A gritty, uplifting coming of age story set against the backdrop of West Hollywood AA. Self-deprecating and bitingly smart, Delia is a recovering addict who forges her own brand of hard won wisdom on her journey in sobriety. 

When Delia entered treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at seventeen, her life changed forever.  She believed she could make it through anything without backsliding--until she received a phone call from her best friend Timothy, whom she met in rehab. 

Fulfilling a pact they made a decade earlier, she leaves her husband and child in Seattle to care for him as he dies.  Back in Los Angeles, Delia sorts through her memories. As her past catches up with her present, she sees she has not merely survived her losses and mistakes but has been made better because of them.

Advance praise for BEACHGLASS:

"BEACHGLASS takes you into the rooms of AA and rehab with the startling, powerful clarity of one who knows this precarious terrain all too well.  A new and promising talent, Wendy Blackburn writes with a refreshing sense of honesty, hope and renewal." —James Brown, author of THE LOS ANGELES DIARIES
"A vibrant, engaging, and utterly honest book...this is a novel which seems to be about recovery but is really about so much more: friendship, chosen families, and the transformative power of human love." —Nicole Mones, author of LOST IN TRANSLATION

"Wendy Blackburn's Beachglass paints an insightful portrait of not only a recovering addict, but of those who love her—parents, spouse, child, and friends. Addicts often claim, "It's my life." But truly, their addiction touches a wide circle of people around them, as Beachglass so poignantly illustrates.  Kudos to Blackburn for a fine debut novel."
-Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank

"Wendy Blackburn has made a five-star debut with Beachglass, a story of life, love, romance, and recovery. Through the eyes and heart of Delia, a recovering addict, she takes the reader on a remarkable journey into the depths of addiction soaring to the heights of recovery. From the past to the present, it is a poetic tapestry of words and wonder.Wendy’s writing is simply delightful, colorful, concise, and captivating. She describes seemingly mundane details in hypersensitive three dimensions.  Every description is a painting in soft hues. Delia, a recovering addict, wife, and mother, leaves her family to fly to Los Angeles to fulfill a promise made long ago to a friend she met in treatment who is living with AIDS, a promise to be there when the end comes. In the process she reflects on sobriety and serenity, anger and acceptance, grief and love. She experiences the powerful flames of temptation for a former lover that still bubbles and burns. In a few short weeks with her dying friend, who faces death with dignity, she stands tall in the sunlight of her sobriety. During her time with Timothy, Delia relives a 12 year journey through life, death, and recovery, one page at a time.

The unlikely cast of characters who emerge from the depths of addiction into the sunlight of recovery are strikingly real. including Delia, Timothy, Simon, Clara, James, Rafael, Joan, Hap, Matt, and the predictably unpredictable Zodiac. They go their separate ways after treatment, only to be reunited by Timothy’s death, which turns into a celebration of sobriety and a tribute to treatment and recovery. It’s a novel about recovery, but it’s so much more.  It’s a novel about AIDS, but it’s so much more. It’s about death, but more about life. Beachglass is a story of meeting life on life’s terms. It’s about love long lost, but ever remembered, and truly honored simply for what it was and what it will always be. It is about temptation and truth, as a young recovering addict deals with her demons past and present with compassionate guidance from her ever-accepting sponsor.

Ms. Blackburn gives the reader an intimate look inside the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, behind the walls of treatment, and into recovery, the bright side of addiction, where miracles happen. And Beachglass is filled with miracles. It’s one of the most poignant portrayals of recovery that I have ever read, and a remarkable vehicle for those who seek to know more about addiction. It’s a sharing of experience, strength and hope, which resounds with acceptance, strength and wisdom overflowing with raw pain and unconditional love, and with rage and compassion, as memories and dreams collide. It’s written with a tapestry of magical colors that blend into the fabric of life and love, of growth and perseverance, of not just surviving, but thriving. It’s all about letting go and gathering in, it’s about breathing and not breathing.For those who wonder what happens in a treatment center and the months and years thereafter, this book is a true portrait of courage, strength and hope. If you are in recovery, you’ll find your friends here. If you suffer from AIDS you will recognize a care giver’s comfort, compassion and unconditional love. If you are affected by neither you will profoundly understand both better.

Ms. Blackburn takes the reader on a roller coaster of raw emotions that catches fire and spreads with the winds of change. It will tear at your heart, slit it open and then gently heal it with incredible richness and tenderness. The book becomes its own exquisite piece of beachglass, washed up on the shores of time, with incredibly soft edges. Beachglass is not just for those interested in the subject of addiction, it’s for everyone who loves a powerful story, colorful characters, a believably solid plot and absolutely delicious writing."

Neil Scott, Producer/Host Recovery Coast to Coast: a nightly 2 hour radio talk show—online at www.recoverycoasttocoast.com and on air in the Puget Sound area on 1590 AM

"Beachglass, each piece uniquely shaped and polished by waves and sand, typically begins as ordinary bottle shards. Delia, an alcoholic 12 years sober, leaves her husband and two-year-old daughter to honor her decade-old promise to Timothy, a dear friend she made in AA, to help him through his last days of fever-spawned headaches and bone ache from pneumonia due to AIDS. Although her journey is only from Seattle to L.A., and husband Simon attempts to smooth her way by taking a sabbatical and relying on grandparents for backup child care, Delia is anguished by separation from her little girl, who speaks toddler-talk to her daily on the phone, as well as by fright when she learns that Timothy's T-cell count is only 50. She fears "silently slipping through a crack somewhere, never to be seen again." Her beloved friend's dying reflects parts of herself that she must give up to accept what he has left her: a few paintings, a wingback chair, his moccasins, and an unbreakable bond. A richly poignant first novel." —Booklist, Whitney Scott         
Wendy Blackburn has been a chemical dependency counselor since 1992.  She lives with her family in a small town just outside of Seattle, Washington. This is her first novel.