Monday, July 28, 2014

How Nancy Drew Influenced Me by Barbara White Daille

Thank you to the Roses for inviting me to visit!
You're most welcome, Barbara. And I'd like to add, I love your cover! Listen up readers, Barbara is offering an autographed copy of The Texan's Little Secret (U.S. only, please) so be sure to leave a comment! Okay, Barbara, take it away...

My topic for this post came from thoughts about the heroine of my upcoming release. 

Carly Baron grew up as one of the middle children in her large blended family.  Despite the fact she felt lost in the crowd and has a painful secret in her teenaged past, she’s now a strong woman.  Yet she longs to be reunited with the one woman who would have been her biggest influence, her mother.  Unfortunately, her mother abandoned their family when Carly was just a few years old.

Today, I’d like to talk about a woman who had a huge impact on my life and possibly on yours, too. 

A fictional woman. 

A teenager, actually. 

A titian-haired beauty who drove a cute little convertible, had an even cuter boyfriend, and got to solve mysteries with her friends.

Chances are very good you know who she is.  Have you guessed her name yet? 

Nancy Drew.

Growing up, I asked for and received Nancy Drew Mysteries as gifts for every birthday and Christmas.  Eventually, those books with the bright-yellow spines filled my bookshelves.

Here are just a few of the things I’m grateful to Nancy for:

·                     Proving to me that women can be independent and strong and resourceful.  Nancy was empowering me and thousands of other girls just like me.  She got into the most dangerous situations yet managed to get herself out again, sometimes with the help of friends such as Bess and George, but often on her own.

·                     Reinforcing my love of mysteries.  This had been my favorite genre since I’d first discovered The Bobbsey Twins and Encyclopedia Brown.  Nancy would wrap up one exciting case after another, solving crimes and catching the bad guys.

·                     Teaching me compassion.  In many of the books, Nancy became involved in a case in order to help someone in need.

·                     Broadening my horizons.  Nancy travelled to so many places I’d only seen in my geography book:  New Orleans and New York, Arizona and Hawaii, and beyond.  The stories about her trips to Scotland, Africa, France, and Peru were among some of my favorites.

·                     Turning me into a romance fan.  Yes, that’s right.  Thanks to college letterman Ned Nickerson, I fell in love with love while reading Nancy Drew.  (Although I will confess I always wanted to see a little more of the love!  Maybe that’s why I now write my own romance novels.)

Are you a Nancy Drew fan, too, and if so, what did you like best about the books? 

Or did you read another series you loved as much as I loved this one?

Here’s a look at the cover copy for my August release:

The Texan’s Little Secret

Coming home might be the worst decision Carly Baron has ever made. Each minute on her family's busy ranch is one minute closer to seeing him—her first love—the man who broke her heart seven years ago. While coming face-to-face with Luke Nobel again brings back painful memories, Carly quickly realizes there are other strong feelings just under the surface…. 

Luke would be a lot better off if Carly had stayed away. Being a single dad to an adorable two-year-old girl and managing the Roughneck is tough enough, but resisting the sparks that fly whenever he and Carly are together is near impossible. But first she must tell him her secret. The truth could heal their past…or forever destroy their chances of becoming a family.

And here’s a peek into the story:

When he reached the attic doorway, Luke realized Carly hadn't heard him calling her name.  She was focused on the boxes piled all around her.  Whatever those cartons contained, they had caught and held her attention.
On the floor beside her rested a short stack of beige envelopes tied with a pink ribbon.  He had never seen the ribbon before, but he'd put money down for a bet on those envelopes.
He eased onto a plastic-shrouded rocking chair and linked his fingers together in front of him.  "Looks like you saved my letters."
She glanced down at the pile and flushed.  "Guess so.  I'd forgotten they were in here."
The ribbon was still tied tight, which meant she hadn't come up here just to read the few sweet nothings he'd sent her.  So, this wasn't a trip down memory lane.  Or was it?  "What are you doing up here?"
"Looking through these boxes."
He laughed softly.  "Well, right.  I can see that for myself."
She sat back on her heels and ran a hand through her hair.  "I came up here to try to find a piece of my past."
But not the part that included him.
She took a deep breath and held it, as if she didn't want to say anything more.  A second later she let the breath out in a whoosh and looked at him, her eyes shining.  "Luke.  I think I might have a way to find my mom."

Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to leave comments or questions.  I’ll be around to chat.

Barbara White Daille

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.  Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor.  Her current title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited that her upcoming book, The Texan’s Little Secret, releases in less than a month! 

She would love to have you drop by her website:

The Texan’s Little Secret:


Liz Flaherty said...

I liked Nancy Drew, too. Your blog made me realize what one of my favorite parts of those books (and Sue Barton, Trixie Belden, et al) was. I loved the girl friend relationships. Ned was great, but I liked Bess and George better. It explains why I've segued into women's fiction in favorite reading--I'm just going full circle!

Liz Flaherty said...

Oh, I forgot--got so busy listening to myself. The book looks great, too, and I even love the cover!

Jannine Gallant said...

I adored the Nancy Drew books. I still have the first 64 of them. (Must have outgrown them at that point!) I loved the mystery solving, but as I grew older, I was always disappointed her romance with Ned fell so flat. The writers (yes, I know there were a bunch who eventually wrote as Carolyn Keene) missed the boat there! Thanks for the walk down memory lane and best of luck with your book!

glenys said...

Loved your blog - Nancy Drew was a great influence on my young life, too - although I thought I wanted to be a detective, writing came later! Thanks for sharing.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, and thanks again to the Roses for inviting me to visit!

I'm on deadline so will be popping in and out to chat.

Barbara White Daille said...

Liz - thanks for your kind comments about The Texan's Little Secret. I sure lucked out with that cover, didn't I? ;)

Someday, I think I'll come full circle, too. I love the friendships in the books you mentioned, especially Trixie's with Honey. (On the romance side of the series, Jim isn't so bad, either. Neither is Brian, come to think of it...)

Thanks again for commenting!

Barbara White Daille said...

Jannine - I so wish I had kept all my Nancy Drew books, too. But when I left home to move into a studio apartment, there was only so much space for bookshelves. And (silly, silly me) I thought I had outgrown them.

Thank goodness I hung onto all my Trixie Belden books! (See previous comment. ;))

Thanks for the good wishes.

Barbara White Daille said...

Glenys - once I discovered mysteries, becoming a detective turned into an additional ambition. I still have the Hardy Boys Detective Handbook. LOL

Long before I discovered mysteries, I knew I would be a writer, no matter what else I would do. At that time, I had no idea what "authors" were, but I'm very happy I've become one.

Glad you enjoyed the post!

Barbara Edwards said...

I admit I didn't read a lot of Nancy Drew. I was hung up on the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley and must have read them a hundred times. From them I learned that love is powerful emotion.

Barbara White Daille said...

Barbara - I think what unites us is not necessarily what we read, but the fact that we all loved books at an early age.

We tend to gravitate toward the stories we like best, and I think that helps leave us open to learning from them. I'd much rather have read Nancy Drew than my math book!

Thanks for commenting.

Diane Burton said...

My mom had a collection of Nancy Drew books with blue covers and thick cream pages. I read all of them. Then I got the yellow covers as gifts. I read them because I enjoyed her adventures. She really was ahead of her time with the "girls can do anything" attitude.

Barbara White Daille said...

Diane - I think that's what impressed me most about Nancy, but at the time I started reading, her attitude was still at my subconscious level. I read her because I loved the mystery and puzzling out the clues!

Those older Nancy Drew books must have been real treasures. It's nice that you and your mom had those stories to share.

Thanks for stopping in.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I loved how much her family and friends supported her.

Barbara White Daille said...

Girlygirl - I agree. And even as a kid, I thought it would be nice to have a housekeeper like Hannah. ;)

Barbara White Daille said...

Thanks again for commenting, everyone.

We have a drawing winner...and she is...

Liz Flaherty

Congrats, Liz! I'll be in touch about getting your book to you.