Saturday, 18 April 2015

Slaying Isidore's Dragons by Cody Kennedy



Today, Rainbow Warriors has the great privilege to host one of my absolute favourite authors who, I must admit, I am somewhat in awe of, not only because of his writing but his wonderful work raising awareness of and helping abused and marginalised children. Cody is a hero and I'm very happy to be able to help him in a small way to achieve the recognition he deserves.

I also have pleasure in the amazing artwork on the cover and supporting images which were created by the amazing Reesse Dante




About Slaying Isidore’s Dragons


5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
&
Nowhere to run



5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
&
A love that won’t be denied


Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.

Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.

5 New family members
4 BFF’s
3 Countries
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
&
A new beginning for two young men in love


Now available in print and ebook at Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink Press
Amazon   Barnes & Noble   OmniLit/ARe

About Cody Kennedy



Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. 

Stop by Cody’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.
Find Cody on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+,

Ello, Goodreads, & read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy

Please visit the other stops on the tour for other nuggets of gold




Last but certainly not least comes a fascinating interview of Sorcha, an amazing character from the book

Cheryl: Thank you for being my guest today, Sorcha! It is great to have you here with us on Rainbow Warriors!

Sorcha: Thank you for the invitation, Cheryl. I have not been interviewed before, well, other than for diplomatic reasons, of course, and it is all a little intimidating, but it is wonderful to be here.

Cheryl: Let us get started. Before we speak about the boys, may we speak a little about you?

Sorcha: I am about as dull at ditch water, but if you’re game, so am I.

:::applause:::

Cheryl: Fantastic. Readers cheered you on through the story as much as they did the boys. In fact, you have become a terrific role model for parents. You are fierce and have a terrific sense of humour and that sense of humour seems to have gotten you and the boys through thick and thin.

Sorcha: Of course, it has. Frankly, when the bastards start to get you down, you simply have to give it to them right back. It would not do to let them get the better of us, would it? Give them their guts for garters, I always say! Moreover, why not do it laughing?

Cheryl: Absolutely! Throughout the story, you stepped up to the plate over and again to protect your boys. Have you always been so fierce?

Sorcha: Is there any other way to be? Listen, I may not be as wise as the women of Mungret may be, but I learned long ago that beauty won’t make the pot boil. If you want something in life, you must work for it and I am not about to let anything happen to my sons.

:::applause:::

Cheryl: We certainly learned that by reading the book. Do you think now that the conspiracy against your family is put to rest, that you can live in peace?

Sorcha: I do. However, it would only be fair to mention that, until the matters of the inquiries are resolved, there may be a bump in the road here and there, and sometimes these things are as slow as a late dinner to resolve. God bless barristers and their wiles. Sometimes I think we would be better off without them. Except for Jack, of course. *shields eyes from lights and looks out at audience and waves* Hi, darling!

:::audience laughter:::

Cheryl: With the comtesse... how should I say this—

Sorcha: Oh, call it what it is. The wicked witch is all but dead.

:::applause:::

Cheryl: Right. With her out of picture, do you expect the inquiries to go well?

Sorcha: Absolutely. Look, there is only Isidore’s father to consider and an empty bag won’t stand. I do not care what he believes, I will ensure that he is prosecuted for what has happened to Isidore.

:::thunderous applause:::

Cheryl: How does it feel to go from being the parent of one boy to three?

Sorcha: I couldn’t be happier. Though, I need the Queen’s treasury to feed them. I have asked Declan to consider farming and he simply won’t hear of it. Do you have any suggestions?

Cheryl: *soft laughter* Unfortunately, no. How is Declan doing after all that has happened?

Sorcha: Declan still feels the loss of his father deeply. He’ll never recover, but he is every bit the man his father was. He is unintimidated by challenges, welcomes new opportunities, cares about Isidore and his friends intensely, is as loyal as the day is long, and has a heart of gold.

:::applause:::

Cheryl: How are Isidore and Caleb adjusting to their new home?

Sorcha: Wonderfully. Life dealt miserable lots to them and Isidore is mim as a dog without his tail, but make no mistake. They are as tough as wheel string and we intend to give them a good home and a good thing is improved by increasing it. There is nothing more to it than that.

:::thunderous applause:::

Cheryl: You’ve been through quite a lot since the passing of Declan Sr. yet you persevered and, along with young Declan and Isidore, found love again. Tell us, did you expect that to happen?

Sorcha: When your entire existence is based in the imagination of an author, you don’t quite know what to expect, now, do you? But it was a wonderful surprise and I think I rather like Jack.

Cheryl: That’s wonderful to hear. Tell us, which living person do you most admire?

