Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Shell Taylor for stopping by today.
Title: Redeeming Hope
Author: Shell Taylor
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
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.
We are here today to talk about Redeeming Hope. What can you tell us about it?
I think Redeeming Hope is an example of how opposites attract and how perfectly they can mesh together. After losing his teenage love, the one he thought he’d be with forever, Elijah crawls into his closet and closes off his heart until he meets the founder of a local LGBT center, Adam Lancaster. Almost against his will, Elijah becomes heavily involved at the center and subsequently, heavily involved with Adam. The two argue more often than not, but their shared goal of creating a safe house for homeless LGBT youth forces them to continue working together. It’s not until tragedy strikes one of the youth of the center that Adam and Elijah are able to put their differences aside and explore what more lingers between them.
Tell us more about our main characters?
Adam is the founder of an LGBT youth center, The Center for HOPE. He was in the foster system as a child and although he ended up with a wonderful family, he had some rough experiences that really shaped his passion for helping LGBT youth.
Elijah is smart, sophisticated, and has had everything in life handed to him on a silver platter. Despite their extremely different backgrounds, neither has been immune to a painful past, and that fact makes them clash heads almost as much as it brings them together.
What about Redeeming Hope makes you the proudest?
I’ve gotten some early feedback from the book so far, and I’m incredibly proud that so many people are really connecting with the MCs. I spent a ton of time on this story, more than I have on anything else I’ve written, and to see so many readers are feeling drawn into Adam’s and Elijah’s story to the point where they feel as if they’re with them is incredible.
What one story made you lose sleep as a kid?
The Wizard of Oz because it scared me (flying monkeys are terrifying!), and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe because I couldn’t put it down (although there were a TON of books I couldn’t put down!).
Is there a common flaw or mistake that you see new writers in the genre making?
I think the best thing new writers can do is to find a diverse beta team who isn’t afraid to tell you when your writing sucks (in a nice way of course). And then you must take their criticism to heart—even if you don’t agree, their opinion is valid and it’s likely other readers will feel the same. And make sure one of your team is a grammar expert. Nothing turns me off of a book faster than seeing the same grammar/punctuation mistakes made over and over.
If you had to be a cat, dog, or a rat, which would you choose and why?
I’d be a cat because they get to sleep all day. And somehow even when they’re being jerks, they look cute.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I’m actually rereading the Harry Potter series right now with some friends! It’s been a while and after I read some Buzzfeed article on the series, I knew I needed to read it again. Three of my favorite authors have come out with books recently though so they’re up next. In no particular order: Edmond Manning’s King John, Shira Anthony’s Running with the Wind, and Lane Hayes Better than Safe.
Rapid Fire Time
- Hawaii or Colorado? Colorado (but only b/c of friends who live there!)
- Dragon or Unicorn? Unicorn!
- Summer or Winter? Winter
- Winter or Summer Olympics? Winter
- Comedy or Horror? Comedy
- Kirk or Picard? KIRK!!!!!
- Whips or Chains? Chains
- Train or Plane? Plane
- Pasta or potatoes? Pasta
- Love or Lust? Love
What are you working on? What is next?
I’m working on the third book of Home for Hope. I haven’t settled on a name yet, but it tells Kollin’s and Riley’s story so it’s set four years after the end of the second book. I really love this book so far, and just as with Adam’s and Elijah’s story, I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can do their story justice. Riley is FTM trans and in the middle of his long transition process. As he’s going through this process, he and Kollin realize there may be something more than just friendship between them and they muddle their way through making that work or not work.
Eli clutched the glossy eight-by-ten as tears welled in his eyes. He could hardly believe the emaciated, washed-out figure in the picture was the same person he’d centered his entire world around just a few weeks earlier. Eli would recognize that face anywhere. God knows, he’d spent enough time staring at it—running his fingers over those soft lips, sucking on the kidney-shaped birthmark just below the ear. He never imagined he’d see those eyes so lifeless.
“It’s him,” Eli whispered, dropping the picture on the officer’s desk.
His mother rested a hand on his shoulder. “E.J.—”
“Don’t pretend to care, now that he’s dead.” Eli shrugged out of her grasp and clenched his jaw to hold in the gut-wrenching sobs brewing in his chest. “Will I need to identify the body in person too?”
The officer avoided Eli’s eyes, but his voice was kind. “If you’re certain, this is good enough for us. He’ll be released in the next thirty-six hours. Will you be claiming him, or will the city keep him?”
Eli’s eyes widened, and panic ripped through his heart. He’d never expected the search to end with a dead body, and there was no way he’d be able to give his boyfriend the funeral he deserved—the one Eli owed him for his own part in Brian’s death. Prepared to beg, he turned and met his father’s eyes for the first time since Brian disappeared from their house almost three weeks earlier.
“We’ll take care of his arrangements.” Eli’s mother spoke quietly but firmly, and his father dipped his chin in silent agreement.
Relief carried Eli back to his parents’ car, but grief consumed him as soon as he slid into the back seat. Burying his head in his knees, he shut out the rest of the world. Eli didn’t leave the quiet safety of the car until long after he arrived home, his cheeks crusted with salty tears from mourning the loss of the future he’d been so sure of.
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About the Author
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.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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