Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gary Stelzer Stops by... (& a Giveaway!)

Readers, please join me welcoming Gary Stelzer, author of The Cost of Dreams who's guest blogging here today!

In this book, Gary, a retired Midwest physician, draws upon an ordeal of one of his most memorable patients for a novel that's both a powerful, compelling page-turner and a poignant illumination of a woman's-and a people's-struggle to survive.

Flora Enriquez trusts that she has found safe haven for her young family in the remote U.S. Southwest, after fleeing the murderous environs of Central America where her parents were slain in a civil war. Only to find that all of her life's greatest challenges, by far, still lie before her.

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DREAMS 

A book reviewer asked me yesterday if the title of my first novel had always been THE COST OF DREAMS. I answered, “no.” I had called an earlier, much longer, and terribly flawed draft THE DISAPPEARED ONE. A potent and intriguing enough title I think, and not at all a bad fit for the later manuscript. But I made the change because I wanted to reach a little deeper into the suggestion of what the story, or several stories interwoven, might offer to the interested reader. Rather than the single and narrower event of a person vanishing, and leaving the reader and the characters in the tale simply wondering if the “disappeared one” would ever be found.

As the nation state elites the world over recklessly and irresponsibly rattle sabers at one another ceaselessly, their respective working citizens (and employers) aspire to a secure future, probably without exception. And depending on their local circumstances and living conditions, they may strive to work life out where they live. Or they may feel the urgent need to move to another country or part of the world to work and eat. Or they may need to flee emergently for their lives, such as our characters in the opening scenes of THE COST OF DREAMS.

The characters in my tale are wracked by their dreams: by their aspirations for a secure future with proper nutrition, decent shelter, absence of violence (to which so many are subjected in Latin America and Asia and Africa), education, quality public health and the fruits of a modern existence. All too frequently, their dreams are ground to dust by nightmare recollections of what they’ve been through in their struggles for survival in their countries of origin, and in their migrations. Recollections that torment them night and day, shaping and scarring them, sometimes to the point of living dysfunction and drug addiction. An equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder can threaten the working poor to pandemic proportions, most especially with parts of families injured, sick, and dying while on the move and striving to stay together. A strain that can bring them to sanity’s breaking point.

Such circumstances bring the main character of my novel to a point of quite extreme desperation. Flora Enriquez perceives herself in dire straits, and risking the lives of her most reliable companions on earth, enters the most remote wilderness of northern Mexico in search of a shaman and the healing realm of his dream making. This being her personal attempt at mending the wounds of her suffering travels.

Though I am thoroughly a modernist and not given to religious practices of any sort, I found very interesting (and I certainly respect) the aboriginal concepts for sleep and dreams that are deemed essential for healing and for sorting out the meanings and problems of living.
So true. Cultural differences separate people although at heart we're all the same. Thanks for that great post, Gary! You can also find him at - www.garystelzer.com.

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • Just tell me why you want to win - simple!
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of February 6, 2010.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!
Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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42 comments :

  1. I want to read this book because it sounds like a page turner and I love books that I can't put down.

    clenna at aol DOT com

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  2. I subscribe to your feed.

    clenna at aol dot com

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  3. I subscribe via email

    clenna at aol dot com

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  4. I'm a fan on FB

    clenna at aol dot com

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  5. I'd like to win this book because the review made it sound quite appealing.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. Email subscriber.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. Follower via GFC.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. This sounds like a powerful story, and the backdrop of Central America is interesting. I'd like to read this one.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  9. blog follower
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  10. I like all books that I can't put down. Sounds like a great read for a snowy day. jacksond@nhr3.net

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  11. I would like to add it to my classroom library, so that my students have a chance to learn a bit about what life is like for many immigrants who come to the US.

    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  12. Subscribe via RSS Feed.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  13. Subscribe via e-mail.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  14. Facebook Fan.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  15. Tweeted. ID twitter@enylstil
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  16. I was depressed & really down yrs ago but with family and friends helping I as able to get back my life. This book can help bring closure if needed and I am at a point in life where I need help again but my close family are not here with me and maybe this book can help me achieve my healing. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.


    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  17. 1 ENTRY -I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed

    This book can help others overcome the bad times in their life.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  18. 1 ENTRY - I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates

    Would love to win this book.


    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  19. 1 ENTRY - I Follow this blog

    Great book = Great read..

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  20. At least you found the book thought-provoking. Thanks for your well-written and honest review...

    r4 card

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  21. Would love to read this!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  22. I'm subscribed to your feed.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  23. And I follow your blog.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  24. The synopsis of this books seems like it is a good read. Thanks.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  25. email subscriber
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  26. I follow your blog.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  27. sounds like a great read

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

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  28. i'm a subscriber ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. This sounds compelling and I'd love to read it!

    lauragiveaways at gmail dot com
    (email also available in profile)

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  30. I subscribe to your email updates.

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  31. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/8046967691

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  32. 1/22 tweet:
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  33. 1/27 tweet:
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  34. 1/28 tweet:
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  35. Sounds so thought provoking and I need a new book to read!
    Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete