Life Update + Giveaway

Monday, May 14, 2018
Hey kittens, long time no see. This post has been a long time coming and I'm really sorry for the past year. Updates have been sporadic, I haven't been great at responding to comments, and I just haven't been able to make APR my priority. I have an explanation; I've mentioned parts of this on Twitter, but I've never put it all out there on the blog. So, to give you all the dirty bits I've tried to keep off the internet, let's go back, back, back. If you stick with me through all of this, I have a present at the end.

On June 14, 2008, aka my 21st birthday, I gave notice at my first big-girl job to go into business with my mom. She'd managed a heart surgery practice for many years and with the help of the retiring partner, set out to open her own boutique-style billing and coding service. The last ten years have been incredibly hard. We started with one doctor. Some days we would be so dead we'd spend hours just stamping return addresses on boxes of envelopes to say we accomplished something. But we grew. In 2013 we suffered a devastating blow. Our business partner, more grandfather to me than my actual bio relatives, passed away. We almost closed - his estate forcing us up for sale as the majority partner. After months of uncertainty, no offers were made and we soldiered on. In the last five years, we've hired significantly more staff, rented more office space. I went to trade school and earned two sets of credentials to better market myself. My baby company was growing up.

And it took control of our lives.

In the last year, my mother's health has declined with a rapidity that's terrifying to see. She's lost 75 pounds in eight months. We've been through every test imaginable, and some I hadn't heard of despite 10 years in the medical industry. The final diagnosis? Stress. Stress so severe it has caused her stomach lining to spasm and rip and, due to constant reflux, she's developed the early signs of throat cancer. In the last year, I've had my anxiety medication increased four times. I work 65 hours a week, sometimes in the office as late as 2 o'clock in the morning. Obviously, my blogging has suffered and though I've made a few "I think work's under control, I should be back on a schedule!" posts, I can't stick to them on top of my work hours.

As of today, I can announce we have sold our company. It's bittersweet. It's giving up our connection to Bob and his family, (though if he were alive to see what this has done to our health, I suspect he would have sold us back in 2013.) I am walking away with nothing tangible from the sale. In a lot of ways, it feels like the sacrifices of the last decade were wasted.

I'm also incredibly happy. I've taken a similar position with one doctor. My employment contract guarantees only 40 hours of work a week. I'm using my certifications; at the company, I was spending far more time on HR and client relations than actually coding. The position is (currently) work from home, which allows me greater freedom during the actual sunlight hours of the day. As some of you know, my husband manages a bar which has made it very difficult to see him when I was working 10a - 7p and he works 6p-2a.

So it's a good thing and a sad thing and a long overdue thing. But what does it mean for APR? Well, I can't speak for Jessie who has her own life issues going on, but as for me, I will be posting twice a week to start. One post will be a bookish meme, TTT or Waiting on Wednesday, and one will be a review or discussion. I'm also committing to replying more to comments and talking to y'all more on Twitter instead of just retweeting every meme I see.

So that takes us to the end of this post and what you've been waiting for: the giveaway! To thank you all for sticking with me and believing APR could come back, I'm not choosing one winner, I'm choosing FIVE. Giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to your country. All you have to do to be entered? Tell me what one book of the last year you think I should have read.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Again guys, thank you so much for following me through all of this. My inability to balance work and life cost me my girlfriend, my health, and a lot of contacts in the book community. It means to world to know I've still got you on my side (or if you're new, that some people want to check me out anyway!) I love you all.


  1. For new releases, I loved The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! As for older releases, I binge read Jordan L. Hawk's Whyborne & Griffin series and it was amazing!

    1. I have not heard of Whyborne & Griffin, but uh I clearly SHOULD HAVE? The summary of Widdershins has me hooked. I'm librarying it right now.

    2. Yay! It's SO good! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

  2. I loved The Hate U Give. Definitely a popular book right now and really sticks with you!

    1. Definitely, THUG is amazing, iconic, yes! That's one I did get to.

  3. Welcome back!
    Picking ONE book is hard, but I'm going to suggest The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. It's the book that immediately came to mind!

    1. Ooh, I bought that for my coblogger for Christmas but I have not read it myself yet. Thanks for the rec! (And thanks for coming by)

  4. Welcome back!!

    Two of my absolute favorites from the past year are... Noteworthy - Riley Redgate and The Poet X - Elizabeth Acevedo!

  5. Welcome back! I really hope that this new job is a super positive transition for you, it sounds like the old one was a LOT. I am sorry that it ended the way it did though, that has to be incredibly hard, especially since you put so much of yourself (physically, mentally, emotionally) into it. Big hugs, and sending tons of good thoughts for your future!!

    As for books... this is hard! Especially going back only a year, I have had a BIG slump. Okay. The Scythe series by Neal Shusterman, maybe cheating because I only read Thunderhead this year but still hah. You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon! Honor Among Thieves by Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine. Fatal Throne by Candace Fleming. And these will be out soon and I loved them both, A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews (Cait @ Paper Fury!!) and The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen! I hope that helped a little- definitely a variety of genres haha.

  6. I'm glad that, while it was difficult to let go of the company, that you're also happy about the choice and that you've found a job you enjoy and that gives you more time for yourself. And I hope both you and your mom are doing okay. <3

    Some of my FAVORITE reads of this year have been Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, and The Piper's Son by Queen Marchetta. I've been very moody about what I've read lately, so I've not found a lot of omg faaaaves, but these books will stick in my mind for ages to come. :)

  7. Welcome back! I hope that this change, while bittersweet, brings some really positive things into your life. And getting to enjoy the daylight hours a little more should also be a plus! I'm sending love and good thoughts for you and your mom <3

    I would recommend a YA book because that's what we do here but honestly, the book I've been pushing on everyone recently is actually adult fiction: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Victoria Schwab recommended it and while I trust her taste completely, I wasn't expecting to love that one as much as I did. I think it'd be worth a read!

  8. So many changes for you.
    So glad you are able to get back on track with your life and family.

    How to pick a favorite? I've read so many that I really loved!
    I've recently read and loved: Onyx and Ivory, Circe, the Remnant Chronicles, the Summoner series, the Illuminae Files, Unearthed, Aru Shah and the End of Times.... And so many more!


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