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New Interview for Recovery Rocks

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I did an interview this week for Recovery Rocks. That’s a project of Veronica Valli, author of “Why you Drink and How to Stop: Journey to Freedom.” Ms. Valli’s Recovery Rocks seeks to strike back at the stigma of addiction and alcoholism. I participated with some trepidation. My own kids don’t know the gory details of my addiction, and then there’s my day job. Yet, I remind myself: If the Mayor of Boston can be a recovering addict, why do I have to work so hard to hide?

Well, employment discrimination against recovering addicts and those with a criminal record is rampant. I mean rampant! Believe me, I know from personal experience. But I do feel that it’s important for me to be a part of the effort to show those who still suffer that they can recover, and to be a part of the process of letting the public know that “We do Recover.” If people only hear about the deaths, disease and failures, the concept of anonymity may be hurting, not helping people find recovery. Of course, “coming out” is a personal choice, partly made for me when very old problems began popping up on Google. I didn’t ask to be a recovery cheerleader, but I do accept and embrace the path that’s before me. Here’s the interview:

Recover Rocks

Listen to First Chapter of The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery

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If you’ve never heard Gabrielle de Cuir, give yourself a few minutes to listen to the first chapter of our audiobook, The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery. Gabrielle is a renowned narrator. She is probably most famous for her work on Ender’s Game, which earned her a Grammy nomination. She and her production studio, Skyboat Media, have won Grammy, Hugo, and Audie awards. Dozens of narrators auditioned for The Thirteenth Step. Gabrielle was of an entirely different universe, incomparable. In The Thirteenth Step, she does credible accents for an extremely diverse cast of characters, from a thick New York City brogue to Spanish and Japanese. She brings great humor and suspense to the material. Please listen and enjoy.

You can get the entire audiobook free with an Audible free trial.

Zombie-Lite
Zombie-Lite

Audio Sample of The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery

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Check out a sample of the brilliant narration of the acclaimed narrator, Gabrielle de Cuir. She created a mind-blowing new audiobook of The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery. Before you get to that particularly gruesome but delicious slice of the audiobook, pun intended, I thought I’d share what a reader had to say about the story. Hers wasn’t even a review but a comment in response to an Amazon customer review. Something tells me it was written right after she finished the book. Here’s what she said:

“I’m NOT a fan of zombies …TV shows or games..but this book was very amazing..I could not put it down! Being a person in recovery I found it redeeming that “we” are the survivors! The entire world would be so much better if we ALL practiced the 12 Steps….to me this is a fictional story of how we ARE the chosen …we get the chance to leave behind the hell of alcohol and drugs and have a new start…to do the next right thing. The differences between the settlements are soooooo representative of unhealthy groups…strict controlling judgmental and repressive….and healthy groups…based on and focused on serenity and peacefulness..accepting life on life’s terms….great entertaining book…”

Here’s the sample of the brilliant work of Grammy, Audie and Hugo-winning, Gabrielle de Cuir, in The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery.

What's Left of my Home-Group.
What’s Left of My Home-Group.

First Audiobook Review by Audiobookreviewer.com

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Just in, the first blogger review of the new Audiobook of The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery. The review title is “Soft zombie story, still fun and interesting.” The reviewer loved the performance, but the things he didn’t love may be just the reason why you’d like it, i.e., he thought it was “zombie-lite.” Well, yes, my point exactly. The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery is not just a zombie novel. The zombie apocalypse is the setting, not the story (as rebelliondogspublishing.com aptly noted). It is not full of gratuitous gore and violence, although there is certainly some, as needed for the story. Then add the brilliant narration of Grammy-winner, Gabrielle de Cuir.

Check out what Audiobookreviewer.com said:

“All in all The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery is an original zombie story that I would classify as soft. Not a lot of action or gore. Full of interesting alcoholic survivors, which makes for colorful characters. Full of personalities before survival principles.

If you have been afraid to listen to a violence filled zombie audiobook, here is your chance for a story to ease you into the genre.

Gabrielle de Cuir put everything she had into this performance. Emphasizing words and scenes to create more tension and emotion than would have been there otherwise. This is what made The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery stand out to me.”

Kudos to Gabrielle de Cuir and her pure genius. Thank you audiobookreviewer.com for taking the time to listen and review. Here’s the entire review: http://audiobookreviewer.com/reviews/the-thirteenth-step-zombie-recovery-by-michele-w-miller-2/

And here’s more Zombie-Lite:

kitten zombie

Zombie-Lite
Zombie-Lite

Sober Holiday Party Season

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It is holiday party season. The good news is that sober holiday seasons get easier with practice for most of us. We feel less awkward and self-conscious, and feel great about our sober choices.

I hear a lot of newly sober people concerned about what people will think of them if they don’t drink at holiday functions. Truthfully, all the work we do in the Seventh Step to understand humility and get a piece of it rewards handsomely during holiday season because we stop thinking everyone is worrying about what we’re doing, drinking, thinking. We are no longer the piece of shit at the center of the universe, as the saying goes. All the work we do in the 4th Step, which shows us how truly self-centered we are by nature, also helps us understand that most people are, similarly, too busy thinking about themselves to spend their energy contemplating our abstaining. Anyway, would you rather look like this guy?

BeerBath

If anyone is obsessed with getting you drunk, bring them to a meeting. Or just stay away from them. They surely have a problem.

Also, over time, we learn how to turn down invitations to events that aren’t of innate interest to us without drinking or drugging. We have a deep sense of our right to choose what’s right for us, whether it means missing an event or leaving early. It is true that, if we stop people pleasing, people may be less pleased. But that doesn’t take away our right to do what makes us feel comfortable and healthy. And, I for one, don’t believe I need to prove anything to myself or anyone else by going to active events I’m not interested in.

So, here are my bottom line tips (after 25 consecutive sober/clean holiday seasons):
— If you’re uncomfortable, remove yourself — you have a choice today
— “No” is a full sentence
— You don’t have to come up with an explanation as to why you’re not drinking. “No thank you” works. Period.
— Make a lot of meetings and surround yourself with people who are on a positive path like yours.

Enjoy your holidays! The war is over!

The Sad Passing of Hip Hop’s Francesca Spero

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My oldest friend in the world, Francesca Spero, died the day before yesterday. It is a very sad day for me and the music industry. She discovered Sean “P Diddy” Combs when he was an intern. She brought him to Def Jam Records and ultimately managed some of the biggest acts in Hip Hop. Someone more familiar with the music industry will have to give her a proper Hip Hop obituary.

We were friends from second grade on (P.S. 30, Rochdale Village). We did the club scene together “back in the day” and she was there for me when my dad died when I was 22. It is not true that none of your old friends from the party days are really our friends (*although we do need to avoid “people, places and things” if we’re addicts — I was the people, places and things). Most aren’t real friends but some prove to be true friends no matter what. Fran and I didn’t speak much when I was at my bottom. (I was busy bottom-feeding like a catfish for a few years and smart people stayed away from me to the extent they could.) We reunited when I got my life back on track in 1989.

She was a loving, generous woman, who was adored by an astounding number of people. She was known for her love of children. I always wanted her to be my kids’ godmother but she already had a full plate with her son, step-daughters and godchildren. She was also an amazing cook, and her house was a favorite for my family on the holidays. She leaves behind her father, brother and son, Giancarlo.

Here’s an article about her in USA Today. Fran USA Today

2003-10-13-pdiddy-spero

Review for The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery

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Reviews trickle in for my novel, The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery, and this one was cathartic for me. A reader responded to a review that, I admit, rented space in my brain when it was posted many months ago then voted “most helpful” by many so it stayed forever “above the fold” on my Amazon page. Some of you might remember my groaning over it. It was one of a couple of reviews that also complained I was racist. The only problem was that the reviewers couldn’t decide whether I was racist against white or Black people. I found particularly interesting the review that said I was a northerner who didn’t like southern white people. That one was an interesting misunderstanding of the plot. Luckily, the complainers were a very small minority…no offense intended against small people. (I’m small.) Honestly, I’m thankful for everyone who took the time to review. I’m waiting for reviews to start coming in of the new Audiobook, narrated by the fabulous Gabrielle de Cuir (she is the Grammy, Hugo, Audie-winning narrator of Enders Game, among many other titles). Available here: http://bit.ly/1vhrofe

Anyway, this is the review, short but sweet, from “Tikkitopas – Mother of Four from College Point, Texas. It is the 107th Five-Star review for The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery”

5.0 out of 5 stars – “Action, suspense, romance and gore– what else could you want?!!”

Sucked me in and kept me turning pages late into the night. Pretty graphic, so not for the overly squeamish, but really, really good. I usually keep my opinions about books to myself– but I just had to speak up after I saw a guy say the characters lacked depth. He must have downloaded a different version than I did, because the characters came alive for me. I made several new friends and mourned the passing of some… You don’t have to be in recovery OR a zombie to enjoy this book!

funny-reading-cat-kill-mocking-bird-pics

The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery Audiobook Is Here!

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The audiobook of The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery is now out on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The amazing Grammy, Audie and Hugo-winner Gabrielle de Cuir has turned my satirical zombie thriller into a brand new performance piece. She was a incredible to work with, and I feel honored to have had such an amazing team.

Listen to a clip here, which I picked especially for my double-winner friends, those who are both 1) recovering addicts or alcoholics and 2) addicted to apocalyptic thrillers or books in general (you poor things you). As you will see from the clip, it is a special challenge staying sober in the apocalypse. The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery is fun for zombie lovers and non-zombie lovers alike, and you don’t have to be an addict to love it.

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Recovering in The Zombie Apocalypse — A Novel Idea…Mine

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In honor of the new season of The Walking Dead, The Fix has written an article about recovering in the zombie apocalypse.  Okay, I’m NOT going to get a resentment about them taking my idea and not mentioning my book…since they know my book (I’ve advertised with them).  I am choosing to view it as an opportunity, one of the things we learn in recovery.  We view a closed door as an opportunity to find a better one down the hallway.  We say HP has three answers to our desires:  Yes, not now or I have something better for you.  Oh, I’m on a roll…heading toward gratitude.  Anyway, their writing an article about recovering in the zombie apocalypse is cool (one of my favorite subjects) and I happily left a comment providing the link to my novel for folks who really want to have some fun with the idea.  Hey, if you have time, please leave a comment about my novel, too.   http://www.thefix.com/content/apocalypse

Walking Dead Grass

Grammy Winner to Narrate The 13th Step: Zombie Recovery

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I am thrilled to share that Grammy/Audie/Hugo winner Gabrielle de Cuir will narrate the Audiobook of The 13th Step: Zombie Recovery.  She narrated Ender’s Game among many other titles.  You can learn more about her at http://skyboatmedia.com.  She truly brings my book to life…but thankfully not the zombies.

I am hopeful that the Audiobook will be on Audible and iTunes in time for the holiday season. I couldn’t be more pleased.  Gabrielle is amazing!  Check out a video clip of her reading Long Time Coming by Edie Claire, with outtakes.  The process of recording an audiobook fascinates me; you get to see a bit of that in the video.  I expect to have a clip of my novel to share soon.