Love's True Second Chance
by Jeff Dawson
This is the second in my special feature on Jeff Dawson, this time featuring Love's True Second Chance. The author has generously donated one signed paperback copy and four ebook copies of this book for our giveaway. You can read my interview with Jeff below.
Did you ever wonder what happened to your first love? Did you find yourself thinking back to those carefree days of high school, when the only thing which really mattered was rushing to school so you could see and hold that someone special? I know I did. For thirty years, I always wondered how her life turned out. Was she happy? Was she married? Had life been good to her? All of those questions were answered in January of 2009 when we reunited.
For those who wonder if love is worth a second chance, even if it ends in tragedy, the answer is an emphatic, YES! If I wouldn't have given "us" one more chance, I would have missed out on the most wonderful seven months of love two people could ever share.
Get a copy today and find out how deeply one can truly love.
July 20th, 2009 7:00am I held her hand and kissed her face with the arrival of a sunny beautiful morning, hoping for a miracle. The shift change for nurses and doctors was in full swing. Staff checking in, charts being reviewed, doctors and nurses exchanging information; vital signs being verified. Debbie’s breathing is very labored as it had been for the last twenty four hours. I never knew if each breath would be her last. The cancer was running its course through her beautiful body at a terrible pace. An aide came in to change the sheets and clean her up. She asked if I would like her to wash Debbie's hair. I pondered the thought for a minute looking at the love of my live and replied in a hushed, choked tone, “She would like that. How long will it take you to change her bed and wash her hair?” She said about fifteen minutes. I stepped out of the room and called her friend Cathey to get an estimated time of arrival. She assured me she would be at the hospital within thirty minutes.
Debbie was in good hands with the aide. I decided to get a little air, purchase a coke and have a cigarette. I went to the store with one thought running through my mind, Is there anything else I can do for her? Had I done everything I could for the “love of my life”? Would God sit by her side and let her live out her life on earth or whisper in her ear, take her hand, and guide her to heaven? I had no control over what was happening to her.
Cathey arrived at the hospital room at 8:50am. She had been detained by her hubby who was in the process of coming home from Alaska after a three-month tour with the railroad. She called looking for me. I told her I was downstairs having a smoke but would be up in a few minutes. She said Deb was doing fine. My gut told me different.
Something had changed. There was something in the air that wasn’t right. I hurried back into the hospital. The elevator took an eternity to reach the third floor. I rushed down the hallway with a sense of urgency and hesitancy. I entered the room; Cathey was standing to the left of the bed. She asked how I was. I never responded. The labored breathing had stopped. “Cathey, how long has she been like this?” She heard the concern in my voice and saw the look of worry on my face. She moved closer to the bed, put her fingers on Debbie's right wrist and checked for a pulse. She wanted to believe she felt one. I laid my hand on her warm chest; it wasn’t moving. The pain in her face was starting to subside. I believe Cathey said she was going to get a nurse. All I could do was rub her chest and stroke her hair. Tears were starting to fall from my eyes. The nurse came in and slowly moved me to check for any sign of life. Without a word she exited the room looking for the doctor on call. He entered the room with the nurse. They both checked for signs of life.
The doctor slowly turned, looked me in the eye, placed his hand on my right shoulder and said the words with as much compassion as possible, “I’m very sorry. She's gone.” It wasn’t until this moment did I start to understand the depth of our love. My heart didn’t break; it literally shattered into a million pieces. I turned towards Cathey and collapsed into her arms, crying uncontrollably.
A thirty-year love abruptly ended.
Jeff Dawson wrote a very moving account of how he fell in love, fell out of love, found it again then lost it forever. The unique aspect of this book is that the reader gets the male perspective on love. He takes us back to high school to establish the background. For those of us who are 50ish, it's a walk down memory lane because of so many shared experiences of that time period. Then the story moves chronologically with respect to his love of a lifetime. You will laugh, cry, get angry and sometimes take sides with the characters. Also, many of us will see ourselves in other sections of the book and ultimately we have to ask ourselves if we could have held up as well under such adversity. I've read it several times and will read it again!
Interview With the Author
Hi Jeff, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book Love’s True Second Chance.
Which writers have influenced you the most? None that come to mind. I spent my years immersed in non-fiction works surrounding WWII.
What age group do you recommend your book for? This book is for 16 to 80 year olds.
What sparked the idea for this book? Debbie's daughters. After she passed I asked them if I could write our love story. They agreed it would be wonderful tribute.
