Thursday, February 20, 2020

Book Blast & Giveaway: Chemo Muscles by Renee A. Exelbert



CHEMO MUSCLES: LESSONS LEARNED FROM BEING A PSYCHO-ONCOLOGIST AND CANCER PATIENT
By Renee A. Exelbert, PhD
Autobiography/Health/Fitness

In Chemo Muscles: Lessons Learned from Being a Psycho-Oncologist and Cancer Patient, Exelbert reflects on her experience of confronting her cancer diagnosis, as the doctor becomes the patient.

Exelbert was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after working as a psychologist in a pediatric cancer center in Long Island, NY. A wife and mother of two young children, she struggled with vulnerability and identity. As a medical professional, she had both challenging and elevating experiences with healthcare professionals. And ultimately, she became a certified personal trainer and bodybuilding figure competitor to regain a sense of control over her body.

With unflinching candor and detail, Exelbert shares her story by pairing it with psychological theory, well-researched coping techniques for patients and families, and guidance to aid healthcare professionals in treating people with greater dignity, understanding, and respect.

“By sharing the inner-most thoughts and emotions she experienced throughout her breast cancer journey, Dr. Exelbert provides validation that “life-altering” doesn’t necessarily condemn a cancer patient to a life that is “less than” it once was. Her dual perspectives as both a patient and a psychologist provide a unique opportunity to merge the raw emotional impact of the diagnosis with clinical training, thereby allowing her to process and understand the experience in a way that is both reassuring and empowering.”
— Jane E. Austin, Ph.D., Professor, William Paterson University

“This is less a book about cancer and the healing effects of exercise and diet as much as it is about the power of resilience; about confronting the unimaginable and what it takes to come out the other side. By allowing the reader into her personal journey, Dr. Exelbert invites us to explore the human dimensions of illness, seamlessly weaving between best psychological practices and the simple needs that we all have as members of the human family. For those of us working in the cancer community – or in any other community for that matter – this book is a must-read. It summons us to remember our humanity – to not hide behind cold clinical jargon and artificial barriers – and reminds us of the power we each possess to not only ease our own fears and pain, but those of our fellow travelers.”
— Arnie Preminger, CEO/Founder, Sunrise Association International summer and year-round programs for children with cancer and their siblings

“In this important and inspiring book, Dr. Exelbert shares her personal and emotional journey through cancer, with the vulnerability of a patient, the expertise of a psycho-oncologist, and with a generosity of heart that makes this book an essential guide for cancer patients, their families and clinicians alike. Lessons gleaned from personal suffering and transformation, combined with valuable knowledge from psychological and medical research, nutrition, and exercise, will undoubtedly leave the reader not only better informed, but empowered with hope and courage amidst the struggle with serious illness.”
— Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D., Psycho-oncologist, New York University School of Medicine


Amazon → https://amzn.to/2snRyTo

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2tk9lvi

 





One Breast or Two?
I still had not decided if I was going to have the requisite single
mastectomy, or a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. There were some
studies that showed a miniscule chance of breast cancer spreading to
the other breast. My plastic surgeon had discussed that there would
also be a lack of symmetry between my breasts had I elected to have
the single mastectomy. He commented that they would be “sisters”
rather than “twins.” Two days prior to having surgery, I was sent for
a final scan of my breasts. My right breast was the one that had the
malignancies, however, there was some concern that the cancer might
be present in the left breast. The amount of terror I experienced about
the possibility of having more cancer was beyond measure. It turned
out to be nothing, merely dense breasts. However, my doctor notified
me that from this point forward, I would be checked much more
frequently in the existing breast. The prospect of experiencing more
scares due to dense or cystic breasts was something I could not handle.
I decided then and there that I would opt for the prophylactic bilateral
mastectomy. It was not an easy choice, as I could have kept one breast
and therefore preserved some sense of my existing identity, femininity,
and beauty. I had several people close to me as well as Dr. A, my old
boss from the pediatric cancer center, try to convince me that having the
bilateral mastectomy was a drastic and unnecessary measure. On
the other hand, I had been so freaked out by cancer and the possibility
of future trauma, that I felt it best to minimize any and all risks. When
I arrived for surgery, my surgeon, Dr. M, still had not been notified of
my final decision. She asked me in a perfunctory tone, “One breast or
two?” as this was her common vernacular, and illustrative of surgery
that she routinely performed. I couldn’t help but be struck by the metaphor
to coffee—would I like one lump of sugar or two? Additionally,
Dr. K and Dr. M had asked me if they would be removing a mole that
I had between my breasts, as surgery was the perfect time to get rid
of it. It was not attractive, but it had become a part of me. I told them
that I did not want to lose any more of me than I needed to, and that I
wanted to keep my mole. They both joked with me about how hideous
my mole was going to look with my brand-new boobs. They made me
laugh and brought levity to an agonizing experience. Nonetheless, I
am so glad that I kept my mole. We have been through a lot together.
I spent a few final minutes alone with Billy, who gently touched and
kissed my boobs. He then said “goodbye guys.” We cried and held each
other. His unconditional love and acceptance let me know that no
matter how this surgery altered my body, he would always love me and
find me beautiful. And with that, I was wheeled into surgery.
As the anesthesia was administered and I was lying down, terrified
for how this next chapter of my life was about to unfold, Dr. M held
my hand and supported me. It was such a small gesture, but meant the
world to me.













Renee A. Exelbert, Ph.D., CFT, is both a licensed psychologist and certified personal trainer. She is the Founding Director of The Metamorphosis Center for Psychological and Physical Change, where she integrates psychotherapy and exercise with a focus on the mind/body connection. She maintains a private practice in New York City, Manhasset and Nyack, New York for the treatment of children, adolescents, adults and families. Dr. Exelbert is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development where she teaches Masters-level psychology courses. She previously served as Staff Psychologist at the Winthrop University Hospital Cancer Center for Kids, working with children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website:  https://drexelbert.com/
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ReneeExelbert

 

Renee A. Exelbert is giving away an autographed copy of CHEMO MUSCLES!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed paperback
  • This giveaway ends midnight February 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on March 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Watch Book Trailer for The Turkish Affair by Jill Culiner





Title: THE TURKISH AFFAIR
Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 242
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.
Praise:
Author J. Arlene Culiner does not disappoint in this fast-paced novel, The Turkish Affair. Glittering descriptions, magical settings, and enviable characters bring the solemn grounds of Turkey to life as we are planted firmly in an archeological dig in Karakuyu, Turkey. Culiner’s mastery of the English language and sentence combinations form an enchanting read. The Turkish Affair is a must-read for all lovers of romance and adventure.
–Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0823B18Z3

 Barnes & Noble → https://tinyurl.com/yx2lyg6v



J. Arlene Culiner
Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Character Interview with Adrian Sanchez from John DeSimone's The Road to Delano

We’re thrilled to have Adrian Sanchez from John DeSimone's The Road to Delano.  It is a pleasure to have him with us at The Literary Nook!


What is your name?
            Adrian Sanchez

What do you look like?
            I’m tall, slim, even thin, but muscular, fast twitch, with brown skin, black hair,
            And I smile all the time, at least I try.

Where are you today and what are you doing?
            I’m at school on the baseball field, running, getting ready for practice to state. I
            Feel the most comfortable here, as I was made to run and hit and catch.

Describe the outside of your home.
            We live on the east side of town, the barrio, so my house is a bit rundown, but   neat. Papa keeps it neat, a trimmed lawn when it grows. And no cars parked on      the grass.

You come face to face with your worse enemy. How do you react?
            My worst enemy are those who think I can’t perform, that I’m not good enough to        make it. 
            I push myself to perform, to get good grades, to be the best player on the field.

You keep a photo album of memories from your lifetime. If you could only keep one photo, which one would that be?
            A photo of my mother and father when they were young. Next to it is a photo of           my junior prom, Darcy and I.

A police officer stops you for a minor violation. What violation is that and how do you react?
            In this town a cop stopping any Mexican can become a momen of truth. I’m respectful, always. Its usually because my taillights in this old jalopy stop working.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?
            My baseball uniform.

Do you have any phobias? What are they and how intense are they? How have they impacted your life?
            I fear failure more than anything else. I fear I won’t be good enough to compete             with others.

Open your wallet, purse, or briefcase. What do you find?
            A crumpled photo of Darcy and I.

You move into a new home. What's the first thing you buy for it?
            I don’t know if I will ever move into a new house, but if I do, and I can afford it I would buy Papa a new rocker, and throw out that ratty one he’s been sitting in for years.

How do you feel about mortality?
            Man, that’s a cruel question. I’m not even 19. That’s not time to think of death.
            This is the year to blossom, to run into the future.

What scares you?
            Having to go work the fields for a living like Papa. I’ll never do that.

How would your parents describe you?
            Intense. Focused. Ready for action.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
            Pray the act of contrition. Pray for forgivenss if I was lazy that day.

Who is your best friend?
            Jack Duncan, a cool dude.

Who is your worse enemy?
            Defeat.

Are you faith-oriented?
            Of course. I am a Catholic.

Are you married or in a relationship?
            I’m in a relationship with Darcy. When we graduate from high school, we’re      going to college together.

Do you have children?
            Hey, not yet, man. Give me time.

Where is your favorite hangout?
            With my buddies at the burger place downtown.

You are at the zoo. What is your favorite animal?
            Man, teenagers are animals. But if I had to choose one I like, the cheetah. It’s fast, its sneaky, it uses it’s speed to survive.
           
You just woke up to find that war has been declared. What’s the first thing you would do?
            Go and enlist.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
            Dimaggio. 

If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?
            I’d like to be a switchhitter, slam runs from both sides of the plate. And I don’t intend to be poor, so people look down on me. That’s a fact.
About the Book  
Title: THE ROAD TO DELANO
Author: John DeSimone
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond―as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian―the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez―in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.
The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny.
Barnes & Noblehttps://bit.ly/381fQT9
Book Depositoryhttps://bit.ly/2Ld0z82
About the Author 

John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005.

In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition.

He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books.

Website  → https://www.johndesimone.com/

Twitter  → https://twitter.com/JRDeSimone

Facebook  → https://www.facebook.com/bookwriter718/

Monday, February 3, 2020

Book Blast: Thunder in the Wind by Curt Orlorr



Inside the Book:


Title: Thunder in the Wind
Author: Curt Orloff
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Fiction/Westerns
Format: Ebook

Purchase Here


Thunder in the Wind is a historical novel concerning the assimilation reservation American Indians underwent at the turn of the twentieth century. The first part of the work describes how the Assiniboine, and one family in particular, deal with the onslaught of a society that not only was technologically superior, but also thought itself so morally superior it treats the tribe as if it was a hopeless dependent. The second part follows the exploits of the main character as he tries to unite the Plains, Great Basin, and Southwestern tribes in revolt, not to defeat the whites, but to scare them so badly they would restore to the Indians the selfhood they had stolen. Miskaw deals with the same trials Tecumseh experienced early in the previous century while uniting the tribes east of the Mississippi and, in dealing with them learns several truths about himself and the human condition. If not for hubris, the outcome of his endeavor may have been dramatically different.


I'm a Yankee who became a damn Yankee when I wouldn't leave the South. When I did leave it, was for overseas where I comfortably acquired the moniker of "yank". I have two bachelor degrees. The one in geology I use to support myself, the one in history just showed I am curious about human nature. This curiosity culminated in Thunder in the Wind after I found out about a Cree named Almighty Voice while I was engaged in geologic fieldwork in Montana. His revolt almost united the tribes. I was an Army 1st Lieutenant, lived for golf as a youth and got to play on the University of Houston golf team, and was an Eagle Boy Scout. I've been writing books for over two decades, getting only to the agent level. At present, one agent is peddling a novel I wrote about the oilfield. I was a well-site geologist for fourteen years and a petroleum engineer, mostly overseas, for seven years.

Curt is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 27 and ends on February 7.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on February 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

 January 27
January 28
January 29
January 30
January 31
February 3
February 4
February 5
February 6
February 7

Book Feature: We of the Forsaken World by Kiran Bhat




WE OF THE FORSAKEN WORLD
By Kiran Bhat
Literary Fiction/Metaphysical Fiction


The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.
Like modern communication networks, the stories in, we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017.

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.


Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi







“My people. Now speaks the man destined to make the great cats bow to feet, now speaks the man who will lock eyes with the sun. I have found our new land. Take your canoes and follow me. A new time for our tribe has come.” 

Not a single man found it in himself to raise a weapon, nor did a single wife open her mouth. The eyes of the eternal shone not from the skull but from the eyes of our chief’s first son. We believed that the spirits had bestowed him with our future. He had the eyes of life and death and life once more.

(Bhat, we, of the forsaken world… p. 191)




Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/







http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Book Blast: 10 Letters to a Stranger by Sarah S. Saeed






Title: 10 Letters to a Stranger
Author: Sarah S. Saeed
Publisher: PartridgeHouse
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Ebook


PURCHASE HERE



Dear stranger is a book that hopes to enlighten people's lives. It is a booklet that one may carry around and open up to seek hope and optimism whenever they feel like life is tightening up from all corners. When life seems like it is not going anywhere, this tiny manual aims to remind you and I that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. This book acts as a prompt that there is no such thing as a dead end. To never ever give up, no matter how tough things get. Just like how flowers need rain to grow and how diamonds are created under high pressure, we individuals are also facing life’s pressures in which we find ourselves growing in.

This pocket book is here to tell you that there is ALWAYS a way to start new and fresh
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