Paperback: 212 pages;
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing (Feb. 14 2016);
Amazon Kindle: The Art of Hero Worship
Blurb: Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.
As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.
Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.
The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.
No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.
The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.
Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.
“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.
I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.
Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….
“Dear God, help us!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.
We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.
And then, for a second, it’s quiet.
“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”
His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.
Meet 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 young 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 CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink 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.
"Hello, and thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog to promote my new Mia Kerick Adult release, The Art of Hero Worship. As I am focusing on expanding my adult releases, I’d like to offer a sample of a new book I have just finished writing and am currently in the process of rewriting and editing called Thousand-yard Stare. This book is the love story between a very broken thirty-year-old man who was abducted as a child and, though he was returned to his family, has never been able to rejoin the world, and a gender fluid man who lives his life fluctuating from being a man to being a woman, which has also been a very difficult path.
Here is an excerpt in Vedie’s narrative voice. I will discuss it afterwards.
I didn’t really mind how we drove to his cottage in pin-drop silence. Again, the wind was blowing in my hair, and blustering so hard in the plain grey cab of the truck that it kept on lifting my skirt up around my waist. But Mateo didn’t seem to notice my bare brown legs, shaved to smooth perfection, or my struggle to tame my flying skirt. He just stared out the windshield like he was alone in the truck. Maybe he was in that same place he went last night when the lights behind his eyes went out.
When I arrived at the truck a little while ago wearing a flouncy, flowery mini skirt and a pretty, lacey halter top, Mateo just looked me up and down and nodded. I could practically see the words forming in his head: Vedie’s in girl mode again. But I didn’t see nothing in his expression in the way of judgment—no disgust or horniness, and most surprising to me, no I wanna punch his lights out ‘cause who does this dude think he is trying to pass himself as a lady?
As soon as the truck stops, Mateo seems to remember he ain’t alone. He looks over at me and asks, “Want to go swimming?” His expression is blank, like he couldn’t care less ‘bout my answer.
“I ain’t gonna go naked.” Though I speak real soft, ‘cause I always try to talk quiet when I’m a girl, my words come out sounding defensive and I fold my arms across my chest. There’s something about when I’m feeling feminine, I get this sense of modesty that I don’t got so much when I’m a guy. I usually try and ignore it, as it don’t get me too far with the dudes, but right now I just can’t.
“We’ll find you something to wear.”
I just sit there shaking my head, worrying about what I’m gonna wear to swim in ‘til Mateo comes around my side of the truck to help me get out. When he helps me take the big step down outta the truck my eyes start to burn. I get misty, like I done yesterday. Nope, he ain’t like any other dude I been with. Most dudes think that just ‘cause I’m a part-time boy and girl that I ain’t nothin’ but this exotic sex toy, not a real person. Like… to most men, I’m just a chick with a dick—no more, no less. And it seems that most guys who are into ladies with dicks, or at least the ones I’ve met, are in it mostly to get a freaky lay.
“No worries, Vedie.” He offers me a sorta smile, and the sight of those white teeth makes me wonder about how they’d feel on my tongue. But I’m a classy lady and I don’t tell him so, though I gotta bite my lip hard.
I follow Mateo to his plain and simple cottage full of cats and we go inside. He heads right to his bedroom, I think, ‘cause I can’t see him no more. He comes back and hands me a thin white T-shirt and black boxer briefs. “I think I can make this work,” I tell him even though I ain’t so sure.
“You know where the bathroom is… so….”
I head to the bathroom to change. My skirt and pretty top and undies fall to the floor in a soft pile, but I fold ‘em up nice and neat. Then I throw the white V-neck T-shirt over my head. It’s loose ‘cause I’m a skinny girl and don’t got no big muscles, like the ones that’re used to filling this T-shirt. I tie the shirt off to the side, halfway up my belly, and let my shoulder poke outta the neck hole. Then I pull on the boxer briefs. They cling to my ass, which I been told time and again is my best feature. Looking in the mirror over the sink, I see that my lips are still shiny and red, but my eyes are too-soft like boy-Vedie’s ‘cause I didn’t heap on mascara, knowing I’d be swimming and it’d drip right down my face when the water hit it. Not a good look for no girl.
When I come outta the bathroom I’m faced with a totally hot man wearing a pair of faded navy blue swim trunks tied low on slim hips. He’s the kinda man that ‘til now I could only dream about being with. All I can think is, “You must pump iron, dude.” And so’s I say it. I kinda operate that way.
