Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Absence of Olivia Prologue Reveal

We are twenty eight days out from the release of The Absence of Olivia.  Now, I am always excited about a book release, but this book is special.  I don't know exactly what it is about this book in particular, but I just feel it in my bones: this is a book I want everyone to read.  So, I thought, with that in mind, perhaps I should post the prologue.

This prologue is something I wrote at 3:21 a.m. one morning back in March.  I woke up from a dream and had to get out my laptop and furiously type the words before they flitted away into that hazy reality where you can almost kind of remember your dream from the night before.  I was afraid the emotions would leave me, afraid Olivia would get lost in the back of my mind.  Ironically enough, Olivia was never absent from me.  She yelled at me constantly to write this story.  She was louder than any other person in my mind, so I had to listen.

This prologue is unedited, subject to change.  Copyright Anie Michaels of AM Books, 2015.

The Absence of Olivia
Anie Michaels

   It had been forty-seven minutes since my best friend passed away.
   Forty-seven minutes.
   And I already had no idea how to live my life without her.
   I was already lost.
   I had no idea how to move forward, how to live, in a world she wasn’t a part of anymore.
   She was the biggest part of my world since I was fourteen years old. She was the first person I made eye contact with on my first day of eighth grade. My first day at a new school, just having moved to New Haven the week before. I sat down in the first empty desk I’d come to in my first period homeroom class, and she’d been sitting in the desk right next to mine. She turned to me, her long, blonde, sleek ponytail swinging to the side with her movement, and she smiled.
   I couldn’t help but smile back.
   Then she spoke and, we didn’t know it then, but we’d started a lifelong friendship that day.
   Well, lifelong for her. Cut drastically short for me.
   Olivia Marie Wright wasn’t the most popular girl in school, mostly because the most popular girls in school got that way by kissing boys at the bottom of the hill by the soccer field. She wasn’t the smartest girl in school, and she wasn’t the prettiest girl in school. But she was all three – popular, smart, and pretty. And she was the best girl in school. Hardly a person didn’t like Olivia and those who didn’t like her, only disliked her out of jealousy or spite, and Olivia was always the nicest to those people.
   She sang in the choir, was in the school plays, participated in student government, and was even on the drill team. There wasn’t a single thing she wasn’t good at. And I was happy to know the one thing she particularly excelled at was being someone’s friend.
   That very first day she turned her head to me, smiled, and said, “Hi, I’m Olivia. Are you new?”
   I smiled back, albeit, a shy smile, and said, “Yeah, I moved here last week.”
   “Well, I’ll ask Mr. Marshall if I can show you to all your classes. Usually, they let someone show new students around, and I’d love to help.”
   Thus, a fourteen-year friendship was born. And today, it died, along with Olivia.
   Just yesterday, I sat in her hospital room, holding her frail, cold hand as she looked at me with eyes missing so much light and tried to say her goodbye. She was weak, the cancer taking everything from her right up until the very last moment, so her words were thin and soft; but she’d said them, so I’d listened.
   “Evie,” she whispered, her eyes trying to remain open, but closing every few seconds, just to flutter open again.
   “I’m here, Livy,” I said, scooting forward on the chair, rubbing her hand with a little more force, but still gently. “I’m here,” I repeated, not certain what else to say to her, not even sure I had words to say to my best friend slipping away right before my eyes.
   “Evie, you’re my best friend,” she breathed, “so I need you to promise me something.”
   “Anything,” I whispered back.
   Her eyes found mine again, and the dullness of them wasn’t lost on me, the absence of everything bright that had once been in her eyes was nearly as devastating as the condition of her body. There was nothing left of any part of her.
   “I need you to take care of Devon, Ruby, and little Jax for me,” she said, her eyes rolling back in her head as her voice tapered off. Then they fluttered open again, finding me, searching mine. “Promise me.”
   This wasn’t the first time she’d asked me to take care of her family after she was gone. However, every other time we’d talked about it, she’d been well enough that it had been something far away, or just some smoky idea that would disappear when you really tried to grab hold of it. When she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer two years prior, she’d almost jokingly, with a smile, asked me to take care of her family if anything should happen to her. Of course, I agreed. Of course. Then, again, when her health turned poor and there was that moment when everyone realized that, eventually, she wouldn’t make it, she’d asked again. And I’d agreed, of course.
   But she’d never asked me before while she’d been lying at death’s door and the request had never seemed so final. To agree to this would mean I agreed to her dying; it would be to accept that the end was really here, and Olivia was really leaving. To agree to take care of her family would be agreeing to give her up, and I wasn’t sure I could do that.
   But I looked at my best friend on possibly the very last day of her life and realized anything I could do to ease her mind or make her last day easier, I would, of course. So I nodded, tears streaming down my face, and agreed to care for her family.
   “Of course, Livy. I’ll always take care of them,” I muttered through tears. She smiled, and she looked like she was drifting away from me, which I’d come to expect since the pain medication they had her on was strong. However, a few minutes later, when she opened her eyes again, she looked at me and said the very last words I’d ever hear from her.
   “You’re my very best friend, Evie. Promise me you’ll be happy.”
   I nodded, not able to say anything in response, because I knew there would be no happiness in the absence of Olivia.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Never Standing Still Prologue

