I’m very excited to welcome back best selling author Steven Manchester. His newest novel, Pressed Pennies, was released on May 13, 2014, and Steven was kind enough to provide us with some information and an excerpt.
Steven’s has won numerous awards for his novels and has been #1 on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s best seller lists. I will be providing a review of Pressed Pennies in the near future, in the meantime, please read below about Steven’s fantastic new book, then hurry to one of the book sellers listed to grab your copy.
Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.
Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?
Pressed Pennies is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.
Beneath a wet sky, the rest of the night was spent getting caught up. For Rick, it felt like old times—even though he had no idea who Abby was as an adult.
They reminisced first about Rick’s grandma and father. “So how are they?” Abby asked. “I always loved them, you know.”
He smiled. “Dad lives in New Hampshire now, working with delinquent kids.”
She smiled, her head cocked. “Did he ever remarry?”
“No. He’s never stopped loving my mom enough to pursue another woman. I guess in his own way he still grieves her death.”
Abby’s mouth twisted slightly, forming itself into a frown; she was clearly touched by the undying love the man had for his wife.
“I think Grandma’s right,” Rick added. “When my dad passes, I’m betting that he and my ma will spend eternity making up for lost time.”
Abby nearly cooed at the sweet sentiment. “I’ll never forget his dog, Roy,” she said.
Rick took a sip of beer and chuckled. “Believe it or not, he actually has Roy’s grandson now—Ray.”
She shook her head and laughed. “Roy and now Ray. What was the dog’s name in between?”
Abby was sent into a state of hysterics.
Rick shrugged and laughed along with her.
“And Grandma?” she asked, regaining her composure.
Rick nodded. “Still spry and spunky…just a really cool person. You know her motto: ‘The body doesn’t wear out, it rusts.’ She’s still listening to her music and raising holy hell.”
Abby smiled at the familiar phrase.
“And she got married,” Rick said.
“Yep. His name is Bill Stryker and they’re perfect for each other.” He took another swig of beer. “She still makes me sit for dinner every Sunday.” Rick then asked about Abby’s parents.
There was a sad pause. “My mom passed away,” Abby said, “from a lack of purpose, I’d say. And I haven’t spoken to my father for a few years now.” She tried to shake off the pain. “We no longer share a relationship… just some really bad memories. I imagine he’s still committing suicide the long way.”
“Yup, still doing laps in his bottle.”
Rick put his beer on the table and quickly changed the subject.
“Have you heard from any of the old Wilbur Avenue gang?”
Abby’s smile returned. “From what I hear, Vinny became an attorney and is living with his wife in Vermont.” She thought for a moment. “I don’t know how anyone could stand to live with him.”
“Tracy became a psychologist and moved to Utah.”
“Married?” Rick asked.
“A-sexual, I think.”
They both laughed. Rick couldn’t stop staring at her great smile and adorable dimples.
“Actually, I heard she lives with her lesbian lover and goes by the new name Cheyenne.”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
Abby shook her head.
“Good for her,” Rick said.
“But I haven’t heard anything about Grant,” Abby added.
Rick leaned forward. “You’re not going to believe this, but the first day I walked into college…there was Grant talking to some pretty, unsuspecting freshman.”
Abby shook her head.
“I still see him every Tuesday night,” Rick said. “We shoot a little pool and a whole lot of bull.”
She was shocked. “How is he?”
“The same…emotionally amputated; socially challenged.”
As the laughter continued, she asked, “Do you remember the last time your dad brought us all to Lincoln Park? Believe it or not, I still think about that sometimes.”
“Are you kidding?” Rick said. “I could live a hundred lifetimes and never forget that day!” And without his permission, his mind immediately raced back to the smack of screen doors and the echoes of foolish, barefooted children running toward the future.
~~~About the Author~~~
Steven Manchester is the author of The Rockin' Chair, as well as the #1 best seller, Twelve Months (2013 San Francisco, DIY & New England Book Festivals award winner). He is also the author of A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Goodnight, Brian (2013 Southern California Book Festival award winner), and Pressed Pennies (due out May 2014). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. 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. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com
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