Thursday, October 4, 2012

{Blog Tour} "Twelve Months" by Steven Manchester

Title:  Twelve Months
Author:  Steven Manchester
Publisher:  The StoryPlant
Publication Date: August 12, 2012
Genre:  Conemporary Novel
Format: Paperback 326 pages  | Kindle 523 KB

Where to find 
Steven Manchester Online:

Buy the Book:  Kindle   |  Paperback

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.

My Review

I finished this book just an hour ago with tears running down my face.  This story touched me in a way that most don't.  I didn't realize when I chose this book tour that it would be such a personal journey for me, if I had known I may have passed on it and I am glad that I didn't.  I should probably clarify this some for those of you who don't know me personally.  When I was 17 my mother passed away from the same type of cancer that the main character in this story has.  I am now almost 3 years older than my mother was when she died.  As I read through this I couldn't help but wonder how much more fully she would have lived had she known just how little time she had left.  I firmly  believe that she would have chosen the course Don did if she had known that the treatments that left her so sick and weak would end up not prolonging her life.

This is a story about living you life to the fullest in whatever time you have.  Don is in stage 4 when he receives his diagnosis.  He has a wonderful doctor who lays it all out for him very honestly.  His cancer is too advanced for surgery and at best he has 12 months.  She tells him that treatment is not his best option since the cancer is so advanced and has already started to spread to his other organs.  Don opts for quality over quantity.  His doctor tells him she can help him manage the pain with medication, but that he should get out there and really live what time he still has.

Don makes what he calls a honey-do list, but some would refer to as a bucket list.  He has some pretty big items on that list like doing a cattle drive, racing a stock car, etc...  This whole story is just filled with emotion as Don lives the last of his life doing all the things he always wanted to do, but in the end he comes to realize that home, family and doing for others are the things that really matter the most.

Here are a couple of my favorite passages:

"We can not always return an act of kindness to the person who bestowed it, but we can pay back the debt by helping others."
The very next day, I passed a small boy who was crying. "Please, Mommy," he begged, "don't let me die."  
I felt my knees start to give and caught myself.
Nurse Pynaker came out of the room and looked at me. "He's not ready," she whispered.
"I guess not. I'm fifty-seven and I'm not even ready."
"Age doesn't matter," she said, "The soul knows when it's time."
Finally, she asked, "Do you doubt that God will smile at you?"
"I've done some things in my life I'm not proud of," I admitted.
"But God forgives everything, right?"
"I guess that depends on which path you take in life."
She shrugged. "But how can there be a wrong long as you're trying to get home to Him?"
I looked at her, but had no answer. Such wisdom for a little girl...
All of these are taken from the latter part of the book when Don starts to volunteer in a Children's Hospital.  The parts with Sophia, a little girl with Lymphoma were especially touching.  She is the one he is talking to in that last passage.  She's very insightful for a child and I she has a huge impact on Don.

This book is so beautifully written.  It's full of life and love and it's a story you won't be able to forget. I am so glad that I chose to do this tour.

Author Bio
Steven Manchester is the published author of Twelve Months, Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. 
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.  This post and review is part of the Twelve Months Virtual Book Tour in association with Pump Up Your Book Tours.

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