Interview: Author Zaheen Nanji + Contest!

Written by Darlyn Azlinda At Wednesday, December 17, 2014 0 bookish peeps...

About the Book

WHAT WOULD LIFE BE LIKE IF YOU NO LONGER STRUGGLED WITH YOUR WEIGHT?

What if you could look good, feel good, and most importantly, end the mind chatter about your weight and how you look!

With these revolutionary insights to weight loss, you can! And best of all, you can kiss dieting goodbye forever.

No matter what sort of history you have with weight gain and dieting, you can attract your ideal weight. And it's easier than you might imagine. If you want to stop struggling with your weight and start attracting your ideal body instead, this is the book you've been waiting for.

purchase-from-amazonThis book is based on the latest scientific research and real life experience of people who have lost weight and maintained their ideal weight. It reveals the 8 secrets to attracting your ideal weight and includes inspiring success stories, helpful self-assessment questions and fun food experiments.

Interview with Zaheen Nanji

Q: What inspired you to write the book?
I have been successful in maintaining my weight, and people who knew me asked how I did it or what my secret was. They were prepared to hear a name of diet or that I exercise every day. I never did any of those except for exercise 3 times a week on my elliptical. My answer to them was simple – I changed my habits and changed my relationship with food. They were shocked with my answer. So I set out to find people that had lost weight and maintained it and what I found were 8 common themes which are outlined in the book.

Q: What advice can you give their families?
Teach your children how to listen to their bodies and know when they are satisfied. I teach my own daughter that if you have eaten until your stomach feel uncomfortable against your ribs than you ate too much. So now she is learning how to listen to her body. Eat what is closest to God. What I mean is eat what is whole instead of highly processed. Get back in the kitchen and cook as a family.

Q: How does this book benefit individuals struggling with weight loss?
This is not your typical diet book. I don’t tell you how many calories to eat. The reason that individuals gain weight is because after a diet or weight loss program they go back to their old habits and behaviours instead of breaking those patterns. They go back to their old triggers that cause emotional eating. They have not learned how to listen to their body. They have not learned how to build resilience in this area. In fact, my book is like a pre-requisite course for individuals to read before going on a diet. My book has also been labeled as “ The Psychology Handbook for Weight Loss”.

Q: Does this book cover food addiction?
This book covers the understanding behind food addiction – which is secret #2 –Every Negative Behaviour Has a Positive Intention. What this means is we have to become aware of the reason or the gain we are getting behind an addiction and deal with that rather than the addiction itself.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
In the process of writing this book I learned how others had started listening to their body for symptoms when they eat a certain food that does not agree with them. Similar to people who suffer from allergic reaction which are physical manifestations, naturally thin people and those that have maintained weight for a long time explained that we have similar internal symptoms – these are not life threatening but in time they do affect our bodies and health. For example, for the longest time I suffered from bloating, gas and abdominal cramps when I ate icecream or drank milk. I felt my stomach was inflamed. However, I never associated it with that food because it would occur hours later. Once I consciously started becoming aware of what I ate and how I felt after, I started eliminating that food because it didn’t agree with me.

Q: What do you think will surprise readers the most?
What will surprise the readers the most is first the size of the book – it’s more like a handbook and I intentionally did that because I want my readers or individuals to refer to it like a handbook. The other surprise is that I’m not telling you to restrict your calories or go on a diet. I’m just showing you how to start changing your behaviors so that you can build your resilience reflex when it comes to
attracting your ideal weight.

Q: The title of your book what does it mean?
I like the word attract because it puts you in control. Once you start changing your behaviors and mind set, you automatically become a magnet that will attract your ideal weight.

Q: How long did it take to do the research, write the book, and have it published?
It took me about a year to do the research and four months to write the book.

Q: Describe your book in 3 words.
Behavior weight loss

Q: Who is your intended audience?
People who have struggled with their weight for a long time

About the Author

Zaheen's love affair with the written word began at an early age. As a teenager who stuttered, it was easier to write well than to speak smoothly, but that wasn't what inspired Zaheen to write. What motivated her was the fire in her belly burning to reach out, connect, heighten her understanding, increase her knowledge and help others to do the same.

