Trying to absorb the reality/ My life in 2016

This is my Facebook post from this morning. I will add to it below:

I have been writing, but I will admit to having been EXTREMELY DISTRACTED by the US political landscape over the past six months. The possibility of having Donald Trump as the president of the United States of America has horrified me to the extent that I’ve been spending a great deal of time absorbing the reality that this is happening–that Trump is being given serious consideration as a presidential candidate–and less on my friendships on Facebook and posting in my blog.
In my opinion, Trump disqualifies himself from being a legitimate contender for the presidency OVER and OVER again by spouting unforgivable comments and tweets that show no regard for human rights and no respect for human beings. They reveal his heart.
For example, Trump mocked a disabled reporter. This disgusting act of ridicule, IN ITSELF, makes the man INELIGIBLE to be the leader of the free world.
How can anyone stand behind a man who does this?

no trump

 

As to the books I’ve been working on….

I’ve written three manuscripts. Two of them, an adult and YA, deal with the relationship between a transgender person and those who care about him/her. These books do not yet have a home, in terms of a publisher. I was inspired to write them by the anger I felt with regard to the “bathroom bills” enacted in North Carolina  that requires one to use the bathroom of the gender on one’s birth, as well as the high suicide rate for transgender teens.

I also wrote a fun one! I have always wanted to retell a fairy tale, and make the main characters LGBTQ. And I did it. Here is how I would start my blurb.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may climb the golden stair.

 Yeah…um, no.

rapunzel climb hair

In His Gilded Cage, a YA LGBTQ modern fairy tale retelling, “Rapunzel” is indeed alluring, crowned with a mane of long blond hair and blessed by an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest. However, this Rapunzel just so happens to be a teenager named Lucci, sold as a young boy to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is actually Will Prinzing (Prin), an ambitious seventeen-year-old landscaper, hired to care for the grounds at the lavish Tower Estate where Lucci resides, who climbs to the top of an Extendo-ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window.

I based my “Rapunzel” character of Erik Andersson.

Lucci

His Gilded Cage was so much fun to write!! I think I’ll write another LGBTQ fairy tale retelling– I’ve always LOVED the story of Beauty and the Beast.

Raine O’Tierney and I have also come together to write a YA LGBTQ contemporary fiction, signed a contract with Harmony Ink Press, and will publish it… well, a very long time from now, but it deals with the beauty and value of silence, gaining control through losing control, and owning/embracing your life circumstances. I am a little bit in live with the character I wrote and his sister, who I based on models Lucky Blue Smith and his sister Pyper America Smith. Raine’s character is such a sweetheart, too. ❤

 

Also, two of my kids have graduated- one from high school and one from college. In this sense, I have been distracted in a very good way unlike what I talked about in my Facebook status this morning.

This is 2016 for Momma Mia… I hope to be around a lot more now.

How PERSONAL STYLE Helps Me to Embrace my BODY

My blog post of September 20, 2015 attracted a great deal of attention and I’ve been asked to write another post about body acceptance! In today’s post, I’ve extended my discussion of body love to include the HOW TO’s in terms of changing the way you view yourself. A big part of this includes the creation of a personal style that you love–from lingerie beneath your clothes to the coat your wear over them!

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 5.57.01 PM

One letter said,”Your thoughts on body confidence and being true to yourself is something we not only agree with, but try to cater to as well. With our plus size styles we create designs that not only promote confidence but accentuates a woman’s curves. With that being said, we’d love to get your further thoughts on the subject.”

In response to the requests I have written a post regarding the way in which I embrace myself as I am. Here are the tools I use to “SEND OFF SHAME” and to affirm the beauty of my body.

photo 1-1

Above: Mia in Adore Me Marcella Cami & Pajama set

EMBRACING MY PERSONAL STYLE

What plagued me was the underlying belief that no matter what I accomplished, or how kind and sweet and thoroughly wonderful I was, it was all disqualified by the fact that I was fat. Even before I gained weight in my thirties I lived in fear of fat. I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who said he was attracted to petite Asian women, and although I was not petite or Asian, I struggled to make my body fit this criteria. My mother, in her Hospice bed from which she couldn’t rise and in the final stages of lung cancer, asked me how my diet was going. It was one of our last conversations. And her focus on a thin body as representative of a beautiful and successful woman did not come out of nowhere, it was imposed on her by society, as well.

I have never been free of society’s shaming, and though I sincerely hope that the world is gradually changing in the direction of wider acceptance of people’s differences, there comes a point where I need to choose my own feelings about myself. About my beauty, about my self-worth, about my size.

It is time to stop the dieting, in favor of healthy and satisfying eating. It is time for chocolate to be “good” again. It is time for me to move my body because it is fun and makes me feel good. It is time to KNOW I am beautiful and worthwhile
just because I am.

BUT HOW?

It is easy to say “I’m going to accept myself the way I am.” It is easy to tell myself, “I am a big beautiful woman.” But how do I rise above the past fifty years of having had the image of the “perfect” size 2 or 4 or 6 body stamped into my consciousness as the only right way to be? How do I un-hear the slurs that have compared a large body to a house or a large sea animal? How do I do this? I cannot not care. I’m a woman who enjoys fashion and makeup and presenting myself to the world in a way that makes me feel attractive and beautiful.

So, in order to love and accept myself just exactly as I am, I have decided to embrace and love my own personal style. Style is important to me, and finding a style I like that works with my body is essential to my self acceptance.

I have accomplished this using several steps.

1)I have created several Pinterest Boards that I refer to often. One is called “Plus Size Beauty” where I pin pictures of mainly beautiful plus size women (but I have a number of beautiful plus size men, as well). I try to post a wide variety of women. I think that we (society) are highly influenced by what we see in advertisements, and if we never look at beautiful large women of various races, and are constantly shown only very thin pale women as representative of our standard of beauty, we will not begin to view any large body as a beautiful body.

I have another Pinterest Board called “Plus Size Fashion” where I pin plus size women wearing outfits I love. My favorite items of clothing are torn jeans and preppy shirts and leather boots, and lots of plaid flannel. Underneath my preppy/cowgirl exterior I like to wear sexy lace and silky camisoles as the contrast intrigues me.  Creating this board has helped me to focus in on what I want to wear and how I want to look and feel. And I have another Pinterest Board called “Self- Acceptance” on which I pin positive self-affirming statements about how I choose to see myself and the world.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 6.03.45 PM

2) I turn the volume off or change the channel on ALL of the dieting commercials I see on television. When I was cleaning my closet, a weeklong event if you look at my September 20 blog post, I put the television on so I had something to listen to as I worked. I have to tell you, I heard more commercials from featuring Marie Osmond and Oprah Winfrey encouraging me to try out the amazing diet they support than any other type of commercial. I also became aware of what a huge business weight loss is, as many of the other commercials featured ways I could walk and climb away the pounds. So I can finally be happy.

I turn these off and tune them out.

3)I made a few rules to live by: Look for the beauty in all people. Appreciate the differences in people. Do not compare myself (physically or otherwise) to other women.

4)Associate with people who share my values—I find that I enjoy spending time with people who are not all about what they eat and which diet they are on and how often they work out, but who focus on they types of things that I find interesting and stimulating, like books and social issues.

5) Dress in what makes me feel sexy. And then go ahead and feel sexy. (AdoreMe.com’s beautiful lingerie helps with this!)

adore me

 

6) I take note of plus size women in the news. Right now I am very excited by the beauty and style and intelligence of presidential candidate Bernie Sander’s wife, Jane.

7) I constantly challenge myself to find new online styles and new online stores that offer clothes for all sizes. This is a way I can enhance my personal style and embrace myself, as I become aware that the fashion world is starting to see larger women and create fashion to please us.

 

 

This list continues to grow every day as I find ways to support myself and to support other plus size people. I’d love to hear how YOU embrace yourself and your style!!!

 

Mia Kerick ❤

photo 1-18

 

 

I’m Guilty… of creative cursing.

