Meet Ashleigh Mae, a seventeen year old high school senior living in the small town of Micah, Texas. Her boyfriend Billy calls her a wild child. Her momma is always telling her she makes bad choices. No matter what, no one really understands her.
Ashleigh dreams of a life with Billy. Their love is true, she thinks. When her mother forces them to leave Micah in the middle of the night and move in with her momma’s old boyfriend Casey, on the outskirts of a town called Amos, Ashleigh’s life is torn apart.
This is her fight to get it back….
I want to give a huge thank you to Alan Oakes for stopping by the blog today with an awesome guest post and giveaway. Between Micah and Amos sounds like a really great read!! Definitely one to add to your list of books to check out in 2013!!
The guest blog is definitely worth the read, so make sure to scroll down and give it a read.
Hi Everyone! Happy New Year! I want to first thank Tracey for being so supportive and for inviting me to guest blog. It is a great honor and I am thrilled to do it!
I first started thinking about writing a story like Between Micah and Amos a couple of years ago. I work in a Texas high school with students who are struggling to graduate. Basically, I team up with great young people who have some sort of situation happening in their lives that is making graduation from our school really difficult. Use your imagination and think of what that could be: discipline problems, pregnancy, burgeoning addictions, child abuse, homelessness , mental health struggles, sexuality issues that cause family conflicts. These are just some of the problems I see young people confronting every day.
I also have witnessed students who basically are raising themselves. Their parents are out of the picture for some reason. The reasons for that can run the gamut too: parents might be in jail, they may have passed away, they may have just walked out or handed the young person off to another family member. You probably know friends who are raising themselves or maybe even this has happened to you.
I wanted to create a fictitious character that embodied some of these struggles. People ask me if Ashleigh Mae, the heroine in Between Micah and Amos, is a real person, and I have to say absolutely not. But her struggles are real and I created her so that young people might be able to identify with her struggles. I think there are actually many more young people in America today who even have it worse than Ashleigh does – it is true the truth is stranger than fiction!
So here is this young person Ashleigh Mae, who just comes from life circumstances that are really lousy. Her mom clings to abusive men because they help her keep a roof over her head. She has a host of bad habits that Ashleigh has witnessed growing up. Ashleigh has scars from all these experiences, but she isn’t even aware of the scars really. In watching her mother deal with men, Ashleigh doesn’t even know what true love is and she struggles throughout the story trying to figure that out.
Will Ashleigh be swept away by the undertow of her life circumstances? Will she wind up becoming just like her mother or will she be different? Can she break free and somehow become her own person? These are the questions Ashleigh confronts in Between Micah and Amos.
I really worked to set the story up in a way that shows the complexity of a young person’s life in a semi-rural Texas town that is on the outer edges of a growing city. The town is changing, with flushes of new home owners with big money moving in. There are old prejudices and new ones that confront the young people of the town. When Ashleigh meets up with the handsome and wealthy choir classmate, Manuel Garcia – she is exposed to a culture so different than the one she grew up in. Manuel presents a whole different world view for Ashleigh to consider. Will it change her or will she fall back on her familiar ways?
This is the story in a nutshell – but I also wanted to use this post to also speak to y’all. After working with young people for many years, I know the Christmas holidays and the time right after it can be really hard for many young adults. In a season that is supposed to be all about love, there are a lot of young people who experience it as just the opposite. Hang in there! You matter! You really do!
I made up a special page on the website for Between Micah and Amos that has some help phone numbers and web pages you can check out. Here is the link to that page: http://www.betweenmicahandamos.com/help-hotlines.html
Thanks so much for reading this post! If you would like to read the book, but don’t have the funds, be sure to try to get one of the free copies with one of the giveaways that are happening with Tracey or Goodreads, etc. – or pester your local librarian to get the book for your library! : )
Best wishes to you all in this New Year! -- Alan Oakes
Giveaway: Two (2) Paperback Copies of Between Micah and Amos
Must be 13 years or older