Posted on June 17, 2014
Hey, everyone this Beckey (Mia’s assistant)…again… and I’m here to revamp the giveaways since the one is going strong while the other has kinda fizzled out like a flat soda pop on a hot day …
Now without Further Ado…. NEW RULES for an EASIER WAY for you get MIA KERICK goodies!
JUST POST A PHOTO AND WIN A GRAB BAG!!!
Post a picture of a MIA BOOK or KINDLE COVER of MIA BOOK ON THIS LINK:
AND YOU WILL GET A MYSTERY SWAG GRAB BAG- NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!
PM me on FB (Beckey White) with your address after you post your picture and receive a mystery grab bag (that was put together by my sidekicks, I mean, two of my adorable daughters, Kiki and Sky).
(That’s Sky and Kiki debating and coming up with a swag plan…)
One Mystery Grab Bag per photo entry…(maximum three entries).
WANT A BIGGER PRIZE??
Don’t forget to enter into the rafter for a chance to win THE GRAND PRIZE ABOVE!!
Contents of GRAND PRIZE: Mia Towel, Mia Beach Bag, Mia Mug, Teddy Kerick, more Mia swag, coffee
(Grand Prize is for US residents but the swag grab bags are open for everyone to get)
Grab Bags may or may not include one of the following:
Mia Kerick Bookmarks
Notebooks with a cover art from one of Mia’s books
Hugs and Kisses from Mia Candy packets
Mia Kerick Pencil with a sharpener
Mia Kerick Pens (with a stylist tip)
A clue about what Mia is currently writing about (there is only 3 bags that have this)
Cover Artwork Image from one of Mia’s books
Promo Art Image (could be teaser image or some other art that was created by me, Beckey)
Stickers of Cover artwork from one of books
and a few other items that may not be listed above
So bring on the pictures– lets see…
PLEASE NOTE! Sky would like to get her train table back (that’s where the bags are being stored at the moment) so let’s start Taking Mia on Vacation- SNAP THOSE PHOTOS.
Thanks for this stopping by and reading this…
Oh and before I forget…Last night I was working on Mia’s website. You can now read the FIRST CHAPTER of EACH OF MIA KERICK’S BOOKS HERE… Oh wow, right? Tell me what do you think of that change?
Posted on June 13, 2014
Hey, everyone this Beckey (Mia’s assistant)…
Stopping in to say hey and give you TWO chances to get some goodies while Mia is deep in her writing cave with a TOP SECRET book that she is writing… (I know a few details and all I can say is this is going to be good one.)
(Beckey looks out the window towards Mia’s writing cave.)
Primitive on the outside, but this was her desk a few days ago when I checked on her…
Like any assistant I try not to bother her and let her creativity flow when she’s inside the cave.
Would you like to get some GOODIES in the mail?
Well, we have several chance for you to receive a few swag items that have been cleverly disguised in surprise grab bags that my 12-year-old put together!
How? Well, that’s easy.
Read and create a NEW review of Mia’s books on Amazon, B&N or Goodreads then share the link here on Mia’s blog in this form that is below (Don’t forget to add your address so your swag grab bag can be mailed to you.):
THAT’S NOT THE ONLY giveaway for the summer that will be happening…
Summer is here and in full swing!
TAKE MIA ON VACATION!
From now and through the entire month of July, take a picture of you with a Mia Kerick book on a vacation or a staycation then post the picture to this group:
A picture of you with each of Mia Kerick’s book(s) will be counted towards points on the Rafflecopter.
The grand prize is a custom Mia Kerick beach towel, beach bag, a Mia Kerick coffee mug with Folgers hazelnut coffee, and an assortment of swag items.
Modeled by my adorable sidekick/toddler, Sky.
Here’s a shot without Sky, but she confiscated the pens, teddy bear, coffee mug and coffee… (Silly girl that she is…)
Pictures can be on a staycation while you read with (or to) your pet(s))…
to stretched out in your yard reading…
to reading in bed…
to reading with your stuffies…
to a vacation on the beach, relaxing in a hammock…
Or by the water …
Or even up on a mountain top…
(Mia comes out of her writing cave,)
Oh, there she is…
Mia: Hi, there followers and guests … I’m just popping out of the cave for a cup of coffee and some fresh air. It smells like feet down there!
Beckey: Hey, do you have anything to add to my “takeover” post?
Mia: Why, yes I do, as a matter of fact.
Thank you to Paul Richmond for the new cover to The Red Sheet that matches better with the spirit of the book.
Beckey: Oh wow, Mia–that’s beautiful!
Mia: I agree. I love it and the response from my readers has been amazing.
Beckey: Well, guys and gals, ladies and gents, it’s time for me to say farewell. But before I go I must inform you that, due to rising shipping costs there is a limit on what countries items will be shipped to. The grand prize of the giveaway for the Take Mia on Vacation giveaway will only be sent within the United States. There will be other smaller prizes that can be won and will be sent to other locations (Sorry, everyone… Mia was shocked when she mailed a package to a faraway country and it came out $70 just to ship. A promised prized is a promise, and so it was mailed.)
