Taking the Stand

There’s a time for justice. Then there’s a time for action. And Jonathan Cooper knows exactly what time it is.

It is time to lie. To his parents, who think he’s on a ski trip with Pete Mitchell when he’s really gone to Madison to search for one person willing to testify for his boyfriend, Ian McGuire, who is facing the charge of assault and battery. To Ian’s parent’s, who have erased him from their lives. Even to himself. Because admitting his feelings for Mason Kellerman isn’t an option.

It’s also time to face the truth. That Jonathan may have lied for nothing. That he may be powerless to save Ian from a guilty verdict. That whether he likes it or not, it is time for taking the stand.

Praise for Taking the Stand:

“[A]n amazingly unique and honest portrayal of a teen walking the line between his sexuality and his faith.”

~ GayYA.org

“Everything comes full circle and nowhere has been Jonathan’s faith in himself, his family, friends and in God more tested. author Juliann Rich weaves real-life scenarios to address this and takes the reader, along with Jonathan, Ian and the other characters, on an unforgettable and emotional rollercoaster ride.

Just like in the previous books, the writing flows smoothly. Every word, phrase or sentence is in place. Nothing is overlooked. As much as I wanted to rush through the pages to find out what happened next, I had to hold my horses. I admit that it was not always a pleasant journey, but it was worth the trip.

I caution readers to brace themselves with this third book. there are some big surprises in store and it would be prudent to keep a box of tissues handy – just in case.”

~ AoBibliophile at AoBibliosophere

“This tale delivered a brilliant message about youth, without being preachy. I had started it hoping for a continuation of the romance between Ian and Jonathan, and whilst I don’t want to give too much away, I got so much more. I saw friendships form, ones that I didn’t doubt for a moment would endure. I saw young people finding their voices constructively, with wholehearted parental support in the face of opposition. I saw acceptance of oneself in more than one character, and I saw future relationships, I think. I saw educated parents who loved and supported their kids, and parents whose preconceived ideas crumbled in the face of the goodness, strength of conviction and courage of their kids; parents who came to see that what they’d been taught as wrong, was selective, was subject to fallible human interpretation and not without prejudice. I saw parents who were ready to admit mistakes, and whose love turned out to be without strings, as it should be – which wasn’t how it had been in the previous tales in this series. I saw not only kids growing and learning, but parents. And I saw the power of parental love when faced with loss of a loved one, and when faced with the courage and conviction of a loved one.

I saw a tiny bit of very understandable caution and disillusionment, and I felt a little sad about what had started with such innocence, what had grown with genuine feelings, and then what faltered with prejudiced outside influence. At the same time, I saw a bully learning the error of his ways, without pressure, finding the courage to offer what support he could when people he’d betrayed needed it. I saw young adults with courage and conviction that I’ve not often seen in adults, which made up for any missing things that I may not have outright gotten in this tale.

I got a tale that once again, made me think and made me feel.”

~ Roroblu’s Mum


“Diamonds and denim?” Mason grips the steering wheel as fat flakes of snow splat on the windshield of his Subaru. “What kind of a prom dress am I supposed to design around that theme?”Sketch cracks up in the back seat. “Better take cover, Jonathan. Mason’s about to fire his Tim Gunn at us.”
Nobody loves giving Mason shit more than Sketch. Theirs is a decade long friendship based on varsity level insult volleyball and the bond formed by being the first two students suspected of being queer at our school, East Bay Christian Academy. It’s a title Mason wears with Pride with a capital P while Sketch still refuses to label herself, insisting she is who she is and she’ll date whoever the hell she feels is worth dating, which—so far—is apparently no one. And me? I’m relatively new to this trio, not to mention being out publicly.
Mason taps the brakes and the car slows slightly. “I take it you’d like to walk to work then, Frances?”
“Call me Frances one more time and—
““You’ll what? Flick your paintbrush at me again?”
I smile and glance out my passenger seat window as Mason navigates his car through Uptown Minneapolis. In an unpredictable world, I can always count on Mason and Sketch to argue. Read more…

Published by Bold Strokes Books

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