Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mystery Book...

I love getting emails from readers, and sometimes they are just too good to keep to myself. I received this one today from someone who mysteriously stumbled upon The Paper Bag Christmas...

Hi Mr. Milne!

My name is [name withheld], and I live in a small town in the hill country in Texas. Last night God gave me your book, The Paper Bag Christmas. Okay, well, maybe not God... but someone did. I live with two other people and it belonged to none of us, we'd never seen it before, but there it was, just sitting on our bookshelf. I am a firm believer in the magic and love of Christmas-time, so I decided to read it. I finished it all in one sitting, and don't know that I've ever cried so hard in a book.

My nephew passed away from cancer in a children's hospital 5 years ago, and it was by far the hardest thing to endure to date. I was incredibly moved by the story and how much love was shown on every single page. I'm a big time crier, so there was no chance of a dry eye of course, but in a good way!

I currently work with at-risk kids as a counselor, having only gotten my Bachelor's in Psychology a year and a half ago. I am not sure why this book appeared on my bookshelf for me to read, but I thank you for writing it, and inspiring me to try my hardest to love everyone and reach out to everyone I can, including the children I work with. I can't wait to go to church this week and thank God for putting it on my shelf, too. I try not to think about my nephew too much, but this book made me, and made me feel some sort of peace. I didn't know what to do so I decided to write you this e-mail in hopes of a response and your take on this strange Christmas story!

Leia Mais…

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sweet Foreign Cover

Just got this from the publisher in Korea...the cover of Sweet Misfortune. It definitely has an Asian flair, but I love it!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Am Northwest Interview

Just wanted to post a link to the interview I did on AM Northwest (Channel 2, OR). It was a blast! Thanks to Helen and her book club for a great time!!

Leia Mais…

Friday, July 2, 2010

Eclipsing Eclipse

This picture is for my own teenage daughters. Hopefully, seeing their dad's name anywhere near the newest Twilight movie will bolster my 'coolness' in their eyes. :-)

Leia Mais…

Happiness Letter

I received this today from Paola C., who just finished reading Sweet Misfortune....

Happiness is holding a sleeping baby and watching his/her angelic face in their repose. 
Happiness is reading a book, hearing a song/music, or watching a movie that touches your soul. 
Happiness is hearing children's laughter. 
Happiness is hugging the one you love. 
Happiness is feeling grateful for everyone in your life. 
Happiness is knowing you are never alone - God and God's helpers are always there. 
Happiness is spending time with children and listening to them - they are so wise - if only, we spent more time speaking to them.  They are worth these moments and you get so much in return. 
Happiness is being of service to someone.  There is no greater joy than doing something for someone else that is not connected to ego. 
Happiness is being grateful for the senses and experiences that you have - good and bad help you grow. 
Happiness is telling and showing people that you love them.  Tell people you love that you love them but don't forget to show them too! 
Happiness is spending time with my precious niece and nephew.  As they grow older, happiness is receiving unexpected hugs and "I love yous" for no reason at all. 
Happiness is love. 
Happiness is laughing at something silly. 
Happiness is nature - she is there everyday to share her bounty - sometimes we are too busy to notice her. 
Happiness is the ability to choose and appreciate your freedoms.

Leia Mais…

Angie's Story

Dear Kevin,
Managing a bookstore has its perks.  One of my favorites is receiving advance reading copies of books from publishers.  Being an avid, aka, addicted reader with an unsatiable love of fortune cookies led me to believe I had a winner when I saw the cover of your book.  I curled up in my bed one night with three advance copy books from three different authors.

First book, two chapters in, tossed it aside.  Second book, had potential, but didn't have me coming back for more after four chapters.  As I stared at the cover of book three......your book, and read the fortune--"Some people are lucky in love. You aren't one of them,"  I groaned, "Well this one is obviously written for me. " 
I just finished the final page (and yes, I even read your Haiku) and am now compelled to give you my version of "happiness that doesn't fleet."

My father was killed in Vietnam when I was 10 yrs. old.  My mother died from ALS when I was thirty-five.  My two children were born with an incurable disease called epidermolysis bullosa.  After 20 years of marriage and one month from my 50th birthday, my husband unceremoniously dumped me for a prostitute in Thailand.  Some happiness can be very "fleeting."   As I lay on my dining room floor in the fetal position sobbing, I realized that  the only true happiness is that which comes in the form of comfort and peace from our divine God who is the only one who knows how  all the pieces will fit back together again. It is the happiness which I hold strong to today even though  the puzzle of my life has not yet fallen back into place enough to see a clear picture.  But I wake up every morning and go to bed every night with a happiness which cannot be quenched because I am held in the palm of the One who knows it all and tells me ---"Angie, you win in the end."

Blessings to you on your new  publication.  You have a winner on your hands!  I can't wait to tell everyone who comes into our store!

Angie C.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reader's Definition of Happiness

This morning my family made me breakfast in bed for my birthday. While I was eating, I checked my email on my cell phone, and started crying when I read the story below. Many thanks to the reader who shared... 

"I just read your book, 'Sweet Misfortune', cover to cover tonight. I am tempted to say that Happiness is having the time and leisure to sit and read a good book cover to cover. This couldn't be more true to me because I am the parent whose only leisure time is the middle of the night hours when I should be sleeping. However, as trite as this sounds, my Happiness is the sound of a baby screaming from the nursery down the hall. But not just because of motherly lovey Happiness. When I was 14 weeks pregnant with twins my water ruptured on Twin B. I was told to end the pregnancy as I would be losing both babies due to the trauma. I couldn't end the pregnancy and the doctors sent me home to miscarry. I didn't. But I did spend the ensuing 20 weeks being told by highly regarded maternal-fetal specialists that even though I didn't miscarry I would be lucky if we were able to get to an acceptable term to possibly deliver Baby A safely. Baby B was given 0% chance of survival due to the lack of fluid from the rupture. The baby would not develop lungs or other vital organs. I was told I would experience the happiest day of my life delivering one baby coinciding with the worst day of my life with one baby dying. Week after week we were being prepared for the worst. 6 weeks before my due date, on Aug 23,2009 at 8:59p Twin A, my son Henry, was born. He was tiny, only 3 lb 7 oz. My husband and I were elated to meet him. He let out a big roar to let us know he was there and he was quickly rushed away to the NICU. At 9:01p Baby B, my daughter Mary Alice, was born. She was 1 lb 10oz. The exact definition of Happiness to my husband and I is the cry that came from that tiny baby. That precise moment is the Happiest moment of my life. For a baby that wasn't supposed to develop lungs she sure had something to prove. 3 months of NICU care and she was finally released home to join her brother and mom & dad. That was the 2nd Happiest moment of my life.

I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have gone through what we did...I am a better mother for it.  I think I may be one of the only women I know who still marvels at the screaming coming from their baby after almost a year of hearing it. To me, its reliving the Happiest sound I've ever heard.
We aren't religious people but we have experienced a medical miracle. There is no explanation for her survival. To that point, after all the tests were done and facts gathered, my son, my daughter, and I should not have survived this pregnancy at all. The condition, Cornual Ectopic Pregnancy, usually ends with catastrophic results to the mother and child. A surviving Cornual Ectopic is so rare that we are being written about. We are blessed. And I more so for being able to relive my Happiness every day :)

Thank you for such a wonderful novel. It has inspired me to make it a point to be Happy in the middle of my unbelievably long harried days.

[Name Withheld]"

Leia Mais…

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet Winners

Thanks to all for entering the giveaway. There were 84 total entries (including one deleted comment). This morning I used a random number generator at, which selected the following entries, in order, as the five winners:

  • #72: jenfurru said...My all time favorite chocolate is Esther Price chocolates, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. I grew up in Cincy and have fond memories of her chocolate candy.
  • #82: George said...My favorite sweet treat.... definitely fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, still soft and warm with melty, runny chocolate. Yum!
  • #57: Cheryl Oliver said...Nothing but nothing beats a large chocolate MALT!!!! especially on a hot day. That's probably why I need to lose some weight!!!
  • #24: Susanne said...I believe my favorite treat is one that I stay away from... Mississippi Mud... you take a brownie recipe, layer marshmellow creme and then add a thick fudge frosting. A 1x1 square is to die for! I also am so addicted to marshmellow peeps, and enjoy them stale...But, I too must stay away from so much intense sugar... Love your books and am looking forward to a great summer read..
  • #51:  Abigail said...I love South African pancakes ... rolled up with cinnamon and sugar. They taste even better when my husband makes them.
If one of these comments is yours, you win! Contact me asap via email ( or and I'll get your book in the mail.

If you didn't can blame the random number generator. :-) But be sure to look for Sweet Misfortune on the shelf at your nearest book store, starting today!

Leia Mais…

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Contest

Today several boxes of my newest book, Sweet Misfortune, showed up at my house. While I appreciate my publisher's generosity, I honestly don't know what to do with them all. The only thing I can think of is...give them away!

So here's the deal: the main character in this book, Sophie Jones, has a bit of a sweet tooth. To be entered to win a signed copy, post a comment to this blog in which you identify your favorite candy or other sweet treat. It's that easy. Five people will be selected at random. The contest closes at midnight on June 9th, just before the book is officially available in stores on June 10th. Check back on the 10th to see if you've won.

For the record, my new favorite 'sweet' is Chocolate Soup. My wife just discovered the recipe, and it's to die for.

Good luck!

Oh, and after you've entered the contest, feel free to check out Sophie Jones's blog.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And another good review!

Five Stars from A. Boston, an Amazon top 500 reviewer:
When I first got this book, I hadn't realized until it was in my hands that it was written by a man. I was interested to see how he would write a novel with a female main character. Usually, I can tell from the first couple of pages that it wouldn't be as mutifaceted, but more of a cliched version of what men think a woman should be. (I'm generalizing, I know. I became sexist for about 10 seconds. But I realize there are men authors writing for a mainly female audience out there who can write women wonderfully).

Thankfully, this book proved me entirely wrong. It was an excellent read, from start to finish. I actually read it in a couple of hours, which I've never done before. It was funny and heart wrenching with well written, consistent characters. "Sweet Misfortunes" takes you on a insightful journey with Sophie, the central character. You wonder with a woman who's experienced such misfortune in her life, will she ever figure out how to achieve her own personal happiness? This book could have been depressing, but instead it had a certain lift to it, whimsical yet thoughtful at the same time.

It had many lessons in it, but the one that sticks out to me, is that carrying around a silent, sometimes misguided guilt can be crippling. Letting it out and sharing it with others, as hard as it may be, can set you free.

A must read, whole heartedly recommended, no matter what genre of book you may typically go for. It had mystery, romance, life lessons and humor. One of the best books I've read in a very long time. 

Leia Mais…

SWEET MISFORTUNE already getting good reviews!

Amazon's Vine Reviewers have had some good things to say about SWEET MISFORTUNE, which comes out June 10th. Here's a sample....

5 Stars from Dianne Tetro ( Misconceptions. I think that sums up exactly what this book is about. Misconceptions and the power of divine providence and, oh On Sophia Jones ninth birthday, she looses her family in a very tragic car accident. But little did we know that 20 years later the consequences of that accident on that very stormy night would still be affecting so many people. Sophia has grown up with a foster mother and a foster sister, and even made her way in life as a chocolatier with her own shop, but she is still lacking something. Until her mother fixes her up on a blind date, Sophia has gone about her life alone, although that's not always a bad thing and it is important that through divine providence Sophia and Garret Black meet...and fall in love. And break up!

This story shows how a persons understanding of an incident can be, if not exactly selfish, but skewed to the point that it can change ones life. This book proves that there are always three sides to every story -your side, how everyone else saw it and the truth. And this book prove that there are three truths.

I loved this book. This may be a short and rather quick read, but it is not one that you don't want to savor just like the fine chocolates that Sophia makes. I think that this book is a keeper and one that you may want to read more than one time. This novel allowed me to have a lot of laughter, tears, curiosity, frustration and joy. If it wasn't for the wonderful characters and compelling story I may have finally given in to my curiosity to read the ending first to see what it was that Garret needed a whole `date' to explain to Sophia why he had broken their engagement. While some may try to stick this into the chick lit genre, that would be cruel and inhumane treatment of Mr. Milne's most excellent and heartfelt novel. 

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sweetest Wife Ever

It's true: I have the sweetest wife in the world. In honor of my next book, Sweet Misfortune, she got me a huge, chocolate-dipped fortune cookie for Valentines Day. It weighed several pounds and took the whole family to eat.  The custom message inside was just as sweet as the cookie itself.  Thanks Rebecca!

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Contest Winner Is...

"Bev F."  Congratulations Bev! I used a random number generator, which selected you  (the 40th entry among 47 total) as the book winner!. Please shoot me an email with your mailing address, and Jason will get an ARC of The Cross Gardener out to you shortly.

To everyone else: thanks for participating! 

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jason Wright Book Contest!

Can it really be true? Kevin Milne is hosting a giveaway for a book by Jason Wright? The Jason Wright? As in, the New York Times best selling author? The one who wrote Wednesday Letters, Recovering Charles, and who is literally changing lives with his Christmas novella, Christmas Jars. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! It's all true.

Jason is a heckuva guy, and has kindly agreed to send one of you a signed ARC (advance reader copy) of his newest book, The Cross Gardener, which hits bookstores on March 2, 2010. I had the pleasure of reading a .pdf copy of this book a number of months ago, and I promise it wont disappoint. It will tug at your heartstrings and cause you to reflect on what it means to live.  Glenn Beck has read The Cross Gardener too, and describes it as "Passionate, spiritual and thought-provoking."

So how can you win this fantastic book? Easy! Just reply to this blog and let me know that you'd like to be entered in the contest. If you have a favorite Jason Wright book and want to others know about it, feel free to share that in your comments too.The winner will be selected at random on February 9th. I'll post the winner's name here on the blog, so be sure to check back.

Good Luck!

Leia Mais…