I want to thank you for reading this. I hope to see you in the Take Mia on Vacation Facebook group with some great vacation/staycation pictures.
Posted on May 28, 2014
FOREWORD AUTHOR MIA KERICK and FAMILY at WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!
NOW ON TO THE BUSINESS AT HAND…
Yeah, I am truly honored by the fact that Michael Bowler asked me to write a foreword for his most recent addition to the EPIC Children of the Knight Series, Running Through a Dark Place. And guess what, my friends, and followers, I am going to tell you why.
1. Being asked to write a foreword, as I said above, is the HIGHEST OF HONORS. And I know for a fact that Michael Bowler loves and cherishes his Children of the Knight Series, and in particular, the characters he has so painstakingly created, as I cherish Beggars and Choosers’ Brett and Cory, The Red Sheet’s Bryan and Scott, Us Three’s Casey, Nate, and Zander, etc. As authors, we see the world through the eyes of these personalities, we live as them, we love them. We ARE them, to some extent. So, to be entrusted with the enormous responsibility to motivate readers to select Running Through a Dark Place as their reading choice, I feel as if I have been entrusted with this author’s most treasured of personal possessions: the products of his imagination.
2. BEING ASKED TO WRITING A FOREWORD MEANS I MATTER!!
I found this quotation somewhere along the research journey I took in my effort to write the best possible foreword for Running Through a Dark Place: “So, you’ve been asked to write a foreword to a book, hmm? To begin with, kudos and congratulations are in order. Forewords aren’t written by just anyone, you know. Generally, the only people who are asked to write such things are Those Who Matter.”
I will admit, reading this quotation from Muselnks Magazine suffused my entire being with warm and fuzzy feelings.
I matter. What I think as an author…well, it matters too.
People know my name. Maybe not a lot of people…(okay, and maybe they only know my pen name) but there is a sufficiently significant number of you out there who recognize the name Mia Kerick, who think pleasant and even positive thoughts when you hear that name, and your interest may even be piqued to read something that you know I wrote…or something I read and will testify to the fact that I enjoyed.
3. Being asked to write a foreword is PUBLICITY for me!! NO EXPLANATION NEEDED!!
4. And beyond these wonderful reasons, is the fact that to write a foreword for a novel that so uplifted, intrigued, and informed me, provided an opportunity to solidify my beliefs on the subject of children’s rights in the United States. Writing this foreword offered me ample opportunity to examine my beliefs on the subjects of people’s potential for personal change and the need for second chances, as well as to modify my own efforts at personal growth. Writing this foreword reminded me not only that I matter, but that I can be better.
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE IT IS… Mia Kerick, not writing in the mindset of an angsty young adult or even as an adult caught in the turmoil of personal challenges. Mia Kerick is writing as a…as…as Mia Kerick. The author…who matters.
“I wonder if what makes a family a family isn’t doing everything right all the time but, instead, giving a second chance to the people you love who do things wrong.”
I’ve always been what you might call a black and white person. As such, in my novels, the good characters are very, very good. These characters start out good, and though they may falter, in general terms, they stay good, ultimately emerging from the novel even better than ever. In the same way, my bad characters are examples of pure evil. I have created them to serve a purpose: to foil the noble decency of the “good person.”
In that same manner have I long viewed the characters in my own life story. You are my friend or you are my enemy. You are with me or you are against me. With this frame of reference, negotiating my way through a crowd of friends and neighbors becomes quite simple, and easy, too. This one-dimensional, black and white, way of viewing those who surround me, requires less thinking, less analyzing, less patience and commitment, than if I had allowed myself to see the world in shades of gray.
Since meeting Michael Bowler, the author of Running Through a Dark Place, however, I have experienced profound personal change in this restricted area of my mind. Michael Bowler, a man whose very existence defines the term humanitarian, believes that human beings are fallible, and as such, they make mistakes. And thus, human beings are entitled to second chances in life. In particular, Bowler’s unwavering commitment to the need for a second chance pertains to children. As Bowler sees it, inherent to a child’s very nature is the entitlement to make mistakes, the right to “mess up” and to be allowed another shot. In other words, the very essence of childhood nullifies a requirement for perfection.
And I assure you, in Running Through a Dark Place, Bowler’s youthful characters—his colorful Knights of the Round Table—err quite frequently. They mess up, they pay a price, and then newly enlightened adults forgive them, so that they may return to the table to try again. These children, in fact, usually do much better the second time around. Echoes of the sentiment “no matter what transpires, you must never give up on him” resonate from the lips of adults who offer second, and even third chances. The children, themselves, also acknowledge their need for multiple opportunities to get things right. One character spells it out quite clearly, saying, “I’m just a kid…who needs to figure out who he is and what his place is in this crazy world. I messed up, I know that, and I’ll do my best not to mess up again. But if I do, stick with me.”
