“You will fall in love with the characters, but more than anything, The Location Shoot makes you fall in love with life itself. A profoundly beautiful and inspiring read. I didn’t want it to end. Highly recommend!”
—Jessie Voigts, PhD, founder of Wandering Educators
THE LOCATION SHOOT
Controversial filmmaker Jean Mercier is shooting a film on location in Sweden. While spending the summer creating his latest work of cinematic art, he lives in a nearby inn with his lead actors: Albie Hughes, British veteran of stage and screen; Charlotte Reed, British indie film queen; Michael Hennesey, American TV heartthrob; Willow Barnes, fallen former teen star looking to make a comeback; and Finn Forrester, legendary Hollywood movie star. Mercier invites his friend Ella Sinclair—a beautiful, bohemian-spirited American philosopher known for her provocative writing—to stay with them for the summer. When Ella arrives, Finn is instantly enchanted by her, and soon they fall madly in love. Finn wants to plan a life together, but Ella harbors fears and convinces him to wait until the film wraps to decide their future. In a case of life imitating art, the film they are creating explores “the big questions” and prompts the stars to reflect on the crossroads they face in their own lives. How will their experiences on location affect them when they return home? The answers won’t come until months later, when the cast and crew reconvene on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival—but their revelation will make for one unforgettable night.
2023 Firebird Book Awards 1st Place Winner Contemporary Novel, Pop Culture Fiction, Romance, and Summer/Beach Read
2023 Literary Titan Gold Book Awards Winner
Featured in Ms. Career Girl‘s “10 Perfect Books to Get Your Fall Reading List Started”
“Each character is more charming than the next . . . the intellectual discussions throughout the book prove fresh and engaging and will keep the pages turning. A quick-witted depiction of moviemaking best suited for contemplative romantics.”
“A tour de force! Much more than a romance, this novel celebrates the romance of life itself. Leavy’s voice in fiction is singular. She brings her laser-like wit, intelligence, and hopefulness to this enchanting and truly unforgettable love story.”
—Laurel Richardson, award-winning author of Lone Twin
“The Location Shoot is a stunning exploration of love, hope, dreams, and art bundled together in sheets of romance and laughter overheard from characters you just want to spend more and more time with. A truly joyous read!”
— J. E. Sumerau, award-winning author of Scarecrow
“Some fun secondary characters, a well-drawn setting, and an exciting eleventh-hour kidnapping plot propel Leavy’s story. The author also offers rich details about Rye’s Hollywood world and Dee’s opinions on art . . .” —Kirkus Reviews“
Hollyland is a treasure. I stayed up all night reading, unwilling to put it down… This book is a love letter to art, creativity, and passion. The characters come alive on the page and leave you wanting more. Leavy is a genius.”—Jessica Smartt Gullion, author of October Birds
“This quick read will leave readers satisfied with the happy ending. The main characters will make readers believe in love. Fans of Colleen Hoover and Tessa Bailey will enjoy Hollyland.”
“Leavy has penned a whimsical and engaging adult fairy tale that explores the search for magic or gold dust in our lives. Hollyland is an endlessly entertaining romp down the yellow brick road as the characters search for passion in all forms. This book was so captivating that I read it in one sitting, and the ending was so satisfying, I wanted to read it again.”—U. Melissa Anyiwo, editor of Gender Warriors
What happens when a seemingly ordinary woman with a passion for the arts falls in love with a Hollywood star known for his bachelor status and quick temper with the paparazzi? Something extraordinary.
Dee Schwartz is a writer and arts researcher. Ryder Field is a famous actor descended from Hollywood royalty. On the night they meet outside a bar, their connection is palpable. Ryder’s mother—legendary actress Rebecca Field, half of Hollywood’s golden couple when she died—was kidnapped and murdered by a crazed fan in a shocking event that forever tarnished Tinseltown. Dee’s mother, too, died when she was young. Bonded by this loss, the two embark on a love story that explores their search for magic—or “gold dust”—in their lives. Everything changes, however, when Dee mysteriously disappears after an awards ceremony. Is history repeating itself? Can there truly be a happily ever after in Hollywood?
Featured on She Reads in “The Most Anticipated Romances of Spring 2023”
2023 American Fiction Awards Winner in Romantic Suspense
2023 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards Honorable Mention Fiction – Women’s
2023 Firebird Book Awards 1st Place Winner Pop Culture Fiction and Summer/Beach Read
2023 Firebird Book Awards 3rd Place Winner Romantic Suspense
2022 Literary Titan Book Awards Silver Winner
“… a deeply poignant tale about searching for love in Hollywood and what it truly means to live an extraordinary life. A must-read, whether you’re cozy at home, on the beach, or in your book club.”—Laurel Richardson, award-winning author of Lone Twin
“. . . Leavy weaves a lot of excitement, charm, and romance into this concise and highly engrossing novel . . . a superb climax filled with suspense. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Hollyland to fans of romance and women’s fiction everywhere; you will not be disappointed.”—Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review
“… a spellbinding ode to the arts, creativity, and romance. Hollyland is an exuberant celebration of the arts that makes us question the between art and entertainment as we consider who the real movie stars are on the big screen of our lives.”—Mary E. Weems, Cleveland Arts Prize Winner and author of Blackeyed
“Hollyland is one of the best love stories I’ve read. I could not put this book down. Leavy has crafted a riveting story about never settling in love or art. A light and surprisingly provocative book for smart and sassy readers. Absolutely brilliant.”—Sandra L. Faulkner, award-winning author of Real Women Run
“Leavy is a master at penning love stories that are so much more. She writes light, hope, and optimism in every corner… It’s a beautiful romance appropriate for anyone looking for joy, escape, and inspiration. It’s also an important statement about the role of the arts in our lives. Every art educator and artist should read this book. Highly recommended!” Jessie Voigts, Ph.D., founder of Wandering Educators
Firebird Book Awards 2022 First-Place Winner Romantic Comedy, Chick-Lit & Pop Culture Fiction
Reminiscent of Sex and the City meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Patricia Leavy’s Film Blue is a captivating and inspiring story about the pursuit of dreams and what it truly means to live a “big” life.
A couple of years after finishing college, Tash Daniels has put her love of filmmaking on the back burner. She’s working retail, club-hopping, and scraping by to pay the rent. Usually attracted to the wrong guy, she’s at a loss when she finally falls for the right one. Sexy deejay Aidan is living his life authentically as an artist and encourages her to do the same. Will she open her heart? Will she bet on herself and her dreams? Is a girl with a dream truly on her own in the world? Tash’s friends are along for the journey: Jason Woo, lighthearted model on the rise; Penelope Waters, earnest graduate student with a secret no one suspects; Lu K, fiercely independent hot-girl deejay; and Monroe Preston, the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. Frequently bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters show us how the arts can reignite the light within, pushing us to confront our fears so we can choose how to live in the present. Film Blue is a novel about following our passions, the hidden side of our dreams, the power of art, what it means to truly live a “big” life, and finding the people to go with us on our journey. A tribute to 1980s pop culture set against the backdrop of contemporary New York and Los Angeles, Film Blue celebrates how the art we experience and make can shape our stories, frame by frame.
“Film Blue takes you inside yourself, and outside, too. It inspires a belief in possibility. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Brava!” Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., author of Lone Twin
“Film Blue is a love letter to popular culture, and in particular, illustrates how art may sustain us through life’s challenges when those around us may not.” Alexandra Lasczik, Ph.D., Southern Cross University
“… a powerful story of women who overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dreams… this timely novel illustrates the cultural context in which girls and women live their lives.” Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author, feminist activist, and creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series
“… one of the most important literary works you’ll ever read and the must-read book of the year. Leavy writes light in every corner.” – Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators
“This healing story has left an indelible mark on my soul.” – Renita M. Davis, LICSW, PIP, Creatrix, Illuminated Expressions, LLC
“A spectacularly compelling, breathtaking series.” – Alexandra Lasczik, Ph.D., Southern Cross University
“… the deepest cuts came from Leavy’s frankly audacious creation of space for trauma processing and healing… That Leavy manages to create this kind of visceral authenticity within the splendor of a modern fairy tale speaks volumes of her talent.”– Alexandra “Xan” Nowakowski, Ph.D., MPH, Florida State University
Winner! 2022 Firebird Book Awards—Romance
Winner! 2022 Literary Titan Gold Book Award Fiction
Winner! 2022 NYC Big Book Award, Distinguished Favorite Anthology
Winner! June 2022 International Impact Book Awards, Romance and Women’s Fiction
Winner! First Place, 2022 The BookFest Awards, Fiction Anthologies and Artistic & Technical—Book Series and Second Place, Contemporary Romance and New Adult Fiction
Heart-warming and wonderfully romantic, written with the sharp wit of Candace Bushnell and the sensitivity of Meg Donahue, comes best-selling author Patricia Leavy’s tour de force about learning to balance darkness and light in our lives.
