High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.
Find Cody: Facebook Goodreads Twitter @CodyKAuthor
Cody’s Blog – http://www.ckennedyauthor.blogspot.com/
Cody’s Free Serial Story, Fairy – http://www.fairybycodykennedy.blogspot.com/p/about-fairy.html
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CodyKennedyAuthor?ref=hl
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5816900.C_Kennedy
Follow Omorphi’s blog tour for three chances to win an ebook copy of Omorphi! http://ckennedyauthor.blogspot.com/2013/09/let-omorphis-blog-tour-begin.html
Here is the cover for my new YA fantasy novel, Gods, designed by the fabulous cover artist, Paul Richmond! (Paul designed the first two in the trilogy, as well.) This is the third and final installment in the Dreams of Fire and Gods trilogy.
One of the things that jumps out immediately, if you’ve seen the first two covers in the series, is how misty and blue it looks, compared to the others. That’s because the valley of Harleh, in which much of the story takes place, is enveloped in a mysterious bluish cloud cover.
The novel is scheduled for release on October 17th! I also have a chat scheduled for that day. I’ll post about that again when it rolls around.
Or perhaps you’d say it’s done with the final edits. I turned my last edits in yesterday, so all that remains is for Dreamspinner to put together the galley proof and me to go over it. Then it will be done! Look for a release date in about six weeks (mid October)!
I’m very excited about this! The trilogy ended with a much bigger bang than I could have anticipated when I began writing Dreams two years ago. Each subsequent book expands upon the one before, adding more viewpoint characters (this one has four — I didn’t go completely insane) from different areas of the culture in the Kingdom of Dasak, so we now see what life is like for nobles (represented by Sael), peasants (Koreh), assassins (Donegh), and priests (Gonim).
We also finally talk directly with the gods (the Stronni and the Taaweh) and learn more about what motivates them and where they live. We see the Great Hall! We get more detail about life in the city of Harleh and we finally meet the emperor in the imperial palace!
Make sure to grab it quickly—the tweetaway only lasts 20 minutes!
If you’re not familiar with the novel, here’s the blurb and an excerpt:
In Viking Age Iceland, where boys are expected to grow into strong farmers and skilled warriors, there is little place for a sickly twelve-year-old boy like Kol until he catches the eye of a seið-woman—a sorceress—and becomes her apprentice. Kol travels to the sorceress’s home, where her grandson, Thorbrand, takes Kol under his wing. Before long Kol discovers something else about himself that is different—something else that sets him apart as unmanly: Kol has fallen in love with another boy.
But the world is changing in ways that threaten those who practice the ancient arts. As Kol’s new life takes him across the Norse lands, he finds that a new religion is sweeping through them, and King Olaf Tryggvason is hunting down and executing sorcerers. When a decades-old feud forces Thorbrand to choose between Kol and his duty to his kinsman, Kol finds himself cast adrift with only the cryptic messages of an ancient goddess to guide him to his destiny—and possibly to his death.
After more than a week of this isolation, Kol finally reached the point where he couldn’t stand it anymore. So, late in the night when he was certain everyone in the hall was sleeping, he got up and crept to Thorbrand’s bed. He thought his friend was asleep and reached out to touch him gently, but then he heard the young man whisper, “What are you doing?”
Startled, Kol pulled his hand back. “I just wanted to see you,” he said, his voice sounding pathetic even to his own ears.
“I know what you want,” Thorbrand said harshly. “But you’re out of your mind if you think I’m going to….” They had never given a word to what they’d done together in the bathhouse, and he balked at naming it now.
“Not in my father’s bed.”
“I just wanted—”
“Go back to your own bed, Kol.”
Stung, Kol turned and slipped away. But he didn’t return to his bed—he couldn’t. He wasn’t sure what to do, but his throat was constricted and his eyes threatened to brim over. The last thing he needed was for the others to wake up and catch him sobbing. He grabbed his cloak and threw it over his naked shoulders. Then, trying not to make any noise, he opened the door of the longhouse just a crack and slipped outside.
The night air was bitter cold and the ground nearly frozen. He hadn’t thought to put his boots on, and it wasn’t long before his bare feet grew numb. He clutched the cloak to his body, shivering as an icy drizzle fell upon him.
But it was too late to turn back. The tears had overflowed and he couldn’t stop them from streaming down his face.
The sensible thing might be to go to the bathhouse. At least it would be warm there. But it would just remind him of Alfdis’s death and the fact that Thorbrand wasn’t with him. So instead, he climbed a small hill not far from the longhouse and sat down on the damp grass. At least this way he could tuck his feet into the folds of his cloak while he tried to make sense of things.
Thorbrand was chieftain now. And he was being forced to take on immense responsibilities. Kol understood that. But it seemed more had changed than he’d realized. He’d thought Thorbrand might be missing him, needing him. That he would welcome Kol holding him, if just for a short time. But….
“You idiot,” Thorbrand’s irritated voice cut through his gloomy thoughts.
Startled, Kol looked up to see a shadowy figure climbing the hill toward him. Unlike Kol, Thorbrand had had the sense to at least throw on a tunic and some boots, though he’d left his cloak behind.
“What in Hel are you doing out here?” Thorbrand growled. “It’s freezing!”
“Nothing,” Kol replied, struggling to keep his voice even.
Thorbrand snorted as he plopped down on the grass beside him, reminding Kol for a moment of Alfdis. “Nothing. Just sitting on cold, wet grass in the dark, crying like a girl. Some great sorcerer you are!”
This was too much. It was bad enough for Thorbrand to shove him away, but to come after Kol just to make fun of him!
Kol wanted to lash out at him, but before he could do or say anything, Thorbrand had pulled him close and was kissing him hard on the mouth. And it was all there, in that kiss—everything Kol feared had gone away. All the longing; all the tenderness.
When Thorbrand finally broke the kiss, keeping their foreheads touching so that Kol could still feel his hot breath against his lips, Thorbrand said, “Do you think I haven’t been going out of my mind too? I hate sleeping alone, not being able to hold you. But what am I supposed to do about it?”
“I don’t know….”
“I’m a chieftain now,” Thorbrand went on. “Or at least I’m trying to be. We’re not kids anymore, Kol.”
“What does that mean?”
Thorbrand gritted his teeth in frustration, unable to pull away. “Men don’t… want this.”
Kol looked back at him defiantly, watching while the stern resolution in Thorbrand’s eyes gradually gave way to desire. At last, Thorbrand pulled him close again, brushing Kol’s ear with his lips as he said, “Come on, then.”
He led Kol to the bathhouse, where they stayed until the lightening sky forced them to return to the longhouse. Fortunately, nobody had awoken yet, and they were able to sneak back to their separate beds without being discovered.
I first heard the phrase “Issue Fiction” at RT earlier this year. It’s the concept of writing about things like eating disorders, drug abuse, self-harm, and other gripping issues facing teenagers into YA fiction. I attended a panel on the subject where they discussed how to approach such topics, and thought to myself – our kids have to deal not only with the same issues as an average teenager, but an entire layer of being “different” on top of that. Plus, being taught to hate yourself helps to manifest other behaviors that may not have otherwise surfaced.
As a YA author, I think it’s important not to gloss over these topics, but to give teens an honest look with consequences and solvable problems. Give them hope, but show them that sometimes, they have to work for it. Mainstream books like Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson or Willow by Julia Hoban show the depth of pain involved with self-mutilation while other books like All of Me by Maureen Stewart or The Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron talk eating disorders. Other books cover the spectrum of drug and alcohol abuse—all subjects that teenagers shouldn’t have to deal with, but do, every day.
In the Waiting for Forever series, Jamie battles a serious drug addiction. He makes some good choices, and some bad choices—both have consequences. Teens who read the series learn that even good people make bad choices, and they have to live with those choices. Having sex, blowing off college, getting into porn, coming out, drugs, standing up for your friends, putting your life back together—everything has repercussions, some good, some bad. In A Broken Kind of Life, Aaron is recovering from a traumatic experience that many adults wouldn’t be able to come back from. He meets Spencer, a deaf classmate and finds the strength to fight his demons and persevere.
By bringing these issues out into the open and talking about them, my hope as an author is that teens will see themselves in these books and be able to find some peace within themselves. With a teen in the Harmony Ink age range, I want them to seek out help—a parent, a teacher, or some other adult they trust and find the help they need. For our LGBT kids—I want them to know that they’re not alone. There is an entire community of us all around them, and we love and accept them just the way they are. When they’re ready, we want to watch them shine.
Jamie Mayfield is celebrating the release of the Waiting for Forever series with a 12-week blog tour and giveaway. View the full tour schedule HERE. Comment on any blog tour post or tweet using hashtag #WaitingForForever to enter to win a Kindle! Drawing will be held on 8/15/2013. You must be 18 to enter and have a valid US mailing address.
About Jamie Mayfield:
A survivor of the ex-gay residential institution The Sunshine Center, fictional author Jamie Mayfield went on to find his voice in novels. Always a great lover of books, Jamie found his passion as he began to pursue a liberal arts degree in creative writing. An avid reader, he’s a fan of gay romance, suspense, and horror—though not all in the same novel.
Jamie lives in San Diego with his fictional husband, Brian. He writes YA fiction as a way to let kids know that they have an entire LGBT family all around them. Above all, he wants them to know that they are not alone. It does get better.
Jamie Mayfield is a fictional character from the acclaimed Little Boy Lost series by female author J. P. Barnaby.