Leighton Rose

Author of M/M Romance Novels

Archive for the category “Friends”

Kade Boehme Rocks!!

Hey guys! Long time no talk!!

Let me just get right into the reason for this post. My friend Kade Boehme is doing something fantastic right now. He’s donating a portion of his income for the next several months to the Wounded Warrior Project. I already have his entire backlist but I’m looking to help him anyway! So if you go here:

and comment on my post, you will be entered for a chance to win one of three copies of any book on Kade’s backlist! He’s a great guy with a huge heart. I don’t doubt that you guys will love him as much as I do 🙂

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Mia Kerick’s The Red Sheet Blog Tour!

I’d like to welcome Mia Kerick, author of the recently released YA novel The Red Sheet, to my blog today! She’s here to promote her new release and talk a little bit about kryptonite and how it relates to her characters.  Plus there’s a rafflecopter giveaway to enter at the bottom! I hope you guys love Mia as much as I do! 🙂

The Red Sheet Book Cover                

Description:

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.
Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.
Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.

With a foreword by C. Kennedy

Book Links:

Dreamspinner  Ι  Goodreads

Excerpt:

“Dinner, Bry!” My mom called me into the kitchen from where I was busily dusting in the family room. (No heckling from the peanut gallery, please.)

As I entered the kitchen, I uttered, “I just love this feather duster, Mom. It really traps the dirt.” (Again, please refrain from commentary.)

She pulled off her glasses so they hung down on the chain she wore around her neck, rubbed her eyes, and then examined me with no small amount of concern. “Sure, Bryan… whatever you say. Um, you can go ahead and sit down.”

I pulled out the chair and dropped my ass down. “A hamburger… just what I was in the mood for.” I sent her a sly wink, an exact replica of the one Miss Libby had sent me in class earlier this week.

After she sat down, Mom rubbed her eyes one more time and apparently checked to see if it was actually her son sitting across from her. “So, Bry—are you feeling well these days? You’ve been acting a bit… um, strange… this week.”

“Things are improving every day.” I had a momentary qualm of conscience about eating what had once been a living, breathing mammal with a cute cow’s face, but since Mom, who wasn’t exactly Rachael Ray, had gone to the trouble of making this delicious burger for me, I pushed past it. “How are things with you? How’s work?”

I didn’t know just how many times the woman could muster up the energy to gape at me with such incredulousness, but she managed to do it one more time, as if I’d never asked her about her work before that very moment. “Things are… fine, Bry. Just fine.” She took a bite of her own burger. “Your father called me last night. He’d like to see you.”

I shuddered with revulsion. Can you say kryptonite?

My father was my own personal kryptonite. I just knew it.

Dear old Dad, who’d left Mom and me back when I was in second grade because he’d found a woman who was younger, hotter… better, seemed to be the only subject about which my heart hadn’t softened.

My single weakness.

“I don’t want to see him.” He’d hurt Mom… he’d hurt me… he’d been so wrong.

It was as if she’d read my mind. “He hurt us, yes, but he is still your father.”

I have to hold on to my anger, ’cause if I don’t… if I don’t….

“No.” I sounded like Scott when I’d asked him for a second chance.

“I really think it will be good for both of you to get together.” She placed the french fry she was holding back down on the edge of her plate and looked at me with sincerity. “I’m over the pain of what happened, Bryan. Please understand that it will not hurt me if you see him.”

“No… uh, no, thanks.” I wasn’t going to be rude to Mom because of him.

“Jonah wants to see you too.”

Shit! It isn’t my younger half brother’s fault that our father is an asshole.

“Mom, I just can’t….” I sucked down about half of my chocolate milk in an attempt to calm down. If there was ever a time for a topic change, this was it. “So, guess what! I got a B+ on my English paper.”

Guest Post:

We all have a personal Kryptonite.