The notion of affording second chances, however, permeates the entirety of the novel, extending well beyond the youthful characters’ needs for redemption. In Running Through a Dark Place, adults need second chances in romantic love. The corrupt mayor requires a new chance to see the light, as well as the opportunity to change his ways. A world-weary mother needs a chance to reconsider her attitude and react properly. Even the crusade around which the novel’s action revolves—the struggle by King Arthur and the youthful Knights of the Round Table to secure equality for children in an adult’s world—requires a second chance, from an unknown source, to reinvent itself after a tragic event that threatens to derail it.
Closely tied to Bowler’s belief that human beings need and deserve second chances, is his firm commitment to the notion that people are actually capable of profound change. It is an optimistic view, and when I saw evidence of it at work in Book I of this series, Children of the Knight, where insensitive cops grew big hearts and teachers who expected little to nothing of their students again became impassioned, I was at first uncomfortable and skeptical. But soon I found in my heart a growing seed of hope. In addition, the capability to change applies to former gang members, worthless societal burdens in the eyes of many. “I never had no real choices,” one teenaged gang member said, “not till this man came along and showed me how to be good, how to be a man, how to make a difference for other people.” In Bowler’s eyes, if you possess a soul, you possess the necessary means to change. To see the light. To make good use of that second chance you have been so graciously granted.
By virtue of its very title, Running Through a Dark Place is a testament to change and second chances. The process of growing and changing and finding oneself can be dark and terrifying. It holds potential to make a human being feel as if he is scrambling—terrified and alone— through a dimly lit city street, in fear of his life. But Bowler understands that when you have successfully run through the dark place, having been given as many chances as you need to arrive at the light on the other side, you will acquire redemption. You will find what is right.
In conclusion, since familiarizing myself with Michael Bowler the author, as well as Michael Bowler, the person—the selfless volunteer, the man of faith, the committed friend, the unquestionable humanitarian—my world view has changed radically. Or rather, my view of my brothers and sisters, who are struggling to achieve their second chances and find the path to virtue right along beside me, has been forever altered. My mind has been opened to the possibility that, given the faith and the opportunity, even those I considered my enemies, can become my truest friends.
The novel Running Through a Dark Place has been instrumental in this profound change in me. In it I saw well-defined examples of people taking advantage of second chances. I saw tangible proof that people can change.
Through my connection with Michael Bowler, I have come to believe that today is my second chance to make my own personal change in how I live my life.
I will take this chance.
Young Adult Author
Intervention, Not Broken, Just Bent, The Red Sheet, Us Three
Mia with the Minions
Posted on May 17, 2014
Hey, everyone… a few important things have happened this past week.
Intervention is a finalist for an Eric Hoffer award. (http://www.hofferaward.com/HAcategoryfinalists.html#.U3etrLkU_4g)
For those who played along on the hide and find image in the Newsletter, the answer was A Package Deal. The image below is the answers to the puzzle…
Now for the winner of Mia Kerick’s Newsletter:
Drum Roll Please:
The winner is
To signup to receive Mia’s Kerick’s once a month Newsletter you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/TLcDb
Now for some logistical things….
As of today any past posts that have been release will unpublished temporarily until they are logistically cleared to be viewed.
Thank you for stopping by and reading this post.
Posted on May 16, 2014
MIA KERICK CHARACTER INTERVIEW with MICHAEL “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.” – the monster to Victor in Frankenstein
Posted on May 14, 2014
“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.” – the monster to Victor in Frankenstein
Interview with Michael, newest member of Arthur’s Round Table in
“Running Through A Dark Place.”
I am not what you would call an experienced journalist, but occasionally I pin my press ID card to my lapel and head in into the trenches to conduct an interview of a fictional character who intrigued me in some way or another. The character I interviewed yesterday, Michael (refused to give his last name) of Running Through a Dark Place, indeed, had a significant impact on me as I read book 2 in Michael Bowler’s Children of the Knight series.
What sort of an impression did he leave on my mind…on my heart? I will allow you to draw your own conclusions as you read our interaction, but I will say that Michael is what I would refer to as something of a shock jock. The vast majority of the words that spout forth from his mouth are deliberately designed to offend. To throw other characters off-balance. To hide the fragile soul that I feel certain lurks within his brawny body. To stave off any remote possibility of forming an emotional bond with anyone.
With his goal of provoking negative attention, Michael is a resounding success. He succeeds in alienating his co-characters in Running Through a Dark Place. And in our brief interview, he was somehow able to hone in on my areas of deepest sensitivity, and offend me.
Do I like Michael? Read these exchanges from Mia Kerick’s interview with Michael, conducted in the back yard of the author’s home in Los Angeles, and draw your own conclusions as to whether or not it is even possible to like him, let alone give him the benefit of the doubt.
Mia: Hi, Michael.
Mia: I’m glad you came. I’m actually very curious about that. The kids who told me you were… well, I won’t say exactly what they said… that you were ‘interesting,’ let’s just say, told me you’d never show. So why did you?
Michael: Needed to see your face.
Michael: And nothing. Just wanted to know who to fuck up if this interview makes me look bad or brings me attention I don’t want.
Mia: (shivers, even though it’s warm outside) Um. Okay. I, uh, I’d like to ask you a few questions about your childhood and family.