Her first co-authored book: Unlock the Power of YOU: 12 Keys to Health, Happiness and Success wasl released by Aviva Publishing, NY in December 2012.

She is also a co-author of, The Confident Woman,  an upcoming anthology.

Contest Details

This Giveaway is open Internationally.
PRIZES 1 Winners will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash. 1 Winner will receive a one on one weight loss strategy session, Kindle copy of the book and weight loss CD.

Note: If you are having trouble with Rafflecopter you can enter by leaving a comment on one of participating sites page.

You can start entering the contest now.

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Head to another CONTEST HERE!

Interview: Author Roch Zahradnik

Written by Darlyn Azlinda At Friday, November 28, 2014 0 bookish peeps...

Interview

1. What inspired you to write LAST WORDS?

The story started out as a “what if…?” What if a big-time police reporter were forced to do the dull work of obituaries, always dealing with the dead but never pursuing the why of their deaths.

2. The main character, Coleridge Taylor, mentions music often, are you a fan of the same bands Taylor references? What are your top 3 favorite songs from the 60s and 70s?

I like most of what Taylor likes, though found out about a lot of the groups later than he did. I was in high school from 1974-78. My group of friends and I thought we were mired in a musical wasteland, disco on the one side and hair bands (Styx, Foreigner, Kansas) on the other. Punk had not reached Poughkeepsie, so I did not become a fan of that music until I reached college, when I discovered the Talking Heads, the Police, and the Ramones. I also became a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen, who was neither punk, nor hair band, just real. My three favorite songs:

1. Thunder Road
2. Pyscho Killer
3. Sweet Jane (with the Intro)

3. How would you describe your journalism experience compared to Taylor’s?

Taylor obviously came up earlier than I did at a different time for newspapers. I started in the suburbs, while he’s always been in the city. He’s covered police stories far more than I ever did. Much of my career was in media and business journalism. I think Taylor is a much more tenacious reporter than me, braver even, doing anything to get the story. That’s what’s important to him. Other things have always competed with journalism in my life, including writing fiction.

4. When Laura and Taylor go out for drinks, the song “Gloria” by Patti Smith is playing in the background. What made you choose that song for them?

I loved Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” and I wanted to have Patti Smith singing a song from ’75 that she did sing and most readers would know.


5. What challenges did you face as you were writing LAST WORDS?

The first challenge was working full-time for a good chunk of the period I was writing the novel. There were days I might write half a page. That would get me down. I thought I’d never finish. The second was thinking that since I lived through 1975 I wouldn’t have to do a lot of research. I was wrong about that. It was all the little details that needed checking. Like when did the cost of a pay phone or subway token go up.

6. What scene was your favorite to write? Why?

The last, and not just because I was at the end. At that point I was really flying. You can see it all coming together. Second would be a scene early in the book when Taylor visits the makeshift homeless shelter.

7. Taylor carries a hefty literary name being named after the English Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge. What inspired you to connect Taylor to the English Romantic poet?

Taylor has a poor relationship with his father, an alcoholic English professor. His father gave him that name, and Taylor hates the ornamentation of it. Doesn’t much like his father either. Journalism is pretty much the opposite of poetry. I liked the name for all the contradictions it implies. I’m a huge fan of Morse and really wanted to go the one-last-name-only route, but didn’t want to be too much of copycat. This was my compromise.

8. Taylor works as a journalist in LAST WORDS. What was one of your favorite stories you covered as a journalist?

Covering the Cannes Film Festival. Stars. Glitter. Movies. Business. All wrapped into one two-week long party. At another time, I co-owned a weekly newspaper. Being the news outlet and voice for a community was a real kick, though there were a lot of different stories in there.

9. What makes 1975 so unique? What characteristics and traits define that time period in your perspective?

The year 1975 and the city of New York intrigued me because of the very striking parallels to America today. Then as now, an unpopular war was finally coming to its sad end. A major institution, the city itself, tumbled toward bankruptcy, threatening a cataclysm on the entire financial system. This as banks and ratings agencies ignored the warning signs or willfully misled the public. I chose this time period for the differences as well as the similarities. Solving a mystery in 1975 required good old-fashioned legwork and serious brainwork, rather than science fiction-like instant DNA typing and surveillance video available from any and every angle. Taylor has to find a pay phone when he needs to call someone. There’s something satisfying in that for me.


10. Is there any research that didn’t make it into LAST WORDS that you wish you could have included?

I learned a lot more about what a terrible beautiful mess Times Square was at the time than I could fit in. Some was cut; some I couldn’t even use. Things like the signage, the history of some of the restaurants. I could have written pages alone on the Horn & Hardart Automat and bored everyone but myself.

11. How would you characterize Taylor and Laura’s relationship? What keeps them together through all of the danger they face in LAST WORDS?

I think they are falling for each other in the midst of danger and a mutual love for breaking news. Laura may have the Columbia degree, but she loves Taylor’s street smarts and instincts for getting the story. Whether their work will be enough to keep them together is a question for the next book.

12. Did anything surprise you as were writing LAST WORDS?

Characters who came out of nowhere and became interesting and important.

How grim 1975 really was. Time has a way of mellowing things. I remember the mid-Seventies as a difficult period, but I was a kid so I wasn’t really plugged into how terrible things were in New York and the country. Gas shortages. Inflation. Unemployment. Crime. The South Bronx burning.

13. Taylor’s character faces his own pride along with other villains throughout LAST WORDS. Would Taylor consider his pride a virtue or vice? Why?

It’s a thin line there. His pride drives him to get good stories, the big scoops. When it drives him to the sins of hubris, he’s in trouble.

14. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go? Why?

I’m obsessed with time travel stories. In fact, I’m writing a time travel novel for middle graders. It’s hard to pick one, but if I had to, the time of Christ. His life affected all of Western Civilization, the entire glove. I’d like to see what really happened during that period. Either that or my own childhood, to see everything I’ve forgotten.

Read the Excerpt

The orderly rolled the gurney onto an elevator. Taylor stepped on, too. The orderly read his press pass. It expired in three months, and if Taylor couldn’t get back on the police beat by then, he’d lose it and all the access it gave him. Doors all over the city would slam shut. The thought chilled him.

“Coleridge Samuel Taylor.”

“Just Taylor.” He hated the literary ornamentation of his name.

“Name’s Jackson.”

The autopsy room looked like any operating theater with its silver-domed lights, trolleys of medical instruments and glass- fronted metal cabinets. The acrid smell of disinfectant was even stronger here.

A second orderly came in and helped Jackson shift the wrapped body onto a table, both of them grunting.

“Jesus, this body is frozen stiff,” Jackson said.

The second orderly shrugged and left, as if moving bodies was his only job.

“You said he died of exposure, right?” Taylor leaned in.

“Yeah, but he feels like ….” The orderly frowned. “The last time a body came in frozen solid like this was when a jumper went into the Hudson back in January.” He pulled the sheets open near the neck. The corpse was still dressed and the orderly fingered the material of the outer clothing. “The coat and sweater are cold but not frozen.” He slid his hand inside the sweater. “The undershirt feels like it’s iced right to him. The skin is frozen.”

“That doesn’t make sense.” Taylor looked from the orderly to the body on the slab. “It’s like he froze from the inside out. Or his outer clothes were put on after he froze.” He made a note of this. “Be interesting to hear what the pathologist makes of it.”

“Not much if he thinks he’s cutting a homeless boy. How are you going to do a story on a dead nobody?” The orderly sighed and turned away.

I’ll find out what makes him a somebody. Getting frozen in your underwear and dressed by another person might do the trick.

“You gotta be a big somebody to get your death notice in the papers here.”

This victim’s story already bothered him. The boy was going to disappear. Taylor was watching it happen. No last words for the family. No notice taken anywhere by anyone. It had happened before, with Billy. This was going on now in Taylor’s city. There was no excuse for it.

“When did the body come in?”

“Night watch. Three, four in the morning.”

“You’re just now rolling him in?”

“No room at the inn. Kept the body outside in the ambulance.”

“What if they got another call?”

“Couldn’t. No one to replace the driver’s going off shift. Poor bastards had to take a cab back to their house. These budget cuts are just crazy. So we kept him cold out there. The guys just came back to get their wagon.”

“Where’d they pick him up?”

“The Meatpacking District.” Jackson looked at the body again. “I’ll tell you one thing. I doubt they’ll be cutting today. It’s going to take a whole shift to defrost him. Very strange. Or plain bad luck.”

Only the facts interested Taylor. They’d explain how this boy froze from the inside out, the cause and effect. Nothing unlucky. Nothing strange.

Jackson pulled off the sheet. The dead boy wore an army field jacket similar to Taylor’s. Threads hung at the edges of the rectangle above the left breast pocket where a name patch should have been.

“Whatever the name tag said, it wasn’t this kid’s,” Taylor said. “He’s too young for the military.” Could be the father’s, Taylor thought. Or maybe the boy bought it at the Army-Navy. Taylor would check all that out. The jacket had seen a lot of wear and tear. Some of that might be from life on the street.

“Now that I think of it,” Jackson said, “it looks like the one I got when I fought in Europe. You don’t see these as much. Thing never was warm enough.”

Jackson was right. The boy’s jacket featured lapels instead of a circular collar and the fabric looked thinner. The kid wore dungarees, patched the length of both legs, more patches than jean material really. The “V” of a blue sweater, probably wool, showed under the jacket.

Jackson nodded at Taylor’s jacket. “You a vet?” 

“No.”

“Just like the look?”

“No.” The implication stung, as if his was a fashion statement. His brother, trained to fight somewhere cold in Europe, was ordered to Vietnam. Billy didn’t need the heavy jacket, or didn’t want to pack it, or had wanted to leave something behind with his older brother. Taylor wasn’t sure which. He gave it to Taylor and never came back. Maybe because of the question, the teenager became his brother Billy for a moment. Another kid forever lost to his family. The boy was the same height, though slighter and younger. What was younger when you were dead?

The orderly was saying something, forcing Billy’s face to fade, replaced by that of the dead boy. This face was smooth, without lines, and the nose straight. His lips were full, almost pouting, and his gray eyes looked directly into the bright overhead lights, unblinded and blind. His hair was thick, long and clean, which was odd. If this kid was homeless, it should have been matted and dirty.

“Look at this.” Jackson pointed to the jacket’s right sleeve.

More than twenty national flags were sewn down the outside of the right arm of the field jacket, from the shoulder to the cuff. France, Italy, USA, East Germany, Canada, the USSR, West Germany, Red China, and countries some Taylor couldn’t identify.

Taylor walked around the table. “Same on this side. No unit or rank. Those were cut away a long time ago. Just more flags. It’s like the UN.”

Thousands of army field jackets hung in the closets of New York vets, the families of the dead and even ex-hippies, but none would look like this one. Taylor knew people would remember it. This was starting to look like a story he could follow.

Jackson left the room. Taylor checked the boy’s left hand, leaned in to get closer and used his Bic pen to lift the fingers. They were smooth, almost feminine, with telltale signs of civilized living—clean, well-trimmed fingernails. Not a speck of dirt under any of them. The fingers on the right hand were the same. This kid wasn’t homeless, or hadn’t been for long. The field jacket would lead to someone who knew him, who could tell his story. He listed the countries of the flags he could ID and descriptions of those he couldn’t.

“I thought we were rid of you, Taylor.” Dr. R. Martin Quirk, the assistant coroner, stood inside the door. Taylor looked from Quirk’s long face to the stubby fingers that seemed imperfect instruments for prodding inside bodies, even dead ones.

“This kid wasn’t homeless,” Taylor said.

“What do you know? Don’t turn this John Doe into another of your page one specials. I’ve got six homicides in the cooler, bodies piling up in the emergency room—high priority, cops shooting civilians—and five accidentals, old people who froze to death in their apartments. I’ve got to cut them all anyway. They won’t let me put ‘unpaid Con Ed bill’ as cause on the death certificate.”

“Will you at least check the ‘missing’ list?”

