Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hideous by Devon McCormack: Book Tour + Guest Post

by Devon McCormack 
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Eight years ago, Luke Retter witnessed the brutal murder of his mother and sister at the hands of his demon-possessed father. He survived but lost a hand and an eye. The demon also burned its emblem into his skin, marking him as a cursed. Those who bear this mark are at risk of becoming possessed themselves, so they are monitored and enslaved by the state-run UCIS. Working as a slave is hard, but Luke prefers it to the possibility of being controlled by a demon.

One night, Luke wakes to find his worst nightmare coming true. His father’s demon has returned. In a panic, he runs to the only person who might be able to help: Zack, a cursed who ran away from the state and created an underground community to protect other fugitive curseds. Zack helps him suppress the demon. But the city’s become a time bomb, and Luke’s demon itches to escape.

With the UCIS closing in on Zack’s underground operation and Luke’s demon crafting its own, nefarious plot, Luke realizes that he must take a stand.
Guest Post
Why YA Needs more LGBT Heroes
by Devon McCormack

I'd like to start off with a big thanks for having me on the blog today to promote the release of my first Young Adult novel, Hideous. I jokingly pitch it as "a sweet little book about a boy and his demon." The more accurate version is: a twisted tale of a boy whose demon-possessed father severed off one of his hands and gouged out one of his eyes. Years later, the demon returns to possess him.

My protagonist, Luke, is a young, gay man. He bears the mark of the demon that possessed his father. Those who bear a demon's mark are forced to work for the state so they can be monitored, as they're more likely than most to become possessed themselves. Luke works at an all-boys high school, where he has to watch all the other boys getting to go on dates and to school dances. Being gay, this is what much of high school felt like for me. I was an outsider. I could watch all the other guys go on dates and to the dances with their girlfriends, but how did I fit into that system? At the time, I harbored a lot of self-hate and anger about the attraction I felt for guys, and it didn't feel fair that I didn't get to walk along the easy path that everyone else seemed to have carved out for them. If I felt attracted to a guy, I didn't get eager and excited. I got worried and fearful. What had I done wrong? Was this a punishment from God? Surely, it had to have been. Otherwise, there wouldn't have been such severe stigmas around it.

It was more than just what I felt around my peers, though. The absence of gay representations in media seemed to indicate that, not only was it abnormal to be gay, but it was something that people didn't want to look at. I gradually came to believe that being gay meant that I didn't matter to the rest of the world and that somehow being out about my sexuality would mean I was agreeing to be shunned and ignored--which was something I desperately feared. I kept my secret through high school. In fact, I didn't even start acting on my attraction to guys until I was twenty. This certainly isn't as long as it is for some people, but it was a long time to bottle up emotions and denial, and it took a toll on me emotionally. Fortunately, I discovered some great people who supported me as I started accepting who I really am, and for that, I'm so appreciative.

Looking back, I realize it didn't help that there were no gay role models I could look to--nothing to help me with coming to terms with my sexuality as a teenager. I'm glad to say that isn't the case today. Teenagers have more access to gay heroes and gay representations than ever before, and it's a great step in the right direction, because it's a smoke signal--an indication that "Hey, you're not alone, and we can get through this together." When I wrote Hideous, I wanted to create a story about a young, gay man who felt the sort of lonely isolation that so many of us push through in our formative years. I wanted to be able to reach out to someone who experienced something similar to let them know we're all going to get through this together. And fortunately, gay heroes in YA stories just keep coming. Publishing companies are becoming more and more accepting of gay characters, and I think we're going to see a big shift in the next few years. Of course, it’s not just gay men who aren’t being represented. The entire spectrum of the LGBT community isn’t getting the attention that it deserves, and this needs to change.

