Please welcome YA author PJ Sharon! She's here to talk about her contemporary YA/NA romance novel, Heaven is for Heroes. So, be sure and check out the blurb and excerpt below and her Story Behind the Story. Thanks for sharing PJ!
HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES
Seventeen year-old Jordie Dunn must face the loss of her brother when he’s killed in the war in Iraq. But Jordie doesn’t believe the military report that his best friend and fellow Marine, Alex Cooper, is at fault. In her quest to find the truth and help Alex, the guy she’s had a crush on since the ninth grade, Jordie discovers that the truth isn’t the only thing she wants.
A disgraced young Marine is faced with a tough recovery, a rekindled high school crush, and the girl determined to prove his innocence.
PJ Sharon on HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, the “Story Behind the Story”
HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES came about because I wanted to give voice to the generation of teens who are growing up in a time of war and dealing with the many losses associated with that issue. My father was a WWII vet, my sister was in the Navy, and I had two brothers in the military—one in the army, the other in the Marines—so I have a firsthand understanding of the deep roots of patriotism in a military family. One of my brothers committed suicide, and being Catholic, the question as to whether he would go to heaven haunted me for many years. Writing this book was my way of answering that question.
Heaven is for Heroes is a contemporary YA/NA romance that deals with the tragedies of war, overcoming loss, and the determination of one seventeen year old girl to find the truth. Filled with moments of poignant reality, hard lessons, and the angst and sexual tension of first love, the book combines family drama and the relationship between childhood sweethearts, Jordie Dunn and Alex Cooper. Because the focus of the story is the tenuous romance with the underlying plot of a family’s search for peace in time of war, HIFH will appeal to adult readers as well as older young adults. One reader said,
“With entertaining secondary characters and a challenging mother-daughter relationship, the story deals with real life issues with both unwavering comprehension and uplifting humor.”
And NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, Kristan Higgins had this to say:
“Filled with the complex emotions of grief, confusion and first love, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES is a rich, uplifting story that will touch a reader’s heart.”
Set in a fictitious Connecticut lake-town, the story has the feel of hometown USA and is relatable to anyone questioning the value of war and the cost to the families of lost and wounded soldiers. Although the main character, Jordie, is only seventeen, she has spent most of her teenage life studying martial arts and yoga, her Grandfather’s solution to keeping her from following in her brother’s destructive footsteps. When Alex Cooper, her brother’s best friend and the guy she’s been crushing on since the ninth grade, returns home wounded and determined to blame himself for her brother’s death, Jordie uses her experience and pushes the boundaries of convention in her attempt to help him recover.
Heaven Is For Heroes takes you through one family’s loss, and the recovery of a young Marine dealing with both the emotional and physical ravages of war. It’s the story of how the love and determination of one person can change a whole family, and how the truth they’ve been hiding from can set them all free.
I hope you enjoy this heartwarming Thanksgiving story.
The e-book is available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords
Print copies are available on demand at Amazon, CreateSpace, or B&N
Also available on audio at Amazon, Audible, or iTunes
As thanks to our Veteran’s, a portion of November’s sales of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Peace and blessings,
Excerpt from Heaven is for Heroes
As promised we ate fish for dinner. Three trout, two large-mouth bass and an old boot made up the day’s catch. The old boot was thrown back along with a dozen sun-fish, and both Brig and Alex were a deep shade of red-brown like native warriors. I was a lobster. Red stripes marked all of the areas I’d missed with the sun block, and I’d forgotten my face entirely. My cheeks and forehead felt hot and tight, my nose stiff.
“Are you sure you still want to go to the movies?” Alex looked on with sympathy as Mom spread after sun moisture lotion onto my skin. It smelled of mint and had some kind of numbing agent that tingled over the burned areas of my shoulders.
“Absolutely. I’m fine.” I rubbed the lotion on my nose and cheeks, and winced at the sting.
Alex looked doubtful. “We can do it another time.”
“No. This is great. I’m fine,” I repeated. I pushed Mom away, giving her an impatient glare. I was going to the movies if I had to bring a cooler full of ice to stick my face in. The only movie theatre in a thirty mile radius was an old Drive-In that had been open for decades. I couldn’t wait to be alone in the CR-V with Alex. Then we’d see if he was interested in me.
Another shiver ran through me. Great, now I had the chills to alternate with the flames of hell. The thought of Alex touching me suddenly didn’t sound so appealing. Crap.
“Take it with you,” Mom said, a mild look of satisfaction on her face as she handed me the lotion.
Award winning author PJ Sharon has several independently published, contemporary young adult novels, including Molly finalist, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, FAB Five finalist, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, Winner of the 2013 HOLT Medallion Award and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She is excitedly working on The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA Dystopian trilogy. WANING MOON, Book One, was runner up to SAVAGE CINDERELLA in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards and a finalist in the Colorado Excellence in Romance Fiction contest. Her books are available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. WESTERN DESERT, Book Two in the trilogy is now available at Amazon.
Writing romantic fiction since 2007, and following her destiny to write stories of hope for teens and beyond, PJ is a member of RWA, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA. Website, Facebook, Twitter