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Books, stories or series that influenced me

I have been challenged by few of my friends on Facebook to name 10 books that changed or influenced my life. However, I have so many books, stories and series that changed or influenced my life that I cannot possibly only name 10. Therefore, below is my attempt to limit this list to only the top books, stories or series that changed or influenced me throughout my life so far!

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown


This was actually one of my Mom’s favorites. It influenced her so much that she made a gift of this book to me as an adult. My Mom told me, when she gave me that gift, it was to remind me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dire things are. Now that she has passed away, this story is even more precious to me and will continue to remind me of her for years to come.

Poky Little Puppy A Little Golden Book


This was a favorite story when I was in elementary school. I am not sure how it changed or influenced me, but I read and re-read this book so much that I wore the binding out and pages fell out of the book.

Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene


I was first introduced to these stories in elementary school, by the school librarian. The first story of the series I read was The Hidden Staircase. These were first set of stories that I became obsessed with and just had to read!

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen


I first read an excerpt of this story in Middle School as part of an overall reading assignment in the textbook. However, it was the scene where Mr. Collins proposed to Elizabeth and her response to that proposal. The character of Elizabeth was just so powerful in that short scene that I just had to find out more about her and her life. It influenced me to seek out the novel and of course all of the other iterations and adaptations.

Once and Always by Judith McNaught


This is my very first adult historical romance novel. The story, characters and the steamy romance scenes really caught my attention. For a long time, this is the historical romance story I used to measure all the other stories I read in the same genre!



This series has been a part of my life since 1988 and I mentioned that this was one of my favorite series before. I bought the first story in the series, Calhoun, with money that I earned working part time at a local Kmart store. I was so proud that I was able to not only read such an amazing story with great characters, but that I was able to buy it new with my own money!

Mallory-Anderson Series by Johnanna Lindsey


This is another series that I have mentioned before and has been a part of my life for over 25 years. The first story in the series, Love Only Once, introduced my favorite male character, James Mallory, and I was NEVER the same since.

Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz


This is the first story that I found by one of my favorite authors, Jayne Anne Krentz. I found this at a used book store one Saturday afternoon. The book was so good that I went to find all her previous books. In addition, because all the other books were just as good as the first, Jayne Ann Krentz became a must read and buy author from that time on.

Flirting With Trouble by Cathie Linz


This is my first signed book by the author! I met the author through an online Bulletin Board while I was in College. The members of the Bulletin Board decided to have a meet up in Cathie’s home town. Not only did I get to meet this amazing author and have this book signed, but it found a life long friend as well.

A Night In the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny


This story is one that my husband and I re-listen to every year during the month of October for Halloween. Each time we listen to it, it feels like brand new all over again. In addition, we have the rare audio version of this story narrated by the author himself!

And, but definitely not least…

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold


I have mentioned this series before. Every single story in the Vorkosigan Saga constantly changes and influences me, even in small ways. However, if I had to choose one book from this amazing series to list it would be Shards of Honor!

Reading Adventures: Lost in Translation, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my Lost in Translation blog article series!!

I recently re-read a digital manga that was based on the Harlequin novel, The Wedding In White by Diana Palmer. During my re-read, I found a few differences between the original version and the manga version.

Below are the basic format differences of these differences between the two versions:


The original version published in 2000 as a paperback in North America, exclusively for new members for, with 187 pages and contains words only.


The manga version is a digital ebook, first published in 2008 in Japan, with 144 pages and contains words with illustrations.

There are a few differences between the two versions which I thought were a bit unusual and worth mentioning in more detail.

Difference 1

The story name of the town, the setting of the story, is different between the two versions.


In the manga version, the name of the town is “Medisene Ridge” (see above), but in the original version, the name is “Medicine Ridge”.

This most likely happened because of how this name was first translated into Japanese and then translated back to English.

Difference 2

There is a plot element difference between the two versions:


In the manga, a locket (see above) is given to the main female character by the family of the main male character of the story, but in the original version, there is no mention of a locket at any point of the story.

I have no idea why the manga version added this plot element. However, it would be interesting to find out if it was artistic license or if the original author was aware of this addition to the plot.

Difference 3

Two of the characters in the story have different names between the two versions:


1). The girlfriend of the main male character is named “Clair” in the manga version (see above), but it is “Glenna” in the original version.


2). The boyfriend of the main female character’s friend, Vivian, and sister to the main male character is named “Hewlett” in the manga version (see above), but it is “Whit” in the original version.

I have no idea why these character name differences occurred. This might also be another example of artistic license instead of differences between the translation and re-translation from the English, to Japanese and back to English.

I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of my “Lost In Translation” series. Please stay tuned for the next one, which will be posted in a few weeks.

Lost in Translation Cover Comparison: The Wedding in White

Topic: Lost in Translation Cover Comparison: The Wedding in White

Since I started my “Lost In Translation” series of blog posts, I thought it would be interesting to continue this companion piece started during the A to Z Blog Challenge. This post will focus on the different covers between the original novel version and the manga version of “The Wedding In White” by Diana Palmer.


Manga Cover has the following characteristics:

*Setting is outdoors
*The couple is in the foreground with a fruit bearing tree just behind them
*The man is wearing a tuxedo in white
*The woman is wearing a white wedding gown with a huge bow on her arm
*The man is carrying the women with her arms around his head and not his neck
*The woman is holding an eye patch in her hand
*There is a ranch house is in the background

Observation: This version is trying to covey the characters and the wedding between them. It also hints to an important piece of the plot, which is represented by the positioning of the women’s arms and the eye patch in her hand.

Novel Cover has the following characteristics:

*Setting is outdoors
*A bouquet of roses sits on the ground in the foreground
*The couple is standing in a dancing pose more in the background than the foreground
*The man is wearing a tuxedo in black
*The woman is wearing a white wedding gown without bows
*There is a ranch house near the background with trees and mountains in the distance

Observation: It is harder to understand what it is trying to covey with this version. There does not seem to be any hints of the plot except for the couple in wedding clothes and the location of the story.

My next Lost In Translation post will review and compare the original The Wedding in White novel and the manga version.

Reading Adventures: Lost in Translation, Part 1

I had an interesting adventure today reading a digital manga version of a Harlequin Romance novel that I read sometime ago. This particular digital manga was based on the Harlequin novel, Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer.

Diana Palmer is one of my favorite novelist and I always look forward to reading all her novels no matter what format it is in. However, there was quite a difference between the original version and the manga version. Now, I understand that there will be a difference between these two formats because of the following basic differences between the formats including:

The original version is a paperback with 192 pages and contains words only

The manga version is a digital eBook with 65 pages and contains words with illustrations

What I found interesting was the difference between the translation of the main female character’s first name. In the original, her name is Tellie, while the manga version her name is Terry.

Now in order to understand part of the reason why there is a difference in the main character’s first name is how Japanese language treats the letter “L” during the translation process. There is no letter “L” in the Japanese language and when that letter is translated from English to Japanese the letter “R” is used instead of the letter “L”. Therefore, the name Tellie changes into Terrie. However, that name is then translated to Terry when translated back to English from the Japanese. This makes sense as a one to one translation from Japanese to English without the original material. So here are my questions regarding this name difference:

Why did the editor and/or translator not verify the spelling of the main character’s first name with the original material during the whole process?

Was it lack of access to the original material?

Was it lack of money?

Was it timing?

Was it a lack of understanding of the original material?

I doubt if I will ever get answers to these questions, but I just wanted to express how this puzzled me when I read this digital manga version.

I wonder if I will find any other interesting differences as I purchase more manga versions of some of my favorite romance novels that are available through the Nook Book store of Barnes & Noble.

I will look forward to more of these adventures and if there are any more of these “lost in translation” situations.

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