It’s not going to be an easy read, but it will be worth the heartache.
Love Me, Please by Chris Bedell released Tuesday in the YA LGBTQ Thriller genre.
Colton should be like every other seventeen-year-old, hanging out with friends, procrastinating on homework, and dreaming about which colleges he should apply to, but Colton’s focus when he gets home every day is on how violent his alcoholic mother will be. Will he be her ashtray again or worse?
Tripp has the perfect life – handsome, from a wealthy family, and is the football player everyone wants to date. Tripp just wants to date one person – Colton, but he can’t seem to break through that tough exterior and get Colton to trust him.
A friend’s party opens the door for both to potentially get what they want, but it’s that same party ends with Colton’s best friend dead. Caught between wanting to finally find happiness with Tripp and discovering what happened to Declan, Colton discovers that he isn’t the only one who’s kept secrets. How well did he really know Declan and can he trust Tripp enough to let himself believe he’s worthy of being loved?
The door creaked. A guy with spiked hair stood by the bedroom’s entrance.
“Sorry. Thought this was the bathroom.” Tripp tugged at the sides of his varsity jacket.
“No worries,” I mumbled.
Tripp furrowed an eyebrow. “Everything okay?”
“I’m fine.” I grabbed my Margarita, then chugged the rest of it. The tequila’s distinct taste burned my throat while I licked my lips, savoring the sweet and lime flavors. I squashed my cup, letting it fall onto the ground.
Tripp’s jaw twitched. “You don’t seem fine.”
“The bathroom is down the hall.” I shuffled towards the bed before sitting on it.
The door clinked after Tripp locked it. He joined me on the bed.
Tripp chuckled. “Something happen?”
I looked away. “It’s a long story.”
“I’m a good listener.”
Tripp placed his hands on his lap. “We lost the football game, and I’m still in a good mood. So, I’m sure your problem can’t be that bad.”
Most people might have been pissed at Tripp for making an assumption if they were me. But I wasn’t. Tripp was taking an interest in my life, and that was more than could be said for most people.
Tripp met my gaze. “I promise I won’t judge.”
“I believe you.”
“This is the most we’ve ever talked.”
“I just meant you never speak up in class.”
“I don’t have anything important to say,” I said.
He winked. “You’re wrong.”
“The quiet ones are the most insightful people.” He patted my shoulder.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Paranormal Romance DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA), and YA Thriller COUSIN DEAREST (BLKDOG Publishing). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, his 2020 books include his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA), YA Thriller THE FABULIST (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (BLKDOG Publishing), and YA SciFi DYING BEFORE LIVING (Deep Hearts YA). Besides his YA Thriller LOVE HIM/HATE HIM, Chris’s 2021 books include his YA Fantasy CROSSING DESIRES (Spectrum Books) and rerelease of his YA Fantasy IN THE NAME OF MAGIC from JMS Books. Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.
What was the hardest part of writing the story?
The hardest thing about writing my YA Contemporary novel LOVE ME, PLEASE was the gritty violence and creating nuance.
Gritty violence exists from the start of the book. Colton’s mother is drunk when she calls Colton (who is at a part). While Colton and his mother don’t share a scene in Chapter 1, their toxic and verbal exchange (on the mother’s party) sets the stage for what’s soon to come. Colton’s mother is a physically abusive drunk. But I couldn’t just summarize the abuse. Showing the abuse in concrete detail was important for having readers empathize with Colton. Like even if readers don’t agree with Colton because of distant/harsh personality, they know he’s a person with a very serious problem. And as a result of the gritty violence, the novel pushes the boundaries for a YA book. But in order to deal with writing the gritty violence, I promised myself Colton would have a happy ending. This wouldn’t be one of these books where a troubled LGBTQ teen (who comes from a bad home life) is doomed to be unhappy…or worse dies. Readers also see gritty violence with how the death of Colton’s best friend (Declan Price) kicks off the book’s murder mystery: Who Killed Declan Price? While readers don’t see the actual death scene, an emotional violence still exists. Declan had his whole life ahead of him, only to be killed at the start of his senior year of high school.
Nuance was another tricky thing with writing the book, and Colton is how that issue is expressed. Some people might think Colton and Tripp’s relationship is toxic because they have a physical scuffle when Tripp approaches Colton at school several days after their first hookup. But the reality is, life isn’t all black and white. Tripp and Colton having one scuffle does not equal an abusive relationship. People might not realize it, but damaged/emotionally wounded people deserve to be loved. The idea that only “perfect” people deserve love is toxic. That brings up the issue of playing judge, jury, and executioner with who does and doesn’t deserve love or a second chance. And LGBTQ relationships deserve the same messiness that straight relationships are allowed in pop culture. Too often only “vanilla” (nice) LGBTQ relationships exist in pop culture. But on a bigger note, teens/people need to realize they can overcome their trauma and their past doesn’t have to define them, as readers see with Colton.
Author’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Bedell/e/B086JMTWRY/
This post is part of a tour. The tour dates can be found here:
- a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC