Tristant and Elijah – OFFICIALLY RELEASED!

So excited! Tristant and Elijah has officially been released everywhere and so far the reviews are great! Head on over to the reviews section of the page to see more, but here’s a few excerpts!

I truly loved the supportive role that Tristant played for Elijah in his journey. Elijah’s anguish, and Tristant’s empathy and kindness are palpable. These two are really tender boys–and I’m glad that they found each other. – Veronica from V’s Reads

 

I found the story to be relevant and one we can all relate to. Many of us have had the experience of having a crush on someone we cannot have. – Amos Lassen

 

Have you read Tristant and Elijah? Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Review: Kings of Ruin by Sam Cameron

Danny Kelly cares only for rock ‘n’ roll and fast cars. Too bad he’s stuck in the capital of country music and he’s banned from driving until he turns twenty-one. Plus he likes other boys, a secret that he’s vowed to keep until he graduates high school. When his stepdad’s new truck roars off on its own, Danny discovers a secret that is endangering cars and drivers across America. It almost kills Danny, too, until he’s saved by seventeen-year-old Kevin Clark. Kevin’s gay, handsome, and confident, but working with his dad’s secret government organization has left him lonely. It’s going to take a weekend of car chases, fiery explosions, and country-western singing to save the citizens of Nashville from certain death—but can Danny protect his heart and secrets as well?

Okay, so this book doesn’t come out until March, but I received a copy to review from NetGalley. I love Sam Cameron’s YA series Fisher Key Adventures, and just like those books, this one does not disappoint.

This book has definite science fiction elements. The Ruins are a sort of alien being that come and enter engines to take over them. The Kings are the biggest Ruins and are set on having fun and do not care about destruction.

I loved the characters, both human and Ruin. Danny is a great character because he’s flawed but trying to do his best. He is gay, but he so desperately wants to hide that part of him. When things get strange and he meets Kevin, who is open about his sexuality, he almost blows his chance at something.

The author included great non-human characters. Even though they didn’t speak and weren’t on the page for long, I completely fell for FIREBUG, 2KEWLE, and CHOPR. These Ruins were tiny and had very human reactions to what went on around them. I hope this series is going to be a sequel because I want to see them again.

The book is filled with action and drama, both real and science fiction based. It might be the book that bridges the gap for some kids who aren’t sure if they like science fiction novels. This is definitely a book worth having on your YA shelf!

The book will be released on March 18, 2013. You can preorder your copy from Bold Strokes Books. 

Provincetown – Women’s Week Report

This past weekend I had the most amazing opportunity to attend Women’s Week in Provincetown, MA. My publisher, Bold Strokes Books, had panels and book signings. Though I wasn’t able to attend for the entire week, I did go up late on Friday after work and stayed through Sunday. What a weekend!

This was my first time in Provincetown, and I honestly can say I cannot wait to go back. I will most definitely be attending next year if it is in my power to do so. It was great to meet the other authors and readers. One of my former students attended with her two moms, and hanging out with them was such a blast!

Day One

Driving to Ptown was a bit of a haul. I left right after school on Friday and arrived after seven. There was a little traffic, but it wasn’t bad. It was my first time driving alone for that long. It was also my first time going through a toll booth on my own! Haha, boring to many but exciting for me. Once I got to the hotel I checked in – another first for me on my own – and got my room. It was so comfortable! I had a balcony which I didn’t use, but it was nice nevertheless.

I am glad that I didn’t decide to walk on the beach that night I arrived. Harbor Hotel was literally on the ocean. I thought I could cross the rocks and end up on the beach…but that wasn’t the case as I found out the next morning! I would have been going for a swim!

That night I met Barbara Ann Wright, whom I have been stalking on the internet since we both received our contracts from BSB. It was great! She joined me for dinner and we chatted about what I had missed. It was great fun! I finally turned in for bed rather early – after cranking the heat in my frigid room – and crashed for the evening.

Day Two

Not going to lie, I slept in. My bed was so comfortable! I didn’t want to get up, but I did. I met up with Barbara and we walked into the center of Ptown to meet up with my former student and her moms who came up for the event. The walk in was a bit long, but the day was perfect and I enjoyed seeing everything. I got a mocha at Wired Puppy which is a great cafe! While there I met Toni Whitaker, who also works for BSB. After running into the kiddo and her parents we wandered around and shopped.

There’s this great, small used bookstore in Ptown. You have to enter this gate and go down a long walkway, but I loved it! There are quite a few nice books in there, and the LGBT fiction section is quite large, especially compared to the used bookstore I go to. I picked up three books that I loved as ebooks and was thrilled to find in paperback, such as Erastes’s Frost Fair, J.L. Langley’s The Broken H and an anthology I don’t have with Ally Blue in it. I’ve read them all and have them as ebooks, but I enjoyed them so much I’ve wanted them for my bookshelf for years.

