Halley’s Comet: A Covenant Short

Promo with Quote SMALL

(Takes place during the months of October to December 1992)

 

“APPROACH”

I Corinthians 13:4-8

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

 

Jonathan hugged his arms, still feeling David’s shaking body in his arms. His tongue passed over his lower lip as his dad pulled the truck into the garage. Cody hadn’t said a word since they’d turned onto their street, but his little hand had found Jonathan’s and held tightly to it. Jonathan knew it meant he didn’t merely feel discomfited, but terrified.

What if coming out results in exactly what he thinks will happen?

Bill looked up into the rearview mirror as he put the big vehicle in park, and Jonathan met his gaze as the older man asked, “How long have you known?”

Jonathan sighed, glancing over at Cody as his grip tightened on his older brother’s hand.

“Don’t heave and sigh at me, young man. You will answer my question and you will answer it now!” Bill clipped. “Jonathan—”

“I’ve known since forever, Dad.” He took a deep breath. “I don’t know why it’s such a big deal who loves who. I thought love was the point—”

“Jonathan—”

“I thought being loved was—”

Bill turned to face him. “That’s enough!”

Jonathan surged forward, shaking his head. “But it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with David, Dad. Just like there’s nothing wrong with me.”

Bill Shea’s eyebrows almost hit his hairline as he stared hard at Jonathan. “I don’t follow?”

“Yes, you do, Dad.” He reached for the door handle, but a large hand covered his own, barring his exit, his father’s voice low as he growled, “Explain yourself, young man.”

You didn’t come out, Jonathan. Just me. You didn’t say—

“Of course I knew, Dad,” Jonathan managed, his throat dry. He shoved a hand through his hair as he lifted a defiant gaze to his father’s matching one. “Of course I knew. David’s my boyfriend and I love him.”

 

Jonathan sat in his room, his back to the door, still in his Sunday best. His eyes were closed as he relived the weekend prior to service that morning. His lips remembered the countless kisses shared with David. His arms recalled the strength of each embrace. Curling around him in the night, face pressed to long hair as warm and golden as sunlight—

God… God, what happens now?

His elbows met his knees as he buried his face in his hands. What if they do tell me I can’t see you anymore? Jonathan’s stomach clenched at the mere thought of not being able to see David. He ran his hands harshly over his face and hair, whispering, “We’ll get through this, you and me, babe. We’ll get through this and I’ll have you back in my arms in no time.”

“You tryin’ to give your dad a heart attack?”

Jonathan whirled around, finding his mother coming around the end of the bed to sit next to him, sliding her hand over his. He swallowed thickly, unprepared for the tears falling from his eyes and he turned his face away, lifting a shaking hand to his cheek to wipe away the wetness. “Hadn’t actually considered it, no. What do—what do you mean?”

Her soft fingers stroked the back of his hand as she laughed; the sound was comforting. “I think I always assumed that your closeness with David would just translate into a friendship that lasted a lifetime. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that it’d turn romantic. It didn’t surprise me. I meant what I said to David at the church when I told him I should have known.”

I don’t know if the tears are more for fear or for the fear that I’ll never get to see you again—but I promised you. I promised you! I won’t let them take us apart!

Jonathan looked at her, sniffling. “What do you think of me? Of me loving him? Of me loving David so much that the idea I’d live a life without him makes me not able to breathe, Mama? What do you think of that?”

“I think it sounds like you’re in love… like you’ve always been in love.” Abby Shea slid her hands over his cheeks, her thumbs drying the skin under his eyes, her own eyes shining with tears brought on by his pain. “Baby boy, you are my son, and nothing will ever take that from us. You are a beautiful young man, and you’re smart, and you’re fierce, and you’re honorable, and you love the Lord. Whatever you do, it all reflects on the One who loves us most. I don’t think that He’s ever been disappointed in you, not once.”

“But what Pastor—”

Abby took one hand from Jonathan’s cheek, placing a finger to his lips as she shook her head, her dark eyes sparkling with anger, her voice hard as steel. “Oh, Pastor Beals and I will have a conversation about what he did today, that’s for certain, but I want you to hear one thing, and Jonathan Abraham Shea, you will listen to your mother.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He took a deep breath.

“You will not just hear this with your ears, you will listen to it, and you will keep it in your heart, my beautiful boy. Am I perfectly, crystally clear?” Abby searched his eyes, and Jonathan understood then, with her utterance of a word he’d put into usage when a seven-year-old David mispronounced it. Not so long ago… but it seems forever ago we were that small.

“Crystally,” he echoed, swallowing a second time.

“You. Did. Nothing. Wrong.”

Jonathan started at her words. “But—”

“He might be a pastor, baby, but I read my Bible, too. I’ve read it cover to cover, and one thing that I know is this: Jesus’ words are the ones we follow. The message of hate in Leviticus is Old Testament. Old Testament isn’t supposed to be taught, baby; it’s like taking history and for me, it’s great poetry from David and Solomon, and it’s wonderful to read tales to children.” She smiled tenderly. “How many times did I read you Daniel and the Lions’ Den? And Esther and Boaz? And Shadrach—”

“Meshach and Abednego?” Jonathan finished. “Too many times to count… and don’t forget David and Goliath.”

“Quite pertinent to our conversation now.” Abby smoothed his hair. “Because what’s coming is going to be a Goliath. How you both choose to handle it will be a win or a lose for Team David.”

“How we handle it?” Jonathan echoed, furrowing his brow. “How are we supposed to handle it?”

“By knowing this: Jesus never spoke against homosexuality. His words were simple. His words, baby boy, endorsed love. Remember John 14:21?” Abby smiled at him, knowing Jonathan still had that particular verse committed to memory after helping a then twelve-year-old David memorize it for Bible School.

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them,” Jonathan quoted, his voice steadying a bit.

“And John 16:26-27? Do you remember that reference?” Abby asked him. When he shook his head in answer, she quoted the Word to him. “Jesus said in verse twenty-six, In that day, you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. Now verse twenty-seven is important, beautiful boy, so listen and hold it to your heart. Jesus said, No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and believed that I came from God. God loves you because you love Jesus and believe in Him. God loves you because you love His son and believe He came from God.”

“Abby?”

They both looked up to see Bill filling the doorway. Behind him, further down the hallway, stood one of the deacons from church. His mother stood up, shoulders thrown back, keeping herself between Bill and Jonathan.

“May I talk to Jonathan?” Bill asked, and Abby looked over her shoulder, arching an eyebrow in silent question.

“Yeah… it’s okay, Mama.” Jonathan sniffled, reaching up to hug Abby when she bent down to wrap him up.

“You are perfect and exactly who you were made to be. Remember that.” She pressed a kiss to his hair. “I love you.”

Jonathan shut his eyes tight as he held close to her. “Love you, too, Mama.”

A moment later, as he watched her leave, his father stepped into the room and closed the door. Jonathan turned, tugging one knee to his chest as Bill moved over to sit down across from him. Facing him, he pushed Jonathan’s leg down. “We are not at war, son. You need not take a defensive stance.”

Jonathan nodded, bowing his head. “But you’re angry at me. You’re angry at what I said.”

Bill took a deep breath. “Son, I’m not angry. I’m worried and I’m a bit sad.”

What? Why? This cannot be good.

“I don’t understand. You’re not angry, but you’re sad? For what?” Jonathan wanted to pull both his knees up against his chest, because he was certain his heart was about to take another beating.

“As I am responsible for this family, both in this world and in Heaven, it saddens me that you would rip yourself from us. You are my son, and you are my heir, and to be parted from you would hurt my heart.” Bill’s chin quivered for a moment. “You need to think about this decision you have made very carefully, Jonathan—”

“It’s not a decision! I didn’t decide to fall in love with him, Dad!” Jonathan’s eyes widened. “I didn’t decide to need him to breathe! I didn’t decide—

“You decided to act on feelings that aren’t real! Jonathan, you’re seventeen! How could you possibly know—no, there’s no way you could—”

“Dad, with all due respect afforded you for your position, I’ve heard the stories you and Mama tell about your relationship, about how you were working three jobs to get up enough money to buy a small house for her, so that you could get her out of her parents’ house. You were nineteen and she was seventeen. You were married when you were still nineteen and the day after she turned eighteen. I was born not even two years later and you were still working three jobs to keep things easy for her and me. Mama’s always told us that you were also going to school so that you could get down to just the one job.” He shot to his feet. “How is that different from me and David? How? Two years from now, I’ll still be in love with him and he’ll still be in love with me! I’m gonna marry him—”

“That’s ridiculous. Men don’t marry other men, Jonathan.” Bill’s eyes glittered. “What you’re feeling—”

“Are you seriously about to tell me that what I feel isn’t love?” Jonathan laughed, but no mirth lived in the sound. Tears slid down his face. “What I’m feeling right now, Dad, is terror that love is going to—how did you put it? Oh, yeah! That’s right!” Another mirthless laugh ended in a half-sob. “I’m terrified that because I’m in love with my best friend, a person who just so happens to also possess a penis and not a vagina as genitalia, that my father will rip me from his side or worse—” Jonathan hugged his arms, meeting Bill’s eyes. “He’ll tell me that he forbids me to ever see him again.”

Bill stood up, shoving his hands into his trouser pockets. “You’re a responsible young man, then, as you already know how this ends.”

Jonathan didn’t move as his father moved over to press a kiss to his forehead. “I trust that you understand the ramifications of breaking the rules.”

So it’s like this now… oh, babe… this is going to be hard.

 

Two Weeks Later

Jonathan sat at the dinner table, pushing his food around his plate, but he wasn’t hungry. Cody reached out for a warm roll and tossed it onto Jonathan’s plate, gasping when it landed in his mashed potatoes and gravy, splattering gravy all over Jonathan’s tee-shirt.

“I’m sorry, Jonny!” he cried out, hopping down from his chair to hurry over with his napkin to try to clean his big brother off.

Jonathan smiled gently at his little brother, shushing him but allowing him to clean his shirt. “It’s okay. It was an accident.”

“I’m so sorry!” Cody wailed.

Jonathan wrapped him up in a hug, whispering, “I know. I know, and me, too.”

“Cody, you will sit down now.” Bill met Jonathan’s eyes. “Jonathan is comforted, and perhaps the roll will find its way into his belly.”

Reluctantly, Jonathan loosed his younger brother, watching as Cody climbed up onto his chair, and when he was seated, Jonathan nodded and took a bite of the roll. Usually, he loved his mother’s homemade rolls, but lately, nothing tasted good.

“How is David?”

He blinked, the note in his pocket feeling suddenly less than safe. “I’m sorry?” Jonathan asked. “What did you say?”

“I heard that the two of spoke today. I wanted to know how he was doing,” Bill replied, his voice almost amiable as he let Jonathan know he knew the rules had been broken.

He stood in the dark part of one of the theatre entrances, watching as David worked with Travis on stage. Jonathan purposely skipped Government to watch the progress on the scene with Chad. No, that was a lie. The real reason he’d skipped class was to see him and to hear his voice. Not being able to touch him was killing Jonathan.

The bell rang.

“Work on your scenes, people! Performances begin Friday!” Mrs. Sanchez called out over the din of voices. “If you need me, come see me in my office!”

Jonathan ducked farther into the shadows as students rushed past him out the doors of the theatre. He listened for David’s voice, finally hearing it as Chad and Travis walked him towards the doors, Chad asking, “You, uh… you doing okay, man? I mean—considering?”

“I’m…” David sighed heavily. “I’m as good as can be expected without the other half of me around. It’s… it’s really hard not… not having someone who’s always been around—I keep thinking that this must be what it’s like to lose someone. I mean, we’ve always been each other’s go-to person—”

“Shea’s not well, either.” Jonathan grimaced as Travis went on, nearing Jonathan’s hiding place. “He’s actually more like the definition of fucked without you.”

