Posted on March 4, 2014
Good Morning, lovely ladies and gents.
I have stopped by to share with you the cover reveal trailer that I created for Us Three and to announce the winners from the cover reveal post giveaway today… (Fear not no Irish Limericks or Jigs from me today…)
First here is some donuts and coffee… Please pass them around and share.
But please be careful not to make a mess in Momma Mia’s and Mr. Mia’s living room.
Mia walks in and sits on the couch. “I think Beckey is afraid to visit my guest room because of the events that may or may not occurred involving green M&Ms.” Mia mumbles and yawns.
Beckey shakes her head…
Last night Mia shared on her Facebook wall the Cover Reveal Trailer I created yesterday.
You missed that well, let me grab my laptop and share it with you.
Neat, huh? I thought so too. The story is centered on character named Casey.
“Casey is the victim of horrific bullying from the Queen Bees of his high school. These three boys from different backgrounds with different personalities join together to overcome the bullying.” Mia adds while yawning again.
Beckey runs off to the kitchen to grab the largest coffee mug she can find to get Mia more coffee.
There you go Mia hope that helps since you don’t seem to be awake yet…
Now, I bet some of you are chomping on the bit to see who won what on the rafter from my witty blog post on the first of March.
Well with no further delay here are the winners:
I will be contacting the winners later today.
Thank you all for playing along with the puzzle and reading my posts. I promise to be back soon.
Hugs to you all…
Posted on March 3, 2014
“Look here, everybody!! See my sexy new slippers? I think the boys in Mia’s Guest Room are REALLY gonna appreciate them!! Super hot—and useful—at the same time, huh? NO!! Not Alex and Tyler- MY SLIPPERS!!”
(slides down the hall)
“I call these killing-two-birds-with-one-stone slippers.”
(accidentally skids into the wall beside the guest room door, and once back on feet re-adjusts robe so all vital parts are covered)
“Well, anyways, this morning, in MIA’s GUEST ROOM, I am hosting Alex and Tyler from the M/M romance novel Back to You, in addition to their creator, the lovely Ms. Leighton Rose. And let me tell you, last night was quite an evening with these three—popcorn and M & M’s and a movie! I must admit that I didn’t know how…um, how creative… two men could get with a pile of M& M’s…. just sayin’.”
(giddy smile and girlish blush, remembering last night)
“And those boys certainly know how to cuddle… I accidentally got ‘caught in the middle of them’ a couple of times. I have NO IDEA how it happened, but I’m certainly not complaining…”
(clears throat to regain composure)
“As the hostess of a loving couple, I feel it is my duty to avoid walking in on anything that might be…you know, unseemly for your innocent eyes, my genteel blog-following, M/M romance-appreciating audience.”
(approaches guest room… places juice glass sideways against guest room door)
“As I said, this is my duty—after all, one of us has to do it! Eavesdropping through this door will NOT be any fun for me, but it is my duty to you all. And I take my responsibilities quite seriously.”
(presses ear to bottom of glass)
“Shhhh!! Can you people please keep the volume down? I can’t hear a thing with all of you jabbering like that. Hmmm….no morning friskiness seems to be occurring behind this closed door…”
(frowns slightly, clearly disappointed, and removes ear from glass)
“You know what? It sounded to me a bit like they might be bickering in there. I really should check this situation out. I can’t have unhappy guests, now, can I? Mia’s Guest Room is supposed to be a happy place.”
(pushes the door wide open and enters room)
“Good morning, happy fictional couple, Alex and Tyler… oh, and…Leighton… So Leighton, I’m truly quite surprised to see you still in here. Still in your sweatpants and Pioneers basketball T-shirt. Still on the VERY SAME BED—with the boys!! Didn’t you notice the chaise longue I placed at the foot of the big bed—which has your name on it, Leighton!! Jeez!!”
(examines Leighton in her loose T-shirt and baggy sweats)
“Why, yes, guests…and thank you for noticing. I did redecorate!! Quite tastefully, wouldn’t you agree?”
(shakes head, once again frustrated)
“But, really, Leighton, don’t you think we should afford the boys a small measure of privacy before the interview begins? We wouldn’t want to stifle their creative energy now, would we?? Come on, Leighton, we can wait for them to be, uh, finished with whatever needs to be taken care of out in the hall…”
(glances hopefully at juice glass in hand)
“So, go right on ahead, gentlemen, and …and feel free to, uh, to take care of business…yeah. Leighton and I will be right outside the door.”
(takes a backward step toward the doorway)
“What’s that, ‘Ms. Rose’? You want to start the interview RIGHT NOW? What’s your big hurry? The boys clearly need some ALONE TIME… hehehe…”
(upon seeing Leighton shaking her head sternly with refusal, sighs audibly)
“Whatever!! Some people are no fun at all! Can you say ‘ALL BUSINESS’, and not the fun kind?”
(slides delicately to the bed, retying bathrobe while skating right past the untouched chaise longue)
“Boys, you don’t mind squishing over a bit, do you? Oh, yeah…that’s right… just like that… Well, this is nice and cozy, isn’t it?”
(snuggles deeper under quilt in the now-crowded bed)
“Leighton, is that your foot? Could you kindly remove it from my armpit? Thank you very much!”
(reaches over and places juice glass on side table)
“Leighton, did you just say that you’re almost ready to start the interview of your characters? You’re gonna stay dressed in those baggy sweats and that athletic T-shirt? Hmph!! Not to be snide, but I figured you’d want to go put on a business suit—seeing as your mind is so fixated on the task at hand!”
“Stop mumbling, Tyler, and speak up–I mean, I don’t bite! (unless you want me to- LOL!!) What’s that, you want to move in with me? I know the bed is comfy… I’m rather enjoying it too! Oh, and you liked your breakfast? Well, I must say I broke my ass—uh, rather I slaved over a hot stove all morning whipping up those ham and egg burritos. After all, Alex is a chef and I must not let him think he can outdo me in the kitchen!”
(gasps and pulls comforter up to chin defensively)
“Calm down, Alex—and I’m talking about every single tall, dark, and handsome six feet of you!! Get back on the bed this instant!! Please!! I don’t think Tyler meant that he literally wanted to move into Mia’s Guest Room… Leighton, could you please control your characters?”
(watches as Leighton sends a warning glare at Alex, sticks her pencil behind her ear, and removes her notes from beneath her pillow)
“And without further ado, here is my guest, the fabulous Leighton Rose, conducting an interview of her fictional—and I must say, quite hot—characters, Alex and Tyler. Try to keep it clean, people. Young Adults are paying attention.”
Leighton: *yawns and stretches* Good morning, everyone! I’m here with a couple of special guests today in Mia’s guest bedroom. Tyler and Alex, from my debut novel Back to You, have graciously agreed to let me interview them. We all spent the night here and had a fabulous time with Mia last night at our slumber party. Thanks for inviting us, Mia!
