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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Good morning, mid-afternoon, evening and a special hello to the night owls who seem to be a forgotten bunch, but not here.

This week’s post is a taking a different turn. We all know women are true masters when it comes to writing love stories and personal memoirs, but what of men? Yes, men. I’ve had the immense pleasure of meeting three of these oddities in the world of literature: Harry Leslie Smith, Shawn Inmon, Rodney Walther and yours truly: Jeff Dawson. Let’s jump right in, shall we.
Mr. Smith has written one of the most profound stories circling around WWII. We all know of the glory and the unity that welded the free world together in order to defeat, Nazi Germany, Fascist’s Italy and Imperial Japan, but what about behind the scenes for the common man? How did the war affect him and his family? Mr. Smith pulls no punches. He grows up in the Northern part of Great Britain, working in the dreary, dangerous coal mines of Barley Hole. Despite the entire country uniting and producing the weapons of war to fight the German onslaught, wages (unlike the US) were still barely sufficient for the common man to eek out a living and support his family. Realizing the injustice and bleak opportunities, Smith joins the RAF in hopes of escaping from the poverty surrounding the mines. He serves the Empire admirably and then winds up in war torn Germany fraternizing with the common people, who were only trying to survive the “hell” Hitler led the country through. If I keep typing, I’ll give away too much of the story. How does love fit in here? He’s going to meet his bride to be.
This is a masterful work all sociologists should consider in their curriculums.

How many thought all the posts were going to be about men loving women and vice-a-versa. No one thought about a father’s love for a son did they? Come on be honest. I think I saw one hand partially raised. Well, the next author Rodney Walther has written such a book. Granted, this one is fiction, but for those of us who played baseball, coached baseball or remember playing catch with Dad will appreciate this work. Being a single dad I could relate with this story on many levels.

Have you ever read a story that found you double-taking with each page? Up until now, I didn’t think it was possible (unless of course the book was pirated) until now. I received an email a few weeks back. The author requested I read his book and supply an honest review. I informed it, it would be at least a month as there were others in line. But something caught my eye. Something very innocuous. Shawn drove a Vega back in the late 70’s. I know, that doesn’t sound like a real hook, but in my case, it triggered an old memory. So, just out of curiosity, I decided to read a chapter. Five hours later, I was finished. Why? The story he tells and the one I published two years ago are mirrors of each other with one exception; his has a happy ending.
That aside, the brilliance of his book follows the same theme as Jaci Bryant’s, “Penny Lane.” Each chapter is not just a trip down memory in the 70’s, they are devoted to a particular song of the era. For those of us who grew up during this decade, the book is a tribute to love, life and music.
Shawn does an excellent job in portraying the love he and Dawn shared as tender teenagers and then how their love (especially his) affected future relationships. I could relate to his feelings. Good to know I wasn’t the only who still held a flame for our first true love. And then the chance meeting thirty years later at a drive-up window. How would you react if you unexpectedly ran into an old flame at the drive-in window? And of more consequence, despite your recognition, did they exhibit the same? Would you try and make contact again or would you drive away and wonder what could have been?

Last but not least, your host is throwing his book into the mix. When I read Shawn’s book, I was amazed at the similar paths our lives had traveled in the arena of love. I was amazed and pleasantly surprised to connect with someone who experienced many of the same highs and lows with that first love. Very cool. The main difference between the two works, Shawn is married to his true love while mine passed away July 20, 2009. Both of our works carry the same message; Love is Worth a Second Chance.  Even though Debbie and I were only allowed a short seven months together, the lessons she and her daughters taught me in that short time frame will never be forgotten. She and her girls reminded me, we work to live, not live to work.  They were the happiest seven months of life to date.

Book cover

I wasn't sure which review to post since they are all wonderful. I decided on two.

I hope you enjoyed this journey of love through men's eyes. If enjoyed the reviews, please hit the like button after reading them, but more important, if any of the stories have piqued your interest, do the author a favor and click the buy button.

Next week, I think were gonna look at those who delve into globetrotting espionage.

Have a great week!

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