Hello faithful readers! Today is a big day, and I’m excited to share a few milestones.
First and foremost, today marks 10 years as an expat! Ten years ago today I shut the door on my Greenwich Village apartment in New York City for the last time, took a cab to JFK and boarded a flight to London. My plan was to spend the year it would take for me to complete my MA in the UK, and maybe another year if I found a good job, as my degree entitled me to a one-year work visa. I ended up staying for six years before embarking on my second expat adventure: South Africa.
Unlike my solo shift to the UK, I made the jump down to SA with my then-fiance. Since our arrival in 2013 we’ve gotten married, bought a house, and expanded to become a family of three. My two-year-old daughter is definitely the best souvenir from our time here.
Now, a decade after expatriating, I’m taking the first steps toward another milestone: repatriating. My husband’s company has offered him an exciting new job based in Houston, and we’ll be landing there in November.
I have so many mixed emotions when it comes to this move, and they’re all about leaving South Africa – I haven’t even begun to process the Stateside stuff. South Africa is a complex, fraught, wonderful place and I’m torn between relief at leaving the worst bits and abject despair at saying goodbye to the best bits. Overwhelmingly, though, I’m grateful to have had four years in a place unique in the world, at the tail end of a misunderstood continent. My worldview is richer, more nuanced, and forever changed.
And in the midst of all of this, tomorrow sees the release of my tenth book! Defending Hearts hits digital bookshelves tomorrow and I hope Kate and Oz will find their way into readers’ hearts with the same stubborn insistence they found their way into mine.
Opposites attract with unparalleled force when Oz – Skyline’s neurotic, intellectual, and incidentally Muslim left-back – meets Kate, a private security contractor who’s recently said goodbye to life as an enlisted Army soldier. This book is about identity as we define it – and as others sometimes insist on defining it for us. Full buy links are on the Books page, and I hope you’ll check this one out!
Huge thanks to you, readers, for propelling me through to this ten-book milestone. I promise there will be many more!