Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Diner by Michael J Melville Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

The Diner
The Oregon Series
Book Two
Michael J Melville

Genre: Romance/Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Books by Michael Melville

Date of Publication: April 21st 2017


Number of pages: 245
Word Count: 71,661

Cover Artist: Victor Fuentes

Tagline: “A powerful tale of love and hope that spans a lifetime and reminds us all of how precious life is.”

Book Description:

“In a powerful story that spans decades, we see the beginning and the end of a lifetime of love, friendship, and devotion. From a chance encounter on Christmas Eve to a heart-wrenching vision on a beach decades later of the love of his life, we follow Johnathan Hays on a journey through his nearly 50 years on the Oregon Coast. This journey not only changes his own fate and future but the lives of others around him in unforeseen ways while he learns what being a husband, father, friend and man mean to him.

Through remarkable storytelling and letters that John himself writes, we get a glimpse at his past, future and the years in-between then and now. We see his broken soul, inner and outer frailty as he bravely moves forward with only his heart, love and hope guiding his way. We see the beginnings of familiar characters, friendships and bonds are formed, new beginnings are started and it all begins in a small diner.”

Excerpt 1

John woke up later than usual. He slept through his alarm which was rare for him even in his retirement. Even when he had nothing to do he always got up at 8:30 in the morning. He groggily looked at his clock and saw that it was nearly ten. Then he felt for Jake who had maneuvered himself down by his feet sometime in the night.
“Time to get up buddy!” John said as he nudged the old cocker spaniel. “Jake!” He repeated.
It was then that he realized the way the dog was lying. He was awkwardly sprawled out and his mouth was open. John sat up and scooched down toward the end of the bed. He could feel the fear well up inside of him even before he knew; he knew. He put his hand on Jakes side, feeling for a breath, a heartbeat or anything at all.
John jumped off the bed and maneuvered to the other side then knelt on the floor in front of the blonde and white dog. Jakes' eyes were closed tight and there was no movement at all. He shook the dog harder, “No, no, no, please boy don’t you leave me too, please old buddy please wake up, please!” he pleaded. Tears began rolling out of John’s eyes and he was shaking.
“No, please no, Jake no!” John said as he reached for his cell phone. He didn’t know who to call he just knew he needed help. His own breathing became hard and he began feeling dizzy.

About the Author:

Michael Melville lived and grew up in Grandville Michigan. With blue-collar beginnings, he is the son of a retired factory worker and an interior decorator. In 2002, he moved to Portland Oregon and spent several years living in the Pacific Northwest and northern Idaho. He spent a lot of his time traveling up and down the Oregon coast often with his dog, Harley, at his side. That coastline, the small towns, and the people he met and saw have inspired and become a part of him. Michael considers the Oregon coast his second home even while currently living in Michigan and goes back as often as he can.

Mike (Michael) strives to live his life on his own terms, to be different and not settle while seeking his own version of happiness. He spent years writing without most people knowing about it while secretly honing his style and voice. In 2012, he finally published his first novel, a romance called Running Northwest. Michael attends Grand Valley State University where he is a senior and is earning a BA in Writing with a focus on creative writing. He is newly married and the proud parent of a 2 1/2-year-old boy. Traveling is an important part of his life both professionally and personally and he draws inspiration for his stories from all the places he visits and the things he sees.

Where are you from? Grand Rapids, Michigan is where I live now.
Tell us your latest news? On the 21st of April, I released my 3rd novel which is the 2nd book in my first series and my son has figured out how to open doors. So, life is pretty hectic and a little less private.
When and why did you begin writing? In my 20’s. I was pretty quiet about it for a few years. I just had this overwhelming urge to create something that might outlive me. It actually all started from journaling.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? About halfway through writing my first book Running Northwest I realized it was going to be a novel and not short story or whatever it started as. That’s when I was like, “well, I’m a writer now”. Publishing it was icing on the cake. It’s funny because after publishing 3 novels a few people I know still won’t acknowledge that I’m an author.
What inspired you to write your first book?A girl and a broken heart. I’m not sure if she inspired the story or the inspired the action to write the story.
Do you have a specific writing style? Probably yea but I don’t think I could narrow it down to what it is.
How did you come up with the title? Johnathan, the main characters life is centered and was built around this place and the people in it. So, I figured it was an appropriate title given my penchant for my stories revolving around a particular place or area.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? That love can do magical things and that the end isn’t the end of perfect love.
How much of the book is realistic? I suppose all of it really. I mean, it takes place in real places on the Oregon coast, in a real time with some real events. The human side of the story, of course, is fictional but somewhere in some place maybe this could have happened or something similar. It’s nice to think that kind of love is real. In many ways, Johnathan is the husband I hope I end up being so I guess check back with my wife in 30 years on that.
Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life? Not based on but inspired by several people and several circumstances I’ve seen and heard about over the years. Alzheimer’s and love are two very real things that people deal with. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and spent the last few years alone and missed my grandmother very much. So, part of his end fight might have worked its way into this story somehow.
What books have most influenced your life most?It’s going to sound odd but 2 of the biggest are comic books artists. They are Bill Waterson who created Calvin and Hobbes and Chares Schulz who of course created the Peanuts. I used to draw/trace their comics when I was in elementary school and then come up with my own stories. I still have some of those laying around almost 30 years later.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I don’t think I could choose just one but although I am not a giant fan of Nicholas Sparks I do look up to his business model and how he grew his career. As an artist, I look up to Stephen King and a few lesser known Indie authors who are where I hope I will be in 2 years. Rachel Thompson is another person who I consider a professional mentor in terms of marketing and social media strategy.
What book are you reading now? I just started the Conversationalist by Justin Bog (another pacific northwest writer who lived in Michigan). The Novel by James Michener and then Shadows in the Water by Kory Shrum are the next on my list.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?Melanie Hooyenga has a really great series out now called the Flicker Effect and Ciara Ballintyne has several wonderful books out.
What are your current projects? I’m working on Voices which is book 3 in the Oregon Series and then a standalone romance which takes place in Charleston South Carolina.

What would you like my readers to know?  A chance matters more to me than any review whether it’s good or bad. If they give my book or books an honest chance that’s enough for me and that’s all I can ask for. I’m a dad, a husband, and a college student while trying to make this dream come true. I want my son to know that if you try hard enough and believe in yourself you can make your dreams and goals happen no matter how long it takes and no matter what the doubters might say. I guess if he can pick up one of my books in twenty or thirty years and say, “my dad wrote that” while feeling a certain amount of pride that would matter to me more than anything.  

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  1. Thanks for this giveaway, I would love the opportunity to read this book and to share it with my friends afterwards!

  2. Thanks for the chance at a terrific package of goodies!