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Who We Are and Who We Become

PAUL BURGOYNE
Paul Burgoyne Author Interview

Two Seasons relives the two years that shaped the narrators life and explores questions of identity and belonging in a quickly changing world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

One thing we all share is the need to belong, a need which is especially acute in childhood. I have uncomfortable memories of trying to fit in, believing I could make that happen through sports accomplishments. The story grew out of the sense of disappointment when my best efforts failed to produce the desired results.

Boone is an intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

Boone is not simply a sports-obsessed child, he is an observer. He notices when things aren’t going right but he has no outlet. He is a reader, and as an only child, books are his companions. They open his eyes to a bigger world than the small town where he lives. He is also curious and resourceful. When adults won’t provide answers to his questions, he keeps prodding for and assembling the scraps he receives into a coherent version of “the truth”. This question emerged: would Boone become insightful enough to take the steps that would help him cope with his life-situation?

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The most important theme was identity. How do we develop our sense of who we are and where we fit in the world? Does our sense of identity shape our choices or do our choices shape our sense of identity? By observing the life of a young boy struggling with a confusing family dynamic, I hoped to consider how family, friends, mentors (in person or in print), along with our own mental processes, help shape who we are and who we become.

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

I’m working on another novel this time focused on a young adult. I want to examine the idea of character change. My protagonist will be a fault-filled person beginning to recognize his failures and working hit-and-miss on becoming a better person. He will need a great deal of help along the way! It’s still early but I hope to have the first draft finished by summer 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Is it like father, like son?
His father is growing more erratic every day and 11-year-old Boone Martin wants to know – is it true? Like father like son? As his twisted family breaks apart, Boone clings to baseball, his one foothold in life. But it’s winter when his father moves out.
In summer, his best friend Rocky expects him to pitch Omak Little League to a third straight State championship – no pressure there – and former big-leaguer Lou Debrunes shows Boone a way out, the perfect curveball. His mother becomes more friendly with Coach as each game passes – is it Boone’s job to keep her trust issues from messing up a good thing?
Set in the fruit-growing town of Omak, Washington, Two Seasons is narrated by an adult Boone Martin reliving the two years that most shaped his life. More than a baseball story, Two Seasonsexplores the questions of identity and belonging in a shifting world rocked by the assassinations and anti-war movement of 1968.

Hard Work Is The Only Path

Pradeep Kumar Yadav
Pradeep Kumar Yadav Author Interview

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.

Author Links: Instagram | Website

“FOREWORD” for this magnificent book is written by 6 Time World Boxing Champion, M.C. Mary Kom. The remarkable part of this Karate book is that it is fully colored adorned with high-resolution photographs and its coffee-table size makes it a memorable and unique book in the world.
This book is precious and useful for those Karateka who need to take in Shotokan style Karate from White Belt to Black Belt with the aim of full devotion towards learning and rehearsing Karate. Each pursuer of this book will know much about the fundamentals of Shotokan Kata. What’s more, this book incorporates a portrayal of the positions of some advanced movements of the Shotokan style that are performed by me only, so that every Karateka can see clear photos and catch on it quickly in a simple manner.

The Mosquito Fleet – Book Trailer

Available at

www.shawlinepublishing.com.au

 

The Reasons I Enjoy Writing Romance

Liz Crowe
Liz Crowe Author Interview

Numbers Game follows a football coach who’s relationship with a reporter turns into something deep and changes the direction of both their lives. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I love stories about athletes, having raised one of them and seen first hand how hard it is to truly achieve those sorts of goals. In fact, all three of my kids played sports of some kind or another in high school and I was always involved somehow — running the concession stand at football and soccer games, helping raise money as a booster, and of course driving to endless practices and attending games all over the U.S. that were necessary to get my youngest to her spot on a Division 1 Big Ten women’s soccer team. We lived in Ann Arbor at the time, and my kids’ school was located directly across the street from The Big House, where Michigan plays football. The town was utterly consumed by football on Saturdays in the fall and that sort of atmosphere was exhilarating to those of use who are sports fans (even if we weren’t Michigan fans per se, we did love living there on football weekends.) I got to meet both Harbaugh brothers (Jim is the Michigan coach) in 2016 when I helped run a fundraising auction and dinner for the high school’s athletic program that we invited them both to attend. It was a rush and meeting one of my favorite pro coaches (John, coach of the Ravens) was a highlight for me.

Desiree is an alum of the University of Michigan and we always made a point to meet up when she’d come to town from Florida to attend a game. I made sure to get her a signed commemorative football from our event and she keeps it on her inspiration shelf in her office. We’re both football fans, and we concocted our fictional Michigan football town with Ann Arbor in mind, without a doubt (even though I cheered for Michigan State …women’s soccer, anyway)!

Hatch and Olivia were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind the development of their relationship?

We divided up the tasks of writing in their POVs. I wrote Hatch’s and Desiree wrote Olivia’s. It took us almost 2 years to complete this book since we started it as a romantic suspense but it kept turning in a more contemporary, second chances style story the more we wrote. We wanted our characters to both be older than the usual romance standards, both divorced, and having seen the puppet strings behind a marriage, somewhat disinclined to repeat that process. They are laser focused on the goals they’ve set for themselves: Hatch bringing his alma mater’s program back to prominence while leaving his gambling issues behind him. Olivia emerging from a bad marriage and re-capturing her mojo as a sports journalist. But one of the reasons I enjoy writing romance novels is the creation of characters on seemingly separate trajectories that end up colliding, and then what? It’s the “then what” that allows me to show them as people with real emotions, making mistakes, and ultimately recovering and finding happiness.

What was the writing collaboration like with author Desiree Holt?

It was a fun and learning experience. We’ve been published about the same amount of years, but Desires has a lot more books out than I do, as I’ve been working around days jobs while writing. What was amazing and satisfying to me was how well we meshed–keeping egos and pre-conceived notions about how the book should flow out of our equation.

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

I am working on several things at the moment, but the next book I’m releasing is the final book in a best selling series (Stewart Realty) also set in Michigan. It’s the second generation’s turn to have their happily ever after, and so BACKUP OFFER is a book that is a “ten years later” look at a relationship that fell apart in book 8 — for good, self-care sorts of reasons — and how everything comes back full circle in a mature, gratifying way for the couple in question, as well as for their friend and family. I think “second chance” stories are among my favorite to read and write. My characters are (sometimes too) fallible. They make mistakes, do dumb, human things. But I always redeem them.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | BookBub | Amazon | GoodReads | Website

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Former professional football player and coach Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater’s football team. But how can he turn the team’s losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past…and into his heart?

Olivia Grant’s ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she’d had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn’t known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.

Lived and Breathed the Game

Author Interview
Lachlan Waterman Author Interview

The Mosquito Fleet takes readers through the golden years of the Carlton Football Club. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Football in the late seventies and early eighties was incredibly tribal. The game was yet to go national, so there were terrific suburban rivalries. In Melbourne, Victoria people lived and breathed the game, it was a religion. Matches were exclusively played on Saturday afternoons. The players were semi-professional, they all worked a normal 9-5 job and were able to relate and connect with the general public. I wanted to reconstruct those magical times again.

What was one of the fondest memories of that time?

Carlton had a team lacking height, just four players over 190cm. The Mosquito Fleet had the most gifted and talented group of small players in the competition that captured the football publics imagination with their breathtaking play. On Sunday nights the ABC had a weekly show The Winners that was must-see TV around Australia. It had the weekly results of matches; The goal of the day, Mark of the day, and Play of the Day, and Carlton seemed to feature nearly every week.

What were some of the ideas that were important to explore in this book?

Issues such as addiction to painkillers, depression and mental health were all important to uncover and explore. In the early eighties no one had the knowledge of stress and depression and ‘having a jab’ in an ankle or knee was commonplace. Mental health is a much stronger focus with professional sporting bodies today, but back then they just didn’t have the resources.

Concussion is another one. Several sportspeople have suffered post career with the affects of injuries to the brain.

When and where will you book be available?

The Mosquito Fleet is expected to be released in October this year and should be available in most bookstores and through Shawline Publishing. www.shawlinepublishing.com.au.

Author Link: Facebook

The Mosquito Fleet Book Review

Numbers Game

Numbers Game by [Desiree Holt, Liz Crowe]

Numbers Game by Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe is a heartwarming, uplifting, and steamy romance novel centered around the blossoming relationship between sports journalist Olivia Grant and former star quarterback Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher. The two meet as Hatch takes a coaching job at the university that gave him his start in football, and Olivia rejuvenates her reputation as a journalist by filming a documentary about his return. Their romance holds excitement and promise despite the threat of past trauma, the media, and conniving ex-spouses. As they reemerge into the public eye, Olivia and Hatch come together and find support in one another.

Through Numbers Game, Holt and Crowe create a story with a lasting message—restarting your life and finding joy is possible for anyone, no matter what you’ve gone through in the past. I found Olivia’s experience as a career woman incredibly inspiring and relatable. Despite consistent threats from the powerful men around her in her field, she’s able to persevere and make a name for herself without relying on anyone else’s work or input.

I was pleasantly surprised by the conversations around mental health introduced into the story. With a sport like football, there’s often a stereotype that players and coaches need to be incredibly macho and strong, but Hatch’s character is vulnerable about his struggles in life and encourages mental support for the boys on his team. Topics like addiction and trauma aren’t shied away from, and within their relationship Olivia openly supports Hatch when he opens up to her about his past. I loved reading about their genuine connection and care for one another.

I felt that the attraction between Olivia and Hatch occurred quickly in the story, but their relationship ended up following a healthy and well-paced course. I was wary that the romance might feel like an “instant-love” situation, but Olivia and Hatch had realistic conflicts that made sense for the progression of their relationship and prevented it from feeling too idealized.

Numbers Game is an encouraging story of true love and second chances, and I enjoyed every moment reading it. It’s rare that a romance book is so open to discussing darker topics like addiction and abuse in marriages, but Holt and Crowe managed to create a story that introduces a loving couple embracing their flaws and making the best out of every tough situation. If you want to leave a romance story feeling uplifted, this is the one for you!

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B08Z2SHFRK

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Mosquito Fleet

The Mosquito Fleet

The Mosquito Fleet, by Lachlan Waterman, leads us through Carlton Football Club golden years, from Alex Jesaulenko “Jezza”’s strenuous training to the rivalry with Collingwood to their victories and defeats. We are introduced to every member of the team, from the players to the coaches to the rivals and brought into the world of Australian football. Many obstacles are on the way to the win and many advantages are waiting for the team as they train, fight, party and play unforgettable games. All events are precisely recorded with their own date and often characters’ quotes mark the narration pace.

Waterman writes in a surprisingly engaging way and makes the reader part of Carlton’s team. He focuses on small details concerning the characters’ lives making the story heart-warming and intriguing, so as we can feel what both the players and their rivals felt at a given moment.

As a reader keen on details, I appreciated the vivid descriptions accompanied by shreds of interviews and the much-detailed games. Reading those parts felt like watching the game first-hand and adds a sense of reality to the book. In addition to that, focusing on the players life after their career plays an important role in this book as it shows what not being in the spotlight anymore might feel like and what it might lead to.

While I thought the book was an engrossing read, I think the pace of the book was a bit slow at times, long descriptions slow down the book’s rhythm, but the pace quickly picks up again afterwards.

Another interesting aspect of the book is the fact that it takes us through the golden era of the team, but also gives us details on what concerns the players’ lives at the end of their career and during the contemporary pandemic. In the afterword by the author, we go “behind the scenes” of the book and are given interviews and words exchanged between the author and the protagonists.

The Mosquito Fleet by Lachlan Waterman, with its rich and detailed descriptions and extracts from interviews, is an exceptional book that lets the reader explore Australian Football at its finest. I would recommend this riveting book to sport lovers, football lovers and non-fiction readers in general.

Pages: 195

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!
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