Sunday, September 02, 2012

Happy New Year and a Giveaway - with Kate Walker


Happy New Year


No, I’m not completely crazy – or forgetful. I do know what date it is. It’s September – Sunday September 2nd to be precise. And that’s why I‘m posting here  today.

 I know too that  ‘New Year’ is traditionally, and more usually, on January 1st but for me that never quite works.  It’s too cold, too dark. The Christmas decorations are still up, there are still parties going on. There is always still too much temptation  in the way of food. drink and  other goodies left over from the festivities to make being  restrained or disciplined at all possible. Which makes new plans and projects – and resolutions  seem like a real trial and  SO much  effort.

So I’ve always preferred the  ‘back to school’ /New term/New school year feeling of September –  early Autumn – for  ‘resolutions’  in the form of new plans and projects, things I want to achieve before the winter really sets in and we get to the  serious celebrating of the holiday period.  The heat has gone out of the summer - well, it would have done  if we’d had any summer. But we have had so much rain  that summer was a bit of a washout this time. Still, today the sun is shining, the  sky is blue and that really helps my resolve  I can tell you. But it’s also not too warm to do anything – the crisp feel to the day has made me want to get busy and get on to do what my mother always called ‘redding up’ – getting things ready for the new season.

This has been quite a year. We have had upheaval and mess, as a result of  building an extension and  completely revamping the kitchen. We also put in a new bathroom. Five months of dirt, noise and chaos. But, oh it was worth it. I’ve spent so much of the summer sitting in the new garden room and  watching the cats pretend they’re out in the jungle, seeing the flowers grow and blossom, and the birds come to the feeders and the bird table. I haven’t even minded if it rained! But the chaos did mean that for some time  it was very very difficult to get any writing done. Add in some health problems – mine,  members of my family, two very dear friends fighting cancer and my time was even more tightly stretched.   Teaching  commitments – much as I love  running classes, and the conference season, travelling to Fishguard for the Writing  Weekends, Caerleon for Writers’ Holiday, Cumbria for the RNA Conference, has taken another chunk out of my working time. And that’s before I head for London and the annual meeting of the Association of Mills & Boon Authors.


So, personally, I’m pretty much ready for a New Year. Right here, right now. I’ve spent the day  cleaning, tidying and sorting out my office, getting emails sent, organising parcels, cards and letters that need to go in the mail tomorrow. I need to update my web site - that's w-a-y overdue!  And I am so looking forward to settling down at my desk in the peace and quiet – the lovely clean, dust free quiet  - and really getting back to work properly.  I sent in a new book to my editor a couple of weeks ago – the first  in an age! – and I have revisions to tackle  - believe me, I’m even looking forward to that as it makes me feel that life is back on track after too long of being mixed up,  messed up and muddled.

So – to celebrate the New Year   and to mark this change in the seasons, I thought I’d do a quick tidy up of some of my book boxes as well and I’m offering a giveaway  - the choice of one of my backlist books  The Devil and Miss Jones, or perhaps  The Konstantos Marriage Demand or The Return of the Stranger . . . your choice ( or if you’ve got all these, then I’m sure I can find something else!) . Just tell me which book you’d like – and what your  Autumn/Fall new year  resolution will be  - what are your plans for the changing season? What do you hope to  do before we’re all caught up in Christmas?

Just post in the comments as usual and once I can get Charlie the Maine Coon in from the jungle – the garden – I’ll get him to pick a winner.  Meanwhile I’m going back to getting myself organised ready for the new year!


And Happy New Year!
And the winners (bcause Charlie always grabs 2 cat treats at once!) are - Jo's Daughter and Erin
Please send me your home mailing address to kate AT kate-walker.com  
Jo's Daughter I have The Devil and Miss Jones for you - Erin can you also let me know your choice of book?

 

28 comments:

  1. Ahhh, Kate. I too think of it as a new year whenever school goes back in (even though my kids graduated a few ... ahem ... years ago, LOL! I am also working on cleaning up my office, but mostly because I haven't been in it lately. Too much going on where I'm needed elsewhere lately (especially with a new roof installed on our house, carport, and garage). Fortunately, we haven't done major renovations like you (or is that UNfortunately?).
    Re what else I'd like done before Christmastime, that's easy. I'm re-organizing my recipe collection. Tomorrow will mark the fourth week I've been doing so, as I had no idea it was such a long process. I'm sure I've thrown out over 1000 untried recipes so far; I have 215 recipes I enjoy eating; and I need to sort a bunch more still.
    As for books, well ... I've read At The Sheik's Command, Cordero's Forced Bride, Desert Affair, Spanish Billionaire..., The Hostage Bride, and Bedded by.... I have The Greek Tycoon's... in my TBR pile. Anything but those I'd love to read (especially since 2009, as that's when I started to keep track of which books I've read), as I enjoy how your books make sense, your details are realistic, they are usually a fast read because I can't put them down, and I usually wish I was the heroine.

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  2. Since I live with my youngest daughter and her family now I get to experience back to school again with my grandkids. My 9 year old and 7 year old grandkids started back to school on the 14th of August. We are already working on our first fundraiser, the first of many I'm sure. I don't have a lot of plans for the fall other than trying to get my energy back. I spent part of last weekend in the hospital and I'm still pretty weak and tire really easy. I'm just going to enjoy some reading and maybe sitting outside in the shade. We finally got some rain thanks to hurricane/tropical storm Isaac and we needed it really bad. We are in a severe drought right now and the rain was much needed. I feel bad for all those down South that got too much rain, wish more of it could have came up to the midwest and spared them so much. I would love to read The Konstantos Marriage Demand or any of your books would be great.

