Monday, March 6, 2017

Around the Kitchen Table with Mystery Lovers Kitchen Authors + book #giveaway!

Every few weeks, we're having a new Around the Kitchen Table discussion. We hope you'll like getting to know us as we have a little chat!

Today, we're talking about our love affair with reading, when it began, why we write.

BUT FIRST - new RELEASES plus two GIVEAWAYS below.  
Both Sheila and Linda have new releases!!  Congrats, ladies.


And now, let's chat!

From DARYL:

One set of my mystery bookshelves
I wasn't a reader until the 4th grade. I mean, sure, I COULD read, but I didn't like it. I was an active girl. I wanted to be outside, running, playing. I also enjoyed math and cooking. But reading? Yech. Then I got sick with the measles and I was bedridden for a week. My mother worked. My parents were divorced. Back then, latchkey was not a forbidden word. I was home alone until my mom came home at lunch to check on me. "I am so bored," I told her. So she gave me her set of Nancy Drew books (all 37 of them) and said she thought I might enjoy them. Honestly? (Ugh!) Luckily, I picked one up...and I read all 37 of them in a week. I was hooked. I tried my hand at writing one six months later. That never saw the light of day, but it was my first inspiration to become a writer. I'm so thankful!  (Sadly, I do not know what happened to that set. I would imagine they were sold along with all my comic books when my mom and sisters and I had to downsize. Sigh!)



From SHEILA:

I can't remember not being able to read (and wanting to!). The first book I remember reading on my own is Harold and the Purple Crayon, neck and neck with my battered copy of Read Me More Stories, an anthology which was given to me on my third birthday (it includes an early version of "The Runaway Bunny"). It has memorable black and white illustrations, and I added a few of my own. It wasn't long after that my mother got me a library card, and we would go pick out books every week or two. One small misunderstanding: I thought the books were mine to keep and stuck them under my bed. It took my mother a while to catch on. Clearly my passion for book-collecting started early!

From DARYL:

Sheila, I remember my first library card, too. I did love going to the library and picking out books. Wonder why it took me so long to fall in "love" with reading. Hmm.

From LESLIE:

I'm the youngest child by 9 years, so as a kid, it seemed to me like everyone else was always reading. Naturally, I wanted to read, too. The first books I devoured were The Happy Hollisters and The Bobbsey Twins. They went to the seashore! (No seashores in Montana!) They found clues in old mailboxes and decrepit buildings! Much as I loved those books, it was probably Harriet the Spy who made me want to be a writer -- I remember sitting in my bedroom with my notebook, looking out the window, hoping something would happen "out there" that I could write about. I'm eight in this photo -- could that be Nancy Drew in my hands?


From LINDA: 

I hear you, Leslie. I had an older sister, 14 years older, so I grew up almost an only child. I had a wonderful fantasy life and reading fed it. We had a lot of books in the house but mainly in Swedish, so I dove into the popular kids books of the time - starting with the Golden Books, and then, The Bobbsey Twins, and Charlotte's Web. And I loved horses, so I read Black Beauty, Misty of Chincoteague, My Friend Flicka, and all of the Black Stallion books. Then, I decided to write a novel...about a young girl, oddly enough same age as me, who lived on a ranch, and had a horse. The only mystery is why I still have it in my drawer.



From LUCY

Oh don't throw that away Linda--it's precious history! I'm so sorry I can't find my first short story ever--something happens to a girl and she's unhappy and so runs to the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, soon followed by her dream boyfriend, Micky Dolenz. That's right, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees LOL. That could be worth a lot in blackmail, don't you think?

I have loved to read as long as I can remember, and the first book I remember owning was called THE SCARY THING by Laura Bannon. My older sister and I (11 months apart), would come home from school and go to our rooms and read until dinner. Certainly Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys (stolen from my younger brother) and yes, the black stallion books, and hundreds more. I thank my parents for the love of reading--they read to us every night and they themselves were always reading. The best gift ever!


From KRISTA

I can't remember not reading, either. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan. In fact, I remember my mom shooing me out of the house to play. I took Nancy with me and read sitting on the lawn. I also had an older sibling. When I had the chicken pox (there seem to be some themes here!) my brother was going out one night. My mom gave him some money and asked him to pick up a book for me to read. I must have been around seven or eight. He brought home a collection of short stories that a seventeen-year-old-boy would like. It included Edgar Allen Poe and, most memorably, The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As you might imagine, they were a bit grisly for a kid. I read every single one of them.