Foul-O-Matic.
Insult, swear, and curse word generator.

It’s real. Google it.

swear

I succumbed to its lure. I confess: I was drawn in by its politically incorrect, crude, and perhaps even sleazy appeal. And I’m not proud of this lowly moment in my word-finding life. But I did it. I am guilty. Okay? So sue me.

guilt

It all started with The Bearded Boob Inspector. Well, no. That’s actually what caught my eye when I googled “creative curses.”

I think you’re going to need some history here. You see, I am driven by very personal, very demanding creative urges. These primitive impulses have led me to create dialects that have been referred to as “hick speak… nearly drove me out of my tree for quite a bit of the book. To supposedly be from New England, he sounded like some sort of redneck from East Bumblefuck, Alabama.” (Thanks, Todd with regard to Beggars and Choosers.) They have led me to write books using the stream of consciousness technique, where I had to fight the automatic use of punctuation in favor of allowing my thoughts to flow freely. I have written stories as emails, blog posts, diary entries and vignettes. The research I have done has been extensive when it comes to gay Christianity and bullying and gender fluidity and physical abuse and depression and alcoholism… and I got caught up in the Foul-O-Matic random curse generator.

Creative-Writing-Tips

Now that you have a sense of my need for a variety of expressive techniques, maybe you will better understand my need for discovering some uncharted territory. The plain and simple truth is that once discovered, I had to use the Foul-O-Matic. There was no room for, “you know, Mia, this might not turn out well.”

swear jar

Gold-digging dick lover…
One-balled bottom slapper…
Erection bastard.

I could not deny their refreshing, though possibly lurid, newness. I had to use them in The Art of Hero Worship… but where?

Off topic: Wouldn’t you agree that a little dose of jealousy often moves the two main characters forward in their fledgling romance? Yes, I think so too. (Here is where Foul-O-Matic makes its entrance into The Art of Hero Worship.)

When Liam and Jason, two “straight” guys who survived hell together and are fighting romantic feelings, go out to have a few drinks they meet Lola and Missy Rose. Who just so happen to be interested in enhancing Liam and Jason’s “boys’ night out.” In the sexual way. Yeah. (Wink wink.)

These two girls are aggressive; they see what they want in the form of rugged, burly Liam and sleek, cool Jason. Missy Rose is cooing and shiny and overt in her sexiness, but Lola has a secret weapon for attracting attention. She is a creative curser.

TAOHW Front Cover-1

***
EXAMPLES of Lola’s creative cursing from the text of The Art of Hero Worship:
1. “I don’t think I’ve see you two hunky spunk wankers in here before.” I think this dark-haired girl is trying to be flirtatious but I can’t be sure. Maybe it’s because I’m totally out of practice with the ladies.
2. “You alien ball sacks got yourself girlfriends?” My girl is also obviously much more comfortable with the creative use of crude language, than Liam’s. She looks right at into my eyes. “Don’t you understand plain English—I asked if you’re seeing somebody?”
3. “Hmmm….” Lola is deep in thought. “I think we know how to make a couple of jizz kings’ night out even more fun….” Ginny is right. This girl’s mind might be in the gutter but she definitely needs a new urban-language thesaurus.

And it gets worse….
4. “I’m Lola and she’s Missy Rose, some call us Bourne Sperm Riders.” Ewwww. Still, I reach out to shake Lola’s hand. She apparently has a different idea. Lola pops off of the bar stool and next thing I know, I’m wearing her like an overcoat.
5. “What’s so funny, tit-torch?” Lola doesn’t like being laughed at.
6. “Make that two Long Island iced teas. And Missy, it looks like you got yourself a bearded boob inspector,” my dark-haired girl chimes in with a husky chuckle, and then winks at Liam.
Liam, the bearded boob inspector. It has a certain ring… and I don’t like it.
***
Yes, there it is, The Bearded Boob Inspector… the creative slur that caught my attention and worked its way into my novel.
The reviewers’ comments, with regard to my creative cursing courtesy of Foul-O-matic, have not been consistently positive. My creativity may possibly have led to a chapter featuring less than believable conversation, because who on earth says alien ball sacks? (FYI, Lola does.)
Well, maybe my writing behavior in chapter 8 of The Art of Hero Worship exemplifies the pinnacle of a novelist’s immaturity. Or maybe it boasts that I have reached the summit of creative confidence. Or maybe it is neither of these. Maybe I just had fun with words.
Call me a criminal. Or call me a scruffy-looking butt dictator. I’m glad I wrote it.

mia2 adult

A SAMPLE of MY NEW WIP YA Transgender Fiction

HI EVERYBODY!!!!

I wanted to offer you a SAMPLE of what I’m writing… because I’m back to work on a YA transgender story. (Having finished and adult bigender love story, which is being professionally edited.)
This book is as yet, untitled… but I’m thinking about My Crunch Life, as the other narrator is trying his damnedest to be a retro hippy. PLEASE CHECK OUT MY CHAPTER SEVEN!! I would dearly love to know what you think. THANK YOU!!

16256074718_c3a5d03f5c_z

Thursday 3:00 AM

Julien

 

I often dream about that day… and about the conflict, the anxiety, and the hopelessness that led to the flicker of contemplation about how much easier it would be… if I didn’t have to be anymore. Soon, though, the idea wormed its way into my mind; and even though I pushed it away, it came back. The brilliant and terrifying idea I had for of ending my pain came back and came back until it became a real option.

 

I’d been rejected by my peers a long time ago. My isolation at school almost didn’t affect me anymore. Alone is my natural state. I told myself over and over that solitary was how I liked it—how I wanted it. And a big part of me believed this.

 

As of last fall, only a few people still wasted energy on bullying me at school, unless you consider acting with total indifference toward somebody a manner of oppressing. To most kids, I was too insignificant to bully. I was nothing, except to Sydney Harper, and thus to her vicious clones. Sydney knew I was a threat—an academic threat—and she used every means possible to push me over the edge that I was already precariously close to.

 

But to be real, what I tried to do that day… it was mostly because of my body. Because of what was happening to my body—in terms of a word I’ve grown to fucking hate. Puberty. I was not the person I was starting to turn into. My child’s physique was far preferable to the… the hairy, big-balled, deep-voiced beast with constant erections who was taking over my body. And maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but this is how it felt.

 

I put all logic aside—my mother’s future suffering included—and headed into what I saw as the light at the end of a brief and agonizing tunnel.

 

When I climbed up the rickety ladder into the ancient tree house in the only tree in the neighborhood, I was more truly trying to climb out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. I saw relief in what I was going to do up there.

 

It was my only option, because, how can you live in a body that isn’t yours?

 

I wake up sweating because in my sleep I was back in that damned tree house sucking away at my bottle of Citrus Cooler Gatorade, scared to toss the next handful of pills in my mouth, but more scared not to. And having no words to explain to my mother—who I knew loved me—what was happening to my body and my mind. And every single time I wake from this dream, I’m assailed by an image of Ma, wearing the pain that for so long lived in my heart on her face—and I know I put it there!!!

 

“Ma!” I’m a coward. I was a coward on the day I tried to take my own life and leave my mother with nothing but five words scribbled on the back of a gum wrapper, and I’m a coward now. “Ma!”

 

But maybe it’s okay to be a coward, if you admit you’re one.

 

I’m faster on my feet than she is so instead of waiting for Ma to come to me, I jump out of my bed and run down the short hall, throw open her bedroom door where she is already sitting up, about to push herself from the bed. “Jules… my baby!”

 

Her arms come around me and I’m safe in a way I didn’t know I could be safe last October. “I dreamed about it again….”

 

Ma pulls me down so I’m lying on her chest and I know I’m not too heavy because my body is still a child’s thanks to the puberty blockers. “You did the right thing by coming to me, Jules. You’ve got me to turn to…. hear me?”

 

“Uh-huh.” I want to cry but tears don’t come. I think I cried them all last fall and there are none left. “I hate waking you up—you’ve gotta work in the morning.”

