Cody Kennedy, GayRomLit, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Countdown to GRL 2015 with Cody Kennedy

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Today, we’re so pleased to welcome author Cody Kennedy on the official Countdown to GayRomLit 2015 blog tour.

Enjoy Cody’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win an e-copy of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons and a signed .jpg image of the book’s title page.

Good luck!

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Hollywood DandelionsHi, I’m Cody Kennedy, and I’m getting ready for GayRomLit Retreat! This will be my first time attending GRL, and I am very excited! A very special thanks to Lisa Horan and all the wonderful people at The Novel Approach for supporting GayRomLit, our books, and us!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my books and me, here is a little about me:

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.

ALL.OF.IT.IS.TRUE. One thing the above short bio doesn’t tell you is that I am old! Yes! It’s true! I’ll likely be the eldest author at GRL—is there an award for that?—and I write for the youngest crowd! I write for young adults, yet my stories deal with the very real, adult problems our youth deal with today. Rebel that I am my books also contain violence or the inference of violence, sex or the inference of sex, and music. I score my books. Please do not mock me. It’s a plight. Here is the music playlist for my newest novel, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons.

Raised in Hollywood, I spent way too much time on film sets growing up, but it gave me a unique perspective on storytelling. You’ll find more dialogue and action in my books than narrative. I also like to give readers a thrill. You’ll find twists and turns in my stories, the periodic Boo!, and at least one ‘are you phreakin’ kidding me?’ moment. I mean that in the nicest possible way. I have a wild imagination and look to bring imagination to life and give readers the best possible reading experience. You’ll also find three other things in my books. Romance, hope, and a happily ever after.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing gay marriage is an historic event, to be sure. But it’s more than that. It ensures that every generation alive today lives in a time of profound change—not only one of change in perspective, but also one of behavior and the law. Now, more than ever before. As authors, we bring awareness to the world. That makes me proud and I hope to bring you works that inspire you, give you strength and, above all, give you hope.

Enter for a chance to win an e-copy and signed .jpg image of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons. I look forward to meeting you at GayRomLit!

Stop by my Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.

Find me on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Ello, Goodreads, Medium, and read my free serial story, Fairy

Here’s a little about my latest novel, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons

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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. Read Chapter One of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is available in ebook and print from:

Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink Press

Amazon     GooglePlay     Barnes & Noble

OmniLit/ARe     Beam-eBooks in Europe

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

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Cheers, everyone, and thanks so much to all of you for stopping by to see who we have store for you in the week ahead. I hope you’ll stop back by to visit with our guest authors and take the opportunity to enter in some of the great giveaways we have in store. And, of course, we’ll have lots more reviews to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week this week, we’ll be bringing you authors L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov on their blog tour for On the Clock, the next installment in their Market Garden series

We’ll also have author A.E. Via with us today as she stops by on her Don’t Judge blog tour

Tuesday – Today marks the next of our guest visits on the GayRomLit Countdown Celebration, as we welcome author Cody Kennedy

Wednesday – Author J. Scott Coatsworth drops by today on the tour for his new novella Between the Lines

We’ll also welcome author Ingela Bohm on her Not Safe for Work blog tour

Thursday – Making a stop today is author Cari Z., on her Where There’s Fire blog tour, the sequel to Where There’s Smoke

Friday – Closing out our week for us, we’ll welcome author Perie Wolford on his Sam Dorsey and Gay Popcorn audiobook tour

We’ll also have a special Flashback Friday event for you today, when author J.C. Lillis stops by with an excerpt and giveaway of a book I fell in love with all the way back in November of 2012. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart is being released in print format, and we’ll be helping J.C. celebrate

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And that wraps up the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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5 Stars, Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press, Reviewed by Sammy, Young Adult

Release Day Review: Slaying Isidore’s Dragons by C. Kennedy

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Title: Slaying Isidore’s Dragons

Author: C. Kennedy

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this novel to you.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: 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.

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Review: Occasionally an author will leave an afterword, a final note of sorts for the reader to digest and more fully understand what they have just read, experienced. In Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, the closing statement by Cody Kennedy defines the reason for why he writes this particular story. Not only is it a list of resources available to those who possibly are enduring, or have endured, abuse, but it is also a love letter of sorts. Kennedy reminds victims of abuse that life can be different, that healing can take place, and that there is a better life waiting for them. He challenges us to get involved and not stand by when we suspect or see abuse taking place. This is the overriding theme in this novel, and it is wrapped in a lush story of love that takes an unflinching look at how abuse may come in many forms.

