July is known as a patriotic month. Fireworks and celebrations for the fourth are all around. As you take a break from the fun festivities, check out Kimberly Miller's newest (soon to be) release, Picking Daisy.
This novel promises to be a wonderful, refreshing story.
Kimberly Miller lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, their two children, and a cat who barely tolerates them. By day, Kimberly teaches film and writing courses, but at night she enjoys reading, watching movies, making jewelry, and baking and eating desserts that mainly consist of chocolate.
Kimberly, What do you enjoy doing when you not writing?
I make jewelry and watch movies/ tv shows with my daughters. I also enjoy baking cookies.
Can you tell us what inspired you to write Picking Daisy?
I wanted to challenge traditional ideas of beauty. So often we say ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’ but we don’t act like that culturally. Women are treated poorly if they are outside the traditional standard of weight, height, complexion, or whatever else might be the attribute of the moment. But what really matters? What transcends all of that? I wanted to write a novel where the two characters who might be least likely to come together learn what love and beauty mean as they find each other. Since Robby is an egotistical, famous, recovering alcoholic, it seems he’d be unlikely to find Daisy, a wheelchair-bound writer, interesting enough to pursue romantically. And at first he doesn’t, but through the course of the novel he is learning and growing as a man, and that shows in his eventual interest in Daisy.
You're so right! It's sad the way titles are placed on people, all because of the world's idea of perfect. How did you choose the title of your book?
I loved the name Daisy and wanted to do something with that so I played around with the possibilities until I landed on ‘Picking Daisy’.
Kimberly, is there a message in this novel, you want readers to grasp? We are all beautiful and we also need a nudge sometimes to slow down and ‘check ourselves’ in terms of our motivations and perceptions of others.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about it? I’ve always got a bunch of projects going. I’m hoping to submit another novel for publication soon (it’s tentatively titled ‘Forgiving Tess’), and I’m also working on a novella for a collection. Also, I have a novel I’m editing called ‘Roundabout’ that I am hoping to finish and submit by summer’s end.
What is your favorite scene/chapter?
I included a teaser. I still don’t have a publication date! So I can’t say for sure, but I think this summer- hopefully SOON
Daisy Parker isn’t the woman Robby Grant would have imagined himself falling for. She’s soft-spoken, sweet, and lives by a strange code the struggling rock star is recognizing as Biblical.
And he’s helpless against it. Even if Daisy herself is hard-pressed to believe that a man like Robby would see her- a woman long forgotten by the rest of the world- as anything more than a step back to his career.
But Robby challenges Daisy in ways she’d long avoided. With their mutual love of music, it seems nothing can separate them- not even Daisy’s wheelchair or Robby’s ego.
As Robby grows into the man he’s long dreamed of being, Daisy dares to trust again. But will this sweet melody last?
Scene from Picking Daisy
Rather than make her presence known, Daisy chose to hide behind a large bush and wait for his next move. After a brief moment and another swig, he emerged from the truck, stumbling a bit over his own feet before he slammed the door and tripped his way to the front porch.
As he moved, Daisy sized him up. He was well over six feet tall with a lanky but healthy build despite his obvious inebriation. The color of his shaggy hair was a mystery and his face was hidden well in the shadows. His jeans, t-shirt, and jacket were the kind of perfectly worn chic that Daisy never understood. She had a closet full of old clothes she’d managed to wear out herself and for much less money.
Daisy clasped her phone, ready to dial 9-1-1 at a moment’s notice. Curious, she continued spying as the man tried to open the door. He proceeded to beat on it as if he expected someone inside to answer.
“Nick!” he shouted. “I’m here! Let me in!” He hit the door repeatedly before dropping in a defeated slump on the porch swing, his head falling into his hands. Daisy couldn’t waste any more time.
“Who are you?” she asked, slowly raising the gun at him. The man stared at her in the dim porch light and stood, lifting his arms over his head.
“Easy, lady. I have to get in...there,” he said, his speech slurred. Daisy didn’t doubt he thought he needed to get into the house, and that was the last place he was getting if she had anything to say about it. She kept her weapon aimed confidently with one hand as she lifted her cell phone with the other.
“Please...” he begged again, seeming to sober with the word. He gulped as he stared at the gun, not at her. “I’ll give you an autograph if you don’t shoot.”
What a strange plea, Daisy thought, lowering her arm slightly. She could barely see him in the lighting.