Kryptonite is a fictional material from the Superman story; it is the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman’s home planet, Krypton. It is also the Achilles’ heel, or single weakness of Superman. Kryptonite causes Superman to be vulnerable to the draining of his power, and even death. Likewise, Bryan Dennison, the main character of The Red Sheet, my recent Superman-themed YA release, has a single area of weakness that he considers to be his “personal Kryptonite.” The one weakness to Bryan’s be-a-better-person/look-on-the-bright-side/give-peace-a-chance persona is the very existence of his father, Allen Dennison. You see, Mr. Dennison left Bryan and his mother when Bryan was merely seven years old in favor of what Bryan considers to be a “newer model” (younger) wife. The pain at his father’s perceived abandonment of their family has long plagued Bryan’s heart, and this lack of forgiveness constitutes the only area in which his heart remains unchanged after he experiences his miraculous overnight personality improvement. The residual hurt from his father’s abandonment still claws at Bryan’s spirit causing what he calls “white hot pain.”

Scott Beckett, the other main character in The Red Sheet, ironically perceives Bryan to be his personal Kryptonite. Bryan’s past behavior constitutes the single vulnerability to Scott’s hardened heart. As the story progresses, Bryan grows to realize that Scott is facing his own weakness in dealing with himself. So Bryan acknowledges that it is time that he, too, face his own Kryptonite: his father.

We all have people, places, and things that constitute our vulnerabilities. Personally, the mere thought of a certain woman who lives in my town possesses the power to emotionally bring me to my knees, as I have long felt ill-equipped to deal with her behaviors. And you, I’m certain, have your own private weakness. It is in facing these vulnerabilities, though, that we grow the most, as completely avoiding Kryptonite is not always within the realm of possibility.

“Kryptonite”

Three Doors Down

I took a walk around the world

To ease my troubled mind

I left my body lying somewhere

In the sands of time

But I watched the world float

To the dark side of the moon

I feel there is nothing I can do, yeah

I watched the world float

To the dark side of the moon

After all I knew it had to be

Something to do with you

I really don’t mind what happens now and then

As long as you’ll be my friend at the end

If I go crazy then will you still

Call me Superman

If I’m alive and well, will you be

There a-holding my hand

I’ll keep you by my side

With my superhuman might

Kryptonite

You called me strong, you called me weak,

But still your secrets I will keep

You took for granted all the times

I never let you down

You stumbled in and bumped your head,

If not for me then you’d be dead

I picked you up and put you back on solid ground

If I go crazy then will you still

Call me Superman

If I’m alive and well,

Will you be there a-holding my hand

I’ll keep you by my side

With my superhuman might

Kryptonite

If I go crazy then will you still

Call me Superman

If I’m alive and well, will you be there

Holding my hand

I’ll keep you by my side

With my superhuman might

Kryptonite

Yeah!!

If I go crazy then will you still

Call me Superman

If I’m alive and well,

Will you be there a-holding my hand

I’ll keep you by my side

With my superhuman might

Kryptonite

Oh, whoa, whoa

Oh, whoa, whoa

Oh, whoa, whoa

Mia Photo

About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:

Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.

Author Links:

http://miakerick.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick

http://www.amazon.com/Mia-Kerick/e/B009KSTG9E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1389575652&sr=1-1

Blogtourschedule

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holding on to Hope by Sid Love

Hey guys! So my new, really awesome friend, Sid Love, has a book being released today!! You can buy it at Dreamspinner Press and it’s on sale during their Valentine’s Day sale for 25% off!! It’s a great little short, story with supernatural elements!! I had the pleasure of reading it a little early and here is my review for it! I really hope you guys check it out and show Sid some love on his debut novella!

From Goodreads:

Sid Love has created a world with characters and supernatural elements that make you like them immediately.

This isn’t a long book but the characters pack a punch and the emotions that the author evoke in you makes you care very, nearly instantly for Brad and Leslie. You see just how much Brad wants to remember the mystery guy that stole his heart, that meant something to him but he just couldn’t remember much at all. He drags his best friend Leslie to their mutual friend Ian’s in order to see if they can find out all the details.

What they don’t know is that by the end of that night, Brad will be in mortal danger and their is only one person who can save him. Ronan, his mystery man.

This book take vampires and puts them back where they mostly belong, as the bad guys who feed on humans and evoke no sympathy from the human population but also introduces a half breed called dhampirs with powers and strength that help them hunt their supernatural counterparts.

Sid writes this beautifully, with details that pop off the page and very real emotion that you can feel between the various characters. You see exactly how much these two boys mean to each other by the end of the book and the title, Holding on to Hope, really comes into play then.

