Author Name: Mia Kerick
Book Name: The Art of Hero Worship
Release Date: February 14, 2016
Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.
As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.
Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.
The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.
Pages or Words: 212 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction,
No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.
The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.
Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.
“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.
I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.
Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….
“Dear God, help us!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.
We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.
And then, for a second, it’s quiet.
“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”
His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.
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INTERVIEW WITH MIA KERICK
Hello, and thank you for hosting The Art of Hero Worship’s release book tour on your blog today. The Art of Hero Worship is a book in the Mia Kerick Adult collection; a New Adult LGBTQ Contemporary Romance that focuses on a current issue: mass shootings.
This book marks my 16th publication, and I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the world’s great books’ first lines with Mia Kerick novels’ first lines. (Gulp.)
List of Great Books’ First lines VS. List of Mia Kerick’s Books’ First Lines
(in some cases 2 lines)
GREAT BOOKS’ FIRST LINES
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett, Murphy
I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
—Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
You better not never tell nobody but God. —Alice Walker, The Color Purple
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
—Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother to talk about, except it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead.”
—On the Road by Jack Kerouac
“Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”
—The Stranger by Albert Camus
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”
—Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
“Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. It had been said so often that John, without ever thinking about it, had come to believe it himself.”
—Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
“Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn.”
—The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
MIA KERICK’S BOOKS FIRST LINES (no particular order)
The Red Sheet
“ONE MONDAY morning last fall, I woke up with an irrepressible urge to tie a red sheet around my neck.”
Not Broken, Just Bent
“EXCEPT FOR the disastrous second semester of our senior year in high school, which is what this story is mostly about, I really can’t remember a time growing up when Timmy wasn’t there.”
“I’ve been accused of thinking too much, which might be true, but I consider that fact to be a minor blip on my personality radar. Nothing more.”
“Having gained a measure of steadiness when I realized that all I wanted in the whole entire world was to get as far away from St. Mark‘s Church as humanly possible, I race toward my car.”
“Trevor wouldn’t even look at me when I walked over to the gas station this morning to say hi.”
A Hard Day’s Night
“Fin and I have managed to get locked into what I will refer to as a repetitive pattern of affable behavior, and, in my opinion, it’s working out splendidly.”
“COULD have been my green eyes he was into… or maybe he had a thing for long hair, lots of dudes did. But probably it was the song.”
Out of Hiding
“THE STAIRWAY in the old building had been hot, but the dance studio was nice and cool. Too bad Dario Pereira wasn’t.”
FIVE DATES. Two overnights. Feeling her up… me holding both of us back from doing the dirty deed.
The Art of Hero Worship
“At this point he’s in the back of the theater, and the shooting hasn’t slowed down at all.”
By examining the classic books’ first lines and comparing them with mine, I think I have learned that I can be a bit more ambiguous with my first lines, and maybe even a bit more off-beat. The story doesn’t have to make sense from line one; there is plenty of time for that. However, I think my first lines have succeeded in providing hooks to catch the reader’s interest.
There is a definite art to creating the first line in a novel. On Goodreads, I found a quotation that spoke to me on this topic. “The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées. I understand this to mean that your first line cannot be solidified until you have written your last line. At that point, every author should go back and examine the first sentence to see if it really works and rings true in terms of the message of the novel.
Meet 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 CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink 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.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mia-KerickAuthor-231404220346244/
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bCLWfT
Amazon Author Page:
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
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