True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Featured Author: J.S. Frankel

J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto a rather long time ago and moved to Japan when he was in his mid-twenties in order to teach English to anyone who would listen to him. In 1997 he married the charming Akiko Koike and they decided to make their home in Japan for good.

Currently, Frankel and his family live in Osaka where he teaches English by day and writes until the wee hours of the morning. His specialty is Young Adult fiction, and Twisted is his first novel—a gender switch—and deals with sexual identity as well as the concept of finding love with that special someone no matter what form they inhabit or what they look like. He is also the author of the upcoming Lindsay Versus the Marauders which will be released in July of this year.

Connect with J.S. Frankel on Twitter @JessSFrankel or visit his website:

Q&A with Author J.S. Frankel:

  1. Tell us about your cover design. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?

    In Twisted, you see the MC of the story, Charlie Matthews, staring into a mirror. This foreshadows the person he will become. (You gotta read the story, though!) It also shows that what we see in the mirror isn’t necessarily who we are.

  2. In what way is your story unique compared to other books in this genre?

    I think it gives a different ‘twist’ on the old idea of gender switches. Gender switching is not a new genre by any means and goes back to ancient Egypt. In more modern times, you have a number of television shows and movies that have dealt with it. However, they tend to bring a number of stereotypes which I tried to avoid. In large part, I think I’ve succeeded.

  3. What are your writing goals for the next five years?

    I’d like to keep writing for not only the gay market, but also for all markets. I really want to improve as an individual who can write from various viewpoints and age groups.

  4. Which of your characters is most like you?

    Good question! Probably Charlie, the main character in Twisted. He’s the kind of guy who’ll stick up for others even if it’s not the most popular thing to do. But I was always taught that sometimes you will become unpopular because of what you do. I’ve learned to ignore the criticism for it. I want to do my own thing—write about whatever subject matter I like—and if people don’t agree with it, then too bad. I won’t stop.

  5. How do you research for your books?

    I do a lot of research online and also consult my sister. For Twisted, I had to employ some terms used in the Middle Ages, and my sister who is well versed in those matters, helped me immensely.

  6. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    My takeaway message for anyone is that you should never be ashamed of what you are. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or creed you are, and it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is. People are people. You should be proud of the person that you are and no one has the right to tell you any different.

Now Available from J.S. Frankel:

Twisted Chivalry isn't dead. It just wears a skirt.

Highschoolers Charlie Matthews, his adopted brother Martin, and Sharon Collins win a contest to play an interactive medieval game as the avatars of their favorite characters. Their mission: fight off the monsters, storm the castle, and capture the evil king.

But things go terribly wrong. Charlie is dismayed to discover he is Angella of Avernon, the lead female character in the game. Fortunately, she's the most powerful avatar around, but he also finds out that he, Martin, and Sharon have been infected with a virus that will kill them outside the game, so they have to stay inside the scenario.

Trapped and beset on all sides, Charlie has to deal with the sexism of the characters circa 1430, his stepbrother's distaste for his female form, and his feelings about becoming a woman. In addition to fighting off the various monsters within the scenario, Charlie tries to fight his attraction to Sharon...and then realizes Sharon is attracted to him, which makes it all the more confusing.

When the deadly opponents in the game get the upper hand, Charlie must summon all of his love and courage to save the day and rescue Sharon. Will he understand that love is where you find it and that the gender of the one you love doesn't matter at all?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Releases for April, 2014

Featured New Releases:


Because of Her by KE Payne

Published by Bold Strokes

For seventeen-year-old Tabitha "Tabby" Morton, life sucks. Big time. Forced to move to London thanks to her father's new job, she has to leave her friends, school, and, most importantly, her girlfriend Amy, far behind. To make matters worse, Tabby's parents enroll her in the exclusive Queen Victoria Independent School for Girls, hoping that it will finally make a lady of her. But Tabby has other ideas. Loathing her new school, Tabby fights against everything and everyone, causing relations with her parents to hit rock bottom. But when the beautiful and beguiling Eden Palmer walks into her classroom one day and catches her eye, Tabby begins to wonder if life there might not be so bad after all. When Amy drops a bombshell about their relationship following a disastrous visit, Tabby starts to see the need for new direction in her life. Fighting her own personal battles, Eden brings the possibility of change for them both. Gradually, Tabby starts to turn her life around—and it's all because of her..

Breaking Free by Winter Page

Published by Harmony Ink Press

Raimi Carter is finally a girl, just like she always knew she was meant to be. At a new school where nobody knows she’s had gender reassignment surgery, she hopes to finally live the normal life she’s longed for, happy in her own skin. Life is great until she discovers a dangerous bully is blackmailing head cheerleader, Clare Strickland, threatening to reveal her secret: she’s gay. As Raimi fights to free Clare from his clutches, the two girls move beyond friendship. But secrets from their pasts and their own fears of coming out tear them apart—maybe forever. Baring their souls to each other could cost them everything. For two girls trapped and desperately in love, only strength, courage, and trust in each other will help them break free and claim their future..

Eagle Peak by Elizabeth Fontaine

Published by Torquere Press (Prizm Division)

Eagle Peak, population 596, has two bars, five churches, and a vibe (or lack thereof) that couldn’t be more different than Sean's native Minneapolis. Moving to rural small town Minnesota, Sean must leave his life of acting classes, going to all-ages shows, and hanging out with friends, to enter into a world of pep rallies, pick-up trucks and country pop. Sean’s inclination for heavy eyeliner, black attire, and surly attitude make him an easy target of suspicion, intrigue, and prejudice in the small town of Eagle Peak. But despite Sean’s growing sense of dread and depression, small town Minnesota also offers a lot of firsts: he becomes the love interest of three classmates of which one is a closeted gay boy afraid of his own sexuality, he is surprised to discover and chant with a Buddhist family in town, and he gets in the middle of an abusive father and his town jock son. Sean’s old life of theater, live music, and diverse friends collides with his new life in Eagle Peak, and Sean is left confused about what he thought he knew about small towns, the world he left behind, and himself..

Hunters by A.M. Burns

Published by Harmony Ink Press

Bigfoot hunters prowl the forests of Cripple Creek, Colorado. That doesn’t sit well with Thom Woodmen—a Bigfoot—albeit the runt of his family. Being the smallest has advantages; Thom, in disguise, gets to attend high school, and he’s not expected to accomplish much in life. All that changes when he comes across a distressed human in the forest. Ben Steele is new to Cripple Creek High School, and after a harrowing experience in the woods near his new home, he quickly falls in with Thom Woodmen and his circle of friends. So what if they like to hang out with nature? Ben’s got nothing better to do. Trouble is, Ben can’t seem to stay out of it—trouble, that is. However, in saving young Ben’s life, Thom inadvertently kick-starts a bonding process that’ll change both their lives forever. With the support of family and friends, Thom learns to accept bonding with the human boy. But with the danger overrunning Cripple Creek lately, Thom may be cut down before he can confess his secret and his love..

If You Really Love Me by Gene Gant

Published by Harmony Ink Press

With time ticking until graduation, Ellis Carter doesn’t have a plan for after high school. Since his best friend Cary dropped out, he has no one to talk to. All he knows is he doesn’t want to continue being a burden to his mother. Adding to his daily torture is the school’s new resident bad boy, Saul Brooks. So to say he’s amazed when the mysterious Saul invites him to the gym for a workout is an understatement. Soon, they go from workout buddies to boyfriends, and Ellis couldn’t be happier. But happiness is fleeting. His mother begins a new relationship he thinks will lead to pain, and Cary makes a decision that could take him out of Ellis’s life for good. Just when he needs to lean on his boyfriend the most, Ellis discovers Saul has a secret that could break them apart..

