The Milestone Tapes by Ashley Mackler Paternostro

The Milestone Tapes by Ashley Mackler Paternostro

“And she felt courage; these tapes were not expectations, they were hopes— her hopes.”

– Excerpt from The Milestone Tapes



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.

–  Back Copy of The Milestone Tapes


Where to Buy Your Copy:

Amazon for Kindle 

Amazon for print

The Milestone Tapes is currently enrolled in Amazon’s Select Program starting on May 2, 2012.  The Milestone Tapes is currently not available for eBook purchase on any other site.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.



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 were all a far cry from the autumn winds of the Pacific Coast.  The natural distance between me and my novels can create some interesting challenges.

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.  They each, 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)

Scars — Anna Nalick

Good Life — One Republic

1973 — James Blunt

Perfect Girl — Sarah McLachlan

The House That Built Me — Miranda Lambert

Only You — Joshua Radin

Brighter Than The Sun — Colbie Caillat

What If You — Joshua Radin

Answer — Sarah McLachlan

Burning Bridges — Jason Mraz (unreleased)

Broken — Lifehouse

Chances — Five For Fighting

The Remedy — Jason Mraz (the live version)

Enchanted — Taylor Swift

Shine — Anna Nalick

A Beautiful Mess — Jason Mraz (live from Chicago)

**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.**


Japanese Glass Floats

In The Milestone Tapes there is a moment where Jenna and Mia are hiking Rialto Beach in La Push, Washington.  It is there that they discover a glass fishing float amongst the driftwood and stone laden beach.

This, was not an accident.

Fishing floats are regarded as a treasure to beachcombers in the Pacific Northwest, stretching from Oregon to Canada and up into Alaska.  They come from origins all over the world, strung in nets as long as fifty feet.  But sometimes one slips free.  The singular float can spend seven to ten or more years floating without a destination lost in the Pacific Ocean. Weathering sea storms and reefs, it may get a little worn around the edges, but it is in their journey that they become even more special and gain the individual characteristics that they are appreciated for. Finally, after quite a voyage with near impossible odds, floats will usually find their place on the beach after a heavy squall, but their journey isn’t over just yet.  It isn’t until they are discovered that they become the jewel of a collection.

By the fragile nature of blown glass, this is amazing … it stands as a testament to their unique resilience.  Collectors will tell you it’s because of the breath of life that created them, a piece of the artisan remains forever inside.


Outtakes, Bonus Material & The Cutting Room Floor

The original draft of The Milestone Tapes was an epic 200,000 word novel … it could have gone on and on forever.  But as the writer I knew that wasn’t the best thing for this book. As much as I would have enjoyed giving you every moment of Mia’s life, there simply wasn’t room and that wasn’t a viable option, and eventually some morsels of the novel fell onto the cutting room floor.

… stay tuned!


Praise For The Milestone Tapes

“I can’t even put into words how much I truly loved this book. I had a hard time reading this book because it made me cry so much and even though it made me cry I didn’t want to put it down and stop reading it.” –– Margaret Tidwell of The World As I See It

” … I’m reluctant to end the review by recommending this story to women who like chick-lit, because I genuinely feel that it should be recommended to *anyone* who enjoys a great story. I write that because, well, that’s what The Milestone Tapes is; a cracking read by a young, talented author who has crafted an engaging, realistic, tragic tale with an uplifting ending that really draws you in there and keeps you there.” –-David Adams author of Lacuna: Demons of the Void

” … it will most likely win you over and break your heart all within the first couple of pages.” –-L.E.Olteano of Butterfly-O-Meter Books

 “… it is heart-clenching.” — Margie C of Bumbles & Fairy-Tales

” … beautifully written.” –– Autumn of The Autumn Review

“Ashley Mackler-Paternostro’s writing shines a passion that is remarkable for a first novel … The Milestone Tapes is one of the best, most endearing and unforgettable stories I have read so far this year and I highly commend the author for a job well done.” — Review from Aobibilophile of Aobibilosphere

“It’s brutally honest in these descriptions and I think that is what works so well and how it makes you emotionally invested in the Chamberland family.” –– Review from Chrystal of Snowdrop Dream Book Blog


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