Don't Miss This: Blue Line by Kim Henkel

Don't Miss This...This is a great and fun way to give karma a kiss—a good sweet endearing 'thank you' kiss...here’s what it’s all about...Post a link with a snippet of a book, blog, new release, award...anything, as long as it is NOT ABOUT YOU. Include anything about the book: why you liked it, favorite character, great cover...whatever you want.

My choice this week is Blue Line by Kim Henkel

It's a sweet, feel good sort of story that will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling.


Noah Lethem is twenty-nine years old and raising his troubled sister Hannah's two small children. Resigned to a life of permanent chaos, he has given up on romantic relationships. Then, when his neighbour Marcy encourages him to visit the local rec center for a pick-up game of floor hockey, he meets Dillon Greer. Though they are both interested in starting a relationship, Noah remains wary of shaking up the kids' lives. Of course, their lives might be shaken up anyway, if Hannah has her way and takes them away from the home they share with Noah to live with her new boyfriend. Now, Noah must learn to balance his new romance with his imperfect family or risk losing both.


The hospital corridor seemed alarmingly quiet. Once in a rare while, there would be the crackle of an intercom, someone's voice, electronically distorted, calling this doctor to respond to that code in some room, or a group of nurses would wander by, chattering; but it felt like there were no patients in this part of the hospital. It seemed ridiculous, considering the fact that the emergency room had been overflowing when Noah arrived, still in the good shirt and pants he had worn to his aborted blind date. Now, his back was starting to ache in the hard plastic chair; his discomfort and the weight of Delilah, sleeping against his shoulder, was beginning to suffocate him just a little. She was a hundred times too warm, making him sweat underneath his button-down, even if her bubble bath and strawberry shampoo scent drowned out the antiseptic stink.

"This never would have happened if you had been there."

Noah almost wished that his sister were capable of seeing the irony in her own words, but even if she was, it wouldn't be tonight. She was too high, red-eyed, and slightly slack-mouthed as she paced back and forth in front of Noah's chair; she kept wringing her chapped hands together and putting them through her hair and the woman at the nurses' station was watching her like she thought she was going to make off with everything that wasn't nailed to the floor.

Noah was sure that she hadn't been high when she came to pick up the kids, so sure. He'd checked her over desperately; but maybe he'd been distracted. He couldn't afford to be distracted.

"If you had been there, he wouldn't have fallen."

"For Christ's sake, Hannah." He shifted in his chair, trying to force a kink out of the small of his back. Delilah snuffled sleepily against his neck in response, tightening her small hands in the fabric of his shirt. "You see them maybe one hour out of every week and that's so painfully long you can't keep your eye on them?"

Hannah stopped, stuttering and pale as she turned towards him, her entire body a twitching, rabbit-like thing that Noah had come to recognize. "What are you saying?"

"Nothing." He barely managed to suppress a sigh, shifting his niece's weight again. "I'm not saying anything. God knows there aren't words enough in the English language to make you into a responsible person."

"I do my best!" Her voice was sharp and bordering on hysterical. Behind the desk, the nurse reached for the phone that would no doubt summon security and complete the utter humiliation that was Noah's night. This, he thought miserably, was why he didn't go anywhere; why, when his sister came to take the kids to the playground or for ice cream so that they might love her like she was really their mother, he followed them down the block in Marcy's little blue Geo and watched, so that he knew they were safe.

"Of course. Sure." He wished he felt steadier, less frantic; but his three-year-old nephew was getting his head x-rayed, so maybe he was entitled. "You just do what you do, Hannah... and I pay your bills and wash your clothes and raise your kids. You just do your best, and here we are, six years later, and you still don't think I might want a life of my own one day."

Hannah stared at him, slack-jawed, as if he were speaking in tongues, as though the thought of her big brother as a human being and not a convenience had never actually occurred to her. That was how the doctor found them, staring at each other as if they didn't know one another's faces, when he came to let them know that Jack's skull wasn't broken.

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Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955