Monday, June 18, 2012

Giveaway 7: "Stray" by Mark Matthews

I have another real treat for you this week! I'm giving away three copies of Mark Matthew's awesome book Stray!

This is a book that I edited last September, and one that should appeal to anyone who enjoys stories that include animals, and coming to terms with your own problems in order to become a better person.
Blurb:
Stray traces the harrowing paths of addicts at the West Oaks treatment center, the stray pets at the next door animal shelter, and the caregivers who serve them both.

After an alcohol-induced seizure during his father's funeral, Thomas Cleaves remains sober and becomes a therapist to help others just like him recover from their addiction. After trying to start a family, his wife has a miscarriage on the same day a client of his dies from an overdose, and he fears that the addicts he treats must have infected her womb.

When his wife becomes pregnant again, and the sickness and despair of his clients worsen, Tom becomes terrified and is in desperate need of a client to give him some hope.

James White is one such client. James is a newly orphaned alcoholic dead bent on drinking again until he finds a job at the Argos animal shelter. It is here that he meets the mystical Rachel who rescues strays, cleans cages, but has the unfortunate duty of putting some to sleep by lethal injection. Can James find a reason to live by helping her rescue the throw-away pets of the city?

The lives of Tom and James, along with some incredibly vivid characters from the streets of Detroit, are intricately woven together, creating a novel that has received excellent reviews and is certain to be remembered. A gritty novel with an edge yet surprisingly gentle and sweet, Stray illustrates the universal longing in all of us as we look for a safe place that feels like home.

Matthews is also offering a really neat deal where a person can have a picture of their own dog put on the cover of the ebook. Read about it here.

About the Author (in his own words):
I am a licensed professional counselor who has worked for many years as a therapist, but many more years as a writer. My first novel, Stray, is based on experiences working in a treatment center with an animal shelter right next door within barking distance. My second novel, The Jade Rabbit, is the story of woman, adopted from China as an infant, who now manages a runaway shelter in Detroit. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan, an avid hockey fan, and live near Detroit with my wife and two daughters. I blog about the running and writing life, with mass media reviews sprinkled in from time to time. You find find that blog here.

Details of the giveaway:
The author will be gifting 3 copies of this ebook from Amazon's Kindle book store to the winners of this giveaway. You must provide your e-dress so he is able to send you the ebook! If you don't have a Kindle, this is not a problem, because you can download a free app from Amazon to read Kindle-format books right on your PC, and it works just fabulously, as I have used it myself. Sign up for the giveaway by leaving a comment with your e-dress and I'll pick the three winners next Monday!

34 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic book. I won't be entering the giveaway as I already have it. But I envy you people who will be reading it for the first time :)

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    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by and giving your thumb's up!

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  2. Sounds like a good one. Thank you!

    pragyasharma_100@yahoo.co.in

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  3. This sounds interesting. mthayer85@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, and good luck!

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  4. Sounds good to me as well, looking forward to this read.

    thekidstrumpet@yahoo.com

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  5. Hope I am chosen, I really want to read this book!

    m.betsy.hall@gmail.com

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  6. Thanks for the invite!

    shanniewalks@yahoo.com

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    1. You're welcome - thanks for dropping by and good luck!

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  7. Hope I am not too late!! Here is my address: andrea_h_v@yahoo.com

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    1. Not at all; I leave my giveaways open for a week to allow for everyone's busy schedule! Good luck!

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  8. Thanks for the opportunity!!

    Beverly Ray
    zippymom@dragonyen.com

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    1. Hey, thanks for entering; good luck and keep in touch!

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  9. Good point Katy, I would like to have the proper edition edited by you - t.ormiston.smith@gmail.com - and when may we hope to see a new work by Mr Matthews?

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    1. Do you have "Jade Rabbit"? I'm not sure what else he may be working on - I think he's been focusing on his running lately, but you can always check his website to find out more about what he's up to!

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  10. This book looks great for me both as a professional counselor and a dog lover.
    marquart.tirsha@Yahoo.com

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  11. Sounds great! :) noraweston.nw@gmail.com

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    1. Hey, Nora - nice to see you! Good luck!

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  12. I am an avid animal lover. Always have been. I grew up on a dairy farm. Then, I lived away from nature for many years. I got married and once again live on a dairy farm. I lost my chocolate labrador retriever, Cocoa, last November 4th. She was the very best friend I ever had. She was almost 12 years old when she passed. I had owned her mother, so I owned Cocoa from birth. She spent her entire life watching over me. I do have 2 of her daughters from her second, and last litter. They are very special, but no-one will ever be able to replace cocoa in my heart. A few years ago I read a book by Montel Williams titled "Any Given Sunday". One of the short stories in that book was about an animal shelter that employed recovering alcoholics and addicts. It was a winning combination that was uplifting to read about. The memory of that story is why this book is so appealing to me and why I would love to win a copy.
    My e-dress is : hitchcockbe44@yahoo.com
    Thanks! I hope I win!

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    1. Always nice to find another animal lover - I grew up on a cattle ranch in eastern Montana; my dad grew up on a dairy farm in Missouri. We always had a bunch of cats and a few dogs along with the horses, cattle and chickens that are required for a decent ranch :-) I've had all sorts of critters as companions during my life; I think the most special was a rat named Eleanore who would fuss in her cage until I brought her out to spend time with her. I really missed her when she passed - in my arms, while I was holding her. It was a hard day :-( She was about 2 1/2. The last special dog I had was a cocker spaniel/blue heeler named Sadie - my dad got her for me when she was a pup and she lived for about 14 years. At the time I was living away from home - married to my 2nd husband - but we were home that weekend, so I got to be with her before she finally passed. I haven't been able to bond with another dog since. I currently have 3 tomcats and a dog that is a crazy mixture of various terrier types.

      Good luck, I think you'd love this book!

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  13. Hi folks. Mark, the author of Stray here.

    First of all, Thanks so much to Katy for offering this giveaway and for being so great to work with. Some tidbits on Stray: it is based on a true setting where I worked as a substance abuse counselor at a treatment center that shared a parking lot with an Animal Shelter, and I couldn't stop thinking of the analogy between the lost, stray souls in the substance abuse clinic and the lost, stray pets at the shelter. As for the plot? Well, it's also all true, even if it didn't happen.

    Also, I recently have invited others to have their dog featured on the paperback version of Stray, and the current paperback version (not the picture you see above, which is the kindle version) is one such rescue dog emailed to me.

    Yes, the novel features the reality of many animal shelters, but ultimately is about the power of redemption and salvation for all of us strays everywhere. Me included.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Folks, if you're interested in getting your own dog on the cover of Stray, there is a note up there, just above "About the Author", that includes a link to his blog post with information about the offer!

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  14. Thanks so much for the heads-up on this opportunity, Katy! I'd love to read this book--it sounds wonderful! I'm a lifelong animal-lover too, and the proud current fur-parent of two terrific dogs. I saw in one of your responses that you're from eastern Montana--very cool! I'm a Montana girl myself. I grew up in western MT--Missoula & Hamilton, and I now live in Helena. My husband is also a native. Although he also grew up on a small ranch in western MT, his dad's roots are in eastern MT--Jordan to be specific. Nice to encounter another Montana native as well as an animal-lover! Thanks for the giveaway! My e-dress is kristymcrae@mt.net

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    1. Oh, very cool! I lived in Helena for a few months in 1993; loved the town! I lived in Bozemen for about 1 1/2 years, from fall of 1988 until February of 1990. My parents lived in Jordan for awhile, and in that general area, as well as around Broadus - my dad used to work for Binions back in the 1940s-50s. Good luck!

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  15. wow thanks for the heads up on winning this...would LOVE to win it. It sounds like a really amazing book.

    aylafreedom@hotmail.com

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  16. The book sounds great. As an animal lover myself (most of them strays or rescues) I am looking forward to reading the antics and stories of the animals and people. My daughter works in a shelter and has had very interesting stories of her own to tell...

    rayptc@gmail.com

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    1. All of my current critters were strays - the dog and the eldest cat came to the door, literally, and the two little ones were from a feral litter that I raised by hand from the time they were about 2 1/2 weeks old :-) There's a big, flashing "SUCKER" sign over my door, I think. :-)

      Good luck!

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  17. I am a huge animal lover. Dogs are my favorite but I love them all. I would love to read this book.

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    1. Definitely pick up a copy, then - if you love animals, you should love this book.

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