KICKASS Anthology, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

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Today we have the Mia Kerick & Michael Bower from the Anthology KICKASS stopping by. Mia and Micheal both speak about things worth fighting for, there’s a great giveaway and we have Lisa’s review. So enjoy the post and click that Rafflecopter link… just remember all this is in aid of Eric Arvin so don’t forget to purchase your copy <3 ~Pixie~

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KICKASS

(Anthology)
by

Keira Andrews, Connie Bailey, Sophie Bonaste, Tara Bluhm, Michael J. Bowler, A.L. Boyd, Jade Crystal, Catherine Dair, Fiona Fu, Nancy Hartmann, JP Kenwood, Mia Kerick, Jackie Keswick, Eleanore Pavelle, Kate Pavelle, Jonathan Penn, Tali Spencer, Taomi, Rayne Vogel, Brandon Witt, Scott C. Pavelle

With a special foreword by Eric Arvin’s sisters Angela Arvin-Young and Amy Arvin

Against bad odds, he persevered. Wit, grit, and guile pulverized his scary opponent into a sad pile of dust.

Eric Arvin is Kickass.

Even a kickass hero needs a hand from a secondary

character, and Eric needs that extra power boost right now. This anthology is a volunteer effort organized by Eric’s fans and fellow writers in order to help him raise funds and help cover the cost of his high-tech recovery. His wicked sense of humor is intact, but his body needs a bit of help.

These stories are meant to inspire. They’re a warm hug, a wave from afar, a wink and a nod. Discover new authors and graphic artists as you, too, get revved up to slay whatever ails you!

Illustrated edition !

KICKASS ANTHOLOGY was produced in order to raise funds for the medical recovery of our friend and colleague, author Eric Arvin.

All artwork, both written and graphic, was donated free of charge.

All proceeds will go directly to Eric Arvin and his family.

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Mia & Michael

Worth Fighting For

Mia Kerrick

I’m not the kind of person who stands up and fights very often. When I feel wronged, or even in some way challenged by the circumstances life has dealt me, I am more likely to shrug, think a bitter thought about someone or something, or maybe ask God why me? And I admit I am sometimes complacent—even when I know I should act, a certain part of me gets in the way.

The interfering factor in my personality that prevents me from acting is often fear, in one form or another. Fear I will disturb the status quo, or fear I will be alienated and find myself standing alone. Other times the issue that prevents me from acting is the simple fear of failure. I worry that I will get my hopes up, only to have them dashed. I guess this is the fear of utter disappointment, so I live prepared to accept the negative.

But every once in a while I fight.

I will fight for social issues, specifically for equal rights. I will argue with my husband when I find him watching FOX News in the garage (never does he watch it inside our house J). He says he watches it so that he can be aware of all sides of an issue, but some of Fox’s attitudes toward social justice are simply repugnant to me. (It was over for me with Fox News well before Megyn Kelly assured the children in her viewing audience that Santa Claus—and Jesus too—was most assuredly a white man.) LGBT rights, racial equality, and fairness between the sexes are, in my opinion, worth fighting for. My desire for equality is a major reason why I write LGBT YA novels, and in doing so my goal is not to reach just LGBT youth. I want all kids to read these books so perceptions change, starting with young teenagers who are in their most morally formative years.

I will fight for fairness on behalf of my own children, and as much as I can, for all children. I realize I cannot make the world a perfectly level playing field for kids. Oh, how I want to… but it is beyond my means. When I can and I feel I should, I stand up for them—because he really was next in line, or she deserves a turn. But more than acting on their behalf, I teach them. I teach them when it is time to stand up for themselves. When it is time to draw a line in the sand. That sometimes, although we hate so much to be the squeaky wheel, we must be that in order to get our share of the oil. I teach them that it is okay to say no. And I try to show them that they deserve the best of what life has to offer.

I will fight along with my mother in her effort to survive aggressive lung cancer as long as is humanly possible, and then beyond that. I do this by asking questions of the doctors, by being present at her chemo and radiation treatments, by never giving up.