The story is Isidore’s yet without his Declan, we would be discussing a very different kind of novel altogether. Enduring years of abuse by an uncaring and selfish father, and four evil half brothers, Isidore finally meets someone who can stand up to the impenetrable wall of pain and loneliness that has been methodically built around his life, and dares to defy those who have carefully erected and maintained it. Being a diplomat’s kid himself, Declan understands the system and can find ways around it with the help of his remarkable mother, Sorcha.

Together these two will sweep into Isidore’s life and create a safe haven for him, manipulating his father into giving them temporary custody of his son, and allowing Isidore to live an abuse free life for the first time. But life is never that simple, and there are other forces at work who seek to destroy Isidore, or, at the very least, return him to the hell he endured at a mental institute when he attempted to end a life that was marked by near constant rape and beatings. Nowhere seems safe for either boy or their close friends. Espionage, intrigue, assassinations all plague every step the boys take, and Declan finds himself assuring Isidore over and over that he will do all in his power to keep him safe.

In a book of this length and scope, a one-paragraph synopsis barely touches the surface of the intricate plot Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is built on. Suffice it to say this novel is a page-turner from beginning to end. From the fast paced action and the disturbing unfolding of Isidore’s history, this is a story that grips you from the first page on, and never lets up. The true strength of this book lies in the way in which the writer unflinchingly exposes abuse and what it does to the heart, soul and mind of its victim. However, as it takes a searing look at the life of the abused, we are reminded page after page that abuse does not define Isidore, it does not sully the compassionate, loving person he is, it does not define who he is or diminish him whatsoever. Rather, it highlights Isidore’s amazing strength and endurance, his bravery and intelligence.

Declan “comes out” in this novel to his friends and the world community. His mother has always supported who he is, but living life as ambassador and son has made her caution Declan to be discreet. In many ways, meeting Isidore teaches Declan what true honor and courage are, and allows him to boldly state who he is and whom he loves. Each time Declan stands up to a bully in this novel, he pushes back the walls surrounding Isidore and gives him room to breathe, creating a safe haven where he can find his strength and begin to heal. Their relationship is a thing of true beauty, and watching it unfold in the chapters of this novel reminds us of how sweet first love can be.

While Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is most assuredly a young adult novel, never does it flinch away from the sexual aspect of the young lovers’ lives. While there is limited on-page experiences, those moments are written with such care and tenderness that one almost weeps at the first time experiences for these boys. Always attempting to be realistic, there are varying responses from the parents of these gay young men who choose, or are forced by circumstances, to come out during this story, some accepting and loving, others harsh and hateful. Not once can it be said that Slaying Isidore’s Dragons wraps itself in anything less than reality. These are flesh and blood characters who repeatedly must pull from extraordinary reserves of strength in order to survive. As such, they love fiercely and completely.

Awww me, there is so much to this novel I have barely given you the beginning of why it is such an outstanding read. This bold, sweeping saga is a compelling story of redemptive love and healing grace. The people who inhabit Cody Kennedy’s Slaying Isidore’s Dragons are heartbreakingly real and heroic, and their story is so important. I highly recommend this novel to you. It is one that will impact your life in so many ways and remind you that we must all be dragon slayers.






You can buy Slaying Isidore’s Dragons here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Slaying Isidore’s Dragons Blog Tour With C. Kennedy

Slaying Isadore's Dragons

The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome Cody Kennedy on the Slaying Isidore’s Dragons blog tour. Enjoy his post, then be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway by clicking on the widget below for a chance to win an e-copy of Omorphi.

Good luck!

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How Declan in Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is Different from Michael in Omorphi

Thank you, Lisa, for the honor and privilege of sharing my new book with you! It’s great to be here! Welcome, everyone, to the book tour for Slaying Isidore’s Dragons!

For those who are unfamiliar with my books, I write books about hope, triumph, and building a life beyond abuse. While many of the tenets in my books are about learning to live after abuse, they apply to everyone in everyday life. Above all is hope. Without hope, we lose the will to live life to the fullest and Slaying Isidore’s Dragons and Omorphi are about exactly that. But the stories are vastly different in subtle ways. In fact, you may often find that the most valuable principles and adages in my books are understated.

In Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, we meet Isidore as he endures heinous abuse and leaves his abusive environment. Meeting Declan gives Isidore his first whisper of what it might be like to be something other than a victim. In Omorphi, we meet Christy one year after his freedom from abuse begins.

In Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, we meet Declan, an utterly normal guy but someone whose life has come to an abrupt emotional halt upon the assassination of his beloved father. Though he loves his mother dearly, a part of him is lost and meeting Isidore gives him a renewed sense of purpose. In Omorphi, we meet Michael, an utterly normal guy living a charmed life with two great parents. He is immediately smitten with Christy but has to work up the courage to date him.

The commonalities between Declan and Michael at first glance are: they are only children from well-grounded and loving professional parents. They are honest, good, smart, wholesome, and determined to protect Isidore and Christy, respectively. But that’s where it ends.

Michael is nurturing, protective, and shy to a degree. He relies heavily on his best friend, Jake, for advice and to be a sounding board for nearly every thought and facet of his life. By and large, he is non-confrontational and patient. He hasn’t faced extreme adversity or profound loss. As such, he might be considered your typical teen with growing maturity, and he learns coping skills along with Christy as the story progresses. His primary methods of problem solving involve contemplation, logic, and seeking knowledge. He is a peacemaker and wants only good in the world and for everything to be all right.

Alternatively, and while Declan is caring and protective, he is intolerant of certain things and can be impatient. He is accustomed to professional and political environs, is well traveled, and carries himself with proper deportment in the public eye. There is no such thing as not knowing what to do or say in a social setting particularly when faced with media coverage. Contrary to Michael, Declan has suffered profound loss. He is angry over the loss of his beloved father, will not tolerate bullying, and is confrontational—sometimes physically so. He is popular at school but doesn’t have a best friend he can confide in, Isidore is everything to him, and he is determined to give Isidore a happy world. His primary methods of problem solving are to confront facts, control as many variables as he realistically can, and then to fight for what is right.

The way each of them handles the knowledge of what has happened to Christy and Isidore is very telling of their personalities. Michael becomes upset, goes running, and shouts his anger and sorrow for Christy at the heavens. Declan becomes angry, and moves to protect Isidore with everything in his arsenal—his mother, their private security, and his fists. In sum, Michael is a naïve peacemaker and Declan is a jaded fighter. Both, however, will and do lay down their lives to protect Christy and Isidore.

Enjoy Slaying Isidore’s Dragons!

Follow Slaying Isidore’s Dragons’ Book Tour!

DividersSlayingIsidore'sDragons -Book Tour- 400x600Blurb: 5 Best friends, 4 Vicious brothers, 3 STD tests, 2 Guys in love, 1 Car bombing & nowhere to run

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.

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

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

Read Chapter One HERE

Now available in print and ebook at: Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink Press | Amazon  | GooglePlay | Barnes & Noble | OmniLit/ARe  | Beam-eBooks in Europe | Ingram Books for Libraries and Schools

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Cody KennedyAbout the Author: 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

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press

It’s Safe To Say “Safe” Is A Great Addition To C. Kennedy’s Bookshelf



“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”– Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Following as it does on the hot little kitten heels of C. Kennedy’s most recent title, the still best-selling Omorphi, Safe might seem to fall a little short of the mark. In my humble opinion, it lands right in Omorphi’s tracks. Safe is a reboot of a short previously published by the author with a different publisher. A closer look will reveal that the only thing missing from Safe are 400 pages and a whole lot of angst. It is a different kind of story, but as Mr. Kennedy is the author, it has the same basic message of hope and happiness.
Continue reading

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Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press

Cody Kennedy Wants To Keep You “Safe” And Give You Chances To Win


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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED


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They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen.

Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist–literally.

One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.

Pre-order Safe from Harmony Ink Press


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A special Halloween Bonus Scene with Nico and Caleb
©2013 C. Kennedy, all rights reserved.

Caleb carefully straightened Nico’s wings and turned him by the shoulders to face him. “Love that suit on you, babe. You look hot,” he admired.

Nico flushed a pretty, dark rose. “The wings are bigger than I am.”

“They’re supposed to be. See?” Caleb reached for the picture of Archangel of the X-Men up and held it up so Nico could study it.

“They’re going to drag when I walk.”

Caleb pulled small Nico into a hug and kissed his forehead. “As long as you don’t walk backward and trip, you’re fine.”

“I’ve never done this before.” Nico’s blue, blue eyes reflected the uncertainty in his voice.

Caleb’s heart twisted in his chest. He still couldn’t believe Nico’s father never let him go trick-or-treating. Then again, the guy was hateful bastard. “I know, but you’re gonna do fine. Besides, I won’t let anything happen to you.” Caleb placed a chaste kiss on Nico’s lips before stepping back and slipping his plastic ruby-quartz glasses on. “Ready?”