Outshine the Stars by Nash Summers

Published by Queerteen Press

Justin is hell on legs. He’s a self-proclaimed brat, a manipulator, and has a bit of a flare for the dramatic. While Justin might look like the picture of innocence, he leaves a path of terror wherever he goes. His senior year starts off like all the others, him and his best friend sticking their noses up at everyone else while they bask in their own glory. But when a handsome new student catches Justin’s eye, he recruits the likes of a smart-mouthed kid named Connor to help him in his mission to capture the heart of the attractive newcomer. When Justin is finally forced to face himself and the truth behind his self¬-centered universe, it feels like the sky comes crashing down..

Revolt of the Perfectly Free by Kim Flowers

Published by Queerteen Press

In this steampunk version of American history, slavery was abolished during the American Revolution and Native Americans live in harmony with immigrants of all races. Steam-powered carriages and trains make travel easier, and automaton robots do manual labor such as planting crops. The government uses a mixture of native ways and democracy, with both a chief and a governor ruling over the state of Delaware. Across the ocean in Great Britain, the people live in a near-dystopia, and tyranny and inequality still reign. Amelia Corn is the daughter of the governor of Delaware, and her best friend Two-Spirit is son of the Lenape chief. When a delegate from Great Britain arrives and threatens war unless the U.S. agrees to serve Queen Victoria under colonial rule again, Amelia and Two-Spirit know they must make sure this never happens. Amelia enlists the aid of Nadine, a beautiful slave of the British delegate, who organizes a revolt while the citizens attack the British ships. Two-Spirit’s boyfriend, the warrior Strong Arrow, completes their team and helps take out any traitors or enemies who get in their way. Amelia falls in love with Nadine, whose family is an ocean away; Nadine doesn’t know if she has room in her heart for romance. Two-Spirit becomes both shaman and warrior, which makes Strong Arrow insecure; he faces ridicule from his father because of who he loves. And the biggest threat of all is the might of the entire British Imperial Navy, rumored to be headed to Delaware to set up a stronghold for Queen Victoria to rule. Can Amelia and her friends defeat their enemies or will they be torn apart, victims of a failed attempt at perfect freedom? The stories in this anthology are available as separate e-books. Contains the following stories: Amelia's Revolution, Two-Spirit's Red Road, Nadine's Voyage, and Strong Arrow's Warpath.

Special Effect by Russell J. Sanders

Published by Harmony Ink Press

Graduating senior, theater lighting wunderkind, and closeted gay, Nick Fortunati volunteers with The Streetwise Players in the dark corners of The Laughton, a creepy old movie palace decorated in Grand Guignol style. But his father wishes Nick would use his intellect and his scholarship to become a biotech engineer and earn a prosperous living for his future family. Nick loves his dad and wants to please him, but he dreams of a career in theater. And he wants a male lover. Unfortunately, his homophobic father won’t approve of either. When Nick’s at his loneliest, out of the corners of the theater and into his life comes trouble-laden Steve Stripling, a man with little memory of his past other than his name. Meanwhile, Nick’s introduced to the dashing Wash Vitek and is torn between the two men. His situation is further complicated because he doesn’t know if Wash is gay. Nick resolves to solve the mystery surrounding Steve and help the young man recover his memories, even though by doing so, he risks losing the first love he’s ever found.

A Strange Place In Time: The Merry Executioner Returns by Alyx J. Shaw

Published by Torquere Press (Prizm Division)
The battle has begun, and old friends become new enemies, and allies become traitors. The Court of Hercandoloff realises that the only way to avert true disaster is attack the instigators of the rising darkness, and that will take a great deal of secrecy and deception. As Arrowsmith returns to Earth to persuade a friend to come to Dargoth, the Wizard-King Blackbird finds himself facing foes alone in his own palace, as the army rides north to the Kingdom of Kirianna. With the Master Thief blinded and missing, Blackbird sick and injured, and only a matter of days before one adversary is brought back form the dead, plans have to be made, and quickly. There is no chance of real victory, only of a stalemate, and that is with every member of the Court present. The search for Infamous leads the Court to the dead remains of the holy city of Palaklais, and the Temple of the Creator, but what they find there does not give them hope. The god of madness, SkullDigger, awaits them, as the most powerful of their adversaries, Rhaklan the Damned. The Court is without one of its most important members, and the strongest of their foes have joined forces. The Court has no choice but to fight, after they make plans for their own imminent demise.