And PS to Lucy—after attending a performance of The Point, I rode home on the Tube seated just in front of Micky Dolenz.


From CLEO:

Mickey Dolenz! (Krista and Lucy: Marc and I are both unabashed fans of Mickey and The Monkees!) Okay, back to the subject. I loved reading all your memories of reading! I'll just add that my own connection with books began as a newborn. No, I couldn't read at the age of 0, but... My sister, Grace, was four years old and loved the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland so much that my parents decided to name me Alice (Cleo, of course, is my pen name). My next "chapter" on books came via my Dad. Our small Western Pennsylvania town had no library, but that didn't stop my father from driving me and my sister to the Big Green Bookmobile every Wednesday evening when it pulled into the Acme parking lot. Thank goodness (and it was literally goodness) for libraries and librarians. We didn't have the money to buy, but we sure had the will to borrow, which sparked a lifelong passion for stories and a fulfilling vocation in telling them. So here's to the librarians...and all those bookmobiles that rolled into kids' imaginations with hundreds of worlds on wheels.


 VICTORIA ABBOTT: 

Victoria here! One of the fun things about being a mother-daughter team is that we read together. I always loved reading with my mom..  We still love (and share with children)  the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. Here's Frog and Toad all year, a charming and funny look at the two friends through the seasons. These books are easy to read to pre-schoolers and great fun for young readers.





 MJ: The tragedy of my early life was when our public library burned to the ground when I was seven, putting an end to my access to the 'fairy tale' books from many countries. I'd had enough time to get hooked though, and switched to MacLeod's bookstore and Hardy Boys books. Now and then, books were treasured gifts:




I still have my tattered copy of Anne of Avonlea, the follow-up to Anne of Green Gables, a gift from my fourth grade teacher. I read all Lucy Maud Montgomery's magical stories of life in PEI.

From DARYL:  MJ, I can't imagine the horror of losing a library to a fire! How horrible. But I'm jealous that you still have childhood books. I have The Jungle Book, Robinson Crusoe, Dr. Doolittle, and a few others, all of which were my grandmother's.  The bindings are very fragile! The artwork in a few is amazing!








So, delightful fans, how did your love of reading begin?

GIVEAWAY!


Linda and Sheila are each giving away one of their mysteries this week. 
Two commenters will win! 
So remember to leave your email so they can contact you by Friday. 






99 comments:

  1. I remember learning how to read in first grade. My parents enrolled my big brother and me in some kind of monthly book club. We got Dr Seuss, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, and other treasures that I still have. I stole my brother's Hardy Boys books to read so my parents started buying me Nancy Drew and the Dana Girls. I never cared much for the Bobbsey Twins. The county library was down the street from my first elementary school and they carried all the mystery series. The city library wouldn't carry them because they didn't meet their criteria of "good literature." Our school library was also a treasure trove for readers but it didn't carry Nancy Drew either. I was lucky to grow up in such bookish surroundings!
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    1. Pat, I stole my brother's Hardy Boys books, too. Also a series about outer space.

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  2. Dick and Jane then little women and Nancy drew then Trixie Belsen. And I went to Ginny Gordon and Donna parker then cherry Ames.

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    1. I read Donna Parker, too! I still have one or two of the books.

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  3. My Mom got me a library card before I entered kindergarten. She instilled in me a love and appreciation of reading. My early favourites were Amelia Bedelia, Encyclopedia Brown and Beezus and Ramona.
    karen(dot)kenyon(at)rogers(dot)com

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    1. We loved all those books too, Karen! Such treasures.

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  4. My love of reading began as early as my first memory - my parents both read stories to me every single day; and then I'm proud to say I was in the advanced reading group starting in preschool onward :) I'm still a faithful library card holder to this day - there's something wonderful about reading a tangible book (I'm not an e-book fan, sorry). EMS591@aol.com

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    1. After being on the computer all day long, my eyes want to relax and not read on a device.

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    2. You were lucky indeed! The gift of reading keeps on giving.

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  5. As an only child, books were my salvation. My mom started going on kidney dialysis when I was 5 years old so I spent 3 days a week travelling with her to the hospital. Lots of time to read while waiting. We could not afford to buy many books so the Toronto public library was visited every week. Many of my early childhood favourites are mentioned. For mysteries, the first ones were Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. By the age of 11, I started reading the Golden Age mystery authors: Allingham, Christie, Marsh, Sayers, and thus started my mystery fiction book collection which now totals over 10,000 books. grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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    1. You rock. Grace! What an interesting story too. Books can get us through the worst stuff. Hugs.

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    2. I was a wallflower growing up so books were my best friends. Loved the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and went from there. Now I read a book every few days can't get enough mysteries. reggykaufman52@gmail.com

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  6. I love to read to visit places I wanted to go to and at 10 did not know I could get there. My mom loves to read also and always made sure I had a book. Memories I have till today and read all the time. lhardinjh@gmail.com

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    1. Lucky girl! That is such a gift from a loving mom.

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  7. My aunt who was a librarian was constantly giving me books & suggesting books for me to try. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. My mother used to read to me when I was a baby. I think that's where my love of books started. I don't remember a time when I didn't love reading. My favourites as a child where Amelia Bedelia, Nancy Drew, the Babysitters Club, and the Boxcar Children. Cmkeck311@aol.com

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  9. My parents were readers and my mother was instrumental in giving me the love of reading from an early age. We went together to the public library when I was young to obtain a library card and from then on I rode my bike to the library and chose books every week. Reading to me is like breathing. I am a library patron. My first books were Nancy Drew and then i read the entire Anne of Green gables series in hardcover from the public library in the 1950's.

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  10. I had a ton of "Golden Books" when I was little. My grandmother would read to me when she was not working at our family's real estate office. I grabbed onto comic books as soon as I was able to. I'd take all the soda bottles my uncle would accumulate in his office (.02 each) and save up for each of those ten cent comics. My mother hated them but they took my imagination out into a far universe. Oh to have those comics today, my retirement would be well funded. She Who Must Be Obeyed (Mommy Dearest) tossed them out when we moved many years later. I had a lot of #1's from the 50's and 60's. She thought they were worthless and yet in '62 I believe a Superman #1 sold for $10,000.00 at auction. That alone would have paid for my college tuition. Anyway, today I have over 2000 books in my home library and many of them are all your titles, including autographed ones.

    Sheila and Linda I love your books and would be thrilled to own either of them. (Of course I love Sheila a bit more since "bumping" into her at RWA in NYC. LOL

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    1. I had stacks of comics of every kind, Nora! I wish I had them too - we'd be off on our yachts together.

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  11. I have always loved reading...my first word was purple, I remember it as if it were yesterday. My mom always told me that if you could read you could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. My greatest joy was when my boys where able to talk to me about books they were reading. mommatoodle (at) msn (dot) com

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  12. My love of reading started early probably during 2nd grade on summer vacation when I was finally old enough to have a library card (this was the 60s lol) I would get as many kid books as I was allowed and have them all devoured within a few days. My dad was a non-reader and he always told me it would ruin my eyes to read so steadily lol. I think he just wished I would go run around outside more and be into sports etc. (He got his wish when my little brothers got older) From then I went on to Nancy Drew or whatever the man on the TV reading lesson our class watched said was a good one to try-- and have been a bookworm ever since. barbie 17 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  13. Reading was and still is my sole form of entertainment. Reading was everything to me. I was introduced to reading by my mother who tried to read every chance she could, even though the kids and housework beckoned. When I was old enough to walk to the local public library by myself which was at that time very young, I was thrilled. being able to chose books and be so independent was meaningful and important. Books brought me great enjoyment especially Anne of Green gables, Nancy Drew and the classics. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Learn by example, right? My mother loved to read, too. At one time, we read the same book, and I remember we called each other later. She said, "Ululate? What the heck is that?" Now, my mother told me to always check the dictionary, but she was so upset, she hadn't done so herself. I had. It means to scream or trill at a high-pitched level. ~ Daryl

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  14. Love these stories -- and the reminders of the bookmobile. I rode my bike down to the public grade school every Sat morning in summer to load up, but willingly paid the price of walking my bike home, because I couldn't ride up the hill with all those books in my basket!

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