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.”
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