Nico giggled his infectious giggle. “You don’t look anything like Cyclops.”

“What are you talking about? I totes look like Cyclops. The only drag is, he gets all the girls. Ughh, puh, puh,” he mocked spit.

Nico laughed softly. “Your blond hair ruins it.”

It was Caleb’s turn to laugh. “It’s trick-or-treating for one night. No one’s going to care what I look like. C’mon.”

Nico followed Caleb into the den and they stood side by side.

“Nico says I don’t look like Cyclops,” Caleb announced.

Mrs. Deering looked up from her book and smiled. “It’s trick-or-treating for one night. No one will care what you look like.”

Caleb turned to Nico. “See?”

Nico smiled.

Mr. Deering muted the television. “Your father called, Nico.”

Caleb made a rude noise as Nico’s face clouded over. “What did he say?” Nico asked softly.

“More of the same and I reminded him that you’re eighteen and capable of making your own decisions.”

“Thank you.”

“No thanks necessary, Nico. Caleb, did you tell him what to expect?”

“Yeah. There’s nothin’ to it. You ring the doorbell and yell Trick or Treat when the door opens and make off with as much candy as you can.”

Mrs. Deering shook her head in mock disgust. “You taught him well, honey.”

“I did, didn’t I?” Mr. Deering boasted.

“Here.” She held two neon orange pillowcases out to them.

“Loud, Mom,” Caleb said.

“They’ll keep you from being hit by a car.”

“Sure they will,” Caleb said sarcastically.

Mr. Deering stood and put a hand on each boy’s shoulder. He guided them to the front door and reached beneath the table in the foyer. “I think Mr. Garth’s pine tree needs attention,” he whispered as he placed a roll of toilet paper in each boy’s bag.

Caleb smiled wide. “Thanks, Dad.”

Nico looked bewildered.

“I’ll explain,” Caleb whispered.

Nico laughed and shook his head as they walked. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah. The trick is to do it fast so you don’t get caught,” Caleb said with a huge grin.

A group of small kids followed by two parents passed them heading in the opposite direction and Nico looked on. “What are they supposed to be?”

“Minions from Despicable Me.”

Nico cracked up. “Why are the parents dressed up too?”

“Hey, my dad used to dress up as Frankenstein and scare the crap outta little kids on purpose.”

Nico was still laughing when they stopped at the first house. “Okay. Evidence check?”

“The porch light is on, the house is decorated.” Nico answered.

“Excellent. Let’s go.”

A group of kids dressed as the characters from the Rocky Horror Picture Show rushed passed them on the walk and up the steps of the porch. The tallest of them who was dressed as Dr. Frank N. Furter pressed the doorbell button repeatedly. A cacophony of noise sounded from within and the door opened. They shouted, “Trick or Treat” and Nico started.

Caleb was immediately concerned. “You okay?”

Nico nodded. “I don’t think I can yell at someone like that.”

“Okay. We’ll say it normally.”

The cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show left the porch and took off down the walkway, nothing but a blur of costumes in their departure. The old man at the door waited patiently having noticed them.

“Ready?” Caleb asked.

Nico nodded and followed Caleb up the steps.

“Trick or Treat.”

The man smiled and pointed to his hearing aid. “What’s that you say?”

Caleb looked at Nico. “Guess we have to yell. You up for it?” Nico nodded. “On three. One, two, three!”

“Trick or Treat!” the shouted in unison.

“That’s more like it, Cyclops. Here you go.” The old man held a large stainless bowl brimming with candy out to them.

Caleb took a heaping handful of candy and threw it in his pillowcase. Nico took a Snickers bar and a package of Kit Kats and deposited them in his bag.

“Oh, come on, you can eat more than that, Archangel! Hold out your bag!” the old man insisted.

Nico did as instructed and the old man dumped a ton of candy in Nico’s bag. He looked up at Caleb, his eyes as big as saucers.

“Thanks! Hey, how’d you know who we w—” Caleb stopped abruptly, re-evaluating his question. It sounded kind of rude to say, “You look too old to know who the X-Men are.”

The old man laughed, seeming to intuit Caleb’s thoughts. “The X-Men were around when I was a kid too. In comic books.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot. Sorry.” Caleb said through a laugh. “Thanks!”

“Welcome. Run along, now.”

“Score!” Caleb said as they reached the sidewalk.

“I can’t eat all this,” Nico said, his voice filled with incredulity.

“Mom makes me put it in the freezer so I don’t eat it all at once.”

“You can freeze candy?”

“Are you kidding? The stuff contains enough preservatives to keep your stomach alive for centuries after you’re gone. Totes unfair. C’mon.”

~*~

Two hours later, their neon pillowcases were nearly full and it was getting late. Most of the houses were dark now and they decided to head home with their loot—right past Mr. Garth’s house. Someone trotted up behind Caleb and snagged the ruby-quartz glasses from his face.

“Hey!” Caleb shouted and turned.

There stood Liam, Caleb’s straight best friend, wearing the glasses and a giant grin. “How do I look?”

“Stupid,” Caleb said.

“Hey, I look better than you. Your blond hair ruins it for you.”

Nico burst into laughter.

“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Caleb teased as he snagged the glasses back from Liam.

“What are you doing in our neighborhood?”

Liam hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “The momz thought it would be safer for Patch. Our neighborhood is a little dicey. Last year we got egged.”

Liam was adopted and had two mothers who he always called “the momz.” It pissed Caleb off that their neighbors had always been haters. Patch was his four-year-old sister. How someone could name a kid after a Cabbage Patch doll, Caleb couldn’t fathom. “Sorry to hear that, bro.”

“No big. You armed?”

“Armed and dangerous,” Caleb answered. “My dad chose Mr. Garth’s pine.” He pointed two houses away.

The house was dark and the neighbors’ houses were dark too.

“Let’s do it.”

“Now?” Nico asked. “Your mothers will see us.”

“Hey, they’ll help,” Liam said through a laugh.

Nico looked horrified.

Caleb hooked an arm around Nico’s waist, careful of his wings. “It’s harmless,” he promised.

Liam put two fingers in his mouth and whistled to get his moms’ attention. They waved and he pointed to Mr. Garth’s tree. They gave him two thumbs up. “Let’s go.”

They surrounded the tree, each with a roll of toilet paper in his or her hand. “Okay. Pull a lot of paper off the roll like this,” Caleb said as he demonstrated by creating a mountain of toilet paper on the ground. “Then, throw the roll as high as you can at the tree. When it comes back down, do it again and again until there’s no more toilet paper left.”

Nico looked up at him.

“What?” Caleb asked.

“Why are we doing this?”

“For fun.”

“Won’t he be mad?”

Liam chuckled. “That’s the goal. Ready, man? You have to do it fast then run like a bat outta hell so you don’t get caught.”

“Okaaaay,” Nico agreed dubiously.

Over the next ten minutes, they ran around throwing toilet paper rolls high into the tree while Patch looked on and squealed her little girl laughter on the air. When their supply of ammo was exhausted, they grabbed their pillowcases and ran.

They collapsed on Caleb’s front lawn, still laughing their asses off, and Mr. Deering opened the front door. “Mission accomplished?” he asked as he stepped off the porch.

“The boys made bonnie good work of it,” one of Liam’s moms said. Posy was from England and Caleb loved her accent.

“Helen, Posy, it’s good to see you again,” Mr. Deering said as he shook each woman’s hand. “I didn’t know you’d be in our neighborhood tonight.”

“Still the usual crap in our neck of the woods,” Helen said brusquely.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Mr. Deering said, concern evident in his voice.

“Hey, Dad? We’re going inside to sort our candy. Liam, you coming, bro?”

Patch yawned and Posy said, “We’re going to head back.”

“I’m gonna stick with them, but thanks. I’ll see you Monday,” Liam said.

Caleb half high-fived, half shook Liam’s hand. “Later.”

~*~

Caleb and Nico had been sitting on Caleb’s bed trading candy for an hour and finally had it all sorted out. Nico was a serious chocolate freak and Caleb didn’t eat much candy at all, so he gave almost everything to Nico. “Did you like your first trick-or-treating?”

Nico’s blue, blue eyes held silent laughter. “Yeah. I’m still not sure about the TP thing, though. I mean, what’s the point?”

Caleb chuckled softly as he leaned forward over their carefully separated piles of candy, his lips hovering just above Nico’s, but a breath away. “You had fun, right?”

Nico nodded as he eyed Caleb’s lips.

“That’s the point.” Caleb kissed Nico’s soft lips once, twice, and then kissed Nico in earnest.

They fell into each other and down on the bed, their neat piles of candy destroyed and forgotten.


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SIX CHANCES TO WIN SAFE!

