Friday, January 8, 2010

Michael Baron on Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the BridgeReaders, please join me welcoming Michael Baron, author of Crossing the Bridge, who's guest blogging here today! As you may remember from his first post here last year, Michael's previous book When You Went Away received rave reviews upon its release.

About his upcoming release Crossing the Bridge - Hugh Penders has been stuck in neutral for nearly a decade since his brother Chase died. He carries with him two secrets that he has never been able to share with anyone. When Hugh's father falls ill, Hugh must return to home where he once again meets and falls in love with Chase's girlfriend, Iris. But the ghost of Chase haunts both of them. And when each reveals a truth the other never knew, their lives will change forever. Charged by the power of desire and the impact of loss, Crossing the Bridge is a soulful, romantic novel that will speak to you deeply.

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My new novel, Crossing the Bridge, is about a man who returns to his hometown to face the scars of his past and get a second chance with the woman he never had the opportunity to love. A big portion of this novel is about families. The main character, Hugh Penders, always considered himself to be second best to his brother Chase. His parents always seemed more enamored of Chase, and Chase, though the younger sibling, always seemed to rule the household.

I find the nature of families fascinating. In fact, I find families so fascinating that I’m finishing the first of a series of family novels right now (shameless plug within this shameless plug: the novel is called Leaves and it will be out in the fall). Since we’re just coming out of the holidays, it seems we all spend a little more time thinking about family this time of year. Sadly, many of these thoughts are not happy ones. For whatever reason, I saw far more articles, blog posts, and television shows about dreading being with your family during the holidays this year than ever before. It’s entirely possible that these were always out there and that I just wasn’t paying attention to them until now. It’s also possible that the abundance of these is a sign of the amped-up anxiety and disquiet that seems pervasive in the culture right now.

My first reaction to all of this grumbling was to be thankful that I didn’t feel the same way. I actually look forward to getting together with my family. My older sister is one of the most generous spirits I’ve ever met and her children are accomplished and interesting. My cousin is a powerhouse who has overcome adversity and exudes possibility. At Christmas, twenty-three people gathered around our dinner table (well, technically, our dinner table and two folding tables laid end-to-end and cleverly decorated by my wife) and I wanted to spend time with every single one of them.

But then I realized that this gathering was the result of a process that began with the same sense of family-dread that the writers and producers had been talking about. Over the years, I had effectively weeded out the family I could no longer stand to be with. I hadn’t seen my brother or his two boorish sons in years. The cousin I adore is the only cousin with whom I have any contact. Of the twenty-three people at our family Christmas table, more than a third of them weren’t actually family at all. Instead, they were friends who had become family.

What is it about the intimacy of familial relationships that causes so many of them to fail, or, even worse, fester? Our families offer us the safest of harbors yet at the same time leave us with our deepest wounds. I find this endlessly interesting and I’m sure it will intrigue me forever.
I agree with you, Michael, one hundred percent. The other day I was listening to someone talking with zeal about mysteries of space and time. And my one thought was that we humans still haven't been able to figure out something at once as simple and complex like love, relationships, family. To even think of attempting to solve the mysteries of the universe seems somehow over-ambitious and trivial at the same time.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Michael, and also thanks to your publisher for arranging this. I look forward to hosting you again when Leaves is released in the Fall.

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A signed copy of Michael's book, The Journey Home (release date - May 2010). The copy will be sent as soon as the book comes off press.

To Enter
  • Tell me, how did you spend your holidays? At home, alone, with family and friends, working? Details are welcome and winner will be picked based on their answer, and not randomly.
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner
  • Readers who've won here in the last 3 months are not eligible to win, but are more than welcome to leave a comment.
For Extra Entries

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

Deadline   Midnight CST of February 8, 2010.

Eligibility  US only.

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

  1. My holidays were spent sick. From Thanksgiving eve and continuing. New Yrs Resol. was to go to Dr and find out what's wrong. Went Wed. and will find out problem soon, I hope. LOL . Told Dr. maybe just in my head, she laughed and said we will ck out the head later.LOL

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  12. Unfortunately I spent the holiday in the hospital, I was admitted Christmas Eve and released New Year's Day.
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  13. I spent my holidays in California with my family. Right now, I live in Portland, OR with my brother because my mom got married and moved to California with her new husband and his kids. So because we usually only see each other during summer break, I decided to surprise her and fly to California my two week winter break. It was the first time I spent my Christmas with big family and a house decorated with Christmas decorations. I was, of course, very happy to be there to spend time with my family.

    Email: anfisa93 at gmail dot com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. Christmas is my favorite holiday. When I was growing up it was spent going to different houses - aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. With a huge extended family, it was always a great time

    As an adult I look forward to preparing meals, giving gifts and spending time with family. This year we went to NY and it was wonderful to see extended family. Usually it is just the girls, my husband and my parents - it is nice to be able to expose them to the sort of holiday I had growing up.

    sorry for messing up two posts! I am tired today...

    misaacmom at gmail dot com

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