Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Interview with Michael Alvear, author of Eat It Later

Title: Eat It Later
Author: Michael Alvear
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Woodpecker Media
Genre: Diet/Wellness
Format: Ebook/Paperback

“A wellness strategy that changes the way you think about food. Alvear’s writing style and the structure of his book make for an easy read and, more importantly, easy use in daily life.” -- Kirkus Reviews

You Don’t Need A Diet. You Need An Eating Strategy. Use these proven psychological methods to reduce cravings, eliminate overeating, “shrink” your stomach and help you eat in moderation--without feeling deprived.

• Cut Up To 90% Of Your Snacking Without Feeling Cheated.  Use Habituation and Systematic Desensitization to dramatically cut how much you eat without feeling deprived. Psychologists use these treatments to get people off Vicodin and Xanax. Imagine how well they work on chips and cookies.

• Control Your Cravings With Delayed Gratification Techniques That Teach Discipline Without Suffering.  Based on famed psychologist Walter Mischel’s “Marshmallow” experiments, they will painlessly help you master self-control.  

• Eat Healthier Without Forcing Yourself To Eat What You Don’t Like.  Use the “Nutrilicious” concept to make healthier choices without sacrificing taste or preferences. This book is about how I lost 14 pounds and 2 waist sizes and kept it off for 25 years without ever going on a diet. Inspired by Walter Mischel’s iconic The Marshmallow Test, Eat It Later is a science-based, psychological approach to developing weight-reducing eating habits. It chronicles how I did it and lays out a plan for how you can too.

Learn Techniques For Eating Less Without Feeling Deprived.  Today, I don't eat three Oreos at a sitting and force myself from the table, biting my fist and longing for the 16 I used to eat. I am as satisfied with three as I used to be with 16. Habituation, desensitization and delayed gratification techniques stopped my mindless eating and painlessly “shrank” my stomach so that I could eat much smaller portions without feeling cheated or deprived. Like most people, I thought, “eating in moderation” was code for “you’ll never feel full again.” I thought portion control meant pain management. I thought volume reduction meant perpetual dissatisfaction. I was wrong. If you make the kind of tiny, systematic reductions I show you in this book, your body will adapt to the new normal without any pain or suffering.

Learn The Keys To Self-Control.  You are not going to get a list of foods to eat or avoid. Or recipes or meal suggestions. I am not going to ask you to count calories, fat, carbs or sugar. I am simply going to show you how to permanently change the amount of food you eat. And to do it with strategies identified by researchers and psychologists as the keys to self-control—habituation, systematic desensitization and delayed gratification techniques.

Ever Finish A Bagel And Say, “Why Did I Eat It–I Wasn’t That Hungry?”  You do that because you don’t have an intuitive eating system that separates no/low cravings from high cravings. Eat It Later shows you mindful eating techniques that take about 3 seconds to separate low from medium and high cravings.

Say Goodbye To Will Power Fatigue.  Diets force you to white-knuckle your way through 5-alarm cravingsand leave the table feeling hungry and deprived. But with habituation, desensitization and delayed gratification techniques you will never experience will power fatigue because there is nothing to be fatigued about—you will have what you like but through an intuitive eating mindset.

Eat It Later is available for order at  
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When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing marketing strategy columns for Adweek, Mediaweek and other advertising/marketing publications.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

In college.  My English professor said she never gives A’s so I took that as a challenge.  I did manage to get 1 A out of her.  One of my proudest moments in school.  Well, that and my ability to drink copious vodka without throwing up.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

When Adweek ran a cover story of mine

What inspires you to write and why?

I like being helpful AND controversial.  It’s a unique blend where I help people WHILE pissing them off.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Nonfiction How to

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first REAL book as opposed to collections of my advice columns, was Not Tonight Dear, I Feel FatHow To Stop Worrying About Your Body & Have Great Sex . I wrote it out of outrage for what women in America go through in terms of  how society perceives their worth and how that translates into sexual dysfunction.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

My sister, the novelist Vicky Alvear Shecter

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Using my fingers on the keyboard instead of my forehead (i.e. the impossibility of getting started)

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

That you can make a good point without embellishing the details.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

Is IS my career.