October 21stThe Novel Approach – Halloween Bonus Scene and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
October 24th – Release Day Giveaway with Author Shira Anthony!
October 26thHarmony Ink Press on Facebook – Meet Cody Kennedy and a chance to win an ecopy Safe!
November 1stSid Love Blog – An interview with Cody and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
November 2ndQueer Town Abbey – Cody talks about Str8washing and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
November 8thJoyfully Jay – Excerpt Day and a final chance to win an ecopy of Safe!

About Cody:

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy 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.

Find Cody: Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter @CodyKAuthor
Cody’s Blog
Cody’s Free Serial Story: Fairy

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Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press

The Beauty Of “Omorphi” Is More Than Skin Deep, And Ugliness Cannot Taint The Beauty Within



“I’d never lived on a planet where such atrocities could happen, even before the souls came. This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds- the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions…the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.” ― Stephenie Meyer, The Host



It is really hard to pigeon hole Omorphi into one genre. It is YA, LGBT romance. It is about surviving the worst atrocities human beings can inflict on one another. It is a thriller. I didn’t expect that. I knew it was about a young man who had been indescribably abused. I knew it was a romance between two young men. But it was so very much more than that. There were villains. Yes, plural. And what those villains would do and when and how they would do it kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire book. The romance was sweet, Christy learned to live with what he had been put through at the hands of his captors. Michael learned to love Christy the way Christy needed to be loved. There were so many facets to Cody Kennedy’s first full-length novel, it was just… so much.
Continue reading

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Cody Kennedy, Harmony Ink Press

What A Way To Kick Off A Blog Tour – A Little Cody Kennedy, A Little “Omorphi”, And A Little Giveaway!






TNA: Hi, Cody, thanks so much for being here with us today. We are so excited to be part of your very first blog tour!

Why don’t we start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself?

CK: Hey, thanks for having me! It’s great to be here! I was born in Los Angeles, California and raised by my grandfather, a prolific author.

TNA: Was it your grandfather who inspired and encouraged you to begin writing creatively?

CK: Yes. I lost the ability to speak around age five or six and, at the age of seven, my grandfather said: “You may not have a voice, but you have a mind. Use it.” Then he slapped a pen, not a pencil, down in front of me. He used to say, “Real crossword puzzle doers do it in pen.” Yep, I had to write in pen. No erasers allowed. To add insult to injury, I had to write in proper cursive on unlined vellum. My grandfather had perfect penmanship and expected me to perfect mine and write in straight lines. There was none of this crooked-on-the-page stuff allowed. Brutal pressure for a seven-year-old.

TNA: What is the perfect writing atmosphere for you?

CK: A big room with lots of natural light. I can’t write in a claustrophobic environment.

TNA: Would you ever consider donating your hair to Locks of Love?

CK: Some of it? Yes. I mean, my hair may be down to my waist, but I’m old and have only three hairs left. I need to conserve.

TNA: How much input do you have in the design of your book covers?

CK: With respect to Omorphi, originally, I wasn’t brave enough to submit it to Harmony Ink Press. I didn’t think I wrote well enough and doubted Omorphi would be accepted. I planned to self-publish it and worked with Reese Dante to create the cover before I submitted Omorphi to Harmony Ink Press. As such, I had one-hundred-percent input. In working with Harmony Ink Press on Safe’s cover, Paul Richmond, who runs the art department, is fantastic to work with. Both he and Reese are good listeners, patient, and provide lots of choices.

TNA: As a responsible writer of LGBT fiction directly marketed to the YA consumer, you have written several blog posts about what you feel is and isn’t age appropriate to include in YA books, both heterosexual and homosexual. Where can we find this important information?

CK: Readers can find an article I wrote entitled ‘Young People Should Read About Life as it is – Lived: Writing Sex in Young Adult Works’ on my adult blog.

I’ll expound on this subject, and about writing violence, action, and the suspension of disbelief, during Omorphi’s blog tour.

TNA: Have you faced any blow-back from other authors or publishers regarding your opinions on the above mentioned topic?

CK: Including sex in young adult works is a very polarizing and controversial issue and some authors and publishers have openly criticized and disagreed with what I write. I am not offended by this and believe the controversy encourages desperately needed discussion on the issue. Sexual reference is everywhere in society and is obvious, and young adults will practice sexual exploration irrespective of age, law, and popular opinion. To avoid writing “things as they are” or “life as it is” in a contemporary novel is disingenuous. Writing about normal, healthy sexual exploration in teen relationships also provides introductory information that young adults may not otherwise have access to. It’s a given that young adults are far better prepared for society if armed with knowledge. I also believe that censoring and withholding vital information from young adults in the name of protecting them from themselves is often applied inappropriately and to extremes; and speaks to a lack of confidence in them. Young people can read and think for themselves and I wholly support their right to do so.

