Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ann Lee Miller Book List

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Just Judy's Jumbles Blog Party

Interview with Ann Lee Miller
Tell us something about yourself.
Every year in elementary school the teachers wrote, "daydreams too much," on my report card. I grew up to use my bad habit writing novels.

However, sometimes the daydreaming didn't work out so well in real life. When I was a child my family lived aboard a sailboat—thus all the sailboats in my books. At twelve, my job was checking the depth when we sailed near shallows. I jabbed a pole at the bay floor and yelled out how many feet of water we had by reading the notches on the stick. One day the pole stuck in bottom, and the next thing I knew, I clung to the pole, suspended a couple feet above the water, and my family sailed away.
Of course, I didn't waste all my hollering about mud and barracuda and cold water as I sunk into the seaweed waiting for Dad to lumber the motor-less, forty-foot hulk back around to fetch me--I wrote it into Tattered Innocence.

What kind of research did you do for your books?
Thankfully, I have friends who run a charter sailing business, Siesta Key Sailing, who graciously fielded hundreds of questions to add to my childhood memories. I visited New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where my novels are set several times. I look up every possible detail, then have my editor and proof readers point out any items I need to double check.
Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?
My voice is fast-paced and simile-rich. As a reader, I get bored with slow-moving books, but I want to experience the story on a sensory level. Similes are my shortcut to description.

When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?
I became a writer the year I discovered Sister Sheila had hair.  I was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, Florida, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver.  Thanks to Sister’s jump-start, I went on to earn a BA in Creative Writing from Ashland University (OH). 
Today, I write full-time in Phoenix, Arizona.

What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?
For me plotting is the most tedious task, but it has to be done if I want to streamline my writing process. Ironically, this is what I most often teach when I guest lecture in university classrooms each semester.

What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?
Write every day. Accept criticism from writers you respect. Read how-to-write books continually.
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Interview with Ann on More Than A Review -Avra's God
Pressing Real Life Into Fiction Interview
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New Smyrna Beach Series
Book 1: Kicking Eternity
 Amazon     Smashwords
This book follows the lives of four young adults. There is Raine who has always dreamed of going to Africa. Her heart is for the orphans there but is her motive to escape from under her dad’s thumb or her brother’s dependency upon her? She is teaching Bible at the Triple S Christian Camp for the summer. When her new friends tell her she hasn't experienced life being home schooled and not out in the world, her faith is challenged. Will she wait to hear what God desires for her or will her physical desires rule her decisions?

Drew has been living the past years in a blur. He has lived waiting for the love of his life to walk back into it. Drew is the Rec Leader at the camp. He remembers the younger Raine who has now become a beautiful young woman. Drew struggles with dealing with the past and deciding on the future. Will the Lord give him a wife and family? Will his old flame return and if so, is it what he still wants?

Cal is from the family where dad is a preacher and brother runs the camp. He is rebelling against giving into God. When he sees the beautiful Raine, something inside him wants to become a better person for her. But is he being led back to God or only trying to meet human expectations?

Aly has been a lost little girl for some time. Her goody two shoes roommate wants to be friends but what does Raine know about life? Aly’s dad has been out of the picture for years so she’s replaces her dad with other guys to fill her need to be loved, yet she always ends up feeling empty. When she realizes there is one guy that 's always been there for her….and has cared for her….it’s too late. He is in love with someone else. And the big question she asks herself is, "Can God forgive someone as sinful as me?"

Ann brings these characters to life. They are imperfect. A few think that drugs will help while others look for human comforters. One is just enabling another. As they hang onto their pasts or look into their futures….you will be pulled along into their lives. On the roller coaster of relationships that always take that sudden turn or drop off when you least expect it. It does have romance in it but so much more. Looking forward to her books coming out later this year.
Book 2: The Art of My Life
Amazon     Smashwords
Book Blurb:
We met these characters in Kicking Eternity. Now their stories continue...
Cal walked out of jail and into a second chance at winning Aly with his grandma's beater sailboat and a reclaimed dream of sailing charters. 
Aly has the business smarts, strings to a start up loan and heart he never should have broken. He's got squat. Unless you count enough original art for a monster rummage sale and an affection for weed.
But he'd only ever loved Aly. That had to count for something. Aly needed a guy who owned yard tools, tires worth rotating and a voter's registration card. He'd be that guy or die trying.
For anyone who's ever struggled to measure up. And failed.

My Review:
John Calvin Koomer, who goes by the name Cal as in Calvin and Hobbs, because he was always more restless and into things like the mischievous cartoon character. Rather than follow the guidance of his father, Pastor Jackson Koomer, he related more to his hippie type grandparents Henna and Leaf, who provided him with all the pot he wanted. Cal has cared for Aly for some time but really messed up a few years ago by hanging out with Evie. Now he wants Aly….is it too late?

Aly Logan hasn't lived a very good life these first twenty some years. Her abandonment issues from her father leaving when she was only seven has stuck with her. The pain of seeing Cal on the beach with Evie two years ago hurt even worse. She has lived a different life since then and plans on owning her own business one day. When Cal enters her life again she struggles with her feelings for him, which are still strong, but the trust is weak.

Sean Fisher 'Fish' has a few chips on his shoulder. When his parents left to open an orphanage in Peru his senior year he chose to stay behind and live with the Koomers. He always had a special place in his heart for Cal's younger sister, Missy. Now that she is twenty he sees her as more than the little girl she was….but she wants marriage and family. He don’t. He also has anger issues with Cal, who cost him a job and possibly the political career he always dreamed up.

We met Cal and Aly in the first book, Kicking Eternity. We get to know them much better in this book and also meet some new and unique characters. This book is much more sensual than the first. You have young adults who have been promiscuous and are now fighting against those feelings to build more of a relationship than one built on sex alone. I really enjoyed this book. I found the struggles to be so realistic. The battles these young people fight against are real as are the some of the mistakes made by parents.
**Sensual situations and language.
Book 3: Avra’s God
Jesse Koomer was raised in the church, literally since his dad is a minister. Jesse is running from God these days though. Enjoying playing in a band and having all the girls around him. And yet he seems to be missing happiness.

Kallie Logan is so afraid of rejection that she don’t give life a chance to hurt her. Not like her dad did when he left their family. She has to guard her heart from Jesse because she is an all or nothing kind of girl and he’s definitely not ready for that.

Avra Martin knows she shouldn’t be dating a non-believer but when the best looking guy around asks her out, how can she say no? She finds out that God’s rules are there for a reason, to protect us.

Cisco Carter has been leaving a trail of self-destruction behind him ever since his dad left them. When he meets Avra it’s like a breath of fresh air. He loves her life. Her brothers and parents and homemade chocolate chip cookies. But he isn’t so keen on her morals after months of dating. Can he ever leave his old life behind?

Welcome back to New Smyrna Beach once again. This book takes the reader back in time, before Kicking Eternity (book 1) and The Art of My Life (book 2). Once again Ann writes a story that will pull the reader in and take them for an emotional ride. Her stories don’t pretty up life but instead paint a story that has truth in it. Life is hard. Even though some of the characters are Christians they still struggle with life’s temptations….just like in everyday life. All three of these books are worth the time to read.
Book 4: Tattered Innocence
  Amazon     Smashwords
Book Blurb:
A tale of passions indulged, denied and ultimately forgiven:
ON the verge of bagging the two things he wants most--a sailing charter business and marrying old money--Jake Murray's fiancee/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin, the only one to apply for the first mate position he slapped on Craigslist.
On a dead run from an affair with a married man, Rachel's salvation is shoving ocean between her and temptation.
Rapid fire dialogue and romantic tension sail Jake's biker-chick of a boat through hurricanes, real and figurative. A cast of wannabe sailors, Rachel's ex, Jake's and a baby-go along for the ride.
The many-layered story weaves together disparate strands into a seamless cord. Mother and daughter look eerily alike-down to their lusts. Their symbiotic bond, forged in the blood of childbirth on the kitchen floor and cemented by their secrets, must be cracked open. A son must go home. Sin must be expunged.

Tattered innocence is for anyone who's ever woken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt.

My Review:
Jake Murray had dreams. Owning the Smyrna Queen ketch was one of them. Only he had planned to have Gramps at his side and then Gabs. Neither of those things worked out. He does have a beautiful first mate who is helping him in more ways than crewing.

Rachel Martin, cousin to Avra in the previous book, needs to get out of New Smyrna and fast. She has made some poor choices with far reaching destruction. Not only has she hurt own life, but her brothers, her relationship with God and more. Being on the water will hopefully keep her out of trouble.

Once again Ann takes readers on an emotional ride with her lifelike story. Real situations and characters that come to life, making mistakes, needing God’s forgiveness, along with learning to forgive themselves. All her books are stand alone but usually build on characters or connections from previous stories.
Book 5: Chasing Happy
After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peace with himself and God. 

Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar. 

When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. 

Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.
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2 comments:

  1. Great interview. Thanks for sharing. Some interesting books too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by, Gail. Nice to cyber-meet you!

    ReplyDelete