Blog Tour & Giveaway: Caged Jaye, Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Book’s Publication Date: 4/12/16
Post Date: 4/14/16
Jaye’s Ghosts and Battles with the Unseen
One thing sets the main character of Caged Jaye apart, besides the fact that he’s a teenager sentenced to hard time basically for the crime of defending himself too well. Jaye Larson hears ghosts. These are not, however, just voices in his head. He feels them touching him, and this contact is entirely unwelcome and unpleasant. The ghosts are a manifestation of all of Jaye’s real-life nightmares. He carries them around with him wherever he goes. The wrong word or emotion might conjure them for fresh assaults he can’t fight. They’re all people he has known and encountered, who have done him harm in one way or other.
It’s an understatement to say Jaye goes through a lot in this book. The main trauma in the form of a physical and sexual assault, which nearly costs Jaye his life, is what first creates these invisible monsters. Jaye’s stress levels skyrocket and there is little to no comfort to guide him through his thorny path. The way his mind deals with it is to splinter off some of the worst pieces of things men have said, threatened or done. He scrambles the fragments together and a new collage spills out whenever his mind decides it’s time for a reminder of how bad things can get.
Jaye does not have the luxury of a support system, or psychiatric help. He’s out in the wilderness, alone. There is no official diagnosis for his condition. Beyond the basic care provided by the prison system, doctors aren’t studying his symptoms and providing tools for him to use to heal and improve his condition. It’s all on Jaye. Once the prison’s mental health staff figure out there’s a problem, Jaye is mostly unwilling to share a bulk of the story behind where his ghosts came from and why they stick around. He’s treated with medication that produces side effects arguably worse than the illness.
Where does this leave Jaye? He’s a smart guy. He understands it’s all in his head, that he can’t fight the ghosts with tangible weapons like knives, though he does try now and then. The sickness is inside him. There is no carving it out. He knows he is his own worst enemy.
In my own life, I’ve often said, done, heard, or experienced things that haunt me. We all have. Some phrase you wish you hadn’t spoken, or something disturbing said to you gets stuck in your head, playing on a loop. How do you turn it off? More than anyone else in our lives, we best understand what hurts us the most. If we’re guilty, afraid, confused, or over-sensitive, these moments are ways we punish ourselves by reliving them rather than letting them go. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do is find my own breaking point where I realize it’s enough. No more.
Jaye has to find this point, too. His peace, and ours, can only come from within, and no one can tell us how, where or when to find it. We have to figure it out for ourselves.
The people who care about Jaye, or who simply worry for him, can’t help him. They try, in both Caged Jaye and Arctic Absolution. How do you fight a ghost? How do you mend a broken mind? Or soothe a damaged soul?
Jaye never stops trying. He’s a fighter, especially when it comes to protecting himself or those he loves. In addition to being his own worst enemy, he’s his last best chance for rescue, too. It’s my hope that witnessing Jaye’s strength and resolve to never give up inspires my readers who are also experiencing pain coming either from outside or within to fight just as hard for themselves.
Kazza’s Reviews (Both NSFW) –
Caged Jaye Blurb:
It’s Jaye Larson’s nineteenth birthday, and all he wants is to spend time with his boyfriend, Kris, and his mother — the people he loves most, who make life worth living. But faced with his mother’s demons, the imperfections of his relationship with Kris, and dangerous, homophobic strangers, one by one, all of Jaye’s dreams are soon derailed. Plunging into a waking nightmare, shortly after going to bed alone, Jaye wakes in an alley, pinned down by two men with slow, bloody rape and murder in mind. It’s just the start of Jaye’s fight for his life, and his sanity, as time and time again, he’s forced to make impossible choices to survive, no matter what it costs. (M/M)
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over seventy works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.
Monday, April 11th:
- Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
- Tuesday, April 12th:
- The Blogger Girls
- The Novel Approach
- Queercentric Books
- Wednesday, April 13th:
Also in the series:
- Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart—not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye’s past return to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon’s past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger. (M/M)
- Forbidden Fiction