I’m thrilled to share that another milestone has been reached. The beta read period for my upcoming novel, The Climb, closes on Sunday. For the past two and a half months, a dedicated team of readers have poured through The Climb and marked it up with comments, edits, and feedback. Beginning August 1, I’ll start reviewing that feedback, cleaning up and enhancing the story, and getting it ready for publication. I can’t wait to share it with you this fall!
And now, please enjoy some sneak peaks!
The Climb: The story of Skyler Phoenix, the Christian Academy’s star athlete who loses everything when his foster family finds out he’s gay.￼
Skyler Phoenix is the high school’s heartthrob and star athlete with a great foster family and life…that is, until his boyfriend’s parents find out they’re gay…and then all hell breaks loose in their perfect families’ lives.
Five years after the death of his mother, Skyler Phoenix had finally pieced his life back together. He enjoyed his sophomore year at the Academy and gained notoriety among his peers as a star athlete and leader, even if he didn’t believe all the religious stuff they lived and breathed every day. The thing he enjoyed most, however, was spending time with his secret boyfriend, Cameron Mosher.
Although the super-religious foster family he lived with had welcomed him in has their own, he knew that coming out would not be an easy feat. Now, at sixteen, Skyler and his secret boyfriend, Cameron, struggled over how and when they would come out to their conservative Christian families. But when their secret relationship is accidentally discovered, their best efforts at surviving the onslaught of Biblical truth are thwarted by the very message of love—and condemnation—that their churches preach every Sunday. Nothing could have prepared Skyler for the emotional strain of rejection and the forced relocation he had to endure simply because he is gay. But, as Pastor Bob often said, “When one door closes, God opens another.” (Skyler would have rolled his eyes at that.)
It wasn’t easy for Skyler to pick up his life for a third time, leave the place he had come to know as home, and expect a strange new family, hours away, to welcome him—sinful gayness and all—into their home. But that’s exactly what everyone expected Skyler to do.
When Skyler meets the Kelly’s and their teenaged son, Colton, he’s thrown off by the welcoming arms that accept him and offer unconditional love without judgement. With defenses around his heart and his trust at an all-time low, the once-strong Skyler struggles to love himself even when his foster brother and his new friends offer him the chance to reset himself, thrive, grow, and eventually love himself enough to become an advocate for his LGBTQ peers.