26 March 2013

Review: Between Micah And Amos

Happy Tuesday! It's Tuesday, right? I'm all confuddled this morning. Today's post is a review of Bewteeen Micah and Amos. Enjoy!


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

Meet Ashleigh Mae, a seventeen year old high school senior living in the smalltown of Micah, Texas.  Her boyfriend Billy calls her a wild child. Her momma is always telling her she makes bad choices.  No matter what, noone 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 movein with her momma’s old boyfriend Casey, on the outskirts of a town calledAmos, Ashleigh’s life is torn apart.  

This is her fight to get it back….


            “Good night,” Billy said to Ashleighas the two were sitting in the parked truck. She held onto him tightly as hekissed her.

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

            “Yeah,” Billy said with ahalf-cocked smile.

            Ashleigh closed the rusted door tothe pickup. Billy turned the truck around and drove off. Ashleigh was leftalone 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?” JoLynn bellowed, scaring the crap out of Ashleigh. Her mother was sittingimperiously 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 andcould see a half-finished bottle of Jack sitting on an old apple crate by herside. Jo Lynn took a drag from her smoke.

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

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

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

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

            “Who?” Ashleigh asked.

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

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


Welcome aboard! Tell us a little about yourself,please.

When I’m not slavishly sunning myself on CristianoRonaldo’s yacht off the coast of southern France, I work at a high school inTexas as a graduation coach and counselor. Oh, yeah, I write a bit too. Check out my webpage:   http://www.alanoakes.net/  Did I just slip in a plug?!   

What about your latest release?

BetweenMicah and Amos tells the story of a seventeen year oldhigh school girl, Ashleigh Mae.  She’s awild child to loves to party and have a good time.  She lives in a rundown motel in Micah, Texaswith her boozy, bipolar mother, Jo Lynn. When Jo Lynn gets beat up one night by her boyfriend Darrel, she tellsAshleigh that they need to leave right away and stay with her old flameCasey.  Ashleigh’s whole world is tornapart by the move.  Between Micah and Amos is about her fight to get it back. 
You may wanna check out the web page for the book: http://www.betweenmicahandamos.com/  It tells a lot more about the story and mymotivations for writing the book.

Ok, let’s get down to the fun stuff. If you werestranded on a lush tropical island, and all of your
basic needs were met, what two items would you havewith you? What person would be with you?
Remember, you’re stuck there for an indefiniteperiod with only each other to occupy the time.

Of course, just offshore would be CristianoRonaldo’s yacht, so everyone would have a great time….  But if not, I would need my laptop withAT&T Uverse access.  Diet Coke – Kegsof chilled Diet Coke…How does one write without it, I ask you?  Norm Abram from This Old House would have to be my travel companion.  He could make a fabulous house out of palmtrees and coconuts.  It would all beperfect just as long as he kept his shirt on so I didn’t have to check out hisman boobs.

If you could play opposite any of your leadcharacters, which one would it be and why?

I’m thinking if the book were filmed here – And I wouldhave to go with Casey, Jo Lynn Mae’s deadbeat boyfriend.  Busted teeth, greasy salt and pepper mullet-- no matter who you are – you’re gonna look terrific next to Casey!

If you could lead any of your secondary characters,which one would it be and why?

I actually just finished another episode of thestory and I featured Ashleigh’s country boyfriend Billy in that novella.  I felt there was more to Billy that wasn’trevealed that needed to come out.  It iscalled Crossfire. 

You’re locked in a closet with Johnny Depp, ColinFarrell, Kate Beckinsale, three paperclips and a string. How do you get out?

First I would say to Kate, “Darling, can you justsmile?”  - Because you know she has thatmillion watt smile and once she did so we would all have enough light so wecould see what the heck we were doing. 
Then I think we would have to take one of thescarves casually draped about Johhn Depp’s neck and the aforementioned stringand wrap them around Colin Farrell’s mouth to gag him, because you know, he justwouldn’t shut up about some drunken fistfight he had ten years ago with OliverStone at the Chateau Marmont. 

