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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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About the Book

The Deceived final front
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.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Kelly HarrelKelly 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

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.


The story is one that could be heard from teens all around us as they fall into peer pressure. Danny is a young teen who has grown up in a family that is tight knit at times. The father is overbearing and puts pressure on Danny to be the best and to make sure he fits in. That is a sure fire way to make a kid make wrong choices. I can't blame his father for everything, because the brutal truth is Danny makes his own choices. 

The relationship Danny has with his father is one I found very compelling. A father wants his child to succeed, but Danny's father expected nothing less than perfect at everything he did. I wondered why his father was so hard on him. The explosive fight Danny and his dad have one night is powerful. It is well written and so realistic. How many families endure a domineering parent?   There is one bright star in Danny's life and that is his sister Lydia. She and Danny are very close and she is always watching out for him. 

As Danny starts to be rebellious he turns to the wrong crowd and slowly forgets about God. It was not a huge surprise that he started doing drugs because the kids he was hanging around were all doing it. Danny is desperate to be accepted and the story shows us how easy a person can fall into a trap thinking they are cool hanging out with the wrong type of person. Danny's story is no different than a lot of kids today. They feel rejected by their family and seek out something to make them feel better. It's easy to see that Danny has checked out and is slowly spiraling down a road to destruction. 

There is a lot of references to drug use and sex among teens in the book. It is a reality that faces youth today. The author paints a realistic picture of a teen who turns his back on God and follows a path that will lead him into lies, drugs and away from his faith.  One of the most powerful parts of the story for me is when Danny's sister  shares her testimony at youth on a Wednesday night. It's very emotional and for just a bit, Danny's eyes are opened to what his sister had gone through. Can Lydia's testimony break through Danny's hardened heart? 

The book is good and really captures the struggles of a teen, how peer pressure can influence their decisions  and what happens when a parent expects too much from their child. I can't wait to read what happens next in this emotional journey with Danny.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 27
janicesbookreviews, February 28
The Becca Files, March 6
Multifarious, March 8
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.


  1. I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keep up the good work.

  2. Love your review can't wait to read the ones coming

  3. This sounds worthwhile. I have several teen sons, and hope they never find themselves in such a position--might be good to read for the part about the family dynamics, though.