Title: The Art of Hero Worship
Author: Mia Kerick
Release Date: February 14th 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction,
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.
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.
**GUEST POST by MIA KERICK**
Top Ten Ways To Say No
Hello! Thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog today to promote my new release, The Art of Hero Worship. Liam and Jason at times have trouble speaking directly to each other and others about their feelings.
I have a more specific problem. I wonder if you do too. I have a very difficult time saying no. I can think no. In fact, my insides often SCREAM no. And then I hear myself say, “Well, okay.” So in my search for Top Ten blog posts, I decided to do one that would be very useful to me, and maybe you. The research opened my eyes. I am forever changed.
Here are the best ways I found online to say no.
1. Stalling Technique- this is one of my own, not borrowed from an online article. I often say, “Let me think about it” when asked to take part in something I may or may not want to participate in. This buys me the time to think it over, and if the answer is no, it allows me to use one of the next nine ideas without the stress of being put on the spot.
2. The Delay Technique- “Not Right Now.” Why handle now what can be much less stressfully handled later?
3. The Gushing Thankfulness Method- “You are so kind to think of me, and I’d absolutely love to… but I can’t.” It makes the person feel a confusing combination of warm and fuzzy and cold and prickly.
4. The Ass-Kissing Complimentary Technique- “I would do it, but you would do it so much better, don’t you think? You are so good at stuff like that.”
5. Distraction 101- “Do your hear that? I think it’s my cell phone. One of my kids must be calling….”
6. The Humor Approach- “N to the O” or “Sorry, I never do ____ on days that end with Y” or “Been there, done that—hated it.”The “I’M LOSING IT” Approach- “If I take on one more thing I swear I will lose my mind.” To enhance the effectiveness of this technique fingernail chewing and bugged-out eyes work nicely.
7. The “I’M LOSING IT” Approach- “If I take on one more thing I swear I will lose my mind.” To enhance the effectiveness of this technique fingernail chewing and bugged-out eyes work nicely.
8. The Oh, no, I’m Going to be Out of Town Excuse- “There is nothing I would rather do on Saturday evening than volunteer at your very worthwhile campaign, but unfortunately I am out of town (the state, the country) at a cousin’s wedding.”
9. The Cut and Run Technique- “I have to get going, but thanks for asking.” Before the person knows what is going on he is eating your dust.
10. Just say NO. (I know, “Just Say No” was an unsuccessful anti-drug slogan in the 1980’s, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do.)
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 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.
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