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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Welcome Alan Oakes


 Readers, please help me welcome Alan Oakes, author of Between Micah and Amos.  Alan is on a blog tour and is giving away gift cards to three random commenters.   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 find his schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/01/virtual-book-tour-between-micah-and.html
Alan, thank you so much for including me in your blog tour.  How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

You know, I have an undergraduate degree in journalism but my life path took me away from writing for a really long time.  It just started bubbling up again, though. Funny how that happens for writers – you just can’t but help writing – it’s an instinct.  I think my life experiences seasoned me more to be able to write in a way I never could when I was younger. 

That's probably true for a lot of writers.  How long did you write before you got published?

Several years ago, when my renewed writing bug hit me, I submitted a completed article to Green Building and Design magazine.  They liked the piece so much, they asked for more.  So for that type of writing, I was up and running right out of the gate.

For fiction, I wrote a novel just before I set out working on Between Micah and Amos.  I self-published under a pseudonym.  For Between Micah and Amos, I wanted to have a genuine publisher.  I was fortunate enough to be accepted by Whiskey Creek Press and didn’t have to do a lot of shopping. 

I did send out letters to agents and all that traditional stuff, but I didn’t get squat back.  Now authors have more control over their work and they can self-publish or seek other options.  It’s the Wild West for sure, but some great work is coming out now from smaller publishers and self-publishing.

I totally agree.  Whiskey Creek published one of my books Return Engagement, and  they're publishing Blue 52 in December.  What is your favorite scene from your book?

I like when Manuel takes Ashleigh to the carnival one night.  Ashleigh’s mom and her scuzzy boyfriend Casey tag along.  There is an innocence of teen love when Ashleigh and Manuel share a kiss on the Ferris wheel – for once, the burden of Ashleigh’s life is lifted -- but the sweet moment is shattered when Casey gets into a fist fight on the other side of the fairgrounds. 

 
What are you working on now?

I just submitted Crossfire, a novella about Billy, from Between Micah and Amos to Whiskey Creek Press.  The story picks up about four months after Between Micah and Amos ends. 

The characters from Between Micah and Amos keep telling me they aren’t done yet and so I have more books planned for the series.  I’m also working on a couple of other things, but they’re SECRET.  Shhh! 

That's mean, isn't it readers?  Now our curiousity will nag at us to know what the secret Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write every day.  It keeps you in writing shape.  And push your work out there.  You have absolutely nothing to lose.  Joan Rivers used to like to say that in the entertainment world, your odds were about a hundred to one of having a success.  Her point was that she expects to be rejected 99 times before she gets that one hit.  It kind of puts things in perspective.
 
That's great advice, Alan.  Thank you.  Now let's take a look at a blurb and an excerpt.
 
 
BLURB:  
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:
 “So you’re rich?” Ashleigh asked.

 “I wouldn’t say that,” Manuel answered.
“I would!” Ashleigh laughed.
 “Lean forward,” she said to him impulsively.

 “What?” Manuel asked, surprised.

 “Just do it,” Ashleigh said.

Manuel leaned forward and Ashleigh came behind him and began to massage his neck and back.

“That feels good...” he said soothingly with his eyes closed.
 “You are such a hottie!” Ashleigh remarked as she kneaded the muscles of his Manuel turned toward Ashleigh, looked into her eyes, and kissed her softly. She felt tingly as he caressed her body. She could feel his excitement as he continued to kiss her. But just as soon as they started, Manuel turned and stood up. He then dove into the cold water. He swam up next to the rock where they both were lying. Ashleigh looked at him, surprised.
“I’m sorry,” Manuel said, trying to catch his breath. “I made a promise that I wouldn’t make love until I was married.”
Ashleigh stared at Manuel with her eyebrows raised.
 “Holy crap! You’re serious?” Ashleigh asked.

 “Yeah,” Manuel said and laughed.
 “So you’re still a virgin?”
“Yeah…” Manuel said. He looked at Ashleigh’s astonished face. “It’s not like I’m a vampire or something.”
“It would be hot if you were!” Ashleigh joked. She stood up herself and then dove into the water. She swam up to where he was standing up to his chest in the pool. Ashleigh wrapped her legs and arms around Manuel and started passionately kissing him.
 
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/ 
 
Websites for Between Micah and Amos: 
Publisher Link:
 
Buy it:
Ebook Amazon:
Paperback Amazon:
Ebook Barnes and Noble:
Goodreads:
 

15 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

MomJane said...

Rather sad in a way. This girl is searching for love. Hope she finds it.

Alan Oakes said...

Thanks Elaine for hosting me today! I didn't know you were also published by Whiskey Creek! How wonderful!

I just want to know if you have ever been to the famous 'Elaine's' in NYC?

Alan Oakes said...

MomJane -- It is. Ashleigh's role model for love is her mother. She sees her mother using her sexuality in order to put a roof over their head. She has seen her mother get abused by men too. And Ashleigh has been hurt by men herself. So she has a very hard time discerning what love really is.











































































Andra Lyn said...

I lover it when the characters keep talking your ear off, demanding another book for them :)

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Shannon R said...

It is good to know the sequel is already in the works, I always want to know what happens next to the other characters

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Lyra L7 said...

I think that great advice and I'm happy to hear that we wont be waiting long for a sequel!

lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Alan Oakes said...

Yes. Crossfire is a novella and it follows what happens to Billy next...Still in the noir genre..and still dealing with some complex themes. I know the characters want at least one more book. I'm on the fence about whether to do one extra installment that would run parallel to Crossfire (I'd tell you more, but don't want to be a spoiler! lol!). I'm working on another nonrelated book right now so I will decide if I do one or two books after Crossfire in the summer.

Lena said...

I hope it will work out for the poor kid, her life sounds pretty harsh.

lennascloud AT gmail DOT com

Ellie said...

It's actually sad that she has such a role model, hopefully she wont end up like her mother.

elaynelost AT yahoo DOT de

Anzu said...

From the excerpts I've read this sounds like a great books for young adults.

anzumerlin(at)mail(dot)ru

romance19reader said...

Great scene, I’m looking forward to read more!

romance19reader(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Mary Preston said...

It is the Wild West, but it must be an exciting time for a writer.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book :)