Tag Archives: young adult

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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Release Blitz: The New Next One by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

The New Next One | Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

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Publisher: Wainscott Press

Release Date: January 22, 2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 20,000 words

Buy Link: Amazon

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Blurb

How much are you willing to give up for the man you love?

Best friends Nick Johnson and Tyler Jensen seem to have the world by the tail. The eighteen-year-old stars of their school’s hockey team are looking forward to playing in college and hoping for careers with the pros.

Nick and Tyler know a lot about each other, but there are a few important details they haven’t discussed. To start with, neither man knows the other is gay. Making things interesting, Nick has a massive crush on Tyler, something he’s kept to himself for a long time. And although he’s never said a word about it, Tyler has wanted to date Nick since they met.

On a cold Minnesota night after a big win, Tyler finds the courage to confess his feelings to Nick. When Nick admits his attraction to Tyler, their relationship turns on a dime. As they fall in love, they skate around the challenges of a secret romance in an all-male boarding school, but what will happen when the stakes rise dramatically in a sport not known for being gay-friendly? Will Nick and Tyler make the easy choice or the hard one?

The New Next One is a 20,000-word, new adult, friends-to-lovers romance featuring young athletes, plenty of steam, and a lot of emotion. The events of this book precede those told in the authors’ book Nice Catching You.

Excerpt

The two of us bundled up and walked south along the lakeshore. We talked about different things—school, what was going on in the NHL, and the big celebration of our championship that would happen the next week when everyone was back on campus. Ty reached for my hand after we passed the cabin. Even with both of us wearing mittens, it felt incredibly good to be out walking on a beautiful day, openly showing affection with my boyfriend. By the time you’re eighteen, holding hands with somebody you’re dating probably doesn’t seem exciting to most people; for me, it was huge, and I wanted to shout out loud. Instead, I pulled us to a stop and kissed him.

Afterward, he tweaked my nose. “I know everybody we play against thinks you’re a real bastard, but you’re actually a sweetheart.”

I gave it right back to him. “They all think you’re a bastard too. Haven’t decided where I stand on that.”

“What do you mean?” He turned his head to the side, looking very cute with tufts of hair sticking out from under his Penguins beanie. “I’ve always been nice to you.”

“I guess so.” I gave him another peck. “Why’d you make me wait all these years?”

I made you wait? Hell, I’m the one who finally worked up enough courage to do something about it.”

Turning him loose, I backhanded his arm and made a silly face. “I guess I’m glad about that.”

His jaw fell into an open-mouthed smile, and he shook his head. “Every man for himself, Johnson!”

He took off running, and I laughed hard as he bent over to pick up a fistful of snow. Quickly shaping it into a ball, he threw it at me and missed by a mile.

“You throw like a girl, Jensie!” I followed that up with a snowball of my own, hitting him in the middle of the chest.

“That’s it, you’re really gonna get it now!”

An epic snowball fight followed as we whooped and hollered, tossing chirps back and forth almost as fast as we volleyed snowballs. We worked our way into the woods as we ran. Ty was a good shot, and we played like little boys on recess after a hard morning at school. When we were both covered with snow and out of breath, Tyler stared at me until my heart raced with anticipation. Finally, he broke into a run. His hug was bone-crushing, and the hungry kisses were messy and delicious. The moment was all fire and promise, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the dorm. He pulled away from my mouth and mumbled, “You’re the most beautiful thing I ever saw, Nick.”

I huffed in cold air while my heart tried to hammer through my ribcage. “Not as beautiful as you.” I pulled him closer for a slow, deep kiss, and when that finally broke, he got a naughty gleam in his eye.

“We’re already covered with snow, so—” He pushed hard, and I tumbled backward into a snowbank. He jumped on top of me, and we wrestled around, making out while we laughed and played. My scarf slipped out of place, and Ty kissed my throat over and over, making me as hard as one of the trees surrounding us. After more rolling around, I was on top, and we lay humping in the snow. We had on heavy parkas, and it was too cold to take off any clothes, so our game was destined to end in frustration. All the better for a mind-blowing first time later that night.

We’d long since removed our mittens, and when we stilled, I wiped some snow off his cheek. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve never felt this way before.”

“Nothing’s wrong, Nick. Everything’s right for once. We’ve got each other.”

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About the Authors

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd.

Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Instagram | BookBub

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Audio Tour: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton & Narrated by Tristan Josiah

Boy Shattered | Eli Easton & Narrated by Tristan Josiah

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Release Date: November 16th, 2020

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Blurb

Brian

You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.

I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others.

Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?

Landon

Will you kiss me?

When I came across Brian Marshall, the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind.

He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

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Excerpt

“Yup.” I almost said bullet dodged. But the words stuck in my throat. You don’t realize how many idioms have to do with guns or being shot until you’ve, well, been shot. Stupid English language.

Landon’s gaze kept meeting mine, then he’d look away again, then he’d look back into my eyes.

I grabbed the top of the railing and twisted my hands around it, just to keep from reaching out for him. God, I’d missed him. We’d been spending so much time together, it felt unnatural being apart. Like missing a limb. But now that we were together, there was a tension between us that was almost unbearable.

Unbearable. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

I knew what I wanted, but it was complicated. It was like the potential thing between us was a polyhedron in shape. No matter what angle I tried to approach it from, there were all these pointy bits that looked dangerous. Would he want to be with me if I was closeted? Was it rude to even suggest such a half-assed deal? What if it screwed up our friendship?

Did he want me as much as I wanted him? ’Cause I did want him. So much it hurt. I looked at him, and I’d never seen anyone so breathtakingly beautiful in my life.

“What?” Landon asked with a puzzled smile.

“Nothing.”

He cleared his throat and took out his phone. Probably checking his Twitter account.

“More new followers?”

He put the phone away guiltily. “Sorry. Just feeling restless.”

“I don’t mind.”

“No, I wanna be with you. I spend too much time on that thing anyway.” His Adam’s apple bobbed after he said it, like he’d given too much away, crossed a line. There was an embarrassed spark in his eyes and an anxious lick of his lips that told me he was as nervous as I was.

This wasn’t flirting. It was, like, denial of flirting. Antiflirting. Which was much more telling, really. I was disconcerting Landon Hughes. Now that was something.

I leaned into him slowly, coat arm to coat arm. He tensed instead of pulling away, so he could hold me up. I turned my head to look at him and gave him a slow smile.

“What?” he said, his gaze darting to mine for just a moment.

“You’re warm.”

He chuckled nervously. Then he looked at me for real. His brow furrowed. He brought up his hand, cold without a glove, and brushed his thumb under my eyes. “Not sleeping again?”

“Cousins,” I lied. “Stayed up too late.”

“Ah.”

I went to pull his hand down, because I was tired of being the invalid. I wanted him to touch me, but not like that. I would have held on to his hand too. But he moved before I could, stepping back. “I’m freezing my butt off. Wanna go back?”

“Wimp.”

“You know it. I prefer my balls room temperature.”

I laughed. “Oh really?”

“Shut up.” Landon smirked.

He shoved me, and I shoved him, and we went back to his house.

Part of Brian's Poem 1

About the Author

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Coming from a background in computer game design, Eli has written over 35 books in MM romance since 2013. The Mating of Michael (2014) and A Second Harvest (2016) both won The William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance, and Eli’s books have won many awards from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

She is best known for her Christmas romances, the Howl at the Moon series of rom coms featuring dog shifters, and her Sex in Seattle series, which revolves around a sex clinic in Seattle.

Social Media

www.elieaston.com

Facebook: Eli Easton

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/164054884188096

Twitter: @elieaston

Giveaway

To celebrate the audio release of Boy Shattered, Eli is giving away an Audible Code for her other YA Story, Superhero.

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