Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Eighth Wonder Tour by Kimberly Young: My 5 Star Review

Title: The Eight Wonder
Author: Kimberley S. Young 
Publisher: Author House, January 31, 2012
Category: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Romance Tour Dates: February, 2013 Available in:
Print, Kindle,  & Nook,
208 pages

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.
Praise for The Eight Wonder:
“Kimberly Young has constructed an amazing first novel about unexpected love and the strange chemistry of May-November romances. This is no bodice-ripper or sappy saga of moonstruck entrancement.  Her characters are deep, and the reader roots for them.” - John M. Hanchette, Pulitzer Prize-winner and St. Bonaventure University journalism professor.
“ I was sucked right into the story that unfolded in the Eighth Wonder.  After a few paragraphs, I was hooked. It all became “real” just like the love that never died between two special people – a great reminder that the complexities of life only become complex because we make them so. And that each and every day there is an opportunity to love and be loved in a secret place called the heart.”- Jacqueline Dunkle, Reviewer
“This is a must read story. I just finished reading it and could not put it down. This is one story you won’t soon forget.”- Bob C., Reviewer
“For those of us who live in northern Pennsylvania, The Eighth Wonder evokes a sense of place and home. Nicole Benson and Tom Ryan are finely drawn characters who seem real, like people we know or would like to know. The story is both realistic and sweet. I was drawn into the story from the very first page. For readers who do not live in northern PA, close to the Kinzua bridge, it is just a great romantic novel. Perhaps it will make you want to come and visit our beautiful area.”- Teacherlady42, Reviewer
“The author has woven a wonderful human story set in my part of western Pennsylvania near the Kinzua Bridge. She touches all the human emotions and draws the reader in.  The Eighth Wonder is a can’t put it down love story.”- John, Reviewer
“I am not one to read love stories.  This is not the love story I am familiar with. The characters were easy to relate to. I saw some of myself in Nicole – professional woman in a small town knowing she is capable of more but committed to family and content with her choices. When I found myself shouting at my e-reader about the decisions being made by the characters and when I started to cry toward the end, I knew the author had me. The raw emotion she was able to elicit with such incredible characters shocked me. I didn’t realize I was as committed to the characters and the story as I was. That is a testament to very good writing and plot development.”- Pwhoffmann, Reviewer
“Ms. Young did a great job with this book, developing the character’s so thoroughly that I felt like I personally knew them. The descriptiveness of the scenes at the cabin made me feel like I was right there.  I definitely found this an enjoyable read and hope that Ms. Young keeps writing novels!”- Colleen, Reviewer
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.
Buy The Eight Wonder at: Hardcover, Paperback, or  Kindle
Barnes & Noble: Hardcover or Nook
Book Depository: Hardcover and Paperback
Book trailer 

Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books  Feb 2 Review 
So Many Precious Books  Feb 2 Spotlight &; Giveaway 
Tina’s Book Review Feb 4 Review 
Tina’s Book Review Feb 5 Guest Post  &; Giveaway 
Ann’s Reading Corner Feb 5 Review 
JoyStory Feb 6  Review 
Romance Bookie  Feb 7 Guest Post 
Kerrific Online Feb 8 Review &; Giveaway 
I Know That Book  Feb 9 Guest Post 
My Life In Stories Feb 11 Review 
My Life In Stories Feb 12 Guest Post, Excerpt, &; Giveaway 
From L.A. to LA Feb 13 Review 
Teena in Toronto  Feb 14 Review 
Demon Lover & Got Fiction Feb 15 Review 
Books a l mode Feb 15  Excerpt &; Giveaway 
A Book Lover’s Lib. Feb 18 Review 
A Book Lover’s Lib. Feb 19 Interview 
Sweeps 4 Bloggers Feb 20 Review &; Giveaway 
Peaceful Wishing Feb 21 Review 
Sylvia’s Literary Blog Feb 21 Spotlight 
wall-to-wall books  Feb 22 Review &; Giveaway 
Romance & Inspiration Feb 24 Review 
Romance & Inspiration Feb 25 Interview 
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Feb 25 Review 
Reader Girls Feb 26 Review 
Reader Girls  Feb 27 GuestPost 
Minding Spot Feb 27 Review & Giveaway 
Rainy Days & Mondays Feb 28 Review 
Rainy Days & Mondays Feb 28 Interview 
Lily Pond Reads March 1 Review 
Walk on Words March 4 Review 
Walk on Words March 5 Interview &; Giveaway
Giveaway information:
The giveaway is for one copy of the book on PDF. So, it is international. Visit the blog sites to enter.
My 5 Star Review

A Forbidden love story written with compassion and sincerity. Becoming one with the characters Tom and Nicole in their struggle to be together even if they knew it was risky and wrong. Odds stacked against them but as Mildred pointed out in the book Love is not always fair regarding the things we know is important or make sense.
Nicole, an independent, intelligent strong woman was used living life as she sees fit. Loving the lifestyle that her independence afforded her. Not willing to be committed to one man. Leaving a trail of failing relationships behind her. But at the age of thirty five when confronted with mortality through her father's sickbed she realized that she too needed stability, love and security.
Meeting Tom Ryan he was all that and more. He was the first man she really cared for and loved. Willing to put every thing aside to be with him.
But Tom Ryan was a married man, struggling with the death of his thirteen year old daughter. His cold marriage and a distant son. And at forty four he was going through life, doing what was expected. Being part of the community dedicated his life to the every day activities of the older people.
He still loved his wife but they had no communication after the death of their daughter, each living separately from the other in their own world.
When he met Nicole she was a breath of fresh air. Loving him even if he was pudgy, grey with no future to promise her.
In between you learn more about them as the other characters featured in the story. Allison, Jennifer, Mildred and Carol that contribute to the questions they faced everyday. Each in their own way help them making life-altering decisions. 
Nicole's search for another position at the University of Colombia while her one year contract is coming to a close in Bradford. Tom's willingness to help and listen knowing that her leaving means he will stay behind and the end of their affair.
As reader you get involved with their thoughts, the questions they faced. Knowing their decision would cause a ripple effect in other's lives. 
Tom struggling with his feelings for his wife, trying to connect with her and we see that at the end cleaning the room of Lisa it had a huge impact in there married life and the turning point in the choices to be made.
He could never leave her, never loose the respect of his son, never betray them for his own happiness and at the end we see how these two people come to the same conclusion. To separate and never return to that place of happiness and love even if their hearts were aching for each other.
The story of the Kinzua bridge neatly woven into the plot to make the story believable and real. The connecting point in their relationship and the one place they could be their self. Having their own rituals as a couple, growing as people and just be. 
The camp site that was left for her in his will and after eleven years of separation he still had her on his mind giving her the biggest of all. His photo still on her desk telling him how she loved him.
Heart warming to the end as she take up the pen to write her story.

"In the depth of winter, there lay an invincible summer within me"
Albert Camus

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you loved it as much as I did! It seemed to me that the bridge was a character in the book as well. It was woven in so well.