rea(d)rinking spaces – Eat Drink Americano

A few months ago, I caught a bad case of writer’s block. Everything that I wrote was crap! Utter crap! I dreaded my daily writing hour because during this time, I’d be staring blankly at my tablet screen or I’d be busy berating myself for not being able to produce a single paragraph that made sense. I was about a month into this dead zone when a few friends came over and we decided to spend the night binge-watching romantic comedies. One of the movies on our list was Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. There’s a scene in the movie when Alex (Hugh Grant) and Sophie (Drew Barrymore) are at this creative impasse (i.e writer’s block). Sophie suggests to Alex that they leave his apartment and take a walk around the neighborhood to eat new things, see new things, and try and find some inspiration.

Who knew that I’d be able to find indispensable advice from a rom-com? Anyway, the timing sort of worked out perfectly. Shortly after rom-com fest, I went on a trip to AZ with friends and during our time there, I had the opportunity to see and experience a lot of things that I haven’t before and witnessed two of my close friends getting engaged! Huzzah, love! And huzzah to my writer’s block being obliterated!

After the trip, I got to thinking that one of the things I’d love to share with fellow readers and visitors to this site, are the places that I enjoy going to when I want to read, or drink, or both. Occasionally, I’ll be posting reading spaces / drinking places, so hopefully y’all can grab the latest les lit you’re working on, head on over, grab a drink, and cozy up!

One of my go-to places is Eat Drink Americano, located in the heart of the Los Angeles Arts District. Eat Drink Americano is a cool little gastropub that serves tasty bar-fare and has a great selection of local craft beers and whiskey. Their well-bourbon is McKenna, which they use when they make old-fashioneds. Any place that pours McKenna instead of Bulleit into their jigger when they’re mixing cocktails is definitely a cut above the rest. Btw, if you do have a chance to visit Eat Drink Americano, do order their old-fashioned. Seriously! You won’t regret it!

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The decor of this place is off the hook. It’s sort of a Steam Punk + Americana style: red brick building, crazy metal art pieces, wood furniture, and this giant glass bottle chandelier hanging on the ceiling by the windows.

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During the day, it’s the perfect place to sit by the window and read a chapter or two of Gerri Hill’s Weeping Walls or Keepers of the Cave. If you’re planning on visiting Eat Drink Americano during the evening, the best time to go is Monday night from 9:00pm – 11:00pm when the gypsy jazz band Vignes Rooftop Revival are playing live.

CHEERS and HAPPY READING!

Eat Drink Americano
923 E 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Gerri Hill – Weeping Walls

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An abandoned old house in a small town northeast of Houston is the site of a second murder, eerily similar to a supposed cold case of fourteen years earlier. FBI Agents CJ Johnston and Paige Riley are dispatched to find the link between the two homicides.

The team, including Ice and Billy, find the case to be anything but cold. For CJ and Paige, juggling the investigation while trying to keep their love affair a secret proves to be as hard as uncovering long-buried clues. 

REVIEW
WARNING! If you haven’t read Keepers of the Cave yet, immediately abort! DO NOT READ PAST THIS PARAGRAPH! I would highly recommend finishing Keepers of the Cave before picking up Weeping Walls. You’d really be cheating yourself if you didn’t. There’s a beautiful depth to the story that would be better understood and appreciated if you start at the beginning. For those that have already finished Keepers of the Cave, this review is more like an extension of my previous review. Onward, we go!

Weeping Walls picks up right where Keepers of the Cave left off. CJ and Paige are working together on a new assignment involving a homicide, a cold case, and a haunted house in the town of Pecan Grove. Gerri Hill seems to have a real knack for weaving stories that scare the heck out of readers.

Stories can sometimes degrade down the line, from book #1, to book #2, to book #3, etc. The Southern Vampire Mysteries is a case in point. It’s like a car that runs out of gas and just eventually sputters to a rolling stop. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Johnston & Riley series. The writing is consistent and the storyline is just as engaging as Keepers of the Cave. Weeping Walls has a well-executed plot, and the character development for the main cast (CJ and Paige) as well as the supporting cast (Billy and Ice) is exceptional. You’ll develop a real fondness for this FBI dream team as you follow them on this crazy adventure.

CJ and Paige’s love story is what really shines in this series. They are both very likable and relatable characters, and the progression of their relationship is enjoyable to read. In Weeping Walls, CJ and Paige begin to see that what they started in Hoganville is becoming more than just a temporary affair. CJ and Paige both stumble into a place that they’ve never been before, as they allow themselves to let go of their fears to just love. The sex scenes are tastefully done, and the emotional aspect of their intimacy is powerfully written. What happens here is really a wonderful thing. Sigh. L’amour. I really hope that Gerri Hill will write at least another book or two for Johnston & Riley because this was friggin amazing.

SOUNDTRACK
1. Jose Gonzalez – Step Out
2. Shakey Graves feat. Esme Patterson – Dearly Departed
3. Radical Face – Secrets (Cellar Door)
4. Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire
5. Shins – Phantom Limb
6. King Charles – Gamble for a Rose
7. Matt Harke and Maggie Peake – Gold
8. Arctic Monkeys – Baby I’m Yours
9. Shins – September
10. Death Cab for Cutie – Soul Meets Body
11. Johnnyswim – Don’t Let It Get You Down
12. Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing
13. American Authors – Best Day of My Life

CHEERS!
This book would be best read with a….

SAMUEL ADAMS BOSTON LAGER

**Sneak Peak**

“Paige stopped suddenly, pushing her sunglasses on top of her head. “First of all, she was not half-naked. She was all the way naked. And secondly…it’s none of your business.” She ended the call quickly as she stared up into the cloudless sky. Did I just out myself to my mother?