Sorcha: I’d be a fool not to say Cody Kennedy. I mean, I intend to marry and the boys have the whole of their lives ahead of them. How in hell are we to continue without a sequel?

:::audience laughter:::

Cheryl: I understand that Mr. Kennedy says there is no sequel to the book planned.

Sorcha:  Good for him. We’ll simply have to see about that, now, won’t we?

:::audience laughter:::

Cheryl: Thank you for being here with us on Rainbow Warriors today, Sorcha. We hope to see you again soon.

Sorcha: It was dumb ill being here with you today, Cheryl. Thank you for having me.

:::thunderous applause:::

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Boy Behind the Window Chapter 5 - Holidays Begin.



The very best thing about the start of the holidays was that Ace’s school broke up three weeks before the boys’ which meant three long weeks of being free to rove the house as he pleased. Three weeks of not hiding in his room. Three weeks of going into the garden and feeling the sun on his face. After that he wasn’t safe anywhere, and it was best to stay put as much as he could. If he didn’t have any contact with his brothers, they couldn’t hurt him.

True, the other school holidays were shorter, but that was no loss to Ace, and it was well worth it to have those three blissful weeks of freedom.

When Nick and Logan left for school on Monday morning – with Logan complaining bitterly about having to go to school when Ace was lazing around all day – Ace was standing at his window, waiting to hear the car pull out of the drive.

Ace loved to stand in the window and feel the sun on his face. In fact, he had two windows, but this one was his favourite. He didn’t quite know why. Maybe this one had a little more sun. Ace loved the sun. He couldn’t spend much time outside in the summer, first because no one would take him or allow him to go alone, and second because he burned ridiculously easily. It didn’t matter how much sunscreen he put on, his damned albino skin just fried at the merest kiss from the sun.

Ace had never really thought about being blind. It was the way he was; the way he always had been. Most of his friends were blind, too, and it really wasn’t an issue for him. The albinism on the other hand… None of his friends thought he was weird, or made a fuss over the way he looked; neither did the teachers, who could see him. However, everyone else had something to say about it. Apparently, he looked like everything from a beautiful fairy to a hideous monster, who scared small children and made older ones laugh and throw stones. It was no fun being different. Maybe it was just as well he was blind – he couldn’t see the stares. He could hear fine, though.

“Ace, are you in there?”

His mother’s voice was accompanied by a quiet tap on the door.

“Where else would I be?”

There was a moment silence when he could almost hear his mother wince. “Are you up?”

“Yes. Do you want to come in?”

“I was wondering if you wanted to come down for breakfast, now it’s just us. You’re always hiding 
away up here, and it would be nice to spend some mother–and–son time.”

Ace cringed inwardly. He could think or worse things – but not many. It wasn’t that they didn’t get on – more that they didn’t relate. Conversations were at best awkward, and at worst excruciatingly embarrassing.

“I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

“Do you want me to wait?”

“I can manage to walk down the stairs on my own,” Ace snapped, a little more shaply than he’d intended.

“Of course you can,” his mother said in a hurt voice that made him feel like a worm. “I’ll put the kettle on. Do you still like thick porridge with honey?”

“Why wouldn’t I…? Yeah. Thanks, Mother. I still like porridge and honey a lot.”

Ace had already showered, although he hadn’t dressed, just slung on some lounge pants. He hadn’t intended on getting dressed at all, and was hoping his mother would go out so he could wander around the house and re–acquaint himself with everything. Ah well.

Showers were the second best thing about holidays. His shower was heaven after the noise, busy shared showers at school, which never had enough hot water, and where he invariably lost his shampoo and/or body wash on a regular basis. Here, the shower was large and smelled clean, with lots of smooth plastic and chrome under his hands. Everything was marked in braille, and since he’d put a lock on the door all the bottles contained the right things. The cleaner was the only one in the house, apart from his father – and himself of course – who had a key to the attic. This was his world, and his alone. He’d made it heaven.

Choosing what to wear was not easier at home. In fact it was far harder and much more stressful. At school, he wore a formal uniform in the day, and an informal uniform in the night. All were laundered by the matron and put back on hangers and in drawers that were carefully marked. All he had to do was select the next available item of each kind. Here, he had drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and shelves, all of which contained a huge selection of outfits, none of which had been chosen by him. Nothing was colour coded, or arranged in any sensible fashion, and when he’d tried to enlist aid it had all gone horribly wrong.

Now, he had no idea what anything looked like, what went with what, or even which way round things were supposed to be sometimes. He didn’t know what kind of shoes to wear, what exact style he was sporting. By and large, he tried to stick to jeans and t–shirts with canvas shoes. He couldn’t go wrong with those…could he? He envisioned jeans as being pretty much all the same colour, with some variation, that pretty much went with whatever colour or design t–shirt he had. He’d specifically asked for plain t–shirts so it should be all good. Except he was pretty sure it wasn’t.

He strongly suspected Logan and Nick had a hand in buying, or persuading his mother to buy, wildly inappropriate clothes. He’d gauged reactions from his parents and outsiders that suggested his sense of style was unusual to say the least. When he’d tried to get out of them why that was, he was given polite brush–offs. People generally tended to treat him carefully, as if he’d break or turn into a monster if they upset him. If he wanted to have an…er…somewhat eccentric/ different /whacky / original/ independent/ brave/ odd/ strange/ artistic/ choose descriptor — style, who were they to complain. But he didn’t want any of those things. He wanted to blend in. To be…normal. Not that he ever would, as everyone kept reminding him.

He’d tried talking to his mother a few times, asking her to describe what he was wearing, but it was no good. He could tell from her voice that she disapproved his choices, but she described everything as being ‘nice’ or ‘lovely’. It didn’t help that he couldn’t see what everyone else was wearing. Was it ‘normal’ to wear pink t–shirts with large daisies on the front? He’d heard similar described, but was that only for girls. He’d asked James once, and James had just laughed, making him promise to wear it when he visited.

Ace paused, with his hand on the door handle. He smiled. He was going to visit James – soon.



Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Song and A Seashell by Susan K Flach


BLURB:

Bethany Kuiper is drawn to the ocean. She is also 17 and never tasted love. But like the fluctuating tide, things are about to change. Summer in Rhode Island is just a vacation...until she meets Tristan Alexander...who completely takes her breath away...leading her to answers...explanations for the silent beckoning that has been pulling her toward the reckless waves of the sea.

Everything seems perfect. Until two murders are committed in town, upsetting the quaint summertime community. Disturbingly, much of the evidence points to Tristan. Now Bethany is shaken and confused. And distraught by the knowledge that she is still desperately in love. But will she be able to tread the water? Or will she eventually drown?

Excerpt

Unexpectedly, I can’t move.

I have to remind myself to keep stepping forward. The others turn to look at me as I approach.

“Oh, hey, Bethany.”  I hear Kate say.  But all I can see is him.

As he hears my name, he too glances my way and we make eye contact for the first time. I feel myself flush as I try to look away, but what I see in his face catches me off guard.  For just a moment, he stares hard at me as if in shock or as if he recognizes me in some way. Not wanting to appear awkward or insecure, I resist the urge to look over my shoulder to see if his reaction is meant for someone else. But almost instantaneously, his initial expression is replaced with his former, more casual one, and I am left to wonder whether I imagined the whole thing.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Susan K. Flach has a bachelor’s degree in English and works as an RN at the hospital.  She lives with her husband and two children in Michigan. Reading, exercising, camping, and spending time with her family are some of her favorite things to do. A Song and a Seashell is the first book in her debut young adult romance series. 


Review

There is so much to love about this story. It begins with a sweet little prologue about a little boy and girl making sandcastles on the beach, then slips easily into a story about one eventful summer in the life of seventeen–year–old Bethany.

Struggling with the breakdown of her parents’ relationship, Bethany hopes that a summer by the sea will be just what the whole family needs to recover the closeness they once had, and that seems to be 
slipping away like sand through her fingers.

She picks up new friends along with a collection of seashells, and falls in love with the enigmatic, Tristan Alexander.

At its very base level this is a gentle love story that moves us from one situation, one day, to the next with a smooth, natural flow. 

I was very impressed by the breadth of knowledge about marine life and ecology. There were lessons to be learned, but in such a natural way it doesn’t ever sound like preaching.

If I have any complaints about that part of the story it’s a seeming pre–occupation with the way people look. There are lots of descriptions, not only on initial meeting but down to what outfits people are wearing at various times.

Half way through things start to change. There are unexplained murders, which Bethany is terrified Tristan might have had something to do with, especially as he’s told Bethany a shocking secret, which I feel she accepted a little too easily. Although the secret helps her understand Tristan much better, it raises complications Bethany could never have dreamed of.

It takes a near tragedy to open everyone’s eyes and I thought things were eventually being resolved…until a real tear jerker jumped out at me, and I thought it was all over.

Thank heaven for the Epilogue! Although I have to admit I didn’t quite understand it, there was definitely a happy ending – whether it was intended or not.

Overall the flaws in the story simply made it more charming and more ‘real’. I loved the whole ‘feel’ of the story and the delicate way all the strands are woven together, and I can highly recommend it for teenager and teenagers at heart.

Readers can win a $20 Amazon/BN Gift Card in the Rafflecopter Giveaway