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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
ASIN:  B06WW67FJG
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.”
 
Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?

An urge to create and get this “thing” that had been inside of me out. At first, I thought it was a passing fancy, something that would go away but after a while but it’s just gotten worse and…better if that makes sense.

How did you decide to make the move into being a published author? Somewhere about halfway through writing my first book Running Northwest I thought, “well maybe I should look into publishing and maybe it’s good enough.” It took four years for that to happen.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? – Hopefully an overall sense of how we are connected even in the smallest ways. That is kind of the gist of the whole Oregon Series. It’s all about how people who are spread out over a wide area with different interest, lives, and goals all play a role in some way shape or form in one another’s lives but the one thing that connects us all is love in its varying forms.

What do you find most rewarding about writing? – Seeing all the little things I’ve improved on and done better over the years, not just with how well I write but how I go about the process and business of writing. I take it more seriously than I used to and that’s not saying I wasn’t serious about it before but I didn’t really believe in myself or my abilities back then like I do now. I also was incredibly new to the business and didn’t know which end was up for a while I also really love hearing about how my books, stories, and characters have affected people personally.

 

What do you find most challenging about writing? –A few things, one would be staying true to my own voice and writing the stories I like to write about and tell. It’s really easy to get caught up in the “flavor of the year” genre for the sake of selling books. The “business” of writing is pretty challenging also. Being a guy and writing about love and romance is pretty challenging because outside of a few better-known authors some people in the business, as well as readers, sometimes question whether a male can write believable and compelling love stories and I’m trying to prove that we can. Or at least that I can. The MOST challenging would be finding enough time to write. I have a regular job (for now), college in spurts, I’m married now and we a 2 ½-year-old son so my time for writing is usually relegated to a few nights a week after midnight until 4 or 5 am. It’s really hard packing so much into such a limited time frame.

 

What advice would you give to people want to enter the field? I don’t know if I have accomplished enough where I feel real comfortable giving much advice lol. I suppose I would say just keep writing and if you believe in yourself then stick with it. It’s a long game, I will say that much and there is no overnight success. If you want it to be a career then you have to treat it like one, learn the business and in the words of Rachel Thompson, “Do the Work.”  You can’t do this halfway and expect success but that’s true in any business.

 

What ways can readers connect with you? I am literally all over the interwebs and social media. They can message me at my website BooksbyMichaelMelville.com or my FB page, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn. I actually really like talking to readers and am slowly rolling out a Q&A on my Youtube Channel. If they want to ask a question I would love to answer and it doesn’t have to be about books. I write about all kinds of things like parenting and travel on my blog as well.

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.
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.

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