Media Room for Journalists

About the Book:

About TORN:


A group of Southern Californian teens learn pivotal lessons about sexuality, friendship, love and life.


    It was different this time; we weren’t acting on a dare. I knew our motive; we were practicing the act, hoping to impress the right boy when it came time. But then something happened in the mix of the moment, in the mix of the alcohol. It wasn’t planned, but somehow our kissing experiment turned into something else. Things went further . . . and once they had, once I returned to earth from the euphoria . . . I wrestled with my feelings at that frank realization, questioning whether our said objective was entirely true.

When fourteen-year old Krista McKinley transfers from Catholic school in Ohio to California’s public Crestmount High, she discovers she has a lot to learn. Luckily, she is befriended by Carrie and Brandon and things start to look up. But when a simple dare tests Krista’s values, it sends her entire world spiraling into a confusing series of events that leaves her questioning her identity as well as the people around her.

Expanded Synopsis:

Krista McKinley doesn’t realize what awaits her when she’s uprooted from an Ohio convent school and placed in a California public school her ninth grade year. Carrie is the first to befriend Krista and soon after she becomes friends with the enigmatic Brandon. The three quickly form a close friendship.

But when a harmless dare to kiss Carrie on Homecoming night escalates into something beyond her expectations, Krista questions her feelings and her sexuality. Unhappy in her uncertainty and on a quest to determine her sexuality, Krista asks an unlikely question of Brandon: will he take her virginity? The experience leaves both with feelings deeper than wanted for the other.

While still struggling with her friendship with Carrie, matters become more complicated when Krista manifests an unhealthy infatuation with Daemon, a religious mentor far older than she in order to escape her desire to date the romantically unavailable Brandon. Krista and Brandon’s night together was an experiment, nothing more, and worse, an experiment that hurt and betrayed many of their closest friends.

Ultimately, Krista has to decide where her heart will lead her. Because when Brandon and Daemon both reveal their own secret feelings the week before Christmas, Krista realizes it isn’t only her heart that’s at stake.


About Amber:

At age 22, author Amber Lehman began researching and writing what would become the novel TORN. Her writing occurred during a chaotic period of her life and she was often forced to set aside writing time to tend to family and personal matters. It was 5 years before TORN was completed to her satisfaction. It went through too many editing stages to count, and the end result was quite different than what was originally an 1100 page novel. After years of setting it aside, Amber finally revisited it and it was trimmed down to the 404 pages you now see. Then she waited another 9 years before she got the courage to publish it. Although  TORN is closer to what Amber calls “faction” than fiction, TORN draws upon experiences from her life as she observed and participated in the social dramas surrounding her friends lives and past relationships.

A native of southern California, Amber loves to write and illustrate every chance she gets. She spends most of her days conversing with her cat, Mouse. She enjoys German culture and language, and while it’s no secret that she holds a special affinity for the LGBTQ community, she does also look forward to writing books in many different genres.


Press Releases:

First Time Novelist, Amber Lehman, Releases an eBook Edition of her Multiple Award Winning Novel, Torn!

Amber Lehman’s award-winning, controversial young adult novel, Torn, has finally made the move to the digital era. The indie-author who publishes under her company’s imprint, Closet Case Press, made the decision to release Torn in digital format for both Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

October 24, 2012 (FPRC) — Torn made an impressive entry into the field of young adult novels, tackling the issues sensitive to today’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) teens. Not only was it crowned the Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for the GLBT category (2010), it also placed impressively with the well respected Lambda Literary Foundation, earning an Award as a finalist for Bisexual Fiction (2010). It also earned Foreword’s Magazine Reviews Book of the Year, Silver Award for Gay/Lesbian (2010), and USA’s Best Book Award Nominee for Fiction & Literature: Gay & Lesbian Fiction (2010). An impressive run for a first time indie-author.

Torn, whose print version was originally copyrighted in 2010, took nearly two years before making the leap to eBook format. Why such a long wait, some have wondered. You may find the answer surprising. Lehman says, ‘I was reluctant to release the book digitally because of the various fonts and graphics used in the print version. When I created Torn, it was meant to be a complete immersion experience—one aspect was assigning different handwriting font’s to each character’s personality, along with expressive headers and page numbers. It may sound petty, but to me Torn’s success was all in the details. I had to be willing to let go of all of that with publishing digitally, and the thought didn’t excite me.’ So now, even without those ‘extras,’ how does Lehman ultimately feel about releasing her book in this format? She says, ‘Since the digital release of TORN, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of readers showing interest in this format. It’s truly amazing! I now see that my initial reluctance to join the world of digital publishing ended up excluding many people who were genuinely interested in reading, yet simply preferred a different format than what I was used to. This has definitely been an eye-opening experience . . . and proof that the digital era is here to stay and stronger than I imagined. ‘

Lehman also is happy with the digital release of Torn because during the reformatting process her new editor was able to correct any previous formatting errors that existed in the print edition. Lehman says, ‘It’s nice to read Torn now without any errors to take away from the reading experience.’

Closet Case Press is a publishing company founded by Amber Lehman and is dedicated to providing literature for the young adult, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. The website provides links to helpful sites for Young Adults who are trying to reach out to others or need help.

For more information contact Amber Lehman of Closet Case Press (

First-Time Novelist Amber Lehman Aces The Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Category With Her Novel “TORN”

Newport Beach, CA – May 20, 2010 – Amber Lehman’s novel TORN explores the often taboo topic of teen sexuality. Following the journey of a 14 year old girl who is faced with experimentation, bisexuality and losing her virginity, TORN thoughtfully and honestly explores the delicate topic of sexual orientation.

Established to recognize and honor independently published books, The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is presented by The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group. Amber Lehman, a first-time novelist has been named the winner of the 2010 award for the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) category.

