Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Dead Sea (Mia Kerick Story Ballads #2) by Harley Wylde

Title: Dead Sea
Author: Mia Kerick
Publication Date: March 3rd 2021
Print Length: 271 pages
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ+ Coming of Age

Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.

Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.

When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.

After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.

All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic “nobody” in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. And through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.

Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.

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“Do I scare you, Lenny?”

“You used to,” I reply in a tiny voice. “A lot.”

Kyle’s eyes appear darker than usual—a penetrating charcoal gray—and are wider than I’ve ever seen them. He leans halfway across the table. “Do I scare you now?”

Even if his dazzling gaze entices me, it also scares me. It’s like I’m staring into the deepest part of the ocean, endless in a fascinating, but frightening way. And it’s beckoning to me.

I clear my throat to buy time, and when I’m ready to answer, I choose my words carefully. “Not in the same way as before.” What scares me about Kyle now is the wonder I feel when his cool façade slips, and he lets me see the real him. I don’t miss the irony—I’m still hiding the real me from Kyle.

His hand zooms across the table, nearly knocking over my water glass. He laces his fingers into mind. It’s as awkward as it is thrilling. “You scare me, Lenny…and nothing’s ever scared me before. Except for losing Grampa.”

“I…I don’t scare anyone.” Even as I make this declaration, I know it isn’t true. I frighten my mother because she doesn’t understand me well enough to be confident that I’m okay.

“You scare me because I give a sh*t about you. Or maybe I give one hundred sh*ts, which doesn’t sound too romantic, but it kinda is.”

“What do you mean?” I want details, and I wish I didn’t. My feelings for him are as powerful as they are confusing—every day they multiply by a thousand. I never thought I’d be preoccupied by anything other than the fantasies derived from characters in my favorite books and movies, but now there’s Kyle. I need to be certain I’m not huddled alone on this risky emotional cliff.

“Come on, dude. You know what I mean.” He squeezes my hand a little bit too hard, and it’s exactly what I need. “When you said you were different, did you mean…you’re gay?”

I lick my lips. Even this much honesty could be dangerous. “Maybe.”

“Well, if you are gay, could, um…could I date you…like, from now on?”

I never in my life thought I’d be presented with a helpless blend of hope and apprehension in bully Kyle Larson’s eyes. But there it is. He, like me, has wants and needs driving him. If I say yes to dating him, it will make me happy. The problem is being gay isn’t the whole truth of how I’m different. Kyle has no idea I want to live my life in carefully crafted ensembles to express my every mood—and to deal with my every insecurity.

He would never want to date you if he knew, insists my inner voice. I honestly can’t figure out which side the little voice is on—does it want to hold me back or push me forward?

“Are you gay?” I ask, buying more time.

He shrugs. “Not too sure…I just know I like you.”
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 Dreamspinner 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.

My themes I always write about:
Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.

Mia Kerick focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men within the boundaries of blossoming, supportive relationships. She believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. And Mia's stories are centered around a certain theme: even heroes can be sweet. Sweet, but not completely innocent.

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  1. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. awesome cover, congrats on the release

  4. Hello, Thank you for the giveaway. Best of luck with the book.

  5. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

  6. Neat cover, sounds like a good book.

  7. this looks like a great read

  8. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

  9. This is neat, quite the nice premise.

  10. I love this cover - makes me want to read this!
    Thank you for sharing the review.

  11. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I like the cover and it sounds like a great read to.

  13. This sounds like a great read.

  14. looks like a fun one

  15. I am looking forward to reading this.