Friday, June 21, 2013

Spotlight: The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester

Brief Synopsis:
Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John– calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

The Rockin’ Chair excerpt

It was a bitterly cold Saturday morning when friends from far and wide came to pay their respects. Everyone who knew Alice adored her and equally loved her grieving husband. The McCarthy’s tiny field of granite was filled with mourners. As the preacher spoke, an eerie silence filled the frozen air.
“The Lord blessed each of our lives with the gift of knowing and loving Alice. Now He has taken her home to be with Him. Those who remember her, who loved her, walk with heavy hearts today, but we must also remember that Alice has been freed from the heavy chains of this world. She now walks with the Lord and shall dwell peacefully within His house for all eternity. Until the day we meet again...”
The preacher’s kind words were carried on the icy wind and John listened carefully to each one. Amidst them, a thousand memories reminded him of why he felt such loss. A thousand more reminded him of the void that now filled the desolate chambers of his heart. He stood rigid, conscious not to sway, and nearly snickered when the pastor mentioned “forgiveness.”
While John fought back the tears that burned to be free, the preacher’s drone drifted and became distant. John tried comforting himself with his own thoughts, but the ache in his heart was worse than anything he’d ever imagined. I’m nothin’ without Alice by my side, he thought, and the pain made him want to join her.
The preacher continued to talk above the sniffles. John glanced down at the scarred earth where friends had dug the hole. Beside his parents, Alice’s pine casket was about to be committed. A roll of old burlap covered the hole, while a mound of dirt mixed with snow sat behind them. Interrupting his own prayer, John questioned the Lord. Why ain’t there another hole dug beside her, Father? It don’t make no sense. It ain’t natural for Alice to be layin’ here alone.

John understood the cycles of life and had always been as comfortable with death as he was with life, but putting Alice in the ground alone was a tough one. I got no purpose walkin’ this earth without my wife matchin’ every step. God, how I wish I was layin’ right there beside her in our eternal bed. He became entranced in the fantasy.

Author Bio: Steven Manchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian) and Goodnight, Brian. He is also the 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’sAmerican Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.!/AuthorStevenManchester

Paperback & Kindle: