If you are an avid reader like me, I’m sure you can relate to the term #GirlCrush or #Stalker. Do you have that “one” author who you are obsessed with? You know, the one you constantly stalk on Twitter, Facebook, their blog, have Google alerts set up for anything that mentions their name.
Yes, I know they are human, they put their pants on just like us, they wash dishes, clean snotty noses, but somewhere, at some time, they wrote a book(s) that we have connected with like no other. And we feel a bond with them. My name is Michelle Eck, and my #GirlCrush is S.C. Stephens.
Like many others, I jumped on the “What To Read After Fifty Shades of Grey” train, which somehow led me to SC Stephens’ and her book Thoughtless. Obviously, this book is as far from FSOG as you can imagine, which I am so grateful for. But it’s a love story, and I am a sap for a good love story with a HEA ending.
I read Thoughtless at the beginning of June 2012. It was a slow start at first, and I kept thinking, “Oh, maybe this is ‘clean enough’ that my daughter (who was almost 17 at the time) could read it also.” Needless to say that thought didn’t last long. I have told my daughter that I will introduce her to Kellan Kyle when she is in her 20s and then she will understand the term “fictional book boyfriend.”
Obviously, I immediately fell in love with Kellan and found myself rushing to finish the book. However, I really hesitated reading Effortless because I wasn’t sure I could handle anymore angst. I got my HEA, and I didn’t want to ruin it. But someone posted on a blog that Effortless comes full circle and that Kiera is not as annoying so…
Effortless brought me to tears more times than I can count. I remember reading in bed one night until 3:30 AM sobbing uncontrollably. Whenever Kellan left Kiera, it brought back those memories of being back in college and dreading Sundays when my boyfriend (who is now my husband) would have to return to college, which was over four hours away. And it meant weeks until I would see him again. The first time Kiera and Kellan said their goodbye was so raw and full of emotion that I felt I was in the moment with the characters.
Effortless also brought me much laughter as well, and I remember reading many of the scenes to my husband. (He says he loves to watch me read because my facial expressions are priceless. I’ve also been told that I would never be a good Poker player.) The scene where they are having phone sex, and Kellan orders the Denver omelet was one of the funniest scenes from Effortless, but there are so many more. And Effortless is without a doubt even better than Thoughtless. Oh, and those notes that Kellan leaves Kiera…no words. Just another reason why I love Kellan.
As soon as I finished Effortless, I quickly decided to find out who this S.C. Stephens person was. I found her on Goodreads and decided that I would send her a private message thanking her for her stories. I had never, ever written to an author before. I had received a DM on Twitter from E.L. James thanking me for reading her books, and I had received a Tweet from Sylvain Reynard after I had read Gabriel’s Rapture. But I had never, ever thought about sending a personal message to an author. (At that time SC didn’t have a blog or Twitter).
Imagine my surprise when S.C. Stephens actually responded to my message. You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was truly in that moment that I realized that the authors are celebrities, but they are reachable. They respond to their fans and are appreciative. They don’t take their “fame” for granted.
Since my first private message to SC, we have corresponded a few more times. And I can tell you that I still get all giddy when I see “SC Stephens” in my inbox! And I am so excited to honor her today for her incredible writing, as well as creating that hunk of a man “Kellan Kyle!”
Thank you S.C.