Lydia reviews: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation by John H Ames

31931520Title: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation

Publisher:  Ai-Press

Author: John H Ames

Pages: 184

Kisses: 5++

 

 

 

Blurb:

Seventeen year old, blond-hair, blue-eyed and adorable Robbie Carroll, orphaned at a young age and mysteriously never adopted, has finally found his dream family. Nick Hawking and John Ames, now married, wealthy, and powerful, make Robbie their son, defying the young man’s past- one that Robbie himself has no memory of- that has scared all other prospective parents away. Now, Robbie has great parents and a hot brother, Nicky and beautiful sister, Lily, who take him into their midst and make him part of their tight circle of friends who all go to Elite High.

 

One of those friends is Tim Mercer, a gorgeous football player at Elite High. Tim’s dark looks and simmering eyes capture Robbie’s heart at first sight. But Robbie can’t be sure that Tim feels the same way, or even if he’s gay too. Moreover, even if Tim is available, there are some people around him who don’t want Robbie to get close to him, and will go to ANY lengths to keep him away. Why? What do they want with Tim? What is the secret that Tim is harboring? And who is that strange man in Robbie’s visions, who haunts his life and his dreams? Find out here!

 

Review:

Have you ever wondered what happens to  Nick and John, or the rest of the gang we met in book one of the Surviving Elite High series?  If you have then you really need to  pick up this newest addition to the series.

The book starts out by introducing Robbie, a young boy who has spent most of his time in a group home for unwanted boys.  Theres a bit of mystery surrounding Robbie, one that causes perspective parent to run the other way.  Luckily Allison, his case worker, has finally found the perfect home for him.  Soon Robbie finds himself in a home with loving fathers, Nick and John, older sister Lily, and brother Nicky.  He’s a little nervous but his new family goes out of their way to make him feel wanted and loved.  However, while Robbie is trying to settle in he’s also having flashback’s that terrify him.

The author really pulls you back into the world he created with this new story and in no time i found myself feeling for Robbie.  I wanted to hug him when he found himself crushing on his new brother, and when he started to wonder about Tim, i found myself holding my breath wondering what was happening.

Tim is the son of Johnny Mercer, who fans will remember being Nick’s biggest football rival.  Now a days the two are friends and Johnny’s son attends Elite High with everyone else.  Like his dad was, Tim is a BMOC with the perfect girlfriend.  Only things aren’t what they seem and the relationship is slowly tearing Tim apart.  When he finally has enough and leaves his girlfriend for Robbie, things spiral completely out of control.

Tim and Robbie take their time with the new relationship they find themselves in.  See how much Tim cares for Robbie is really something and it is easy to see that this relationship has the earmarks of becoming a forever love like Nick and John’s.

I love how the author was able to bring back former characters in a way that is believable, allowing fans to catch up on all their favorites.  I also like that the author continues to show the teens in a realistic fashion, instead of them being overly perfect.  That Nicky becomes a bit of an ass during the story, and is properly punished for his actions is a refreshing change from what we normally see.

Through everything that is going on in this story, the mystery surrounding Robbie’s parents and their death gets lost in the shuffle.  I can’t what to see how this is resolved and from the glimpse we got in Surviving Elite High: Next Generation, I am a little worried as to what Robbie went through.

Those new to this series need to know that the books must be read in order. 

Reviewer: Lydia

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Please help us welcome our sweet friend John H. Ames (Juan)

Please come in and sit down, John- AKA Juan….It’s very good to have you here with US today. We are just a little bit excited to get to know you just a little better.  Shall we begin?

 

What’s your favorite comfort food?

  • My favorite comfort food is definitely Nutella with strawberries. I’m obsessed with Nutella. I keep a bottle of Nutella next to my bed every single night.

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Who do you turn to for encouragement when you feel your writing isn’t all you think it can be?

  • There are two individuals that I turn to, Sedonia Guillone and Michele Montgomery. I love Sedonia so much. She’s one of my favorite people in the world. She has taught me so much when it comes to writing that I could hear her in my head as I write. Michele to me is the bomb. Whenever I feel lost, I run to her and she always knows what to say. She can lift me up in a second and enlighten my way.

AWWWW…..I’m blushing here….you’re so sweet! I love to help those I love….I’ll be here for you always!

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Do you have pets? If yes, what are their names?

  • We’ve got a puppy name Clifford. He’s small and black, not humongous or red like the cartoon character. He’s a Havanese that we got when he was just two months old.

ADORABLE furry baby!

What do you think your strongest asset is in writing? Or weakness?

  • When it comes to writing, I’m very creative. Most of the time, when I’m working a new novel, another novel forms in my head. However, I’m very slow when it comes to writing them. I’m a perfectionist and I feel the need to write everything right the first time around.

 

What mundane thing do you have to do that you totally dislike?

  • Cleaning the toilet. Doing dishes. Rolling up the hose. Counting sheep when it’s time to go to sleep. You know, things like that.

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What is your favorite genre to read?

  • I love young adult novels with the famous jock and nerd theme. I go crazy for those novels. Yes, they have been retold hundreds of times, but they never get old.

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What is your favorite genre to write?

  • Right now, I’m only sticking to young adult novels. I don’t know if I’m ready to venture into a new genre just yet. However, as I write, I feel like I’m ready to take the next step. I just don’t know what genre to venture into next.

 

What classes have you taken – or want to take, to improve your writing skills?

  • I wish I could take all of my English and literature classes all over again. But this time, I would give it my all. I hated English and literature growing up. I was into science and math. Funny how things change, huh?

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What do you do for fun?

  • I love watching movies. Since I work and write most of the time, I rarely sit down and watch television. So, when I find the time, I sit down and enjoy a nice little old movie.

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Where is your favorite place to write?

  • At the kitchen while I watch my mom cook or in my room where no one is around. Those are the only two places that I sit down and write.

I’m coming for dinner!

How does your family and friends react to what you write?

  • They love my work, especially my friends. They are always asking when the next novel will be out and what I’m working on. They get so excited. I absolutely love them.

 

When you feel discouraged with a current work in process, what do you do?

  • What I usually do is that I take a break. I leave it for a few days and come back to it by reading it from the beginning. Most of the time, as I read it, new and better ideas form in my head.

 

What are some of your other creative outlets?

  • I’m very good at drawing and designing book covers. I wish that someday I could focus on those two things as well, but writing takes a lot of my time. I don’t think I’ve got the time to add drawing and designing to my schedule.

 

What’s your favorite season to write about? (Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter)

  • Anything but Winter. Winters are so different everywhere. Some of you have snow while others don’t even see it. This simple little thing has screwed up with my novels so many times.

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It’s so beautiful though!

 

Are you a morning, afternoon or night owl?

  • I write all the time or when I get the chance. It can be in the morning or late at night. You’ll always find me writing in my spare time.

 

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

  • I would say visit Portugal, meet Nelly Furtado, and have breakfast or lunch with J. K. Rowling. I’ll be happy if I can achieve one of those goals.

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Wonderful bucket list….Portugal is probably the easiest. It’s beautiful.

What music do you listen to when you write? Or do you have to have total silence?

  • I prefer total silence. However, I’m good at blocking anything but music. Music distracts me easily. I end up singing or listening to the song.

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What social medias seem to work for you?

  • I would probably say Facebook. Facebook has become the marketing tool for the new world. Everyone uses Facebook, even my grandmother and she’s seventy-three years old. Everyone is just one click away.

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How did you discover M/M romance?

  • I came across this genre in 2008. I wanted to read a novel with a gay jock and nerd theme in it and came across Mark A. Roeder’s A Better Place. After that, I came across Jeff Erno’s Dumb Jock. His little novel changed my world forever. I decided to become a writer that day.

 

Beverage of choice?

  • I love Pepsi. Pepsi is my favorite beverage ever. Some are obsessed with Coca-Cola, I’m obsessed with Pepsi.

Well here you go! pep

What kind of computer do you work on?

  • I do all my writing on my iPad 2 and all of my editing it on my Dell laptop. I spent so much time on these two things that I take them everywhere with me.

 

Do you hear voices in your head telling you what to write or are you inspired by what goes on in the world?

  • Definitely voices. These stories develop in my head and beg me to write them down. I have a new novel in my head all the time. It’s sort of crazy.

voices

How do you feel about the future of books? More e-books or will print always be around?

  • The era of print has come to an end. No one uses them these days. Everyone has a phone, kindle, iPad, or tablet. I prefer hardcover novels, especially mine. There’s no better feeling than holding the book you worked so much on.

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 I love the feel of a paperback in my hands. The smell is heaven.  Walking into a bookstore IS Heaven! I keep up with modern times but I still love my hold it in my hands type of girl. Though, I do love my e-readers. It’s easier to tote all of the books I do love around. And for the ones I don’t like, I don’t have to give it away. I just delete it.

What do you prefer to read? E-books, blogs, magazines or print?

  • E-books and blogs. They are easier and very convenient. Magazines and print are almost a thing of the past. Sadly, they will soon fade into nothing.

On those days you’re in a funk, what do you do to get back to the keyboard?

  • I read to get that spark lit and then I immediately run to my iPad and begin a new novel.

WAIT! John! Come back here! Put that down. We’re doing something here and…No…not right now. We have a few more questions for you. Here, how about some chocolate? candy

That’s right, let me have your I thingie there…ahhh….better. Now, where were we….OH Yes….Do you have a story or an author who inspires you?

  • Yes, Jeff Erno and J. K. Rowling. If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be an author right now. I would probably be somewhere managing a business full time, making way more money. However, deep inside, I wouldn’t be happy. Writing is what I love and no one will take it away from me.

I beg to differ, John. If you’re born with a gift, that gift will find its way out. Just like it did for so many others. What you found was the strength to share your gift with the world. You’re an author because YOU took that step all by yourself and we’re so very proud of you.

What do you look for when seeking out an on line friendship?

  • I like individuals who are sincere, honest and tell it like it is. I like to vent my problems to them and listen to what they have to say. Just a few have stayed with me since I started writing. Many have simply disappeared. It makes me sad, but that’s life.

friends

I agree one hundred percent! You’re a good person. A rare breed indeed. That’s why you’re so loved around here.

 

What makes you laugh/sad/angry?

  • I hate people who haven’t read your work, yet they give you a bad review. I’ve met several individuals online who spend their time going on sites, not reading an author’s work, and giving them horrible reviews. A few days ago, I was going through one of my favorite novels on a very famous site and this reader said that she hadn’t read the novel and would give it a one star rating because it was not her cup of tea. What? It it’s not your cup of tea, look away. Why trash a novel you didn’t bother to read? I was so mad for the author. Individuals like that need to be banned from the internet.

angry

I can appreciate that. There are plenty of haters but I believe there are more lovers than haters….I think the later individuals lack good thoughts in life. Maybe they’re really those awful customer service people we are forced to deal with on the phone…you know the ones.  They gotta take their hate out on everything and everyone they can. Especially artists. They know most authors won’t lash out. So, my advice…..continue to write from your heart and if you love it, that’s all that matters.

 

And last but not least…What is your favorite holiday?

  • Valentines day.   It’s about the chocolate!

Well, here you go… homemade and fresh….enjoy!mmm

 

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And there we have it, folks! All of our questions have tuckered John out…I mean, just look at this picture I snapped of him. 

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He wants to go to sleep and here I am, asking questions. I hope he remembers this when he wakes up!  Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for our review of John’s latest story….Surviving Elite High: the Next Generation.

 

 

The man who wrote the Surviving Elite High series is here!!! He answers the most asked question by his fans…..

Who is your favorite character from your novels and why?

 

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Readers from every corner of the globe have asked me this questions over and over again. And to be honest, this is probably the hardest question for any author. Why? You love every single one of your characters, even the ones you kill in your novels. They are a part of you. They are you. Picking one over the other is an extremely difficult thing to do. But I had to answer this question since everyone has been so keen to know. I chose two. I couldn’t chose one. I had to choose two. You guys ready? Here we go!

My first favorite character is the ever so sexy Nicholas Anthony Hawking, or better known as Nick Wild Hawk, from Surviving Elite High. But first, let me tell you about my first work of fiction, Surviving Elite High. Surviving Elite High was re-released on January 5, 2014 under Ai Press. This novels chronicles the life of John Henry Ames, a gay sixteen-year-old boy, as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. After befriending the school’s quarterback, Nick Hawking, their lives change forever. Their friendship blossoms and they discover a side of each other that no one knew. For my debut novel, I thought of everything. It has friendship, love, bullies, and even a school shooting. School violence is very serious topic these days and I needed to say something about it in my debut work. Now, let’s move on to Nick Wild Hawk.

Nick is the school’s quarterback and athlete extraordinaire. He’s the kings of the roots and knows it. He is the type of guy that every guy wants to be and the type of guy that every girl wants to be with, but there is more to Nick that meets the eyes. Nick comes from a neglected home and it’s evident by the way he goes around having sex with different girls. He’s looking for love and attention in the wrong places. When he meets John, however, that changes completely. John offers him pure and unadulterated friendship and support. As the story progresses, he becomes dependent on John and he begins to grow as an individual. Slowly, Nick becomes the perfect guy thanks to John’s help. In my latest novel, Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation, you guys will be able to see that Nick grew up to be the perfect husband, lover, leader and friend. Why? Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation is set twenty years after the last time we saw Nick on Surviving Elite High: Senior Year. Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation made me love Nick even more. He became the man that I always envisioned he could be. Hopefully, you guys fall in love with him like I did.

Now, my second favorite character from my novels is Ashton Hall from the third story found inside Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain. Now, let me tell you a little more about Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain. Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain is a collection of three short stories that can stand on their own, but can act as a full-length novel if you put them together. They appear in the following order: The not so unrealistic and detailed account of how my best friend and I switched bodies for a short period of time or Swapatized for short, Spirit Indestructible, and The Lake View Psychopath which stars Ashton Hall. As you can see, their names tell you a lot. The first one is extremely funny, the second can be sad and sweet, but the last one is very psychotic and gory. Now that you know a little more about them, let’s talk about Ashton Hall.

Ashton Hall hates his existence at Lake View High and he has very good reasons to hate it. The jocks have made his life a living hell and his friends have completely abandoned him. Why you may ask yourself? Well, Ashton Hall is openly gay and dating the love of his life, Austin Young, the school’s soccer star. Almost overnight, they became the center of every joke and every bully’s paradise. My heart breaks every time I reread their story. Without giving too much away, he loses the guy he loves and his mind snaps. It breaks into two and the only thing that keeps him moving forward is the need for revenge. He needs to avenge the love of his life and then move on with his life. And you know what? I can connect with him in so many ways. I would do what he did if they took the love of my life away from me. I would go crazy and snap at everyone. The Lake View Psychopath maybe the shortest story out of the three, but it will keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. In my eyes, Ashton Hall is a hero, not the famous Lake View Psychopath they think he is. But I’ll let you decide when you read it.

So these are my top two favorite characters found in my novels. Picking them was hard since every single one of them is like a baby to me. I love them all, but you guys forced me to pick two. Hopefully, you read these two novels and bond with them like I did. Let me know what you think if you do.

You can stalk me at https://johnhenryamesbooks.wordpress.com or email me at authorjha@gmail.com. See you later guys!

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John H. Ames

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, John.

No problem. I’m honored to be interviewed by you.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Well, my real name is Juan H. Alvarado and I am a twenty-four-year-old from El Salvador C.A. I currently live in Belize C.A. and began writing in 2008. I posted some of my work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, I completed several full-length novels under my pen name, John Henry Ames.

What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

My first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. It took me less than two weeks to write it and about a year to publish it.

When did you start writing m/m romance? What about this genre interested you the most?


I got interested in m/m romance after I read A Better Place by Mark A. Roeder. I quickly researched for other jock/nerd love stories and came across Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. It hook me and inspired me to write my own GLBT novel.

How long did it take you to get published? How many books have you written thus far?


It took me approximately one year to get published because of my lack of confidence. I honestly thought that the story wasn’t good enough. But, a good friend of mine, Madison Parker, gave me the confidence needed. It immediately got accepted by Dare Empire eMedia Productions. I have completed three novels in all, two GLBT and one YA.

Do you write full time?


I really wish I could write full time, but I don’t. I only write on my spare time or whenever I get those sudden bursts of inspiration.

Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?

There is one person that inspired me to become a writer and that’s the amazing J.K. Rowling. After reading her books, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Write.

On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?

On a typical day I would write during the night and edit during the day. Why? I can’t write during the day since there are too many distractions around me. So, I prefer to edit my work. (ditto!)

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

I always plan ahead but as the ideas flow, I add more to my stories. So, at the very end, it never comes out as I planned. Lol.

What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?

I usually research a lot on the setting of my novels. That’s very important to me since I don’t want my characters to be out of place.

How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?

I write a lot about my personal life and fantasies. All my novels come from a twisted and magical place inside my head. Several, come to me as dreams. Usually you would find me at two in the morning writing down the plot, characters and setting. I’m that crazy! I don’t like to write about my family and friends. That’s too personal for me.

How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?

Whenever I’m in love, it would take me about a week to write a novel, but when I’m not, the process is much longer. I love writing and revising as I go along. That way, when I’m done with the novel, I don’t have a lot to edit.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

I only go on writer’s block whenever I’m not in love. I know it sounds silly but it’s true. My secret is that I develop an infatuation on someone and that person just inspires me write. (laughs)

When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?

I want my readers to be involved so much in my book that they basically cry, curse, and talk to their kindle. Once they do that, my job is done. I love when they tell me that they cried or talked to their kindle. It makes me happy to know that they felt the emotion of the book.

Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?

I learned that personality, friendliness, and politeness take you far. Once you mastered those, the sky is the limit.

Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?

That’s a good question. Usually, my novels start with one title and end up with another. I like to change it until I’m satisfied with it.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

I have a high sense of humor that transcends into my books. I love laughing and making other people laugh. I don’t take things seriously most of the time. Laughing makes people happy and productive.

What is the most frequently asked John question?

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on two GLBT novels. I’m taking my time and enjoying the success of Surviving Elite High. I worked so hard on it that I need a break.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?

I daydream a lot. Every single moment of the day I’m in a far away land reliving my novels. That way, when I get in front of my computer, I just have to write down what I dreamt during the day.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I love YA and GLBT novels, but I’m a huge fan of science fiction as well. Also, any novel that has a jock/nerd theme, I have to read it. It’s a must for me.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

A model. LOL. Nah, I think that I would have been a business man or someone working on the music industry. I love music. I mean, who doesn’t, right?

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love reading and listening to music. I don’t watch TV a lot since I barely have the spare time to breathe. Working and writing take most of my time.

New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?

Never give up. NEVER. Keep going until you can’t, and even then, you shouldn’t give up. Many doors will be close, but there will be one that will take you to the perfect road.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

You can find me on Facebook
follow me on twitter @JohnHenryAmes

Could you please share your favorite excerpt(s) from one of more of your stories with us?

Sure…I will share one from Surviving Elite High.

“Nick leaned in and our lips met. It really was an out-of-body experience. I had never felt that shocking feeling that starts in your lips, travels throughout your entire body and rests in your heart. Once he stopped, he stared at me and touched my body.”

Surviving Elite High by John H. Ames

Title: Surviving Elite High
Author: John H Ames
Publisher: Dare Empire
Pages: 80
Characters: John and Nick
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies.

On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school’s star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John’s help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them.

Several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever. Will they follow their own voice or return to the safety of their own shadows?

Surviving Elite High is a breathtaking saga that illustrates a flourishing same-sex love, family, and friendship.


Review:

Surviving Elite High is a coming of age story for a young nerdy boy and the quarterback of the football team. It is a delightful love story that will bring a smile to your face, and then moments later bring tears to your eyes. John and Nick were so real that I was convinced that these were actual people that I could see and feel. It was so endearing that Nick took the protector role so seriously. . I loved this book it had drama, tears, friendship and happiness.

This book is so well written that it kept my attention from beginning to end.

I have a question to you Mr. Ames is this autobiographical?

Reviewed By: Vonda