Hello everyone! Here is the prologue to Never Standing Still, which is Kalli's story.  I hope you all enjoy it and are looking forward to reading her books!  Remember, this is protected under copyright law and is subject to change.  Enjoy!  Never Standing Still releases May 12th!

   This wasn’t how I’d imagined my seventh birthday would turn out.  The balloons were great, the Rainbow Brite birthday cake was just how it looked in the book at the grocery store, and even some of my friends showed up to my party.
   That part was awesome.
   But as I lay in my bed, listening to my parents argue, their yelling only getting louder and angrier, I tried to keep my tears in.  They didn’t need to hear me crying. I didn’t want to cry, either.  I’d cried a lot lately and it never seemed to do any good.  I startled when I heard a cabinet slam shut as my father’s shouts floated down the hallway.
   “I just couldn’t be here,” he said in a growly voice.  I imagined him braced against the kitchen counter, elbows locked, head bowed.  “The house was filled with kids I don’t know and their parents.  It just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my day.”
   “It’s her birthday, Kevin.”
   “I know.”
   “A father should be with his daughter on her birthday.”
   “It doesn’t matter, Alli.  She didn’t notice that I wasn’t here.”
   I had noticed.  But he was right, it didn’t matter that he wasn’t there.  I wasn’t surprised.  He never seemed to be around, so I didn’t think my birthday party would be any different.
   I heard a frustrated grunt leave my father and I could picture his hands coming to his hair, scraping it back, leaving it sticking up in all directions.  It was what he always did when he fought with Mommy; he pulled his own hair.
   “I’m so sick of the same fight.  I can’t keep having the same stupid argument with you, Alli.  I’m not the person you want me to be.  I never was.”
   “So change!  You don’t have to do it for me, but you should do it for that little girl.  She’s your flesh and blood.”
   “I didn’t ask for this!”  He screamed.  “I didn’t want to be a father.  I didn’t want to be tied down for the rest of my life.  I didn’t want this kind of responsibility.”
   “She’s your daughter! Not some obligation!  Don’t you feel any kind of pull to be good for her?  To be the kind of man she can look up to?”
   “Honestly Alli, all I feel is like I’m tied down, like I’m standing still and can’t move.  I don’t want to stand still anymore.”
   The arguments weren’t new.  They fought all the time.  I usually didn’t have trouble sleeping through it; the rhythm of their voices yelling at each other usually lulled me to sleep.  But tonight, for some reason, I heard everything he said.  His words shot down the darkened hallway like an arrow and found its way through the crack in my door and hit its target right in my chest.
   I held the tears in as long as I could, but when I heard the back door slam shut, my mom yelling at him to never come back, I couldn’t keep the tears from falling.  They soaked through my pillowcase, but I didn’t care.  I pressed my face into my pillow so my mom wouldn’t hear me crying. 

   Eventually I stopped crying and listened to the frogs, which lived outside my window in the wet months, when the water would pool outside my bedroom from all the rain.  I listened to the frogs and waited to hear the back door open again, signaling that my father had returned.  But the door stayed closed, and I never heard him come home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Private Getaway Sneak Peek!

You asked for it, so here it is! The first 516 words from Private Getaway!!!  Enjoy!
copyright Anie Michaels 2015   Subject to change.
Releasing 4/7/2015

   An incessant buzzing, accompanied by an irritating beeping, pulled me out of a dead sleep, which had only been brought on by vodka and chocolate.  I groaned, but rolled over slowly, blindly reaching around for my phone.  When my fingers finally found it, I peeped one eye open, painfully, but all I could see was the dark veil created by my raven hair.  I used my hand to sweep it aside and managed to swipe my finger over the screen of my phone, bringing it to life. 
   I winced from the bright light, but managed to silence the alarm that was blaring throughout the room.  I tossed the phone onto the nightstand and rolled back over, ignoring the aching in my muscles and the jackhammer in my head.
   That was the fourth morning my alarm had woken me up.  It was a residual alarm left over from my previous life.  It used to be the alarm that would remind me every morning to take my birth control pill.  It was now the alarm that reminded me to not drown in my current pool of self-pity and hatred.  I didn’t have any birth control pills to take.  I, in fact, didn’t have anything with me aside from the clothes on the floor I’d been wearing when I fled from my life, the groceries I’d thought to buy before I’d checked into this motel, and my purse.
   I was a mess.  I’d been in this bed for the majority of the last four days and I felt it.   Up until now, I’d not felt the need or want to change my situation.  I’d wanted to stay in bed forever, sleep as long as the vodka would let me, and try desperately not to deal with the catastrophe I’d left behind.  But I hadn’t left it behind; it seemed to have followed me here and was now seeping back in.  Reality.
   Reality was a bitch.
   I groaned again as I moved off the bed, flinging the scratchy comforter off my body, and swinging my legs over the edge of the mattress.
   “Holy fucking crap,” I whispered to nobody but myself.  I rubbed a hand over my face, my nose crinkling up at the gross condition of my skin.  I needed a shower.  More than I needed anything ever, I needed a shower.
   I ambled through the small motel room and found the bathroom. Switching the faucet on, I waited for the water to heat.  When it was as hot as I could stand, I pulled the stopper up and watched the water fall like rain.
   I climbed in, letting the harsh, hot water pelt me, stinging all the way down to my feet.  I went about the business of washing the grime from my body. The tiny bottles I’d had the thought to buy at the grocery store weren’t enough to last very long, but it was enough for now.  As I washed my body, I held my cries in.  I’d managed not to cry up until now, and I didn’t intend to ever cry over Derrek or Preston.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

You want updates? You've got updates!

Hello lovely readers!

There are so many things happening in my crazy world right now, I thought it would be great to nail down some dates!  Now that I can breathe a little easier, having finished the rough draft of Never Standing Still, I can plan the release!

March 17th - Private Encounters Release
April 1st - Private Getaway Cover Reveal
April 7th - Private Getaway Release
May 4th - Never Standing Still Cover Reveal
May 12th - Never Standing Still Release

I am not sure if I will be doing preorders for any of these titles, but I will let you all know on my main page if that occurs.

Here's another something that's a little bit important....

So, I had fully intended on writing Never Standing Still as a stand alone book.  It was going to be just one novel, something anyone could read, regardless of whether or not they had read any of the previous Never books.  Well, I got about 40K words into it and realized it just wasn't going to work.  Kalli and Riot's story is a lot more involved and goes deeper than I ever imagined, so, Kalli and Riot's book has turned into a Duet.  There will be two books and I, personally, am really excited about it.  Let me be clear about something though... You are fine to read the book if you've not read any of the Never books.  You will get a few spoilers, but there isn't any reason you wouldn't be able to read Never Standing Still on it's own.

It is my intention to have the second book of the duet out *Hopefully* in July.

There are a few other small things in the works between now and May, but the details still need some ironing out.   As always, the most awesomest way to stay up to date on everything Anie Michaels is to visit my facebook page here.

Thank you all for your patience and your support! I have the BEST readers!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Never Giving Up Spoilers Ahead!!!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I thought long and hard about this post.  In truth, I've been contemplating it for months.  But sometimes my need to share overrides every other instinct I have.  Also, you've already seen what I'm about to show you; I'm just going to give you a little bit more.

   This is my son Noah, 17 days old, in the ER after his ambulance ride to the children's hospital.

   I've gotten quite a few messages about Mattie's story in Never Giving Up, and only confided in a few that Ella and Mattie's struggles was a real life battle Noah and I fought together.  Lots of readers have commented about how real and raw the emotions Ella went through were, and I'm here to tell you that, YES!  It was every bit as emotionally draining, frightening, sad, and devastating as I tried to portray in the book.  I wasn't dealing with a trial of my attempted murderer, but still...

  (You see all the different IVs on his hand?  It came out, honestly, every single day.  My plight with the white-coated lab people was VERY real)

 The only difference in my actual story and Ella's is that when this happened to my family, I also had a three-year-old daughter who needed me.  Also, unlike Ella and Mattie's story, Noah's trauma from this medical scare had lasting effects that tested me as a mother and a wife, and probably as a person if I'm being really honest with myself.  The two years following his hospital stay are some of the darkest times of my life and I'll never be able to get that time back or get a do-over with my kids or my husband who was and remains a saint for everything he's ever done for our family.
   But, the good news is, when Noah was about two things started to change and everything started getting better.  Both with him and with me, and It's no coincidence that everything started getting better for me when I started writing.

   Telling Noah's story was supremely therapeutic and even if it makes the story not 100% fiction, I don't really care.

   I guess I just wanted to give a thanks to anyone who has read the book and felt even one smidge of the emotion I put into the book, because honestly, every time one of you experienced that heartache while reading, I felt it a little less.

  Today, Noah is almost 4 years old and pretty much a normal kid.  He has some setbacks, but it's hard to know if they're because of the terrible infection he had as a small baby, or if it's just one of his sparkling personality traits.  I'll take him any way I can get him.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Update Schmupdate

Hello all you fine people!

So, I very rarely write blog posts, but I felt like I had an abundance of things to say and thought perhaps this would be a better venue to write it all out.

Who here loves Ella and Porter?  I do.  I know there are people out there waiting for book #3.  It's you people, the ones who are anticipating the story, I wish to speak to first.  I have a warning for you, but it's not a bad warning, it's like, an FYI.

Never Close Enough was my very first book.  Very. First. Book.  For a lot of reasons I both love and hate that book.  I LOVE Ella and Porter.  I love how they love each other, I love how from day one they were so totally and completely in love with each other. Even through all the ups and downs and twists and turns - they love hard.  And I love that.  However, there are things about that book I would do differently if I were writing it now, again, for the first time.

Think about the first time you ever did something new.  Then think about the second time.  Or the third.  You adapted, you changed, you grew.  That's what has happened to me.  I've changed and (thank God) I've grown.  

Never Close Enough and Never Far Away are both written in a third person point of view.  So, there's a lot of he/she/they.  I wrote The Space Between Us and wanted to try first person - I/me/we.  I found myself so much more connected to Charlie and Asher than I ever was to E&P.  For me, it was easier to tell the story from a 1st person perspective and put more into the story.
That being said, when I started to work on Never Giving Up, I struggled with how to write it.  I felt like I should stick to third person for continuity purposes (and because my sister said I should absolutely NOT switch in the middle of the series), but I felt like it would be a better book in 1st person.  So, I thought about it long and hard, and even lost sleep over the decision.  But in the end I wanted to know E&P on that really personal level.  I didn't want to watch their story happen, I wanted to live it with them - and that's the difference to me.  It's a deeper level of being engrossed in their story.

I am more than half way through writing Never Giving Up, and I can say that I love the insights brought out by it being in first person, I feel like I know Porter much better than I had in the past, and as a reader you will learn more about him too, know him better.

I sincerely hope this wont deter any fans from reading the book and I also hope it wont catch anyone of guard.

Also - I cannot FREAKING wait for you all to see the cover.  It's amazing.  Possibly my most favorite cover yet.  Ever.  If you're a fan of the series, when you see the cover, you'll flip.  Absolutely flip.

I can't remember anything else I wanted to say.  Thank you for reading this and being understanding.  I promise I made the decision I thought was best for the book.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Cover Reveal The Space Between Us


Book Description:

They always belonged to each other but even a fated love can be fractured.

Shy, artistic, and withdrawn 11-year- old Charlie McBride tries to get her footing as she copes with the loss of her mother, the move to a new town, and starting a new school. Asher Carmichael steps into her life, provides a steadfast friendship that offers her protection to grow into a beautiful, young woman. As years pass, their friendship evolves into a passionate first love neither one of them can deny. Together they explore a new relationship filled with all the butterflies and heartache expected as two young adults navigate sex, love, and trust.

One fateful night, a painful mistake leads to cataclysmic results, setting the lovers on separate paths. Charlie is too hurt to forgive and Asher has never been so lost without his Charlie. Years pass. Hearts remain broken. Neither one can forget their first love or overcome the space between them.

Add to GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/22026462-the-space-between-us?ac=1

Find the Author:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vUcMyU

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/7267637.Anie_Michaels


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