Today I am so pleased to welcome Mia Kerick to Joyfully Jay. Mia has come to talk to us about her latest release, Dead Sea. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Dead Sea banner


Hi everybody! I’m so happy to be here at Joyfully Jay with my new release, Dead Sea! It’s a work of YA Coming of Age Gay Romance. Lenny and Kyle’s love story.

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character?

attractive man image 

Well, I have. And here’s the surprise: I’ve fallen in love with characters I’ve created. And if I’m written them, they’re part of me… so have I fallen a little bit in love with myself? (LOL) Well, that’s a different blog post, altogether.

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Let’s look at the characters I’ve fallen so hard for…

I’ll start with the first book I ever wrote, Beggars and Choosers. Brett Taylor. He’s a big guy. Shoulder-length platinum blond hair and devastatingly handsome, of course. (But he has no clue how hot he is, which is part of his charm.) Brett’s a high school drop-out and a misunderstood bad boy with a horrifying past, thanks to a physically abusive mother and the torture of poverty. Protective and devoted, he will break sweet Cory’s heart if he feels it’s what is necessary to save him.

beggars and choosers cover


The very concept of Brett’s character motivated me to write my first romance novel. And I thought about him all the time. In fact, at the grocery story, I thought of which fresh produce he’d pick. He’d say something like, “That there acorn squash sure looks tasty.” At a concert venue in my town, I imagined Brett several rows in front of me, his arm draped protectively around Cory’s shoulders. I was so fascinated with the unique character I’d created that I lay in bed at night with him on my mind.  Not in a weird way…

attractive man 2


Now, let’s look at The Art of Hero Worship’s Liam Norcross. He’s quite the hero—Liam literally risks his life to save Jason in a theater shooting by laying his bulky body over him. Big and gruff and bearded, and seemingly rather formidable, his heart is pure gold. Yes, he has a golden heart, despite being raised by seriously dysfunctional, emotionally distant parents. And Liam is compelled to do anything—even deny his own feelings of love—to allow Jase to feel comfortable with his place in life.


blond man

Next, there’s Bodie from Born for Leaving. He’s a huge man—6’5” and built like a linebacker, with longish auburn hair. Loose curls… nice. Bodie’s an introvert, constantly struggling with a past so painful—thanks to sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his mother’s long-term boyfriend—that he has never before trusted another person enough to enter a relationship—emotional or physical. Well, not until Bodie meets Oliver, who sees him for who he is—big muscles do not equate to emotional bravery—and is willing to take their relationship at Bodies’ pace. But Bodie will leave Oliver before he’ll ever hurt him. And leave him, he does…

born for leaving cover


It seems I have a type…

A burly, muscular dude, who hides behind long hair or a bushy beard? Yup.

A tortured hero, thanks to a dysfunctional upbringing? Check that box.

Saved by the love of a man, for whom he’s willing to sacrifice everything? Of course.

Enough of a hurt/comfort and opposites attract trope to make my teeth ache? Indeed.

shirtless man with football


Well, Dead Sea offers you a teenage version of the burly, muscular, hides-behind-a-shaggy-haircut, tortured hero. Meet Kyle Larson…He’s a bad boy to the point of being a bully, but there are reasons for his behavior. His mother resents him, and his beloved Grampa left him without a goodbye. But he’s changed by a selfless act he performs—Kyle rescues Lenny from drowning in a riptide. It even surprises Kyle, himself, that he’s willing to risk his life for such a “nobody” as Lenny Dubinski. And then, he changes profoundly, becoming Lenny’s protector who will do anything for this new intense love of his life.

I hope you pick up a copy of Dead Sea and experience this unique YA Gay Romance and Coming of Age story.

You’re gonna fall in love with Kyle. (I did.)

<3 Mia

man with long purple hair


Dead Sea coverStory Ballads, Book 2

He risks his life and finds his heart.

Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.
Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.
When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.

After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.

All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic loser in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. Through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.

Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.


mia kerick bio photoAward-winning gay romance author, Mia Kerick, knows that a satisfying romance novel is riddled with challenges. For true love to prevail, the leading men are gonna have to put in some effort. But the HEA is oh-so rewarding.

Mia has a great affinity for the damaged teenage soul in literature. Her YA gay contemporary romance focuses on such tropes as hurt/comfort and dark secrets that keep them apart. In Kerick’s books, the course of true love never does run smooth.

Mia’s books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine. They have won a 2019 IPPY GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, a 2018 YA GOLD MOONBEAM Children’s Book Award, a YA Readers’ Favorite Award, several Gold Rainbow Awards in YA and adult categories, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, a YA Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award, and more.

Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. 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.

Contact Mia:


To celebrate the release of Dead Sea, Mia is giving away a $15 Amazon Voucher! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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