Got this in the post yesterday:
And inside it was this:
And inside that was this:
It is the ultimate avid romance reader's dream, I think. To get an early reading copy of her favourite author's book, complete with the author's signature inside!
This book was won in a draw - I registered in the Mary Balogh Yahoogroups a long time ago where fans of the author and the author herself discuss her books and other books in the genre and she was giving away some early copies of her book, titled The Web Of Love.
It is not really a new book actually, it is a republication of an old book that is out of print and not easy to find. Her old books are highly sought after by her fans and in fact I once made bids for her old books on ebay only to win at a whopping 21 USD for a book that was old with lots of creases! So you can imagine my happiness at getting this one for free!
You know, I used to scoff at people who read romance. And I only started really reading romances about 2 years ago too, when my husband and I were apart for 1 year because he had to work in the UK and I had to wait awhile before joining him.
It wasn't a pleasant experience for a mother of two like me to go through such a thing. It was, to me, a taste of single motherhood and it was then that I had understood the hardships and problems of raising children single-handedly. But even then, I was not really alone, unlike the many, many single mothers of the world. I had my maid, my in-laws, and my family to help me through each day (and I am very thankful for them) and also I had the books.
I read romances not because of the sex scenes, mind! As I have mentioned before (a few times, in this blog, in fact), my reading romances has always been for the happy endings, and I think many other readers also share this with me. I think I was feeling depressed at that time and a little lonely too and the books without fail, gave me a happy ending to look forward to everyday.
(Sorry folks, this is where the rambling starts - feel free to skip to the end..)
But you know, reading romance novels then also had a deeper impact on me.
Due to reading romances, I realised that my long term courtship with my husband - we were going out 6 years before we were married - has made me indifferent to his actions. I didn't make an effort to 'read' him any more - I didn't even notice the things he did for me and even if I did, I simply brushed them off as 'nothing'. And to add to this, he has always been a subtle kind of man and a man of little words.
And I feel, this was how the romance novels helped me. With the actual man being one 13 hour flight away, I learnt to be more sensitive to his expressions and actions which I have recalled back and committed to memory. You may know how each and every emotion is described and explained in these novels; like why the hero held his breath. And why he paused in his sentence. And why he looked away. Every little action is explained with emotions and something deeper, inside. (Tedious and it can be annoying, I know, but combined with some very good writing, it can make very good reading, in my opinion.)
It may sound funny but it made me realise and understand a lot about my hubby and my relationship with him - which I have been blind to all these years. It made me had a long think about things and most importantly, it made me appreciate Mr S more.
Example: I used to be very selebet when I am at home. My ideal uniform at home is my pajama bottoms and a loose shirt all day long. And I had only 2 or three favourite T-shirts, thus I would wear these again and again until they were quite in tatters and still I refused to wear something else.
But now I dress up when I am at home - for Mr S, of course. Nothing too fancy - simple clothes but those that don't make me look like a sack of potatoes - 'tighter' and curvier and more pleasing to the eyes because what man doesn't like his woman to look good?
That is one of the ways I show my appreciation to Mr S - all thanks to reading this genre. But I admit that it had to have that period of being apart thrown into the mix as well (pathetic, I know), when I had all the time in the world to think about ways to please Mr S...
My word, have I or have I digressed into deep territory in this entry?
(And this is where my rambling ends, as it should..)
Mrs Balogh is loved by her readers not really for her plots but for her writing style and the depth of emotions in her writings. I love her style best, and the writing styles of Suzanne Enoch and Loretta Chase as well. These are my favourite romance writers in the whole world and I am in the process of collecting their novels. Thus, you can imagine how happy I was at receiving the book FOC yesterday.
Thank you, Mary. I will treasure the book forever!