Mar 10, 2015

The year that changed my life by Kat Black

The year that changed my life 

By Kat Black

A decade ago, I was happily immersed in the chaotic everyday life of a mother of two

when something extraordinary happened to inspire me not just to live a life, but to

strive for a dream.

As part of an organized event dubbed ‘the world’s toughest rowing race’ my husband,

Rob, and a co-rower, Pete, set off from the Canary Islands in a 24ft plywood rowboat

at the end of November 2005 to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, the ATLANTIC

OCEAN … IN A ROWBOAT. Left standing on a cliff top to watch the fleet of tiny

race vessels make their back-breaking way out into the rolling vastness of the open

ocean, the enormity of the task they’d set themselves became terrifyingly apparent to

me. But with my young daughters standing, waving, by my side I had no time to give

into the fear. They needed reassurance and extra special care to make the coming first

ever Christmas without their dad really special.

Putting on my bravest face, I clung to the fact that although it was going to be a tough

few months before our family would be reunited, at least we had the comfort of being

in contact with Rob via satellite phone. That consolation turned out to be short-lived,

when on Christmas Eve we unexpectedly lost communication, and didn’t regain it

again for the duration of the journey. With our only possible form of contact lost, the

boat’s satellite tracking system, which plotted its daily position as a tiny coloured dot

on a computerized map, became the only sign we had that the two men were even still

out there, alone and cut off from the rest of the world.

The most worrying part of being completely out of touch came when the weather map

I was glued to daily showed a tropical storm heading in the fleet’s direction. When the

worst weather in the history of the race hit, it left six other teams in need of

emergency rescue. The world’s toughest rowing race, indeed! Of the twenty-six

rowboats that started, only half ended up officially placing at the finish. And sixty-

eight days after they’d set out – and more than a month since we’d heard their voices

– my amazing, crazy husband and his team mate rowed into English Harbour on the

Caribbean island of Antigua. Having battled the elements and propelled themselves

more than 3,000 miles by sheer muscle power, they were skeletally thin, exhausted,

and had hands and feet blistered beyond belief … and their euphoric smiles said

they’d do it all again in an instant.

Did I think the entire venture completely bonkers? Of course. Who wouldn’t? But I

also found it irresistibly inspirational. From the moment we’d started making the

plans needed to turn this flight of fantasy into reality, I was in awe of Rob’s spirit of

daring and adventure – his courage at grasping with both hands something so extreme

and life-changing.

I don’t think it’s possible to be closely involved with an endeavour on such a scale

and not end up looking at yourself and what you’ve done (or not done) to reach for

your own dreams. Mine had always been to turn my life-long passion for writing from

a hobby into a career, but I’d never had the belief in my abilities or the courage to

pursue it. Not until, motivated by my husband’s seemingly impossible achievement

and following his example, I chose to stop dreaming and decided to dare.

And the outcome? Well, in the years since, Rob seems to have only grown crazier,

taking on 3,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean single-handedly and earning himself the

world record for the fastest solo unassisted crossing – and I’m giddy with a mix of

excitement and disbelief to be celebrating the publication of my second novel with

HarperCollins. Living the dream 

Author bio:

Kat was born in Sydney, Australia, where she misspent the greater part of her youth.

A high school drop-out, an international backpacker, a bluffer, blagger and wearer of

many hats, she now writes tales of modern love. Married to an ocean rowing

adventurer and mother of two grown daughters, Kat currently lives in the South of

England. Keep up with her book news or get in touch via

Book info:

Playing With Fire by Kat Black

It all started in Melting Ms Frost, now the steamy love story of Annabel Frost and

Aidan Flynn continues…

Before Aidan Flynn had swept into her life with the destructive force of a wildfire,

Annabel Frost had thought she'd had all she needed from her life. A successful career,

financial independence, emotional restraint. Things that were safe, secure, steady.

Everything her childhood hadn't been.

Aidan represented none of that. Reckless and risky he'd been the red hot flame that

melted the icy layers of her long-frozen heart. Having run from him once, Annabel

should have learned to leave trouble well enough alone.

But now Aidan is back, turning up the heat. And regardless of the danger of getting

herself badly burned, Annabel can't seem to resist the temptation to play with this

particular brand of fire.

Published in ebook 26th February 2015 by HarperCollins Mischief

Buy links:

Amazon US


Amazon UK


Also available from iTunes, Kobo, Google Books and all good ebook retailers

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