Welcome to the blog tour for THE BALLAD OF AMI MILES, a stand-alone young adult contemporary LTGTQ+ romance, by Kristy Dallas Alley. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Title: THE BALLAD OF AMI MILES
Author: Kristy Dallas Alley
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary LTGTQ+ Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
A teen girl on a quest to find her long-lost mother finds herself on a journey of self-discovery in Kristy Dallas Alley’s moving YA debut, The Ballad of Ami Miles.
Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-
With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world…and about herself.
By the time my grandfather was born, the world outside had gotten terrible. The government put out reports saying that only one in every ten thousand women could still produce a child. When I was about ten, I found some boxes full of old news clippings that told about scientists who worked day and night to figure out the problem and fix it. At first, Ruth just snatched the box away and refused to answer my questions, but I kept asking until she finally gave in. Those scientists had done studies—, “more like experiments,” Ruth would say with a shudder, that showed how it was a virus that caused the barrenness, and those rare women who didn’t get it seemed to be immune. Over time, those “lucky” girls became nothing but the government’s breeding stock, kept hidden and safe from any threat to their ability to reproduce. Later, the government heard rumors that a few babies were being born in secret, outside of their control. No one saw the C-PAFs as a safe haven anymore or went into them willingly. Then there were agents assigned to wide territories, making their rounds over the course of a year or so, checking in with folks in case any miracles had occurred. But that was a few years off yet.
Solomon and his bride, my grandma Ruth, were blessed with four healthy babies, three of them girls. Three children still safe at Heavenly Shepheard, but one of them lost. That was the youngest: my mother, Elisabeth, and when she was born in 2084, they didn’t have to worry yet about the C-PAF men, as folks came to call them. But by the time Elisabeth had me in 2104, she did have to worry about the C-PAF men. My family knew this, and like great-great-grandpa Jed, they made a plan. By the time that agent came around, they knew that spies might have told him I had been born. Somehow, they often seemed to know before they got to the families that a baby would be waiting for them. Just hiding me would be too dangerous, so they dug a tiny grave and filled it with the bones of some poor baby buried a hundred years before in the old church graveyard. They would say my mother had run off, crazy with grief, headed north to the C-PAF, where she could have more babies under the proper medical supervision. This story would be checked, of course, and he might be back again when she did not turn up.
It was easy enough to hide a little infant on a moment’s notice, but my mother couldn’t risk being found and dragged behind those walls to be bred like a dog to strange men. She had run, and I liked to think that she was filled with grief for the daughter she left behind, but she surely was headed south, as far from the Centers as she could get. Soon after that, the president of the United States took his own life, as thousands of others did in those terrible days so empty of hope. Ruth used to say that despair is a sickness, and it spreads the same as any other. The new president announced a change of policy: we would cut our losses, she said, and focus all our resources only on those who wanted to be helped. Lines were drawn, and those who chose to remain outside them were cut loose. We thought then that my mother would come back, but she never did.
About the Author
Kristy Dallas Alley is a high school librarian in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, four kids, three cats, and an indeterminate number of fish. She studied creative writing at Rhodes College in another lifetime and holds a Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. In an ideal world, she would do nothing but sit on a beach and read every single day of her life, but in reality she’s pretty happy reading on her front porch, neglecting the gardens she enthusiastically plants each spring, and cooking huge meals regardless of the number of people around to eat them. The Ballad of Ami Miles is her debut novel.
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