Welcome to the official cover reveal of Mia Kerick’s My Crunchy Life!
Hi Novel Approach friends! (And a huge thank you to one of my favorite, faithful blogs for hosting me today!)
It’s Mia Kerick revealing the cover of my June 26, 2018 YA LGBTQ release—with a touch of romance—called My Crunchy Life. It’s a book about teenage identity—and the two main characters struggle with theirs. Sixteen-year-old Kale is trying out the role of “hippie”—having unsuccessfully tried “Goth” and “preppy” on for size. He feels that to be acceptable at school and in his own mind, he needs to somehow be more than the person he is. Julian, also sixteen years old, has struggled with acceptance of his gender identity for years. Having hit rock bottom earlier in the school year, he has worked hard to become more positive about identity and life, in general, and is on a well-planned path to living as the person he truly is.
The two meet and, yes, they clash, but then they solve a huge problem together. Through this experience, they come to see each other as human beings without the labels they’ve carried around for so long.
I truly hope you get to know Kale and Julian early this summer in my funny, but touching, upcoming release, My Crunchy Life.
About the Book
Pre-Order My Crunchy Life from Harmony Ink Press: eBook || Paperback
Blurb: John Lennon fought for world peace, but sixteen-year-old hippie hopeful Kale Oswald’s only made it as far as tie-dying his T-shirts with organic grape juice. Now he’s ready to cement his new hippie identity by joining a local human rights organization, but he doesn’t fit in as well as he’d hoped.
After landing himself in the hospital by washing down a Ziploc bag of pills with a bottle of Gatorade, Julian Mendez came clean to his mother: he is a girl stuck in a boy’s body. Puberty blockers have stopped the maturing of the body he feels has betrayed him. They’re also supposed to give him time to be sure he wants to make a more permanent decision, but he’s already Julia in his heart. What he’s not sure he’s ready to face is the post-transition name-calling and bathroom wars awaiting him at school.
When Kale and Julian come face-to-face at the human rights organization, attraction, teenage awkwardness, and reluctant empathy collide. They are forced to examine who they are and who they want to become. But until Kale can come to terms with his confusion about his own sexuality and Julian can be honest with Kale, they cannot move forward in friendship, or anything more.
Cover Art Designed by Aaron Anderson
Kale (at local REHO—Rights for Every Human Organization—meeting)
Friday 8:00 p.m.
Where is he… where is he… where is he…. Where. Is. He?
At lunch on Monday, two days before he told me he tried to kill himself by downing a bag of pain medicine, Julian told me, “So I guess I’ll see you Friday night.” Not that the news impacted me in such a way that made it hard for me to fall asleep for the past several nights, because I couldn’t stop picturing Julian semiconscious in his tree house. It didn’t. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep because I’m struggling in Spanish III, that’s all.
So why do I care that he’s not here?
“We gather tonight in the spirit of love and selflessness, and with the solemn hope that our efforts to serve the community will be sufficient to keep hope alive for those who struggle to obtain the rights inherent to all human beings.”
Tonight, instead of doing the standard hand-holding thing, we’ve crossed our arms in front of ourselves, per Judy’s instructions, and are grasping each other’s hands this way.
Welcome to Variations in Hand-holding 101.
“I thought it might be fun,” Judy says, unsuccessfully fighting her urge to giggle, “if we started our meeting tonight by passing a hand squeeze around the circle, as we bond over our common concern—ridding the world of all forms of discrimination.” She peeks around the circle with a sheepish look on her face. “It might be fun… I think… so I’ll start.”
I look up and sharply to the left in an effort to catch eyes with the very tall girl who is again holding my hand. When she glances down at me and I send her a look that clearly asks, “Are we at a human rights organization meeting or in kindergarten class?” But she quickly shrugs and looks away, totally sold on this faux bonding technique. I’m left to wait for the squeeze to come my way so I can pass it on and become one with these relative strangers. Before the squeeze makes its way all the way around the circle, though, our meeting is interrupted.
“I’m late. So sue me.” Julian stops at the bottom of the stairs and strikes a dramatic pose—his right hip jutting out to the side while he scrutinizes his fingernails.
I try to ignore my relief when I see him, but that would be like trying to ignore a tropical cyclone blowing past the tiki hut I’m trying to sleep in on the beach. In other words, it doesn’t work.
“Oh, Julian, hello, and welcome back to REHO. We’re so happy you could make it tonight. Please, join the circle. You’re going to need to cross your arms, though.” Judy warns, and her face is beet red. “We’re passing around a hand squeeze in the name of bonding. It’s a little trickier with your arms crossed.” She waits while Julian steps into the circle between tall girl and me. “I’ll start over again, how does that sound?”
