Thárros by C. Kennedy is out!
Thárros. Greek. Meaning courage
Courage. n. /ˈkərij/
1. The ability to do something that frightens one.
2. Strength in the face of fear, pain, or grief.
Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear,
not the absence of fear. ~Mark Twain
High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. Almost. He has great friends, parents who love him just the way he is, and he was a champion hurdler until someone took out his knee when they kidnapped his boyfriend. Yet, Michael is determined to make the USATF tryouts in spite of his injuries.
Christy Castle is Michael’s entire world. Healing from years of abuse, his abduction by a predator has left him hiding a new secret as he tries to start his life again. Together, Michael and Christy work to recover from their wounds in time to make prom and graduate high school. To complicate matters, Christy is astonished to learn a fellow victim from his native Greece has survived. Christy will stop at nothing to bring him to the US to keep him safe.
But the prosecution of Christy’s kidnapper looms large in their futures and the struggle to return to normal only worsens. Christy's past continues to haunt them and, when the prosecution turns ugly and Christy’s new life is torn apart, only their unrelenting courage and determination can save them from the nightmare that threatens to destroy their future together.
Thárros Book Tour and an Exclusive Excerpt Featuring Wade Kelly as Our Talk Show Host!
A very special thank you to Wade for hosting me today for the Thárros Blog Tour! It’s great to be here!
My newest book, Thárros, Book Two in the Elpída Series, is a continuation of Christy and Michael’s story. It picks up where Ómorphi left off. The boys work to heal after Christy’s abduction and Michael’s daring rescue of him, and this story centers on the trial to prosecute Christy’s abuser and kidnapper, Yosef Sanna. Writing works about the tough subject sexual abuse is hard. It must be done in such a manner as to reveal the cruelty of abuse without hitting you over the head with it. As such, I look to balance the story with laughter, joy, and hope.
For the release of Ómorphi, I created a character interview of Christy with Wade as our talk show host. That post was so popular with fans that it became part of Thárros, the novel. Lo and behold, Wade is now memorialized in print! Check out the exclusive excerpt, Wade’s interview of Christy, below.
Thank you for being our talk show host, Wade. You are the coolest dude I know!
They watched the show recording from the sidelines of the studio. Christy trembled with fear, and Michael did his best to comfort him by holding him close with an arm around his shoulders. “You’re going to do great,” he assured.
“I do not like this,” Christy whispered.
“We’re here. You’re not alone.”
“Are you ready?” Nero asked.
They nodded, and the show host announced them. They walked to the stage and took their seats as they’d been instructed ahead of time.
Wade Kelly seemed to be a nice woman and welcomed Christy warmly.
“Christy, you have actively worked to avoid the media since you came to the United States. Thank you for allowing me to be the first to interview you.”
“You are welcome, Mrs. Kelly.”
“Please call me Wade. Tell us how it feels to be popular for the first time in your life in a good way.”
Christy seemed uncomfortable and looked to Michael for help. Michael squeezed his hand. “Say whatever you want, babe.”
“I will not be in trouble for this?”
“Okay. This is uncomfortable for me. I do not wish for people to know who I am. I wish to have a life free of people who stare and say bad things about me.”
Wade smiled pleasantly. “That’s understandable. But what if people say nice things about you and stare because they admire you?
Christy thought for a moment. “I do not like the staring. I would prefer people speak to me as if I am like them and did not have a terrible history.”
“Each of us has a history, and we don’t always like what’s in it. You’re here with us today because we admire you.”
Soft applause emanated from the audience, and Christy blushed. “This is perhaps a little untrue. You admire the story of me.”
Wade laughed lightly, and Michael chuckled softly. “He’s kind of stubborn.”
She smiled. “I see that.”
“Only a little stubborn,” Christy defended.
Wade pressed another question “How do you like living at Wellington Ranch?”
“This is very nice for me. I have my own cabin. I am clean, I have food, and I am safe to sleep. It is a home for me. Not only a house. And I have Rob now. This is important for me.”
She smiled kindly. “Dr. Villarreal is a very nice man.”
“I wish to say one more thing,” Christy said.
“Michael does not like the security cameras in the cabin. He does not feel we have the privacy. But they are necessary to see that I am not ill or hurt, and I am safe.”
Wade smiled again, and Michael wondered if her face ever got tired.
“What are your plans for the future?”
“I will be with Michael and graduate from the high school.”
“That sounds wonderful. How do you feel about the upcoming prosecution of Mr. Sanna?”
“I am happy for this. I have learned that what he did to me is wrong. It is very nice of the president of Greece to remove the diplomatic immunity from Yosef, and I like the United States for doing this for me.”
Soft applause emanated from the audience again.
“We understand that you’re giving your testimony in the form of pictures you have painted. Tell us a little about that.”
Dangerous ground. Michael looked across the stage at Nero, who nodded his okay.
“The paintings are the statement for the police. They are not the testimony. I will have to say what happened to me as the testimony. It will be hard for me.”
Wade offered the camera a sympathetic smile. “I bet it will be hard.”
“Michael and Rob will help me with this. I will do it.”
“Can you tell us a little about what you have painted?”
Christy shifted uncomfortably in his seat and glanced at Michael. Michael whispered into his ear, “Say you don’t want to talk about it.”
“I do not wish to say this.”
“Fair enough. What plans do you have for fun in your new life?”
Christy glanced at Michael again and Michael leaned in. “Tell her about prom.”
Christy smiled for the first time in the interview. “We have a dance to attend. It is called the senior prom. Michael says I can wear the clothes I like. We did the shop for these. There are also flowers involved. I am to have the corsage, and Michael is to have the boutonnière. This is exciting for me.”
Applause cascaded down the audience.
“Rumor has it that you’re not going to wear a scarf to prom. Is that true?”
Christy’s brow dipped in a frown. “As you say, this is a rumor. The people who make the rumor are to blame for this. However, it is the true rumor. I will not wear the scarf for the prom.”
Wade laughed softly for the camera. “All right, Christy. Thank you for being so courageous and for spending time with us. We hope you’ll come back soon.”
“Thank you, Wade.”
Wade turned to face the camera squarely. “There you have it. You heard Christy talk for the first time live and candidly, and I hope not for the last time. He’s shy but seems to be growing more confident as time goes on, and I think Michael has played a great part in that. It goes to show us what true love can do for us.”
Thunderous applause filled the audience.
Michael kissed Christy’s cheek and whispered, “You did great, babe.”
Christy blushed. “I did this.”
“Yep, you did.”
“She said I am courageous.”
“Yep, you are.”
“This is new for me. Okay. I wish to go now.”
“Okay. We’ll go now.”
Nero’s large hand descended on Christy’s shoulder and gave it a pat, nearly sending Christy to his knees. Only holding onto Michael’s arm kept him standing.
“You did wonderfully!”
Christy smiled up at Nero. “I did, Kýrios Santini. She said I am courageous.”
Laughter rumbled low in Nero’s throat. “You’re the bravest soul I know, Christy.”
Cody is an award-winning author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Among many other awards, Omorphi was a runner-up in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and Slaying Isidore's Dragons was a finalist in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Cody does respond to blog comments and emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.
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