Book Name: Here Without You
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Book two of the Once Voice series. Can be read as a standalone, but not suggested.
Pages or Words: 216 pages
Release Date: February
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond (Photograph by Dan Skinner)
Buy The book at Dreamspinner
Blurb:With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward in life. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as he battles what he wants against what he feels he must do.
Now separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. However, they’re each faced with their own separate issues. Casey must cope with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the new gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. Nate fights for his sister’s very survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally, as happens in long distance relationships.
Nate’s futile effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which blasts Nate, Casey, and Zander apart. Can the three young men find their way back to a united path before it’s too late?
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, New Adult, Romance
2 NATE’S DIARY
August 23 (they only been gone about half a week now)
SO MAYBE this is a bit fucked up, but I’m gonna put it down on paper in black and white, and maybe when I read it back to myself, it’ll seem more normal.
Here’s the thing. Like Casey says, us three is a throuple. Three dudes in love. Whatever. Cuz I sure as shit love them guys, and nothin’s gonna change that. So, yeah. There’s two dudes in place A and one dude, alone, in place B. I just figured them two would be gettin’ busy in bed in their fancy dorm room whenever they had a chance—cuz that’s what guys do, right?
Well, apparently not so much. Last night they Skyped me. There them two were, sittin’ all cozy on Casey’s rainbow-colored bedspread. The floppy stuffed unicorn that me and Zander gave him for Christmas junior year was propped up behind ’em, starin’ at the computer, like it was lookin’ right at yours truly. I felt real alone and a little like a loser (fucked-up fact is they only been gone a couple days), but I leaned back on my bed and acted like I didn’t give a shit.
Casey said, in this adorable proper voice, “Nate, there’s a topic Zander and I feel it’s imperative we discuss. It’s a matter of great importance.” He already sounds like a doctor, and he’s only a freshman in college.
Zander was just starin’ into the computer at me, sorta studyin’ my I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-nothin’ expression.
“What’s such a big friggin’ deal, babe? Lay it on me.” That was pretty cool soundin’, I thought.
“Well, Zander and I want to have a discussion about.... Nate, we want to discuss physical intimacy. In that....”
Even on Skype I could see that two spots on Casey’s cheeks had turned bright pink. Looked like he was having trouble spittin’ this out. And he was the talker in our throuple.
“Zander and I are here together, without you, and we’ve talked about this—”
“I expect you two’ve been goin’ to town on each other every night since you got to college and are prob’ly itchin’ to strip each other down right now.” Both of my guys’ eyes popped open wide when I said that.
“Actually, Nate.” Zander spoke up cuz it seemed that Casey was suddenly at a loss for words. “We haven’t, and we’re not gonna.”
“Huh?” That just kinda flew outta my mouth. “Come again, guy?”
Casey found his voice. “We aren’t going to sleep together unless you’re with us. We discussed it, and neither of us think it would feel right.” He glanced at Zander, and them two nodded at each other. “We aren’t going to do anything in bed together until you’re here for a visit.”
About the Author:
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy 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, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially 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.
Finding Mia around the web:
Much of my inspiration is found through music. My daughter Demi made a CD for me called “Writing Songs” and I listened to it every time I worked on Beggars and Choosers. My kids accused me of liking only “guys who sing with raspy voices”, which might be true. That was a long time ago. Since then, I wrote Intervention that was about a young man who could only reach his love interest when he sang to him in the coffee bar they both worked at. I used many of my favorite, most inspirational songs within the book. And yes, many of the vocalists, male and female, had raspy voices. Not Broken, Just Bent was inspired by the song by Pink of the same name, and Here Without You was inspired by the song by 3 Doors Down. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert inspired “Come To My Window”, which I am about to self-publish. It could already be out there!!
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
I have a general story in my head and a pretty good idea of the two main characters when I start writing. I then write about three chapters, and I sort out the way the characters speak, their attitudes, their way of interacting, and then I stop for a while. During this time I find images of them online, as I really need visuals of the characters in order to write about them. I call the time during which I do not write, “letting my ideas percolate”. Before I dive back into writing, I develop a general and messy outline just filled with ideas in chronological order. No Roman numerals involved. And after the percolation is finished, I get back to the job of writing. However, my “best laid” (I know, messily laid) plans are subject to change if the characters seem to be taking the story in a different direction.
What is the hardest part about writing a book?
There are two areas that challenge me in a way that can make me discouraged, rather than motivated.
First of all, computers challenge me. I sometimes think I have been cursed by the gods of technology. The biggest challenge has been learning to use the computer effectively. The week before last I lost everything since Beggars and Choosers on my Mac Book Air. I thought it was backed up by the icloud. I was wrong. And even several data rescue services could not recover the data. So yes, the technological aspect of writing is my biggest challenge.
On a positive note, my daughter taught me how to make folders, which has really cleaned up my desktop. (Thank you, Demi!!)
The other hard part for me is keeping track of all the details in a story. Names of schools, and uncles, and little sisters, and places they used to work. Who uses exactly which kind of slang, which characters curse, college majors, and details like that. I need to develop a record system that simplifies this, but I start writing, and I never get around to organization of the details.
Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?
Most of my stories have a message. Some readers don’t like a message to be too obvious, so I try to avoid allowing my novels turn out as « a moral packaged as a story ». Most of my messages involve the themes of hope and personal change. I believe that no matter what a person goes through, he (or she) has the potential to change his behavior and to change his mind, if he wants to. Both my YA and adult books testify to this positive belief. Further, I believe that love can heal, and that is why my stories all contain an aspect of romance.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometime the details on certain topics stump me. For example, what injuries are most common in a beating with a baseball bat? Or what classes do freshmen need to take who are in a nursing associate’s degree program, or what charges would be drawn up against a man who beat his underage niece? It is these technical questions I need to research, ask questions , and dwell upon.
Tour Dates/Stops:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rafflecopter Prize: $25 All Romance e-Books Giftcard