Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
This book was a little hard to get into because it’s written in stream of continuous from the mind of Chance, who is a flighty and flamboyant character. You hear all of his insecurities, thoughts and colorful insights into the world around him. At first I was ready to dismiss him as shallow and uninteresting, but I was proven very wrong as Chance’s story unravelled. While many of his issues are very first world, he does have some very real problems. He’s a man who doesn’t easily fit into any gender roles and he desperately wants to find a label to fit himself. His parents are pretty uninterested in him and he’s bullied at school. Then he sets his eye on Jasper a handsome and well built guy, with his own set of issues. As they stumble their way to happily ever after, Chance learns to be himself and Jasper finds someone he can finally lean on. This is a very sweet novel full of missed opportunities, and miscommunication. I think the author did a great way of building the character of Chance and he really did grow as the story developed. There are some very hard issues both men are facing but the author manages to keep the book light and doesn’t get bogged down in the negative. I really ended up enjoying the journey that Chance and Jasper take, and I even began to enjoy Chance’s narration. The author succeeds in creating a light and lively romance.
I asked Mia to bring Chance along so he could talk about his love of shoes. So glad they stopped by. Read and enjoy!
Hello, everyone. And thank you, Molly Lolly, for again welcoming me to your lovely blog. Today I am here to discuss Chance César’s intense passion for shoes. (Chance is the main character of my June 1st release, Love Spell.
Chance César enjoys shoes. A lot.
“Enjoys shoes? Um, hello! Mia. That’s a totes understatement, don’ cha think? I mean, I pretty much live for smexy shoes!!! ”
Chance, I didn’t ask for your input here. And I’m quite busy writing a blog post for Molly Lolly.
“Isn’t Molly Lolly a ‘lover of words’?”
I do believe she claims to be. It is kind of her tag line.
“Well, then you owe it to her and her readers to get it right. Use the correct words to let the readers know that shoes make the man. They absolutely give us life!!!”
Yes, of course, Chance. But if you don’t mind taking a little walk, I need to get back to business.
In fact, Chance enjoys shoes so much that he sported shiny black patent leather pumps on his victorious stroll up and down the runway as Miss Harvest Moon. And this occurs in the introductory scene of Love Spell, when he first allows himself to publicly express his gender identity.
“Yada, yada, yada… Can we get back to talking about the shoes?”
Chance! Practice some self-control!
“Don’t have a cow, Mia! So, any way, my black pumps are totes adorbs! And something about four-inch heels—well, all I can say is, this boy can’t help but wiggle his fine booty when he werks those pumps!”
I cannot concentrate with you yammering on and on about booty-shaking.
“I mean, I totes stole the show that night. And look at this, Mia… now I can do the death drop move with the pumps on—see? Sha-blam! You saw it with your own eyes!”
Oh, my! That was impressive. Have you been practicing?
“All day every day—cuz that’s what it takes to be fab!”
That may be true, but I am going to ask you politely—one more time—to settle down. I have a few further details to add to this blog post.
“Don’t forget to mention my Chuck Taylor All Stars collection—I have citrus yellow, bubblegum pink, poolside blue, and two pairs of periwinkle purple.”
Now you spoiled the surprise for Molly’s readers. I was just about to talk about how you always match your hi-tops sneakers to your sweatshirt.
“Color coordination is my religion, or hadn’t you heard?”
Sometimes Chance wears combat boots.
“I only wear combat boots with tight black jeggings… don’t forget to tell them that. And when I rock jeggings, I usually wear a sweatshirt that flows and…. By the way, Jazz says I look sick in jeggings.”
Not only that, but Chance has confided in me that he would like to buy a pair of overstuffed bunny slippers to wear around the house. I can’t say that I blame him.
“Emmy and I found the perfect pair on bunnyslippers.com. They are totes classic—so puffy ya can’t miss them even if ya tried, with wire-framed pink ears that stand up, a too-cute cotton ball tail, and you just have to see the whiskers! They bounce when you walk! Every girl needs a pair!”
As you can easily see, Chance is rather enthralled by footwear as they offer him yet another outlet for his self-expression.
Thank you for your patience with me… uh, with us… today.
Not to say that I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days, but I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days. Yes, I was oh-so-pathetically waiting for his call, which I am aware fully explains the need for the phrase “get a life.” But Jazz hadn’t been at school on the Thursday or Friday after he had called and cancelled our playdate, and now it’s Sunday night, and I still haven’t heard from him. And although I’m frustrated that all of my elaborate plans to make him fall head over heels in love with moi have apparently tanked, I’m also growing genuinely concerned.
That’s when my cell phone, which I placed on my chest before I lay down on my now “love-spell-pink” wrapped mattress, starts singing Express Yourself.
“Yo.” I don’t check the number. It’s Emmy—who else would it be?
“Hi, Chance.” The deep voice is so not Emmy’s.
Yaaassss!!! This is what ninety-nine percent of my insides shout. One percent says quietly, “It’s about frigging time you called, asshole.”
But my voice is calm. “Jasper,” I say blandly. In my opinion, he hasn’t earned the right to be called Jazz any longer.
“Um, sorry, no. It’s Jazz.”
I try not to roll my eyes even though I know he won’t see, but it’s an epic fail. “Whatever.”
“I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch for a couple days. My mom’s been real sick. I was lookin’ after her, gettin’ her to the doctor, goin’ to the pharmacy, bringing JoJo back and forth to school, and stuff.”
“Mom caught JoJo’s strep throat and had to go to the ER because she couldn’t even swallow.” He stops talking for a second and then clears his voice. “Alls she could do was spit into a rag whenever she needed to swallow.”
Well, that’s definitely TMI, but I get the fucker-nelly revolting picture. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault, dude.”
And then there’s silence.
“Gonna take JoJo to the library after school tomorrow. But first I gotta stop by the cable company and pay up or we’re gonna lose our TV and internet at home. They already warned us like twice.”
“Want me to pick up Yolo at school and take her to the library?” I’m so freaking pissed off at him. Why am I offering to save his ass again?
“That’s cool of you to offer, but there’s a bus she can take to the library from her school. Could ya be waiting for her at the library, in case I get held up?”
“Of course.” I’m a Class A sucker.
“You’re such a cool pal.” Ugh—so not what I’m going for.
“I’m not gonna be at lunch tomorrow seein’ as I’ll probably be collecting my makeup work. So, I’ll see ya at the library. ‘Kay?”
I don’t say kkkk cuz it’s not even slightly cool. “Sure. The libes after school, it is.”
“Thank you, bro,” Jazz offers.
One more silence, and then I say, “Later.”
I have research to do.
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, CoolDudes Publishing, 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.
Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind. Find Mia on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Where To Pre-Order:
25-May: Bike Book Reviews, Hearts On Fire, MM Good Book Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Amanda C. Stone, Carly’s Book Reviews
26-May: BFD Book Blog, Cathy Brockman Romances, Mikky’s World of Books, The Novel Approach, Divine Magazine, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
27-May: Because Two Men Are Better Than One, 3 Chicks After Dark, Cate Ashwood, Prism Book Alliance
28-May: Love Bytes, Velvet Panic, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Chris McHart
29-May: Inked Rainbow Reads, Bayou Book Junkie, EE Montgomery, Molly Lolly, My Fiction Nook, Nephylim, Jessie G. Books
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