Mills & Boon

When I was a young girl, probably in that awkward preteen period, my grand aunt came over to the house with a shopping bag full of books. They were for her sister. 

My grandmother and grand aunt were voracious readers. My grandmother had stacks of books on the floor of her bedroom. She had several book cases as well, all filled, sometimes two books deep where possible.

Most of the books I'd see were religious books. I'm pretty sure there was more than one bible around. There were books on catechism, saints, lives of the Blessed Mother, Jesus, you get the idea. Whenever I had an assignment on anything that had to do with our Catholic faith, my number one resource was my grandmother.

The day her sister came with the shopping bag full of books, I thought they were more of the same kind. I generally had a tendency to hang around when people came over unless shooed away. No one shooed me away so I stayed and asked if I could see what books were inside.

The bag was handed over. In the meantime, the sisters proceeded to talk about sisterly things over coffee. Coffee wasn't of any interest to me at the time. In my opinion, it never tasted as good as it smelled. 

I pulled out one book, then another, and another, until I  had a whole pile of them on the table.

"These are all romance books!" 

I don't think I'd ever seen so many except maybe in a bookstore. There were quite a number of the Mills & Boon paperbacks, several Barbara Cartlands, a Victoria Holt or two, and a few others that I can't call to mind now. 

My grand aunt looked at me, amused. "I've finished reading them so I'm leaving them here for your grandmother to read."

"That reminds me," my grandmother said. "I have the other bag ready for you."

The other bag was also full of romance novels.

"Why do you read so many of them?" I just had to ask.

"Because, Ramona, WE ALL NEED SOME FANTASY IN OUR LIVES!!! And she follows this with a loud, from-the-belly laugh.

I loved my grand aunt and her kind of laughter. I even gave Mills & Boon a shot. After the third one, I gave up. Too predictable. Victoria Holt was much better, I thought. At least her stories had the kind of Jane Eyre mysterious and even suspenseful atmosphere to them.

By the way, my real name is Ramonita, which I hardly ever used because I didn't like it, and I really didn't relish her version of it. I remember cringing inwardly at the time. This must also be the reason why I can recall this particular episode in my life but I thought I'd write about it because I'd forgotten all about those Mills & Boon paperbacks.

Meanwhile, if anyone's interested in a good read, I highly recommend Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and Wonder by RJ Palacio. Big Little Lies is now a limited TV series on HBO and Wonder is coming soon as a movie with Julia Roberts, I think. 

On the creative front, I've been learning how to make GIFs using Photoshop. I'm still trying to get the hang of it. This is what I've come up with that's pretty much on the fly. 

That's it for this post. How about you? Any book recommendations? Or GIFs you've made? Share them in the comments space so I can share them for others to enjoy as well!


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