Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mia Kerick - The Red Sheet - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

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 Cody Kennedy

My Review

The middle class American mindset comes close to choking the life out of Bryan Dennison. The stifling conservatism. The narrow minded thinking of white picket fence suburbia. The 'stand out only to be praised' mentality. On the surface, THE RED SHEET is set in the idyllic setting of small town New Hampshire, but it could really take place in any similar environment across the country where the overriding message is: Jocks can't be gay.

Unfortunately, basketball phenom Bryan is head over heels for a boy named Scott. The problem is Scott's the only one who knows Bryan's gay. Not even Bryan's mother suspects that her big, strapping, free-throw-nailing son is secretly dating a boy in his English class. Bryan is good at coasting under the radar, until Scott issues him an ultimatum—acknowledge their relationship in public or it's over. He's desperate for Bryan to make a stand, until something tragic occurs. The memory of what happens to Scott is so traumatic that Bryan doesn't even know he's repressing it until the end of the story when it all comes rushing back.

Because in the town where they live, disturbing incidents like that aren't reported. If one boy is doing something unspeakable to another boy, they say the victim was "beat up." These euphemisms for violent behavior are as dated as they are disturbing. In 2014, teenage boys still aren't encouraged to be who they are and express themselves openly if they happen to be gay, or at least a certain type of boy is expected to remain in the closet.

Since Scott is small boned and effeminate looking, people automatically assume that he's gay and they're okay with it. Bryan, on the other hand, is the 6' 4'' standout player starting on the varsity team. He's expected to date the hot girl who puts out, even if he's not really into her, even if he's into a boy with wavy blonde hair he's dying to run his fingers through with crystal clear blue eyes he just wants to lose himself in. That's not supposed to happen, not in their town. It's too much for Appleton, New Hampshire to handle. It upsets the natural order of things.

Author Mia Kerick calls things as she sees them. She's aware of the hypocrisy that runs rampant through Main Street U.S.A. Same-sex relationships are viewed as okay in metropolitan areas where the Mom and Pop types don't have to come in contact with them. But two high school boys getting affectionate on the dance floor? The queasiness is readily apparent on the page. It's not what a lot of people are ready to stomach. But Kerick makes a compelling argument, illustrating the humanity behind these characters and the depth of the attachment between them. They're just as in love with each other as any of their peers who are in boy/girl relationships, in fact, they're probably more so.

When it comes to love, it's known to cross all boundaries from nationality to income level to race—so in THE RED SHEET, Kerick is well within her rights to ask the question: Why not gender?


The Red Sheet can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance Books

Prices/Formats: $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Pages: 190
Genre: Young Adult
Release: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781627987219
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

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 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

Links to connect with Mia:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway