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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Roam: We're Giving Away One Copy Of This Amazing Novel!

Yes, we think, Roam, the debut novel by Alan Lazar, is amazing and destined to become a classic alongside Black Beauty and Call of the Wild. For those of you who haven't heard of Roam, a book that chronicles the sometimes harrowing adventures of an intrepid mixed breed dog named Nelson, you're in for a real treat. And we have even more treats for you: excerpts from a conversation we were privileged to have with the author, and a giveaway of one copy of Roam-see how to enter our giveaway at the bottom of this post.

   But first, a bit about Alan Lazar and what we think makes this novel so compelling and unusual. Lazar, a native of South Africa, is an award-winning composer of scores for over 30 films and television shows (his multi-platinum selling band, Mango Groove, for which Lazar was keyboard player and producer, performed at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela). Not unexpectedly then, Roam boasts a seven-part piano soundtrack, composed and performed by Lazar, that gracefully accompanies Nelson's adventures as he criss-crosses the country, lost, but ever-searching for his first owner, the "Great Love" of his life. You can access this music directly on your e-reader, scan the code as you're reading the hard copy, watch it on you-tube (address also provided), or simply visit the music section of Lazar's website. It enriches the reading experience, to say the least, to feel the emotions of this story using another one of our senses. And for us novices at appreciating "music without words", Lazar assures his readers and listeners that "There's no right way to respond to the music-however you respond to it, that's absolutely right."

Another interesting feature of this novel is that he story unfolds in the third person and from the dog's (the hero/protagonist) point of view. And since smell is a dog's strongest sense (and Neslon is equal parts Beagle and Poodle) his nose leads him and Roam's readers in search of adventure. As Nelson himself tells us, he "never doubted his nose." What we particularly loved about joining Nelson on his journeys is that he took us where his nose took him-and not just to literal places, but to emotions: he could smell fear, anger, frustration, and the joy or deep sadness of those humans he encountered. And this we believe. How many of you have been comforted by your dog, just when you needed to be?

We asked Lazar how he came to write a novel from a dog's perspective, and why a successful music composer would feel more satisfaction at finishing Roam that from his other creative works.
It turns out that like so many avid readers, Lazar was influenced by Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and got the idea five or six years ago to tell a story about "an adventure with a spiritual meaning." And Joseph Campbell's mythic fantasy stories also fascinated him: "Nelson in Roam goes on a hero's journey."

But Lazar also had some more practical influences: while work was being done on his home, his three dogs slipped through an open gate and one was missing for the good part of a day, the various newspaper articles about micro chipped dogs being reunited with their owners after many years, and perhaps most importantly, the recent loss of his dog-loving father, who left him a tapestry that he's since hung in his office-a small picture of a dog's face. Lazar says that "This book was for his Dad in many ways."

As to his deep creative satisfaction at finishing Roam, Lazar noted that "music expresses emotions in an abstract way, but telling the story of a whole life is very meaningful." And right from the start of the book, Nelson's life becomes meaningful to Roam's readers. There's a time in his journey when Nelson wants to give up on his relationships with humans-he's been hurt and abandoned too many times and for reasons he'll never understand. "But at the end of the day," says Lazar, "we have to keep trusting and believing in love, even when the world throws difficulties at us...our dogs remind us everyday that love is what it's all about."

We also asked Lazar what he'd like to tell our readers about the book, and he said that "the book really came from his heart," and that he hoped readers "enjoy the book and are touched by it, and love their dogs even more as a result." We say Roam hits a home run on all of Lazar's wishes.

Read more about Roam and Alan Lazar on his website and join in the conversation on his Facebook and Twitter pages. And...I'll be posting more excerpts from our conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the next week-so keep an eye out.

Now it's time to enter to win a copy of this fabulous novel-here's how:
As usual, we here at Bocci's Beefs make it easy to enter-we don't want you to spend all day filling out forms galore just to enter our giveaway. We do have a few simple requirements to enter, however, that should take you no more than two minutes. This giveaway will run from tonight, Sunday December 4th, through Tuesday evening December 13th at 7:00 pm EST, so you and all of your friends will have plenty of time to enter. The winner will be chosen by computerized random drawing and announced within 24 hours of the evening of December 13th. How's that?!

Here are the few simple requirements to enter: Just complete ALL of the sign-ups listed below and then leave ONE COMMENT per person.

1. Sign up for our new e-mail blasts and newsletters-see very top of left sidebar for form.

2. "Like" Bocci's Beefs Facebook Page-see top of right sidebar, directly under the "Search this blog" icon.

3."Follow" us on Twitter-see top of right sidebar directly under Facebook sign-up.

4. "Follow" Bocci's Beefs on both Google Friends Connect and Networked Blogs. See right sidebar, under the Twitter sign-up.

5. Comment on this post and indicate in your ONE comment that you'd like to enter this giveaway.

That's it! Good luck to all of you!


Bassetmomma said...

Sounds like a great book for which I'm sure you'll need to break out the kleenexes!

KB said...

Thanks for telling us about this book!!!!

jill watkins said...

This book sounds great- I would love to win it!

jill.watkins (at) gmail.com

Sunnymay said...

I love stories about animals and dogs with heart. Email subscriber.

Anonymous said...

This is the type of book my daughter enjoys to read,thanks for the chance to win.

Olivia Rubin said...

I like that the story will be from dog's point of view. Like another book I once read, "a dog's purpose", it made think that this is what mine must be thinking.

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