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Thursday, June 14, 2012

On the Hunt

I heard recently that Jayne Ann Krentz's Guinevere Jones series was being reissued and I was giddy with excitement. I already have the complete series, but they were extremely difficult to find when I was looking back in the 90s and they must be even more difficult to find now. Reissues means I can have backup copies just in case. Reissues means I can share my love of these books with more people.

Part of the joy of finding an online romance community is being able to discuss books and authors with others who've read them. No one I knew IRL read like I did and I felt like a freak. Then I discovered other people had To Be Read piles and they were delighted to recommend books and make my pile even bigger.

But because of how hard to find the Guinevere Jones books are, there were few people I was able to gush with about the stories.

The hunt for these books brought back memories of what I used to do on the weekends before I dedicated myself to writing. Every Saturday, my mom and I would head out with a list of hard-to-find books and we'd make the rounds: used book stores, thrift stores, library sales, anywhere I might find these rare treasures.

I carried my hard-to-find list with me everywhere I went. I heard Eugene, Oregon had a great number of awesome used book stores, so when I went out there for a conference, I planned to come home with books. I did. IIRC, I bought 86 of them. The bag was so heavy, I couldn't lift it into the overhead on the plane when I flew home and had to slide it under my seat. But they had some titles by favorite authors that I hadn't been able to find in Minneapolis and I wasn't leaving them behind.

Still, my book collection had holes. Then I heard about BSJ: Book Store Junkies. These were people who hunted for books others wanted and sold them for what they paid plus postage costs. Now when I went out searching on the weekends, I was looking for books others couldn't find and I had people all across the United States looking for the ones I still hadn't found. It was awesome!

But despite all this, I never did find but 1 of JAK's McFadden Romances. It was part of an omnibus collection (not the stand alone version of the book) and I still remember spotting it at the library book sale. (Excuse me for digressing for a moment.)

The books were spine up across probably a dozen tables. I was at the third or fourth table in from the door when I glanced up and scanned the next table for a sneak peek. My brain registered something. My eyes zipped back. Yes, there it was, a McFadden omnibus collection!

Immediately, I did a quick recon. No one was too near that table. Good. I already knew the odds were slim it would be a collection with Jayne Ann Krentz in it. I'd spotted a fair number of McFaddens over the years, but none of them had ever contained a JAK story. That didn't matter. Any McFadden was rare and there was always a chance. I raced from the table I was at to the other one and grabbed up the book. I looked down and gasped. At last! I'd found a JAK McFadden story! It was like spotting a unicorn.

I clutched the book to my chest and looked around, afraid that some other book hunter would grab it out of my hands and run away with my find.

But now back to what I meant to say before I remembered my McFadden adventure. So I only have one of JAK's McFaddens. I wonder if the fact that Guinevere Jones is finally finally being reissued that there's hope for the only JAK books I don't own? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some day I'll have my collection complete. Please, please let them reissue her McFadden romances.