XZA: A Novel

General Fiction

By Cassandra Leuthold

Publisher : Green Hill Press

ABOUT Cassandra Leuthold

Cassandra Leuthold
Cassandra started creating outside-the-box, character-driven stories in second grade.  Over twenty years later, she continues to combine what most people think of as opposites: the magical and the everyday, the modern and the vintage, the darkest recesses of the mind and the greatest heig More...



Sometimes, you have to let go of the past.

Sometimes, you have to let go of the present.


Xan Alexander likes keeping her private life a secret.  She hides her name behind her initials, XZA, when she writes her books.  She has never shared the family tragedy that has guided her choices for twenty years – until now.  Opening up to book reviewer Michael Singer during an interview was meant to be a door easily shut.  But Michael wants more than the fling Xan tries to brush off, and giving in will change both of them forever.


College student Jessie Taylor is overdue for a change.  When her old friend, Willa, gives her one of XZA’s novels as a birthday present, it sparks more problems than Jessie anticipates.  Her classes seem boring by comparison, she jumps through hoops to hide the controversial titles from her parents, and she’s eager to catch up to Willa’s knowledge of XZA’s stories.  Looming over everything is the biggest problem Jessie hasn’t been able to shake: her aptly named boyfriend, Dick.


XZA: A Novel contains excerpts from Xan’s three books.

"Leuthold’s debut novel explores the lives and loves of an author and one of her devoted readers... Jessie provides an intriguing foil for Xan; although they’re at different stages in their lives, both question why they’re staying in their respective relationships... Leuthold’s insights into the transformative power of literature keep the narrative from becoming predictable." - Kirkus Reviews