Michael Alvear
Find out more  here
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lonesome Town by Tom Mendicino Book Feature

Title: Lonesome Town
Author: Tom Mendicino
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: General Fiction
Format: Ebook

Charlie Beresford and Kevin “KC” Conroy came of age in Tom Mendicino’s KC, At Bat and Travelin’ Man. Now they’re struggling with the realities of adulthood, in this powerfully honest story of unlikely friendship and enduring love.

At twenty-two, Charlie Beresford has a Dartmouth degree, an entry-level radio job, and a hunch that he’s already made one of the biggest mistakes of his life. It’s no wonder his old high-school crush, KC Conroy, is wary when they encounter each other again. Five years ago, Charlie callously discarded him after they shared an intense adolescent affair.

This KC is wiser and more worldly than the aspiring baseball star Charlie used to idolize. Back then, fame and success seemed a given. Now KC is chasing his last chance to make it as a pro, playing with an independent minor league team. But Charlie has changed too. Time and distance have taught him what’s worth fighting for, even when the odds are long—and that the only thing worse than striking out might be never taking a chance at all. 

Praise for Tom Mendicino’s Probation “Thoughtful, textured and poignant…an exciting impressive debut.” —Time Out NY

 “A smart, engaging, witty, sad and unusual book about the complicated nature of family and love.” —Bart Yates “A potent debut.” —Publishers Weekly

 “Achingly honest.” Vestal McIntryre, author of Lake Overturn

Lonesome Town is available for order at  
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Tom Mendicino is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina School of Law. His debut novel Probation (Kensington) was named a 2011 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His novella Away in a Manger appeared in the Kensington collection Remembering Christmas and his short fiction has been published in numerous anthologies. He is also the author of the new adult novellas KC, at Bat, Travelin' Man, and Lonesome Town (eKensington), a trilogy following the relationship between a promising baseball player and a would-be musician. His second novel The Boys from Eighth and Carpenter (Kensington) is about the powerful bond between a pair of motherless boys, the sons of an abusive immigrant from Italy, and the choices each makes to protect the other.

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  Visit Tom at his website

  Visit him at the following locations:

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Interview with Bluette Matthey, author of Black Forest Reckoning

Black Forest Reckoning Book Banner

blackforesFrontB-3Title: Black Forest Reckoning
Author: Bluette Matthey
Publisher: Blue Shutter Publishing
Pages: 299
Genre: Travel Mystery

 Outfitter Hardy Durkin and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron, who owns the schloss, has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in ‘The Black Forest Reckoning’.  

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

I’ve raised three fantastic kids to successful adulthood, and we are very much a part of each other’s lives.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

Traveling was always an important part of my growing up.  I remember when I was in second or third grade getting ready for a trip to Florida over Christmas.  My dad got us all up at 2 or 3 in the morning to set out … it was an adventure!  My parents took me to the World’s Fair in Montreal in 1967 when I was sixteen and let me explore the entire place and beyond on my own for a week.  I’d meet them at our rendezvous point in  the car park at day’s end, and I’d do it all over the next day.  Amazing!  Another trip explored the eastern Canadian provinces for four weeks of travel in a travel trailer, then eight weeks out West and the western Canadian provinces.  Glorious!!  I’d pick up pen pals as I went. And I’d be reading mysteries as we traveled.  No surprise, really, that I’d found my niche writing travel mysteries.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing short story westerns in the third grade that were take-offs on my TV heroes at the time and my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Steiner, had me read one to the class.  In retrospect, they were pretty awful.  I took creative writing classes and poetry courses as an undergraduate and wrote two children’s books and started several novels during the ensuing years.  Whenever I traveled I took notes of people, places, and details that could have value in a story somewhere down the line.  But it was when I was returning from a trip to London two years ago that I phoned my husband from the airport and told him I’d decided to write travel mysteries.  It seemed the natural thing to do, since I really enjoy traveling and love a good mystery.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I don’t remember why I started writing, but I’ve always done it.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

I think I figured that out near the end of my first four years at university.  Life would steam-roller over me and I’d put it all on a shelf for a while, take it down, dust it off, get capsized by another wave.  This went on for years, until I realized being over-whelmed was all a part of the process.

