Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: Here Without You by Mia Kerick (One Voice Book 2)

Blurb:
With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward in life. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as he battles what he wants against what he feels he must do.

Now separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. However, they’re each faced with their own separate issues. Casey must cope with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the new gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. Nate fights for his sister’s very survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally, as happens in long distance relationships.

Nate’s futile effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which blasts Nate, Casey, and Zander apart. Can the three young men find their way back to a united path before it’s too late?

Review:
I enjoyed the second book in this series. It was more physical intimacy heavy than the first book since it’s not a YA novel. I liked that the event Casey’s junior year got better closure in this book. The punishment and Casey’s growth from it were more obvious. I liked how the relationship between Zander, Casey, and Nate grew and changed as they all dealt with new issues. I felt there wasn’t enough growing in a handful of cases in the book. But I also have to remind myself they’re all still teenagers, even if they’re out of high school. I think my favorite part is at the end where Nate is talking about talking to the One Voice group. Showed how far he came in such a short time. I’m eager to learn how Cindy and Nate reconnect after what happened and how the throuple continues to grow as they get older.
Stars:
Four

Guest Post:
I asked Mia to talk a bit about Zander’s goals for One Voice, especially after he graduates Boston City College. What she sent is fabulous because it gives a tiny look at the third book (did you squee as loud as I did when you realized there would be another book?!) and some of Zander’s hopes for the future. Read and enjoy!
Zander has big plans for developing his college chapter of the gay/straight alliance, One Voice. In fact, at the beginning of Here Without You he is so bound and determined to get One Voice off onto the right foot at Boston City College that he becomes a bit obsessed with it, and even has an impulse to neglect his relationship because of this. However, Casey gently reminds him of his priorities, and Zander realizes that his relationship with Casey and Nate is the underlying reason for his strong commitment to his gay/straight alliance.

I will be writing a third book in the One Voice series, which will detail the strategies that Zander uses to make his organization successful, as well as to expand its presence to other colleges in the area. However, his career goal is to be a high school guidance counselor, and he plans to establish a chapter of One Voice in every school district he works at. Zander believes that patterns of behavior in kids develop before high school, though, so he will outline a plan for Once Voice to be started in elementary school, as well as middle schools, when kids are so in flux.

Although Zander’s career goal is to be a guidance counselor so he can work directly with teens in distress, as well as teens who simply need some academic/college application guidance, he has other aspirations. He will do a great deal of public speaking about his goals toward the end of college, and will publicly voice his desire for unconventional relationships, such as his threesome, to be accepted in society. He will outline a book about all of his plans and goals for One Voice, as well. Unfortunately, the world isn’t all as ready for Zander’s changes as Casey and Nate are, and Zander will run into some major trouble as a result of his outspoken desire for acceptance of all. But that is all to be illustrated book three.

And Molly, thank you for a great question. You have inspired me to organize my thoughts about my next book in the series. I have copied and pasted this response into my notes for Coming Into the Light, which is the tentative title for book three in the One Voice Series.

Excerpt:
NATE’S DIARY

August 23 (they only been gone about half a week now)

SO MAYBE this is a bit fucked up, but I’m gonna put it down on paper in black and white, and maybe when I read it back to myself, it’ll seem more normal.

Here’s the thing. Like Casey says, us three is a throuple. Three dudes in love. Whatever. Cuz I sure as shit love them guys, and nothin’s gonna change that. So, yeah. There’s two dudes in place A and one dude, alone, in place B. I just figured them two would be gettin’ busy in bed in their fancy dorm room whenever they had a chance—cuz that’s what guys do, right?

Well, apparently not so much. Last night they Skyped me. There them two were, sittin’ all cozy on Casey’s rainbow-colored bedspread. The floppy stuffed unicorn that me and Zander gave him for Christmas junior year was propped up behind ’em, starin’ at the computer, like it was lookin’ right at yours truly. I felt real alone and a little like a loser (fucked-up fact is they only been gone a couple days), but I leaned back on my bed and acted like I didn’t give a shit.

Casey said, in this adorable proper voice, “Nate, there’s a topic Zander and I feel it’s imperative we discuss. It’s a matter of great importance.” He already sounds like a doctor, and he’s only a freshman in college.

Zander was just starin’ into the computer at me, sorta studyin’ my I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-nothin’ expression.

“What’s such a big friggin’ deal, babe? Lay it on me.” That was pretty cool soundin’, I thought.

“Well, Zander and I want to have a discussion about…. Nate, we want to discuss physical intimacy. In that….”

Even on Skype I could see that two spots on Casey’s cheeks had turned bright pink. Looked like he was having trouble spittin’ this out. And he was the talker in our throuple.

“Zander and I are here together, without you, and we’ve talked about this—”

“I expect you two’ve been goin’ to town on each other every night since you got to college and are prob’ly itchin’ to strip each other down right now.” Both of my guys’ eyes popped open wide when I said that.

“Actually, Nate.” Zander spoke up cuz it seemed that Casey was suddenly at a loss for words. “We haven’t, and we’re not gonna.”

“Huh?” That just kinda flew outta my mouth. “Come again, guy?”

Casey found his voice. “We aren’t going to sleep together unless you’re with us. We discussed it, and neither of us think it would feel right.” He glanced at Zander, and them two nodded at each other. “We aren’t going to do anything in bed together until you’re here for a visit.”

About Mia:
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.

Author Contact:
Blog: www.miakerick.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick
Dreamspinner Author Arcade: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/mia-kerick/bio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6474518.Mia_Kerick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaKerick

Where To Buy:
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6035
Dreamspinner Press Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6036

Tour Stop:
16-Feb: Gaylist Book Reviews, Nephylim, Multitasking Mommas, Prism Book Alliance, Rainbow Gold Reviews
17-Feb: Hearts on Fire, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Amanda C. Stone
18-Feb: Fallen Angel Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, My Fiction Nook, Jade Crystal, Queer Town Abbey, BFD Book Blog
19-Feb: Bayou Book Junkie, MM Good Book Reviews, Christy Loves 2 Read, Molly Lolly
20-Feb: Parker Williams, Decadent Delights, Love Bytes, The Novel Approach, Inked Rainbow Reads

Giveaway:
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