Romancing the Blog: My Secret Romance

Today we welcome Taryn from My Secret Romance to our Romancing the Blog event!  Take it away Taryn…

Hey everyone, I’m Taryn and I run My Secret Romance. I wanted to share the power of a book and how it can bring friendships together. I would also like to thank Romancing the Book for having me here today. This is an awesome event and I’m so happy to be part of it. Thanks so much!

Blogging isn’t even remotely close to what you think it is. It’s not just writing reviews and posting them. It’s much more.

When I first started blogging it was just by chance. I’ve never been a great writer. In fact, I struggled all through grade school with writing. I make a ton of punctuation errors and I have a pretty basic vocabulary. Plus, I have the hardest time expressing myself- definitely not a recipe for a blogger.

After reading some amazing books over the past few years, I decided to try and write a review. I’ve seen some beautifully written reviews before and thought, why can’t I do it? And so I did. It wasn’t easy and it was extremely intimidating to put myself out there like that. My reviews may have been all over the place in the beginning and probably did not make a whole lot of sense. But with the help of my hubby editing my reviews and pointing out some of the grammatical errors I made, I would like to think my writing has at least improved to high school level, lol. And oh yes, I still make my husband edit my reviews.

What really impacted me and pushed me to start blogging was the work of two authors, Jessica Park and A.L. Jackson. I had just finished reading Jessica’s book, Flat-Out Love, and adored it. It was one of those surprise reads for me that I never saw coming. So I wrote a review for it which she happened to read. She emailed me to tell me how much she appreciated and really loved my thoughtful review. I was shocked…and a bit giddy. I never expected an author to like my review, let alone read it!

But then I started to think — reviews are what authors thrive on. Whether it be a good or bad review, a review is feedback nonetheless. Authors are putting themselves out there for the readers of the world to experience the novels they’re penning with their heart and soul. In return, though perhaps not specifically asking us to, they would greatly appreciate it if we reviewed their books. And here I was intimated over writing a small review! Writing reviews do not even compare to what these authors do….not that I ever thought that for a second.

Two weeks later, author A.L. Jackson emailed me about my review for her book, Take This Regret, saying similar things Jessica had said. Both of their books left foot prints in my heart. I had a new found respect for authors. I mean, of course I already respected them, but Jessica and A.L. put things into perspective for me. If they’re putting themselves out in the open to be criticized for the taking, then so can we. Reviews may be nothing compared to a book, but we reviewers sure have been criticized for a book review before! And so I decided to start my blog, My Secret Romance.

While A.L and Jessica were the ones who gave me that little oomph I needed to keep reviewing and start blogging, it was the readers and bloggers I met along the way who really made the biggest impact. I was invited to join this romance book bloggers group and once I did, I felt at home with them. They’re kind, funny and always willing to give a helping hand. We’re there for each other and not just when it comes to blogging either. It’s like a tight knit family of bloggers who stand by others’ sides- even when the going gets tough. We bounce ideas off each other’s heads, get opinions from one another, and talk about our families. We laugh and vent when we need to, but we’re always there for each other.

So you see, when it comes to blogging, it really is so much more than you think. It’s not just writing a review and you’re done. Oh no. The work alone to run a blog makes you want to pull your hair out at times. Especially when a program isn’t working, then you want to ram your computer through the wall! Oh the stress we go through to do what we love! But it’s the friendships you develop along the way that will last a lifetime that make it worth it.

A few reader friends of mine are some of my best friends, even if we haven’t met. Sounds crazy, I know. But we clicked just like that and now I can’t imagine them not in my life. One day I would love to meet all these wonderful people I’ve met in the book world. They have a special place in my heart. And to think, it’s all because of a book….

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Taryn is offering one random commenter ebook copies of the two books that made such an impact on her — Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park and Take This Regret by A.L. Jackson.  To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  And remember, your comments count for both contests.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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25 thoughts on “Romancing the Blog: My Secret Romance

  1. Maria D. says:

    Great post! I’ve been visiting My Secret Romance blog for a while and I can honestly say that Taryn is a dedicated book lover who happily shares her her love of reading with everyone. As her blog has matured – so has her writing and reviewing. Plus she’s a fun person when you get to know her:)

    • Taryn @MySecretRomance says:

      Thank you so much, Maria! It’s been fun getting to know you. I appreciate all the love you give my blog too. 🙂

  2. Amanda C. says:

    Proud of ya T! You are moving on up chica!! I check out her blog and whenever she posts a review and it interests me(which is 99.9% of the time), I always get the books she recommends. Looking forward to meeting ya whenever that is.

  3. Angie Jackson says:

    I rediscovered how much I enjoy reading when I read Jamie McGuire Beautiful Disaster.

  4. Awesome post! I had a similar start, and it was an author by the name of Hailey Edwards that was the first author to give such positive feedback on a review (A Hint of Frost) that I got that nice warm, fuzzy feeling. And it was Jennifer James that was friendly and supportive enough to even give me a nudge to write my first review, since I read so many books.

    I now review for a couple blogs, including my own, and My Secret Romance is one that I’m proud to say I’m a part of. Taryn is an awesome person and speaks the truth in saying that being a blogger isn’t as easy as it looks, but man can it be great and it really does bring people together over a common love of books!


    • Taryn @MySecretRomance says:

      Thank you, Buffy. Isn’t it amazing how many people can come together from a book? I didn’t know that’s how you got your start too. Very cool!

      I’m so happy we met. 🙂

  5. maryann buchanan says:

    Wow too many to pick one, but I would have to say nothing has been the same since reading The Opportunist

    • Taryn @MySecretRomance says:

      Ahhh, I just read that a few weeks ago. To say I am in love with that book and author is an understatement.

  6. Leagh Christensen says:

    Wonderful post Taryn! I absolutely love your blog and really appreciate the way it has grown and matured. I myself am a blogger, as you know, and I also understand the friendships that have been formed through blogging. Romance Book Bloggers is an amazing group of ladies that I have gotten to know over the years and I as well think of them (you) as very close friends and I am super excited to get to meet you in person one day! Hugs!

  7. Taryn @MySecretRomance says:

    Thank you so much, Leagh. Romance Book Bloggers is an awesome group! I don’t know what I would have done without it. I’ve gotten so much out of it too- not just the blogging aspect of it, but the great friendships that I’m sure will last a lifetime. I am so lucky to have met you all and maybe one day it will happen in person. <3

  8. June says:

    Love your blog Taryn. I don’t know that I have been “inspired” by anyone, I know that there is no way I could ever write like all the wonderful authors do. However, an author that I really admire, who has just been publishing for about a year and is an indie author, is Kallypso Masters. I love that she brings attention to wounded warriors and is writing a story that has been very difficult but that will probably help many others.

  9. SoftFuzzySweater says:

    I have been donated my older books to the library so my shelves are NAKED!! I need to refill. This prize will help me. Kudos to My Secret Romance and Romancing the Book!

    Please enter me. Thanks.


  10. JoAnne says:

    Two more books to add to my TBR pile. It gets bigger all the time with all the posts I’m reading.
    Not sure if I could pick a book that’s made an impact on me or not.
    I do have books that I’ve loved to read though and lots of favorite authors.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Crystal Newman says:

    I can’t really say which book has been an inspiration to me. I just know that when I get into a reading funk I will read a book that I really enjoy. That usually makes me get into the mood to read again. I can say that I love paranormal the best.

  12. I normally read and love romance novels, but the book that has been the most inspiring to me is the non-fiction book Awakenings by Oliver Sacks. It’s what the movie with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro was based on. I’m in medicine now, and I still think back to that book as finalizing what it was I wanted to do with my life. I knew if I could make even half that much difference in someone’s life, it would be worth it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Lynn K says:

    Hi Taryn, thanks for sharing such a great post. For the question which author/book inspired me, there are many that inspire inspires me in different ways but none that inspired me as much as this post on the topic of reviewing. I am/was never a great writer and always have trouble putting my feelings into proper words. Reading posts like this, it makes me want to try harder. Thank you. 🙂

  14. Carol Peace says:

    I am not sure any of the authors or books have inspired me as I try but am not very good at writing reviews. However I think Nora Roberts or J D Robb is the most popular of authors that I read. The fact that she can keep up two different styles of writing at the same time and still hit the best sellers list has to be inspiring.

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