He willingly, even eagerly, risks his life to save a stranger as a murderous,
deranged shooter moves methodically through the darkened theater on the
Batcheldor College campus, randomly killing innocent men, women, and children.
freshman Jason Tripp. Jase loses everything in the shooting: his girlfriend,
who dies on the floor beside him, and his grip on emotional security. He
struggles to regain a sense of safety in the world, finally leaving college to
seek refuge in his hometown.
two men in the chaos and horror of the theater, and Liam fights to bring Jase
back to the world he ran away from. When Jase returns to school, they’re drawn
together as soulmates, and soon Liam and Jase fall into a turbulent romantic
relationship. However, the rocky path to love cannot be smoothed until Jase
rescues his hero in return by delving into his shady past and solving the
mystery of Liam’s compulsion to be everybody’s savior.
The Art Of Hero Worship is by far, the most instantly gripping book I have ever read. Want to know how to hook readers immediately? Mia Kerick does just this, with the opening scene being that of a mass shooting.
Liam and Jase both survive, but then hide away together, as the shooter is on the loose and knows their identity.
What follows is a beautiful story of these two straight men finding comfort in one another. Both have to deal with the confusion of being attracted to a man for the first time. They are two men, not gay, but completely and utterly engrossed by one another. Is it confusion due to Jason's girlfriend being dead? Or is it hero worship?
One line sums up their relationship perfectly. "Can two men experience emotional and sexual satisfaction with each other when they aren't gay?"
What follows is a completely addicting and steamy romance. It is beautifully written, with these men gaining a new sense of hope while trying to survive the aftermath.
The story is also upsetting, interesting and well worth a read. We follow along as they deal with nightmares, emotional issues and a whole lot of pain. The men also face confusion, fear and denial, as they start to notice one another in a new way.
The absolute power and awe in their love making is breathtaking. These two men are just amazing together. Mia Kerick manages to completely mesmerize me with these scenes.
I highly recommend The Art of Hero Worship. Mia Kerick manages to weave together a beautiful love story with a tragic nightmare. And she does so spectacularly!
theater, and the shooting hasn’t slowed down at all. Gunshots ring out steadily
in the shadowy darkness…always in sets of three, letting me know where he is.
I’m scared…so fucking scared…but not too scared to wonder what I did to deserve
this special little slice of hell.
to swallow my spit. I know what I have to do—I have to search for Ginny, but I
can’t since I’m frozen solid, like a leg of lamb in a walk-in freezer.
three. The gunshots have a life and a plan—no, a mission—all their own, to maim
and kill by ripping through the flesh of everyone in this theater. I’m panting
and sweating and wishing to God I knew how to pray because I’d so pray right
shooting stops. Is it over? With the utmost caution, I exhale the breath I’ve
been hanging on to so jealously…as if part of me fears I’ll never get the
chance to take another. But one more wary breath moves in and out, and I know I
have to get hold of myself so I can find her. Because it’s over now… yes, I
think maybe it’s ov—
gurgle-inducing, evenly spaced sets of three that are becoming so horribly
predictable. I brace myself for the impact because I just know the next pop is
going to come with excruciating pain that explodes in my head or my back or, if
I’m lucky, my ass. Or, if I’m not so lucky, in all three places, one right after
yells. Too late for that warning. I’m already flat on the floor in the narrow
space between the rows of seats; my head is bleeding all over the arm it’s
resting on… My left arm? My right arm? Somebody else’s arm? Not so sure. Not so
sure it matters.
reach around in search of Ginny’s hand, but when I pat the floor all I can feel
is a pool of blood that wasn’t there the last time I checked, and then there’s
this cooling mound of flesh in its center.
escape on a single breath followed by a few sharp coughs from an elderly man.
when everybody had started rushing around, all frenzied and scrambling, I’d
lost track of Ginny… In fact, I’d lost track of everything. Maybe because it
had suddenly sunk into my stunned brain that this place was now a death
chamber. My death chamber.
the first bullet whizzed past my right ear…that for a month or a year—or for my
entire lifetime—I’ve been waiting for the gunshots to stop. But a tiny voice
inside my head suggests that I’ve been in this living hell for less than five
minutes, at most.
before I lost Ginny, I caught a glimpse of the gunman’s silhouette against the
bright stage. He’d seemed huge in his dark baggy clothing. He towered over the
audience, or maybe it just seemed that way because he was pointing a long gun
at us. I recognized the shooter from seeing him around campus. And when I saw
his face profiled in the light—the bulging forehead, prominent nose, and
receding chin—a name had sped through my brain, but soon the name was as lost
to me as my girlfriend’s lax hand.
weapon does the talking. And the deafening popping sounds are closer again,
like the gun has something it wants to say to me personally…something like,
“You’re gonna die today, Jason.”
hard, and I want you to squeeze as much of your body underneath the chairs as
you can, got it?” The voice seems to come from a million miles away, but it’s
coming from right behind me. On top of me, really. I feel his breath on the
back of my neck.
ask this or if it comes from the lips of the little old lady who’d been sitting
on the other side of Ginny at the start of the play. The old lady who told us
she’d come to the Harrison Theater to see her granddaughter play Ophelia in the
Shakespeare in the Spring Performance Series, not to die in a hail of bullets.
