Author: Sam Kadence
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. Continue reading
Today, The Novel Approach welcomes Dreamspinner Press author Lissa Kasey, who also writes Young Adult fiction for Harmony Ink Press under the pen name Sam Kadence. By way of introducing Lissa’s work to you, I asked her if she’d share an excerpt from her paranormal/fantasy Dominion Series. She’s selected an excerpt from Book One, Inheritance, which is going to be renovated and republished in 2015.
I kind of fell madly for Seiran and Gabe when I first read the book back in 2011. Here’s a little taste of the reason why. Enjoy! Continue reading
“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” ― Leopold Stokowski
Ryunoski Nakimura, or Ru to his friends has had a rough time of it recently. At the ripe old age of seventeen Ru has already been at the top of the music industry. He has also been knocked down by the people that should have had his back. Ru was a member of a boy band for years, but a vengeful ex-boyfriend outs Ru and he loses everything. He lost his band, his music contract and all but one of his close friends. Luckily Tommy, a fellow member of his former boy band, stuck with Ru and has been his one point of solace in the nightmare his life has become. After being hounded by the press and finding out that his ex had been cheating on him, Ru decides he needs a change of scenery, so he moves into Tommy’s condo in Minnesota. For more than a month Ru keeps to himself, but finally he decides to step out of his comfort zone and that trip to the library changes his life.
Adam Corbin is a very simple sixteen year old. He goes to school, he plays football and he likes to run. This is all most of the people in his life know about him. On the inside Adam is scared. He hates being on the football team, he has one friend, and he is the only “out” student in the school. Adam has known for a while that he is gay, but he hasn’t found anyone worth coming out for. After all, he saw what happened to his friend Sebastian when he came out. A beating and a serious head injury is not something Adam is looking forward to. He figures if he can just skate through his last two years of high school he can get out of his small town and get on with his life. His plan seems to be working until the day he goes to the library to research a paper and he sees the most beautiful young man in the world, well, in Adam’s world at least. Adam has no idea that Ru is a celebrity and when he finds a note with Ru’s name and phone number on it in his folder, he is both elated and scared to death.
Ru and Adam have a very sweet first date, which happens to not only be Adam’s first date, but his first kiss also. The two young men start spending all of their free time together. Ru’s mother has decided that she is going to travel and just live off Ru’s money, and his father dumped Ru at age eleven when he found out that Ru is gay. When Adam realizes that Ru has no family aside from Tommy, he decides that he will share his family with him. Between school for Adam and recordings for Ru, which Adam still doesn’t know about, the boys don’t get as much time together as they would like, but they make it work. Of course, as soon as things start going well for them the other shoe drops. Someone that wants Adam for himself outs Ru as a celebrity and infers that he is cheating on Adam. Then Adam comes out and he has to deal with harassment and some violence. Ru and Adam work through the drama and grow closer than they ever thought was possible.
This book is a must read for any LGBTQ youth you know. I would recommend this book for many reasons. There is a theme throughout the story of acceptance. I believe that Sebastian is one of the strongest characters in the book. This boy has his stuff TOGETHER. He is out and proud and he won’t let anyone scare him back into the closet. Near the end of the book, Sebastian gives a speech at the school that made me bawl like a baby. As much as Adam thought he was invisible, he was at least one person’s hero. The thing I really loved was the simple idea that just being nice to someone that everyone else shuns could save a life. Accepting someone for who they are, no strings attached, can make you shine and can make someone else feel like a million bucks. It can pull them back from the edge you didn’t know they were teetering on.
Sam Kadence has written a wonderful story with a message of acceptance for any LGBTQ youth, both from the outside and from within themselves.
Reviewed by: Jackie
There are such beings as vampires, some of us have evidence that they exist. – Bram Stoker
I haven’t decided yet whether it’s a brave move to introduce yet another vampire tale to the already brimming paranormal fiction pool, or if the Twilight and Vampire Diaries furor has finally died down enough that the market is ripe for a new influx of the teenage blood-sucking undead. Whichever is the case, I do know one thing for sure: as far as I’m concerned, there’s always room for stories like Evolution, a book that introduces a traditional vampire mythology, borrowing from canon across the genre, and delivers a fresh and exciting beginning to a series I know I’ll be anxiously following to its final word.
This is a story of evolution, both of the band and of the band’s lead singer Genesis Sage, a seventeen-year-old boy who is one small step away from being homeless when his life is turned inside-out by Kerstrande Petterson, the smartarse boy Gene hits with his car one night, an accident that really wasn’t his fault. Seeing dead people can do things to a guy’s equilibrium, after all, so really, it was simply a case of Kerstrande being in the wrong place at the wrong time—or maybe he was exactly where someone wanted him to be. At any rate, one thing is certain; Gene had no idea at the time that he’d just run over the guitarist rock god of the band Triple Flight.
Evolution is told in dual points-of-view, primarily Gene’s, but the reader gets the opportunity to spend some time in Kerstrande’s head too. There’s more to the guitarist than meets the unsuspecting eye. But the same could be said for Genesis as well; he is a mystery and an enigma and a conundrum all wrapped up in the body of a talented boy who just wants to sing his music with his friends, Rob and Joel. But fate has other plans for Gene, and suddenly, hitting Kerstrande becomes a matter of Genesis being in the right place at the right time, because his destiny is so much more than simply becoming a famous rock star. He’s a boy whose destiny is one of eternal inception.
I have to say I’m a little crazy-excited for this new series about the monsters and men who populate New York City, and especially am invested in the Yin/Yang full-circle alchemy that makes up the bond between Genesis and Kerstrande. Sam Kadence’s briskly paced and tightly plotted introduction to this world has tucked me neatly into the bloody and fantastical city these character’s populate, but a word of caution here: don’t get overly invested in the hope that the end of this book won’t leave you hanging. There is an evil cliffhanger, but hey, what’s life without a few loose ends?
There’s angst and drama galore to be found, and a little bit of horror thrown in too, just to satisfy my love of Urban Fantasy and to give some added complications to this Young Adult romance.
It’s a week of reviews coming up, as Bruce and I gear up for the Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia on May 17th. You’ll want to watch for that because there’s going to be a giveaway along with the post topic we’ve chosen to discuss, something near and dear to both our hearts.
Meanwhile, here are the books that’ll be featured in the week ahead:
Monday: Bruce reviews Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes’ collaboration, Creature Feature
Tuesday: Hayden Thorne delivers fairy tale magic with Gold in the Clouds
Wednesday: Bruce talks Stubborn Heart by Ken Murphy
Thursday: Sam Kadence’s YA Paranormal romance Evolution makes an appearance
Friday: Justin Foster meets Logan O’Brien in M.J. O’Shea’ Finding Shelter
Have a great week, everyone, and happy reading!