** Click the cover image to order the 5×8 paperback **
A+: “Very gripping, some amazing scenes (not least of all the love scenes) and I got everything I wanted from this story. It was one of those tales that made me want to go out and change the world when I put it down.” Read more …
—Jamie, Man oh Man Reviews
“Jeff Erno is a wonderful writer and I can tell you that because I have read seven of the eight books he has published …. There are several motifs here—romance, passion, emotions, life and death and there is a villain …. If you have not yet taken a chance on Erno, now is the perfect time to start.” Read more …
“Second Chances has everything a good book should have, good guys, bad guys, a
storyline with plenty of twists and turns and of course a love story. To boot, it was entertaining to read!”
—Constant Reader, GayNovelists.com
The author of eight novels, Jeff Erno has a major following. Here is a sampling of his reviews:
Dumb Jock: “If someone were to tell me I had to spend three months on a deserted island and I could have ten books … Dumb Jock would be one of those books.”
Trust Me: “An unexpected mind-blowing reading experience.”
—Leontine’s Book Realm
Puppy Love 2: “Jeff has done a splendid job …. One of my favorite gay series.”
—Three Dollar Bill Reviews
Bullied: “These stories … made me think and broke my heart …. Excellent job, Mr. Erno.”
Harold Wainwright is dying. At seventy-nine, stricken with cancer, the billionaire insurance mogul has much to regret. In his youth he rejected his only true love, Jacob, because the young artist was distracting him from the pursuit of wealth and success. Now Harold is alone, rich beyond his wildest dreams … and his life is over.
Doctor Timothy Drayton has found a way to prolong human life. He has created a computer chip that can be implanted into the human brain, allowing consciousness to be transferred from a dying patient into the mind of a donor subject.
Jesse Warren is eighteen years old. He’s a track star, model student, and the typical all-American kid. Then tragedy strikes. After a terrible accident, Jesse is pronounced brain dead. His devastated family is ecstatic when Dr. Drayton offers a “new treatment” for brain injury. Convinced that God has sent a miracle, the Warrens are overjoyed when their son wakes from his coma. They hope and pray the amnesia is not permanent.
But the real Jesse is gone, his consciousness replaced by Harold Wainwright’s. Will Harold make the same mistakes this time around? Or will he take advantage of this rare second chance to find the love that was missing from his former life?
Says Erno, “About two years ago, a story idea came to me. It was such a light bulb moment that I had to rush to my office and lock myself inside. I wrote out a synopsis for a science fiction story: The Rebirthing Project. I’ve been a reader and fan of sci fi for many years, but I never expected to be able to come up with the technical and scientific details necessary to build a sci-fi plot. I decided to give it a shot. Once the characters began to come alive for me, I knew that the novel would have to include romance. I chose a different title … Second Chances.
“What if we could be young again? Would we do it right the second time, or would our characters lead us down the same path as before? I believe that human beings want to be better. All of us make mistakes, and for many of us, the biggest fear is that we will reach the end of our lives and look back with only regret.
“This novel includes many of the elements my work is known for: romance, emotional intensity, scenes of intimacy and passion. But this story also features a thriller plot, an evil villain, and a fantastical premise I hope readers will embrace. Second Chances may be aptly named for more than one reason. I hope it will give readers a chance to see another side of me and my writing.”
Jeff Erno became a published author in 2009 with his first novel, Dumb Jock. He has written a total of eight novels to date. He currently lives in Michigan and writes full-time. You can find Jeff on the Web at www.jefferno.com.
Second Chances is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon Japan, and at select Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores. Bookstores and libraries can order through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Other electronic versions can be purchased on Smashwords, BN.com, Google eBooks or at any of the major online eBook stores.
Keep reading for an excerpt:
Jesse’s heart continued to beat rapidly as he stared up into the eyes of his friend—this one who bore such a striking resemblance to the only man he’d ever loved. The only man Harold Wainwright had ever loved, that was. It was all so bizarre. It seemed too much of a coincidence that he could possibly encounter this remarkable soul in not just one, but two lifetimes.
“Are you okay?” Phillip asked him. The soothing and compassionate tone of his voice aided Jesse greatly in his efforts to calm himself. He nodded.
“Yeah. I don’t know why I’m having these horrible dreams …”
“Oh Jesse,” the boy reassured him, “you’ve been through so much. It’s probably normal. Were you dreaming about the accident?”
“Jacob,” he responded.
“The one you talked about earlier?”
“He looks like … or you look like him. Like he used to look.”
“Jesse, where did you know him? It’s so weird, because you never talked about him before.”
“Where are my parents?” he asked, changing the subject. “What time is it?”
“It’s like around seven o’clock. They went home to eat, but they’re going to come back to pick me up and check on you … unless you want me to stay. I know I can stay all night with ya. I’ll just go talk to the nurses. I’m sure they’ll let me.”
“Really?” Jesse asked. “No … I don’t want you to have to do that.”
“I want to!” he exclaimed. “Jesse, you’ve been away for so long. You were in a coma. I wanna spend as much time as I can …”
“But I’m back now, and both of us need our rest.”
“What if you have another nightmare? I wanna be here for you.”
Jesse smiled up at him. “Thank you,” he said, “but it’s okay. It was just a dream. Everything’s going to be fine now. It’s gonna be perfect.”
