A Journey of Books Blogfest

My name is Kay Springsteen and I write romance. But before I was a writer, I was a reader, and it has been the kinds of books I’ve read throughout my life so far that have influenced the kinds of stories I tell and the way in which I tell them.

I began my journey into books as a reader when I was about 4 years old. My mom, an English immigrant at the end of WWII, was an avid reader and a true Lewis Carroll fan. She started me into the wonderful world of fiction with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

I so loved those fantastical images created by Carroll, I went looking for more. I dug through my dad’s prized possessions and found a very old edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Oh, some of these haunted me – we’re talking original versions of the stories, not the cutsied up Disney versions. The Little Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl.

Of course I had the requisite collection of Little Golden Books – The Pokey Little Puppy, Tootle, and more. One of my most memorable books as a child was my very first Scholastic Book Club book EVER. Flip by Wesley Dennis. I read that and re-read that so many, many times I don’t know how it didn’t fall apart.

From the school library I found escape into the worlds created by Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Beverly Cleary. and Madeline L’Engle.

And of course there were more Scholastic Books. Sometime in the third grade I found one called The Golden Sovereign by Dorothy Lyons. That became another of the books that I would read and reread. I was introduced to mysteries when I discovered Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys.

By the time I was in seventh grade, I was oh, so worldly. Worldly enough to read more sophisticated books like Love Story and The Godfather.

I also found Harlequin Romances about that time. And I remember when most of these formulaic stories included one naive heroine, one alpha male who was also clueless, and a scheming witch.

By high school, it became pretty obvious that my romance habit would have to be an in-closet activity. So I tested science fiction, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Robert A. Heinlein. In college, it was James Michener whose books captured my interest. And by the time I was married and having children, Tom Clancy’s technothrillers had my attention, along with John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and the medical thrillers of Patricia Cornwall. Along about then, I also found the first book to make me cry uncontrollably – The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Eventually, I decided I wanted to settle back into a softer, more gentle genre, and I sought out romance again. This time, it was Nora Roberts who commanded my attention. I bought every trilogy and mainstream book I could get my hands on. I scoured used book stores for her out of print Silhouette books. Then one of my friends who owned a used and new bookstore brought me into the world of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I lost myself in the lives of Jamie and Claire. More recently, I’ve read Nicholas Sparks; the man does know how to tug on the emotions.

And somewhere in all of this reading, probably as far back as my very first Scholastic book (Flip), I began writing my own stories. Now, I wouldn’t want to even find anything I wrote back in those days, and much of what I wrote, even as an adult was more cathartic for me as opposed to being marketable fiction. But more recently, after the last of my children moved out, I had time on my hands, and I decided to start writing in earnest. The results were some pretty pleasing contracts writing the kind of romances I like the most: edgy sweet and emotional, with huge measures of sexual tension and undeniable chemistry between the characters scattered throughout. And it all began one morning sitting at the kitchen table while my mom read to me from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Heartsight:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Matrimonial Mayhem:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Lifeline Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Elusive Echoes:  Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Lifeline Echoes print edition

Heartsight print edition

I’m sponsoring a giveaway today. The grand prize is the two-book set of Orson’s Folly stories – Lifeline Echoes and Elusive Echoes along with five stories of your choice from this list:

1. Kim (Wayward Soul)

2. Jean (Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights)

3. Bri Clark (Cafe Seduzione)

4. Stephanie Taylor (Lucky For Her)

5. Stephanie Taylor (The Picture)

6.  Kay Springsteen (Heartsight)

7. Lisa Kumar (Through the Rabbit Hole)

8. Stephanie Smith (Lizzie and the Rebel)

9. Monique O’Connor James (The Keepers)

10. J. Gunnar Grey (Deal with the Devil, part one)

11. Felicia Rogers (The Perfect Rose)

12. Kristine Cheney (Spartan Heart, part one)

All you have to do for a chance to win is tell me what kinds of stories you read when you were growing up. Two randomly drawn commenters will win. Good luck, and I am looking forward to meeting you.
Visit other participants:
<a href=”http://keenlykristin.com“>Keenly Kristin</a>
<a href=”http://KellysLuckyYou.com“>Kelly’s Lucky You</a>
<a href=”http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com“>Keta’s Keep Romance Blog</a>
<a href=”http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com“>KMN Books Blogspot</a>
<a href=”http://www.krittersramblings.com“>Kritters Ramblings</a>
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39 thoughts on “A Journey of Books Blogfest

  1. Laurie says:

    Hi Kay – I remember mostly reading Little Golden Books. The first book I read all by myself was Danny Loves Dinosaurs. I loved all my little plastic dinosaurs and reading that book by myself was so exciting for me. Hope you will drop by my giveaway, also.
    Laurie
    lauriej170 at gmail dot com

  2. Delaney Diamond says:

    You brought back some memories: Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume (remember Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret?), Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. Oh, and the Sweet Valley High twins. And of course, Harlequin. I started checking those out from the library when I was eleven.

