Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester
Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: Story Plant, The (August 14, 2012)
Length: 326 pages
Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Description from Goodreads:
Don DiMarco has a very good life – a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn’t always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full.
A glorious celebration of each and every moment that we’re given here on Earth, as well as the eternal bonds that we all share, TWELVE MONTHS is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit.
When I first picked up Twelve Months I had some reservations. I tend to stay in my literary comfort zone and Twelve Months just didn't fall into that circle. Well, I gave it the old college try and was blown away. Not only did I love this book, but it had me crying like a big baby.
The ability to relate to a character is always the first thing I want when reading a book. Call me shallow, but I had serious doubts about being able to relate to a retired grandfather living in the North. Don DiMarco is someone that I came to care for, cheer for, and cry for throughout the book. Twelve Months not only touched me on a heartbreak level, but a personal level. Several people very close to me have cancer and this book just hit home for me. Don is so brave throughout the book. He literally lives like he is dying and tries to fit a lifetime of living into twelve months. One of the most heartbreaking things is that many people try to do this, but it always seems to come to late. After all, we can put it off until tomorrow. We have all the time in the world.One of the fascinating things this novel explores is how Don's diagnosis affects his family members, from his wife to his daughter, grandchildren, and son-in-law. The emotional stress that it puts on the family was heartbreaking to read. Putting the fact that the story is good readers must take into account the writing style. Steven Manchester writes beautifully. The descriptive and flowing writing had me at page one. Twelve Months by Steven Manchester is a novel about a man living his last moments to the fullest that he can and the journey and toll this takes on a family as a whole. This is one novel that you should not miss, especially if cancer has impacted your life in any way. I give this book a 4 1/2 STAR rating.
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. My work has been showcased in such national literary journals as Taproot Literary Review, American Poetry Review and Fresh! Literary Magazine, as well as various magazines to include Angels on Earth, Obadiah, Titan, G.F.O. (U.K.), Skyline Literary, Alive Now, Dark Animus (Australia) and Spinnings Short Stories. Hundreds of my essays, poetry and short fiction have been contributed to Internet publications such as Zine5, New Mystery Reader, Wilmington Blues, Heartwarmers, The Murder Hole, Father’s World, and dozens of others.
My work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, BET’s Nightly News, Good Day Atlanta; in the New York Daily News, Newark Star Ledger, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, Providence Journal, Dallas Morning News, Orlando Sentinel, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The Daily Oklahoman; and on 50+ nationally-syndicated radio shows from coast-to-coast.
As a public speaker, I’ve presented before thousands. From Congressmen to schoolchildren, my lectures cover the realities of the Gulf War, adult incarceration, and the motivation needed to write and become published. I currently teach the workshops, Publish: See Your Work In Print, and Writing Fiction That Sells.
When not spending time with my kids and wife, I’m either writing, teaching, or promoting my published books/films.
*** This information was taken from the author's website with permission. For more information about Steven Manchester and Twelve Months visit http://www.stevenmanchester.com