The Balance by Neal Wooten

Published by Bold Strokes Books

In a dystopian future, life hangs in the balance. Piri is a nineteen-year-old boy who lives in a technological metropolis that rises above the clouds. But when an accident drops him out of the city, everything changes. At first terrified by the atrocious reality of life on the surface, including surviving gruesome creatures known as Scavs, Piri is soon mesmerized by the bond they have for one another. He also comes to understand his own feelings for Niko, the boy who rescued him. In the end, Piri chooses love over comfort. But things are never as they seem. When he discovers just how far the city dwellers will go to maintain control, and the horrific truth behind an ancient and secret alliance, he will do everything he can to protect his new family—and disrupt the balance.

Tiffany and the Tiger's Eyeby Foxglove Lee

Published by Prizm

How many secrets can a family keep? If there's one thing Rebecca knows, it's how to hide her problems. But with a rock-and-roll dad who drinks too much and a mom who works day and night, Rebecca needs a sympathetic ear. That's why she tells her troubles to Yvette, an antique doll that once belonged to her grandmother. In the summer of 1986, after her father's strange disappearance, Rebecca and her little brother are sent to the cottage with Aunt Libby and Uncle Flip. Rebecca's relieved to get away from the city, and her relief grows to bliss when she meets Tiffany, a water-skiing blonde who dresses like Madonna, makes her own jewelry, and claims to see auras. But strange things happen when Rebecca spends time with Tiffany. Her aunt and uncle are convinced she's acting out -- and she'd have good reason to, considering they obviously know where her father is and won't say -- but she can't convince them she isn't the one trashing her bedroom and setting fires. As crazy as it seems, Yvette must be the culprit. There's nothing more dangerous than a jealous doll that knows all your secrets...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Author: Mia Kerrick

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.
Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.
Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.
With a foreword by C. Kennedy
Book Links:


“Miss Libby just said to read it and comment.”
“And your comment? I’m very much looking forward to hearing it.”
“I already told you. I don’t believe that this”—he placed his hand firmly on my journal—“is genuine.”
“Well, do you believe I found the note in the trashcan?”
He looked directly into my eyes and nodded.
“And that it said I hated you and myself and my sexuality?”
He nodded again, this time with more fervor.
“Do you believe that I know I was wrong?”
Another nod.
“Do you believe I know I’m gay?”
He shrugged and then nodded once more.
“Then what about this journal entry isn’t genuine, Scott?” I lifted my notebook from off the desk and waved it back at him. “What part do you not believe?”
“I don’t believe that you could possibly have forgotten what we feel, or rather, felt, for each other. I don’t want to believe that.”
Frankly, those words hurt like I’d gotten bitch-slapped, but I could tell by his expression that he had more to say, so I waited.
“And I don’t believe that you cannot remember what happened that Saturday night.” Scott rubbed his eyes with his thumbs and then he swallowed deeply. “It was the worst night of my life. I can’t believe it isn’t burned into your mind, as well.”
It was my turn to nod.
“But I do believe you are sorry. I’m just not sure that it matters anymore.” After rubbing his dry eyes one more time, he pulled his journal out of his backpack and handed it to me. “My entry is about how much I detest broccoli.”
Hello and thanks for inviting me over…
What would you like teen readers to take away from your novels?
My goal is for my novels to be difficult to put down once they have been started. I want teens to think, I can’t wait to pick up another Mia Kerick novel after they have finished, so my primary objective in writing is to create interesting stories that teens will actually want to read.
I write romances, so I want teen readers to recognize that love can be very powerful, even instrumental, to happiness, when it is respectful and honest and devoted. Mixed in with this message are sub-themes, I guess you could call them, that encourage teens to accept responsibility for their actions, to say that they are sorry, to forgive themselves and others, to embrace everybody’s differences, and to recognize that they have the power to take care of themselves and to help others.
But back to the beginning of my answer, if the book isn’t interesting, then teens won’t get to the part that they reflect upon their own lives because they’ll have put the book down on the coffee table, so writing a compelling book—one that makes teens want to think about its message—is goal number one.

