I can’t even believe it. My tiny little blog is growing up and I’ve had (and am still having) SO MUCH FUN with it. Some of you have been with me for years, some of you, from the very beginning in fact, And some of you are just finding and joining our amazing book-community, and I LOVE that you’re jumping right in with us.
‘Cause you know we get silly here, and while books are always our #1 topic of discussion, they tend to spur us into other conversations that have us laughing out loud. Sometimes we’re so connected, chatting, responding immediately, that it truly feels like we’re all in the same room together. I FORGET that we’re online. I SEE you guys in my head. I see you laughing, chortling, snorting, and rolling on the floor. I SEE our book-blankie fort, and I see all of our shenanigans.
I am so delighted, that this blog has created a whole other “real world” for us.
And today, we’re going to reminisce… and my book crew has asked me a bunch of fun “book and book blog questions” so it’s going to be enlightening, too!
Amy: Eight years?!? I sense some celebratory martinis on the horizon!!!
bev: We need cupcakes to celebrate.
R: Cupcake martinis…
MichelleS: 8 years! Wow. I found your blog April 2011, so I missed 2 years of goodness… which was probably full of PNR! Dang it. But it’s been fun ever since. I find almost all my books here! Yay! Love all you ladies!
Leslie: Congrats Maryse!!! I think I found you in 2011, but held my tongue for a very time. Yours is only blog I have stuck with consistently. You rock!!!
bev: Walk down memory lane. I believe I stumbled upon the blog in 2011, same as Leslie. I think it was KA’s Sweet Dreams, 95% sure. But could of been Beautiful Disaster. When I first started having conversations I believe it started with MichelleS. And you all used to make me hungry. I think we talked a lot about Nutella. Biggest laugh has to be Amy’s peanut throwing. First br was The Tied Man. Oh, and the books. The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel, Slammed: A Novel, The Edge of Never, The Sweet Gum Tree, On the Island: A Novel, Rock Me (Ross Siblings Book 2), Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness Duet Book 1),Perfection (A Neighbor From Hell Series Book 2), Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel (The Ten Tiny Breaths Series Book 1), Painted Faces. And many more and many since, but it is here I started delving into indie.
MichelleS: Bev – we must have been lurking st the same time! My first Maryse book was Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour Book 1) then Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain Series Book 2)! …Nutella! I remember that! Remember the Nutella salami! I bookmarked her page in 2011 as “Mary’s Book Blog”.., and never changed it. Hi Mary!
Maryse: LOL MichelleS!!! Do you know how often I’m still called that (in emails I receive)…
R.: I pronounced your name Marcy for the longest time and even after I figured it out, it took a while to break the habit.
Fabi: I originally came to Maryse’s site (I think around 2011 also) looking for my next PNR book. I stayed and started reading indie NA and CR because of this blog. It took me a couple of years before I started commenting I think. I know for a fact that BD suggested here kicked off my NA reading binge.
Leslie: The things I remember most about blog when I first stumbled upon it is that Maryse is Twilight fan and I remember wondering if that pretty pic of half a face was her. Hee hee
Maryse: Awwww Leslie. <3 Yep, it’s me. Many moons ago. See what I did there? I said moons. ‘Cause Twilight.
Nay: Sounds like I started lurking here at around the same time as many of you. I know it was back when Maryse read mostly PnR.
Ela: I remember starting off on here in the “discuss” area, WHICH IS STILL BROKEN AND THE BOOK BOYFRIEND THREAD WAS MISSING, but like most I was a lurker….checking on new rec’s AND it was around the time that Fifty Shades was published AND Beautiful Disaster AND Thoughtless (although I believe that one was still free)! WOW GOOD TIMES!!!!!! You know in the Discuss area of this blog I’ve made some really good friends whom I still to this day talk with???? AND whom I even met at YOUR (Maryse’s) Book Bashes???? YUP IT’S TRUE!
Maryse: I love our discussions here… it’s how we’ve become friends, and not just “book friends” (although book friends are great, too). But I feel like I KNOW you guys, you know? More than just our love of books, but our lives, current events, food, other hobbies, family… it makes me happy.
Anna: Congrats Maryse! I first found your blog when looking for something to read after Beautiful Disaster. Your blog has helped me find new books that I would not have discovered otherwise. Thank you for making my reading life better.
TashaJ: Congrats Maryse! I’ve been following since 2012. I started getting back into reading after 50 Shades and was looking for what to read after I think and Beautiful Disaster from your blog came up! I’ve been a die hard follower ever since!
Jan: I’ve been blogging here since 2015 (I think) but used to regularly read (and love) it for a while before joining in the discussion.
bev: Maryse do you have celebration posts planned? … Or let’s ask Maryse all the bookish questions.
Cristina: Congrats Maryse!! Here’s to many, many more!! Thank you for blasting open my reading world and connecting me with so many beautiful people on here!! I’m so happy to have found you all! I don’t really know many people who read the types of books we do, so it’s great to find people who get and understand me. I think a “Maryse Interview” is a fabulous idea!
YAY!!! YES!!! Questions sound like so much fun, so let’s jump in, shall we?
Q: Tessa: Maryse, did you ever read a book you were not sure you’d like and it blew you away?
Fabi: Tessa, I bet Maryse will say The Martian to your question: “Maryse, did you ever read a book you were not sure you’d like and it blew you away?” That one seemed so far out of character for her and she just loved it.
A: Maryse: Fabi THAT is the one. And I’m dying for more like that. I was hooked on The Martian, and fell head-over-heels over a guy that wasn’t even a romance hero, or part of a love story. NOW THAT is fun. When a character can mesmerize you so, that you fall for ’em, even without the usual “romance tropes”. He was smart, he was incredibly industrious, he was a survivor, and best of all, he was HILARIOUS. Even during the worst of times, he always pulled himself together and entertained himself (as well as us) while he solved his next life-or-death situation. *swoon* The perfect man. I’d live on Mars with him, any day!
Q: Tessa: What book do you do to get out of a book fog?
A: Maryse: Since book fogs usually occur after I’ve fallen hard-in-love with a character in a romance book, or have my heart shatter over a sad story (whether love, or life…), to get out of that book fog, I go for either a super-scary thriller (I love a good adrenaline rush), or a super-funny comedy romance (true belly laughs always make me feel better). Those always do the trick for me.
Q: Tessa: Top ten books that most influenced your reading.
A: Maryse. Oooooh boy. There are many that I 5-star loved, that I’d recommend in a heartbeat, but only a few that influenced, and directed, my reading so intensely. Okay I’m giving it a go!
- Twilight (set me in the biggest love fog of my life)… it lasted MONTHS (years!!!) with me desperately trying to find more like it (at least “feel-wise). This is the book that set me reading again and inspired this blog.
- Beautiful Disaster (the book-love of my life – yes I understood that I should run as far away from the intensity and chaos that was Travis, but I would have loved him to the end of time, despite the “co-dependant, unhealthy, red flag” warnings). I never thought I’d fall in love with someone this hard again after Edward, but I did. And Travis was it. And Travis STILL is it.
- Fifty Shades of Grey (a stalker-type that was even more messed up than Travis? So damaged, so broken, so needing love that I couldn’t help but to love him, because he deserved it, even though he sometimes made it SO hard). And then that scene in book #2…? Yeah. I fell in love. Don’t tell Travis.
- Thoughtless. This love triangle tore my heart out, and I REALLY struggled with the fact that I was as “in love” with Kellan as I was with my beloved Travis. No matter, this one took me on an emotional, heartachey ride, and IT. WENT. THERE. Gasp worthy. I LOVED IT and this will always be the pinnacle of all love triangle books. It was real, and they made some awful decisions and yet… they were so human. Each one of them.
- How to Kill a Rock Star (so eloquent, so raw and real, and destroyed me HARD at one point, and once I was done, I needed to feel THAT again),
- The Martian. Who knew I could fall in love with a hero that was not a romance hero at all? I was fascinated with every single facet of this book, but especially how incredibly self-reliant he was. And even more so because he made me laugh all the way through. You’d think this kind of scary story would be stuffy, or too serious? You’d be wrong. Hilarious and addictive to the very last page. I’m worried I’ll never find another like it.
- Comfort Food. This one introduced me to dark reads and I was SHOCKED AND APPALLED that I could actually feel myself falling for, or wanting to please, or wanting to be loved by, such a deplorable “Master”. UGH. And yet, it had ME experiencing Stockholm Syndrome, and I had never felt that before. Any book that could affect me in that way, and make me cry with heartache, when I should be wanting to flee and never look back, definitely set the stage for my dark-read guilty pleasure needs.
- Rainfall. To me? Most clever twist that I didn’t see coming, until it happened, and then an even better twist that I couldn’t even fathom until it was too late. And an ending that I will NEVER EVER EVER FORGET. This is the “crazy twist” book that sets the standards for all of my search for more surprise twists that have me reacting that hard.
- Here I’m just going to say Tarryn Fisher. Anything from her, because all of her heroines are flawed (reacting in ways that, at times, are absolutely cringeworthy), but with true humanity at their core. Selfish, and loving. Tragically so at times, and sadly, to their own detriment, most of all. And yet so real. She makes me feel like it’s okay to be me, in all of my goodness, and in all of my badness. And so when I read her books, I know I will be reading pain, growth, selfish love, and self-sacrificing love, too. And not necessarily in that order. That’s another thing I love about her stories. Unpredictable. You never know how they will end. You never know where they are going. But I’m always so indulged the whole way through.
- <— ??? I’m still thinking about it… I know it’s going to be obvious once it comes to mind and I’ll be all… how could I have almost missed it! So I’ll wait and finish this one in a bit…
Q. Tasha: Who are your top 3 favorite authors?
A. Maryse: Oh boy I have quite a few, and it really depends on my mood. But these are the authors that I realized I read everything they release: Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher, Taylor Jenkins Reid. (I could add Emma Scott, Alessandra Torre, Suanne Laqueur, Karina Halle and Leylah Attar). And there are more…
Q: Tasha: What is your favorite book quote/passage?
A: Maryse: I’m devastated to say I don’t have any quotes specifically “saved” apart from all of the highlights I make in my favorite books. And I have been absolutely moved by a few breathtaking thoughts in books. The one I’m choosing now is not necessarily eloquent and life-changing (and trust me, there have been SO many beautiful, life changing moments for ME, in the books I have read), but back in the day… this one cinched my “in love” so HARD. Beautiful Disaster: A Novel. And it still does. There was just so much realistic build-up to here… no insta-love, no insta-anything…
“I know we’re f*cked up, all right? I’m impulsive, and hot-tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then you need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don’t deserve you…but I f*cking love you, Abby. I love you more than I’ve loved anyone or anything, ever. When you’re around, I don’t need booze, or money, or the fighting, or the one-night stands…all I need is you. You’re all I think about. You’re all I dream about. You’re all I want.”
Q. Tasha: Have you ever skimmed a book rather than thoroughly read? If that makes sense (obviously not one you’ve reviewed)
A. Maryse: When I find myself skimming too much I just stop reading… if I have to skim, I’m just not into it, and there are SO many books I DO want to read. I do tend to skim sex scenes. Back in the day when I first started reading romance and erotica, sex scenes blew my mind, and were so much a part of the “love” experience for me, but over time… I dunno. Things have changed. LOL!! I tend to skim ’em (unless the buildup of the relationship is so intense that I’m reading without even realizing that it’s about to happen… and then it’s happening and then it happens… and wow. That is the best kind of sex scene). LOL!! I dunno if you get what I’m saying…
Q. Tasha: We all have an extensive tbr list, but can you name 3 books that you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t gotten around to?
Q: bev: Top 3 heroines you’d be friends with in real life?
A: Maryse: None of ’em ’cause I’m jealous of ’em all!!! LOL!!! 😛 Er… well I suppose Ana from Fifty Shades so I can meet Christian’s brother and be his girlfriend. 😉 *snort* Umm… I’d say Abby so I can meet Travis’s brothers and be one of their girlfriends, but I’d be WAY TOO jealous of Abby… so no. Any of Kristen Ashley’s heroines, because they seem like the best bunch of girls to be best friends with. Oh how I’d LOVE to be a part of their crew. Honestly? I’m too busy BEING the heroine in these books, so focused on the hero, that I tend to forget the heroines as specific people because, done right? They were ME. Ya know? But yeah for real life? I’d love to be a bad-ass heroine like Cat from Cat and Bones.
Q: bev: any book ever make you want to visit a real place?
A: Maryse: Yes. All of Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain books. When I read those books, I AM THERE. Those have such a feel-good mood, but with bad-ass guys, and well… that’s the dream, you know? And I went to Denver with my BFF and smiled and smiled and smiled… I was home. Sorta. LOL!
Q: Anna: Maryse I have a few questions for you. What are some of the coolest things that have happened to you as a result of the blog? Ex: Getting to meet authors, cover models, getting sent an arc you were dying to read…
A: Maryse: ALL OF IT, Anna. All of it. I have met the most amazing authors, become friends with some, have some treasured signed books that are SO rare, have met terrific and very sweet cover models (one in particular that was my favorite since my reading start, and he’s so down to earth and such a great guy), being a part of Book Bash that just was one of the most magnificent moments of my life. TWICE. Reading books that have changed my life forever. Making friends that are my absolute best, now. ALL of it, Anna. All of it. I have been, and am SO blessed. Books are life. And in so many ways.
Q. Anna: Top Ten favorite heroes? I think I can guess who would be #1.
A: Maryse: Travis, Zsadist, Kellan, Brian, Edward, Christian, Eric, Jamie, Barrons, and…. Tate. Not necessarily in that order (except for Travis and Zsadist, and you can consider them BOTH in my #1 spot). 😉
Q. Anna: If you could make everyone read one book which would you choose?
A: Maryse: Beautiful Disaster because every time I read it, it has the same effect on me!!!! Utter swoony falling in love. In fact, I’ve had TWO readers that have just discovered our world and have just discovered Kellan and LOVED him and now are delving into Travis next. I was so JEALOUS that this would be their first experience of them.
Check out each part of our “8th Birthday Blog Reminiscing + Q& A” trilogy” here: