Book Title: Stolen Heart
Author: Kristian Daniels
Cover Artist: FriesenPress
Genre/s: M/M Romance
Trope/s: Friends to lovers
Themes: Coming out, Forgiveness, Love, Hate crime
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 60 000 words/284 pages
It is a standalone book.
Will Elliott’s past dampen his new life?
Life is better with you.
As a teen, Elliott Denison grapples with life, love and sexuality. His heart had been shattered every time his parents pushed him away. Life had forced him to be strong enough to endure Stanstead’s biggest bully and strong enough to come into his own as an openly gay man.
Now he was 26 years old, and a wave of emotion invaded him as though a switch had been sparked in his mind when Chase Harrison unexpectedly crossed his path. Everything Elliott ever wanted growing up was there in front of him. It doesn’t take long for Elliott to enter into Chase’s life.
Then the ugly past rears its head. Only this time, the face is a shadowy online stalker and an anonymous hater.
The prized possession you value above all others…
My husband and my family.
The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…
My first love. Our relationship was cut too short because I panic that it was getting serious too quickly.
The temptation you wish you could resist…
The book that holds everlasting resonance…
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…
Escape to a cabin in the woods and write.
The film you can watch time and time again…
The person who influenced you the most…
The poem that touches your soul…
It’s not a poem, it’s a book titled “Conversation with the master” It was my first spirituality book that I read. A dear friend of mine gave me.
The event that altered the course of your life…
When my wife cheated on me, it led to a divorce and me owning who I was. I married my friend in my twenties to please the family even though I knew I was gay. We were married for two years, and she left me for another guy. I felt liberated. We remained friends after and confessed that I was gay, to which she replied I know.
The song that means the most to you…
Hello from Adele
The happiest moment you will cherish forever…
Marrying my husband
The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…
I studied Fashion Design because I wanted to become a designer. To succeed, I would have had to move to places like New York, Paris, Italy and continue my studies under a renowned designer, and I didn’t do it.
The way you would spend your fantasy twenty-four hours, with no travel restrictions…
I would fly to Greece, then take a boat to the Mykonos accompanied by a dark hair blue-eyed man built like Chris Hemsworth’s, spend the day in Little Venice and end the day making love on the balcony of our room by the sunset.
The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…
Ignorant people. People who think they are superior than others. I have low tolerance for people who laugh at others, racist.
The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…
William Shakespeare. I would like to have a conversation with him and find out what inspired his plays if they were based on facts or fiction.
The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…
You’re perfect the way you are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…
I couldn’t commit a crime. I’d have nightmares and would turn myself in. LOL.
The philosophy that underpins your life…
Not to pretend to be someone I am not, and never lose myself in search of others acceptance and approval.”
The character you enjoyed writing the most…
Elliot Denison. His life followed a similar path to mine. Writing his story was somewhat liberating for me.
The character you found difficult to write…
Paul Brampton. I had to research the effect of drug abuse and overdose on someone. The lasting consequence of being raised in an abusive environment.
The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…
The one I’m currently writing. This next book tells the story of two separate relationships, one involving two teenagers and the other two young adults living in different cities whose lives have been blemished by their parents. The book has one of the characters entering conversion therapy. It also delves into how far a religious parent will go to get their child away from what they considered a sin. How social media is used to manipulate the truth and promote hatred. The title of it will be “The sins of our sons.”
And the promo…
With this book, I wanted to write a compelling story that takes the reader through a powerful journey. I also wanted to write about many of the things that young gay men face with bullies, family strain and harassment. I did not want to write solely on the sad and painful experiences, this is why there are periods of joy and happiness interspersed with devastation.
I chose this book cover because the image of the young man sitting on cold cement stairs, covering his face, summarized Elliot’s journey from child to adulthood.
Before I sit down to write, I develop the foundation of my story. What the story will be about, where it is going to take place. After I think of who my characters will be and jolt down a brief description for each character, such as their occupation, lifestyle, age, and emotional issues. Then I will describe the bad guy’s relationship with the main characters, his or her interference in the attainment of the main character’s goal. Once the main characters have been created, I will create the cast and their relationship with the other characters, how they meet, if they become friends, enemies etc.
MANY THANKS, KRISTIAN.
I got back home a few hours later. “Hi, I’m back,” I said. As I headed towards my room, my father asked me to join him in the living room. I did.
My father was sitting in his chair with my mother by his side. Something didn’t look right.
“Are you a homosexual?” my father asked calmly but sternly as he turned my laptop around. I hadn’t even noticed it there.
My worst nightmare was staring at me. Ah, shit. “How come my laptop is down here?” I asked.
“I asked you a question,” my father said.
My eyes started darting around as if looking for a place to hide, but I finally looked at my father and answered, “I don’t know.”
“This is a sin!” my father yelled, slamming the laptop shut. He approached me, pointing his finger at me. “This behaviour stops now, you hear? I will not have a sinner in my house! We didn’t bring you up like this, and no son of mine will partake in such disgusting, perverted activities! If you don’t change, I will send you to conversion therapy.”
I looked at my mother for some support or compassion, but she stood there and did nothing. My father stormed outside and slammed the door behind him.
“Mom,” I said, “I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”
“You are a sinner,” she said, slapping me across the face. “You are a disgrace to this family. I would rather have a criminal for a son than a pervert. If you want to remain part of this family, you will cease this deviant behaviour immediately; otherwise, I want you out of this house.”
“Mom, please… Don’t say that. It’s not my fault. I tried to resist these feelings. Believe me, I tried.” My eyes were starting to tear up.
“You didn’t try hard enough,” she said.
“This is how God made me, Mom. I can’t change that.”
Her eyes became dark, and her pupils dilated, “Don’t you take the lord’s name in vain! Why do you insist on hurting us like this?”
“I don’t want to hurt you! Do you think this is to hurt you?”
“Liar!” Her face was so close to mine that I could smell her breath. Then she walked out.
I ran outside, slammed the door behind me, and sat on the front steps, trembling. I couldn’t stop sobbing. I called Chad and asked him if I could crash at his place.
“What happened?” Chad asked.
“My parents found out I was gay! They saw the video on my laptop. The things they said to me were so hurtful. I can’t live here anymore! All that matters to them is what the bible says! They’re ready to throw me out! I don’t mean anything to them!”
“Calm down,” Chad said. “I’ll come to pick you up. Pack your things.”
I went inside, grabbed all that would fit in my duffle bag, and stormed back outside to wait for Chad. I didn’t bother telling my parents where I was going; they wouldn’t care anyway. Chad drove up the driveway, I got in, and we left.
“What did you tell your parents?”
“I told them what you told me,” Chad said.
“Are they cool with me coming over?”
“Yes, they’re fine with it. How are you holding up?”
“I’m not sure. I don’t know what to think. I feel so ashamed.”
“Don’t. It’s not your fault.” As we pulled up the driveway to his house, Chad suggested that I see a school counsellor next week. “Maybe they can help.”
“Yeah, maybe. Thanks for everything,” I said.
As we walked in, Chad’s parents met us at the door. His mom said, “Hi, Elliott, welcome. I want you to feel comfortable here. Consider this your home now. Chad told us a bit of what happened, and we’re so sorry you had to live that.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Hardwicke.
“Come, I’ll show you your room,” Chad said as we walked up the stairs. “Rest up. If you need anything, I’m just across the hall. It will be alright, I promise.” Chad hugged me and went back downstairs.
I sat on the bed, hunched over with my head in my hands, rocking. “What am I suppose to do now? Am I such a bad person?”
About the Author
Kristian Daniels writes coming of age, gay romance and gay love stories. His stories are about the life and tribulations of the LGBTQs community, their fight to be accepted and loved. It’s also about their struggles, rejection and their suffering. Writing a novel was always a thirst for him, and with Stolen Heart, it became a reality.
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