National Coming Out Day 2017!

Today is National Coming Out Day 2017! It is observed annually to raise awareness of CIVIL RIGHTS for the LGBTQ Community. I’m celebrating with the Human Rights Campaign (see below) by supporting LGBTQ EQUALITY on Facebook and Twitter. I hope to do a small part in helping to create an environment in which people can live authentically.

National Coming Out Day2017

“Coming out is one of the most courageous acts any LGBTQ person makes, and on this National Coming Out Day that courage remains essential to our continued progress toward full equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a press release today. “As LGBTQ people across the nation and around the world continue to come out, opposition to equality will continue to crumble. Sharing our stories is a key way each of us can fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality.” (ABC News)

From WIKIPEDIA….

“National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on October 11 and October 12 in some parts of the world.[1] Founded in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person.[2] The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.[3]

In more recent years, the idea of the “lesbian and gay community” has been largely subsumed into the idea of the LGBTcommunity, and the idea of “coming out” expanded to not only include the voluntary self-disclosure of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation, but also transgender, genderqueer, or other non-mainstream gender identity.[1]”

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In honor of National Coming Out Day 2017 I changed my Facebook cover photo to promote the fight for civil rights for transgender people.

TRANS RIGHTS

 

IF YOU ARE READY, SHOW THE WORLD YOUR TRUE COLORS!!!

Mia

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What’s Goin’ On…

I’m drawn to the struggle of LGBTQ individuals. I’m not LGBTQ, myself. And none of my children or close friends have confided to me that they are LGBTQ people. I am merely an ally, with no motivation other than my strong desire that all human beings enjoy the fullest scope of human rights.

The struggle of an LGBTQ person to live authentically without prejudice and fear is at the root of human existence. What is more integral to personhood than the freedom to express one’s gender as one experiences it? And then there is the question of love. Every individual deserves to love the person of his/her/their choice without the judgment or interference of others.

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Writing has long been my way of expressing my commitment to people who have been viewed, with respect to gender identity and sexuality, as nontraditional. My earliest books were gay romance, both New Adult and Young Adult. The stories often dealt with bullying and being bullied—my characters learned lessons and changed their ways and grew emotionally. I soon moved on to including YA lesbian fiction in my writing, consistently addressing serious societal social issues.

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In my most recent books, I have been drawn to the struggle of transgender individuals. My adult novel, Scarred, illustrates how twenty-one-year-old Vedie expresses his gender in a unique manner. Although he sees himself as a man, he frequently, and publicly, cross dresses when he is moved to express his more feminine qualities. However, he consistently conducts certain parts of his life in male attire. He is always Vedie, a sweet and gentle man, yet the public condemns him for his unconventional gender expression.

(Scarred has received two Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards…)

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I have several books signed to small publishers that deal with the YA transgender experience. All Boy, the story of an eighteen-year-old transgender man who relocates to a prep school far from home to complete a fifth year in high school as his true gender, is contracted to Lakewater Press for a 2018 release. My Crunchy Life, the story of a trans girl in the midst of her transition and the confused boy who falls for her, is signed to Harmony Ink Press for a 2018 release. Also signed to Harmony Ink Press is the story of a young trans teen, barely out of middle school, who suffers with gender dysphoria, social isolation, and family disapproval and ultimately attempts suicide, titled The Princess of Baker Street. This novel is due to be released in early 2019.

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In my November guest post on Alpha Book Club, I will outline All Boy. You will meet Jayden, the trans teen boy who has moved to Boston to attend prep school, and Callie, the teenage girl who falls in love with him. Callie, however, experienced a social media humiliation at her former high school that has left her unable to trust, and when their relationship is publicly tested, it doesn’t hold together well.

Also watch for my early 2018 YA release from Harmony Ink Press with co-author Raine O’Tierney, titled the Sound of Silence.

 

That’s what’s up!!

Mia ❤

 

 

 

 

TIMMY ASHTON’s BRILLIANT ARTWORK that accompanied me to EUROPRIDE CON 2017!

 

 

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I recently returned from my first experience as a keynote speaker, which took place in Berlin, Germany, at the Euro Pride Con 2017. It was an amazing and humbling experience, and I have a lot of people to thank.

Dani Elle Maas and Marc Fleischhauer, along with the awesome behind-the-scenes assistants, ran a warm and friendly, positive and educational, LGBTQ book convention. I met many fantastic new authors, fan-girled over authors I have long admired, and shared special moments with readers.

But there was something else extremely special about the book convention that will stay with me forever, and this happened in the preparation for the event. To preface this, I will admit that I was rather nervous at the prospect of writing and delivering my first keynote speech. I decided that I would speak about something everyone at the event had in common: that we are all on a life journey, and that, in fact, the journey is the destination.

I wrote about my personal journey from teacher to mother to author and then to author/e-activist, encouraging my listeners to view their journeys as their destinations. And I liked my speech, but it needed more—it needed incredible visuals to enhance its meaning. The first thing that popped into my mind to fill this need was the amazing artwork of my friend Timmy Ashton. I knew that his special brand of art would help my speech to come alive.

So I did what I do quite frequently—I contacted Cody Kennedy and asked him for help. I explained my idea about asking for Timmy’s help and he facilitated the process. He actually created a Facebook meeting place where Timmy and I could brainstorm the details and make concrete plans. Here is the cover page of our project:

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Timmy, Cody, and I got right to work discussing our visions of posters about the topic of a life journey that would enhance my speech. As it turns out, I selected ten quotations that I felt were meaningful with regard to journeys, and Timmy created amazing art to go with them.

Before he started the actual artwork, Timmy was careful to ask plenty questions to get a clear idea of what I wanted. He was concerned that the posters look perfect and polished, and he also wanted to know the dates by which I needed his work to be completed. Right away, I knew that I was working with a professional.

And Timmy immediately impressed me as he began to show me examples of the art he created. Each image was more amazing than the next, and Timmy explained how he went about creating the piece and asked me if I wanted more detail or less to express my ideas. He was so flexible with my needs, but all I could do was gawk at the unique art created by this incredibly talented teenage boy!

Timmy used a variety of techniques to make his art come alive and best meet my needs. I will describe them to the best of my ability: He painted and sketched with flair and skill, and then used other mediums, like breaking up pieces of a reflective material and gluing it on top of rainbow chalk swatches for a surreal look, creating a origami-style butterflies and attaching them to a work for a 3-D effect. He used black and white for a stark effect and then there was his use of color… Timmy used colors in ways I hadn’t even considered.

As he revealed each piece to me, I secretly shared them with my kids and Mr. Mia. I couldn’t hold back! My family could hardly believe the images that came from Timmy’s mind!

I remember when one of Timmy’s “Mia art projects” broke apart in the drying process. He had created a stained-glass type of image with actual glued-on pieces of clear plastic (described above to the best of my ability), reflecting colors he had applied beneath them. I felt terrible because Timmy felt terrible. He was so incredibly concerned and dependable, refusing to even consider letting me down.

When the ten images were completed, I felt like I had been handed the crown jewels! (Actually, how it happened–less dramatically but just as satisfying– was that Cody emailed me professional-quality images of professional-quality posters.) I took it from there and, through Vista Print, and a little technical help from my daughter, Sisi, applied the journey quotations, the names of the speakers, and TAM (Timmy’s initials) to each image.

What you are about to see are the final products. These are the images that were displayed in huge size on the wall behind me as I delivered my speech. The original intention was to display much smaller posters, but my luggage was delayed by two days, so my daughter Demi remade my Power Point so that each poster image that Timmy made was individually displayed behind me. And they were HUGE!!!!

This is the Power Point slide to which the audience entered the conference room. It is the one I referred to as I introduced my topic, and the hardship of losing all of my luggage—clothes, presentation materials, books, swag, everything—before delivering my first-ever keynote speech.

 

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And now, without further delay, here are all of the gorgeous works of art Timmy made to enhance my life is a journey keynote speech, with the quotations applied:

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I know, I know…. These posters are unbelievable. And there’s more—Timmy sent a beautiful message for me to share with the audience.

“When Mia asked me to create art for her Euro Pride Con appearance, I didn’t have words to describe how flattered I was. More importantly, the theme of the art she wanted me to create was that of a life journey. Up until the age of 12-1/2, my life journey had been fraught with physical and emotional pain. Since, my journey has changed, thanks in no small part to people like Mia. I hope you enjoy the art I made.”

I felt like I had Timmy standing right there beside me, offering his support. It really helped.

Finally, I shared Timmy’s bio, and I asked the audience, “Did you have a bio at the age of fourteen? Well, I didn’t either, but Timmy is the accomplished and talented sort of boy who does.”

Needless to say, the audience was incredibly impressed by the professionalism and talent displayed by Timmy–I heard several gasps as I displayed his amazing art. I received many comments after the speech about how meaningful the posters were to my message and how nobody could believe a person so young created the images.

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I have made an effort to thank Timmy for his incredible effort on my behalf in several ways, but none seem worthy of what he has done for me. So, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to him, and what I’d appreciate more than anything else is if you could leave comments about his posters here. Do you have a favorite? An overall impression of his work? Any thoughts about how his work impacted you? Please post whatever you have to say in the comments area. This will be a gift to me, and an acknowledgement of Timmy’s dedicated and amazing work.

 

THANK YOU for checking this out and I hope you enjoyed Timmy’s work as much as the Euro Pride Con keynote audience and I do!

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Re release of Inclination by Mia Kerick August 10, 2017

It had been on my mind for a long time… with Inclination, the story of a devout Catholic teen, Anthony Del Vecchio, who is facing the reality of his gayness, I knew I could do better. And so at the time where my contract expired with CoolDudes Publishing, and I had the options of pulling it, improving it, or leaving it as it was, I chose to make it better.

The story is important. It was inspired by my own challenge with following each and every specific rule of the Catholic Church. Realizing how difficult this situation must also be for LGBTQ youth, I did a lot of reading and research regarding the experience of LGBTQ teens who were trying to live a “Christian”  life by rejecting, or at a minimum, avoiding the topic of their sexuality. What I found disturbed me and I knew I needed to write a book that addressed this issue so that teens could read it and feel less alone in times of high anxiety.

Be prepared: Inclination delves into Scripture. For teens who are searching for assurance that they CAN be actively LGBTQ and devout, Biblical references are necessary. To provide this factual information, I conducted further research into Old Testament Biblical references and the lack of New Testament references to homosexual activity. The result is a book that is laden with facts, but fashioned around a sixteen-year-old boy with whom you can connect

To celebrate this new version of Inclination, my awesome publisher, CoolDudes Publishing, has created a beautiful new cover.

I hope you check out the new, improved Inclination when it releases on August 10th !!

❤ Mia

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I keep trying to write THAT book

I keep trying to write THAT book. A book that rides the wave of an original concept all the way up the beach to touch the dry white sand by the boardwalk. With characters who grip their

 

This is all I wanted to say.

Mia ❤

RELEASE DAY- IT COULD HAPPEN Playlist by Mia Kerick

I’ll be the first to admit it: most of my books are angsty.

I write about anguish. Troubles. Torment.

This is not a crime, as far as I know.

I write angst because it’s what I like to read. I want to feel a character’s pain. I want to earn every single bit of my happy ending.

And so, I want you, my readers, to earn your HEA. I want you to endure right along beside Henry, Brody, and Danny… and when (if) the HEA is finally in sight, I want you to lean back, sigh, and know that you (and they) worked for it.

And I like tortured heroes.

One is good.

Two is better.

Three tortured heroes, who can only be saved by each other’s love, break the bank.

And so as not to disappoint the angst-cravers among you, I have put together an emotionally devastating playlist to accompany your anguish, as you immerse yourselves in It Could Happen, my June 5th Coming-of-Age M/M/M release from Dreamspinner Press.

I hope this music makes you cry.

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I think we can all agree that the artist Vincent Van Gogh was a tortured soul. And I’ve chosen the song, “Vincent”, also known as “Starry, Starry Night”, for my character Danny, the artist and poet. Danny’s eyes know darkness; he paints it every day. And it seems to him that he suffers for sanity whenever he is separated from the two young men who know him best and can save him, Henry and Brody.

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“Vincent”

Don McLean

Starry Starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey

Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the
Darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils

Catch the breeze and the winter chills

In colors on the snowy linen land.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me

How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
They did not know how

Perhaps they’ll listen now.

~~~~~~~

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“Iris”, by the Goo Goo Dolls, is Henry’s song. Henry, who doesn’t want to world to see his deep need for two boys, Danny and Brody, is driven to find truth of himself in his lovers’ arms. In a broken world that seems to want to break him too, he must find strength to face his strictly religious family and the conservative part of society in which he is immersed, in order to be himself.

And I’d give up forever to touch you

Cause I know that you feel me somehow

You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be

And I don’t want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

Cause sooner or later it’s over

I just don’t want to miss you tonight

And I don’t want the world to see me

Cause I don’t think that they’d understand

When everything’s made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am

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~~~~~

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I chose “Jealous” by Labrinth as Brody’s song. What’s most interesting is that Brody is not your typical jealous guy. Although scared to give his heart away, when he finally does, he gives it completely. He is open and loving toward everyone, but is extremely so toward the two teenage boys he loves. And Brody is accepting, no matter what. So when their hearts are yanked away, he accepts it. He wants only the best for them in their separate futures, and appreciates the time they shared together without bitterness. He harbors no hard feelings for them, but wishes that he could be the rain that falls upon their skin, so that he could still have connection to them.

“Jealous”

Labrinth

I’m jealous of the rain
That falls upon your skin
It’s closer than my hands have been
I’m jealous of the rain
I’m jealous of the wind
That ripples through your clothes
It’s closer than your shadow
Oh, I’m jealous of the wind

‘Cause I wished you the best of
All this world could give
And I told you when you left me
There’s nothing to forgive
But I always thought you’d come back, tell me all you found was
Heartbreak and misery
It’s hard for me to say, I’m jealous of the way
You’re happy without me…
 

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All three boys have occasion to apologize in It Could Happen. They create pain for each other and they eventually all experience sincere regret for the tears they cause. At different times in the novel, fear drives Henry, Brody, and Danny all to attempt to escape the bond they have formed over years of friendship. By the end of the story they realize that nothing is worth jeopardizing their intense and precious connection.

“Sorry”

Buckcherry

Oh I had a lot to say was thinking on my time away

I missed you and things weren’t the same

Cause everything inside it never comes out right
And when I see you cry it makes me want to die

I’m sorry I’m bad, I’m sorry you’re blue, I’m sorry about all things I said to you
And I know I can’t take it back
I love how you kiss, I love all your sounds, and baby the way you make my world go round
And I just wanted to say I’m sorry:

This time I think I’m to blame it’s harder to get through the days
You get older and blame turns to shame

Every single day I think about how we came all this way
The sleepless nights and the tears you cried it’s never too late to make it right
Oh yeah sorry!

                                                               ~~~~~

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“Whatever it Takes” is a song of commitment. After Henry, Danny, and Brody have tried to go off in their own directions and failed because they realize that their relationship is what completes them as individuals, they reunite and pledge to do whatever it takes to make it work. They recognize how they have hurt each other. They know that they have more logical reasons to let each other go than to stay together. Nonetheless, they commit to opening up even when it ispainful, and in that way, to do whatever it takes to make their love successful.

“Whatever It Takes”

Lifehouse

A strangled smile fell from your face
It kills me that I hurt you this way
The worst part is that I didn’t even know
Now there’s a million reasons for you to go
But if you can find a reason to stay

I’ll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what’s at stake
I know that I’ve let you down
And if you give me a chance
Believe that I can change
I’ll keep us together whatever it takes

She said “If we’re gonna make this work
You gotta let me inside even though it hurts
Don’t hide the broken parts that I need to see”
She said “Like it or not it’s the way it’s gotta be
You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me”

I’ll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what’s at stake
I know that I’ve let you down
And if you give me a chance
And give me a break
I’ll keep us together, I know you deserve much better

 

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These lyrics speak to me:

Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving
‘Cause when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving…

Each of the young men—Henry, Danny, and Brody—at times, is the broken one who needs saving. And at other times, each needs to be the one to do the saving. One by one they each step up to the plate and rescue the others.

 

They must be strong and brave to initiate the relationship, daring and risk everything to become physically intimate with each other, and then decide if it is worth the cost to present their fledgling and unconventional relationship to the public, to their family and society.

“Stay”

Rihanna

All along it was a fever

A cold sweat hot-headed believer
I threw my hands in the air, said, “Show me something”
He said, “If you dare, come a little closer”

Round and around and around and around we go
Oh now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you…

Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving
‘Cause when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay…

                                                             ~~~~~

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In most cases, I’m a HEA kind of writer, but am not a spoiler kind of writer, so in the event the three teenagers succumb to their love, here is a song to reflect the joy.

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“Lovin’ You”

Minnie Riperton

 

Loving you is easy cause you’re beautiful.
Making love with you is all I want to do.
Loving you is more than just a dream come true.
And everything I do, is out of loving you

La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, la la la la la
Do do do do do, ooh

No one else can make me feel the colors that you bring,
Stay with me while we grow old,
and we will live each day in spring time.

Cause loving you has made my life so beautiful.
And every day of my life, is filled with loving you.
Loving you I see your soul come shining through.
And every time that we have (uuuuhhhhhhh)
I’m more in love with you.

 

I hope you pick up a copy of It Could Happen from Amazon.com or Dreamspinner Press and enjoy the angst!!

❤ Mia

I LOVE COMMENTS. I LIVE FOR THEM. Well, maybe live for them is an exaggeration but I seriously appreciate them a lot. 😉

 

COVER REVEAL for IT COULD HAPPEN by Mia Kerick

Today is the official COVER REVEAL DAY for my JUNE 5th release IT COULD HAPPEN from Dreamspinner Press.

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It Could Happen by Mia Kerick is the M/M/M romance of three eighteen-year-old high school seniors. It is a best friends-to-lovers story.
I enjoy writing stories of polyamory, and in particular, coming-of-age polyamory. The three young men in the book—Brody, Henry, and Danny—are faced with many conflicts as they mature from children to adults. Brody, the youngest of seven boys, feels neglected by his aging parents and has taken to seeking adrenaline rushes to make him feel alive. Henry has the opposite problem—his conservative parents are extremely controlling and he barely has a chance to move without them breathing down his neck. And Danny is basically living alone, as his mother spends all of her time with her various boyfriends, and so he seeks comfort from older lovers. The three already have high levels of conflict in their lives, and to complicate things, they are falling in love with each other.
The intimacy they share is unique and complicated and very necessary to each boy. The decision to pursue a romance saddles the three boys with the need to constantly balance what they could lose and/or gain in the process. They realize that this love they so desire will either save or destroy them. The possibility of a ménage relationship furthers their current conflicts, and provides a bond that is fascinating to explore.
It is unlikely for three boys to fall in love in high school. But, it could happen, and in my June 5th release—it does!!

COVER REVEAL

The amazing cover artist is Aaron Anderson. Thank you, Aaron!

Want to pre-order a copy from Dreamspinner Press?

BUY LINKS:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/it-could-happen-by-mia-kerick-8530-b

Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/it-could-happen-by-mia-kerick-8531-b

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Here’s the blurb:

Three misfits, mismatched in every way—Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco—have been friends throughout high school. Now in their senior year, the boys realize their relationship is changing, that they’re falling in love. But they face opposition at every turn—from outside and from within themselves. Moving to the next level will take all the courage, understanding, and commitment they can muster. But it could happen.

Henry is a star athlete and the son of religious parents who have little concern for the future he wants. Brody is a quirky dreamer and adrenaline junkie, and Danny is an emo artist and the target of bullies. Despite their differences they’ve always had each other’s backs, and with each of them facing a new and unique set of challenges, that support is more important than ever. Is it worth risking the friendship they all depend on for the physical and romantic relationship they all desire?

In this unconventional new adult romance, three gay teens brave societal backlash—as well as the chance that they might lose their treasured friendship—to embark on a committed polyamorous relationship.

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If you liked Us Three and Here Without You, you are gonna LOVE IT COULD HAPPEN…

Here’s an excerpt:

That was when Henry forgot all about keeping quiet, jerked at the door handle like a madman, and yelled, “Let us in! Let us in!”

It was like a miracle when the door slowly swung open. Danny stood in front of us wearing this strange, old-fashioned, white-nightgown thing he must have found at a thrift shop, because they sure don’t sell them at the outlet mall where I shop. If he were clutching a candleholder, he would have looked like an orphan in a Dickens’ novel.
Danny’s fine black hair was rumpled and stuck to his head, and, like Henry said, his eyes were both blackened and swollen. His bottom lip was puffy too.

“What the fuck?” Henry didn’t shout it. He just asked. Then he rushed to Danny and hugged him. I couldn’t see Danny at all because he was engulfed in Henry’s embrace, so I used the time to collect myself. I’m the one who’s supposed to keep my act together. I
swallowed over and over until the lump in my throat went away, and when Henry finally let Danny go, I closed the door and told them to sit down on the bed.

Danny was oddly obedient. He took Henry’s arm and led him to the bed. While they pushed back the rumpled sheet and blankets and sat down, I stood in front of them and asked, “What happened to you, Danny?”

He said, “Nothing,” flopped back on the bed, and pulled a pillow over his head.

So I asked again, “What happened to your face?”

The pillow muffled Danny’s voice, but it sounded like he said, “It’s not just my face.” Henry reached down and pulled the nightgown up to Danny’s knees. His legs were covered in cuts and bruises, as though he’d been kicked in the shins too many times to count.

“I’m gonna fuckin’ kill him.” I think Henry was the one to say this, but it could as easily have been me.

If you are in the mood for a RAFFLE, check out my cover reveal at

OPEN SKYE BOOK REVIEWS!!! There is a gift card raffle going on – all you have to do is comment on your favorite kind of misfit.

Don’t Miss It Could Happen!!

❤ Mia

 

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