 

Ma’s grip gets tighter on my shoulders. “I woke up for you when you were a hungry baby and a piss-wet boy, and damn it, I’ll wake up for you now.”

 

“Can I stay?”

 

“You think I’d let you outta my sight?”

 

We both laugh. “I’m a pain in the ass.”

 

“A pain my ass couldn’t live without. Now lie down beside me and tell your Ma about what happened at school today.”

 

Incidentally, the note said, I can’t take it anymore. But I never knew I could turn to my mother, and she would change things this way. In this life-saving way.

 

Thanks for reading!! I’d love to hear what you think!!

 

MIA

COVER REVEAL THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP

Today is a big day!! It is COVER REVEAL DAY for my upcoming February 14th release from CoolDudes Publishing, THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP. And the first novel in my Mia Kerick Adult Collection, which focuses on the storyline without cutting down on passion.

 

TAOHW Front Cover-1

Here’s the blurb:

Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

 

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.

 

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

 

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

 

Preorder today!!

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Mia Kerick

I hope you are all enjoying the Season with those you love!!  I appreciate every one of you who reads this message!!

 

Love from Mia ❤

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 10.49.58 AM

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 9.29.43 AM

COME TO MY WINDOW wins Lesbian YA Rainbow Award, LOVE SPELL takes 4th place in Gay YA Fiction

Here is my Facebook post from this morning:

So happy that “Come To My Window” won a Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian YA Fiction. It released last January during a time of huge turmoil, which I will not go into. I wanted to just forget all about this book, as in my mind it somehow caused my troubles. However thanks to support of good friends, and Raine O’Tierney​ swooping in to save the day by listing it for me on Amazon, “Come To My Window” came into existence (with meager fanfare). ❤

Little did I know it would make me so happy almost a year later!! 🙂

Rainbow Award for Come to my window- official one from Elisa

Come To My Window-1000x1500-2

 

Rainbow Award Winner feminine

When you least expect it, expect it!!

Love Spell also did well in the Rainbow Awards, coming in 4th place for Gay YA Fiction.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.54.42 AM

REAL final cover of Love Spell

Here is how it panned out in YA Gay Fiction:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.47.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.48.13 AM

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.48.25 AM

CONGRATS, JAY!!!

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.48.33 AM

Proud to be in a group so AWESOME!!

Inclination even got in on the act…

 

 

 

 

 

A GREAT DAY and THANK YOU to ELISA RAINBOW for your DEDICATION!!

 

Mia

RELEASE DAY NOTES about CLEAN by Mia Kerick

Today is release day for my YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance, Clean. And while there is romance, I struggle to classify Clean as STRICTLY a romance, because it is a book about social issues. In particular, it is a book about teenage substance abuse.

CLEAN FRONT COVER WITH SEALS-fin3-1

The two high school seniors who are the main characters in Clean are not using drugs and alcohol to alleviate boredom or to try out adult behavior or because of peer pressure. Trevor and Lanny use substances to medicate themselves—to dull the pain of difficult lives.

 

So, as the author, what would I like you to know about Clean?

Black and white Mia Kerick

First, I would like you to know Clean is very edgy. VERY EDGY. I went back and forth on whether to list it as a YA or a New Adult, but YA won out because of the two narrators’ youthful voices. This is the story of two teenagers, and although they deal with some tough stuff and experience sexual situations and abuse substances, it does not change the fact that this is a YOUNG ADULT novel. It is a mature YA novel, and edgy one, but still it was written to be read by teens and adults who enjoy books for teens.

 

Here are a few quotations about edgy YA that ring true to me:

 

“In terms of YA fiction, I think “edgy” means moving closer to adult genre fiction. Horror beyond R.L Stein, romance with a more adult view of sex, adventure with more realistic violence. It’s also more emotionally intense. There is still a big difference between what is acceptable in YA vs. adult fare, but it’s getting closer.” ~Austin Camacho

 

“Edgy to me has always been about topics that were once considered taboo. Today, some books cover illegal drug use and alcoholism but I’m seeing more titles about characters who must overcome sexual violence, are struggling with sexual identity, or must find a way to create their place in family groups. There seem to be more stories for YA about abandonment (youths living without parents), responsibility (youths who are the parents), terminal illness, and death.” ~Tony Russo

 

Secondly, I would like my readers to know that Trevor’s voice is written in the stream of consciousness style. Here are a few definitions of stream of consciousness I found online.

220px-RobertFuddBewusstsein17Jh

“In literature, stream of consciousness is a method of narration that describes in words the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters.” Literary Devices

 

Its “purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors.” May Huang

 

Here is an example of how I use stream of consciousness in Clean:

 

“Laughter bursts up out of me too it just forces its way up from my gut to my throat to my lips and I can’t hold it back and I don’t even try too hard. The sound of my laughter fills up the cold shed where we’ll be drunk soon enough and he’ll forget I stopped being an asshole for a minute or two just long enough to laugh.” ~Trevor, Clean by Mia Kerick

I promise—I do know how to punctuate appropriately; at least, most of the time. But when writing in the stream of consciousness style, punctuation and grammar take a back seat to capturing the genuine movement of thoughts as they move through my character’s brain.

 

Third, I would also like to admit that I took a break halfway through the writing of Clean because the book was as tough to write as I think it might be, in places, to read. The research was intense—on the topics of head injury, drug abuse, alcoholism, and Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as on the sexual abuse of a minor—and it took an emotional toll on me. And writing the gritty downfall of two boys is not exactly fun. But the jewels I uncovered—the love, the trust, the hope—at the end of the novel made the journey worthwhile for me as a writer, and I hope for you as a reader, as well.

dog-boy-sunbathing-410

Finally, I suffered over the book’s title and the author’s note. Here’s why:

I do not like the use of the word clean for describing a person who does not have a sexually transmitted disease. I believe that having and STD does not make a person dirty, which is implied by calling people without STDs clean. Trevor, having been sexually abused by his guardian for the past several years, feels that he is dirty in more ways than one. He believes that he is in some ways impure, and thinks that he is also somehow dirtied by his lifestyle of drug and alcohol use. He longs to feel clean, and he considers Lanny perpetually clean. The subtitle, “Only by coming clean do they learn that they were always clean,” was added to clarify that I, in no way, am suggesting that people can be clean or dirty based on their behavior, or the status of their health.

 

And now, about the author’s note… It was my first time speaking directly to my readers (not through my characters) when not in the confines of an interview. I focused my notes on the way that many teens believe there is an immediate and complete solution to life’s problems, and it comes in the form of a pill or a joint or something you can snort or inhale. I realize that there are prescribed medications that can ease mental turmoil, and I do not intend to say that this is not true, but I believe that these medications work most effectively combined with hard work.

th-2

And now, I truly hope you are enlightened and uplifted by my fifteenth novel, Clean.

Kari promo Lanny he sees somebody

Kari Promo Clean Louis face - tortured eyes

kirkus review clean excerpt (Jaime)

DRUMROLL PLEASE…. COVER REVEAL VIDEO OF CLEAN by Mia Kerick

It is finally NOVEMBER 16, 2015 THE DAY OF MY COVER REVEAL for Clean!! MY YA LGBTQ EDGY ROMANCE

I think this cover might be my favorite so far. The colors, the cover model, the title and the sub-title–ALL OF IT!!

Thank you to my awesomely talented cover designer LOUIS C HARRIS for a brilliant cover and to LOUIS J HARRIS

for this AMAZING cover reveal video trailer!!!

Here is the blurb, in case you want to know who the beautiful guy on the cover is!! (He is Trevor…)

High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school badboy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.

Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.

When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction.

Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?

Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

Here are a few reviews of Clean….

“Mia Kerick’s young adult coming of age romance, Clean, is stunningly beautiful and perfectly paced as the two young men begin their processes of healing and self-discovery. I love this book. I love just about everything about it. Trevor and Lanny are marvelous characters, and their interactions ring genuine and true even throughout the worst of their problems. Kerick adroitly merges social issues such as sexual and physical abuse, family dysfunction and addiction in a compelling and lovely story that never becomes preachy, sentimental or exploitative, and her writing style is measured and perfectly suited to her story. There are passages in Clean that are lyrical and beg to be read aloud, especially some of Trevor and Lanny’s later conversations. I didn’t want the story to end and felt a bit bereft when it finally did. Clean is most highly recommended.”

Jack Mangus Readers Favorites 5 STARS

“Kerick delivers a gripping and poignant tale in this unforgettable story of redemption, second chances and absolution. The writing will immerse readers in this tale of two young men facing their inner torment and demons. Clean will grip you to the core, strip you naked and make you believe that second chances do exist. Though classified as a young adult title, this is a story that any reader can enjoy.”

Michelle Tan RT SOURCE

“RECOMMENDED by the US Review

“Kerick’s novel is a well-paced, well-written, and thoughtful approach to teen angst and the perils of drug and alcohol addiction. As the novel shifts focus between Lanny and Trevor’s voices, we begin to see the deeper layers hidden beneath hardened exteriors, each of them revealing their true thoughts and feelings, until gradually they soften and their lives and future change for the good. Kerick is non-judgemental and compassionate, dealing with mature themes for young adults, while providing very realistic characters in Lanny and Trevor. A compelling read, Clean adds Kerick to the likes of writers who challenge us to find the hidden humanity in others. It’s a positive novel to help young adults and teenagers often ignored in the journey we all share together through the obstacles of life.”

US Review Dylan Ward

“Sigh, young love! Merely saying that I loved this novel will not be enough. I stayed up all night to read it and find out what happens in the end. I love it when I cannot guess the ending. Mia Kerick gave readers a rich text with amazing characters and beautifully written words. As a reader, you cannot ask for anything more! Ten shining stars for a new rising star!”

Rabia Tanveer Readers’ Favorites 5 STARS

If you feel you just must have this YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance… here’s the link!!

http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Mia-Kerick-ebook/dp/B016AUC2HM/ref=zg_bsnr_10368521011_27

❤ Mia

New pre-cover reveal Book Trailer from the AMAZING Louis J Harris for CLEAN by Mia Kerick

And here it is!! My heart-pounding book trailer for Clean by Mia Kerick made by CoolDudes Publishing!!

I’d love to know what you think of this wonderful video creation!!!

LET’S ALL BE IN A BOOK FLASH MOB!!!!

flash-mob

It is difficult for me to tread on unknown pathways. Ask my kids… if they, for example, want to try rock wall climbing, they need to ask me and expect my immediate reaction of “Oh, I don’t know… is that safe? I mean, the ropes could be tied wrong and it is a long way down!! What if you get hurt? I just don’t know!” and then come back to me in a couple of hours when I have had time to get used to the idea for “yes, you can rock wall climb.” And ask my husband… he has had to gradually break me in to the idea of MANY new things–from leaving the kids to go on a cruise to buying a boat to making plans for our someday retirement–I am slow to change and to join in and to accept a brand new concept.

A Writer's Odyssey for Petra Image

Doing this Thunderclap Campaign is another example of me stepping into unfamiliar waters. When my publisher suggested it, I though “Oh, dear! What am I getting myself into? I just don’t know!” But I said, “Let’s go for it.” And no, I’m not fully comfortable with asking all of my friends for help, but here I am.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 2.37.09 PM

The premise of the Thunderclap… well, here is the definition from the Thunderclap website. Horse’s mouth, so to speak.

“Social media is an easy way to say something, but it’s a difficult way to be heard. Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks. By boosting the signal at the same time, Thunderclap helps a single person create action and change like never before.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 3.00.46 PM

And the premise of my Thunderclap is this:

“As a parent of three teenagers and one young adult, Mia Kerick knows that communication is the key to a successful family relationship, but she is also aware that the course of daily life doesn’t always run smoothly. No matter what challenge they face, Mia’s family knows that they can talk about it and pull together. But, there are families who do not communicate, where trust has fallen to the wayside, leaving family members lost and totally alone. But there is a way out, and Mia’s message is simple: when faced with a challenge, family always pulls together.

In Clean, Lanny Keating and Trevor Ladd are unable to honestly communicate with the adults and peers in their lives They are in emotional turmoil and seek ways to escape their pain through substance abuse and to some extent, sexual experimentation. Mia’s purpose is to give teens and adults who read Clean new hope, that through the power of communication—of directly addressing their challenging issues, and talking them over with a person they trust—any one can find a way into the light.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 2.37.29 PM

In other words, I’d like to put the spotlight on teenage substance abuse- the why’s the how’s and the who’s.

I would love so much for you to join in and help me to spread the word. We can be like a huge BOOK FLASH MOB!!!

flash mob

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/32691-clean-by-mia-kerick

Join in and make a statement!!! (and help Momma Mia)

Thanks!!

flash-mob-dance-art-saveslives-tsxm-ilandvibez

COVER REVEAL of Shira & Aisling’s new book & an EXCLUSIVE QUOTE for Momma Mia!!!

Yes, you heard me right! Tonight I am honored and privileged to be able to reveal the awesome cover of SOLITARY MAN by my two friends Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy!!!

FIRST, HERE IS MOMMA MIA’s EXCLUSIVE COMMENT from AISLING MANCY!!!

(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll only find it here!!)

I asked AISLING to briefly discuss the experience of co-writing with SHIRA ANTHONY!!

He responded…

Charlie Worsham said, ‘I believe the better I can write on my own, the better I can be of service in a co-write. The big thing with a co-write is trust, and it’s not so much what you get the first time you sit down with that writer. It’s the relationship that you build that you’re in. So you can trust throwing out all your ideas and how strong you think they might be.’

When Shira and I sat down to discuss story ideas for A Solitary Man, the trust was there, it was implicit, and it was an incredible pleasure bouncing ideas off each other. A symbiosis occurred and that transcends writing. We hope you enjoy our story. Thank you for reading our books!”

Aisling, you are welcome–we are so happy to read your books!!

NOW, are you ready to see the cover? Well, here it is!!!

COVER REVEAL!

Authors Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy have teamed up to write a red-hot action-packed thriller!

SOLITARY MAN

A Solitary Man coming from Dreamspinner Press November 6th!
Excerpt:

Evan pressed the button on his phone to connect. “Freddy? What did you find out?”

Fred laughed. “For this, I’m going to exact a price.”

“You mean the keg I sprang for at graduation doesn’t get me a freebie?” Evan shot back.

“We’ve been out of law school for how many years now? Eight?”

“Nine this year,” Evan corrected.

“Credit’s no good anymore,” Fred answered. “I’m thinking dinner at Ivy at the Shore next time you’re in LA. On you, of course. Including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.”

“For that,” Evan said with a chuckle, “this had better be good.”

“It’s good. And it was hell to get.”

“Okay, okay. Dinner on me. Assuming you and Margie put me up for the night,” Evan replied. “I’m looking forward to seeing your McMansion.”

“Deal. Took a little digging. Seems your mystery man did some undercover work for the FBI.”

“And?”

“My buddy in the US Attorney’s office wouldn’t give details, but word is Constantine got fed up with the bullshit after a case went bad somewhere down in South America.”

“Drugs?” Evan asked.

“No. He dealt with human trafficking. Specifically, child sex trafficking. My friend says the guy’s good. He tried a few cases where Constantine was the government’s key witness. Knows his stuff. Works his ass off and gets into his work. I got the impression sometimes he gets a little too close.”

Now that was interesting. “Why?”

“Seems the guy’s rabid about protecting kids.”

“Any idea why?”

“Nothing anyone would tell me,” Fred replied.

Evan leaned back in his chair. At least Xav wasn’t a slacker, but it didn’t make Evan feel any better about the prospect of bumping into him at work. “Anything else?”

“Constantine grew up in LA, went to school in Boston.”

“Boston?” Even more interesting. So much for his initial assessment of Xav as a broceanographer.

“Yeah, you’ll love this.”

