Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday Talk-Time :: Sweet Dreams books

Now hands up who used to read Sweet Dreams books before they were 'old enough' to read their mum's Mills and Boons? Me! Me! Me!

And looking at these covers ...boy does that bring back memories! I'm sure I read at least half of these titles. Wow...

Do you remember them? They were pretty much Harlequin novels for teens. Whenever I visited my older cousins I was allowed to trawl their collections and borrow whichever titles I pleased as they owned the whole kit and caboodle.

With titles like It's a Prom Thing and Campfire Nights all were set in American high school type settings, or the equivalent holiday fun of camp counsellors and beachside summer jobs. And just like Mills and Boon novels they were numbered, beginning with the first ever # 1 P.S. I Love You. It was published by Bantam in 1981, so I reckon I'm showing my age, or my generation at least..

(For a pretty good list of the books out there, check out Fantastic Fiction, or Amazon - it'll bring back some memories!)

P.S. I Love You was something special. A romance novel to be sure, and the only Sweet Dreams novel without a happily ever after. Heartbreaking book. Poignant, sweet, romantic and truly a weepie. In fact writing about it now makes me soooo want to track down a copy so I can read it all over again.

I can picture myself in my bedroom when I was about 12 years old, the moonlight seeping through the venetian blinds onto my desk as I lay in bed, pretending to be asleep and reading about Mariah and Paul far far into the night. Sigh...

Barbara Conklin wrote the first book, and never any more. I wonder why...

The reason these books suddenly came back into my memory this week? Tomorrow is the 29th of February, a fact that only comes around once every four years. And you know why that is important in romance circles? Because by tradition on that day a woman is allowed to propose to her man.

And I only know this because my very favourite Sweet Dreams book, one I have kept for around 25 years in my treasure chest of "keepers" at my parents place, one I can't for the life of me remember the title of, was about a girl (short dark hair on the cover) who asked the cool boy in school to the prom. There was this whole "learning how to use the computer by having secret email buddy's" side story going on. Anyone remember what it was called???? Boy oh boy am I gonna have to fish that book out the next time I visit my mum and dad. I can feel a reading fest coming on!

Now don't get me started on what I learned from Sweet Valley High ;).

Do you have a favourite Sweet Dreams book that you remember reading way back when?

Ally’s next book, FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR, is out in North America and the UK come March.

To find out just how a girl goes from reading such books to writing them, pick up a copy from eHarlequin online now, or check your local bookstores next month!


  1. PS I Love You was my favourite (nearly cry just thinking about it) but i loved them all. Older sisters gave me a steady supply.

    You've inspired me to go bid on a whole heap of sweet dreams books on ebay. But not for me. Really. I need them for my daughter. In only 9 years she'll be 11 and need something to read.


  2. Bec what a fab idea! My cousins owned them all but I'd bet they're gone by now. I shuold ask ;).


  3. Hi Ally

    What a fabulous post! I didn't read the Sweet Dreams series, but that Sweet Valley High cover brought back a lot of memories! It was the American setting that made them so cool . . . and before them of course I read Sweet Valley Twins and then the even better Sweet Valley University which was even more naughty (as a 13yr old anyway!). Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  4. I definitely read the Sweet Valley High books but not Sweet Dreams. But then again I did start on Mills & Boon by the age of 12 so maybe I just skipped them ;-)
    I went to a boarding school where the books circulating the dorms ranged from Sweet Valley High to Mills & Boon, Jilly Cooper to Lace and Princess Daisy! And I wonder why I love romance books...


  5. Hey Ally, interesting post, don't think we ever had Sweet Dreams books in the UK, but I do remember reading SE Hinton's The Outsiders in my youth and being totally besotted with Dally and Ponyboy! See, I guess I was always a sucker for bad boys.

  6. We didn't have Sweet Dreams in the US...the YA market was sorely lacking while I was in that bracket. We had Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club. That was it! Could be what had me grabbing up every HQ Romance my Grandma deemed OK for me :)

  7. I read Sweet Valley High--eek, I think about 100 of them. I also read this teen historical series from the 1980s--does anyone remember it? Each title was the name of a girl, Amanda, Susannah, Caroline, Emily... and each one was set in a different time period. They were romances, and there were always two guys and you never knew which one would be her one true love until the end of the book. Caroline was my favorite, about a girl who disguises herself as a man during the California Gold Rush. Does anyone remember these books??


  8. Hi! I have read the sweet valley kids, junior, high nd university and all those specials like the Unicorn clubs and the diaries. anyway, i love ready LOve Stories and Sweet Dreams series too. I am looking for Dear Amanda (Sweet Dreams #33) I'm from the Philippines and I can't find it here! I've scoured all books sales, books stores, etc to no avail.. :(( All i need is taht book and it doesnt exist. Wishing for a fairy god mother...