Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over
by Sheri S Levy
GENRE: Young Adult- coming of age
Thirteen year old, Trina has chosen to raise service dogs and have puppy after puppy. But during her seven day beach vacation, Trina struggles with having to return Sydney at the end of the week and worrying about her best friend changing into a stranger. To complicate the week, Sydney, meets a young boy with autism and the girls meet his two older brothers. Tension is raised over the guys, and Trina fears she’ll lose more than her service dog. Will Trina's lose her best friend, also?
Uh, oh. The wind lifted the Frisbee into the air. It looked as if the disc had sprouted wings, and disappeared up and over the jetty. Sydney halted, staring at me. He was used to chasing his toy. His eyes asked for permission as his body quivered pent-up energy. Letting him struggle for a minute, I giggled and said, “Okay, Syd. Find Frisbee.”
I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.” I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.”
I turned around and stopped. “Wow, you're joining me! Come on. I’ve got to
find Syd’s Frisbee. It’s on the other side.”
We climbed over the jetty. The dogs used their four-legged drive and moved much faster than Sarah or me. When we reached the top of the mound, Sydney stood a distance away with his Frisbee at his feet, leaning close to a small boy. The boy continued to pat the sand in his bucket and turn it upside down, making a row of mounds.
My heart did a triple beat in quarter time. I started running. Sydney’s stub wiggled and jiggled as soon as the boy’s sandy hands rubbed his back.
“I’m sorry,” I said running ahead. I bent, face to face with the boy. “I hope he didn’t scare you.”
The boy never looked at me, only at Sydney and back to the sand. He said in a monotone voice, “Doggy, doggy.”
Sarah meandered up to us. I panted in fast spurts. Worried about the boy and Sydney, I never noticed the rest of the group. A little ways from the small boy, two guys around our age worked on a fort or it could have been a sand castle. The one who seemed to be the oldest, stood. He had long legs and was much taller than I expected. Using his hand, he shoved his longish brown bangs out of his eyes.
Oh, Sarah had definitely noticed. She smiled, pushed loose hair back into her braid and pulled her bathing suit in place.
I rolled my eyes. Okay. Here she goes.
During my teaching career, I spent a huge amount of time reading aloud to my students. My hopes were to get them excited about books, and then encourage them to work hard on overcoming their learning disabilities. It is very hard to push yourself towards a goal that is difficult to meet.
I’d read to my class at the end of the day and leave them anticipating the next chapter. Each morning they’d eagerly lean forward in their chairs and listen intently. It was such fun to see their expressions as they followed and related to my characters and events. I believe my students were the inspiration for why I write stories, now.
My favorite part of my first novel, Seven Days to Goodbye, was creating my main character, Trina, and having her train a service dog who makes a magical connection with Logan, a seven-year-old boy with autism. I wanted the readers to understand the effect a service dog can have on changing people’s lives.
The most difficult part was writing the ending. Fostering a puppy and training it for eighteen months, makes it an impossible situation. Even though Trina knew she’d give up the dog, she hadn’t expected the emotional turmoil. I spent a week writing the last chapters because I needed to have the right amount of sadness, and still leave hope and dreams for Trina to decide what came next.
I knew my characters from watching and being around other teens. My daughter always rescued animals. She had girlfriends that wanted to meet guys, but she was too busy riding her horse and training our white Shepherd to jump over the bushes. I set the story on Edisto Beach in South Carolina and used our beach experiences. My husband and I spent many long weekends with our favorite friends and the story evolved from our many activities. But the characters needed to be teens.
After getting a contract on Seven Days to Goodbye, my publisher asked if I had anything else in the works. I had started the sequel and was surprised when she added the name of the next story at the end of Seven Days to Goodbye.
I am thrilled to announce, Starting Over, is due July 18, 2017. It is a continuation from Seven Days to Goodbye. Trina has made a choice at the end of Seven Days to Goodbye. Without spoiling your reading enjoyment of Seven Days to Goodbye, I can only add, Starting Over, has a many hurdles for Trina to overcome. There are new types of conflicts, plenty of puppy love in both varieties, and humor.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sheri, originally from California, moved to South Carolina with her husband, two children and a Siamese cat. Soon they adopted their first rescue dog who influenced their need to continue living with dogs. Sheri taught a multi-handicapped Special Ed class, and then a GED-parenting class, which included home visits. Because of her love of reading, Sheri found unusual ways to encourage children to read. After her rescue of a difficult dog, Sheri enrolled in dog classes to change his behavior. Her dream of writing, Seven Days to Goodbye, came from the culmination of her beach experiences, her understanding of behaviors, and from research with PAALS, a service dog organization.
ISBN: 978-1-935460-74-9 EBook- 978-1-935460-75-6
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Sheri-S.-Levy/e/B00NSGMS0S
Sheri S Levy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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