Release Date: June 1, 2015
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.
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.
Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind. Find Mia on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6474518.Mia.Kerick
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
Hi everybody at EE Montgomery Book Blog—I am so excited to be her today promoting my June 1st release, Love Spell. Here is a scene I created just for you that takes place about six months after the end of the book.
“That was totes fab!” I’m breathless and the drama is flowing freely.
“You are totes fab, Chance.” My words sound awkward coming from Jazz’s lips, but don’t get me wrong—this boy ain’t complaining. No sir or ma’am or whatever you are in between!
“How ‘bout you slay me one more time, then?” I pucker my lips, realizing suddenly that all traces of my Cherry Chapstick are but a sweet memory. For the love of Clay Aiken, I really don’t give a crap! “Plant one on me, boyfriend. And make it count.”
“You asked for it….” Jazz leans over the center console of my Volvo wagon, grabs me roughly by the shoulders (which I will admit lights my already smoldering fire) and pulls me against him.
Take me big guy. I’m all yours.
The only way to describe the way his lips feel on mine is “fucker-nelly amazing.”
Is it a figment of my supremely vivid imagination or are our lips a perfect fit?
Soon Jazz’s lips cover mine completely; as in, can you say own me? And when he parts his lips and werks it hard with his tongue, I’m lost in a pond of glitter.
I try my best to werk it back, but it’s quite impossible, seeing as I’m having major trouble so much as breathing.
Jazz stops kissing me long enough to ask, “You okay, dude? You aren’t breathing too good.”
My instant reply is, “I need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, as in now.”
Then I dare to reach up and drag my fingers through his closely cropped hair. My Rustic Rosemary nail polish compliments his subtle auburn highlights, just saying. He drinks me in with his wide, dazed eyes.
“Can’t run my fingers through your hair, dude. Those spikes are sharp as a lawnmower blade.”
No shit Sherlock, I think. “You’ve got a point there,” I say. I make a mental note to inform Emily of Jazz’s astuteness ASAP. Well, ASAP after this delicious make-out session concludes.
Before Jazz again, “takes my lips and makes them his own” (I like how that sounds), I notice an adorbs worry wrinkle working its way across his forehead. His worried expression reminds me of the labracadabrador incident in the library a few weeks ago. Don’t ask.
“Nah, it’s nothing.” He pulls me in for another kiss, and let me tell you, I’m seriously tempted to forget his problem and just suck face. (Temptation ain’t a crime.) But this is Jazz. And he’s my man. I want him as gloriously and deliriously happy as he’s made me. Okaaaayyyyy….
“Tell Chancy what’s weighing so heavily on your mind, boyfriend.”
His broad (and uber manly) shoulders slump and his head hangs. Which ain’t gonna fly.
“Spill it J-man. Don’t force me to inflict tickle torture.”
He shrugs, but those tempting lips stay sealed.
“Jazzy, don’t make me go off on your fine ass.” And it is one fine ass, let me tell you, girlfriend.
Jazz leans back and says. “Come on, Chance. Let’s get out of the car and go for a walk.”
We’re parked by the town beach, which is as good a place to go for a walk as any. And since it’s evening, and a mostly cloudy one, we don’t have to battle the crowds. The image of Jazz’s forlorn face is now burned into my mind. All I can see is the worried face of the guy who helped me to believe that I didn’t need a freaking stupid-ass label for the unique awesomeness of my gender identity. I’m not about to let this guy struggle in silence if I can help him, see what I’m saying?
“You gonna loosen those lips and talk my ears off, hunny, or am I gonna have to resort to tickling you in a tight circle around your belly button?” This, inceidentally, would be no hardship for me. His belly button, nestled in the center of a nest of chestnut curls, is a subject worthy of composing poetry.
“It’s just…. It’s like this: you are off to college soon and it’s in the big city and….”
“Boston isn’t such a big city.”
“Compared to Fiske, New Hampshire it is.”
He has a point.
“At Northeastern you’re gonna meet all kinds of new people. And they’re gonna be super smart, like you.”
Flattery, as always, gets him everywhere. “Awwww…. Jazzy…my sweet Jazzy.”
But he clearly is still freaking out. “You’re sure to meet a better looking dude than me.”
Better looking? Hardly.
“And I’m gonna be back here in Fiske, studying to be a lame-ass electrician.”
“You take that back—electricity isn’t lame!” I grasp his arm. “I mean, without electricity I couldn’t blow dry my hair and achieve the feathered-back look.”
He stops and turns to me. “You know what I mean.”
“No, Monsieur Donahue, I don’t! Electricity is all that!”
He sighs noisily. “I’m just a small town guy with small town goals.”
He just doesn’t grasp how important he is to me, so I set my mind to fixing his (fine) ass. “It isn’t about how smart or hot you are or how fucker-nelly awesome electricity is.” He is still looking at me, dazed and confused. “It’s how you make me feel about me. And nobody else can give me the fab feeling you make me feel about myself.”
Jazz’s face morphs from confused to doubtful to hopeful. “I do that for you?”
“Yes, sir.” We stand there and stare at each other. And then I say, “Now I’ll take another one of those stellar kisses you were giving out so freely in the car.”
Jazz smiles that sweet and honest smile I love so much. “You won’t forget me when you are away at school?”
I pull his face to mine. “How could I ever forget the way you make me feel?”