Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Sheri S. Levy and her new book, “Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!! Plus, check out all the adorable pics of Sheri’s furbabies that are featured throughout this post!! They are sooooo cute!! Also, come back daily to interact with Sheri and to increase your chances of winning!
Seven Days to Goodbye
by Sheri S. Levy
GENRE: Young Adult – Coming of Age
Thirteen year old, Trina has chosen to raise service dogs and have puppy after puppy. But during her seven day beach vacation, Trina struggles with having to return Sydney at the end of the week and worrying about her best friend changing into a stranger. To complicate the week, Sydney, meets a young boy with autism and the girls meet his two older brothers. Tension is raised over the guys, and Trina fears she’ll lose more than her service dog. Will Trina's lose her best friend, also?
Uh, oh. The wind lifted the Frisbee into the air. It looked as if the disc had sprouted wings, and disappeared up and over the jetty. Sydney halted, staring at me. He was used to chasing his toy. His eyes asked for permission as his body quivered pent-up energy. Letting him struggle for a minute, I giggled and said, “Okay, Syd. Find Frisbee.”
I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.” I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.”
I turned around and stopped. “Wow, you're joining me! Come on. I’ve got to
find Syd’s Frisbee. It’s on the other side.”
We climbed over the jetty. The dogs used their four-legged drive and moved much faster than Sarah or me. When we reached the top of the mound, Sydney stood a distance away with his Frisbee at his feet, leaning close to a small boy. The boy continued to pat the sand in his bucket and turn it upside down, making a row of mounds.
My heart did a triple beat in quarter time. I started running. Sydney’s stub wiggled and jiggled as soon as the boy’s sandy hands rubbed his back.
“I’m sorry,” I said running ahead. I bent, face to face with the boy. “I hope he didn’t scare you.”
The boy never looked at me, only at Sydney and back to the sand. He said in a monotone voice, “Doggy, doggy.”
Sarah meandered up to us. I panted in fast spurts. Worried about the boy and Sydney, I never noticed the rest of the group. A little ways from the small boy, two guys around our age worked on a fort or it could have been a sand castle. The one who seemed to be the oldest, stood. He had long legs and was much taller than I expected. Using his hand, he shoved his longish brown bangs out of his eyes.
Oh, Sarah had definitely noticed. She smiled, pushed loose hair back into her braid and pulled her bathing suit in place.
I rolled my eyes. Okay. Here she goes.
Reasons You Should Read, “Seven Days to Goodbye”
Mix together a week on Edisto Island with your best friend, connect with guys for the first time, meet a young boy with autism who falls in love with your service dog, learn about protecting loggerhead turtles, and you’ll have the ingredients for Seven Days to Goodbye.
Years after my husband and I spent long weekends with our best friends and our dogs on Edisto Island, I turned my memories into a young adult novel. The fun began with creating unique relationships that transport the reader.
I used my experience of teaching children with autism, my knowledge of training dogs, and my research with PAALS, a service dog organization.
Facts you need to know about autism:
1. Autism affects one in sixty-eight children.
2. Autism is not a disease. The brain happens to
3. Autism is an ability, not a handicap.
My favorite quote from Dr. Temple Grandin, born with severe autism and a professor at the University of Denver. “Autism is part of who I am. It has given me special skills.”
Dr. Temple Grandin helps families understand why children with autism flap their hands, spin in circles, make no eye contact, lack social interaction, use repetitive behaviors and can be verbal or non-verbal. She believes her life changed because of the people who believed in her and pushed her to interact in social environments. If you are interested in understanding more about autism, please watch or read, Seeing in Pictures, about Temple Grandin’s life.
In August, 2017, I met a PAALS client, Jory Fleming, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. After receiving his service dog four years ago, college students approached him with questions about his dog, Daisy. This forced him to speak to strangers and develop social skills. He began volunteering with extracurricular activities, and making friends. He was the first person with autism awarded the American Rhodes Scholar for 2017, and is off to Oxford to study with Daisy.
“Seven Days to Goodbye,” shares the magic between Logan, a young boy with autism and Trina’s first trained service dog, Sydney. Guys play a major role in creating new types of relationships. There is humor, growing-up, and plenty of puppy love in both varieties.
During teen years, emotional changes occur at different times. Meet Trina, a thirteen-year-old puppy raiser, who chose to train dogs and give them up to help others. She must decide after returning Sydney at the end of their week vacation if she wants to train a new puppy.
Her best friend since first grade, Sarah, lives down the street, plays soccer, and is interested in guys.
Trina and Sarah are at odds with each other while driving to Edisto. Trina talks about playing on the beach, swimming, and training Sydney. Sarah wants to cruise the beach for guys.
During their first afternoon on the beach, Sydney meets Logan. Sydney responds to the boy’s flapping hands by standing in place as Logan pats his back. Trina speaks to Logan, but he makes no eye contact.
Throughout the story, a magical connection happens with Logan and Sydney. Trina gets introduced to his older brothers, Peyton and Chase. Afraid she’ll lose her alone time with her Sarah, Trina doesn’t share that the boys want to meet them on the beach.
Adult readers found themselves relating to the changing relationships from their own teen days. And young readers recognized the challenges Trina and Sarah face.
One of my favorite parts in the story is about Loggerhead turtles. On Edisto Island, during the months of May through October, the rule is: No lights on porches. A turtle’s instinct is to lay its hundred eggs where it hatched. If the turtle sees any light, it will return to the ocean and loose its way to the beach. The Turtle Patrol polices the turtles’ nests every morning. If a new nest is found, they stake and rope off a square area around the nest, marking the date on one stake. As the sixtieth day approaches, the patrols inspect the nest for signs of a hatch. Sometimes they actually help unearth the babies before they suffocate. The word spreads around the island about the hatch, and residents stand guard as the baby turtles crawl to the ocean.
From my readers, they shared their favorite parts: the girls meeting Peyton and Chase, beach walks with the dogs, the beautiful setting, the connection with Logan and Sydney, the Loggerhead turtles, and the fostering of relationships between old friends and new.
The series, Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training, evolves and continues with the sequel, Starting Over, due July 18th. “Starting Over,” introduces a new character and horseback riding.
Please stay tuned for more information. www.sherislevy.com.
Sheri, originally from California, moved to South Carolina with her husband, two children and a Siamese cat. Soon they adopted their first rescue dog who influenced their need to continue living with dogs. Sheri taught a multi-handicapped Special Ed class, and then a GED-parenting class, which included home visits. Because of her love of reading, Sheri found unusual ways to encourage children to read. After her rescue of a difficult dog, Sheri enrolled in dog classes to change his behavior. Her dream of writing, Seven Days to Goodbye, came from the culmination of her beach experiences, her understanding of behaviors, and from research with PAALS, a service dog organization.
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