Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Years To Live by Frank Zaccari (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book reviews welcomes Frank Zaccari, author of Five Years To Live!

Author Guest Post

A Day In My Writing Life


Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your readers again. I am still new to the literary world. I started writing books less than three years ago when I became a single custodial parent. My daughters and I were in counseling when one of the counselors suggested I write a journal. So when my emotions wouldn’t let me sleep I would get up and write. This journal evolved into my first book When the Wife Cheats. Once this book was completed and published I discovered that writing became a form of relaxation and stress relief. Five Years to Live is my fourth book.

I don’t have what one would call a “typical” day as a writer because I never expected to become a writer. I spent my entire adult life in the business world. Four years ago, I had never considered writing a book. I have no formal training as a writer. The only writing class I ever took was English Composition 101 as a college freshman, and I hated that class. My only writing was developing business plans. Throughout my business career, I traveled extensively both foreign and domestic and often presented business plans to employees, investors, suppliers and bankers. I discovered I enjoy preparing and telling a story. Like most people, I occasionally joked “That I should write a book about this,” but never really believed I would find the inspiration, or take the time and effort to actually write a book.

When I became a single parent I had to stop traveling so I bought an insurance agency. During the day I am a business owner, in the evenings I am dad and from 1:00 to 4:00 in the morning I write. When I started writing my first book, my youngest daughter was still living with me (she is in college now). I did not want to upset her while I was writing the book and I also wanted to be completely available for her when she wanted to talk or vent. So after she went to bed, on the nights when my emotions would not let me sleep I would get up, go into the extra bedroom and write the book. I found I could focus and the ideas would come to me in the middle of the night. The large majority of my writing is still done between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning.

Since I have never had any formal training as a writer, I don’t have a method or model to follow. I don’t really stick to a hard schedule. I don’t have that amazing creative gene of the great fiction writers, so I write about things I know or have experienced in my life. Day-to-day life provides me with a great deal of material to expand into a story.

Once I have the idea, I start making notes as they come to me. The notes are more a random “stream of consciousness” than a formal structure. Once I have a number of these notes I put together a rough outline and start to write the first couple of chapters. Then I let the ideas develop in my mind for a few days and when the story starts to make sense I start writing. I might write for four or five consecutive days then let the ideas develop again. If my English teachers from high school and college are reading this they will probably have a heart attack…hahaha.

I love to tell a story so developing a story line is fairly easy. Weeding through what is and is not relevant for the story is a little more difficult, but I completely despise the constant re-reading and proof reading. It seems I see what I wanted to say, not necessarily what is actually written on the page.

I think the only real structure I have is where I write. I write in one of the bedrooms at my house that I made into a make shift office. It is a very Spartan like environment. I have a desk with a PC, a hanging desk lap, a file box with notes and research and several pictures of my two daughters. I have the basic tools that I need and pictures of two most important people in my life.

Despite my unorthodox methods, holding a copy of my books is exhilarating! I still can’t believe I am actually holding a book with my name as the author. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction that I have written four books. It would be better if one or all of them become a best seller (hahaha), but until that day comes I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

I hope your readers enjoy Five Years to Live. This is a love story wrapped around the devastation and overwhelming therapies associated with severe spinal cord injury. The scary thing is that it can happen to anyone. It is the phone call everyone prays they will never receive.

About The Author

Frank Zaccari is a native of western New York. He received his bachelor’s in finance from California State University at Sacramento after serving as a military medic in the United States Air Force. He spent more than two decades in the technology industry, holding various positions from account representative to CEO. He also spent time specializing in turn-around management of companies under $100 million. Zaccari left the industry to provide primary care of his children, purchasing a small business that was more accommodating to his family. He presently owns an insurance agency in Sacramento, where he currently resides. Five Years to Live is not his only book for sale. He has also written, When the Wife Cheats, From the Ashes: The Rise of the University of Washington Volleyball Program, and Inside the Spaghetti Bowl.

Frank Zaccari ~ Five Years To Live ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Providence Book Promotions

Book Review

Five Years To Live by Frank Zaccari
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback - 245 pages / Kindle - 609 KB
ISBN: 1478196904
Genre: Family / Relationships

BUY THE BOOK: Five Years To Live

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions.

Book Description:

It is the phone call every person lives in fear of receiving. There has been an accident and your loved one is paralyzed. A spinal cord injury is the single most devastating and life altering event. Based on a true story, Michael and Donna were young, successful, in love and planning their life together. That life was radically changed by a tragic car accident. Now a wheelchair user as a quadriplegic, with limited movement, constant infections and multiple surgeries, doctors projected Michael’s best case life expectancy to be five years. See how this young couple battles through his injury and spends his five years making a lasting impact on hundreds of people. It will make you realize what can be accomplished when a person does not let circumstances dictate their life.

Book Excerpt:

With terror in his voice, he said, “I’m not going to walk again, am I?”

“We don’t really know yet, like I said…”

Michael angrily cut her off “Answer the god-damn question. I’m not going to walk again am I?

“I don’t know Michael.”

Tears began to will up in his eyes, and he looked at her, begging for an answer.

After she wiped the tear from her eyes she said “The odds are not in your favor.”

My Book Review:

In the blink of an eye your life can change forever ...

For twenty-four year old Michael Battaglia, life was good: he was in love with a wonderful woman he planned to marry, he loved his current job and had an awesome offer from another company for a job promotion with a large pay raise, and he was looking forward to a bright future that lay ahead of him.

But on August 11, 1985, a tragic car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike would forever change the life of this young man from Dunkirk, New York. Diagnosed with a broken neck and a displaced 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae that caused a spinal cord injury, he was left a quadriplegic and wheelchair bound. Because of the seriousness of his injuries, the doctors gave him only five years to live. But true to his independent spirit, determination, faith and will to live, Michael embarked on a journey to live his life to the fullest beyond the doctor's prognosis.

This is Michael's story ...

Five Years To Live is a heart wrenching yet profoundly inspirational story of a young man's determination to live his life to the fullest after a tragic accident changed the course of his life. Author Frank Zaccari weaves a poignant tale based on a true story that occurred in his family, this story will simply pull at your heartstrings.

Written in the third person narrative, the author transports the reader into the lives of Michael Battaglia, his large Italian American family, and his girlfriend Donna Harris. The author engages the reader with a wonderful description of the history of both Michael and Donna's families leading up to the accident and the journey to recovery that ensued. With grace, faith, strong will and determination, Michael's journey takes him through many years of rehabilitative challenges guided by the loving support of his family and friends.

This inspirational story will humble you, make you count your blessings, and realize that in a blink of an eye your world can change forever, but if you have faith and a strong support system, you still can lead a wonderful and fulfilling life. The author inserts inspirational quotes and sayings throughout the book that will stir your soul. Five Years To Live is an emotional story that has an upbeat positive message of faith and hope that comes out of life's challenges and lessons.

Five Years To Live is a wonderful testament to the ability of the human spirit to survive, overcome and move forward from life's tragedies and challenges.



  1. Extraordinary review, guest post and overall post. NYT worth!! Fantastic. Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. Thank you for the kind comment, you make me blush. :)

  2. Kathleen,

    Thank you for your wonderful review. There are so many terrible stories that bombard our lives, but what I believe is the world is full of good people performing extraordinary events under the most adverse circumstances. These are the stories. like "Five Years to Live" that make us smile, that gave us hope, that challenge our spirit and lift us to be better than we thought was possible.

    Frank Zaccari

    1. Hi Frank! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. Five Years To Live was such an inspiring story. Best wishes on your virtual book tour. :)

  3. I enjoyed this book :)

    1. Hi Teena! I really enjoy Frank's books too. He has a way of making your compassion come out, and his books pull at your heartstrings. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)