Thursday 1 July 2010

Guestblog: Jackie Lee Miles + Cold Rock River contest

Today I welcome Jackie Lee Miles to my blog, I just today reviewed her book Cold Rock River.

At the end of the post there is a contest to win just this book

Jackie Lee Miles, Author of Roseflower Creek and Cold Rock River

All of my novels feature friendships. I think this goes back to my earliest memory of novels I loved.  I’m thinking of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Who could not be enchanted by their friendship? And what of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility? The Dashwood sisters, all of them—Elinor and Marianne and Margaret were great friends one to the other. And I have to mention John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men which broke my heart. But the friendship between Lennie and George is too dear to forget to mention.

In my novel Roseflower Creek, protagonist Lori Jean is thrilled when Carolee moves to town. Lori Jean says Carolee wasn’t stuck on herself like some girl’s at school. And she’s amazed at her kindness:
Carolee sure was pretty and a whole lot a fun, too. Me and her used to meet up before school and walk the rest of the way together.  She had herself a umbrella, too and when it rained she shared it with me ‘cause I didn’t have one.  That way I only got rained on part of the way.  And when it rained real hard, Carolee left early and come all the way to my house to get me, just so I wouldn’t get so wet running up to meet her.  That’s how special a friend she was ‘cause coming to get me was clear out of her way.

Wouldn’t we all love to have a friend like that! Sadly, Carolee’s in an accident shortly after her and Lori Jean’s friendship is firmly established. I won’t expound on the outcome in case you want to read the book. It’s on page 66 in you want to check it out. 

In my novel Cold Rock River, friendship plays a major role as well. Adie Jenkins, the protagonists gets pregnant before she gets married. Eventually she marries the father of the baby and settles down in his home town. There she meets Willa Mae, a mulotto women who was the mammy of Murphy Spencer, the man who owns the cabin she and her new husband Buck are renting. Willa Mae becomes a dear friend, helping to birth Adie’s baby and after they’re settled in even teaches her to cook. Adie, who is now chicken farming, meets the preacher’s daughter Margaret Mary, who captures Murphy’s attention. They become good friends, even though by now Adie realizes she herself is in love with Murphy. In one scene the young women are discussing whether Margaret Mary should marry Murphy since she’s convinced he really doesn’t love her like she loves him. Adie says:
“Who can say what love is anyway?”  I said.  “It ain’t what we read in books, I can tell you that.”

“I should marry him then, even though he doesn’t—?” she said.

“Be a fool not to.”

“Don’t want to be a fool,” she said.

“Surely not,” I said.  “Look where it got me.”

The wind shifted and sent us a good whiff of the chickens. “See what I mean?” I said.

We laughed, and while we did, more chicken smell floated into the room.  We laughed again.  Two more whiffs and we couldn’t stop.  We held our bellies and howled.  The more we laughed, the funnier it got.  Strips of girl giggles pealed out of our mouths and drifted out the same window the chicken odors floated in through.  Tears welled in our eyes and poured down our cheeks.  Still we laughed; laughed like we hadn’t had a good one in a very long time, like it might be even longer before we ever did again.  The chicken smells kept coming—real or imagined—they poured into the room.  My sides ached.  Guess hers did, too.  I rubbed at mine and she grabbed hold of hers, still we couldn’t stop howling.  The screen door squeaked open and Buck walked in.  What a fright we gave him.  There we sat, two girl hyenas laughing and crying, rocking our bellies, holding our sides, bound forever by coffee and babies and men and chicken shit.

Margaret Mary too meets a sorrowful end. Don’t want to give the story away so that’s all I’ll say, but you can pick up a copy and check it out for yourself.

In my novel All That’s True, debuting in January 2011, friendship also plays a major role. Protagonist Andi St. James and her best Friend Bridget discover that Andi’s father is having an affair with Bridget’s stepmother. This leads to some major sleuthing. In addition to being stunned by what they find they are also mesmerized by what they’re witnessing:

We haven’t told anyone, yet. We still can’t believe it ourselves. Besides, we’re not sure who to tell: her father, or my mother, or maybe a priest. It’s complicated. For now, we’re just watching them boff each other. It’s disgusting, but we can’t seem to help ourselves. Now that we know what they’re doing, we camp out in the bushes behind the cabana that’s behind Bridget’s house and just wait for them to show up. Mostly they do the same things to each other, over and over, but we watch like it’s the very first time.
© all passages, Jackie Lee Miles, Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010

Obviously my writing always includes friendship. I can’t help myself. Friends are everything to me, so I assume they are for my characters, too. And I’m a firm believer that a friend is never a coincidence in your life. They’re certainly not in my novels. I hope you’ll read and find out why.

All great best,
Jackie Lee Miles

Thanks for stopping by with this interesting post Jackie. I enjoyed Cold Rock River and the characters you created.

About the Author
Jackie Lee Miles lives in Georgia with her husband, where she is a featured speaker at book clubs, schools, and writer’s workshops. The author of three novels, Roseflower Creek was her first, published to critical acclaim. When not writing, Ms. Miles tours with the Dixie Divas, four nationally published book-writing belles. Her next novel, All That’s True, will be published by Sourcebooks Landmark in early 2011. For more information, please visit 


2 lucky readers will get a copy of Cold Rock River

Open to US and Canada.

If you are entering please ask Jackie a question, or comment on the book (or even ask me a question what I thought) It's just so much more fun than a simple enter me.

Ends July 7th ( a later change)

And leave your email if it's not in your profile


  1. Not entering, but I'll mention it tomorrow!

  2. not entering as fromt the uk but love the interview

    The Blog

  3. I would love to win! Thanks!

    jeffintennessee at gmail dot com

  4. Enjoyed the post, sounds good!

  5. Thanks Chris!

    I am glad you did, it was a nice one.

    I am sure you would enjoy it

  6. How wonderful! Just reading the blurbs made me feel all warmhearted. You're right about Jane Austen (and I'd never really thought about it), its not just the loves stories (which people seem to focus on) that are so wonderful, but those friendships as well. Love your covers!

  7. Hi Lori,
    Thanks for stopping by.

    So true, I never thought about that either but Austen is about so much mroe than just the love. Strange I never saw that

  8. No need to enter me, doll. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you -- and it's good to see you again!

  9. What a great interview and Ms. Miles book sounds like a lovely story.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy B!

  10. Great guest post!
    The book sounds great. I enjoy stories about friendships.

  11. B,

    Wonderful interview. I love finding new authors - especially those from Georgia. :)

    I think my daughter would love this book. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it.

    kweenmg at yahoo dot com

  12. Sounds charming!

    Btw, I love Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

    Have a great weekend.


    Sassy (Brit) LOL

  13. Thanks Susan
    I remembered that I had not been there for awhile, it was about time :)

    Naida, Lea,
    Thanks, it was a good one, I so need fiction now and again to keep me rooted.

    She would? That's nice, I am sure she would too, well if she likes these kinds of books.

    I really should read Twain one day, you know

  14. Question for Jackie: I've heard writers talk about how their characters become like friends or family members to them, so do you have a difficult time having them come to what you described as a sorrowful end?


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

  15. I've read several great reviews of Cold Rock River. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

  16. HI JHS
    Thanks for stopping by! Good luck too

    It's such a nice book, I am sure you would enjoy it

  17. would enjoy reading this fabulous novel...thanks for the chance :)

    just wondering what jackie is currently writing.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  18. Winners Michelle and Karenk



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