Michael: (glowers menacingly) No can do. I don’t talk about my childhood, and my family are assholes. All you need to know, lady.
Mia: Are you the only child in your family?
Michael: You got that one right.
Mia: And I was told you are seventeen years old?
Michael: (smirks) What’s it to you? Looking for some action from a young stud? Hubby not satisfying you these days?
Mia: (fidgets uncomfortably) I’ll put you down as seventeen.
Michael: Whatever. I’m old enough.
Mia: Tell me about your parents.
Michael: (smirks again) You think I’m hot, don’t you, lady?
Mia: I think you’re a very handsome boy.
Michael: (laughs) In other words, you’re hot for me, like everyone else.
Mia: (tries not to let the tremble in her hand be visible) Um, back to your parents. Give me three words to describe them.
Michael: Scared to death.
Mia: Why? Are you scared of them?
Michael: (snorts derisively) Other way around, lady. They know if they cross me I’ll cut their throats while they sleep. Ha! That’s why they never let me into the main house unless their live-in bodyguard is present. (laughs) Like I couldn’t fuck the shit out of him if I wanted to. Long as I have my bank account and my car, I stay away from them and they stay away from me. Oh, and if I see you put in your story what I said about cutting their throats, I’ll be paying you a little visit in the dead of night. (grins)
Mia: (shifts again, tries to maintain eye contact, but finds it’s difficult with his penetrating glare) I think they might, uh, also, you know, be scared of you for a different reason. Want to know what I think that reason is?
Michael: (squints) Lady, you’re treading on some very dangerous ground here.
Mia: (takes a breath and pushes on) I think they know that you know they haven’t done a good job as parents.
Michael: (sneers) Who are you, Dr. Fucking Phil?
Mia: (laughs) That’s funny.
Michael: Man, lady, if you don’t say something smart soon, I’m gone.
Mia: Okay. How’s this? Do you believe in God?
Michael: (looks surprised at the question) Why should I? He doesn’t believe in me.
Mia: Do you believe what goes around comes around?
Michael: Now that you have right. It’s the way the world works. The only way. That’s justice. Forgiveness is for pussies.
Mia: (squirms at the intensity of his answer, the near anger in his voice) Okay, let’s switch topics here. What are you most proud of?
Michael: (almost visibly relaxes. Slightly) That I’m the smartest kid in this city.
Mia: Really? How do you know that?
Michael: I just do. Put anyone in this city against me in any subject and I’ll wipe the floor with them. College kids too. Shit, I had to teach my calculus class half the time because the dumbass teacher couldn’t even figure out how to solve differential equations. Shit, a fucking first grader could learn that if he was smart like me.
Mia: (jots down his response to compose herself) How about this – do you believe in love at first sight?
Michael: (another derisive snort) Love is a fallacy. There’s only hedonistic lust and animal attraction. Chemical reactions of the physical body. Nothing more, nothing less.
Mia: Does a kiss fall under the category of hedonistic lust?
Michael: (grins) You want to kiss me, don’t you? I can see your eyes checking out my pecs and arms. You want me.
Mia: (uncomfortable) You do have… quite an admirable physique. For a boy.
(Michael’s face clouds over at the use of the word “boy, “ but he doesn’t say anything.)
Mia: Why do you work out so much?
Michael: So no one will fuck with me.
Mia: (nods) How about this – if you’re driving in the middle of the night and there’s no traffic, do you stop at red lights?
Michael: (laughs) Lady, I barely stop at red lights during the day, and then only if there’s a cop or red light camera around.
Mia: You’re a risk taker then?
Michael: (shrugs) Life is risk. No one is safe. Especially kids.
Mia: (eyes him thoughtfully, searching his face for the meaning behind those words, but Michael says nothing and just stares) Do you have any regrets in life so far?
Michael: None. Regrets are for pussies, just like forgiveness. You do what you have to do and move on. Never look back. That’s my motto.
Mia: Interesting philosophy. So if you were to die tomorrow, how would you like to be remembered?
Michael: As a kid who wouldn’t take shit from anyone. As a kid who had control of everyone and everything around him. As a kid who took care of business.
Mia: And if you were to die tomorrow and you could hold on to one memory from your life for all eternity, what would it be?
Michael: (deflates slightly, suddenly appearing more like a boy than ever during the interview; his face takes on a faraway expression; he sighs ever so slightly) Lance.
Mia: (reacts with surprise at the change in tone, and because of the answer) I, uh, I interviewed Lance shortly after the crusade kicked into gear. You know, before… well, everything happened. Is Lance why you joined Arthur’s Round Table?
Michael: (the cold, tough veneer is back in an instant; he sits up straight and glares at her) I didn’t join shit! I merely offered my intellect to help them write their proposition. Hell if anyone else could’ve done it. They need me, lady. I don’t need them.
Mia: (shifts again, looks eager to leave) Well, uh, Michael, I think that’s probably all I need. Before we go our separate ways, is there anything I didn’t ask that you wanted me to?
Michael: Yeah, about my favorite book.
