1/26/2015

Pride Promotions presents Come to My Window by Mia Kerick





Book Name: Come to My Window
Release Date: January 2015

Author Name: Mia Kerick
Author Bio:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find the author:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaKerick

Publisher: Mia Kerick
Cover Artist: Reese Dante





Blurb:

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother. 

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction. 

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance, Young Adult

Excerpt:

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal, all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I wasn’t.

I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.

“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”

“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.


Pages or Words: 182 pages

 ~~~~~~~~~~~


Come To My Window—the meaning in the lyrics.

Hi, it’s Mia Kerick, and I’m here to talk about the song “Come to My Window” and how its lyrics relate to my new YA lesbian romance novel of the same name.

"Come To My Window" Melissa Etheridge

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon

I would dial the numbers
Just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell
And hold the hand of death
You don't know how far I'd go
To ease this precious ache
You don't know how much I'd give
Or how much I can take

Just to reach you
Just to reach you
Just to reach you

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon

Keeping my eyes open
I cannot afford to sleep
Giving away promises
I know that I can't keep
Nothing fills the blackness
That has seeped into my chest
I need you in my blood
I am forsaking all the rest
Just to reach you
Just to reach you
Oh to reach you

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon

I don't care what they think
I don't care what they say
What do they know about this
love anyway

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon

When I put a title to a piece of writing into which I have devoted a significant part of myself, I think about it a great deal. Interestingly, I wrote the entirety of Come To My Window under the working title of Sign Language, as the two female main characters meet by way of their bedroom windows, and they get to know through the exchange of written signs held up so they could be read.

I decided against calling the book Sign Language mainly because I worried that it might mislead or offend readers who expected it to be about two girls who communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). And almost as soon as I released my original idea, Come To My Window popped into my mind as a possible title.
A few summers ago, I went to a Melissa Etheridge concert, and I was amazed by the intensity of her vocals. I also enjoyed the crowd who attended the outdoor concert, which included many lesbians. After doing some online research and interviews, I felt pretty certain that Melissa had written this song about a difficult long distance relationship that she was having with a woman, and it ultimately became a sort of coming out anthem for her, as well as for many others.

When I mentioned that I was strongly considering changing the novel’s title to Come To My Window to a person whose opinion I greatly respect, she said, “You know that the lyrics to the song are not simply about asking someone to come to an actual window, but are about the pleading of one woman to another that she comes to her way of thinking.” In other words, Melissa means to say, “Come to my window; come to my way of thinking.” I really like this interpretation of the lyrics.

Justine, the character who tells the story, spends a lot of time wishing and hoping that the beautiful Kemina will come to the window, both literally and figuratively. The two girls have forged a relationship by studying each other through their third floor bedroom windows where they live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This eyeing each other turns into written messages, and soon the girls meet in person at a cafĂ©, and then the romance begins. Justine wants Kemina to notice her, and not just as a new friend, but also as a romantic interest. But as soon as Justine recognizes the challenges Kemina is faced with, and the fact that Kemina feels like she must be absolutely physically perfect, Justine tries to encourage Kemina to see things her way—to see that she is already perfect.

Many of the lines in the song also make me think of Justine’s urge to know and understand and connect with Kemina.

You don't know how far I'd go
To ease this precious ache
You don't know how much I'd give
Or how much I can take
Just to reach you

Justine would go to any length to reach Kemina, to speak to her heart.

I don't care what they think
I don't care what they say
What do they know about this
love anyway

Justine is not “out of the closet” in any official capacity, but she realizes that she really doesn’t care what her family or friends thinks of her lesbian relationship with Kemina. She knows that she loves Kemina and that is what matters to her.

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon

Ultimetely, these lyrics are what the book is all about. Justine simply wants Kemina to come to her window, to communicate with her, to crawl inside her heart.



What Melissa says about this song: (from Entertainment Weekly)

“I wrote most of this song in a hotel room, which is where I did a lot of my writing once I started touring a lot after my first album. The first three albums did fine. I was being played on radio and had a bit of a following. The hip-hop beats were starting around 1990, the time of my third album, I experimented musically with them. So for the fourth album, I was thinking of getting back to my soul—to the roots of rock and roll where I came from.
I was in a relationship at the time that was tumultuous. In my early twenties and thirties I made some poor choices and what you choose is what you get. I was struggling with fidelity, honesty and what it is that makes a relationship.
On the road, as a “rock star,” there’s superficial attention and adulation is thrown at you for a couple of hours—then you’re alone in your room and it’s lonely. I understand why some people turn to drugs.

I started writing in my room (I remember it was nice but can’t remember where it was—Europe or America) after a show.
I had a not so good phone call with my partner at the time, where out of loneliness, I sat on the phone, silent:
I would dial the numbers

Just to listen to your breath

Because of all of the attention I was getting, I felt I needed to do something for someone else. I would sacrifice so many things, put myself through so much pain for this relationship:
You don’t know how much I’d give

Or how much I can take

Just to reach you.


The chorus is a metaphor meaning you can’t come through the front door. I was telling her that we can’t meet and talk in an adult fashion; we have to meet on the side and talk. And I always like a reference to the moon. It conjures up a cold, sweet image.
Come to my window

Crawl inside, wait by the light

Of the moon.

Come to my window

I’ll be home soon.

The last line means that I couldn’t connect with her and I was longing to be home.
My friends were telling me I wasn’t in a good place. They were saying, “Why are you putting up with that?” but I didn’t care what they thought:
I don’t care what they think

I don’t care what they say.

What do they know about this

Love anyway?

However, at the same time the album became a hit, I came out publicly. The gay community lifted me up and supported me. That bridge in the song was taken to an anthem level. It bypassed any meaning I ever put in the song and became part of a mass consciousness. It is still a huge moment when I perform it live.
I realized that I was willing to compromise my wants, wishes for someone else.  The need was deeper than skin, it was in my blood.  I needed to make a connection.

I need you in my blood

I am forsaking all the rest

Just to reach you

Much therapy later, I realized that the hole I felt was for me to fill, but much of our lives we try to have others do that for us. Originally, I was referring to the pain love brings when I used the metaphor “the blackness in my chest.” That’s where I feel my pain, where the heart chakra is.  However, ten years later, in 2004, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my current partner asked when I last listened to my records. I couldn’t remember, so while I was undergoing chemotherapy, friends came over and we all listened to every album in the order in which they were released. We listened all the way through and it took about three days because we talked about the songs and each of our memories.
It hit me:

Nothing fills the blackness

That has seeped into my chest

I was sitting there with a huge scar on my chest where they literally removed the blackness from the cancer. I realized how powerful words are.  As I craft songs, I have a responsibility. Words and music go beyond lyrics or thoughts—they go straight to the soul.
The cancer changed my life. It showed me the power of intention. We’re all spiritual beings and there has to be a balance of the soul and the body. That is the journey I’m on now.”









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