Friday, May 5, 2017
Guest Blog- The Diner by Michael J Melville
Hello, my name is Michael Melville and I just released my newest novel, The Diner which is the 2nd book in The Oregon Series. I primarily write in the romance, contemporary romance, and contemporary fiction genres and I appreciate you taking the time to learn about me and my work even if those might not be your typically read genres. As an author, I often get asked about what inspires me in life which in turn might inspire my stories. Of course, there isn’t just one thing but one of the biggest is change. In all of my novels so far change and journeys have become a consistent theme. How those characters grew from the change or changes they were faced with became not a just a part of the story but a part of the characters.
In general, I find change very inspiring. Whether it's someone moving far away from where they grew up, someone's life changing because of a divorce, the death of a spouse, loss of a job, starting their own business or even becoming a parent. It's not just the change itself that I find inspiring but how people accept and adapt to that change and whether they run from it or grab onto it. When someone has the guts to leave everything they have ever known and start fresh and new in a place where they know little to nothing and know almost no one is incredibly inspiring.
I know from personal experience that doing something like that makes you reevaluate yourself, the life and outlook on the world you had before and your needs as well as your interests. It forces you to take a chance and try new things, and meet new people and experience things you might not have just a few years sooner. A cousin of mine moved to California several years ago and her circumstances changed drastically after a while. Instead of running back to where she grew up and its safeness she put her best foot forward and is bravely adapting and building a new life. I find the way she handles that change to be one of the most inspiring things I’ve seen. It’s made her smarter and a stronger woman as well as an amazing role model for her daughter.
Some people though, adapt to change better than others, in fact, some people fear it and it keeps them from ever trying anything new and different while clinging to things that are familiar and safe. It keeps them in this safe box that they put themselves in. I don’t like complacency even in my own life. I always have this urge to go, see and experience something even relatively knew or unfamiliar. Change, however, isn’t always the same for everyone and doesn’t always come with a big move. In my life one of the biggest changes, that didn’t have to do with relocation that I have ever faced was fatherhood. At 35 years old I became a father and it was something I never expected this late in life. The changes I’ve faced are ones that a few years ago I would have never done. Learning to be a dad at a time when I thought, “I had life all figured out” hasn’t been easy but every day my son shows me how change can make him braver and stronger as well as myself. Being curious about what's around the corner is one of life's great adventures.
So, what about you? What major changes happened in your life that forced you to step outside the box of safeness and familiarity. What scary adventures have you attempted or succeeded in that at another point in your life you wouldn’t have ever thought would happen.
The Oregon Series
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.”
“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.”
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.
He called his son first, there was no answer but he left a frantic voicemail screaming for help. He felt a sharp pain in his chest like he had never felt before. It was getting harder to breathe. He found the number for his neighbor Thomas and hit the dial button as he pulled the lifeless body of his dog, Jake, off the bed and into his lap and held it tight. Stephanie answered the phone.
“Hi Joh—,” she began.
“Please help, please help me. Some…thing happened to Jake and my chest…please help…I can't.” His words broke up and he dropped the phone with the line still open and slumped onto the floor. Everything was getting foggy. The last thing he heard was Stephanie screaming, “John, JOHN! I’m on my way stay awake!”
Stephanie and Thomas, who happened to be home, ran out of their house as fast as they could and down the dirt road towards their neighbor’s house. Along the way, Thomas called 911 and then Andrew, John’s son. When they arrived, they found their neighbor on his bedroom floor passed out and barely breathing. Thomas gently pulled the dog away while his wife rolled the old man onto his back. Thomas began giving John CPR while his wife called 911 again. A few minutes later they could hear the sirens coming up the coast roads.
The entire time Thomas never stopped CPR and his wife brushed the old man’s hair with her finger while talking to him in her sweetest voice almost urging the old man back from wherever he was going. The ambulance arrived and two men rushed into the house and took over. One began barking into a walkie-talkie. A few minutes later two more police cruisers pulled up. One was the county sheriff, a friend of Thomas and the other was a state police officer.
While the EMS crew worked on John, Thomas’ cell phone began ringing. It was Andrew, he answered it and explained the situation.
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.