Author: Annie Miles
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Annie Miles
Genre: Women’s Fiction
When Diana, a lonely housewife, falls for Daniel--her daughter Annie's teenage crush—she will stop at nothing to ensure he stays in her life. In Machiavellian style, Diana betrays her daughter, secretively designing, controlling, and planning Annie’s future. It isn’t until years later, when Annie discovers letters exchanged by her mother and Daniel, that she learns the truth and sees the manipulation and lies that led her to a doomed marriage.
Twenty years later, when Diana is diagnosed with dementia and Annie is forced to be her mother's caretaker, she must come to terms with her mother’s betrayal, her husband’s deceit, and her own desire for love and happiness, all the while managing to maintain her sanity and sense of humor. Based on a true story, this book will shock, entertain, and astound you.
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With her finger pointed straight at me, hate in her eyes, and through gritted teeth, my mother said, "You have betrayed me, and I will never forgive you for this."
The wounded child in me, let’s call her Patsy, silently said, And you are an expert in the field of betrayal, aren't you, Mother? You want to talk about betrayal? Let's talk about 1979. Let's talk about my entire life...
But Annie, the adult me, said out loud, "I'm sorry. I wish you could see I'm doing this for you and not to you."
Many years before, my mother had given me power of attorney, and today I was invoking it because her mental and physical health had deteriorated to a point where she could no longer live alone. Anybody and everybody who knew her could see it was the right thing to do. But dementia had taken every drop of rational thinking from my mother's brain, and she was vehemently opposed to leaving her house, and not shy about giving us a piece of her mind, if you'll pardon the expression.
I'd tried to broach the subject of her moving for weeks, but she immediately shut me down each time. I tried to talk to her about getting home health care, but she wouldn't hear of it. She was falling daily, and in fact just a week before had fallen and hurt her leg so badly she'd been bedridden for days. This was after she threw up in her kitchen, then fell, and laid in her vomit for hours before she had enough strength to crawl down the long hall to her bed. And she didn't see anything wrong with that.
But it was her inability to see she'd been conned out of four thousand dollars that finally bought her a one-way ticket to assisted living. She had hired a man to do some yard work for her, and he had quickly assessed her situation: wealthy older woman, living alone, without all of her mental faculties. Ripe for the picking. He showed up daily, knocked on her door, told her she owed him seven hundred seventy dollars, and she wrote him a check, no questions asked.
She not only wouldn't believe the man was conning her, she was furious with me when I called the Crimes Against The Elderly Unit. It wasn't until the detective showed her the man's mug shot that she finally conceded maybe the yard man hadn't been completely honest with her. But she still failed to see the gravity of the situation.
"So I lost some money. Big deal. I don't see what everybody's so upset about."
So there I was, with two employees from the assisted living facility, standing in my mother's bedroom for over an hour, trying to convince her she needed help. Appealing to her vanity, it wasn't until they managed to get her a hair appointment at SeniorHome, that she finally conceded to go there for a few days. Don't pack lightly, Mom...
But even with all of the turmoil of the day, the one word that kept running through my mind was betrayal. How dare she accuse me of that after what she did to me. How dare she.
About the Author
Annie Miles is the pseudonym for the real woman portrayed in Misled. In real life, she writes a mystery series and is the mother of two sons and the legal guardian of her mother, who gives her new material daily. Annie is a firm believer in the saying, “People are put into your life as either a blessing or a lesson.” You will find both in the characters of Misled. It is the lessons that fuel the book and the blessings that fuel Annie. She lives in the South where she enjoys reading, writing, baking, and photography. She welcomes correspondence, particularly from women who are suffering through trying times.
Where are you from? I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Seriously, the subject matter of Misled is so intensely personal that I am publishing it under a pen name. So where I’m from has to remain a mystery. Tell us your latest news? The Year of Ugly (the sequel to Misled) may be more juicy than Misled! When and why did you begin writing? I started writing six years ago, as my mother’s health started declining due to dementia. Writing about what was happening as I became her caretaker helped get me through it.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? Probably after someone asked me what I do and instead of saying “stay-at-home mom,” I said “I’m a writer.” That was in 2012, shortly before my first book was published. What inspired you to write your first book? Life! Writing about what I was going through and what had happened to me was enormously therapeutic and healing.
Do you have a specific writing style? With Misled, I alternate between the past and the present, and I use actual letters written in the 1970s to bring the two together. In real life, I’m a pantser with some books and an outliner with others. I go where the characters tell me to go. How did you come up with the title? That one word – Misled – summed up what happened to me and the reason my life took the path that it did. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? “When you’re going through hell, just keep going.” Winston Churchill said that, but I hope my book shows that it’s possible. How much of the book is realistic? Readers may be shocked, but almost all of it actually happened. I fictionalized a few areas, mostly when I couldn’t remember how a conversation went. Mark Twain said, “It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” He was spot on! Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yep! Misled is based on my true story and is about the events that caused me to make certain life choices and the consequences of those choices in the present day. What books have most influenced your life most? It may be trite, but it’s totally true: the Bible. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Nora Roberts. What book are you reading now? Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Dennis Hart, and Tricia Drammeh. What are your current projects? I’m working on the sequel to Misled, and in “real life” I’m always working on the series I write and publish under my real name. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members? God. I would not have made it through with His help.
What would you like my readers to know?
A ton of stuff (and I do mean a TON) has happened since Misled ended, and once again truth is stranger than fiction. The sequel, The Year of Ugly, will tell all!
Thank you so much for having me here. I appreciate the opportunity to promote my book!
For More Information
- Visit Annie Miles’ website.
- Connect with Annie on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Annie at Goodreads.