written by Monica MacDonald
published by MD Publishing
About the book: Could you be the monster to save who you love?
Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate’s senior year is ruined when she’s moved from the only home she’s ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other — before it’s too late to save either.
Balancing the Beast
With my new book coming out, I was asked to write a little bit about my work/life balance. This very topic has been on my mind lately, as I just added fighting for an internship to my plate. All the things I have to do seem to have grown out of control, eating me alive like a giant beast.
So how do I do it? I am a grad student, working on a dual masters in Human Resources and an MBA. It’s not very creative or exotic, but I’ll confess – I love this journey. I remember when I was a stay-at-home mom, and I used to long for grown up interactions. When I went back to college for my undergrad, I thought it would finally happen, but alas – undergrads are just big goofy puppies, trying to grow into their own skins in a phase of life I’d long passed. Now, I feel like I am dealing with mostly adults, and have loved this experience. But it is not without its sacrifices.
Round trip, my school is a six-hour commute, mostly by train. You’re probably asking, why would I do such a thing to myself, and I can only say it felt like a good fit at the time. On days where I have school obligations in the evening, I don’t even get to go home. Instead I bounce from couch to couch, returning the next day.
I’m still a parent, and since 2/3 of my 3 boys are new teens, I feel like they need me now more than even as babies. This is the time when they will decide what kind of men they will become. They will either focus on school, or fail. Make their way to college or work, or choose a darker life. The time I am home has to be pretty devoted to them. Besides – I’m not just their mother; I’m their friend and I miss them.
Let’s not forget also I’m a wife, and my husband brings home the bacon so I can do all these things. But he has needs too.
And – I need to write. It’s not “I want to write,” or I have a deadline, so “I’d better write,” but a definite need. That’s the only time where I can exist as someone else, no pressure, no demands. So, somewhere that has to fit in too, or I will lose my mind.
So, here’s how I do it. Writing is easy – I still drive 2 hours a day through Logan Canyon, and I weave storylines throughout my drive, dictating to Siri. I’m working on the second half of my 1.5 – Timeless games series. The train is good for decompression, so I either write, or read something for fun. When I get home, my kids tell me their day. Then we ALL do homework. Usually, I get it done by nine, which is when my other half comes home. If I don’t have to get up early (4:45, couple times a week), then we watch TV together. Three days a week, I have no class, so I park myself on my couch and do 8 hours of homework. Monday through Saturday are filled to the brim. There’s no time for even one more thing.
But Sundays are my favorite – they belong to my husband and me. We dream. We fix up our house. We remember to love each other. Every other day, that beast leans heavy on my shoulders. For the briefest 16 hours on this day, it seems to go away.
About the author: Monica is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She’s lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.