          IT HOVERED over me like a storm cloud, dark and billowing.
          I couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to look away. Something about its presence was disarming, soothing. And yet, I knew exactly what it was… and I knew that everything in me should have been afraid.
         No primal impulse would drive my limbs or body to action. If I’d had the will to move, I doubted I would have.
          “Oh, Luke,” the cloud said from an unknown mouth. Was it just in my head? Or were the words audible? I didn’t know. Didn’t care. I just lay there, waiting for the thing to unleash whatever terror it had for me… like a field mouse waiting for an owl to tear it from the earth.
          The cloud descended, wrapping me in a haze.
          It settled on my shoulder, where my mark was, and the haze vanished.
          We are one, I heard distinctly. This time, I was certain it was only in my head.
          We were one. I could feel his weakness. His vulnerability. I could feel that whatever energy it had taken him to come inside me had forced him into the least threatening of states. Now was my chance. And it might be my only one.
          I felt my senses returning to me. My fingers shook. My ass nuzzled against the mattress. I knew what I had to do.
          I leapt to my feet. Blood rushed to my head so quickly I stumbled to the floor.
          It’s useless, the voice cried in me. I have you.
          “No!” I shouted. I scanned around, hoping no one had heard me.
         Oh, we had such good times together, didn’t we? You remember how I peeled at your flesh? You remember how I sawed through your sister’s leg? Remember her shrill? Remember how I made your mother watch?
          My chest clenched.
         The memories the demon conjured up crowded my thoughts. I tried to shake them from my skull.
          Don’t you want to remember your mother’s scream? Don’t you want to remember how her voice strained and cracked as she cried out? How you watched her desperate, pleading face?
          As I jumped into my clothes, the demon led my thoughts through painful, seemingly endless corridors—paths to those dark days.
          My forehead swelled with throbbing, pulsating pain.
          I’d run through the freezing rain, desperately making my way to the only person I could think who would help me… would be able to help me.
          I lay on Zack’s doorstep, rain washing over my clothes, sweeping across my face.
          After knocking with all the strength I had left, praying that he was there, I’d collapsed onto the concrete.
          “You’re soaking.”
          He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, helped me to my feet, and pulled me in.
         I trembled. It was largely a reaction to the fever that attacked my immune system like a heinous flu. But some of it must’ve been from how terrified I was about telling him what had happened.
          Tears filled my eye.
          I can’t, I thought. But he’s the only one I can turn to… the only one who might understand. Anyone else will kill me.
          However, what assurance did I have that he wouldn’t do the same? Curseds were just as scared of infecteds as anyone else. Unfortunately, this was my only option.
          Zack laid me on his mattress. The heat of the fever that burnt at my flesh was tapered by the chill of the rain.
          “Luke, what is it?” Zack asked, his eyes desperate, eager to help. I wondered if they’d be so encouraging once he knew.
          He can’t help you, the demon said. No one can.
          But I had to say it, get it out. I couldn’t do this by myself.
          “It’s in me,” I whispered. “It came for me. It’s—”
          Zack stared at me in horror, in the way I was used to everyone staring at me—the way most people other than Zack stared at me. And as distraught as I was about the horrible fate that awaited me, it was even worse knowing that now I was even a monster to him.
          “I’m gonna get help,” he said.
          I snatched his wrist. “Please don’t leave me. They’re gonna kill me.”
          He knelt beside me and stroked his thumb across my cheek, as he had just days earlier. Those dark eyes brought me a moment of ease, a moment where I felt safe. “I’ll be right back,” he whispered.
          His words calmed me.
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Author Profile
Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.

A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men's presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they're getting into.


  1. I haven't read any of Devon's book, but it sounds like something I'd like because I like a character driven story, and Devon seems to have injected a lot of character in Luke.

    1. I know Penny! Devon was a new author to me but I feel the same way about characters. I can't wait to read this one myself.

  2. This sounds really good! I can't wait to read this. :)

  3. Haven't read any of this author yet but this exerpt makes me want to.

  4. I have not read any of Devon's books yet and even though this is classed as a young adult, I hope he does not mind an old adult reading it :) I find the story line intriguing and I want to find out what happens to Luke and how he deals with the demon possession & also how can Zach protect him?

    Thank you for a chance to win this book :)

    1. Readers of all ages welcome! It will keep you young at heart! :D

  5. Hi Devon, You are a new to me author and I am adding you to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.