TNA: Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?

CK: I have two favorites. Christy in Omorphi and Isidore in my upcoming novel, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons. The two of them together are a fair representation of what I, and others who have suffered abuse, have endured yet triumphed over.

TNA: As an author, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

CK: *chuckles* My grandfather drilled ‘don’t get it right, get it written’ into me. As authors, our imaginations are priceless. It’s the most loyal BFF we will ever have. Explore it, cultivate it, own it. It is far more important to put our imaginations on paper than it is to be perfect. Bonus advice: Wear sunscreen. At least SPF 50.

TNA: You work with and mentor young people. Would you be willing to tell us a little bit about that?

CK: TF-CBT or Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an important part of therapy when recovering from abuse, and it requires that victims write or draw about what has happened to them. From time to time, I volunteer to help abused male tweens and teens write their stories. It is, without question, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

TNA: How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?

CK: *cracks up* Questions like this make me laugh. I don’t have a sense of humor. I’m terrible with humor. People tell jokes and I’m often left thinking, “What’s so funny about that?” or “I don’t get it.” That said, I’m great with sarcasm in my writing. Sometimes too good and I have to go back and tone down my writing.

TNA: Conversely, what makes you cry?

CK: I’m not a crier, per se, but my heart breaks and I become teary-eyed every time I learn or hear about another abused kid. I also tear-up when I read a great redemption story; or when people I respect compliment me. When genuine people take the time to contemplate me as a whole and compliment me, or my efforts, I’m deeply touched.

TNA: Do your characters ever up and take off without your consent and the best you can do is hang on and follow, or do you keep tight control over them?

CK: They take off all of the time. They’re horribly undisciplined. I’m often left hanging on for dear life as they turn a corner and change the entire direction of the story. They also accost me in the middle of the night with a new subplot or new dialogue. It leaves me feeling rather miniony.

TNA: Do you have any pets?

CK: Three wacky parrots who can imitate my laugh perfectly. One of them often peers at my laptop screen closely because the ever-changing posts scrolling through Facebook fascinate him. Truly odd, is that he often laughs before I do when a funny post passes by. I’m fairly certain he can read and he’s far better at understanding humor than I am. It’s kind of embarrassing when you think about it.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?

CK: Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is an action-packed romance for gay young adults. The story is about two young men who lose parents in the same London car bombing. They meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the U.S. and fall in love. When conspiracy moves from theory to reality, only their unwavering determination to be together can save them. Together they face grief, tragedy, cruelty, and extraordinary peril. Read an excerpt HERE

TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?

CK:
BLOG
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
GOODREADS

TNA: Would you like share an excerpt from Omorphi with us?

CK: Sure and thank you again for having me! It’s been awesome being here!

One of the reasons Christy moves to the U.S. is to avoid the Greek media, but the U.S. media finds him and an article appears in the news. In this scene, Christy asks Michael about it.

Blurb:

High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.

Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.

“Can I ask you some things?”

“You know you can ask me anything.”

“Does the publicity bother you?”

“What publicity? You mean about the meets?”

“Yes.”

“Mmm, sometimes. Usually only when they get in my face and ask personal questions.”

“They don’t say bad things about you?”

“Some jerk accused me of cheating once, and the media wouldn’t let it go for a year. It sucked.”

“What did you do?”

“Ignored it. You can’t get into an argument with someone who buys ink by the barrel. They’ll only say more. Now, I just ignore all the press.”

“You don’t care what they say?”

“Jake’s dad has something called a clipping service. They find all the articles that mention Jake or me and send copies to Nero’s office for review. If there is something I need to know, he tells me.”

“So you simply ignore this?”

“Yes. Why do you want to know?”

“Okay, another question. Have you ever known anyone who is famous?”

Michael smiled at Christy for ignoring his question. “What do you mean? Like a rock star?”

“Anyone.”

“Jake’s dad is kind of famous, and now I know Sophia.”

Christy clucked his disapproval. “You cannot look at her like this.”

“She’s famous.”

“A little. What if the media were cruel to you? If they say the truth, but in a bad light?”

“That happens a lot. Just ask Jake. We just ignore it.”

“You do not tell them to stop?”

“You can’t. At least not in this country. I know a couple of times Jake’s dad has called the newspaper or a TV station and told them to correct things, but that’s about all that you can do. You just have to take it in stride.”

