I found nine books on my keeper shelf written by Roberta Gellis


!n43023This week someone in a published writers’ group email list mentioned that multi-published author Roberta Gellis is ailing. The sad report sent me to my basement bookshelf where I discovered nine copies of Gellis’ books.

Back in the day, before I wrote novels, I read all the time. And back in the day, the big historical romances were my favorite. That’s why I have nine of Roberta Gellis’ books on my keeper shelf!

Yes, these books are old AND long. The paperback of Roselynde, Book One of the Roselynde Chronicles, cost me $1.95. Its 490 pages were filled with historical characters like Richard, Couer de Lion, and Prince John. Back then we could immerse ourselves in history, the lives of the fictional characters and read to our hearts content. For some reason, I had more time, even with two small children. I found more time to sit and fanaticize with no cable TV, video games and iPads to distract me.

It was in her honor that I named a character in Tangled Memories Gellis. Once at a large book signing, I forget where it was, I made a point of stopping by her table and telling her how much I loved her books. It’s safe to say, Roberta Gellis’ writing made an impact on many people.

From the biography of Robert Gellis:

Roberta Gellis has a varied educational background—a master’s degree in biochemistry and another in medieval literature—and working history—10 years as a research chemist, many years as a free-lance editor of scientific manuscripts, and more than 40 years as a writer. She is married—to the same man for over 60 years (no mean feat in these days) and lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband Charles and a lively Scottish terrier called Zoe. She has one child, Mark, who teaches Rhetoric (a fancy name for expository writing) at Kettering University in Michigan. Mark is married to Sandra and they have a lovely daughter, Elizabeth.

Gellis has been a successful writer of historical fiction, publishing over 25 meticulously researched historical novels since 1964. The best known of these are The Roselynde Chronicles (ROSELYNDE, ALINOR, JOANNA, GILLIANE, RHIANNON, and SYBELLE). The series has been reprinted many times since its first appearance in 1979, most recently in 2006. Gellis has also been the recipient of many awards, including the Silver and Gold Medal Porgy for historical novels from West Coast Review of Books, the Golden Certificate and Golden Pen from Affaire de Coeur, The Romantic Times Award for Best Novel in the Medieval Period (more than once) and Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Fantasy, as well as Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


  1. Friday, May 6, 2016 – From her Facebook page:

    >>The soul of Roberta Gellis departed this life and was reunited with the Creator of the Universe on May 6, 2016. a second career as a best-selling author.

    In keeping with Jewish tradition, the family requests no flowers, but memorial donations may be made to Westie Rescue Michigan (http://westierescue-mi.com/).

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