Tyler: Morning guys! Can I just say how amazing this bed is? I really want to get one just like it for the house. Can we do that, Alex? I need this bed! *looks at Alex and gives him a puffy lipped, pouty face*
Alex: Suck that lip back in, you big baby. *leans over and gently kisses Tyler’s pouty lips* We’ll talk about the bed later. I’ve never had so much fun at a slumber party! Mia is the best host! She fed us dinner, popped some popcorn and mixed in M&M’s to eat while we all snuggled and watched Magic Mike. Then she brought us coffee and breakfast this morning. Seriously, I’m thinking of moving in here.
T: *looks at Alex sternly* I don’t’ think so, mister; you live with me.
A: Okay, but I’m coming back to visit. *grins*
L: Alright, boys. That’s enough bickering for now. You’ve agreed to answer some questions for our lovely readers and have promised to answer the questions honestly. Isn’t that right, boys?
T: Yes, of course!
A: Honesty is so important! We’ve both learned that lesson the hard way. Thanks for having us!
L: Well, I’m so glad to hear that you guys have learned your lesson! Shall we get right into it, then? The first question is for Tyler. How are you and Donny getting along now? Is there any animosity between you two anymore?
T: That’s a great question. When Alex and I first got back together, Donny was sort of hot and cold toward me. I can’t blame him, I mean, Alex is a great guy and it was clear that Donny loved him. Then we went to Texas to pack up their things and I think that’s when Donny and I started to get along. We all three talked in detail about the situation on the way back. It was a long and awkward conversation but we worked out a lot of hurt and anger and really got to know each other. I think, well I hope, he finally sees how much Alex means to me and how much I love him. We work really well together, though, and I think it was one of the smartest moves I ever made. So, while everything isn’t perfect, we’re getting there.
L: Well, I’m certainly glad to hear that you boys are working things out. Next question is for you, Alex. Our readers want to know if Andrew has let up on his attitude toward you at all?
A: *laughs heartily* Andrew without an attitude? I don’t think Andrew will ever not have an attitude with me, but now I think it’s more out fun than animosity.
A: He’s a really good friend to Tyler and I’m so grateful to him for being there for Ty when I was off being a selfish prick. As much as I didn’t like Andrew to begin with, he’s growing on me like mold and I think I’m getting under his skin. We still bicker but when things start to go to a not-so-fun-place, Robyn smacks him and Tyler smacks me and we re-direct. He still doesn’t think I’m good enough for Tyler, and quite frankly I agree, but Tyler wants me and I’m not giving that up again. *squeezes Tyler’s thigh* Plus, I’m afraid that no one would ever find all the pieces if I hurt Tyler again, Andrew would make sure of that.
L: I’m pretty fond of Andrew myself. He’s just doing what a good friend does to protect his friends. Here’s a question directed at the both of you. Your readers want to know if you have been able to put the two years of separation firmly in the past, or does it still affect your relationship sometimes?
A: I think I can field this one. For the most part, it’s firmly behind us. We talked about it so much when we first got together that eventually we agreed it was done and there was nothing we could do to change it. The thing we have to do is change ourselves and our actions so it doesn’t happen again. We did decide to go to counselling so we could learn how to talk things out.
T: Sometimes Alex still gets to feeling really, really guilty about leaving and brings it up, so we have to go through the whole talking process again, but yeah, for the most part we’re just focusing on our relationship now. *grabs Alex’s hand* We’re good now, though.
L: I’m so glad you guys are good now. It makes me so happy. Another question for the both of you, have you set a wedding date yet?
A: Nope, not yet. We’re still building our relationship and settling in. We’ll have a commitment ceremony and a major party someday but right now, as long as I’m with Ty, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
T: Same-sex marriage isn’t legal in Nebraska but it is legal in Iowa which is only an hour away. We could always get married in Iowa and then come back to Lincoln for a party. It’s an idea but I’m with Alex on this one, as long as we’re together, we’re happy.
L: You boys make me smile. This question is for Alex. How has your relationship with Ashton improved?
A: *sighs* Ashton is one of the best people I know. Seriously, besides missing Tyler like crazy while I was in Texas, being away from my brother was the hardest part. Since I’ve been back, Ashton and I have quality brother time every week and I go to every game that I can make it to. My family and I are closer than ever and they all love Tyler, so that makes it even better.
L: Here’s another burning question from our readers for both of you. What is it about the other that attracts you to him?
T: *gazes starry-eyed* For me, I was attracted to him immediately upon seeing him at his grandparents’ house. I mean, look at him, but really, one I got to know him, it’s his heart. Alex has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met and he’s this big guy, right. His size can make him intimidating but I know he’s a big cuddlebug. Oh… and then there’s his…
A: *leans over to cover Tyler’s mouth with his hand* TYLER! This is a young adult blog! Stop! *Tyler laughs* Okay, for me, it’s everything about him. His personality and what a sweet, caring person he is. He loves to laugh and he teases me relentlessly about things. He is stubborn and the most loving person I could ever ask for, and he choose me. Which means he has questionable standards but I’m reaping the benefits so… *waggles eyebrows*
L: *laughs* Okay, boys, that’s enough. I think we get it. You two love everything about each other! Here’s a fun question, if you had to compare the other to a famous person or movie star, who would you say the other reminds you of?
T: For me, Alex reminds me of Matthew McConaughey, you know, when he was young and blond and not so creepy. I mean, we watched Magic Mike last night here with Mia, and he’s just old and creepy in that movie. Give me the Matthew from How to Lose a Guy. Yeah, that’s my Alex.
A: *laughs* I’m so glad you don’t think I’m old and creepy! I love you. *kisses Tyler* I’d say for me, Tyler is my version of Zac Efron. Youngish, toned, dark brown hair, and just sexy. I mean, have you seen this man? Gah, sometimes I just can’t keep my hands to myself.
L: Alright boys, so we’ve got ourselves a Matthew McConaughey and a Zac Efron. Sexy… I can totally dig it! Now, another lovely reader wants to know why you two think your relationship works this time around?
T: Communication is key, honestly. Before, we were young and naïve and not very good at communicating. It was more about the sex and carnal feelings than building something long-term, I think. Now, we talk about our day together before we go to sleep, because some days that’s the only time we see each other. Between Alex’s night shifts at the restaurant and my day job, but we make time for each other.
A: Yeah, talking to each other is a big part of it. The other thing is we make sure that we get quality time together every week. Date night, either going out or staying in, is important to us. We never want to stop dating each other. Even when we get married. We also make sure to spend time apart. That was part of the problem before, I think, we were obsessive about spending time together and that always ended in bed. This time around, sex is important for bonding but it’s not everything to us. I’ve always loved him but when I left, I was lost. I didn’t know any other option.
T: We grew up. I think that’s the biggest part. We were basically still kids when Alex left, now we’re more mature and can think things through rationally. We’re not as impulsive and that’s huge.
L: I think that’s a great answer. I know that it was hard for you two to be apart, but can you tell me what about your separation made you better people?
T: I learned that Alex is the only man I ever want to be with. Riley is an amazing person, a great friend, and sexy as hell, and if he couldn’t make me forget about Alex then no one was going to be able to. It was a hard two years but I made it through and came out stronger on the other side.
