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My Ironman 70.3 Dream

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Swetha Amit Author Interview

A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 shares your inspiring story that will encourage triathletes and motivate any reader. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When I visited India in September 2018, after finishing my first Ironman 70.3 race, I was asked numerous questions by people about open water swimming and what it takes to do a triathlon. Many expressed their fear towards water which prohibited them from even learning how to swim. There were others who were keen to participate in a triathlon someday. I could empathie with their concerns since I too had similar inhibitions. At that time, I decided to pen down my triathlon journey-how I overcame my fear of open water swimming and went on to do a grueling race like the Ironman 70.3 in a year’s time. Barring one or two, there weren’t too many books on triathlons written by Indians and that too by recreational athletes. My purpose of penning down this book was a way to reach out to other aspiring triathletes to inspire them to overcome their fears and reach their goal. Incidentally even non-runners or non-triathletes have managed to resonate with the book.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before training for a triathlon?

For a triathlon and especially Ironman 70.3 race, you end up doing two workouts in a day. At one point, I felt I had no time for anything else. I wish someone had advised me on how to balance your time between training and your personal and professional life.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What were some moments that were important for you to share in this book?

Thank you. Yes, while writing memoir, it’s important to be honest and authentic. Only then will readers be able to relate and empathize with your journey. Some of the most important moments that I wanted to share in this book was the loneliness that I experienced in the Bay Area, particularly amidst the Business School community. The feelings of depression and loneliness was what steered me towards a triathlon in the first place. Another important moment was to write about my childhood fears, my first open water swim and my decision to almost give up my Ironman 70.3 dream. These were also hard to write as there was always this fear of what reads would think of me. Would I seem too whiny? At the end of the day, I am glad I wrote them as these were some of the important moments in my journey.

What are your future triathlon plans?

I will continue doing Olympic distances and Ironman 70.3 races. My ultimate goal is to do a full Ironman which is the 140.6 distance. Maybe in a couple of years down the line. My target race is Ironman California.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sometimes in life, you are hit by an unexpected wave of change. A change that will forcibly stir you out of your cocooned comfort zone. You may face despair, loneliness and depression. This is not a dead end but just a test to rediscover yourself and unleash your inner potential.

I wasn’t ready to put myself through a gruelling training regime. At the same time I had to conquer my fear of swimming in open water and lay those inner demons to rest. When I completed my first Sprint distance Triathlon, I was elated. It motivated me to pursue this sport called Triathlon for which I developed passion over time. Ultimately, I followed my dream of crossing the finish line of the Ironman 70.3, to consider myself worthy of something.

For those of you who are thinking about getting into this sport, this book
will motivate you to take that plunge. And for the rest of us triathletes, you will find a part of yourself in the chapters of this book.

Happy reading and keep ‘Tri’-ing!

A Turbulent Mind

A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 by [Swetha Amit]

A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 is a motivational book that will have you focus on your strengths and prioritize the most important things in life. The author uses experiences from her life and lessons learned to pass the message of hope and resilience to readers. Shweta Amit uses simple but inspiring language that speaks directly to readers. She is candid in her writing and tells it as it is. Not many people get to open up and be vulnerable to the world the ways Shweta Amit does. I particularly like her style of writing because she considers people from different backgrounds when discussing the various topics in the book. A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 will make you feel like you belong and that your presence is felt.

Shweta Amit shares her journey to achieving the Ironman 70.3. It was never easy but she pushed through. What inspired me about Shweta’s journey was that she made her story relatable to many. She writes about every experience, even the most minute. For someone who had a fear of open water swimming, Shweta really outdid herself. Her story is heartening. Her words will touch that cycler who is afraid of trying the next challenge, runners that feel like giving up and that athlete who is not consistent with their training sessions, and anyone who wants more for themselves.

The author starts by introducing the basics before delving deeper into her life, making the reader understand where she is coming from. If you are looking for an inspirited memoir with amusing and uplifting stories then A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 is the right book for you. Shweta Amit writes beautifully and gets to be funny when narrating some of her experiences. I liked the humor part as it brought levity to overall serious tone of the book, which makes agonizing stories a little less depressing. Her main message is don’t stop.

A Turbulent Mind: My Journey to Ironman 70.3 is a short but engaging memoir. Every experience chronicled is impactful. I liked that the author wrote about her wins, losses, and challenges candidly. This inspirational memoir has the potential to change your life and your outlook on life.

Pages: 162 | ASIN: B08FYWJK82

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To Navigate Life

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Paul Richardson Author Interview

Run Taylah Run follows a runner who must use her skills and tenacity to rescue her team from disaster while avoiding danger herself. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

After many years working in schools and officiating at athletics meets, I had the background to engage the characters in the competitive sections of the story. The story takes place in Queensland, Australia, and the vehicle accident takes place on the Atherton Tablelands of North Queensland which is a “local area” for me. By keeping the content and context local I believed I could add authenticity to the story.

Taylah is an inspirational and invigorating character. What were some ideas that were important to personify in her character?

The key attribute I wanted Taylah to show was humility. Individuals are good at different things and excelling in a field of endeavour should not take away the level approach one needs to navigate life. Because Taylah is the “best” does not distract from her ability to see good in, and encourage, others. With determination comes achievement. With achievement comes confidence. It is that confidence that guides Taylah in all she experiences in the story.

I enjoyed the authenticity of the story. What experience do you have with school sports?

As noted above, I have worked in schools for many years and officiated at many athletics meets. I have seen the high and the lows of students’ participation in interschool sports.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I hope readers will gain an insight into the everyday world of a group of high school students and a chance to relate to the characters. I also hope readers will gain a sense of perseverance when face with adversity whether you are young or old.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

The school relay team had won the right to compete in the regional trials in Atherton. Success there led to the team being invited to represent Far North Queensland at the State Championships in Brisbane. However, the celebrations were short lived when, on the trip back to Cairns, the team bus came to grief after a close encounter with a cow on a remote dirt Tablelands backroad. With people injured and no immediate help available, Taylah Bingham, the school’s best athlete, runs for help. Not far from the accident site, she finds a house. But its occupant is not the type to provide the kind of help she seeks. He too is a runner. With Taylah at the mercy of an escaped prisoner, she finds herself in situations that leaves her future uncertain. However, because of her resolve, tenacity, goodwill, and ability to run, Taylah manages to find her way to safety. She also manages to find justice for the one who imposed on her. Despite the ordeal and the unexpected events that confront her, Taylah is still needed to anchor the regional relay team in Brisbane and is expected to perform at the highest level. Nothing is simple for Taylah, but her talent, and the people around her always manage to see her through.

Run Taylah Run!

Run Taylah Run is a heartwarming and adventurous tale. Taylah is a young Aboriginal living with her mother and sister, trying her best to help her mother and her school’s track team. Taylah is very talented and her team is about to get a big break, but a series of terrifying events may prevent her team from reaching its full potential. Meanwhile, Liam is trying to live a somewhat normal life after his father has been sent to prison, but soon his father escapes and kidnaps him, making wild claims about his conviction. In order to help her friends and Liam, Taylah will have to think fast and run like she never has before.

This narrative has wonderful elements of both a thriller and a sports action novel. The mystery of Liam’s family and father offer a sense of danger and urgency. The startling accident that crashes the team’s bus also adds to the thrill and excitement of the book. It is sure to leave readers’ hearts pounding and keep the pages turning. What is really unique about the atmosphere and tone of this novel is the addition of the inspiring and blood-pumping sports action. The unusual combination of these elements is both joyous and satisfying at the same time.

This book was structured and the characters were discussed in such a way that makes the novel highly relatable and relevant to the modern day. The different perspectives make it so fascinating to read. Getting different perspectives throughout the book really makes it more personal to each character and the reader. The characters too are unique, distinct, and inclusive. The book does a wonderful job of being inclusive and respectful towards minorities and all groups. The author shows the challenges that racial and ethnic minorities can face and how they can really hurt those affected. It is a story that is relevant today and speaks volumes on realistic issues that even students of minority groups may face.

Run Taylah Run is a wonderfully inspiring sports fiction novel that introduces readers to authentic and relatable characters and sets events in motion that will test them and entertain readers. I highly recommend this novel for young adult readers especially those who can identify with a spirit of sport and adventure that is imbued in this story.

Pages: 204 | ISBN: 1716375231

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Driven (The Legacy Series Book 1)

Driven (The Legacy Series Book 1) by [Will Hallewell]

Driven by Will Hallwell is the first novel in The Legacy Series. Set in a small US town, the young adult novel uses sports to explore themes and life lessons. Hallewell’s descriptions of the small town are detailed. He describes the physical and geographical aspects of the town, such as the creek, and the quaintness of the village with vividness. Hallewell also describes the makeup of the population and the divide among the community. The setting of Falls Creek is integral to the story, and Hallewell sets the scene for the novel well.

The main character in Driven is Gabe “Honus” Wagner, a senior at Falls Creek High school. Gabe is a star baseball player, but feels he is being held back by the coach who appears to be favoring another student – whose father makes significant financial contributions to the school and other community ventures. This student – Nate Shaw also has a significant role in the novel. Both of these characters are well defined by their speech and actions, as well as physical descriptions, and because of this the characters feel real as well as authentic. Both of these characters are supported by a host of intriguing minor characters, that either side with Gabe or the Shaw’s. The characters are were grounded and I found that it was easy to differentiate between them.

Throughout the novel Gabe repeats the mantra “no hate in the heart”. It was given to him by his coach, and this mantra helps Gabe reflect on situations and ensure he doesn’t react in a hateful way. I thought that these were fantastic lessons for a teenager who encounters some difficult situations. I really appreciated that this young adult novel delivers some thoughtful ideas on morality; this sets it apart from other young adult novels out recently. The novel also delves into themes of depression and corruption; heavy issues but they are handled deftly. Hallewell broaches the theme of depression through Gabe’s father. Having recently lost his job, he slowly sinks into a pattern of drinking and sleeping and losing sight of his goals and his self-esteem. Driven shows the effect this has on both the person themselves, and other family members. The novel also delves into the age old question of money – can it truly make us happy? All of these ideas are explore in a thoughtful and engaging way, with family and sports as the backdrop.

Driven is easy to read and is consistently entertaining. I really enjoyed how Driven uses relatable characters to explore serious themes such as loyalty, depression, and the power of money are addressed. This is a novel that will teach you something while it’s entertaining you.

Pages: 91 | ASIN: B08KRKVG1M

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First Steps to Fly Fishing

First Steps to Fly Fishing: The 1924 Classic Updated for Today by [Michael Temple, Kris Neely]

Nothing is as great as learning a little history about something before getting to the main content in the book. First Steps to Fly Fishing takes us back to 200 B.C., describing fly fishing as one of the most challenging, artistic and aesthetic forms of fishing. Their description of fly fishing make it look like an art where one has to use special techniques. Fly fishing may not be a new method of fishing, but fishermen today keep looking for ways to make it appear sophisticated. When writing about this kind of fishing between the years 1500 and 1800, the authors quote iconic figures in history, scholars and historians who have written about fly fishing. The narratives in the book are supported by historical writings and documents that are still used for reference today.

To help the readers familiarize with the main subject in First Steps to Fly Fishing, the authors include fun facts, historical evidence along with explaining the importance of fly fishing. The first chapter of the book is about rods, reels, line and other equipment. One good thing about this book is that the authors don’t just mention the equipment; they go into detail, talking about the pros of using the mentioned equipment, the challenges fishermen faced and how some equipment have evolved. The content in the book is evergreen. First Steps to Fly Fishing makes one appreciate antique things and classics.

Do you want to know how to fish like an expert? Is fishing a hobby that you want to develop? Do you want to learn about different fishing styles and how significant they are? Then this is the book that you need. The chapters on how to fish, where to fish and when to fish are eye opening and make fishing feel like the fun an enjoyable activity that it is. Authors Michael Temple and Kris Neely’s tone in the book is encouraging. Their words are stirring and give one the drive to not only keep on fishing but to also engage in other hobbies and activities that they love. One can read the enthusiasm in the author’s text and the love they have for fishing.

There are also stories in the book that have a personal touch, allowing readers to connect with the authors on a deeper level. First Steps to Fly Fishing is an illuminating instructional guide that provides fantastic tips and pointers about sports fishing, and how to go about implementing the concepts you have learned. First Steps to Fly Fishing provides a lot of great advice that is easy to understand and actionable. Perfect for anyone headed for the great outdoors.

Pages: 138 | ASIN: B08946S6ZZ

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Those Characters Are Alive

Mike DeLucia
Mike DeLucia Author Interview

Being Brothers is a compelling coming of age story following two brothers growing up in the Bronx during the 70’s. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I grew up in the Bronx during that time period, played in the Little League, and had an older brother, and so I enjoyed writing this book because I was able to revisit those times. I didn’t know it, but they were the best of times and with the birth of cell phones, became extinct.

I enjoyed the story within a story idea and felt like it really drew me in. What was the inspiration behind this idea?

