Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Five Books that Influenced Me Most
by Chicki Brown

Thanks for inviting me to share with your readers, Rachel. If there’s one thing I love to talk about, it’s books. So when you asked me to talk about five books that have influenced me, I got all geeked!

Fifteen Beverly Cleary
I must have been in the sixth or seventh grade when I read this book, my very first romance. I copied this description from because it explains why a 13-year-old would love it:

“It seems too good to be true. The most popular boy in school has asked Jane out -- and she's never even dated before. Stan is tall and good-looking, friendly and hardworking -- everything Jane ever dreamed of. But is she ready for this?

Suppose her parents won't let her go? What if she's nervous and makes a fool of herself? Maybe he'll think she's too young. If only she knew all the clever things to say. If only she were prettier. If only she were ready for this...”

Need I say more?

Left Behind Series – Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
Once I read the first book in this series, it put a chillingly realistic spin on what I already believed from the Bible. The events in the books come directly from biblical accounts but are embellished for fiction’s sake. This series is a wonderful yet terrifying modern account of Christian beliefs on the end times.

Milk in My Coffee
Eric Jerome Dickey
I had never read a romance written by a man before, and this contemporary interracial story made me a sold-out fan of Mr. Dickey’s work. The fact that it was written in first person with two points of view intrigued me and was partially responsible for my decision to write a few of my own novels in first person.

Topaz Beverly Jenkins
Historical novels had never interested me on bit until a friend at Georgia Romance Writers insisted I read one of Ms. Jenkins’ black historical romances. In addition to writing emotional, sexy accounts, her attention to detail and research into actual African-American history, have made me a fan for life. The fact that Ms. Jenkins puts her research at the end of each book is just the icing on the cake.

Dark Lover
J. R. Ward
Until three years ago, I also had never read a paranormal romance. This is why Dark Lover was special and unique to me. I grew up watching Bela Lugosi’s Dracula on Creature Features as a kid, so vampires have always given me the creeps. But not the grown, sexy, urban males of Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Once I read this first book, she had me by the throat (pun intended). Every book in this fabulous series is sitting on my keeper shelf.

Rachel says: Thanks for your list, Chicki! Beverly Cleary continues to be a favorite of mine -- I still have Ramona the Brave, the one I bought back in 1979 at the Scholastic Book Fair in my school's library. When she is old enough to fully appreciate it, I will gift it to my daughter.

Be on the look-out for Chicki's new releases on January 2. Until then, you can visit her at a few places:
Personal Blog:

What's on your list?


  1. I enjoyed reading your list of books that influenced you. Very interesting, especially since you explained why. Like you, Beverly Cleary is one of my favorites.
    By the way, I had a lot of fun reading Hot Fun in the Summertime, and I'm looking forward to your new releases.

  2. Sandy, it's funny but I never read any of Beverly Cleary's children's books. Once I read Fifteen, I started craving the happily-ever-after stories.

    So glad you enjoyed Hot Fun. If you like romance, try Have You Seen Her?

  3. Thanks for sharing your list Chicki. I've never read Fifteen, but I definitely spent many days with Henry, Ribsy, Beezus and Ramona!

  4. I love Beverly Clearly, and you introduced me to the Left Behind series which I loved! And of course Eric Jerome Dickey is the bomb!