Some of today's biggest names in the romance novel business took a break from writing about down-and-dirty sex with "forbidden" lovers to share some sweet memories of childhood. Awww.
USA Today got the authors to talk about their favorite childhood toys for an ongoing series. I'm giving you fair warning—if you read this, it will stir up a lot of nostalgia for your favorite childhood toys (it did for me, at least).
Alexa Grace, who wrote Profile of Evil played with Barbie and Ken dolls until things took a sinister turn:
My sister and I made clothes for these dolls and played with them every chance we got. At least we did until the abductions began. It was a dark day when someone (my little brother) kidnapped Barbie and wouldn't return her until he was paid handsomely with chocolate bars. No matter what we did to him, tickle his feet, etc., he would not return the doll until the ransom was paid. This continued until the day we discovered how much he liked his G.I. Joe doll. The joy of abduction increases exponentially when the tables are turned.
Jem was a favorite of Rhoda Baxter, author of Doctor January:
One of my favourite dolls is a Jem/Jerrica doll (from Jem and the Holograms). My dad bought me this doll when we were in Palau, heading back home after six months living in Yap. My dad was staying behind to complete his work. He bought us kids one toy each to take with us.
Destiny's Past and Destiny's Present author Patricia C. Lee preferred toy cars to dolls:
As unconventional as this sounds, the toy I played with most as a child was my Hot Wheels set. Yes, you read correctly — a racing set. Not saying I vied to be the first female race car driver, but I wasn't much for playing with dolls, although I did have a few that were handed down to me by friends. But when my parents scraped enough money together and got me the Hot Wheels, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Spent many an hour in my room, piecing together track, adding loops and constructing jumps with the use of the power house accessory. The best car in the series was the Fastback Mustang. As an adult now, I still drool over Mustangs, full size of course, and nothing can top a '66 Convertible. Look out, Danica Patrick, you may see me in your rearview mirror yet.
Much like Tina Belcher, Veronica Scott, author of Magic of the Nile had a thing for horses:
My favorite toys were plastic horses of all sizes, and the cowboys, cowgirls and other animals that went with them. Of the dozens I had, there's only one remaining, but he was the Stallion King of the entire herd and I named him Devil because he seemed so fierce in a don't-mess-with-me way. My plastic people had all kinds of adventures, in outer space, other dimensions, time travel — you name it, they lived it. My imagination had no limits! It's a lot easier to put the adventures on paper nowadays versus physically moving a whole bunch of little animals and people around my bedroom while narrating the adventure and enacting the dialogue. I had two dollhouses full of furniture plus a barn as I recall. Eventually my family moved from Upstate New York to Alabama and my mother took that opportunity to insist we not take all the toys. I was going into seventh grade so it probably made sense but I hung on to Devil. Nowadays he lives with my action figures and my Egyptian miniatures and I think he probably still has adventures, like the characters in Toy Story do, after the humans are out of sight.
My favorite toys were horses as well. I had two horses that were supposed to be for Barbie but I didn't play horses with my Barbies because I didn't like how she looked in the stupid Western wear outfits and also my horses were free and wild and had super magic powers because they were Horse Gods from a secret Horse planet and they were not sent to Earth to be ridden around so Barbie could have an excuse to wear her dumb ugly fringe vest, OK? Yes, I played all by myself a lot. Why do you ask?
Image via Shutterstock.