Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Are You Reading Thursday - Luxury

Modern Heat author Natalie Anderson joins us this week about what she's reading - and why reading is a luxury these days....

Reading time is a luxury for me and all too rare. And that time-drought doesn’t seem to be showing signs of letting up yet either sadly!

We’ve just moved to a smaller but more cosy-home kind of house. We used to have five big bookcases in our old lounge but there isn’t the space in the new place. So we bit the bullet and boxed up all our ‘adult’ books and put them into storage with some of the shelves. The fact is we weren’t reading them anyway. All that’s left is the library of children’s books. With four kids ranging in age from three to seven we tend to read their books with them. My eldest has worked through the Little House series and is now starting Anne of Green Gables, my son adores Tintin while the preschool twins are picture book central (usually the same five night after night). So there’s a baseline level of reading that I do every day but then I have to get on with my own writing. But it’s not enough, its not my choice (although I love those books) and sometimes I long for the luxury of those pre-children days when I used to laze in bed for most of a Sunday and not put a book down ‘til it was finished. That never happens now – when the final Harry Potter came out I had to sit in the car in our driveway for hours speed reading while my husband and kids looked out the window every now and then and laughed. But I had to know what happened before I could re-engage with the real world!

Truthfully, having kids has made me have to use a bookmark. I am forced to put a story down when I have to do those necessary things like cook them dinner. But honestly, when I begin a book I’d really like to have however many hours ahead of me to be able to finish it in one sitting. Like a movie. I love to get totally sucked into the world and stay there until the story is resolved.

Back in August I went to the Romance Writers of New Zealand annual conference. For the first time in three years I was away from the children, I had no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning to do. My time was my own. I could go and be a writer and talk writing, surrounded by other writers as passionate about writing romance as me.

But do you know what I did?

I bunked. Not the social stuff, or a couple of those lectures I was desperate to hear. But for a few afternoon workshops I slipped upstairs, back to the quiet, clean comfort of my hotel room, hopped into bed and READ.

It was heaven. I devoured all the Nalini Singh’s I could get my hands on (not enough) and continued the paranormal bender and also read all the categories that found their way into my conference bag (and that of my room buddy). It was so fabulous – like a holiday and was just as much of a boost to my writer’s ‘well’ as the conference itself.

Already I’m looking forward to next year’s event and the ‘reader’s retreat’ it now is for me. If I could choose I’d have Nalini’s entire Psy/Changling series to read in one big go! Lovely new books from the stall Barbara’s Books has set up, the ink drying on where the fabulous author has just signed it for me… bliss.

What about you? If you had the luxury of spending a few days in a hotel with no cooking/cleaning/childcare duties and could just read anything, what books would you choose? Let me know your number one and be in to win a copy of Christmas with the Boss!

Natalie is busy mothering and writing and not reading enough. She has three releases out at the moment. Her contribution to the Royal House of Karedes continuity, Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress is out and if you’re after a festive season story she has a hot one for you in Christmas with the Boss – a triple treat with other stories by Carole Mortimer and Alison Roberts. Natalie’s latest Modern Heat, Hot Boss, Boardroom Mistress will hit the shelves in the UK later this month! For more of her news, excerpts and chances to win books, drop by her website –


  1. Yes, that conference weekend was bliss! Such a great chance to read a whole lot of books, and I agree on wanting to read all of Nalini's in one go.

    I'm a sucker for Nicholas Sparks (reading Road to Rodanthe at the moment) and Nora Roberts too. If you haven't read her latest, Black Hills, you need to!!

    Right now, I would personally like to spend a long weekend re-reading all of the Into the Wildnerness series by Sara Donati . . . before her new and last book is out in January.


  2. I would pick Susan Mallery's Lone Star Sisters books starting with Under Her Skin. I always enjoy her books.

  3. Thanks for visiting with us once again, Nat!

    I have several books on the go and so many screaming "read me!" that it's a hard decision. I'm reading a Georgette Heyer at the moment, as well as a Signature Select antho from 2005. But if I had a block of a weekend where I could just read, read, read - I think I'd try to go through a bunch of the YA stuff waiting. I have an Eva Ibbotson and a Rachel Vincent and then I've been dying to get at my daughter's Meg Cabot.

  4. At the moment I am reading Gena Showalter and then I have the latest Anne McAllister but I am doing revisions and I have three or four research books to read as well --The English Marriage being the latest one.

    BUt I can remember when I was mostly reading YA or middle grade because I wanted to be able to discuss books with my children. It was how I found Eva Ibbotson, JK Rowling and Meg Cabot, plus Eion Cofer, etc etc.

  5. Great blog Natalie. If I had the time to indulge in one book, I would love to read cover to cover, without any interruptions, War and Peace. Take care. Caroline x

  6. I am a bit embarrassed to say that at present I have 40 books waiting to be read. A quiet hotel room sound like bliss. I totally understand the bookmark remark - never used one before children! I have been trying really hard recently to write, so have stopped reading at my usual rate. Since I usually read around 5 books a week and have still been buying books like I normally do, my bedside cabinet looks as if an avalanche is about to take place.
    Also embarrassed to say I haven't read some of the classics and if I was locked in a hotel room I would really like to try and read Gone with the Wind or Pride and Prejudice, trouble is, I'm just such a sucker for Mills and Boon/Harlequin that I always read them first!!!!

  7. Hi Natalie - great post :)

    I don't have a specific book but I def like to tackle my HMB TBR pile - it's got all my fav Modern Heat, Presents/ Sexy and Medicals :D

    How lush to spend time in bed reading :)

  8. Thanks for your comments! Gosh - some of those books sound good - and Susan your TBR pile sounds death defying!!!
    But the winner today is Lisa Henderson - Lisa, email me at natalie(at)natalie-anderson(dot)com so I can put a copy of Christmas with the Boss in the post for you!

  9. Thank you very much, I think you mean me, I'm the only Henderson on the blog.

  10. Absolutely Linda- HUGE apologies - what a mummy-brain moment!

  11. Nice website. Your book recommendations sound pretty good. I've read one and will be putting a couple others on my TBR list. I'm currently reading a great romance novel called "Love Tag" by author Peter Shianna. I'm spending every free moment reading it as it has my complete attention.