful infatuation. Beneath Birmingham′s rugged exterior beats a heart as large and wild as the Atlantic, and Beau readily agrees to aid Cerynise - even offering her his name in marriage, albeit temporarily, to protect his long time friend from scandal. But perilous secrets, determined enemies and tempests of the sea and soul threaten their future and safe passage even as bonds of camaraderie are miraculously reforged as bonds of desire ... and affection becomes passion and love.

    Flame And The Flower

    Flame And The Flower
    The Flower Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence--until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger. The Flame A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed lovely his woman. . .and to carry her off to far, uncharted realms of sensuous, passionate love.

    Forever in Your Embrace

    Forever in Your Embrace
    Author's Preferred Edition
    Forever In Your EmbraceOn a dark and dangerous road, a daring British adventurer saves the life of a countess of royal blood. In all his travels, Colonel Tyrone Rycroft has never encountered a woman as breathtaking, alluring, and inscrutably mysterious as the bewitching Synnovea. But his selfless bravery has drawn him into peril -- and into an inescapable web of intrigue and seduction. In an opulent and treacherous imperial court, the proud, headstrong lady's dashing champion has become a pawn in a dangerous game of power and influence -- and only his great courage and wits will enable him to survive it. But Rycroft's enflamed desire will not let him escape to the safety of his own world -- not until his dream is realized, and the enigmatic, highborn beauty has given herself to him freely, honestly, and forever.

    Married at Midnight

    Married at Midnight
    FOUR BRIDES, FOUR BEGINNINGS. . .FOUR STORIES OF ROMANCE FROM THE INCOMPARABLE KATHLEEN E. WOODIWISS, and JO BEVERLEY, TANYA ANNE CROSBY, and SAMANTHA JAMES MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by KATHLEEN E. WOODIWISS The wedding of Jeff Birmingham of THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER and his new bride Raelynn inflames the jealous ire of a determined rival. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by JO BEVERLEY A women abandoned on the battlefield discovers that dreams can cone true when an honorable commanding officer gallantly offers his name. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by TANYA ANNE CROSBY A rebellious heiress who must wed by the stroke of midnight learns that a twist of fate has fulfilled her heart_s deepest desire. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by SAMANTHA JAMES A young woman_s reckless scheme to defy her father_s ultimatum leads to a hasty union and unexpected passion. . . Celebrate the glorious, magical moment of new beginnings with for uncertain couples joined by a passionate promise--and surprised by unforeseen love.FOUR BRIDES, FOUR BEGINNINGS. . .FOUR STORIES OF ROMANCE FROM THE INCOMPARABLE KATHLEEN E. WOODIWISS, and JO BEVERLEY, TANYA ANNE CROSBY, and SAMANTHA JAMES MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by KATHLEEN E. WOODIWISS The wedding of Jeff Birmingham of THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER and his new bride Raelynn inflames the jealous ire of a determined rival. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by JO BEVERLEY A women abandoned on the battlefield discovers that dreams can cone true when an honorable commanding officer gallantly offers his name. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by TANYA ANNE CROSBY A rebellious heiress who must wed by the stroke of midnight learns that a twist of fate has fulfilled her hearts deepest desire. . . MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT by SAMANTHA JAMES A young womans reckless scheme to defy her fathers ultimatum leads to a hasty union and unexpected passion. . . Celebrate the glorious, magical moment of new beginnings with for uncertain couples joined by a passionate promise--and surprised by unforeseen love.

  • Rose in Winter  H

    Rose in Winter H

    Forever in Your Embrace

    Forever in Your Embrace
    Author's Preferred Edtion
    On a dark and dangerous road, a daring British adventurer saves the life of a countess of royal blood. In all his travels, Colonel Tyrone Rycroft has never encountered a woman as breathtaking, alluring, and inscrutably mysterious as the bewitching Synnovea. But his selfless bravery has drawn him into peril -- and into an inescapable web of intrigue and seduction. In an opulent and treacherous imperial court, the proud, headstrong lady's dashing champion has become a pawn in a dangerous game of power and influence -- and only his great courage and wits will enable him to survive it. But Rycroft's enflamed desire will not let him escape to the safety of his own world -- not until his dream is realized, and the enigmatic, highborn beauty has given herself to him freely, honestly, and forever.

    The Reluctant Suitor CD

    The Reluctant Suitor CD
    The Reluctant Suitor CD

    Great Escapes

    Great Escapes
    An Avon Summer eBook Sampler
    Great Escapes: An Avon Summer eBook Sampler Celebrate summer love and sunny skies! Avon Books is delighted to present this free e-book sampler, which includes excerpts from classic Avon tales as well as eight new or upcoming Avon and Avon Impulse novels, and a special introduction from bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. You'll find: An Introduction from Susan Elizabeth Phillips Excerpts from New Summer Releases When I Find You by Dixie Lee Brown Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare My Notorious Gentleman by Gaelen Foley And Then She Fell by Stephanie Laurens It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry Love at First Sight by Lori Wilde Avon Classics The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux Love Me Forever by Johanna Lindsey Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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