Author and award-winning journalist Kevin C. Mills will return to his roots for a talk hosted by the Brooksville Historical Society at the Town House Wednesday, October 9 at 7 p.m.
The public is invited to hear Mills talk about the family history research that led to his two historical novels, Sons and Daughters of the Ocean and Breakwater.
Mills has a rich maritime history, filled with shipbuilders, merchant mariners and lighthouse keepers. Many of his ancestors were early settlers in the Brooksville, Sedgewick, Penobscot and Castine area. His Mills relatives, as well as Douglass, Varnum, Jones and Wasson ancestors, were all parts of the local maritime history along the Bagaduce River and beyond.
His first novel, Sons and Daughters of the Ocean, is loosely based on his martime heritage in Brooksville. It reached No. 13 on Amazon.com in Historical Fiction.
It features three teens grow up in a sea-faring environment that continually shapes them. The sea ultimately impacts their lives each day, but determines their future in ways they never expect.
The Bangor Daily News wrote “Great efforts are made here to bring the world of 19th century seagoing Maine to life. … In chapters of varying narrative voices, we hear stories of sea and home-port incident and tragedy and of three characters, who relate their own stories, some of which are based on the lives of Mills’ real Down East ancestors.”
Historical Novel Review stated: “Kevin C. Mills confidently guides his readers through this nautical tale with an unfailing knowledge of his subject.”
Breakwater is the follow-up to his acclaimed historical novel Sons and Daughters of the Ocean. It looks at how life can change without warning and be dictated by destiny. The storms we face define our lifetimes and living is that search for peace beneath the heartbreak.
The Kennebec Journal’s Bushnell on Books wrote: “Mills vividly and convincingly describes the emotions of love, happiness, missed opportunities, sadness and loss both men experience. They are good men confronting life as best they can, trying to do the right thing no matter their sacrifice.”
The Bangor Daily News recommended Breakwater in its “New Maine reads just in time for mud season” preview. TCM Reviews said: “Our grandparents knew differently. Life was filled with hardship and heartache. Yet, there were these treasured moments too. More than that though, there was trust and faith that things were exactly as they should be. ”
Breakwater chronicles the lives of two characters, generations apart, seeking the calm amidst that storm. They each discover a fate they long to understand.
Hal Miller, whose father began a life at sea in Sons and Daughters of the Ocean, struggles to find purpose in the pain of his life. He is challenged by his wife’s declining health. It tests his strength and shakes his faith.
His grandson finds himself challenged 30 years later. Clark Miller’s dreams are too tired to come true. He wonders if he’ll ever find happiness. When he reconnects with a lost love, everything changes. It tests his patience and his own insecurity.
Both characters seek an understanding of their destiny. What they find is a power they never imagined.
Breakwater is the third book for Mills, a sports journalist with the Lewiston Sun journal. His nonfiction book, Sidelined, provides a unique look at journalism from the sidelines.
Mills, a graduate of Gorham High School and Gordon College, has been recognized by the Maine Press Association, the New England Press Association and was voted Best Author in the Portland Phoenix 2011 Reader’s Poll.
Sons an Daughters of the Ocean and Breakwater are available in various Maine bookstores, through Maine Authors Publishing, at Amazon.com as well as www.kevincmills.com or https://www.facebook.com/kevin.c.mills2.