I write all of my stories as screenplays first and then I create the novel and since I loved the idea of Jack narrating about his younger self, Jackie, I didn’t want to lose that voice. No matter how many ways I thought of it, it would have ruined the ending and that narration if I turned it into a novel. I got the idea of having Mark Marino, a screenwriter, looking over his screenplay so the reader would be following the journey with him. It worked.

Mark and Jackie were characters that felt authentic and relatable. Did you plan their character development before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

Since I lived those days and absolutely loved growing up in The Bronx, those characters are alive inside of me. I didn’t plan them out, it was an organic approach. I also went to Catholic school and endured that brutal educational style. I only scratched the surface of that reality. If I wrote the darker side of that it would have added a color to the book that would have been a distraction to the mood I was trying to establish.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently rewriting the film version of Being Brothers, as it was picked up by a production company and is in development, but what I stopped working on is a new baseball story that’s been in my head for roughly 40 years. It has really interesting characters with back stories so it can easily become a trilogy. I’m creating a thorough outline with the important dialog included and I am halfway through. Like I said, I write the film first, so once I write the film, I will start on the novel and it will be the same story, but very different. I hope that I’ll have the novel out within the next 18 months.

Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Siblings…
Our first friends. Our first enemies.
Our past. Our present.

From the multi-award-winning author of MADNESS:The Man Who Changed Basketball comes another inspiring novel about Friends, Family… and Baseball.

The Bronx, New York, 1972

BEING BROTHERS is a story, within a story, within a story, sparked by the fortuitous, life-changing epiphany of Mark Marino, a content middle-aged man who discovers an untapped well of repressed, unrealized dreams.

Another character, Jack Amato, frequently revisits the Neighborhood to ground himself by the sights, smells and memories of the past, through the coming-of-age experiences of Jackie, the spacey, slightly awkward, yet lovable version of his younger self who grew up in the Bronx in the 1970s — a time of street games, young love, best friends, little league, mean teachers, and the love/hate, friend/enemy dynamics of sibling rivalry.

While Mark, Jack, and Jackie exist in separate worlds, they are all connected by the outcome of Mark’s serendipitous moment.

BEING BROTHERS takes the reader on a journey back in time, to a much simpler era, and examines the experiences of family, friendship, life lessons, and the profound impact of our past.

For those who lived it, enjoy the story of your past, and for those who didn’t, sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy the ride.

BEING BROTHERS

BEING BROTHERS by [Mike DeLucia]

If you’re looking for a heartfelt coming of age story, you should definitely read Mike DeLucia’s Being Brothers. This book takes readers through the life of Jackie, an 11-year old boy growing up in the Bronx in the 70s. It specifically focuses on his relationship with his brother Sal and how their mutual love for baseball brought them together.

The fact that the brothers’ story is told as a screenplay written by Mark Marino, a writer who digs into his own life to birth the character that is Jackie, makes it even more intriguing. The story within a story narrative allows us to be in a unique position where we are both an insider and an outsider, creating an intimacy that is hard to replicate.

Moreover, the author’s knowledge of baseball is so vast that the game scenes could be mistaken for real-life events. But if there is something that truly warms the heart, it is the part of the story where Jackie realizes that despite appearances, his brother always had his back, from birth in fact. Needless to say, this story has a strong family theme to it, with the love and comfort of Jackie’s being at the foundation of the narrative.

The book also succeeds in bringing to life the realities of male bonding and friendships, especially those formed in childhood. With the 70s as a backdrop, it almost feels like this narrative was set in simpler, sweeter times. The music titles the author adds to his scenes also add a subtle realism to them.

Honestly, the only minor thing I could complain about would be that sometimes the jump from scene dialogue to prose can be disorienting especially when Jackie is in dialogue. The jump between Jackie talking in the first person and then referring to himself in the third person is a little odd.

Otherwise, Being Brothers is extremely well written and easy to read. Moreover, the perspective of Mark Marino adds a layer of reality that many writers can relate to. For instance, when he catches his own grammatical errors and talks about all the rules that govern writing, he pulls any writer in. Ultimately, the author has done a great job at making us care about Mark and Jackie and even clearly see the Jackie in Mark.

Being Brothers is an thoroughly entertaining story that expertly integrates sports in a compelling coming of age story with a literary prowess that only author Mike DeLucia can pull off.

Pages: 162 | ASIN: B08LGJB71H

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