Happy Sunday, RG2E Peeps!
Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!
August 15th through 18th (so Wednesday thru Saturday) fifteen authors celebrate the launch of their new books with parties and prizes—including a Kindle Fire!
Wednesday August 15th check out the Beach Book Blast website
Thursday August 16th there’ll be a party on our facebook page where you can win even more prizes and learn interesting things about each of the authors.
In the meantime, we’ll be doing special giveaways here on The RG2E too to make Beach Book Blast even bigger!!!
I’ve asked one of the superfab WG2E Street Team Members – Rhonda Hopkins – to give us some behind the scenes scoop on this fabulous event! So, take it away, Rhonda…
I thought it might be fun to get to know some of the Beach Book Blast Authors a little better. So I asked them this question:
What was your favorite book or series of books as a child and why?
Their answers varied as much as their genres and individual writing styles.
And it was so much fun that, I’ll be asking a question every day from the 15th through the 18th at my blog, Where Reality and Fiction Collide.
So without further ado, I’m going to share with you their answers to the question above and you’ll also get a sneak peak at their new releases that will be featured in the Beach Book Blast Event!
No books affected my life so much as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It took me many years and more than a dozen readings to finally understand the appeal of those works. His basic premise is, I believe, that character and faith are inseparable. The vitality of one will link inextricably to the other and will share to an extent its strength or foundational flaw.
People in the real world are an amalgam of strength and weakness. Orientation toward life or death is steered by enlightenment and delusion. It is the combined strength or failing of many measures that make us what we are, and just as important is the validity of the allegiances to which we dedicate ourselves.
I try to take each character’s score in that same matrix into consideration before bringing him or her to life in my fiction. Hopefully, the result will be vibrant and resonating characters, and a greater sense of immersion for my reader.
On B&N Nook
My favorite series of books was Nancy Drew mysteries. She was always going on some adventure and solving mysteries, living a life I never thought I could live. I had grown up in the projects in the San Francisco Bay Area with no idea where my life would take me. Now I write adult books that encompass both mysteries and romance across several states, spurred on by memories of Nancy Drew getting herself out of pickles and solving the “who dunnit?” questions.
The first books I remember reading on my own were the Ant and Bee books. I have no idea if they were even popular in the US since they were British so for the longest time I called trucks Lorries and didn’t think it was at all strange despite the fact that I lived in Connecticut. Ironically, I sell better in the UK than I do in the US -maybe Ant and Bee have something to do with that. I read voraciously and always have so picking just a couple of books is really hard. Number one, and I still read it every once in a while, is the Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster. Ooh, The Secret Garden for the secret place all your own but I have a black thumb despite growing up on an herb farm in CT. Eloise goes to Paris and Eloise goes to Moscow, I’m always trying to figure out how to either release or tame my inner Eloise. Black Beauty for the redemption. Ursula Le Guin’s Wrinkle in Time series, Sci Fi and a girl lead! Any of Maurice Sendak’s books –I can still recite Chicken Soup with Rice from memory. I could probably fill a hard drive with the list. Maybe that is why I am starting a YA (they didn’t even have the category when I was a kid) series soon with my daughter.
Oh, that question’s just mean. I can’t possibly choose. I’ll narrow it down a bit: all the Oz books by L. Frank Baum; the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (My affection for these books goes deep. For a LONG time I refused to read the Harry Potter books because I heard some book critic on the radio complain that, “all we had growing up were those awful Narnia books.”); The Lloyd Alexander series; and, to break the adventure story theme and be a bit obscure, the Burgess books, such as Reddy the Fox. I read everything I could get my hands on, but the books I re-read over and over had adventure and a hero I could see myself in. Or, at least, WANT to see myself in.
I read my first romance novel at the age of 15, SHANNA by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Soon after I began writing short romances for my friends starring them and their latest crush!
Stacey Joy Netzel
My favorite book series as a kid was Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion Series. I grew up with horses and loved/love everything about them. Arabians were/are tops for me because of their delicate beauty and awesome strength and stamina. The main character Alec was like a friend to me as I read all about his and Black’s adventures. I haven’t read them for years, but remember two of my favorites being The Black Stallion Revolts with a plane crash and amnesia in the plot, and The Island Stallion, where we meet a fiery bay similar to the Black Stallion and the boy he befriends, Steve. Later in the series, Farley brings the two horses together in an island race. Looking them up recently, I was amazed to realize that the first book was written in 1945 and the original series ended in 1983. (Farley’s son has added to the series.) Also interesting is seeing the time span between the twenty different books, which is anywhere from 2 books released in one year, and up to 5 years between releases. I printed my name and address in every book in case they ever got lost, and though I still have a handful of them, I haven’t been able to get my daughter to give them a try just yet. *pout* Someday I hope she can escape into the wonderful world of horses and racing that I enjoyed.
Natalie G. Owens
My favorite books as a child were The Famous Five series of stories, and also the classics. I have a collection of abridged classics that my mom gave me when I was 6. They had words on one side and pictures on the other. My favorites were Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist, but I have a whole list of them. With The Famous Five I liked the element of mystery, and I still do! With the classics, I fell in love with the characters and the drama. These are things that stayed with me, things that I still look for in a book.
My favorite book as a child was Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I must have been in the fourth grade when I checked it out on library day. I can’t remember why I picked the book because the cover was nothing special, and I don’t recall anyone recommending it to me either. Maybe it sent me vibes that said, Pick me! Pick me!
