Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Release!

My newest YA novel from Featherweight Press came out last week! In Dolphins in the Mud, Chris Talberman has spent six months in his new home in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, feeling left out and isolated. When a pod of dolphins strands in the cove outside Chris's house, his autistic younger sister Cece takes off to see them, and Chris has to chase her. Another teen guy helps him out, and that's how Chris meets Noah Silver, the first potential friend he's had in Wellfleet. And someone he thinks might have potential to be more.

Then Chris's life is turned upside-down. His mother leaves, and Chris learns that she's been having an affair. She's tired of caring for Cece, and she's done with the family. Chris's workaholic father turns to Chris to help with Cece, and Chris has no one to lean on except Noah. But Noah has problems of his own, ones that almost lead to tragedy.

Chris has a lot going on for a sixteen-year-old. His mother leans on him to take care of Cece, and when she's gone, his father does the same. Chris is understandably angry, though he tries not to aim that anger at Cece since he doesn't believe it's her fault their parents put too much responsibility on him. He hopes that things will work out with Noah in part because he wants to feel like a teenager again.

Noah's issues are more complicated. He's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but his father is too concerned about his own image to get help for Noah. Noah's mother rejects him much the same as Chris's mother rejects Cece. And ultimately Noah's disorder gets the better of him, and he harms himself.

Fortunately, both Chris and Noah get help. Chris and his father enter both individual and family therapy; Noah is hospitalized and put on medication that help stabilize his moods. Both of them form closer relationships with their fathers, and both have happy, or at least hopeful, endings.

You can find Dolphins in the Mud on the Featherweight Press website.