Hi. It’s Mia Kerick here on my Inclination blog tour to fill you in on what attracts me to a book.
An awesome cover is the first thing that attracts me to a book, I will admit. And it can be a deal breaker. If I don’t like the cover, chances are I will not look at the book any further. A wide variety of covers can garner my attention, but there is one mandatory factor: there must be a face on the cover. I need to see a face because I’m a very visual person and an image of one or both of the main characters nudges my imagination, if you know what I mean. I start to envision how the story might unfold. But featuring a face on the cover can also be a bit risky. If I really don’t find the face at all appealing, it is likely I will pass on the book. Call me shallow, but this is the truth. And don’t get me wrong, the cover images don’t have to be perfectly handsome—they don’t have to be Chippendale Hunks or GQ models—they just have to speak to me in some way.
I can go many ways with colors used on the cover. I like black and white, especially when it is bold, because I think it sets a mood, and can be a little bit bad-ass. But brilliant colors, particularly when they are used artistically, draw me in as much, if not more.
Let’s take a look at the cover of Inclination, which was designed by Louis C. Harris. I’d like to preface my remarks by saying, I AM THRLLED WITH THIS COVER!! Okay, now I will collect myself and point out the specific features I love. Let’s start with the face on the cover. Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a South Korean adoptee, who happens to be raised in a very Catholic, very Italian family. Physically, this boy meets the essence of the way that I imagine Anthony. He is a rather pretty and pleasant-looking teen, with shaggy black hair and smooth tan skin. He is a quiet and reserved sort of person, which I think is reflected in the cover model’s expression. He isn’t showy in his clothing or his posture. And he is sort of sweet. All of this shows in the face on the cover.
Beyond the picture of Anthony’s face, the gorgeous colors of the stain-glass window are compelling to the eye. They are rich and bright and vivid, almost sparkling with the light that shines through them. The effect is artistic and at the same time it is meaningful to the story, as it shows the glory of the interior of a Catholic Church.
So, if I wasn’t the author I still would be unable to look beyond the cover of Inclination. Hehehe…
Even if I am incredibly drawn to the cover of a book, though, I will not purchase it without reading the blurb. I am a very smart shopper. What’s on the inside must match the awesomeness I see on the outside. (Um, yeah, you can’t judge a book by its cover.) The blurb must catch me with a clever hook, intrigue me with some interesting details, and offer me the prospect of a romance. I must have a sense of the conflict, without a hint of the resolution. I think the Inclination blurb accomplishes these things—do you? Check it out below!! And if the cover and blurb sell you, pick up a copy of Inclination and read!!
Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.
Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, Christian, Spiritual
I’ll pass on the Kool-Aid, thank you
It sounds like a joke, but it’s all true. Every student who volunteers his or her time on a weekly basis at an animal shelter, a hospital, or a home for the elderly receives a free lunch on the last Monday of the month, putting to rest the veracity (got that word on the last SAT practice test I took at my desk in my bedroom the other day) of the old idiom, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And as I spend every Sunday afternoon patting and playing with cats at the Centerton Humane Society, I qualify. If nothing else, it gives Mom a day off from making me lunch.
“It was so disgusting.”
I drop down into my usual seat in the cafeteria beside Laz, my tray with the bowl of free macaroni and cheese, a slice of bread, and milk, sliding onto the lunch table in front of me. “The mac and cheese?” I ask. “Last time I had it the stuff wasn’t too bad.” It’s not one of Mom’s gourmet lunches, but it gets the job done.
“No, Anthony.” Emma Gillis rolls her eyes and swallows her bite of free mac and cheese she earned by reading classics to the elderly on Saturday mornings at the New Horizons Elderly Center. She gulps in a breath and informs me with her usual haughtiness, “I was telling everybody about these two old men I read to last Saturday who think they are some kind of couple. They actually kissed each other.” She fake-gags.
“I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw that!”
For my own personal reasons, I gasp, while everybody else snickers.
“Those old dudes must be losing it, as in, they could have Alzheimer’s or something, and they forgot that dudes belong with ladies, not other dudes.” I glance over at Lazarus, who abruptly stops babbling to suck down the first of three cartons of chocolate milk. “But seriously, that’s messed up.” Laz wrinkles his nose in distaste and runs his hands through his shaggy dark hair, before moving on to carton number two.
I’m basically frozen, my hand still hovering over the slice of wheat bread on the corner of my tray, my mouth hanging open. I might even be drooling.
“It’s not their fault, Emma.” Elizabeth-the-devout always takes the case of the underdog. It’s how she’s wired. “They’re just sick in their minds.” She sends Emma a you-ought-to-be-ashamed-of yourself sort of frown. “We, as Catholics, are called to compassion.”
Everyday single day at lunch since freshman year, I’ve sat with the kids from the Our Way youth group. In fact, the other kids in my grade have long referred to our lunch table as “Our Way to Survive Cafeteria Food”, which somewhere along the line got shortened to the “OWSCF Table”, which eventually morphed into “awe-scoff”. I have always felt safe and secure sitting at the awe-scoff table. These are the kids I’ve prayed with three times a week at Our Way, and the ones who I was confirmed with in ninth grade. I’ve collected toys for the poor with these kids—in fact, for three years running we’ve made sure that no child in Wedgewood missed out on having a small stack of Christmas gifts, and that brings about some major bonding. We’ve shared weekends camping in the Maine woods, singing and holding hands and sometimes crying when the Spirit moved us.
This is my safe spot at school, like my tiny room is my alone spot at home.
“If you ask me, all fags deserve to die for going against Christ and everything that’s natural. They should be forced to drink poison Kool-Aid, like those cultists had to do down in Jonestown…’member that?” Is that Rinaldo Vera who just suggested mass murder as the “final solution” to the gay problem?
Sweet, passive Rinaldo—the gentle giant. Um, not so much.
“I saw a TV movie called the Jonestown Massacre.”
“I caught that too…those people were warped.”
The conversation drifts away from the vileness of homosexuality, toward the disturbing personal stories of the few survivors of the Jim Jones Cult Kool-Aid Massacre. But I’ve heard more than enough, in terms of stuff that pertains to me.
Feeling as if I’m going to lose what little lunch I ate, I jump up off my chair and race toward the boys’ room in the hall near the cafeteria.
Maybe there really is no such thing as a free lunch.
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-two 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 people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy 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, Harmony Ink Press, Cool Dudes, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially 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.
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I would like to give a big Thank You to Mia Kerick and Will at Pride Promotions for letting us take place in this Blog Tour.