Evan could almost hear Freddy’s grin over the phone.

“He did undergrad at MIT. Mathematics major. Master’s in criminology from U Penn with an emphasis in cryptology. The FBI was probably falling all over itself to recruit him.”

No shit. This just got better and better. “What the hell’s a guy with that kind of background doing in North Carolina?”

“I could ask you the same question,” Fred shot back. “Of course, if you decide you want your own McMansion….”

“You couldn’t pay me enough to come to work for you,” Evan joked. Fred was serious—they’d had this discussion a half-dozen times before.

“Try me.” Fred paused for a moment and then asked, “This personal?”

Evan had no intention of telling Fred he’d slept with Xav. “Not personal.”

“’Cause word has it he’s gay,” Fred said. “Out but not advertising.” When Evan didn’t take the bait, Fred added, “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”

Evan shook his head and sighed theatrically. “Don’t even go there, Freddy. You know I don’t mix business and pleasure. I just want to know what I’m dealing with. That’s all.”

“You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, man.”

“Thanks for the help,” Evan said, foreclosing the topic. “I’ll let you know next time I’m out your way. Tell Margie she’s a brave woman.”

“Always do. Laters. And make sure you get your sorry ass out here soon.”

“Will do.” Evan disconnected the call and rubbed his mouth. Mathematics major at MIT and a master’s from U Penn? No wonder the FBI had recruited him. And he’d pegged Xav for a surfer! What the hell are you doing in Dare’s Landing, Xavier Constantine?

SOLITARY MAN BANNER

About A Solitary Man

Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Two months later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the thirteen-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.

Pre-order A Solitary Man from Dreamspinner Press!

About Shira Anthony

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies.

Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 36′ catamaran sailboat, “Lands Zen,” at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Shira looks forward to meeting you at Gay Rom Lit!

Find Shira on blog, Twitter @WriterShira, Facebook, and Goodreads and

Subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter

for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests!

About Aisling Mancy

Aisling is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Aisling writes adult fantasy, adult LGBTQIA romance, and fiction for gay young adults (C. Kennedy).

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Aisling doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Aisling contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Aisling can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Aisling looks forward to meeting you at Gay Rom Lit!

Find Aisling on blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Goodreads, and

Aisling does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.

I am going to rush out and buy this book!! So exited to read A SOLITARY MAN!!!

❤ Mia

Wanna WIN SOME STUFF??? Check out my blog!!!

I’m nice.

In fact, I’ve often been accused of being too nice.

But beneath this nice exterior… is a lady who wants stuff.

What is it that Mia Kerick wants? You may wonder.

Well, first, let me tell you about the nice things I’ve got that you might want. K?

mia's 14 books

I have fourteen published books. All signed… or unsigned, if you’d prefer, by Mia Kerick, the author (yup, me).

There are shiny new Young Adult books: Intervention, Not Broken, Just Bent, The Red Sheet (original cover), Us Three, Inclination, Love Spell, Come to My Window, “A Hard Day’s Night”.

There are New Adult and Adult books: Beggars and Choosers, Unfinished Business, A Package Deal, Out of Hiding, Random Acts, Here Without You.

HINT: Mia Kerick will be focusing on YA from this point on, and an “ALTER EGO” of Mia Kerick will be writing the New Adult and Adult stuff in the future…. Yes, it is time to separate the men from the boys… STAY TUNED for more information!

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.51.47 PM

 

 

 

But here’s a reminder: these books include the last of the Mia Kerick adult books.

And there’s swag. Not a lot of swag… but there will be some Mia Kerick stuff thrown in to make opening the box more fun!

photo-9

Do you want this grand prize? The Complete Mia Collection from Day One of her writing journey? Those of you in the United States are eligible to win (shipping is just too expensive out of the country- SORRY!)

Okkkkaaaaayyyy… this brings us back to what I want. (I look like a want something in the selfie below- don’t ya think?)

photo 1-37

Here’s the deal: I need reviews. All authors need them; reviews are our lifeblood! Readers need reviews, too, to help them choose the best book for them.

bookreview

In order to register for the raffle—which will be of the names-in-a-hat-variety—all you have to do is place a new review (posted after 9/28/15) of any Mia Kerick book on Goodreads, Amazon, your blog, Facebook, or somewhere else that takes reviews, like Dreamspinner Press or All Romance eBooks. It can be a review of a book you read a long time ago and never reviewed. It can be a review of a new Mia book you have been meaning to pick up and read. It can be short and sweet or long and complicated! And, of course, it must be an honest review- good, bad, or somewhere in between. Then private message me on Facebook or leave a message here on my blog telling me your name, which book you reviewed, and where you placed the review and you will be entered into the raffle.

name-in-a-hat

Sound fair? I figure it’s a win-win-win situation all around!!!

write-a-review

I will open the contest TODAY 9/28/15 and will close it at midnight on October 30! There will be a Halloween Drawing!

Stampa

This is my first time running a big contest so please let me know if I have missed something big. Or small.

THANKS!! Good Luck!!

❤ Mia

A VERY Personal Statement by Mia Kerick “Accepting Myself”

There are thirty bags of clothing in my garage.

I’m not talking about those tall, white deodorized kitchen trash bags. I’m talking about heavy-duty, “a dumpster-in-a-bag”, construction-grade trash bags, each stuffed to the top with preppy attire in slightly varied sizes.

Enough white button-down collar oxford cloth shirts to outfit a (plus-sized) private girls school.

No (size sixteen or eighteen) woman in the state of New Hampshire with access to my garage need go shopping for denim, at least until the next decade.

An ocean of trash bags. I could drown in them. And in some ways, maybe I did.

garbage bags

***

As I got started on my adventure in cleaning out our “storage closet”, which is actually a small room off the master bedroom, I looked around at the boxes and bags stacked awkwardly to the ceiling, filled with clothes that I’d picked up at malls and online over the past seventeen years. I couldn’t help but think of the show on TLC called Hoarding: Buried Alive… and I wondered if they could possibly do an episode on me.

On the second full day of bagging and tagging clothes, I wondered if perhaps I wasn’t better a subject for a Lifetime made-for-TV movie about a compulsive shopper whose wretched husband holds an intervention to stop her from sending them to the poor house. (Incidentally, my husband has been remarkably patient with my little habit.)

On the third day, I was finally able to tackle the foundation of books that lay beneath the excessive piles of clothing, and a new concept surfaced in my mind about who this apparent compulsive buyer really is.

diet books

Here is a small sample from my extremely large book collection:

Intuitive Eating by Emily Tribole, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker,

embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!) by Connie Sobczak, How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good, Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside by Josie Spinardi, Embrace: My Story from Body Loather to Body Lover by Taryn Brumfitt, Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body by Lesley Kinzel, The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great — Starting Today! by Colette Heimowitz, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Robert C.Atkins, Weight Watchers the Fit Factor: How Getting Strong Can Help You Lose Weight… by Weight Watchers, Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary, The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care by Judith Matz, Ellen Frankel, Self-Esteem Comes in All Sizes: How to Be Happy and Healthy at Your Natural… by Gary D. Foster (Foreword), et al, Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self by Frances Kuffel, Journeys to Self-Acceptance: Fat Women Speak by Carol A. Wiley, Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large by Kimberly Brittingham, Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal by Golda Poretsky, The Easiest Diet in the World . . . and It Works! by Rich Stevens, Eat This! : 365 Reasons to Stop Dieting by Mary McHugh, Till We Eat Again: Confessions of a Diet Dropout by Judy Gruen, The Good Calorie Diet Philip, Ph.D. Lipetz, The Two-Hundred Calorie Solution: How to Burn an Extra 200 Calories a Day and… by Martin Katahn, The Prayer Diet: The Unique Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Approach to Healthy by Matthew Anderson, Dieting For Dummies by Jane Kirby, Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat by Hillel Schwartz…, Fed-Up: A Woman’s Guide to Freedom from the Diet/Weight Prison by Terry Nicholetti Garrison, David Ph.D Levitsky, Making Peace With Food : Freeing Yourself From the Diet/Weight Obsession… by Susan Kano, Don’t Diet by Atrens, Dale M.; Valk, PeterReal Women Don’t Diet!: One Man’s Praise of Large Women and His Outrage at the by Ken Mayer, The Dieter’s Dilemma: Eating Less and Weighing More by William Bennett, Joel Gurin, The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan: Your Foundation for Permanent Fat Loss by Tammi Flynn, Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons, Inspired to Lose by Howard Rankin, Ph.D., How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big… by Kirstie Alley, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion by Virgie Tovar, FAT!SO? : Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size Marilyn Wann, Think Thin, Be Thin : 101 Psychological Ways to Lose Weight by Doris Wild Helmering, Dianne Hales, Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America’s Obesity Epidemic by Eric J Oliver, Fat Chicks Rule!: How To Survive in a Thin-Centric World by Lara Frater,  Jenny Craig’s What Have You Got to Lose : A Personalized Weight Management… by Jenny Craig

Get the picture?