I immediately fell in love with this book and read it several times. In addition, I read all of Alcott’s subsequent books, and I became such a fan that I read several biographies about her. I think it appealed to me because I could see myself in each of the four characters. As an oldest sister with three younger siblings, I identified with Meg’s sense of responsibility to her sisters. Independent, sensible Jo appealed to the writer/reader in me. Beth, with her kindness and compassion, represented the better me that I aspired to, while selfish, spoiled Amy highlighted the undesirable qualities that I sometimes exhibited. (I still haven’t recovered from her marrying Laurie instead of Jo.)
Little Women also revealed something I had not known before. I never knew that books could make you cry. I sobbed when Beth died and felt like I had lost my dearest friend.
When I first began writing, I read one of the essays I wrote in my creative writing class. After I finished, I looked up and everyone in the class was crying. Words are powerful. I love the affect the written word has on me, and I love it when my readers tell me that the words that I’ve written have made them laugh or cry too.
My favorite book as a child was The Marigold Line by Charles Griffiths.
The story included my favorite things – cats and they lived in
England. I’d been fascinated with England since reading the Sherlock
Holmes mysteries. I didn’t understand some of the language used in the
book. Words and concepts such as fortnight, Boxing Day, eating herring
for breakfast (the characters are cats, after all) – these things were
foreign to me.
The main premise of the story – saving the holiday train The Marigold
Line from being shut down – was also foreign to me. I’d never ridden a
passenger train. I saw trains as they traveled by my house, but these
were freight trains. The passenger train my grandparents told me
about, the one that ran from Atlanta, Georgia, south to where we lived
in Warm Springs and Manchester, they’d ceased operation several years
before I was born. I lived in a rural area in a two-car household, so
getting around by train wasn’t something I’d ever thought about
This book is still my favorite – I still have my hard cover – because
it was the beginning of a dream. I wanted a calico kitten, and when I
finally got her I named her Marigold. I wanted to visit England, ride
a passenger train, celebrate Boxing Day and see the moors (this came
from Sherlock Holmes). Shakespeare in high school urged me on to
In 2008, I was able to spend three weeks in Oxford while taking a
semester-abroad course in British Literature. I went – by train – to
London twice, Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Cambridge. I didn’t
get to visit the moors, but I’ll go back one day.
And it all started with a book about a town of cats wanting to save
Black Beauty was one of my favorite books. I read it early in my teens, when I was crazy in love with horses. I wanted to live on a ranch, have horses running around in the back yard, and be able to gallop through the open meadows. My best friend was a rancher’s daughter and I used to envy her ability to ride so well. I, on the other hand, used to climb up on those big animals and end up on my head on the ground. To this day, I still dream of owning a horse and I still love reading stories that take place on ranches.
The ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Series by L. Montgomery. Why: I could identify with the quirky redhead Anne, who was an orphan and always had way too much imagination.
Before I started school, my favorite book was Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse. I remember checking it out from the library as often as I could and I credit the tiny tale with helping me learn to read, Then I always read ‘above grade level’, so I didn’t read that many children’s books I remember. However, I do credit my sixth grade teacher for my love of fantasy and science fiction. She read us books like A Wrinkle in Time, Tales of King Arthur and his Knights, and The Hobbit. That was a great year!
Alicia and Roy Street
Alicia: I began reading at four years old and haven’t stopped since. And, like now, my taste was broad. I loved fairytales, the Lad and Lassie books and anything about animals. Anne of Green Gables, Fantastic Four comics, and later David Eddings. I was also crazy over historical novels written for children that I would find in the library. They weren’t by famous authors, but they took me to other times and cultures, including ancient ones. I loved the way a book could transport me into other worlds or other people’s lives. Still do.
Roy: Being born dyslexic and with ADHD, I had a real problem reading as a kid. To be honest, I hated it. The process literally seemed to hurt my brain. But my mother had an antiquated version of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson tucked away on the bookshelf in the den. It was my first experience at putting aside my fears and stepping into the world of literature. The reason? I was taken by the book’s beautifully painted illustrations. I started to pick out sentences and short paragraphs in the pages close to the pictures. Wanting to know the story, I then began stringing them into a logical sequence. That was my first experience at getting past my dread of reading and finding a way to enjoy it. I can see why they now push graphic novels for middle grade reluctant readers.
My favourite book series as a child was Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton. They fuelled my imagination with adventure.
Practically every Friday when I was in middle school, my parents would hit happy hour at Chi-Chi’s. For them, it was more like happy three hours. They’d send me and my brother to the free chips and salsa bar repeatedly and occasionally order us virgin strawberry daiquiris (but only on special nights). Since I was a complete nerd (I guess I still am) and not into the bar scene, I’d always bring a book to read. I remember one week I brought Gary Paulson’s Hatchet. I read it completely in one night, reading even through dinner. I couldn’t put that book about wilderness survival down! Basically, I love a good story with a fast-paced plot. And tales of survival or persevering and thriving against all odds – those stories always have drawn me to them.
Now that’s a bunch of superfab Ebooks, right Y’all?!
Okay…let us know below which one you’d like an Ebook Gift Copy of, and you just might win it from The RG2E!!!
P.S. And I know there’s a ton of great ones to choose from…but no worries, ’cause we’re gonna be Beach Book Blastin’ it all week long so you’ll have a bunch of chances to win the Ebooks you can’t wait to read!!!
The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder