First Friday with the Crew Sharing Their Moms' Favorite Reads!

Hello all and welcome to the crew’s celebration of Mother’s Day. We thought it might be fun to share the favorite books of our mothers. If, like me, you learned to read early, it may have been your mother who taught you, even before you went to school. And your mother’s reading might have influenced your own. So, here goes as we share the books that bring our mothers reading pleasure. 

We wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day!

Regan Walker  

My mother loved mysteries. It was she who introduced me to Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers when I was in high school. Beyond those authors, she read other mystery writers, nearly a book a day after she retired from a long career as a nurse. She influenced me to become an avid reader, once telling me that I could travel the world through books. She was right.

I didn't begin to read or write romance until after my mom died but if she had read romances, I think it would have been those involving mysteries. A few of my own stories have some mystery in the love story and perhaps she would have liked those. I also think Victoria Holt’s novels would have appealed to her. 

Holt does mystery well, weaving a Gothic romance around some central unsolved crime or secret long hidden, only revealed at the end. I just read one, The Secret Woman, that I know my mom would have enjoyed.

If you love medieval romance, you might like my new one, Rebel Warrior, set in Scotland during the time Margaret of Wessex was Queen. Margaret makes an appearance with her firstborn son, Edward.

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

E.E. Burke

When I was growing up, I remember my mother always having a book nearby. She loves to read and reads every night. When her vision started getting bad, she just switched to a Kindle, increased the font size, and kept on reading!

She shared with me her love for books, especially stories about fascinating people and far away places. One book in particular I recall her recommending that I really enjoyed was The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

She also fed my voracious appetite for Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Apparently, I had many memorized and could recite them for anyone who would listen to me. I don't remember when I started reading, but I do remember going to bed with my books instead of dolls or teddy bears. Mom put up with my eccentricities even then. In fact, I think she encouraged this odd behavior.

My mom, Shirley
What better way to share my mother's love for books than to interview her, GLIAS-style?

E.E.: What are your favorite types of books?
Shirley: Biographies, autobiographies, suspense and mystery, historical, contemporary fiction. Anything that has a good storyline and is uplifting.

E.E.: Who are your favorite authors? 
Shirley: Charles Spurgeon, John Grisham, Ann Rule, Paul Theroux, Max Lucado, Chuck Swindoll...God.

E.E.: Any favorite books? (You don't have to say mine...lol)
Shirley: Before our years in China (serving in foreign missions) I read Paul Theroux's Riding the Red Rooster and it was my insight into China at that time. I have reread it several times. I met Jan Karon one time and began to read her Father Tim series, which I have liked a lot.

E.E.: Who influenced your love of reading? 

Shirley: My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Cunningham.

E.E.: What do you think of your daughter being an author of romance?
Shirley: You have a wonderful talent for research and putting a story together and your love for writing comes out in your stories. I am very proud of all that you do, not only as an author, but in every way. You are loved!

Aww, thanks Mom. And thank you for sowing the seeds for my love of books!

For those of you who love romance, here's a Mother's Day Special Deal! 

This weekend only, the American Mail-Order Brides -- an unprecedented 50-book historical romance series -- will be on sale for only 99 cents (regularly $2.99). If you've been considering buying these books for yourself or as a gift, now is the time!

Here's the link to Victoria, Bride of Kansas.

I'm also offering Santa's Mail-Order Bride, the sequel, at the same time for only 99 cents. Get both books for less than a latte at Starbucks. ;)

Happy Mother's Day! 

Avril Tremyane 

Am I the only author whose mother doesn't read her books? I found this out when my mother felt the need to tell me she only made it to page 40 of my first-ever book, Here Comes The Bridesmaid, before cashing in her chips.

She was my first official DNF (Did Not Finish, for those wondering). Thanks, Mum! But I didn't really mind, because my mother is a Thorn Birds kind of gal - partial  to a family saga - and that's not my forte as a romantic comedy writer.

Although books were always shared between Mum and her three daughters when we lived under the one roof, we all grew into different types of readers.

Having said that, a few months ago I read a book my mother bought me, and I loved it so much, I'm going back to her for a few more recommendations. It was Kiss Heaven Goodbye by Tasmina Perry, if you want to check it out.

Jan Schliesman

It's been nearly twenty-six years since our oldest daughter was born on May 8th and I celebrated my first Mother's Day. Whew...what a journey! This year I'm getting promoted to Grandma. Yep. By the 4th of July, I'll be rocking my granddaughter and changing her outfit every hour so we actually get some use out of all the adorable clothes she's already acquired. Not that I've purchased anything and hidden it in my office closet. (We took this picture to torment our hubbies:) And seriously, if I could find someone to make a Onesie that says "Grandma Spoils Me With Grandpa's Money" I'd buy it!

Watching your daughter become a mother is filled with nerve-wracking worry and infinite doses of humor. I'm sure I'm having WAY more fun than she is because I'm gonna get all the benefits of being a Mom without any of the labor pains or stretch marks. Soon she'll be standing over a crib and watching her daughter sleep. And then she'll blink and that baby will be all grown up.