 

 

I’m not a hoarder, nor am I a compulsive shopper. I mean, sure, those labels could be loosely applied to me, but they do not describe what is at the heart of the matter.

I am a woman in distress.

***

For all of my adult life, most of my teenage years, and a sizeable portion of my childhood, I have been tormented by the inability to accept my body size, which might be a first world problem, but it is my reality. At this juncture, I will not discuss the personal why’s or the political implications of this problem of mine, but rather, I plan to describe my personal experience with it.

I could give you a pertinent example, or a million. Maybe I will.

I’m allowing this personal statement, my manifesto, to flow freely. Call it a stream of consciousness, if you so choose. So in the spirit of structurelessness, I’m going to start here… don’t ask me why.

I feel like a link of sausage in these stupid Danskin leggings that Mom makes me wear to school. A fatty, juicy sausage packaged in a stretchy polyester casing. (And I was a normal-sized child… thin, even.)

 The anguish of body hatred isn’t a new thing in my life. I’ve been aware of, and uncomfortable with, my body since I was a child.

I worked at an ice cream parlor over a summer when I was in junior high school, I rode my bike to the CVS downtown and and spent all of my tips on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This was my first toe-dip into teen independence.

 In my teenage years I struggled with not being as small in body as I felt my person was in the world. A silly, dreamer, crossed with a nervous people-pleaser, I had never been popular in high school. Wearing my heart on my sleeve and a target on my back, I’d discovered that being insignificant was far better than being laughed at. So I isolated myself from the crowd and tried to stay safe by being as perfect as possible. “That’s right. Reclaim a bit of your lost power by keeping the girls jealous and the boys wanting you.” To accomplish this, I had to be thin.

In college I was so scared and alone, no girlfriends, just boyfriends, and when they dumped me, or I dumped them, which was somehow inevitable, all hell broke lose in my heart. I had no problem staying skinny then, because I’m a happy eater. I don’t eat to console myself, and in college I was too anxious to eat. But when I started working, the diets resumed.

I can still remember the first McChicken Sandwich I ever ate at McDonalds. Holy sweet fried chicken torture…. They were all I could think of. McChicken Sandwiches have become smaller and drier over the past 30 years. Just saying.

 McChicken

I remember returning from my honeymoon, about twenty-three years ago, completely disillusioned. Not disillusioned by the daunting reality of being a married woman, or distraught over how I was going to pay for a fifteen thousand dollar wedding. No, I was struggling emotionally with the six pounds I’d gained over the course of my wedding and honeymoon. Desperate, I headed straight to Nutrisystem, where they proceeded to weigh and measure me. The verdict: five feet six inches, 131 pounds (I have an amazing memory for details like this). “Yes, ma’am, you are indeed overweight and Nutrisystem can help you lose those unwanted pounds.”

 “Did you ever hold a pound of butter in your hand?” My mother asks me when I lose only two pounds this week when my goal was four. “That’s a lot of unsightly fat! Don’t give up!”

“Are you pregnant?” asks my 7th grade student, Tommy DiMato, when I wear a blue pleated skirt to school. I never wore that skirt again.

“Why can’t I make this bulge in my stomach go away?” Partway through a set of one hundred sit-ups and fifty leg lifts, I ask the trainer at the gym, where I’m the sexy juice bar girl.

“That’s where your ovaries are,” replies the trainer. “You can’t exercise them away.”

 pregnant Mama

And then I was pregnant and I couldn’t fully enjoy the experience of bringing a precious new life into the world because I lived and died for the weigh-ins at my OB GYN’s office. I found myself dieting when pregnant, and confounded by the fact that I was gaining weight still. In my mind were the Downy commercials in which a gorgeous perfect skinny mother holds her similarly perfect newborn up in the air in front of her and they exchange perfect smiles. I knew that a fat woman like me couldn’t be that perfect mother.

mother and baby

“When did you start packing on the pounds, big Mama?” asks Dr. Dolman with a smirk when he comes to my room after I’m checked into the hospital for the induction of labor with my third child, thanks to the onset of pre-eclampsia. I wisely decide not to slap the face of man who will soon be delivering my baby, but it isn’t easy to hold back. “Have you ever been pregnant, Dr. D?” In case you’re wondering, I didn’t ask him this.

A few weeks after giving birth to Sienna, a close family member notices I’m still wearing a larger size in clothes. “It’s a good thing you have those beautiful J.Jill clothes or you’d look horrible,” she confides with a sly wink.

I thought I’d be able to brush aside my body acceptance issues as I experienced the miracle of pregnancy, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I worried that I would never be the same, and I wasn’t.

I have never uttered a single word to my kids with regard to body weight. In fact, I refuse to allow them to so much as mention the word diet, which might be overkill in the right direction. My mother was aware of every bite of food I put into my body, and felt it was her duty to comment on it, because, you know, “men don’t marry fat ladies”. So I took a huge step back with my own children, encouraging them to eat when they were hungry, and stop when full. I do not want them to ever feel that they need to change their bodies, but rather I hope they will embrace the bodies they have been blessed with.

“I took more hell for being fat than I did for being an absolute raging drug addict. I will never understand that.” Kelly Osbourne

I never want to go to parties with my husband because party snacks and drinks have calories. Lots of calories. If I eat and drink them, I’ll get fat. And then I won’t look decent enough in party clothes to even attend this type of event. My alternative is to go to the party, have nothing to eat, and drink water. And be envious of all the people who are eating and drinking the good stuff. Now you can see why partying isn’t high on my list of things to do.

***

So let’s revisit my closet…

closet mess

Here is how I ended up with a literal mountain of plus size clothes, growing at a fast clip in the next room:

*Maybe this outfit will make me look thin. I’ll buy one in every color.

 *Oh, my God, my jeans are snug around the waist. Calm down… it’s okay. You need to accept yourself as you are. Ever since you had Sienna you have continually dieted and returned to this very same weight! Hello! Maybe this is your body’s natural set point? I’m gonna go buy bigger clothes. I’ll feel comfortable and accept the new larger me. After all, bigger is better. Right? Right?

 *I think these jeans make my butt look a little bit smaller. I’ll buy five pairs. I don’t want them to run out or stop making them and then I’ll never be able to look this good again.

 *For the rest of my life, I’m only going to eat fruit and vegetables and drink black coffee and have popcorn for dessert… because mentally I can’t go without dessert. (And after nine months of eating more apples, oranges and bananas than a fruitarian…) Now I need new clothes… woohoo!! I’m gonna buy a crap ton of “skinny clothes” cuz I’m not going back to my former fat self.

choc chip cook

*But bread and cookies and brownies and mocha lattes … they taste so good. I’ll only have one… I mean it. Did you know that it’s much easier to gain weight than lose it? But gaining is still equally torturous. Because I remember how it felt when I was fatter than I am right now… I was not attractive and people thought I was lazy and some people thought I was worthless … and I was almost not fat any more thanks to Peeled Brand’s Dried Mangoes. But rolling stones gather moss and I can’t stop the downhill roll. And up the scale I climb. Shit. Time for new clothes that I can breathe in.

 There are days I don’t eat until three in the afternoon because I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to be on a diet or not.

Sometimes I suffer over what I eat so much that I finally succumb to the “nothing tastes as good as thin feels” philosophy and I do something drastic like go on the Atkins Diet. I lived on a low carb diet for three years. My weight was under control, but it sucked to go out for ice cream because I’d have to eat the beef jerky I took from home. And I hate meat… and lettuce. Which made Atkins tough.

 *If I could just find the perfect pair of slouchy jeans I would not have to worry about being fat or thin. I’m going to go online shop and buy boyfriend jeans from every store. One of them has to make me look cool, confident, preppy… or maybe like a free-spirited hippy. You know, like I don’t care about how I look, and about what people see when they look at me.

 Twenty more minutes on this GODDAMNED TREADMILL and I’ll have burned enough calories to eat two Devil Dogs….

Aside: I just got distracted… I read a story of a person who lost a lot of weight but who did it did it in an admittedly dangerous manner. First impulse: I get an instinctive feeling that she is somehow better than me because she is thin. That she has more control over her life and is self-disciplined, and, generally, worth more. And everybody thinks she looks terrific and is saying so as I type this, even though they know that she lost weight in a way that could ultimately kill her! What does this mean? Hmmm… it means that being thin is more important than being … alive. ”You look great! Keep up the good work!” Huh?

I used to avoid my yearly medical check-ups because I so dreaded getting weighed. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE NUMBER. Do you hear me??? I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW. Now I refuse to be weighed at doctor’s appointments. The regular nurses know that I don’t step on the scale. I hate it when they get new nurses.

 And so, I ended up with a room full of clothes of slightly varied sizes and styles, all selected with the hope that I would lose weight and fit into them or stay thin and fit into them or wear bigger clothes and fit into them because I accept myself. Or be the perfect garment that would change everything for me and let me be a cool, confident I-don’t-care sort of cowgirl.

***

Back to the why’s of this sticky situation I find myself in….

I have pondered this topic incessantly… I’ve obsessed over it, even. Why am I convinced that in order to be happy I need to be thin? All I can say is it’s a society thing… At some point we all bought into the “thin=smart, successful, healthy, disciplined, and worthwhile” scenario. You want respect? “Then get your fat ass off the couch and onto the treadmill… and, for God’s sake, put down the fudge brownie! There’s a fudge brownie flavored low cal yogurt in the fridge!” And don’t forget this wise assumption: “Everybody knows fat people are lazy and self-indulgent… and stupid… and, I’m just gonna say it— disgusting. #sorrynotsorry.” This is no exaggeration, although I wish it were.

I’m a people–pleaser and I am aware that society wants my body to be thin… and I’ve tried, almost every day, for more than thirty-five years to deliver to the public what it so desires: a thin person…. And I’ve failed.

Even the currently (terrifyingly) most popular Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, thinks that fat people got no reason to live. I mean, would he really be my president? Would he represent me, with all of my Rosie O’Donnell physical similarities? I highly doubt it. And where I should be furious at him for possessing this backward attitude toward women/fat/Rose O, I feel shame. As if maybe Rosie and me don’t deserve equal representation in the democratic process because we have belly rolls.

trump

In the midst of the contents of my closet… among the piles of clothing and the boxes and bins filled with diet books and you-don’t-need-to-diet-books and dieting-doesn’t-work-books, I see the clear evidence of a tortured life. Of pain that I accept because I have a body that I can’t accept. All the hurt and resentment and embarrassment and shame are stuffed into this backroom… living in the closet where no one but I know it’s there. (My husband has a pretty good clue it’s there, though, because when the cats get in the storage room they never fail to knock down precariously stacked bins, and that’s loud at 2 AM.)

As I sit here sorting through the physical evidence of my lifelong pain, the television is on the Investigation Discovery Channel so I have something to keep me entertained while I work. Marie Osmond chirps on and on about the wonders of Nutrisystem, and the “rough day” she looked in the mirror, saw the dismal truth that she was fifty pounds overweight, and knew she had to do something about it. (I estimate that the diet plan plays a motivating commercial at least five times each afternoon.) I’m being brainwashed even as I recognize that I have long been brainwashed by a society that has declared I am not good enough as I am.

Is it time that I accept my full self, including my body, and love and take care of the lush frame God gave me with a loving attitude… by exercising for pleasure and health and eating a variety of foods? Yes. I think the day has come.

Even as I profess that I’m going to love myself exactly as I am today, can I still the niggling doubt that tomorrow morning I’m going to tell myself, “Fruit only, fatso! Cuz you’re big ass is going to a family gathering next month and everybody will see the fat girl you really are! You better get started right now!”

 But, maybe today IS the day I finally celebrate the real me. The me who I currently am. The woman who has raised her kids and loved her man and cared for her dying mother and written her books and emulated her sister and folded all the damned laundry and cared for so many hearts and souls of kids and cats and friends and family….

I so badly want today to be the day. “But,” the inner anxious me reminds, “thirty bags are gone… not thirty pounds.”

 No worries, inner me… I’m okay. I’m the way I’m supposed to be. I don’t need to change, not for myself, not for you, not for anyone.

mia I am beautiful

I’m beautiful. I am. I am.

bedroom

It’s RELEASE DAY for my first NOVELLA!!! “A Hard Day’s Night” welcome to AMAZON!!!

Today is the day!! Today you can meet Lennon and Fin, laugh at their mistakes (they won’t know) and fall in love right along beside them! Explore some popular culture in a Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist-style adventure!! And I promise you will be singing Beatles songs for the rest of the week!

a hard day's night

It’s only $2.99 for the ebook- an entire day at the beach caught up in a slice of Lennon and Fin’s life for less than $3.00!!

What do you have to lose but $2.99?

REAL FINAL cover of A Hard Day's Night

Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Gay & Lesbian Fiction

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 11.32.15 AM

Happy release day AHDN by Kari promo

And if you are a John Lennon Fan, this short novel is not to be missed!!

john-lennon john-lennon1-300x294

Find out why it’s a hard day and an even harder night in this ONE DAY ADVENTURE of music, friendship, breaking stereotypes, and LOVE!

hard day

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NOVELLA AS A READING CHOICE FOR ROMANCE? CAN A NOVELLA SATISFY YOUR NEED FOR ROMANCE?? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Mia ❤

COVER REVEAL TODAY “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” by Mia Kerick YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance Novella

Duh duh-duh daaaaaah!!! Here it is!! The moment you (I) have been waiting for!!

Here is the reveal of the awesome cover by Louis C Harris of my first NOVELLA!!

“A HARD DAY’s NIGHT” by Mia Kerick YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romantic Fiction with Humor

THANK YOU COOLDUDES PUBLISHING!!!

REAL FINAL cover of A Hard Day's Night

Within this short but sweet story are two cute teenage boys finding themselves and each other, plenty of Beatles music to sing along with, total beauty makeovers that will make you envious, shades of pink Disney T-shirts, boogying down to Taylor Swift tunes, a kiss or two that are a little bit more than sweet, and a photo session that will leave you breathless!! What’s not to like?

And maybe the two boys learn a little something about life, but you are gonna have to read it to find out!!

“A Hard Day’s Night” by Mia Kerick

Buy links in the comments!!!

Pre-order a copy today!!!

❤ Mia

I’M HAVING A RELEASE DAY PARTY and YOU are INVITED!! RELEASE DAY PARTY for MICHAEL J BOWLER’s SPINNER!!!

book-birthday2-263x300

Hello, and thanks for coming to my BOWLER BOOK BIRTHDAY PARTY PALOOZA!!!  Sit down, everyone, make yourselves comfy, and listen to my speech… or um, my welcome. Yes, my warm welcome for the guest of honor, Michael J. Bowler.

