The impact of romance in my life has been such, that I remember distinctly how I "discovered" the genre. I've told the story many times over, but since this is my blog and only I read it, I can repeat myself as many times as I want without fear of boring anyone ;)
As background, I had not been reading much over the 10-15 years prior to February 2003, despite my having been an avid reader during my childhood years, teens, and my 20s. During the 1990s I didn't really read much except for Anne Rice, whom a co-worker recommended to me and I discovered during the early years of that decade. Nothing seemed to catch my attention, and up until then (my getting "hooked" on Anne Rice's work), I was sort of averse to reading in English. EVERYTHING I read before had been translated into Spanish. Anne Rice was my "breakthrough" as it pertains to reading in the English language, despite my being bilingual, and working in an environment in which I did have to use both Spanish and English on a daily basis.
In February of 2003 I had a very bad cold that had me stuck at home for well over a week. I had been wanting to find some erotica to read after re-reading A. N. Roquelaure nee Anne Rice's erotic re-telling of the fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty." Since I couldn't drive over to a brick and mortar bookstore for obvious reasons, I decided to go online and check on Amazon. As I was browsing, I stumbled upon a book titled "The Empress New Clothes" by an author named Jaid Black. The blurb intrigued me enough to want to get it, and that's when I noticed that there was no print version available for purchase, however, they were offering it on a "CD." That annoyed me, but it didn't take me long to figure out that maybe, since they had it available on "CD", some other site may actually have it as a downloadable file. Mind you, at the time I had not really read any books electronically, though it did seem rather obvious to me that it was a very viable option to be able to read a book using a PC... provided I could find books in the right formats that is.
My online search on "Jaid Black" brought me to the Ellora's Cave (EC) website. I promptly got a copy of "The Empress New Clothes." It didn't take me long to finish reading it, as a "full length novel" at EC back then, could roughly be considered a longish novella by print standards.
After reading the story I found out that it was the first in a series of books. The series name is Trek Mi Qan. This series is supposed to still be going, but frankly, I think the author completely lost interest in it. To make the story short, Jaid Black is the pen name of Tina Engler, owner of EC, and once she became a millionaire, it does seem like writing was no longer a priority, which is understandable. Pity, really, as her stories, even though not exactly elaborate or technically impressive, are quite fun, sexy reads, with characters that draw the readers in and which, even though some may argue don't have a lot of romance in them, still gave this warm, fuzzy feeling and "feel good" type of ending that I became addicted to as it pertains to romance in general. This is why I'll always remember her work with fondness. If I hadn't liked her stories so much, I wouldn't be here now, hooked on the genre.
It didn't take me long to purchase every single title under her name. However, I pretty much "inhaled" them so I soon was going through everything they had available at the time.
Several years after, Jaid Black established an "association" with Simon & Shuster (via the PocketBooks imprint). She had a series with them, and she also had several anthologies involving herself and other EC authors, published in association with Simon & Shuster. However, there hasn't been anything out from her for well over two years now (or at least, I haven't found anything since, at least, 2009).
If you are interested in checking her work, click here. You can usually find EC titles cheaper if you buy direct from the publisher's website, however, it's always a good idea to "shop around" so here is Amazon's page and Barnes & Noble's page. The Simon & Shuster published books can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, available as downloads (Kindle).
I haven't lost all hope that she will, somehow, come back to finish the Trek Mi Quan series ...
...however, I most definitely am not holding my breath.