The panel I participated in at Gabriel’s was excellent. Carsen Taite moderated, and with me was MJ Williamz, Barbara Ann Wright, Shelley Thrasher, Ali Vali, and Lee Lynch. It was such an honor to be with not only new writers, but accomplished authors like Lee Lynch. Carsen Taite was our moderator, and she asked great questions and was funny, which helped my anxiety!

It had very humorous moments, too. MJ read a rather racy scene from the novel, and my former student is not quite reading those scenes yet, and she turned bright red. All the authors teased her, but it was all in good fun! She has a great sense of humor.

Afterwards we had a signing at Recovering Hearts, which is a wonderful shop. I got to meet more of the authors that I hadn’t met yet, and bought books from everyone that had read on the panel before mine. My student meeting those authors was quite the experience for her, too, as she wants to be a published author as well.

I’ve only signed twice before on my own, and it was fun to work with other authors. For me it was a great experience, too, because it allowed me to see how they interact with readers.

From left to right: MJ Williamz, Ali Vali, Shelley Thrasher, Barbara Ann Wright, and me! Missing from the photo: Lee Lynch

After the signing was wandering, shopping, exploring Ptown, and then dinner.

The following day was just shopping around some more before heading home. I checked out of the hotel and wandered. Got more coffee at Wired Puppy, too!

Overall the trip was fantastic. I cannot wait to go again!

Who wouldn't want to go back to this?

Book Review: Mesmerized by David-Matthew Barnes

First off, whoa. I hope you’re ready for an emotional ride with this book. It packs a punch that will leave you breathless, giddy, and full of hope.

If I wasn’t already fairly close to my siblings, this book would have me reaching out to them in a heartbeat. In fact, even though we are close, I almost put the book down to go hang out with them.

Serena is a high school senior who, before the start of the book, loses her brother to a hate crime. He is brutally murdered and left in the gutter because he’s gay. At the start of the book, Serena knows virtually nothing about who he was, and her parents are stuck in a catatonic state.

Through a series of events that can only be described as fate, Serena befriends hot boy Brodie and they meet Lance. Because of these meetings, Serena starts to learn more about the brother she had, and wishes more than anything she could have him back to talk to him.

My heart broke throughout the book for Serena and her family. Seeing her suffering from the loss was painful, but at the same time, watching the love of Brodie and Lance unfold through her eyes was beautiful. I could feel how intense it was by the words the author uses to describe their looks, their movements, and every other last detail.

Secrets are revealed throught the book, and I won’t ruin them here, but let’s just say I stayed up very late to finish it. I just couldn’t go to sleep without knowing what happened. In the end, Serena finds the courage to confront her brother’s killer with the help of her brother’s best friend, boyfriend, and her mother.

Also, the ending scenes with The Showdown? I would pay seriously good money to see this as a movie because of that scene. Barnes chose the PERFECT song for the dance sequence, and it was running through my head throughout it. So beautiful.

Do yourself a favor. Get this book. Read it. And then go hang out with your siblings and get to know who they REALLY are.

Mesmerized is available for purchase on the Bold Strokes Books website, or through Amazon.

Book Review: Boys of Summer, edited by Steve Berman

Boys of Summer is the perfect collection of short stories for a hot summer day. After reading it – particularly the last story, “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorry, Blood for Joy,” I had the strongest urge to go swimming in the ocean.

Sadly, a pool had to suffice.

Each story looks at different aspects of summer: vacationing, working, reminiscing on school. You name it. But the one thing they all have in common? Cute gay boys looking for love.

“Bark If You Like Boys” by Sam Cameron features some characters that may be familiar to readers if they have read the authors book Mystery of the Tempest. Denny Anderson, one of the twins, has a short role.

I loved the first story in the collection, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Swamp Thing.” It reminded me of being in Maine with my family. I liked both characters, Shane and Chase, and wish there was a full-length novel with their story. Chase is socially awkward in a way because of his love for amphibians, and Shane desperately wants to fit in. Who doesn’t know that feeling? In the end, as unlikely as it may seem, the two hit it off and discover they have other things in common.

The book is a fast read because of the short nature of the stories. It’s just enough to read one while sitting in the hot summer sun, sip on iced tea, and then go for a dip in the pool or inside to cool off before reading another one. Or you can just read them in one go.

Boys of Summer is available for sale through the Bold Strokes Books website or through Amazon.