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YA gay romance: The boy who fell to earth

This is the post excerpt.

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Jay Palmer is two months away from his sixteenth birthday. He doesn’t realise how his life will be changed forever when a gang of thugs leaves a badly injured boy on his doorstep. The biracial boy and his white single mum Maggie nurse the stranger. He is sixteen-year-old Aleksander Zukowski or Sasha who has run away from care two and half years ago. Sasha sleeps rough, is addicted to drugs and sells himself on the streets of London to fund his habit. For the first time in his life, he has a reason to change.

Sasha confirms what Jay knows about himself but it doesn’t make it easy for him to come out to his macho mates in a largely black neighbourhood. Sasha already has an uphill struggle to stay clean when his past threatens to throw him back into the abyss. Are the two boys strong enough to stay together against all odds?

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713795

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16509569.A_Zukowski

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aleksander.zukowski.353

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The first chapters will be serialised here as weekly posts. Please like or drop me a line if you have any comment or want to know more. A.

A tragedy

I thought about someone I knew today. Her name was Georgina Ellis and she used to be my neighbour in Manchester. Now, G was the daughter of Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to hang in England, for a ‘crime of passion’. I remember Georgina died quite young. I looked her up, and yes, she was only 50. At least she died of a natural cause. Her half-brother, who also had a terrible upbringing, killed himself when he was only 37 after damaging his mum’s grave.
I was young. I didn’t exactly talk to my neighbour much, and she was busy running a massage parlour! All I can say is: what a tragedy. 

Liam For Hire

Eighteen months after Sasha left me.

In my dingy bedsit room, I get ready to go to my appointment. It’s going to be someone new. I consider my skinny jeans and tight shirt in the mirror. I often wonder what the johns see when they meet me the first time. I’m not what you call a stunner but good looking enough. I have dark hair, pale skin and thin lips; a few freckles make me appear a little younger than my age. It costs to keep my hair under some control but I have to do it for the sake of my job. My Old Spice deo. Shit, where is it? Found. I give myself a once over before heading out to face the world.

Forthcoming, featuring Liam from The Boy Who Fell to Earth

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Sinfully MM Book Review

I know I say this a lot but it’s difficult to know what to say about this book. I genuinely loved it to bits. The story is enthralling and very real. Although grim in places, it always holds out hope which is realized in the end (I don’t think I’m giving anything away in saying that).

Given Jay was brought up on an estate in the east end of London, I had a lot of difficulty accepting how naïve he is. However, he’s very engaging and I was totally rooting for him. He’s a genuinely nice person doing the best he can with what he has. Sasha, on the other hand, can hardly be called naïve. He’s a deliciously complex character who at times seems irredeemable; but despite everything thrown at him he manages to find an inner strength that brings him through, even though he’s being dragged by the foot over fire to get there.

It’s difficult to read about the things Sasha goes through, but I think it’s a realistic picture of a young drug addict living on the streets- what they will go through to get drugs and how hard it is to get away from them. The author paints a fantastic picture of London’s seedy underworld and although it’s a picture that’s uncomfortable to look at, it certainly makes the reader think a little more carefully about things we might usually paint over.

The book is also full of a diverse cast of brightly drawn supporting characters. I’m particularly fond of Jay’s mother, Eric and Big Al, although there are plenty more.

I do still have issues with editing. The spelling and punctuation is fairly good (although I wouldn’t take my word on the punctuation because I’m shaky myself), and although the writing is immature in places it’s strong enough to carry the story. However, it’s peppered with frustrating little errors like “changed tact” instead of “changed tack”, and places where the tense bounces back and forth between past and present.

There’s no doubt that an author, editor, etc. who reads this book will be frustrated in places, but I hope they will get over that to truly appreciate the gem in the rough. Readers who don’t care about technical perfection, and young people generally, I would think, won’t have a problem and will be enthralled by the book. Even those who might struggle with the way it’s written have to be caught up by the story and drawn in by these amazing characters.

You might think, given what I’ve said, that 4 stars is a little too generous. Trust me, it’s not. The story more than carries its imperfections and as frustrating as it can be it has a force that keeps you on the edge of the seat and a grittiness that opens your eyes and makes you think. This is definitely a book worth reading and one I will undoubtedly read again.

-Cheryl

Sinfully