Monday, September 12, 2011

book tour: Me Again by Keith Cronin + giveaway!


Author: Keith Cronin
Publisher: Five Star
Source: TLC Book Tours
Hard Cover: 322 pages

"foodie" elements:  This wasn't a "foodie novel", really.  But there was some tasty lasagna and a few others things worked in for the hungry person in all of us.

random excerpt:  "Self-conscious, I turned my attention back to Mrs. Margolis's curios.  My gaze fell on a small figurine of a fat smiling man, sitting shirtless and cross-legged, his round belly exposed.  It was a deep rich red, made of some sort of glazed clay, and very shiny.  Instinctively I picked it up - it nestled in my hand, no larger than a golf ball."

summary/synopsis: (from author's website)  Miracles can be damned inconvenient. That's what thirty-four-year-old stroke victim Jonathan Hooper learns when he wakes up after spending six years in a coma. Everyone calls Jonathan's recovery a "miracle," but since nobody had expected him to recover, his sudden awakening becomes an awkward intrusion on the lives of his family and friends. To make matters worse, Jonathan doesn't even recognize these people. The stroke has wiped away most of Jonathan's memory, while the coma has withered his body. 

In short, Jonathan's not the man he used to be - whoever that was.

The only bright spot for Jonathan is Rebecca Chase, a young woman he meets in the hospital's long-term recovery unit. A stroke has drastically changed her personality, making her a stranger to her husband. Gone is the vivacious trophy wife, replaced by a shy, awkward woman with a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing.

Constantly reminded how badly they fit in, Jonathan and Rebecca find much in common with each other as they work on rebuilding - and rediscovering - their lives. But while Rebecca copes with her husband's frustrated attempts at "fixing" her, Jonathan finds mounting evidence that the man he used to be was not necessarily a very good man. And everywhere he turns, Jonathan keeps discovering more secrets that his own loved ones are keeping from him.

A steadily accelerating story exploring the irony, humor, and opportunity that can accompany personal calamity, Me Again follows the intertwined paths of two people forced to start over in life: one looking for his place in a world that has moved on without him, the other struggling to navigate a relationship with a man who wishes she were someone else.
I loved the cover concept so much that I had to recreate it in my own fashion...and yup, it relates to the story.
my thoughts/review:   "I was born on a Tuesday morning.  It was a difficult birth, because I was thirty-four years old."  That was the opening.  I knew I was in for a good ride. Thought-provoking, heart-warming, funny, and charming.  I adored the characters and the struggles they go through to learn simple things all over again...like talking, walking, doing math...heck, just remembering.  I found myself not only wondering what it would be like if I should suffer a stroke and be faced with similar difficulties, but also how many people out there actually are learning to live again at an "advanced" age (as in, not birth).  I love it when a story pulls me in and makes me feel vested.  I wanted to reach out and ring some of these people's (family, friends of Jonathan and Rebecca) necks for not understanding, while empathizing at the same time.

Cronin has a very easy writing style that makes for an easy read that flows so quickly...you realize that you're almost finished reading and you want the story to keep going.  Definitely would recommend this to anybody.

about the author:  Keith Cronin is a corporate speechwriter and professional rock drummer who has performed and recorded with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, and Pat Travers.

He is also becoming informally known as "the title guy," having provided the title for Sara Gruen's blockbuster Water for Elephants, as well as Susan Henderson's HarperCollins debut Up from the Blue.

Keith is a regular contributor at the literary blog Writer Unboxed, named one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for the past five years. His fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, Amarillo Bay, The Scruffy Dog Review, Zinos, and a University of Phoenix management course. He holds a bachelor's degree in music from Indiana University, and earned his MBA at Florida Atlantic University. A native of South Florida, Keith spends his free time serenading local ducks and squirrels with his ukulele.

GIVEAWAY
For a chance to win a copy of Me Again, please leave a comment letting me know that you'd like to read the book.  Open only to residents of the US and Canada.  Entries will be accepted until Sept. 19th, 2011 at 11:50 pm (Eastern).  Good Luck!
*Update 9/20/11: Congrats to Jen the Ecoventurer on winning a copy of Me Again!


follow the tour:
tourhost *I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.