Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly Young Excerpt and Giveaway!

Brought to you by...

The Eighth Wonder
Kimberly Young

Page Count: 208
Release Date: 31 January, 2012
AuthorHouse (self-published)

A modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-League school until she meets Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered after his daughter’s death from leukemia. A first-generation in her family to go to college, Nicole is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, she finally graduates with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Abandoned by her mother as a girl, her father is all she has.

After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to him in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life…until she meets Tom Ryan.

At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife are empty nesters with an older son away at college and struggle to grieve together after the death of their daughter. Tom and Nicole’s story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet romance when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life.

He couldn’t remember a time without Rose in his life. He had dated a few women before Rose, but he was young and could hardly remember any of them. He figured the number of women he had been with was low compared to other men, but most men were not married so young. It was just what you did back then, the path he chose. Grow up, go to college, get married, and start a family. It was what everyone did.

He felt so young at the time, like a child himself, the first time he held his new son. He was only twenty-one and Rose only twenty. They had no clue how to raise a child, and they lived in a one-bedroom apartment—they had nothing but were happy. Tom was working at his first job out of college, and yet, as he held his son, his whole life seemed to be set, his path predestined. Tom’s shoulder was hurting him and so he decided to stop for the day. He put the ax back into the shed and started stacking the wood up on the porch. He had always wished that Rose loved the camp and the woods like he did. Rose came to the camp twice with Lisa when their daughter was young, but she never felt comfortable staying over night in the cabin. Tom felt okay about that for the most part. He didn’t expect Rose to love it the way he did, but after meeting Nicole, he was excited at the prospect of spending time with someone who might share his passion for the woods. Despite being a sexy and sophisticated woman from the city, Nicole agreed to take that hike the day at the bridge and she came down to the homeless shelter to fix dinners for the poor and forgotten.

Tom was now wondering if she only came because he asked or if she had such interests, such compassion, and would have come no matter who asked. He remembered that it was hard on Rose when they moved to Bradford, the adjustment to life in a small town after growing up in Pittsburgh. Nicole would probably feel the same way, he reminded himself, and so maybe she was interested in him. Although she had helped him at The Friendship Table, she admitted that she was not prone to giving of her time for charity. That was the first time it seemed fun to wash dishes, he thought.

He stacked another layer of wood alongside the porch wall. His gloves were thick and the baseball cap he wore kept his head warm, but he felt the wind pick up and the air turn cold. He grabbed another log to stack and wondered what he should do when Nicole arrived. What would they do to pass the time? This wasn’t like The Friendship Table with other people around and tasks to complete. This wasn’t like being alone when they were at the bridge. Then he didn’t know Nicole very well and didn’t think about her all the time. Then he didn’t have feelings for her. What was he doing? Like a shot through his heart, he felt fear. Again, the question: what was he doing? The panic bubbled up and he couldn’t stop it. The feelings kept flooding over him. He wasn’t sure if he was infatuated. He hadn’t really felt like this before. Was he falling in love with Nicole?

He shuddered at the implications. What about Rose? The guilt swept over him like a tidal wave. How could he even have feelings for another woman? He loved Rose and they had a good life together. They had gone through so much together. What could he possibly be thinking? He could never hurt Rose like that. But he was getting ahead of himself. Nicole could be coming just to get away, just to go on a hike, to get away from the academic grind. Maybe what he was feeling had nothing to do with her, and yet, he had an intuition that it had everything to do with her. She was beautiful and smart, and she had made him feel alive again.

He stacked the last of the wood. He wondered what a young, attractive woman like Nicole could possibly see in him, and he decided it was probably safe to have her come for a hike. They would talk and that would be about all. There was no way anything more could happen. Nicole could never be interested in him, not in any romantic way. She had too many other choices in her life. Yet, for a moment, just a moment, Tom wondered what he would do if she had feelings for him too.

About the Author

Kimberly Young is a licensed psychologist, an author, and an internationally-known speaker on Internet addiction. In 1995, she founded the Center for Internet Addiction and since then she has written numerous articles on the topic including four books, Caught in the Net, Tangled in the Web, Breaking Free of the Web, and Internet Addiction: A Handbook for Evaluation and Treatment.

She is a professor at St. Bonaventure University and her work has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, Time, and Newsweek, and she has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and ABC World News Tonight. She has written creatively on and off since she was eight-years-old, mainly working on poems and short stories. While recovering from retina re-attachment eye surgery, she was homebound for several months and decided to pursue her creative writing more seriously. The Eighth Wonder is her first novel.


Thanks to the author and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, there is one copy of The Eighth Wonder up for grabs—winner's choice of print or digital! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 1st at 11.59 EST (your time).
Open internationally! However, only US/CAN residents are eligible for the print copy.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I will be selecting winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!