Hello my wonderful readers! Today is my stop on The Milestone Tapes book blog tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. I am so excited to share with everyone a wonderful guest post written by the author of the book, Ashley Mackler-Paternostro. Also I will be sharing more info about this amazing new novel. I just love the cover and the book itself sounds wonderful. So Enjoy!
by Ashley Mackler-Paternostro
Jenna Chamberland never wanted anything more than to be a wife and mother. That is, until she realized that her life was ending after a three-year battle against breast cancer. Now, all she really wants is more time.
With 4,320 hours left to live, Jenna worries for her loved ones and what she knows awaits them on the other side: Gabe will have to make the slip from husband to widower, left alone to raise their seven-year-old daughter; Mia will be forced to cope with life without her mother. In a moment of reflection, Jenna decides to record a set of audiocassettes — The Milestone Tapes – leaving her voice behind as a legacy for her daughter.
Nine years later, Mia is a precocious sixteen-year-old and her life is changing all around, all she wants is her mother. Through the tapes, Jenna’s voice returns to teach Mia the magic of life, her words showing her daughter how to spread her wings and embrace the coming challenges with humor, grace and hope.
THE MILESTONE TAPES is the journey of love between a parent and child, and of the bond that holds them when life no longer can.
The Soundtrack of The Milestone Tapes - Bewitching Book Tour
Here is a bit of truth:
I wrote The Milestone Tapes during the blistering heat of the summer … some of the
saddest moments of my novel came out on the most beautiful days. The cloudless
sky and sticky heat of a Chicago summer was all a far cry from the autumn winds of
the Pacific Coast. The natural distance between me and my novel can create some
For me, though, I was able to shove past that with the song. I write to music. In my little world, the background noise sets the tone of the story perfectly. I spent hours on iTunes looking for exactly the right song to pull me under and into a moment.
Each song, in different ways and at different moments, helped me understand the inner workings of a life I was not living, the choices I was not making, the sentiment I was not organically feeling. Through these songs, all of that became visceral – I could touch those things with my fingertips, go to those places in my mind and be present enough to put all of that into words.
This is my soundtrack to The Milestone Tapes. It’s all unofficial of course and just for fun.
Fix You — Javier Colon (The Voice, iTunes version)
This song was the first one on my list for so many reasons, but mostly because it got me through the first chapter ... the moment when Jenna realizes and must accept that her life is ending and soon there will be nothing capable of “fixing her.” Then, she has to go home ... to her daughter and her house and a life she’ll be leaving and face it all with bravery. It’s helped me understand while she was unfixable, she needed to find a way to fix the lives of those she loves ... and that is even more important to her. Her life means little compared to the lives she’s leaving behind.
Scars — Anna Nalick
There is a moment in the novel when Jenna is staring at herself in the mirror, looking at what the disease physically took from her ... the radical mastectomy that was meant to save her life and did nothing of the sort. But Jenna would have done anything to live, to watch her daughter grow up ... she fought for as long as she could with every weapon at her disposal and still, as she looks at herself, she realizes it wasn’t enough.
Good Life — One Republic
In the beginning of the novel, Jenna is laying in bed, this is the morning that will change everything for her, and for just a few moments, she gives herself permission to go backwards. She allows herself call up the life she had with her husband when they were just starting out -- and it was so promising, so full, so sweet. They were happy with nothing but time ahead of them...and it was good life.
1973 — James Blunt
While not literal, this song was for Jenna and Gabe. It was the way they were, always
just them. And then, it was over. But how they were, it was best time of Jenna’s life,
and she’ll always have that no matter what she looses.
Perfect Girl — Sarah McLachlan
This is the heart of The Milestone Tapes ... and how I made it through writing the tapes. For me, this song is Jenna speaking to Mia ... that no matter who Mia becomes, she’ll be perfect. It was important to Jenna that Mia know these tapes were not expectations, they were hopes.
The House That Built Me — Miranda Lambert
The Chamberland home plays a large part in the novel, it’s an anchor. It was important to Jenna that Mia be raised in just the right place surrounded by beauty. And when Jenna is gone, it is in their home that Mia can still feel Jenna envelope her. It becomes a part of who Mia is, because it where she remembers her Mom being alive, being there, walking the halls and cooking meals and helping with homework.
Only You — Joshua Radin
For Mia, this is the song that feels like Jenna to her. Mia can remember parts of Jenna, she was just a little girl when Jenna died. But she remembers the love, the way Jenna made her feel. And all she really wants is another moment like that.
Brighter Than The Sun — Colbie Caillat
This song is decidedly perfect for the end of novel ... but I won’t give away any spoilers ...
What If You — Joshua Radin
This song is the one that I listened to as Jenna’s voice fades into becoming Gabe’s in the last moments of his life with Jenna as his wife. There is a part in the novel when he won’t leave her side and he realizes that soon he’ll be letting her go. Gabe has always been strong because that’s what Jenna needed from him and this is where the cracks in his composure start to crumble.
Answer — Sarah McLachlan
I feel like this song belongs between Jenna and Gabe. It speaks of their marriage, their lives together and of course, the end. I hear it when I think of those final few moments left between them, each left go off on their own.
Burning Bridges — Jason Mraz (unreleased)
This is the song that goes along with Jenna making her mind up on things ... deciding to forgo further medical treatment. She knows she’s choosing one path now that means giving up another; a trade, a choice. She’s giving up her hopes to face reality.
Broken — Lifehouse
If Jenna had a theme song...this would be it. Clocks and theme of time.
Chances — Five For Fighting
There is a place in Book Two where the tides of the Chamberland’s life begin to change, someone new walks into their lives ... and with her, new things come. It’s not easy, but it’s right -- for everyone -- and it’s a chance they’ll have to take.
Shine — Anna Nalick
I think this would be Mia’s theme song. She’s growing up, figuring herself out...and she’s doing it all bravely.
**Thank you to all the amazing songsters and songstresses who created the music that bled from my speakers and encouraged my craft … you all had a huge in hand in the speed and the depth at which this book came to fruition. Gratitude outpouring.**
Ashley Mackler-Paternostro lives on the outskirts of Chicago with her husband and
their three dogs. The Milestone Tapes is Ashley’s first novel.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and Happy Reading!