Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.
A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.
When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.
I really enjoyed this story. It was so deep and pulled me in. I couldn’t put it down. There were times the story got so deep with topics that are so hard to handle. But Ms. Taylor handled them so well and the way they deserved. She also sprinkles some scenes in that were filled with humor and brought levity to the story. I loved Adam and Elijah. They had so many things to overcome before they were ready to be together. But oh my gosh once they were, the two were amazing together. They worked so hard together to ensure Kollin, and the rest of the kids at HOPE, were taken care of and got the best they deserved. I loved Kollin too. He was such a beautiful person and I hope he shows up more in the next book in the series. The story ended with a solid happy for now. Adam and Elijah are definitely together, but there are things that need addressing before they can be assured of a happily ever after. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I hope there are many more books by this author in the future.
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Shell: Listening to music while I write is relatively new for me. When I first began writing, I needed complete silence or I wasn’t able to concentrate. I gradually started listening to piano instrumental (which was my playlist for this book). I love classical music, but sometimes even that distracted me. While writing the sequel to this book, Resurrecting Hope, I had a few songs in mind that reminded me of the story and eventually threw them together into a playlist. I listened to it every time I wrote and the words just poured out. So now the first thing I do before starting a story is get together a few songs that remind me of what I’m about to write, and I listen to that over and over while I plan/plot/write.
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Shell: Umm… both? I’m a full-time mom. I have to squeeze in my writing around the demands of my three kids and my over-worked husband. So, I don’t have another paying job, but I don’t get to write nearly as often as I’d like to (definitely nowhere close to 40 hours a week!)
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Shell: I’m counting down the days until my twins start Kindergarten! They’re in preschool this year so I get a few hours on some mornings, but so far, there always seems to be other things that need my attention during those few precious hours. I anticipate that it’ll be difficult to keep myself on task next year since I’m so used to being ruled by the kiddos, but I’m learning techniques to stay on task as I go.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Shell: Not at the moment because I have two books in production at DSP. I find it really difficult to really get into writing when I have to stop so often to work on other projects. When I really get into the meat of writing, though, I usually set a deadline of something like “I want to be at 30K by next Friday so I have to write 1500 words a day.” I’ve found setting goals like that really help me remain focused, but if I miss a day, I know I have to step it up the next two days to make it up instead of just losing those 1500 words.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Shell: I start right away. I might take a few days off, but I keep several plot ideas in my head. I love writing and I love editing. I’m not very good at multi-tasking the two, so I often find myself in the position I’m in now, two chapters into the third book of this sequel and dying to write more but too distracted with edits on the second one to really devote enough time to it. But it’s a huge relief to get that big block of time and already have a solid foundation started. All of that time I’m not writing, the plots and characters are marinating in my head and making plans, so it’s not a total loss!
Eli clutched the glossy eight-by-ten as tears welled in his eyes. He could hardly believe the emaciated, washed-out figure in the picture was the same person he’d centered his entire world around just a few weeks earlier. Eli would recognize that face anywhere. God knows, he’d spent enough time staring at it—running his fingers over those soft lips, sucking on the kidney-shaped birthmark just below the ear. He never imagined he’d see those eyes so lifeless.
“It’s him,” Eli whispered, dropping the picture on the officer’s desk.
His mother rested a hand on his shoulder. “E.J.—”
“Don’t pretend to care, now that he’s dead.” Eli shrugged out of her grasp and clenched his jaw to hold in the gut-wrenching sobs brewing in his chest. “Will I need to identify the body in person too?”
The officer avoided Eli’s eyes, but his voice was kind. “If you’re certain, this is good enough for us. He’ll be released in the next thirty-six hours. Will you be claiming him, or will the city keep him?”
Eli’s eyes widened, and panic ripped through his heart. He’d never expected the search to end with a dead body, and there was no way he’d be able to give his boyfriend the funeral he deserved—the one Eli owed him for his own part in Brian’s death. Prepared to beg, he turned and met his father’s eyes for the first time since Brian disappeared from their house almost three weeks earlier.
“We’ll take care of his arrangements.” Eli’s mother spoke quietly but firmly, and his father dipped his chin in silent agreement.
Relief carried Eli back to his parents’ car, but grief consumed him as soon as he slid into the back seat. Burying his head in his knees, he shut out the rest of the world. Eli didn’t leave the quiet safety of the car until long after he arrived home, his cheeks crusted with salty tears from mourning the loss of the future he’d been so sure of.
Shell Taylor is a full-time mother of three exuberant and loving kiddos and one fur baby, a tiny but fierce Yorkie-poo named Rocco. As a Christian who practices love, grace, and humility rather than hatred and judgement, she tries her best to instill these same virtues in her rowdy kids. She just recently learned how to crochet to start bombarding new mothers with matching hats and booties. She is a huge Marvel fan and because of the superhero-plastered tees paired with jeans and Chucks has been told when helping out in her son’s classroom that she looks more like the students than a parent. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to binge watch entire seasons on Netflix. Best of all, she’s been married ten years to a man who’s turned out to be everything she never knew she needed.
October 6: MM Good Book Reviews, Drops of Ink
October 7: My Fiction Nook
October 8: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
October 9: The Purple Rose Tea House, A Celebration of Books
October 12: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews, Bike Book Reviews
October 13: Hearts on Fire
October 14: Diverse Reader
October 15: Bayou Book Junkie
October 16: Wake Up Your Wild Side
October 19: Jessie G Books
October 20: World of Diversity Fiction, Gay Media Reviews
October 21: Prism Book Alliance
October 22: BFD Book Blog, Love Bytes Reviews
October 23: Divine Magazine
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