Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Virtual Book Tour: Come To My Window

Book Name: Come to My Window
Series? No
Release Date: January 2015
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Author Bio:
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-two 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 people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy 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 Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially 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.
Where to find the author:
Publisher: Mia Kerick
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother. 

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction. 

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance, Young Adult

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I

I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.

“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”

“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away. 

Pages or Words: 182 pages

Hi, it’s Mia Kerick and I’m here to talk about how I use humor to better illustrate my characters. First, read this segment of my new release, Come To My Window:

I cannot freaking believe I’m doing this.
So after the fiasco that was Sunday dinner, Dad told me he “gently suggested” to his lady friend Pamela that she “put herself out there” a bit more with his kids. So the suddenly playful Pamela starts her attempt to “put herself out there” with me—the little doll.
Anyway, here I am at Pampered and Polished Nail Salon in Soho, my feet soaking in a bucket of warm sudsy water and the fingers of my right hand fanned out under this probably-cancer-causing-supersonic-nail-drying contraption. But I have struggled through my fight-or-flight-response and I’m proud to say that I’m still here in the beauty trenches. With newly French tipped fingernails and, I’m thinking, maybe I’ll get some shade of blue on my toenails. I’m not going to commit to it yet, but there’s one color called “Lady Sings the Blues” that isn’t half-bad.
What I do for love…well, for Dad’s lover.
I don’t cry like I did during my last manicure experience at Lani’s first grade girly birthday party that I bailed out of, and neither do I call Dad and plead with him to come pick me up and return me to the safety of my OKC Thunder-themed bedroom. Instead, I grit my teeth, spread out my fingers, and let Filippe, the manicurist, have his way with me.
Joey, Bart, and the other guys are gonna laugh their asses off later at the YMCA when I attempt to palm the basketball with French tipped nails.
This one’s for you, Dad. I hope you and the twins appreciate my sacrifice.
“So, Justine, tell me… have you set your sites on a nice young fellow? You are a very pretty girl. We just need to do something with your hair.” She turns and gawks at me—and yes, she wrinkles that tiny freckled nose—right from her foot-soaking throne beside mine. “With your hair as it is now, you resemble that troublemaking boy pop vocalist, um, what’s his name?”
Filippe chimes in with, “Justin Bieber.”
I fight with every ounce of my inner strength not to roll my eyes. And I still fail.
“Yes, that’s the one.” She reaches over and pulls the hair up off one side of my face and I feel so exposed. “Maybe a pretty up-do would make a boy lose his eyes for you… You have lovely high cheek bones, doll—you really shouldn’t hide them.”
“’Tis a crime to hide fine bone structure such as this.” Filippe is not being helpful here.
But I’m here on business, I remind myself, just as newly-playful, freshly-polished Pam is. This is not a social event, contrary to Filippe’s na├»ve understanding of this apparent mother-daughter salon trip. I am on a mission to save my brothers from heartache; she is on a mission to trap a man. “So Pam, next time the boys make you food… um, my suggestion is that you find a way to choke it down.”

This was one of my favorite scenes to write in Come To My Window because I was able to employ Justine’s dry wit and unique way of looking at the world to demonstrate her steadfast character. I was also able to slide in the humorous Justin Bieber comparison that pops up randomly throughout the book. And while using Justine’s sarcastic humor, and situational humor, as well, I was able to show how far Justine would go in the interest of helping the ones she loves.

In this scene, Justine’s father’s girlfriend is making an attempt to better get to know Justine, which was requested by Justine’s father. As it turns out, Pam invites Justine to a nail salon so they can bond over manicures and pedicures. Justine’s last time having her nails polished was at a slumber party back in first grade, and it had left her with some emotional scarring, as Justine has long been highly uncomfortable with all things girly. But for her father, and more especially for her younger twin brothers, she makes a sacrifice and agrees to the date.

At first, Pam addresses Justine’s “lacking” physical appearance, simply assuming that Justine, like her, is interested in looking pretty in order to catch a male’s interest. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, but Justine maintains her composure in the face of this suggestion, as she is here on business—the business of taking care of her family. Justine’s hope is that during this afternoon spent together, she will have an opportunity to point out the errors of Pam’s ways when dealing with the boys, and to give her some much-needed ideas for how to better relate to them. Justine, though, is highly intuitive, and she realizes that Pam is here on business, as well. Pam is here on the business of catching her man, who just so happens to be Justine’s father.

Upon the recognition that they are both at the nail salon with specific goals in mind, Justine continues with her plan, and she bluntly instructs Pam on ways in which to improve her relationship with the twins, that will, in effect, also improve Pam’s romantic relationship with Justine’s father.

This partial scene shows that the use of humor, when combined with a deep understanding of my characters, is an excellent tool in providing the reader with a unique and informative perspective of a character’s personality.

I hope you check out Come To My Window, my first YA lesbian romance because the rest of Chapter 12 is even better.

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