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Young Adult Fiction Lgbt

Crushing It

by (author) Jen Desmarais

Renaissance Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
LGBT, General, Paranormal
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 5 to 8


After an epic grounding for some bad decisions with even worse friends, Tommy Fairfield is lucky to even go to the Door Tech March Break camp. There, he crosses paths with Carter Batudev, chemistry isn't just for the classroom anymore.

With love and a renewed interest in STEM, Tommy returns home to Parry Sound, where, to the relief of his parents, he makes better friends, and joins the STEM club. When the club goes to the province-wide competition in Toronto, he is reunited with Carter, whose team is also competing. Ensues a wild ride full of romance, hijinks, STEM, and singing.

About the author

Jen Desmarais is the creator of the sex education game Blush and co-author of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. Crushing It is her first solo novel, and she's not entirely sure how it happened; she had a novella and a couple short story ideas and then all of a sudden it was a full-length book. Jen started learning guitar because of this book so that she could write her own music to go along with her lyrics.

Co-founder of JenEric Designs, she creates unique geeky crocheted items. Her blogs The Travelling TARDIS and How I Taught My Dragon have been nominated for the Prix Aurora Awards over 2018-2022.

She lives in Ottawa with her author husband, daughter, son, and their library of over 3000 books.

Jen Desmarais' profile page

Excerpt: Crushing It (by (author) Jen Desmarais)

Tommy pressed record. "Go."

p>Carter focussed on the target and sent the knives, one after the other, directly into the centre. He smiled. "You can stop." He headed over to where Tommy was standing, jaw dropped.

"How does it look?" Carter asked, nodding at the screen.

As if in a trance, Tommy pressed the replay and slow motion buttons. Together, they watched the video. When it was done, Tommy, a little dazed, said, "That was super hot."

Carter glanced at him, surprise written on his face. "I'm sorry?"

Tommy blinked and then slowly started to flush. "Did I say that out loud?" he whispered, horrified.

"Did you want to?" Carter kept his voice quiet.

"I... I don't know." Tommy could feel his heart rate picking up, his throat tightening in panic. "I think I should go home. I... I'm sorry." He swallowed hard, trying to fight against his urge to run. "Let me get you the video." He held up his phone, ready to tap it against Carter's.

Carter dug his phone out of his pocket and held them together. "Text me tonight?" he asked, face blank.

Tommy wished the video transfer would hurry up so he could get away from the awkward situation. "Course. I just... I need to..." He took a deep breath, surprised at how shaky it sounded.

"If you decide that you wanted me to hear it, I liked hearing it from you," Carter said shyly, gaze fixed on the progress bar.

Their phones beeped that the transfer was complete. Tommy gave his friend a wobbly smile, turned, and jogged away.

A block later, he slowed to a walk. He couldn't run any longer with his heart racing so fast. He didn't want to think about it, but he owed Carter an explanation. The whole way home, he tried to figure out what was going on in his head... and his heart. I feel like such a cliché! he thought. Every teen rom-com wrapped up in one!

The little bungalow he suddenly realized that he thought of as home came into view, but he didn't want to go in just yet. Instead, Tommy pulled out his phone and queued up the video again, watching it at regular speed. The lethal grace of the boy on the screen made him feel like he'd just run a marathon. I'm not ready for this! he wailed internally. Stuffing his phone back in his pocket, he paced the length of the property a couple times.

Tommy felt his cheeks flush with colour as he imagined getting closer with Carter. Imagining kissing him sent pleasant shivers up and down his spine.

I'm gay. I'm gay. It sounded strange, even in his head. What'll Mom and Dad say? What'll Kennedy say? That last one calmed him down. Kennedy wouldn't treat him any different. And Carter... Just thinking his name made him want to melt into a puddle. He swallowed hard. I like him. I really like him. Holy crap, I'm so gay!

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