Jan 8, 2014

Raindrops on roses...

2014 snuck up on me. Big time. So now that the champagne has been drunk and the party streamers cleaned away, I want to look back on some of the things that made 2013 what it was and take all of it’s crunchy goodness into 2014 with me.

So, here’s a list of some of my favourite things from 2013.

Favourite category romance: Kelly Hunter’s The One That Got Away. The honesty in this book blew me away—the story is so raw and emotional. I have a thing for secondary characters too and they played such an important role in the story.

Favourite single title romance: This is a draw. The first is Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark. This was my introduction to the Sookie Stackhouse series and I LOVED it. Glommed the lot. The other is Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It. Really, do I need to say more? ;-)

Favourite non-romance book read: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This features a romance too. I love the voice of this character. I loved the issues it explored. This made me feel the world was a good place even when bad things happen.

Favourite new experience: Munich!!! Visiting Munich was amazing. Seriously, travel is the best.

Favourite new song: Look this is an old song, but I haven’t been able to listen to it often enough. King of the Road by Roger Miller

Favourite new recipe: Tater Tot Casserole. Click here if you want the recipe.

Favourite movie: This wasn’t a 2013 release but I didn’t catch it until this year—The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. So much heart and soul.

Favourite (new to me) TV program: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Series 1 was a bit of a slow burn, but Series 2 has hooked me.

Favourite piece of materialistic nonsense: These sneakers. Aren't they the best? I snaffled these in Munich. They make me smile whenever I look at them. :-)

Favourite highlight: 2013 was really good to me. I had lots of highlights. I enrolled in a PhD (OMG! Am I crazy?), The Nanny who Saved Christmas won the Book Sellers Best Award, but there are two other things that really stand out for me. The first is meeting my editor face-to-face when I was in London and being taken out for a very swish lunch at Rocks and Roses where my very generous editor introduced me to mojitos (oh, dear lord, yum). The other was meeting some of the UK Romance/Sweet authors for lunch in Covent Garden. We had the BEST time. :)

From L-R (ie, down the table and back): Sophie Pembroke, me, Fiona Harper, Liz Fielding, Jessica Hart,  Caroline Anderson, Nina Harrington and Kate Hardy

So what about you? Any highlights for the previous year? Marvellous books read or materialistic pieces of nonsense that made your heart sing? Any crunchy pieces of goodness you're taking with you into 2014?


  1. Michelle

    Sounds like you had a great year I don't think that there was anything that really stands out I did read some awesome stories too many to write down LOL and I spent lots of great times with my family. I went to to ARRA Convention up in Brisbane in March and that totally rocked as for 2014 I have a new grandchild due in July so I am over the moon abaout that and we have booked a cruise to New Zealand in November and I am sure to read some mor fantastic stories this year and I also always look forward to our romance reader lunches once a month they are always fun :)

    Have Fun

  2. Helen, a year spent reading great romances and hanging out with your family sounds perfect. Wonderful news that you're expecting another grandchild -- what fun! Many congratulations. I'm thinking of all of those grandchildren -- and while I bet they're oodles of fun -- I think you'll totally deserve some down time (and me time) on your cruise. Lots to look forward to this year. :-)

  3. What gorgeous highlights, Michelle. I love that there are old and new things in there - King of the Road?? My gosh, talk about a real blast from the past - my father loved that song. And congrats on enrolling in the PhD. One very busy lady!.

    1. Hi Joanne! LOL on the mix of new and old. I'm a bit of a retro gal…plus there are always fabulous things like movies, TV series and books that I don't get to as new releases…but I figure they should still be celebrated. :-)

      Thanks for the congrats on enrolling in the PhD. Yes, I expect it will keep my rather busy. ;-) (gulp)

      Michelle (who is now off to listen to King of the Road for the umpteenth time)

  4. Wow Michelle. What an amazing year! Winning the Book Sellers Best Award - fantastic. And those sneakers - I love them!!!

    Love to hear how the PhD goes. Have been thinking about a Masters of Creative Writing as you know, so need to get my act together and enrol.

  5. Jen, 2013 was indeed a good year. And as I get to wear those sneakers this year, I deem that 2014 will be just as good or better. :-)

    Ah, that Masters of Creative Writing… You know, you could make looking into that a new year's resolution. ;-) Then we could compare notes.

  6. Firstly, the sneakers...oh, yeah. I'm smiling with you. Also, mojitos make me smile. :-)

    I love best-of lists but unfortunately I haven't looked back at my 2013 in any detail. From the top of my head, though, I can name the highlights in chronological order: ski trip to Canada, son's engagement, honorary life membership of RWA. I definitely need to put more thought into favourite reads, movies, music etc.

    Go you on the PhD.

    1. Ooh, you've had some lovely highlights there, Bron -- travel, an engagement and honorary life membership to RWA are all huge. Of course the engagement means a wedding will feature somewhere in your future and that will be hugely exciting too. :-)

      If you love best-of lists AND mojitos, perhaps you could sip the latter while pondering the former. ;-)

  7. Michelle, what a fun post! It's wonderful to take time to appreciate the good things, isn't it? For me that was encapsulated at Christmas which was fantastically busy but we were lucky enough to have a lot of family together, laughing and chattering for hours, and some staying over for several days, plus a visit from dear friends from overseas and a trip interstate to spend time with more family. All in all those few weeks seemed to sum up what I enjoyed most in 2013 - family, friends, a couple of great books sneaked in there (yay for Kate Atkinson!) and a chance to appreciate how lucky we are.

    Here's hoping 2014 is a corker of a year.

    1. Annie, I think it's always important to appreciate the good things and the good times. Your Christmas sounds fabulous! Truly, what's better than good friends, good family, a good book or two, and the time to enjoy them all? Bliss.

      Yay, that you've discovered Kate Atkinson! And yes to a corker of a year for 2014. :-)

  8. Great list of highlights for your 2013, Michelle! I'm smiling at your sneakers too and the details you've shared with us about your Munich trip have been awesome!

    May 2014 bring you another fabulous list!

    1. Ooh, yes please, Sharon! I'd definitely take more sneakers and more Munich in 2-14. ;-)