Thursday, 30 September 2010

Author Spotlight week - Celia Yeary shares her favorite author

My favorite author’s books are the only ones I collected. Her name is LaVyrle Spencer, and she wrote twenty-two books, and then retired. I ran across one of her books in the early nineties, just as I had discovered romances, and became hooked. For the next few years, I struggled to find all her novels, for they were already ten to fifteen years old when I discovered them.
In recent years, a publisher has re-released all the books with new, more modern covers. I have some of the old ones, mixed with some new ones.

Each novel is vastly different. By that, I mean she didn’t write one genre, but wrote a general kind of story that we probably couldn’t specifically categorize. She writes with an unmatched style, with much angst, longing, and yearning. Her characters are the most unique, yet common people who could easily be real. I have read one several times.

One sentence examples:
A young man who loses his wife, and his two young daughters’ teacher, a young nun who wants to give up her vows, eventually marry.

A bum during the Depression marries a “crazy widow woman” who turns out to be quite sane and provides him with a home and family.

A seamstress with a lame leg works next door to a saloon, and confronts the sexy saloon owner when he tries to hang a painting of a nude woman over the bar.

When her husband dies, a woman in her forties once again becomes involved with her teenage lover, and she is horrified by his drinking, whoring ways. (This is the best of the lot—titled The Hellion.)

Opening lines from: The Hellion:
“It was well know around Russellville, Alabama, that Tommy Lee Gentry drove like a rebellious seventeen-year-old, drank like a parolee fresh out, and whored like a lumberjack at the first spring thaw.”

I recommend reading some of her books and see a master in action.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress


  1. LaVyrle Spencer is one of my favorite authors too, and The Hellion one of my favorite books. I cried when she retired from writing. Like you, she was my introduction to the romance genre. I was taking a month off to have a hand surgery and a coworker brought me a sack of books for me to read. Some of Spencer's were among them. On returning to work I set up a library in the accounting department just for romance readers.

    Toni Noel

  2. Hi, I thought I was her only fan! I, too cried when I learned she'd retired--fact is, she retired before I found the first book. It's hard to find anything about her, but about a year ago someone told me she was fine, living a lovely life, and she gardened a lot. I remember she said, upon retirement,that she had to stop--each book took so much out of her, she had to rest up from it.Thanks for commenting--Celia

  3. Hi Celia,
    What a nice post. I'm a fan of LaVyrle Spencer, too. Interesting how many of us enjoy the same authors. Best of luck with your writing.

  4. Thanks, Gina--I'm surprised by how many read her books, too. I'm glad she was appreciated. Celia

  5. But of course, LaVryle Spencer has been my favorite for years. And her last book, Then Came Heaven (which you mentioned above, made me cry buckets of tears in the first of the book when the young wife died. Now, she has to share first place in my heart with Maeve Binchy who also retired while I was livingin England because her publisher insisted that she write more sexual onctent that she wanted to. I read her words on this is the English newspaper. I think she may have been coerced into writing something more recently but I'm not sure.

  6. LINDA--now, isn't that a shame? Spencer's novels were almost sex-free, in face when I finished one I couldn't have told you if there was a sex scene or not. Now, that is real talent, because like you, I not only cried buckets in And then Came heaven, but in some others, as well.
    Maeve Binchy was wonderful, but she wrote in the 80's like Spencer did--and you??? when sex was not so all-important.
    I don't know what the answer is. I liked those older books much more than many I read now. Thank you for commenting--I always look for you to stop by. Celia