A: As hard as it is to admit this with Tyler sitting right here, I can’t say I would change it. Donny is important to me and I never would have met him if I’d never have gone to Texas. *hangs his head*
T: *lifts Alex’s chin* Hey, stop. We’ve talked about this. Everything that happened, happened for a reason. Stop beating yourself up over it. *kisses Alex* I love you.
L: Aww… so sweet. One of the readers wanted to know what caused your fights before but I think you may have covered that.
A: Immaturity and basic lack of respect for each other. Sometimes love doesn’t conquer everything. You have to work at it and we weren’t working hard enough. If love is worth having, it’s worth fighting for. I realized that too late but we fixed it.
T: Pretty much!
L: Good to know. What is a typical date night for you two?
T: We do all kinds of things. Sometimes we go out to eat and either see a movie or go bowling or just walk around a park and talk. If it’s a weekend then we will sometimes go to the club and dance.
A: Or sometimes we just stay in. Order pizza or I cook, watch a movie and just cuddle on the couch. It’s nice as long as we are together.
L: Can you guys give us a little insight on what’s going on with Riley and Donny? There seems to be a little tension going on there.
A: *looks a Tyler questioningly*
T: I… I really don’t think that’s our story to tell. They will tell it when it’s the right time for them. If there’s anything to tell, we aren’t totally sure. They haven’t been around much lately.
L: Ah, well there you have it. We’ll find out when it’s time to find out, we’ll know! Okay boys, this is the final question of the day, but it’s the one that I was asked the most. Our readers want to know what you think Grammy Bea would say to you both now if she were here?
T: Oh, I can tell you easily. She’d say, “It’s about time you got your heads out of your asses and worked it out. Took you long enough. Now, don’t ever let it happen again. You love each other and you fight for each other.” That’d be it. She was never one to beat around the bush.
A: I think she’d tell me she forgives me for hurting her Tyler, but if I ever did it again she’d beat some sense into me. We are meant to be together and nothing can keep two hearts that belong together apart for long. She was a wise one, that Grammy Bea.
L: Yes she was. She was the force that brought you two back together. I love it. Well, that’s all the questions we have for you two today. Is there anything you want to say before we leave?
A: First of all, thanks again to Mia for letting us crash in her awesome guest bedroom. Seriously, this place is awesome. Second of all, thanks to our lovely readers for reading our story and being interested enough in our lives to ask us these questions. We really appreciate all of you!
T: And lastly, we need to thank Leighton for telling our story. She had an idea of how our story was going to go, but she let us tell it the way it needed to be told, even though it wrecked her plans. Sorry about that! *Shit eating grin* And one last time, Mia, can I take this bed home? Please??
L: Yeah, boys, I’m sure you’re really sorry about that and Tyler, seriously, stop trying to steal the bed.
T: *Whines* But it’s HUGE! *sighs* Okay, Mia can keep the bed but Alex needs to buy me one exactly like it.
L/A: *laughing hysterically*
Okay everyone! Thanks for joining us for a look into Tyler and Alex’s life now. We appreciate all the support you’ve given us.
(wrinkles nose when Leighton removes her reading glasses)
“How sweet…not to mention informative. I feel that I know these young men better already. And Leighton, do you happen to have ways for our lovely audience to contact you, should the need arise?”
“Oh, dear, Tyler, did you just spill your coffee, young man? Why, thank you for volunteering to get a dish towel from the kitchen, Leighton…and no, please don’t worry your pretty face about the spill, Tyler. I redecorate so often I’ll hardly miss this quilt at all.”
(hops up out of bed and slides around, functional new slippers easily absorbing the puddle of coffee on the floor)
“My new slippers can mop up this mess—no problemo!”
(slides over to edge of bed and leans into Tyler’s personal space)
“Now, let Momma Mia take a look… Poor guy, did you burn yourself? You splashed hot coffee all over your bare chest—it’s a good thing you’re wearing those plaid pajama pants, if you catch my drift.”
(reaches out to wipe off Tyler’s six pack, or rather, his belly, with sleeve of robe)
“Well, of course I’ll unhand him—I just forgot myself for a split second. You go ahead and wipe off his belly, Alex… Um, someone’s a little bit possessive!”
(blushes very slightly and then lifts papers off Leighton’s pillow)
“Alex, I have an idea—while you wipe off Tyler’s tummy, I’ll read this blurb about your book Back to You by Leighton Rose. Sound like a plan, big fella? And don’t miss Tyler’s belly button. It’s an innie… and it looks like some coffee is pooled up in there.”
Blurb for Back to You:
When two stubborn boys fall in love there are bound to be fights, but when those fights become the norm and there are more bad times than good, is love enough of a reason to stay?
Alex Parker thinks the best way to save himself and his boyfriend, Tyler Matthews, from any more pain is to leave him and his hometown behind. He finally settles down in Texas and as they both try to move on, it seems like a lost cause.
A tragic turn of events causes Alex to drop everything and head back to Nebraska where he winds up face-to-face with Tyler for the first time since he left two years ago. The spark of attraction is still there, but will these two now grown men be able to overcome the years of guilt, hurt, and broken trust without breaking the bonds of friendship they’ve formed during their time apart in order to get their second chance at love? Only time will tell if their hearts can find their way back to each other.
“Oh, lookie here!! Leighton certainly is organized. She has her buy links all set up…she even wrote you a sweet little note.”
You can buy Back to You if you want to read more about Tyler and Alex at these places:
“Can I interest my wonderful 41 followers, yes, I checked this morning, along with this morning’s dear guests, in hearing an excerpt of Back to You? Wonderful— I had a feeling you’d say yes.”
From Tyler’s POV
When we got back to the house, we showered quickly (which was always such a test of my own restraint when I had a wet, naked Riley in front of me) and decided to take a nap. I had settled into the most perfectly comfortable position with Riley in my arms and was almost asleep when my damn doorbell rang.
“Fuck,” I muttered as I reluctantly got back out of bed and went to answer the door wondering who in the hell it could be and incredibly irritated at having my nap interrupted.
“Can I help…” I started to snap at the intruder as I opened the door but stopped dead in my tracks when I locked eyes with the person standing on my porch. “Alex,” I whispered, stunned out of my goddamned mind.
I stood there and stared at him staring back at me. I was dreaming; I had to be dreaming. There was no way Alex was standing on my porch in the middle of the day. He lived in Texas.
“Hi, Tyler,” he said softly, breaking the trance I was in and surprising me by pulling me to him and hugging me so tightly that it took me a second to respond. As soon as my brain started functioning again, I latched on to him, grasping desperately at his shirt, trying to get as close to him as possible. It was so surreal to feel his hands on my skin again, and since I’d thought I’d never have the opportunity to touch him again, I decided I was going to revel in that hug for as long as I could, consequences be damned. I inhaled deeply. He smelled exactly like I remembered him and my heart began beating so fast I thought I might pass out.
Oh. My. God. He was really there.
After a couple too-short moments he let me go and I stepped back into the doorway again. “W-w-what are you doing here?” I asked stumbling over my words, still in complete disbelief at the sight in front of me.
“Austin called and told me about Grammy. I’m so sorry, Tyler. I know how close you two were,” he said gently.
Had I just heard that correctly? “Wait… my brother called you?”
