Wednesday, 21 May 2014

26. Mean Mum Confessions

Still on the ‘Mum’ theme - Belated Happy Mother’s Day greetings. I hope mums everywhere were spoiled, but I also hold in the highest regard those who, for whatever reason, find this particular day the hardest to endure. I hope you had someone to be a comfort for you when you needed it.

It’s column time again. I’m not sure whether I’m creating trouble for my daughter or myself here. I guess time and a battle of stubbornness will tell.

I’m in the running for Mother of the Year and that’s not as complimentary as it sounds.

Whenever my girlfriends and I feel we are failing at some aspect of motherhood for something we did or didn’t do, we humbly (and sometimes resignedly) nominate ourselves for that dubious award.

When my youngest woke me at 3 am last Monday morning vomiting, I cleaned and comforted her, and kept her home. She was fine Tuesday morning so I took her to school. Thirty minutes later, I received a call asking to collect her because she’d thrown up.

When I arrived, the principle and admin were highly amused by my daughter’s tale that Mum was mean because she was sick and Mum didn’t believe her. You can imagine how I felt and how quickly I slunk out of there with still ranting (and did I mention deathly ill by now?) child in tow - the same child who later polished off the entire contents of her lunchbox and went looking for more.

She was well enough to spoil me on Mother’s Day so she still loves her mean mum, but it’s only May. There’s plenty of time to earn that trophy.

This month I also had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Ms Jenny Schwartz’s latest work – ‘Hero Duty’.

I never liked the stories where a woman needed a big strong man to help her get through life and take care of her because she was supposedly too weak to do it herself. And I’m pleased Disney and the like took a leaf out of Joss Whedon’s book and got with the program and wrote strong female characters who could carry a relationship as it should be – with equality. And that’s exactly what this story does.

Hero Duty is the story of ex-soldier, Brodie Carlton (Zane’s older brother from the story ‘It’s Love, Dude’ that I have reviewed previously) and ‘poor little rich girl’ Jessica Trove – a man who has nothing but courage and a woman so browbeaten she wouldn’t know strength if it grabbed her by the throat and choked her.

However, right from the start Jessica showed her inner strength even if she didn’t realise it. One of the hardest things in the world to do is to ask for help, but she did it. Not a conventional call for help, but a call nonetheless. And it was Brodie’s instinctual urge to help that gets this story rolling. Having someone on her side ready to support her made a world of difference to Jessica and she utilised that strength to stand on her two feet, metaphorically speaking. And Brodie, through Jessica’s encouragement and in watching her go from inner strength to outer strength realises his potential to be more than a disillusioned man without a real future.

When their budding relationship is tested, Jessica has the strength to move forward - a feat she would have found impossible before meeting Brodie, but when they are together, the strength of their relationship is formidable as other forces soon realise. The best part about this story, apart from observing the main characters grow and their relationship strengthen, was how Ms Schwartz took my dislike of two support characters and changed my opinion of them entirely in a twist I never saw coming. So if you enjoy stories where the characters evolve and unexpected twists catch you unawares, then this is a story well worth reading.

Hero Duty will be officially released on June 1st, 2014. You can order it through links on Ms Schwartz’s website -

I can also share the cover of the Little Gems ‘Moonstone’ anthology (shared with permission) that one of my stories will be appearing in this year. Isn’t the design fabulous? :)

Apart from watching my ‘to be read’ pile grow, (frankly, I think they’re breeding) I’ve sent a manuscript away,(excessive nail biting has commenced), celebrated another birthday (there’s no limit on how many times you can say you’re turning 25, right?) and found myself immersed in another story. Who knows, this may be ‘the one’. :)

All the best from the meanest mum ever!


  1. Oh dear ... but it sounds like you were forgiven for your sensible-school-attendance-insistence behaviour :)

    Thanks for the lovely review, D.

    And GOOD LUCK on submitting your book. Fingers crossed for you.

    1. I'm forgiven for that episode ... Can't wait for the teens .... LOL

      You're welcome for the review, Jenny. Hope others enjoyed it as much as I did. :) And thanks for the good wishes. I'll need them.