Reader Hall of Fame

April 2015 Winner

Kathy Nesfeder

2015-04-19 19.11.48Home: Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

What is the most recent book of Patricia’s that you’ve read?
Not a Family Man

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I purchased a Kindle several years ago and was given an Amazon gift card for Christmas. I found Patricia’s books on Amazon and have been a fan ever since.

What’s your favorite spot for reading?
My favorite spot to read is when I am Camping and sitting outdoors. I have no distractions and it is very relaxing.

What is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
It is difficult to pick a favorite book because I have enjoyed all of her books. The Wedding Series would probably be my favorite and I ‘m anxiously awaiting the sequel to The Christmas Princess. I also enjoyed the Wyoming Wildflowers and A Place called Home trilogies.

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
When I was young, my Aunt and Uncle gave me the Hardy Boys Complete Series. I would spend hours reading the books.

Do you share your reading experiences with others? Part of any reading groups (formal or informal, online or in person)?
When my husband and I started camping we went with my brother and sister-in-law. My sister-in-law Gloria is an avid reader and we share books and discuss the stories and authors all the time.

What do you love about being a reader? 

In my previous job, I travelled a lot (I have travelled to 18 countries), so when I had down time, I would pull out a book and read. It was enjoyable and helped pass the time. I especially like book series because the characters continue to live on in the next book.

Anything else you want to say?
I think Patricia is a great author and very sociable with her fans on Facebook. Patricia shares pictures of her dog, Kalli, flowers from her garden and lets you know about great deals on books. She also asks for help on character’s name when she is writing and personally answers you on Facebook which I think is pretty special.

December 2012 Winner

Home: North Central Indiana

What is the most recent book of Patricia’s that you’ve read?
SIGN OFF

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I was browsing through books at a used book store. The title and cover art of AT THE HEART’S COMMAND caught my attention, so I took it home to read and became an instant fan.

What’s your favorite spot for reading?
My favorite spot is any place I happen to be with a few extra minutes to read. I always carry a book with me just in case I do have the time.

What is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
AT THE HEART’S COMMAND is my favorite. My husband is a Korean War veteran, and I have always had a deep respect and admiration for our military.

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
As a young child I did not enjoy reading. I guess my first enjoyable experience with a book was reading BEN-HUR for a book report when I was in Junior High School.

Do you share your reading experiences with others? Part of any reading groups (formal or informal, online or in person)?
I enjoy discussing books with friends but do not share on a regular basis.

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Now that I enjoy reading, just the chance to escape the everyday stress and at the same time enrich the day’s experience makes an awesome difference.

What do you love about being a reader?
I love getting to know the characters. It is fun to share in their experiences and at the same time to learn new things for yourself.

Anything else you want to say?
My husband is a Certified Flight Instructor, and I do all of his scheduling. It is fun meeting all of his students and helping them to complete their pilot certifications. My husband and I also love to do the old car shows. We have a 1955 Willys M38a1 Army Jeep and Trailer and a 1981 Chevrolet El Camino. We meet a lot of new people each year plus get the chance to see so many of the wonderful old vehicles. We enjoy attending veteran’s activities and visiting any of the military museums.

August 2009 Winner

Becke DavisBecke Davis

Home: Grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, also lived in New Jersey and London, England. Have lived in Cincinnati for 16 years.

Favorite Spot for Reading: Anywhere! In bed, at the table, curled up in a cozy chair – I’m not particular.

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I think I read the first one when I subscribed to several Harlequin, Silhouette and SuperRomance lines. Then I was hooked. I kept an eye out for Patricia’s new releases long after I stopped subscribing, and finally sent her a pestering email when I hadn’t seen a new one for awhile!

Which is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
Wedding Party. I’m not sure why that one hooked me – I read this series out of order; this may have been the first of Patricia’s books I ever read. I loved the Chicago references (Marshall Field’s, Frango mints, etc.) and I loved the whole Michael-Tris-Grady relationship (or non-relationship, in the case of Tris/Grady). I thought the scene with Michael’s holey sweatshirt was a sizzler, and I’ve reread this book several times, partly because I love that scene so much. I loved this whole series, but my second favorite is Runaway Bride. (I love ALL of Patricia’s series, but I have a soft spot for this one.) My second favorite series – hard call, but I’d say the one that takes place in Wisconsin. [Wedding of the Century, The Unexpected Wedding Guest, Least Likely Wedding, Baby Blues and Wedding Bells.]

