Hello, my awesome readers and followers and friends, and welcome to my blog.
Today is a big day for Casey, Zander, Nate, and me. Today I am revealing the POWERFUL cover to the second portion of their story, which now has an OFFICAL NAME—The One Voice Series. (Yes, there will be a book 3!!)
In the YA romance where the story began, Us Three, the boys forged a cautious bond as they together overcame vicious high school bullying of Casey.
In the New Adult book 2, Here Without You, the three young men take tentative steps onto their future paths. Casey and Zander together head in the direction of college, and Nate remains behind in New Hampshire to protect his younger sister from their volatile uncle. And on his own, Nate suffers with beatings resultant of his uncle’s violent outbursts and his ensuing depression.
The name of a 3 Doors Down song inspired this title. This is an intense and powerful song of loneliness that refuses to release the listener from the dark pain of the vocalist’s struggle to endure his life alone.
I’m here without you, baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you, baby
But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight it’s only you and me, yeah.
In the very same way, the Dan Skinner photograph that is the focus of Paul Richmond’s cover design, illustrates the passion and urgency of the rare moments the three can be together.
I hope you all participate in today’s rafflecopter challenge! Leave me a comment, and anything goes—your impressions of my new cover or your thoughts on Us Three or your hopes for Here Without You, or surprise me with something else entirely—and you will be entered to win!!
BLURB: With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward in life. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as he battles what he wants against what he feels he must do.
Now separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. However, they’re each faced with their own separate issues. Casey must cope with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the new gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. Nate fights for his sister’s very survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally, as happens in long distance relationships.
Nate’s futile effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which blasts Nate, Casey, and Zander apart. Can the three young men find their way back to a united path before it’s too late?
EXCERPT: WHEN WE got to my house, my mother came and took the twins inside, and Zander and I waited in the driveway for Nate. I felt like a groom waiting for his bride. Except there were two grooms waiting for Nate, who was another groom. When Nate’s truck finally pulled in, we managed to keep our cool until Cindy went inside. The second Nate came around the truck, though, we kind of attacked each other.
Zander and I pressed our bodies to either side of his chest, and I was only satisfied when I felt his arm come down around my shoulder.
“You guys. What the fuck’re ya doin’ here, huh?” Nate sounded dazed.
Zander replied quickly. “Our family comes first. The three of us being together is the most important thing.”
I was glad that Zander had responded with such conviction. It proved to me that he understood what was truly important—that he had his priorities set correctly. I added, “We didn’t want to be away from you for a weekend, and we figured, as long as we study while we’re here, we can spend the weekend with our favorite people.”
“I might have to take over nail-paintin’ duties with your little sisters for ya, Casey. Y’know. So you can do your studyin’.”
“You aren’t going to have to be a manicurist this weekend.” I couldn’t help teasing him. “Your sister is staying with us too. She told me she loves painting nails. She even brought her own kit, with stickers and jewels. Lola and Sarah are going to be in manicure heaven.”
“But wait, Zander.” Nate pushed us both back. “You can’t miss your One Voice meetin’ on Sunday night.”
Zander looked up at Nate’s stricken face. I was pretty sure he realized, at that moment, just how important his goals were to Nate. Zander looked at me, his eyes wide and maybe a touch guilty. Then he spoke to Nate. “No worries, man, I’m not gonna miss the meeting. We’ll leave Sunday afternoon in time to get to One Voice. Unless you want us to stay later, which won’t be a problem. I can e-mail everybody and cancel, and I’ll be glad to do it.”
“No. No, Zander. I want you to get back for the meetin’. It’s important.”
Zander pulled his gaze from my face. “Not as important as we are.”
Nate bent down and kissed Zander so sweetly I thought I might burst into happy tears. Even when Nate had ended the kiss, Zander kept his face lifted toward Nate, as if he were hoping for more. And when Nate bent down and kissed my lips, softly and reverently, I allowed a couple of isolated tears to fall from my eyes. Tears of joy were nothing to be ashamed of.
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