Deb Kastner here, thinking about the first Harlequin Romance I ever picked up.
I have a selective memory. Often I can’t tell you what I ate for dinner last night, but ask me when and where I read my first Harlequin romance novel and within a split second you’ll have an answer—not only the when and where, but the title, author and genre.
I know. Crazy, right?
I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, but my folks are from Oregon and all our extended family still lives there, so every other year during my childhood, we’d visit Oregon for a couple of weeks on vacation. This particular year I was twelve years old and the family was having a reunion of sorts out at a lake. The adults played cards and watched the younger kids while the teenagers took the boat out on the lake. I fell somewhere in between, which often left me alone to amuse myself. Not particularly hard to do for an introvert and an avid reader.
Before we went out to the lake, we stopped by a small drugstore in John Day, Oregon to get supplies for our camping trip. Drawn to the book section, I found a revolving rack of Harlequin romances. I’d never read a romance novel before, but two titles jumped right off the rack at me—Sophie and the Prince by Sylvia Sark and Prisoner of the Harem by Julia Herbert. Both of these novels were Harlequin’s Historicals, and they looked fascinating. So while everyone else at the reunion was socializing, I was tucked in a corner with my nose in a book—well, two books. During those few days, I fell in love with the stories of strong heroines and dashing heroes. I went back to that drug store after the reunion to stock up on more books for the ride back to Colorado. Harlequin books instantly became my favorite source of reading materials.
And they still are today. I am incredibly blessed to be able to write for Love Inspired. Sometimes it still feels surreal, seeing my name on a Harlequin novel. Who would have thought that the introverted preteen alone at a family reunion would turn into an author for the very publisher she was reading?
What about you? Do you remember the first Harlequin book you ever read?