GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour: Into the Wilderness by David Ebenbach with a guest post from the author

Into the Wilderness
written by David Ebenbach          
published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by JKS Communications. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I found this book to be thought-provoking, emotional, and kind of sad. It was a quick read and I am glad I read this collection of short stories. 

Each short story in Into the Wilderness was about parenthood – whether the situation was about a new parent, a separated parent, or a hopeful parent. Each story seemed to focus on a hardship or a downside to each parent’s situation. These are not your happy, everything-about-being-a-parent-is-great stories. This made it a bit difficult for me to relate to any of the parents in the stories. Now, I’m not saying that my experience with parenthood is the best all the time either. It’s just that I didn’t relate to these particular stories. For example, the “main character” through four of the stories, Judith, could not come up with a name for her child…even a few weeks after her child was born. That I could not understand. 

I was happy with the ending. I was worried about this particular parent throughout the stories. The message in the book is clear…not everything about being a parent or hoping to be a parent is perfect…but in my mind, the good moments always outweigh the bad.

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It was a quick read comprised of thoughtful short stories.

Will I read it again: I will not read this book again.

About the book – from the publisher: 
“For the very real people in David Ebenbach’s vivid and emotional stories,” says author Jesse Lee Kercheval, “becoming a parent — as Judith, the single mother in four of the stories, says — is going ‘into the wilderness’.” The collection Into the Wilderness explores the theme of parenthood from many angles: an eager-to-connect divorced father takes his kids to a Jewish-themed baseball game; a lesbian couple tries to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life; one young couple debates the idea of parenthood while another struggles with infertility; a reserved father uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son. But the backbone of the collection is Judith, who we follow through her challenging first weeks of motherhood, culminating in an intense and redemptive baby-naming ceremony. Says author Joan Leegant, “Ebenbach takes us deep into the heart of the messy confusion and terror and unfathomable love that make up that shaky state we call parenthood. These stories are fearless, honest and true.”

Every Free Chance Book Reviews would like to welcome David Ebenbach, author of Into the Wilderness, to the blog today!! He has written the following guest post for all of you.

Finding Time

 by David Ebenbach

I love the theme of this blog; I am definitely one of those people who doesn’t have a lot of spare time. During the daytime, I’ve got my full-time job teaching, a job that I love but that spills easily beyond normal working hours; during mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends I’m an active parent; and then there’s that unfortunate recurring need to sleep that seems to take up a lot of each night. And yet, like the host of this blog, I love books, and I’m determined to make them a major part of my life — reading books and also writing them. Given that you can’t actually make time — you only get twenty-four hours each day, no matter what you do — my life is all about findingtime.

The good news is that there is time to be found. For example, my life involves a lot of walking, especially to and from work, so I read while I walk. It takes practice, and alertness; I live in a city and there are cars flying through every intersection. And there are downsides: with my eyes down on the pages, I’m missing all the other things in the world that I would be noticing if I put my book away. Still — it does get those books read. Another sneaky thing I do is sometimes assign my classes books that I really want to read, as long as they’re relevant to the course; that way I really have to read it or I won’t have anything to talk about when I get to class. I also carry a little notepad with me wherever I go, so that I can jot lines down whenever a free minute shows up unexpectedly. Those opportunities do present themselves, and I want to be ready. I think we actually lose a lot of time in tiny bursts; a few minutes here or there, spent bored or checking Facebook or something. A friend of mine once called that “stupid time” — stupid because it seems like there isn’t enough of it to get anything done — but I’ve found that you can get stuff done when you grab every little chance you can get. If you get in the habit of that, you’ll find that your mind stays on-topic in between opportunities, keeps you ready for the next one. More importantly, I do lean on my partner a lot; I’ll admit that there’s some tag-team parenting in our house on the weekends. There are also the summers, of course. And then the last resort: waking up extra early. I do that when the rest of the time just isn’t adding up. Through all this, I get it done.

So, it’s true that you can’t make time, but I do think it’s often there to be found. What are your strategies? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

About the author: David Ebenbach was born and raised in the great city of
Philadelphia, home of America’s first library, first art museum, first public school, and first zoo, along with his very first stories and poems – though those early efforts went on to become (deservedly) less famous than, for example, the zoo.

Since then David has lived in Ohio, Wisconsin, Philadelphia again, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Ohio again, picking up some education (formal and otherwise) and more than a few stories along the way. He has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

In addition to his short-story collection Into the Wilderness (October 2012, Washington Writers’ Publishing House), David is the author of another book of short stories entitled Between Camelots (October 2005, University of Pittsburgh Press), and a non-fiction guide to creativity called The Artist’s Torah (forthcoming, Cascade Books). His poetry has appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Subtropics, and the Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other places.

He has been awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center; and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.

David currently teaches at Georgetown University and very happily lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and son, both of whom are a marvel and an inspiration.

Find Mr. Ebenbach here: webFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Mr. Ebenbach and JKS Communications are giving away a paperback copy of Into the Wilderness! (Open US only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!


  1. Looks like a good book to read. Thanks for giveaway/contest.

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