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In the Land of Second Chances


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About the Author

George Shaffner has worked in the computer industry for twenty years, most recently as CEO or COO of three international computer companies. He is the father of three children, who are all math refugees.


When a traveling salesman mysteriously appears in smalltown Ebb, Nebr., he quickly settles in at Wilma Porter's Come Again B&B and sets about solving all the problems plaguing Ebb's small social circle in this chatty, earnest novel. While no one fully believes that the impeccably dressed Vernon Moore has truly come to sell games of chance (there are no prospective buyers, for one thing), they are eager to keep him around for excitement and advice. Through a series of conversations over Wilma's down-home cooking, and at Calvin Millet's Department Store-a family establishment fast falling prey to bankruptcy and Wal-Mart takeover-Mr. Moore pitches philosophy and faith to Ebb's residents. During Mr. Moore's six-day stay, Millet develops plans to save his store and gains courage to discuss death with his terminally ill daughter; a rich investor chooses his community over himself; and a lonely divorc?e finds romance. Busybody Wilma makes for a spunky narrator, but in this story of odds and uncertainty the stakes fall short. The conceit-hotshot stranger comes to town to talk sense to backward rural folk-is hoary and diminishes the otherwise colorful characters, especially when Mr. Moore's shaky logic and platitudinous pontificating go unchallenged. Agent, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Oct. 15) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"If you've been charmed by Jimmy Stewart and the small-town miracles of It's a Wonderful Life, treat yourself to this unusual little novel full of hope, humor and singular characters."

"A folksy, wise and gently amusing look at the importance of living life to the fullest and not only trusting in chance, but embracing uncertainty as the spice of life."
-Rocky Mountain News "By the end of the stranger's six-day visit . . . Chances morphs from Fried Green Tomatoes into a wisecracking It's a Wonderful Life."
-Entertainment Weekly "An accessible, engaging story peppered with characters who are eccentric, conflicted, tragic and humorous."
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Just what the doctor ordered."
-Detroit News and Free Press

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