Today I’m thrilled to introduce Sheri Levy, author of Seven Days to Goodbye. Sheri has a wonderfully spooky post to share with you all.
After dropping out of college to marry her high school sweetheart, Sheri returned to school at night, worked as an aide with mentally handicapped children during the day, and earned three teaching credentials. When her two children entered school, Sheri taught Special Ed for sixteen years, and then a Family Learning Program. After retiring, she began writing. Her first magazine article, Heaven Scent, published in the ClubHouse Magazine, gave her the confidence to write her YA novel, Seven Days to Goodbye. Sheri continues to tutor students once a week, enjoys time with her two brilliant grand boys, and walks and trains her two Australian Shepherds. Her other favorite activities are swishing her toes in a sandy beach, enjoying music, movies, reading, and chocolate chip ice cream.
At the young age of seven and nine, my brother, Scott, and I loved the adventure of sneaking into each other’s bedroom when we were supposed to be sleeping. My room was in the corner of an L shaped hallway and directly to the right was his bedroom. Straight ahead led to our parents’ bedroom and in the middle of the hallway was a bathroom with a wide, square window which let the moon act as a night light and add weird shadows.
If the television conversation blared back to our rooms, we knew our parents were in the den. The only way they could check if we were playing was to walk through Scott’s room, or through the kitchen and the living room and enter the L shaped hallway.
We’d giggle about being so clever, and then get real quiet, and listen for Dad’s voice through Scott’s door, “I hope you’re in bed.” Scotty would rush back, and slide under his covers as Dad opened the door, pretending to be asleep.
One night we got distracted with whatever game we were playing. Light footsteps echoed in the hallway and we panicked. Dad was going to catch us out of bed. Our parents never spanked us, but being in trouble made us feel bad. Scott shoved me. “You look!”
I shook my head and said, “No! You go.”
He folded his arms across his stomach and dug his chin into his chest. “You’re the oldest. You go.”
While only moving our lips, we argued about who was going to check. We crept closer to the open door. I’d duck to the side and push him. Neither one of us wanted to peek into the hallway.
Being the one who usually gave in, I stepped an inch at a time toward the opening. I took a deep breath, slinked to the middle of the door, and lifted my head. A full moon shined through the bathroom window, casting an eerie light on a gigantic figure standing in front of the bathroom. His shoulders touched each of the walls, and his head almost banged the ceiling. This monster didn’t move or say a thing.
I let out a blood curdling scream and froze. I trembled and couldn’t stop shrieking. Tears slid down my cheeks.
In seconds, his arms wrapped around my body, holding me in a firm hug, and said over and over, “Sheri, it’s me. It’s Dad! Sheri, look at me. You’re safe!”
I hyperventilated. I gulped air, and cried some more.
Minutes seemed like hours until I stopped shaking and could breathe.
My brother had crawled under the bed.
That wasn’t the last time we snuck back and forth, but it was the last time Dad ever snuck into the hallway.
Seven Days to Goodbye
What do you get when you mix together a week on Edisto Island with a puppy raiser and her best friend connecting to guys for the first time, protecting a loggerhead turtle’s nest, finding her service dog relating to a young boy with autism, and agonizing over what comes next. You get the ingredients for Seven Days to Goodbye.
More information on Sheri’s stories can be seen on her website, www.sherislevy.com, and on her author page at Barking Rain Press.
Check out the beautiful cover for her book and read an excerpt!
Here is an excerpt from Trina’s first meeting on the beach with a young boy, Logan, who has autism:
I called to Logan.
He did a one-sided skip toward me.
“Do you want to practice calling Sydney?”
He nodded and his eyes rose for a moment.
Logan clapped and bounced.
I patted his shoulder and said, “Stand. Don’t move. Then Sydney can listen.”
After a couple more hops, his hands grabbed his shorts and squeezed. He gulped short breaths of air and then shouted, “Syd-ney.”
He started to clap and then put his hands back on his shorts and said, “Come.”
Sydney raced to Logan.
I said, “Good boy, Sydney.”
Logan’s eyes caught mine before he bowed his head.
I finished saying, “Logan, you did great.”
Logan held a treat in front of Syd’s face. “Good doggie. Good Syd-ney.”
I tingled inside. This was a perfect example of Sydney’s talent. I stretched taller, seeing the happiness in Logan’s face. “Can I hug you, Logan?”
Thanks for joining me today, Sheri!
© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2015