Nail Polish and Feathers, Deep Secrets and Hope Book 1, Harmony Ink Press, August 2013
Prism Book Alliance reviewed Nail Polish and Feathers and Shoulder Pads and Flannel in a joint review. Reviewer Brandilyn gave the books 4 stars and said, “I recommend these titles to anyone with a child in the appropriate age range, LGBT or not.”
Hearts on Fire Reviews gives Nail Polish and Feathers 3.75 stars and says, “What I liked a lot was that with the exception of the bullies and tormentors, everyone was very multifaceted.”
MM Good Book Reviews gives Nail Polish and Feathers 4 hearts and says, “I recommend this to those who love young adult stories that are filled with pain and suffering, who love a young man who just wants to be himself, a young man who stands up for himself in the face of huge opposition and a young man who sees a glimmer of hope in the future.”
Fallen Angel Reviews gives Nail Polish and Feathers 5 halos and their Golden Halo Award, and says, “Evan’s feelings of isolation, depression, and anger allowed the reader to understand the true ramifications and damage that bullying can cause and the fragile hope that each child has to be accepted and loved without question.”
Top2Bottom Reviews gives Nail Polish and Feathers 4.5 stars and says, “I loved the story, the writing, and most of the main character Evan. What an amazing job by this author!”
Love Romances and More gives Nail Polish and Feathers 4 hearts and says, “At some points in the story it was so sad I had tears in my eyes and I guess that makes this story strong. It brings out a lot of emotions.”
Nail Polish and Feathers was nominated for Best All-Around Book of 2013 in the Love Romances and More book awards!
Sixteen-year-old Evan Granger has no problems with being gay. Despite his mother’s objections, he wears nail polish and makeup to school and pursues his goal of becoming a professional drag queen.
TV drag star Taffy Sweet gives encouragement and Evan’s cousin Holly tries to protect him, but school bullies abuse him so badly because of his sexuality and the girly way he dresses that he ends up at the hospital emergency room. After that, even his new crush, a closeted football jock named Moe Garcia, is unhappy about Evan’s choice to live his life openly gay. But even in girly clothes and nail polish, Evan is a force to be reckoned with, and he soon shows the bullies—and everyone else—that beating a drag queen up does not mean the queen is beaten down.
I tried to rip open the package, which was no easy feat since the sender had used enough tape to wrap around my town two or three times. After a minute or so I gave up and went into the kitchen for the heavy-duty scissors. When I went back to the living room, Holly was digging around in her backpack. I cleared my throat and she pushed the backpack away. “What was I supposed to do, just sit here and wait?”
“Yes.” I sat beside her and started cutting through the tape. “You’re my cousin and accomplice. You’re supposed to be supportive.”
“I don’t see how just sitting here staring into space while you found the scissors would have been supportive, but okay.” She leaned back. “Let me know if you ever actually get it open.”
“It is open.” I yanked and the package finally ripped. Inside was exactly what I’d been hoping to see.
I pulled it out and reverently cradled it in both hands. “The feather boa Queen Regna wore on the season premiere last year.”
“It’s a blue feather boa,” Holly said. “There are probably tons of those. There’s no guarantee that’s actually the one Queen Regna wore.”
“The auction blurb said it is.” I held it up to study it more closely. The royal-blue feathers were tipped with tiny, sparkling blue beads. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I’d drooled over it when I’d seen it on Queen Regna the year before, and now I actually held it in my own two hands.
“How the heck would someone from Idaho get Queen Regna’s real boa?” Holly’s voice dripped with skepticism. The girl didn’t take anything at face value, and she didn’t trust most people any further than she could have thrown our school.
I was darned if I’d let her harsh my mood. “Maybe she sent it to them. Maybe they won it. You know she and her queens do all those charity things, so maybe the person who sold it to me got it from a charity auction. I don’t know, Holly. It sure looks like the one Queen Regna wore, and I believe it’s the one Queen Regna wore, so how about you stop trying to make me believe I couldn’t possibly own anything that special and just let me enjoy this?”
“Take it easy, dude.” She sat up and picked up her soda can again. “Look, you know those online auction sites can be pretty sketchy sometimes. I agree it looks like Queen Regna’s boa, as much as I can remember it from over a year ago. I just don’t want you to think it’s something awesome and then have your hopes smashed against a rock.”
“You’re the only one smashing my hopes right now, Hol, so please give it up.” I stood and wrapped the boa around my neck. The feathers tickled my skin and I fidgeted a little, trying to lessen that sensation. I planned on wearing the boa to school the next day, and it wouldn’t be good if I sat in class all day squirming and twitching because of tickly feathers.
I adjusted it and then felt more comfortable, so I struck a pose, one hand on my hip, the other in the air like the pose Queen Regna took each time she walked out onto her show’s runway. “What do you think, darling?”
“Simply smashing.” Holly giggled. “All you need is a wig.”
“That’s the next purchase.” Months ago, I’d checked out the wig site mentioned on the drag show and had suffered moderate sticker shock at the cost of the wigs on it. Since then, I’d been saving my meager allowance and the money I got for Christmas and my birthday. At least, I’d been saving it when I hadn’t had anything else to spend money on. My hope was that by summer, I would have enough to buy the wig I most wanted, a wavy caramel-colored one that would look perfect exactly as it was while I learned to style it. The hair came long and straight but could be put into braids or buns or curlers or whatever the wearer wanted to do with it, and I wanted to teach myself to do the more elaborate styles that the queens on TV wore on top of their heads.
Holly shook her head, grinning. “When you’re famous and doing drag shows in all the big cities, you’ll still remember your little cousin from back home, right?”
“Unquestionably.” I gave her a hug. She sneezed. “I would never forget my cousin, unless you leave snot on my boa.”