Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One Year Lived (Free eBook)

Today I'm featuring a new release from fellow author Adam Shepard.  A few years ago, for his first book, Scratch Beginnings, Adam was featured in the Christian Science MonitorThe Atlantic, on the Today ShowNPR20/20, and many others.

Adam's new book, One Year Lived, is coming out April 22nd. It's the narrative of his year-long trip around the globe.  He visited seventeen countries on four continents and lived some amazing adventures.

Instead of posting more about the book, I've included a particularly poignant excerpt below, which does a much better job showcasing One Year Lived than my rambling could.  The selected passage begins the personal story of just one of the many people Adam met on his journey:
At age twenty-five, Flora met a guy. They got serious; they got married; they brought a shy and beautiful daughter into the world. A few days after Flora turned twenty-eight, they started building a house together. When Flora discovered that her husband was bedding another woman nearby, she cast him out of her home and out of her life. Male fidelity is rare in the macho culture of Nicaragua, although it is even rarer for a woman to throw out her unfaithful partner. Men may be the chiefs in Nicaragua—running the house, bringing home the shekels, and coming and going as they please—but Flora would have rather fended for herself than endure a fractured relationship. 
So at twenty-eight, a year younger than I was when I started my one-year whirl around the world, Flora set out to finish constructing her house on her own. Financially broke yet determined, she collected boards and nails one by one and went to work. I've seen a picture. Flora was a striking woman then, with a contagious, warm disposition. I imagine the sun on her shoulders as she perches atop a ladder, hammer in her gentle hand, pounding nails with precision. 
Then a board fell. It struck her from behind and broke her back. There were no hospitals nearby, and they couldn't do anything for her at the local clinic in Waspán. Traveling by bus to a hospital twenty hours away was expensive yet ultimately manageable, but in her poor condition, she wasn't yet up to the task. As I mentioned before, potholes, broad and deep, riddle the dirt highways of Nicaragua. So her brother, a good man, she told me, carried her three excruciating blocks to his house, and put her to bed until she recovered enough to endure the grueling trip to the hospital. 
Her back never healed, though, and Flora Herrera has lain in that bed for sixteen years. Sixteen years. Sixteen years on that same thin, foam pad in that one-room shack. Her old and ragged driver’s license dates her at forty-four years old, and she looks eighty-four. Her eyes are enlarged and protruding from their sockets. Her jawline is bony; her shoulders come to a point; wiry arms hang limp at her sides. She is disappearing, a skeleton wrapped in skin. When I tell you that I've seen a ghost, her name is Flora Herrera. She eats a spoonful of rice on rare occasions, but she’s committed herself by and large to a liquid diet because she’s ashamed of the messy bedpan that her daughter would have to clean up. She owns no books, no TV, no radio. Can’t afford them. That dream house of hers, that dream of the twenty-eight-year-old Flora, is a dream long extinguished; her days drag by in a wooden hut, fourteen-by-sixteen feet, with four posters on the wall.
To read an overview of One Year Lived, click here to go to Adam's web page.  If you'd like a free pdf of One Year Lived, please share this post on Twitter / Facebook / G+, etc., and contact me (my Gmail address is listed in the top right column of this blog) with a link to your share and I'll forward you the e-book.

Discover the rest of Adam's story--and Flora's.


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