David gasped, his voice tenuous. “No! I never wanted that to—”

Jonathan waited until the three of them passed the brick wall he hid behind, before he stepped out and grabbed David by the hips, interrupting his sentence. Travis caught David’s bag as the boy turned to throw himself into Jonathan’s arms, Jonathan taking them back into the safety of shadow. “I miss you! I love you!” Jonathan hissed before losing himself in the beauty of David’s kiss.

David’s hands flew to Jonathan’s hair, slender fingers disappearing in the thick russet waves as Jonathan held him tighter to his chest. The kiss broke only for them to breathe, David whispering, “Love of my heart, strength of my soul… my everything.”

“I promised—”

David stole a brief kiss. “You’ll make good on it.”

“We need more than this—”

David smiled, kissing under Jonathan’s chin. “One day, we’ll have everything.” He tucked something thick into Jonathan’s front pocket. “Read it when you get home.”

Their mouths found one another’s in a hungry dance until Travis laughed, signaling someone’s approach. Seconds later, Jonathan watched as David disappeared in the throng of students heading upstairs.

“Jonathan? Did you hear me?” Bill repeated, jolting him from memory.

Jonathan lifted his gaze, nodding. “Yeah… I mean, yes, sir. I heard you. I just… I’ve had a headache all day. It’s made it hard to concentrate.”

“Baby boy, whyn’t you go ahead and go to bed? I know your homework’s done.” Abby smiled at him. “Cody and I’ll do the dishes. You go rest.”

“Abby—”

Abby turned a glittering gaze to her husband. “Billy, let the boy go rest. We’ll talk rules later, when he can concentrate. Right now, his head cannot manage it, so it’d do no good to have that talk.”

Jonathan nodded. “Thanks, Mama.” Excusing himself from the table, he pushed his chair in and left the room for the bathroom. Washing his face and brushing his teeth, he escaped to his bedroom, crawling into bed in his jeans and tee-shirt. His face was wet a second time before he even got the coverlets pulled over his head.

 

On to Halley’s Comet: Burn

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s the last day of The Covenant Blog Tour! We were at three blogs today, Lovebytes, Elisa Rolle, and Alpha Book Club! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Love Bytes http://lovebytesreviews.com/2016/01/28/blog-tour-interview-excerpt-giveaway-m-leanne-phoenix-the-covenant/

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/3259381.html — Has Part 2 of “Halley’s Comet” (a Covenant short)

Alpha Book Club http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4786179.html — Has Part 2 of “Halley’s Comet” (a Covenant short)

The contest still has six days, so you’ve still got time to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Nine of The Covenant Blog Tour! We were at two blogs today, Jessie G. Books and BFD Book Blog! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Jessie G. Books http://wp.me/p5wi3H-Yh

BFD Book Blog http://bfdbookblog.net/2016/01/blog-tour-stop-including-excerpt-giveaway-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: A Teaser

Promo with Quote SMALL

Excerpt:

David opened his locker and smiled at the little blue box topped with a white bow, sitting on top of his books. Opening the gift, he found a cassette tape labeled, More Bowie for you! A quick read of the track listing sent him cackling. His two favorite songs from the movie Labyrinth were on it, and since his step-father forbade him from buying anything with “a magic theme” to it, finally possessing “As the World Falls Down” and “Within You” was amazing! Closing the tape, he looked down into the blue box, seeing what looked to be gray and pink stripes.

Hands slid over his shoulders, startling him until one long-fingered hand dove into the box as a beloved voice murmured next to his ear, “I know you’ve been looking for the right tie for this vest, so when Mom and I went shopping, she found this great deal on ties and I saw this one and thought of your vest. Turn for me.”

Whirling around to face Jonathan, David hushed, “Thought you were supposed to be in class!”

“A little birdie told me you were soon to leave for the eye doctor, and I wanted to see you one more time. Note in my front pocket.” Jonathan waggled his eyebrows at him, making David giggle.

They had come up with logical ways to touch each other. “Accidentally forgetting” they’d stuffed a note in their back or front pocket meant that a hand could surreptitiously slide over a butt or squeeze a hip. They could belong to one another and act like it, but only people in the know—which, of course, was absolutely no-one—would know. Jonathan’s hands maneuvered the tie into a loose, haphazard Windsor as David dug the note from the other boy’s front pocket.

“There you are, babe,” Jonathan whispered before pulling David into a tight hug. “See you at church tonight? Maybe we can sneak away, just you and me.”

David held closer to him. “I hope so. I just wish we could—”

“Me, too.” Jonathan pressed a kiss to David’s hair.

The bell rang, and they broke apart, Jonathan leaning against the lockers as David put away the books he didn’t need. Kids poured from the classrooms around them and Elisha joined Jonathan in his slouch against the lockers.

“So your mom’s taking you to the contact appointment, yeah? You getting new glasses, too?” he asked, hip-checking Jonathan when a girl harrumphed, signaling she needed access to her locker.

David nodded as they bookended him. “Yep. I’m hoping to be able to get colored contacts, but Momma said it depends on how much they cost. Something about insurance will only pay a certain amount.”

“Colored? Why?” Jonathan retorted, furrowing his brow.

“Duh, man. Can’t believe you don’t know that our Davy here has always wanted hazel eyes! If they have hazel, he’s going to become our pretty little wolf!” Elisha crowed, hooking his arm over David’s neck.

David elbowed him in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of his friend. “Really? What are you trying to do, Eli? Get me killed?”

“Sorry! Didn’t mean—”

“Well, you did, and your voice carries.” David threw his homework into his backpack, but was careful not to smash the box he put in the top as he yanked the ties to close it. Looking up at Jonathan, he set his jaw as he shut his locker and spun the combination. “Walk me to my mom’s car?”

“Sure, Dave.”

“David, I’m really sorry,” Elisha called after him, shoving a hand through his hair. “I didn’t mean—”

David turned to face his friend. “I’ll talk to you tonight. I gotta go.”

“See you at church?” Elisha confirmed.

“I’ll be there.” David turned back around, shoving a note from his own back pocket into Jonathan’s, growling, “You’d think he’d remember seventh grade. It’s been barely four years.”

“I know that I’ll never forget it,” Jonathan muttered, angrily. “I couldn’t sleep for days, worrying if you were going to be all right.”

“Blackthorn!”

David whirled around, seeing Travis Capulet hurtling towards him. Travis was in his theatre class, but other than that, the captain of the baseball team and David had nothing in common. Coming to a stop at David’s side, Travis grinned, nodding a greeting at Jonathan. “Shea.”

“Cap.” Jonathan smiled at his teammate.

Travis shifted his weight to his left leg as he turned a friendly gaze to David. “Hey, man, I know we don’t talk much, but I was wondering about the homework for Mrs. Sanchez. You and me were drawn out of the hat, and that improv scene… man, I don’t know. It’s hard for me to work over in my brain. I know you go to church tonight, but I was wondering when you get out of service?”

“Well, I got an eye doctor appointment right now that I gotta get to pretty quick, but service doesn’t start until six-thirty, so if you want, we can meet in the auditorium here around four and work on it until six?” he suggested, unwilling to give up stolen time with Jonathan.

“Cool. See you then!” And with a grin and a wave, they watched as he maneuvered the hall to the stairs.

Jonathan took David’s backpack and slung it over his own shoulder. “Think your mom would be cool with me coming with you to the eye doctor?” he asked as they made their way to the stairwell at a slightly less urgent pace.

“You know Momma likes you. I don’t think she’d mind, and I know she’d be glad to know that someone could drop me by the auditorium afterwards. She always has stuff to do between me getting home and us all getting to Wednesday night service.” Jonathan’s hand came to rest between David’s shoulders as they made their descent to the ground floor. The heat from his palm radiating out to the rest of David’s body… including his dick.