What inspires you to write and why?

What I see in life inspires me:  places I’ve been, people I’ve met, experiences … I’ve had some hard knocks, but lots of mercy and I think I’ve embraced it all.  Injustice in its various forms also prods me to the pen.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I’ve written poetry, children’s books, novels, and travel mysteries, and hands down I love writing the latter.  I’ve been reading mysteries since fourth grade and traveling since that same age, so traveling mysteries are a good fit for me.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first travel mystery is a result of a trip I took to London two years ago to visit my son.  I went on quite a few London Walks --- a great way to see off-the-beaten-path London --- and one of the walks found me standing in front of Whitehaven Mansions on Charterhouse Square, the London residence of Agatha Christie’s Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot.  I adore David Suchet’s portrayal of Poirot; it inspires me.  Anyway, I’m standing there thinking, ‘Travel mysteries … I can do that.”

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

My travels and adventures are an enormous influence on what I write.  I’ve also been influenced by mystery writers like Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, James Lee Burke, and Dame Christie, as well as some of the really well done European Crimes Series we watch online.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Getting the characters right.  Character development and balance are vital to a book’s success.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

I do a tremendous amount of research when I write, so I’m always learning and experiencing new things about the setting’s culture, history, and cuisine.  While doing on site research for Black Forest Reckoning I went to the old-world heath spa in Baden-Baden and did the full-package spa regimen.  The food in the Black Forest region is especially wonderful, particularly Swabian pork, a breed developed in the area and incredibly flavorful.  I also enjoyed spending time in the university town of Freiburg, where a good bit of Black Forest Reckoning takes place.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

It is more a life style.

Have you developed a specific writing style?

I’m sure I have.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? 

I work at capturing what makes a place breathe, what makes it special, and pass it along to my readers.

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

I love a good adventure and want to continue growing as a person.  Gotta keep it fresh!

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I have a quick, hot temper.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“The words you speak become the house you live in.”---Hafez  Another way of saying it might be: “You live at the level you speak.”  “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”(Proverbs 18:21)

Bluette Matthey Bluette Matthey is a third generation Swiss American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery with her to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, faithful dog, and band of loving cats.

You can visit Bluette’s website at

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A Peach of a Pair by Kim Boykin Book Review

Title: A Peach of A Pair
Date Published: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback


Palmetto Moon inspired The Huffington Post to rave, “It is always nice to discover a new talented author and Kim Boykin is quite a find.” Now, she delivers a novel of a woman picking up the pieces of her life with the help of two spirited, elderly sisters in South Carolina.

March, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, but as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family—and her childhood sweetheart, Brooks—in Alabama. But just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mama telling her that Brooks is getting married . . . to her own sister.

Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, but their sisterhood has weathered many storms. And as Nettie learns more about their lives on a trip to see a faith healer halfway across the country, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home . . .

I have a sister, and we have had our fair share of fights. At one point in our relationship she did something that caused me not to speak to her for a few years. I saw the synopsis of this book and knew that I had to read it.

I really enjoyed this book! Being set in the 50's, the author did a fantastic job of taking the reader back in time. And the characters truly came to life. Nettie was someone I truly adored. Having been the 'wronged' sister, I felt what she was going through, while our circumstances were truly different. This book reminded me of The Secret Life of Bees and How to Make An American Quilt in the story telling and characterization. Truly a beautiful book and one I would recommend.

Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of A Peach of a Pair, Palmetto Moon and The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley/NAL/Penguin; Flirting with Forever, She’s the One, Just in Time for Christmas, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.

