Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Happy Un-birthday to Me

Today, April 15, is the day I was supposed to be born. My mother's full-term due date—which I audaciously ignored, debuting more than two months early. Every year on this date, I get philosophical. I wonder who I might have been. If I would be "me" at all.

Would I be healthy? Would I be neurotypical? Would my teeth be straight, my vision 20/20? My skin smooth and one consistent shade? Would I be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer? The best daughter. The functional friend. Someone capable of love who is loved in return? Would I have a spouse by now? Children? Pets?

It's my own Sliding Doors story. My own perpetual "What If?" What would have happened if I'd stayed inside a little longer? If I hadn't come out half-baked?

Would I be happier? I think that's the biggest question. Would I be whole? Would I have escaped some of the traps I fell—and jumped—into these past 42 years?

I don't know. I wish I had answers. Instead, all I have is this day. Maybe it's fitting that it's Tax Day, too. Because my memory pays a tax to that person I never became. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Twenty-Eight Days Later: Not the Zombie Apocalypse

I'm a romance author who's never had a relationship. Or at least that's what I tell people—and they are almost always shocked by that assertion. It's only in recent months that I've realized it isn't strictly true. I have had one significant long-term relationship. A toxic twenty-year on-and-off affair with alcohol...that's been in tandem with my lifelong partnership with fear. I've always been so afraid. Afraid I'm terrible, unlikable, unlovable. Afraid of what I'll say and what I'll do. Afraid of not being funny. Of not being cool. Of not being pretty enough. I grappled with those fears alone through my teens and into my first few years of college. And then I realized drinking softened the edges. A glass in my hand was like Dumbo's feather. It gave me the courage to fly.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Suleikha's Top 19 Romances of 2019

Tallying up my favorite 2019 romances was no easy task, but somehow I managed! Because I don't want to play favorites with my favorites, these are in alphabetical order by author's last name. And, okay, I do have two Alyssa Cole books on here–-which I realize isn't fair—but she had a banner release year, and her historicals and her contemporaries are very different in tone but equally brilliant. I would be more disingenuous for leaving one of these titles off my list.

1. Proper English by KJ Charles

2. An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole

3. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

4. A Darker Shade by Laura K. Curtis

5. Teach Me by Olivia Dade

6. Well Met by Jen DeLuca

7. Trashed by Mia Hopkins

8. Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

9. Mangos & Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

10. The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

11. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

12. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

13. The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

14. A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

15. The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

16. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe

17. Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

18. Three Part Harmony by Holley Trent

19. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Suleikha's 2020 books to look out for:

I devoured the ARCs for these awesome romances and will rec them to anybody and everybody in the year ahead! (The Shupe and the Clayborn came out on Dec. 30 and 31, respectively, but in publishing that's considered a January release!)

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
House Rules by Ruby Lang
Headliners by Lucy Parker
Deal With the Devil by Kit Rocha
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe