A Controversial Author: Scorned by Some, Beloved by Others
Cassie Edwards was one of the most prominent authors of the romance genre in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Even though her (often politically incorrect) plots, characters, and literary skills failed to garner mainstream critical or academic praise, Edwards’ dramatic storytelling capabilities and sensual love scenes kept her devoted fans entertained.
Kathryn J. “Cassie” Kline Edwards was born on April 5, 1936.
As a child, Cassie Edwards wanted to be an English teacher or a secretary when she grew up. Being an accomplished violinist, she even dreamed of being a famous concert musician.
She married her husband, Charles Edwards, in January 1955. Edwards and her husband, a retired high school biology teacher, were married for over 60 years.
They had two sons, Charles and Brian, and three grandchildren. The family lived in St. Louis, Missouri, for over thirty years but then moved to Mattoon, Illinois.
Although she devoured books as if they were candies when she was young, writing was never an aspiration. However, that changed when a friend lent her historical romances to read. According to Fresh Fiction:
Having always loved history, Cassie became immediately hooked [on historical romances], which…led her to write her own.
Cassie, whose grandmother was a full-blood Cheyenne, soon found her true passion, writing Indian romances. They are her tribute to the first people of our land who have suffered so much injustice.FRESH FICTION, CASSIE EDWARDS
It all happened so suddenly that it shocked her to count over 100 books written by her. historical romances have been published. The vast majority of them are American “Indian” romances.
Her first book, Portrait of Desire, was a traditional historical romance published by Kensington’s Zebra imprint in June 1982.
Native American Romance Writer
Cassie has won the Romantic Times Magazine “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her first Native American romance, Savage Obsession.
Her Indian romances have appeared on bestseller lists all across the country, including USA Today’s list. She has also won the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award and Reviewer’s Choice Award for her Indian romances.
Cassie and her husband, Charlie, have two grown children and live in Mattoon, Illinois. There she lives in her dream home, which is the perfect place for Cassie to create her Indian novels.
Cassie plans to write many more Indian romances for Leisure Books. In her Savage series, written exclusively for Leisure, she endeavors to write about every major Indian tribe in America.FRESH FICTION, CASSIE EDWARDS
Edwards said her heart went into every book she wrote, especially about Native Americans. Her books were well-researched, although many in the industry now look askance at her research methods.
Writing Career Highlights
Over the next 27 years, Edwards would author 108 books in total, selling over ten million worldwide.
In total, Mrs. Edwards wrote:
- Three novellas (appeared in anthologies)
- ~ 41 standalone books
6 Different Series:
- Chippewa: 5 books
- Dreamcatcher Indian: 3 books
- Savage: 35 books
- Savage Secrets: 12 books
- Wild Arizona: 6 books
- Wild Tribes: 4 books (Note: the 6 Wild Arizona and two of the Wild Tribes books are published under two different names by two different publishers.)
Edwards was a highly successful author, appearing on the New York Times bestselling books list and winning two Romantic Times awards.
Cassie Edwards was a polarizing figure in the romance genre before the plagiarism controversy came to a head. Her fans adored her passionate romances with Alpha heroes–usually Native American–who were uber Alpha and super sexual.
The Crash and Burn
In early 2008, the romance novel blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, accused Edwards of significant acts of plagiarism. Another blog Dear Author documented the saga. Edwards had copied descriptive animal and nature-related passages from works of non-fiction, as well as texts describing Native American culture.
Although most of the original works were over 100 years old, some were more contemporary. Signet, her most recent publisher, defended her. Later they dropped Edwards from their author roster.
Afterward, Edwards claimed she didn’t know she had to credit sources for her material.
Her last book to be released by a mainstream house was Savage Dawn in September 2009.
Harlequin Enterprises, one of her publishers, eventually settled out of court with a couple of authors whose works she had copied or paraphrased without credit. They immediately suspended the publication of her books and discontinued all marketing of her works.
Various efforts were made to obtain some of Edwards’ profits from allegedly unlawful activities, but the courts ultimately cleared Roberts of any legal wrongdoing.
Afterward, Edwards concentrated on finding new ways to share her stories with new readers through self-publishing e-book platforms.
Death and Legacy
After her publishers dropped her, Edwards went into semi-retirement. She passed away on January 4, 2016, at the age of 79.
Cassie Edwards left behind her husband and two grown sons, Charles and Brian. She had three grandchildren, David, Lexi, and Laney.
Her husband, Charles, passed away in May 2022.
Kathryn J ‘Cassie’ Cline:
Kathryn J “Cassie” Cline Edwards was born Apr 5, 1936, in Illinois.
Born in Illinois on 5 Apr 1936 to Virgil Franklin CLINE and Mary Kathryn Girot. Kathryn J ‘Cassie’ CLINE passed away in 2016 in Illinois. She died on 4 Jan 2016 (aged 79)
Virgil Franklin Cline 1913 – 2000
Mary Kathryn Girot 1921 – 2004
Series Lists In Order
1) Savage Obsession (Oct-1983)
2) Savage Innocence (Nov-1984)
3) Savage Heart (1985)
4) Savage Torment (Jan-1986)
5) Savage Paradise (Feb-1987)
1) Running Fox (Dec-2006)
2) Shadow Bear (Jul-2007)
3) Falcon Moon (Jan-2008)
1) Savage Illusion (Aug-1993)
2) Savage Spirit (Aug-1994)
3) Savage Secrets (Aug-1995)
4) Savage Passions (Feb-1996)
5) Savage Longings (Feb-1997)
6) Savage Tears (Aug-1997)
7) Savage Heat (Feb-1998)
8) Savage Wonder (Aug-1998)
9) Savage Joy (Feb-1999)
10) Savage Embers (Feb-1994)
11) Savage Shadows (Aug-1996)
12) Savage Fires (Aug-1999)
13) Savage Grace (Feb-2000)
14) Savage Devotion (Jul-2000)
15) Savage Thunder (Jan-2001)
16) Savage Honor (Jul-2001)
17) Savage Moon (Feb-2002)
18) Savage Love (Aug-2002)
19) Savage Destiny (Feb-2003)
20) Savage Hero (Aug-2003)
21) Savage Trust (Feb-2004)
22) Savage Hope (Aug-2004)
23) Savage Courage (Feb-2005)
24) Savage Vision (Sep-2005)
25) Savage Arrow (Feb-2006)
26) Savage Beloved (Jun-2006)
27) Savage Tempest (Oct-2006)
28) Savage Quest (Feb-2007)
29) Savage Intrigue (Jun-2007)
30) Savage Skies (Sep-2007)
31) Savage Glory (Nov-2007)
32) Savage Flames (Feb-2008)
33) Savage Abandon (Sep-2008)
34) Savage Sun (Apr-2009)
35) Savage Dawn (Sep-2009)
1) Savage Surrender (Aug-1987)
2) Savage Eden (Mar-1988)
3) Savage Splendor (Sep-1988)
4) Savage Whispers (May-1991)
5) Savage Bliss (Apr-1990)
6) Savage Dream (Jun-1990)
7) Savage Dance (May-1991)
8) Savage Persuasion (Aug-1991)
9) Savage Promise (Feb-1992)
10) Savage Mists (Aug-1992)
11) Savage Sunrise (Feb-1993)
12) Savage Pride (Jun-1995)
1) Wild Ecstasy / Savage Wrongs (May-1992)
2) Wild Rapture / Savage Touch (Oct-1992)
3) Wild Embrace / Savage Wind (Jun-1993)
4) Wild Splendor / Savage Nights (Nov-1993)
5) Wild Desire / Savage Storm (May-1994)
6) Wild Abandon / Savage Lies (Nov-1994)
1) Wild Bliss / Savage Darkness (Jun-1995)
2) Wild Thunder / Savage Rage (Dec-1995)
3) Wild Whispers (May-1996)
4) Wind Walker (Jun-2004)
More On Cassie Edwards at Sweet Savage Flame
Cassie Edwards’ Book Covers
- FictionDB Cassie Edwards
- NY Times: A Romance Novelist Is Accused of Copying
- Wikipedia: Cassie Edwards
- Web Archives: Cassie Edwards Site