Mia: (caught off guard again) Oh. So what is your favorite book?
Mia: (eyebrows shoot up in surprise) Like from the movies?
Michael: (looks angry) The movies are shit. The book is fucking genius. Mary Shelley was way ahead of her time. She had us pegged perfectly. Human nature, I mean. Read it some day. Then you won’t need to ask about my life because you’ll find all the answers right there in that book.
Mia: (nods, watching him settle himself back into his standard sullen demeanor) Do you, uh, have any questions for me?
Michael: No. Just a warning.
Michael: I’ve seen you playing with that phone the whole time. I better not see any pictures of me anywhere other than that one ‘model’ shot I said you could use. (smiles in a threatening way) See, I don’t like people taking my picture without permission. People who do that have been known to get badly fucked up. Are we clear?
Mia: (swallows nervously, and nods again) Crystal.
Michael: (smiles for real this time, the smile of someone who knows he’s in command) Later, lady. I have a party to grace, and every party without me is a loser.
(He stands and heads for the back gate leading to the driveway.)
Mia: Let’s chat again sometime, Michael.
Michael: (without turning back, just throws a hand up) When hell freezes over.
(Then he’s out the gate and out of Mia’s life)
Mia: (sinks down into her chair, her heart pounding, sweat on her forehead, relief flooding in on her) Well, that’s an unspeakably angry child. He needs a hug. (shivers) But not from me.
(Mia collects her things and returns to the house to bid the author goodbye.)
So, we return to my original question: Do I like Michael? I will admit that I tried. He is beautiful, but very damaged, brilliant, yet his mind is profoundly warped, full of youthful passion, yet bitterly wise beyond his years. Am I entertained by his provocations? Impressed by his banter? Fascinated by his off-color charm?
An honest answer to my final question, directed at Mia Kerick, myself:
Do I like Michael?
I honestly don’t know.
Will you like Michael or will you hate him?
You will need to read Running Through a Dark Place to find out.
Buy it on Amazon:
King Arthur and his extraordinary young Knights used ‘might’ for ‘right’ to create a new Camelot in the City of Angels. They rallied the populace around their cause, while simultaneously putting the detached politicians in check. But now they must move forward to even greater heights, despite what appears to be an insurmountable tragedy.
Their new goal is lofty: give equality to kids fourteen and older who are presently considered adults only when they break the law. Arthur’s crusade seeks to give them real rights such as voting, driving, trading high school for work, and sitting as jurors for their peers charged with criminal behavior.
Understanding that the adults of California will likely be against them, Arthur and his Knights must determine how best to win them over.
However, before the king can even contemplate these matters, he finds himself face to face with an ally from the past, one who proves that everything isn’t always what it seems – even life and death.
The Knight Cycle Continues…
If you haven’t yet experienced The Knight Cycle, start here where it all began. This is an epic five-part series filled with triumph, tragedy, exhilarating emotion, despair, joy, laughter, tears, high action, and adventure, populated with a colorful cast of diverse characters you’ll not meet anywhere else. Watch Arthur’s youthful Knights come of age, and transform America along the way.
WANT TO BE ENTERED INTO “BEAR and BOOK” PRIZE RAFFLE????
LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT MIA and MICHAEL’s INTERVIEW!!!!
Posted on May 2, 2014
April has been a busy month with the release of my eighth book, Us Three and almost month long tour.
In other news I am in the process of writing the sequel to Us Three called One Voice. Setting is when Zander and Casey are in college while Nate is still at home keeping an eye on his younger sister and missing his other two thirds. That is the only teaser I am giving for the time being.
I want to thank you for signing up for my eNewsletter.
Now you are wondering what about a contest, well thanks to my assistant Beckey, she came up with an interesting fun twist for this month’s contest.
There is 7 of my books hidden in this image, can you find which book is not in the image.
Go to the rafter and enter your answer for a chance to win a Mia Kerick eBook.
(Contest ends on May 15th)
You want to receive the newsletter in your email, easy sign up here http://eepurl.com/TLcDb
Posted on April 28, 2014
Hi, y’all it’s Beckey…
I am dropping by to say Thank you to you all that have supported and visited Mia during the Us Three Blog Tour and those who stopped during the Is It Summer, yet? Blog Hop…
I know some are chomping at the perverbal bit to see who are the winners …
The Us Three Blanket goes to Laurie
The two Us Three Tee-Shirt winners are Brin and Shadow
The Mia Kerick Teddy Bear goes to Tracey
The Mia Kerick Coffee Mug goes to Jennifer
And the winner of the
The winner of the ebook and the Mia Kerick Towel is Lisa
Posted on April 3, 2014
Morning everyone. It’s Beckey, again, visiting y’all… This time to announce that around midnight, Mia’s eighth book, Us Three was released.
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
In his junior year at a public high school, sweet, bright Casey Minton’s biggest worry isn’t being gay. Keeping from being too badly bullied by his so-called friends, a group of girls called the Queen Bees, is more pressing. Nate De Marco has no friends, his tough home life having taken its toll on his reputation, but he’s determined to get through high school. Zander Zane’s story is different: he’s popular, a jock. Zander knows he’s gay, but fellow students don’t, and he’d like to keep it that way.
