Big Mary Balogh News

Beginning in late February 2009, Mary Balogh will publish four – that’s right four – new books over four consecutive months.

The series will follow the existing pattern familiar to Balogh readers with the first three published as paperback originals, followed by the big hardcover wrap-up in late May.

Here is the breakdown of titles and pub dates:

First Comes Marriage February 24

Then Comes Seduction March 24

At Last Comes Love April 28

Seducing An Angel May 19

Holy cow, that’s a lot of Balogh! Next question: What’s the series going to be about? According to the Bantam Dell press release I got last week, the books will follow the exploits of the “fiery, sensual” Huxtable sisters, commencing with the story of Vanessa. (Okay, let’s just get it on the table: It is impossible to read that name and not think of The Cosby Show.) Here’s the publisher’s blurb for the first one:

“The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. Desperate to rescue her eldest sister from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable, a proud, spirited, widow, offers herself instead. In need of a wife, Elliott takes the audacious widow up on her unconventional proposal. But a strange thing happens on the way to the wedding night. Two strangers with absolutely nothing in common can’t keep their hands off each other. Soon Elliott and Vanessa are discovering that when it comes to wedded bliss, love can’t be far behind.”

My first reaction to the news? Joy. My second? Honestly, I’ve got to wonder what effect this kind of compressed writing schedule – four books are…well, four books – might have on the quality of the series. Mary Balogh has published at least an original book a year for a while now so she didn’t go to ground to finish this series as many authors do when publishing multiple titles over consecutive months.

Still, we’re talking Mary Balogh here and, even though not every book hits it out of the park for me, my respect and affection for her work remains undiminished. For what it’s worth, I’ve just begun reading the ARC of First Comes Marriage and – though it’s still w-a-a-a-y too early to tell – I’m catching a Mr. Darcy and Wulfe-type vibe from the hero. And, from where I sit, that’s just all around good news.

So what do you think? Are you looking forward (as I definitely am with some trepidations) to the upcoming Mary Balogh feast? Are you at all concerned about the possible effect the rushed publication schedule might have on quality? And, more generally, are you series-d out or do you fall into the still can’t get enough category?

-Sandy AAR

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24 Responses to “Big Mary Balogh News”

  1. elainec says:

    Wow! That’s a lot of books, not that I have any trouble reading Mary Baogh’s . I’m excited at the prospect. I’ll be saving my money for them. For me, that’s a problem when an author I love writes so many in a short time. It’s expensive – especially the hardcover. I wish I were able to read that ARC. It sounds intriguing. Thanks for the information.

  2. PatW says:

    I sort of understood from Mary’s own website that this schedule was planned well in advance and that all the books were written such that they are all at the advanced stages of publication before their scheduled releases.

    And honestly most of her books coming out recently have been reprints…

    I definitely am looking forward to these!

  3. Rike says:

    I am really looking forward to reading these. I hope, too, that they are entirely unconnected to the Bedwyns … I truly enjoyed reading about them, but later felt there were too many connected novels and too many happy couples making cameo appearances. So I am looking forward to something new!

  4. Anna B says:

    I’m still stuck on the first heroine’s name being Vanessa Huxtable. I’ve been out of the Balogh loop for quite a while, but if this new venture is entirely unconnected to previous books, (and hopefully the other heroines will not be Sondra, Denise and Rudy) I’ll be interested to see how things turn out.

  5. Caro says:

    I LOVE Balogh, but please God, let this series be unconnected to the Bedwyns. At the end of her last series, I was consulting her backlist to identify the throngs of characters making an appearance. I don’t want to work that hard when I read for pleasure!

  6. marilyn says:

    I’ve never read mary balogh before,but I’d like to. Can anyone recommend their favorites? Thank you!!

