Title: Redeeming Hope
Author: Shell Taylor
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Length: Novel – 206 Pages
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Blurb: Home for Hope: Book One
Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.
A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.
When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.
ELIJAH SMACKED the ball out of Kollin’s hands as they walked outside onto the basketball court. “Play to twelve, win by two?”
“How about we just play a game of HORSE?” Kollin asked. “Wouldn’t want you to strain something trying to keep up with me.”
“I like how you think you got jokes.”
Kollin shrugged his shoulder and offered a grin that quickly fell.
“You okay? Everything all right at school?” Elijah hadn’t spent a lot of time with Kollin, but he’d never seen the kid abandon a battle of wits so quickly.
“Yeah, just… you know. That guy.” Kollin shrugged again.
“He’s here now. I’m sure Adam will take good care of him.”
Kollin grabbed the ball back from Elijah, dribbled a few times, and took a shot. When the ball swished through the net, he flashed Elijah a smile and stepped aside. “I know… it’s just… I mean, sometimes I think it’s better to just keep it all quiet if being honest about who you are means you’ll be kicked out of your house. Right? Seems like it’d be harder to lose your parents and your house, your clothes… food on the regular, than it would to just pretend for a few more years.”
Elijah took a deep breath and dribbled the ball. He was in no way prepared to have this conversation. “I don’t know, man. I’m not sure there’s an Easy button here. I can tell you I admire the hell out of anyone who owns who they are regardless of the consequences. Doesn’t mean I look down on anyone who does what they have to do to stay safe or stay sane.”
“Yeah. I guess.”
Elijah took a shot, not really taking the time to aim, and missed.
“Look who’s got H,” Kollin singsonged.
“Yeah, yeah. Take your next shot.”
Kollin grabbed the ball and dribbled to the basket for an easy layup.
“You know, the scary part is… maybe he didn’t even come out. Maybe his parents just found out because he wasn’t careful enough. So, one day his life is pretty good, and the next he’s on the street, feeling grateful his parents let him stuff some shit in his book bag before they threw him out.” Kollin tossed the ball to Elijah and stared him right in the eye. “That’s what happened to this girl, just a couple weeks after I started coming here. ’Cept she was only sixteen. So Adam had to call the cops eventually, but she took off before they got here. She told me she’d rather be on the streets than go in the system if she couldn’t stay here. That’s when I started helping Kirsten pass out stuff about our fundraisers. If we’d already had that inn, she might’ve had another option.”
Elijah had no idea what to say or what kind of assurances the kid was looking for, and his natural instinct was to fix whatever problems he encountered. Adam Lancaster needed money to buy an inn. Elijah could write a check. If Langley Lumber lost a big client, Elijah showed up at their door, and nine times out of ten, the client came back. Telling a fifteen-year-old gay boy everything was going to be okay… not really in Elijah’s bag of tricks.
Shell Taylor is a full-time mother of three exuberant and loving kiddos and one fur baby, a tiny but fierce Yorkie-poo named Rocco. As a Christian who practices love, grace, and humility rather than hatred and judgement, she tries her best to instill these same virtues in her rowdy kids. She just recently learned how to crochet to start bombarding new mothers with matching hats and booties. She is a huge Marvel fan and because of the superhero-plastered tees paired with jeans and Chucks has been told when helping out in her son’s classroom that she looks more like the students than a parent. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to binge watch entire seasons on Netflix. Best of all, she’s been married ten years to a man who’s turned out to be everything she never knew she needed.
Winner’s Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card.
Runner-up’s Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card.