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Book Tour: The Samaritan, by Fred Venturini : Guest Post + Giveaway

Mar 23, 2011

I have eleven scars from eleven separate incidents, collected as a result of bad luck and bad decisions. All of them are evidence of healing, and healing, to me, is a curious phenomenon and something that I wanted to explore a little bit in my novel, The Samaritan.

Think of healing. What comes to mind? Bright thoughts of light and religion, of closed wounds and miracles? Probably. But healing, the process, the body going through the repair of a devastated area, well, that is agonizing and takes a lot of time. Depending on the devastation, of course.

When I think of healing, I think of my burns—burns sustained when the neighborhood bully lit me on fire. I remember a day in the hospital, a few days after skin was grafted from my thigh onto the burned parts of my body—my upper arm, elbow area, chest, and my jawline. My shorn thigh kept seeping through the gauze, and the nurses kept wrapping it, day after day, until I had a good several inches of gauze binding my right leg. So I was messed up all over, and the itch was unimaginable, so deep and debilitating I wanted to bore through the gauze until I struck bone. No amount of rubbing and jostling would satisfy that itch. One day a nurse came in with bandage scissors. It was time to remove the gauze on my thigh. She handed me the scissors and told me I had a few hours to take it off myself, at my own pace, but the rest would come off later in the day whether I liked it or not.

That was a pretty long day, and days like that float through my head when I think of healing.

In the movies, Wolverine heals instantly. He’s missing out on all the little flavors of the healing process, the part that makes a memory, the part that leaves a scar. That’s not healing—that’s CGI. What if Wolverine healed like us . . . a realistic, human pace . . . complete with the pain, the itch, the waiting for days on end, the subtle growth and change of color in the flesh at the glacial speed of changing seasons? Would he still be a superhero?

The process of healing is what really intrigued me about the premise of The Samaritan. The fact that Dale Sampson can slowly and painfully regrow things that humans cannot regrow was interesting to me, but not nearly as delicious as the thought of him repeating the process over and over again. Voluntarily. With the stakes being the lives of others and his love for a girl.

There is a space between hurt and healed, one filled with waiting and hoping, fighting pain, wishing the precious minutes away so that time may do its work more quickly. It is this space in which Dale Sampson spends much of his time; it’s this space he has to escape so that the process can complete itself.

But he can regenerate; he’s a fictional character. Sometimes the fight is lost. Sometimes the body can’t complete the repairs. For me, the fight lasted six years and it was worth every single second of effort and pain because the alternative was giving up or not giving a full recovery your best shot.

But I’m not special. Everyone has a scar. Everyone has a story. Share yours in the comments below.
Fred Venturini received a B.S. in English from MacMurray College in 2002, and an MFA from Lindenwood University in 2009. He has 19 short stories published or due to be published.

From tightly woven horror and unmitigated creepiness, to evocative literary fiction, with a few auto restorer hints thrown in for good measure, Fred’s gift for pacing and clarity-and for getting under your skin-is powerful.

Check out more from Fred:

Check out my Review of The Samaritan

by Fred Venturini

To age is to embrace a slow hurt inside and out, to collect scars like rings on a tree, dark and weathered and sometimes only visible if someone cuts deep enough. Scars keep the past just close enough to touch, but healing is forgetting. Healing invites another cut. Healing is the tide that smoothes away our line in the sand. For life to begin, the damage must be permanent.

- Dale Sampson, The Samaritan

Dale Sampson is a nobody. A small town geek who lives in the shadow of his best friend, the high school baseball star, it takes him years to even gather the courage to actually talk to a girl. It doesn’t go well. Then, just when he thinks there’s a glimmer of hope for his love life, he loses everything.

When Dale runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, he finds his calling–he will become a samaritan. Determined to rescue her from a violent marriage, and redeem himself in the process, he decides to use the only “weapon” he has–besides a toaster. His weapon, the inexplicable ability to regenerate injured body parts, leads him to fame and fortune as the star of a blockbuster TV reality show where he learns that being The Samaritan is a heartbreaking affair. Especially when the one person you want to save doesn’t want saving.

The Samaritan is a brutally funny look at the dark side of human nature. It lays bare the raw emotions and disappointments of small town life and best friends, of school bullies and first loves, of ruthless profiteers and self-aggrandizing promoters—and of having everything you know about human worth and frailty questioned under the harsh klieg

Check out the rest of Fred's tour stops

Fred just might pop in and out today to say hi!