When Julian glances up at me, I see “what the fuck is this?” in his eyes, and I decide Judy has succeeded in her goal, if not in exactly the manner she’d intended. Julian and I have bonded over what we both consider to be a juvenile activity. Or better yet, a stupid exercise in attempting to force emotional connection between strangers.
I receive a sharp squeeze to my right hand and immediately and obediently send it off to Julian.
“Flirt.” He says it so quietly I’m not quite sure he actually said it. Maybe I just wish he said it. And he doesn’t look up at me again until it’s time for us to scatter the throw pillows on the floor. “Get me the purple one,” he says with a nod.
“Huh?” Did Julian just demand I fetch him a pillow? And after suggesting I’m flirting with him? Was I flirting with him?
“The purple pillow. I want that one.” I look down into dark eyes that are sparkling persuasively. Or is it… is that glitter shimmering on his eyelids?
Side note: Glitter used to be made of glass and metal but now it’s mainly made of plastic. It’s a decoration that reflects light, causing it to look like it is actually sparkling.
How on earth do I even know this?
“Wait here and I’ll get it for you.” I turn and rush toward the closet with the rest of the commoners, shaking my head at my eagerness to please the guy.
From behind me I hear Julian’s voice. “I knew you’d see it my way.”
About the Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero. There is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Harmony Ink Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Her books have won several Kirkus Recommended Book Reviews, a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and 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 at email@example.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.
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32 thoughts on “Official Cover Reveal, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick”
THANK YOU so very much for helping me today to reveal the cover of MY CRUNCHY LIFE!! YA LGBTQ fiction with romance! And with humor! I’ve focused this novel on the topic of teenage identity–gender identity, as well as general personal identity struggles that many teens endure.
Sounds like a fun one. Congrats!
Thanks, Jennifer. it is funny, but has serious undertones throughout.
He wants to be a hippie and his name is Kale. Perfect!
He changed his name to the food his diet is now based on. His real name is Kalin. LOL
I’ve always loved your books so I look forward to each new one! This is a gorgeous cover and the small smile on Kalin’s face is sure to draw in a huge audience.
I love reading comments like this (yeah, you made my day :) ) I think you’ll like this story- a little romance, a little humor, a little tiny bit if angst … what’s not to like??
The cover fits the story to a T. Kale is confused about his sexuality. He might feel like his life lacks something. He’ll feel incomplete…WHICH the cover artist managed to do with this cover. Only half of Kale’s face are shown. The other half is the missing piece of himself. Those lovely colors, that rainbow…simply symbolizes that part of him that loves Julian,; that part of him that he’s so confused about. ^_^
James- your comments about the cover are so spot-on! I love the way you expressed it!
Thank you. I’m glad that I somehow managed to express my views about the cover & appreciate it – more than anything – at the same time. Aaron did a really great job. ^_^
I love Aaron’s work. I guess I like the way he sees things.
Looks like an interesting read just from the cover and I’m sold on the blurb. I’ve added it to my wishlist.
Thanks so much! That’s exactly what a cover and blurb are supposed to do! Thanks!!
Congrats on a great cover. It just speaks YA … and hippie, before I even read the blurb. And I can feel the angst from here.
Aaron Anderson did a great job showing that Kale is doing his best to be a hippie! I really love the cover. And there is angst, but it is balanced with humor. Thanks for the comment!
Congratulations on your cover reveal Mia, Aaron’s done a job, I’m looking forward to reading the book.
Thanks so much! The cover shows who my character Kale is trying so hard to be!
Congrats on the book, the cover looks interesting but the actual contents seem even better.
well, thank you! I I’m so glad the blurb/excerpt interest you! I love the subject so much- I am very invested in the concept of identity in YA lit and so I really examined it in this book!
Love that cover!
Thank you for the excerpt, I’m looking forward to reading the book!
I don’t have a PDF of the entire book so I found a place that looked correct and exciting! Thanks for commenting!
That’s an amazing cover, Mia. Congratulations!
I have to direct Aaron Anderson to this page- he will be so excited by the cover-love!!
Thank you, Omar! I do too!
Thank you for the chance to win a gift card
You are so welcome! Good luck!
Love the cover!! The blurb was intriguing, too. Thank you for the giveaway!
I’m glad you are intrigued! I hope you check out the book!
cool cover, congrats on the upcoming release
Thanks, Lee!! I’m excited about the release of this book too!
Congrats! Great cover! ❤