Welcome back to another exciting day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
What's so special about today? It's not a holiday, there's no contest, we're not even expecting some sort of unique weather or anything, it's just another day here on the blog...and yet it's not. The "not" comes in with the book/author we're featuring today. It's a title set to release THIS TUESDAY via The Story Plant and it's from an author I've reviewed several times over...and loved every minute of it. Alas, before I get too carried away, allow me to introduce you to your next wish list addition and my book of choice...
The Changing Season
About the book...
A beautifully crafted and poignant coming of age story where loyalties will be divided, friendships will be tested, teenage love will be discovered, and through it all, the enduring bond between a boy and his beloved dog will always be remembered.
A remarkable coming-of-age story with special appeal to dog lovers.
This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy; one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He'd fill the hours playing with Jimmy - his canine best buddy - going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they'd do before Billy left.
But that was before the accident that shook the entire town.
It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck.
And it was before Vicki.
This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn't truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple.
Each work he releases adds to his increasing show of brilliance in his chosen field as he gets the heart pumping, the feelings awakened, and more often than not, the tears flowing. Don't worry, we're not talking about the 'Nicholas Sparks formula', though admittedly it works and is rather good. We're talking about a read with all the innocent feels you can muster that is an easy pick for male and female readers alike. Don't believe me? Read on my friend, read on...
This is a story as much about a boy and his dog as it is about life in general. Billy is a young lady on the cusp of his first big steps towards adulthood...COLLEGE! It's the summer before and his dreams of lazying the days away with his best buds, canine and human alike, are about to crash and burn. Quite literally, they do but not through his own efforts, more like a result of a non-effort on his part. You see, everything was going along fine until his best bud had an internal falling out with his best girl and his jealousy twisted to hatred. He made a rash decision influenced by the notorious rebel rouser "fire water" and in the end, lives were ended in many interpretations of the word. The fallout was huge for some, but life changing for all and it all becomes even more real as we see those burdened with secrets begin to crack. It's heart breaking for certain, but you can also feel the anger held by those in the inner circle and the contempt they have for those they feel lied to them. Did they? Some would say yes...others would beg to differ. They could say a kindness was being paid. They could say they were letting the lost find their way and bring light to the truth on their own. They could say a lot of things but any one of them would still not changed the final outcome.
As with his previous works, there are big issues dealt with such as underage drinking, self control, lying, and never striking out in anger. We see the ill effects of bad decisions as well as revel in the joys youth and a summer day can bring. It was wonderful to see Billy grow in the few months we know him and when he finally found his future right in front of him, I couldn't help but cheer. The tough times he encountered and decisions he made were noble despite how they may have been seen by others, and in the end I think he did the best that he or anyone else could have. I was especially touched by the story unfolding between Billy and Jimmy. Go figure, right? The dog lover loved the boy and his dog story line. It's just it was so real, so tangible, and such a big part of BOTH of their lives. From his humble introduction to his attending his summer job with him despite his lack of desire to be there, the walks around the neighborhood to sharing a bed in companionship at the end of a day, it's all there detailing the life of a wonderful soul. Watching the years pass by was inspiring and heartbreaking with a definite need for tissues by book's end...no, I'm not spoiling anything but preparing you for a touching moment.
Overall, a wonderful edition to the growing body of work that this author has amassed. I for one am always psyched when I see something new on the horizon from him, and am only too happy to share in the pre-pub celebration going on now throughout the blogosphere. The only part I had a teeny tiny issue with was where a slightly intimate scene or so was written in. In the past, we were dealing with adult characters, not teenagers, so the allusion of things that might occur felt right. Here, a little less shadow was used in a paragraph or two and while fitting for the character's age, it felt awkward in the telling of the story. It could just be me but whatever the case might be, it wasn't enough to ruin the story for me in the least. I still hold this title and the author in as high esteem as before this release and will eagerly anticipate the next time we have the pleasure of reading a tale from this talented mind.
Recommended read for male and female fans of Fiction, Christian Fiction, and the like. It's got a little bit of everything and a whole lot of heart.
About author Steven Manchester...
After returning home from a difficult tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, I stepped back behind the walls of a Massachusetts penitentiary where I battled each day as a prison investigator. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time, and very little opportunity to heal from my wartime demons (or pursue my dreams of being published). I finally decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, my professor, Barry McKee, detailed police work, but barely touched on other topics. I finally raised his hand and asked, “As the criminal justice system is so vast, what about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” Barry smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d done it! In his office, Barry explained, “Except from the slanted perspectives of inmates, there’s no real written material out there on corrections, or prisons.” Barry smiled again and then dropped the bomb that would change my life forever. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” It was the last push I needed to get writing. Nine months later, I placed the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue (under the pen name, Steven Herberts) on Barry’s desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.
Under the pen name, Steven Herberts, I wrote in newspapers, magazines, and even penned two collections of poetry. Once I’d found my true voice, I began, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy; an emotional account of the Gulf War that would heal my soul, and the souls of other suffering veterans.
Today, 20 years later, I have been blessed with a beautiful family; my wife, Paula, and our four children–Evan, Jacob, Bella and Carissa. From a professional perspective, I’ve written 16 books (with 12 in publication), and have contributed to more than three dozen international anthologies.
When not spending time with my kids and wife, I’m either writing, teaching, or promoting my published books/films.
Special thanks to author Steven Manchester and the team at The Story Plant for my copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is set to release TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd, 2016, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. If you're like me and simply can't wait, secure your copy now with a pre-order and check one more thing off your to do list.
Until next time...happy reading!