“Yeah, yesterday afternoon. We drove straight through to get here.”
“Well, I guess that sheds a little light on why he’s been acting so fucking peculiar around Riley and me since yesterday.” I couldn’t decide if I wanted to kill my brother for doing that or thank him for making the call. “So, I guess that explains why you’re in Lincoln, but it doesn’t explain why you’re standing on my porch right now.”
“I didn’t want to ambush you at the funeral home tomorrow night, Ty. I wanted you to know that I was here so that I didn’t cause you more stress than you’re already going through, and I doubted that calling you was going to do any good.” Alex shifted his weight from one foot to the other, leaning up against the door jamb.
“No, probably not.”
I sighed and rubbed my temples. For as long as I could remember, I’d made a wish while blowing out my birthday candles but none of those wishes ever came true, but when I’d said I didn’t wish to see Alex again, I was lying. That was totally my wish and with him standing in front of me, within reach for the first time in two years, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to hug him again or punch him in the face. And I wasn’t a violent person at all.
The next words out of his mouth blew me away and then pissed me off at the same time. “And to be completely honest with you, there was no way that I could wait one minute more to see you again, Tyler. I had no idea if you still lived here or not, but we’ve been in Lincoln for nearly twelve hours and it’s taken every ounce of willpower I have not to try to find you sooner. I’ve missed you so much.”
Wow, he missed me that much? That’s so sweet. I started to smile at him before a thought hit me. Wait a minute. Did he just say we? He said we, right? “Did you say we?”
He looked unbelievably sheepish, which just irked me even more. “Yeah, I guess I did.”
“So, what? Did you bring your boyfriend with you to go to my grandmother’s funeral? How incredibly classy, Alex.” Seriously, why did people have to be so fucking dumb, and by people, I meant Alex.
He stepped forward like he wanted to touch me but I moved out of his way. “He’s not my boyfriend, Tyler.”
His denial about the subject just pissed me off more. “I think it’s time for you to go, Alex. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with this right now,” I told him.
“I’m sorry if you aren’t happy about that Tyler, but I just found out about Grammy yesterday and dropped everything to be here. He came with me for support because I had no one else to be there; he’s my best friend,” Alex explained to me.
I started to feel a bit sorry for being rude to him but, because I have the worst luck ever, two arms slid around my waist from behind and I felt Riley’s bare chest press warmly against my naked back. He made me shiver when he rested his chin on my shoulder so I could feel his breath on my neck. “What’s taking so long, babe? I’m exhausted,” he purred seductively.
I looked up at Alex, who seemed to be immediately seething in anger at seeing Riley wrapped around me. I couldn’t say I blamed him. If I’d seen anyone half as gorgeous as Riley wrapped around him, no matter what the circumstances were, I’d probably have gone out of my mind with anger and jealousy. Alex was glaring at Riley who seemed to be completely oblivious to the amount of tension in the air.
“And who is this?” Alex’s voice boomed loudly and deeply, something that happened when he got really mad. “Are you seriously giving me shit about bringing my best friend with me when you’ve got someone here hanging all over you?”
It startled Riley, who immediately shrank behind me in fear and began wheezing out short, fast breaths. I was sure he didn’t want to have an anxiety attack in front of a stranger, especially when he found out who that stranger was.
“It’s okay, Ri,” I assured him, wrapping my arm around him comfortingly and ignoring Alex’s question. “Just breathe, hun. There’s nothing to be scared of here because Alex was just leaving, weren’t you, Alex?”
Alex looked puzzled at Riley’s reaction, but then again, I still had no idea why Riley reacted the way he did to things except that I was sure something bad had happened to him back in Kansas. “Uh, yeah, I guess I am,” Alex conceded. He wasn’t a bad guy and he could see his presence was upsetting Riley in a way that wasn’t normal. “Can we talk later, Tyler? Alone, please? I have so much that needs to be said.”
I looked at Riley, who was trying to calm down but still breathing abnormally, and I was torn, but in the end, the greedy, selfish side of me won out and I agreed. “Tomorrow night, after the viewing, we can find somewhere and talk, but you need to go now. I’ve got to take care of him.”
Alex reached out and took my hand briefly, squeezing it gently and it was ridiculous how that one little touch erupted a thousand butterflies in my stomach. “I’m sorry for scaring him,” he told me then turned to leave.
“Well, Leighton is back now, and I can tell that she is more than ready to pack up the very adorable figments of her vivid imagination, Alex and Tyler, and get back home. Thank you all for spending the night in Mia’s Guest Room. And here, Tyler, I put the rest of the M & M’s in a ziploc bag—you seemed to enjoy then so much last night. I picked out all the green ones for you, not that you’ll need them..hehehe.”
(winks at Alex and giggles, then turns and slides to the door)
Posted on March 1, 2014
Welcome Mia is away but a cover reveal ye shall see…
Away where ye ask … Well with Demi in the Big Apple of course ye see…
Alas have no worries you have me, Beckey, to entertain ye on Mia’s blog today.
A friendly a forewarning ye…
A Leprechaun had bitten me earlier you see (tis thee month for them to make da appearance be known…) and old English may make an appearance throughout thee post ye see…
(Hold on a sec while I give thee more coins to he … Away he goes not to bother thee…)
Without further ado let thee cover reveal takeover shall begin…
As some of you may know Mia and I have been busy with The Red Sheet… But recently we discovered that her next book will be coming out in early April…
How will we announce it before anyone else may know? That was the question that has been our minds for the last week? Both of us agreed that we will announce it today, here and only on Mia’s blog but the trick of it was how since this was Demi’s BIG week…
This was how it went down…
For the last couple of days we have been cover sharing images of three and some of you may have been curious on why?
Tis the answer is simple you see… It’s about the book…
Ye want to see thee cover ye say, thee answer is simple put thee puzzle together ye shall see…
Where to Play
But what fun is it in solving something that is a wee bit of fun without a giveaway of loot ye see?
Alas my post thru, I bid thee ado with a wee bit of Irish luck in the form of a kiss from me to you.
Mia’s Assistant and Blogger at In The Pages
Posted on February 24, 2014
(Walking down the hall in the direction of the guest room, holding a tray filled with “healthy” stuff)
“Hello, to my wonderful followers, and anyone else who may have wandered in here off the street… Michael Bowler is in my guest room this morning. He arrived late last night because he was volunteering his time at the local juvenile hall. (I know, what a guy!! Kinda in awe, myself!!) Michael mentioned to me last night while he was drinking his Guava juice at the kitchen table, that he is very opposed to the one-size-must-fit-all mentality that society has in regard to children. He feels it is the bullying of children by adults in their lives. I agree with him fully.”
(Stops in the hall beside the guest room door)
“Michael is my new friend. And I’ll put it this way: I fell head over heels into friendship with him!!”
(Pushes door to guest room open with the tray and glances in)
“You noticed!! I redecorated. I thought this would be more fitting for Michael—I mean, whimsical worked for Raine O’Tierney, but feast your eyes on this—and, no, I’m not referring to Michael, himself!! As you can see, he sleeps in only his workout shorts and well, he works out a lot. Rumor has it 7.5% body fat…yeah, I know…”
“Oops, sidetracked!! Feast your eyes on my newly decorated guest room. Cool, huh?”
(Seeing Michael is still asleep steps back into the hall)
“Michael is a lot of things I’d like to be. He is brave and bold, as you will see when he addresses you, and he is extremely intelligent. (Not that I’m less-than-intelligent.) We’ve talked a lot—late night chats on Facebook and even on the phone—I needed concrete proof that he was real.”
“He is. Real, that is….you all saw him with your own eyes.”
(Tiptoes into the guest room and places the tray on the table made out of a tree limb. Whispering now)
“It was difficult to get that tree in here, let me tell you. Anyways, my friend Michael is better than real. He is a world class volunteer; from what he’s told me, he has spent years donating his time as a Big Brother and, for thirty years, volunteering in the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. A passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens—that’s my friend Mike.”
“Good morning, sleepy head. Rise and shine.”
“Oh, sure, I’ll pass you your T-shirt, but there’s no need to be shy—I have lots of guests!”
(Steps closer to the bed and passes Michael his shirt)
“You liked the mosquito netting? I thought it would set the mood…you are rather a natural sort.”
(Glancing at Michael’s arms, but trying not to stare)
“My, my… you have very prominent veins on your forearms, just saying.”
(Blushes and retrieves tray)
“I made you your favorite: Heritage Flakes with almond milk…I mixed in some protein powder, like you asked.”
(Wrinkles nose in distaste, thinking about donuts. Places tray beside Michael on the bedspread)
“How about if you eat the cereal, and I tell our friends a bit about you?”
“Here’s a little blurb about Michael’s book, Children of the Knight… Shall I read it?”
According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in modern-day Los Angeles?
This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.
With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight––where even gay boys and gangsters work side by side. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and his children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.
Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.
The Knight Cycle begins . . .
(pulls napkin from bathrobe pocket and hands to Michael)
“No need to gobble it down, dear, you might choke!! I have more things to show them, so while Mike slowly eats his banana, check these out…”
Runner Up (Eighth Place): Best LGBT Books for Young Adults
Finalist under Best Books for Teenagers
“I must say, Mr. Bowler, I’m experiencing a tad of jealousy…”
“Do I have a soap box you can stand on? Why, no, but there’s a stepping stool in the corner… Will that work?”
(Picks up stool and places it beside the bed. Watches as Michael steps up)
“So, you are going to address the readers from up there? No…no…it’s not a problem at all… but be careful not to fall…it isn’t very steady.”
(Pushes aside mosquito netting and drops down onto the bed. Looks up at Mike)
“And without any further ado, please focus your attention on Michael Bowler.”
One Size Does NOT Fit All,
(Or Why Bullying Has Become Institutionalized in America)
America doesn’t just permit bullying – America encourages it. There, I said it. This is a sad, but very real truth that mars an otherwise in-so-many-ways great country. Every day we hear more and more horrific tales about kids bullied ceaselessly in school or on the Internet, some to the point that they can take no more and commit suicide. Was there bullying when I was a kid? Yes, and I was a victim in elementary and middle school. Has it gotten exponentially worse, and not simply commensurate with population growth? Yes. And based on my observations, here are a few of the reasons.
First off, what constitutes bullying? Is it always the kid being kicked or punched or called names or mocked or who has his stuff stolen or his lunch tray upended in the cafeteria? No, though these are common examples. But these and so many more abuses are the symptoms, not the disease. They are learned behaviors taught to children by the adults around them, and the media, and our politicians, and our school system, and our justice system and our sports teams, and, well, just about every institution in America. So let’s look at the continuum of bullying from where it all begins – in the home.
Do some parents intentionally bully their kids? Yup. Disturbing, but true, and these stories pop up every day on the news, especially parents who bully their children for being gay and either drive them from the home or blatantly kick them out. I’ve personally known kids like this, and it happens all the time. Very often parent-run organizations like the Boy Scouts of America engage in forms of marginalization and bullying. Only this year did the BSA remove a ban on gay boys being scouts. For all the years before, the impressionable BSA membership was taught that gay kids were bad, or dirty, or somehow less than human, and that’s why they couldn’t be scouts (and were kicked out if their “dangerous” nature was uncovered.) If that’s not a flat-out recipe for bullying explicitly taught by parents to their kids, I don’t know what is. And the BSA is only one parent-led organization. There are hundreds out there that teach the same. When adults make anyone in the population sub-human in the eyes of other kids, bullying results. After all, “those” kids are not “real” humans like me, right? See how easy it is to think like a Nazi?
These are overt examples. Are there also many ways parents unintentionally bully their kids or model it for them? Yes, and in large part it’s due to that “one-size-must-fit-all mentality” dominating the country. If parents don’t like a certain sport, football, for example, and have a son who does, those parents will say whatever they can to belittle his ambitions in that arena because they don’t like it. Or if a boy wants to be a dancer and his parents tell him that’s not for boys, or a girl wants to play rough sports like wrestling and the parents keep insisting that’s not for girls, or, or, or . . . The list can be endless.
Parents all too often think their children should be exactly like them in every way, or that their children must fit the “norm” in order to be successful in life. A kid may want to be a teacher because he or she wants to give back to the community and work with kids, but parents will often try to force him or her to be a doctor or lawyer or banker because those are more lucrative professions, and more money always makes people happier, right? Wrong. None of us are ever truly happy unless we can be who we are, not who others think is better or more “normal.” Period. Sadly, all of this “bullying” stems from thinking of kids as part of a group first and as individuals second, when it should always be the other way around.
Some parents pimp their kids out as models or entertainers so they can make money off them, whether the kids actually want to do those things for themselves or not. That’s a form of bullying all too common these days given the prodigious amounts of money that can be made in entertainment or sports. I’ve known many kids forced to do sports they didn’t like or play an instrument they weren’t interested in or follow a career path completely against their own wishes, all because one or both parents wanted to brag about them and, to a large extent, control them. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and so is a bully. But since it’s parents, it’s okay? Shouldn’t be.
In my Children of the Knight Trilogy, institutionalized, as well as personal bullying, is brought into the light of day in a quest to gain more human and civil rights for kids in America. As my main teen character tells an important group of adults in Book III, “Your kids aren’t little mini-me’s. We’re real people, different from you, with likes and wants and opinions of our own. We don’t need to be brainwashed to be successful. All we really need is for you to show us how to think, not what to think, and how to make good choices, so we can grow into good adults. How hard is that for grownups?” Apparently in America today, it’s very hard. And make no mistake, brainwashing kids to be copies of adults is a major form of bullying. How can it not be? You’re essentially telling a child he or she isn’t good enough the way he or she is, that he or she must be like you to be of value. Wow. That’s crazy.
Since children spend huge portions of each day at school, this is the most fertile ground for bullying. This is where kids who’ve learned the techniques modeled by their parents at home actually get to put them into practice. Do schools condone it? Not officially, but since the “one-size-must-fit-all mentality” is the driving force of education in this country, bullying is permitted. It helps keep the riff raff in line, the kids who dare to be different, who have the affront not to fit the norm, like those Goth kids and those emo kids and those heavy metal kids and those annoying-as-hell skaters and, of course, everyone’s favorite target, those kids who dared to be born gay. Sadly, too many adults turn up their noses at kids like these, or openly disdain them. I saw it first hand where I taught high school. Hell, those were the kids I loved the most, and they were quite often the most creative and innovative in their thinking. But no, that’s wrong according to the education system. Everyone must be rote, must memorize the same common information, must learn exactly the same way, must think inside the box – if they’re allowed to think at all. This is institutional bullying at its most disgusting.
Look at the standardized testing the kids must endure, all of which tells little about the ability of an individual child except his ability to memorize information or, in the case of the SAT, regurgitate that info within a set period of minutes (as though success in college is determined by speed.) Those tests don’t allow students to analyze, or more importantly, synthesize what they have learned, and every student as an individual will do these things in his or her own unique way if encouraged to do so. Variety of thought and expression should be celebrated in education – instead it’s bullied out of kids starting in the first grade when everyone must conform or else.
Here’s another brief moment from And the Children Shall lead, Book 3 of my Knight Cycle: “Ricky described some of the crimes against children that had been sent to them from all across the fifty states. Some were seemingly small, like parents browbeating their son to participate in a girl’s quincienera against his will, even though that commitment required him to give up all of his free time for two straight months. Others were downright preposterous, like a school suspending a first grader because he bit his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, or the middle school boy who’d been suspended for dying his hair green and the school ordered him to go back to his natural color or he’d remain on suspension, or the first grader suspended for kissing a little girl’s hand.
Other episodes would be clear violations of the First Amendment if the accused had been an adult, like the case of some American kids in a California school who got suspended for wearing American flag shirts because the principal was afraid it would offend the immigrant students. There was a middle school in Florida that went to court to stop students from starting a Gay Straight Alliance – a public school actually using the court system to bully kids. There were stories from children who’d been beaten or abused in foster homes or government-run group homes, kids who were bullied nonstop at school for being gay and the school would only “talk” to the bullies; there were kids who got punished by their parents for listening to “the wrong music,” and even kids in high school who got suspended for bringing their own lunch from home because they were required to eat the school food.”
Just recently, an international student from China whom I train at the gym told me he accidentally violated a school rule he didn’t know about – he was eating food in the student common area. An unfamiliar teacher saw the infraction, marched him down to his counselor, and pointed at him like he was Adolf Hitler, saying, “This one was eating in the common room. Take care of it.” She wanted the boy disciplined by the counselor, who then proceeded to chew him out for breaking the rules. Couldn’t this have just been handled with a simple explanation by the teacher that eating wasn’t allowed and thus he needed to take his food outside? But no. The boy was presumed guilty of willfully violating a school policy and bullied by both the teacher and the counselor. Welcome to America, my friend, land of the free and home of the bullied.
And of course, in the fall of 2013 there was this egregious, inexcusable bullying by a school principal of a boy who did a stupid, childish prank:
“A popular 15-year-old student has committed suicide after he reportedly faced expulsion and could have been placed on the sex offenders’ register simply for streaking at a high school football game.
Christian Adamek, from Huntsville, Alabama, hanged himself on October 2, a week after he was arrested for running naked across the Sparkman High football field during a game. Sparkman High Principal Michael Campbell told WHNT a day before the suicide attempt that the teen could face major repercussions because of his actions.
‘There’s the legal complications,’ Campbell said. ‘Public lewdness and court consequences outside of school with the legal system, as well as the school consequences that the school system has set up.’ Campbell added that that the incident was not just a prank and needed to be treated seriously.
Sparkman High administrators even recommended that Adamek face a hearing in the Madison County court system to determine if formal charges would be filed, WHNT reported.”
The principal had Christian arrested, and so frightened the “A” student with the fear he would have a criminal record for the rest of his life that the boy panicked and killed himself. Schools bully kids every single day with their zero tolerance policies toward any behaviors they don’t like, behaviors that pretty much define why kids are kids and not yet adults. I met a middle school boy in juvenile hall who’d given a small pocketknife to a friend of his on the school bus and forgot about it. The friend got caught with the knife at school, told administrators who he got it from, and now this quiet fourteen-year-old learning disabled boy with no criminal record sat with me in juvenile hall facing adult felony charges for handing off a “weapon” to another student. In California, he could be prosecuted in adult court and sent to prison for that “offense.” Insane!
And for the record, that principal in Alabama should have, at the very least, been fired and at the most banned from any future job involving kids. He’s the sex offender here, the real criminal, not Christian. And so is the principal of the school that had the fourteen-year-old I met arrested. Shameful.
America needs to wake up and face the war it’s waging against her children. Look at our juvenile justice system. I spent twenty-five years in the public school system, and thirty within juvenile justice, and kids are bullied, denied rights, forced by cops to confess to crimes they didn’t commit, assigned attorneys who do nothing to defend them and just allow overzealous district attorneys to ram their cases through and send them to prison. This is institutional bullying at its most despicable, and always because there’s money and prestige to be accrued with incarceration and long sentences meted out.
Where’s the media in all this? The media is supposed to have our backs, right? Sadly, it actually encourages the demonization and bullying of kids. All the kids I know who’ve gotten arrested and appeared in the newspaper were labeled “monsters” and declared guilty by virtue of having been arrested, rather than being considered innocent until proven guilty. Why? Because the cops and the D.A. said they were guilty.
Which brings us to bullying by omission, something the media, schools, and adults in general are very much engaged in. Why are kids who get in trouble with the law so vilified by a public that doesn’t know any of them personally? Because the media allows the bullies in law enforcement and the district attorneys offices to malign those kids, and there is no effort made to get the full story out to the public. Reporters simply repeat what is told to them, print or broadcast it like it was fact, wallow in their ratings for being as lurid as possible, and as a result, often innocent kids, or kids for whom there were many extenuating circumstances, are now tarnished for life, despised by a general public that knows nothing of substance, and then sent to prison for life to be forgotten. I depict this form of bullying, and that of the railroading justice system, rather vividly (I hope) in Book II of The Knight Cycle, Running Through a Dark Place.
And while we’re talking sins of omission, why does bullying occur with such frequency on school campuses? Because teachers, administrators, coaches, and even campus security officers are so caught up in their own little worlds that they ignore what’s right in front of them, or maybe even privately condone it. My Gay Straight Alliance kids would tell me how often they or someone else would be called “faggot” in class within earshot of the teacher, and the teacher would simply ignore it. “That’s so gay” was flung about with frequency, or kids were called stupid or fat or retarded, all of which was ignored by the adult in charge. By disregarding these behaviors, the teacher, or any adult within range, has given tacit approval that the behaviors are acceptable. The only way to stop such behaviors is to confront them head on. Ignoring empowers, and empowerment means the behaviors will increase.
Parents do the same thing by not standing up for everyone’s right to have respect simply by virtue of being human, even famous people or politicians. One can, and should, talk to their kids about inappropriate behaviors people do, behaviors that hurt others, so their kids can learn how not to act. That’s fine. But because we might disagree on someone’s political point of view we often lash out and demonize that person’s very humanity, and our children pick up on these attitudes. There are some people in this world that can rightly be called evil, but that is a super strong word and should not be bandied about carelessly. Most politicians or celebrities we dislike are not evil – they may be dumb or misguided or just flat out wrong, but not evil.
Even such throwaway comments exchanged between adults such as this one I saw on Facebook teach children to bully: “Same sex couples shouldn’t be able to adopt because their kids will get bullied for having two moms and two dads.” What did the parent who said this just teach his child: If you know kids with two moms or dads at school they are fair game for bullying. Sadly, the most narrow-minded parents are the ones who spout off in front of their kids the most, and then the next generation of bullies is created.
Children take all their cues from adults who surround them, starting with their parents and teachers and coaches. If we want to truly reduce or eliminate bullying among the young, we the adults have to model the right behaviors, not once in awhile, and not just with people we like, but always and toward every human being. And all of us adults must do this, from the poorest to the richest, from the most famous to the least famous. We need to keep our own prejudices to ourselves when in the presence of children, or better yet, grow up and realize that all prejudice is stupid and, as history has repeatedly shown, always leads to acts of evil.
We cannot stand by and watch anyone being bullied. It doesn’t matter if the victim is a total stranger or our own child. Telling kids to “man-up” in the face of victimization is the height of stupidity. Kids need to be empowered, not mocked or ridiculed. And the bullies need to be called on their behavior every single time. As a teacher, this was often a daily battle because the name-calling was so omnipresent. If that means we have to stop what we’re doing to address it, that’s what we do. Human beings and their mental health had better take precedence over any subject we might be teaching because if they don’t, we have already failed.
My Knight Cycle Trilogy doesn’t explicitly deal with one-on-one bullying, but does show the long-lasting trauma of parental and governmental bullying of children, both gay and non-gay. The series attempts to illustrate the points I make in this blog, that in America’s now obsessive quest to make every child fit into the same exact mold, we as a country have collectively become “The Bully.” Children who grow up in fear will not do a good job running the country. Teach them basic human values and let the deeper stuff come with age. Teach them to respect everyone no matter how different. Teach them how to work together. Teach them how to not waste anything because wasting is wrong. Teach them to look out for each other and not stand by when someone is getting hurt. If we adults model these simple behaviors, as King Arthur does in my books, the children will learn them. And the future of this country will look a whole lot brighter.
“Thank you for the guest post. I like the way you concluded with some possible solutions. There is hope for change.”
(Wipes the drool from chin)
“And honestly, I was completely mesmerized by what you were saying… Bullying is a major theme in my new release, The Red Sheet, as well. Do you happen to have an excerpt from Children of the Knight?”
THE knight, with Lance clinging tightly to his back, stopped at the edge of the Los Angeles River, and the two of them gazed down into the dry, concrete riverbed. The river was really more of an aqueduct and, depending on rainfall totals, seldom had much water coursing through it. The horse neighed approvingly.
“You weren’t shittin’ me about a long journey!” Lance exclaimed, sitting up to get a better view.
“Hold on tightly,” the knight intoned as he flicked the reins, and the muscular white mare began her descent to the riverbed below. Lance felt nervous and afraid atop such a large animal, but somehow the presence of this strong, confident man eased his fear.
“Does, uh, does your horse have a name?” he asked, trying to quell the nervousness in his voice. This descent was steep, and he wanted nothing more than to plant his feet firmly on cement. He was a street kid, after all.
“She hath been given the name Llamrei, after my first mount of long ago,” the knight replied, his tone wistful, filled with longing.
Something about his melancholy tone silenced Lance. The mare reached bottom without even the slightest misstep and began trotting along the riverbed, halting at an enormous entrance to the storm drain system, which wound underground throughout the Los Angeles basin. This cavernous maw looked large enough to drive a van through without hitting the top.
A huge metal grill guarded the entrance to the drain, but Lance noted that the aged lock had recently been broken. The knight reached out and grabbed one side of the grill, backing his horse to slowly ease it open. The metal screamed with disuse, and the sound sent chills down Lance’s back. The dark, gaping orifice threatened to envelope him, and his stomach pulled up into his throat.
“We, uh, we’re goin’ in there?” He fought to keep his quivering voice steady.
The knight turned as best he could to the boy behind him. “Have no fear, young Lance.”
Lance instantly bristled, his pride winning out. “I ain’t afraid! It just don’ look like no home ta me.”
The knight merely nodded. “It doth be mine at present.” He gently spurred Llamrei forward into the dark, forbidding tunnel, pulling shut the grill as they entered, and sealing them within.
Lance watched warily as the knight extended a gloved hand outward, grasping an old, weathered torch from a small alcove. With his other gloved hand, he dug into a leather pouch hanging from the saddle and extracted a pinch of some kind of powder, sprinkling it atop the torch. Flames sprang instantly to life, causing Lance to gasp with surprise as its flickering glow cast weird shadows and reflections off the man’s armor. He gazed in wonder. That looked like something out of a movie! Who was this guy anyway?
The knight noted the boy’s wary look and smiled to put him at ease, forgetting for the moment that his helm obscured his features. “A mere trick, my boy, taught to me long ago by M—by an old friend.”
He turned forward again and spurred his horse into the darkness of the tunnel. The man’s quick change of subject was not lost on Lance. What had he been planning to say? All his street instincts told him to leap down from the horse and hightail it out of there and never look back. None of this made any sense, not here, not in his city, not in his sorry life. And yet he didn’t jump. He didn’t run. There was something about the guy…. Growing up as he had, Lance had a good gut when it came to people. No, this guy wasn’t out to hurt him or kill him or….
No, don’t even go there!
No, he decided as they trotted along the dark, dank underbelly of the city, this guy would not hurt him. But if he didn’t want to hurt him, then what the hell did he want?
The two remained silent as Llamrei trotted fearlessly along the damp and drafty storm drain. There were no sounds save the clop, clop, clopping of her hooves against the lichen-covered concrete. It surprised Lance that the horse seemed so comfortable underground. He always thought most animals, himself included, preferred above ground to below. She must be used to it, he surmised, which meant the guy was telling the truth. He really did live here.
Suddenly, Llamrei stopped. Lance had been so lost in his musings that he hadn’t realized they’d left the tunnel to enter an enormous chamber.
“We doth be here,” the knight announced, drawing Lance back into reality. As the man deftly dismounted, Lance’s eyes bulged wide with wonder at his surroundings.
The immensity of the underground chamber awed him. It appeared to be some sort of central hub from which a multitude of tunnels branched off, disappearing into darkness. Lit solely by the light of numerous torches imbedded within the concrete walls, Lance gazed in amazement at what appeared to be the central hall of an old castle, the kind he’d only ever seen in books. What the hell? There wasn’t such things in LA!
He observed bedrolls lining the walls and disappearing down each branching tunnel, furniture like old tables and chairs, but all wooden and rough-hewn and not like any modern stuff he’d ever seen. There was even a big-ass throne of some kind with huge arms and a really high back set against one wall, like right out of a frickin’ old movie! What the…? And then his eyes fell upon the weapons, and his face lit up with wonder. Spread out before him were racks upon wooden racks of weapons—swords of all shapes and sizes, shields, short-handled dirks, knives, longbows and short bows, and arrows and quivers.