“This is my Uncle Nick’s place. I’m supposed to take care of him,” he said, stepping to the edge of the porch, his hands still raised. Daisy squinted, trying to make sense of the man before her. He vaguely resembled Robby but he was thicker and judging by the bruising and dried blood on his face, he’d barely made it through one heck of a day. Could it be Robby’s brother? She lowered the gun and set it on her lap as she moved still closer. No, this was Robby Grant himself. Well, probably.
The handsome, mischievous man she’d seen so many times on television, the internet, and in magazines may have been in there somewhere but it was going to take some serious scrubbing and hair product to find him. Her heart lurched.
He needed her.
Kimberly thanks for being on Monthly smiles. In the coming weeks we'll be watching Amazon to catch the release of “Picking Daisy.”
I'm happy to highlight Michael Ehret and his new novella, Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection.
I have to admit I enjoy watching Tiny House Hunters and Tiny House Living on HGTV
So this means that Michael's novella from, A Tiny House collection, has moved up on my TBR list. :)
Michael, tell us how you got the idea for Coming Home.
This Book Came As A Surprise
I wasn't expecting to write a novella for a collection with six of my writing friends. Heck, I wasn't expecting to write a novella!
But the idea was floated for a collection themed around the tiny house phenomenon and it seemed like fun. Then came deciding what my story would be about and how to incorporate the theme.
Not as easy as it may sound. I'm a Seat Of The Pants (SOTP) writer. I sit down at the computer, open a Word document, and start writing.
However, when we decided we wanted to do this collection, my wife and I had just finished touring the Tiny House Road Show when it stopped here in Indianapolis. On a subsequent weekend trip to Cincinnati, we brainstormed a couple ideas about how the story could be approached.
What if the man in the story was a writer for an architectural journal who thought himself too sophisticated to do a story on tiny houses? What if the woman was the president of a company building tiny houses with the idea to use the proceeds to battle homelessness? Then, what if both of these people had experienced homelessness in different forms and it had drastically affected their lives, but in different, opposite ways?
But I still couldn’t seem to get the story started. One day, I was driving around the Northside of Indianapolis, near where I work. It was an area I drive through several times during every week. This time I spot a street sign for Timberly Drive and the voice of my female character just pops into my mind and starts talking.
I’m just going to put it out there. My name’s Timberly. Yeah, Timberly. Get over it. I did long ago, okay? What can a girl say? My father, the dealmaker, cut what he called a “win-win” with my mother. Trouble is, there were three people in the deal and only two of them “won-won.”
From there the story began to unfold. A theme paragraph emerged: Homelessness expanded her world and constricted his. Now she needs his help, but he only remembers the pain. Can they find big love in a tiny house?
And I was all set to write. Or so I thought. I needed one more element. What would bring these two together? What interest might they have in common?
e is a reporter from Chicago who specializes in writing about architecture and has a degree to back it up from Purdue University. The other lives in Indianapolis and builds tiny houses, which are dedicated to functionality, form, and storage. Hey, wait, that sounds sort of like famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work from his Usonian period.
And just like that God dropped the final piece in my lap. Unbeknownst to me until that very moment, one of the last Usonian style homes Wright built was in West Lafayette, just a block from the Purdue University campus. And West Lafayette is about halfway between Chicago and Indianapolis. And that home, Samara, is open for tours.
And that’s how “Big Love,” my novella in the Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, came to be.
If you’d like to enter the drawing to win a digital copy of the collection, answer this question in the comments—and leave your email!
Question: Could you live in a tiny house? Why or why not?
Michael Ehret has accepted God's invitation to write with Him and is also a freelance editor at WritingOnTheFineLine.com. In addition, he's worked as editor-in-chief of the ACFW Journal magazine for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), was editor-in-chief of the Christian Writers Guild, and he pays the bills as a marketing communications writer. Michael sharpened his writing and editing skills as a reporter for The Indianapolis News and The Indianapolis Star.
He’s been married for 36 years to Deb and they have three children, one dog (a miniature Schnauzer named Baxter), and a granddog. Since he writes fiction by the seat of his pants, who knows what’s next?
Michael, thank you for sharing your story.
You asked, Could you live in a tiny house? Why or why not?
I like to look at tiny houses but I could live in one. Not enough storage,
and the bathrooms are too small.
Remember to comment for a chance to win a copy of Michael's book.
Could you live in a tiny house? Why or why not?
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