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Behind every skyline there are neighborhoods, relationships, people, and stories …

Windy City Stories by Dave & Neta Jackson



A Story of Profound Forgiveness

By Dave Jackson

Just one shot, and Ray became a KILLER!

Provoked by his gang leader into shooting an innocent athlete, Ray now faces a 40-year sentence in Chicago’s infamous prison system. As far as he is concerned, it might as well be for life.

In prison, he finds his gangbanger ties difficult to escape and even necessary for survival. Just when he’s resigned himself to this new existence, Ray receives an unexpected gift—forgiveness. Even as he learns that the source of this forgiveness is God, Ray struggles with accepting it. And then the ultimate test comes: When faced with the man who ruined his life, can Ray extend that same forgiveness to him?

* * * *

Inspired by a true incident, this edition of Forty to Life includes interviews with the father and mother of the real victim as well as a follow-up with the actual shooter.


A note from Dave:

While this story is fiction, its opening chapters are based on a shooting in Chicago's on-going gang warfare. I was inspired to use this tragic event to start my novel when I learned the mother of the victim had visited the shooter in prison and extended her forgiveness in the name of Christ. Committing murder changed Mario Ramos's life forever, but so did this unfathomable forgiveness.

My novel only begins like Mario's story, but the other things that happen to my character, "Ray," in prison and on the streets of Chicago, are also true to life. There are guys like him and the other characters in FORTY to LIFE on every corner of any big city. Some will make it, some won't, at least not without the help of people like “Mr. Gee,” the street chaplian who ministers to young men in prison and out.

* * * *

If you like this book, you might enjoy:       Shoulda Been Dead   No Random Act


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Forty to Life

Castle Rock Creative

  ISBN: 978-0-9982107-1-1
eISBN: 978-0-9982107-2-8

Paperback: 308 pages
Today: $15.99

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Read Sample

At Cubs game

Dave, at a Chicago Cubs game with
son and grandsons.

© 2013, Dave & Neta JacksonCastle Rock Creative