That's a great thing to do, Jeff. What was the hardest part to write in this book? All of it. I don’t know how many times I cried as I recalled all the memories we shared.
That must have been very difficult for you. How do you hope this book affects its readers? That love is worth a second chance. Never stop pursuing it, because if you do, you will miss out on the most wonderful relationship imaginable.
That's great advice. How long did it take you to write this book? I believe it took four months.
What is your writing routine? Really don’t have one. I write when the ideas start flooding in.
How did you get your book published? I self-published it through Amazon and Smashwords.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Stop talking about doing it and start writing. Don't worry about getting it right the first time. When it's all said and done, you will have revised it at least six times before sending it to a good editor and even then, there will be some tweaking. So, stop waffling, procrastinating and contemplating, sit down and get on with it. Readers are waiting.
More great advice, Jeff. What do you like to do when you're not writing? Spend time with my daughter, her three girls and my oldest son.
What does your family think of your writing? I have no idea. To date, I don't think any of them have read a word one. If they have, they haven't said a word to me.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood. I had a normal (?) childhood. Played sports (baseball was my favorite), got in trouble, worked on my HO train set, read, practiced my trombone, earned money cutting lawns, washing cars and finally was old enough to work at Wendy's. Made some really bad films with my friends, got in trouble - imagine that. Dated a lot of girls. Overall, just had a great time growing up.
Did you enjoy school? Absolutely. No worries. Wake up, eat, learn (?), play and eat again. Does it get any better than that?
Did you like reading when you were a child? Yes. I became an avid reader at twelve.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? After my back surgery in 2010. After spending twenty-five years in the construction industry, it was time for a change. My first work was a play I wrote in Junior High. It was along the lines of Mel Brooks', "The Producers". It was a parody on the "Last Ten Days of Hitler". Needless to say, despite the faculty enjoying the parody, they didn't think it was appropriate for public consumption.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? Not really.
What was your favorite book as a child? Not a favorite book, but a favorite series. Ballantine Books released a series on WWII. Each books was 160 pages each and only cost $1.00!
Who were your favorite authors as a child? Alistair MacLean.
What can we look forward to from you in the future? Two books of poetry, a sequel to Gateway: Pioche and with luck, Debbie’s daughters are going to collaborate and show our love story through their eyes. I told them, write what you want. I will not criticize it. It’s their story. I’m curious to see what they thought about our relationship.
Thanks so much for talking to me today, Jeff, and for your generous donation to our giveaway.
From the Author
I spent twenty-five years in the wonderful world of road construction. Back surgery in 2010 put the skids on that career. My body couldn't handle the rigors of twelve to sixteen hour days, six to seven days a week anymore. As I convalesced, licking my wounds, I wondered what to do next. Not being out in the sun getting baked, or dodging traffic, was going to be a hard act to follow. Seriously, what else did I know? An article in the Dallas Morning News caught my eye. It was about being a professional speaker. Hmm. That sounds interesting. Becoming mobile again, I took a seat in front of the blank monitor, pondering what to write.
Let's start with something we know: my life. The first work was titled God's Plan: A Glimpse Into One's Life. I re-titled it six months later to Why Did Everything Happen? This is a look back at the last twenty-five years and how the death of my partner, father and true love affected my life. I was amazed at the revelations. Since then, I've moved on to write in several different genres. Some say I should change my name when diverting from the path. Well, right or wrong, I'm sticking with my name. The current works range from the love story of my one true love: Debbie Beck, RIP 7-20-2009 (Love's True Second Chance), an alternate historical perspective of Vampires and WWII (Occupation), a newly released Sci-Fi time travel adventure (Gateway: Pioche), to Baseball Coaching Manuals. Granted, not every book I write is for everyone. I understand that, but I hope I'm showing readers diversity can be a good avenue.
I currently live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, spending a lot of time with my daughter, her girls and my oldest son. When I was in construction, I never had or took the time to enjoy what surrounded me: love, family and friends. My true love, Debbie and her girls reminded me what was important in life; "we work to live, not live to work".
I hope you take a chance on a book or two.
One last thought. I'm working on sequels to, Occupation and Gateway: Pioche. Other works in the pipeline are a collection of military and love poems, and a short horror flick. How's that for diversity?
The author has generously donated one signed paperback copy (US only) and four ebook copies of Love's True Second Chance. Please show Jeff your appreciation by entering.