Heather Rash (listed in the AAR annals as Heather Stanton) died suddenly last week at the age of 45. Heather wrote prolifically at AAR from 2011 to 2017. Her reviews were smart, often wonderfully snarky, and always clear. She will be missed.
If you’d like to support Heather’s family in their time of need, there’s a GoFundMe you can contribute to.)
Haley Kral, another longtime AAR reviewer, has written a tribute to Heather which we share here:
When you lose a beloved friend you think of all those descriptors of what made them who they are. The adjectives and adverbs of their being and how they touched your life. That is what I’ve been reflecting on about my friend, Heather “Stanton” Rash.
On May 4, 2021 Heather passed away suddenly, and so many that loved her were left reeling. Heather was so many things in her life. She was a reader and a reviewer, writing over 100 reviews for All About Romance from 2011-2017. She was active in the online Romance community and everyone she touched, digitally, loved her. She dreamed of being a published writer, and always had fantastic ideas for Romances she wanted to write.
Heather was an animal lover. She was active in the animal rescue scene and took in countless cats and dogs, giving her whole heart to all of them. There’s no telling how many innocent pet lives she saved. She was also a longtime vegetarian, because she couldn’t bear to harm an animal.
She was a Christian, a part of her church, and a person of deep faith who was never once judgmental of anyone who didn’t share her beliefs. She was fiercely a defender of the underdog and was a vocal supporter of social justice and equality. She was a caretaker, who gave tirelessly to those she loved that needed her.
As anyone who talked to her knew, she was laugh-out-loud funny. She had “the best memes”, to quote her, and could cheer you up any day. Even as she struggled with her health, and the stressors of her life, she brought joy to those she interacted with online and in person.
She was a listener, both to friends in need and podcasts. If you asked her for a podcast recommendation, she could give you ten. Her speciality was True Crime, and if you named any murder case to her, she could tell you which episode of what show to listen to about it.
For me personally, she was my person, when it came to the online Romance community. We messaged daily going back to at least 2014. She cheered me on when I ventured into writing Romance, fell in love in real life, and faced seven years of life events as her friend. She also liked every tweet I ever posted, no matter how silly. I am completely bereft at the thought she will no longer be waiting on the other side of the screen, and my last message to her will never get a reply. We planned to one day meet up at an RWA conference, and just never got the chance, something I’ll always regret.
More than anything, Heather was a light in the world. A bright spirit, a true friend, and a giving heart rarely seen. She is survived by her mother, Dixie, her sister, and a network of friends far and wide that will miss her more than words can say.
Here are just a few of Heather’s reviews. May she rest in peace and her family and friends find comfort in their memories.
Home Sweet Home by Bella Riley
In the Company of Witches by Joey W. Hill
To Tempt an Irish Rogue by Katlin O’Reilly
Caught in the Act by Jill Sorenson
The Good Fight by Julianna Keyes
Come to Me Softly by A. L. Jackson