Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.
One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.
“Compelling and emotional, Three Shoeboxes takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey through some of life’s toughest challenges, always with the ever-present sense of the transforming power of love and hope. Three Shoeboxes is Steven Manchester at his finest.” – Carla Neggers, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, Harbor Island and Echo Lake “
Raw, moving and brutally honest—Steven Manchester takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Grab your tissues for this heart-wrenching story—better yet, grab a box full!” – Tanya Anne Crosby, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, The Girl Who Stayed ”
Three Shoeboxes is a compassionate, accessible portrait of a vitally important topic, PTSD, how it affects the sufferer and the family—and how to find hope and healing.” – Jenna Blum, NYT & International Bestselling Author, Those Who Save Us and Storm Chasers “
Three Shoeboxes is terrific writing. Manchester’s protagonist’s life becomes nightmarish, his rage palpable, and his ultimate redemption breathtaking. It was enough to bring this reader to tears.” – John Lansing, #1 Bestselling Author, The Devil’s Necktie
Read an excerpt:
Mac jumped up, panting like an obese dog suffering in a heat wave. His heart drummed out of his chest. Startled from a sound sleep, he didn’t know what was wrong. He leapt out of bed and stumbled toward the bathroom. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. There’s something wrong, he finally thought, I…I need help. He searched frantically for an enemy. There was none. As he stared at the frightened man in the mirror, he considered calling out to his sleeping wife. She has enough to worry about with the kids, he thought, but was already hurrying toward her. “Jen,” he said in a strained whisper.
She stirred but didn’t open her eyes.
The constricted chest, sweaty face and shaking hands made Mac wonder whether he was standing at death’s door, cardiac arrest being his ticket in. I have to do something now, he thought, or I’m a goner. “Jen,” he said louder, shaking her shoulder.
One eye opened. She looked up at him.
“It’s happening again,” he said in a voice that could have belonged to a frightened little boy.
Jen shot up in bed. “What is it?”
“I…I can’t breathe. My heart keeps fluttering and I feel…”
“I’m calling an ambulance,” she said, fumbling for her cell phone.
“No,” he said instinctively, “it’ll scare the kids.”
She looked up at him like he was crazy.
“I’ll go to the emergency room right now!” Grabbing for a pair of pants, he started to slide into them.
Jen sprang out of the bed. “I’ll call my mom and have her come over to watch the kids. In the meantime, Jillian can…”
Mac shook his foggy head, halting her. “No, I’m okay to drive,” he said, trying to breathe normally.
“But babe,” she began to protest, fear glassing over her eyes.
“I’ll text you as soon as I get there,” he promised, “and then call you just as soon as they tell me what the hell’s going on.”
Jen’s eyes filled. “Oh Mac…”
He shot her a smile, at least he tried to, before rushing out of the house and hyperventilating all the way to the hospital.
Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island, the national bestseller Ashes, and the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Why did you feel that this was the time to write this particular book?
When I was young, my grandfather was an amazing storyteller. Although he never put pen to paper, I was awed by the power of words—to make people laugh or even cry. I knew then that I wanted to be a storyteller, too.
I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm (with PTSD), and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.
Today, 25 years later, I have written 17 books, with 4 of them being #1 bestsellers. The vast majority of the time, the ideas for my books come from real-life. I write “feel good tear- jerkers that celebrate the strength of the human spirit”; my books are normally about relationships and the challenges that we all must overcome. And the underlying theme for each is that “none of us is ever alone.”
Now that I’m a seasoned writer and have been blessed with being a dad, I felt it was time to write a book that tackled several topics that are near-and0dear to me heart: the negative stigma attached to mental illness (PTSD) and the strength of a father’s love.
Three Shoeboxes—and it’s message—means a great deal to me. In fact, I feel like I’ve lived most of my life just to be able to write it.
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Steven Manchester. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 3 winners of one (1) print copy of Steven Manchester’s ASHES. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited