Clean by Mia Kerick
Pages : 289 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance
Released: December 1 2015
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school bad-boy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.
Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.
When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction.
Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?
Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.
Mia Kerick has done an awesome story around teenage substance abuse, and it was told in such a way that you actually felt for both Lanny and Trevor. Both were suffering, but neither knew how to tell the other, the only respite they got from suffering was to lose themselves in the bottom of a bottle, and as the story went on, additionally with tablets and sometimes weed.
The first half of the book, tells the story from both Lanny's and Trevor's point of view, and you learn why they started the drinking in the first place, and what they were trying to escape from.
Trevor was the first to stop his drinking, but Lanny was unable to stop, and resorted to drinking what he could, and found something in the medicine cabinet to drink instead of alcohol, which would have killed him had Trevor not gone looking for him.
The second half of the book, is again from both boys point of view, and is the road to recovery for Lanny, and how Trevor is faring now he has moved out from where he was, and the determination he has to change his life.
This book was for me hard reading at times, but I had to keep reading to see if they were able to pull themselves out of the endless pit that they had fallen into. The other thing that really came across to me, was that Trevor had never known a loving family, and when people were nice to him, he didn't know how to react so would revert back to his bad boy image. He also had never really had friends until this point.
When they started talking to each other, you could see the changes inside them, and in some ways I see it as a privilege to see how these two young men managed to take the steps to better themselves, and this time they both finally let their friends and in Lanny's case his family take some of the load from them.... and make both boys realise they are Clean.
Hi Mia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hello, and thank you very much for welcoming me onto your blog today to promote the release of Clean, my YA LGBTQ Contemporary romance.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?
The hardest types of scenes for me to write are scenes that involve a lot of movement. I can never remember who was standing and who was sitting, and where his hand was or his leg was… these can be scenes involving a great deal of passion or they can be action scenes. Sometimes a beta reader will point out that someone was lying down one second and then standing up the next second and it doesn’t make sense. (Thank you, betas!!)
What do you think makes a good story?
This is a great question, and so I will talk about what I find compelling in a book I choose to read, rather than what compelling ingredients I put in a book. (I hope they are one and the same.)
Romance is absolutely necessary, so that is a given. But let’s talk about characters. I have to be in some way fascinated by the main characters. Tortured characters, and quirky ones, too, both work for me very well. Oh, okay, the tortured ones work better.
Believable dialogue is critical to a good story. This involves using language that feels natural, and not stiff, fake, or out of character for the speaker. So many books have turned me off because I just can’t buy what the characters are trying to sell. I feel like they are bad actors and I need to leave the theater.
Similarly, I enjoy a fantastic narrator’s voice. Sometimes I will be flexible with the other items on this list if the voice is amazing!
I like angst. No, I do not like angst in my daily life, but I require it in books I read. I want to be absolutely yearning to read the next page and I want to be trying to stop my eyes from scanning ahead so I can relieve the stress.
Characters need to show complete selflessness when it comes to the one they love. No questions asked.
Happily ever after is not negotiable. I can watch the news for the other kind of stories.
Do you hear from readers much? What do they say?
I have quite a few readers who I am friends with on Facebook, and I hear from them regularly. Some daily. Some have expressed to me their honest opinions, from which I have learned so much, and others have confessed to me the aspects of my books that have so spoken to them and helped them to understand painful aspects of their pasts.
One book I wrote, Inclination, was not a huge seller, but because of the comments I have received with regard to the content, I believe it is possibly the most important book I have written. Inclination deals with the fact that many gay Christians do not believe that God can love them if they act upon their same-sex love, and in this story, I discuss actual Bible passages that prove that God is not concerned with our sexuality, but our kindness, hospitality, willingness to help others, and ability to love our neighbor. The honest letters and reviews I have received from grateful readers have touched my heart.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 15 books, at this point. This is like asking me to pick my favorite child! Impossible to do! I will say that I love all of my book babies equally and that they all hold a very special place in my heart!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Truth is, I’m usually writing or researching. But I have a few other things I enjoy… and they revolve around my family. I love to watch my son play basketball, and my daughter Demi dance. I enjoy shopping with Sisi and I like to edit her essays for school and watch The Walking Dead with her. My oldest daughter lives away from home, but my phone conversations with her are another highlight. My husband and I very rarely have a chance to travel, but it is something that we long to do when the kids are a bit older. I love to walk on my treadmill and shop online and drink fancy coffee drinks. And I love true crime shows on TV.
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.
Clean Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CleanbyMiaKerick
Mia Kerick Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mia-KerickAuthor-231404220346244/
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bCLWfT
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26954465-clean
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