Paradise in Death: Book Three of the Take me to Church Series

Trigger warning: Self Harm

I’m actually very nervous for this cover reveal because the contents of this cover may be triggering to some people. I think it’s no secret at this point that the third book is very dark. I wanted a cover and title that reflected that darkness.

This was actually the first cover I came up with for the series. All the other covers are based off of elements from this one. I knew when it finally came to life, it would be a gamble because it could trigger some people, but I think a cover like this is incredibly important.

I have tested it with many individuals, including those who have this particular trigger. They all said the same thing: they had a visceral reaction to the cover but not really a negative one. In fact, one person even said that the more she looked at it, the more beautiful it became. Honestly, that’s what this series is about. Seeing the beauty in the broken. Scars are human. They aren’t supposed to make people uncomfortable, and it’s time to realize that.

The cover isn’t graphic. There is no blood, but it does show self harm scars, so viewer discretion is advised. If this something that could trigger you, please hit the back button (and you may not want to read the series if I’m honest).

I wanted to give a special thank you to my cover artists/designers Bibi and Daria. Bibi drew the cover exactly how I envisioned, and Daria made it come to life. They’re both so amazing, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the final one.

Paradise in Death: Book Three of the Take me to Church Series is available for pre-order now (the ebook).

Summary

Avoiding Hell is getting harder and harder for Luka Thomas. Because of one boy, he teeters somewhere between salvation and falling from grace. With the looming threat of his family disowning him, every day spent with Harlan is more risky than the last.

Harlan Sharp holds secrets close to his damaged heart, but Luka makes him forget all of the pain he’s endured. Facing his struggles with trust, he is finally ready to share his story with Luka. He just hopes the outcome isn’t at a cost.

After an emotional prom night spent with Harlan, Luka makes a confession that will change his life forever. The lies he’s woven suddenly rip apart, leaving him scared and vulnerable.

Will love be enough to keep him sane during his nightmare or will he turn his back on Harlan, praying for forgiveness and salvation?

Pre-Order Now!
Cover Photo by Bibi. Follow her Instagram: @moon_sun_thyme
Cover Design by Daria. Follow her Twitter: @ghostiemedicine

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Paradise in Death will be released on December 7th, 2021. Follow me on my social medias below for sneak peaks, give away and more.

Wilde & Twisted- Review

A month ago, I signed up to receive an ARC for Willow Erdem’s upcoming book, Wilde & Twisted which will be released 7/7/2021. It is an m/m romance novel about battling your demons, discovering your sexuality and falling in love. Erdem has a poetic way of writing. She has a way with metaphors, really drawing the reader into the scene. She writes third person, split POV and present tense, which is something we seem to.

Summary:

Silver-tongued lawyer, Linus Twist, has expensive tastes. The sharpest suits, the purest drugs, and the dirtiest sex; Linus wants it all in excess, especially the sex, and especially with the wrong types of men. So when he impetuously follows a foxy redhead into the gym shower and gets kissed like it means something, Linus knows he’s headed for certain disaster.

Finnigan Wilde is a dreamer, a wanna-be novelist, searching for himself. In love with the idea of love, Finn only knows what he feels. He woos Linus with lilacs, speaks to him in filthy poetry, and touches him like he doesn’t care who’s watching. But can Linus set aside his sinister tendencies, his ambition, and one vital fact: that, as far as the world is concerned, Finn is straight? 

Wilde & Twisted is a bisexual-awakening, opposites-attract novel, with a happily-ever-after.

Review: 

I must admit, when I first picked this book up, it took several chapters for it to really hook me. I am sincerely glad I stuck with it though because the story was worth it. At first, I didn’t like Linus (fucking) Twist at all. He was pompous, arrogant, and his actions didn’t really make sense to me. After I was finally  introduced to Finn Wilde, and his character really drew me in. 

Finn is an aspiring writer (relatable) who works as a trainer. He is a cupcake. That’s literally the one way he can be described. He is young and dumb, and doesn’t always make the best decisions, but who does? He is really sweet and patient. He deserves the world even though he pissed me off a few times. 

Linus is a divorce attorney that is very clearly good at his job. Even though I hated him at first, he grew on me. After I started understanding his past more, I found myself forgiving of his all around asshole-ness (yes that’s totally a word). He is caring in his own way and very protective over the people he loves even though he doesn’t always know how to show it. Without spoiling it, I was very proud of a decision he made near the end. It was much needed. 

This book has it all. Steam. Poetry. Fucked up, imperfectly perfect characters that you hate to love. My favorite kind of stories are about imperfect people. Real people have flaws. It’s important that they grow and own up to them in the story, which is exactly what happened. I appreciated the character growth. It was a Wilde (& Twisted) ride, but I would recommend it in the end.

Download the Book Today!

Born in Sickness- Trailer

The lovely, CJ Lopez, made a Trailer for Born in Sickness, Book One of the Take me to Church Series! I love it so much. I wanted to show it to you all then take a moment to talk about the inspiration behind and and the symbolism.

The Music

I wanted the music to be a bit slower to reflect the tone of the series rather than the book. I felt that upbeat music fit this book a bit, but not the series as a whole, so I wanted to go with a slower, more melancholy sound. I wanted it to show the seriousness of the series and set the foundation for what’s ahead. We went though several different sounds. CJ is a saint for putting up with me until we eventually decided on this one. I love the strums of the guitar then the singer coming in with the ‘oooos’. It kind of reminds me of choir music, which is exactly the sound I wanted to go for.

The Opening Scene

I wanted the first scene to reflect Luka’s character and to also show that the story is set in high school. I thought the players running out of a locker room would do just that. Luka plays football through a lot of this story, a football game even coming into play during the end. I thought this particular scene gave a lot of information about his character especially with the lines “they told him he was born sick” laid over the video. That’s the tag line for this book, and it really applies to both male character leads.

The Second Scene

Of course this trailer needed to show an old church. I mean… it’s pretty much a requirement at this point. I think that was one of the things I listed to CJ when she asked what I was looking for. Church is a huge part of this stories as well as the culture that is present in the south that surrounds these Christian communities. I love that it says “being gay is a sin according to his church” here because the church is in the background, and to me it really drives that point home. It’s huge theme of the whole series, believing in a god that you are told will damn you for who you love. The guilt that comes along with it.

The Third Scene

The storm represents the inner turbulence that both characters go through in the book. Luka struggles with his faith and what that means in relation to his attraction to Harlan. In turn, Harlan really struggles with trusting others, especially someone like Luka who reminds him of the very person that betrayed him. I do not shy way from mental health in this series, including in this book, and I think this scene really showcases the turbulence of both the book and the series. The tree in the scene represents growth, and how you need rain, including a storm, in order to grow, which both characters do throughout this book. All of this ties into the line “faith and sexuality will be tested”.

The Fourth Scene

This scene is powerful. A flower is growing among barbed wire with a cross in the background. It shows that even in the worst possible circumstances, with things around them that wants to destroy them, beauty can grow. Despite all of the difficulties of life, with the church watching them, they can still find a way to each other. The reality is that the barbed wire is sharp, and could very easily tear their fragile relationship a part, like a petal being ripped to shreds.

Buy the Book

If this trailer has intrigued you, please take a moment to purchase the book! It is available on many platforms, including Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Meet Harlan Sharp

Harlan Sharp has lived in a small, religious community his entire life, but that doesn’t mean he’s anything like them. He’s always known he was different, but quickly learned from a very young age that different is bad. Different is how people get hurt, that and trusting others. 

He wears dark clothes, paints his nails black, outlines his eyes in liner, and does everything he can to keep the other kids away. His only friend is Cadeon, and he plans to keep that way. He keeps his heart behind a wall and his secrets close to his chest. 

The other kids at school seem to think he’s a Satan Worshipper, but that’s far from the truth. Harlan stopped believing in God when a traumatic experience from his childhood left him scared and angry at the world. 

He is just trying to survive senior year so he can move out of his shitty town and finally get away from the memories that haunt him. It’s not like anyone would notice his absence. His own mother ignores his very existence and his father fucked off long ago. He goes to bed hungry and alone more often than not. 

More about Harlan: 

  • Brown, curly hair 
  • Green eyes 
  • Dimples 
  • Tall and lanky 
  • Slightly punk rock
  • Activities: Writing and Music 
  • Best friends with Cadeon

Learn more about Harlan, and how he begins to slowly let down his guard around others by pre-ordering your copy of Born in Sickness: Book one of the Take me to Church Series. 

Meet Luka Thomas

Luka Thomas is an 18 year-old-boy who moved to a new town right before his senior year of high school. He should be used to moving around. He has been doing it since he was seven years old. That was when his mom married his step-father, Matt, who is in the army. Since then, he has been uprooted every few months to a new area and new school. He just wants to get through his last year without moving again.

Luka has gone to church most of his life and believes everything in the Bible with his whole heart, so he should be somewhat excited about his move since it’s into the Bible Belt, USA. He’s not. Luka has a secret that he doesn’t want his family to find out.

He’s not gay. He’s just experimenting, that’s all. Luka knows his extra circular activities are wrong, and no he isn’t referring to football. He knows they are against God and everything he was taught to believe. He scratching an itch. After high school, and maybe even college, he fully plans to settle down with a woman and have 2.5 children and white picket fence.

More about Luka:

  • Brown Hair
  • Blue eyes
  • Freckles
  • High Cheekbones
  • About 5’8 with strong legs
  • Activities: Football, Bible Club, Baseball and Choir
  • Large family that he’s close to
  • Best Friends with Ezra

Learn more about Luka and how he starts accepting himself and questioning everything he knew to be true by pre-ordering Born in Sickness: Book One of the Take me to Church Series .