Every blog has a story, and every story has a beginning. This is mine.
My name is Julie. I am 37 years old and live in a small town outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I have two amazing children, a little big girl who is 8 and a little guy who is 5. I’m also lucky to have a wonderful and supportive husband whom I have been married to for over 10 years. I run a home daycare during the week where I care for two 1 year olds and one 2 year old. You could say that I’m a busy gal.
I have never been much of a reader. To be honest, I never had much interest in it. I believe my ‘blah’ attitude towards books and reading stems from the heavy and depressing, although deeply meaningful, books you were asked to (a.k.a. told to) read in High School. You know the ones: “Animal Farm”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “Lord of the Flies”… If that’s what was available out there to read, I was not interested. Many years passed after high school and not once did I feel I was missing out on anything by not reading novels. I did read though — I read fashion magazines. Once I became a certified cosmetician and makeup artist, I read industry magazines. And when I became a mommy, I read parenting magazines. That was enough for me. Or so I thought…
The year is 2009. The month is March. MANY of my friends (and even my aunt Jane) were hee-ing and haw-ing about Twilight. “The books are amazing” they would tell me. “The movie is fantastic”, “the guy who plays Edward is yummy”. For weeks, I had seen their posts about Twilight on Facebook and would listen to them go on and on and on and on… Finally, I caved – about seeing the movie anyways. I got the DVD and wow! Now, the movie itself is a big bowl of cheese, but Edward was so sexy and I found myself watching it over and over. I wanted to know what happened next. But the only way to know that would be to read the books. *gulp* I was convinced that there was no way I could find the time to read those books. I am one busy mommy and a busy wife after all! Actually sitting down and taking time to read – time just for myself seemed like an impossible luxury. About 3 days later, I couldn’t take it anymore. I sent my husband to the book store on his way home from work to pick up “Breaking Dawn”. Yes. I read the last book first. It was an interesting read and it left me wondering how everyone got to where they ended up (yeah, go figure…lol). So, I sent my husband to pick up the first three books. I devoured them! I liked the stories. I loved that they were nothing like what I read in high school. But what I loved most was that they forced me to sit and escape into my imagination and have ME time – something I had forgotten even existed! I wanted to read more!
I assumed that books for grownups were all heavy and depressing (just look at everything Oprah recommends…) so I decided I would only read YA books. I researched a lot online and found the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The last book of the trilogy had just been released and I liked the idea of reading a complete series. So, once again, I had my husband pick up the books at the book store on his way home from work (there is no bookstore where I live and my husband works in the city not too far from one). He looked at me funny when he came home with them, but I didn’t care. I was excited to read something new. Now, those are some AMAZING books! I laughed, I cried, I loved, loved, loved them. I read them twice in a row! Then, I wanted more. I Googled: “What to read after Twilight”. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward came up over and over. But after seeing the titles of the books, I blushed then thought there was no way I was ever going to read books “like that”. I was told that only horny and lonely women with many cats read romance books. So, I kept on looking for books in the YA section. I found a few, but soon found that they were just, well, too teen. I really don’t care that so and so is taking that bitch to the prom and not you. I dealt with that kind of drama for 5 years as a teenager; I didn’t feel like reading about it now, as an adult, during my spare ME time. So back to the computer I went to research books for adults that weren’t too “adult”.
That’s when I discovered Maria V. Snyder’s Study series — adult but not heavy romance. They sounded perfect. Fantastic, remarkable, amazing! Only three of the many words available to describe that series. I wanted to read more from her. I found that she wrote a short story in the “Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance”. My plan was to go to the bookstore the next time I was in the city and to just read Maria’s story without buying the book. Then I saw the cover! Ouch! The guy on the cover just looks so cheesy! What the hell is up with that moustache?! I was embarrassed to be caught in the store reading that book! My husband insisted I just buy it. While at the cash, I even asked for a gift receipt so the lady at the counter wouldn’t think that I would read that book! (Seriously, what would this stranger whom I would most likely never see again think of me?! lol) I got home and read Maria’s story. It was great. Then I decided to read the rest of the book. Why not, I own this tacky covered book now anyways. That’s how I discovered what “paranormal romance” really meant!
When I got to the second story, I found myself blushing profusely and freaking out a little. OMG! There was sex in that story. Descriptive sex!!! Then I found myself reading that story a couple more times! Eventually the blush went away and I saw how the physical aspect of the story just brought another layer to the characters. It made them stronger yet softer, more real and more human (even though the story was about a succubus and an incubus – two things that, at that time, I had never heard of).
After my experience with the “Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance”, I decided maybe sex in a book wasn’t so bad and that maybe I wouldn’t mind the Black Dagger Brotherhood books after all. So, I went online and ordered them (I was shy to go buy them in-store). Now those books were something else. “Crack” really was the right name for them. Then I found Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series (mmm, Curran…) and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series (mmm, Barrons…) and Larissa Ione’s Demonica series (mmm, demons…) and Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series (mmm, Bones…).
Now, there’s no going back. I discovered what I wanted to read and what would become my new obsession: paranormal romance books and urban fantasy books. I tried a few contemporary romance books and like them too. I even read ONE whole historical romance book! But the keyword for me is romance. Oh, and happily ever after. Why would I want to read a whole book just to be all depressed at the end of it?! Seriously! I need a HEA!!! If I want sad, I’ll watch the news.
I have since lost my shyness over buying and reading romance books. I read all the time in every spare moment I can find. I know it annoys my husband sometimes, especially when I tell him “can’t talk, reading”. It was his idea to start this blog. Probably so I have someone other than him to talk to about what I’m reading. I’m sure he really doesn’t care that when V told Jane to hold the sink, I squealed! He’s a really good sport overall. He goes to the bookstore when I ask him to and picks up whatever I had them put aside for me. He rarely complains. The only time I can think of that he might have been a little been bothered was when I asked him to pick up Maya Banks’ “Sweet Persuasion”. It’s bright pink cover with the sexy picture – that was a little much for him. He came home, whipped the book out of the bag and said: “Are you kidding me?! People were looking at me! I just kept saying over and over that it’s for my wife and not me!” LOL!!! Really, he’s a very good sport!
So, that is my story. You’ll find on this blog my reviews of the books I read, some fun and quirky things I find and little insight into my life now and again. I am terrible at giving a book’s synopsis without giving everything away, so my description of the stories will be brief (just a heads up), but I will tell you how I rate the books and why.
I look forward to getting to know you and hearing what you have to say about the books I read too!