Tell us about your cover design. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?
I had looked at lots of pictures of models as I was creating covers for my previous books, so I had come across this model, MJ (who is older now and looks much different), in Dan Skinner’s work on Deviantart. Somehow, the challenging look in his eyes, and the physical characteristics of this model, stayed in my mind as I wrote The Red Sheet. So, in effect, I wrote this book about this model as my second main character, Scott Beckett.
When it came time to choose the cover, I had no doubt about what I wanted. And I wanted a photo of this model. However, in order to incorporate the symbolism, and the title, we had to change the color of the sheets that he was lying on. They couldn’t be white!! They had to be red!!
In my novel The Red Sheet, the red sheets symbolize the main character, Bryan Dennison’s, sudden inexplicable urge to be a better person and to do the right thing. Bryan actually refers to himself as  “a Superman of Intention” because he sees his strong desire to wear the red sheet, tied around his neck like a cape, as representative of how Superman wears a red cape when he is off to save the innocent and foil the bad guys. When Bryan needs to feel empowered to do the right thing, he envisions, or even actually wraps himself in, his new set of red sheets. And by these sheets, he is comforted and encouraged to continue on his path toward creating a better world.

What part of the story was the most fun to write? The most challenging?
The most fun part of The Red Sheet to write was definitely the flash mob scene where all of Bryan’s new, less-than-popular friends dance to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” in the lunchroom, in front of the entire junior class, to celebrate a much-loved teacher’s thirtieth birthday. I laughed as I wrote I, especially when I was describing 6’4” hairy-legged Bryan doing Rockette-style high kicks.
I will say, though, the flash mob scene was also the most difficult to write because it involved research. I have a seventeen-year-old daughter who is a dancer living in New York, so first thing I did was call her. She told me about me some basic dance moves that might be used in a flash mob and she referred me to Youtube videos where I could check these moves out so I could describe them accurately. I researched the most commonly danced to songs (for the purpose of a flash mob) and I selected ABBA’s Dancing Queen. I then viewed as many different flash mob videos as I could find to get the full spirit of a flash mob event. I googled “how to set up a flash mobs” and I found a rather serious set of “rules”.
Now, this was fun and interesting research, but it was also a bit intimidating as I had never described this type of a scene in writing and I wanted it to be funny and true-to-life, and I wanted it to really bring to the reader the feeling that was in the room.

If you could travel back in time and tell the teenage you one thing, what would it be?
I think my big message could be encapsulated into one word: relax. You see, I am a worrier, and I have been as long as can remember. I worried about school quizzes and my driver’s test. I worried about whether I would make the cheerleading squad and if I would get a part in the school play. I asked myself “what if this happens?” and “what if that doesn’t happen?” It would have benefited me to have just taken a deep breath and tried to relax, because worrying really doesn’t change things.
More than relaxing about the things that could happen to me, though, I would tell myself to relax when I worried about what everybody else thought of me. “Will they say my outfit doesn’t match?” “Does he think I’m pretty?” “Does she think I’m cool?” “Was that a totally stupid thing to say?” “If I say no, will they hate me forever?” I would go back and tell myself, again, to take a deep breath, and just do what my gut told me was right, regardless of what anyone else though or said.

Which of your characters is most like you?
A few come to mind, but the one who most resembles me in personality would be from my first book, Beggars and Choosers. Beggars and Choosers is technically an adult novel, but it falls into the category really of a “New Adult” or a “coming-of-age” novel where one of the two characters, Cory Butana, is 15-19 during the entire book. Cory is very much like me, in fact, this story had been in my mind since I was about thirteen, and in my mind, Cory was me.
The main characteristic I share with Cory is my deep desire to please other people. Cory tries to please his father, his bosses, his best friend, Maura, and his love interest, Brett. He is a bit of a target at school, but not a total victim. He is honest and thoughtful and has trouble saying no even when he needs to. Cory can be pushed very far before he gets angry; but when he finally draws a line, he means it.

Is there anything from your own teen years that has been placed into your books?
As a teen, music was very important to me. (It still is!) I incorporate music into every story that I write as I know it would be important in the lives of my characters. Intervention is about a musical boy who uses popular songs and lyrics to communicate with a boy who refuses to pay attention to him when he speaks. The intervention in question is a musical one. Not Broken, Just Bent was named after and inspired by the Pink/Nate Ruess song “Just Give me A Reason”. It refers to two boys’ long term relationship that endures hard times, but ultimately is not broken, just bent out of shape. The Red Sheet was inspired by Five For Fighting’s “Superman”, which is quoted throughout the novel. It deals with the fragile humanity of Superman as he takes on the evil of the world.

About the Author:
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 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.

Author Links:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Author & Giveaway: Sally Bosco

Sally Bosco
Sally Bosco has a fascination with gender: the perceptions we have, the attitudes people have toward those who don’t fit into the usual categories, and the feelings we have about our own genders. She is inexplicably drawn toward the Uncanny, the shades of gray between the light and dark, the area where your mind hovers as you’re falling off to sleep. She loves writing young adult fiction because she strongly relates to teenage angst, the search for self-identity and the feelings of being an outsider.

Her published novels include Death Divided (written with Lynn Hansen), The Werecat Chronicles, and her newest book (and thesis novel), Cevin’s Deadly Sin, the story of a hetero teen cross-dresser struggling to make it through his senior year in a small Florida town. She has also been published in Many Genres, One Craft, Small Bites, Hazard Yet Forward, and Cellar Door anthologies. She has an MFA degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Connect with Sally Bosco on Twitter @SallyBosco or visit her website:

Q&A with Author Sally Bosco:

  1. Tell us about your cover design. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?

    The cover model exactly fits my image of Cevin, so I was very happy about that. The “V” in Cevin is made of a pair of red panties. These panties are the catalyst for all of the struggles Cevin experiences during the course of the story. They also symbolize different elements of the story: Cevin’s uniqueness, the struggles he faces with bullying, and finally they symbolize Tessa’s love for him.

  2. In what way is your story unique compared to other books in this genre?

    Cevin’s Deadly Sin is unique because cross-dressing has seldom if ever been the subject of a book in young adult literature. Cevin isn’t a drag queen, and he isn’t transgender, he just has a need to dress in women’s clothing. Yet, he’s attracted to women. Heterosexuality is actually very common with cross-dressers. He is gender dysphoric to a certain extent. This means he identifies quite a bit with the female gender, yet in his daily life he doesn’t act particularly effeminate. His preferences are to a large part hidden. It’s unique to have such a person as a protagonist in a young adult book, particularly one that’s a romance.

  3. If you could travel back in time and tell the teenage you one thing, what would it be?

    Don’t stress over relationships. Most of them aren’t going to work out, and you will meet “the one” when the time is right. That will come much later than you thought, but it’s all for the best, because you’ll develop proficiency and independence in your life that will make you much stronger and more self-assured. I swear, I’ve wasted so much time mooning around over relationships that didn’t work out. And for what? I wish I had spent all of that energy working on my writing.

  4. Is there anything from your own life that has been placed into your books?

    Yes. Tessa’s bedroom is basically a dungeon. She’s painted everything black, covered her windows with black velvet drapes, has candles and gargoyles all over and has a large lion-head fountain that billows smoke. I had this exact same setup in a room that had been added onto my house as a sunroom (I know, ironic.) I loved using the room for writing. I'd sit in there and zone out from the world. Alas, the room broke down over the years—the walls actually started cracking—so I had to have it torn down and replaced it with a big, bright sun room. It’s still dark at night though!

  5. Do you have a nervous habit when writing?  A guilty pleasure when writing?

    I love to write in cafés. The smell of the coffee, the activity of people bustling around, the general sounds of people talking and moving are an inspiration to me. It’s always been very difficult for me to write at home. I’m getting better at it. Still, I like knowing that when I'm at a café I’m there for one purpose, to write, and I find myself getting much less distracted than I would around my house.

  6. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    When you’re in school, it feels like the most important thing in the world is fitting in. If you’re different you feel like an outcast—an outsider. Yet, as you get older, these differences can become an asset. Try celebrating your differences. Your true self is unique and beautiful. The world is bigger than you think it is. You don’t have to fit in. You just have to be you. On the edge.

Now Available from Sally Bosco:

Cevin’s Deadly Sin Cevin thinks that moving to a small town is the worst thing that ever happened to him…until he falls for Tessa. She may be the one person who can accept him for himself and his cross-dressing, but her brother Hunt’s goal is to make Cevin’s life a living hell. When Hunt’s bullying escalates, Cevin has to figure out how to keep Tessa and make peace with his cross-dressing in order to save his own life.

The Werecat Chronicles Confused by heightened senses and a heat that overwhelms her body and mind, shy, sheltered Kenley discovers that she’s a werecat. And not just any old werecat—she’s part of a royal lineage that goes back to Egyptian cat goddesses. She’s eager to embrace her new heritage. After all, who wouldn’t want the strength and agility of a cat and, well, a few other special abilities? But when she falls in love with Luis, the crown prince of an opposing faction of werecats, she’s tempted to do the unspeakable to be with the boy she loves.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin Giveaway!

Sally Bosco has generously donated a free copy of Cevin’s Deadly Sin for one lucky winner. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment below along with your email address. A winner will be chosen on April 21st.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Featured Author: John H. Ames

John H. Ames
John H. Ames was born in El Salvador C.A. He currently lives in Belize and began writing in 2009. He posted some of his work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, he completed several full-length novels under his pen name, John Henry Ames. His first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. The story chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. His passions are reading, writing and spending time with the ones he loves.

Connect with John H. Ames on Twitter @JohnHenryAmes or visit his website:

Q&A with Author John H. Ames:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    I would love to swap places with Lucas Edward Johnson from Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain: Swapatized! I find him to be a very amazing and interesting individual. Swapatized! is told in Kyle’s point of view, and we don’t get to see what goes on in Luke’s head or what he does. It would be great to see him doing his best, being Lucas Edward Johnson.

  2. What inspired you to write Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain?

    With Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain, I wanted to write something new and fresh, something that no one has seen before. I love short novels and lengthy ones as well. So, why not have both of them at the same time? Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain is made up of three short stories. They can stand alone but they can also stand as one.

  3. What’s up next for you?

    Right now I’m going through a lot of personal and family issues. As it is, Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain might be my last GLBT novel. I can’t say for sure because my ‘inspirational flashes’ are spontaneous and out of control. Right now, I’m working on my first mainstream novel, Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories. I’ve been working on it since 2009 so I’ve got to release it. Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories might come out around summer time, so be ready to embrace it. It’s a little bit of Twilight’s love story and Harry Potter’s magic with very unique little twists. Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories might be a straight YA novel but it does have a GLBT element in it. So, I think it’s the perfect novel or the best of both worlds.

  4. What do you like most about writing Young Adult?

    I love the fact that you can basically recreate your teenage years and make them a little more interesting and fun. You can also let other people into your mind and teach them a lesson or two. Writing makes life fun, exciting, and enjoyable. My life was dull and boring before I started writing. My novels made it fresh and extremely amusing.

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    I want my readers to learn that nothing is impossible. Once you set your mind on a goal, never ever give up. Keep going until you can’t no more, and even then, you shouldn’t give up. Many doors will be closed, but there will be an open one that will take you to the perfect road. Remember, life is simple. If you love someone, go for it. It’s better to have tried than never to have tried at all.

