Sunday, December 07, 2008

Time for Yourself by Kate Walker

December is one of those hectic months. A time when there is so much to plan, so much to do, so much to organise.

Cards to write , presents to buy wrap, visits to organise, meals to plan and cook. If you're anything like me then your To Do list would wallpaper the spare bedroom. If you could find any room in the spare bedroom, that is. Right now my 'spare' room is filled with cards, wrapping paper, gifts, catnip for the cats, table cloths and napkins that need ironing . . .

Then in a couple of weeks' time the holiday season will be in full swing - dinners, visits, having people round. It's all part of the holiday season and I think if we're honest we really wouldn't have it any other way. But I'll be honest here and admit that I can cope with all the holiday events and excitement so much better if I manage to grab just a little time alone. I need to recharge my batteries, relax my shoulders, and let my mouth relax from the smile that is genuine but still tires the muscles.

When I was young, I grew up in a family of five sisters - my poor father was totally outnumbered ! Christmas was a wonderful, happy, chaotic time and we went to church, all opened presents, played games, and ate lots and lots. But there was always this special time of the day when my mother would say that she needed a 'twenty minuter'. Just after lunch when we were all full of turkey and Christmas pudding, she would disappear into her room and we were forbidden to disturb her unless it was truly urgent. And, much as I loved the business and company of the rest of Christmas Day, I always loved that quiet time too. It was the time when I would find the Christmas annual that we were always given in our stockings and I would curl up in the big chair by the fire, usually with a cat on my knee, and I would read.

I still do something of the sort today. We don't eat our Christmas meal until the evening now, but once the presents are opened and everyone has had something to eat, I have my quiet time. I don;t have a Christmas annual any more but there's always some book or other in my stocking and I'll grab that, and a cat and settle down for just a short break of 'me time.' My DH and my son often join me too - we all love getting books as gifts.

And reading is such a great 'escape'. You can sit in the room where everyone else is watching a film or playing a game and disappear into a private world that is just you and those words. And when you came back to reality again you feel all the better for having had a little break from all that's going on.

So I hope that in all the bustle and busyness of the build up to the holiday season, you are managing to find a little time and space for yourself. A little break, however short, from the listmaking and the planning and the buying and the wrapping that are such fun but also can be so wearing. And to help you snatch that special time, I'm offering a small giveaway that will help one of you find a little extra space and 'escape' between now and the start of the brand new year.

Just let me know what book (s) you're hoping to find in your Christmas stocking or under the tree this year and I'll put all the names into a special draw. As always, Sid the Cat will choose one winner and their prize will be a signed copy of my bestselling Alcolar Family trilogy that was reprinted this year in both a 3 in 1 By Request anthology and an ebook Bundle on sale on

And if you fancy trying to win even more great reading take a look at my blog where I've just started my annual Christmas Stocking Stuffed With Books Contest - and you can win a selection of wonderful books donated by my writer friends . I have two stockings for lucky winners - and yes, I will post the prizes to anywhere in the world.

I'll be back in the New Year when I'm blogging on my new regular date of the first Sunday of every month and I'll hope to see you then. Until then have a wonderful holiday, whether you're celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Eid al-Adha or any other special festivals, I hope you and your family have a wonderful happy, loving and peaceful time.

See you in 2009!
And my winner is - Raven 99 - Raven please email me kate AT and I'll organise your prize
Thanks to everyone for their comments and book suggestions


Helen said...

What a lovely post Kate and how true I love some me time there is so much going here at my house at the moment the grandchildren helped us put the decoratons on the tree yeserday after we got home from a family Chrissy party and all the decorations are mainly at the top because 16 month old Hayley just loves to pull them off LOL. After they had gone home I sat with a book for an hour and then felt rejuvinated again.
Today I start the Crissy shopping and I need to start baking cakes.
Hope everyones Chrissy is wonderful full of love and happines.
As for boks I would love to get I love reading any romance book they always brighten my day.

Have Fun

Avi J said...

Well l am hoping for Her Warrior king by Michelle Willingham, A Question of Impropriety by Michelle Styles and Bought One night one marriage by Natalie Anderson, as well as your latest release Kate. Enjoy you holidays.

Estella said...

I am hoping for Julie Leto's Phantom's Touch, and Her Montana Man by Cheryl St John.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kate. Great post. I am hoping for To Sin With a Stranger by Kathryn Caskie and Julie Leto's Phantom Touch.

Gina said...

Hi Kate, I am looking for the new releases by Anne Macallister, Jessica Hart, You, Kate Hewitt and India Grey.

Unknown said...

I guess the books on my wish list would be Elizabeth Hoyt's To Seduce a Sinner, Lisa Kleypas Seduce Me At Sunrise. I also want Constance O'Banyon's Desert Prince which doesn't come out until Dec. 30.

Maureen said...

I always get up early so I do sit and relax on Christmas morning before everything gets crazy. Any Presents books would be great to find in my stocking.

Unknown said...

Hiya Kate great interview. I really hope there are books in my stocking or maybe GC to borders lol. I would like the new Cheyenne Mccray book Zack.

Lori Ann said...

I'm looking forward to reading Linda Lael Miller's A Stone Creek Christmas, Karen Hawkin's Talk of the Town, and Tracy Wolff's A Christmas Wedding. Happy Holidays, Kate!

Terry S said...

Happy Holiday wishes to everyone!

I'm hoping for a book by Julia Harper (Elizabeth Hoyt's alter ego),
either "Hot" or an IOU for her new book out in January.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Helen

Thanks for dropping by. I know just how you were feeling when you sat down with that book! Recently we had vistors for the weekend - including a not-quite two year old. We had a wonderful time but I was glad top sit down with a book when he had gone home!

Avi - that's a great selection of books. I hope you get some of them in your stocking! I've read several of those and enjoyed them

Hi Estella - and Crystal - it looks like I shall have to hunt down Julie Leto's book if you're both hoping for it. I've not read any of hers so perhaps I should try them

Gina, I have Anne McAllister's latest on my TBR pile - together with Jessia H's newest and India's latest. It looks like we share the same tastes in reading.

Hi Virginia - I don't know the books on your list so I'll look out for the, I hope you get the Constance O'Banyon - as a New year treat perhaps.

Maureen, I do exactly the same - I get up early before most of my family are up (apart from the cats) and I love those quiet moments to sit and read.

Hi Sarabelle - a Borders voucher or a book token is great as a gift because you get to choose what you really want. I always say that I wish I could buy a voucher for more time to read! I never seem to get enough free time

Raven - thanks for some more great recommendations . And I hope you and everyone have a wonderfully happy holiday.

Hi Terry - so you're another one who specially wants a book for New Year rather than Christmas - actually that's going to be my new year resolution - to make time to read more.

OK not I'm going to find Side the Cat and get him to pick a winner - back soon