I will fight for Eric Arvin, even in this small way. I will write a short story or two in anthologies for his benefit. I will do this with the hope that my support can in some way make his life better by helping him to be the strong little guy in the big fight.

My cowriter of the short story Some Things are Worth Fighting For is truly an inspiration to me in terms of recognizing what is worth fighting for, and then actively engaging in the battle for what is right. He is an activist for fair treatment of youth and for the incarcerated, as well as for all marginalized people in society.

Let’s hear from Michael Bowler on this topic.

Thanks, Mia. I have one YA book published through DSP, which is how I knew of Eric Arvin and his situation. I got involved with this anthology because Mia read my books and asked me to co-write a story with her.

I can be a fighter, too, but more for other people than for myself. Mia and I have that trait in common. I’ve been a teacher and advocate for kids all my life. I’ve been involved for over thirty years with incarcerated juveniles and have helped them fight their battles against an indifferent public and an often-unjust system of prosecution. I’ve had foster kids, and been a volunteer Big Brother to seven boys over the past thirty-one years (just matched to eighth Little Brother this year.) I have stood up for all them when needed, and taught them how to stand up for themselves in ways that are appropriate and just. I guess I never grew out of that childhood obsession for “fairness.” You remember that, right? As a kid you wanted life to be fair, and you wanted to be treated fairly. Unlike my dad, who always told me “Life isn’t fair,” I shared a different message with my kids over the years: “Nature isn’t fair because we can’t control nature. But everything in life that humans control (which is pretty much everything else) can be fair if we make it so.” My hope is that these youngsters have grown up with this mindset and will pass it on to their children. If enough people act upon this very simple, and true, ideal, “Life” really can be fair.

I taught Special Education and, as such, was the chief advocate for the kids on my caseload. This was not only a moral responsibility, but also a legal one. I was not beholden to my principal or the school board or the superintendent – only to the kids. On more than one occasion, this advocacy got me into trouble at my job. One kid I had all four years of high school was Ignacio (fictitious name). Ignacio had been in a wheelchair since the age of three because of a fall that paralyzed him from the waist down. That didn’t stop him from playing sports, climbing trees, lifting weights. He was also from a gang-dominated area and became a well-known gang member, himself.

One day, a riot broke out, a huge, out-of-control gang-related riot in the center of campus. Ignacio was out there, as were all of the students, because it was lunchtime, and he took the side of his gang in the melee. When the dust settled, and the police had restored order (several students were arrested), word came down from the principal that “someone said Ignacio started the riot,” and the boy was suspended, pending expulsion. As Ignacio’s legal advocate, I asked lots of questions and got very few real answers. All the administration knew for certain was that Ignacio had been involved in the fighting. There was no evidence he had started the fight. It became clear to me that the principal wanted to expel members of this gang to send a message to the other kids, and Ignacio was the most obvious symbol of that gang because of the wheelchair.

Expelling a Special Ed student isn’t as easy as expelling someone in general education, and the administration has to prove the student’s disability had nothing to do with the offense. Since Ignacio had learning disabilities and poor impulse control written into his paperwork, I contacted the state legal office that handled cases involving Special Ed students. Again, that was my job. Advocate for the student.

Long story short, the state contacted the superintendent and castigated him for keeping a special education student out of school indefinitely and ordered him to reinstate Ignacio until the expulsion hearing. Needless to say, my principal was not happy with me when he got that call from the superintendent. All of a sudden, in the middle of class one day, school custodians showed up with orders from the principal to move everything from my room into another room across campus, a room that years before had been a darkroom for photography class and then subsequently a storage room. It had no windows, one door, and no circulating air. I was being punished, and my kids along with me.

Taking it in stride, the kids all jumped in and we moved everything to “The Closet,” as we called it, and set about organizing all my stuff the custodians had just dumped inside. But that wasn’t my only punishment. Despite a decision by the district not to expel Ignacio, I was ordered by the principal to accompany him everywhere he went on campus – including the student bathroom! He was to stay with me during lunch (which was fine because I had a weight lifting club and he worked out with us), I was to accompany him to any classes he had with teachers other than me, meet him at the end of those classes and escort him back to my room, and make sure to escort him off campus after school every day. This went on for six months until summer vacation!

Was I angry? Sure I was. Did I regret for a moment standing up for Ignacio’s rights? Oh, hell, no. He and I still laugh about those events to this day. And the icing on the cake was the principal getting fired that summer. Poetic justice. I did the right thing, and I prevailed. And Ignacio graduated. Moral – fight for what’s right, even if it costs you personally. Those are usually the issues that matter most, the ones that cost us. And for me, fighting for kids who have no rights in this country is always worth it. So, while I might not fight for something that benefits me, I will fight like a tiger for someone else, especially kids.

About Mia & Michael

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 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 men and their relationships, and she be- lieves that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spi- ral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured he- roes (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 Dreams- pinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of 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.

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Mia has published five works of adult contemporary gay romantic fiction with Dreamspinner Press and four novels of contemporary LGBT fiction with Harmony Ink Press. Mia Kerick’s books are recommended reads in the LGBT blogging/reading community, have spent many weeks on Amazon Hot New Releases and LGBT Best Sellers lists, as well as other notable bestseller lists, and have won awards for excellence in YA literature.

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of seven novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, and Once Upon A Time In America. He earned a B.A. in English/Theatre, and two master’s degrees before teaching high school for twenty- five years. He’s been a lifelong volunteer with youth in need, particularly incarcerated children.

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Review

Anthology - Kickass Cover 300x450Title: Kickass Anthology

Series: Anthology

Author: Scott P. Pavelle, Brandon Witt, Sophie Bonaste, Jackie Keswick, Jade Crystal, Tali Spencer, JP Kenwood, Jonathan Penn, Jackie Keswick, Nancy Hartmann, Mia Kerick & Michael J. Bowler, A. L. Boyd, Keira Andrews

Genre: Gay Erotic Romance

Length: Several shorts (408pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-50547-429-9

Publisher: Mugen Press (11th December 2014)

Heat Level: Low to Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 to 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: Even a kickass hero needs a hand from a secondary character, and Eric Arvin needs that extra power boost right now. This anthology is a volunteer effort organized by Eric’s fans and fellow writers in order to raise funds and help cover the cost of his high-tech recovery. His wicked sense of humor is intact, but his body needs a bit of assistance.
These stories are meant to inspire. They’re a warm hug, a wave from afar, a wink and a nod. Discover new authors and graphic artists as you, too, get revved up to slay whatever ails you!

Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QU9GBXK

Review: This anthology is very special to many people including myself. The authors donated stories to raise funds for Eric Arvin’s medical recovery. Eric is a very special man and we all love him. I truly enjoyed this anthology and the stories inside. They are told with so many feelings that will have you wishing you were right there with them. Angela Irvin-Young and Amy Young will tell you a bit about Eric and their love for him. They will introduce you to an amazing man and tell you how he is in fact a hero in his own way.

The Gift Of Odin by Scott P. Pavelle ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

In a time when the world needed help, the god Odin did three test. He told of the first two, but the third he held into himself. He had showed his love for his people in a way that many would not. This shows a true gift that we could use even now.

It is way to short for me but it shows and tells so much in a few short words. It stood out which meant so much, when some are many pages and they don’t stay in your mind as long. This was a very cute story that was a blast to read. It probably sounds strange to many the way this will sound, but it goes perfect with the reason this anthology was written for. It shows that a hero is there in ways many won’t see.

Pink by Brandon Witt ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

I will never look at mixers the same way after reading this story. It was a blast to read. Mikey hadn’t told his parents that he was gay, but when he brought home a bubblegum pink KitchenAide mixer the truth was out. He hated the way his father looked at him, but all of that changed one night. End the end the look was gone, and his father looked at him as his son once more.

This was a blast to read. It has such a serious tone to it but there is such a hint of humor to it that made my day. I am straight so the idea of having to come out is hard for me to understand. However I have many friends that are gay and they have mentioned their family and friends reactions. Some were good and some were bad, but this story also helped to bring it more in to focus. Brandon always comes up with a story that will draw you in and capture your heart. I loved this little story and hope to read more of Brandon’s stories.

The Janiman by Sophie Bonaste ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Xan and Jace had a relationship that was stronger than most. It was the day that Xan would prove his worth to his people and be granted into adulthood and into Janix. He was born small and not so strong so his fear of not being able to complete it was in his head, but Jace was in his heart. With that knowledge his trials would be proven easy. It shows that love wins all in the end.

This was a cute little story of how strong love truly is. This was a blast to read and I look forward to more by Sophie. I loved this story and hope that it goes into a longer story later on.

Bait And Tackle by Jackie Keswick ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Declan was one of those rich kids who wanted to be waited on and served. He was a complete ass to others. However when he goes off and gets physical with one of the guys that lived with him, the tables go turned by another. Now he would get what he deserved in the best and creative ways ever.

This was a blast to read and even though I would have beaten the crap out of Declan, Jack came up with a way that would humiliate the man. It shows me that there are more ways to get even without having to raise fists. It is a really cute and funny story of someone getting even. I had a fun time reading it.

If The Shoe Fits by Jade Crystal ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Fin and Jay have been friends for a very long time. They had never been more than that till now. Fin managed to get laid off at another job, and Jay has made the decision to show him the way home. They might have been friends for quite a while but they both want something more. Now with just a little push and their happiness would be set.

I loved the aspect of it all. Here Fin loses another job, gets a boyfriend and decides to do something he has never done before. He proves to himself that he can do something once his mind sets to it and I think that it actually will show others that they can do it also. I loved this book and it was such a blast to read. Although there is no way I would run a block let alone any further. Jade always gives the best stories and she has proved it once more.

Among Giants by Tali Spencer ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

This is a Vorgell and Madd short story. I love paranormals and this one was pretty sweet to read. If a bit hard to truly get into. However when Vorgell and Madd get together it is not only sweet but very hot. Here they are going to go into a fight that might just prove too much. They should have known that Grobba, who was a slimy thief, would be into dark magic. They just had not realized what the Sun Staff was really about. A great evil was heading to Gurgh and all the stories had better be true, to save it.

This was a pretty good story and a blast to read. It will make for a great series. These two sexy men and their story will be amazing. I liked having a chance at reading it. I look forward to reading more of Tali’s stories.

Bashir by JP Kenwood ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

This was an amazing story. I had a blast reading it and can’t wait to read some more of JP’s stories. Charlie is a special and very sexy young man who was working for free for an excavation team. You can tell that this young man has a big heart. He meets Bashir and finds out about his hard life. He wants to help the man and opens his heart to a wonderful feeling.

Now this story left me with questions at the end. It makes me think that there is more to this story and I can’t wait to find out. It was a blast to read and I had fun with it. It has a great story line but like I said it left me hungry for more at the end.

Turn About by Jonathan Penn ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Bobbie and Cam are an amazing couple. Cam was injured in a construction site accident that left him injured. Bobbie steps up and takes care of his man in more ways than one. With danger, Bobbie stands tall and steps up to keep his man safe.

This was a cute story that left me wanting more. I wanted to hear how they got together and all of the in between, but I had a blast reading this story. I hate how homophobes are with those who find love with someone that they don’t like. I always want to ask what difference does it make who loves who, but this story gives you a winning end. I loved it.

The Power of Zero by Jackie Keswick ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Jack and Rio met when Jack broke in and started staying in Rio’s basement. Jack had been traded for drugs by his mother. His life would make even the strongest man cry at this. To be sold for sex is one of the most horrible things I have ever heard. Rio saved him from that life when he found Jack hiding in the basement.

This was a heartfelt story that will have you crying and screaming at the people who would hurt children the way this young man had been hurt. I think Rio is a great man to let Jack stay and tried to help him. But in truth Jack is the true hero of the whole story. I was amazed with this story and had a blast reading it.