I know that Ginny didn’t ask the question, though. She’s been silent since the
second volley of gunshots when her head slumped over unnaturally onto my
shoulder, and by instinct, I’d pulled her to the floor.
been called “an acoustic gem,” and right now, it’s ringing with the erratic
sounds of screaming and moaning and crying and shouting and shooting. But most
impressive is the resounding silence of the gunman, which speaks louder than
words, or gunshots, ever could.
crazy…the Beatles’ tune “Helter Skelter” comes to mind. This is not how I want
to die. Mostly because I don’t want to die!
finger into the blood on my head, then twisting in such a way that I think he’s
reaching to his back…like maybe he’s smearing my blood there. I’m distracted
from his action by the squealing of the fire alarm, and I find my blurry mind
wondering if, in addition to the problem of a crazed gunman, we also have a
fire to put out.
hungry flames or a hail of bullets?
Completely still. ’Kay?” I feel the pressure on my back that he promised me,
and even though it hurts to have my belly pushed into the metal rungs at the
base of the seats in front of us, I feel strangely safe. He speaks into my ear.
“Play dead, dude.”
thankfully, I play dead far better than my dog Goliath did when I tried to
teach him that trick at the age of seven.
growing louder, as the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I
tremble as if I’m having a seizure, and I promised the guy lying on top of me
that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after
another, in my effort to stop shaking. To stay frozen—the way my heart has been
since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could
curl up into a tight fetal ball.
his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.
comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The
snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy
off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going
with the short, shallow breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life.
The guy on top of me is totally exposed; I can’t move because if I do, I’ll
cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to
of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection…if it got spilled
onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere
like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.
Don’t move…don’t move…don’t move…
to catch the shooter’s attention, and he turns around and steps away from us. I
curse myself for feeling as relieved as I do.
wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We
wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I
figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.
sound seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I
agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is
our chance to get outta here…”
wrist, clutching me so hard I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week…if I live
in the center of the pool of blood and whispers firmly, “Ginny’s already gone.”
He releases my wrist just long enough to adjust his grip. “I worked here last
year. I know how to get away. Come on…”
Ginny. I only think her name this time because I’m literally too petrified to
speak. We crawl like two sneaky toddlers through the narrow alley between the
rows of seats and then down the outside aisle, over a couple of bodies—small
ones, kids’ bodies that are way too still and cool—and to a trapdoor at the
base of the stage. It’s a small gray square in the wall. I never noticed it
before, and I’ve been to the Harrison Theater at least five times this year to
see Ginny’s roommate perform. The guy beside me pulls out a pocketknife and
fiddles silently with the screws holding the little door in place.
small door drops to the floor and contributes a new sound to the quieting
chaos. It clangs in such a way that nobody left alive in the theater could miss
gunman has stopped shooting, and I hear the heavy stomping of combat boots
coming toward us, down the aisle. Not running…just walking in swift, determined
steps. My guardian angel grabs me and stuffs me through the opening in the base
of the stage. I land on my chin in a pile of music stands. My helper isn’t far
behind in squeezing his bulky frame through the small square in the wall. We’ve
landed in some type of a cluttered crawl space, maybe the orchestra pit, and I
struggle to make my way through the music stands in the pitch-blackness. When
we’re halfway through the mess of metal, crawling through unruly stacks of
folding chairs, the overhead light in the pit flicks on.
guys? It’s mega-loud in there.” A clueless college girl’s voice. I can’t see
her clearly because the sudden bright light stings my eyes, making me squint.
shouts my guardian angel. We can’t run yet because we’re still trapped in a
dense forest of metal.
shooter’s voice is deadly calm. “And I think I know you.”
the orchestra pit to come after us but pushes the gun through the opening and
pulls the trigger three times. Bullets ricochet off the metal chairs and
stands. Again I freeze, not sure which way to go. I’m grabbed fiercely by my
right forearm and dragged over the remainder of the chairs to the door.
none. Instead, that cold, creepy voice increases in volume, to assure us,
“Don’t worry, I’ll find you.”
Soon we’re holding hands in a narrow hallway…running for the back of the
building…and then we’re outside in the breezy darkness, still clinging to each
other. We sprint through the muddy grass in the direction of the parking lot.
muscle car—a Dodge Charger.
the passenger door, pushes me inside, and quickly shuts it. Then he scrambles
over the hood to get to the driver’s side. He flings the door wide open and
jumps into the seat, not gracefully, but with more speed than I could ever have
imagined was possible for a guy his size. Adrenaline counts for a lot… And soon
we’re driving off the college grounds, out of the supposed safety of the
“Batcheldor College Bubble,” and into the real world.
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Meet the Author
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.
growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great
affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled
spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her
mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her
with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary
Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit at
www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.