Quirk always claimed to be overworked, but he was just plain lazy.

“That’s a cop’s job.”

“They won’t.”

“I’m not their master, thank Christ. Why don’t you do it? You’re the reporter.”

Taylor decided not to disabuse him of that notion. From his jacket’s right pocket, he pulled out and opened the collapsible Polaroid he carried for capturing a scene when a click was faster than taking notes. A snap-flash and Taylor held the instant photo, a black square until it developed. In two minutes, chemicals and metals would resolve into a color picture of the dead boy’s face. He needed it to track down who the kid was.

“I’ll call you to get cause of death.” He put the developing picture in his coat pocket next to his wallet and went straight through the double doors without glancing back.

Why didn’t the boy show the wear and tear of rough living? He might have been a recent arrival on the street, a runaway who didn’t bargain on the freezing weather and died almost as soon as he ran. A sad story. Newspaper readers loved sad stories, even if they said they didn’t.

About the Book

In March of 1975, as New York City hurtles toward bankruptcy and the Bronx burns, newsman Coleridge Taylor roams police precincts and ERs. In LAST WORDS by Rich Zahradnik (Camel Press, $12.49 paperback; $4.95 Kindle), Taylor searches for the story that will deliver him from obits, his place of exile at the Messenger-Telegram. Ever since he was demoted from the police beat for inventing

sources, the 34-year-old has been a lost soul. A break comes at Bellevue, where Taylor views the body of a homeless teen picked up in the Meatpacking District. Taylor smells a rat: the dead boy looks too clean and he’s wearing a distinctive Army field jacket. A little digging reveals that the jacket belonged to a hobo named Mark Voichek and that the teen was a spoiled society kid up to no good, the son of a city official. Taylor’s efforts to learn Voichek’s secret put him on the hit list of three goons who are willing to kill any number of street people to cover tracks that just might lead to City Hall. Taylor has only one ally in the newsroom, young and lovely reporter Laura Wheeler. Time is not on his side. If he doesn’t wrap this story up soon, he’ll be back on the obits page—as a headline, not a byline, in Rich Zahradnik’s LAST WORDS.

About the Author

RICH ZAHRADNIK is the author of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series published by Camel Press. He was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry.
In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York’s Center for Fiction. He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was the founding executive producer of CNNfn.com, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of Netscape.com, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University.

mercy by bj daniels

Written by Darlyn Azlinda At Monday, September 15, 2014 1 bookish peeps...
Title: Mercy
Series: Beartooth, Montana #5
Author: BJ Daniels
Pages: 352
Rating: 3.5/5
Cover rating: 3.5/5

Summary:
For U.S. marshal Rourke Kincaid, there's the law…and then there's his law. When the two don't agree, he always trusts his instincts. A killing spree has gripped the Northwest, showing a strange connection that only he sees, and now the old rules of justice no longer apply. Forced to turn rogue, he goes deep undercover to track his mysterious female suspect to a quiet, unassuming cafĂ© in the wild, isolated mountains of Beartooth, Montana.

But encountering Callie Westfield complicates his mission in ways he never expected. As suspicious as she seems, her fragile beauty and sexy charm get to Rourke. Then the gory crimes begin anew. With his heart suddenly at war with his instincts, he has only two options. Either turn Callie over to the law, or put everything—including his badge and his life—on the line to protect her.

My 2 Cents:
I have read her Atonement novel and really enjoy her book. And with Mercy I think it was enjoyable as well. When it is a romance, I expected romance in it. And the relation between Rourke and Callie is sweet and I think I liked all the scenes which gave me some time that made me hold my breath and I felt like my cheeks burning and red! The misunderstanding between Rourke as he suspected Callie as the serial killer somewhat gave a perspective that he had to put aside his feeling and focus to his job. He is attracted to Callie making his job much harder. But Callie sure has her own charm as well. There are so many twists and turns in this book. It's too complicated to explain but it's a fantastic book and will keep you turning pages faster than you can expect. All in all I think this book is a worth reading for your bedtime reading or while having coffee during weekend breakfast. Enjoy!

 

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