R.E. Blake’s Latest Release: N/A, Y/A, Contemp Romance or Coming of Age? You decide!

Today’s Guest is a friend of mine and a very accomplished author.? He seems to have been in a quandry as to which genre his newest fiction should be added, maybe you have an opinion? I know I do, but my opinion is to download it and read it and then try to answer the question! Check this guest post out!

When I sat down to write the trilogy that turned out to be the Less Than Nothing novels, I had no idea what genre they were going to be. I sort of thought maybe NA, because they?d have some heat to them, there?s a central romantic theme to the story, and they deal with subjects that are more serious than the YA books I?ve read. What ensued has me scratching my head, though, and now I?m not so sure.

The books cover the trials and tribulations of Sage and Derek, two homeless teen street musicians in San Francisco who make a life-altering decision to hitch cross-country and enter a talent contest in New York.

Seems straightforward enough. That?s a road book. Like Huckleberry Finn, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or any number of other road tomes, only with a teen romance as the central driver. Only that?s not how it turned out. The characters took over, and apparently their story wasn?t a road story at all, but rather a love story combined with a coming-of-age saga.

There aren?t a lot of books that feature homeless main characters, much less homeless teens grappling with the demons of their pasts. These are characters with flaws, with depth, with problems and hopes and needs. Who aren?t adults yet, but also aren?t kids ? caught in that neverland between responsibility and adolescence, but dealing with the harsh reality of survival on the streets.

Less Than Nothing is a tip of the hat to the Janis Joplin rendition of Me & Bobby McGee. It came on the radio while I was driving, and as I listened to Janis belt it out, I thought, ?wow, wouldn?t that be an awesome story ? road trip, two young spirits in love, making mistakes, fighting to succeed?? And that?s how the book idea was born.

But how to classify it? It deals with more complex and nuanced subject matter than the usual YA outing, so it?s not really Young Adult. And it?s got some steamy scenes, so it?s spicier than that genre. Which means it?s probably New Adult, but then we have the problem that the protagonists are both teenagers?in what becomes an adventure/romance. And there are no shirtless biker alpha billionaires, so not typical NA fare. So is it contemporary romance? Not really. Is it NA? Not really. Is it YA? Not really.

Whatever it is, it?s getting rave reviews, so maybe the genre isn?t as important as the story. A young girl developing into a self-directed being, on the threshold of adulthood but still possessing adolescent impulses and doubts, which aren?t always logical and can be in conflict with each other while co-existing simultaneously.

Whatever the genre, I?m thrilled at how it turned out. I think it?s a truly original take on the familiar story of boy meets girl. Because it?s about that. And not that. It?s about love, and dreams, and desperation, and possibility, and the hope for redemption, the fear of loss, of betrayal, of being let down and hurt by those who are supposed to protect you, and about overcoming your past to build a brighter future.

Anyhow, if you like stories that are off the beaten path, are quirky, and deal with teens growing into their own skin and discovering what they?re made of, this might be a good choice. If you enjoy love stories in a big, sweeping, complicated sense, with imperfect characters who sometimes behave in frustrating ways ? just like real people do ? then give this a try.

And if you figure out what the books are, let me know. Because when asked, I?m still uncertain what to say, other than, ?You?ve kinda just got to read them to understand.?

Blurb:?Sage?s life as a teenage runaway in San Francisco is simple: Snatch a few hours of sleep on park benches and bus stops; dodge perverts, predators, and cops; and make enough as a street musician to eat. But her world flips upside down when she meets Derek ? hot, tattooed, and charming, a singer from Seattle whose looks and talent take her breath away.

What begins as a reluctant partnership quickly develops into a cross-country race against time – and awakens a hunger in Sage that?s unfamiliar and exciting.

As they travel from coast to coast, Sage and Derek pursue their dream, only to discover that they can never run far enough to escape the demons from their pasts.

Less Than Nothing is the breakout debut NA novel from USA Today bestseller R.E. Blake that critics are buzzing about and readers can?t put down.

Thank you you for checking this out! I’ll be interested in hearing what you all think about this!

Purchase Links:

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1rnax8b

Apple: http://bit.ly/1xPBQe0

Teaching the Younger Generation – Domestic Violence is NOT O.K.

Recently, a friend of mine sent me a note about a post she read and thought I would enjoy. I jumped over to read the blog post, and low and behold there was a topic that was near and dear to my heart – Abuse.? I’m going to thank Bibliophile for her great blog post and invite you all to read it: http://ow.ly/mZjwu

In the post I mentioned above, Bibliophile talks about the number of authors she has noticed that write Young Adult or New Adult Romance that seem to romanticize abusive behavior.? Teens or young adults that are dealing with a counterpart who is overly jealous or controlling and they accepts this. ? Well guess what – NOT in my book and I’m not just talking about the pages I write – I’m talking about life, pure and simple.

Controlling behavior, no matter now trivial, can be a sign of worse to come. No young woman, older woman or even man, should allow their partner to be controlling.? It is NOT okay to say who you can be friends will, unless that other person is a sociopath, then I can see someone saying you can’t be friends with them. But under normal circumstances, it is not alright to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that being friends with someone from the opposite sex is wrong. Being jealous and forcing your boyfriend or girlfriend to choose YOU instead of someone else, is not right.? They either like you or they don’t. If they don’t, bye-bye, I doubt there is a person alive that has not heard, there are other fish in the sea to choose from.

It is also not right if your boyfriend/girlfriend has the need to read your text messages, or emails. Hello, this is private. Don’t let them threaten you if you won’t allow them to read what you said to a friend. They have no right to tell you what you are allowed to wear, where you are allowed to go, who you can be friends with, or what you are allowed to do. And if you think they can – then you are allowing the abuse and you need to stop.

As an author it is my responsibility to entertain people.? As a police officer it is my responsibility to protect people. Put those two together and you get a life lesson.? That is some thing that I put into Whether I’ll Live or Die.? And it is something I am putting into another novel called, You’re Not Alone.? Not only am I trying to entertain my readers, but I am trying to teach a lesson – empower someone to understand and overcome.? Now that this topic has come to light, I have a burning desire to start a new lesson – and direct it towards the younger generation. The thoughts are dwelling – and I hope to start working on this very soon.