Kate Hardy kicks off her 2015 Pink Heart Society posts with a piece about resolutions and, in particular, reading resolutions...
I've always been a bookworm - my grandmother taught me to read, and she died when I was two, so we're talking precocious here - so I never, EVER thought I'd have to make a resolution about books.
I mean, new year is all about giving up chocolate, doing more exercise, and making yourself a paragon of virtue, right?
But my big resolution this year is to read more.
2014 was a really difficult year for me personally - my husband was nearly killed when a 40-ton lorry hit his stationary car, and then his mother had a stroke and I've spent the best part of a year battling to get her into residential care as her needs have changed. (We're nearly there. But dealing with authorities when the person who needs to sign a form of giving them permission to discuss things with you can't actually hold a pen... that's tricky.)
It's been a time-suck as well as emotionally draining. Consequently I was late for most of my deadlines last year; I did keep my editors up to speed on the situation, and they were fabulous. But obviously any free time I had meant trying desperately to catch up with my work. And something had to give... which was my reading time.
I bought books last year - my massive Kindle TBR pile is testament to that - but I just didn't get time to read.
So this year my resolutions are to keep up the good work at the gym, to write the best books I can, to keep eating healthily... and most importantly to carve out 30 minutes a day to read. To refill the well, and to give me a chance to breathe (especially when I have a day of having to deal with legal stuff - my Liz Fielding keeper shelf is what keeps my sanity, because she always takes me away from the real world with her fabulous characters). I'm not going to put pressure on myself to read x number of books per year, or to blog about them in depth - I'm just going to enjoy 30 minutes a day of reading.
I've kept my resolution so far. (OK, I might have sneaked in an extra bit each day - it takes me less than an hour to read the kind of books it takes me six weeks to write!) And this is what I've read this year:
Sarah Morgan's Maybe this Christmas - just loved being taken away to a snowy land :) I can't ski (and no way would I ever launch myself down a steep slope - just no) but I enjoyed her gorgeous hero Tyler, shy heroine Brenna and Tyler's daughter Jess. I loved the close family and the real sense of place. And Christmas... nobody does Christmas like Sarah!
Donna Alward's Treasure on Lilac Lane - a hero and a heroine who've both been seriously bruised, and they heal each other. This was a great read and there was lots of tension (and a character I really wanted to, um, shove face-down in a slurry pit). They had to work for their happy ending, but definitely deserved it.
Susan Meier's Chasing the Runaway Bride - loved this one. It's all about forced proximity, overcoming prejudices and some seriously witty dialogue. Again, a happy ending they both have to work for (and I didn't guess the plot twist, which is always nice) and I really enjoyed it.
Ann Cleeves' Raven Black. OK, I admit, I also enjoy crime novels. This one has an amazing sense of place - Shetland. I really felt as if I was there. I'd seen the TV adaptation, but they'd made a few changes so this was like reading something mainly fresh. And I spy possible romance, so I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
So have you made a reading resolution this year? Let us know in the comments!!
Sports doctor Jared Fraser won’t be swayed by Dr Bailey Randall’s interfering research, no matter how beautiful she is. He’s had it with beautiful women – except Bailey manages to get right under his skin!
Two years ago an ectopic pregnancy ended Bailey's baby dreams and her marriage. Ever since, she’s written men and babies out of her life – until arrogant yet delicious Jared makes her rewrite the rulebook! But after one magical night can Bailey’s shock pregnancy ultimately heal both their hearts?
You can find out more about the book, and Kate, on her website and her blog - or find her on Facebook!