MaryBeth Mulhall is one of my dearest friends, and she has struck a deal with Dreamspinner Press to publish her novel, Heavyweight. I read one of the early drafts, and it’s a good book, folks. I’m really proud for her. MB has self-pubbed a couple of books before this, but this is her first novel through a commercial publisher–it’s a breakthrough that many writers want, but never achieve. The novel will be released Jan. 23, 2014.
Here’s the cover, and let’s not forget the jacket copy:
Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with his hands all over members of the same sex, pinning their sweaty, hard bodies to the wrestling mat.
When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class.
Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore.
As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, de-friended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.
The novel is a fascinating look at the fears that LGBTQ athletes have “coming out”–especially in their teen years. They worry (and probably rightly so) about how people around them would react to their sexual orientation. And sometimes they deal with that worry in unhealthy ways. Heavyweight is a gripping, challenging read. It’s listed as young adult fiction, but I’d say it’s fit for adults as well–especially adults who want to understand the challenging times LGBTQ teens face.
One last thing: I’m so proud of my friend MB. She’s one of those writers who really pursues the craft of writing with such passion that it makes me jealous. I wish I had half of her drive. If I had, I’d have probably written and published ten books by now. Take a look at her book. It’s worth a read. Or two.
Print and ebook copies can be pre-ordered at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com