Although TORN has received rave reviews Lehman says “When I received notification that TORN was selected as the winner of the GLBT category I was shocked and excited. It’s important to me that TORN become more visible to promote understanding and support for questioning teens. I am honored to be recognized for this important work.”

The Midwest Book Review gave TORN 5 stars and had this to say about it: A radical shift in environment changes one’s world. “Torn” is the story of Krista McKinley, a Catholic school student who is sent to a public high school by her family. As she finds new friends, her world and her values will still be roughly tested. “Torn” is an intriguing coming of age story that many teenagers will relate to.

Donner Coomer of Between the Lines Reviews, says of TORN, “Amber Lehman’s first novel is enthralling.”
The 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog will feature winners and will be distributed later this month to thousands of attendees including book buyers, library representatives, media, and industry professionals at Book Expo America (“BEA”) in New York.

TORN is Lehman’s first novel. She focuses mainly on writing and especially enjoys writing for the GLBT community. Lehman is working on a sequel to TORN. Lehman is also a finalist in the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards in which the winner will be announced later this month. TORN is available directly from the publisher at and through, and ISBN 13: 978-0-9795933-6-9 as well as select independent booksellers.

Closet Case Press is a publishing company founded by Amber Lehman and is dedicated to providing literature for the young adult, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. The website provides links to helpful sites for Young Adults who are trying to reach out to others or need help.

Amber Lehman /Closet Case Press
PO Box 12961
Newport Beach, CA 92685
Telephone: 714-520-1836
Fax: 949-706-2145
# # #

New Author, Amber Lehman is a Finalist in the 22nd Lambda Literary Awards!

Newport Beach, CA – April 15, 2010 – First time author Amber Lehman has just been named a finalist in the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards. No small feat. This is the first year that there were enough entries to divide the Bisexual category into two separate groups: Bisexual Fiction and Bisexual Non-Fiction.

The Lambda Literary Awards is the oldest, most prestigious organization to recognize literature in the LGBT community. Amber Lehman is a finalist in the Bisexual Fiction category of the Lambda Literary Awards. She, along with 4 other contestants were chosen as finalists. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards Thursday, May 27th at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York. When asked how she felt about being named a finalist, Amber had this to say: “I’m just happy that all of the contestant and finalists entered the competition this year. I think it’s very important for the bisexual voice in literature to be heard. I think that people are finally starting to listen. I couldn’t have been more shocked or elated that TORN was named a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards. It’s a true honor.”

Amber Lehman’s novel TORN is about a 14-year old girl who transfers from a Catholic all girls’ school in Ohio, to a public school in California. In her new environment and with new friends, her values will be thoroughly tested. Torn has received many positive reviews. The Midwest Book Review gave it 5 stars and had this to say about it: . . . “Torn” is an intriguing coming of age story that many teenagers will relate to.” If you would like to see a list of all the finalists, they can be found at the Lambda Literary Website:

Closet Case Press is a publishing company dedicated to providing literature for the Young Adult, LGBTQ community. We are located in Newport Beach, CA. Our website provides links to helpful sites for Young Adults who are trying to reach out to others or need help.

Amber Lehman /Closet Case Press
PO Box 12961
Newport Beach, CA 92685
Telephone: 714-520-1836
Fax: 949-706-2145
# # #

Teen Sexuality Explored in Young Adult Fiction Novel, Torn, by Amber Lehman

Many parents make the mistake of NOT discussing the topic of sexuality with teens. Keeping silent will not keep teens from experimenting with heterosexual activities and even homosexual activities. Studies show that more teens are questioning their sexuality and most likely parents will be the last to know. It is estimated that in the U.S., a teen takes their own life every 5 hours because they are gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian, and cannot deal with the added stresses that society puts upon them. Oftentimes there are limited resources for teens to relate to during this difficult and confusing time in their life. Literature is a major outlet for teens to turn to find ways to relate to the issues of sexuality that they are experiencing.

(PRWEB) September 1, 2009 — In Amber Lehman’s new novel, Torn, Lehman explores teen sexuality in its many different facets, from homosexuality, bisexuality, and teens who are simply questioning themselves. Heterosexual relationships are not overlooked either. The novel centers around Krista, a 14 year old girl who was raised in an all-girl’s Catholic school in Ohio when she suddenly finds herself facing school in the public system in California. A culture shock for anyone. Throughout the novel she makes many friends, each with diverse lifestyles. But on one occasion Krista will be forced to make her own decision once she is presented with a dare that ultimately has life altering repercussions. This is the catalyst of the story and where the journey of all the characters truly begin.

The main message in the book is that being a teen who is questioning your sexuality is okay. Torn provides a platform to show teens they are not the only one struggling with issues of sexual identity. There is a focus on individual choices, decisions and sexual preferences. These situations are often not remedied or understood overnight. Exploring sexuality is often a process and it’s important that teens and parents alike understand this. No answer is better or worse than the alternative, and your true friends will be there for you during this challenging time. In the book, Torn, different people come to different conclusions on their own; just because they have a gay experience doesn’t necessarily make them gay. For example: While Krista experiments with Carrie she ultimately decides she’s more attracted to boys. While Nick who has previously had a girlfriend finds himself attracted to guys and is ultimately gay. Brandon who has been mainly gay throughout the story finds that he’s closer to being truly bisexual. Being open to diversity is what is key. The goal is to make people more sympathetic to people going through this stage in their life.

Closet Case Press is dedicated to helping teens find support through the LGBT community. Facts and helpful links can be found on our website at Amber Lehman is a full time author and enjoys writing for the LGBT community. You can learn more about her by visiting the web address above. To order Torn visit

Amber Lehman
Author, Publisher
Closet Case Press
Telephone: 714-520-1836
Fax: 949-706-2145