Jonathan leaned close to whisper against David’s ear. “I didn’t want to give up any time I could get with you.”

David grinned. “I didn’t want to, either.”

“Jonny!”

David ground his teeth. “Veronica again?”

“Man, I don’t know what to do to make her understand that there is never going to be a me and her,” Jonathan groused. “Or that I hate the name Jonny.”

David snorted, throwing a sidelong glance at the taller boy. “Not always.”

A playful tug on his hair ended in a quiet, “Well, you don’t always hate the term pretty, either.”

A long gaze was shared between them as Veronica met them at the bottom of the stairs, one Jonathan broke by snapping at the girl, “I’m not trying to be mean, but it will never happen. Never, Veronica.”

Veronica waved off his words. “Daddy wants you to take me to Homecoming,” she stated, batting her eyes at him.

“I don’t care. I’m not up for sale. I told you that on Sunday at church. If I even go to Homecoming at all, it’ll be with my friends.” His hand never moved from David’s back, and he pushed them both past the girl, shaking his head.

“People like her—” David began, stopping suddenly. “I don’t know why she thinks that she can have whatever she wants.”

“Preachers’ kids usually are one of two extremes, but one thing that ninety-nine percent of them seem to possess is a sense of entitlement,” Jonathan replied, pushing open the big glass door to allow them exit. “Veronica is no exception to that rule.”

“Pastor Beals is such a nice guy, though. I hate that she’s such a hag.” David smiled as he saw his mother’s silver 1987 Nova by the curb. Turning to face Jonathan, he looked up at him as he took his backpack from him. “Thank you for the gifts and I will read the note as soon as I get in the car. Question?”

Jonathan nodded, tugging the tie from his thick brown hair and running his hands through it before he reaffixed it back in its usual ponytail. “Answer.”

“Why did you get all grumpy gus on me when I said I might get colored contacts?” he asked, glancing around to make sure they were alone.

Jonathan did the same before he stepped closer to him, his words only audible to David. “Because your eyes are my favorite color. To change them, to hide their beauty from me, would be a sorrowful day.”

David stood on tiptoe to hug him. Hugs were something he was glad they’d started when they were small, because it made their embraces commonplace for the kids at school and church. Pushing his face into Jonathan’s neck, he breathed him in, his words torn from him, “I never liked their color until just now.”

—-

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Eight of The Covenant Blog Tour! Yesterday, I was only at one blog, so I rolled my blog post for yesterday and today into one! We’ve got a couple of author interviews and a few reviews in the mix as well! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

MM Good Book Reviews: https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix-blog-tour-excerpt-review-giveaway/

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews: http://wickedfaeriesreviews.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix-blog.html

Inked Rainbow Reads: http://wp.me/p5PC5u-2ea

Dawn’s Reading Nook: http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2016/01/tour-stop-giveaway-for-covenant.html

A.M. Leibowitz http://amleibowitz.com/2016/01/26/book-tour-the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Six of The Covenant Blog Tour! I was only at two blogs today, Havan Fellows and Happily Ever Chapter! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Havan Fellows http://havanshawthaven.blogspot.com/2016/01/m-leanne-phoenix-shares-covenant-with.html
Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter/posts/432331600292246

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

 

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hey there, y’all! It’s Day Four and Five of The Covenant Blog Tour! I was at three blogs on the 20th and two today, the 21st! Louise Lyons, Michael Mandrake and My Fiction Nook hosted us yesterday. Today, we’re at Iyana Jenna and Hearts on Fire! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Louise Lyons http://www.louiselyonsauthor.com/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

Michael Mandrake https://michaelmandrake.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/pride-promo-the-covenant-m-leanne-phoenix-blogtour-contest/

My Fiction Nook http://www.myfictionnook.com/2016/01/blogtour-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix.html

Iyana Jenna https://iyanajennaauthor.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/14423/

Hearts on Fire http://heartsonfirereviews.com/m-leanne-phoenix-covenant-excerpt-tour-and-giveaway/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant