Surviving the Second Tier by author M.K Lever is a sci-fi novel that is different from anything else out there. It is a combination of dystopian sci-fi, college drama, and an underdog sports story. The setting is nebulous. We know the novel is set in the future, but Lever leaves it up to the reader to decide how distant. Technology has advanced but is not far-fetched. We know that there are drones, automated exercise equipment, and self-driving cars. The setting is what I would call grounded dystopian. There has been yet another economic crash, and once again, it is the younger generation who are paying the price.
This captivating novel takes a close look at the world of college sport but through the lens of a dystopian future. In this world, college sports as we know it has been replaced with the AFA (American Fighting Association). Male and female athletes now fight in an MMA-style fighting league where only the toughest and best-funded succeed. Like most extraordinary sports stories, we follow Sis Jones, a second-tier fighter who is undefeated and coming towards the end of her college career. Sis might be successful in the ring, but it isn’t doing her much good. As a poorly-paid second-tier fighter, the fighting takes its toll on her health and grades. We follow Sis and her teammates as they are pushed and manipulated further and further by their greedy coach and college higher-ups. In the end, enough is enough, and the athletes rebel and take on the corruption directly.
Surviving the second tier feels almost like a more grounded Hunger Games. The setting may not be quite as dramatic and the stakes not quite as high, but Sis is still fighting for survival in many ways. Most of us have never had to fight to the death, but struggling to make ends meet will be painfully familiar to most of us.
Lever is a former college athlete herself, and this shows. She has extensive knowledge of the subject and has gone to great pains to highlight the abuse and corruption that goes widely unreported in college sports today. As well as shining a light on the discrepancies between first-tier and second-tier college teams. For every first-tier college athlete that goes on to great success, many are left behind.
Surviving the Second tier is a gripping dystopian novel with a great underdog story full of easy to root for heroes with an important message. This unconventional combination of genres will give readers a unique look into college sports and much to think about.
Pages: 429 | ASIN : B09MDR6FYH
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Hiding in Plain Sight shares your storied like with readers and shows them the obstacles you overcame and the lessons learned along the way. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
Throughout my life, I have followed individuals that have followed their own paths, whether it is in sports, business, or unusual endeavors that most would say impossible or people were just lucky. Along my route “less traveled” time and again people told me that I couldn’t do something whether that was in my weightlifting, martial arts world, or the close protection business. I guess I was inspired to prove to these people, these naysayers I could do anything I put my mind to. My underlying message is that nothing is impossible. The setup was the fact I live in a small town and that I have traveled to 45 countries from a business I created out of nothing but the will to succeed.
I appreciated how candid you are in the book. What was the hardest memory for you to share?
My parents, their decline, and the care they needed before their passing. My decision was to do everything in my power to make them comfortable.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Be patient with your dreams, find mentors to help you achieve various steps of your process.
Nothing is impossible. Be true to yourself. Develop your own can-do attitude.
Find resources that may re-frame your mind and get you out of a negative mindset.
Create depth in all that you are and present life with the best version of yourself
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?
The one thing I hope readers take away, I hope they are very inspired to create their own path and legacy.
Never give up
Posted in Interviews
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Shotokan Karate provides readers with clear guidance on how to achieve black belt. Why was this an important book for you to write?
As I am a Sensei or coach in Karate, my first lesson for the students or Karateka is to teach them about the glossary of Karate with photos, so that they all can learn what Sensei is going to ask them or to perform specific stances. In Karate, Karateka learns from the academy but chances are there that he or she can forget next time when Sensei asks for it. So, mostly I used to give them a small paper where I write about glossary or perform Kata in front of the students. I thought that the book would be an alternative for all the students, if they forget any glossary or Kata stances, the book will be an excellent source. That’s why I wrote this wondrous book.
What is the first lesson practitioners must learn on their path to black belt?
First lesson for the practitioners is that hard work is the only path through which they can earn their Black Belt. There is no other source to get Black Belt. Yes, they can take the benefit through this pictorial book where all the Kata stances are performed by me with High-Definition photographs along with Kata’s description, which is very important to understand.
What were some key ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
None of the authors or Karate Grandmasters, have written a book which is fully colored, Coffee-Table sized, and a pictorial book on Shotokan Karate. I have made this record and for this record, I have conferred with America Book of Records 2021, International Book of Records 2021, Asia Book of Records 2021, and India Book of Records 2021. Besides these three records, there were some other key ideas which were important to include like history of the evolution of Karate date-wise till the inclusion of Karate in Tokyo Olympics, Karate competition glossary, syllabus for all color belts, etc. I can say it’s a complete package for Karate enthusiasts.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I am sure readers will gain a lot of knowledge and can practice with the help of this book. This is a great book that Karate enthusiasts throughout the world will love to read. It has a lot of information about Karate that readers will take away from my book.
Posted in Interviews
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Honing a Champion is an inspirational biography about a young boy who sets out to achieve a dream and the journey is punctuated by many life lessons. We follow Haon and his aspirations to learn, Tang Soo Do, becoming a black belt along the way and learning so much more in the process.
Honing a Champion is a compelling autobiography that explores what it like to be so young and so driven. Rather than viewing Haon’s experience, this book allows us to sit next to Haon himself as he eagerly tells us every step of his awe-inspiring journey. While I appreciated the exceptional journey, towards a goal so few achieve so young, what I really enjoyed was the powerful life lessons Haon learned along the way. These lessons can inspire anyone to improve themselves, in many ways, through determination and hard work. Haon’s writing is exceptional in it’s ability to deliver these stirring lessons in a way that makes you feel as if you were right along side him as he learned them. This motivational autobiography is filled with great quotes that, if effort is given, can push you to achieve your aspirations in life.
I enjoyed this book, but there were a couple of experiences that were repeated, along with a few grammatical issues. Otherwise, this is still a powerful book with great lessons to be learned through a stirring journey through martial arts. Haon Campbell does an exceptional job of sharing his life lessons with the world in a book that I highly recommend.
Pages: 54 | ASIN: B08GSNXMCH
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