Length: 87,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Karrie Jax
Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.
A Wounded Heart
Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.
A Second Chance
When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.
Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published, Rainbow Award-winning author and LAMBDA finalist.
*** One hundred percent of the royalties from the first year of this novel’s publication is being donated to the Larkin Street Youth Services/Castro Youth Housing Initiative. The CYHI provides transitional housing in the city of San Francisco, California, for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Fear of being raped, abused, or murdered should not be a part of anyone’s youth.
After escaping a sexually abusive stepfather, Dancer has been on his own since the age of fourteen. Six long years and countless johns later, Dancer is street smart and living on an abandoned lot in a place called Camp Roosevelt. When he comes home one evening he notices a new tent pitched right next to his shelter. From inside emerges a gorgeous young man, Tucker Graves. For the first time in so very long, Dancer feels something stir inside him at the sight of the young man. He fears what it will mean to allow Tucker to get close and worries it will end in heartache. But he is drawn to the homeless teen and his little sister and before long Tucker and Dancer are hoping for a future together that will take them far from the filthy camp and the endless hunger and despair they are both so used to feeling.
Bryan T. Clark has released a new novel called Escaping Camp Roosevelt that deals with some pretty heavy issues that face more teens than ever before—escaping abuse and living on the streets. This novel is painfully clear on what kind of life faces teens who have no home to call their own. Dancer has been selling himself for six years and is numb to the physical act he must endure. When Tucker enters his life he is terrified of him mainly because for the first time in a long time he actually feels both physical stirrings for someone and emotional ones as well. Tucker has endured much for his little sister—dealing with his drug addicted mother and their endless parade of homes till they finally hit rock bottom and are living on the street. The responsibility of caring for his sister weighs heavily on him and Dancer is both an escape and a comrade in arms—someone who finally can understand what Tucker faces.
Escaping Camp Roosevelt has some very candid scenes that remind us of just how vulnerable the youth—particularly LGBTQIA youth are today. Dancer and Tucker must wade through the filth of living in a homeless encampment and eat from dumpsters when the money—earned by Dancer selling himself to the highest bidder—runs out. There are a few scenes where Dancer remembers the past sexual abuse by his stepfather that could be triggering for some and so please be aware that while Mr. Clark doesn’t labor over those moments neither does he gloss over them. My only real criticism of this book is that occasionally I feel the boys act and speak a lot older than their youth implies. They tend to wax poetical about each other quite often and that often jars with their regular dialogue which I feel is spot on in terms of their age and background. However, that is minor compared to the value and beauty of the story overall.
Escaping Camp Roosevelt is about survival and second chances. It boasts a sweet first love trope and has a compelling plot line with rich and well fleshed out characters. It is a lovely novel and one that I feel speaks to many of the issues facing our youth today.
In his work, he is known to push the boundaries with brilliantly crafted stories of friendship, love, complicated relationships, and challenges all woven into a hard-earned happily-ever-after.
When Bryan is not writing, he enjoys reading a great book, traveling, lying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch with their loyal companion Nettie, the Sheepadoodle.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan has made his home and life in the Central Valley of California.
Author’s website: www.btclark.com
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