Thursday, March 28, 2013

BLOG TOUR - EXCERPT, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Between Micah and Amos by Alan Oakes



Like a flash, the discharge from the gun lit up the inside of the dimly lit, filthy trailer Ashleigh called home. Ashleigh sat curled up on the stained pink carpet next to the pull-out bed in the living area where she slept.  The victim lay dead, slumped against the wall of the trailer.  Ashleigh looked at the motionless body.  She was petrified.

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….


Excerpt:
“Good night,” Billy said to Ashleigh as the two were sitting in the parked truck. She held onto him tightly as he kissed her.

            “’Night,” she murmured, sliding across the seat and opening the door. “Call me,” she added, her heart filled with sadness that she would be left alone again.

            “Yeah,” Billy said with a half-cocked smile.

            Ashleigh closed the rusted door to the pickup. Billy turned the truck around and drove off. Ashleigh was left alone again in the silence of the night. She made her way to the trailer, looking down so as not to trip on any of Casey’s debris.

            “Where the hell have you been?” Jo Lynn bellowed, scaring the crap out of Ashleigh. Her mother was sitting imperiously on the half built deck in front of the trailer in a plastic chair, like a queen on her throne.

            Ashleigh walked up to her mother and could see a half-finished bottle of Jack sitting on an old apple crate by her side. Jo Lynn took a drag from her smoke.

            “I asked you a question… Come closer,” Jo Lynn demanded.

            Ashleigh took one step closer. “I was out with Billy,” she answered apprehensively.

            “You smell like sex!” Jo Lynn said, taking another drag from her smoke.

            “While you were out whoring, guess who came by to visit?” Jo Lynn said dramatically.

            “Who?” Ashleigh asked.

            “Child Protective Services, that’s who!” Jo Lynn took a swig of her glass of Jack.

            “Out of nowhere, too!” she continued. “Casey’s ready to beat the tar out of you! He had to flush all his stash down the toilet!”

AUTHOR INFORMATION:
Alan Oakes is a Graduation Coach and Counselor at a Texas High School.  He is a featured writer for Green Building and Design magazine and a contributor to other magazines including Texas Architect and New American Luxury.  In the past, he served as Associate Pastor of Saint Austin Catholic Church and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at UCLA.  

Alan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts degree from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the author, feel free to go to his website:   http://www.alanoakes.net/ 

Author Links: Website l Whiskey Creek Press l Facebook

My Thoughts:

"Sometimes in life you gotta step up, you know?"

Seventeen year old Ashleigh lives with her mother Jo Lynn. Jo Lynn is possibly one of the worst role models a young girl could have. Her and her latest boyfriend Casey dont work, they drink to excess on a daily basis and they openly use and abuse drugs in front of Ashleigh. They also provide no basic care for her. Jo Lynn is constantly belittling Ashleigh and for the most part she is left to fend for herself. Ashleigh is in love with her boyfriend Billy. She pictures a future with him. A happier life. But Billy's actions will cause Ashleigh to question him.

After starting at a new school Ashleigh meets Manuel. He is a true ray of light in this book. He is the complete opposite of everyone and everything in Ashleigh's life. He radiates kindness and goodness. He is caring and compassionate. And he falls hard for Ashleigh. He would do anything to make things easier and better for her. 

"How the heck do you think a boy from a family like that gets mixed up with a girl the likes of Ashleigh Mae?"

"Cupid's arrow is painted blind."

Whenever I read stories like Between Micah and Amos, I'm always conscience of the fact that, whether by choice or by circumstance there are people in this world who have lives exactly like the ones depicted in this book. And that is a horrible and tragic part of the world that we live in.

The story starts in the present time as an incident has unfolded and we as the reader are then taken back to see what lead us to that point.

Ashleigh wasn't an easy person to like. There were times that I questioned exactly what it was that Manuel was attracted to. At times I didn't feel that she gave a lot back to him. I without a doubt felt compassion and sympathy for her. Her daily existence is horrid. But by the end of the book we see how strong she really is. She has dealt with so much in her short life. 

"Ashleigh, I've got the feeling you're a star that's fixin' to shine. I got a good feeling about you."

The words sank deeply into Ashleigh's heart. No one ever told her that before.

Another of the very rare people on Ashleigh's side was the school counselor Gladys Brown. Without being told any details she could pick up immediately on the hardships that Ashleigh was facing and tried her hardest to help and be there when she was needed.

This was quite a quick read and there was more than enough intensity to keep you invested in what was going to happen next. Alan Oakes writing style was incredibly easy to read and Between Micah and Amos was a well written and gripping book. 

4/5 Stars!

Alan will be awarding gift cards to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour. The characters are always going to Sonic – so he is giving away gift cards in the names of the main characters: Grand Prize: Billy-sized $25.00 2nd Prize: Manuel-sized: $15.00 3rd Prize: Ashleigh-sized: $10.00 If the winner prefers, they can get either an Amazon or BN.com gift card instead of the Sonic card. 


You can follow along with the rest of the tour HERE. The more you comment, the greater your chances of winning!!



10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hallo Alan, the councelor in the book, did you model him after yourself?

    lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

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  3. Do you have a favorite secondary character?

    moonsurfer123 AT gmail DOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lyra - Thanks for the interesting question -- Personality-wise, I'm nowhere near as centered as Gladys the counselor. She is kind of a composite I suppose of various parts of different people. I wanted her to have common sense and be very hopeful. And I liked that she was a big A&M fan and that she has fun spiky hair.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do feel for Ashleigh reading that excerpt.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poor Ashleigh, if that was the first time someone told her, that she was worth something more than her body.

    shadowrunner1987 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really like the Gladys character. There are so many counselors and teachers that just know what's going on in their students lives and want to help. Very cool, but sad that things like that happen often enough for teachers to recognize the signs...

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful thoughts scarfprincess! I like the sounds of this one! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Kate

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

    ReplyDelete

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