Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Win a $20 GC: Seven Days to Goodbye by Sheri S. Levy


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sheri S Levy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My World of Dreams


In 1976, we moved from California in a van across the U.S. with my husband, a seven-month old daughter and a four-year son, we settled in Greenville, S.C. I can’t remember a day I didn’t have a desire to be with my family, dogs, and teaching special needs children. Those students brought me satisfaction as I saw their eyes light-up with comprehension.

As I closed the door to my classroom and moved into retirement, new dreams grew. I wanted to write about my memories of friendships, and our dogs frolicking on our favorite beach. For years, we had enjoyed a remote island and rented an old house with our closest friends. Driving to Edisto Beach we traveled through streets where live oak trees leaned across the two-lane roads with Spanish moss dangling from branches.

The old house overlooked the ocean with a screened porch and four rocking chairs. Edisto Island limits the size of buildings and has no commercial entertainment. My grand boys learned how to amuse themselves with their imaginations, using puzzles and games, ping pong under the house, swimming and kayaking, eating fresh seafood. Our dogs bit the waves, learned to swim and ride in a boat and loved digging in the sand.

With those memories, I started my stories. It took years to learn how to put a novel together, but I never gave up. I recalled my days on Edisto and wrote about my love of the ocean, and its animal life. I added my experiences of helping special needs children, my research on service dogs and remembering special friendships. At the beach, I wrote at the dining room table, with a view of the sand dunes, sea grass and the tide rolling in or out. At sunset, we watched the sun go over the horizon. The blue sky turned red and orange and even pink as it drifted away. There was a lot to see and feel in this magical place.


In August, 2014, Seven Days to Goodbye was published.

At home, I wrote in my newly appointed office, upstairs. My desk was wedged in the dormer, giving me a terrific view of the forest of hardwoods and pine trees. I hung a painting of Linus and Charlie Brown and a Tri-colored Aussie. Motivational quotes and pictures of special people filled my bulletin board. After my husband placed bird feeders in our backyard, I was entertained by the birds. They must have passed the word to all of their feathered friends on where to find black sunflower seeds. The squirrels leaped from tree branches and tried to steal the seeds, but ended up getting the leftovers on the ground.

Years later, we found a piece of land on the Colleton River, between Charleston and Savannah called Callawassie Island in S.C. Hundred-year-old, live oak trees with Spanish moss cover the grounds. We had planned to move immediately, but issues popped-up and had to postpone our move. We are now in a rented villa on the golf course, waiting for our new home to be built. My new office is in a small corner in the sun porch with large windows. On Monday mornings, my brain competes with the noise of lawn mowers and blowers.

While I work at my small desk, my two older, large, Australian shepherds wedge themselves around my feet, waiting for me to play. I can observe the golfers hunting for their balls, and the squirrels dashing up the trees. This island is a natural habitat for animals. We have herons, egrets, eagles, alligators, turtles, snakes, deer, and dolphins. My special perk is taking my computer to the river dock and writing in the sea breeze. I listen to the water ripple and watch for dolphins.

My young adult series is called the Trina Ryan Novels. Seven Days to Goodbye takes place on Edisto Island. I turned my experiences into a teen novel with issues they will identify with, especially if they like reading about the beach, the magic of a service dog, and girls meeting guys for the first time.

The sequel, Starting Over, is set in my Greenville neighborhood. We had eight wooded acres and our next-door neighbors had a barn and two horses. I adapted my daughter’s riding experiences and my knowledge of dysfunctional families I encountered while teaching into this next novel. Starting Over will be published August 1st, 2017. Pre-orders are being taken now. Before your book is shipped from Fiction Addiction, I will sign your copy.

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 worries 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?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Sydney climbed on my lap and licked the corners of my eyes. I buried my face in his soft fur and scratched under his chin. He leaned into my hand as I whispered, “We’ll have fun with or without Sarah. We just have to.”

Staring through the side window, a deep-blue summer sky flickered between pine trees covered in kudzu. Sarah’s car passed on the right. I turned the other way.

Off the freeway, we headed east and then south down a two lane road through sleepy little towns one after the other. Twenty minutes later, I leaned forward between the front seats, “Wow. Look.”

Branches from gigantic live oak trees slanted towards the middle of the street. The trees looked as though they were trying to touch each other and some did. They reminded me of my cozy canopy bed where Sarah and I had spent many nights, giggling and whispering. But this canopy was made of tree limbs in different shades of green, dripping with grayish, Spanish moss. The moss hung like ghostly long arms swinging in the wind.

“This is kind of spooky beautiful. It’s like being in a green tunnel.” I cracked my window.

A whiff of salty ocean filled the car. Sydney lifted his head as the trees whizzed by. His nose twitched. “We’re getting close, Syd.” He squeezed into the same space with me and gazed out the front window.

Suddenly, the trees disappeared. The cloudless sky stretched with no end in sight. Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.

Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.

About the Author:
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.

Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter ~ Website


a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Lisa Brown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Misty said...

I look forward to reading this. I also live in SC,so if you have a book tour here, let me know. (jozywails@gmail.com)

Rita Wray said...

I have enjoyed the tour. Sounds like a great read.

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

Congrats

Victoria Alexander said...

I've really enjoyed following the tour for Seven Days To Goodbye and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way :)

Joseph Wallace said...

What was your favorite book that you had to read in school? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Nikolina said...

I was really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

Ally Swanson said...

I have enjoyed following this book tour and look forward to checking out this book!