Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cover Reveal and #Giveaway: The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick


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.


AT LUNCH, I plunked my tray down at the table where Scott sat alone. I didn’t ask if he minded if I sat with him, because, as he had reminded me yesterday, it was a free country and I could, in fact, sit wherever I wanted. But, yeah, it was damned quiet at our table.
At least it was quiet until my childhood friend, Josh Javitt, joined us. He dropped his lunch cooler and two cartons of white milk down on the table, offered us his crooked grin, and sat right down. I couldn’t miss that Scott looked up from his hot dog and tater tots to examine Josh warily, as if he was expecting Javitt to give him shit. But that’s not what happened.
Josh leaned over the table and extended his hand. “You’re Scott Beckett, right? I’m Josh Javitt. You and me are in PE together. You swing a fearsome badminton racquet.”
Scott took his hand and they shook briefly, but he didn’t reply, clearly still sizing up the situation.
“You must play tennis, or at least ping-pong, to have moves like that. Sometimes I pity the birdie, the way you spank it.” Josh opened up his cooler. I looked over to see what gourmet treats his stay-at-home mom had stuck in there today. (Josh’s lunches had long been -a source of great envy at the Superjock Table.)
In place of a reply, Scott took a big bite of his hot dog and nodded.
Josh then lowered his voice. “Look, man, I owe you a huge apology. I’ve been an asshole to you this year and… hey, there’s no excuse for being an asshole.”
Scott’s blue eyes widened as he chewed, but still he said nothing.
“So, I’m sorry, okay?” He pulled out a sandwich wrap that appeared to include shaved meat, chopped avocados, and, it looked like, crumbled feta. Some kind of dressing dripped out the bottom. “Anyways, want to team up with me today in gym class?”
“I guess.” Scott was a tough nut to crack, but, then, he had plenty of reasons.
“See, man, I couldn’t give a crap if you’re gay or straight.” Josh looked over at me and shrugged. “I’ve got seven siblings, and two of my older brothers are rainbow warriors. And, it’s like, I wouldn’t change Dougie and Shawn for anything.”
This was all news to me. Josh had never let me in on this private information. “You never told me that, Javitt.”
Josh glanced back at the Superjocks, all of whom were displaying angry puffed-up chests and menacing glares. “Why would I? We usually hang out over there at ‘Homophobia Central.’” Uh-huh. Javitt was now glaring at me too.
“Point taken.”
“And after Saturday night went down, well, that kind of sealed the deal—I was never gonna tell you about my brothers. Seriously, I felt like shit about what went down.” Javitt looked over at Scott again. “I’m really sorry. Sometimes you think it’ll be easier to just go along with the crowd, but afterwards, you wish you stood up and said something, you hear me?”
“I guess.” Those two words had been the extent of Scott’s contribution to the conversation.
Thankfully, Javitt was something of a chatterbox, and he started in on the Appleton High School golf team’s season, the ups and downs of living in a too-many-kids-for-a-normal-vehicle family, complaining that they had to go around town in one of those big white cargo vans, and then he gave us a detailed description—and finally a very small sample—of his older sister’s specialty blondie brownies.

Nope. Scott didn’t say too much, but he listened and even smiled a couple of times, which was kind of a huge deal because they weren’t the bitter, in-your-face-asshole kinds of smiles I was used to, but the that-was-funny type.

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About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five non-pedigreed 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.

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