🌏Blog Tour🌍 #GIVEAWAY, Excerpt, & Q&A with Author found ONLY here! Check out the NEW BOOK, “The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow,” by Jeff Jacobson
Jeff Jacobson has a new queer YA urban fantasy romance out, Broom Closet Stories book 3: “The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow.” And there’s a giveaway!
What If an Evil Witch Was Controlling Your Thoughts Without You Knowing?
Soon after being whisked away to Seattle to live with an aunt and uncle he barely knew, Charlie Creevey learned that he hailed from a family of witches. After settling into this unfamiliar life, his feelings toward his new friend Diego Ramirez began to grow into something more serious. And if that wasn’t enough, he failed to stop the nefarious witch Grace and her cohort from using the dreaded deathcraft and killing his mentor Malcolm.
In Book 3 of this riveting series, Charlie discovers that Grace has gone into hiding and is acting behind the scenes. Able to influence minds in ways that were previously unheard of in the witching world, Grace compels Charlie to unwittingly do things like taking on the bullies at Puget Academy and lying to his family. The more Charlie believes he is acting of his own accord, the more Grace secretly rebuilds her strength and plots her comeback.
Will Charlie ever be able to overcome Grace and her coven? Or is Charlie destined to live life as a gay teen witch, shrouded by the evil veil of the deathcraft? And can he ever share his secret with Diego—or will he have to keep his identity as a witch hidden in the broom closet forever? Find out in The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow.
About the Series:
High school life as a gay teenage witch is never easy. Ask Charlie Creevey, the boy who’s busy developing his witchcraft abilities while navigating romance with Diego Ramirez. Forget about focusing on schoolwork, too, thanks to an evil witch and her ilk who will stop at nothing to destroy everyone around them, including Charlie and his family, for power. All he wants is some normalcy… but will Charlie ever be able to share who he really is? Or must everything remain a secret?
From paranormal adventures and a whirlwind romance, to battling evil witches and a gripping conclusion, enjoy all the thrills and excitement, in the supernatural world of the Broom Closet Stories.
Jeff is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner:
With a shrug, Diego set the tray down on the coffee table and sat down next to Charlie, who leaned into the taller boy’s warmth.
“That,” said Diego, looking about in wonder as he draped his arm over Charlie’s shoulder, “was epic. That was the most epic party I’ve ever been to.”
Amos came walking into the living room and pushed on Randall’s arm, indicating that he was ready to be petted.
“Are you glad they’re all gone, boy?” asked Charlie’s uncle. In reply, Amos’s tail thumped the floor, and the groan of pleasure that escaped his throat seemed answer enough as he leaned into Randall’s hand.
“I’m glad you liked it, Diego,” said Beverly. She held a mug of tea in her hand. The expression on her face seemed to be a mix of wistfulness and pleasure—or maybe something else. Charlie often couldn’t tell with Beverly.
“I thought that the trick-or-treaters would never end,” said Randall, shaking his head. “I worried we’d run out of candy. Just when you thought it was over—”
Amos barked once, sharp, then ran over to the north-facing wall, looking up at the small picture window high up near the ceiling, wagging his tail.
A yellow cat sat on a bare tree branch, peering down at the people in the living room as if holding court.
“Holy feline, that scared the crap out of me!” shouted Diego, clutching his chest.
Charlie snuck a glance at his aunt and raised his eyebrows. Was that a cat from the network? Or just some stray prowling around on the trees out front?
The slight shrug of her shoulders and the way she narrowed her eyes told Charlie she didn’t know.
The doorbell rang.
Amos barked again, then ran over to the front door. Randall and Diego jumped.
“I’m gonna have a heart attack!” Diego declared.
Charlie and Beverly looked first at the front door, then back at each other.
“Who the hell could that be?” asked Randall, starting to stand up. “Even the older kids should be done for the night.”
“Let me get it,” said Beverly, placing her hand on her husband’s knee before coming to her feet. Charlie knew it was a command, not a suggestion. Upon her secretive glance to him, he shrugged off Diego’s arm and followed his aunt to the foyer.
Two small figures stood on the front stoop, bathed in the yellow cone of light from the lamp above the door. They were dressed as ghosts, with pure white sheets stretched over their small bodies, ghoulish eye and mouth holes drawn in overly large ovals. Red droplets of paint, to mimic blood spatter, speckled their heads and upper bodies. As an added touch of the grotesque, twin ropes with frayed ends encircled their tiny necks.
Charlie’s skin prickled.