Today a very close, very wonderful friend of mine is releasing a YA HORROR THRILLING WORK OF FICTION!! Spinner, by Michael J Bowler features a diverse cast of heroic high school kids, a slew of nasty cats, some devious and calculating adults and EVIL I can’t describe or I will most certainly have nightmares!! Now, maybe you are thinking, “I’m a romance reader” and  under normal circumstances, so am I… but Spinner is a refreshingly chilling change in pace that kept my heart pounding and my fingers turning the pages!!! (YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.)

SO, in honor of our guest Michael Bowler…

michael

and his AMAZING NEW RELEASE SPINNER

spinner

THE AMAZON LINK to SPINNER is on my comments!!!! 🙂

I’M HAVING A RELEASE DAY PARTY!!! PARTY ON!!! WOOT!!!

release-day

Let’s start with some cupcakes… of course I will stay with my theme. BOOK CUPCAKES! See the tiny books I stuck on them?

book cupcakes

And BOOK-ISH balloons…

book balloon

and of course we must have coffee, tea, and cocoa – I bought some special mugs for the occasion…

(Michael- of course you can have a mug of almond milk)

book-mug 3 book mug 1 book mug 2 big books funny_judge_a_book_mug go away mug

Now, to let you all know how much I adored Spinner, I will now read aloud my FIVE STAR review. You can find it on Goodreads and Amazon (soon) if you would like to re-read it. FIVE STARS- did you hear that part??

five stars

Black and white Mia Kerick

I’m a romance reader, and definitely not what you would call a huge horror fan, but as you know, there’s an EXCEPTION to every rule. Michael J Bowler’s FIVE STAR YA thriller, Spinner, is this exception to my romance novel obsession.

I have to ask myself why—why could I not put Spinner down, when I normally would never pick up a YA horror novel? So here’s my main reason: where I’m a romance reader, I’m an action movie lover! No, strangely, I don’t want to watch a love story unfold on the big screen; I want to be thrilled, challenged, made to think, and concentrate very hard, through every moment of a movie. This is exactly what Spinner caused me to do as I read each and every gripping page. And thus, I view Bowler’s exciting, un-put-down-able work of YA horror as interactive as I do a thrilling action movie. Just give me some popcorn and a soda and a copy of Spinner and I’m good to go!! That’s entertainment!!

Now on a more serious note, to thoroughly enjoy a novel, I also need to buy what the author is selling. In other words, I must believe in what he is trying to get across, and thus, I need the language to be right. Bowler, having had a great deal of experience with special education teens as a high school teacher, hits the nail on the head with his character dialogue. In addition, I need the relationships to be intense and to genuinely matter to me, and again, Bowler delivers. I wanted—no, I needed—to know whether there would be acceptance and forgiveness and yes, even love, between his tightly knit cast of characters. I found these two essential aspects of a book I can embrace—believability and a feeling that I actually care what happens to the characters—to be alive and well, and thriving, in Michael J. Bowler’s Spinner.

And finally, because I have read Bowler’s Children of the Knight series and FELL IN LOVE with each of the five books (even experiencing a mini-depression when I concluded the final one), I gained an insight about myself and what I’m looking for, particularly when I read a YA novel. I want to learn something. I want to be somehow enlightened, and even end up a more well-informed and compassionate individual for having read the work of fiction. If this also concerns you, I’d suggest you read Spinner by Michael J Bowler. You will emerge on the other side of the novel a more educated, empathetic, and tuned-in (to society) person.

I can see you are all spellbound by my amazing review of Spinner, but honestly, and you all know me well enough to know I’m a straight shootin’ type of gal, if you want to be truly spellbound you must read SPINNER!!

Okay, now everybody, get up. It’s time for a GROUP HUG in support of my dear friend and his amazing book.

group hug 4 group hug group_hug group hug 3 Alright-group-hug-qe8h7rgw6 group hug 7

GOOD LUCK MICHAEL AND YOUNGDUDES!!

LOVE,

MIA

book birthday

COVER REVEAL PROMO FOR “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” Mia’s first novella!! YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance

Short but sweet.

I will admit, I didn’t intend to write a novella. But 21,500 words was all it took to write the skinny slice of Lennon and Fin’s life that I wanted to put forth in “A Hard Day’s Night.” Why drag it out? “A Hard Day’s Night” is the story of two teenage boy’s one hard day and one harder night during which they explore and discover their sexuality. A twenty-four hour journey…  modern with a touch of humor, lots of pop culture and even more FAB FOUR culture, sort of on the line of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’s overnight self-exploration in Manhattan. Some stories are just kind of short and sweet, so why fight it?

So, the cover reveal is on August 10th. The preorder buy link on Amazon and the WANT TO READ on Goodreads will go up that day, too, if all goes according to the grand plan.

My awesome publishing company CoolDudes/YoungDudes Publishing has provided me with some awesome gifts to prepare for the big day.

AHDN Cover Reveal-03

This cover reveal promo image arouses interest in the book and the Beatles, huh? Thanks Louis C Harris ❤

And Louis J Harris ❤ sent me a musical present this morning!!

How amazing is this???? You know you want “A Hard Day’s Night”, don’t you, my friends???

AHDN Cover Reveal-05-1

Get ready for a novella that can be read in a long afternoon on the beach, or a hot evening on the deck!

A HARD DAY’s NIGHT by Mia Kerick WOOT!!!!!

FYI: Info on reaching Mia Kerick

Hi! My former assistant has requested that I make a statement so here it is:

Beckey White is no longer my assistant. The awesome and talented Kari Higa is doing much of my promotional work, if you have a promo issue, and if you need to contact me directly, I can be reached at miakerick@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook!!

Thank you!!

Mia

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick is a Foreword Review INDIEFAB Award Winner!!

OMG. Yesterday was the best day ever because of the SCOTUS decision to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide!! And for me it got just a little better, this time in a professional way. 🙂 My daughter who attends Georgetown University and is doing a summer law internship in Washington, DC took this photo!!

IMG_7704
The Red Sheet is a Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB BOOK of the Year AWARD WINNER!!! 🙂 😀 **Announced at American Library Association​ Annual Conference tonight in San Francisco.
“Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Winners Announced: (Here’s the article)

June 26, 2015—Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, judged by a select group of librarians and booksellers from around the country, were announced this evening at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Representing hundreds of independent and university presses of all sizes, INDIEFAB winners were selected after months of editorial deliberation with more than 1,500 entries in 63 categories. This year’s list of winners includes the Dalai Lama, Lev Grossman, Jeet Heer, Chuck Palahniuk, Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kent State University Press, Rizzoli, Abingdon Press, Quirk Books, Cleis Press, and Six Sisters Stuff, among others. The winners represent the best work coming from today’s indie authors and publishers.

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 10.31.27 AM

Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention awards were determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers along with Foreword’s editorial staff. The Editor’s Choice prize for Fiction was awarded to Out There, written by Sarah Stark and published by the Sante Fe publisher Leaf Storm Press. Joggling Board Press, an unconventional publishing house dedicated to books that amplify the spirit of the American southeast, was honored as the Editor’s Choice in Nonfiction for Edisto River, by Larry Price, Rosie Price, and Susan Kammeraad-Campbell.

Foreword presented Lee & Low Books with its Publisher of the Year award for the minority-owned company’s commitment to diverse voices in children’s literature. Lack of diversity in children’s literature has been a recent topic of discussion in the publishing world, but Lee & Low has focused on filling this void for a couple of decades. “For more than 20 years, Jason Low and his talented team have continued an honorable mission of increasing the number of diverse books available for children,” said Foreword Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland. “They are being honored by Foreword for more than books, however. We admire their leadership role in the indie publishing community.”

Foreword’s INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards program was created to discover distinctive books from the indie publishing community across a number of genres. What sets the awards apart is that final selections are made by working librarians and booksellers based on their experience with patrons and customers.”

Thank you to my readers, reviewers, friends (and lurkers) for sharing in my profound joy that an LGBTQ YA work of romantic fiction was recognized!!

Mia