Monday, October 3, 2016

Blog Tour: Investigating Julius Drake by Daisy Harris #Review #Giveaway #Excerpt

Author: Daisy Harris
Book: Investigating Julius Drake
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: October 3, 2016
Length: 258 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


After arriving at Seattle’s prestigious Clinton Academy, fourteen-year-old Henry Walker realizes he won’t fit in. If he’s going to run with the rich and powerful, he’ll have to hide his modest background, his lack of interest in girls, and most importantly, his fascination with his handsome but troubled classmate Julius Drake.

When Julius draws Henry into the investigation of a classmate’s suicide attempt, Henry can’t resist the case—or Julius. Soon, Henry’s not only facing the truth about his feelings for Julius, but also risking his life to unmask a social media imposter. “The Other Woman” is manipulating his classmates, searching out their vulnerabilities, and driving them to desperate actions. Julius himself is at risk, what with his callous parents threatening to send him away, and his mental health taking a beating both at school and at home.

If Henry’s going to save the day and get the boy of his dreams, he’ll have to stop worrying what everyone thinks and stop pretending to be someone he’s not. Most of all, Henry will have to be honest about who he loves.

A Note from the Author!

Welcome to the Investigating Julius Drake blog tour! I’m Daisy, the author, and I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book, as well as extra information about the characters, location and story. Up until recently, Seattle was my home town, and I’ve stolen plenty of locations and institutions as settings for Investigating Julius Drake. Together, we’ll take a tour through the twisty-turny, damp and caffeine-addled world that my protagonist, Henry Walker, finds himself in. Grab yourself a double, almond, split-shot, extra-foam latte, pull up a chair, and join us! And don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a $30 Starbucks gift card. Drink like a Seattleite and enjoy.


Investigating Julius Drake is quite the book. Where do I begin… This is a YA mystery novel and the best of it’s kind. Seriously, Daisy Harris really fleshed out these characters perfectly, nailed the plot, rocked the flow, and kept it entertaining to the end.

Who is Julius Drake? Well, he’s pretty much the center of this story though not told from his POV. Julius is a 14 year old kid who has lived in Seattle his whole life, known these same kids, gone to the same schools. Then there's Henry Walker, military kid also 14, gets into the same school as Julius through a scholarship. This is told in Henry’s POV. 

There’s a mystery going on with the kids at the school and strange happenings from attempting suicides, runaways, and other seriousness. The culprit is on the internet and is quite the puppet master. Julius being the fabulous, hyper, brilliant person he is MUST find out what’s going on. He sort of gravitates toward Henry and Henry doesn’t mind at all. They are 14 and though Julius is out, Henry is confused. He knows he really likes Julius but Julius is a mystery in himself.

So we are going through this book trying to figure out who this person is who is terrifying these young kids while Henry is also figuring out Julius and the past that haunts him.

I love a great YA book. Henry is such a wonderful character. Not rich but strong, brave, loyal. I truly adored his character. There wasn’t a passive aggressive bone in his body. Even if he thought he’d get pummeled he stood up for himself. He was protective of his friends and in the end he always does the right thing. Such an admirable character. Someone you could look up to.

These boys, they have the stress of life and when they crack I found myself cracking with them. I wiped tears from my eyes right along with them.

There is a great level of suspense to this story as well which perfectly rounded out this book. I highly recommend this for ANYONE. It’s an all-around fabulous book!


“It’s not every day you find out you’re a psychopath.”
That was the first thing Julius Drake said to me. I’d noticed him already—kind of hard not to when he was sitting next to me in Clinton Academy’s reception area. Though I’d seen a few people on my way through the building, he was the only one I’d had a chance to take a good, hard look at.
He was wearing a black button-up shirt with black jeans and his hair was cut into a bob that reached his chin. He’d tucked the left side behind his ear. The curtain of hair on the right fell across his eye and cheek.
“Pretty weird, man.” I put my hand on my knee to stop it from bouncing. “You think this because . . .?” Often I’d wondered if there was something wrong with me too. In my case, it was because my mom had a habit of looking at me sideways when she thought I didn’t notice.
“Life is much simpler if your parents aren’t friends with neurosurgeons,” Julius said in an offhand manner, to nobody in particular. He opened a giant manila folder at his feet and pulled out a grainy picture. “Does this look like the brain of a psychopath to you?”
Blobs of white and gray formed something akin to a brain shape, but it wasn’t like I had any medical training, so I just shrugged. “No?”
“Psychopath is an ill-defined term anyway. Correlations between behavior and brain function are not one-to-one,” he said so quickly I had a hard time keeping up. “They used to believe primarily the amygdala was involved, along with the orbitofrontal cortex. But now—”
“Julius?” A woman came out of an office, clipboard in her arms. She was about two-thirds the height of most women. Pretty, and with a kind face. “The doctor is ready to see you.”
“Dr. Cochow is always five minutes late,” Julius said nervously into the air. “Five to seven minutes, depending on the day. It’s usually longer on Friday.” He might have said this to me, or to the lady with the clipboard. I had no way of knowing.
“Well, bye.” I waved, like an idiot.
Julius walked away.
The woman gave me a quick smile. Maybe she was apologizing for Julius’s awkwardness—if you could call it that. More likely she felt sorry for the poor country hick waiting for his mother to sign him up for the semester.
I checked the knees of my jeans, wishing I could rub out the grass stains. No amount of washing could make them look new. And even if they were fresh from the package from Walmart, I’d seem out of place at Clinton.
It wasn’t like private schools in the movies—no stained glass or spiraling staircases or giant marble sculptures. Like my old school in Killeen, Texas, Clinton’s corridors were wide and flat. But where Killeen Junior High’s walls were dingy and its lockers tagged with graffiti, Clinton shined like it had been built yesterday. The graffiti was confined to little posters advertising after-school activities.
Maybe Clinton Academy was trying to keep it real by allowing these tiny areas of chaos amidst an overwhelming sea of order.
“Sorry, Henry. Took me forever to find the ladies’ room.” Mom bustled through the door, dressed like a homeless person in the same clothes she’d worn to paint our apartment when we first got to town.
My face went hot, and I felt like a traitor. “’S’okay.”
“You have no idea how nice the bathrooms are here. They have these hand-dryer machines that are supposed to be good for the environment. Low-flow toilets and everything.”
The receptionist cracked a smile, and all I could think was, Shoot me now.
“Mom, I’m gonna be late.” Generally, I wasn’t in a rush to get to class, but I didn’t want to be seen with my mother any more than I had to.
“Oh. Yes.” Mom pulled her backpack off her shoulder and dug through it to find my paperwork.
No matter what she was looking for, it would inevitably be at the bottom, under her spare sweatshirt, emergency bag of trail mix, laptop computer, and half ton of assorted stuff. I held my breath, wishing she’d be done sooner.
“Here!” She held up the papers in triumph, and then leaned on the counter with my forms. Her backpack lay open, threatening to drop a tampon or some other humiliating item on the floor.
“Thank you.” The receptionist read the forms. “Henry Walker? Welcome to Clinton Academy.” I wondered if she acted differently around students who paid full tuition. Clinton only offered a few scholarship spots and the military dependents one was the most coveted. My dad had gotten teary over Skype the day Mom and I told him I’d won. I hated making him cry when he was in Afghanistan, even if it was happy crying. I liked it better when we talked about football scores.
“Here’s your class list,” the woman said.
“Thanks.” I read through it, chewing my lip in the hope that the classes wouldn’t be too hard. They had weird names for topics. Instead of “History” like I would have had in Texas, it was “Historical Inquiry.” For my language I had “Spanish Culture, Language, and Interpretation.”
The door at the side of the room opened, and Julius walked out, eyes straight ahead. In the light slanting through the window, he was pale. Not oh-my-God-he’s-a-vampire pale, but maybe too-many-video-games pale. A mirror ran along the room, reflecting the late-summer sunshine outside the window. It picked up highlights in Julius’s hair. God, was I staring? Or worse—doing something weird with my hands?
I guess Julius didn’t register my attention, because he kept walking, head upright and shoulders thrown back. “First period starts at eight fifteen.” He announced it to the room in general.
“Yeah. Uh. Maybe I’ll see you in class?”
He ignored me as he left.

About the Author

Born into the psychedelic wonder that was the seventies, Daisy Harris has had an interesting life so far. She's been to Catholic school and Ramones concerts, danced to MC Hammer and Flo Rida, made the honor roll and Phi Beta Kappa, survived cholera, faced bed bugs, and she’s been a hair's breadth from shipwreck twice. (Three times, if you count sea kayaks!)

Daisy has been a lifelong reader, devouring romance, young adult, urban fantasy, and nonfiction alike. In her professional life, she’s written medical copy and edited scientific papers. However, since 2012, she’s devoted her energy to writing gay romance full-time. That’s okay, because now on the weekends she reads medical studies for fun.

As far as Daisy's concerned, the best things in life happen by accident. Though she's gotten better at planning over the years, she still writes, lives, and plays by the seat of her pants. Her books are a happy mix of mysteries, romantic comedies, and coming-of-age stories, more often than not inspired by the great films of the 1980s.

Daisy lives in Seattle in a house full of dogs and children. When she's not writing gay fiction, she can be found riding her exercise bike and testing the outer boundaries of her food processor’s potential. Every once in a while, she goes out to pay homage to the party gods of her youth—and maybe to find a little trouble.

Twitter: @thedaisyharris


To celebrate the release of Investigating Julius Drake, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Starbucks Gift Card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 8, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. book sounds great congrats

  2. Thanks for the excerpt, I added it to my TBR list.

  3. Thanks for the review--good to know this is a great one!


  4. thanks for hosting the tour! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. :)

  5. Thanks for the great review! I have this one on my TBR list - sounds like a winner. :-)


  6. Thank you for the excerpt! It sounds great!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Sounds interesting, thanks for the post

  8. Thanks for the excerpt and review! Can't wait to get started reading this one!