Friday, June 15, 2012
Everybody Wins: Interview and Giveaway of "Kicking Eternity" by Ann Lee Miller
ANN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING A GUEST ON
BUTTERFLY JOURNEY. THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
AND EVERYBODY WAS A WINNER THANKS TO ANN!
KICKING ETERNITY BY ANN LEE MILLER
Stuck in sleepy New SmyrnaBeach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about herdruggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away fromteaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinksshe spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
The artist inCal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklersbehind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live.No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimonylike vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
Rec DirectorDrew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzesback to his ex.
Raine’s brothertweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what tofight for and what to free before it’s too late?
INTERVIEW WITH ANN
Ann Lee Miller, author of Kicking Eternity
1st Place Long Contemporary 2009 RWA Faith, Hope, and Love Contest
Note: Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a free e-book copy of Kicking Eternity.
1. Tell us a little about yourself. I write full-time in Phoenix, but left my heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where I grew up. I love speaking to young adults and guest lecture on writing at several Arizona colleges. When I’m not writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find me hiking in the Superstition Mountains with my husband or meddling in my kids’ lives.
2. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on. Kicking Eternity is all about chasing dreams—our dreams, God’s dreams, and the mixed-up tangle of both. Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.
Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?
3. Why did you choose this particular genre? I love reading romance and coming of age stories.
4. What was your journey to publication like? I wrote my first novel fifteen years ago and have been writing full-time for ten years while trying to break in to traditional publishing. Last summer my agent let all her unpublished authors, including me, go. In the midst of my despair, God nudged me to indie e-publish. So, I swallowed a hairball of pride and walked down the self-publishing road. I feel a surge of joy and gratitude that my books are finally being read. The part of me that clamors for validation still hopes for a traditional publishing contract. But how can I go wrong obeying God?
5. What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? I like anything written by Charles Martin. I’ll always be a little bit in love with Joe in Francine Rivers’ The Atonement Child. Most recently I read and loved Ann Brashares’ (best known for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) The Last Summer.
6. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? Atlantic spray and the grit of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, texture my coming of age stories that are littered with romance, regrets, and renewal. Kicking Eternity debuts June 1, The Art of My Life on September 1, Avra’s God on December 1, and Tattered Innocence on March 1, 2013. Page 1 from Kicking Eternity:
Raine pushed the beads on her African bracelet back and forth like the balls on an abacus. Her stomach kneaded, gurgled. She could almost feel sweat dampen her upper lip.
Drew’s forehead creased as he stared at her. Fluorescent tubes hummed overhead in the night air. Shouts and back-slapping ricocheted around the Canteen porch in the sticky-sweet scent of orange blossoms. If she wasn’t fighting to keep her dinner down, she’d tell him where they’d met.
His frown melted into a smile of recognition. “Rainey. Hey. Welcome to Triple S Camp.”
She bristled at the nickname her brothers used to irritate her. “It’s Raine.”
“I remember you as Rainey from the skit you did in junior high youth group. You cried all over the place—a pun on your name.”
“That was my total acting career… and ancient history. Better off forgotten. Please.”
“Sure, Rainey, whatever you say.”
“You remember my name.”
“You weren’t exactly low profile either.” She, like every girl in the youth group, had spent way too much time mooning at the high-school-Drew hunched over his guitar.
Jesse, the camp director, gave a shrill blast on his whistle. “Welcome to New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp orientation.”
The noise ratcheted down. Thirty staffers in aquamarine shirts settled onto the benches lining the porch.
Raine swallowed and unclenched her fingers from the camp handbook. She refused to heave like she had at college orientation four years ago. Her thumb ran over the ridges in her palm where the spiral wire had dug into the flesh. Why had she never been to camp like any normal kid?
A guy in surf shorts and flip-flops came up the steps laughing with the girl beside him. Sun-white cords of hair, crimped like he’d worn braids, brushed his thick shoulders. He caught Raine staring. The interest crackling in his blue gaze jolted through her.
She let her chin-length hair fall like a dark curtain between them. A guy was one complication she didn’t need this summer, not when Africa was nearly in her grasp.
7. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication? Keep learning how to write better. Keep writing.
8. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us? I’ve always got a craft book open. I tend to read them multiple times. Some, like Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction, I am wearing out, particularly Chapter 8 where he discusses creating micro-tension. I’m also a huge fan of Maass’ Wrtiting the Breakout Novel, Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure, and Sol Stein’s Stein On Writing.
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? Readers who enjoy Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) may like my books. I aim for her fast pace, depth, and passion.
I was thrilled to receive an endorsement from Jenny B. Jones, author of the Katie Parker Production Series from Think and The Charmed Life Series, and others from Thomas Nelson:
“Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”
10. Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Lee-Miller/356653761022022
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kicking-eternity-ann-lee-miller/1110908265?ean=2940014441759
ANN THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR VISITING BUTTERFLY JOURNEY.
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