This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Leisl Leighton.
As a child Leisl’s literary heroine was Anne of Green Gables. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs.
Over to Leisl …
Books for me are necessities. I can’t do without them. I need one with me at all times – whether a physical book or a digital book, it no longer matters – because no matter what the day has brought, if I can sink into a good story at various points in the day, I can let go of everything that is me and become everything that is someone else, and it helps me find my peace.
I have heard many writers say that they have no time to read, and for me, this is crazy talk. I write because I love reading and without reading, there would be no writing. I fill my muse by reading and reading and reading, historic, regency romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi, fantasy, steam-punk, romantic suspense, chic lit and contemporary romance novels. The only thing I don’t read when I am writing, is a book that’s too close in genre to the one I’m writing in – I don’t want to be influenced in the wrong way while writing my own book, so that is one rule I do have about reading and writing.
I have to admit that I am a bit of a book hoarder, particularly with series. I struggle to throw books out (and by that, I mean give them away to good will – because books should never be ‘thrown out’ but passed on to someone else to enjoy). In fact, the only books I ever give away are single titles that aren’t part of series or some of the books I studied through school and university. I do lend my books out to very close friends and family, although, I’m always nervous about it. What if something happens to the book? What if they don’t give it back? What if I get it back and the book is dogeared and the cover has stains on it? These worries are not unfounded because I read series, and in some of the series I read, if a book in that series gets lost or damaged, it isn’t always an easy thing to replace it. I learned this the hard way with my Raymond E. Feist Riftwar Saga books when my sister’s boyfriend borrowed and damaged one of these books and I couldn’t replace it in hardback. It was even more distressing, because my best friend and I gave these hardcover books to each other for Christmas every year and wrote something special to each other in the front of it, so not only was the book lost, but my friend’s inscription was lost too. Needless to say, I never let anyone borrow one of these books again.
Years later, my hubby tracked down a hardcover copy of that book for me and so my collection is now complete once more, and my friend wrote something to me in this book when I got it, but still, the trauma lives on.
That series now brings me a particular joy, because they are a wonderful memory I have of my bestie who lost her battle with cancer last year. 30 years of buying books with words from her in each one. Extra joy on top of the joy of the stories inside. Needless to say, these books do not leave my house anymore and I never let anyone borrow them. They are far too precious. They sit on the shelves closest to my desk where I write my own stories. I look across often and always smile, because while my friend is gone, the memory of her is bright and joyous and is represented in every funny word she wrote to me on the front page of those books and the amazing times we had reading and discussing them, marvelling in the story arcs, the character development, the multiple plot threads, the world building – everything that is the best part of reading a series. I love reading series and that’s why I love writing them and bring joy to others in the same way reading series has brought joy to me and my bestie.
Happy reading everyone and may the joy of books grow with each one you read.
Climbing Fear: Book 1 of the CoalCliff Stud Series
A Coalcliff Stud novel—His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he’s never been able to forget …
X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything—until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff Stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.
Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.
But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.
Buy Links for Climbing Fear:
My other books are: Dangerous Echoes: Book 1 of the Echo Springs Series. Or if you like your suspense mixed with the paranormal, then you should try my four book Pack Bound series: Pack Bound, Moon Bound, Shifter Bound and Wolf Bound—available now.
Buy Links for Dangerous Echoes:
Buy Links for the Pack Bound Series:
Connect with Leisl:
Twitter @LeislLeighton https://twitter.com/LeislLeighton