Her latest book is the southern women’s fiction, A Peach of a Pair.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

The Lady Who Saw Too Much by Thomasine Rappold Cover Reveal

Title: The Lady Who Saw Too Much
Author: Thomasine Rappold
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romance
Format: Ebook

Cursed with prophetic visions and desperate to atone for a death she could have prevented, Gianna York swears she will never again ignore the chance to save a life. When she is hired by Landen Elmsworth to serve as companion to his sister, Gia repeatedly sees the image of her employer's lifeless corpse floating in Misty Lake. As subsequent visions reveal more details, Gia soon realizes her best chance to save this difficult man is by becoming his wife.

At first, Landen Elmsworth believes the fetching Miss York might be right for a meaningless dalliance, but he grossly underestimates her capacity for cunning and soon finds himself bound until death to a woman he may never be able to trust. Yet in the dark of their bedroom they discover an undeniable passion--and a capacity to forge their own destiny . . .

The Lady Who Saw Too Much is available for order at

A three-time RWA Golden Heart nominee, Thomasine Rappold writes historical romance and historical romance with paranormal elements. She lives with her husband in a small town in upstate New York that inspired her current series. When she’s not spinning tales of passion and angst, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing on one of the nearby lakes, and basking on the beach in Cape Cod. Thomasine is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Capital Region Romance Writers.

Readers can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @ThomRappold.  

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Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver Book Review

Title: Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver
Date Published: October 27, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback


When seventeen year-old librarian wannabe Claire Daly is dragged kicking, screaming and cursing from everything she loves—her mam, her cozy Irish village and the dreamy boy next door—to take up arms in the battle of good versus evil, she learns the hard way that sometimes you don’t get to choose your own destiny, destiny chooses you. Claire’s life plan is simple: head off to university to get her degree in library studies, summon up the courage to tell her best friend Chas that she loves him and live happily ever after. She never once entertained the idea that she might possess divine powers, that she might be predestined to battle Hell’s demons, or, to complicate matters further, that another love of many lives past might turn up on her doorstep. But life doesn’t always go as planned, and when a co-worker is viciously attacked by a demon and her own family threatened, Claire must face the truth: she is called to a higher purpose and has no choice but to answer. Claire sets aside her dreams and begins learning how to deal with the Unholy once and for all. Armed with only a crash course in soul saving and her wits, she gears up for the ultimate show down in Hell. But will it be enough?

When I saw the title of this book I was immediately drawn in. I mean, really, a reluctant soul saver? What you need to remember while reading this book is that there are aspects that aren't believable. Obviously, in case the title didn't give it away. But, I felt the author did a good job of fleshing out the characters and plot.

I really enjoyed Claire - following her path from normal teenager to divine being was fabulously told and she handled it all with a lot of wit and snark, which I loved. Finding out she had something that was being cultivated by evil, especially when her family was all about their faith was interesting as well.

An enjoyable and fast read, and one I would recommend.

Michele Brouder was born in Buffalo, NY and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1996. She works part-time as a nurse. She recently moved to Florida after living for seven years in Ireland. She has wanted to be a published writer since the age of 9.

Michele Brouder is a senior contributor at BIW.A late bloomer in all things, her first book will be published in 2014 for Harlequin’s new digital line, Harlequin E. She has been previously published in Chat: It’s Fate and Writer’s Forum UK. She is a former member of Write Words (UK), an online writing group. She learned more about her craft with tutoring from the published Irish novelist, Helena Close, through the Limerick County Council writer-in-residence series.

She met her husband, Mike, at a traditional matchmaking festival in Ireland and they now have two sons, Daniel, aged 11 and Michael, aged 9. After spending time with her family, her greatest loves are reading and the beach. Her reading interests fall along a broad spectrum: literary, YA, women’s fiction, historical, romantic comedy, biography and crime drama.

After growing up on the shores of Lake Erie, there is no place she would rather be than the beach. Any beach. She loves playing cards and board games like Michigan Rummy, pinochle, Scrabble and Trivia Pursuit. She is fascinated by all things historical and loved tripping around Ireland looking at old castles and churches. She is addicted to Eastenders and Law & Order. More than anything, she would love a Newfoundland dog someday. Any meal that she doesn’t have to cook is a great one.

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