New Release: 3 Stars for The Covenant (Covenant Series #1) by M. LeAnne Phoenix (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #NewAdult @MLPhoenix

CoverThe Covenant E-Book Cover with logo

Title: The Covenant (Covenant Series #1)
Author Name & Publisher: M. LeAnne Phoenix (CoolDudes Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2016 – 280 pgs

Synopsis

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

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Review

ThreeStar

This book is a guilty pleasure. I don’t know that it’s particularly written well (so! many! exclamation! points! on every! page!) but I could not put it down. Jonathan and David, the YA heroes, go through trials and tribulations of the most dramatic kind. Angst. Tears. Clinging. There’s gay bashing and parental abuse and families and friends that just don’t understand.
The story mainly takes place in 1993 and has that 90s ‘pre-gay’ vibe to it (Ellen only came out in 1997, after all). There’s also a Biblical aspect that works surprisingly well. I am a sucker for gay Christian fiction and am definitely glad to see more. The sexual relationship between David and Jonathan is handled well in an acknowledging, owning, and yet tastefully PG-13 way.
The story seems comprehensive so I’m not sure where the author will take it in the upcoming sequels. So if you get sucked in, there’s more where this came from!
C.E. Case

Excerpt

David opened his locker to get out his Biology, History, and Music History books and shoved them into his backpack, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat. Jonathan’s comforting hand lit on David’s side as he came to lean on the locker to the right of David’s own, holding up in one paint-besmeared hand, a small piece of black cardboard. On it, David saw symbols, ones he thought might be Greek. Remembering the foreign exchange student from Thessaloniki shared Jonathan’s sixth period art class, he smiled and turned to his boyfriend as he took the proffered gift.

“What does it say?” David couldn’t help but smile at the joy lighting Jonathan’s eyes. “This has to be something that Kallias helped you make—”

“You aren’t wrong,” Jonathan interjected. “That is Greek writing and Kallias even taught me how to say it.”

“Enlighten me, please!” David rasped, focusing wholly on Jonathan’s gift. “Say it and then tell me what it means.”

“If I say it right, it’s agape menomou—”

David furrowed his brow, repeating, “A guppy man oh moo?”

Jonathan slid down the locker in a giggle. “Noooo! I must have said it wrong because your face… oh my gosh, your face!”

Blushing and biting his lower lip, David sank down to his haunches in front of Jonathan. “Then say it again, slower, and tell me what it means!”

Jonathan looked around, and seeing no-one in their locker bank, leaned up to whisper the Greek in his ear, the sounds slower… thicker. “Agape menomou means O love of my heart.

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AuthorInterview

1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I usually write one of two places, at home or at Starbucks. Always with music in my ears; I cannot write with silence. Sometimes—and it’s always a bad idea—I try to write with television on in the background (Doctor Who or Supernatural). Usually, I use my iPod with sooooo many different playlists (two to three per story). My writing area in my bedroom is a corner, wallpapered with posters and pictures and reviews… and my pride flag.

2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

I’m a little bit of David and a little bit of Jonathan… because Covenant is semi-autobiographical.

3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Likely, if I couldn’t be an author, I’d be in an asylum.

4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

That we’d moved on from two spaces to one, and that alright was not a real word.

5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

I’m actually pretty happy with it!

6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

I’m working on my new story now. I follow the snowflake method when I plan. Sometimes, I’m a pantser, sooooo… new ideas are more like, “Well, if I did this then this would happen, and then this, and this… and this… and that would NEVER happen!!!”

7) What’s next for you as a writer?

Working on book two of the series now!

8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, because my best friend, Nik, helped move me out here, where I developed the strength and the courage to do something with my writing. It is also where I discovered the genre I write in.

9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Manga/graphic novels. I discovered graphic novels when I was nineteen—The Crow by James O’Barr remains one of my very favorite stories—but I discovered manga less than five years ago. Within manga, I discovered a sub-genre called yaoi—gay male romance—and I was lost! I like being lost!

10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

I’m a coffee-holic.

AuthorBio

LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970’s, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980’s and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990’s. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.

An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn’t she earned it?

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