A Holiday Homecoming by Nancy Hartmann ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Jayson had come home to make up with his father, to find out that his dad had committed suicide. When he showed up he ran in to Sheldon, who worked for his father. They had questions that were not answered, so they decided to find out the truth. Suicide or was it murder.

This was a blast to read and I had a fun time with it. I wished that it was made into a longer story because I would have been dancing for joy. This was a great little mystery and a love story that was long time waited. Jayson had always had the hots for Sheldon and now he gets his way. I loved it and cannot wait to check out the rest of Nancy’s books.

Some Things Are Worth Fighting For by Mia Kerick & Michael J. Bowler ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Now this was a fun and enlightening story. Evan had worked at the BLA camp every summer and loved it. That is until he came out on Facebook about his amazing boyfriend Sergio. He would not give up his boyfriend, but didn’t know what to do about his summer job. Now what made this even more amazing was his father and the little campers. They go to bat for what is right and fight all the way.

I loved this story and was amazed by it. I can’t believe people still think that just because you are a gay man you are going to be interested in children. I mean really that is a stupid idea and I loved that in this story it shows them the truth. It was a blast to read and I will definitely be checking out more books by Mia and Michael.

Love On The Divide by A. L. Boyd ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Justin and Rob were going camping with Rob’s sister and some friends. Rob’s sister set them up by putting them together on this trip. The funny part is that it was a match making set up. I loved it. There is a dangerous part to this story that had amazed me and drew me in.

I had a blast reading this story and got a kick out of these two finding love. I also loved the fact that Rob’s sister set it all up. It was an amazing story with a bit of humor to it that had me laughing at parts of it. I also loved that it shows Justin and Rob’s strength at the end. It is an amazing story that everyone should read.

Star Fall by Keira Andrews ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Simon wanted his Lord Vyner but he never took a chance. I mean it is a bit scary to make a move on someone higher up on the ladder but you must take that chance. So when a dragon takes Lord Vyner captive Simon is to save the day. Now things will get hot and heavy between the Lord and Simon.

This was a blast to read but it didn’t give me all that it could. There is a lot of potential to the story and I hope to read this in another story with a full content. It gave me a dragon, although it was an evil dragon but it was a great idea. I loved this book but it left me hungry for more.

Overall

This is an amazing anthology. I loved the reason that it was created but the stories themselves were amazing. There is so much creative ideas that had me smiling and crying throughout it all. I loved the characters and their strengths that they had. I also loved the fact that it shows what ones go through with homophobic actions and words. How words and actions that hurt those we say we love and even strangers can be turned around by others who love us. I would recommend reading this book. It will give you everything you could want in a story. In fact it gave me more than I could ask for. I loved it and can’t wait to read more by these amazing authors.

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Check out the other blogs on the tour

12/13/2014 – Boys in Our Books – Kate Pavelle
12/15/2014 – Kimi-Chan Experience – Jade Crystal with Eleanor Pavelle
12/16/2014 – The Novel Approach – Amy Arvin & Angela Arvin-Young
12/18/2014 – GGR Reviews – JP Kenwood with Fiona Fu
12/19/2014 – Rainbow Gold Reviews – Jackie Keswick with Tara Bluhm
12/20/2014 – On Top Down Under – Nancy Hartmann
12/22/2014 – Joyfully Jay – Sophie Bonaste
12/23/2014 – Prism Book Alliance – Brandon Witt with Catherine Dair
12/27/2014 – MM Good Book Reviews – Mia Kerick & Michael Bowler
12/29/2014 – Love Bytes – Keira Andrews with Connie Bailey
12/31/2014 – JP Barnaby – Tali Spencer
1/2/2015 – Hearts on Fire Reviews – Jonathan Penn with Taomi

12 thoughts on “KICKASS Anthology, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

  1. It isn’t always easy making a stand so well done both of you. The book sounds really good and it’s for a great cause.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

  2. Can’t wait to read this anthology, sounds fantastic. I hoped you had a wondergul Christmas, Eric!

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