Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Pure Pleasure of Pages with Astraea Press Author: Nell Dixon

 Meet Author Nell Dixon 
today at the Book Boost!

**All month long at the Book Boost we're featuring my fellow Astraea Press authors. Come back each day for more and be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize Pack (see below for details)!**

As soon as I saw March was literacy month I knew what my blog post would be about. I love books. All my life I’ve been an avid reader. I still read over one hundred books a year and I can’t imagine how much poorer my life would be if it didn’t have books in it.

It’s partly why I’m such a huge supporter of libraries. I regularly do talks for my local libraries and donate copies of my large print books for their shelves. I like to do school talks too to encourage more young people to go and see what the library can offer them.

When I was a child my favorite memories are of cycling daily to the library, carefully choosing my allocation of books then pedaling home. I would then spend the long summer school holidays sitting on the swing in my garden reading.

I read Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton’s Just William stories, The Drina the Ballerina books, Andre Norton, The Chalet School series, Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt. I read Malcolm Saville and classics like The Waterbabies, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Lorna Doone and Little Women. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Books were my sweets, my treat and my delight.

It didn’t change much as I grew older. I loved Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, Ngaio Marsh, PD James, Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Crusie. Mills and Boon were the big discovery though in my teens with Betty Neels, Violet Winspear, Robyn Donald and Sara Craven.

Through books I learned about other countries, languages and ways of life. I learned about human emotions and behaviors. I learned about love and hate and all the shades in between.

Books speak to me in a way that other media doesn’t. Unlike film or TV I create the images in my head for myself. My picture of Mr. Darcy or Jo March is probably different from the author’s and different from every other reader that ever reads those stories but that’s the joy of it. It’s what makes the experience of that book unique to me.

I read for pleasure, to lose myself in a world the author has created. I don’t want to see how cleverly they have used the words to create those images or to be pulled out of a world by something that I know to be wrong. I want to dive into the story like entering a pool and being underwater where everything outside the pool is muffled, distorted and left behind.

And what greater joy can any writer have than to be able to give that gift to others? That’s what I hope my readers get when they pick up one of my books. A few hours blissful escape into a world I’ve created just for them. A unique space where they can put tiredness, a bad day with the kids, worry about money or illness behind them for a short time. For me there’s no nicer thing than when I get a review or an email that says I’ve succeeded.

A Note from the Book Boost:  I love your imagery there about diving into a story as if you are underwater to the outside world.  Great stuff!  Thanks for joining us today and please tell us more about your latest. 


Cornish farmer, Noah Penwarren is sworn off city girls, especially deceitful ones. Posy Carmichael is a city girl through and through. When romantic sparks start to fly will Posy’s secret end their Easter romance before it’s even begun?


Posy flinched as she eased the car forward into the rut she’d been trying to avoid. Behind her, the tent poles and pegs clattered and rattled as she jolted along to the gap in the boundary. She placed the car in reverse and backed into the entrance of the field ready to turn around.

The rear wheels skidded on the muddy grass. Posy changed into first gear and hoped she would manage to get out ahead of the tractor she could hear approaching down the narrow track. To her dismay the wheels of the car spun around as she revved the engine, failing to gain any purchase on the soft ground.

“Noooooo.” She moaned and gave the accelerator a last desperate nudge. A fine spray of mud shot from the back of the car to coat the back bumper and window.

The blue nose of a tractor chugged into view and stopped in front of her. Posy sucked in a breath. The way her day was headed she’d probably get told off now for trespassing. She lowered the window as the driver of the tractor dismounted from his cab and came over to her.

“I take it you’re stuck?” The man bent so his head was level with her window.

“I was trying to turn round.” Posy had a glimpse of dark blue eyes and a rugged jaw before the owner of the tractor stood leaving her with a view of green farm overalls.

“I’ll pull you out with the tractor.” His voice sounded resigned as if he were used to tugging stranded motorists from the entrance to his fields every day of the week.

Posy opened the car door and went to get out. Her shoe sank in the soft earth, with a soft, squelching sound.

“Do you want me to help?” She wobbled on one leg trying to extricate her foot from the sticky gloop.

“You’re fine. Just stay in the car and put it in neutral with the handbrake off when I tell you.”

She slipped back into her seat and tried to scrape the mud from her shoe onto the car mat. The previously unsmiling lines of his mouth had now softened into the hint of a grin as he began to attach the rope to the front of her car. Clearly, he found her encounter with the mud amusing. If she hadn’t felt so mortified at being stupid enough to get both lost and stuck Posy might have considered her rescuer attractive.

Want More Nell?

Visit her on the web here:

Pick up a copy of her latest today!  Click here.

Contest Time:

Everyone who leaves a question or comment for any of our authors this month will be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize pack from the Book Boost!  Pack includes:

  • Falsify by Kerri Nelson
  • Your choice of books from author Liz Botts 
  • Saint Sloan by Kelly Martin
  • Never Trust A Pretty Wolf by Elaine Cantrell 
  • The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer by Lisa Orchard
  • PLUS much more! 
One entry for every comment.  Visit often.


Lisa Orchard said...

Great post Nell! I think it's awesome that most Authors were avid readers when they were young. I was too! :)

Patricia Kiyono said...

Wonderful post. Books were definitely an escape from the drudgery of life. It allowed me to be whatever I wanted to be, travel wherever I wanted to go, and say what I always wished I could say. And now we have the honor of providing these escapes for future generations. What could be better?