In the Pines

A Charlie Schiffer Mystery

When your high school crush is also your number one suspect, what’s a boy to do?

After the disappearance of Eastview High’s homecoming king, seventeen-year-old Charlie Schiffer must put his detective skills to work to help class heartthrob Dare Chalmers find his missing twin brother. From the gator-filled swamps of Paynes Prairie to the truck-stop strip club Café Risqué, there’s no situation too dicey for this amateur sleuth when he’s on the prowl for clues to this mystery.

Meanwhile, Dare is everything Charlie could want in a boyfriend—charismatic, handsome, polite—but as Charlie’s mother always says, the unlikeliest people can turn out to be criminals. When evidence surfaces revealing his suspects’ hidden motives, Charlie must dig deep to suss out who among them is innocent and who is guilty, even if it means betraying the man he cares for most.

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Hiroku

Hiroku Hayashi is just coming into his own when he meets Seth Barrett on the basketball courts in the suburbs of Austin. With his shredded jeans, tousled hair and risky behavior, Seth more than lives up to his bad boy reputation.

Seth sees in Hiroku something Hiroku doesn’t see in himself—potential. With a hero-like worship, Hiroku embarks on a complicated and intense relationship with the older teen, who not only fascinates Hiroku as a lover but persuades him to take their experimentation to extremes. Hiroku reasons that if it feels good, then it must be okay.

But as Seth’s demands increase, Hiroku must ask himself, at what point is the sacrifice too much?

Told in parallel timelines of then and now, seventeen-year-old Hiroku weaves a story about emotional manipulation, abuse and addiction while struggling to understand the core of their relationship, who is to blame, and his own compulsion to choose Seth over everything else.

When fear is the heart of love, does it make your feelings any less real?

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When Everything Is Blue

Sometimes the people we need most aren’t bonded by blood but by something deeper.

When they were kids, golden boy Chris Mitcham rescued dweeby Theo Wooten from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed romantic feelings for his best friend that “arise” at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and the stunted, tenuous relationship Theo has with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with several awkward firsts, a few haters, but also the tender comfort of an unexpected lover.

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The Bravest Thing

High school junior Berlin Webber is about to reap the fruits of his hard work and land a football scholarship—if he can keep his sexuality a secret from his best friend, Trent, and their homophobic coach. Then Hiroku Hayashi swerves into the high school parking lot on his tricked-out motorcycle like some sexy comic book villain, and Berlin knows he doesn’t stand a chance.

Hiroku is fleeing his sophisticated urban scene to recover from drug addiction and an abusive relationship when he arrives in Berlin’s small Texas ranch town. Initially sarcastic and aloof, Hiroku finds in Berlin a steady, supportive friend who soon becomes more. As Hiroku and Berlin’s romance blossoms, they take greater risks to be together. But when a horrific act of violence tears them apart, they both must look bigotry in the face.

While Berlin has always turned to his faith for strength, Hiroku dives into increasingly dangerous ways of coping, pushing them in opposite directions just when they need each other most. Two very different young men search for the bravery to be true to themselves, the courage to heal, and the strength to go on when things seem darkest. But is it enough to bring them back together?

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Andre In Flight

When up-and-coming Miami painter Martin Fonseca encounters youthful pretty boy Andre Bellamy washing dishes in the kitchen of La Candela, he swears he’s known him before, intimately. But Andre only arrived in Miami weeks ago, after running away from small-town Alabama and his abusive father. When Martin discovers Andre trading sexual favors for a place to stay, he offers him a room in his studio apartment. As roommates only.

What starts as a playful friendship turns into something more as Andre begins posing for Martin, whose true passion is painting fantastical portraits. Martin’s obsession with Andre grows until they are sharing more than just flirtatious conversation. But when an eccentric art collector buys one of Martin’s paintings, Martin’s past jealousies resurface and threaten to destroy what he and Andre have so lovingly built.

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One Pulse

An anthology to benefit the Pulse massacre victims and families

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Counting Backwards

Counting Backwards

Counting Backwards

Taylor Truwell is a sixteen-year-old girl from Florida with a troubled past, a neglectful mother, a seemingly callous father, and an urge to flee. When Taylor is caught with a stolen car, her reaction lands her in court for resisting arrest. Her father convinces the judge of an alternative to punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. And so Taylor arrives at Sunny Meadows.

Sunny Meadows is anything but the easy way out, and Taylor has to fight hard just to hold on to her sanity as she battles her parents, an intrusive therapist, and a group of particularly nasty fellow patients. But even as Taylor clings to her stubborn former self, she gradually relents to new friendships—and to unexpected romance. Sunny Meadows goes against everything Taylor stands for. But could it be the place that saves her?

In this striking debut, Laura Lascarso weaves together a powerful story of anger and self-destruction, hope and love, and the complicated way that it all comes together.

Published 2012 by Simon & Schuster

Racing Hearts

Racing Hearts

Racing Hearts

Eighteen-year-old Jesse Copeland learns of a local car race sponsored by his father’s nemesis, Shep Bradley, and the prize money might be enough to keep his family from losing their home—if he can win.

Brooke, Shep’s daughter, is also aiming to compete, with or without her father’s approval. She’ll do whatever it takes to persuade Jesse to make her car race ready. Both are driven, both are risk-takers, and soon it’s more than engines getting fired up. Jesse tells himself their relationship is strictly business, until it isn’t.

Can two star-crossed lovers overcome a family feud as old as Ford vs. Chevy, or will the competition become too explosive for these racing hearts?

Published 2015 by Leap Books

Beware the Little White Rabbit

Beware the Little White Rabbit

Beware the Little White Rabbit

Curiosity often leads to trouble…

Thirteen enthralling voices in young adult fiction lead you down the rabbit hole in this nod to the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s timeless character, ALICE. Mystery. Madness. Mayhem.

Each story in this collection will intrigue, bewitch, and enchant. From rich historicals, castle towers and deathly plagues, gritty urban explorations, intrepid reporters, would-be car thieves, watchmakers, wormholes, and secret workshops, to the last human in a world ruled by machines.

What wonders await, oh curious reader? The white rabbit knows the truth.

Published 2015 by Leap Books