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
My parents used to read A.A. Milne’s stories to me when I was very young, as well as Golden Book stories. Milne didn’t just write about Winnie-the-Pooh; in fact, as I recall my earliest favorite was King John’s Christmas, a poem about a king who wanted an India rubber ball. Another favorite was The Tall Book of Make Believe (someone blogged about it here). It was a wonderful book that I read to my children, too. I’ve tried to buy extra copies of it, but it’s out of print and used copies cost the earth.

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Yes, in so many ways. It would be hard to select individual books, because I think my life has been enriched by every book I’ve read, if in different ways. Books that have meant a lot to me over the years were mostly books I discovered when I was young: Madeline l’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World – those are just the first to come to mind. I’ve loved the mystery genre since I read my first Nancy Drew at age 9, and I’ve loved romance and romantic suspense since I was a teenager. I’m just a bookaholic – always have been.

What do you love about being a reader?
Well, you’ve nailed it – reading is a love affair, plain and simple. Every time I open a book, there is a sense of anticipation, almost like an electrical buzz. When a book meets (or exceeds) my expectations, it’s a thrilling experience – no matter what the genre. Reading is always an adventure, and I tend to approach books with a sense of wonder. The people and places in books become very real to me.

Anything else you want to say?
This may sound odd to people who make a study of literature, but I have always read for the sheer joy of it, and never analyzed the why’s or wherefore’s of that enjoyment. It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve stood back and studied books with a writer’s eye. I think I purposely avoided analyzing books because I was afraid I’d lose the magic if I knew too much about the author’s process. Instead, the more I consider books with a writer’s eye, the more I’m awed that so many marvelous books were written by (relatively!) normal people.

I’d always placed authors on a different plane of existence; as if authors had been endowed with mystical powers of bringing imaginary worlds to life. This sounds naive, but in some ways I still believe this is true. As far as anyone knows, we are the only species to create stories about people and events that exist in a world of the mind. If that’s not magical, what is?

February 2007 Winners

Sisters Erin Tanner and Deane (Dee) Hay

Home: 
Erin: Barcaldine in Central West Queensland, Australia
Deane (Dee): Taroom in South West Queensland, Australia

Favorite spot for reading?
Erin: My lounge, with my feet up on the coffee table
Dee: wherever I can get some peace and quiet – I have three small children

What is the most recent book of Patricia’s that you’ve read?
Erin: The Right Brother
Dee: Least Likely Wedding

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
By spending time with our Grandmother Petersen in Bundaberg, she and our mother are avid romance novel readers, Grandma keeps a large box of books under her spare bed that we all swap and go through whenever we visit her.

What is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
A favorite for both of us is “Hoops.” We have a long running battle (about 10 years) over “Hoops” and who owns the copy. We take turns stealing it from each other’s house whenever we visit each other. Dee gave the book to me as a wedding present in 2005 and has been unsuccessful in stealing it back ever since, much to her frustration! Ha Ha

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
Erin: Having “When Willie Went to the Wedding ” read to me every night for about 3 years (Loved that book). Mum got so sick of reading it that she used to pay Dee 20 cents a night to read it to me.

Dee: Pinching mum’s romance novels and quickly skimming to find the rude bits, before she caught us! The both of us being bored one rainy day and deciding to write our own romance novel, We named the leading lady “Cochaneal Carnation” and the leading man was “Spam Lamb”, but afterwards was changed to “Lunge Randolf” – a lot of laughs were had during the writing of that story….

Do you share your reading experiences with others? Part of any reading groups (formal or informal, online or in person)?
Just each other.

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Erin: “Inheriting Jack” – shows you how important best friends are
Dee: “Edward the Emu” – because it makes you realize that it is ok to be who you are.

What do you love about being a reader?
Meeting the wonderful characters that are living these fabulous lives. By the end of the book you feel like they are apart of your life.

Anything else you want to say?
Dee is my best friend, she always supports me, helps me and is there for me, I look forward to many more book battles over the years to come.

* Pictured above: Dee, left, and Erin, on Erin’s wedding day.

June 2005 Winner

Joelle Deveza

Home: I live in France, near Orléans and about 130 kilometres from Paris

Favorite spot for reading?
In my bed, with the cat close to me

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I read a book translated in French “Lost and Found Groom” (“A Force d’Amour” in French) I won in a contest sponsored by Harlequin.

Which is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
“At The Heart’s Command” is amongst my favorites. The characters seem so real, so human. The dialogue are so vivid. Ordinary people with ordinary life but the power of love is so big that they become unique and unforgettable.

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
As far as I remember, I was fascinated by “The Wild Swans” and “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen, then later by “Planet of the Apes” by Pierre Boulle. I discover romance books later; only in 1997, I was very ill and bought a book with a lovely cover at the supermarket (Lady of the Upper-Kingdom by Merline Lovelace)… I thought it was something easy to read and forget… And I fell in love! I bought 4 more in the same week and devoured them and never stopped since then. 

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Many of them made me more attentive to people around me. And all of them have a place in my heart.

What books have stayed in your memory over the years?
Books like “Song of the Wolf” by Roseanne Bittner ; “For My Daughters” by Barbara Delinsky ; “The Book Club” by Mary Alice Monroe ; “Cypress Point” by Diane Chamberlain or “Cloud Nine” by Luanne Rice still live in my heart and in a way change my point of view about life.

What do you love about being a reader?
To “fly away “ from this rude world for a while. To live an exciting life with many characters I probably never met. To listen to my heart and emotions.

Anything else you want to say?
I dream I could come to USA someday to rob book shops; to come to an RT convention and meet all the writers I love and say to all of them how important they are for me and to thank them for all the pleasure given with their wonderful stories.

I can say this to you, dear Patricia : THANKS for all the great moments I spent with your books and also for your kindness.

** Don’t miss Joelle’s wonderful website: Click on the moon to enter, then on the button called “Livres en Vo”, choose “June” in the contemporaries section and… surprise ! (http://romanceh.free.fr/VOcjuin.html)

January 2005 Winner

Madalyn Reese

Home: Smack in the middle of Minnesota 

Favorite spot for reading?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the drivers seat of my car, or the ditch. It’s my office.

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I was lucky enough to meet Pat on the eHarlequin message boards, and loved her sense of humor, plus how down to earth she was. So I had to go pick up her latest–which was ALMOST A BRIDE at the time–and was very glad I did. Her books are just as funny and genuine as Pat herself.

What is your favorite Patricia McLinn book, and why?
Boy, this is a hard one for me to answer, so I’ll take the easy way out and name two: ALMOST A BRIDE and MY HEART REMEMBERS.

ALMOST A BRIDE is where we get into Pat’s sense of humor–she almost killed me. Literally. I got impatient after leaving the store with it, so decided to read a bit of the first chapter while driving home from the store. Then I got to the bottom of page 13 (yes, can you say hooked?) and was laughing so hard I almost drove into the ditch. No, I won’t read and drive again. I swear.

MY HEART REMEMBERS sticks with me because of Shane *dreamy sigh* And the shiny things in it, of course.

What’s your favorite memory of reading or having books or stories told?
I remember passing many cold winter hours curled up under about a hundred blankets, reading whatever I could get my hands on. And I remember thinking I was pretty hot stuff for choosing books with no pictures.

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Wow, what a question. I think just about every book I’ve ever read has made a difference in my life somehow, whether it opened me up to a new perspective or just made me more mindful of how I treat others or myself because of whatever lesson the hero/heroine learned.

What do you love about being a reader?
I’d have to say what I love best about being a reader is getting completely lost in a story, and letting a whole other world open up in front of me.

And what I love about being one of Pat’s readers is that her characters don’t get off easy. Everyone–from the main characters to the last secondary–gets exactly what they deserve, good or bad. Love that.

Anything else I want to say?
Yes, I want to say thank you, Pat, for giving me hours of good reading, and a great example to follow. Not only in the writing of stories, but in how an author can remain a genuine person in this often crazy business we’re lucky enough to be part of.

In addition to being a fabulous reader, Madalyn is also a talented writer. Visit her website at http://www.MadalynReese.com

November 2003 Winner

Diana Tidlund

Home: Western Massachusetts

Favorite Spot for Reading: In the bathtub!

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
I started in when Patricia first released HOOPS …My grandmother used to buy and read all the Harlequin/Silhouette Books and pass them onto me by the droves and one time there was this book called HOOPS that I fell in love with…I’ve been reading Patrica ever since.

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
That would be when I was 11 and started reading romance books…my grandmother read them by the droves and never had anyone to pass them on to so I said, “I’d read them Babci” … and from then on I was hooked on romance. (By the way, it’s almost 24 years later and I’m just as hooked as I was then.)

Have any books made a difference in your life?
I can’t pinpoint one particular one if that’s what you mean but as for romance books in general making a difference, then the answer is most definitely YES….they gave me something to focus on and kept me sane during an abusive first marriage and subsequent divorce…. they helped me escape the harsh realities of that time period so that I could regroup and get on with my life.

What do you love about being a reader?
Easy….the great friends (both readers and authors) that I have made because of the common love for reading romance we share.

* Pictured above: Pat and Diana (r) at the New England RWA Chapter Conference, Spring ’03.

September 2001 Winner

Mona Montana

Home: Southwestern corner of Montana, in Rocky Mountains

Favorite Spot for Reading:

You probably don’t want to know #1 Favorite Spot.

Sure we do! 🙂 Tell us your favorite spot.

This is seasonal for me and depends on weather . . . Summer: On-the-go, outside by a creek or river, on the deck, just outside. Winter: In a rocking chair by the fireplace, in bed, in a tub of hot water.

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
Friend had Pat autograph a book for me at a signing in Texas when that
busload of crazy lady writers came through town.. At the time, was roaming through Wyoming and Montana, looking for a place to light.

Which is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
RODEO NIGHTS, hands down. My kind of setting [cowboys-rodeo-Wyoming], reunion love [2nd chance] plus being familiar with Cody Summer Rodeo production. I loved everything about the story and the storyteller’s natural gift, especially in the category format. Wonderful characters/character building – impeccable research – believable story – and the beat goes on.

What’s your favorite early memory of reading or having books or stories told?
This would have to be Bible stories read and told to me by my Daddy.

Have any books made a difference in your life?
Yes. Above all, the Bible is a given for me. There are many that have become a part of me, but MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION by Lloyd C. Douglas would have to top the list.

What do you love about being a reader?
The Wings of Reading……..the innate ability to fly.

Anything else you want to say?
Honestly, I cannot remember not reading. It is such an integral part of my life. Who knows why, but I’ve often wondered if I had to choose, would I give up my sight or my hearing. Reading the written word or absorbing the sound of music – both play such vital roles in life for me. The music could never leave my soul, so I’d have to go with my sight.

What I read is mostly determined by who wrote it. I welcome that wonderful partnership between the reader and the writer that occurs with some stories. Pat McLinn’s writing is one of my most valuable partnerships and brings me great pleasure. She resonates with me. I can believe and identify with what she tells me. She transports me into the lives of her characters – I like them, I care about what happens to them, I forgive them their unwise choices, I cheer them on to happily-ever-after. And I do love McLinn’s dialogue – she gets into their heads and the right words come out.

Admittedly, I am a Hero gal. Although I’ve noticed that for a book to be really solid for me, the heroine must have equal character strength. McLinn is particularly adept with her heroines and I am solidly drawn to that.
In addition to all this cerebral reading technology, I like, respect and admire Pat McLinn personally. I still believe in heroes and the need they fill in our lives. Pat is one of my heroes.

April 2001 Winner

Cornelia Toby TobinCornelia “Toby” Tobin

Home: Takoma Park section of Washington, DC

Favorite Spot for Reading: In bed

How did you discover Patricia McLinn’s books?
Through a co-worker of the author. I read HOOPS and I was hooked and have read every one of her books since then.

Which is your favorite Patricia McLinn book and why?
The one about the Montana ranch woman — WIDOW WOMAN — who inherited her husband’s ranch, it was set in the late 1800s, and the author handled the problems of the difficulties that women faced back then. For example, she split her skirt into a type of culotte to be able to ride normally, not sidesaddle, which was quite scandalous at that time.

What do you love about being a reader?
An African guy wrote a poem about how he goes traveling in books. You go places you might not visit in person, and you get a feel for that area.

Anything else you want to say?
I think that reading is the most fun you can have without getting arrested. When I was a kid, I used to drive my jock of a brother crazy when I’d paraphrase Vince Lombardi, that “Reading (instead of Winning) isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And that was always fun, being the mean older sister! For bossy big sisters, I think that Lucy Van Pelt in “Peanuts” and Angelica from “Rugrats” were wimps compared to me! I could be a terror!

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