He laughs and it sounds deep and sexy and when it stops I wanna hear it all over again. “My weight bench is on the screen porch. I guess I do spend a lot of time out there.” He looks at the floor. “You comfortable in that T-shirt?”
“Yeah. It’ll work fine.” I know it is gonna be see-through as all get-out once it’s wet but I’ll be up to my neck in water so I’m cool with it.
Without another word, Mateo pats the heads of each member of our kitty audience and makes for the door. “Come on.” He opens the door for me and lets me pass by. I get these tingling feelings all over my breasts from knowing I’m really a girl with him.
We walk down to his private beach, and I find myself wondering how he can afford to pay for a pricey waterfront joint like this. But I don’t ask him ‘cause I ain’t no gold digger. I dip my toe in and the water, as usual down here, is the same temperature as the warm air. I step in real easy. Mateo trots right past me and dives.
I walk out to where it’s waist-deep and then sink real slow down to my neck. Mateo swims a bunch of laps while I just lay there and float. His laps are kinda frenzied, like a sort of nervous pacing, but in the water instead of on the sand. Finally I swim out to him and he slows, then stops.
“Why’d you invite me here?” I demand, kinda bitchy.
Mateo looks surprised for a second but he only shrugs. Then he says real quiet, “You don’t scare me.”
Well, I ain’t gonna say that’s the best compliment I ever got, but I’ll take it. Yay, me! Not to say I don’t stop and wonder why a big guy like him would be scared of anybody who don’t have no gun. “But what do you want with me?” That came out wrong. I sigh. “What I mean is, when I first hit on you, I was a guy. So what’re you doing here with this ‘girl’?” Use air quotes when I say girl, not ‘cause I ain’t a girl, though.
Treading water, Mateo’s golden gaze meets with mine and it’s like there’s a click, or maybe a zing, in the air between us. “I’m not all that worried about your gender.”
“Huh? Come on, man, face it—you were standing outside The Only Tiki Hut waiting on the guy who came on to you in the restaurant. And a girl came out instead.”
“Makes no difference to me.”
I ain’t one to try and pass for a woman so’s I never gotta worry about no dude being pissed of by what he finds underneath my skirt. But this guy was expecting a dude and he’s getting a lady. “Well, if you turned into a lady it would’ve made a big difference to me!”
“That’s you…. Don’t analyze me too much, Vedie… and I’ll grant you the same favor.” His eyes look scared, and they shut real slow. When they open up he looks brave again. “I like the way you are.”
Well, that’s good enough for me, so’s I move on to the next question on my mind. “Can I touch you?” I know it’s forward for a classy lady to ask something like this, but, hey, I ain’t all about gender rules, neither.
Mateo’s head slips down beneath the surface of the water. When he comes up, he shakes the hair off his face, takes a deep breath and swallows hard, and then finally he nods so small I can hardly see. “Let’s go up onto the beach.”
In this excerpt, Vedie is trying to figure out where he stands with Mateo, as a gender fluid person who lives his life as a man and a woman. Vedie shows in this section that he is defensive about who he knows he is and who he has decided not to hide. He needs Mateo to understand that his gender fluctuates and that he is more than a sexual object. Mateo, on the other hand, is not concerned with Vedie’s gender. I do not think that even he understands why Vedie’s gender/sexuality do not matter to him. In essence, this excerpt is all about acceptance. In an earlier scene vedie showed complete acceptance of Mateo’s quirky behavior, and here, Mateo returns the favor. Interestingly, these two men who have every reason to protect themselves find in each other a non-judgmental partner.
Keep your eyes open for Thousand-yard Stare, the love story of Vedie and Mateo."
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mia-KerickAuthor-231404220346244/
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bCLWfT
Amazon Author Page:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28369581-the-art-of-hero-worship
Tour Dates & Stops:
15-Feb Bonkers About Books, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings
16-Feb MM Good Book Reviews, Bookaholic Confessions
17-Feb Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, My Fiction Nook, Mikky's World of Books
18-Feb Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter
19-Feb KathyMac Reviews
22-Feb Let's Get Ready To Romance, BFD Book Blog
23-Feb Three Books Over The Rainbow, V's Reads, Bayou Book Junkie
24-Feb Multitasking Mommas, Velvet Panic, Full Moon Dreaming
25-Feb Book Lovers 4Ever, Unquietly Me
26-Feb TTC Books and More, Inked Rainbow Reads, Kiki's Kinky Picks, Kirsty Loves Books
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