  3. Na says:

    Hi Kay, I grew up on series everything from Fear Street, Sweet Valley, Nancy Drew, Love Stories, Babysitter’s Club and many more. Not just series either but pretty much anything I could get my hands on and any genre. I visited libraries frequently, yes libraries (plural)! I love books that much. For books I love I will buy and put on my keeper shelf 🙂

  4. Kim Particka says:

    The first book I remember reading – without having to – was Hello God It’s Me Margaret and Summer of My German Soldier. I guess I had varied taste even way back when.
    Kimbre15@aol.com
    Kim

  5. Rad Hall says:

    Count me in if it’s international. I mostly had Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Fear Street and a lot of odds and ends …
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. Mary Preston says:

    Enid Blyton was my author of choice. I devoured her books over and over. All the adventure stories were so much fun.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  7. Laura P. says:

    When I was little I loved the Dr. Seuss books. As I got older, I read the Little House on The Prairie and Sweet Valley High. I read Stephen King in my pre to early teens and got criticized a lot from teachers. My parents were of the general attitude that they didn’t care what I read as long as I was reading (mostly).

  8. Books4me says:

    I have been reading as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I LOVED Judy Blume! I still own all her books!

  9. Darlene says:

    I loved the Little Golden Books, and I actually collect those for my daughters. We love them!

    I really loved the Bobbsey Twins series, as well as the Thornton Burgess animal stories.

    Please enter me in the draw!

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Jen K. says:

    Most of my reading as a youth was the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. My first “adult” book read for fun was something by Danielle Steel. 🙂
    Thanks for participating in BlogFest.

    Jen K
    admin.bookblog AT gmail.com

  11. Emma says:

    Nancy Drew and little house on the prairie series and others.Thanks for participating in BlogFest.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com .

  12. krystallarson says:

    I read just about everything-I singlehandedly finished off every Nancy Drew (including the new ones) as well as a Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter 🙂 edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom

  13. Sherry S. says:

    I don’t remember reading a lot until I was in Middle school and then I was reading romance books.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  14. Judy Cox says:

    My favorite book that I read when I was younger (fixing to tell my age) was Black Beauty, I loved that book. As I grew older Nancy Drew was huge, and I really enjoyed them.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

    Judy
    magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

    • Glory says:

      I don’t remember my first first book, not the title at least, but i remember that it was a story of ghosts 🙂
      Instead, the first big book I read ( 11/12 years old) it was Lord of the rings
      Hope this is a international contest 😉

      glory.northernlights@gmail.com

  15. Jessica Bronder says:

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    When I was younger I honestly didn’t read that much. But my first book I really remember reading was Alice in Wonderland and it has been my all time favorite.
    Jessica – jbronderblogs at aol dot com

  16. Melora says:

    I remember reading a lot of typical kids fare like babysitters club, the little house on the prairie series and a lot of scifi like a Wrinkle in Time and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.
    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  17. Ellen Trieu says:

    Hi! I don’t remember much about my childhood, but a book I did remember that I read was The Hungry Caterpillar (:

    vampyreprincess109(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. Sarah Bibi Setar says:

    Thanks for the giveaway:) I simply adored Nancy Drew and read every single Nancy Drew novel on my library’s shelves (and probably re-read a few). My mon is a huge Nora Roberts fan. I currently love Sandra Brown:) I’d like to enter the giveaway if it’s international.

    Thanks:)

  19. Janelle says:

    Kay what a lovely post! One idyllic summer a very large box of Scholastic books arrived, to paraphrase Suess: Oh the places we went… to this day two favorite stories: The Velveteen Rabbit, & The Secret Garden! We spent the summer, [10 kids, (boys & girls)] challenging each other to race through that box of over 100 books, reading aloud, running around with the Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew, Jules Vern, Lewis Carroll, Dickens, & on really esoteric stuff, my grandparents would read breathtaking chapters aloud, we savored wholeheartedly. To this day I miss them, and bless the teachers who taught us to read!

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