His friend returned the smile and gently placed his hand on Jesse’s arm. A shiver traveled through his body in response to the tender touch. “Have we always … um … been close like this?”
Phillip’s face suddenly looked flushed. “I’ve … um … well, I’ve always cared about you. Like I said, we’ve been best friends for years. I’m sure you’ll remember soon.”
“Maybe you can remind me,” Jesse said. He sensed there was more. He could see it in the boy’s eyes. He knew that Phillip wasn’t telling him everything.
“Are you hungry? They brought you your dinner.”
“Didn’t I just eat?”
Phillip laughed. “Dude, that was like seven hours ago. It was your lunch, and you’ve been sleeping ever since.”
“I have to use the bathroom,” Jesse confessed.
“I don’t know how to tell ya this, man, but … um … you have a catheter in ya. It’s like a tube that goes into your bladder. If you feel like ya gotta go, just let ’er rip.”
Jesse cracked up. “You’re not serious!”
“I am! Man, I’m sorry. I know it’s gross. I’ve had that before myself, when I was in the hospital. You get used to it though. It sorta feels like you gotta go all the time.”
“That nurse earlier, she told me I’d be able to get out of bed today and walk around.”
“I think they decided to let you sleep. I bet they’ll take out your catheter tomorrow and let you get up. You just had brain surgery, ya know. You should just chill.”
“No more chilling! I’ve been chilled for the past … well, since God knows how long.”
“Twelve weeks. You’ve been in a coma all that time. It’s a miracle you survived the accident.” Phillip’s voice cracked slightly, and his eyes were moist with tears.
“Thank you,” Jesse whispered. “Thank you for caring so much. I can’t tell you what it means to me …”
This time Phillip boldly grabbed his friend’s hand and squeezed it. “Like I said, I care about you. I … um …”
“W-what’s for dinner?” Jesse asked, knowing his new friend was struggling to say something and wanting to spare him the discomfort.
Phillip pulled away and turned to the tray beside him. “Let me see. I think it’s probably cold by now. It’s been sitting there awhile. Looks like tuna casserole.”
“Oh dear God,” Jesse said.
“Oh dear God?” Phillip repeated. “I can’t believe some of the expressions you use … you’re so funny.”
“I didn’t used to talk like this?”
“It’s cool, man. It’s like you’ve become so grown-up all of a sudden. I guess maybe it was from being unconscious. You matured in your sleep or something.”
“What else is on that tray? Any vegetables?”
“Green beans, it looks like.”
“Okay, I’ll have them.”
“Seriously?” Phillip asked. He laughed as he pushed the cart closer to his friend. “I guess your taste has changed, too. You used to hate vegetables.”
“You can have the casserole if you want,” Jesse offered.
“I had pizza from the cafeteria. I was gonna bring you some …”
“This is fine,” Jesse assured him. “So tell me about us. How did we meet? How’d we become such close friends?” And why do you look so damned much like Jacob Klein??
“I don’t exactly remember when we first met,” Phillip said. “Seems like we always knew each other. I’ve lived in the same house all my life, and I think you have, too. You’ve been my neighbor for as long as I can remember.” Phillip stepped over to the other side of the bed and sat down on the edge of the mattress, allowing Jesse to continue to eat.
“You used to have really big birthday parties. I think you were like eight or nine the year you had a huge outdoor party. Your birthday is in the spring, and it was really nice weather. It was a slumber party, and we slept outdoors in tents. You and me slept in the same one, and I got scared in the middle of the night. This is kinda embarrassing …”
“Please go on! Don’t be embarrassed … please.”
“Well, I was crying, and I wanted to just go home. I was gonna get up and go back across the street to my house, but you wouldn’t let me. You told me to crawl inside your sleeping bag with you.”
“I did?” Jesse smiled. “And did you?”
Phillip smiled back at his friend and nodded. “Yeah. It was so warm, and you made me feel so safe. I think that was when I first knew …”
“What do ya mean?” Jesse asked.
“I mean … um … well, that’s when I first knew we were gonna be best friends. It always felt like you kinda looked out for me. You were always the one who was so fearless. You never seemed to be afraid of anything, and just knowing you made me feel braver.”
“So you were kind of insecure, then? I mean, when you were on your own.”
Phillip paused a moment before answering. “Yeah, I guess I was, actually. I just think you were the outgoing one. I was always a little more cautious, but you were the daredevil. You had so much confidence. I’m the type who wants to do a lot of different things, but all I really do is think about them. I’m a dreamer, I guess. For you, though, to imagine something is to do it. Once you decide you want it, you will eventually get it. I always admired that about you.”
The boy’s honesty was tugging at Jesse’s heartstrings. As he looked into his friend’s big brown eyes, he felt the sincerity of his words. He wanted to touch him. He had to, and he reached out and gently took his hand into his own as the boy continued to talk.
“Jesse, the day of your accident, I saw you right before it happened. I saw you as you ran by my house on your way to practice. You waved at me, and I decided something. I knew I had to tell you how I felt, and I planned to do it that night.
“I was too late though. When I found out about what had happened, I was afraid I’d missed my chance.” Big tears streamed down Phillip’s face as he squeezed Jesse’s hand. “Jesse, I love …”
Phillip immediately pulled his hand away as he heard someone enter the room. He turned to see Margo in the doorway. Paul was behind her. “Someone’s awake?” she asked.