Title: Sound of Silence
Authors: Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney
Release Date: January 23rd 2018
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Renzy Callen exists on the periphery of life, and not just because of the horrific childhood event that robbed him of the ability to speak. Walling himself off from the rest of the world as a means of protection, he occupies his time with art, music, and an obsession with self-help groups—whether he needs them or not. His isolation protects him, and he’s immune to drama and emotional games… or so he believes. Everything changes when he meets Seven and Morning Moreaux-Maddox, the wealthy, jet-setting siblings who move from a life of sophistication in Europe to humdrum Redcliff Hills, Missouri.
Both Seven and his sister are impossibly beautiful and elegant, like the stars in magazines and high-fashion models on the runway. When Renzy is pulled into their push-and-pull of affection and rejection, he realizes there is more to both haunted Morning and cold, diamond-sharp Seven than meets the eye.
The three teens embark on a quest to learn the reason behind Renzy’s selective mutism, and something more than friendship blossoms between Renzy and Seven. It’s during this trip of a lifetime that the three realize the truth they seek might be found in the sound of silence.
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I don’t go straight to class. First off , I don’t give a shit if I’m late to Physics for the Curious, which actually is the class’s laughable name. More importantly, though, is this: I dropped the ball with Morning last year in Paris, and she’s paid a high price for my lax behavior. I’ve sworn on all things holy and unholy that I will not drop the ball again. Therefore, I’m required to lurk in the hallways when I’m supposed to be in class, sizing up our new environment so that I will be ready to protect her.
This is what I’m doing when I notice him—the very same dark- haired imp I saw running out of the Take Back Our Power meeting. I’m not comfortable with this—catching sight of the same boy two times in one day in such close proximity to my sister. I consider it my duty to study him, to memorize his face, to do what I should have done for Morning last year, at which I failed so miserably.
So I scrutinize each feature as if my plan is to sculpt his face out of clay, with no reference point but my memory. Despite the rage that scorches my eyelids with every goddamned blink, I like what I see.
I like to think of myself as the in-control type. But cut me some slack right now because I just witnessed a real-life adaptation of Mommie Dearest in a small-town family living room, and Renzy, the frenemy I’m carrying in my arms, is bleeding from his feet worse than Christ at the crucifixion. The fun doesn’t end there—I also had to sidestep my hostile-looking sister in the narrow hallway, while struggling to reach the tiny attic bathroom so I can prevent Renzy from bleeding out. The fact that I haven’t passed out in the corner from a combination of stress and overexertion is testimony to my relative composure.
“What the fuck? I mean, what the ever-loving fuck is going on, Seven? What did you do to him now?”
Morning’s bitter accusation, badly hidden in a series of questions, cuts my heart with the same brutality as the glass that carved up Renzy’s feet.
Yes, it seems I have a heart. Mostly frozen and quite shabby chic—battered and chipped badly around the edges—but functioning nonetheless.
“Don’t pin this on me, frangine—I walked into what I can only assume to be the War of the Roses in the Callen family living room, if the father’s peeling out of the driveway is any indication. And this is how I found Renzy.”
Just a few days ago my sister opened her heart to me, and now she’s standing brazenly in the bathroom doorway, hands on her hips, the look in her eyes betraying her belief that I intentionally scraped the sole of Renzy’s feet with jagged fragments of glass.
Renzy begins to struggle in my arms, which says “put me down, asshole” more effectively than words could. I place his ass on the counter beside the sink, and in my attempt to examine the inch-long slice on the side of his face, I can’t miss the look of revulsion in his eyes that nicely matches Morning’s.
“Did you break into Renzy’s house because we wouldn’t talk to you? Spill it, Seven. I heard the shattering glass.”
I’m shocked by the realization that she believes I’m capable of such maliciousness.
Doesn’t she realize that I’ve been trying to shelter her from pain since I was old enough to know if I didn’t do it, no one would? Or does she only remember the times I failed?
Thankfully, Renzy answers her question, and, in effect, defends me. He shakes his head and shows her a stack of cards and letters in his hand.
“I think he had some kind of a fight with his mother,” I explain. The expression in Morning’s eyes softens. “The papers he’s holding were scattered on the floor when I came into the living room, and he gathered them up… and no, I didn’t break in.” I add out of the corner of my mouth, “The frigging front door was wide open.”
A stain of pink rises up Morning’s ivory throat and covers her face. She knows she misjudged me, or at a minimum, she did in this case. “Well, what are you waiting for, Seven? Take care of his feet—they’re dripping blood.”
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About the Authors
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes 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-four 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 emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As 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 big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.
Her books have won 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 is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory 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. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.
Raine O’Tierney loves writing about first loves and friendship. She believes the best thing we can do in this life is be kind to one another, and hopes her stories always reflect that. Raine loves encouraging people to write and has been known to repeat the phrase “I believe everyone has a story to tell” endlessly, until she breaks down even the most stubborn non-writer!
Raine lives outside of Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, fellow M/M author Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job.
Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!