“Trick or treat!” cried the figure on the right, a boy’s voice. He couldn’t be older than five or six. The figure next to him, only an inch or two taller, stayed silent but held out an empty, plastic jack-o’-lantern. There was something demanding and greedy in its gesture.
“Oh,” said Beverly. “Hello. Isn’t it a little late for you to be out?” She craned her neck, and Charlie guessed she was looking for an adult standing beyond the front gate. The sidewalk appeared empty. “By yourselves?”
“No,” stomped the figure on the left. A girl. “We don’t have a curfew.”
Charlie watched as his aunt’s eyes widened before softening. “Well, I see. Charlie, do you think we have any leftover candy?”
“We won’t eat it. We just—” said the smaller boy.
The girl elbowed him so sharply that the boy teetered backwards. “Ow!” he shouted.
Charlie reached out and grabbed the bony shoulders of the ghost boy before he could topple off the porch, releasing his grip only when he was steady on his feet again.
“You’re not going to eat it?” asked Beverly.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Anyway, about that candy,” demanded the girl.
Something isn’t right about this, Charlie thought. But it was Halloween, right? You were supposed to give out candy to anyone who came by. Wasn’t that the unwritten rule?
He glanced up at the upper branches of the trees but could see no yellow cat.
“Charlie, wait here while I check to see if we have anything left,” said his aunt, turning around and walking back into the house.
Charlie, guessing that his aunt was up to something besides looking for leftover candy, did as he was told.
“Are you having a good time?” he asked the small figures.
The two ghosts stood still and remained silent, their black, oval eyes staring up at him—more chills over his skin. There was something downright frightening about these two little kids, standing side by side in their macabre costumes, saying nothing.
A strong gust of wind blew overhead, and the massive trees surrounding the house bowed and straightened, bowed and straightened. A car door slammed somewhere down the street, and he heard what sounded like a group of teenagers laughing and shouting.
“We just had a really big party,” he said. “Lots of people. Lots of kids.”
More awkward silence.
Charlie summoned a Word and cast it outward, double-checking that the extra-strong wards his aunt set to run the perimeter of their property were still intact.
His Word bounced back to him, healthy and intact. Nothing breached.
Now that he thought about it, that was silly. Charlie could tell that these two little kids were neither witches nor Echoes. Plus, if they had broken through the wards, Beverly wouldn’t have left him alone with them on the porch.
Then why were the hairs on the back of his neck static with electricity?
“Here we are!” said his aunt, stepping next to him on the porch. She held a small, clay bowl in her hand. In the bowl sat three ridiculously fat chocolate bars, wrapped in shiny black paper and tied with ornate orange ribbon. They definitely did not come from the trick-or-treaters’ stash they’d been using; he’d never seen them before.
“Only take one each, now,” said his aunt, leaning over and holding the bowl down at eye level with the children.
Jeff Jacobson was born and raised in Seattle and graduated in 1991 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., with a degree in Asian studies and a minor in Chinese language (Mandarin). He works both as a coach and a trainer of coaches, and is passionate about how evolved leadership can help transform organizations, their clients, and even the world.
The Broom Closet Series emerged from a challenge/dare after Jeff Jacobson criticized other books for how they depicted witches (“Windswept hair… spells, always in Latin…” no, no, no). The friend he made these comments to called him out on his critique, noting that the authors wrote their books, not Jacobson’s. Could he write his own witchy books? In 2008, Jacobson decided to find out.
Already top sellers on Amazon, The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight and The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Home chart teenager Charlie Creevey’s double coming out – as a young gay man, and as a witch. He lands in the hamlet of West Seattle and becomes part of the local coven, which he needs in order to fight off Grace, a murderous villain who’s killing teens to fuel her power and control. Jacobson picks up the thread yet again in The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow as Charlie’s feelings for classmate Diego Ramirez deepen, and Grace’s pitiless murders terrify and threaten the community.
“Just for Funsies” Q&A
Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
When writing new content, I set a timer for 20 minutes. It’s the perfect time window for me to write non-stop: short enough that there’s a sense of urgency to keep going, rather than mulling over if the setting should be Paris, or Peoria, or if I should write in 1st or 3rd person. But long enough that I can get to some good stuff. I tell myself that I can write for 20 minutes, even if I’m really busy that day. The irony is that I often do three 20-minute sessions in a row, which feels WAY easier to me than an hour. Because I lost the entire draft of my first novel in a freak hard drive crash, and only found out the hard way that I never set up my back-up drive correctly, I’m superstitious about saving documents. I send them to myself on email, I save them in Dropbox, I back them up on my desktop, and I send copies to my editor, as well as to my partner, members of my writer’s group, etc., I definitely go overboard.
If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?
A pre-Halloween, week-long harvest festival, set in early or mid-September. There would be late summer swimming, napping, cavorting, and a great meal with beloveds around a fire as the night grows chilly. Also, autumn leaf arts and crafts. It would be a wonderful warm-up to the best holiday of all – Halloween!
Coffee or Tea?
Tea. I’m odd that way. Born and raised in the land of Starbucks, but the taste of coffee completely and utterly grosses me out. I take a sip each year to see if it changes, since all the cool kids drink coffee. In fifty two years, nothing has changed. Yech.
What action would your name be if it were a verb?
What a fun question. Giggle.
What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
Pern. Dear God, when I read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series as a kid, I was smitten. I wanted a psychic bond with a dragon so badly that I spent a week or two staring at our family dog in the face, practicing.
Imagine flying around on a dragon, communicating telepathically with it, all the while fighting Thread. Now that sounds like a good time. Or at least it did when I was twelve.
What fictional character would you like to spend an evening with, and why?
Smilla Jaspersen, from Smilla’s Sense of Snow. She is one of the oddest protagonists I’ve ever encountered. A snow expert! She can tell how much someone weighs by their shoeprint in the snow. I don’t know if I want to have that knowledge base, but I’d love to chat with her.
Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
These questions are a hoot! Who would I kill? That’s tough. It’s a cross between Thomas and Tony. Thomas raped my main character’s mother, which was how Charlie came to be in the world. No remorse, just entitlement. Tony is a pure psychopath who enjoys every ounce of pain he causes others. He might deserve to die even more.
I would fuck Daniel Burman, the brooding, quiet witch detective. In my mind he looks like a silver daddy who frequented my gym in Seattle, on whom I might have had the teensiest of crushes.
I would marry Randall, Charlie’s uncle. He’s a fun-loving, good man, and has a great sense of himself. You’d have to. His wife is a ninja witch who can fly over moonbeams and conjure things.
Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
If only one shot at time travel, the past. I’d like to revisit a time and place that I’ve read about, and see if it lives up to its depictions.
How does the world end?
Like a sweet old man who has lived a beautiful, meaningful life, drifting off to sleep and not waking up. Of course, that is how I’d like to die, and I love the world, so why not wish for it the same? It’s not a realistic way to imagine the world ending, but still …
Star Trek or Star Wars? Why?
Star Wars. Even though my dad was a huge Trekkie when he was alive, I never really got into it that much. I was in second or third grade when the first Star Wars movie came out. My family and my friend’s family stood in one of those huge lines in Seattle to see it together. It blew my mind. We went to Spaghetti Factory after the movie and I just remember the parents and all us kids talking and yelling over each other as we ate our pasta, everyone trying to share their favorite parts of the movie over the din in the restaurant. At school that year we played Star Wars nearly every recess. I was taller than my friends so they always made me be Chewbacca, even though I wanted to be R2D2 or Han Solo.
You have been turned into an adult beverage. What are you?
Ooh. Let’s see. I’m going to cheat and give two answers:
1) An amazing microbrew, served in a cozy pub in Seattle by a hot, bearded waiter!
2) An ice-cold martini (gin or vodka, as I like both), just a splash of vermouth, with three olives. A little dirty. I like saying that last part out loud.
Who is your favorite author?
While a legit question, it’s tough to give an answer. Usually it’s a cross between an all-time favorite, and someone I’ve just discovered. If you asked me the same question next week, I’d probably give a different. Or insist on including my top ten. As above, I’m going to cheat and give two answers:
1) Toni Morrison. I read Song of Solomon while living in Taiwan. It was my first Morrison novel, and I’d never read anything like it. I was going through my own bildungsroman period, you could say (many of us queer people have our emotional teenage years after our actual teenage years. I was 24 or 25 at the time) and while I was so steeped in white culture that I probably missed most of the themes in Solomon, Milkman’s story still shook me up, or spoke to me in a way that bypassed my brain. I still have trouble describing how it affected me, but I remember being surprised that I could actually walk upright, go to classes (I was studying Mandarin), go to work teaching English, brush my teeth, make my bed, etc., during the week that I read that book. I wanted to simply fall on my knees and cry and shout, because I didn’t know you could write the way Morrison did – I tried to describe it to a friend of mine, already a big Morrison fan, and she summed it up in one word: unapologetic. I’ve never reread the book, though I have read other Morrison novels multiple times. I might not ever, I’m not sure. I might just want to keep it as a building block from my past, rather than shake the foundation.
