Wednesday, 22 April 2015

SLAYING ISIDORE'S DRAGONS by Cody Kennedy: Blog Tour with Exclusive Excerpt and a Review

About Slaying Isidore’s Dragons

5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
Nowhere to run

Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.

5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
A love that won’t be denied

Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.

5 New family members
4 BFF’s
3 Countries
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
A new beginning for two young men in love

Thanks for hosting me today, Helena, it's great to be here! Congratulations on your newest book, Strangers in the Night!

Following is an exclusive excerpt and it shows how Declan and Isidore find out that Mason Brassington attempted suicide. Following, Isidore and Declan are asked sensitive personal questions by their friends and they both step up to support each other and answer honestly.

ON TUESDAY morning, Declan retrieved what he needed from his locker, closed the door, and reminded himself that having a hard-on at school was a living nightmare. Be easy, dick. Don’t wreck my day. Great, now I’m talking to my dick.
He didn’t want to see Mason and dreaded going to homeroom. Isidore at his side, his warmth, his comforting scent, all helped him remain steady and calm.
“Declan,” Isidore whispered.
“Look. They look upset.”
Declan followed Isidore’s gaze. Caleb and Ethan approached, worry all over their faces. What now?
“What do you think it is?” Isidore asked.
“We’ll find out.”
“Do you wish me to leave?”
“Absolutely not,” Declan whispered before turning to greet them. “Hey.”
“Did you hear what happened?” Caleb asked.
“About what?”
“Mason tried to kill himself last night. He’s in a coma. They don’t think he’ll make it,” Ethan said.
Declan’s nerve endings ignited like a fist full of Fourth of July sparklers. “What?”
Caleb lowered his voice to a near whisper. “Ethan and I got calls from him right before he did it. He apologized for…. Well, you know, and said you made him see the light.”
Declan was rendered momentarily speechless. “I told him to get help and gave him the number of my shrink. He’s gay, and I thought he could help Mason out.”
“You have a gay shrink?” Ethan asked, incredulous.
Caleb turned to Isidore. “Is it true?”
“Is what true?” Isidore asked.
“That you tried to kill yourself and got sent away to a mental hospital.” Sincerity radiated from Caleb as he asked the question.
Isidore searched Caleb’s eyes, and he nodded once. “Yes, after my mother died.”
“Not ’cause, ah, well, ’cause of—you know? We heard what Pierre said during the fight,” Ethan said.
“It was a combination of things,” Declan interjected. “What’s your real question?”
Ethan’s voice dropped to a whisper again. “There’s an investigation, and the police are here at the school talking to people. Caleb and I want to know how much trouble we’re in if we say what Mason did to us.”
Declan guided them into a nearby alcove. “Why would you be in trouble?”
“Look what happened to him. He was sent away.” Caleb gestured to Isidore.
“His circumstances were totally different. You guys have good parents. Talk to them.”
“We can’t. Our dads are attorneys, and they’ll sue everybody. Everything will come out,” Caleb said.
Declan shook his head more to himself than to anyone. “Just because Mason did what he did doesn’t make you gay or anything. You’re victims.”
“I’m gay,” Caleb said quietly.
Though Isidore had supposed this, it still surprised Declan.
“I’m not,” Ethan said. “Well, maybe I’m bi, but my parents will think I’m gay if they find out what Mason did.”
“Does your mom know about you guys?” Caleb asked gesturing to Isidore again.
“My mum has no problem with me being gay, but she doesn’t want it public knowledge,” Declan answered honestly.
“She knows?” Ethan was aghast.
“Yeah, she knows. I told her and Dad last year before Dad died.”
“Did your dad freak?” Caleb asked.
“For about half an hour.”
“That’s it?”
Isidore explained. “Madame de Quirke explains it like this. A man blames himself if his son is not like him. She said Declan’s father was disappointed in himself at first, and Madame de Quirke told him Declan was like him and was not excused from grandchildren. After that, all was well. This is the story.”
Declan stared at Isidore. “You know more about it than I do.”
Isidore gave a small shrug.

Enjoy Slaying Isidore’s Dragons!

Now available in print and ebook at Dreamspinner/Harmony Ink Press
Amazon   Barnes & Noble   OmniLit/ARe

About Cody Kennedy

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. 

Stop by Cody’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.
Find Cody on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+,

Ello, Goodreads, & read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy

My thoughts:

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this amazing book. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons took me for a wild ride and forced me to experience every single emotion in my arsenal in rapid succession. I found myself going from broken hearted to laughing out loud in the space of one paragraph. The danger the characters faced would make my heart race only for my breath to be taken away by the love story half a page later. Rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe the reading experience this book gave me and it’s going to take me a while before I settle down again. It’s going to take me a lot longer to stop obsessing about the story.

I have to be honest. Reading about Isidore - his past and his present - nearly broke me. There were sections of this book I wanted to read with my eyes closed. That’s on me, not on the author. I don’t deal well with stories of abuse, especially when it involves kids. They make me angry and leave me feeling frustrated and helpless. But, I took my cue from Isidore and kept my eyes open and the pages turning.

Tiny tendrils of courage brushed his heart, causing fear and courage to war within.”

I have to admit though that despite the addictive storytelling, wonderful characters and suspenseful plot I was continuously tempted to skip to the end. From the moment I started reading, ALL I wanted was a happy ending for Isidore. No, that’s not entirely right. What I wanted to do was dive into the book, wrap him in my arms, and keep him safe from the world. Thank God for Declan and Sorcha, who did just that and—for a long time—were the main reasons I was able to continue turning the pages. Just as they were also the reasons Isidore was able to continue living at first and start to trust again later on.

I think Cody Kennedy has done something amazing with this book. Not only has he given a realistic but hope-filled book about abuse and its consequences for those who are suffering or have suffered it themselves, he’s also written a story that might give other youngsters, those lucky enough to grow up in stable surroundings, an insight into the pain and consequences of abuse. You may say I’m a dreamer...but I’d like to hope that as a result, real-life Declans may emerge.

Isidore’s journey in this book was anything but magical and all the more beautiful for it. There are no miracle cures and none are promised for the future either. And yet, the Isidore we leave with Declan when the story ends, is miles away from the Isidore we meet when the story starts. It may have been a case of—as Declan says—two steps forward, one step back, but Isidore is growing and slowly starting to trust again. Trust Declan and Sorcha to love and look after him; trust that maybe he isn’t completely ruined by what he’s suffered and trust that things can get better. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, because Declan beholds him with love and admiration in his eyes, Isidore has to at least consider that he’s not worthless.

I must apologize. I’ve written a rambling collection of thoughts rather than a review so I’ll try to summarize my thoughts. 

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is an action-filled thriller dealing with important and difficult issues. It is a story filled with emotion and humour, pain and love, danger and domesticity. It broke my heart and put it back together. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons gave me a reading experience I treasure and a story I won’t forget any time soon. 


  1. What a great review. I must check the book out.

    1. Yes, you should (also, apologies for the late reply).