Alex Arrelia

Writer Reader Wiseass



"...When you cobble together enough flaws, it loops back around and becomes charming.

I'm like the dive bar of people."


Alex Arrelia is a genre fiction writer living on the west end of Toronto.

She’s spent over a decade in the city that she loves, and it’s shapeshifting neon-drenched sprawl provides the backdrop for stories about marginalization, human connection, and the search for identity.

When she’s not writing, she works nine-to-five as a graphic designer, spends too much money on tattoos and lives with a black, fuzzy house-demon named Dax.




Detective Jesse Reid lived for danger and excitement.

Until she got shot.

She’s spent bedridden-months chomping at the bit to get back into the field, and gets her chance when an old informant winds up at Toronto Western hospital. Using her sharp tongue, one-of-the-boys charm and a bottle of peroxide, Jesse infiltrates a west end autobody shop to investigate the Carroll crime family.

When an unlikely ally's act of heroism ends with blood on the shop floor, Jesse has to choose between going on the run with a criminal she doesn't trust, or upholding the law after her faith in it has been shattered. Cops, mob bosses and skinhead bikers close in, and the only person who has her back is a man she can't count on to do anything but break her heart.

Darkly comic and completely engrossing, Cartoon-Heart-Red is an exploration of navigating masculine spaces as a woman — with all the allure and danger that entails—and the emotional toll of being a 'real man'.

Read the Excerpt

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