2) Leigh Bardugo. I just discovered her last year when I read Ninth House. Ooh! What a hoot of a good book. Protagonist who sees ghosts, who is poor but gets accepted to Yale, and gets involved with the Houses, each of which have some magical service they provide. A murder mystery, ghosts, creepy Yale lore, language and linguistics, classism, conspiracies, bam! What’s not to love? Then I went on to read her Shadow and Bone trilogy. Fantasy, with lots of martial exercises, demands for fealty, a very cool magical system. I want to read all of her stuff but I’m parsing it out slowly.
What’s your drink of choice?
Matcha. It is my witch’s brew, and feeds my mind in the morning when I write. It’s so frothy and green and witchy. My partner thinks it tastes like aquarium water, but I think it tastes like the liquid from a platter of grilled summer vegetables. Plus, when has he ever tried aquarium water?
What’s in your fridge right now?
A homemade jar of preserved lemons, some leftover smoked salmon, several kinds of cheeses, baby carrots, some ginger molasses holiday cookies I made, homemade kimchi, tons of southern California produce, and whatever food project my partner is working on. He’s an amazing home cook and chef, and keeps trying to turn me into a foodie. I’m just a happy eater.
What food(s) fuel your writing?
Sometimes I wish I could just take a pill, because it’s a pain to always have to stop to eat. At other times, I’m a F.I.T. (foodie-in-training). Because I write in the morning, my writing fuel would be breakfast, and my favorite breakfast is either omurice (a thin omelet stuffed with fried rice, with a spicy ketchup on top), or steamed rice topped with kimchi and fried eggs, and sesame oil. Basically eggs and rice in many forms.
Football or Soccer?
Soccer. My sister and I both played on teams growing up, my mom played on a team, and my dad was a referee. It makes more sense to me than American football, and is way more exciting.
Christmas or New Year’s?
Probably Christmas. I was a Christmas junkie as a kid, but as I grew older and got tired of the consumerism embedded in the holiday, I mostly lost interest. I’ve made friends with it in the past decade or so. As long as it’s low-key and on my terms (rather than highly prescribed), I like it. I think I would like New Year’s much more if it wasn’t preceded by Thanksgiving and Christmas. By the time December thirty-first rolls around each year, I’m done. Sometimes I think America should do what Canada does: have Thanksgiving in October, followed by Halloween, then take November off. That way we’re not so holidayed out by the time the bells start jingling.
You have been granted one day to relive over, do you change it or keep it exactly the way it was? Will you share?
I would keep it the same. My partner and I had a long-distance relationship for our first eight years. On one of my winter visits to Los Angeles during the first few years, we went for a great hike, came home, made lunch and took a nap. After waking up we had an inspiring, sweaty round of sex. I lay there in his arms afterwards, enjoying the smells and the feels of him. Of us. He’d lit candles, and as the short day stretched toward dusk, the flames created a magical shadow play on the wall. We talked about important and unimportant things, and at some point, each of his two cats hopped onto the bed, mewling for cuddles and dinner. I remember thinking: this is a perfect day. Because I was flying home the next day, I wanted to drink in as many details as I could.
Cats or dogs?
I’ve always been a dog person, mostly because I grew up with them, and they’re a bit easier to understand than cats. I love how unbridled their joy can be. That being said, my partner’s cats became mine, too, when I moved in. And I tell you, those two sleek felines, so odd and mysterious, wormed their way into my heart. We only have one now, and I’m smitten with her.
Purple or Green?
Green. I’m Irish-American, and also, it reminds me of the lushness of the Pacific Northwest. Nothing against purple, however.
Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss?
Dr. Seuss. I don’t have a theater background, and other than advanced English in high school, I never studied Shakespeare. So I mostly feel like a dolt when I read or watch one of his plays. I’m nuts about languages, speak several, and dabble in linguistics, so you think I’d love the Bard better. But Dr. Seuss has a kookiness to him that makes my spirit laugh.
You’ve been given a microphone that everyone on the planet can hear and understand. You have 10 seconds to say anything you want. What do you share with the world?
Could we all just extend a bit more curiosity toward those who are different from us? Also, if we all tackled racism and global warming, just think what world we could create. We got this, go EARTHLINGS!
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