Leah’s Top Five Go-To Books

So, I read.  A lot.  I’m one of those crazy bitches that finishes a book in a day and starts book 2 before the day ends.  I bounce from one genre to the next and have absolutely no rhyme or reason to what story I’ll open next.

But sometimes, I get stuck.  Like… I start whippin’ out DNF’s and make them rain like crisp one’s at a strip joint.  Or everything just starts to blur together and I get stuck and nothing quite tickles my fancy.  And at this point my mind needs a break and I do one of three things:  watch some mindless TV (I love you Chip and Joanna!  Anyone wanna go to Waco with me?),  watch some M/M tumblr and well, yeah…   or I pick up one of my go-to books.

And since this is a book blog and not my platform to express my love for the Gaines’ or my penchant for M/M masturbation…  I’m gonna share with ya’ll my all-time favorite, could-read-one-million-times-and-never-get-bored books.  You’re welcome.


The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue

New Orleans, 1920s. Raziela Nolan is in the throes of a magnificent love affair when she dies in a tragic accident. In an instant, she leaves behind her one true love and her dream of becoming a doctor — but somehow, she still remains. Immediately after her death, Razi chooses to stay between — a realm that exists after life and before whatever lies beyond it.

From this remarkable vantage point, Razi narrates the stories of her lost love, Andrew, and the relationship of Amy and Scott, a couple whose house she haunts almost seventy-five years later. The Mercy of Thin Air entwines these two fateful and redemptive love stories that echo across three generations. From ambitious, forward-thinking Razi, who illegally slips birth control guides into library books; to hip Web designer Amy, who begins to fall off the edge of grief; to Eugenia, caught between since the Civil War, the characters in this wondrous novel sing with life. Evoking the power of love, memory, and time, The Mercy of Thin Air culminates in a startling finish that will leave readers breathless.

Book Link: Amazon 

This is hands down one of the best love stories you will ever read.  It’s about a gal named Razi who lives in New Orleans in the 1920s.  She is raised in a time where women are expected to grow up to be wives and mothers, but all she wants is to go to college and become a doctor.  Not only that, she wants to empower women.  To give them options and a voice.  She is feisty and fearless and the most perfect heroine you will set your eyes on.  And somehow she finds a man that not only loves her, but accepts her many quirks and even encourages the craziness.  Their love is fucking beautiful.

But alas, Razi dies tragically and BAM.  She’s a ghost, and stuck in between life and…whatever comes after death. The story goes back and forth from her story when she was living and breathing, and her story as a ghost.  She haunts a house with a young couple that you can’t help but freaking adore.  They have ups and downs and Razi is there to see it all, and even mess with them a bit.   Plus she has crazy ghost friends that are just as interesting.

This story is just… God.  If you click any book in this list, I really hope its this one.  If I were to ever get words from a story etched into my skin, its a line from this book.  Those words will haunt me and heal me for the rest of my life.  I’m telling you.  This book is everything.  I read it probably 3 times a year and it’s just as good as the first time, every time.



The Diaries of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys

Richard Le Gallienne’s elegant abridgment of the Diary captures the essential writings of Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), a remarkable man who witnessed the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666. Originally scribbled in a cryptic shorthand, Pepys’s quotidian journal of life in Restoration London provides an astonishingly frank and diverting account of political intrigues; naval, church, and cultural affairs; and the sexual escapades and domestic strife of a man with a voracious, childlike appetite for living. “As a human document the Diary is literally unique,” notes Le Gallienne. “It will have a still greater value for its historical importance.”

Book Link: Amazon (Free for Kindle)

Oh em geeee. Samuel Pepys.  This man is so bizarre.  Okay, so these are diaries and there are multiple books.  This guy, my good buddy Sammy, lives in the 1600’s and YES!  These are his real, legit journals.  He wrote every freaking day – about anything and everything.  His maids.  The fish he ate for lunch.  War.  His money.  His friends that are royalty.   Pornographic books.  Everything.  I seriously just grab a journal at random, flip open whatever page presents itself….and I read.

He’s funny is a dry way, and so much happens historically, that you never really know what you’ll get.  I could (and have) spent hours reading this man’s thoughts and I just adore this dude.


Outlander by  Diana Gabaldon

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Book Link: Amazon

Let me start by clarifying:  When I say Outlander, I pretty much mean this entire series. If you don’t know what these books are about, then, well…  you’re dead to me. These books are the most epic, amazing…. EPIC-LY AMAZING books ever.  Ever.  I mean, Jamie Frasier… ’nuff said, amirite?

These stories follow two main characters, Claire and Jamie. Claire gets sucked through time from the 1970s to the 1770s in Scotland.  There is action.  There is adventure.  There is war and history and loss and heartbreak and laughter and love. God, that love.  It’s quite literally a love that defies time and logic.

Each book is huge. Like… 800+ pages long, and there’s a lot of them. And I can honestly say that I’ve read each one at least six or seven times, and some of them even more than that.  I find myself randomly picking up one thinking to myself, “just one chapter, I miss them.”  And then two weeks later I’ve read every book. I have more Outlander t-shirts, mugs, paperbacks, paraphernalia than any other novel, and I’ll never get enough from these characters.  (And yes, I’ve read every single spin off series, too.)  JAMMF FOREVER!


A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice

Four childhood friends in present-day New Orleans are torn apart by envy, passion, and a secret murder.

Five years ago, Meredith, Brandon, Greg, and Stephen quickly discover the fragile boundaries between friendship and betrayal as they enter high school and form new allegiances. Meredith, Brandon, and Greg gain popularity, while Stephen is viciously treated as an outcast. Then two violent deaths destroy the already delicate bonds of their friendship.

When the friends are drawn back together, new facts about their mutual history are exposed and what was held to be a tragic accident is revealed as murder. As the true story emerges, other secrets begin to unravel with more dangerous, far-reaching consequences.

A Density of Souls is a stunning debut novel that uncovers the darker side of the teenage psyche.

Book Link: Amazon

I have a history with this book.  When I was in sixth or seventh grade, I somehow stumbled upon this book at my local library.  I honestly have no idea how I found it or why I grabbed it, but I did.  And hollyyyy shiiiitt – this book changed everything for me. It was the first story I ever read that dealt with serious issues likes homophobia, bullies, murder, eating disorders, etc.

This book follows a group of friends that once they get into high school, they go their separate ways.  But their pasts are full of secrets, and their futures are filled with lies, and its just a huge mind fuck of “what the Hell is going on?”

I was totally too young to read this book, but I loved it.  And, actually, I still have it.  Yes, I stole the freaking library copy, but you don’t realize what reading those words did to me!  (I’m totally laughing right now, because it sounds ridiculous but it’s so true.)  And I love grabbing this book and visiting all of these broken, messed up characters over and over again.


Brie Learns The Art of Submission by Red Phoenix

Join Brianna Bennett as she is introduced to the erotic world of submission… Brie’s life changes the day Sir comes to her tiny tobacco shop. His invitation to the Submissive Training Center is about to rock this young woman’s world. The renowned school is famous for its elite submissive instruction. She has no idea what will be asked of her or the boundaries that will be pushed. One thing is certain: Brie is about to learn more about herself in six weeks than she has over the previous twenty-two years.

From formal classes, hands-on practicums and weekly auctions, Brie will confront her deepest fears and desires. In the process, she will also forge lifelong friendships with fellow submissives and fall for several of the Center’s skilled Doms. As graduation day approaches things begin to unravel, forcing Brie to make an unexpected choice of Master. Which Dom will ultimately earn her devotion and capture Brie’s courageous heart? 

Book Link: Amazon

So, when I read these books they were a bunch of little serials… but from what I can see you can buy the story in it’s entirety in one book (fuck yaaaa!)   This book was recommended to me by a friend, and when I looked it up on Amazon all I could do was roll my eyes.  It sounded ridiculous.  I just knew I was going to hate it and think it was the dumbest shit I had ever wasted my time on.

Aaaaand, I was wrong.  I fucking LOVE these books.  Or book.  Whatever.  Let me tell you… yes, it is  a bit ridiculous, but the writing really is quality and the story is so freaking hot you will definitely be reading with only one hand, if you’re pickin’ up what I’m throwin’ down.

Brie is invited to be a part of a school where you learn the art of being a submissive.  There is book work, hands on learning, auctions, etc… and the whole purpose is for the submissive to learn what they love or hate, and in the end?  To pick their Master.

If I’m bored and I’m finding myself just not getting into romance, but other genres aren’t helping either… or if I just really want something quick and dirty to read… I grab this series.  And it’s just so ridiculously hot I don’t see an end in sight for me loving it.


Alright, so those are my top five go-to’s.  Do ya’ll have certain books that you can read over and over again and never get enough?   I’d love to hear which are yours!  <3




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Review: Smut by Karina Halle

Review: Smut by Karina HalleSmut by Karina Halle
May 16, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 315
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Dust to Dust
Amazon US

What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree, and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project, but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also may find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot, but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed? Or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

Romantic comedy is definitely not my go to genre with books. Or movies, for that matter. I am not a fan of melodrama or really over the top scenes. However, Halle has been one of my go to authors since I picked up her Experiment in Terror series years ago. So, I gave Smut a shot. I’ll admit I was a little worried while reading the prologue. Not because it’s bad but because there is a little over the top type moment. But I stuck it out and I’m glad I did.

The title might mislead you into thinking this is just another erotic novel where the entire story was plotted around the sex. It’s not that. Not even remotely. In fact, you don’t even get the first kiss between Amanda and Blake until just shy of the half way point. It’s also that point that the entire story shifts.

Let me backtrack for a quick second. Amanda and Blake are classmates forced to collaborate on a novella together for a final project in a creative writing course.  They don’t know a whole lot about each other, at this point. She thinks he’s a playboy (he basically is) and he thinks she’s an uptight dork (she basically is).  But as with most people, that’s the surface and they do have more depth than that. Which they discover as they are required to spend time together. Their success in co writing for school leads to them doing it for money and that’s when all the magic begins to happen.

Smut is a slow burn story, the first 45% or so is more character building and foreplay. Which I am totally on board with and it works well for these hate to love type tropes. Then the first kiss happened and I swooned. HARD. It was adorably written and I loved it. I fell in love with Blake at that moment and as I stated, the whole story changed for me.  It became the sweet, fun romance that Halle promised with some spicy sex added in.  The playfulness between Blake and Amanda very much reminded me of the banter between Dex and Perry (Experiment in Terror), which is a huge part of what had me initially falling in love with Halle’s writing. I was very, very pleased to have it make such a strong return. 

While Amanda may not be the typical leading lady in hot current romance books, I quite liked her. She’s got some armor up, she’s a little judgmental and stiff and doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body but I enjoyed her quirkiness and how Blake unraveled that with his total comfort in himself.

And Fluffy! Fluffy was fucking great and I was highly entertained by him.

So what makes this ‘just’ a three/three and a half star read for me. 1 – A three star for me still means I very much liked the book, but it’s not one that made me cry or hold my breath or had my heart beating out of control. I don’t think Smut is intended to do any of those things though, it’s not that kind of read. 2 – As I stated, RomCom really isn’t my genre, it’s harder for me to fall into. THAT’S JUST ME. If it’s your thing, you may end up five star loving this one! There were just a couple of times where the humor was a bit much for the type of reader I am. If you’re a fan of Tara Sivec, these things will be ones you love.  3 – I hate to harp on this, but I’d be remiss not mentioning it for our editing sticklers out there…this could have been cleaned up a bit more. It’s nothing major, just some typos or missed words, but I noticed and when I notice – I fall out of the story and have to submerge myself back in.  Same as when my husband blatantly ignores the fact that my nose is stuck in a book and decides to talk to me anyway. It’s nothing to get your panties in a twist over, but it’s still a distraction.

Those little tidbits aside…

Smut is a lighter story than anything Halle has done in the past and I think it’s a good option for a fun summer read. Especially if your inner child is still a video gaming, comicon going, sword wielding geek – as is mine.

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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Review: Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

Review:  Hawke by Sawyer BennettHawke by Sawyer Bennett
Published by Loveswept March 15, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 275
Format: eBook
Source: Copy for Honest Review

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.

Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

So, I kept seeing people add this book to their Goodreads TBR, and other people getting excited about receiving this book through NetGalley a while ago – so of course I read the synopsis and was intrigued and requested it myself.   And I got it.  *throws confetti*

But then when I went to add it to my Goodreads account, I noticed it was book 5 in a series.  I panicked.  Shit.  Was I supposed to read the first four before this one?  Are they all standalones?   And for whatever reason, I just kind of pushed this book to the side.  I’ll read other books first and figure this one out later, I kept telling myself.

Fast forward a bit, I’m in the midst of loving all things sports romance, so I decide to pick it up.  Yes, it’s fifth in a series, but yes, they’re all standalones.  Perfect.  I’ll start it.  I’m sitting at my desk at work and I open up Goodreads.  I click Hawke and mark it as currently reading.  My coworker who is a huge booker as well, looks over and asks if I’ve read the first four.  I say no.  She says, “Huh.  You realize this one has the worst reviews out of all of them… why would you start here?”

So again, I panic.  Damnit.  Should I read the others?  Should I just try this again later?  But the cover is so pretty I could lick this guy’s face!

I looked at the pretty cover, then to my coworker.  Back to the piercing blue eyes on the cover and back at my coworker.  Eh, screw it.  I’m going in.

And I am SO GLAD I did.  I loved this book.  I loved the characters.  I loved their story.  And if this story is the least favorite of the series (which I don’t know why it would be, it was awesome) I can’t imagine how much I’ll love the first four!

It’s a hockey romance (rawr!  Hello testosterone filled alpha males!) and also a second-chance romance, which I freaking love.

Vale is an ex-party girl with a great career.  Her dad (who I adored) is terminally ill and she picks up her life and does everything in her powers to take care of him.  She packs her bags, moves to a different country, works two jobs just to pay the bills.. you name it.  Gone are her facial piercings and binge drinking ways.  She’s a hard working woman and I loved everything about her.

Then there’s Hawke.  *fans face*  He is the epitome of sexy alpha male.  Big, buff, strong, can hold his liquor like a champ and fucks like a God.  His love for Vale is SO freaking strong and pure you could feel it deep in your bones.  He’s the one that was hurt from their previous breakup so badly that he’s broken inside.  Can’t love anyone else, but too scared to love her again.

I loved their relationship as kids – so bright, and crazy and strong…. but loved their love as adults – deep, passionate, and intense, even more.  It was a sexy, fun read and I have already started back at book 1 and can’t wait to read the other four!


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Review: Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Review: Never Let You Go by Monica MurphyNever Let You Go by Monica Murphy
Series: Never Tear Us Apart #2
Published by Bantam May 3, 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Never Tear Us Apart
Also by this author: Never Tear Us Apart
Amazon US

Darkly sexy, emotional and forbidden, a woman unwittingly falls in love with the son of her abductor. The conclusion of a two-book contemporary romance series by New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy.

Lies hurt. Lies destroy. I tried my best to understand why Ethan kept his secrets but it was so hard. Until I realized that I couldn't deny myself any longer -- I needed to be with him. We needed each other. Despite my family's wariness, the media's fascination with us, the fact that his father still has a stranglehold on our lives, we belong together. No matter what. I will never let Ethan go. But sometimes love destroys us too, and we're too weak to banish the demons. Especially when our demons are determined to ruin us...

If you read Never Tear Us Apart (and I suggest you do, sooo good), you’ll know that Katie and Will are in an impossible situation.  Katie, as a young girl, had been abducted and sexually assaulted by Will’s father. Will saved her, they formed a bond.  A bond that outside forces didn’t understand and didn’t want to see continue.  But strong bonds that were formed under the most terrifying of circumstances aren’t so easy to break.

In Never Tear Us Apart, Katie and Will are reunited but it’s under a heavy veil of lies and the mistrust does tear them apart.

Now, in Never Let You Go, Will must own up to his mistakes and Katie must face the hard truth of still loving someone that misled her so deeply.

While their lives are in personal turmoil over their ill fated relationship, those outside forces are still trying to taint any contact they may have and Will’s father is doing everything in his power to ruin them before he’s sentenced to death.

Everything I just touched on is all heavy subject matter all on it’s own.  The combination of all those things thrown together…felt like too much for me.  There was a lot of focus on how the public would perceive a budding relationship between Katie and Will, frankly, I just never bought in to that so much.  Had that thread in the story been down played and the focus been more on Will’s father, I think I would have enjoyed this story so much more.

I still liked it. I liked the very real struggle of Katie coming to terms with who Will is and how he fits in to her life.   Learning to trust someone who has hidden so much, even knowing how hard it is for Katie to trust anyone. Ever. That could have been highlighted more.

Also, I liked the suspense and the drama of a convicted killer still gunning for the victim that got away.  That’s a great story line and if done well, creepy as fuck and a total page turner.  Which is exactly how that bit started, but somewhere along the line it fell apart. Became almost contrived or too easy.

I loved that I got to read how Katie and Will persevere in such a horrible situation, I don’t regret reading Never Let You Go. Yet, it left me feeling a little unsatisfied as well.  



About Monica Murphy

New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

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Review: Charged by Jay Crownover

Review: Charged by Jay CrownoverCharged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #2
May 24, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 361
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Built
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

Charged is Crownover’s twelfth book. I believe. I’m not actually going to go count. I’m much too lazy to perform math. Over the course of her writing career, her heroines have gotten a bit of flack.  I don’t expect this to change with Avett. But, here’s the thing…Crownover writes REAL women.  Women with flaws, women with pasts, women with issues. If you are, and have always been, a perfect human – perhaps you can’t relate.  I personally was a fuck up.  I screwed up. A lot. I hurt other people. It may have been unintentional, but it’s still something that weighs on me years and years later. I was Avett Walker. Therefore, I can absolutely relate to her plight. To her self loathing and her self destruction.