This has been left wide open for a sequel, which I do believe I’ve read something about. I can’t wait for more from this super talented young author that I am proud to call a friend. Great job on creating this fabulous world Sid!

North Star Trilogy by Posy Roberts is Complete!

So yesterday was the release day for Flare, book three in the North Star Trilogy by Posy Roberts. I read the first two books back in December and fell absolutely in love with the characters Hugo and Kevin. I’d like to post my reviews here and hopefully entice some of you to give these books a try! One of my favorite series for sure! I’ve included links to where you can buy all of the books and find Posy/Winter at her websites 🙂

Book One: Spark

Spark is a wonderful book written about Hugo and Kevin, two men who were each other’s first love in High School and went through a lot to get to the place they were but lost touch when they went to college.

It’s the adult version of the book and there is a young adult adaptation called Private Display of Affection by Winter Sandberg. I read that book first and I’m really glad I did. It came out after Spark did so some people didn’t get the chance I did to really get to know Hugo and Kevin as teens before reading about their adult counterparts. It was really good to know in depth what they went through to become the people they are today.

That understanding of who they are helped me throughout this book. There are flashbacks in Spark that I read in PDoA and knowing the rest of the story between them made it more clear. There are some sexual scenes from their teens years that more in depth in this book than we got in PDoA which was really nice to know more about that.

In Spark, it’s not hard to see that as soon as Kevin walks unexpectedly back into Hugo’s life the ‘spark’ they had before is reignited quickly and never blows out. It might seem a little fast for them to end up in bed together just hours after they re-connect but if you’d read the YA book first, you’d see that it’s not fast at all, Kevin hasn’t been with a man in 17 years and with Hugo, he’s almost desperate for him to ‘touch him there’ again. These two men are made for each other but that doesn’t mean they both don’t have some obstacles to overcome.

Kevin is in the process of a divorce and shares custody of his two kids with his ex-wife, Erin, who is still a good friend to Kevin. Hugo isn’t sure how he feels about dating a man with kids but it’s Kevin and it’s Kevin’s kids so he gives it a shot and he’s really good with them, which surprises him but not Kevin and Summer (Hugo’s best friend) at all.

Hugo hasn’t had the best of luck with relationships since his relationship with Kevin drifted apart all those years ago because when he went to college he was finally able to be himself all the way and eventually he found out that he really enjoyed performing in Drag shows as Miss Cherrie Pop! and he didn’t want his reconnection with Kevin to end when he found out that Hugo did this as so many of his past relationships had.

All in all, there isn’t too much angst in this book and it’s a nice story about two men who really are soul mates finding their way back to each other and re-learning how to be together with the new challenges in their lives. I’m really looking forward to the second  book which is loaded on my Kindle and ready to go.

 

Book Two: Fusion

Just finished Fusion by Posy Roberts and I can’t make heads or tails of my emotions right now. My eyes are swollen and hurt but it’s the good kind of hurt. I think the last time I cried this much while reading a book was Something Like Autumn by Jay Bell I need time to process… I’ll review tomorrow. I need to sleep now, my face, head, and heart hurt  But I loved it.

*Edit* 12/28/2013

*Tissue Warning* (Like seriously, I was bawling through most of this book and probably used half a box of Kleenex… it wasn’t a pretty site!)

Once I took the time to process all of the intense emotions that this book evoked in me, I realized that I loved this book even more than I thought I did.

Kevin still isn’t really out to a lot of his friends or his ex-wife and is only a few weeks away from the divorce becoming final so that Hugo and he can move on with their relationship.

Things seem to be going well for them, and the Kevin stops answering Hugo’s calls and texts and goes almost an entire week without replying to Hugo, which sends him into a nervous frenzy thinking he pushed Kevin too hard about coming out to people.

A drastic turn of events takes place when they discover Erin has terminal cancer. Kevin is devastated; he thought that even though he was getting a divorce, he would have decades left with his best friend and the mother of his children but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

She has less than a year and Kevin makes the decision to not go forward with the divorce and move Erin back in with him so that she can be with the kids everyday and so that she doesn’t lose his insurance to cover the medical costs. This is a major problem for Hugo because he loves Kevin with his whole heart and wants nothing more than for Kevin to be only his and then Kevin brings him a dog and drops this bomb on him.