Christy’s balled fist clenched against Michael’s chest. “What if… they say something about someone you care about?”

“If it were untrue, and if it warranted it, I’d issue a formal statement correcting it.”

Christy was agitated, clearly trying to get a point across. “What if it is true but phrased poorly?”

“I think you mean to ask what I would do if they said something that was true but phrased it unkindly for purposes of sensationalism.”

Christy looked up at him again. “Yes.” The word was breathless, said half in desperation, half in relief.

“I’d issue a statement saying just that. I’d say that the media was making statements for the sole purpose of selling copy without regard to that person, a penultimate form of disrespect, invasion of privacy, and I might even go so far as to say that it was an abuse of privilege.”

Christy continued to look up at Michael.

“What, babe? Why all these questions about media?”

Christy reached beneath his pillow, withdrew a newspaper, and handed it to Michael.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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About Cody:

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy 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.

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And now, here are the details for your second and third chances to win!

Follow Omorphi’s blog tour to win an ebook copy of Omorphi!

September 18th – Author Will Parkinson – Will holds nervous Cody’s hand the day before Omorphi’s release because he promised to and Cody’s talks about Omorphi’s Cover and Bringing Omorphi to Life

I’m #2 on Cody Kennedy’s Blog Tour for Omorphi! Welcome Cody.

September 19th – Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books – Cody writes Perils and Pitfalls of Post Production Public Relations and a SECOND chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi!

http://mrsconditreadsbooks.com/

September 19th – Smile, Somebody Loves You – Announcement post and Cody shares Omorphi Trivia with Beverly and Tamara

http://sslyblog.wordpress.com/

September 20th – Author Shira Anthony – Why I write the kind of stories I do by Cody

http://www.shiraanthony.com/

October 20th – Cody’s BlogOmorphi’s One Month Anniversary Trivia Contest and a THIRD chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi – In order to enter this contest you must:

September 21st – Author Jamie Mayfield – Why Omorphi and A Broken Kind of Life are Same but Different

http://jamiemayfield.com/

Also on September 21st – Harmony Ink Press on Facebook: Meet Cody Kennedy and Jamie Mayfield

September 22nd – Cody’s Blog – Tony Edmondson, Fan Extraordinaire, interviews Cody

http://www.ckennedyauthor.blogspot.com/

September 27th – Author Wade Kelly – Character Interview with Christy Castle
http://www.writerwadekelly.com/

September 28th – Author Iyana Jenna – Fairy Fan Extraordinaire, Q&A with Christy Castle

http://iyanajenna.blogspot.com/

September 29th – Author Zoe Lynn – The Notes Behind Omorphi’s Play List

http://zoelynnebooks.blogspot.com/

October 4th – Sid Love’s Blog – Why the title Omorphi?

http://sidlove.wordpress.com/

October 5th – Author Madison Parker – What makes Omorphi unique?

http://madisonparklove.com

October 6th – Author John Ames – Q&A with Michael Sattler

http://jhabooks.webs.com/

October 11th – Boys on the BrinkOmorphi: Writing Sex and Violence in Young Adult works

http://www.blog.boysonthebrink.com/

October 12th – Author Jamie Fessenden – Cody shares Omorphi Trivia with Jamie

http://jamiefessenden.com/

October 15th – Granny Irene – A week in the Life of Christy Castle before Michael Sattler

http://ingridhall.wordpress.com/

October 18th – Author Sara Alva – A week in the life of Michael Sattler before Christy Castle

http://saraalva.com/

October 19th – Author Sam Kadence – Cody Talks About Writing Action and the Suspension of Disbelief

http://samkadence.com/

October 20th – Cody’s BlogOmorphi’s One Month Anniversary Trivia Contest and a SECOND chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi – In order to enter this contest you must:

1) have visited and commented on each stop on Omorphi’s Blog Tour – please be sure to leave your name in your blog comment. “Anonymous” comments won’t qualify; and

2) you must correctly answer the trivia questions posted on Cody’s Blog by placing your answers in the comments section beneath the questions; and

3) along with your answers to the trivia questions, you must leave a comment about Omorphi’s Blog Tour.

The winner will be selected by Kismet, Cody’s greenwing macaw. The winner to be announced on October 21st.

http://www.ckennedyauthor.blogspot.com/

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To make things even more exciting, a new contest will begin on October 21st on The Novel Approach Reviews Blog to win an ebook copy of Cody’s novella, Safe, due out October 24th from Harmony Ink Press!

Get ready to read and win!

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