October was all about finding a balance

Warning: this October Reads post doesn’t focus solely on my favourite reads for the month of October. So if you’re craving a quick recommendation or three and want to move on:

1. For the futuristically/paranormally inclined do try Silver Master by Jayne Castle because, among other awesomeness (such as a romantic suspense-filled plot) there are futuristic DUST BUNNIES!

2. For the historical romance fans check out When a Scott Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare because Madeline! And Logan! ZOMG, they are just funny and charming and wonderful.

3. For contemporary readers, check out Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli: think Bridget a la Bridget Jones’ Diary coping badly with a traumatic past and much higher stakes.

Okay. *takes deep breath*

If you’ve been following these Recent Reads posts for any length of time, you’ll know I typically read around 20 books on average per month. And you’ll start to notice that number is reducing drastically from this month onward.

I assure you it’s not because I’m becoming so jaded I don’t enjoy reading any more — perish the thought! It’s simply that for personal reasons, I’m going to need a job that pays regularly and consistently… which right now my writing doesn’t, unfortunately.

To be honest, my work experience is vast and varied, which looks pretty good on a CV. But my work history is so NOT current, which isn’t so good. So when I got the opportunity at the beginning of October to do some temping and up-skill, despite the very short notice (two days!) and the potential disruption to my writing schedule as well as my family, I jumped at it.

So, how’s it been this past six weeks?

Well, after a decade-and-a-half of working from home (i.e. being among other things a full-time mum and writer etc.), it’s been interesting to say the least:

  • Gotta love those early morning starts to beat the horrendous Auckland rush-hour traffic… not.
  • Ditto with having to figure out what to wear (and put on makeup when you’re half-awake!) after so many years of schlepping around the house in yoga pants and t-shirts…. All right, all right: pjs and a robe. (Y’all know me too well.)
  • Haven’t much enjoyed pulling 40+ hour weeks at what was pitched as a job that would only take 5 hours a day but hey, the weekly pay cheques are useful. (Even if I did have to rush out and spend my first pay cheque on the bare minimum of suitable-for-work clothes.)
  • Forgoing lunch breaks because… compelling reasons? Meh. But I keep doing it in the vain hope that today might be the day I actually get out of the office within cooee of the time I’m supposed to finish up.
  • Coping with day-to-day, never-freaking-ending, no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-because-things-are-always-going-pear-shaped-at-work stress sucks the big kumara. I really need to figure out how to care less… and not bring that stress home with me.
  • Lack of sleep over worrying about aforementioned job and family and lack of writing time — especially when I have a deadline to meet, and I’ll be letting a bunch of other authors down if I don’t meet it — hasn’t been great. But I’ve almost made the transition from night owl to morning person. Almost….
  • Fretting about not being available when my kids need me really sucks. But then, that’s all about letting go, and for a mum, it’s an ongoing process I guess. I’ll get there.
  • Missing out on my son’s school prize-giving for the first time ever, and therefore missing him receiving an award, hugely sucked. I felt teary all day.
  • And being so damned tired that when I did manage to carve out some writing time, I either spent most of it trying to get into the right headspace to write and cursing my muse, or I found myself practically falling asleep at the computer, was the pits. I’m really hoping to get over that real soon.

Look, I know it’ll get better. Millions of women returning to the workforce cope admirably and find the right balance between work life and home life, while somehow managing to have a social life (i.e. not become a recluse), too. I did this before (raising two small kids, working part-time, writing my first manuscript), so I know I can do this again.

I will do this again… dammit!

Unfortunately, right now something’s gotta give. So please accept my apologies for not being so available lately and for being absent in the foreseeable future. For now, I have to limit recreational reading, as well as time spent writing blog posts and on social media.

And for those of you who’ve emailed or asked on social media why it’s taking so long for me to publish another book in your particular favourite series? This post touches on some of the reasons why. But please know I’m doing my best, and whatever happens, I’ll keep writing those series…. It will simply take a little bit longer than I’d hoped to publish them and get them to you.

Finally, I truly thank you all from the bottom of my heart for caring enough about my books to ask about sequels and such, and I truly hope you’ll bear with me while I sort my personal sh*t out.


/resumes normal transmission….

Here’s my reading list for October 2015:

  • Challenging Dante by Lynne Graham
  • The Hidden Heart of Rico Rossi by Kate Hardy
  • Marrying The Enemy by Nicola Marsh
  • Silver Master by Jayne Castle
  • Only Yours by Susan Mallery
  • All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
  • Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry
  • Ever Night by Gena Showalter*
  • The Collector by Shannon K. Butcher*
  • Crystal Skull by Jessica Anderson*
  • Red Angel by Deirdre Knight*
  • Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli
  • When a Scot Ties The Knot by Tessa Dare

* On The Hunt anthology

Happy reading!


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