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  3. Hi Laney! Great to 'see' you again. You sound to be busy as always- that recipe collection sounds like a real project. Perhaps you should pout all the recipes you enjoy into a book! 215 recipes you enjy eating sound like a great collection

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  4. Hello Linda - I laughed to read your post when you said how much you needed that rain,. We had too ,uch of the stuff. In Hune and some of July it just rained and rained - though nat the start of the summer we did need it. But two weeks after they nsaid there was a drought - we had floods! I hope your stay in hospital wasn't too serious and you do get your energy back soon. Perhaps you need to sit and read some good books to recouperate!

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  5. I love the change in seasons! I'm more of a cooler weather person anyway so Summer is really not my season even though my birthday is in the Summer. My Autumn/Fall new year resolution is to clean. I usually like to make my plan of attack for the Christmas and birthday season (in October alone I have to plan for 4 birthdays). There's not much time left since September is already here, so I better get planning:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh yadkny - me too! I need to clean - everything. Will you come and do mine when you've finished? I sympathise with the October birthdays - November is the month that's worst for me. And it's even nearer to Christmas!

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  6. Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! After such a hot summer, I'm looking forward to the fall, which is my fav season. I don't have kids, so this isn't marked by back to school, but since I work in pediatric healthcare, I still feel it :) But we seem to get busier, which is the opposite of what you'd expect.

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Erin - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. You said 'after such a hot summer' - now that's something we didn't have here in the UK! Like you I love the fall as my favourite season (though I love Spring too)

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  7. We're waiting for the new baby in the family - I'll be a Great-Aunt in October then we'll get to know the new little guy.
    Don't even want to think about Christmas - there's always one or two people I just can't figure out what to get.
    I'd love a copy of "The Return of the Stranger"
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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    1. Di that is such lovely news of a new baby. I hoe everything goes well and the little guy is perfect, healthy and strong. Enjoy getting to know him

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  8. Hi Kate,

    I experienced some extreme weather changes on my visit to US recently. It was so hot at some places yet cool in others! And coming back home was like - down with flu!

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    1. Good to see you again Nas - you had a long trip to America - and travelled all over the place. I'll bet you're glad to settle down at home again. And maybe do some relaxing reading?

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    2. I had a very long trip and stayed for more than six weeks.

      I went to the RWA conference in Anaheim and met many authors there. I also met UK authors and M&B Editors. Had an awesome time!

      Have been reading and relaxing now...

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  9. There is always so much to get done. But I am hoping my year this year will be better with better preparation.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're so right, Debby - there is always so much to do. And every single year I hope my year will be better with more preparation! Good luck

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  10. Hi Kate, happy "New Year". My resolution is to finish tidying (decluttering) "my" space so I can sit and try my hand more at scrapbooking like I always want to or so I can read in peace so i dont feel guilty that I'm reading instead of uncluttering my space :)))
    I'd love a copy of The Devil and Miss Jones :)))

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    1. Hello again Tash - and happy 'new' year to you too! I'm always determined to do lots of decluttering but I never seem to quite get it done - perhaps because I'm also always determined to do lot of reading!

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    2. Hi Kate. I think my decluttering has gone from almost none to pretty much zero with the discovery of Kindle... it's too easy to download another book when one is finished... one day... one day :))

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  11. I never really make new years resolutions. I'm rubbish at keeping them so I'll just save myself the trouble. But I do intend to clean more and also make more quilts. I stil have a pile of fabrics that I love and will hopefully soon turn into interesting wall-hangings. I still have your book The Christmas Baby's Gift on my wishlist but have trouble finding it. Any chance I could win that? or as a second choice The Devil and Miss Jones.

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    1. Hi Jo's Daughter I'm interested to hear you make quilte. I used to love sewing and embroidery but I rarely have time for it now. Though I do have an antique patchwork quilt in one of my bedrooms.

      The Christmas Baby's Gift? Well that's an old book - I'm afraid I don't have any copies of that left anywhere. I think it's now only available in ebook version

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  12. I have actually begun my Spring clean. I have a list that I take great delight in crossing off.

    I would love to read "The Konstantos Marriage Demand" thank you.

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  13. Marybelle - you've so impressed me! Already crossing tings off on yur Spring clean list.I hope you get everything done - and then have time to rfead!

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  14. I'm going to find Charlie and get him to pick a winner for me - but I don't think he wants to come in from the garden

    Back soon . . .

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  15. Halo Kate! I'm proud to say that out of my 100 list of New Years Resolution, I've only accomplished 2! Yohoo! maybe not. But really, I don't get tired of writing New Years Resolution, bec. it reminds me to do things a little better next time or year.

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  16. my new year resolution just being a good person more and more every year :)

    love to win The Devil and Miss Jones

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    1. Hello Eli - that's such a simple and yet an important resolution. Good luck with it.

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  17. I'm smiling atg your reply Lory - I know that feeling - I rarely accomplish all the resoloutions I plan on. But it does give me a sense of focus and things to aim for, to do better next year

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  18. And the winners (bcaue Charlie always grabs 2 cat treats at once!) are - Jo's Daughter and Erin

    Please send me your home mailing address to kate AT kate-walker.com
    Jo's Daughter I have The Devil and Miss Jones for you - Erin can you also let me know your choice of book?

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