Jan 14, 2010

Reading Experience!

by Sharon Archer

My Cat Stats!
READING: Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps by Allan & Barbara Pease
: Amy Winehouse - what a fabulous voice!
WATCHING: "Spooks" - season
one on DVD. Very intense!
g to get cats to pose! Bribery is mandatory and not always successful!

I love reading! And writing, of course, but first and foremost, I really love reading!

Some of the things we read, or hear read aloud, stay with us forever waiting for an opportune moment to surprise us with a powerful memory flash. This happened to me the other day when I was gardening. A bee was buzzing from the oregano to the thyme... and just like that, I remembered a book I’d had as a toddler about a bumble bee called Alexander.

How I loved Alexander Bumblebee! So much, in fact, I decided that a bee might like to play with me. Unfortunately, my chosen “Alexander” wasn’t impressed with chubby, grasping, little fingers – and I got my very first bee-sting.

Remembering Alexander Bumblebee got me thinking about other books which have stood out over the years. I vividly remember having JRR Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit, read to me in class when I was about ten years old. The teacher must have been a very good story teller because those sessions enchanted me.

Not long after that, I “discovered” horses in books! Black Beauty, Son of Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, Show Jumping Secret... If it had a horse in it, I was almost guaranteed to love it. My head was filled with all manner of wondrous new words - curry combs and colic, jumps and jodphurs, saddles and stirrups, manes and martingales, girths and gaits! It was the start of a long love affair with horses.

Then in my teens, I discovered romance novels! Magical books where I lived in an agony of suspense because all seemed doomed until the last few pages where a stoic hero declared his love for the heroine. Through those books, I visited all sorts of fabulous places. Outback Australia with Lucy Walker, high country New Zealand with Essie Summers, the opera with Mary Burchell. The list goes on!

Now, I write my own stories with happy endings for Mills and Boon and I have a whole new appreciation of the fascination of books!

Tell me some of your memorable reading moments. Do you remember your very first book? What special places have books taken you?

PS I've put up these pictures of a couple of very special "readers"! Sufi, so enthralled with the phone book, was with us for nearly twenty years. And Kari-Anne's cat, Bernie, is just about to dip into my last release! ;)

I have prizes!!! I'm so thrilled to have these books to give away to one of my commenters on the blog today!
The Earl’s Dilemma, Emily May (in Fate & Fortune, with A Country Miss In Hanover Square by Anne Herries) Quills/Regency * Marriage Reunited: Baby on the Way, Sharon Archer, Medical * Claiming His Bought Bride, Rachel Bailey, Desire * The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child, Rachel Bailey, Desire * Tonight, My Love, Tracie Sommers, Spice Briefs * The Rebel King (Suddenly Royal #1), Melissa James, Harlequin Romance/Sweet * His Princess in the Making (Suddenly Royal #2), Melissa James Harlequin Romance/Sweet * Lights, Camera… Kiss the Boss, Nikki Logan, with Australian Boss: Diamond Ring, Jennie Adams Harlequin Romance/Sweet * Just a Taste, Bronwyn Jameson, Desire *Stone Cold Lover, Mel Teshco, Ellora's Cave


  1. Hi, Sharon! What an adorable expression on Sufi's face in the second photo!

    I remember the very first book I bought with my own pocketmoney in 1984. (I wrote the purchase date on the flyleaf!) It was a beautifully illustrated, faux-leatherbound copy of 'Black Beauty' and I still have it. I loved that it was written in first-horse...er, person. For a long time, I thought all horses could communicate like that. Who knows? Maybe they do!

    ~ Vanessa

  2. Sharon, firstly, congratulations on a very successful first week at the Love Cats! I think you guys are the coolest cats on the tiles! And what an amazing list of prizes you've put together for your launch.

    A gorgeous blog. I too LOVE reading. In fact, I remember my father telling me I'd never make it as a writer until I stopped being such a consumer and started being a bit more of a producer. Still a major danger chez Campbell! Oh, the horse books. How I remember them and I was absolutely certain horses talked to each other. Still not convinced I'm wrong! I remember the very first story I read on my own. I had just finished grade one and I had nagged everyone in the house to read to me and nobody would. It was a Christmas holiday and we were in Caloundra. I picked up a big Disney annual and read Dumbo from goa to whoa. Still remember thinking, "Hey, I can do this! Who knew?" Had my nose stuck in a book ever since!

  3. Oh, by the way, love the photos! And no wonder Sufi is enthralled with MARRIAGE REUNITED: BABY ON THE WAY. It's an enthralling read!

  4. Hey, Anna! I had a similar experience with reading in Grade One. My sister got tired of reading fables to me and I just had to DIY eventually.

  5. Hey, Sharon, I ADORED those Mary Burchell books. Read them over and over - loved the first one, A Song Begins where Oscar and Anthea get together. But my fave was about a blind concert pianist. Oh, man, did it make me cry! Did you know Mary Burchell and her sister were genuine heroines? They very bravely and very cleverly helped a number of Jewish people to get out of Hitler's Germany. It's an amazing story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jan/27/fiction.features

  6. Oooo, Vanessa! Black Beauty was one of my very favourite books. I really wanted to be a horse after reading that - with only the kindest owner, of course. No hackney-carriage, working-horse life for me, thank you! LOL

    Terrific that you still have the book! Because my dad was in the Air Force, we moved a lot and sadly I don't have a lot of my childhood books. Though I do have a couple of horse books from when I was eleven - The Horse Masters and a Pony Club manual. I begged for the manual even though I didn't have a pony at that stage. It was part of my master plan to get one! A sort of "get the book and the pony will come" thing! ;)

  7. Anna & Vanessa

    How fantastic that you can remember your very first experience of reading the words all by yourselves!

    I don't think I can. It's Alexander that really stands out in my mind - probably because one of his relatives stung me. That was very memorable with Mum and Nana running around to get 'blue bags' out of the laundry.

  8. And Anna,
    I love your dad's advice about "more producing, less consuming"! It's hard though with so many wonderful books out there - perhaps if we just do *plenty* of both!

    I did know about Mary Burchell and her sister - and wasn't that article fascinating. What brave and resourceful women they were! I read her books as serials in the English Woman's Weekly - which I thought was just the most fabulous magazine. It took me a very long time to realise that those stories like Mary's would actually be available as books, too!

    Hey, thank you for your lovely words about marriage Reunited:Baby on the Way!

  9. I don't remember my very first books however both my parents and grandmommy had great Dr. Seuss collections that I would read. My mom says I also used to pull out all of her travel brochures and try to read them. When I was done with those, I'd pull out all of her recipes and cookbooks. :) I went through the horses stage with Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, and Misty. I also had my Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys stage which lasted a very long time. The 2 books that made a difference in what I read were Stranger With My Face and Watcher In The Woods.

  10. Dr Seuss books! Yes! Sharon, I never had one of my very own but I used to borrow the one's in my small school library. Those rhymes are so delicious on your tongue, that you just want to say them out loud so you can really savour them.

    I Googled those two titles you mentioned and they sound like brilliant reads! Thrilling and spooky! I'm going to have to track them down to read now. Thanks for popping in!

  11. Hey Sharon!

    What a great blog! (cats, cats and more cats - I love our four-legged, furred friends, I have 3 - Splat, Pandamonium & Furball - I blogged about them helping me with my writing just recently :-) ).

    Better get on to telling you about the first book I remember. I must have been about 6yo and dad came back from a trip away somewhere and brought me my first copy of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales. The book had a blue cover with Puss-in-Boots, Red Rose and Rumplestiltzkin on the cover. I couldn't read it but it was the one I asked mum to read to me every night.
    I had it for many years as a keeper but have no idea whatever happened to it. I suspect mum must have cleaned off my bookshelf while I was away at college and gave it to Vinnies, I hope some other child enjoyed it as much as I did.

    The Hobbit was also a book read to me by my 5th grade teacher. There's something to be said for reading a book aloud - I do it all the time in my class. Some the kids graduating Yr.6 last year listed off a couple of the books I'd read to them back in Yr.2 - so how's that for the power of the spoken word? Must have sparked their imaginations too!

  12. You've had me think back to some great memories Sharon. I too went through stacks of horse books - the most memorbable being The Black Stallion and The Silver Brumby. I loved these books! The power of the written word is truly amazing =)

  13. Hey, Kylie, I've seen pictures of your gorgeous, furry writing friends... and I can just imagine what a big help they are in your study! Especially Pandamonium. I wonder how you came up with her name - I bet there's a story (or two) there!

    I'm glad you mentioned Hans Christian Andersen - they are such perennial tales with powerful messages, aren't they! My favs were The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor's New Clothes.

    What a wonderful thing for you ,as a teacher, to have those kids graduate and mention the books you'd read to them several years before. You must be a very good story-reader as well as a good story-teller!

  14. Hey Sharon

    mm books from our youth...I was a terrible reader - I hated reading, and seriously didn't start reading for me until I discovered romance novels in my teenage years. But the older kids at boarding school would always read us stories at bedtime, and my mum in the holidays would read to us girls. Like you, Black Beauty and Thunderhead were books of my youth,( and my son #2 has now read them much to my delight) but Esops Fables stands out because we could con the reader into finishing a story a night to us!

    I'm still hooked on romance novels - after all I have a lot to thank the genre for - it opened my eyes to a whole other world out there in books!

    Love your cats pic's - your Bernie could be a twin of my Binx!

    Bye 4 now

  15. Mel, we're all having a lovely wander down memory lane, aren't we! And with everyone sharing their bookshelf memories, it's reminding me of other stories I loved. I'm a bit mortified to say, with all the horse books I did read, that I haven't read the Silver Brumby series! I think I'm going to have to rectify that!

  16. I didn't enjoy reading until I was seven and someone gave me a copy of The Naughtiest Girl by Enid Blyton. Before that, reading was something to be endured. Afterwards, my nose was always in a book! I loved Enid Blyton -- the marvellous adventures the children had, and those boarding school stories. I still have lots of my old Enid Blytons and (I have to confess) sometimes read them when I'm ill!

  17. So many memories from this post - thanks Sharon!
    I adored Black Beauty, being the third child - all girls - in my family my life was all about hand me downs but I remember getting a BRAND NEW copy for my birthday, oh the luxury, oh the extravagance. I was truly rich.
    I adored the naughtiest girl books too!

  18. Hi Tina, you might have been a late bloomer with your reading but I bet you make up for it now! :)

    And you've mentioned Aesop's Fables! Another brilliant collection of stories with powerful messages! Who could forget tales like the Fox and The Grapes and The Boy Who Cried Wolf! A lot of our sayings come from these fables, don't they!

    Hey, maybe you'd like to send in a photo of your Binx when we've got our pin-up segment organised!

  19. Emily, how fantastic that Enid Blyton drew you into a love of reading. I don't think there's a better tribute you could give to an author! And you still dip into the books now when you need to. They sound like a wonderful "comfort" read to have with a mug of home-made chicken soup while you're tucked up in bed!

  20. Welcome, Becca - another horse-book fan! I'm smiling at your excitement about getting your very own BRAND NEW copy of Black Beauty for your birthday! A gorgeous memory to share with us! Thank you!

  21. I remember the first novel I read myself - The Children of Cherry Tree Farm by Enid Blyton. I still have it and the other 2 books in the series. Other memorable books from my childhood are the Anne of Green Gables series, Agatha Christie (especially Miss Marple), James Herriot and Gerald Durrell and I still have and reread them all (Emily, you aren't the only one - and I don't even have the excuse of being sick when I pick one up). Once I hit my teens I discovered romance, fantasy and crime and Dick Francis and David Eddings now fill shelves of their own. In fact, once I could read, my nose was never out of a book.

  22. I have passages of Little Women and various classical music that is all interconnected in my brain. Read a passage-recall the music. Listen to that music-recall paragraphs from the book. Our brains are amazing.

  23. Hi Anita, you're another person to actually remember reading your first book! I think that's a really precious memory!

    And you've listed some of my favourites - I love Agatha Christie and James Herriot and Gerald (& Lawrence, too) Durrell and Dick Francis.

    Especially, Dick Francis, actually. My dh wasn't an enthusiastic reader when we first met, so I twisted his arm with a Dick Francis novel and now he always has a book on the go!

  24. Hey Sharon
    Another fab post! As a girl, I was hooked on Baby-sitter's Club - lol and even younger Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree series had me enthralled- but the book that will always have a special place in my heart because it was what brought me to writing has to be 'Bridget Jones' Diary'. Nowadays I read all the category downunder authors - well almost - and a mix of longer books.

    Last category book I read just happened to be 'Marriage Reunited, Baby on the Way' and I have to say it was such a treat. Thanks!


  25. The links our brains make are amazing, aren't they, Nancy! For you, your sense of hearing must make very strong connections.

    Does it flow over into other areas - do you find you generally retain information better when you listen to music? Or perhaps you're more creative when your favourite music is playing? I think that's the case for some people but that others find any sort of sound in distracting. We're all different!

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  27. Chuckle (I have photo's of two casts, I used to have, in the exact same pose) So cute!

    A book from childhood that has always stuck in my mind, would have to be, The Night Before Christmas.
    The illustrations of elf's and toys on those pages still bring back memories whenever I read them to my boys.
    Yes I still have them, and my little lads have the same darting eyes that no doubt I did whenever it was read to me all those years ago.

    In terms of Romance, I was a late bloomer. Picked up a copy of Stephanie Laurens just by chance and became addicted. Now have the full collection plus many many other authors as well. That was until a little thing called a writing bug decided to bite. But that's another story.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's post. This has been so much fun.

  28. oops, I wanted to add something to my answer to Rachael and now it's left that "post removed comment" which looks terribly mysterious doesn't it! LOL

    Anyway, Rachael, what I wanted to say was, thank you so much for your lovely words about my book! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    No wonder Bridget Jone's Diary has a special place in your heart since it opened a whole new world for you to explore! Fantastic! BJD is a great, sassy story - and with the movie, watching Colin Firth is never a hardship, is it! ;)

    We're rapt that you're enjoying our blog posts - we're having enormous fun putting them together! It was such a good excuse for me to drag out the old photo albums and do some scanning for my blog post today!

  29. Tam, it's too hard to resist clicking away with the camera when your cat is looking adorably photogenic, isn't it! I have so many pics of Sufi and her brother Minki because I was going through a photography bug stage back then. These ones of Sufi are black and whites that I developed myself at night in a very ad-hoc dark room our the laundry trough!

    You've discovered Stephanie Laurens! Aren't her books fantastic!

    Hey, I know all about being bitten by the writing bug - he's a persistent, insistent little fellow! ;)

  30. Hi Sharon, from a relatively balmy Colorado (-10C) :-)
    Love those pussies - Sufi and Bernie are obviously very intelligent and discerning cats. My three are so dumb they can't read yet and they're aged 10,8 and 6. Should I be sending them to a cat psychologist? ;-)
    Check out this link on how to gift-wrap a cat.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/07/how-to-gift-wrap-a-cat-fo_n_414620.html it's an absolute hoot!
    My first books were the Pooh series, and believe it or not, I still have some of them! Pooh's adventures must've given me an insatiable lust for adventure as I then moved on to the Secret Seven and Famous Five. My first book I wrote (still unpubbed) is an action adventure. But I think reading and writing romance is more soothing for my soul and easier on the blood pressure!
    Hope you're not too hot down there, honeybuns. Kisses to my boyfriend!

  31. Ooops! Meant to say, congrats to you Lovecats on the launch of your blog! I'll come back often as I love you guys!

  32. Hi CC! Great to see you here!
    Rachel blogged about animals in books the other day and I had to mention Louella the pig in your fabulous Colorado Christmas!

    I love the How to Gift Wrap a Cat video! That puss is lapping up the attention and not at all bothered by the process.

    LOL about Pooh giving you a taste for adventure! Did he give you a taste for honey too? Actually, he must have because there's that mention about honeybuns! And let me tell you, all honeybuns have been vewy vewy hot down here in southern Australia! But today is delightful - I'm wearing a cardi and tracky daks! There's a picture that won't posted on the blog anytime soon!

    I'll pass on those kisses and I hope you do come back often! We'd love to see you!

  33. Ooh, it's taken me far too long to get my butt over here. But you are one bunch of seriously cool cats! Congratulations on the fab blog.

    And to answer your question, Sharon -- I can't remember my first book, but Anne of Green Gables certainly made a huge impact on me. I spent years pretending I was Anne (with an e) and turning my country town into Avonlea :-) Hmm... I think I can feel a reread coming on...

  34. What a great topic, and such great replies too!

    I can't remember my first book, but I do remember some of the books that were *first to me*. I have two older sisters, so as any middle / later child will tell you, lots of our stuff is hand-me-downs. Books included.

    But I remember getting a beautiful book on the Easter Bunny that was mine, all mine! I still have it. And I also had my very own copy of The Gnomes of Toadstool Lane. Still have that one too.

    Boy, I love books! Did then, *really* do now.

  35. Greetings from the LoveCats, Michelle.... or should I call you Anne, with an "e", of course! Hey, it's way too cool to have you here for us to worry about how long it took!

    Aren't those old favourites just lovely for a re-read! It's like popping on a comfy pair of slippers and making yourself right at home.

    You enjoy your re-read!

  36. Rachel! Is that THE RACHEL BAILEY who I read has hit number **2** on the Borders-Waldenbooks bestseller list with her DEBUT novel!!!!!! Yes, it is!!!!!

    Woohooo! You are just the CAT'S PYJAMAS, Rachel!!!

  37. so... now that I've calmed down, Rachel, I can answer your comment! :)

    I'm really enjoying the great replies too and having a wonderful stroll down memory lane remembering other books as people mention them! How precious that you've still got your Easter Bunny book and The Gnomes of Toadstool Lane!

  38. Hey Sharon, you'll be pleased to hear that Louella the naughty pig was such a hit in Colorado Christmas that she's returning in a small (non-snorting) part in The Sheriff and the Baby. :-)
    Love, love, love, stories with animals. Kandy Shepherd does great animal characters too. Oh! Just remembered, the Sheriff owns a cat called Wendy. Am thinking I should give her a bigger part. :-)

  39. Hey, thanks for the announcement, Sharon! It's pretty exciting and I think there will be champagne at my house tonight. ;)

  40. Hi Sharon,

    What an intelligent cat! Love the picture of Sufi. Obviously a feline with great taste.

    I remember having books read to me a chapter at a time before bed. I particularly remember Ratty and Mole in Wind in the Willows which I think wasn't long before I picked up books to read myself. It's magical remembering the joy of those early stories. Thanks.

    And Rachel - woo hoo! Great news.

  41. Hey, Annie
    How lovely of you drop by to say hello and share your memories of Rattie and Mole. And there's Toad of Toad Hall! Ah, yes, Wind in the Willows is wonderful! And you know, I just Googled it and it had it's 100th birthday last year - so we're talking about a story that has thrilled generations of children!

    Isn't it awesome about Rachel!
    :) :)

  42. CC, how cool that Louella gets a return cameo role in The Sheriff and The Baby. And the sheriff has a cat? I'm liking that man more and more! This has to be Matt O'Malley who was so gorgeous in Colorado Christmas, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to meeting him again in his very own story!

  43. Hi Sharon,
    Your Sufi looks like my Pushka (who also is but a memory). Beautiful cats!

    I remember winning a book on Bill Collins' Lassie movie, called "A Dog Called Debbie". I was quite young and the dog adopted babies and fed them (not only dogs, but cats too I think, maybe even a joey although my memory is not so good about the details!).

    In my teenage years Mary Grant Bruce's Billabong series brought farming to life in my mind. I think she's why I spent 20 years "out west".