AND is giving away

~1 Copy of The Samaritan

*~* Paperback to US/Canada only, or a .pdf copy to anywhere! *~*


- Must answer the following:
          ~Everyone has a scar. Everyone has a story. Share yours in the comments below.

- Must leave a valid e-mail to contact the winner (please do not add your complete e-mail. we do not want it picked up by spammers. for Exp: leave DOT instead of . or AT instead of @ )

**Giveaway ends Fri night ( 4-1 ) at Midnight, winners will be chosen and named here in this comments section

11 Hottie Follwers Thoughts:

debbie March 23, 2011 at 8:00 AM  

I have a few scars. Scars on my knees from crawling around on the floor playing, and cutting my knees. I burnt my hand very badly on grease trying to make myself something to eat when I was very young, because my parents were always gone. My worst scars are on the inside, so no one sees them.
I would love to read the book.

Victoria March 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM  

Sorry, but I also hold many scars within that I never intend to share with anyone. Physically I have scars all over the place from breast cancer surgery/two c-sections/nail through the chin/and knees that should be on a guy ;).
This books sounds very interesting and worth exploring.


Anonymous,  March 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM  

Just like everyone else I have my scars, inside and out, but nothing I consider serious. I am making a new one, but that one may disappear just for another one to take it's place.

I guess when it comes to scars, inside and out, I think of a man I met when I was young. He was accidentally set on fire behind my grandmother's house, when my mother was a young girl.

He had to suffer through the healing process and back then, the late 30's, they didn't have medical means that they do now.

After he healed and was able to resume his young life, he then had to suffer through the rejection's of all his peers, that followed him into adulthood.

Then he became ill when he was in his early 30's and he was sure that he was on his last days. A home health care worker was hired to stay with him until the end.

I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting this woman. She had been hired to stay with the gentleman that was going to die in a few weeks and instead wound up marrying him several months later. This wonderful woman was able to look beyond his physical scars to the man he was beneath. He had deep scars there too, but with her love and devotion he was able to come to terms with his inward conflicts.

They are both gone now, but their memory and love and devotion to each other will stay with me forever.

When I see my scars, I think what piddly little things they are. Just to have someone (and I do) who can see past the picture to the story inside, is a wonderful thing. Even if the story isn't perfect.

I have feeling that there are several people out there who know what I am talking about.

Your book sounds very good. If I don't win...It will be added to my TBB and TBR lists.

Good luck everyone and an early "Congrats" to the one who wins.


BLHmistress March 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM  

I have several scars physical due to the connective tissue disorder I have too many to list anyway.

Emotionally those are more difficult to talk about mainly due to my separation and divorce.


Qandthebooks March 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

I have a scar from a burn mark on my shoulder..It was my own stupid fault, I got too close to a mini heater..yeah.


Fred Venturini March 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM  

Moving comments, and interesting stories. With my burns, at the age of 10, I was always afraid that I would be alone because they were so visible. I came to find that over the years, they became invisible to those who knew and loved me, and thankfully, everything turned out OK.

Scars are a personal thing, for sure. No one is ever comfortable asking about them. I try to be aware of this, and explain to new friends what happened so they don't have to wait until they're comfortable to finally ask.

The inner ones, the ones you can't see, well, sometimes they are indeed the worst. Thanks everyone, insightful and interesting comments so far.

Unknown March 24, 2011 at 5:31 PM  

As a child I was TERRIFIED of dogs and I was out at my grandparents farm when the dogs came running at me I ran into the house and snagged my foot on the screen door. It was a huge cut that required stiches. I have the scare almost 20 years later.

And am now a dog lover.

Unknown March 24, 2011 at 5:32 PM  

Oh sorry, e-mail addy.

nfmgirl March 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM  

I have a few scars. One of them is a large circular-shaped one on my thigh that was a third degree burn from a light bulb when I was a kid. I also have one on the inside of my calf from the muffler on a motorcycle (which I've found is a common scar among young girls!)

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Chrisbails April 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM  

i have a scar from my c-section for my daughter and son. it is a pretty big scar. i had 17 staples in my stomach. talk about painful. i also have a scar on my forehead. i was in a car accident in november 2008 with my daughter and i hit the wheel before the airbag deployed. that was also very painful.

thanks for the giveaway.

please choose me.

Chrisbails April 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM  

forgot to add my email

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