Teen Fiction books

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Everything We Shut Our Eyes To

Everything We Shut Our Eyes To & The Thunder in His Head

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Crushing on your straight best friend will make any normally outgoing high school football player withdraw from his friends. Unrequited love can do that to you. But when Dwight Varley’s mom dies, he’s also left with a burden of guilt he finds difficult to shake. To make matters worse, Dwight must cope with his distant, grieving father, who spirals into depression.

Playing it straight helps Dwight save face temporarily, but living a lie tears his insides apart. Tell his dad…. Don't tell his dad…. Some choices seem too hard to make. Besides, what if coming out sends his dad over the edge?

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

Cassidy Ryan and Brynn Michaels attend the same high school, but they live in different worlds. Cassidy’s a popular cheerleader, and Brynn’s the social leper. One is all sunshine and rainbows, while the other could’ve been carved from an Edgar Allan Poe book.

Both girls have their problems, though. Cassidy is coming into her birthright—a long line of ancient magic Cassidy isn’t ready to have. Brynn is coming into her sexuality—something that will definitely cause problems with her very conservative family.

When a teacher assigns Cassidy and Brynn to work together on a project, the girls find themselves in a heap of trouble, because what they feel for each other can’t be denied. If they have any hope of changing ignorant and frightened minds, they’ll have to listen to their own hearts first.

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The Unlikely Hero

Verses of Vrelenden | Book One

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Verses of Vrelenden: Book One

Despite the suspicions Mother Dragon shared with Celestrian before her death, he may be the last surviving unicorn of Vrelenden—though most may simply think him some crazy person with a horn attached to his forehead. Nevertheless, Trian has nothing to hold on to but hope, and he’s about to hang that hope on an unlikely hero named Renwald Mallorian. Ren may have been born an accountant’s son, but he’s longed to be a professional hero for as long as he can remember, and he’s read every book on the subject he could get his hands on. When Trian arrives and hires him to find the last remaining unicorns, Ren jumps at the offer and their quest begins.

But the evil Father Denkham is intent on obtaining the last unicorn and sets a deadly assassin on their trail. If that isn’t bad enough, they’ll face a Vampire, Dragon, bandits, and zombies. Their only hope now is for Ren to prove he’s the hero he always dreamed of becoming—but no book in the world could have prepared him for what’s in store.

2nd Edition
First edition published by Top Shelf, an imprint of Torquere Press: September 2009

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Play Me, I'm Yours

2013 Award Winners

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Fairy Tate. Twinklefingers. Lucy Lu. Will the taunting ever end? Lucas Tate suffers ridicule because of his appearance and sensitive nature. When he’s not teased, he’s ignored, and now he doesn’t know which is worse. His one comfort in life is his music; he feels unloved by everyone. What he wants more than anything is to find a friend.

Much to his dismay, both his mom and a schoolmate are determined to find him a boyfriend, despite the fact Lucas hasn’t come out to them. His mom chooses a football player who redefines the term “heartthrob,” while Trish pushes him toward the only openly gay boy at Providence High. But Lucas is harboring a crush on another boy, one who writes such romantic poetry to his girlfriend that hearing it melts Lucas into a puddle of goo. All three prospects seem so far out of his league. Lucas is sure he doesn’t stand a chance with any of them—until sharing his gift for music brings him the courage to let people into his heart.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

In Ollas, anything that stirs the emotions is forbidden by the governors—especially music. So when Tallie Tarmelin, a farm boy from a lower-tier guild, is offered a scholarship for his talent in design, he keeps his head down and follows the rules. He's terrified of breaking one of his society’s many laws and ruining his future. But feeling lost and alone in an unfamiliar city takes its toll, and Tallie accepts sympathy from a guildless social outcast even though he knows it could destroy his reputation.

Despite the rules against casual touching and fraternizing in public, Jonis Sinter offers Tallie comfort instead of denouncing him for an excessive emotional display, and they fast become friends. Secret friends, though, because Worran, the respectable son of a governor, has asked Tallie to be his partner.

When Worran’s mother learns of Tallie’s association with an outcast, she dispatches the militia. Worran sends Tallie a warning, and Tallie flees the city and civilization with Jonis. Surviving the wilds will take every ounce of perseverance they can muster, and the rediscovery of music might be their only solace— unless they recognize the love that's growing between them.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

High school junior Wesley Harris is a stereotypical shy, soft-spoken nerd. He is obsessed with crafts and art and doesn’t even need to come out of the closet to become the target of antigay bullying. Though he has the support of close friends and liberal-minded mother, he finds it hard to believe in himself.

Brad Johnson, Wesley’s new neighbor, is Wesley’s age—and his complete opposite. A popular jock and hero of the school’s baseball team, Brad has an outgoing personality and a reputation as a ladies’ man. When he and Wesley are alone, away from their classmates’ scrutiny, they become friends despite their differences. But when Wesley confesses to wanting more than friendship, Brad walks away, unwilling to risk their romance being exposed.

Though devastated, Wesley resigns himself to accept that they were never meant to be. The next time he runs afoul of bullies, school counseling empowers him to report them. Encouraged by his new confidence, he decides to attend the school dance and face Brad….

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Clueless

Keeping Secrets | Book One

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Keeping Secrets: Book Two

Out jock Tommy Johnson and former bully Jason Strummer have settled into a surprisingly comfortable routine. They’re even planning a special camping trip for just the two of them for their one-month anniversary. Tommy doesn’t think things can get any better—until Jason’s past catches up to them.

Jason’s stepdad will stop at nothing to put Jason back in his place. As Jason spins out of control, Tommy tries desperately to hold the edges of their world together. But the pressure of dealing with Jason’s increasingly erratic behavior and keeping a growing number of secrets under wraps may prove too much for Tommy to handle.

Then Jason blows it and their comfy world falls apart. When he finally texts Tommy for help, they both learn some secrets aren’t worth keeping.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

Soon-to-be high school junior David Harper hates his family’s move to the country. There’s nothing to do, and he misses his friends in the city. But he doesn’t have a choice. His mother’s job is in Mason County now, so David and his mom are too, and he has to make the best of it.

At first, the only redeeming feature of David’s new home is the swimming hole across the field from his house. Then David meets Benjamin Killinger, and suddenly life stops being so dull.

Benjamin is Amish, and cooling off in the swimming hole is one of the few liberties he and his brothers enjoy. A friendship with an English boy is not—but that doesn’t stop him and David from getting to know each other, as long as it's on the neutral ground by the creek. After David risks his life to save Benjamin’s father, the boys’ friendship is tolerated, then accepted. But before long, Benjamin’s feelings for David grow beyond the platonic. Benjamin's family and the rest of the community will never allow a love like that, and a secret this big can’t stay secret forever….

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The Battle for Jericho

2013 Award Winners

A Harmony Ink Press Title

A battle is brewing in the conservative little town of Webster’s Glen. Gay activist Dylan Cussler stirs up the establishment when he moves in with his boyfriend and sues the state over its gay adoption ban. Sixteen-year-old Jericho Jiles and his best friend, Mac Travis, decide to do their bit to convince Dylan and his boyfriend to leave town. But when Dylan turns up before they can finish trashing his house, Jericho panics, leaving Dylan unconscious and wounded.

Drowning in guilt, Jericho returns to Dylan’s home to make amends. He is surprised when Dylan forgives him and opens his eyes to the world around him. Soon Jericho comes to a life-changing realization: he is attracted to boys as well as girls. That’s a problem, considering Jericho has a girlfriend and very strict, very religious parents. Accepting his sexuality means he must question not only his identity and his place in the world but his relationship with his girlfriend, his parents, and with God.

And so begins the battle for Jericho’s soul.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent.

Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.

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The 7th of London

Gadgets and Shadows | Book One

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Gadgets and Shadows: Book One

After his parents and family die, Seven escapes his factory job. By wits and will alone, he survives in a London divided into the affluent Fairside and the squalor of London’s industrial Blackside, where many struggle to eke their existence out of despair. But Seven has to fight for more than just food and shelter.

All over Blackside, a secret cabal of prominent citizens and the mysterious Mr. Kettlebent are snatching children. Rumor has it a wizard is controlling the queen, and the country’s most notorious villain is the only one who wants to stop him. Seven is determined to find out why.

Hired by the criminal Jack Midnight to steal the evil wizard’s spellbook, Seven soon discovers the mystery runs deeper than he suspected. But events spiral out of control, and it isn’t long before the intrigue sweeps Seven into its deadly current.

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King of Storms

Five Kingdoms

A Harmony Ink Press Title

A Five Kingdoms Novel

Longing to find others like himself, Zurkin sets out from his family's small farm and journeys to Mountain Home, a school for Contrary youth and the seat of the powerful Brotherhood of Contrary warriors. Along the way, he rescues a Feyborn Brother, Lord Tai, from a wicked Grimmord. But that isn’t the last Zurkin will see of the monstrous Grimmord race.

At Mountain Home, Zurkin trains under the masters, including the strong and handsome Brother Yenoh, who teaches him hand-to-hand combat—and the meaning of love. But while he trains, the Grimmords in the north prepare to invade. Only the Brotherhood stands in the way. If they cannot stop the Grimmords, the creatures will sweep through the Five Kingdoms, leaving destruction in their wake.

Zurkin discovers he is a sorcerer in the wild—an untrained mage with unimaginable power—and he struggles desperately to harness this strange gift. But with the dreaded Grimmord Emperor and his savage army advancing, Zurkin is running out of time. Worse, this strange gift may destroy the ones he loves, especially Brother Yenoh, the one he loves the most.

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Tears of a Dragon

Five Kingdoms

A Harmony Ink Press Title

A Five Kingdoms Novel

S. Mortimer Bookin is curious. It's what makes him such a good scholar. He's curious about the world around him, about his dead parents, about what it might be like to meet another Contrary man like himself. Then roguish and Contrary Kai warrior Prince Allender shows up on his doorstep, and Mortimer is entranced. The catch? Allender comes with baggage: a host of Contrary youths he wants to train in the ways of the Kai brotherhood... with Mortimer as their teacher.

Mortimer’s curiosity and growing fascination with Allender trump his love of routine, and he commits to a perilous journey to obtain the Kai Overlord’s blessing for the school. It’s a quest that will take him from home to the Zu-Kai Isle, on to the frozen north, and all the way to the mystical Dragon Isle. Mortimer and Allender grow closer with each mile, but when Allender is injured, it will fall to Mortimer to lead their ragtag brotherhood to procure the overlord’s price—the tears of a dragon.

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Noble Falling

The Halvarian Ruin Books

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Duchess Aleana Melora of Eniva, future queen of Halvaria, is resigned to the gilded cage of her life, facing a loveless marriage to Tallak, the prospective king, and struggling under the pressure to carry on the family name despite her wish to find a woman to love.

When her convoy is attacked on the journey to Tallak's palace, Aleana is saved by her guard, Ori, only to discover her people have turned against her and joined forces with the kingdom of Dakmor, Halvaria's greatest enemy. Her only hope is to reach Tallak, but she and Ori don’t make it far before another attack and an unlikely rescue by Kahira, a Dakmoran woman banished from her kingdom for reasons she is hesitant to share.

Though Kahira is marked as a criminal, Aleana’s heart makes itself known. Aleana is facing danger and betrayal at every turn, and she fears giving in to her desires will mean she will enter her marriage knowing exactly the kind of passion she will never have as the Halvarian Queen—if she survives long enough to be crowned.

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Eye of the Storm

Lords of Arcadia | Book Two

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Sequel to Distant Rumblings
Lords of Arcadia: Act Two

Kane Vess thought his life in rural Iowa was mind-numbingly boring. Then Hawk, a prince from another world, appeared and turned Kane’s life upside-down. At first Kane welcomed the adventure and the chance to be with Hawk—but then a shapeshifter named Puck kidnapped Hawk and dragged him back home.

Now Kane is caught up in another planet’s magical civil war, searching for the boy he loves in a place he knows nothing about. With the help of a gem elemental, an ice barbarian, and a clockwork woman, Kane has to find Hawk and stop Puck before he can destroy the nine realms.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

Teenage Olympic running hopeful Calvin Granger arrives in his new town angry about changing schools—again—and sad about leaving his boyfriend behind. Then he meets skittish cyclist Bill Moilet, and soon strange dreams and thoughts of Bill distract Calvin from his misery… until Calvin breaks his leg and his Olympic ambitions crumble.

Cal’s injury does have one upside: it brings him closer to Bill, who offers to help him out while he’s recovering. But whenever they start to get too close, Bill clams up or disappears. To add to Cal’s frustration, living with a full-leg cast proves to be a miserable experience.

When Bill finally begins to open up to Cal, the strange dreams become more vivid—dreams, Cal learns, that they share. Can the boys decipher what their subconscious minds are trying to tell them, or is history doomed to repeat itself?

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Heartless

Keeping Secrets | Book Two

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Keeping Secrets: Book One

For gay teens in the South, Erwin High School is as good as it gets. The prevailing liberalism means being gay doesn’t have to be the focus of your life—which frees up seventeen-year-old Jason Strummer to take on the role of bully. Jason understands his beauty and power and has a reputation to match his attitude. No one but his best friend suspects the cruelty Jason hides behind is a ruse to keep his hellish private life out of the public eye.

Jason has only loved one boy in his life, and that crush on Tommy Johnson ended so badly that they’re no longer on speaking terms. When an ex-lover threatens Jason and Tommy steps in to help, the heartless playboy can’t help but fall a little bit back in love with him—but Jason will have to choose between keeping Tommy or his secrets.

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The Thunder in His Head

Everything We Shut Our Eyes To & The Thunder in His Head

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Sequel to Everything We Shut Our Eyes To

Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school's basketball team. He’s a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life has become a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe’s serial cheating. Kyle’s parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him.

Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents’ lives. He likes Stephanie, his father's girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother's handsome boyfriend, Reece. As Kyle struggles with his fear and frustration, he grows angrier and more erratic.

Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn’t solve all Kyle’s problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle's harried life. But Dwight's life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight—and about his father.

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