This week, Karina Cooper is returning to Tynga's Reviews to kick off the blog tour for her latest release, an e-novella called WICKED LIES that is part of her super sexy Dark Mission series. It's exciting not just because it's a new entry in the series (set between SACRIFICE THE WICKED and the final Dark Mission novel, ONE FOR THE WICKED) but because it's the first time Avon has published a male-male romance!
If that's not enough, Karina is donating all of her proceeds to the It Gets Better Project! You can find out more about her decision by visiting this page. I think it's an awesome way to support a wonderful cause!
Please join me in welcoming Karina back to Tynga's Reviews!
Karina Cooper: the Wicked Lies We Tell
Life is full of choices. We make them, and we are made by them. We consider options to follow, even while others consider options that could affect us. We are a product of our upbringing, our environment, the people we surround ourselves with and the voices that hammer at us all day, all night.
We are creatures capable of great emotional depth, and so it’s easy to forget how others can affect us. Looking at the choices others make, we forget to look at the greater picture—why?
I wrote Wicked Lies for a great many reasons. The first was because I wanted a platform from which I could bring attention to a cause—a cause bigger than me, but that affected me growing up, affected my friends and family, and still affect us all. As you may have heard, all of the proceeds I make from the sale of Avon Impulse’s first LGBTQ novella will be going to the It Gets Better Project.
The second was because I felt that Jonas Stone—that cheerful, supportive shoulder to lean on—needed his story told. When I considered how best to tell Jonas’ side of things, I spent some time trying to work out how to share his details in way that best explained why. Why was his sexuality such a secret? Was it a secret? Or was it just something that he didn’t talk about, in the same way that I don’t really see the big deal about having green eyes or that I like watermelon?
And as I got to know Jonas—peeling back his layers like an onion (or a parfait!)—I realized that the sweet technical analyst who had forgiven the man who blamed himself for crippling Jonas years ago, who had been there for Naomi through the worst days of her life, who had reached out to a Mission Director searching for the truth no matter what it cost him—and it almost cost him his life—and who had watched friends, fellow agents, die... This man? Was not the man he portrayed himself to be.
This was a man who did not like himself. Underneath the smiles, the technological wizardry, the skill and determination, Jonas Stone felt he had nothing else to give.
These are the wicked lies that eat at a soul. Under the eyes of an Order who did not believe that a man like Jonas—a gay man whose pleasures came from another man’s touch—was a real man, an equal, Jonas’ psyche crumbled. Despite the years of service, the terrible toll mission after mission took on his heart and his soul, the Order would have been the first to cut him loose if they’d known. Perhaps, even, to persecute.
Who would want a damaged man? A man who took great joy in helping others, but who didn’t believe that it would be his lot to find the same happiness? There are heroes in our stories, and there is the support that makes heroism possible. Jonas was content to be the latter.
Because, whispered the lies, it was all a man like him—a liar, a thief of pleasure, the bearer of guilt in the dark—deserved.
How many of us carry such lies? And how many of us have turned from happiness because we felt it wasn’t right for us? We didn’t deserve it? That others deserved the chance and should be given the opportunity—that we would take our turn, next time. Another place. When those we love were happy and whole.
Jonas Stone is a man who would stand for anything his friends required, but didn’t know how to stand for himself.
Sometimes, we need a Danny Granger to teach us that we’re more than we think we are. We need that opposite—that genuine optimism to our realistic cynicism; that light to shine on our dark thoughts. That both are men is both incidental and integral to the story. That they are gay in a world that does not permit openness and integrity is as much a reason why they are who they are as how they were raised—Danny, with his loving family, and Jonas with the Order’s demands.
That we are who we are is as much a product of our own thoughts as it is who raised us. And sometimes, we have to look past our environment, our issues, our deepest lies, and think: Yeah. Today, I deserve happiness.
I hope you enjoy Jonas Stone’s story. I hope it makes you smile, and makes you wince when he tells himself and Danny those wicked lies that come between us all. I hope you adore watching two people fall for each other under circumstances that would flatten a lesser person.
Most of all, I hope you support others like them. Friends, neighbors, strangers, children you know and those who are only waiting for a helpful hand from someone like you. If you choose to purchase Wicked Lies, thank you. If you tell someone about it, thank you. If it makes you think, thank you. And if you catch someone telling themselves those nasty, insidious lies to keep themselves down, and you knock those little demons right out with a well-placed word and smile, thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thanks so much for visiting us again, Karina! Enjoy the rest of the blog tour!
And make sure to check out the rest of her tour! You can see the stops by clicking on the tour button below.
More about WICKED LIES:
In this Dark Mission novella, Jonas Stone emerges from the shadows into his own story, and finally allows himself to have the same shot at love he’s given his friends.
Jonas Stone has been given his first independent operation: rescue the insurrection leader’s imprisoned grandson from the Mission. Getting the job done means more than getting Danny Granger out-it means staying with him while he heals. Staying too close, for way too long.
Danny is everything Jonas isn’t: confident, optimistic, honest--a man to be reckoned with. If only it didn’t mean going against everything Jonas has planned. He’s kept his secrets for years, hid behind a mask no one could see through...until now. Danny isn’t the kind of man Jonas deserves. But he might be exactly the man he needs...
Here's the whole Dark Mission series: