Tag Archives: YA

Blog Tour: Dead Sea by Mia Kerick

Dead Sea | Mia Kerick

Story Ballads #2

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Release Date: March 3rd, 2021

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Blurb

He risks his life and finds his heart.

Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.
Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.
When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.

After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows, the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.

All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic loser in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. Through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.

Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.

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Excerpt

Kyle

The coconut-head sinks into the waves and stays gone. My guts squeeze as I wait for it to pop up again. It’s like I give a crap or something, Gramps. I hold my breath, seeing as this shit is real—the life-or-death kind of real. When the head breaks the surface, a lungful of air shoots out of my mouth. It’s got to be relief. You tell me, old man—what the hell else could it be?

The current drags me out, like ten feet a second. When I’m close enough to check out his face, it’s one I’ve seen before at school. This kid’s a complete nobody.

Grampa’s ghost is still hovering in the air in front of me. Weathered skin, twisted lips, crinkled eyes, and a bumpy nose from getting broke too many times to count. All framed by two frizzy mops of gray—one sticking straight up off the top of his head and the other hanging from his chin. Yup. I can actually see him, and he looks real good to my scared and lonely eyes. What’s even better is he’s barking at me the way he used to. Riskin’ your life to save a boy you hardly even know, Kyle? A damn fool, you are.”

Like always, Grampa’s right. I don’t give a crap about the kid flailing around in the water, just a couple feet away. He’s mostly drowned already and seems pretty much cool with it. I’m risking my ass to save a half-dead nobody who’s got zero balls.

But sometimes you can’t go back.

Your mama will string you up by your toenails for pullin’ this crap, if the ocean don’t finish you off first. That right there’s a fact too. Even if Mom’s not too wild about yours truly, she’d lecture the hell out of me. Like, blah, blah, blah—funerals aren’t cheap.

The thing is, my ass is getting washed out to sea, and all I care about is making my way to that kid. Yup, I’m all in to saving the dude, even though it’d be easier to do a flip turn and swim away. And when it comes to riptides, you’ve got to go with the flow—only a damn fool would try to fight the ocean. It’s stronger than twenty of me, and I know this the way I know any other fact of life. Like Jesus is Lord, and I’m never gonna meet Him because, as Mom always says, Kyle, you’re on a fast track to a very hot place.

I take a good long look at nobody over there. But he’s got an actual name: Zip-lip Lenny Dubinski. From pre-calc and the geography elective I took so I’d have enough credits to graduate. A wave hits me full in the face. It shocks and stings like last night when Mom slapped me silly.

I sink again. Even so, I know better than to struggle. I don’t fight the tide’s drag or the oh-crap-I’m-dead feeling, like when you’re the only eighth grader at a high school kegger. And I speak from experience.

Let Mother Nature have her way with you, boy. Sounds like way more fun than it is, still, it’s what Grampa always told me to do if my ass ever got caught in a riptide. Like right now.

What’s most screwed up about this whole scene is that Zip-lip hasn’t lifted an arm to flag down nobody on shore to help him. And he’s got to be desperate, knowing he’s dying and all. He hasn’t even cried out for help. Then, everybody says he can’t make a sound.

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About the Author

miakerick

Award-winning gay romance author, Mia Kerick, knows that a satisfying romance novel is riddled with challenges. For true love to prevail, the leading men are gonna have to put in some effort. But the HEA is oh-so rewarding.

Mia has a great affinity for the damaged teenage soul in literature. Her YA gay contemporary romance focuses on such tropes as hurt/comfort and dark secrets that keep them apart. In Kerick’s books, the course of true love never does run smooth.

Mia’s books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine. They have won a 2019 IPPY GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, a 2018 YA GOLD MOONBEAM Children’s Book Award, a YA Readers’ Favorite Award, several Gold Rainbow Awards in YA and adult categories, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, a YA Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award, and more.

Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/miakerick/

Twitter: @MiaKerick

https://www.miakerickya.com

https://www.miakerick.com

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Dead Sea, Mia is giving away a $15 Amazon Voucher!

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Blog Tour: graphic noiz 3 by Natsuya Uesugi

graphic noiz 3 | Natsuya Uesugi

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Release Date: December 31st, 2020

Buy Links:

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Noiz (Wolf Tadashi Begay) is anxious as he gets involved in the New York City manga artist community who teases him calling him “Gaijin.” The community says he is not “Japanese enough” to be a mangaka while New Yorker’s say he doesn’t “act Black enough.”

Having grown up in Japan and on the Reservation after his parents died, his childhood trauma causes Noiz to doubt himself and his talents going on a journey of self-discovery as he navigates being an artist, coming out as gay, and being Hafu (half Japanese and half Native American). He finds he doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Turning to Shiro Ijima, the famous Japanese SF writer who initially insults him, the aloof writer uses his own sordid past as a mangaka who was abused by his narcissistic mentor to help Noiz accept that being different does not mean inferior but unique.

Series Blurb

Year old raving otaku and anime fanatic, Noiz a indie manga artist, fresh out of art school with a two-year degree. Creator of his original SF manga, Disaster Code, he is eager to show off his first finished volume at New York Comic Convention.

Discouraged when no one stops by his table, he is intrigued when famous former manga artist, Shiro Ijima, author of the bestselling SF Fissure novels, is showcasing his latest book at the con. When Noiz notices Shiro at his table and compliments his art, a chain of events that leads Shiro’s agent Keita to inquire if Noiz is available to work on Shiro’s new property.

Keita asks Noiz to illustrate Shiro’s new Fissure manga and the game of cat and mouse as Shiro leads Noiz on flirting with him in a seductive and manipulated game starts roping Noiz in hard. It’s all about the contract, but Shiro has other things in mind?

AUTHOR PIC - graphic noiz 3 - Natsuya Uesugi

About The Author

An award-nominated writer and manga artist with a BA degree in English, a minor in Japanese, an art degree in animation, and an MBA in International Management, certificate in Social Engineering and multiple awards for articles on Net Neutrality, Privacy, LGBT Youth Homelessness, Cybersecurity and Cyberbullying, Natsuya is writing his dream of showcasing fictional minority characters in positions of power.

Of Multi-cultural Mixed heritage,, he sees life through the lens of challenge, marginalization, personal power and systemic marginalization of QPoC minority voices that are often silenced and invisible in mainstream literature, film, and comics.

Focused on bringing stories of empowerment, truth, triumph and hope against insurmountable odds, Natsuya uses fiction, fantasy, and yaoi to spread his positive message encouraging young people to live their truth and dare to be their genuine selves. His stories, lauded for bringing visibility featuring Queer People of Colour, showcase the power of a multicultural viewpoint and the power of daring to pen diverse, real world fiction fostering the complex aesthetic of #OwnVoices realness, beauty, and truth.

Social Media

Author Website: https://www.natsukoarts.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://m.facebook.com/natsuya.uesugi

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://m.facebook.com/graphicnoiz/

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/natsuya_uesugi

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/natsuyauesugi

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4558587.Natsuya_Uesugi

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/tag/natsuya-uesugi/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Natsuya-Uesugi/e/B00J6EDQQ6

Giveaway

Natsuya is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour:

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Blog Tour: The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow by Jeff Jacobson

The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow | Jeff Jacobson

Broom Closet Stories #3

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Release Date: December 7th, 2020

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN

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Blurb

What If an Evil Witch Was Controlling Your Thoughts Without You Knowing?

Soon after being whisked away to Seattle to live with an aunt and uncle he barely knew, Charlie Creevey learned that he hailed from a family of witches. After settling into this unfamiliar life, his feelings toward his new friend Diego Ramirez began to grow into something more serious. And if that wasn’t enough, he failed to stop the nefarious witch Grace and her cohort from using the dreaded deathcraft and killing his mentor Malcolm.

In Book 3 of this riveting series, Charlie discovers that Grace has gone into hiding and is acting behind the scenes. Able to influence minds in ways that were previously unheard of in the witching world, Grace compels Charlie to unwittingly do things like taking on the bullies at Puget Academy and lying to his family. The more Charlie believes he is acting of his own accord, the more Grace secretly rebuilds her strength and plots her comeback.

Will Charlie ever be able to overcome Grace and her coven? Or is Charlie destined to live life as a gay teen witch, shrouded by the evil veil of the deathcraft? And can he ever share his secret with Diego—or will he have to keep his identity as a witch hidden in the broom closet forever?

Find out in The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow.

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Excerpt

With a shrug, Diego set the tray down on the coffee table and sat down next to Charlie, who leaned into the taller boy’s warmth.

“That,” said Diego, looking about in wonder as he draped his arm over Charlie’s shoulder, “was epic. That was the most epic party I’ve ever been to.”

Amos came walking into the living room and pushed on Randall’s arm, indicating that he was ready to be petted.

“Are you glad they’re all gone, boy?” asked Charlie’s uncle. In reply, Amos’s tail thumped the floor, and the groan of pleasure that escaped his throat seemed answer enough as he leaned into Randall’s hand.

“I’m glad you liked it, Diego,” said Beverly. She held a mug of tea in her hand. The expression on her face seemed to be a mix of wistfulness and pleasure—or maybe something else. Charlie often couldn’t tell with Beverly.

“I thought that the trick-or-treaters would never end,” said Randall, shaking his head. “I worried we’d run out of candy. Just when you thought it was over—”

Amos barked once, sharp, then ran over to the north-facing wall, looking up at the small picture window high up near the ceiling, wagging his tail.

A yellow cat sat on a bare tree branch, peering down at the people in the living room as if holding court.

“Holy feline, that scared the crap out of me!” shouted Diego, clutching his chest.

Charlie snuck a glance at his aunt and raised his eyebrows. Was that a cat from the network? Or just some stray prowling around on the trees out front?

The slight shrug of her shoulders and the way she narrowed her eyes told Charlie she didn’t know.

The doorbell rang.

Amos barked again, then ran over to the front door. Randall and Diego jumped.

“I’m gonna have a heart attack!” Diego declared.

Charlie and Beverly looked first at the front door, then back at each other.

“Who the hell could that be?” asked Randall, starting to stand up. “Even the older kids should be done for the night.”

“Let me get it,” said Beverly, placing her hand on her husband’s knee before coming to her feet. Charlie knew it was a command, not a suggestion. Upon her secretive glance to him, he shrugged off Diego’s arm and followed his aunt to the foyer.

Two small figures stood on the front stoop, bathed in the yellow cone of light from the lamp above the door. They were dressed as ghosts, with pure white sheets stretched over their small bodies, ghoulish eye and mouth holes drawn in overly large ovals. Red droplets of paint, to mimic blood spatter, speckled their heads and upper bodies. As an added touch of the grotesque, twin ropes with frayed ends encircled their tiny necks.

Charlie’s skin prickled.

“Trick or treat!” cried the figure on the right, a boy’s voice. He couldn’t be older than five or six. The figure next to him, only an inch or two taller, stayed silent but held out an empty, plastic jack-o’-lantern. There was something demanding and greedy in its gesture.

“Oh,” said Beverly. “Hello. Isn’t it a little late for you to be out?” She craned her neck, and Charlie guessed she was looking for an adult standing beyond the front gate. The sidewalk appeared empty. “By yourselves?”

“No,” stomped the figure on the left. A girl. “We don’t have a curfew.”

Charlie watched as his aunt’s eyes widened before softening. “Well, I see. Charlie, do you think we have any leftover candy?”

“We won’t eat it. We just—” said the smaller boy.

The girl elbowed him so sharply that the boy teetered backwards. “Ow!” he shouted.

Charlie reached out and grabbed the bony shoulders of the ghost boy before he could topple off the porch, releasing his grip only when he was steady on his feet again.

“You’re not going to eat it?” asked Beverly.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Anyway, about that candy,” demanded the girl.

Something isn’t right about this, Charlie thought. But it was Halloween, right? You were supposed to give out candy to anyone who came by. Wasn’t that the unwritten rule?

He glanced up at the upper branches of the trees but could see no yellow cat.

“Charlie, wait here while I check to see if we have anything left,” said his aunt, turning around and walking back into the house.

Charlie, guessing that his aunt was up to something besides looking for leftover candy, did as he was told.

“Are you having a good time?” he asked the small figures.

The two ghosts stood still and remained silent, their black, oval eyes staring up at him—more chills over his skin. There was something downright frightening about these two little kids, standing side by side in their macabre costumes, saying nothing.

A strong gust of wind blew overhead, and the massive trees surrounding the house bowed and straightened, bowed and straightened. A car door slammed somewhere down the street, and he heard what sounded like a group of teenagers laughing and shouting.

“We just had a really big party,” he said. “Lots of people. Lots of kids.”

More awkward silence.

Charlie summoned a Word and cast it outward, double-checking that the extra-strong wards his aunt set to run the perimeter of their property were still intact.

His Word bounced back to him, healthy and intact. Nothing breached.

Now that he thought about it, that was silly. Charlie could tell that these two little kids were neither witches nor Echoes. Plus, if they had broken through the wards, Beverly wouldn’t have left him alone with them on the porch.

Then why were the hairs on the back of his neck static with electricity?

“Here we are!” said his aunt, stepping next to him on the porch. She held a small, clay bowl in her hand. In the bowl sat three ridiculously fat chocolate bars, wrapped in shiny black paper and tied with ornate orange ribbon. They definitely did not come from the trick-or-treaters’ stash they’d been using; he’d never seen them before.

“Only take one each, now,” said his aunt, leaning over and holding the bowl down at eye level with the children.

BANNER 2 - The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow

About the Series

High school life as a gay teenage witch is never easy. Ask Charlie Creevey, the boy who’s busy developing his witchcraft abilities while navigating romance with Diego Ramirez.

Forget about focusing on schoolwork, too, thanks to an evil witch and her ilk who will stop at nothing to destroy everyone around them, including Charlie and his family, for power. All he wants is some normalcy… but will Charlie ever be able to share who he really is? Or must everything remain a secret?

From paranormal adventures and a whirlwind romance, to battling evil witches and a gripping conclusion, enjoy all the thrills and excitement, in the supernatural world of the Broom Closet Stories.

AUTHOR PIC - The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow - Jeff__ Jacobson

About The Author

Jeff Jacobson was born and raised in Seattle and graduated in 1991 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., with a degree in Asian studies and a minor in Chinese language (Mandarin). He works both as a coach and a trainer of coaches, and is passionate about how evolved leadership can help transform organizations, their clients, and even the world.

The Broom Closet Series emerged from a challenge/dare after Jeff Jacobson criticized other books for how they depicted witches (“Windswept hair… spells, always in Latin…” no, no, no). The friend he made these comments to called him out on his critique, noting that the authors wrote their books, not Jacobson’s. Could he write his own witchy books? In 2008, Jacobson decided to find out.

Already top sellers on Amazon, The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight and The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Home chart teenager Charlie Creevey’s double coming out – as a young gay man, and as a witch. He lands in the hamlet of West Seattle and becomes part of the local coven, which he needs in order to fight off Grace, a murderous villain who’s killing teens to fuel her power and control. Jacobson picks up the thread yet again in The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow as Charlie’s feelings for classmate Diego Ramirez deepen, and Grace’s pitiless murders terrify and threaten the community.

Author Website: http://www.jeffjacobsonworld.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jeff.jacobson.528

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/theboywhocouldntflystraight

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theboywhocouldntflystraight/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Jacobson/e/B00FI0QO02/

Giveaway

Jeff is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner:

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