Reading Lady Beware, an historical romance by Jo Beverley. She loves historical romance. Twenty-five or thirty years ago she worked at a store setting up magazines and books and discovered the genre.

Her favorite historical romance writer is Beatrice Small. She writes in a way that is not happily ever after and the historical facts, she says, are awesome. Of Small's books, All My Sweet Tomorrows, which is set in England in the 1500's, is the best.

She does read contemporary romance, but it has to be really good, for example, books by Susan Wiggs, who writes entertaining real situations, things that can actually happen.

How has reading affected her life? One word--food. Or, in two--Seven courses. Romance novels, known for their elaborate descriptions don't stop with the love scenes, but include details of landscaping, furniture, fashion, and, her favorite, elaborate meals of the time period, be it 18th Century Scotland or wherever.

Her children have grown up and moved away, so now she just cooks for her husband, but, when they were living at home, she and her daughters would cook together. How many twenty-five year olds, she asks, know how to bake their own bread?

One of her specialties is Beef Wellington, complete with the puff pastry, which she knows how to make by scratch, but sometimes buys because it's just as good. She starts her meals off with appetizers, then maybe a cream based soup, a salad, the main course...

Back in the 70s in Oakland, she helped her mother, an "off and on single mom" and mother of nine, bake pies in a cafe. She was a really hard work, she said, and their life was always interesting.

She is considering writing a memoir. If you do, please keep me posted. And, thanks for sharing with me!