No one expects much when these three are grouped together for a class project, yet in the process the boys discover each other’s talents and traits, and a new bond forms. But what if Nate, Zander, and Casey fall in love—each with the other and all three together? Not only gay but also a threesome, for them high school becomes infinitely more complicated and maybe even dangerous. To survive and keep their love alive, they must find their individual strengths and courage and stand together, honest and united. If they can do that, they might prevail against the Queen Bees and a student body frightened into silence—and even against their own crippling fears.
A Few Excerpt Images:
Here are a few early release reviews:
I’ll need to collect my thoughts about this book and the message it contains, but while I do that, y’all go buy this, m’kay? And then make sure every high schooler reads this too.
I just fell in love with this story and with these three guys. It took me a couple chapters to get with the flow of writing as being told from three distinctly different POV with emails, diaries and in real time. But once I figured out how the book was going to read, I was completely engrossed in the story. The storyline was engaging and thought provoking and the three ML were so endearing. While there were a couple rough patches with some deep seeding hate, there was a lot of love in between. This is a must read guys, especially if you’re looking for a story about finding true love in the oddest of places and not only standing up for yourself, but what is right and the the people you love.
Mia Kerick isn’t a new author to me, I’ve read her novel ‘Out of Hiding’ not too long ago but after reading the premise of ‘Us Three’I had my doubts. A Young Adult ménage? How should that work? Frankly I wasn’t too keen on starting this one but my curiosity finally got the best of me and after reading only a few pages I couldn’t put the book down anymore. Point taken! Better trust your instincts, Tina!
Mia Kerick describes the relationship development between these guys just wonderful. All three of them are so cute… and the way they come together and figure themselves out is so beautiful written. Their way through hell together is a real tearjerker, so brace yourself for a bumpy ride to high school hell and back. No graphic sex btw… but lots of touching, intimate scenes. Wonderful done. 🙂
I totally lost myself in this book. It’s sad since one of the loveliest characters is the target of the most vicious bullying I’ve ever read about but I liked how Mia shows us Casey’s struggle with his head and his emotions, how he grows, how he opens up to friendship and love. I loved how amazing Nate and Zander are for Casey even though they have their own personal issues. Casey, Nate and Zander are incredibly sweet and I just loved them so much. I was so hopeful for them in the end and trusted they would be alright.
Overall, Us Three is powerful, moving, thought provoking and flawlessly told, and these boys will now and for always have a special place in my heart. Parents, love your children, cherish them, listen to them! Teachers, give bullying no chance… and add this book to your reading list!
I, Beckey, also had to a chance to read it and it was one I was shocked by what happens in the book and at how well it was written. There was times I wanted to go into the book and dish my own kinda karma to the Queens and the one psychopathic chick in particular (really like how Zander stepped up as well as Nate…) and I wanted hug Casey…
Bullying is real, we can either stand by idly or we can take a stand and make changes… (I always tell my girls, daughters, that bullying happens only because someone is unhappy with themselves, they are jealous and lastly they want attention. It is all just negatives.)
(Click on their names and it will take you their Goodreads reviews.)
Starting tomorrow Mia will be on tour…
There is a tour wide giveaway:
(Click the Giveaway Link)
These are the AWESOME Prize that someone could win:
(50 by 60 inch) Us Three Book Cover Blanket
(XL) Us Three Tee Shirt
(XL) Us Three Tee Shirt
Coffee Mug with Mia’s Logo and books images on it
A Mia Kerick Teddy Bear
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find yourself reading this great book too…
Posted on April 2, 2014
This is Beckey (Mia’s Assistant)
First, I want to say
For everyone who came.
Michael came dressed and ready for the chat.
He shared his dream cast for the book.
Below is comments that were made when this was shown:
Raine O’Tierney Love this–who cast the roles?
Michael Bowler I did!
Raine O’Tierney When you are writing your stories, do you use photos/actors to “cast” the characters in your head or do you write them based on your imagination?
Tame Anna Love the cast you chose Michael Bowler 🙂
Johanna Parkhurst Oooh, great Lance.
Michael Bowler Most were based on kids I know or knew, I cast it just recently for a blog tour I’m doing. They wanted a cast
Kari Higa I can really see these actors as the characters. It will be great to read the next book picturing them in my mind
J.g. Murphy Interesting. But it gives me faces to associate with the characters…and with a “cast of thousands”, it makes it easier to keep track!
Johanna Parkhurst That’s definitely how I picture Lance. (Plus long hair, of course.) No offense to the amazing designer of the cover (it’s a great cover), but I never really connected that boy on the cover to Lance. He felt too young or something? I’m not sure.
Johanna Parkhurst And I just loved Lance so much. Speaking of which, Michael, you owe me some tear ducts for that ending. 😦 (Spoilers are allowed in here, right?)
We had an enthusiastic group of people discussing the different elements in the book, Children of the Knight.
Here’s a question about family in Children- how necessary is blood to a family- as in being blood relations?
Michael Bowler I have so large a family of kids who’ve become part of my life over the years who call me “Dad” and we have no blood connection.
Kari Higa I think both. I would never abandon a blood relative, even if they aren’t the best people. But you can create a family of your choice.
Mia Kerick I have an adopted son and he is EVERY BIT MY SON!!!
Betsy Ryan Dalpino Blood is important but you can have family members not related by blood
Kari Higa I think every child needs someone to look up to.. doesn’t matter male or female for me. but boys seem to need a strong male figure they respect
J.g. Murphy Oh yeah, Michael Bowler, it’s the same with me. I saw a 32yo MAJ in the army the other day whom I’ve known since he was about 13…he still reminds me that I was more of a dad to him than his own…reminds me all the time of how being a good friend to someone can make them family to you!
J.g. Murphy I think Kari Higa’s comment is dead on. And study after study show that so many issues can be solved by boys having that role model in place from an early age.
(There were more but you can see it was very active chat…)
Michael Bowler It would allow the kids to excel in areas they are good at from the get go. It would expose them to all facets of life that engage their mind, body and spirit so they can become complete people. Having rigid dogma in education is not better than rigid dogma anywhere
Kari Higa it would require teachers to be more of a facilitator than what we consider to be teachers
Johanna Parkhurst This is why, despite all the politics around it, I’ve become a big believer in school choice. If every part of the country had many different types of schools that focused on different types of learners and learning, then every kid could really find an educational path that worked for them. The problem is that running a school choice system has millions of flaws of it’s own…the bureaucracy is a total nightmare sometimes.
(This is just a few comments…There is more …)
Everyone have shared their ideas and opinions about what they thought and felt about them as they saw them in the book and in general. Everyone was pretty vocal (if you call fast typing being vocal).
There were giveaways…
The door prize of The Red Sheet blanket was won by JG Murphy.
With the help of names in a hat and my husband being a good sport waving a fairy wand over the hat J.G. Murphy name was magically pulled.
J.G. Murphy OMG! That’s like the only thing I’ve ever won!
Tee shirts/tank tops were won by Tame, Johanna but she gave it to Giovanni, Kari, and me, Beckey with a random lucky guess for the trivia question.
The first question was: After the standoff at Round Table Pizza, how did the Internet tag the video of that standoff? What was it called on YouTube, etc?
Answered by Kari Higa… battle of the round table. And Tame Anna Battle for the Round Table?
The next question was: Lance’s “street” name was Pretty Boy. What was Jack’s “street” name?
Answered by Johanna Parkhurst with Great Guns.
Which we discover was a nickname for Michael Bowler…
But Johanna Parkhurst said SWEET! (I really love Jack. And winning, to be honest.) But Giovanni Ezquivel can have the shirt, because he really wanted one. I just wanted to get a trivia question about the book right.
(Great bunch of people 🙂 )
The last question was: Which Arthurian character is mentioned a lot in Book I, but doesn’t seem make an appearance, but is, in fact, in the story twice?
I jumped in and randomly guessed Merlin…
(Ha I sparked your interest but it’s no longer there… The info in this section just disappeared…Tampered by the cyber gremlin…See below I have my proof that he tampered with that thread…)
Everyone left stuffed with Soule cakes, Ale, and wild boar jerky.
I am going to end this post by simply saying thank you once again… For those who attended and those that are reading this.
Hugs to you all…
Posted on March 20, 2014
Now, take a minute and check out the rest of my blog. There’s good stuff here!! I promise!!
And don’t forget about Mia Kerick and Michael Bowler’s Fireside Chat (book discussion about Children of the Knight.)
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1413666588889612/
THERE’S STILL TIME TO READ!!!
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!!
Posted on February 18, 2014
Tiptoe-ing into the guest room…
“Oh, good. You’re awake. I brought you tea and…cookies. I stayed up all night baking them. I burned a few…oh, okay. I burned most of them. But the ones on the top of the pile should be pretty good.” I place the cookies and cup of tea on the bedside table.
“You don’t have to get out of bed, as long as you are in Mia’s Guest Room, it’ll work just fine…oh, you want your dachshund slippers?” I bend over to pick them up off the shaggily carpeted floor. “Here you go! No, no let me…”
I gently slide a slipper onto each delicate foot.
“Now you look more comfortable, Raine. Are you ready to start? Great…mind if I sit at the foot of the bed?” I push a couple of pillows onto the floor and sit down. “By the way, I love your Mumford and Sons T-shirt–super cool! So, uh…whenever you are ready…”
After a sip of tea, a nibble of a cookie, the FABULOUS Raine O’Tierney clears her throat.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about social networking and how utterly stressful it can be for a brand new author. When I take off my tiny hat and my hot pink glasses and my faux mustache and become regular ol’ library lady, I love getting on and seeing what my co-workers and colleagues are all up to! I like to comment on their photos, chat with them, ‘like’ particularly witty posts—it’s all very easy and natural. When I have to do the same thing as Raine O’Tierney? It sometimes becomes a challenge!
When I received my first contract last year, I knew I was going to have to network. So I got myself all set to go onto the major social networking sites and I stepped into the world, friending other authors, and I was immediately hit with feelings of panic and inadequacy. It was like changing schools mid-year and walking into a cafeteria where everyone is already friends!
So I stood there with my proverbial lunch tray, not knowing where in the world to sit, eventually finding a little corner by myself and wondering—was it always going to be this way?
The answer is NO. No, it won’t. I know it’s hard feeling like the newbie and the odd man out, but it will get easier. I’ve made some KICKASS friends and I’ve learned some lessons along the way. If you’re feeling alone, consider the following pieces of advice that were given to me:
- Be helpful! If an author asks for advice about a subject you know about—talk to them!
- Be friendly! Maybe not such a good idea to start a fistfight when you’re trying to make friends. Don’t talk crap on people. Be positive.
- Don’t be a walking advertisement! Seriously, don’t. It’s WONDERFUL to announce that you’ve just got your first galley or to remind people to come to your public chat, but you will only turn people off if every post is a reminder to buy your book.
- You’re MORE than just an author! What are your other interests? Give a shout-out to your favorite show, post art you’ve done, or just celebrate your love of dachshunds. It’s all about connecting with people in a variety of ways!
- Support other authors! Tell an author if you loved their book and if someone asks for a beta reader in a genre you enjoy? Consider offering your help!
And the biggest one (and hardest for me!)…
- BE PATIENT! It takes a while for people to get to know you and if you panic and run away, they never will. I was told (repeatedly) that once my first work actually came out, conversations with people would happen more naturally. Of course, I decided this couldn’t possibly be true and spent months feeling isolated… Then the release drops and wouldn’t you know it? Conversation happens naturally.
Know this—you’re not alone in how you feel. (Most) all of us have felt this way to varying degrees. It’s hard to believe when you first walk into that cafeteria, but you really are part of one of the coolest, most supportive groups in the world! Give it time, you’ll find the whole cafeteria is yours.
(Thank you, Mia Kerick, for having me on your blog!)”
“Oh, Raine, you are so very welcome! It was my pleasure!”
“And you are absolutely glowing this morning.” (Don’t you agree, audience?)
“Is that a gift for me?” I lift a book from the deep mauve bedspread. “Your very first short story? Under the Table and Into His Heart! Well, sweetheart,” I lean toward the top of the bed and hug my guest blogger firmly, “I am speechless. I mean, you didn’t have to do this…but I’m so very glad you did!!”
Under the Table and Into His Heart by Raine O’Tierney
At the Under the Table host club, Valentine’s Day means one thing: cash. Neglected housewives, newly ex-girlfriends, and lovelorn thirtysomethings pay for the attention of handsome men. Shy bartender Jem has always wanted to be a host, and when the club’s owner, Miss Rye, accepts a contract from a MensLove Convention, Jem volunteers to flirt and make out with another host for the ladies’ entertainment. Bailey, an older man who’s had his eye on Jem, convinces Miss Rye to let him be Jem’s partner, and everyone gets more than they expected—especially Jem and Bailey.
“It was just playacting,” he said emphatically, hoping to make it true. His breath escaped in a little white plume that quickly dissipated on the night air. No. No, it wasn’t.
“Maybe for you.”
Bailey had slipped through the door unnoticed, so that when he spoke, Jem started. He turned on Bailey. “All of that—the kissing—it was real for you?”
“You… like me?”
No one had ever liked him in his whole life. Tolerated him, for the sake of Renzy, yes. But liked him? He could remember standing next to Renzy at school, while his brother received one love confession after another from the girls in their class. They had faces so similar they could almost have been identical twins—if not for the eyes. Renzy was always the one people were drawn to.
“I can take it back if you want,” Bailey said quietly. “If you think I’m too old. Or if you’re not interested in being with a man. I’ll say I was joking just then, and we can pretend it was just a job.”
“You can do that? Just pretend?”
“No. Not really. I doubt I’ll be able to delude myself after tasting you. But for your sake, I can try. All you have to do is tell me that you want me to pretend.”
Cover image and author photo
Attached in the email! J
Raine O’Tierney is an always-writing, boundlessly enthusiastic, exclamation point addict! (!!!) She is known for declaring every day “the best day EVER!” and every thing her “all-time FAVORITE!” Despite this (obnoxious?) exuberance, she still somehow manages to have a wonderfully encouraging husband, Siôn, (who also writes M/M rom!) and an amazing group of friends and colleagues who continue to support (read: put up with) her. Raine spends her days working as a library lady, fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom.
Website and social media links
Posted on February 17, 2014
My very first overnight guest, Raine O’Tierney, will stretch out in the bed shown below and discuss the stress of social networking for new authors.
I will try to reduce her stress by feeding her Chamomile tea
and Russian Tea Cookies that I will stay up all night baking.
You don’t want to miss Raine in her fuzzy bathrobe… and I hear that she has dachshund slippers.
I will continue this post…tomorrow.