Friday, March 8, 2013


Goddess Fish Book Tour

A young adult suspense

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….


-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?

My father owned a television commercial studio when I was a teenager. I grew up working on film sets. I learned that telling stories is a magical, challenging craft. I have a journalism degree from the University of Kansas, but I really didn’t start using it until several years ago. I guess life finally seasoned me enough to have something worth writing about. Now I can’t stop writing. I’m at it every day.

-What genre(s) do you write?

I certainly do a lot of nonfiction writing with all the reporting and magazine work I am securing. I’ve also written a how to sort of book for graduation coaching this past year, called Graduation Coach: Rescuing One Child at a Time. My fiction writing is falling under young adult right now, but I refuse to be limited by genre. If there is a story I want to tell, I am comfortable jumping around genres.

-2 sentence blurb.

A high school senior and poor country girl, Ashleigh Mae is forced by her mother to pick up and move in with her momma’s old boyfriend on the outskirts of Amos, Texas. At school, she meets a wealthy Hispanic boy, Manuel, who falls for her – but Ashleigh is torn – between Manuel and her old cheating boyfriend Billy. All the while she has to deal with painful secrets of her past. It’s a coming of age story with suspense, murder, and a whole lot of drama!


“You do that, an’ I’m gonna have to take yours off too,” Ashleigh said as she reached down to grab the ends of Billy’s white wife-beater. As she was lifting off the shirt she spilled Coke onto Billy’s head and chest. “Oh dang!” she laughed.

“Ashleigh!” Billy said excited by her actions. He peeled off her sticky t-shirt and aggressively kissed her full lips. Ashleigh held onto him tightly. The two dove into each other, absorbed in their flesh and passions.

Billy’s powerful arms lifted up Ashleigh and set her on the pulled down back gate of the pickup. Ashleigh felt Billy’s power overwhelm her. Her mind drifted, no longer there, but somewhere up there, in the sky amidst stars in the blackness of the night. She was not in her body but floating in an endless sea of oily blackness. “Ashleigh,” she heard her momma’s loud voice in her head, “ya never make good choices!!”

-For other aspiring writers, any tips?

I had a professor in college who said writing was like basketball, if you want to be good, you have to keep on practicing. Also -- working at a high school, I am so impressed by young people’s points of view. The stories are certainly there. Don’t be afraid to dive right in and tell the world your story from your point of view.

-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?

As much as I am enjoying fiction writing, I LOVE a good biography or autobiography!

-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

Between Micah and Amos is probably my favorite right now – and I’m not just saying that because I’m plugging it. After listening to young people’s struggles for the past nine years, I kind of wanted to send a message back to them – I was listening -- and you are going to be okay!


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.

“I have a very unique title at the Texas high school I work at: I am a graduation coach and counselor. I’ve been helping students who are at risk of dropping out for almost 9 years. I’m fascinated by sustainable design and architecture. I’ve been a featured writer for Green Building and Design magazine since it came out several years ago. I’ve also written for Texas Architect and New American Luxury magazines.

If you look back far enough you will also see I have worked on documentaries, including the award winning PBS documentary, The Painted Churches of Texas.”

To learn more about Alan, visit his website. He can also be found on Goodreads.

Also visit the website for BETWEEN MICAH AND AMOS, and like the book’s page on Facebook.

Check out the book at the publisher’s website.

Want to buy it?

Get it on Amazon as an ebook or a paperback. It’s also available as an ebook from B&N, and it’s available at Goodreads.

Hey readers,

Please join me in thanking Alan for a great interview. Thanks, Alan!

Want more? Check out the rest of the tour.

And don’t forget to comment for a chance at some awesome prizes.

Alan will be awarding gift cards to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour. 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 gift card instead of the Sonic card.


  1. Great interview!


  2. Very nice scene :)


  3. Ah, now I understand why you mentioned that you wanted to be on a talkshow as a kid.


  4. Thank you for hosting today. Alan's having some computer troubles, but will be here to answer questions and otherwise entertain you as soon as he can!

  5. What a noble profession & I mean that sincerely. I love that you help those who need it.


    1. Thanks Mary! Really, it is true sausage making getting a student across the graduation finish line. Messy, but it is sure gratifying if you can help.

  6. I think it's great that you help young adults, who need a grown up to be there for them!


    1. thx! I'm blessed to work where I do because the kids get so much support besides just me.

  7. What is you favorite book, you would not travel without?


    1. I have a mini library under the bed in my master bedroom so I am going through dt's just contemplating your question - I would first say my study bible. After that -- For fiction, Confederacy of Dunces - because always makes me laugh. For nonfiction, Henry Russell Hitchcock's In The Nature of Materials: The Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright

  8. Do you have a favorite character in your story?


    1. Ashleigh is really great because she is such a survivor. But my favorite character to write was her mother, Jo Lynn. She is just this mass of impulses and moods - one moment she slaps Ashleigh across the face, the next she is crying in her arms. I always thought if BW&A ever gets to be made into a movie - the actress who does Jo Lynn will have a meaty part to play!

  9. Another great excerpt, thank you for sharing!


  10. What is something you couldn't write without?


    1. Diet Coke! lol! Get me Diet Coke and watch my fingers fly across the keyboard! My dog, Winston, would also say that I need to take frequent petting breaks. He is a golden retriever and many times he is curled up right next to the chair I prefer to write in.

  11. Fantastic excerpt, even more of a teaser than the previous ones!


  12. I’m enjoying the excerpts. Sounds like a very good read


    1. Thx! I swear, I wish I could just send everyone a copy of the book for free, but I would go broke! lol!

  13. Very nice excerpt, I liked the feeling of suspence in it.

  14. Is there a book that influence you in your choices in life?


    1. The bible for sure. Be a person for others -- the sense of sacrifice and love - can't beat it. : )

  15. Hi Everyone! I have had a day of computer hell - but now have a brand new computer - Thank you for checking in today, and the nice words - let me answer some of your questions!

  16. Alan...I also like to read non-fiction, including biographies and autobiographies. I read much more non-fiction than fiction. LOL.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  17. You must get lots of fuel for your stories through your work!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  18. Missed out on the party day! Best wishes for your release..

    booksaremagicblogspot at gmail dot com