28 October 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard

The Fragile World
by Paula Treick DeBoard.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Fiction.
Publication: October 28th 2014 by Mira.
From the author of publishing sensation The Mourning Hours comes a powerful new novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare.

The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.

And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.

An emotionally charged novel, The Fragile World is a journey through America's heartland and a family's brightest and darkest moments, exploring the devastating pain of losing a child and the beauty of finding healing in unexpected ways.

"A heart-stopping series of events drives The Fragile World…. The result is a gripping read, but one that delivers, by the book's end, a beautiful reminder of the resilience of love." —Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls

Guest Post....

I was wondering what inspired you to write this book? I have lost a brother at 19 years old and a nephew at 14. You expect to lose your parents but not your child. Your family is the only strength you have to hold you up!...

Odds & Ends:

My second novel The Fragile World begins with every parent’s worst nightmare—the phone call in the middle of the night and horrible news on the other end. It’s a book about losing a child/sibling, yes—but it’s also, I hope, a book about healing and the various ways people move on after a tragedy.

Most of my writing falls in the category of “could-be-true”—in other words, things that might happen to regular people like you and me. These are stories that might be a brief flash on the evening news, or an inch or two in the local newspaper. Most of the time, after the initial report of a crime or a disaster, there’s never a follow-up. So I have to wonder… what happened to those people afterwards?

I do watch—with an obsession that some (cough, my husband) might call a mania—quite a few television crime dramas, too. But those stories end pretty abruptly. The crime is solved or the bad guy is caught or there’s a moment or two of uplifting music that’s meant to show that the survivors are moving on with their lives. And then… that’s it.

With The Fragile World, I wanted to show what happens after that terrible moment. How do people pick up the pieces of their lives? How do they find a new normal? What becomes their next chapter? And I want to portray it in a “could be real” way, because real life is rarely wrapped up as neatly as we would like.

I guess I should also say that I don’t trust happy endings—not because I don’t believe in happiness, but because that’s not really an ending. The curtain falls on the lovers’ moment of passion, but in the morning there are very real things to contend with, like bad breath and a dog that needs to be let out, and a tragic shortage of orange juice—not to mention emails to answer and bills to be paid. Hopefully there’s more happiness to be found in those moments, but real life has a way of being wonderfully complicated. Without any spoilers about the ending of The Fragile World, I’ll just say that I want to bring characters to a place where I can leave them and know they’ll be able to keep going on. My favorite books do that, and I love feeling that those characters are stronger, more resilient, and able to find a sort of peace with what’s happened and what’s coming next.

But then, perversely, there are those times I just want to be blown away or feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Isn’t that the fun of escaping into a fictional world?

Now for the fun stuff:

Chocolate or vanilla?- I have a deep love of vanilla.

Plain or peanut M&Ms?- I support all M&Ms equally.

Salty or sweet?- Both—together. I love to bake, and that’s one of my cardinal rules: Everything sweet has to be tempered with a dash of salt.

Mountain or beach?- I love the mountains, but sadly, I can’t get there without some serious doses of Dramamine. (There are a few “I feel like I’m going to be sick” moments on the road trip in The Fragile World—and those were written from unfortunate personal experiences.) So by default, it’s the beach.

Driving or horseback riding?- I’m not the most reliable driver, and I like to look at horses from a distance. So—neither. But I do love to walk my dogs (a beagle and a rat terrier) every morning.

Winter or summer?- Winter—no question.We have an almost year-round summer where I live, and it tends to get a bit old, like when it’s 90 degrees in October. I look forward to the small doses of winter we get in central California and have a closet full of useless winter coats to prove it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll check out The Fragile World!

Paula Treick DeBoard

Praise for "the fragile world"...

DeBoard deftly navigates a complicated father-daughter relationship through alternating first-person narratives. Tension builds as Curtis inches ever closer to his perceived destiny; readers will be guessing until the last page.”
--Publishers Weekly

“A heart-stopping series of events drives The Fragile World, as Paula Treick DeBoard skillfully alternates between a father and daughter dealing with tragic loss. A gripping read, but one that delivers, by the book’s end, a beautiful reminder of the resilience of love.”
--Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls

“There are plenty of tender father-daughter moments along the way, which serve as an interesting contrast to Curtis' inner turmoil as he struggles with his sense of duty to Daniel. A thoughtful and often surprising examination of family life after a tragedy.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“A coming-of-age tale about a family in crisis expertly told by Ms. DeBoard. The Fragile World examines how profound loss changes all who are forced to come to terms with it. Touching and compelling, it will move you.”
--Lesley Kagen, bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark

Paula Treick DeBoard’s sophomore effort is every bit as moving as her debut. The grief here is palpable...[The Fragile World] is a skillful depiction of how families deal with loss—and how it can tear them apart before allowing them to move forward.”
--RT Book Reviews

“Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, Paula Treick DeBoard’s novel The Fragile World chronicles the heartbreaking dissolution of a family after tragic loss. Exquisitely told, this bold and moving story is a study in grief and the transforming power of love. Absolutely unforgettable.”
--Heather Gudenkauf, bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

One copy of the fragile world by Paula Treick DeBoard
Void where prohibited. Good only in USA and Canada
Giveaway from Harlequin/MIRA

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Paula Treick DeBoard lives with her husband, Will, and their brood of four-legged creatures in Modesto, California. She receiveda B.A. in English from Dordt College, an M.F.A.a in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine and a practical education from countless students in her English classes over the years. She is a reader, writer, and educator.

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  1. Yes, my father and my brother both passed away. One after a long illness and the other suddenly. Time has made it less painful but I don't think you ever get over it.

    1. I totally agree! I still get teary eyed thinking about it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, grandparents. Time was really the only thing that helped.

  3. When I lost my two uncles and cousin, it was music that helped me heal. When I lost my Dad, my cats helped me healed.

  4. I lost my mom and dad, 12 days apart. Writing, both poetry and journalling helped.