I’m not going to go over the all the plot points here, you can read the synopsis and if you’ve read the other books by Crownover you already have a solid idea of where this story is going to take you. Also, there is that lazy thing I mentioned earlier. 😉

Avett has gotten herself into a situation that she can’t get herself out of and it prompts her to accept help from Quaid. A man who on the surface, seems to be her complete opposite.  Wading through her legal troubles together, however, shows them that they do have some common ground.  They also balance each other out rather nicely.  Avett showing Quaid that life doesn’t always have to be picture perfect and Quaid showing Avett that it doesn’t always have to be tinged with a level of destruction.

I really liked these two together and the naked times were probably the best I’ve read from Crownover. I’m all about some #executivesex it seems.

I also liked the level of drama and excitement that Avett’s criminal ex brought to the story. Though, there was one point in the book where I was annoyed with the conversation happening. To keep it spoiler free, I had a Titanic moment and was mentally yelling at the characters to shut up and save their strength!

If you read Built (which you so totally should) and you’ve read the Marked Men series, you may have noticed Built had a more adult feel. I think this continued with Charged even though Avett is still young and at the start of this story – has a lot of growing up to do.  I do think she’s on the right track though and I always appreciate when an author shows me real growth.

Anyway… I enjoyed this one. I four star loved it. I am #teamquaid if that is a thing and I definitely am team #iwasavettwalker.  Don’t ask why I am hash tagging everything, I don’t have an answer for that.


About Jay Crownover

I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….

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I spent the weekend at the Emerald City Author Event in Seattle, and let me tell you, I had the freaking time of my life.  Driving home I was in tears – some from exhaustion, but mostly from being so filled with those gross things called emotions I was overflowing.

Something happened on the last morning I was there, and it wasn’t something I ever planned on talking about, because it really isn’t my story.  But after the last couple of days and some of the stuff being posted in Facebookland, I really wanted to remind everyone about how AMAZING our crazy little book world is.

There was a group of seven of us having breakfast at the most amazing little restaurant.  We didn’t have reservations, most of us were hungover, and we’re all pretty high on the hot-mess-scale-of-life.  We were loud, hungry, ordering everything off the menu and practically licking our plates.

At the end of our meal, one person (an author) quietly grabbed the ticket for the entire table and most of us were clueless that she had even done that.   The next thing I know, I turn to my left and see my fellow blogger crying.  The author on my left who had grabbed the ticket had her back to me, but was obviously wiping tears herself.  And off to the side?  The cute little waitress who dealt with our shit the entire morning was a sobbing mess.  She hugged the girls and quickly rushed to the back of the restaurant to compose herself.

What the Hell had just happened?   I looked left and right and the majority of us had no idea why two of us were crying.  I mean, the food was great… but I personally have never cried tears of joy from a perfect bowl of cheesey grits.

So we asked, and come to find out when the waitress brought back a wad of cash as change, the person who paid told her to keep it.  She earned it.  We were starving beasts and she worked her butt off.   And that’s when the waitress broke down.  You see, her and her fiance were to be married soon, but something had happened and he had suffered a serious brain injury.  Money was tight. In a time where they should have been high on life and love, she was completely stressed and worried.   “That little bit of extra money will go such a long way to help,” she said.

Her tears brought those two to tears.  And when they told the rest of us, we all cried.   And you know what?  Within seconds the entire table pulled out their purses and they started piling together money for this girl.  No questions asked, no prompting, no reason other than helping another human being have a little more hope and happiness.

Handing her the money was something that I’ll always remember and cherish.   Giving her a hug and feeling her entire body shake with emotion still makes me want to cry now, two days later.

You see, from where I’m sitting, this isn’t the only time I’ve seen this happen.  In this crazy little book world we live in, I see it all. the. time.   A reader with cancer has a GoFundMe set up and it explodes with donations.  The town of Flint has a water crisis and authors band together to raise money.  An authors posting their Starbucks card so readers all over the county can have a cup of coffee on her.  Just recently an author held an auction for kids with Autism and authors and bloggers went crazy with donations.

The amazingness of this book world is EVERYWHERE.  Authors promoting other authors.  Readers meeting up at signings and becoming best friends.  Online groups doing monthly  book giveaways.

I could go on and on, but really what I’m trying to say is:  Don’t let the times when you see negative post after negative post cloud your day.  The majority of what I see is a huge community that genuinely cares…and cares passionately.

I am so humbled and honored to be a part of this book world, and love ya’ll to pieces.  Thank you for being such an important part of my world.  <3

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