Now Available from John H. Ames:

Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain A collection of new entwined stories by best-selling Young Adult author, John H. Ames. Love that reaches beyond the boundaries of the physical realm…

The not so unrealistic detailed account of how my best friend and I swapped bodies for a short period of time or Swapatized! - High school is one of the most excruciating and painful periods of any teenager’s life. To Kyle, it’s hell on earth. Being the target of the jocks made him hate high school more than anything in the world. All he has is his best friend and the center of the jock’s interest, the beautiful Kylie Bursnell. But Kylie is not your typical beauty. She hates the jocks even more than Kyle, especially Lucas Edward Johnson, a jock who is madly in love with her and Kyle’s forbidden dream. After a bizarre and freaky night, they swap bodies and are force to live each other’s live. Can this actually be true? Has Kyle’s dream come true? Will he be able to love Lucas Edward Johnson unconditionally until the end of time? Or is their love nothing but a beautiful dream enveloped in heartache and pain?

Spirit Indestructible - Brandon Angelo William has it all. He’s hot, popular, shy, humble, and one of the typical and regular guys in high school. But, unbeknownst to everyone, he’s a closeted gay teen who came out to his parents the previous year. They loved and accepted him with open arms so what more could Brandon want? Love. The one thing that his soul and body need. After a late night out with his best friend, Kevin, Brad sees one of the most beautiful guys he has ever laid eyes on. But could the teen in front of him be real? Or is he the legendary hitching ghost that everyone talks about? Brad needs to find out and what he discovers shocks him and changes his young life forever…

The Lake View Psychopath - Jocks beware, he’s here and he’s not scared. Ashton Hall hates his existence at Lake View High. The jocks have made his life a living hell and his friends have completely turned their backs on him. Why? For being gay and dating the love of his life, Austin Young. Almost overnight, they became the center of every joke and every bully’s paradise. To make matters worse, even the school’s coach allows his ‘jock superstars’ to make fun of them.

But everything the night Austin Young is brutally murdered by the jocks and they walk free. Something snaps inside Ashton’s head and the only think he can think of is revenge. Will Ashton come to his sense and let Austin go? Or will he become one of the greatest serial killers of all time?

Surviving Elite High (Surviving Elite High #1) John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies.

On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school's star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John's help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them, even as several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever.

Senior Year (Surviving Elite High #2) And you thought last year was full of drama, suspense and romance? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

After a summer of love, hard work and…ahem…cohabitation, Nick and John are beginning their senior year. However, putting the memory of last year’s turbulent events at Elite High behind them proves harder than ever. Mysterious notes begin to appear inside John’s locker. Something is definitely wrong since the writer of the notes is none other than Matthew Ward, the homicidal student who nearly killed John. Is Matthew now free to finish what he started?

As if that weren’t bad enough, a new girl at school has an obsession with Nick that makes her do terrible things, things that threaten to tear Nick and John apart at every turn. Will Nick and John ever find happiness and stability together? Or will they end up going their separate ways?

All of these questions and more will be answered in part two of the Surviving Elite High saga!

Loving James (Surviving Elite High #3) Surviving a normal high school is hard enough. Surviving Elite High? Close to impossible! Not until you learn the difference between love and obsession…

Sixteen year old James Gordon has it all. He’s rich, studious, and bears quite a strong resemblance to Justin Bieber. So, what’s stopping him from being a normal kid in high school? The deadly jocks. They torment anyone who’s gay or possibly closeted, even though Nick Wild Hawk, star of the football team and the love of his life, John, came out to the whole school in previous years and made being gay at Elite High just another walk of life.

However, even though the jocks have bullied James nonstop and made his life a living hell, he can’t help but fantasize about the king of the jocks, Nathan Parker. Nathan is rugged, straight and the most popular guy in school. When fate intercepts and places James and Nathan under the same roof, James’ torture really begins. And yet, through it all, James hopes that that his steadfast love for Nathan will change the jock into a lover rather than an abuser. Unless a certain hot, loyal, guy in the background can find a way to show James he is really, truly loved, and has been for a long time. Before it’s too late…

Surviving Elite High: Loving James is the third part of the Surviving Elite High Saga which features one the most famous and loved characters in the series, Jacob Ashmore.