Blogversary & Giveaway: What Romance Has Taught Me

4th

Time flies by so fast. Yet again another year has passed since I started on my journey of documenting the good and the bad about the books that I have read. Me being a romance reader is not something that I see would change in the foreseeable future. I love the nuances that goes along with the stories I pick up to read, the little tidbits that makes my heart beat a bit faster and makes my pulse speed up every now and then. But then romance is one genre that is ridiculed by a lot of people, labeling it as fluff with no substance. So as I mark the 4th anniversary of my blog, I intend to try and write down my thoughts on what romance has taught me and how it has influenced me and my life and in actuality what reading romance means to me.

Believe it or not, romance teaches me how to read people. How to read the subtle and not so subtle changes that move across one’s facial muscles and of course body language between two people that can tell a lot. I don’t know whether it is because I am intuitive to begin with, I have usually been the sort of person to fade into the background and watch the interplays of conversation between people. Sometimes fading away is a necessity, other times I do it out of habit more than anything else, and sometimes it depends on my mood and the people I am with as well. And I think reading romances, especially those with depth is a greater way to increase your ‘knowledge’ on psychoanalyzing than putting yourself to sleep by reading an actual textbook on Psychology!

Another aspect of life that romance has taught me is that, well, like everything else that is fiction, romance too is best left to fiction. We might love it when a hero goes overly possessive about the heroine in the book and cossets her like there is no tomorrow. But in reality, I don’t think I for one would be able to give into that much possessiveness from my partner in life. Like the true love between soul mates that find one another against all odds being a fantasy for most of us (I have to admit that few find it in this world as well) as it happens in romances, I find that rather than keeping my head up in the clouds and driving my expectations beyond what is achievable, reading romances keeps me grounded. It is my escape from reality when I need it, it is the soothing balm that makes the deeply hidden romantic inside of me rejoice and revel in the beauty of selfless giving that is love in its truest form.

It is of no secret that I am someone who loves the English language and the power of words when presented in a manner that can strike the heart with the steepest of arrows. There are authors like Sherry Thomas, Jeannie Lin and Nalini Singh that actually makes me a believer of poetic proses in their books that do not come out at all as flowery, but really touches me unlike any other. It has always been my advice to my friends and acquaintances who rarely read books of any kind and yet complain about the fact their English writing standard is not up to par to read something that interests them. And that is exactly what I do when I pick up a romance novel; I read a subject matter that makes me forget the time & place, that makes me lose myself and in the process it adds to my vocabulary, my usage of the language and in the end I gain much more from the book than just a mere happily ever after and a warm feeling deep inside of me!

Like any other genre of fiction out there, I know for a fact that romance writers put in a lot of hours of research and thought into their books too. For instance, Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series has completely and irrevocably changed the way I feel about paranormal romances featuring shape shifters. Nalini’s world building is beyond complex, but written in a way that even someone who has no understanding of complex and advanced theories of science would be able to grasp what is happening! For me, reading books as such lets me explore the realms of the minds of these authors, makes me go all awestruck and fan-girl the minute I open up a book from the author and in the end I literally and figuratively escape with my mind into a world that is filled with all sorts of brilliant nuances that I wouldn’t forgo for anything.

So as I mark MBR’s Realm of Romance’s 4th blogversary, I am reflecting on the things that makes reading a romance not just a road I take with the hero and heroine towards their happily ever after, but rather a journey of constant learning, seeking and always finding enough to keep me going and coming back for more!

Giveaway!

So as it is the usual custom on my blogversary to give gifts, I have a 50$ Amazon GC to give away! Just share with me what reading romances or reading in general means to you and you will automatically earn an entry into the draw that will take place on August 1, 2013. Please ensure to leave a valid e-mail address via which to contact you in case you are the winner. And don’t forget to spread the word. For sharing is caring!

And don’t forget to wish my blog a happy birthday! xoxo

Giveaway Timings:

  • Giveaway begins: 00:00 hours, July 30, 2013 – Maldivian Time
  • Giveaway ends: 00:00 hours, August 1, 2013 – Maldivian Time
  • Maldivian Timezone: GMT+5

Announcement: Blog Anniversary Contest Winner

Thanks to everyone who dropped in to give their well wishes, those who helped spread the word and of course a very warm thank you and welcome to all those who signed up for the contest.

And the winner of the Kindle Touch is none other than Zahu, a regular visitor to the site ever since she found out that other romantic kindred souls do exist in this country of ours. Yes, Zahu hails from the Maldives as well.

Congratulations Zahu! I have sent you an email regarding the win. Please respond before the end of August 10, 2012.

Blog Turns 3 Amidst A Coup D’état! + Giveaway!

Life has certainly taken a series of unexpected twists and turns this year, as I welcome the 3rd anniversary of MBR’s Realm of Romance. I would have never ever thought this to be possible, but let me tell you, yes, life sure can throw you curve balls when you least expect it to.

The title itself for this blog post would raise a multitude of questions for those who are not aware of what I am talking about. Well, I will explain the reason why such an eyebrow raising term as ‘coup d’état’ has been used in a context such as this one. For one thing, I wouldn’t want anyone to forget for a minute that the democracy that we all talk about, that the whole world supports and wishes it were part of their own country and culture has been hijacked from my beloved country, the Maldives. Democracy is no more, it has been torn to shreds, stepped and trodden upon by money hungry politicians, who couldn’t digest the fact that power indeed begins from the common man. Yes, it is the coup d’état that took place on the 7th of February 2012 here at the sunny side of life that I am talking about.

That was the day that forever changed my outlook of life. I never thought it would be possible to fall into such a deep depression, the mere thought of how the Police and the Military raped our votes, cast our say aside and made a decision for the 300,000+ people of this country by toppling the FIRST democratically elected President from power sending my thoughts in so many directions that it nearly drove me nuts. It was a sad day for the majority of the people who said no to the ousted dictator who ruled for 30 long years with an iron fist, the atrocities committed under his power one that would always remain a part of Maldivian history – if the people have the perseverance to stay on the course of what is right and not stray onto the other side at the mere whiff of a wad of cash.

So all in all, this year has not been a good year on the home front. I wish things were different, I wish for it with my whole heart. I wish for so many things right now that it would be impossible to list them down in a blog post of this nature. I wish peace and prosperity for the beautiful country of ours that has been seized and paralyzed by the very people that should protect and love her like there is no tomorrow. I wish for the ‘President’ who is supposedly in the driving seat to step down and make way for elections, to work towards undoing the damage that he has done by stabbing his partner, the President in the back that fateful day. I wish for the international community to pressure the Maldives and its ‘government’  to do the right thing by its people, to give the people their voice back, to give back the people what is rightfully theirs to begin with. At this point, my undying gratitude goes out to everyone who contributes towards the call for elections, to restore democracy, who fight day in and day out to give people back the power that belongs rightfully to them alone.

And on that note, I would like to do a little bit of squeeing over here because I have managed to take care of my baby for this long without fumbling it all up, and sniffle a bit because my baby is all but grown up! She is able to stand on her own two feet I would say and I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who visits, reads and finds something worthy of adding to their TBR mountain from the list of reviews here. And a huge shout out to the authors as well, who give me the opportunity to review their books before they hit the shelves, and for trusting me enough to do right by them. A huge smooch to all of you for the unwavering support through this trying and difficult time of my life!

And that brings me to the giveaway potion of the post! Of course, I wouldn’t even dream of holding a blogoversary celebration without a giveaway now would I?

So, to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of my baby, I’m giving away a Kindle Touch to one lucky commenter on this blog post! All you have to do is wish my baby a happy anniversary and then tell me the best book that you have read so far this year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romance. And yes, this giveaway is open internationally! So comment away! 

GIVEAWAY RULES:

  1. Giveaway is open internationally.
  2. Giveaway will be open from July 30, 2012 till 00:00 hours of August 07, 2012 Maldivian time. (GMT +5)
  3. To be eligible for entry, wish my baby a happy anniversary and then tell me the best book you have read so far this year! 
  4. Don’t forget to leave a VALID e-mail address behind as a way to contact you. 
  5. Help spread the word either via Twitter or Facebook or both and earn 5 extra entries each. And 5 extra entries  for those who like my FB page!

Best of luck everyone!

And happy anniversary smooches to my baby from her momma! xx

 

MBR’s Realm of Romance Turns 2!

2nd-anniversary.gifA girl cannot help but be a bit teary-eyed knowing that the book review blog that she started on a whim back in 2009 has just turned 2 years old. The 2 years that has passed has certainly brought to light that this reviewing stuff can be addictive, time-consuming, at times a bit frustrating and nevertheless very rewarding. There is no greater feeling as a reviewer when you write down a review that is appreciated by the author and well received by readers alike, knowing that you have put forth your honest opinion of the story.

The past 2 years has also opened up doors that would have definitely remained closed if not for the initiation of Maldivian Book Reviewer’s Realm of Romance. I have “met” a lot of authors through both Twitter and Facebook, some of them wonderful and a few others not so much, but nevertheless knowing that I would be able to reach out to them via those means makes a lot of difference. I have also made some great friends and can only hope that the feeling is reciprocated and am always grateful to know that somewhere in the vast expanse of the world wide web I too may have made a minute impression that might someday surpass even my expectations.

Throughout the 2 years I have read some great books, had the opportunity to review some fantastic books for authors and I believe I would continue to do so in the time to come. Though time is definitely a constraint when work demands so much, I believe I treasure those moments that I manage to sink into a good book more than ever because of the fact.

So, to celebrate in style, and to give visitors to my blog a chance to join the celebrations, I am giving away 4 different gift certificates to 4 lucky winners.tiggerhappy.jpg

Giveaway: 10$ gift certificates from Amazon, Samhain, BooksOnBoard and Barnes&Noble.

So here’s what you need to do to enter to win either one of the 10$ gift certificates.

  1. Let me know which gift certificate(s) you would like to enter to win. If you don’t state one, I will enter your name for ALL of them.

  2. Give me the title, author name and genre of the current book that you are reading. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romance. If you are not reading a book at the moment, you can tell me the title, author and genre of the last book that you’ve read. And I want you to rate the book between 1 and 5, 1 = Don’t even attempt to read this and 5 = Get this book ASAP!

  3. Help me spread the anniversary glow and contest details to others like you. If you tweet about it, you get 5 extra entries, if you LIKE this post on Facebook,  you get another 5 extra entries. If you share it on Twitter, don’t forget to mention me (@mdvbookreviewer) so I would be able to verify your tweet. And don’t forget to mention the fact that you have tweeted or LIKED the entry of this post on MY Facebook page if you have done so! Otherwise you might miss your 5 extra entries into the contest which would  be a sad, sad thing!

  4. Last, but not the least, just hit “LIKE” on my Facebook page or “Follow” me on Twitter! Doing either of them would give you 5 extra entries each! And do let me know if you do either of them because otherwise you might miss out getting your 5 extra entries. Just state you have done so and give me your username on both/either of them!

    Please note that in order to enter the giveaway you DON’T need to tweet or share this on Facebook. All that would just gain you extra entries to the contest which improve your chances of winning!

This contest will go on till the end of tomorrow, i.e. end of 31st July 2011, Maldivian time!

And don’t forget to wish my blog a happy anniversary! *winks*