  7. Anne Marble says:

    My favorites are her older Regency trads, some of which have been reprinted recently, as well as some of her earlier historicals. For example, I loved Dark Angel and Lord Carew’s Bride, as well as The Secret Pearl, A Precious Jewel, etc. But most people prefer the more recent books, at least according to Favorite Books by Favorite Authors votes:
    http://www.likesbooks.com/favesbyauthor.html#balogh

    BTW I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to the Huxtable name, too. :)

  8. Stephanie says:

    Oh, dear. It’s impossible for me to hear the name “Huxtable” and not have an image of Cliff and Claire boogeying through the opening credits of “The Cosby Show” flashing through my mind. And the heroine’s name is Vanessa too? Double “Oh, dear.”

    I do admire Mary Balogh’s writing, and it’s good to see that a veteran romance writer will have so many new works out soon. That being said, I think I’d be more excited if her last series had impressed me more–I’m afraid I found the “Simply” quartet to be rather tepid, overall. The “Slightly” series struck me as a mixed bag too–and I’m in agreement with those who hope she retires the Bedwyns, at least for a while. Give readers a chance to miss them, please. Meanwhile, I’ll cross my fingers and hope this upcoming quartet brings something fresh and new to the table.

  9. Jane A says:

    That’s great to hear about these upcoming releases. As far as the consecutive release dates and the fear that the books will suffer from the compressed writing schedule, I have a lot of faith in Mary Balogh’s professionalism. I really don’t think we’ll find that her writing suffers. That being said I do hope that she picks up the pace a bit from her last few books as I found them rather slow going. Like others I hope she leaves the Bedwyn world behind and that she can start up with something fresh.

    On another note, I love this new AAR blog! I don’t participate in the After Hours blog because it doesn’t really touch on things I’m interested in, but this looks great!

  10. Anne Gilbert says:

    Yeah. That is a lot of Mary Balogh. Fortunately, I like Mary Balogh. I also like this site. It’s cool!
    Anne G

  11. Why does the name of the fourth book have nothing to do with the other three titles?

    I’m excited that Bantam is building her to the next level.

  12. SusanL says:

    At least Huxtable is her maiden name. Hopefully she will be referred to as Mrs. Dew until she becomes Viscountess Lyngate.

  13. Janet W says:

    Anything Balogh is good news for me … it is interesting though that one of the crucial questions (themes?) is paternity and who is actually the rightful heir (by the way, what’s your spoiler policy?) … and didn’t that just come up with Julia Quinn? Whoever said she’s been writing these for ages is correct: I’m in the Balogh Yahoo group and unlike many authors, she is a very present, lowkey and friendly presence — as is Jo Beverley in her Yahoo group … now PLEASE, bring on Lady Muir, Jocelyn’s sister and how about some Viscount Kimble? Not that I’m greedy or anything.

    GREAT blog — thank you!

  14. AAR Sandy says:

    Thanks everybody for your comments.

    elainec: I’m wondering how book budgets are being effected these days? I’m certainly being more careful.

    PatW: Thanks for the info. I think she’s been about a book a year for a while now. Fingers crossed.

    Rike: Bedwyn-d out. That’s how I think of it.

    AnnaB: If Rudy shows up, I’m outta there.

    Caro: I’ve had worse who-the-hell-is-this problems with Liz Carylye. And I LOVE Liz Carlyle.

    marilyn: Anne Marble made some great recs for you. My number one favorite is Slightly Dangerous (and it’s the author’s favorite, too).

    Stephanie: I totally agree. I reviewed the last one and found it especially disappointing.

    Jane A: Good to see you here! And I’ve got a lot of faith in Balogh, too. When she hits it, she REALLY hits it.

    Anne GIlbert: Glad you like the blog. I think it’s going to be fun.

    Sherry: I am clueless about that title, too.

    SusanL: Let’s hope so because I don’t think I can read Vanessa Huxtable over and over without laughing.

    JanetW: Sounds like you know something I don’t! I’m going to be hitting the ARC later today (really looking forward to putting my feet up) and will post a note here later.

  15. Janine (LFL) says:

    Why does the name of the fourth book have nothing to do with the other three titles?

    I don’t know, but I think Seducing an Angel sounds better than Pushing a Baby Carriage.

  16. Lavinia says:

    I love back-to-back books and have my fingers crossed. When she’s great she’s one of my favorites. I love that she has such variety in her heroes. It’s great to see an author who doesn’t always write one standard type.

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