Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
Pages or Words: 44,300 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Not to say that I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days, but I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days. Yes, I was oh-so-pathetically waiting for his call, which I am aware fully explains the need for the phrase “get a life.” But Jazz hadn’t been at school on the Thursday or Friday after he had called and cancelled our playdate, and now it’s Sunday night, and I still haven’t heard from him. And although I’m frustrated that all of my elaborate plans to make him fall head over heels in love with moi have apparently tanked, I’m also growing genuinely concerned.
That’s when my cell phone, which I placed on my chest before I lay down on my now “love-spell-pink” wrapped mattress, starts singing Express Yourself.
“Yo.” I don’t check the number. It’s Emmy—who else would it be?
“Hi, Chance.” The deep voice is so not Emmy’s.
Yaaassss!!! This is what ninety-nine percent of my insides shout. One percent says quietly, “It’s about frigging time you called, asshole.”
But my voice is calm. “Jasper,” I say blandly. In my opinion, he hasn’t earned the right to be called Jazz any longer.
“Um, sorry, no. It’s Jazz.”
I try not to roll my eyes even though I know he won’t see, but it’s an epic fail. “Whatever.”
“I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch for a couple days. My mom’s been real sick. I was lookin’ after her, gettin’ her to the doctor, goin’ to the pharmacy, bringing JoJo back and forth to school, and stuff.”
“Mom caught JoJo’s strep throat and had to go to the ER because she couldn’t even swallow.” He stops talking for a second and then clears his voice. “Alls she could do was spit into a rag whenever she needed to swallow.”
Well, that’s definitely TMI, but I get the fucker-nelly revolting picture. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault, dude.”
And then there’s silence.
“Gonna take JoJo to the library after school tomorrow. But first I gotta stop by the cable company and pay up or we’re gonna lose our TV and internet at home. They already warned us like twice.”
“Want me to pick up Yolo at school and take her to the library?” I’m so freaking pissed off at him. Why am I offering to save his ass again?
“That’s cool of you to offer, but there’s a bus she can take to the library from her school. Could ya be waiting for her at the library, in case I get held up?”
“Of course.” I’m a Class A sucker.
“You’re such a cool pal.” Ugh—so not what I’m going for.
“I’m not gonna be at lunch tomorrow seein’ as I’ll probably be collecting my makeup work. So, I’ll see ya at the library. ‘Kay?”
I don’t say kkkk cuz it’s not even slightly cool. “Sure. The libes after school, it is.”
“Thank you, bro,” Jazz offers.
One more silence, and then I say, “Later.”
I have research to do.
Sales Links: Amazon
Why MtSnow read this story: I am a fan of very few M/M authors that write Young Adult. Mia is one of them I enjoy. After I read her treatment of a YA ‘threesome’ (done very well and respectfully) she just won me over with her style and panache. When we were offered an early copy of her newest YA release, I promptly raised my hand!
We were offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So. What did I think. Well, for starters, I was immediately intrigued with what I would consider an almost spastic, ADHD, very self-centered, but in his head if not actions, sincere young Chance. He at first came off as abrasive, over-confident, peckish, and an all around ‘queen bee’ to me! At first I didn’t think I’d like him very much as so much if the story seemed to be all about him, and not in a good way.
But, slowly, we are seeing the layers peel back to a young man that is really NOT overly self confident (which I guess would represent any teens at this age) but who is able to hide it very well with an arrogant, obnoxious, and very sarcastic wit that at times gets him into even more trouble than he’s in to start. In fact, you can see the ‘oh sh*t’ moment IMMEDIATELY after he opens his mouth. It’s like a knee-jerk reaction that he uses to protect himself.
Then we meet his BFF; Em, Emmy, Emily (all the same person) who tells him when he’s out of line, and does it quite brilliantly. I like her! They basically have each other’s backs.
And then along comes Jazz/Jasper, Chance’s crush. Sweet. Hunky. Not considered too bright (he’s Vo-ag, but that does not mean someone is unintelligent). We find out later, still waters DO run deep. Em and ‘Channy’ do a crazy job of trying to make Jazz notice Chance. Go by some famous ‘Love Dr’s’ advice with ‘The List’. Oh. Wow. AND talk about botching things up!
If anyone has happened to read/see the YA book/movie ‘Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging’ I could see Chance and Emmy as a great supporting cast! Chance’s ‘British accent’ playing with the Queen’s English was hilarious! And I LOVED his over the top sense of style.
But, overall, at the base of the story is a deeper message. It comes down to one thing. Why does a person HAVE to label themselves? What to do if you feel like a guy one day, and a girl other days. Why do you have to choose? What exactly do all these labels mean, and why is it anyone’s business? You’re gender does not necessarily define your sexuality. And your body parts do not define what you may feel innately inside yourself. And THAT’S OKAY.
This story opened my curiosity and I did some research on the Internet and found an interesting source here : http://www.genderdiversity.org/resources/terminology/
I think there is a fantastic moral to this story. And it goes something like this. It’s okay to be confused, and not fit into ANY box, and you CAN find someone that likes or loves you just the way you are. Oh. And it’s usually good to be a real friend first.*wink
Highly recommended! No sex, but a wonderful book for a young person or anyone that likes to read about the painful and sometimes funny journey of falling in love, whether young or old.
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, CoolDudes Publishing, 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.