Check out my latest novel, Healing Star.
eBook: Healing Star
Healing Star is a gay Red Badge of Courage.
Aric Hatch is a 16-year-old drummer for the British Army, and newly orphaned when we find him, in the middle of a battlefield during the bloodiest year of the American Revolution.
Aric’s running for his life amid canon fire, hiding, tending the friend who dies in his arms. He’s only a drummer boy, forbidden from fighting, trapped in enemy land.
He’s wandering among the dead, wondering what to do, when he encounters another boy. He seems to manifest of nothing.
The boy appears in a moment of calm, inexplicably naked, without a speck of dirt on him, uninjured. He doesn’t speak. Doesn’t claim a side. He smiles, and shows affection. He displays a curiosity about his surroundings like somebody who’s never seen this world: the insects, the wind, the stars.
Is he a boy?
Aric gives a name to the entity out of nowhere: Orion.
Orion trusts Aric entirely. He becomes Aric’s only family in the world.
The two of them, alone together, embark on a dangerous adventure toward the safety of base camp: dodging the enemy, suffering the elements—and growing closer as they huddle together against the cold, night after night.
Aric teaches Orion more and more about the world. About nature and family and war. Love. Enough love to share with Ak’tadia, the young woman who’s become chief of a local Native American tribe. Aric, Orion, and Ak’tadia form an solid triangle despite their inherent differences.
Aric wears clearly the traumas of war as he and Orion walk together. But it isn’t long before this trauma becomes the catalyst for finally confronting another, deeper, more personal horror. Something to do with his past. The family friend who earned Aric’s trust before luring him into the family’s shed.
A trauma just as visceral as what he’s experienced in war, but harder to face.
Healing Star is a coming-of-age story about the gateways we can find in our traumas if only we can muster the courage (and the company) to face them.
With heavily-researched storylines exploring Native American customs and oppression during the Revolutionary War, and an empowered LGBT subtext, Healing Star is an inclusive, searching, life-affirming novel targeting wounded, reserved, questioning young readers.
Those who struggle themselves to say the things that can’t be spoken.