Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Where Have You Gone, Judith A. Lansdowne?

with 8 comments

Folks, it is no secret that I’m partial to romance novels.

As such, I’ve been asked often what I like about them. Because these are often the oldest stories in the world — boy meets girl, boy either takes to girl right away or can’t stand her (or vice versa), and in the end the couple walks off into the sunset.

This is the case in ninety percent of traditional romances, whether set in a historical period like England’s Regency, or in the current day.

But some romance authors add more. They add wit, charm, style, a certain zing — it’s hard to quantify, but it’s very easy to spot.

Judith A. Lansdowne has this extra ability. From her very first novel, AMELIA’S INTRIGUE (which I recently read via Inter-Library Loan) to her latest, JUST IMPOSSIBLE, Ms. Lansdowne found a way to weave in suspense, intrigue, humor, genuine pathos, and anything else anyone could ever want in a story.

Ms. Lansdowne hasn’t been active as a novelist since 2004. I’ve heard rumors that her husband was not well, or that there was some sort of family health crisis that took her away from her writing.

I have to assume that this is the only reason why her books haven’t re-emerged as e-books in the intervening eleven years. Because these are truly excellent books; they make you laugh, they make you think, they make you wish that every romance had this much charm.

In my own case, I often look at these romances between difficult women — too intelligent, maybe, or too forthright (as they used to put it in the Regency Era, “not quite in the common way”) — and prickly, dangerous, or a bit off-center men and find bits of myself and my late husband in there.

Even in the more “tame” romances, such as MUTINY AT ALMACK’S or JUST IN TIME, there’s always something different, something intriguing, to hold my interest.

Anyway, I don’t know where Ms. Lansdowne is. I’ve never met her. I do know that she, like myself, is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. (She was class of ’75, while I was class of ’94.) And because I know that at least some of my readership consists of Parkside graduates, my hope is that this little blog post will find her.

Because she may be thinking, at this late date, that no one wants to read her writing. And that’s just not true.

Or that her writing didn’t matter, which isn’t true, either.

One, final thought: Over this past week, when I had many disappointments — including the realization that I must push back the release of CHANGING FACES as despite my efforts, it is far from complete — Ms. Lansdowne’s words have given me hope, and have reminded me of what’s important in life.

My husband Michael believed in me, and believed in my writing. Just because I have a lot on my plate right now, that doesn’t at all mean I can’t get it done…I just have to believe in myself, and keep going.

And for the moment, Ms. Lansdowne’s work is helping me stay focused and centered.

So, wherever you are, Ms. Lansdowne, know that you’ve got a new fan in me…eleven years after your latest book came out.

8 Responses

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  1. Yes! I was going through a huge Regency romance phase around the time Lansdowne was publishing and her books were some of ones that have survived later book purges. I wish they would be released as ebooks and doubly wish that she would publish again.


    February 24, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    • Thanks, Melita. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      I’m wondering if there were health issues there in her family…otherwise, why not put these books out as e-books? I think she’d do astonishingly well.

      Barb Caffrey

      February 25, 2019 at 5:02 am

  2. Hi Barb,

    I found your blog while I was missing my (step mom) mom Judie. Supposedly my email is showing up privately? With you. You can email me at this hopefully private email.

    fay lang (Lansdowne)

    December 19, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    • I don’t see your email, but I’m glad you found my blog. I hope it helped a little to know that your stepmom’s work resonated with me. (Still does. I hope somehow all of her work is put out via ebook so a new generation of readers can enjoy her writing.)

      Barb Caffrey

      December 20, 2022 at 3:58 pm

      • Hi Barb, at some point I may have the rest of her books published in ebook form. I’m just taking care of other things right now. I am going to purchase your book but I need to charge Judie’s kindle. I have a nook 😁 The description of your book intrigues me. Keep writing.
        Take Care

        Fay Lang

        December 22, 2022 at 6:43 pm

      • Thanks, Fay. I appreciate that.

        Let me know if I can do anything to help you. (Fellow writers stick together!)

        Barb Caffrey

        December 23, 2022 at 5:24 pm

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