Wednesday, June 1, 2016

8 Years of Blogging + Giveaway!

It's hard to believe that I started the blog 8 years ago this month. Some days it feels like it's been even longer than that, other days it feels like it was only yesterday. Time's funny that way.


Many of you already know the story of why I started the blog. In many ways, it's similar to the story of so many other bloggers and romance readers.


I needed a place to share my thoughts on the books I was reading, books that I didn't share with any one in my life.


I needed a place to go when real life was difficult.


I found all of that and so much more through the blog, through the romance novels themselves, and especially through the online romance community -- in particular my romance Twitter tribe.


I've also met so many wonderful women through Twitter that are not part of the romance community, and I'm thankful for their presence in my life. I'm also aware that even though we don't necessarily have romance novels in common, we probably would never have met if it weren't for the blog, in this case through my use of Twitter.


In short, I have so much that I'm thankful for in my online communities, and it all comes back to the blog, either directly or indirectly.


It's pretty well known now, but for years it was my best kept secret, even from you all: I started the blog when I was in high school. 15, actually. To say that I was worried about things that my peers were not (them: prom and popularity, me: author interviews and quoted reviews) is putting it mildly. And no, no one in my school knew about the blog.


8 years of blogging is a long time. I'm sure some wonder why I haven't tried to turn this into something more lucrative, or at least expanded it for a bigger audience. Do you want to know why? Because that was never my goal, and I'm happy with the blog just as it is.


The blog has never been a job for me. It's never been something I was aiming to make money on (and I don't). It's never been my goal to become the most popular romance blog around (and I'm not). The blog has grown some over the years, sure, and will hopefully do so in the coming years. But it's not my focus, though I do appreciate every new reader that finds the blog. :)


This is a hobby for me, a place for me to escape and have fun. A place for me to chat with all of you.


The blog has given me a place to go when life gets shitty.


The blog has given me something to look forward to, some structure to follow, when everything else in my life is spiraling out of control.


The blog has given me a way to connect with others outside of my small town.


The blog has given me a way to explore who I am, what I believe, and how I think.


The blog has provided me with friendships that, I hope, will last for many, many years, even if we're never lucky enough to meet up in person.


But running a blog isn't easy. There are times when I get tired of it -- struggling to finish a review or making sure the blog's schedule is in order. And don't even get me started on the times when coding and HTML decide to throw a fit and fuck with me.


Despite the bumps that come with blogging, I wouldn't turn away from it even if you paid me.


Sometimes the blog may be a bit empty -- life happens, things come up. But to leave it entirely? Never.


Or at the very least, not any time in the foreseeable future. I can't truly say "never" and mean it in the most absolute way, can I? Who knows what'll happen to the blog when I'm 60. :)


But for now, for as long as I possibly can, I'm going to keep doing what I love, what helps to bring me clarity, even if only briefly, when the rest of my life might be in utter chaos: blogging about romance novels.


Reading, in general, is the most magical of escapes. But reading about HEAs? Now that's an extra special type of magic, and one that helps me in so many ways that I could never even begin to explain.


Like many other readers, romance novels saved me. But I can also say that the community and my (admittedly very small) place in it has also helped to keep me going, too.


So to all those who read the blog, to those who interact with me -- either on the site or on social media -- I can only say a simple, but entirely heartfelt, Thank You.






To celebrate, I'm giving away TWO (2) $25 Amazon Gift cards


  • If the winner prefers a different book store (ex: BN), the $25 gift card will be for that book retail site instead of Amazon.
  • Open INT
  • Enter using the Rafflecopter below; only the first entry is mandatory, the rest are optional for extra entries.
  • Giveaway ends June 30th.
  • Winners will be picked and announced July 1st.
  • Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



UPDATE: Very last minute, but I decided to add two more winners. Those two winners will each get a $5 GC. So there are four winners, all picked by Rafflecopter's random selection (First two names picked = $25, last two names picked = $5).

WINNERS:

Sandy X  ($25)
Megan S ($25)
Leigh ($5)
Jen CW ($5)




I have to also take a moment to thank Kame and Pat (and Musing Maddie, though she's no longer reviewing) for everything they've done to help over the years. You ladies are amazing, kind, and supportive. You've contributed fantastic reviews and interviews to the blog, but you've also been there for me on more than on occasion when I just needed to vent. Thank you. 



Random question, just for fun: If you could recommend one book to me, what would it be? Romance, obviously, but any subgenre is fine. Hit me with your best recs! 



Enjoy!



Until Next Time,
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*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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