My Life, Fun Things, and “All That Remains” by Michele G. Miller

I have been a little busy over the last few months. Let’s see… what was I doing?
  • Working my HR job
  • Applying to grad school (Got in!)
  • Reading a whole heck of a lot
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Helping friends prep for weddings and various other parties/life events
  • Had a week-long stay-cation with the husband
  • Had a sleepover party with the nieces (4y and 9y!)

And there was something else… Let’s see… what was it?

All That Remains Cover

Oh ya, I was editing Michele G. Miller’s final installment in the From The Wreckage series – All That Remains. I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely incredible this series is, all bias aside. But jeesh, let me tell you something – it’s so cool to see my name up there next to “Editor” on Amazon. Besides that, it was pretty amazing utilizing my degrees, having first looks at such a wonderful book, and getting to know Michele G. Miller even better. (She’s pretty awesome. If you haven’t checked her out – Go check her out on Facebook!)

To read my review for book one – CLICK HERE

 
 

West Quote ATR

This series has brought me through a roller coaster of emotion and I’m quite a fan of Michele writing in this genre. She has the ability to grab you with the use of well-developed and relatable characters, the right amount of description, sensory-driven imagery, and realistic dialogue. I can’t wait to have it on my book shelf. 🙂
 
I can’t wait to see what happens next for these characters, even if it’s just in cameo appearances in spin-offs or whatever comes our way. I’m pretty thrilled I got another book boyfriend out of the deal (those Rutledge brothers are pretty.. uh.. they have great personalities. Ya know? 😛 )
 
This was a really fun journey to be a part of and I can’t wait to see what’s next… in the interim, pick up this book series. Book 1 is FREE!! And for more information about my editing services, please find a link at the top of my blog.
 
ATR FTW Ad
 When everything falls apart, do you have that one person who will put you back together? Three books, two broken teens, one unforgettable love. The ‘From The Wreckage’ series – Complete and available NOW.

From the Wreckage, Book 1 is #FREE
iBooks- http://bit.ly/FTW-iBooks-MGMiller
B&N – http://bit.ly/FTWEbook-BN-MGM
Kobo – http://bit.ly/1xaKWzf
Smashwords – http://bit.ly/FTW-SW-MGMiller
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1pSVLBC

Out of Ruins, Book 2 Links –
Ibooks: http://bit.ly/OORiTunesmgmiller
B&N: http://bit.ly/OOR-BN-MGM
Kobo: http://bit.ly/OOR-KOBO-MGM
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/OORbyMGMiller
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/OOR-US-MGM

All That Remains, Book 3 Links –
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/ATR-SW
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ATR-US
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ATR-UK
Other buy links for Book 3 to be announced.

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Book Review: From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

From The Wreckage Cover

From The Wreckage
By: Michele G. Miller
Copyright: 2014
Format of Book: E-Book, One day I will own her paperbacks, too. She’s just that good.

I will start by saying I read this book in one day.. I really couldn’t put it down. From The Wreckage is a beautifully written novel that will draw you in from the very first chapter. When you start reading, you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into and then suddenly you are thrown onto a rollercoaster ride. From The Wreckage is a haunting story about Jules Blacklin, a high school senior, who has survived a devastating storm in her town. She is forced to keep moving forward and find a way to continue surviving, despite the horror that she has experienced firsthand.

“In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.  Minutes – that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?”

Have you ever read one of those books where you feel like you are right in the middle of all the action? I was terrified, anxious, attached, frantic, desperate, hesitant, and filled with hope at multiple points while reading this novel, many at the same time. If you are like me and have never lived through a natural disaster to this magnitude, it’s hard to know what it’d be like. Sure, you can imagine it to some degree, but you really don’t know. From the moment the tornado lands, I was right there with/as Jules. My heart was racing and I felt her desperation.

The Final Countdown
Characterization  –  5/5 Stars
Miller does a great job delving into the psyche of a victim, finding the different facets of what makes her characters tick and then taking them through various stages of disarray. Each character experiences the same horrific and traumatizing event, but they all come out with a different scar. The sad beauty is that not all of these scars are physical. I immediately felt drawn to Jules. She’s that girl who has it all and then… doesn’t. Her decisions are many of the same ones I’d make. She’s one of the most real characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time.

One heartbreaking character within this story is Jules’ younger brother, Jase. Children see the world with open, excited eyes; they are ready to explore and learn. What happens to children when their world gets turned upside down, literally and figuratively?

West Rutledge.. don’t even get me started. A hero with something else seeding inside. I found his mystery to be magnetic and wanted to know more about him. (Ah, the beauty of series novels.) 🙂

Perhaps the biggest character of all is the storm itself. It becomes more than an event, it becomes personified – a villain that came to town and changed everything, leaving dust, damage and loss in its wake.

Overall, Miller’s cast of characters is seamlessly produced. I’d love to see what would happen if this had the chance to go to the big screen. (I call dibs on being cast as Jules, though…)

Dialogue  –  4/5 Stars
The execution of dialogue throughout this novel is done very well. Like everything else in this book, the dialogue is refreshing and honest. My favorite bits are the conversations that take place in the basement while Jules and West are trapped; these are the ones that pull at your heartstrings and make you breathe a little faster out of well-placed anxiety. One of the lines that West says to Jules while trapped struck a chord with me – “We’re not gonna die tonight, Buffy. I’ll be damned if I finally get the nerve to speak to you again, only to die in this place.”

Plot  –  5/5 Stars
There’s perfection in this plot. The best part? It’s not overdone. Miller has found something unique, but instead of banking on just the simple idea of a storm changing everything and how it resolves for a single character, she has created a web of cause and effect for multiple characters. To quote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical Once More With Feeling (which I feel is very fitting, seeing as FTW has multiple references to the cult classic) “Where do we go from here?”

Visual Imagery  –  5/5 Stars
Storms like the one in FTW happen all the time around the world. You watch the news, see photos and videos, feel sad and slightly scared, but it’s still not typically on your doorstep. Unless you’ve lived through it firsthand, there’s no way to actually get it. Reading From The Wreckage made me feel like I was inside the storm instead of just seeing archived footage. Recovering from those early scenes was like finishing a race… you need time to let everything settle and go back to normal.

When I’m reading a really good book, I find myself seeing through the eyes of a character I am drawn toward. For this one – it was Jules. The tornado touched down right behind her and my world went hazy as I ran for my life. When you find yourself right there, in the midst of it all, that’s when you know the author did something right.

Ending  4.5/5 Stars
Without giving anything away, the ending was satisfying enough, but I wanted even more. Not in a bad way, but in the when’s-the-next-in-the-series-coming-out kind of way. But that’s how it goes with books I am drawn into.  Looking forward to the next one!!

Total: 23.5/25 Stars

Why read this book?

Beauty and tragedy don’t tend to go hand-in-hand… but here they do. So much loss, love, growth, and coming of age in this complex YA novel. It’s a great start to what is sure to be an amazing series. I am an avid Michele G. Miller fan, but this is by far her best yet.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

I: Interview with Michele G. Miller

I
Michele is the author of the Coming of Age Fantasy Trilogy The Prophecy of Tyalbrook –

Never Let You Fall, book one (May 2013) and Never Let You Go, book two (Jan 2014) as well as the New Adult Romantic Suspense, Last Call (Oct 2013). 

She is currently working on the third book in The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series, a Last Call novel and a YA Realistic Fiction series entitled From the Wreckage that has her super excited!

Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter!

Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hi Michele! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. You will be my first. Let’s start out with something easy. What have you written?
The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series is a YA Fantasy Romance trilogy. Book Three will be out sometime in 2014.
Never Let You Fall, Book One
Never Let You Go, Book Two

Last Call, a New Adult Contemporary Romance with some suspense

From The Wreckage, a Young Adult realistic fiction is coming in June (tentative release date)

What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?
I am currently working on books two and three in the From The Wreckage series. From The Wreckage is about the immediate aftermath of a life changing event in the life of Jules Blacklin. Books two and three continue on from there. The series deals with the loss, love and hope we find after our worlds are torn apart.

When and why did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. I started truly writing, scripts and plays, in the seventh grade as a way to cope with a difficult move and life changes. Before that, you would always find me acting out stories in my playtime. My Barbies lived fascinating lives 😉

I quit writing after graduation when work and marriage, and eventually my first born, became my life. It took the emergence of self-publishing and e-books for me to realize that perhaps I could create stories on my own. There isn’t really a “Why did you become a writer?” answer. It’s more of a need. A need to tell the stories of the people talking in your head – I want to tell them. It’s not to be a bestseller or to travel the world, make movies or be famous. (I’ll happily accept that if it comes knocking though!) It’s just to tell stories; hopefully people will like them and find some escape for the few hours they are reading.

What is your favorite genre to write in and what draws you to this genre?
Romance. Without a doubt, I am a romantic at heart. Whether I write fantasy, suspense, YA or NA, I will always include romance. I believe in soul mates, fate, love at first sight; I’ve experienced it, so I want to share it with others.

Out of all the characters you have created, who are you most drawn to?
Honestly, I think that changes with each book. I love Xander! I also fell HARD for Nickoli (Never Let You Fall, Tyalbrook #2). He was a character I didn’t expect to love, but there was something about him that drew me in and made me write his story.
Gage, in Last Call, is another character I had fun with. Apparently, I fall for all of my own book boys!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing your first book?
My poor husband had seriously tried to tell me to write a book for years. Really, truly years! I hemmed and hawed about how I couldn’t do that… and then if I did, what would I do? It took some random things happening for me to end up at the house of Nancy Straight for Y’all Fest 2012 in Charleston. I began grilling her about how it (self-publishing) all works and her words gave me the push I needed. Those words of wisdom that finally did me in? Write.

So simple, right? Just write two thousand words a day for three months and you’ll have a book. Voila!

What/who are your muses?
Music plays a huge role in setting tone. My characters are often times bits and pieces of people I know. The snarky comments from one friends, the fierceness from another. The idea of a knight in shining armor from my husband (cue the sighs). I often look at pictures of models, celebs or “normal” people shots on Pinterest for physical muses.

What is your writing process typically like?
Very random and not explainable. I write what I feel like writing. I know people who are waiting on books hate me for this, but I can’t write what is expected of me. I have to ‘be in the mood.’ So while, right now, I SHOULD be writing my last Tyalbrook book, I can’t. It’s not speaking to me in the way that it needs to for it to be what I need it to be. I write out of order a lot too, or I write dialogue only because I can visualize a conversation so clearly. I then go back later and fill in the details of the scene or insert the dialogue where I think it should go later.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
This is probably funny, but my new motto is when in doubt write a sex scene. *grins* I don’t mean some full-on erotic scene; it can be a lovely, sweet scene. For me, I find writing love scenes is easy and intimate and it helps me get into my characters heads. Therefore, it pulls me into the story when I’m having a hard time feeling them.

Do you personally prefer to read e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
I typically read at night before bed – so e-books. My Kindle really is my very favorite thing ever! I buy a lot of paperbacks at events, but I get them signed so I hate to touch them. For traditionally published books, I often find paperbacks to be about the same price as e-books, so I do prefer to buy them in paperback form but I end up taking forever to read them that way. The Kindle is just so much easier to carry with me or to use at night.

Who are your favorite authors?
I’ve met so many authors I admire, I can’t really list them for fear of leaving someone off. I will read any book by the fabulous Amy Bartol who, along with Nancy Straight, set me on my path to self-publishing. I have old school love for Jane Austen, Judith McNaught and Mary Higgins Clark, VC Andrews – those are the books I grew up reading.

What books are you currently reading?
I just finished Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher.

I’ve also been catching up on some older releases – Tragic by JA Huss and Crush by Lacey Weatherford. I am on some panels with authors this summer at a few book conventions, so I am trying to catch up on their books as well.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to edit it or do you prefer to finish it all at once?
I let some things stew, but for the most part when I finish it (or think I have) I read over it one last time before I send it to my editor.

Your covers are always so eye-catching. What goes into your cover-selection process?
For the Tyalbrook series, I randomly came across a picture from a California photographer that I fell in love with for Skye. I contacted her and she went through all of her shots and pulled out other pictures for me to look through. Those became the covers for 1 and 2. The original shot I loved will be on book 3.

For Last Call – I had someone do a custom photo shoot because I knew I wanted a bar shot. It’s not what I was originally going for, but I think it turned out very intimate and sort of sexy. The guy POV that will come from that series later this year has a very sexy shot – because it’s his POV. 😉

The From The Wreckage series covers came from my desire to have something totally different on a YA book than what is currently being done. I didn’t want a girl in a prom dress, or a couple kissing, shirtless, hugging…etc

It’s 1am and you’ve been writing all night. What three items are on your desk?
Tumbler with sweet tea, twizzlers or pretzle sticks and my scratch paper and pen to jot reminders when something pops in my head.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Toughest part of this job!! I signed on with a PR agency (Red Coat PR) in February because this is such an integral part of the job. I think in self-publishing you market yourself more than your books. I tend to buy books from other authors who I know on a personal level before others. I think teasers are great but you have to get bloggers, fans and FB sites to share them. That is hard if you’re not willing to have personal relationships with people. I love connecting with people – I am VERY grateful for the help and support everyone gives me.

When you aren’t writing, where can we find you?
Not writing?? On those few hours you will find me watching sports on the weekends during football season. You’ll find me hiking or enjoying the Carolina mountains in the Fall and Spring and playing by the pool with the kids in the summer.

What is your favorite book and why? Movie?
I really don’t have a favorite book. I love a lot of books. I’ve read many many books multiple times and never get sick of them. Classic historical romances by Judith McNaught are some of my favorites mostly because of the person I was when I first read them. They were my introduction into regency and highland romance when I was scarcely 20.
There are classics, like Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Flies, contemporaries like Easy (T Weber) and Slammed (C Hoover) and paranormal stories like The Premonition Series (A Bartol) and The Infernal Devices (C Clare)

My standing favorite movie is Gone With the Wind. I always use this as an answer because I love the epic story. I love period pieces and the drama and humor.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Probably right where I’m at now. I love my family (3 kids and hubby). My oldest will be in college (holy wow!) so I’ll be crying at being that old. I know I will still be writing – regardless of the monetary/ranking success I have, I will always be writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The same I got – write! Also, write for you. Don’t try to follow a trend because they change, and I feel like often times you can tell when someone forces a story just so they can sell it. Make sure you research who you use and who you give your money to. Self-publishing doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg., you don’t have to pay for review and tours, or formatting – learn to do things yourself. Pay for a good editor but have referrals, read a book they’ve edited. Oh, and covers matter. Like really, really matter!

Email: authormichelegmiller@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleGMiller
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chelemybelles
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chelemybelles/
Website: http://michelegmiller.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-G-Miller/e/B00CLRE0B0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/michele-g-miller
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/michele-g-miller/id726644601?mt=11
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MicheleGMiller
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6975382.Michele_G_Miller 

Cover Reveal – From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

We are so excited to be sharing the cover for From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller with everyone today! 
This is the first book in a series that will show you the depths of despair, as well as the hope and faith that come From the Wreckage.
 
Synopsis:
 
About Michele:
Michele is the author of the Coming of Age Fantasy Trilogy The Prophecy of Tyalbrook –

Never Let You Fall, book one (May 2013) and Never Let You Go, book two (Jan 2014) as well as the New Adult Romantic Suspense, Last Call (Oct 2013). 

She is currently working on the third book in The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series, a Last Call novel and a YA Realistic Fiction that has her super excited!

Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter!

Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Email: authormichelegmiller@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleGMiller
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chelemybelles
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chelemybelles/
Website: http://michelegmiller.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-G-Miller/e/B00CLRE0B0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/michele-g-miller
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/michele-g-miller/id726644601?mt=11
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MicheleGMiller
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6975382.Michele_G_Miller