Now on sale . . . Muffins & Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if Disorderly) Life by Suzanne Beecher, and when you purchase it, request a free autographed bookplate, by visiting:
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Today's Guest Column is written by author Julie Kenner. Coincidentally, Julie wrote her column while walking around Disneyland. My grandchildren and my husband and I are visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge today! Julie would love to hear from you, so send her an email. Her address is at the end of her column today.
A reminder to enter the Write a Dear Reader Contest. I'll be reading entries when I return. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/writedr
From Julie Kenner...
I'm thrilled to be standing in for Suzanne today, and when I first sat down to write this column, I tried to think back to remember when I first met Suzanne online and got turned on to the thrill of getting a tantalizing tidbit of a new book in my inbox.
Unfortunately, that was several years and many computers ago, so I couldn't pin down the exact date, but as I was plowing through old in-boxes, I ran across emails long forgotten. Notes from editors and other authors, story ideas I emailed to myself, quick emails from fans telling me how much they'd enjoyed one of my books. It was, in short, a trip down memory lane.
It's always fun when something triggers a good memory. I'm writing this column from Disneyland, and walking around the park has been like surfing memories. I'd been to the park in the years B.C. (Before Children), but it's those kid-toting years that really build up the special memories. Like my oldest hugging Pooh when she was 18 months old. Or the youngest pointing to the flowers designed to look like Mickey and saying, "I remember that, Mommy!" from the first time she came three years ago. And of course there are all the silly forgotten memories that come back as you walk. "Mommy! That's where the little boy sat in the car with us," or "Remember the baby ducks that lived under that bench?" Memories that aren't quite on the surface, but come back full force when prodded.
A good book does the same thing--and for significantly less money than a trip to Disneyland! We're also getting ready to move, and I've been packing up my books and trying to catalogue them at the same time. Talk about a hard process! Because every time I pull an old book off the shelf, I experience a rush of memories--either about where I acquired it, where I was when I read it, or bits and pieces about the story itself. I remember carting a copy of Atlas Shrugged around Europe when I did the Eurail thing years ago. Or standing in line at midnight to buy the seventh Harry Potter book. I remember finding a used Le Carre novel (A Murder of Quality) in a ramshackle bookstore in London and reading it on the train, the pages falling out as I turned them as the glue on the spine finally gave way. (I still have it, though--held together now with rubber bands.)
It's like visiting a bunch of old friends, and I suppose when you get down to it, the characters in books really are just that. Heck, even the books themselves are companions, each offering something wonderful. And that's why Dear Reader is such a fabulous program--because who doesn't want to meet a whole bunch of new friends?
So here's wishing you a summer full of sunshine and friends...and lots of good books!
Julie Kenner (aka J. K. Beck) is a bestselling author of somewhere around thirty novels. She's tackled numerous genres including paranormal mommy lit (her demon-hunting soccer mom series--Carpe Demon--currently in development as a feature film). This fall, she takes on paranormal romantic suspense with the Shadow Keepers series beginning with When Blood Calls, When Pleasure Rules and When Wicked Craves under the pen name J. K. Beck. Be sure to visit her online at www.juliekenner.com and www.jkbeck.com
P.S. If you haven't entered the Write a Dear Reader Contest yet, get out your recipe box and enter today. This year's theme is: Share a recipe and the story behind it. Even if your recipe and story aren't chosen as contest winners, your story could end up in my next book. To see the prizes and rules to enter, go to: http://tinyurl.com/writedr
* This month's Penguin Classics book is A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov. To start reading and enter for your chance to win a Penguin totebag go to: http://tinyurl.com/July10Classics