Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.
Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.
Gradually, Vedie and Mateo unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?
When he came to my table, he’d asked, “Yo, what you drinkin’, man?” I guess I must have looked at him cross-eyed because I didn’t recognize him as a regular worker at The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island. And I should know; I’ve eaten dinner here several nights a week for the past decade. He got right on my case. “What’s your friggin’ problem? I asked you real nice, seein’ as it’s my job and shit!” It was as if he’d read my mind when he sized up my expression, which made me shiver because nobody knows what I’m thinking, and I like it that way. “Just water,” I’d told him and then I stared out over the beach, craning my neck like I was watching for somebody even though there’s never been anybody for me to watch for.
He hadn’t liked being ignored, so he’d started to play the smart-ass, a part that he’s very good at. “Sorry, big dawg, the lady’s a no-show. You gonna have to fill your bed with somebody new tonight, looks like.” He actually waggled his eyebrows.
“Guess today’s not my lucky day, because I’m planning to sleep alone,” I told him and meant it.
“It can be your lucky day if you play your cards right, my man.” He let go of the tray with one hand, dropped his palm onto my shoulder, and squeezed. “You ain’t gotta be lonely tonight if you don’t—what the fuck, man!”
I’d already jumped to my feet and practically stomped on the guy. “Hands off, asshole.”
“I get it, big dawg, so chill.” The kid pulled back his hand and released a long sigh, like he knew he’d broken one of his own rules by grabbing me. “I’ll get my dumbass hand offa your badass shoulder, if you sit your ass back down on that chair.” And after another sigh, he said, “Not gonna push the issue, man. Just offerin’ you some company on a long, hot, lonely night.”
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero. There is, at minimum, one of these in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and Evernight Publishing for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories. A social liberal, Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.