About the Book
Book: The Deceived
Author: Kelly Harrel
Genre: Christian Contemporary/ young adult
Release Date: January, 2019
My dream is to be a screenplay writer. When my characters come alive, so do I. Writing is like air to me; take that away and I’ll suffocate.
My dad’s dream is for me to play professional baseball. I hate baseball, but I’m really good at it. And if I play the game right, I can use it to get a full-ride scholarship to my dream film school. That’s the plan, anyway. As long as I don’t mess up.
But the other thing I’m really good at? Messing up. Don’t believe me? The girl who likes me is an atheist. I have to out drink my teammates at parties so they know to take me seriously. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to pain pills. I made an absolute fool of myself during the most important game of the year.
Obviously God hates me. Why else would He stick me with an overbearing father who’s only happy if I’m the best of the best—on field and off? Why else would He take away my one chance to live my dream?
Hi, my name’s Danny Morton. Welcome to my messed up life and the start of how God saved me.
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About the Author
Kelly Harrel is the author of the Lauren Drake series and its spinoff, the Once Lost series. Convertible rides to the beach with the love of her life, Jeff, are her favorite. She also loves hanging out with her son and daughter, and she adores peppermint mochas. Kelly strives to usher others into a deeper relationship with Christ through her speaking and writing. To learn more about Kelly or to book a speaking engagement, visit www.kellyharrel.com.
More from Kelly
I fell in love with Danny Morton when I first heard his voice at two am. His biting remarks made me laugh and cringe at the same time. They also made me jump up to take notes. Maybe because once upon a time I was a sarcastic teen who lived too much in my own mind. Or maybe because I had a lot of questions about God at his age too. Like Danny, I yearned for a close relationship with God even though I felt surrounded by hypocrites.
Yes, I fell in love with Danny from the very beginning. It was impossible not to. His passion is inspiring. Even as young as he is, he has a dream he’s determined to pursue. All he wants is to write, which is also something I can understand.
As soon as I began writing his story, I knew there were a lot of deeper issue to deal with. Being the mother of two teens, I’ve seen firsthand how independent they can be. They have their own ideas, personalities, and desires. Two questions came to mind. Why do teens raised in the church fall into drugs and alcohol and fall away from the Lord? Is there a way to prevent it? Finding no simple answers, I cried out to the Lord to help me understand. I asked Him to give me Danny’s story to teach and inspire others. That’s when not only Danny but his entire family came alive to me.
I thought the most disturbing thing about The Deceived might be Danny’s drugs and alcohol abuse. Yet with each revision of the book, something else became more disturbing—the way his family treated him. This novel became a personal reminder that lukewarm Christianity can destroy those we love the most.
I pray this young adult novel will be picked up by all generations. Parents should examine their own relationship with the Lord, how they treat their teens, and the pressures their teens face every day. My prayer is that teens will find a friend in Danny as well as the determination to recognize and stand against the temptations they face.
One of my favorite scenes in The Deceived is when Danny goes to a party the day after Thanksgiving. Not being a very social guy, he comes up with a hilarious way to identify people. You might need to search different types of trees while you read the scene but you will laugh out loud. While Danny has a lot of great one-liners, the conversations I enjoyed writing the most were those between him and his sister, Lydia. I was blessed with a great relationship with my older brother in our teen years, and those conversations remind me of our late-night talks.
The Deceived will make you laugh, cry, and consider family dynamics and your faith in a new way. And when you get to the last page, remember, there’s more to come.
When I first started reading this book I really wondered where and how deep it would go. It starts out with Danny not thrilled with baseball, but confident in his ability while still wanting to pursue drama more. Throughout the course of the story he spirals farther and farther down into partying, lying, drinking and drugs. Off and on you can sense a level of conviction not to, but his emotions get the best of him and he soon becomes addicted to his next high. I struggled initially because I really wasn’t thrilled with how the Christians (mostly his family) in his life were portrayed. They acted as more of “goody-two-shoes” by bombarding him with scriptures instead of coming from a place of genuine concern. They came off as prideful and a few of them as hypocritical (especially his father). As the story progressed some of that started to change and I think some of his family really did appear to want to help him, but by then he wasn’t listening anyways.
While reading I felt like Danny needed to experience more “natural consequences” even if he wasn’t caught by his parents, and so it appeared that he was getting away with a lot of his behavior. It wasn’t glorified, but it wasn’t dealt with either. Eventually things got out of control for him though, and in the end he does discover there are consequences he has to deal with if he hopes to get better. I was told that this would be a redemptive story but that it’s also a 3-part series so this book ends before that redemption is able to occur. It does however end on a turning point. Considering how difficult it can be to get some teens to read though I wish this could have been put together into one book so that the chances of them reading until the point of redemption is a better guarantee.
Honestly I think this book could be a good read for parents as much as (or even more than) for teens. They deal with some pretty heavy dark stuff out there, and access to drugs and alcohol is sadly incredibly easy. Just because it’s not allowed in your home doesn’t mean they don’t get it elsewhere and doesn’t mean they don’t hide it. It’s a very very sad reality. I think this book does a good job of showing some of the levels of peer pressure that teens face, and how even pressures from home can make them feel overwhelmed. It could at least be a good conversation starter between parents and teens.
*I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
This is a book I particularly wouldn’t suggest to the younger readers, but there is a lot in here that teens deal with. There is heavy drinking, drug use and teen partying. There is a brief mention of cutting and an eating disorder. They’re deep, dark topics, but also very scary realities for teens to deal with.
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A Reader’s Brain, March 1
The Christian Fiction Girl, March 2
Inklings and notions, March 3
Real World Bible Study, March 4
2014 and Beyond!, March 5
The Becca Files, March 6
Just the Write Escape, March 7
Multifarious, March 8
A Baker’s Perspective, March 9
Carpe Diem, March 10
To celebrate her tour, Kelly is giving away a grand prize of a
$25 Amazon Gift Card plus the entire Lauren Drake Series on Kindle (The adult Danny Morton is in books 2 – 4)
1st place winner will receive a paperback copy of The Deceived
2nd – 4th place winners will receive an eBook copy of The Deceived!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.