Celestial Bodies is a series of six novels that follow the epic romance of Tess and Jack: Shooting Stars, Twinkle, Constellations, Supernova, North Star, and Stardust. An exploration of the power of love, each novel focuses on love at the intersection of another topic: healing, doubt, intimacy, trust, commitment, and faith. While external threats occur in each book, this is ultimately a story about internal threats—the audio playing in our own heads.
Tess Lee is a world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find happiness in her personal life. Jack Miller is a federal agent who specializes in counterterrorism. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on a beautiful love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby and Gina, Jack’s younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood. Along the way, others join their journey: the female president of the United States, with whom Tess bakes cookies and talks politics; the Millers, Jack’s childhood family; and many others. Celestial Bodies is about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, learning to live in color, and the ways in which love—from lovers, friends, or the art we experience—can heal us. Written as unfolding action, this collection moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read for pleasure or selected for book clubs.
LOW-FAT LOVE: 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Winner! Firebird Book Awards 2022, First Place, Romantic Comedy and Pop Culture Fiction
Winner! Firebird Book Awards 2022, Third Place, Summer/Beach Read and Contemporary Novel
Winner! January 2022 International Impact Book Award, Female Empowerment
Prilly Greene lives between who she is and who she longs to be. She moved to New York City in search of a “big life.” Despite her job at a publishing house and weekends spent racing around the city, she’s painfully lonely. She falls for Pete Rice, an unemployed, charming, ever-sexy aspiring graphic novelist. Prilly thinks she is finally experiencing the big life she always sought but feared was beyond her grasp. Pete’s unconventional, free-spirited views on relationships unsettle Prilly, ultimately causing her to unravel over the course of their on-again, off-again love affair. Meanwhile, her colleague Janice Goldwyn, a workaholic, feminist-in-name-only editor, undercuts her professional identity at every turn. Janice’s “picture-perfect” life is set on a new course when her alcoholic father is injured in a car accident and she is forced to face her own demons. Ultimately, each woman is pushed to confront her own self-image and reasons for having settled for low-fat love. Along with Prilly and Janice, a cast of characters’ stories are interwoven throughout the book. The offbeat characters include Melville, Pete’s awkward friend who lives one beat outside the moment; Jacob, Melville’s younger, pothead brother; Kyle, Janice’s seventeen-year-old son, who appears ordinary in every way but is actually quite extraordinary; and Tash, Kyle’s wild, sexpot cousin who ends up dating Jacob. Low-Fat Love is a novel about the struggle to overcome the secret fear that we are not enough so that we can reimagine ourselves and truly live a “big life.”
“Low-Fat Love proves the astonishing talent that Leavy possesses as both a writer and social commentator. Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Girls meets Sex and the City, but all with Leavy’s raw honesty and clever wit. This is one of my favorite books with a message I can’t shake.” – U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors
“Witty, humorous, and smart. The true beauty and power of this novel is reflected in the ways the characters—just like many of us—settle in life and love.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., author of Via Chicago
“This definitive 10th-anniversary edition of Low-Fat Love does not disappoint. The new ending is brilliant. I would run, not stroll, to get a copy for yourself and all the important people in your life. This beautiful and relatable novel offers a smart critique of how pop culture’s expectations for intimate relationships often let us down.” – Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Real Women
CANDY FLOSS COLLECTIONS (3 novels)
- Winner! 2022 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite Anthology
- Winner! 2021 NYC Big Book Awards Distinguished Favorite Anthologies
- Winner! 2020 American Fiction Awards, Anthologies
- Finalist! 2020 International Book Awards, Fiction-Anthologies
- Finalist! 2020 USA Best Book Awards, Fiction-Anthologies
- Finalist! 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards, Anthologies
Candy Floss Collection is a set of three previously released, bestselling novels: Low-Fat Love, Blue, and Film. Together these novels create an overarching message about what it truly means to live a “big life” and the kinds of relationships we need with others and ourselves along the way. This is not a trilogy. This collection can be understood as installation art. Written with humor, cultural insight, and a wink, we follow each female protagonist and cast of offbeat characters as they search for love, friendship, and a sense of self. The characters must learn to mind the gap between their lives as they are and as they wish them to be, to chase their dreams even as they stumble on their insecurities, and to never settle for low-fat love. Along the way, characters are imaged in the glow of television and movie screens, their own stories shaped and illuminated by the stories in pop culture. Set in contemporary New York and Los Angeles, with special tributes to 1980s pop culture, each book questions and celebrates the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame.
“Epic! Brilliant! Absolutely delicious! Candy Floss Collection offers a template of possibility. It will inspire you to believe in possibility in your own life, and in those around you. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to settle again.” – Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, and author of Lone Twin
- Winner! 2021 NYC Big Book Awards Distinguished Favorite Chick-Lit
- Winner! 2021 Independent Press Awards, Chick-Lit
- Winner! 2020 American Fiction Awards, Inspirational Fiction
- Finalist! 2021 USA Best Book Awards, Fiction Inspirational
- Finalist! 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards, Chick-Lit
- Finalist! 2020 International Book Awards, Fiction Inspirational
Film follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Tash Daniels aspires to be a filmmaker. Her short film was rejected from festivals, she has a stack of rejected grant proposals, and she lost her internship at a studio when her boss harassed her, forcing her to take a job as a personal shopper. Lu K is a hot deejay slowly working her way up the club scene, but no one is doing her any favors. Fiercely independent, she’s at a loss when she meets Paisley, a woman who captures her heart. Monroe Preston is the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. As a teenager she moved to LA in search of a “big” life, but now she wonders if reality measures up to fantasy. When a man in their circle finds sudden fame, each of these women is catapulted on a journey of self-discovery. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront how her past has shaped her fears and to choose how she wants to live in the present. Film is a novel about the underside of dreams, the struggle to find internal strength, the power of art, and what it truly means to live a “big” life. Frequently shown bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters in Film show us how the arts can reignite the light within. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Although fictional, Film is loosely grounded in interview research. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. Film can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a sequel to the bestselling novel, Blue.
“Film is a tour de force! I couldn’t put this book down. Film takes you inside yourself, and outside, too. It inspires a belief in possibility. Bravo!” – Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
“With a subtext of sexual harassment and inequality especially relevant in the #MeToo era, this timely novel illustrates the cultural context in which girls and women live their lives. An engaging read, Film is sure to stimulate reflection, both personally and more broadly in book clubs and courses on media and gender.” – Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author, feminist activist, and creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series
- Winner! 2021 National Indie Excellence Award, New Adult Fiction
- Winner! 2019 Living Now Book Awards, Adventure Fiction
- Winner! 2019 American Fiction Awards, Inspirational Fiction
- Finalist! 2019 American Fiction Awards, Adventure Fiction
- Finalist! 2019 International Book Awards, Best New Fiction, and Inspirational Fiction
- Finalist! 2019 USA Best Book Awards, Best New Fiction, and Inspirational Fiction
Professor Peyton Wilde has an enviable life teaching sociology at an idyllic liberal arts college—yet she is troubled by a sense of fading inspiration. One day an invitation arrives. Peyton has been selected to attend a luxurious all-expense-paid seminar in Iceland, where participants, billed as some of the greatest thinkers in the world, will be charged with answering one perplexing question. Meeting her diverse teammates—two neuroscientists, a philosopher, a dance teacher, a collage artist, and a farmer—Peyton wonders what she could ever have to contribute. The ensuing journey of discovery will transform the characters’ work, their biases, and themselves. This suspenseful novel shows that the answers you seek can be found in the most unlikely places. It can be read for pleasure, is a great choice for book clubs, and can be used as unique and inspiring reading in qualitative research and other courses in education, sociology, social work, psychology, and communication.