Things seem to be so up in the air and it’s devastating for everyone involved.

I really like Erin in this story. I love that the author stayed true to her characters because no matter how much Kevin loves Hugo and wants to spend the rest of his life with him, his best friend and the mother of his children has to be more important at that point. That’s just who Kevin is and that’s just life sometimes. I hate that people are upset that Erin is such a huge part of this story because although this is technically a M/M romance story, Kevin is a bisexual male, meaning there was an entire section of his live where he was married to Erin and had two kids with her. He loved her and she is important to him, that’s important to this story. He didn’t lie to her for years about being gay like so many stories where the man is married and has kids, he genuinely loved her and still loves her as his best friend.

What kind of person would he be if he left her alone to die just so he could run off to be happy with Hugo? Whether it’s his daddy issues or just his internal struggle to prove that he’s the complete opposite of who his father was, Kevin needs to do the right thing to feel okay with himself.

The story is told so beautifully and it’s definitely a heartbreaking tale. Hugo eventually comes around and he and Erin become incredibly close. Hugo isn’t sure where he belongs in their tight knit family but Erin is incredibly supportive of Hugo and Kevin’s relationship.

There are a lot of battles they have to overcome in this story and as you follow them they will drag you through an emotional ringer. You see everyone struggling to deal with Erin’s illness, Kevin struggling with coming out to everyone and Hugo trying to do the right thing and be the rock for everyone.

I look forward to the final installment of this series but on the other hand, I don’t want their journey to be over and I know I will need more tissues for the next book based on the blurb.

Five HUGE Stars for this one!

 

Book Three: Flare

I don’t even know where to start with this one. The book released at 11PM in my time zone and it’s officially 5:25AM… I haven’t slept yet but I didn’t figure that I would once I got my hands on the final book of this series. I’ve been waiting impatiently since I found out the release date, anticipation killing me, and let me tell you, this book did NOT disappoint. Please forgive me as I ramble through my thoughts and try to make sense of my emotions. I’m tired.

So much has happened to our unconventional little family. They all had to mourn Erin’s death in their own way but more than that, each of the kids were going through difficulties that Hugo and Kevin had to figure out how to deal with. Erin’s parents were trying to gain custody of the kids citing that they were living in a harmful environment and then there was all the inner turmoil roiling through Hugo during all of this.

More than anything, I felt so badly for Hugo that it resonated deep in my heart. This man has spent the last two-ish years giving everything he has to Kevin and his family, taking care of Erin and the kids, making sure everyone had what they needed from him and doing his best to make it all happen without losing sight of who he is in all of it.

Hugo has a lot of insecurities to deal with and Kevin does everything he can to make sure Hugo feels loved and treasured and needed, but sometimes our stubborn Hugo doesn’t let Kevin in, not wanting to rock the boat, and so Kevin goes into these emotional fights with Hugo not having a clue as to what he’s actually battling.

I can’t express just how much I love the way Ms. Roberts finalized this series. This book was full of everything it needed to be and we get a sense of finality that is pretty damned perfect. The writing is beautiful and descriptive and of course I cried more than I want to admit but not quite as much as I thought I would. I was too invested in the story and I didn’t want to miss what happened next.

Everyone grew in this story, emotionally and mentally, even physically in some cases but the thing that was most important was that the love between Kevin and Hugo was never questioned or threatened. Hugo had his moments of insecurity, Kevin has his moments of self-doubt, but no matter what happened, they communicated and they instinctively knew what the other needed. Their relationship evolved into something even more special and magical as they fought for their unconventional family.

In the end, I don’t think there was any way possible that their story could’ve ended more perfectly. The book pulls you in from the very start and keeps you emotionally invested until the very last word. That’s the mark of a truly beautifully written story. I’m sad to see the story for these boys end but I take solace in knowing that they will live their life full of love and cherishing the family they have built together. I feel like these boys are a part of me and I don’t want to let them go.

Five humungous stars for a series that captured my heart from the very beginning of Kevin and Hugo’s relationship and an author who so brilliantly and elegantly painted the picture of their life for us. Perfect. Simply perfect.

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