I love reading about babies. Nothing adds a dose of drama to a story like a secret baby and that's just what you'll find in my debut, Protecting His Brother's Bride. Of course there's also some suspense and a happily-ever-after. So here's to all the baby lovers out there and especially those who are lucky enough to be called Mom...or even Grandma:) Happy Mother's Day!

Clover Autrey

It wasn't until I was a young adult that my mom and I found an author we both loved. Louis L'amour.
Clover Autrey's Mom picture

Guess it took great westerns and the romance of open spaces and untamed land to bring our reading tastes together. We both will read and re-read his books until we have them about memorized.

She's proud as peaches that I'm a published writer, yet my fantasy worlds aren't her thing. I create "too many things so she doesn't know what I'm talking about". Well, yeah, Mom, that's kind of the point of make-believe worlds.

Her favorite book of mine is The Sweetheart Tree that's set during The Civil War (not a witch or gremlin to be found).

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 


Nan Dixon

My mother was an amazing woman and I still miss her.  After meeting my father during WWII, she left England in 1948 to come and see if the man she met during the war and wrote letters to for three years was still the love of her life. 
 He was.

With no post-secondary education, she wrote a weekly column for her hometown newspaper from 1948 to 1965.  First labeled Diary of a GI Bride, then American Diary.  It was amazing to see America through her eyes.  She was also a poet, playwright, silversmith and artist.  

My very worn copy of 
the Jungle Books
The theater group she started in a Minneapolis suburb is still alive.  So it is no surprise that there were always plays around.  I would say Shakespeare was one of her favorites authors.  But since her father was in the British cavalry in India during WWI, she also instill in us a love for Kipling.  I can remember sitting at her feet while she read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and the The Cat that Walked by Himself.

I miss my mother so much.  Happy Mother's Day!

Lara Lacombe
Finding my first book on the shelf!

My Mom has always been a reader, and like others here, she was the one to introduce me to romance novels.  At first, I turned my nose up at the genre, thinking I should only read 'serious' books.  But I soon realized the error of my ways, and now there's nothing I love more than a good romance.  Over the years, she and I have shared lots of books, but probably the series we have both enjoyed the most is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books.  We even traveled to Canada so we could meet Diana at a writing conference, which turned out to be a ton of fun.

Mom also likes to read my books--she's the first person I send my books to, and I rely on her to tell me if they're any good or if I need to change anything.  I guess you could say she's my first editor :)

Love you, Mom!

Lizbeth Selvig

My mother has never been the biggest romance fan--she's a mystery reader from WAY back. She's introduced me to the most wonderful, classic mystery writers: Anne Perry, Agatha Christie, Alexander McCall Smith; and their characters: Thomas Pitt, Miss Jane Marple, Mrs. Pollifax, and Mma Patience Ramotswe. With all those character role models, I wonder how I happened to choose romantic heroines to write about!


Even though she loves mysteries, Mom is my very biggest supporter and has not only read my romance books but orders a half dozen of each one (she never waits for me to give them to her) and mails them off to all her friends. I have a whole fan club of ladies over the age of 80 who read my stories! I'm so grateful to my mom for that! I don't know how anyone can write without a whole lot of support. My mother gives me the lion's share of the encouragement that keeps me going. I always know she's going to stand proudly beside me with every single book I write.

Love you so much, Mom--you're my inspiration for every story!

Angi Morgan

Angi with her parents
What does my mom read? She'd rather be painting. But I can admit that she's read everything I've written and loves it. She recommends my books to her friends and her friends' friends.

My mom is one of the reasons I became a voracious reader. Waaaayyy back in the dark ages, my family had one vehicle. So my mother walked us everywhere, pulling my sister and brother in a heavy, steel wagon (I still have it in my garden). Most summer days we'd hang out at the rec center pool, take a picnic for the park, and stop by the library to pick up a book...or two...or as many as they'd let me have. It's one of my best memories of summer. Here we are at my first book signing in 2010.

My Mom is can't wait to read (her words) book 3 & 4 of my TEXAS RANGERS: ELITE TROOP series. She gets them as soon as I receive my copies from Harlequin. GUNSLINGER is on shelves mid-June, followed by HARD CORE LAW in mid-July. 

Enter my monthly giveaway on my Facebook page. In May I'm giving an autographed copy of Gunslinger and a $10 gift card.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 


  1. I loved reading about everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think I've discovered the secret to all our authorial successes! We have incredible moms! What a joy to read everyone's tribute! Happy Mother's Day to my fellow GLIAS girls, too!

  3. Thanks to all for sharing their stories about their mothers... I loved reading about them.

  4. Great stories, ladies! Thanks for pulling all of this together, Regan!

    1. You are most welcome, Jan. It was very fun.

  5. What wonderful stories everyone shared! I loved reading about them and about your moms. No wonder you are all so AWESOME!