I am so happy to be a part of the Author Fan Letter Blog Crawl for a second year. First of all, a big thank you to Kassa for organizing everything!! Yesterday, Sean Kennedy wrote to Margaret Atwood and tomorrow Erotic Horizon will have her letter. (For a full list of blogs participating, go HERE) But today it is my turn. Last year I wrote to Mary Balogh who was one of the first romance authors I read. This year when I was asked to participate, I sat back and thought about what author has really impacted my reading experience this year. And she is….
Dear Marie Sexton,
You first came onto my radar this year, during the DABWAHA tournament. I noticed many talking about your book, Strawberries for Dessert which was up in the GLBT category and I bought it– but like many, it got a bit lost in my tbr pile. A little later, a reader named Helyce emailed me out of the blue asking me for some m/m recommendations. I gave her a list, but I added at the end that I had heard some good things about Strawberries for Dessert but had not read it yet. About two days later, Helyce emailed me back gushing about your entire Coda series and told me I must start at the beginning, immediately. And so I did.
I find reading to be such a unique experience. It is such a solitary activity, myself and my Kindle curled up in a chair where I get to have a break from my real life and with your books find myself with your boys in Coda. But then, as I read or when I finish a book, I get to go on Twitter, or Goodreads or on email and share my excitement over these characters and stories and all of a sudden my reading experience turns into a social activity. And this is my favorite part of all.
If it wasn’t for Helyce urging me on to read these, who knows when I would have got to them. And once I started, I could not stop. I devoured your books. I met Jared and Matt in Promises and fell in love. I love a story where one of the men fights his feelings hard when he feels like he is falling for another man. And boy, did Matt fight hard. I then went on to A to Z and The Letter Z and met Angelo and Zach and realized how different they are from Matt and Jared. Angelo broke my heart with his struggles of self worth. It wasn’t until The Letter Z where I truly understood their relationship and fell in love with them too.
And then the big shocker for me. Like I said, Strawberries for Dessert was the first book I had purchased, but I don’t think I had read the blurb or anything. So when I realized the heroes were two minor characters from the previous books – Jon, Zach’s ex that I didn’t care for too much and Cole – the very flamboyant boy toy and friend of Jared’s I was actually disappointed. I didn’t want to read about them! But this is where my online friends came into play. I went onto Twitter and Goodreads with my concerns and Samantha told me – you will fall in love with Cole so hard. Trust. And I said, nooooo. And Helyce told me, Cole will be one of your favorite characters ever. And I said, no way! I don’t believe you! But I started it – and I have to say Cole definitely ranks in the top of my favorite characters list. I love that man so much. He is such a mixture of wit, sarcasm, warmth, and deep, deep down so afraid and unsure. Oh Cole. And of course as I read I couldn’t imagine him being with anyone other than Jon.
I also adore that these books are not just the love stories of the heroes, but continue the lives of the past heroes as well. All of them are friends and interact in each book, making it just a very engaging world.
So Marie Sexton, you not only gave me romantic stories that made me squee with delight, but you made my reading experience one that I joyously shared with my friends. Thank you.