“If I ran the world, I would make this book required reading.” – Laurel Richardson, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology, The Ohio State University
“A thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful read! The gradual peeling back of layers, intriguing premise, realistic dialogue, and abundant food for thought make Spark not only a page turner, but also an intellectual treasure that will stick with me.” — Christine Sleeter, PhD, author of The Inheritance; Professor Emerita, College of Professional Studies, California State University, Monterey Bay
“I will be teaching this book in my undergraduate and graduate classes.” — Sandra L. Faulkner, PhD, Professor of Communication and Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Bowling Green State University
“Spark does as its title suggests, kindling readers’ openness to other people, other ideas, other ways of seeing and being. Modern societies need this skill set more than ever.” — Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, PhD, Professor of Educational Foundations and Research, University of North Dakota
“This intriguing novel illuminates the blinding force of presumptions—about one’s own capacities, about other people, and, not least, about the ‘requirements’ of legitimate intellectual inquiry.” — Mark Freeman, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society, College of the Holy Cross
“Thought-provoking, intriguing, and clever, Spark left me wanting to live in the world that Leavy has created—a world of beauty and possibility.” — Robin Patric Clair, PhD, author of Zombie Seed and the Butterfly Blues; Department of Communication, Purdue University
“I plan to use it in all of my research courses as a required text.” — Ricardo D. Rosa, PhD, School of Education, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
LOW-FAT LOVE STORIES
Patricia Leavy and Victoria Scotti
Finalist! 2018 American Fiction Awards, Short Story
Low-Fat Love Stories is a collection of short stories and visual portraits based on interview research with women about a dissatisfying relationship with a romantic partner or relative, or their body image. The stories focus on settling in relationships, the gap between fantasies and realities, relationship patterns, divorce, abuse, childhood pain, spirituality, feeling like a fraud, growing older, and daily struggles looking in the mirror. Once upon a time and happily ever after take on new meaning as the women’s stories reveal the underside of fairytales and toxic popular culture. Written in the first-person with language taken directly from each woman’s interview, the stories are raw, visceral, and inspirational. As a collection, the stories and art set you on an emotional rollercoaster and illustrate the different forms “low-fat love” may take, and the quest for self-worth in the context of popular culture that tells women they are never enough.
The authors developed an original method of “textual visual snapshots” for this book. Low-Fat Love Stories can be used in a range of courses in art education, gender/women’s studies, popular culture, psychology, relational communication, sociology and social work; or as an exemplar in research or qualitative methods, narrative inquiry, arts-based research or creative writing courses; or it can be read entirely for pleasure by individuals or in book clubs.
“A powerful book that explores the effect of living in the context of a commercial culture that tells women they are not enough. This will be an engaging springboard for self and social reflection in classes.” – Sut Jhally, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Founder & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation
“Low-Fat Love Stories is wonderful! I love it. The images are glorious— emotionally compelling— those eyes, the pain, the fragility; the stories are captivating. I highly recommend Low-Fat Love Stories for general readers, book clubs, writing groups, and any number of college courses.” – Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University and Cooley Book Award winner
“An important addition to the fields of gender and media studies that is certain to stimulate self-reflection and lively discussion.” – Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author, feminist activist, and creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series
“The book shows how fiction as a psychological medium can go where standard psychological formats simply cannot go in getting close to intimate experience. Text and drawings communicate the “dark truth” and make it into an inspirational affirmation of life for all people.” – Shaun McNiff, Ph.D., University Professor, Lesley University and author of Art as Research, Art Heals, and Imagination in Action
“A timely read for a growing national conversation.” – Nick Sousanis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University and award-winning author of Unflattening
“Powerful and riveting!” – Rita L. Irwin, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean of Teacher Education, The University of British Columbia
American Circumstance: Anniversary Edition
Paige Michaels comes from the kind of wealth that few experience. The daughter of a notoriously successful banker who wielded great political power, she grew up in an extraordinary world peopled by the political leaders of tomorrow. Now one mistake rooted in her past is threatening to unravel her perfect life. After years as a stay-at-home mother living in New Jersey, Mollie Johnston convinces her husband, Paul, to move back to New York to fulfill her dream of living amid the bright lights. Mollie is uncomfortable in her own body and is always worried about how others perceive her and Paul. Once she sees how the other half lives, will she come to see herself and her marriage more clearly? Gwen McAndrews is the ultimate New York socialite and is the envy of those impressed by her grandeur, but is there more than meets the eye? In addition to Paige, Mollie, and Gwen, a cast of characters’ stories are interwoven into the text – parents, children, caretakers, childhood friends, old lovers, and spouses. American Circumstance is a novel about appearance versus reality – how our lives and relationships appear to others versus how they are experienced, and the complex ways that social class shapes identity, relationships, and the codes of friendship. American Circumstance also provides a window into the replication of wealth, power, and privilege. The novel can be used as supplemental reading in courses across the disciplines that deal with gender, social class, inequality, power, family systems, relational communication, intimate relationships, identity, American culture, narrative or creative writing. It can also be read in book clubs or entirely for pleasure.
“Leavy writes it in an engaging way that helps the reader to ask important questions about class issues in America. This engaging story keeps the reader interested and wondering why women make the choices they do.” – Margaret A. Robbins, The Journal of Language & Literacy Education
“American Circumstance is wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole novel—from the first inviting words to the exquisitely poignant conclusion. Highly recommended!!” – Professor, Carl Leggo, University of British Columbia
“American Circumstance had me hooked from page one. Patricia Leavy creates a compelling, enthralling world that beautifully illustrates what real love and partnership truly is while challenging our assumptions and pushing us to look at our own relationships. Expertly crafted and engagingly drawn. Pick this book up!” – Amy Leigh Mercree, Relationship Expert and author of The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex & Soul Mates
- Finalist—2018 American Fiction Awards, Inspirational Fiction and Chick Lit/Women’s Lit
- Finalist—2016 The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (OSCLG), Best Creative Expression Award
Blue follows three roommates as they navigate life and love in their post-college years. Tash Daniels, the former party girl, falls for deejay Aidan. Always attracted to the wrong guy, what happens when the right one comes along? Jason Woo, a lighthearted model on the rise, uses the club scene as his personal playground. While he’s adept at helping Tash with her personal life, how does he deal with his own when he meets a man that defies his expectations? Penelope, a reserved and earnest graduate student slips under the radar, but she has a secret no one suspects. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront their life choices or complacency and choose which version of themselves they want to be. Blue is a novel about identity, friendship, figuring out who we are during the “in-between” phases of life, and the search for people who “get us.” The characters in Blue show how our interactions with people often bump up against backstage struggles we know nothing of. Visual art, television and film, appear as signposts throughout the narrative, providing a context for how we each come to build our sense of self in the world. With a tribute to 1980s pop culture, set against the backdrop of contemporary New York, Blue both celebrates and questions the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame. Although fictional, Blue is grounded in interview research, teaching and personal observations. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, qualitative inquiry, narrative inquiry or arts-based research. The protagonist, Tash Daniels, originally appeared in the best-selling novel Low-Fat Love (Blue is set several years later). Blue can be read as a stand-alone novel.
“An engaging piece of public scholarship, Blue provides rich food for thought about the pop culture landscape and how its shapes our own stories. With a subtext about privilege, opportunity, sexual assault and gender, this would be a useful and fun teaching tool.” – Sut Jhally, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Founder & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation
“Blue is a joyful, inspiring and painfully beautiful novel written by gifted scholar and writer, Patricia Leavy. Blue shows all of us how to move forward through times of pain, crisis or complacency with hope and love.” – Norman Denzin, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Blue is a tour de force! Leavy shines at her brightest in this little gem of a book. I highly recommend it!” – Amy Leigh Mercree, author of The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating
“Blue, Patricia Leavy’s latest journey into social fiction, reminds me of what it meant to live through the blue of young adulthood, a time spent working through the complexities of a life that’s constantly changing like the sky while struggling toward self-love, spiritual balance and happiness.” – Mary E. Weems, Ph.D., author of Blackeyed: Plays and Monologues and Cleveland Arts Prize winner
“Blue is a novel we all need to read now!” – Carl Leggo, Ph.D., University of British Columbia; Poet