With light and some peace and quiet, Johnny Depp andI would get to work.  We’d affix thepaperclips into Mr. Depp’s mouth exposed between the top and bottom rows of histeeth. While sucking in through his nose and exhaling out his open mouth, thethree paper clips would begin to vibrate making a sort of noise not uncommon tothe plaintive cry of a lone Yeti calling out at night from the wilderness inthe Pacific Northwest. 
The pitch would be so perfect, so ear splittinglyperfect, that the bolts to the hinges on the door would start to loosen. 

“Keep blowing Johnny!!” I would encourage as Mr.Depp’s cheeks turn a grapeish purple from his exertions.

Finally, the bolts would slide from the hinges andthe door would literally fall away from the frame. 
Free at last! 

Name five things you can do with a pencil.

What’s a pencil?

Who’s your favorite character from your book(s)?Why? Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

I love Jo Lynn Mae, Ashleigh’s mother.  She is this bundle of anxious kineticenergy.  She is a survivor who has theskills to live as she does, but no way to think beyond herself and imagine whatcould be.  She is tragic in that way –broken and vulnerable, but always a fighter to the end. 

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

OMG!  Did Iforget to mention that there is a fan page for Between Micah and Amos on Facebook?!  I’m always posting stuff on that.  Here is a link:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Between-Micah-and-Amos/462469913814229?fref=ts

I’ve got a Goodreads author page too:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5266671.Alan_Oakes
Also, I’m a featured writer for the sleek magazine Green Building and Design.  I have a passion for sustainablearchitecture.  I get to write aboutprojects around the world.  It’s reallyfun!  Here is that link:  http://gbdmagazine.com/

What about your books? Where are they being sold at?

You can go right to my awesome publisher, WhiskeyCreek Press: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1066

Thanks for dropping in! Any last words?

“I swallowed a bug.” (Marlon Brando while filming ApocalypseNow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw3j5308rDg)

Thanks Lindsay for yourwinsome questions!! 


Ashleigh lives with her mother Jo Lynn, and they aren't in the best of situations. Stuck in a tine Texas town with a waste of a man i n a dirty trailer, Ashleigh feels trapped. She meets a young man named Manuel, but she's torn between him and her former love, Billy.

I enjoyed this story. Ashleigh, in spite of all her faults and stupid choices, was a wonderful character. The author displayed her depth and conflicting emotions with ease, and even though I cursed her a few times I still liked her. Her mother was something else altogether. Growing up in several small towns across far west Texas and east New Mexico, I knew plenty of people like her and her boyfriend, Casey. This is a good story, with lots of ups and downs, and I recommend it.

AlanOakes is a Graduation Coach and Counselor at a Texas High School.  He is afeatured writer for 
Green Building and Design magazine and acontributor to other magazines including Texas Architect and NewAmerican Luxury.  In the past, he served as Associate Pastor of SaintAustin Catholic Church and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry atUCLA. 

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

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

Websitesfor Between Micah and Amos: 

EbookBarnes and Noble:


Alan Oakes said...

Good Morning Lindsay -- Thanks for the great review and really fun interview! I will be by later in the day to check in. Gift cards will be given out this week. I love it when readers 'like' Between Micah and Amos on facebook, btw....

Catherine Lee said...

Is Ashleigh an amalgam of the kids that you work with at your high school or is she more of a warning character?
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Lyra L7 said...

Sounds good! I'm looking forward to read more!

lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

Anas said...

Oh, this one sounds very nice I love the setting as well, I'm always interested in a well researched story!

moonsurfer123 AT gmail DOTcom

Ami said...

I'm going back to read all the nice excerpts and get a feeling for this book, I have to say I like what I've read so far!


Alan Oakes said...

Catherine Lee -- The truth is rougher than fiction, I'm afraid. I have worked with students from Ashleigh's orbit and it just breaks your heart.

Alan Oakes said...

Catherine Lee -- The truth is rougher than fiction, I'm afraid. It can be heart-breaking for sure.

Mary Preston said...

The interview had me laughing. I wouldn't even try to get out if Johnny Depp was there with me.


Andra Lyn said...

Poor Johnny Depp! Using those gorgeous teeth of his in such an abusive way! lol

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

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


hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book :)