    Great topic for discussion - thanks!


  44. Hi Cath
    Pushka rolls off the tongue beautifully, doesn't it! Great name for a cat.

    And you've named another set of golden goodies with the Billabong series. Mary Grant Bruce's stories must have left a lasting impression on you if you followed that yearning to spend time in the west.

    Thank you for popping in to say hello!

  45. Hey Sharon - lovely topic.

    My favourite and earliest read was a stunningly illustrated and encyclopedic book simply called 'Gnomes' which took an anthropological look at gnomes as a species. Gnome culture, gnomes & nature, gnome biology, gnome mythology, gnome architecture etc etc. Pretty sure I got my earliest sex-education from 'Gnomes'.

    I still have that book on my bookshelf and my two year old nephew is just old enough now to be introduced to the wonder of 'Gnomes'.

  46. Hi Sharon, Wonderful blog and I love your cats. Sufi looks like my Burmilla boy Albert who is 18 and a half and getting very wobbly. I just watched Young Victoria on DVD with my family. Albert was watching with us and I kept reminding him he was named after Prince Albert (he was born in London!)
    Reading through the posts I see that so many of us writers are bookworms. I too was an early reader and read very fast and kept running out of books. I was reading my mother's Colette collection when I was eight and enjoying them. When I reread them as a teenager I realized how much I had missed the first time around!
    Congratulations on lovecats-and keep the cute kitty stuff coming (not to mention the wonderful books!)

  47. Sharon,

    Sorry I'm so late. Work is a nightmare. Great post. Like Emily - Enid Blyton was my very first love. My year two teacher started reading it to us the Magic Faraway Tree - I think it is what woke my love of fantasy too. But before that was Where the Wild Thing Are. LOVED that book.

    But the book that REALLY changed the way I read was William Golding's Lord or the Flies. It was the first reality check - bad things could happen. Kids could die. After that I couldn't read books like the Famous Five anymore - they just seemed to childish after LotF

  48. Bookworm is exactly what I am! My other half just bought me a bookworm charm for my links of london bracelet - so he thinks so too!
    I love animals in books and one my favourite medical writers (apart from Sharon!) is Kate Hardy and she is always trying to sneak some animals into her books. She is on a campaign to sneak reindeers into her next Christmas book at the moment.
    Still have my original Malory Towers books and Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton - read them to my children now and they love it!
    Congratulations on the new blog

  49. Hey Sharon & the LoveCats!

    You know alot of books from my childhood have all fused together so I can't remember what i've read except that I do recall these lovely illustrated fairy tale books - Snow white, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty - and there was also The Ugly Duckling. By words & pictures, the world of storytelling was opened up to me. I also remember when I could write my name & address that I sent away for a Little Golden Book volume set. My surprised parents paid for it when they saw my excited face. As a kid I knew you had pay but didn't realise how much. Actually my mum & I rediscovered those books the other day as we were sorting through boxes. :))

  50. Hi Sharon,

    Firstly Bernie has very good taste and takes a good pic. My first books as I was growing up were Sweet Valley High, Enid Blyton, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Trixie Beldon etc. My only problem was I kept running out of books. Then my older cousin passed me a box of Harlequin romances and I devoured them, can still remember some of the love scenes. The I read a couple of Emma Darcy's which still sit on my bookshelf and still get read. They served to inspire me to write my own romances and this was further cultivated by other Aussies like Melissa James, Carol Marinelli, Helen Bianchin, Barara Hannay etc. My bookshelf now has whole shelfs of romances but some old classics remain - Pride and Prejudice is a must (actually I think there's more than one copy), some biographies of amazing people and a bible stories book that my father was given at Sunday school.

  51. I remember the first big book I ever read was Heidi. I was in first grade. My first romance novel I don't quite remember, but I think it was Emilie Loring. First historical I know was Barbara Cartland. The first racy romance I read was The Flame And The Flower by Kathleen Woodwiss. I remember when I first started reading Harlequins I was totally hooked on Australia and New Zealand. I still have my collections of Margaret Way, Joyce Dingwell, Essie Summers, Miranda Lee, Helen Bianchin, and all of the newer authors from that area. Oh and I almost forgot Lucy Walker. I used to have all of hers, but they got lost in one of the many moves I've had. I was really sorry to loose those. I have always been fascinated with that area of the world. I'm a sucker about buying a book that has the word Outback in the title or the blurb on the back.

  52. LOL on your gnome book, Nikki! I wonder if it's the same book I had. My sister got it for me when I was an adult because I was very into Lord of the Rings at the time. The gnome book was a masterpiece - beautifully illustrated and almost scientific! Which is just what yours sounds like! What fun!

  53. Greetings, Kandy and fellow bookworm! Fab to see you here.

    I hadn't heard of a Burmilla so naturally I had to race over to Google (any excuse!) Albert has a wonderful regal heritage with his Burmese-Chinchilla blood lines. I'm sure he has you, his faithful servant, well trained!

    Sufi is a Chinchilla-alley cat cross! A Chinchalley! LOL Oh, dear, it is getting late so I should apologise for that one! Anyway, Sufi's pedigree mum was pure white so we guessed that her dad provided the silver tabby markings.

  54. Hi Tracie! Are you going to see the movie of Where the Wild Things Are? From the trailers I've seen it looks like they've done an amazing job of the costumes.

    Oh, yes, Lord of the Flies! Wasn't it chilling! It had a real impact on me too when I read it.

  55. Hi Susan, wonderful to see another bookworm here! I've heard about Kate's excellent reindeer project - we'll have to wait and see, won't we! ;)

    I'm intrigued by your bookworm charm... so I just had to whip over to Google it. Aren't they gorgeous - there's a lot of temptation on those pages. I think it's great that your other half went to the trouble to select a bookworm charm for you since it fits one of your big loves.

  56. Hey, Eleni, you've named some of the real classics for childhood reading in your list! Oooo, and you've just rediscovered your Little Golden Books set! That's a real treasure find! That must have been a bit of a thrill!

  57. Hi Tracey, you've listed a great lot of fairy tales for growing up with. And you've named some of our fabulous Aussie authors in the Mills and Boons you've read! How cool that they've made you want to pen your own stories. Good luck!

    Hey, Bernie was a treat to photograph - though I do have to say after a fun session and lots of laughs, I can entirely understand why actors say 'never work with children or animals'. Bernie had very definite ideas about how the composition should go!

  58. Oh, Linda, I'd forgotten about Heidi! I'm glad you mentioned the book - such a classic. I just Googled it and the story was originally published in 1880! How wonderful it would be to write something that lived on like that.

    My first racy romance was a Kathleen Woodiwiss, too. Ashes in the Wind. And I so very nearly missed it because the only reason I bought it was to help a friend out with her bookclub order.

    I'm glad you enjoy Australian and New Zealand settings! Have we got some suggestions for you! ;)

    Do visit again, we'd love to see you!

  59. Thank you all so much for a lovely day walking down memory lane amongst the book shelves everyone! I'll be back here tomorrow to announce the winner of today's fabulous prize!

  60. I'm back to post yesterday's winner! I took a very scientific approach to this and put all your names on pieces of paper then scrunched them up and drew one out of the pile!

    I'm delighted to announce that my winner is ***NANCY who associates Little Women with music!***

    NANCY could you please email me at -
    sharon (at) sharon-archer (dot) com
    with your postal address and the email address you'd like to download the e-books to. We'll arrange to send this wonderful collection of books your way.


  61. Hi Sharon! I know I'm too late to post today (I'm not sure where yesterday went!) but wanted to pop by and wave!

  62. Waving back at you, Christina! Thanks for flashing past to say hello! Isn't it scary how the time gets away these days!
    PS forgive me but I'm going to tack the winner announcement on the bottom of this in the hopes that Nancy drops by and it catches her eye!

    ********WINNER FOR THE DAY*************

    NANCY - who spoke about music and how she associated it with Little Women.

  63. NANCY - please contact me on
    sharon (at) sharon-archer (dot) com