Carefully, eyes pinned to the armory before him, he dropped slowly off the horse, allowing his skateboard and backpack to fall to the ground unnoticed. Heart beating wildly with excitement, he stepped forward into this wonderland, gaping in astonishment at the sight before him. He slipped the hood down, allowing his long brown hair its freedom. He just shook his head in awe.
“Wow!” was all he could think to say, hurrying to the nearest of the weapons racks and gingerly touching some of the swords. He gripped the leather- bound hilt of a large broadsword and struggled vainly to heft it over his head. The blade alone was almost five feet in length.
The knight turned to observe Lance grappling with the weight of the sword and smiled as he recalled his own first attempt ages ago. He couldst almost believe that time so long ago had been merely a dream, or that perhaps this time beith the dream. Yet he knew the truth—he’d known it the moment he’d awakened in this foreign land—both time periods were real, and once again he had a crusade to mount, one greater and more significant than his first. And this small, longhaired boy battling the weight of a sword nearly as large as himself… well, this boy was the key.
“Wonderful…and as you know I’m reading it right now…so no spoilers. Do you have buy links?”
“Thank you so much for the guest post. I like the way you concluded with some possible solutions.”
(Lifts a folder from the bed)
“Oh sorry, Mike, the powder room is right down the hall, first door on the left. While you are gone, maybe I could share these reviews? I think my friends would like to hear the buzz—you know, what people are saying—about Children of the Knight.”
“The story becomes better page after page and at a certain stage you can’t put the book down until you arrive at the end. It is a very moving story and makes you wonder about how good our society really is and whether we care enough about the weak links in it.”
–Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite
“It is most difficult to read this novel and not feel the need to speak-up and take action. I know I have a heavy heart and bear the shame of being a member of society that has failed so many children.”
–Neil on Amazon
“This novel was stunning. As a nation, we are making our children disposable, writing them off as nothing worth saving and treating them like adults in a judicial system riddled with corruption and, worse, a simple lack of caring.”
–Sammy on Goodreads/Amazon
“I think there is every human emotion packed into this story. This is the first in a series and it is amazingly powerful.”
– Jerry on Goodreads
“Growing up, I knew far too many kids just like the ones in this book. I was one of them. These characters are real and heart-rending.”
–Giovanni, former foster child
“Who, but the children, fight FOR the children! If I could make this required reading in all schools, colleges, book clubs, etc.. I would in a heartbeat. My 15 year old son is reading this now and it had raised so many questions from him, questions I am so happy he has asked.”
–JoAnn on Goodreads
“I did cry but I liked the hope that was given and I felt attached to all of the characters. I want to read more now.”
–Blaze on Goodreads
“Children of the Knight is one of those stories where you start reading saying to yourself “that’ll never work” and then 6 hours later you put it down sobbing, having read one of the best young adult books currently in publication.”
–Josh at Greedy Bug Book Reviews
“I loved the way characters were brought to life and allowed to experience all emotions, including uncertainty, jealousy, shame, anger, happiness, and love. All of them, especially Lance, made an impression on me and I’m not likely to forget them anytime soon.”
–E. Summers on Goodreads/Amazon
“Children of the Knight is a great story, well told. Bowler’s take on the material is bold and original. His ability to create exciting, suspenseful action scenes while keeping track of a huge cast of fully realized characters, each with his/her own background and storyline, that makes Children of the Knight a must read for both YA and adult readers alike.”
–Steve on Amazon
“Children of the Knight is one of the most emotional books I have ever read. I am not usually overly emotional when reading, yet at various times during the novel I found myself laughing, cheering, feeling terrified for the characters, and even almost crying. This is one of the few books I would recommend to anyone and everyone.” – Ashah at The Broken Bookshelf
“I laughed. I cried. I felt. Simply put, this is easily one of the best books I’ve read in the past five years. Bowler’s writing invites readers to truly hear water dripping and shots going off, truly feel sneers and snarky comments from peers, truly witness and experience injustice in its most disturbing form – one involving children. This book will call you to action on behalf of our society’s “optional children.” If you read anything this year, read this book.” – Nora at Only God Writes Trees
“Those are quite impressive, Mike, if I don’t say so myself. What’s that? You’d like to sleep a bit more? Oh, that’s no problem. You want me to put the mosquito netting the way you had it before? Of course. But before you go back to sleep, I’d like to thank you for spending the first part of your morning informing us about why bullying has become institutionalized in America.”
(Steps away from the bed)
“Sleep tight, Michael.”
(winks at Michael, who is already softly snoring, and leaves)
Posted on February 23, 2014
Here is a sneak preview about what you will be missing if you miss tomorrow, MONDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2014 BLOG POST. WHICH IS FUNNY and INTERESTING and even a little bit IN-YOUR-FACE!!
You will miss veiny forearms.
You will miss workout shorts.
You will miss a brave and bold, not for the feint of heart, guest post by this man, Michael Bowler, about why bullying has been institutionalized in America.
You will also miss an excerpt from Michael Bowler’s awesome book- that I am currently reading and LOVING- Children of the Knight.
And worst of all, you will miss a healthy breakfast.
COME and VISIT US TOMORROW!!
Posted on February 20, 2014
I am going to level with you, my very dear group of forty (or less) followers and guests, as well:
THE RED SHEET IS MIA KERICK.
Bryan Dennison is a bully and I am definitely not.
(I am eating M & M’s for breakfast…this can’t be good.)
He is a popular high school athlete. I was neither.
(Should I have left spaces, or should it be M&M?)
He is also a gay teenaged boy. And I’m not.
(M&M looks more “right” than M & M, so…)
So why is The Red Sheet PURE MIA KERICK?
(They are Red Sox M&M’s- I had to special order them)
It is because of the way Bryan Dennison thinks.
(I LOVE THE BOSTON RED SOX!!!)
Random thoughts pop into his mind.
(I am really angry at Jacoby Ellsbury for going to the Yankees!)
Bryan and I share a similar sense of humor.
(Go ahead, Jacoby, leave me like Johnny Damon did…)
The “changed” Bryan and I see the world similarly.
(Johnny Damon broke my heart when he left and donned the pinstripes.)
We see it as a place that is funny and ironic and sometimes cruel.
(And I named a cat after him- JEEZ!)
We believe that people–and the world–can change for the better.
(I booed Johnny Damon when he returned to Fenway Park for the first time.)
We both believe that we should BE the change we want to see in the World.
(I should have just held my tongue- after all, it wasn’t a personal decision on his part.)
I try so hard to treat other people the way I would like to be treated- to be helpful, and kind.
(I am sorry Johnny! I won’t ever boo another athlete…or anyone, for that matter.)
Trying to be the change-
Posted on February 19, 2014
It’s Here! It’s here… The Red Sheet Book Trailer is ONLY on my blog… you heard me right!! MINE and ONLY Mine!
hehehe (laughs wickedly)
THANK YOU to BECKEY WHITE!!